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 28th (exact at 2:26pm ET in the USA) . The full moon arrives October 13th.
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 wants to move too fast or trap us with ideas that are not congruent with our values or vision. When this defense is set up, it allows for time 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 can strengthen us for the work of Justice ahead.
Can you relate to this Two of Swords figure? If so, is your experience more of a problem or a practice? If a problem, how can you shift into practice to gain the gifts of heart and values attunement offered by a Two of Swords’ timeout?
Whether problem or practice, the Two of Swords blindfold must still come off. For help with the task, we can turn to the 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.
Our news right now is full of truth tellers calling the world to see what is happening before our eyes. They are the scientists telling us our oceans warming, birds are disappearing, and we have just a dozen years to avert the worst impacts. They are also 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 any age.
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 your eyes, don’t reject you for what you 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 you. You can reach out to them.
Justice has been a strong undercurrent to this year. Both March and April brought us Justice Full Moon, and the March moon feel exactly on the Spring Equinox. Now in this week of the Autumn Equinox, Justice returns. The undercurrent may be cresting. A great wave of Justice has risen to its peak and we can welcome its breaking over us, to cleanse, to open up our eyes.
Reflection and reading questions of moonth to help us open our eyes to truth are:
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 offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. I have times to do these readings generally on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check. When I receive notification, I’ll be in touch to let you know about when to expect to receive your reading by email.
The work of cultivating truth isn’t completed just at the time of the new moon. When the full moon comes on October 13th, the Emperor will have an encounter with Justice. People on my list receive more timely new moon missives and often full moon inspirations for ritual as well. Sign up if you’d like to receive those.