Miscellany,  Tarot studies

Taking a walk with the elements of the tarot

We’re still pretty much on isolation lockdown here and the weather has been cold and more like the end of winter than the beginning of spring. Today, though, the sun was shining and I took a long walk along my muse, the beautiful Rideau River. As I walked, I noticed how the elements of the tarot were all around me.

Of course, the flowing river is water, element of the suit of cups, and our link to intuition and emotion. It’s in the dewdrops on the leaves, and in me, too. The ground beneath my feet, still saturated with melted snow and smelling so deliciously of mud and springtime, is of course the solid, grounding element of earth. That earthly pentacles energy is also in the rocks, the trees, the greening grass and shrubs, and all the things we can touch and feel and hold.

The cool spring breeze ruffling my bangs back off my face is the air, element of the suit of swords; the same sweet air I breathe deeply as I stand at the edge of the river and sigh happily. And last but not surely not least is the element of the action-oriented wands: fire. I feel it on my face as I turn up to let the blazing sun imprint a few more freckles across the bridge of my nose. I feel that fiery energy, too, as I use the strong muscles of my legs and my core to climb up a small embankment. I feel that powerful life energy in the tiny buds on bare branches, biding time like the Hanged Man until the moment when they unfurl into the sunshine, heralding the end of a long winter and the arrival of summer at last.

I’m so grateful to the tarot for giving me this framework to appreciate the delicate balance of the elements of life’s energy all around me on a beautiful and exquisitely ordinary spring morning. I promise myself that I’ll remember this moment, this feeling of connecting to the elements of the universe, as I move through my day. I take with me the gift of mindfulness, and of gratitude for the fiery energy, the sweet-smelling air, the grounding earth and the endlessly flowing water, connecting me to the world, and to myself.

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