Kim's Tarot Blog

Archive for the ‘Tarot Card Descriptions’ Category

On Barbara Moore’s Llewellyn Tarot Blog, she explores the Aces and their role in abundance. We would all enjoy a life of abundance, and more than any other cards the Aces hold the seed of potential abundance and room for growth. However, I personally see the Empress and the Queens as those cards who truly possess a bountiful life! These women have seen it all, and learned the best way to live their lives with the gifts they have.

The Empress III lives life fully and unabashedly. She enjoys every aspect of life, exploring her world with sensuality and grace. She approaches everything she does with an open heart, ready to experience the good and the bad with equal acceptance. In many decks she is visibly pregnant, and yet she remains caring and calm. Morning sickness? The pain of childbirth? She spends no time worrying about these potentialities. She understands that life has both pleasure and pain, and faces them both with faith in the process. She lives with true abundance, present in the moment, and never dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. What an exciting life!

The Queen of Wands holds the abundance of the supercharged Wands energy in her hands. She has charged through life, pursuing each goal for the sheer pleasure of the chase. She’s the career businesswoman, who is renewed after signing a difficult client. She’s the olympic athlete who runs each race and thrills at the adrenaline rushing through her body. Sometimes, she can even be the sexually empowered woman, who is unafraid to tell you exactly what she wants and will do nearly anything to get it. She enjoys life energy coursing through her, and shares her bubbly and excitable nature with all she meets. She is the most obviously and energetically abundant Queen out of any of the suits!

The Queen of Swords possesses the abundance of thoughts, wisdom, and logic. She may appear lost in thought at times, but she is simply reviewing what life’s lessons have taught her, and deciding on the truest course. She knows what she wants for her life, and plans out step-by-step how she wants to get it. She does not let the “worrying mind” take control, rather she has learned how to channel her thoughts into a useful tool. The rush of new ideas excites her, and she can often be found reading new treatises on classic arguments, or even starting a debate for the sheer thrill of idea exchange.¬† Her abundance of thoughts makes her an eager student and an excellent teacher, and she is an invaluable counselor when too many options weigh heavily on your mind.

The Queen of Cups is the emotionally abundant woman, who knows her heart and intuitivelly chooses the right course of action, no matter how odd it may appear to others. She trusts the process of her emotions, even if it means crying for an hour or screaming at the top of her lungs. Her emotional abundances manifests itself in her creativity. She excels when painting, writing poetry, or performing, because her emotions can shine through without being censored. What would take her hours to convey by talking it out can be expressed after a moment of looking at one of her creations. Her intuition leads her through life, cutting away at social customs. She is the heroine of many novels, who lets her heart lead her to happiness.

The Queen of Pentacles is perhaps the most abundant of the Queens, if also the most quiet and settled within her abundance. Her home is within nature, and she accepts the abundance of her life with a deep inner peace. She holds her pentacle with a loving  caress, and cares for her children and her creative projects with the same tenderness. She has the world at her disposal, and there is nothing that cannot be accomplished by her creative hands. She is well grounded, and takes care of herself as well as she does her family. She is most comfortable in the world, and perhaps has some hedonistic tendencies. She enjoys a good glass of wine, a well-prepared meal, and a soft, cozy bed. In fact, she embodies what most of us picture when we think of abundance!

Do you agree, disagree? What cards do you think of when you think of a life of abundance?

~Kim

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The Hierophant V - Spirtual Guide

The High Priest, the Shaman, the Judge, the Medicine Man — these are some of the names that the Hierophant V has taken in the course of human history. As the spiritual leader of society, he was sought out frequently by his community to solve all manner of problems, from civil disputes to relationship issues. At the core of his decision making was the true spiritual way, what was the right course of action from a divine standpoint. This spiritual knowledge was said to be bestowed by God himself, and often had to be acquired or renewed by performing unique rituals. This communion was often considered dangerous, and only fit for the most revered members of the priesthood, definitely not for the population at large. As has been said before, the Hierophants in society were the link between the common folk and the divine, and they did all the hard work so the people would not have to. Tarot readers also serve in this capacity, by guiding others along their spiritual path.

