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Saturday, July 23, 2011

One Card One Meaning: The (Pole) Star

Thanks to Helen (my favorite "idea lady"), I am going to do a new series for this blog (hopefully on a somewhat regular basis). The series is called "One Card One Meaning." I will pull one card from a deck and offer a brief, simple *possible* interpretation -- not the ONLY interpretation, of course, but one possible interpretation of that card from that deck.

I hope you will offer your thoughts on each card as well! Here goes...

The Wildwood Tarot wanted very much to do this first One Card One Meaning post, so I shuffled the cards and drew...

THE POLE STAR (Trump 17)
One Meaning: The glorious display we see in the heavens above is no more brilliant, no more amazing than the power that glows within us.

The Wildwood Tarot
By Mark Ryan and John Matthews
With card illustrations by Will Worthington
Published by Sterling Ethos (an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.) 
ISBN 978-1-4027-8106-3

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Here Comes THE SUN!

When my Legacy of the Divine Tarot invited me to play 5W's and an H, I couldn't resist.

To refresh your memory: For the 5W's and an H exercise, we use one Tarot card to answer the questions Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? As an additional requirement, each answer can be only one phrase or sentence. The idea is to respond intuitively, without a lot of description or explanation.

The card:

Who? A bright, outgoing, confident, energetic person (even arrogant, perhaps) -- possibly born under the sign Leo.

What? An opportunity to discover or reinforce your true identity and to celebrate your place in the world

When? When everything is clear as day, and the path ahead is well lit

Where? In a place where creativity shines like the sun

Why? Because everyone deserves a moment of triumph from time to time, and your time has come

How? With confidence, optimism, and a sense of revitalization

Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti
(Llewellyn Publications)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nine 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.

Nine of Cups - Astrological Associations (by Zanna)

Tarot Dynamics System by Anna Burroughs Cook
(illustrated in this blog by the Universal Waite tarot deck)

In Anna Cook's TD system, cards 2 through 10 are known as Subject Cards. They are viewed as having a strong impact on our immediate agenda, on situations, moods, opportunities or obstacles that pass quickly. The number on the card reveals the situation. The suit and definition suggest the reason for the situation, along with options and the most beneficial approach to take.

The suit of Cups represents Emotion, including dreams and that which gives meaning to your life. This is a fairly standard Tarot association. The astrological aspect of this system comes into play when we start talking about the number on the card.

To interpret the number Nine, we can look at the astrological Ninth House, which is considered to be the house of mental exploration, long-distance travel, philosophy, higher education, foreign languages, and publishing. In general, the Ninth House is about traveling to distant places (physically) and exploring "distant" ideas (mentally).

The Ninth House is associated with the zodiac sign Sagittarius (a mutable Fire sign known for being freedom-loving, expansive, knowledge-seeking, and open to new ideas and places). Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter (representing good fortune, abundance, wisdom, and expansion).

In the Tarot Dynamics system, Subject Card Nine stands for understanding. Therefore, in the TD system the Nine of Cups is "Emotional/Understanding." Certainly the need to understand foreign or unknown places, ideas, and people fits very well with the Ninth House pursuit of knowledge and freedom.

(Please note: There is more to the TD astrological connections than I have included here. My intention is to convey the basic flavor and tone. A much more detailed, comprehensive discussion will be provided in Anna Cook's forthcoming book, Advanced Tarot Dynamics.)

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
For Crowley and the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD), the Nine of Cups represents the energy of Jupiter (good fortune, abundance, wisdom, and expansion) in Pisces (a Water sign ruled historically by Jupiter and/or Neptune, for many modern astrologers). Pisces is known as an emotional, romantic, impressionable, adaptable, imaginative, and intuitive sign. Crowley writes: "In this card is the pageant of the culmination and perfection of the original force of Water." He titles the card "Happiness." From an astrological perspective, Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces. Some modern astrologers assign rulership to Neptune or to Jupiter and Neptune jointly.

Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler (in Keywords for the Crowley Tarot) describe the energy of the card as: "happiness, growth, trust (Jupiter) in spirituality and all-encompassing love (Pisces)."

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
Crystal Love associates the Nine of Cups with the second subdivision of the sign Pisces, with Jupiter/Neptune as the natural ruler and Jupiter as the subruler. She writes that this indicates "an expansive and mystical personality that is extremely creative (especially in the arts), and religious, philosophical, or mystical by nature."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens describes the Nine of Cups as follows: "Many of the addictions are very suggestive of the influence of the Water on the house of the heart, the Fifth. . . It shows goodness and a jovial disposition, not only contentment and happiness in one's self, but also. . . the love of bestowing hospitality on other people and helping them." In astrology, the Fifth house is associated with the zodiac sign Leo, ruled by the Sun. It is described by astrology.com  as the house of "Creation, Procreation, and Recreation." Joanna Martine Woolfolk tags the Fifth House as the "House of Pleasure, Creativity, and Sex."

(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 Thierens' system, I recommend his book Astrology and the Tarot.)

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 Cups Eight, Nine, and Ten as "The Pools of Pisces" and associates them with the time period from 19 February to 20 March. Cup Nine is assigned to the Second Decan of Pisces -- Moon in Pisces. It represents the time period from 1 March to 10 March.

