Weekly Card V The Heirophant as Sage

150115 V Heirophant High Priest Herbal
The Herbal Tarot

Let’s add another layer to what we learned about V The High Priest (also called the Heirophant) when we looked at him before. You’ll remember from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think that V The Heirophant is the Major, with all its depths, that connects to education.

I love the riches that the Herbal Tarot image has for us. The figure has the salt and pepper beard of age, reminding us that the wisdom of the High Priest comes from experience. His white turban signifies the purity of his thought and that little bit of red, the colour of the earth or root chakra, connects his thoughts to daily life. Grounded red interwoven with white also trims his robe, showing us a purified life. The spiritual purple lets us know what he holds most important. It covers the blue of thought and communication. So we have communication of spiritual truths that come from purified or sanctified life experience.

He’s holding an ankh, the symbol for eternal life. The ankh is often called the Key to Life. It unlocks the door to meaning. Our finite lives here on planet Earth are viewed from within a larger context, the eternal nature of the spirit. Our lives are just a chapter in a much longer story; the full meaning of what we’re doing here is only known through that bigger story. And there’s purification associated with the ankh, as well.

The High Priest is standing squarely between a light and a dark pillar. And the light pillar has some darkness in it, while the dark pillar has light in its capstone. Sounds rather like the yin within the yang and the yang within the yin, doesn’t it? It takes the full spectrum of experience to make a rich and spirit-filled life. Wisdom balances the extremes.

Sage is just the perfect herb for V The High Priest! Sage is another word for the wise. It also comes from the Latin for “to save”. That brings in the education aspect; this is a wise one who saves others by passing on his wisdom. Sage is notorious as a purifying agent. We’ve mentioned purification in connection with the ankh, and the High Priest’s white turban and the white weaving in his robe. Here it shows up again to remind us we’re not just taking experience at its face value; we’re distilling it to its essence, in that big-picture context of the ankh.

How can you connect this deep and meaningful energy to your life this week? Where do you turn for spiritual wisdom that you can apply in the real world?   Do you need a pause to connect with your own wisdom as you process life experience, purifying it to essential meaning in the context of your spiritual journey?

Open your life to spiritual guidance!


Tarot is a wonderful tradition for providing real world guidance. When you’re ready to look more deeply at your own spiritual journey, you know where to find me.

Weekly Card XXI The World and All Its Stories

150108 XXI Thousand and One Nights
Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights

Sometimes experiences elevate us to a whole ‘nother level of being.

We’ve looked at XXI The World a few times before, here, here, and here. And we know, from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think, that this Major Arcana energy is about Paradise. That’s definitely a whole other level of being for most of us.

The Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights takes its images from the exotic Arabian Nights tale of Sheherazade. She was wed to a Sultan, which we would think is a good thing to have happen. Not so much, if you remember. This one thought all women were evil and killed each of his many wives after only one night of marriage, so they wouldn’t cheat on him. Sheherazade’s escape strategy was to tell her new husband only enough of an exciting story each night so that he’d keep her alive to hear the next installment. It took almost 3 years, but her strategy eventually worked permanently.

Here we have a couple rather than an individual gaining Paradise. For all you who think your life will start when you’re part of a couple, you might want to remember that Sheherazade did all that story-telling without a lick of help from her husband. And her success brought her to a state of union with what had been most likely to cause her death. Literally. Her specific mission was to use all her gifts to stay alive until her husband called “uncle”. Once he recognized what a magnificent being she was, a true marriage was possible.

Sometimes our own courage and brilliance have an impact on others. We live fully, even in seemingly impossible circumstances, believing in our abilities and our wisdom. And others are able to live more fully as a result of what we give.

Celebrate the ascension!



I’ll be teaching tarot through the Berkeley County Adult Ed program on 20th March and 1st May. Call 304-267-3585 for more information and to register.

And you know where to find me for phone, email, or in-person tarot counseling.

