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.

 

 

 

 

13 February 19: Page of Wands & Nine of Cups & Knight of Cups

Anything you wish ma’am, or sir, anything at all. With all my love and devotion I offer myself to you, and I am forever at your service. Swoon, sigh, this is truly romance novel stuff but all these watery, teary, emotional cups can make one gooey in the brain. It’s a wish granted, for sure. And it does make me smile.

In the past we have the Page of Wands aka our young and flashy Page of Fire (Aries/Leo/Sagittarius), the young traveler, inspired and full of ideas, energy and passion. Pages, of course, are children or child-like, as in immature. That’s the challenge, isn’t it, to retain the innocence and child-like-ness without being child-ish (I just have to say though Childish Gambino is one of the best names ever) in the annoying way. This Page isn’t the easiest kid to control – even if it was yourself. Taking a minute to ponder this, it occurs to me that all the fire signs I know have been the best at striking that balance as they got older.

In the center is the very much desired 9 of Cups (Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio) otherwise known as ‘The Wish Card’. I could have called this ‘be careful what you wish for’ because it looks like you’re going to get it. Our ‘wishes’, however, may in the past have been a little immature and unrealistic. We have fire & water here, with a lot of steam potential, but steam burns hurt like f***.

The 9 is a number of completion. The smiling, jolly happy human on the 9 in the center and present position sits before a table lined with cups, as if expecting guests. This is a card of emotional well-being and success, of having achieved everything one set out to achieve, and invites others to share. This is the host with the most, or the hostess with the mostest. Coming along with the 10th cup is no less than a Knight. He wears my favorite armor of the deck, which looks like it’s made of blue metal fish scales – he or she is also of the suit of Water.

In the future position is The Knight of Cups, also a man (or woman) of action, and his motivation is l.o.v.e. Of the suit of emotions, his or her own moods may be changeable as the moon. This is very romantic stuff, and it’s high tide.

But the court cards, as in Pages and Knights, often represent us, as in the Asker of the Question. The immature, brash, risk-taking young Page of the suit of Fire has no red on his card: he holds his long walking – stick in front of him as if it’s a big match and he’s waiting for someone to ‘light his fire’, he’s all over the place trying to find his or her own way.  In youth, male or female, we are not always led by our hearts, shall we say. The eccentric out of place feathered bowler hat worn by the theatrical young Page has morphed into the bright red oversized feathered beret of the successful, contented 9 of Cups. It looks like he’s wearing his heart on his head – ah! a clue. Heart and head. The heart will rule the head in this atmosphere.

The Knight faces right, as does the Page of the past, and we are at present blessed and contented, which says to me it is us who is motivated to do the offering. The world has turned in a big way, and if you’ve been missing that ‘creative spark’, it’ll come back so strong  – that if that’s what you wished for – your mojo is back and you’ll want to share it with the world.

This could have been an idea you had in the past that you weren’t able to act on for some reason, or never ‘caught fire’. Now you may be in a more secure or comfortable place and able to reconsider some of those ‘pet projects’.

Offers made and/or accepted with love.

 

 

 

 

 

8 February 19: Seven of Swords & Five of Swords & Four of Wands

Protection. Someone has your back, for once. Something went down, and something is going down, but the good news is it’s the last battle.

In the past position and slinking off with what looks like his tail between his legs (it’s just his sash hanging down, but today it’s plainly his tail between his legs) is the Thief. Somebody’s been creepin’, sneakin’ and stealin’ in broad daylight. Not necessarily or only money, but any sort of intellectual property or your ideas  –  your livelihood.  This cowardly slime sneaks away with 5 swords, leaving 2 behind. On some versions of the card the thief is looking back as if he intends to come back for them later: on the Morgan-Greer card his head is down, he does not want to be seen. No one is even looking for or at him or her, and he does this on the regular.  They’ll be happy with the 2 that are left, he mutters to himself as makes off with his haul.

It’s like going out in the morning to get the eggs out from under the chicken and there’s an egg and you think, fine, and then find out someone’s been sneaking out and stealing 2 before you even get up, and it’s your own dog. With his tail between his legs.