On the King Scale of Color, the colors linked with the Moon are indigo, silver and white. The color for the sign Pisces is red-violet. Mann's keywords for the Moon are "soul, unconscious, personality, instinct, emotions, fertility." For the sign Pisces, his keywords are "swelling seed; purifying rain; serenity; potential. Sensitivity; destiny; receptivity; self-sacrifice; psychic impulse; karma; seclusion; mysticism." Mann's divination meanings for Cup Nine include "extreme psychic sensitivity and moodiness. . . hopeful of positive feelings from partners. . . psychologically vulnerable to emotional pressure from loved ones. Domination of irrational emotions."

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 Nine of Cups represents Jupiter/Pisces energy. Hazel's illustration depicts the mermaids from her Three of Cups card seated closely together, with nine cups rising above them.

Hazel notes that this card can suggest "good luck and fulfillment of wishes...happiness in love and family. Expectations exceeded...Adjustments in the past have led to great gains and progress...Serenity and peace." Ill-dignified, the card might indicate "The surface is happy, but dissatisfaction or unhappiness hides behind the façade...A curse or ill-will from an older person. Wishing evil on family members; a miserable in-law."

In general, I typically see the Nines of the Tarot as representing a basis for completion, endings, preparation (for new cycle), growth through experience, perfection, integration, and fruition.

The Jupiter/Pisces designation for the Nine of Cups is the most common among the systems described above. Thierens, as usual, is different, proposing a link between the Nine of Cups and the Fifth House (Leo/Sun). A.T. Mann goes with a Jupiter/Pisces connection. An association with Water is common to all of the above-referenced sources.

The Jupiter in Pisces association give for the Nine of Cups is of particular interest to me because Jupiter is in Pisces in my birth chart. So much of what Crystal Love says in her description of this card -- both negative and positive -- resonates with me. With my Sun in Sagittarius, the Ninth Sign, I have always been attracted to philosophy and foreign languages and cultures. Thus the Nine of any suit resonates with me for that reason. I also feel a strong connection to Trump 9 (The Hermit) . Oddly enough, The Hermit is linked with the sign Virgo, which happens to be my rising sign.

All of a sudden I feel like a Nine of Cups kind of gal!

As always, I welcome your comments!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Journey through My Decks: 10 of Cups (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 TEN OF CUPS from the Fenestra Tarot by Chatriya Hemharnvibul (published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

The LWB for this deck tells us that the suit of Cups relates to emotions and creativity. In my Tarot system, the number Ten typically represents transformation, transition, or a threshold between places. It can also suggest overabundance or excess.

On the Ten of Cups in the Fenestra Tarot, we see a young couple standing under ten cups in a rainbow shape. In the background we see a nice-looking house. The woman's expression seems to be one of unreserved joy; the man's expression seems more reflective or thoughtful (to me anyway). The woman is waving her arm, as if calling attention to herself or acknowledging another person we cannot see. It reminds me of a gesture a celebrity would make when surrounded by adoring fans.

DMs from the LWB: "Contentment, happiness, family, home, hopes and dreams."
Reversed: "Betrayal, loss, forced appearances."

The last DM for the reversed card is quite interesting. I find myself wondering if the joyful looking woman is merely putting on a show for friends and family, pretending that everything is perfect, literally "putting a good face" on things. How often have we heard people comment on a family in crisis with the phrase: "They seemed liked the perfect family" or "the perfect couple" or something similar?

As I have mentioned in write-ups on the Ten of Cups from other decks, Book T* associates the card with the energy of Mars in Pisces. Being aware of this astrological association gives me pause whenever I am tempted to interpret the Ten of Cups as all "lightness and joy." Mars brings a restlessness that challenges the notion of "contentment." Not only that, but Book T titles the card "Satiety" which the dictionary defines as "The condition of being full or gratified beyond the point of satisfaction." (emphasis mine) There can be a sense that one has reached a plateau or is in a rut, particularly where family or relationships are involved.

* 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: The Fenestra Tarot is very much an RWS-style deck. As stated on the US Games web page, Thai artist Chatriya Hemharnvibul, the deck's creator, combines elements of Art Deco, Egypt, mythology and Japanese Manga. Fenestra is Latin for “window” and all cards have window-like frames.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Queen of Hearts: 5W's and an H

It's time for the 5 W's and an H game!

To refresh your memory: We use one Tarot card to answer the questions Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? As an additional requirement, each answer can be only one phrase or sentence. The idea is to respond intuitively, without a lot of description or explanation.

Using the Fairy Tarot (Antonio Lupatelli / Lo Scarabeo), I shuffled and drew the

Who? Someone with a heart as big as all outdoors, generous and emotionally expressive

What? A strong emotional reaction or response to a situation, great emotional involvement

When? When you acknowledge and accept your feelings and channel them in the most beneficial manner

Where? In your heart of hearts, that part of you that connects emotionally with humankind

Why? Because you need to listen to your heart and allow your feelings to make themselves known and heard

How? By opening yourself to the love the universe offers you, and then being generous with that love with those around you and with yourself

I hope you'll share your reactions or insights into this card as possible answers to these questions!