Position One: What calls me to rise up and become something new?
Knight of Swords
While this poor knight has a lot of negative connotations, in this position I’ll go with a positive one: passion for action in what I believe in. An inner voice within me calls for me to rise up and become something new. Stagnation is not a natural state for me, though depression can make it seem like it at times. If there is change to me made, I’m blazing the trail fueled by my own strong beliefs. Right now, this call is to set long-term plans to set up a tarot business.
Position Two: What can I become?
Ten of Pentacles
This card has really grown on me and become one of my favorites. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Between the Ten of Cups and the Ten of Pentacles, it is the “family” card I can relate to and appreciate the most. I can become stable and comfortable in my own skin, in the world around me. This transformation into someone new with focused purpose is a strongly positive force that can bring me the structured support and warmth of the Ten of Pentacles.
Position Three: How will my life change?
The Hanged Man
I will be able to surrender more often. I’m not always sure what battles are mine to fight and when I need to surrender. By having this inner focus and direction, my life will be more peaceful since I won’t always feel like I’m searching for something I’m missing.
Position Four: How will my change affect others?
Three of Swords
Hopefully I will be able to help people who are experiencing or have experienced some Three of Swords pain and help them find the power within themselves to grow and move beyond this pain. This would be a great privilege to be able to help people.
Position Five: How am I called to answer?
King of Swords
Master the cards (of course, learning will always continue) and be very logical in the setup of my business. Of course, I shouldn’t go overboard and forget about intuition or emotion, but in the initial process of setting everything up, logic and knowledge will be absolutely key to success.
Lots of swords indicate that logic and knowledge are important for this transformation, the Ten of Pentacles speaks to possible success, and the Hanged Man indicates that the transformation may bring inner peace.
This reading called for 1-3 cards for each position. So I decided to use the two decks with my favorite Star cards and to pull one card from each deck per position.
Position One: Hope
Three of Pentacles & Ace of Cups
Teamwork and a new emotional beginning. Perhaps these are good places to pin my hopes. Not so much in very specific ideas (the Star has told me a couple of times already I’m too idealistic), but more in the process itself. Opening myself up to accepting help and cooperation and feeling hopeful about this new emotional beginning.
Position Two: Guidance
Six of Cups & The Lovers
Generosity and connection. The guidance here may be, “Give more of yourself to those you trust. Foster a closer connection, strengthen that trust into something more solid. And don’t forget to include generosity toward yourself.”
Both cards are sixes, speaking to harmony. A true harmony is not possible if I am always holding something back.
Position Three: Peace
The World & Knight of Cups
Slow down and appreciate the interconnectedness of everything. Take time to make myself whole. Be the dreamy Knight of Cups and take in the World with love and wonder.
Position Four: Healing
Knight of Swords & Three of Swords
Healing actually takes a great deal of courage. As I’ve spoken about a few times recently, even when I know change is possible it can be difficult to take the steps necessary to make it happen. The unknown is scary, and the “bad” present suddenly looks like a safe bet. So it takes courage to change, and at the same time I will always carry some degree of hurt and trauma with me. As much as I would absolutely love there to be a final threshold to cross and be able to yell, “I’m all better!”, that’s just not going to happen. There will always be damaged parts of myself, but I have to be brave and to mend those parts that can be put back together or remade.
Animism Tarot message
A major theme of connection: teamwork, generosity, and the universe. All followed by courage. Connection is vitally important, but there’s an acknowledgment that it’s not always the easiest thing to accomplish.
Gypsy Palace Tarot message
Love is a major theme: love as beginning, love as connection, love as slow and dreamy-eyed, and love as pain. Again, love is important, and the acknowledgement that it’s not always easy either.
This has been such an interesting spread, especially when I looked at the two decks’ cards separately. Such a similar message!
This reading is about a choice or situation with extreme contradictions. I will keep in mind my internal conflict between people pleasing and intolerance for what I consider unacceptable behavior.
