19 July 18: Three of Coins & Four of Coins

Pooling talents and resources. An uneasy combination, but a good one. Of course when we talk about Coins we’re talking about Earth and the material world (Virgo/Capricorn/Taurus), aka money. One of these two has a lot of it, the other may be working for very little of it.

The 3 of Coins is all about teamwork and collaboration in the physical world to create something of lasting value or to ‘make your mark’ as this stonemason is doing under the red diffused glow of the  stained glass window of a church. Unlike the traditional card which usually shows a team meeting –  2 monks consulting over a scroll with an architect or stonemason – the Morgan-Greer deck and other more modern decks show only one human on the card working away with a chisel on in a stone and stained-glass building   obviously not built by any one man in any one lifetime, so he continues or finishes the work of others – yet is still considered part of an elite ‘team’ who take a great deal of pride in what they do, and probably for not much money. In fact, artists in olden tymes often had no choice but to slave over church commissions…literally.

I decided to check with Dali’s deck to get his take on it. He shows us a bearded, colorful figure holding a book wearing what looks like a Christmas wreath on his head with a city in a tree growing out of his ass.

Well that’s clear.

The 4 of Coins is all about saving, stability and security. To a fault, some might say, but this miserly looking person clutching at 4 large gold coins so tightly he looks like he has cramps is no fool. No fun, maybe, but no fool. I notice with the cards side by side the stone wall of the castle or chateau of the ‘miser’ of the 4 is made of the same stone the stonemason is carving on the 3. So it is interesting that these 2 cards basically form the same image as the single 3 does in older decks: the worker and the boss(es). But there is  respect and cooperation here, each need the others’ skills – or money, and recognize the value in the collaboration.

If these two aren’t a team already, they certainly should be – but, like the image on the olde tyme cards, this is also more of an investor/worker relationship, or a commission of some kind.

As a team they would add up to 7, a rather unstable number that requires a lot of faith in any mutual undertaking. They both believe in what they’re doing even if nobody else does.

A loan for home improvement could also be forthcoming, or someone may be doing some fixing-up or restoration themselves to save money or even building their own beautiful home meant for generations to come (the 10 of Coins).

This is about considering partnerships in long-term investments, finances and general sustainability. ‘Art’ people and ‘money’ people don’t always see eye to eye, but this looks like these two could be on the same page. We see bright yellow sky on both cards, but neither character is out in it. The 3 has his head down in the dark intensely focused on what’s he’s doing and the 4 has his back to the yellow sky outside the castle wall and the world altogether, so concerned is he with holding on to his money. It looks like they may even live in the same stone mansion, but not as equals – yet both work for the same ‘team’ or ‘house’.

I hope the worker/artisan is being paid fairly for what he does and not being ripped off or taken advantage of.

 

Cheap f******.

 

 

17 July 18: Seven of Coins & Ace of Coins

There’s more where this came from.

Interesting. These cards both are of the solid, earthly suit of Pentacles (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) and very much refer to the material world aka money: how much do we need, how we make it, what we do with it.

The 7 of Coins shows us a human standing beside a bush hung with ‘fruit’, or rather 7 shiny gold coins. He takes a break from tending his moneybush and leans on his hoe, wiping the sweat from his brow as he contemplates his potential harvest/return. He’s putting SO much work into this crop,  will it ever pay off? Is it worth it? His skin is dark from working in the sun. Shouldn’t he have more to show for all his hard work up until this point? Should he even bother to finish what he’s started, or should he start another new crop, possibly somewhere else? Should he have planted here in the first place? It’s a pretty card (Morgan-Greer), the sky a light heavenly dream-blue down to the blue hills and finally to the earthy green fields where he stands beside the moneybush he is so carefully nurturing and tending. All these hours, all this work – and only 7 coins.

The 7 is a number of Faith, and this ‘gardener’ needs to have a little more faith in himself and his ‘crop’. He needs to remember why he planted there in the first place. He needs to remember that the Universal Divine Skyhand chose and entrusted him with the gift.

The Ace of Coins is the ‘seed’ of a ‘golden’ opportunity and a promising, prosperous new beginning. The Divine SkyHand of the Tarot who reaches down from the clouds to gift us with the shiny new Ace is handing us a beautiful new start and has chosen our gardener for a reason. He’s proven what he can do with a single seed.

The olde Rider-Waite image of the 7 of Coins shows the gardener contemplating a bush hung only with 6 coins – the 7th is at his feet, as if he’s taken one for himself, no matter what happens to the rest of them – he knows all he needs is one. Clever dude, this gardener.  But is this investment ever going to ‘fully ripen’ and pay off? In any case, he is smart, saving a seed for the future.

Is he taking one last look at the crop he worked so hard to raise that may never pay off, cutting his losses before he starts all over again on something else? Has he attracted an investor who recognizes his dedication, skill and perseverance, and wants to buy whatever he’s growing before it’s even ripe?

The 7 is on the left, and the Ace on the right (Morgan-Greer).

Is he turning his back on a new offer, his faith in his current crop and in his eventual success unshakable?

The 8 = 7 + 1 (of Pentacles) card would mean get back to work, get the nose to the grindstone, and don’t give up.

Maybe your first attempt didn’t ‘pay off’ like you thought it would,  despite your best efforts, and possibly through no fault of your own – but it will somehow ‘seed’ huge success in the future.

 

 

5 July 18: Eight of Swords

False imprisonment. What a strange way to read this card. This is a ‘jail’ card, but generally speaking only if surrounding cards would support literal ‘jail’ (Justice, Judgement, or a lawyer card, for example) in a reading.

