Cards symbolism

Major Arcana

To celebrate the Second International tarot day, a day to freely recognise the Tarot as the wonderful tool that it is, an international team of sleuths have been on the trail of 78 suspects.

The Interpol team, specialised in the most wanted list of 22 major suspects from the hermetic world of Tarot had a list of questions to follow in order to build a forensic profile of their possible villains.

However, despite the efforts of some of the detectives, 11 of the most wanted offenders have not be taken into custody and are still at large.

Investigations were also undertaken in the four corners of the Earth, from the realm of Cups, Wands , Pentacles and Swords.

Here are the unsettling confessions of the most wanted on Interpol’s list: the High Priestess by Lisa Frideborg , the Lovers by Meniscus Tarot, The Chariot by Amanda Morrison, the Hermit by Margo Moncur, The Wheel of Fortune by Lati Lati, The Hanged man by Brenda Oakley Carter , Death by Carmen Byrd Bohn, The Devil by Rachel Pollack The Tower by Anthea Homer, The Star by AJ Bell, Judgement (the sleuth has not completed his task).

 

 

HP

The High Priestess, blog by Lisa Frideborg


 

The Lovers

The Lovers, blog by Meniscus Tarot

 

 

The Chariot

The Chariot by Amanda Morrison

Radiant Waite Tarot – The Alchemical Tarot – Tarot of the Holy LightThe Chariot.pngSo, the mission given to me was to research The Chariot with a helpful list of suggested areas to cover. There’s much to say, and I found it difficult to know where to stop – so I shall aim to channel some of The Chariot’s energy and set to the task. Many of you reading this will have considerably more knowledge and experience than me, so I look forward to any additional comments.

 

Possible meaning of the Chariot.
The first task was to reflect on possible meanings of the card. Even a driven character such as The Chariot is open to a myriad of interpretations, but in essence, when he turns up he brings positive energy and signifies victory. However, this has not been handed to him on a plate, and may still be a work in progress. Rather it suggests that hard work brings its own reward, and that with focus and application you can move mountains. This requires endurance, determination, self-control and a good dose of self-belief. On a literal level, the card can signify a journey, or travel – or anything connected to travel, such as a car. This is strange given that The Chariot looks pretty static to me in the RW version, although has considerably more va va voum in other decks. The Chariot suggests a certain maturity and sense of purpose (being in the driving seat), and is likely to involve a degree of struggle as he attempts to attain balance (not so easy when you are dealing with opposing forces like those pesky sphinxes).

Plato, in Phaedrus describes the mind as a chariot drawn by a black and a white horse (although in RW sphinxes replace the horses used in earlier decks). This tells us a lot about the strength of character represented by The Chariot, who controls the direction of travel without any need for reins. However I feel that it is important to bear in mind that control is only a way of managing rather than understanding or resolving a problem, and no matter how successful The Chariot is, there are limits to what he can achieve using this modus operandi, and he risks burn out by continuing long term like this.

 Mythology of the Chariot.
The story of Oedipus, a Greek myth about a king who fulfilled a prophecy by killing his father and marrying his mother, is often associated with The Chariot. It’s a lengthy tale, but key elements include Oedipus’s encounter with the sphinx at the gates of Thebes. By answering her riddle correctly he not only spared himself a ghastly fate, but freed the people of the city from the tyranny of the sphinx (who had thrown herself into the sea on hearing Oedipus’ answer – strange behaviour but then again, this is a myth). His triumphant entry into the city is reflected in The Chariot (although in this image he is leaving the city behind him). However there remains something of the victory parade about The Chariot, and horses that appear in many decks, were used in celebrations to welcome home victorious heroes and conquering armies.

Numerology.
Neptune (also sometimes associated with Cancer) rules the number seven which has a magical vibration. Think of the main chakras in the body, days of the week. Introversion and introspection are qualities associated with this number so although the Chariot looks very focused and dynamic, he has done some soul searching before deciding on his destination. Another seven is The Tower (16 1+6=7), which warns us of the disruption that will occur if we choose the wrong path.

 Elemental correspondence.
The element associated with The Chariot is water. Fluid and able to simply move around any obstacle that gets in its way, water has both adaptive and pragmatic qualities. It will take the path of least resistance, and like The Chariot favours a direct route. Water also symbolises the unconscious but the body of water lies behind The Chariot, suggesting that the mysteries of the unconscious are of no real concern for now.

 Astrological Correspondence
Cancer, ruled by The Moon, is a Cardinal water sign. As a Cardinal sign, Cancer is associated with new beginnings and fresh starts, which bodes well for The Chariot. The Moon of course has a huge influence on the oceans, and I wonder if The Chariot is in touch with intuition more than he might like to admit.

 Meaning of the symbolism found in the card
The Chariot is incredibly rich in symbolism, much of which resonates with earlier cards.

The black and white sphinxes represent dualities and contradictions that exist in life, and which have to be controlled sufficiently to ensure that progress isn’t hampered. They link this card to the myth of Oedipus and, looking in opposite directions, the sphinxes remind us of the force of will required to keep on track. They echo the twin pillars in The High Priestess, and the drapery at the back of the chariot is reminiscent of her veil although the charioteer is not currently concerned with the unconscious.

The wand is similar to that held by The Magician, although it rests low rather than pointing heavenward, suggesting that he uses his will to control events.

Stars like those in The Empress’s crown adorn the drapery, and the City in the background represents The Emperor.

Lunar faces on his shoulder are named Urin and Thummim, from the breastplate The High Priest of Jerusalem and therefore connect The Chariot with The Hierophant.

Hindu yoni and lingam symbols adorn the shield on the chariot itself – representing feminine and masculine principles united in an interlocking figure. This relates to the preceding card The Lovers and suggests sexual maturity, someone who is control of their emotional life and who will not give into basic instinct. The winged symbol above, I understand, has a connection with the Masons, but I am not clear of its exact meaning.

On the belt are planetary symbols that signify the astrological signs, while the skirt is decorated with magical symbols.

Rachel Pollack’s take on The Chariot, as the victory or culmination of the first line of the Major Arcana, makes a lot of sense to me. If we understand the tarot as a means of exploring the development of the human psyche, this card represents the developed ego, who has learned from experience and reached a point of confidence and contentment, and deservedly so. The outer personality, or persona has been created. However he remains unaware of the limits of his knowledge and understanding of life. In other words, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and the realms of unconscious and super conscious remain beyond him. Although he has come far, he has much further to go to fully understand himself and his place in the world.

Shadow
The shadow aspect of The Chariot can come in a number of guises. Perhaps that renowned drive and focus becomes so intense that s/he rides roughshod over anything and anybody in pursuit of his or her aim. On a mission to attain a goal, it can be easy to become so intent on one’s path that we forget to live in the moment or stop and smell the roses as we go.
There is, I feel, a potentially ruthless streak in The Chariot, and perhaps also a sense of superiority or even narcissism, being raised, as he is, above the level of mere mortals.
It’s useful when reflecting on the hidden aspects of this card, to look to its astrological correspondent, Cancer. Liz Green, describing the shadow aspect of Cancer in Astrology for Lovers, says “with Cancer the shadow speaks through the mouth” which I feel could equally well relate to The Chariot’s potential for coldness or even cruelty when anything gets in the way.

It is also interesting to consider elements within the card as potential shadow aspects. The sphinxes, according to Greek myth, have the potential to be lethal and may therefore remind us of the destructive forces that lie within us that can be awakened when things don’t go our way.

 Crystals

  • Tiger’s eye – develops courage and confidence
  • Pyrite – boosts energy, strengthens willpower and helps overcome bad habits
  • Chalcedony – alleviates hostility, promotes benevolence
  • Amber – for decisiveness, and to enhance intellect and memory
  • Howlite – mitigates anger and helps to connect with our life path
  • Leopard skin jasper – promotes physical strength, unifies all aspects of one’s life
  • Staurolite – grounding and soothing, alleviates stress

Not really my area of knowledge, but these are the crystals that appear to be linked with The Chariot. I have given the most basic qualities they possess. Interestingly, most are linked to the root or sacral chakras, which suggests the need to remain grounded, vital for maintaining balance.

Herbs, flowers or essential oils
Cyperus papyrus.
Essential oils include black pepper for warmth and courage, Lavender for strength and solidarity and Rosemary for mental clarity.
Others that clear the path ahead, and help to make way for new things like Peppermint and Orange would also make sense for The Chariot.

 

 

The Hermit

The Hermit by Margo Moncur

Thank you Oephebia for creating this exercise for International Tarot Day! I was not surprised the Hermit came up for me. Oephebia will know I have for the last couple of months totally retreated. Doing this has helped me bring along my friend The Hermit with me, to help me understand and go through some “stuff”!

Possible meaning of the Hermit.
For me and especially in the present time. The Hermit reflects a time of introspection and solitude. A chance to connect with ones’ true self. A reminder that your true self lies within. This can be a journey that is both spiritual and also a time to get to clear answers before moving forward in to the light once more.  A bit of self-development is required and sometimes a withdrawal from society is required to do so. Before lighting your own path to the future.

 Mythology or folktales attached to the Hermit.
This had me intrigued and took me on a bit of a journey not only to the folklore and myth but how the Hermit was depicted through time. The Hermit is said to represent Diogenes of Sinope who was a Greek philosopher. He was one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. He used his simple life values and was a beggar and is said to have slept in a ceramic jar. He was notorious for his philosophical actions, such as carrying a lamp during the day, claiming to be looking for an honest man. He believed in living life as naturally as possible and that others should to. This led me to looking at the different depictions of the Hermit throughout the years. So a bit side tracked but very interesting.

Throughout the time of the Tarot cards existence. The earliest cards in late medieval Europe depicted a beggar, which then became a beggar with angel wings. Then finally the figure which we now know as the Hermit. There seemed to be a shift in this period from a religious depiction to a more mystical one. Though there are variations of these depictions, they were almost standardised by the Rider Waite cards.

There are so many depictions from the 14 & 15th centuries. In this period manuscripts that are available have listed this as the 11th card and not the 9th. Some of the images were a hunchback, an old man, and Time itself. While depicted as Time in the 15th century, he had an hourglass in his right hand and clearly now not a beggar.

In the 16th century and beyond, the then hourglass became a lamp/lantern. Which seemed to signify a reinterpretation of the Hermit as a figure of wisdom.

I really wanted to go in to more detail and have written a lot of this information down with more information on the different decks that are in different galleries in France and Italy. Some amazing exhibits and some really strong connections to Diogenes himself.

 

Element and Astrological association of the Hermit
The element associated with the Hermit is Earth. Quite apt I think. Grounding and firm. Though it requires the introduction of the other elements to flourish. It’s tactile and a foundation from which things can grow. It is feminine and is receptive, taking in nutrients and sun, using it to sustain the life that grows from it.

Virgo, represented by the virgin in astrology. What is the connection! Both are solitary and the epitome of a person in complete fulfilment alone, while seeking out through contemplation their needs. Virgos are known to be intelligent and analytical. So would seem of the Hermit.

Meaning of the symbolism found in the Hermit card.
The symbols of the Hermit to me represents the following. Six pointed star to me is symbolic of both fire and water. The water, the part of the star pointing down shows the need to withdraw. Which then moves to the fire, the part of the star pointing up. Which shows a need for action and of course energy.  The fact that it splits in to these elements shows the need for one then the other.  This can be the fire drawing us to withdraw. Or after a time with water during withdrawal, the fire is needed to ignite our journey again. Depending on where you are at that time.

The light also represents illumination and the lantern a guide to find your path. The grey cloak shows the neutrality of the Hermit and balance the opposites in nature.

The white beard is a sign of wisdom.

The snowy mountains represents the need to withdraw and be alone.

Sometimes when I have meditated on the Hermit energy I am transported to the peaks of a high mountain in the clouds. Away from distractions.

His wand/stick is a symbol of both support and his tool of initiation.

Shadow side of the Hermit card
This to me can mean excessive withdrawal from the world. Though on the other hand it can be keeping oneself distracted to actually take the time to be alone and connect with your inner self.

It can be a time of sadness of being exiled and sometimes feeling like a misfit.

You have to listen to the Hermit if he appears reversed and not shun its help. He is trying to help you.

Crystals associated with the Hermit.
Peridot/Olivine – Bloodstone – Smoky quartz – Sapphire – Blue calcite

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the Hermit.
Herbs – Angelica, Chamomile & Sage

Flowers – Star of Bethlehem

Essential Oils – Lavender, Frankincense, Black Spruce

There is a lot of cross over looking at the different aspects that have been included in this. I felt a great connection. There are perhaps some things I am not too sure about. The last two topics of Crystals, herbs, flowers & essential oils especially.

Have been a bit of searching the internet and also trying to focus in on what I feel. Not too much out there on these. Though I am due to go on holiday to the place we always go. The last time I was able to pick up from the Earth, some Peridot, strange that!

I am fairly new to the Tarot and after such a great grounding with Oephebia’s Tarot course. I felt I could do this, well to the best of my ability.

