Wheel of Change - The Sixes


I got so much out of working with these cards. They seemed to resonate with me and where I'm at in my life right now, and I got the most delicious sense of tension and balance from them. They made me feel powerful . . .

\m/ Kat


Six of Disks

Sixes offer a choice, and highlight an inner conflict. Here, inthe Suit of Earth, it has to do withour world and our use of its resources.

The money is, of course, an apt represntation of Disks. The coins are actually disks, while the paper money, in our minds, is exactly the same thing. Money enables us in developed areas to obtain the things we need. But it also increases our spiritual distance from our own needs, and hence from the world that fulfils them. We often have more money than is necessary to buy that which we need, enabling us to begin fulfilling wants. Over time, a want becomes perceived as a need, and thus our dmands on our world grow heavier. This represents the upward-pointing triangle of the Six - as our "needs" escalate, the base of the triangle (the resources required to keep us happy) must broaden. As the disconenction increases, so does the impact. Thus is suffering caused.

The zebra skin, cowrie shells and blood represent a different way of dealing with this issue. The skin came off an animal killed for meat. It represnts the teamwork of a number of hunters who understand that for them to eat roast that night, a living thing must die. The skin, carefully tanned and prepared, shows the respect the hunters have for the animal's beauty and sacrifice. It is valuable.

The cowrie shells are beautiful things, and their resemblance to female genitalia makes them sacred to the Goddess. They connect the wearer spiritually to the Divine Feminine, and serve as a constant reminder of the innate value of small things.

The blood represents giving something of yourself. Blood gives us life; in shedding it through hard work we learn the true, meaningful value of the result of that work, be it a house or a fence or a salad. When we ourselves invest such a personal thing as physical labour or blood in somthing, its value ot us increases and we are less likely to waste it.

The dice call to mind gambling. Gambling is seen as a great way to throw away your money, and so the dice reprimand us for wasting the gifts of the Earth. By pursuing unnecessary wants, we are gambling not with our own money, but the lives and happiness of poorer people and the future of the very planet we live on.

\m/ Kat


Six of Wands

Despite the pretty colour palette in this card, it is nonetheless a disturbing image. This is fitting, however, given the card’s connotations of surfacing psychological demons and responsible use of resources.

The oil refinery first elicits a vehement denial from the viewer. We all know what it is, that it is ugly not only as a visual image but also as a symbol that confronts us with responsibility and consequence. It is because of humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels that the refinery is there; the environmental impact of such installations is well known (as is that of their products), but by virtue of their huge scale and a sheer effort of wilful ignorance, we manage to absolve ourselves of our personal contribution to the refinery’s ongoing presence.

Let us consider fossil fuels, and their products, as an implied symbol in the image. As Genetti discusses, crude oil, as the fossilised product of prehistory, is a potent symbol for the human subconsciousness, and perhaps even our collective consciousness. These two parts of our mind are products of history – one’s personal history in the first instance, and cultural legacy in the second. The crude oil metaphor tells us many things about these parts of ourselves; they bear little or no resemblance to their original form; they are both rich in potential and highly toxic; to be useful, they must be “refined:, or alchemically split into component parts; exploring them will be like scuba diving in crude oil (dark, viscous, frightening, cold, difficult and distasteful); what we obtain will be highly volatile; and most of all, by dredging these things up, one must accept that there will be “by-products” which must be disposed of responsibly.

Fossil fuel derivatives have given humanity extraordinary power. The energy caught within is basically distilled solar power, and having such vast amounts of pure energy at our disposal has enabled mind-boggling feats of technology, engineering and creation. But after a couple of hundred years of this rampant outgrowth, subsequent generations are left with a poisoned world and a crippling economic substance dependence.

As a metaphor for the psyche, this legacy can teach the seeker to approach their subconscious reserves with great mindfulness. While the dark Self might provide one with boundless creative fuel, the residue that remains must also be dealt with rather than simply dumping anger, regret, unrest and anxiety upon those around us.

