Mansions of the Moon Tarot Moon

Mansions of the Moon Tarot

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

The Book says: The three-faced goddess Hecate and her associations with the Moon. The Moon stands for the collective unconscious.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: Here again is an image of a guardian and a guide, but also a sentinel and protector. Hecate is the guardian of the crossroads. She may not tell you which crossroads to take but she may be willing to help you illuminate your options. The presence of Cerberus is both ominous and reassuring. He is a frightening sight to behold and yet one of his tasks is to prevent those who are not ready from entering the Underworld. Perhaps he serves the same function here. If we are not ready to face certain truths that will be revealed during this journey, Cerberus will chase us away from them. Just as Hecate will aid us in our journey – not by being sympathetic and allowing us to turn in fear, but by forcing us to face the truths we avoid and helping us learn how to handle them. She is not a warm and fuzzy type goddess but she can be benevolent and healing.

This card reminds me that sometimes we need to work in the dark, turning over rocks and facing whatever lies beneath. Hiding from the truth doesn’t change it or make it go away, it weakens us. Hecate’s torch can help illuminate some of those shadows and make the unknown just a little less fearsome. To me this card is about looking with the dark center of our heart and facing it. It’s time to do away with self-delusions and the fantasies to which we cling. Now is our opportunity to look that darkness in the face and see what is revealed. Only by going deep within ourselves can we find the truth about who we are.

Wheel of Change Moon

Wheel of Change Moon

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

 

The Book says: When this card is a part of your reading you are experiencing a kind of foreshadowing: an intuition, suspicion, and fear of what is to come. This card signifies a time in which shadow aspects of your personality or things that are hidden in darkness are developing a life of their own. Sometimes these things are positive, creative aspects of the personality and lead to a deep appreciation of our talents and our humanity. Whatever is at work in the darkness, it is time to pay attention, as the opportunity for real growth is present. Follow the cycle of the moon and try to recognize its development from new to full and its return to full. Watch how it becomes visible in the daylight hours and use its phases to help you illuminate your own situation. The Moon card represents inner process, and these processes work well with the help of symbols; the moon’s changeability is just such a transformative process and a visual tool for growth and change.

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  To me this Moon card symbolizes the mysteries of the unconscious and the hidden aspects of the human psyche – those things we only dare to address in the darkness of the night. Very often the Moon is associated with women’s mysteries and women’s cycles. I’ve never really felt that connection myself. To me the Moon is more of a psychological card; a card that forces us to face the things that scare us deep down inside. The Moon is about the unknown and our terror of things that go bump in the night.

It has always amazed me how familiar things appear so much more threatening and fearsome in the dark. This card represents the darkness present in the human soul and our ability to do horrible things to each other. At the same time The Moon symbolizes dreams and intuition, trusting our inner voice and inner wisdom but even that can seem like a scary, alien landscape. We are so often taught that there must be a rational explanation for everything. However even if mysterious things can be explained in a rational way, that doesn’t mean it’s the only possible explanation. Look at crop circles and UFO sightings. There are rational and logical explanations for both of these phenomena but that doesn’t necessarily mean these are the only possibility.

The Moon didn’t become any less magical and mystical just because humans landed there. It is still a beacon in the night; a light which guides us through the darkness and helps us find our way. The Moon may not be able to make all the darkness and scariness disappear but its presence helps reassure us that we are not alone. I remember as a child being convinced the moon followed me home. How many people wish for the moon. The moon is the keeper of our deepest dreams, our secret desires and our hidden shames. Perhaps the moon can eventually help us realize that there is a time to face and address these desires, dreams and shames otherwise we don’t allow ourselves to transform and move to the next level. It may be a messy, frightening prospect but the moon will help guide us along the path.

