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Monthly Archives: September 2013

How can I release my inner badass?

Well, it’s Sunday, or as some people like to call it, the Other Sabbath (nobody calls it this). To mark this special occasion I decided to lay down the Dragon spread and ask it the most important and pressing question on my mind: “How do I unleash my inner badass?” Harken yonder, and we shall hear what wisdom the great Dragon shall dispense to us.

The Fool is at the heart of the Dragon, the position which marks the heart of the question. Since the Fool often represents infinite possibilities, this means that the problem is really one of having too many options; there are so many ways to be a badass, how do I pick just one!? Perhaps the Dragon’s Words will show me the way!

The Queen of Cups crosses the heart of the Dragon, meaning it illuminates the internal obstacles that are keeping me from attaining my objective. Since the Queen of Cups represents being sensitive and caring, obviously my problem is that I’m being too nice! It’s time to stop  taking names and start chewing bubblegum! Or uh, something.

Now really, this tells us all the essential information we need to know. However, the Dragon might eat us if we try to sneak off while he’s still talking, so we’d better pay attention to the rest of what He has to say.

The Chariot sits at the base of the Dragon’s tail, meaning it is the foundation of the question, or why I am even asking it at all. Obviously because I’m not a total badass yet, duh! And since the Chariot symbolizes determination and dominating the competition, it agrees with me. Thanks Chariot. Way to be a bro.

The Star is at the next length of the Dragon’s tail, meaning it illuminates the external obstacles that are in my way, and the challenges I’ll have to overcome. Since the Star represents chillaxin’ and relaxin’, that means my biggest problem will be people and things that cause me stress; looks like I’ll have to punch stress right through the face!

Strength is the tip of the Dragon’s tail, foreshadowing unknown and unforseen events surrounding the question. Since Strength represents stamina and endurance as well as, you know, strength, this obviously means I need to kick my workout routine into high gear to reach the Next Level and save the world! Probably.

The Knight of Wands rests at the base of the left wing of the Dragon, speaking to my deeply-felt hopes. Since my deeply-felt hope is to become an ultimate badass, the adventurous and daring Knight of Wands is an appropriate card.

The Four of Wands rests at the base of the right wing of the Dragon, giving voice to my darkest fears. Since my darkest fear is to not become an ultimate badass, the Four of Wands, representing celebration and being recognized (or in this case NOT being recognized), is very appropriate for this position.

The Two of Cups resides at the tip of the Dragon’s left wing, which sheds light upon the best possible outcome for me right now. Because the Two of Cups represents making a connection and bringing together opposites, that means that I need find another Ascending Badass and team up Double Dragon style to lay the smackdown on some unsuspecting suckers! Mutant toads optional.

The Ten of Swords resides at the tip of the Dragon’s right wing, revealing the worst possible outcome in this situation. Since the Ten of Swords represents hitting rock bottom and drowning in self pity, the absolute worst possible thing I could do is become an insufferable whiny bitch and just take life’s punishment laying down. Screw you, life! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these?? I’ll get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down! You’ll RUE the day you thought you could give me lemons! Just Who The Hell Do You Think I Am!?!?

Er…what was I talking about?

The High Priestess rides the neck of the dragon, the position describing how my past has influenced and is influencing my current circumstances relating to my quest to become a badass. This card represents one who crosses boundaries and seeks hidden knowledge. This describes my journey to badassery so far as one of searching for the Lost Art of the masters and the Secret Technique that will allow me to bring down a rain of punishment upon my enemies.

The Seven of Cups forms the head of the Dragon, the position describing my present moment and the current state of affairs regarding my badassdom. This card is all about having to choose to chase the dream or settle for less. It basically means I have a decision to make: do I want to shoot for the stars and risk hitting the moon, or do I want to reach for what I know is attainable. Basically, I could either become the Best of the Best of non-badasses, or maybe only become a bottom-tier badass with low prospects for promotion.

I think we both know he answer to that, don’t we?

The Hermit and the King of Swords both reside in the fiery breath of the Dragon, representing the most likely outcome of the question. The King of Swords says that it’s my quick thinking and tenacity that will carry the day. The Hermit tells me that I will master the Secret Technique, I will achieve ultimate badassery…but I’ll be alone at the top. I stand solitary against the demon hordes of stupidity and mediocrity, my allies having either fallen by the wayside or busy fighting their own battles. It is mine and mine alone to follow the path to badassdom, joining the ranks of other Ultimate Badasses fighting the good fight all over the world.

And thus does the Dragon end his sermon, dispensing wisdom to future badass initiates and snapping up the unworthy for a mid-afternoon snack. Pay heed to the Dragon, children.  He is as cruel as he is wise, and he loves to play favorites.

[This reading was done on 9/29/13 at 10:45pm]

What do I need to bring forth in my life?

 

Saturdays are lazy days, but for some people it’s also the Sabbath, so I guess that means it’s time for a Celtic Cross reading! Or something. Since I only do one of these a week I decided to ask a serious question, “What do I need to bring forth in my life?” Don’t really know what to expect from this one so we’ll just dive right in.

The Four of Wands stands in the center of the cross, making it my point of power, or what’s most important to me right now. This card symbolizes freedom and expectantly looking forward to what is to come. This is true of my life in several regards [for one, I finally finished my OOTK writeup, aha-ha], mainly because I’ve had more energy lately. So let’s see what I have to expectantly look forward to.

The King of Pentacles crosses the Four of Wands, meaning that his is the aspect of my current circumstances that could possibly help or hinder its manifestation the most. This card represents attracting wealth and assuming responsibility. Basically, if I can resolve my money issues, a lot of opportunities could open up for me that will make my future look a lot brighter. If not, my options will be severely limited which will definitely put a damper on my outlook on life.

The Seven of Swords is in the left arm of the cross, meaning it is an aspect of my past that is still affecting my present. It represents keeping to yourself and taking the easy way out. I definitely still feel like a lone wolf, but hopefully as time passes this will start to change. As for slacking off, I can’t deny I’ve done this but it was mainly due to lack of motivation. I doubt anyone could claim that doing the Opening of the Key for your very first tarot reading qualifies as taking the easy way out, but it’s possible that the temptation to do so is still strong, so I’ll have to be on guard.

The Page of Cups is in the right arm of the cross, meaning it is an indicator of what is likely to happen in the next few weeks, or possibly months. It represents both shedding attachments and growing closer to someone, as well as exercising the ability to forgive yourself and others. It could be one or all of these things, depending on how things play out.

The Nine of Swords is in the head of the cross, meaning it speaks to my goals and aspirations, in this case meaning the things which I wish to bring forth in my life. This card represents the desire to “wake up” and gain some perspective as well as wanting to turn back the clock. There have definitely been a few times when I’ve thought to myself “Man, if I could go back and tell my past self x, y, and z…” when typically I don’t indulge in that type of thinking, and if reading tarot cards isn’t an exercise in gaining perspective then I don’t know what is.

