Card study: Symbols of balance in the Lovers

screen-shot-2018-05-15-at-7-20-40-pm.pngSo many symbols to unpack in this representation of this card! The Lovers can represent Love, but it often represents the idea of choice. We must choose between two paths, which could involve Love. Our goal in making our choice (and in finding love) is to strike a balance. So many of the cards focus on the idea of balance in our lives.

Let’s start examining the symbols in this card. The six-pointed star, or Star of David, is used in many traditions although it’s know best known as the symbol for Judaism.  It is often seen as a magical sign. The upside down triangle represents water and feminine energy while the upside triangle symbolizes fire and masculine energy. Combined, they aim to strike a balance between these opposing elements and energies. Although it has six points, it is associated with the number 7 because the center counts as a point. The number 7 signifies intuition and inner wisdom.  Additionally we have another symbol that combines masculine and feminine energy in order to denote balance. The yin-yang symbol represents femininity and masculinity, Shadow and Light, growth and the journey to growth.

Card study: Towers

Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 11.39.25 AMTowers loom large in the background of many cards in myriad decks. They instill immediate reactions and carry so many meanings. Humans have attempted to build towers for centuries for varied reasons ranging from trying to reach G-d to protecting kingdoms. Fairy tales abound with princesses locked away into towers, giving us a sense of the tower as a symbol of masculine power. Their phallic shape is another giveaway, but towers definitely carry male energy centered around power, violence, hubris, and protection. Towers can symbolize a sense of entitlement when viewed from this lens.

All of these cards feature some type of Tower. Some of the towers are behind the person perhaps representing their power. Other Towers don’t look particularly stable and have questionable use. Start noticing towers beyond the Tower card in your deck. What are they built out of? Where are they and what do they appear to be used for? Towers can symbolize our hubris and attempts to ascend to Heaven. They can also represent a prison, such as a place where a princess might be locked away. The towers can also represent power and fortitude and protection. And they also represent the opportunity to rise above and get a bird’s-eye view. Of course the intentions behind getting that bird’s eye view should be taken into consideration such as in the Devil card. His tower is fit for prison guards keeping sharp eye on prisoners.

Card study: the Prince of Swords as Aquarius

Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 11.36.13 AMIn #thecosmictarot the Prince of Sword is represented by the sign of Aquarius. Notice the symbol on his cravat. This deck uses astrology and planetary symbols often. Getting to know these symbols gives you quick but deep insight into cards. Many decks use these symbols to represent cards so putting in the time is worth it.

Aquarius men are independent, a bit eccentric, but highly intellectual and deep thinkers. The Prince of Swords personifies these ideas to a T! Fortunately they are also humanitarians to enjoy helping others by solving their problems. They are not DOERS or caretakers or emotional supports necessarily. They prefer to listen to problems in order to pinpoint the best plan of action. (Which they feel is the BEST and ONLY plan of action, of course!) They do not like being disagreed with and can be a bit of a Rebel Rouser. When you see the Prince of Swords, there is the possibility that annoying but ultimately inconsequential trouble is ahead. (He’s a rebel just for kicks, yeah.)

In being represented by the sign of Aquarius, we also get a sense of the Prince of Swords tendency to be a bit aloof and unemotional. The Sword court overall shies away from the world of emotions. They hide behind their keen intellect and sometimes biting sarcastic wit. Feelings are not their strong suit, so beware of this Prince when he comes up in a reading about Romance.

Card study: The Hermit, Astrological Symbols and Seeing Cards in New Ways

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 5.24.37 PMOnce again, I love the Cosmic tarot because it is ripe with symbolism. The hermit’s garments include the signs for Jupiter, the Sun, and Virgo. Looking at what these represent can give us a deeper meaning about this card.  The Cosmic Tarot uses the sign for Jupiter repeatedly throughout the deck. Linking cards through symbols is an interesting and informative way to start seeing how cards “go” together. Try going through whatever deck you use and group cards together by repeated uses of colors, symbols, people who look alike, and other commonalities that you might not notice until you start looking for them.

Jupiter signifies tolerance, expansiveness, and insight through knowledge. Jupiter  inspires broader reach, purpose, hope, and possibility. Interestingly, Jupiter is actually considered a “social” planet. I often tell clients when the Hermit comes up, depending on what other cards are present, that they might need to seek knowledge and purpose outside of themselves. Rather than be the Hermit, they might need to seek the Hermit in the form of a mentor or teacher or community.

The Sun represents our self, our way of being in the world. One might associate the Hermit with the mystery of the Moon, but I think the Sun is more appropriate here. The Hermit tries to reveal hidden truths, much like the Sun reveals what is hidden in darkness.The Hermit is an inner light in the midst of our dark night of the soul.

Virgo is known for having attention to detail and desiring to serve others. Virgo works towards the greater good. And Virgo is modest about these qualities. Virgo does not serve for recognition (like Leo or Aries). Most importantly, Virgos are interested in studying things: how do people, things, situations work in great detail? They want to understand. Just like the Hermit wants us to go in and truly understand who we are and what our purpose is.

Card study: Four of Cups and Horses and Castles

Screen Shot 2018-03-24 at 7.50.55 PM.pngThe castle and mountains in the background speak big achievements and hard-won success. Depending on the context that could mean great achievement has been hard-won and is not appreciated. Or perhaps we are being told that it is going to be hard work to get out of our heads and appreciate what’s in front of us but that the payoff is big.

Castles also represent protection. Protection is not always what we need. Protection can be confining. Protection can keep us from seeing truth that we need to in order to grow. We don’t want to be the princess locked away in a castle, waiting to be saved.

I find the horse in the background to be the most interesting part of this card. Horses carry many symbols with them. They are the freedom that we have harnessed so that we can have our own freedom of movement. Horses also signify our animal self combined with keen and sensitive intelligence.