Awaken the Heart with the Element of Air
Welcome to the 2016 Midwinter Tarot Blog Hop. This time around our wrangler is Joy Vernon. Joy has managed to stir the seasonal themes of Imbolc, Aquarius (and thus the Tarot Star) and Valentine’s Day into one huge cauldron. From this, she has distilled our theme, “Awaken the Heart”.
She posed a question I have pondered often, about Aquarius and the Star. Aquarius, though an Air sign, is often called, “The Water-Bearer”. Many traditional tarot images depict the Star in this way as well, as the traditional Aquarian water-bearer. I was shocked when I first learned that the Star is related Aquarius and the element of Air, rather than to something more watery.
An astrologer friend explained it to me. “That’s not water she’s pouring,” my friend told me. “It’s starlight!”
It’s much easier to understand the Star, and the Aquarian "water-bearer" energy, when we think of the water-bearer as one who is pouring starlight, that is, heaven’s healing light, onto the land.
“Healing” is one of my favorite key words for the tarot Star. Another is “fulfillment”, and another is “great sex”.
It’s important to note that these may not be key words we typically associate with the Minor Arcana Air cards, the dreary and dreaded suit of Swords!
Indeed, as we look at all the Major Arcana Air cards, we can get a fuller and more balanced idea of the Air energy in tarot, and discover that it is not as bad as the Three, Nine and Ten of Swords would have you believe.
We also discover that all the Air cards can be vital to the mission of awakening the heart, healing the heart and finding love in all its forms..
The Major Arcana Air cards are the Fool, the Magician, the Lovers, Justice, and the Star. In these cards we see adventure, decisions, learning, communication, ethics, fulfillment and love. Love? Yes, love.
Generally, we see “love” as a thing of Water, or even of passionate Fire. We think of Air as mental stuff – our thoughts, our decisions, our words, our beliefs, our ideas and our integrity. So often those dark Swords cards appear to point out dishonesty, harmful beliefs and negative thoughts.
However, if both the Lovers and the Star are cards of Air, mustn’t we acknowledge the role of the element of Air in awakening our hearts?
Beyond that, might we more quickly and easily heal and awaken our hearts with conscious use and understanding of the oft-maligned Air element?
Could the suit of Swords depict the things that we need to do and to avoid to keep our hearts whole? What lessons can the suit of Swords teach us about love?
Ace of Swords – Always tell the truth.
Two of Swords – Make decisions with which you can be at peace.
Three of Swords – Avoid infidelity.
Four of Swords – Take needed time to rest and retreat, to heal and recharge.
Five of Swords – Pick your battles wisely.
Six of Swords – Be logical in your relationships.
Seven of Swords – Learn to trust, and to nurture relationships with trustworthy people.
Eight of Swords – Recognize anxiety for what it is.
Nine of Swords – Acknowledge your worries and fears.
Ten of Swords – Have the courage to love again after heartbreak.
Obviously, each of these Swords cards has classic interpretations that may be more pertinent in a reading. At the same time, part of the value of tarot happens when we study the cards and consider their lessons for us.
What then, can we learn about love from the Major Arcana Air cards? I would argue that these cards, in numerical order, form a perfect primer for the awakened and loving heart.
The Fool tells us to be willing to take risks.
The Magician tells us to consciously learn about ourselves, our hearts and the people we love. The Magician reminds us of our ability to manifest love in all its forms.
The Lovers reminds us that our happiness in love will be determined by two things – our ability to make good choices and our ability to communicate. Our integration one with another is never simple, and requires some thought, regardless of how much heart we bring to the table.
Justice reminds us to treat each other, and ourselves, fairly.
The Star shows us what is possible when we awaken our hearts to love.
With tarot images, or simply in meditation and invocation, we can welcome the element of Air to blow away the dust of past hurts and bring healing, opening and awakening to our hearts.
For further musing on this topic, see my Star poem from my 78 Poems Project.
Also, this topic makes me think of one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs, Eyes of the World, which asks us to “Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings.”
Now, it’s time to see what others did with this interesting topic!