The arrival of the new moon stamps the moonth with an initiating energy that shifts and develops through a cycle of growth, fullness, and descent. Each moonth I look to the Tarot’s astrological correspondences for the new moon to find 3 cards (a Major, a numbered Minor, and a court/people card) to guide musings on soul tending as well as creation of a moonthly reading. The reading can be done any time, but ideally between the new and full moons. Revisit the cards you pull periodically up until the next lunation to gain new insight as the light changes. This new moon arrives September 25 (exact at 5:54pm ET) . The full moon arrives October 9th.
This moonth the Truth comes calling as we travel the path of Justice through the turning of the season and the happenings of the times we live in.
In the iconic Rider Waite Smith image, Justice, clothed in bold red, stares straight at us with a sword of discernment in one hand and the scales of balance in the other. Modeled on the Roman Goddess Justitia seen in courthouses of the Western world, the Tarot’s figure differs from the original inspiration in a meaningful way: There is no blindfold. In 78 Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack tells us why:
Card 11 indicates the psychic laws of Justice, by which we advance according to our ability to understand the past and depends on seeing the truth about ourselves and about life. The Tarot Justitia, therefore, wears no blindfold.
Justice must be able to peer into any corner of the past or present. She cannot ignore what she doesn’t like or isn’t convenient. She must take the whole truth into consideration as she makes her rulings and initiates action. Justice’s vision must be unimpeded.
To walk with Justice this moonth, we, too, must see clearly. But the moon’s passage through the Two of Swords presents us with a challenge: Take off our blindfolds.
Like many of Pamela Coleman Smith’s images, the Two of Swords is multilayered.
A first look shows the card as a problematic response to the call of Justice: a refusal to see what is in front of us. The woman’s tight hold on the swords prevents her from taking off the blindfold. Her tense posture also barricades her heart. The guidance of both eye and heart are lost to her. Her paralysis is like the inability to move felt in a nightmare. When she is a mirror to our reality, we share in the paralysis.
There is, however, a way to look at this image as a practice for moving into alignment with Justice. The defensive posture of the woman could become a protection against a world that moves too fast, presents ideas incongruent with our values, or tries to trick us with misinformation.
When this defense is set up, our mind clears and space is created to connect with the heart. Then we can engage with our emotions and attune to the compass of our soul’s wisdom. From this place of inward focus, we can also reach back into that ocean of the beyond which holds collective wisdom, deep traditions, the ancestors, our beloved dead (this practice aligns well with this time of the year; what I call the season of Persephone Descending). This inward time strengthens us for the work of Justice ahead.
Can you relate to this Two of Swords figure? If so, is your experience more like the challenge of looking or the gift of inward practice? If it feels more like a problem, what practice might you engage in to move through the problem and into the gift of a Two of Swords’ timeout? (You can always pull a Tarot card for guidance on this.)
Whether problem or practice, the Two of Swords blindfold is not meant to be permanent. It must still come off. For help with the task, we can turn to the final astro-Tarot correspondence card of the moonth: the Queen of Swords.
Queens of Swords are clear. Their posture strong. Like Justice, they hold a sword in the left hand pointed upward. Unlike Justice the right hand holds nothing, but instead reaches out to us. They are ready to help us take off our blindfolds. They will do this by telling the truth.
The news—especially in the US—right now is full of cacophony of truthdeniers and truth tellers. They seem to be on a seesaw with truth going up and down. So we are invited to amplify and add our own truth into the mix to tip the balance.
We can join the truth chorus to raise up the reality of what is happening before our eyes. We can join with the women telling us their bodies are under attack in this cutlure. We can join with the whistle blowers and investigators bringing corruption and abuse of power to light. We can join with the historians bringing awareness of how the past shapes our present. We can join with the children saying they fear for the future, that they feel betrayed by adults’ inaction, that they are angry. The times we live in show us that a Queen of Swords can be anyone.
And you may have your personal truth tellers. A family member, a therapist, an inner voice.
While all these truth tellers are direct and may stir up uncomfortable feelings, those that can truly help you open our eyes, don’t reject us for what we are not yet seeing but instead invite you join with them to act in service of the truth. They recognize that we all have a role to play and they want you with them, not alone with your barricaded heart. They extend their hand to us. We are invited to accept their offer of the truth.
Reading of the Moonth
These questions are offered for reflection and to spark practice throughout the moonth. Pulling Tarot and oracle cards in connection to these questions is appropriate, but not absolutely necessary. You might carry a question with you on a walk for example and observe what is happening in the natural world as a way to find insight into the answer to the question.
TRUTH: What truth do I most need to open my eyes to?
RESPONSE: How can I respond to this truth?
JOURNEY: Where can this truth take me?
I am in Greece on a pilgrimage to commune with the land, myth, and symbols of cultures that brought us the wisdom of the Demeter and Persephone. I won’t be able to do readings next this moonth. I hope you do this reading for yourself, take some 2 of Swords time, and let your inner guidance emerge!