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Saturday, August 29, 2015

10 of Swords: Astrological Associations

Astrological associations for the Minor Arcana cards typically involve a planet, a zodiac sign, and/or a house. The attributions established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are by far the most commonly used. However, there are other associations out there. As a professional astrologer, I find it interesting to compare and contrast these associations. (The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is intended to be interesting and fun!)

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


Thoth Tarot
Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

For Crowley and the Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ten of Swords is linked with the Sun (identity, ego) and the sign Gemini (a mutable Air sign known for being intellectual).

Crowley titles the card "Ruin" and notes "The mercurial airy quality of the Sign [Gemini] serves to disperse [the Sun’s] rays; this card shows the disruption and disorder of harmonious and stable energy.” Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler (in Keywords for the Crowley Tarot) describe the energy of the card as "fragmentation (Gemini) of vital force (Sun).”

Whispering Tarot
The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel

Liz Hazel's astrological associations for the Ten of Swords align with those of Crowley and the Golden Dawn: Sun/Gemini. Hazel's DMs for this card include: "the death of a concept or idea that was ahead of its time. . . the journey of a soul from the old body to the new. . . if well-dignified, may indicate that an ending is welcome, or a project is completed. A welcome release; relief." Ill-dignified DMs include: "divorce; separation, permanent ending, finalities. The last word. . . Looking forward to a new start, but still seeking exactly what that will be.”

One World Tarot
One World Tarot by Crystal Love

Crystal Love associates the Ten of Swords with the third subdivision of Aquarius (natural ruler Uranus; subruler the Moon). She writes: "The Moon ruling this subdivision indicates changeability and melancholy, solitude, strange terrors and weird experiences. An instability in the emotional nature may be cruel and impersonal, and the tendency is to unusual or erratic behavior.”

Mandala Astrological Tarot

The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann

Mann associates the Ten of Swords with the energy of  Uranus in Gemini. Mann calls Swords Eight, Nine, and Ten "The Vibrations of Gemini," and links the Ten of Swords with the period between June 11-20. Pale yellow is the color associated with Uranus and orange is associated with Gemini on the King Scale of Color.

Mann's divinatory meanings for the Ten of Swords: "Quick comprehension of organizational matters leads to easy boredom and restlessness. The need to control intellect and apply will power to real needs." Reversed: "Scattering energy in a disjointed fashion makes for confusion and relationships which are insecure.”

Universal Waite Tarot
The Tarot and Astrology by David Thornton
(illustrated in this blog by the Universal Waite tarot deck)

_David Thornton_ associates the Ten of Swords with the placement of the planet Uranus in the Third House (House of Environment and Perceptions, Communication, Siblings, Short trips). The Third House in astrology is associated with the sign Gemini.

Thornton's description of the energy of the Ten of Swords is: "The tendency to take everything in fits and starts. Quick comprehension can turn to restlessness, scattered energies.”

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

Anna Cook links all Tens to Astrology’s Tenth House (Capricorn), representing ambition, status, reputation, career, and the parent who set limits for you as a child. She associates the Ten of Swords with the third decan of Gemini. In Cook's TD system, Subject Card Ten signifies Achievement. The keyword for the suit of Swords in this system is Challenging, which gives us Challenging/Achievement for the Ten of Swords.

Cook applies the keyword “Despondency” to this card, noting: “Beware of a tendency to imagine the worst or to create self-imposed restrictions such as ‘I can’t.’ . . . This card is just as likely to appear when success is within your grasp as it is to appear when you’re grappling with a recent loss or setback.”

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

About the Ten of Swords, Thierens writes "The element of Earth on the Tenth house: Capricorn., of course, relates to authority and earthy might or power.” He goes on to state: “It is ultimately the card of inexorable karmic results, say material karma itself. To the profane this means very often affliction, etc., and the personality may be burdened by the weight of fate.”

His keywords for this card include: "Karmic results, whether benefic or malific; material limits, physical necessity; authority, official might and power, obedience to the same; official persons. . . Affliction, sadness, etc.”."

