15 February 19: Ace of Coins & Three of Cups & Judgment

A new lease on life no less, so let’s get to it.

Did I mention the Ace of Pentacles or Coins much recently? Something’s going pretty well for someone, because this very desirable Ace is being handed down from the Skyhand again today in the past position, and it’s basically the golden ticket, the lottery win. A windfall, tax return, inheritance, property, the birth of a son or daughter, a talent that’s worth money, or something else of earthly value that has been handed down to you. Invested in you. Entrusted to you.

You had the power all along, Dorothy. 

In the center are the 3 of Cups, and we see the 3 girls dancing in celebration (Rider-Waite) or all 3 looking up at you, waiting for you to take a seat at the table (Morgan-Greer). This isn’t a crowd, not a lot of people, but the people who are closest and whom you trust, who really know you, and who are genuinely very happy for you.  No frenemies here today, just sharing good times and celebrating life in general with the people who matter (Pisces/Cancer/Scorpio), and who you may not have seen in a while. These three girls (or guys) with their 3 huge wine goblets and remnants of melon, berries and grapes on the table look up at us like we’re late and they may have been waiting for a while.

In the future position and we couldn’t find a better place for it if we tried is the mighty  Judgment of the Major Arcana and one of the more strange and dramatic images in the Tarot. A family of humans rise out of their separate graves at the sound of a golden horn blowing in the sky, or on the Morgan-Greer card, a man, woman and child all rise from the same grave which looks more like a boat on shimmering water aka the River Styx of Greek myth that runs between the default and underworlds.

 We may have been asleep, but we’re ‘woke’ now. “You were there!, Auntie Em – and you, Uncle Henry!”

‘Higher calling’ is Judgment, and since this card is a card of rest and sleep, and, yes, death, whether you can see them or not, I’m getting that these three people may not even be here in the physical, but they very much are.  Sometimes I’ll hear ‘high five!‘ from somewhere if I’ve nailed something or contemplated the right decision to make. Have you ever ‘high fived’ 3 spirits?

This is basically saying life is getting shorter, you have what you need, enjoy it, today and now.  This is all about being blessed with home, family, and friends, and appreciating    your world as if seeing it for the first time for what it really is, and it’s really, really good. This may be finally overcoming an illness or addiction, and you’ve been ‘raised from the dead’ or at least feel that way.

An intimate gathering. A wedding is the ‘death’ of an old life and the ‘birth’ of a new one, as in new in-laws – remember, you all love the same human, so you do have that in common -or a newborn family member.

A family reunion, either here – or there.

Google map back:

The Ace of Coins is everything desirable on Earth, and the Earth itself. Everything we need is here and always has been, or we wouldn’t have stuck around as long as we have, which is what these happy young ‘Burners celebrate as they dance among the vines and orchards. How have we used or abused this gift?

Is saving the earth possible? Is this the final cycle?

Celebrate and live for today. I get it.

These ‘Burners look pretty young. Maybe we’d just rather get some rest.


..dedicated to an Aquarian with a vision, John Trudell, on his birthday. 




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.





29 January 19: The Devil reversed & The Lovers & Four of Swords

Get thee behind us, Satan. You stinky, mangy hairy, horny old f***. At least that’s how he’s depicted in the old decks, crouched like a gargoyle on a pedestal, all teeth and claws and bad breath. He sits between and has enslaved 2 naked humans with one of his many devilish (de)vices, and they stand as if entranced or mute on either side of him…or her, for that matter, who holds the chains to their rather loose dog collars, not in a good way,  These people are voluntarily and willingly ‘hooked’. It’s all fun and games – for now.  The Devil has many names, as it is said. Fear is one of my interpretations, as I think that’s when he wins, is when we let our fear hold us back. Generally speaking, without diving down the rabbit’s hole, he or she brings addictions, sexual dysfunction, greed, excess, vice and materialism.  The Devil may represent a shared ‘vice’ or even crisis that may have brought these together in the first place, even a ‘frenemy’ aka a devil in disguise, but in the end, came between them. There are a lot of humans here between all 3 cards.

Reversed in the past position, any and all negative influences have been recognized, dealt with, and overcome. We’ve hopefully seen the last of our Capricorn devil, and may your own demons stay gone.

But the stars of the show today in the here and now are the beautiful Lovers, #6 of the Major Arcana, also nude but embracing peacefully in a beautiful green garden of calla lilies, no one and nothing coming between them. Dark and unhealthy vices, habits, secrets, fears, people, or all of the above because often they come as a bundle are gone. Get rid of one, and another usually goes with it. Alone together, everything seems better than fine between these two.

In the future is the restful, restorative 4 of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) showing the effigy of a Knight in repose, laid out on a stone tomb. His 4 swords are displayed on the wall behind him. He is at rest after the trials and angst of the preceding 3.

It seem that if not both, at least one of these humans is doing a lot of work in order to be their best selves inspired by what else? Love. Each wants to be at their best for the other.

French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre famously said, “Hell is other people.” This today, I believe, is that.




