My first response to the image A Gift for a Gift is a flashback to the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I have always had huge issues with book’s message, depicting a relationship between a tree and a boy wherein the tree gives the boy everything, all that it has down to its very stump, and the boy does not respond in kind. Appropriately, this card was pulled with the rune Gebo, a rune that I read as being about love, gifts, relationships and reciprocity.
I see the tarot Aces representing the gifts of the element in question. When the Ace of Pentacles shows up in a reading, I ponder what gifts I am receiving from the beautiful and abundant world in “whom we live, move, and have our being” (Victor Anderson, Feri traditional prayer). I pause and remember that I my life is comprised of unearned blessings, that I breathe, taste, feel, that I laugh and cry, that “existence itself is an unearned benefaction” (Joanna Macy and Molly Brown, Coming Back to Life). When I see Gebo, I immediately think of equal exchange and how relationships of all types function and dysfunction. I hear the traditional Heathen words, “From the Gods to the earth to us, from us to the earth to the Gods, a gift for a gift.”
This image is a wakeup call. I will not be the boy from The Giving Tree, allowing the Earth to support me through abundance and love beyond measure while I take and give nothing back. I have meditated, done tarot readings and rune pulls, I have observed my world through my own eyes and what I witness in the media and on the streets. Deep in my bones, at the very core of me, I know this: we must get into right relationship with the world before it is too late, and “too late” is approaching very quickly. We humans have taken so much from our beloved Earth; it is time to step in and step up and become reciprocal before our planet is unable to sustain life. It is time to take what the Gods have given us, a beautiful and sometimes terrible sentience, and use it in service to life.
May we feed what feeds us.
May we love what loves us.
May we save what gives us life.
So mote it be.
(I would love to see comments that share one thing you are doing to step up, step in, and/or give back. Let’s encourage one another to bigger and bolder actions.)