Saturday, September 5, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
It pictures a man, clad in armoured breastplate, driving a chariot pulled by four horses. The horses represent the elements, the white one symbolising water, the blue horse with stars represents air, the green one stands for earth and the orange horse represents fire. He has an equal grasp of each of the reins suggesting that he is in control of the mission he is on. His confident determined expression shows that he is focussing fully on what lies ahead and his armoured breastplate means that he is ready to confront anything. The crab on the breastplate represents the astrological sign of Cancer. Cancer is a feminine symbol in astrology and here again is the balance, the yin and yang being shown in the cards ~ a strong powerful male character whose symbol is feminine. In everything there is balance.
His equal grasp on the reins of the elemental horses does not mean that this person is controlling the elements, but that he is making full use of all the resources at hand. This could mean working in conjunction with people around him who are involved in his situation or who can help. Lose control of just one of the horses could mean everything going awry, so co-operation is important.
Although he paints a vivid picture of someone driving wildly forth, the rider of the chariot knows full well that his strength and power alone are not enough and could alienate people around him; the sprig of hazel he carries represents knowledge and wisdom and he must rely on these qualities also.
If we are embarking on a mission, whether it be a relationship, career path, health issue, etc. we could look to the example of the person in the Mastery card. He is looking forward, not back. He is confident, though not overconfident. He is exercising his self-will and determination, but not at the expense of others. Use all the resources that present themselves to you, whether it be the opportunity of educational study, employment openings, people who offer help whether in a professional capacity or that of friendship. Remember that overconfidence, aggression and arrogance will turn others away but quiet confidence along with the ever-learning process of knowledge and wisdom will never fail you.
If anything strikes you as being symbolic or has meaning in the card, please say. The cards can 'speak' to all sorts of people, whether an experienced reader or someone who has never had anything to do with them before. Just pretend it's an art appreciation session. :)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The Lovers card in a spread foretells the forging of a new relationship, the strengthening of an existing one or two people (not necessarily lovers) working together to overcome problems. The angel in the Lovers Card is the Archangel Raphael, who is associated with health and the healing arts. He is there to oversee any healing that needs to take place and extends his arm in a gesture of blessing.
There is a significant presence of balance in this card. The couple represent both the male and female aspect, the sun is placed firmly in the centre of the card and the six-pointed star is composed to two equilateral triangles, one pointing heavenwards and the other towards the Earth.
Although the card speaks of trust, commitment and healing, there is a strong element of choice. Will the presence of the Archangel be acknowledged or ignored? Will healing be allowed to take place or will the wall of defences be left in place through stubbornness and pride? Will the Lovers choose to work through their differences and gain the fruits of life that are pictured here in symbolic form? Peace, represented by the white doves, is the ultimate goal and possibly constancy and everlasting love in the form of the Bluebells. A choice lies ahead. One's own intuition should be relied upon to make the right one, the choice that is worth working for.
This is my interpretation of The Lovers Card. Please comment if you have an alternative or if you see anything I have missed.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The High Priest is the partner card to The High Priestess. Amidst the masculine symbols of the bull, elephant and eagle, on the priest's headwear can be seen the crescent moon, a feminine symbol. Once again this creates the balance between male and female. His robes of purple and gold tell us that he is of great importance in the Spiritual plane and, indeed, in older decks this card was often named The Pope.
Where The Emperor signified a person of wealth and earthly assets, The High Priest represents someone of a spiritual nature. He encourages us to explore our faith, morals and ethics and holds his right hand before us in blessing. He is the key to helping us find our way in the spiritual matters within our lives. We can see this by the 'door' he sits in front of; this is the door between the earth and the spiritual realm, also signified by the pine trees encased in a swirling mist. The High Priest can help us to enter this door and to make sense of the spiritual mysteries that lie before us. In his left hand he holds a sprig of the herb Vervain, which is a psychic cleanser and nervine, i.e. calms the nerves. Perhaps there are obstacles of a psychiatric and/or emotional nature that need to be dealt with before we can go any further in our spiritual quest.
