The Tarot Journey –Turning Challenges into Stepping Stones
One of the questions asked that prompted this series for challenges in the Tarot Journey was about how to tell a story with the cards. The specific question that was asked was telling a story with a 3-card or a 10-card tarot spread, such as a Past-Present-Future layout, or a Celtic Cross.
I really pondered how to approach this subject, because much of the “story telling” will come from you and your intuition when you lay out the cards.
Additionally, the idea of “story telling” could be viewed in different ways. For example, if you are a new reader, and you want to just lay out three cards without any positional meanings for those cards – basically to just read in free from – this may be a bit of a challenge for you, at least until you’ve gained enough experience to comfortably put the cards together.
So if you are new to Tarot, or you’ve just started getting the meanings down pat, you may want to consider sticking to a spread that has positions assigned. This will give you some structure and a foundation for the direction of your reading. While I do enjoy laying out a few cards in free form style, I generally still won’t lay out more than 5 cards to read in a free form manner. For bigger readings, I still like to have the structure behind the cards.
I think the concern behind today’s question relates to feeling like your responses to a reading are somewhat herky-jerky or going in different directions. Perhaps you don’t feel or find the “flow” to the reading. Again, this question about “telling a story” with the cards could mean a number of things. It could relate to how you are trying to blend the cards around the common theme or question. So you might also want to practice on card blending or card combination skills.
Here’s one way that can help you.
Let’s go ahead and use the example of a Past-Present-Future spread since that was specifically asked about. And let’s say that someone wanted to know if love was coming into their lives. We’ll use that as the basis of the question.
Drawing three cards at random, I get:
1) Past: The Hanged Man
2) Present: 4 of Wands
3) Future: Page of Cups
The first thing you will likely do is sort out what each card means individually, especially if you are fairly new in reading the cards. You need to find a starting point to build on. So let’s do that.
1) Hanged Man: Pause and wait. Delay. Voluntary Sacrifice. Having to wait.
2) 4 of Wands: Celebration; Accomplishment; The harvest is gathered; A time to come together and celebrate at this stage in a particular process. Satisfaction. Achievement. A happy atmosphere.
3) Page of Cups: Happy news or surprises. Learning about emotions. A new emotional beginning
Okay, so while you may understand what each card means individually, the job now is to put it all together in a meaningful way that takes you from the past, to the present, and the future.
Notice that the Hanged Man could be considered “different” among the 3 cards, because it comes from the Major Arcana of the Tarot. In the same token, the Page of Cups might also be “different” because it’s a court card.
For that matter, you could even say that the 4 of Wands is different than the other two cards, because it is a pip card to suggest daily matters, while the other two cards have special designations as a court cards or a major card. It depends on what you feel calls to you.
In this case, I really notice the major Arcana energy first; it’s what stands out to me – but just know that you don’t have to start reading a spread with the very first card. If something else calls to your attention, you can go to that part of the reading first. Just because the cards are ordered 1, 2, 3, etc., doesn’t mean you have to read them in that order. But be mindful of whatever positions you are using.
So we indicated there was a time in waiting, and possibly a voluntary sacrifice with the Hanged Man. That relates to the Past. This person may not have had a relationship for awhile. Their love life has sort of been put “on hold” it seems. And that’s probably the reason the questioner wanted to ask about love. They’ve been waiting and waiting, and they wonder if it’s “ever” gonna happen for them to be in love.
What does the present tell us with the 4 of Wands? It offers reason for celebration. But why, we might ask? The person asking is single and doesn’t even see love in their range of vision at this point. So does this mean the seeker is supposed to jump up and down and celebrate their loneliness and lack of relationship? Of course not. Remember to infuse some common sense alongside your intuition and response to the cards, and this will help you, too.
What this can mean is a shift in the energy that is already happening in the present! The atmosphere of party or celebration can suggest that there is an opportunity for this seeker to meet someone in a group type of activity – perhaps a social function of some sort. That’s a sign that the seeker should not avoid social events, but should get out there and enjoy herself (or himself). This is an active energy – unlike the passive energy of the Hanged Man. And that can be a huge key here! It can suggest that the seeker really hasn’t been “actively” trying to pursue a relationship or get involved with events that could lead her to that possibility. But now, if she really wants love, and she’s growing impatient . . . getting actively involved is an important key to bring her more excitement in her life – and the possibility of meeting someone.
This celebration in the 4 of Wands sits between the waiting of the Hanged Man and the expectancy of the Page of Cups. Look at the cards. The Page of Cups is even looking in the direction of that celebration. That gives me the feeling that this seeker’s special someone is coming in the near future. He’s probably wishing for her as much as she’s wishing for him. And the eventual meeting of these two individuals is likely to occur in a group type of setting that is a social occasion. So I wouldn’t necessarily feel that this person is going to meet anyone at work. After all, they’ve already been waiting for awhile, and no candidates have likely emerged from a work setting.
So here, I might ask the client what she has been doing during this time of waiting. Has she been getting out socially? Or has she been keeping herself at home and at work? What has she been doing all this time? A lot of the answers I get to this question are, “Oh well, yes, I’ve been out a lot! I go to the store, shop, go pay my bills, I go to work, I visit my parents and my friends. I’m really active and social.”
Ummm . . . can someone cue in the sound of a scratching record player with that ripping sound effect here?
If this person has been so busy in those ways, it’s not the kind of ways she could expect to meet someone for a relationship – at least not for the most part. So it’s no wonder she’s been waiting and in limbo like the Hanged Man. She wasn’t putting herself out there, and thus, what she was doing was adding more time to the delay of her non-existent love life.
But the 4 of Wands suggests that now is the time to change that. It suggests getting out there and being part of social activities. Have fun! And the future, with the Page of Cups, can indeed suggest a new love peering just around the corner – someone whom she could meet at one of those social events she attends.
So this story has a beginning, a middle, and an end – as do all readings. The beginning is shown to us with the long waiting of the Hanged Man where life is on hold. The middle part of this story shows a shift where one stops hanging around the house and starts engaging with people and with life. And the “end” of this 3-card story suggests the potential to meet new love.
This reading doesn’t tell us how the relationship will go from there or if it will even get off the ground in a serious or committed way, but what it does tell us is that this person who is alone can meet someone if she stops holding herself back and gets more involved.
Can you see the “story” in that?
Reading the cards is very much like telling a story. It’s a matter of putting the energies together and reviewing what happens between Point A and Point B. And it takes time, practice, and patience – and the allowance of your intuition – to tell that story.
Let’s look at card reading from the angle of actually trying to create a story for fun.
This can be helpful if you are a writer, but even if you aren’t a writer, this will give you practice in blending the cards and finding a story or a plot within the cards.
Let’s say that you wanted to write a novel, and maybe you had some ideas of what to write, but didn’t know for sure what direction to take it.
Try this – and note that I’ve pulled cards to go with each one:
Card 1: The overall theme of the entire story – what the novel will be about (5 of Wands)
Card 2: Main character of the story (2 of Swords)
Card 3: Secondary character of the story (The Emperor)
Card 4: The troublemaker or villain – or the problem (Ace of Cups)
Card 5: Beginning of the story (Strength)
Cards 6 & 7: Middle of the story (I used two cards, because the middle is going to be the “meat” of the whole book. You could still just pull one, or you could pull more cards.) (The Fool and The Moon)
Card 8: The ending of the story. (The Sun)
Whew, that’s a lot of cards to explore. But let’s do it anyway. Let’s look at the images, as that’s important to help get a feel for what we are dealing with.
5 of Wands: Overall Theme
2 of Swords: Main Character / Emperor: Secondary Character / Ace of Cups: Villain
Strength: Beginning / The Fool and The Moon: Middle / The Sun: Ending
If I was going to write a story, I could see lots of ideas here to help enhance any ideas that I was already working with. The Tarot can be a great tool to boost your creativity and give you additional ideas in your storyline and plots.
The 5 of Wands indicates the theme is about some kind of a struggle. That’s usually typical for a story. There is usually a challenge of sorts within any good story.
The main character is represented by the 2 of Swords. So it looks like we have a very indecisive person who can’t seem to make up her mind. A decision may loom in front of her, but she doesn’t know what she wants, or she doesn’t know what to do.
The secondary character (Emperor) could be her influential father – perhaps someone pushing her toward an arranged marriage.
But alas, the problem or villain in this story is the Ace of Cups. Wait a minute! How can such a positive card be a villain? Use your imagination here! Maybe this Ace of Cups is the man that the young lady is really in love with, but perhaps he’s not rich, and to the woman’s father, he’s the “villain” and doesn’t want his daughter to have anything to do with that young man.
How does the story begin? Strength is the card that tells us that the story line might start with a strong family line. The girl, however, is faced with having to dig for her inner strength and take a stand on what she wants. The story might start by talking about the families involved, and then lead to the dilemma of this girl’s problem.
As you move to the middle part of the story, there is the Fool and the Moon. This can speak of the girl’s desire to have an adventure of her own – and maybe she is secretly seeing the young man on the sly without her father’s knowledge. The Moon can show hidden things and secrets! But it’s her adventure and her fantasy . . . even though when reality returns, she is still faced with her father’s insistence of whom she should marry – and it’s apparently not the Ace of Cups whom her father wants her to marry.
But it looks like this story will have a happy ending with the Sun card. Perhaps this young girls breaks free from the authority of her father and his wishes, and she rides away in the sunset with her true love.
Of course, this is merely like an “outline” of a story. You need a lot more “meat” to put into that novel. And you could even draw additional cards to help you create more events in that story.
Even if you are not going to write a novel or a story, this exercise can help you to put pieces together and blend the cards in magical ways that will tell a story.
If you are a writer, however, I recommend that you read “Tarot for Writers” by Corrine Kenner. This book can help you boost your creativity and shift your imagination into places you’ve never been before!
On the back of this book, Corrine tells us that famous writers such as John Steinbeck and Stephen King have used the practical methods in this book to tap into the wells of inspiration.
In the same way, you can liven up your own stories with guidance from Corrine’s Kenner’s “Tarot for Writer’s.”
Tarot for Writers is available at Amazon.com if you want to kick-start YOUR creative writing experiences through the use of Tarot.
Do you have a dilemma with tarot that’s got you perplexed? Are you facing a particular challenge with Tarot? Please share, and your topic may be covered in a future blog post in this Tarot Journey series.
Happy Tarot Journeys
Last Sunday, I had the honor of participating in a panel discussion with Beyond Worlds. We discussed boundaries in the tarot business. If you missed that show, you can listen to the archive here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/beyondworlds/2012/02/06/boundaries-for-readers–special-panel-discussion
Let me introduce you to the panelists who participated for this special show, along with links to where you can find this great group of fellow tarot professionals:
- Donnaleigh – our host of the Beyond Worlds Tarot Tribe
- Georgianna Boehnke from The Tarot Room
- Diane Wilkes from Tarot Passages
- Theresa Reed, also known as The Tarot Lady
- James Wells
- Marcy Currier
- And of course myself, Sharon Brown – who most of you know by my nickname, Velvet Angel, from Tarot Wisdom Readings
The show is packed with lots of ideas regarding boundaries, so if you are a tarot reader who finds yourself struggling with establishing – and enforcing – boundaries, this show is for you!
Currently, we are discussing the possibility of doing an addition to this show, as there was so much more we could have talked about, but simply didn’t have time. But so much was fantastically covered in the 90-minute presentation. Everyone had something of value to contribute.
Today’s article stems from an enlightening 2-card boundary spread, which you can find on Donnaleigh’s blog at: http://www.donnaleigh.com/apps/blog/show/12170332-boundaries-for-tarot-readers-2-card-boundary-spread
I wanted to share with you what I drew from this boundary spread, and if you are a reader, I encourage you to do this reading for yourself and find out what Tarot has to say to you about your boundaries and how you can establish them most effectively.
Draw 2 cards from your favorite tarot deck and ask:
1) Define boundary as it pertains to me.
2) How can I best establish my own personal boundaries?
I used the Crystal Visions Tarot deck for this reading.
Card 1: Define boundary as it pertains to me.
QUEEN OF CUPS
As boundaries pertains to me, the Queen of Cups shows me that because I have always been such a generous person with a soft heart, I very much need to have boundaries in place so that I am not manipulated and taken advantage of. I easily feel sorry for people, and I easily feel their pain – sometimes as if it is my own pain. In the past, that made it too easy to just drop the boundaries and give in to freely offer my help – even at my own detriment!
But this Queen shows me that boundaries are also about love – for others and for myself. And sometimes “tough love” must be a part of it, just like when it comes to dealing with children. Boundaries can specify love for the self, and also self-respect. Boundaries help me to detach emotionally – just enough to be objective and stand my ground, but not in the way of detaching so much that I have no compassion.
The Queen of Cups is indeed filled with great love and compassion. But to love and respect yourself, you must uphold boundaries. The maturity of the Queen suggests that I can help others with a compassionate and gentle touch, but it doesn’t mean that, in the process, I should avoid the responsibility of those boundaries for myself. For that would not be self-love.
I think it was very difficult for me to establish solid boundaries for the longest time. And it’s only within the past 2 to 3 years that I have done so more firmly. With the Queen of Cups, I can see the emotional side and the reason why it was harder for me to be tougher when needed. But fortunately, I now see that the Tarot shows me that boundaries can still be a loving expression to promote respect and goodness between myself and others. Boundaries are not mean or stingy . . . they are about promoting love for others and the self.
Card 2: How can I best establish my own personal boundaries?
7 OF WANDS
Interestingly, the 7 of Wands is a card of boundaries, and it clearly shows me that I must take a stand and be firm or assertive as needed. I will be called upon to continually defend those boundaries. In fact, I had to do so today yet again. But I found a way to lovingly suggest an alternative even though I would not honor an expired free gift certificate.
This is about handling myself in a responsible way – and not letting others walk on me as I did at one point in my career. I must defend these boundaries, because this is about standing up for what I value and not settling for less than I want and deserve. I must have the courage of my convictions and the integrity to follow through. I cannot be wishy-washy about it. I must be firm.
Thus, the 7 of Wands shows me that I must continually be “on my own side” and do what is best for me and my business. I can’t just take a backseat when it comes to boundaries. I have to get in front of the firing line and be firm and strong – even when the Queen of Cups emotion wants me to do something else. I am responsible for taking control through boundaries and defending those, and the 7 of Wands tells me that this will ensure I don’t let myself get pushed around.
Not only must I have boundaries, but I must enforce them. For it does little good to “have” a boundary if that is not enforced and followed through. With the Queen of Cups card and the 7 of Wands, the Tarot asks me, “Do you love yourself enough to take a stand when needed?” And my answer is, “Yes, I do!”
P.S. Many thanks to Donnaleigh for sharing this spread!
How do boundaries play a role in your general life and in your career or business life? Feel free to share or discuss your thoughts on boundaries.
Last year, I did a two-card pull for the Super Bowl game – all in fun – and it turned out right. I had posted that to Facebook on February 6th, 2011 – so I had to do a lot of clicking to go back and read what I had written before the game started on that evening.
I hesitate to do these things that tend to be somewhat like “gambling” with the odds, so please know right up front that this is ALL IN FUN. I am not even a football fan and know little about the game. I used to crack that silly joke about why they are all fighting over a silly quarter. LOL
Anyhow, on to the predictions . . . . Just like last year when the Steelers and Packers played, for the purpose of trying to determine who is going to win this Super Bowl for 2012, I asked the simple question:
“What will be the after-game atmosphere for each of the teams (Giants and Patriots) tonight?
Giants – 5 of Pentacles . . . Patriots – 7 of Pentacles
Neither team has drawn a card that announces big reasons for celebration, but it looks like the Patriots may take the win. Let’s take a look . . .
Giants – 5 of Pentacles: There is a clear sense of loss and defeat in the 5 of Pentacles. This is the energy of feeling out in the cold or left outside when you wanted to be “in” with the party where it’s warm and welcoming. I have a feeling the Giants are going to take some pretty big hits in tonight’s game. It doesn’t look like they are going to be one bit happy in that after-game atmosphere. This is a card that clearly specifies a loss.
Additionally, they may have some players that sustain some injuries that will either make it painfully challenging to stay in the game and play at their best, or it could literally take someone out of the game for the night.
Patriots – 7 of Pentacles: This card indicates that there’s more there than meets the eye, and in comparison to the 5 of Pentacles, it looks like the Patriots may win. Things tend to be a little bit better than what one sees, even though there is always room for growth and improvement under this energy.
Even so, their coach may be giving them a speech during the after-game celebration about all kinds of things they could have and should have done differently – even with a win. The coach may point out some good things of the game, but he may drive home the problems he saw as well – with the intent that they can do even better in future games.
Thus, if I was a betting person – which I’m not – I would be favoring the Patriots for tonight’s game. It could actually be a fairly close game, and the Patriots may definitely have their moments of worry at some point in the game. But the 7 of Pentacles definitely gives the Patriots an edge for more points . . . and ultimately the win and the glory!
We’ll see how this turns out. Remember, I drew these cards in fun. As this can be construed by the Tarot as a “gambling” question, it doesn’t always like to respond so easily. But Tarot knows that tonight, I will be not be watching the game, nor will I be placing any bets. But I’ll find out tomorrow who our actual victory team is.
Good luck to both teams. And may the best team win!!
The Tarot Journey –Turning Challenges into Stepping Stones
Court cards of the Tarot can be fascinating to explore, yet they may feel daunting and confusing for many people as well – especially those who are new to the tarot . . . but even pose a challenge to those who have been working with the Tarot for awhile and just can’t seem to get a grip with the court cards.
It’s time to make friends with the Tarot court cards! Make peace with them!
I’m sure you’ve heard that court cards could represent any of the following:
- Other people
- Yourself or a part of yourself trying to emerge or express itself
- Actual events or situations
- Specific energies in a situation
So the question naturally emerges: “HOW do I know which of the above possibilities a court card is implying in my readings?”
That’s the tricky thing of it all. The Tarot relies on YOUR voice to be expressed. So the court cards aren’t going to jump out and literally say, “Hey, look at me, I represent your boss at work!” Or, “Hey you, I’m a part of yourself that needs to be expressed!” And of course, neither will a card simply even tell us, “I’m just a messenger here to let you know that there is some news you’ll soon learn about.”
We might ask ourselves why we don’t get hung up on all those major arcana cards that show us people in them – such as the Magician, the Empress, Hanged Man, and so many others! So why do we get hung up on seeing people in a court card then?
It may be that subconsciously the concept of “court cards” itself is barring us from the full view. We are getting hung up and stuck on the fact that, “Oh my god, this is a court card, so I just don’t know how to read it – but I fully understand all the other cards that presented people in them, because they are not court cards.”
And yes, court cards have been labeled as “the people cards” in the Tarot. Yet many other cards of the Tarot deck also feature people in them. The Tarot Courts are also considered to be like the “royal family.” Some may view them like daughter (Page), son (Knight), mother (Queen), and father (King).
When it comes to people, we also know that the tarot doesn’t stereotype. So that “daughter” or Page could equally be a male if referencing an actual person. If a King comes up for a woman, it can be expressing her masculine energy side. Conversely, if a Page or a Queen appear for a man, that can be expressing the more feminine or emotional side of that person.
What if the Page of Cups was no longer considered a page and he was simply titled “Messenger of Emotions” or “Learning about Emotions.” What if that Page of Cups was among the Major Arcana – I’m just saying “what if” here . . . of course, the Pages are not among the Majors. They are Minor Arcana cards. But how would your perception then change of the card? Would it still be hard for you to figure out what that card had to say if you weren’t stuck on it actually having to be a person and being from that dreaded court card group?
If you lay out a spread, and court cards come up, ask yourself if you can identify with any of them as being actual people in your life. If you don’t feel that to be the case, maybe you can identify with them as a part of yourself at that given time, or a part of yourself that is wanting to be expressed. It could relate to how YOU feel about something, or what you may be inclined to do, feel, or believe.