The Hierophant is the flip side of the coin to the High Priestess II. While she is the keeper of arcane secrets, he is the one that doles out the message. What good is it to acquire all knowledge, without sharing it? While she guards the way to the unconscious land of the Moon XVIII, the Hierophant preaches the wisdom to be gained there. In the real world, these divine messages may become corrupted in translation, as it is nigh impossible to describe spiritual truths in a way that inexperienced people can comprehend. How do you describe music to a deaf person, or mathematics to a flea? Without traversing the watery depths of the Moon, you are only receiving secondhand knowledge from the Hierophant, and clumsily attempting to live according to his message. You are following the form without the experiential knowledge to back it up. At his best, the Hierophant spreads his message to give a glimpse of what can be achieved, to encourage you to follow your own spiritual journey.

The Hierophant is also connected to the Devil XV. You cannot have light without darkness, and the Devil’s temptations and base impulses naturally tug at the Hierophant’s holy ways. While the Hierophant shows you the best paths through your life, the Devil shows you the dark avenues and shadowy shortcuts. While everyone struggles with the Devil’s “sins”, they do so because they have already been indoctrinated with the Hierophant’s truths. You cannot resist temptation without already knowing the difference between right and wrong, and the Hierophant serves as a baseline from which to weigh your options and do what you know is right. When you do succumb to the Devil, your guilt stems from the Hierophant’s influence as well. Only by bringing these two cards into the proper balance can you learn to find your own truths, and not rely on that given to you by others. That is why the Devil is so close to the Star, Moon, and Sun cards, because we cannot find our own way until we face temptation squarely, shatter our stability and illusions in the Tower, and explore the truth for ourselves.

In the Minor Arcana, we see the Hierophant’s influence in each of the fives. In the Five of Cups, the figure is in deep despair, as he has suffered some great loss. Over half of his cups are toppled over, and he can do nothing more than mourn his loss. At this point in life, a spiritual counselor is often sought out, so we may regroup and figure out what our next course of action is. The Hierophant serves this role with divine compassion, reminding us of the circular progression of life, and that “this too shall pass.” He reminds us that there is a loving force in the universe, and we are not forgotten, despite the intense brutality of this world.

The Five of Pentacles portrays a less pleasant view of the Hierophant’s influence. The figures here are sick and infirm, walking past a church that offers them no hope. Whether they have turned away from the Hierophant, or he has turned from them, it is not clear. Either way, divine light is minimized to a glimmer through a stained glass window, and the people are on their own. As religious truth is in constant danger of falling into formalized rituals without meaning, so are we in danger of tossing out any spiritual truth that does not fall within our preconceived expectations of what the truth is. Remember that truth can come just as easily from a begging Tibetan monk as it can from a High Priest in all his formal regalia. Also, a pairing of these cards appeared in a reading as a codependent relationship. One partner held all of the power (as the Hierophant), and the other depended on him for everything (as the Five of Pentacles). This suggests that the relationship between these cards is highly strained, whether it is through too much distance or too much reliance on each other.

The Five of Wands is the card of competition and struggle, and the Hierophant’s role is less obvious, yet still visible here. The five men are all fighting for the same prize, whether it be land, title, or role. None of them have any visible advantage, and they seem to be enjoying the fight. This suggests sports competitions, where all the players know the rules of the game, yet still struggle to win within the limitations, while remaining good and just people. The Hierophant here is the rule-keeper, the referee. He instills all the information needed to play the game of life fairly, and it is up to us to play by the rules and earn our way to the top. This also suggests job interviews, where a group of people follow the guidelines and strive to succeed without hurting their competitors in the process. The Hierophant allows us to be good people, while going after what we want.

The Five of Swords breaks out into full blown warfare, with winners, losers, and neutral observers. Even in warfare there are established rules of war that are agreed upon and cannot be broken, reinforcing the Hierophant’s fair play and established order amidst chaos. However, it introduces another aspect: the holy war. What is worth fighting for, and what is better to walk away from? Are you the crusading attacker, going after what is rightfully yours, or the wise peacemaker who retreats to fight another day? Or do you simply lay down your sword and find a new battle, one with players who respect the rules and refuse to fight over petty, meaningless issues? The Hierophant gives you a belief system that can support you well, and sets a standard of what is worthwhile in your life. It is his influence that prods the Good Samaritan to help the downtrodden, rather than ignoring their plight and keeping to his own affairs.

Personally, I have drawn the Hierophant frequently when considering my own path in this life. I am to be a spiritual guide to others, illuminating the path with the tarot cards. Have any of you had the Hierophant appear in this capacity? What other insights have you had when dealing with this card?

-Kim