The Chariot

When I see the Chariot in the upright position, it makes me think of smooth sailing. It can mean literal travel, or accomplishing a goal. It signifies transitions.

IMG_1457

The Chariot in the Celtic Deck is drawn by creepy horses. Maybe that’s a good thing, though. They scare everything out of the way. The Questioner here is very driven to accomplish the task at hand, or they will soon be inspired. There may be a scary intensity to the Questioner. Anger may be a motivator. The Questioner may also feel very restless and reckless. They may be craving an adventure.
Sometimes, there is a hint of caution in the Chariot–don’t go too fast, don’t make your turns too sharp. Stay in control.

IMG_1458
In contrast, Barbara G. Walker’s Chariot shows a calm, elegant rider. He isn’t even holding on to any reins, just trusting the horses to carry him down the red carpet. However, he has to stay alert, otherwise, the horses will just wander off in opposite directions. These two steeds, one black, the other white, may symbolize opposing forces working on the Questioner. These may be internal, or external. However, depending on the spread and the question, the Questioner may be successfully moving forward while holding these contradictions in balance.
The symbol on the front of the chariot is the glyph for Hermes, messenger of the gods, god of words. Maybe a message will be delivered for the Questioner.

IMG_1456

Rhiannon, Celtic goddess, is the goddess for the Chariot in the Goddess deck. She rides an ethereal white horse. Kris Waldherr writes that she “symbolizes the unceasing force of movement that pulls all of life along with it” (The Goddess Tarot, p. 29). Her three birds sing songs that can carry the dead to life, and the living into death (p. 30).
A horse carries people to Tir na Nog, the Otherworld of youth, beauty, and joy.

IMG_1459

Black is mystery, the unknown, the nighttime and dreams. Silver is feminine magic, and the Moon. White is knowledge. Gold is masculine power, and the warm sun that lights the day. They are in perfect balance, just like the yin/yang symbol on the chariot. The rider is not only confident, but joyous. The sun shines upon him and his horses. Things are going really well–either he’s got such strong control that he doesn’t need reins, or he is much beloved by his horses, so he can rest in the happiness of trust, in himself and in his surroundings. He’s taken the first steps and is now on a roll (Get it?). The Questioner may do the same, depending on the reading.
His canopy is clear night sky, which makes me think of “traversing across the stars,” and the purple is for royalty, and also the color for Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer. It’s also the color of the crown chakra, the chakra that connects us to higher powers and our greatest possible selves. Forging this connection and reaching our potential can and has been compared to a journey.

I’ve been interested in the Chariot from an astrological point of view, in particular because it is associated with Luna, my sun sign. I never really understood the connection between the Chariot and Luna, but this site was very helpful: Check it! Aeclectic is a great site to browsed, and now the Chariot and Luna make a lot more sense. The Chariot is full of contradictions, like sun/moon, black/white, taking risks/being cautious. Luna is like that too. Lunas crave affection, but can push people away with moods as welcoming as barbed wire when they need affection the most. We’re homebodies, but also crave adventure and recognition.

When reversed, the Chariot usually symbolizes two things, frustration and stagnation, and/or recklessness and losing control. In this case, it serves as a heads-up. Once, I got the Chariot during a reading and was told to be careful for any car issues.

Advertisements

Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes!

Now is a time of celebration. Specifically, it is the celebration of the end of suffering. Christ rises after death. The Israelites were freed from slavery. Winter is finally gone–the months of dark and cold have been warmed away. The flora and fauna know it, too. They awaken from their sleep, babies are born, and shoots spring from the snow-damp soil. It is a Phoenix time. The sun blazes bright and beautiful. That which was seemingly dead stirs and stretches.

The Sun card is a card of triumph, of energy, of joy, of hope, and of healing. Even reversed, it simply means that the happiness and victory may come later rather than sooner, but it will come. It means success, rebirth, new ideas, and new babies.

IMG_3634

Barbara G. Walker shows us two small towheaded children (the one on the left looks like a Kewpie doll!), joining hands and holding a chain of ivy. The children are in the Garden of Eden. Other possible meanings for the wall are that it is a symbol of safety, or of being a blank slate, full of possibility. The nudity of the children symbolizes innocence and freedom.
The Sun is the ruling heavenly body of the astrological sign Leo. Leo is the ‘child’ of the zodiac, full of fun and bliss.

IMG_3638
Robin Wood also chose the child as the symbol of the Sun, reflecting innocent joy. The child also is sign of rebirth, of newness. The sunflowers bloom brightly in the background. Robin Wood wrote that she painted four, one for each element, and a couple not yet opened to show the wonderful surprises in store for the questioner. The white roses in the baby’s hair are for pure love, and his red feather, like his banner, represent courage, adventure, and a flair for life. At the top of the banner is a little golden hawk, a bird associated with courage, freedom, and the sun. The hawk is an avatar of Horus, the Egyptian god of the sky.
The pony is white as a cloud, for purity, and his eyes are sky-blue. Everything is clear and lucid.

IMG_3631
Mary Guinan drew a strong, confident warrior for Julian De Burgh’s Celtic Deck. Instead of the childlike joy of Walker and Wood’s decks, the Celtic Deck emphasizes the bravery and power of the sun. Leo is the child of the zodiac, but it is also the Lion–regal and majestic. The Celtic sun warrior is a protector and a path blazer.

 

IMG_3629

Kris Waldherr chose the Zorya to represent the Sun in her Goddess deck. The Zorya are a triune goddess (who may be seen as Maiden, Mother/Lover, Wise Woman but not necessarily) from Russian folklore. In her The Book of Goddesses, Kris Waldherr explains that the Zorya attend to Dazbog, the sun god. The first (or Maiden) is Utrennyaya, or Morning Star; the second (Mother/Lover) is Vechernyaya, or the Evening Star; and the third (Wise Woman) is Zorya, or midnight. Utrennyaya opens the gates for Dazbog to ride across the sky. In the evening, Vechernyaya opens the gate to let him back in. Zorya watches over the sky until the gates open again.
The three women, like the Celtic warrior, are also guardians. They watch over the universe, and keep the doomsday hound, Simargl, in check. The Sun card is a sign that the questioner is guarded and guided by the universe. There is synchronicity and serendipity. Things may seem to be falling into place.

The Sun card is a card of good tidings. It tells of good things to come and success in an endeavor. If representing a person, it indicates a happy, bright person who will bring cheer to the questioner’s life, or help them reach their dreams. It may also symbolize a new baby. Alternately, it could mean that the person is fiercely protective of the questioner and her happiness.

If it represents an aspect of the questioner, it means that the questioner brings happiness to those around him, and may be the center of attention. The questioner may also be feeling very brave, and willing to take risks.

She Smells of Gingerbread and Pine Trees: The Queen of Pentacles

The Queen of Pentacles, like any court card, is usually associated with a person in the questioner’s life. She can also represent an aspect of the questioner herself.  Since she is the Queen of Pentacles, she has certain qualities. While the Queen of Swords is the Queen of the modern, jet-set woman, the Queen of Wands the successful social butterfly, and the Queen of Cups the artistic romantic, the Queen of Pentacles (or Coins) is the archetypal nurturing mother or grandmother.

What do you think of when you think of the perfect mother, or grandmother? Probably a warm bed, and yummy food cooked with love, and big hugs. This is someone who is patient, solid, and reliable, someone who knows exactly what to do in a crisis. She pampers, but it’s practical. She will dish out solid advice along with tea, sympathy, and amazing baked goods.

This is a person with wisdom. In fact, this archetype is one of the oldest there is.

This is Erda, an ancient Earth goddess, chosen by Barbara G. Walker to represent the Queen of Pentacles. You’ll notice that she has large, maternal bosoms and wide hips. This speaks to her fertility and nurturing ability. Her cave entrance leads to the warm, dark womb, where all life begins and ends.  Her pentacle promises abundance and protection.  The word “Earth” comes from Erda’s name, and the word material (which used to imply rocks and plants and all things from the earth) has the same root as Mother.

Kris Waldherr chose a different goddess for her deck. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and beauty in Hinduism.  Her beautiful costumes and jewelry underscore this association. Queen of Pentacles people, with their practicality and good sense, can accumulate quite a bit of wealth. Out of balance, they can be miserly, but in balance they are generous, including with themselves, and love fabulous things.  Lakshmi is known for giving riches to those she loves, just like Queen of Pentacles people.

