What do I Need to Know for the Upcoming Year (2010-2011)?
Center: 4 of cups
Those who enjoy kayaking and other river sports know that there are areas of the river where the water flows in a dangerous circular motion. Instead of moving forward, it turns back on itself. In the same way, we can get stuck in emotional hydraulics. The Four of Cups represents such periods of self-absorption.
If you are self-absorbed, you tend to refer everything back to yourself – your own interests and desires. On this card, we see a man who is unaware of the cup being offered to him. He misses this gift because he’s turned within. In readings, the Four of Cups can indicate that you are wrapped up for the moment in your own world.
In some situations, you must focus on yourself. When life is too stressful, you need to devote time and energy to yourself or you will feel swamped. The Four of Cups can represent a positive period of self-reflection and renewal. By taking the time to go within to dream, muse and reflect, you restore your emotional balance.
The Four of Cups is sometimes a sign of apathy. You don’t really care much about anything. Your life seems stale and flat because you’ve lost interest in the activities that used to bring you pleasure. You’re not motivated to make much of an effort in any direction. At such times, the Four of Cups can show that you’re stuck emotionally. You need something to focus on that will so engage your mind and heart that your path down river becomes clear again. Open yourself to your surroundings. Soon you will be on your way again.
If you are getting a Tarot reading and the Four of Cups card appears, just having taken the step to acknowledge that the Tarot reader is needed – that there is someone in the universe besides your self – is a big step. The Four of Cups is a stubborn, ungrateful and self-absorbed card. Whether you are off in your own little world, depressed, selfish, afraid to reach out or are nursing wounds from a bad relationship, the isolation in your world is self-imposed – you can take the kindness of the universe and join us all in the real world whenever you choose. The appearance of this card insists that your detachment from being part of the world is becoming an issue.
In the present position, the Four of Cups indicates that you are closed off to a solution that would assist you. You might be stubbornly clinging to the old way of doing things. There may be someone in your life who is offering you love and you are turning it down, or you are so self-involved that you do not even know what love is beyond self-love. You will have to confront yourself and be totally honest with how you are behaving, as this card brings up excuses and rationalizations as a defense mechanism to continue the pattern of avoidance symbolized by the crossed arms of the boy illustrated on the card.
Paired with The Moon and you may be running with a crowd that is getting into trouble.
My observation: well, having just started to get my hair to a realistic length post-chemo, I’d say I was very self-absorbed. I took this card to mean that I was teetering on the edge of narcissism and I needed to pull back and begin to relate more to the world around me. Paired with the Moon, I understood that to mean that I needed to re-focus a larger portion of attention on JaguarMoon, because we were in danger of disintegrating again.
Crossing: page of wands
The Page of Wands is a messenger bringing you opportunities for passion. He delivers real chances to experience creativity, courage, charm and inspiration – the wonders of the Wands suit. In readings, this Page suggests that an opening may appear that excites you, feeds your talents, or dares you to be great. When you see such a chance, act on it!
The Page of Wands can also stand for a child or young-at-heart adult whose interactions with you involve independence, high energy, risky behavior, or shared enthusiasms. Sometimes the Page of Wands implies that your entire situation is suffused with the spirit of excitement and adventure. At such times, feel free to express your individuality and power with light-hearted abandon.
The Page of Wands is a card that blesses any tarot reading with the good fortune of youthful creativity. But how you use this blessing can be an exciting accomplishment or a total disaster.
Page cards in the present position represent you starting life over again. The Page of Wands shows you with a new idea of taking control over your own destiny. It is a powerful card in the present position, a clean slate with momentum in your favor.
My observation: Starting over is painful and difficult, no wonder thsi card is in the crossing position! Butm yes, I was ill unto death and have returned from the throes, my life will never be the same again. I saw this card as a combination of things, including J. who always brings out the best in me and inspires me to joy.
Foundation: The Lovers
The Lovers is one card that is easy to remember. Love and sex are riveting subjects, and, as you’d expect, this card represents both. The urge for union is powerful, and, in its highest form, takes us beyond ourselves. That is why an angel is blessing the bond between the man and woman on this card.
In readings, Card 6 often refers to a relationship that is based on deep love – the strongest force of all. The relationship may not be sexual, although it often is or could be. More generally, the Lovers can represent the attractive force that draws any two entities together in a relationship – whether people, ideas, events, movements or groups.
