Card study: Three of Swords

Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 2.40.34 PMThree of Swords. This is not a card anyone enjoys seeing even though it reflects a truth we all experience. This card indicates there is heartbreak in our lives. It might be past heartbreak that continues to haunt us. It might be heartbreak we are doing our best to prevent, even though it might need to happen for growth to occur. Heartbreak is inevitable. As Mary Oliver wrote, ‘It is better for the heart to break, than not to break.’

One of my favorite things about this incarnation of this card from the Wild Unknown deck is that the swords are all bound up together. No pain exist in a vacuum. There are painful experiences in which one is not to blame. But this doesn’t refer to those situations. This refers to painful situations in which all involved play a part. We all must figure out our contribution, however small, so that we can begin to untangle ourselves from the pain. The wonderful book Difficult Conversations outlines ways for us to communicate more honestly and productively and ALWAYS from a place that acknowledges feelings. It focuses on the idea that in many situations, all players contribute in some way, small or medium or large, to painful experiences. If we are to move forward, we must figure out how we contributed and help others do the same. We are the tangled red threads in this image. We can stay bound up and messy. Or we can unweave this tangled web toward a new freedom.

Card study: shapes and colors

IMG_20180618_143657_556I love the rich imagery in #thewildunknown deck. Artist Kim Krans uses color and shapes vividly to convey intense and layered meanings. I love the new meanings offered in this card through the images represented.

I love the use of the god’s-eye in this card. This symbol signifies the ability to see things unknown but felt. What became a children’s craft to many Westerners is originally a sacred Mexican symbol for seeing beyond the physical eye and seeing the unknown. How powerful to see it here.

Krans understands lines and how they can convey complex ideas. All of the lines here work together on this card to create a space that feels enclosed yet safe. The diamond pattern in the Wild Unknown deck is used to different effect. Sometimes it is suffocating, while in cases like this, it is enveloping in a loving way. And I especially love the contrasting colors: the soothing and calming blue which is a lovely contrast to the fiery yellows and oranges. Our mind’s eye works best when passion is part of the lens.

Card study: Snakes in cards

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 7.30.11 PMI love using #thecosmictarot for client reads. They are so rich and the symbolism really helps people connect to the reading. The creator relied heavily on the informative and (fairly) universal framework of Jungian symbolism in crafting this incredible deck. I especially love how this deck invites clients to find images that resonate with them and interact with me through symbolic interpretation.

Yesterday I did a reading for a client going through major transformation. When this card came up, the imagery of the crumbling buildings and the figure under assault really resonated with her. I also pointed out the snake which symbolizes transformation in the lower left. We discussed what was happening with the snake and if that resonated with any sabotaging she might have been unintentionally doing with her transformations. I love writing about snakes because they are so rich in symbolism. Their shedding skin advises us to shed what no longer serves us so that we can emerge new and reborn. Our new skin might be tender; it needs us to get moving in order to toughen it up for this new leg of our journey. But we have the opportunity, like the snake, to experience continual renewal.

Card study: yin yangs

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 4.08.53 PM.pngAll three of these cards carry some heavy intuitive energy with them. So it’s no surprise that they all feature a yin yang symbol. The symbol is full of meaning including the idea of the balance between Light and Shadow.

The yin side represents darkness and absorption. It is female energy. It is considered the passive side, but passive does not mean waiting around. It means waiting for the right time before we do something. It means we consider before we charge in.

The yang side encompasses male energy. It represents penetrating energy that is active and goes forward (sometimes without thinking!) The “male” energy and “female” energy are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other. The symbol asks us to consider what seemingly contradictory Energies are actually complementary? And we are asked to see in what ways the world around us is interconnected.

It also asks us, what do we know intuitively in ourselves that we need to bring out from the Shadow and into the Light in order to make better decisions? Are we favoring one side of the symbol, or do we seek the balance implied in this complex symbol?


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.