Tarot Comparisons: Ace of Cups

Ace of Cups

Let’s take a look at the Ace of Cups. Traditionally this card is read as love being offered, compassion, creative endeavors. The reverse meanings include missed emotional chances, rejection, blocked emotions.

The way we interpret a card can change based on the art of the card itself. Compare the following Ace of Cups:

Tarot of the Cat People Ace of CupsTarot of the Cat People
Sacred Rose Tarot Ace of CupsSacred Rose Tarot
Hobbit Tarot Ace of CupsHobbit Tarot
Cat's Eye Tarot Ace of CupsCat’s Eye Tarot
Crystal Visions Tarot Ace of CupsCrystal Visions Tarot
Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Ace of CupsRadiant Rider Waite Smith

Tarot Comparisons

Tarot Comparisons: Ace of Swords

Ace of Swords

Let’s take a look at the Ace of Swords. Traditionally this card is read as victory, mental projects, clarity. The reverse meanings include being confused, unable to make a decision, loss of clear thinking.

The way we interpret a card can change based on the art of the card itself. Compare the following Ace of Swords:

Tarot of the Spirit Ace of SwordsTarot of the Spirit

Fenestra Tarot Ace of SwordsFenestra Tarot

Old English Tarot Ace of SwordsOld English Tarot

Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Tarot Ace of SwordsThe Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

Karma Tarot Ace of SwordsKarma Tarot

REPOST: Resurrection and Rebirth

We wanted to share this terrific use of the Art of Life Tarot. This pieces was originally posted March 20th, 2014 by Joy Vernon of Completely Joyous.

Thank you, Joy, for featuring the Art of Life Tarot. This deck was a Coalition of Visionary Resources (COVR) Award Finalist 2013. We are very proud to offer this unique deck.

Now enjoy Joy’s post.

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Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop!

An international group of tarotists (check out the master list) are all writing on the same topic and then linking to each other so that the reader can hop from one blog to the next, seeing all the permutations and facets that the topic inspired in different writers.

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Resurrection and Rebirth

ArtofLife_13Death

Death from the Art of Life Tarot

I just finished the beginning tarot class that I teach once or twice a year. On the last day I usually have time set aside for students to do readings for each other (as we do in one or two other classes). But this group was insistent that they would get more out of seeing me do a reading. I was hesitant—I thought it was a faulty argument, in that practice is the only way to increase one’s skill. But they wanted to see my techniques in action. I finally said that I would, but only if they could provide me a deck I hadn’t used before—otherwise it would be too likely that I would not be using the skills from the beginning class but using built up associations from my familiarity with the cards. One student reached into her bag and pulled out an Art of Life Tarot. It’s one I haven’t read with, so I finally consented.

I taught them my favorite 7-card spread, the Split Hexagram, which I originally learned from Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig (RIP, 1951-2014).

We decided to do a general reading on how the students as a group would progress with their tarot studies. I’d like to share the reading with you.

Reading for Magician’s Tools Tarot Basics Class
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Split Hexagram Spread
Art of Life Tarot Deck

Question: How will the students in this group progress with their tarot studies?

Card 1. Spiritual Influence
9 of Pentacles

The 9 of Pentacles in the AoL deck shows a man in a black Edwardian tailcoat and black top hat standing on a balcony under a red and white striped canopy looking over the green leafy treetops of the boulevard below him while a long row of attached houses or apartments curves into the distance. There is a sense of solitude and nature in the midst of a crowded city.

This card wasn’t saying much to me as I started the reading for the group— it came to life when I moved to the second card and compared the two—which ironically is one of my teaching points: the cards are meaningless out of context, which has to be built through their relationship to the question, the querent, the spread positions, and the surrounding cards.

Card 2, Spiritual Influence (stronger)
The Star

The Star is portrayed by The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. In stark contrast to the impressionist piece preceding it, this work seemed to embody more of the psychic energy of tarot reading with its swirling, heavy strokes and sharp contrasts of dark, inky blues with the bright yellows of the stars and moon. I felt that the black suit of the man in the first card, in some ways out of place in the otherwise bright card, was tied in to the darker colors of van Gogh’s nighttime scene. This led me to say that the intuition represented by the moon in the card and the spirituality represented by the church steeple were what was going on inside the man in the previous picture. Externally, he was alone looking out over the city, internally he was experiencing the heightened psychic energy of a deep spiritual connection.

