Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Queen of Cups — Tarot of the Absurd

Artist: Jessica Rose Shanahan


The Queen of Cups leads with her heart rather than her head. She is highly intuitive, often psychic and dreamy. This can make it seem as if she lacks common sense and rationality. However, there is no intuition more powerful than that of the Queen of Cups.


She easily senses the feelings of others to help them make sense of emotion in a compassionate manner. She is a good wife and a loving mother. She is fair, honest, and warm-hearted. Those who struggle see her as a beacon of light and are drawn to the safe harbor of her care.


The Queen of Cups is a symbol of achievements made possible by the use of imagination and creativity. A lover of beauty, she is highly imaginative, artistically gifted, affectionate and romantic. Whatever her chosen art, it is her best form of self-expression. To study the art of the Queen of Cups is to study the Queen herself.


Because she is so responsive to the feelings of others, the Queen of Cups must constantly uphold her boundaries between herself and others. If not properly protected, the Queen of Cups can lose her own sense of self. This is her greatest vulnerability.


Queen of Cups says: Trust your intuition. Listen to your inner voice. Follow your heart. Lose your head.


I love the Queen of Cups.

Monday, January 30th, 2012

18. The Moon — Deviant Moon Tarot

Artist: Patrick Valenzia


I was going to say, “Tell me something about the moon,” as this is the Deviant Moon Tarot. Then I thought, “That’s too demanding.” As I took the cards out of the box, I thought of asking, “Tell me something about Quebec.” One card stuck in the box: the Four of Blades: solitude. I took this as a hint and changed my question yet again, shuffled, and said “What am I afraid of?” I spread the cards, considered them, and drew The Moon, upright. I was back where I had started.



Upright: Brainwashing. Dark influences. Trickery. Illusion. Subconscious control.

Upwrong: Avoiding reality. Strange forces. Delusional thoughts. Lies and despair.

“The deviant moon casts its powerful influence over the city, controlling minds like a puppeteer.”


The Moon says: Something is not as it appears to be.


The Moon shows itself to a traveler unsure of his destination or the path on which he journeys. This Moon is the light of intuition and of dream that leads to higher understanding of the veiled messages of the unconscious to reveal the way forward.


The Moon illuminates the shadow side in each of us, projecting silhouettes of past fears onto our present body. Repressed images, thoughts and feelings cause inner disturbances that overwhelm us with waves of fear and anxiety.


Vigilance through the dark night shows the edges of that which is hidden. No matter how one feel about a situation, good or bad, the Moon says: Open your eyes. See what it really going on. Illusion causes error in judgment.


Deep memory must be released and the soul dredged to let the shadow side of lingering, hidden truths be pulled to the surface. Let these truths no longer haunt like monsters of the night.


Something is not as it appears to be. Open your eyes. See what it really going on. Illusion causes error in judgment.


What am I afraid of? I am afraid of losing my mind, of being an only soul, alone upon the dark side of the Moon.


Sunday, January 29th, 2012

King of Pentacles — Pearls of Wisdom

Artist: Roxi Sim

Booklet: Caeli Fullbrite


I said— tell me something of a breaking heart—




“Archetypal male, strongly related to the riches of the earth.

His love and care bring abundance.

He is loyal, reliable, sincere, and successful,

especially on the material plane.

Whatever he touches leads to security and protection.”


the woman said to me—
there is no other for
he is the King of Coins—
but I don’t know what love is—


I said— love is just that—


but now it is too late— she said
for he has lost all hope


and I said — hope

is all you’ve left to loose

the King’s heart breaks slow
his Lover’s heart tumbles soon after

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Eight of Pentacles — The Lover’s Tarot

8 of PentaclesArtist: Oliver Burston
Book: Jane Lyle


Martin has been out of town for over a week. With this in mind, I choose the Lover’s Tarot and pull the Eight of Coins, reversed. It says to me [brackets mine]:


“Problems at work [what work?] or with your working life [implying that parts of my life might not be working?] are draining your energy [and everyone else tells me it’s the baby!] or filling your mind with negative thoughts [e.g.: “I am so lazy—” true]. You may feel as if you are in the wrong job [perhaps my partner should be pregnant and I should go to work?], or resent the time you must devote to work [always]. This may, of course, describe what’s troubling someone close to you [even if he expresses himself well and has never said as much]. There is little energy available for love or romance— practical difficulties [i.e.: a few hundred miles between two people] must be resolved before a relationship can flourish. [Be glad your lover comes home tonight.]”


[Insert humming, hemming and hawing noises.]


I think I am more inclined toward sarcasm in a reading when I don’t feel a connection to the deck I am reading from. I am embarrassed to say this, because it makes it seem as if I take this whole tarot-reading thing more seriously than I would take, say, an average college English writing assignment. This is not true: I was an English writing arts major and took every writing assignment quite seriously. I love writing. These daily entries are, to me, little writing assignments. I love everything about keeping a blog other than the fact that it limits what other things I may (or, recently, may not) accomplish during the day.


