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Courage

Courage

Today’s card is Courage and it is number eight of the Major Arcana. In a more traditional tarot deck, this card would be known as the Devil. The Major Arcana are used as a teaching tool to introduce the initiate (seeker) to the principles of occult worship. Each represents a point along our evolutionary path as magickal beings and discussed the science, and the mysticism, that work in tune to guide our journey as spiritual seekers. As in any tarot deck, this journey begins with Initiation (The Fool), representing innocence and new beginnings. But while the Major Arcana have a finite number, the journey through them continually begins again as the spiral of our existence plays out.
The keywords for this card are Finding Inner Strength and Courage in the Face of Adversity. Pictured here we have a mother and daughter, both of whom are merging with the energy of the bear. The bear/woman stands undaunted by life; she knows she has the strength, confidence, and courage to accomplish anything to which she sets her intentions. Her half-shifted daughter is secure at her side. She knows that she can explore her growing abilities in the shelter of her mother’s loving care. Much like the bear, this mother will protect and defend her child with the ferocity and single-minded purpose with which a mamma bear protects her cubs. The senior shapeshifter in this scene has balanced and aligned herself with all aspects of nature; this is seen in the vines that belt her waist, the garland of blossoms that hang around her neck and the crown of flowers in her hair. The circular necklace itself symbolizes the eternal, fertile womb of the Goddess, while the gold of her earrings and torc around her neck represent the riches that a purpose-driven heart can reveal to Spirit.
Here, she also represents all women and the green snake at her feet is an ancient symbol of the mystical labyrinth that is each seeker’s path. In her hand, this merged bear/woman holds a sphere of brilliant light; this signifies the guiding spiritual light in her life. Her emotions flow free and clear in a fresh pool of water. She has passed the lessons of the Father and has learned self-control, thus allowing her to move on to the next phase of her journey. The robins flying overhead symbolize the happiness that is gained in all parts of our lives when we search for spiritual advancement.
This card appears to tell us that we must learn the value of proper timing. There is a time to be gentle, a time to stand one’s ground, and a time for fierce action to protect yourself from physical harm and negativity. Gentle controlled resistance to opposition comes from understanding the nature of Bear energy. When we fill ourselves with spiritual energy, we are on our way to overcoming material pressures and fears, oppositions, and attacks.
May your gut tell you with clarity when you should be gentle and when it is time to release your inner GRIZZLY!