And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
~Joni Mitchell, The Circle Game
Spring has sprung! And as we sprang forward just a few weeks ago, life seems to be born anew…the warming days, suddenly longer, feel brighter and full of good cheer. This is the feeling of the Wheel of Fortune.
When this card appears in a reading I feel compelled to let the querent (the person asking the cards for clarity) know that this is not the wheel of torture or despair, it’s the wheel of FORTUNE and that implies a turning of the wheel towards the brighter, more positive, more fortunate aspects of life. Just as we move through the seasons, the ending of a cycle is also the beginning of a new cycle, and in this case it’s all for the good!
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
The Wheel of Fortune, in the Sun and Moon tarot deck which works with me, is depicted by gears of differing sizes rotating in and around each other, like the inner workings of a clock, and in those workings the “…Sphinx represents objectivity and wisdom; the monkey is flexibility; the crocodile is creativity. The center of the wheel contains four letters that can be arranged as: ROTA (wheel), TARO (tarot), ORAT (speak), TORA (Jewish law), or ATOR (the Eqyptian life goddess).” ~ from the Sun and Moon tarot guide by Vanessa Decort
Cycles within the cycles, the circle of life as it turns and spirals round and round and we continue to grow and learn and evolve. Like the moon circles around the earth influencing the tides, and together with the earth we circle around the sun creating the seasons. And at the same time, with our solar system, in the milky way, we all circle around the galactic center, that great and powerful point at the middle of our galaxy that is simultaneously destroying and creating new stars and planets and solar systems as it churns and turns in its own deep dark black (& light) hole way…
You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
It’s all such a powerful mystery of concentric circles and cycles! How amazing that the Mayans, with the symbol of the Hanab Ku (the Mayan Butterfly), without telescopes or space travel or any of the modern technology we have, depict that Galactic Center as the the creation point where past meets future and light meets dark at the birthplace of our universe and all of life!
With great healing and light there often exists great shadow. And what I have learned is that if we are willing to actually look into that shadow, face it head on and engage it in open, transparent conversation with each other, we can disperse the darkness and find the love and vulnerability and connection that is waiting to be had just beneath it. So much learning and love and transformation can only be a change of fortune, a healing for ourselves and for the community, for the world and perhaps even for all of creation.
I have circled around this past year with my beloved, and we have just ended our current dance of romantic relationship. I feel so grateful and so blessed for the time we have spent together, for the lessons I have learned, the love, the sacred and profane, the spirit and humor, the tears, cheers and fears we have shared and elicited from each other during the circle of the seasons this year. And I know we, each of us, together, have made the most self loving decision to part ways. Even though this parting is painful, it’s the right thing, the most honorable and honoring thing to do. We have come to the end of this cycle together and our fortunes are turning.
As the returning strength of the sun shed its light to reveal the reality that it was time to part, we each re-turn to our own trajectories, our individual cycles of learning and loving, growing and evolving, having been touched deeply by each other and graced by that touch. Funnily enough, we first came together as friends through circles; for over a year we took part in sacred water wheel healing ceremonies near bodies of water in and around Santa Barbara. We circled around with a community of lovely people which has mostly dispersed and yet still continues to circle around again occasionally, in smaller rotations that allow us to work on the collective and individual shadows that were revealed during that time. It actually took he & I over a year, after that time of wheels dispersed, to circle back around and discover each other in a new way in the dance of this last year.
we came whirling out of nothingness scattering stars like dust
the stars made a circle and in the middle we dance
the wheel of heaven circles God like a mill
if you grab a spoke it will tear your hand off
turning and turning it sunders all attachment
were that wheel not in love it would cry
“enough! how long this turning?”
every atom turns bewildered
beggars circle tables
dogs circle carrion
the lover circles his own heart
ashamed, I circle shame
a ruined water wheel
whichever way I turn is the river
if that rusty old sky creaks to a stop
still, still I turn
and it is only God circling Himself
~Rumi, Who (be quiet) Are You?
He and I have danced around this parting actually for much of our time together during this year, each time, circling and getting near, but not quite being able to part. The first time was so dramatic and so painful and so not final, and each consecutive imagined parting got incrementally easier as we circled around again and again and finally arrived at our separation point. In a powerful ceremony just before the most recent new moon, we cut our ties and let go of old outdated ways of being in/with ourselves and with each other. In doing this it actually feels as if we have cleaned up lifetimes of old patterns and catapulted ourselves into a new alignment of true love: love of the self which allows us to be fully open and loving to others and the world.
Along with some from this circle of beloved friends, my former beloved and I will likely circle around each other again, in a new friendship deeper than the friendship we originated in, and in integrating our collective and individual journeys of love and healing perhaps we will be facilitating healing for others…is that something similar to what happens at that galactic center? The endless cycle of destruction and creation?
Come out of the circle of time and into the circle of love.
Like the gears in the clock depicted on the Wheel of Fortune card, we cannot control the outer circumstances of life, the seasons, and time which rotate around and move forward, regardless of our feelings or thoughts, resistances or wishes. And yet when we allow the changes, and flow within the gears of time, we find that things always work out, even if it’s not the way we imagined. Sometimes, often times, actually, if we let it, it’s even better than we imagined.
I’m so excited to find out what’s next!
Come by on Monday, April 3, or on Friday, April 28th (my regular 4th Friday) and we can see if the Wheel of Fortune is turning in your cards!
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven…
Turn! Turn! Turn!, Performed by The Byrds
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.