And if you still don’t see a court card as another person or a part of yourself, then chances are, that court card simply reveals a particular energy or an event in the overall situation. For example, the Page of Cups can suggest emotional beginnings, a messenger that reveals something related to emotions, or it may show a period of you or someone learning about his/her emotions.
The thing is – court cards don’t have to represent actual people. Certainly they can, of course, but so can the Magician card, among others, represent a person or a part of yourself. A simple pip card like the 8 of Wands might represent a part of you that wants to hurry things along and get a quick result.
The King of Swords can reveal decisiveness and firm control. He’s really got his kingdom in order. Everything is organized, planned, and mapped out to a tee! So that could show something within you that is needed to come forth, or it may ask you to look for someone who is like the King of Swords who can help show you the way on whatever you’re working on. It could mean that your situation or project needs more planning, structure, and control – or that you need to literally get a grip on your life and think more logically and less emotionally. Or it could be assuring you that you do have things in order and you may be preparing to move forth with your ideas.
There are just soooo many ways to look at a court card, and that’s not necessarily good news for a student of tarot who is looking for everything to fit into a black and white mold. Eventually though, if you let your intuition start taking over, you are going to identify what those court cards mean, and they are not going to feel so dreaded every time they come up.
Don’t panic when you see a court card. And definitely don’t cover it up with a different card to avoid it! Decide to greet that card and say, “You know what, it’s time we made a friendship here, don’t you agree?” Your card will definitely agree!
Now since I know you may be feeling a bit disheartened about answers that don’t provide an easy map or step-by-step guide, there are some things you can take into consideration with the court cards to help guide you.
What direction is that court card facing?
Sometimes you can see a story when a court card is facing either another court card or some other card from the Tarot. Or maybe you will see a court card with its back turned to the next card, as if it’s not paying any attention to what’s going on.
Consider this as one example among hundreds of possibilities . . .
In this scenario with the 2 of Cups and the Queen of Cups, it looks like the situation is related to love, partnerships, or feelings and emotions. The Queen is looking in that direction, too! Her heart is urging her toward that association.
But change these two cards around, and what does it look like?
In this scenario, it actually looks like the Queen isn’t especially interested in this union. She’s got her back turned to it and may still be dwelling on a love from the past that could prevent her from moving on. The opportunity for love seems to be there, but will she take it? Will she turn around and really look at the potentials that are there?
Just because two favorable cards turn up in the Tarot together doesn’t necessarily mean that you will act favorably in the situation – or that someone else will do so.
Look at the Queen of Swords and the Queen of Pentacles. They face each other, and it looks as if they could be having a chat. The Swords suit may be well-known for conflict, but it’s also about communication. It looks like the Queen of Swords is inviting the Queen of Pentacles to talk about what’s on her mind. And with that Coin that the Queen of Pentacles holds, it may be money or business that is on her mind. She knows how to be practical and down-to-earth, but maybe she could use some of the Queen of Swords’ advice on how to be firm and establish boundaries in her business efforts.
Or this could even be a situation where the logical Queen of Swords is asking for advice from the Queen of Pentacles. With this Queen’s hand extended, she seems to either be asking for something or inviting someone/something in to her personal space.
And now, look at the Queen of Cups and the Queen of Pentacles
The Queen of Cups has her back turned on the Queen of Pentacles, because the dreamy love-filled Queen of Cups can sometimes be in her own emotional world. The Queen of Pentacles is behind her, perhaps trying to get her attention. If you see something like this in a layout, it may be that someone is trying to get your attention, or you’re trying to get the attention of someone else.
What comes to my mind with the Queen of Pentacles and the Queen of Swords in a back-to-back arrangement like this – especially with the Queen of Swords’ hand extended — is that maybe “one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.” Obviously these are both positive upright court cards, but maybe it’s asking us to take note of what is going on around us instead of being so much “in our own heads.” We may need to be practical, which might also require more openness and communication with others.
Another consideration is when a court card has its back turned, it could imply (depending on the circumstances being asked about) that something is literally going on “behind one’s back!”
Take a look at this one – which includes a reversed court card:
I can almost feel that the Queen of Pentacles is getting gossiped about behind her back with that nasty Reversed Queen of Swords looking at her like that. Use your imagination, and let things just flow! LOL, remember what the Queen of Swords is when she’s reversed? I’ll give you a hint – it rhymes with witch!
Look at the spread below: Queen of Pentacles – Knight of Cups – The Devil
This Queen of Pentacles is someone who loves her family, her children, her home, and her career. She likes things to be in place and neatly organized. But when it comes to teenaged children, a parent learns (often the hard way) that keeping kids in order and on the up-and-up isn’t as easy as it seems it should be.
This Queen of Pentacles may be a mother who is not aware that her son or daughter is just about to get hooked up into either some kind of addiction, or a bad love relationship. Since this is the Knight of Cups, the spread could imply that it’s a teen love relationship that isn’t going to turn out well in consideration of that Devil card. If there were other cards in the spread that pointed to alcohol or drugs (addiction type cards), then there could also be that problem that the teenager is running into.
But here, the Knight of Cups hasn’t crossed over that stream yet. Even if this represented a teenager who did try drugs with his or her friends or who was otherwise starting to get involved with a negative person, it’s not too late to help that child! The horse hasn’t “crossed over” that stream yet. So this spread would be shouting for awareness to a parent who had concerns about her child or children! Even if you had the best and most well-behaved teenager like the sweet Knight of Cups . . . that doesn’t promise any assurance that the child will not be tempted toward negative and harmful things in life. The message here would be to turn around and pay attention to what your kids are doing – before it’s too late!
Try to identify each court card with someone currently in your life or that you’ve dealt with and known in the past
A helpful thing to do with the court cards is to decide who in your life you feel each one could represent. Of course, none of us are “only” like one individual court card. Men can be like any of the Kings at various times and for different situations, and the same is true for women and Queens. But generally speaking, you might pick up a trait from a court card that is a good description of someone’s typical personality or behavior.
For example, I always associate my 5-year old grandson with the Page of Wands. So when I pull that card, it could represent him, or it could represent the energy of the Page of Wands in general that is a part of a situation. It could represent someone like him if the question isn’t about him or related to him in any way.
When I pull the Reversed Queen of Swords, I know there is some real bitchy energy happening if it’s a person . . . and I have to look to whether it’s someone else, or if I myself have taken on such an attitude and need to work on an “attitude adjustment.” Or it may just be the general situation where one could say that “life is a bitch” at times, and I need to deal with it regardless. The Reversed Queen of Swords might be pointing out for me to beware of a person like this reversed card, or it may be asking me to watch out for that sort of conflicting energy overall – such as through gossip and rumors that I should not participate in if I don’t want it coming back to bite me later.
Go through your court cards and see if you can find a person that you would identify that card with. It can be someone you know from family or friendship circles, or it could even be a famous person. But see if you can connect the court card energy with an actual person – even a story book character or someone from a movie if nothing else. Then, each time you see that card in a reading, you’ll recall the “hint” of that person’s general energy that can help you understand whether the card really is pointing to a person . . . or just those energies. And sometimes those court cards do point to how we might be feeling at the time of a reading, too. A lot depends on the position of the spread it comes up in, and of course, what your intuition is telling you as well.
Seriously, do this exercise, because it can help you! There is no map or guide that lays court cards out on a step-by-step basis for interpretation, so you need to do the work to start getting better acquainted with them. If you choose not to do so, they will continue to elude you and frustrate you.
Time to get your cards out and play!
To practice with court cards, one of the best ways to do it is to play with your cards. Interact with those court cards and make peace with them.
Shuffle up your deck and lay out three cards – or you can just use two if you want to. If no court cards come up, you get a “redo.” Put those cards aside and try for two or three more cards until there is a court card in the mix.
For example, here is what I got in playing with this:
I definitely got a court card on my first try, so I’ll use these cards to simply tell a story without worrying whether I’m right or wrong – just simply playing with my cards and enjoying the process.
So what do I see here? The first card with the 9 of Wands shows us a sense of wariness – someone who is like a warrior that is defending his boundaries. It’s clear that he’s been hurt in the past, and he’s protecting himself now.
Then we have the Ace of Pentacles in the center. I see a path that I could take – a practical path perhaps and one that can lead me to prosperity. That sense of “prosperity” doesn’t have to be about money. It could equally relate to something emotional like the Knight of Cups suggests.
So here the Knight of Cups seems to be moving forward, despite past hurts in a relationship. He’s decided to take that path, even though there are mountains in the distance of the Ace of Pentacles to suggest that everything won’t necessarily come easy. You have to work at it. And if this is a relationship situation, relationships require work, too. Sometimes you have to let go of past hurts so that you don’t rob yourself of new opportunities being presented!
In this case, that Knight of Cups could be you moving into a new relationship. Or it could be you moving into a new, practical job situation. There is something “new” in this situation, even though it’s a matter for which you’ve previously felt quite guarded about. Now you are ready to open up your heart and accept the opportunity that’s there for you.
If such a description didn’t apply to you – say that you were not changing jobs and you are already happily married, then the Knight of Cups court card here could be your children . . . and if not, maybe there is something new on the way for you anyway. And that “new element” could relate to something that makes you a little wary or has hurt you in the past.
It could be something that asks you to let down your guard a little bit and re-evaluate your boundaries so that you don’t miss a good thing when it comes up for your attention. It could even suggest the rekindling of a difficult relationship if you’re partnered but things have been hard lately.
You see, there are many ways you can play with this . . . and the more you play with the court cards and see how they interact with each other and with the other cards in the tarot, the more you will see – and the more you’ll build your intuitive process. The more you will start to trust what you see . . . even when the court cards come calling!
Maybe you might prefer to just work with card pairs at first to keep things simple. So here’s an example of two cards – with one of them being a court card. I drew until I got a pair that included a court card, and here’s what I got:
The Queen of Cups and the 10 of Wands. What do you suppose that could imply? Perhaps the emotional Queen is not wanting to look at a burden in her life. Or perhaps someone is shouldering most of the burden for her, and he could actually use some help from her. Maybe she simply doesn’t want to face what she has to do, because it would be such an emotional conflict for her to do so.