Card 3, Spiritual Advice
Queen of Cups

Breakfast in Bed by Mary Cassatt

The Queen of Cups in the AoL Tarot is illustrated by Breakfast in Bed by Mary Cassatt. The image is of a woman lying in bed, her arms around a child sitting on the edge of the bed. The white of the bedclothes, her white nightgown, and the child’s white garments contrasted with the darkness of the previous card. The child, I thought, represented those who couldn’t understand what we were doing but who supported us anyway.

Putting the three cards together now, I said that the Spiritual Advice represented here in this card was to be able to easily move back and forth between a state of awareness of conscious reality, shown by the man on the balcony overlooking the boulevard, and the state of deep intuition, represented by The Starry Night. Just as one experiences the transition between the dreaming state and the waking state every day as we wake up, we needed to learn to consciously integrate the two states such that we could inhabit both at the same time.

Card 4, Material Influence
Knight of Pentacles

The Knight of Pentacles shows a woman rehearsing on the violin, a stand with sheet music in front her, a couch strewn with books and perhaps more music behind her. The reds and browns in the card combined with the creativity of the music made me want to lean towards a more fiery interpretation, but I could see that clearly she was not performing but practicing, and ongoing dedication and commitment to a craft is a very earthy, Pentacles thing. To me, the card represented practice with an intention to eventually perform.

Card 5, Material Influence (stronger)
Page of Wands

The Page of Wands threw me off because the child was shown with a sword. A boy sits on a stone bench in a courtyard, holding a sword haphazardly in front of him, point to the ground, while a bearded man sits next to him. The child and man look at each other, perhaps the bearded man is instructing the boy.

What I liked about the combination of the material influences was that solitary practice was shown first, then instruction shown second. I told my students that the recommendation here was to work on their own, practicing their current skills, and then when they felt accomplished in their work, to move on to additional instruction. I think there is often a tendency to jump from one class to the next without fully integrating the experiences and knowledge of the first.

Card 6, Material Advice
Death

It’s always helpful when a difficult card comes up in class and we can address it!

Death and Life by Gustav Klimt

Death here is illustrated with Death and Life by Gustav Klimt. The figure of skeletal Death, draped in blues and purples, covered in Latin crosses, swaying and hunched, clutching a short wooden club to his chest with his white, bone fingers, stands separate from but looking over toward bodies of men, women and children, entwined and embracing, forming an amorphous mass. Although the figures are mostly nude, bright, colorful swatches of fabric with printed geometric designs swathe and shroud them.

Following as it does our two cards that represent practicing and gaining instruction, I read in this card that the students are the figure of Death itself—they lose the amalgamation of the colorful variety of their different teachers and influences and come into their own distinctiveness and uniqueness, intuitive and spiritually based, in alignment with the color and religious symbolism of the Star card.

Card 7, Final Outcome
7 of Pentacles

This final card utilizes a detail from The Empress of China Culling Mulberry Leaves by Bernhard Rode. We laughed at the ridiculousness to our minds of the Empress needing her entire entourage to accomplish a task that the average peasant could easily do alone. I talked about the ways in which we use our techniques like servants to support us, just as one servant lowered the branch, one held the bowl to receive the leaves, and one held a parasol to shade the sun.

Then I noticed the words on the card. I try my best to avoid words and interpretive card titles, and had successfully up to this point not noticed any of the other quotes offered in the lower part of each card. But this one caught my eye, and turned out to be educational—I did not know the meaning of the Mulberry tree in the image. The quote is a Chinese proverb: “With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.” I now understood that the Empress in the painting was harvesting silk worms and their cocoons from the tree.

moth and silk wormYears ago during a Denver Tarot Meetup event, down in the basement of Gypsy House Café, Jordan Hoggard told us all that when a caterpillar encases itself in the cocoon, it actually dissolves completely and the butterfly is created out of the primordial ooze of this dissolution. The silk worm, if left alone and not turned into a silk gown, will transform into a beautiful moth. (One of my students Googled it for me during class.)

As a final outcome, this certainly played nicely off the preceding Death card. Like the Empress shown in the image, they would be supported by the skills and techniques they had learned. But each student would go through a complete dissolution to become their own totally unique reader, like the silk worm transforming in its chrysalis.

I think of rebirth as beginning a new cycle: second verse, same as the first. These cycles are on the same plane, like tracing a circle over and over again. Cards that I use to represent new cycles can include the Wheel of Fortune, Death, the Moon and the Sun. I think of resurrection as moving to whole new level, from the ephemeral to the eternal, from the mortal to the immortal. This is a spiral, pushing off from and moving up and away from lower planes into new levels, like climbing a spiral staircase. I usually associate this idea with cards such as the Fool, the Tower, Judgment, or perhaps Temperance under certain conditions. An example of rebirth would be a seed that holds the complex code that perfectly recreates what is was before. Resurrection does not recreate what went before, but transforms utterly to something completely new.

