Thursday, December 20, 2012

"To The Nines" - Numerology for the Solstice Through Tarot

When you add the numbers for the date of Winter Solstice,
9 of Wands, perseverance, resillience
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12/21/12 you get 9.  (1+2+2+1+1+2)  9 is a fun number to write - almost as much fun as 6, but not nearly as much fun as 8.  In tarot, the number 9 represents struggles and compromises in Minor Arcana cards.  However, the struggles and compromises vary in each of the four tarot suits.

In the RWCS deck, the 9 of Wands shows us a man, his head bandaged from a battle wound, leaning heavily against one of his wands.  It's been an effort for him to keep his wands in alignment.  Wands are the suit of action and our hero has fought hard for his success.  He's going to be rewarded for his perseverance, as well as for the strength of his resolve.  The goal has been met, but what has he compromised in order to reach it?  Innocence and complacency, certainly.  He will never again have a truly unguarded moment.  He knows he must stay vigilant in order to defend both himself and what he protects.  Where the Knight of Wands believes in his own invincibility, the warrior in the Nine knows he can be defeated - knocked down.  But now he also knows that he has the stamina to get back up and fight.  What he loses one day, he regains on another.

9 of Cups, Tarot's wish card
Having it all, self-satisfaction, smugness
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The 9 of Cups has it much easier.  A wealthy man sits on a stool in front of a table holding 9 goblets.  His arms are folded across his ample stomach.  Cups deal with emotions and our merchant prince of the 9 doesn't know what it is to be in want.  He is well satisfied with his lot in life and he keeps his feet planted in a balanced position.  He has reached his goal of having it all.  Separating him from his creature comforts would be a difficult task.  He guards the luxuries in his life whether he needs them or not.  They are his to consume or hold on to either by the laws of man or by divine order.  The smugness of his expression shows us his contentment in his own consequence.  He likes to be envied.  So, what is his struggle and what compromises has he made?  This is a tough question is answer for a card that represents so many positive things.

First and foremost, the man in the 9 of Cups has compromised his mobility.  Hopefully he remains content with his luxurious lifestyle, because he can't pick up all of his cups at once and move them to a new location - not without risking loss.  And to let someone help him with the burden of carrying the goblets is to allow someone else control of a portion of his own fate.  Having it all must remain the ultimate goal of 9's merchant prince in order for him to remain content.  The 9 of Cups stays on his seat continuing to view life from the same perspective.
9 of Swords, guilt and anxiety
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The suit of Swords, or gloomy, doomy swords as they're often called, speaks to matters of spirit and the mind.  The 9 of Swords  depicts a woman who's woken up from a nightmare.  She's unable to return to sleep.  Her guilt and anxiety torment her and she buries her face in her hands.  Her struggle is simple.  The lady battles the monsters in her own mind.  They've overwhelmed her to the point where sleep can no longer offer her sanctuary.

Her blanket is covered with red roses which symbolize love and passion.  The image tells us that she is loved by others.  Has she perhaps compromised the love and good wishes of those who care about her?  And because Swords deal with matters of the mind, has she truly compromised their love, or does she merely think that she has.  Time will tell.
9 of Pentacle, self-reliance, high-minded pursuits
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Pentacles give us a glimpse of the material world.  The 9 of Pentacles shows us a strong woman, one of wealth and position.  Most importantly, she is aware of her own worth.  The falcon on her arm gives her a complete over-view of her domain.  She gains her information from him alone and makes her own very successful choices.  What has she compromised?  Her ability to partner.  She is sufficient unto herself.  To share her kingdom would mean taking another's wishes, needs and opinions into consideration.  She would sacrifice a measure of her independence if she were to allow someone else into her life.  Her struggle is one of opening up and sharing herself with someone else.

Number 9 in the Major Arcana is The Hermit - tarot's seeker of inner truths.  The Hermit withdraws, holds himself apart from the rest of the world to gain the insights needed to put his life in perspective.  He has a fundamental need to be alone - to periodically reexamine the lessons he's learned along his journey.  What better card could we have for the Winter Solstice?  The end of the year is a perfect time to engage in self-reflection.  Where have we traveled this year and what do we hope to gain in the coming one?

The lessons of the 9 cards can be summed up as follows:

Sometimes it's a struggle to move forward in life, especially when we feel overcome by circumstance that are beyond our control.  The key is to persevere.  If we didn't take the field in a blaze of glory today, there's always tomorrow.  The point is not to give up.  We will eventually succeed.

Don't stagnate yourself with images of who you are based upon what you have.  Stay flexible and have the courage to reinvent yourself.  Sure it's a risk, but so is standing still.  It's simply a different type of risk.

The poet, Omar Khayyam, wrote, "The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on. Nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line; nor all thy tears wash out a single word of it."  Guilt over a past indiscretion is useless.  You can't change your past, but you can improve your future.

Lastly, a well-lived life is one worthy of sharing.  Control over your destiny is great, but you don't have to maintain an isolationist policy to achieve it.  The more love you give, the more love you get back.

 Look forward to next year for the opportunities it will give you to experience and grow.  Mark your passage on this earth by the impressions you leave with the other people you meet along your journey. It can be entertaining as all get out.  Here's to 2013.


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