Tarot Readings

Blog member, Mike Hulse, gave a tarot reading for me some time back, and it was beyond illuminating. I felt like the cards picked were designed for me and no one else. What’s more, the reading gave me direction and guidance that I otherwise may have either not known or would have turned a blind eye to so I could walk the path of least resistance, sort of a “ostrich head in the sand” ploy that we humans often use despite the fact that it never works in our favor. Mike is particularly gifted in his readings since he has mediumship gifts. Here’s my reading:

12 Month Overview – Elisa Medhus

January

Judgement

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Key Words for the Judgment Tarot Card Meanings
* Faith
* Honesty
* Judgment
* Resurrection
* Transformation
* Heeding a Call

For many, the word “judgment” evokes some very unsavoury thoughts and images. It’s no wonder the term makes some people cringe. For eons this term has been associated with religious misunderstanding and intolerance. Wars are waged in the name of religion, and Judgement is the battlefield.

Ironically, the reason for a religious war can be skinned down to one man’s judgment against another man’s religion. Further pared, it could be said that one man has judged that the other man should have his religion, not another’s.

In the Christian faith, Judgment is associated with the “Judgment day.” That day, according to Biblical text, in which all souls will be called and each soul is measured and marked according to virtue and obedience to God.

Religion aside, Judgment plays a part in every life in every day. We make judgment calls about how to raise our children. We use good judgment about how we manage our finances. We need judgment to determine what career we want to have.

Now that we’ve covered the various types of Judgment, let’s take a hard look at the card. There is no evidence of fear in the card, and no conveyance of scolding or negativity. This is because the Judgment Tarot card meanings are not about judging against others. It has nothing to do with negative judgments made against our actions or against other people.

This card deals with honesty. Nancy Lopez, one of the most accomplished women of the professional golf scene, made a fine point when she said: “Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.” This is the prime message of the Judgment card.

When we put a negative spin on this card, it becomes confusing, confounding and seemingly irrelevant to a reading. However, when we understand that judgment is a natural, God-given gift that we can use in order answer our highest calling – it takes on an entirely new meaning.

The Judgment card comes up in a reading when it is time to heed our highest calling. When we are at a crossroads, and it is time to lift ourselves us and transform our lives. It comes at a pivotal time when we must be honest with ourselves, judge what best action should be taken and rise up to the challenges to embrace our best life.

This is an inspiring card. It indicates that higher energies are in motion to assist us in living a new, fresh, wonderful life. Just as the Christ was resurrected to a new phase of life, so too can we transform ourselves and move into a new way of living.

Other deck renditions show the angel Gabriel blowing his horn to call up the souls to their higher understanding. This is precisely the message this card bears. It is time to heed the call of resurrection. Now is the time to make a positive difference in our lives and in the lives of others.

Key Symbols Relative to Judgment Tarot Card Meanings:
This section focuses in on a few select symbols that can help us further define the Judgment Tarot card meanings.

Arms: The figures in this card are accepting higher knowledge with open arms. When we observe our lives with love and honesty, we are fully prepared to except a final judgment. We are willing to take this declaration and move to a higher level. By openly embracing the new-found knowledge of our life direction we are able to more effectively move into a new direction. Knowledge is power when we take it in with open arms, we become powerful ourselves.

Cross: The ancient Greeks created this symbol with all legs of equal length and size. One of the simplest symbols, and used since ancient times, it represents several things to different cultures. In ancient Greece it is an emblem of the four elements. In the ancient Middle East, the symbol represents the four directions (north, south, east, and west) and the four winds. Even the ancient Aztecs used this symbol to represent the meeting place of god (at the cross-section). The cross in this card indicates that an even-mind (sound judgment) is of foremost importance in our personal development.

Horn: The horn is the symbol of the angel Gabriel. It is an audible calling to us to rise out of our complacency and heed the call to live profound, invigorating lives. The horn is also a symbol of clarity and divine intervention. The horn sounds from God and our own higher selves. When we hear the horn blow it is time to make a better change in our lives. The horn is also a symbol of our inner calling. When we’ve been stuck in a situation that does not serve us we hear the horn of our inner voice urging us to move in a direction more fulfilling to our soul purpose.

