Tarot Life is a revolutionary way to change your life though the power of Tarot. In a series of 12 magical exercises, wi
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Table of contents :
A Method for Beginners
The Court Cards Revisited
The Sixteen Judges of Justice
The Regrets and Recognitions of the Court Cards
Tarosophy Websites & Resources
TAROT LIFE MONTH 7 FIND EQUALITY Marcus Katz & Tali Goodwin
You are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms. Authors Note: This is Month 7 of our 12-booklet Tarot Life series; you will require the previous Months 1-6 booklets to follow the sequence over the year. Most of the exercises in each booklet may be carried out as stand-alone pieces of selfdiscovery or re-purposed for use in daily, personal or client readings.
INDEX Introduction 4 Finding Equality
A Method for Beginners
Court Cards Revisited
The Sixteen Judges of Justice
Regrets and Recognitions of the Courts 23 Conclusion 39 Bibliography 44 Websites & Resources
TAROT LIFE: 12 STEPS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE A linked series of Gated Spreads to be carried out over a full year. Introduction In this series of Kickstart books of Tarosophy teaching, we take a break from our other tarot books, such as the reference work of Tarot Flip, the seventy-eight innovative Tarot methods in Tarot Twist, and the spiritual considerations of Tarot Inspire, to offer a unique practice of our work. You are about to change your life with Tarot, and whether you are a newcomer to tarot or experienced reader, you are about to do something totally new. In using what we call a Gated Spread – a linked sequence of tarot readings whose questions are determined by the results of real-world activities – you are going to fundamentally alter the way you experience your life. We have combined here the wisdom of the Tarot with years of practical testing and the latest research in psychology and the biology of willpower, belief, habit and other aspects of our being. This series is designed to be experienced a month at a time, and in the sequence given, although there are many methods you will learn that can be used simply by themselves, for yourself or others. You can start at any time, although New Year, your Birthday, or the Spring Equinox are all powerful starting times. This series is accompanied by a private Facebook group for discussion and questions about your experiences as you make this journey. We look forwards to your engagement of tarot with your life – it is about to become a truly Tarot Life. Marcus Katz, The Tarosophist & Tali Goodwin, TaliTarot
Finding Equality Numinous experiences occur in some dreams and seem capable, if assimilated, of producing deep and lasting alterations in the personality structure, an effect parallel to some religious conversions and to some peak experiences in waking life. James M. Hall, 1983 In this seventh month of Tarot Life we encounter the card of Justice, corresponding to Libra. We are now over half-way through the sequence, and we might seemingly come to a “plateau point” at this stage. You may be experiencing a sense of weariness and habit with even the change process itself. This is entirely to be expected, and is comprehended within the system itself – hence, the scales of Libra. Within the context of our “Tarot Life”, we reach this point when we have extended ourselves in the outer world as far as we can go. We now turn to our inner world, to create some powerful changes by using dream-work. Whilst the outer process balances itself from all the work we have done in previous gates, we adjust our inner world through a simple system of checks and balances. This in itself may catalyze dramatic experiences in your “outer” environment and produce numinous experiences in your “inner” world. Sometimes the balancing act may be more subtle, so it is good to continue your journal or make a few notes as to your daily feelings, thoughts and key events, for review at the end of your Tarot Life year experience. In order to find equality, we use the sixteen Court Cards. As these represent the four elements and aspects of our personality, they are used in pairs to achieve balance. In turn, this should lead to far deeper readings when the court cards appear. We have taken the
liberty of repeating here in this booklet for context and completeness an extended version of our free article, “Why You Can’t Read the Court Cards (And How To)”. A Method for Beginners In the stand-alone method for this month, we present a useful journaling exercise which can provoke deep insight from the Court Cards. You can also apply this to regular readings. It uses Court Cards and also introduces reversals. You may find this method breaks through any previous concerns you may have held with using reversals or Court cards! When you use this method you should take out the 16 Court cards and shuffle them in such a way that some cards get reversed; either by manually reversing stacks as you shuffle or by circling them around face-down on a table – being aware of any dust on the table which may scratch cards face-down. The Court Q&A Method Shuffle the 16 Court Cards, allowing for reversals, and consider any situation in your life (or of your querent) which requires a new view. Perhaps it is something where you cannot even think of the right questions to ask for a solution. Take out a Court Card and look at its suit (Wands, Cups, Swords, or Pentacles) and consult the list below, and select the appropriate question, depending on whether the card is upright or reversed. Wands Upright: What has been achieved? Reversed: What is there still to achieve? Cups Upright: What do you feel about the success of the past? Reversed: What has been learnt from the failures of the past? Swords Upright: How do you overcome the obstacles? Reversed: What are the opportunities?
Pentacles Upright: What are our resources? Reversed: What are our requirements? Then consider the rank of the card (ignoring any reversal) and add the following consideration to your question. King: In the long-term for my own good. Queen: In the long-term for the good of others. Knight: In the mid-term for the best possible outcome. Page: In the short-term. So if you drew the Knight of Swords reversed, your question is “In the mid-term for the best possible outcome, what are the opportunities?” Then draw another card and consult the relevant response, which uses reversals, taking the rank first and then the suit: King (upright): Move slowly but steadfastedly and take control. King (reversed): Stay absolutely where you are and wait. Queen (upright): Develop and nuture whatever is already happening. Queen (reversed): Cut back and be ruthless, aborting what is not working. Knight (upright): Take action swiftly. Knight (reversed): Let others run this one. Page (upright): Make a first step, for the sake of it. Page (reversed): Keep everything close to home and risk-free. And then the Suit: Wands (upright): Towards your ambitions and vision. Wands (reversed): Within the bounds of what others have done. Cups: In the depths of your feelings and intuition. Cups (reversed): Without muddying the waters. Swords: In the light of your mind, and common-sense. Swords (reversed): Taking it way out of the box. Pentacles: In the sense of your gut feeling.
Pentacles (reversed): Not making any changes at all. So if you drew the Queen of Pentacles (reversed), the response would be: Cut back and be ruthless, aborting what is not working, not making any changes at all. If that were the response card to the first example question, the Knight of Swords (reversed), we would see that in the mid-term, all we can do is cut back and not make any new progress, just clear the ground by ejecting whatever is not presently working for us. You can continue to pick out pairs of cards in this prompt/response manner for so long as you find it useful to explore your situation – although we usually find four pairs (8 cards) is sufficient and avoids overload or conflicting messages. We will now give a section on the Court Cards from our free downloads on www.tarotprofessionals.com for convenience and context. The Court Cards Revisited As many students and professionals will testify, the Court Cards are the most troublesome to learn and interpret in a reading. It seems that everyone asks the same question – do I read this card as a person, an event, an energy, or part of the personality of the Querent? In Tarot Life, we have seen how their living energies manifest and fluctuate through our own personality. There are whole books written on the subject; Kate Warwick-Smith’s The Tarot Court Cards (Destiny Books, 2003) and Mary K. Greer and Tom Little’s Understanding the Tarot Court (Llewellyn, 2004). The popular beginner books devote sections to the Court cards, noting they may be read in as many as seven different ways, even as a time of the year (see Anthony Louis, Tarot Plain and Simple (Llewellyn, 2003)) without giving much indication of how the Reader is to know which of those seven ways to choose. In Joan Bunning’s Learning the Tarot (Weiser, 1998), an example is provided where the Queen of Pentacles may be the environment of a house, another person in that house group, or yourself. Bunning calls this the “subtle play of the Tarot” but offers no real conclusion to
which interpretation to follow in this example or any other reading where a Court Card appears. The Court cards are also certainly an area where we may project our own opinions of our fellow creatures. In Sally Gearhart and Susan Rennie’s A Feminist Tarot (Persephone Press, 1977), we see the Knight of Swords as “heavy police or military action repressing minority elements”. The Court cards are also particularly time-fixed, both in their hierarchical nature and their possible interpretations as roles and relationships; in a 1930’s cartomancy book by Zodiastar, 30 Different Ways of Card Fortune-Telling (Universal, 1936), we read that the advice for a Queen of Hearts person-type is “you ought to marry a strong-willed person, since you need guidance”. People Are Strange The main issue with Court cards, as Jim Morrison sang, is that “people are strange”. When we are presented with the Court Cards, we immediately see a person, and more so, a person in a role. These are not just anybody – they are people in positions of power or service. Here we see an immediate issue; how do you personally relate to hierarchy? The rigid structure of the Court is defined by notions of control, rulership, and in many cultures, divine right. You cannot look at the King without having to access your own unconscious associations with kingship. So you may wish to take a moment to think of what comes to mind when you think of a King (or Queen). To which periods of time do you travel? If you were a King or Queen, how would you feel? What would you feel about your role in society? How would it influence your actions as a person? These are some of the many immediate yet consequential thoughts that arise when we are presented with this apparently simple and straight-forward image. But people are strange. We know that from working on the Major cards, these cards, such as the High Priestess and the Hermit, are not people, are not the archetypes, but arising images constellating from an unknowable archetypal field. Thus they remain ultimately indefinable and it is in this that resides their power to offer multiple interpretations within a reading. This is essential for Tarot to work.
