Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Weekly Wisdom: Passing on a Legacy

in Card of the Week, Family, Tarot, Wheel of the Year

Gaian Tarot Ten of EarthYet another Ten card shows up during this season of the ancestors.  This one is a particularly poignant one for me, as the elderly gentleman in the card is an image of my own father, not long before he died.

Pop used to love a daily walk through our favorite nature preserve on the island, and would always comment: “Don’t you think the world would be a much better place if everyone took a walk in the woods first thing in the morning?” It was always said with a twinkle in his eye.

My dad was the kindest man I’ve ever known.

As I mentioned last week, all of the Gaian Tens are “mini-death” cards, cards of endings and transitions.  The Ten of Earth is the only one that has a human in it. I added him at the last minute, quickly and intuitively, just because it felt so right.

Here’s the description of the card from the Gaian Tarot companion book:

“In the deep forest, we come across a “nurse stump” or “nurse log,” a tree that has fallen during a storm or been cut down. As the log decays, it provides fertile ground for new growth to take root in its dying body. Insects and fungi hurry along the decomposition process. Squirrels and other creatures may perch or roost there, adding food scraps and scat to the rich humus. Soon moss, ferns and mushrooms appear, and the seedlings of new trees. Many years later, you will see full grown trees whose roots have grown over one of these nurse stumps or logs.

In the background, an elderly gentleman walks the forest path through dappled shade and sunshine, heading for the spot that opens up into the light. So do we pass along our wisdom to the next generation, that they might flourish as we pass on.”

RWS 10 of PentaclesMost of my Ten cards do not have an overt correspondence to the Rider Waite Smith Tens, but this one does. In the RWS 10 of Pentacles, we see a grandfather or patriarch, dressed in a richly embroidered cloak, petting his dogs with a younger couple and a child nearby (most likely his family). This card is often interpreted as a card of wealth, but it’s also about what you inherit from your ancestors, and the legacy you pass on to your descendants.

When you get this card in a reading . . .

Something you thought had ended in your life is beginning to burst forth with new shoots. Perhaps it is the wisdom of your parents and your ancestors, that you pass along to those who come after you. It may also be that the long journey to see your work succeed is finally paying off. What do you consider to be great wealth? It has been said that ‘what we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains, and is immortal.’ (Albert Pike) In what ways does your work support and sustain others?” (From the Gaian Tarot companion book)


And so I ask you, dear Readers:

  • What wisdom did your parents and ancestors pass on to you?
  • In what ways does your work support and sustain others?
  • What legacy might you be leaving to your descendants (children of the flesh or children of the spirit)?

(Pull a card for each of the questions, and share your answers in the comments, if you like.)

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Koneta Mon - Nov 14th 2011 10:33 am

    I happen to agree with your dad.

    From the questions above and from the Gaian Tarot;
    Ace of Air
    Seven of Water
    Four of Water

    🙂 Beautiful.

  • Nancy Mon - Nov 14th 2011 11:35 am

    9 of Wands (I’ve always known that I could pull myself up by my bootstraps – regardless of how hard the fall)

    9 of Cups – I love helping others see their own joy and beauty

    Knight of Swords – Always be questing for new ideas!

  • paganmama Mon - Nov 14th 2011 7:59 pm

    Ye gad, Joanna. Your posts are meeting me right where I am. These questions, like the ones you posed last week, are perfect–exacting what I’m mulling in this, my Uranus opposition. Reading later this week.

  • paganmama Mon - Nov 14th 2011 8:00 pm

    Not “exacting.” Exactly.

  • Joanna Tue - Nov 15th 2011 7:02 am

    Koneta and Nancy, LOVE the cards you chose. Beautiful. Sara, I remember my Uranus opposition well. So glad these questions are resonating with you. Let us know how it goes!