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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Journey through My Decks: TEN OF WANDS

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the Ten of Wands from Tarot of the Hidden Folk by Giacinto Gaudenzi (published by Lo Scarabeo).


The Lord of Oppression
"He has considerable energy but it's best to stay clear of him."
(from the LWB)

Book T* (which also calls this card "The Lord of Oppression") associates the Ten of Wands with Saturn (planet of lessons and limitations) and Sagittarius, a mutable Fire sign known for being freedom-loving, expansive, and open to new ideas and exploration.

Of the Tens in general, Aleister Crowley writes that they represent "the end of all energy. . . the current has derogated from the original perfection. The Tens are a warning; see whither it leads -- to take the first wrong step!"

In the Ten of Wands, Saturn exerts its no-nonsense influence in exuberant, sometimes irresponsible (but charmingly so) Sagittarius. In Crowley's words, "Saturn is material, slow, heavy, obstinate, and obscure" whereas Sagittarius is "spiritual, swift, light, elusive, and luminous."

As Crowley puts it, the Ten of Wands "is what happens when one uses force, force, and nothing else but force all the time. . . the Wand has conquered; it has done its work; it has done its work too well; it did not know when to stop. . .  It is a stupid and obstinate cruelty from which there is no escape. It is a Will which has not understood anything beyond its dull purpose. . ."

Sagittarius is not one to take such treatment lying down. The result of Saturn's efforts to control and limit Sagittarius is that the flames of Sagittarius lose their ability to inspire, energize, and illuminate. Instead, they "run wild," becoming "Fire in its most destructive aspect." (Crowley) Nothing brings a Fire sign's blood to a boil more quickly than being told "no" or "don't" or "you can't." (I call this the Eternal Toddler Syndrome... Terrible Twos Forever!)

Of course, Saturn's determination to "limit" is not necessarily a bad thing. It may be that in our enthusiasm or eagerness, we have failed to recognize our own limitations and have therefore taken on more than we can reasonably handle, thus "oppressing ourselves".

The Lord of Oppression wears a red hat, signifying Fire, and a brown robe, signifying Earth (Saturn rules Capricorn, an Earth sign). He wears slippers without toes, displaying long, sharp toenails. I have not yet decided what to make of that.

This card alerts me to the fact that directing energy single-mindedly toward a goal can eventually create an oppressive situation and might even lead to a failure of ambitions, in whole or in part. The card also may signal the need to be conscious of any tendency to selfishly overburden others or trample their ambitions in pursuit of one's own.


---------------------------
* Book T - The Tarot[/i], Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction. A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use. A public domain manuscript.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Journey through My Decks: NINE OF WANDS (by Zanna)

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the Nine of Wands from the Celestial Tarot, created by Kay Steventon, with a book written by Brian Clark (published by US Games Systems, Inc.)


The suit of Wands in this deck is subtitled The Quest for Fire. It is associated with the zodiac signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Brian Clark notes that Fire embodies both the sacred and the wild. It is a "transcendent element, symbolizing spirit and the religious quest." Fire can be primarily future-oriented, extroverted, or introverted. Fire's gifts include "its faith, sense of humor, and ability to see the wider horizons of life." The suit of Wands represents "heroic progress, development of the imagination, and prophetic ability."

The Nine of Wands is associated in this deck with the constellation Draco, "The Dragon". Located in the far northern sky, Draco winds around Ursa Minor. In his book Stars and Planets (Dorling Kindersley Limited), Ian Ridpath tells us that it represents the dragon that in Greek mythology guarded the golden apples of the Hesperides, the daughters of Atlas, and which was slain by Hercules as one of his labors. Clark explains that the ancient constellation Draco had wings, which were "snipped off in the archaic period and reshaped into the neighboring constellation Ursa Minor."

On the Nine of Wands we see symbols for the zodiac sign Sagittarius and the Sun. This association differs from Book T*, which links the Nine of Wands with the Moon and Sagittarius.

Clark notes that on a psychological level, the Nine of Wands "reveals the alliance between solar consciousness and the monstrous, or the ego and the shadow." The ego and the shadow are partners, even though there is tension between them. Traditionally the Nine of Wands features an individual in a defensive, reactionary position. In the Celestial Tarot, this card alerts us to the need to summon our inner resources rather than continuing to react from a defensive position.

The Nine of Wands suggests that there is an obstacle to face or task to undertake (or dragon to subdue). Strength and conviction are required to meet the challenge – and the source of strength may well be the shadow instead of the ego.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

*Book T - The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction. A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use. A public domain manuscript.

About the deck: In Brian Clark's introduction to his book Celestial Tarot, he writes: "Celestial Tarot embraces the ancient traditions of astrology, astronomy, and mythology to re-imagine the cards. . . Using the cards invites the individual into the ancient mysteries while simultaneously offering spiritual revelations, personal guidance, and psychological insight. . . Celestial Tarot invites you to participate in the mystery of the subconscious where linear time evaporates and the past, present, and future are fused together to allow greater meaning and understanding."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tarot Notes is Blog of the Month!

Helen and I were delighted to see that Tarot Notes - Major and Minor was recently named Blog of the Month in a newsletter published by the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI). The commentary reads: 
"In days when we seem to get hit with information overload I like the simplicity of this blog. However, looks can be deceiving! While the blog is laid out to be easy on the eye, the content created by Helen Howell and Zanna Starr is far from simple. In depth interviews with the cards sit alongside astrological connections, deck reviews, meditations and even readings for fictional characters and pets. I'm sure you will find the blog an excellent read."
We appreciate these words of praise from TABI and look forward to meeting those who visit the blog as a result!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Two of Cups - Astrological Associations (by Zanna)

Astrological associations for the Minor Arcana cards typically involve both a planet and a zodiac sign. The attributions established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are by far the most commonly used. However, some Tarot decks use a different set of associations. As a professional astrologer, I find it interesting to compare and contrast these associations from deck to deck. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.

Credits for the decks and books mentioned in this post can be found HERE.

TWO OF CUPS


Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
For Crowley and the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD), the Two of Cups represents the energy of Venus (planet of love and appreciation) in Cancer (a Water sign ruled by the Moon and known for being imaginative, emotional, sensitive, loyal, and moody). Like Book T, Crowley titles the card "Love." This card is also linked with the energy of Jupiter (planet of luck and expansion), which is exalted in Cancer. Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler (in Keywords for the Crowley Tarot) describe the energy of the card as: "loving, delightful (Venus) devotion and feelings (Cancer) of emotional (Cancer) connection (Venus)." Notice the overflowing chalices and intertwined, water-sprouting fish. Two blossomed lotus flowers, connected with each other, float on a calm, peaceful sea.