On the High Priest's throne there is a carving of a bull, a sacred animal worshipped within many communities. There is also an elephant, a symbol of strength and nobility and signifies the emergence of one's highest true self. In the foreground is the Eagle, a symbol of spiritual victory. We must surrender our ego to the will of the spirit. Our ongoing endeavour to seek spiritual truth and contentment will lead us to living well as a human being upon the earth. Meditate upon the card of The High Priest and his associated animal spirits to help attain this goal.
If you should meet someone with the characteristics of The High Priest, do not be fooled by their apparent sterness; he or she is a person of great spiritual learning and will gladly help you on your path.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Where The Empress represents the Feminine, The Emperor card is the perfect Masculine counterpart. They are not in opposition however, but are a partnership and complimentary to each other.
Clothed in a purple robe edged with ermine, The Emperor sits in a relaxed pose. He is totally comfortable in his surroundings. With his castle in the background and children happily playing in the field, he signifies a father figure and the proud owner of many assets. The breastplate that he wears shows that he is a soldier also and has fought for everything he has attained. The children are not his though, judging by their peasant clothing. They are inhabitants of the village belonging to the castle. His power is not one of oppression, but of kindly authority, benevolance and guidance.
There is much symbolism in this card attributing to The Emperor's status. The ram signifies authority and leadership, the Iris symbolizes power and this one is purple, that most royal of colours, the Peregrine Falcon that rests on The Emperor's shoulder is the fastest animal in the world, achieving speeds approaching 200 km/h (124 mph) when plunging from the sky after prey. What a fine representation of the characteristics of The Emporer this falcon is! And on his throne is the Eagle, the ultimate icon of strength, nobility and aristocracy. For thousands of years, empires and nations have adopted the Eagle as a symbol of power.
Below the Eagle there is a carving of an Ankh (also called crux ansata, latin for 'cross with a handle'). The Ankh represents a zest for life and fertility. This is the female connection that bonds The Emperor to The Empress and gives this masculine card the female balance that is needed, for one cannot survive without the other.
If fate should lead you to an Emperor figure who offers you support and guidance, consider yourself blessed. This person will lend you the strength and determination that you need at this time. The sun is shining brightly and by having the support of this person, a burden will be lifted from your shoulders and your prospects will begin to look brighter.
Please add anything you see in this card or if you can suggest alternative meanings.
egrines are the fastest animals in the world. They are believed to achieve speeds approaching 200km/h (124mph) when plunging from the sky after prey.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
The Celtic festival of Imbolc or Imbolg - pronounced without the 'b' sound - is sometimes known as Oimelc, means 'ewe's milk' - named due to the birth of the first lambs at this time, and celebrates the return of fresh milk. Bulbs are beginning to shoot and new lambs are born - the cycle of new life returns to the earth. Imbolc marks the rebirth of nature and fertility. It is the celebration of the gradual dawning of increasing light, bringing nature to life again. Nature is awakening from her winter rest - the long winter darkness begins to break as the daylight hours begin to get longer. Christians celebrate this festival as Candlemas. The picture shows the goddess, Brigid, who brings new life to the earth. Imbolc is a festival in her honour.
Spring cleaning comes from the habit at Imbolc of getting rid of unwanted clutter and preparing for the new season, physically and mentally. Now is the time to finish old habits and make a fresh start, and realise the world is full of new opportunities.
Imbolc is a time of optimism and for making new plans for the sunny days ahead. Plant the seeds of your plans now and tend them so they mature into your hopes and dreams. Now is the time to renew your New Year resolutions.