The Moon is in the base of the cross, meaning it is related to those things that affect my situation which I am unaware of, the undercurrents of my subconscious which may be driving me. This card represents a feeling of vague apprehension or anxiety, misunderstanding the truth, or chasing after a fantasy. I have a couple of ideas about what this could refer to, but it bears further exploration.

The Page of Swords is at the top of the “staff,” the position which is often labeled as the advice card, and has to do with how my own actions and beliefs might affect the outcome. This card represents analyzing the problem with logic and reason in order to clear up any confusion and do what you know is right. This seems to suggest that keeping a level head is my best weapon here, and I need to be careful about not getting too carried away in the moment.

The Three of Wands is in the next “notch” of the staff, which indicates external influences beyond my control that will have a bearing on my situation. This card represents setting out on an adventure and showing others the way. This seems to say that there will be people in my life whose example I need to learn to follow. It could also hint to getting a timely premonition that will give me some sort of insight.

The Hanged man is in the next notch of the staff, which indicates which of my hopes and fears, which can often be closely entwined, have a bearing on my situation. This card represents surrendering, giving up control, and the tendency to go two steps forward and one step back. However, it also talks about accepting God’s will and living in the moment. These things are exactly what I have been working on lately, so I can’t think of a more appropriate card for this position.

The Six of Pentacles falls in the last notch of the staff, meaning it is the most likely outcome assuming I continue my current course of action. This card represents giving and receiving in turn, acquiring what you need, and the flow of resources and power. It figures I would get the most vague, vacillating card possible for this position. Basically what this card is saying is that it could go either way, probably depending on whether the King of Pentacles situation gets resolved or not.

So there you have it, my first Celtic Cross reading. And hey, it wasn’t hard to interpret or anything. It did give me stuff to think about though.

[This reading was done on 9/29/13 at 11:48pm]

Opening of the Key

Welcome to the final phase of the autumn equinox Opening of the Key reading. Part one can be found here. Hopefully it has been an enjoyable ride so far. I appreciate all of you who have made it this far, and I hope that reading this series has helped you understand the OOTK, and maybe even made you want to try it out for yourself. Here we go!

Fifth Operation

Fifth Operation

This phase is about the “conclusion of the matter,” or how things will wrap up. For me, this means how my spiritual journey will look a year from now. Rather than the signs of the Zodiac, this phase uses the symbolism of the Tree of Life, also called Yggdrasil. It is made up of ten Sephira, which are the aspects of how the Divine manifests in physical and metaphysical reality.

Tree of Life ordering

The cards in the Tree of Life are laid down in a zig-zag pattern going from top to bottom and right to left. They are laid down in the same fashion as operations two and three, with each card being placed one after the other in the next position in the order, as if you were dealing ten hands of cards. All the cards will be used, and if you are good at math you realized that since there are 78 cards in a tarot deck, some stacks will have more cards than others. Once this is done, you flip each stack over and interpret the face-up card according to the symbolism of the Tree of Life, find the stack with your significator, interpret the stack according to the card-counting method previously described, and pair the cards. Simple, right?

Interestingly, there are actually two ways to lay out the Tree of Life, one spread with 10 stacks and another with 11 stacks. Basically the original layout was revised sometime in the 16th century, and then later the two versions were combined. We’ll be using the older 10-card layout.

As a reminder, the question I chose at the beginning of this reading was: “How will my spiritual path unfold in the course of the next year?”

Keter – Divine Will. This is the crown of the tree of life, symbolizing the communion between our consciousness and the Divine and the “I Am” declaration. In essence it is how we perceive the divine, and how our spirituality is manifested. It refers to things that are above our comprehension. This Sephirot is ruled by the Two of Cups, which represents peace, forgiveness, and healing. This seems to say that my spiritual journey will become primarily about seeking wholeness. My highest level of consciousness will be fixed on compassion.

Chokhmah – Divine Wisdom. This is the second Sephirot, symbolizing the genesis of existence and uncovering the underlying, axiomatic truth of a situation. It describes the flash of intuitive insight before logic and reasoning are applied. It is ruled by the Nine of Swords, which represents guilt, anguish, and anxiety. This seems to suggest that the way that my consciousness manifests my perception of God is through suffering – or the alleviation of suffering. Since Chokhmah describes the state of selflessness and the power that it wields, It stands to reason that my fixation on compassion will result on resolving to make my mission one of alleviating the spiritual and physical suffering (at this level they are functionally the same) of others.

Binah – Divine Understanding. This is the third Sephirot, symbolizing contemplation and elucidation. It describes the logical processes and deductive reasoning that develop the idea from Chokhmah further. It is ruled by the Magician, which represents realizing your potential, having a singleness of purpose, and practicing what you preach. This seems to say that as a result of realizing my spiritual calling more fully and giving myself over to the driving forces of my consciousness, I will be able to tap into that primal creative force and produce results which seem miraculous. Rather than be drawn into the suffering of others, I will crash against and shatter it. I will be centered, not distracted, in the midst of suffering.

Chesed – Loving-kindness. This is the fourth Sephirot, symbolizing righteousness and covenant faithfulness. It describes love as the “core ethical virtue,” manifested in acts such as sharing hospitality to strangers, charity to those less fortunate, and being a peacemaker. It is ruled by the Queen of Cups, which represents turning away wrath with caring and being guided by the heart. This proposes that as a result of my spiritual healing, I will be able to give myself in the service to others with my whole heart, and open myself to empathy once more. It speaks of unconditional acceptance that leads to a sense of oneness with God and the universe.

Gevurah – Wrath. This is the fifth Sephirot, symbolizing judgment and power under restraint. It describes the flame of God that punishes the wicked and withholds goodness from those who are unworthy. Balanced by Chesed, it is what allows one to overcome his enemies while creating opportunities to exercise loving-kindness. It is ruled by the Page of Swords, which represents championing a cause and exposing what is hidden while trying to remain fair and analyze the problem from every angle before making a judgment call. This could mean that I need to keep a clear head and not get caught up in my role as an arbiter for truth and understanding so much that I let my mouth run away with me before I fully comprehend the situation. It is because of the influence I may come to possess that I must choose my words carefully and always err on the side of grace.

Tiferet – Harmony. This is the sixth Sephirot, symbolizing love, beauty, and self-sacrifice. It describes the divinely beautiful light of God from which creation blooms forth. It holds a special place in the center of the Tree of Life, and is therefore understood to be linked to Keter, becoming a sort of metaphor for its ethereal attributes. It is ruled by the Ace of Wands, which represents the conception of a new dream, having faith in your path, and knowing that things will work out. This card must be weighted a little more heavily, due to the fact that all the Sephira are connected to Tifaret. This means that the single aspect that brings all the others into harmony will be, in a word, faith. This will be the spiritual driving force that makes everything, well, work.

