Dandelion and Swan

22 August, 2007 at 12:41 am (tarot, tarot stories, universal fantasy) (, , , , , , , )

There is a meadow next to a river, far to the west from here, near the Naked Mountains. In the spring it’s full of dandelions and bunnies, the wind blows softly and the insects buzz around all day long. It’s a pretty and peaceful meadow and if you happened to walk past, you wouldn’t notice very much happening at all… unless you knew the secret of the song. Because if you knew, and if you managed to be there at just the right time, you would witness the Passing of the Trumpeter Swan.

As you well know, all the creatures in this land have a soul, folded up neatly and tucked away deep inside their being, so that they won’t lose it. Some time ago though, there was this young proud swan that almost lost his and that’s where our story should rightfully start. Swan was cruising along one day and next to a river he met this old witch. He was a curious and friendly fellow, so when the witch started talking with him he happily chatted along, curious to know about magic and the nature of things. At some point the witch said: ‘Say friend, do you know what souls look like?’ He thought about it for a second and said: ‘Not really, no. I can feel my soul, I know it’s there but I haven’t got the faintest idea what it looks like.’ ‘Well, then’, laughed the witch, ‘you’re a nice enough little swan and I’ve enjoyed chatting with you, so I will do you this favour and reveal your soul, so that you know what it really looks like! Give me one of your feathers.’ Our young Swan was a trusting guy and very curious by nature, so he did. The witch pulled a bit of string from her pocket, tied one end on the feather and one on his leg and then gave him a curious little trumpet and asked him to blow on the feather. So he did.

UF Hanged ManA moment later, a tall young man with a bewildered look on his face has standing next to the river, a bit of string coiling around his ankle, joining him to Swan. The witch suddenly reached out and cut the string, the other end now in her hand. A feeling of profound pain, loss and grief engulfed Swan. ‘Fool’, she grinned wickedly,’ your soul is mine now!’ And she reached for the trumpet. But swan, despite his suffering, was quick. He hit the witch on the head with the trumpet, grabbed the string and took off, up and away. He still had his soul, but it was for ever separate from him, he could not put it back.

UF JudgementThey travelled long and far, Swan and his soul, and they became a wise and powerful shaman. They still had the trumpet and every now and then they would return to that meadow next to the river and they would play the trumpet. All the creatures there would then unfold their souls, and the souls would come out to dance and be free for a few hours, unencumbered by flesh. There were no strings, because Swan’s magic was natural and good and all were free to do as they pleased. When the party was over they would blow on the trumpet again and everything would go back to normal, the secret never to be revealed.

One of these times, a little flower girl called Dandelion brought out her soul to dance with the others, while the Trumpeter Swan and his soul were resting next to the river. But it was spring as we were saying before, and the bugs were buzzing, and the birds were singing… and Dandelion’s soul raised her eyes to Swan’s soul’s eyes… and she was in love. ‘Noble Swan’, she said simply, ‘take me with you’. ‘You are fair and kind, Dandelion’, he replied,’but I cannot do as you ask. My path is lonely and wrought with danger and you are delicate and would surely perish. Besides, I would love you deeply and want to spend the rest of my days with you, but you would soon turn into a fluffy clock and fly away from me!’ But Dandelion was a stubborn little creature and her love was true. So she hid away and when the trumpet sounded again she covered her ears so that she wouldn’t get tucked away again. She found an old turtle shell and turned it into a pot, put herself in it, and when Swan flew away she followed on foot, guided by the star of her love.

UF DeathShe caught up with him deep in the forest, sleeping. He had been in a fierce battle with a mad black stallion and was in very poor shape indeed. Dandelion wasn’t looking that great herself, flowers aren’t really meant to be going on long journeys, so she planted herself next to him, took care of his wounds and fell asleep. Swan woke up in the morning to find her next to him. He was angry, but also secretly pleased. For he had been really lonely all this time and in spite of his words he had fallen for Dandelion too. But that was not all. He had a curious feeling, that he couldn’t place, a wild happiness, like coming home after a long time. And then he realised what it was. He thought long and hard while waiting for her to wake and by the time she opened her eyes he had reached a decision.

UF King of WandsUF 4 of Wands‘Dandelion, my love’, he said, ‘you and me are so unlike, it’s impossible for us to be together. There is one way, but it requires a terrible sacrifice and I’ll understand if you don’t want to go through with it. As you know, my soul was separated from me and I though we could never be truly reunited. But I was wrong. I know this wise man, he lives high up on a tower not far from here. He once told me that true love would make me whole again. And he was right! You didn’t just heal my surface wounds last night. You healed the rift between me and my soul! This man knows a way to turn us inside out permanently, we’ll have human form, but I’ll always be bird inside and you’ll be flower. I’ll miss the skies and you’ll miss the sun and the soil. But it’s the only way.’ Dandelion did not hesitate. ‘Let’s go to him! I love you and I don’t care what shape I’m in!’ So Swan picked up Dandelion and flew to the wise man’s tower. They were transformed and united in marriage and lived happily ever after.

Images from the Lo Scarabeo Universal Fantasy Tarot.

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