Stephen Reid

stephen@stephenreid.net

I'm studying tarot by drawing cards from time to time and writing about them here.

number major arcana swords swords intellect, logic, reason, communication wands wands energy, enthusiasm, vitality, action, inspiration, creativity, the masculine cups cups feelings, emotions, relationships, the heart, the feminine, the unconscious pentacles pentacles practical matters, grounding, the physical, the material, routines, habits
zero 0 fool The Fool carries the number 0 and stands alone and apart at the beginning of The Major Arcana . The number 0 represents his pure essence. 0 has not yet begun and is strangely void of any activity. It symbolises a certain emptiness that is waiting to be filled. As 0 it has the potential for great things that have not yet formed but desire to manifest.
ace i ace i These Aces can symbolically represent the raw potential each and every one of us are born with. It is what we do with them after, on our journey through life, that we see how successful such potential can be realised or destroyed. In the Upright Aspect of The Four Aces, we step forth on our journey from higher ground, untainted. We get off to a good start. In the Reverse, we traverse the lower planes and will need to climb out of them. As in The Four Aces suggest our raw beginning in life, so do they represent the launch of every new cycle or stage of life we experience, from minor to major. The Wheel of life constantly turns, and everything has its natural cycle or lifespan. There will always be beginnings and endings to deal with along our personal journeys, but we are expected to learn much as the Wheel turns. We must bring wisdom and knowledge forward into the start of each cycle, so that we progress and not regress. New cycles should not see us going over old ground indefinitely. the ace of swords The Ace of Swords forces us to ask questions of our self and our life.  It demands total honesty of us.  This Ace helps you to focus on your own needs and what is right for you.   It pierces through the darkness of your mind so that light can enter.  Then you can see things for what they really are and not what you imagined they may be.  No one can fool you or pull the wool over your eyes when you brandish this Sword. The sharpness of The Ace of Swords assists in severing any area of your life that is not worthy of you.  This may be a relationship that is dragging you down, a job that smothers your intellect or a friend that fills you with negativity and depression. the ace of wands The sky is clear and bright. Young trees come into leaf in the background while a castle sits atop of a steep hill or mountain. The castle symbolises security, goals, dreams, opportunities, ambitions, the ultimate destination. A river meanders through the landscape symbolising the emotional currents that flow through the situation. The River does not follow a straight path. This symbolises challenges ahead, but none so great that cannot be overcome. the ace of cups Here we see a hand reaching out from a cloud which is holding or offering a chalice or cup. Water springs forth from deep within the Cup and cascades like a waterfall into the calm blue sea below. The waterfall represents the overflowing or gushing forth of positive emotions. A dove flies down from above and enters the Cup or Chalice with the blessings from Spirit above. The clear sky suggests a trouble-free time of peace and harmony with nothing troubling on the horizon. The sky’s pale blue colouring symbolises the spiritual aspect and nature of this card and its governing element Water.

There are pink and white waterlilies or lotus flowers resting in the calm blue sea. Some of these lilies are open while some are still in bud. This suggests that even though this period of happiness appears abundant, there is still room for more growth and development... The Ace of Cups brings the potential for a deep contentedness within and without. It heralds a period of calm and balance in your life.

Because the Cups element is Water, this Ace brings a sense of pure love governing a situation. Love is the greatest power on earth and once we operate from a position of pure intent and compassion then all our endeavours and actions will be blessed. The Ace of Cups reminds us that using love instead of control can turn around any negative or doomed situation. With The Ace of Cups in our life we have the capacity to forgive and be the peacemakers. The Ace of Cups helps us show mercy and compassion and shower our loved ones with affection and care...

The Ace of Cups joyfully announces the birth or stirrings of emotional, intuitive or spiritual energy. As Cups deal with the emotions, this card can represent the beginning of a new relationship or a new stage within an existing relationship. The Ace of Cups does not just deal with relationships and love even though it is a wonderful card to turn up in a reading when you are hoping to meet someone nice. Often The Ace of Cups simply means feeling happy, content and connected with life and your emotions. If you have gone through a period of difficulty or trying times the appearance of The Ace of Cups in a future position would reassure you that the period of conflict will end and that happier times are indeed on the horizon. If health issues have been a problem and worry, The Ace of Cups appearance would be a very positive sign of a happy return to good health...

The Ace of Cups can suggest that you are going through a period of social activity; possibly attending weddings, parties and outings. There is sense of friendship and family. This is a time of good cheer with plenty of eating and drinking involved, so try to pace yourself ["It's a marathon, not a sprint"].
two ii two ii The Four Twos in The Minor Arcana, generally refer to decisions being made, need to be made, or have already been made. Decisions do not always apply to two people deciding on a situation. On the contrary, most decision-making processes are done individually, but decisions are all about weighing up the pros and cons of a situation. This can involve deciding between the Head and the Heart (2), your Feminine or Masculine side (2) or what is Right or Wrong (2). The decision process may involve deciding on two different directions to take, or whether to stay or go (2). high priestess The Fool developed Conscious awareness and the Masculine Force in The Magician as he traveled to Binah, but conscious awareness on its own is useless without a balancing Unconscious and Feminine Source, for that is how the Law of The Universe works.  The Fool was shown what he could do in The Magician, and told that he had all the tools available to him.  However, he must dwell on these matters now before making any hasty decisions.  He must think deeply about what it is he wants to do with his new-found knowledge.  To do this The Fool must now develop a new kind of knowledge.  He must develop his Unconscious Awareness, and in doing so will gain access to his intuition, inner vision and inner voice.  He must understand and utilise his inner knowledge and hidden depths if he is to succeed in his quest or indeed survive at all.  It is through his Unconscious Awareness and Higher-Self that he will maintain his connection to the source.

Neither the Feminine nor Masculine aspect is of any use solely on its own.  It is through blending, integrating and uniting these two powerful forces that real power and knowledge can be released.  The white pillar represents her masculine counterpart, The Magician.  Whereas he is the Master of Conscious Power and Self-Awareness or Worldly Knowledge, The High Priestess  is the Mistress of Unconscious Power, Inner Awareness and Esoteric Knowledge.  The Magician works with the Ego, while The High Priestess  works with the Higher Self bringing about a stabilising element to The Magician’s masculine force.  The High Priestess  introduces The Magician to his conscience, assisting him to reflect before taking action.  She maintains his connection to the Divine source.  When The Magicianand High Priestess unite, real creation can begin.  Together they are a powerful force to behold.