(Note: If you are interested in learning more about this system put forth by Thierens, I recommend the book referenced above.)

Speaking strictly in astrological terms, for the Ten of Swords we have:

  • Crowley and Hazel with a Sun/Gemini association
  • Mann with Uranus/Gemini
  • Love with Aquarius/Uranus/Moon
  • Thornton with Uranus/3rd House (Gemini)
  • Cook with the 3rd decan of Gemini, also referring to the 10th House (Capricorn)
  • Thierens with Earth/10th House (Capricorn)

The sign Gemini is linked with the Ten of Swords by five of my sources. Three of them link the planet Uranus -- planet of sudden upheaval, rebellion, surprise, individuality, disruption, and the future – with the Ten of Swords. I sense the energy of Uranus in this card more than I do the Sun, which is the choice of Crowley and Hazel.

The Tenth House association referenced by Cook and Thierens resonates with me because of its link with the planet Saturn, ruler of Capricorn. Saturn is the planet of karma, lessons, limitations, and discipline.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Listen to the Animals: Cheetah

For this Tarot Notes feature, I pull one card from an animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

If you are interested in finding out who your own Animal Guides are, you can get an Animal Guides Reading through my _Etsy shop_ or my _Web Site_.

Today I am starting with the Ancient Animal Wisdom deck by Stacy James and Jada Fire (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) To read my review of this deck, please click HERE.

My card is CHEETAH (22). 

Stacy and Jada see the Cheetah in this deck as representing the Divine Feminine. In numerology, the number 22 reduces to 4 (2+2), which Stacy and Jada say represents “discipline, order, devotion.” The appearance of this card encourages the Seeker to celebrate the divine feminine energy with the special women in his or her life, and to “acknowledge the yin energy on the planet as unconditionally beautiful and nourishing.” We are also encouraged to honor the divine feminine within ourselves, whether we be male or female.

The colors used on this card strike me as “fire” colors, which I normally associate with masculine energy. The color yellow is commonly associated with the element air, also a “masculine” element. I see strong Solar (traditionally male) energy rather than Lunar (traditionally female) energy here. Astrologically, the scales suggest the zodiac sign Libra, an Air sign, yet also a sign ruled by Venus, a strong feminine symbol. And the abstract figures facing each other at the top of the card are clearly female.

In Susie Green’s Animal Messages deck, illustrated by Csaba Pasztor (Cico Books), the Cheetah card means “A decision once made will be followed by unwavering action.” The Cheetah stalks its prey with unwavering patience and focus, then breaks into a run at just the right moment, using its speed to achieve the goal it decided to pursue.
Similarly, in Steven D. Farmer’s Messages from Your Animal Guides Oracle Cards (Hay House, Inc.), the Cheetah’s message is: “Get clear on your intention, stay focused, and move quickly to achieve your goal.” Associations provided for this card are “Speed; Focus; Insight; Passion; Swiftness; Elusiveness; Flexibility; Efficiency; Self-esteem; Powerful; Graceful; Purposeful; Energetic; Sensuous; Accomplishment; Directness.”

Like so many things, the Divine Feminine is perhaps more complex than we sometimes think.

Finally, here are some photos I took of cheetahs. I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Has he decided to end the marriage?

Today I am doing a Yes-or-No reading using the Playing Card Oracles divination deck by Ana Cortez and C.J. Freeman (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) For this reading, I am drawing three cards. In the method I’m using, the answer is based on the playing card association for each card. Reds (hearts, diamonds) are taken as a “yes” answer and blacks (spades, clubs) as a “no.”

The question concerns a fictional married couple currently living in different cities because of work. However, there have also been problems in the marriage. I think it is possible that the man may want to get a divorce. So my question is: Has he decided to end the marriage?

The answer is:

12 Hearts / Déja (red / yes)
8 Spades / Field of Stone (black / no)
13 Spades / Mardoc the Heartless (black / no)

According to the system I described above, the answer is “not very likely.” The red card suggests that he may be leaning that way or may have been considering that option, but the two black cards seem to override that, at least for the time being.

