- Did a reading for a paying client using the Crystal Visions Tarot by Jennifer Galasso (U.S. Games, Inc.)
- Did a free 3-card reading through the American Tarot Association using Tarot Draconis by Davide Corsi (Lo Scarabeo)
- Graded papers written by a student in my Basic Tarot class at the Magical Circle School, for which the student is using the Dragons Tarot by Manfredi Toraldo, with artwork by Geverino Baraldi (Lo Scarabeo)
It seemed only fitting that I spend at least part of the afternoon on a reading for Tarot Notes!
I am using a spread from the Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.) The spread is called “Facing the Gap.”
The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot (Karen Mahony, Alexandr Ukolov, Magic Realist Press) gets to play this time.
Responsibility and Accountability
Well, I certainly hope Justice is possible. I can’t help thinking about all that is going on the world these days, and after all, Justice is from the Major Arcana – so perhaps is referring to something larger than my own personal world. The Justice card can represent the law, courts, and police (as shown on the card), but can also represent “true justice” rather than formal law. I confess that when I see the shootings and death all around this country, I feel a sense of despair, a fear that we, as mere humans, can never hope for that. The cards are telling me otherwise.
A Tale of Two Minds
As Sophie Nusslé writes in the book that accompanies The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot: The sword “is an instrument for fighting… a symbol of idealism and justice” with an “ability to cut, to refine, to distinguish, to make distinctions – and to perceive… what others might miss.” The Two of Swords can represent a divided mind or a stalemate, within ourselves or with another. It can also suggest peace or a “rest” in the midst of conflict – taking a break from the struggle to allow for real exchange and compromise.
One of the key phrases Nusslé assigns to this card in this deck is “culmination of the open heart.” Indeed, keeping our heart open is courageous and difficult in many situations. Accepting other human beings – especially those we feel at odds with -- as part of our larger family is possibly one of the most difficult and courageous things we can do. Nusslé writes: “You are changed forever when your heart opens, when you love and are loved and have realised all that love can bring.”
Any effort made by myself or any other individual to exert absolute control is futile. Although the motive may be “world peace,” the result is more likely to be “autocratic rule, oppression, unjust law.” (Nusslé) Those who insist that we need to “lay down the law” or “come down hard” on anyone who doesn’t fit in are doomed to failure. That approach is simply not going to address or solve the problem(s) that lead to disaster in this world. I am not saying we do not need structure, protection, and stability. I am saying that this card in this position seems to suggest that a heavy-handed, “I am the boss” approach just isn’t going to work. (I really don’t want to engage in political debate, but I’m looking at you, Donald Trump.)
Peaceful Enjoyment of Prosperity
“Security… enjoyment of the fruits of one’s work… return on investment… self-discipline balanced with appreciation of pleasure.” (Nusslé) The cards are saying that it would not only be “nice” is everyone could have this, it is NECESSARY if we are to overcome the ills of our world. As long as people do not have a sense of security and a feeling that their labors reap just rewards, we cannot have peace. Make no mistake, this card is typically about material prosperity, but I also see it as representing whatever makes us feel secure, stable, and successful. By the time we get to the Nine of any suit, we have traveled a certain distance and experienced quite a lot. There is no room here for laziness or lack of self-discipline. Neither is there room for oppression.
Being joyful when you “have it all” seems like it would be easy. However, that is not true. Wealth, accomplishments, possessions, and power to not automatically lead to joy. At the same time, a lack of those things isn’t likely to bring joy either. What brings joy is having what we feel we need and want, the comforts and relationships that sustain and enrich us. There is no joy in the dark side of the King of Coins: “stubborn, stuffy, boss person, domestic tyrant, laziness and irresponsibility” (Nusslé) I think the potential for being joyful increases with the degree of autonomy, the extent to which we feel we are the “king” (ruler) of our world and our life, free to pursue what we need or want to pursue.
The Gate to New Experiences
It is funny that once we reach a certain level of success, peace, security, prosperity, and comfort, we often immediately ask, “What’s next?” Perhaps some of us are content to sit in place, to become complacent, stagnant, or stuck in a rut. However, as Nusslé points out, “Paradoxically, it is the Ten of Coins, that most material card in the most material of suits, that invites you to cross the threshold.” Strive. Strive. Strive. Arrive. Only to start striving again. Yes, it is funny.
A Mind Hemmed In
At first blush, it is hard to see how being stuck, mentally or physically, can help us get ahead. Frustration, emotional constraints, and feeling “tied up” or “boxed in” seems negative. However, this is exactly the type of energy that can propel us forward. As Nusslé so wisely writes: “Very often, the mind can free us – either by finding ways to break out, or by liberating itself so any physical constraint does not feel so bad… The mind overcomes the constraint, the walls give way…” If you do not feel resistance or limitations, you cannot feel a need or desire to “break free” and you will not get ahead.