The Shadowscapes Tarot called me today, and the cards I threw are The World (wheee!) and the Nine of Pentacles reversed.
The Universe/World, which corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and material, stable and practical energy that is slow to change), Saturn (discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance), Thav (mark or sign), and the Path between Malkuth (the physical world of action and physical, outer reality) and Yesod (the place where patterns and images emerge that may manifest into the physical world) is a card of integration and involvement and understanding, a crystallization of the entire issue at hand. “Completion” is one traditional interpretation of this card, but “completion” is too simple a word to apply without qualificaiton. Like the Seven of Pentacles, this card tells of a slowing down of movement and effect; this time the slow-down is happening because the manifestation is complete. This can be good, yes, but it can also represent a bit of opposition or obstinacy. The completeness of manifestation in this instance is set in stone; while it may also be the catalyst that begins the new cycle, the current cycle cannot be changed.
The Shadowscapes World card shows a woman surrounded by verdant and lush green foliage all capped with a beautiful starry night sky lit by a full, glowing moon, gazing into a large crystal ball that appears to be a smaller version of that moon, also glowing. The glow of the two orbs seems to be connected, as if the energies of the moon and the orb were passing back and forth. Beautiful red-breasted birds accompany the woman, and the man in the moon appears to be a bird in the moon. This card is about patterns reflected, about “as above, so below; as below, so above,” and about the “now” and all its accomplishments, rather than the past or the future.
The Nine of Pentacles (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented) in an upright position tells of accomplishment through the imposition of discipline. The Nine of Pentacles sometimes reminds me of The Empress, and in a lot of ways this card in an upright position can be seen as a Minor Arcana version of The Empress.
I love the image on this Shadowscapes card! A woman sits in front of a piano that appears to be a part of a tree, playing for her own pleasure. The trees are green, and the branches appear to be leaning over and spiraling toward the piano and its player. Music and the playing of a musical instrument is a great metaphor for the energies of this card; after all, playing the piano takes discipline, but once we’ve got the hang of it we can enjoy what we’ve accomplished.
There is a clear message here: enjoy my accomplishments (because they are substantial, and they are effectively bringing balance into my life), but beware of seeing these accomplishments through rose-colored glasses. After all, balance is temporary and once I enjoy it for a bit, I need to begin building something new or that nice balance will begin to morph into lethargy!