Card 6 can also stand for tough value choices and the questioning that goes with them. In some decks, the Lovers shows a man torn between two women – a virgin and a temptress. This rather old-fashioned triangle symbolizes the larger dilemmas we face when we are tempted between right and wrong.
The Lovers can indicate a moral or ethical crossroads – a decision point where you must choose between the high road or the low road. This card can also represent your personal beliefs because to make such a decision you must know where you stand. Following your own path can mean going against those who are urging you in a direction that is wrong for you.
Are you tying the knot? Or is it less formal between you two on the social plane, but as emotionally binding as you can possibly imagine? Is a physical attraction becoming an obsession, weakening your decision-making powers and other boundaries you ordinarily have in place? Is this struggle with temptation bringing about a transformation in who you have been in the world and who you are becoming in the universe? Have you attached yourself to the philosophy of some interesting belief system that satisfies your quest for knowledge on the way life works and where its meaning can be found? If your Tarot reading reveals The Lovers card, some of these scenarios are already well in place in your day-to-day life.
My observation: this is the work of the year. Do I want to be joined? I have his love, does it need to be formally announecd? What is the role of society in our realtionship?
Passing: 8 of cups
A psychologist friend once told me that when a group is ready to break up, the members give off subtle signs to that effect. They display a certain restlessness. They arrive late to meetings, communicate less and seem distracted. At some level the participants know it is time to move on, but they need a while to work up to that final step. This process applies in many situations where an ending is approaching. Nothing is permanent in life. Sooner or later, everything slips away…or we slip away from it. The Eight of Cups stands for those moments when we realize, once and for all, that the past is gone. What was true is no longer true. The signs of change are in our face, and we must accept them. It is time to move on.
Moving on can mean a physical change such as leaving a job, location or relationship. It can also mean an inner change – releasing old patterns, especially those that have dominated our thoughts and emotions. On the Eight of Cups, we see a man leaving on a journey. He has turned away from his old feelings (cups/river) to strike out on a new path. Sometimes moving on can mean searching for a deeper truth or reality. One day we wake up and realize that we have been asleep in our own lives – living a dream that no longer satisfies.
Some changes can be wearying. Endings are not always easy. One of the signs of a readiness to leave is lack of energy. When you feel tired and dispirited, you know that something is wrong, and it’s time for a new direction. Reexamine your life and your priorities. You will find where in your life you need to move on.
When you are finally fed up with it and you turn to a Tarot reading to show you the way, the Eight of Cups says that it is just time to leave.
My observation: I am in the process of shedding many things that were my old life, and moving on.
Crown: The Moon
If you look around the room right now, you will (probably!) see people and objects that are comforting in their familiarity. Everything is exactly as you expect it to be. You know that if you closed your eyes and opened them, the room would be the same. But…have you ever lost the familiar to find, in its place, a world so extraordinary you can’t even grasp it? This is the experience of the Moon. Most of the time we live in a tiny pocket of normality that we wrap around us like a security blanket. We turn our backs on the mysterious universe that waits outside. From time to time we may sneak a peak with our imagination, or venture out through fantasy or expanded awareness. We can be thrust out there unprepared through drugs, madness or intense experiences such as battle.
The Moon is the light of this realm – the world of shadow and night. Although this place is awesome, it does not have to be frightening. In the right circumstances, the Moon inspires and enchants. It holds out the promise that all you imagine can be yours. The Moon guides you to the unknown so you can allow the unusual into your life.
Sadly, we are usually afraid of the Moon. In readings, this card often stands for fears and anxieties – the ones that come in the darkest part of the night. Card 18 also stands for illusions. It is easy to lose our way in the moonlight. Be careful not to let deceptions and false ideas lead you astray. Sometimes the Moon is a signal that you are lost and wandering aimlessly. You must find your way back to the path and your clarity of purpose.
Have you discovered an unfamiliar yet beautiful new reality? Are you feeling disconnected to the values and traditions with which you were brought up? Is an alienation from the norm creeping into your life? Have you been talked into something that only last year you would have considered preposterous? Are you aimless in your goals and ambition? Has an artistically inspired streak of creativity suddenly appeared out of nowhere? All of these brooding outsider tendencies call forth The Moon card from the Tarot deck when you seek a reading to show you the way.
