Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Ten of Air (Ten of Swords)

in Art, Tarot, Wheel of the Year

In the Gaian Tarot, the 10’s represent the transition to the next cycle, following the peak experience of the 9’s.  In the 10 of Air, we see the familiar sight of Canada geese flying in V-formation during the fall migration.  We can almost hear the chorus of honking.   In European tales of the Wild Hunt, it was said that flocks of wild geese or swans embodied the souls of the dead who flew through the winter night sky.  (See Waverly Fitzgerald's article on All Souls’ Day, School of the Seasons)

Divinatory meaning:  It’s a bittersweet time of letting go.  You may not want to face the winter to come, yet it is inevitable.  What plans, ideas or strategies do you need to release as the old year wanes?  Who are the ancestors that whisper to you as the geese fly overhead?  What wisdom do they have for you?

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • TarotByArwen Mon - Sep 29th 2008 12:06 pm

    This makes me think of a song I learned so long ago in Girl Scouts.
    “Dip dip and swing
    Dip dip and swing
    Follow the wild goose flight
    Dip dip and swing”
    There’s more of course but this is the relevant part for me. It’s a song we learned for canoeing–hence the dip, dip and swing part.
    I can hear the geese, Joanna. Thank you for your art and your grace.

  • Beth Owl's Daughter Mon - Sep 29th 2008 12:16 pm

    This is really beautiful, Joanna. And while we’re thinking of song lyrics (how perfect for Air!), I am reminded of Sandy Denny/Fairport Convention/Judy Collins:
    Across the evening sky,
    All the birds are leaving
    But how can they know
    It’s time for them to go?
    Before the winter fire,
    I will still be dreaming
    I have no thought of time..
    For who knows where the time goes?
    Lovely and poignant.
    – Beth

  • joanna Mon - Sep 29th 2008 12:23 pm

    Thanks Arwen for the link to the song:
    Never heard it before but I love it!
    Beth, I was thinking of that exact song when I conceived this card!

  • Joanne Mon - Sep 29th 2008 2:42 pm

    Another beautiful card! As excited as I am about the deck getting closer to being finished and ready for sale, I had a pang of sadness…I so look forward to each new card as you post it. When the process is finished there will be a loss to my homepage that I will mourn.

  • Hecate, Runnymead Conspirator Mon - Sep 29th 2008 5:49 pm

    Something told the wild geese
    it was time to fly.
    Summer sun was on their wing
    Winer wind was in their cry.
    I forget who wrote it.
    A much “nicer” card than the traditional 10 of Swords

  • Inanna Tue - Sep 30th 2008 7:16 am

    Beautiful. Very evocative. I can feel it, hear it, smell it.

  • judy Tue - Sep 30th 2008 1:46 pm

    “my heart goes where the wild goose goes”
    I’m old enough to remember Frankie Layne singing this on my mother’s 78speed record!
    It still makes me cry, as did your card, Joanna.
    Arwen.. I sang that song, too, canoeing with girl guides in Canada. Beth.. I played that song over and over after my brother died.. it was on a ‘songs for grieving’ CD.
    so this is a very poignant card for me.. thanks,Ladies for the nice connection to all of you. love from Judy(in Toronto)

  • JLB Tue - Sep 30th 2008 2:44 pm

    This is definitely a card I HEAR – well chosen, Joanna.

  • James Wells Thu - Oct 02nd 2008 7:37 am

    Such a gorgeous piece, Joanna. Does my Canuck heart good to see it. While on retreat last week, we experienced several big Vs in the sky. And the “dip, dip, and swing” song is in my mind too from childhood.

  • joanna Thu - Oct 02nd 2008 8:34 am

    Joanne, I have other projects waiting in the wings that I’m excited to start after I finish the Gaian Tarot. I’m especially excited about making Tarot and mythic jewelry . . . and so there will always be an unfolding and a posting of new images of one sort or the other.
    Hecate, lovely poem. Yes it is “nicer” than the 10 of Swords – and yet all my 10’s are mini-versions of the Death card — the cycle of life/death/rebirth. So some people who are attached to the happy 10 of Cups, for example, may not like my 10 of Water / spawning & dying salmon version.
    Thank you Inanna.
    Judy, I don’t know that song either! I should look it up on iTunes. There’s been a lot of songs written about geese flying south for the winter . . . the image is almost a cliche and yet it seems to resonate with us all so deeply.
    Jade, so glad you hear it! And James, so glad it’s close to your Canuck heart.

  • TarotByArwen Mon - Oct 06th 2008 6:10 pm

    I just came back to love on this card some more and it was so neat to read all the others who know that song. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing that! Nice to know that song has…legs. grin