13 October 18: Knight of Coins

Work comes first. Always has and always will. Since he or she was a serious, studious little Page, this deliberate,  slow and sometimes downright dull and heavy Knight of Earth (Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn)  has known where he or she has wanted to go in life and like the tortoise, who is shown on this persistent and patient Knight’s shield in the medieval Luigi Scapini deck, doesn’t care how long it takes to get there. Nothing fancy, just a comfortable burrow, a nap, something tasty and nourishing every year and then he’ll do it all over again. They live a long time, those little dinosaurs. This Knight  probably won’t change his routine one iota even when he is finally King (or Queen)  which you know he will be someday.

We’re talking about all things physical once again: work, income, gas in the car. Nothing flashy, just the basics. This Knight probably has a job a lot of people would consider tedious and repetitive, but he believes in the value of self-regulation, as predictable and dull as that can be. He will because of his hard work, attention to detail, dependability and reliability always be valuable and in demand and his name respected. He is the only Knight the King would trust with his money, the Royal Bookkeeper.

This guy’s a saver, since I don’t want to come straight out and call him a penny-pincher. He is money-driven, that’s true, but that’s the guy you need as an investment banker or the financial manager of your company. He’d be a great asset to a passionate, fiery partner like a Leo, Sag or Aries. He’d be a great manager for an emotional, moody artist   or any creative type the of the suit of Water: Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces  all benefit from his grounding, practical energy. His discipline and dedication to regimen, rehearsal and refinement could be a very good influence.  Air signs could learn some things from this down to earth Knight who patiently tolerates his boss’ sometimes abrasive tongue and manner – just give him his check and he’ll be off on his usual route home.

 

They say if there’s a race, slow and steady always wins.

 

 

 

 

12 October 18: Nine of Coins

Self reliance. Coins or Pentacles (Virgo/Capricorn/ Taurus) represent the tangible, touchable material world, our bodies, our houses, food, property and of course, money.

Traditionally, this number 9, the number of completion, shows us a human strolling gracefully through a lush garden, a healthy green bush hanging with 9 ripe gold coins. The Morgan-Greer deck shows us a beautifully dressed brown-skinned woman eating from a bowl of grapes, white and red. She cultivates both. Around her neck is a necklace of 9 large golden discs, and perched on her upheld left hand is her pet, a hooded falcon. These are the pastimes of a gentlewoman or gentleman.

This is a card of someone who has done very well for themselves all by themselves. The self-made millionaire. This is the maid who saved all her money and then one day bought the hotel. But make no mistake: this is also a card of self-cultivation, and along with accumulating that wealth and moving up into a new tax bracket, he or she has been cultivating themselves as well, is graciously charitable and admired by the community. Along with viticulture and falconry, she’s probably a talented chef, enjoying cooking up delicious, earthy, healthy dishes from her garden for her fortunate dinner guests.  Of course you’ll want ask for a peek at her current painting-in-progress or a song on the piano for dessert.

This lady owns the hell out of that heavy gold around her neck, and she earned that all by her own talents and sweat. She may have been the maid once upon a time, but she ain’t no more, that’s for sure.

This card can read as an ‘overnight success’ but ask anyone who has been called that and you will likely find that years of hard work and dedication went into that ‘overnight success’. This is the result of that. This human is now set for life with time and a place to cultivate and enjoy the finer things of this world and share them with others as well.

 

 

 

11 October 18: Page of Wands

I have an idea says this young Page of the enthusiastic and highly flammable suit of Fire  (Sagittarius, Leo, and Aries). Think of the clubs or wands as matches. On the Rider -Waite – Coleman- Smith deck they really do look like big matches, and our young Page stands in an empty desert ready to plant his sprouting club into the dry ground and get something going. I imagine this is how Burning Man started. This is the card of a fiery young activist, and if you haven’t read the story of the founding of the ‘Burn it is quite the revolutionary social concept – far from just a wild titty party it’s a life changer encouraging humans to recognize, nurture and utilize the very best of ourselves and our natural gifts – and everyone is born gifted in some way – for the betterment of earth and her inhabitants. The creativity we are capable of before we’re beaten into conformity is limitless.