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
Crystal Love associates the Two of Cups with the first subdivision of the sign Cancer, with the Moon as the natural ruler and and Venus as the subruler. She views this energy as bringing "success in social and artistic matters, possibly through partnership, and a fondness for entertainment and pleasure."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens describes the Two of Cups as follows: "The Water of the soul on the house of Capricorn, the Tenth house of the act, the deed, manifestation. The two souls find each other here in an act, which of course must be that of meeting in the body." For Thierens, the Two of Cups is about attraction, desires, and love-making -- which is similar to the meanings provided in the other decks I am discussing. However, the associations with Capricorn (an Earth sign known for being disciplined, responsible, ambitious, and determined) and the Tenth House (House of Career and Public Standing) seem to be a distinct departure from the Moon-Venus-Cancer energy described by Crowley et al. (Note: The astrological system devised by Thierens is radically different from that of the OGD. I will not go into detail here, but will simply provide the astrological associations for the card under discussion. If you are interested in learning more about this system, I recommend the book referenced above.)

The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann
Like the OGD, Mann's deck associates the suit of Cups with the element Water. Mann describes Cup Two, Three, and Four as "The Rains of Cancer" and associates them with The Summer Solstice (21 June to 22 July). Cup Two is assigned to the First Decan of Cancer -- Moon in Cancer. On the King Scale of Color, the colors linked with the Moon are indigo, silver, and white. The color for the sign Cancer is yellow-orange. Mann's keywords for the Moon are "soul, unconscious, personality, instinct, emotions, and fertility." For the sign Cancer, his keywords are "mothering, fecundation, fertilization, feeling, emotions, mother, home and family, the unconscious, protective, urge, and possessiveness." To me, this gives a different "feel" to this card from that suggested by the other decks and authors mentioned in this post.

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
Liz Hazel's suit of Cups is the suit of the Water element, embodying "emotions, feelings, relationships, love, as well as the nature and consequences of emotional attachments." The Two of Cups represents the Venus/Cancer energy we see in other decks. Hazel's illustration emphasizes a male-female union and a desire for love and romance. In keeping with the rulership of the Moon over Cancer, Hazel notes that this card can suggest "unrealistic hopes and dreams about relationships" or "a fantasy lover."

I am inclined to stick with the Moon-Venus-Cancer associations for the Two of Cups, although I am intrigued by what Thierens wrote about the card. Relationships can, and sometimes do, involve ambition or "reputation" (Capricorn traits). One example might be the marriages of members of royal families or even average people who stand to gain status from a relationship.

I welcome your comments!

Zanna

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Journey through My Decks: EIGHT OF WANDS (by Zanna)

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the Eight of Clubs from the Guardians of Wisdom deck by Todd Hershey (Author) and Emy Ledbetter (Artist).



Eight of Clubs
Angels (Organization / Confusion)

Guardians of Wisdom is an unorthodox but incredibly beautiful deck. There is no LWB or larger book for the deck, mainly because the DMs for upright and reversed positions are printed on the cards themselves.

In case you can't read the writing on the cards, the upright card says: "You are choosing the right path or action in a chaotic situation." Reversed, it reads: "Going in too many directions, resulting in not accomplishing what you set out to do."

The suits in this deck have the following associations: Diamonds (Native Americans) = physical aspects; Hearts (Goddesses) = emotional aspects; Spades (Ancient Asians) = mental aspects; Clubs (Angels) = spiritual aspects.

I feel that the suit of Angels (Clubs) – "spirit" – is comparable to the suit of Wands in many decks, but I make no claim that the Eight of Clubs is a perfect match to the Eight of Wands.

Todd Hershey writes: "The Angel category represents spirit. These spiritual guides can help align and balance you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is with the Angel cards that you find the kind of faith that will move mountains and allow the impossible to become possible. The Angel cards will assist in finding the light at the end of the tunnel and realizing that the light has always been inside each and every one of us. The Angel cards inspire us to have faith to move forward to the next opportunity. It is here that we find some of life's greatest rewards."

The person on the Eight of Clubs wears a marvelous headdress that appears to consist of four smaller figures wrapped in spirals and tendrils that reach in all directions. There is a distinct sense of movement and activity on the card.

Certainly there is potential for confusion if each person chooses a different path. If all are united toward a single goal (i.e., organized) they can accomplish more. It is interesting that three of the four tiny faces look very similar, but one is turned in profile rather than facing us. Does this represent the potential for difference or disorganization (confusion or spiritual turmoil) that lies within the card?

In my Tarot system, the number Eight can suggest a new way forward, movement or being held back from movement, mastery, efficiency, harvest, an inquiring mind, power, continuity, regeneration, and magic.* When applied to the spiritual nature of the suit of Clubs in this deck, I get a strong indication that things are happening, and it's up to me to determine whether they proceed in an organized or disorganized fashion.


* My number associations are based on several sources and personal study over a period of time.

About the deck: Todd Hershey writes: "I created the Guardians of Wisdom cards to be a powerful tool for giving you insights into questions that you have about your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual nature with just the turn of the card." Although Hershey never uses the word Tarot, the structure of the deck is tarot-like, with the four suits, a Fool (in essence), and Trumps. Emy Ledbetter's exquisite paintings offer much to contemplate and enjoy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ace of Cups - Astrological Associations (by Zanna)

Astrological associations for the Minor Arcana cards typically involve both a planet and a zodiac sign. The attributions established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are by far the most commonly used. However, some Tarot decks use a different set of associations. As a professional astrologer, I find it interesting to compare and contrast these associations from deck to deck. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.


Credits for the decks and books mentioned in this post can be found HERE


ACE OF CUPS

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
For Crowley and the OGD, the Ace of Cups is The Root of the Powers of Water. It is not assigned to any particular planet or sign. It can be said to incorporate the energy of the three Water signs of the zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler (in Keywords for the Crowley Tarot) describe the energy of the card as: "emotional depth (Cancer), emotional strength (Scorpio), devotion and empathy (Pisces)."




One World Tarot by Crystal Love
Crystal Love writes: "The Ace of Cups represents the passive, feminine element of Water and expresses the powers attributable to all the water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces." As a group, the water signs represent introversion, repressiveness, intuitiveness, and psychic sensitivity. Their realm is the sphere of emotions and emotional relationships (including love, home, family, and motherhood).


