Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Between Water and Fire

This morning I sat at the kitchen table enjoying the first cup of coffee from my new pot (thanks to my sister for a belated birthday/Christmas present!!) and I decided to pull a daily card from the Tarot of Holy Light. I shuffled a bit and selected the Ace of Swords. I've pulled this card a couple of times recently, and I have been uncovering many new and interesting facets of its character. I thought, "I wonder what its message is for me today....?"

Since taking on a leadership role at my place of work I've found myself positioned between two departments that happen to share a specific population of students. These departments have different personalities, cultures, perspectives, and approaches, and this has caused some friction over time. Now I am in a place where I often find myself mediating conflicts between the two. Over a week ago I was preparing myself for one such meeting and decided to pull a card to help guide me in how to approach these relationship misalignments. I pulled the Ace of Swords, from this same deck, the Tarot of Holy Light. At the time I wrote this:

"Demand honesty and forthrightness. If they inhabit a world hazy with clouded emotion and ambiguous intent, shine your blade a little bit in the sun. Let them see you. Remind them that you're there. Plant seeds of justice that over time will evaporate the doubts and frivolity obscuring the sharp clarity of truth."

It was very helpful advice.
So this morning I laid the Ace on the table, and then thought to look at the top and bottom cards which were the Page of Cups and the Page of Wands. I laid them to either side of the Ace and spent some time considering the line of three. Image-wise it looked quite a bit to me like mediation. And then I remembered: the first item on my morning agenda was a meeting with two members from these different teams, to discuss an ongoing problem.

On the left sits the Page of Cups, almost literally pouring his emotions out into the foreground. The eye floating above the ocean is symbolic of the way in which the perspective of this page is filtered through his/her feelings and emotional responses to the environment. On the right sits the Page of Wands, surrounded in bright, urgent flame. While the Page of Cups appears to be considering the beauty of the flowers nearby, the Page of Wands reaches out almost as if to connect with the other two cards. Water and fire, emotion and spirit. In the middle sits the Ace of Swords, an upright blade surrounded by six faces or eyes connected to a central eye that lies over the sword. All of the varying opinions, beliefs, perspectives, and feelings must be funneled through the impartial eye of the sword whose principal interest is in understanding, truth, clarity, and precise communication.

I see both parties from today's meeting in these Pages - both passionate, both motivated, both caring. But both in need of common ground, of someone to listen to them and to draw out the salient points; to help draw attention to and tease apart what is factual from what is perception. The Ace of Swords is good at that.

The meeting went well, ultimately, and I was able to use Ace of Swords energy to help achieve a level of mutual understanding. It once again brings to my mind the idea of pursuing formal mediation training, and perhaps it is time to look into that!


  1. I think such a training is a great idea. Especially since you obviously have a knack for this kind of communication. Then you will learn probable more techniques how to get people to really listen to eachother and to have an open mind to the ideas of someone else
    Time to get some sword fighting lessons :D

  2. Yes, it's the specific techniques that I think would be so beneficial to doing this sort of work in the future. It's quite fascinating... Ha, sword fighting would be awesome!