Position One: Current Situation
Falcon, Seeker of Feathers (Knight of Swords)
Air of air, the Knight of Swords can represent battle. I definitely have an internal battle being fought in a very air-like way (logic, thoughts). I think this card in this position is representative of this internal battle rather than me rushing forward, because I keep wavering back and forth, which is not a courageous run forward.
Position Two: Alternative
Bat, Master of Suspension (The Hanged Man)
Funnily enough, I think this card is an indication that the time for contemplation is over. At least until I reach a new place worth contemplating. It’s time to have my world turned upside down, to surrender control and see what happens. I have thought so much, but the remaining question is how others will react to me when I stop being so quiet and passive. And their reaction is something I cannot control. So surrender and jump into this new world. Then I can ponder where I’ve found myself.
Position Three: Possible Middle Way
Gorilla, Six of Fossils (Six of Pentacles)
I particularly love the Animal Wisdom Tarot interpretation of this card: “Six of Fossils highlights the harmony of exchange. Gorilla advises balance, to share freely and take just what you need. Release judgments of pride or shame; learn to give and receive” (73).
This could imply a more conscious back and forth. I may need to recognize when an olive branch or gift is being extended my way, even if it isn’t being presented in the way I might want or expect it to. And I can communicate what I need. I don’t have to only change my behavior and then fearfully wait for a reaction or response. This doesn’t have to be entirely in my head. I can keep these loving gorillas in mind and try to emulate their give and take, their loving care for all: others and themselves.
Position Four: Needed Approach
Hippo, Ten of Shells (Ten of Cups)
Happy, harmonious, and loving. Approach from a position of assuming the best and of loving those around me rather than imagining the situation as antagonistic or dangerous.
Position Five: How to let energy flow
Heron, Two of Feathers (Two of Swords)
Don’t assume my choice is between either the logical path or the emotional one. They are not actually mutually exclusive. It will be a painful choice if that is the choice system I create. The energy will flow better if I slowly lower my defenses.
Position Six: What commitment is needed
Monkey, Two of Fossils (Two of Pentacles)
I need to commit to the journey, knowing there will be ups and downs. I need to commit to staying in the process. This might take creativity, flexibility, and a playfulness I often keep buried.
There are an abundance of cards that speak directly to balance in this reading! I’m hearing that message loud and clear — both in the spread itself (a reading for Temperance) and in the cards that showed up (The Hanged Man, Six of Fossils, Two of Feathers, Two of Fossils). That may be my new mantra for a while: “Balance. Share like the gorillas. Choices aren’t all mutually exclusive. Go with the ups and downs. ”
At this transitional moment in my life, I think this card can have two meanings. (1) My life has been structured by pain and grief. I can’t say whether I’ve built it that way or whether I “let” it happen, but either way pain and grief have been my life’s scaffolding for a very long time. (2) As I seek to take control of my life and rebuild my self and my approach to the universe (a possible “reverse” reading of the card), I am taking the Emperor’s role of both creating structure and stability and of protecting myself. I am stepping up to the throne, so to speak.
Position Two: How am I not an Emperor?
I am not an Emperor when I use tarot to grow my spiritual understanding of myself, the world, and the universe. I am an Emperor by choosing a form of study to help me on the path of self-care, but I do not let structure get in the way of exploring tarot. I am able to not worry about what is “right” or “wrong” and to delve into the cards with an open mind and heart. A curiosity and openness that isn’t very Emperor-like. And I think that’s a good thing!
This card also appeared in my reading for The High Priestess. In that reading, The Sun spoke to letting my inner truth shine forth. By not over-Emperor-ing my approach to tarot, I can facilitate that happening.
Position Three: Where do I need to take charge?