XVII The Star Shines Bright

141225 XVII The Star Tsar
Golden Tarot of the Tsar


No, you’re not seeing things. That is indeed the Nativity Scene on a Tarot card.

Sadly, Tarot is often misunderstood as a “heathen” construct. It’s better looked at as a tool that transcends religions and dogmas.

The Golden Tarot of the Tsar uses images based on the rich tradition of iconography in the Russian Orthodox Church. These deeply spiritual works of art are meant, like the tarot, for meditation in service of enlightenment and connection with the Divine.

As you know from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think, XVII The Star is about your calling. We talked about the sense of personal mission last time we looked at the card.

What always strikes me about the Star in the Christmas story is how unlikely the elements of the situation are to the rational mind.   Here we have the newborn child of travelling parents from one of the least-well-thought-of areas of their world. And we have Magi travelling with gifts of great worth, following a star that ends up . . . right over the straw laid down for livestock, where the parents and their newborn are resting post-delivery. How did we see that coming? And is it likely the Wise Men were expecting that kind of picture when they set off to follow the star that promised the King of Kings?

What about once they were there? Did they ever have a moment when they doubted their mission? If they did, it didn’t affect their actions: they still gave their precious gifts to the low-born parents and child. Imagine the hope, the faith, the perseverance involved to follow through on what was begun despite the probable difference between what the Magi imagined and what the star brought them to.

Let’s take this down to your life. Your mission can have the most unlikely beginnings. The elements don’t have to make sense. You don’t have to know where the journey will end. You just have to follow your star. Keep the faith, don’t lose hope, listen to your inspiration no matter what you see around you.

Your humble beginnings will have a lasting impact, the same as the lasting impact of the outcast child born on the floor of a cave used for livestock.

Celebrate your star!


For those of you celebrating the Christmas season, may it deepen your faith to enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

We’ve had another look at XVII The Star.



XIX The Sun Sets a Holiday Table

141127 XIX The Sun Leaves
Tarot Leaves

Since XIX The Sun insists on dominating this month, let’s let it host a Thanksgiving feast.

As you remember from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think – as well as the recent XIX The Sun posts – the Sun is self-actualisation. Those three dots under the sun on the maple leaf of Tarot Leaves bring to mind body, mind and spirit fully engaged in living and growing.

Who else shall we bring to bask in the life-giving energies of the self-actualised Sun? How about the varied lot that we’ve met over the past couple of months.

How would XIX The Sun interact with the welcoming XXI The World? And how are the Father of Water (King of Cups) and XIX The Sun getting on at their corner of the table? How about the anxious 9 of Swords and the wise IX The Hermit? What do XIX The Sun and XXI The World have to offer 9 of Swords?

XIX The Sun seated the Ace of Cups on the other side of the Father of Water. How are the beginning and end of that suit getting on together? The volatile Knight of Wands is next to XII The Hanged Man. Who’s likely to be most influential in that pair?

Imagine as many combinations as you can at the Thanksgiving table. How do the cards help each other? Where do they clash? The discoveries you make will help you when reading multiple card spreads.

Enjoy the full spectrum of energies available to you through the tarot this week!

I’m grateful to all the students and blog readers for your part in my professional life this year. May you have much to be grateful for in the coming year.

XIX The Sun Yet Again

141113 XIX Sun New Vision
Tarot of the New Vision


In the little more than year and an half of Weekly Card posts, XIX The Sun has come up four times. And, spoilers, we’re not done with it this month.

And that’s what the Sun does. It has to be seen. Again and again. It comes up every day. It doesn’t wait to be seen.

Rider-Waite deck  XIX The Sun
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

And as the Tarot of the New Vision shows us, it looks the same from both sides. Tarot of the New Vision is designed to get behind the Rider Waite Smith deck to let us see what’s happening behind the scenes.

