9 of Wands Ride the Lightning

(Boy does this music bring back a flood of old memories!)

Tarotwise it has been like a rollercoaster this past week! 

I have the 9 of Wands rough sketch nearly done.  Last week I thought I had it and then I didn’t have it at all.  I just couldn’t reconcile the opposing natures of it, I couldn’t figure out why I was seeing the tiger image so strongly yet it didn’t really differentiate itself from the 8 of Wands and didn’t express the idea I had for the 9 of Wands.  I was thinking of the Tiger as this powerful wild beast that represented the power and ferocity of the subconscious.  But, how can that be?  How can that lead into the 10 of Wands which is the rider on a white horse…often thought to be the anti-christ but to me is a savior figure itself.  That requires thoughtful consciousness, not brute force, doesn’t it?  That subconscious power, to me, is  more in the realm of Cups/Water.

So I thought and thought and read and drew and contemplated until my head was ready to explode, nay, it did explode.  I actually felt psychically fatigued and sick and had to lay down and take a fitful nap which I had a hard time waking from.

I started thinking, you know what?  This is bullshit!  All I’ve been doing is lying to myself and everyone else trying to believe there is some greater order to things.  I am a sham, this means nothing.    I thought about all the people I have known consumed with tarot so much their whole life was focused on it and then after they finally published their deck or book the manifestation of all that love and work, they seemed to rapidly disappear from sight never to be heard from again.  Why?  I have been perplexed about this phenomenon for some time now.   Most likely they finished their purpose and move on to the next, but in my tarotistic depression I wondered if on the eve of their completion they too realized they were shams.  (sorry, hope I don’t offend!)

My first inclination was to abandon the project now.  Cut my losses.  Then I thought, no I am so close I will just finish and then I, too will disappear.

I decided to take a few days off, in fact, I had to, my brain hurt.

The next day or so I was folding laundry when I looked over at the neglected case my bass was in.  I haven’t payed it hardly at all over the years.  My bass playing took the biggest emotional hit from the dark times.  When the Tower of my old life fell someone very close to me did what I thought was kicking me when I was down and stole and sold my basses.  Some I didn’t care about but my favorite I did.  It was like a symbol of all of my love for music (gosh, see a pattern here?  I need physical symbols of things that are important to me, like these little tarot cards!), it was my baby. 

The police were able to recover it but after that it was tainted and I couldn’t bring myself to play it.  I finally sold it, along with other things, and bought a beautiful acoustic guitar.  Truth is, though, that I am not a guitarist, its fun to pluck around a bit on it but I got bored really fast – and that is where I have been through recent years.    This bass is one a very generous friend gave me but still I couldn’t stand to play it.

Back to the present, I pulled out the bass and began cleaning it and tuning it, then I started making adjustments to the bridge, setting the action and intonation.  I couldn’t put it down!  My fingers are so sore and happy!  My tendons and muscles are strained and abused and so incredibly happy!  Ironically it is the same kind of bass I originally learned on, and so going full circle.

It lit a fire in my belly!  It awakened something!  I think I was having some sort of crisis of faith and I couldn’t see beyond all the little details, all the correspondences and words and measures.    Here this 9 of Wands had to be the ultimate expression of the element of fire!  What does it want?  What does fire want?

To express itself, to be a hero!  To be free, to have free will, to create, to burn and change, to reach its highest creative potential!  this card means to completely harness the power of your genius and manifest it!

I think that is what I forgot, that there is a part of ourselves free from biology and all the other physical trappings.

I scrapped my old drawings right away and started a new one, back to the old idea of the woman riding the tiger, the point being that the woman is not simply an unwilling victim of the power of her subconscious but a conscious master of it.  The woman masters the tiger not on the terms of the tiger but on her own best gifts which would be different for each individual. 


Actually, I didn’t even catch the reference earlier, but I kept seeing the phrase ‘Ride the Lightning’ over and over, and puzzled about it.  That is exactly what this is!  How funny, Rex just came over to me with his dinosaur book open, a picture of lightning on the page and he said, “What is the spark of life?”  Out of the mouths of babes!

Yes!  She is riding the lightning!!!

I will have to remember that when I am really stuck with something to shift my creative energy elsewhere to get the energy flowing again and perhaps, like this time, it will explode through the blockage!

I suppose at this point you can either be blown apart by the massive energy and die, or you can harness it and be…

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3 Responses to 9 of Wands Ride the Lightning

  1. Ian says:

    So, (as I see) the KNoW is actually saying –without words– “Here. It’s yours. Ride It”.

    That’s far more energetic than what I had been expecting.


  2. Tarotsmith says:

    I hadn’t even had a chance to compare it to other cards yet, but yes! I can totally see that!

  3. Tal says:

    I think you’re right to realize that what we’re up to is a big sham. We are stuck in this stupid, fleshy, painful, sham of an existence just long enough to work out how to get out of here. Whatever tool you choose to work thins out; tarot, music, whatever is just A tool. I think it makes more sense to use as may tools as you need, you wouldn’t try to fix your car with only a screwdriver. To me, the only difference between the lightning and the sham is how much fun I’m having. Luckily if I’m not to deeply cranky, I can get to the lightning from the sham, but not always.

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