Bless these little fields of mine,
The pastures and the shady trees,
Bless the butter and the cheese,
Bless the cows with coats of silk
And the brimming pails of milk,
Bless the hedgerows and I pray,
Bless the seed beneath the clay,
Bless the hay and bless the grass,
Bless the seasons as they pass,
And heaven's blessings will prevail,
Brigid of the light, we hail
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The close-grown forest is still there in the background. It is not yet a time for looking ahead into the distant future, but a time to cater to the needs of this time and day. The stream is also still there but it is no longer running quickly downwards. It is travelling more slowly now and it also says that we need to take things steadily, build a secure platform on which to place our future hopes and plans. We needn't worry that our plans will not come to fruition because the Empress is surrounded by symbols of fertility such as the Hare and the pomegranate, a fruit composed mainly of seeds and representing abundance. And the cherries, also known as 'the fruits of Paradise', symbolizes sweetness of character, indicating success in good works. The lotus flower on the Empresses staff also signifies the blossoming of wholesome deeds and because it is wholly opened, it represents full enlightenment. There also is the Robin, a bird that traditional gypsies believe are bringers of good fortune. What we have to do is place our trust in the Empress and be assured that the universe will provide what is needful to us, and we have a protector in the form of the Stag, the only male aspect of the Empress card. As well as a protective symbol, he is there to add balance for, as male cannot survive without female, neither can female survive without male.
Of course, we must not surmise that the way ahead will always be easy. We will sometimes be vulnerable like the moth and we may also suffer hardships, just as the sacrificial lamb suffered but if we remain steadfast, following the example of the woodpigeons - gentle birds of homing instinct - we will be blessed with love (as in the symbol of Venus, goddess of love, on the Empresses shield) and abundance, signified by the ripe wheat.
I would love to hear from anyone who would like to comment on my interpretation or who could add to it.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The High Priestess represents someone, male or female, who is very knowledgeable. They are a person of great intuition and with a vast store of secret esoteric knowledge. Behind her there is a forest of close-grown trees. They block out any view beyond, signifying that there is much we don't yet know but perhaps with the help of the High Priestess, we may be inspired by her intuition to look further into meanings and answers that are, as yet, unknown to us...... solutions we could not see clearly until now.
Behind the High Priestess we can see a Unicorn, a magical beast of legend. Just as the lion stands for the strength and courage of men, the Unicorn is a symbol of goodness and honour in women. When we encounter someone like the High Priestess we can be sure that this person can be trusted and will help us to look into our inner heart and mind to reach the solutions we need.
There are also two pairs of white doves. White doves are symbolic of peace. They are birds that mate for life and work together in the building of their nest and the rearing of their young, therefore they can be seen to represent dedication, honour and loyalty.
Hares, two of which we see beside the High Priestess, are associated with Lunar Goddesses such as Ostara and Diana. In this card, they are there to act as messengers for the High Priestess, carrying messages between the spiritual and earthly realm. They are also symbolize fertility.
The High Priestess is gently stroking a female deer. The doe represents compassion, caring and gentleness. It asks us to find the gentleness of spirit to accept people for what they are and not to try and change them, to find the deep love that it takes to heal all emotional wounds.
The black cat at the feet of the High Priestess is, again, a strong representation of esoteric knowledge. The cat is stoic, silent and mysterious and a master secret keeper. It is a symbol of protection and guardianship and, like the hares, it is there to aid the High Priestess in her work.
The little grey squirrel next to the cat is a symbol of trust. It is amongst the few animals trusting enough to feed from human hands. Just as the other creatures are at ease in the company of the High Priestess, the squirrel lets us know that we can put our full trust in the message/s that this card is sending us.
The card of the High Priestess is all about secret, hidden knowledge. When we become frustrated and discouraged because we feel overwhelmed by our situation, meditate on the butterflies in the card. Try to imitate their example. They sit for a while on a flower and then flit away, returning time and time again and always with grace. We musn't become totally discouraged if we do not find our answers immediately.
The plant at the bottom right-hand side of the card is the herb, Valerian. Made into a tea, it calms the nerves. It is only when we slow down and remain calm that we are able to find the answers that we need. The Valerian is symbolic of reaching that meditative state when solutions appear effortlessly to us.
To the right of the card we can see a snake/serpent. Because of biblical connotations the snake has attained the undeserved reputation as being evil. This is not so. Here, it is sending us the message to leave behind old ways and habits and nurture our more spiritual self.... just as the snake sheds its skin as if it is being born again. And, like the hare, it also is a symbol of fertility.
Right down at the bottom of the card, in the left-hand corner, is a spider's web. As the spider weaves her web, she is telling us that we are responsible for 'weaving' our own lives. We must think about the choices and decisions we make. We must ask ourselves if we are making the most of our lives and how our choices and decisions affect others. The spider's web is a beautiful and intricate construction and, like the spider, we are fully capable of constructing our lives so that we are living it to the full.