In addition to learning the meanings of the cards, I am also learning what I like in a deck. I like a deck that pushes me to learn something new. I like a deck that thinks outside of its box. I like a deck where I feel that the artist fell in love, Pygmalion-like, with the completion of each card. I like a deck where I can look again and again at the images and enjoy them. I like to see the genius behind the art.


Does this mean I will no longer read from a deck when I realize I don’t like it so much? Will I come to the point where I can actually get rid of some decks? I don’t know. Right now I still feel ignorant enough that I want to learn from as many sources as possible, even if I do not enjoy each lesson equally.


The purpose of this blog is to gain a better understanding of the cards
that I might better be able to explain the images in my deck
and someday write a little book.
Friday, January 27th, 2012

Cuatro de Oros — Tarot Lukumi

Luigi ScapiniArtist: Luigi Scapini
Author: Emanuele Coltro Guidi

Conscious of my changing shape and lifestyle, I said

“Tell me something about my body,”

and drew this card, reversed.

I love this version of the Four of Coins. I love this deck.


Interpretation: “The power of the four elements is represented by the four towers of King Chango’s castle. We can see the four attributes of Chango on the coins. This card means power and economic and social steadiness, it is the power of a just leader.”


A small mythology: Chango, the god of thunder and lightning, was second to spring from the body of Yemaja and is the second-most powerful god of the Yorubas. He dwells in the clouds in an immense brazen palace, with a huge court and a great number of horses. Besides being thunder-god, he is also the god of the chase and of pillage. Veneration of Chango enables a great deal of power and self-control.


Coins are about money and material goods. Like many cards, the Four of Coins has both positive and negative aspects no matter which way it falls. I asked about my body— commonly seen as a material possession— tho the objective of many religions is to transcend such a limited viewpoint. Nonetheless, one’s body is a form of wealth— or poverty.


Thus, in this instance, the Four of Coins signifies accomplishment of goals and attainment of great physical ability. It indicates bodily conservatism and of a strong sense of self-preservation, as the body is often equated with the self. It indicates material attachment to the body and the physical realm. It warns of the risk of greed: of coming to value only the physicality of being. I must continually work hard to maintain the status-quo of my aging self and sustain my ongoing obsession with bodily preservation. I am forever trying to create order amidst the chaos, to bring a state of calm and stability into my life.


Veneration of Chango enables a great deal of power and self-control. Likewise, veneration of one’s body enables a great deal of power and self-control. In order to empower others, it is necessary to humble one’s self, let go of power, and release control. The Four of Coins reversed asks me to loosen my hold on my body as it is— or as it recently was. While difficult at first, this is an important aspect in my personal development, the development of my child, and the development of life unfolding now before me.

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

The World — Dragon Tarot

Artist: Peter Pracownik

Designer: Terry Donaldson


Here I am back at the Dragon Tarot, where a slender dragon wraps it wings protectively around the world. The dragons in this deck seem to have all hatched from the same clutch of eggs. If I was going to draw a dragon tarot— which I won’t but if I did— one of my main goals would be to give the dragons all their own personality and unique features. After all, dragons are people, too. But I digress.


My mother is here visiting. We do typical mother-daughter activities such as walking the frozen wetlands of the nearby nature preserve and constructing built-in shelving so baby-to-be has some place to store its (her?) dozens of onesies. I know the shelving project will not be completed before she leaves: I will need to finish the drywall and painting. I have other unfinished drywall projects around the house. My best excuse for not finishing the other projects is that it is impossible to carry home an intact 8×4-foot sheet of drywall on top of a Toyota Corolla. Afraid of impending lethargy, I say to the deck— Tell me to finish the drywall! —Motivation comes easier with a foreman.


The deck hands me the World: a card of integration, completion, accomplishment, and travel— quite a powerful card for a seemingly simple request. Nonetheless. To integrate is defined as to combine one thing with another— such as to combine drywall with mud and tape— so that they become seamlessly whole. To complete is to finish a project. To accomplish something is to stand back and look at it with pride and say, “Well! That’s done.” To travel is to move on to the next thing. Despite how annoying I find the task of spackling, I don’t think my request was deserving of the World, which indicates there will be praise and celebration for my successful achievements. I won’t complain. I just have to do what the World has obligingly ordered me to do— ASAP.


Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

14 Temperance — New Age Tarot

Walter Wegmüller[Sometimes it seems really manipulative to ask a question. I wanted to see what this deck had to say without asking.]


Artist: Walter Wegmüller


Temperance is defined as moderation or self-restraint, especially in the realm of eating and drinking.


About this card: “This is the conscious aspect of every measure or dimension. Yardstick of all knowledge and all laws governing light and dark, inner and outer form, weights and distances, proportions. […] The balancing of opposites: man and woman, day and night, high and low, etc.”


Divinatory Meaning: “Organize your life and work differently. Define boundaries. Control and adjust dimensions. Justice. Determine the right amount of work you should be doing and the right [amount] of food and drugs you should be taking.”