Netzach – Perseverance. This is the Seventh Sephirot, symbolizing timelessness and long-suffering. It describes the endless patience and mercy that God bestows upon his children so that he might lead them to prosperity. Like the Sephirot that come after, it is not a trait that exists inherent of itself, but as a means to some end. It is ruled by the Queen of Wands, which represents having a boundless enthusiasm while also demonstrating a quiet self-confidence. This seems to say that the best way for me to deal with the things that tend to run me down spiritually is to be gracious and focus on the positive side of any situation – or that someone like this will enter my life and show me how.

Hod – Elegance. This is the Eigth Sephirot, symbolizing praise, splendor, and humility. It describes the unconscious energies awaiting expression being drawn and coaxed into form by the intellect. Hod is the Submission to Netzach’s Victory. It is ruled by the Six of Cups, which represents a childlike innocence, simple contentment, and being taken care of. This could mean that in the future, I will be happy to let others take the lead and just enjoy the ride, leaving me free to indulge in recreational or leisure activities that I may have taken a break from until now.
Yesod – Unity. This is the Ninth Sephirot, symbolizing balance and the unifying of material and etherial planes. It describes the Holy Spirit that resides in us and connects us to God. It is ruled by the Queen of Swords, which represents facing the truth, getting to the heart of a matter, and being able to laugh at yourself. This seems to say that by facing myself and accepting myself, I will be able to tap into my spiritual energy in order to bring “the Above” to “the Below;” that is, the fruit of my spirit will be brought into being here on earth.

Malkuth – Creation. This is the Tenth Sephirot, symbolizing the physical universe and the tangible result of the other emanations. It describes the earthly counterpart of the “Kingdom of Heaven” duality. Malkith is the “bride” to Tiferet’s “bridegroom,” if you’re familiar with Christian symbology. It is ruled by the Seven of Swords. This could mean a few things, since this card can mean something as benign as preferring solitude (I’m a huge introvert), to something as severe as avoiding responsibilities and blaming others for one’s own mistakes. However, it could be as simple as hiding a secret that I would prefer not to be revealed.

This actually gets me to raise an eyebrow, because, believe it or not, tarot is kind of my dark little secret. Only one person in my personal life knows that I’ve begun dabbling in tarot, and it seems that my impulse, even a year after I’ve begun, will be to keep my tarot experiments a secret and allow the people in my life to keep seeing me the way they always have; in essence, the person they knew me as will become a mask I wear around them because it makes it easier for me to deal with them and helps me avoid unnecessary drama.

Now that the Tree of Life as a whole has been interpreted, it’s time to find the stack carrying my significator, which happens to be Hod. This means that the interpretations for these cards must be framed by the idea of intellectuality and reaching up toward the higher levels of consciousness. If you were wondering where all the Pentacles went, you’re about to find out.

Hod - Elegance

The Ace of Swords is flanked by Eight and Ace of Pentacles. As we have established, the Ace of Swords is the card of Awakening, but also has connotations of overcoming adversity and cutting through illusions. The Eight of Pentacles is the card of diligence and learning new things, and the Ace of Pentacles is the card of focusing on what works and getting results. This seems to imply the need to judiciously apply those spiritual lessons I have learned in order achieve tangible outcomes in the material world.

Counting five from the Ace of Swords we come to Justice, flanked by the Six of Cups and the King of Wands. Justice is the card of cause and effect, balancing the scales, and settling old accounts. The King of Wands represents a forceful personality which naturally commands authority and respect, or someone who has reached a certain level of influence and is watched and talked about. These cards, together with the Six of Cups, seem to suggest that events will conspire to allow me to redress my debts, possibly by way of a gift or gifts from influential people. Thus I can finally “wash my hands” of certain things and return to a state of “innocence” or debtlessness, as per the Six of Cups.

Counting twelve from Justice we come to the Eight of Pentacles, flanked by the Two of Pentacles and the Ace of Swords. The Two of Pentacles is the card of Balance, with a lean toward adapting quickly and seeing the humor in a situation. This puts a new slant on the other two cards, and seems to speak to a renewed need for diligence in my spiritual life as a means of staying emotionaly and spiritually balanced and staying objective about my life circumstances. It could be that at this time, disciplines such as meditation and prayer will become harder to find time for but ever more important to maintain.
Counting eight from there we come back around to the Two of Pentacles, this time flanked by the King of Wands and the Eight of Pentacles. Taken together these cards suggest that the way I will achieve balance is primarily from complete dedication and sheer force of personality. It may be that the things or people threatening my carefully maintained balance will need to be confronted directly (with tact, of course).

Counting two from there we come to the Eight of Pentacles, and since we landed there previously that ends this step and brings us to the pairing of the cards. As usual, I’ll make this quick.

Justice & Six of Cups

Being relaxed and content starts with a commitment to honesty and having all my bases covered

King of Wands & Judgment

I get to play the mastermind and orchestrate a great awakening

Two & Ace of Pentacles

Being flexible will allow me to flourish

Eight of Pentacles & Ace of Swords

I must be ever diligent in my search for truth

~

Thus ends the final operation of the Opening of the Key. Congratulations, you made it to the end! While this wasn’t the “grand finale” of a reading I was hoping for, it definitely had its high notes. I learned A LOT by researching this spread, and I hope you learned a lot by reading me work through it. As a disclaimer, my interpretations are wholly my own and I don’t presume to think that what I decided the cards mean for me personally would apply equally to all people. Every card has a multitude of meanings, often overlapping with other cards, and I may even be completely off-base with the way I interpreted them here. However, for my first tarot reading ever I think I did pretty well.

Thanks to everyone who stuck around and got through all five operations. If this demonstration helped you or you have an alternate take on how a card might be interpreted, comments are always welcome. I hope to continue to learn and flesh out my understanding of the cards and perhaps revisit this reading occasionally to see how my view of it changes in light of my new perspective.

See you on the other side.

——

Most of my information about the card meanings was pulled from learntarot.com.

Most of my information about the Tree of Life was pulled from this wikipedia article.

To learn more about the Opening of the Key, take a look here and here.

What unexpected events will happen in my life?

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to break out the five-card spread. We’ll keep it traditional and go from far past to far future. As the weekend wears on my readings tend to get more serious, so today I decided to ask “What unexpected events will happen in my life?” I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to be caught off guard, so anything I can do to be prepared is worth investigating.

The Star represents faith, opening your heart, and being taken to a higher level. I’m going to take this as being around the time of early childhood, perhaps up through late middle school. I was a fairly sensitive child (by which I mean I cried a lot), and I had my first lucid-like dream at a very young age; not fully lucid but very vivid, I think my first lucid dream was in middle school. Dreams have always been important to me since then. This is where my spiritual journey began.