The High Priestess sits motionless and composed.  She can sit for hours in this manner as she needs to be still both without and within.  She can sometimes appear to be in a constant state of meditation which reminds us that to hear our inner voice or access our intuition we must be still and go within.  She encourages us to learn the art of meditation so that we may hear her voice clearly.  She reminds us too of the patience that is much-needed when we first attempt to hear or listen to her internal whisperings.  The High Priestess  needs little action or movement, preferring just to be.  She also likes her solitude and privacy, for clamour and noise distract her from her true purpose.  Her appearance in a reading will highlight that now is not the time for action.  Better to retreat, reflect and meditate on your situation before making your next move.
the two of wands The Two of Wands often brings the decision of whether to stay with what you are used to or to go in search of new experiences or a new life. It can suggest that you are bored with your current life and want more.   On the outside it may appear you have it all and are very successful but changes have been occurring on the inside for some time.  You may have a new plan of action or a burning desire to do something else.  You may feel that your fires have been burning low and that you are in dire need of a new lease of life, change of scenery or change of faces. the two of cups The Two of Cups is a very positive card and is always welcomed in a relationship spread. This card has many interpretations but its overriding one is to do with love, matters of the heart and relationships. When it appears in a spread it generally represents a deep loving relationship or the offer of a relationship. It is a very exciting and reassuring card and reminds us that we can love and be loved. Love is all and love makes the world go around. It can represent that heady stage at the onset of a relationship when we get so caught up in love and our other half that nothing else is important. Our world revolves around each other and we think of nothing else but each other. We also believe that it will always be this way.

The Two of Cups can also suggest that you may have reached that stage in a relationship where you must decide to commit long-term or get married
the two of pentacles Harmony in the midst of change, alternation of gain and loss, travel in quest of wealth
three iii three iii The Threes in the Tarot represent creativity, growth and development. The number Three in numerology represents the upright triangle. By adding an extra number, Two has been forced out of its inertia and moved forward. Therefore, all the Suits will be experiencing a development or growth in their individual situations which will accelerate their journey through the Minor Arcana.

Therefore, we see them individually act on the decisions that were taken in the Two. After deliberating over whether to stay or go in the Two of Wands, a decision has been arrived at and definite action is taken in the Three. The loving couple so drawn to each other in the Two of Cups are celebrated and congratulated by all in the Three, as their relationship strengthens and grows. The stressful decisions or dilemma in the Two of Swords leads to deep pain and despair as the hurt intensifies in the Three. The financial balancing act in the Two of Pentacles begins to stabilise as the correct action is taken in the Three to develop and maintain financial growth.
empress The Empress reclines upon a seat strewn with an assortment of cushions covered in rich red, orange and gold luxurious fabrics. Here we get a strong sense of the comfort, relaxation, opulence and sumptuousness that accompany this Earth Goddess. A three-tiered crown of 12 dazzling stars adorns her head. The triple crown is symbolic of the Triple Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone. The 12 stars represent the 12 Sun Signs of the Zodiac. In The Empress’s role as Mother Nature she understands the cycle of all life. She understands that to fully experience life we must experience it from all aspects. We must be open and ready to accept all; joy, love, happiness, pain, loss and sadness.

As the Maiden, The Empress is young, healthy and most importantly, fertile – she is in the Spring-time of her life. As the Mother, she is the nurturer and carer of both the new life which incubates within her and also when birthed – she is thus in the Summer-time of her life. As the Crone, she is the wise woman with much experience who both the Maiden and Mother turn to for advice. The Crone also brings us death and the end of the cycle – she is now in the Winter-time of her life. Therefore The Empress reminds us that just like the leaves on the trees behind her and the wheat at her feet are now ripe and in full bloom, they were once just buds or seedlings, and in time they, like all her creations will also wither and die, for this is nature’s way of things. It is the natural progression of all life and creation and therefore should be accepted. She reminds us that there is a time to be born, to be young and carefree. There is a time to grow up, mature and accept responsibility. Alas, there is also a time to grow old, let go and eventually die. The Empress’s appearance heralds the summer time in life; a time of growth, creativity, abundance and prosperity.

The Empress in her role as Mother Nature gives birth to all creation and lovingly nurtures and cares for it. However, she is also responsible for its death. Both her crown and card number reflect this aspect. She encourages you to accept all your feelings and deny none of them. She enjoys each stage of her life and is aware of her connection to the cycle of all creation. What is born will eventually die and therefore we must enjoy and make the most of every day that we have. The Empress also understands the order of the Universe and when her time comes to be the Crone it will not be long before she will be reborn once more and become the Maiden again. She reminds us that it is by embracing all aspects and stages of our life that we will find true happiness and self-knowledge.

In this card we meet Mother Nature, the Earth Goddess, in her Summer-time as the Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess when she is ripe, mature and bursting with life and growth. Her senses are practically singing as The Empress perfectly reflects this aspect and revels in the joys of life with all her senses vibrating in response to her environment. She likes to experience life in a very real and profound manner. She is in-touch with herself, knows who she is and what she wants.

The Empress‘s garden is rich and beautiful as she sits as the ruler or Goddess of this natural environment. The sky is clear, bright and sunny suggesting summer and happy harmonious times. The Empress certainly brings a warm loving energy into a reading. She is the very embodiment of Mother Earth, Mother Nature. Everything she touches grows and she is responsible for the continued growth and flourishing of every tree, flower, crop, blade of grass, stream, river and creature that exist within her environment.
the three of wands creativity, growth, birth, abundance, movement and expansion... The figure has used the energy of this third Wand to drive his plan of action forward.
four iv emperor The Fool encounters The Emperor, the Paternal Father who will take him firmly by the hand and instruct him in matters of responsibility, order, control and discipline. It is through the Emperor he will learn that society has established laws, rules and regulations put in place to create order and stability for the good of its people. Without it, chaos would reign along with a breakdown in morals, respect and lawful behaviour.

As a conscientious and caring father The Emperor first prepares The Fool for the harshness of the outside world by setting examples and laying down easy to follow guide lines within the family structure and home. In The Emperor, The Fool experiences the second love in his life – the love of a child for his father. In his positive sense The Emperor can become the perfect Role Model for his son and the Hero to his daughter. The son’s future relationship with women and how he treats them will be influenced by his father’s attitude and behaviour towards his mother. The daughter’s future self-esteem and relationship with men will also be strongly influenced by this.

As the archetypal father, The Emperor will be strong, firm and assume leadership and authority within his household. A man of honour and respect, he is a commanding figure. He will provide his family with stability, security and protection. Not afraid to go into battle, he will rush to defend their honour and do what has to be done during times of crisis or trauma. He will be responsible for setting rules and boundaries that The Fool must obey. He is also the disciplinarian who will enforce and administer the necessary punishment should The Fool fail to comply.

The Fool must now learn that for every action he takes there will be a consequence. The Emperor helps him to understand that even though he may not appreciate these often harsh lessons at the time, he will one day be grateful to his father for curbing his impulsive behaviour and unruly thoughts. The Fool still turns to his mother, The Empress, for comfort and nurturing but he has now learned that it is to The Emperor, his father, he will turn to when in need of sound advice or guidance in practical matters. He respects not only his authority but also his seniority and vast experience. The Fool in turn will one day pass on these values to his own children.
the four of cups A figure sits under a tree in a trance-like or meditative state. Three Cups line up in front of him and a hand appears from a cloud offering him a Fourth Cup.  The figure appears either totally unaware of the presence of this Cup or is completely disinterested in what its contents may be.  To be honest he probably feels that it is just more of the same and no different from the three in front.  He couldn’t care less really. As he sits there with legs and arms folded he has shut himself off from the world and has become totally self-absorbed. The cloud which is presenting the Fourth Cup symbolises Spirit. He would be wise to look up and acknowledge it for it may contain things that the figure needs such as the opportunity for a new relationship, a wonderful job, the offer of real friendship, an explanation for his upset , an apology or a release from his depressive mood.

