Yikes! It’s been a while since I’ve done an evening read. There’s no time like the present to get back on the wagon, I suppose 🙂
Position One: What did I excel at or learn today?
Ten of Wands
I felt very overwhelmed earlier this morning about an obligation I really did not want to take care of. In this case, putting down the bundle of sticks was not an option, so I pushed through. I wouldn’t say I “excelled,” exactly. I was a grump about it. But I got it taken care of and was able to enjoy the rest of the day. I didn’t drag my feet all day. I got it done and I got on with my day. Sometimes the only way out is through!
Position Two: How can I strive to be my best tomorrow?
This card showed up yesterday in my Monday Meditation as well. I like the Joie de Vivre depiction of the Chariot because even though the seahorses are trying to go in opposite directions, Madam Chariotte is not daunted or upset. She knows she is in control and that with skill and focus she’ll get her shell-chariot moving in the right direction. I can strive to be my best tomorrow by harnessing the best of my focus and motivation and really work on accomplishing some goals. These can be related to my business plans, my family, my home, my spiritual practice, my care of my body. Be confident and get down to business!
Both cards today are ones that I don’t have super positive associations with, so this reading will be a good challenge and learning experience!
I know the Chariot has a generally positive meaning, but “control” and “willpower” are just keywords that make me feel icky at first glance. And I strongly identify with the Nine of Wands, but not for positive reasons. Time to do some exploring within myself and within the meanings of these cards.
Position One: What did I excel at or learn today?
Perhaps the reason I don’t have really positive feelings about the Chariot is that I often try to cling to control and assert my willpower when there’s just no good reason to. Today I did nothing at all, and while that seems to be the opposite of the Chariot, it did restore a type of balance to my life. I chucked my desire for control and just lounged watching too much Grey’s Anatomy and feeling zero guilt for not accomplishing anything. And it was delightful!
Position Two: How can I strive to be my best tomorrow?
Nine of Wands
I identify with this card so strongly because I’ve fought many battles in my life and, like the fellow on the RWS card, I stand guard — even if my fort is actually much flimsier than I admit. So actually this card could pair pretty well with the Chariot today. This card might follow up and say, “You’re a tough gal, but there is no one around here waiting to pillage your little fort. Take a break. Go play. Let your guard down. It worked out fine today. Why not tomorrow?”
This card stands for inner balance, calmness, synthesis, control, and moderation. It is the last card of the second row of the Major Arcana, and as such, represents the success of self-discovery and self-confidence. Where the Chariot stood for a willed balance of worldly success, Temperance is about inner equilibrium, and seems to feel more “natural” than the balance of the Chariot. It’s more of a comfortable mixing of one’s self with the outer world. We can see this in the Efflorescent Tarot depiction: the angel has one foot on the water (inner, emotional self) and the other on earth (the physical, outer world). It can also be a symbol of peacemaking or mediation.
Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life says that Temperance helps us to accept the contradictions inherent in not only life, but within ourselves: “selfish and generous, deliberate and spontaneous, forceful and gentle, caring and cruel … Temperance reminds us that we are already ‘enough’ as well as works in progress” (102-103).
A shadow of Temperance could be fearing extremes. An opposite or reverse of Temperance could be existing in extremes, losing control, or an excess or lack.
If I were to assign an element to Temperance, it might actually be all four as Temperance speaks to a balance in seemingly contradictory parts of ourselves. I may place an emphasis on water and earth as symbols of a balance between inner and outer worlds.
This is a card I can relate to as a goal I can see in my future and that I wish to attain. But certainly not one I already have a good grasp on.
I think my two biggest contradictory personality traits are being a people pleaser and not tolerating bs. My biggest challenge here is both being kind and compassionate and remaining true to myself and not getting walked all over. I tend to vacillate between the two, but it’d be awfully nice to find a peaceful middle where I was confident in my ability to both be a good, kind person and to be honest and respected. To get there I have to accept that I can’t please people at all times and still have a voice of my own, nor can I be intolerant of other people’s blunders or eccentricities and be an understanding person.
