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?


10 January 19: Temperance, Tower & Seven of Clubs reversed

The worst never happened. This is truly an amazing presentation after yesterday’s sad scene, I’m actually astounded. They’re quite loud this morning, my cards, the Major Arcana, as if apologizing for bringing us all down, and offer to clarify. You ask us to diagnose, we diagnose, say they, we assess and show you a bigger picture than is possible to see yourself.

Temperance, today reversed, is mercifully in the past position. The card of healing, balance, moderation and self-control. ‘Tempo’ as in ‘time: reversed, things have been way out of whack for a long time, possibly your entire life. This is probably how our paranoid, defensive 9 of Wands sustained all those wounds. This isn’t just instability and chaos, this is things having been so extremely imbalanced, such intense and hostile communication or lack of (the giant angel of Temperance, not at all happy in the reverse position, is decidedly tight-lipped and unsmiling) ‘dysfunctional’ was your ‘normal’.

Presently we have the Tower in the reverse position. The Tower is a scary looking card, and as 2 humans fall or leap to their fate from a burning, lightning-struck tower, flames shoot from the windows. This is a ‘bolt out of the blue’, and upright,  is a life-changing event, realization or revelation – we don’t like things like that. We don’t like bankruptcy, being evicted, or fired, which is sometimes pretty hard to see as a good thing. We just don’t like our secure ‘foundations’ messed with. But what we’re seeing here is that a ‘foundation’, if you can even call it that, wasn’t sound, wasn’t right in the first place.

Maybe they mixed up the wrong cement or something, who knows.

But look: you live in fear like everything’s going to come crashing down any minute, ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’. Reversed, the Tower looks like a rocket with flames and sparks shooting from the bottom, and the 2 people falling from the tower are elevated – rising up. Ascending.

The defensive 7 is reversed in the future position. A human holds a staff self-protectively across his body, for some reason anticipating a possible situation in which he may find it necessary to defend himself. He’s ready for anything, that’s for sure. Always. Upright, he stands his ground as 6 others ‘come after’ whatever it is he’s defending up there, which is rightfully his, by the way, and hard earned. The only bright spot of sky in this whole picture is over this human’s little bit of space he’s carved out for himself, and by God, you’ll have to pry it out of his cold dead hands.

Reversed: drop it, already. Resistance is futile.

The past: is exactly that.

The Tower’s not going to fall.

You don’t always have to be ready for everything to f*** up.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

You don’t want to wind up like that paranoid guy on yesterday’s 9, do you?


3 January 19: Emperor reversed & Page of Coins & Judgment

The Reason, I think it was called, was a hit song and as far as angst-ridden teen boy last-dance-at-the-prom anthems go, I quite liked it.

This is an amazing little spread. This is about  nothing less than a new lease on life. Big stuff. Miraculous, even.

Leading off in the past position which is exactly where we want him is the boss of you, me and everyone else, The Emperor. He makes the rules and we follow them. Ruled by Aries the Ram and of the hot-tempered suit of Fire, we know better than to disobey this father-figure of the Tarot. Whether this is your actual father, living or dead, or other controlling, dominant, male (or female) human in your life,  or whatever or whoever you designated as the ‘authority’ in your life as in the inhereted rules you live by,  reversed this is an overly structured and regulated way of living or an oppressive set of ‘rules’ that are old and tired and out of date. We need some young blood here. Or a transfusion ourselves.

We have it this very day in the form of the Page of Pentacles, Coins, or Earth. (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn.) A young, eager, yet serious and thoughtful human holding a large, gold coin gazes dreamily off into the future. It is interesting that the word ‘talent’ means money, basically. 1 Talente was 80 Egyptian Librae, so says the internets, but of course we use the word differently today, yet it means the same thing. Talent = $. I’m not reading Dali’s deck today but his point of view is very clear. A down- to- earth Taurean, he considered it was his imagination, dreams, working hands and sheer talent that brought the money, and he loved money. It may have been a trait that repulsed and offended some of his peers but certainly did nothing to diminish his talent.

Judgment is a big one. This is the card of resurrection, and a beautiful, dramatic and inspiring image. #20 of the Major Arcana, the olde cards usually show a family rising up from their individual graves having been called by a huge golden horn in the sky.  Rebirth, reunion, absolution, forgiveness…forgiving yourself as well as forgiving others.  Perhaps you’ve discovered a new talent in yourself or your kid, something you or they love doing and can actually make money doing it.

This could even be getting custody of or adopting a child, possibly from within the family if someone has passed away or is abusive, or freeing yourself from such a tyrannical influence.

This is a  person either young in years or rejuvenated in spirit who is visionary, smart, future minded, economical, practical, and diligent. He or she wears the stripes of a ‘cadet’ or student soldier on his sleeve and the red beret of a revolutionary – and is dedicated, body and soul, to this new cause.

Perhaps you are in the process of reinventing yourself altogether, and entering a whole new phase of your life, no doubt more spiritually uplifting. You could ‘feel like a kid again’.