The same goes for the Court Cards. They are not the pictures that are depicted. They are not roles and they are not people. They are symbolic place-holders for energies in relationship. They are examples – or more specifically – exemplars, of how the Universe holds together and reflects itself through our perceptions and awareness. However, because they are easily depicted as people in roles, our attention is held by this presentation, and remains at that level. We must learn to look deeper – this is what Tarosophy teaches us. When we look at a person, especially ourselves, we access the whole realm of the archetypal. We function in the mundus imaginalis of Henri Corbin, the imaginal world. It is here that true divination originates, if such could be said. The whole spectrum of experience is accessible to us – and anyone else. So when we look at a Court Card depicting another human being, we cannot help but wonder what the Knight of Wands does on his day off – whether he lays down his wand and takes up his cups, perhaps? We cannot and do not see them fixed in their role. This is why we cannot read the Court cards. We try to fix them and they cannot be so fixed whilst we maintain them as people in roles. At least the Minors depict tableaus which we take as applying universally and the Majors as images of archetypal patterns that cascade into our reality in any manner of different fashions. With the Court Cards, we immediately get locked into seeing them as personages, roles, even personality-types. And given that people are strange and infinite, we bounce between simple limitations; the King of Swords “is personified in successful investors or business persons …” (Paul Quinn, Tarot for Life (Theosophical Publishing House, 2009)) and their infinite possibilities as people within the archetypal realms. Infinite Strains of the Loom If we go to the highest and most universal reading of these set of sixteen cards, arrayed in a four-by-four loom, we can see that they are composed of a warp and weft created by four levels in four worlds. This is particularly appropriate to a Kabbalistic correspondence of four elements in four worlds as used by the
Golden Dawn and subsequent esoteric groups such as the Ancient Mystical Order of Seekers (AMOS), whose Path of Light teachings, vol. VII cover the Tarot. The Rosicrucian teachings of AMORC and BOTA also make this correspondence between the Court Cards and the Kabbalistic model. So we should perhaps consider the nature of these sixteen cards as primarily an elemental nexus – a knotting of raw energy in a particular form, held in a tapestry of sixteen squares. As this energy is in motion, it strains against the other knots, pulling our array out of shape. We might think of this like gravity – a number of objects in space all invisibly shaping what passes between their influences. When a court card or two turn up, they are gravity wells in your reading, bending the other cards around it! As the four levels of energy also have their elemental correspondences, we can further follow the Golden Dawn (and Crowley) in creating a matrix of elemental mixtures. The Suits have their standard elemental correspondences, such as Earth corresponding to Pentacles, and the four levels have their correspondences of Fire (King), Water (Queen), Air (Knight) and Earth (Page). Thus we start with the Page of Pentacles being the Earthy part of Earth, all the way to the King of Wands being the Fiery part of Fire. You might like to fill in the gaps below with your own analysis, reflections and keywords for these elemental nodes:
These will give you the elemental essence of these sixteen cards, whether they manifest that essence through a person, event or characteristic. You may also now be able to make sense of the Golden Dawn titles of these cards, such as the Knave of Pentacles (Page of Pentacles) being entitled “The Princess of the Echoing Hills: Rose of the Palace of Earth” as she is the Earth of Earth. The Knave of Cups (Page of Cups) is called “The Princess of the Waters: The Lotus of the Palace of the Floods”, being the Earthy part of Water.
Elemental Court Cards I (Marcus) would personally redesign the Court cards as more ethereal or abstract images to reflect those elemental essences. In a sense, the work of Ithell Colquhoun on her Tarot deck mirrors perfectly how I would cast the Court. The card illustrated here is the Ace of Pentacles. The colours and shapes would refer to the correspondences of the elements, for example, a simple key of Red for Fire and Blue for Water would give us a King of Cups card merging those two colours. Illus. Limited edition Artwork Tarots No 19. Tarot by Ithell Colquhoun. Working within the colour correspondences of the Golden Dawn, I would have the Air suit of Swords drawn as blue/yellow rays, in patterns according to their level: Page: Unformed blue/yellow swirls, as unmixed gases, layered Knight: Directed rays as if sunlight through clouds Queen: Long uniform curves of curling shapes and morasses King: Stable lines and shapes, fixed in position like lasers (“coherent light”) This would then avoid me reading the cards as people or being stuck with outdated notions of courtly hierarchy. However, I would still be interested to know if I should read this energy as coming through into manifestation as a person, a part of myself or my Querent, or as a general summary of a particular process or complex situation. Knowing How to Read a Court Card If we accept the sixteen Court cards as dictating the nature of forces and their levels in a reading, we can use experience to determine how they are most likely making themselves manifest. A single Court card in a spread would indicate that energy taking centre stage, bending the cards around it, influencing and impacting upon them. Likely a particular individual then! A large number of Court Cards for me signify a tension of energies, particularly if they are varying
suits, indicating the levels are also widely variant. This more often than not signifies aspects of the Querent’s personality at conflict. Just two or three Court cards in a typical spread tend to indicate the environmental forces for me – the levels and energies at work in a project, relationship or ambition taken as a whole. This system makes it far easier and more accurate (in my experience) to read the Court Cards – if it is just one card, you will be seeking to identify a person who fits that nature, if two or three, it is a summary of the events taking place, and if more – they are aspects of the person involved, making it more practical to explore with the person present. Court Cards Old Style Another older method of interpreting the Court Cards may give you an interesting variation in your spread reading. This is from the time of Papus and Etteila. Whilst they certainly confused the origins of the Tarot, making links to ancient Egypt and beyond, they were adroit at making systems of divination based on correspondences. More so, they were fond of systems that “weary not the memory”, something we are also keen to attain in our own teaching! They therefore built up from simple principles,. In Papus, we read that the Court Cards stand for Man, Woman, Young Man and Child. These correspond to the nature of – and here we have rephrased slightly for contemporary usage – Creativity, Union, Conflict and Transition. We can then apply these correspondences in the World (Element/Suit) in which they find themselves expressed. Thus a Page of Swords would simply represent Transition in the world of finances and material matters – a very uncertain position! A Queen of Swords would be union in the world of intellect and knowledge – perhaps a sudden insight, new item of information, or agreeing to learn. The Knight of Wands is a conflict in ambitions and lifestyle choices – perhaps even a sudden overturning of values. You may like to complete the table below with your own interpretation and experience of these keys.
