Thursday, September 29, 2011

8. Strength - The Lion Whisperer

Aesop tells a fable about the Sun and the Wind debating who was the more powerful. They spotted a farmer walking through his fields and decided to have a contest to see who could get his coat. Wind declared, "I am the most powerful for I can blow that man's jacket right off his back!" With that Wind blasted the fellow with such a gush of cold air he nearly fell to the ground but oddly enough he didn't let go of his jacket and indeed, he wrapped it so snugly about him that no matter how hard Wind blew, he wasn't able to rip it away. Then Sun took her turn. Gently she aimed her warm beams at the shivering man and as he became more and more comfortable under her soothing care he himself unbuttoned the coat and cast it aside with ease! Warmth and gentleness won over force. This is the message of tarot card number 8, Strength. Like the Sun, the woman is using gentleness and warmth to tame the fierce lion and he then happily obeys.

The Strength card is similar to last week's card, The Chariot in that they both deal with handling impulses and emotions. The Chariot was about dealing with challenges that come from the outer world and promised us that by staying focused on our goals we would be able get past any roadblocks. We experienced success by refusing to give up, but what happens when it's time to reign in the horses? Do we know how to put the brakes on sheer will power? Thus we come to Strength, the card where the challenges are of a different sort, they come from within and require self-control. No longer does sheer stick-to-itiveness guarantee success. Now we are confronted with situations that can only be mastered with kindness and patience and thus we must master our own lion-like animal natures. 

The sign Leo is associated with the Strength card which is the sign that rules children and creativity. Children obviously need to be raised with patience but also the creative juices must be tamed with practice and patience least the artist experience burn-out or be destroyed in some wild and reckless display.

In a reading when Strength appears it's a tip off that we're involved in a situation where we might like to confront an adversary but we would be wise to exercise control of our passions and consider a softer approach. For example I had a recent caller ask if he would win his up-coming court case. We did a three card spread. The Chariot came up on the right, the place that tells us where we are at the moment. The Chariot here indicated he strongly felt he was in the right and most likely had the resources to pursue his goal. The High Priestess came up on the left and represented the probable outcome. The High Priestess is rarely a good card as a final outcome indicator as she represents a vague unresolved situation. The middle position - the obstacle card - revealed the problem. It was the Strength card and told us that the man should control his passion because if he won through force the High Priestess as the outcome tells us he would not get any reward for his efforts. Sure enough, it turned out the fellow was considering suing his indigent sister. Although his anger was no doubt justified he agreed with the cards that he would most likely be better off putting the breaks on Strength for the sake of the family and also because as The High Priestess outcome card revealed, nothing would be resolved in this manner and even if he the courts decided in his favor as The Chariot predicted, she didn't have any money so nothing would come of his winning.

This week as we focus on the Strength card you may start seeing some of the problems that come following The Chariot/Success. You may find you have overcome some restrictions but now new ones appear. You can't win every battle with force. This is the week to practice your charm.

Nice and Easy Does It,

Rosada, EXT 2340

Friday, September 23, 2011

7. The Chariot - Going For It!

Sometimes I write notes on my cards - something to remind me of what I can count on whenever that card appears. My key word for The Chariot is "Success!" You can also pretty much guarantee travel coming with The Chariot too. This is all because The Chariot card marks the moment when a decision has been made. The die has been cast, the train has left the station, we've hit the road and it's too late to turn back now. When The Chariot comes up in a reading, we're no longer playing games as in the Gemini Lovers card, we've made a commitment and that's what creates success - and adventure!

The sign Cancer, ruler of the emotions, is associated with this card. The image on card is of a man in a chariot controlling a pair of sphinx. Some older cards have him handling five horses. The symbols of the man and the sphinx represent the mind controlling the emotions - both positive and negative (one sphinx is white, one black), or as with the horses, the five senses. If you consider that The Chariot follows The Lovers you see the message that once we have made a comment to a loved one - or a job, or a life path - then we must control the urge to constantly question if we made the right choice. Our eyes and ears may continue to signal us that there are better and worse opportunities out there, but we control any impulse to stray from our course. It may help to remember the song, Walk On By!

Cancer also rules the home and family. Note The Chariot is usually drawn with a sort of roof over the driver's head. At first it may seem curious that the sign of home is represented by the card associated with travel.  The idea is that where ever we travel, we are taking our family values with us. On a more mundane level the card can signify that we will be traveling and staying some place over night - literally moving our home.

