Author Topic: Learning the Tarot  (Read 28634 times)

Offline Christine

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Learning the Tarot
« on: June 09, 2005, 05:03:22 PM »
Hi everyone,
I thought I would start a thread on learning the tarot one step at a time so that it was not too over whelming.

Introduction to the tarot
There are 78 cards in a tarot deck. 22 of these are the Major Arcana and these form the heart of the deck. The other 56 cards are the minor arcana. While the major arcana expresses universal themes, the minor arcana brings those themes down into the practical arena to show how they operate in daily events. The minor arcana cards represent the concerns, activities and emotions that make up the dramas of our everyday lives. There are four suits of the tarot each representing different aspects of our lives. Cups, Wands, Pentacles and Swords.

Many interpreters view the major arcana as showing the different stages on an individual's journey of inner growth - what some call the Fool's Journey. We all travel this road to self-actualisation, though our trips more often involve detours, dead ends and stalls than smooth progression through life! Our specific paths are unique, but our milestones are universal. The 22 major arcana cards are markers on the path of inner development leading from earliest awareness (card 0) to integration and fulfillment (card 21). The major arcana contains many levels and models of experience. These cards hold all the patterns of growth, whether they occur within one segment of a life or a whole life span. We could even say that an entire lifetime is really just one growth episode within the larger saga of our soul's development.

The story of the major arcana

The Fool's journey seems to move smoothly from one order of experience to the next however in our real lives things are not so simple. We live, learn mistakes, skip lessons and fail to understand what we need to do to live up to our full potential. We may lack the courage and insight to discover our deepest levels. We may never feel the call of the Hermit to look inward and examine our lives or intentions. We may never experience the crisis of the Tower that might free them from the defences of our ego. Sometime we try to overcome our difficulties and fail. Sometimes we need to learn from the Hanged Man to let go and surrender to the experience  be that good or bad.

Our lessons are not  always in the same order as the Fools journey. For example a difficult childhood may lead us to develop Strength to survive ones upbringing yet we may develop the control in our lives of the Chariot much later in life. Someone may overcome the attraction of the Devil's materialism through a life of seclusion, but then need to learn about relationships and sexuality - a lesson of the Lovers - at a later time.

The major arcana contains many levels and models of life experiences. These cards hold all the patterns of growth, whether they occur within one segment of a life or a whole lifetime. Our entire lifetime is really just one growth episode within the larger story of our soul's development.

No matter what our pattern of self-discovery, the major arcana shows us that wholeness and fulfillment are our destiny. If we keep this goal in focus, we will eventually realise our true nature and gain the World.

For with understanding comes acceptance.

So we will start with this introduction and move onto the Fool's journey in the Major Arcana.

The Fools Journey

The major arcana is a metaphor for the various stages of our journey through life.

We start with The Fool (0). Not called so because he is foolish but called The Fool because of his innocent faith. He represents each of our beginnings. The start of our journey through life.  At the start of his journey he is fresh, full of spontaneity. He feels ready to take on the world and starts off on his way to do just that. His card is number zero. Right in the middle of positive and negative numbers. He is an empty vessel waiting to be filled with the journey of his life.

Firstly he meets the Magician (1) and The High Priestess (2). The great male and female energy forces that make up the world. The Magician represents active or conscious masculine power and will. The High Priestess representing the more feminine aspects of intuition  and sub consciousness. The more mysterious elements of life. She represents unrealized potential waiting for an active power to take hold. She provides the foundation for this growth. They are both of equal worth and necessary for balance.

He continues to grow and meets The Empress (3). He becomes more and more aware of what is around him and realizes his Mother. The Empress is both his mother figure and mother earth. Both care for him and nourish him. They introduce him to the world of nature and sensation.

The Emperor (4) likewise represents his Father figure and brings with him the impressions of authority and structure. He leaves the comfort of his mothers arms and realizes the disciplines of the world. He experiences a new kind of pleasure and explores it. It is predictable. It is order and rules. They are necessary for his well being. They can be frustrating to him but with the guidance of the Emperor he begins to understand there value and purpose.

Leaving the comforts of his parents he enters the world and his formal education. Both traditionally and culturally. The Hierophant  (5) represents these organised belief systems. Although the card often hard religious imagery, this card is representative of initiations of all kinds.  The figure pictured presents knowledge and mysteries. He learns to identify with a group and he enjoys learning the values of society and displaying how well he conforms to them as it provides him with a sense of belonging. This sense of belonging is expanded from the sense of family belonging to belonging to a larger group.

Before now the Fool has been primarily self-centred. Now he is longing for a union with another person. A sexual union, a relationship. He wants the balance offered by The Lovers (6). He also needs to understand his own beliefs, convictions and values. He must learn to be true to himself question the opinions of others rather than blithely accepting it.

By the time the Fool enters adulthood he has a sense of certainty about himself and his beliefs.  He possesses discipline and self control and through mastering these has learnt to succeed in his environment.  The Chariot (7) represents this self satisfaction. The sense of ego he has attained at having achieved, the pinnacle of his journey so far. It appears he might have all he could want, perhaps this is merely the confidence of youth or naivety.