The Lovers represents…well, exactly what you think it would. Falling in love for the first time was a deeply spiritual thing for me, and while the relationship ended badly, what I learned about love made me the person I am today. However, the relationship came about in a completely unexpected way, through completely unexpected circumstances. Without going into details, I don’t think I could have seen it coming even if someone had told me it would happen.

The Three of Pentacles represents planning, completing an assignment, and working as a team. This seems to say that in my present moment, the most surprising thing in my life is or will be some sort of combining of effort from different unexpected sources. This has certainly been true about my experience with tarot. To say that my readings (especially the OOTK) have taken me by surprise is something of an understatement. However, it could also point toward, sometime soon, being part of some collaborative effort and achieving way more than I could have expected.

The Three of Cups represents high spirits, high energy, and uniting with others. This builds upon the teamwork aspect of the last card, but also suggests that leads to or is a result of a sudden surge of energy and enthusiasm on my part. I certainly feel as if I’m making progress with having more energy. Perhaps in a few years I will experience a true breakthrough and finally get over the fatigue that has marked my life since at least my high-school days.

The Eight of Wands represents moving into high gear, striking quickly, and experiencing a “grand finale” as things finally rush to come together. This card also builds upon the last one, suggesting that the momentum that gets built up as a result of my renewed energy and working with others pays off in an unexpected way, at an unexpected time, to a far greater extent than I had anticipated.

Overall, a pretty positive reading. There’s no way to tell just how far into the events that those last two cards describe could take place, but the result seems to be in line with other readings I have done. From this spread I get the sense that the work I do now to set the stage for success is going to be very important, in ways I’m not yet aware of but will make sense after the fact.

Looking back over it though, each card seems to describe both a singular event in my life and also the characteristic that defined the period of my life in which it occured. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues.

[This reading was done on 9/27/13 at 11:27pm]

Image

Thursday is the day of money, and also hammers. So I figured, why not ask a finance question? I’ve struggled with money all year so I guess it couldn’t hurt. My question for today is “What is the best way for me to generate an income?” That’s vague enough that just about any answer will fit, right?

The Eight of Wands represents rushing into a new idea and putting plans into action. God knows I’ve started way more things than I finished. That isn’t to say that my results weren’t good when I did actually manage to do something; but this tendency is definitely something to be aware of. This could point to a need for brainstorming, or perhaps revisiting old ideas and fleshing them out.

The Two of Pentacles is the card of balance, and represents adapting quickly and juggling many responsibilities. This has been too true lately, especially this week. I’ve been called stingy, but the only thing keeping me from poverty has been the judicious management of what little money I do receive. My present moment is dominated by this constant balancing act.

The Three of Cups represents being in the flow, bursting with energy, and collaborating with others in the community; some of whom you might even be friends with. This seems to say that the key to opening up my finances is unlocking my energy. I’ve certainly always felt this to be true. I’ve always had a huge issue with not having enough energy, but hopefully this card points to me being able to figure that out – and start collaborating!

And I guess if that doesn’t work I can always sell hammers.

[This reading was done on 9/26/13 at 11:30pm]

Opening of the Key

Welcome to part four of my autumn equinox Opening of the Key reading. Part one can be found here. We’re nearing the end now, so just hold on for a little while longer. This is going to be another long one but I hope that I made everything understandable.

Fourth Operation

Fourth Operation

This is the phase of the “further developing of the matter.” It builds upon the concepts of the previous two operations, but uses a different approach. This phase skips right to the card counting and unfolding of the “story” that the cards are telling. There are five steps.

  • After shuffling, find the significator. Take all the cards under the significator and place them on top of the deck, then remove the first 36 cards AFTER the significator from the deck. (Actually it looks like I missed a card, but we’re gong to go with it anyway.)
  • Place the significator (and the deck, if you wish) in the center of the table and deal the cards in a circle around it, starting with the first card following the significator.
  • Interpret the cards in relation to the ones of either side of it, starting with the first card you laid down and continuing on in the direction the cards were dealt (which is the same way as the last two operations, which is to say, counter-clockwise).
  • Take note of which sign has the most cards in it that you landed on
  • Pair the cards.

These 36 cards relate to the 36 Decans (or Decanates) of the Zodiac. The decans were determined by the smaller constellations in the sky that alternated daily,which eventually gave rise to our 24-hour clock. Each sign has three decans, or “tenths,” one division for every 10 degrees. So in this spread, each sign of the Zodiac gets three cards which fall under its influence.

As a reminder, the question I chose at the beginning of this reading was: “How will my spiritual path unfold in the course of the next year?”

We start with the Six of Wands, flanked by the Page of Wands and the Four of Swords. The Six of Wands can represent triumph and being acknowledged, whereas the Page of Wands stands for being courageous and daring, and the Four of Swords represents taking it easy and tying up loose ends. This seems to suggest a sort of spiritual breakthrough, a sense of having finally “made it,” where I begin to wrap up my current affairs so that I can be ready for the next step of my spiritual journey.

Counting six from there we land on the Four of Wands, flanked by Death and the High Priestess. The Four of Wands can represent celebration and being open to new possibilities, whereas Death represents the ending of a cycle and being cast into the unknown, and the High Priestess stands for being passive and using your intuition. It seems that as the curtains close on the latest chapter in my life, I will be compelled to surrender to the higher power that guides me and simply wait patiently for new opportunities to arrive, rather than trying to assert my will or intention on the direction my life is taking. I must trust my intuition to alert me to the right course of action.

Counting four from there we land on the Three of Wands, flanked by the Empress and the Two of Wands. The Three of Wands can represent exploring uncharted areas while exercising foresight and leadership, whereas the Empress stands for having more than enough and harmonizing with nature, and the Two of Wands represents commanding respect and being a pioneer. This seems to say that I will enter a period of being “spiritually rich” as I continue to “boldly go where no tarot reader has gone before!” While I might choose to give up my position as a sort of leader in my respective community, I will still be seen as an authority in the field whose insight can be trusted.

Counting three from there we land on the Knight of Cups, flanked by the Two of Wands and the Five of Swords. The Knight of Cups can represent a certain visionary idealism, as well as being sensitive and, perhaps, a bit of a hopeless romantic, while the Five of Swords can represent encountering selfishness in yourself or others and finding yourself in a hostile environment. It would appear that in the course of following my ideals and pioneering those uncharted waters, I find myself in the midst of conflict despite my efforts to be gracious and make myself vulnerable. It could be with people with very different philosophies band together against me, or simply that I end up in the middle of people whom I make uncomfortable and who aren’t receptive to my message. Either way I face spiritual opposition.

Counting four from the Knight of Cups, we land on the Star, flanked by the Chariot and the King of Pentacles. The Star stands for experiencing peace of mind after regaining motivation and looking forward to success, whereas the Chariot can stand for a sustained effort and faith in yourself that leads to achieving your goals, and the King of Pentacles represents being a stabilizing influence and being a rock that others can lean on. This seems to say that in the midst of opposition I will see my “light at the end of the tunnel” which will renew my energy and allow me – and those who depend on me – to eventually come out on top.