This card reminds me I am having a hard time organizing and balancing my life right now. I am having an easy time staying in bed a large portion of the day, saying to myself: I am tired: rest is good. I am having a hard time motivating myself to exercise.


I am having an easy time procrastinating with household projects, instead spending time doing things such as browsing the internet for things I think I need or things I think I need to know or writing this silly blog— although this silly blog is just about the one activity I do with commitment.


I am having a hard time remembering to eat foods that are good for me (green! green! green!) and eat on a schedule and not to just eat everything in sight with the excuse that I am growing my baby— I am a bit old for this baby-having activity and would like to grow a healthy baby.


I am having a hard time finding balance. Will I ever feel balanced? Is life just one long, drawn-out balancing act? Is it ever easy?


Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Ten of Pentacles — Tarot of a Moon Garden

Artist: Karen Marie Sweikhardt


Tell me something about my relationship with the wilderness, I asked,
and drew the Ten of Coins, reversed.


Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.


The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, translated by Edward FitzGerald

The Wilderness is all the riches in the world, unspent. The Ten of Coins reversed betrays poor resource management. The recent past of wilderness and human kind has been a fun relationship with no commitment on our side. Our side. All of us and not just me or you or him or her or them, them, them— I speak in plural, all of us, for none of us are here alone amidst the Wilderness. As humans, we are one— and one against the Wilderness, it seems, judging from our actions as a whole. Stability has been undermined. Vast wealth has been squandered. True lovers of the Wilderness weep with a sense of loneliness and loss. The wealth was there and it is gone, ill-spent, the future left unplanned, our children wildland-impoverished. Only the wealthiest of all have found a tree to sing beneath amidst the Wilderness— and know that Wilderness is paradise enough.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

King of Blades — Tarot of the Absurd

Jessica Shanahan[I finished this illustration yesterday.]


Artist: Jessica Rose Shanahan


Upright: Clear thinking, intellectual power, authority, truth
Reversed: Manipulative, tyrannical, abusive


The King of Blades is in control of his thoughts. He is the king of clear mind, of rational plan, of undistracted concentration. He is not lead by wandering thought, nor are his thoughts lead by emotion.


The King of Blades’ power and authority lie in his ability to use logic and intellect to accomplish what he desires. He is an advisor with a solid reputation and a vast amount of knowledge in his field. His is the side of history, laws, structure and diplomacy. His is the stern but fair leadership of an incorruptible man of the highest ethical standards. He keeps his emotions in check and uses judgment as a compass to navigate path ahead. His ability to remain detached and objective in any situation allows him to seek out the facts and ascertain the truth. He is well-positioned to judge a situation appropriately and identify limiting behaviors. With the ability to take any situation, look at it with impartiality, and come to a decision that is both fair and insightful, he firmly gives sound advice to everyone.


•   •   •


Martin, quite new to reading Tarot, does an impeccable job interpreting this card:

“Here is a fashionably dressed young King with his curled hair. He seems like a cool guy ready to party not to govern people. The little knife* he holds in his left hand is an indication that he is probably a peaceful person and has not interest for power. His throne and Kingdom were probably a legacy from his dad. The way he stands up with one foot on his throne, legs spread open and pubic bone pointing towards doesn’t seem appropriate for his standing and confirm his sexual orientation. I don’t think he has received his King training yet.”


*This is supposed to be a fountain pen.

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

King of Pentacles — Bruegel Tarot

Guido Zibordi MarchesiArtist: Guido Zibordi Marchesi


Interpretation: “Experience. Generosity. An old sparrow will not enter a cage. (An expert will not let himself be cheated.)”


—What is jealousy? I asked

—and drew the King of Coins, reversed.


Jealousy is a strong feeling of envy. It is an intense effort to hold on to one’s possessions and it is often associated with distrust, suspicion, anger, and other negative emotions.


This King of Coins is a powerful man who has an abundance of security, control, power and discipline. He generates a lot of his self-worth from what he has accumulated and what he can share with others. Reversed, he is materialistic, possessive, and jealous. Experience has taught him little about kindness. He will accommodate others only if it is to his own advantage. At times, he will do anything for money.


Easily impressed by social status, this King-Put-Upside-Down will readily fulfill requests of those he deems above him. A social snob, he dismisses those with lesser authority and status. He is a name-dropper and a braggart. He is a user, and will not think twice about the injury he causes others in his pursuit of money, possession, and power. If he is a workaholic it is out of greed and he does not share; otherwise he expects others to look after him financially.


The inverted King is often abusive toward his family, wielding disciplinary power, rigid authority and inflexible control as weapons. Failing to show his love through positive means, he excels at suppressing the spirit of others.



Jealousy is a Blindfold that lets
the Jealous One run face-first into Greed.
Blind with Envy, he flails his arms
Oppressing those who navigate around him.



The Jealous Sparrow locks its cage
and huddles inside with its seed.
Protected from intruders, a Jealous Bird
will never find its Freedom.