Time marches on and The Fool is faced with troubles and disillusionment. He must draw on his Strength (8) to see him through these trials.  He must find the courage to overcome and the heart to continue the journey.  Through these trials he learns tolerance and patience.  The self satisfaction and commanding aura of The Chariot has to be tempered with a softer more gentle approach of Strength.  Yet he thought he had everything under control in The Chariot.

He begins to ask himself “why”? Why did this happen to me? Why this? Why now?
Mimicking The Hermit (9) he becomes engrossed in finding the answers to these difficult questions.  This is no idle quest. He wants to know there is more to just living, suffering and dying.  He needs to discover the deeper truth of the matter. He looks to himself to better understand his perceptions and motivations.  He seeks solitude to do so and not the distractions of the world around him.  He may conclude he cannot determine the answers himself and seek a guide or teacher to help him to understand.

Eventually The Fool begins to see there is a cycle to the seeming madness. He realises everything is connected.  The Wheel of Fortune (10) represents the mysterious universe which has parts that intricately connects together by design and fate to work together.  He realises he is one mere part of a beautiful bigger picture and begins to find answers to some of the answers he seeks.  Fate seems to play a part in the outcome with events molding change and further redesign.  He recognises his destiny as being part of the grand plan that leads him to this point of questioning. With this understanding comes restlessness, the need to explore what he believes he has discovered and learnt. He has a renewed sense of purpose.

Now he must understand how to apply and incorporate this understanding into his life.  He reflects on karma. What he has done to cause the events of his life. He accepts responsibility for these past actions and makes amends for his behaviour and in doing so assures himself a more positive and honest future for himself. Justice (11) is served and he can start again. He must make better choices. Will he be true to his understanding or will he revert back to an easier more unaware existence that prohibits his future growth?

The Fool continues his journey. He is set upon realising his vision but also realises life is not as easy as he had thought. He encounters a burden, a circumstance of life so hard to bear that it seems impossible to continue. He is humbled by the challenge. He realises his only way to endure is to give up and let go of it. He realises he cannot control or contain it.  He feels dejected and lost. He feels that he has failed. He thinks that he has sacrificed everything to no good end and is forlorn. He sinks to a new depth and when he feels he cannot go on any longer he realises that the wheel starts to turn and by fate or intricate design, things start to progress as they should. At his most vulnerable moment he realises the strength of his inner self. He has learnt the power of surrendering to his circumstances and experience rather than fighting to control them. His world was turned upside down in The Hanged Man (12) yet he seems strangely at peace. He learns not to fight but to let go at be at peace with the circumstance.

He now accepts it is time for drastic change and sets about to do just that. He tries to break old habits and tiresome ways of life. He goes back to basics. These old ways and things end for him as he replaces them with the new more positive habits and ways he has been learning. The process seems like Death (13) as it is the death of his familiar self to enable the growth of a new self. At times he feels overwhelmed by the changes but he comes to realise that death is not permanent but merely a transition to a new life.

Since his inward journey with the Hermit, The Fool has swung wildly emotionally from one extreme to the other. He now comes to realise the need for balance and Temperance (14) in order to have true equilibrium. It is only however by experiencing these vast extremes he can appreciate moderation. In Temperance he has combined all aspects of himself and what he has learnt into a picture of balanced health and well being. He has come a long way in realising what it takes to live a harmonious life.

With his new found poise and grace and well being, what more could The Fool need?  He seems to be living true to his new discoveries. He soon discovers The Devil (15). This is not to be confused with an evil figure intent on harm. This devil is the deep seated streak of want of material possessions, ignorance or bondage to something outside of ourselves. Often we do not even recognise it’s call to us, nor consciously hear it. He could so easily free himself but does not even realise his bondage. He lives still, within his limited range of experiences unaware of an even greater more glorious world that could await. The price of this ignorance is a deep seated core of despair or depression.

It is only a massive sudden change that can jerk The Fool free of The Devil and his influence. The Fool is only released by the sudden change of The Tower (16). The Tower represents the outer wall of ego that each one of us has built around our inner selves.  This solid outer wall seems to protect us, we try to tell ourselves it will save us from harm. However, it only serves to imprison us. It is only when faced with some crisis that we are able to be freed from the walls. The walls are smashed by a force greater than ourselves and we are thrust forward, propelled and out of our own control. Once so proud we are now forced to accede to a force greater than ourselves. However The Fool may not respond to anything other than this severe action to allow him to shake of his tethers and be able to justify such a painful experience. The resulting revelation makes is worthwhile and the light shines for The Fool again.

The Star (17) is a shining light. Wishes are made upon stars.  Mankind look to the stars for guidance, they are beacons of hope. There is calm and tranquility and here The Fool lacks guise. He can be himself in his raw and naked form.  The negative energy left by The Devil is replenished by the positivity of The Star. The Star is the peace after the storm where his sense of self and his future is restored.

However The Fool is in a dreamy condition. He is not yet aware of the effects of the illusions of The Moon (18). He does not yet possess full mental clarity after the wondrous peace of The Star.  In this altered state of perception he is subject to fantasy and a distorted sense of reality for he cannot see the real picture of what is around him. Some parts hide in the shadows not illuminated by The Moons light. Only certain parts can be seen under its beams. Too much is left to the imagination and it will fill it in with facts and things that may not be true.  Although deep and beautiful thoughts can arise from this state so can suppressed fears and anxieties. These experiences may make The Fool feel lost and bewildered.

