Another first! Finally, a look at the inspiring 2 of Wands.
At the Ace, we get an inkling of a calling. Now that the 2 shows up, we’re getting a sense of where in the world we’re going to express that inkling.
Our inner enthusiasm, our inner drive, is seeking its outer counterpart.
Notice, in the Shadowscapes image, that our persona, accompanied by a whole tribe of fanciful fur family – the instinctual selves – is very removed from the rest of the world. In the Rider Waite Smith image, it’s the same situation: looking out at the world, holding fast to our Wand – our growing sense of purpose – considering possibilities from a distance.
So, where in your life are you feeling the call to express an inner ambition? Shadowscapes says we don’t have to be realistic at this point – let all of your inner voices have a say.
Now’s the time to look around to see where the possibilities are. Get a sense of how you and the outer world match – or don’t. If there’s tweaking to be done for a good match, do some brainstorming and planning.
Settle in with the match and the meaning that bring you the most enthusiasm. You don’t need to roll with anything yet; just get used to the possibilities.
And keep your big picture eye out for opportunities!
We’re meeting another regal presence from the Court Cards for the first time: the Queen of Cups.
As a person, this is the one who’s first foot forward is the emotional one. S/he’s involved and connected with those around her, directly from the heart. S/he’s the one you can go to for nurturing and comfort, for someone to understand how you’re feeling.
Most people are a mix of energies, and if we’re one of the lucky healthy ones, we can draw on all the Court Card energies when appropriate. So, this week, when you look at who might be influential in your life, you don’t need to find someone who’s all emotion and creativity with no rationality. Just look to the individual who’s most able to get into the emotional flow and stay there with you.
Elementally, we’ve got Queen as water in the watery suit, Cups. This is the level in the Court that’s most at home in the Cups environment. The image from the Mystical Cat Tarot has our Sea Queen in a flowing fountain. The Rider Waite Smith image has the Queen on a shell-topped throne at the edge of the sea, completely focused on her ornate Cup. This is a flowing, mutable, changeable, responsive energy. And it’s not to be underestimated: remember the long-term impact of water as waterfalls or rivers. Yes, the Queen of Cups will carve through stone, if need be.
Looking to your own character, where are you being asked to be emotionally connected this week? Do you have a creative project under way that needs the infusion of humanity that crosses time and space to reach its audience? How can you bring emotional response, especially with a feeling of nurturing, to as many areas of your life as possible this week?
We know rainbows from the biblical promise of “never again”. We’ve learnt what we needed from the deluge and don’t need that experience again as a species. Within Tarot, we know it from a reference in XIV Temperance, which we haven’t yet looked at. Iris, the messenger of the gods, brings heaven to earth with her rainbow.
Here, we’ve got the rainbow in the arena of connectedness: our emotions, our relationships, our creativity. We’ve come through a cycle, successfully integrated the emotional experience, successfully built a solid relationship, successfully carried our creation to completion. And now there’s time for celebration and appreciation of the cycle that’s just past.
Importantly, we become someone new at 10 of Cups. In the Rider Waite Smith image, we see gratitude, welcoming the future with open arms, dancing with others (like there’s no one watching). In the Inner Child image, we’ve got the 10th heart (corresponding to cups in this deck) on the forehead of the mermaid, native to this suit. She’s become the healer of the winged heart, able to touch the sky.
Along with preparing to jump off into our new cycle of connection, we’re charged to share what we’ve gained with others, to expand our community, to demonstrate our deepened capacity for connection.
It’s good to have some of the gaps in our tarot view filled in this past month. Since this is (mostly) a random draw, the past two years have seen repeated cards, so not all 78 have been covered yet.
Time to meet VII The Chariot.
How do we relate to someone in a chariot? Especially someone armoured? Most of us have absolutely no experience of that in our lives.
Or do we?
When was the last time you were in commuter traffic?
Being in commuter traffic ties in with having a role in society, one of the indications of VII The Chariot. At that point in our developmental journey, we head out into the world with something to offer. The world receives us well, saying, “yeah, we can use what you’ve got; we’ll make sure you’re compensated for it.”
But things can still be black and white at the VII Chariot point (notice the light and dark horses or the black and white sphinxes). There can be conflicting forces to manage. They can add to the spirit of adventure that’s connected with VII The Chariot. We may have found a societal role that works, but the adventure’s just beginning.
We’ve still got those internal conflicts to work out. Stay tuned: the Majors will addresse those – it’s worth clicking the “Majors” tag to look at some of the places we’ll go from VII The Chariot.
And those conflicts keep us moving forward. That’s why travel is often associated with VII The Chariot.
So is “progress”. Sometimes it’s straight ahead progress, as we keep the light and dark forces balanced. Other times it’s a zigzag hopscotch between the two, struggling to keep both wheels on the ground.
