Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Weekly Card Knight of Wands

141009 Knight of Wands Renaissance
Renaissance Tarot


Whoa, Nellie!!

Knight of Wands is the most adventurous and forceful of the Court Cards: the most active card in the most aggressive suit. He may signify someone crossing your path or he may be rushing you to encounter that aspect of yourself.

141009 Knight of Wands RWS
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Brian Williams’ Renaissance Tarot representation is much more subtle than the Rider Waite Smith image, but we can still find the indicators for the Knight who’ll take us quickly in the direction of our ambitions.

For starters we’ve got a few of the different names for Wands: Staves and the Italian Bastoni, which translates as Batons. Sometimes we’ve got slender staves or wands, other times heavy batons or clubs. All the same suit, under different family names. This one’s got the crown of spirit on it’s slender stalk.

Going basic, we’ve got a man on a horse. That immediately ups the speed and distance available to the Knight. His armour is light, a compromise necessary for speed. Perhaps he’s arrogant about defenses, perhaps he’s ignorant, perhaps he’s just a very good fighter. And perhaps he’s just able to out distance or out maneuver his adversaries.

He keeps a loose hand on the rein, an indication that he’s got a trusting relationship with his steed, letting his spirit take the lead. The wings on his helmet refer to the swiftly moving air element that’s associated with all the Knights. Knight of Wands’ flight is motivated by passion.

The red cloth of his dress is the colour of fire, with a yellow amulet, the colour of air. Emotional blue contains his passionate red. Although blue is most often associated with water, we all recognize it as the colour of clear skies . . . clear sailing.

Up in the corner, we’ve got an angel with a scroll – the Torah, the law. That’s one of two references to Hermes, the winged messenger. The other is the winged helmet. In the other corner we’ve got 2 men, indicating masculine energies (NOT male: you already know we’ve all got a masculine and feminine side); another descriptor of the activity level, the dynamic nature of the Knight of Wands.

The countryside through which he rides is fertile and green, growing. The water behind him – again a symbol of the subconscious and of emotions – is calm. The city is in the distance with mountains even further behind.   Is our Knight passing by, or has he come from those distant places? It’s hard to imagine the city containing him but his fiery spirit could easily conquer the rugged mountaintops.

So, this week, identify the people in your life who are moved by their passions. And find the ways you yourself embody the Knight of Wands.

Fire away!


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 Knight of Swords

140911 Knight of Swords Rabbit Tarot
Rabbit Tarot

Here’s your knight in shining armour!

The Knight of Swords (or Carrots in Nakisha Elsje VanderHoeven’s Rabbit Tarot) is one of the Court Cards in your tarot deck. Court cards represent the people or energy types that cross your path. Knight energy is adventurous and forceful. Swords are the active energy of ideas, concerns and communications. So we’ve got a knight who’ll come to your rescue.

140911 Knight of Swords RWS
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

What strikes you in the image on the Rabbit Tarot? That carrot is something to chew on. Ever heard the phrase “here’s a thought to chew on”? But look at the image on the Rider Waite Smith Knight of Swords? Does he look like he’s taking time to chew on much of anything?

Our Rabbit Knight has a goat for a steed.   He’ll be sure-footed, able to take on all sorts of terrain, even the straight up and down kind. His horns even look a lot like the rabbit’s carrot.   Up there on his head, his mind is on the outside. If you know any goats, you know they don’t take long to act out any thought that comes into their heads. That quality is very Knight of Swords.

We can see clearly in the Rider Waite Smith image that having a steed extends the Knight’s range of travel. And all that motion looks like it’s happening at top speed. Knight of Swords doesn’t wait around or waste time.

When have you been called on to be a Knight of Swords? Who do you know who embodies that regularly? How would it benefit you to go there this week?

Think quick!


If you’ve been wanting to learn tarot, I’m teaching two levels through the Berkeley County Adult Ed Program.  You’ll find some of the details in the Upcoming Events and On-Going Classes sidebar on the right.  Call 304-267-3585 for registration and further information.

We’ve had another visit with the Knight of Swords.


Weekly Card 3 of Pentacles Repeat

131219 Osho Zen 3 of Rainbows
Osho Zen Tarot

Welcome to the world of meaningful work!

131219 RWS 3 of Pentacles
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

3 of Pentacles, as a 3, is expansion and expression; as a Pentacle, those exes are happening in the material world, the world of health, and the world of finances.  (Not to bring to mind those you’ve left behind.)

Or maybe we do want to . . . .

When 3 of Pentacles appears, we know we’re on the road to perfecting whatever it is that we’re up to.  We’re looking to improve our status.  And that means we’ll be changing our relationship to anything that holds us back.

On the positive side, we can be so focused on our aspirations that we take the steps needed to attain those heights.   We’re dedicated to what we want to achieve: it comes from within, from our inner guide.  We gather a team that shares our vision and brings what we need to the table.  We understand how to work from a plan and how to learn new skills when we need to.

And the implication of 3 of Pentacles is that there’ll be a reward for quality work that’s faithful to the vision.

On the negative side, we can be so focused on the idea of “the best” that we use others to climb to the top.   Not a pretty picture, and not necessary to achieve our goals.

Osho Zen is one of the tarot decks that uses alternatives to Pentacles, Cups, Swords and Wands.  Here, we have Rainbows corresponding to Pentacles, Water to Cups, Clouds to Swords, and Fire to Wands.

To strengthen your understanding of 3 of Pentacles, imagine it in response to questions about home improvement, about a health or diet plan, and about investments.  How can you apply the concepts above to those arenas?

Then imagine the story you’d tell if 3 of Pentacles is paired with 10 of Swords.  And what’s the very different story that might result if it appears with Ace of Pentacles?

