Blue moon tarot spread

So much of this energy of January is about the two full moons that act mark the beginning and ending of the month. The second blue moon on January 31st is super special--it is a blood moon, a full lunar eclipse and then of course the Blue Moon. 

Tarot is a perfect way to tap into this energy and use it to manifest your beautiful goals. This Leo Blue Moon is one of bringing in and setting intentions around some long-term goals and dreams. I mean, these are those dreams you dare not speak aloud, the ones that feel too wildly awesome to imagine. I used to be all about magical thinking, and fear of jinxing my good fortune. Pshaw!! Not anymore and not since so many of the dreams I dare not speak aloud have come to be. I am living my wildest dreams (and I'm still uncomfortable sometimes, by the way. The discomfort just stays for so little time, and makes me too curious to suffer for too long!). So, what is that dream for you? Are you so out of touch of your childlike awe and curiosity that you forget? 

Tarot is great for uncovering your subconscious and superconscious selves. So, tap into it with this layout, and let me know how it goes!

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solstice spreads

I have shared these Tarot spreads before, but I really love the way they use the energy of the Solstice to help clarify, priortize and magnify . When gathering for the Solstices or Equinoxes, a wonderful way to connect with one another and delve deeper into honoring the times of release and renewal is to do readings. Reading Tarot brings so much togetherness to a gathering, and reading cards with the holiday in mind makes it doubly special. I love seeing my people all huddled together discussing cards, letting Spirit speak through them for one person. You can either have one person designated as the Reader, or you can all read together. Or if you are a Tarot Reader, you might want to be the one to offer this to your guests, or as a gift to each person at the gatherings. I personally love gifting readings to my friends and family. This is also a great solo activity for those looking for ways to honor the solstice in solitary practice. 

These Solstice layouts I developed focus my attention for my personal ceremonies and spiritual work. During different phases of the moons, and always on solstices/equinoxes, I check-in with Spirit via a reading. This is a great layout to do with Tarot, or ANY Oracle Deck. Oracle Decks have such beautiful messages and really succinctly communicate the energy you have around you. So, if you are not a Tarot reader as such, oracle decks are great tools. Most come with a book with a nice detailed interpretation of each card. Oracle decks are easy to find, inexpensive, and make great hostess gifts too. There are oracle decks that involve Fairies, Angels, Saints, even one that wholly focuses on Mother Mary! Think of the Divine connection that most aligns with your beliefs, and use an Oracle Deck that speaks to that tradition. You'll understand the symbols and resonate with the message much more clearly.

Back to the Solstice Layout, you can use this as a touchstone for your work in circle, or in privately. Remember, first is the release, then the welcoming of energy in your next cycle. I would use an crystal like Orange Calcite, Carnelian, Sunstone or Fire Agate as an ally in this reading. It represents the Sun, but more importantly, it represents the clarity that the Sun brings. In this way, using a Clear Quartz is always good if you cannot find a Sun stone. Just place your crystal by your candle and other sacred objects around your reading space. Creating sacred space is a beautiful way to begin your reading. I always blow and knock out the energy, shuffle eight times, then cut the cards three times. And I say a prayer of protection and openness, "I am a clear and open channel through which Spirit make speak truth and only truth for the Highest Good of All."

I have read and used other Solstice spreads beautifully. If you google Solstice spreads you can find a number of ideas. I prefer my own spreads, because I am intimately connected with these questions, and it more succinctly clarifies what I work on for Solstice. Some people suggest pulling out the Sun (XIX) as significator in the center of this spread. I like to use a You Now card as a general check-in with Spirit. One beautiful way to use this spread would be to lay it out in a Solstice crystal grid with a Sun stone as your center, and lay the card out between your crystals. 

I created two spreads, really. The first one is great for groups, more succinct and really draws out clarity. The second is good for those who want to delve deeper for personal work on Solstice. It gives you insights into your releases, and the energy you want to bring in.

For example, I pulled this Spread for myself during Winter Solstice, pulling out the Sun as my You Now, or my Significator. 

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In the position of my Strengths (position 2), the Judgment speaks to my ability to release judgment and forgive. Pulling this into the New year, I can see that my work with forgiveness--both self-forgiveness and forgiveness of others--is something I may have to draw on, and will be important for my spiritual growth. In the Roots position, or where I draw my strength (position 3), I pulled the World. I draw strength from every aspect of my life--my children, my home, my crystal work, my Tarot and psychic work, teaching, learning, writing, and art. I had wondered for so long which was my path, and have come to accept that all are my path. In the Release position (position 4), or what is no longer serving, I pulled the Four of Swords card, which is a card of retreat and meditation before battle. I believe this means that what I need to release is my over-analysis. My Analysis Paralysis, as they call it, and move forward with my work in this new space. So, I need to release inaction! In my Energy I am Ready to Bring into my Life (position 5), I pulled the Magician. Oh, hellz to the yes! This is the energy I want to bring in--achievement, magic, spiritual work, using all my gifts together. 

In the Second layout, we just expand on the smaller layout to get more in-depth. It involves more reflection and self-examination.

For example, I pulled this second layout without using the Sun as the center, and pulling a card to represent myself.

In this layout, the King in position 1 represents me in the Now, someone who is financially stable and in my Earth sign element. In position 2, my strength is my ability to withstand chaos and massive change. Not that I will be facing it, but just to remember that I can weather any storm with aplomb and grace. In the position 3, where I draw my strength, the King of Wands was pulled, and this is a creative man, my husband, I think, who inspires me and grounds me. In the two position 4 + 5, these are the things that are no longer serving me--Eight of Pentacles and Page of Pentacles. I think the Eight is there to remind me that I am ready to move into a more teacher/owner role, rather than as a student, and the Page of Pentacles is immaturity with money. Financially, I think this means moving into amore mature approach with my business, not taking money from our home account for Moon + Stone, and begin treating it as a mature business. What I need to release position 6 is more of an emotional release for my spiritual growth. I believe this card, the Nine of Wands is any defensiveness, or heart protection. I need to wear my vulnerability, embrace it, accept it, wear it proudly. On the Future side, position 7, the Energy I am ready to Bring in is definitely circles of women. My peeps, where for art thou? Position 8, my meditation position, really is something to sit with, and journal about to achieve my release and renewal. I pulled Temperance, which is a card of purification and balance. Such an important card for me. In the 9th position, Outcome, the Queen of Swords is absolutely the energy I would like to welcome in my new phase. No nonsense. And not taking things personally. Also, nodding to my grief without having to live in it.

I hope reading my albeit brief interpretations of these cards in these new spreads helps you to read your own Solstice cards. Let me know what you think in the comments, and Blessed Litha, friends.

Tarot of the Week: the High Priestess

“Our duty is wakefulness, the fundamental condition of life itself. The unseen, the unheard, the untouchable is what weaves the fabric of our see-able universe together.” ― Robin Craig Clark

So much beauty and mystery in this card, the High Priestess honors us with her presence as the first post of the new year--2015 with all her mystery and wisdom yet bestowed. There is so much on this card, it is hard to know where to start. The High Priestess is the second card of the Major Arcana. She follows the Magician with all his power and achievement. You see this often in the Tarot--masculine and feminine cards following each other, balancing each other's energy. There is a sense of yin-yang balance of the feminine and masculine throughout the Major Arcana (and Minor, every King and Queen sits together in the deck). The High Priestess follows the Magician, yet her stance harkens more to the Hierophant. Historically, this card in the original deck way back in the 14th century was called La Papesse, or the Female Pope. WHAT?!? It is true. Such a strong, or rather the strongest, role for a woman in a traditionally patriarchal religion. I am quoting Rachel Pollack here for the historical background:

In the 1200’s, a radical movement sprang up in Europe led by a woman named Guglielma of Bohemia.  Guglielma preached that Christ would return in 1300 to begin a new age when woman would be popes. Guglielma died before that great day and so her followers elected a woman named Manfreda Visconti to be the first female pope. The year 1300 came around and went without Christ returning and its church made its position on female popes very clear: they burned Manfreda at the stake. 150 years later the first tarot deck {as we know it} was created, commissioned by the rulers of the city of Milan- the Visconti family.” -Rachel Pollack, quoted by Marybeth Bonfiglio

This I find absolutely fascinating and important for us Tarot readers. I don't think it is any surprise she stands on the Waxing Moon, as the Virgin Mary is so often portrayed in paintings. This would be the only image of a female spiritual leader the Italians who created the first Tarocchini decks would know. This imagery would have made complete sense to Catholics. She is the Pope of the Virgin. She has been elevated beyond a simple priestess. Like the Pope, she has a connection to the Divine that is beyond a worshipper, or the common man, or the priest. she hold papal infallibility. If the Pope is lineage from Peter, then who is La Papesse in lineage from? It is interesting, because I think the pomegranates behind her are so wrought with symbolism. Nearly every major religion of the Middle East hold pomegranate as particularly symbolic. The Egyptians felt it was a fruit of abundance. The Ancient Greeks associate the pomegranate as the fruit of the dead, and it is intertwined deeply with the story of Persephone and Demeter, so there is an ancient mother connection here. The Pomegranate is associated with the Crone. And in Kabbalah, perhaps the most likely of symbols for Arthur Waite and Pamela Smith Colman, it symbolizes the mystical experience.

Woman in the Tarot hold this deep mystery for Arthur Waite. Pomegranate is a common theme from the Empress on. But the High Priestess is their mediator, and she stands as the symbol of the Divine Feminine. Her standing is more of the holder of mystery, the esoteric, the deep water of religion, of the self, of Nature. Because women have always been associated with mystery, the moon, the water, the nurturing mother, there are additional symbols here that hold this more enigmatic spiritual meaning for us. Her dress literally turns into water as it falls over the moon. The Moon, the eighteenth card of the Major Arcana, is not to be missed. The connection is clear and important. She also wears a crown. I have read that it is similar to the horned crown of Hathor, Egyptian goddess and now a modern symbol of receptivity. I always imagine center of the crown being moonstone, because to me, as a crystal healer, Moonstone seems to be the High Priestess' stone. It sits on her third eye, and the crown itself opens to the Divine. She bears all kinds of religious iconography--the cross over her heart, the Torah in her hands. So, her connection is not to one religion--she is the Priestess of Pluralism. Every path is through her to the Divine. 

