Cards by Brian Froud
Book by Jessica Macbeth
Luathas the Wild
Portrait by Brian Froud
© Painting copyright 2000 by Brian Froud
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the artist.
Card 57. Luathas the Wild
Haste. Impulsiveness. Fire. Spontaneity. Balance.
Luathas the Wild is filled with fire, and fire is associated with the creative life force. This faery fires us up, gets us going, recharges our batteries and creative energies. He likes to be around when things are exciting, when there is life force blazing high and he can jump in and encourage it to burn even higher. Creation and passion are his bailiwick. "Faster! Faster! Faster!" is his motto. Debbie, a waitress serving me breakfast, looked over my shoulder as she rushed past and paused on her toes as she saw Luathas. "Ohhh!", she exclaimed, balancing three full plates and two coffee pots, "He looks like a bad faery. I don't want him in my life!" Then she took off at a near run for the people down the aisle, who gesturing for coffee.
We have to be careful with Luathas. He doesn't know the meaning of words like: slow, stop, rest, respite, catnap, moderation, gradual, pace, gentle, ease, peace. These are all things that humans must know in order to live creatively and constructively with him. Anything else is fatal, sooner or later--probably sooner at that.
The fire of Luathas can be destructive as well as creative. Rage, fury, and anger are all part of the fire element as well. Fire burns as well as energizes. Think of the gentle warmth of a full and sleeping kitten, its inner fire converting milk to bone and muscle and to extravagant friskiness; or the flame of the candle, lighting the wanderer's way home; or the anger of a hurt soul, lashing out at others; or the inferno of a forest fire, wild and overpowering.
Creation and destruction are inextricably linked. The fire that burns creates ash, which in turn acts as fertilizer for new growth. The slopes of volcanos are highly fertile, which is why people take the risk of living on and farming them.
Think of the Phoenix, who lays her egg, and then bursts into flame to incubate it. Birth, death, and rebirth are the cycle of fire.
This card says that wild creative energies being brought to whatever position it represents in the card layout. It often fires up the things (represented by other cards) that surround it, energizing them as well. It tells us that it is important to think and act creatively, and it says that the energy to do so is available. New approaches are called for here. Old ideas and old behaviors will not do it. Sometimes it may be useful to draw another card (or do an additional layout) to get some suggestions about what those new ideas might be.
Alternatively, Luathas may be telling you to go for something--now! For example, Kathy, another of our Faery Oracle discussion group, was at a convention and a man was demonstrating electronic devices. She was not particularly interested in them, but they talked about the different meters and tools for a while. She started to walk away and then she thought, "No, I've got to do this." She went back and told him, "I don't think I'll ever forgive myself if I don't tell you, I think I'm in love with you." They've been happily married for many years now.
Sometimes it is important to take the risk of making a fool of yourself to gain something amazing and wonderful and miraculous. Sometimes, when Luathas says, "Go for it! Now!" it is important to do so. And sometimes it isn't. If the only reason for caution is that you're afraid of looking silly, it probably is time to go for it.
Remember, then, that you need to keep an eye on Luathas--don't let him have control of your schedule or the accelerator in your car. He always thinks going faster and taking chances is better, and sometimes he is even right. Use sense and stay grounded, even while he takes you off on a flight of fancy.
In a reversed position, Luathas speaks of burnout--blocked or even exhausted creative energy. He suggests that we need to find ways to regenerate and recharge ourselves so we can continue the race but at our own healthy pace. He suggests that our fire is low and must be replenished by appropriate activities before we can resolve the issues we are dealing with.
Here we see the reversed Luathas representing fire in its destructive mode, however grim or delightful that process may appear to be. We must remember that destruction is not always a bad thing. There are things that need to be destroyed--injustice and cruelty, for example--but these things have to be handled with great care. We cannot heal injustice with more injustice, nor cruelty with additional cruelty. If we wish to fight the twisted fire of cruelty (which is passion gone sour and insane), we must find a way to lovingly counter it with the fire of creativity and compassion.
Luathas is eager to help with his wonderful creative, destructive fire, but we must be careful with him. He is the epitome of unbounded enthusiasm, and can lead us to burnout or to glory. We must use his fire well or he will take control and use us, leaving nothing but a little pile of ashes blowing away in the wind.
A personal view:
Of course, what I didn't emphasize above is that Luathas is green fire - the creative fire of the green world in the first wild burst of spring. That should give us something to ponder.
Think how roots break up stone, how branches push their way through, over, and around all obstacles as they burst forth into the light of Sunfather. Tiny flowers hide in the green grass, filling it with a bright hum of joy. Friendship with Luathas can bring us the energy of their world, but it also brings us a warning not to go to fast, not to do too much, not to reach too far. How far is "too far"?
Well, obviously, not so far that your branches are unsupported and break off, he says. Use a little sense, will ya?
"Sense" has never been my strong point, and he know this, but he's teaching and I'm learning. May your life also be filled with green growth at a steady, healing, nurturing, joyful pace.
The first part of this page, the quote on Luathas from Faeries' Oracle, is
© copyright 2000 by Jessica Macbeth and Brian Froud. All rights reserved.
"A personal view" is © copyright 2001 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved