Reading #9: Clarity

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal on January 17th, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

After shuffling and when laying the two cards on the table, I silently ask for clarity.

I got; The Situation as the Lady of Vessels crossed by the Challenge as The Five of Staffs or The Burning Hand.

The Lady is standing on the water, on top of it, without being afraid of the powers it presents, both as a Force of Nature and as a Symbol of the Unconsciousness, that we are all in danger of being owerswimmed by,  at times. But not this Lady. She is mastering this element, in fact she is it’s personification.

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says:

Tarot wisdom: You have poise, grace and self-control. Your inner beauty shines out. You have an inner appreciation of how you handle yourself. You are mastering what you have.

This is clarity and differentiation, intuition and being confident, as is also suggested.  But then comes the Challenge as presented by the Burning Hand.

The Burning Hand

Now, the Fives – in my book – is about disturbance, challenge, change, transformation and disintegration. And this is what this hand is telling about.

The hand is about creative energy but also about not getting burned by the very same creativity:

Tarot wisdom: You are enthusiastic and inspired by your work or other fires (channels for your energy). Your creative energy is at its peak, fuelled by the spirit. If your work is all-consuming, or if you are not in touch with your higher self, the message warns that you risk burning yourself up. Do not become a workaholic.

The Hand presents a challenge to status quo, a urge to use my creativity, and this brings about change. On the other hand – so to speak, it also represents a warning of a danger. Of what happens if this creative fire is not wisely guided and chanelled. That this can lead to burn or burn out.

I guess then, that clarity comes with the ability to balance cool water with burning fire and vice versa.

You got the cool water when the fever runs high …

Equilibrium.

Images from The Alchemical Tarot, copyright Robert M. Place, are used with kind permission. Visit the Alchemical Tarot website.

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