Monday 30 November 2015

Sagittarius in the Druidcraft Minor Arcana: The Eight of Wands

Moving on now to the Minor Arcana, in the astrological correspondence system that I follow, Sagittarius is linked to the Eight, Nine and Ten of Wands. Today I’m going to look at the Eight of Wands, which is linked to Mercury in Sagittarius, and corresponds to the first ten days of Sagittarius (this year, 22nd November to 1st December).

Sagittarius is the mutable Fire sign, so we’re looking at transforming what’s been established into something else.  It combines a fiery passion and creativity with the expansiveness and benevolence of Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, to give us the visionary, the explorer, the philosopher. 
Mercury is associated with communication, so when linked with Sagittarius could indicate fast thinking, perhaps, or open and optimistic communication.  Ideas are probably more to do with long-term goals or aspirations towards an ideal. Getting bogged down by details seems unlikely, and there could be a sense of restlessness involved.  There might also be an interest in teaching others about what we’ve learned in our own journey. Tolerance and broad-mindedness are also qualities of this combination of planet and sign.

Eight of Wands: Druidcraft (detail)
Mercury rules Gemini, the sign that sits opposite Sagittarius in the zodiac.  Opposing forces at work here, you might think.  Rather than buzz about pollinating local networks, Mercury is being challenged here to work on a much larger scale. Global rather than local.  

So how might this play out in the Eight of Wands, and in particular the Druidcraft?  The image, a relatively ‘traditional’ depiction of the Eight of Wands, portrays a man hurling a staff through the air, towards an unseen foe or target. Seven more staves stand upright in the ground beside him, representing the many opportunities or possibilities each of them could reach once let loose.  There’s plenty of space for ideas – as represented by Mercury.  The wands are in their element, literally, in Sagittarius.  Juliet Sharman-Burke uses the phrase ‘full steam ahead’ to describe this card; steam is a product of fire and water, taking me back to the idea of Temperance, the Fferyllt, and alchemy

The thing to be wary of here is that if the activity is too widespread, it’s possible that nothing will ever be completed!  Or we may find ourselves with too much on our plates, and it’s hard to slow down long enough to see what’s really going on. Focus that creative fire into fewer things. Slow down, and let things settle into a more natural rhythm.

There’s a feeling of swiftness, not to mention efficiency, in this image. There’s power behind the staff as it speeds through the air, and we get a sense of it being very likely to hit its target.  Open , direct, efficient communication (one of Mercury’s realms) helps us to realize our vision (Sagittarius).   Make sure you know where you stand, and that it’s clear to the world!

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

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