Counting twelve from the Star, we land on Judgment, flanked by the Seven and Ten of Cups. Judgment often stands for making hard choices and then immediately acting on those impulses, whereas the Seven of Cups can represent facing an array of choices, and the Ten of Cups represents embracing happiness and serenity, as well as reducing stress. This would seem to indicate that when I reach the light at the end of the tunnel I will have a very important decision to make that will greatly impact my spiritual development, but making that choice will lift a heavy burden from me and allow me to finally relax and enjoy spending time with those close to me.

Counting three from Judgment, we land on Justice, flanked by the Ten of Cups and the Queen of Pentacles. Justice is the card of taking a stand for your principles, always seeking to do what is right, and being Batman, whereas the Queen of Pentacles represents being versatile and creating a warm, secure environment. So it could be that in the future I will use my vast fortune to take up the cowl and fight crime to rid the city of its most heinous civil offenders. Or, alternatively, that my unwavering allegiance to my principles will be the foundation of my spiritual harmony that attracts like-minded people who have the same level of loyalty and integrity that I do.

Counting twelve from Justice, we land on the Chariot, flanked by the Five of Swords and the Star. This interesting combination seems to be sending the message that I will succeed (at being Batman), but not without experiencing resistance that takes a toll on my motivation. It could be the same opposition that I experienced before, or stem from a new source; or even come from within myself. What is clear is that something will be attained, but not without a cost.

Counting twelve from the Chariot, we land on the Seven of Cups, flanked by the Six of Swords and Judgment. The Six of Swords can represent feeling listless or somewhat depressed, dealing with the effects of trauma, or experiencing a change of scene. This seems to speak to my tendency to indulge in daydreaming and losing focus in the face of having too many options. Unlike before, there is nothing at hand that will make my decision easy, and the wanderlust I begin to feel may lead me on a little detour of self-discovery. Perhaps what I find on the way will help me come to a final decision.

Counting seven from there we land on the King of Wands, flanked by the Fool and the Ten of Wands. The King of Wands stands for using self-expression to inspire confidence in others, whereas the Fool can represent recapturing innocence or taking the “foolish” path, and the Ten of Wands represents taking the blame or cleaning up someone else’s mess. It may be that the only answer for me is to accept the consequences of my situation with grace, and in doing so give others an example to follow. While I may have to swallow my pride and facing undeserved criticism, ultimately doing anything else would cause me to lose the respect that I fought so hard for.

Counting four from the King of Wands, we land on the Nine of Wands, flanked by the Seven and Eight of Swords. The Nine of Wands stands for defending yourself, taking extra precautions, and persisting despite setbacks. The Seven of Swords can represent being a lone wolf, having a fierce sense of independence, and the Eight of Swords represents feeling fenced in or powerless. This seems to say that despite successfully navigating what could have been a huge public disaster, the stress of it will cause me to fall back into my old pattern of soldiering on alone and keeping people at arm’s length emotionally; but because of my self-imposed isolation I will start to feel overwhelmed and might possibly start slacking off and avoiding responsibilities.

Counting nine from there we land on the Nine of Pentacles, flanked by the King of Pentacles and the Devil. The Nine of Pentacles stands for wanting to be alone and handle things yourself, but remembering to show restraint and be gracious, whereas the Devil hints at a loss of independence or forgetting the spiritual side. This seems to point to a sort of spiritual relapse, forgetting the lessons I learned earlier in my journey and failing to trust in the situation to resolve itself. However, it could be that cooler heads prevail and by refusing to have a pity party for myself, I can get back into the flow of things and get back onto the right path.

Counting nine from here we land on the Seven of Cups, and since we landed on this previously, that wraps up this step and leads us into the pairing of the cards. As ever, we’ll keep it sweet and simple.

Six & Page of Wands

Taking a novel approach is the key to my success and acclaim

Four & Eight of Swords

I need to remember to take a break before I get burned out and lose direction

Seven & Nine of Wands

I need to stick to my guns and not give in to criticism

The Sun & Seven of Swords

Finding the sense behind the chaos will lead to a spiritual breakthrough

Death & Ten of Wands

I must learn to lay my burdens down and submit to grace

Four & King of Wands

I need to remember to reflect on what I’ve accomplished and dare to be different

High Priestess & The Fool

Sometimes it’s better to stay passive and let things happen than to chase fruitless endeavors

Empress & Queen of Pentacles

I can’t forget to cherish and nurture the relationships that brought me this far

Three of Wands & Justice

Setting and example of being fair and unbiased will be my calling card

Two of Wands & Ten of Cups

I feel content with being different and diverging from the crowd

Knight of Cups & Judgment

Seeking understanding and self-improvement will drive my decisions

Five of Cups & Seven of Swords

Suffering a lost will drive me into solitude

Chariot & Six of Swords

Mastering my emotions will allow me to move toward a more positive place

The Star & Temperance

I need to reign in my desire to give freely without reservation and find some sort of middle ground

King of Pentacles & Page of Cups

Intuition informed by experience will lead me to success

Nine of Pentacles and Queen of Swords

Making sacrifices to reach goals is necessary, but sacrificing my integrity isn’t

Devil & Six of Pentacles

I will find myself in bondage to my lack of resources

The Lovers

Throughout everything I must not forget the ones I care about

~

As I mentioned before, I accidentally left out a card, so this phase is “missing something.” I’m not sure what impact that might have had on the reading. I didn’t go into great detail on the implications of the Zodiac influence on these cards, but perhaps I will revisit this sometime later and add that in. This phase started out really hopeful but then seemed to end badly, so maybe taking that into account will shed some light on why.

 

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Most of my information about the card meanings was pulled from learntarot.com.

You can learn more about astrological decans from this wikipedia article.

How can I best de-stress?

It’s a rainy Wednesday and I’m feeling the weight of several different responsibilities – some self-imposed, some imposed onto me – and so I decided to ask the cards “How can I best de-stress?” Not because I don’t know how to de-stress, I’m just hoping to gain a little more insight into how I deal with stress and what my healthiest coping mechanisms are.

The Queen of Cups represents turning away wrath with caring, as well as reacting with sensitivity to others. This seems to say that in the past I would turn to those who could comfort me when I was feeling strung out or depressed. Confiding in people I trusted was what helped me deal with stress the most.

The Three of Swords represents heartbreak, separation, and getting stabbed in the back. That’s a really harsh card, so I drew for clarification and got the Seven of Pentacles. This card represents evaluating and assessing your status; which was a much clearer message than I expected, honestly. It means that, at present, the reason I’m feeling stress is because I haven’t properly dealt with people who have hurt me or let me down in the past, and I need to heal my heart in order to relieve some of this pressure.

