4 February 2019: Nine of Clubs & The Fool & Queen of Swords

The Odd Couple. If ever there were 2 cards that would make up one of the most unlikely couples in the deck it would be the wonderful, no-f***-to-give Fool and the brainy, notorious ‘Ice Queen’ of the Tarot, the Queen of Swords. Yet, this makes a lot of sense, in a sense.

In the past and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out is the bloodied, scarred card of the survivor, the 9 of Clubs, Wands, Staves, Rods, ot whatever you want to call the Suit of Fire (Sagittarius/Leo/Aries). This is having been forged by fire, in a manner of speaking – like a sword. The thrashed – looking human on the card trying his best to stay upright and alert at his guardpost is typically pictured as wounded, paranoid and defensive, and who can blame him or her – they’ve seen some action and have suffered some damage.

The Fool is magnificent in his or her innocence, enthusiastically embracing every moment and everything life has to offer for all it’s worth. The Fool is beautiful. Unique among the Major Arcana and numbered Zero, there is nothing to gain and nothing to lose, and the world is to be explored, making the Fool and his trusty little dog the quintessential travelers.  Uranus, the ‘radical’ planet, rules the Fool, and I don’t know much but I do believe Uranus has moved for the first time in most of our lifetimes, so bring on the Fool! Expect the unexpected when he is around. On the Russian card, he dances like – well, a dancing fool, and I take his dog a lot more seriously, his black tail  wrapped protectively around the fool’s leg. He’s playing with a puppet of himself, a little mini-me Fool wearing a matching tassled, pointed cap with the sun emblazoned on it. He shakes what looks like a rattle painted in rainbow colors, streaming a long red ribbon. This Fool likes to wear a nice dress once in a while – he or she may also be sexually open to just about anything or anyone. So then, what in the world is the Ice Queen aka the Queen of Swords aka Lady Logic doing in the future position?

Make no mistake, as we have heard it said “the secret of the wise man is to appear a fool’  and nobody has all-access like a Fool. The message and mood of the Fool – not to mention he outranks both cards, being of the Major League Arcana – seems to contradict both the past and the presumed future, the manifestation of our own Free Will, of course. The Fool considers neither.

This Fool is always a good influence on the serious, responsible, logical Queen of Air (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) whose card was in olden tymes was referred to as ‘The Widow’s Card’. This Queen is quite the intellectual, well-studied (she could even have a degree or two) and thoroughly professional. What a bitch.

The Queen needs a bit more of the Fool in her life, which is why she has one, and the Fool may needs a bit of the Queen’s practicality, clarity and precision.

This is a major shift in consciousness, or even a way of Being, probably kicked off by this mega-transition. The Fool gives us no choice but to start from Zero, from which anything and everything is possible, or to at least embrace that spirit and try not to take life  so seriously. To not let the war wounds of the past follow us the rest of our lives. Screw the rules, screw convention, the Fool is dancing through life and he’s smarter than he lets on but if he gets a laugh out of her or the King by falling on his ass, it’s a job well done.

The Queen, although she’s in the future position, is looking back at the Fool as if she’s ready to jump off the card and join him or her. Holding her long sword at her side, pointed downwards, usually used to mete out decrees and declarations and once in a while maybe even lop off some poor peasant’s head (although she usually manages that with painfully sharp – but truthful – words) she looks like she’s tapping time on the floor with it, along with the dancing Fool.

But if we know this Queen, obviously she herself is no Fool. Since she is a Court card and needs a number about as much as a Queen and her Court Jester need I.D cards, she also has the option, as a Queen, to do whatever she wants. Even if it means abdicating or stepping down from her throne, which would be a foolish move. Or would it?  On the Russian card, she does not sit, but stands straight and strong.

This is starting all over, but this time with a certain guarded optimism, somehow. It’s a great combination.

What do I have to do to get this bitch’s attention?

Or, you may even have an audition or interview of some kind with a hard-to-please female boss, probably older, and you feel like a fool having to do the ‘pick me, pick me’ dance. Did she like it? Yes, it seems you will get the gig, but she’s the ultimate poker face and you would have never known it from her expression, or lack of.  Very cool. See? She does have some sense of humor. Does it matter if she’s laughing with you or laughing at you? The Queen of Swords is laughing! On the inside, anyway. Of course she’s the Queen and publicly a politely bemused expression is all you’ll ever get out of her.

Or, my power failed this morning right after laying out my cards requiring me to reset everything electronic, you wacky Uranus, but I have my very logical and practical backup plan aka my generator which was fired up as soon as local ordinance would allow and soon we were all grooving to the Chilled Cow and making coffee. Have been through too may of them (power failures, but coffees, too). Having had analyzed and organized all my essential basic power needs I was prepared and able to switch over no problem (Libra cusp).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 January 19: The Emperor & Knight of Swords & Three of Wands

Bring it. Ah, but can you, really? There is an old Mexican saying, “the napkin wants to be a tablecloth”. This is that, sort of. Maybe.