When the Chariot comes up in a client's reading I think you can confidently tell them they should continue on the path they have chosen and also that while they may find themselves tempted to second guess their decision, this card indicates changing the course at this time would be inappropriate.

Speaking of changing courses, I usually begin my readings by dividing the deck into three piles and having the client pick which to read from - right, left or center. Occasionally people will wonder after saying "right" if they shouldn't have said "left" or "center." This happened so often I finally did an experiment once where I read from all three piles. They all gave pretty much the same answer but from a slightly different perspective! So I encourage you when you are doing your readings to reassure folks that they can't pick the wrong pile!

As we focus on The Chariot this week I predict we'll be aware of travel, maybe taking some overnight trips ourselves, but most of all experiencing making some decisive choices that turn out well!

I wish you much success,

Rosada, EXT 2340

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

6. Everyone Loves The Lovers

The Lovers card in the deck I prefer, the Rider-Waite deck, has a man - Adam - looking towards a woman - Eve - symbolizing the conscious mind impressing an idea on the unconscious. She is shown looking upwards towards an angel, Raphael, meaning the unconscious then aligns with the super conscious resulting in blessings manifesting for all. A beautiful card and a lovely sentiment! However, it wasn't always thus...
The Lovers card has gone through many changes over the years. Some of the older decks show a man torn between two woman (His girlfriend and his mother? His wife and his mistress?) so the card hasn't always featured the loving couple we see illustrated in the decks popular today. Indeed, it originally referred to very tough choices and the wrong one would get you tossed out of The Garden of Eden. Even so, everyone feels a tingle of good fortune when The Lovers come up in a reading. There is such a sense of playfulness and good will about it! With the man looking to the women with such devotion and the angel extending blessings we just have to believe one more time that maybe this time they wont get evicted, maybe this time love will find a way...

The Lovers card is associated with the astrological sign Gemini, the sign synonymous with  light-hearted connections and fickle flirtations. Curious then that this sign so notorious for short lived romance is represented in the tarot by The Lovers with their symbol of soul mates protected by a guardian angel. However, consider that the previous card, The Hierophant was all about commitment to a predictable routine and that each new card somehow represents something opposite of the one before. The Lovers then represent the opposite of unquestioning commitment of The Hierophant. His routine has gone on long enough and now we're itching to get out and practice what he's been preaching. Which means we're starting to see the choices that exist even within a structured belief system. The Hierophant may preach that man and woman should go forth and multiply but once we accept this it leads to having to make decisions. With The Lovers we come to see we make the choice of whom do we go forth with, where and for how long? What exactly is the commitment? The Hierophant says "Learn the rules." The Lover's card says, "Once you know the rules, how you play is up to you!" Thus The Lovers card with it's picture of the heart's desire being fulfilled only represents entering the game of love - of life! - it does not necessarily represent stability. In a reading the card evokes all the joy and possibilities of first love but it cannot promise the feelings last.

As you watch for The Lovers to appear in your world this week, you may find yourself made aware of simple gestures of kindness. Someone lets another go first in line, the boss drops their officious manner and says something friendly, situations pop up where we don't have rules to be nice but happily we choose to be kind anyway.

A few examples of songs I've heard in the back of my mind when this card has appeared in combination with others we've studied recently:

The Fool/The Lovers: Unexpected/Attraction = Fooled Around and Fell In Love!

The Magician/The Lovers: Focused/Attraction = You've Got Me Under Your Spell!

The High Priestess/The Lovers: Waiting/Attraction = Walking After Midnight Searching For You.

May you see the love in your life this week!

Rosada, EXT 2340

Thursday, September 8, 2011

5. The Heirophant - Get With The Program!

You'll never hear the word Hierophant unless you're talking to a tarot reader. The Hierophant was a priest in ancient Greece but he lives on today on the fifth card in the major arcana tarot deck. He is the symbol of conformity and tradition and he follows the pioneering Aries Emperor whose revolutionary ideas have now evolved into an established pattern. The Hierophant's job is to be priest like in maintaining the routine - without question and without change. When The Heirophant appears in your spread he's telling you your dealing with an entrenched belief system and if you're going to be successful you better get with the program..

As we focus on The Heirophant this week you may find yourself recognizing there are certain formalities that must be followed if your life is going to evolve beyond childish games to higher levels of understanding. You may have brilliant natural abilities, but you still need to follow the rules, take the classes, put in the time to get society's rewards and recognition . 

