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.

 

 

 

 

23 May 18: Seven of Cups reversed & Five of Wands

Waking up to reality. What a pair this is.

The ‘Castles in the Air’ card, the dreamy, illusionary 7 of Cups/Water (Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio) shows us a shadowy figure of a human with his or her back to us enamored with a beautiful smorgasbord of overflowing gold cups containing various questionable contents floating in on Sky Clouds.  He is overwhelmed by his options, visions, and imagination – some of these images are more realistic than others, which is what this card is all about (Rider-Waite). The Morgan-Greer card has no shadowy figure, it is us who has to decode these mirage-like images.

One cup seems desirable, overflowing with gold and jewelry, but it could all be fake. One contains a dragon head, but what with all the clouds and mist and confusion, we can’t tell what’s what. Is it a dragon, or a distorted puppy? He’s got to pick a reality, basically, or his life will never get past the dream state. Cups are emotional, not necessarily practical, and this is a mighty watery, misty, wishful card. He feels chaos. Overindulgence and escapism to the point of delusion is the common reputation of this card, and in a lot of readings, even worse when reversed.  Hallucinations. Fantasy.  This is well known as the ‘all that glitters is not gold’ card.

The 5 of Clubs/Fire (Sagittarius/Leo/Aries) is a card of competition. 5 young men brandishing thick clubs wave them around at each other in mock-battle, but don’t seem to be doing any real harm, as we see no physical contact. Debate, argument, dissent, lively collaboration – could even be in your own head, one of those ever-entertaining ‘internal debates’ i.e. arguing with yourself. This is the martial arts card, you have a judo match going on in your head.

I’m wanting to see this as successfully coming out of a period of neglect or self-indulgence, possibly even with the help of an intervention. Maybe friends are trying to talk some sense into someone who is ‘losing it’ after ‘a dream has died’ or they’re trying to involve you in a group or team project or event of some kind to get you ‘out of yourself’. It’s not comfortable, but they mean well.

Maybe there was or is competition for a ‘fantasy job’ or person you desperately desired but didn’t get – and you’ll see it turned out to be a good thing you didn’t.

Or: are other people keeping you from achieving your own dream?

 

 

 

 

3 May 18: The High Priestess & The Moon

All will be revealed. But not right now, maybe in a couple weeks.

There is not a more psychic pair in the deck than these two powerful Major Arcana. The High Priestess is sometimes called the “Daughter of the Moon” and are both here to let us know there are things we don’t and are not meant to know right now.

Why do dogs and coyotes howl at the moon? On the Morgan Greer card, everything is deep dream blue: the sky, the hills, the still pond from which a creepy crawfish seems to be emerging – but he never does, he never crawls all the way out onto dry land, he’s always half in and out of the water in that in-between being awake and asleep dream state. The world is half in shadow, and it’s hard to tell what is real and what isn’t. There are two towers pictured on the card, one on either side of a long road that leads off and disappears into the far-off mountains that form a gateway. What is beyond is a mystery.

The High Priestess is seated calmly on her throne, also between two pillars, or a gateway to the unknown. This card is also a dream-vision in blue: blue sky,  her draped blue gown, the deep blue banner draped behind her and lined with purple, the color of the highest vibration. She wears a crescent moon on her head. The answers we seek are written in the mysterious scroll she holds and protects in her lap, but she has decided this isn’t the time for the reveal.

The deceptive moon distorts and we are prone to fantasy and confusion and a certain amount of anxiety – especially all water signs (Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio). This is a flood of subconscious messages, and you would do well to write them down.  Many great plans, inventions and ideas for great works of art and literature were dreamt by their creators. But what is real and what is fantasy? The ‘world of illusion’ also encompasses film and theatre, poetry, fiction, and science fiction. There’s a fine line with science fiction. What may have been sci-fi 50 years ago is a smartphone now.

The knowing Priestess is however a trustworthy and experienced tour guide through our subconscious, dream life, and intuitions.

She may be a psychologist, her notes on her lap as she helps the patient sort out what is real and what are only vague, unidentified anxieties. Shadows.