The Emperor, an Aries who showed up in 2018 probably more than any other card, today is in the past position. Whoever it is, you’re done with him. Boss, authority, rules and methods – which worked very well for him, by the way, and truth be told, you learned a lot if not everything you know from this person, probably much older. But, declares the brash and  bloody Knight of Swords, I’m ready to start up on my own. Be my own boss. I don’t need anybody to tell me what to do, bla bla bla.

At present, the Knight of Swords or Air (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) shoulders his bloody sword as a tower burns in the distance, huge, orange and red flames shooting from the top of the gray, stone structure, a window glowing red. No, I didn’t see him do it, but the blood on his sword looks pretty fresh and the fire is raging as the tower burns down. The evidence is circumstantial –  he’s not even looking back at the carnage he may not even realized he’s caused, only ahead to the 3 of Wands in the future position, also influenced by Aries, and charges on to the next thing.

The 3 of Wands or Clubs is pondering the future. It’s tense, uncertain, and often called the ‘Writer’s Card’. A human stands waiting for something, or considering something or someone or somewhere off in the distance, holding his sprouting, straight branch and wondering where to plant it. Theres a lot of energy here between these 2, the Knight of Air and the Fire of the Wands.

Hot air. A lot. Of Hot. Air.

The thing I’m hoping is that this ambitious Knight doesn’t damn the torpedoes and charge ahead without a plan. The Emperor was a solid, stable 4, and the 3, is, well, a 3. This may mean a rather destabilizing confrontation you’d rather not have, or someone you’re moving away from. I don’t think I would depend on this Knight, I think he’s gone rogue, although he’s having a good day today. In spite of his boasting and wild tales of his many conquests and victories, he’s more of a guy that charges in and slices everyone’s head off, figuring one of them will have been the one he came for – especially without the wise guidance of the Emperor.  Rules of engagement? What are those?

Isn’t it better to consider and think through the potential obstacles to this plan? How do we get to the stable, happy #4?

If this Knight wants to be Emperor one day, he’d best start to think like the 3 of Wands – the human on the 3 we only see from the back as they ponder distant horizons, and it looks like he or she could have even been the Emperor in younger days. The Emperor also still holds a Sword, and still knows how to use it if he has to.  This Knight is out to conquer foreign shores, but hopefully with his creative work. Perhaps he or she are ‘just too much’ for where they are and are destined to create  – hopefully, please God – something entirely new, somewhere entirely new. This Knight is a good energy to have and will annihilate any obstacles in the way of achieving your future goals,  but there may be some perceived collateral damage. He’s no diplomat, he’s a Knight. I slay dragons for a living, after all, he says, sometimes a bunny gets hurt in the process.

Things may start to happen pretty fast now.

 

 

 

31 December 2018: Queen of Swords, The Chariot, reversed Eight of Swords

The Designated Driver is..you. Not just tonight, but of your own life in general. The brakes are off and its full speed ahead, no messing around.

The Queen of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) isn’t the easiest Queen to like. Sword in hand (and she knows how to use it) she is the bitch who will cut you – not necessarily with her double-edged sword but she’s sharp – sharp mind, sharp tongue, sharp words. She’s usually a mature human, this card often being referred to as ‘The Widow’s Card’ and is the card of a single, independent, self-sufficient woman. In the past position, she has pretty much lived her life and has made her decisions very practically, logically and unemotionally – what are the facts of the matter? She wants to know before making any moves, and this has served her well. She may be pretty prickly – her golden crown is a spiked protective golden helmet, yet, she is neck-deep in a ‘mature’ garden of lush, red, gorgeous roses in full bloom. She is intensely protective of her garden. She’s human, so she has a heart – those roses have been lovingly tended, so perfect they don’t even look real – but that side of her we do not see often, if at all. The King, though, chose her for her brains and beauty, and all those roses are probably from him – or for him.

The mighty Chariot, #7 of the Major Arcana is the card of movement, success and recognition and is standing by ready for the Queen to jump on.  Ruled by the emotional, watery yet crabby astrological sign of Cancer, the crab hides its mushy, soft insides inside its tough shell – like the armor of the proud driver of the Chariot. He and the Queen of Swords should understand each other just fine. Pulling the chariot (on the Morgan=Greer card) are 2 horses, one black and one white. Although yoked and held steady by the driver, they are facing in opposite directions. If it wasn’t for his perfect control of these horses, that chariot would roll all over and off the road. This victory or success has been hard-won, possibly coming after years or even a lifetime of work and overcoming obstacles of every kind. She never gave up, this Queen. This is reward and recognition, and being gracious about it. All hail! (I swear I saw the faintest Mona Lisa smile on her face when I typed that. Ha! So she does care!)

