Replenish your strength. Time to settle down a bit after a busy summer? The Strength card is number 8 of the Major Arcana, and actually is a summery-looking card in the Morgan-Greer deck. Under a hot yellow sky, green palm trees, and what look to be a couple of volcanoes a woman sits in a green field wearing a white, billowy, summery dress with a garland of flowers in her hair. She is calmly and gently closing the jaws of a huge, snarling lion at her side. Incredibly, the lion does not attack or bite, but is soothed by her voice, her manner, and her quiet determination. He is tamed. Suggesting the astrological sign Leo and the 8th month of August, summer’s over. This card can literally mean strength, as in your actual physical strength and health.
The 4 of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) shows us a Knight – almost always on horses and in motion in the Tarot, except for that slow-ass Knight of Coins, whose horse just stands there – resting, sleeping or deceased. He is in a stone building, and through the window we can see the sky has darkened to a misty, streaked, cloudy indigo color. Burnt-orange colored oak leaves sprout from a fallen tree. Swords demand action, but this Knight’s swords are hung up for now. 4 is the number of stability, and this human needs stabilizing.
This means chill out and rest of your own free will or wind up in a hospital bed with a nice nurse patiently prying your jaws open to give you your meds. This could be suggesting someone temporarily ‘asleep’ while the dentist works.
Hibernate. Get a massage. Retreat, spend some quiet time with your dog. Or cat. But stay rested, you need your strength.
Overwhelmed. Tempting offers, options, choices, decisions. Visually one of my favorite cards in the deck, the wild fantasy that is the 7 of Cups (Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio) is compared in the archives to a stageful of Las Vegas showgirls, all shine and flash but when the lights go on it may be a whole different story. What looked like gold was actually cheap plastic, and when the fog machine was turned off we could all see the old chewing gum and duck tape stuck to the stage floor.
The traditional image of this card is a human with their back to us contemplating a huge cloud bank that looks about to roll over and engulf him. On the Morgan-Greer card there is no human but it’s coming right at us and is almost a virtual experience, a wall of fog bearing 7 gold goblets with strange offerings: a snake, a mask, the head of a beautiful blonde woman, jewels, a castle. Surreal.
Well, that’s what they seem to be, anyway, but through all that fog we can’t really tell. That’s the point of this card. Things that look great on the surface may not be, and we may not be in a clear state of mind – this card also addresses addictions and a need to ‘turn the lights on’ …this is ‘living in a fantasy world’ or looking to escape – he’d rather not make any important decisions right now.
This could be a mad genius engulfed by an all-consuming inspiration that must be channeled creatively, a wild dream.
Quick burn to Vegas and he’ll think about it next week.
Nothing but the truth. No matter what the President’s fat-assed diamond-pinkie-ring wearing ‘lawyer’ says, it’s not “truth isn’t truth”, it’s the simple TRUTH. This mighty Ace does not fuck around, and truth, as we all know, is a double-edged sword. This Sword is about to fall and cut the crap, and the truth is a funny thing: like a lie, or like a domino, once one truth is exposed, there’s another, then another. This Ace is the first link in the chain. Hard and metallic, this is a cold blast (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius), a harsh wind that blows away all fog and clouds leaving only the naked, unobscured Truth, a powerful weapon indeed.
The truth hurts
Be careful what you wish for. The human on this card, again of the liquid, emotional suit of Cups (Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio) and all about feelings is the very picture of satisfaction. Traditionally he is an innkeeper or host, smiling broadly and dressed in jolly red to match his ruddy, flushed cheeks. Good times! Lined up on a banquet table behind him are 9 gold goblets most likely filled with wine waiting for guests – he wants to share his good fortune. This is a card of emotional contentment, satisfaction, and desires fulfilled. This has long been referred to as ‘The Wish Card’, and in a reading, would announce that a wish is coming true or has come true for our human.
He has everything he wished for. Whether it leads to the 10 – the ‘happily ever after’ card, which usually involves someone to share it with – remains to be seen.
A very interesting read of this card from the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg is back in the archives – a peasant, whose ‘wishes’ may be simpler, yet emotional and material needs the same, reaches around the 9 ornate gold goblets set before him and instead chooses a single shot of vodka, and is content. On our side of the table is a single shot glass for us. A single drink with a single good friend or mate and he is fulfilled.
Master class. A card for the season. This hardworking, dedicated 8 is of the suit of Earth (Virgo/Capricorn/Taurus) and we are indeed currently under the influence of the sometimes nitpicky, perfection-obsessed Virgo sun. The card is clay-colored (Morgan-Greer deck) and we see a human with his head down, intensely focused on hammering and chiseling and carving on a pizza-sized gold disc before him on a workbench. The sleeves of his blue work shirt are rolled up, and he wears a leather apron. The wall behind him is covered in the gold discs he’s already completed, but he’s not yet satisfied. He’s good but needs and wants to learn more, he wants to be the best.
This is truly a back to school card. This is just buckling down and getting as good as you can get at whatever it is you do or want to do by putting in the study and practice. Investing in, developing and perfecting a skill or talent will bring it to a whole new level and will be very profitable in the long run: we need money on earth, it’s a material world.
Head down, he could be well into online lessons…
8 = infinity, continued success.
Get to it.
The weight of the world. The World is the last card of the Major Arcana and a card of success and completion. The 10 of Wands/Staves/Rods is of the suit of fire: Leo, Aries, Sagittarius. Both of these cards are under the heavy influence of Saturn, aka ‘da Taskmaster‘ of our solar system. Saturn’s not a lot of fun, not at all, but if one is serious about one’s long-term ‘success’ (whatever that word means to you, not everyone uses the same dictionary) one must consider the commitment, time and sustained effort required.
The 10 of Wands is a card of ambition. Overwhelming ambition. This human is struggling along with a massive, unwieldy bundle of heavy, straight branches and he looks like he’s about to drop them. He can’t even see where he’s going anymore, his burden blocks his view. This is an obsessive card, and everything else could be falling apart around him – but he doesn’t or can’t see it, so blinded is he by his ambition. He’s taken too much on. Made promises he can’t keep, and he should be handing off a few of those logs but he’s not. Too many irons in the fire, as they say. Way too many. This is biting off more than one can chew. He’s maxed out.
The imagery of the World card is explored in the archives, for those interested. It’s a beautiful and esoteric card that today I’ll break down practically: this card is all about foreign interests, natural resources and government. This guy thinks he can own the whole world, literally. He won’t be happy until he does.
I’ll be damned if I didn’t just notice that the man on the 10 of Wands is wearing orange…
A Secret Strategy. The number 7 is a number of Faith. It’s also a challenging, odd number – not quite the 8, nor the 6. You can’t see electricity, you just assume it’s there and when you plug in a lamp it’s going to work.
The classic image on this card of the suit of Air (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) shows us a human making off with 5 swords over his/her shoulder with 2 left standing alone, stuck in the sand. Some images show him looking back to a city/town/camp behind him in the distance as he sneaks away He’s outta there. No one will notice for awhile.The landscape looks desolate. Why is he breaking away from the rest and where is he going? On the Morgan-Greer card he’s intense and moving quick, head down, looking straight ahead.
The card is mostly yellow, which is a strong, positive color. So this mysterious loner has complete faith in his own agenda, his own motivation and his own plan but is holding his cards close to the chest, as it were. It is interesting that the swords he carries are in the dark, while the ones he leaves behind are in the light, like the tip of an iceberg.
This is also the card of a spy or secret service.
This human has faith in what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and that their methods are justified.
Stealth or rogue?