A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
As usual, Thierens departs from the associations used by Crowley and the OGD. While Thierens does retain the association of Cups with the element Water, he also writes that "The Cups. . . start their cycle on the Ninth house, the house of Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, the lawgiver." The qualities of mutation or transmutation are linked with Sagittarius (a mutable Fire sign), along with "a tendency to teach, to translate, guide, interpret." Sagittarius and Jupiter also bring a possibility of extravagance or over-indulgence, as well as inspiration and idealism. (Note: The system devised by Thierens is radically different from that of the OGD. I will not go into detail here, but will simply provide the astrological associations for the card under discussion. If you are interested in learning more about this system, I recommend the book referenced above.)


The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann
Like the OGD, Mann's deck associates the suit of Cups with the element Water and the zodiac signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Mann chooses the colors of the outer rings of the central image from the King Scale of Color (yellow-orange for Cancer, blue-green for Scorpio, and red-violet for Pisces). He titles the Cup Ace "Power in Rains of Water." Mann describes the water signs as being "subjective, personal and receptive to outer influences. . . value systems or feelings which are often unexpressed or expressed as emotional, sensitive, mediumistic, impressionable, imaginative, psychic, secretive and visionary." 


The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
Liz Hazel's suit of Cups is the suit of the Water element, embodying "emotions, feelings, relationships, love, as well as the nature and consequences of emotional attachments." The Ace of Cups is not linked with any particular zodiac sign or planet in this deck. Hazel notes that the cups or chalices in this suit "may contain liquids, potions, dreams and wishes."


From an astrological standpoint, the water signs -- Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces -- have their watery nature in common. However, they are also different from each other in many ways. For example, Cancer is a cardinal sign (action, initiative, leadership, outgoing activity), Scorpio is a fixed sign (persistence, single-mindedness, determination, resourcefulness), and Pisces is a mutable sign (adaptability, versatility, openness to change, flexibility). Cancer is ruled by the Moon; Scorpio is ruled by Mars (and/or Pluto); and Pisces is ruled by Jupiter (and/or Neptune). These heavenly bodies have their own unique attributes and influences which can be taken into account.


I welcome your comments!  


Zanna

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Journey through My Decks: SEVEN OF WANDS (by Zanna)

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the Seven of Wands from The Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene, with illustrations by Tricia Newell (published by Fireside/Simon & Schuster, Inc.)


Like all of the Wands cards in this deck, the Seven offers us another encounter with the celebrated hero Jason. Here we see Jason's battle with King Aeetes of Colchis, who is dressed in a flame-colored robe and wields a flaming Wand. In fact, all six participants bear flaming Wands. Jason has two, bringing the total to Seven.

The suit of Wands (Fire) is often associated with creativity. Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene tap into this symbolism by describing the Seven of Wands as auguring "a struggle with other people's creative ideas." The competition is keen, and we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We must be willing not only to fight for what we want, but to continue fighting in order to keep it.

DMs provided by Sharman-Burke: "Stiff competition must now be faced. Renewed determination and courage are necessary."

Sharman-Burke encourages us to "notice how the Seven follows the Six and determine, from your own experience, how success affects you."

About the deck: The Mythic Tarot is based on Greek mythology and its relationship to "essential human experiences and essential human patterns of development" or "archetypal experiences" (Sharman-Burke/Greene).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Planetary Placement Spread (by Zanna Starr)

With a full moon in Taurus tonight, I was prompted to create a Tarot spread related to the position of the Moon in Taurus in my birth chart. This spread can be used in many different ways, not just to explore planetary or luminary placement in your birth chart. However, I am focusing on that area for my Purpose and Question in this post. I am using the Sharman-Caselli deck by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli (St. Martin's Griffin).

PURPOSE: The purpose of this spread is to explore how I can make the best use of a particular placement in my astrological birth chart.

MY QUESTION: How can I make the best use of this astrological placement in my birth chart?

LAYOUT and POSITIONAL DEFINITIONS

..........1..................2........
3..................4.................5
6..................7.................8


(1) Planet or Luminary
(2) Zodiac Sign
(3) I need to analyze this
(4) I need to explore my feelings about this
(5) I need to "get physical" about this
(6) I need to meditate on this
(7) I need to be cautious about this
(8) I need to avoid this


THE READING

Sharman-Caselli Tarot
Sharman-Caselli Tarot

(1) Planet or Luminary: MOON (Tarot card = The High Priestess)
(2) Zodiac Sign: TAURUS (Tarot card = The Hierophant)

Before I continue with the reading, let's take a look at these two cards, side by side. The figures on the card are dressed similarly in white or cream-colored garments. Both cards feature two pillars, one on either side of the central figure. These two people face away from each other and are focused on in their own activities, seemingly unaware of each other -- she with her pomegranates and he with his keys. The High Priestess speaks to me of inner life and the internal Higher Self, whereas I usually view The Hierophant as a representative of the traditions, religions, or social structures that play a role in the outer or physical world.

Together, they have several messages for me.

Sharman-Caselli Tarot
(3) I need to analyze this: TEN OF SWORDS
I need to analyze an attitude, perspective, or perception that is ending or needs to end in order to clear the ground for something new and improved. With my Moon in Taurus, this is likely to be an attitude, perspective, or perception to which I stubbornly cling, perhaps because of my strong need for love and security.
Sharman-Caselli Tarot
(4) I need to explore how I feel about this: THE HERMIT
I need to explore how I feel about solitude and introspection, as well as how I feel about sharing what I have learned (my "lantern") with others. What are my feelings about my inner journey as it relates to the outside world? With my Moon in Taurus, I tend to dislike large, noisy gatherings. I would rather be with a few close friends in a quiet setting. Do I feel drawn to develop a public persona so that I can show others the way, or will I choose to withdraw?

Sharman-Caselli Tarot
(5) I need to "get physical" about this: ACE OF WANDS
I need to "get physical" about a new project or path. My first thought is that this might be some sort of exercise or physical activity that I can get enthusiastic about. That's the trick, you see. I have yet to discover a physical activity that I enjoy (and I have tried them all at one time or another). That good old Taurus endurance and determination has helped me stick with unpleasant physical activities for weeks before I finally give it up out of boredom or genuine dislike.

