12.02.2008

The Four Eights



If should seem pretty obvious by now: the higher we count up from the Ace, the farther we travel from that beautifully pure state and the more complicated the world becomes. Take heart -- complicated doesn't always mean "miserable."

As an overall system, the Tarot nudges us toward balance and harmony at every opportunity. The four Sixes (which I haven't written about yet) epitomize these qualities in the Minor Arcana, representing a perfect reflection of the triad formed by our first three points:


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When Seven comes along, it knocks everything off balance, which has pretty devastating results in a world already so full of variables in motion (rather like tossing an extra orange at a juggler when he's not paying attention). At this point, the Eight is a welcome counterbalance -- at least your world is staggering on two legs now instead of just one.


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While the most perfect symmetry will be achieved when you reach Nine and have formed a second reflection of the original triad, the bilateral symmetry is enough to tide you over. In the meantime, now that the underlying pattern of this system has begun to repeat itself, triad after triad, you can begin to comprehend how you arrived at this vulnerable position, so far from your point of origin, and where you are headed. If you browse each of the cards above, you'll see the effect this information has on us: the Wands urge us to flare up and race forward to find out what comes next; the Cups entreat us to ruminate on the information more indolently and begrudgingly before beginning our sojourn; the Swords shout in alarm that the game we're playing is more complex than we'd ever dreamed, and express doubts whether victory is possible; the humble Coins urge us to work with what we have and patiently tend to ourselves as well as the circumstances allow.

They all speak truth -- their own flavor of it, anyway. At this point in the journey, it's easier to continue forward than turn back. "It's always darkest before the dawn," as the saying goes. If you draw an Eight, consider it as if it's the first light on the horizon; it's too soon to say whether you'll like what you see by day, but at least you made it through the night.

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