I find it fascinating that in a question about a marriage, the cards brought forward a 12 (Queen) and 13 (King), with a Field of Stones between them. That image speaks volumes about the state of the relationship. Ana Cortez writes of the 8 of Spades: “The unluckiest card in the deck, the dense field of Spades represents numerous obstacles and the fruition of bad seeds.”

Of the Queen of Hearts, Ana Cortez writes: “Déja possesses a softness that is her strength, a quiet knowing that dignifies her. This Queen’s closed eyes symbolize her attunement to the inner world.” Her description of the King of Spades reads: “As the last card within Spades, the suit of material form, Mardoc assumes the role of terminator, the conqueror without mercy or compassion. He exemplifies mastery over earthly affairs.” Whether we look at these two cards as actually representing the man and woman in the marriage or not, it is certainly appropriate to consider that the energies they symbolize are important factors in the situation.

Based on current conditions, things don’t look great for this couple. A firm decision to divorce may not have been made, but the emotional groundwork seems to have been laid. It also occurs to me that the Queen of Hearts could represent another woman in whom the man is interested, and her existence is a factor that could ultimately sway his decision.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 10 of Observation

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
10 of Swords

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Observation (represented by an eye) is comparable to the suit of Swords. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Observation is from The Red-Headed League: “This is a time for observation, not for talk.”

The Ten of Observation is taken from Arthur Conan Doyle’s book The Adventure of the Empty House, in which Sherlock Holmes “returns from the dead” after three years, astonishing now-widower Dr. John Watson. On this card, Holmes and Watson are about to break into the building where Colonel Sebastian Moran – Moriarty’s second in command – lies in wait. This encounter nearly costs Dr. Watson his life, and the villain escapes after being captured.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is “Well, there’s nothing for it now but a direct frontal assault. Are you armed?” This quote is from The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “the need for daring and resolution, life-and-death decisions, the final solution dictaqted by ruthless logic, affliction, total oppression, acknowledgement of old debts.” Reversed, the card can suggest “favours claimed, benefits, profit, recovery, authority.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings. An example from “The Game” for the Ten of Observation: “A life-or-death decision may leave you frozen. Troubles reach their height . . . Facing fears with resolution and acknowledging the power of past events.” An example from “The Fog”: “Troubles are over at last. . . Setting the record straight improves the situation.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

In the Dream – Driving the Car – Part 2

To read Part 1, click HERE

If you have already read Part 1, please note that I did edit it to add: Upon further thought, I can even see a possibility that the appearances of my brother and son refer to a generational issue. In other words, perhaps I see my generation (represented by my brother) as growing tired and needing a break, but I fear that the next generation (my son) is not yet ready (mature enough?) to take the wheel.

Having written down my dream (an unusually short one that I could record – and you could read -- in a reasonable length of time), I am now faced with deciding what question(s) to ask the Tarot and/or what spread to use as I attempt to decipher this dream and/or find out if it has any useful advice or insights I can use in my waking life.

Let’s try an 8-card spread, specifically designed to help with the interpretation of this dream. Layout is like this:

Positional Definitions

1) Type of energy that will help me interpret and utilize the message(s) of this dream (Major Arcana = spiritual; Pentacles = physical; Swords = mental or intellectual; Cups = emotional or subconscious; Wands = ego, sense of self)
(2) What am I in danger of forfeiting (or have I already forfeited) control of?
(3) What do I fear I cannot do properly because of a lack of ability or experience?
(4) What area of my life is currently causing anxiety for me?
(5) What might my brother represent in the dream?
(6) What might my son represent in the dream?
(7) What might the field represent in the dream?
(8) What is the overall message I need to receive from this dream?

Okay, I think I can work with that.

Now… which deck will Spirit choose for this reading? No contest: It has to be the Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi, illustrated by Kwon Shina (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) To read my review of this deck, click HERE.
Here we go!