Please do not think that this Queen can only be seen in women.  Men, too, can be nurturing, giving, and sage with advice.

Robin Wood’s Queen of Pentacles cradles a Pentacle gently, looking at it with loving eyes.  She proves, along with Lakshmi, that the Queen of Pentacles is not necessarily an older woman.  In fact, Pentacles women can be very sensual, because of the alignment with Earth, and its material blessings. The Queen here is also fertile and abundant–she is surrounded by flowers, fruits, vegetables, and our favorite little fornicators, bunnies. Her green gown and orange apron make her one with the Earth’s grass and leaves, and her purple embellishments symbolize richness, royalty, and abundance.

Mary Guinan’s Queen of Pentacles, for Julian De Burgh’s Celtic Deck, is also decked in orange and green. Her red hair is different from the brunette associated with Pentacles court cards, but I like it.  It makes me think of the marriage of Earth and Fire, with volcanos and magma flowing underground. There’s a kinetic energy along with practicality and reliability associated with Earth.  Her arms and gaze are open, waiting to hear about your issues. She will be a fabulous listener, and then she’ll clap her hands and say, “okay, here’s what you gotta do! Let’s go!”

Archetypes/People associated with the Queen of Pentacles:
–Nurturing Mothers and Grandmothers who are practical and loving (and men who have these traits)
–Gardeners
–Sensual people who love textures, colors, and fine things
–Great chefs
–Pregnant women, expectant fathers preparing a nest
–People with a gift for money management and are extremely generous.

Out of balance, Shadow Queen of Pentacles:
–cold, hard parents who care more about wealth than family
–a nosy, bossy person
–a lazy person
–a stingy miser
–someone who can’t even nurture herself, preferring to work herself to sickness

A Spread to Keep You Steady

Dear readers,

exciting things. I am getting ready to embark further on this journey of becoming a therapist, and have been doing readings at the local metaphysical bookstore!

 

One of my favorite spreads to do to help get a feel for aspects in a questioner’s life is the pentacle spread.

 

For this spread, I chose the Robin Wood deck.  The Page of Wands in the center represents the questioner for this month. Once a month is a good way to use this spread.  The second card, representing the element of Earth, is directly to the left of the center card (the reader’s left. You will see). The third card is placed directly above the second and represents the element of Air.  Crowning the center card (here the Page of Wands) is the Spirit card.  Going downward, the fourth card is placed to the upper right of the center card, and the fifth card directly below it.  These represent Water and Fire, respectively.

 

My dear friend, wheresmytower (who also runs onerunetofindthem), who taught me this spread, places the cards in a different order. She places the center card, followed by Earth, Spirit, Water, Air, and Fire, in that order and in those positions. Do what feels best for you.  Also, depending on the reader, the elements may be in different positions. What’s important is that the Spirit card is always on top, and that the reader is consistent whenever he uses the spread.

It is also a good idea to look at the cards as a group, and see how they relate to each other, as well as individually.

 

This month, the questioner feels a strong enthusiasm for life.  There’s a lot of fun and shenanigans.  There is an anticipation, an excitement. The questioner is looking forward to an active social life.  In these social interactions, there will be a sharing of ideas and great support (the wand’s glow represents the bright idea).

 

The second card, the Earth card, represents physical and financial health in the questioner’s life.  It represents emotional security as well.  It represents how practical and realistic the questioner can/should be.

9 of Swords, in the Earth position.  The impression from this is that the questioner is anxious about changing circumstances.  She needs to take on more responsibility, and this is frightening. There is a change in how finances will be coming on, and what can be done with that money.

 

The next card is Air, right above Earth.  Air represents mental acuity, obstacles and how to get over them, communication, and travel.  For this questioner, the Emperor is in the Air position.  This indicates intelligence and confidence, providing a nice antidote to the anxiety of the 9 of Swords in the Earth position.

 

The Spirit position can indicate the essence of the matter, the aspect that the questioner can best focus on. It can also indicate an outcome to avoid or the best possible outcome, depending on the other cards. In this instance, the Spirit card is the lovely 3 of Cups!

