As I walk up the stairs today, I get that familiar feeling that I get with all the fire cards; a sense of danger, a worry that I will be burned to death, or seriously damaged in the process of my exploration. Fire; O seductive, passionate and unattainable sylph; a fleeting and incandescent lover that I can only aspire to; to capture briefly, momentarily in the quick breath of passion and the swell of my artists heart; I open the door and step into the welcoming arms of the golden flaming portal of The Prince of Wands.
I walk into an arid rock landscape, dusty and parched, and find that I am standing on a wide pathway on the edge of a steep mountainside. The drop beneath me to the valley floor is precipitous, and the rock face reaches dizzying heights above my head; I stand upon the road with no clear indication of direction, and I feel lost in this alien landscape that does not appear to show me the path that I should follow.
After a moment or two of consideration, I decide to follow the Sun, and set off towards the shimmering golden disc that hangs shortly after noon in the cloudless sky. I walk for some time, and begin to hear noises, human voices, and they are shouting, and as I draw closer I hear that they are a crowd, cheering and roaring. I turn a corner in the road, and see ahead of me, set in the middle of the desert a huge amphitheater made of golden stone and rising like a proud lion out of the dusty landscape, a shining golden edifice to glory.
I hurry as fast as the stony ground will permit, cutting myself on the sharp stones and the thorny scrub bushes that litter the floor of this place, and enter the building, climbing up to somewhere near the top, taking my place among the crowds of people, so that I can get the best view of what is occurring in the ring.
The competitors below me fight against each other and against animals, the scene seems cruel and at times bloody, and how I would imagine a similar scene from the writings of Tacitus, who wrote of ancient Rome. The atmosphere is intense, and I find that I am sitting next to a serene looking woman with dark hair that is streaked with silver, and she looks down calmly at the turmoil beneath us, apparently untouched by the animal roar of the crowd, the rising and the falling scales of victory and loss, the blood and the pain that continues on. She tells me that our goals and aspirations are like our opponents, that we need to develop the courage and the bravery to take them on, and as she tells me this, I see that her son, tall and proud like his mother, is the undoubted victor in the arena today and that none can defeat him.
She tells me gently, with the surety of a mother’s knowledge, that he has always wanted to do this since he was a child, it was a knowing in his bones, he would not be turned from his course, he was born a warrior, and now, he is in his prime. She tells me that it takes courage to follow our dreams and bravery to live them, to make them happen, to face the fears of loss and defeat and to give them life. Many opponents, our fears, have to be vanquished before our dreams can be brought to birth, and she looks at me with the grief etched lines of her face, the losses that she has endured, the pain and pride of seeing her child grow and become a man, the cruel agony of creation and the glory, that brief swelling of the artists heart that sees their creation walk forth into the world like a god.
She tells me to go and find the woman in the desert, and so I heed her words and take my leave, as I feel that there is more to be found here, and I walk quickly out of the circus, down to the valley floor below the road that brought me to this place.
I stand eventually on the edge of the desert and I see a caravan of camels heading into a glistening sky, reaching down to meet the sand under a blistering Sun, and I know then that they are crossing from Tiphareth to Kether, and that I must find the place of The Priestess. I find it soon enough, a lonely place in the desert, that seems to be a temple from the time of Khufu, and she is there, seated with a large book on her lap, and I ask her what she can tell me today. She says quietly that my heart will not be denied but that it must be strong in order to cross the desert. She tells me to go back and make my heart strong, to fill it with my dreams before I return. She says that the dreams are no good in my head, and that only the dreams of my heart will count here.
Her words play around my head like a breeze, pulling at my thoughts, and whistling in my ears, getting stronger and stronger, until the wind blows through the temple, and the woman and the camels disappear out of sight dissolving into the blowing sand that eddy’s around my feet and legs, blowing out into the desert from which none may return. The sand rises in the ever strengthening wind that blows now from some ancient past, and I see that I am now standing in an empty stone ruin that stands where the glory of the temple had appeared to me, and I can now see the shining golden gate of the Prince of Wands, I head for the colors with questions on my lips, for I have found many here today, but I know that for now, I must leave this place, and return to The Hallway of Beginnings.
The Prince of Wands
The Prince of the Chariots of Fire
Prince & Emperor of the Salamanders
20 degrees of Cancer to 20 degrees of Leo
July 12th to August 11th
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