Pregnancy is a very strong possibility when this pair show up, but may be being kept a secret for some reason, possibly even from the father. Possibly waiting for test results or secretly trying for a child and working with cycles. The Priestess likes detox, and having so much moon and water energy may really affect all water signs or those with a lot of water in their birth charts.

Pay attention, the answer is in a dream.

 

13 April 18: Page of Cups, Ace of Coins

Contemplating the right path. The Page of Cups aka ‘Emo Kid’ has been written about quite a bit in the archives, but today I’m comparing our traditional dreamy, spacey little emotional Page to the much lighter, happier Page of Salvador Dali’s deck.

The Page is a young, fragile, gender fluid sort of soul possibly not of robust physical constitution. He’s all kinds of water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. Emotionally an adolescent, this page is pushed and pulled by the tides of his emotions and probably of those around him or her as well. He contemplates a fish that rises up to deliver a message from the golden goblet set before him: am I dreaming this? Celtic lore recognizes the fish as a symbol of wisdom and prophecy, the tarot depicts this little blue dream-fish as representing the subconscious. This poetic page turns inward, preferring to live in his own world.

Dali’s Page is also overcome with emotion, but rather than the quiet, introverted Page of the Morgan-Greer card, Dali’s young Page stands in a grand pose, arms outstretched, one shoulder draped in a rose velvet cape, the other holding high the same golden goblet, but instead of a freaky little talking fish (telepathically of course), perched on the edge of Dali’s cup is white bird who seems to be singing to this joyful Page, who seems to be singing himself, as if repeating the song brought down to him by the bird. A strange red-eyed creature (anger/sadness/angst?) hovers in space around the Page, who does not notice it, so elated is he, so overcome with his joy. He feels too much! He must sing! Interesting.

The familiar Ace of Pentacles – – the beginning, the seed of the suit of Coins or Pentacles (of the earth: Virgo, Taurus, Capricorn) is the card of prosperity. Money. The familiar Morgan-Greer card illustrates the Great Hand in the Sky, breaking through the clouds to offer us this golden disc, this Ace, this chance, this opportunity. Gift. Ring. Offer. Proposal. We stand on a path that winds down the middle of a beautiful garden through an archway out to the ocean and beyond. An offer of a new beginning of work we enjoy, and which will bring us security and peace. Is this the right thing for me? Analysis paralysis. Wake up, honey. It is definitely the right thing for you.

Dali’s Ace is very masculine, almost violent, straight and to the point. At the base of the card is what looks like a mature oak tree. A hand extends a large gold Pentacle from which more branches sprout. I always use an acorn for an analogy when reading Aces, and apparently Dali does as well. However, the most striking image is the rather disturbing red mess through which the hand extends the coin: this card actually looks like a violent, human, physical birth. Makes me queasy. The birth of a great work of literature or art can be pretty bloody, as well, or so I’ve heard.

These 2 Pages make an interesting, almost bi-polar combination side by side. They are both overcome with emotion, one melancholy, one maniacally joyful. Both make the point.

So we have a few stories we could tell here. Pages bring news, so we could be hearing about a pregnancy but it may not be an easy one. Best to stay happy, like Dali’s page, and stay in the joy, not the worry. Stay still (calm water).

This is a brilliant card for growers, and he may be contemplating going into the cannabis industry. Hemp. Excellent. Herbals, healing topicals. Dali’s oak tree could have been a nice bush of kush.

Save the farmers and get us out of debt, kid!

More often than not this Page is inspired and whether taken entirely seriously or not, possibly because of his or her young age or from just having a general demeanor of a ‘space cadet’ has a vision, and if nurtured, could really bring something great to the world.

Do not overmedicate this child, do you hear me?  I always notice the pinned pupils of the kid on the Morgan-Greer card, and, well, he is talking to a fish. But he’s in the upright position here, just in touch with his or her muse. Daydreaming again…don’t dumb them down to fit into this ‘life model’ that isn’t really working for a whole lot of people.

An artist, poet, psychic, singer. Dreams are gifts from the collective consciousness of the artists, visionaries, writers and creators before us. We are simply here to continue the work.

Making them real is alchemy..ask Dali. Or Nikola Tesla. Or Joe Meek.