Moon Signs

When people think of astrology and personality, they most often think of the Sun sign.  This is the sign people mean when they ask “What’s your sign?”  However, a person has a Sun sign, a Moon sign, a Rising sign, a Venus sign, a Mercury sign,  a Mars sign, a Jupiter sign,  a Saturn sign,  a Uranus sign, a Neptune sign, and a Pluto sign. My hope is we will talk about all of these.

The Sun sign is the sign of the outward personality.  Jung called it the “persona.” It is the personality traits that people see, and that we are most comfortable showing to the world. That is not to say that this personality is fake. It is a part of us; its energy is the energy that most of the time feels most natural to us. It is also the most “social” energy of ourselves.

However, we have other types of energy that we are born with, and other energies that we can develop.    This energy is closely related to the archetypes that Caroline Myss speaks of in her book Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. Caroline Myss takes Jung’s work with archetypes and expands upon it, but keeps many of the original archetypes Jung worked with.  One of these archetypes is that of the Shadow.

The Shadow can be seen as being an opposite of the persona.  It is the part of ourselves that we may not be very comfortable with, energy we are not sure what to do with, or energy we are not even consciously aware of possessing. Just as the persona is associated with the Sun and the energy of that sign, the Shadow can be associated with the Sun’s opposite–the Moon.

The Moon has long been associated, in astrology, with emotions and the subconscious. The Moon sign, or the sign the Moon was in when you were born,  thus tells how you handle your emotions. It tells about the personality that you may not show outwardly, and that you yourself may not be very familiar with, as the Moon, in traditional astrology, rules that particular realm.  The Moon is also the ruler of the five senses, and your instincts. The energy with which you react to your environment is ruled by your Moon sign, according to astrology.

I myself am a Moon in Aries, which is interesting, since here a physical, fiery sign is in the watery realm of emotions and the subconscious.  My sun is in a sign aligned with water–Luna (the sign formally known as Cancer and also known as Fegerri or Selene. We’re still working this out. At least here at Turtlephoenix).

First, let’s discuss the Shadow as I feel it, in my Moon placement. As a Moon in Aries, I am ashamed of my anger, which sometimes feels consuming.  I am also very competitive, but, because I am insecure and frightened of displeasing others (a common complaint of people in my Sun sign), it tends to show up in self-destructive tendencies when I am feeling off balance–I constantly compare myself to others and never quite measure up.

As a Moon in Aries, however, I feel I have a certain passion for pursuing matters relating to the subconscious, the emotions, and the instinctual.  When I am balanced, this competitive spirit helps me push myself. Also, when I am emotionally committed, I am in it for the long haul. This can be a double edged sword, as I don’t take rejection easily. Going into the more personal realm, I see my exes, both erotic and platonic, as competition in the imaginary contest for whoever is more lovable, desirable, successful, etc.  They usually have no idea they’re running against me. Sometimes, I’m not even aware I’m in the race until my emotional legs give out.

Raven Kaldera chose Macha, an Irish goddess who was faster than anything on earth, including the King’s horses. Her mortal husband bet she could outrun the King’s horses, and the heavily pregnant Macha won the race. When she reached the finish line, she gave birth to twins, and then cursed all the men of Ulster.  This is the Arien anger magnified by the intensity of the Moon.

Arien Moons are always quite open in the expression of their emotions, even if they try to hide them. As a weepy Luna, I have many a time bruised my Arien Moon pride by sobbing in front of people. That is the peril of this fire sign in the Moon, though. It’s too strong to stifle.

Currently, the Moon is in Libra, and tomorrow it will enter Scorpio.  Libra, being an air sign, is an uncomfortable place for the emotional moon, and the Shadow side is charm, flattery, and manipulation–as well as a tendency to play favorites–but it lends a romanticism, and an instinct for harmony and peacemaking that can’t be beat. Raven Kaldera chose Isis for this placement, a goddess whose love and devotion brought her husband back from the dead, but marked her son as a tool for vengeance.

The Moon in Scorpio is powerful, indeed. The emotions here tend to be taboo–the sign of Scorpio rules sex, death, and rebirth–and the subconscious mind can be full of disturbing images that can peek out as disquieting thoughts. On the other hand, a placement here leads to a richness in imagination, fertile dreams, and a deep compassion.  Raven Kaldera chose Hecate for Moon in Scorpio, the Greek goddess of death, crossroads, and the underworld, but also the goddess of midwives. As matriarchal medicine fell out of favor, the midwife became synonymous with witchcraft.  This misunderstanding is very familiar to anyone with a lot of Scorpio energy, who understands that decay brings fertilization.