Whereas the card of the Magician was one of actively seeking answers by magical means, the card of the High Priestess is one of calmness and looking within. She is serene and loving, as can be seen by the trust shown by the creatures that surround her. The overall message that the High Priestess gives us is..... although we may feel as though we cannot see beyond that dark forest, there is a fast flowing stream of life that leads us through and beyond. Like her animals, we must place our trust in the High Priestess that the answers we are desperately seeking will, without a doubt, be shown to us.
Please leave a comment if you have anything to add.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
As you would expect, this card is all about magic, intuition, connecting with one's innerself and the communion between self and the gods.
There are many magical symbols in this card, such as the stone circle where people would worship their gods. It is a symbol of communion between man and god. The moon and stars are celestial bodies and the forked lighning represents the joining of heavenly forces to the Earth.
In this card, the fool is now seen to be the magician..... surrounded by everything he needs to commune with the heavens and lead him on in his spiritual journey. As he consults the rune stones, he is in communion (the goblet of wine is a symbol of communion) round the fire with his friend the Wolf. In modern times the wolf has acquired an undeserved reputation as a fearsome creature. In reality, the wolf symbolizes learning, intuition, wisdom and loyalty. Wolf tells people to seek out solitude to find the teacher within the self. He helps people to learn to trust insights when they learn to value the inner voice.
The Unicorn is a magical creature which has come to symbolize beauty, purity and goodness. The Unicorn is there to help the magician to work good magic and protect him from evil.
The magician wears the antlers of a Stag. The Stag is a very wise animal, one who is unwilling to assail enemies rashly, who would rather stand his own ground than harm another wrongfully, and one who will not fight unless provoked. The Stag was associated with healing, for he knew which medicinal plants to take in order to shake off the hunter's arrow. The person bearing this symbol was considered impervious to weapons. Therefore the Stag's antlers represent protection from illness, disease and attack.
Like the magician, we too must seek out people or animal totems that will help us on our spiritual journey. Those who would protect us from evil and show us the way of wisdom.
If you can comment any further on this interpretation, please do so.
Friday, January 9, 2009
In the foreground there is a baby reaching out to touch the fire flames, unaware of the danger he is in. His mother hurries frantically to pull him away from the impending danger. Behind them, we see a young man setting out on a journey in all innocence, like the baby - unlike the baby, he will not have anyone to protect him from danger. On the journey of life, he will learn how to shoulder his own responsibilities, through experience, and he alone will need to make decisions and select choices.
On the road ahead there are many alternative routes to be taken; these represent the choices and decisions in our life. There are many forests, dark and mysterious, to test his bravery and determination. Will he go on or will he turn back?
The plant in the foreground is Ragwort, a potentially toxic plant. There is also a partridge, which symbolises deceit. Along with the obvious dangers of fire, these symbols represent the difficulties that could lie ahead on the path of life, but the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis (top right-hand side of card) reminds us that our journey is a spiritual one and, depending on which roads we choose and upon the wisdom we exercise, the outlook is set to be bright..... just as the sun is shining brightly in the card.
This is my interpretation of the card as I see it. I would be very interested to hear if you can add anything to it.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The purpose of this blog is to record my study of the Tarot. The deck I use is 'Tarot of the Old Path', which is pagan orientated. I like the artwork, the fact that the artist has incorporated animals and plants very much into the meaning of the cards.
Whilst the Tarot can be used as a tool for many purposes such as divination, I like to use mine to meditate upon the symbolism and the lessons that can be learned within also. Sometimes, if I have a problem or need to make a decision, I will turn to my cards to see what advice they might have for me. I'm a firm believer though, that everyone is in control of their own destiny and it is one's own choice whether to act upon whatever the cards have to say.
Altogether, there are 78 cards in a Tarot deck. I will choose one card at a sitting to study the symbolism and meanings within each one. However, the cards are personal to each person and what one might see, someone else could see something different, so I welcome input from anyone who might want to join me in my study.