When drawn in the present position, you may be getting so many mixed signals from the outside world that your turning to a Tarot reading is a seeking of some clarity, some answer to all the confusion. The world around you may be different and the structures that have long comforted you are suddenly absent. The temptations of alcohol, drugs, meaningless pleasure seeking, gambling and other escapes from reality are all too real. The Moon represents falling out of touch with reality. However, it also represents a chance to better yourself by not believing in the false assumptions that we all agree to within societal norms. Instead of following the path that you are told will get you somewhere (the path that has at present left you lost), The Moon signals your opportunity to create your own structures; a life from your own imagination and design.
My observation: The moon represents my exploration of the shadow side; it’s part of my shedding the old and fidning the new, I’m entering another reality, a new reality, and I’m not sure where I will end up or what will come to me. AS well; this card speaks to a deepening of my spiritual life.
Coming: 8 of Wands
In the film The Ten Commandments, Moses touches his staff to water to set a plague in motion. His staff is the agent of power that initiates events. Moses’ staff reminds me of the wands on this card. They are a symbol of the onset of action and its effects. Before acting, we think, imagine, speculate, talk and dream. This is the realm of air – the sky. Then, finally, we decide to make our move. We bring our ideas down to earth and put them into action.
In readings, the Eight of Wands is often a sign that now is the time to declare yourself. All the elements are ready and will work for you as long as you don’t hesitate. The iron is hot – so strike! If events are in motion, they will proceed rapidly. You may feel caught in a whirlwind, but soon the dust will settle, and you see how your plans have fared. The Eight of Wands also stands for the arrival of news or information. You may see or hear something important. The news could show up in a disguised form, so stay alert. Pay attention to everything that comes your way for a while.
This card also signifies endings. Sooner or later all activities run their course. The eight wands on this card not only symbolize putting events into motion, but also bringing them to a close. They appear to be ending their flight by coming down to earth. If you see the Eight of Wands in a reading, it may be time to conclude whatever you have been doing. Celebrate the past, but prepare to move on to something new.
Do things seem to be speeding up in your life? Is there a sense of urgency to the daily proceedings? Are you headed toward a long-sought conclusion? Is a settlement about to appear in a long-running dispute? Have you gotten closer to your goal in the past week than in the past year? Are the flirtations of a friend or co-worker suddenly more inviting? The Eight of Wands is the card the Tarot delivers when your excitement over a positive turn of events is compressing time and making every moment heightened with anticipation.
In the future position in your reading, the Eight of Wands is a harbinger of opportunity. The Tarot wants to assure you that big things are coming and that a vision you have for the way things should be might actually start to occur. Stay upbeat and look for signs that things are turning your way. When you see this action happening, put positive energy out there and let it return the amplified rewards of the universe to you.
When the Eight of Wands is in a reading with The Moon card (#18), your reading is especially powerful as this Wands card is the lower echo of these two. When either appears in your reading, it emphasizes the need to follow your hunches on the appearance of chance opportunities.
When another card with the number eight in it appears in a reading with this card, the Tarot indicates that you are winding things up in a dramatic fashion. When the Eight of Cups is present with this card in your reading, your love life is ending one cycle and beginning another. It may not be easy, but the big change is predestined and will culminate soon. An affair could be over. An engagement could become a marriage.
In conclusion, the Tarot sends you the Eight of Wands when it is time to let the universe toss your creative abilities into the air and follow them to wherever they might land, making the most out of the energy they gather from the flight.
My observation: I’m going to have many opportunities. communciation will be vital in the comin year; pay attention! The correlation with my love life is interesting, it dovetails neatly with The Lovers.
Self: 5 of cups
The Five of Cups is about loss. On this card, we see a figure draped in black and covered in grief. He so dominates the card that it is hard to look beyond him. The Five of Cups refers to that time when the pain of a loss is most acute. This man is looking only at the overturned cups in front of him. For now, he cannot acknowledge the two cups that are still standing. Later, when he has healed somewhat, he will be able to see all that remains.
In readings, the Five of Cups can alert you to the possibility of a loss and its associated emotions – sorrow, regret, denial. The loss could be great or small. It could be tangible (money, possession, relationship, work), or intangible (dream, opportunity, prospect, reputation). You may already know what this card represents, but, if not, use it as a warning to help you avoid a loss, or at least reduce its toll.
You may feel discouraged by this card, but it does have a positive side. Every loss opens new possibilities for growth because every loss initiates change. Loss hurts because it is our emotional resistance to change. No matter how much we accept intellectually that we must go with the flow, if that flow separates us from what we love, our feelings say, “No!”