As this card is also known as the Daydream Card, the figure may be away with the faeries or on another planet, dreaming of the ideal life, romance and wishing he was somewhere else. Lacking the energy to motivate himself into action, he may prefer to live in a fantasy world rather than face the harshness of reality.

The Four of Cups  card can sometimes be referred to as  “the morning after the night before”. After all the merriment, socialising and indulgence of the Three, exhaustion and apathy may have set in. Hung-over and wrecked the figure in this card may have no energy left to be interested in what is been offered to him.  The partying and celebrating of the night before has seriously caught up with him.  

The Four of Cups often represents hurts, upsets and being totally disillusioned by those around you but especially by a relationship you thought meant something very special.   The figure looks upset and almost in a state of disbelief.  What could have happened to upset him so or is it just that his palate has become jaded with the life he leads and people he associates with?  He may have been overly eager to get tied up with someone in the Three and got carried away with the excitement of it all.  For sure, since he set off in the Ace, he has been looking for love. He appeared to have found his soul-mate in the Two and was quick to want to make a commitment in the Three, but as with all Cups, he may have let his heart run away with him too soon and became blind to any unsettling undercurrents at play.  He can now regret or repent at leisure.
the four of pentacles A hoarder and collector, this man finds it difficult to let things go, even himself.  He views everything as possessions; those he already owns and those that he desires to own.  When he does find himself a partner no doubt he will view her as a possession too and possibly exert control over her every move.  He may not be too generous with either his gifts or time as he is known to be stingy in relationships. 

You may be stubbornly holding onto a situation or position that no longer serves your best interests.  Maybe it is time to let go.  It may all come down to just being a habit, but fear of change keeps you clinging on relentlessly.

Another strong feature of this card is obsessiveness and meanness.  It can be a sign that you have been neglecting friends or family by being mean with your time, resources or money.  Your busy life might be getting in the way rather than any nasty intentions, so no need to feel guilty if this is the case.  However,  you may have a need to “have and get” all the time and the need to claim ownership.  You may look upon your friends or family as possessions also, and expect them to be at your beck and call.  It can be a sign of being self-centred when all you can think about is yourself and your needs.



five v the five of swords Like all the Fives in the Minor Arcana, the Five of Swords deals with change, conflict, challenge and upheaval.  However, being theSwords Suit we may assume that they will experience the Five in a severe or extreme manner.  They will probably add to the situation by making it as hard as possible for them to overcome it. We must also remember that where the Swords are concerned, we are dealing with the Element of Air which deals with our psychological state of mind and the power of communication.  Therefore, any battles they are fighting, challenges to be overcome or blood to be let may be entirely within themselves if their mind is dysfunctional or tied up in knots. The Swords fight their way throughout their Suit, mentally and verbally, in an attempt to free their mind from the binds that tie them to self-doubt, low self-esteem, lack of self-belief, paranoia and suspicion.  Their battle must go on to the end if they are ever to achieve the Upright Status of Their Mature CourtCards, The Queen and King of Swords.   Their Swords are suitably double-edged for this purpose.  They work both ways by having the capacity to not only cut down their enemy, but also to cut out any personal negative mindsets that twist their way of thinking.  In both respects, they can be merciless.

The Swords Suit deals with the ability to communicate through the written and spoken word. The fact that the mainFigure is in charge of all the Swords at this moment in time suggests that he has full say in what happens from here on in. He has taken away or closed off any avenue of communication when he took their Swords.  The Two Swords that lie on the ground suggest that their owners have no say or have chosen to shut down, no longer interested in engaging in this issue.   Communication is lacking here as one forces his opinions and ways on the others without mutual consent or debate.

The Main Figure has emerged victorious from the battle. He stands powerful and superior, exhilarated by the Outcome.  He is in charge now, he is the Leader and all must obey.  However, if he has won, then where are his supporters, where are his followers, where are his allies? Why aren’t his opponents acting honorable in defeat? During times of war there are certain rules and etiquette that govern the battle field and soldier to soldier combat.  The Victor of this battle may not have played fair or fought by the rules.  There is a possibility he has broken all rules of engagement and people may now view him as dishonorable and Mercenary.  His attitude to them may be that “all is fair in love and war” and that “the best man win by whatever means he can”.   The end justifies the means for this Man and has probably used every trick in the book,  cut below the belt at every opportunity or stabbed them in the back rather than confront them face to face.  He may stand there and consider himself the Superior Victor and Champion but he stands alone as he no longer has any friends or allies. He has won the battle but at what cost? He must also remember those mountains in the distance for there will be more battles to come and he may not always be so lucky.  He may have won this particular battle but not the war, and, if defeated the next time, he cannot expect to be shown mercy after the scant regard he has shown for others.

In another Reading, we may see the overall Champion or Victor of a stupendous challenge which may have been internal or external.  He has overcome not only his own limited self-belief, but also the constant doubt and put-downs of others.  No one believed he had it in him or would last the course but he did and now can show everyone his personal strength and superiority in this situation. The glory is all his and his opponents can  skulk away, enraged, jealous and envious of his position.  They have had the power for too long.  They also had exerted power over him too, but now he is in the driving seat and in control.  This may be either a very Positive or very Negative Outcomedepending on the Reading and which perspective we are interpreting from.    All the Swords he holds may have originally being his and is only taking back, what by rights, he is entitled to or has, as a result of his situation,  flipped from Passive to Aggressive.  There we have two very different stories
the five of cups In The Five of Cups  we see a dark cloaked Figure with bowed head and shoulders hunched. He stands with his back to us, his body totally collapsed in on him.  His heavy black cloak immerses him in grief, sadness and despair.  Note the westerly direction the Figure is facing for this symbolises that he is focussed on the past. On the ground in front of him and also facing West are three overturned Cups with their contents spilled. The red pools beneath two of the Cups may simply be wine or symbolically represent blood.  The third pool of green, representing Earth, symbolises the loss of stability or possibly something of a tangible or physical nature.  Green is also is the primary colour of the Heart Chakra which keeps us balanced and at one with the world.  In the Ace of Cups we first got a glimpse of the potential of the Cup with its overflowing contents of love, peace, joy and happiness but now, the Cup (Chakra) has been broken or damaged (the overturned Cup) its contents left to seep away into the ground.  The Heart is now empty and grows cold. Loss and sadness may feel unbearable.

One thing is for sure and that is the Figure in this Five has certainly lost his emotional stability.  As he pulls his black cloak tightly around him he becomes one with his sadness, grief and suffering.  Behind him and facing East stand Two Cups suggesting that all is not lost.  Although he has experienced loss and terrible change in his life, something of value still remains.  These Cups bridge the gap between the past and the future but he is either unaware of their presence or is not interested in what they have to offer.  He is bereft and just wants his Three Cups back. These Two Standing Cups may be opportunities or friends and family offering support and help.  These Cups may also offer a chance to heal but they are cold comfort to him right now and of no consolation.  At this moment in time, the Figure, is clothed in the black darkness of his situation, his depression and negativity. He is not interested in being drawn out or coaxed away from his sorrow and indeed may get angry with those who try to, even if their heart is in the right place.  How could they understand pain like his as he closes his world in around him,  aware of precious little else as his grief grows enormously around him. He just wants to be left alone to focus on his loss.