The Heirophant represents the sign Taurus, the sign of stability. It's as if the innovative Emperor in the last card is ever going to establish a real empire he's going to have to stop exploring and make a map - develop a predictable world of rules and routine. It used to be passing on the knowledge and rules of community living was the job of the church. Nowadays we don't look to the priests so much to dictate our daily lives, so Heirophant energy in today's world often manifests in the form of the rituals around work. The Hierophant will often represent your job, especially if you work for a large company where there is a chain of command and specific requirements that cannot be side stepped. The picture on the card shows two devoted neophytes listening to the priest's teachings. The idea is that by learning the rules one will become a member of the community.

If you are looking for employment, receiving the Heirophant is a very positive omen for getting work with a large established organization - though you'll still have to fill out the application and smile for the interview. If he is surrounded with negative cards you might be getting a warning that the new job will require your complete devotion or that the boss wants to be worshipped as a god.

The Heirophant is the partner of The High Priestess. She represents patience and waiting. He symbolizes faith and ritual. Together they instruct us to be patient and faithfully attend to our daily rituals. Interestingly, as the High Priestess represents the Moon and the Heirophant is connected with the sign Taurus, together we have Moon in Taurus, the most positive placement for the moon and indicating the manifestation of abundance and good fortune. Perhaps this is a  promise that quiet devotion will bring reward? A quick peek to next week's card -The Lovers! - reveals just what that reward might be.

Until then, keep the faith -
Rosada, EXT 2340

Thursday, September 1, 2011

4. The Emperor - Who's In Charge Here?

The Emperor is usually depicted as a strong man obviously in charge. Older versions of this card show him in profile. However, more recent decks show him face forward which I feel is an error. By illustrating The Emperor in profile as the older decks do, we are reminded that this is a man who doesn't try to please the whole world. He focuses on his point of view. In order to achieve something The Emperor reminds us we must not be wishy-washy. We must be decisive and set our course.

Many new age thinkers talk about the importance of affirmations, of seeing yourself as successful before the world will see you this way too. The Emperor represents this sort of philosophy. He doesn't wait for the world to tell him what he's worth, he tells the world. Thus it makes sense that The Emperor represents the sign Aries, the sign known for not needing any outside permission or confirmation. The Emperor is that genius who knows from birth he was born to rule!

In a reading this card says watch for someone who makes their own rules. If the card represents you, it affirms your right to your own opinion and advises not getting dragged down by outside influences.

In this week ahead as we focus on this card you may find yourself coming in contact with cheerful, self-confident types. If they are true Emperors they are probably self-employed or doing what they choose to do. They may strike you as having a bit of an ego, somewhat self-centered but probably not to an extreme. For heavens sake though, don't make little jokes about their work or say anything disparaging about their families. They definitely won't see things from that point of view! Instead, recognize this maybe a person who can help you cut through the Gordian knot or at least a bunch of red tape. Be bold and ask for their help! Emperors love to lead others out of trouble.

Jack Nickleson gives a great impersonation of the Emperor type in the movie Hoffa. Note the scene where he is brought in before the mob boss. Although he is only a truck driver and they could snuff him out in a second, he pays no attention to their threats and instead orders them to bring him coffee! A natural born Emperor.

If you are into astrology, one of the interesting things you can do with the Tarot cards is to use them to give you a visual image of the aspects. For example, right now Uranus, the planet of Impulsive Action is in Aries, the sign of Self and Strong Intentions. Now just saying that can give you a few ideas, but if you pull out the Uranus card, The Fool, and place it next to the Aries card, The Emperor, you get a strong visual of what these energies together can create. The Fool is about to charge over the cliff and The Emperor says "no one can stop me!" With the visual from the cards we get a much stronger impression of just how crazy - and even self destructive - Uranus in Aries can be.

Looking at what the other cards we've been studying might mean next to The Emperor:
If The Magician comes up with The Emperor we have Mercury in Aries:  clear thinking and new ideas.
The High Priestess next to The Emperor, The Moon in Aries: Patiently waiting for your chance.
The Empress next to The Emperor, Venus in Aries - the original power couple! : The Emperor empowers all the possibilities suggested by The Empress. You draw what you need to you like a magnet.

Until next time,
You're in charge!


Rosada, EXT 2340