Flag (in Rider-Waite): The flag is an announcement to change – something has shifted and a flag makes the world aware of this shift. It is a bright, bold obvious sign that a new day is dawning. This is not about subtle shifts – the flag is about “in-your-face” transformation; an event to announce to all who will hear. Click here for more on Flag Meanings in Tarot.

Key Questions Relative to the Judgment Tarot Card Meanings:
When contemplating the Judgment Tarot card meanings, ask yourself the following questions:

What is my highest calling?
Is it time for a transformation in my life
Am I judging others or myself too harshly?
How can I raise myself out of a gloomy situation?
Am I being honest about the way I’m living my life?
Am I listening to to my higher self and my higher power?
Am I making sound judgment in this a situation that’s been on my mind lately?

February

The Emperor

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Key Words for the Emperor Tarot Card Meanings
* Strategy
* Rulership
* Authority
* Masculinity
* Practicality

The father figure of the Tarot deck, the Emperor Tarot card meanings are all about advice, wisdom, authority, and grounding. Take a moment to observe the Emperor card. It becomes apparent that this is a character who has been there, done that, and has the battle armour to prove it. The Emperor has obtained his wisdom through experience. He’s been through the wars, he’s ruled his people wisely, and he’s experienced all life can throw at him. What better source for advice than a battle-tested, thoughtful, strategic ruler?

Look more closely at the card, and you will detect a scrutinous quality in his eyes. When you’ve seen everything the Emperor has seen, you would have cause to be a bit skeptical too. This contributes to the Emperor being the perfect authority figure. He is as wise as his years because caution has served as the better part of valour in his life. This makes him an excellent source of wisdom and advice. He does not become carried away by fad or fancy – he sees through the most clever of disguises and nothing slips by his scrutiny.

When we pull this card in a reading we get an instant “grounding effect.” In areas of business, we are encouraged to consider all the facts, revisit our strategic plans, reconsider our partnerships and re-evaluate our allegiances. When we are unsure of circumstances, the Emperor reminds us that sometimes “doing” is the only method we have for “knowing.” Another tip – the Emperor is a master of his own making, and when he shows up in a reading, we would do well to realize our own inner strength and motivation is what makes us a leader.

Key Symbols Relative to Emperor Tarot Card Meanings:
This section focuses in on a few select symbols that can help us further define the Emperor Tarot card meanings.

Beard: As mentioned earlier, the Emperor has “been there, done that” and the beard is a symbol of his experience. As an archetype, we commonly see masculine figures of authority or father figures with long white beards. It reassures us that this man has acquired years of wisdom and experience – he is worthy of listening to because he’s seen first hand the effects of his own actions. He offers us the gift of his own life example – a short-cut, because when we heed the advice of our elders we can often avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Ram: Featured prominently in most decks, the head of the ram is a symbol of determination, action, initiative, and leadership. The ram is also a symbol of Aries, which is the astral ruler of the Emperor. Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac, further reinforcing attributes of leadership, authority, and other forefather-type characteristics.

Staff: In this rendition, the cross is at the top of his staff. This is a symbol of balance, and each arm of the cross represents balance amongst the four directions, four winds, and/or the four elements. As a ruler, it is imperative to understand the interconnectedness of things, and to be able to balance the elements of nature appropriately. Other decks depict the Egyptian ankh upon the Emperor’s staff – this is a symbol of balance and life.

When contemplating the Emperor Tarot card meaning, ask yourself the following questions:

Am I leading by example?
What kind of ruler am I?
Am I being inflexible? Too practical?
Do I need some advice on this situation?
Upon what resources am I calling in order to be the best leader?
What’s my strategy to accomplish these goals and are they realistic?

March

Three of Wands

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Keywords for the Three of Wands Tarot Card Meaning:

* Time
* Calm
* Power
* Insight
* Solitary
* Journey
* Planning
* Foresight
* Adventure
* Advantage
* Confidence
* Progression
* Perspective
* Forecasting
* Contemplation

“Nothing happens until something moves.” This simple yet profound observation made by Einstein set the stage for Two of Wands in which a creative idea was born.

The Three of Wands represents the watcher of these creative ideas we’ve started in our lives. From high vantage points, and with unlimited stores of resources, knowledge and time we observe the unfolding of our creative desires.