Future position: Eight of Swords (again, Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) reversed. The ‘jail card’ that has had this human restricted or ‘tied up’ for so long is today reversed, and the ropes that have had her bound and gagged for whatever reason have fallen away. You are free to move about the cabin and on with your life. The sharp, cold swords of logic and reason fall away, and she actually longs to be ‘carried away’, and it looks like she might let herself be, which is nice. You’d think she’d let her hair down from under that spiky crown once in awhile – but we’ll never see her lose control.

What a great little picture. This Queen deserves some recognition. There have been some mighty tough times. This could mean recovery and successfully overcoming addictions or the end of a contractual dispute or someone newly ‘freed’ or divorced who is about to make some major – and positive – life moves, which may mean a literal, physical move.  It’s a rush, this newfound freedom, this new phase – possibly even a promotion of some kind.

I’ll go, she says, but only if I do the driving. The rather dashing driver, though, looks well in control. Loosen up, woman.

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

13 November 18: The Hanged Man & Five of Swords

Someone’s screwing with you. So what. In the grand scheme of things is this really any  big deal, or is it just what it is, or who it is? What can they really do to you anyway? Just keep ‘an eye’ on them.

Th Hanged Man is of the Major Arcana, and is not about a noose and gallows but a human voluntarily hanging gracefully from one foot with one leg bent in a Yoga-like pose (Sirsasana, believed to stimulate the brain) with both hands clasped behind his back. He usually hangs from a lovely, shady tree, but on the Morgan-Greer card he has built his own rig from a couple of telephone-pole like trimmed trees (we see that portal, the #11 again) with a pole laid across from which he dangles, so he has created this position for himself. He is in meditation, going within, as did the Norse God Odin, the God of wisdom, poetry, war, death, divination, and magic. Sacrificing an eye, because he has 2 and what the hell why not, he got it, but only after spending 9 days and nights upside down twisting in the wind. When he came down, he’d been gifted with arcane knowledge and the Nordic system of divination, the Runes, and the answers he’d sacrificed so much for. If anybody needed Runes it would  certainly be someone with as much potential for conflict of interest as the great, one-eyed, multi-tasking Odin, Thor’s Dad.

This is a card of seeing things from another angle. Hmmm.

The bitchy, petty, nasty 5 of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius), being a 5, will never be happy unless he or she is in some sort of conflict with someone and they usually are. We see 3 humans on a beach having just finished a fight. 2 humans have tossed down their swords and are walking off into the sunset as one snickering, sly figure in a dark hoodie watches them retreat and gloats over his having ‘won’. We don’t see his face, only his rather sinister smile. He’s behind the scenes, lurking in the shadows. His hands are full with his own 3 swords, he can’t even hold those that have been surrendered and lie on the beach. Why, then, is he doing this? This is a card of defeat, he hasn’t ‘won’ anything. The dropped swords form a cross…keep this vampire away, already.

This strange pair can be read a couple of ways: someone needs to take the high road because someone else wants to fight or won’t leave you alone and it’s annoying and ‘hangs you up’ but whatever, it’s only a 5. You’re all chill hanging in your tree with your mind on other things.

As Odin sacrificed an eye, life is all about sacrifices. We make them every day. We need to give something up in order to get something else. Often sacrifice is the first step to compromise, but someone needs to let someone or something go that maybe seemed  to make sense at the time, but from this new angle, doesn’t.

On the other hand, time spent ‘upside down’ or in a ‘stuck’ or ‘hamstrung’ state – possibly due to another’s manipulations –  requires us to look at the world from a different angle and from a different point of view. Neptune, the ruler of this card, brings profound dreams, visions and inspiration – but also foggy lenses. Not everyone is out to get you or screw with you, not everyone is a stalker, not everyone is even looking up at your tree, you know? They can’t touch you up there. But when you come down oh, you learned so much from this, did you not?

As Odin sacrificed an eye, life is all about sacrifices. We make them every day. We make sacrifices for love, art, causes close to our hearts. We need to give something up in order to get something else. Sacrifice is the first step leading to compromise, and something needs to be let go, something that seemed to make sense at the time and probably and possibly for a very long time but from this new angle, doesn’t.

Enlightenment.

Bless your ‘enemies’.

I just got a newsflash about the election results in Georgia here in the US:

Contested results, so we’re all ‘hung up’ while we get another set of eyes – another POV – and a recount. This is that, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 November 18: Five of Swords

Nobody wins. It’s every man for himself at this pointDon’t hate the game, hate the player.