Now’s your chance to follow your inner guide to a better world!


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 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 7 of Pentacles

140626 7 of Pentacles Mythic
Mythic Tarot


Welcome to almost every day of your life.  (Your very own soap opera:  The Days of Your Life . . . . )

7 of Pentacles is all about the decisions we make every day.   It’s about the boring stuff we have to do to maintain our lives.

And, if we’re wise, it’s about the moments we take to stop and assess what’s going on.

All along the way, in any of our projects, we need to make myriad decisions about the next step to take.

140626 7 of Pentacles RWS
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

If we’ve sown our garden, we need to check in regularly to see what needs attention.  To water or not?  Pests to be handled?  Is what we’ve done so far working?  What do we do next?

And some of those decisions are difficult choices; we choose one direction and it closes off others.  Daedalus’ difficult decision between the desires of the gods and the desires of his patron is illustrated in the Mythic Tarot 7 of Pentacles.

Again, we do it every day.  Something at work needs our attention, which means we’ve got less time with our kids.  Our child needs surgery, which means we can’t take on the project we were looking forward to at work.  And our lifes’ paths take shape.

The promise of 7 of Pentacles is that, if we attend to the small decisions along the way, we’ll reach our goals.  And in much less time than we might think.

Pause, assess, take action, and trust your choices!



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 the 7 of Pentacles here.


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 Prince of Cups

140508 Prince of Cups Ceremonial Magic
Tarot of Ceremonial Magick

My, we’re spending a lot of time with the Courts lately!   Last week we visited with the King of Swords; the week before that was Princess of Pentacles.  When that many court cards show up, it lets us know that we’re out in the world of other people more than usual.  Stop for a moment to see how your life has been affected by those around you, especially the intellectual authoritarian types and the youthful practical types.

140508 Knight of Cups RWS
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

This week, we’re meeting the Prince of Cups, also known as the Knight of Cups.  Here we have the element of air living in the world of water.  You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that air in water rapidly rises to the top.  And a big enough wind on the surface of the water can really stir things up.  Although air moves freely on its own, water slows it down or limits it into bubbles.

The attributes of the Prince of Cups grow out of that interaction of air with water.  He (or she – remember, the cards are gender neutral in our material world) is on a quest to fulfill his emotional desires.  He can get lost in the emotional content of any situation, losing sight of the bigger context.  Deep feelings can be stirred up when this Prince rides into your life.  As a representative of the airy world of ideas, he can lead you into situations where you’re more in love with love than with any real person or situation.  He encourages looking within.

There are two pictures that we can draw of this Prince.  One is of a sincere idealist who is in touch with his inner truth.  The other is of a self-absorbed Don Juan, riding roughshod over all in fulfillment of his emotion-based ambitions.  The keys that keep the Prince of Cups engaged with his successful, positive side are his emotional connections with others and his sincerity.

You’ve noticed additional symbolism on the Tarot of the Ceremonial Magick card.  (You’ve seen XXI World and King of Cups from this deck before.)  Lon Milo DuQuette designed these to include astrological references, as well as Enochian and Goetian Magickal connections.  The symbols that refer to the elemental correspondences are in the I Ching lines in the upper left and in the Tattwa symbol in the lower right.  The upper 3 lines and the blue circle signify air and the lower 3 lines and the crescent signify water.

Let the Prince of Cups lead you to a deeper understanding of your emotions this week.  Use your discoveries to connect with others in your life.

Here’s to those creative moments of Truth!


Self-discovery is a strong suit in the Tarot.  Let me know when you’re ready for a quest.

We’ve had another look at a few more of the Knight of Cups appearances.

Weekly Card King of Swords

140501 Legacy King of Swords
Legacy of the Divine Tarot
140501 RWS King of Swords
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

 You are now in the high court of the land and would do well to hold your tongue while you look, listen, and learn.  The King of Swords is the authority and decision-making position in the Tarot deck.

You’ll remember that each Court Card has its elemental association from its position in the Court and its suit.  King of Swords is the Fire of Air card.  Kings are the robust and constant energy of the Court.  Swords have to do with ideas, concerns and communications.

Have a respectful chat with the King of Swords while you have his presence this week.  Let him teach you about clear communication.  Ask him about logical analysis and planning for your projects.  Learn what you can about how to discriminate rationally.  Ask him to show you the crux of the matter when you’re ready to make decisions.

The King of Swords upholds law and order, so this is not the week to explore rebellion.  Instead, deepen your understanding of the things around you.  Think about what you would do if you were the mastermind in your own life.  Remind yourself what the King of Swords lives by, that Knowledge is Power.

May the intellectual force be with you!

Weekly Card 2 of Pentacles

140410 Tarot Illuminati 2 of Pentacles
Tarot Illuminati

 How are you doing with all those balls you’re keeping up in the air?

2 of Pentacles acknowledges that we sometimes have our hands full dealing with change.  And those stormy seas reflect the emotional state we can get into while trying to adapt and stay flexible.

Every life has its ups and downs.  We’re just more adapted to some of the up and down patterns than others.  The hard truth that 2 of Pentacles tells us is “things will never settle down”.

140410 RWS 2 of Pentacles
Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Its wisdom is that, if we put the elements of our lives in service to our purpose (see that infinity sign that connects the pentacles in our juggler’s hands?), we will be able to harmonize those elements successfully.  I’m sure you’ve found the zen of organization at least once or twice in your life.  2 of Pentacles can bring you to that state.  You know, the one where you’re making the best use of the resources you have.  The one where you’re interacting with life, not acting on – or acting out! – or reacting to.

This is where the meaning “skillful piloting leads to far-reaching success” comes from.

So what are the elements of your life that you’re trying to balance?  2 of Pentacles promises that you’ll find a way to keep them spinning!

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