The Three of Rods reminds us that we are infinite in our creative resources. We are in constant motion and the momentum of our manifestations is staggering. This card indicates our powerful nature, and suggests we allow our desires to tumble into our laps like ripe fruit: sweet and satisfying.

No action is needed here. Rather, the movement of which Einstein speaks is the acknowledgment that time (in all its phases) is on our side and our only action is to recognize our presence as the divine overseer of our experience.

We are ambassadors of our own dreams – the Three of Wands reminds us of our nobility in this respect, and indicates all we need do is allow the royal red carpet of our manifestations to unfurl itself right at our feet.

In a reading, this card says: “watch with awareness and with expectation of your highest good.”

A few symbol meanings for the Three of Wands:

Mountains: Seen on many of the cards, mountain symbol meanings deal with triumph, challenge, attainment, and realization. Mountains also represent timelessness and an endurance that is infinite. When those mountains peak out of the cards into our attention, we may consider the vastness of our universe, and contemplate our place within it. We may also want to consider the heights to which we are climbing, and what the realization of our goals may mean for us and those around us.

Ship: Yes, of course ship symbol meanings deal with travel and journey’s. However a commonly overlooked factor is the medium upon which they said – water – it deals with the deeper levels of the psyche and the subconscious. When Ships sail across your vision in a reading, take into consideration where your thoughts (psyche) are traveling – what kind of baggage (cargo) are you carrying around, and are you charting (navigating) out the best course for your thoughts and emotions?

Some questions the Three of Wands asks us:

What plans have I set in motion that I must now observe their fruition?
Am I observing myself and my dreams from the highest vantage point possible?
Am I allowing my natural power to flow, or am I struggling and forcing things needlessly?
Am I allowing my highest good to unfold on the journey?

April

King of Pentacles

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Some keywords from the King of Pentacles:
* True
* Rich
* Tried
* Stern
* Dark
* Strong
* Stable
* Virile
* Crafty
* Caring
* Patient
* Sexual
* Proven
* Fatherly
* Wealthy
* Protective
* Grounded
* Gregarious
* Persevering
* Overbearing
* Family man
* Enterprising
* Businessman

“I am the King of Pentacles and this is my legend.

My kingdom is at its peak of accomplishment. We live well, but it was not always the case. It took a great deal of planning, determination and hard work to get to our current state of satisfaction.

That is why I the successful and effective King of Pentacles. I believe in obtaining goals by persistence. I am methodical and gain progress one step at a time. Because of my sturdy, steadfast ways, everyone in my kingdom now enjoys a life of plenty.

This pragmatism is probably why I’m gifted in business and finance. I have a knack with money, and I tend to accumulate riches easily. As the King of Pentacles, all the other kings are often seeking me out for funding. Mine is the richest kingdom in the Tarot.

When I am not tending to matters of state, I bask in the glory of nature. I am a gentleman farmer (I don’t have to tend to my vineyards for profit, but I fuss over them anyway because I enjoy it), and am often found deep in thought while strolling the fields. I also enjoy hunting and fishing with my son (the Knight of Pentacles).

My son and I are very much alike in our ways. He is pragmatic as I am, and this is why we work well together for the common goal of insuring the bounty of our kingdom. My other child (the Page of Pentacles) do not have the same strength in our relationship. This child tends to be emotional, and I feel as though I am being watched when I am around my youngest. If I do not understand something, or someone, I tend to avoid them.

I adore my wife, and shower her with every treasure my kingdom can provide. I love to see her dressed to the hilt, and covered in refinery. I appreciate how she cares for me and our children. Even if I were not king, she makes me feel like one, and I love her dearly for this. She is a sensual woman, fertile and earthy; I find this to be enchanting. Further, she allows me to explore the realms of arousal; this is good because I have a healthy sexual appetite.

I enjoy stability, and have no problem with the responsibility of family and reign. As the King of Pentacles my obligations are infinite. But, I have broad shoulders, and can bear the weight.

I am usually slow to anger, but when I’m pushed to my limit I can be explosive. When I’ve reached this point, there is no return and it’s my way or the highway. I’ll eventually calm down, but not without significant brooding (usually by myself so I can methodically consider the situation).

Like my son the Knight, I am very protective of my family and kingdom. I have fortified our borders, and keep a close watch on potential threats on the horizon. Nothing is more important than the safety of my inner sanctum.

