When I pull a Tarot card for a message or theme for the day, I especially like to use decks with which I am unfamiliar. This way, I can spend time studying fresh images and attributions before my mind slips into the grooves of old understanding.
Yesterday, I picked the Tarot of the Spirit. I was not thrilled when my daily card proved to be the Five of Wind. This is the 5 of Swords in other decks, which often speak to me about mental conflict and biting tongues; in my personal book of Tarot, one of my names for it is "Harpies crapping on your head". In the Tarot of the Spirit, there are the familiar five swords, but they are broken. The background is dark and murky and seems to be crawling with unpleasant things that might become more unpleasant still if you led your imagination dwell on them. The card is tagged "FEAR".
My inner skeptic and my gut instinct both rose up in the presence of this card. Though 5 of Swords issues are always a possibility, I downright refused to believe that Fear would be an issue for the day. I scanned my body, my feelings and my sense of where the day was going. No way.
Wait. I had somehow managed to leave a card in the pack. I shook it out and found the Father of Fire, equivalent to the King of Wands in other decks. He is depicted here as riding to battle on a great black charger with fiery flanks, lance in hand. Now this is a fellow who knows how to tackle fear, with passion and courage and creative flame.
I marked the second card as part of my guidance for the day. In a Tarot reading, as in any other method of divination, it is the slip-ups and "errors" - the cards that fall from the deck or wait in the wings (as in this case) - that let through the pure stream of synchronicity.
I had a radio show booked for later that day, with Gary Goldberg, the cultured and spirited host of "In the Spirit" at WRPI. It was a delightful and highly animated conversation. Halfway into the show, Gary asked me if I would read a passage from my book Active Dreaming. He had already selected the excerpt, and directed me to page 177 of my book.
When I opened Active Dreaming to that page, I felt shivers of recognition as I proceeded to read aloud the title of this section:
Courage is fear conquered by love
The passage continues: "Courageousness is different from fearlessness. If you are fearless, you may be merely crazy or reckless, or lacking in imagination. Courage is the ability to go through fear because you are driven by something that is stronger than fear. Courage is a quality of the heart; you won't find it anywhere else."
My morning Tarot was correct: Fear was a theme for the day. And so was the Father of Fire, riding the wind horse of spirit, with the passion that carries us through fear.