Sharman-Caselli Tarot
(6) I need to meditate on this: FOUR OF CUPS
I need to meditate on how I can spend more time enjoying and appreciating what I have and less time in a funk over what I don't have. Having the Moon in Taurus lends me emotional stability but also a sensitivity that tends to call my attention to what I lack. The Moon, after all, is the Moon.

Sharman-Caselli Tarot
(7) I need to be cautious about this: SIX OF PENTACLES
Taurus is an inherently cautious sign, and the suit of Pentacles (Earth) in this position seems quite appropriate. In fact, in the OGD system, the Six of Pentacles is associated with the Moon and Taurus!  My first reaction to this card in this position is that I need to be cautious about what I give and what I take in a material or financial sense. Taurus is the astrological sign of earthly possessions. The Moon often represents deception, illusions, or cloudy vision. Being cautious in the area of giving and receiving at a material level is not a bad idea for someone with the Moon in Taurus.

Sharman-Caselli Tarot
(8) I need to avoid this: THE FOOL
The Fool's sense of adventure and potentially reckless nature are pretty much at odds with a Moon in Taurus placement. The thought of abandoning old (current) ways in favor of the unknown makes Taurus frown with disapproval. I think this card is simply saying that the placement of the Moon in Taurus can help me avoid being too impulsive or "devil may care." My desire for adventure (courtesy of my Sagittarius Sun) needs to be tempered and advised (at least some of the time) by practical, reliable, sensible Moon-in-Taurus.

I welcome any comments you care to make on this spread. Please let me know if you try it and how it worked for you!

Blessings,
Zanna

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ten of Wands - Astrological Associations (by Zanna)


TEN OF WANDS


Astrological associations for the Minor Arcana cards typically involve both a planet and a zodiac sign. The attributions established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are by far the most commonly used. However, some Tarot decks use a different set of associations. As a professional astrologer, I find it interesting to compare and contrast these associations from deck to deck. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun. 


Credits for the decks and books mentioned in this post can be found HERE


Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley


For Crowley (and the OGD), the Ten of Wands represents the energy of the planet Saturn (lessons, limitations) and the zodiac sign Sagittarius (a mutable Fire sign). Crowley titles the card "Oppression." He writes: "This is what happens when one uses force, force, and nothing else but force all the time. Here looms the dull and heavy planet Saturn weighing down the fiery, ethereal side of Sagittarius; it brings out all the worst in Sagittarius."  


Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler (in Keywords for the Crowley Tarot) describe the energy of the card as: "blockage, inhibition, suppression (Saturn) of enthusiasm, power of conviction, life philosophy, expansion (Sagittarius)." In a birth chart, having Saturn in Sagittarius can delay success until lessons are learned, specifically the lessons of patience and perseverance. This combination can also create inner conflict as the native finds himself struggling to maintain order and security while at the same time he longs to seek adventure or challenge.


On the Thoth Ten of Wands, two larger, heavier rods seem to literally weigh down or "oppress" the other eight rods. Flames burn beneath the rods, a sign that the fire of Sagittarius has not been completely stamped out.




One World Tarot by Crystal Love


Crystal Love associates the Ten of Batons with the third subdivision of the sign Sagittarius, with Jupiter as the natural ruler and Saturn as the subruler. This provides a configuration similar to that used by Crowley and the OGD. Love writes: "The naturally expansive and jovial nature of Sagittarius is made more cautious, serious, and sober by the influence of Saturn." On the whole, this carries more of a positive connotation (to my ear anyway) than Crowley's "force, force, and nothing else but force all the time." Love includes the possibility of delays or setbacks in her interpretation of the Ten of Wands, but also emphasizes the potential benefits of combining Saturn's determination and the optimistic style of Sagittarius.


A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)


Thierens describes the Ten of Wands as having the energy of "Air on the house of Capricorn: the Tenth." This makes sense in that the Ten of Wands is the tenth card in the suit of Wands. In astrology, the Tenth house (House of Career and Public Standing) is associated with the zodiac sign Capricorn, an Earth sign ruled by Saturn. Once again we see an association of Saturn with the Ten of Wands.


Thierens notes that the Ten of Wands is traditionally associated with such keywords as "treachery, disguise, obstacle, surprise, difficulties, oppression." The keywords Thierens himself assigns include: "Karma, obedience, executive ability, production and reproduction, necessity; officials and official position.". . . duplicity, falsehood, unreliability, disguise, double-dealing, false appearance, lies and false diplomacy, etc. Oppression and overestimating the importance of things." This last key phrase seems, in some ways, to come out of the blue. We're talking about lies and deception and oppression -- and suddenly we have "overestimating the importance of things." This is very much in keeping with Saturn's nature (sober, serious, cautious), but it is interesting to see a reference to the potential for making something out to be more significant than it is. 


(Note: The system devised by Thierens is radically different from that of the OGD. I will not go into detail here, but will simply provide the astrological associations for the card under discussion. If you are interested in learning more about this system, I recommend the book referenced above.)


The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann


Like the OGD, Mann's deck associates the suit of Wands with the element Fire. Mann describes Wands Eight, Nine, and Ten as "The Rainbows of Sagittarius." Wand Ten is assigned to the Third Decan of Sagittarius -- Sun in Sagittarius. On the King Scale of Color, the Sun is linked with the orange and gold and Sagittarius is linked with blue. Mann's keywords for the Sun are "Spirit, consciousness, individuality, masculine principle, dignity, honour." For the sign Sagittarius, his keywords are "hibernation; advent; the inner life; meditation; expansion; realization; aspiration; higher mind; religion and philosophy; sport; freedom; rebirth." Thus we end up with quite a different "feeling" to Wand Ten than what we have in the decks that give this card a Saturn-Sagittarius association. Mann's Divinatory Meanings for the card include: "goals may be achieved through the power of positive thinking, visualization and affirmation. A dual nature requires both religious and material objectives to be complete." Reversed meanings are: "Jumping to irrational conclusions. Making unrealistic decisions which are oppressive, but contain the seeds for change."


The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel


Liz Hazel's suit of Wands is the suit of the Fire element, embodying "ambition, vigor, creativity, travel, high spirits, and energy." Her use of the colors red, yellow, and orange is a lot more subtle than what we see in the other cards in this set. Like most of the others in this discussion, Hazel associates the Ten of Wands with Saturn/Sagittarius. In her excellent book Tarot Decoded, Hazel notes: "Saturn is the planet that rules form and containment. It demands a stark view of reality, relentless determination, and a commitment to long-term results." She notes that the shadow side of Saturn includes "underlying self-defeating patterns conditioned in infancy and early childhood by parents, family, and the ambient culture." 