The young people seem to have some pretty inspiring ideas and plans of their own for this Earth, maybe just in time.



In any case, someone has found a new reason to get up in the morning.




18 December 18: The Emperor & Five of Coins

What would Dad do?  Who may no longer be here, but believe me, he’s here. In every cell of your body and in the spaces in between. The Emperor is the archetypical Father, or the ‘father figure’ in your life, whether an actual relative or not. Someone in control, in charge, the boss, the maker of the rules. #4 of the Major Arcana, the Emperor  represents authority and structure, like the 4 walls of your house, or the 4 legs on your table. He sits on a throne of stone carved with ram’s heads, representing the astrological sign of Aries, his own ruler. The angry war planet, don’t-f***-with-me Mars is his superior officer, so The Emperor is not about to tolerate any lame excuses from you, who are his responsibility.  We don’t like to piss him off. This is very much a card of the establishment, the law of the land, or who laid down the laws in your house – who built your foundation.

The cold, sad 5 of Coins (Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn) shows a couple wandering through snow, ragged, homeless and poverty-stricken. There is the welcoming, warm glow of a stained-glass window, the only bright spot of color on this otherwise dismally gray and gloomy card. The church like structure is of strong stone and a place of safety and community, yet they pass it by. Are they not welcome here?

This is pretty bad. They’re broke, for sure, and like the chicken and the egg, health and spirit are suffering as well. Everything just goes to sh**. This card would make a great country song: I lost my job, I lost my house, or, as the Chinese say, ‘I lost face’.  Aries rules the head and face, and these people could be ostracized or outcast for some reason. Sprinkle with a bit of shame and humiliation and you have the wandering couple of the 5 of Coins (traditional image).

Follow the rules, we’ll help you out. Whether that’s a family thing (“marry him or her, and I cut your ass out of the will”) or a work thing,  as I know I’ve mentioned before – you’re no longer working for the Company any more and all of a sudden your phone stops ringing. Your Dad or Grandfather may wonder why you’d not take a soul-destroying corporate but well-paying, secure position or you may not want to follow in their footsteps in the family business. I don’t want to be a boss, ok?

He is upright and in the right today, I’m afraid.

This is a sad separation. Maybe you’re missing your Dad and can’t get to him this Christmas, or he’s passed. You need to stop missing him and start employing him. He wants you to be happy and has a few ideas about what you should do in order to make this life you’ve chosen successful, and I’ll bet you know what they are. Or what they aren’t.

A practical plan is needed. A solid, disciplined regimen of some sort in order to get back on our feet – that means making a map and following some rules. You went rogue, that’s fine, but how’s that working out for you? Doesn’t look like it is. You look run down, you’re eating crap food, not exercising, and coming down with something. The first order of business is taking care of yourself with military precision and regularity, and we all know how to do that, we just don’t.  Don’t wait. It looks like these people will be lucky to make it through the winter.

Successful people, and I am not by any means defining that word for you, mind you, are regular about their thing, whatever that thing is. Commitment and discipline. Order. Structure. Regularity. Consistency. Sound painful?

Not as painful as whatever it is these 2 are going through now, but it’s not my life, it’s theirs, and they don’t seem to be looking back.


6 December 18: Queen of Wands & King of Cups reversed

Losing their grip. We have a situation, and I’m quite sure it’s a situation we’d rather not be in or deal with but here we have it and it involves a very troubled human.

Fire and water, what can I say. The sunny, outgoing Queen of Wands is of the suit of Fire (Aries/Sagittarius/Leo) and is the ultimate survivor. She’s seen it all, pretty much, which is why she’s so warm and funny and entertaining – the comedienne with the dark past, hinted at by the mysterious black cat at her feet on the more traditional images. A wand is a wand, after all – she does have that transformative ability, that aura of theatre and magic. It is the way of theatre folk, you see, in this business we call ‘show’ to suspend reality, take people’s thoughts away from their problems and pains if just for a little while. It is a valuable contribution. During war, depression and disaster – entertainment thrives.

The King of Cups is of the suit of Water (Cancer/Pisces/Scorpio) and operates from the t. Emotion and instinct make him who he is, a tender-hearted, forgiving, compassionate King. Artistic and musical himself, I would ordinarily say this pair has some serious potential: fire & water = steam, and we like steamed lattes and veggies and creases on our pants, but a steam burn hurts like a bitch.

I’m glad this Queen is looking after this King today, who I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and just say he’s having a very hard slide – possibly and probably alcohol, but drinking is only a symptom –  what’s really going on? Insecurity regarding masculinity or sexuality may be the cause of his confusion or depression, something he doesn’t seem to be able to identify or express. He’s all churned up and all over the place. He may be ‘in over his head’ emotionally, and now, just doesn’t want to deal with it, and looks to escape any way he can – sex, drugs, lies, and he may even have to pawn that crown soon.

