Weekly Card III The Empress

140717 Dreaming Way III Empress
Dreaming Way Tarot

One of the reasons I love the Dreaming Way Tarot is that the people in the pictures look like the young folk we might meet on the street.  It puts Tarot right where it belongs: in the middle of our daily lives.

So who’s this young beauty, ready to burst with the life inside her?

140717 RWS III Empress
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

III Empress is the archetypal mother, the outer feminine (with II High Priestess as the inner feminine).  Energy just pours through her.  She’s fertile and nurturing, with the wisdom of seeing the forest as well as the trees added to the understanding of how the system works.  Gaia, the Earth mother.

Literally, pregnancy can show up under III Empress.  Metaphorically, that translates into creativity.  There are plenty of resources to sustain the creation until birth, and all the natural wisdom needed to nurture the creation along until its natural end.

Lots of nature there, you notice.  This is nature just pouring itself all over the place.  If you’re gardening, you love to see III Empress show up.  It’s like the hardy plants that grow up even in places that have been paved over: life will prevail even through the asphalt.   Don’t even try to contain it: just let it burst on through.

This is the week to tap into your life-giving passion.


Weekly Card IV The Emperor

140619 Wirth IV Emperor
Oswald Wirth Tarot


You are now in the land of law and order.

Did that just make you want to cringe or revert to teenage rebellion or hand out flowers to the police?

Or did you breathe a sigh of relief that your day will flow smoothly because of the protective structures in place?

140619 RWS IV Emperor
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

IV The Emperor is our first experience of the external masculine principle.  In literal terms, that’s Dad.  And think 50s sitcom Dad:  the authoritarian protector.  Remember, we’re dealing with masculine as the active or yang principle, not as all male people on the planet with no females included.

IV The Emperor is interested in maintaining stability. He’s going to use his power to protect his subjects.  He likes things in order.  And he wants to see results, so he’s going to bring ideas into the world of form.  Think manifestation.  And don’t take it personally: these rules apply to everyone equally.  IV The Emperor has to take responsibility for running the world smoothly, and laws are the best way he knows to do that.

He can bring up all your “stuff” about authority figures and limitations.  If you always wanted to be able to fly, you’ll be pissed off all over again about those laws of gravity and physics.  If you thrive on chaos, you’ll feel stifled by organization.

But if you’ve been trying to find systems that will help you to be your best self, now’s the time to get them rocking.  If you’re ready to step into a leadership role and thrive, IV The Emperor supports you.  If you have your architectural plans approved and ready to go, get the building up.

Laws of nature, society’s rules . . . .  what’s your relationship to the world of law and order?

Weekly Card XIII Death Repeat

130425 Mythic Death
Mythic Tarot

130425 RWS Death
RIder Waite Smith Tarot

Well, here it is, the single most scary card in the tarot deck:  XIII Death.

XIII Death is that place of transition where one chapter of life has come to an end but we haven’t yet turned the page to the new one.  Only rarely does XIII Death have anything to do with the end of a life.  And I mean really rarely.  Like “win the 8-figure lottery” rarely.

XIII Death is the teacher who shows us how to move forward into the new chapter and the gatekeeper who doesn’t let us through until we pass the test for what we’ve learnt.

Let’s look at a concrete example of a transition: a graduating student finishing school and about to embark on a career.  A natural and expected transition, right?  Maybe even a desired transition.  One that we celebrate with caps and gowns and silly greeting cards.

But a little scary, too, eh?  And a little sad.  Scary to face the big unknown world and the realities that our student hopes will meet out there.  Sad to leave our best school friends and the freedoms that school offers.

XIII Death requires that we face our fears to move into our new chapter.  You know that, if we run from our fears, we wind up in some chapter other than the one that our student years prepared us for.

And XIII Death requires that we grieve for what’s done, what’s finished and ready to be left behind.  If we don’t grieve, we keep trying to re-create the old, rather than moving forward into the new chapter.