Queen of Pentacles
The Queen of Pentacles loves nature, values hard work and simple pleasures, and brings love out into the world. She is a queen (water) within the suite of pentacles (earth). Perhaps I need to take charge of consciously finding the simple pleasures the world offers and anchoring my life’s structure around these things. I also ought to take charge of making sure that I am giving love into the world as well. The Emperor hold his orb representing his responsibility to the Whole. Part of this responsibility could be making sure my love is not hidden away. Share it consciously.
This is the third time she has shown up in five Major Arcana readings! First in my reading for The Fool for where I can be more foolish and last in my reading for The Empress for what nurturing gives me. All extremely positive positions.
Position Four: How am I weak?
Knight of Swords
Knights are air and swords are air. As I’ve said numerous times, I can be an overly-air-heavy person. My weakness is in placing too much value on intellect and “right” and “wrong.” This would lead an Emperor to be rigid and domineering, punishing or abusive even. I can work on overcoming this tendency by following the advise of the previous card: The Queen of Pentacles as a guide for where to take charge in my life: water and earth. I should just be careful to not take charge in such an “air-like” fashion. Take charge in some ways by giving over to water and earth. Letting water and earth take charge within me.
Huszka’s Knight of Swords looks like kind of a mess. A storm rages behind him, ships fly through the air, he has one leg and no pants. He keeps trudging forward, but maybe he needs to stop and reevaluate for a bit.
Position Five: How am I strong?
Ace of Swords
The Ace of Swords in this position may remind me not to demonize my air qualities so much. They are a strength. They just need to be directed in an appropriate manner so I don’t cut myself or those around me. My mind is strong. Use that strength in a positive and productive way.
Position Six: What rules, conscious or unconscious, govern my life?
Ace of Pentacles
Even though I am sword/air-heavy, there is a little Ace of Pentacles beating in my chest begging to be set free and planted in the ground. It feels like a bit of my “true self” that is trapped at times. I think that the rules that govern my life boil down to the interconnectedness of all things. People, animals, plants, the universe. The physical things that surround me are things I am intimately tied to, and so I want to be in harmony with these things. In loving harmony with my family of choice, in loving harmony with the creatures and plants that fill my world, in tune with the greater spirit/web that connects us all.
This card also appeared in my reading for The Fool regarding what gifts the Fool can give me.
I enjoyed this reading very much as it was a great way to see both the ways that I take power and control within my own life and the way that I either need to let go of power and control or need to take control in a different way/realm.
The presence of two Aces might suggest the great potential that lies before me as I take charge of my life.
This card can represent guilt, despondency, depression, self-pity, grief, or anxiety. My main books take two different views of this. One says that the Nine of Swords is a shadow of the Hermit: introspection gone too far. We are torturing ourselves with our thoughts. The other book says that this card represents situations that are largely out of our control.
I don’t read reversals and don’t plan to. I like to look at each card and take the light and the shadow into consideration based on the situation the reading speaks to. So my current situation as described by the Nine of Feathers is a shedding of this great anxiety and depression that I have been enveloped in for the last couple of weeks.
The booklet that accompanies the Animal Wisdom Tarot supports this idea. There is a very positive spin on this card. The crow helps us to find our inner light and to integrate the disparate parts of ourselves. The Nine of Feathers can speak to awakening and awareness.
I have been depressed and un-confident, but the last couple of days I have really been pulling it together. The commucation about the event that set off my trigger was extremely productive. I had been tortured both by my own mind and by the actions of another person, but this communication has been a healthy way to share awareness of where each of us is coming from. I’m waking from my depression and waking from some of the persistent negative thoughts that have been haunting me.
Position Two: Bottom, Earth of the Situation
Seeker of Shells (Knight of Cups)
Knights represent air, and shells are water. This card can indicate spirituality, romance, dreams, self-sacrifice, serving others, forgiveness, charm, and sensitivity. This knight is altruistic and romantic, but her feelings are easily hurt.
A shadow for this knight could be discouragement, disillusionment, being not in touch with reality, or failing to express our feelings with another person.
I admit I struggle with the earth element because I so often live in my head, but I’m going to give this a go. So what might this air and water card have to do with my earth experience? This weekend is our fall party, and this celebration with food and decorations and movies is happening because I finally shared my feelings with BB, was able to get out of my head, make/repair/deepen an emotional connection, and let go of my sadness and anger. This mind/emotion work was necessary in order for this party to be able to happen successfully. I’m really looking forward to it 🙂
Additionally, now that this issue is resolved, I have fewer headaches and tummy aches and have been able to enjoy watching the World Series, going for walks, and cleaning my home. My physical world has been returned to me since my mental/emotional troubles have been resolved.
Position Three: Left, Water of My Situation
Seer of Shells (Page of Cups)
Pages represent earth, and shells are water. This card can indicate dreams, sensitivity, tenderheartedness, immaturity, emotion, trust, goodness, loyalty, and imaginativeness. She is curious and enjoys discovering things in her unconscious. She is trusting and can go with the flow.
A shadow could be an inability to see when others are taking advantage of her since she is so trusting. Because of this, the shadow could be fear of connecting with people for worries about being hurt. In this way, she warns us to be careful of who we trust.
This card could relate to my water element in this situation by reminding me that even though I have trouble trusting people (shadow side of the card), I am beginning to do better at trusting in the goodness of others and not retreating so far when a relationship issue arises. And since this card is a combination of earth and water, it can show that I am approaching my emotions and emotional connection with others in a more grounded way.
Position Four: Top, Air of My Situation
Two of Feathers (Two of Swords)
This card can represent a difficult decision and/or polarities like good and bad, light and dark. In the traditional RWS card, a woman sits blindfolded holding two swords crossed. Her blindfold can represent either an unwillingness to see the truth or a retreat into her inner being to seek truth.
This card can also represent holding two seemingly opposing ideas at the same time or seeking a compromise between two things. It can be a reminder to listen to “both sides of the story,” so to speak.
The shadow of this card could be indecision or procrastination in making a decision. Doubting one’s ability to make a good decision. It could also represent having to choose between two bad options or a stalemate.
This could represent the fact that it has not been an easy decision to let go of the hurt I felt and to move forward in solidarity and connection. I feel I made the right decision, but it wasn’t an easy one given the emotional trauma I have suffered. In this case, I went with mind over emotion, which my emotions will eventually benefit from since I am choosing love and connection over artificial safety and loneliness. This is also the holding of contradictory ideas at the same time: I am afraid and I choose connection anyway.
Position Five: Right, Fire of My Situation
Seeker of Feathers (Knight of Swords)
Knights symbolize air, as do feathers.
This card has very clear light and shadow. She can be idealistic, rational, and intelligent. She will fiercely defend those who need defending. The Knight of Swords can also serve to stir us to action if we are being too timid or lacking commitment.
However, she can also be vengeful, argumentative, domineering, self-righteous, and aggressive. She may remind us to listen before acting.
Rather than allowing my thoughts to be filtered through fear and other negative emotions, I have taken a more rational approach with personal growth and interpersonal connection in mind. I am determined (fire) to create positive change in my life, and tarot has been an invaluable tool so far by helping me to both stand up and defend myself and by stopping to acknowledge the experience and feelings of others. And I am genuinely excited about where my life is going, particularly in my new approach to relationships.
This spread contained three swords and two knights. Very air heavy. While the last two weeks were painful, I have been able to wield my mind in a much more healthy and productive way than usual. Rather than obsessing and engaging in negative self-talk, I have been more rational and chosen a path that will, in the long run, lead to a happier me and a deeper connection with my loved ones. There will be difficult decisions along the way (Two of Feathers), and sometimes I will despair (Nine of Feathers), but I am actively working (Seeker of Feathers, Seeker of Shells) toward a life defined more by trust and ease (Page of Shells).