Following the Red Feather
The red feather shows up three times in the Major Arcana of the more traditional Rider Waite-style decks. It's there with the Magician, in the Death card, and again in the child of the glimmering Sun card. Why? This symbol is considered one of the ten most important of the tarot. It is "the flame of life and the flame of joy. (It represents) vitality, potency and liveliness. The red feather reminds us of how truly alive the soul is and reminds of us our essential, inmost being." This, from Llwellyn, a truly valued source—And it resonates with me completely. The Magician begins the magic, the vitality. With Death comes both a dying and a renewal. Finally, with the Sun, the flame guides us further into our glory. There is power in the soul, power in the essence. In the journey of the Majors, we engage magic to start (the Magician), become and change (Death)...and celebrate in our wild glory (the Sun). Death is the "cool card" and the sun is the "warm card," but they are closely aligned on different paths of the sevens (Keys) of the Major Arcana (Magician to Lovers, Chariot to Temperance and Death to the World).