Similarly, the product of creative energy must be carefully considered for its effect upon the wider world. Undoubtedly, rampant creative spirit fused with religious fervour to produce the Malleus Maleficarum, and the result was thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of people were persecuted, burnt, drowned and tortured because it was unleashed.

\m/ Kat


Six of Cups

This card features an image of turmoil and great sadness. The rain evokes a distinct impression of tears, the lightning recalls The Tower; the stormy atmosphere echoes various other cards in the deck (8 of Cups, Knight of Wands, Ace of Swords – even Temperance features rain). In this Six, the rain symbolises tears of loss and sadness, dejection, hopelessness. The storm represents turmoil.

As the Six of the Suit, this card shows an inherent pull in two directions. Whilst the broken pots, driving rain and desolate, abandoned atmosphere of the pueblo evoke feelings of crushing sadness and hopelessness, yet there is the promise of a bright new day in the glorious sunrise above the clouds. It counsels hope, faith and positivity.

So while the foreground of the image is so sad and seems to loom over the viewer with no hope of reprieve, a longer perspective brings comfort. The card speaks of not only natural human optimism and survival instinct, but on the other hand it confronts us with an eloquent image of our perverse desire to wallow in Self pity. By using this sadness to dominate the picture, the creator conveys that it’s okay to feel sad, it’s necessary to grieve for a lost way of life or a lost choice. However, the sunrise is a gentle yet uplifting reminder that the grief will – must – pass, and the Sun will shine on a renewed life.

For the rain is bringing forth living things – the sprouting corn – despite the apparently inclement weather. More seeds await their chance to unfold and gather the glory of the daylight into a reaching, growing plant. These seeds are contained in the centre of the group of broken pots, in the smallest pot, the only one that remains whole. The pots surrounding it, though broken, still bear the markings of important cultural motifs. This symbolises that, although one’s life and world might fall apart, as long as our memory of that lost culture survives, it may be rebuilt. This message is echoed by the pueblo buildings. Made of Earth, they disintegrate slowly in the rain, leaving an echo, a suggestion, of their whole form so that the occupants may rebuild their shelters.

The sunrise might also be seen as a sunset. In this guise, it would speak of a glorious ending, which, though undeniably sad, should nonetheless be celebrated and remembered.

\m/ Kat


Six of Swords

Like the Six of Cups, this is a desolate image, and with its graphic representation of a life ended, seems a bad omen. The actions implied, both those of the upward-pointing triangle in the crafted stone tools, and the downward-pointing triangle in the dying caribou, bespeak a drawing-in of the consciousness, a bracing against inevitable adversity.

The tools represent the upward-pointing triangle of the Six because they began as something larger, with the form of the tool trapped inside. By chipping way the outside, the craftsman reduced the stone’s size, but brought the blade to light. Some of the stone was discarded, sacrificed to the soul of the tool. The tools symbolise economy, and in their careful packaging, an element of planning.

The bleeding animal symbolises the downward-pointing triangle, as something large being returned to its component parts. The blood drains downward, to the Earth through the point of the triangle. The caribou will become smaller and smaller, until it moves into existence only as parts of other living things.

The snow and sunset chill the viewer, evoking a Midwinter feeling. The longest night is a time when ancient humans sensed a thinning of this world, and they feared an endless descent into Winter and darkness through the downward-pointing triangle. This is represented by the rift in the snow where the stars of the Universe shine through. In a hard time, a person must find the courage to wait out the Winter, for the promise of Spring brings renewed vigour, life and opportunity. This promise is signalled by the geese, returning North after the worst of the Winter snows have gone.

The card counsels courage and prudence, during what may be a hart time, financially or personally. It is well-known that ancient tribes respected the animals they killed and consequently very little of the animal was wasted. Practical economy and a basic awareness of the source of our nourishment will aid us in bracing ourselves against a Wintertime.

\m/ Kat