This is one of those cards that make you wince when you turn it over. The uneven, restless, unresolved number 5 itself is a hint at what this card is about. 5 can only be 3+2 or 4+1 or 5+0 and it’s early and I hate math anyway so if there’s more combinations  whatever, but you get the idea. One side of the scale is going to be heavier than the other no matter what the hell we do with this card.

This sucks, it really does. There is no common consensus possible here, only conflict. This is a card of bitter failure and defeat, but also a card of ‘pseudo winning’.

The scene on this unwelcome card of the Minor Arcana representing the suit of Air (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) is tense and uncomfortable. In the foreground is a human in a billowing, black hooded robe, face obscured, shouldering 2 swords with his left hand and one more in his right watching 2 other humans retreat, having tossed their own swords at his feet. One is even on his knees in prayer: get me the hell away from him. Take anything you want, just leave us alone. The angry red sun is halfway down over an angry red sea, they’ve wasted half the day on this unwinnable war. All we can see under the bully’s hoodie is a sly smile, and the sky over his or her head is a bright, sunny yellow. At least somebody’s happy here. This is a person who wants to win for the sake of winning, at any and all costs. He already has 3 swords, why does he need the others as well? He may win, but probably won’t find anyone who will want to celebrate with him. This is a bitter victory, if you can even call it that. These people didn’t even fight back, How could they? He has more swords.

Here is the origin of the term ‘every man for himself’ from the Urban Dictionary:

“British military origin. In Armed Forces terms, this formal order is a specific command sometimes issued in a case where the strategic situation has become hopeless, the collapse of a force is imminent, and there is no chance of relief. Once given, the order suspends certain aspects of military discipline, allowing each individual to surrender, flee, or continue fighting independently according to their individual circumstances, without regard to previous battle orders.”

As I said, 5 is never going to be a nice, even, balanced 4 or 6, so it’s already a losing battle for both sides. Sharp, ‘cross’ words – the surrendered swords lie on the ground forming a cross – everyone is at ‘cross-purposes’ here.

We don’t know the story behind all this mess. This card can and sometimes does point out to us a need to put ourselves first and not concern ourselves so much with the needs of others. When you are told to put your mask on first in case of an in-flight emergency before helping others, you are not being an air hog, you’re simply no good to anyone if you’re not breathing . This is that.

This is like being the sole survivor of a plane crash.

Not really anything to celebrate.

 

 

31 October 18: Ace of Cups reversed & Eight of Swords

Emotionally unavailable. Or, someone is withholding affection. These two do not belong together at all, it’s a pretty uncomfortable picture…love wants to happen for someone, but it can’t.

The intellectual Swords are of the suit of Air (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) and solely of the mind.  They like logic and reason. Cold, hard facts.  The emotional Cups are our human hearts, all soft and squishy and soppy and messy representing the deep, emotional watery suits of Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio. This would be such a different picture if I were to just get up and move to the other side of the table! The thing to do is to get these cards both to flip over, that would be progress.

The Eight of Swords is the ‘victim’ card. A blindfolded human stands in the center of a temporary ‘jail’ she’s created for herself from 8 long swords stuck into the ground around her in the shape of a circle. She is the only lonely, solitary human on this card, no one seems to be around to have helped her. She is loosely bound with ropes, why does she not escape? What’s her problem?

The Ace of Hearts is our cup overflowing. The offer of or beginning of a new love. A full heart. Hovering just outside the ‘jail bars’ is this glowing cup. Reversed, the contents drain away, wasted. Interesting to me visually are the streams that flow from the cup on this card from the Morgan-Greer deck: reversed, the straight, flowing streams also seem to form ‘prison bars’. Good Lord what the hell is the problem here? A perfectly fine-looking human with obvious passions of her own as we can see from the bright-red low cut dress she is wearing is prevented for reasons unknown to us from being ‘free’.  There is love, but she doesn’t see it or doesn’t want to. That’s a big-ass cup, too, a huge, overfilled golden goblet. It won’t fit through the prison bars, she has to come out to get it. Why is she fighting this? Behind her on a mountain looking down at this silly scene is a rather imposing, dark, Gotham-style city or castle, or even a real prison. The one she’s in now is all in her mind – a temporary structure at best. It is not meant to protect her from anything, and certainly won’t from her own mind and heart.

Has she broken away from this dark place physically but not yet mentally?

I have no time for this victim mentality. I’m turning them over.

There. See? Now the ropes have fallen off, the blindfold has fallen away, the swords are dislodged from the sand. She is free to go. The  SkyHand of the Tarot emerges from the clouds and hands her the upright glorious golden flowing cup as a beautiful white dove hovers overhead.

My work is done here.

 

This Ace is pure love waiting to be ‘born’, possibly even literally, requiring some restrictions on Mom, who may have even been prescribed enforced bedrest whether she likes it or not.