Divination

The Road to Runes

July, 2019

The Road to Runes: The Second Ætt

Last month we went back to basics and looked at the meanings of the first ætt of Elder Futhark runes. This month, we’re exploring the second ætt of Elder Futhark runes, from Hagalaz to Sowulo. This ætt is also known as Heimdall’s ætt but also, sometimes, Hel’s ætt. In an attempt to learn the runes more deeply, I’ve been drawing (writing?) them out in ink, so this month is illustrated with my own hand drawings.

Hagalaz:

The sound “H”. Also known as Haglaz or Hagala. Its literal meaning is hail, and in Viking rune poems is sometimes described as a cold, white seed. Hail is harsh and cold, and a journey through hail can be hard work indeed. Hagalaz signifies that a drastic change is coming; a storm to weather, but that forcing ourselves to go through the change will bring about growth and transformation.

Hail is whitest of grains. It whirls from the sky
whipped by the wind, then as water it trickles away. (Old English Rune Poem, translation Marijane Osborn)

Nauthiz:

The sound “N”. Nauthiz or Naudhiz means necessity or need, in the sense of being in a situation that perhaps is not ideal, and you need something to happen to change it. Need relates to both the needy situation and the deliverance from it. It can represent conflict and disorder, a sense of distress or being stuck somewhere you don’t want to be- either physically or metaphysically. You may have to work hard to get what you need, but if you do, you will be rewarded. Nauthiz encourages self-reliance and creativity, and the focus of your own will power to fix problems.

Need is constricting on the heart / Although to the children of men it often becomes / help and salvation nevertheless / if they heed it in time”(Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem)

Isa:

The sound “ee”. Isa means “ice”, and like the frozen river stops moving, it indicates a period of stagnation where you are, for some reason, unable to move forward on your chosen path. An icy pool may be beautiful, but if we stop too long to stare and admire, we lose focus on the important things we were supposed to be doing. Isa is not a pause to reflect and rejuvenate; it is stasis- unhelpful and unproductive. However, Isa may also indicate that trying to force changes at this time may be unproductive as nature or the universe is currently working against any major changes.

Ice is the rind of the river
And the roof of the waves
And a danger for fey man
(Old Icelandic Rune Poem)

Jera:

The sound “Y”. Jera (pronounced yay-rah approximately) means “Harvest” or “Year” and represents efforts coming to fruition. Jera reminds us that good things don’t come overnight but that we often have to wait and work to get what we want. It’s important to keep working towards goals and not to become discouraged. It may also indicate an ending to something, but one that will come with a new beginning elsewhere. Jera is cycles and change, and sometimes associated with the Winter Solstice. Its shape shows how the elements of the world work together, not against each other. It is, perhaps, conflicting things coming together to create something beautiful.

Harvest is the hope of men, / when god lets, / holy king of heaven, / the earth gives / her bright fruits / to the noble ones and to the needy. (Anglo-saxon Rune Poem)

Eihwaz:

The sound “I” as in “Wild”. Eihwaz is most commonly translated as the Yew Tree, although sometimes linked to the Mountain Ash (Rowan) tree. Yew trees are associated with death, which in divination often means major change or the initiation into something brand new and life-changing. Eihwaz indicates you will find the strength to reach your goals or to discover a sense of purpose. In rune magic, Eihwaz may be used to communicate with the dead or to connect to past lives and experiences.

Yew is a strung bow
And brittle iron
And Farbouti of the arrow.
(Old Icelandic Rune Poem)

Perthro:

The sound “P”. This rune is a “lot box” or a container used for casting lots. It is also sometimes translated as a dice cup or chess piece; a tool for gambling or games of strategy. Perthro may mean things are working in your favour or that a stroke of luck is just around the corner. The open shape of the rune catches memories and experiences and allows you to recall forgotten things. It’s a rune that represents the power of freewill but the way we are all affected by luck and fate to some degree.

Lot-box is always / play and laughter / among bold men / where the warriors sit / in the hall together (Anglo-Xason Rune Poem)

Algiz:

The sound “Z”. Algiz, or Elhaz, means “Elk” and is associated with courage and protection. It’s a sign of having to ward off danger, and in a reading may indicate that the subject is being asked to do something outside of their comfort zone. Algiz may also indicate that it’s worth working up the courage to do whatever is causing fear or worry. Algiz may indicate that emotionally, the person receiving the reading is closed or protective of themselves, and may need to open themselves up to new possibilities. Algiz also represents holiness and the warding of sacred places, and magically may be used to shield against negativity.

Elk´s sedge has its home / most often in the fen / it waxes in the water / and grimly wounds / and burns with blood / any man / who in any way / tries to grasp it. (Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem)

Sowilo:

The sound “S”. Sowilo is the rune of the sun. As one might expect, this rune can represent enlightenment and illumination. It may also mean finding clarity in a confused or ambiguous situation. The sun is a powerful force within our part of the universe, and the rune of the sun represents the indomitable force o our own will power and magic. Sowilo can mean that we have a chance to increase our power and become “invincible”; to ensure that nothing stands in our way. It is the ultimate fruition of goals and purposes, and a sign of guidance to help us towards the journey’s end.

Sun is the light of the lands / I bow to the holiness. (Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme)

Next month we will go on to explore the third ætt, and thereafter we will go back to looking at each rune in a little more detail. Do you have a reading you wish to have interpreted? Do you need a question answering about particular rune? Hit me up on Twitter via @Mabherick.

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Way

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Learning Lenormand

July, 2019

Dreaming Lenormand

I remember when I started learning reading Tarot cards over thirty years ago. I had a deck of Rider-Waite cards and I would lay out one of several spreads on a daily basis – usually a Celtic Cross – but sometimes a Horoscope Spread or a Tree of Life Spread or some other spread I had just read about in a book I had just gotten out from the library. My diary is filled with these readings – some are ridiculously lame – since I obviously had no idea what the cards truly “meant” and I was simply quoting what the “little book” said, trying to fit the “meaning” of the card into the position it landed in the spread and what I wanted to know. This often required some agile mental gymnastics on my part and often, when I am reading these works of psychological analysis today, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry! But even though I was more confused than not, some of the readings are quite astute. Right from the beginning, I can see that I had a knack for reading the cards. I gave the cards nicknames and saw personalities in the cards – a lover of mine was the King of Cups and my best girlfriend was the Queen of Wands, for instance – the cards became profoundly close to my life quite quickly.

I started dreaming “in terms of the tarot” after I had been reading the Tarot for about six months or so. It’s hard to say how I knew I was dreaming about the tarot but I always knew that I was dreaming about this card or that – my diary is filled with descriptions of these dreams. Many of these dreams became poems. I can confidently say that this is where my current Tarot poetry project was generated. Anyone who follows my silverapplequeen or no commas blogs on WordPress knows these poems.

I got my first Lenormand deck around a year ago and now own four Lenormand decks. Although the language of the Lenormand doesn’t come as easily to me as the language of the Tarot, I am beginning to speak it with more fluency. I’ll be honest – I don’t practice with the cards as often as I should – certainly not as often as I did when I first started learning the Tarot. There are reasons for this – my life isn’t as dramatic as it was thirty years ago – I am not trying to figure out the motives and movements of husbands and lovers – I am not constantly changing jobs or homes or trying to become pregnant. I am now retired and my son is a grown man. I don’t have any lovers anymore nor do I desire any. Life is boring! And I like it that way!

But I love the cards and I love collecting them. Lenormand, Tarot, playing cards – I am a card person. I love the feel of them in my hands. I have certain sets I actively look for. I think the Chelsea Lenormand is beautiful and if I ever see it, I am jumping on it like a duck on a June bug. I would also love to own the Blue Bird Lenormand. Right now, I am working with the Fairy Tale Lenormand and the Gaelic Lenormand. I also like the Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards, with the little verse instead of the playing card insert. But I love all of them. My main question with the Lenormand is this: why is there no cat? There’s a dog and a fox – that’s two canines. But no feline energy. That’s a big omission IMHO.

I had my first Lenormand dream a few weeks ago. I didn’t know it was a Lenormand dream until I was awake and thinking about the dream. I was dreaming that I was in a giant mansion by the sea – if you have ever seen the HBO drama “Boardwalk Empire”, it was just like the Commodore’s mansion – only darker and more gothic. There was a coffin in the entrance – a green coffin – I remember the color vividly. I walked around the coffin and then out to the beach. There was a maple tree on the beach.

When I woke up, I thought I had just been dreaming about “Boardwalk Empire” – my son and I had been watching it for several days – I had even been dressed in 1920’s formal wear in the dream. But after thinking about the dream more closely, I realized that it was a Lenormand dream. There were definite Lenormand images in the dream – the coffin, the house, the tree, and the woman. Although it can be argued that I didn’t see the house – I was inside the house – it was still present in the dream.

At the time I had this dream, I was suffering from a terrible eye infection. I looked like a deformed monster. I was in horrible pain and I was horrendously depressed.

