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Two of Disks: Change


Change: Flexibility, Balance, and Stability Through Motion

The Two of Disks. Change. Stability Through Motion. The Infinite. Whirling. Motion. Balance. Flexibility. Juggling. Steadiness Through Readjustment. Change representing the Two of Disks – at the Sefirot of Chokmah, representing the original harmony and power of creation of the element of Earth – might seem to some an odd association at first glance. Earth’s common association is with immobility and solidity, which is not an entirely accurate association. The Earth does, in fact, move, but at exceedingly slow paces; the drift of continents and the bursting of volcanoes are all aspects of the element of Earth. There is, then, motion present, but this motion is not violent; it is slow, and steady, and helps to keep the Earth in balance. It is this motion that the Two of Disks represents. The fiery energy of creation associated with Chokmah is also manifested through the idea of change, but it’s quick qualities are reduced by the influence of the Suit of Disks. The harmony of the Suit of Disks is achieved through slow change to maintain the balance and harmony; anything that is unable to move will not endure, and as Earth endures, movement is necessary to its survival.

The Two of Disks, then, represents the idea of Stability Through Motion, and a constant Steadiness Through Readjustment. It represents the small adjustments one makes to achieve Balance, as well as the Infinite character of the world and its motion. It represents Adaptability and Change in order to survive and endure. It also is tied to the idea of Juggling in order to maintain stability and make sure nothing happens to disrupt the order. It is the Flexiblity needed for us all to survive.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a young man juggling two pentacles, with rope around them making the symbol of infinity. Behind him are rolling waves. The entire scene is reminiscent of the idea of steady motion and balance. The Thoth art shows a crowned snake biting its own tail, looped into the symbol of infinity around to disks, both symbols representing the concept of the infinite. The snake is also a symbol of motion of a kind that cannot be unbalanced. The crown also signifies the stability of the snake’s power and control. The two Disks on the card are Yin-Yangs, which also serve as symbols of balance and harmony.

In a reading, the Two of Disks asks you to examine the role that small adjustments to your course in life may play in said life. It advises you to be flexible and willing to yield sometimes in order to keep things going; motion is necessary to keep things from falling. It also advises you to keep moving and not stay in one place for too long, lest you become stagnant and fall into ruin and decay. Reversed, this card’s energy is blocked or twisted somehow; perhaps your needed motion is being blocked by something, or your apparent motion is not accomplishing what needs to be done.

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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Uncategorized


Ace of Disks


Ace of Disks: The Realization

The Ace of Disks is the origin, root, source, and pure energy and idea of the Suit of Disks. It represents the purest and least diluted form of the Suit of Disks, and is the standard bearer of the entire suit, standing in as representing the the Suit itself. It corresponds to the Sefirot of Kether; the original emanation and perfect spirit of the Suit of Disks.

The Suit of Disks – that the Ace represents – is analogous to the element of Earth. It corresponds also to the material world, and the stability of Earth. The energy of the Suit of Disks is enduring, stable, practical, and stubborn and unyielding. The Ace is also forceful, spewing out the Suit’s energy, and represents Material Force. The Suit of Disks is Slow, Majestic, Ponderous, Cautious, and Trusting; in many ways the energy is simple. The Suit of Disks is also Prosperous.

The Suit of Disks represents the culmination of the other Suits; Wands were the Origin, Cups the Potential of that initial energy, Swords the Thought that began to shape it, and Disks are the Realization of that energy, the Origin we saw in Wands finally manifesting and materializing in reality in the Suit of Disks. Disks represent Reality and the Material World, and is concerned with the Physical and Material aspects of existence. The Suit of Disks makes up the second half of the second dichotomy present in the Tarot; that of the Abstract and Material (Swords and Disks).

The Rider-Waite art shows a hand emerging from a cloud (the spirit of EinSof), handing out the Pentacle (the Rider-Waite equivalent) to the world. It represents the gift of Material Force to the world. In the background are very earthy and green images, connecting the suit to Earth. The Thoth art shows a disk (with a Pentacle inscribed on it) resting on leafy objects. This emphasizes the Ace’s association with Earth and the material, as well as with the prosperity of growth. This is the only Ace that doesn’t seem to be emanating some energy, which represents the slower nature of this Suit; its emanation comes in the form of the growling plants it rests upon.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role that the Suit of Disks may play in your life. It asks you to examine how the material world manifests itself in your life, as well as the characteristics of stubbornness, practicality, and slow, ponderous motion. Are you perhaps a stubborn person? Do you always look before you leap? Are you very materialistic? Are you prosperous? Reversed, this card’s – and Suit’s – energies are hidden or twisted somehow; perhaps you are unaware of the material conditions of your life, or try actively to quell your materialistic urges.

