The Arrow and the Song

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I haven’t done one of these in a while, but recently I was performing a decision-making spread and the 8 of Wands came up as the “resolution” card in one of the decision  chains; I judged it as reflecting an open-ended (inconclusive) outcome and was strongly reminded of the Henry Wadsworh Longfellow poem The Arrow and the Song.

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

These verses suggest the following card associations. Some time ago I conducted an exercise that established court-card (and in a couple of cases, minor-card) counterparts for the Major Arcana; in that I named the King of Wands as “little brother” to the Emperor and the Queen of Cups as “little sister” to the High Priestess. My purpose here was to keep the elemental  correspondences of Fire and Water consistent across the series.

Ace of Wands:
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;

8 of Wands:
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

6 of Wands/King of Wands/Emperor (the oak tree is a symbol of Zeus):
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;

Ace of Cups:
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;

8 of Cups:
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

6 of Cups/Queen of Cups/High Priestess:
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

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