This is notoriously the ‘Card of the Thief’ but also the ‘lone wolf’ card, a card of avoiding  or ‘shrinking away’ from confrontation. Of course, the actor’s part in the play depends on who the other players are, and now we have even more swords to deal with on the in -your – face 5 (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius). This  confrontation has not only happened but isn’t exactly over, although as we can see on the card, the sun is setting on the situation. This wasn’t and isn’t pretty. Everyone on the card looks blue and drained, 3 humans on their knees, their swords tossed down in defeat. However, I don’t get today that the hooded figure in the foreground is the bad guy, which is weird, but I get that he chased off the creep on the 7. Harsh, you bet. The next card is the ‘jail card’, the 8 of Swords, and the thief best not show his face around these parts again.

This is some behind-the-scenes hostage negotiations kind of shit. Both humans have hidden their faces. We don’t know what’s going on here, but as long as the Thief stays in the past – he literally looks like he’s just glad to get away with what he’s gotten away with at this point — all will be well. Very well. The hero of the 5, his dark hood covering the upper part of his face, gives me a Batman vibe. He is a professional, and seems to have the thief on the run: lawyer, accountant, hit man.

I could break my head over this but I don’t have to because no matter what’s gone down or going down, Batman has come to your defense and there couldn’t be a better future card, the ’11:11′ card, the joyous, celebratory 4 of Wands. 4 is a number of security, stability and protection, and today I get more of a warm homey vibe (the suit of Fire: Aries, Sagittarius, Leo) rather than a celebratory party vibe, which is also what this card is about. Weddings, showers, friends and family, homecomings. Usually we see a couple of humans dancing under party decorations, arms uplifted, shoes kicked off and letting the good times roll but on the Morgan-Greer card the flowers are fresh, the garden looks beautiful, and our happy place is waiting.

 

Worth the fight.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 January 19: The Hermit & The Lovers & 5 of Swords, all reversed

Agree to disagree.  I believe what I believe, you believe what you believe. Can we just agree to disagree? If only.

The Hermit, #9 of the Major Arcana causes no one any trouble, because he’s a Hermit, and never leaves the cave. Every once in a while the odd seeker, guided by the Hermit’s ever-glowing lantern, will brave their way up the snowy mountain to pick his brain. The Hermit has dedicated and committed his life to meditation and understanding, and like Buddha who sat under a tree and let the world come to him, will share his knowledge but only with those who care enough to make the trip.  Upright, this card is a card of voluntary solitude. Reversed, our Hermit does not hold his lamp up so that others may find him on the dark, remote mountain, but rather down, dimming his light – he seems to be in hiding. This Hermit is, or rather, was, in full retreat mode. This is an unusual and lonely path he has taken –  did everyone leave him, or did he leave everyone else?

The Lovers reversed is in present position. An old-fashioned read of the olde tyme image  shows a man having to choose between 2 lovers –  ‘virtue and vice’ or the classic  ‘whore/madonna’ complex. I do believe ‘The Choice’ was also a name for this card, and it’s a big one. The Lovers is #6 of the Major Arcana, the number of peace and karma. The choice here doesn’t seem to be between 2 lovers, though, this could be about any  important relationship or partnership, or the potential of one. Gemini rules this card, the sign of the twins. Why are they even reversed? This is a beautiful card. On the simpler, more peaceful Morgan-Greer card, there is not a choice between two people but the choice is whether or not to enter into the relationship in the first place. There are compatibility issues here – deep ones. Like really, really deep.

In the future position is the dreaded 5 of Swords, the card that’s spoiling for a fight just for the sake of it. A cackling human has just ‘won’ a fight with 2 other humans, or at least he thinks he did. Gemini is also involved in the battle on this sharp card of the suit of Air (also Libra and Aquarius), thankfully reversed. This wasn’t a ‘winnable’ argument in the first place, but you started it.

Ok, if it’s that important to you, you win. Fine. You’re right.