Not much difference in XIX The Sun. The Sun itself looks the same. The child is headed away from sunflowers into more sunflowers. We get the back view of the horse and the child, but we still have a naked child with nothing to hide, carried on the purified animal nature of the white horse. The big staff bearing the orange banner still looks like a giant wand (and look at your Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think handout to remind yourself what wands stand for). The gold crown and golden hair still indicate the regal mission fulfilled: living in service to the Divine mission. The feather of airy intellect is a grounded red.

The big change is in the absence of the wall.  Limitations are behind us.

And it’s that way in the self-actualized person, isn’t it?  We leave our past limitations behind.  No more wobbling between ego stances. Now there’s a solid sense of the self that’s lived out in daily life.

Celebrate the victory of your true self, day after day!



If you’re looking to learn more about Tarot, I’ll be teaching level 2, Tarot 2 . . . We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, on Friday, 12th December, through the Berkeley County Adult Ed program.  Call 304-267-3585 for more information and to register.

And you know where to find me for phone, email, or in-person tarot counseling.

Weekly Card XXI The World Revisited

141106  XXI World Gaian
Gaian Tarot


We’re beginning November in the Tarot World of Paradise!

We’ve been here before, more than once. It’s not a one and done deal in Tarot to reach XXI The World. We spiral in higher – or deeper – levels of growth, returning home to our most-fulfilled selves at the end of each spiral in our journey. We integrate new potentials, new lessons, new experiences, to become more truly our Selves.

What a beautiful place to come home to, especially in the Gaian deck. We have the Earth Mother herself welcoming us in with her smile. She includes the whole world in her gesture. Her age gives her wisdom, the golden, sun goddess halo labels her as sacred. She’s wearing spiritual purple. How do you identify with her? Is she you? Someone in your life? Someone you wish you could be?

A wreath of sage, lavender, cedar and sweetgrass surrounds Gaia, cleansing, healing, purifying, blessing and protecting our wholeness. Those are all parts of the process of growth (also indicated by the butterfly of transformation), aren’t they? Where specifically have you grown in this cycle? The wreath is in the shape of a vesica, the shape that’s made when two circles overlap. Within the vesica, all is well, all is blessed, all is cleansed and protected.  Where in your life is this true right now?

All aspects of our being and areas of our life are protected by the creatures in the corners. The eagle lets our thoughts soar through the air element, guiding us as we travel to the east, where the sun rises and growth begins. The snake, with its psychic wisdom, presides over our fiery spirit, taking us through the day, when the sun is high in the south. The salmon swims fluidly through watery emotions, connecting us to our feelings when experiences are complete and the day is done, with the sun setting in the west. The deer is our guide through the earthy practicalities of our mundane lives, helping us create paths through the solid north. What have you mastered? What is yours no matter where you go, no matter what you experience?

The prayer flags promise that each wind will spread the intention of peace throughout the world. A beautiful meditation for XXI The World is to allow the intention of peace to spread outward around you with each exhalation.

Allow circumstances to complete another cycle of your growth. Make space in your life for Paradise!


If you’re looking to learn more about Tarot, I’ll be teaching level 1, Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think, on Wednesday, 5th November, and level 2, Tarot 2 . . . We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, on Friday, 12th December, through the Berkeley County Adult Ed program.  Call 304-267-3585 for more information and to register.

And you know where to find me for phone, email, or in-person tarot counseling.

We had another look at XXI The World here to see how we can have an impact on others.

Weekly Card IX The Hermit

Gaian Tarot
Gaian Tarot


For a Hermit, there sure is a lot going on in this image!

On the keyword level, that makes sense; wisdom doesn’t come out of nowhere. It comes from an experience-rich life, with depths of analysis and understanding. And, like the Major Arcana, experiences that bring wisdom change the way we look at the world. Those circumstances may be out of our control, but we can manage our attitudes.

In the Gaian image for IX The Hermit, we’ve got a bearded elder and an owl, two of the common symbols for wisdom. The old man is writing, but he’s not looking at what he’s writing. Is he pausing to remember or to think or to look at what’s around him? And what is it that he’s writing? His memoirs? His observations?