And then there’s that armour. Like a crab shell, it keeps the soft stuff protected – that stuff where we’re vulnerable while we struggle with our personal black and white. Think about your public self. Mostly your public persona does that for you, doesn’t it? It’s a way of being guarded but mobile and functional.
So, this week, where are you moving forward? Where is the progress straight ahead? Where do there seem to be obstacles? How could your internal conflicts be creating the stuff out there that you have to go around?
Define your role in society and use it to make progress!
Yup, we can definitely lose control of our personal light and dark steeds. When that happens, tarot is a wonderful tool to help train the team to make progress. You know where to find me.
Oh, we so don’t love to see these kinds of cards . . . the “sad” ones, the “bad” ones. We’ve had a couple of encounters before, here and here.
And here, at the 3 of Swords, we’re encountering sorrow at a very personal level. How much more clear an illustration of heartache can we get? Since we can’t spit it out, how do we deal with this distasteful card?
Look back to the heartaches in your life. What brought them on? Loss of a love? Loss of social standing? Loss of a cherished pet? Loss all around, isn’t it? Nothing we would have asked for.
Then again, when have you heard yourself say “he certainly asked for that one”? We could look at any situation and see how the ending had its seeds in the beginning. Heartless as it is, I’ve had people tell me that I was just asking for trouble by living in an hurricane evacuation zone.
And there’s the opportunity in the 3 of Swords. We’re putting our mind – the mental world of the swords – into our hearts. Rather than dissociating our thoughts from our humanity, we come to a deeper understanding of why it’s worth making connections regardless of the inevitability of endings.
For a writer or an artist, this can be a brilliant opportunity, this meeting of intellect with emotion. What needs to be expressed? Is there a story to tell? Is there a sorrow to be danced, painted or composed?
For the rest of us, the lemonade out of lemons involves developing compassion. For ourselves. For others who’ve travelled a similar path. And that requires taking heart in the positive sense: courage. Courage to believe in a life that continues. Courage to look outside ourselves again.
But how do we deal with the pain? You’ve got lots of clues in the multiple images for the 3 of Swords. The sad grey puss in the Baroque Bohemian Cat image finds the pain too difficult to take in. She has her angel holding the pierced heart. It’s still close at paw, but she’s got assistance. Who are your angels?
The Haindl Tarot image speaks to the isolation that pain can bring. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Time alone to mourn the loss, to replace what’s no longer there with tears, is a healing action. Recognize where your paradise has come to an end and grieve. It’s not necessarily fun, but healthy grief helps us move forward, back into life and connectedness.
By getting to the heart of our sorrow, by understanding what happened and who we’re becoming as a result of our loss, the Gilded Tarot image offers us the possibility of enlightenment. Our old way of thinking, our old way of expressing ourselves has cut us to the heart. As we recognize the old ways, we can move into the light of the new.
But not too quickly, says the Contemplative Tarot image. Life is possible, says the vine around the bleeding heart – and life with love, says the heart shape in the vine. It’s even going on around us. But so is the fish out of water, belly up in the cloudy sky. It speaks to the discomfort of no longer being the self we recognize. Allow the new life of connection to grow out of the wounded self, in its own time.
In your own life this week, what has pierced you right at the quick? How can you use your mind to get to the heart of the matter? And how can you express yourself about it all?
Let your mind and heart work together to keep compassion in the foreground this week.
What a beautiful card for a spring day (at least, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere – those of you in the South can lift a cup to spring days yet to come)!
3 of Cups is a social, cheerful card saying, Celebrate! And find your best friends to celebrate with you.
You’ll remember, from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think, that 3s are expression and expansion, and Cups are emotions, relationships and creativity.
So how can you express your emotions? How can you expand your relationships? Your creativity?
Looking to the Crystal Tarot image, we’ve got the three Cups (or Chalices) enclosing an egg, symbol of fertility and creativity. This one is many layered and includes a design that makes me think of the beautiful pysanky from the Ukrainian Easter tradition. Floating above the stable triangle is the fluttering butterfly of transformation. We’ve no shortage of blooming flowers here, with lots of heart-based green and turquoise from the higher heart – that place where expression comes from the heart.
For Tarot 2: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, let’s introduce 3 of Cups experiences to a couple of Court Cards. Start with the Knight of Cups. We’ve got the airy Knight stirring up the watery Cups in a situation of the same element. Remember, he keeps moving. As long as things are expansive, is he likely to stay? When we look at the stability of the 3, how is he likely to react? What happens when we’ve got too much water and it’s all being stirred up?
Bring the practical Page of Pentacles in. How do earth and water get along? Pretty neutral, aren’t they? But how long is this Page likely to stick around if the party just keeps going, particularly if it’s celebration for celebration’s sake? The Page may not have much impact on the situation, but the situation may not have much impact on the Page either.
If you were a Court Card, who would you be? And which Courts might best represent some of your friends? Now, which ones do you want to invite to the party?
Are you running out of patience and ready to be out creating and socializing? Have at it!