I thank Oephebia for taking the time to teach me. It has been a great help to me and was an extremely comprehensive but most enjoyable time spent learning.

Had a great time doing this exercise for International Tarot Day, 8 July.

 

 

WOFt

The Wheel of Fortune by Lati Lati

Possible meaning of the card:
To me the Wheel Of Fortune is all about cycles in our lives that we have no control of, and that nobody can avoid. Life is full of constant changes, good and bad.

The wheel of fortune also represents to me fate/destiny. It Says: “Enjoy The Good Moments In Life To The Fullest, Cherish Your Loved Ones, Your Blessings” because anything can change in the blink of an eye, nothing ever remains the same, never take things for granted, remember that ” Whatever Goes Up Must Always Come Down”.

It also represents good fortune, winning the lottery, a struck of good luck.  This card for me always represents something positive even when it comes in the reverse… why? Because it means that our actions will take a great play in the situation that we are being confronted with, in other words, lessons learned/to be learned, or that justice will be served.

If you have been good and you are stuck in a bad situation just know that things will get better, that the dark days will not last forever, it gives us hope for a better tomorrow, the wheel will always turn no matter what.  On the other side remember that if you have been bad or done things with ill intentions know that sooner or later you will have to face the consequences of your actions and that it will have a major impact in your life.  This is one of my Karma cards.

It is kinda funny I was given this card. Don’t get me wrong it is one of my favorites yet one that I am very scared of because I am a person that fears changes, fear of the unknown even if I have been acting from the goodness of my heart creeps me out lol.

Mythology or folktales attached to the Wheel of Fortune
I dugged deep and one of the mythologies i learned was that:
In medieval and ancient philosophy the Wheel of Fortune, or Rota Fortunae, is a symbol of the capricious nature of Fate. It was believed that the wheel belongs to the Goddess Fortuna who spins it at random, changing the positions of those on the wheel: “Some will suffer great misfortune, others will gain”

Numerology connection
1 and 19, The Magician and the Sun

Element and Astrological association.
– Fire – Jupiter

Meaning of the symbolism found in the card:
A blue sky with four clouds, one in each corner – gives the card a mystic vibe
Sphinx – life’s riddles
Snake -the tree of knowledge where the snake tempted Adam and Eve
The red humanoid figure represents our Shadow Side, Our Inner Beast that we must confront as we evolve.
Each of the four clouds hosts a winged animal reading a book: Angel – Aquarius, Eagle – Scorpio, Winged bull – Taurus, Winged lion – Leo

* These zodiac signs represented in the wheel are all fixed signs, signs that give a sense of destiny because they all represent a personality that hold steady towards the inevitable*.

The letters on the wheel spell: T A R O T.

Shadow Side
Reversed, it represents events of misfortunes, luck is not on our side and there is nothing we can do to control it, we must go with the flow and remember that the wheel is always turning and that when we least expect it things will turn again in our favor.

Our luck and fate is always in motion, sometimes we are up sometimes we are down. Just remember not to resist the changes because the more we resist the more pain we will endure, the stucker we will get and the longer we will remain in a situation that does not serve us.

When we learn to accept the changes that are coming at us we grow as a person, we evolve, we move on, we forgive ourselves and others, we learn to accept the things that we cannot change nor control and we can figure out another way out towards a better situation, a new cycle in our lives that do serve us well.

Crystals associated with the card
– Jade, Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire, Aventurine, Sardonyx, Black opal, Amethyst, Rhodonite

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the Wheel of Fortune
– Herbs:  Frankincense, Anise, Basil, Neem
– Flowers – The dandelion says “oracle.” Its seed tuft head is blown on to divine answers to questions as diverse as years left to live, a lover’s thoughts, and the time of day. The root, used in tea, promotes psychic powers. From its radial spoked leaves to the stages of its flower, the dandelion’s circular shapes invoke thoughts of cycles and rotations.
-Essential Oils – Lemongrass essential Oil to help aid with the negative aspects of this card

 

 

The Hanged Man 

The Hanged Man by Brenda Oakley Carter

 

Mythic Tarot36778178_10214847392230866_6840911509774663680_n

Possible meaning of the Hanged Man and mythology
The Hanged Man is the only Tarot card visibly based on a mythological figure.

He is Odin, the Norse god who hung from the World Tree for nine days to earn the knowledge of the Runes. Odin carries out his quest without moving, at least in the physical sense. The true quest is seeking within, not without.

This may be confusing at first, but only because the Hanged Man is the card of the paradox.

The Hanged Man shows a time a greater understanding that there is more to life than what is on the surface and a time of stillness is needed for contemplation.

It shows that a sacrifice will be made in order to gain something of greater importance. This is a voluntary sacrifice or giving up of something to get something you want more. Can be sacrifice of a cherished attitude such as intellectual superiority, unforgiving hatred or a stubborn pursuit of some unobtainable fantasy.

Look at things in a new and different way. Sometimes doing nothing can be the answer. Whatever you do next will bring a complete change to your life.

Change is about progression and this is a very positive card. It can feel like a time of limbo when you are waiting for one chapter of your life to end and a new one to begin.

Patience is needed and time should be spent in careful reflection and maybe take a step back to move forward. Don’t force anything and stop struggling so you can move forward. You may feel vulnerable but you will also feel strength.

In brief: A sacrifice must be made to gain something of greater value, transition, limbo, readjustment.

Numerology connection
The Hanged Man has the number 12 in the major arcana.
This is reduced in numerology to 3 (1+2).
The number 3 is the number of self-expression, joy, social gatherings and creativity.

Element and Astrological association
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius (higher learning)
Ruling Planet: Neptune

The Hanged Man corresponds with Water, Pisces and Neptune. Its aspects are sacrifice, suspension and release. Reiki would be a good therapy to try while contemplating.

Crystals associated with the Hanged man.
Healing Crystals: Beryl, Selenite, Peridot/Olivine, Bloodstone, Smoky quartz, Sapphire, Blue calcite, Blue tourmaline.

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the Hanged man.
Mugwort is a plant for strength, healing and prophecy. Myrrh is a good oil to use for protection, healing and spirituality.

 

 

Deatht

Death by Carmen Byrd Bohn

Esoteric Tarot of the World of Fairies Linda Ravenscroft. RWS, Tarot of the Pagan Cats

Death - CarmenPossible meaning of the Death card.
Acceptance of an ending and a new beginning. It also contains the seeds of a new life that makes transformation possible. Change and the understanding of important things as well as the fear of the impossibility of going back in time. Out of the darkness comes the light, but we need strength and courage to start a new life, which will ease the pain, dissipate sadness and fill the void.

Mythology or folktales attached to the Death card.
Hades is the God of the Underworld. The souls that enter the Underworld carry a coin under their tongue in order to pay Charon to take them across the river, if the soul reaches Elysium, they have a choice whether to stay or be reborn. Persephone is also related to the Death card. Gaia planted a narcissus to attract Persephone. When she saw it, she thought it was so beautiful that she had to pull it up. As she did, the earth opened up and Hades came out in his golden carriage and abducted her to make her his wife.

Numerology connection of the Death card.
Death carries the number 13. Adapting to change gracefully will bring out the strength of the 13 vibration and decrease any potential for negativity. Death is also related to the Emperor, number 4. The number 5 stands for Spirit like the five petals of the flower on the flag.

Element and Astrological association of the Death card.
Water Astrological Association: Hades was sometimes referred to as Pluto (considered the giver of wealth). Hecate was associated with the Moon (crossroads), death of a lunar cycle and birth of a new one. Scorpio is the astrological sign of the Death card. (Funny my moon is in Scorpio).

Meaning of the symbolism found in the Death card.
Rivers – Oceanus is the river that encircles the world where the end meets the beginning. Skull – symbol that all things change and transition. Sun – where there is an ending, there’s always a new beginning. The Sun will rise again. Flag – announces change. Change and Transformation.

Shadow side of the Death card.
Loss. Pay attention to your instincts. Stay strong and on course, don’t fear the change.

Crystals associated with the Death card.
Obsidian – Tourmaline – Amber – Tiger Eye

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the Death card.
Poplar, Elm, Pomegranate, Narcissus, Roses.
Rosemary, Cypress and Myrrh can be used as either essential oils or incense.

 

 

The Devil

Interview with the Devil by the one and only Rachel Pollack

 

 

 

The Tower

The Tower by Anthea Homer

Tower AntheaPossible meaning of the Tower.
I looked at the Tower in three different Tarot decks – to widen my perspective a little. I used the Rider Waite and The Baroque Bohemian Cats and the Tarot Nefertari.

I deduced from all three that this card represents a “rude awakening” – a very drastic change. There may have been earlier warnings but unheeded and now the change is forced upon us. This is the Spring Cleaning card. Inevitable change – but it is not all negative because now we have an opportunity to move forward. Provided that we can see through the illusions and the errors – we can move forward.

Mythology or folktales attached to the Tower.
The Tower is pictured in the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel – when God punished man for their egotism and stupidity by sending confusion and the inability to communicate one with another. The result was that the Tower of Babel was never completed.

Numerology connection.
In Numerology the Tower has the number 16.
No. 1 – The Magician – standing for power and self-confidence.
No 6 – The Lovers – standing for freedom of choice.

Together they add up to 7 which is the Chariot. The Chariot enables us to move forward and take control of our emotions and make the correct decisions.

Element and Astrological association with the Tower.
The element associated with the Tower if fire.
The Tower is ruled by Mars.

Meaning of the symbolism found in the Tower.
The symbolism of the card is – as mentioned earlier – The Tower of Babel.
The Tower stands on the edge of a cliff – in danger of collapse showing a false sense of security.

The 12 leaves of gold symbolise the 12 astrological signs and the tree of life – as represented in the Kabbalah.

The gold crown symbolises ego and arrogance – and it has been toppled!

There are two figures – one male which represents the conscious mind and one female representing the unconscious mind.

The sky is dark with hidden forces but there is lightning to illuminate and bring hope.

Shadow side of the Tower.
The shadow side of the Tower indicates that we are reaching the end of a difficult time – and assuming that we have understood the error of our ways or our illusions we can now move on – and do so with enlightenment and have a new start. The shadow side is therefore very positive.

Crystals associated with the Tower.
The crystals associated with The Tower are: garnet, ruby, obsidian, lodestone/magnetite, chrysocolla and hematite.

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the Tower.
Heather and honeysuckle and yarrow are the flowers and herbs associated with The Tower, with Vetiver, Bergamot and Lavender (essential oils) to help to de-stress.

 

 

The Star

The Star by AJ Bell

Alternative names:  “Daughter of the Firmament” and “Dweller between the Waters”
This card corresponds to the path that connects Netzach and Yesod on the Kabbalistic tree of life.Other attributes: the Hebrew letter Hey (ה) and the symbolic image assigned to Aquarius.

Possible meaning of the Star.
The Star is a major arcana tarot card associated with the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot, which is one of the most current derivations of the Tarot de Marseilles or Latin Tarot. It is number 17 (XVII) in major arcana and when it appears in a spread, it usually signifies hope.

The Star card shows a naked woman kneeling at the edge of a small pool. The woman holds two containers of water. She pours the water out to nourish the earth and to continue the cycle of fertility, represented by the lush greenery around her. The other container pours the water onto dry land in five rivulets, representing the five senses. The woman has one foot on the ground, representing her practical abilities and good common sense, and the other foot in the water, representing her intuition and inner resources, and listening to her inner voice. Behind her, shines one large star and seven smaller stars, representing your chakras. This represents a need to open your chakras and cleanse your aura. Notice all the stars have eight points. The bird in the tree in the background is the sacred ibis of thought, roosting in the tree of the mind. The astrological sign of the Star is Aquarius.

Numerology connection of the Star card.
The Star is associated with the number 17, which equals 8 (1+7=8). Eight is Strength, the quality needed to accept your faults and love yourself in spite of them.

In numerology, the number 17 reduces to 8 (1+7). This number reflects worldly success, such as in work, business, or finances. This number is reinforced by the total number of stars on the card. In the tarot, the number 8 also represents rewards and progress, as well as another major arcana card, Strength. This suggests strength is a quality that can help overcome difficulties to bring hope. The five tributaries represent the five physical senses.

Element and Astrological association of the Star card. Meaning of the symbolism found in the card.

The element is air.
Aquarius, Uranus, the ONLY planet that spins on its side, these colorful personalities march to the beat of their own drums — known for being worldly and unconventional.

Meaning of the symbolism found in the Star card.

Similar to water-bearing Aquarius, The Star card features a woman that is pouring water into a body of water and into the earth, providing nourishment and restoring hope for the future. She has one foot in the water, symbolizing intuition, and one on land, symbolizing stability. This echoes the same duality in Aquarius, which is the only zodiac sign represented by two astrological elements — water for her emotional side and air for her intellectual side.