(The Fairy Tale Lenormand)

The images of the dream – read in Lenormand cards – Lady, House, Coffin – say no more than “The Lady of the house is ill” – which made me laugh. No shit, sherlock! The tree told me that healing would be coming – after all, in the dream, I am walking to the tree – three weeks after this dream, my eye is healing, although very slowly.

(The Gaelic Lenormand)

A few nights ago, I had a very restless night with dreams that were unclear but very emotional. I know I dreamed of a man I loved passionately but who is now dead and gone. I also dreamed of a close friend who betrayed me. Maybe they were the same person. It was the night of the last full moon but it was a stormy night and with the cloud cover, the moon was hidden. Even so, her power was felt.

I woke up and thought about the dreams I had that night – even though I could barely see them – I could feel them. The Gaelic Lenormand seemed to be the best deck for the dreams I had that night. I used a “Line of Five” spread with the 29 Woman card to signify myself in the middle. The 10 Scythe card paired with the 28 Man card was the lover who was dead and gone. The 18 Dog card paired with the 6 Clouds card was the faithless friend.

(Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards)

Last night, I went to bed thinking about my novel. I have not written a word on this novel in two years but in the last few weeks, I have been thinking about starting work on it again. I woke up this morning knowing that I had been dreaming about writing the novel – that I had found the perfect form for the story – that I was writing easily and happily – that I had found the key. I woke up thinking those words exactly – the key. But I also felt really happy.

So writing is 26 Book and finding the key is 33 Key and feeling happy is 24 The Heart and I’m not even sure why I picked out 4 House except that to me – writing a book means a certain amount of success and that means obtaining the home of my dreams. It all ties together – with me, 29 Woman, in the middle of it all.

Anyway – these dreams have pushed my Lenormand practice into another level – which is really a good thing, because I needed something – my own life was too boring! Now, every morning, I wake up and think – where was I last night? Where did my dreams take me? What did I do in them? Who did I meet? And how does that correspond to the Lenormand? Then I get the cards out and try to make a story out of the dream using the cards. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s sure fun trying!

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

Decks Featured

Fairy Tale Lenormand on Amazon by Lisa Hunt. US Games Systems, Inc. 2016.

The Gaelic Lenormand on Amazon by Diana Clark. http://amzn.to/212x2ij

The Lenormand Fortune-telling Cards on Amazon Sterling Ethos. 2006.

All photographs by Polly MacDavid.

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Tarot Talk

July, 2019

The Nine of Pentacles

(The Nine of Pentacles card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

This month we will go back to the 9’s of the Minor Arcana and talk about the Nine of Pentacles. This is a Minor Arcana card so we know right away that the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. The easiest way to get a decent understanding of a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number, or in the case of Court Cards, its rank, and to examine its suit. We can also find useful information within the image on the card.

The traditional image of the Nine of Pentacles shows a well-dressed woman wearing a beautiful yellow robe decorated with sunflowers, a ring on her finger and earrings in her ears. She is standing in a garden that is overflowing with vines heavily laden with grapes, and is surrounded by nine golden Pentacles. Her left hand is gloved, and on her hand sits a bird of prey wearing a hood, a wild thing that is calm and completely tamed. In the background are green trees, hills, and a glimpse of a large mansion or castle. They sky is clear and golden, as if it is a mid-summer day. The woman’s head is tilted to the side, as if she is looking at her bird. Most versions of the Nine of Pentacles are similar: a well-dressed woman surrounded by the bounty of nature and a rich harvest holding either a bird of prey or a brightly-colored bird.

Let’s look at the number 9. I see the number 9 as representing the fullness or completeness of effect or manifestation. We are talking about completeNESS here, not compleTION or the winding up of a cycle. The number 9 represents our perceptions as we reach the limit of our understanding of or experience of a situation, just before we wind up the process and take another step up the ladder in order to begin the whole process again. In our spoken language, we say that we are going to “go the whole nine yards” when we intend to experience something to the fullest, and that is what the number 9 can tell us in the Tarot.

So just by looking at the number of our card, we already know that the Nine of Pentacles is going to present an intense experience. This will not necessarily indicate that we are done with the experience, but rather that we are at the “peak of the wave” just before the wave tips over and disseminates its energy onto the shore. Now, we narrow down our interpretation by looking at the suit of the card: the suit of Pentacles.

The suit of Pentacles (or Coins, Stones or Disks) corresponds with the element of Earth, and of the physical body, physical manifestation, career, health and wealth. Many Tarot decks use images of pentagrams or coins or disks on their Minor Arcana Pentacles cards as well as trees, flowers and green, verdant growth, all of which will make it easy to connect with the symbolism of this suit. A nice place to begin is with the element of Earth itself.

In its natural state, Earth is cool and dry, and it binds or shapes the other elements. Earth is of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, care of the body, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply and being well-grounded. Earth is the element of form and substance; it is connected to material world security, and to our physical bodies and physical senses, and the pleasures and pains they bring. Earth represents the fertile, nurturing and serene side of Nature, and it represents the tangible end result of our labors. Earth is about stillness and about knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying what we’ve achieved. Earthy energies are fertile, practical, and slow to change.

You can see how easy it is to connect the element of Earth to our daily lives, our physical bodies, our careers and our finances, our families, and the natural world around us. These things are all the main correspondences of the element of Earth, the suit of Pentacles, and of course, are connected to the realm of our Nine of Pentacles, as shown within its image.

The astrological correspondence for the Nine of Pentacles is Venus in the astrological sign of Sagittarius.

Venus is the second-closest planet to the Sun, and is the brightest natural object in the night sky besides the Moon. Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it is often called the Morning Star or the Evening Star. Venus is similar in size, gravity, and bulk composition to our Earth, however, the surface of the planet is very different from our planet. Venus, or the Greek Aphrodite, is the Goddess of love, beauty, and relationships. Venus is a feminine planet and thus is in-taking, rather than out-going. Venus is the bringer of pleasure, happiness, wealth, good fortune, and love. Venus is also associated with the principles of attraction, persuasion, and getting along. Venus represents sociability, friendliness, harmony, balance, values, art, beauty, and romantic love (as opposed to sexual love which is Mars’ domain).

Sagittarius, the 9th sign of the zodiac, is often seen as the wanderer, but remember, not all those who wander are lost. Sagittarius is the truth-seeker, the enthusiastic consumer of information who loves knowledge achieved by traveling the world and talking to everyone. The life quest of a Sagittarian is to understand the meaning of life, using both spiritual and philosophical disciplines to digest what they learn. This is a mutable Fire sign, and thus while exploration and adventure are a necessary part of life, procrastination is also a danger. Sagittarius corresponds with Jupiter, and is expansive in all things, is an effective healer, and can be a bridge between humans and animals.

Venus in Sagittarius can bring adventure, because they combine Venus, the lover, under the rule of Jupiter, the planet of freedom, luck, and breathless risks. There’s a defiant edge to Venus Sagittarius, as you move freely and seek variety in love and among friends. Freedom is valued and limitations are uncomfortable; experiencing everything firsthand, preferably with like-minded people, brings joy and fulfillment. Both Venus and Sagittarius love to make connections to others, love to have fun, love to meet people from diverse cultures and explore new places.

Each of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck also has a home on the Tree of Life of the Qabalah; all of the Nines correspond to the sephira (or sphere) of Yesod. Yesod is the first sphere out of (and the last sphere into) the sephira that represents the physical world, Malkuth. Yesod is about things such as emotions and feelings, which are directly connected to our physical existence, but not actually physical themselves. Yesod is also the home of our life force, our personality, and the Self. It is only above Yesod that the Tree begins to branch out. This reminds us that emotions and feelings and an awareness of our life force and our personality are natural processes, and that exploring them and understanding them is an important part of our own evolutionary process.

The Llewellyn Welsh Tarot Nine of Pentacles shows the traditional well-dressed woman holding a falcon and standing in a ripe field. Behind her is a figure who appears to be tallying or taking notes regarding the harvest The keywords for this card are prudence, assessment, planning and diplomacy; choosing friends and confidants carefully; successful handling of a multi-faceted venture; compassion, patience and effort to understand others.

The Nine of Disks of the Thoth Tarot is named “Gain,” and Crowley sees this card as representing good luck and good management. Here we have a big payoff on the material plane, free from concerns, worries and anxieties. This card represents material gains, an inheritance, riches, and treasures.

The Shadowscapes Tarot Nine of Pentacles tells of the balance of the material world with the spiritual world. The image on the card shows a woman playing a piano that is entwined with trees, a part of the moss and leaves and bark of the trees. She sits on a snail shell, its spirals echoing the spirals of the tree branches, hinting at the golden mean ratio. She smiles as she plays, not looking at her fingers but rather, gazing up at the sun shining through the leaves. This card tells of material well-being and refinement, and the discipline needed in order to obtain them. We are told to rely on our self and trust our abilities, and understand and appreciate the wealth that we already possess.

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot Nine of Coins shows a beautiful woman in a flowing gown with a bird of paradise perched on her arm. She stands on a balcony filled with healthy flowering potted plants, and above her is a brilliant arch of nine golden Coins. In the distance we see a storm, but the storm has passed and now all is calm and brilliantly lit. The image is lush and opulent, almost surreal in its loveliness, telling of accomplishments that look easy on the surface but are actually attained through long and hard work. This card encourages us to retreat from the real world into an environment that is harmonious and comfortable so we can focus on intellectual and spiritual pursuits.