 

This is awesome! The questioner is due for some celebration with loved ones. There is much to celebrate! The questioner should be proud of herself for what she has accomplished so far on this path to a new life! She has enthusiasm, confidence, and energy, and smarts. The path she is striking is a good one, and her intuition to take it is correct.

 

Next is Water, right next to the Spirit card on the reader’s right. This represents creativity, emotions, romance, and the subconscious.  At home in his element is the King of Cups.

The questioner, who has been apart from her fiance (not separated emotionally, just physically), will have a wonderful, romantic time with him. She has greatly missed him. Also, I would add that there is a feeling of great compassion on the part of the questioner (necessary for her line of work) as well as a lot of great, creative ideas (she has been keeping a notebook).

 

Last is the Fire position.  The Fire position is the position of energy and passion, specifically energy and passion made bringing dreams into reality.

 

The 3 of Swords, in this position for this reading, seems to show a sadness on the part of the questioner, a grief for the path she was taking, but is now leaving for other options. She feels regret that things didn’t work out with her original career path. These feelings are natural. She should allow herself to feel them.  However, she only has to look at the overwhelmingly positive cards in this spread–The Emperor in the Air position, the Three of Cups in the Spirit position, and the King of Cups in the Water position, to find solace. She is making the right decision.

Above is the complete spread. It is important to examine the cards in their respective positions individually and together. This is a great spread to do once a month, or even once a day, just to get a gauge for where you are.

The Lovers (NSFW)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s look at the Lovers (really look at them, in one case).

The Lovers card is, of course, a portent of love.  Barbara G. Walker even included Eros (Cupid in Roman), the personification of love, in her Lovers card. However, being a critical reader of cards (like a critical reader of literature) involves looking at the details as well as the big picture, and reading between the lines. For example, the officiant of this marriage is a priestess, not the traditional priest.  This is not only a legal marriage; there is a deeper, subconscious connection.

Barbara G. Walker writes that since the young man is between an older woman and a younger woman, this card may indicate a choice between mother and wife, youth and maturity, body and spirit (Walker 8). If this triangle sticks out to you, by all means, that interpretation may be what your intuition is pointing you toward. On the other hand, the older woman may seem like a wise teacher, giving her blessings to the young couple. This may tell the reader that the relationship in question is blessed and approved, by destiny if not by the couples’ parents. If the teacher archetype really sticks out for you in this card, it could mean that the questioner should contemplate (or is contemplating) the pursuit of a passion, in all its many forms. They may be beginning a yoga practice, or starting a painting, or about to go on a date. This is a good omen that they are on the right track!

Venus is, of course, the perfect goddess to represent The Lovers in Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Deck. While Venus (Aphrodite in Greek) was a goddess of romantic love, she was also a goddess of beauty in general. Thus, if Venus (or The Lovers) show up in a reading, they may indicate a surge of creative energy, or simply that the questioner needs (or is being given) plenty of beauty to feast on.  This can also indicate a person with a gift for making things beautiful.

This is where it gets racy–

Sometimes The Lovers are just The Lovers. The card is simply telling the questioner she has a crush, or lusts after a new partner. Look closely at the moon in The Lovers card for the Celtic deck– Mary Guinan drew it as a waxing crescent. This could be the beginning, or the honeymoon phase, of a relationship, and it is swelling just as the moon does.

Okay, send the kids out of the room, if you’re squeamish–

I’ll give you a minute to get the staring out of your system.

All done? Good, because there’s more to this card then privates and thingies and naughty bits, as in all Robin Wood cards.  The nudity, while of course underscoring romantic love and sexual passion, is also symbolic of a pure, unashamed state. This could be speaking to a relationship where the couple is secure in themselves with each other, or the two are exploring new things together, a la Jasmine and Aladdin. This state can also describe a new interest in the questioner’s life. Remember “beginner’s mind”? This Zen concept is defined as the purest, most open state of mind, the mind most receptive to learning. The person’s interest is unadulterated.