Got that?  Face the fears, grieve for what’s done with, and successfully move forward into your next chapter.  Use the counsel from XIII Death this week when you find yourself in transition.  And congratulate me on winning the lottery.


I’m on holiday this week, so this repeat post is filling in for a live one.  Yes, you can still schedule a personal reading or lesson with me here.

Weekly Card XIX The Sun Revisited

140605 Dreaming Way XIX
Dreaming Way Tarot


Here’s XIX Sun back to shine the light on you!

By now, you’ve got the basics on XIX Sun down, er, warm.    So let’s look at our Dreaming Way image for depth cues.

Pretty simple:  crawling baby (elfishly cute, that one) with a lolli and a BIG cluster of sunflowers.  Of course smiling baby’s headed for the lolli.  Who wouldn’t?  But wait!  Where are those eyes focused?  Not on the lolli.  Not on the lolli?!  What could be better than a lolli?!

What could be better than a lolli?  (okay, we’ve all got a long list, but play along)  Since baby’s up here in the clouds, it could be almost anything.  So you’ve got free rein to make up possibilities.  And all those possibilities will lead you to aspects of your naked self.

And how about those sunflowers?  Beautiful, bright, cheerful . . . .  And, ever feel the stalk of a sunflower?  Pretty prickly down there.  And, again, baby’s smiling.  Not so much minding the prickly stuff.  Like, maybe, come to terms with the prickly stuff.  And what’s some of the prickly stuff you keep hidden under your bright and cheerful demeanor?  Any chance you can come to terms with it?  XIX Sun says “yes”.

This week gives you opportunities to explore your relationship with the light of the Sun.  Are you the sun worshipper out on the sand every chance you get (I know you’re protecting your skin!)?  Or are you the cool one with shades who always wants the lights low in the yoga studio?

Get out in the XIX Sun, and let it grow you to acceptance of who you really are!


Yes, tarot counseling is amoung the services offered here.


Weekly Card XXI The World Revisited

140417 Oswald Wirth XXI World
Oswald Wirth Tarot

Since we’ve looked at XXI The World before, let’s use it to consider a little slice of the world of tarot.

Tarot cards didn’t just spring forth in the forms we know them now.  Less Ta Da! and more evolutionary journey.

Most historians (yes, even in tarot, they’re an argumentative bunch) trace the first tarot deck back to Milan, Italy in the mid to late 15th century.  And most agree that the deck that was designed for the Visconti family was a deck for gaming, rather than for reading and personal spiritual growth.  You’ve seen one of the cards in an earlier post.

The Visconti deck made it to France via the usual political transfers of power, and companies in Marseilles began printing tarot decks.  And here’s where tarot as a transpersonal tool had it’s start in the early 1700s.  There’s a style of decks known as Tarot de Marseilles, which are based on a few early decks.

The XXI World card pictured above is from the Oswald Wirth Tarot, which is a Marseilles-based deck.  Wirth was a Swiss kabbalist who studied in the French tarot tradition.   He designed his deck in the late 1800s with a great deal of input from a couple of his French mentors.  Like the Visconti, it was a majors only deck.

It’s a big world that our tarot tradition is a part of.  There are other arts that have made the cross-cultural migration.  Ballet is another that made the journey from Italy to France (Catherine diMedici married Henri II and was very influential vis a vis the court “theatre”).  I have to mention that, given the dancer on XXI The World. :-}

But, more importantly, it’s another example of the falling boundaries that XXI The World indicates.  No matter what’s gone before, there’s always a way to break through to wholeness and freedom, and it’s often the least expected avenue.

Celebrate transcendence!

We had another look at XXI The World since this post.  See how to grow into Paradise here.

Here we looked at how we can have an impact on others.




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.


