Yet another encouraging, hope-filled card for discouraging times!
It is also the third Major Arcana card I’ve pulled out of seven since I began this Card of the Week feature, a fairly high percentage. If the Majors truly represent our soul challenges, I can see how the lessons of Bindweed, the Canoe and the World are an accurate reflection of my own life right now, as well as that of the larger community.
Last night as I shuffled my deck, I looked ahead to the week to come. I was thinking mainly about my upcoming journey to the Santa Cruz mountains toward the end of the week. I am headed there for my naming ceremony with the Sisterhood of the Silver Branch, and I am expecting an initiation into the next phase of my life, a phase of renewal. At least that is what I am sensing.
But my journey to the Boulder Creek / Felton / Ben Lomond area is also a “coming home” of sorts. I fell in love with that redwood-filled valley as a teenager and vowed to live there some day. I never pulled that dream off, but as a young wife and mother living in the East Bay, I often took my boys camping at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. I remember one camping trip in particular, when each night after dinner the four of us would gather round the fire and I would read aloud from the just-published “Mists of Avalon.” What a magical setting in which to read such a magical book. I had just come out of a toxic decade in a fundamentalist church and was floundering for a new spiritual direction. That book in that setting led me to the path I have walked ever since.
My son Steve told me last year that he and his father took some of the ashes of our beloved Jake and scattered them in Big Basin. Jake died in 1990 and I never knew they had done that. So it makes the area even more sacred to me.
One of the meanings of the World card is the ending of one cycle in preparation for the beginning of the next, as it is the last Major Arcana card and in some ways sums up the entire Fool’s Journey (or Seeker’s Journey, or Hero’s Journey). For me, experiencing a spiritual initiation at one of the sacred sites of my earliest spiritual awakenings is a profound return to my beginnings, and the completion of a cycle. It’s almost as if the Crone that I now am (and who we see in the Gaia card) is embracing the Maiden who once touched the Divine in those redwood groves.
So my initial response to turning up the Gaia card was: oh, that’s so lovely. She is reminding me of Her presence, that She is present and blessing my upcoming initiation.
Later in the evening though, the message shifted to the promise that “All Shall Be Well.” Craig and I received a distressing email that threw us both off-center, regarding the process of buying the house we are now living in (Rainbow Cottage). My heart started to race and I fell back into the shadow Capricorn tendency to expect the worst possible outcome. And here is Gaia the World, at the end of a cycle, saying to me: No matter what happens, All Shall Be Well. Expect the best possible solution for all concerned, not the worst. All Shall Be Well, All Manner of Things Shall Be Well.
So I start this week with hope in my heart and the trust that no matter what happens with this house or anything else, I have the tools and resources necessary to stay calm, to stay centered, to stay happy, to stay well. Blessed be.
And how about you, dear Reader? What does Gaia the World say to you?