The Nine of Pentacles is seen by many as one of the most fortunate cards in the entire deck. Yes, this card often tells of good luck, but it also tells us that hard work over time can bring wealth, pleasure and an easy life. The Nine of Pentacles tells us that we have strength of character; we are self-sufficient and efficient. Best of all, we can enjoy the company of others and yet still enjoy alone time. As long as we don’t expect too much from others or allow others to demand too much from us, we will succeed.

We do need to remember that success can mean worldly achievement, but the best end result is to succeed in creating ourselves, the best we can be, out of the material given to us by the circumstances and conditions of our life. The Nine of Pentacles represents quality and an awareness of the value of the gifts we have been given, and is the emblem of a truly evolved person.

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot on Amazon

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About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

The Road to Runes

June, 2019

The Road to Runes: Back to Basics

The Elder Futhark runes are a Germanic alphabet, a writing system and a divination tool. For the past few months, I’ve focused on a different rune or reading every month. I thought it might be useful to list each of the runes and their meaning as a point of reference. This month, I’m focusing on the first ætt, or set of eight of the 24 runes. This ætt is known as Freyr’s, Frey’s or Freyja’s ætt. Each ætt is dedicated to a deity or deities, or overseen by them, to match that ætt to the aspects of those deities.

Frey and Freyja are Vanir twins. They feature heavily in the mythology surrounding the war between Aesir and Vanir. They represent various, complex aspects of humanity and divinity, but at their simplest are associated with fertility, re-birth, wealth and expansion or increase. They are also often linked to emotional and physical happiness and compassion.

Each of the runes I’ve gone into in a bit more detail in past posts has a link to the relevant article.

Fehu:

The sound “F” as in “Fulsome.” The rune meaning is most often given as “cattle.” Fehu is associated with the colours green and brown. The ownership of cattle has frequently indicated wealth, so the rune Fehu is often associated with material possessions and financial success. It can also be a warning against greed or becoming a “slave to the wage”. Just as cattle can either be passive and calm, or a chargin, raging herd, Fehu can represent either abundance or destruction. With this in mind, Fehu is also associated with fertility and the creation of life, as well as the natural cycles of death and rebirth.

Uruz:

The sound “oo” as in “loose.” The rune means Aurochs, a wild ox. This rune can be associated with both the colours orange and dark green. Like Fehu, there is a link to cattle, and therefore it’s easy to think this rune also means wealth and power. However, the Aurochs is wild and untameable, so this is power we cannot control; a primal force. Uruz may mean that success is just around the corner, waiting to manifest. Uruz is also linked to physical and mental wellbeing, and a deeper understanding of one’s self.

Thurisaz:

The sound “th” as in “Thorn,” which is this rune’s meaning, although it also means “Giant.” Thurisaz may be associated with the colour white. Thurisaz is a rune of defense and protection. It is about directing a destructive force at one’s enemies- or dealing with conflict in the most direct way possible. This may mean remaining completely passive and avoiding a conflict, or it may mean taking immediate action. Thurisaz warns of a storm on the horizon and allows time to prepare. It is the protective hedge of hawthorn, a boundary between the reader and harm. Thurisaz is also linked to regeneration and the replenishment of things. Expect new beginnings and a fresh start or renewed motivation.

Ansuz:

The sound “aah” as in “heart”. This rune means breath or mouth, and is often associated with the divine breath or sound of creation. It may be associated with the colour purple, often used to represent spirit in Wiccan practices. This is Woden’s or Odin’s rune, and represents the links between thought, word, and creativity. Ansuz can indicate that even in times of chaos, order can prevail to find a way through. It encourages the reader to find patterns within the madness and trust in the natural flow of things. Take a leap of faith.

Raidho:

The sound “R” as in “Riding.” This rune means wheel, and is associated with traveling and journeys. It can be associated with the colours blue and black. Raidho reminds the reader of the dangers of remaining stationary and lapsing into stagnation. In order to be in the right place at the right time, it’s important to keep moving. This may mean physically, metaphorically, or metaphysically. Is there a need to move house, travel, attend a reunion? Or is there another job that calls? Or perhaps a spiritual journey has reached an obstacle and needs to change path- or does the reader need to power on through? Raidho is encouragement to trust the inner compass, and to avoid becoming trapped. This may mean breaking free of the imprisonment of existing beliefs, ideals, or self-image.

Kenaz:

The sound “k” as in “Ken”. Kenaz means torch, and is associated with the colour yellow. Like the torch, Kenaz shines a light into the darkest corners. This rune brings illumination to puzzling situations, lending knowledge, understanding and learning to one’s life. Kenaz is a fire rune and represents creation, sacrifice, and the use of fire as a hearth or forge in order to make the will and intellect manifest. Kenaz is often seen as the rune of the craftsperson or artist, particularly when looking for inspiration or the training and increasing of creative skills. Kenaz may also be associated with love and lust, and the combining of opposites to create something positive.

Gebo:

The sound “g” as in “giving.” Gebo literally means gift and its meaning is closely linked to the honour and respect shown between people when they willingly exchange gifts. Gebo may be associated with the colours gold, silver or red. As well as being the rune of giving and generosity, Gebo represents the connection between humans and the gods, and the forces and honour which are exchanged through this connection. A human is bound to their deity through respect, sacrifice, offerings and love. The God or Goddess is bound to the human through the exchange of divine favour or knowledge. Because of this, Gebo is often linked to positive partnerships, contracts, and even love. Love between siblings is sometimes indicated, or Gebo may refer to the partnership and attraction/connection between two (or more!) lovers.

Wunjo:

The sound “w” or “v” as in “well-being” or “vitality.” This rune’s literal meaning is joy or delight, and it can either be associated with the colours pink or blue. The importance of happiness is recognised in Norse mythology, as an intrinsic part of courage and hope- crucial for the potential hero or warrior. Wunjo indicates that good things are coming. This could be the end of a long-running argument or conflict. It could be an increase in self-confidence. Wunjo is a reminder that if people are pleasant and good to be around, other people will be more likely to be nice to them! A simple message, but one that is easy to forget when times, or hearts, are hard. Wunjo is also associated with physical healing, and the healing of the heart and mind after emotional difficulties.

Which of these runes would you like me to focus on next? Let me know on Twitter via @Mabherick or by emailing us. Until next time!

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Tarot Talk

June, 2019

Knight of Cups

(The Two of Pentacles card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

Back to the Court Cards! This time, we will revisit the Tarot “Royals” by examining the Knight of Cups. We haven’t talked about the Knights at all yet, so first we will review some basic information.

A Tarot deck has 78 cards. There are 22 Major Arcana cards dealing with broader and more far-reaching life experience issues, archetypes that are easy for us to identify with and connect with at some point in our lives. There are 56 Minor Arcana cards that are customarily grouped into four categories or suits that represent the four elements dealing with day-to-day issues.

The Court Cards are a part of the Minor Arcana, acting as a representation of the family unit (“families” of all kinds) and individually representing particular personality traits of people, places and events in our lives. These cards can also tell us about our own personality and how it is perceived by others. Thinking of Tarot cards as people, with each card having an individual personality, is particularly appropriate for the Court Cards, as they are the most human of all the cards in a Tarot deck. Even the illustrations for the Court Cards show humans in the majority of Tarot decks.

Instead of numbers, Court Cards have rank. The lowest ranking Court Card is usually called the Page, the messenger or intern or apprentice who is still learning of life and living, but who is also good at dealing with the unexpected. Next comes the Knight, the card we are talking about this month, who is the representation of strong, focused and even excessive manifestations of his suit.

Both the Queen and the King represent mature adults. The Queen manifests her suit in a feminine or yin or inner way, and the King manifests his suit in a masculine or yang or outer way. This manifestation does not necessarily correspond to gender; a man can be represented by a Tarot Queen if he has a strong inner focus, and a woman can be represented by a Tarot King if she projects a strong sense of authority. Some decks change the names around, but the meanings in the hierarchy of the Tarot Court are pretty standard.

We are talking about the Knight of Cups today, and we already know that our Knight will manifest his suit with strength and focus, even to the point of being excessive. Like his King, our Knight is concerned with results, but unlike his King, our Knight is not responsible for also caring for his people, only for obtaining those results.

The suit of Cups corresponds with the element of Water. In its natural state, Water is cool and wet. When amassed, it has weight, and it tends to gather or pool at the lowest place. Because of this tendency, Water creates its own roadways or channels, and it prefers to use those already-in-place channels if it can. Water is used for cleaning and purifying, and Water can be a carrier for other substances. For instance, we can dissolve salt or sugar into warm Water, and use that concoction for other things. A body of Water can be calm and deep, or it can be dangerously churning and filled with powerful currents.

