Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Weekly Wisdom: The Elder of Water as a Model of Mindfulness

in Card of the Week, Spiritual Practice, Tarot

Gaian Tarot Elder of WaterLast year, Mary Greer taught a teleseminar for Gaian Tarot Circle members on the Gaian People cards. One of the most important take-aways for me was the idea of the People cards as Teachers.

Every Teacher (the Elders, Guardians, Explorers and Children) has a particular opinion and a particular point of view about any given situation in our lives. When a Teacher (People) card now shows up in a reading, I listen closely to his or her voice, trusting in the synchronicity of that particular card showing up at that particular time.

Yesterday I asked, What do I need to know about being more mindful?

And I pulled the Elder of Water.

Hmmmm, I thought. The Elder of Water is a snapshot of mindfulness in action. He is totally engrossed in the present moment, and his heart is overflowing with gratitude. His opinion? His point of view? Savor each moment as it comes.

I picked up my copy of The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh (an embodiment of the Elder of Water / Elder of Compassion), and read:

Half-smile during your free moments.

Anywhere you find yourself sitting or standing, half-smile. Look at a child, a leaf, a painting on the wall, anything which is relatively still, and smile. Inhale and exhale quietly three times. Maintain the half smile and consider the spot of your attention as your own true nature.

I love that, and am adopting it as my mindfulness practice this week — half-smiling during my free moments. Savoring each moment.

Here’s what I wrote about the Elder of Water in the Gaian Tarot companion book:

A fisherman, who is intimately familiar with the tides and moods of Mother Ocean, rows his skiff out into the sound just before sunrise. It’s a liminal time and place: between night and day, between shore and sea. His attention is caught by a water bird — a heron? an eagle? a cormorant? — and he looks up, his gaze full of wonder. As he feels the shifting current below him, he remembers a poem by Rumi: “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell. Don’t go back to sleep.” His ally is Harbor Seal, who is comfortable swimming above and below the water. Seal reminds us to pay attention to our dreams as they arise from the deep, and to be at home in both our inner and outer worlds.

When you get this card in a reading . . .

The Elder of Water has has a lifelong practice of seeking out the wild and liminal places in Nature. This has given him a deep peacefulness in his soul and the ability to remain calm in the midst of turbulent emotions. Others seek out his comforting presence. This is someone known for his kindness, and who is skilled at deep listening, especially for those in crisis.

The Elder of Water reminds us that to some degree, we each have a mission to be of service to others. Upon rising each day, we can bring the mysteries of our dreams into the light of day. In the evenings, if we reflect on the day just passed, we can live in a state of endless gratitude.

What does the Elder of Water say to you, dear Reader?

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Madde Fri - Apr 20th 2012 1:05 am

    To me the elder of water is a elder who has allmost complete controll of his or hers emotions and are accepting them instead of trying to work against them. He/she is not afraid of emotions and what they are telling hem, instead he listens to them and try to learn something from them. <3