She sits regally, flanked by two pillars much like the Hierophant (the Pope), Justice, the Emperor. Front and center she faces you. Her pillars are different for one is dark and one light, anointed with the letters B and J, meaning Boaz and Jachin of Solomon's Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem. All of these symbols lead to this woman, the High Priestess. She is the prophetess, the seer, the mystic, the psychic. She connects to the Divine and the Mystery, but the darkness of her and this card are important. The mystery holds us captive and frightens us. We must push through the fear for her wisdom and insights propel us to the next phase of our spiritual development. So, in my work, the High Priestess is the card of the channel, the oracle, the psychic. She is guardian of the mysteries of the Divine and esoteric knowledge. I think of her as carrying sacred geometry and a stream to the Akashic records.

When the High Priestess appears, I know I am facing someone who is psychic, intuitive, opening to her or his spirituality. Dreamwork, journeying, visions and psychic abilities are at play here. Dreams are particularly important with any card that shows the Moon. Many of my Tarot friends sleep with a High Priestess under their pillow when they need insight. She is Divine and of the Divine and so there is a kind of purity and grace with her presence. She helps release and shed what does not serve. She assists one in finding their soul path. Meditation, prayer and new spiritual work is indicated. Unlike the Hierophant, which has religion all tied up with its means, the High Priestess is about spirituality and one's spiritual path. The High Priestess is about upper chakra work. She lights up the Third eye and the Crown. Though she is silent, she also opens the throat for channels and oracle work. The blue is important, it calls to work with the throat and third eye together for gaining your own insights.

Reversed, we get a feeling of the shadow self. The mysterious grows darker when the High Priestess is reversed. It can mean one is not facing their true self and honoring oneself.  As always, I'd love to hear what you think of the High Priestess and this post. Comment below.

Tarot of the Week--Knight of Swords

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner

There is a deep level of courage to each of the Knights of the Minor Arcana. This is what distinguishes them as court cards, and what makes the Knight the most powerful force in the Court. I have written a background post about the Court Cards, which I link to each time I write about the Court Cards, so here is that link.

Let's talk about this courage. The Knight is a more mature energy than the Page, which is still green with new eyes and approach to his Element. He carries messages, but doesn't quite fight a battle yet. The King on the other hand is the wisdom and maturity of his Element. The Knight is the one waging a war, fighting for his own truth, for his beliefs. He is out there, the face of the Court and of his Suit. He travels to the distant lands. He listens. He bridges his passion with his sense of justice. The Knight of Swords has an interesting perspective, and perspective is clearly the key word here, as Swords reigns the element of Air, and of the mind, logic, communications, and perception. With the Tarot, perception is a vital part of understanding the Swords. For the Mind often betrays the heart and the spirit in Tarot. The Tarot was developed as a tool to connect with the Mystical elements of our own spirituality for the early Tarot readers and developers. This was a tool of the Christian Mystic, after all. So the Tarot has a complicated relationship with Logic and Science and the Mind as the one that talks us out of our true wisdom.

The Knight of Swords fights his battles with both heart and mind. Much of this struggle is internal, as it is for the entire suit of Swords. This is evident in the background of the Knight of Swords, who is shown rushing forward into the wind, the trees and clouds evidently strewn across the sky from the wind. He doesn't fear this adversity. He grimaces, but he is determined.This Knight enjoys sparring intellectually, a good adversary is worth his wait to this Knight. His curiosity, intellectual interest, and search for the truth remain important for the Knight of Swords, but the irony of this Knight is that he is passionate about his mind. Don't be mistaken, he leads with his head, but his heart is not far behind. It is simply not the same passion that the Knight of Cups leads with. There is nothing maudlin or sentimental about this Knight. He is not necessarily as artist or musician. He is a logician, a thinker, a heady fighter of justice and truth. Think lawyer, police officer, economist, teacher, engineer, accountant...he uses his mind as his ultimate tool. He is drawn to fights that are about justice, and while others find this sentimental, to the Knight of Swords, it just makes good sense to treat people well. He doesn't fair well with small talk, or simple gossip. It is not his game or interest. He find these things deplorable, and often makes his opinion known. This Knight can be sarcastic, quick-witted, or even cynical to others. Downright negative to those who live in the heart space that doesn't want to hear about murder, rape and betrayal, but for this Knight, this is just realism, not cynicism. The Knight of Swords might say, the glass isn't half full or half empty, it is simply not the correct size.

If this card comes for you, it might signify that you are speaking your truth, or must stand up for yourself of others in the name of justice and equality. It can foretell a spontaneous event, or unexpected situation in which you must use your logic, common sense and clear speech. This Knight indicates a courage there that needs to be tapped into. You might be afraid of speaking your truth, but the Knight bolsters you. You are ready! Champion your cause. Fight for your sense of justice and fairness, it is time to jump on the back of that gorgeous steed and ride into the wind. These Knights often come for other people in your life who may be Air signs--Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. They often fall between the ages of 18-35 and can indicate men or women, but the feeling of the person is one of action, movement and courage. 

In the reversed position, this Knight is incredibly challenging to you. It can be an overly opinionated, negative, pushy, cruel, unfair and brutal person. When I say brutal I mean, mentally, verbally and physically abusive in some way. The person might be narrow minded, and unfair. See, when the Swords can reversed, he often see this type of reversal of the things they hold most dear in the upright position, like equality and justice. They turn that into their own sense of self-righteous justice.

Because of the movement in this card, the Knight of Swords can be a card that POPS up in your life, and can mean some situation or person has suddenly popped up. Reversed, it can mean someone is leaving quickly from your life. This is a less common interpretation, but this movement with this Knight, and intellect.

Let me know what you think about the Knight of Swords below in the comments. 

Tarot of the Week--Nine of Cups

“Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I'll tell you who you are.” ― Anton Chekhov

There is no more auspicious card in the Tarot than the Nine of Cups. It is nicknamed the "Wish Fulfillment Card", and it features a rather contented man sitting in a semi-circle of filled cups. He wears a red cap, symbolizing his wealth and material success. His arms cross over his solar plexus. He is done with his work. Life is good for him. He has succeeded. Marcia Masino called this the "Wine, Woman, and Song Card," which I love. We see enjoyment of life's sensuality and finer aspects. This card brings good health, wealth and enjoyment.

Tarot is often not what is seems exactly. It is hard to take these beautiful cards of happiness, contentment and comfort at face value, and indeed, we shouldn't. There is more here than meets the eye. Let's talk about the numerology of Nine. This is the number of attainment. But as the Tarot often challenges us, what is one man's completion is another man's beginning. We complete school, only to move into the business world. And with this Nine, it is no different, except we are talking about the emotional suit of the Cups, and so we must delve deeper into the psyche to understand the Nine of Cups.

For most Tarot readers, the Nine of Cups is a blessing anywhere in a reading. It is a sign of good luck, good fortune. It tells the Seeker that their wishes are coming true, but like the Chinese curse--May you get what you wish for--we must talk about what our wishes are and if they are aligned with our Highest Good. AHA! And there is the rub in the Nine of Cups. It says nothing about whether your wishes are aligned with what is best for all. You may be focusing on winning the heart of Mr. So-and-So, the handsome co-worker, but he may have secrets, abusive pasts, or other skeletons in the closet. The card says, "You are getting what you wish for, now WORK ON WHAT YOU REALLY WISH FOR!" This work calls for the surrounding cards, and for our own inner wisdom. What it calls for is to align with Divine Will.

This quote by Chekhov really sums up for me what the real work of the Nine of Cups is about. "Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I'll tell you who you are."  I know this sounds trite and easy to dismiss. We often think these things apply to other people, but it is really difficult and important spiritual work to figure out what exactly you want. Let's take the example of the co-worker. Here's a handsome, knowledgeable co-worker, who is professional and kind to us in the workplace. That's a great starting place--we know he works hard, is kind and we have similar interests. But we actually don't know much about who is he. So, here we may wish for him to be interested in us, or ask us out. Maybe a better wish is to be ready for a partner, a soul mate, someone we are attracted to physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. We often don't voice that, or write the qualities we value in a partner. We often meet people and say, "Close enough. This might be my last chance at love, I better snatch it up." The real work is knowing what exactly you want in the life. This can be as specific as demeanor, values, habits...when I was manifesting my partner, I wrote a list of qualities I wanted, including going to bed early, and waking up early. Hey, I'm a morning person! I was in a long term relationship with someone who slept until noon. That is literally seven hours of my morning wasted. I love getting up and putzing around cafes, or diners, or farmer's markets. By the time I was tired and ready for bed, he was just getting his groove on. So, when this card comes for my clients, I give them homework. What is it that you want? We need to voice that clearly, eloquently, and honestly. No writing things that sound good. If you are a jealous person by nature, than a good partner for you would be someone who values your insecurities, rather than a flirty partner. No harm in asking to not compromise on that. 

Whether you see this as the Law of Attraction or not, I think it is helpful to state and write out what you want. If you don't know, how will the universe know? And how will you recognize it when it gets here? The Nine of Cups begs you to be honest, authentic and do your work. Tarot often lives in this liminal land between support and forcing you to do your spiritual and emotional homework. Take our example--from switching to "I wish for Mr. So-and So" from "I wish to be ready for my partner",  you are signaling Spirit that you are ready for your spiritual work. It means you are ready to do the hard work that has been preventing you from bringing in your soul mate relationship. It doesn't mean that your Twin Flame is coming NOW, but it means you are beginning the work of releasing all the blockages to a healthy, whole relationship. It is important work, unvalued in this society, but Spirit doesn't let us off easily.

