Mansions of the Moon Tarot
The Author says: Daily living affecting our bodies.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This image is somewhat chaotic and confusing. At first my eye didn’t know where to focus. But once my eye was able to discern the different images it became a bit easier. The card reminds me of the need to center ourselves and not lose our focus – no matter how busy and crazy life becomes. There is so much going on around this figure that it would be easy for him to lose his center, but he seems to be resisting the temptation. The message of this Wheel of Fortune seems to be that we can accept that things change and life’s cycles continue with or without our consent. We can’t stop the progression of time and change. But what we can do is not allow it to become the focus of our existence. We can ride out the cycles and maintain our equilibrium. It may not be easy but it can be accomplished. It is about centering ourselves and focusing inward, not losing ourselves in the chaos that spins around us. Something about this card reminds me of a line from the song Across the Universe by George Harrison “nothing’s gonna change my world”. If we can accept that the nature of life is change and that we will experience cycles of ups and downs, then we can achieve this state. Because while the external factors in our lives may change – where we live, our jobs, relationships, we don’t have to change who we are inside.
Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
The Book says: The Spinner shows the many-colored winds, which the Celtic peoples understood to have gifting qualities. The winds are under the aegis of the Ninefold Sisters, also called the Daughters of the Ocean or the Daughters at the Back of the North Wind. As the gifting mothers of destiny, their breath impels each of us to find our gifts and use them.
Keywords: Destiny, fate, cause and effect, new cycle, unexpected change for better, seizing opportunities, respect for larger picture, avoiding old patterns and mistakes.
Reversed: Struggling against personal bent, sequence of disruption or delay, setbacks, blaming, reaping what is sewn, failure to note signs of change, disregard of wider circumstances, repeating unhelpful patterns or mistakes.
SOUL-WISDOM: The Spinner of Growth blows seeds into their appointed dance. It is a wise person who tests the direction of the winds before acting. What patterns are unfolding in your life?
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card reminds me of a psychedelic light that cycles patterns of different colors. There is a rhythm to it, a plan. We may not see it at first but it exists. It reminds me of the first time I realized that there is a pattern to a rainbow and it connects – purple is red + blue, then blue then green which is blue + yellow and so on. It was an amazing “click” moment for me, as though someone had lifted a veil and revealed something about the Universe’s plan to me. That is what I feel when I look at this image. The tree at the center of these amazing ribbons of color symbolizes life. After all trees were not only sacred to the Celts, they help create the atmosphere humans need to live on this planet. The connection between humans and plants/trees is an amazing symbiosis. Without them we will find it difficult to exist on this planet. But at the same time the tree reminds me of the cycles Earth has already gone through. As many are correct in pointing out – human life on Earth spans only a second of the overall life of this planet. Perhaps each colored stream represents one of the ages on earth – Pleistocene, Mesozoic, Jurassic, etc. Creatures die or transform and new ones take their place. Humans are only the latest result of this process. As difficult as it is for us to imagine, whether we exist or not the Earth will continue to life. That is the message The Spinner offers me. It is a gentle wake-up call. As self-important as humans might feel, we are not necessary for life on Earth to continue. Indeed some might argue that we are a danger to Earth’s continued existence. It also reminds me of the astrological ages. I can hear the words “this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius”. No one seems to agree on when that will actually be, but we can see the changes even now. People are beginning to question large, organized religions. They are exploring alternative paths or looking within themselves for spiritual truths. Just like those psychedelic lights (or even the lights adorning your Yule tree) there is a pattern to the colors and the cycling. We can recognize it and try to fit the pattern or not – that is our choice. But The Spinner is here to remind us that there is a pattern, there is a method to the madness. This can be a comfort of a constraint, depending upon your perspective.
Today I had an interesting experience. I’ve been working with the Dark Goddess Tarot (and two friends) on creating an inner labyrinth journey using the Major Arcana cards. This week I’m working with Justice/Ma’at. I asked what she could tell me about myself? In response I drew the 5 of Fire/Eris. I am familiar with the story of Eris, the goddess of discord and the chaos she caused by tossing a golden apple designated as “for the most beautiful” among the goddesses at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. This act led to the Judgement of Paris and eventually the Trojan War. Eris was motivated to do this because she felt insulted at not being invited to the wedding.
Eris is blamed for stirring up strife and chaos. This stopped me in my tracks. Am I like Eris? Do I stir up strife, chaos and discord? I know I can be confrontational but I didn’t think I was that chaotic. What’s ironic is that I’ve been trying to convince myself that I wasn’t always the somewhat prickly porcupine I can become. I thought back to my childhood and thought it just might be possible that I had become this way as a defense mechanism. Perhaps I developed this protective coloring as a way of dealing with feeling like such as outsider with classmates. Unfortunately a brief conversation with my mother disabused me of this notion. Apparently my rather confrontational style expressed itself when I was quite young.
