Happy Candlemas! February 1st marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and celebrates the time when the sun begins to gain strength after the long winter, and head towards spring and summer. During this time, in days of old, in the Celtic communities, the people would melt down their old/spent candles saved up throughout year, add new wax, perhaps from the bee hives that have begun to hum again in the returning sunshine, and create new candles for the new year.
In our modern age, in the US, we mark this time as Groundhog’s Day, we know that spring is on its way and we look to that little mammal to let us know when to expect it! If he sees his shadow and runs back in his hole we have a longer winter, if he stays out and about we know that spring will come sooner.
My birthday is on February 3, and I never really felt a kinship with the groundhog, at least until the movie Groundhog’s Day came out and It was such a pleasure that I began to imagine into what more my birth season might have to offer (beyond always happening during midterms at UCSB while I was in colllege). When I found out about Candlemas and it’s matron triple goddess, (& saint) Brigid (a midwife for Mary, she oversees poetry, smithery and midwifery), I immediately knew I was born at the right time.
For many years I would have parties themed around candle making, but have not entertained in that way for the past 7 years or so as my life was quite uprooted until only just recently. Now that I am grounding in and feeling anchored, I’ve planned a candle making and stone soup birthday party for this my 49th year; a party around community and renewal and reconnection. I’m looking forward to the friends, new and old and yet to be that show up at my party and also in the coming year.
And as these past 2 years have been such a powerful emotional growth opportunity (if you’ve read my articles you know the story), I also feel that I am ready for something else this year. This year I am letting the Universal Yenta know that I am ready for not only love, but for loving commitment and long-term partnership, I am ready to grow and evolve and love even more with a companion (above and beyond the sacred union of my own body and spirit that I celebrate every year on the anniversary of my birth) for the next 49 years. And I have done my work; I know I can do this. At the same time I also know that no matter how ready I feel, or think or imagine I am, my higher self, God/dess, the Universe (& Universal Yenta) actually knows better and has a plan and I surrender myself to that, and intend to love every step of the way, no matter what.
This seems an appropriate proclamation for as I sat down to write this article I realized that the number 14 and February have a very powerful symbolism; February 14th is St. Valentine’s Day. I know that many people believe it to be a hallmark marketing retail sale day, and I mark it as a powerful day in honor of love. Over the years as I have grown and evolved I have gone from being hopeful for love around this day, being jaded, being depressed, being angry, being despondent and finally being in LOVE with myself and my life and with love itself. Now as this day approaches I celebrate all love in the world and in my life and I know that I am love, and so are you and so are we all.
The 14th card in the major arcana of the tarot is the Temperance card; this is a card of healing, transmutation and alchemy. The angel of temperance is standing with one foot in the water (emotional world, unconscious) and one foot on the land (material world, consciousness); constantly pouring one chalice of each realm into the other. The work of this angel is integrating dark and light, yin and yang, unconscious and conscious in a continual alchemical healing process. One of the main ways the unconscious becomes conscious (beyond dreams and human birth) is through art, as any truly good artist will tell you, at some point something else takes over and masterpieces are actually collaborations with something more than just our conscious actions and intentions.
And from the Temperance card we are led, numerically (1+4=5) to the Hierophant card. Here a figure sits at the base, in the roots of, a tree, which reminds me of the Buddha sitting in the roots of the Bodhi tree. What I understand about that moment is that it was the time in his life that the Buddha experienced the suffering of the world, and was also shown the 8 fold path as a way for humans to transmute that suffering. And upon receiving that information, his information for his lifetime/incarnation, he stood up and walked out of the gates of his privileged life and straight into that world of suffering in order to help humanity.