It is The Sun (19) that restores order to The Fools imagination. Its rays bring light to all that is hidden from his sight and mind under The Moon. It resolves his feelings of fear and bewilderment. He feels enlightened and that he understands and is able to feel the goodness of his world. He is reassured. He is ready to face a new day undaunted. He feels he is able to achieve greatness and that he has all at his disposal to do so.

The Fool has been reborn. His false self has been shed and he is a new reborn person. He has discovered life revolves around joy rather than fear. He forgives himself and others around him. He understands he and they acted and made mistakes based on ignorance rather than from their true natures. He feels absolved and ready to start anew. It is time for him to make a Judgment (20) about his life. He is now able to see himself as he truly is and make decisions about his future armed with this knowledge. He can choose which values he wishes to keep and which to discard. He also rises up to his higher calling. The reason he was called to this life. He is ready to follow his dream and fulfill his destiny.

He goes off to face The World (21) again but this time he does so with greater understanding able to integrate the lessons he has learnt that have allowed him to achieve wholeness. He experiences life fully. His future is filled with promise and he is actively involved in the world. He contributes as a part of the world and prospers.  He acts with certainty, gives with grace and the universe conspires to reward him. He accomplishes much.

His journey was not necessarily foolish after all. In his search for self he overcome darkness and despair with honesty and perseverance to enable him to take his place in the world. His growth will continue although his cycle is over. A new journey will begin that allows him even greater understanding and growth.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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Offline Christine

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The minor arcana- The 4 suits
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2005, 04:09:47 PM »
The major arcana expresses universal themes in the context of our life's journey. The minor arcana brings those themes down to a practical level to show how they operate in the mechanics of our daily lives. These cards represent the concerns, activities and emotions that make up the dramas of our day to day lives.

There are 56 cards in the minor arcana divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Each suit represents a different aspect of our lives.

Wands
The Wands are the suit of creativity, action and movement. They are associated with such qualities as enthusiasm, adventure, risk-taking and confidence. This suit corresponds to the yang, or masculine principle. The energy of this suit flows outwards. Wands represent the fire element. The negative side of  Wands can be counterproductivity through rashness. Fire also bruns if uncontrolled and undirected.

Cups
The Cups are the suit of emotions and spiritual experience. They describe inner states, feelings and relationship patterns. The energy of this suit flows inward. Cups correspond to the yin, or feminine principle. Cups represent the water element. Water is often used in the imagery of the Cups suit to reflect emotions. The negative side of Cups is passivity, apathy, empty dreams and vagueness.

Swords
The Swords are the suit of intellect, thought and reason. They are concerned with justice, truth and ethical principles. Swords are associated with the element Air. A cloudless sky, open and light-filled, is a symbol of the mental clarity that is the Swords ideal. This suit is also associated with states that lead to disharmony and unhappiness. Can also deal with endings in life. Our intellect is a valuable asset, but as an agent of ego, it can lead us astray if it is not infused with the wisdom of our Inner Guide. Swords are often truth seekers.

Pentacles
The Pentacles are the suit of practicality, security and material concerns. They are associated with the element Earth and the concrete requirements of working with matter. Pentacles reflect the beauty of nature, our interactions with plants and animals and our physical experiences in the body. Pentacles also represent prosperity and wealth of all kinds and often freflect our careers and materialistic concerns. Sometimes this suit is called the Coins, an obvious symbol of the exchange of goods and services in the physical world. Coins deal with what your resources are and how you use them.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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Offline Christine

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Numbered Cards
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2005, 04:17:36 PM »
Within the suits are numbered cards, just like in a deck of playing cards. They are numbered Ace to Ten. There are also 4 court cards. King, Queen, Knight and Page.

The numbered cards take us through stages of our journey.

Aces
The Ace announces the theme of the suit that it is. It stands for love, emotions, intimacy. These ideas are also explored in other cards int he suit. The Ace card however, always represents positive forces. It shows us the best of what that suit is about.

Twos
Relationships are key issues, duality, balancing of two things, people or situations depending on hte suit of the card.

Threes
Synthesis, collaboration, self-expression, expansion, fulfillment – except Swords where this is missing.

Fours
Foundations are examined, stability of the situation at hand, status quo.

Fives
Changes are forthcoming, instability, volatile, it will be necessary to adapt to unpleasant changes.

Sixes
Assistance, idealism, perfection, and a change for the better. Almost like there could be light at the end of the tunnel.

Sevens
Unexpected change, perception, insight, new awareness and perspective, change brought about by insight.

Eights
Control, power and mastery over a situation through self-reliance and autonomy and organisation.

Nines
Completion and fulfillment of each suit, maximum intensity of each suit in the cycle, completion, fulfillment.

