Kim's Tarot Blog

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The Six of Pentacles is not one of my favorite cards. Whenever I draw this card, whether reversed or upright, I know I’m facing a difficult day! Finances are out of whack, and I spend much of the time trying to make ends meet. I’m trying to strike a balance in my life, which always seems precariously out of reach. It is very frustrating!

So, in an effort to see what message the Six of Pentacles holds for me, I’m going to do a Celtic Cross spread with the Fenestra Tarot. My query: “What do I need to know about the Six of Pentacles energy in my life?” I’m going to use the Six of Pentacles as the Significator card, something I rarely use.

Six Of Pentacles Energy Cross

1. You: The High Priestess II – I have been letting life happen to me, completely open and passive towards everything that has happened. Not being an active force, commanding the situation or making positive changes. Just simply reflecting and accepting what happens without doing anything about it.

2. Crossing: Six of Cups – I have been acting as a child, not fully responsible for my actions and reactions to life. Depending on my parents and outside help. Not standing on my own two feet, and instead wishing that I had an escape to a life of ease and unrestrained freedom. Still seeing myself as a dependent child, instead of a confident adult.

3. Foundation: Nine of Swords Rx – I have experienced many worry-filled nights, since I was a child, as my parents’ finances were never terribly stable. Mom was an expert at stretching bills and getting things covered by the skin of her teeth. I am not as adept at this, and am struggling much more than they did. This shadow of experiential knowledge has not served me well, and I would do better by learning a new way to manage my finances. I also harbor an internal shame, at the fact that I do not come from a wealthier start, and I always struggle to make things better. Yet my internal blocks keep pulling me back from following through on my noble efforts. Yet the fear of losing it all is very real, and my bills will not go away by ignoring them!

4. Past: Knight of Wands – I have pursued different avenues of breaking out of my current situation, with all the initial enthusiasm of the Knight of Wands. Yet the first sign of opposition, and I fall to pieces. Being blocked does not inspire me to push on, rather I give up and try another avenue. All of these false starts add up to a very dissatisfying situation, with a lot of wasted resources.

5. Present: Seven of Cups – The sheer amount of options available to me are overwhelming. A new or additional job, a new place to live, selling off old items I no longer need, or simply waiting for things to change. Making a budget, tracking my expenses, or playing it by ear. That’s seven right there, and I’m sure I could come up with more! Not knowing the best path drives me crazy, and yet without choosing one, I surely will not succeed.

6. Future: The Moon XVIII Rx – I am not facing the realities of my situation. If that continues, I will lose sight of my intuition, and the truth about everything. I will continue to create busywork and false starts, and become closed off from what I know is right. Ignoring the dark instead of embracing it will only lead to more chaos and confusion.

7. Self: The Fool 0 – It feels like I keep jumping off of cliffs, one after another, and I’m getting nowhere! The fool here is more reckless and wild, jumping for the sheer thrill of a new avenue, and not accomplishing much. More false starts, without tying up the loose ends of previous endeavors. I am starting over again, and need to follow through with my good intentions.

8. Environment: The Tower XVI Rx – A very oppressive environment, where things are shook up yet without a release in sight. While impossible to ignore, I’m trying to shelter myself from the chaos, and not meeting with much success. I’m still holding on, just barely, and not embracing the change.

9. Hopes and Fears: Two of Swords – One part of me wants to keep the balance in check, and maintain what I already have. Not losing any bit of it, no matter how unfulfilling it is. The other part is afraid of what would happen if I did let go, and try to find a new situation entirely. The stalemate is unfulfilling, yet it is all I know. Escape from my comfort zone is both exhilarating and terrifying.

10. Outcome: Ten of Wands Rx – The sheer weight of the burdens I carry will be released soon. One way or the other, something is going to give. It is up to me whether I maintain the status quo, or break out into a new life, with more fulfillment, stability, and joy. The burden is heavy, but it is one that I carry willingly, with great love for my family. Every action I take is for the betterment of my household, and whether that means carrying the wands further, or seeking a new path, I will do what it takes to survive.

Now this is an interesting spread, considering not a single Pentacle popped up to meet the Six of Pentacles energy. This means that, while my problems appear in the material world, their roots are deep within me instead.

The High Priestess is the difference between the card upright and reversed, at least in my life. Upright, I passively accept the situation, while reversed, I take a more active approach like the Knight of Wands, scrambling to set things right. The Six of Cups is a very appropriate card, although it doesn’t appear so at first glance. Until I make up my mind to be a responsible adult and stop looking to the past for answers (Nine of Swords Rx), I won’t find the proper balance within the Six of Pentacles. The Moon shows that I must make up my mind (Seven of Cups) to deliberately seek out and trust my intuition, or else I will lose that ability, and things will fall apart. The Tower reversed almost feels like a bubbling volcano, getting ready to let loose its fury. The stuckness of the Six of Pentacles cannot last forever, and it is up to me to know when to leap (The Fool) and when to stay put (Two of Swords). The choice is mine, but I have no choice but to choose, as it will not be long before I collapse from the weight of my burdens (Ten of Wands Rx).

I find that doing tarot readings on complex cards, or on cards that are appearing very frequently in my life, can unlock new layers of meaning. Have you found any unexpected insights from taking a card and making it the focus of a new spread?

~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


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