Weekly Card V Heirophant

140403 Tarot of the Cat People V High Priest
Tarot of the Cat People

When we meet V The High Priest we’ve encountered our own search for meaning in our lives.  Another name for V The High Priest is V The Hierophant.  That’s a title from the Greek mystery schools (and probably earlier) that means “He who causes to be seen” or “He who shows the sacred”.   Very apropos of our communal opportunity this year.

140403 RWS V Heirophant
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

V The High Priest guards tradition. As II The High Priestess guards the mysteries of spirituality, V The High Priest is the keeper of the outer traditions.  He shows us, as a community, how to find meaning in our daily experience through established structures, practices and disciplines.

You can think institution and education when you see V The High Priest.  If you’re taking a yoga class, you’re being educated in a tradition.  If you’re married, you’re part of an institution.  If your first thought was “church”, you were right.  And that is definitely where V The High Priest began in tarot.  You can see, though, that he stands for much more than a religious leader.  In fact, he can stand for the tradition that is tarot!

Associate knowledge that’s come through thought with V The High Priest.  This is wisdom that’s come from processing practical experiences.  Also associate mercy and compassion with him.  V The High Priest is compassion and understanding in power.  He dispenses mercy from wisdom.  He teaches.  And he blesses (benediction, “what’s the good word?”).

Importantly, all while defending the status quo.  This is not about individual revelation.  This is about passing on the divine word through the tried and true traditions.

Take a look at your relationship with traditions and institutions this week.  Are you a free spirit who feels uncomfortable as a part of an established group?  Are you an individual who values the group structures that give your life meaning?  Are you, like most of us, a little bit of both?

What are the disciplines and practices that help you to find meaning in your life? Celebrate the opportunity to deepen them this week!

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 taken another look at V The Heirophant here.

And yet another.

Weekly Card XVII The Star

140220 Wildwood Pole Star
Wildwood Tarot

We’ve seen the Sun and the Moon . . . . it’s about time we got around to the Star(s).

We’ve got lots of cultural imagery around stars:  we wish on them, we steer by them, we’d give them to others if we could (along with the sun and moon), we sing and marvel at their twinkle . . . .

And any and all of those images can factor into how you interpret XVII The Star.

The Wildwood Tarot Pole Star focuses our attention to guidance for our personal journey.  Whether or not we have a personal star in the universe, we do each have a unique purpose or guiding light in our lives.  XVII The Star reminds us of that mission.

140220 RWS Star
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

One of my favourite questions to ask when helping people find their destiny is “what would you do even if you were never rewarded, recognized or appreciated?”  That wonderful thing you do no matter what is a key to your most fulfilling life.  The Rider-Waite-Smith image displays that beautifully:  our blonde beauty pours endlessly from 2 jugs, never needing to be replenished.

It’s wonderful that we’re all literally made of star stuff (and so is much of our dust bunnies!).  Our pole star is actually internal, part of us.

XVII lets us know that we’re being rejuvenated, restored to our most authentic selves.  We can expect opportunities to revel in our natural gifts.

Shine brightly, beautiful star!



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 XVII The Star here.  And a third look here.

Weekly Card XII The Hanged Man

Builders of the Adytum Tarot

Welcome to upside down world, where all seems to be topsy-turvy and no one seems to be upset about it.

Except . . . when has your world been turned upside down and you kept calm and unruffled?

We’ve even got expressions for some of what’s going on when we meet XII The Hanged Man:  “I’m hung up at . . .”   “I’m all tied up and can’t get away. . .”

140213 RWS Hanged Man
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

XII The Hanged Man indicates those times when nothing seems to move forward.  You might as well pull out your big store of patience, because you ain’t goin’ nowhere.  What?  You’re out of patience?  Well, you can count on developing some.

There’s actually a purpose to the down time of XII The Hanged Man.  He shows up when we’ve got lots of integrating to do.  He’s giving us a chance to develop some perspective, to gain some insight, to find meaning in what we’ve already lived through.