In the Ten of Wands, the Saturn/Sagittarius connection can represent "oppression, being defeated by circumstances. . .exhaustion, despair. . . overcompensating. . . taking oneself too seriously. . . obsessed with details." Ill-Dignified characteristics include "severe illness. . . serious injury. . . the wages of sin. . .the joy of life beaten out of a person by harsh circumstances." The card depicts a man crushed beneath a tree. The roots are consuming his body. The leaves are orange and brown, signifying the end of growth.


Of all of these, the Mandala Astrological Tarot alone deviates from the Saturn connection to the Ten of Wands. By offering the Sun instead of Saturn, Mann gives the card a more hopeful tone. 


Arthur Waite writes that the Ten of Wands represents "oppression simply" but "also fortune, gain, any kind of success, and then it is the oppression of these things." It's one thing to be oppressed without really understanding any other way of life, and quite another to become oppressed after experiencing a better life.


I welcome your comments!  

Zanna

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Journey through My Tarot Decks (by Zanna): Six of Wands

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the Six of Staves from The Goddess Tarot by by Kris Waldherr, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


Keywords provided by Waldherr:
victory, acknowledgement, honor

The suit of Staves in The Goddess Tarot is associated with the Norse goddess Freyja, also spelled Freya. Waldherr describes the suit of Staves as "the active aspect of the Divine Feminine," conduits that "channel intense energy to areas of our lives where they can encourage growth." As the goddess of creativity, fertility, and beauty, Freyja represents a dynamic, adventurous spirit that initiates new endeavors with confidence and passion.

The fiery red-orange border around the image on this card is repeated on all Staves cards in this deck. On the Six of Staves we see a triumphant woman riding a docile horse. In her hand she holds a stave bearing the laurels of victory. She also wears a laurel wreath on her head. Waldherr writes that this card "offers the promise of victory after the inner struggle explored in the previous card of this suit."

In Book T*, the Six of Wands is linked with the energy of Jupiter (planet of good fortune, optimism, expansion, and abundance) and Leo (a fixed Fire sign known for being exuberant, generous, creative, and egocentric). It is known as the card of "victory after strife."

DMs provided by Waldherr for the upright Six of Staves: "Victory! Enjoying success after much hard work and struggle. Acknowledgement and honor from those around you. The fruits of courage and integrity. Integration and harmony."

Reversed or weakly aspected, the card can mean: "Victory is elusive. You've done the work, you deserve the honors, but they haven't come – perhaps because of a lack of awareness in those around you."

*Book T - The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction. A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use. A public domain manuscript.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pet Health Reading by Zanna Starr

Gizmo
For nearly a month I have been taking care of my 13-year-old cat, Gizmo, who has a serious eye condition. Our veterinarian and I have tried various approaches in an effort to determine the cause and potential cure. I decided to design a spread that would help me deal with this situation -- not to diagnose or prescribe treatment for my cat, but to gain insight into how I can best help him recover.

It seemed fitting that I use one of my cat-themed Tarot decks. I couldn't decide which one to use, so I'm using cards from five different decks (credits are provided at the end of this post).
Karma

Before I share the reading, I have to share a somewhat startling tidbit. As I prepared to draw the card for Position 3, one of my other cats (named Karma) jumped onto my desk and meowed conversationally. I asked her to select a card from the deck. I fanned the cards in front of her and she sniffed them all, then rubbed her jaw against one. I removed it from the deck and turned it over. The cat on the card looks exactly like Karma (well almost - Karma has green eyes, not gold).

Bear in mind that this same cat once knocked a Tea Leaf Fortune Card off my desk while I was trying to do a reading. I reached down and picked up the card. The title of the card was Karma. [Insert spooky music here.]

Now, on to the reading! Here are the layout and positional definitions:

Pet Illness or Injury Spread*

..........5...........
1.....2.....3.....4

(1) What I need to understand about my pet's health condition
(2) How long  the condition is likely to last
(3) Something I can do to help my pet recover
(4) Something I need to keep in mind at this time
(5) Best possible outcome

The Reading

(1) What I need to understand about my pet's health condition
SIX OF WANDS (from Tarot of the White Cats)

My first reaction to this card is that it is a very positive one to see in this position. It suggests success, triumph, victory -- all things I (and Gizmo!) would like to experience in this situation. This card tells me that the condition can be beat, that we can win over it through willpower and appropriate action (suit of Wands = Fire).

(2) How long  the condition is likely to last
TEN OF PENTACLES (from Tarot of the Cat People)

The Ten suggests that we have probably turned a corner in this situation. The suit of Pentacles relates to health and suggests a slow process (the condition began more than a month ago and  I have been treating it for almost a month). So the answer to "how long" is somewhere in there. I like the feeling this card conveys of progress being made, albeit slowly.

Karma's Choice
(3) Something I can do to help my pet recover
FIVE OF CLUBS (from Cats of the World Playing Cards)

I typically don't do cartomancy (readings with a deck of playing cards). However, I have some familiarity with basic interpretations of the cards. In one of the sources I use, the Five of Clubs represents "help from a friend or spouse." I can (and do) enlist the help of my spouse and of friends who have cats. I would include our vet in the group of people I can count on to "go to bat" for Gizmo.

I consider the suit of Clubs to be associated with elemental Fire (Wands, Rods, Batons). If we look at the Five of Wands from a traditional Tarot deck, we get a sense of competition, challenge, and fluctuation. It's about preparing an offense and/or defense and competing needs for resources.

This seems to apply quite well to my cat's situation. Interestingly, I have five different medications that I have to administer to him each day. Hopefully they don't "conflict" with each other, but getting them into and on the cat is definitely a challenge! He is really tired of all this (after 3 weeks, who wouldn't be?) and is inclined to struggle when I try to administer the medications. Nevertheless, I need to have the patience and determination to continue if I want to help Gizmo recover.

(4) Something I need to keep in mind at this time
KNIGHT OF PENTACLES (from The Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot)

I have my own keywords for this card across a wide range of decks, but I found it interesting and beneficial to take a look at Karen Mahony's comments about this card in the book that accompanies the deck:
"In Pentacles, the qualities of the Court Cards show themselves in a very down-to-earth way. . . In the Knight of Pentacles the enthusiasm of the Page gives way to a rather exaggerated sense of responsibility. For the Knight, projects have to be pursued with a dogged persistence." 
(I had to chuckle at the word "dogged" in this case.)