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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


Princess of Swords


Princess of Swords: The Problem-Solving, Clever Manager and Translator/Interpreter (of Ideas into Practice)

The Princess of Swords (Page in the Rider-Waite tradition) represents the personality that results when the watery aspect of Air becomes dominant in a person; the Earth of Air. The practical, and grounded parts of the Suit of Swords. The Princess of Swords is one who applies her abstract ideas directly into the world around her; she is an excellent manager, is able to solve conflicts (though not as well as her mother), is clever and possesses much practical wisdom; she is “street-smart.” However, sometimes her ideals are compromised by reality and she can have a sort of low cunning, and often is unworthy of great honor. She is also sometimes prone to thinking too rationally, and is prone to destructive logic, and often has no heart. However, she attempts to improve the world around her by applying her ideas to reality, and so in the process provides a birthing ground for even greater ideas.

The Rider-Waite art shows a young man with a dreamy look in his eyes haphazardly holding a sword; he looks like the kind of person who wants to go out and do things but might not be good at actually getting them done; this interpretation is more common among Rider-Waite readers, to whom the Page urges people to go and embody the suit. In the Thoth tradition, however (which the above description is with regards to), the Princess means something different. The Thoth art shows a woman standing between the sky and Earth, acting as a mediator and interpreter between the two, and changing the energy of Air into that of Earth, applying the Suit of Swords to reality.

In a reading, this card urges you to examine the roles that Princesses of Swords may play in your life; does the Prince of Swords in your life have someone able to act as a translator? Do you know anyone who is very good at managing things and possesses a great deal of practical and useful knowledge? Reversed, this card’s energies are blocked, twisted, or hidden somehow; perhaps this person’s knowledge isn’t all that practical, and they’re really a Prince of Swords? Or maybe someone’s ideas are far more practical than you had realized…

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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


Prince of Swords


Prince of Swords: The Inaccessible, Rational Intellectual

The Prince of Swords (Knight in the Rider-Waite tradition) represents the personality that forms from the airiest part of Air; the Air of Air. He is the most abstract and principled person once can imagine. His personality is the expression of ultimate Air and Swords; he is the pinnacle of Abstraction, Principles, and Thought. He is the Philosopher and the Intellectual. He is aloof and detached from society, but not because he chooses to; he works on another plane, thinking above most others, and his ideas are so abstract that they have no practical basis. He lives in a rational fantasy, and has no clear purpose save to think. He is full of ideas, but most of them are impractical. He is inaccessible and not understood; he is the genius who lives by himself. Often brilliant, he is unable to effectively communicate his thoughts, and his genius may then be lost to the world. Einstein was in many ways a Prince of Swords; he thought in very abstract terms and was inaccessible to most, his mind functioning on a higher plane; the KANSAS song “Portrait (He Knew)” also reflects this card.

The Rider-Waite art shows a knight charging forward, and is much more reminiscent of the Thoth Knight than the Thoth Prince. The Thoth art, however, shows a very geometrical man in an awkward position, towering above the men pulling his chariot. The thoughts of men drive his chariot onward, and yet he functions in a realm above them, ruled by his own rationality and fantasy.

In a reading, the Prince of Swords asks you to examine the role that anyone in your life  that has the Prince’s personality may play. Do you know anyone who seems to be extremely gifted, but often seems lost on another plane? Someone with great ideas but no ideas for how to apply them? Reversed, this personality is hidden or blocked; perhaps one’s ideas are not so practical as they look, or maybe this person’s ideas are not as useful as they look, and they truly are misunderstood.

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Posted by on May 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


Tree of Life Spread

Tree of Life Spread  – Not Mine!

I recently joined the Aeclectic Tarot Community and have since been browsing peacefully among their forums. I quickly came across a new and interesting spread that I have recently tried out. The spread is linked above; I won’t give you a description here. If you’re a member yourself, you can view the finalized version I used.

