Wheat from chaff – Seven of Bows

I’d resolved to bring a little Tarot routine into my life, by aiming to sit and write about one card each day when I got home.

Suffice to say, that ain’t happened! What with ceilings caving in and ongoing internet troubles and a temporary lack of personal space, eesh, I’ve not really been managing. Everything feels a little…messy, I can’t get stuff done, I’ve got a nasty cold, my makeshift bedroom is a tip and I’m generally a bit dazed.

Today was an ideal day for daily drawing though – get home early, no-one around, nothing much happening tonight…take myself up to the attic and spend a little time with a new card. And what a perfect card for right now. I drew from the Wildwood Tarot, and got the Seven of Bows, or ‘Clearance’.

Seven of Bows Wildwood Tarot

The Seven of Bows, from the Wildwood Tarot, by Mark Ryan, John Matthews and Will Worthington

It’s autumn – September is drawing to a close, the evening comes in sooner each day, there’s a gorgeous nip in the air, and oh – the trees and their colours. I spent last weekend in a beautiful old caravan with some beautiful friends, lighting fires, cooking soup, boating on the weedy lake and showering in the shivering open air, saying goodbye to the summer and toasting in the autumn with June’s sweet, strong elderflower wine.

Autumn is the timeI feel myself coming alive. Whilst this isn’t bourne out by the sniffles and aches that currently dog me, I feel excited about the coming weeks and months. Summer’s warmth slips away, leaving a twinkling, hazy chill and a sense of anticipation. I get out my scarf and woolly tights, give my boots a brushing-up. Everything seems suddenly refilled with a sense of purpose and hope. I’ve always felt that my new year begins around now. Coincidentally, today begins the autumn equinox, Mabon, so I shall have myself a quiet celebration by using plenty of traditional ginger in my dinner tonight to chase away the last of this cold-bug and warm me right through. Later, my love and I will start painting the new ceiling in our room, ready to move back in.

Anyway, back to the Seven of Bows. When I first saw this card, I thought..’uh?’  What does this picture have to do with clearance? On it, six newly-carved bows lean up against a tree. But the clearance is in the bonfire burning brightly in the background. From the wood, harvested from the trees, useful bows are carved. The unnecessary waste is burned. The bows lean up against a huge, ancient tree – it appears to have given several of its branches to produce these bows.

The message here is to clear away that which isn’t needed. Use it, lose it, or give it away – as the tree has given branches the bow-maker, as the bow-maker has burned her waste. Mabon is a good time for a clearout – as I move back into my room over the next couple of days I’ll have a think about what’s weighing me down, what I no longer need, what’s gathering dust, taking up space or cluttering my peripheral vision.

But it’s not just old too-small clothes and raggedy notebooks – I want to declutter my mind too. Last night I rejoined my old favourite yoga class. We did few postures in the session, but instead talked a little about our different bodies, then focused on the practice emptying our minds – something I’ve always found incredibly difficult.

The bottom line is, I don’t actually wish to empty my mind. But I do want to leave behind thoughts and feelings that are no longer useful to me. The past two years have been a gradual process of leaving behind an emotionally difficult time, culminating in proudly reaching the time when I felt I could return to the place I’d left because of those feelings. But the summer has been filled with opportunities, things to get involved in, favours, activities, rekindled friendships. My mind has been flustered by trying to take everything in and I’ve appreciated that busyness…but it’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff, have a mental bonfire and warm my hands in the woody smoke as I burn away what’s no longer needed, leaving behind clarity and potential, just like the bowmaker has with her bright new bows.

Seven of Bows Wildwood Tarot


Someone who has written beautifully about the process of letting go and how this relates to this time of year is Shaheen Miro – I love the way he says ‘I know I am letting go of many people and habits and worn out emotions at this time. I am thanking them for their love and their lessons and I am inviting them to leave.‘ Take a read!

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One comment

  1. Chloe says:

    Ha, so much for toasting out the summer, Indian summer is sweltering us! I’m in shorts today 😮 Still, the point about taking some time to clear things out (an autumn clear out rather than just a spring clean) sounds like an excellent idea. Good luck with the painting and clearing, and selfishly I hope that clarity allows you to post some more 😀

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