This card of the suit of Air (Libra, Aquarius, Gemini) speaks of imprisonment and restriction. Most of the time it is a ‘prison of our own making’ (again, previously written about in the archives).

‘Air’ in the Tarot is sharp and clean, like the metal of the Swords. What we need is a sharp, clean, clear mind. On this card, the Swords are loosely stuck into the ground in a circle around a blindfolded woman who stands in the center. That’s not what Swords are for..they’re made for action. She is tied up, but there are no knots, and she could easily slip out of her ropes if she tried. The swords that surround her are spaced widely enough apart for her to squeeze out in between them, yet she doesn’t. We see a castle or city behind her in the distance, but not so far away that she can’t get to it.

The mighty number 8 gives her the power and strength to do whatever she/he wants. As a matter of fact, she obviously built her ‘prison’ herself, because the beach where she stands is windblown and desolate, not another soul in sight. She wears a red gown (red = passion) which is being blown and wind-whipped, a bit of her hem even blowing out from between her prison ‘bars’ as if his/her passions are straining to ‘break free’ (Morgan-Greer).

So, we know this is a ‘prison’ of one’s own making.

We know someone is ‘holding themselves hostage’ for some reason.

The question is why. 

This is not a ‘safe’ place. As easily as she can get out, someone else can get in.

Her head.

 

This card also makes me want to look into how August (8th month) will be affecting Air signs (Libra cusp here) and possible areas of restriction –  it’s monsoon season and yes, There Will Be Wind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 July 18: Three of Coins

Craft, collaboration, commitment, construction. 3 on the 3rd. 3 is THE number of creation, and that’s what this card talks about.

Coins, or Pentacles, are of the suit of Earth (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) and always refer to the material world.

The traditional image on this card is that of a meeting.  3 characters stand in a stone cathedral and seem to be discussing plans for future work of some kind, most likely building. One of the men who is an architect or stonemason is holding a scroll or draft of a plan and presenting it to 2 religious men, monks or priests, consulting on the planning and progress of the work.

The Russian deck shows us a musician performing in a grand setting for a Patron, or the Master of the house, who wears a set of keys. Both the stonemason of the olde time decks and the musician of the Russian deck are masters at what they do, as they are being retained or employed by people who can afford anything. Money is no object, they’re saying, we want to create and build something great. Something that will survive generations to come (10 of Coins).

The Morgan-Greer deck shows us only one man (or woman, of course) under the familiar image of the 3 discs or Pentacles (in the traditional decks, the 3 coins are carved into the stone columns of the church. The Russian deck shows a gold column or pillar ornately carved with the coin images) which are of stained glass and incorporated in the design of the window above his head. He is working in this beautiful amber-colored light all by himself, a chisel positioned in his left hand and ready to strike with the mallet in his right.

This card usually means, and suggests, collaboration, so it is strange to me that he is alone but it is a holiday (tomorrow is 4th of July in America, and smack in the middle of the workweek)  and either left to work on his own while everyone else is out or he’s taking the day alone to work on his house, as there seem to be beams behind him. He could be just hanging a picture, but he’s really into his beautiful house and takes pride in restoring, improving or maintaining it.

On the Greer card we can really see the master craftsman putting his very soul into the work, and of all 3 versions of this card I’m looking at, this is the only card where we see him actually working.

Meeting with the moneymen has never been his favorite thing, he’d just as soon they go away so he can get something done.

F****** meetings. 

There are many instances of craftsman who so invested themselves into their buildings or gardens that they hang around even after death, famously even leaving tools of their trade ‘occupied’ by their spirit.

Just because they’re not in the flesh doesn’t mean they don’t want to collaborate. Who are your ‘unseen collaborators?’

 

They would love to work with you.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28 June 2018: The Emperor & Eight of Coins

Impress me, says the Emperor, aka Da Big Cheese Boss from his throne. #4 of the Major Arcana, he is proud and rather intimidating. Associated with the astrological signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, he is the archetypical Father figure, the Patriarch of the realm, whatever ‘realm’ means to you. He is legendary. He is hard to please. His standards are the highest, he set them himself. Scepter in his right hand and sword in his left, he casually throws one leg over the other, confident in his position. He hasn’t had to use that sword in a while, he has Kings and Knights for that now, but you can bet he still knows how. No one questions his authority and no one wants to piss him off.  He’s getting on in years. Respect.

Our hard worker pictured as a younger, stronger man in his prime on the earthly Eight of Pentacles or Coins (Virgo/Taurus/Capricorn) doesn’t notice us watching him, he’s too involved in his work. Head down, apron on, sleeves rolled up, he is chiseling and sculpting and shaping gold coin after beautiful gold coin. He is working so intensely to make each coin more beautiful and perfect than the one before he doesn’t see the entire wall hanging with coins behind him. Perfect, he says, his presentation has to be perfect for the Emperor. He’s probably not being paid very well if he’s being paid at all, but perhaps he has a chance for a permanent position. The Emperor only wants the very best, and will only pass down his knowledge to a worthy and dedicated apprentice.

This is again a picture of a rare opportunity to partner with, audition for or impress someone very important with your skills who could be instrumental in life-changing developments, most likely career-related.

You know, man, when I was a young man in high school
You believe in or not, that I wanted to play football for the coach
And all those older guys
They said that he was mean and cruel but you know
I wanted to play football, for the coach.

-Lou Reed