You can find your Moon sign here, at the Lunarium. Knowing the time of your birth is important, as the moon can stay in a sign for only a day.

Your Moon sign is not alone. All the archetypal energies of the signs and the planets interact with one another, and manifest in similar, but not identical, ways with each person. The fact that watery Luna is my sun affects how my firey moon expresses itself.

I want to take a moment here before we close to remind us that these signs are energy that is accessible by anyone. For example, if you are having relationship difficulties, call on Libra energies to help you balance your emotions.  If you are preparing to do psychological work, either for yourself or for another, bring in Scorpio energy. Here is a quick visualization to help you.

Imagine that you are lying on your back in water of a comfortable temperature. You are completely safe in this water. Breathe smoothly and naturally. As you lie on your back, you are gazing up at the moon.  This moon is a new moon, just a thin slice of silver in the sky.

As you gaze at it, the moon begins to swell into a full moon. As if swells, it fills with the color associated with the energy you want to access–if you need the strength and power of Aries, it shines red and orange.  For Libra’s peace, harmony, and charm, soft pink and blue, and for Scorpio’s courage and insight, scarlet and black.

This light flows down on you, and pours into every cell. It lights up the chakras, the energy centers that form a path from the coccyx to the top of the head.  Absorb this light. You may want to chant a mantra, repeating the quality you most want to draw into yourself–such as “peace,” “courage,” or “strength.”

Soak in this power as long as you need. When the moon is full, bask in it, and feel the water supporting you. Then, let the moon wane until it is again a simple crescent in the sky. Afterwards, say thank you, and go about your day.

Archetypes associated with the Moon:

Virgin/Mother/Crone

The Heart

The Inner Child

The Moody One

Kindness

The Inner Parent

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The High Priestess

In review:
In the beginning was The Fool, the beginner’s mind, new experiences, birth and rebirth.

Tara, the Tibetan goddess of compassion and protection, symbolizes New Beginnings in Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Deck. If she appears, she will keep the questioner safe from harm as they begin their new adventure. In fact, Tara translates to “She who causes one to cross.” So, the first step of the Tarot Major Arcana journey is one of getting the courage and security to set out on your adventure.
Next is gaining mastery over the self and the environment, represented by the Magician:

And now, after there is self-control and external power, the adventurer becomes introspective, and looks to the abstract.

And we have moved from the Magician to the High Priestess. While the Magician is about skills, the High Priestess is about knowledge, especially knowledge of the Self, and knowledge of the Spirit.   Kris Waldherr chose Sarasvati for the High Priestess of the Goddess Deck, and called the card itself Wisdom.  Sarasvati is the Hindu goddess of wisdom, music, education, spiritual knowledge, and the arts.  She floats on a lotus, a flower that symbolizes resilience. The lotus can grow out of the murkiest depths, and knowledge and enlightenment can occur in the most unlikely places.
Kris Waldherr added many wonderful details to her illustration. Look closely at Sarasvati’s arms, of which she has four. This shows the reach of wisdom; enlightenment can be found in all four corners of the earth. Also, to connect her to the Magician, I would say that the four arms can symbolize the four elements, of which the High Priestess would also have mastery. The four limbs can be spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional well being and balance, as well. The book is education and commitment to learning. The beads represent spiritual commitment and ritual, and the lute she strums symbolizes music, the marriage of both the left and right brain, showing both emotional and logical balance.

The Celtic Deck’s High Priestess is shown standing in front of the moon, a symbol of feminine intuition, wisdom, and the subconscious. The moon is full to show the fertility of her imagination. Her robes are those of a priestess, someone who has been initiated onto the path. The inside of her robes is dark blue, the color of the night and the subconscious. Her sash is gold, the color of solar or male energy, showing her ability to translate this knowledge from subconscious to conscious, abstract to concrete.  She stands on a verdant green lawn, vines climbing up the bricks. This is a place of mystery.  If the High Priestess comes into a spread, secrets may be revealed.
Since The High Priestess is shown outdoors, she shows an understanding and a closeness to nature, a potent source of wisdom, and a source as beloved and valuable to the High Priestess as any book.

Robin Wood’s High Priestess shows a woman wearing a robe in shades of blue and green, the colors of night and of water, both associated with the feminine, the subconscious, and dreams. She holds a book, to show her devotion to study, and a crystal ball, to show her sharp intuition. Her hair is black, in keeping with the mysterious colors of night, and is highlighted with silver, a feminine color because of its association with the moon (gold and the sun are masculine).  Her necklace is, if you look closely, a pentacle. She also has mastery over the four elements.  Her headband has a crescent moon, which is a symbol of rebirth and regeneration, as well as the cyclical nature of life, as the moon wanes or “dies” and then waxes, or is “reborn.”
In a reading, the season depicted in the card may seem to be autumn/early winter, or early spring.  The beauty of the Robin Wood deck is the careful detailing. One detail may stick out to you out of all the others on the card.  What does this detail tell you? What does it mean to you? Why does it stick out?

Barbara G. Walker’s Papess is also full of exquisite detail. What stands out to me, right now, are the Alpha and Omega symbols on the pillars behind the Papess. Her knowledge is the beginning, the end, and everything in between. She studies the book in her lap, calm and alert, flanked by the ivory towers of accomplishment. These ivory towers may mean something else to you. On the ground in front of the Papess are two keys, which allow insights, foresights, and treasures of the subconscious to be yielded to the questioner.
At first glance, the Papess may appear to be wearing a Devo hat. This is actually meant to represent a beehive, and at the top is a crescent moon, the symbol of cycles and regeneration.  The High Priestess/Papess, because of her wisdom, understands and accepts the cycles of life. The beehive is symbolic of devotion, for she is as intent on gathering wisdom as the bees are at gathering nectar. Just as bees instinctively go to the best flowers, she uses her intuition to guide her. She is wearing purple, the color of royalty, and the other dominant colors of the card are red and white–red is commonly associated with passion, and white with purity. What do these colors mean to you?
If the questioner receives this card,  it could represent aspects of the questioner. The questioner may be going through a period where they feel passionate about learning. They may be having very intense, even prophetic dreams. They may be feeling very close to nature, or may have had a transcendent experience in a sacred place.
The High Priestess/Papess may also represent someone in the questioner’s life.  This person may be very encouraging, intuitive, and/or intelligent. This may be a female teacher, therapist, or mentor, especially in a spiritual capacity, a mother in an initiator role, or a friend who gives good advice.
The archetype of a High Priestess, which can also be found in a male, is that of an intuitive, wise, spiritual woman, a woman who perhaps is close to nature.  She may be mysterious, but nurturing.
In its reversed aspect, the High Priestess could indicate a stinginess with wisdom–the questioner or a person in the questioner’s life is choosing not to help a someone seeking answers.  It can also indicate someone who thinks he or she is wise but is actually not experienced enough to give accurate counsel. It can also mean an estrangement from one’s own intuition or subconscious, or a refusal to follow one’s gut feelings. The High Priestess in reverse can also show that the questioner, or someone close, is having a full-blown spiritual crisis.

Heavenly Sevens

In numerology the number seven is associated with wisdom and intelligence. There is a difference between the two. A person can be intelligent but not wise, and vice versa.  Wisdom is more spiritual. Intelligence is more worldly–it has to do with what you can learn, and is cerebral.  The number 7 covers both.  It is also associated with spiritual growth and meditation. As God rested on the seventh day, the number seven implies a need for rest and introspection.

Let’s start with Wands in the Minor Arcana.

Here, the man in the kilt stares down six Wands, his own Wand blazing. Who or what is holding those other Wands? What is this man’s goal? He is fortunate to have the high ground, though, and his legs are strong in his stance. He even has a slight smile on his face. He is confident in his strength and in himself.

In the Celtic Deck, it is apparent that the protagonist on the hill is fighting against six other men. He still holds the high ground, and has a determined expression.  Generally, if Seven of Wands shows up in a spread, it’s telling you to stand your ground. You’re probably going to come out on top, or at the very least learn what you’re capable of.

Freyja, the mediator goddess between the warring gods of Aesir and the peaceful Vanir, is the goddess of the Staves. While the men on the Robin Wood and Celtic decks are confident,  Freyja is uncertain. In certain situations, it is good to be wary. It could very well be that there are aspects of the situation that you are not aware of.  Being wary will help you keep your position and maintain your supremacy.

Here is a man in a Damocles situation. What is unique about this card is that it reminds us that conflict may be caused by ourselves. We may take on to much and find ourselves overwhelmed. Such is the price tag with success, a concept associated with the Wands/Staves, as they are aligned with the external masculine energy.

Reversed, the Seven of Wands/Staves means that the questioner is overwhelmed and unstable. A retreat may be in order.  It may also mean an argument will not be won, or a request will not be granted, as they are too many things working against it.

Moving along to the Coins/Pentacles:

The Seven of Pentacles/Coins is in keeping with the theme of rest and contemplation associated with the number.  Here, a man is very content with his handiwork, which is growing and almost ready for harvest.  From his gloves, it’s apparent that it took hard work to get here, but it was worth it.  This card signifies that now is a waiting period, and that good things are on the way, particularly if the question concerned financial, health, and real estate matters, which are under the umbrella of the earthy Pentacles.

