I think it’s funny how as soon as I feel my drive return I draw a card from the suit of Wands. Not only that, but it’s the first Wand I’ve drawn all month! As I said in my post yesterday I’ve been feeling a bit low in energy and lacking enthusiasm and drive to write. I feel like it’s slowly coming back now, and today I drew the Nine of Wands, which I see as the card of perseverance and stamina. I think this is a good sign :).
The Nine of Wands traditionally shows a slightly jittered and weary looking individual holding onto a stave with eight others forming a wall behind him. It is unsure whether this is a defensive wall, keeping enemies out, or whether the wall is in fact the enemy closing in on him. Either way though, it is evident that he has been through some tough times, but more importantly, he hasn’t allowed them to knock him down! He has a bandage on his arm, representative of physical tribulations, and one upon his brow, representative of psychological/emotional hardships. Linking the psychic wound to his posture, we can deduce that this is someone who is frightened and can think of nothing else in life but the conflicts around him. He has been through so much hardship, that he is always on the defensive, looking for the next fight, even if the enemy is long gone. This is another aspect of this card, the sense of paranoia that grows when you are always assuming ill will.
In the Shadowscapes interpretation above we see a vigilant sentinel on watch. He sits there, upon his mount, waiting for the next challenge to come. He is an image of vigilance, perseverance and stamina, waiting there day and night, for an unknown enemy, preparing for the next challenge to come. To me this image suggests that we must always remain vigilant, hold onto a core of strength and keep our energies in reserve for the moment they are needed. I see this in the golden orb the sentinel’s mount holds in his tail. He keeps it there, ready for the coming battle.
First I must apologise for my lack of posts over the last five days, life has been a little crazy of late, and while I have still been drawing cards I just haven’t been overly compelled to write anything. This could also have something to do with the fact that I have predominantly been drawing cards that I have already wrote a bit on, but I think it is mostly due to a lack of motivation and the stress at work taking it’s toll. Today however I felt my drive begin to return as I shuffled my deck and drew The Lovers.
The Lovers is one of those cards that you may have heard of even if you have never seen a Tarot Deck in your life. It is often misconcieved as nothing more than the card of true love, but it is so much more than that. While The Lovers does represent a relationship based on the deepest love, it doesn’t always have to be a sexual relationship. At it’s base it represents the force that attracts two entities to one another, whether these be people, events or ideas. It is about establishing bonds, and forming a kinship, about experiencing desire in all its forms, making love and responding to a situation with passion. The other side of The Lovers, that is not as often shown in popular culture, is about choice, about establishing your own personal beliefs and determining what it is that you value.
Last night I found out some potentially bad news about my place of employment’s financial position. I won’t go into too many details, but they have taken some action to hopefully prevent them from having to close down completely. When I was informed I was obviously stressed, worried about whether I would loose my job and further down the line whether I will even receive my annual leave entitlements if the business went south. I have been saving up my annual leave for when I go away next year, like a locked savings account, thinking that was the smartest way to go! I bet you if I had drawn a card at that moment of realisation I would have drawn The Tower. I literally felt like things were about to fall apart. Then this morning when I woke up I was still thinking about the situation while drawing my daily card, hoping for something helpful to assuage my fears! And what did I draw, why the Ten of Pentacles.
Being quite cynical I laughed when I saw this, thinking that the Tarot was mocking me. How is the potential of loosing your job, your financial stability and possibly even a large sum of money you were relying on, a Ten of Pentacles moment? For those of you new to the Ten, I wrote about it here, so I won’t go into too much detail in this post, but basically it is the one card in the deck that represents the ultimate in worldly and financial success. It’s about enjoying the affluence you have worked hard to achieve and feeling secure in your place. This is the complete opposite to what I’m feeling!
I love it when I draw a card that I have never drawn before! It gives me an opportunity to not only learn something new but to also become more acquainted with an aspect of the Tarot I am a little less versed in. Today I was lucky in drawing The Emperor, for not only have I yet to draw him in my daily draws, but he has also never come up in any of the readings I have done!
The Emperor is card number four in the Major Arcana and is usually paired with The Empress as the two major archetypes of Feminine and Masculine parental energies. They represent parents in their archetypal forms. While The Empress can represent Mothering qualities, The Emperor is said to represent those qualities we link to Fathering. Protecting and Defending, providing Security and Comfort, emphasising Structure and standing out as an Authority figure. Now of course these qualities are not purely ‘Masculine’ or related to a ‘male father figure’, but being established during traditional times when the sex roles were stricter, The Emperor is usually seen in this way. He represents Structure, creating Order out of chaos, Regulating and other such systematic qualities to balance out the free-flowing, loving energies of The Empress. And while The Empress signifies the natural world, The Emperor caries with him the wider significance of the social world, the laws of society and the powers that enforce them.