The maiden is a water-carrier, which is the symbol of the Aquarian astrological sign. This is a fixed air sign. The element of air in tarot is associated with the mind, and its primary energy is, “I think.”

Her nakedness is a symbol of truth and transparency; she hides nothing.

The water flowing into a still pool and creating concentric circles shows energy flowing outward from a small point to become larger as it moves away from its initiation point. It is also a representation of the element water.

The grass field represents the element of earth. The maiden kneels on the earth, suggesting groundedness and rootedness in the physical.

Stars represent the element of fire, which is active and passionate, and they also serve to light or heal the darkness.
The stars symbolize the card’s over-arching message of guidance, hope and inspiration! Aquarius is NOT one to blend in with the crowd, and this is illustrated by the large, yellow star that is set apart from the others. While external guidance is appreciated, Aquarius has a strong connection to their OWN intuition and will listen to that internal voice above all others.

The bird represents aspiration and symbolizes the Sacred Ibis of thought who roosts in the tree of the mind. This represents the boundless intellect of Aquarius

The tree of life represents being rooted to earth but reaching high.

All four of the classical elements are represented in this card, suggesting a balance of energies.

Crystals associated with the Star card.
Hope, renewal, peace, clarity, aspiration, optimism, sense of purpose = Rock crystal, Turquoise, Moldavite, Tektite, Sugulite

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the Star card.
Skullcap was historically used for bites of rabid dogs. It also helps with headaches. American Nature Guides Herbs by Anna Kruger. “Scutellaria root (Huang Qin, Radix Scutellaria Baicalenses) has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support the immune system. In related research, Baicalein, a major flavonoid in Scutellaria was shown to support cardiovascular health. Research shows that Scutellaria root modulates inflammatory activity to inhibit nitric oxide (NO), cytokine, chemokine and growth factor production in macrophages. Scutellaria has also been shown to inhibit histamine and leukotriene release.”

 

 

Judgementt

The detective has not completed their case

 

 

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The department hopes you have enjoyed reading the forensic profiles of the most wanted on Interpol’s Tarot list.

But remember, detectives from police departments all over the world were busy investigating the most wanted from the Suit of Cups, Suit of Wands, Suit of Pentacles and Suit of Swords.

Their investigations were equally fascinating and well worth a read.

Enjoy and Happy International Tarot day 🙂

Oephebia and the kitty monsters
facebookgroup: Tarot and Kitties

Cards symbolism

Suit of Swords

To celebrate the Second International tarot day, an international team of forensic sleuths have been on the trail of 14 suspects from the shadowy world of swords. All villains were chosen at random.

The forensic detectives were able to profile many suspects but sadly, the most cunning villains are still at large.

The suspects taken into custody were the 4 of Swords by Bobby Bogunovic, 6 of Swords by Tina Moore, 7 of Swords by crystalartsandhealth , 8 of Swords (the detective has not completed their assignment), 9 of Swords by Cosmic Tarot, 10 of swords by Unlocking Words part 1 and part 2Page of Swords (the sleuth has not completed their case) and Queen of Swords by Tara Muscillo.

The team had a list of questions to follow in order to build a forensic profile of their culprit.

Here are the chilling reports of some of the suspects.

 

 

4 of Swords

4 of Swords by Bobby Bogunovic

Possible meaning of the 4 of Swords.
Key words: – respite – Rest – Recuperation – Stability – Healing – Patience – Peaceful – Calm & constant outcome – Rebalancing mental/ spiritual/ emotional & physical bodies.

To me, this card is a reminder that one must take a step back in order to rest & recuperate; a bit like recharging one’s batteries so that one is ready for whatever lays ahead. Without the necessary rest, one cannot achieve balance and healing, and are thus at risk of burnout if they continue to ‘burn the candle at both ends’. Being an air element, it’s the ideal time to reflect & contemplate formulating new ideas, projects and plans. This is almost like the prep work of building the foundations for what they wish to manifest in the future.

Numerology connection.
4 – stability – Consistency – Endurance – Boundaries – Structure – Responsibility – Stasis – Peaceful.

The number 4 represents a sort of balance & harmony between all of the elements which can reflect security & stability. This is not about fast, short-term gains, but more so to do with diligently and consistently working towards one’s goal, often being achieved through stasis rather than actual action. The inaction is what creates the right kind of atmosphere in which progress can be achieved

Element traditionally associated with the 4 of Swords.
Air, relates to: communication, intellect, actions, ideas, balance, being inventive. Season: Autumn

Astrological association.
Jupiter in Libra = Desire for justice, idealistic, honest approach, aesthetic.
A lot of energy goes into creating harmony & balance, plus there is a deep desire to ensure that their environment is fair & just.

Meaning of the symbolism.
Open coffin lid = suggests a pause in action rather than a definite end/closure; withdrawal to regain energy
Colourful stained glass window = Christ giving a healing/blessing to someone, reflects the internal healing going on plus the healing that rest is giving the knight 3 swords facing down, one across = the sword that lays across horizontally suggests laying down one’s weapon in order to relax, unwind & gather one’s energy.
Bide time before going into battle. Rest.
Hands in prayer position = reflection, taking a pause to rethink strategy; contemplation

Shadow side of the 4 of Swords.
Lack of progress – Stagnation – Burn-out – Restlessness – Impatience.
This can manifest as stagnation, boredom, loss of interest, laziness and restlessness. Should the querent be ‘burning the candle at both ends’, this could be a warning of potential burnout. It’s almost a kind of resistance whereby the querent refuses to slow down as they believe that only active action will enable them to achieve their goals. Their impatience serves as a destabilising force.

Crystals associated with the 4 of Swords.
Malachite: emotional mastery stone * soothing * Calming * Relieves pain
It’s a stone which absorbs & draws out imbalances from the body.
It is also known to enhance psychic ability when placed upon the 3rd eye chakra.
 It carries the idea energy for rest and recuperation whilst recharging one’s batteries.

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the 4 of Swords.
Herbs/flowers: I came across over 20 that can fit within this category but have selected a few which resonated with me.
Interestingly, most embody the masculine energy yet all have Jupiter as their ruling planet plus the element of air.
The herbs/plants act more in terms of keeping the person protected throughout their period of withdrawal so that they may do so in peace and quiet.
Bodhi: * Gender: masc * Planet: Jupiter * Element: air * Deities: Buddha, Vishnu * Powers: fertility, protection, wisdom, meditation
Anise: * Gender: masc * Element: air * Planet: Jupiter * Powers: protection, purification, youth
Maple: * Gender: masc * Element: air * Planet: Jupiter * Powers: love, longevity, money
Sage: * Gender: masc * Element: air * Planet: Jupiter * Powers: protection, immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection

 

6 of Swords

6 of Swords by Tina Moore

Possible meaning of the 6 of Swords,
Moving on, changing perceptions, obstacles overcome. Might signify a journey physically or spiritually.

Numerology connection
Number 6 for harmony, creativity, responsibility and domesticity.
Source: The Elements of Numerology by Rodford Barrat

Element traditionally associated with your card and Astrological association
Element is Air:  thoughts, ideas, and attitudes.
With the Universal Rider-Waite deck the astrological association is Mercury and the air sign Aquarius.

Mythology or folktales of the 6 of Swords.
It is thought that this is a depiction of one of the God’s taking the dead to another place (hell). There was also a mention of Apollo but I could not find convincing enough information.

Meaning of the symbolism found in the card.
It signifies a journey either physically or spiritually, the swords represent burdens or life changes, the crossing might be rough at first, but will smooth out.

Shadow side.
Going into the unknown and not knowing if you are ready for the unknown.

Crystals associated with the 6 of Swords.
Clear quartz crystal as it can help magnify energy and help clear your mind of any distraction in your readings.

Amethyst as it elevates energy and raises vibrational frequencies.

Tiger Eye: will aid you with your intuitive abilities and stimulate your third eye.

Herbs, flowers or essential oils.
Benzoin, Acacia, Cedarwood, and mint leaves. (can be blended into an incense cone as well)
Lavender, Rosemary, Dandelion, Sage and Rose all can help with the psychic gift while doing a tarot reading

Huckleberry Oil, Lavender Oil will help to open up your third eye area.

 

7 of Swords

7 of Swords blog by Crystal arts and health

 

8 of Swords

The sleuth has not completed their case.

 

9 of Swords

9 of Swords blog by Cosmic Tarot

 

10 of Swords

10 of Swords part 1 and part 2 , blogs by Unlocking Words

 

Page of Swords

 

Sadly the detective has not completed their case.

 

Queen of Swords

The Queen of Swords by Tara Muscillo

Queen-of-SwordsLet’s talk about the Queen of Swords. I’ve taken on a challenge created by Tarot and Kitties by Oephebia for International Tarot Day (July 8th) and was assigned this lovely lady as my card to focus on. Here are some references.

Astrological reference: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius
Element : Air
Key words: Upright: Quick thinker, organized, perceptive , independent Witty and smart. Professional Often hurt in Love. Reversed: Ruthless, lack of compassion, language barrier (sources: Biddy Tarot and tarotwikipedia.com)

I’ve got examples of 6 different Queen of swords from very different decks.
Pictured from top to bottom:

The Celtic Dragon Tarot ( DJ Conway art : by Lisa Hunt)
The Classic Rider Waite Smith
On the left: The Everyday Enchantment Tarot (Poppy Palin)
On the right: The Voyager Tarot (by James Wanless PHD)
On the bottom left: Morality The Osho Zen Tarot (design by Amiyo Ruihnke & Deva Sandipa)
On the lower right: The Thoth Tarot (Aleister Crowley)

Crystals associated: Hawk’s eye or Blue Tiger’s eye
associated with the throat chakra and increases all forms of clairvoyance and astral travel.

According to the Herbal Tarot: the flower ruled by this card is “Lady’s Slipper”

I’ve chosen to use 6 distinctly different decks to show that although they all appear unique, they all vibrate at the same level of frequency.

The Voyager Tarot calls this card ” The Guardian” and I believe the Queen of Swords can be likened to a Severe yet compassionate Goddess.

The Everyday Enchantment Tarot uses a surgeon as a representation which is quite fitting as the Queen tends to cut through to the heart of the matter.

Although the Celtic Dragon Tarot changes the sword card to the element of fire not air, she still takes on the same qualities as other decks.

She’s been known as the “mask cutter” which is a name I love because she truly does rip off the masks we wear especially in public. My beloved queen forces me to look inside myself and at the bigger picture and gain clarity.

Affirmation: “I speak my truth with absolute confidence. I get my point across clearly ” (courtesy of The Tarot Lady Theresa Reed)

I love my Queen and kind of feel like she gets a bad rap compared to The Queen of Pentacles or Cups. She may be “rough” but she’s my friend and I’ve come to know her well.

 

 

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The investigations were also taken in different directions, from major suspects to lesser culprits in the realm of Cups, Pentacles and Wands

Enjoy and Happy International Tarot day 🙂

Oephebia and the kitty monsters
facebookgroup: Tarot and Kitties

Cards symbolism

Suit of Pentacles

To celebrate the Second International tarot day , an international team of sleuths specialised in financial affairs have been on the trail of 14 suspects from the realm of Pentacles. The suspects were chosen at random.

However, despite the efforts of the detectives, some offenders were too elusive to be taken into custody and are sadly, still at large.

The good news is that a few cunning sleuths were persistent enough to apprehend some of the suspects and to interrogate them.

The villains taken into custody were the 2 of Pentacles (sadly the dective has not completed their case), 5 of Pentacles by VeryWitchy, 10 of Pentacles by Unlocking Words, Page of Pentacles by Elena Spinelli,  Knight of Pentacles by The Tarot Buzz and Queen of Pentacles by Karen Hayden

The officers had a list of questions to follow in order to build a psychological profile of their culprit.

Here are the confessions of the pentacles kingdom!

 

 

2 of Pentacles

Sadly the detective could not complete their case

 

5 of Pentacles

5 of Pentacles blog by Very Witchy

 

10 of Pentacles

10 of Pentacles blog by Unlocking Words

 

Page of Pentacles

Page of Pentacles by Elena Spinelli

Possible meaning of the card.
New beginnings, embarking on a new project, getting a new job. Starting a new healthy activity, like a diet or exercise, or starting a hobby or new study.

Mythology or folktales attached to the Page of Pentacles
In the Mythic tarot, the page is Triptolemus, who gave information to Demeter about her lost daughter, Persephone, abducted by Hades in the underworld. Mother earth taught him the mysteries of seasonal cycles in nature. He then taught men agriculture.

Element and Astrological association.
Earth.
Page of Pentacles is connected to Earth zodiac signs: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, and the planets Venus (creativity, sensual energy) Mercury (meticulous) and Saturn (ambition).

Symbolism found in the card
Red hat: passion, action
Yellow sky: optimism
Green tunic: Mother Nature connection
Flowers, green fields: Potential (spring), fertility of ideas.

Shadow side
It could be a warning over health issues or a need to be more mature with money matters.

Crystals associated with the card
Sodalite (from Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals).
It is the crystal of rational thinking and emotional balance.
It helps with practical matters and we can see how it can be connected to the card. It helps the self-esteem and strengthens the immune system and metabolism.

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to your card.
Rosemary: grounding and helps with mindfulness (from Tarot Herbology)

 

 

Knight of Pentacles

Knight of Pentacles by The Tarot Buzz

 

Queen of Pentacles

Queen of Pentacles by Karen Hayden

Queen of Pentacles2Possible meaning of the card.
The Queen of Pentacles brings a level of maturity and nurturing to the development of her suit along with her divine feminine energy. She has a tendency to be more introvert when compared with the other Queens i.e. Queen of Wands. The Queen of Pentacles makes for the most loyal friend and trusted advisor with her “down-to-earth” practical approach to life she always gets the job done.

Given her maturity she is at a stage where she is now reflective and has learned many lessons in life therefore can be a practical advisor in both life and business matters. She is self-sufficient and also values and appreciates her financial and material achievements. She is extremely hard working and goal orientated and has a structured plan for everything and is easily able to establish and work to routines.

However, our Queen can be a perfectionist and tends to have high expectations not only of herself but those around her which can cause difficulties for her in various types of relationships as she can be controlling.

On the other hand the Queen of Pentacles is all things “Mother Earth” and would welcome you into her home with open arms and be the first one to put a feast on the table for you and your family.

The Queen of Pentacles reminds us to trust ourselves, believe and stay true to our core being. To believe in our abilities to get things done whilst still nurturing and caring for our people.

Shadow side.
The shadow side of the Queen of Pentacles may be that as she is a perfectionist she often has high expectations of those around her and these expectations can be unrealistic at times. She can become mistrusting of others and self-critical at times. She can also be materialistic and even fearful of change and losing what she has worked so hard to achieve.


Mythology or folktales attached to the Queen of Pentacles.
It has been said that the Queen of Pentacles is the physical manifestation of the Hindu mother goddess Lakshmi representing fertility both spiritual and physical, wealth, fortune, prosperity and all things pertaining to the domestic realm.

The Queen of Pentacles is also associated with Gaia the Greek goddess of the Earth and all creation.

The Queen of Pentacles has also been associated with Omphale the Barbarian Queen in Greek mythology.

The Lydian queen Omphale actually owned Hercules, as a slave. She bought the hero from the god Hermes, who sold him following an oracle which declared that Hercules must be sold into slavery for three years.

Numerology connection
In my research I found that the number 13 typically relates to the Queens of the suits. The number 13 is a number particularly associated with the feminine, so this could be why the Queens occupy the 13th slot of the numbered cards.

Element and Astrological connection traditionally associated with your card.
The Queen of Pentacles is of both Earth (Pentacles) and Water (Queens).

Being of Mother Earth the Queen of Pentacles is quite resourceful and has great stability and endurance, with the water element bringing the nurturing caring aspects of together nicely with the practical elements.

The Zodiac sign for the Queen of Pentacles is Capricorn for which the planet Saturn corresponds to.

However I have also discovered that The Queen of Pentacles card is connected to the Moon in Taurus, this is a symbol of a well-rounded practical view of the world, hardworking and extremely family orientated.

I have also found some correspondence suggesting that the Queen of Pentacles is ruled by Venus due to its earth qualities.

 Meaning of the symbolism found in the Queen of Pentacles
Earth
Represents community and shared wisdom and cements the concept of grounding.
Rabbit
Fertility and fruitfulness of spirituality. Rabbits are close to the earth and very grounding symbols, they are also sociable creatures and they reminds us of the importance of family, friends and community.
Ram
Determination, action, initiative, and leadership. It is a sign to take responsibility, get up, take action, and get motivated to accomplish our goals.
Rose
A symbol of purity, promise, beauty promise of new beginnings and hope. (beware of the thorns) we may have to endure a few stinging thorns along the way.

Crystals associated with the card
Amethyst, bloodstone and Rainbow fluorite

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the Queen of Pentacles.
Herbs:
Mugwort – Psychic Powers, Intuition, Dreams
Patchouli – Grounding, Fertility, Money, Desire, Love
Witch Hazel – Healing, Calming
Marshmallow – Anti-inflammatory, Soothing
Flowers: Roses
Essential oils: Vetiver, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Cypress, Orange, Juniper and Clary Sage

 

 

 

 

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The investigations were also taken in different directions, from major suspects to lesser culprits in the realm of Cups, Wands and Swords

Enjoy and Happy International Tarot day 🙂

Oephebia and the kitty monsters
facebookgroup: Tarot and Kitties

Cards symbolism

Suit of Wands

To celebrate the Second International tarot day, an international team of sleuths specialised in the realm of Wands have been on the trail of 14 suspects chosen at random.

However, despite the efforts of the detectives, some offenders were too hot to handle and escaped!

But the good news is that some suspects were apprehended and interrogated thoroughly such as the 4 of Wands by Sarah Marshall, 9 of Wands by Sam’s Republic and Queen of Wands by Sarah Davenport.

However, some other suspects (5, 6 and 8 of Wands) were proven too hot to handle and the detectives gave up.

The officers had a list of questions to follow in order to build a forensic profile of their culprit.

Here are (hot off the press) the confessions of some of the suspects from the realms of Wands.

 

 

4 of Wands

4 of Wands by Sarah Marshall

My initial thought on this card on first sight that it was a happy card, a card of celebration of some type,  joining together in good times having fun.

Upright (possible meaning)

Four of Wands is a positive card which indicates general good fortune. It is a card that celebrates good news, good times, and a happy home. The four wands are standing by themselves and not having to be held up which symbolises strong foundations, happy and stable times which can come after a challenging time.

It shows a perfect time for get together with family and friends and to enjoy and celebrate time in each other’s company and to remember wonderful times you have with each other either on a grand scale or intimate occasion.

It can point to a milestone celebration like engagement, marriage, birth or new home or job.

A pat on the back for a long term project which has been successfully completed and reasons to be proud of that.

Also associated with the home environment either with purchasing a new home, settling down in a new home, and completing home improvements. A peaceful and happy environment.

Time to make peace and find tranquillity in life, home, romance and work.

Well done for what you have accomplished in life in general, moving on and learning from the past  and following new paths in life, love and home. It is showing life can be good even if you have made bad choices and the transformation will be wonderful and exciting just like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

Meaning of the symbolism found in the 4 of Wands

Four upright wands self-supporting (four wands appear to be stable on their own and do not need to be held up) with flower and summer fruit garlands with grapes and peaches and tied with red ribbons.  Two people holding up flowers possible marriage with a crowd of people in front of what looks like a castle. Sky is coloured yellow to suggest sunshine.

Wands are energetic, spiritual, inspirational, determined, strong, creative and ambitious.

Reversed (Shadow side)

It is showing a lack of harmony and peace. A breakdown and tension at home and in love. Getting caught up in problems and feelings of uncertainty and confusion.

Home life is unstable, not peaceful feeling of being unsafe. Could be a time to move on and let things settle down.

Bonds need to be broken as feelings of entrapment physically or mentally.

You know that life is unsettled and things need to change that could be a job, relationships or home. It’s not easy to accept this but you know it has to happen to make it better.

In relationships it shows a person is not committed long term and not looking to a future.

Warnings of not paying attention to what’s important in life. Making you aware that things need to change which won’t be easy and things will get in the way of that. Look for ways of turning negatives into positives

Numerology connection – Number 4

4 signifies stability, endurance, simplicity, humility, achievement, physicality and practicality

Element of Wands and Astrological association

The element of Wands is fire.  Fire is hot, wild, energetic and unpredictable. Fire is also a symbol of passion, enthusiasm and sexuality.

Venus in Aries. Venus is feminine she is beautiful, enticing and seductive with love, desire, beauty and sexuality.

Aries first fire sign of the calendar.

Venus and Aries have a fun loving manner in love and very childlike.

Crystals and herbs

Malachite is the crystal for Fours and it signifies to let rich greens guide you through your journeys.

Fennel seeds are connected with this card, they are aromatic, a mild stimulate and a carminative.


 

5 of Wands

 The investigator has not completed their case

 

6 of Wands

The sleuth had to call it a day.

 

8 of Wands

The inspector probably gave up.

 

9 of Wands

9 of Wands blog by Sam’s Republic

 

 

Queen of Wands

Queen of Wands by Sarah Davenport

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The Queen of Wands as represented in The Mary-El sketch deck

Possible meaning of the Queen of Wands.
The Queen of Wands on Facade.com is quoted as “The essence of fire behaving as water, such as a rainbow”
I just loved this analogy. Often we find that fire is intimidating and well it can be but we don’t have to forget that fire can also very well be our friend, keeps us warm in winter from the hearth and with the view of passion can warm our hearts though love, fire doesn’t have to hurt or be destructive it can shine a light and illuminate.
Mary’s key word for this sketch is ‘supporter’

Now what I see when I pull up the queen of wands is a woman who has it all.
An earthy sort of grounded lady that is comfortable in her own skin, knows her power and more important how to use it.

She is unapologetic about her presence. If she chooses to aid you, you have some serious fire power.

She’s also not to be underestimated if she is taking up a stance against you. She been around and seen it all, it is hard to surprise this queen. To me she is a sort of raw power.

She is a mature (not necessarily old) woman. She doesn’t need any more friends but she isn’t against new possibilities. She doesn’t leave much room for negotiations, very take it or leave it attitude, after all she has what she needs.

She is not unsympathetic towards the hurts of others though and if approached with respect and dealt with honestly will be keener on lending her influence towards a resolution to your worries. Likes children and the innocent.

Numerology connection with the Queen of Wands
Queens are the twelfth card in a suit some like 12 to stand alone in numbers and some only like 1 thru 9 so that would make it a 3. Either way she has a complexity and completeness to her essence.

Astrological association.
She is referenced to Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Shadow side
She is kind and firm. You will be hard pressed to take advantage of this queen’s generosity. To me she is not trying to be sensual or sexy, yet that comes off of her naturally and she doesn’t apologize for it, same as she isn’t trying to be that she’s also not trying to change your perception of her, or ‘tone it down’. It is her throne and if you don’t like the way she sits on it, leave!
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The investigations were also taken in different directions, from major suspects to lesser culprits in the realm of Cups, Pentacles and Swords

Enjoy and Happy International Tarot day 🙂

Oephebia and the kitty monsters
facebookgroup: Tarot and Kitties

Cards symbolism

Suit of Cups

To celebrate the Second International tarot day an international team of specially tasked sleuths have been hot on the trail of 14 suspects from the dreamy world of Cups.

All potential culprits were chosen at random.

These detectives were able to profile many suspects but sadly, the most elusive of them used illusionary tricks to elude them.

The detectives interrogated the 3 of Cups (but it was a fail on this one), 4 of Cups by Tarot and Kitties , 5 of Cups by Mother Tarot, 10 of Cups (another fail), Queen of Cups by San Dee and King of Cups by Auntie Moon.

The sleuths had a list of questions to follow in order to build a forensic profile of their particular suspect.

Here are the unnerving tales of some of the suspects.

 

 

3 of Cups

Sadly, the investigator has not completed their case.

 

4 of Cups

4 of Cups blog by Oephebia

 

5 of Cups

5 of Cups blog by Mother Tarot

 

10 of Cups

Sadly, the detective has not completed their case.

 

Queen of Cups

Queen of Cups by San Dee

I was given the Queen of Cups as my card to investigate. Here’s my interpretation.

Possible meaning of the Queen of Cups.
The card depicts a young woman sitting on a throne at the edge of the sea. She is holding a beautiful cup with sculpted handles and a closed lid. Her hands are at the base of the cup. Because the cup has a lid I see this as introspection; a woman in tune with her inner emotions.

She is wearing a golden crown and silver robe. Her cloak is patterned blue and white like waves in the water.

She is sitting alone on a throne with carvings of mermaids and shells; another reference to water and the sea.

The sky is perfectly cloudlessly blue. The water at her feet is smooth and calm. Colourful rocks have washed up on the shore and she rests her feet on them and not in the water.

I interpreted the Queen of Cups as a woman who is nurturing, caring, compassionate and sensitive. Her face is very calm and her posture on the throne appears relaxed yet confident, showing she is emotionally secure in herself and her feelings. Being confident herself allows her to connect on an emotional level with others in an honest and warm hearted manner. She is kind, generous, empathic, and intuitive, often sensing emotions before they are vocalised. Invariably she is a good listener.

On the card she faces west to the setting sun.

Because of her caring attributes, she might be found in such professions as counsellor, psychic, or a healer of some description.

If this card shows in a reading it might represent someone you know; possibly yourself.

Numerology connection of the Queen of Cups.
In researching this card I came up with the numbers 3, for creative energy; 11, representing enlightenment; and 38, which can be reduced to 11.