If we paired keywords here we could look at this as an “emotional burden.” This Queen may have to get out of her sweet, dreamy state and do some work on the situation at hand.
We’ve also looked at how this Queen can be turning her back. Maybe she is turning her back on something that looks difficult to do. Or maybe she is so delighted by something that she isn’t actually seeing the work that it’s going to take to reach her desired goal.
These are some of the ways you could look at this pair of cards that includes the Queen of Cups court card.
So play around with your cards, using two and three cards at a time where at least one of those cards will be a court card and see what you come up with. Let this be fun so that you don’t have to keep getting that dreaded feeling inside each time you see a court card appear. Through time, you can learn to welcome the cards from this royal family of the Tarot
In the next post, I’ll talk about putting the cards together to tell a story.
Happy Tarot Journeys
Do you have a dilemma with tarot that’s got you perplexed? Are you facing a particular challenge with Tarot? Please share, and your topic may be covered in a future blog post in this Tarot Journey series.
The Tarot Journey –Turning Challenges into Stepping Stones
Today’s topic is about Tarot reversals! Most people know that using reversals for tarot readings is an optional choice. You can use them, or you can choose not to use them. It’s as simple – and as complex – as that.
The reason I note “complex” is because a reader can literally have a huge debate with herself/himself about whether to use reversals or not. They are very aware of it being a “personal choice,” but they might question whether adding the option of reversals truly has value or not.
That’s the key – do you feel that using reversals adds depth to your tarot readings? Or do you feel that they are merely an annoyance you would just as soon skip?
Use reversals for the right reasons.
Don’t use them just because your favorite readers are doing so. Don’t use them because you feel you have to.
In the same token, don’t avoid reversals for the wrong reasons either. Don’t avoid them as a means of taking the “lazy” way out even if you think there might just be “something” to them. But only YOU can decide if reversals truly add anything to a reading or not.
Let me give you an example of the conflict I went through in my early days of reading the cards that told me I needed to be using reversals.
I read online and in books that reversals weren’t necessary. I found that opinion from several sources that made me question the use of reversals even more. In the beginning of my tarot journey, I was just coming to terms with the upright meanings, and I decided, “Hey, if I don’t need to learn about reversals, then why bother?”
After a week of doing readings without allowing for reversals, I felt frustrated with my readings. Something was missing, and it wasn’t just the fact that I was still fairly new to this craft at the time.
Alas, it was the opportunity for reversals to come up that was missing, and my heart and soul told me that I personally was going to be a reader that needed to use reversals.
It didn’t matter what others were doing or not doing. I was literally having trouble connecting to my cards and readings because I suddenly wasn’t allowing for the possibility of any reversed cards to appear. It was as if I was somehow “blocking” all the possibilities and potentials that could enter the picture. I was only letting “some” of it in.
So I started allowing reversals into my readings again. And I quickly felt “complete” and more content with the information I gleaned from the cards, even if a reversal didn’t come up in all of the readings. I felt like I was connecting more fully to the Tarot. And I knew I needed to listen to my feelings about that. My trial of not using reversals was the experience I needed to show me the way – the way that was right for me individually.
I don’t shuffle the tarot pack in a way where half or over half of the cards will end up being reversed. That was yet another element that I had to decide on as to the best way to handle – a way that would feel right to me personally.
When I turn cards over in a shuffle to make way for reversals, no more than 1/8 to 1/4 of the cards get turned. So generally, there will only be about 10 to 15 cards that can end up reversed in the final deal. That feels right for me. And let me tell you, if those reversals are meant to come up, you’ll see them in the layout!
Yet, a reversal won’t always appear, and I’m fine with that – because I know that I at least allowed the possibility to come through if the Tarot needed to show me something from a different angle. And I feel that the right cards will reverse when I’m turning about an eighth or so of the deck upside down to shuffle into the mix. I no longer worry about whether the right cards will be reversed or not. I have found my own personal system that clicks with me and that I can relate to.
So that is what I struggled with in my beginning experiences – and something perhaps you might struggle with, too, if you find yourself questioning the value of reversed tarot cards.
I felt like something was missing!
If the Sun card came up as an outcome, it made me wonder – what if that card had been reversed? The sunshine might be there sooner or later . . . but if the card was meant to be reversed, I would have expected a delay before the clouds went away.
If the 5 of Pentacles came up, and I was feeling like I had been through that kind of experience already, but things were easing up, it made me wonder if that card really wanted to show up reversed to indicate that problems were being solved and that I was actually getting out from under a hardship. Or did the upright card mean that I could expect things to continue being difficult – or even get worse?
This was all in the days of self-readings and lots of practice – BEFORE I defined my own style and techniques to take out into the world of reading for other people. But I had to find my own style. I learned that I couldn’t just imitate others were doing, because it might not feel right for me personally.
So the question for you, if you’re struggling with the dilemma of using reversals or not using them, is to ask yourself, “What feels good to me when it comes to reversals and using them or not using them?”
Don’t base your choice on what most others are doing or not doing . . . base it what you feel gives you a complete picture from the cards. If you feel satisfied and that nothing is missing by using upright cards only, then that may be right for you to do it that way.
For me, I find a lot of depth by using reversals. I am alerted to blockages or potential problems that can surround even a positive kind of situation. Because keep in mind that reversals do not always signify something “negative.” Consider the 5’s of the Tarot as an example. Upright, we know that those energies are about hardship, struggle, and conflict in some way. But if a 5 appears reversed, the Tarot could be showing us that perhaps some things are not as bad as we think, or that we are actually nearing the end of such a struggle.
If a favorable card appears reversed, that’s obviously not as fun to see as if the card were upright. If we get the Wheel of Fortune in reverse, well of course we’d rather see that card upright. But a reversal doesn’t always necessarily imply an “opposite” meaning, unless that’s the way you’ve chosen to look at reversals.
One might see the upright Wheel of Fortune as being good luck, and see “bad luck” in the reversal. But what I see with this reversal is that one may be on the “down side” of things in the moment, but this card speaks of cycles whether upright or reversed. And seeing the reversal would show me a downside of a cycle that I needed to work through in order get back on track to the more fortunate side of things.
If my question relates to whether I should go forward on something or not, and the Reversed Wheel of Fortune came up in response, I would see the need to hold back for the time being. Maybe I could go for it later, but now would not feel the right time to do so.
Reversed cards in a reading show us something that isn’t straightforward. Upright cards are naturally more straightforward in their meanings . . . but when reversed, something else may be going on that we should pay attention to.
If I just used upright cards only, and the outcome presented the Wheel of Fortune, I might expect things to be easier than they might actually turn out to be – because maybe – just maybe – that outcome card really wanted to appear reversed to show me a delay of sorts. The Tarot might be wanting to tell me that, yes, favorable things are still possible to attain, but I’ve got some things to work on first that might not be so enjoyable. In such a case, I would likely have to work through some issues in order to help myself create a luckier sort of situation.
Now some people consider that if you get a reversed card, you should just pay extra attention to that card and then turn it right side up again. But we’ve also been told that when Major Arcana cards appear, we need to give those cards extra weight and really pay attention to those cards.
That leads me to the opinion that ALL the cards in the reading are important. They all come up for a reason. And while the interpretation of one card might be simple, brief, but straightforward, another card may have a little more to say – yet it doesn’t mean that some cards are not important in the spread.
Yes, some of the cards may really stand out or be “in your face” to get your attention. And you know you’d better carefully explore the messages offered from Tarot in such cases. But reversed cards tend to get kind of a bad rap that they really don’t deserve. And because of that, some readers will simply not use them. But the question is, are they avoiding reversals for the right reasons? Does not using reversed cards really feel like it brings them the full picture?
This is why you will hear so often that using reversals is a personal choice – because it really is! It’s a matter of whether you find any value in them or not. Some people really don’t, and they are content without allowing for reversed cards to enter the picture. If you feel that way, and you don’t find yourself sitting on the fence about the choice for not using reversals . . . then you’ve found the style that works for you.
But if you happen to be like I was – and you feel like something is “missing” from your readings, maybe you need to be allowing for reversals to feel like you are also allowing for the full picture to appear. If you have to second guess yourself as to whether any of the cards in a reading “might” have come up reversed if you had let them . . . then that’s probably a sign that’s indicating you are one who needs to use reversed cards.
The value for me personally in using reversed cards is that it’s what I am comfortable with. I feel like I am leaving no stones unturned when I allow for reversals to appear – even if none show up in a particular layout.
I could go on and on about what makes a reversed card “valuable,” but if it’s not something you deem to be important, then it’s not going to be valuable to you personally. And that’s okay. Each reader should define his or her own style of reading the cards – from how you shuffle, to how you cut the cards, and to whether you use reversed cards or not, etc., etc.
As long as you are doing what feels “right” and comfortable to you personally . . . then you’re on the right track, whether everyone else is doing it the way you do or not.
I can’t sit here and tell you that, “Oh my, you absolutely need to use reversals, because that’s how I do it.” That would be silly! Maybe reversals aren’t right for you personally. But for some of you, it may be just what you need to get that “complete” feeling of connection with your tarot cards. You don’t have to let half the deck be reversed. Even if you just let a few of them have the chance to come up reversed, they will always be the “right” cards, and they will appear only if the Tarot wants them to come up as a part of the message being delivered.
Thus, it really comes down to personal choice in terms of what works for you and what feels right to you individually. As readers, we don’t just say it’s a personal choice to be saying that. There’s a reason behind that statement, as discussed in this post.
In the next post, I’ll talk about court cards. Those seem to be the cards to stump new readers more than any other cards in the Tarot. How do you know if they represent a person, an energy, a situation, or a part of yourself? Tune in next week, and we’ll explore.
Happy Tarot Journeys!
What about you? Do you find tarot reversals to be helpful in your reading experiences? Or are you okay without using them? What method feels right to you personally?
This feature on the blog is designed to address questions that relate to specific challenges that a reader may be struggling with – whether it’s a new reader who is trying to put it all together and figure things out, one who has been reading the cards for awhile but still feels like he or she is meeting up with some bumps in their execution of interpreting a reading, or for those who are creating a tarot practice to do readings in the course of business.
