“Go to the very edge, where the old world ends
And something else begins,
Something else begins.”
Ah, such a perfect tune for this Dark Night of the Year.
All the Gaian Ten’s are cards of endings, with an implicit new beginning just around the corner, out of sight. The Ten cards are related to the Wheel (Major #10) with its themes of cycles, flux and transition.
“Canada geese fly in a V-formation during the fall migration. We can almost hear the chorus of honking. The familiar sight of geese flying south for the winter never fails to tug at our hearts, bringing a sense of impermanence and longing. 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.” (From the Gaian Tarot companion book)
Since I’ve been meditating quite a bit on the ancestors this All Hallows season, I’m quite taken with the idea that flocks of wild geese were thought to embody the souls of the dead. Now, when I see them (or the wild swans that will soon be arriving in our fields to herald the coming winter), I think of them as metaphorical ancestors, flying from one world to the next.
“During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church tried to replace the idea of ghosts wandering around the night sky with that of souls who went straight to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory upon death and thus could not be contacted by those spiritual practitioners whose role it was to pass along messages from one world to another.
With this development, the link was broken between people and their ancestors, who could no longer be prayed to or invited to return to provide advice. The dead saints replaced the ancestors as the subject of prayers and other-worldly assistance. The only dead still presumed to have contact with the living were evil spirits who still roamed the earth. They were not the sort you wanted to encounter on a dark night, thus the association of All Hallow’s Eve with ghosts and terror.”
– Waverly Fitzgerald, “All Soul’s Day and the Wilde Horde”
Ah. One more piece to the puzzle of saints and ancestors, all mixed up together in the Pagan/Christian holidays of Samhain, Halloween, All Soul’s Day and All Saint’s Day.
When you get this card in a reading . . .
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? (From the Gaian Tarot companion book)
It occurs to me that those questions would make a great little spread:
- 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?
What does this card say to you, dear Reader?