The man here is contemplating his money. How much does he already have? How much more does he need? If he needs more, how can he get it?  Those may be the questions the Seven of Pentacles may recommend the questioner consider.

In keeping with the garden theme–gardens as a metaphor for fertility, abundance, richness, patience, cycles, and hard work paying off–Lakshmi is depicted tending hers.  The work is satisfying, and is not a hardship. She is full of happy anticipation. If the question is concerning whether work, education, or another venture will pay off, the Seven of Pentacles is a good omen.

Of course, Barbara G. Walker has to break up the happy-fun time and poop on everybody’s party (I mean no disrespect. Barbara G. Walker is one of my heroes. It’s just I know this change in tone is quite jarring and I wanted to add some levity).  In her deck, Seven of Pentacles can mean failure. As far as I can see, this has to do with the nature of cycles, which is one of the concepts the Earthy Pentacles have to teach –sometimes the garden is fallow or frozen. However, in the distance is a dark door flanked by seven stars, leading into the cave. What is in that cave? Is there gold? Or perhaps a place to rest and recuperate from loss? Look at the other cards.

The Seven of Coins/Pentacles reversed in other decks say basically what Barbara G. Walker’s upright Seven of Pentacles says, and also warns against impatience, laziness, and entitlement.

The Seven of Swords indicates a need to protect oneself, and vulnerability. It also indicates shadiness or deception, on the part of the questioner or on the part of someone the questioner knows.

The Seven of Swords tells the questioner to be careful–someone is either actively trying to harm them, or an impersonal crime may take place. Put up extra protection and be very watchful.  Someone may be sneaking around or spreading rumors. This card can also indicate that the questioner may be up to no good, and are about to be caught, or get themselves entangled in the negative behavior. Those who live by the sword die by it.

This picture makes me think of Caesar’s last moments. Watch your back, the cards are telling you. Someone may be a traitor.

Isis, the goddess of the Swords suit, is frightened as she carries her five swords.  Her brother/brother-in-law Set (I know, right?) has killed her husband/brother, Osiris (I know, right?), not once, but twice, dismembering him the second time,  and she must now put Osiris back together, all the while watching her back in case Set tries to kill her and Osiris again. The Seven of Swords is sympathetic. It knows how difficult it is to carry the burden of fear.  It would make a world of difference if someone came to help carry the burden, but the Seven of Swords indicates isolation, or the feeling of isolation. When the Seven of Swords shows up, it may be beneficial to take stock of whom you can trust. You may not be as alone as you think.

Okay, I’m going to point out the elephant on the wall before anyone can jump to conclusions. Yes, that is a swatstika on the wall. Yes, when I saw it, I literally flinched. But trust me, Barbara G. Walker is NOT a Nazi. Here’s the a brief history of this symbol, from her invaluable book, The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects:  “Named for the Sanskrit ‘so be it’ or ‘amen,’ the swatstika has been a religious emblem of worldwide occurrence since at last 10,000 B.C.  It appeared on the oldest coinage in India, on images of Buddha in Japan, and on Greek and Roman figures of the Great Goddess…It was still used as a magic sign in Europe up to the beginning of the twentieth century” (Walker 61). Even with such an illustrious history, the swatstika is another casualty of the Third Reich, and I won’t touch it in my work with the runes (the Futhark and Futhorc do not even have the swatstika anyway).

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, the woman, who is a wise crone, has created a circle of seven swords over her as a protective amulet. She sits with closed body language, with her arms and legs crossed. The black cat by her side is her familiar, an extension of her soul and boon companion. Again, this card seems to ask whom we can trust.

Reversed, a Seven of Swords indicates paranoia, or unrealistic fear,, and indicates that the questioner must seek help. It can also reveal truly dangerous activity or a terrible threat.  Your intuition may also tell you, looking at the card, that a reversed Seven of Swords indicates the danger is past. Use the other cards surrounding it.

The Seven of Cups is a card of dreams and decisions.

Here, the girl’s hair becomes the clouds. She is clearly in a flight of fancy. Her head isn’t just in the clouds, it is the clouds! The young girl is constructing many lovely scenarios for herself–there’s a cup of jewels with a dollar sign motif, a castle in a cup with a crown around the brim, and fireworks shooting out of the cup with the heart.  What those stand for don’t need explaining, but some of the symbols are more estoteric. The dragon in the red cup symbolizes power and passion. He’s a little bedraggled, because he’s been fighting temptation and oppression, as shown by the chains on the band of his cup.  Dreams take work to come true, and sometimes a fight.

