My sweetheart got me the gorgeous Prisma Visions tarot deck for Christmas! I love it, and it is so beautiful!
Wow, it’s been weird not being able to work daily with tarot during this busy holiday season. It’s also been a kind of rough go emotionally. We’ve had good times, but I’ve had a particular situation / relationship on my mind which is really upsetting. So tonight I’ll do a reading to both validate my feelings and to seek advice on taking care of myself.
My interpretation might be short because I’m sleepy, but I really wanted to do a reading tonight.
Row One: How I am feeling
King of Wands
I know what I want, but unlike the king, making this happen is not in my power. It is not in my power to create the change that would set my heart at ease.
Ace of Chalices
A whole well of feelings that I’ve just recently been able to articulate / name. It’s not positive though. It’s intense and sad. So rather than a seed of possibility, it feels condensed and concentrated.
Nine of Swords
I feel frozen by sadness. I feel out of options and tired of trying. I have trouble seeing how to get out of this particular scenario in any positive way. I feel bleak and gobbled up. I do not think that this is my depression. I am just intensely sad about this situation right now.
Row Two: How I can take care of myself
Page of Chalices
Be aware of my emotions, don’t judge them, and share them as needed.
Ace of Wands
Create things, even though I’m sad. Occupy my mind with sewing, tarot, business research, setting up a new workout routine. I may be super sad right now, but I can still keep busy.
Knight of Wands
I’m feeling really torn in two directions right now, and I can take care of myself by not choosing to act in a particular direction. Rather than rushing forward or spinning myself in circles, I can stop expecting myself to know what to do and what direction to go. I should just live with this contradiction at the moment. Time may help me move forward, but right now that is not productive.
Yikes! Let’s see how I can read these two cards in these positive positions.
Position One: What did I excel at or learn today?
Ten of Swords
As I’ve talked about before, I’ve experienced many Ten of Swords moments and periods of time in my life. Today I made a conscious effort to move beyond that and to extend trust where usually I would be too afraid or wary to do so. I expressed my love and appreciation of my chosen family to my chosen family. This was definitely a conscious move beyond my experience of life as waiting for the next Ten of Swords moment.
Position Two: How can I strive to be my best tomorrow?
Nine of Swords
As a card of dark fears and mental anguish, this card may compliment the Ten of Swords in this reading and reinforce the idea that I continue to move beyond fear of betrayal and continue to openly invest in my relationships. The RWS portrayal of the Nine of Swords is an individual sitting up in bed with face in hands, distraught. This can represent a “dark night of the soul,” but night does not last forever. The sun will rise. I should watch the sun rise! The Ostara Tarot depiction shows a jaguar trapped by nine swords, all of which look different. This can represent my ability to imagine many different ways that things can utterly fall apart. At one point in time, this served me by allowing me to anticipate several different outcomes in my very unpredictable and unhealthy environment. Now this type of imagination is nothing but a hindrance. I can channel this ability to imagine different things to imagine positive outcomes, or to create projects or crafts. I can re-direct this thought energy to serve me in better ways.
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).