Old English Tarot
Nine of Batons
by Helen Howell
At first look the Old English 9 of Batons had me wondering how to interpret it. Its traditional brother the Rider Waite’s image is far easier to read, in that the figure of a man wounded and yet still standing guard tells us a story of inner strength and courage -- courage and determination to face one’s enemies, even if they are hidden.
So how do we interpret the image of the Old English?
What is depicted is a haystack of sorts. The bundles of dried wheat etc. are piled together, some on top of the others forming a tightly packed stack. Now, alone each sheaf would be weaker but together they have strength, both from the outside and inside. Perhaps this is the equivalent to the Rider Waite inner strength image. We can’t see inside the stack, so again we don’t know if something is hidden within, something that could harm us maybe? This depiction therefore does tell us similar things to the Rider Waite interpretation. But another way to look at this card is also that the sheafs are harvested and now await the next stage, so indicating a small break from the routine around them.
From what I can see the Old English card does speak of inner strength, and also of things hidden but adds that dimension of temporary relief, a chance for a break from the everyday routine or situation you might find yourself in.
What I find of assistance in interpreting these minor cards from the Old English is a good understanding of the basic meanings of the Rider Waite deck, which as we all know is the mother of the modern day clones.
Difficulties expected, anticipation, hidden enemies, a temporary break in the struggle.
Reversed: Delays, barriers to be overcome.