The Five of Pentacles represents going through a period of hardship, feeling run down, or feelings of insecurity. I’m going to take this to mean that in my future there will be even more roadblocks and hurdles, and if I don’t deal with my Three of Swords issue now, there’s not way I’ll be able to avoid the impending stress train of doom.

[This reading was one on 9/25/13 at 11:45pm]

Opening of the Key

Welcome to part three of my autumn equinox Opening of the Key reading. Part one can be found here. The Opening of the Key is srs bzns, and by that I mean it’s a lot to take in so I hope you’re prepared for some heavy reading. I do my best to be concise, but it’s still a lot of information. Ready? Let’s go.

Third Operation

Operation 3

This phase represents the “continued development of the matter.” It is conducted in exactly the same manner as the second operation, except the cards are interpreted according to the signs of the zodiac instead of the astrological Houses, so I’m not going to list the steps here. The main difference between phases two and three is that the different stacks represent aspects of your personality, rather than aspects of your personal life.

As a reminder, the question I chose at the beginning of this reading was: “How will my spiritual path unfold in the course of the next year?”

Sign of Aries – “I am”. This sign represents how I express my inner nature, and is characterized by being willful or assertive. It is dominated by the Nine of Pentacles, the card of exercising self-control and relying on oneself. This seems to say that putting my high ideals into practice is very important to me, and that I don’t rely on others to carry me along to spiritual enlightenment – I will find it myself.

Sing of Taurus – “I have”. This sign represents the embodied aspect of spiritual forces, and is characterized by being grounded and practical. It is dominated by the Queen of Pentacles, the card of nurturing and using a soft touch while staying down-to-earth and able to keep those secrets one is entrusted with. This could mean that I need to make more of an effort to tend my friendships carefully and be more generous and open-hearted – or that I have someone like this in my life that I need to appreciate more.

Sign of Gemini – “I think”. This sign represents curiosity, cleverness, and communication, and is characterized by being social and rational. It is dominated by the Heirophant, the card of pursuing knowledge, following the rules, and identifying with a group. This seems to be saying that my social life will become very important to me, and that by choosing to “play the game” I will be able to increase my influence and extend my reach to those whom I think would benefit from what I have to offer.

Sign of Cancer – “I feel”. This sign represents nurturing, belonging, and emotional bonds, and is characterized by being sensitive and having a rich inner life. It is dominated by The Fool. This could mean that when it comes to my important relationships, I need to let go of my expectations and trust my heart. It could also mean the beginning of a new journey with someone I care about; perhaps someone who has not entered my life yet.

Sign of Leo – “I love”. This sign represents self-expression and acting from the heart, and is characterized by using artistic or creative expression to reveal one’s true self. It is dominated by the High Priestess, the card of waiting patiently and trusting one’s inner voice to intuitively uncover one’s hidden talents. This suggests that my own creative expression will be driven by my intuition, and by making myself emotionally vulnerable I will find the key to unlocking my inner potential.

Sign of Virgo – “I serve”. This sign represents perfectionism and adaptability, and is characterized by helping others and maintaining one’s physical fitness. This card is dominated by The Lovers, the card of making connections, questioning beliefs and opinions, and struggling with temptation. This seems to reinforce the idea that my personal relationships will become increasingly important to me, but also warns that my heart may be bigger than my hands; which is to say, I need to be careful not to care too much that I over-commit myself and end up damaging myself and others.

Sign of Libra – “We are”. This sign represents partnerships and interdependency, and is characterized by seeing others as equals. It is dominated by the Five of Swords, the card of putting your own needs first and experiencing conflict. Here the message appears to be that despite the increasing importance of my social life and personal relationships, there will be times when I need to look out for myself and stick to my guns. I have to learn to be vulnerable without showing weakness.

Sign of Scorpio – “We have”. This sign represents change, transformation, and breaking through limitations, and is characterized by being intensely passionate and standing up for yourself. This card is dominated by the Two of Wands, the card of wielding influence and taking initiative. This seems to be saying that I need to be my own point man in my spiritual life, and not be afraid to assert myself or use what authority I gain to direct others in a new direction – to the benefit of them and myself.

Sign of Sagittarius – “We think”. This sign represents becoming part of a larger society and the expansion of consciousness, and is characterized by idealist thinking and greater awareness of your connections to the rest of the world, which leads to a clearer image of the big picture. This card is dominated by the King of Swords, the card of the intellectual, analytical thinking of someone who communicates ideas clearly. This could point toward taking on a role as a spokesperson for my community because of the way I live by my principles and honor all sides of an issue, regardless of which side I happen to fall on myself.

Sign of Capricorn – “We achieve”. This sign represents ambition, prioritizing truth, and working toward the ideal of the perfect society, and is characterized by focused discipline and bringing abstract theory into concrete reality. It is dominated by the Six of Cups, the card of sharing what one has and appreciating the simpler joys of life. This could mean that the society that I will work toward – and that I will urge others to work toward – will be founded upon the tenants of charity and forgiveness. It reminds me that I need to exemplify these traits if I am to show others how a society can be built upon them.

Sign of Aquarius – “We love”. This sign represents free-thinking unrestrained by outdated “orthodox” theology, and is characterized by idealistic or even utopian ideas and friendships based around a common goal. It is dominated by the King of Pentacles, the card of philanthropy and making ideas work. This seems to say that when the time comes for putting ideals into action, I will be the one people look to, to get things done, and to be the icon of our message; or that someone like this will enter my life and use his resources and influence me to push me toward a level of success I could not have otherwise achieved.

Sign of Pisces – “We serve”. This sign represents surrendering to the universe, compassion and empathy, and, for a time, withdrawing from the world, and it is characterized by spiritual sensitivity and imagination. It is dominated by the Hermit, the card of quieting the self and looking inward. This seems to say that despite all the energy invested into social circles, despite all the time spent reaching out and forming new relationships, despite every best effort to nurture and grow my closest friendships, despite every drop of tears, sweat, and blood spent in building a community I can be proud to own and belong to, after everything…I will only find truth within myself. In the end, everything I am stems from and ends with what and who I Am.

Well…that wasn’t a heavy reading or anything.

Now it’s time to unpack the stack of cards containing my significator, the Ace of Swords. This time it’s the sign of Pisces, as personified by the Hermit (of course). As in the first and second operations, the meaning of these cards must be viewed through the lens of Pisces, which is associated with water (emotions) and the death/rebirth cycle.

Pisces

The Ace of Swords is flanked by the Six of Wands and the Hermit. The Ace of swords primarily symbolizes awakening to truth and finding the strength to overcome, while the Six of Wands speaks of prevailing against all odds and being vindicated, and the Hermit here seems to hint at giving up distractions and accepting some timely advice. Since we’re talking about dealing with emotions, this must be understood as finally overcoming myself, and those emotions of worry and doubt that kept me from being still and accessing my inner resolve.