1) Type of energy that will help me interpret and utilize the message(s) of this dream (Major Arcana = spiritual; Pentacles = physical; Swords = mental or intellectual; Cups = emotional or subconscious; Wands = ego, sense of self)


Well, well, well. If it isn’t the very card I recently explored on Tarot Notes from the perspective of two different decks. As I may or may not have mentioned in the past, I identify quite easily with this card from an elemental standpoint because Pages traditionally represent the element Earth and the suit of Wands (in the system I use) represents the element Fire. My own birth chart is very much a Fire/Earth chart in terms of the key players (Sun, Moon, Ascendant). It seems that a blend of that elemental energy will be helpful to me in interpreting the dream.

Pages can represent youth, immaturity, inexperience – childlike or childish energy. The natural curiosity of children applies, as does a desire and need to learn more. The suit of Wands often speaks of impatience or impulsiveness, but also of passion and action, optimism and enthusiasm.

As outlined above, the suit of Wands points to “ego, sense of self” as a useful type of energy in this situation. I can certainly see how that would work. Rome Choi, creator of the Dreaming Way deck, writes that Wands cards often relate to creative works and the things we do with passion. I can certainly see “creative energy” as being useful in dream interpretation.

(2) What am I in danger of forfeiting (or have I already forfeited) control of?


Wow. Okay, the physical, material world is involved here, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. And the King, of course, is the one who is (or *should be*) in control of everything. This guy is often described as stable, unchangeable, and protective. From an objective point of view, I don’t think anyone is truly “in control” of their physical, material world. Oh, we have influence and impact, but anything can happen to anyone at any time. Yet knowing this at an intellectual level does not necessarily prevent anxiety about it at a visceral level. I may fear this lack or loss of control regularly, day by day, as I go through life.

(3) What do I fear I cannot do properly because of a lack of ability or experience?


There you go. I fear that I cannot handle a Tower experience, that such an experience will arise and I will not be able to deal with it at all -- as if I am at the wheel of a car speeding down the highway, and I can’t find the brakes. I have had what I would call “Tower experiences” in the past, and though I did survive them, their impact on my life continues. It’s never really over for me, even though I have moved on. So perhaps I not only fear a future Tower experience that I can’t handle, but I fear I am not handling past Tower experiences well, as I continue to let them haunt me.

(4) What area of my life is currently causing anxiety for me?


Cups typically represent emotions, relationships, the desire to be close to others. And here we have another King, that “control factor” again. Perhaps anxiety is being caused by trying (or desiring) to maintain total control over emotional matters and relationships. Guess what? It can’t be done, any more than we can maintain total control over our physical, material state.

(5) What might my brother represent in the dream?


Interesting. With the suit of Swords (in the system I use), we are usually looking at making rational judgments or decisions. The number Two suggests a choice or crossroads situation. The blindfold, to me, suggests an ability to be impartial, detached, and objective (“justice is blind”). My brother is an engineer by trade, a career that demands logic and rational decisions. In the dream, his choice appears to be whether to keep driving or take a break. He chooses to take a break. Is this a message for me?

(6) What might my son represent in the dream?


Something just occurred to me. In the dream, I am expecting my son to take over the wheel of the car, but I discover that he is playing a video game instead. At least, that is what I assume he is doing. But what if he is actually steering the car via the device in his hands? I recently saw a report on TV in which computer hackers took control of a man’s car and caused it to do all kinds of things. He was at the wheel but not in control of the vehicle. It can be done. Yet in the dream, that does not occur to me. Instead, in a panic, I leap over the seats to take the wheel, clearly believing I have to take charge in order to avert disaster.

What if my son is simply using modern technological advances to accomplish what he is expected to accomplish? In the dream, briefly, the car is speeding down the highway with no one sitting at the wheel – yet it travels in a straight line, just like it was when my brother was driving, not hitting anything or swerving off the road.

The Six of Wands often represents success, honors, and recognition. Is it possible that my son and his behavior in the dream represent success through an alternate method, or the importance of considering alternate approaches to problems and situations – a caution against assuming we must approach a problem the way we have always approached it in the past? Perhaps a caution against allowing my ego to get in the way of a viable solution (“my way or the highway!”)