Blue Rose Devil

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says: Yes, we create our own Devils. We, ourselves. Without any help from anyone else. We can do this trick with no hands. All we have to do is experience a willingness, no matter how fleeting, to give up. To abdicate responsibility. To refrain from thinking. That desire to offer up those gifts that are our most magical and filled with light (our Inner Power and Free Will) creates the vacuum for the Darkness to come in. An invited guest that, once firmly and comfortably ensconced, is very difficult to oust. These days we call it “selling your Soul to the Devil”. And nothing could be more true. Many a rational mind will repel from such a notion. The idea that we each create our own personal Devils or Dark Spaces, is an unattractive idea. It is far more comforting to entertain the notion that Darkness/Evil/The Devil exists as a separate Entity that wreaks havoc upon innocent travelers who have the misfortune to fall victim to him or his followers. But as much as we may like this to be so, it is not. This does not mean that we cannot fall victim to the Darkness of another being, another traveler who has forfeited himself to his darker nature. We certainly can. However, no matter what we may suffer at the hands of another Fool’s “Devil”, it is nothing compared to what we suffer when we succumb to a Devil of our own making. In the first case, we can lose much. We can lose life, limb, a loved one, our sexual innocence, our property. We can lose little or we can lose much. But what we do not lose is ourselves. We do not lose our own Souls. We know this because spiritual “forward progress” can still be made. The Journey may become more difficult or the path may divert into a harsh terrain not previously envisioned or anticipated, but the Soul can continue forward. If it wants to. And that is the key. For even if you think you have observed an innocent Soul succumb to the ultimate Darkness because of the pain or evil inflicted by the Devil of a fellow traveler, this is not the case. Think again. For what has in actuality occurred is that, as a result of that victimization, the innocent Soul experiences a loss, translating to an emptiness, translating to a fear, translating to a need of such proportions that he now creates his own Devil.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card is one of attraction that seduces and imprisons, losing yourself in the false enchantment and false promises of an illusion. The masked man is the dream lover who seduces us from reality and promises a happily ever after that will never arrive.  He is the male counterpart to the Spider Woman we saw in last week’s Transformational Tarot Devil.   It is a trap into which we fall.

The image of this Devil reminds me of Charles Boyer in Gaslight – a seductive, sociopathic husband who tries to drive his wife insane. This is the abusive lover who undermines our self-esteem and cuts us off from our friends so we are isolated, vulnerable and dependent upon him. It is the parent who cuts away at our sense of self-worth and confidence so that we feel unable to break away and create our own life. This Devil is everyone in our lives who is supposed to love and nurture us but who undermines us and creates a sense of helplessness and dependence.

The key to liberating ourselves is realizing that we allow ourselves to remain in this trap. We accept the false illusion and give up our power. We allow ourselves to become or to remain weak, convincing ourselves that we will be happier this way. Anyone who has ever given up their dream to maintain the status quo or who has forced themselves to conform when they have wanted to rebel has been trapped by this Devil.

What is important to remember that we can climb that fence, break down that barrier and reclaim our power if we so desire. We have all seen or heard of amazing stories about people who have overcome amazing obstacles to achieve happiness in their lives. One example who always stayed with me is Liz Murray, the young woman whose parents were drug abusers, one (or possibly both) died of AIDS, she and her sister were homeless and yet she still managed to stay in school, get good grades and get accepted to Harvard. What a tribute to the human spirit and our ability to overcome anything.

For every abused child who becomes a child abuser there are hundreds who do not fall into this trap. For every child raised in poverty who becomes a life-long welfare recipient, there are hundreds who manage to get decent jobs and live productive lives. So while poverty and hardship are indeed major obstacles, they are only permanent traps if we allow them to become so.  It is our choice.  In the words of Sarah Connor in The Terminator movies “no fate but what we make”.  We can only remain imprisoned if we allow it.