I can be stubborn, controlling and overbearing too. I tend to take on all the responsibility, and do not delegate tasks well (because I am quite sure no one can do things as well as I can). I recognize this tendency for me to be headstrong, and it takes persistence, over a long period of time for others to persuade me or change my mind.

My wife says I am strong as a bull, virile and handsome. I keep myself groomed, and I have good taste in clothing. This, probably more than anything else, is why she sees me as attractive. My complexion is dark as are my eyes and hair. My most outstanding traits is my big strong hands, my barrel chest, and I have a stone-block jaw.

When I show up in the cards, I will tell you to enjoy the finer things in life. I will also redirect your attention to matters of business and finance. I will remind you of your enterprising spirit. I will encourage you to make a water-proof plan for your success and urge you to follow that plan point-by-point until you reach victory.”

Some symbols in the King of Pentacles Tarot card:

Bull: The Bull is a symbol of power, royalty, stability, force and potency. When we see the bull amongst the cards in a reading we know we are dealing with some powerful forces. It is shown in the World & Wheel card because the bull (Taurus) is one of the fixed signs of the zodiac. The bull (and Taurus) in the King of Pentacles Tarot card also carries symbolic meanings of resistance to change, being stubborn and inflexible. Toro!

Castle: Castle symbol meanings deal with goals. Castles are physical representations of our need to build (block by block) upon a strong foundation in order to obtain our goals. Castles may also deal with sheltering ourselves or limiting ourselves from reaching our goals. They are also a symbol of obtaining our desires. See also the “tower” symbol meaning.

Flowers: As we would guess, flowers possess symbol meanings of joy, beauty, growth, sensitivity and unfolding. They are predominant features on the six of cups and four of rods, but they are seen sprinkled throughout many deck renditions (see also the Sunflower symbol meanings entry). Flowers are all about opening up and receiving the light of love, joy and compassion into our lives. In the King of Pentacles card, they remind us of the better things in life, the good times, and the sweet smell of success. They also ask us to see the beauty that surrounds us if only we open up to its presence.

Globes: Often depicted as the world, globes possess symbol meanings of totality – both cosmic and physical. When the globe catches our attention on a card, it is an indication that achievement is imminent; we have the whole world “at our fingertips.” It is also a symbol of comprehension, getting the idea – or grasping the “bigger picture.” The globe is also a geometric aspect of the circle which deals with infinity, completion, cycles, and again – totality.

Grapes/Grapevines: Symbol meanings of grapes and grapevines deal with fertility, abundance, transformation and blessing. Considered the fruit of the earth in both pagan and Christian circles, the grape is rich in symbolism. Bunches of grapes have long been depicted in funerary art and are symbols of redemption. Grapes and grapevines are also found in Greco-Roman art as symbols of hospitality, bounty and symbolic of youthfulness. All of these attributes come into play when we see these power-packed fruits in the cards.

Yellow: The colour yellow is symbolic of intelligence as well as cheer, satisfaction and all-around contentment. Corresponding with the Manipuri chakra, also known as the solar plexus chakra, yellow is an anchoring hue dealing with core issues in our lives. That which is at our emotional centre is worth paying attention to. In the nine of cups, yellow represents our emotional well-being as the King of Pentacles encourages.

Some questions the King of Pentacles asks us:
Are you ready to get serious about your business?
Take a look at my opulence and success. Dreaming about it didn’t make it happen. Get serious about your expectations and start doing the work.
Do you have a plan?
Sure and steady is the way. Map out a strategy for your success and stick to it.
How do you spell relief?
If you are like me, spending so much time on protecting my assets and procuring more, it’s easy to forget recreation. Take time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Indulge when appropriate.

May

Eight of Cups

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Some Keywords for the Eight of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:

* Phases
* Growth
* Maturity
* Progress
* Evolution
* Surrender
* Pilgrimage
* Completion

The ruling element of water no longer flows, and this is noteworthy in a symbolic sense. Indeed, we look into the card and see the water is becoming increasingly shallow, even drying up when meeting the goblets in the forefront of the scene.

Our figurehead recognizes the lessening of emotional flow, and begins to move away from what appears to be scarcity.

