The path of Love is one of—maybe the most—desired pathway. Each year the Tarot correspondence of the Lovers card to the astrological sign of Gemini sets us walking this path from May 22 to June 21. In the outer world the abundance of flowers and profusion of green leaves mirror the beauty of the love we seek.
From the Numinous Tarot, on sale for Pride Month!
But the passage cards of the Tarot associated with this time take us to a different, scarier place. The Eight, Nine, and Ten of Swords are among the most distressing of the deck. In the Eight we are bound and blindfolded, barely able to step forward. In the Nine, we suffer nightmares. Finally, comes the Ten—the passage card of this new moon arriving on Sunday, June 18th at 12:37am, time zone converter —and we die.
But these passage cards can also be initiations that through bringing us into the depths of Love—its nurturing waters and its great mysteries—teach us how to practice love in our human lives. The Eight and Nine of Swords offer lessons of trusting in Love’s existence even when we can’t see it or we fear the loss of its embrace.
The Ten of Swords might be the greatest test of trust because here we have to let Love go to allow a shifting into new form. We have to practice renewing Love.
I’ve been contemplating renewing Love for years. In 2016 I wrote about seeing unconditional love as a trap. Instead of believing we will reach and maintain a perfect, static state of Love, we’d be better served to take the ever changing moon as our guide.
The moon teaches us about renewing Love.
First, a new seed of love is planted when the moon is re-born in darkness. This is where we spark the vision: we dream of the new lover; we imagine the baby born, or, if this is a love that has been through many cycles, a surprise, a forgiveness, an unexpected laugh opens a new door in an old relationship, which could be human or divine.
Then the light grows from crescent to quarter and beyond so you can see more clearly. Both beauty and challenge are revealed. Your love is made real and the person that contains this energy is exciting in their revelation of self. Of course, now you have to move from your internal vision into relating to another person. This requires adjustment, both to your vision and the reality of how you are together.
The full moon comes. The light is bliss inducing. Challenges and demands of the everyday can wait while you just let Love flow through you.
Then the dark begins to stir, grows stronger, but it is not your enemy. It is true that here is where you have to give love away. You may turn from the cocoon of a relationship’s support to bring love to projects or others in need. A new relationship may be revealing rough edges so you turn to a friend for comfort. The silence of your teenager at the dinner table is hard but then you start talking to other moms or dads about being a parent.
And all of this is Love disseminating. As it goes out into the world, Love ripples and increases. Love flows like water as the moon dissolves.
Then the few nights before the new moon are dark. The love relationship dies. This is the passage of the 10 of Swords. I believe it was James Wells who recounted hearing the Jungian analyst Marion Woodman say that her 50 year marriage lasted so long because it died 4 times.
In this phase, there may be a rift or a fight or a difference has to be acknowledged and laid down in the dark for healing. Something new will have to emerge in the next cycle for the relationship to continue to be the container for Love. Perhaps this relationship no longer serves and stepping away from it will allow Love to enter in a different way. Perhaps there is physical death and we must find our way to the Green Door of Death.
None of this ends Love. Because there is a flow of Love beyond our individual selves that can carry you into a new cycle when the time is right. You may have to wait in the dark longer than you expected, but Love waits with you. Here in the dark a relationship as it was is surrendered. Or you startle yourself by forgiving or being forgiven. You didn’t know you could be held so beautifully when that wave of love comes toward you after your beloved dies. Or boundaries dissolve and you suddenly feel the Love of your ancestors flow like energy through your body. In this, you are awakened to Love in a new way.
How can we do this? This new moon walking the Path of the Lovers through the passage of the 10 of Swords invites us to move through like a Queen of Cups, which in the Shining Tribe Tarot is known as the Gift of Rivers.
Gift of Rivers from The Shining Tribe
There are many mentors in the Gift of Rivers. The flower who tells us to open fully in the moment when the light is right. The snake who sheds its skin when it no longer fits and continues on its way. The river itself flowing until a split is demanded. The bowl gathers and holds even the darkest waters.
But my eye today is drawn to the fish headed woman. She is a human body with wisdom that flows from this physical reality informing her movement through the world of life and love. But she is not just human. She is also fish. Her consciousness is watery and her fish eyes attune her to emotions, intuitive knowing, and deep mystery. She accepts them all.
She integrates the wisdom of the body and the consciousness of the flow. When we follow her lead, this integration assists us in moving through the 10 of Swords passage by bringing additional perspectives to the Sword’s reliance on the mind and intellectual approach.
The fish headed woman looks strange. She invites us to be strange. Just our daring to let love die may look strange to some. What we do to care for our bodies through the death passage may not be what others would do. Our emotions expressed may make others uncomfortable. But we follow the fish headed woman in what deck creator Rachel Pollack names as a dance. Rachel begins her write up of this card with a poem:
In the coolness of the night.
From the holy splendor.
This is the gift more precious than any,
The fountain of love.
The fish headed woman trusts the flow of this fountain of love and she invites us to as well.
This moonth’s questions for reflection / reading are offered to support your walking on the path of Love are:
CULTIVATE: How do I cultivate renewing love?
FORM: What form can my renewing love most powerfully take at this time?
CHANGE: How will I be changed by embracing my renewing love?
I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $23. 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.