Counting five from the Ace of Swords, including the Ace itself, we land on the Ace of Wands, flanked by the Two of Cups and the Six of Wands. The Ace of Wands represents expressing oneself and allowing one’s innate talent to unfold, while the Two of Cups symbolizes making connections as well as bringing together opposites, while the Six of Wands denotes feelings of pride due to receiving praise or achieving recognition. This foreshadows a sense of satisfaction that comes from success and finally “making it.”

Counting five from the Ace of Wands, we land on Judgment, flanked by the Hermit and the Two of Cups. Judgment represents seeing things in a new light, making a choice, and forgiving yourself. This seems to say that in order to deal with my emotions, I will need to turn a critical eye to my inner thought-life and eschew ways of thinking that are causing me to be stressed or make bad decisions, but as per the Two of Cups I will be happy with the result and, even though facing up to my mistakes might be unpleasant, I will eventually be able to forgive and forget the person I used to be.

Counting three from Judgment, we land on the Ace of Wands, and since we landed on this card previously this step is over and we can move onto pairing the cards. As always, we’ll keep it brief.

Judgment & The Hermit

Looking within is the key to forgiving myself

Two of Cups & Ace of Swords

My journey to awakening will bring healing – to myself and others

Ace of Wands & Six of Wands

It’s okay to take pride in myself and to show enthusiasm

~

So…wow. I can’t help but feel like all of the cards in this operation were extremely well-aspected. Evey single one of these cards fits its position perfectly. It’s to the point where I wouldn’t even blame you if you accused me of rigging this reading; I’m almost convinced I did myself! I hope you stop by tomorrow for the fourth operation, as well as tomorrow’s regular reading. Comments are always appreciated.

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Most of my information about the card meanings was pulled from learntarot.com.

Most of my information on the astrological signs was pulled from Astrotheme and this BioPsiences article.

How can I take care of my friends?

It’s Tuesday, so that means another 3-card spread. Since the cards have been telling me lately that relationships are a huge weak point in my life, I decided to ask the question “How can I take care of my friends?” This is the answer I recieved

The Four of Wands represents celebrating, cutting loose, and looking forward expectantly. It seems that in the past, I was best meeting my friends’ needs by celebrating them and celebrating with them. It also points toward helping others out of oppressing situations that they can’t fully handle on their own, which I have definitely done on more than one occasion.

The Knight of Pentacles represents the tireless march onward while keeping true to personal convictions, and speaks of facing the truth and predicting problems before they arrive; “nipping it in the bud” so to speak. According to this card, what my friends need most from me is to stay loyal to them while maintaining my ideals…without becoming inflexible and forgetting to have fun

The Devil is an interesting card to draw here. On the surface, without looking into it too much, it seems to suggest playing “devil’s advocate,” taking up the opposite view so that the other person has a clearer understanding of both sides. It could mean that in the future my friends might need me to push them to indulge a bit, to get them to loosen up. We’ll have to see how this one plays out.

[This reading was done on 9/24/13 at 11:30pm]

 

– – – – – – – Update – – – – – –

Before I did my reading for Wednesday I drew for clarification on the Devil, since I put the cards back in the deck in the same order that I drew them. I got the Queen of Swords. I’m not really sure how having honesty and wit ties into temptation and spiritual bondage. Maybe using humor to defeat feelings of hopelessness and low self worth? It could be. That hasn’t ever worked for me in the past, but maybe I’ll get better at it. Still waiting to see how this one plays out.

Opening of the Key

Welcome to part two of my autumn equinox Opening of the Key tarot reading. You can find part one here. As I alluded to before, the Opening of the Key is not for the faint of heart, and this will be a long, detailed post. If you wish to continue, be prepared for a firehose-spray of information and interpretation.

Second Operation

Operation 2

This phase represents the “development of the matter,” or the way in which the answer to the question develops in the more immediate future according to the Houses of the Zodiac. Each House represents a different aspect of a person’s life. There are four steps.

  • After shuffling, deal 12 cards from the top of the deck out into a circle. Continue laying out the cards in this circular pattern. You should decide which position you want to represent the first House before turning any cards over (or, ideally, before laying any cards down)
  • Turn each stack over. Interpret each card facing up according to the symbolism of the 12 Houses.
  • Find the Significator. Whichever stack it is in will be the subject with the most bearing on your question. Spread out the pile in the same method as the first operation, and interpret the cards in the same fashion
  • Pair the cards

Traditionally, you are supposed to guess which house your Significator is in, and if you are wrong you must abandon the divination. I’m inclined to ignore this rule, even though in this particular reading I guessed correctly every time it was required (I suppose that makes it “officially” legitimate). It seems a bit extraneous to me, however.

As a reminder, the question I chose at the beginning of this reading was: “How will my spiritual path unfold in the course of the next year?”

House of Aries – The Self. The Ascendant House represents one’s personality and natural demeanor, as well as one’s personal outlook on the world. It is the House of beginnings. As it happens, this House is dominated by my Significator, the Ace of Swords. This suggests that everything that I am is colored by this desire for Awakening, and that my personality is built around applying logic and reason to establish the truth – and then following that truth, not because it makes me feel good, but because it is the right thing to do.

House of Taurus – Value. This House represents material and immaterial things that contain value, including, but not limited to, money, property, and possessions. It is the house of self-worth and personal growth. This house is dominated by the King of Swords, which symbolizes ideals and a rational viewpoint. This suggests that what I choose to spend money on is governed very strictly by my personal beliefs, whether it be about health, spirituality, or money itself. I have very strong opinions about how money should be spent, and I stick to them.

House of Gemini – Communication. This House represents higher education, intelligence, achievement, and how one expresses himself verbally or in writing. This House is dominated by the King of Pentacles, which is the card of self-reliance and playing it safe. This suggests that I am very conservative in my relations with others in conversation; I hold much back so as to not dominate the discussion. However, when I do speak I am very confident in what I say, and I don’t let others sway me easily.

House of Cancer – Family. The Imum Coeli represents the home life, which includes parents and siblings, and the nature of one’s childhood environment. It is the house of getting back to your roots. This house is dominated by Seven of Pentacles, which stands for weighing your options, standing at a crossroads, and possibly questioning your choices. This suggests that I need to change my direction in regard to how I relate to my family, and possibly re-evaluate the path that lead me to some of my conclusions about them. It could also mean that the way I was raised will have a huge impact on my life decisions in the future.

House of Leo – Pleasure. This House represents things that are made for enjoyment and entertainment – games, media, recreational activities – as well as love and self-expression. This house is dominated by the Wheel of Fortune, the card of transcendence, transition, and new beginnings. This suggests that a (possibly surprising) turn of events will simultaneously move me in a new direction and develop my awareness of the patterns and cycles of my own life as I seek to express myself. It may be that I find opportunity when I least expected to as I simply try to enjoy myself.