So, the Nine of Cups is about your wishes, and your indulgences and ultimately, your emotional wants, and stating them. As the Nine of Cups crosses his solar plexus, this card signals that this work isn't physical, or from your will center. This is turning things over to your Higher Self, your guides, Spirit, God by tapping into your intuition, your emotional being, your Divine Feminine. Isn't that ironic? This card is NOT about your will, even though it is about your wishes. It is being receptive to your own desires, needs, and wants, rather than pushing forward into a space where your ego and superficial desires rule your will. Upper chakra work, really, or maybe it is better put--the work of Nine of Cups is an inside job. It is hard work to tap into your Intuitive side and really allow Spirit to guide your wishes to your Highest Good. My wishes are often very simple these days--Your will, not mine, be done. Because my will gets me into trouble. It is about me having an extra piece of cake, or chasing the wrong handsome partner after the other, or driving fast because I am late, or taking a job that pays a ton of money, but leaves me spent with no time for self-care.

In the Reversed position, the Nine of Cups can signal overindulgence in material things, carnal delights and the sensual pleasures of eating too much, drinking too much, smoking too much, sexing too much...think Gluttony and Greed. Like I said, the Nine of Cups is a blessing anywhere in your reading, so this reversed thing really is a reminder to watch it. Don't overindulge, just enjoy your life, and may you wish for what you already have. 

 

Tarot of the Week-King of Wands

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun” ― Pablo Picasso

We are residing squarely in the Court Cards these last few Tarots of the Week, so let's just get to it. As always, you might find this post helpful which discusses the role of Court Cards in a reading. Visiting us today is the King of Wands--the red-headed King of Fire. His persona is one of passion, creativity, ambition. The Kings have a certain je ne sai quois, but you know it when you feel it. Or perhaps it is a wisdom, a grasping of their strengths and weakness, a domination over their suit's attributes. And boy, do those Wands benefit from that wisdom and domination.

The Wands are the sign of Fire--passionate, creative, sexual, dynamic. Fire people often have fits of creativity, but also fits of anger, passion, rage, and self-absorption. With the Wands more than any other suit, ego and confidence are vital allies for their work. They direct their ego for their benefit. We often demonize the ego, but when directed into our creativity, it can often be our most prized ally. Wands often delight in the competition as much as the outcome. The Wands are the ones in front of the group--leading, teaching, performing and entertaining. They are the innovators, and creators. The Knight's passion often overwhelms those around him. He is intense, passionate, sexual, angry.

But the King's fire has tempered itself into a small, hot flame in his heart. He holds back from the bonfire that consumes everyone in its vicinity. He knows how to work with his own passion. He has matured, and this is crucial to understanding the way this King works in readings (or any King). He has learned the lessons of his suit. He no longer falls into the bait of his ego wanting to show all he knows, or goading others into a fight, or rushing into an ill-fated relationship. He has lost the insecurity he may have felt, and really believes in his own power and creative possibility. There is a level of mastery to his passion that comes through beautifully. 

Because he has reached some level of achievement, he also redirects his passions to Others. This is key for understanding the King of Wands. If the Knight and Page are ego-driven, the King has learned some of the lesson of the ego. (All Wands are still prone to self-absorption on some level.) He has achieved what he wants. He is satisfied in his ego, and moves outward, ready to help others. New enterprises and experiences still excite this King, so he is always searching for a new passion. You might find these people obsessive over a hobby or pet cause. This King might be leading a humanitarian cause or dedicating time and money to an organization he believes in. But again, this comes after his own success.

In general, this King is charming, dynamic, alluring. He often reeks of success and accomplishment. With all Wands people, he takes life by the horns, so to speak. He feels the sensual pleasures are to be had here, life is to be lived. He is a generous person, and often warm and affectionate, and honest. His honesty can sometimes sting, but you always know where you stand. He tends to be attracted to dynamic, creative people too, so you often know where you stand. This King is a wonderful friend and terrific ally, unless he is reversed, then watch yourself.

The Reversed King of Wands often has not achieved all he believes he deserves. It often brings an underlying resentment with the world. He can be vengeful, violent, often angry, biting. Think of how fire licks up at others, and this is how this King often behaves to people who cross him. He is quite often arrogant. In fact, arrogance might be his most defining characteristic. He is someone who disowns others who do not adhere to his strict ideas of the how his world should run. He can be punishing and severe to those around him. If you pull a reversed King of Wands about yourself, it is important to ask yourself how you are managing your ego. This can be an indication that you are being self-absorbed, arrogant or vindictive. Tarot challenges us to look at the way we are handling our passions and if they are becoming obsessions and if we are making things all about ourselves.

Of course, most people are both some strengths and some weaknesses, and we often have to look at these Court Cards as a combination of both. The Reversed often comes up about another person when we are seeing or interacting with their Shadow attributes rather than their full Highest Selves, and the Upright when we are allied with them. This King of Wands can also indicate a mature man, and by mature, I mean a man over 35 or who has achieved some sort of goal he set for himself. It can also be a woman. Remember the Kings are about wisdom and maturity of the suit's attributes, and that is a genderless idea. King of Wands can be the Astrological suits of Aries, Leo or Sagittarius. Or they can represent red-haired folk, though this is mutable. Let me know what you think below.  

tarot of the week--page of cups

“The young habitually mistake lust for love, they're infested with idealism of all kinds.” ― Margaret Atwood

Ah, the young and idealistic! We venture into the week holding hands with the young Page of Cups. You can get no more idealistic than this Page. For a quick reminder of the Court Cards and their role in the Tarot, this piece explains each of their roles in the Shakespearean drama of the Tarot.

Pages, just for a brief reflection, are the youngest of the Tarot. They often deal with the children in our lives, or the, ahem, young at heart. (You can also call them eternally immature!) They are also the messengers of the Tarot and often come when one is receiving messages around the suit's attributes. The Page holds all the energy of the Cups, the suit of Water. So, we are talking emotions, art, love, relationships, creativity, romance. We see the young Page in his fancy outfit with spring flowers adorning his tunic. This represents a new beginning, as Pages often herald. It is our own feelings and perceptions of ourselves as neophytes, apprentices, or newbies in some arena. In the case of the Page of Cups, this might mean feeling those new pangs of young love. Young, either in age or time. In this way, you might find yourself pulling a Page of Cups when you have left a long-term relationship and are beginning to date again, but feeling like it is your first time dating. Pages have to be seen in the realm of perception as much as reality, if that makes sense.

This Page is the high school first love personified. There is obsession at times, mistakes, goofiness, game playing, but it is always sincere. He flirts (you can pull this if there is an exciting flirtation going on rather than a full-blown romance.) He writes poetry, builds monuments to his love, serenades, but leaves when the emotions get too deep. The Cups often swirl around romance and love questions, so he often has that reputation. But the Cups also deal with emotions, so one can pull this card when one is dealing with new emotions, or a new way of relating to his own emotions. Maybe he is trying to set new boundaries, or communicate in a more authentic way. Maybe the Seeker is beginning to see a therapist and uncover and name her emotions in a new way. 

Cups are also the psychic and spiritual suit, so sometimes this card comes when one is beginning their psychic or spiritual journey. We can see this represented in the fish in the the chalice. Because of the association with messages and the messenger, this card can indicate that the Seeker has received or will receive an inspirational message of some kind. Depending on the cards around this one, this can come through sleep (think dream cards like the Two of Swords, Nine of Swords, the Star or the Moon.) The idea of a new beginning can also come with the Page of Cups, but this would be a new creative idea or medium, like taking guitar lessons, or creative journaling when one has been a painter. 

Pages represent people in our life as well. Pages often come to represent children or younger people for the Seeker. Again, this can be a immature person of any age. The idea is that they feel young. Page of Cups are people under the astrological signs of Pisces, Cancer or Scorpio. They are romantic types, often dreamers. They day dream and stare off into space. They create love and poetry. They are charming and magnetic, often connecting with many people emotionally. They are often highly sensitive, imaginative, loving, affectionate, kind, and intuitive. Young empaths can be described as Page of Cups-ish. They often need external discipline to thrive, because they aren't quite built with that kind of stick-to-it-ness. In the reversed position, we really see this play out, as Pages of Cups can jump from one thing to another, never really finishing anything. Reversed, they often have discipline problems, and can escape reality all together through overindulgence in alcohol, drugs, eating, gambling, sex and any escapist techniques. Reversed, they can often be recluses, fearing judgment ,as their sensitivity and empathic skills turn against them in some ways. They often struggle with irresponsibility and would rather spend money on travel than something boring like rent. In this way, they can often become demanding and entitled, feeling expectant that others take care of them so they can pursue their own passions. Again, this is the reversed view of this Page.

In general, though, the Page of Cups is heart-centered, and sincere, artistic and romantic. What do you think of this Page? How do you use it in your readings? Let me know in the comments!

tarot of the week--three of pentacles

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it” ― Gautama Buddha

There is another quote that pops into mind when I think of the Three of Pentacles--"Choose a job you love, and you never work a day in your life." We walk back into the world of career, family and home with the Three of Pentacles. Pentacles deal with the material--things, work, home, family, career, money. But each Pentacle has its own, shall we say, particular flavor. The Threes are about growth and expansion. And this Three holds amazing promise in it.

We greet the Three of Pentacles with three people--the artisan, the priest and the benefactor. The artisan creates the beautiful pentacle carvings on the walls of the church or monastery, while the monk and benefactor look on. They discuss his work, looking over his plans. This three deals with career in a meaty, substantial way. It brings together the Two's balance and the One's potential into a soul path. And this is what the Three is about. He is an artist, and artisan, but he is not whimsical in the slightest. He is making plans, watching them come to fruition. 