The Two remaining Cups will stay and stand by him regardless of whether he wants them or not and be ready to catch him should he stumble or fall. Eager to take him forward into the future they will patiently sit it out with him in his dysfunctional present until he is ready.  These Two Cups are wise and know that no matter how bad he feels now, that this time too will pass and the pain will become easier to bear.  Indeed it may go away altogether.  The Figure in the Five of Cups has some way to go yet before he will be open to such understanding or acceptance.

When he is ready, the Bridge in the background will be his safe passage back to life and stability as it bridges the gap between the past and the future.  At present, the Bridge appears to be far away in the background indicating how far away this Figure is from emotional and physical stability.  Like the Two Cups that stand firm behind him, he is not yet aware of the existence of the Bridge but when he is ready,  will lift his head and make his way slowly to it.  The River that flows beside him and under the Bridge symbolises the current stream of events and his emotions.  The current appears to be strong and this is reflected in the overwhelming strength of emotion he is feeling at present.  However, Water in itself is cleansing by nature so if he allows his painful emotions to flow and outwardly express them rather than repress them he will feel much lighter within.  He must let his tears and words flow forth.  Even if his tears are of anger, regret or shame they must be released if he is ever to stand a chance of finding stable ground once more.  This may involve letting the past go, forgiving someone, asking forgiveness of another or indeed forgiving himself.  By the time he is ready to take the journey back to normal life again, it may all be water under the Bridge.

six vi six vi The Four Sixes in the Tarot represent stability and security or the potential or opportunity to find it. A halt or ceasefire has been called on their individual battles or difficulties. Now that the storm has passed each Suit will seek comfort, harmony, peace and equilibrium in the only way they know which is governed by their influencing Element. Most of the Suits will be showing signs of exhaustion and weariness after the Five and some may just want to crawl into the nearest hole and stay there until their breathing and heart beat returns to normal. They may all need help and support from those around them and so fittingly, the Sixes in the Tarot are also connected with Charity, Patronage and Support. Some, more than others, may have found that the demands of the Five have left them drained and low. They must now look to those around them, family, friends or the wider community to assist them on their continued journey. All have a role and duty to play at this stage and the act of Giving and Receving comes into strong focus in the Six. the six of cups Emotional Security, Being Cared for, Giving and Receiving, Openness, Sharing, Goodwill, Kindness, Charity, Gifts, Blessings, Simple Joys, Helping, Forgiveness, Peace, Harmony, Protected, Being Guarded by another, Calm, Contentment, Sanctuary, Fortress, Security, Restricted Freedom/Movement, Predictability, The Past, Past Influences, Nostalgia, Longing, Yearning, Homesick, Familiarity, Innocence, Trust, Childhood, Childhood Sweetheart/Friends, A Child/Baby, Young Person, Playful, Youthful, Courtship, Memories, Reminiscing, Trip down Memory Lane, The Homestead, Hometown, Old Haunts, Old Friends, The Good old Days, The Past, Childhood Issues/Abuse, Old Age, Senility, Nursing Homes, Nurseries

When the Six of Cups appears in a Spread, it often suggests that the past is being focussed upon or that the issues surrounding the Reading are being influenced by something in your past. By looking into your past, you may find the answer, solution or at least an explanation. Memories of the past flood in. For some reason or other, the past is significant in your life right now and you must ask why? It may be due to your current situation not bringing you the happiness you seek. If you were happy in the past, and it does not necessarily mean childhood, then you could be yearning for the old days or how things used to be.

The Six of Cups is an extremely nostalgic card. It speaks about childhood and reminiscing about days of yore. Generally, The Upright Six brings happy memories and fond recollections of times gone by.

If you have been through a tough time, then the Six of Cups can suggest that you are, or need to, seek support or solace from friends and family at this time. You may feel safer and more comfortable with familiar faces and places so it is not a good time for starting new things or heading off on your own. If you need to talk to someone about a problem then it should be someone who knows you well as he or she will better understand your situation and how it is affecting you. There are many you know who would gladly help. They may be standing by waiting for you to make the first move. Perhaps, an older member of the family who you look up to and respect? They may be only too willing to share some wise experience with you.
seven vii seven vii The Four Sevens in the Tarot represent challenges and obstacles that must be overcome in order to achieve aims or goals. After the stabilising time spent in the Six the Universe has decided that more is now required of the individual Suits before they grow lazy or lack lustre about finishing their journey.

By now, the Four Suits should have a growing understanding of their personal strengths and weaknesses in relation to any apparent successes or failures experienced to date. The Universe will not tolerate them making the same mistakes over and over so the time has come for them to ‘know thyself and thy abilities’. Therefore, the Sevens also deal with introspection and the reassessment of goals and aims. Some adjustments may need to be made in the way the Suits go about achieving them. Some challenges or obstacles faced, may seem familiar at this stage and they may ask, “Hey, what am I doing here again?” but if they stop to think long and hard enough they will realise that if they are getting the same unwanted results for the same actions then change or a new strategy is needed.
the seven of wands Determination, Tenacity, Stamina, Standing Your Ground
eight viii the eight of cups In the foreground Five Cups stand with another Three stacked on top of them.  The Five below represent the past, from his beginnings in Ace, to the upheaval in Five.  They are a part of his life that is over, gone, changed forever, never to be retrieved.  The Three Cups on Top represent his journey or life since then, the stability and healing in the Six, the questioning of the Seven and Finally the Quest in the Eight.  A gap has been left on the top row between the second and third Cup which is very symbolic. It was as a result of this Cup, the Seven of Cups, that he realised there was something missing in his life.  It is with the Eight Cup he will go in search of what it is that is missing and when he does find his missing Cup, he will place it exactly where the gap is and in so doing, make himself whole.

The sky darkens, as the moon appears to eclipse the sun suggesting that he will have to journey both outwards and inwards in search of his Cup. The Figure’s journey will be a holistic one, as he seeks integration of body, mind and soul.  Without all three in harmony, total happiness will never be achieved.  The eclipse symbolically highlights that something, someone or a place which once meant so much too him no longer does.  His feelings have changed and what once held such attraction now leaves him disinterested and weary.  The Moon moving across the sun can suggest that feelings the Figure once had for one have been eclipsed by another.  What dazzled and amazed before in the Sun is now dulled and diluted by the mystery and allure of the Moon.

The Water behind him is also shallow in comparison to the Water he moves towards.  This symbolically suggests that he is moving away from all that is superficial in his life in search of greater depth and meaning.

The Eight of Cups often turns up in a Reading when you have lost interest in something in your life that once held importance for you.  Nothing terrible needs to have happened but you just don’t feel the same anymore.  You might have changed, grown up, matured or possibly what once captivated you has changed and lost its appeal or fascination. This Card teaches us the lesson of Impermanence and it is often a tough one to accept.  We think we know what we want and what will make us happy.  We then go out and try to get it.  Then we try to hold onto it. We expect things, people, life and situations always to stay the same but it is like trying to hold water in your hands.  If nothing changed, the world would be a very boring place and nothing new would happen. 