20 November 18: Justice & The Hermit

Retreat: no longer an option, but a necessity.  Someone’s life direction needs serious examination and consideration. The solemn and sober Justice card says, “you know what you should do. Do the right thing.” The Hermit, well, is a Hermit. Hermits know stuff. That’s all they do is meditate and study and contemplate and see that one flickering light in the snow way up on the mountain there? That’s the Hermit’s lamp. He’ll know  what you should do, but he also knows that, deep down,  you yourself probably already know.

There are some things we have to decide for ourselves all by ourselves. You need to do what’s right for you, says the Hermit if you were to ask, but how can we know what’s right for us when people are all up in our sh**  day and night, whether physically in our faces or electronically? It’s a cluster**** of contradictory images, mixed messages, and relentless, aggressive subliminal advertising. There’s nothing more depressing than a commercial for anti-depressants.

It is crucial to regain your balance and equilibrium. Justice is ruled by Libra, the sign of the scales, and in her left hand she does hold a pair of scales that are slightly uneven. How do I level out? Retreat, advises the Hermit, ruled by the ever-cautious Earth sign Virgo. He is wise, and he doesn’t come down from the mountain often. He holds his lamp aloft for all to see –  sharing his wisdom and knowledge willingly with those who seek it.

This is one sober pair and strongly suggests steering clear of any situations that could throw you ‘off balance’ and into an unhealthy mental or emotional state this joyful Holiday season. Both of these cards represent teachers or healers, often both one in the same person. Knowledge and truth are ultimately healing on any level. ‘Know thyself’ is a/the major message of the Tarot,  and only by going deep within and being brave enough to look ourselves in the faces and do the right thing – by and for ourselves – can we even know wtf we truly are. The Hermit wants to study and contemplate the Big Questions.

How can you know me if I don’t even know me? 

Airy Libra, who rules Justice,  is a people-pleaser, and that can get us into trouble – deep trouble. Do you really think a lifetime of being who you think people expect you to be and acting like you think you should because that’s what your friends, family or God forbid social media, expect of you won’t lead to a total nervous breakdown? I hope this Hermit’s face is glowing in the dark from within or from a nice fire or warm candlelight and not from his computer screen Googling himself in the middle of the night.

Go within for your answer, says the Hermit, and looks as if he’s about to place his lamp on the uneven scales of the previous card, which should bring them into balance. Or, you’re the one holding the uneven scales, and this counselor,  healer, doctor, or revered elder will help you ‘sort out’ your life. You can trust this person since they don’t care if anybody likes them anyway.

You can’t lie to yourself. The unflinching, serious face of Justice as she stares us down may as well be a mirror.

The Hermit may be hibernating, but he’s not sleeping, rather making very good use of the hours when everyone else is.

A local cop told me that Thanksgiving is the #1 day of the year for domestic violence, at least up here in the High Desert. If the mere thought of a family or social gathering makes you want to tap the sponsor or therapist you have on speed-dial, then Do. Not. Go.

I daresay they may be the reason you ‘self-medicate’ in the first place. Doesn’t mean you don’t love them, it may just be that this year you need to love yourself at least as much.

If not more.






7 November 18: Temperance

This may take some time. Trial and error. Just keep at it until you get it right, says this calm, patient card of the Major Arcana, Temperance. The ‘keeping at it’ in and of itself is getting it right, and in this case it’s about moderation, self-restraint, and staying in the middle-of-the-road. Sounds boring, I know.

The Morgan-Greer image is that of a tall, blonde, androgynous angel with a massive wingspan who stands with one bare foot on the grassy bank of a clear blue stream, the other foot in the water. His-hers-its  expression is so serene it seems almost asleep. A soft, golden glow emanates from its head and it wears a long, flowing appropriately angelic gown with a red triangle on its chest, red being the passionate, primal human energies  contained within the ancient symbol that is both female (pyramid) and male (on its point) and the limits of earthly natural law.  This supernatural being has its ‘hands full’, literally,  holding a gold cup in each and endlessly pouring liquid back and forth between them, back and forth, mixing, blending, adjusting, re-mixing.

There is need for self-control. This card is ruled by let’s-go-for-it Sagittarius and inflatable jolly Jupiter, so it’s easy ( and tempo-rarily fun) to overdo. Upright, this is a good card to have on your side.

I saw an old Chinese herbalist/acupuncturist years ago who said to me, “I eat what I like. I drink what I like. But just a little.” This is that.

So extreme self-control becomes punishing self-denial, which doesn’t feel healthy or sustainable. Life is work. Learning moderation, for some people, is a lot of work.

This is a card of the healing and rehabilitation of alcoholic and bi-polar conditions and  addictions in general, whether to drugs, people or your own adrenalin, which is more dangerous than you think. Rarely is that a cut and dried process, but more of a constant and consistent mindfulness and inner awareness. Avoiding extremes, especially emotionally, will lengthen your life. Water is emotion in the Tarot, and this image is of maintaining emotional equilibrium. We see a long, winding path that has led to this calm, clear body of water through what looks like some mountainous regions in the distance. It wasn’t easy to get to this peaceful place.

This card says that maintaining peace – our own inner peace or otherwise -requires constant vigilance, but it looks like someone’s getting the hang of it.

Or, the supernatural being that created the human race is back in the lab making a few alchemical tweaks…

Humans: a work in progress.