Oswald Wirth Tarot

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 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 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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