To me, this reading spoke to the students of undergoing a resurrection of their tarot abilities, dissolving into the slime of death, and utterly transforming into their own unique and beautiful tarot selves.

Tarot Comparisons: Ace of Wands

Let’s take a look at the Ace of Wands. Traditionally this card is read as the start of a creative project when upright and a lack of creative passion when reversed.

The way we interpret a card can change based on the art of the card itself. Compare the following Ace of Wands:

RWS1W

Rider Waite Tarot

D1W

Deviant Moon

Th1W

Thoth

CE1W

Cat’s Eye

How does the message of inspiration and creation get changed or enhanced in the four cards.

Leave your thoughts in the comments. All commenters will be entered in our December drawing so make sure you leave us a working email. Thanks.

Guest Post: Lisa Frideborg Lloyd: The Sun

originally posted on Lisa Frideborg Lloyd ‘s blog here

Ghosts & Spirits Tarot: Sun

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson

When the Sun shows up in a reading reader and client alike find themselves smiling… What’s not to love about the light, warmth and joy of the Sun card?! It’s a card of success, healing, clarity, power and happy endings. It shows that you have what it takes to overcome whatever it is you are facing. It could mean recognition and high honour.

ZolarsAstrological_Sun

Zolars Astrological Tarot: Sun

 

But is it always a happy, pleasant and positive card?

To understand the less pleasant qualities of the Sun, all we have to do is turn to Astrology and look at how the Sun may express itself when negatively aspected or situated:

Egotistical, haughty, overbearing, dictatorial and judgmental. OR lacking in confidence, power, vitality and self-esteem.

The Sun can also represent burn-out or burning your candle at both ends if negatively aspected by surrounding cards. A classic example would be The Sun flanked by either the 10 of Wands or the 10 of Swords.

As a card of emotional healing, The Sun points to issues around confidence, personal power and self-esteem. In the chakra system, we would place The Sun (quite naturally!) in the Solar Plexus chakra.

Too much of the Sun energy makes a person overbearing and lacking in empathy/understanding. Too little can lead to a victim mentality, boundary issues or being easily swayed by the opinions by others.

DeviantMoon_19Sun

Deviant Moon Tarot: Sun

 

To find out what The Sun means in readings about love and romance, click HERE.

Correspondences

Element: Fire
Planet: The Sun
Chakra: Solar Plexus Chakra
Colour: Yellow, gold
Crystal: Citrine, yellow calcite, pyrite
Metal: Gold
Body: Vitality, general feeling of well being
Exercise: Any exercise taken outdoors
Stance/Pose: Sun salutations
Magickal Tool/Ingredient: Fire
Associated Major Arcana Cards (through numerology): The Magician, The Wheel of Fortune

Goddess Tarot: Sun

Goddess Tarot: Sun

Associated Minor Arcana Cards: 

3 of Wands (Sun in Aries). Healing is found through encouragement (giving and receiving, but more often giving).
10 of Swords (Sun in Gemini). Learning to see the silver lining and the joy of starting over.
8 of Pentacles (Sun in Virgo). Being responsible for one’s creation whether this is work, physical health or a relationship.
6 of Cups (Sun in Scorpio) – Making peace with the past (including past lives) and letting go of energetic bonds to people who have left us for various reasons.
4 of Pentacles (Sun in Capricorn) – Having firm personal boundaries.

Remedies – to increase the energy of The Sun in your life:

  • You can make a tarot essence to harness and increase the energy of the Sun card, using a card from the deck of your choice, along with any of the crystals above that you feel drawn to work with. There is plenty of information on the healing properties for each of the crystals available online
  • Spend time outside, in the sun
  • Wear gold (both the colour and jewelry)
  • Eat/drink yellow foods
  • Take center stage
  • Say ‘No’ to a request without justifying why
  • Initiate contact rather than wait for the other to make the first move
  • Be an alpha male/female
  • Visualise breathing in sunlight through your Solar Plexus chakra, filling your whole aura
  • Make your home as light and bright as possible
  • Get rid of damp in your home
  • Drink alcohol (raises the Fire Element according to Chinese Medicine)
1JJ Swiss: Sun

1JJ Swiss: Sun

Balancing, grounding and banishing the influence of the Sun card:
  • Stay up late
  • Wear black, grey or blue
  • Go swimming
  • Sit in the shade
  • Wear shades
  • Place water features in/around your home
  • Wear silver jewelry


Affirmation: “I let my light SHINE!”

