Astrology, Tarot & Numerology

The Mask, the Shield, and the Sword

Do you remember that game Rock Paper Scissors? Remember how paper beats rock by covering it up? Hold on to that thought because it is an analogy for something we all possess.

Today, I am going to mix my modalities a bit.  I am going to mix a little Astrology and Tarot.

First, we are going to revisit the birth chart.  When looking at a birth chart, the most basic aspects to look at are the sun, moon and ascendant.  The sun indicates your personality.  The moon indicates how you express your heart, how you express your emotions.  And then there is your rising sign or ascendant.

A few weeks ago, spirit described the ascendant as one’s “mask, shield and sword”.  I had previously learned it as your outer personality, the personality you tend to exhibit to those you do not know.

If your sun sign were a rock, your rising sign would be paper. In fact, that is the gift of our rising sign. It is a tool, of our own choosing, and one that we can wield at a moment’s notice. We do this unconsciously. Many a time, when I have tried to guess someone’s sign within an hour of meeting them, I ended up guessing their rising sign (or at least the element of their rising sign).

So why did spirit describe the rising sign as the mask, shield and sword?  Well, it is a mask when we use it to hide our sun or our moon.  It is a shield when we use it for protection, and it is a sword when we defend ourselves through it.  Notice that the mask, shield and sword are just parts of a suit of armor and that there are only subtle differences between their uses.

Let’s look at some examples of how a rising sign can be put to use. Let’s say our rising sign is Leo.  Leo is a fixed fire sign ruled by the sun.  Like the sun, Leo’s like to light up the room.  They like to be the center of attention and their fixed fire energy, like the July sun, can last all day.

So, how does that work as a rising sign?  Well, Leo rising is the aspect of the performer. A person may be shy and introverted, but put them on stage and watch the Leo shine!  In this example, the rising sign is used as a mask, like during Mardi Gras or a Halloween party.  Have you ever found your inhibitions melting away when the anonymity of a mask removes all self-consciousness?

Okay, how about Leo as a shield; what would that look like?  Well, Leo is the king of the jungle and as such, has his fair share of ego. Only the best will do for the lion. In nature, the male lion often lives alone in his lofty nook.  As such, Leos can be aloof.  With Leo rising, one can shield himself from danger by separating himself from the crowd.  “I’m above that behavior,” he might say, and rather than confront a problem, he merely walks away from it.

Now Leo used as a sword is easy to spot, “I am lion, hear me roar”.  Leo, as fixed fire, has a long fuse, but once gone, his fire can burn and burn. If push comes to shove and a Leo rising is backed into a corner, watch out; his fire will burn singeing your eyebrows!

Of course, I know Leo rising so well because I am one!  And, for whatever reason, we seem to run in packs because I know more people with Leo rising than any other.

So, the rising sign, like any other characteristic of our chart is an aspect of ego and ego is nothing more that that part of us that makes us unique.  The rising sign, when used as a mask, shield or sword, separates us from our surroundings.  In this regard, it is again simply an aspect of ego.  In reality, we are not separate, but thanks to ego, we experience ourselves separated from All That Is, and for a reason. Sometimes we love it, sometimes we hate it, but this separation always serves us.

The degree of separation is a choice however, and this brings us to the 2nd part of this blog.

Recently, I have been pulling the 4 of Pentacles in many readings I have done for myself.  The 4 of Pentacles is a little tricky because it can be very positive or fairly negative.

Pentacles represent earth and therefore physical matter.  It can represent our body, our home, or money.  It can also represent our work meaning our livelihood, how we make a living and support ourselves.

To me, physical matter is just slow moving energy and thus the 4 of Pentacles can also represent non-physical energy held within the body and mind.

Four is the number of stability.  It is a platform that once reached, gives us a reprieve from otherwise constant growth.  Often, when reaching the four, things feel pretty good.  Initial goals have been reached and the choice to continue or not is often ours.

So one can interpret the 4 of Pentacles as financial security, a stable job and a stable income.  It can mean money in the bank, savings, having enough with some left over.  When the 4 of Pentacles comes up, we have already successfully created something that we desired.

But at times, the possessions we own own us.  At the 4 of Pentacles, we now have something to lose!  Fear of loss causes us to protect our cache (or our cash).  Fours are conservative and the 4 of Pentacles maximally.

If you look at the card, you will see a man who is holding on to his coins.  They are often times depicted as very large in comparison to his size.  When you look at him, rather than basking in luxury like the woman on the 9 of Pentacles, he looks like a miser, pinching each penny he spends.

So while the 4 of Pentacles can indicate financial success and stability, it can also indicate over protection and stinginess.  It can indicate our cutting off of abundance with fear.

In one deck that I have, the miser clutches his giant coins in front of a wall that is taller than he is (or nearly so).  Spirit said to me once when I was doing a reading for another, “he cannot surpass the wall unless he lets go of the load”.  The coins are large because at this point, what we are holding on to is greater than our own weight.

Once, when in a particularly clear conversation with spirit, they spoke to me about protection.  They said, you can walk around with your skin off, naked and unprotected, or you can walk around in a suit of armor.  When you are unprotected, you can more easily get hurt, but your growth will be fast.  When you are coated in armor, you will feel safe, but with safety comes very slow growth.

And, of course, there are all of the states in between.

And that’s where the rising sign comes in.  Our rising sign is the suit of armor we chose before we were born.  We all have one.  It is with us at all times and can be put on instantaneously.  If we feel unsafe, it is there for our protection.

But it doesn’t have to be used. The knight sheds his armor when he makes love to his lady.

Spirit always says to me, “All choices are valid”. It is your choice.  Protect yourself when you desire protection and expose yourself when you want to. But remember the way of The Fool. He knows that when he asks for growth, spirit may guide him to shed his clothes and run through the forest.  Will he look foolish? Sure. But appearing foolish is not foolish.  Spirit knows what his heart desires and spirit also knows how he is keeping it from himself.  The Fool’s Journey is always from where we are to where we want to be and there are infinite ways to get there.  You can take the fast track or meander the scenic one. You can rest in the sun or frolic through the grass.

Look at your rising sign and compare it to your sun and moon.  Learn how you protect yourself and how you hide your more vulnerable parts from others.  Then ask yourself if you are over-protecting yourself.  Maybe, to reach your most desired goal, it is time to lay down the mask, shield and sword, most especially the sword.

If you need any assistance in looking at these aspects and getting divine guidance on any of it, I am happy to help.  For a cost of $40 and via email, I will be happy to look up your rising, sun and moon signs and gather some guidance for you from spirit on the combination.  We can even focus on a particular subject for the reading.

And I now offer one-question tarot readings via email for only $30, a most affordable way to receive some tools to help you on your way. Visit my website and/or email me for more details.

Many blessings to you as we travel this most beautiful season of the year!


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