The figure is a pilgrim, seeking new heights of spiritual/emotional greatness. His cup once overflowed with understanding, but now it is time to evolve and progress further on his pilgrimage.

The phases of the moon in the eight of cups give a confirmation of the progress we make in phases of our lives. As we satisfy areas of our lives with timeless understandings required to be at peace – it’s time to move on to the next chapter, and fulfil our destiny to move onward in a natural evolution.

When we pull this card in a reading it is important to focus on the accomplishments we have made. This card indicates we’ve reached an achievement of sorts (symbolic of all eight cups proudly erect in their fullness) – it’s simply time to embark on another journey into fulfilment.

Furthermore, as we move into new adventures, we turn our psychic focus on the elegance of each step we take into ever higher atmospheres of awareness. When we take our spiritual eyes off the path (focusing on the future, or overly goal-oriented) we inevitably waiver.

This concept is emphasized by the rocks and mountains we see in the card. Challenges are certainly a potential in our pilgrimage, but with properly aligned focus, our path can be a fluid, organic pleasure.

Lastly, the concept of surrender is relevant in the eight of cups Tarot card meaning. Chances are if you are a Tarot practitioner, you’re usually evolving in your progress. However, the lure of comfortable places can be enticing.

This card reminds us to always be aware of our inner and outer landscapes – to not be too comfortable with our lot – when the signs come – accept the challenge to progress. As Einstein says: “Nothing happens until something moves.” That would be us moving up the rungs of enlightenment.

Some Symbol Meanings in the Eight of Cups:

Moon: The moon symbol meanings deal with cycles, time, psychic power, reflection, and emerging from one phase into another. Consider the power of the moon – able to influence oceans, and affect the realm of nature in strong subtle ways. Also a symbol of feminity, the moon is a sign of the softer, intuitive side of all of us. When the moon lights up on our readings, it is a prompting to consider our level of awareness. The moon asks us if we listening to our intuition and what are we allowing to influence our direction in life.

Mountains: Seen on many of the cards, mountain symbol meanings deal with triumph, challenge, attainment, and realization. Mountains also represent timelessness and an endurance that is infinite. When those mountains peak out of the cards into our attention, we may consider the vastness of our universe, and contemplate our place within it. We may also want to consider the heights to which we are climbing, and what the realization of our goals may mean for us and those around us.

Some Questions the Eight of Cups Asks Us:

Has my emotional well run dry? If so, what can I do about it?
Rather than focus on the pain of surrendering, what would happen if I focus on the pleasure of moving to a new (higher) direction?
Do I have the faith, focus and patience to gently allow my path to unfold before me?
Is this the right time to make a transition? Am I properly geared for the journey?
Can I move out of a desolation while I’m still clinging to the pain of the past?
Better yet, how can release the past to facilitate my growth?

June

Page of Swords

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Some keywords for the Page of Swords
* Flow
* Clear
* Genius
* Clarity
* Growth
* Ecology
* Pensive
* Cyclical
* Alacrity
* Insightful
* Dreaming
* Technology
* Biodiversity
* Discernment
* Improvement

“I am the Page of Swords and this is my story.

It’s not easy growing up in the kingdom of Swords, and I deal with the conflict by escaping into the fantasies of my own mind.

My parents tell me I am distracted and day-dreamy, that if I only applied myself I could accomplish so much more.

What they don’t realize is that in my day dreams I am re-building the entire universe. In my mind there are fantastic sky scrapers, communities of utopia and amazing accomplishments in technology.

My mind is not as “in the sky” as everybody thinks it is. On the contrary, like the other pages in the cards, my station is affiliated with the earth, so I can be very grounded when I have to be (usually when I am working, and when I need to meet a time limit).

As the Page of Swords, this gives me a great knack at discernment. I know the difference between fantasy and reality. Consequently, I have magnificent clarity. This aspect of me is often overlooked by others, which is a big mistake. I should be called upon when the natural flow and order of things needs to be identified in any project.

Because of my association with the earth, along with my sword affiliation with the air, I have a unique understanding of the cyclical nature of things. I am keen on concepts of rebirth, renewal and expansion by organic, naturally evolutionary modes.

In spite of the common perception that the Page of Swords is mostly wistful, my personality type tends to mature into an extremely effective innovator.