☆ Lisa Frideborg Lloyd  

#Tarot Blog Hop: Beltaine 2013

Welcome to the U.S. Games Systems Inc's stop on the May 2013 Tarot Blog Hop. The blog before us was Chloe's Inner Whispers and the blog after us is Alison's Game of Thrones. You can find the Master List at Arwen's blog. The subject was "What traditions are important to you in how you read Tarot?"

In our participation in this Blog Hop, we've developed a tradition of sharing images of one card from many decks. Who better to represent the tradition of tradition than the Hierophant or Pope?

This card traditionally shows a spiritual advisor with figures below him. He is the voice of God and/or the intercessor of the faithful. He represents traditions and spiritual authority.

Here are some images from some our decks. Which is your favorite?

AncestralPath_5Hierophant

Ancestral Path

RWS_5Hierophant

Rider Waite Smith by Rider, Waite and Smith

GhostsSpirits_5Hierophant

Ghosts and Spirits

Ukiyoe_5Hierophant

Ukiyoe Tarot

GummiBear_5Hierophant

Gummi Bear Tarot

Chinese_5HierophantHeavenlyMaster

Chinese Tarot

Thoth_5Hierophant

Thoth Tarot

So what do you think when you see the Hierophant? And what are some of the non-traditional meanings for you? Do you have a favorite U.S. Games deck Hierophant who didn't show up today? Tell us about it.

<— Chloe's Inner Whispers | Alison's Game of Thrones –>

Master List

13 means Death?

Cary_13Death
So today is one of those days that holds a lot of fear for some folks. Friday the 13th! I mean there's even an seemingly-never-ending horror movie series, right? And let's not even talk about covens and black cats and ladders.

RW_13Death
But what about the thirteenth card in the Tarot deck? What does it mean when you get this in a reading? Should you hide under the bed? Leave town? Pretend it didn't happen?

CV_13Death
Not really. Death traditionally means change. In some decks like the Sun And Moon Tarot, it's been given the additional title of Rebirth to show what happens after the change. Or Transformation in the Joie de Vivre Tarot.

JdV_13Death

Think of the Death card as unavoidable endings that lead to new ways of being. And isn't this last Death a happy fellow from the Halloween Tarot?

Halloween_13Death

So, what do you see the Death card as? How would you read it in a reading about a job? What about love? How does this card make you feel? Any funny stories to share about this thirteenth card of the Tarot?

Death (sometimes riding a pale horse), in order of appearance:

  1. Cary-Yale Visconti Tarot
  2. Rider-Waite Tarot
  3. Crystal Visions Tarot
  4. Joie de Vivre Tarot
  5. Halloween Tarot

#Tarot Thoughts On A February Full Moon 2012

FullmoontreeTomorrow, February 7th brings us a Full Moon in the sign of Leo. Native American tribes refer to it as the Full Snow Moon, the Little Famine Moon, or the Full Hunger Moon, referencing the time of year, weather conditions, and how the tribes were affected. Leo brings in the energy of an increased sense of purpose, and how we creatively express that purpose.

The Full Moon itself is viewed by many as a time for bringing to fruition the seeds that were sown during the New Moon, and releasing those things that are no longer working for  us. While I do hold that to be true, I also believe that the full energy of the Moon can be used to begin new projects. The choice of releasing the old, bringing in the new, or doing a combination of both is up to each individual.

We will be looking at our individual freedom (which is rapidly changing as the structures that make up our society change), as well as our responsibility to community (local and global). We need to take care of ourselves – to create personal time, to take the time to meditate, ground ourselves, and connect with whatever we accept as Spirit. A new paradigm is coming into being – as we adjust to it, we need to find our sense of balance in life – personal/professional, work/play, family/self … the list goes on.

Leo is all about spontaneity and freedom of expression. It is also good to remember that Leo is a Fire sign – it wants to be out and about and doing things! It is time to share stories, and to allow ourselves to grow from both sharing our own stories, and listening to other people’s stories.

Leo also asks us to express our dreams and hopes for the future. To do this, we need to be grounded in the present. Other energies to keep in mind as we navigate the Leo Full Moon are those of the Hierophant (2012 is a number five year, relating to the Hierophant in the Tarot), and the Dragon (from the Chinese New Year, which started January 23rd).

The Leo Full Moon has a partner in all this – the Aquarius Sun. While the Leo Full Moon is more about individual self-expression, the Aquarius Sun brings our energy and focus to the common good, towards helping humanity as a whole. It is all about community, groups, and social causes. Push/Pull between individual good and common good.