This is even for non-readers who may have some issue they are struggling with in regard to getting a reading or even thinking about learning to read the cards. If you find yourself stuck on something with the Tarot, let’s work on this together and see if we can find some clarity for you.
What are your biggest challenges or “pain points” in reading the cards or with Tarot in general? What do you feel holds you back? Or what is it that you seem to struggle with or simply can’t reconcile in your tarot journey? This is for both readers and non-readers alike, but may be of special interest to those who read the cards or for those who are trying to learn this vast subject that is filled with so much wisdom and empowerment.
Keep in mind that none of us will ever “know it all.” We are all going to be perpetual students in the amazing subject of Tarot. But the more we learn and practice, the more enjoyable this experience continues to be.
Today’s topic starts with some Tarot basics!
The best place to start . . . is at the beginning. And no, I don’t mean we’ll grab the Fool card off the top of a new deck and begin studying. We’re going to talk today about some very basic knowledge that can help you with ALL the cards of the Tarot – some simple things, perhaps often overlooked or considered not to be very important.
Even if you are an experienced tarot reader, it’s helpful to take a step back from time to time and return to a “beginner’s mindset.” Plus – it’s fun to do! It also simplifies things when you find a tendency to make something more complex than it actually has to be.
There are many ways to look at a card to help you decide what it means:
Here are some of the ways to help you understand a card’s meaning . . .
- The imagery of the card itself (This is one of the most important ways to understand a card’s meaning!)
- Symbolism used in a card
- The number of the card
- The suit and element of a card
In terms of the imagery, think about how the card makes you feel. Do you sense happiness, sorrow, stagnation, movement, loss, gain, etc.? What is happening in the card? What kinds of symbols are contained in the card? (Symbolism in Tarot is a whole topic in itself, but it’s helpful to learn about it, as symbols can also provide important clues to a card’s meaning.)
So let’s take a look at what the numbers and court cards mean in general for all the Tarot Suits – Cups, Wands, Pentacles, and Swords. I’ll follow that up with some basic information about the suits themselves – and the elements to keep in mind. We’ll explore a few examples, and from there, you can explore the cards, too – even if you are already a seasoned reader! I’ve been reading the cards since early 1999, but I still find these exercises fun and refreshing to do.
I recommend that you create a list of your own, as you might not agree with all of my keywords and associations – or you may have some that you would add to your list that I’ve not mentioned here. A fun way to determine your keywords for the numbers is to lay out all the cards of that number – for example, lay out all of the Aces to get a general feeling for what the number one implies to your way of interpretation.
If you are unsure of what the numbers mean in Tarot, or you’re new to Tarot and don’t really know where to start with this . . . here is my list that you can use to get you going:
The Numbers of the Tarot
Aces: new beginnings; fresh start; gift; opportunity; potential; solo; focus; a seed that has potential to grow and prosper
Two’s: choice; duality; balance; bringing together opposites; polarity
Three’s: creativity; growth; teamwork; building; expansion; discussion; evaluation
Four’s: stability; structure; foundations; creation; order; routine; duties; organization; solidarity; stagnation
Five’s: conflict; struggle; hardship; loss; chaos; instability; challenges; rebelling; midpoint of a journey
Six’s: collaboration; cooperation; sharing; communication; problem solving; love; beauty; chance; reconciliation; reflection; inner work
Seven’s: reflection; assessment; imagination; inner thoughts; challenge; choice, strategy
Eight’s: movement; speed; power; strength; effort; physical work
Nine’s: nearing completion; solitude; fullness; wisdom gained from the journey; loss or fulfillment
Tens: end of a cycle; something is finished; ready to move on; staleness; exhaustion; need for revitalization
Pages: enthusiastic beginner; inexperienced but eager; students; newbies, rookies; least mature of the Tarot court cards; can represent a child or the young-at-heart
Knights: messages; movement; ambition; confidence but not yet knowing one’s limitations; courageous; bold; action that is usually taken to one extreme or another; can represent a teen or young adult
Queens: mothers or mother figures; reflection; introspection; collaboration; organization; nurturing; support
Kings: fathers or father figures; responsibility; power; control; authority; leadership
Another consideration is that numbers 1 through 4 can indicate something in the earlier stages of a situation, 5 through 7 can suggest the midpoint (with a 5 being noted especially for the midpoint of a journey), and numbers 8 through 10 show us that something may be closer to the ending. This additional consideration may not always apply for every card in every situation, but it’s something to keep in mind. The little things sometimes help you find more meanings in a card that are fitting for your situation being asked about in the Tarot.
Cups: reflection; emotion; feelings, intuition; creativity; love; nurturing; psychic ability
Wands: passion; enterprise; energy; desire; intention; fast moving energy
Swords: communication; thoughts; logic; intellect; worry; conflict
Pentacles: groundedness; practicality; money; finances; material resources; business, resources, health, slower moving energy
Water = Cups
Fire = Wands
Earth = Pentacles
So now that we’ve explored the above, how can this knowledge help?
Let’s use an example with the 7 of Pentacles. This is a card that varies somewhat in interpretation from one reader to another. If you were uncertain of what this card meant, or if this card came up in a reading that caused you to feel stumped, you could turn to the numbers and suit meanings to help sort it out.
First though, look at the card and consider what kind of feeling or sensation you get from the imagery. We see a man who is leaning on his spade and looking at his bush of Pentacles. But does he seem happy? Not especially so. We are shown 7 Pentacles on the bush with some greenery, but also with some brown decay, too.
Now let’s consider what the sevens in Tarot mean. From the list above, we might pick out reflection, assessment, and inner thoughts. It looks like this man is pausing and reflecting. He seems to be assessing his situation and the work that’s been done to determine if he is pleased with the results. Did he perhaps expect more from the harvest than what he’s actually gained so far?
The suit of Pentacles talks about practical issues, resources, and groundedness. And we know that this suit represents a slower-moving energy.
Now . . . how would you put the number 7 and the Pentacles together?
We might say that this man is assessing his situation, but something is taking more time and work than expected. And so he’s probably not thrilled about the results. He seems to be reflecting on his expectations versus what is actually there.
And there you have it – the basic meaning of the 7 of Pentacles! You can certainly go deeper in interpretation, especially with additional cards in a reading, but this gets you started to take a look at a card individually. Before you can put cards together to tell the story of the reading, you need to understand what each one means.
Let’s turn to another 7 in the Tarot, and see what we could glean by exploring the number and the suit meanings. Let’s consider the 7 of Swords.
Again, first consider what you gather just from the imagery itself, because that by itself can tell you a lot!
It looks like this man is tiptoeing away with his prize of swords. We can easily get a “sneaky” feeling from this card. Is he taking something that belongs to someone else? He certainly seems to be looking over his shoulder to make sure no one is watching him.
The number 7, as we saw above, can signify reflection, assessment, imagination, inner thoughts, and inner wisdom. It can also signify challenge, choice, or strategy. For this image, I would pick out assessment and strategy as the two main highlights for this 7. It appears that he’s looking around and assessing things to see what he can get away with. And he’s strategically being quiet as he makes his exit on tiptoes.
The Swords suit speaks of communication, thoughts, logic, intellect, worry, or conflict.
How could we put together the number 7 and the swords suit for this card?
We might say that this man is strategically sneaking away with something. The camp behind him seems quiet, so he’s assessed the situation with logic, and he’s determined at what time he can sneak away with those swords unnoticed. After assessing the situation, he decided on the best time to make his get-away – with the prize in hand. So this might be something that was thought about and planned rather than being a spontaneous act of thievery. And certainly, when the people in the camp awaken, there is bound to be conflict and upset when they discover what’s missing! So this is one of those cards that can make you uneasy, because of its sneaky and deceptive nature.
But what if we want to evaluate a card from the Major Arcana? How can we do that?
You can still apply the principles of the numbers to the Major cards, too! But here is where a little knowledge of the elements can be of help, too. I mentioned the four elements earlier: Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. These elements also relate to the corresponding Tarot suits of Wands, Cups, Pentacles, and Swords respectively.
Each of the Major Arcana is assigned to a particular element which can be helpful to keep in mind. You don’t have to memorize these – simply use the cheat sheet I’ve created below when you want to check for the element of a particular major arcana card. Through time, you’ll start to remember them.
Even though we don’t have particular suits with the Major Arcana – since these 22 cards of the Tarot are like a suit of their own — each of these cards will still relate to one of the elements, just like each of the tarot suits do.
So let’s take a look at the mysterious Moon card! If you are a beginner – or if you are going back to a beginner’s mind — the first thing to do would be to consider what you feel about the card’s imagery. We see a wolf on one side of a path, and a dog on the other side. A crayfish is emerging from the water at the forefront of the card. The Moon almost looks like the sun, and there is a face in that yellow moon that looks contemplative, but not especially happy.
The Moon is numbered 18 of the Tarot, so how do we find a number to correspond to that? We reduce 18 to the number 9 with some simple math: 1 + 8 = 9. The number 9 speaks of solitude, loss or fulfillment, nearing completion, and wisdom gained from the journey.
Hmmm, that might not tell you a lot in itself. Let’s also turn to the element that is associated with the Moon card which is Water. Water relates to the emotional energy that is found in the suit of Cups. Water is about feelings, emotions, intuition, and even psychic ability – all very fitting associations with the Moon card.
So in the Moon card, we might put this together by saying that there is a solitary feeling in this card. Emotions seem to be important here, too. There does seem to be a journey of sorts with that long path in the imagery of the card as well.
Studying symbols can also be of help, but we won’t get into that right now. However, what we can ascertain from the card’s imagery is that there are two gray pillars featured in this card which can suggest duality. You’ll find similar pillars in the card of the High Priestess, the Hierophant, and Justice. So this tells us that there is some aspect of duality happening here, even though this card is not associated with the number two.
Because of this card being associated to the Water element and to the number 9, we can determine that this card may speak of emotional duality which would lead us to the idea of “moodiness” – very applicable for the Moon card. We may feel a push and pull on our emotions. There is a path in front of us, but we might not feel too certain about it. Additionally, this card features a night time scene, and we know that things are harder to really see in the dark in comparison to what is enhanced by the daylight.