Element traditionally associated with the Queen of Cups.
The element traditionally associated with the Queen of Cups is water, which is fluid. I believe this represents a woman who is giving and adaptable, since water will always take the path of least resistance, and can re-form itself to any circumstance. The water on the card is very calm; indicative of serenity and peacefulness. These feelings are echoed in the cloudless, perfect sky, and in her clothing and calm posture.

Astrological association.
In astrology I found three correspondences; Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces; though Cancer seemed to be predominant.

Shadow side.
In shadow she might have a problem with substance abuse, or be emotionally immature. She might also be delusional, co-dependent, or obsessive.

Crystals associated with the Queen of Cups.
The crystal associated with this card is the emerald, popularly believed to bring loyalty and provide domestic bliss; enhance unconditional love, and promote friendship. The emerald stimulates the heart chakra, able to heal emotions as well as the physical heart. Its soothing energy embodies unity, compassion and unconditional love.

Herbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the Queen of Cups.
The only herb I came across connected to this card was one called Lady’s Mantle. Alchemists once thought that the moisture in the leaves had magical properties and could be used to restore youth. The leaves of the plant taste quite bitter but can be brewed in a tea or, if they are young leaves, mixed into salads. Medicinally, Lady’s Mantle can help with menstrual cramps and relieve excessive bleeding. This information ties into the card being female and in touch with her inner and outer self.

Something I found interesting was a list of medicine totems associated with the card. They are snake, owl, and spider; creatures representing unwinding, unravelling, shedding, and shifting between worlds.

Happy International Tarot Day!

 

King of Cups

King of Cups by AuntieMoon

 

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The investigations were also taken in different directions, from major suspects to lesser culprits in the realm of Wands, Pentacles and Swords

Enjoy and Happy International Tarot day 🙂

Oephebia and the kitty monsters
facebookgroup: Tarot and Kitties

Cards symbolism

4 of Cups close and personal

July 8th is the International Tarot day, a day to celebrate the beauty of the Tarot without the constriction of a trademark and to recognise the Tarot as a tool of spiritual development.
A day for the Tarot community to showcase what a wonderful tool the Tarot can be to empower us in our everyday lives.

To celebrate such a grand event, the theme of the day was detective work. A forensic analysis of a card, taking clues and putting them together to understand a suspect.

With that in mind, a team of 37 International tarot “sleuths” were given a card to interrogate in order to shed light on their secrets.

They investigated suspects from the most wanted list of 22 Major villains from the Major Arcana Tarot world, and suspects from the Suit of Cups , Suit of Wands , Suit of Pentacles  and Suit of Swords.

I was assigned a card from the watery world of Cups. When I saw my assignment I had a kind of “meh” reaction. How boring was my assignment, why I had to investigate such a wet blanket?
Little did I know that my perception of my suspect the 4 of Cups was totally outdated!

Armed with clues from different sources, I embarked on a journey as an enthusiastic Inspecteur Clouseau (well, I am French aren’t I). Despite my apparently boring suspect I had to interrogate, I put all the clues together to draw a forensic profile of my case!

Below is the transcript of what the 4 of Cups revealed.

4-of-cups-and-crystals
Possible meaning of the mysterious 4 of Cups,

When I finally located my suspect, from the Green Witch tarot, I was presented with a red-headed young maiden, sitting in a room, lost in her thoughts, her elbows on a table with 3 silver cups in front of her. A pot of dittany sat on her table; above the young maiden, a beautiful dragonfly hovering. The young woman does not seem to notice me (with my silver cup as an offering to talk to her) or anything else around her.

I felt that the maiden was dissatisfied with something, that the excitement of whatever she had come to enjoy before was now somehow lost. Her body language is of apathy, tinged with boredom, and I felt that although she had probably achieved so much (the 3 cups on her table), she was seeking more, and was questioning her life at the moment, reassessing her direction, and wondering where her “vavavoom” had gone.

I was concerned that she did not seem to realise that more excitement and fulfilment was within her reach and that inspiration surrounds her.

Meaning of the symbolism around the maiden.

I started to look at clues around her to construct her psychological profile.

I noticed straight away the 3 silver cups. Silver is the metal associated with the Moon and I discovered later on that indeed, astrologically speaking, the Moon was heavily involved in the whole picture. Cups are also associated with the Holy Grail . I noticed that the young maiden was touching one cup, as if trying to find inspiration or deep spiritual contentment or, maybe as a reassuring gesture? The cups in front of her were not identical in size or design. It made me think that she has had fulfilment and joy before from different directions and now, life was perhaps a little less exciting or a tad uneventful.

Also why 3 cups? My feelings informed me it was possibly linked to the Mind Body and Spirit and that she had found satisfaction on all levels before coming to a low ebb.
Had she been in love before or, the centre of attention as a bride perhaps (3 of Cups), but now the honeymoon was over and routine had set in and with that a sense of ennui ma chère?

The dragonfly above her crown chakra makes me think that somehow, inspiration and transformation is within her reach and needs to fly free if only she could concentrate on the future instead of looking or relying on the past. Joy, happiness and fulfilment are not lost, they could still be found again in a different way. The dragonfly is a divine messenger (another one) trying to reach her.

I noticed that the young maiden was glancing at the pot of Dittany placed on the table. Of course Dittany is a therapeutic herb used for healing and stomach complaints, but it is also a magical herb that was made famous in Harry Potter. Love potions with Dittany have been made since antiquity. If only she could reach the plant and prepare a potion, perhaps her spirit would be ignited again, her love of adventure and excitement would be revived.

Her red hair reminds me that passionate people (red-headed people are supposed to be more passionate with a zest for life?), have more problems adjusting to quieter times than other people. The fire within needs to have ways to express itself otherwise boredom and apathy will consume them, something I felt may have happened to the young maiden.

 

4-of-cups-shadowside-and-meaningjpgShadow side

I thought that although clues were great to give me an idea of what has been happening, I knew that looking at the other side of the maiden’s personality (her shadow side) could also help me bring the case together.

Karl Jung linked the shadow side to creativity, armed with that concept I figured out that if the young maiden could free herself emotionally, kicking herself in the legendary “derriere”, she could let her creative energies flow more freely. Her passion (red hair) would then reignite once again and she will be able to use her intuition once more and realise more of her dreams.

New opportunities are within her reach and there are signs around her (the dragonfly and the Dittany plant) that life has new and exciting opportunities to take. She needs to open her eyes.

If the young maiden persists and wraps herself deeper into a world of inertia, then apathy will increase and she will find herself trapped in mind body and spirit, which in turn will lead to deep sorrow, poor health (mental, physical and spiritual) which will be the realm of her cousin: the 5 of Cups.

Which way will she go?

 

Astrology-and-4-of-CupsElement traditionally associated with the 4 of Cups and astrological association.

I was determined to unravel more clues to understand better the maiden, so I turned my search to the stars (astronomy and astrology) and found some very interesting clues.

To start with, the cups are associated with the element of water.
Water takes the shape of its recipient and is fluid. The expression “going with the flow” could be a great fit for the suit of cups/water.

Like any element, water needs to be in balance, a little stream of water in the countryside is beautiful and supports life. A river bursting its banks and flooding people’s homes is a catastrophe.

In the Golden Dawn system, the 4 of Cups is Moon (High Priestess) in Cancer (the Chariot).
Now things were taking shape, the silver cups were definitively a clue that the moon was involved in the emotional tides the maiden experiences. She, as a woman is ruled by the moon, but her emotional side lies in tatters due to her inability to move on. She retreats into her shell (Cancer).

Interestingly, the Celestial tarot attributes the 4 of Cups to the constellation of the Serpens, which is divided in two parts (two sides of the Chariot?) but is treated as one constellation (blending the opposite side of the head and the tail of the serpent which in turn can be interpreted as the black and white Sphynx in the Rider Waite Smith depiction of the Chariot). So far the clues were fitting together nicely.

The 4 of Cups can be seen as the serpent or snake (which incidentally, is a great symbol of healing as found in the caduceus of Hermes, symbol of our modern medicine and pharmacy), that will heal the wounded maiden. She needs to acknowledge her feelings of boredom in order to tackle them and to move on. Stagnation is never an option, as it can lead to difficulties and hardship (her cousin the 5 of Cups).

I started to feel that the maiden had so many allies and more so within herself, her own soul!

4-of-cups-and-numerologyNumerology connection of the 4 of cups.

Whilst writing my thoughts about the planets and astrology, my attention turned to the number 4, a number associated with the four seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter), four elements (Water, Fire, Earth and Air), four suits of the tarot (Cups, Wands, Pentacles and Air) and four directions (North, South, East and West). It is the number for solid foundations and grounded energies.

Also, we often see someone which is not imaginative or spiritual as square (4 sides) minded or Cartesian.

We also talk of the 4 corners of the earth (despite the earth being round as we know, but try telling that to the creationists). And in French we often say “enfermé entre 4 murs” (lock between 4 walls) when someone stays for a long period of time indoors.

Cancer (The Chariot) is the ruler of the fourth house in Astrology and it is ruled by the Moon (number 2 which is linked to the High Priestess). I thought that it was déjà vu as the Moon/Cancer had been so prominent with the maiden.

The great ruler of number 4 is the Emperor, which I feel is probably the father of the maiden. As a number 4 the Emperor emphasises stability, strength, order, rigidity and control.

The Emperor has 4 children: the maiden from the watery world of cups, one departed child from the world of mental agility aka the Swords, one very grounded in his ways from the world of Pentacles, and one who is travelling and partying from the world of Wands.

Hum, perhaps the maiden’s past choices which she enjoyed were not approved of by her father leading her to feel bored and deflated? Could she feel that regardless of what she was trying to achieve it was never enough for her father, leading her to apathy, why bother? Perhaps some of her siblings were a little more exciting to be around or were they?  Could it be something else?

Certainly, the constrictions of the four walls of her room (where I first met her) could create a false sense of security, giving up on what else could be out there?

I started to build an image of the maiden and her motivations in my head.

4-of-cups-and-mythologyMythology or folktales attached to 4 of Cups

Mythology or folklore is something that we sleuths can use to go deeper into archetypes in order to understand better any suspect from a tarot tribe.

I certainly thought of Aesop’s fable of the Heron, which did not want to eat what was presented to him, waiting for something more exciting and more to his taste but nothing came and he starved.

But, I knew that one particular tribe, the Mythic Tarot had a tale to tell about the 4 of Cups. And what a tale it was, the myth of Psyche and Eros.

Psyche was renowned for her beauty and this was not unnoticed by Aphrodite which after all was the goddess associated with beauty and love. Enraged, she commanded her son Eros to kill Psyche. Instead he fell in love with her and hid Psyche in a valley, visiting her only at night.

Psyche never knew who her husband was, physically (never seen him as he always visited her under the cover of darkness and disappeared at first light) or emotionally. She grew bored and asked if her sisters could visit her to alleviate her loneliness. She was warned by Eros that her sisters will try to make her discover his true identity and if she did, he would leave her forever. Psyche promised Eros that she will never try to discover his true identity.

Alas, after a few visits from her jealous sisters, she was told that her husband was a monster that will devour her and the baby she was carrying. She was told that she should kill her husband before he kills her.

Poor Psyche was credulous and she agreed to kill her husband, but when she put a lamp to see his face, she recognised the love god Eros. The legend says that a drop of scalding oil fell on Eros and woke him. When Eros realised that Psyche had broken her promise, he flew away from her.

Psyche searched for her husband everywhere, praying to the gods and goddesses until finally she went to Aphrodite in her temple. The goddess treated her cruelly and told her to perform impossible tasks. Psyche was successful in completing all of them.

Eros missed his wife and pleaded with Zeus to make Psyche immortal. Zeus gave his divine consent to this and consequently, a baby girl named Voluptas (Pleasure) was born.

The story of Psyche and Eros is an allegory for the soul troubled journey through life.

If Psyche had not been so adventurous, she would have had a charmed life but, very stagnant. For her own growth and happiness, she needed to find out who her husband was.

The maiden was probably in a similar predicament; a charmed life in the countryside with everything she could wish for but, with an ever growing feeling of boredom. As opposed to leaving all behind and finding fulfilment in other realms, away from her father (the Emperor).

After researching the myth of Psyche and Eros, I wondered if the maiden had lost a love or if the love of her life was not what she had expected or, if indeed, her life was great but something was missing? Could it be that a sense of foreboding was something she needed to tackle in order to feel alive again? Would she go to her cousin the 5 of Cups and finally let go?
So many questions and yet the answers were within her!

crystalsCrystals associated with the 4 of Cups via astrological connections (Moon in Cancer)

crystals for 4 of cups

After diving into the myths and folklores, I decided to investigate the crystal kingdom as I had heard on the grapevine, that crystals and stones have great power to heal not only physical ailments, but emotional and spiritual ones too.

The connection with Astrology and crystals is an ancient one, and planets have specific stones attributed to them. As I discovered, Moon in Cancer is the Astrological link associated with the kingdoms of crystals, plants and herbs allies and flower essences’ realms.