There are never mistakes in the Tarot, and the backdrop of the church and monastery is important. His work, though physical and demanding, is sacred. He is blessed by the priest/monk/abbot, and he is rewarded financially by the benefactor. These three come together for one goal--a sanctuary. This relationship is mutually beneficial to all three of the participants. There is no charity, so to speak. These are people working hard to serve the Divine, the people and each other.

This card certainly harkens to the Empress III in the Major Arcana, ripe with creativity and innovation. Yet it holds its own personality. It is one of beautiful support on your path. It holds new levels of gratification, and the promise of spiritual, creative and financial fulfillment. I often pull this card for people who have figured out and are working their soul purpose. Not simply as a hobby, or volunteer basis, but someone getting paid for work they feel is their soul path. They have all three pillars of career fulfillment--creativity, spiritual growth and financial comfort. This card comes when someone is on their path, or working their path. There also is an implicit understanding that this fulfillment comes with partners--the monk and benefactor. We do not work in a vacuum and part of the fulfillment comes with the human connection element.

There are no "gifts" in this card. The Artisan works and worked damn hard to get to the point that he is trusted with the heart of the Church. He has poured his own heart and soul into his passion and craft. And it shows in every thing he does. As you can see, he doesn't even put down his tools to talk to his benefactor and priest. He continues working. Hard work blesses this artisan. He has worked hard to hone his craft and become confident in his expertise.

There is a strong creative side to the Three of Pentacles. This is the Card of the Artisan after all, but it can really cover any path where you feel creative in some way. I use that word often in this blog. Most often this is associated with the traditional arts--music, painting, writing, sculpture, dance, etc...but I do not mean to imply that when I say creative. I mean, how do you approach your work? How do you approach life? Creativity is a way of being, rather than a traditional artsy fartsy endeavor. Think of how you approach problems on the job. Are you working your creative muscle there?

This card comes when the Seeker becomes an expert, or competent in their chosen field. They are drawing clients and customers, and on the path of financial stability and professional achievement. It can indicate getting a degree or finishing training in some way and moving to the level of artisan, rather than apprentice. It also means that the Seeker is receiving some financial and spiritual fulfillment in their chosen career. They feel that their work is important and helping others. They are in service. This can be a cheerful Starbucks worker who smiles at each customer, to a social worker who helps destitute children. Spirit does not necessarily distinguish between these two types of service. They are equally important.

Reversed, this card can indicate someone is not working up to their potential. Or rather they have all the talent, but none of the hard work and drive to push their potential into a true career. They may be whining about how people won't buy from them, or hire them, but the truth is that they themselves are not working hard enough. It can also indicate that they are still apprentices and needing more direction in their career. The lack here is of workmanship, drive and hard work. These are the driving forces that make the Upright Three of Pentacles successful. This card also may be pulled when the Seeker is feeling unfulfilled in their work, and the streams of income are beginning to dry up. This is Spirit's way of pushing that person to make some major changes in their outlook and career.

As always, I'd love to hear your take on the Three of Pentacles, and any Tarot card I cover here. I am thinking about offering some on-line courses for Tarot in the upcoming months. If you are interested, please let me know by sending me an email at themoonandstone@gmail.com.

tarot of the week--the star

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

We welcome October with a gift from the Major Arcana and Spirit--the Star. It is indeed a blessed card, one of beautiful images and messages. Here kneels Mother Earth, or perhaps, as Marcia Masino envisions her, the goddess Isis Urania. I think she might be the goddess Astraea, the goddess of the Cosmos. She symbolizes justice, innocence, and purity, and she fled Earth because of our human wickedness. The celestial virgin is said to return  to bring with her Utopia, peace and enlightenment. This falls in line with the promises of the Star, which gives us hope of a new dawn.

The Star is number XVII of the Major Arcana, and she follows the Tower. After the demolition of all we hold dear, she balances with two jugs of water, one to feed and nurture Earth, and another to replenish the Spirit. She is also anointing, blessing, bestowing beautiful gifts to the recipient of this card. Of course, water has many meanings in the Tarot--it is a psychic symbol, one of emotions, one of love. The Star's associations with water are hard to miss. The Star exists in the psyche. For she is the ultimate hope, after the Tower, that things can be righted. Her pouring water into water shows her ability to transmute energies from death and destruction to rebirth and blossoming of the soul.

The goddess is crowned with eight stars in the sky. Eight is the number here, as XVII is numerologically an Eight. (1+0+5+2=8). Eights are about power and success, often from a wellspring of self-healing and self-knowledge. So much of what the Star represents is quite esoteric. It is hope. It is optimism. It is the belief in one's own healing power. It is about self-acceptance. It is about surrendering to win. This is what the step from the Tower to the Star means after all. That we step from absolute powerlessness into our own healing power. The Tower is about ego and bravado and building false protection against knowing ourselves and admitting our weaknesses. We are not in control, the Tower reminds us. But the Star says, you are only in control of your own healing. Your own knowledge. Your own humility.

There is no mistake that seven stars are small and one large star rises in the center. For these stars represent the chakra system, and seeking our own healing. The huge star in the middle is our connection to the Divine. The Soul Star chakra, it is called, the one that connects us directly with our guides, angels and the Divine. Many Tarot readers think the Star is a weak card, one of only self-belief, but in that way, I believe it is a powerful card. One of healing and self-work. The work of the Star begins with meditation. Visualizations are important and chakra balancing work is vital. Seek it through energy healing, Reiki, crystal healing and other modalities that directly work with the chakra system to help realign, balance, and facilitate healing. 

What we find in the Star is the steps toward faith. I love this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. For often we come to the Star's wisdom after a dark time, when we are recognizing that our way, our shadow selves, are running the show. But this is not a place of despair, it is a starting point of enlightenment, so grab hold and begin the hard work of self-healing. Reversed, the Star indicates the recognition of your own healing needs to be grasped. It often tells of blockages in the chakras, and blockages to success and power. We sometimes see it reversed when someone is going through a depression and cannot manifest any hope. Again, chakra balancing and healing work is often prescribed for this time. 

tarot of the week--king of swords

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Ah, the beautiful court cards. You can read more about them right here. And none more regal than the King of Swords. Let's take in his elegance for a moment, shall we?

The King of Swords rules the element of Air. We often use "air" as an insult, such as calling someone an airhead, or saying they're airy fairy, but the element of Air rules the mind and anything associated with the mind, logic, rationale, and of course communication. We whisper and scream and pass lots of hot AIR between us. The Swords rule the throat chakra (and the third eye and crown to some extent.) Swords, particularly the King, love discussions, even arguments and debates, on topics of global topics, political situations, war, philosophy and humanitarian interests. He is fair, and enjoys listening as well as talking. He believes in the power of language and discussion. 

This King of Swords is twenty feet tall, no? He stands talls, strong, decisive. We can tell that simply by his stance and readiness with his sword. He has been through hardships, and has fought many battles--both of the wits and of the physical. This has given him wisdom and discernment as his key features. He is an excellent judge of character and can get himself out of sticky situations often without using his sword at all. Simply reading people and speaking. He catalogues people, studies them as a scientist. He knows the brains of men. This is where the throat comes in so strongly for Swords, for often it is the penchant for being beautifully articulate and diplomatic that wins their battles. We see this contrasted in the Knight, who often speeds off into battle before all the facts are in.

What is it about this King that is so alluring? Well, as with all court cards, when you pull the King of Swords in a reading, first we must determine if this is your energy or another person's energy. Swords rule the astrological signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. The King of Swords tends to be someone in a job like lawyer, doctor, judge, mediator, diplomat, humanitarian or decision maker of some kind. He is determined, judicious, intellectual, and incredibly articulate. When this King is upright, he is honest,  diplomatic, fair. More often than not, he is a professional. He tends to play his cards close to his chest emotionally.

Emotions are not where any of the Swords like to hang out and dissect. He'd much rather talk politics of some far away land, than his own emotional state. Swords don't trust their emotions, and tend to rely on their mind above any feelings. And yet your mind is often guided by its own agenda.  This is why the Swords tend to be such difficult cards in the Tarot. They are about perception. Often perception above reality. They teach the lesson that our own logic can betray us easily if we aren't practicing due diligence with our facts. Swords also tend to be their own Gods, placing self-reliance and self-will over trusting in God. The King has learned this lesson the hard way many times. I imagine him going through his Eight of Swords prison, Nine of Swords nights, and Ten of Sword transformation. You win an argument with a Sword by presenting some cold stone facts. It is important to remember that Kings represent the suits best attributes in a human, so we also must imagine that they have faced their own demons with their suit.

This is what arises with the reversed King--the demons of Swords. They tend to be unfair, prejudiced, malicious. and unkind. They demand loyalty and punish anyone who they perceive to have crossed them. Reversed Kings of Swords seek revenge, and often completely crush their opponent. It is not simply about winning for them, they want to ruthlessly punish anyone who opposes their logic. They turn their articulation into manipulation and often hold resentments for years. They embody that Klingon saying that revenge is a dish best served cold. They never forget a slight, the reversed King of Sword. The logic turns cold, icy. Woe is the person who crosses a reversed King of Sword with some power behind their anger. He can be brutal somewhat sadistic. We often see this card reversed with an abusive partner--male or female. This is the card of the controlling, punishing abuser. 

As with most cards, when the Reversed appears, you have to decide to what level this has occurred. Most of us aren't fully upright or reversed, are we? We tend to have some wonderful qualities and things to work on. King of Swords is no different. We often see one part of this reversed aspect in any upright person. We can see their vengeful attitudes, or their ability to manipulate with their words. This is evident in how we see lawyers, right? They study the law intensely for years, learning to emotionally detach and see both sides of an argument. Yet they have a reputation for lying. But that isn't fair, is it? Their job is to argue one side of an argument to win whether they emotionally agree with it or not. This is the issue with perception. It twists the truth.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and as always, I am grateful to share some Tarot wisdom. I'm also thinking of doing a Tarot course via the internets based on my in-person work. If you think you might be interested in this, please send me an email at themoonandstone@gmail.com.

tarot of the week--six of cups

Nostalgia ain't what is used to be. --Old Smart Ass saying.