If you have lost interest, then let go, say goodbye and move on.  It may feel strange at first letting go of something or someone who has been so familiar and it may even feel lonely at times but really it has all become just a habit. Once you kick the habit and wean yourself off the situation then you will begin to come back to life again and doors will open all around you.

It can suggest that the one you were first attracted to or loved has now been overshadowed by someone else, as symbolised by the Moon eclipsing the Sun.
the eight of pentacles When the Eight of Pentacle appears in a Reading it suggests that you are working very hard, not just at present, but over a long period of time.  This is something that you find quite easy to do as you are completely dedicated to the task at hand and like nothing better than to get stuck into your work. Like the Eight of Wands, life has taken off for the Pentacles too.  You are bound to be crazy busy at present,  mega productive and super industrious .  It seems like you can make a success out of anything you decide to turn your hand to.  Any obstacles that may have stood in the way in past are now history and you are free to pursue your course of action and any projects you may be working on.  You are now at liberty to indulge your own interests and special projects too. There is a wonderful sense of coming into your own and feeling extremely confident about what you do.  You work with a strong sense of purpose and life is feeling wholesome and worthwhile.  Everything is falling into place and your two feet are firmly planted on the ground. This is a time for making excellent progress.
nine ix nine ix The Four Nines of The Minor Arcana represent the final stage of action, reflection, thoughts and deeds of the Four Suits. It heralds the end of a cycle and the natural winding down or closing stages of a period of your life, incident, situation, relationship or stage of a relationship . This does not mean that the situation is over and done with or gone forever. What is does mean is that it has run its natural course and is the total culmination of all you have done, all the effort put in and all your hopes, wishes and dreams. The Goals that each have struggled long and hard for are now in sight and ready to be claimed. Wishes are just about to come true and dreams realised.

For all the Suits involved, it is now time to review and reflect on the consequences of their actions.
the nine of cups A man sits on his own, with arms folded, and lets out a deep contented sigh. Before the doors open, he just wants to sit here and savour the moment, to wallow in his success. This is not just the success of his exhibition, his banquet or whatever else he may be doing but it is his personal triumph in finding his True Self, His Inner-Happiness, his Self-Respect, Self-Worth and Self-Love. He did it. He succeeded in his mission. He had gone on a quest for the Holy Grail and found it. the nine of pentacles the Figure in the Nine of Pentacles has kept her feet firmly on the ground and steadily and quietly arrived at her destination. Her crops (her hard work and effort) have yielded well and her harvest is bountiful. As she approaches the closing stages of her cycle, her Pentacles are flourishing beyond her wildest dreams.  Her original planting has sprouted and has very possibly grown in several directions creating even more bumper harvests and even greater success.

The hard work is now done and she may retire or better still, develop that hobby that she has never had the time for.  She has the freedom of choice now, and there is no urgency or stress in her life.  She calls the shots and suits herself for this time is now about her.  She has given her all for a long time and is now ready to take her just rewards. she will think nothing of splashing out on expensive items and pampering herself for she has earned it. No one can deny her this success even if we do envy her position.  It is there for the taking for all of us should we want it bad enough.

A Snail moves slowly across the well manicured lawn.  The Snail is symbolic of the time it takes to reach a target or goal. Some things just can’t be hurried and it teaches us the Lesson of Tenacity and Patience. When we are working hard towards a goal it sometimes seems that life has stood still and we are getting nowhere.  We look around and everyone seems to be moving faster than we are.  This is when people give up or give in because they don’t see the results quickly enough. However, the Snail knows better.  If we stare at the Snailit may appear that he is not moving at all, but it is for certain he is making quiet progress, even if it is not obvious.  If we look away and distract ourselves for a short while before looking back, we will see that the snail has indeed moved if not gone altogether. As he sets off across the garden, he knows it will take him much time to get to the other side but this does not stop him making the journey.  The snail is making his way to where he will feast on all the rich vegetation, so is quite certain it will be worth the effort.

A snail can wreak havoc in a garden and we must wonder why she has not taken steps to address this obvious threat.  The Snail may be telling us that she does not have control over everything, regardless of her financial status and position. Money can’t buy you everything. Mother Nature is a law onto herself and will not be contained.  On the other hand, the Figure, being a Pentacle, has a deep understanding and tolerance of nature and animals.  Therefore she may have learned to live in balance and harmony with her surroundings instead of trying to suppress it.
ten x ten x The Four Tens in the Tarot represent the completion of the Lessons of the Suits and the beginning of a New Cycle with a  set of circumstances born out of the previous cycle. wheel of fortune The Winged Angel represents Air, the Eagle represents Water, The Winged Bull represents Earth and the Winged Lion represents Fire.

at this point of the journey they would not yet be qualified or versed enough on each Element to have full understanding or appreciation their power. However, they do now understand that to be complete, to be whole and fulfilled within and without they must find the correct balance and understanding of not just their own Element but also of each others. Only then will true enlightenment come.

A Sphinx sits on top of The Wheel holding a sword which is tilted. As before in preceding cards, the tilted sword represents confusion in thought, lack of clarity and things not being straight forward or that there is a slant to what is being seen, experienced or perceived. The Sphinx is guardian to the wisdom of the Wheel and that which it stands for. On one side of the wheel a snake slithers downwards. This snake represents Set, the God of darkness, death and decay. When Set’s energies abound we feel chaos and lack of control in our lives, nothing feels right or works out for us.

On the other side a red-figure depicting Anubis, follows the upward rotation of the Wheel. Anubis is responsible for guiding the souls after death to the spirit world where they eventually will be reborn again into the physical. The lesson to be understood here is that out of decay and death life once again is reborn. Eventually too that new life will decay and die once more before the re-birthing process begins once again. The cycle is continuous. The Wheel represents not just physical life but every aspect of life. The Wheel teaches us the Lesson of impermanence – nothing lasts for ever. Life is in constant motion and what we experience at any given moment in time, is, in the grand scale of things, only fleeting. We can not stop the Wheel of Life from rotating no matter how much we want a particular situation to remain intact or to remain as it is. The Universe will not permit permanence for that only leads to stagnation and lack of spiritual growth. To truly understand the lessons of The Wheel we must experience not just the upward turn of its cycle but also its down turn too. That is after all what we incarnate for.

There is great depth to The Wheel of Fortune for it teaches us some hard lessons. As far as the Sphinx is concerned there is no fortune or ‘Lady Luck’ involved in which part of The Wheel you ride on, for be it on the downward or upward turn you are fully responsible for your position. No finger can be pointed at another in blame or that fate or the Gods are shining down on or cursing you. You got here all by yourself and the Sphinx advises that if you are clever and wise you should stop and be observant as to how you got where you are on The Wheel, for it is not by chance. Be it on the upward or downward turn it is the right place for you at this point of time. However, The Wheel is in constant motion so wherever you are on it, remember that this time too will pass, the Wheel will turn once more and what is in the now will soon become the past.
the ten of wands Here we see the culmination and consequences of too much energy, enthusiasm and activity beginning to take its toll. We have all been guilty of this at one stage or another and have vowed ‘never again’. However, this Card suggests Harvest Time when back-breaking work is required of us all if we want to reap the rewards of all our previous effort. Sometimes there is no way to avoid it, so it can be a case of under, over or through to get to where you are going with no shortcuts or fast tracking involved.