One side of the path presents a domestic dog to represent the tamer or calmer side of our natures, while the wolf on the other side of the path can represent one’s wilder instincts or those “out of control” emotions. It can represent the shadow side that every person has.
Let’s look at one more example in a court card, and then I’ll let you explore on your own. Remember that, for today, we are merely looking at some basics that are often overlooked or forgotten in one’s tarot journey. If you put these ideas together, it can help you with the card meanings. It can help you enhance and create meanings of your own for the cards, or to just understand them better.
The court cards are often the hardest for new readers to grasp. We’ll talk more about them in a future blog post, but for now, let’s just focus on applying the numbers, suits, and elemental qualities. Let’s zero in on the Queen of Pentacles.
We know that Queens of the Tarot can be motherly, nurturing, organized, supportive, and reflective. They may bring things together. They can be introspective. The suit of Pentacles is a grounded energy that can relate to money, finances, material resources, or business matters.
The tricky part with court cards is that they can represent actual people in our lives, a part of ourselves, or the energy involved in a situation. They can represent events just as any other card in the tarot can do. You have to decide if you feel it relates to you or another person, or if instead you don’t feel it’s an actual person and may relate to an event or the energy involved with a specific situation.
In this example, the Queen of Pentacles could portray someone who is helping you be more practical and grounded. This person may be nurturing and supportive. It could be an aspect of you and how you are taking care of others. But if this card came up, and you didn’t feel that it was a person, you might see this card as relating to material matters and perhaps ways that you are supporting yourself. This is a grounded energy.
Court cards can feel complicated, and it can be a whole topic by itself, just as symbolism can. There have been books written on just the court cards!
The point of this post is to help you explore your cards from the mindset of a beginner. The numbers, the suits, and the elements all have importance for each card. After we’ve read the cards for awhile, the meanings will come naturally. But for those who are just starting or who may be struggling, remember that these basic points provided in this post can help you sort through confusion about a card and at least gain a basic understanding. When you at least touch base with the simpler side of things, it will then help you grow into deeper meanings and interpretation.
In the next post, I’ll talk about card reversals to answer the question I received about whether it’s important to use them, even though it’s a personal choice to allow for reversals in a reading or not. What is the value of reversed cards, or does it even matter? We’ll discuss that next time.
Happy Tarot Journeys!
Do you have a dilemma with Tarot that’s got you perplexed? Are you facing a particular challenge with Tarot? Please share, and your topic may be covered in a future blog post in this Tarot Journey series.
I don’t think a week gets by without getting an email from someone who asks for a free reading.
And rarely does a month go by without receiving an email lecture from some individual I don’t know and with whom I’ve never corresponded who goes to great lengths to explain to me why my spiritual gifts should be “freely” shared with others – as in no payment should be rendered, and by golly my time isn’t important so I should be doing readings for free.
Hmmm . . . let me ponder this.
Here’s some tough loving considerations for those who think my services should be free:
- When the grocery store tells me that my food is free . . . I’ll give you a free reading.
- When my bank tells me not to worry about my house payments anymore, because my living accommodations are free . . . I’ll give you a free reading.
- When the doctor’s office tells me I don’t have to pay for medical services . . . I’ll give you a free reading.
- When the electric company gives me free electricity to enjoy in my home . . . I’ll give you a free reading.
- When legal services suddenly become a free gift . . . I’ll give you a free reading.
- When Uncle Sam agrees that taxation is silly, and I don’t have to pay my taxes . . . I’ll give you a free reading.
- When the water company decides that water is a gift of nature and should be freely shared . . . I’ll give you a free reading. (I’ll be squeaky clean, too, without having to pay! LOL)
- I could go on . . . but I think you get the idea.
Here’s another tough lovin’ NEWS FLASH!! – None of the above is ever gonna happen!
And guess what – I don’t like it any better than you do. It’s not fun to hand out a couple hundred bucks at the grocery store to support mine and my family’s need to eat. It’s not fun to hand out another couple hundred to the utility company. Nor do I enjoy paying my phone and internet bills. In fact, I don’t find much “fun” in paying any of my bills. But I do pay them – and on time. It’s my responsibility if I expect to get service or have what I need. I value these services, and they are worth it to me to pay.
I’m not eligible for free food, housing, and medical care in the welfare hand-out rosters. And even if I was eligible, that’s not a place I’ve ever been, nor do I ever plan to be! I have more pride than making a free living without effort.
And so that means that your reading will NOT be free – UNLESS it’s something I am sponsoring as a drawing, contest, promotion, etc. on occasion. And even then, there can only be so many lucky winners, because I am only one person, and I value my time and my business practice.
If you are thinking of asking a tarot reader for a free reading, think about this first: Will you work for your employer for free? It is no different than asking me to do so.
Thankfully, I am blessed with many people who understand this and appreciate my time and service. So a HUGE thanks goes out to all of my wonderful clients who truly get it and do not grumble or ask for my time and service to be free. I sincerely appreciate you!
Unfortunately, not everyone gets it. But now, everyone can at least know why myself and other readers don’t read the Tarot for free. We give up our time, energy, and other resources to provide a reading – and naturally, we expect to be paid for it – just like you expect your employer to pay you for your time and the service you provide to his/her company.
Additionally, it would be totally unfair to not expect some people to pay, but to take payment from others. Personally, I would not be happy to find out that I was paying for a service all along, but some people were getting it free of charge for whatever reasons.
I will not treat my clients that way. So this is a matter of what is fair, not just to myself, but to those who actually pay me for my reading service. If I were to give “free” to one, then I would have to let it be free to everyone else in order to keep things fair and square.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, folks. SOMEONE always pays for it, whether in terms of monetary payment or in terms of valuable time. So the next time you do enjoy something for free – because hey, there really are some free things out there to enjoy . . . think about who paid for it and how they paid for it. Did they dedicate their time to create it and give it away . . . or did they pay for it and give it away? Free things often come with special promotions of various kinds, and they are a gift of goodwill. But only certain things are free with any business. You don’t get it all without paying for it.
Here’s the most irritating kicker of all – I understand that a few will “try” me and see if they can get something free out of me . . . just because. But what I honestly don’t understand is why some people will literally tell me about their lovely two week vacations that happen four times a year, enjoying dining and fine motels during their get-away, new cars and condos, and buying all sorts of luxury items when on vacation and when not on vacation as well . . . and then having enough nerve to ask me for a free reading because . . . get this . . . they “can’t afford a reading.” WHAT?! Seriously, they must be joking.
A tarot reading can also be classified as a “luxury item,” and if you can’t afford it, then you probably don’t need a reading. But . . . if you are out there living a better life than I am in the lap of luxury, it is more than just rude to ask ME for a freebie! DON’T even ask.
I’m a lot more forgiving of someone who asks and genuinely doesn’t have the money for a reading – even though I still won’t give out a free reading just because someone can’t afford it. Because as I mentioned . . . my service providers in life really don’t care whether I can afford them or not – not even the providers of necessities and basic needs. If you are unable to afford a luxury service, then it’s not something you really need in the first place.
Sorry, but my rules are firm. And it’s not to be mean to anyone. It’s all about self-preservation and being fair to myself . . . AND being fair to my paying clients!
How about bartering then?
Nope. Your book of poetry, your special perfumes, luxury soaps, etc. (often something I don’t even want or need but get offered frequently in exchange for a reading) isn’t accepted at any of the above-mentioned locations — such as the grocery store, electric company, phone company, etc. Seriously, when places I do business with start accepting those things for payment, then I’ll barter with you!
Whew, now that we are all clear on that subject . . . it’s time to go make dinner – I already paid for the groceries, now I just gotta spend my time to prepare the food . . . and then more time to spend in cleaning up afterwards. Then I can go take a shower, since I paid my water bill and bought soap and shampoo . . . and maybe after that I’ll watch television for a little bit – since I also paid my electric bill. Life is good – even if it isn’t free!
What are “clarifying” cards in a Tarot reading, and why would we use them? An additional card drawn after laying out the cards of a reading is designed to bring further insight into one or more cards of that reading. We call this a “clarifying card,” and it is usually placed next to the card(s) that you want to clarify or further define.
Clarification cards can be helpful, but if used improperly, they can hinder rather than help.
Some helpful uses of clarifying cards in a Tarot Reading
- To further define or enhance an area of the reading.
- To narrow something down in a reading.
- Gaining additional advice for how to handle or approach a certain energy.
Clarifying cards should NOT be used for:
- Replacing an original card that isn’t understood.
- Addressing the same question that a card in the spread is there to answer.
- Changing the picture of the reading to be what you want to see versus what actually is.
It’s important to also know WHY you are drawing a clarifying card if you choose to pull one to add into the reading. What question do you want that clarifier to address? It should be a question that is not already being answered in the spread of cards you have laid out.
Note that there is a big difference in pulling a card to further define information from a reading versus simply not understanding the original card(s) in a reading. If you are pulling clarifying cards because you don’t understand a particular card or cards in the layout, you need to give yourself time to absorb and comprehend what the Tarot is telling you before pulling more cards . . . and ultimately confusing yourself.
So many times, a new reader has been trained to just draw another card to “clarify” things if they don’t understand a card that appears in a reading. Especially with new students of the Tarot, I often see clarification cards used excessively and for the wrong reasons. While I have no qualms with the use of clarification cards in tarot readings, I find that some readers (especially new ones) tend to overuse them. Readers who feel perplexed or confused by what the layout is revealing to them may choose to utilize additional cards for clarification in a way that becomes little more than a crutch.
If you don’t understand what a card means in a particular position of a spread, a clarifying card isn’t going to help. But it can certainly do a good job of further confusing you! It should never replace the original card in a spread, although sometimes a new reader will be tempted to throw out the card they don’t understand and replace it with a card they do understand. Developing this sort of practice as a reader is really a bad habit, in my opinion. While each reader is free to do what they wish and establish their own practices and style, some habits can be bad ones that serve no useful purpose.