Can it be? In the 2 years we’ve been looking at a card each week, we’ve never seen VI The Lovers?
Finally, here it is!
Which is often the way people feel after encountering the choice they’ve been waiting for. The one they recognize as truly “theirs”.
Wait! “Choice”? Not “person?
VI The Lovers can absolutely mean a soul-deep love when that’s what we’ve focused on. But it’s a much bigger energy than that. It’s about recognizing any element in your life as peculiarly germane to your singular journey. A career choice, an education choice, a geographical location choice: these can all fall into VI Lovers territory.
The thing you’ll recognize is that you feel there really is no choice at all. There’s something you have to do, someone you have to be, because of the calling of your soul.
The down side is that there’s usually something else to be left behind. In the case of relationship, we may not have the freedom we did when single. For an education choice, we may be leaving friends behind by choosing a faraway college. Any choice has its ramifications, doesn’t it?
Here in the Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights we have the choice of the Sultan to love Scheherazade. Quite a brave choice, even given the thousand and one nights of brilliant story-telling. All that story-telling doesn’t necessarily mean the Sultan won’t get hurt again. Scheherazade could be cunning enough for treachery if she’s clever enough to keep interest by story-telling. (Of course, I’ll put in a vote for the happy ending!)
VI Lovers isn’t our happy ending; it’s our meaningful beginning. There’s still the “ever after” part left to live.
So bring it down to the level of your own life: where do you have meaningful choices to make? How can you connect with your soul at the crossroads? Recognize that you’re at the very beginning of the paths you can choose between.
Choose soulfully and begin the adventure!
We all have times when we need help recognizing our options and hearing the voice of our soul. Tarot’s a wonderful tool for those times and I’m happy to help you use it. Get in touch with me whenever you need.
What if all you had to do to feel passionate about life was to step into a flow of passion?
Well, Ace of Fire, also known as Ace of Wands, is that flow. It’s the seed, the potential for the complete development of values, goals, the desired lifestyle (Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think). Each Ace, each new passion, each beginning contains an entire lifespan with all its promise and eventual completion.
Our job, when we meet an Ace, is to open to the possibilities of the suit, in this case Wands. Aces are the most potent and pure of the minor arcana. Here we’ve got the ultimate in fire (Tarot 2: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore).
The Japaridze image gives us the fire within a diamond, the internal fire of a tempered, high-value gem. It’s a blossom of fire. The Rider Waite Smith image is of the Divine hand offering a new wand.
Story time . . . TIETYT, what happens when the wealthy 9 of Pentacles encounters the Ace of Wands flow? T2WNIKA, what’s the relationship between boundless fire and a lot of earth? And how does the 9 get on with 1?
Where are you feeling the passion, a renewed enthusiasm for life?
Jump into the flow and let it carry you away!
Tarot can help you focus and follow a new beginning; get in touch for a session. Follow your tarot passion with the next Berkeley County Adult Ed classes on 20th March and 1st May. Call 304-267-3585 for info and to sign up.
4 of Cups gets a bad rap in many tarot traditions; it’s seen as the card of boredom, discontent, missed opportunities. Since creativity and emotions, the watery stuff of our lives, like to flow, the stable 4 can be seen as a dam interfering with movement. And, yes, 4 of Cups can have that side to it.
But stability and manifestation in emotions, relationships and creativity (from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think) has its positive side, too. Water likes to pool as well as flow, so Cups as water (from Tarot 2 . . . We’re Not in Kansas Anymore) don’t need movement to be enjoyable.
It’s interesting that only 3 of the cups in the Herbal and Rider Waite Smith illustrations have come to earth. The other cup is being offered by a Divine hand. The stability and manifestation of the 4 is a gift we need to accept (the receptivity of Cups). Is that solely an external opportunity that we can miss? Or is inner contemplation and stability also a factor?
In creativity, it’s especially exciting when a project takes form. Four of Cups is that point: manifestation. In relationships, we’re not always looking for something new; most of us count on stable relationships. And what happens when we reach a point of stability in our emotions? Those rare moments are the aim of many forms of meditation.
The end of the spectrum where the 4 of Cups crosses into the negative is when we reach stagnation, when it’s an over-used energy. If our creativity gets stuck in habits, if we aren’t receptive to the 4th cup of Divine inspiration, we’re in the downside of the card. If our emotional boundaries or relationships never allow anything to shift and grow, if we aren’t receptive to the hand of the Divine in our lives, we’re putting security above all else. And that’s where we run into isolation and boredom.
We’re meant to have stability and change in our lives. As long as we’re building on our emotional, creative and relationship structures, we’re keeping the balance that allows the 4 of Cups to be a beautiful part of our lives. It’s okay to be contented and emotionally fulfilled sometimes. 4 of Cups is one of those times.
Delight in contentment and creative manifestation!
If you’d like to use the beautiful images of the tarot to help you take the next leap in your life, you know where to find me. You can also get in touch for individual and group lessons.
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?
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.