November 14, 2008 § Leave a comment
My card today is the Ace of Stones in the West. It’s a very simple and deeply spiritual image that, for me, really sums up the philosophy of the suit of stones as a whole. The card is dominated by a large, perfectly round stone – in itself, an unusual find in the natural world. An eagle descends to land on the stone. Beyond, a rainbow traces the curved outline of the stone in a blue sky.
Rachel Pollack writes that Haindl painted the eagle to represent Watan-Tanka. As I understand it, to the Lakota people, Watan-Tanka is the creator, god and great mystery of all there is. As I was trying to find out more about Watan-Tanka online (not an easy task) I came across this quote, which seemed appropriate for the card:
“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round….. The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours….
“Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.”
– Attributed to Black Elk Oglala Sioux Holy Man (1863-1950), found here.
The eagle coming down to touch the stone is like the spirit or the divine blessing the material world. This is why the Haindl Tarot is the only deck in which the earth suit is my favourite suit – because it closely links the everyday world of work, money, shelter, food, clothing, and the physical body with our spiritual wellbeing, instead of seeing the two as separate and incompatible.