The naked Lovers on the Morgan-Greer card don’t look like they’re really into discussing much of anything, so perhaps they shouldn’t.

Someone’s beliefs or the way they live their life is in the way of a potential relationship, but if you were to ask me, I’d say love conquers all, and nothing else matters.

There is an old saying about not discussing religion or politics in polite company. Look long and hard enough and we can all find something to disagree or even fight about. Or, conversely, is this an important conversation that needs to be had before starting any sort of relationship regarding personal spiritual or religious beliefs that are either  important to the foundation of the partnership or – now that I see you naked, who cares?

Make love, not war.

Couples therapy might not hurt, either.

 

18 January 19: King of Cups & Three of Wands & The Fool

 Take the chance. You’ll be glad you did, I think. Why not? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Besides, it looks like a fun trip may be involved, and you can take the dog. The King of Cups will be very happy to see you again, although he may not come out and say so. He’s rather reserved about such things, being the King and all, but after a couple beers he may start to gush a bit: “I missed you, maaaaan!” 

In the past position today is this psychic, artistic, musical King of Water. We can roll him in fur and call him a teddy bear, this tender-hearted, compassionate King representing the astrological signs of Scorpio,Pisces and Cancer. The imagery on the card is that of a King calmly and serenely seated on a throne that seems to be floating on choppy, rippling  waters yet the King holds his gold cup easily without spilling a drop. It’s like when you’re in turbulence on a plane and hold your plastic cup of wine up to stabilize it so it doesn’t spill. Cups represent emotions and the subconscious in the Tarot, and this King is always well in control of his – and possibly yours. A word from this wise King and everything was always ok. again. He may be any important person from your past who may or may not have come straight out and said so, but had deep feelings for you. Who knew? He was always there, always listened, and, being a King, always seemed to know what to say and when to say it as if he was reading your mind. He was. Dad, husband, boss, lover, friend, mentor, counselor, whoever, they were your go-to who always understood you. This person feels very deeply, almost empathically.  You loved this human very much, and he/she you. This is the King most in touch with his feminine side, which gives him so much of his intuition and innate understanding.

The central issue here is making a move in order to get to the next level. A human looks off into the distance and into the future, contemplating and calculating time and effort and any possible obstacles to an endeavor that involves, or will involve, a potential partner or partners. This is the powerful 3 of Fire (Leo/Sagittarius/Aries) so we must be careful who we choose to partner up with for the long haul – the human on this card is passionate and driven, waiting for the word to make a move – the King may require your presence.

The Fool in the future position is the ultimate outsider, numbered Zero, he’s in a class by himself as he strides and skips through this adventure called Life. His eyes look up and ahead, and in this layout, he is right behind the far-sighted human on the 3 as if to say, I’m right behind you. It looks like he or she has thrown together a few things wrapped in a scarf and with only that, a staff, a white rose symbolizing faith and trust in life and a   nervous little dog yapping along at his side, the Fool is a very fated and powerful card, and in this position suggests to me that you have nothing to lose by taking a chance. This person from your past you may be afraid won’t be experienced or reliable enough for a long-term commitment, but he is a King, and moves about in the world with all kinds of people and is very well-respected, even loved, which we can’t say for all the Kings.

You’d kind of be a Fool not to, is what I’m getting here. In this case, the future is the past, as in starting all over from nothing in a good way, as in being free to do what you want, when you want, where you want, and with whom. The Fool must not be so foolish as to even stop along the way to say hello to anyone who does not have his or her best interests in mind or heart. This King always did, because he innately knows what your best interests are because he innately knows what makes people happy.

This could be a journey to visit someone dear from the past you may have not seen in a very long time, possibly at a distance or overseas, and possibly for some kind of collaboration. Why not?

“Where are you going? Who’s going to feed me?” yaps the dog, often the only adult in the room.

Oh. Right. How will that work out? Ask the King if he knows someone, he has contacts all over the place, and only the best.

A King always has his own personal Fool, and this Fool would be foolish to not want to fool around with this King as in: you’d be a fool not to.

I think I’m done here.

 

 

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.