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Divination

Oracle Deck Review – Arcane Bullshit Fortune-Telling Deck by Evan Doherty

August, 2019

Oracle Deck Review
Arcane Bullshit Fortune-Telling Deck
by Evan Doherty

Arriving
in time to save us from the disappearance of Mad Magazine, the Arcane
Bullshit Fortune-Telling Deck is a self-published fortune-telling
deck, created by Evan Doherty and funded by a successful Kickstart
campaign. Doherty feels that the tarot world takes itself way to
seriously, and that the occult should be less about rules and
formalities and way more about creativity and dick jokes. After
getting my hands on this beautifully crafted deck and working with
the cards, I tend to agree with him.

The
deck consists of 105 cards, and yes, there are no suits and no Major
and Minor Arcana so if you need that kind of structure, this is not
your deck. The 2¾ inch by 4¾ inch cards are printed on very sturdy
cardstock (the stack of 105 cards is 2 inches high) with a matte
finish black and white card image on the face and a bunch of black
and white occult-looking symbols and images on the card back. The
card images look like woodcuttings from an old alchemy book, and yes
I looked closely at a few because like the images on the back of the
cards, several images look close to what you would find in an old
grimoire. With a few strange twists, of course.

The
deck comes in a very sturdy matte black box with a lift-off lid. I
love the image on the top of the box (an open book from which spews
flames and symbols), printed in white, and I love the shiny embossed
texture on the sides of the lid. Inside the lid is a warning, and
brief instructions for setting up a reading. The bottom of the box
is printed white-on-black with more symbols, and the sides of the box
are shiny-embossed with words and phrases. I am assuming these are
the words submitted by the Kickstart backers, to be included in the
guidebook as mentioned on the Kickstart page.

Along
with the cards is a 2¾ inch by 4¾ inch soft cover “little black
book” (pardon the pun, the cover is black matte finish with a white
image on the front and a description of Arcane Bullshit on the back).
The interior is black ink on white paper with crisp, clear printing,
very easy to read. The first two pages are more random words and
phrases. Next comes Introductory Bullshit, What Doth Bullshit, and
Bullshitting Procedures, including Shuffling Tips and Example
Spreads. Finally, Bullshitting (instructions, of course) and
Conclusioning (how to conclude a reading).

Then
we have suggested meanings for the cards. The meanings offered are
simple, some only a sentence or two, and are all tongue-in-cheek . .
. or are they?? Because the card images are strange, part reality
and part twisted reality, and because there are no detailed spoon-fed
meanings and intentions behind the images, if you make the effort and
work with the images you can create some cool, creative, and probably
strange and very personal meanings for the cards.

The
last page of the guidebook offers another warning. That is two
warnings so far. Along with the cards and the guidebook, my set came
with a black tarot bag with white and gold printing, a round black
and white sticker with the Arcane Bullshit symbol (a pile of feces
with a single eye), and a 4 inch by 6 inch card containing another
warning.

There
is a reason for the multiple warnings. This is a quasi-occult,
quasi-esoteric and very cheeky fortune-telling deck. Be aware: there
are card images showing genitals, breasts and nipples, and profanity
sprinkled throughout. There is no typical Tarot structure, not even
an Oracle-like structure. Because of the sturdiness of the cards,
some traditional shuffling methods might not work for you, even
though the cards are not large in size. If you are uncomfortable
with any of these things, a more traditional deck might work better
for you. I feel that bit of discomfort is a good way to grow and
learn, especially in the divination world, and a time-out that
provides a chance to not take ourselves seriously can be very
beneficial, which is why I like this deck.

If
you want to brave the multiple warnings and take divination in a
less-serious manner, if you want to become acquainted with a whole
new set of images and divination archetypes, and if you are not
afraid to laugh at yourself or your cards, I highly recommend getting
your hands on the Arcane Bullshit deck. You will notice that I did
not include individual card names or descriptions; that is because
you need to see and hold this deck in order to truly appreciate it.
This is a quality deck made in the style of True Black Tarot, but
with a completely irreverent energy to it. This deck offers totally
twisted, out-there images that encourage a reader to think for
herself and have fun because the Arcane Bullshit Fortune-Telling deck
does not take itself seriously at all.

Or
does it??

Arcane Bullshit Contacts

Site: arcanebullshit.com

Social
Media:

facebook.com/ArcaneBullshit/

instagram.com/arcanebullshit/

twitter.com/bullshitarcane

***

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

Sturgeon Moon Tarot Spread

August, 2019

Hello,
Lammas Blessings of Abundance and Joy! I’m happy to share my Wiccan
Inspired Tarot Spreads with PagansPagesOrg.

I
create Personal Tarot Spreads for friends, family & clients. I
enjoy celebrating and creating Tarot spreads for each of the Wiccan
sabbats, as well as, esbats. This month’s issue features three of
my Spreads.

