New Moon Gateway: To Protect What Is Most Important


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

We live in a time of breakdown of the old making way for the new. But is everything to be surrendered?. The January 11th new moon (exact at 6:57am ET, time zone converter) moves us along the Devil’s pathway through the passage of the 4 of Pentacles counsels to hold on to what is most important. Reminds us that some things are worth protecting.

Passage: The 4 of Pentacles

In the iconic Rider Waiter Smith image, a nobleman—the king? —sits on his throne with each foot tamping down a pentacle, the crown topped with one, and arms wrapped around the fourth. Both the flow with the Greater Than Above and the Heart’s Love is blocked by this grasping after wealth and power entirely for himself. This is not an image to emulate. It highlights for us the challenging aspects of the 4 of Pentacles.

But each Tarot card holds a whole range of meaning. And Dust II Onyx Tarot invites us into another more connective possibility for the Four of Pentacles—called Coins in this deck. In this image, we see a figure standing in front of adobo structures: the dwellings and grain storehouses of the Dogon people of southwest Mali and Burkina Faso. The figure is a guard protecting the village.

The grain storehouses deserve protection not just because they contain food as necessity and wealth, but because the Dogon honored this smallest element of earth as reflective of the whole of the universe. In the Dust II Onyx guide, Courtney Alexander shares with us the richness of the symbolism (I’m just sharing a taste of it here):

The granaries are artistically constructed as a metaphor for the structure of the Universe, the human body, and the generative power of women. The circular base represents the Sun and the square top is the sky. … The exterior parts of the granaries symbolize the species of the world, the offspring of the eight great ancestors. 

By guarding the granaries and homes, the Four of Coins figure is protecting what is most important not just for themselves but also for the community and even for the preservation of a universe in balance. The Four of Coins passage of Dust II Onyx shows us the wisdom way of this card and calls us to emulate its guardian figure. 

What is most important to you? What are your necessities that represent the world you want to live in? What are the structures and symbols that represent what is most important to you?

Path: The Devil

We move through this passage on this moonth’s pathway of The Devil. 

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

In the Tarot, the Devil’s meanings are illusion, addiction, bondage, compulsion. In the oldest Tarots the Devil is made up of strange parts cobbled together presiding over figures that are tied at the Devil’s feet. As their bonds don’t look that tight, we might wonder why they do not break free. Although this Devil is a bit of a buffoon, it is clearly dangerous, not just for what it might do on its own but for what it might incite others in thrall to its power to do. 

This Devil is a warning to us when we are acting as 4 of Pentacles guardians. There is real danger. We must prepare to meet it

Like the Four of Pentacles, the Devil archetype has a range of meanings. The Devil can be a guide for our soul tending when we follow the inner work of this path by meeting our Shadow

The Shadow is made up of parts of ourselves that we have difficulty accepting. Most often we are not even aware of these parts as existing within us. Of course, these are challenging parts (fears, addictions, blind spots), but also positive parts (power, courage, the ability to change). We can get clues about what our shadows are by our strong reactions to others. When we judge “he is so controlling” or “she is so eloquent” we are invited to consider these as parts of ourselves that you are projecting onto others. Not always but searching your thoughts for a clue to shadow can be fertile work. 

I attended a seminar on Jungian principles for advancing spiritual growth where the presenter said, “The only way to truly grow is to integrate the shadow.” When we own all the parts of ourselves, we become more fully who we are. We no longer have to expend energy hiding who we fully are.

We have both personal and collective Shadow. In these turbulent times, our collective shadows are rising up from places where we have tried to hide them: white supremacy and racism, greed and exploitation, grief from all this turning to rage institutionalized into war … the list goes on. Their rising can feel overwhelming, terrifying, but they come now to offer us an invitation to integration and healing

Posture: The King of Swords

On this challenging pathway we are shown the clear mind and focused purpose of the King of Swords as a role model for our ways of being and acting.

From Tarot Roots of Asia, sadly out of print.

We can’t ignore the feelings that will surge through us during this time, but we can let them pass through us. Then we can be guided by a mind that seeks out facts, envisions futures based on highest ideals, and speaks out. 

We will not use literal swords. Instead our voices speaking out about the need to protect what is most important—to our legislators, our family, our neighbors, our community—will be our best tools. With the King of Swords as our guide, we will not be silent. We raise our voices in service to the Whole.

The reflection questions / reading of the moonth is offered to support what connection to what is most important:

PROTECTION: What is most important to protect?

ACTION: What contribution can I make to protecting this?

SEED: What seed will be allowed to grow as I do this work? 

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $32.  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. I generally have openings to do these readings on Mondays and Saturdays.

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