This knight is about being methodical, sensible, and patient -- almost to the point of obsession. In some situations, obsession would be an indisputably bad thing. However, keeping track of the timing and dosage of five different medications actually requires a touch of obsessiveness, don't you think?

(5) Best possible outcome
THE MOON (from Tarot for Cats)

Tarot for Cats is a Majors-only deck designed for and directed to cats themselves. The cat on the card looks exactly another one of my cats (Sofia).

To me, The Moon speaks of the unknown and unforeseen, of illusions, deception, and dreams. Oddly enough, the book that accompanies this deck uses the "health care" examples of a human disguising a pill in a "succulent tidbit of raw liver" and a cat carrier appearing to be "a cozy, soft box" when in reality, it carries you to the vet. LOL. In other words, things are not what they seem.

So how does The Moon translate as "best possible outcome"? Perhaps the best possible outcome is that we will finally get to the truth of the matter where Gizmo's condition is concerned. That which has been clouded or unclear will become clearer. Something that has not been seen  yet might become visible.  Another best possible outcome might be related to a message from my subconscious that can help improve the situation.

The other thing that strikes me is that the moon has phases and goes through cycles or stages. The best possible outcome may be that this condition is a phase that Gizmo is going through, and that it will end in due time.

Elements and Numbers

From an elemental standpoint, we have mostly Earth and Fire, with a Water card thrown in at the end. There is no Air. I could be way off base, but I see a connection to the fact that the treatments we have already tried would normally cure this problem but have not done so. In that sense, Gizmo's condition defies logic (Air). What the vet thought logically should solve the problem hasn't fixed it so far. Further analysis may or may not prove useful, but the cards don't seem to suggest that I do that.

Numerologically, we have a 6, 10, 5, 12 (Knight), and 18. Add these numbers together, and we get 51, which reduces to 6 (5+1). In my Tarot system, the number Six can represent integration, resolution of tensions (peace, harmony), and balance, including an understanding of what is real and what is illusion. If I were to choose a Quintessence card for this reading, I might choose Trump Six (The Lovers) or Trump 15 (The Devil). (Now I am chuckling because the cat on The Devil in the Tarot for Cats looks exactly like Karma, green eyes and all. . . The Devil. Perfect.)

The Lovers (Air) emphasizes making the right or best decisions in this situation. The Devil (Earth) alludes to an escape from narrow parameters or limitations, or freeing oneself from a perception that is neither helpful nor accurate. The Devil can also represent addiction or obsession. Off hand, I don't see a connection with Gizmo's situation, unless we are talking about the "healthy obsession" I described under the Knight of Pentacles (also Earth).

This reading has given me a lot to think about and consider. I welcome any comments or observations you care to make!




If you would like me (or Karma) to do a reading about your pet, please contact me. For the rest of November only, I am offering the reading described above for a fee of just $10.

* Please Note: This is an original spread by Zanna Starr (me). I am aware that other Tarotists may have designed similar spreads. However, to the best of my knowledge, I have not used material created by anyone else.

Credits:
  • Tarot of the White Cats (published by Lo Scarabeo; artwork by Severino Baraldi; idea and graphics by Pietro Alligo; instructions by Sofia di Vincenzo)
  • Tarot of the Cat People (published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.; instructions and designs by Karen Kuykendall)
  • Cats of the World Playing Cards (published by Heritage Playing Card Company;
  • The Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot (published by Magic Realist Press; designed by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov, Baba Studio, Prague)
  • Tarot for Cats (published by Macmillan; by Regen Dennis; illustrated by Kipling West)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Astrology and Tarot Series - Deck and Book Credits

Astrology and the Tarot Series
Deck and Book Credits

The following decks and books are mentioned in my Astrology and the Tarot Series.

Astrology and the Tarot by A.E. Thierens, Ph.D. Copyright © 1975 by Newcastle Publishing Co. Inc. ISBN 0-87877-031-3.

Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris (Illustrator). Publisher: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1996. ISBN: 0-87728-268-4. (No copyright date or information is given in my copy.)

Book T - The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction. A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use. A public domain manuscript.

Celestial Tarot Deck and Book Set, Created by Kay Steventon, Written by Brian Clark. Copyright © 2006 US Games Systems, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-1-57281-565-0. ISBN-10: 1-57281-565-5.

Keywords for the Crowley Tarot by Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler. English translation copyright © 2001 by Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-173-4.

Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann. Copyright © 1997 by A.T. Mann. Thorsons, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-2505831.

The One World Tarot (deck) by Crystal Love and Michael Hobbs. Copyright © 1999 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. ISBN 1-57281-250-8.

The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk. Copyright © 2008 by Joanna Martine Woolfolk. Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1-58979-377-4.

The One World Tarot: Astrology, Tarot, and The New Age (book) by Crystal Love. Copyright © 2002 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. ISBN 157281336-9.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite. Copyright © 2000 by WeiserBooks. ISBN 0-87728-218-8.

Tarot Decoded by Elizabeth Hazel. Copyright © 2004 by Elizabeth Hazel. First published in 2004 by Red Wheel Weiser. ISBN 1-57863-302-8.

Tarot Dynamics by Anna Burroughs Cook. Copyright © 2009 by Anna Burroughs Cook. Kima Global Publishers. ISBN 978-0-9814278-2-9.

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck, Designed by Aleister Crowley, Painted by Lady Frieda Harris, Instructions by James Wasserman. Copyright © 1978, 1983, 1987 by Stuart R. Kaplan and Donald Weiser. U.S.Games Systems, Inc. and AGMüller & Cie. ISBN 0-88079-308-2.

The Universal Waite Tarot Deck. Drawings by Pamela Colman Smith under the direction of Arthur Edward Waite. Coloring by Mary Hanson-Roberts. Conceived by Stuart R. Kaplan. Instructions by Stuart R. Kaplan. Copyright 8 1990 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. ISBN 0-88079-496-8.

The Whispering Tarot by Elizabeth Hazel. Limited First Edition copyright © 2008 by Elizabeth Hazel. Printed by Playing Cards R Us, Inc. ISBN 978-0-615-20997-5.

