Slowly she ascends the shallow steps of the long polished staircase; it creaks at certain points and the treads are worn, the mellow wood grain almost faded to nothing under years of searching and she imagines that there might be sunlight illuminating them at some point in the day, as there are places where the wood is almost bleached to silver.
Today she is aware that there is an intense illumination coming from the land behind the door before she even opens it, as if the world to which she ventures contains a surfeit of light and is overflowing. Pausing for a moment, she gathers herself for this much anticipated exploration, trying to leave all her expectations behind her.
Passing through the portal, she finds herself in a land of gentle light, with the warmth of early morning that can only be found in a place that sears like a furnace in the strength of the midday sun. The small desert oasis where she is standing is still, peaceful and beautiful, a green sentinel that halts the undulating march of sand that fills the rest of her vision. Beneath the graceful limbs of the date trees that border the cool water bubbling up from beneath the desert, stands a figure, a woman dressed in black.
A face of carved serenity gazes back at her, the face of a woman whom time has touched, but has not yet ravaged, a woman whose strength has not yet been diminished by grief. Her beauty lies in the calm stillness of eyes that emanate a captivating aura of peace and power, and she looks at her in awe. Inclining her head towards the shade of the palms, the woman invites her to come and sit with her. A small charcoal fire burns on the cool sand and coffee is being prepared, the evocative aroma conjuring a sense of timeless hospitality as the woman pours out the thick bittersweet liquid into small glasses, and offers her visitor one.
Sitting together in the welcoming shade as the breeze blows softly through the rough, scaly trunks of the date palms, she raises her eyes from her coffee to look beyond the oasis, far out over the landscape, and is filled with emotion by what she sees. An endless line of figures approaches the oasis on foot, a line that stretches back as far as her eyes can see; over dunes and cliffs, through valleys and beyond the mountains, even from as far as the edge of the world they come; a line of women, that is without end. They are walking slowly but steadily, proud and serene, young and old, some with children, some without, each carrying on her shoulder, a large pottery jar, to be filled with water at the well. She sees that her enigmatic host is the guardian of the oasis, the place where the water emerges and that these are the waters of intuition.
The river of intuition forms a network that links the entire world, a web of perception, unseen to those of us who live only on the surface. The water emerges from this underground river, at certain places, such as this oasis, and she is the guardian of this place. She watches as each of the women comes, filling their jars from the well, but also giving to the guardian, sharing stories, bringing news, proffering a small gift of bread, vegetables or fruit. One woman brings cloth, another one a kid goat, and yet another, the most beautiful smile that she has ever seen. One thing unites them all, however, for they all bring their hearts, their humanity and their knowledge, each replenishing the river, adding to it, each one helping to ensure its strength and continuity. As the women mingle they exchange their stories, sharing their feelings and easing their hearts through tears and smiles, a soft chattering that is woven with love, loss, joy, children and laughter as they teach each other the ancient stories of life itself, becoming stronger, individually and together.
Looking again at the keeper of the oasis, she sees her bent over a small elderly woman, speaking to her gently and tucking a small jar into her pocket. The woman looks up at her, sparkling beady eyes flashing in her lined leathery face and a gap-toothed smile showing her thanks and appreciation before she moves aside to make room for the next woman to draw water at the well. This timeless scene is so poignant and meaningful that it brings tears of joy and love to her eyes, knowing that it is quite possibly one of the most beautiful things that she has ever witnessed. Too soon, it is time to leave, and the vision fades as serenely as it arrived, with the sound of the wind gently playing in the date palms, the bright sounds of pouring water and the rise and fall of the voices of the women, like the laughter of innumerable waves.
This card invites you to follow your intuition towards a deeper understanding of the dynamics at hand and a better appreciation of any hidden motives, secret fears or desires. Within every loss lies the potential for something new, a seed that is looking for a new place to grow. Follow that inner voice, see where it leads you, and find strength in your connection to the invisible web of energy that connects us all
II The Priestess
The Planetary Trump of The Moon
The Priestess of the Silver Star
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.