14 February 19: Four of Swords & King of Coins & Seven of Swords

Nobody ever called Pablo Picasso an Asshole* is a lyric from a song back in the day by a band called Jonathan Richmond & the Modern Lovers (great name for Valentine’s Day), and when I came across this little gem (KEEN articles) I thought some of you people whose mail and  messages sometimes pile up may appreciate this :

It is said that Pablo Picasso painted his masterpiece Les Demoiselles D’Avignon with the Four of Swords affixed to his studio door. 

..and he didn’t even HAVE a phone! So the 4 of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) today in past position is like the little card hanging on the hotel doorknob you flip over when you don’t want to be disturbed before they disturb you anyway. There may have been a period of extended rest and stillness that has been valuable and restorative.

What is the purpose of retreat, rehabilitation, rest, reflection, recovery, all meanings of the 4 of Swords. Swords are mental, 4 is stability. Peace, although this card is often referred to as a card of ‘truce’, that is, a temporary peace, not a permanent one.

If it’s grounding, healing, health and balance, we couldn’t have a better card in the present position in the solid, steady  King of Earth (Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn). Secure, confident,  rooted to his favorite spot in his lush, abundant vineyard, vines and purple clusters of grapes hang all over him.  If this isn’t you, this is someone who is a good person to have in control of things. Honest as the day is long, reliable, successful, he’s the ‘common sense’ King. He’s slow as gravity, being of the Earth, and doesn’t make quick decisions or ‘quick’ anything at all. This not only works for him but has worked for him (or her) so well, he’s the King. When he was but a Knight, his shield was engraved with the image of a tortoise (Scapini deck).

Thinks of Coins (earth)  and Swords (air) as tortoises and hares.

The Thief seems to not want to go away until we get the message, and in the future position once again, the 7 of Swords shows us someone stealing away from the crowd with whatever he can get – and once again in the future position he faces backwards, not forwards.  This though, I get as a very positive outcome: this needs to be a regular thing, this ‘stealing away’. The thief on the card does not steal all of the swords, but leaves 2, taking 5. As in:

‘Just give me 5 minutes.

The ‘takeaway’ from this reflective and restorative period of retreat was that this needs to be a regular thing – a permanent lifestyle change.  This can be seen as a selfish card, but look at that homebound King of Coins. This is a card of a successful home business, and you could be ‘gathering information’ as the sneaky swords like to do, taking ideas that work for you and leaving the rest. You may be researching ideas as to how to expand or franchise, having realized and accepted that you function better in your own environment and that’s where you do your best work, so let them call you selfish, stubborn, secretive, anything they want, but now you know what you need – and don’t need – to do your best and it’s serving you well. So put your mask on first and ‘steal’ some ‘you’ time. The ‘ratio’ of home time to social time may be the change to make, or lying low both on social media and In Real Life, consciously limiting your online time to a couple of hours a day and spending more time in nature or working with your hands. Does a mind and body good. In any case, when you feel that anxiety (the 7 is an anxious card) you know what to do. Get back to that happy place and re-charge.

Of course, this is the card of the thief, but it looks like whoever is in charge of the money is well in control, and if it’s you, you’re doing a great job.

 

Nobody steals from Picasso.

 

 

 

 

7 February 19 : Temperance & Six of Coins & Queen of Swords

Forged in fire. The center card in the present position today is the 6 of Coins or Earth (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) and what immediately strikes me is that unlike the olde tyme images, the gentleman (or woman) of the Morgan-Greer image who dispenses coins in an apparent act of charity carries not an uneven pair of scales but, held in his left hand, which is the hand associated with the heart, his (or her) scales are perfectly even. We have a nice balance of elements in the spread of Fire/Water/Earth/Air. There are usually 2 beggars on their knees before the obviously well-dressed and better off human who gratefully accept the generous donation, but not on this version, which emphasizes the 6 large gold coins equally divided on the left and right side of the card with a large column of crimson straight up the middle behind the man holding the scales. This to me more clearly demonstrates the idea of a redistribution of wealth rather than random charity. Money is energy, and the red stripe up the middle reminds me of the red Chinese paper wallets meant to ‘stimulate’ and ‘energize’ thereby multiplying the cash contained within.  This could be talking about utilizing our waning or limited physical energy in the same way.

In the past is the alchemist of the Tarot, Temperance, the giant angel who, like the Star, has one foot in the water and one on land. The angel is a Sagittarius, of the suit of fire, and I get a ‘forged in fire’ feel out of this spread. The angel patiently pours liquid back and forth, mixing and measuring between 2 gold cups. There is a red triangle on the breast of the gown of the tall, androgynous angel, right over the heart, and should we give it a spin, we get the symbols for fire and water, both methods of purification. Temperance is time, tiempo, tempo, tempering, refining, even negotiating. Back and forth. For a very long time. Until. We. Get. It. Right. Now, let’s try this again. Judging by the even scales and exactly divided coins, all has been handled fairly and everyone treated equally.  This could be a divorce settlement or any kind of legal dispute after a long period of mediation, resolved satisfactorily if not altogether amicably. The Queen’s not here to make friends.

The Queen of Swords (Libra/Aquarius/Gemini) is the card of a divorcee or widow, so it does seem like some sort of settlement has been reached. If she was a pub,she would be called The Thorny Rose. Even in her garden, neck-deep in lush, red roses, she holds her sword ready although she looks quite safe surrounded by all those mature, glorious, full blooms. I want to say that the long sword she holds up straight and strong is well-tempered, that is, forged in fire, as was she. Someone may have had to ‘hold their temper’ for a long time. She’s one tough lady (or man) , yet, the way the cards are positioned, one of the hands on the center card looks as if it could be hers, reaching into the picture, directing her minister to dispense the coins – or, in the future position, accepting a coin herself, but only after the scales are even. She brings to mind the image of Justice, sword raised, gesturing to the balanced scales, but she is not blindfolded, and  her eyes are intense and penetrating, as if she can see right through you. She can. I hope he doesn’t think he’s hiding all those coins behind his back, because her sword is still as sharp as ever.

Someone may be looking forward to being single now that they’re older and wiser. The past defines us, of course, Temperance suggests the way a diamond is formed, under pressure  and heat – the way a sword is forged to diamond-edged perfection and sharpness.

Make sure grandma gets her meds or vitamins – or stay on yours.  This could also be a female doctor you should think about visiting for entertainment purposes only, but generally speaking, whatever you’re doing is working.

It may have taken a long time to achieve a body/soul balance, and it looks like some alone time would be beneficial. You don’t have to explain it, you don’t have to be bitchy about it, just take care of yourself, especially if you’re aging gracefully (’cause I know you all are) and whatever that is, you’d at least like to be healthy in mind and body. This Queen can be quite ‘mental’ which is a proverbial double-edged sword. This is either ‘mellowing’ with age, or…not. I get a ‘time is money’ vibe out of this too, and we have to think about the realistic allotments of time and physical energy, as we get older.

 

But the Queen of Swords, she still dances.

 

 

 

 

1 February 19: The Lovers & Ace of Coins & Seven of Wands

I did it my way. At least, from now on. In the past position are the Lovers of the Major Arcana, which is interesting because it crossed my mind for one second as I was scrolling through some pages this morning that the olde tyme Lovers card is insanely complicated. There are trees and birds and a snake and sometimes a fat little cherub buzzing around, ready to shoot one of 2 women on the card because the poor human in the middle can’t make up his mind between them. That’s a whole lot of stuff going on. On the Morgan-Greer card, there are only 2 humans, obviously deeply in love. In the past, this was not only a profound relationship or partnership but an essential component of your DNA and your public identity. This is in the past, but no matter what the relationship, these cards are all upright today and things are As They Should Be. Not a sword to be seen. But the olde tyme image keeps coming to mind – it’s complicated. This card having been called ‘The Choice’ among other things, makes my blood pressure jump just a wee bit. The poor sod in the middle is being put on the spot, and it’s stressful. Quite a different feeling than I get from the Morgan-Greer. Love, yes, marriage, yes, this card means that, and at least in this deck, it looks like a lovely memory for both.

In the present though is the fabulous Ace of Coins, pure gold (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn).  I like getting an Ace on the 1st of the month, off to the best possible start in all earthly matters. The Ace is success and wealth, the giant gold coin in the sky presented to us by the legendary Skyhand of the Tarot, up close and in person. This is one of the best cards in the deck. This is to be rich. Not only money-rich, but body and soul rich.

So why then, in the future position, do we see a rather defensive human bracing himself to ‘stand his ground’, holding a long walking stick or staff across his body like a weapon. 6 more sprouting sticks look rowdy and restless and stand at sloppy angles just under him. They always look to me like they’re carried by a mob, and they may be. If not a mob, then maybe just too many offers or questions, even questions pertaining to your integrity or ethics. This human on the 7 of Wands (Leo/Aries/Sagittarius) is not doing things the way other people might, and it ‘inflames’ them.