The Whispering Tarot: Softly Spoken Secrets by Elizabeth Hazel. All rights reserved CD-ROM © 2008 by Elizabeth Hazel. No ISBN

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Journey through My Tarot Decks: Five of Wands

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the Five of Wands from the Fantastical Creatures Tarot by by Lisa Hunt and D.J. Conway, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


Fantastical Creatures Tarot
Five of Wands
Japanese Tengu
Unforeseen obstacles

On this card we see a representative of the tengu (or ten-gu) – Japanese mountain and forest goblins with supernatural powers. The Japanese Buddhist Statuary web site tells us:

"The patron of martial arts, the bird-like Tengu* is a skilled warrior and mischief maker, especially prone to playing tricks on arrogant and vainglorious Buddhist priests, and to punishing those who willfully misuse knowledge and authority to gain fame or position."

D.J. Conway tells us that on the Five of Wands, the tengu's feathers and bright wings reveal its spiritual nature. The pair of hanging bells indicate "that both positive and negative energies are vital parts of creation, represented by the twisting vine."

Book T** calls the Five of Wands “The Lord of Strife” and relates it astrologically to Saturn (lessons, limitation)  in Leo (fixed Fire; exuberant, creative, egocentric, with a talent for showmanship).

Divinatory Meanings provided by Conway: "An unforeseen obstacle or opposition suddenly appears in your path. Malicious gossip could cause you harm. New competition threatens your relationship or career."


* "The literal meaning of Tengu is "Heaven Dog." In Chinese mythology, there is a related creature named Tien Kou (Tiangou ??), or "celestial hound." The name is misleading, however, as the crow-like Tengu looks nothing like a dog. One plausible theory is that the Chinese Tien Kou derived its name from a destructive meteor that hit China sometime in the 6th century BC. The tail of the falling body resembled that of a dog, hence the name and its initial association with destructive powers." – Japanese Buddhist Statuary web site

** Book T - The Tarot (an initiatory manual for the OGD) Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction, A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Journey through My Tarot Decks: Four of Wands

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the Four of Wands from The Celtic Tarot by  Courtney Davis, published by The Aquarian Press.


In her book, The Celtic Tarot (Aquarian Press), Helena Paterson explains that in this deck, the suit of Wands represents "the Spirit of Primal Fire, the mystical symbol which awakens the spiritual will of man." It expresses the idea of initiating magical or mysterious changes. Purple and violet swirls form the borders on all Wands cards in this deck, symbolizing spiritual and divine energies.

The numbered cards of the Minor Arcana contain geometric arrangements of wands, swords, cups, and coins rather than scenes. Thus the Four of Wands "are resting on each other and form a diamond-shaped archway." We see a setting sun – symbol of rest and repose. . . completion of the matter. (Paterson)

In my Tarot system*, the number Four represents the potential for stability, protection, structure, tangible achievement, caution, conformity, practicality, and stagnation. In astrology, the Fourth House is called the House of Home and Family, which gives additional support to Paterson's view of the Four of Wands as it relates to that area of life.

Instead of using reversals, Paterson outlines a system that interprets cards as "dignified" or "ill-dignified." The meaning of a card can be displaced, held in check, or reinforced by surrounding cards. Divinatory Meanings provided by Paterson for the Four of Wands are:
  • Dignified – The satisfaction of a job well done. A cause for celebration in the family. If house-hunting, the ideal home becomes available. A quiet period spent at home or in a favourite retreat. 
  • Ill-dignified – Uncertain conditions and conclusions. Not a bad card generally, the neighbouring cards will determine the extent of the disruption caused.

* Please note: My numerological keywords are based on personal experience and many different sources accessed over a period of several years.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Reading by Zanna Starr

HALLOWEEN SPREAD
designed by Helen Howell
(see Helen's reading with this spread HERE)


I love this spread! I don't have a "Halloweeny-Vampire" type deck, so I thought I'd go with the next best thing: Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall (published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

And here we go!

1: The Skeleton in the cupboard - something you need to face or acknowledge right now
EIGHT OF SWORDS
In a nutshell (from the LWB): "A woman is surrounded by swords that are arranged to symbolize her imprisonment by her inner turmoil." Notice that the cat who perches nearby is calm, composed, and free. I need to face and acknowledge (right now!) that my own thoughts, perceptions, and attitudes are all that stand between me and freedom. It might even be helpful for me to list eight of these thoughts, perceptions, or attitudes and perform some sort of ritual (like tearing up and burning the piece of paper) to banish them from my mind. I have five cats in my house who can act as role models for a new me.

2: Bats in the Belfry - what you need to do to clear away any negative thoughts
SIX OF PENTACLES
My initial response to this card here is that I can clear away any negative thoughts by giving them away, perhaps even giving them (symbolically) to my cats to dispose of. This card is also a reminder to me of how fortunate and happy the last ten years of my life have been on so many levels. It was the Six of Pentacles that I drew in a reading for myself ten years ago that prompted me to take the steps that led to my current highly preferable situation.

3: Ghost or Ghoul? - what needs to be changed
THE EMPRESS (Trump 3)
My initial reaction to this card is "Stop trying to mother everybody" or perhaps "Stop trying to create so many different things at one time."  If I stop and think about the card for a bit, I get a sense that perhaps I need to change my perception of what I have accomplished or attained in life so far. The Empress is a strong, no-nonsense sort of person. She sees value in her actions and her approach to her world. She wastes not and wants not. The book that accompanies this deck states: "Her leopard companion appears docile, but in reality is on the alert for any opportunity that presents itself." Once again, the cat seems to demonstrate an attitude that I might be wise to adopt.

4: Witches spell - what will help you succeed
FOUR OF WANDS
Here we see a man relaxing with his companion cats, away from the hustle and bustle of life. His loose clothing signifies a carefree mood. The cats are obviously not stressing about anything whatsoever. The number Four (stability, security) combined with the element Fire suggests high energy but controlled energy that is used calmly and steadily rather than in a flurry of activity. Again there is an emphasis on appreciating the fruits of my labors to date and allowing myself to relax and experience tranquility.

5: Monsters under the bed - one more thing that may be hidden
THE HANGED MAN (Trump 12)
This particular Hanged Man has an enlightened outlook on his suffering, as evidenced by the glow about his head. The cat above him is completely unconcerned as it bats at the gallows rope in a leisurely fashion. I normally view this card as representing the need to readjust or renounce the perspective from which I have been viewing something and to allow a new perspective to emerge. The message of sacrifice is also part of this card. What may be hidden is perhaps this new perspective that I need and/or an understanding of what I need to sacrifice. The earlier positions seem to focus on getting rid of negative thoughts, and I think this ties in with that goal. In order to *see* that which is hidden, I need to look at things a different way and perhaps give up something I *think* I want or need.