The traditional semi-precious stones associated with the Moon and the sign of Cancer are the Moonstone, Aquamarine, Labradorite and Pearl. Of course I was aware that more stones were also a good match, but for now, decided to investigate only these four (in keeping with the numerology).

Moonstone is as its name indicates, is the stone dedicated to the moon that pull the tides of our oceans. It is a great stone to help with dreams and aspiration.
Go with the flow, feel the tide of emotions, acknowledge them, reflect on past emotions and move on, I will ease the transition for you…whispered the Moonstone when I held it in my hand.
What a simple but powerful message!

Aquamarine is of course linked to the sea and can be a good match for the sign of Cancer.
It helps in the release of old patterns, to go with the flow and to restore peace of mind. Soothing and calming on the mind and spirit.

Another great stone that could help the maiden in the 4 of cups, is Labradorite, with its shimmering colours, a stone to help with grounding (number 4). It can give a sense of purpose and help to develop new ideas that can be explored with enthusiasm and joy. A great stone to promote positivity and protect against negativity!

Last but not least, the pearl, coming from the depths of an oyster. Precious and born in the ocean.
Symbol of spiritual transformation, self-acceptance, it is said to lift the spirit and promote emotional calm. It can help focus the attention on goals or tasks ahead.

As I wrote notes on these four beautiful stones and wondered if the maiden could wear a necklace with any of these stones to help her lift her apathy and move forward?
Perhaps I could suggest this to her when I meet her again?

 

herbal-flowers-4-of-cupsHerbs, flowers or essential oils connected to the 4 of Cups via the astrological connections (Moon in Cancer)

Since time immemorial, people have turned to the wisdom of plants and flowers to help heal emotional, spiritual and physical problems. I knew that looking in that direction would provide some remedies to the maiden’s predicament.

The realm of the Herbal Tarot associates the 4 of cups with burdock roots. It is a plant that helps people to feel grounded (which number 4 stands for), and to ease emotional turmoil. It is often used in spells to ward off negativity and restore a positive outlook in life. If one feels stuck, taking some Burdock tincture will help to remove the apathy and inaction, looking at the present time instead of dwelling on the past.

Herbs for 4 of Cups

Other plant allies such Aloe Vera for emotional burn out, Chamomile for emotional upsets, lemon balm for anxiety and parsley for digestion, could help the maiden to heal and to let go of the past in order to move on and create a more exciting future.

Another direction was to look at flower essences which, like the Bach Flowers remedies are specifically for emotional and/or spiritual problems. Hornbeam seems to be the remedy that the maiden could take to ease her “Monday morning” feeling. Of course, honeysuckle could also be added to help release the past.

I thanked the plant and flowers kingdom for their wisdom and healing and wrote a note that I then put on the maiden’s table for her to realise that nature has some solutions to her temporary loss of interest in life. The maiden did not seem to notice that I had left a note on her table, telling her that help was at hand.

If she reads the note, then I am sure she will be able to think about what she can do and who knows, she will probably try a few ideas and move on.

 

kisspng-magnifying-glass-magnifier-icon-a-magnifying-glass-5a706cd86e2449.8088875315173173364512

 

I reported back to headquarters with my forensic profile of the maiden in the 4 of Cups. This maiden was in no way or shape capable of villainy as she was stuck in her own mind.

What a journey it has been and I was so glad that my assignment turned out to be an interesting discovery of the rich symbolism that the maiden unwittingly made me discover.

However, I’m hoping that my fellow sleuths may have rounded up a few culprits from the realms of the Major Arcana , the Suit of Cups, the Suit of Wands, the Suit of Pentacles and the Suit of Swords .

Enjoy and Happy International Tarot day 🙂

Oephebia and the kitty monsters 

facebook group: Tarot and Kitties

Cards symbolism

Two of Swords tarot card

July 8th is the first International Tarot day, which is a day to celebrate the beauty of the Tarot and to recognise the Tarot as a tool of spiritual development that goes way beyond its media portrayed fortune telling image (such as in James Bond’s Live and let die, when he encounters Solitaire and her Tarot of the Witches)!

It is a day for the Tarot community to showcase what a wonderful tool the Tarot can be to empower us in our everyday lives.

To celebrate such a wonderful day, full of events and activities, many of us Tarot lovers will be participating in a fun project by writing a blog on a specific card.
I was assigned a complex card (as complex as our human psyche), the card in question is the Two of Swords 🙂

Let’s go and rock and roll and demystify the Two of Swords!
tarot-two-of-swords

Traditionally, the card depicts a woman wearing a blindfold, holding two swords crossed over her chest (the heart chakra, centre of feeling and emotions) and sitting on a stone.

The card above is from the Druidcraft Tarot and encompasses perfectly the dilemma of making a decision to go in one direction or another (being stuck between a rock and a hard place type of thing). We all have been there.

Notice that the woman is semi-naked, which means she is innocent, naïve, vulnerable and pure.  She probably feels the coldness of the metal from the swords on her heart chakra (cooling down her emotions).
Swords are a symbol of absolute truth and belong to the realm of air.

The woman tries to calm her internal storm without the chattering of the external world (hence why she has blindfolded herself).  However, her red cape indicates that her consciousness is more instinctive and emotional (passion) and requires action. She tries to keep the status quo (notice her almost perfect stillness). Here we have the eternal conflict mind versus heart!

She sits in front of a tree (perhaps an oak tree, symbol of wisdom) almost like she wants to feel the tree, to feel its wisdom. Presumably she could be asking the tree for its support and counsel.
After all, she cannot see, but she can hear the whispers of the leaves in the trees, she can feel the air around her and maybe the coldness of the swords against her skin. She can feel her connection to the land. When one of the five senses is not working, the others tend to compensate. In other words, she feels all the emotions related to her situation.

Perhaps by sensing the trees around her and by visualising each possible path available to her, together with their possibilities and pitfalls, will she know which path to choose.

However, one cannot stay forever in between. As time progresses, she will presumably grow tired and the weight of the swords will soon become too heavy for her to maintain her perfect stillness. She will need to make a move by going one way or another, in other words, by reaching a decision and sticking to it (end of procrastination…hooray).

Often in a reading, this card implies that the querent (the person receiving a reading) has to make a decision and sometimes there can be two alternatives. Which can confuse the querent even more, leading them to a standstill.

Negotiation and compromise is also another meaning of this card. Facing fear and withdrawal from life is yet another theme. The Two of Swords may depict a situation when one is caught in the middle of a dispute and one is asked to take sides, leading to emotional conflict for the mediator.
Withdrawing in order to reach a conclusion is the help this card offers. Calming the storm of conflictual thoughts by going inwards (using meditation and/or visualisation) is what can help reach a level of peace of mind and spirit.
two-of-swords-and-numerology

Numerology is an ancient system that attributes numbers to meanings and connections to the spiritual realms. Ancient civilisations used Numerology thousands of years ago and it is still in use in today.

The Tarot has 78 cards divided into 22 major arcana (22 is considered as a master number in Numerology which means it is almost a mythical number linked to the cosmos) and 56 minor arcana. All cards are numbered in the Major and Minor arcana apart from the Court cards found in the four suits of the Minor Arcana (Cups/Water, Wands/Fire, Earth/Pentacles and Swords/Air).

The High Priestess bears the number 2 in the Major Arcana.  The High Priestess influences all the twos in the Tarot (2 of Cups, 2 of Wands, 2 of Pentacles and 2 of Swords).

Number 2 is a feminine number and it is linked to the Moon. Two is the number of duality; opposite and relationship, interaction with each other and receptivity and sensibility.

Certainly the opposites of life are clearly shown with the High Priestess (the traditional black and white pillars). The Moon is also traditionally depicted with the High Priestess for the emotions and the feminine.

As we have seen, the Two of Swords is a card for internal conflict of life and certainly the conflict of emotions (feminine) and the mind (masculine).

The essence of the number 2 is to bring opposites together and to create harmony through creativity and receptivity which is why in the Two of Swords the internal conflict has to be resolved in order to integrate opposites in life, to bring harmony and peace of mind.

The world we live in today is the world of the Two of Swords; with conflicts seen in many countries, where unity and togetherness are nowhere to be seen and division and separateness are rampant.

 

two-of-swords-and-astrology

Many cards in the Tarot are linked to Astrology, as planets and sun signs give extra information on the energies of the cards.

With the Two of Swords, the element attributed to it (and to the whole suit of swords) is the element of Air. The Celestial Tarot has assigned the Two of Swords with the constellation of Lupus. It was recognised as the constellation of Lupus, the Latin name for the wolf, around the 16th Century when the translation of Ptolemy’s work identified it with the wolf!
The myth of the wounded centaur (Chiron) offering a wolf as a sacrifice to Ara (the heavenly altar) is behind the name of the constellation.

Wolves have certainly been the subject of myths and attributes such as savagery, primitive and guttural feelings from time immemorial. The popular image of a wolf howling at the moon is part of many folklores around the world and of course, the image of a man becoming a wolf during a Full moon (lycanthropy) is an ancient myth which became popular with horror films and literature.

But wolves have also a more caring side and the myth of Romulus and Remus suckling a she-wolf became the legend behind the founding of Rome.

But what does all this have to do with the Two of Swords I hear you say?

As we know, the Two of Swords has a link with the High Priestess as we have seen with the numerological aspect of the card.

The High Priestess is ruled by the Moon (lo and behold, the Moon is heavily portrayed with the wolves in popular imagery as we have seen). The Moon has an influence on the wolf (constellation of Lupus), animal instinct/gut feeling/emotion versus logic/coldness/intellect. Anyone who knows anything about wolves will tell you that they are very intelligent creatures, with a strict social hierarchy and that they hunt together for more effectiveness for the good of all.

We have seen with the numerological connection of number 2, that togetherness and harmony is the best attribute of the number 2 and it is what needs to be achieved with the Two of Swords.
So the circle is completed, everything is intertwined, the Tarot, Numerology, myths and legends, and Astrology. 🙂

So to resume, the Two of Swords is a card of internal conflict: emotions (Moon) versus logic (Swords/Lupus Constellation), being stuck in no man’s land, immobilised with procrastination. A balance needs to be achieved.

Ta da! Balance is a powerful word in this example and it leads us to the realm of the Justice card (scales) often represented as a blindfolded woman holding a set of perfectly balanced scales.J Of course Justice is also linked to Libra in Astrology. Libra people are well known for their diplomacy, their listening skills, their sociability, and their dislike of conflicts, and sometimes their procrastination too.

Now you know where we are heading right?

We have seen that with the Two of Swords a need to resolve internal conflicts (or sometimes, external) has to be made. Justice holds an upright sword (the sword of truth) and asks us to see the truth as it is, to be strong and honest with ourselves.
Only by being truthful to ourselves (without ego in the picture) and finding the right balance, will we resolve our internal conflict/chattering and be able to move on with our lives and restore our internal harmony and peace. Phew!

But it is easier to say than to do…
However, there are a few things that we can do to help restore the balance and harmony within ourselves.

Let’s have a look at the help mother Nature can provide 🙂
Tarot-and-herbs-Bach-Flowers

The Herbal Tarot has associated the Two of Swords with Passionflower.

Passionflower is a well-known remedy that has been used for a very long time to help treat anxiety and nervous disorders amongst other ailments.
Its calming properties can soothe an over-active mind and even help with insomnia and depression, lifting spirits and rebalancing the mind, body and spirit.

If we find ourselves in the Two of Swords situation, the best would be to take some Passionflower Flower Essence to help rebalance our energies and achieve a peace of mind by removing tension (in the body as well).

Another great Flower Essence to take is Scleranthus, part of the 38 Bach Flower Remedies, widely available worldwide.

Scleranthus is a brilliant remedy that helps to restore the quality of balance and decisiveness that can be lacking when we are faced with the Two of Swords situation.

Sometimes faced with crippling indecision and emotionally going from one extreme to another whilst in the middle of an internal battle is not something we want to be stuck in. Scleranthus will help to restore our inner point of balance, helping us to connect to our soul and our own direction.

NB: please note that all flower essences are usually made without any chemicals, using natural methods and with no additives, colouring and other nasties.

1d9426b37279

Now that you are a little more acquainted with the Two of Swords, perhaps you would like to know more about the Ace of Sword and the Two of Swords and many of the other cards?

Have a look at the blog hop beside the Two of Swords, namely the Ace of Swords by Spirit Art and the 3 of Swords by the Everyday Medium.

Enjoy and Happy International Tarot Day J

Oephebia and the kitty monsters

tarot and kittiesFB group: Tarot and Kitties

Cards symbolism

Wheel of Fortune tarot card

July 8th is the first International Tarot day, which is a day to celebrate the beauty of the Tarot and to recognise the Tarot as a tool of spiritual development that goes way beyond its media portrayed fortune telling image!

It is a day for the Tarot community to showcase what a wonderful tool the Tarot can be to empower us in our everyday lives.