House of Virgo – Health. This House represents the routine of everyday life, such as employment, overall well-being, and caretaking of the self and the home. This House is dominated by the Ace of Wands, which is primarily concerned with passion and one’s own creative force. It could be that I will use a little clever thinking to figure out a better way of handling daily responsibilities, or that I will find a new career path that will allow me to exercise my creative expression.

House of Libra – Partnerships. The Descendant House represents close, confidante-like relationships, such as one’s spouse, best friend, or trusted work colleague. It is the house of diplomatic relations and attraction to qualities we admire in others. This House is dominated by the Five of Swords, primarily symbolizing self-interest and experiencing conflict. This suggests that in looking out for myself I need to be careful not to become stuck on myself or sacrifice my integrity for the sake of “winning.” Perhaps I am unwittingly using someone for my own reasons under the pretense of friendship, or not giving as well as I get; or perhaps there is someone in my life I can’t easily get rid of who treats me this way, and I need to rethink how I deal with them.

House of Scorpio – Transformation. This House represents the Death/Rebirth cycle, regeneration, and power. It is the House of all things hidden. This House is dominated by the Eight of Pentacles, symbolizing diligence and paying attention to detail, as well as pursuing a greater understanding. This seems to be saying that my own renewal and increasing of personal power will be primarily a test of endurance and effort; it will be a process rather than an extremely emotional, enlightening event. As seeds must be buried in the ground to grow and bear fruit, I must methodically lay to rest those things which hold me back as I receive those things which lift me up and empower me.

House of Sagittarius – Philosophy. This house represents spirituality, ethics, higher learning, and experiential knowledge. It is the house of journeys. This House is dominated by The Fool. This card becomes especially strong in this position, since it has to do with having faith, staying open, and being true to yourself, which are primary tenants of the spiritual journey. This card compels me to let go of expectations, let go of fear and worry, and trust in the flow as I rush headlong into the unknown. It may very well be that my entire spiritual journey hinges on being able to do these things.

House of Capricorn – Ambition. The Midheaven House represents motivation, career, and status in society. This house is dominated by the Three of Wands, representing foresight and leadership. This could be suggesting that the way for me to expand my horizon lies in taking the long view, playing the long game, and taking a leadership role in my community; or at least that I want to be seen as a leader.

House of Aquarius – Friendship. This House represents groups, clubs, and people with like-minded attitudes, as well as one’s hopes and wishes. This house is dominated by the Hanged Man, which represents introspection, changing of perspective, and sacrifice. This includes making yourself vulnerable and giving up control, which are two things that I often struggle with. This card seems to suggest that I need to start putting others before myself in the name of a higher cause – and soon.

House of Pisces – Undoing. This House represents places of seclusion, such as hospitals, prisons, and institutions, as well as things that are unclear to yourself but clearly seen by others. It is the House of unknown unknowns. This House is ruled by the Devil. Another card that is especially strong in its position, it symbolizes losing independence, overindulging in the senses, and choosing to stay in the dark due to fear of the unknown. This card tells me that the forces which come against me that make me feel confined will be very strong, and may lead to a loss of personal agency and a sense of despair. However, because the Ace of Swords and the Fool are so strong in their positions, I feel this loss of agency, if it occurs, will be only temporary as long as I can remain steadfast and keep my eyes open. Everything in this spread up to this point has told me to persevere and be patient, possibly to prepare me for the event or events that this card is foretelling.

So…after that nice bit of introspection, it’s time to unpack the House of Aries, which holds my significator. This will be done in the same manner as the first operation, although there will be fewer cards in the lineup. As before, these cards must be viewed through the lens of Aries, which is associated with fire (creativity) and the self.

Ascendant Aries

The Ace of Swords is flanked by the Five of Pentacles and the Hermit. The Five of Pentacles signifies some type of struggles, be it mental, emotional, or physical, due to not getting what you need. The Hermit, a card representing solitude or withdrawal, which seems to magnify or be magnified by the Five of Pentacles. It could be that the lack of support I receive in my creative endeavors will lead me to retreat into myself, which will hinder the process of my awakening. However, with the Ace of Swords linking them, there seems to be a sort of oscillation presenting itself. It may happen that as a result of my focusing inward, the truth and inspiration that I find will help me rebound and gather the strength to overcome those same challenges.

Counting five from the Ace of Swords, I land on the Six of Cups, flanked by the Two of Wands and the Ten of Swords. The Six of Cups represents sharing joy and having a clear conscience, while the Two of Wands speaks of having personal power and showing originality, and the Ten of Swords depicts reaching rock bottom and feeling powerless. Although the Two and the Six can be said to compliment each other, the Ten of Swords seems to contrast them both. This leads me to believe that instead of being in harmony, the Six and the Ten actually represent two different possible paths that the Six of Cups can lead to. It could be that my good intentions only serve to pave the road to my personal hell, and I will pay for indulging in blissful ignorance a la the Ten of Swords. On the other hand, acting charitably and surrounding myself with goodness could lead to having more control over my destiny and make it possible to achieve my goals.

Counting six from there, I land on the Queen of Swords, flanked by the Hermit and the Two of Wands. The Queen of Swords represents being sharp, staight-forward, and candid. As elucidated by the other two cards, these qualities lead to or are driven by a sort of inner peace and confidence. This seems to say that through my creative works I will seek to actively share the knowledge and insight gained from my extended introspection and that sharing it in a creative and original way will empower me.

Counting four from the Queen of Swords, I land on the Ten of Swords, flanked by the Six of Cups and Five of Pentacles. This seems to illuminate the nature of the struggle mentioned earlier. It would appear that the feeling of being forced to take a back seat in the road trip that is my life will be primarily caused by my material troubles. The silver lining, if it can be called that, is that I will know that the events that caused my circumstances are not my fault, and I will learn to be content in the midst of my troubles.

Counting ten from there, I land on the Ace of Swords, which brings us full circle and leads us to the next step of this operation: pairing the cards. Cards are paired from either end of the lineup, or horseshoe, and interpreted together. Again, let’s keep this brief.

The Hermit & Ace of Swords

Meditation and reflection will be my implements for cutting through confusion and doubt.

Queen of Swords & Five of Pentacles

Facing the unpleasant truth of my circumstances is the only way to overcome them

Two of Wands & Ten of Swords

Daring to be bold could lead to coming under personal attack; but it’s the only way to move forward

Six of Cups

Throughout everything, I must remember to be blessed and bless in return

~
That wraps up the second operation of the Opening of the Key. The third operation will be posted tomorrow. It took me most of the day to do this write-up, but hopefully tomorrow will go more smoothly. Thanks for reading!

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Most of my information about the card meanings was pulled from learntarot.com.

Most of my information on the astrological Houses was pulled from Astrotheme and this wikipedia article.