Feelings and emotions are the main correspondences of the element of Water, and the suit of Cups. Emotions flow and have currents, a powerful wave of emotions can be cleansing, emotions can be hot and expanding or they can be bubbling upward, like steam, or cold and contracting and heavy, like ice, and our emotions can affect our physical bodies (which contain a lot of Water) and our health. Often, tears appear when we feel things strongly through sadness or joy or anger, as physical manifestations of those emotions. Water also represents the Inner Voice and the subconscious, the dark and unknown depths hidden below the smooth reflective surface.

Water is not the only element that corresponds to our Knight. In the Tarot Court, the suit of the card has an elemental correspondence, and the rank of the card has an elemental correspondence. Kings correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck), Queens correspond with Water, Pages correspond with Earth, and Knights correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck). For this column, we will assign the element of Fire to our Knight, making our Knight of Cups representing Fire of Water.

In its natural state, the element of Fire is hot and dry. It tends to bring spontaneous change or impulsive, energetic effects. Fire transforms everything in our world. Fire can sanitize or cleanse, and it can destroy everything in its path; Fire can warm us and keep us safe, or it can kill us.

The element of Fire can be seen as kinetic, or even electric. It has the power to create greatness (when we are inspired to be better than we think we can be), or destruction (when we believe we are greater than we actually are). Fire fuels innovation, but an imbalance or lack of Fire can bring austerity.

Water is passive and feminine in nature; it is cold and wet, and binds and adapts. Fire is active and masculine in nature; it is warm and dry, and separates and shapes. Combine the feelings, visions and emotions of Water with the intensity, transformation and energetic effects of Fire, and you have a good picture of Fire of Water, and of our Knight of Cups.

Like the other cards of the Tarot, Court Cards have astrological correspondences. Our Knight of Cups corresponds with the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces.

Aquarius is a masculine sign, which means its energies are active and outer in nature. Aquarians tend to focus on connections of all kinds, and are known for seeing the big picture and acting in the best interest of the group. They have humanitarian and philanthropic tendencies; they are intelligent and inventive and they work well with others, although they can be impatient, even temperamental, with those who disagree with their ideas. Even though Aquarians are happy to give, and they do give a lot, the giving is usually on their terms and within their comfort level, probably because Aquarius is a Fixed sign. Aquarians are also into technology of all kinds, and they use modern communication apparatus and social networking with ease.

Pisces is a Mutable sign, the twelfth sign of the zodiac, and it is also the final sign in the zodiacal cycle. Those born under this sign are selfless, spiritual, and very focused on their inner journey. Feelings and emotions define the sign of Pisces, and empathic talents are common among them. Pisces is also a sign of intuition and secrets, and of people who are comfortable in a world of illusion (and comfortable jumping between that world and reality). The symbol of Pisces is a pair of fish, representing the dual, yin/yang nature of this sign. Pisces is also a sign of the suffering that brings soul growth.

The Aquarius/Pisces cusp represents those who are full of compassion and creativity, and who can truly feel the weight of the world, whether for good or bad. This means our Knight of Cups embraces his dreams, but sometimes gets lost in his own mind. This Knight is highly intellectual to the point of being called eccentric, and action oriented, passionately sticking to his plan. He tends to absorb the feelings of those around him, often with good intentions but not always with good results. This Knight makes a good partner because of his ability to understand others, the empathy he feels for others, and the uniqueness he brings to any relationship. However, be warned; his mind tends to be in the clouds and he often looks to the future rather than focusing on today.

Because they are Minor Arcana cards, Court Cards also correspond with a sephira on the Tree of Life. The Knights correspond with the sephira of Chokmah, the first actual manifestation after the pureness of Kether (Kether represents the cause or catalyst of manifestation). Chokmah is found at the top of the Pillar of Force/Expansion. It is seen as dynamic thrust, and as the Ultimate Positive, the Great Stimulator and the Great Fertilizer (one of the symbols of Chokmah is the penis), and thus this sephira is connected to the Wheel of the Year. It represents dynamic male energy and is the origin of vital force and polarity. In Chokmah, pure being becomes pure force (and thus, pure formlessness), and independence is possible. This is a perfect description of the Knight cards.

The Llewellyn Welsh Knight of Cups wears a cape that flows behind him, carries a Cup in his left hand, and rides a beautiful white horse through frothy waves, looking like a Hero riding in to rescue his Lady Love. They keywords of this card describe a romantic man who is considerate and loyal. He is creative, artistic, and empathic. This Knight could be an artist, a musician or a diplomat, and he can represent a marriage proposal or a positive collaboration. Reversed, he focuses more on his own ego and speaks of his own accomplishments.

The Shadowscapes Tarot Knight of Cups rides a white unicorn through surging waves, reaching for a beautiful Cup floating before him. The Shadowscapes Companion reminds us in its description of this card that only those that are pure of heart can ride a unicorn, a perfect description of this Knight. He appears to be reaching for the Grail, inspired by romance, music, art, poetry and love, without seeing at all the waves below him. His gaze is on the beauty of the Cup, and believes it is within his grasp.

The Thoth Tarot Prince of Cups is riding a chariot being pulled by an eagle and pushed by a crashing wave. Crowley describes this Prince as “completely without conscience in the ordinary sense of the word . . .” and sees the Prince of Cups as intensely secret, and not always in a good way. We should note here that Crowley saw the rank of Prince (the Thoth Tarot equivalent to the Knight) as Air of Water and representing the cusp of Libra and Scorpio, so the feeling of this card might be different from the Knights of other decks.

Ciro Marchetti, creator of the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, names the Knight of Cups “Lord of the Waves and Waters.” The image on the card is of a Knight’s helmet decorated with a pair of koi (representing love and friendship) rising from a sea filled with life, creating a huge wave. This Knight awakens the heart through the powers of Water, encouraging us to be in touch with our deepest emotions and our deepest motivations. But beware, for this Knight could be in over his head. It is possible that while likable on the surface, he fears emotional commitment.

The Cups cards of the Tarot Minor Arcana deal with matters of the emotion, intuition and feelings. When the Knight of Cups appears in a spread, we know that one aim is to conquer the heart and meet love head-on. The Knight of Cups tends to be well-intended, striving to protect and serve those he loves, a true Knight in Shining Armor.

Knights are seen as messengers, mercenaries, defenders of Court and King, and the arm of the law for the kingdom. They are able to move in different directions as they accomplish their tasks because their purpose is focused only on the accomplishment of those tasks. The appearance of the Knight of Cups could be indicating that events connected with dreams, visions or feelings might need to be looked into. However, remember that the messenger does not make the news but rather, delivers the news, so besides some quick-acting energies he adds, this Knight is addressing things already in play.

The Knight of Cups often falls in love at first sight. The emotions he feels are powerful and heady, and quick to manifest. The goal is to add in a bit of discipline with the aim of creating a lasting fire rather than a burst of instant flame that burns out quickly. This Knight will be a driving force in anyone’s life, always urging forward movement in relationships and encouraging creative progress. His actions all originate from his heart; he feels things deeply and strives toward reaching the highest ideals, and he is eager to bring you along on his journey!

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot on Amazon

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About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Learning Lenormand Reviews – The Fairy Tale Lenormand Deck

June, 2019

The Fairy Tale Lenormand

This is one of the most adorable deck of cards I have ever seen in any form – be it Lenormand, Tarot, Oracle, or just a deck of playing cards!

Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. (www.usgamesinc.com), with artwork by the very talented Lisa Hunt and with a booklet written by Arwen Lynch, this set of Lenormand cards is sure to delight any level of practitioner. As someone who is still at a beginner’s level (I admit it), I think it would be great for someone who is learning the basics of Lenormand or who is just beyond the basics.

And I love the little tin. I love little boxes of all kinds and I collect them.

Winner of the 2016 Tarosophists Award for Best Lenormand Deck, the cards measure no more than 2 ¼ inches by 3 ½ inches (5.5 mm x 8.5 mm) and they are made out of standard card stock with a glossy finish on them which makes them easy to shuffle and handle. They are just a tad smaller than a standard poker deck. I can well imagine elves and fairies sitting around a toadstool table dealing out the cards to see what their fortune will be today!

I grew up loving Fairy Tales. My beloved grandmother MacDavid, “Gramma Mac” was a skilled storyteller and she lived not very far from the home in which I lived with my parents and my brothers and sisters. I – along with my brothers and sisters, and my cousins, who lived next door to my grandmother – spent many happy days at her home, which was where she grew up as well. A day was not complete without at least one storytelling session and usually there was more than one. I personally loved Fairy Tales but she would also tell stories about our family history and about the neighborhood. She also brought the Fairy Tales into our real life. For instance, there was an old shack across the creek – my father, who had been an Eagle Scout, said it was where the Boy Scouts met back in the 1940’s – but Gramma Mac said it was where the Wicked Witch of the West lived! At least in the warm months. In the winter, she lived in the cellar! What my grandmother called “the dungeon”! – the drained cistern that was beneath the house and was attached to the herb cellar. When she went down into the cellar in the winter – to get a jar of pickles or some other canned item – she would knock on the walls to “let the witch know she was coming”. In the spring, when the snows melted and the creek overflowed its banks, the cellar would flood and, remembering how Dorothy melted the Wicked Witch with a pail of water, we would ask about the witch. “Oh, she’s alright,” my grandmother told us. “She’s already gone back to the shack in the woods. It’s spring.”