As a professional tarot reader, I rarely draw clarifying cards in a reading. On the rare occasion that I do, it is for the purpose of gaining information on something the reading has already shown and that is clearly understood. A clarifying card can further define and enhance the information that is already there. For example, it can clarify what a specific block might be that is showing up in a reading. Or it can help to further define who a court card might be in the reading when there are a few possible people that could fit that card’s description. A clarifying card can also be used to request additional advice or ask how to approach a specific energy.
I cringe when I hear new readers say things such as, “I didn’t understand what the Ace of Pentacles meant in my reading, so I drew another card to clarify. But then I got the 3 of Swords, and I didn’t understand that either, because those cards don’t seem to reinforce one another. So I drew another card and got the Sun. And now I don’t understand what any of those cards are telling me.” YIKES! If you are doing this to yourself, please stop! It only makes a situation more complex than is necessary to keep pulling cards when something isn’t initially understood in a reading.
The bottom line is to learn how to use clarifying cards responsibly, or if you feel you’ll be tempted into using them as a crutch, don’t use them at all. Don’t make things more complex than they need to be. Everything you need to know will be laid out in the reading itself. Focus on that, understand what all the cards are saying to you . . . and then, and only then, if you see something that you would like to define further, you could safely pull a clarifier to add into the reading – not as a replacement card, and not as a card to answer something already addressed in the reading . . . but as a genuine clarifying card that can further enlighten you instead of confuse you.
Happy Tarot Reading!
Well, it’s about that time again to experience the feeling of taking two steps backward for every one taken forward . . . it’s Mercury Retrograde (or Mercury Rx for short) heading our way once again, beginning on December 10th and lasting through December 30th. It can definitely feel like a long 3-weeks when the effects of Mercury Retrograde leave us frustrated on more than one count. Here we will look at what Mercury Retrograde is, what can be expected during this planetary phase that makes a lot of people cringe upon hearing about it . . . and we’ll also look at things we can do during this time period.
It’s important to note that, while Mercury Rx does bring along problems of various sorts, we can also experience disruptions when it’s not Mercury Rx. However, the time of Mercury Rx tends to enhance the potential for problems to occur, especially in the areas of communication and travel. We can’t just stop our lives or go hibernate in a cave and put everything on hold because Mercury Rx comes calling, but there are things we can do to make the most of this difficult planetary transit.
While I study and practice Vedic Astrology, I don’t discount Western Astrology – especially not a Mercury Retrograde! Both systems of astrology have their value. While I utilize Vedic Astrology for relationship compatibility, I find that Western Astrology is valuable to me in understanding the day-to-day events and actions that take place around us – including Mercury Rx when it pays its three-week visit!
What is Mercury Retrograde?
Most of you probably know what the “bad boy” Mercury Retrograde is all about, whether you study or practice astrology or not, but for those of you who don’t, I will be happy to enlighten you. Mercury Rx occurs 3 times per year — and on a few occasions, we’ll even see it 4 times in a single year. Each time, it lasts approximately three weeks. Additionally, Mercury Rx tends to affect some people more so than others.
A planet is described as “retrograde” when it gives the illusion of moving backwards through the zodiac. This illusory appearance is created by the earth’s orbital rotation with relation to other planets in our solar system. Planets are not actually ever “retrograde” or stationary, however. They just seem this way due to the optical illusion. All planets retrograde with the exception of the Sun and Moon.
To understand this concept, recall how you’ve passed a slower moving car in a lane next to you. You’re both traveling forward, but because you’re moving faster, the other car can give the illusion of slipping backwards in relation to you. You know it’s not really moving backwards, but it has that odd illusion of backwards movement.
Mercury Rx is an awkward and frustrating three-week period for everyone — and these weeks can feel like some mighty long ones when under this planetary influence!
Mercury rules thinking and perception, logic, the processing of information and all areas of communication, as well as commerce and transportation. Mercury Rx gives rise to personal misunderstandings, flawed, disrupted, or delayed communications of any kind (including email, letters, phone calls, faxes, verbal exchanges, mix-ups, etc.). It’s a time where missed appointments and delays may come up. A breakdown in negotiations, trade, and communication may occur. Problems with phones, computers, cars, buses, or trains are all common as well. All of these problems come up because some crucial piece of information or component has gone astray, or has been lost or misplaced. And know that this is NOT a time to buy a new computer or other expensive equipment or machinery! It’s not a good time to buy a new cell phone or sign up for a new calling plan either.
When Mercury Rx comes up, it’s not a good time to make important decisions, since it is likely that those decisions will be clouded by misinformation, poor communication, misunderstanding, and careless or impulsive thinking. Mercury is all about mental clarity and the power of the mind, so when Mercury goes retrograde, these intellectual characteristics tend to be less acute than usual. The critical faculties are dimmed or temporarily “impaired.”
Mercury RX can be tough on relationships, too, because the art of communication and understanding gets broken down. Misunderstandings come up all too easily during this time. If you’re considering a major decision in regard to an important relationship in your life, hold off on that decision until after the retrograde. Make choices with a clear mind that is not under the influence of the nasty side of Mercury RX.
Remember that Mercury Retrograde lasts about 3 weeks, but it can take a bit longer to feel settled down again as we wait for the planet to actually return to its original position prior to the retrograde. It is at the time of “Direct Station” on which a retrograde ends. Direct Station refers to the seeming “halt” of the planet before it begins it’s forward motion again. And remember . . . planets are not actually moving backwards or sitting still. That is simply the illusion they portray.
What can we expect during the three weeks of Mercury Rx?
Here are some things that often happen during Mercury Retrograde . . . but keep in mind that not all of these events are likely to happen to you — although you can almost guarantee that something here will probably affect you. Also this is a time to just be more aware and cautious . . . but no need to get paranoid, because Mercury Rx happens whether we like it or not; we can’t control it, so we might as well learn to live with it as best we can. Just learn to go with the flow, because your daily routine may undergo some changes that you will simply have to deal with.
Indecision: This may occur on your part or with others. Those who are normally clear thinkers and can easily make decisions may find themselves hesitating and uncertain. Any decision made during Mercury Rx has a tendency to change and not remain as it was originally decided.
Communication Chaos: You may feel that you and another are speaking two completely different languages . . . and this may also be felt in a relationship, too! Misunderstandings are common. People will have to work hard at saying what they really mean, because it could be taken differently than intended. That’s definitely an opening for an argument. Be careful what you say at this time! It’s too easy to put your “foot in your mouth” during this retrograde. Communication can be complicated on both a personal and professional level.
During this time, you may have problems in making contact with people. You’ll be leaving voice mails, and so will others. But you also need to be careful when sending out email that you are sending that to the right people! And as often is the case, you’ll experience problems with email. Email might not arrive to the recipient. So you’ll need to double check that people are indeed receiving your messages.
Additionally, double check the figures in your checkbook! It’s going to be very easy to miss recording transactions during this time, or not adding and subtracting your figures correctly. So take a slower approach to the handling of your financial paperwork, so you’ll be less apt to miss something that will bite you later.
Muddled Thinking and Forgetfulness: Mercury rules our thought processes, so imagine what can happen when Mercury goes retrograde. You don’t think as clearly or as coherently as you normally do. You may become forgetful with names, dates, and directions. You go to a huge shopping mall or theme park and cannot remember where in the world you parked the car. You lose your keys, your glasses, or other items which you might not locate until Mercury goes direct . . . or until the next time of Mercury Rx. Insomnia can affect some people at this time, which adds to even more muddled thinking and confusion. Your mind may be someplace else than on the demands of what you are supposed to be doing. We tend not to function as we normally do when Mercury goes retrograde. So pay attention — especially when you are driving. Other drivers who aren’t aware of what is going on may mean that you need to consciously become a more defensive and prepared driver, especially during this time.
Delays and Missed Appointments: You may find yourself late for an appointment, miss it all together . . . or your appointment gets lost. Traffic delays can also make you late. Packages you expect to get in the mail arrive late — or they get lost! People tend to not show up on time or at the right time or day. Unexpected traffic delays or other problems, including forgetting an appointment, often arise. So even if you don’t forget an appointment, and you’re arriving punctually . . . others that are a part of the meeting or group might not make it as scheduled. Things tend not to happen on time — or at least not quite according to the plan — when Mercury Rx is present.
Computer Crashes: As Mercury Rx ushers in a time of increased mechanical and technical failures, it’s a good idea to back up your hard drive before a Mercury Rx transit happens — preferably one week prior to the actual date of Mercury Rx. Back up your website, too, if you have one! Computer crashes are common at this time. The internet is likely to be slow, telephone or cable wires may have problems. Don’t forget to save whatever you are working on from your PC — and save often . . . or you may be doing a lot of work over again . . . and again.
Bad Time to Make a Major Purchase: If you buy a vehicle or anything mechanical or technical, or if you purchase a computer, software, appliances, etc. during Mercury Rx, there is a good possibility that it won’t work properly or you will encounter some kind of problem with it. You may be running out to cash in on the warranty or get a replacement. And oh how frustrating if your next item doesn’t work either . . . and oops, it was the plug-in that wasn’t working all along! Things like this can and do happen to people during Mercury Retrograde. Buying a car at this time may result in the purchase of a lemon. I recall when I bought a new computer many years ago. The computer arrived with no problem, but I was still waiting on my desk to get here so I would have something to put the computer on. Mercury Rx entered the picture, and guess what . . . they ordered the wrong desk, and I had to wait about 3 weeks (the length of Mercury Rx) before the right one arrived. During that time I was cramped up in a small space trying to fight with my old computer. Wait until Mercury goes direct before making that major purchase. It might sound like nonsense, but a lot of people can tell you from experience that it’s not!
Additionally, Mercury Rx is a time in which you need to be especially perceptive to the potential for fraud, lies, and deceit. Don’t fall for those Internet scams. While I hope you never fall for them at any time — with or without Mercury Rx — this planetary transit can weaken your abilities to think with clarity and logic in the normal ways that you do. Don’t get hooked up into things that have “strings” attached, and do be aware of fraud so that you aren’t cheated. If you do get cheated, you’ll find out when Mercury goes direct again, but it may be too late to retrace your steps and back out of something.
