Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tarot of the Sidhe - Dancer Eight

The card that I pulled for this Tarot of the Sidhe post is Dancer Eight.  In the deck the suits have different names than those that we are more traditionally familiar with from the RWS system.  Here the Dancers are representative of the element of water and can be equated to the Cups suit in more traditional decks.  Emily Carding talks about the need for a time of gestation once the Sidhe have given us inspiration and given us the gift of creativity.  We need to develop an emotional connection to this inspiration and give it time to grow within otherwise anything that comes from it can turn out to be superficial and lacking the true spirit and energy that it deserves.  She offers up the idea that dancing is one of the purest expressions of emotion and emotional connection since it is somewhat of a universal language that transcends words and the trappings of culture.  I think the Dancers are a wonderful representation of the Cups suit.

The card, as you see here, is Dancer Eight which says at the bottom Escaping Stagnation.  Here is the Tarot of the Sidhe card as well as the more traditional RWS image to give you an idea of the variations of the two.  (I'll be posting the RWS card along with the card for this deck in order to help those mostly familiar with the RWS images and symbols to find correlations and to make understanding the Sidhe deck a little easier.  You can click on the Sidhe image to see it a bit larger.) 

In the book that accompanies the Sidhe deck Emily presents small rhymes with keywords rather than long explanations and meanings for each card.  For this one she says:
From out of murky monochrome,
He strives to reach a brighter home,
Leaving behind the grasping hands,
To climb the path to golden lands...
In this card we see some interesting symbolism.  At the bottom of the card is a gray and white pool of water.  When I look at it I see and sense it not so much as water but as a thick quicksand like substance.  This could be years of the "gunk" that we collect in our lives, especially the emotions and energy that we never quite transmute but just collect and try to forget about.  Sometimes it's energy that we intentionally wallow in out of pity or because it's just what we know.  The hands that reach out toward the faery that is trying to leave could be the people and the memories that would rather keep him in their sad company rather than see him shine up there in the light of the sun at the top of the mountain.  

The faery is reaching up to feel the sun's warmth and to possibly signal something.  When I look at this I see it as saying "I'm here!  Don't forget me, don't give up on me!"  It might take some time to really get out of the muck and make it all the way up that path and to the top of that mountain but this faery isn't giving up.  The strength in that upraised arm shows defiance and a determination to touch the sun, so to speak.

The landscape is covered in swirls, as are the back and arms of the faery.  This could be a signal of all the energy and possibility that flows in these spaces.  These things may seem solid but they are truly energy, just simply dense enough energy to see and touch.  Within they are all alive and swirling and waiting to make contact and create change.  What will happen when the energy from the arm of the faery makes contact with the energy in the mountains and the grass?  It's a sign of hope and possibility.

The path that lies ahead is long and winding.  This isn't going to be easy and in some parts it may seem like a curve is about to take you right over the edge of that mountain, but if you stay on track anything is possible and you can, and will, reach your destination.  I often see mountains as representing spiritual journeys. Spiritual journeys don't have to specifically address religious beliefs but could also be connected to that well of emotion that the faery here is trying to escape.  Our spiritual selves are very tied to our emotions, so a journey up this mountain and through this winding path will certainly bring growth of spirit.
The sun on top, radiating out and illuminating the whole thing, provids light, warmth, and energy to help in this progression to the top.  The sun also represents that light that's been missing.  One of the reasons that the faery is reaching so strongly for that sun, hoping that it sees the call for help, is because he's been missing for so long it's a sight for sore eyes, so to speak.  The sun is a symbol that traditionally represents victory, joy, glory, and happiness.  Imagine how happy this faery is going to be to get to the top of that mountain after all this time down here in the murky water!

The things that I'm most drawn to in the card are the hair of the faery and the sun itself.  The faery's red hair make me think of the phrase "fire in the head", a Celtic saying that means "someone with divine inspiration".  Sun deities and sun energies are very strong in the Celtic traditions so here I feel a connection between the thing that inspires the faery to finally escape the waters and the power of the sun and it's divine persona's who are calling for action.

When I look and listen to the card in a psychic way I hear moans and groans from the people and the memories in the waters.  There is a movie that I always tell people that I've never been able to watch all the way through, "What Dreams May Come".  My personal empathic senses are really triggered by visual things and movies can sometimes be tricky for me.  This is one that I can't ever get through because by the time they get to the scene where they are trying to cross over the River Styx I have an emotional breakdown.  This scene comes to mind when I see this card.  In the movie all these souls lost in the river come swimming up to the boat, grabbing on and trying to pull them down with them.  I hear and feel this same thing here.  

This is really powerful card.  It says to me "That's it!  It's time for change!  I know the journey is going to be long and I know it isn't going to be easy but it will be worth it when it's over."  It can be hard to leave the past and really let it go so we can move forward.  Like they say, you can try all you want but you can't ever truly leave your past behind.  You can learn from it and take what lessons it has with you but it doesn't have to keep you from being alive in the present or moving head to have a future.