9 February 19: Ten of Cups & Three of Coins & Nine of Swords

The C Word. No, not that. I actually really like that word in context, like coming from a pissed-off (or pissed up) cab driver in London traffic . No, today it is Commitments or, Contracts.

In the past position is the idyllic, dreamy 10 of Cups, the maximum of the suit of emotion, Cups aka Hearts, and deeeeep water (Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio). It has the rather Victorian nickname of the ‘Happily ever After Card’ just so you know. Two arms reach in from opposite sides of the frame to raise a single gold cup high, catching a rainbow arching down from the blue sky. Why, it’s a wee pot o’gold! These are the luckiest people in the world, and they know it.

That’s important. Because here’s another C word for ya: complicated! Must you make it so?

The industrious 3 of Coins (Capricorn/Virgo/Taurus) is in the present position and we see a blueprint or contract being discussed or negotiated between 3 humans in a church that they all had a hand in building, from the architect’s plans to the artisan’s construction to the commissioner of the work, and it is a great work, all stone and stained glass, built to last. They agree the terms have been met on all sides, and everyone has had an equal hand in the magnificent accomplishment. These 3 humans on the 3 of Coins are all in vastly different ‘tax brackets’ as I like to say, but not when they each bring what they have to bring to the table, so to speak. The stained-glass guy or craftsman, or on the Russian deck, a musician; the Bishop or Cardinal, or on the Russian deck, simply the man with the ring of keys who obviously owns the place, and the architect. There is no 3rd human on the Russian 3, and there is only 1 human on the Morgan-Greer version of  3 of Coins, the blue-collar hands-on artisan who is left working after hours in the waning light of the stained-glass window.

This is the card of collaboration, and possibly obligation.

This could not have been built by any one human alone. Motivations may differ, but all 3 profit from the work. Coins are money. One thing is obvious: someone’s motivation for taking on these sometimes complicated contracts and commitments is doing it for home and family, or at least their concept of their future home and family. A lot of people have no idea what happiness is, but that’s the goal here, and none nobler. You are lucky to have known the happiness and love you have known.

Why then do we have the  ‘stay up all night and worry’ card in the future position, the dreaded insomniac of the Minor Arcana, the 9 of Swords (Gemini/Libra/Aquarius)?

This to me is just plain old worry about work aka when will the next job come? Or you may have been offered a contract with people you don’t really want to work with, and can see a whole lot more sleepless nights ahead of you should you commit to this. The one good thing we can say about this card though is that in the future position, we can  check ourselves, which is the point. This is a self-created, inflamed energy, all kinds of dark thoughts and potential painful scenarios, and you just can’t stop thinking about all the things that can go wrong. The Morgan-Greer card shows a pair of wrists tied up with rope, suggesting a fear of something ‘binding’. We long for and are inspired by a situation we had in the past with family or another deep relationship, even if it was only a ‘dream’ or vision in the past, it’s what’s motivating you now.

Is the architect building for his legacy? Is the Bishop building for his God? Is the craftsman working to feed his family? It’s not like they all hang out after hours.


Why am I doing this again?


21 January 19: Nine of Coins & The Magician & Two of Cups

I was doing fine until you came along. You thought you were, anyway. Perhaps, in the past, like the regal-looking, self-made woman or man of means on the 9 of Coins (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn), your focus had always been on your career or more likely, as with this well-to-do human, creating and building your own business, and you’ve  succeeded. This well-dressed and richly adorned human has acquired money, property and status, and has truly elevated himself or herself in life, and enjoys a comfortable, even luxurious, existence. This card, though, always means a person who is independent, single, and happy to be. This human is the whole package, not only in the material sense, but the whole card is awash in purple, her gown, the sky, the antennae-like sprout of feather on her turban, the grapes in her vineyard. At one tyme only royalty were allowed to wear purple, associated with higher vibration and divine connection.

“You don’t look for love, love finds you, honey.” said the witty, wise Magician of New Orleans, Otis at the Bottom of the Cup Tearoom to me many lifetimes ago.  How right he is today, because in the present position, the Magician looks as if he’s about to make something happen. His raises his wand over a table laid with the symbols, or the Aces, of the elements – earth, air, water and fire. The ‘primary colors’, as it were. In the old Marseilles deck, only the primary colors were used. They either mix or don’t, depending on the skill of the artist- or magician. Perhaps this is a ‘matchmaker’ who knows just who you should partner with romantically or creatively .

The 2 of Cups (Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces) is love, of course, the 2 humans whose eyes lock across the crowded room. You may have thought it was a fated meeting, but someone may have actually made a lot of calls behind the scenes to make sure you would both be in the same place at the same time.

This is a picture of a happily single successful person who has not made relationships a central focus of their life because they simply don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy.  The 9 is a number of completion, and this woman (or man) obviously feels complete and up until now has been fine on their own and enjoys their freedom  This person may have always considered relationships a hindrance, but this Magician is about to change all that.

The 2 of cups talks about commitments, and someone worthy of committing to. We may not be talking about a romantic relationship, because knowing the single lady of the 9, well, her standards are pretty damn high, but that’s why she is where she is, and that’s never been her first priority. Nobody’s good enough, it’s that simple.

#1 of the Major Arcana, this Magician is definitely an exception.

Right there on the table in front of him is the 10th coin, like the last piece of a puzzle.










15 October 18: Ten of Clubs

The burden of success. A burden we’d all like to have, you would think, depending on your idea of ‘success’. If it’s basically simply to accomplish what one sets out to do, this human, staggering under the weight of the huge bundle of heavy, wooden sprouting branches he carries, has. He is barely able to hold on to them all. In fact, he can’t even see where he’s going anymore, his head is down as he struggles along, intent on shouldering this load all by himself. Ruled by the heavy, serious disciplinarian Saturn, this overwhelmed human of the suit of Fire (Sagittarius/Leo/Aries) has worked himself to the point of burnout, so it looks like he won’t be enjoying that ‘success’ as much as he thought he would.

I’ll do it myself, he had said back at the Ace when he was all fired up over this idea, plan, project or job in the first place, or had started up his new company and felt he couldn’t say ‘no’ to any potential new assignment or contract and now he’s headed for an early grave trying to deliver on all his promises and deadlines. He’s plainly bitten off more than he can chew. These are not ‘burdens’ placed upon him but things he’s taken on willingly, and now he’s stressed, pressured and sleep-deprived, working day and night. He’s very much in demand, but can’t or doesn’t enjoy his success.

Our human’s face is grim.

Would he rather be throwing himself into his work than go home? Is he having problems at home? Maybe his or her spouse is running up the credit card bills.

Why do I have to do all the work in this relationship? 

Is he or she or you a workaholic needing a vacation at least? Good luck talking them into it.. all work and no play, etc. etc. etc.

This suit does like to travel (usually for work), but it looks like somebody overpacked for this trip. Better dump something, those overweight baggage fees will kill you.

Lighten up.


2 October 18: Page of Coins

Do your research. I like this introspective,  serious, well grounded  young Page (or Prince, depending on the deck) of the solid suit of Earth (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn).

Pages are messengers  bringing news, proclamations and invitations from the neighboring castles, kings and other movers and shakers of the court. He or she hopes to prove himself worthy of Knighthood someday and is diligent in his studies, research and demeanor. His or her attention to detail is extraordinary. .

A new job opportunity: will train the right person. 

Coins are money, obviously. Of course, nothing about the Tarot – or life, for that matter – is one-dimensional and this card can talk particularly about money from writing: a letter, working to become a paid writer, study notes,  job applications, grants.

Willing to learn. 

This is starting something new, even a whole new career, or going for a degree or certification that will bring you more money in your current line of work and take you to a whole new – and very lucrative – level.

The image on the card shows us a young human holding up and marveling at a large gold coin or pentacle, the gift of the Ace, the single ‘seed’ from which, if carefully tended, will grow and provide many more shiny gold coins for the rest of his life. He will work, study, polish and refine. This card I call the ‘boy scout’ card, he knows the manual inside and out and has all the merit badges. He sleeps in the damn uniform. He’s hunkered down to study for the winter, perhaps for a degree, exam or license. No matter how old he is, he is at it with the enthusiasm of a newbie.

An eager apprentice.

Whatever this determined, dependable Page is putting his mind and body to is going to be massively successful someday and you can bet on that because cause HE is.

This can mean a child or a young person (probably a little earth sign) holding up something he or she made or reading you something they wrote  that they are proud of –  possibly showing exceptional talent, which is always a good – if not the best – investment.





3 July 18: Three of Coins

Craft, collaboration, commitment, construction. 3 on the 3rd. 3 is THE number of creation, and that’s what this card talks about.

Coins, or Pentacles, are of the suit of Earth (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) and always refer to the material world.

The traditional image on this card is that of a meeting.  3 characters stand in a stone cathedral and seem to be discussing plans for future work of some kind, most likely building. One of the men who is an architect or stonemason is holding a scroll or draft of a plan and presenting it to 2 religious men, monks or priests, consulting on the planning and progress of the work.

The Russian deck shows us a musician performing in a grand setting for a Patron, or the Master of the house, who wears a set of keys. Both the stonemason of the olde time decks and the musician of the Russian deck are masters at what they do, as they are being retained or employed by people who can afford anything. Money is no object, they’re saying, we want to create and build something great. Something that will survive generations to come (10 of Coins).

The Morgan-Greer deck shows us only one man (or woman, of course) under the familiar image of the 3 discs or Pentacles (in the traditional decks, the 3 coins are carved into the stone columns of the church. The Russian deck shows a gold column or pillar ornately carved with the coin images) which are of stained glass and incorporated in the design of the window above his head. He is working in this beautiful amber-colored light all by himself, a chisel positioned in his left hand and ready to strike with the mallet in his right.

This card usually means, and suggests, collaboration, so it is strange to me that he is alone but it is a holiday (tomorrow is 4th of July in America, and smack in the middle of the workweek)  and either left to work on his own while everyone else is out or he’s taking the day alone to work on his house, as there seem to be beams behind him. He could be just hanging a picture, but he’s really into his beautiful house and takes pride in restoring, improving or maintaining it.

On the Greer card we can really see the master craftsman putting his very soul into the work, and of all 3 versions of this card I’m looking at, this is the only card where we see him actually working.

Meeting with the moneymen has never been his favorite thing, he’d just as soon they go away so he can get something done.

F****** meetings. 

There are many instances of craftsman who so invested themselves into their buildings or gardens that they hang around even after death, famously even leaving tools of their trade ‘occupied’ by their spirit.

Just because they’re not in the flesh doesn’t mean they don’t want to collaborate. Who are your ‘unseen collaborators?’


They would love to work with you.