This could be a financial incentive to go back to a partnership or marriage, or an offer from someone in the past – probably met with some resistance – that could turn out to be both passionate and profitable.

So this human may actually need to drop some defenses – but doesn’t seem to be interested in all these other little sticks, rather he looks straight up at that gold coin in the center of the spread. Amazing. How did you do it? They want to know.

Keep your eye on the prize and keep the haters at bay.

You don’t have to explain yourself to anybody, and you don’t owe anybody anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 January 19: Ten of Wands reversed & King of Coins & The Chariot reversed

A successful life. Ask 10 people what their idea of ‘success’ is and they’ll tell you 10 different things. Better yet, ask them when they’re 16, ask again when they’re 30, and ask again when they’re 60. Better ask again when they’re 80.

My Dad came to me in a dream over the summer and who knows how these nocturnal conversations start, but I remember it went something like:

“You can do whatever you want whenever you want, right?”

“Yeah.” I said.

“Well, you’re successful.”

He was, of course, very simply correct. But it may not have always been this way for our most welcome King of Earth (Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn) who is at the center of this little spread in the present position. The King, basically, doesn’t have to work anymore if he doesn’t want to. This King, like his Queen, holds a large gold coin in his lap as he sits in his vineyard with fat, ripe clusters of grapes heavy on the vines that grow up and around him. His gold helmet (much more practical than a silly crown) has horns, like the Taurean bull. New green leaves sprout from either side of the helmet – this King  has ‘money coming out of his ears’. Carefully cultivated and maintained over the years which took a hell of a lot of work, he or she can now enjoy the fruits of their labor, literally. There will be a regular, consistent harvest every year from now on – this can mean some kind of passive income, even a social security check or some kind of retirement benefit.

In the past, though, look at this poor human of the heavy, burdensome 10 of Wands. Upright, this person has taken on way too much, and probably has – or rather had – a hell of a time saying no to anything, feeling like they had to take everything that came along to the point of physical exhaustion or straight up burnout. This workaholic is so engrossed in his or her work they’ve lost sight of the original goal, the bundle of branches so huge and heavy they block his view as he staggers along, oblivious to the beautiful blue sky above him. Reversed, those days are gone, period. But boy did they pay off.

In the future position is the Chariot, the ‘fast track’ to success, indicating movement, journeys, travel, and having to keep everything together, like the driver who guides the two horses of the Chariot, and it’s a tough task. This card is ruled by emotional Cancer, and also represents our own emotional state and self-control. Reversed, there may be  opportunity or offer to travel for work, or even many. Wands like to travel, and it looks like from the reversed 10 in the past position and the reversed Chariot in the future, that King isn’t going anywhere. He can now afford not to.

This is a truly successful human being not just because he managed to make him or herself a lot of money, but is also well grounded, has solid values, good character, and respect. He also looks pretty young for a King, but people are staying younger a lot longer these days.

Or, I’m getting my car looked at today, and although it has a ton of miles on it, I hope Dr. V doesn’t find anything fatal.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 January 19: Ace of Coins & Nine of Swords & Knight of Swords

I dream, I act. There are of course a couple ways to look at these cards, all of the Minor Arcana. That in and of itself may be of some comfort to you. Nothing going on here but the worst possible scenario in your head, and it keeps you up at night. You’re broke, you worry. You have money, you worry. Who’s going to stab you in the back next? Who’s going to charge in and steal everything away from you? We’re not talking to you today. Believe me,I understand, but – relax.

This is tossing and turning from ideas, messages and inspiration through dreams, and/or   there’s just so much going on in your head you can’t sleep.

I almost always wake up at 3:00 a.m., and am lucky enough to be able to make the most of an hour or 2 then, always my best time. I remember something I read about the rare window when your sun and rising sign are crossed or together or something, much like when the sun and the moon are up at the same time in the morning. I love that. In any case, if you are a writer or artist or musician or anybody, for that matter, you know damn well if you don’t get up and write it down NOW it will be gone in the morning, no matter how convinced you are that you’ll remember it.  I often have to look up words I heard in my dreams, and have often had to figure out chords by ear I’ve heard. So, you can get up and be productive at 3:00 a.m. or not, but there is of course, much lore and mythology about that hour, so there’s gotta be something to it. The Chinese believe in the organs resetting themselves during the sleep cycle, and 3:00 is the liver reboot.