These Spreads I create can be used for tarot or oracle cards. Feel free to try them with Runes as well for a unique approach.

August’s Full moon Has several names: Holly moon, Corn moon, Grain moon, Red moon, Green moon.

This
time of year wheat fields ripen in warm sunlight as well hay fields.
It’s a beautiful sight to see the Moon Wax to a Full moon, then
Waning to a Dark Moon.

We’re Far away from Big City lights in Rural Paris, Idaho. We can see the milky way, stars, & planets every night. You can use this spread anytime in the month of August for the lunar phase.

***

About the Author:

Norma Clark
I’m Wiccan, My style follows my spiritual path and what comes to
mind.. I live in a small rural town, Paris, Idaho. I share my life
With my Wiccan husband, 2 hyper Children & gang of critters. I
love to create new designs by looking at nature & cultural ideas
for my Jewelry and create unique Metaphysical items. Shop, sit a
spell or two & Come see the Magick of Forevrgoddessboutique
Link to my shop: forevrgoddessboutique

Tarot Talk

August, 2019

Knight of Pentacles

(The
Knight
of Pentacles

card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti
http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

Back
to the Court Cards! Let us examine another Tarot “Royal” by
getting to know the Knight of Pentacles. Just in case this is the
first time you are reading my column, we will first 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 Pentacles 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
traditional image on the Knight of Pentacles shows an armored Knight
holding a Pentacle in one hand, sitting on a powerful dark warhorse
that is standing still and steady with all four hooves on the ground.
The sky is golden, the ground beneath the horse is green; in the
nearby background are rolling farmlands, plowed rows visible, with a
few mountains in the distance. Some decks show the Knight kneeling
or standing beside his horse. There is little movement to be found
in the image, but lots of strength, stability, and awareness of
surroundings.

The
suit of Pentacles/Disks/Coins corresponds with the playing card suit
of Diamonds, the cardinal direction of north, and the element of
Earth. Earth energies are tangible, stable, and practical, and they
are slow to change, but they are also steady and strong.

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.

Earth
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
Pentacles representing Fire of Earth.

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.

Earth
is passive and feminine in nature; it is cool and dry. When amassed
Earth has weight; it is able to bind together or shape the other
elements. Fire is active and masculine in nature; it is warm and
dry, and separates and shapes. Combine the health, fertility,
prosperity, steadiness, and introverted nature of Earth with the
intensity, transformation, energetic effects and gregarious nature of
Fire, and you have a good picture of Fire of Earth, and of our Knight
of Pentacles. Here we have a stimulating force where the will
supports the senses and passion that manifests through the physical
world.

Like
the other cards of the Tarot, Court Cards have astrological
correspondences. Our Knight of Pentacles corresponds with the cusp of
Leo and Virgo.

The
Sun sign of Leo is connected with the Lion (the king of the jungle),
our Sun (the center of our solar system), and the element of Fire.
This means that Leos are powerful and willful in all they do, often
achieving more than expected. Of course, they can also be
inflexible, rigid, stubborn, opinionated and single-minded. Leos are
passionate and courageous; they can combine dignity and strength in
order to be effective leaders who have a talent for inspiring others
to also go above and beyond what is expected. They tend to plunge
into a situation without a second glance, but since they thrive on
risk and competitive situations, the end result is often good.

Virgo,
the Virgin, is the sixth sun sign in the zodiac. Those born under
this sign have a strong sense of service, and feel satisfied when
helping others. They sometimes come off as cold or unemotional, but
they are actually cautious, sizing things up. 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
Leo/Virgo cusp can be complicated. Leo corresponds with our Sun and
Virgo corresponds with the planet Mercury, which means we are dealing
with enthusiasm, ambition and the need to create, as well as speed,
logic and an analytical mind focused on communicating. Practical,
secretive and earthy, or intuitive, social and fiery; this
combination can be either, or even both.

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 Pentacles shows the traditional image of an
armored Knight sitting on a warhorse holding up a Pentacle, with
planted fields in the background. The Knight of Pentacles is
described as a hardworking young man with a traditional or orthodox
outlook. Here is someone who is dependable and who offers solid
progress (but not fast progress). His approach is methodical, and he
can be a bit dull, but he gets the job done. Reversed, his stability
is turning to stagnation and he focuses more on money than on
honorable accomplishments.

The
Shadowscapes Tarot Knight of Pentacles rides the crest of an earth
dragon, grounded and slow but with unstoppable progress as wherever
the dragon sets his sights will be reached despite blockages. The
Knight has eyes only for his goal and thus misses out on the beauty
of the forest surrounding him and the dryads who reach out toward
him. It may appear that he lacks creativity but actually he is
conservative and tends to do things in a tried-and-true way.