Are You Lookin’ at Me? Finally, buried in Etteila, there is an interesting idea which may be used successfully for readings and seems to work very well. This is a simple rule – the Kings and Queens are other people, and the Knights and Pages are how those other people see (or respond to and project onto) the Querent. This is a nice simple idea loaded with psychological implication when used in a reading! If you have a few Court cards in a spread, this is a fascinating exercise, as you identify the people involved, and then divine how they are responding to the Querent from their own positions in the situation, represented by the spread itself. Thus you may have a Queen of Pentacles and a Knight of Swords in a reading for a male Querent. The former is in the “crossing” position of a Celtic Cross reading, and the latter is in the “resources” position. The Queen would represent a real person, obstructing the Querent in some way, and the Knight would show how she was viewing the Querent – as being too ruthless or quick to make decision perhaps – not as a “resource” then, but as a threat.
Sometimes the question may be about a family situation or complex workplace environment and hence the Court Cards may all represent actors in that dynamic. In this case, I would be tempted to do a reading with the Court Cards alone, to place them in relationship to each other and explore how they relate. You could also perform an interactive reading where the cards are split into Majors, Minors and Court Cards. The Querent selects out the Court Cards to represent the people involved, and lays them out in the most appropriate pattern. You then shuffle the Majors and place a Major card against each Court card on the table, to divine which archetypal force that player is working through (or being worked through). You can then shuffle and place from the pile of Minors cards to divine what the relationship is between each player – and even better, another card for how to resolve that relationship. The following illustration is an example free-form spread using this method, which we call “All The World’s a Stage”. You may wish to explore it and determine your own interpretation. All the World’s a Stage Reading
Tarot Lovers images copyright © Karyn Easton.
In this reading, the Querent selected the Court Cards and placed them in those positions. The Knight of Wands was riding away! The Majors were placed above and below the Court Cards, and then two cards selected from the Minors also, to divine the relationship and its resolution between the King of Cups and the Knight of Wands. These cards were the Three of Swords, showing the current relationship, and the Two of Pentacles showing a means of resolution. What do you think those two cards suggest together? Whilst there are many interesting aspects of this reading, what might you also make of the Hanged Man working through the Page of Coins? Having presented this method, we now move on to the core work of this month’s gated spread, in which you will practice a nightly dream exercise based on a single card chosen at the end of each day. We continue this month with an exercise where we are pairing cards for comparison, rather than previous months where we have usually focused on the meaning and message of one card. As we move on, we are now at the stage where it is the meaning that arises by comparing and contrasting cards that we will experience and learn. After the next gate, we will be performing “living spreads” which is a practice unique to Tarot Life and Tarosophy. The Sixteen Judges of Justice In the Tarot Life practice of this month, you are going to use the sixteen court cards as gateways to your inner world. In recognizing your own actions and decisions during each day, you will make associations with various court cards and then balance each one with its opposite nature. As this will happen in your sleep, it is an easy exercise to carry out and very suitable for this stage of the process. Whilst having a rest and letting our previous work settle, we are still working within the process!
To work with the method, follow these steps: 1. At the end of each day, make a note in your journal under two column headings; “REGRETS” and “RECOGNITIONS”. This is a variation of an esoteric journaling method called ‘The White and Black Mirrors’. 2. Under the column of ‘regrets’, write down 2-3 things during the day which you would have rather done better, differently or not at all. If you have no regrets, that is fine, move on to the next step. 3. Under the column of ‘recognitions’, note where you feel good in review and retrospect, of things you did well or came out good. You should have at least one thing in one of the columns, even if you slept all day – that might be a regret! 4. Compare your regrets and recognitions with the various descriptions and suggestions of the sixteen Court Cards and judge ONE court card which reflects the main theme of your columns for that day. It does not matter if you have a “mixed” day, use your intuition to pick one appropriate court card out of those that might correspond to your regrets and recognitions. You may find this becomes strangely easier and you being to experience far more “one card days” as the month progresses – one of the hidden miracles of Tarot Life. 5. Then also select out the “Balance” card from the list below, which you will recall from Month/Gate Five: Page of Pentacles … Knight of Pentacles … Queen of Pentacles … King of Pentacles … Page of Swords … Knight of Swords …
King of Swords Queen of Swords Knight of Swords Page of Swords King of Pentacles Queen of Pentacles
Queen of Swords … King of Swords … Page of Cups … Knight of Cups … Queen of Cups … King of Cups … Page of Wands … Knight of Wands … Queen of Wands … King of Wands …
Knight of Pentacles Page of Pentacles King of Wands Queen of Wands Knight of Wands Page of Wands King of Cups Queen of Cups Knight of Cups Page of Cups
6. Take both these Court Cards and place them either side of the JUSTICE card from your deck, close to where you can see them before sleep or bed. If you do not wish to have the cards in your sleeping area, simply take them out to look over them in another room before you retire at night. 7. At night, before sleep, look over the three cards so you can retain a clear idea of their images – as much as possible, even if only a vague recollection of their key features. 8. As you go to sleep, perform the following visualization - or as closely as possible, aiming to get more detailed over the month. Stand in front of a large door, upon which is painted the JUSTICE card image. On either side, on large pillars, plinths, drapes or wall carvings are seen the two Court Cards. They may all (or some) be animated, even living. Allow them to be represented however they come to your mind at this time. This is the portal of Justice. Consider the ideas of reward and retribution, held in the scales of Justice herself. Perhaps you may see her as Ma’at, the ancient Egyptian deity of ‘measure’ and ‘law’ beyond even the gods themselves.
Step forwards and saying to yourself in a clear voice “I am both [Court Card 1] and [Court Card 2] as I enter equality within” enter through the door (or portal) of justice. For example, you may say, “I am both the Queen of Swords and the Knight of Pentacles as I enter equality within”. You may continue a creative visualization beyond that point, or simply dwell and consider the equality of the two cards until sleep. On awakening, make a note of any dreams. In Practice We recommend this as a daily practice over the month, or you can perform it weekly, or every few days. You can derive a pair of cards after a few days self-observation, and then work with them in dreaming for another few days until you feel as if they have shifted something (equilibrated) in your sleep. If you are unsure as to which Court Card to represent your regret and recognitions of the day, select one from the sixteen as an act of divination, or choose one which seems best to capture the overall feeling you have for the day, or the theme of the major events of the day. It is important in this gate not necessarily to establish a routine, but rather at least work with four or more pairs to get the best out of the gate. You can add lucid dreaming methods to this practice, or work with the Inner Guide Meditation – if the Guide agrees. Another addition is to visualize yourself exiting the door/portal/gate each morning as you awake. At this stage of Tarot Life, you should be more confident about developing the gates to suit your own way of working. You can always ask in the Facebook group if you are unsure. Note that it can often be powerful to simply write down some notes when you awaken, even if they are only “I can’t recall my dreams, but I woke with a feeling of bemusement”. The act of writing dreams out and then reading them provides a recognition to the unconscious that you are responding to it, which will encourage further dreams.
The Regrets and Recognitions of the Court Cards The King of Wands The King of Wands rules with brilliance; he possesses vision and is a natural innovator, he is the live-wire that takes risks. He likes to conquer and to spread his ambition far afield. The harder he works the more he can do and he truly lives up to what a wise lady once said “The more you do, the more you can do!” This ruling energy is truly a dynamic force. He is passionate and dedicated to his cause/causes and leads the way for others to follow. Waite says of him “he connects with the symbol of the lion, which is emblazoned on the back of his throne”. This power behind the King is all Leo-energy, he is supported by this force. The word throne can be traced by to early Greek, Dio thronus, and was said to mean “Support of the heavens”. The King of Wands shares the traits of the astrological sign of Leo; generous and creative, open, extrovert, a bit of a performer, and very extravagant. He loves the spotlight on him. He is noble (or thinks he is) through and through, but this can come across as downright arrogant. An example of this type of character would be Donald Trump, the American business magnate. The only time you can walk all over him, is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one at a time please! It has to be said about the King of Wands, they know how to leave their mark! His negative traits are being bossy, overbearing and he never knows when to shut up. A character shown by this card would also be a little unforgiving at times. REGRETS: Giving up on something. Being overbearing.