His desk is made of stone. It’s lasting, natural, of the earth. His writings are supported by that. It brings to mind the phrase “set in stone”. That’s deep wisdom, the stuff that’s as permanent as the earth.

His lantern is also supported by the big stone. The light of a lantern is a symbol for knowledge – bringing things to light.

His cloak of blue connects with water and emotions, but also with blue sky and the mind. And, given that he’s writing, the blue connected with the throat chakra and communication.   Could this even be the deeper indigo of the third eye, and spiritual wisdom? Since his cloak is lined with purple, the colour associated with spirituality and the crown chakra, the connection with the Divine, it could be.

So we’ve got wisdom that’s divinely inspired, but very connected with the stuff of the earth.

How trustworthy is this guy? His facial hair is white and so is his robe. In symbolism, that’s a lot of purity. It frames his speech and covers his body; he lives within white. On the outside, his communication shows; he’s not being flashy or showy about purity. It’s there on the inside.

The smudge smoke also speaks to purity, as a cleansing, sanctifying element.

It doesn’t seem that he’s lacking for company, despite the solitary calling of the Hermit. He’s got the wise owl, and, in the smoke that swirls from the smudge shell, the social wolf, a loon from the dream world and a falcon, with its sharp ability to see details, even from immense distances.

The Hermit sits under an evergreen tree. Evergreens speak of timelessness, outside of seasons and cycles. Not only is the Hermit’s wisdom outside of time, he himself is called to be out of time. He’s even higher than the snowcapped mountains. He’s in the spiritual heights. Anyone else reminded of the sages who meditate in the Himalayas?

141023 IX The Hermit RWS
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Now it’s down to the personal . . . How does IX The Hermit connect with your story in the coming week? Is he unexpected in your world, or can you already see how he’ll fit in with your plans and responsibilities? Where does your wisdom lie? How can you bring it into daily life – set it in stone? Where are your opportunities to share it with others? When do you have time alone to follow your own path?

“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.” ~~   Marilyn vos Savant


If you’re looking to learn more about Tarot, I’ll be teaching level 1, Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think, on Wednesday, 5th November, and level 2, Tarot 2 . . . We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, on Friday, 12th December, through the Berkeley County Adult Ed program.  Call 304-267-3585 for more information and to register.

And you know where to find me for phone, email, or in-person tarot counseling.

Weekly Card XII The Hanged Man Revisited

141002 XII The Hanged Man Gaian
Gaian Tarot


You’ve seen something that looks a bunch like the Gaian Tarot XII The Tree before. And you’ve probably already guessed that it was called XII The Hanged Man.

When you’re working with unfamiliar decks, if the image looks like something you’ve seen before and the numbering is the same, figure that you’ve got a bit of background with what you’re looking at. So, what you know from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think will apply.

As always, though, you want to look at the elements of the image before you. So let’s dive in . . . .

My first question is why the title of the card asks us to focus on the tree, rather than the lovely lady hanging from it. Could this be a reference to the outside influences that are out of our control in the Majors?

And what about that tree? Lots of colour in the leaves. So we’re in autumn, at the end of a cycle. As we discovered, XII The Hanged Man is that point of assessment at the end of an experience where we make it a part of us.

And, in a wonderfully fun twist, our lady is hanging in an inverted vrksasana, the yogic tree pose. Her hands in Namaste are a meeting of yin and yang, masculine and feminine. We tend to think of waiting times as feminine. So what’s the masculine doing in this picture? That’s our clue that there’s a lot going on while we’re hanging. There’s lots of mental and emotional work going on beneath the surface.

How do we know it’s mental and emotional? The sky is connected with air and the mind. The hanged lady is clothed in sky. Her entire self is involved in figuring things out. Emotions are represented with watery images. She’s suspended above a big body of water. So she’s risen above her emotions. But they still figure in her process. Her sky apparel has clouds in it. And what are clouds made of?