The
Thoth Tarot Prince of Disks is riding a solid and heavy chariot
filled with round seeds and being pulled by a bull. Crowley
describes this Prince as the ultimate handyman, “competent,
ingenious, thoughtful, cautions, trustworthy, imperturbable; he
constantly seeks new uses for common things,” and sees the Prince
of Pentacles as intensely secret, and not always in a good way. We
should note here that Crowley saw the rank of this Prince (the Thoth
Tarot equivalent to the Knight) as Air of Earth and representing the
cusp of Aries and Scorpio, so the feeling of this card might be
different from the Knights of other decks.

The
image on the Knight of Coins in the Legacy of the Divine Tarot is of
a Knight’s helmet decorated with bull horns (representing physical
prowess); in the forest surrounding the mask, a pair of stallions
compete for dominance. This Knight offers stamina, endurance and
physicality without requiring ambition, physical glory or personal
gain. He is in it for the long haul and is always able to fulfil his
promises. His advice to us is don’t hold back; allow yourself to
be completely engaged in life.

The
Pentacles cards of the Tarot Minor Arcana deal with matters of
health, fertility, wealth/career, and building something useful and
lasting. When the Knight of Pentacles appears in a spread, we know
the focus will be on material concerns, investments and finances,
tangible work (especially work done by hand), health, and even a
focus on the physical senses. The Knight of Pentacles tends to be
practical and conservative, focusing on how to do something rather
than why it needs to be done. He works steadily and sees a job to
its end; he invests with a long-term outlook and is both patient and
trustworthy.

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 Pentacles could be indicating that events
connected with health, careers, the home, or even the reliability or
lack thereof of those upon whom we depend regarding home, work or
play, need to be addressed or adjusted.

The
Knight of Pentacles considers it his job to protect what is valuable,
and his laser focus and ability to shut out distractions means he
does his job well. If the Knight of Pentacles shows up in a spread,
look to the card at his left. Here would be an indication of whom or
what he is protecting. Likewise, a card to the right would be an
indication of whom or what he is warding away.

Like
a slow-moving stream of lava, the Knight of Pentacles may not be
quick, but he is almost unstoppable. He moves forward no matter what
the obstacle, and leaves behind him fertile earth filled with seeds
that will someday bear valuable fruit. All we have to do is nurture
and protect this potential.

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

***

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

Goddess Demeter Tarot Spread

August, 2019

Hello,
Lammas Blessings of Abundance and Joy! I’m happy to share my Wiccan
Inspired Tarot Spreads with PagansPagesOrg.

I
create Personal Tarot Spreads for friends, family & clients. I
enjoy celebrating and creating Tarot spreads for each of the Wiccan
sabbats, as well as, esbats. This month’s issue features three of
my Spreads.

These Spreads I create can be used for tarot or oracle cards. Feel free to try them with Runes as well for a unique approach.

Celebrate the Harvest with the Goddess Demeter. She is the Greek Goddess of Harvests. Mother to Persephone or Kore, she is known for agriculture, abundance, harvest, parenthood, children, family, fertility, & diplomacy.

We honor Demeter with her own tarot spread.

Until
next month…

***

About the Author:

Norma Clark I’m Wiccan, My style follows my spiritual path and what comes to mind.. I live in a small rural town, Paris, Idaho. I share my life With my Wiccan husband, 2 hyper Children & gang of critters. I love to create new designs by looking at nature & cultural ideas for my Jewelry and create unique Metaphysical items. Shop, sit a spell or two & Come see the Magick of Forevrgoddessboutique Link to my shop: forevrgoddessboutique

Lammas/Lughnasadh Tarot Spread

August, 2019

Hello,
Lammas Blessings of Abundance and Joy! I’m happy to share my Wiccan
Inspired Tarot Spreads with PagansPagesOrg.

I
create Personal Tarot Spreads for friends, family & clients. I
enjoy celebrating and creating Tarot spreads for each of the Wiccan
sabbats, as well as, esbats. This month’s issue features three of
my Spreads.

These Spreads I create can be used for tarot or oracle cards. Feel free to try them with Runes as well for a unique approach.

Come celebrate the 1st harvest and end of summer. We love to watch the coming of each season here in rural Idaho. The colors of the Aspen trees & Maple start to change with the approaching of the Autumn equinox.

Enjoy
this Lammas Tarot Spread. Gain insight for the coming month.

***

About the Author:

Norma Clark. I’m Wiccan, My style follows my spiritual path and what comes to mind.. I live in a small rural town, Paris, Idaho. I share my life With my Wiccan husband, 2 hyper Children & gang of critters. I love to create new designs by looking at nature & cultural ideas for my Jewelry and create unique Metaphysical items. Shop, sit a spell or two & Come see the Magick of Forevrgoddessboutique Link to my shop: forevrgoddessboutique

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.

***

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.

***

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

***

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!

***

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

***

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

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