Tuesday 8 December 2015

Sagittarius in the Druidcraft Major Arcana (part 2)

There’s another card from the Major Arcana to look at while we’re in Sagittarius, and that’s the card that’s associated with the ruler of this sign. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, and in the system of correspondences that I follow, Jupiter is linked to the Wheel of Fortune.

Remember that Jupiter, the largest of the planets in our solar system, is composed almost entirely of gas.  When gas is heated, it expands... so Jupiter has come to represent growth, expansion, and benevolence (in astrology, the planet is referred to as the 'greater benefic') - as well as good humour and good fortune.  There’s the link to the Wheel  - changing fortunes.  Circumstances change; the wheel is constantly turning – things expand and contract, our fortunes rise and fall.
The Wheel (detail) - Druidcraft Tarot

In the Druidcraft Tarot, we see quite a different depiction than that in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and those based on it. Here we have Arianrhod, the Celtic goddess, drawing a circle in the sand with a stick – or as the accompanying book names it, the Circle of Life. The sea will wash away her work when the tide comes in, a symbol for the inevitability of the turning of the wheel, and the cyclic nature of life.

I have become even more aware of this cycle recently, having lost three friends in the space of two months, while awaiting the birth of a friend’s child at the end of this year.  What goes around, comes around. Nothing stands still, the only constant is change.

When Arianrhod finishes drawing her circle, she will stand back, knowing that the tide will sweep it away. She will cast her circle again and again, knowing that she can’t hold the sea back. It's about standing back and seeing the bigger picture - about not putting boundaries on everything but allowing things to expand and develop at their own pace. Let the wheel keep turning.

Often it seems we have no control over what fortune awaits us – but in fact we can choose what action to take when we’re confronted with new situations, so it’s not entirely out of our hands.

Life is unpredictable, Events may appear to be random – but are they? And can we recognize the silver lining, the blessings in disguise – the Jupiterian ‘benefic’ - when they do happen?  We feel the warmth of the Sun shining down on us, and experience the joy and benevolence that comes with good fortune and unexpected gifts.

Of course, what comes up must go down, but the Wheel doesn’t indicate which way it’s turning; we rely on other cards in a reading to determine that.  When heat is removed from a gas, it contracts – Jupiter the planet can’t expand indefinitely!  Fortunes change – what we do know from this card (and Jupiter’s association with it) is that something new is coming, be it a downturn or an upwards one.

Druidcraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections

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