With age, I carry a meaningful message of regeneration. Meaning, I contribute greatly in fields of technology, renewable energy, and other cutting-edge ecological fields. I’m particularly intrigued by biology because it combines nature with science.

I am usually tall and gangly, and much to my chagrin I seem to get hung up in puberty for an interminable amount of time. You’ll know this by the apparent awkwardness in my own skin and an unfortunate tendency for acne. My hair colour ranges from blonde to reddish brown, and my eyes are blue as the skies I am always peering into.

When I pay you a visit in the cards, I am going to ask you to remember how you felt when you were my age. I present a mixture of nervous energy joined with calm assurance that everything will roll my way. I am the dreamer who can apply those dreams with uncanny alacrity and clear-minded intelligence.”

Some symbols in the Page of Swords:

Bird: The symbol meanings of the bird deals with higher thoughts and matters of the spirit. They are creatures of the air, so they symbolize higher ideals. They also represent freedom and ascension. When the bird symbol pops out at us during a reading it is a message that we are rising to a higher level that we need to free ourselves from bondage and we must make our hearts light.

Clouds: Clouds hold the symbol meaning of revelation. Consider out of the mists of our deepest thoughts suddenly an epiphany comes, a bright idea comes out from nowhere – this is the basic cloud symbol meaning. Depending on the card, clouds can also symbolize confusion or clouded judgment. Primarily, clouds represent higher thought and messages from the divine.

Earth: On some level, all threads of life are first woven with the fibre of Earth. This interconnectedness reminds us not only is the earth a stabilizing and a wholly physical symbol, it also represents a network. Earth is synonymous with belonging. She represents community and shared wisdom. Earth also embodies the concept of solid ground. We’ve released the limitations of the “small mind” and returned to the foundation our true nature.

Some Questions the Page of Swords asks us:
Renewable, Rebirthing, Regeneration. What do these words mean to you?
I provide a message that helps you re-consider your mentality on personal growth, as well as ecology and technological advancement.
Are you underestimating the power of fantasy?
Take my lead, and work with fantasy. Discernment and intellect can fuel your daydreams.
Are you in the flow?
Being in the flow requires a childlike trust and an ability to temper logic with imagination. This is my primary message for you.

July

Strength

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Key Words for the Strength Tarot Card Meanings
* Balance
* Strength
* Courage
* Patience
* Compassion
* Understanding

This is another Major Arcana card that doesn’t beat around the bush – it’s meaning is quite clear in both illustration and title. Looking at the card we see a great deal of strength – but what kind of strength? Is the young maiden exerting physical strength to subdue the lion? Her face looks serene, her posture is calm – she doesn’t appear to be struggling.

Yes, the Tarot card meaning here is that of strength – but not purely physical. The young maiden in white (a symbol of purity) subdues the lion through a strength that is internal. Through compassion, love, patience, and cunning, she is able to calm the lion into retreating into a behaviour that is more manageable.

As with all allegories, the story of this Strength card is more than what meets the eye. The deeper meaning deals with having the compassion and understanding to sooth the savage beast within us in more effective ways than brute strength.

Simply put, the lion is our inner beast – that part of ourselves that “needs to feed.” This beast is always needing more money, more recognition, or it needs more food, alcohol or drugs to feel at ease. The pure maiden represents that part of ourselves that has the ability to nurture, calm and exhibit self-love. Only she can allay the ravenous “need beast.”

When we pull the Strength card it is certainly a message that strength is required for some challenges ahead. It’s also a sign that we absolutely have the strength that is required of us. But on a subtle level, this card is a signal that we are already complete and self-love is the key to meeting our needs.

Key Symbols Relative to Strength Tarot Card Meanings:
This section focuses in on a few select symbols that can help us further define the Strength Tarot card meanings.

Lion: As mentioned above, the lion is a symbol for the primal urges – the physical needs and cravings we all, as humans want met. The lion is also a symbol of fire which burns within us – representing our wants and desires with an intense blaze. This is not to say that the lion all it represents is negative. On the contrary, many of us use our needs as motivators for achieving great things in our lives and reaching our goals. The key is to know thyself and temper our primal (ego) urges with our more divine, spiritual nature.