The traditional representation of The Emperor is that of a stern looking older male, wearing a red robe over a suit of armour, sitting upon a rigid throne. His posture and position epitomises stability, and his confident direct gaze speaks of authority. When I look at this card I see someone who knows his place in that world, someone in a position of strength where they are able to exert their control and establish structure and stability. In The Fool’s Journey, the Fool comes across The Emperor and his associated energies around early childhood, after leaving the protective nurturing arms of his/her mother. He comes across structure and order when he begins to learn more about the world around him. And at some point he comes across rules and the people in authority who enforce them. At first he finds it frustrating and restricting having only experienced the flowing love of The Empress. But eventually he comes to terms with these qualities and comes to understand their importance.
Yesterday I went to the Adelaide Vegan Festival. It was an absolutely lovely day, full of friends, fun and Vegan scrumptiousness :). It was the first day I’ve spent out in the Spring sun since Spring began, and being as light skinned as I am I was scrambling for shade anywhere I could find it. I got to enjoy so many Vegan delicacies, and ran into a few people I haven’t seen for quite some time which was a blessing. I even got my hair wrapped, which I’ve wanted to do for so long and got the most beautiful complement from a stranger, who said my eyes were mesmerising and reminded her of her most treasured childhood marble :). All in all it was a lovely day!
Today when I woke up however I was feeling a little drained, originally I thought it was from all the sun but I think it may have also had something to do with running into a few people whom affect my emotions in a negative way. This realisation didn’t come to my mind until later today, and I believe it has something to do with the card I drew this morning :). Today’s Daily Draw was my new Tarot Stalker, The Hermit.
I have to admit that I’ve never really had much of a connection with today’s card, even when I drew it this morning I thought, hmm this is going to make for a hard post to write. I don’t know if I really have an answer for why this is, all I know is that it is one of the few cards where nothing really jumped out at me on first glance. So I think to help me learn a little more about the card I’m going to look into both the RWS version and the Shadowscapes card I actually drew :). What card could be causing this problem you ask? Funnily enough it is from the suit of Pentacles (I know right, shocking 😛 :P), not a card that often causes difficulties in interpretation, but definitely one I can’t quite grasp yet, the Ten of Pentacles.
Traditionally the Ten of Pentacles shows an elderly man bedecked in an affluent looking robe, looking out upon his children and grandchildren. He is comfortable in his retirement, living off the fruits of his labour, knowing that he has accomplished everything he has wanted to and that now he can provide joy and security for those he cares for. It is a card of enjoying affluence, feeling financially secure and seeing your ventures flourish. It is about searching for permanence in the world, creating a secure foundation off of which your can flourish and live happily. This links to a conservative way of life whereby you follow convention, trusting in your methods. For when you become successful in a material sense, why would you wish to rock the boat by shaking things up? I think this aspect of the card is one of the reasons why I’ve never connected too well to it. I’ve never really been one for following the established patterns of living, and if I was to become financially successful I would want it to come from a personal and imaginative source.
Like the Ten of Cups, this card shows a scene of ease and contentment, although it is one based more upon the material comforts of life rather than an emotional/spiritual contentment. What we must remember however, as we are shown through the progression of the suit of Pentacles, is that monetary wealth and prosperity can be gained and lost suddenly, dependant on your circumstances and life choices. Because of this fact I feel that the Ten focusses more on reaching this stage in your life, where you are financially stable, and then using it to start new ventures, and to share your wealth with others.
Fear, Worry, Anxiety, Regret, these forces have such an affect on us as human beings, and if left unchecked they can be so strong as to completely overpower us. I have definitely fallen victim to this during my life, most recently during the aftermath of my breakup, where I was constantly going over and over all the things I could have done wrong, all the things I could have changed. This got so bad that I could hardly escape from my thoughts! See this is the thing about these ‘feelings’, they are all well and good as pure emotion, some may even save us from a dangerous situation, but as soon as we feed them with our thoughts, they have the power to completely take hold off us. This fact is epitomised within my Daily Draw today, the Nine of Swords.
These forces are the keystones to the Nine of Swords. Traditionally we see a figure, lying awake in bed, head in hands, with nine swords hanging above them in the dark. This is such a powerful image, for who hasn’t sat awake in bed at 3am, filled with worries and anxieties that just won’t leave us alone. Nighttime is when our griefs and fears have the most strength as we no longer have the distractions of the day to get us by. We sit there worrying, brooding over an issue, making everything seem worse than it is, despairing over all that we could have done differently. This card represents the deepest sorrow and mental anguish that the suit of Swords represents. Unlike the Queen who has been able to turn this sorrow into wisdom, or the Three which shows pain which seems to come from something outward but with a suggestion of acceptance and cleansing, the Nine shows the moment of agony overpowering us, the pain that we generate within ourselves!! The Swords which usually represent thought, communication and action have turned into weapons against us rather than tools of progress. The fact that the swords hang directly above the figure, and not through their back like the Ten, shows that quite often this pain is not something that’s happening directly to us, but as a result of someone we love. This is further evident in the pattern on the blanket. Here we see roses, the symbol of passion, interspersed between all of the Zodiac signs. This to me represents someone who can’t help but take on the pain of others.
