Cycles and seasons
The Wheel of the Year turns and spins, as one season transforms into the next. In this card, the fiery core of the Earth is at the still point of the turning world. Trees of each season are rooted in Her body. Around the trees we see the eight phases of the moon, which correspond to the eight holy days of the solar year. The zodiac is aligned with the seasons and the lunar phases. For example, the Dark/New Moon corresponds to Winter Solstice, the shortest night of the year when the sun begins to wax again. Winter Solstice occurs when the sun moves into the sign of Capricorn. So these three — Dark/New Moon, Winter Tree and sign of Capricorn — all line up on the card, and so on around the Wheel.
The cycles of nature teach us that all of life moves in a wheel. Wherever we stand on this wheel, we are certain to move to the next point and the one after that, until we are brought full circle to the place where we started, and as T.S. Eliot wrote, we “know the place for the first time.”
Outside the wheel of the solar year, the lunar month and the wheel of the zodiac, we see a circle of prayer beads. This rosary, or mala, is divided into six sets of nine (the magical number of three times three). As we say or sing repetitive prayers, counting beads as we go, we enter an altered state where anything is possible, magic happens, and butterflies — symbol of the soul — break free of the turning of the wheel.