Tens
Ten is the end result or logical conlusion of the Ace in its suit.If you continue with the themes of love, intimacy and emotions you develop joy, peace and ultimate acceptance. Renewal through a new cycle. Many lessons have been learned regarding the suit in question – mastery.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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The Court Cards
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2005, 07:14:44 PM »
Most people find the court cards more difficult to interpret than other cards in the tarot deck.

Kings
Generally speaking Kings repsresent mature people in leadership roles or with leadership qualities.

Queens
Queens tend to represent people in nurturing roles or with nurturing talent.

Knights
Knights are energetic and forceful. They are enthusiastic.

Pages
Pages are students, explorers, children, curious people and foretell of new beginnings. They are regardless of gender as are all of the court cards.

Knights are Pages are not necessarily young in years, they can be someone young in their approach to life or one who is reckless.

Each Court card also has additional meaning based on suit.
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0. The Fool
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2005, 08:26:01 PM »
0. The Fool



The Fools card is numbered 0. It has no end, no beginning and holds the seed of potential.

Expect the unexpected. This is the beginning of everything, setting out on a new journey. Starting from scratch, with the innocence of a child. Enthusiastic, carefree, naïve, silly and yet protected by the fact that the heart is pure as it is yet unsullied by life’s experiences.

When The Fool is surrounded by positive cards then there is no fear of what lies ahead. This comfort can help you achieve much. This is a joyous adventure of making choices and having faith. Being at the thresh-hold of your journey there is the impulse to leap into the unknown. There is the doubt too that if we do not leap we will wonder what could have been.

The Fool and his journey represent a new chapter in life and a risk of some kind. Keep faith in yourself and in life. Leave the negativity behind and trust your instinct. This is the first step in the path to self knowledge.

On an inner level The Fool represents the irrational impulse towards change and toward opening life’s horizons into the great unknown. We do not know the outcome yet if we resist the impulse to begin the adventure then we take the risk of life sinking into the drab and meaningless.

Wherever The Fool falls in the spread there can be a breakthrough which feels like a leap into the unknown but there is also huge opportunities to grow in with it.




The Gilded Tarot Version


I just love the Gilded Tarot deck. In fact I think it is the most beautiful that I own. For this reason I am adding a section on the imagery of this gorgeous deck also. This deck has the art of Ciro Marchetti.

In The Fool card in addition to all of the above which is true for all Fool cards in any deck we have the added imagery of The Fool carelessly juggling the signs of the zodiac. This translates to the juggling of the science of the heavens and the vastness of the human experience we encounter everyday in our lives often carelessly. The symbols also represent all types of personality traits. Perhaps by juggling all of them he can decide which he will end up with? Yet we know that will be determined by his journey. The question is posed will he make this choice or will it be made for him by some predetermined luck or fate? Whilst he is busy juggling he is also managing a gold hoop at his feet. Should he be paying more attention to this gold hoop or is it merely a distraction from the true job at hand? He does not think about that. He lives in the moment filled with wonder and curiosity and does not much care about the end of the journey.

The Fools message here is one of unconventional choices. Adopt a playful attitude in a serious situation and take a leap of faith. You have no way of knowing where the journey will end so pick a route that takes your fancy and head off with confidence.

Be aware if carelessness and folly as there is a difference between taking a risk and heading headlong into danger. Reckless behaviour can lead to a long path of unhappiness.
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Offline Christine

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The Magician
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2005, 10:21:56 PM »
1. The Magician


 

1 is the beginning of a cycle. It is a masculine or assertive number dealing with creation, willpower, leadership and independence.

The Magician card refers to the first steps of a new beginning. A guide and teacher and the ability to encourage others. Also to develop the character, personality and skills of the young. The development of communication skills, artistic skills. Can also show the qualities of a spiritual teacher or protector.
Basically these skills though are as yet not manifested. But there is an upsurge of energy and intuition. There is a message that the journey is possible as all of the resources are available even if they are not yet realised. The possibilities of life can be manifested. Creative power from above can be manifested into earthly reality. As this young soul sets off on its journey we can see it has access to all of the equipment it needs. How the soul uses these gifts is entirely up to itself. Take time to meditate on what is available to you for this new experience. In essence the Magician is how we do things and how we learn.
On an inner level the Magician is our Guide. No matter what is happening around us, no matter what is going wrong for us, somewhere inside us is there is the foresight and resources to manage. These are often hidden from our consciousness but can be accessed to divine what direction to take. There is a sense of coming into our own confidence.

Reversed it can indicate blocked energy, depression or mental disquiet. The possibility of deceit and the need to look deeper into a situation. Perhaps the need for change if one is not applying oneself in the right direction.

The Gilded Tarot version:


 
The Magician is the master magic maker and also a man of science. Unlike The Fool he is fully aware of cause and effect. He is aware of the power of his will and the importance of his choices.
The elements represented in Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles are within his control. When he learns to control his will he can accomplish whatever he chooses.
His message is one of responsibility and discipline. He reminds us we have the power, the knowledge and the tools to accomplish whatever we wish. We must focus our will and hone our skills.
However power can blind. Be aware of control and manipulation. The negative stereotype of The Magician is the charlatan or swindler.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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Offline Christine

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High Priestess
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2005, 10:45:16 PM »
2. High Priestess



2 is a feminine number which expresses the qualities of love, harmony, intuition, kindness and spirituality. Two deals with duality, choice, polarity, balance and co-operation.