Today I decided not to pull a Daily Card in favour of doing a reading. And as I am working my way through the The Alternative Tarot Course, created by the beautiful Beth from Little Read Tarot, I decided that I would do my third weekly reading :). Chapter 3 of the course was all about getting in touch with the Major Arcana! The Majors represent the larger aspects of our lives, the big changes that send us on a tailspin, those moments when we feel we are trapped in a situation, but also the times where we come to terms with our inner truth and learn that we in fact have everything we need to achieve what it is we want. It’s been a really good week and I may post a bit about some of the exercises at some point, but today is all about the reading for this chapter, entitled “Courtroom Drama”. This is a Majors only spread originally created by the French Tarotist Oswald Wirth in the 1920s. In this spread we imagine we are in a Courtroom and our situation is being discussed and judged by the ‘Majors’. It is a five position spread, where the fifth position is deciphered using numerology, an addition which I really liked :). You lay the first four cards out first, which are representative of:
Position 1: “In your favour” – What is ‘for’ your situation. A person, energy or influence that may be of help. Your key strength.
Position 2: “Against” – The negatives. Things working against you in your situation and hindering your progress.
Position 3: “The Judge” – This is the card that looks through the evidence presented by cards 1 and 2 and try’s to clarify where you stand, giving advice as to how to proceed.
Position 4: “Decision/Sentence” – The outcome. The lesson to be learned.
Once these are laid you add up the numbers on cards 1-4 and then if they are over 22 reduce them by adding the two numbers together. For example, in my reading the total was 36 – 3+6=9. So my centre card was The Hermit. The centre card is Position 5 in the spread but it is read first. This is because this card is what everything else depends upon and hence is the most important part of the reading! Now this spread can obviously be used for many different questions but in this instance Beth asked us to ask the cards a specific question, “How can I become a truly brilliant tarot reader?”
So now that you know the basic outline, here is my Courtroom Drama 🙂
Every time I question why I haven’t drawn many cards of a particular suit they seem to pop up just to spite me :P. Last time it was the Cups, and now it’s Pentacles. Yesterday I drew the Four and today the Three of Pentacles decided to say hello. And this after a month long drought of Pentacles in my daily draws. I wonder if this is going to be a common occurrence during November :). I’d really like to get in touch with my Earth energies, which I have to admit are probably the most weak elemental connection for me, so if this is the case come at me Pentacles :).
I see the Three of Pentacles as a message that a goal is manifesting. Traditionally it stands for Teamwork, Competance, and Planning, and the Threes themselves represent an externalisation of their respective suit, the first manifestation of its qualities. If we further link this to The Empress, which is card number Three in the Major Arcana, and her ruling planet Venus, also represented by Three, we can deduce that the manifestation of what we desire may be helped along by incorporating the assistance of others, by bringing into relationship elements that may be disparate, but create a solid result. And then there is the more obvious linkage to the Holy Trinity, or the Wiccan Rule of Three. The concept of three distinct energies coming together and working as one. And to keep going with the Three symbolism today is the Third of November :P. It was obviously meant to be :P.
It’s been quite some time since drawing a card from the Pentacles suit in my daily draws, the last time was on the 30th of September. I went through the whole of October without drawing one daily Pentacle! Today however, the drought has ended. The Four of Pentacles came to me today, which is interesting, because I don’t feel much of a connection with the card, and being the first Pentacle drawn in a long time I thought it would have been a different card to end the drought. But, it must have come up for a reason, so here we go, the Four of Pentacles…
The Four of Pentacles is all about Control and a desire to Possess. As you can see in the card above, we have the classical image of a gold-hungry dragon, coiled so very tightly around his hoard of gold. You can picture him lashing out fork tongued hissing, “Mine, my preeecciooous, stay away”, declaring ownership and endeavouring to prevent the Chameleons above from getting near his possessions. He is constantly on guard, worried that at any sign of weakness the Chameleons will swoop in and steal his gold. This is what happens when you become so concerned with your material possessions, so much so that they actually become a cage of limitations instead of something which should bring you pleasure and stability. You may be financially well off, and feel stable both financially and emotionally, but this is only because you are equating emotional security with money. This card portrays one of the biggest pitfalls of prosperity, the temptation and tendency to value money much higher than its true worth.
The Fours in Tarot are symbolic of structure and stability, and in this case this is a false sense of structure and stability that comes from a dependence on material comforts and security. A mindset of procuring as much as you can so as to feel safe and stable. The being in this card has created himself a type of protective layer out of Pentacles that he believes will prevent him from encountering any hardship. However, this is also blocking any form of change from occurring, which can in turn exclude others as the need for personal security takes over, making for a very lonely way of living! I like how Stephanie has made it look as if this way of living is leeching the dragon’s individuality and that his resistance to change is in fact making him indistinguishable from the gold which he holds so dear.