The Creek

Sometime in the early 1970’s, the shack burned to the ground – some teenagers torched it – I remember being there before it burned and seeing evidence of partying. I was only twelve but I didn’t think the witch drank Genny Cream Ale and smoked Pall Malls (but honestly, what did I know?). Of course, by then I was getting a bit old for believing in the Wicked Witch of the West. At least – in a literal sense. In a few years, I would be discovering the Goddess and a whole new way of looking at witches and fairies.

When I first opened up this pack of cards and looked at the images, all the lessons I learned from hearing fairy tales from my grandmother and reading them on my own came back to me. Using fairy tales as a metaphor for the concepts within the Lenormand (or the Tarot) is nothing short of brilliant. In my humble opinion, anyway!

Lisa Hunt is the artist who created the Fairy Tale Tarot and five other divination decks. Her website is here: Lisa Hunt Gallery. There’s a lot to see, so plan to spend some time here! She’s a fabulous artist. I personally would love to get the Fairy Tale Tarot someday – I have always loved it. Not to mention that using Tarot cards and Lenormand cards in the same reading is quite the rage nowadays (see: https://www.cafelenormand.com/combine-tarot-lenormand/ and http://learnlenormand.com/combining-lenormand-with-tarot/) so having the Fairy Tale Tarot along with the Fairy Tale Lenormand would be a great way to access this trend! But right now, let’s just focus on the Fairy Tale Lenormand.

The little booklet – and it is small! – was written by Arwen Lynch. Her website is here: Tarot by Arwen. The Forward in the book is written by Donnaleigh de LaRose and I highly recommend that you read it carefully. I know that lots of you skip over forwards and introductions but don’t do it this time. There’s a ton of important information in these eleven pages. I have to admit that I didn’t know who Donnaleigh de LaRose was before I read this introduction but I checked out her webpage and I hope you all do, too. There’s a wealth of knowledge here.

This booklet differs from other Lenormand booklets in that while it gives the meanings of the cards, using the Fairy Tale story of the image to fully illustrate the concept, there are no double meanings. Usually Lenormand booklets will give you basic examples, such as Clover + Letter or Dog + Man. However, this booklet is so tiny that those kinds of examples might have been edited out for the sake of space, which is understandable. And honestly – I can attest this for myself – you don’t get that kind of linguistic understanding of the cards by reading it in a book. The only way you get it is by using the cards every single day. Practice makes perfect – I must have heard that a hundred times as a kid – but ya know what? It’s true. And if it doesn’t make you perfect – at least it makes you competent.

At the end of the book, there are several spreads, all based on the Fan Spread. I used that spread for several days – with several different questions. Here are the results.

First question: Will I hear from C. soon? This was the other day, although I am once again waiting to hear from C. Here are the cards I pulled:

From this, I saw that C was still at work (36, Cross, burdens) but he would soon be texting me (27, Letter) with good news (9, Bouquet). Which is exactly what happened. I hope it happens again!

Yesterday, I went out to lunch with my cousin Rose. Rose was one of the cousins who lived next door to my Gramma Mac; she called my Gramma “Auntie”. Rose was born two months before I was – I have no memory of life without Rose – she is my oldest and dearest friend. We went to the Saigon Café and had lunch and caught up. Before I met with her, I asked the cards (rather rhetorically, I admit), “What will we talk about?” Here is the answer:

Both Rose and I have dealt with a lot of death in our families these past few years – in the last ten years, she has lost both her parents, her older brother (whom I adored) and her husband. In the past year, I have lost my father, my beloved aunt, my yellow lab, and a troublesome but loved uncle. We talked about how these deaths affected us and our loyalty to our dead loved ones but also the brightness of the future, as we explore new relationships and new experiences. It was such a wonderful lunch!

This morning, I got a call from an ex-boyfriend. He’s off work today and do I want to hang out with him today? Do some fishing?

Of course, my first thought is NO. But I go to the cards, right? And this is what I pull:

Okay, setting aside that the cards are practically in order – believe me, I shuffled! And it’s not like they were in order to begin with! – I am first struck at how the Lady and the Gentleman are facing away from each other! Doesn’t that say it all! But there’s the 30 Lilies card and there’s a definite sexual attraction between the two of them – or is there? Is the Lady looking somewhere else? And where is the Gentleman looking? The focus is the 31 Sun card so maybe they get it together – as an old Crone, I’d say that’s a very big maybe.

But hell! I haven’t been fishing in a very long time! And it’s a beautiful sunny day! Perfect fishing weather!

I have to say that I absolutely love this deck of cards. It’s my new favorite divinatory method – I’ve been using it every day. I might actually learn the Lenormand with this fabulous deck! I can’t recommend it enough! If you purchase it or get it as a present, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Until next time, Brightest Blessings!

References:

Lynch, Arwen & Lisa Hunt. Fairy Tale Lenormand. Stamford, CT: US Games, Inc., 2016.

Lisa Hunt Gallery

Tarot by Arwen

Donna Leigh

Cafe Lenomand: Combine Tarot – Lenormand

Learn Lenormand: Combinging Lenormand with Tarot

Photograph of “the creek” from my own personal collection.

The Fairy Tale Lenormand on Amazon

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Tarot Talk

May, 2019

Eight of Pentacles

(The Two of Pentacles card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

This month we are going to talk about the Eight of Pentacles. As always, here is a bit of basic foundational information about the Eights of the Tarot Minor Arcana, and in particular our Eight of Pentacles.

A Tarot deck has 78 cards. There are 22 Major Arcana cards, with numbers from 0 to 21; the Majors usually deal with broader and more far-reaching life experience issues, archetypes that are easy for us to identify with and connect with at some point in our lives. There are 56 Minor Arcana cards that are customarily grouped into four categories or suits that represent the four elements (sometimes called “Pips” or “Pip Cards”), with numbers from Ace to 10; the Minors usually deal with day-to-day issues.

The Eight of Pentacles is a part of the Minor Arcana. We already know that the easiest way to get a decent understanding of a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number, or in the case of Court Cards, its rank, and to examine its suit. In this case, we are dealing with the number 8, and the suit of Pentacles/Disks/Coins, and understanding these two categories of information will give us a good initial take on our card this month.

First, let’s look at the traditional image of the Eight of Pentacles. The image on this card usually shows a man dressed in a smock or other work clothes who is sitting on a bench, working on a Pentacle. Surrounding him are seven other Pentacles, already completed. In the background is a well-maintained walled city. The sky behind the man is light purple, or blue that gradually darkens toward the upper edge of the card. Some cards show the man sitting at a desk working by candlelight in front of a window that shows a darkening evening sky, or a sky lit with the purples, blues, oranges and pinks of a sunset. Others show the man working outside, with the doorway of a richly appointed building behind him. Some show the worker as a woman, surrounded by plants or in a kitchen or working at a table. In every image, the sense is of a skilled craftsman or woman working long hours and dedicated to his or her purpose, without being distracted by time passed or the outside world.

Let’s look at the number 8 next. I see the number 8 as telling me that I need to consciously act or choose the next step, and that I need to believe the next step I choose will bring some resolution. It is easier to understand the number 8 (which is about deliberately reacting) if we understand the number 7 (which is about the pause that occurs as growth slows and the beginning of degeneration approaches). The number 8 offers the concept of a remedy or a reaction to the pause and approaching degeneration of the 7, traditionally involving a choice of some kind, usually either to stick with what we have, or try for more. This means the energies of the number 8 can bring the opportunity to build, or to destroy. In the Tarot, the number 8 cards are kind of a kick in the pants, telling us we already have the skills we need to move forward, so move already. Just by looking at the number of our card, we already know that the Eight of Pentacles is going to be a card of action or manifestation.

The suit of Pentacles/Disks/Coins corresponds with the playing card suit of Diamonds, the cardinal direction of north, and the element of Earth. In its natural state, the element of Earth is cool and dry. Like Water, when amassed Earth has weight; it is able to bind together or shape the other elements. Water and Earth bind together to make mud, and a lake is shaped by the Earth that supports it. Earth energies are tangible, stable, and practical, and they are slow to change.

The cards of this suit are about the physical, earthly world, our physical bodies, and everything we need in order to maintain our earthly world and those physical bodies, including health and exercise. Pentacles cards talk about fertility, prosperity, and the wealth that can bring both physical shelter and mental and emotional pleasure. Pentacles cards can show a possible outcome or end result of our efforts, the product of our labors; they can give information about material manifestations of all kinds. These cards can represent discipline and diligence, and an interest in quality rather than quantity, but they can also indicate the influence of greed and avarice, and the lack of an ability to access or be aware of resources.

Like the other cards of the Tarot, the Eight of Pentacles has an astrological correspondence. The Eight of Pentacles represents our Sun when it is in the astrological sign Virgo.