Looking at other parts of the couple’s bodies besides the very obvious ones, you may notice the color of their hair. Yes, they have hair on their heads. The man has golden hair, and the woman has raven hair. You may also notice that the man is balancing a sun, and the woman is balancing a moon.  They are connected by a arcing rainbow.  This is symbolic of the balance between yin and yang, male and female, bright and dark.  The masculine attributes of strength, ambition, power, and consciousness is equal to, no more or less, to the feminine attributes of intuition, the ability to plumb the subconscious, and nurturing.  Combined, this leads to fertility (as can be seen in the blossoming flowers and fruit on the card).  This fertility may be physical, artistic, intellectual, or spiritual. If the question is about a couple, they would seem to be a perfect match (of course, nobody’s perfect, but they’re pretty happy, indeed!). If it’s about an individual, this means that this person is extremely harmonious internally.

The Lovers can also mean that the person has committed himself to a new spiritual or intellectual practice.  The beloved in this case is a Higher Power, or a new philosophy of life.  It may also show that the questioner has chosen to commit to her Self, and this is a romance that lasts a lifetime.

Reversed, The Lovers card means that He or She is Just Not That Into You, or there is a lack of commitment in the scenario being analyzed.  There is a mismatch.  It might not work out.

But enough negativity.  As we have seen, The Lovers is an excellent card for, well,  lovers. However, it shouldn’t be underestimated as a one-dimensional card. It can refer not only to the love between a lover and the beloved, but between the lover and a Higher Power, a Lover and Nature, a Lover and Art, a Lover and Philosophy– the list goes on, including between a Lover and the Self.  So, if you’re single for Valentine’s Day, don’t despair–as The Lovers have shown us, Love should flow freely wherever the heart wills it, not just on our romantic partners.

I’d like to leave you with some quotes by Rumi, who knew a thing or two about Love:

When life ends we are given another.

Love is the water of Eternal Life;

when you enter that immense sea,

you will know that each drop of it

brims with Life.

We are in love with Love

because Love is our salvation.

Our guide is the Soul

and Love, the water of life.

Woe to him who cannot find the source

for his path is barred by ignorance.

Your body is woven

from the light of Heaven.

Are you aware

that its purity and swiftness

are the envy of the angels

and its courage

keeps even devils away?

You stepped on the ground

and the earth, pregnant with joy,

gave birth to infinite blossoms.

The cheering spread up to Heaven!

The moon glanced  amazed at the stars.

Sources: Rumi’s Little Book of Love: 150 Poems That Speak to the Heart.  Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin, editors. Charlottesville: Hampton Roads, 2009.

Walker, Barbara G. Barbara Walker Tarot.  U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 1986.

Temperance

Temperance is about balance, on both the concrete and abstract levels.  On the concrete level, it indicates that things are calming down after a bout of busyness, or that you have the skills necessary to take on multiple responsibilities.  On an abstract level, it shows peace, confidence, and tranquility.

 

 

 

 

 

The angel Barbara G. Walker chose to depict Temperance is powerful in her calmness. She skillfully pours water from one jug to another. As water is the element of emotions, this symbolizes that she has her emotions under control, but they are not repressed. They are allowed to flow. She expresses them with poise and skillfulness.

However, amongst all this order, you’ll notice that the jugs are red, the color of passion–passion is tempered and molded by wisdom into something useful. Even the trees behind her are organic, but ordered from tallest to shortest. This is not a wild card.  It represents intelligence and dignity. At the same time, it respects nature, and passion is part of nature. Those who live a balanced life must respect nature, for it has its own temperance.  Those who practice true temperance acknowledge passion.

 

 

Like Barbara G. Walker, Robin Wood’s Temperance has golden wings. Gold is the color of Heaven and riches, and is a masculine color. The questioner may be accessing higher planes of existence, and soaring to new heights. The golden ball in the angels right hand (the “masculine” hand) also represents these qualities.

The other two balls are silver and crystal. Silver is the color of intuition, a feminine color, and, with the gold, indicates the balance between the masculine and feminine, the intellectual and the intuitive, the sun and the moon. The crystal ball symbolizes foresight. Temperance smoothly balances all these aspects and qualities.

Another detail that Robin Wood’s and Barbara G. Walker’s Temperance have in common is that they are in the same pose–one foot on the land, and another in the water. This means that there is skill in the “real” material, intellectual world (the land), and also in the emotional, creative, mysterious realm (the water).  As you can see, the land is immaculate and the water is a pristine, crystal blue, so everything is in harmony.