The snake in the cup with the moon waxing, full, and waning represents, wisdom and healing. Because snakes shed their skins, they were associated with healing and the shedding of disease. The molting of snakes was seen as a symbol of rebirth and renewal. The moons are symbolic of womanly wisdom, the feminine knowledge of the subconscious, the hidden, and nature cycles.

The laurel in the cup with the skull and crossbones motif is a visual pun meaning “Victory over Death” (Wood 201-208).  The last one is a mask in a silver cup.  The color of silver is symbolic of feminine energy and the moon.  The mask is the Self. Getting behind the mask means the ultimate self-knowledge.

This is why I love Robin Wood. She is so rich in meaning and her artistry is stunning.

In the dreamy Celtic Deck, the Seven of Cups shows a woman peering off the back of a boat. Is she longing for the past, which will never come again? Is she happy with the person she is with, the person rowing the boat? Actually, he’s not even rowing the boat. He’s gazing at the beautiful sight before him, seven cups in a glowing pyramid. But is that vision real, or a mirage, an illusion? Is it distracting him from the real goal at hand, which is getting to shore? Is he not paying attention to his surroundings, and putting himself and his companion at risk?

Sometimes, the Seven of Cups warns us against illusions and distractions.  It reminds us to know when to let go of a desire it is impossible to obtain, such as a return to the past, or the returning of a love who is not good for us.

In Kris Waldherr’s goddess deck, Venus, the goddess chosen for the emotional, romantic cups, is dreaming of the snake, the castle, the crown, and the victory laurel.  The skull can represent the ultimate knowledge of the afterlife, a rebirth, or holding death in the palm of your hand, or, in this case, a goblet.  The rose is for sensual pleasure, beauty, and romance.  Then there is a mysterious seventh cup, shrouded by a piece of white cloth. What is it? What surprises does the universe have in store?

There are many things to choose from. The Seven of Cups may indicate several choices, all of them equally appealing. The choice must be made, however, and the best way to think about it is with gratitude, and tell yourself that no bad decision can be made here.

Here, a poet who makes me think of the Romantic poets (those transcendent, nature loving, emotional dreamboats!) or perhaps Rumi, the Sufi ecstatic.  He has his quill and paper, and is gazing off into the soft swirling fires of inspiration, from which emerge a blonde angel (or siren, depending) with a rainbow aura. She sprinkles him with seven blood red drops from an overturned cup.  She is the Muse, watering our imaginations. He leans on a tree shaped like a hand reaching to the heavens, symbolizing the desire to break earthly bounds. Seven of Cups may symbolize a visit from the Muse, but it may be ephemeral.  Watch for insight and revelation, but also be careful of indulging false hopes or red herrings that may lead you away from what you may really want or need. For example, if you’re seriously considering leaving a wonderful person for the person you’re infatuated with simply because you’re bored.  Or, you’re taking a job that you claim to love but you only love the money.

Reversed, Seven of Cups signals self-deception, false hopes, ennui, and indecision. It also may indicate spreading oneself so thin there’s no commitment to any one thing.

Sources: Walker, Barbara G. The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1988. Print.

Wood, Robin. The Robin Wood Tarot: The Book. 1998. Livingtree, 2009. Print.

Page of Swords, or, A Really Snippy 12-Year-Old

When I was having my conversation with Kafi Gaultier about how best to learn tarot cards, she pulled a card from her deck as an example. The card was the Page of Swords.  She showed it to me, and said, “Let’s say you pull this card in the morning. Be on the lookout.  Think about what it means. Think about what really stands out to you about the card.  You may get a paper cut, or you may have to deal with a snippy twelve-year-old.”

Why a twelve-year-old?  Why, because we’re talking about the Page/Princess. Pages and Princesses tend to indicate a child or young adult in the questioner’s life, and usually a female. However, just like the Princesses of Pentacles, the Princess/Page of Swords can also indicate an aspect of the questioner, and may not always indicate a female.

Kris Waldherr’s Princess of Swords

The people that Princess/Page of Swords may indicate can, indeed, be snippy. Swords are aligned with the element of Air.  Air is the element associated with strife, conflict, and problems, including the need for medical care–the “scalpel.”  However, Swords are also associated with mental acuity, intelligence, problem solving, communication, and travel. As such, drawing the Swords (ha ha, I just got that as I typed it) is not necessarily a negative thing. The Princess of Swords can indicate a decisive person, a person who knows what she or he wants.  It can also indicate a young person who is cool and calm under pressure, someone who is rational, someone who is a problem solver.  Let’s say someone wants to know how well their grades will turn out this semester. If the Princess of Swords pops up, they can feel a little more confident. The Princess can also remind the questioner to not slack off on the flash cards and outlines. 