This odd character gives us a picture of acceptance and enlightenment.  He’s the guy who can live through having his world turned upside down with a sense that everything is just fine, thank you.  In fact, he uses his reversal to be in touch with his ideals and guiding values.  He outgrows materialism, sees his true self beneath the surface of experience and dwells in the divine consciousness of pure being.

Let’s bring it back down to earthly tarot.   What if you’ve got XIX The Sun followed by XII The Hanged Man?   What might you be integrating?

How about Queen of Swords followed by XII The Hanged Man?  Or 8 of Swords  with 3 of Pentacles and XII The Hanged Man?

Find some ways to create pauses in your life this week to process your experiences.  And . . .

Learn to enjoy the hang!

Weekly Card XVIII The Moon

140116 XVIII Moon Blake
William Blake Tarot

Approximately 2 weeks later, and here we are at the full moon, the time when the light through the darkness is brightest (as long as we’ve got relatively clear nights!).

Back at the new moon, we looked at II High Priestess, and the development of intuition, our inner knowing.

140116 RWS XVIII Moon
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Here at the full moon, we’ve got XVIII The Moon itself to light our way.

If II High Priestess is the indicator that we’re being called to be receptive and recognize our intuition, XVIII The Moon offers us opportunities to apply our intuition to our daily lives.  Here we’re not just reveling in the mysteries, we’re embodying them and walking them.

That kind of intuitive development is a spiritual victory: the sacred flourishing in the midst of the mundane.  (If you’ve been reading here regularly, you’ll remember that the sacred path in daily life is a theme for 2014.)   Our feelings are elevated to motivate action and the journey of creativity; they’re fused with our thoughts in our intuition and our dreams.

That’s all if we’ve got a clear channel of receptivity and stay on the path of true purpose.  But what happens when the night is cloudy and we’ve got a bunch of subconscious fears we haven’t faced, or delusions we won’t let go of?  (lunacy/lunar, anyone?)

That would be when we can lose our balance and wander around in our self-deception.

Given that this is the Full Wolf Moon, let’s look at the wolf and dog on either side of the path in the Rider Waite Smith XVIII The Moon.  They’re another pair we need to keep in balance to stay on our path of true purpose: our wild and unknown side, and our familiar, civilized self.  Most of us wander into the delusion that we are our dog self.  When we meet our wolf self, we’re not nearly so comfortable.

Ask yourself: are you the wolf pack baying at the Full Wolf Moon, or are you the victim surrounded by the pack?

Then listen to your inner wisdom – integrate your intuition — to discover your psychic reality without the ego mask . . .

your true self dancing by the light of the XVIII The Moon

Weekly Card X Wheel of Fortune

131121 Oswald Wirth Wheel of Fortune
Oswald Wirth Tarot

Wheel of Fortune?   You could just as easily call it the Wheel of Time.

Wait long enough and you can count on almost anything to happen.   Sowing, reaping.  Loving, hating.  Learning, mastering.

To everything there is a season.

131121 RWS Wheel of Fortune
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

X Wheel of Fortune is your opportunity to look at your life’s experiences in total.   Do you see patterns that return?  What do they add up to?    Have you been running around in circles or spiraling to a deeper knowledge and understanding?  What are the lessons of the elements of your life?

Where do you see yourself on the Wheel?  Is your life force rising?  Are you at the top of your game, self-actualized?  Are you on the way up or down?

If you look at the sum of your experiences so far, do they describe a singular life’s work?  What is it that you are called to master?   Where do you find the skills and talents to achieve the calling for your life?  What has fate (Fortuna) given you?

What would it like to be in the centre of the Wheel?  Who turns that crank?  What if you could just be who you are, no matter what your circumstances?

Sure are a lot of questions, eh?  That’s because there’s only one thing for certain . . . .

This, too, shall pass.
So what will you do with what you’ve got?


One of the joys of having a tarot teacher available is that you can collect a big pile of questions and then have a private session.  You know where to reach me when the pile is big enough.

We’ve had another look at the confusing changes X The Wheel of Fortune can bring.

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