(7) What might the field represent in the dream?


What an interesting comment on this question from the cards! The car finally comes to a stop in the middle of a field – nothing around but some trees. Wide open. In the Dreaming Way Tarot, The Hermit is shown in a forest, holding up a lantern to light his way. As Rome Choi puts it, he “seeks to find his own truth. . . This card indicates a time of solitary withdrawal from the world to focus on quiet, inner reflection.” In a similar way, being out in the middle of a field brings a sense of quiet and an opportunity for reflection. It is a very natural setting, away from the hustle and bustle of civilization (the highway). The Hermit “holds the light of truth in his own hands” (Choi), and the field where I end up in the dream could symbolize the need to stop and reflect, a chance to be still and see clearly in all directions.

(8) What is the overall message I need to receive from this dream?


For the overall message, we return to the suit of Pentacles (physical, material realm). The image on this card suggests, to me, giving and receiving fairly (notice the scales in the giver’s hand). The message could be about the importance of giving or sharing what I have, but could also refer to being willing to accept someone else’s generosity when it is offered. One hopes that if the tables were turned, the people receiving coins on this card would, in turn, share their gifts with someone less fortunate.

Interestingly, this card appeared for me way back in 1999 in response to a specific question, and its appearance prompted me to make significant, dramatic changes in my life – with a very positive outcome. Perhaps the card is saying, “You did what you did, and it all worked out for the best. Accept that there are no guarantees. Stop worrying and go with the flow.”

If you have made your way through this analysis, thank you for your time. It seems a bit long-winded to me, but I found it useful. I hope it helps others as well.

Friday, August 14, 2015

In the Dream – Driving the Car -- Part 1

Every morning when I wake up, I usually recall one or more dreams, sometimes many. Here is one from the night of August 12 which I plan to “analyze” using the Tarot.

I am riding in a van or SUV being driven by my brother (who is his current age, around 60). We have been on a major highway for several hours, and he is ready for a break. My son (who is a lot younger than his real age but able to drive) is supposed to take the wheel. Sitting in the back, I am not paying much attention, but when I look up, I realize that my son is not driving. Instead, he is sitting behind the driver’s seat playing a video game on a hand-held device. No one is driving, and the vehicle is speeding down a major highway in traffic.

Alarmed, I clamber over the seats and take the wheel, but I have never driven this type of vehicle before and I feel very unsure of myself. I steer off the road into a large field, intending to stop, but neither of the two pedals at my feet seems to be the brakes. I stomp and press on what should be the brake pedal in an effort to stop, but the vehicle keeps going. I steer it around and through the field. Finally, someone (my brother?) tells me the brake pedal is at the base of the seat instead of its usual place. I slide my right foot backwards and sure enough, there is a pedal where the floor meets the base of the seat. I press my heel on the pedal and the vehicle gradually comes to a halt.

Field Grass by xxtgxxstock

In traditional dream analysis, automobiles usually symbolize the ego, the “vehicle” we use to travel through our lives, or into the unconscious or spirit realm. I start the dream sitting in a back seat with someone else driving, which may indicate that I am forfeiting (or feel that I am forfeiting) control of my life to another person. In general, dreams about automobiles being out of control are symbols of stress and anxiety, or perhaps of being emotionally overwhelmed. (I actually do dream regularly about being at the wheel of a car that I cannot control, for one reason or another.)

Other items to note:
(1) The vehicle is a large one – a van or SUV with 2 or 3 rows of seats. This could suggest that I have a big ego, or maybe that I “have room for” other people in my unconscious mind.
(2) I am not alone in the vehicle. My brother and son are with me.

One possible interpretation of dreaming about one’s brother or son is based on how the brother or son appears in the dream (for example, whether he is healthy and energetic or weak and sickly). In my dream, my brother has been driving on a highway for several hours and needs a break. My son is supposed to take his place at the wheel, but neglects to do so, focusing instead on a video game.