Bad Time to Sign Contracts or Agreements: If you sign something during Mercury Rx, there is a bigger possibility than usual that the contract will not be honored . . . or you will later discover it’s not at all what you thought it should be, and then you have extreme difficulty getting out from under your agreement. Definitely try not to buy a house at this time, because you may be inheriting the previous owner’s major problems that you weren’t aware of at the time of purchase. There may be hidden problems that you are not informed about. If you’re selling a house, it’s also best to wait until Mercury goes direct, because if you try to sell during the retrograde, it’s quite possible that the buyer will back out or won’t get his funding just when you thought things were all set.
If you’re a writer who signs a contract during Mercury Rx, you are likely to feel cheated. Things probably won’t happen as planned or on schedule. Signing any sort of a binding agreement during a Mercury Retrograde transit could be a prescription for disaster. Someone might not uphold his end of the deal, or you’ll find that you can’t uphold your end.
If you buy a house during this time, you could be buying a money pit upon later discovering all the things that need fixed. It’s also not a good idea to purchase a new pet, because sadly, there may be hidden health problems that you won’t know about until later.
Surprising Changes: Projects started during this time often change due to little surprises you hadn’t expected. You could end up disappointed, so it’s usually best to just wait and be patient . . . and then start a new project once Mercury Retrograde has cleared away.
Not a Good Time for New Projects and Campaigns: Mercury Rx will not be the best time to initiate a new website, an advertising campaign, or a press release. When this happens during Mercury Retrograde, things don’t tend to take off well. You don’t get the attention you expected. But you are likely to get filed away and forgotten instead. Especially if you have invested a lot of money in a particular project or campaign, you will at least want to see some results from the money and effort you put into it. So hold off making that big announcement or launching that project until Mercury goes direct again. If you wait until then, you’ll have a much better chance that things will take off as you hoped.
Lies and Deception Coming to Light: Mercury retrograde is a time that often reveals any lies, deceit, sneakiness, or cheating (whether it was on your part of that of another person). It could be called a time of karmic consequences, especially when negativity was expressed at some point in the past. Now is a time when it comes back to haunt the deed doer, and it can feel that this person has been caught “red-handed.” If someone said something behind your back, Mercury retrograde is a time when those statements or gossip can get back to you. So if you have been cheated or lied to in some manner, at least Mercury Retrograde can bring that to light for you.
Travel: Mercury rules travel of all kinds, so during it’s retrograde, break downs in vehicles and equipment are common. To save yourself stress and frustration, it’s probably best to just plan travel time around Mercury Rx so that you can make a trip after Mercury goes direct again.
Travel delays are also possible when Mercury Rx comes calling. It’s best to avoid long-distance travel during this planetary phase if you can help it. But if you have no choice, then at least plan and prepare for delays and unexpected incidents. You could deal with a lot of hectic episodes or mix-ups of some nature in relation to your travel experiences. And oh yes, luggage could be lost, too!
Health Considerations: While you might not always have a choice in the matter (such as for an emergency matter), if you do have a choice about when to schedule surgery or a special medical procedure (including dental work), don’t schedule it during a Mercury Rx! This planetary transit can give rise to misdiagnosis and unsuccessful surgeries. If you can avoid medical procedures, including surgery, during Mercury Rx, then it’s wise to hold off. Oftentimes, surgeries done under Mercury Rx end up having to be done again — or some other medical procedure also becomes necessary due to a surgery done during a retrograde of Mercury. And again, if it’s a life-saving or emergency situation, there may not be a choice in the matter. But if you do have a choice, choose your dates of care wisely.
Case in point, I had a root canal done years ago — yes, during a Mercury Rx. The root canal was a botched job unfortunately, and after the Retrograde, I wondered why my tooth was still hurting. I finally gave in and returned to the dentist. Now dentists normally never tell you to have a tooth pulled, but the tooth was then beyond any repair! While I did get a full refund of the root canal and a free service of pulling the tooth, it sure didn’t save my tooth! This is a classical example of what can happen during Mercury Rx. Could something like this happen when Mercury isn’t in retrograde? Of course it can, but the potential is a lot higher when Mercury is retrograding. Think about a wet sidewalk. You probably will be fine and not slip on the wet pavement when you’re walking, but when the right conditions come into play — like freezing temperatures — then the risk of taking a fall intensifies . . . to a large degree! The same is true for Mercury Rx, as it places new conditions on familiar situations, but those conditions are not conducive to achieving the desired results. Such conditions hinder things and cause delays or other problems to deal with.
Mercury Retrograde During the Christmas Season: One final thing worth mentioning, since Mercury is retrograding during the holiday season, is that you can likely expect to deal with some returns after Christmas — perhaps more so than normal this year! Things might not work, or they might not last long. This doesn’t mean that every single one of your wonderful gifts (either given or received) will be faulty. But especially anything purchased from December 10th and on will be subject to a higher potential to have something wrong with it — especially high dollar technology items or expensive equipment. If you made your purchases prior to December 10th, you may have better luck when it comes to all those dreaded returns.
How can we best handle Mercury Rx?
Time Out: Consider Mercury Rx a time to take some extra rest . . . sort of a time-out from stress and problems as much as you are able to. During this time, the phones may quiet down, emails become fewer, faxes stop flooding the floor, and in some ways things can actually settle down somewhat if we look at it from this perspective. You may be in a time of daydreaming, and it can feel nice to just unplug yourself and take a break. Besides, if you don’t take this time out voluntarily, Mercury Rx will likely find a way to do it for you.
It’s not like you can just put your life on hold and never go out of the house for the duration of Mercury Rx, but you can try to engage a little less and work on reducing stress. Some things in life should actually slow down for you, giving you an opportunity to take that break.
Finish Projects: We’ve noted that Mercury Rx is not a good time for starting projects, but if you have unfinished projects, this could be a good time to wrap things up, take care of details, do some reorganizing, etc. Use this time to clean up your messy desk. Use this time for “catching up” and get things done that have been put aside in the hectic pace of life. For projects that have been sitting around uncompleted, look at those items more closely now to determine if they are still worth your investment of time and energy. If not, you can drop the project once and for all. But if you feel it still has value, get serious now about completing it successfully.
Spring Cleaning for any Season: This can be a great time for spring cleaning whether it’s spring or not. This is a great time to wash the windows, do some painting, and finish projects that have been waiting patiently for you to tend to them. You may actually have the time to get those tasks done now, and think how good you’ll feel when they are done and out of the way!
Future Planning: Mercury Rx is a good time to make plans — just not the time to carry out important plans of action. But during this retrograde, you can spend time on planning, and then review those plans again once Mercury goes direct and you’re ready to move forward. Think of this as taking a nap during the middle of a hectic day. It allows you to regroup and renew yourself. Regrouping and reorganizing are things that you can and should try to do during Mercury Rx. It’s just not the time to implement your strategies or make changes in things.
Review: Mercury Retrograde gives you the opportunity to review issues for which you thought you had made up your mind. It’s a good time to finish up tasks — such as paperwork or organizing activities. We usually end up redoing things that were not done right the first time, so while you can expect to make some mistakes during Mercury Rx, try to review and prepare as much as possible. Read and re-read to ensure you are fully understanding what is in front of you. And then go over it again after Mercury goes direct. At that point, you’ll be able to refine all those ideas you mapped out.
Mercury Retrograde is just one factor in Astrology. It’s just one piece of the complex astrological puzzle that influences each of us. So while it is quite helpful to know about and be aware of Mercury retrograde, don’t obsess over this planetary transit! Don’t be afraid to leave the house because of what the planets are doing. You can’t just halt your life for three weeks. Do what you have to do during this time, but proceed with a more cautious and aware approach. This is not a “curse,” but just a time to “go in reverse.”
With that said, we can REmember Mercury REtrograde by noting that it’s a time for:
- REturns (Purchases made for Christmas before December 10th are more highly subject to being returned!)
- REvising (Revise your plans and strategies)
- REthinking (Rethink things before taking action.)
- REdoing (You may make mistakes during this time more so than usual, so there will be some of those “re-do’s” in the picture.)
- REgrouping (You need to take the time to regroup, especially when things are chaotic.)
- REversing (You may have to return to something you thought was finished, only to find it’s not truly done.)
- REorganizing (A great time for organizing and reorganizing things.)
I was going to close this by wishing you a “Happy Mercury Rx” but then I realized that would be as bad as a certain company who features their products (“Always”) by wishing women a “happy period ~ always.” LOL! I don’t think so. So I’ll just end by wishing you the best during a challenging time.
Moon Star Astrology — specializing in relationships and compatibility in the Vedic astrology tradition.
I have been asked on several occasions what my top ten favorite Tarot decks are . . . and I’ve always found it hard to pin down to just ten, because I find something I absolutely love in so many decks! So today, I decided to ponder this and really decide which decks are on my top ten list at this point in time. The list can change through time, as we have so many amazing and beautiful decks that come out on the market on a frequent basis.
I confess – I am a sucker for anything that is cute or beautiful when it comes to Tarot decks! I have a number of cute and whimsical decks on my shelf, and I have a number of very beautiful decks as well.
But I will add that the Rider Waite — and many other decks that hold to at least some level of the original Rider tradition – will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the Rider Waite deck that I learned with many years ago. And I still have and use that original deck after all these years. My decks last a very long time, because I take excellent care of them . . . and because I have so many Tarot decks in my collection that a single deck doesn’t have a big chance to become worn out
So . . . here is my “Top Ten List” of Favorite Tarot Decks:
(Each deck links to my review page for that deck at Tarot Wisdom Readings if you would like to read about it.)
2. Universal Fantasy Tarot
3. Universal Goddess Tarot
4. Llewellyn Tarot
5. Truth-Seekers Tarot
6. Druid Craft Tarot
7. Steele Wizard Tarot
8. Tarot of the White Cats
9. Radiant Rider Waite Tarot
Do you have a Top Ten list of Favorite Tarot Decks? Please feel free to share in the comments below!