A path leads from the water to the mountains in the background. The mountains are mysterious, but the sun is breaking over them, the future with all its gifts and challenges will be revealed. The questioner has the skills to bring their ideas from the abstract realm of dreams and wishes (the water) and into reality.

 

The Celtic Deck shows a woman standing in the liminal space of land and water of a swamp, again demonstrating the balance between practicality and imagination, and the skill of bringing dreams into reality. She pours the water of emotions into the golden cups–there’s that color again!–and turns the intangible emotions, fantasies and subconscious desires and insights into sources of all kinds of riches–material, creative, and spiritual.  These gifts are for the questioner.

 

 

Kris Waldherr’s Temperance is represented by the goddess Yemana. Yemana is an orisha–a deity of the African and Afro-Caribbean beliefs of the Yoruba tradition. She is also known as Yemaya or Yemajya. Yemaya/Yemana/Yemajya is a lunar goddess and the orisha of the sea. She guards all ocean life, and she also protects mothers and children on land.  The land and the sea are of equal value to her–metaphorically, the concrete and the abstract, the intellectual and the emotional, the conscious and the unconscious, are in balance.

 

If Temperance turns up in a reading, it means that the questioner already has the qualities Temperance symbolizes, such as control, harmony, poise, and balance, or could do with developing some of them.  It may indicate a leveling off of energy that has been frenetic.  It may also be a reassurance before a change or an increase of responsibility that the questioner can handle it.

 

If drawn reversed, Temperance is giving the questioner a wake-up call. Things are dangerously out of balance, and harmony is endangered. The questioner is taking on too much, or choosing a path that is unhealthy for them.  The questioner may be feeling out of control, or sickened mentally and physically. The questioner must seek help if necessary. On a smaller level, the questioner needs to look at her priorities and lifestyle.

Good News!

For quite a while now, I wanted to take what I love to do and become a professional at it.  After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to open Turtlephoenix for business! I can now give you readings in person, over the phone, on facebook chat, or Skype.

 

Here is the official website: turtlephoenix.com

 

And the facebook page. I would be honored if you stopped on by and “Liked!” http://www.facebook.com/Turtlephoenix?fref=ts

 

In other news, my two day jobs has also given me more hours and responsibility. This is an honor, but I am still getting the hang of how to manage the time in between teaching, giving readings to my new clients, and writing a novel. These problems are a dream come true, but I assure you, new posts are coming!

 

Please come visit and give me a call! I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

A Dream Come True: King of Cups

The King of Cups, like his wife, represents beauty, poetry, and dreams.  He is the King of the emotional realm, the watery subconscious.  He is romantic and poetic. He is the masculine principle of unconditional love and devotion.

The King of Cups is gentle and empathetic, and, even though the Air signs are known for their communication skills, those strong in Water have their own comforting eloquence–they know what to say, and also when to stay silent.

Dolphins, the playful mammals that live in the sea, represent the King of Cups’ comfort both in the land of reason and in the water of feeling.  The King of Cups is aware that the human imagination and capacity for compassion is limitless, like the ocean itself.

The King is gazing far off, indicating the intuition associated with Water signs.  The King of Cups can see into the future, using his heart (or his gut) as his guide. The watery King does not rely exclusively on his brain.  Because he is so empathetic, he is also pretty good at anticipating what another person may need.  However, because the person in question is a human being, don’t be too hard on them when they don’t!

Robin Wood’s King of Cups is dressed in the same watery yet powerful colors his wife the Queen wears, and the background is colored in pale, soft, colors.  These colors show both the majesty, splendor, and tenderness of the King of Cups.

