Weekly Tarot Reading for October 20-27th 2015: King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

Centennial Waite deck - King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

Centennial Waite deck – King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

This week’s reading is a continuation of last week’s reading, you can view it here.

This week seems to be all about discernment discernment discernment.

With the King of Cups, we attained this new level of emotional maturity, the culmination of the virtues of love – forgiveness, compassion, mindfulness, tolerance. He is able to see the multitude of humanity’s complexity and hold no judgement. Which is great!

But then on the other side we have the sword of judgement with the Queen of Swords. She’s all about deciding what takes precedence in her life, she realizes that we live in a world filled with imperfect people, and decides, with her head and heart aligned ,what she allows in her sphere of influence. She is all about boundaries.

Flanked in between these two mature figures is the four of cups – the focal point of the reading. The card of “divine discontent.” I am immediately drawn to the 3 cups in the forefront – the thing the figure is preoccupied with, kept at a distance (he is not engaged with those 3 cups – although he is staring at them intently – a sign that the cups/relationship/emotional situation do not currently offer what he truly wants/needs, and/or are otherwise unavailable, or perhaps he’s reflecting on those cups and has distanced himself to take time for this reflection).

I see these cups as the precursor to the 3 spilled cups in the 5 of cups. Something about those three cups left something to be desired – perhaps they’re people or situations that have caused the man in the figure to be cynical. I always refer to a cynic as someone who had high ideals that were dashed. So perhaps these cups are the cause of strife and longing, or fall below his expectations, so that he is wary of the cup currently offered to him, with the notion that the 4th cup will be just as disappointing as the other cups.

And, you know, who can fault him. I know we’re taught to have gratitude for the things we DO have, and that’s great, but when do things in our lives become too limited for our new outlooks in life indicated by the King of Cups? Perhaps you’ve learned to love yourself and others more, and with that, relationships and situations may actually need to be reviewed, perhaps you need to discern and allocate your time accordingly, you know the container’s too small kind of stuff. You will have to use the Queen of Swords cold blade of discernment. In one sense, yes, accept people and situations as is, love, forgive, etc. But, use your head. You don’t want to find yourself repeating the same patterns with people and situations that ultimately do not fulfill your needs.

There’s an element of meditation involved in the 4 of cups. He’s looking within. He’s sitting under a tree…there’s a sense of grounded stability in this card. Sometimes I think that people magically wish to wish away negative emotions if we simply meditate….and while that is true to an extent the momentary bliss high etc, sometimes the work of moving past blocks is to simply feel those negative emotions – are they petulant like the male figure in question? feel it. Is it anger? be with it. Meditation has a way of bringing up euphoric feelings, as well as the not so desirable feelings. I think the man in the four of cups is somewhat aware that this is taking place, even though intently staring at those out-of-touch three cups.

As well, that 4th cup being offered – I dunno, I my sense is that there is something positive there. How do we react to the cup offered? The two court cards are clues. The past does not have to be repeated if you can skillfully trust yourself, and know that you don’t have to take what’s on offer if it doesn’t suit you. However, be open enough to receive opportunity with an open heart…….there are still 2 cups standing in the 5 of cups. Perhaps one of them is the cup that was offered from out of blue in the four, still standing, waiting for you to engage with it.

In threes...an Abbey in Rome, Italy.

In threes…an Abbey in Rome, Italy.

Weekly Tarot Reading for Oct. 13-20th 2015: The Tower, Knight of Cups, and King of Cups

The Tower, Knight of Cups and King of Cups from the Radiant tarot deck

The Tower, Knight of Cups and King of Cups from the Radiant tarot deck

I’m not sure why I’ve been pulling 3-cards lately…the knight of cups sort of made me curious about where he was taking that cup….

Sometimes, shit happens, you know? Sometimes the universe comes along and gives us a jolt. A jolt that shocks us into the heart, as indicated by the two cups cards that come right after. The Tower gets rid of all that is unnecessary so that it clears a path for what you do want. I’m wary of using the terms ‘fate,’ but there are some events that happen from without that show us where we need to be headed for long term happiness, although always a choice to take up such opportunity. The tower can also show up as sudden insights, and flashes of genius. It makes sense- the new moon in Libra is making an aspect to Uranus – planet of genius, innovation, the shock factor, the iconoclast. In which case I would encourage you to follow up on those inspired ideas.