The Sun is the star at the center of our solar system around which the planets revolve; it provides our Earth with the heat and light necessary for life as we know it. The Sun travels through the twelve signs of the zodiac in one year, spending about a month in each sign. The Sun is described as benign and favorable, and is usually thought to represent the conscious ego, the self and its expression, personal power, pride and authority, leadership qualities and the “life force.” In Chinese astrology, the Sun represents Yang, the active, assertive masculine life principle. In Indian astrology, the Sun is called Surya and represents the soul, ego, vitality, kingship, highly placed persons, government and the archetype of The Father.

The sign of Virgo, the Virgin, is the sixth sign in the zodiac. Those born under this sign have a strong sense of service, and feel most satisfied when helping others. They sometimes come off as cold or unemotional, but they are actually cautious, always sizing things up before acting. Virgos are meticulous, practical, intelligent, reliable, analytical and intelligent; of course, they are also over-critical, too conservative, and harsh. Virgos exist within the mind, appearing calm and collected on the outside, but lots going on inside. They are pure and honest, never malicious, and always trying to figure out how to improve things.

The Sun in astrology symbolizes the core essence of who you are, your individuality and sense of self, and what motivates you, and why. When the Sun arrives in Virgo, the focus is on getting down to business. Motivation now is more about practical concerns and outlets for skills, talents and abilities, with an emphasis on being useful. This combination of the Sun and Virgo can be expressed on both physical and intellectual levels, and it allows us to integrate personal resources in a way most effective for utilization. Planning and attention to detail make things happen, especially when there is something physical or tangible to focus on.

Minor Arcana cards also correspond with a sephira on the Tree of Life. The Eights correspond to the sephira (or sphere) of Hod. Hod (or Glory) is the eighth sephira on the Tree, the third on the Pillar of Form/Restriction, and represents science, teaching and the intellect. Hod corresponds with Mercury, the planet that receives the most light from our Sun, and working with Hod can stimulate the workings of the mind and provide illumination, but this kind of work presents dangers, too, especially if the process of shining light in the dark corners exposes any shadow issues. If you think about it, the Eights represent some kind of conscious use of the intellect rather than feelings or emotions, often in order to maintain control or harmony.

Let’s sum up what we have found. The number 8 tells of deliberate action or remediation or response to a slowdown that could be bringing some kind of discomfort. The suit of Pentacles tells of the physical, earthly world, our physical bodies, and everything we need in order to maintain them. The image on the card tells of a skilled craftsman working long hours with dedication, and without being distracted by time passed or the outside world. The Sun speaks of the individuality, sense of self and motivation, and Virgo tells of meticulous and cautious focus that plays the long game and encourages service to others. The sephira of Hod tells of the intellect and of knowing why something works.

The Eight of Pentacles in the Shadowscapes Tarot is awesome; the image on the card is of a spider and her dew-dusted web. She works hard, weaving her web through the night, carefully placing each strand to be most effective. Her work is almost like a dance as she spins, places the thread, gives it a twist and moves on, creating a pattern that is both beautiful and useful. This card tells of the craftsman who possesses great patience and who is attentive to details. It calls us to seek out knowledge, pursue a higher understanding, and become absorbed in a project that uses our hands and body and mind to create.

The Llewellyn Welsh Eight of Pentacles shows a skilled craftsman sitting on a bench under a tree, working on a Pentacle with seven completed Pentacles being displayed. There is a cat resting quietly at his feet and chirping birds in the tree above him but he is not distracted; instead he focuses intently on his task. This card is about employment, commissions, schedules and deadlines, creative work, and knowledge and experience. It is about skills and talents put to good use, and about finding one’s niche in life.

The Thoth Tarot Eight of Disks is called “Prudence,” and to Crowley it signifies “intelligence lovingly applied to material matters, especially those of the agriculturist, the artificer and the engineer.” The image on this card is of a tree with eight flowers, four on each side, and a substantial straight trunk that is well-rooted in the ground. This version of the Eight of Disks is somewhat more passive than most; after all, prudence and its wait and see attitude isn’t active at all. This card can be about being penny wise and pound foolish, being over-careful in small things at great expense, and about a gain of ready money in small sums, as well as hoarding, lack of enterprise, or the cultivation of land.

The Neo Tarot Eight of Pentacles shows a person with long hair in a single braid streaming behind her, leaning over a stairway with one foot a step higher than the other, balancing a container on one palm and reaching up to paint a surface several stairs above her with the other hand. There are four Pentacles lined up horizontally above her and four below her. The card tells us that we have big dreams and a lot of promise, and if we work hard and pay attention to detail, we will get the return of a fruitful end result. We may not be receiving the recognition we want right now, but we should still keep our head down and perfect what we are doing, for this is a long game. We are told that it is okay to feel frustrated at the slow pace, but once we have produced something we should allow ourselves to celebrate our accomplishment.

The Eight of Coins from the Gateway to the Divine Tarot shows a mature man studying blueprints for Coins in a comfortable room next to a well-lit window, with green drapes pulled aside to allow the light into the room. Above him hangs finished Coins decorated with sacred geometry, and before him on the table are more blueprints, two blank Coins, and several tools. This card tells of competence, diligence and the ability to get a lot done by focusing on one task at a time and giving each task the care and attention it deserves. Perseverance is the key, and learning, practicing, and finally mastering the skill is the reward. We are reminded that practice makes perfect, and that there is both pleasure and profit to be had from honest hard work.

The Eight of Pentacles is about progress mixed with education. This card is not about instant success, but rather it tells of patiently learning skills that will eventually bring profit. The Eight of Pentacles warns us that we will need to work hard now in order to reap rewards in the future. The work may be repetitive and unrewarding, but it lends itself to the strength of a habit or a belief. The Eight of Pentacles encourages us to learn while we can because what we learn now may very well be of great use to us tomorrow. After all, in order to become a master, we must first be accepted as an apprentice.

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Tarot Talk

April, 2019

Two of Pentacles

(The Two of Pentacles card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

Let’s return to the Pips this month and talk about the last of the Twos, the Two of Pentacles. As I’m sure you know by now, a Tarot deck consists of 22 Major Arcana cards with archetypal correspondences that deal with broad and far-reaching life experience issues, and 56 Minor Arcana cards that are customarily grouped into four categories or suits corresponding with the four elements (sometimes called “Pips” or “Pip Cards”) that usually deal with day-to-day issues. The Two of Pentacles is part of the Minor Arcana; as we have discovered, one effective way to understand a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number (or in the case of Court Cards, its rank), its suit, and its traditional image. In this case we are dealing with the number 2, the suit of Pentacles, as well as the traditional images associated with the Two of Pentacles.

We know right away that the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. However, “day-to-day” does not mean insignificant or mundane, and we need to remember that the message of the card can also possibly be a symptom of a deeper or wider issue.

The typical image on the Two of Pentacles is of a man standing on one foot and holding two coins connected by a band or rope in the shape of a figure 8. The ground below his feet is usually flat, but in the background is a body of water filled with waves, sometimes with a sailing ship, its sails filled with wind, riding those waves. Some cards show a fence or a low wall between the figure and the water in the background. Some cards show the figure balancing on that wall; one card shows the figure walking a tightrope while juggling his coins.

The suit of Pentacles (or Coins, Stones or Disks) corresponds with the element of Earth, and of the physical body, physical manifestation, career, health and wealth. Many Tarot decks use images of pentagrams or coins or disks on their Minor Arcana Pentacles cards as well as trees, flowers and green, verdant growth, all of which will make it easy to connect with the symbolism of this suit. A nice place to begin is with the element of Earth itself.

In its natural state, Earth is cool and dry, and it binds or shapes the other elements. Earth is of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, care of the body, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply and being well-grounded. Earth is the element of form and substance; it is connected to material world security, and to our physical bodies and physical senses, and the pleasures and pains they bring. Earth represents the fertile, nurturing and serene side of Nature, and it represents the tangible end result of our labors. Earth is about stillness and about knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying what we’ve achieved. Earthy energies are fertile, practical, and slow to change.

You can see how easy it is to connect the element of Earth to our daily lives, our physical bodies, our careers and our finances, our families, and the natural world around us. These things are all the main correspondences of the element of Earth, the suit of Pentacles, and of course, are connected to the realm of our Two of Pentacles.

When dealing with the Minor Arcana, another important ingredient is the number of the card. In the Tarot, the number 2 usually represents balance, polarity, comparison and the energy of “distance between.” The number 2 offers creative partnerships, duality, cooperation, and diplomacy; it offers both direction and connection, and can be considered a gateway. In the Tarot, this number represents the first time the element is manifested. Within the suit of Pentacles, we have the beginnings of a connection to our own body and to the physical world around us and the material forces present in the physical world, as we use skills, talents and abilities to make use of these connections and forces (all possibilities offered by the Ace of Pentacles and manifested within the Two of Pentacles).