The Ten of Wands often appears when you are entering the final stages of a project, task or job.  The end is in sight but you are now entering the agonising home stretch when energy levels are down and enthusiasm for the project has been beaten out of you. Instead of the workload lightening, it has become heavier.  There are so many things that need to be sorted and arranged, especially those boring parts you would rather suck razor blades than do. These tasks are usually ones you just have to do yourself, because involving others at this stage would create further delays as you would have to spend time instructing them on what you need done, how, where and when. You might as well do it yourself.  Thing is, you are not very good at delegation anyway, and if you had learned how to delegate some of the less important tasks back in the beginning, you wouldn’t be under such pressure now.  You are tired, fatigued and fed up but the show must go on. 
the ten of pentacles As we finally arrive at the end of this particular cycle for The Pentacles in Card Ten, endings are the very last thing these people are thinking about.  They may have made it to Card Ten, but their journey is not over by a long shot.  On the Contrary, this Card is strongly linked to Continuity and not endings or final Outcomes.  The Pentacles have done way too much on their journey for it to suddenly come to a stop anywhere.  The Pentacles from the very beginning, had long-term plans and goals which they were determined to achieve, but these plans and goals were never intended to be the climax of their lives or the final realisation of their dreams.  Rather each long-term plan or goal was viewed only as a small part of a much larger and grander Major Plan.  As each long-term plan or goal was reached they merely acted as spring boards to the next one.

The Pentacles will seek continuity of their existence and lifetime work through those of their own kind, people who have grown up to understand and respect the same high standards, principles and responsibility of such an honor bestowed on them.
page/eleven xi page/eleven xi The Pages in the Tarot represent children, a young unmarried woman, or young people (both genders) up to the age of 22. They can also represent the Querant, or someone they know who is older, but has something happening in their life which is making them feel young again. Pages can also represent older people who are starting over in life again, re-training, or going back to college. People of any age but displaying and expressing the energies of the Pages. The Pages may also carry advice or messages that the Querant needs to take on board.

Inner child, childhood issues and problems with children are also dealt with in the Pages. Immaturity can also be suggested if the person represented by the Page is older than 22. The Pages can sometimes appear to represent feeling young at heart or going back to college or studies as a mature student.

The Pages are traditionally associated with News. The type of news these Pages deliver, depends on the Suit they belong to, and whether they are drawn Upright or Reversed. When Upright the news is welcoming, when Reversed, news can bring disappointment, delays, set-backs or distress.

The Pages being the youngest in the Court Card Family, can highlight the early stages of something; the birth of a new way of acting, thinking, feeling or doing. Remember that the Pages in their young and innocent state are only getting to grips with the potential of their Element, and so, bring the understanding that even though they are excited and enthusiastic about life, there is still a lot for them to learn.

The Four Pages of The Tarot must always be looked upon as Students who are at the early stages of learing everything there is to know about their Governing Elements. Like all students, it will take quite some time for them to study and understand every aspect of their Element. However, just like a group of students turning up for their first day at school or college, they are all full of excitement and enthusiasm for their given subject. It is all very new, novel and interesting at the moment, but all students know that the road to mastery can be long, challenging, and at times downright tedious. It is the disciplined student who will stay the course and put in the necessary work to qualify with the best results possible. Each of these Pages must do the very best they can, for they have entered the hardest and most toughest school of all, the school of life.

For the Page of Wands, he will have to learn the discipline of patience, the Page of Cups will be naïve in the ways of the heart and will certainly learn hard lessons along the way, the Page of Swords will need to learn the art of mental discipline before it destroys him and the Page of Pentacles will have to learn the lesson of tenacity. In their present state they are only embarking on this learning process, and are Apprentices or Students of their Element.

The Pages represent the Airy part of their Suit. Air governs the intellect and thinking processes. In their immature state, their minds are still forming and are easily influenced by their environment, and that which they observe. Any mistakes or bad experiences at The Page Stage of development, can result in the Page Reversing and the onset of long-term problems.
the page of wands "the Airy Part of Fire"

"Therefore in the Page of Wands we have Air influencing Fire, thoughts influencing actions.

The Page of Wands does this by thinking about, or planning (Air) his next course of action (Fire) as he stares enthusiastically at the Wand in his hand. He has been entrusted with the Gift of his Element, Fire. He is the recipient of the Wand that was presented by Spirit in the Ace. He holds his Wand with confidence and pride. He gazes admiringly at it and begins to think of all the things he might be able to do with it. The Page of Wands is full of marvelous and novel ideas. With his brand new Wand, he plans action-packed adventures, where he will travel far and wide to experience the full thrill of life, and all that it has to offer. With the strong Wand in his hand, the world is his oyster and he will make it his own."

the page of pentacles The Page of Pentacles appearing in your Reading can suggest that you are studying, or about to embark on a course of studies that will bring great financial rewards for you in the future. You may be starting college, and are looking forward to getting down to learning and study. This Page augurs well for chosen careers and shows a determination to work hard and succeed. You may even be following in the career footsteps of previous family members as you continue a family tradition. In the Upright Page of Pentacles, this is something you are very happy to do and are proud and honoured to be continuing the line. A scholarly attitude is suggested, along with excellent exam performance. You are certainly aiming at achieving the highest of qualifications.
knight/twelve xii knight/twelve xii Taking action, movement, mobility, courage, strength, vision, passion and daring risk is the realm The Four Knights dwell in. hanged man The Hanged Man appears at this time to remind us that struggle at this time is futile and it is best to surrender to the situation and let it go, for as much as you fight to stay on top of whatever is involved, it will only succeed in depleting your energies, encouraging you to slide further into despair, negativity and pessimism. You are just not going to get anywhere at the moment or change much.

If we look closely, The man hanging from the tree doesn’t look terribly concerned or distressed about his dilemma. In fact he looks quite serene and contemplative. He hangs casually and his body appears relaxed. He is resigned to his fate. He knows that the ropes that bind his foot and hands are tight and well-knotted.  He knows that no matter how much he pulls, twists and writhes they are unlikely to become undone.  He may very well inflict more pain on himself in the process. Justice has tied him  up to learn a valuable lesson, and will only be let down when he has achieved this. This does not essentially mean that he has committed a terrible crime and now has to be punished.

The Hanged Man knows that if he was allowed to continue on his present course of action, rushing around, never stopping to think, then he would never learn the lesson and gain true understanding.  So here he is with nowhere to go except hang out on his own,  alone with just his thoughts for company. This gives him plenty of time and the space to go within to meditate on his situation. He can reflect on how he got where he is. Without his material connection to the world he can now focus on his spiritual one. The Hanged Man takes this time to go within and re-connect with his spiritual purpose in life.

By hanging upside down The Hanged Manhas a wonderful opportunity to view the world, or his situation from a different perspective. He had been so engrossed and absorbed with all the things he was doing, getting and wanting, that he lost sight of the bigger picture. Upside down he is able to see things in a different light.

