Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

Continuing her series, Emma Sunerton-Burl looks into the cards of The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn:

I look at the card and see the 4 cups looking tarnished over the river and a yew tree branches with their red berries, I feel warned and protected.

I walk into the card.

I notice the light is bright and there is a smell of pine in the air, the air is still too and there is a pathway under the trees along the side of the river. I take this pathway and look over to the river.
I watch it flow very slowly and peacefully forward. I ask it:

“What do you symbolise in this card?”

“I am the depths of feeling; the richness of the inner world, but I am also slow moving and you will need patience to travel with me. I am full; I have all within me, but I flow so slowly that at times I become very congested with algae and other life.”

I realise I would really not want to drink from this water – it is not stagnant but seems very murky and I suspect home to lots of bacteria.

“Indeed I am home to much, later on I move faster and these things are cleared but this is the place of murkiness. I represent murky feelings – not quite knowing why you are feeling unhappy as you appear to have everything you want. I am deep and rich – yet things are going too slowly and stagnation is threatened here. It is my way though and the natural order of things – whilst I am slow moving I am also digesting and taking nutrients into me from dead plant life around the sides and in the same way when you are feeling low and stagnant it is the time to go within and to process the things that you have taken on from others and make use of the energies and leave behind those things that are not useful for you and your goals.”

“Thank you” I say. “That’s very useful.”

I look to the cups hovering above the water.

“What is your message?” I ask.

“We are the emotions that have not been looked after – it is like your emotional world has been left alone too long. We want to be shined up and polished to our former glory. You need to see what has been happening emotionally within you for you have been trotting along unaware for too long and this needs now to be addressed or we shall rust and disintegrate, and the stability you have built up around you will be threatened.”

I spend some time with the cups and find I have a yellow duster with me which I can polish them with. As I do so I feel their gleam come back.

“This is the stability that is your source, you clear the debris of recent events from yourself. It is like you have taken on so much from those around you that you have become muddy yourself. Cleanse your aura and your body and find the gleaming self again. It is not so much that you have been deeply affected by events, more that you are carrying the residue of experience without having processed its true meaning to you. Take this time and all will be well.”

“So you do represent emotional security also then?” I ask feeling there could be this interpretation too.

“Yes – we represent that, it is so nearly in grasp, but self awareness is needed to maintain it, to cleanse it. You can not rest on your laurels at this point.”

“OK I understand.” I say. “Thank you.”

I look up to the yew and I hear it say:

“You are protected as I protect the dead. I am also protecting you as you let go of things, you will be safe even if changes come; the transition will not take the core of you. You can trust in the process, though there may be fears of annihilation, if you do truly trust yourself, actually you can not die. You are safe and you can allow your inner security to shine through despite any losses that are necessary now.”

I feel a sense of grounding, which is surprising since I am in a cups card, yet I know it is a earthly number 4. I walk further down the path and contemplate what I have been told I come upon an opening facing towards the river and as I look across I see a waterfall. I am at the top of it and the water, white and foaming, falls a long way down to a deep pool and then rushes off over rocks and boulders. It seems this is what is to come. As I allow the slow moving, cleansing time, the time of letting go and releasing, starts to happen, then the next exciting fast moving phase comes upon me as a surprise almost and that this will aerate the water. It makes every part of me touched with enthusiasm and joy as I rush into the next new phase before me. I feel there is a being of the river with me and he smiles and nods:

“You understand! ” He says and smiles. “All parts of the river are one and are needed, for the river to be whole. Experience each to the full and you will gain the most from the journey.”

I ask if there is more here, he says not and that I can go, then I remember to ask of everyone: “What if you are reversed?”

The river spirit says:

“Then you are dammed.” He smiles at the double meaning of the word, “It is like your energy has been stopped in mid-flow and you are needing to build the strength to move forward. As you build in depth of emotion soon you will be strong enough to flow over the dam and onwards – perhaps even breaking it in the process. Allow the time to assess who you are; build strength in yourself and you will find you can let go and break through the block in front of you. You can achieve the emotional balance you desire. There is no need to push for change, for when reversed, change can not happen at that time. However it will, once enough momentum and strength has been achieved. Much of this process is realising how strong a force all your emotions together are. As you do this and allow each side of you to have their place and say, then you gain in strength. Then the dam breaks. This image is also relevant for a situation where someone is not wanting to express their feelings for fear of what happens when the dam breaks. When it does there will be release and flow again. Build courage and confidence in yourself that you can allow this to happen.”

I hear the cups say “We are you too and though not shiny and new right now, we are not affected deep down by the damning of emotional energy, we are still stable and strong, but you need to hear us to make us shiny and stop us losing power. We gain power as we are heard, power to help you, power to work with you in your goals – fear not – your circumstances can change with reliance on your inner strength.”

“Thank you.” I say. “It seems you all have had a lot to share with me.

I understand that for me personally I need to allow myself to get moving again and to start slowly; I will soon be flying along again, just start slowly and keep at it. I have the strength and courage to run and do races. I just need to consider my inner feelings on this and believe in myself and not let others emotional places hold me back.

This has been an enlightening journey for me right now.


Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on emma@tarot-training.co.uk.

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details: http://seeds-of-light.co.uk/

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.

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