Stealing the spotlight from others. RECOGNITIONS: Powering something through. Meeting a target, goal, vision or ambition. Acting as a role-model for an individual or group. Queen of Wands The Queen of Wands is the power behind the throne. She is the one who rules growth and movement. She is dynamic by nature and inspires those around her to create - she herself is a trail blazer .It was this sort of energy that ignited the industrial revolution. Waite says of the Wands suit, it is “Life and animation”, amd its court embodies the creator energy in four aspects. The Queen of Wands personality is, again according to Waite, “ardent, lithe, animated, impassioned, noble”, however she has an added quality, that of being “magnetic”, she attracts people to her presence like a bee to a honey pot. She is an extrovert; the natural social networker who excels in business, and is the life and soul of any party. REGRETS: Not following your own decision. Not showing enthusiasm. Avoiding a challenge. RECOGNITIONS: Getting people inspired as a group. Showing vision and energy. Encouraging a task with passion. Knight of Wands The Knight of Wands, like all four Knights he is effectively the right hand man of his King, in this case of Wands. He does his bidding
and serves as a representative for the King’s intentions and values. He physically and emotionally thrusts his way through a situation. There are certain similarities to the King of Wands but the Knight is more at home seated on his horse than he would be on a throne. However, a Knight is not above wanting to depose a King, especially where there is a Queen involved! Like the King he is all male energy. In fact, the Knight is driven by conquest and aims to overcome any oncoming force - or anybody who gets in his way. Waite remarks that “the motion of the horse is a key to the character of his rider, and suggests the precipitate mood”. Therefore our Knight is one who throws himself forward into life almost with no care to what lies ahead or below. He is fearless and he is ready to handle anything that comes his way. He is a mover and shaker, one who makes it happen or paves the way for others. REGRETS: Not taking an active part in a situation. Giving in to someone else’s intentions. Staying in all day. RECOGNITIONS: Undoing a bad situation or decision. Standing up for yourself or others. Promoting somebody’s ideas or actions. Page of Wands The Page of Wands is an envoy, a deliverer of news. Characterwise, he can be considered a whipper-snapper! His energy is one of enthusiasm but at times can be misguided, due to his immaturity. He is prone to believing that he knows it all, even though he has only just begun. This can mean that what he speaks of is not always to be taken as the gospel truth. He can be seen as being connected to the Page of Swords, in that the Page of Wands delivers news and the Page of Swords makes the news.
REGRETS: Not speaking up. Missing a message or communication from someone. Being boring. RECOGNITIONS: Delivering the truth in an effective manner. Getting word around. Going the extra step in something for the joy of discovery. King of Cups With the King of Cups we have one who is able to connect to their emotional world, no matter its condition. They are able to somehow connect to it, yet not be overwhelmed by it. This is signified in the card by the chainmail armor of the king and his foot hovering over the depths. Waite says of him that he is likely to be a man of “business, law or divinity”. These careers perhaps are all the more successful where one is able to harness emotions and intuition in practical service. In terms of Kabbalah, this card is the image of the highest level of Briah, the world of creation. In essence, it shows how creativity arises; and we see the “leaping dolphin” that Waite describes in the card (Waite-Smith Tarot) appearing again out of the Chalice held by the Page of Cups. In the description of that card, Waite suggests it is “the pictures of the mind taking form”. So these two cards together suggest “imagination”. When considering equality, the King of Cups is one who will come up with visionary and imaginative means of balancing the calm and the turbulent, the slow and the rapid. He is one who takes imbalance as an opportunity to create elegant solutions. REGRETS: Getting carried away emotionally.
Being overwhelmed by someone else’s emotions. Being too cold to someone or responding inappropriately. RECOGNITIONS: Taking charge in an emotional situation. Recognising someone’s emotional state and acting on it. Being wise in some way. Queen of Cups “The only gift I have to give, is the ability to receive. If giving is a gift, and it surely is, then my gift to you is to allow you to give to me.” ― Jarod Kintz. The Queen of Cups rules emotions, she does not hold back in giving out favours to those who she considers to be in need. She is perceptive and receptive to the feelings of others and works hard to bring people together, especially if this is towards a good cause. The Queen of Cups is vocationally driven and can be seen working her magic in the caring profession - she is often the healer of all that is sick and in need. A person who is very much tuned to her psychic side, she was described by Waite as “being one who sees visions in a cup”, and this ability is not hampered by a dependence on reason. She is empowered by her intuition and this allows her to glimpse what came before and what will follow. She is a true visionary, who knows, simply because she does. “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be. Your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” James Allen, British Philosophical writer. (1864- 1912) Her communication style is purely emotional. She is the diametrical opposite to her sister, the Queen of Swords. This latter is the Queen of wise-cracks, who will give you a “piece of her mind”. Whereas our Queen of Cups will “give you a piece of her heart” instead. She does
not hold a grudge and would never wage a vendetta. In a reading she represents a very fair-minded person and is full of commonsense. REGRETS: Being selfish. Holding a grudge and making it known. Withdrawing from social contact. RECOGNITIONS: Where you put the emotional needs of another before your own. You were a shoulder to cry on. You acted as a peacemaker and helped to resolve a conflict. Knight of Cups The Knight of Cups bears his chalice as a proposal, a proposition, an opportunity to go on a quest, perhaps one of high vision or romantic idealism. He is not quite in touch with anything real, and totally “head in the clouds” – although he does get through life on this basis, if he has supporters. The ideal card for the songwriter, artist or poet, the “messenger” nature of the Pages is here brought out in communication by ones art and craft, in any shape, manner or form. In its most mundane sense in a reading, it can show an invitation to do something not connected with financial reward. A party, perhaps, depending on other cards – a charity event, a helpful task, even. In righting wrongs and finding equality, the Knight of Cups has idealism and will protest if he finds his sense of fair play offended in any way. REGRETS: Not being creative. Not being imaginative or playful. Not seeking a solution out of the box. RECOGNITIONS:
Being surprising. Being open to spontaneity. Creating something new. Page of Cups A studious youth is how Waite sees the Page of Cups, and imaginative, creative, and reflective. Also a bearer of news. Crowley, on the other hand, sees the romantic in the card; his Princess of Cups is “infinitely gracious. All sweetness, all voluptuousness, gentleness, kindness and tenderness are in her character”. The character of this card is best, he says, in fact, “unsurpassed” as a “helpmeet”, a support person, a group worker, dependent on those around them. As the earthy part of water, in terms of elemental characteristics, the card is one of crystallization, as Waite describes it, “the pictures of the mind taking form”. In fact, imagination and visualization. If asked about fairness, balance and equality, a person who embodied the purest nature of this card would likely take the most optimistic, romantic, and probably most unrealistic position on the matter. REGRETS: Not supporting others emotionally. Not being a team-player. Failing to help. RECOGNITIONS: Helping others emotionally or otherwise. Being romantic. Being hopelessly optimistic despite the odds King of Swords The King of Swords rules with absolute conviction, he uses his words as a weapon to meter out justice and demonstrate his power.
