Before I even begin my interpretation, I can feel the emotions welling up inside me because behind one specific symbol in this card is a very beautiful story and behind that beautiful story is a very beautiful parable.
But before we get to that, let's look at the other symbols and colours that stand out in the card.
Take a moment to see which symbols catch your eye.
The first two symbols I want to take together as one combined symbol because I feel they're intrinsically linked. And those symbols are the lips and the hand. The lips are closed so represent silence whilst the hand is taking action. This says to me that to make a difference, actions can speak louder than words. Sometimes we focus on and offer praise on those who shout the loudest or speak up the most. But we tend to forget those who just do with no desire for praise or, even, boosting. Whilst I feel it's important that people hear about the individual and unique difference each of us is making and we should tell others what we're doing, sometimes it's the quiet, non-verbalised actions that actually have the greatest impact.
It also says to me that sometimes we need to stop talking and just start doing if we want to make a difference. No matter how small and insignificant an action may seem, it's better to take that action than to just talk about it.
I'll touch briefly on the starfish now (in more detail later). Brown in colour, it carries the colour connected to Mother Earth. Is the starfish representing Mother Earth and our need to support and help her?
Starfish are fascinating creatures. They are experts in renewal and regeneration. If a starfish is under attack, from a crab or similar, it can shed one of its legs to evade death and re-grow that leg back. If the leg it has shed has a piece of the starfish's central body attached to it, it can even take regeneration a stage further and out of that leg and central body piece, a new starfish can grow.
Do you connect with the starfish in this card? Through your constant growth, renewal and regeneration are you enabling your light to shine brighter? Are you inspiring those around you to do what might seem, at first, impossible? Are you encouraging them to grow, renew and regenerate after they have lost something significant to them?
Perhaps you're going through a challenging time at the moment and you feel a need for renewal and, almost, rebirth? What's the lesson you can take away from the challenges you're currently facing? How are they helping you to regenerate and grow so you can shine you light even brighter?
I also want to touch on the colours on the card as there seems to be a split from the blues of the sea and sky (on one side) to the oranges and yellows of the sand and sky (on the other side). There is a mix dark blue, light blue and even turquoise on the card. In oracle cards these colours symbolise strength, harmony and communication (don't forget communication can also be non-verbal). Oranges and yellows represent spiritual growth, positivity, optimism and self-belief.
Are you finding greater strength and harmony in your life as you grow spiritually? Is the positivity, self-belief and optimism that comes with spiritual growth, is that bringing you greater inner strength and harmony?
I want to return to the starfish because I believe it's subtley touching on a very powerful story that was written in 1969 by the philosopher Loren Eiseley and has since been made into a children's book and short film. And I believe that this is the primary symbol and message on the card.
There are a few versions of the story but they all tie back to the same underlying meaning. The story goes something like this:
An old man wanders along a beach every day. One day, after a storm the previous night, the beach is covered in stranded starfish. As he's looking at the starfish something catches his eye further down the beach so he stops to see what it could be. In the distance he sees a young woman who appears to be dancing. As she comes closer and closer to him he realises she's not dancing. Rather as she's moving along the beach she's bending down to pick up starfish and throwing them back into the sea.
The old man stops her and asks her why she's throwing the starfish into the sea. To which she responds "the sun is up, the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them back into the sea they will die". The old man looks around him and see thousands of beached starfish, too many for one young woman to throw back into the sea. So he says to her "don't you realise that it's impossible to throw all the starfish back into the sea? There are thousands of them, stranded for miles along this beach!"
The young woman pauses, looks at the man and then bends down, picks up a starfish and throws it back into the sea saying "it made a difference to that one"
Sometimes the smallest actions can have the greatest impact. The very act of doing something seemingly small and insignificant as opposed to talking about something big and significant but faiing to take action, has so much more impact.
There are huge topics being bandied about every day - plastic in the ocean, eradicating rainforests for palm oil, destroying animal habitats due to over-populating, to mention a few. And these can seem paralysing when we think we have to try to find a solution on our own. But if each and every one of us shone our light and took even the smallest of actions every day, as a collective we can make a real and positive difference.
But there are also the small, seemingly insignificant things that we can easily do each day, and which can have a huge impact. Such as a simple smile shared with a stranger. You have no idea what challenges that person may be facing, or what news they may have received. And a simple smile may be the very gesture they've been craving for, a connection that may give them the boost to make it through the rest of the day.
The general message behind this card is that by shining your light you are making a difference in the lives of others, in ways you may never know. So keep shining your light and making that difference because, in doing so, you are inspiring others to shine their lights too.
Reference: This beautiful card is from Gateway Oracle Deck by Denise Linn, artwork by Jesse Reisch