This is the enthusiasm or the ‘spark’ of youth, which is an immature energy and we love him or her – our ourselves – for it. You can count on this person to get everybody excited about a new idea or startup, and their passion and enthusiasm are contagious – spreading like wildfire. This Page can be a little manic, starting a lot of things and ‘burning out’ too quickly before they’re finished.

This could be a very welcome message of some kind, something you have been waiting for, or an invitation. A call or an e-mail that ‘fires you up’ about something, probably career-related, in a good way, or a child starting to show signs of a passion or ability that should be ‘stoked’.  He or she wants – and gets – lots of attention.

This Page is a lot of fun on the road. If it’s an invitation to travel, and it might be, go!

 

 

 

9 October 18: The Hanged Man

Hamstrung. This is one of the weirdest cards to me, Number 12 of the Major Arcana, The Hanged Man. A human hangs upside down from a tree by a bit of rope tied to one ankle. There is a lot of mythology in the tree alone, linking heaven to the Underworld, but on the Morgan-Greer image it is not a tree but a scaffolding made from two dead trees with a pole stretched between them from which he hangs gracefully. He may have even built the structure himself. His face is serene, and he holds his hands clasped behind his back, one knee bent forming a triangle shape with his legs. Aerial yoga. He’s simply looking at the world from another point of view. Yogis assume the Sarasana pose – standing on your head – when they want to see the world from a different point of view  and stimulate the brain.

From above, he looks right side up. This is a card of surrender, no doubt, to a higher power which could be God or the Universe or the weather, but it’s as if the rope were a puppet string controlled by an unseen hand from above and we’re not in control right now. This card is unique in that when the card is right side up our human is upside down, meaning that’s exactly where he’s supposed to be at this juncture. To everyone else it looks pretty strange but this ‘suspension’ is necessary right now.

Neptune, the Patron Saint of the Hanged Man, loves all things foggy and weird and wobbly and wavy and misty and mystic, like the gray wall of fog we see behind the hanging man. Neptune also loves art and music, and this dedicated and passionate (the red pants give him away) artist is sacrificing all for his art. When he finally does come back down he will have created (1+2=3, the number of Creation) something divinely inspired, as did the Norse God Odin, who after having hung himself upside down for nine nights in the World Tree, the one that grew up from the center of the flat Earth, was granted the wisdom to create the Runes.

This is basically being ‘hamstrung’ for some reason, sometimes even literally. An accident victim in traction who came out of his coma declaring he’d had a revelation and was never the same, it changed his life. That’s obviously an extreme example, but the epiphany is the same. The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, an invalid for much of her life, affixed a mirror to the canopy of her sickbed and created her beautiful and complicated self-portraits, considered some of the world’s greatest works of art.

This is delay, but a productive one in some way. Worth the wait, worth the ‘hangup.’ Be patient. This isn’t the time to move, that’s all. You may be having to wait on something or someone else before you can do much of anything anyway.

Or, a psychologist is giving you another perspective on your own ‘hangups’.

Which is Major.

 

 

 

 

8 October 18: Nine of Cups, reversed

Something’s missing. This number 9 of the Minor Arcana is famously referred to as ‘The Wish Card’ which we’ve seen rather recently. Of the suit of Cups,(Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio) this card addresses our emotional state, our deep content or discontent. The blood boils, the blood freezes. Liquid.

Upright, we see our smiling, jolly host in front of his banquet table or bar, 9 gold goblets already full and waiting for guests. It’s a celebration, a long-held wish has come true, and when that happens for us we want to spread the love. Drinks on me, he says, and the party’s on. The number 9 is completion. This human does indeed feel complete and content, accomplished and successful. One of the best cards in the deck.

Reversed: did you not hear me? The party’s over. The overturned cups are scattered all over the floor, the well satiated guests are all gone and our host looks around the empty room and feels a pang of loneliness. Everything he wanted, yes. Everything he’d dreamed of, yes. He’s been celebrated, toasted, complimented and admired. but something’s missing.

Is that all there is?