Transformational Tarot Devil

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

The Book says: Passion at it’s most primal level. Erotica and sensual pleasure. A tendency towards mischievousness. Obsession, temptation, blind impulse. Feeling out of control. Dependence upon another that can lead to misery. Self-destructive tendencies. Ignoring one’s inborn code of ethics. Lack of Balance. It may indicate an inability to trust. The seeker may be experiencing limitation in a current situation which narrow the perception of options. On the other hand this card can imply an attempt to break the chains of psychological bondage. Separation, divorce. It could also indicate pleasure in the subjugation of others: sadomasochistic tendencies.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This is the Spider Woman, the dark lady who lures you into her web and traps you before you even realize what has happened. She seduces, entices, attracts and repels. Her confidence and aura of self-control and power is a powerful bait. She is the Black Lady of whom Cher sings (“Black Lady sang and danced and lit the candles one by one”) She is attractive and soulless. able to capture you in her web and suck all your energy, all your life force. She is the eternal vampire who takes and never gives. As Billy Joel sang “she’s so fascinating that you stand there waiting while she comes in for the kill”. If she doesn’t direct the demon’s actions then at a minimum she approves and possibly enjoys them.

She could just as easily be male. Think of the lonely hearts con man – a sociopathic charmer who can smile as he empties the bank account. This Devil is the dominatrix who teaches you to beg for her abuse; the addiction which holds you in its thrall; or the lack of self-esteem that keeps you captive in a lousy situation. But the key to overcoming this Devil is being willing to say “Stop”. We only become her victims if that is what we want. If we are finally able to wake up and see how we have become trapped then we have the potential to break free. It may no be easy or fun but it can be done. But first you have to take the initiative

Mansions of the Moon Devil

Mansions of the Moon Devil

Traditional Meaning:  The Devil represents being bound by our own desires and shadow.  We could easily free ourselves from these bonds if only we stopped and thought about it.  It’s almost like the novelty toy called Chinese handcuffs – two people put one finger in each side of the object and the harder they pull away from each other the tighter the bond grows.  It is only when they work together and move towards each other that they are able to break free.  The Devil reminds us that is we don’t work with our shadow side, we are doomed to remained chained helplessly chained to it.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card speaks of facing your shadow side, that dark, “evil”, primitive side of ourselves which we would prefer to deny even exists. Psychology has many terms for this side of human nature – the id, the anima/animus, etc. At first glance this card seems somewhat dark. The presence of the winged woman, reversed pentagram, the goat-headed female and the green demon all suggest the struggle between good and evil, between right and wrong, between heaven and hell. But if we look closer we see signs that all is not quite so gloomy. Yes, there is a darkness inherent in this card. But there is also a sign of hope.

The flaming torch may be the gift of the shadow side – enlightenment and illumination. Once we have faced the darkest side of our nature we are freed. We acquire knowledge and wisdom about ourselves and about the world. In many ways it reminds me of growing up and realizing that the world is not all sunshine and rainbows. That our parents are not perfect and don’t have all the answers. The Devil is a reminder that the challenge is not in being able to face this dark side, it is in being able to incorporate it into our being without becoming lost in it. Losing ourselves in addiction or mental illness or unhappiness means the shadow has taken over. We have the ability to face the evil in humanity without losing sight of hope and the good things. ‘

Sometimes when watching the news there is such a focus on negativity that it’s easy to forget about the positive things. This card reminds me that there are millions of ordinary, every-day people who face this darkness each day and are still able to emerge hopeful and triumphant. They can embrace, accept and forgive this darkness and not lose themselves within it.  This is something we should all aspire to achieve in our lives.

The Mingler – Celtic Wisdom Tarot

Celtic Wisdom Mingler

 

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

The book says: The Mingler shows Coventina, Goddess of the holy spring at Carrawburgh on Hadrian’s Wall, which seems to have been popular with woman who left offerings in return for safe delivery from childbirth.
Keywords: Combinations, moderation, coordination, adaptation, harmony, compatibility, fusion, alchemical tempering, subtle adjustment, gifts of experience.
Reversed: Discord, intemperance, hysteria, fragmentation, hostility, extremism, clash of interests, inability work with others, clumsy mishandling, failure to learn from experience.
Soul-Wisdom: The Mingler of Energy modifies our actions. It is by her vigorous churning that milk becomes butter, that our unformulated aspects become solidified. The ability to combine, to draw out the right decision or idea for the circumstances, lies in her gift. What is experience teaching you?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: Once again I see a theme of blending, mingling and healing. Coventina guards the well and guides us into its swirling depths. She helps us submerge ourselves into the waters and emerge cleansed, healed and transformed. Irish (and Celtic) mythology and legend are rife with healing wells which offer the blessings of the goddess. The waters of the well are also a reminder that there is a depth and a hidden aspect to our natures that is necessary to truly heal ourselves. If we don’t plunge to those depths and explore the darkness found there we can never truly be whole.

We often fear our dark, shadow side. But if we are unable to embrace it and incorporate it into our daily lives we risk a splitting off. It reminds me of the line from a Captain & Tenille song “you are sunlight, you are shadow, you are darkness, you are light”. That is true, we are all of these things and more. But the goddess of Temperance, The Mingler, helps us learn to mingle these different energies and integrate them into a harmonious unit.

I am the night, color me black – embracing your inner darkness

Do you know what I am?
I am the darkness that lives inside you.
I am that black hole in your soul you fear will consume you.
I am the midnight sky that offers no relief and no hint of light.
You fear me and run from me; you avoid me and deny me
But in truth you cannot survive without me.

I always remember a favorite classic Star Trek episode when Captain Kirk is split into two by a transporter malfunction. One Captain Kirk is thoughtful, considerate, civilized, all those qualities we associate with being good. His alternate self was aggressive, violent and even dangerous, all the qualities we associate with being bad. During the course of the episode it becomes apparent that without his “bad” side, Capt. Kirk was ineffective, paralyzed and unable to make command decisions. He needed his “bad” side in order to function as captain of the ship. It was an interesting lesson in human nature, one which I think is still very applicable today.

Lately it seems to me that “civilized” society is trying to sanitize and deny our darkness – both personal and societal. We have created a world where all but the most stubborn, determined or ignorant know that there are PC viewpoints to which they must adhere or at least pay lip service. Pundits and the oblivious claim we are a “post-racial” society when clearly this is untrue. Some do not believe that we need feminism anymore because the playing field has been leveled.  Other stubbornly cling to the belief that economic inequality is not at the root of many societal problems.   I believe people have just grown better at hiding their politically incorrect beliefs from others. We try to suppress and repress that inner darkness and believe that means we’ve healed it. In reality all we’ve done is crush it down and bury it, hoping it won’t erupt some day. Of course that is exactly what happens. We cannot avoid our personal and inner darkness; we cannot suppress it and hope it will go away. We need to face it, embrace it and see what it brings to the table so we can remove its more destructive aspects.

I have no intention of trying to fix society’s ills today. That is beyond my pay grade. What I”m hoping to do is explore my avoidance of my own darkness and hope that it offers a take-away that might be beneficial to others.

Like many people, for years I never truly embraced or even understood my dark side. I might have joked about it and claimed I understood it. Sure I could be nasty, vicious, snarky, and mean but that wasn’t really me. I wasn’t a mean person; I was just joking. However, even I didn’t buy the “I was just joking” defense. The reality is that there was a very dark, somewhat vicious and uncontrolled part of me that would often rear its ugly head when I least expected. For years I acknowledge that I had this darkness inside me but never did anything about it. I fooled myself into believing that acknowledging was the same as embracing. Boy, was I mistaken!

Dark Goddess Siren of Air

It’s only through a recent inner labyrinth journey using the Dark Goddess Tarot that I began to understand this darkness. It is not evil or wicked. It is born of fear. When I looked at incidences that triggered these responses from me I began to realize they occurred when I felt afraid, powerless or disenfranchised. I reacted from this darkness when an incident triggered a memory of a negative past experience. This darkness became a defense mechanism like a porcupine’s quills; a way to keep others that made me feel threatened at a distance. Unfortunately it tended to have the effect of alienating people who had no malicious intent.

Dark Goddess 7 of Earth

Walking the labyrinth to the deepest, darkest, most hidden depths of my soul has enabled me to truly understand this side of myself. It has allowed me to truly embrace this dark side and appreciate what she brings to the table. She is the part of me that is a survivor. She has experienced trauma and horrific situations and emerged unbroken. She protects and defends me with a fierceness and determination that I can only admire. What I have also accepted is that she does not need to be deployed mindlessly or aimlessly. She is much more effective when responding in a more targeted, specific way.

So my advice to anyone else whose dark side might be running amok – learn what triggers her. Listen to her and get to learn what makes her lash out. In my experience befriending and embracing your dark side can only happen when you understand her. Facing your fears and defensive triggers can be a first step in that process.

Introspection – Transformational Tarot

Transformational Introspection

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

The Book says: The need to withdraw from the busy, outer world in order to find peace, to evaluate one’s beliefs and to replenish. Inner vision quest. Time for soul searching. It is a good time to get in touch with the creative self, to keep a dream journal, work wight the Tarot or tools for meditation and self-awareness. One who cares little for the approval for others, who is independent, introspective and on the path of individuation. The reversed meaning of this card warn could warn of excessive isolation, inactivity, “antisocial” tendencies or even deep depression. It could stand for loneliness or an inability to ask for outside assistance.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: I see this card as representing our quest deep within ourselves to find wisdom and understanding. It is the need to shine light on those dark sides of our nature which seem so frightening and horrible until we look at them clearly. The Hermit holds his lantern high in the air. He is surrounded by darkness and “scary” things. A skull rests on his chest; a snake across his shoulders and a bat flies above his head. Typically these are things that would scare people. Many of us shudder at the mere thought of a snake or a bat. And skulls elicit a similar reaction. And the polar bear, while beautiful, can be quite deadly and terrifying if met under normal conditions. But The Hermit has no fear of these creatures. He has learned how to communicate with them and incorporate them into his live. He is at home with man’s darker side as with his light.

The Hermit understands that life is more than just black and white. A rainbow of colors and shades of gray exists as well. If life were that simple then we would always know right from wrong. But nothing in life is that simple. We may all understand that murder is wrong. But we can also acknowledge that in certain circumstances we might find ourselves capable of killing someone. The Hermit has tread these paths of the human psyche and is comfortable roaming there. But at the same time he must be careful not to become lost among these pathways and to lose sight of the light side.

There is a glamour and attraction to the dark side of human nature and if we stay there too long we risk losing contact with the light all together. Andrew Vachss, a fairly well-known advocate for the right of abused children, writes a series of books about a character named Burke. Burke is the Hermit, with a twist. He roams the roads among the dark and evil things that men do and tries to save potential victims. But at various points in his career Burke has lost himself in these dark pathways and has to struggle to come back. But sometimes it’s easier to lose yourself – just as pessimism can seem safer than optimism. But the Hermit offers us a light to find our way back and he is waiting there for us to help us process what we’ve learned and not get lost in the dark.

Hermit – Celtic Wisdom Tarot

Celtic Wisdom Counselor

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

The Book says:  The Counselor is the Celtic god whom the Romans called Silvanus. The figure is one who returns to nature for his healing, with only trees and animals for companions. This deity was sometimes seen as a hunter or guardian of animals, a wise countryman who respected the rhythms of the seasons.

Keywords: Counsel, inner guidance, seeking professional help, tactical or purposeful withdrawal to recoup energies or ideas, pondering or planning, discretion, prudence, proceeding carefully.
Reversed: Bad advice, refusal to heed wisdom or seek help, isolation, reliance on limited resources, lack of accountability, rash or foolish actions.
Soul-Wisdom: The Counselor of Truth is a touchpoint of assurance and validation, reminding us that the three candles that illumine every darkness are truth, nature, and knowledge. What seeks to be born in the silence?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: The Counselor shows a more mythological aspect of the Hermit. This is the wise madman that populates so much Celtic myth. He is the guide who points out the right direction. The person who may ask us seemingly ridiculous riddles in order to help us gain understanding and enlightenment. He is the wildman who fled into the woods seeking healing and solace from the madness surrounding him. He has wondered these woods, howling at the moon and mourning his loss. He has experienced the depths of anguish, pain and insanity. And yet somehow he survived. He plunged to the depths of human misery and came out whole. But it was not an easy process. This is no comfortable walk along a wooded country lane. The Hermit’s experiences have taken him through the dark, wild woods, full of danger and the unknown – whether from real creatures or from his own mind. The Counselor offers a friendly face to help us along the way. But much like a dedicated teacher, he will push you and prod you to achieve all that you can and to test yourself beyond your normal limits. He will not ease up if he feels you have the potential. He will help you expand your horizons and explore unfamiliar terrain.

The Counselor reminds me of one psychological school of thought which sees schizophrenics as the “normal” people and the rest of us as the mad folks. This school of thoughts proposes that if modern life doesn’t drive you mad, then perhaps you are the truly “crazy” one. Or he can be seen in movies and books which present us with a “natural philosopher”, the hobo, hooker or mental patient who truly makes more sense than any other character in the movie. James Stewart in Harvey is the Counselor, helping us navigate the journey through life with wit, humor and love and not giving up hope no matter how overwhelming the odds.

Soulful Saturday – Deck Review: Dark Goddess Tarot

I’ve been working with this deck on and off for several months now and thought it was about time to write a review. In the interests of transparency I will confess that I consider Ellen a friend however I don’t believe that will impact my impression of this deck.

I was privy to the fact that Ellen was working on a Dark Goddess themed tarot a few years ago. I remember chatting with her about the project and what goddesses might fit the energies of various cards (not that I’m in any way implying I influenced the creation of this deck). I thought it was a great idea and couldn’t wait to see how Ellen manifested this concept. It was worth the wait.

The deck is a traditional Tarot deck with 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards divided into 4 suits – Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The court cards are Amazon, Siren, Witch and Hag. Ellen tapped into goddesses from a wide range of world cultures – Irish, Norse, Aztec, Inuit, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Indian and more. In the companion book (which I highly recommend purchasing if you get this deck), Ellen writes about each individual goddess’ mythos as well as what it might mean if she appears in your reading and some ways to connect with her energies. Ellen’s art is classically simple with a palette that uses bright and neutral colors to create engaging images that are rather unexpected in a deck devoted to dark goddesses. It’s a refreshing break from the moody, gothic-inspired dark decks that are out there.

Dark Goddess Ace of Earth Dark Goddess 4 of AirDark Goddess Siren of Earth

One of the things I find intriguing about this deck is that many of the goddesses included are not traditionally thought of as “dark”. For example Gaia, Nut and Baubo come to mind as goddesses who might not be considered dark. However when one looks at the myths and legends connected to these goddesses it becomes clearer that even the brightest goddess has her dark side. This makes sense when you consider that even the sweetest, kindest humans have their dark sides too.

I’ve been working with this deck for several weeks now as part of a personal journey. Each day that I use it I come to appreciate its energies even more. I’ve always been drawn to dark goddesses, in fact I consider The Morrigan one of my matron deities. This deck has helped me grow more familiar with these dark goddesses as well as introduced me to some with whom I was totally unfamiliar. Would I make changes to this deck? Of course I would if I had created it – then again that’s true of most decks and in no way detracts from Ellen’s accomplishment. She has managed to bring the darkness into the light and allow us to explore and connect with its energies in ways that are not frightening or threatening. She has helped introduce these powerful, awesome goddesses to an audience that might never have learned about them otherwise and can now work with their energies to heal, grow and explore their own internal darkness as well as help guide others. If you have any interest at all in working with goddess energies then I strongly recommend adding this deck to your collection.