The Ace of Coins (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) we are familiar with. In the past position, you’ve been given a gift. When we talk of a ‘gifted’ person, the Skyhand chose you to receive this most valuable Ace, which is, as we’ve talked about before – talent. You are a proverbial goldmine. There is in particular at least one story or idea that is pure gold, as they say, but all you’re doing is mentally chopping and parsing and driving yourself nuts as to how to go about it.

In the present position is the painful, angst-ridden, insomniac of the Tarot, the 9 of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius). Usually we see a human upright in bed, head in hand, something having woken him or her from his sleep. Dream or nightmare? On the Morgan-Greer card, we see an inflamed red sky and a pair of hands tied at the wrists, as in, my hands are tied but my mind is eating itself. Itchy swelling brain was a punk song I think. This is that. Because there’s not a damn thing you can do about anything in the middle of the night anyway, your hands are tied.

It looks like an upcoming cycle of rather tortured and sleepless but extremely creative Knights.

In the future position, the Knight of Swords doesn’t, in spite if the fresh blood on his sword, mince words, and neither should you. Perhaps you’re afraid that your truth or message will hurt or offend or cause damage to someone somehow. We’ve all heard of shedding ‘blood, sweat and tears’ for our work as writers or artists, but This Knight is not one to thrash around holding his head nitpicking details and anticipating problems, this is the ‘just do it’ guy. We see a tower burns in the distance: this is ‘set the world on fire’ stuff…if you ever get up, get it out of your head and write it. Whatever it is, even a letter. Damn the collateral damage, at least you’ll sleep nights, and It’ll pay off big time.

Or: You were given a gift, take it on the road, you’ll slay ’em. In which case, do stay on the lookout for the highwayman..he does hold a 10th sword.

You may be up at night thinking of ways to spend a recent windfall – what came in may go out just as fast.

Bottom line is: worrying gets you nothing, action does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 January 19: Two of Cups & Seven of Coins reversed & Ace of Coins

We had a good run. Here’s to us, kid, or whatever it was Humphrey Bogart said.

This is the story of a partnership, marriage, affair, or friendship that may have simply run its course. Or not.

In the past position, the 2 humans of the 2 of Cups (Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio)  offer golden long-stemmed cups to each other, as if in a ceremony. Usually the card would look like the 2 are staring deep into each others eyes, falling in love hard, everyone else in the room disappearing, but today they seem to be toasting each other sadly. The sky on the Morgan-Greer card is a neutral, whitish color, but if you really look close it was once a happy yellow. This was a very important affair or partnership, and impacted both of them for life. Neither will forget the other, and neither wants to. Neither has.

Perhaps they’ve gone as far as they were meant to go together. In the present position, the 7 of Coins (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) is reversed. Coins, besides being the hard cash we need to live, address the realm of the physical in general. The farmer, leaning on his hoe, contemplates his 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 harvest  – he, however, is brown from the sun, so many hours and years has he spent on this field, the leaves green, the coins hanging like gold fruit. Reversed, returns are diminishing. He looks off into the distance, wondering if he even planted in the right spot.  Wondering if he should invest any more into this property, or anymore years of his life into this – situation.  Upside down, seeing things from another point of view entirely, he finds himself facing the huge gold coin  on the future card. He should get a metal detector (I just got one, I like this spread).

Well, sir, may I ask, how much do you really think you can get done all by yourself?

The Ace of Coins is the very promising new start in a new place. An amazing new opportunity or offer ‘falls out of the sky’ – say good morning to the Fabulous Flying Skyhand of the Tarot, today lowering the shiny prize of a new gold pentacle into the garden of your beautiful new home with a beautiful ocean view.

I wasn’t even going to go there but the 2 flowers in the garden, a red rose in full bloom (masculine) and the white lilies (feminine) remind me of the 2 of cups of the past. This is the ‘gift’ of a new beginning with maximum potential – possibly with someone new, or with someone you ‘filed away’ for future consideration, because the timing was wrong – possibly a water sign.

A new start in a new place is what I’m feeling here, but you cannot do what you want to do alone, is all I’m saying.

7 + 3 = altogether now = 10, the maximum of the suit, end of a cycle and new beginning, and that which one leaves as legacy.

Looks like a beautiful spot to build.