The High Priestess card represents the moon. It also represents the ability to use intuition and receive spiritual inspiration. Activity beneath the surface, the whole picture cannot be seen at this point. The subconscious, intuition, instinct, mystery, stillness, holds many secrets, not yet surfaced, abundant potential, but as yet unfulfilled. Psychic gifts, clairvoyance, deep mysteries, the ability to guide children and strengthen men. The value of quiet retreat, seclusion, receptivity, seeking guidance and council. Wisdom. The womb of the unconscious in which the secret of our real purpose and the pattern of our destiny are contained. Only through withdrawal from outer involvement can we allow the inner voice of vision and psychic forces to speak to us. Action must follow the realisation of potential, or the potential will never be realised. An affinity with the healing arts, magic and mystery. The High Priestess is usually thought of as one of, if not the, most psychic card in the whole deck. The appearance of this card can mean that the person's powers of intuition will be heightened, they may have a sense that "something" is at work in their life, or they may suddenly develop an interest in the occult or esoteric. Scientific and mathematical knowledge.

Reversed - Passiveness, fear of life and of other people, perhaps afraid to open up to other people. A need for a deeper commitment. Person doesn't know what they are talking about, all mumbo jumbo.

On an inner level, the High Priestess represents that part of us which knows the secrets of the inner world, which holds the secret of our destiny, and which gestates in darkness until the time is ripe for manifestation. There may he prophetic dreams or strange coincidences which make us begin to wonder w Nether there might be some hidden pattern at work in our lives.

The Gilded Tarot version



The High Priestess speaks of the unknown and contradictions. Her face is masked yet she is clothed in a transparent gown. She floats with her toe barely skimming the surface of the subconscious and her head is crowned with 9 glowing orbs. These orbs represent the nine planets. She is between two pillars holding some strange mechanism, we know not what it does. The night sky behind her hints at the poetic mystery of the moon yet also the logically charted courses of the heavenly bodies. She beguiles, she promises knowledge and she can be dangerous. We must accept her wisdom and energy cautiously.

The message of the High Priestess is about a kind of knowing that is beyond logic. Pay attention to your intuition and recognize that there are different ways of knowing. Whilst the stars and planets in the night sky can be charted and understood rationally, this same sky inspires us in ways that are foreign to our sense of reason.

Be aware of staying too long in the heady realms of the High Priestess. You must take your inspiration and translate it into action. Honor the muse, but do not become her slave.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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Learning the Tarot
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2005, 10:51:11 PM »
it beautiful card as The Gilded Tarot version

Offline Christine

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The Empress
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2005, 11:03:53 PM »
3. The Empress



Three is the number of joy, abundance, imagination and artistic expression.

The Empress represents the planet Venus. Fertility, the ability to produce and make things grow, accomplishment. The mother, a strong female influence, unconditional love, growth, prosperity, productivity, wealth, harvest, nurturing. Encouragement and inspiration for artistic and aesthetic projects. Self worth, the desire to give birth to something remarkable, attraction, abundance, awareness of the body and the senses. This is the card of the seasons and all that shall be well within a season. Can be a marriage, or the birth of a child, or the birth of a creative child, an artistic offspring. Signifies a time to approach life with passion, to create, to produce and then to support what is created. Focus is on happiness, travel and enjoyment. A very positive growth period, put intuition to good use and communicate desires.

Reversed - A retreat from feeling, either rejecting emotions or attempting to suppress desires, particularly sexual. A sense of stifling, overbearing, overprotective, not allowing growth and development to take place. Bitterness and resentment, because life requires change and separation and endings must occur. Mother may have problems in cutting apron strings or vice-versa, i.e. letting go of mother''s influence and doing own thing. May represent conflict between self and mother or mother image.

On an inner level, the Empress represents the experience of mothering, not only the physical processes of gestation, birth and nurturing of the young and helpless child, but also the discovery of the body as something valuable and precious which merits care. The experience of being part of nature and rooted in natural life, the appreciation of the senses and the simple pleasures of daily existence. She has the knowledge that all things move in cycles and ripen at the appropriate time, she is wise with the wisdom of nature and has an inner feeling of security and safety in the present.

The Gilded Tarot version



The Empress follows the High Priestess just as inspiration is ideally followed by manifestation. The astrological symbols surrounding her represent the possibillities of life, her red hair and red belt suggest earthy passion and sensuality. Covering her passion though is her blue, flowing cloak, representing her emotions. A necklace of the solar system hangs close to her heart. Her actions are largely nurturing and internal and surrounded by feeling. She represents the mother archetype from whom all life flows. She also holds a circle with a cross, a symbol of the feminine and a symbol of the balance of opposites- both the idea and the physical form of the idea. Both the inspiration and the manifestation. At the most basic levvel, she is both the epitome of love and the birth of a life resulting from that love.

The message The Empress brings is one of creation and passion. You are in a position to nurture and give birth to a project. Tap into the energy of Mother Earth and celebrate the gifts she bestows on you.

