A Tarot Student's Journey

Posts tagged ‘Rider-Waite tarot deck’

Tarot Reading – How can I build my business?

Tarot Spread

Yesterday a friend asked me for some help interpreting this spread.

Question: How can I build my business? She has gone through a long period of unemployment and has finally stepped out of it and started her own business. However she needs her business to be much more profitable.

I can’t remember what this spread is called or where exactly it came from, but it’s one I have in my notes that I find useful when looking for some practical advice. It’s very empowering. If you recognise it and know who developed it, please let me know below.


  1. Self – Ace of Swords
  2. Root Cause – Four of Pentacles
  3. How you’ve responded – Nine of Wands Reversed
  4. Hopes and Fears – Eight of Cups
  5. Your response – Six of Wands
  6. What you can change – Ten of Wands
  7. Commitment (What can you do to make this change) – Ten of Pentacles Reversed


My Reading

You are in a place where you are feeling more mental clarity around your work than you have before. You are recognising that in order to move forward you have to change the way you think because thoughts control the emotions which affect your ability to move forward and manifest the growth your want to see in your practice.
You’ve been through a long period where you were reliant on benefits and while this gave you a basic level of security (a roof over your head) it also made you scared to move forward and lose this security. So it entrenched your stuckness. And you dealt with this from a place of fear because you didn’t have the resources to move forward (financial, emotional support etc)
I think there’s a certain amount of paranoia in the 9 of wands – worrying about losing benefits/being made homeless etc is what comes to mind and this card is asking you to look at the progression of the Wands to find a way out. Maybe take a look at the cards before and after the 9 of Wands? It’s important to remember that these worries are in the past, you’ve come through these problems. What’s the payoff in holding onto them?
The 8 of cups is telling me that you have doubts about wether or not you should stick with your business or not and you aren’t sure if it’s time to walk away and start something new. Maybe it’s saying that you find it difficult to commit fully to this path so haven’t given it a chance to come to fruition.
In the 6 of Pentacles I think you are being asked to examine your relation with money. Are you the beggar or the rich man? Do you recognise the value of what you give to people and the difference it makes in their lives? What more could you offer in your business to your clients? How are you with receiving help? Are you looking after your own health and well being enough? I think you should do some work exploring your relationship to money.
The last two cards are showing that you’ve come to an end of a cycle (both 10’s) and your goal is not far away. I think they’re recognising that you can sometimes feel overwhelmed or burdened by everything on your plate (maybe all the things you think you have to do to build your business)  and that it’s important to focus on just one thing at a time, and to recognise the progress you’ve made already. You’ve come a long way (emotionally, spiritually etc) and the end is within site. Take some time to look around and see what you’ve learned.
Also, the word ‘package’ comes up when I look at all these cards together. So maybe there’s some new package of services your business could offer that is much more niche and really appeal a certain ‘type’ of person. But it has to be something that feels in sync with you are, otherwise it won’t feel authentic.

How about you? Do you have a different interpretation of these cards?


Not So Simple Gifts – The Six of Swords

Six of SwordsToday’s simple gift is The Six of Swords. I have a very emotional response to this card because I identify so strongly with the figure of the woman hunched together with her child travelling across the water, moving from a place of rough water to one of calmness and stillness. I’ve looked at this  card many times wishing I had someone behind me, strong enough to ferry me across the rough waters.

Today, however, if I look at this card as a gift I see that if I don’t have an actual someone there helping me to cross I do have the ability or the energy guiding me to more peaceful times. And the peaceful times are not far away. This fills me actual hope that a rosier future may not be far away. (something I’ve been sorely lacking recently)

The swords stuck in the boat can represent the need for mental clarity and reason. Or in this case they could indicate that I already have that mental clarity, that it’s served me well and will always be there for me to use. Another interpretation could be seeing the swords as emotional attachments or baggage. I have so many negative  attachments, directed towards my ex (anger, outrage, humiliation, abandonment, rejection). I recognise fully the need to let them go. However I’ve learned that telling someone to ‘let it go’ and trying too hard to let it go is the surest way to wind yourself further into the problem. Things have to play their course.