Since Kris Waldherr chose Isis to represent the Suit of Swords, it is important to discuss grief and pain, which Swords may indicate. Isis was in terrible grief after the murder of her husband, Osirus. Even if the questioner is an adult, they may find themselves regressing, or grieving in a childlike way (which is certainly not a bad thing; what is “an adult” way to grieve, anyway?).  Isis also brought Osirus back to life by sewing him back together–this Page may indicate medical care or a sick young person. 


 

The Celtic Princess of Swords is seen in a relaxed but alert pose. There is no doubt that she can defend herself if necessary.  Since this is the Swords suit, which is mental (as opposed to the physically energetic Wands/Staves, or the emotional Cups, or the practical Pentacles/Coins), and aligned with communicative Air, this defense– or offense, if the card is reversed–is typically verbal. The person that this card may indicate may be the wielder of a scalpel tongue. When upright and happy, this Princess is witty and eloquent, a charming joke teller and raconteur. If someone who works with children is curious about how a new kid is going to turn out, the Princess of Swords may indicate a child who is intelligent, maybe even gifted, and motivated, but may be socially aloof, or even catty.  

You may also notice that the Celtic Princess of swords was drawn by Mary Guinan as fixing on a point with a clear, intense gaze. Swords, and the Air element, indicate foresight and diligent planning. When this Princess has a goal, she will get it.  


An examination of Robin Wood’s Page of Swords reveals a few things. One, the Pages/Princesses of Swords all seem to prefer the color blue (except for Skuld; we’ll get to her in a second).  Blue is the color of the Heavens. It is associated with Air.  It is a calming color, and the darker blues are associated with higher learning, intelligence, and professionalism–think of all the schools that use blue as a color. Robin Wood’s Page is clad in sky blue, to indicate clear thinking and foresight. 

Two, the Page is brandishing the sword, but in a joyous manner.  She is thrilled with her capacity for ideas. Her management of her sword, which we may think of as symbolic of the brain’s ability to cut away obstacles that keep us from enlightenment, seems to be parting the clouds above her, letting in the sunshine of epiphany. Of course, this is just my interpretation of the card right now. You may see something else. 

Third, the Page has winged shoes. This is clever because of the allusion to Hermes, aka Mercury, who was the god of communication and travel, among other things. Swords can indicate swift movement and swift messages.  What details stand out to you? 


Our last girl is Barbara G. Walker’s Princess of Swords, also known as Skuld. 


Skuld here is a Valkyrie.  As such, she’s not a cuddly little girl. She is stringent, tough, and bold. The Valkyrie’s would lead troops into battle and gather up the souls of the brave afterward. The storm clouds below her (you can also see storm clouds in Robin Wood’s Page of Swords card) indicates this possible strife and trouble. Depending on what you see, the questioner may be able to rise above the problems, or part them, or they might not. Other cards, and whether the Page of Swords is upright or reversed (upside down) will let you know. 

Anyway, not just any soul was acceptable to Skuld for gathering. She was only interested in the brave, the honorable, and the intelligent. She had a keen eye for the real thing, and no tolerance for hypocrisy or phoniness. The person in question may just have that gift for discernment, a mind like an X-ray or a laser that is able to see through any person they meet to see if they are the real deal.  They have high standards, because it is illogical, in their opinion, to settle for anything less. 


Because the Princess of Swords may indicate an aspect of the questioner, she may choose to send messages through dreams.  The dreamer may see a young person, especially a young girl, who may appear to have the characteristics of the Princess or Page of Swords. She may be wearing blue, and carrying a sharp object. Or, the dreamer may find him- or herself back in school, preparing for a test. The child in the dream may also be grieving.   


Archetypes and people associated with the Page/Princess of Swords, Positive (upright): 

Precocious children 

A very cerebral young person 

A quick wit 

A very efficient manager

The ambitious new worker 

Travelers 

A child who needs medical care, but will heal 

A convalescing person


Negative (reversed) Associations

Scalpel tongues 

Malicious gossips 

Someone who is choosing not to live up to their mental potential 

Someone who is not thinking clearly

Someone running with scissors

The hyper-logical, at the expense of their hearts and bodies. 

A grieving child, or grieving inner child 

A sickly person

The Sixes

The number six, in numerology, is associated with harmony, calm, recovery, recuperation, the past, acceptance, serenity, and family. It is an others oriented number, and is the number of service and community.
The keyword for the Six of Pentacles is generosity. Either the querent (the person the reading is for) is generous himself, or someone else will be generous to them.

Barbara G. Walker’s Six of Pentacles, shown here, shows a lounging woman donating to a musician who has come to beg her favors. She gives him a coin like it ain’t no thang.  The Six of Pentacles shows the opportunity to give in a way that makes the giver feel good, or receive with no strings attached.