Mountains: Mountains symbolize aspiration, achievement, courage and accomplishment. In this case we can liken the mountain to challenges we face in our lives. As we look upon the Strength card and see the mountains in the distance we are aware that we will always be met with challenges in our lives. However, what makes climbing the mountain difficult or easy is the way we approach it.

Wreath: Wreaths symbolize completion and infinity (circle). A wreath or crown around the maiden’s head is a symbol of victory. In this case, the wreath indicates victory can be claimed in the battle against banal or primal urges that do not serve us. There is hope and understanding when we realize we can achieve harmony in our hearts, and balance can be won.

Key Questions:
When contemplating the Strength Tarot card meaning, ask yourself the following questions:

How do you define strength?
In what way do your physical urges motivate you?
How can you approach the “need to feed” syndrome?
How do you exhibit self-love and compassion towards yourself?
What are your internal battles and how can you reach a balance?
What area in your life requires you to have the most strength and what different kinds of strength can you apply here?

August

Nine of Wands

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Keywords standing tall in the nine of wands Tarot card meaning:
* Realism
* Veteran
* Heroism
* True grit
* Protection
* Patriotism
* Reliability
* Infallibility
* Commitment
* Virtuousness
* Determination
* Purpose driven
* Impenetrable forces
* Defending the cause

The nine of wands has a stoic, stern quality to it. The set jaw of our hero denotes a true grit lacking in the previous cards. The bandages indicate the wounds of hard knocks; the brow is beaten, but the hero is certainly far from defeated.

On the contrary, our figure is stalwart and determined in his last stand to defend his freedom of creative expression. The erect rods at his back symbolize his virtuous ideals have held strong and true. They may also symbolize his supporters who have stood behind him through the battles along the way. Further, those rods indicate an impenetrable force of standards and a level of integrity that will not allow corruption.

Still standing on higher ground, our hero also finds himself on a smooth, steady foundation. No emotional overreacting, and no question as to his objective. No more diverging thoughts, and no more short cuts. Our figure been down that road, and has no further need for the tang of disappointment that route offers.

Moreover, this card indicates power in solidarity (of thought and community). When we see the nine of wands in our readings we’ve committed to our cause and are prepared to honour it with remarkable courage. At this point, we’ve invested mammoth amounts of energy in our dreams and our self-development, there is no retreating now.

The flames of the wands (i.e., our burning desires) have been lit, flickered, faltered, extinguished and are now rekindled – blazing with more ferocity than ever before.

I particularly appreciate how our hero is facing east in the card. Ironically, eastward directions salute new beginnings as the dawn of a new day rises with the sun (in western symbology). The east is also and is associated with the grounded nature of the Taurus in astrological symbolism.

These references reinforce a renewed determination in wherewithal and wit. Also pay attention to the other cards in the spread. You will notice our nine of wands hero might be looking eastwardly to another card that may lend more meaning to the reading.

In the journey of wands, a cause was taken up with youthful verve. Winding to the end of our journey we have become a dauntless patriot, staunch in our firm believe that we shall surpass all odds to drive our cause to its conclusion.

Some stalwart symbols in the nine of wands Tarot card meaning:

Armour: Only in certain deck versions (like the Morgan-Greer shown in the centre of the card trio above), the symbolic meanings of armour deal with protection, preparation, and strength. Most Tarot deck renditions depict all the knights in full armour (knights typically represents action and strength). The armour indicates a need to protect ourselves when engaging in activities referenced in a reading.

Mountains/Cliffs: Seen on many of the cards, mountain symbol meanings deal with triumph, challenge, attainment, and realization. Mountains also represent timelessness and an endurance that is infinite. When those mountains peak out of the cards into our attention, we may consider the vastness of our universe, and contemplate our place within it. We may also want to consider the heights to which we are climbing, and what the realization of our goals may mean for us and those around us.

Persistent questions the nine of wands asks us:
Am I prepared to carry our task to its final conclusion?
Do I need to call for further reinforcements?
What have I learned from previous challenges that can serve me now?
Am I willing to stand firm in my beliefs?

September

Seven of Pentacles

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Some blooming keywords for the seven of pentacles Tarot card meaning:
* Focus
* Reward
* Allowing
* Reflection
* Flexibility
* Awareness
* Recognition
* Re-evaluation
* Contemplation
* Nurturing the dream

Continuing in the spirit of giving as seen in the preceding pentacles card, the seven of pentacles indicates we’ve followed through with our intentions. Now is a time of purveyance.