Or maybe it was something I came up with...feels like I heard it somewhere before, and I am missing those days. We are back in the Tarot saddle this week with the Six of Cups. By all rights, it is a cute, endearing card for most people. And it is for Tarot readers too. To refresh your memory on Cups and Sixes as groups. Cups deal with emotions. They are the water element of the Tarot, and often cover topics around how we feel, emote, relate to other people. The Sixes are about balance, as all even cards are to one extent or the other, but the sixes are about restoring balancing after upheaval. 

What we see in the Six of Cups is two children, one male and one female, standing in what looks like a village square. He has six cups each filled with flowers and he is handing one to a little girl. The interpretations of this card are so wildly varied that I often get whiplash reading them, so let's just begin with the clear cut interpretation, then delve a little deeper. When we talk about restoring balance after an upheaval, often this card comes to represent returning to a place of childlike enthusiasm after facing hard times. At work, we may relate to this experience of being bogged down with daily busy work, chores, responsibilities, and forgetting our excitement at being a teacher, or lawyer, for example, with all the ideals we once had going into our chosen profession. This card reminds us or validates for us, that we are remembering our ideals, the place we once held sacred for us. 

Childhood's harmony, puppy love and happiness are all here in spades. I often pull this card in questions about marriage when couples are re-falling in love, or rediscovering that part of their partner that made them fall deeply in love to begin with. It can come on special days like anniversaries or birthdays. Love and family are strong in this card, so I often go there with general readings, than work or hobbies. This can also be about returning to the home or family, or country of origin. Sometimes when we return home to care for an elderly or ailing parent, or another sibling. So much of this card is about finding that joy of childhood again, and it is often a joyous, positive card to get. 

HOWEVER, some Tarot readers see something completely different in the Six of Cups. Beth Owl's Daughter points out the seemingly off kilter perspective of this card. The children seem like tiny adults, and the cups are larger in proportion to the surroundings and children than other cups. So, what to make of that? For me, I think it is so perceptive and interesting this take. Because nostalgia and memory are such fickle friends. They remember things larger, more exaggerated, better even. The Good Old Days are often that good when we really break it down, but they are part of the larger greener grass syndrome some of us face. Particularly watery signs get stuck in a place that romanticizes the past. There is no mistake that this Six harkens to the Major arcana Six of the Lovers. Is this a little version of the Lovers? Or is it a perversion of the Lovers? Remembering a happy time that was just a wee bit off, like a dream, or a fantasy of happy days.

All this is also predicated on the assumption that you had a happy past. Many people have traumatic childhoods filled with scenes of flower giving and perfect Sunday school outfits hiding bruises and fighting. The Six of Cups is mysterious indeed, and we have to be curious when we pull this for a client. What of your childhood? Was it distorted? Was there a facade of normalcy, but something sinister underneath? What about the early days of your relationship? Perhaps you had foreshadowing of current issues.

Reversed, this card asks  you to let go of the past and the romanticization of the early days. It can indicate a rigidity in one's beliefs and an unwillingness to move forward. Also, some of the latter points I brought up often arise in the reversed  presentation of this card.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I'm excited to be readying for my Introduction to Tarot class this evening at Alta View Wellness Center in Harrisburg. We have room for more, so call to get in at 717-221-0133.

tarot of the week--two of pentacles

“Juggling is an illusion. ... In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession. ... It is actually task switching.” ― Gary Keller

Okay, Spirit, three Pentacles in three weeks time? We are in the sign of Virgo, which is one of the Earth signs, and life gets very Earthy in September, no? Back to school, work, summer vacations end, abundance reigns. These Pentacles deal with our material issues, and by that I don't always mean our obsession with material things, but rather our earthly concerns--home, career, money, family. Twos concern us with balance. When you look at the numerology of the Tarot's Minor Arcana, you can see that most of the even cards deal with balance of some kind. Twos have that specific quality of yin-yang balance (dark/light, male/female), duality, partnerships, choice. Often, the twos come with romantic partnerships, or business partnerships as their underlying theme. That does not always necessarily hold true, but often this balance is about a relationship.

The Two of Pentacles shows a man juggling two Pentacles, and dancing, perhaps. The Leminscate curves around both Pentacles, suggesting something spiritual about these two pentacles. We don't know where he is standing--either the shore, or on a boat itself, but we see the turbulent sea behind him, and ships being tossed around. One of my favorite Tarot writers and teachers talks about this as one of Pamela Colman's stage cards; wherein, the figure appears to be on stage. Is he an actor, or is this life? Contemplating that differentiation fascinates me, and just brings another level to the card interpretation all together. For me, I have always seen this man on a boat, while other boats are tossing and turning in the background, and presumably the boat that is supposed to be his solid, stable ground is also nauseously bouncing over the waves. But not this man, he is balanced, dancing with the ups and downs, appearing graceful in the process.

This card appears to me when someone faces work-life balance issues--a working mother, a single parent, or a workaholic facing increasing pressure from a partner to dial back work pressures. There is nothing about this figure that suggests struggle, so we must remember that this juggling is done with panache and grace. Despite the turbulent seas, the figure is balanced, and in control. There are two possessions, (and for the sake of argument, let's call his family a possession) he is balancing. Two things of great importance that he is juggling. The quote I chose today is one I feel bears repeating--when we are juggling, we give the illusion of balancing both balls in some magical state, but the truth is, we are taking care of two tasks equally well.

Timing here is key. He catches, he throws, and within that pattern, the infinity symbol, or leminscate, holds them in perfect balance. Let's talk about the leminscate. We see this in a number of cards--the Magician, Strength, the World, and the Two of Pentacles. Beyond its use in mathematics and geometry, the infinity symbol captures that essence of the unimaginably large, the infinite, the cosmos, and further, God, or the Creator, or perhaps that which is too big to contemplate. In this way, the connection of the Leminscate in the Tarot is that connection to the Divine wisdom.

The infinite understanding and endless Love of a Higher Power in implicit in the understanding of God in this way--infinite love, compassion, knowing, kindness, power. When you turn your will over, or rather surrender your power to the Divine will, you ironically tap into that infinite power. It gives you power. In most Tarot cards, the Leminscate sits that the head of the figure on the card--the Magician and the Strength--showing their crown chakra connected to the infinite. In the Two, the Leminscate sits around the body, illuminating the hand nadis, and the heart. I do not think this is an accident, as finding our balance between our career and financial concerns and those of our loved ones, or maybe it is more helpful to think of it as connecting to your Soul Path, opens us to that unconditional Divine love we so desperately seek. It also gives weight to the concerns of the Two of Pentacles, Sure we can balance and juggle, but when we are committed to our Spiritual Path, the juggling becomes part of our spiritual practice. I believe the Leminscate in this case is giving some weight to this work of ours, and reminding us to balance it with our little people, partners, four-legged familiars, and our downtime with our career and the way we make money, we become more abundant, not less. This is incredibly important for our spiritual work--to find a place to rejuvenate and take care of the self.

Marcia Masino takes a different approach to the Leminscate. Her interpretation is that the Infinity symbol represents the fact that change is inevitable and ultimately out of our hands. The more flexible we can be, the better our outlook on life will be. I agree only that flexibility is a deep concern with this card. How are you shifting with the ebbs and flows of your life? How are the demands weighing on you, lifting you? How flexible can you be? Some situation in which this two appears is the Seeker is holding two jobs, starting a new business while keeping a full time other job, is a single parent, or balancing work-life issues, struggling to balance a new relationship with a demanding career. 

In the reversed, the Pentacles are dropped and the Seeker feels like a failure in this pursuit of balance. To right the card, the Seeker is advised to find a way to become more flexible, or to opt out of the balance all together. Choose one or the other. Self-care, doing your best to release all the excess demands that are not serving the Seeker's highest good and goals. These are some practical ways to release and right the Two of Pentacles.

As always, I appreciate your comments and insights into the Tarot. So share them below.

tarot of the week--five of pentacles

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace--only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us." --Anne Lamott

I choose my Tarot of the Week randomly, so it is absolutely fascinating to follow last week's Four of Pentacles with the Five this week, because there is an arc in the Pentacles that is fascinating and intricate. Last week's Four of Pentacles showed a rich man hoarding his wealth, closing his heart chakra to others, his earth star chakra to Mother Earth and the connections we feel to all living beings, and the Crown Chakra off to the Divine. The Four of Pentacles is often called the Miser card, and the Five is called the Poverty card, but far more than just poverty is happening in this scene.

e see two people, a man and woman, in rags. Walking through the snow barefoot, sick, injured. They are in a desperate place. And behind them a stained glass window shines with Five Pentacles, forming an anchor. Around the anchor are grapes and leaves, symbols of fertility and abundance. Their plight is desperate and they are clearly destitute, suffering, in need. 

So much can be said about these two. One opinion I have come to with this card is that these two are a couple, and that will come into play in a bit. When I say there is an arc in the Pentacles, what I mean is that the themes build and morph into important lessons around money, possessions, and family. We start with the Ace, which is the divine financial push, the new beginning with money. In the Two, you see the balance of home and career, money and spirituality, come into the equation. The Three deals with working hard, finding investors and following your dream. The Four deals with achieving financial success and becoming possessive, closed off and filled with fear of losing the money. The Five is the fear realized. This is the rock bottom.

