Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Two of Swords — Tarot Nova

[This card measures about 1″ tall by .5″ wide.

I do not agree with the interpretations in this deck’s book.]


Artist: Julie Paschkis

Author: Dennis Fairchild


“Boy or girl?” I asked. I drew the Two of Swords.


The Two of Swords indicates difficulty making a decision between two seemingly balanced sides, forces or ideals. My question has nothing to do with a decision; there are simply two balanced sides. It was a stupid question. Either/or & yes/no questions just don’t fly with the tarot deck. The baby is most likely either a boy or a girl. I do not believe the tarot can tell the future or reveal the unknown. I don’t want it to. I just wanted to be able to say something like, “This is a real masculine/ feminine card. It will be a boy/ girl.” Exactly. Anyhow, I think it’s a girl. I’ve thought so since the start. There. I’ve said it to the world. Of course, I could be wrong. That’s perfectly fine. This tarot card adds nothing to the situation. I will learn the answer in a month.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Ten of Coins — Tarot of the Absurd

feedback farm alaskaArtist: Jessica Rose Shanahan


Generally, I don’t like asking questions about the future. The future is what I make of it; it will unfold one way or another. Sometimes, it is nice to be reassured that everything will be okay. Today I asked the deck to give me a hint about what I will do with my life after I have a baby. I drew the Six of Blades, previously drawn from this deck on December 27th, 2011— you can see the card and read it’s story there. Briefly, the Six of Blades shows a journey of transformation or a rite of passage. I asked, “Where will this journey lead me?” and pulled the Ten of Coins.


The Ten of Coins is about wealth. This card shows a family sitting on a treasure chest. I drew the image with some friends of mine in mind, many years ago when they only had one baby. The baby is no longer a baby. There are now more children. Their riches are the same.


In our culture, wealth is most often thought about in terms of property or investment assets. When I went to take out a mortgage loan, at one point I told the mortgage broker, “I like to pretend I’m very wealthy.” He looked up from his paperwork. “You’re not,” he said. I hadn’t expected a mortgage broker to think I’m wealthy. “I like to pretend I’m wealthy,” I said, trying to emphasize the bit about pretending. “Well,” he said, looking me in the eye, “you’re not.” I don’t know what his point was; my point was that I feel as if I have enough for my needs.


The Ten of Coins is a card of affluence and wealth, but true wealth cannot be measured by a mortgage broker. Wealth is the realization that one has enough to satisfy one’s needs. This is a card of shows financial security, accomplishment, and comfort. It is a card of commitment to sustainability, long-term investment, and following a consistent approach to achieve a form of success that truly stands the test of time.


The Ten of Coins says, despite challenges and setbacks, everything will eventually come together beautifully. This sense of accomplishment is a result of an improved career path, more solid finances, a stable home, and committed long-term relationships called “family.” Family— or a family of beloved friends— is incredibly important for the sense of place and the sense of belonging this card represents. Those who earn the Ten of Coins feel compelled to share their success with others.


I knew the friends I depicted on the card would never have a bundle of money, but a bundle of money is not a measure of true wealth. Their wealth lies in their family, their commitment to the land, and their commitment to their way of life. They share generously with others. I admire them immensely. I will be joyous if my journey leads me to the place where their hearts sit.

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Four of Jealousy — Matteo Maria Boiardo Tarocchi

Artist: Maurizio Bonora
Author: Matteo Maria Boiardo



The card reads:

GELOSÍA quando vien, non si propona
Contrastarli alcun mai, chè sforza ognuno:
Ma el saper tollerarla è cosa bona.


Which translates as:

JEALOUSY— When it comes, it is better not to think
That you can fight it, because it wins everyone:
But it is good to be able to tolerate it.


Jealousy is the delusion that a loved one has committed an infidelity when none has occurred. It is highly associated with emotional instability and an inclination toward unpleasant emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression. The higher the level of instability, the more one is prone to jealousy. Correspondingly, it is negatively related to agreeableness, or the tendency to be cooperative and compassionate rather than suspicious and antagonistic.


Psychologist Steven Stosny, on Jealousy:
“The formula for jealousy is an insecure person times an insecure relationship.” Unfortunately, insecure people tend to destabilize relationships and make them insecure. And a person who is very insecure is not just sexually jealous but jealous of any kind of friendship or even of a child— “anything that takes attention off them.”


He advises:
“The trick is you have to control jealousy within yourself. You have to do something that will make you feel more lovable, because basically you feel unlovable when you’re jealous.”


