4 December 18: The Pope & Eight of Swords

Death. Plain and simple. I immediately checked and was still alive and assuming  you who are reading or listening to this are as well, congratulations to us all. I Googled the news and of course the US news is all about the passing of and the memorials for former President George H.W. Bush, so I’ll assume (hopefully) that’s what this is about today. ‘The Heirophant’ is the ‘official’ name of this card, and he’s definitely representing all things official. The highest orders, religious and otherwise, institutions and organizations and the establishment in general are all represented by this unyielding, dogmatic card, which, now that we have that interpretation out of the way, has of course  at least a few other interpretations. The scary calaveras and grim reapers on the actual Death card in the Tarot don’t mean physical Death as much as profound and inevitable and necessary transformation, endings, change and rebirth.

The restricted, disabled – another literal meaning of this pair – woman on the 8 of Swords (Libra/Aquarius/Gemini) is tied up and surrounded by a makeshift ‘jail’ of 8 swords stuck in the ground around her. This is most often a card of ‘self-imprisonment’ or having a ‘victim’ mentality, since it seems to us she can slip away through the ‘jail bars’ any time she wants but in this case there can be very physical, real reasons why someone is restricted in some way, even a hospitalization for some reason, possibly mental. Conventional procedures and methods will be prescribed and employed. Serious stuff. This could even be holiday services or in-house religious events for patients or prisoners.

This is being willingly bound by convention. Not wishing to marry or associate with anyone outside your own faith or family or work, or very strict policies and codes imposed by your religion, beliefs or the establishment you work for. You represent the ‘brand’ and can’t or shouldn’t be seen with certain people or doing certain things.

Blind faith.

It must be mentioned that this Pope is upright, and seems to be the man of Faith that he professes to be.  I’d like to think there are a few good ones out there. This is a human that has chosen a conventional, conservative path and does not stray from it. ‘The Prisoner’ wears a low-cut crimson dress under those ropes that bind her, keeping her passions in check. They’re so poorly tied it looks like she did it herself – she did. That’s the point. God forbid she should ‘cut loose’, the presence of the Pope assures us that ‘God’ may very well and often does Forbid.  Holy Christmas, Father, ’tis the season to be jolly, for Christ’s sake!

This could be about the ‘restrictions’ imposed by the concept of traditional marriage. Blindfolded, she’s obviously not even looking at anyone else and takes her vows seriously, finding comfort and safety in the ‘confines’ of the institution.

To a pig, a poke is not a prison, but a home.

The Holiday services are represented here and a lot of people feel restricted by the obligatory rituals and traditions, of course – that ‘bound by convention’ thing.

But it looks like she did dress up for it, which is nice.

Reminds me of my New Orleans mentor who, well into old age and immobile, never failed to put her lipstick on ever day. She was religious about it.




4 thoughts on “4 December 18: The Pope & Eight of Swords

  1. what if its a dear friend and they are all wrapped up in a conspiracy theory / political ideal. And you make art with this person and that brings you joy but you just cant get down with all their “recent” beliefs and they want to bring it to the art. Who is too “brand loyal” here? me or the conspiracy person? This was a great blog by the way. cheers.


    1. Well that other person isn’t here to speak for themselves but it seems to them their own humanity is more important than ‘branding’, and you gotta live your beliefs, so looks like you’ve simply grown in different directions. Thanks for reading –


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