To celebrate such a wonderful day, full of events and activities, many of us Tarot lovers will be participating in a fun project by writing a blog on a specific card.
I was assigned a great card the Wheel of Fortune 🙂
I thought it would be interesting to compare the symbolism of the Wheel of Fortune in two different decks: the Radiant Rider Waite and the Druidcraft Tarot !

 

Wheel-of-Fortune-RRW

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot© US Games Systems Inc

This is another version of the original Rider Waite pack. The colours are brighter and the drawing is more defined.

When we look at this card, we can see:

A bright orange wheel adorned with four letters on each of the cardinal points, four Hebrew letters and four strange symbols, stands in the middle of a blue sky with clouds.

The Wheel is made of three circles and from the smallest circle in the centre eight lines are connected to the Roman and Hebrew letters. An orange coloured creature with a human body and the head of a jackal is supporting the wheel on his back. A snake is following the wheel down, whilst a blue sphinx sits on the top of the wheel holds a sword upright. Four winged golden creatures each holding books are depicted on each corner of the card.

Here we have the setting of the essence of the card: rapid changes and the beginning of a new cycle, transformation, fate, fortune and destiny.

The Wheel can be seen as the Sun and its influence on the changing of the seasons, which may explain why the wheel is in the sky. We cannot control the changes of the seasons: only embrace them and adjust to them. We have to do the same when the Wheel is turning, we should accept the changes as part of a natural cycle or perhaps as our destiny. Resisting changes will only make things more difficult for us and will lead us to the Death card where everything will be removed anyway before rebirth.

Also, the blue sky can be seen as Heaven and the higher spheres of spirituality. The fact that the wheel is a fiery orange may be connected to divine love. Interestingly, in the Tarot the clouds often represent God in its ethereal form (particularly with all the Aces of the minor Arcana and the Lovers).

Another subtle hint of the divine is the name of the card itself: Wheel of Fortune. The word Fortune derives from Fortuna, the name of the Roman Goddess of fate, chance and luck.

Wheel of Fortune close upRadiant Rider Waite Tarot© US Games Systems Inc

Now when we look at the four Hebrew letters called the Tetragrammaton, we are presented with the name of God (Y-H-V-H).

The letters arranged clockwise form T A R O, the name Taro(t). The letters, when formed anticlockwise give the name Tora, the Jewish sacred book of Divine Law (also seen in the High Priestess).

Starting from the South cardinal point and clockwise, the name Rota also appears which means “wheel” in Latin. Another name can be made starting from the East cardinal point and anticlockwise: Ator (Hathor), Egyptian Goddess of the sky, often represented as a divine cow with a solar disc (the Wheel?) on her head.

The strange symbols found underneath each letter are alchemical.

Starting just below the letter T is the symbol of Mercury, God of communication, trade and thieves. This symbol is used today in Astrology to represent Mercury.

Beside the letter A stands the symbol for sulphur and beside the letter O is the symbol for salt. Mercury, Sulphur and Salt are the three components or principles of the philosopher’s stone. Mercury represents the spirit, whilst Salt is the body and Sulphur is the soul.

A fourth symbol can be seen above the letter R which represents water. This symbol has been in used by alchemists since the 17th Century. It is also used in Astrology to represent Aquarius (which incidentally is an air sign).

The Western and Hebrew letters together with the Alchemical symbols are connected by eight lines from the smallest circle to the middle circle. These two circles can be seen as the Mind and Body: the beginning of life, the transformation of the fertilised egg into a human being (which will explain the Alchemical symbols for transformation) and the realisation that the Mind and Body are linked together and they will undertake several transformations (from innocence to wisdom and babyhood to old age,) before death and rebirth (the third circle with the name of God).

The eight lines can be seen as two sets of four as they each connect four letters (Western or Hebrew). Number four represents the four elements, the four seasons and the four evangelists. Four is the number for solid foundation (Mind and Body). However number eight is made of two circles, one representing the material and the other, spiritual; unifying these two principles. Number eight is also considered as a symbol of spiritual rebirth, which will be attained when the spirit will be with God. The third circle with the Western and Hebrew letters can be seen as the spirit joining God before rebirth and transformation.

The blue Sphinx sitting on the top of the Wheel, above the letter T and the alchemical symbol for Mercury is thought to represent Horus, the Egyptian sky God whose name means “He Who is Above” (very appropriate here). Interestingly, he was worshipped together with his consort Hathor whose name appeared on the wheel itself. He can be seen as the mystery of life and the guardian of truth as he holds a sword. Blue is also the colour of heaven and healing, one can expect that changes brought by the Wheel will transform oneself. Additionally, the Sphinx can be seen as the mind.

The orange snake is thought to be Set or Seth, God of chaos, destruction and decay. Set could be linked to the body.

The orange creature with the head of a jackal is Anubis, the God of the dead, embalmment and cemeteries. He accompanied the souls of the dead (the same role was given to Mercury in Greek Mythology) to be judged by Maa’t, Goddess of truth (found in the Justice card). Anubis can be connected to spirit.

Alternatively, it always strikes me that Anubis with the Wheel on his back looks a bit like a snail (and it is not because I am French). Snails are a lunar symbol and stand for the cycle of death and rebirth, their spiral forming shell represents the eternal evolution of life and possibly fertility (the snail is found in the IX of Pentacles), rebirth after death. Another hint to the eternal movement of the Wheel of destiny.

The three Gods (mind, body and spirit) form an upward triangle which in turn represents fire. Fire in this case can be seen as one’s conscious, one’s will and the mental attitude one applies faced with situations (Horus on the top of the Wheel). If the card is reversed, the triangle will be inverted representing water and one’s unconscious.

These three Gods battle all the time to control the wheel. When Set for example has the upper hand, one experiences setbacks, loss or sudden “bad” luck or stagnation as the wheel has become “stuck”.

When Anubis has the upper hand big changes are on their way and one will have to adapt to the changes. The same applies with Horus on the top of the Wheel, transformation will happen because of rapid changes and one will have to apply his/her will to make the most of the changes.

Wheel-of-Fortune-4-beastsRadiant Rider Waite Tarot© US Games Systems Inc

The four winged golden creatures are thought to be the four beasts of the book of revelation 4:7 “And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle”

Christians attributed the four creatures to the Evangelists: Matthew with the Angel, John with the eagle, Mark with the Lion and Luke with the bull. Perhaps the books the creatures are holding are the Gospels?

Another alternative is to see the four golden beasts as the four elements. The Angel being air and the sign of Aquarius, the Eagle represents water and the sign of Scorpio, the Lion is fire and the sign of Leo and finally, the Bull is earth and the sign of Taurus; all of them being fixed signs in Astrology.

We need the four elements to survive on earth and we experience the seasons which bring us back to the Wheel: the never ending cycle of life which brings transformation in all levels (mind, body and spirit) after death and resurrection.

So we cannot deny that fate is at work with this card, and we will have to embrace our “destiny” with whatever change coming onto our path and play an active role in doing so.

WOF-Druidcarft

The Druidcraft Tarot© Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

This is a beautiful pack inspired by Druids and Wicca. When we look at this card, we see a young woman by a cave, wearing a blue dress and a purple shawl. She draws a circle in the sand using a wand and holds a pendant in her left hand. The sea can be seen in the background and the whole scenery is peaceful.

As with the Radiant Rider Waite, here we have the setting of the essence of the card: the beginning of a new cycle (the circle drawn in the sand), transformation (the cave), fate, fortune and destiny (the woman).

Arianrhod1Bronze

Arianrhod statue

The woman represents the Welsh Goddess Arianrhod meaning “Silver Wheel that descends to the sea”. She was the symbol of cosmic time and ruled over the tides. She was also a Moon Goddess and was seen as the Mother aspect of the Moon, connecting the womb (which is also represented by the cave) to death and rebirth (the essence of the Wheel of Fortune). Another aspect of this Goddess is that she was connected to reincarnation and Karma as she carried the dead to Emania (the land of death) which was under her rulership. She was responsible for the souls to be reborn from the otherworld to Earth. Arianhrod was sometimes also seen as the Celestial Weaver, spinning the wheel of life and destiny of humankind.

The colours of Arianrhod’s dress and shawl seems to reflect her divine origins as blue is the colour of heaven and purple is the colour of secrecy and the mystery of reincarnation or transformation. In the Radiant Rider Waite, the colour orange encompasses the divine.

With this pack, Anubis, Horus and Seth, the three Gods found in the Radiant Rider Waite, have been replaced by a single deity who symbolises the principles of the carrier of souls (Anubis) and the mystery of life (Horus). The destructive aspect of Set may be found with her flail and to a certain extent the sea.
druid-craft-wheel

The Druidcraft Tarot© Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

The flail is an ambiguous symbol here as it can be seen as a tool for punishment and flagellation; as seen in some extreme forms of religion where people “punish” themselves with a flail, self-inflicting wounds to their body to expiate their sins. If so, perhaps the flail plays the same role as Seth in the Radiant Rider Waite, bringing destruction and pain to people?

On the other hand, the flail and the crook were the symbol of Osiris in Ancient Egypt. He was the God of the Afterlife as well as rebirth. He was the father of Horus (the sphinx on the wheel in the Radiant Rider Waite) and was Isis’ husband, (interestingly enough Isis is thought to be part of the High Priestess card as she is represented by the veil behind the young maiden in the card. The High Priestess has a scroll on her lap with the name Tora. The name Tora is also found in the wheel of the Radiant Rider Waite). Most importantly, Osiris was Seth’s brother (our link to the Radiant Rider Waite) and was butchered by Seth and resuscitated by Isis (rebirth). So the flail may be an indirect link to Egyptian mythology which is part of the Radiant Rider Waite as well.

Osiris was often represented with a flail and a crook in each hand together with his arms crossed on his chest, forming the letter X. This letter is also the roman numerical symbol for 10. Now, ten is the number attributed to the Wheel of Fortune which in the Tarot represents the end of a cycle before a new beginning can take place or a zenith or nadir experience (good or bad). It seems that even the number has a resonance with the principle of the Wheel, changes, fate and fortune, new beginnings etc.

The principle of life, death and rebirth is represented by the Goddess herself but also by the cave. Caves have a double meaning in term of symbolism. A cave represents protection, the womb and the mystery of life. It is the passage way which connect Earth to Heaven. From immemorial time, caves have been the centre of initiation, the sacred and a protective place. However, caves are also the symbol of death and represent the tomb and the gate to the underworld, where the soul will dwell for a while before rebirth. The cave in this card has the same role as the alchemical symbol found in the Radiant Rider Waite, they both stand for transformation.

The sand on the beach is a subtle hint of eternity and the passing of time. Sand is also used in hourglass to measure time. Sand therefore can be seen as a symbol of infinite and multitude. Sand moves all the time, because of the tides, wind, creatures etc, so in a way the sand is in perpetual movement like the wheel itself in the Radiant Rider Waite.

The sea in the background is another symbol of the dynamism of life. The tides represent transition, when the sand is half immerse and half exposed, so it can be seen as the transition between life, death and rebirth. Conversely, in Welsh tradition, Arianrhod had two sons; one of them was called Dylan “the Son of the Wave” because according to the myth, as soon as he was born he went to the sea and swam like a fish and disappeared into the waves. When he was killed by his uncle, the myth goes on that all the waves of the British Isles wept for him. Dylan is sometimes referred as the Sea God.

The sea plays the same role as the Wheel with the Hebrew and Western letters in the Radiant Rider Waite; the divine, the changes and fortune, as the sea can easily kill (here the sea is linked to Set the Egyptian God of decay and chaos in the Radiant Rider Waite) and crossing a ocean can be perilous with an uncertain outcome, like the Wheel.

Sterling_Silver_Wheel_of_the_Year_Pendant__68298.1429819887.1280.1280

Sterling silver wheel of the year pendant

The pendant in Arianrhod’s hand represents the Wiccan wheel of the year. Wiccan people are close to Mother Nature and observe the rhythm of the seasons. They have eight festivals corresponding to the various progressions of the Moon and the Sun (seen as the Goddess and the God), and the seasons for the year. The pendant has the same role as the eight spokes seen in the Radiant Rider Waite’s wheel, the change of seasons, the eternal movement of time (life and death and rebirth) and the divine.

Arianrhod is casting a circle (no beginning and no end) on the sand. In Wicca tradition, a circle is a potent symbol of protection and security. During some magical rituals, usually a person can call upon the four Archangels or the four elements, (which we have encountered in the Radiant Rider Waite in the form of the four creatures at the corners of the card) to assist and help the magician standing in the middle of the circle.

Another hint of the magical purpose of the circle is the fact that Arianhrod held a wand in her right hand. This is another important tool in the Wiccan tradition. Wands are usually made of wood, and trees in ancient Celtic wisdom were seen as the messengers of the Gods, because of their deep roots buried in the earth and the top of the trees reaching high up into the sky, the connection between heaven and earth. Interestingly enough, the Magician (who is thought to represent Mercury/Hermes) in the Radiant Waite Tarot holds a wand towards the sky and points with his finger down to earth, meaning that he knows how to transform the divine spark into something concrete or material. Arianrhod is effectively transferring her divine powers into the physical realm and she is in fact spinning the wheel of life.

