Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

8 of Air, 8 of Swords

in Art, Circle Way, Gaian Tarot, Tarot


Are you wondering why this 8 of Air is so different from the RWS 8 of Swords?   It’s because I’m looking at the energy of the number (8) and how it’s expressed in its element (in this case, Air — which is about communication, conversation, making plans, study, talking and listening — all that good Gemini/Sag/Aquarian stuff!).

If you remember, I’m following Teresa Michelsen’s vision of the numbers as 3 sets of 3 mini-dramas, plus the transitional 10.  The three middle cards (2, 5 and 8) are the challenge cards in each of these mini-dramas.  I see the 2’s as a test of choice; the 5’s as a test from the world outside; and the 8’s as a test of transforming the vision or intention of the 7 into reality.

In the 8 of Air, we see a small group of people sitting in circle.  They’re holding council.  One man is talking while the others are actively listening.  Perhaps they are planning a political action, remembering the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt the ability of a small group of concerned citizens to change the world.”  Perhaps they are working to achieve consensus on an issue that is important to their bonds as a spiritual group.  Maybe they are a peer counseling group. Or they could be participating in the deep transformation that can happen when we tell our authentic stories, and others listen deeply from their hearts.

In the RWS 8 of Swords, we may feel blind and unable to move.  It’s more of a challenge from the inside out.  In my 8 of Air, the challenge has to do with making a vision into a reality, with the help of others.  But it’s also about the challenge of working with other people in small groups.  Anyone who has spent hours in circle, attempting to reach consensus, will understand the shadow side of this card!

May we all learn to give good attention to others, to listen deeply and to listen well.

This card is dedicated to James Wells and his work with council circle.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • James Wells Thu - Jun 19th 2008 9:43 am

    What a gorgeous card, Joanna. Council mind is truly present here in the deep listening. And thank you from the depths of my soul for the dedication. It means a lot to me.

  • Arwen Thu - Jun 19th 2008 11:17 am

    What I love most about this is the talking stick and the overall gentleness of this card. Everyone is intensely focused but they all seem gentle in their attention. I don’t know how to better say that. 🙂

  • Inanna Thu - Jun 19th 2008 1:01 pm

    Beautiful! I like how Arwen describes the card’s gentleness–that seems exactly right. And I like the feeling of intention in the card. Also the palette for the air cards is lovely, and I like how it’s reflected here in sky, shirt, jewelry, blanket, and hair.
    I’m dying to know how you plan to sell the minors and courts–if you’re going to do limited edition decks like you did with the majors.

  • Joanne Thu - Jun 19th 2008 2:31 pm

    Another masterpiece! I’m so excited for this deck to be ready for sale. If I lived closer I’d volunteer to “keep house” for you just to free you up to keep the inspiration and paint flowing!

  • joanna Thu - Jun 19th 2008 8:17 pm

    Thanks James. And you’re welcome! Listening to some of your council stories partly inspired this card.
    Thank you too, Arwen. I didn’t consciously focus on gentleness, but now I see it since you mention it. Maybe it has to do with the gentle colors that emerged as I did the artwork.
    inanna — “feeling of intention.” Yes, I like that.
    As for the Minors, they will not be released as a limited edition companion to the Majors — that would be way too expensive for me to produce and for you to buy. I’ll be submitting (or resubmitting) my proposal to several Tarot deck publishers, and we’ll see what happens. I may end up self-publishing, but it will be the entire deck and the cards will not be hand made.
    Joanne, I’d be most happy if you came and kept house for me and especially helped with the overgrown garden at the edge of the woods. Sigh, we can dream, can we not? 🙂

  • Lunaea Fri - Jun 20th 2008 11:21 am

    It’s so exciting to see the deck getting close to completion! Some lucky publisher is going to be very happy soon. 🙂 This card reminds me of a book I copyedited recently, which I recommend to anyone interested in this kind of cooperative communication — it’s called “Family Activism” by Roberto Vargas, available at Amazon.