The Hanged Man can have tendencies towards feeling victimised or punished, but with his new vantage point, he may begin to see his own part in the drama, may start to accept responsibility for his situation instead of blaming others.  If he remembers what Justice had to teach him then he will understand that where he is in life at this moment in time is his own doing, and by his own hand. His reality is a result of his past actions.  If he uses this time wisely, The Hanged Man when released will have learned a valuable lesson and will be in the best possible position to move forward in his life.

The yellow halo around the man’s head indicates that although he appears to be outwardly tied up and restricted, much work and movement is going on within. He is giving much thought to his situation. By using this time of suspension to go within, he leaves the conscious outside world to delve into the subconscious realms in order to gain insight from his higher-self. It is a time for concentration on his spiritual concerns as opposed to worldly concerns. The leaves growing on the tree or post also suggest that during this time much personal growth can be achieved. In truth, this is often a welcome time when he is free to just be, with nothing to do, nowhere to go except reflect on his life and what is truly important to him.

The Hanged Man is also associated with sacrifice. Sometimes, for the greater good of all, we may have to sacrifice our own desires and plans for the needs of someone or something else. On the other hand The Hanged Man may feel that he has been sacrificed by those around him, or used as a scapegoat, and been punished unfairly. He may also have offered himself to be sacrificed so that others go free.  Therefore, depending on the question and surrounding cards, The Hanged Man can be connected with doing a good deed,  helping someone out when they are in difficulty, and doing the right thing without asking questions or making judgement. The Hanged Man is the volunteer, who renounces his worldly goods, personal security and stability as he heads off with just a rucksack on his back to work with tsunami victims, the starving or the oppressed.

the knight of cups The Knight of Cups must work hard to find a balance between these the Elements of Fire and Water which are capable of totally destroying and obliterating each other should either get the total upper hand. Working in harmony, Water and Fire can do very well together creating a warm, loving, enthusiastic, considerate and exciting personality. A person who cares and is sensitive to the feelings of others, is passive and calm yet when necessary can be assertive, brave, daring, fearless and bold. He is a true Chivalrous and Gallant Knight. When Water and Fire are nicely balanced we find a personality who factors in the interest of others while forging ahead with their own needs, instead of the natural Fiery instinct to blaze their own trail regardless of what others think or feel. A fine balance of Water and Fire will present us with a Knight of Cups who cherishes his friends, is loyal and supporting. This Knight will lay down his life for his friends should the need arise without hesitation or promise of reward.

He may not ride out into battle with the other Three Knights, but he is the one who will make the difference when it comes to negotiating a truce between the warring parties. This makes his role every bit as equal as the combative Knights. He is the one who will singly ride out to meet with the enemy’s leader to promote the peace settlements that have been proposed by his leader. In this role he will not expect to be attacked or harmed and will be allowed to enter and leave the enemy camp in one piece for those are the rules of engagement, surrender and truce.
queen/thirteen xiii the queen of swords The Queen of Swords combines the inward focus of a Queen with the razor-sharp mind and intellect of her Suit Element.

This Queen represents clarity of thought and well-formed decisions or plans.  However, because she is Queen and influenced by Water, decisions should not just be based on facts and logical processes alone but also on feelings.  Therefore she would ask you to think carefully about your feelings when making any major decisions.  

the queen of wands The Queen of Wands is strong, bold, courageous and passionate. She is an independent, enterprising woman who is ready to take on whatever life throws at her. She is energetic, vivacious and high-spirited.  Although she can seem authoritative and overwhelming at times, she is a joy to have around and breathes life and enthusiasm into all those she interacts with.  Capable and competent she sets high standards for herself and those around her.  She possesses a strong belief in herself and is fiercely protective of her domain and position.

In the Queen of Wands we can often find the Witch as she sits with her Familiar (the black cat).  She can be very intuitive and blessed with psychic abilities, especially clairvoyance.  She is very in-tune with her surroundings and enjoys contact with the natural kingdom.
the queen of pentacles The Queen of Pentacles is the Watery part of Earth.  She combines the inward focus of a Queen with the positive aspects of her element allowing her to feel successful and take pride in who she is.

This Queen sits upon her sumptuously decorated throne with multiple carvings of pears and apples. If we look closely we can also see a young child and elderly man’s face worked in to the elaborate engraving of the upper part of the throne.  Her curved armrests proudly display a goat’s head.  The side of her throne depicts the image of a wood nymph as she casually rests and observes.  Her throne sits amidst a countryside environment surrounded by trees, flowers, mountains, lakes and wildlife.  A rabbit happily hops into the picture. He is either unaware of the Queen or just comfortable with her presence. Her throne sits under an arch of blooming rambling pink roses. Here we get a real sense of this Queen even before we take a closer look at the woman herself.  In essence this Queen is in her element, Earth.  This imagery tells us of her connection to Mother Earth; the Natural Kingdom and also that of the Animal Kingdom.  This Queen is also connected to the Elemental Kingdom – the world of Faeries.  All in her garden looks healthy and happy.  The sky is sunny, clear and bright with not a cloud to be seen suggesting that all is well.

king/fourteen xiv the king of swords The King of Swords combines the outward focus of a King with the positive intellectual, analytical and just qualities of Air.  He uses Earth to Ground his energy so that he may be of use in his world.

Dark and sombre looking the King of Swords sits on a structure which appears more like a pillar or column than a regal throne.  We cannot see the top of the throne so we are left to wonder as to whether it soars right up to the sky or even into outer space.  This symbolises this Kings connection to the element of Air and his ability to rise above any situation or crisis so that he can view it in a detached and objective manner.  The throne is adorned with carvings of butterflies and Air Sylphs which further connect this man to his governing element.  The butterflies also stand for metamorphosis and transformation.  The mind and intellect are a powerful force and when put to their most positive use can change the way we view our self and the world around us.  What the mind dwells upon it tends to adopt.  So if we dwell on the negative too often then our life will begin to mirror those negative thoughts.  By thinking positively, we can attract positive experiences into our life.  Our thoughts are energy and each thought-form whether positive or negative is exactly the same energy.  It depends on how much energy we put into either our positive or negative attitudes that ultimately determines what manifests in and around us.   Change or transform our thoughts and we can change our life.  However, we need mental discipline to achieve this and it is easier said than done.  The King of Swords is the master of Mental Discipline.  He will teach you his ways should you have enough stamina to follow them through.
the king of wands "The green mantle and green shoes remind us that this King is the Earthy part of Fire."

"Over the years he has become aware of the mighty and sometimes dangerous power of his governing element."

"He realises that life in itself is boring and monotonous unless risks are taken and fears overcome. He understands life as it should be; adventurous, spontaneous and exciting."

"One very important aspect to remember about the King of Wands, and this applies to all areas of his life is the fact that he cannot stand boredom and restriction. Any job or career that requires him to turn up at the same office day in day out doing the same old duties over and over again from 9 to 5 will either drive him insane or turn him into a flat, lifeless and disinterested spirit. He needs regular changes of scenery, challenging duties and a work day that brings constant surprises and interesting people. He doesn’t mind working weekends, late nights or during the holiday time if what he does holds his attention and interests him. "

the king of cups Tossed about in the midst of the turbulent waters (emotions) the King of Cupsmaintains his balance with ease for he has learnt to discipline and control them.  He remains calm and not the slightest bit phased by all that is going on around him.  He has seen what happens to others when discipline is not applied.  He has seen some good people lose their balance and disappear into the watery depths were few could reach them.  Yes, he had watched many drown in their emotions, engulfed by the tidal wave of their situation, being sucked away by the sheer force of the current events in their life. He has gone to the rescue of many and helped them to find land again; helped them calm and regain control over their lives once more.  If life has turned upside down and chaos rules the day, this King will remain steady and composed.