I see this card as a card that represents people’s individual downloading regarding their lifetime; at each level/phase we are ready for it. This information supports us as it shows us why we are here and points us to the activation of our work in the world; whether we take that up or not is up to us. For me I think this card is appropriate right now especially in regards to the love I spoke of above, and pivotal to my own life., These last 2 years have prepared me for an opening of, a reception to, another level of information and a higher capacity to be of service, especially in regards to love, surrender, and allowing, releasing, receiving and reframing. I understand that I (as my personality) am not in charge of how my life is unfolding, I am only in charge of how much I intend and choose to LOVE this life as it unfolds, whether I expected the outcomes or not.
I honor the unconscious and the conscious as they weave together and create the truth I am living; love. To me this is mastery.
And so we come to the final aspect of 14 in this article, the 14th card in each of the suits of the minor arcana: the kings. The kings represent a mastery of each of their elements and when they show up in a reading they speak to us about our capacity and actuality of that mastery (they can also represent people in our lives who have mastered these elements and are influencing or in contact us). Depending on how we read the cards and the question we ask, whether the king represents an aspect of ourselves or the influence of another, it is still speaking of mastery.
King of Cups
King of Cups – is considered the King of Hearts, he is comfortable with and in the emotional realm, rides confidently through the waters on his horse, one handed while holding the Holy Grail in the other. This is the part of ourselves that is here to rescue us emotionally, that has always been there for us but perhaps we have not felt him or known him or trusted him. This is the part of ourselves that has got us, is there for us no matter what and holds our heart safely in his capable hands.
At a certain time in our lives we know, whether we are in relationship or not, that our heart is, and always has been, in our own hands, and when he shows up in a reading we know our heart is in the capable hands of our own king of cups.
King of Wands
King of Wands – rides a Black Unicorn (the rarest of the rare) not just through, but also over, a wall of fire without holding on for dear life; this is not just mastery it is MAGIC! When the king of wands appears in a reading he is letting us know that we have come to a place of mastery in our spiritual journey that is compelling us forward with great support and assistance from other realms. This card lets us know that even if the way appears blocked, it is not blocked for us; we shall overcome.
The king of wands lets us know that we have mastered ourselves, likely we have integrated an aspect of our ego and our spirit can take the lead and create the miracles we are in search of, all we need to do is relax, let magic lead the way and hold the light!
King of Swords
King of Swords – rides forward at a goodly pace, with a powerful sense of purpose. This is a king who has mastered the airy realm of thought; he is operating from a foundation of integrated thinking. The head, heart & hands/mind, body & emotions are all working together synergistically, moving forward in a good way.
As he is in sacred alignment with the horse he rides and guided by the 3 ravens, he is able to focus on the entire picture before him. When the king of swords shows up in a reading he is showing us that we are now able to think synergistically with our entire being and in accordance with the universe, and that capacity is moving us steadfastly into and towards the goals and life we have intended.
King of Pentacles
King of Pentacles – is relaxed; his horse has stopped and is enjoying the lush field of long grass they are riding through. This is the mastery of the material world, the capacity to stop and enjoy the moment. The king of pentacles is comfortable in the material world; he has all he needs and knows that more is coming, whenever he needs it. He is not in a rush to get anywhere; he is able to just BE.
When the king of wands meanders into a reading he is letting us know that everything is just fine, what we need is coming and its time to relax and breathe and take a moment to appreciate how far we have come. It has taken a lot of hard work not to mention faith and an attitude of gratitude to get to this place, we may as well enjoy it!
And so here in February, at the beginning of my personal new year, not long after the Roman calendar New Year, in celebration of Candlemas and the Chinese New Year of the Pig, let’s align ourselves with our unconscious and work in synergy with our individual reasons for being here. Let’s look for what there is to love and enjoy in this world even while we work to improve it and ourselves. The ACA version of the Serenity prayer comes to me now as I end this article:
God, Grant me
the Serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
the Courage to change the one I can
and the Wisdom to know that one is Me.
Please come and see me the 4th Saturday this month on February 22, 2019, we’ll take a look at what aspects of Mastery are ready to show themselves in your cards!
Kristine Thandeka Marie