7 of Wands - Expansion
The red giant is at a great, expansive stage of the star's life and has grown to thousands of times its original size. Inner creation defines this moment in your life story as well.
The shell around the giant's collapsing core becomes hotter and starts fusing its hydrogen into helium, making the star brighter and the outer shells expand and grow cooler and less dense. Although fiery pressures mark the beginning of your journey, these expansive later years allow creation with a wider reach and a dense inner core.
We speak of "finding your voice" to describe this mature state. Other duties and diversions may fall by the wayside as work consumes the days filled with creation and productivity.
Hero's Journey, Step 7: Return with new knowledge into everyday life. The hero reveals a deeper determination.
9 of Pentacles
9 of Pentacles - Aurora
Bright, mysterious lights wash across the night sky in one of nature's most beautiful displays: the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.
A stream of energized particles from the upper atmosphere of the sun accelerate along the lines of the Earth's magnetic field, energizing the nitrogen and oxygen atoms floating here. The colorful glow comes from electrons shed by these excited atoms in our Earth's upper atmosphere.
The invisible stream of particles that pass continuously between the Sun and the Earth streak the night sky with spectacular radiant color. It is a brilliant yet fleeting display of beauty and transformation on a grand scale. Personal success is finally achieved, the old cast off in favor of the new.
Hero's Journey, Step 9: Death of old self, creation of the new self. From sacrifices have come great rewards.
2 of Swords
2 of Swords - Action
Sitting under the apple tree, we contemplate a choice to be made. The tree branch lifts an apple high in the air, and gravity continuously pulls it toward the ground. These equal and opposite forces hold the apple in place. But soon the balance may shift and the apple may fall, releasing the branch from its burden and shaking the leaves as they swing upwards.
Isaac Newton observed that every action caused an equal and opposite reaction and so reasoned that every reaction could be predicted from the action that triggered it. Like a game of billiards, Newton's world is a predictable knocking around of objects: the force of the impact equals the mass of the moving object times its acceleration. To send an apple flying in a specific direction, we only need to know where to hit it and how hard. To move a gigantic apple, we'll need to hit it with a great deal of mass, or we will need a running start.
A decision is hanging over your head. You can choose to leave the apple suspended in the tree, or you can apply enough force to bring it down. Either decision may bring good results, but if you wait too long, the apple may fall on your head.
Hero's Journey, Step 2: Refusal of the call. The hero is reluctant to use this new power.
8 of Cups
8 of Cups - Cocoon
Encased within a protective cocoon during its transformation, the caterpillar utterly loses its form. Every cell takes on a new purpose, and for a time the creature is neither caterpillar nor moth. Only when metamorphosis is complete does the stunningly beautiful Luna moth emerge from its cocoon and spread its wings to the sky.
Times of transformation can demand a protective distance from the world, a total retreat. When the dissolution and recovery is complete, the world's challenges are not so threatening. Until that time, growth must take place in safe isolation.
Hero's Journey, Step 8: Defeating the dragon. The hero retreats from the world as deep changes unfold.
3 The Empress
3 The Empress - Mendel's Peas
Gregor Mendel, a monk in the 1800s, experimented with pea plants, patiently nurturing them as they grew, withered and grew again in his garden. Curious about the passing of physical traits from parents to children, he chose to observe generations of pea plants, which produced hybrids he could easily cultivate. He watched for whether yellow or green pea pods, white or purple flowers and other selected qualities would be inherited from the parent plants.
Through this cycle of life, death and reproduction, Mendel uncovered the process of inheritance: how traits, dominant and recessive, are passed from parent to offspring. From these fruitful lifelong efforts, he became known as the Father of Genetics.
The Empress represents the nurturing attentiveness of Mendel as well as the natural processes he studied so closely and respectfully. This is a time for gestation, growth, patience and attention.
Friday, October 08, 2010