Tarot - 08 Minor Arcana - 02s Balance
Type of Spiritual Experience
Twos carry messages of balance and imbalance. When a Two arises in the Tarot, you cannot move forward until equilibrium is reached, and balance is restored.
As we have seen the sub-conscious [03 cards] is always symbolically thought of as ‘feminine’. As we progress even further spiritually into the Major Arcana this feminine wisdom directs The High Priestess, the Empress, and of course the symbolic Moon.
The Conscious [group of 04s] is always symbolically thought of as ‘masculine. And thus as we progress even further spiritually into the Major Arcana this masculine wisdom directs the Magician, The Emperor, the Hierophant and of course the symbolic Sun.
Thus in terms of progression/ascension, if one is able to Balance the refined and improved left brained Intellect [Conscious mind] with the refined and improved right brained Intuitive side [Sub-conscious], then one is on the way to achieving the final breakthrough spiritually.
A description of the experience
Disc [Earth] - Change
In the Two of Pentacles, a young man dances about attempting to juggle two coins in his hands. In the background, two ships sail the high seas, bobbing up and down on the huge waves – a symbol of the ups and downs of life and rough seas ahead. In other words, this is about managing change and trying to keep in balance. It is about how to handle challenges, life changes [Earth] and energy changes
The infinity symbol links the coins. The symbol of infinity represents the two linked aspects the two parts – ‘male’ and ‘female’ of the spirit. It is occasionally combined symbolically with the serpent – this time as a symbol of creation and destruction – and a sign of perfect balance of energy.
Crowley’s card even uses the ouroboros, but an ouroboros with a kink in its middle and the yin/yang symbol to denote balance.
Cup [Water] - Love
The Two of Cups shows a man and woman, representing the masculine and feminine in us all, exchanging cups.
Above them floats the Caduceus symbol – a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it. At the top of the caduceus is a lion’s head. The Caduceus symbol is associated with all forms of healing. Asclepius the god of medicine and healing in the Greek pantheon used a snake entwined staff as his symbol and it from this that the caduceus is derived.
Thus through the balance of masculine and feminine energy, as well as the balance of conscious [masculine] and subconscious [feminine] , one could symbolically discover the golden lion – the Higher spirit. Thus balance in this card represents the spiritual experience of Ecstasy. On some cards this is even shown as ‘rapture’, the chemical wedding, bride and bridegroom, the hieros gamos or mystic marriage.
Crowley’s card shows this graphically using cups, flows of spirit energy and a lotus to denote the crown chakra.
Sword [Air] - Peace
There are some great differences between the cards depicting this stage of ascent. Some are optimistic and indeed show a sort of balance and a time of peace before the final onslaught, others emphasise what a very risky time this is – balanced as it were on a knife edge.
In Rider Waite’s card [left] he shows that balance has been achieved by the perfect symmetry of the crossed swords. On the other hand he indicates that it is not based on complete knowledge. The blindfold over her eyes tell us that her knowledge is incomplete. Behind the woman is a body of water dotted with rocky islands. The water represents the emotions and, while the Suit of Swords traditionally associates with the mind and intellect, its presence shows that the woman must use both her head and her heart to keep in balance otherwise she will – figuratively speaking – end up on the rocks.
Aleister Crowley puts far more emphasis on the temporary feeling of peace before a storm that this stage can bring. Overall he is far more positive, whilst adding a few warnings:
This card is ruled by Chokmah in the element of Air. This suit, governing all intellectual manifestations, is always complicated and disordered. It is subject to change as is no other suit. It represents a general shaking-up, resulting from the conflict of Fire and Water in their marriage; ….. But the purity and exaltation of Chokmah are such that this card manifests the very best idea possible to the suit. The energy abides above the onslaught of disruption. This comparative calm is emphasized by the celestial attribution: the Moon in Libra. The Moon is change, ….., Libra represents balance; between them, they regulate the energy of the Swords. In the card appear two swords crossed; they are united by a blue rose with five petals. This rose represents the influence of the Mother, whose harmonizing influence compounds the latent antagonism native to the suit. The Rose emits white rays, producing a geometrical pattern that emphasizes the equilibrium of the symbol.
Wand [Fire] - Dominion/Will
The Two of Wands is a card of balance and indicates that the balance has become established, meaning one can start using the inspiration and wisdom it brings with more confidence. One can see the progression of ascension here quite clearly, from the shaky position of the disks, to the union achieved in cups and sense of confidence and peace achieved via the union, one can now march ahead knowing that whatever input is received will be sound and useful. One can detect one’s growing capabilities, and growth of inner-wisdom.
With this new found stability in balance come new attributes - grace, harmony, adaptability, diplomacy, insightfulness, decisiveness, sensitivity and flexibility and the need to use this new power wisely. But it also indicates a need for independence and solitude; “assert your independence and do not allow others to deny you this freedom. You should not allow yourself to be drawn into something against your will. Show strength”
………….. “The Two of Wands tells of leadership and new beginnings, of independence and perfected justice for all. The message of the Two of Wands is ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’”
The source of the experienceTarot, the
Concepts, symbols and science items
SymbolsBride and bridegroom
Four seasons and the hours
Masculine and feminine
Activities and commonsteps