This made me wonder why I felt the need to try to justify my personality. Most times I don’t have this urge; I accept myself as what and who I am. Sometimes I become defensive – especially when I’ve heard the comment “Gee, why don’t you tell us what you really feel?” One thing I know about myself is that I probably just did exactly that. What frustrates me is that I feel as though people are subtly trying to shame me; make me embarrassed for my outspokenness. Don’t misunderstand me – I am well aware that I can sometimes come off as abrasive and opinionated. I am both of those things but I am also relatively transparent, what you see is what you get, and I don’t play games. I have a low tolerance for bullshit and try to avoid being a hypocrite. I don’t’ see myself at better than anyone else or worse for that matter. I simply am who I am. I don’t know how to be anyone else or any other way.
So what lesson has Eris offered me? She helped me realize that I’m engaged in a pointless battle. I’m fighting against my true self and it serves no purpose. She also reminds me that this is only on aspect of my personality. I am more than just an occasionally challenging, confrontational creature. I can be quite loyal, supportive, weird, and funny. I can seem like a firecracker going off in your midst – sometimes explosive and sometimes a burst of energy; sometimes enjoyable and sometimes annoying. I guess I’m like most people – a tapestry of positive and negative aspects and that’s okay.
While reading Game of Thrones the other day I realized that many of the more “heroic” characters are ultimately destroyed by their code of “honor”. Knights charge recklessly into battle regardless of whether their cause is just or if innocent lives will be destroyed. Young girls carry romanticized perceptions of good knights protecting ladies fair and good triumphing over evil. The reality is often quite different.
One of the characters, Arya Stark, sees herself as a young warrior, a wolf cub eager to fight for justice and honor. She slowly comes to realize that sometimes being a warrior wolf can be deadly and that being as unremarkable and unobtrusive as a mouse is much safer and likely to prolong one’s life. We may tell tales of heroic figures but how often do they die in pursuit of that immortality?
I once took a two day introductory workshop to Harner shamanic techniques. During the course of the workshop I learned that one of my power animals is Cougar. I found this thrilling – I can embrace and identify with cougar energy. Another power animal is Mouse I have to say that I was not as pleased with this. Mouse has always seemed weak, insignificant and unimportant. The more I thought about it the more I realized how important it would be for me to embrace Mouse energy. I remembered the tale of the mouse who pulled a thorn from a lion’s paw. I watched mice scurrying around in fields (and even rats in the NYC subway system – different energy but similar concept to the point I’m making). These tiny, “insignificant” creatures manage to survive by staying under the radar. They bravely scurry on the edges of our world and our consciousness. As long as they don’t draw attention to themselves, we ignore their existence and they continue to thrive. How often could that lesson have helped me in life?
Looking back I can find many examples of times when my aggressive Cougar nature and energy caused unnecessary problems. It created tensions and confrontations which could have been avoided. If my ego had allowed me to sit in a corner, unnoticed and unremarkable rather than shouting “look at me, look at me”, I might have found numerous situations to be less confrontational. There have been times when I’ll channel aggressive energy (I often envision myself as manifesting The Morrigan) while walking alone down dark NYC streets. I hope to project such a fearsome vibe that no one would dark mess with me. Then I realized that sometimes that kind of vibe challenges other to prove themselves more aggressive. So I decided to try projecting more Mouse energy – “I’m invisible. I can pass through crowds without being seen.” I was careful not to project fear but instead focused on being unnoticed. Regardless of which energy I projected, I say that I was never bothered.
Readings the Song of Ice and Fire series and seeing the various personas projected by the different characters made me realize that sometimes acting fierce and aggressive can attract very confrontational energy to you. Choosing to be more circumspect and unobtrusive can help avoid unwanted attention and be more peaceful. I’m not saying that one should always embody Mouse energy. There are times when being confident, aggressive and even boisterously Cougar is more sensible and natural. I’m simply suggesting that is room in this world for Mouse energy too and being able to determine which energy is appropriate to the situation can help avoid unnecessary aggravation, confrontation and stress. There is a lot of strength and bravery in living a Mouse existence. Their unobtrusiveness is their survival mechanism. In a world filled with claws and teeth and traps, the fact that Mouse survives at all is something of a miracle. This realization has helped me appreciate, honor and embrace Mouse energy. It is as powerful and necessary as Cougar energy but much easier to keep under the radar.
Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
The Book says: In this version of the Wheel we see the planets of our solar system, with inner planets separated from the outer by the band of the wheel. The inner rocky planets represent all that is internal to us – our bodies, feelings, and perceptions – and the out planets embody the spirit and what is external to us: our common ground such as religion and law. The sun in the center is symbolic of the individual will and ego. The traditional planet associated with the Wheel of Fortune is the solar system’s largest: Jupiter. In astrology it represents expansiveness and higher learning and is said to bring good fortune to the individual when favorably placed in the chart. Jupiter is shown at the top of this card ( and in its natural ninth-house position), showing that its influence over the wheel is supreme. The influence of Saturn falling at the bottom of the wheel shows us the judgments we make about value and intrinsic worth in the world. Saturn is a symbol of our limited vision of our individual role in creating a new vision of the future. When the Wheel appears in a reading, it symbolizes a change in one’s individual fortunes. This is the simplest meaning of this card. Beyond this, the card indicates a time when your concerns are with yourself and your own fortunes and future. You are in a period of selfish development when your needs are primary, and you find it easier to fulfill your own needs than to cater to others. The Wheel of Fortune indicates that you find yourself drawn to practices that help you see the out world of nature mirrored inside yourself, such as Tarot and astrology. The Wheel of Fortune indicates and opportunity for self-understanding and self-growth through the mirror of the outer world.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: When I first saw this card my first reaction was that it looked like the Big Bang in action. The Sun’s radiant glory swirling out to embrace the Universe. Looking deeper I note the twelve spokes on the wheel symbolizing the years or the zodiac signs. The planets floating in space each exert their influence in our lives. This card reminds me that there is a cosmic plan in our lives – our horoscope might be one way to explain and examine this plan. I don’t see it as something which sets our every move in stone but more as a guideline, a roadmap or our options and possibilities. I remember a psychology teacher once telling me that humans are often born with the potential for something (we were discussing illnesses and behavior patterns) but he pointed out that our environment and what experiences we are exposed to will determine whether these predispositions manifest themselves. That is how I see our astrological charts. They are guideposts, potentials and possibilities but not our only options. This Wheel of Fortune reminds me of the song Circle of Life from The Lion King. In this image Jupiter’s influence is supreme and Saturn’s is waning. But we all know that eventually Saturn will have its return. Just as we know that Mercury will eventually go retrograde. But at the same time I see the Sun at the center of this marvelous cosmos representing us – after all aren’t we always the center of our own lives. Our radiance and light shines on all those around us, and we influence them as much as we are influenced by them. This Wheel of Fortune is a reminder that we are not alone when we goes through these cycles in our lives. There are others around us who can help guide us and assist us in handling these phases. And hopefully we will be there for them in turn. Maybe the Wheel is our plans, our goals and our dreams, with the influences of the Universe flowing underneath.
Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance
The Book says: The Hermit archetype makes its appearance at the time it is needed the most by our Fool. The diversion from the distractions of the outside world is utterly necessary, for the teachings of the Hermit are loudly silent. In order to perceive these lessons, we must use our inner senses, for the teachings of the Hermit encompass visions that cannot be seen and sounds that cannot be heard. And the ultimate task for any Fool is to first develop the ability to perceive the lessons, then understand their messages and finally, assimilate that knowledge deep within his psyche so that they travel as an intricate and essential part of him as he walks back to his Chariot – ready once again to enter life’s highway and continue on with his journey.
And this time, that intense, fiery blue core, representing the fusion of his material, spiritual and emotional beings, burns brightly and steadfastly within him.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card symbolizes the enlightenment and gateways to new landscapes that we can find if we focus our energies within. But it might not be an easy process. Sometimes we might feel that we are going on the road to nowhere. Other times we might feel overwhelmed and as though we are being swept away by it all. But the bottom line is that if we look within ourselves, and are willing to do the work, we can climb the path to wisdom and self-knowledge. We can explore these inner landscapes and learn to see the beauty in solitude.
It shows us not to fear being alone. There is a difference between aloneness and loneliness. The Hermit represents having the inner serenity and strength to seek this kind of inner knowledge. One of the things that has occurred to me in considering the various Hermit cards is that shining light into the darkness that can be our unconscious, our id, our deepest, darkest depths, takes a strength of will and determination that many of us may not realize we have. The Hermit is not only willing to shine his light on this side of human nature, he also has gained the understanding and wisdom to accept it and not judge it harshly after the fact.
The Hermit is about seeking this inner knowledge so that we can better understand ourselves. In some respects The Hermit is similiar to a psychologist or other counselor. He or she is able to delve into the depths of the human psyche to bring forth the healing light of inner knowledge and serenity, while still being able to resist the tendency to write off humanity. The Hermit helps us face both the best and the worst in human nature and gives us the wisdom and knowledge to face these extremes and keep moving forward.
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.