My initial thoughts on the spread were that it was very interesting and seemed well-thought out and organized. Cards 2 and 3 in particular rang with me (in the positions of Chokmah and Binah, respectfully), with them representing the force and the form of the issue (again, respectfully). The one position there that I feel is iffy is 10; I m always leery to ground the Tarot too much in the material (it’s a very Swordsy hobby), but the card’s position kind of makes that interpretation necessary. As such, I don’t know what to do with it, so I’ll just leave it as is.

My reading was lacking in a few places, but unerringly accurate in many others. I will have to refine the definitions of each position a little bit, but I am already a fan of this spread.

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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


Queen of Swords


Queen of Swords: The Perceptive, Just Diplomat

The Queen of Swords represents the personality that results when the watery aspect of air manifests itself in a person; the intuitive, emotional, passive, intimate aspects of abstraction and ideology. The Queen of Swords is Perceptive, able to see to the heart of the matter quickly, and is Just. She is Swift and she is also Independent and an Individualist. She is Confident and Balanced, as well as Graceful and Concerned over the treatment of others. She is Beautiful and people are drawn to her for that as well as her Wisdom. She is Articulate and to the point, able to come up with Clever and Fair solutions to any problem put before her. She is the perfect Diplomat, and one of the vehicles through which the ideals of the Suit of Swords will be brought to Earth. She is very Knowledgeable in the ways of the the human mind. She can be Cruel and Superficial sometimes, as well as Unreliable and sometimes outright Deceitful. She is Focused and will do whatever it takes to bring Peace, Truth, Order, and Justice to the world. King Solomon of Judean fame was a Queen of Swords; an empath whose feelings for others were driven by inspiration from a higher plane; in his case, God.

The Rider-Waite art shows an imposing figure upon a throne, a sword in one hand and her other hand held out either as if she is expecting something or ordering others to do her bidding. She is not afraid to do what she knows is right and must be done. She is shown (unusually for the Rider-Waite Queens) in full profile, which gives her a stern air. The Thoth art shows a reclining Queen high in the sky. She is separate and believes she is above everyone else; there is an aura of untouchable beauty about her. This card also seems to emphasize her role as a judge, as she is above everyone else and can see what is going on, and dwells in the heavens, from where she can receive the divine word.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role that this personality may play in your life. Do you know anyone who acts as an intermediary between others? Who always comes up with compromises and fair solutions to conflict? Do you know any individualists who others gather around to admire both their beauty and intellect? Do you know anyone who seems to just be good at everything? Reversed, this personality is blocked or hidden; perhaps someone is unwittingly mediating conflicts and disputes between others, or perhaps someone is trying to stop being that person.

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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Knight of Swords


Knight of Swords: The Idealistic, Intelligent Martyr

The Knight of Swords. In the Rider-Waite tradition, this is the King of Swords. This card represents the personality that results from the meeting of Fire and Air; this card is then the Fiery aspect of Air. It is the fiery, passionate ideology that can consume one’s entire personality; the card that results from Cruelty and leads to Ruin and martyrdom. This card represents the personality associated with a passionate ideologue.

The person who exemplifies the Knight of Swords is Intelligent, Clever, and Subtle; he is a Manipulator. He is at the same time Delicate and also very Fierce when his positions are challenged. He is Skillful, and is constantly moving forward; he represents Violent and Managed Motion; he fights for drastic changes that are heavily monitored. He is a proponent of Science and Logic. At times, though, he can be Incapable (reality can often shatter a philosopher’s ability to function capably when his ideas do not work) and Indecisive – he has a general plan, but the details aren’t fleshed out. He deals with and is Driven by Ideologies, not practicalities. He is willing to give his all to his cause, and so is prone to Martyrdom. His is the world where action meets thought; he has a vision of the world as it should be, and he seeks to make it that way.