He is not one who opens the door - he is the one who knocks and moves in! He makes decisions with military precision, he is a strategist, and nothing is ever left to chance. A methodical man, he plans and then he executes, and nothing will stand in his way of progress once he has his mind set upon it. So woe betide anyone who attempts to cross him, in a personal way, such as love or relating, or in affairs of work or business - for he will surely cut them down. In a conflict he will not show any hesitation or give way, he knows that to show signs of uncertainty would leave him and those close to him open to attack. He certainly espouses the maxim “He who falters is lost”. His pride is in teaching by example, he will not expect others to do that which he is not prepared to do himself. And where he leads the way others will follow. REGRETS: Not acting decisively. Being wooly-minded or confused about something. Not defending yourself. RECOGNITIONS: Acting with pure intent. Being strategic. Planning. The Queen of Swords “A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing”. Queen Elizabeth I of England The Queen of Swords is formidable and one who does not suffer fools gladly. When it comes to injustice she may be as cutting as Lewis Carroll’s The Queen of Hearts; who in the tales of Alice does not shy from saying “Off with their heads”. However, please do not condemn her as cruel and uncompassionate, for hers is a tough kind of love and like Solomon,
who may appear ruthless on the surface, she is in fact deeply compassionate and wise. In a time of crisis, she has the capacity for great understanding that has been accrued from sorrow and hard experience. The Queen of Swords, will carefully weigh up what has gone before. Then will save the day with the quick wit and verbal acuity of a barrister and the emotional calm and dexterity of a surgeon. The Queen of Swords is a keen researcher and curator of facts and figures, and she can be heard using the homily “A place for everything and everything in its place”. Nothing is ever left to chance with this imperious lady, as she is a planner, a promoter and ever so proud of the fact. The Lady is fearless and has nerves of steel, she is able to keep calm when all around her are “losing their heads”. This comes from her ability to keep her conscience free from unprocessed emotion, nothing is absorbed into her being without being screened, worked through and disseminated into its rightful place. She is the great thinker, organiser and academic. REGRETS: Negative aspects of the card, expressing the qualities to the extreme. Using sarcasm for the sake of it. Being too obsessed with order and regime. Being intolerant of somebodies shortcomings. RECOGNITIONS: Keeping your head in a stressful situation. Speaking up to right a wrongdoing. Counselling/advising somebody who needed good advice. Knight of Swords The Knight of Swords is “air of air” in the elemental associations of the cards, and whilst he is of the mind, he is also active – a Sir Galahad of the tales (as Waite describes him), charging forward with vision and courage.
This Knight takes a pro-active stance on equality and fairness, although whilst he is keen to wave his sword about, he must be sure that he is aligned to a truly noble purpose. He can forget himself. REGRETS: Getting out-of-order. Stepping on someone else’s toes. Breaking privacy or someone’s space. RECOGNITIONS: Volunteering yourself – putting yourself forwards. Doing the job first. Exploring something scary and new. Page of Swords The Page of Swords is a skilled communicator who screens his thoughts well before he speaks. He is a spy in the making! He is quick of tongue, and this makes him able to extricate himself from a difficult situation. Waite’s divinatory meanings of the character describe his qualities as “overseeing, secret service, vigilance, spying, and examination”. On a mundane level, he is the person in the office who is always hanging around to pick up juicy bits of gossip. Perhaps this is so he can communicate to a Page of Wands type character who will pass on the news! The immaturity of the Pages is liable to bring out the negative aspects of the suit energy. He is ruled by his impulsive nature, and being immature, he believes that he knows it all and lets all know that he does. In truth he has only just begun. This attitude could be called ‘youthful folly’ or ‘plain arrogance’. He loves to take the intellectual high ground. He has vision and bright ideas, but little practical skills to actualize them. He lacks structure and cannot stick to any single project, he will flit from one idea to another.
