Reading of the Moonth: Dynamic Stillness


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary

When the new moon arrives on Friday, the 22nd, at 1:38pm ET, we begin to walk the path of the Lovers, embracing their openness to, communion with, and regard for others and the Greater Than ourselves.    

How strange then to find that the Lover’s path this moonth goes through the 8 of Swords. In the iconic Rider Waite Smith (RWS) image, we see a woman bound and still, a blindfold around her head. There is a fence of swords, though they are behind her. She is closed off from the world.

a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley and retrieved from Sacred Texts. Deck available from US Games

For some, this is a mirror of the pandemic experience, of  having to stay at home and be cut off from the outside world. With the new moon arriving and state re-openings beginning, we might rather have an image with more movement, but this card calls for a different way forward. 

Rachel Pollack in 78 Degrees of Wisdom identifies the 8 of Swords as a “gate card,” one of the cards that offers “complex, often contradictory meanings, and a myth-like strangeness which no allegorical interpretations can completely penetrate.” The 8 of Swords, Rachel suggests, is a gate to special awareness that opens for us when we are deprived of access to our usual senses or habits of being. 

Unable to move through the outer world in the usual ways, we have no choice but to turn inward. So how shall we use this inward time? 

The Tarot Root of Asia 8 of Swords shows a similar scene to the RWS, but when a client turned this card up in a session, she said, “I think she is praying. The hands over her face remind me of what women do after lighting the Shabbat candles as they recite prayers.”

This image of the 8 of Swords invites us to practices of prayer and meditation, activities that focus the mind. If you have a practice, the energies of this moonth invite you to renew or deepen it. If you don’t have a practice, you are invited to begin one.

When we work with rather than against constraints, inward time can become connection time with the Greater Than. The dark owl on the figure’s head is a promise of gifts to come from this communion – if we will be patient and linger here. As we connect with the Greater Than in this way, we are expanding even if we are remaining still.

The 3rd guiding card of this moonth is the Knight of Swords. Knights are the quintessential movers of the Tarot. They can be impetuous and impatient if they neglect to learn the lessons of their quests. But Knights on the Lovers path who dares to move through the 8 of Swords gate emerge with greater clarity, perspective, and strengthened dedication to what they serve.

When we are Knights of Swords passing through the 8 of Swords gates our stillness becomes movement from the inside out. Our stillness becomes dynamic. Our stillness serves Love. 

This moonth’s reading / reflection questions invite us to explore this dynamic stillness.

LOVE: What is Love calling me to commune with now?

STILLNESS: What can stillness teach me about the gifts of answering this call?

MOVEMENT: What will I do differently when I move from this dynamic stillness? 

I offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. I generally have reading slots open on Mondays and Saturdays. Feel free to check in with me about my availability.

If you are looking for support for moving with a dynamic stillness and gathering the gifts of inner work, you are invited to join us for this year’s Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. We begin with an opening session on Sunday, May 24th and then start wisdom wandering our way toward the Summer Solstice. Emailed prompts and virtual sessions support you to practice and play in the place where you live. 


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