As far as the symbol of being a peacemaker or mediator, that is a role I have played to an extreme for much of my life. Even mediation can be done to an extreme! I poured my whole self into attempting to balance the emotions of others and in the process completely missed out on getting to know myself or creating balance in my own life. Since I didn’t have appropriate boundaries, I’m now learning what it means to balance my own needs with others. It’s a weird experience, and I feel selfish sometimes, but I have to remind myself that taking care of myself is a part of the balance of life if I’m going to have a quality life.
One unlikely relationship pairing in my life was very uncomfortable for many years. We were a part of each other’s lives, like it or not, and we finally both decided to try making our relationship a positive thing. It was a process the required creativity, patience, perseverance, and compromise. But through this process, it has become an incredibly rewarding relationship. We seemed like oil and water, but once we finally were able to get beneath our outer personality presentations, we actually have a good bit in common on a deeper level. It doesn’t mean it’s always roses, but there’s a lot of goodness I would have completely missed out on had I not participated in this process. Temperance may sound like a boring concept, but it can be hard work, and the outcome can be extraordinarily fulfilling.
This reading is for a conflict situation, so I’ll just keep in mind what upset me last night as I do this reading.
Position One: What is outer justice?
Four of Cups
Huska’s description of this card fits this reading well. A balance in a relationship. This balance is made of respect and fairness and is needed to avoid dissatisfaction or resentment.
Position Two: What is the wisdom of pursuing it?
Clarity. If things are not clear, miscommunication can easily happen, and that can upset the balance.
Position Three: What action is best?
It may seem the opposite of the Sun above, but the Moon speaks to the mysteries of the unconscious. Both our own unconscious and the mind of whoever we are in a relationship with are mysterious places. Sometimes we have to dive in and explore these unknowns before we can reach clarity. The light of the moon may help us to see things we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
Position Four: What is inner justice?
The Hanged Man
A new perspective. The same old viewpoint can become torturous. Self-honesty and fairness can come through trying a new viewpoint. The Moon and the Hanged Man together in this reading might speak to the importance of this new perspective.
Position Five: What part do I play?
King of Pentacles
Pentacles represent the physical world, and the King of Pentacles can be read as a provider or a master craftsman. My role could include caring for (providing for) my body so my mind can do its necessary work.
I love Huszka’s depiction of this king. He’s not a rich businessman on a throne with all of his monetary wealth. He walks through the world and seems to have fruit falling from the basket/bag her carries. Fruit for everyone! Sustenance and health for all through this king. To provide this kind of care also takes love and dedication. I should feel those things for myself as I seek inner justice.
Position Six: How will justice come about?
The Chariot is a card that, like Justice, speaks to balance. But the Chariot is a more conscious and controlling balance. A less practiced and less natural sense of balance, but a balance nonetheless. Justice will come through practicing balance willfully. In the Major Arcana, we can’t get to Justice without first visiting the Chariot. Conscious effort and practice.
Position Seven: What is the link between inner and outer justice?
King of Wands
Fire of fire. This king is a creative leader, and while fire can suggest spontaneity, as a king he is responsible for his choices to more people than just himself. Passion and creativity can help to both facilitate communicate without giving up and to see things from a new perspective. And people in a relationship are responsible to each other. I can see creativity and responsibility being a link between inner and outer justice.
Four major cards and two kings! I’m not sure what that may mean, but that piece of the reading certainly stood out to me. With more practice I’ll be better able to think about what things like this may signify or communicate.
This is the first time I’ve examined the Five of Swords, and I really like Huszka’s portrayal. I have a wall built up around myself, and rather than just cowering behind it, I think I can sometimes go on the “offensive” and appear mean so that I won’t be hurt. The two women in front of the wall are not very welcoming. They stare out at the viewer in a harsh and condescending way seeming to say, “Keep moving, this place isn’t for you.” While there is a small doorway in the wall, who wants to get on their hands and knees and crawl through there under the hateful gaze of these women? These women may feel victorious in protecting whatever lies behind the wall, but at what cost?
However, a snake raises its head up from behind the wall. Snakes can symbolize rebirth, so it seems like a hopeful element in the card. I have to decide on my own to let these walls down. I can accept the help and support of my loved ones, but only I can choose to dismantle my defensive walls.
Position Two: What or who is my teacher?
Like the Hermit, Justice also asks us to look honestly at our own lives. Truth, fairness, and justice are indeed my teachers, and they encourage me to reinstate balance in my life.
Position Three: Where will I find my light?