Be aware of maintaining a healthy balance. Don't allow your emotions or actions become obsessive or controlling. A garden needs careful and loving cultivation- too much or too little upsets the delicate balance of beuty.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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Offline Christine

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The Emperer
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2005, 09:58:12 PM »
4. The Emperor



Four is the number of stability, structure, work, discipline and order.

Represents the astrological sign, Aries. The father, a strong male influence, conditional love. The qualities of the perfect ruler, self mastery, stability. The correct use of power. The father who teaches the child self confidence. Ordering thoughts and harnessing your energies toward stable goals. Power and leadership, at home with ambition, authority and confidence to begin new projects. Understanding action as being the road to fulfillment of ambitions. Experiencing wholeness and unity within the self. Having vision and seeking stability. The ruler who has the power to lead others, will make war to protect that which he governs, the practical idealist. A need to make something solid, to concretise an idea, to build something with a firm structure, to found a business, perhaps, or to establish the structure of a home and family. Can be a crucial test, time to formulate ideas and ethics. Can also indicate a person who holds great power over the subject, very often the father, or it can be husband or lover, especially those who treat their lovers as substitute fathers, to whom they surrender control of their lives. The bringer of worldly power - material success and wealth. A legally binding matter, e.g. marriage, buying or selling real estate, or home issues resolved. Think before taking action.

Reversed - Can signify immaturity and the inability to make harsh decisions and carry them through. Direction is needed, lack of control, need for self discipline. Misuse of power, tyranny, over-domineering, rigidity, self righteousness.

On an inner level, the Emperor is an image of the experience of fathering, the self-sufficiency with which we survive in the world, the authority and ambition which drive us to achieve, and the discipline and foresight necessary to accomplish our goals. The Emperor demands action, rather than intuitive flowing with nature, as epitomised by the Empress. To be in relationship with the inner father means to possess a sense of one's potency, one's capacity to initiate ideas and concretise them in the world. To be dominated by the inner father means to be enslaved by a set of beliefs which crush all human feeling with their inflexibility and arrogance. A need to find ethical principles by which to live.


The Gilded Tarot version



In many ways The Emperor is the mirror image of The Empress. Notice the reversal of the colour of their clothing. The passionate red of The Emperor’s garment is external, as are his actions. He is surrounded not by the abstract glyph symbols of The Empress but by more realistic signs of the zodiac. He holds a representation of the solar system in his hands, showing a more external control than The Empress. He is driven by love and desire for what is right for everyone, as indicated by his blue undercloak, he is also concerned however with the realistic functioning of everyday life. On a social level he seeks to create stability so that society as a whole can reach it’s highest good. As a father archetype, he wishes to give his children a strong foundation, allowing them to achieve their best.

The message of The Emperor is that of healthy stability. Create an environment that allows you to function at your best. Seek well-functioning order in your life in terms of your home, your workplace, and your relationships. Appreciate the rules of society that allow a smooth and peaceful life.

Be aware of stifling and stagnating rules and regulations. Creating order in your life simply for the sake of order alone is inhibiting, not liberating. Learn when it is time to question the obligations of society.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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Offline Christine

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The Hierophant
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2005, 07:47:10 PM »
5. The Hierophant



Five is the number of freedom, progress, change, versatility.

Represents the astrological sign, Taurus. Represents the God within, the inner teacher who has a firm footing which can help us gain truth. May appear for a spiritual teacher, or an individual devoted to right personal development. May indicate that change or innovation is inappropriate, stands for the need in each one of us to a lesser or greater extent to abide by the conventions - to conform. Spiritual reality expressed through law, religion, philosophy, tradition, an ethical system. Exoteric teachings. Can be a teacher, guru or mentor who gives guidance. Quest for spiritual understanding and the meaning of life. Great healer. Can mean a blessing in disguise. Can mean churches, doctrines and education in general. Could be a surrender of responsibility (to church, etc.) Individual will seek answers of a philosophical kind. .4 time for meditation, be silent and trust intuition, faith in our higher self brings results, psychic ability.

Reversed - unorthodoxy, especially mental. Can perhaps be gullible. Meaningless ritual, brain-washing and the inability to think for oneself, stunted spiritual growth. Resenting authority or control by others. A male who is cold, not cruel, but considers himself the authority in matters of order, right and wrong.

On an inner level, The Hierophant represents an image of that part of us which reaches upward toward the spirit in order to understand what is required of us by God. The laws of the Hierophant are concerned with right behaviour in the eyes of God. In the Mythic deck, he is known as the wounded healer, the one who through his own pain can understand and appreciate the pain of others, thus the Hierophant can represent some wounded part of ourselves, where some unsolvable problem or limitation deepens us and makes us compassionate. The true priest is open to the world's pain and longing because he himself suffers.


The Gilded Tarot version



A leader and teacher wearing vestments, indicating wisdom, almost fades into the background. The stained glass window enveloping him brings to mind the great cathedrals of the past, incredible poems of glass and stone reaching toward heaven. This is an apt symbol of humankind's greatest achievements of understanding the physical and spiritual worlds. A view of the universe-of all that there is to know, both physically and spiritually-lies beyond. Looking at these elements as three levels, we see in the background the knowable universe, then humankind's understanding and utilisation of this knowledge, and finally the passing on of that knowledge to individual people through formal education and religious training.