This card is pretty pessimistic. My 10¢ diagnosis says the author of the poem was emotionally unstable with an inclination toward anger, anxiety and depression.



Read the entire tarot poem & translation here.

Read an excellent article on jealousy here.

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Lovers — Twenty-Two Keys of the Tarot

Susan Kay TopaArtist: Susan Kay Topa


I like to keep my requests of the tarot deck simple. That way, the results are easier to interpret. It is when we request too much from tarot decks & life & such that things get confusing. So I said, “Give me peace—” not that I feel as if I am without peace— but just that peace is one thing we can always use more of. The deck showed me the Lovers.


The Lovers represent trust, harmony and divine union. Lovers are connected by Soul. This card does not necessarily represent a relationship between two people. The highest form of love is divine love. This manifests itself in as many ways as there are lovers of divinity.


Lovers of divinity know what they stand for. They are not the ones whose voices proclaim loudest their devotion to god— god defined here as the Lovers’ definition of divinity. Lovers are ones whose actions are truest to their beliefs. They are genuine.


I asked a good friend once why she believes in god. She said because all the people she admires most believed in god. Famously: Mohandas Ghandi; Mother Therisa; Albert Schweitzer; Martin Luther King, Jr.; His Holiness the Dali Lama. Not so famously, hundreds of others who lay low and do work behind which divine love is the driving force.


Despite numerous “holy” wars— despite “religious” countries rife with civil unrest— despite Joshua— true divine love is the abode of peace.

Twenty-Two Keys to the Tarot

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Ace of Swords — The Light and Shadow Tarot

Artist: Michael Goepferd

Author: Brian Williams


Upright: inspiration • attainment & acclaim • mental clarity & achievement
Up-Wrong: confusion • chaos • lack of clarity


“At its highest, the sword symbolizes the power of Air to clarity and cleanse, to solve and resolve. When inauspicious, the sword will cut and wound.”


Lately I am feeling muddled, slightly ill, incapable of completing tasks, and exhausted. I need to be careful about what I let slide, lest this blade’s sharp edge cut away that which I have worked hard for and leave me standing in a mire of illusion.

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Ace of Cups — The Fairytale Tarot

1 Cup Fairytale TarotWritten & Designed by Karen Mahoney
Illustrated by Alexandr Ukolov, Baba Studio
Artwork by Irena Třískov


Feeling nostalgic for an era ended not long ago— five months, to be exact— I said, “Tell me something about climbing trees.” The deck showed me the Ace of Cups.


Keywords & phrases: Being open to new  creative beginnings • Bursting with life and passion • Accepting love and affection • Exhilaration about imaginative or artistic projects.


“The Ace of Cups shows us a moment of emotional openness and new beginnings. It’s a card that signals the possibility of new connections with people or with things that arose strongly positive feelings in us. It tells us to accept, rather than analyse, these emotions, and to be glad of the flood of warmth and companionship that they bring.”


The Ace of Cups represents the beginning of love, happiness and compassion. It can indicate the start of a new relationship, the sort in which two souls connect and leave each feeling good about themselves and life in general. It is a card of giving and accepting love unconditionally.


Climbing trees was a love. I loved it. I loved the movement and structure of the tree, the physical exhilaration, mastering the skills necessary to perform my job, and the view from the top. I love trees. Climbing trees is something I am letting go of right now in order to make space for my baby. Although it was my favorite job I ever had, I am not certain I would want to climb for a living in the future. I feel protective. I want to seek out something more subdued and nurturing. I no longer need to prove myself master of a man’s trade. This leaves me nostalgic. Nostalgia is not all bad, though. I know sometime in the future I will be nostalgic for today— the time that is now— when I am newly through with climbing trees and open to whatever this new venture of motherhood brings to me.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

15. The Devil — The Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg

Yuri ShakovArtist: Yuri Shakov

[I was shuffling this deck & out fluttered the devil.]

Right-side-up: “Ravage, Bondage, Malevolence. Subservience. Downfall. Weird experience. Bad outside influence or advice. Black magic. Unexpected failure. Inability to realize goals. Violence. Shock. Fatality. Self-punishment. Temptation to evil. Self-destruction.”
Up-side-down: “Release from bondage. Throwing off shackles. Divorce. Recognition of one’s needs by another person. Overcoming severe handicaps. The beginning of spiritual understanding.”


