I took the opportunity to use the fascinating dream I posted recently to test the subject spread; most of my dreams have been too inconsequential to serve that purpose. The deck here is Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot of Dreams, an ideal vehicle for this subject.
A images copyright U.S Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT
The four “dream-state hint” cards were Strength reversed, the Queen of Wands, the 8 of Wands reversed and the 2 of Wands reversed. These are all Fire cards , signifying the incursion (or, with the reversals, “insinuation”) of Spirit into my dream.
Strength reversed seems to be telling me to “Just let go!” It looks like an inversion or overthrow of unduly rigid self-control. That seems to be the message of the “child” metaphor in the dream. The inner beast is rising and wants to roar (or at least “meow” loudly)! The two cats in the dream are avatars of this urge, although reflecting its more benign side.
The Queen of Wands knows how to “play with fire and not get burned.” This could be the promise of “magic” uttered by the child. The first thought that crossed my mind was that the “small, curly-haired, blonde and blue-eyed girl” was my “spirit guide,” obviously the Queen of Wands in a less intimidating, more ingratiating form. But I’m not entirely convinced that astral spirits are keen on proactively “guiding” us, although with the proper supplication and persuasion they might “serve” us. More likely this was an emissary from my Higher Self or maybe a “way-shower” from the solar “Oversoul” – the sephira Tiphareth, where spiritual exaltation (the goal of “magic” as intimated here) awaits the personal consciousness. Although “Opening of the Third Eye” has become something of a metaphysical cliche, the “third-eye” symbolism in the dream looked to me like an invitation to embrace the “Path of the Arrow” (Sagittarius) on the Hermetic Tree of Life that joins the sephira of the Moon (the astral realm of dreams) to that of the Sun (a fully awakened state of being).
The 8 of Wands reversed is an interesting card in this reading; rather than an onrushing advance, it suggests a strategic retreat into a more subdued state, kind of like a banked fire awaiting more fuel. It recommends patience, a virtue that is reiterated in the “waking-state” cards. It is the “Mercury in Sagittarius” card, combining the most philosophical expression of Fire with the planet of intellectual pursuits. However, Mercury is not “at home” in Sagittarius (its sign of detriment), so it won’t sit still for long. The advice is to “strike while the iron is hot,” but with discretion and finesse.
The 2 of Wands reversed also takes a step back from the brink of realization and revelation. It doesn’t show backsliding in any major way (Wands are ill-equipped for that; they’re “all forward gears and no reverse”) but it hints at “marking time” or “running in place.” It cautions not jumping into the fire with both feet.
The trajectory in these cards is one of retiring into a period of inner work, with the Queen of Wands acting as mentor, gatekeeper and warden.
Faith (Hierophant) reversed as “quint” card implies that the channel through which these spiritual insights were received was recondite in nature, operating via the dream state. The advice is to not doubt their veracity and remain open to spiritual guidance of the more mystical kind. Its reversal also shows that conventional religion is not “the Way.”
The four “waking-state implication” cards were Temperance; 2 of Coins; 7 of Coins and Queen of Coins. With the exception of Temperance, a Fire card, all of these card are associated with the element of Earth.
The very first card, Temperance, reiterates the emphasis on Sagittarius and the Path of the Arrow. This path links the watery sphere of the Moon (Yesod) to Tiphareth, the fiery domain of the Sun (as shown in Ciro Marchetti’s remarkable rendition). In qabalistic terms this leads to profound communion with the Higher Self. It is advising me to actively seek this evolution in conscious ways, not just through passive introspection. As the mirror of Strength, it shows a masterful way to enlist and direct the restless energies released by Strength’s reversal.
The 2 of Coins carries the esoteric title of “Lord of Harmonious Change” (or simply “Change”). To use an obvious metaphor, it indicates “getting off the dime” and starting to movie toward the goal. As the mirror of the Queen of Wands, it lends “boots-on-the-ground” traction to her magical inspiration.
The 7 of Coins conveys unfinished business; its esoteric title is “Lord of Success Unfulfilled.” As the mirror of the 8 of Wands, it suggests the fuel that is waiting for ignition. The combination lacks elemental Water to yield the “locomotion” of steam, so it is more likely to create a stationary blaze instead. I will keep the “fire extinguisher” (Star) handy.
The Queen of Coins is the patient counterpart to the impetuous Queen of Wands (Earth and Fire are “complementary opposites*”). As the mirror of the 2 of Wands, it “turns the tables” on the Queen of Wands/2 of Coins pairing. The “retiring” nature of the 2 of Wands reversed is taken in stride and built into the long-range worldview. I will be in it for the long haul.
The Star as the mirror of Faith reversed “lights the way” for spiritual illumination, bringing it out of the cloister and into full engagement. I still don’t know if and how the Dali Lama figures into it, though. Maybe I should go exploring.
* See my previous post on the subject of “complementary opposites.”