Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Journey through My Decks: Nine of Swords

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 SWORDS from  the One World Tarot by Crystal Love and Michael Hobbs (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.).

One World Tarot

The One World Tarot provides a perfect opportunity for me to comment on deck-specific differences concerning astrological attributions and associations.

Crystal Love assigns her Nine of Swords to the second subdivision of Aquarius; natural ruler Uranus; subruler Mercury. Book T* associates the Nine of Swords with Mars and Gemini. A. T. Mann, in his Mandala Astrological Tarot (Thorsons, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), links Sword Nine with the second decan of Gemini, i.e., Venus in Gemini. And, just for fun, let's include A.E. Thierens, who attributes the Nine of Swords to the element of Earth on the Ninth house, the house of Sagittarius.

My tendency is to use the system proposed by the creator of the specific deck I am reading with. If the deck's creator doesn't mention astrology, I sometimes use Golden Dawn attributes (as presented in Book T).

Crystal Love describes the astrological influences in her Nine of Swords as follows: "The inventive genius of Aquarius is given intellectual capabilities by the presence of Mercury."

Now, I don't know about you, but I actually don't see any Swords on this card. What we do have are symbols for Aquarius and Uranus (ruler of Aquarius**) in the upper left corner and the symbol for Mercury in the upper right corner. There's a nice blue, partly cloudy sky to represent Air (the element associated with Swords in this deck and many others).

All of Love's Swords cards feature these shimmery orbs instead of Swords. As I have mentioned before, her other three suit markers make sense to me: Leaves for Earth, bright yellow Sunflowers for Fire, and Starfish for Water. I am familiar with the symbolism of the circle or sphere. I just can't quite get from there to Swords.

Love's DMs (based on "traditional interpretation"): "Success and gain after persistent effort. Cruelty, unreasonable passions, anxiety. Misery. Quarrel. Strength and new life arising from suffering. The card of the martyr." Reversed, the card can suggest "Tyranny. Cruelty. Failure through eccentric and confused thinking. Clever but devious. Impractical Ideas. Scandal. Gossip. Malice."

* 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.

** Some astrologers give rulership of Aquarius to Saturn or assign Uranus and Saturn as co-rulers.

About the deck: Crystal Love writes, "The One World Tarot deck is a fusion of traditional tarot and modern design. It incorporates astrological, numerological, esoteric, and color symbolism. . . Each card of the One World deck describes a different archetypal life situation to which, as humans living on the planet Earth, we are all subject."

1 comment:

  1. maybe the orbs represent crystal balls or some other form of seeing with the mind's eye... or maybe i am reading into it! i do like some decks i have that aren't as narrative as some are, but find those with symbolic language or colors that relate to be more helpful than cryptic or overly simplistic. how are the majors?

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