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: 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.

Card study: Ace of Wands

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 4.36.22 PMLet’s take a look at the Ace of Wand again, from the perspective of the Hanson Roberts sweet, fairy-like deck. I love this deck for a gentle read. In fact, I’ve given this deck to my three-year-old son for HIS deck (he likes looking at them occasionally right now and talking about the stories he sees!)

Make sure you’re checking out the backgrounds of cards. They offer just as rich of a story as what goes on in the foreground. Even the seemingly simplest background still carries a story. Castles symbolize not only fortitude, strength, and protection but they also symbolize great achievement. Notice the great achievement is set upon a small mountain. This lets us know that there is much work ahead so harness the energy of this card.

I love how the Hanson Roberts’ wands flower and bloom forth. White flowers represent purity, which is a gentle reminder about our intentions as we move forward with our ambitions. White flowers also represent feminine energy, which adds some nice flow to the masculine energy of the Ace of Wands.

Card study: Ace of Wands

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 4.28.55 PM.pngOh this card crackles with energy! So many of the fire and electricity symbols are apparent so draw your attention to the bottom of the card. What is the wand piercing? Is it some strange energy field that we must traverse in order to enter a new world of possibility? Perhaps and I love the layer of interpretation this adds to this card. To me it looks like water. The wand is bringing vital energy to our emotions, our unconscious, and that which we choose to hide (or unconsciously hide). These things need our attention and energy. This is also a strong reminder of the need to include emotion as we work towards our ambition.