Sorry I couldn’t post yesterday, I was on Mom duty from the get go.
Today we have a very important message. We begin with the Five of Cups.
The Five of Cups is a card about feeling loss and regret, often however when we experience the Five of Cups, we are tending to look at life from the “glass half empty” point of view. We may have had a rough go of it, but like this fellow in the picture, we can become so immersed in our problem that all we see are the spilled cups, we do not notice that behind us there are two cups left standing.
Next to the Five of Cups, we have the Two of Wands.
The Two of Wands is about personal power, it is the universal power of the Magician, harnessed and channeled by our own actions. Sitting beside the Five of cups, the Two of Wands reminds us that although things look bad, we do have the power to change them, perhaps even if it is the power to shift our perspective and look at the situation from a higher viewpoint. This is reflected and expanded on by the next card, The Hierophant, in the form of the great bard Taliesin.
Traditionally, the Hierophant represents knowledge, learning and wisdom in the traditional, institutional sense. He represents teachers, therapists, doctors, and ministers. On one level, this reading may indicate that perhaps you find yourself struggling with a physical, mental or emotional condition that is bringing you down. It’s time now to look at your choices, take responsibility for your own health and find a professional to help you do so.
On another level, the Hierophant is a reminder that whatever we go through makes us stronger. These challenges that come to us, allow us the opportunity to face them, realize our personal power and then become the wounded healer who helps others to face their challenges as well. Challenge is an opportunity to gain wisdom.
In this deck as I mentioned, the Hierophant is represented by the great bard Taliesin. His story begins as a boy known as Gwion Bach. Gwion Bach was hired by the Great Goddess Ceridwen to stir a brew in her cauldron, that she had mixed for her son. She created this brew to give to her son because he was very ugly and she felt he needed some extra help to get along in the world. The brew itself was to be stirred for a year and a day, at which time it would be ready and the first three drops of the brew would give the recipient of it great wisdom and power. After working so hard, Ceridwen fell asleep and when the brew was ready, Gwion Bach, by accident or by design, depending on which version of the story you hear, took the first three drops. Cerridwen was incensed, she chased the boy down, but now having the power of magick, he shape shifted several times to get away from her. She persued him until eventually, he turned into a grain of wheat hidden in a barn, thinking that she would not be able to discern him from any other grain. She turned into a chicken, dug him up, and swallowed him. As a result of her taking him into herself, she became pregnant and gave birth to him. She had intended to kill him upon his birth but he was so beautiful that she couldn’t do it. She sent him to drift in the ocean and he was saved by prince Elphin. The baby was so beautiful that Elphin called him Taliesin, which means shining brow. The name shining brow is not only a statement of physical beauty, but is also a statement about the intellect, and wisdom.
So, if you are still with me, scholars interpret this story to be an allegory about the stages of initiation that Druids once went through to achieve their highest form and office within the religion. That period of darkness within the belly of the Great Goddess is representative of the dark time that is taken before being reborn into something new and wonderful, much like a butterfly in a cocoon.
If we integrate this myth into our reading it gives us great hope, that these challenges whether they be emotional or physical, if met with our personal power, represent this dark time within the belly of the Goddess, they represent our time of confrontation of our shadow selves before being reborn with the “shining brow” of wisdom.
- The Story of Ceridwen and Taliesin for All Year Round (emilylaurens.wordpress.com)
- Taliesin the Last Celtic Shaman by John Matthews – Book Review (theoakwheel.wordpress.com)
- Pagan Blog Project – T: Taliesin the Bard (gaypaganuk.wordpress.com)