Wandering along the Mill River pathway in mid-April, I encountered my first flowering Trout Lilies of the season. They raised their yellow petals just above the dead leaf litter on a turning of the path. I paused, then pulled from my notebook one of the handful of Tarot cards I carried.
The Ancestor emerged and I felt a wave of that deepest kind of knowing wash over me. Of course, the Ancestor who has traveled through Death is the mirror to this miracle of a spring’s flowering. All life today comes from a passing away of what has come before. The dead leaves become the soil. The soil is the breakdown of all plants and animals, even us humans in our bones and ash, the flesh released. The release from one form is the beginning of becoming another.
And here were the Ancestors shape shifting into Trout Lilies. I stood in the circle of their power.
The specific Tarot card I drew was from the Minoan Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. It is number 13 of the Major Arcana, usually named Death. In this version of the card the connection between the living and the dead is highlighted. The living descendant is shown as a small figure raising up a bowl in offering to the larger figure of the Ancestor.
Ellen describes the ritual depicted as “seeking to bridge the gap of silence and of breath, and the gap between glory and grief.” She says of the Ancestors, “If they would speak, one could learn the reality of the past, and understand how to better live in the present.”
Standing in their presence, I felt the Ancestors were speaking through the flowering of the Trout Lilies. What were they saying? Before I tell you my thoughts, pause and think about what you see in this image of flower and card and leaf. What might the ancestors be saying to you?
What I “heard” was:
Rise up out of what is dying in your world—because Death is always happening—and dare to work to make it beautiful.
Ellen has also offered wonderful wisdom on Love. In the voice of Freya, the Norse Goddess of Love and Beauty, she tells us, “Love is power made beautiful.”
Trout Lilies would seem to have very little power. They rise just a few inches from earth and live but a few days. But their power is awesome, they take death, re-shape it, and make it beautiful.
Our world is breaking apart. The rubble, real and symbolic, is the leaf litter in which we stand. But the Ancestors implore us still to rise, take the rubble, re-make it into beauty.
This one example of the experiences I have when wisdom wandering. If you’d like a container of support for finding your own revelations in the meeting and mixing of the natural world and divinatory tools, you are invited to Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. We’ll be wandering, connecting to nature, divining, and herb crafting in the places where we live. Then gather virtually for ritual and sharing our experiences. The retreat runs for 6 weeks from Sunday, May 23rd to Friday, July 1.
In this 6 year (2+0+2+2=6 which is the number of the Lovers in the Tarot’s Major Arcana), our guide for the season is Love in all its forms and phases. Find out more and register on the overview page.