All journeys begin like this, a whispered vision that flutters in the distant reaches of the mind. Like a newly emerged butterfly that hesitates in the sunlight, drying her newly washed wings, the ideas of adventure weave themselves slowly behind my awareness, one layer at a time, as I carefully build a picture of what needs to come next.
My weariness echoes in the stillness of the Hallway of Beginnings, for I am tired, tired of life, tired of being tired, ready, despite my exhaustion, to set out once more upon a road paved with uncertainty, and with no signposts to guide me on.
I leave in the knowledge that there will be no path through the wilderness that lies ahead, and that there will be no advice, save that which I find within my own heart. I leave behind me a life well cared for, one that I thought would be mine always, but one that felt cramped and suffocated by the word “always”.
For now I stand on the edge of a new beginning, a road that will lead me wandering in a vast labyrinth of places whose names I do not know. What I find there will carve tears from even the stoniest heart, the visions will bend me and break me, wringing the stuff of life from me, as they will also take me by the hand and seduce me, deafening me with their roaring beauty. They will seek to drown the very life from me, and by the time I find my way through the maze, I will understand why I had to leave the safety of home, the comfort of predictability and the mundanity of my daily life, to go in search of the change that my heart demanded, to discover the truth of my own soul.
Fire and Water, heaven and hell, mother and father, these are the elements of creation the origins of life, and to those elements we will all one day return.
I find myself in a mood of humble supplication today, carefully climbing the stairs, dragging the time out, going slowly and almost not wanting to arrive at the door. I feel unsure of how to approach the noble portal, a sense of shyness pervading my mind, as if I am on my way to meet a lover I have yearned for, and now that the time has come, I feel afraid and excited all at the same time. It seems strange to me that I should falter on this journey of Fire, it being the road that calls most to me in this life with its challenges and risks, the searing pain and the heartache, the passion, creativity, love, lust, spiritual striving and desire.
It is a road that drags me from my bed day after day to work at this thing called life, to seek the essence, the spark, the divine fire that drives us forth into the world as we obey the call, conscious or unconscious, to find our way back home.
With hope in my heavy heart and a prayer in my mouth, I finally arrive at the heavy old door and push against its familiar rough skin. It opens gently, smoothly and without interruption, disappearing out of my vision as I am flooded with scarlet and orange, wrapped in a cloak of shimmering effervescence and drawn into The Ace of Wands.
The heat is intense, lying heavy on my chest as I battle to breathe in this fiery world, and I find myself standing knee deep in a vast river of molten lava which bubbles and swirls in gorgeously ornate eddies around my legs. In this magical and otherworldly experience I do not feel the logical burning sensation that would accompany molten rock, and the sensations are those only of being immersed in the hypnotic and mystical power of a mesmerizing golden river.
As I watch the bubbles erupt thickly on the surface of the river of fire, I see that each contains an object, and it appears that the lava is giving birth to ideas and objects which are carried slowly away on the surface, supported by the thickening skin that is the beginning of solidity, the place where fire meets air and manifestation begins to occur. After some time of watching this magical process I see that the whole area is littered with these objects that are strewn haphazardly around, much like a child’s bath time toys, bobbing around waiting for their turn to be played with, and I look further and further, until as I raise my eyes from the magnetism of the gently bursting lava bubbles, I see that away in the middle distance stands a large willow tree.
I start wading over to the tree in order to gain a better understanding of this improbable inhabitant of the fiery world that I am exploring. It stands proudly in the apparently inhospitable environment with its long elegant branches weeping tears of grace into the river of fiery potential, seemingly unscathed as am I by the molten rock. As I finally draw closer to the willow tree, I feel overwhelmed by the height of it as it is far taller than it looks from afar, and it towers over my head as I stand enclosed within its weeping branches as they form a living cathedral of divine worship beneath its stately form. I ask the tree what she represents, and she whispers through the rustling leaves that she represents the endless cycle of creativity in this place, the rutting urge of Springs first rush, and the endless cycle of rebirth and renewal. I find it fascinating that I have found this beautiful feminine tree here, rooted in a lake of molten fire, and I thank her and continue on.
I come next, to a large and impressive building fashioned from mellow golden sandstone, redolent of the English style that is known as Georgian and who’s elegant, graceful and romantic facades are is still to be found in many of its cities still. I appear to be in a train station although there is no noise here as such, rather that I am a silent onlooker into another world who is watching a silent movie of a place in another dimension. I examine all the departure boards in the station, displaying lists and lists of cities and towns, to which the numerous trains are all departing. People scurry hither and thither along the platforms, eager to achieve the desired train that will bear them hence to the destination that only they have knowledge of. I see this place as another reminder of the enormous potentials contained within this card, that they are endless, eternal and particular to the seeker. No single person has the same agenda; they are all individuals, driven by their own hearts, their own needs, their own dreams, in order that eventually at the end of their day, they find their own way home. I see that this is the beginning of a journey, and that the possibilities are endless, this journey could take me all around the world if I chose, but that it is entirely up to me,
I think about making things happen, and I realize that if I want to do this, if I want to make things happen, then I need to immerse myself in the lava, I need to get down and lie in the river of molten rock and become one with the fiery potential that it is. And so I sink to my knees and gaze into the glowing beauty, allowing myself to be drawn into its passionate embrace. Falling, faltering, failing and fumbling in my human imperfection I lose myself finally into the endless words of God as he breathes upon my skin, murmuring the hymn of life upon me, whispering into my ears and calling my name over and over again.
Fire and flame, I emerge from the river, a human salamander heated and mobile, impassioned, arisen and alive with creative joy, the heat of the molten rock, running through my veins. I stand still for a moment, and recognize already that I am cooling…. Oh how precious and fleeting that moment of creativity, that sense of pure joy, that union with God, oh how sweet the remembered taste, for that rapture is already passing from my body into the corridors of memory. I see now, I understand….. the creative passion, the drug that we aspire to, and the drugs that often supplant, in their mediocrity, that true ecstatic connection that we yearn for.
I see then in my minds eye, a host of figures rising from the molten source like an army of renaissance angels; painters, sculptors, composers, musicians, weavers, writers, actors and many more, all taken up with the creative spirit, alive with creative passion and living the daemon of their fiery possession. As they give themselves up entirely to the process, they allow the fire of their Art to flow through them unhindered and unfettered, sweeping all before it, as they carve new paths, make new channels, build a new world from the raw material of the creative source.
The up-rush of energy that I feel is ecstatic and unbounded, and I bow in awe, as humble as I was when I arrived, for I will not suffer hubris in the face of God today.
I leave this place with tears on my face, weeping not for my humanity, my frailty or my tiny life, but in gratitude for the visions with which I am blessed, and my eternal capacity for love.
The Root of Fire symbolises creative new beginnings, the divine spark of inspiration needed at the start of any journey and the beckoning finger that asks you to voyage forth into the next adventure. Be attentive to the opportunities that present themselves; the chance meeting, the easily missed remark, the messages written between the lines or a half remembered dream; all these may be leading you to the beginning of your next journey
- The Ace of Wands
- The Root of the Powers of Fire
Thoth Journey-The Oracle of Change
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A new age is dawning, with a need for a new wisdom, one that comes from the heart. This book is dedicated to all those who find themselves, for whatever reason, in darkness; given with love, this work, is a product of our times.
My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. I can often be found at home, deep in arcane research, or practicing some new form of divination whilst burning the dinner! My children probably wish that I was “normal” but may well remember my eccentricities fondly when they come to face the challenges of their own paths. My long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice, in offering guidance, empowerment and healing, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life. You can read more about me here.