6: Jack O' Lantern - This will light the way forward.
FOUR OF SWORDS
Like the Four of Wands, this card is about rest, respite, and repose. The Swords form a pattern that reflects the message of stability and strength conveyed by the number Four. The woman in this card forgets her problems and anxieties for a while as she enjoys the antics of her companion cats. She allows herself, for a time, to "not try so hard" to accomplish something. In this restful state, allowing her mind to relax, she is more likely to see her way forward. She can return to her goals refreshed, with new ideas and renewed enthusiasm.

To me, most of these cards seem to convey a message of "slow down, calm down, gear down," encouraging me to proceed steadily rather than racing ahead. In the elemental association system I use, three of these cards are active and three are passive, suggesting a balance or "even keel" approach that blends activity with retrospection and relaxation. The two Trump cards are passive (Earth and Water), emphasizing a calculated, calm approach.

Numerically, the two Trumps are odd (3 and 3), while all the other cards are even (8, 6, 4, 4). This also suggests a balance to me of stability with change or evolution.

There is a lot to think about here, and I can definitely recommend this spread if you're looking for some insight into your current situation or state!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Journey through My Tarot Decks: Three of Wands

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the Three of Wands from The Faery Wicca Tarot by Kisma K. Stepanich (illustrated by Renée Christine Yates, published by Llewellyn Worldwide).


"The power of courage
is only the first step in the dance –
The second step
is dancing ego to Spirit –
This is a very hard step indeed,
for it takes action of the heart
to achieve success."
~ Kisma K. Stepanich ~

I am neither a Faery nor a Wiccan, so I hope you'll pardon any misstep I might make in discussing this deck.

Each suit in the Faery Wicca Tarot is associated with an OtherWorld city as well as an Element.  Tine means Fire, and the suit is linked with Findias: City of the South, Lugh's Spear.

Stepanich writes, "Working with the spear or wand talisman teaches the wisdom of solar power – strength, passion, will." At a mundane level, Fire cards represent "basic understanding of power and willpower, ego politics, aspects of commerce, conflicts. . .successes and failures, winning or losing. . . our pretenses."

In Stepanich's system, keywords for the number Three are "dimensional, conception, expression." The Three of Tine is titled "The Dance of Partnership." DMs provided by Stepanich are: "Destiny unfolding. Powers of creation, invention, commercial enterprises, and grand fortune."

On the card we see three wands positioned on a path leading into a stand of tall trees. I cannot be sure, but there appear to be flames burning inside that stand of trees. Orange and red – commonly associated with Fire – frame the image. An upright red triangle, represent the element Fire, sits in the lower right corner. The other dominant color is green – color of growth and fertility.

The symbols carved on the middle Wand appear to be runes. I think I can make out Ur (dramatic change and challenge, followed by a symbol that resembles a capital E and for which I can't find a meaning, followed by Ing (fertility), followed by Peorth (meaning not completely understood), followed by Nied (necessity). The "capital E" could be Eoh (Horse), which resembles a capital M but when turned on its side, could resemble an E. Not being an expert on runes, I will not elaborate at this point. The meanings I provided above are from Horik Svensson's book The Runes (Carlton Books Ltd.)

Rather than provide meanings for reversed cards, Stepanich offers four possible implications for any reversed card: (1) insight into the energy state of the querent, (2) the possibility of an event, (3) where an energy blockage is occurring, and (4) a warning of a challenge.

---------------
About the deck: The Faery Wicca Tarot consists of 83 cards – five of which are specific to this deck (one is The Power card and four are Gift of Faery cards). Kisma K. Stepanich writes that the deck "is based on the ancient Bardic system of understanding the universe and blends traditional tarot images with the mystical symbology of Modern Faery magick." In addition to drawing on traditional Irish myth, the cards contain ancient Gaelic or Irish alphabets and sacred symbols. Stepanich does not transcribe the alphabets, but leaves this to the reader "if that level of intimacy is desired."

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Reading with My Earth Magic Oracle Cards



I decided to take my new Earth Magic Oracle cards* for a test run using a 3-card spread I just created. This spread (which is based on the standard Past-Present-Future spread) could also be used in a broader sense, not just for "one day." The positions are:

(1) A Blast from the Past (something from the past that may influence this day)
(2) A Pressie for the Present (a gift this day will bring me)
(3) The Long View (the nature of obstacles or opportunities that may arise later in the day)

I'm not an early riser, so it works better for me to do Daily Card readings the night before the day in question. So this reading refers to Tuesday, October 26.

(1) A Blast from the Past (something from the past that may influence this day)
CAVE (Sanctuary)


This is an especially interesting card to draw, given that I randomly chose this card to mention in my review of the Earth Magic Oracle!

Going strictly by my own personal impression of the card, it reminds me of all the time I spent alone in days gone by, studying or writing or creating things. I am still basically a solitary person, not anti-social but not very social either. I enjoy interacting with other people on a limited basis. Perhaps something I discovered or developed during solitary moments in my past may influence a decision I make or action I take tomorrow.

(2) A Pressie for the Present (a gift the day will bring me)
WIND (Activation)


This card reminds me of the expression "to take the wind out of one's sails" only in this case, the opposite is true. My gift for tomorrow is that the wind will be in my sails, helping me move forward and make progress toward my destination or goal.

(3) The Long View (the nature of obstacles or opportunities that may arise later in the day)
MEADOW (Vulnerability)


I think vulnerability is pretty much a constant condition (for me anyway) -- emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually (or any combination of the four). It's as if I stand in the middle of a huge meadow, open on all sides. I think that in some cases, it's good to allow ourselves to be vulnerable or open. After all, the meadow on this card looks beautiful and pleasant. However, I also think this card may be telling me to be careful that someone doesn't take advantage of or capitalize on my vulnerability in some area.

Notice that the Cave (Sanctuary) and the Meadow (Vulnerability) are opposites. The Cave offers protection and shelter. The Meadow does not. I may need (or want) to emerge from the self-imposed isolation I was so comfortable with in the past and open the door to interaction and contact with others. Perhaps the Wind will fill my sails and carry me out of my safe harbor into open waters?

I am now going to read the information on each of these cards in the guidebook to see what other possibilities there might be.



--------------------------------
* Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D. Hay House, Inc. Copyright 2010 by Steven D. Farmer. ISBN 978-1-4019-2535-2

Illustrator for CAVE : Garret Moore
Illustrator for WIND : Bill Briggs
Illustrator for MEADOW : Mike Dawson