In conclusion, although both cards look dramatically different on an aesthetic point of view, on a closer look it seems that some of the symbolism are interwoven and are common in both ancient Egypt and Celtic culture. The principles of birth, reincarnation, rebirth, fate, luck and changes are universal themes in cultures around the world.

We as human beings have to ride our “fate” with faith and understand that changes are a necessity in life to avoid stagnation and bring new beginnings. A very hard lesson sometimes!

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Now that you are a little more acquainted with the Wheel of Fortune, perhaps you would like to know more about the Hermit (card number 9) and Justice (card number 11) and many of the other cards? Here you can find the master list of the blogs regarding the Major and Minor Arcana.

Have a look at the blog hop beside the Wheel of Fortune (card number 10), namely the Hermit by Fables Den  and Justice by Celestial Recognitions
Enjoy and Happy International Tarot Day 🙂

Oephebia and the kitty monsters

tarot and kittiesFB group: Tarot and Kitties

Cards symbolism

Easter revisited with the Tarot

This week-end it is a celebration:
Easter in the Christian World
Eostre which predates the Christian celebration
Pesah or Passover in the Jewish faith
Regardless of religion and belief, Easter is also a bank holiday in many countries in the Western world.
The story of Jesus, the last supper and the resurrection is the root of Easter for many Christians.
As with all stories, from fairy tales, mythologies to religious texts, there are many archetypes that appeal to the collective unconscious and transcend languages.
The language of images is universal and very powerful. The tarot is an ancient language of symbols and imagery that has adapted quite well to the modern world.
Let’s look at the story of Easter linked with the Tarot.
As per any story, we have the protagonists: Jesus himself, his disciples, the villain (Judas), the conqueror (Pontius Pilate), then the central theme of the story: the last supper, the betrayal, the trial and crucifixion, death and resurrection, and finally the moral of the story with the ascension.

Jesus

Jesus can be seen as the positive aspect of the Hierophant, the guy who founded a new faith that has had a lasting legacy on the world. King of Cups is another card that could define Jesus, a healer, a compassionate being, and of course the King of the Jews.
The fish around the neck of the King of Cups is also an early Christian symbol, although its origins predate Christianity and was used by the Romans, Greeks and Pagans.
6 of Pentacles is a card that can also define Jesus, giving to the poor, compassion for people who are destitute or sick.

Easter-the-last-supper

Jesus was celebrating Passover (4 of Wands – celebration) with his disciples (here the Hierophant comes to mind, not because of the church, but because of a group of people sharing the same ideas etc. Conversely the 6 of Wands could apply here too), and they shared a final meal together (10 of Pentacles for the tradition of Passover and 10 of Cups for celebration). Of course the cup that Jesus drank from, the Holy Grail is the Ace of Cups.

Judas2

Amidst the disciples was the villain Judas, who betrayed Jesus for money.
The betrayal is the 7 of Swords and Knight of Swords, when Judas went to negotiate with Pontius Pilate (Emperor/King of Swords Rev). Judas can be seen as the Devil card, disguising himself as a friend to Jesus. His sole motivation was greed. The kissing of Jesus by Judas to help the Romans recognise him is the 5 of Swords and the Moon rev (deception).
The trial of Jesus was the Justice card reversed and the Tower (as Rome thought that Christianity, the new religion, would be crushed. So the Tower here can be seen from the perspective of Rome crushing its enemies, stopping their expansion which is also the Wheel of Fortune reversed).
Cruxifiction
Jesus was condemned to die on the cross. His agony is depicted by the Hanged Man (remember the halo around the head of the Hanged man, he choose to sacrifice himself to gain insight into spirituality which is also the case with Jesus, who knew that he needed to go through such a horrifying ordeal in order to save humanity). The physical pain is depicted by the 3 of Swords and 10 of Swords.
The spear of destiny can be seen as the Ace of Swords.
Although Strength is another card that could apply here as Jesus’ faith and trust never failed even when suffering unspeakable pain and horror.
Death is another obvious card as the final result, but in the death card, hope for renewal is present with the sun rising between the towers. Death was not the end of Christ.
After Jesus died on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea (the Hermit par excellence) asked Pontius Pilate his permission to collect Jesus’ body to be interred. The 5 of Cups oddly, can apply to this situation, as Jesus was wrapped in a burial shroud (like the figure in the card) and appeared to be dead (the 3 cups in front of the figure in the 5 of cups), but Christ’s resurrection can be seen as 2 cups which are still upright.
Jesus was interred but rose from the dead (Judgement card). Jesus after the resurrection can be seen as the Magician (see the Magician card as the direct link between heaven and earth, Christ himself), the Ace of Pentacles (the resurrection of the body as pentacles stand for physicality/body) and the World (Jesus sacrificed himself for humanity).
The first person to see him after his resurrection was Mary Magdalene, his companion which could be seen as the High Priestess as she was probably one of Christ’s disciples. The Queen of Cups can apply to her also as she is supposed to have washed Christ’s feet on the cross, giving him comfort and love during his agony.
Ressurection
The ascension can be seen as Judgement again, for obvious reasons but also the Star, giving hope to humanity that one day, Christ will come again on earth (the World).
Of course all the above is a simplified version of the story of Christ and Easter and other tarot cards could be used to illustrate the story.
It is just an exercise to think and feel the tarot outside its box (literally), to apply archetypes from one system to another and to see that there is an ancient and universal set of images and symbolism that resonate with all humans, regardless of race, creed, religion or language; the Tarot. The cards are full of wisdom and are a depository of mankind’s psyche.
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Happy Easter, Eostre, Pesach or whatever you are celebrating this week end 🙂
Oephebia
All cards are from the Radiant Waite Tarot, US Games

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Cards symbolism

The Empress tarot card and Spring

First day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and we are greeted with grey skies, wind and cold temperatures. Still the magic of Spring and the awakening of Gaia is palpable, the trees are adorned with buds and flowers, I saw some bees awakening from their winter slumber. Nature is slowly emerging from the darkness of Winter 🙂

Talking about awakening, Spring always reminds me of the Empress card, nature in its glory, abundance and plentiful, new lives coming to the world in the animal kingdom, warmer temperatures and a sense of renewal, a sense of creativity and inspiration.

I have analysed and compared the symbols found in the Empress card from three different packs (Original Rider Waite, Herbal Tarot, Sharman Caselli Tarot)

This analysis reflects my own understanding of symbolism and should not be taken for a widely accepted truth. It is a personal reflection which gives food for thought regarding the wonderful tool that the Tarot can be.

rider-waite-empressRider Waite Copyright US Games

This pack is one of the most well known in use today.

When we look at this card, we can see a young woman sits on a throne surrounding by nature. Trees and wheat are portrayed prospering and a gentle cascade from a river adds to the serene environment.

Here we have the setting of the essence of the card: Mother Nature in all its glory, as growth and abundance are very present in the card, in the form of trees and wheat.

The Empress card is linked to the myth of Demeter in the Greek mythology. She is the goddess of fertility and of cultivated soil and when her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades (God of the underworld); she searched the world to find her. To shorten a long story, while her daughter was with Hades, the earth went barren, the crops withered, no plants or fruits blossomed as Demeter was grieving the lost of her unique child. After negotiation with Hades and Zeus, Persephone was allowed to spend eight months with her mum and four months in the underworld (as she had eaten four grains of pomegranate, the sacred fruit of Hades), thus creating the cycle of the seasons. Nature was in its full glory during the time Persephone stayed with her mother, with abundance of crops, flowers, trees and fruits. When she had to leave her mother, nature has to die or “sleep”, as everything withered during her absence therefore creating winter.

The young woman looks peaceful and content. She seems very comfortable in her surroundings. Notice the crown with twelve stars representing the twelve astrological signs. The twelve signs are divided in four categories: the four elements (fire, water, earth and air). The four elements are part of Mother Nature and the young woman understands that they need to be in balance and complement each other to preserve harmony and peace of the natural world. She wears the crown on her head (the crown chakra which represents spirituality). The water flowing behind the Empress represents the source of intuition and creativity.

Look closer at the young woman and notice an orange cushion behind her back. She wears a flowing dress and a necklace made of seven pearls. A shield with the symbol of Venus stands by the throne.

Another aspect of the card is revealed: the fact that the Empress is probably pregnant. The dress is comfortable and not restricting in anyway. The orange cushion adds extra comfort to support her back gently as she needs extra tender loving care in her condition.

Orange is also the colour of creativity (a mix of red (passion) and yellow (intellect)), which tell us that the Empress is a card for creative ideas from conception to birth (a life or a project). This concept is reinforced by the shield of Venus. Venus is the goddess of love, beauty but also the arts and ultimately creativity.

The necklace with seven pearls represents the seven chakras in the body. When they are all in harmony with each other, the body is well balanced and healthy. As the Empress is balanced and in harmony with her surroundings, one can assume that she is attuned with her unborn child and with her own body.

The Empress is the archetypal mother, the gentle force that nurtures, protects, encourages growth and abundance in our life. She is the energy of Venus giving us love for our fellow human beings and as importantly, love of life and the understanding of our place in nature and to preserve the harmony and balance of our natural environment.

herbal-empressHerbal Tarot © US Games Systems

As its name suggests, this Tarot pack links each of its card with a plant and its spiritual and medicinal properties.

When we look at the Empress, we can see: a young woman resting on some rocks, she wears a yellow dress with a blue collar and she is pregnant. She holds a sceptre in her left hand. Pine trees and a river are seen in the background. A tall Dong Quai plant stands before the Empress.

Here the myth of Demeter has not been emphasised. The Empress seated on rocks , illustrating the natural seats of nature. Her yellow dress, with a blue collar suggests that this Empress uses her warmth, joyful energies and mind (yellow) to heal and nurture people and nature (blue). The sceptre in her hand (like in the Rider Waite) reminds us of her absolute status, the Queen of nature. The gentle river (as in the Rider Waite, Shaman Caselli ), shows that our creative energies can gently flow and be developed. The Dong Quai plant is the epitome of creative energies, fertility and bringing to fruition projects or life. This herb is used as a tonic to regulate women’s cycles, help fertility and treat the symptoms of the menopause which is part of the theme of the Empress card.

The young woman looks serene. She wears a crown of twelve stars and no necklace. The shield of Venus stands beside the Empress. She has four buttons on the collar of her dress.

Like with the Rider Waite, this Empress still rules the natural world as the crown shows. The energies of the seven chakras (Rider Waite) have been replaced by four buttons on the Empress’ collar. The four buttons can be seen as the four elements which are under her ruling. The balance of the four elements is absolutely essential to preserve the balance of the natural world and the cycle of the seasons. The creative energies embodied by the shield of Venus (Rider Waite) are emphasised with this Empress.

Overall the Empress in the Herbal tarot still symbolises life rich, full of ideas, creativity and growth. The symbolism remains the same as the Rider Waite with the addition of a Dong Quai plant. A beautiful card showing us the gentle help we can benefit from in the natural world.

shaman-caselli-empressSharman Caselli Tarot © Giovanni Caselli 2001

This pack is part of the Beginner’s guide to Tarot (Juliet Sharman-Burke).

When we look at this card, we see: a young woman sitting on cushions in the middle of a wheat field. She wears a pink dress with embroidered red roses and leaves. At her feet lays a cornucopia (horn of plenty) filled with fruits and pomegranates. In the background, a cascade of water falls into a river. Verdant trees, poppies and gentle hills complete the tranquil scene.

Here the myth of Demeter remains significant with this Empress, the pomegranates and the poppies. The cornucopia shows an abundance of fruits. The sea of wheat with its gold colour is another hint of plentiful and joy. The pink dress worn by the Empress shows us her gentle side, as pink is the colour representing feminine principle and procreation (this Empress is pregnant), whilst the red roses and accompanying leaves on the dress talk of passion (red) and the natural world (green). The cushions have the same meaning as the Rider Waite; they give extra comfort to the Empress.

The young woman looks serene. She wears a crown fashioned from twelve stars and a necklace made of ten pearls. No shield of Venus is represented.

Like with the Rider Waite, this Empress still rules the natural world as the crown of stars show. However the necklace has now ten pearls instead of seven (Rider Waite). This could mean that each pearl represents a planet (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto). The ten planets stand for the principles (Sun equals the character of ego for example), which need to be balanced in order to lead a fulfilling life. Notice the absence of Venus’ symbol (shield in the Rider Waite), with this Empress. However, the energies of Venus are embodied with the red roses on the Empress’ dress, as roses are the sacred flowers of this Goddess.

With the Sharman Caselli Tarot, the Empress still symbolises the plentiful, the beautiful and creativity. The symbolism remains the same as the Rider Waite with a few variations. A beautiful card showing us the abundance of Mother Earth.

Oephebia

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