The World – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

Traditional meaning: The principle of totality, individuation, and wholeness; having everything available to you and being at center stage in your life; the principle of universal love; success, achievement & satisfaction; understanding your reason for being.

Tarot Hunter’s Theories This card brings to mind the idea of a string of worlds all connected, like something in a science fiction novel. And yet they share a common center, a common source. All the elements are present and necessary, no one better than the other. The World is a reminder that we are all part of each other.

I also see the rosary of globes as a string of possibilities – each representing a possibility, a path that may or may not be taken. They represent the unlimited potential that surrounds us all. The World is all that we are and all that we can be. At the core of this potential and these possibilities rests the guiding force behind it all. The One, God, the Great Spirit – whatever you chose to call it, it is the source from which the Universe began. In our own lives, we are the center, the source from which all else proceeds. We are the creators of our own reality. Our decisions, our choices, our successes and our failures create the world in which we live.

But we, like the globes surrounding the woman, are not islands unto ourselves. We are all connected so the decisions made by others impact on our lives too. So whether our impact on our world and on others is positive or negative is ultimately up to us. So in some respects, I guess we are our brothers’ keepers.

A reversed journey through the Major Arcana part 1

Have you ever considered that perhaps our journey through life is better reflected in a reverse journey through the Major Arcana? I know we are often shown the Fool’s journey from innocence and naiveté through understanding and wisdom but what if we can acquire those same qualities and experiences by journeying through the Major Arcana from The World to The Fool?

I’ll admit this is not a fully fleshed out theory but one day while looking at the cards it occurred to me that The World could reflect our soul’s experience prior to birth; it’s existence wherever souls go when not inhabiting a body. It is perfect, fully integrated and surrounded by the divine. Judgment is the birth itself – our emergence through a dark passage into the light. The Sun is our infancy and early childhood – when we are the center of the universe and everything we say or do is amazing and spectacular. Then we get a bit older and learn that we cannot stay the center of the universe. Perhaps more children come along or our parents need to return to work and daily reality. We yearn for the moon – that time when everything stopped for us, but that is no longer possible. The Stars are the hope we cling to as we get a bit older; as we realize that mommy does not exist just to satisfy our every whim. We also learn about school. Depending upon whether we have older siblings or friends who enjoy school we may feel existing about this upcoming adventure. We’re frightened but excited too. Then we begin school and have a Tower moment. Our reality crashes down around our feet. Not only is school not the fun experience we anticipate, but we are one of many children in the room. We do not receive the teacher’s undivided attention. We don’t get to do or play with everything we desire. We decide we hate school and cling even tighter to our parents. Like The Devil, we want to be chained to them so we feel safe and secure. We believe this will allow us to remain the center of their attention but in reality we risk becoming a burden.

When we reach Temperance we are starting to learn there is a balance, a midpoint, a blending of our needs and the needs of others. We learn ways to meet our own needs while accepting their as well. We realize our classmates are almost as important as we are; that our parents have other areas of focus. We struggle to find the way to incorporate our need to be individuals with our need to be part of a group or family. We learn there is a give and take to this dance – if we want others to satisfy our needs then we must help satisfy theirs too.

Death, well Death is almost surprisingly easy (at least to my mind). In this context, Death is the upheaval of graduating from one class to the next. Each year brings a minor death for us – we’ve finally figured out how this stuff all works. We know the teacher and have established connections with peers (hopefully) and now we have to start all over again. Graduation from junior high to high school and high school to college is even more traumatic. We go from “ruling the school”, being the big people on campus to peon. Everything we knew is now gone and we must find our way anew. I don’t know about anyone reading this but I must say the first day of high school, first day at a new school and my first day at college were all traumatic and devastating in different ways.

By the time we’ve managed to finish our academic career (if indeed we ever do), we move on to The Hanged Man. Oh, isn’t this fun?!! We finally get the hang of school, it may be stressful and somewhat overwhelming but there are clear rules and instructions along the way, and now we’re thrown into the “real world”. We have no idea what the rules are or what our role is. We’ve been completely turned on our heads and are now seeing things through a different lens. We have no safety net anymore. If we’re truly adults then we need to figure out how to do this on our own and not rely on family to bail us out. We may indeed find ourselves turned all around but sometimes that’s the only way to see a new path or find a new life lesson. I know once I completed my masters in forensic psychology I knew that I had no desire to work in the criminal justice field. My degree was useless (or so I thought). By looking at things from a different perspective I realized I could put those same skills to use in a population that might have a propensity towards interactions with the criminal justice system but were not incarcerated – “at risk” youth. So I found a job as a recreation therapist in a recreation center in the “inner city” (geez, I hate these buzz words so much!) My point is that I was able to put my degree and skill to use in a totally unexpected way and that gave me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Had I not looked at things from a completely different perspective and allowed myself the time and patience to explore options, I might have ended up taking a job in a field to which I was not well suited.

