• Erin

Giving Thanks: Gratitude in the Tarot

I sat down to try to write a small op-ed about the card(s) of gratitude in the tarot. Only to realize that there really isn’t one.



Sure, there are cards representative of abundance, appreciation, awareness, charity, fortune, grace, selflessness, trumps containing promises that the universe provides, and even, on the opposite end of the spectrum, ungratefulness.


But I struggled to find one card that truly embodied the full spectrum of gratitude. And, perhaps, that is because we, as humans, are selfish by nature and struggle to live gratitude?


The closest approximation I could land on is the Six of Coins. Others may disagree with how I came to this conclusion or rally behind their chosen card(s) of gratitude, and I welcome the discussion. But in many ways, I think the Six of Coins most accurately fits the notion of “thanksgiving.”


In Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack masterfully summarizes the certitude and power dynamic depicted in the Six of Coins by the man standing above two figures, measuring out what he can give and similarly calculating what he thinks those around him need. In many ways, the Six of Coins in a great stand-in for the classic American Thanksgiving Day tradition of volunteering to serve dinner at a shelter - that sadly all too frequently singular pat yourself on the back act that makes you feel better.


But the willingness to give what is needed in the moment is deeply profound. Such an act calls upon us to open ourselves to not only a mental calculation but also trust in something greater. During our inner calculus, there is a level of assessment akin to "counting one's blessings." Further, how can we actually know what another needs? We rely on spiritual meditation, inner reflection or other means of opening ourselves to a greater presence or force, the Divine, to provide that which is called for in the moment.


When we make ourselves a conduit, when we open ourselves to gratitude, appreciation and awe, we often find ourselves exactly where we need to be on the giving or receiving end. Right place, right time. Sometimes we mean to give in one way but find ourselves inadvertently aiding or on the receiving end in an entirely other way, often unbeknownst to ourselves. The ripple effect.


This Thanksgiving season will look very different for many of us. It is challenging - for some far, far more than others - but invariably for all of us it will be so. I hope that you are able to find and sit in gratitude today.


In peace & gratitude,

Erin

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