The Rider-Waite art shows a King sitting on his throne. He has the detached air of someone prone to deep thought, yet also seems ready to act; he is a thinker who will act on his beliefs when necessary. His face is stern and appears to be willing to pass judgment on others. The Thoth art has a more dynamic image; a swiftly moving man with dragonfly wings on a steed, flying amongst the birds graces this image. He has a thin sword held forward; he pinpoints a problem and tries to fix it. He is also focused on his one issue of thought, and ignores what else is around him. This card in particular captures the idea of violent and managed motion. he also has the air of one leading a charge to his inevitable doom, reflecting the theme of martyrdom.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role that this personality may play in your life. Do you know anyone devoted to their ideology, who will do anything to promote it, and isn’t above manipulating others to get things to be the way they feel things should be? Are they clever and crafty, moving swiftly but in a very methodical and organized manner? Do they see themselves as a martyr? Reversed, this card’s personality is twisted or hidden somehow; perhaps they long to be like the Knight of Swords, but reality stops them. Maybe they are trying to be an ideologically driven person, or perhaps they are being prevented from being a martyr.

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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Uncategorized


Ten of Swords: Ruin


Ruin: Excessive Abstraction, Downfall, and Martyrdom

The Ten of Swords. Ruin. Ungrounded Logic. Fantasies of Thought. Excessive Abstraction. Downfall. Loss. Shun. Mirage. Martyrdom. Victim Mentality. Stifling. Bottoming Out. The Ten of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Malkuth: Reality, the Root, the Sum, and the Origin. The Ten of Swords represents the final stage of the transformation of the energy of the Suit of Swords when it finally reaches reality and the material world. The theme if disconnect, disillusion, and despair have been themes throughout the Suit, and the Ten brings them all together and amplifies them. This card represents the ultimate disconnect between the abstract Swords and the Material Malkuth.

This card represents Excessive Abstraction, Ungrounded Logic, and Fantasies of Thought; being too lost in one’s own ideals and ponderings, and failing to see the reality before you. This card represents the state of one’s mind being lost on a different plane of thought and totally disconnected from what is going on in the ‘real” world. And what does this bring? Ruin. Downfall. Loss. Being Shunned by the sheeples of society who don’t understand. You are Stifled by the limited possibilities the world offers you. You believe yourself the Victim of the Cruelty of the world (though sometimes you may be overdramatic). You give in to the despair that the Nine of Swords brought to you, and so fall into Ruin.

The Suit of Swords can also intersect with reality in another way; if one has their head in the clouds and is devoted completely to their ideals and ideologies, they may be willing to sacrifice themselves to help others; the logical extension of some of the self-injury of the Nine of Swords. This, in turn, leads to the idea of Martyrdom; martyrs are people whose thoughts are with abstract ideals of Truth and Justice, and when their minds interact with the world, they care not for their fleshy bodies, and will die for what they believe in.

The Rider-Waite art shows a man lying dead on the beach with ten swords on his back; the swords above his bed have fallen and killed him. He could not cope with the Cruelty of the world. In the distance, the sun rises, though, signalling that this is not the end, but only part of a cycle – which can be taken either as delegitimizing the man’s death or foretelling that life goes on. The Thoth art has ten swords all pointed relatively downwards, their blades twisted horribly out of shape around each others at the ends. The keen blade of intellect has been warped by excessive contact with reality, and the swords are all crashing down to the ground, which is already red with the blood of the world’s victims.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the meeting place of your thoughts and the realities of life. Do they match up? Are you alienated from your own existence? Are you teetering on the bring of ruin? Have you been ruined recently? Reversed, this card’s energies are hidden or twisted somehow; perhaps your life has been thrown into shambles but you haven’t yet accepted it, or you are so far into your own fantasy that the disconnect between it and reality isn’t visible.

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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Uncategorized


Nine of Swords: Cruelty


Cruelty: The Curse of Enlightenment, Anguish, and an Uncaring World

The Nine of Swords. Cruelty. Guilt. Anguish. Worry. Fear. Self-injury. Degenerate. Sadism. Despair. Uncaring. Implacable Fate. Heartless Passion. The Nine of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Yesod: Crystallization and the Essence of Being. The Nine, in most Suits, represents the best that the Suit of has to offer, representing the crystallization of all that is good within the suit, and the resolving of the weaknesses of Netzach and Hod. In the case of the Suit of Swords, a bleak message is sent: the best that the Suit has to offer is Cruelty. Many of the cards in the Suit of Swords are negative, and this negativity is manifested in the Nine. The Nine of Swords is very close to the Ten, which represents Swords manifested in reality. The Suit of Swords is the realm of the abstract, of thought and reason. As the Suit of Swords approaches the gates of reality, the disconnect between the material and abstract becomes ever greater, which is why the positive Swords cards tend to be earlier on, while the later cards tend to be more negative.