What does that mean? I love J.K. Rowling's quite--Rock Bottom is the solid foundation in which I built my life. And this is the opportunity that the Five offers to its recipient.  ives in the Tarot have a reputation as being rather, ahem, challenging. They are cards of upheaval, action, and change. But with everything in the Tarot, the good can hinder and the bad opens the door to real transformation and spiritual growth. It is not epitomized more clearly than in the Five of Pentacles. The illumination in this card, the anchor here, is the church. It will give these people a place to stay, some bread, heal their wounds. But their largest wounds are their spiritual wounds, and this card acknowledges this spiritual loss. 

I don't think it is any mystery why this card comes after the Miser card. Tarot pushes us toward a spiritual life. We serve, love, give, purify, and then realize. Grace in given in each of the Aces. We see it symbolized in this hand coming from the sky, handing us the gifts of that suit. As we travel through the suit, we squander it. Our ego becomes enmeshed in it, around it, because of it. These are the human lessons we are here to learn. Tarot consistently and gently reminds you to refocus on the spiritual. If we lose the spiritual, we lose the gift. 

This card comes when we face sickness, financial worries, addiction, loss, injury and other suffering that befalls us. If we recently lost a job or money stream, this can appear as the fear of poverty. It is a card of Lack. Lack of food. Lack of health. Lack of Job. I said earlier that we have to think of these two as a couple, because the idea of sickness and in health, richer or poorer, are very strong undertones here. This can be something affecting you or your partner, or your children. The most important part of this loss, as I said earlier, is the spiritual loss. So, this card asks you to reprioritize. Find your spiritual center. Where is the place that calms you? What spiritual teacher, what church or spiritual center? What is the prayer, the thought, the meditation? Go to it. Recenter. While your injuries will take time to heal, you can soothe the spiritual pain first.

You may pull this card if you are ready to leave your marriage because of finances or sickness. Or if you have left a marriage and holding onto guilt because of this outdated idea. It is a reminder that this is playing into your subconscious. Tarot doesn't make any judgments about that, it just reminds you of these vows and how they are playing in your life.

Whatever your fears are with the Poverty card, it is important to remember that this card offers so much promise and optimism. Spirit is reminding you of your spiritual center, and the attachments you have to material wealth. Spirit wants to shelter you, care for you, heal you, and if you humble yourself before Spirit, the fear will leave, the feeling of lack will also leave. Reversed, this card is a validation of the hardships and suffering you once faced and congratulating you on finding your spiritual center again.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and happy reading, loves.

 

tarot of the week--four of pentacles

“Getting money is not all a man's business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.” ― Samuel Johnson

Whenever we delve into the world of Pentacles, we deal with money, home, family, security--the earthly concerns. The Four comes on the heels of the Three of Pentacles, a card of the artisan. Fours are about stability, the kind of balance that doesn't teeter, or get thrown off its legs easily. Think four legs of a table.

Yet the Four of Pentacles shows the misuse of that stability. A king is shown feet on two pentacles, holding one over his heart and one over his crown (both literal and physical). A successful city stands in the background, showing his success. But the sky is decidedly grey, and the king, wrapped in red (the color of material success), shows a frown, and a clinging to his coins.

When I said this Four comes on the heels of the Three, we see this often in the Tarot--a journey through cards. We can often learn a great deal about the card by looking at what comes before and what follows the card. A fellow works hard at his craft, and then achieves. The three shows an artisan who has a benefactor and a priest as his supporter, and so he has this nod from the Divine and from the earthly concerns. In the Four, we see someone decidedly rich and affluent. He has achieved his financial desires, but he clings tightly to his money, so tightly, it is blocking three important chakras: his heart, his crown, or his connection to the Divine, and his earth start, or his connection to the earth.

He has achieved, but this is not what Spirit wants for your abundance. Abundance thinking dictates that we share, invest, donate to achieve more. But this man's thinking limits his achieving more money. He has cut himself off from more abundance, guidance, connection. This is all the man will get, or so he fears, so he holds on tightly. Too tightly to feel much of anything but his cold coins. This card comes when we cling too tightly to something--money, resources, people, food, a lucrative, but soul-sucking job, a relationship or person. This card is often called the Miser card. And right it should, this man is not generous. His posture screams, "MINE!"

One thing to clarify is that this man is NOT the King of Pentacles, who often is defined by his generosity. This is the false King. He is playing king, leader. His need for control has made him King of his own warped domain. But he is a miser, a rich man without the heart to make changes in the world around him. The key words of this card are Possession, Control, and Blocking. The need to possess, the need to control and the active blocking of change.

When someone pulls this card, I ask them what they are afraid to lose, not to what they are clinging too tightly. This comes, most often, by a need to control a situation. Though it looks like money, and that can certainly be part of this Fours aspect, the need for control often comes in other forms, like the need to control another person. These coins can be replaced for anything--a person, a house, a job, co-workers. Tarot's underlying themes arise time after time, particularly the Tarot's belief about control, which is that you ain't got none. So, anytime control comes up as a desire of the ego, Tarot clicks its tongue, "Let me know how that works out for you, 'mkay?" And this is the lesson of this card, when our ego tries to control something or someone, we are blocked from the sunshine of the Spirit. We are blocked from other people. We are blocked from Mother Earth. We are blocked from growth and change and all that we need to flourish as spiritual beings.

Now, there are some definite times that this card arises--when there are estates or money issues within a family, this card sometimes arises as an acknowledgement of the struggle. In this case, the advice of the card is to loosen your grip on the estate, and allow Spirit to guide. The phrase, Would you rather be happy or right? comes to mind.  Other times it comes when someone is jealous or possessive about the Seeker, or the Seeker is those things in a relationship. Look at cards around this card. Are you seeing the Emperor or Chariot? Often this is a male dominance situation, or an abusive possession.  Ten of Pentacles reinforces the estate or will reading. Inner family conflict with these two cards together.

Reversed Four of Pentacles is simply this feeling, but less intense. Perhaps a lessening, or a growing. So you may be noticing yourself getting more possessive, and clinging from fear to something,and it is Spirit's way of warning you, "Careful, love,  you are going to upright this card any day." Or you may have noticed it yourself and are making changes. Spirit often nods or validates our struggles.

What do you think? What does the Four mean to you? Share in our comment section!

tarot of the week--judgement

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

We arrive again in the Major Arcana, and the penultimate card, actually, of the Major Arcana--Judgment. Here the dead stand in their tombs and caskets, accepting the horn of Archangel Gabriel as they call their souls home. It is a celebration of acceptance. Their caskets float on a sea and the sky is clear and bright. Most of us recognize this scene--it is Judgement day, and the dead are risen. But Tarot is decidedly non-punishing, and certainly does not foretell death or resurrection. So, what is going on here?

The resurrection here is the absence of judgement. All the Dead, not just a select few, are welcomed by the Archangel, the messenger of Good News. This is the absence of judgement, rather than the doling out of punishment and acceptance. I always felt this card was about Divine Love at its core, and the ways in which we project our own fears and anxieties onto our religions. The mystical Tarot releases all that, and asks you to as well. You have been through the Fool's Journey, walking the lessons of the Fool through the Major Arcana. You have met the Magician and the Priestess,Mother and Father, the Pope and the Lovers, and the Chariot, Strength and the Hermit. You have spun the Wheel of Fortune then met Justice, the Gallows and Death. Temperance balanced you, and the Devil swayed you to your base needs, and the Tower brought them down. The Moon, the Stars and the Sun introduced you to the shadow and light selves. And here you are, the card before last, meeting judgment. What have you learned?

Release.

This is the core message of the Judgement card. You are your own prison guard, your own torturer, your own judge and jury. Release judgement. Krishnamurti nailed it in his quote above (when doesn't he?) "The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence." He isn't talking about native smarts, he's talking about emotional intelligence. That space inside us that wants to label and judge all of us and all around us. When we release judgement, and get curious (do I harp on that too much?) we transform ourselves. This release isn't simply release of judgment, but fear, anxieties, anger, unforgiveness, arrogance--these are all forms of judgement. We recognize the limitless potential within us when we release this judgement of ourselves and others. What I mean by that is that our own oppression comes from this idea that we can't. We can't draw properly, or we can't take that class, or we can't quit our jobs. We can. This allows the whole you to emerge, and find this triumph within the spirit, mind and body. 

My favorite Tarot writer, Marcia Marsino, talks about the ocean as the collective unconsious in the imagery of the Judgment card, and it reminded me of this Buddhist idea of moksha, or nirvana, or enlightenment. It is like we are each a drop of water, individual and understanding ourselves to be contained within the confines of this drop of water. We see its boundaries, right? But once it falls into the ocean with billions of other drops of water, we don't differentiate ourselves from the whole any longer. We are part of this vast, powerful ocean, and yet we are still a drop of water, but we cannot be extracted as such. Our essence, all we carry in that drop, is now part of the collective. This is what enlightenment is said to be, but Judgment asks you to look beyond the limits of your ego today and see yourself as only part of the whole. Can you see beyond the limits of your ego? 

This idea is some heavy spiritual work, and not exactly the core message for everyone. Down deep, yes, Spirit asks you to see beyond, but on a day to day basis, when I pull this card in the reading, I generally ask the person to release judgment about themselves. This often comes for people going through divorce, or job issues, or wrestling with life choices. Release judgment. I must say it every reading. It is a common theme from Spirit to mankind. Spirit loves you unconditionally, can you love yourself this way?

Judgment may also ask you to use your moral center to make a decision. You may see some cards that indicate this interpretation around you, like a Knight of Swords, or Strength. It may mean standing against others, but you must speak for love, compassion and the universal whole, rather than the individual. 

Reversed indicates a kind of refusal to release judgment, anger, unforgiveness, and the inability to release a person or situation. This can also indicate a fear of change. Remember that the core message of Judgment is release, so think of this as a refusal to release.

