Celtic Wisdom Protector

Celtic Wisdom Protector

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: The Protector shows Belenus on the right and Dis Pater on the left, with the chalk-hill figure of Epona, making a strong protector triad upon the hillside leading to the Otherworldly Plain of Delight. Belenus (The Shining One) gave his name to the festival of Beltane, or the “fires of Bel”, when May and the bright half of the year is celebrated. Dis Pater was the Father of the Ancestors, the one who welcomes the dead to the summerlands. The White Horse of Uffington in England shows the dynamic, liberating presence of Epona, who opens the door to the summerlands. An introduced tree, the Apple became immediately widespread and has an important place in folklore.
Keywords: Wholeness, happiness, attainment, success, simple joy and pleasures, devotion, fortunate meetings, gratitude for life, marriage, good health, openness, sincerity, safety after peril, contented circumstances.
Reversed: Hollowness, unhappiness, broken engagements or relationships, intolerance of shadows, such as inability to accept death, political correctness taken to extremes, no change to enjoy life, lack of fulfillment, maintaining the status quo.
Soul-Wisdom: Who are you in your true self?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: Looking at this card I sense its sizzling energy. The Sun is radiant and bursting with life, apples frame the solar face, swirling spirals appear in two spots and the white horse seems to be preparing to charge off the card. It zips and zings with radiance and energy. The figures on the card represent three different Celtic deities – Belenus, Dis Pater and Epona. I found this interesting because this card is composed predominantly of male imagery but the word for Sun in Gaelic is feminine. However there is no evidence that the Celts actually had a specifically solar deity. They had many deities whose names meant shining or light but they were not solar deities per se. Epona is considered a horse goddess and, like many Celtic goddesses associated with horses, may also be connected with sovereignty and solar energies (Rhiannon, Macha, etc.) but is not a Sun goddess. Epona also has the honor of being the only Celtic deity worshipped in Rome in her own right, without being merged with a Roman god first. She had her place in the sun.

Looking at this card, I see a supplicant honoring Epona beneath the rays of a benevolent sun. The supplicant is thanking his gods for all that is positive in his life and the blessings brought to his family. He understands the cycle of life and realizes that with the good comes the bad and that change is part of the natural order but he appreciates when things are going well for him and wishes to acknowledge and thank the gods. This card offers a sense of contentment and pleasure, being on a green hillside beneath the rays of the sun. It suggests the blessings of the gods upon the supplicant and upon the land and by extension upon us all. It reminds us to celebrate and embrace our moments in the sun, our time in the spotlight, because it will inevitably change some day.

Wheel of Change Sun

Wheel of Change Sun

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
ISBN #0-89281-609-0

The Book says: When you have drawn this card in your reading; it is a time of recognition for you. You have just been able to see the independence of something against the complex background of the world. Perhaps this is something inside of you, but it need not be. You realize that because you are now able to see that the individuality of all people is the issue and that any relationship is between two separate individuals. We are each traveling our own path and experiencing a brief moment called life. It is a learning journey, and the light of the sun is the light within each of us that grows brighter and then dimmer as we travel. The Sun is a metaphor for the recognition of individuality, both our own and others. When the Sun is part of your reading, it is a time of new beginnings, and like the winter solstice it is a time when the warm light within you grows stronger.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card is reminder of the possibilities of new beginnings and the potential present in every child. I worked with children on a daily basis and it was wonderful to see the untapped possibilities present in each of their faces. Their Sun energy shone so brightly and so strongly that you believed they could accomplish anything. These two children, standing together holding hands, would almost be a perfect symbol for unity and racial harmony. They represent hope for a bright future and the youthful joy and exuberance symbolized by the sun. They are also a reminder that each time we begin a new project or pursue a new path in our lives we are tapping into this solar energy. Think about how excited we become about new opportunities and new interests in our lives. On a smaller level, I feel this way each time I get a new deck of Tarot cards. There is the excitement of getting something new, the joy of becoming acquainted, the new sense of inspiration and enthusiasm. When we gain new insight into our lives or to a situation, we are feeling the Sun’s energy.

The Sun is so full of hope, joy and exuberance that it brings a smile to the face. Have you ever walked outdoors on a warm sunny day and turned your face to the sun, just enjoying its warmth and light? Have you ever watched a sunrise or sunset and just been awed by the gorgeous colors streaming across the sky? Whenever I feel myself shining and bristling with confidence and energy, I know I’m channeling the Sun’s energy. The Sun represents our chance to dazzle others with our brilliance and revel in our accomplishments; our time to enjoy our place in the spotlight. We should all experience moments when we are truly the center of our own universe.