The message of the Hierophant reminds us of the marvelous accomplishments of humankind and of the great resources of knowledge that are available to us. Respect the achievements of generations past. Use that knowledge to create with usefulness and beauty. Do not disdain tradition out of hand but see what wonderful things it has to offer.

Be aware of following tradition blindly. Do not accept all knowledge without question; rather, question authority. Make sure all beliefs and practices make sense to your own heart and mind before you make them part of your life.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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6. The Lovers
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2005, 09:24:21 PM »
6. THE LOVERS.



Six is the number of service, responsibility, balance, harmony and love of home and family.

Represents the astrological sign, Gemini. This card can represent the "marriage made in heaven", the inner marriage. Can also indicate a strong soul connection or romance between two people, in addition to great inner attunement. Choice between the sacred and the profane, the outer path or the inner path of the occultist, a romantic or love relationship, harmony and unanimity, synthesis, a diagram of the unified self, combining elements of the head and heart, union of the divine within ourselves and the universe, the end of isolation and the forming of a bond based on love. Relationship and partnership. Cooperation of the conscious and the unconscious in making a balanced decision, recognition of the duality within ourselves and others. Two paths, the time for choice, the outcome of which is of vital importance. A love triangle or a choice between love and a career or some creative activity. The card can refer to a minor choice or a major crisis in a person's life. A particular relationship has been, or will prove to be, very valuable to the person, leading them to a new understanding of life. May be a commitment to be made, such as marriage, changes in career or moving home. A need to trust our higher self to come up with the right choice.
Reversed - Unrequited love, failure to see the bad in a situation, destructive love, a bad marriage, blind or foolish action, not seeing that all choices have consequences for which we are responsible. Blaming fate for our future, rather than our lack of reflection.

On an inner level, the Lovers often augurs the necessity of a choice of some kind, sometimes in love. We need to put our values to the test, looking carefully at the implications of our choices.

The Gilded Tarot



A perfect, passionate union rises, romantic and idealised, from the waters of our subconscious and our dreams. But this is more than romance, more than a man and a woman, we see here the elements necessary to achieve such a union. The couple is grounded in water, showing a deep connection of their emotions. The warrior's red clothing and the deep orange of the sunset surround the scene with fiery passion. The beauty and abandon of the woman suggests earthly sensuality. The dolphins, although creatures of water, indicate intelligence and communication that are characteristic of the element of air. Finally, the upward motion of the couple and woman's gaze toward the heavens illustrate a higher focus on the spiritual realm.

The message of the Lovers tells us to make good and balanced choices. Indeed, the original meaning of this card in the earliest Tarot decks was called the Choice and showed a man choosing between two women. Consider all the facets before committing to any decision. Choose well and build a foundation that can help you achieve your best dreams.
Be aware of letting one element of a choice overshadow all else. A relationship with simply a physical attraction, a career decision with only an intellectual appeal, or a home opportunity with decadent amenities may not be the best choice in the long run.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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The Chariot
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2005, 09:39:30 PM »
7. THE CHARIOT.



Seven is the number of spirituality, wisdom, silence and inner attunement.

Represents the astrological sign Cancer. (Can highlight issues about one's home). Can represent opportunities appearing. If well placed in a spread, a successful outcome is assured, as is triumph over difficulties and obstacles. An inevitable force for change, and once on its way, it is unstoppable. Having the ambition and drive to surmount any obstacles in our path. Victory through courage and hard work, triumph over ill health, material difficulties and enemies of any kind. Setting forth on a journey. Self discipline, control over the instincts, success through the will. Masking yourself with armour while instinctively moving through challenges. May be time to take off the armour after having been hurt. Inner conflict, learn from this and grow, may be on a material or emotional level, depending on other cards. Honour or award due, harness your energy and apply it wisely. Resolution of quarrels and the serenity which can be found at the end of a conflict which has been creatively handled. The Charioteer is our Higher Self, whom we can trust to guide us in all our efforts.

Reversed - situation out of control. Willpower alone cannot always sustain us, sometimes we must learn to give way to the gods. Negative vibrations of unfairness, pressure, force. Pride. Struggling with the warring opposites and warlike urges within ourselves, or disowning them and forcing them into the unconscious, where they re-emerge as illness or are projected upon others who then unleash aggression upon us.

On an inner level this card can represent being honest with ourselves about our aggressive drives, and the struggle of learning to contain and direct them.. Our aggressive instincts guided and directed by the will of consciousness.

The Gilded Tarot



The Chariot is a card of victory. The medallion of the sun on top of the chariot indicates the immense power and focus of the woman's mind. Although victory seems a rather straightforward concept, the card is full of contradictions. A woman in royal purple rides in a chariot. Instead of horses and forward movement, we see two sphinxes. Sphinxes often symbolise riddles. Their silver and gold color represents opposing ideas. The woman appears to be driving this motionless vehicle without reins; indeed, she is looking off in another direction. Yes, this is a card of victory. She has control, gained perhaps by strength of will alone. But she has not resolved the riddle of opposing ideas. She has achievement but not understanding.