The cups that follow the Tower show us where the flashes of insight are directed at – the heart, relationships, those things you lovingly devote yourself to. The knight of cups is in service to a the King of Cups, the knight being the messenger of loving, inspired, divine insight to the King. Perhaps the King has something to ponder, adding to a more mature, loving mindset, filled with more depth and beauty, deepening his relationship to himself and others. So that we become an authority of our own emotional/intuitive faculties. Of our own artistic pursuits.

Let the universe shock you onto a more soulful path. Let old egoic structures fall away allowing you to move forward with a more vulnerable open heart. Such shocks may not always be easy, but almost always worth the initial chaos.

Seen on a T-shirt in Shanghai, courtesy of Carrie Sanders.

Seen on a T-shirt in Shanghai, courtesy of Carrie Sanders.

Weekly Tarot Combination for Sept. 14-20: Knight of Wands and 9 of Swords

Knight of Wands and 9 of Swords - Radiant tarot deck

Knight of Wands and 9 of Swords – Radiant tarot deck

There’s a viral posting somewhere on Tumblr that says something like, “Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes.” That is my immediate reaction upon seeing this combination.

I see this combo and think, “uh oh, that dreaded self-expression issue is UP!” As someone who would rather float and observe, these cards are a call to participate in life, with gusto.  More than that, the Knight of Wands is about bold self-inquiry and self-expression.

There are people who think they know things, and indeed, they probably do. People in authority who are didactic and claim to have all the answers. and while that is great, ultimately, we are on our own path. The Knight of Wands coupled with the 9 of swords is asking you to explore ways in which we give our power away to people, to authority, to the world. While I agree it is wise to consider and explore the ways people have made their way through life, I am also asking you to consider your own inner wisdom and knowing and ask questions; consider inquiry. Be curious. Be bold. Be boldly curious. I’m being didactic as I write this, and urge you to consider and un-consider my words in the face of your own truth, your own path, your own expressive drive in this world.

I won’t bother you with notions of what “truth” is, but perhaps it’s the idea of trusting your gut, your intuition, with this knight I would even say those knee-jerk instincts, possibly coupled with the wisdom of experience (he looks like he’s come back from battle – look at those clothes), instead of the loud voice of the mind indicated by those nightmares that keep you up at night.

Speaking of nightmares, the 9 of swords makes another appearance. The mind may react to your bold inquiry with doubt. My suggestion is to watch your thoughts and consider valium. Just kidding. Maybe. Anyway, The ego (that dreaded thing new agers condemn, another topic) wants to react, the lizard brain might think it unsafe to express yourself, you could, you know, lose your job, or lose your sense of safety or a girlfriend/boyfriend, or your reputation. The mind can be a bottomless barrel of doubt. YAY.

There’s always this idea that something is at stake when we’re being authentic, that we have something to lose. At least that’s been my experience. But at the end of the day, what do we have if we don’t have ourselves?

It’s probably important to ask questions during this new moon eclipse. Virgo energies can sometimes get mired in details, stuck in neuroses, lacking in self-confidence. As a person with this new moon eclipse in the 12th house (the house of the unconscious, how we undo ourselves, psychological issues), I can tell you I’ve sought to ask again and again what is true, and what isn’t true for me. I’ve asked myself the deeper underlying issues of specific triggers that brought me down a rabbit hole of weird feels. I’ve had to ask questions about seemingly progressive institutions’ ideas of what’s right (12th house also rules institutions) and be like, “well, no, actually, that doesn’t work for me,” (Tinder anyone?) and re-consider what some would consider antiquated, out-of-style or just plain weird. No judgments to others who would disagree or have arguably more informed opinions, but considering and validating what is true for me and honoring it with expression, knight of wands style.

So, with that, god-speed, my friend. Be yourself (unless you’re Ann Coulter or something), be scared, it beats the numb feeling of living your life asleep, merely a passenger of others’ ideas of what is right and true for you.

The Queen of Swords Don’t Care

The Queen of Swords - Rider-Waite and Morgan-Greer tarot decks (recpectively)

The Queen of Swords – Rider-Waite and Morgan-Greer tarot decks (respectively)

I recently decided to leave Rome. Many ask why I would want to leave such a beautiful place/easy life, but, many don’t know that I made crucial sacrifices to live here. While it was fun, inspiring, intriguing and challenging for the five months I have been here, there were many facets of my life that left me feeling somewhat bored and powerless. I did not live in my own space, I had to deal with clashing, intensely critical, judgmental personalities and not-so-subtle power dynamics in which I couldn’t escape, but did my best to ignore (how much namaste the shit away can you do?).

Bottom line, I felt as if my life wasn’t mine. I had to make a decision. I made a Queen of Swords, cut-the-bullshit decision based on the wisdom I’ve acquired, based on heart (intuitive)/mind (perceptive) self-reflection. I decided to set my own course, a course in service to myself (that extends outward to others). A course that falls in line with my talents and strengths rather than fights against it.

The queen of swords often gets a bad rap. She’s the “loner spinster” woman of the tarot deck – “A woman widowed!” The Rider Waite deck definition: “Widowhood, female sadness and embarrassment, absence, sterility, mourning, privation, separation.” Probably written by someone under the Patriarchy’s thumb. Just being honest. As the Queen of Swords would be.

I come from Puerto Rico, and my people like to call trailblazing types a “candela pura.” Candela puras are often thought of as eccentric, they follow their own beat and don’t really fit into society’s norms. Culturally, these types are not necessarily frowned upon, just observed as maybe being “different.”

and the Queen of swords IS different.

The other queens in tarot are depicted as being more mothering, sacrificing archetypes, the queen of wands would be depicted as a muse, the queen of cups is the selfless, unconditional caretaker and queen of pentacles provides a kind of security and abundant care taking role (I will feed you!). The queen of swords isn’t for really anybody else (except maybe higher minded things like justice, or humanity), she is first for herself. We shouldn’t mistake her as being unfeeling for putting herself first – she has all the feels, she is ruled by water just like the other queens. But The Queen of Swords knows heartbreak and mourning. Her keen eye of discernment both engenders and alienates. She is the bullshit minimizer in a world that mostly rewards bullshit maximizers or co-dependents. “I will care more about your problems than you will,” the other queens might say. She’s the opposite.

The Queen of Swords is a badass. Her archetype is further characterized in Latin American culture as the Mexican slang word, “chingona.” Urban dictionary defines the “chingona” as a “really fuckin’ cool girl.” Mexican poetess Sandra Cisneros has this to say about this cultural rebel:

“It takes a long time for women to feel it’s alright to be chingona. To aspire to be a chingona!…You are saying, ‘This is my camino, this is my path and I’m gonna follow it, regardless of what culture says.’ I don’t think the church likes chingonas. I don’t think the state likes chingonas! And fathers definitely do not like chingonas. And boyfriends don’t like chingonas. But, you know, I remain optimistic. I will meet a man who likes a chingona, one day. One day, my chingon will come.”

The queen of swords truly doesn’t give a fuck. In Asian culture, her archetype might be Hua Mulan from the poem Ballad of Mulan. You might be familiar with her from the Disney movie. Mulan was a woman warrior who fought in place of her father. Here is a quote from the text:

“They ask Daughter who’s in her heart,
They ask Daughter who’s on her mind.
“No one is on Daughter’s heart,
No one is on Daughter’s mind.”

And do you know why? She don’t give no fucks. QUEEN OF SWORDS Y’ALL.

For anyone familiar with the mythic tarot, the queen of swords is portrayed as the Greek goddess Atalanta. Atalanta was an interesting figure. She was raised by a she-bear and learned to hunt like a bear. #GOALS. She was also one of those virgin huntresses not unlike Artemis, who didn’t want to marry. Some dude even wanted to marry her but she refused him. Also, she would only date guys that beat her at hunting and/or racing. Even then, an ensuing coupledom was precarious at best. Zeus turned her and her partner into lions. Oh well! Life as a queen of swords isn’t for the faint-hearted.

The Morgan-Greer tarot deck illustrates the queen of swords surrounded by roses. The rose is a perfect symbol for this queen – a symbol for both beauty and pain. T.S Eliot elegantly conveys her beauty and terror combined with the symbolism of the rose in (arguably my favorite) the poem Ash Wednesday,

Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

The Queen of Swords is quite often alone. And so what. We are destined in life to hold this duality: that we are utterly supported by the universe, and that we are inevitably alone in this world. No one can entirely be there for us. The Queen of Swords intrinsically knows this. Listen, boys and girls, if there’s anything she can teach you it’s this: boyfriends/girlfriends don’t have to like you. and neither does the church. You’re alright being you, thorns and all.

Tarot Combination of the Day (Weds Oct. 15, 2014) – Queen of Pentacles and King of Swords

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Queen of Pentacles and King of Swords

I’ve been wanting to make the daily combination thing a daily thing.  But I’ve been busy teaching and stuff so…  Booo….but I am trying my best!  This eclipse energy seems to be really moving stuff around for me, and everyone it seems. It’s all a balance, but anticipate shorter postings for a week or so….

Anyway, back to the combinations!

Court cards are always tricky even for seasoned tarot readers, mostly because the cards could be read as people, the roles that people play, the roles you take on in a situation, or an event that takes place.  So, yeah…tricky.

I get that maybe this is a couple?  If so, they would be of widely different mindsets.  One who cultivates abundance, uses common sense, and the King who values ethics and higher thought.  One who values theory, the other practice.

The cards could be asking you to embody these two opposing, seemingly (elementally speaking) separate views for today –  this idea of grounding your ideas, or embodying your ideas in practical, every day ways.  Or maybe holding intentions/higher thoughts while doing everyday things.  “I set the intention to take care of myself more with every sip of this tea,” for example.  Make it almost a daily mantra…and see what happens?  Greater abundance?  Who knows!  Try it!  Make your life a series of tantric/mantric experiments.   Make the abstract concrete.  I dare you.

Tarot Combination of the Day (Weds. Oct. 8, 2014) – 4 of Pentacles and 3 of Wands

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4 of Pentacles and 3 of Wands

In this combination, we have one dude who clings tightly to what’s known (his money it looks like), and the other dude boldly goes forth and establishes a unique vision for himself.  This combination is seemingly at odds, but when working together, are capable of dynamic change.

The 4 of pentacles is ruled by the sun in Capricorn, and the 3 of wands is ruled by the sun in Aries, forming what’s called a square aspect in Astrology.  Square aspects are when two planets are 90 degrees apart in the sky, and  are always points of tension, but ultimately lead to action and change.  So with the 4 of pentacles, there’s this idea of holding on, clinging, at odds with this Aries, boldly going forth.  How do you reconcile such energies?  God only knows, I struggle with this myself.

It’s a collective thing….a total full moon lunar eclipse is set to happen today, triggering the Uranus/Pluto ongoing square – oddly in Aries/Capricorn (respectively).  Do we do the same-as-it-ever-was or do we establish a more bold, mature path into the future?  And how?  I imagine it has something to do with ingenuity, Tower-like breakdowns and breakthroughs, personal and collective revolutions…

We might find that our established way of doing things is no longer working and are forced into trying things in new ways.  Job layoffs, relationships that no longer work…deeply rooted psychological patterns that keep you stuck….all these things are being dredged up for all to look at.  YAY…!?

Yeah, anyway, the cards seem to be reflecting this collective/individual purging taking place between holding on to what you have and developing a larger vision of the life you truly desire.  I would say go with the latter, and transmute the 4 of pentacles, invest that energy into the new territory you will inevitably find yourself in.

The Page of Pentacles and Strength

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The Page of Pentacles and Strength

The page of pentacles is ruled by the earth, in fact, earth of earth (double earth). he is a young, studious scholar who uses his book/street knowledge for practical, every day things. He looks up to his pentacle as if he sees the value in it. Perhaps one is seeing the value in what money can bring – be it more education or a simple cup of coffee.

Combined with the Strength card, this is quite auspicious. It gives one the stamina, health, soft control and will power to acquire the things that one values, even in the face of adversity. The page is young and stumbles around quite a bit, makes mistakes, learns lessons…with strength it indicates the ability to learn from lessons and assimilate them, symbolized by the lemniscate.

I kind of see this combination as the ability to deal with BS because you see the reward behind the money earned so you can focus on the things you really value. energy exchange on the earthly plane (money for knowledge/skill and vice versa), with a little charisma thrown in for good luck.

An additional meaning to this would also be to enjoy your body! Yoga, getting out in nature, reveling in the last days of warmth….experience yourself fully and enjoy it, even in the midst of uncertainty and stress.