On the Tree of Life, the Tarot Twos correspond with the sephira of Chokmah, the first actual manifestation after the pureness of Kether (Kether represents the cause or catalyst of manifestation). Chokmah is found at the top of the Pillar of Force/Expansion. It is seen as dynamic thrust, and as the Ultimate Positive, the Great Stimulator and the Great Fertilizer (one of the symbols of Chokmah is the penis), and thus this sephira is connected to the Wheel of the Year. It represents dynamic male energy and is the origin of vital force and polarity. In Chokmah, pure being becomes pure force (and thus, pure formlessness), and independence is possible. Thus, the Twos of the Minor Arcana show the full power of their element and correspondence, in the purest expression that is not yet influenced by anything else.

Astrology is a tool that can offer subtle effects for us to consider as we analyze the Two of Pentacles. The Two of Pentacles corresponds to the planet Jupiter when it is in the astrological sign of Capricorn.

In Roman mythology, Jupiter is the ruler, guardian and protector of the gods. Similarly, the planet Jupiter is in many ways the ruler of our solar system. Some astronomers believe that Jupiter with its massive gravity actually protects the rest of our solar system by attracting or deflecting comets and asteroids that might otherwise threaten Earth. Like passions and emotions, Jupiter is brightly colored and covered with large and intense storms; the planet is symbolized by a lightning bolt. Jupiter is associated with growth, expansion, prosperity, freedom, exploration, and good fortune. Jupiter is connected to long distance and foreign travel, higher education, religion, all humanitarian pursuits, and the law (and its role as a protector of society). Jupiter is also associated with gambling and merrymaking.

Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, is a Cardinal Earth sign. Capricorn people are stable, hard-working, practical, methodical, and ambitious, never losing sight of goals regardless of how many obstacles or distractions are in the way. Capricorn people are a bit stoic and rigid, and they will stick to their beliefs despite convincing evidence to the contrary. More than anything else they enjoy power, respect, and authority, and they are willing to toe the line for as long as it takes to achieve those goals. A Capricorn person may seem unfriendly, arrogant, or without humor to outsiders, but remember the image of this astrological sign has a fish’s tail. The emotions are there, just hidden within that inhibited exterior. As far as material wealth is concerned, Capricorn approaches finances with prudence, planning, and discipline, and thus, there are not many Capricorns who are lacking in physical-world resources.

When Jupiter is in Capricorn, the energies are confident and traditional. Hard work will bring success, even in the long term, and devoting energy to a task that is too risky might be a waste. Organization and following a plan while visualizing the end result (and believing that the end result can be obtained) is what happens when these energies combine. The icing on the cake is that society usually also benefits when Jupiter and Capricorn work together. The one problem could be focusing too much on the details to the point of missing the big picture.

The Thoth Tarot Two of Pentacles has the title of “Change.” The image of the card is of a snake in the shape of a figure 8, with its tail in its mouth. Crowley sees this card as representing the complete manifestation of the dynamics of the Universe. To Crowley, Disks represent Earth and Earth is the throne of Spirit, and arriving at the bottom allows us to come out at the top. Interestingly enough, the image on this card can be seen as similar to the first dividing of a cell, a sign of fertility and creation. The card tells of change, of gain and loss and weakness and strength. It also predicts good fortune through prudent management as well as unaccountably foolish choices.

The Wild Unknown Tarot LWB keywords for the Two of Pentacles are “balance and change”; the image is a black and white butterfly with a pentagram on each wing, with a multicolored symbol of eternity circling each of those pentagrams. The butterfly often symbolizes complete metamorphosis; after all it goes from egg (which could symbolize potential) to caterpillar (which could symbolize the decision to do something with that potential) to chrysalis (which could symbolize the manifesting of development of that decision into reality), and then finally to exquisite butterfly (the end result). This process follows a “ritual” of sorts, and it takes time to complete. The end result, the butterfly, looks nothing like the other stages in this process. Perhaps the balance being represented in this card is achieved by accepting both change and the status-quo. Or, since the butterfly also represents the element of Air and the workings of the intellect, perhaps the balance is connected to the physical world and the etheric realms of feelings and thoughts and beliefs. They are also difficult to balance!

The Naked Tarot description of the Two of Pentacles is kind of stressful. It tells of juggling day to day activities and trying to please everyone, and maybe not doing so well. However, we are told that our choice is to give up (never!), or to simplify, delegate, and do our best. The challenge here is to create harmony, and to play up to our strengths rather than our weaknesses. Approach things with a sense of play . . . what if our greatest revelations and meaningful moments come to us via recreation?

The Legacy of the Divine Two of Coins shows a man pedaling a bicycle while holding two large coins, one engraved with the symbol of Jupiter and the other the symbol of Capricorn. He is focusing intently on one coin, and a rainbow shines out of the other coin, lighting his way. This card reminds us that change is constant and energies always flow, and our job is to ride that flow. This takes talent and practice, and the ability to multitask. Balance is the key.

The Two of Pentacles reminds us that adaptability allows us to effectively deal with both the ups and the downs of our lives. Now might be a good time to reorganize priorities and release the things that no longer serve us so that we can concentrate on the things that will allow us to accomplish more. Balancing things out in the physical world might involve “robbing Peter to pay for Paul”; be careful if that is your plan, for that kind of balance only works for a short time.

Finally, the Two of Pentacles could very well represent our efforts to balance the past and the present in order to manifest a brighter future. Or it could be telling us that while a pause is okay, in the end change is healthy for it prevents stagnation.

Most important, take time out to play. Laugh at yourself if you stumble and struggle to stay upright. Balance your work time with some time enjoying yourself; you just might find that you are more effective!

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Tarot Talk

March, 2019

The King of Pentacles

(The King of Pentacles card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

We have one more King to talk about, the King of Pentacles. Let’s get busy!

As a reminder, the 78 cards of a Tarot deck consist of 22 Major Arcana cards (dealing with broader and more far-reaching life experience issues, and archetypes that are easy for us to identify with and connect with at some point in our lives) and 56 Minor Arcana cards (customarily grouped into four categories or suits that represent the four elements and dealing with day-to-day issues).

The Court Cards are a part of the Minor Arcana, acting as a representation of the family unit (“families” of all kinds) and individually representing particular personality traits of people, places and events in our lives. These cards can also tell us about our own personality and how it is perceived by others. Thinking of Tarot cards as people, with each card having an individual personality, is particularly appropriate for the Court Cards, as they are the most human of all the cards in a Tarot deck. Even the illustrations for the Court Cards show humans in the majority of Tarot decks.

Instead of numbers, Court Cards have rank. The lowest ranking Court Card is usually called the Page, the messenger or intern or apprentice who is still learning of life and living, but who is also good at dealing with the unexpected. Next comes the Knight, the representation of strong, focused and even excessive manifestations of his suit.

Both the Queen and the King represent mature adults. The Queen manifests her suit in a feminine or yin or inner way, and the King manifests his suit in a masculine or yang or outer way. This manifestation does not necessarily correspond to gender; a man can be represented by a Tarot Queen if he has a strong inner focus, and a woman can be represented by a Tarot King if she projects a strong sense of authority. Some decks change the names around, but the meanings in the hierarchy of the Tarot Court are pretty standard. Since we are talking about the King of Pentacles today, we already know that our King will manifest his suit in an outer yet mature manner. Our King is concerned with results; he exhibits outer, public expertise in his field, and he is an authority figure. In many ways, the Kings of the Tarot Court can be seen as four facets of The Emperor of the Major Arcana.

Our King’s suit this month is Pentacles. The suit of Pentacles (or Coins, Stones or Disks) corresponds with the element of Earth, and of the physical body, physical manifestation, and wealth. Many Tarot decks use images of pentagrams or coins or disks on their Minor Arcana Pentacles cards as well as trees, flowers and green, verdant growth, all of which will make it easy to connect with the symbolism of this suit. A nice place to begin is with the element of Earth itself.

In its natural state, Earth is cool and dry, and it binds or shapes the other elements. Earth is of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, health, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply and being well-grounded. Earth is the element of form and substance; it is connected to material world security (and even wealth), and to our physical bodies and physical senses, and the pleasures and pains they bring. Earth represents the nurturing and serene side of Nature, and it represents the tangible end result of our labors. Earth is about security and stillness, and knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying the fruits of our labors. Earthy energies are fertile, practical, and slow to change.

You can see how easy it is to connect the element of Earth to our daily lives, our physical bodies, our careers and our finances, our families, and the natural world around us. These things are all the main correspondences of the element of Earth, the suit of Pentacles, and of course, are connected to the realm of our King of Pentacles.

In the Tarot Court, the suit of the card has an elemental correspondence (in this case, the element of Earth), and the rank of the card has an elemental correspondence. Pages correspond with Earth, Knights correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck), Queens correspond with Water, and Kings correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck). Since we are talking about a King today, we are also talking about the element of Air, or the element of Fire, depending on the deck. For our purposes today, we will see the King of Pentacles as Air of Earth.

The element of Air corresponds with truth, clarity, and our capacity to analyze or apply logic. It is hot and wet, and separates and adapts. Air also represents the intelligence that clears away the fog of ignorance so we can clearly see and understand, and it supports communications and sounds of all kinds. Air allows both expression (out from within us) and hearing (in from outside of us) to happen. If you see the rank of King as representing the element of Air, this information applies to the Kings of your deck, including the King of Pentacles. Elementally, the King of Pentacles would represent resolute force, where intellect overrides the senses, and since Air and Earth are unfriendly (they share no qualities), they weaken each other.