One more option is to consider my brother and son, in the dream, as representing the “masculine side” of my own psyche. That gives a sense that there is a part (an “older” part?) of my masculine side that is tired and needs a break, but another (a “younger” part?) is not stepping up to the job, preferring to “play.”

[Edited to add] Upon further thought, I can even see a possibility that the appearances of my brother and son refer to a generational issue. In other words, perhaps I see my generation (represented by my brother) as growing tired and needing a break, but I fear that the next generation (my son) is not yet ready (mature enough?) to take the wheel.

Tomorrow or the next day, I’m going to see what the Tarot can do with all of this stuff. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Old English Tarot: 7 of Coins

In today's blog entry, Helen Howell continues her exploration of cards from the Old English Tarot by Maggie Kneen (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Old English Tarot
Seven of Coins
by Helen Howell

I’m back looking at the minor cards in the Old English Tarot Deck and today it’s the 7 of Coins. Now I always compare these cards to their traditional brother the Rider Waite Deck  and as I glance at these two cards side by side one significant difference hits me. In the Rider Waite we see an image of a man contemplating his harvest. It tends to speak to me of being at a crossroads and evaluating what you have achieved. The Old English image doesn’t appear to depict this element.

Let’s take a closer look at the image of the Old English and what the symbolism in it could mean. In the background we see a castle on a hill. This could suggest a goal or security.  The green hill could suggest for us how the earth nourishes, green being a colour associated with growth, expansion, balance, potential, fertility. The fields of wheat also indicate growth and abundance. The fruit tree laden with pears could represent good solid roots that have resulted in success. Two baskets are filled with produce, again showing abundance, a good harvest. The figure sits on the grass (green again) and appears to be counting out what looks like nuts. I have read that nuts or at least nut trees can be a symbol of perseverance.

Taking all of these images together it really does speak to me of having achieved a good result from putting in the effort and patience. Everything around the figure indicates success and progress. So unlike the Rider Waite image, which gives me a strong feeling of reevaluation, this Old English one, at least to me, speaks of success through hard work and the opportunity to reach one’s goal. However I am left wondering why the figure is counting those nuts? Perhaps after all there is an element of reevaluation tucked away in this card. You’ll have to make up your own mind about this one.

These interpretations are purely from my own perspective. You may see something totally different to me, and that’s ok too. If you do, don’t hesitate to share. We can all keep on learning.

LWB says:
Ingenuity, growth, progress, monetary gain, good result from work.
Reversed: Selfishness, avarice, bad debts.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Loan Approval: Lenormand Yes-No Reading

Well, it does seem like I have a lot of acquaintances dealing with loans these days. I did a Yes-No spread reading _back in June_ with the Lenormand asking if my friend would get a loan to refinance her home. Although some aspects of the reading seemed to say it was unlikely, The Sun blazed forth and she did, indeed, get the loan.

I have another acquaintance who is waiting for loan approval. The loan was full-steam-ahead until an underwriter discovered that this person had made ONE late payment on an existing loan back in November. All payments have been made on time since then – but apparently, she cannot be trusted with another loan until she has made payments on that loan on time for six months to a year. For reasons I won’t go into here, this person’s ability to get the loan approved has a direct impact on my life.

This time I am using the Freshly Squeezed Lenormand by Jean Hamilton-Fford. (To read my review of this delightful deck, click HERE .) 

So let’s ask the cards: Will her loan be approved before the end of the year?

The answer:

12 – YES – 3

LOL, well, I probably don’t need to look any further than that middle card, wouldn’t you say? However, let’s see what else is here. These cards do not have the playing card associations on them, so the method of using reds (hearts, diamonds) for “yes” and blacks (spades, clubs) for “no” doesn’t readily apply. However, after consulting a reputable source, I see the following:

12 (traditionally the Birds) = 7 of Diamonds (red / yes)
Titled “Anxiety” in this deck, Card 12 encourages us to see the positive side of those things that seem to go wrong. It is certainly true that the loan approval delay has caused a lot of anxiety for many people. It is hard to see a “positive side” to it, but perhaps that will become clear at some point in the future.

