Muzoracle: The Tarot of Music

Counterpoint

Balance factor, integrating adversity.


In music, counterpoint refers to the combination of two or more melodic lines. It is from the Latin contrapunctus, which means “note against note.” 

There are three types of motion that combine within counterpoint: contrary motion, where one melody goes up while another comes down; parallel motion, where two melodies go either up or down together; and oblique motion, where one melody remains static while the other one moves. Whether contrary, parallel, or oblique, the overall effect of counterpoint is that of melodies against one another, of opposites in balance; the result is magical. Adding to counterpoint’s compelling quality is the constant flow of harmony created as its concurrent melodies play.

Counterpoint is an Elemental card, and it speaks of processes or intentions that flow counter to one another. In a casting, this often presents as adversity, as resistance. The Counterpoint card offers an opportunity to see the presence of this “other” movement not merely as something to be overcome—though it may be that, too—but as the emergence of a necessary and valuable denying force. That which appears as opposition to us is often in fact unconcerned with us, and may serve as a balancing factor; if not that, then as a foil to test our mettle or strengthen our case. 

There is a time for contrary motion, and a time for parallel, and a time for oblique. We cannot chose a path, however, if we are identified with the fight. The Counterpoint card is a reminder to step back and take a larger view of the situation at hand, to take into consideration which movements are serving what in the grander scheme of things.

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