In her great book, The Transformational Truth of Tarot , Tiffany Crosara  says of this card ‘Sometime we have to move on with our baggage or we wouldn’t move at all.’

Not So Simple Gifts – Three of Wands

Three of Wands This is Day Two of asking the tarot what gift my recent troubles and experiences have given me. I’m trying to connect with what I’ve learned over recent years and what I’ve gained from having gone through tough times.

Today’s card is The Three Of Wands in which we see a man having reached the top of a sea cliff gazing out to sea watching the ships he’s set sail as the set off out into the wider world. He supports himself with one hand firmly on a sturdy wand and is surrounded by two other wands. To me, he looks tired as if getting to the top of the cliff has winded him slightly. To me this is the card of embarking on a new beginning, taking that first step to put the feelers out and see what rewards come back to you. It’s not a card of infinite possibility – the ships do not have an infinite body of water to sail off to. There are mountains clearly visible just across the water, but they don’t look too menacing or insurmountable.

For me this cards reflects the opportunities I’ve had to expand my horizons that I would not have had if nothing had changed for me. I’ve gone through relationship breakdown, financial disaster, becoming a single mother. Have weathered emotional and physical abuse from my ex and have come out of it a very different person. Sometimes it’s very difficult sitting in the uncertainty of this new life. But so many things have opened up for me that could not have happened if I’d stayed in that relationship. Life there would have had to be very…normal. Very traditional. Houses. Mortgages. Office job.  Life now follows my path.

This card also offers me hope. At the moment I’m not feeling very motivated or active. I feel the complete opposite. This card tells me that it’s ok to go slowly, to rest when I need to. Not to just plunge into things full steam ahead. I can’t sustain that type of energy and I need to honour it. It also shows me that I have support around me, advises me to keep my support systems close and perhaps join forces with my network of friends to build something going forward.

It also reminds me that it’s ok to stop and take pause but not to lose sight of possibilities. It’s a gentle nudge to start looking toward the future.

Not So Simple Gifts – Temperance

Yesterday’s reading led me to ask the question, ‘What gifts have I been given through my experiences?’ Experiences, I suppose, is a euphemism for god-awful hard times. Sometimes it’s hard not to get bogged down in the negative and we lose sight of the lessons we’ve learned or the qualities that have gotten us through those hard times. So for the next few days, I’m going to draw one card a day to clarify what gifts my experiences have given me.

Tarot Card - Temperance Temperance
Temperance can be defined as ‘moderation in action, thought, or feeling; restraint.’ It has been a core value of most major religions including Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. Plato considered it a core virtue of the ideal city. Generally we think of temperance as restraining some desire or impulse such as sexual desire, gluttony, anger, or vanity. It also speaks of self control and discipline.

In the card to the left we see a winged angel standing at the water’s edge with one foot on dry land (grounded) and one foot in the water (the realm of intuition, feeling). Some sources say the angel is the child of Hermes and Aphrodite and therefore both male and female, a hermaphrodite. A blend. The angel holds two cups from which water flows from the lower cup into the higher cup. Some sources say the angel is blending a stream of hot water with a stream of cold water. A path leads from the water to the horizon where a golden crown appears promising future reward. The card imparts a sense of having found balance, harmony and peace.

The Greek word Sophrosyne lends a deeper resonance to this card for me. Sophrosyne was one of the good spirits released into the world when Pandora opened her box. She was the spirit of temperance, self restraint and discretion. The concept of sophrosyne was very important to ancient Greeks but is difficult to translate into English. It reflects a wholeness, enlightenment obtained through excellence of character, a sound mind and a healthy body. Socrates believed that obtaining knowledge of oneself and living virtuously were far more important than material wealth and riches. Perhaps sophrosyne it can best be sumarised through two sayings from the Oracle of Delphi ‘Know Thyself’ and ‘Nothing In Excess’.

Sophrosyne - temperance - Tarot

Living within the limits of reason and nature through practical wisdom and self-knowledge is something that appeals to me very much. It implies a deep peace with where you’re at, allowing yourself to be imperfect, accepting your history and your place in the world and living virtuously. That is, living a life respectful of others, of the environment, and of yourself. In many ways I see a growing consciousness of sophrosyne throughout the world – for example environmentalism, the occupy movement, the growing acceptance of homosexual marriages in many countries, the growing popularity of meditation, increased interest in locally-grown and organic foods. Not to say that there aren’t still very deep and very real issues of discrimination and inequality in the world but Temperance is a good reminder of all the positive shifts that are occurring in the global consciousness.

When I think of my younger self, my patterns of behaviour, the way I reacted to challenging events, the way I treated people and how I act now I definitely feel much more connected with my true self than I ever have. I haven’t found a true happiness yet. But I can see myself moving through the world with more compassion, more calmly and with more ease. The fireworks of my youth are largely gone. The fire hasn’t been quenched. There’s still plenty of fire, but it’s definitely been tempered with more water and earth. I am more confident, more at home with myself and more giving to others. Definitely still working at it though. There are miles to go before I sleep.

How about you? How does Temperance show up in your life?

Which Tarot Card Are You?

Page of Swords

This is me

A while back I did some work around the court cards. I noticed a connection to a certain card. Namely, every time the King of Pentacles turned up I was reminded of my ex and this would bring up a big ole cesspit of negative feelings. It also meant that when reading for another person it was very hard for me to be neutral when the King of Pentacles turned up. Eventually I found an exercise that helped clear up all that shadow energy around the King of Pentacles for me. (More on that in a future blog post)

What has remained true for me though is that when the court cards turn up they usually indicate a particulate person in my life at that given moment. Over the last year The Page of Swords keeps coming up as a clear representation of myself.

The Page of Swords and Me

I’ve always seen this card as female. Perhaps it’s my deck (Rider Waite) that depicts the page in a more feminine manner. However other systems use princesses instead of pages and to me this gives the court cards a very balanced male and female energy.

Other descriptions of this card describe the turbulent wind and rugged terrain indicating inner struggles. For me this card doesn’t hold a tumultuous energy though. When I look at the Page of Swords I see a bright day, with vibrant blue sky and beautiful white clouds racing over the landscape. I am standing on a high hill in a very strong wind but I don’t feel afraid of the wind, I face it and am invigorated by it. Maybe I’ve just hiked up a huge mountain and in this moment the roaring wind is a connection to the power of nature.

I am holding the sword, which I see as ideas, information, knowledge and mental faculties. However, I am not grasping on too tightly. I am not rigid in attaching myself to a set way of thinking. I appreciate the opinions of others and am ready to learn more.

I often think of myself as a life-long student since I’ve changed careers more than once in my adult life and have eclectic tastes in my hobbies and interests. It’s this inquisitive and active mind that I see in the Page of Swords. And joy, I always feel a sense of joy in the card – in that moment when you’ve reached a goal (the top of the hill) and you just want to share it with others and revel in it.

The Page of Swords, however, isn’t as mature as the Queen of Swords. She is standing (on one leg even) not sitting solidly, like the Queen, on a throne. The Page of Swords can benefit from grounding influences and better organisational skills. She is a dreamer but can learn to make her dreams a reality by listening and learning from the wisdom of others, perhaps a gifted teacher or inspirational mentor.

She is also the inspiration for the name of this blog. Pages are often students. They are perhaps new to the subject but full of passion for the energy surrounding their particular suit.

How about you? Is there a particular card that you see yourself in? Or does it change depending on circumstance? Let me know in the comments below.


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