The Six of Pentacles can also indicate the receiving of an honor or an award, as seen here in the Celtic deck.

The generosity of the Six of Pentacles is fair and just, which is why Robin Wood chose to show her benefactor holding the scales.

The Six of Pentacles is also generous with knowledge and friendship, as demonstrated by the Hindu goddess of luck, Lakshmi.

The Six of Swords is a card of flight, of respite, and of travel. It isn’t really a card of rest, more like a lull in the action where you can regroup.

This respite may not exactly be relaxing, as you can see in the Celtic deck. Some days you feel like the warrior carrying off the spoils of war, and sometimes you feel like you are the spoils. Either way, there won’t be a lot of resting going on. There may be some desperate scrambling, like the lady here who is trying to grab a sword. This may be a tense time, even though nothing may appear to be happening. Swords are mental, so other people may not see the struggle.

Here, the people in the golden boat look like they’re going to have to confront the Sphinx. Again, this may be a mental challenge, not a physical one, and may not be external, but internal. Life is full of riddles, and you may be stagnant unless you take a risk and answer one of your “riddles.” What riddles are in your life?

Isis, the representative of the Swords in the Goddess deck, is forlorn as she cruises the Nile. Perhaps she’s looking for pieces of her husband, Osirus, so she can put him back together. Have you ever had to “pick up the pieces” in your life? It sucks, but at least the worst is over.

Robin Wood’s Six of Swords is the most soothing. The ghostly figure can be a guardian spirit, or an angel, or a returning loved one. The swan is a symbol of grace, and the swan’s wings fold protectively around the figure as the swan floats him toward a new life. This reminds us that we are not alone.
I’m kind of going through a Six of Swords time of my life right now, so I’m going to focus on them.

The Six of Wands (Staves, in Kris Waldherr’s Goddess deck) represent victory and glory. However, it should be remembered that it is not the last stage of the 1-10 cycle of the minor arcanas. There is more joy and adventure coming up! Be sure to enjoy this Six of Wands energy!

This fiery redhead is Freyja, the Norse goddess of beauty and creativity. In Norse culture, the foundry was a font of fiery creative power.  Iron works were not only useful, but works of pride.

This Robin Wood card is full of details. Perhaps you are drawn to the horse, one of the children in the background, or one of the crystals on top of a wand. What draws you to this detail? Pretend you are the object. What does it mean to you?

The Six of Wands is full of joy and power!

The sun motif on Barbara G. Walker’s card is no accident.
Reversed, Six of Wands is a sign of “a dream deferred,” delays, even humiliation.

Six of Cups is the card of nostalgia, childhood, and happy family life. It tends to show up when daydreaming about the past, or when a childhood buddy is about to come a-calling.

Robin Wood’s Six of Cups makes me smile whenever I see it. Look at how cute it is! It suggests a happy, idyllic time with a loved one, where you’re just having innocent fun.

In the Celtic deck, an older couple looks happily at the six cups floating. It is a card of reminiscing of good times.

This card is quite simple. It’s a lovely cottage and six cups full of flowers. What kind of flowers do you think they are? Are they rosemary for remembrance? Little daisies for innocence?

Now we’ve all had our sunshine and flowers, and Barbara G. Walker wants to throw in some nightmare fuel. Here Six of Cups reminds us of vulnerability, and of being small, and how scary grown-ups can be. Is the mother towering over the child in this picture benevolent? It’s 9 o’clock–do you know where your inner child is?

The Magician

Remember, look at the cards. What particular card stands out to you?  What detail about the card stands out to you? What does it mean for you?

The first card in the Tarot deck is the Magician, after the 0 of the Fool.

The Magician is a card of skills, intelligence, and mastery. When the Magician appears, it indicates the ability to manipulate resources to give a desired outcome. The Magician’s strength is more externally focused, though there must be an internal steadiness to tap into the power he represents.
As you can see, in all of the cards (except for Isis) the Magician is surrounded by the symbols of the elements, or suits–the coin for Pentacles (Earth), the staff/baton for Wands (Fire), a sword or dagger for Swords (Air), and a cup for–you’ll never guess–Cups (Water).  The meaning of this is that the Magician, and the person he has come to speak to, currently has a wonderful understanding of the elements and what they symbolize.