3 (traditionally, the Ship) = 10 of Spades (black / no)
Titled “Journey” in this deck, Card 3 can suggest “that someone or something is making its way to you imminently or in the future.”

It looks like there is a small chance (10 of Spades) that the loan could be delayed past the end of the year, but the YES card and the red 7 of Diamonds association for Card 12 seem to outweigh that small negative implication (which, I feel, is more indicative of “delay” or temporary blockage than an outright “NO” answer to this question).

I am liking this answer, so let’s hope it isn’t simply a reflection of my preferences, wishes, and desires!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Journey Through My Decks: Page of Wands

I believe I am finished playing “catch up” to incorporate the cards I missed the first time around in my Journey Through My Decks series. Last (not least!) we have the PAGE OF WANDS.

For the Page of Wands, I thought it might be fun to compare the card as portrayed in the Art of Life Tarot by Charlene Livingstone (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) and Tarot of the Masters by James Ricklef: https://jamesricklef.wordpress.com/products/tarot-of-masters/

Charlene Livingstone assigns the qualities of enterprise, development, and creativity to the suit of Wands in general. She labels all Pages as “beginner, learner.” Her keywords for the Page of Wands are “enthusiasm, ambition.” To represent these characteristics, Livingstone chose a detail from a painting called The New Armor by Franz Meyerheim (1838-1880). In this image, we see a knight showing a young boy (a page, presumably) the helmet from a new suit of armor. The traditional view of the Tarot Page as representing a young person or student comes through clearly. I like the knight’s reddish leggings as a reference to the element Fire.

To accompany this painting, Livingstone provides a quote from George Eliot, one of the leading female English novelists of the 19th century: “It’s never too late to be what you might have become.” No matter how old we are, we can still access the enthusiasm, desire for learning, and wonder exhibited by the Page of Wands.

James Ricklef’s choice for the Page of Wands (which he calls the Youth of Wands) is a painting titled The Negro Master of the Hounds by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Several aspects of this image remind us of the Page of Wands, including the “wand” tucked into the young man’s belt and his bright red and orange garments. Ricklef writes that for him, the deciding factor was the presence of several dogs in the painting. He notes, “Dogs are friendly, trusting, eager, boisterous, unruly, enthusiastic, and mischievous – typical traits that arise when we join together the energy of the suit of Wands with the innocence and immaturity of the Youths.” Ricklef's _"pithy meaning"_ for the Page of Wands is "Oh, grow up."

In her book The Tarot Court Cards: Archetypal Patterns of Relationship in the Minor Arcana (Destiny Books), Kate Warwick-Smith writes that in a Supporter role, the Page of Wands represents "Child." As a Resource, it represents "Play." In its Detractor form, it suggests a "Puer" (defined by Warwick-Smith as "someone who. . . refuses to grow up and accept responsibilities"). As a Challenge, this card represents "Immaturity."

In general, I get the sense that the Page of Wands can indicate a valuable "childlike" quality or a destructive "childish" quality. Pages as a group are typically linked with the element Earth. As a Fire sign Sagittarius with a strong Earth influence in my birth chart, I can readily identify with many of the traits expressed by this Page.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Journey Through My Decks: Knight of Wands

I’m almost finished incorporating the cards I missed in the Journey Through My Decks series. One of these was the KNIGHT OF WANDS. In the Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.), this knight is a rather astonishing character!

Paulina Cassidy describes him as “sprinting through the countryside with a flurry of energy.” Appropriately named Blaze, he “is always in a state of motion and change. His fearless drive and ideas will lead him to success.”

The image makes me think of the people who carry the Olympic torch from Greece to the host city for the Olympic Games. His broad (and a bit peculiar) grin tells us that he is enjoying himself immensely, with a spring in his step (to say the least).

Paulina provides the following Keywords for the upright Knight of Wands: “Energy, daring, passion, courage, supportiveness.” Reversed, the card can indicate “losing interest, exaggerating accomplishments, foolhardiness.”

