As I was shuffling my deck I asked where I should focus my energies today. I laughed a bit as I drew the 9 and 8 of Coins. Looking at them I was reminded of a line spoken by Mr. Spock in the classic Star Trek episode Amok Time. Mr. Spock believes he has just killed Captain Kirk in a battle over Spock’s wife T-Pring. When questioning her about her motives for demanding a challenge T-Pring explains that she was tired of being the consort of a legend and wished to be the wife of Stonn, her companion. Spock admires her logic in pursuing her goals and explains to Stonn that he may find that having is not so great a thing as wanting. This line has always stayed with me because it feels like a profound truth; something of which we all seem to lose sight. To be fair, I have always felt that Gene Roddenberry (and Rod Serling for that matter) was a genius and visionary so I shouldn’t be surprised.
As positive as the 9 of Coins is often considered to be, I often find myself thinking about becoming imprisoned by your possessions; becoming like a dragon sitting atop its hoard, unable to move forward. I have found myself falling into this scenario on quite a few occasions. I become so focused and obsessed with acquiring things that I forget to have fun with them. This has resulted in a larger than necessary collection of cookbooks, dolls and Tarot decks (I know, I know – how can one ever have to many Tarot decks?). I have learned that there comes a point when having too many things prevents you from enjoying them because you become overwhelmed.
I also think many humans are hardwired to pursue; to need goals to work towards. My hubby and I often talk about when we were kids saving money up for some toy or electronic device and how much sweeter it was to get once we’d finally saved the money. With credit cards, few people experience that anymore. It’s so easy to instantly gratify our ever whim and desire and then repent when it’s too late.
These two cards remind me to take time to “shop my closet”; to enjoy what I already own and spend less time lusting after new “pretty shinies”. As lovely as each deck might be, do I really need 5 different animal themed decks or 20 RWS variations? I own numerous decks that are lovely to look at but which don’t really speak to me. Maybe now is a good time to release them into the wild. This is my opportunity to begin working with my decks again rather than petting and gloating over them like Gollum with his “Precious”.
Am I the only one who finds herself in this situation? Somehow I doubt it. If it’s one thing I’ve learned in my years in the Tarot community it’s that we’re all collectors, acquirers and hoarders on some level. It doesn’t take much to quickly find yourself in possession of more decks than you ever dreamed possible. Online communities contribute to this by generating buzz for new decks and creating a “must have it now” mentality that often leaves us with more decks than we want, need or can use. Moving forward I plan to resist these urges and begin purging the decks I already possess so that I pare my collection down to more manageable levels. It turns out Mr. Spock was quite correct about the difference between having and wanting.
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
The LWP says: The rise to higher realms.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: While not the traditional Charioteer guiding (or being guided by) horses, this image shows a lovely woman riding a pair of wings. She seems to be at one with the environment around her and comfortable with where she is going. As she rises up on the wings, there is no fear or worry on her face. She appears to be calm and enjoying the experience. This card suggests that she is in control of the situation and knows where the journey will take her, or is just not concerned with the destination. She does not need to physically control the situation or impose her will. She will allow the wings to take her where she needs to go, secure in the knowledge that she is as one with her surroundings. She moves along her spiritual path with a sense of calmness and serenity. There is no need to force things to her will. She understands that her connection to the Universe and to the Divine will carry her to the correct destination.
There is a sense of giving oneself up to the journey and trusting that you are heading in the right direction. It is almost like surrendering to fate but without any sense of fatalism. This card symbolizes the need to let go of the need to control the situation and trusting in our connection to the Divine to raise us up. It reminds me of the Steve Miller song “Fly Like an Eagle” – “I want to fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me”. The wings are her spirit carrying her to the next level of her journey. And she trusts in herself and her spirit enough to give up control and allow it to guide her.
Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
The Book says: This is Epona, the pan-Celtic Goddess who is matron not only of horses but of passing over and through obstacles; she is also known as the one who opens the gates of the Underworld to the dead.
Keywords: Triumph; success due to initiative and self-discipline; obstacles overcome; self-mastery; being in control of one’s ccircumstances prominence; fame or greatness; travel; speed.
Reversed: Defeat or failure; ruthlessness; success at others’ expense; loss of self-control; addictive behavior; egocentricity; things careering out of control.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: I really love this card (well to be honest I really love this deck). It is one of the gentlest expressions of the Chariot energy which I have seen. Epona is able to gentle the horses, she is connected to them on a deep, spiritual level. One gets the feeling that the relationship is not one of owner and pet but it is one of kindred spirits. Epona and her mares can gently trot around the area or they can race across the field at full gallop, manes flaring out behind them. This card is about self-control and self-expression; knowing when you need to trot and when it is time to gallop ahead.
Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
The Book says: This card reminds us of the underlying patterns of our lives and how these patterns will affect the pursuit of goals. The Chariot is a card of fortune in relationships. Its appearance generally suggests that you are attaining your goals through discipline and active participation but that you may need to examine more carefully the effect of your power on others. Or perhaps you have made achievements that were in the common good and you are experiencing a collective victory. The Chariot card impels us to discover the power within ourselves not by steamrolling those around us but by using our vital energy towards solutions that are inclusive, productive, and sustainable.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card shows the connection between all existence and the cosmic energies that wind their way through our lives. To some extent the imagery on this card reminds more more the Wheel of Fortune than of the Chariot. Its imagery speaks of wheels and cycles. But the silhouette seems to be dancing the cosmos into existence – this certainly suggests mastery and control. But rather than it being “power over” (as Starhawk calls it) this symbolizes “power within”.
The silhouette has a twelve-spoked circle over her abdomen. And it’s lines go beyond her and connect to the other circles and other planets shining in the cosmic sky. She seems about ready to step into the stone circle and dance. Something about this card reminds me of the song “Lord of the Dance”. The figure’s exuberance and energy comes across and she exemplifies how if we are able to master and control our own energies, we can create amazing and beautiful things in our lives. At the same time we are aware of our impact on the lives and the world around us and try not to charge blindly ahead, and damn the consequences. It is balanced and controlled, while still allowing the creative energy to manifest itself in our lives.
Yesterday I over-indulged somewhat on wine. Between my excitement about trying out my new accessory (a wine aerator) and the my desire to drink some of the new bottles of wine I’ve acquired., I had more to drink than was wise. On the plus side, my new aerator is cool and does what it promises. On the down side, I drank too much too quickly and ended up crashing and burning. A few drinks also loosens me up and I end up calling people I haven’t spoken to in a while (this is both good and bad). Last night I called two friends I haven’t spoken to in about a year for a variety of reasons. It was nice to speak with them and I remember the conversations so I know I wasn’t too embarrassing but this is a nasty habit I sometimes have. There are times when I drunk dial people and end up making a ass of myself (well a bigger ass then I might have without the influence of alcohol). This then leads to beating myself up and castigating myself. So I decided to ask the Tarot what lesson I can take away from this experience.
I drew the 8 of Swords reversed and looking at this bronze figure wearing a blindfold and with her hands restrained behind her back I was struck by the concept that when I drink too much I apply restraints on myself. As a result of these chemical restraints I don’t have a clear view of my behavior and I end up becoming angry at myself because I might have done something stupid or insulting. I end up regretting my behavior and avoiding the people I’ve called. I also don’t have any wine for a while. Then I end up repeating the cycle again because I feel lonely and disconnected. It’s a ridiculous pattern and one I can easily break from if I simply exert a little sense.
So the lesson for me here is that I need to stop restraining myself and repeating this pattern. There is nothing wrong with having a few drinks but I need to pace myself better and make sure I eat something. I also need to accept I will call folks because there are times when I want to talk to others but I don’t need to wait until I’ve had a few drinks to do it. Most of the people seem happy enough to hear from me. The only thing that stops me is my own self-doubts – another self-imposed restriction.
So I need to remove the restraints and get a clearer look at the reality of the situation. If people don’t want to talk they won’t answer the phone. If I want to have a few glasses of wine, that’s great but I don’t need to finish the bottle. Very simple lessons now let’s hope I can actually learn them this time.
Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
The Decider (Magician) shows a young man standing in the middle of a wooded glade. He holds a pinecone to his chest with his right hand. His left hand is outstretched before him as though reaching for something. He wears a saffron colored long-sleeve tunic with braided trim at the neck and sleeves. His hair is dark blond and cut short. He is framed by boughs of pine branches and pinecones. A radiant light seems to emanate from him. Above his head we see a man’s head framed by two stags drawn in a stylized Celtic fashion.
The Book says: This is the Dagda, The Great God of the Druids. The Decider governs willpower and intention, and the druid is his exponent. The Decider of Will sets the Soul on its journey. His unfailing song supports the Soul, reminding it of its true intentions it steps upon the path of its destiny. What is manifesting itself in your life now?
Keywords: Willpower, empowerment, initiative, accessing the imagination creatively, plans ambitiously manifested, concentrated effort, discrimination, competence.
Reversed: Weak-willed, indecisive, insecure, manipulating others for one’s own ends, plans unrealized, ineptitude.
Soul Wisdom – The Decider of Will sets the Soul on its journey. His unfailing song supports the Soul, reminding it of its true intention as it steps upon the path of its destiny. What is manifesting itself in your life now?
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This image reflects many of the things I consider integral to the Magician. The young man appears very comfortable in his surroundings and seems confident with his abilities. He holds out his hand as though expecting something to follow his will and come to him. The radiance surrounding him suggests that he radiates a sense of his own self-worth and value. He is the Dagda, the Great God and possessor of great knowledge. In addition he projects a sense of inner strength and will, indicating that he not only possesses this great knowledge, but he knows how to use it. He is youthful in appearance but that merely indicates that he still has the energy and enthusiasm of youth. His knowledge and his will are ageless. This card speaks to me of getting in touch with the world inside yourself and the world around you and learning how to use these energies to improve your life. It is also a reminder that even if you possess all the knowledge in the world, if you don’t have the strength of will and the ability to use it then it is useless.