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Wheel of Change Tarot ~ The Court in the Realm of Air


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Wheel of Change Tarot ~ The Court in the Realm of Air


These cards are about the various stages of learning about one's place in the world. There are elements of learning, discovery, exploration and careful balance. To an extent, these cards represent the most extreme parts of our intellects, with the result being that the cards take us to the very edges of balance before returning to a dynamic centre in the Queen

\m/ Kat
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Prince of Swords


This Prince is Air of Air, hence representing the pure pursuit of knowledge. The Prince dances to perfect a dramatic routine by repeating a set sequen ove ran dover again. Because a mistake costs him blook, he has a storng incentive to learn quickly, and he practises alone to help him concentrate, secluded above the concerns of the world.

His repetitive motions are echoed all around him by the intricate geometry of the room's decor. This can be seen to represent the value of entering a space dedicated to learning - a "zone". The Prince is still learning how to flex his intellectual muscles. Tihs is why, at this stage, he simply learns. He learns by rote that which is the result of past intellectual exploration by others. Here, at the outset of his mental development, he must first train his mind to absorb information, and understand the processes by which intellectual progress is made. But he is, for now, incapable of the kind of creativity required to pursue new discoveries.

\m/ Kat
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Princess of Swords


This young woman is an entirely natural progression from the Prince before her. Where he exists in a small, insular world constructed from pure facts and ideas passed down from others, the Princess now moves out into the world to test the practical application of the newly-gained knowledge.

Learning, whilst a worthy and necessary occupation, means little in the absence of context; hence the Princess, as the Earthy part of Air, grounds the knowledge gained and allows for flaws in the perfection of the pattern established in the Prince's decorated chamber. Just as the pattern of a tree trunk's cells is marred by the occasional, seemingly random, burl or knot, the idealised form of life written down to be passed on as knowledge must yet conceal idiosyncratic knots. The Princess learns these by experiencing them. She is adaptable as well as practical, and yet is challenged by decisions on whether to accept practical correction or dismiss random anomalies. It is a card of challenge and decision, but the qualities of the Princess make her fundamentally well-equipped to deal with the situation.

\m// Kat
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Knight of Swords


In the same way that the Knight of Disks used the Fire of his nature to broaden his consciousness, so the scientist shown here expands his knowledge by applying Fire to Air. His quest for understanding his place in the world takes his mind beyond perceived boundaries, as symbolised by the transparent wall behind him. He personifies the race that knowledge runs against itself, exploding outwards ever faster like a gass-fuelled explosion. Fire, as the element of adventure, exploration and seeking of mystery (see The Court in the Realm of Fire), means that this Knight is actively seeking new plains of knowledge, pushing further and creatively using what he knows to discover more.

But therein lies his quandary. If Air is the stuff of clear thought, then scientifically we can say that the part of air required to keep our minds sharp is oxygen. Science has also shown us a volatile relationship btween Fire and oxygen; Fire needs oxygen to allow the chemical reaction of combustion to occur, and yet Fire depletes the oxygen in Air. Hence, we may say that the Knight is prone to burnout and might even warn of this in a reading.

Fire also throws light, which we see split here into a rainbow. This shows the Knight turing his analytical mind in upon himself, and his ability to objectively observe his own reactions and processes. This objectivity might sometimes appear as callousness or even macabre obsession - most would recoil in distaste at the sight of someone dissecting a human brain, as the Knight is doing. The card could highlight a vast difference in perception.

\m/ Kat
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Queen of Swords


Genetti links this Queen with the High Priestess because she comes as the culmination of the Minor Arcana and their myriad lessons. Hence, she is symbolic of great wisdom and understanding. Pictured in Winter, we know she is in the Winter of her life, an older member of the family. But the stream outside still flows telling us that she has not frozen to a halt but still feels the connection to her world, as she represents the Watery part of Air.

The whole scene is one of beauty and serenity, and I love Genetti's discussion:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandra Genetti
She is the representation of nature becoming conscious of itself. It is part of this woman's duty to exemplify this in her life by her awareness of the beauty and magic of nature. Because she is a part of nature, she is duty bound to be a part of its beauty in every action, no matter how insignificant and small.
This portrays the Queen as a person with a perfect balance between knowing and feeling. This balance could be aptly described as "awareness". In Western society, we have a vague impression of tradtional Eastern culture as having better "awareness" than our own. Whether this is the case or not, this Queen evokes in the viewer a desire for that calm sense of knowing and feeling. She inspires contemplation and a slowing-down.

\m/ Kat
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