The Five of Cups represents a lack of fulfilment or non-attainment of expected results. You are feeling disappointed that a situation has not turned out as you had hoped, and instead of moving on to greener pastures, you are wallowing in self-pity and regret about what has been lost. The water spilled from the cups shows that the cause for regret is more emotional than financial. You are quickly becoming disillusioned with life and increasingly pessimistic about your future.
The Five of Cups suggests that you are having trouble letting go of the past and learning from your mistakes. This card can often reflect a person who is caught up in the past and unable to move on, missing out on new opportunities. Bitter memories from the past continue to bother you, and often a great deal of the blame for past actions is placed on yourself and your inadequacies. To some it would seem that there is no way out of this situation but the Tarot always shows problems on one hand and solutions on the other.
Forgiveness and the ability to recover after emotional loss are necessary. If you are feeling disappointed by another person’s actions, and then find it within your heart to forgive that person, releasing yourself from the disappointment. You may also need to re-assess your expectations that have led you to this disappointment. Were you expecting too much?
Remember, too, that hindsight is much clearer than foresight and present-day wisdom is gained from the mistakes of the past. Reflect on what lead you to this point and understand what important lessons you can take from the experience. Even when things go pear-shaped, there is always something positive that can be gained by reflecting on the lessons learned.
While it is true that much has been lost, there is still a ray of hope because some of the cups in this card remain full and upright. You must not pity yourself when you find yourself in his situation. Instead of looking at the situation from a ‘glass is half empty’ perspective, look at it from a ‘glass is half full’ perspective. If you can stop your sulking or even crying for a moment, you can open your eyes and see the way out of this disappointing situation. You will have to work on it but it is there.
The Five of Cups also tells you to be thankful for what is left. Do not worry about what cannot be changed. Instead, focus on turning a setback into a step forward. Never let your tears stop you from seeing what is left over.
My observation: I am still getting over the trauma of this last year; to some degree, I’ve been reborn, and every newborn cries. Much of what I could take for granted has been stripped from me, there are many things I regret. I need to do the work to get over this, and move on.
Environment: 10 of swords
The Ten of Swords appears to be a card of terrible misfortune, but surprisingly, it often represents troubles that are more melodramatic than real. The man on this card has quite a few swords in his back. Wouldn’t one be enough? Isn’t ten a little excessive? Perhaps this gentleman’s suffering – though sincere – is exaggerated as well.
One meaning of the Ten of Swords is hitting rock bottom. When one disaster follows another, we feel devastated at first, but eventually we throw up our hands and laugh. It’s so bad, it’s funny! In films, the hero says, “What else could possibly go wrong?” and we know that’s a signal for the bucket of water to fall on his head. When you see the Ten of Swords, know that the last bucket has fallen, and you can expect a turn for the better.
This card can also show when you’re in victim mentality. You’re certain that the whole world is picking on you just to make your life difficult. I picture the man lifting his head and saying, “You think you’ve got it bad…a cut on the finger. I’ve got ten swords in my back…count ’em – ten!” Then he drops his head back down with a sigh. When we’re in victim mentality, we think everything is horrible, hopeless and impossibly unfair.
Being a martyr is also a favorite Ten of Swords activity. In this case, the man would say with a weak wave of his hand, “No…you go on. Have fun. Don’t think about me. I’ll just stay here with these swords in my back…but I want you to enjoy yourself.” Being a martyr in this sense is not the same as making a sacrifice for another with no strings attached. With the Ten of Swords, either is possible, but doing a good turn for someone else is more satisfying without the strings.
Are you at the point where it cannot get any worse? Are you running on empty? Did you make a big sacrifice and end up with nothing? Is your only power in making self-deprecating remarks? Has someone recently walked all over you? The Ten of Swords is the Tarot’s card of bottoming out. But this card is a blessing in disguise, as the darkest hours in which you suffer are about to give way to a new dawn. Indicating that you have reached bottom, there is nowhere to go but up when your Tarot reader draws the Ten of Swords.
In the present position, this card is a confirmation that you are turning a corner and leaving behind one of the worst chapters in your life. Keep a mental image of that golden sky rising … your world is about to get brighter, as it hardly could ever be any darker than some recent dramas you have encountered.