Since we’re talking about quirky cards, why not trot out the Knight of Wands from The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov (Magic Realist Press). Seriously, I love this guy, described thusly by Sophie Nusslé in the guidebook that accompanies this deck: “wild and passionate. . . rushes in where more cautious men fear to go. . . idealist who lives by inspiration. . .dashing and adventurous young person. . . ardent love. . . artist breaking new ground.” Sophie also addresses the reversed meanings of this card, which include: “braggart, bully. . . rebel without a cause. . .fiery temperament and fierce enthusiasms that give way to depression or detachment.”

In case you can’t tell, this Knight is a unicorn. Sophie’s “Portrait of the Knight of Wands” is the story of “Achille Baton” who “decided the day he arrived in Paris from his Lorraine province that he would be somebody or die in the attempt, preferably in a duel or of tuberculosis.” As the story goes, Achille is wounded in a duel. He later writes a series of poems which become famous: “The Unicorn at a Gallop.” “At a gallop” is probably the most apt expression we could use to describe the forward motion of the Knight of Wands!

In Mary K. Greer’s system for matching the Court Cards with Myers-Briggs Personality Types, she describes the Knight of Wands as ENFP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving). Greer describes this knight as “an enthusiastic planner of change who sees life as an exciting drama. Authentic and spontaneous. Hypersensitive and hyperalert. Creative but without much follow-through. Fiercely independent. Fascinated most by what might be. Impatient. Strong sense of the motivations of others.” You can find a complete chart of these correlations _HERE_.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Journey Through My Decks: Queen of Wands

As you may know by now, I accidentally omitted a few cards when doing the Journey Through My Decks series here at Tarot Notes. Inexcusably, the omissions included the entire Wands court! To make this up to the Queen of Wands – one of my favorite cards – I am taking my cue from the little black cat shown on the traditional Rider-Waite Queen of Wands. I am looking at the depiction of this Queen in three different cat-themed decks.

First up, Tarot of Pagan Cats designed by Barbara Moore, with instructions by Magdelina Messina and artwork by Lola Airaghi (Lo Scarabeo). What a lovely Queen of Wands this is, reclining on a red cushion, surrounded by sunflowers – and with her own little black cat. The lush plants remind us that Wands is the suit of new growth, as evidenced by the leaves sprouting from the Wands in many Tarot decks. Magdelina Messina writes that this Queen is “someone who cares for and helps others regarding their will, inspiration, or passion.”

In Tarot of the White Cats, with instructions by Sofia di Vincenzo and artwork by Severino Baraldi (Lo Scarabeo), our regal Queen of Wands is dressed all in red, as befits the suit of Wands. She holds a sunflower, and sunflowers bloom in the background. Instead of a little black cat, her companion is a tiny gray mouse. Sofia di Vincenzo’s observation on this card: “Even if it is demanding, there are situations in which absolute sincerity is indispensable.” Here we do see the traditional leaves sprouting from the Wand.

Finally, the Black Cats Tarot by Maria Kurara (Lo Scarabeo) depicts Her Highness kneeling on a patch of ground where she is offering seeds to hummingbirds. In the background sits a throne carved from a massive tree trunk. Rich green vegetation abounds. The cushion on the throne is bright yellow or gold, as is the Queen’s crown and the Wand (wrapped in a green vine) that she holds in her left paw. Maria Kurara gives the subtitle “Welcome” to this card, and writes: “The Queen is sweet and gracious. She is ready to help the others and is in synch with nature. But sometimes her pride causes her to miss worthwhile opportunities.”

The lovely outdoor settings on all of these cards actually make me think “Earth” rather than “Fire” but, as I mentioned before, the suit of Wands does represent new growth, which certainly ties in with the Nature setting. On two of the cards, sunflowers turn their faces to the Sun, which rules the Fire sign Leo. Traditionally, all Queens are linked with the element Water, symbolizing emotions and relationships. No wonder the Queen of Wands combines fiery passion with a caring spirit.

This trio of feline ladies fills me with delight. Please pass me my Wand!