August 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

7 of Wands – Courage

Seven wands reach for the moon. This card always makes me think of someone standing on tippy-toes, stretching as tall as they can, yet the thing they want remains out of reach. These wands are striving so hard to reach their goal yet they’re still clinging to the rocks. Is it fear that holds them back? The rocks are familiar, safe. They provide stability. But it’s madness to believe you can touch the moon without taking your feet off the ground.

What is courage? It’s a quality of spirit that pushes us forward in spite of fear. The word screws itself into a ball, like fear tightening your heart in your chest. Courage comes in all forms. Telling someone how you feel about them takes a lot of courage. So does standing up to the bad guys, or even the good guys if you think they’re doing something wrong. Anytime we put any part of ourselves on the line, we are courageous. Even when we know there’s a chance we’ll get hurt, the consequences of not doing anything are worse than the prospect of failure. Maybe just the smallest glimmer of hope that we might succeed is enough to help us overcome our biggest fears.

It takes courage to change the status quo as well. There’s nothing wrong with not leaving those rocks but could you live with yourself if you never even tried? That’s what this card is speaking to me about today. I’m trying to make a big change in my life and, at times, the enormity of it overwhelms me and I start allowing compromise to creep in. I start looking for a safety net. What if I didn’t take such a big step all at once? Would it really be that bad? Things aren’t so bad where I am so why take such a big risk? It’s very difficult to leave the familiar when you’re not entirely sure what you’re leaving it for.

The hexagram on this card is 40, Loosening. It symbolizes release from obstruction and from whatever has been holding you back. Knowing what that is is half the battle. If you look closely at the base of the wands (starting with the leftmost) you can see that the first, fifth and sixth wands aren’t touching the rocks. They have begun to rise, to leave behind the safety and stability of the rocks. With this small but tremendous act of courage they are on their way to the moon.

Some courageous quotes:

Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.  ~Arthur Koestler

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.  ~Ambrose Redmoon

Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.  ~Raymond Lindquist

But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail. ~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

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