My observation: this card was the one that ‘didn’t fit’, except at that last paragraph. Mostly, what I get is that people around me may see me as a victim . . . but I prefer the ‘the darkest time is past, you’re turning a corner’
Hopes/Fears: King of Swords
The personality of the King of Swords is a combination of the positive air energy of the Swords suit and the active, outward focus of a King. He is a man of intellect who can absorb and work with information of all kinds. As a master of reason and logic, he analyzes any problem with ease. He can work out solutions quickly and explain them lucidly to others. In a chaotic situation, he cuts through the confusion and provides the clarity needed to move forward. Others seek him out to present their case as he speaks with eloquence and insight. He is always truthful and can be relied on to handle any situation fairly and honorably. When a judgment is called for, he can render an impartial but just decision. He is incorruptible and lives by the highest ethical standards. He encourages those around him to do the same, and they often live up to his expectations.
In readings, the King of Swords asks you to take the kinds of actions he might take. For example: telling the truth, thinking up a solution, communicating well, or judging fairly. This King can also represent a man or woman who is acting as he does, or an atmosphere of reason, honesty and high standards. In a reading, he tells you that his special energy has meaning for you at this time.
Is there a new authority figure in your life who has a mastery of language? Have you arrived at a place in your life where you are the expert to whom people turn to for advice? Are issues with words your father told you surfacing? Is the advice of an old friend reassuring you about your life’s path many years later? The King of Swords is one of the most serene and certain cards in the Tarot deck.
In the future position, the events of the present may be steering you toward an encounter with a person whose word is law. Perhaps the King of Swords is the judge who will be overseeing your child custody battle. In the future position, this card can represent a spouse or partner delivering an ultimatum in regards to some negative behavior of yours. If the King of Swords represents you when it is in this position, you are becoming a person to whom many people turn for advice or guidance.
Regardless of the position in which this card lands, there is both power and status that comes with being the King of Swords, but the responsibility of it all makes for a heavy crown. This king wears no jewelry, his garments are plain; there is no glamour besides the power of his poetry.
My observation: Well, I wonder who this will be. (LIsa’s note: in looking back, I’m still not sure who this person was for me. J. certainly never ‘laid down the law’ and I wasn’t ever in this role.)
Final: 2 of swords
On the Two of Swords, we see a young woman who has put a barrier of swords across her heart. Her rigid posture tells us of her struggle to keep her feelings under control. She is fending off any approach from the outside. “Nothing comes in, and nothing goes out,” she seems to say.
The Two of Swords is about the barriers we put up between ourselves and others and those we create within ourselves. Internally, we block off emotions and refuse to feel them. We avoid looking at the truth and pretend that everything’s OK. We think one way, but feel another. In countless ways, we divide off parts of ourselves and try to maintain them even when we know they need to be reconciled.
In readings, the Two of Swords often appears when you are not willing to accept some truth about yourself or the situation. What are you really feeling? Are you resisting tender feelings because you might be hurt? Are you furious even though you’re smiling? What are you refusing to look at? Notice the blindfold on this woman. She can’t look at the truth or even acknowledge that there is trouble.
The most common barrier is a closed heart. When we cut ourselves off emotionally, we sever the connection that allows our love to flow outward. Sometimes this action is necessary, but it always comes at a great price. Every time we close off our heart, we find it more difficult to open again. Another barrier between people is a deadlocked situation. When two parties are set in their positions – cut off from each other – there is a stalemate. To break it, the “opponents” must come out from behind their swords and listen to each other. The lesson of the Two of Swords is that barriers are not the answer. We must stay open if we are to find peace and wholeness.
Have you been avoiding a decision? Do you have some great rationalizations as to why you should wait? Are you impatient for change but holding yourself back out of either fear or apathy? Are you withholding affection from a spouse, friend or child out of selfishness or spite? Are you trying to make someone earn your trust but in your heart you know you will never grant it? Expect the Two of Swords to appear in your Tarot reading if these descriptions hit too close to home. This is the card of turning your back on love and sticking with a stalemate.
If the Two of Swords is in the future position of your reading, consider this a blessing from the Tarot. This puts control of your future squarely in your own hands. This indicates a developing ability to rise up against manipulative people, users and others who want to tell you what to do. You will be firm in keeping your own affairs under your absolute control even if it means adopting a standoffish demeanor. All of the stubbornness and fear from this card disappear when you know the Two of Swords is on its way – allowing you the power to keep your cool and maintain control.
My observation: This is a nice balance to the ‘viston’ mentality of the 10 of Swords. This card tells me that I must do a lot of Work internally to break down barriers and become more at home in the world.
Note: 3 cups; 3 swords; lack of major arcana