The message of the Chariot is one of willpower and control. Recognise your own strength and ability to maintain order in the midst of chaos. Know that you can achieve more than you think you can. Celebrate your accomplishments.

Be aware of repressing issues or turning away from ideas that puzzle you. Once you achieve your goals, do not come to a complete stop, thinking that you have arrived. There is always more to learn and accomplish.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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8. Strength
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2005, 09:52:14 PM »
8. STRENGTH.



Eight is the number of giving and receiving in balance, which leads to power, authority, success and material fortune. It is also the number of karma in action.

Represents the astrological sign, Leo. Operating from our inner strength, governing this strength through love and gentleness. Can represent activating the kundalini, our creative energy, with loving control. The courage to persist despite fear and emotional strain. The ability to soothe the hostile forces `within ourselves and others. Enthusiasm and lust for life, thee release of fears, the ability to firmly guide people away from trouble as a healer, teacher or adviser. Union of higher and lower natures, love without judgement. The ability to face life, and particularly some difficult problem or time of change with hope and eagerness. A strong person from within. If Strength appears in connection with the Chariot, it can signify an alternative to force and ~t illpower, especially if the Chariot is reversed. The two cards can also symbolise complementary sides, the best configuration being Strength in the position of the inner self, and the Chariot in the position of the outer (the vertical and horizontal lines of a cross). Then we see a person who acts powerfully but with a sense of calm. When faced with a difficult or even seemingly impossible task, the appearance of Strength brings with it the ability to surmount the difficulties, to achieve the impossible. Moral courage may be insufficient if the body is weak, so Strength should be accompanied by healthy exercise and diet if it is not to be undermined. Hidden forces at k\ork. seeming to help us through. Represents spiritual, as well as physical, strength.

Negative - Foolhardiness, cowardice, rage , destroying blindly and at random when things do not go our way,-filled with inflated self-importance and senseless pride, trying to squash another person.

On an inner level, represents a kind of transformation, so that the strength and determination of the lion are expressed by a human and not a beast.

Integrating the vital power of the beast and making it serve a conscious and responsible ego. Learning about ourselves, leading to transformation. A need to conquer negative and recognise the truth. Gaining a solid sense of 'me', not worried by the opinions of others.

Gilded tarot version



A woman with a great presence and sense of purpose walks side by side with a lion. The chain is wrpped loosely around it's neck and is held loosely by the woman's hand. The lion is the woman's animal instincts. These instincts neither lead her nor are they dragged along behind her. They are there, a reserve of strength, power, and courage, for whenever she should have need of them.

The messsage of strength reminds you that you have more strength, power and courage than you realise. Learn to live easily with these gifts and use them where appropriate.

Be aware of two extremes. Do not let your strength or baser desires control you. Conversely, do not deny your power.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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9. The Hermit
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2005, 09:27:31 PM »
9. The Hermit



Nine is a finishing up number, it is the number of brotherhood, universal love and completion.

Represents the astrological sign Virgo. Signifies the end of a cycle. A wise teacher or guide. Shining the light of spiritual awareness, sharing wisdom. Leave a situation alone and withdraw for a while, becoming detached to be able to see things clearly. Solitude, a retreat from the world so that batteries can be recharged, time given to oneself and one's own needs. A patient search for answers, humility, acting through the light of experience. Wait and seek guidance from within. True knowledge of the soul gained through removal and introspection. Maturity and knowledge of what really matters in a person's life. Assistance from a psychic guide or a real person, can refer to the querent if they are involved in helping others find understanding. Teaching which helps open inner awareness. The Hermit holds the light out to guide us, indicating his willingness to lead us and our ability to find the way if only we will use the Strength we have to follow. Setting new goals for inner advancement, seeking advice from someone we trust.

Reversed - a fear of other people, can mean that a person needs to become involved with other people. Hanging onto meaningless activities. Loneliness and a cynical attitude to life. An ostrich with its head buried in the sand. Stubborn resistance to change and the passage of time.

On an inner Level the Hermit embodies the meaning of time and also rebels against it. A need to learn wisdom in solitude and silence. The problems of solitude and the discovery that one is ultimately alone and mortal. Acceptance of circumstances which only time, not battle, can release. Gaining the qualities of stillness and serenity to enable us to cope with the obstacles and disappointments which life sometimes brings. The shrewdness to change what we can, to accept what we cannot, and to wait in silence until we can tell the difference.

Gilded Tarot version



Here is a mysterious old man walking a lonely narrow path illuminated by a single light. The light is representative of his mind and the knowledge he has acquired. The staff symbolises the power of his will. The red belt represents something of the passion that drives him in his search. Although he has much knowledge and a strong will htere is much in his heart that is unresolved.  So he goes off alone to contemplate, to compare conventional knowledge to what is in his heart.

The message of the Hermit is one of self knowledge. It is time for you to withdraw, contemplate what you know, and make sure your beliefs relect the reading of your own heart. First learn who you are and what you believe in. Then you can trust yourself without depending on the opinion of others.

Be aware of withdrawing too long or for the wrong reasons. Withdrawing from life out of fear or to avoid personal accountability or responsibility  is not the same as self examination.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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