The King of Cups is a man who is “in touch with his feminine side.” He is nurturing, and has a comforting presence.  As you can see here, on Kris Waldherr’s King of Cups, the King is dressed in the feminine color of lavender; however, the King of Cups should never be thought of as weak.  The people whom this card represents are loyal, strong, and true, and willing to take on anything for the people whom they love. Lavender is a healing, peaceful color, and peace takes power and courage, perhaps a different kind of courage than the more masculine Wands and Swords, but courage nevertheless.  The soft glow that surrounds this King is his true nature, but keep in mind that the Water signs can be intimidating–Lunas have claws, Scorpios have the stinger, and Pisces–well, you’ve heard of barracuda, piranha, and great white sharks.
The King of Cups has a pensive, dreamy quality, which can be seen in the way the King gazes down into his cup. That cup is full of mysteries and wonders of the subconscious, the beauty and power inside every person, and the inner peace accessible to all.
Little side note: the Suit of Cups are sometimes associated with blondes.

The Celtic King of Cups looks concerned, even though he has all the qualities embodied in the King of Cups. This can be a common pitfall of the King of Cups–even though he has all of these loving qualities, and intuition, and imagination, they can be plagued by insecurity and doubt.  Yet, this vulnerability can be a great strength. Openness and exposure is an act of courage.

Barbara G. Walker chose the Welsh god of the sea, Dewi, to be the King of Cups for her deck.  Dewi later became known as Davy Jones, and Saint David (Walker 24).  He is the ruler of all the oceans, the symbol for the subconscious, its mystery, its power, its beauty, and its terrors.  The Welsh god was a protector, like all King of Cups who are balanced and whole, and was a symbol of “ageless power and strength, [and] irresistible forces underlying a calm surface” (Walker 25).  Still waters run deep.
The King of Cups, like all Kings in a tarot deck, typically represents a father figure. The King of Cups is the kind, loving, affectionate, and nurturing father.
When the King of Cups is imbalanced, he can be narcissistic, needy, estranged, or even bipolar.  He can also be emotionally cruel or abandoning.
Archetypes and people associated with the King of Cups
Kind, loving fathers
Artists
Poets
Devoted husbands
The Lover
A Sensitive Man
Priests
Monks
A good therapist
The Romantic
Males born under the Water signs and have a lot of that energy
Work Cited:
Walker, Barbara G.  Barbara Walker Tarot.  Stamford: US Games Systems, Inc. 1986
Like my Emperor post, which was dedicated to my beloved Grandpa, I dedicate this post to my dearest Uncle Tim, who passed away on November 13 (and was a Pisces), and my lovely Uncle Mike, who just celebrated his birthday (and is a Scorpio).

Rest and Relaxation, brought to you by the Four of Swords

Fours, in numerology, is the number of stability and balance. There are four points on the compass, four elements in the Western tradition, and four seasons.  There are four sides in a square, and four legs on a table. There are also four aspects to the human being–physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

 

The Four of Swords signifies a time of rest and rejuvenation after a struggle or a period of intense mental activity.

 

Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Deck shows Isis reclining under the points of Four Swords.  Looking at the card, you may feel that the points are ominous and menacing Swords of Damocles, literally. Since the Four of Swords signifies an only temporary truce, this card can carry an underlying tension. But, again, it’s all in the interpretation of the card, and the same card may show something different to the same reader at each reading. Another person may see, or another reading may show, the swords as Isis’s own swords, and they keep her safe and secure while she rests before rising to face a new challenge.

 

 

In Robin Wood’s deck, three of the four swords are sheathed, and one is carved into the stone of the sepulcher.  The swords are put to rest as well.  Now is not the time for the questioner to brain storm (the Swords are aligned with the mental realm) or sharpen his wits. Now is the time to take care of herself. From the position of the shield on the chest, now is a time for, at most, a defensive position. Do not take the offensive.  Take a temporary peace to recharge before going back to the challenge or conflict at hand.  Relish the relaxation, and feel gratitude.

 

The Celtic Deck shows people having a meal. Depending on how you read the card, this scene may tell about a temporary truce or ceasefire, or a retaking up of arms after a temporary truce. On what razor thin edge is the questioner balancing? Is it heading toward peace, or an explosion?

Perhaps the questioner is more like the fellow up in the balcony, or the serving man carrying the tray of food, or the unarmed host.  What does this vantage point offer? Can they influence the outcome of the situation?

 

 

Barbara G. Walker’s Four of Swords shows a sorceress at rest, but on her guard.  Her swords form a protective boundary around her as she etches the protective pentagram onto the ground in front of her.  The four swords, with the square that they form around her, also help her keep balanced metaphorically.