Barbara G. Walker Magician
Earth is the element of physical health and strength, stability, comfort, and money (hence the Pentacle embossed coin). This is the element of luxury and security. The Magician can manifest these things. The Pentacle is important, as its points represent the four elements, with spirit at the top.  I think that the Pentacle is a good symbol for Earth, as Earth is a base and harvest ground. The Earth is the mother from which all things come. The Magician also recognizes this, and, if he is a man, he is respects his feminine qualities–intuition and nurturing.
Celtic Magician
The Suit of Wands, represented here with a torch, in Barbara Walker’s deck with a baton, and in Robin Wood’s deck with a crystal topped staff, is aligned with the element of Fire. Fire is the element of energy and creativity. It has the potential to create and cleanse, but the also the potential to lose control and destroy.  The Magician knows how to handle this strong, primal energy. Fire is a masculine element, and the phallic symbol of the wands is quite appropriate. It is the “spark” of inspiration. If you see the Magician, then your spark is going to ignite! As Earth is feminine, and the Magician appreciates feminine qualities, he or she also is comfortable with “masculinity”–the assertive motions and energy–and knows how to use them.
Robin Wood Magician
If you look closely at the Robin Wood Magician, you will see that on the table in front of him is a sword crossing a wand. Swords are associated with the element of Air, the realm of intellectualism, abstract thought, and ideas. The Sword is also a teacher of hard truths–lessons learned through tough times. It cuts to the heart of the matter. It penetrates below the surface (hee hee, phallic talk). Air is considered a “masculine” element as well, along with fire. Air can move anywhere, and “flights of fancy” can lead to great breakthroughs! The Magician is comfortable with abstract ideas. He or she is intellectual, and moves below the surface to sniff out truth.  Also, the Magician is strong enough to appreciate tough times, and be grateful for the lessons that they teach.  However, what should balance out intellectualism? Can anyone guess?
 Isis, the Magician of the Kris Waldherr Goddess Deck
If you answered emotion to the above question, then you would be right! The Magician’s Cup represents the element of Water. Water is a feminine element. This association has been around since antiquity, Poseidon notwithstanding. When someone dreams about water, it symbolizes the unconscious. The unconscious is a realm typically associated with the feminine, probably because the womb was/is considered a mysterious place. The ocean is a place that is deep and mysterious, about as mysterious as outer space, and about as mysterious as what we have lurking and roiling around all willy-nilly in our subconscious! (subconsciouses? subconsci?) Water is the element of the subconscious, dreams, emotions, and compassion. It is kind, and its creativity is more like a flow than a spark. However, Water has its dark side, too. It hides nasty beasties that can bite your ass off. It can, and will, flood and drown and wash away, both good and bad. But it’s also very useful for washing away impurities. The Magician works with water, using it to cleanse and purify. The good Magician is also compassionate and empathetic, with him/herself as well as others.  The Magician is also friends with the subconscious, and uses dreams as tools to further self-knowledge as well as knowledge about the world.
In the Barbara Walker and Robin Wood decks, you may notice the infinity symbol. The infinity symbol represents the absolutely bottomless reservoir of knowledge that is available to us, and the limitless capacity of human creativity.
You may be asking why Kris Waldherr chose Isis to represent the Magician in her deck. Well, that is because Isis was a Magician. Her skill as a Magician brought Osiris back from the dead. It enabled her to ensure that Egypt was peaceful and prosperous.
Besides Isis, people and animals that I associate with the Magician are anything or anyone that can transform and/or master the world around them. Alchemists, those scientists reputed to be able to turn common metals into gold, are Magicians. Thoth, the Egyptian god who invented hieroglyphics, was also a Magician–and if writing isn’t magical, I don’t know what is.
Jesus Christ, I think, is a wonderful example of a Magician. As 100% divine, as well as 100% human, he shows the perfect balance of these attributes, of masculine and feminine energies, and all the strengths of all the elements.
Walt Disney was a Magician, and so was Jim Henson.
Obviously, Merlin, Gandalf and Dumbledore are literal Magicians, but they also show mastery of aspects of the human condition–intellect and emotion, compassion and invention.
As for animals, butterflies symbolize transformation, like the alchemists, of something simple into something divine.
The Shadow side of the Magician, or the reversed, is someone having trouble mastering a skill, or someone who has mastered skills, but use these skills to cause pain and suffering.  If your Magician turns up reversed, it may mean that you aren’t using your skills to your full potential, or, you’re wasting your skills on something not worth your time.
Questions:
1) Which Magician card stands out to you? What detail, in particular, stands out? what does it mean to you?
2) What element–Earth, Fire, Air, or Water–do you feel most aligned with? How can you maintain that alliance?
3) What element do you feel misaligned with? How can you forge a better cooperation with the element?
4) What skills do you have, and love to use? Do you get ample opportunities to use these? If not, how can you make these opportunities?
5) What skills would you like to master?
6) Who or what do you think represents the Magician?
Please read and respond!
Love, Kathy