One way to share our stories is through divinatory readings. I am going to add the small thought here that these readings can be done as individuals, or they can be done within a group setting. Or we can read as individuals with a focus on global issues/connections. Do what feels right for you.

This is my offering for the Leo Full Moon. Cards were drawn from Patrick Valenza’s “Deviant Moon Tarot” .

My Story

DM Knight of Cups_NEWDM Page of Cups_NEWDM Queen of Swords_NEW

DM Magician_NEWDM Knight of Wands_NEW
DM Empress_NEWDM Five of Swords_NEWDM The Hermit_NEW
DM The World_NEWDM Ace of Pentacles_NEW

  1. What am I conscious of on this Full Moon? Knight of  Cups
  2. What am I not conscious of on this Full Moon? Page of Cups
  3. What is coming into my consciousness on this Full Moon? Queen of Swords
  4. What do I need to release? The Magician
  5. What do I need to bring in? Knight of Wands
  6. How can I access my creative self? The Empress
  7. How can I best express my creative self as an individual? Five of Swords
  8. How can I best express my creative self within community? The Hermit
  9. What new goals am I forming? The World
  10.  Where are these new goals taking me? Ace of Pentacles

The Seeker is conscious of new information coming into a situation, and, on a more personal level, of the influences that a possible romantic interest is bringing into their life. It can well be that the new insights, and new opportunities, are opening up because they are opening themselves up to another person. 

The Seeker is not yet conscious of the fact that they are accessing their imagination, and their creative/emotional self. They are beginning to experience and express a greater degree of compassion in their life.

What is coming into the consciousness of the Seeker is a need to get to the truth of things – in their own life, and in the world around them. During this time, the Seeker will be walking alone.

The Seeker literally needs to release their need to control everything, and to be the one that makes things happen in their life. They need to step back, take a time out, and learn to flow with life, to allow Spirit to do its work.

What the Seeker needs to bring in is the ability to make decisions on the fly (sometimes pondering too much is not a good thing!), to allow themselves to be impulsive from time to time, and to go on a journey that may come to them in a very sudden manner.

The Seeker can access their creative self by being willing to nurture themselves, to give themselves time and attention. They also need to open themselves up to the feminine mysteries. The Seeker needs to be willing to birth their own ideas.

The Seeker can best express themselves in a creative way as an individual by living their life in harmony with those around them, by not creating or adding to conflict.

The Seeker can best express themselves in a creative way in community by going within themselves, recognizing the answers they will find there, and sharing the strength of that wisdom with others.

The new goals that the Seeker is forming are coming out of the previous cycle of their life – they are at a point where their life is coming together on all levels. They need to take the time to enjoy being “whole”, they need to enjoy their sense of “victory”, before they move on to the next level. The goals that percolate during their time of celebration will be the ones they take into the next cycle of their life.

The new goals are taking the Seeker into the land of opportunity, into a time of success, prosperity and abundance in the physical world, but also into a sense of balance between their physical and spiritual worlds.

I would love to see comments on this interpretation – to see how others interpret this spread!  

Scans were taken from the “Deviant Moon Tarot”, Patrick Valenza, U.S. Games Systems., Inc, 2008.

© January 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Integrating Card Meanings in a Tarot Reading (via Mary K. Greer)

I asked a group of tarot readers on Facebook to give their top advice for how to combine and integrate card meanings in a spread. It’s one of the things that beginners find most bewildering, but we can all learn more about. Forty-nine people responded (see list of contributors at the end). I combined, edited and grouped the advice to form sets of approaches, moving roughly from the most intuitive to the most analytical. Share this material freely but please include the list of contributors and a link back to this post.

There are no rules to interpretation.

Continue reading

Reversals: Turning the #Tarot Upside Down

How do you read reversals? Let's take some cards and see what some meanings might be.  From Monday's Guess The Deck, here is the 2 of Ghosts reversed. You may see this referred to as Rx or Rev.

Halloween2GhostsRx

Some ways to view a reversal are:

 

  • The opposite of the meaning of the card
  • A lessening of the meaning of the card
  • A shadow side of the meaning of the card

In this deck, the suit of Ghosts is the suit of Cups. So this is the card of partnership and love.

Opposite meaning: A break up

Lessening of the meaning: He's not that into you

Shadow side: There's another person in between you and she

What are some of your ways to read a reversal? What would you say if this card came up in your reading?   Does it matter where the snakes and cat are in this reversal?