“The Devil’s face resembles Josef Stalin, who ruled the U.S.S.R. for thirty years. His powerful body symbolized the intensity of his power, tattoos represent his power’s criminal nature, and bat wings symbolize its extent. The marshall’s star above him is the symbol of his victories, the horns show the devilish cunning with which he holds his winnings. The two eyes on his chest are the vigilance of the secret police. The Devil’s chains trap a man and a woman, deprived of civil rights.”


Ultimately, the Devil takes on a great amount of responsibility. It is those who have taken on the responsibility of excessive power who have the greatest tendency to be devil-like.


“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Uncle Ben to Peter Parker via Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire, who was disturbed by the sickening abuse of authority and privilege by those in power whilst the poor and deprived starved and suffered around him. Not much has changed.


Voltaire wrote a lot in days when not as many people write when they do now (there were no bloggers in the 18th century) so it is quite possible someone else said it first and Voltaire was the first to write it down, ableit in French. He also wrote “The multitude of books is making us ignorant” somewhere in one of his over 20,000 letters and over 2,000 books and pamphlets.


I believe I have spent enough time reading. It is time, once again, to go outside the book and learn something on my own.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Nine of Swords — The Enchanted Tarot

Amy Zerner Monte FarberArtist: Amy Zerner
Text: Monte Farber


“In the night, a sleeping figure lies trapped in a dark, nightmare world existing on the edge of sleep. Strange demons, repressed hurts and childhood fears range freely. […] This is a lonesome place, far from help and comfort. Shadows of pain, suffering and depression overwhelm the sleeper until she becomes a victim of her own thoughts and, like a martyr, repeatedly impales herself on their hurtful points. […] The only way she can escape from these nightmares… is to open her eyes and awaken to what is really bothering her. She must confront it in broad daylight…. The alternative is torment.”


This is a good description. I like the Nine of Swords. I do.


From childhood through college, I suffered terrifying nightmares. Oftentimes, the dream itself was abstract: something akin to the task of counting backwards from infinity. It was represented by the perpetual division of an infinitely large form that filled my field of view. I would divide until my field of view was clear but for a tiny speck of what I had begun with. At this point I had to look closer, and the tiny speck would once more be infinitely large. I could do nothing until the task of infinite division was completed. When finally I passed the point of dream paralysis, I was completely hysterical and totally incapable of speech.


As I matured, the dreams became more conceptual and less abstract. I would dial a friend again and again, but the buttons would swim around and fall off the telephone. Panic. I needed to turn on the light, but the string came off in my hand. Over and over. Panic. Helplessness. Terror. I could not breathe.


Eventually I learned to face my nightmares. I learned there are things I cannot do in dreams. For example, I cannot dial a phone: numbers use the other side of the brain. I appreciate dream terror for what it teaches me about reality and waking life. I know there are things I cannot wrap my conscious brain around, but if I fail to learn from my mistakes and injuries, I go mad. I will not run down that same dark hall.

I like the Nine of Swords. I do, I do.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

King of Coins — Tarot of the Absurd

Jessica RoseArtist: Jessica Rose Shanahan


Dignified— This card can indicate a loyal and dependable leader who is not necessarily either intelligent or imaginative. He is trustworthy, patient, cautious, and uses his inborn wisdom to increase his wealth. He is slow to lose his temper, but once angered he stands rigid against his enemies.
Key Words— Planning, advice, counsel, promising ventures.


Ill Dignified— This card can indicate a person who is easily bought, dull, very materialistic and mercenary. He is blind to beauty and hates change as he finds it hard to adapt. He treads a well worn path even if it leads nowhere.
Key Words— Beauty blindness, dislike of change, mercenary attitude.

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Re de Denari — Il Tarocco Bizzarro

re di denariArtist: Franco Bruna


“Coins are the suit of money and success. They refer to practicality, concreteness and the physical world. They are linked to the earth element because of their solidness and reality.”
King: Commercialist, trader, financier, smart investment.


The King of Coins was the final card I illustrated for my deck. I have pulled it numerous times from other decks. I no longer recall why I had such issues illustrating the kings. I think I had trouble motivating myself to sit down. I have always said I’ll finish all my more sedentary projects when I’m crippled.


A friend who infallibly misunderstood the gist of what I said once replied, “Why do you plan on becoming crippled?” Too caught off guard to explain that the effects of age are often crippling, I replied, “I don’t plan on it—” and he said “You’ll never finish anything.” Alas, he lived his life as an inverted Two of Coins. It was not in his nature to understand my reasoning.


[Oops! I meant to post a card of mine today! I’ll show my own King of Coins tomorrow…]