Justice represents when we finally feel that we’ve regained our balance. We’ve found the way to balance our needs for income and a job and a social life, with our desire to achieve, to be “somebody”. We believe we’ve taken the right steps on that road and now feel more confident that things are going to flow our way. We’ve made the sacrifices and now it’s time for us to receive our rewards. As long as we perceive those scales as balanced, we’re content. We feel that we’ve matured and can now view things from a less emotional, more rational and logical perspective. We’ve learned to weigh the pros and cons of our choices to reach an intelligent decision. We convince ourselves that we are doing the “right” thing, the just thing, the sensible, logical thing. Is that true?

Finally, at the halfway point in our journey we face the Wheel of Fortune. That fickle and every changing wheel that mocks our efforts and forces change upon us. Let’s consider it the quarter-life (it’s a thing, I swear) and mid-life crisis. It reflects that point in our journey where we realize that our path needs to dramatically shift. It’s when we start to question everything we’ve achieved in our lives and wonder if it was all worth it. It’s become immortalized in films such as The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit. In fact it’s become something of a cliché because we often dismiss it as an excuse for middle-aged men to buy a new hot rod or hook up with some younger, sexier partner. Perhaps those things are distractions from the real issue – feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled by where we are in our lives. Perhaps we can no longer ignore that we’re unhappy with the choices we’ve made; the things we’ve sacrificed. This may be when parents and spouses realize their career has consumed them and they’ve lost touch with their loved ones. The difference between this experience and the Tower is that we are more mature and thoughtful (usually) and can steer the course of our journey. We can lay in a new path and right what we feel is wrong without completely destroying all that went before. We also have the ability to understand that even though we may be feeling pretty down right now, that can and will eventually shift. That is the nature of life and of our journey.

I’m going to stop here for now. I’ll continue next week. I hope you found this interesting or insightful or it at least made you pause for a moment and think about it.

The Perfecter – Celtic Wisdom Tarot

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says – Completion, perfect or satisfying resolution; the end or finalization of a cycle; successful achievement; triumph; self-respect; synthesis; a sense of communion with all life; clear self-expression and realization.
Reversed: Lack of momentum impedes endings; failure to achieve; inability to accept oneself; to allow changes or perfect closure, or to release potential; inability to see the wood for the trees; fixed of received views obscure self-essence.

Tarot Hunter’s Theories: This card speaks of balance and a sense of completeness. Nothing is missing; all the parts are present. There is a quiet feeling of self-worth and achievement. This can happen when we have worked hard to achieve something – a deep sense of personal satisfaction and inner peace. There is something about this card that suggests being centered; focused on our inner world and our inner needs. We no longer need to search the wide world over for excitement and adventure because at this particular moment in time we have found what we were looking for. The sense of well-being and joy just radiates from the center of this being. And it also suggests that if we

There is something about this card that suggests being centered; focused on our inner world and our inner needs. We no longer need to search the wide world over for excitement and adventure because at this particular moment in time we have found what we were looking for. The sense of well-being and joy just radiates from the center of this being. And it also suggests that if we blend our different parts and elements, allow ourselves to be at one with the world, we too can feel this blessed state. 

What I really love about this card is that it portrays this sense of well-being, peace, and blessedness as intrinsic to the being in the card. We are the source of this, not any external stimuli. All the external world can do is help us realize this fact. All the drugs, alcohol, sex or possessions in the world will not give us this feeling. They might create an illusory substitute which tides us over for a brief time, but ultimately its falseness rings through and we are left as empty and bereft as when we started. If we look within ourselves and realize the gifts we have and the fulfillment we can find; the sense of achievement and personal satisfaction that is ours for the taking, then we too can be radiant, blessed, perfected beings.

Wheel of Change Tarot – The World

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
ISBN #0-89281-609-0

The Book says: When the World is a part of your reading, it is a symbol of spiritual unity and attainment, a recognition of the unlimited potential of life and the ability to make use of it. Often, she tells you that you have all you need to move forward and to make a complete assessment of the present situation. She symbolizes the ability to give form to the nebulous and to free the potential you feel within. The World card symbolizes the return to a deep understanding of unity after a great and laborious assessment of the fragmentary nature of creation, as represented by the other twenty trump cards. The World is the embodiment of wisdom and knowledge; perfection, completion, and fulfillment.

Tarot Hunter’s Theories: The first thing that popped into my head upon looking at this card was the song We Are the World. That is what this card brings to mind, that we are all a piece of the same universe. We are all composed of the same elements and we are all interconnected in the web of life. We are everything and everything is us. It is like the end of the Men in Black movie where the aliens are playing marbles with the Earth and other planets. And the concept that we are really nothing more than a nail on a fingernail of the One; which may mean that our nail is the home of a universe. It is mind-boggling and amazing when one considers all the possibilities.

It also reminds me of the Butterfly Effect – the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world can create a tidal wave in another part of the world. This card forces us to realize that everything we do – whether positive or negative, intentional or accidental, impacts on the rest of our world. So we can choose to affect our world positively or negatively, but either way, we must accept that we do have some type of impact.

Judgment – Blue Rose Tarot

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says: It means everything. It means that we exercise all the abilities we have learned. All the time. In our minds, in our hearts and in the very depths of our souls. It is called living aware.

Think back, fellow Fool. Think back upon the journey. Think of the Magician. What is the Magician?

