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?


24 September 18: Nine of Cups & The Devil

Drink responsibly. That’s the obvious thing. We recently met the jolly, contented 9 of Cups (Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio) in front of his bar lining ’em up for guests. Today I notice his pumpkin-colored peasant blouse – it’s Octoberfest! Halloween! It’s already in the air. Endless rows of cheap plastic skeletons in various sizes with LED eyes and clicking jaws and yards of fake cobwebs line the shelves..and it wouldn’t be Halloween without the Devil!

The way this Devil card is laid over the jolly party host on the 9 does look like he’s wearing a mask. It’s a weird, black, yellow-eyed horned beast of some sort, with two short white sharp tusks. Two huge and scary looking twisted horns frame a gold pentacle on its head, a strange blue fly trapped inside. A huge, red disc is behind this menacing looking creature, and our current full moon is in fiery Aries, so – especially for water signs or if you have a lot of water in your chart – this could bring out the ‘beast’ in you, even in a good way, if you know what I mean wink nudge wink wink. Horny Devil!

You can’t trust him, though.

I’d like to get a playful vibe out of this pair today, although I could also read it as someone fucking with your ‘wishes’ (the 9 is the ‘Wish Card’), or a ‘silver-tongued Devil’ (Capricorn) who can throw you off your game: soooo tempting.

This combo screams ‘addictions’, so pay attention to whoever is ‘tempting’ you astray with what you know is not good for you. The only person you have to answer to is yourself, but the Devil loves it when you feel weak, guilty, insecure, and ashamed, and you don’t.


Trick or treat.












2 July 18: The Devil, reversed

Breaking chains. There is an extended essay on The Devil, #15 of the Major Arcana, back in the archives somewhere, and I’m glad to see him in reverse. The Devil is a Capricorn, and reversed, we can only hope his influence is waning along with last week’s Capricorn Full Moon.

I’ve decided that the Devil has the most range of any of the cards in the Tarot, a regular Meryl Streep. The traditional image is that of a nude couple loosely chained together and watched over by a menacing, gargoyle – like demon. Dog collars around their necks, it’s a kinky scene, but these two are not so tightly chained that they can’t walk away – they share this vice, and both have free will.

In the Russian Tarot, artist Yuri Shakov gives the Devil the face of the dictator Joseph Stalin, horned, shirtless, buff, and tattooed, he holds the chains that bind the pair as if they were puppets. (What is it with those bare-chested Russian dictators? Is it a ‘thing’?)

The Morgan-Greer card isn’t very popular with a lot of readers, apparently. The imagery is stripped down to a candle, a pentacle (a five-pointed star pointing down, indicating that all is below, nothing above – the Devil is only interested in the material – the tangible, the earthly, and does not acknowledge Spirit) between the twisted horns of a black, ominous chupacabra-like thing with narrowed, glowing yellow eyes and bright white fangs. But my favorite thing on this card is the little blue fly trapped in the center of the pentacle – odd, the little blue fly, so out of place on this card, it would seem. The candle is almost burned out.

But this is where the Devil shows off his range. Flies are Devils, and I’m about to send one back to hell right now. Flies also like shit. They love it. Can’t get enough of it. Certainly nothing ‘earthier’ than that.

Materialism. Greed. Addiction. Fear. The Dark Side. Tyranny. Codependency. Debt.  Obsession. Lies. Corruption.

A Friday night session with a pair of handcuffs and a naughty spanking is Devil-ish, but when the fun and games turns into death by saran wrap, well, you see what I mean by range.

Reversed, the chains are broken and we are free from our vices.

I’ll read this as overcoming fear, the root of all evil. Fear of anything new, anything different, people who look different, talk different.

Fear sells guns.

El Diablo Invertido.

Viva Mexico!


29 June 2018: The World, 9 of Swords, the Devil

Shutting out the evils of the world. At least for the weekend. This is a strange pair, and could, of course, like every other possible combination in the Tarot, be read as a different story depending on you or a querant’s specific concern, question or life situation. The cards speak to us each very much as individuals while helping us to see and understand our place in the bigger picture. Make sense? The bigger picture, I mean.

The World is, well, The World. It is the final card of the Major Arcana and a grand card that does a pretty good job of conveying a feeling of a vast universe (Morgan-Greer). Widely believed to be a hermaphrodite, the lower half of his/her body is draped and covered in a purple garment that swirls around her as she dances in space.  He/she is Shiva, the ecstatic Hindu God who danced the world into being. Against a vast, endless starry deep blue sky she dances, a wand in each hand representing the balance of the dualities looking very much like the two rods that start to ‘dance’ and twirl to wind DNA strands. An evergreen wreath formed of earthly green leaves fastened with a red ribbon in the shape of an infinity sign above her head frames her as she dances against the starry backdrop of an endless sky. 21 = 2+1=3, the number of Creation.  A cycle is complete. This is as ‘good as it gets’. This is your world. This is our world.

But we don’t need to know all that today. This card is ruled by serious, sober, gravity master Saturn, who wants to talk about our immediate, personal, physical world.

The 9 of Swords a painful, dark card with a lot of ominous nicknames: the grief card, the depression card, the Lord of Cruelty. Traditionally, a poor, tortured soul is shown sitting upright in bed the middle of the night, head in his hands. Anxiety, fear, worry, it’s all here.

Sidling up along the beautiful dancer of The World is the Devil himself, whose intentions are never good, and like the World, is ruled by Saturn. This is some heavy shit.

You’re telling me the Devil’s fucking with the World?

You’re not the only one who feels like crawling under the covers screaming ‘MAKE IT STOP!’ this weekend. There is some very bad stuff going on. Some very bad people are doing some very bad things.

It’s very hard sometimes – ok, all the time – to try to see the good in people who aren’t.

Feel free to crawl back under the covers if you need to.