The Nine of Swords still does resolve the weaknesses of Seven and Eight, but not in a positive way; Futility is resolved by succumbing to the material influences of the world, and Interference is resolved in much the same way. Rather than consciously “fixing” the weaknesses above, the despair seen throughout the Suit of Swords continues into the Nine, where the mind finally gives in (the body gives in at the Ten) and surrenders to the cruelty of the world. This card represents the true and final realization that the world is imperfect, and the consequences of said realization. This card symbolizes also the emotions and mental state that lead later to the physical fall depicted in the Ten of Swords.

The Nine of Swords portrays the world as uncaring and full of heartless passion; it exists and continues to exist, but has little regard for individuals. At its heart, the world is degenerate and rife with evil and inequality. The principles of the Suit of Swords do not belong in the material world, and are incompatible with it. There is a sense of Guilt when those who come to the realization see that they cannot fix the world, and they begin to Despair about what will happen. The helplessness of Futility and Interference manifest in the more powerful idea of Implacable Fate; one man cannot usually change the world or its nature. “Enlightened” people torment themselves over their existence, and turn to self-injury. They see the Sadistic nature of the world,and they cannot stand it. The world is a Cruel place.

The Rider-Waite art emphasizes the ideas of despair, worry, guilt, and anguish. A man sits up with his head in his hands in the middle of the night, his slumber tormented by inner daemons, while swords hang over his bed; an unsafe move indicative of a lack of caring and self-injury (these swords will fall on him in the Ten of Swords). He is alone in the night, kept awake by the realization of the cruelty of the world.  The Thoth art shows nine swords, all pointed downwards, glowing red. They are surrounded by what appear to be drops of fiery blood, indicating both passion and despair; but passion of a very melancholy sort, as the drops are not rising, but fallen, and are the result of a mortal wound of the mind. The blood that falls is from the injury of realization. These swords are falling, and someone at the bottom is going to be hurt.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role that the realization of cruelty play in your life. Have you been unhappy lately? Worried or feeling guilty about something? Feel like you are being moved along in your life while you have no agency of your own? Are you alone in a cruel world that makes you despair? These questions are prompted by the Nine of Swords. Reversed, this card’s energies are hidden or twisted; perhaps you are denying yourself this cold realization and living purposefully in a dreamlike state, retreating to the energy of Cups for safety.

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Posted by on May 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


Eight of Swords: Interference


Interference: Confusion, Obstacles, and Frustration 

The Eight of Swords. Interference. Frustration. Annoyance. The Odds Stacked Against You. Helplessness. Restriction. Confusion. Obstacles. Hassles. The Eight of Sword corresponds to the Sefirot of Hod: the response to the weakness of Netzach that results in a weakness itself, of Thought, Knowledge, and Intellect. The energies of the Suit of Swords react strongly to the degenerate weakness of Futility – giving in to surrender – and instead go in the opposite direction, overcompensating. Instead of surrendering, the energy continues on and attempts to fight on as much as it can – but that fight isn’t always easy, and when one does not even allow oneself to rest and tries too hard, obstacles will get in one’s way, and hassles will make progress difficult. Tjis card represents those obstacles and hassles and their effects; frustration, a sense of helplessness and a feeling that the odds are stacked against you. You may be confused (this could also be a source of these obstacles), and feel restricted. Doubtless you will become annoyed at everything that gets in your way as well. This card represents all of the things that impair your growth – mostly intellectually and morally, but in other areas as well. This card represents all of those little things that get in your way adding up to drive you crazy.

The Rider-Waite art depicts a tied up and blindfolded woman surrounded by swords. This art emphasizes the ideas of helplessness, restriction, and the odds being stacked against you, as she is all of these things. The Thoth art shows two straight swords with several less-than-straight swords running across them, literally interfering with them. Each of the interfering swords is different, representing the idea of lots of small annoyances adding up to cause a big problem.

In a reading, this card simply asks you to examine the role of annoyances, hassles, and frustrations in your life. Have you lately felt that everything was working against you and you couldn’t get anything done? Have you been irritable and felt restricted lately? Reversed, this card’s energies are twisted or hidden somehow; perhaps the reason you’ve been unhappy lately is because of these small hassles, or maybe the things interfering with you are not what you would expect.

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized