Weekly Card Rerun: The Approach

It’s summer re-run time.  Mostly this is being re-posted because I love the photo.

tarot poker cat

What?  This doesn’t look like any Tarot card you’ve seen?  Me, neither.  But I’ll bet it might call to mind a Tarot card or 2 (and feel free to let us know which ones in the comments section).

I love this!  I’m a big fan of Tarot humour, even on the dark side.

So let’s take a break from looking at specific cards this week, to look at your approach to Tarot.

Is Tarot a Very Serious Undertaking for you?  I like the respectfulness inherent in that.  And you can look at possibilities for being respectful while keeping a big, questioning sense of humour.  Partly because a lot of life is funny, strange and just plain peculiar.  Partly because laughter helps free the mind to make the kinds of intuitive connections you’re making when you read Tarot.  And partly just because it’s fun!

I love that our kitty is taking Tarot into unexpected places.  Really, poker?!  Can’t you just see the faces of the other players when that deck came out?  “WTF” probably didn’t begin to cover it.

Find some unexpected places you can bring Tarot.   Start with where, when and for what you usually read.  Move into some totally outlandish ideas.  Make yourself laugh.

What if your deck came with you to the salon and you only did hairstyles that were pictured on the cards you drew?  What if your deck came grocery shopping with you and you only bought what it told you to?  What if you took a drive with your cards, letting them telling you where to turn?  Or if your side of any conversation was based solely on your deck?

Then dial it back to possibilities you could actually live with (although your craziness could lead to some outrageous adventures or, at least, a very weird diet plan!).   Your energy level has dropped for no particular reason and you want to know why.  You’re bored with yourself and need ideas for sprucing up.  You need a new design for your garden.  Rock and roll with your own ideas!

Kitty brings up another, sobering aspect to Tarot: actual peoples’ lives were affected by this episode.  Okay, responsible Tarot use isn’t likely to kill you.  But you are using Tarot to involve yourself more fully in your daily life.  And that’s why you were right to have that Very Respectful Approach to Tarot: because real people with real lives are involved.

So find that personal balance between the lightness of humour and the responsibility of any of the intuitive arts.  Enjoy the laughter and be humble about the privilege.

Now, excuse me, I’ve got to go laugh hysterically at the next good Tarot joke.

We can thank my fellow Kitchen Witch, Brooke Parkhurst of Triple Oak Bakery  and Tinsmith , for the good laugh today.

Weekly Card The Queen of Cups

We’re meeting another regal presence from the Court Cards for the first time: the Queen of Cups.

As a person, this is the one who’s first foot forward is the emotional one. S/he’s involved and connected with those around her, directly from the heart. S/he’s the one you can go to for nurturing and comfort, for someone to understand how you’re feeling.

Most people are a mix of energies, and if we’re one of the lucky healthy ones, we can draw on all the Court Card energies when appropriate. So, this week, when you look at who might be influential in your life, you don’t need to find someone who’s all emotion and creativity with no rationality. Just look to the individual who’s most able to get into the emotional flow and stay there with you.

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Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Elementally, we’ve got Queen as water in the watery suit, Cups. This is the level in the Court that’s most at home in the Cups environment. The image from the Mystical Cat Tarot has our Sea Queen in a flowing fountain. The Rider Waite Smith image has the Queen on a shell-topped throne at the edge of the sea, completely focused on her ornate Cup. This is a flowing, mutable, changeable, responsive energy. And it’s not to be underestimated: remember the long-term impact of water as waterfalls or rivers. Yes, the Queen of Cups will carve through stone, if need be.

Looking to your own character, where are you being asked to be emotionally connected this week? Do you have a creative project under way that needs the infusion of humanity that crosses time and space to reach its audience? How can you bring emotional response, especially with a feeling of nurturing, to as many areas of your life as possible this week?

Water your personal garden!

Weekly Card 10 of Cups

Aah, the big rainbow of 10 of Cups . . . .

We know rainbows from the biblical promise of “never again”. We’ve learnt what we needed from the deluge and don’t need that experience again as a species. Within Tarot, we know it from a reference in XIV Temperance, which we haven’t yet looked at. Iris, the messenger of the gods, brings heaven to earth with her rainbow.

Here, we’ve got the rainbow in the arena of connectedness: our emotions, our relationships, our creativity. We’ve come through a cycle, successfully integrated the emotional experience, successfully built a solid relationship, successfully carried our creation to completion. And now there’s time for celebration and appreciation of the cycle that’s just past.

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Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Importantly, we become someone new at 10 of Cups. In the Rider Waite Smith image, we see gratitude, welcoming the future with open arms, dancing with others (like there’s no one watching). In the Inner Child image, we’ve got the 10th heart (corresponding to cups in this deck) on the forehead of the mermaid, native to this suit. She’s become the healer of the winged heart, able to touch the sky.

Along with preparing to jump off into our new cycle of connection, we’re charged to share what we’ve gained with others, to expand our community, to demonstrate our deepened capacity for connection.

So . . . where will you share this week? And where will you go next?

Weekly Card 10 of Wands Revisited

You know those times when something you really believe in suddenly seems like a lot of work? Welcome to the world of 10 of Wands.

Sometimes our values, passions and beliefs are a heavy encumbrance. We’ve looked at that energy before. In the Crystal Tarot, we have shapes and structures to consider in relation to the 10 of Wands.

As always, there are many layers and many points along the “good-bad” spectrum.

We’ve got 4 of the 10 wands in the Crystal Tarot image making a pathway from rocky earth to a light-domed sky. Building on the belief structure we already have, we can find our way to a life with meaning. Or is the pathway narrow and restrictive, with the reflected triangles obstacles on our way?

Those triangles add up to a diamond, one of our western cultural symbols for precious value. Has mundane ambition supplanted values based in spiritual truth? Or does the diamond indicate pure values that have been tested under pressure?

They’re also alchemical symbols for fire above water. If we place our values above our emotions, we live true to our more lasting self. But we need to work through our transitory emotions to discover our values.

Do the structures on the image lead you forward to the re-evaluation of the weight of 10 of Wands to find the higher Ace that will encompass the entire group?  Is the wand structure a gate to pass through to a higher level or a barrier to keep you out?

What would be the response of the Page of Wands, were she to find herself encumbered by the 10 of Wands? How does her fiery, youthful energy help her to move forward to the Ace? Does it hold her back in any way?

What if you, personally, found yourself embodying the 4 of Cups, with 10 of Wands demands being made on you? With more fire than water, how do you keep from turning to steam?

How would the three 0 The Fools we met recently respond to 10 of Wands? Does 0 The Fool naturally follow or lead into the 10 of Wands? Or neither?

Back to your life this week, how can you use the 10 of Wands to support you or move forward?

Finding Meaning

Every now and then I’m asked, “but what does that mean?” (and it’s got nothing to do with a tarot or numerology symbol). More often the question is indirect, part of the process to make the best use of circumstances.

Really, any time we’re attempting to make “sense” of what we’re in the midst of, we’re assigning meaning.

Meaning is (almost) totally subjective. A divorce, for example, can mean freedom for one ex-spouse, heartache and disillusion for the other, and confusion and upheaval for the kids.

But the story doesn’t end there. Our feelings are not the meaning of the experience; they are part of the experience itself.

That’s the beauty of subjective meaning: we get to assign meaning to our lives. And we can use meaning to support ourselves in moving forward from difficulties.

We can do that at several levels. What does the experience bring us on a personal level? What does it allow us to bring into our community? How can it support our mission in life or help us discover a new one?

And, since we’re making up meaning for ourselves, we can tweak our stories to help us be more effective, whenever we want.

So, what meaning have you given to various aspects of your life? Is that meaning helping you? If not, what meaning can you find that will help?

Weekly Card The Inspiring 4 of Cups

We’re back at the 4 of Cups. Take a look at the earlier post to refresh your memory or deepen your understanding.

And then put yourself inside the New Vision image.

Imagine that you’re sitting comfortably against a tree, looking out over a fairly barren landscape. You’ve got 3 emotional cups before you.   How do you respond so far?

That empty landscape allows our imagination and creativity to take over.

Is that where Pegasus is coming from?

And what would you do if you saw Pegasus coming at you? Would you still be sitting under the tree? Would you run toward or away from it?

Once you’d had whatever interaction with Pegasus you needed, would you go back to your tree?  Or would you choose to move on?

And would you take the 4th cup that’s being offered by the divine hand?

This week, consider where you look for inspiration. There’s always plenty out there. How receptive are you?  And where in your life will you apply it?

The Tarot of the New Vision is an interesting deck, isn’t it?, giving us a behind the scenes look at the images of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. There’s a further behind the scenes look in an exciting new book by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin, Secrets of the Waite Smith Tarot.

Weekly Card the Fiery Princess of Wands

Wow! Who’s this fire chick?! Definitely a warrior princess.

We’ve actually seen other versions of her before, as the Page of Wands.

But this Princess of Wands doesn’t look playful or sedate. She’s got her club of fire, so she means business. She’s wielding passionate belief as a tool or weapon. And did you check out her other hand? She’s actually got it in the fire! This one’s a super hero.

What’s with the strange armour? There’s no breastplate. Her heart isn’t guarded or protected here. She doesn’t have to worry about skinning her knees, and she won’t be bashing her shins on the furniture, like the rest of us, but her normally vulnerable heart is stronger without guards and barriers.

The tiger-skin cape is another indicator that we’ve got a force to be reckoned with. This is not a humble Page or ineffectual Princess. This is youth unleashed. (And am I the only one thinking Calvin and Hobbes?)

When do we want to see this Princess?

How about those days when you’re dragging your sorry butt out of bed, wondering how you’re going to make it through yet another 14 hour day? It’d be great to have Marvel or DC on your side.

Or what about the times when you need to make a presentation to the boss or to potential clients? Passion and belief with unguarded sincerity is a powerful tool.

Robert Wang and Israel Regardie’s Golden Dawn Tarot is just one of several based on the traditions of the mystical organization, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn grew out of the flowering of Freemasonry traditions in the mid-to-late 19th Century. Tarot figured strongly in the Order, based on the Kabbalah. It’s an earlier tradition than the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, but just barely. A.E. Waite was a member of the Golden Dawn.

Bring the Princess of Wands into your own life this week: Where have you already passed trials by fire, where does your passion serve you to get things done?

Light it up!

Weekly Card The Captivating Fool

We’ve all met 0 The Fool in our lives. And we’ve all been 0 The Fool at least once or twice. (One of my favourite expressions is, “Mama didn’t raise no small fool”.) And, with a little less embarrassment, we’ve met 0 The Fool here a couple of times.

So let’s finesse 0 The Fool with 3 different images.

First, from Tarot of the Bellydancers (yes, really!) we have this smiling beauty offering us a pure white lotus with the promise of a dance. The lotus – and her little dog – are pure, unsullied by the journey. Is this dancer at the start or end of her dance? Is the red bag waiting for gifts or full of the gifts from her performance? 0 The Fool is sometimes placed at the beginning of the cycle of the Majors and sometimes at the end. Does the unopened lotus necessarily mean this 0 The Fool can’t be at the end of the cycle?

The leaping 0 The Fool from the Yoga Tarot has a monkey face, the reflection of his chattering monkey mind. And the outside world is no help, with another monkey pulling at him. Here we have an unrefined 0 The Fool, pulled here and there by the multitude of distractions in life and in his mind. Any banana will do to entice him on his journey.

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Brian Williams’ Renaissance Tarot

0 The Fool from Brian Williams’ Renaissance Tarot is a more serious contender. This Jester is dressed for court and ready to entertain the aristocracy. He alone can criticize the ruling class with impunity. With his staff of grapes, he brings Dionysian wildness with him. The skull of mortality tops the staff, acknowledging that the journey of life has an end. Live life while ye may . . . .

What if V The Heirophant meets our mysterious bellydancer 0 The Fool? Will the meeting be the same as with the monkeymind 0 The Fool? Or the Renaissance Jester 0 The Fool?

How about the rational King of Swords? How will the Sky Kitty get on with the bellydancer and her dog? With the monkey? Anyone else hearing a whole lot of yowling and scratched noses, so far? The Jester may have more of a place in the court of the King of Swords.

Or put the various aspects of 0 The Fool through a 3 of Cups experience. How do they colour the situation?

You can see that comparisons of multiple images can bring to light various points on the spectrum of a card’s energy. Do you relate more to one of the 0 The Fools that we’ve seen so far than to the others? How do you think of 0 The Fool? What can you add to provide depth to the character?

Get out there and dare to be a Big Fool this week!

Structuring Change

1506 NumbersSome changes are easy and feel very freeing. Others are more demanding and require that we learn to work with new limitations.

So guess which one is up for this month?

Yeah, *sigh*, it’s the one we’re less likely to choose.

It’s a month where our past decisions in favour of unfettered slackerdom will come to bite us in the hindmost body part. Or where self-serving structures will be broken apart in favour of those that serve a larger community.

If revolutions and ineffectual complaints are going on around us, we don’t have to buy in. Focus on what changes you want to see, imagine the structures that will support making them happen and take a leadership role in getting them in place.

Even though it’s an uphill climb this month – over rocky ground – the energies support change that benefits the community. Consider the obstacles as things that turn up to make your structures even stronger. Don’t give up!

When was the last time you ran into someone wearing a woolly, horned headdress? It probably wasn’t at any of the places you’d imagine meeting V The Heirophant.

So what’s going on here, in Helen Jones and Jane Lyle’s Renaissance Tarot image?

For starters, it can be helpful to step outside of our culture to explore spiritual traditions from other times and places. Where there are groups of humans, it’s natural that structures grow up to addresse the non-visible aspects of our existence. This isn’t an element of “high civilization” or “asphalt world”.

The fur and horns bring to mind animals of the natural world. There’s our physical nature right up there at the top of V The Heirophant. So we’ve got spirituality in the natural world, not in some abstract or ideal construct. This is our guide to the non-visible within visible life. Those horns can operate as antenna for messages from the divine, direct to the natural self of our guide.

It also brings up some of the elements of life that will return again and again in our journey through the Major Arcana. We may have developed a spiritual approach within an existing tradition, or designed one of our own. But we’ve still got those parts of ourselves that are wild and unknown, out of control. We’ll get lots of opportunities to come to terms with our wild selves in any lifetime.

Recently, we looked at VII The Chariot. We saw another hint of internal conflict there. What if we bring this wild and woolly V The Heirophant into one of our VII The Chariot situations? How much impact do you think V The Heirophant has had on building our various societies?

What happens when V The Heirophant is in the room with the King of Swords? We’ve got earthly authority meeting spiritual authority. What is the ultimate authority in your life? Does it vary from situation to situation? What cultures have given V The Heirophant domination over the King of Swords?

How does V The Heirophant relate to the celebratory occasions of the 3 of Cups? What are some of the small-scale ceremonies and rituals in place in the celebrations and joyful social structures of your life? Is there room for the wildness of a woolly headdress?

This week, look for the ways your traditions and rituals honour your natural, untamed self.