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.

 

 

26 January 18: Four of Wands & The Hermit & Ten of Swords

Back to the future. Literally. The wise old Hermit (Virgo) stands alone on his (or her) snowy mountain, holding his glowing yellow lamp up against a black, starless sky. He wears a white beard and the brown, hooded cassock of a monk. The Hermit, #9 of the Major Arcana, is all about solitude and reflection. This is not a young person, or at least not young in spirit – an old soul at the very least, and the yellow light of his lamp illuminates not the future card, but the past – the joyous 4 of Wands (Aries/Sagittarius/Leo).

A happy, yellow card, this is the card of a happy home and happy, stable life. On the olde versions of the card, there are 2 humans dancing in celebration under a canopy of garlands of flowers and ribbons -the planted 4 staves holding up the festive decor form 11:11. It’s a peaceful, loving vibe. Heavenly, really. This is being perfectly in tune, and, very simply, happy.

But the Hermit has turned his back to the future card, the bloody, potentially fatal #10 of Swords, (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius). The thing I notice immediately about this picture is the weather. The flat, black sky of the Hermit card continues on to the next card, and he lays bloody on a snowy beach and the water looks frozen in the distance. The brown cassock has fallen away to expose a white shirt stained with the red blood from wounds sustained from the 10 swords that pierce his back. It has started to snow. This, if anything, is an anti-future card. The wise hermit knows this, and shines his light instead on the past.

But this is not a card of wistful nostalgia. This is more about reflecting on what exactly it was about that place or time that was particularly resonant, where and when and with whom you felt you belonged. Where was home. Not necessarily a specific geographical location but a feeling of being inspired, happy to wake up in the morning. The Hermit’s tall walking stick tells us he’s been around, but after having been there and done that, he thinks he may like to retire to that little warm place he or she visited so long ago, or even grew up or used to live. That’s where the ‘home fires burn’ for this Hermit, who seems to be considering a trip back down the mountain. On the Morgan-Greer card, there are no dancers under the garlands in the garden, the ‘stage’ is empty.

The 10 is the ending of a cycle and the beginning of a new one: 1+0=1.

This may be about having a strong feeling about something you may not feel right about doing, or people you may not completely trust aka the ‘backstabbers’.

Or the Hermit has wisely decided to turn back, because he can’t drive in the snow. Or, any more traveling will kill him.

His old back hurts, and one of those swords looks like a serious pain in the neck.

Pass the balm.

25 January 19: Eight of Swords reversed & Three of Swords & Four of Coins reversed

Do you want to talk about it? You probably should, rather than carry all that around inside.

The most unwelcome 3 of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) is a violent and painful card, no doubt about it. Three sharp swords stab through a bleeding heart in a stormy sky. The only redeeming thing that can be said about this unfortunate draw is that this is sometimes called ‘The Artists’ Card’, 3 being the powerful number of creation and the often tense and angst ridden process of. A bloody birth, so to speak. But no matter how you spin it, it’s never a welcome card. Emotions are raw and wounds are fresh, and we’re walking around in a great deal of psychic pain. This is depression with a capital D.

In the past where she belongs is the 8 of Swords reversed, or the card of self-limitation and ‘prison’. Mental jail. Those makeshift jail bars of sharp swords she’s surrounded herself with make it rather difficult to get to her, and that’s what this is about today. Reversed, those ‘bars’ are falling away, and it seems safe to approach. This is good. But having just come out of painful situation or state, we’re finding our ‘land legs’, sort of.

In the future position is the careful, guarded and rather miserly 4 of Coins (Virgo/Capricorn/Taurus). This card shows a human holding on to his stash of 4 gold coins for dear life. We’re not just talking about money here, but a mindset. Perhaps they’ve realized that living in a default state of worry and material insecurity was what was holding them back in the past. No risk, no gain. On every level.

I sometimes call this ‘holding your cards close to your chest’ in that this human does not easily open up to other people, but reversed, this may be about to change. It has to. Look at that gory red heart! Look at those black clouds hanging over it! Yet there is a soft, yellow glow emanating from the heart, like a sunrise. The heart heals itself, and has already begun.

What will this process look like? Who can you talk to? This card reversed can mean overspending or, as it’s called, ‘retail therapy’. Horrible term.