Like the other cards of the Tarot, Court Cards have astrological correspondences. Our King of Wands corresponds with the cusp or joining point of the signs of Aries and Taurus.

Aries is a cardinal Fire sign that acts as a catalyst, a person that inspires others by being totally committed to his or her own vision. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the leader of the pack, first in line to get things going. Those born under this sign prefer to initiate, and they won’t shy away from anything new. Aries people are action oriented, assertive, and competitive. Aries is ruled by Mars, the god of war and passion, bold and aggressive, and able to tap into the focus needed to take on any challenge. The symbol of Aries is the Ram, blunt and to the point, and a sheer force of nature. The great strength of those born under this sign is found in their initiative, courage and determination.

Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac, is all about reward. Physical pleasures, material goods, and soothing surroundings are all important to a Taurus. The good life in all its guises is heaven on Earth to those born under this sign. Taurus is a fixed sign, and it represents steady persistence sometimes seen as stubbornness. Taurus is symbolized by the Bull, and Bulls are among the most practical and reliable members of the zodiac, happy to plod along slowly but surely toward a goal. Taurus is ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Pleasure, which is why harmony and beauty are a huge part of this sign’s personality. Taurus is a true-blue, loyal sign as well, and slow to anger; like the element of Earth, Taurus is about strength of body as well as strength of heart.

The energies of Aries and Taurus together tend to mesh nicely because what one sign is lacking, the other sign supplies. Aries keeps our King from being boring, and Taurus keeps him from being too independent. Aries is ruled by Mars and passion, and Taurus is ruled by Venus and sensuality and love. Aries will push for growth, progress and new developments, and Taurus will keep to the budget, make sure the resources are in place, and keep everyone safe. While there is always the danger of conflict within this King, he also has the ability to lead and inspire all of his subjects, no matter who they are.

Because they are Minor Arcana cards, Court Cards also correspond with a sephira on the Tree of Life. The Kings correspond with the sephira of Chokmah, along with all of the Twos of the Minor Arcana and the element of Fire. The Kings sit at the top of the Pillar of Force in the sephira of Chokmah, representing the Sacred Masculine and the Catalyst of Life. Chokmah is seen as dynamic thrust, the Ultimate Positive, the Great Stimulator and the Great Fertilizer (one of the symbols of Chokmah is the penis), and thus is connected to the Wheel of the Year. The energies of this sephira represent dynamic male energy and are the origin of vital force and polarity.

The Shadowscapes Tarot King of Pentacles is shown as a strong tree laden with ripe and juicy fruit. His roots grasp the earth with strength as they reach and absorb the resources of the soil, allowing a powerful trunk and wide-spreading branches to reach for the stars. He holds a seed in the palm of one hand, and around the base of the trunk a beautiful dragon is coiled, guarding all. This King is an enterprising individual who has the Midas touch; he turns everything he touches into brilliant success. His branches shield those around him, his trunk offers sturdy support to lean upon, and his fruits are shared with everyone. From the seed, new sprouts will grow, spreading the wealth.

The Tarot of Bones King of Pentacles is represented by a bison skull. The bison was the ultimate provider for the natives living on the American plains; from the bison they received meat for food, hides for clothes, and bones and horns for art and tools. Non-humans benefited from the bison as well, from wolves and other predators to vultures and other scavengers, to insects and bacteria. The grazing of the bison helped to keep the grasses in check, lessening the impacts of wildfires, and their hooves churned and aerated the soil and buried seeds, ensuring the continuation of the grasses in the next season. This card reminds us to examine our resources and prosperity, and to remember those upon whom we rely for sustenance and well-being. It also reminds us that at times we must be the backbone, and offer our own skills and resources to assist others.

The Thoth Tarot Knight (King) of Disks stands next to his grazing horse, gazing at the surrounding hills and fertile fields lit by the afternoon sun. He seems to be contemplating a harvest rather than a battle; he tends to keep his nose to the grindstone without indulging in intellectual musings. He tells of being materially focused, clever and patient regarding those material matters but can also be a bit dull.

The image on the Wild Unknown Tarot Father of Pentacles shows a Stag’s head, regal and in his prime. The feeling evoked while looking at the image on the Father of Pentacles is one of respect, honor, the ability to protect, and prime masculine creativity. The Stag gets to reach this stage of life because he is able to defeat all that challenge him; he is in a sense the fittest of his species that has survived to breed. This card is about having a mighty presence in the physical world; it is about not only the thrill of competition, but it is also about turning a win into both honor and status, and the continuance of a fertile lineage, to the benefit of all.

The Legacy of the Divine King of Coins stands on a richly appointed balcony decorated with golden leafy vines, clothed in green and gold robes and holding a large golden coin. He does not wear a crown, showing his connection to the common man and indicating his purpose: regulating the energies of heaven and earth and balancing the forces of nature. He oversees growth, wealth and resources, and manages them for the benefit of all.

The King of Pentacles is the embodiment of his element. He is realistic, dependable, values possessions and tangible things, and is a good provider. He prefers steady progress and is loyal and honorable. This King attracts opportunities and knows how to take advantage of them. He is good at managing others because he inspires them to succeed. He is a philanthropist who gives generously of his time and attention because he knows that the more he gives, the more he receives in return. Others rely on the King of Pentacles because he is always there for them and he never fails to support them.

When the King of Pentacles shows up, you can be confident that you have the ability to recognize opportunities and the skill to take advantage of them. He tells you that now is the time to manifest your vision of success and translate your ideas into reality!

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

The Road to Runes

March, 2019

The Road to Runes: Tiwaz

Tiwaz, Elder Futhark Rune of Norse God Tyr, Sacrifice and Law.

Last month I pulled the rune Dagaz, a rune all about breakthroughs and new beginnings. This coincided with a major life change for me and certainly reinforced my confidence in the runes and my journey with them.

The next rune I pulled was Tiwaz, the rune of the god Tyr. Tyr is a god of war, but also of law and justice. Tyr was invoked when victory was needed in battle. He gives the day ‘Tuesday’ its name, and has been conflated with the Roman god Mars.

Tyr’s primary myth is the story of the Binding of Fenrir, the great wolf who inspired fear, even in the Gods. Fenrir did not trust the Norse Gods, so when they wanted to place fetters upon him, he wanted a guarantee he would be released again. He asked one of the gods to place their arm within his jaws. Only Tyr would do this, knowing full well Fenrir would bite once they refused to release him. Sure enough, the fetters securely bound the wolf, and Fenrir bit down as promised, severing Tyr’s arm from his body.

Sacrifice

This willing sacrifice for the greater good is a key aspect of Tiwaz. Giving up something which is important to us for the benefit of others is noble, but often extremely difficult to do. We don’t need to lose an arm, like Tyr; Tiwaz can indicate that we need to give up our time, by volunteering, perhaps, or spending more time with the kids. Tiwaz could also mean we need to give up something physical. Maybe you’re in financial difficulties, and selling your beloved collection of [insert favourite obsession here] could give you the money you need to see you through to the next pay-cheque.

Tiwaz can also mean sacrificing something we feel is important about ourselves. Maybe you see yourself as entirely self-reliant but are struggling on your own with a particular situation. It’s hard to ask for help when your ego demands that you stand on your own two feet. Tiwaz dares you to put the arm of your ego in the jaws of the wolf, and not to flinch as it bites down. You will not be harmed by the change in your perception of yourself. You might feel too proud to ask for help, but in this situation, you would learn to have pride in your friends and family and eventually in yourself for being willing to change and adapt.

My Situation

In my situation, just having become freelance and working to build a new schedule and routine, it’s not immediately evident what Tiwaz represents for me. I have sacrificed my day job in order to support my family better, but that was a sacrifice I was happy to make- delighted, in fact! What I have struggled with since the change is being my own boss. I’ve been so used to having someone else dictate my schedule, doing it for myself is tricky and slightly alien to me.

Maybe Tiwaz is telling me I need to sacrifice my self-image as a routine-hating rebel. I’ve always seen myself this way; not chained or fettered to the clock, except when I have to be, due to the demands of others. Well, now those demands need to come from within. There’s no boss breathing down my neck, only clients and my own sense of drive and ambition.

Tiwaz also represents the reign of law and order over chaos, and I hope that this aspect of the rune is telling me that peace will soon descend. Chaos has started to blur the edges of my life lately, with some deep loss and grief, and severe mental health difficulties. Perhaps, by remaining confident in my decisions and having faith in my own abilities, order will resume some claim over events, and life will start to settle back into the routine I so desperately don’t want, but clearly need.

Tiwaz is a complex rune, and I have no doubt I will find it again in a future reading. For now, I feel like the rune is telling me not to grip so strongly to ideas of self-image, and be willing to change myself for my own benefit, the benefit of others, and for some peace and calm within my life. Don’t forget, you can tweet me @Mabherick if you want me to focus on a particular rune for this column. Until next time!

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestorsand Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

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