This card is also a reminder that although we all need to work together for certain goals, we are individuals. When we join forces we do not meld into one being; we are separate but joined like pieces of a puzzle. I can also see this being the key to equality in our lives. We don’t all need to be the same, we just need to accept that each of us has a value and worth. Even in any relationship in our lives, we do not truly merge with that person or those people. We retain our individuality, our separate beliefs, attitudes and ideas. If we don’t we run the risk of becoming too dependant or getting involved in an abusive relationship. The Sun is both a symbol of hope, a sense of self and future possibilities.

Here comes the Sun – Sekhmet!

Dark Goddess Sekhmet

Starting today I am beginning my Dark Goddess labyrinth work with The Sun aka Sekmet. I have to admit to an enduring fondness for The Sun’s energy. Even from my earliest childhood I felt a much stronger connection to the Sun and daylight than I did to the Moon and nighttime. This is ironic considering I am a confirmed night owl but what can I say, I’m nothing if not inconsistent about some things. I have also long felt an affinity for Sekhmet’s energy. She is assertive, aggressive and energetic; roaring out her anger and affection with equal measure. This confident lioness could only be stopped in her destruction by blood colored beer. I gotta love a goddess who can only be slowed down by an alcoholic beverage.

Dark Goddess 3 of Air

To start off our relationship, I asked Sekhmet for a message and she sent me Blue Dakini/3 of Air. This goddess reminds me that in order for something new to bloom, I must excise what is dead and outworn. This is often a difficult process because there are times when what is apparently outdated and work out can carry great sentimental value. Although as I am learning, clinging to the past can often blind us to what promise lies ahead.

The appearance of the Blue Dakini also reminded me of another aspect of The Sun’s energy can be overlooked – the sun’s light is a purifier. It bleaches away stains and destroys bacteria. It’s a powerful source of energy, light and warmth. It is what allows life to exist on Earth. All of these are amazing gifts but they can also have harsher aspects. Too much light or heat can blind or dehydrate. Too much energy can be exhausting. If we destroy all bacteria then we risk killing off the good ones too. So it is clearly a question of balance. The destructive aspects of the Sun are essential and necessary but they certainly should not overshadowing its more beneficent ones. During the journey ahead I’m sure I will find harsh light shed on areas of my life I’ve preferred to avoid and at the same time once I clear away those hidden, shadowy areas I’ll be making room for more creative projects and radiant energy.

Reversed Suns All in a Row

Sacred Bridges Sun

For the last two weeks during my card of the day readings I drew the Sun reversed five times. I was using the Sacred Bridges Tarot so the card is title The Daughter and as I looked at the image of a small child sprouting forth from the earth under the benevolent, radiant rays of the sun I was struck by its message. The Sun reversed is telling me that I need to find ways to be the sun in my own life; to find ways to validate myself for what I accomplish.

This is an interesting message because for much of my life my quest was for external validation. In fact I sometimes thing that I pursued the approval of others to such a degree that I sublimated my own desires and dreams. Without conscious thought I shift my priorities to ensure that I would receive the external validation I craved. In elementary and high school I was the kind of student who learned to give the teachers what they wanted from me. I never (or rarely) stirred up controversy (although one time in history class I do recall asking a male teacher why male sluts got societal approval while female sluts were condemned – he has no answer). I sometimes tailored assignments and papers to cater to the teachers’ preferences and egos. I was quite good at it. Don’t get me wrong, I still had to do the work but I can’t say that I blazed any new trails.

Then I met my husband. This man and Bugs Bunny taught me everything I know about being a smart ass ball-buster. So by time I got to college I wasn’t as focused on pleasing the instructors or catering to their preferences but I still craved external validation and approval. I also have an almost overwhelming need to avoid feeling ignorant that just feeds into this pattern. Once I graduated and began working full-time I quickly learned that the way to positive performance evaluations, promotions and raises is by keeping the boss happy. Once again – external validation and approval. This pattern continued throughout my career and proved fairly successful for me.

Now I’m at a phase in my life where external validations, approval and recognition are rare. The only way to feed my ego (and like everyone else’s it does require regular tending and feeding) I need to find alternative, creative ways to validate myself. I can’t rely on positive feedback or even appreciation from any else. The two family members I car for certainly can’t do it. So getting this message (repeatedly) from the Universe got to me (although it did take a while).

Now I just have to remember that I can be my own sun, I can find ways to nurture and encourage myself. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t seek external validation, simply that I don’t need to exclusively rely on them. I just need to remind myself that my opinion counts too. If I feel I’m doing a good job or deserve praise for something, that is just as validating as getting it from someone else. I just need to remind myself that I’m the only one who can truly let the sun go down on me.