She is in a cave, the symbol of the womb, and of regeneration. When she leaves her resting place, she will be stronger and better prepared for the problems that she may face. In that regard, the Four of Swords may be telling the questioner to not only take a break to rejuvenate, but to gather intelligence and possible defensive and offensive mechanisms.

 

When reversed, the Four of Swords mean that a truce or a time-out is denied, or that the period of rest and truce is coming to an end.

Prosperity and Security: The Ten of Pentacles

As a rule of thumb, when you see a ten in a reading, it usually means the end of one cycle and the beginning of another.  Each suit carries a different set of themes, but, of course, we must remember to be flexible in the reading of any card.  If a card is saying something to you that’s different from the “normal” reading, by all means, go with it!

Pentacles, also called Coins, represent the element of Earth. As such, they symbolize wealth, prosperity, security, comfort, sensuality, and health.

 

Robin Wood’s Ten of Pentacles is a joyous card.

The Ten of Pentacles (or Coins), as drawn by Robin Wood, shows not only material wealth, but emotional and spiritual wealth, as well.  The family is clearly a happy one.  The grandfather is serene, the children are generous with their love, and the golden dog (gold being the color of abundance) is loyal and adoring.  Even the couple in the background, underneath the archway (more on that later) are happily conversing! The old man can be seen as the personification of wisdom and hard work, which lead to prosperity.

Like all of Robin Wood’s cards, there is amazing detail in the Ten of Pentacles.  Pay attention to the particular details that stand out to you. It may be the flowers that the young boy is handing to his Grandfather, or the sun etched into the wood in the corner.

 

Robin Wood has decorated her Pentacles with pentagrams. Pentagrams in and of themselves are very protective–Christians believe that pentagrams symbolize the five wounds of Christ, as well as the five senses, and Pagans see it as a symbol of the five elements bound together with spirit, which is the top point.  This symbol of protection, wholeness, and unity can also be seen in the Pentacle suits of the Celtic and Barbara G. Walker decks.

 

 

The Celtic Deck, like Robin Wood’s deck, shows a happy, prosperous family. The arch over the family’s heads represents security and union, and the braids also symbolize a joining together in a strong  family bond.  The pentagrams are there, too, giving care and protection.

 

Like all of the Pentacles in Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Deck, the Ten of Pentacles is represented by the Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Prosperity, Abundance, Beauty, and Pleasure.  The tree on the card is ripe with Coins, which may represent material wealth or opportunities. Depending on the reading, these opportunities may be financial, educational, social, or romantic. Since Pentacles/Coins also represent physical reality, they may also indicate robust health or healing.  The grass on the card, and even the flowers along the border, are fresh and bright, underscoring fertility.

 

The archway, as I am seeing it right now, symbolizes a doorway to a new way of life, or a new, joyful sensual experience. This is fitting, as the 10s are the end of an old cycle and the beginning of a new one. I also see it as a symbol of security, just as it was a symbol of security on the 10 of Pentacles for the Robin Wood and Celtic Decks.  What do you see when you look at an archway?

 

Kris Waldherr does not use the pentagram on her Pentacles.  Instead, she uses a lotus flower. Lotuses are the symbols of the goddess Lakshmi.  Lotuses are prized for their abilities to rise out of the murkiest, muddiest waters, inspiring people to rise above their circumstances.

 

 

Barbara G. Walker’s Ten of Pentacles is subtitled “Protection.” It is in agreement with the preceding decks that the Ten of Pentacles/Coins represents security.  Here, however, it has a more mysterious, esoteric meaning. The young woman on the card is connected to the circle of pentagrams by a red cord, suggesting the umbilical cord.  She is tapping into the fertile, protecting energies of the Earth. The circle of Pentacles reminds us of the cyclical nature of the cards, and that the ten represents both an end and a beginning.

 

We can also see the young woman is as a weaver.  She is weaving a strong, healing charm in her circle of pentacles, and her thread is thick with bright red life.

 

The Ten of Pentacles, like the Ten of Cups, generally represents good, healing, joyous energies.  If you choose to read cards reversed, it can mean a thwarting of the dreams they represent, or simply a postponement of their attainment.