He is everything.

Everything.

That is his magic. But magic is nothing without an audience. Without application. And so, he has much to do. He must walk that Cosmic Playground and spread that magic everywhere. Wherever it is wanted. Whenever it is needed. [He is all the players in the Major Arcana] And it is by being one, two or any and all of those things at any given time; by living with full and open awareness…evaluating, knowing when to act, when to be silent, when to listen, when to teach, when to love, when to surprise…but always making that determination, judging the moment, judging our actions with the noblest, most laudable and loving of intentions…by applying, living and sharing all of those things with everything and everyone in the Cosmic Playground who comes to him with open heart and an inquiring mind; it is then that a Hero completes his final lesson, establishes his legacy…And fulfills his destiny.

TarotHunter’s Theories: The first thing that struck me upon seeing this card is that it represents the spirit soaring high above the mundane world. It has managed to rise above the darkness and pettiness that surrounds it and find its connection to the Divine. It vividly shows that we can rise above our own selfishness and limited view and find our inner stardust. As science and song have suggested we are made of star stuff, we are one with the cosmos. And perhaps in order to find that connection again we need to allow ourselves to move beyond our own limitations. 

The human spirit is an amazing, glorious, incredible gift that we are given. And if we allow ourselves to fully explore its potential we can achieve wonders and work magic.

Liberation (Judgment) – Transformational Tarot

 

Transformational Tarot
Created by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games (2006)
ISBN:1572815396

The Book says: Spiritual awakening, a card of summing up of an important matter, a clean slate, paying off old karmic debts, reward for past effort, a time of rejuvenation, sincere attempt to come to terms with oneself and to take responsibility for one’s actions, rising above the negativity in order to resolve the situation. In the reverse, this card can mean existential angst; fear of the unknown; fear of death. It could imply disillusionment.

Tarot Hunter’s Theories: This card suggests that our journey to liberty might be long and somewhat gray at times. But at the end of our journey, we will be able to see our true selves, to look ourselves in the face and to accept what we see. This card is about facing our reflection in the mirror without harsh judgments or useless self-criticism. It is about reaching a place of self-acceptance and acknowledging our flaws without negativity. To me, this card reflects the wisdom of experience and the benefits of completing that long journey towards self-knowledge and freedom from self-defeating, self-critical attitudes and behaviors. It’s about finding the truth and allowing it to set you free.

Handling a 7 of Wands relationship style

Several years ago I attended a workshop in NYC lead by Rachel Pollack (quite frankly if I had the ability I’d attend any workshop Rachel facilitates). The focus of the class was how we approach relationships. My card was the 7 of Wands. Looking at the image on the card I realized that it pretty much does describe my approach to relationships in general, not just romantic ones. I fiercely defend my perimeter and only let in those who have proven to be worthy.

When I first met my hubby, I was a prickly defensive, cranky bitch (oh who am I kidding, I still am all those things). I only had a small circle of friends because I didn’t trust many people. In fact I was more than willing to cut friends and even family off if they violated one of my “rules” or offended me in some way. Usually it wasn’t something petty (or at least I didn’t think so at the time) but what I considered betrayal or disloyalty. Of course in retrospect some of those issues do seem petty. The point is that I learned to shore up my defenses because I had enough experiences that supported my belief that it was essential.

I love seeing thins in mythic terms so I often describe myself as a Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty) type. Not because of the fairy godmothers or sleeping thing but because she was surrounded by a thick hedge of sharp, twisted thorns. For someone to get through that hedge he or she had to be focused, determined and a fighter. Perhaps this is the same reason I’ve always felt a connection to the myth of Brunhilde the valkyrie. I understand and sympathize with her fury at learning she was betrayed by Sigurd. I would have sought vengeance too. For that matter I understand Betty Broderick’s actions too. These are women who are forced into violent responses because they have been betrayed by the men in their lives. They are defending their home, their family, their heart, their integrity. I’m not necessarily defending their responses, but I do understand them.

I have learned to lower my defenses occasionally. I realized that I can always raise those defenses later on if it became necessarily. It was not easy and involved me fighting against a lot of instinctive and unconscious behaviors. The first step was literally training myself to look at incidences when my defenses flared up and explore what triggered them. I also considered what might have happened had I been more open. In some cases I’m convinced my instincts were right. In others I believe they caused me to miss out on an experience, event or friendship that might have enriched my life. I think that was the final impetus to change my stance. It’s one thing to be protective of one’s boundaries but when they become isolationist and start preventing one from enjoying new experiences and friendships then changes are probably in order. Lots of introspective Tarot readings helped me work through this (although to be honest I got a lot of repeat answers – the Tarot’s way of telling me I wasn’t paying attention).

As a result of this work I am not quite so isolated and unapproachable. I like to believe I can still rise to my own defense if the occasion calls for it. I feel safe and secure in my life, my body and in my ability to protect and defend my boundaries. That was not the case in my childhood and it caused me to developed very well established and fiercely guarded personal boundaries. Maybe I’m finally moving from the 7 of Wands approach to relationships to the 9 of Wands. I know I can rest, lay down my weapons and allow others to draw close. What a relief!