I think I will find my light in working on a Chariot-like balance in my life. The Chariot’s sense of balance is very conscious and will-based, but I have to practice this kind of balance before I can reach a more “natural” feeling, integrated sort of balance.
Position Four: What will it reveal?
Two of Pentacles
Well, balance! There may be ups and downs, and I may waver, but it will reveal balance.
Position Five: What question does the Hermit want me to ask?
Maybe the Hermit is asking, “Where’s you inner Fool? Let’s find her!”
This reading serves as an overall reflection of sorts on the first row of seven in the Major Aracana.
Position Zero: Fool. What am I leaping into at this time in my life?
Three of Pentacles
I am leaping into a cooperative era of my life that is quite new for me! This includes both a conscious cooperation with those around me to make emotional connections and a conscious cooperation between my body, mind, and spirit.
Huszka’s portrayal of the Three of Pentacles is more reflective of the frustration of having an idea that you aren’t quite sure how to put into action. In this position in the spread, I think the traditional meaning fits best, but it’s also good to remember that a breakthrough will come if I am feeling frustrated.
Position One: Magician. Where is the energy, the magic?
Three of Wands
The magic is in taking my dreams and fantasies and turning them into reality.
Position Two: High Priestess. What is secret or hidden or unspoken?
Like the individual / ego represented by the Chariot, as I reach the end of my delayed emotional adolescence, I still have much of my unconscious or “true self” to discover. As I come to a sense of balance with the ideas in the first line of the Major Arcana, I look forward to delving deeper on my journey.
Position Three: Empress. What is my passion?
Ace of Swords
My passion is truth and fairness.
Position Four: Emperor. What are the rules I follow (possibly hidden or unconscious)?
Five of Cups
A rule I follow is being realistic about what life brings: some sorrow to be sure, but there are always good things if you know where to look. Mourn that which is lost and don’t miss out on what you still have.
Position Five: Hierophant. What is the path laid out for me?
Ten of Wands
The path laid out for me is not the easiest path in the world, but it is worthwhile. I may feel burdened at times, but as long as I take time to rest and make sure I’m still on the right path, I’ll end up somewhere good.
Huszka’s portrayal can also represent having pushed rocks ahead of us on our path, but at some point they pile up so high we have to stop and dig ourselves out if we’re going to be able to keep moving.
Position Six: Lovers. How do I express my passion?
Eight of Wands
I may ponder something for a while, but once I’ve decided on something I ACT! Sometimes a bit obsessively.
Position Seven: Chariot. Where is it all heading?
What a huge question! The Empress, within the context of the other cards in the spread, may be saying that I am on the road to being able to joyfully and passionately experience the outer / physical world. While my passion is truth and fairness, this doesn’t mean only internal contemplation. There are truths related to the world around us that I’m missing out on. It won’t always be the easiest journey, but the end of the road sounds wonderful! I can accomplish this by using my passion and drive to turn my dreams of this end result into a reality, and I don’t have to do it alone. And once I’ve reached a balance in the outer world I can better journey through the second row of the Major Arcana.
When the cards of the Major Arcana (with the Fool set aside) are placed in three rows of seven, the Chariot is the last card of the first row. This first row represents maturation and the development of ourselves as individuals. It represents the ability to control the dualistic parts of ourselves, but this does not mean that our duality is integrated — just willfully controlled. The ego represents the “I” that mediates between the id (primitive impulses) and the super-ego (social and cultural rules), and the Chariot is a symbol of the ego. The Fool on her Fool’S Journey has learned the lessons of the previous cards and has emerged as an individual capable of self-control and of asserting her will. The Chariot can also symbolize victory, forward movement, a journey, or goals.
A shadow of the Chariot is being overly confident or feeling that your only worth comes from your accomplishments. The opposite / reverse of the Chariot is being out of control or lacking purpose.
If I were to assign an element to the Chariot, I think it would be fire and air as elements of willpower.
So far this has been a tough card for me to really connect with. I’m looking forward to doing the reading for the Chariot later today so that I can explore it on a deeper, more personal level. I do like the symbolism of the Chariot as the “victory” at the end of the first row of seven Major Arcana cards. The accomplishment of maturing and balancing outer demands with inner impulses is an important step in our journeys, even if there are many steps to go 🙂