This can mean a period of grief that may – like the faint glow around the heart that I swear looks brighter the longer you stare at it (Morgan-Greer) – be coming to an end, and you’re finally able to talk about it.

Better yet, write about it,  paint about it, or sing about it.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

17 November 18: 3 of Wands & Knight of Coins & 4 of Wands

Note: Mercury is retrograde, words have not been my friends today. 

Obsessed is sometimes used to describe this solid, determined salt-of-the-earth cash only Knight of Pentacles (Virgo/Capricorn/Taurus), but that’s not always bad. He (or she) is upright and today would rather be described as driven, single minded, and goal oriented. He or she may be waiting to be paid for work already done, or may have investments that should and will be paying off..soon. This is the slowest of the Knights but only because he’s deliberate and considers the nuts and bolts, financially and practically speaking, of every moving part before he makes any serious decision, commitment or move, but today he may have no choice.

The 3 of Wands is of the suit of Fire (Aries/Leo/Sagittarius) and is often called ‘The Writer’s Card’ or the card of a ‘freelancer’ or independent businessman. Often, this card shows up to let us know ‘the check is in the mail’ (although that’s hardly an excuse these days, just use PayPal, pal). On the card we usually see someone said to be a merchant looking out to sea contemplating foreign shores or partnerships. Should he go bigger or go home?

He is smack in the middle of the 3 and 4 of Wands, which is not only the card of ‘home’, but a very happy and beautiful home. What strikes me today is the difference between my daily Morgan-Greer deck and what I know is the traditional Rider-Waite-Coleman-Smith image, which has a couple of happy, dancing humans in it. The Morgan-Greer image does not, only a lovely looking garden party setting –  but the guests have not yet arrived, or have all gone. 4 is the number of stability and structure, and usually one of this Knight’s favorite numbers. Tall poles are strung with garlands and festive red ribbons and we see a castle on high ground in the distance bringing to mind the old cliche (they’re cliches for a reason) ‘a man’s home is his castle’.

The Knight of Coins, in between these two, stares intently at the idyllic scene, yet to the left another human looks away to distant shores. Perhaps he is reflecting on his own travels, his own memories, even ‘burned bridges.’ Send me a postcard, says the Knight of Coins, I’m not going anywhere. Perhaps this Knight himself has been away, and he’s very happy to be back home where he can relax and truly be himself or herself. Perhaps this Knight is ready to settle down. His home is his castle where he feels secure and quite possibly where he does his best work which yes, he can seem to be overly ‘obsessed’ with, but his motivation is long- term security, and to that end, he shoulders his work and mundane responsibilities reliably and dutifully. Sounds boring, I know.

Until it all burns down.

 

 

 

 

27 October 18: Queen of Coins, reversed

Taking care of oneself.  Not him, not her, not them. You. We love this Earth Mother, the practical, grounded Queen of Coins (Virgo/Capricorn/Taurus). On her throne she sits, contemplating a large gold coin in her lap. She’s a material girl, this beautiful Queen. She likes nice things, and she likes to buy them with her own money.  She loves her comfortable, welcoming home furnished with antiques, art, and fine fabrics.   She loves historic, picturesque places, like the castle she lives in. She manages the household extremely well. She is sometimes pictured sitting comfortably outdoors, surrounded by a thriving, green, flowering garden.  Financial security is very important to this Queen. The Russian deck shows us a woman sitting indoors before a table simply set with a carafe and a plate of fruit. It is twilight outside the ornately wrought-grilled window, and rather than a large coin in her lap, it rests beside her carved wooden throne and resembles a wheelchair – she looks very content, peaceful  and comfortable in her old age.

Reversed, mothering becomes smothering, and money becomes way too important. There is disharmony between home, ‘me time’ and work. She could be bringing work home which is starting to get in the way of family time and sexy time with the King. Conversely, she could be so overwhelmed with domestic issues or problems that it’s affecting her work. She needs to make a budget and stick to it – not just with money but with her time and relationships. One is suffering at the expense of the other, and that’s not balance.

Or, she’s outlived the King, spent all his money, and is now broke in the old people’s home missing him – wishing they’d spent more time together.

 

 

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******.