21 Days of Light & Shadow: Days 4, 5 & 6

Light and Shadow Tarot by Brian Williams, Michael Gopford; Inner Traditions, 1997

IV The Emperor – 9 of Pentacles

I did draw these cards on Saturday like a good girl, but was too busy crafting zombie angel ornaments and writing about the voices in my head to investigate further. It had nothing to do with my utter loathing of the Emperor. At all. Nope.

But look at that power combo! Put your hands in the air…

Letting this one stew for a couple of days, I got two very conflicting messages. The one says that the similarities between the two cards in attitude and symbols (eagles eagles eagles) points the necessity of both – the modern civilization and maleness of the Emperor, as well as the more tribal, feminine attitude of the 9 of Pentacles. Yin and Yang at work in the world, interacting with society as an organism, rather than individuals.

The other comes back to all the things the Emperor represents to me personally that make my hackles rise: rules, regulations, rigid structure, authority, patriarchy. Oh yes, I have Daddy Issues, just not with my father. And that thought jumped to the next – that I have stumbled upon websites talking about the history of the Proto Indo-European (PIE) people 4 times within the past 2 weeks. They are the ones who (allegedly?) breezed into the near-Eastern regions, deposed (ie. slaughtered) the peaceful Goddess-centric culture living there and instated their thundering war God in her place. Admittedly, these websites are often written by people with dubious credentials, but it made me think about those 2 cards up there, how similar and how different they are.

I’m still coming to terms with my departure from certain cultural dogma; my vision is very clouded by my own bias and anger. Maybe the cards want me to know that it is possible for there to be harmony, even in the face of such hurt?


Light and Shadow Tarot by Brian Williams, Michael Gopford; Inner Traditions, 1997

 V The Hierophant -3 of Pentacles

Working with, understanding, knowing light and shadow is work, but it is rewarding. It is the beginning of a larger process; an apprenticeship on the road to mastery. And that is HIGH-larious because it was Herr Doktor Jung who said that “the encounter with the shadow is the ‘apprentice-piece’ in the individual’s development…that with the anima is the ‘masterpiece'” !

Stained glass is something shared by these two cards. It makes me think of “Bruce Almighty”, like maybe the artisan in the Pentacles is the Hierophant in work clothes. Don’t lose touch; don’t forget. Even when you think you’ve reached the pinnacle of you training, sometimes it’s good to climb the ladder and do the work, rather than just sitting behind the desk all day. I keep getting “ongoing work” ans “satisfaction”. That is all.


Light and Shadow Tarot by Brian Williams, Michael Gopford; Inner Traditions, 1997

 VI The Lovers – 10 of Cups

Hmm. The Lovers is a card of opposites naturally. The 10 of Cups seems to be the end result of the Lovers’ issues being resolved. Harmony and reconciliation. Whereas the figures in the Lovers are together-alone, the 10/C people are unreservedly sharing in each other’s joy.

Maybe this is speaking about the natural cycles of relationships, how they wax and wane, grow and change over time, whether during the course of a day or a lifetime. We tend to categorise events anf emotion as “good” and “bad”, but they are all natural and necessary. This applies just as much to our internal relationships as to our external. Aaaaaand, if I view the Lovers as a more “personal” thing and the 10/C as the “worldy”, then it is necessary for the Lovers to sort out their differences in order to achieve the happy-happy-joy-joy of the Cups.

Yes, a union of opposites. A certain amount of tension is exciting and dynamic and all, but understanding and accepting these opposites – rather than just bumping into them all the time – is where true happiness lies.

2 thoughts on “21 Days of Light & Shadow: Days 4, 5 & 6

  1. Thalia says:

    Regarding the Emperor and the Nine of Pentacles, there’s always reappropriation, or reclaiming something back. No reason the Emperor gets to hoard it forever. (Ha, talk about my own Daddy issues. That was not intentional.) As for harmony, sometimes it is proper to simply reject something.

    I only just noticed now that those are calla lilies on the Hierophant, instead of the usual kind, to go with the roses. Huh.


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