The 8 is the great Karmic equalizer, a force that just as easily creates as it destroys.
When the 8 comes knocking, you can be assured that you will reap what you’ve sown.
…Eight days a week
I love you.
Eight days a week
Is not enough to show I care…
~ The Beatles
So here we are in the eighth month of August, and so far we have been through two eclipses (a partial solar and the longest total lunar eclipse of this century) in July and still have another partial solar eclipse left to experience in August. It’s been pretty intense lately, lots of self examination and powerful life lessons along with major relationship ah-hahs and transformations! Congratulations on doing the hard work, it will definitely pay off, if it hasn’t already.
This newsletter article will be out a few days after the lunar eclipse, but Kaypacha’s Pele Report below often has wonderful information and insights around the astrological events of the moment as well as a glimpse into the movement of celestial bodies in the weeks ahead:
Now let’s take a look at the number eight and all it entails. When I see the number 8, I am reminded of the infinity sign/lemniscate. In my Waldorf teacher training we used to speak a great deal about the lemniscate, how it represented balance and harmony, movement and integration. If we place thinking (the mind) on one end of the symbol and willing (the body) on the other end, then it is feeling (the heart) that sits in the center. It is a good idea, when a thought comes to us, that we view it through our heart before we let our mouth have it to speak, or our body to take action. And likewise, when someone says or does something to us, especially if it is hurtful, it is a good idea to run it through our heart and check in so that we are able to respond rather than react.
I often use the example of when someone says something very hurtful, and if we take a moment and breathe, and feel into the situation with our heart, we can realize that what the person has said often has very little to do with us, and more to do with them. From that place we can imagine into what would make a person say such an unkind or hurtful thing and see that likely they are in a lot of pain themselves. When we take that point of view we can then let the comment be an indication of their own pain and check in with our friend. “Wow, that really hurts, you don’t usually say things like that. Are you okay?” From here we have the opportunity for conversation and a place to work things through into transformation rather than the amplification that would have occurred if we had just reacted. Marshall Rosenberg coined the term Non-Violent Communication for a similar process he created.
So the number eight is symbolic not only of balance and harmony, but also of power and prosperity and strength. And the strength of being in balance and harmony with oneself and one’s internal alignment and with nature feels really right when we look at the number 8 in the major arcana. In the major arcana of the earliest known deck, the Marseille tarot (And in the deck that currently works with me, sun and moon tarot) the number eight is represented by the Justice card. There was a change in the tarot with the creation of the Rider Waite deck that switched Justice with the 11th card, Strength. Here’s an article that speaks to that shift and its possible reasons: https://wmjas.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/why-waite-switched-justice-and-strength/
The Justice card (LINKED to my previous article on this card) is about not only finding balance, but also raising the vibration of the heart. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the heart must be lighter than a feather in order to enter heaven. So the justice card, in its eightness, is about finding balance through discernment; looking back over our lives and reframing the challenges and difficulties as opportunity to learn and grow; the doorway through which we are able to bring our gifts. I see the white spheres on the sun and moon deck of the justice card as the pearls of wisdom created by the tiny irritations that over time was mellowed and have become valuable and beautiful. When we look at this way we see, like Kaypacha spoke of in the linked video above, that everything in our lives is really here to serve us in someway, even if we don’t like it at the time. That gives us the capacity to move more grcaefully, and gratefully through difficult times.
The Strength card (LINKED to my article on this card) refers to strength, but not in the way we are used to imagining; instead it is strength through vulnerability. Most interpretations offer this card as strength over our animal instincts, our wildness, but I think of it differently. I see this card as actually aligning with and integrating that instinctual animal nature. Usually the strength card depicts a woman holding the mouth of a lion. And rather than an overbearing strength over, I see this as a strength with: a lion would not get its face near us,nor would we want to get near a lion if we are not in touch with our own instinctual animal nature, the part of ourselves that is born of this earth, that has been given the duty of steward and caretaker of the planet. Our phenomenal bodies are the product of billions of years of evolution and the perfect houses for our spirits, each one specifically chosen by each spirit and coming together in the original sacred union/mystical marriage of body and spirit. As Mary Oliver says in her famous poem Wild Geese: “ You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles repenting.You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves…”
With the strength card it is the capacity to cultivate inner strength, to honor the body and be in positive relationship with rather than power over. This is the definition of true strength, this gives us the tenacity to face the trials and tribulations of this world with grace and humility and to be with others in companionship, in pack, as well as honor our own existence. This is the true strength of the eight.
