I walked through the portal of the Ace of Cups, and out onto the soft green memories of my childhood…. The neat and perfect grass of Greenaway was as familiar as my own feet treading the narrow rabbit paths along the windy cliffs. The wind was wet with water, grasping my hair, persuading me to the edge of the cliff, where I stood, precipitously, balanced, mesmerized by the hypnotic crash and suck of the waves on the shelving shingle beach. They seemed enormous, Tsunami-like, almost, and the sea was boiling with an intense power that both drew me and horrified me at the same time. I knew that I was in danger, and quickly climbed to higher ground, and turned to watch the sea again, but my heart was racing, the whole scene was terrifying, I felt like running away. I tried to calm myself a little, and asked for Malachi to come, but his voice spoke gently to me in my mind, that he couldn’t come to me now, not here, not into the land of the Ace., but he could guide me through my fears. He showed me how to go along the cliff top, and down a narrow path, and then to a deep cave, that I remember from long ago, called the Aeroplane Cave. I looked up into the cave, and there up on a rock stood a woman whose face was an ever changing mirage of features and emotions. Green seaweed hair, and blackened teeth one minute, and illuminated serenity the next. I stood and watched her, this Circe, this Sea-witch, with a face as changing as the face of the ocean… hypnotic, terrifying, gentle and embracing, engulfing and drowning, sometimes calm and peaceful and at others truly terrifying. I realized that she was the personification of the emotional life, in all its power, its beauty, its ugliness and fear.
Near her feet I could see an open trunk, a treasure chest, which she was gazing at intently. The treasure had come from the bottom of the sea, and represents the bounty that can be gained from diving deep below the surface, to where it is unsafe and dangerous, but from where great riches may be drawn.
I went back out to the mouth of the cave, and saw an albatross, who took me onto his back, surfing the up-draught, banking against the salty wind, then gaining speed up and out to sea as he took the breeze. He said that he gained mastery of the sea by adapting and respecting it. He said that the sea supported and served him, but it could just as easily kill him too.
I viewed the journey of the albatross, and the ever-changing faces of the sea… I was drawn into the ebb and flow, the washing, the wailing, the suck and pull, the rise and fall, it was like a song I could distantly remember, a story I had half forgotten, a baby’s lullaby, the beating of my mothers heart.
I returned to the cave, and looked into the book that was there. I saw I Ching Symbols, numbers 52 & 46. The objects I left with were a periwinkle, a piece of coral and a piece of bladderwrack.
The Ace of Cups
The Root of the Powers of the Waters
Circe was a goddess pharmakeia (witch or sorceress) who lived with her nymph attendants on the mythical island of Aiaia. She was skilled in the magic of metamorphosis, the power of illusion, and the dark art of necromancy. When Odysseus landed on her island she transformed his men into animals, but with the help of the god Hermes, he overcame the goddess and forced her to release his men from her spell. Circe’s name was derived from the Greek verb kirkoô meaning “to secure with rings” or “hoop around”–a reference to her magical powers.
Hexagram 46: Pushing Upward
Advancement is represented by growth in springtime, when new plant life pushes upward through the earth’s crust. The emphasis is on upward motion, from obscurity to influence, with growth fostered by adaptability and the absence of opposition. Constant, flexible growth is the key attribute of a plant pushing upward. This reading suggests a period of promotion and prosperity in your life.
A wise person, in harmony with fate, is sensitive but determined. Make a sincere effort to apply resolute effort against the forces of inertia, bending around any obstacles that may arise, and good fortune will follow. By remaining tolerant and flexible, you will be able to retain the kind of conscious innocence that fuels growth and advancement. Willpower and self-control are necessary to manage this growth properly, but an inner enthusiasm for life is what nurtures it.
Hexagram 52: Keeping Still
Regular periods of keeping still are an important aspect of personal development and forward motion. The most restful person may not be the one who sleeps twelve hours a day, but the one able to grab catnaps while cruising at 500 miles-per-hour at 35,000 feet. Learning to act when it is time to act, and to keep still when it is time to keep still, is the key to obtaining the peace of mind which helps one stay focused when clear focus is needed.
Consider the spine, which serves as a switchboard for all the nerves of the body that mediate movement. When the spine is kept flexible and healthy through proper rest and relaxation, active movement can always be undertaken without strain. When the spine is held erect in a balanced sitting posture, the inner balancing of meditation can take place.
Treat your innate spark of vitality as if it were a candle in the wind — protecting it as though it were your only light in a dark forest on a moonless night. Avoid external conditions that threaten to snuff out the flame, and be careful not to suffocate it with your own ambitions and worries.
Time out. Relax, take your shoes off, and sit a spell. Let go of thinking. Meditate.