Or: the blissful energy of this card is being blocked for some reason, there still is some obstacle to your getting what you want. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen, just not right now.

The 9 of Cups in this position can mean greed and overindulgence, someone who wants ‘more, more more’. The red-cheeked human of this card o’ plenty obviously has enough, and although we can’t see all of him he could stand to lose 20 or 50 pounds. He has a fancy red feathered cap and is dressed well. He has everything he ever wanted. He’s accomplished everything he set out to do.

So why does he still feel like something’s missing?

 

“In the United States we think we have at our disposal virtually everything—and I emphasize the word “think.” We have big houses and cars, good medical treatment, jets, trains and monorails; we have computers, good communications, many comforts and conveniences. But where have they gotten us? We have an abundance of material things, but a successful society produces happy people, and I think we produce more miserable people than almost anyplace on earth. I’ve traveled all over the world, and I’ve never seen people who are quite as unhappy as they are in the United States. We have plenty, but we have nothing, and we always want more. In the pursuit of material success as our culture measures it, we have given up everything. We have lost the capacity to produce people who are joyful. The pursuit of the material has become our reason for living, not enjoyment of living itself.”
Marlon Brando, Songs My Mother Taught Me

6 October 18: 3 of Coins

Pooling our talents.  High-level collaboration. On this card of the solid, material suit of Earth (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) we usually see in the olde tyme Renaissance-Faire woodcut tarot images 3 humans in a huge, stony, cold cathedral conferring over some building plans, usually a couple of monks and an architect. The discs are represented as round talisman designs in the ornate, stained-glass window. One could be the master  stained-glass artist, and the architect is the best in his field as well. The third appears to  be the head of the Church or institution commissioning the work. They are not all in the same tax bracket yet they have respect for each other’s talents, accomplishments and position(s).

This card is famous for representing teamwork, and on the surface this would appear to be a productive, equal merger of ideas and skills. Everyone’s specific talents and contributions are necessary in order to accomplish something enduring and magnificent. But is everyone really on equal ground here? This is a card of money, who’s paying for it?

I only ask because the Morgan-Greer card shows us a lone artisan, the light low in the cathedral, beautiful red and gold streaming in as he chisels away at the stones in semi-darkness, carving some Masonic sort of symbol in the wall. Has he outlived them all? Is he carrying on the work of those before him? Is he the only one left? Or is he team leader, up before anyone else? An earth sign, he’s exacting and meticulous in his work, taking his time. This has to last forever.

I’ll stick to the basics. This is a card of teamwork, making something real. There may be 3 people involved, but they are all the best at what they do, and they’re all committed to the work. 3 is the number of Creation, so whatever this supergroup is going to kick out, it’s going to outlast all of us.

May you Go Gold!

Or: I have eggs, you have a stove, he knows how to cook, let’s feed everyone.

 

 

Note: I always find this card to be a challenge. Back in the archives there’s a whole rant on this 3, where I try to interpret Salvador Dali’s version/interpretation which was like trying to untangle a ball of yarn puked up by a cat.

 

 

 

 

 

5 October 18: Seven of Clubs & Eight of Swords

Staying out of jail. The Eight of Swords ( Air =Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) is ‘the jail card’ but more often than not, it’s more about self-imprisonment and self-limitation, the ‘prison’ of one’s own mind. A human stands in the wind, blindfolded and loosely tied up with ropes. She stands in the center of a circle of 8 swords stuck into the ground forming ‘jail bars’ (Morgan-Greer deck). The ropes are loose – or are they tightening? The ‘bars’ of Swords are far enough apart for her to sneak through and escape – or are they closing in?

The fiery Seven of Clubs or Wands (Sagittarius/Leo/Aries) shows us a human who stands on higher ground defending himself, holding a long club across his chest protectively, and we see the tops of 6 more clubs below and assume they’re being carried by a crowd.  It’s like when they came for Frankenstein. They could be torches, there’s so much fire in this card. We see at least more than half of the tops of the clubs he faces from those below, so the I hope the high ground he’s standing on is high enough.

 

Well then! No need to turn on the news today, back to work.