There are also indicators that this is a voluntary process, even if it seems like an imposed circumstance. Did you notice that rope loop she’s hanging from? She could easily end this suspension. But she’s come to terms with her position; her placid face reflects her inner state.   She’s made herself at home where she is.

She’s very much one with the natural world, with her environment. Her clothing makes her look like she’s a natural part of where she is. This “hold” is a natural process.

And it’s led her to clarity. Notice that it’s her body that’s clear. She’s let go of her hair – and maybe of her mind – and moved beyond the mental and emotional process. She’s moved into a deepening of intuition, the kind of deepening that comes from integrating experience.

Find that pause between your exhalation and the next inhalation . . . there’s your XII The Hanged Man.

Weekly Card V The Heirophant Revisited

140925 V The Heirophant Enchanted
The Enchanted Tarot

The Enchanted Tarot version of V The Heirophant always makes me think of the Sermon on the Mount. That’s a perfect example of the spiritual education that this card indicates (your key word from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think).

We’ve met him before, so let’s look at the specifics of this beautiful image.

The Heirophant has an expanded headdress. It’s like his crown chakra has met the heat and opened fully (anyone else thinking Jiffy Pop?). And it’s not a cold spirituality, by any means: a pure white heart is up there in the centre of the headdress. This is someone whose heart is in his beliefs. His headdress bursts into petals up at the top. I always think that his mind is flowering. Ideas that bring fragrant beauty to the world.

His robes are white, the colour of purity. He’s fully clothed in white – someone who lives a purified life.

He’s standing on purple ground. Purple being the colour of the spiritual, could it be that he’s on sacred ground? Is it the ground that’s sacred, or does any ground he walks on become sacred? That same purple is in his flowering headdress, along with the blue of water and emotional involvement (again, the path with heart).

He holds the book of the Law, which connects him to tradition. He dispenses his tradition with an open gesture, a benediction.

What of the two people in front of him? Could that be our masculine and feminine sides in daily life? Notice that the man is reaching out to the woman, beseeching the involvement of the feminine.

Who do you go to for spiritual guidance? And when are you in a position to dispense that guidance, from within your own traditions?

Learn it, live it, and pass it on!



If you’re looking for personal help with your tarot learning or for phone, email, or in-person tarot counseling, here‘s where to find me.

We’ve had another look at V The Heirophant here.

Weekly Card XIX The Sun ReConsidered

The Enchanted Tarot XIX The Sun
The Enchanted Tarot

Lets go back to basics to welcome back XIX The Sun, even though we’ve looked at it before.

Those of you who’ve learned through Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think can see that XIX The Sun has a keyword of “self-actualisation”.

Who are you, actually? There’s who your friends think you are, who your kids think you are, who your boss thinks you are . . . . And who do you think you are? (Only get rid of the accusatory tone that usually goes with that question.)

You also know that the Majors are indicators of circumstances that will make deep changes in you, if you let them.

Does that make you fearful that big horrible things will happen that show you up to be exactly the person you didn’t want to be?

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Look at the lovely image from The Enchanted Tarot. What do you see there that’s big and horrible and repulsive?

Mostly we’ve got that big happy smiling sun face. What does that say to you?

And the sun’s rays are shining down on two birds. What does it look like they’re doing? How are they getting along with each other? And with all those flowers around them, does it look like they’ve got enough to eat, and enough to sing about?

So we can dispense with that fear of seeing ourselves as we don’t want to be seen, can’t we?

What if people saw you for the good things you are? And that means you, too: what if you saw yourself in a positive light? Like the smiling sunlight?

If you’re an element of XIX The Sun, which element are you? Which part of the image do you relate to most?

With all the information you’ve gathered from your knowledge of keynote and the Majors, along with your examination of the image on the card, what do you guess is coming up in the week ahead?

Enjoy your XIX The Sun-filled week!


If you’re having trouble bringing your true self to light, you know where to reach me for help.

Scroll to Top