This King has learned something that the majority of others have not.  He has learnt to  discipline his emotions.  Emotions are an energy force and indeed are wonderful when their energy clean and allowed to flow freely.  However, he understands that all energy can become potentially dangerous when allowed to get out of control or when it falls into the wrong hands. Even the energy of Love if not disciplined can become a smothering and overbearing force.  He knows that it is very possible to have too much of a good thing.

This King of Cups adrift far out in the turbulent seas sits and waits for the waters (emotions) to calm down instead of panicking.  When they do, the tide will bring him back to shore where he will make a safe landing. If you are lost at sea the King of Cups can be relied on to gently guide you back too.  He is the perfect man for the job. He is master of his element and enjoys all that this knowledge brings.

One thing we must understand about this King is that although he can freely express his emotions, he does not always choose to do so.  He can often appear secretive to others or even withdrawn.  He has learned in the past that different situations require different levels of response.  Sometimes it is appropriate to show compassion or upset and other times it is vital to adopt a poker face. 

Emotionally mature and a peace lover he would rarely be seen to raise his voice in relationship disagreements.  He tends to avoid conflict or difficult situations preferring to gently find a solution to any problems that may occur.
fifteen xv
sixteen xvi
seventeen xvii star A naked woman kneels at a pool of water. The woman pours water from two jugs, one into the pool and the other onto the land. Eight, eight-pointed stars sparkle in the sky with the central star larger and more defined than the rest. In the background an Ibis sits on a tree.

The pool represents the Collective Unconscious or Universal Memory.

It is believed that whenever we think a thought, it has a ripple effect which spreads out throughout all of mankind and the planet. If those thoughts are negative or aggressive, the energies created and sent out will infiltrate and affect the energy field of every person in the world. If enough people create these negative thoughts,  such as those caught up in war, terrorism, corruption etc. then the impact on humanity will be great, instilling fear, suspicion and hatred in mankind. Of course the opposite is also true and that is why wise Spiritual Teachers will always advise you to watch your thoughts for they belong not to you alone, but to everyone.

The Collective Unconscious also explains why, when someone invents something, or comes up with a wonderful idea, then you can be sure that there are others in the world, and sometimes not that far from them who will come up with the same invention or same idea at the same time. They have all accessed by one means or another this Universal Memory Bank.

The Star brings Liberation and Freedom after chains of The Devil and the shock of The Tower. The very fact that the woman is wearing no clothes symbolises that she no longer has anything to hide. After the mask she wore in The Devil was ripped off her in The Tower, she is now free to be herself and show the world who she really is.  She now understands that most of her life has been a facade, behaving and doing things to please others and to keep up with everyone else. In The Star she becomes aware of her unique personality.  There is a great sense of peace in just being allowed to do what she wants and be whoever she wants to be. She no longer has to prove anything to anyone.  She is proud of herself and has a strong sense of self-worth.

The bright shining star above the woman’s head suggests that the time has also come for this woman to shine and take centre stage in her life.  The light of the star shining brightly above her allows her to become aware of her wonderful natural qualities and gifts and not the false ones she thought she ought to have. The Star often highlights the presence of certain natural gifts in a person’s life. These gifts can often be creative in nature, such as art, singing, writing, acting, sculpture etc. Like the stars above her, The Star tells you it is time to let your star shine brightly so that others can see.

The Ibis sitting in the tree is the hieroglyphic for the God Thoth who was guardian of the Akashic Records. This is the ancient name for the Collective Unconscious or Universal Memory. The woman in The Star has learned some hard lesson along the way and after allowing the changes to take place in Death and the shock and emotional upheaval in The Tower, she is now ready to understand the wisdom of what the Ibis guards so well. Thoth is also the patron of Healers and The Star represents a time of great self-healing.

The Star brings calm after the storm.  A release from the burdens of the past. Your faith has been restored in life and you are free to approach life with a strong sense of purpose. A time of great personal freedom. This freedom can be mental, emotional or physical. A great sense of hope for the future and a belief that tomorrow will be better.

With everything now stripped away, feeling naked, there comes a realization that we came into the world with nothing and we will leave with nothing. We cannot take our possessions with us. The Star represents a time to be open with everyone. A time to be true to yourself and those around you.  No one owns you anymore as in The Devil. Confidence and self-esteem are on the rise. You are happy in your skin and have a good body image.  You are who you are and don’t make any pretences. The Star advises you to just be yourself in the situation.  People will have to accept you for who you are. Time for you to be the key player in your own life.
eighteen xviii
nineteen xix sun The Sun is where we arrive at after finding our way through the dark with only The Moon to light the path. By facing our fears, calling on our inner-strength and having faith that life would deliver us to a better place we have eventually arrived at The Sun.  After the darkness of The Moon, The Sun has eventually risen (it always does).  With the dazzling glow and warmth of The Sun engulfing us, we now find that those things we feared so much in the pale vapoury light of The Moon are actually quite harmless or not as bad as we thought they were going to be.  Everything looks better in the clear light of day.  When The Sun shines it is quite easy to forget our woes and the world can suddenly look like a good place to be. The Sun generally has a wonderful effect on us.  People are friendlier to each other and come out of their normal seclusion to enjoy the beauty of a sunny day.  The Sunwarms the chill out of our bones and out of our minds. The Sun brings happiness. TheSun, also brings success, achievement and celebration.

The Sun shines brightly in Card XIX.  Its rays reach out, touching every living thing. In the foreground a young child rides a white horse.  The child is naked and carries a large banner or flag. Flowers adorn the child’s head as he beams with sheer delight. He appears to have stuck a large red feather among the flowers and it waves merrily as he rides out on his horse.   In the background, a line of sunflowers grow from the top of a stone wall. The child, like the woman in The Star appears naked in this imagery to symbolise that he is free to express himself for who he truly is without facade or pretence.

twenty xx judgement The figures depicted in the Judgement Card stand naked, again reminding us that when Judgement Day arrives we will no longer be able to hide behind a facade,  lies or pretence.  All our deeds, both good and bad will be exposed and laid bare before the Higher Powers and our Higher Self.  Nothing can be hidden on Judgement Day.

The Returning Spirit had planted his own seeds and the Harvest is now his full responsibility too. Therefore, standing before this Council and after the Life Review, the only judgement that can be made is Self Judgement.

The Judgment Card with the Angel blowing the trumpet heralds the arrival of the time to atone for any misdeeds or upsets caused to others. This could be through the law and courts or the personal desire to right a wrong, to forgive or ask forgiveness of others.

The Red Cross on the flag represents the arriving at a cross roads in The Fool’s life and the need to exercise clear Judgementas to how he proceeds from here. 
twenty one xxi

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