As always, I love writing these Tarot columns, certainly, I am coming to the end of the deck in a few months, and when I do, I may begin selecting randomly, or start a new deck. I'd love to plunge more into the Wild Unknown imagery. Let me know which you prefer, and if you didn't see, I'm celebrating my one year anniversary of Moon + Stone. Visit this post to enter the giveaway, and celebrate with me.

For those in the Harrisburg area, I have lined up some classes at Alta View for those interested, I am teaching an Introduction to Tarot workshop for four weeks starting Wednesday, September 17th at 7pm. They will run Wednesday nights from 7p-9pm. On the fifth week, we will open our doors for our student readers to work with the public. We invite our students to invite friends and family to practice on. All reading are on a love donation basis, and we will donate the money to a local charity decided by the class. Shoot me an email if you are interested at themoonandstone@gmail.com, or call Alta View at 717-221-0133. Space is limited. The class costs $125 for the four weeks.

tarot of the week--nine of wands

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” ― Charles Darwin

I always pick my Tarot of the Week card randomly, and have been often surprised at how often is matches my life, and the energy around the people I know. So many people are talking about this defensiveness bubbling up, or feeling solitary, alone, battling, or a feeling of being protective, or on edge. There is a lot going on in the Nine of Wands, and it is not bad in the slightest. This Nine, I have found in my experience in readings, validates this feeling, and helps give a positive view of the next phase of their lives.

Tarot writers often call the Nine of Wands the Defense card. It is easy to see why. The Nine of Wands stands at the ready, head bandaged, leaning on his staff. He is guarded, weary, clearly tired. Without any Tarot knowledge whatsoever we can discern a few things about this lad from the start. He's been through a battle, but not quite through the war yet. His posture is decidedly defensive, but there is positivity throughout this card. The sky is clear blue, the wands are sprouting saplings, symbolizing new growth. All is created for survival here. As Darwin said, "“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” The Nine of Wands has adapted to his circumstances by building a wall of Wands, and standing in a position that has been successful before.

We know the Nines are the numerological equivalent of the end of a cycle. We saw it in the Nine of Pentacles, and the Nine of Swords. But Nines never show a proverbial end with champagne, confetti, and a vacation, rather they show us at the penultimate point, or the point before the end. As Tarot writers often say about this card, you may have won the battle, but the war is not quite over. The Wands are the suit of Fire--creativity, work, passion, enterprise and action. Often this card arrives when work or your creative endeavors are feeling like a battle royale. Sometimes this card comes around reputation and family, but I often find it in my readings around the workplace, and workplace politics. This card shows a man bandaged, acknowledging that he has scars and bruises. This conflict hurts him. Remember scars grow on people who survive, not on the dead. It is a strange way to say something that is supposed to be positive, but the Nine of Wands acknowledges how hard won your successes are. It is often said, the war is not about winning, but about surviving. And in this case, there is a victory in still standing. But we also know more battles are coming. This man is a survivor. His defensiveness has helped him. He is ready or prepared. 

So, in the upright, Spirit reminds you that you should be defensive and ready for another battle. That standing up for yourself is an important aspect of this time. You have gone through a cycle of this, and are preparing for another cycle of it, but this time you are more prepared. If you are reading for someone's health, the Nine of Wands can indicate that the person is strengthening and fighting, and they are victorious about some aspect of a serious health crisis. When I read for chakras, I often see this card as a blocked heart chakra. And I often say to the person that this is a good thing. The heart is a gift you give to people. We must think of our vulnerability as a precious gift we only give to those who deserve it. So, to block the chakras to another can be very protective, and important. We must learn to shield our energies when we encounter someone unworthy of its value.

But this is the issues we encounter in the challenge position, or the reversed position. Is the defensiveness now working against you? We have all met defensive people, and it can be more than off-putting. It raises your own defenses. So, the reversed Nine of Wands tells us that our defensiveness is not longer serving our Highest Good. It also appears for those who are so bruised and scarred from the past, that they are unable to put their defenses down and trust another person. Not just the heart is blocked, but the entire chakra system from chakras 1-4 are blocked. The throat is not, however, which can mean that someone is getting into battle with their words, and no connection to their heart. See how dangerous that can be?

Let me know about your experience with the Nine of Wands, and what you think of these Tarot posts. I cannot believe I have been writing here for a year. Can you? Maybe I need a little blog celebration? Weeeeeee!! 

 

tarot of the week--eight of cups

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.” ― Rumi

This week's Tarot card of the week comes from the suit of Cups. Cups hold the water element, which governs feelings and emotions, love or the lack thereof. The heavy emotions of the Cups bleed into many realms, and it is quite simplistic to just say emotions. Cups govern intuition, artistic pursuits (music, painting, poetry, sculpture), psychic abilities, spiritual pursuits, cycles, ebbs and flows (think the tides). The heart rules over the head with Cups, and thus its issues govern this eternal grappling between logic and emotion.

The Eight of Cups has much going on in its symbolism. We see a man crossing water away from eight cups balanced upon each other. He holds a staff and wears red. He travels toward mountains. In the night sky, a full moon and the waning moon watches him leave. He does not look back or show emotion in the slightest, or if he doesn, we cannot see. He travels onward. 

Eights reign the balance, success and power realms of the Tarot. In the Major Arcana, Strength appears as the Eight Card, showing a woman of infinite wisdom petting a lion, or rather the balance between her emotions and intellect. We see a different kind of balance here, but the same tug of war between what we have and what we desire. Our first indication that balance is out of whack is the placement of the cups in the foreground. We have eight, a balanced, even number, but divided five and three, showing a lack of balance. We need some rearranging for symmetry. Other Tarot writers see this as a missing cup; however you see it, it is about not being balanced, not having all you need for fulfillment. It is no mistake that Pamela Colman Smith chose to present the cups with this imbalance. This is precisely what the man is walking away from. His attempt at balance have failed. He has rearranged the Cups, and cannot find what is missing, or how to balance them. It is the best he can do. Red, symbolizing the material, has not been enough to fulfill him. He wants more. Often this more is emotional, creative, and spiritual. The Cups urge us to that place. So, this man might be leaving his family, or his job, but he is opting for more, and more than likely, it is his soul path. He may have been working a 9a-5p desk job, but he can no longer ignore the fact that he was born to be an artist, or musician. Or his wife and he might have a perfectly civilized relationship, but there has never been a spark of love and intimacy. 

The moon cycles tell us something about his life as well. His life was once full, as the moon was once full, but it is not waning, or decreasing. His material life is not fulfilling him any longer. He is ready for find new purpose, new significance to his pursuits. One thing we have to remember that he is searching for balance. Money often has these bad connotations in spiritual circles, but money is an exchange of energy. The pursuit of the Eight of Cups is to find a balance in the exchange of energy. What he is giving no longer matches what he is getting whether that is with work or his relationship, or a friendship no longer serving his Highest Good. I'm using the pronoun He here, but of course, this is a unisex card. It deals with anyone not fulfilled in some way. 

The Eight of Cups is also a moving card, one of two, that can be pulled to indicate the Seeker might be moving house. (The Six of Wands is the other moving card.) We often say, for both those cards, it is the Moving Card or the Moving On Card. This card often comes after a long grappling on whether this move is right and correct for the Seeker, it is not an insistent or impulsive card. it often comes after much soul searching, it is why the man on the card doesn't have to turn around. He knows exactly what he is leaving and why. When one is ready to move on, this card appears. When this card comes for someone in the Seeker's life, it is important to emphasize that this is not about them, but about the soul searching of the other person. This is a card not to take personally. It is about the individual, not what they are leaving, but what they are walking toward. Mountains always suggest stability--both the situational stability and the stability of the Seeker.

When you pull this card in a romantic question, you can probe deeper. Is the Seeker in a rut? Fulfilled? Thinking about leaving? Is the creative energy stifled? Of course in work situations, the same applies. There is promise here of better horizons if one moves on, so if the Seeker is asking the question if this is the time to move on, then the answer is yes. In the Reversed position, this card indicates enjoying family, friends, parties. it can indicate a new relationship after leaving an emotionally unfulfilling one. It tends to be an extroverted type of card in the Reversed (whereas the upright position suggests solitude for self-contemplation and soul-searching.). There is flirting, fun, dating, new loves and lots of social gatherings. It is the period after moving to moving on and enjoying life again.

Hope you enjoyed this interpretation of the Eight of Cups. Please put any questions in the comment section, or any comments about your interpretation of the Eight of Cups. 

 

tarot of the week--nine of pentacles

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Elegance. Refinement. Restraint. All these qualities appear this week in the Lady of the Nine of Pentacles. But she is far more than her fancy gardens, her estate, and her golden attire. She attained her wealth and good standing.

Let's begin with some of the clues to what is going on in the Nine of Pentacles. Firstly, we know Pentacles rule the roost, so to speak. Pentacles govern career, work, the estate, home and matters of the family. The Nines are cards of completion. We often think of Ten as the end of the Minor Arcana road, but Nines are actually the number of completion (Tens are the number of new beginning after that cycle completion.) So, the Nine is about completion of some kind. We see this in all the Nines, and some Nines are dark, while others are wonderful. The Pentacles and Cups have very abundant completions; whereas the Wands and Swords are about reaching completion because someone is defeated (or in a war of some kind.) This Nine marks abundant attainment. We can see this in the garden m'lady stands in so gracefully. The grapes hang heavy with fruit, but not sloppily. Their cultivation shows much care and hard work. She has trained them on a trellis through thoughtful gardening. The trees stand in the back, also pruned, but stable and steady and mark a symbolic double tower, like the Moon, where she prepares to walk into her next journey. This fertility represents manifestation of her dreams. She has completed a cycle and reaped the fruits of her hard work. 

She stands absolutely gorgeously with a hooded falcon on her arm. It may seem strange that this woman of grace and dignity stands with a predator, trained to hunt and kill, but that is precisely what you are supposed to know about her. She is disciplined and controlled. She has trained her bird and her self in the art of restraint and passion. The Falcon, like other predators featured in the symbolism of the Tarot, shows her Shadow self quite clearly. She works hard, she hunts what she wants. But she doesn't wantonly use this part of her personality. She has trained it, cultivated it much like her grapes. She has earned a fortune and created an estate precisely because she knows when to use her falcon instincts and when to pull back her predatory instincts. Her confidence and self-reliance exudes from every bit of her.

People often remark on her aloneness. This is part of her personality--her independence. This may have defined her attainment, but it does not define her. She is self-reliant, self-assured, and courageous. Others might not see that. Her picture can tell a very different story to an outsider. I've heard many Tarot readers call this woman, a woman of leisure. Or a widow with an inheritance. Or a divorcee with a huge alimony. And perhaps she is now. The Pentacles are below her eyesight now. She doesn't worry about money. She is concerned with the finer things in life now. Concerned, perhaps, isn't the word. Interested is better here. But she is not without money, she has earned this place behind the stone wall. But rest assured, however her money came to her, she worked hard for it.

Birds, particularly this gorgeous one, often represent wisdom, so it would be remiss not to mention her wisdom and self-control again. It makes her intriguing and important. I have seen many interpretations for this card from this card representing stay-at-home mothers or housewives to materialistic, "kept" women to the interpretation I have gave of a self-made woman. I think her abundance, grace and honor keep this card from some of the more insulting or negative interpretations. But she is certainly a woman of fertility and abundance. She wears Gold and Red, both colors of abundance and material wealth.

When I pull this card, I often feel the person is reaping the fruits are their hard work. That hard work cycle is at an end, and they may be entering a new abundant period. Again, this card is just about attainment, achievement and discipline, not necessarily about the next cycle. But it does tell us that these lessons learned in this cycle can be applied to the next cycle easily. I often remind my client to enjoy the fruits are their hard work in some way, and focus on something other than working or money. This is a gift Lady Nine gives us--her hard work affords her this life style. I also think it shows that a new working situation might be upon the person where they are working independently, either as a contractor or business owner. They understand self-sacrifice and are willing to do that for an abundant end. This card is nothing if not a card of measured endeavors. 

Reversed, however, this card is about deprivation, perhaps loss. It can show the opposite of the hardworking, industrial, measured woman, but someone careless with the fertile field they are given to work with. Remember, the field is fertile, but if it is not tended, pruned and worked, it will not produce fruit. This is the message of the reversed Nine of Pentacles. It also shows a lack of wisdom in financial or career moves. A lack of confidence or deferral to someone else might be indicated here. It can also mean that someone's wealth or snobbery is cutting them off from society and the rest of the world. That is the extreme version of that. It can mean that someone is isolating in their home because of fear of their animal or base instincts, or because they feel different than others. This can be indicated for a housewife, or stay-at-home mother who is afraid of her own potential.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and as always, share your insights with me there too. 

tarot of the week-queen of wands

“You have to be burning with 'an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.' If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out.” ― Steve Jobs

As we move through humid Summer here in Pennsylvania, it does not surprise me in the least to pull Queen of Wands. She rules the summer heat and the element of Fire. Court cards in Tarot mirror the Court of the playing cards in some ways--as there is a King and Queen, the Knight (or Jack) is the action and power holder for the element, and the Page is the young messenger of the suit, often representing new beginnings, immature energy, or young people, of course. All the Court Cards represent people in the Seeker's life, or some aspect of the Seeker himself. We often find clues of this around the Court Card in a layout. You can read more about Court Cards in this post. Queens hold a special place in the Court--they are the only women in the Court, so they represent women over the age of 18. (Pages represent all young people, regardless of gender.)

Queen of Wands, as I mentioned above, is the ruler of the Element of Fire. She sits on her throne, holding a sunflower and a staff. A black cat sits at her feet, and lions adorn her throne. She wears gold and her throne is orange. Queen of Wands can be a woman of any fire sign--Aries, Leo or Sagittarius, though she does resonate most with Leo. Her lions give her away. But there is more about this Queen that screams LEO! She sits, legs open, facing you. Her strength and confidence oozing through the card. Leos are traditionally strong, inspiring leaders, and this Queen embodies that leadership. Her face is not unkind, though. She is known for her warmth and kindness. And this is why I loved Steve Jobs's quote--Queen of Wands inspires through her passion, creativity, and belief in her cause.

Fire reigns all creative endeavors--art, poetry, writing, sculpture, pottery, music, acting. Fire also rules the creativity needed to navigate a boring job, or a creative approach to a normal problem. Many of my clients don't resonate with this artistic idea of the Wands, because they are not traditional artists, but they do resonate with doing things at work differently, or taking a creative approach to an ordinary problem. Fire inspires and asserts. And this Queen is no different. Her entire approach is dynamic, sexy, ambitious, courageous and independent. These Queens are often performers, or great in front of an audience. They have a certain fiery charisma that draws other to them. I want to say they are extroverted (most of them think they are to an extent), but the black cat at her feet suggests another aspect of her--observant, quiet and private.

Queens of Wands do not wear their heart on their sleeve, even as they are passionate and dynamic. They protect their vulnerability fiercely, yet they are optimistic and positive women on the outside. These Queens can also be quite career-focused. Again, the posture and stance is important here. She takes charge. Her entire demeanor is more like a King than a traditional Queen. This Queen's independence is important to her, and she will ensure that she does not rely on others without a back-up plan. So, if you are in business with a Queen of Wands, create your own back-up plan. They don't often partner up for long. And they don't respect others who are weak or too vulnerable. They expect you to match their own strength.

So, who is the woman you seeing when you pull a Queen of Wands in a layout?

A woman who is warm, spirited, often ambitious and career driven. She is good at convincing others of her plans, and she can be a wonderful politicker or diplomat. In this way, she gets along with all different types of people. She finds people fascinating in a way. People often agree to her way after she convinces them its their way! She has that uncanny knack for reassuring people and having the utmost confidence in herself as a manifestor. She hones her communication skills through private self-expressive avenues like creative journaling, writing, or artistic endeavors. This is highly private part of her--the reflective, spiritual being that ensures her strength through creative outlets. She lets few in, and is quite protective of that inner circle. She will cut you out of it if you show any disloyalty. This private/public aspect of herself makes her very attractive to others, who want to know more, who want into her private club.  She holds a beautiful air of mystery and intrigue. It can even seem like she has a bit of an entourage, but Queens of Wands enjoy networking and bringing people together, so it is not necessarily for show. She just wants everyone who adores her around her! (And who doesn't?)

The Queen of Wands performs beautifully and lights up on stage. She is creative, resourceful and brave with her work. Often people watch her with envy, because her ease in front of others seems magical. The Queen of Wands oozes sex appeal. She is charismatic, sexual, and highly seductive.  She sometimes uses her seductiveness and charisma as a weapon. She likes healthy competition, and it may be one of the things that other women find difficult about her, particularly in regards to her sexuality. Queen of Wands don't see people as couples or units, they see individuals. This is the aspect they most need for themselves and respect in others--independence. So, they don't always see partnerships as their problem, rather it is the partnered person's problem. Queen of Wands will often set a goal and try to achieve it, including the sexual conquest of others. This shows up most prevalently in the reversed aspect of the Queen of Wands, which I will talk more about below. In relationships, Queen of Wands want to be fired up, so they often like to see every day as a choice to be with their partner, husband or wife. They aren't too keen on obligatory relationships. 

The Queen of Wands I have met often get obsessive about their passions, and make others around them interested too. She has an air of authority, whether she is on the PTA or the Senate. Her confidence can be infectious and she is given leadership roles wherever she lands. But her Sunflower holds the power of the Sun, and links her to that optimism and positive outlook. She is happy and sunny, and often doesn't sweat the small stuff. You don't like her? Ah, well, there are three hundred people in her life who do. She doesn't care. That attitude is part of what makes her so damn attractive!

When you pull a Queen of Wands in a reading about yourself, ask where leadership is called for. Where do you need to infuse some creativity and passion? Where can you embody this Queen energy? How can you boost your confidence? I see the Queen of Wand ruling the solar plexus, so if you want to tap into her energy, focus on the Sun aspects of this dynamic Queen. Solar plexus stones that work beautifully in this way are Sunstone, Citrine, Golden Topaz, Golden Apatite, and Pyrite. My friend Kate recently introduced me to Flat Pyrite Suns, which work beautifully on the Solar Plexus. 

When you pull the Queen of Wands reversed, we are looking at some of the darker aspects of these fiery women. You might have someone in your life who is exploiting some of their Queen of Wands aspects. These are seductive people, who turn their sexuality into their greatest weapon. Their goals reign supreme, often before others. She can be ruthless in her competitiveness. Remember when I said, Queen of Wands don't sweat the small stuff? Well, reversed Queen of Wands are all about the small stuff. They are vengeful, arrogant, self-obsessed, and narcissistic. They can be greedy and selfish and wage small wars against people who stand in their way. They cause small character assassinations through their spread of gossip and storytelling. This is the misuse of creative fire and charisma. And with that passionate obsessiveness they get, if they set you in their scope, they will not stop until you are ruined. 

Much more likely is that you will meet a less severe reversed Queen of Wands. She can be forceful to the point of pushy. Egotistical, she can manipulate and become overly domineering. Taking the leadership role without it being given to her. She's the one dominating the conversation, interrupting others, talking of her own accomplishments. She uses her sexuality to her own ends, and often enters a room with a kind of bravado and attention grabbing need. She is good at twisting the truth to craft arguments to her own end. There isn't that happy feeling to her, but rather a more sinister feeling. One that feels like dark magic. 

In general, Queen of Wands are magical people. Dynamic, creative, fiery, and interesting. They are the scholars on the TED talk, and the leaders of the pack. They adorn beautifully and know how to capture your attention. Match their energy, and you dazzle them. Let me know what you think in the comments.