The lion who breaks the enemy’s ranks is a minor hero compared to the lion who overcomes himself. ~ Rumi
Also representing the number 8 is the Star (LINKED to my previous article on this card) 17 (1+7=8). Here we see the the part of the eight that is magical and transformative. It is with the star card that we remember why we came to this earth in the first place, why we took on/came into a body at all and it is when we look up into the sky and see our star that we remember we did choose to be here, that we do have a reason.
Sometimes I lay
Under the moon
And thank God I’m breathing
Then I pray
Don’t take me soon
‘Cause I am here for a reason…
~ Matisyahu from One Day
The star is the most hopeful card of the deck and let’s us know that here really is something bigger than our little personality going on here. It is a card of the aquarian ages, and the merkabah star in the sky of this card from the sun and moon tarot represents the integration of masculine and feminine, those two poles of doing and being, and I imagine that it is love, feeling, that makes that unity possible.
In the minor arcana of the tarot, it’s been said that 8s represent turning points, the movement towards prosperity and abundance and empowerment.
In the 8 of Swords we see a figure who appears to be attached to puppet strings, caught within a ring of eight swords. While at first it may appear that she is trapped, it is really acard of waiting; for all of the information is not quite in yet. If you look closely you’ll see that her hand is on the hilt of one of the swords, and when that piece of information does drop in she will lift the sword and cut herself free from the strings, then she can walk through the doorway she has created and use the tool she has in her hand as she moves forward where she wants/needs to go. She can cut through confusion and delay, she can beat it into a plowshare, or work with it in a different way…
With the 8 of Cups we see a figure walking away from eight cups, leaving them behind as he walks towards the full moon. Sometimes we stay with something that no longer serves us (a job, a relationship, a course of study, etc) too long because we lack the strength or the gumption to walk away. But when we finally work up the courage and impetus to walk away from something that no longer serves us we will find that we are walking directly toward what does serve us. It is important to also look deeply into the situation, to examine ourself in order to make sure that we aren’t just walking away out of reaction, but that we are following our intuition, our connection to our higher self/God/Creator. Sometimes we walk away out of fear or cowardice, and we know when we are doing that we will regret it eventually, even if we don’t realize that in the moment. Other times we are walking away out of necessity. Either way, there are important lessons to be learned.
With the 8 of Pentacles we see a figure reaping the harvest of her hard work along with the bounty of a good, fruitful abundant and beneficent Universe. She has worked hard and not only has her work produced a yield, but the Universe is blessing that yield so that it is greater than it would have been. This is the gross harvest, the reaping of all that we have sown. And no matter what we sow we will reap the production of that yield, so take care, be prudent, about the seeds that we plant, make sure that what we put into the world is also what we want to get out of it.
In the 8 of Wands we see a figure which has wands flying at and whizzing by her, she is in an active stance and also sends a rainbow out towards the source of the wands. This is a card that denotes action and activation, things happening faster than we think they will, in some cases even being blindsided by the movement of those things. The rainbow reminds us to finish what we start and represents that part of us that needs to get our ducks in a row and take care of those things we may have been putting off because we assumed we had more time than we do. When this card makes an appearance in a reading it often means that whatever the querent has been hoping/waiting for is on its way fast, and they really need to get ready for it.
So dear ones, as we move as gracefully as we can through this eclipse season, let’s be as kind to ourselves and each other as possible. Let’s align ourselves with this miracle we call life in a way that utilizes our best assets and lead with our hearts in order to integrate our minds with our our might in the most helpful way possible, for our own journey as well as for the well being of all.
I look forward to seeing you and being at Paradise Found on the fourth Saturday of the month, August 25th.
So many blessings.