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: 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: The Chariot and Stars

Screen Shot 2018-03-24 at 4.51.21 PM.pngA canopy of stars is a common symbol used for this card in many decks. Here these stars have many meanings. Stars represent healing of the soul, and connection to our higher selves. Stars are also way finders. They are maps and means for finding our direction. They help us find our true north.

Stars also represent hope. Think of the star the Wise Men followed to find the Baby Jesus, who represents the hope of the difference one person can make to humanity.

Stars are our dreams. “Reach for the stars,” we are told. Wish upon a star. Stars feel so close and yet so far away at the same time.

We name stars as a means of expressing ownership over something we clearly can never own.

Stars are best viewed in the most remote areas. We can see them clearly without the pollution of human-made lights. We must not have distractions if we are to truly appreciate their beauty and majesty.

Card study: The Hanged Man

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 3.39.52 PM.pngThe Hanged Man advises us that it is time to surrender ourselves to the deep process of self-discovery and prepare for sacrifice in order to grow. It calls to mind the idea of The Dark Night of the Soul during which we crave and desire connection to a greater being with the passion usually reserved for a lover. But one must be careful not to hang too long. At some point you must open or close the door before you.

Most likely the sun is setting behind the figure hanging from the branch. It creates a halo around the figure’s head that speaks to angels or enlightened beings. It is significant that the sun is setting because darkness is coming as we traverse the Major Arcana. Through darkness, we can seek truth through mystery.

Finally, always notice skies when they are pictured: are the skies clear or cloudy? What kind of clouds are they; do they portend a storm or breeze calmly?