You could say his head is firmly in the clouds of theory. The energy is one of escapism; he is a verbal Houdini and he is liable to become involved in distraction strategies. This could include gambling, or dependence on drink or drugs, according to Crowley. REGRETS: “I’ve had a few”. Showing off. Becoming fixated on one idea. RECOGNITIONS: Being right. Being diplomatic. Being ready. Being all of the above. King of Pentacles The Taurean (bull) correspondence of this card provides much of its qualities and meanings; wealth, comfort, stability and generosity or largess. This is the card of financial accomplishment and structure, the fire (ambition) of earth (money) in this sense. It is a card which denotes funding, a kingdom (wholeness) and rest from struggle – the final outcome of all the work of the pentacles. REGRETS: Wasting money or time. Not making the most of an investment. Not seizing a chance to grow or develop something. RECOGNITIONS: Saving or budgeting.
Making a long-term decision. Sitting still and having patience in a situation. Queen of Pentacles “Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.” - Vaclav Havel The Queen of Pentacles is a practical ruler. She is a doer, not the ‘talker or thinker’ like our Queen of Swords or the ‘dreamer of visions’ like the Queen of Cups’. She is a sculptor who takes all the elements needed to manifest and bring forth form. She is the individual amongst us who carries on regardless, rolls up her sleeves and does the dirty jobs that others avoid, and she is the worker who knows that duty keeps the whole show on the road. Her mantra is ‘a good work ethic in order to maintain security’. This sort of quality would have been seen in the early female pioneer settlers who would have had to work towards building and maintaining family security and independence in a whole new world. Duty is everything to her. REGRETS: Not being productive enough. Never seeing a project through to the end. Not saving enough. RECOGNITONS: Paying back the interest on your credit card in time. Competing unfinished tasks Tending to the garden Knight of Pentacles The card of the “long plod”. The Knight takes his time, has patience, and whilst he may not get going immediately, he is almost unstoppable once he is underway. This is the card that signifies “patience” when it turns up in a reading; you will have to buckle down and wait your turn. It is the card of the “long haul” so unfortunate if you are hoping for fast results.
When working with this card, take time to appreciate your environment, hone your senses, and generally recognize the simple equality of all things in their natural state. REGRETS: Doing something in a hurry. Being impatient. Not appreciating your environment. RECOGNITIONS: Working steadily on a long-term project. Being patient with somebody. Allowing time. Page of Pentacles On Crowley’s version of this card, the Princess of Disks, we see clearly what he describes as “the Chinese ideogram denoting the spiral force of Creation in perfect equilibrium”. This yin/yang symbol of the Tao he further goes on to explore as being captured by the card as “rest”, for it corresponds to the hexagram in the I-Ching of a “mountain”. So the most earthy part of earth in Tarot and Kabbalistic attributions fits perfectly with its eastern equivalent in the system of the I-Ching. The Page in Waite’s version is depicted as being studious and focused entirely in his subject and not his surroundings. It is a card that shows deliberate study, the taking of a course, new information and messages. REGRETS: Not looking before you leap. Doing something hastily. Being distracted.
RECOGNITIONS: Studying. Keeping to one thing. Being practical and using common-sense.
Conclusion What happens within oneself when one integrates previously unconscious contents with the consciousness is something that can scarcely be described in words. It can only be experienced. Carl Jung, quoted by Faraday, p. 256. Throughout this series, we are gradually elevating the tarot into a spiritual tool for ongoing work in real life. The cards can be used to engage in activities, stretch your boundaries, and respond to significant life-changing events – or prepare for them. The Tarot Life is a life which uses the cards as gates between the spiritual and mundane aspects of our experience. In the following five booklets in this series, we will build on our progress in the first seven months, next moving into a new phase of engaging ourselves with the universe in a transformative manner. It is important to the process that you undertake the exercises, and we have an optional Facebook group listed in the appendix where you can share and discuss your experiences, ask questions and gain support. We have also provided in the final section a list of reading materials and website resources to discover more in the very best of Tarot and Tarosophy®. In this series, released monthly over 2013: 1. Discover Your Destiny 2. Remove The Blocks 3. Make Decisions Better 4. Enter the Flow
5. Ride the Lion 6. Connect to Service 7. Find Equality 8. Die To Your Old Self 9. Entering Unity 10. Becoming the Real 11. Your Keys to Freedom 12. The Depth of Divinity
What Follows Next Month In next month’s Tarot Life, everything changes. We work with the force of Scorpio and the card of Death, bringing our cards to life in our daily surroundings. This will be a radical transformation – as one might expect at this stage – taking everything you have done to this point up a level. We also work with the “living spread” method which will form the basis of our concluding gates to Tarot Life. Much of the work before will now be fed back into the gates/spreads to ensure that your path is uniquely geared to your own personal experience.
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