Full disclosure: a typical Tuesday for me is pretty much like any other day of the week. I am in happily indentured servitude to an elderly cat who has several nicknames including SWMBO (that’s Swimbo) – She Who Must Be Obeyed. No day starts without attending to her needs first. No exceptions. Although I am allowed a quick trip to the bathroom so we’re not both trying to use the litter-box at the same time.
After meeting the physical and emotional requirements of her most exalted and revered personage, my day is then pretty much my own.
Tuesday – or Tarot Tuesday – is the day my weekly Tarotcast gets published. This practice grew out of my Tarot Tuesday live radio shows/podcasts from back in the day. I draw the card of the week at random. The general meaning of each card remains consistent. The real-time astrological aspects of that week are compared to or contrasted with the energy of the card, resulting in a forecast of what we can expect for the week ahead. The interpretation combines the influences of Tarot and Astrology. I also include power colors, metals and gemstones as well as scents and foods to use that enhance or help balance out the energies of the week. (Home alchemy!).
Spring is in the air at least in theory – the weather hasn’t quite gotten the message yet. So I meditated on the theme of this issue. What does it mean to cultivate? Though not chosen at random, the four Tarot cards that follow show me the ways we grow. Whether plants or people; whether the growth is literal, physical, emotional or spiritual.
The suit of Disks (Pentacles, Coins) in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot represents the Earth element. Perfect for the physical preparation of soil to grow crops or plants!
The Ace of Disks shows us the potential for reaping the rewards of our efforts. With careful planning and preparation, with diligence and patience, our gardens will grow. Food will nourish our bodies. Beautiful flowers and plants will nourish our souls.
The Nine of Disks shows us a lush and fruitful garden. It thrives through thoughtful and careful fostering. The gardener herself has also grown in self-confidence, independence and wisdom.
The Empress of the Major Arcana is the Mother – she is the archetype of fertility and the spring of the year. She encourages her children and loved ones with unconditional love. She furthers their growth and development. In extreme circumstances she will sacrifice herself if necessary, but she isn’t a martyr. She can make the seed of an idea manifest in the physical world. She fiercely protects newly-born creations.
The Hermit of the Major Arcana is the Wise Teacher – he extends his hand to help others and lifts his lamp to illuminate the darkness. He shares his knowledge and wisdom. He encourages the seeker to study, practice and refine his or her own body of knowledge; then to journey within to develop his or her own wisdom. He is the fulfillment of the cycle of growth and represents the harvest. He is the autumn of the year – when the crops are successfully gathered, the earth goes dormant. From that withdrawal and rest will come rebirth.
This year Pluto will retrograde in the Earth-sign of Capricorn on April 22nd and will turn direct on September 30th. Retrograde planets all create their own unique blend of mischief and benefit. There is no retrograde planet better for getting us to complete old projects, abandon old patterns, and clear up any leftover detritus than Pluto – the planet of destruction and regeneration. Whatever the challenge or problem in our lives that appears insurmountable, irreparable or unchanging – it could turn out to be as insubstantial and fleeting as the April rain and early spring blooms. Here today, gone tomorrow.
Starting with the spring planting, we begin anew. With renewal comes both a touch of melancholy and a spark of tender hope. We are bidding farewell to the past while welcoming a still-uncertain future. In the autumn we reap what we have sown and tended. In between, I do my best to cultivate patience, even when I’m restless – especially then.
Here is Pluto retrograde’s beautiful strangeness described by T.S. Eliot in The Waste Land:
“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
“Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?”
I hope my garden (and yours) sprouts nothing any more (or less) exotic than tulips and daffodils. But typical Tuesdays can be strange days indeed.
About the Author: Dona Murphy
Dona Murphy is the owner of Destiny Tarot. She lives and works in Lake Bluff Illinois as a Tarot reader, Intuitive Counselor and Life Coach. Dona combines her metaphysical and spiritual studies, natural gifts and real-world experience to help her clients solve problems and live their best lives. As she says, “The cards don’t predict your future, they help you create it”.