Can I accept that I am exactly where I am meant to be? This is the question asked of the Four of Wands / Keys /Perfection card. What follows is a comparison of the imagery and interpretation of the Rider-Waite, The Haindl, and the Collective Tarot decks' respective Four of the fire suit's cards.
Rider-Waite offers a canopy of freshly strung flowers over the staves of the wands suit, a setting for the partygoers and the victoriously enwreathed pair in the background to celebrate in. A castle provides structure and responsibilities to return to, the party has escaped it but hasn't gone far. This may be a marriage, a joyful celebration of victory, or a ritual for the flowers themselves, but whatever it is a fertile freedom depicted here. The creative fire has been embraced, the marriage of self to Higher Self has been consummated, and all benefit from the progress.
Haindl names the card "Perfection", and utilizes the I Ching hexagram 63, Chi Chi, "After the End" or "After Completion", the order that brings peace when chaos has previously ruled. The hexagram reverses to 64, Wei Chi or "Before Completion". This is the final hexagram listed in the I Ching, as Rachel Pollack states in her book The Haindl Tarot; The Minor Arcana: "For the I Ching, the situation before something reaches its apex is actually superior because the movement can continue." Four parallel flaming spears balance in alternating directions, marching before a bubble around an eye. The eye is half closed, in scrutiny? In question? In tiredness? In smiling appreciation? The fragility of the bubble protects whatever attitude and identity is held by the eye- what will happen when our identities' and attitudes' fragile shells are burst and we must face what balancing our passions enlightens? When we accept the gifts of creative fire, what about our deepest-held notions of ourselves must change?
Collective Tarot shows the three subjects of the card bathing in a hot tub built into an unfinished deck. The theme of Haindl's perfection is echoed here, in a slightly different way- rather than the perfection of completion, Collective tarot looks at the perfection of the present moment, no matter what the status is of our projects. The subjects have embraced their creative process, and take time to celebrate and enjoy the completion of each step along the way. They pay no mind to the wheelbarrow full of stones that lies dormant in the background, ready to be put to use building the as-yet-incomplete stone wall. They realize that wherever they are, they are exactly where you need to be, and see the value in a well-earned celebratory break from creative efforts.
Thanks to @inthe78cards and @thetruthinstory for hosting this month's awesome challenge, as I'm loving the wealth of information coming from all these comparisons.