Ah, yes. The dreamy King of Cups. In this desperate state he could sell ice cubes to Eskimos and charm the snakes out of the trees. But, this Queen – she’s not buying it. Not at all.  She saves her compassion for those who really need it, not this sorry mess. She’s not even looking his way. He’s a grown-ass man with plenty of resources. The world isn’t just his oyster, he owns all the oysters.

There is some Mars-Neptune weirdness happening so I think the possibility of a ‘steam burn’ is pretty strong right now. I’m reassured by her presence – she looks straight ahead, unflinchingly, and will not be brought down.

But perhaps she’s the only one he can open up to, which is good – she’s been through much worse, and she knows the cure for what ails him.

Tough love.




27 November 18: Temperance & The Tower

De-fusing a bomb. Literally. This is a weird and downright disturbing pair to see fall out together, but in the Tarot multiverse there are of course several interpretations of this powerful combination,  none of them  exactly comfortable.

Temperance is the giant, halo’d angel who patiently pours back and forth between two cups an unknown liquid, meticulously balancing and brewing seemingly incompatible ingredients harmoniously – making it all work. Back and forth, time, patience, and control. In olden tymes, one who did not ‘mix his wine’, that is, mix your no doubt extremely potent Biblical private blend with some water you were considered out of control – on the hard stuff. This looks like someone falling off the wagon – hard.

Temperance. Temper. Tempering. Controlling one’s temper, and emotions in general, is  advised by this calm, healing image.The angel has one foot on a grassy green bank and the other in a clear blue stream. Yellow flowers bloom at the angel’s feet in the green grass, it is a peaceful scene. Temperance, tempo, time. This is vigilance, maintaining balance, the order of things, of oneself. A full-time job. #14 of the Major Arcana, 4+1=5 and that’s one edgy, nervous, conflicted, unbalanced number. That angel can pour all day, but 5 will never be a 4 or a 6. It is through careful, continued effort that he keeps an equal amount of liquid in both cups.

The Tower. Well, it’s a scary looking card. Under a stormy, violent gray sky, lightning strikes a castle tower which bursts into flames. We see the silhouettes of two humans falling into the huge, deep blue white-capped waves that lap at the base of the tower. Mars is pissed off here, and we don’t even particularly roll out the welcome mat for Mars even on his best days. If he has any. I heard the landing yesterday, be careful up there. He doesn’t look that friendly to me. Makes me wanna plant trees. Bottle trees, they need very little water, grow a couple inches every damn day and are evergreen.

Oh hell I don’t even want to look at these cards anymore, I just hope someone is negotiating like mad for peace somewhere right now, or, someone is taking their sweet time as somebody or something else is about to ‘blow’. Endless back and forth.

Another sad meaning of this pair is being forced out of a home after having been there a long time – but we could turn on the news for that (if we are fortunate enough to have a home in which to comfortably listen to the news).

Here’s another one: the sexual tension between 2 people is gonna blow if they have to keep themselves under control any longer. There.  I’d much rather consider that interpretation.

The Tower is also considered a healing card –  in the way of finally ending something that was destined and had to end, and ‘healing’ can begin, a word overused and trivialized but that’s another rant – things will never be the same – or something you thought was essential to your life has crashed and burned, finally. Or your appendix has been ready to blow for sometime now, and did.

Lose your temper, clear the air, what the hell, you’ve tried everything.  For a long time now. Just don’t get physical. Or be an arsonist.

The Tower comes in at #16 of the Major Arcana, 6+1 = 7, another unstable number, and, strangely, the number of Faith.

We don’t need it when things are easy…



29 October 18: The Emperor, reversed

Good Dad/Bad Dad: The almighty Emperor and #4 of the Major Arcana is the Father Figure of the Tarot. He is the very embodiment of stability, control, power and authority. He represents the suit of Fire: Leo, Sagittarius and especially Aries.

I so dislike this card reversed it’s hard for me to even give him the time it takes to write about him, but here he is (the card is well described in the WordPress archives). An Emperor is  humanly endowed with supreme earthly authority and dominance. Of course he gets and enjoys a lot of attention. Reversed, he needs it for all the wrong reasons. He’s a tyrant, a bully, and a bastard. This could be someone about to be busted down a rank or lose their job altogether, so have hope.

Today, though, this card is all about Dad. You as a Dad, your Dad, her Dad, and how that relationship  ‘imprint’ manifests in your life. Your relationship to your own father or, as a father, your relationship to your own children: are you exercising too much or too little authority? Are you being too strict or controlling? Too lax? Do you or did you have a difficult relationship with your own father, who may have shown more affection to his dog, or did Dad leave everything to Mom the Boss?

If this description fits someone who is using you for whatever he thinks he can get out of you, run. He’s all about him. Shouldn’t you should be the boss?

This has everything do with our relationship to authority or imposed structure in any form, but anarchy and rebellion for its own sake will eventually leave you with nowhere left to go.

Not everybody’s your bad Dad.

“What are you rebelling against?”

“What do you got?” – James Dean, Rebel Without A Cause