Finding balance can mean embracing the turbulence of transformation

equinox graphic scaled

For a moment, during the Autumn Equinox each Sept. 22, nature hovers in perfect balance.

This liminal space separates summer and fall, light and dark. It’s also the line between what was, and what will be.

This year knocked many of us off balance, mentally and emotionally. Our spirits can sometimes feel ragged and wrecked by the chaos and uncertainty we’ve faced every day. 

This month’s Tarotscope for the Collective is all about finding balance. Moreso, it’s about accepting that balance cannot be found by going back to where we were; that stage of our existence is over.

It’s about finding a whole new center of gravity.

Our new grasp of mental balance starts with my pulling of the Father (King) of Swords, considered in tarot to represent achievement, strength, mastery, and knowledge.

father of swords
The Father of Swords is called the King of Swords in the Wild Unknown tarot deck.

The Father of Swords is aligned with the suit of Air, which rules over the mental realm. He is perceptive, fair, and able to see and know what others cannot. 

I tend to equate the King/Father of Swords with having strong boundaries. They know when to sever ties with someone or something that is harmful to their mental well-being. The King of Swords knows how to identify a toxic presence and is able to cut it from their life.

Like the archetypal Father Figure (which is aligned with masculine energy but certainly does not have to be biologically male), the Father of Swords only wants what is best for us. Only we know what that is; only we can articulate these boundaries and desires to others with confidence and compassion.

Call on the Father of Swords when you need clarity and truth. Invoke them as a pillar of mental strength in times of uncertainty and anxiety. Allow their stoic wisdom to support and guide you in times of doubt.

For emotional balance, my drawing of the Son (Knight) of Cups is a little “emo” nod, to the dramatic and the tendency to submerge ourselves in our own emotions.

son of cups
The Knight of Cups is depicted as the Sons of Cups in the Wild Unknown tarot deck.

Knights in the tarot (depicted as Sons in this particular deck) represent the fiery, unpredictable energies of adolescence and transition. The suit of Cups is aligned with the element of Water, which rules over the emotional realm.

The Son of Cups is trying, bless their hearts. They’re learning to become emotionally mature, but aren’t quite there yet. They might have a meltdown here or there, drawing attention to just how difficult their existence is.

We can all identify with the Son of Cups. We all become frustrated and overwhelmed by constant flux. Our emotions are spilling everywhere, which can often be exhausting and unpleasant.

We may think we have to forge ahead through an emotional tsunami, when really we should let the current carry us to shore, where we can just rest for a while. The Son of Cups asks us to be more like the sea: calm one moment, and turbulent the next, fluctuating emotionally but surrendering to the flow, realigning day to day, sometimes moment to moment. 

Spiritual balance comes to us through my drawing of the Mother (Queen) of Wands, and her message is clear: Protect your spirit. At all costs. Identify where your spiritual boundaries are, and recognize what you must do to maintain them.

Queens in the tarot (depicted as Mothers in this particular deck) represent the protective, reflective, and nurturing energies of creation. Aligned with the element of Fire, the suit of Wands rules over the spiritual realm, igniting our desire, passion, inspiration, and will.

The Mother of Wands’ presence is both nurturing of our spirituality, and ready to strike at the first sign of threat. She is depicted as a snake coiled around her clutch of eggs, an image that says a lot at once.

mother of wands
The Queen of Wands is depicted as the Mother of Wands in the Wild Unknown tarot deck.

For starters, the egg shape can represent the human energy field, or aura, that emanates outward from us and connects us energetically with the world around us. When our spirit is weakened, we lose our energetic connection to the world, and we spiral, grasping for something to hold, desperate to get our feet back on the ground.

The symbolic characteristics of the snake tell us more. Snakes live close to the earth, and symbolize messengers between the Underworld and our above-ground reality, between the Upper (or Outer) and Lower (or Inner) worlds.

Snakes are sensitive to vibrations and shifts in temperature. They also regularly shed their skins as they outgrow them. Meditate for a moment on the spiritual significance of that. I’ll wait….

The Mother of Wands asks us to keep the energy of “shedding the old” close to us as we descend into the underworld of autumn. We can feel this sense of connectivity around our spirit, keeping us safe and warm.

Pulling all the realms together, the Two of Pentacles is the fourth card I pulled for this month’s tarotscope.

pentacles
The Two of Pentacles pulls together the other four cards for this tarotscope.

This card represents seeking and finding balance in material reality. The suit of Pentacles corresponds to the element of Earth, which rules over the physical world of our homes, jobs, and families. 

It also asks us to consider how we “take up space” in this world. How do we embody the roles we fill in this life? This card is an invitation to contemplate how we maintain stability and balance, in the face of so much change.

Butterflies are one of the images you’ll find on a Two of Pentacles. Butterflies, again, speak to transformation.

As we grow and change, we may occasionally fall out of balance. We will need to embody new versions of ourselves. We will need to find a new center of gravity. We will need to realign.

Let this month be about finding your new center of gravity. Turn your focus inward. Start building the hearth that will support you through our descent into the dark that is coming.

For this reading, Dawn used The Wild Unknown deck by Kim Krans.

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Author Dawn Frary is a tarot practitioner, death doulg, and raptologist who owns Folkloracle Mystery School, her private tarot practice. She is also assistant editor of The Real MainStream.

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