World Water Day, Gaian Tarot Reading
by Shannon McArthur
Joy. It’s exactly what a mother should want to teach her child, but it is not what we teach our children. We have been taught to control our emotions for so long, to get along with others and not create a scene, I wonder that we can feel at all. We keep everything inside us until it makes us sick, we break, or it escapes bit by bit infecting the people around us.
I did an astounding Aligning With The Earth reading for World Water Day. Seven cards – four questions for the Earth and three for me, and the first card I turned up is Joy, in answer to the question: What is the Earth teaching us? Oh, JOY! I’m so used to controlling it I don’t know what would happen if I freed it! So many of us barely remember what it feels like, let alone share it. What would happen if I did? How many others feel the same? How do we learn joy in a world so full of sorrow? In the picture you’ll see she has her back turned to the next card… a clue, perhaps?
The next card answers: What have we already learned? 5/Air – fighting for territory. Yes, we’ve got that one down to an art. What do we need to learn next? 8/Earth. The Gaian Tarot card pictures a father sharing his knowledge of how to drum with his daughter. I remember learning about my drum from the First Nations Elders who helped me build it – a drum is the heartbeat of Mother Earth and before you use it, it is shared with the Spirits in ceremony. Sharing knowledge and learning to hear the heartbeat of the Earth (referring back to the position of the card and the question answered by it) will help us know what She needs so we can help Her heal.
How will we make the leap from what we know to what we must learn? To change from fighting to sharing, the Elder of Fire leans forward earnestly, requiring us to listen. This card speaks of ceremony and Spirit, the wisdom of women, of tradition and of Elders. Humanity has been such a teenager, going our own way, that we’ve almost ruined our home. It’s time to grow up, to attend to our Elders, hear their stories and learn their wisdom, if we are to live here.
As with the previous four cards, the messages in my cards were clear and unmistakable. The first answers the question: What is my role? 4/Air has a robin’s nest with four sky-blue eggs nestled safe inside. The work I’ve come to know as mine is creating a world-wide network of Our Heart Gardens, community facilities based on the longhouses. Central to many First Nations villages, it was where the women gathered to share their time, knowledge and their work while taking care of the children and others needing care. Women have been tucked away in their own homes for so long we’ve forgotten how to share… That’s the lesson humanity is meant to learn next (8/Earth above) and we can do it in Our Heart Gardens, nests woven of our intentions to hold us safe, while together we tend our loved ones and our crops, and practice cooperation.
6/Air and 7/Water complete the spread. What I already know & need to share is 6/Air, sharing with others my awe of the dawn. The card shows a group of people greeting the morning sun each in their own way, someone doing a Sun Salutation, others with arms raised and drums beating, a song of joy implicit on their smiling faces and it is how I feel inside when I think about World Water Day and the global meditations taking place, a new day indeed. I love sharing JOY!!
The last question: what is my next area of growth? is answered by the card of choice. 7/Water shows a man drinking from his choice of an array of beautiful flasks. It talks of consuming my choice, making it a part of me, committing to it. Writing is the way I embody my choice, and my commitment to the role I know is mine. Max Dashu, author (Suppressed Histories) and videographer of Women’s Power agrees that women will provide the solution to our dilemma. She adds that “we are each building our piece of the whole.” Our Heart Gardens is my piece – places to support all our pieces as we create the whole solution.
Einstein said we cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. Living separate lives and competing for everything has resulted in the state we’re in. Getting food together within our communities gives us the opportunity to share. It is what we are meant to learn. Many hands make light work, learning and celebrating as we share life – and joy!