The magic of manifestation has taken root; our triumph grows with Amazonian fervour. It’s not really magic though. We know our toil and focus created the physical product – our lush, lavish rewards.

Indeed, the presence of the seven of pentacles in a reading typically comes after a time of back-breaking endeavour. We’ll often see confirmation of this in supporting cards, indicating health or financial ruin. That ruin inevitably caused our re-commitment to commanding our focus on shifting our inner landscape to create a mutually satisfying outer experience.

We did it. We hunkered down and now reap the harvest of the heart. This card indicates a time for reflection and appreciation. It’s time to recognize the triumph. Time to savour the accomplishments we’ve earned.

Moreover, the seven of pentacles urges us to re-evaluate our position. How so?

In Business:
Revisit our Mission Statement
Re-evaluate the use of our resources
Take a hard look at consumer opinions
In Finance:
Re-examine retirement, investment or savings plans
Take a second look at personal spending habits
In Health:
Reconsider our current diet
Check in with our bodies confirming optimal performance
Ask deeply and inwardly about current health status; observe responses
Just check in. This is what the seven of pentacles Tarot card meaning signifies. Tapping into the ground roots that anchored themselves according to our will. We may find, after tapping in that no changes need to be made. Contrarily, we may discover our objectives have changed (as often happens during growth). It may be time to adjust our vision.

Foremost, the seven of pentacles asks us to be easy with our observations. This is a time of savouring and enjoying the sweetness we’ve allowed into our lives. Looking over our bounty with a scrutinizing or criticizing eye is counterproductive. We can choose to be easy with the natural flow of our evolution. In this manner, if we detect a call for change, it can be implemented in a smooth, organic fashion.

Some symbols growing out of the seven of pentacles Tarot card meaning:

Grapes/Grapevines: Symbol meanings of grapes and grapevines deal with fertility, abundance, transformation and blessing. Considered the fruit of the earth in both pagan and Christian circles, the grape is rich in symbolism. Bunches of grapes have long been depicted in funerary art and are symbols of redemption. Grapes and grapevines are also found in Greco-Roman art as symbols of hospitality, bounty and symbolic of youthfulness. All of these attributes come into play when we see these power-packed fruits in the cards.

Hoe: Yes, this is a tool, and as such its symbolism deals with work, resourcefulness, accomplishment. But the hoe is also a message telling us we can make our way easier by using the resources (tools) that are available to us. The hoe is also connected to the old adage “what we sew so shall we reap.” When the hoe pops out at us in the seven of pentacles we might do well to consider what kind of sewing we are doing and how we are utilizing our resources (are we doing things the hard way, or should we recruit some help).

Mountains: Seen on many of the cards, mountain symbol meanings deal with triumph, challenge, attainment, and realization. Mountains also represent timelessness and an endurance that is infinite. When those mountains peak out of the cards into our attention, we may consider the vastness of our universe, and contemplate our place within it. We may also want to consider the heights to which we are climbing, and what the realization of our goals may mean for us and those around us.

Some questions sprouting from the seven of pentacles:
Can I truly self-appreciate, and recognize a job well done?
Is it time to rest up and prepare for my next challenge?
How do I feel about change?
Can I be honest with myself about my situation?
Can I allow myself a time of quiet reflection and approbation?
What do I think about the concept of “value” and “worth?”

October

Six of Swords

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Keywords Applicable to Six of Swords Tarot Card Meaning:

* Adrift
* Escape
* Motion
* Leading
* Guidance
* Transition
* Distancing
* Avoidance
* Reparation
* Being lead
* Navigation
* Compromise
* Temporary relief
* ‘Band-Aid’ action

I’d like to point out a few interesting symbolic titbits in the six of swords Tarot card meaning that are uniform in most deck renditions:

Note the Pattern of the Waters:
Do you see the choppy water illustrated on the forefront of the card (the starboard side of the boat)? Now notice the port side gives way to serene, tranquil waters.
What does this mean? Succinctly, it indicates we are moving away from troubled waters (hard times or emotional tribulations) to calmer seas (peace is on the horizon).

In seafaring language, the term starboard refers to the right side which is traditionally the steering side of the boat. Symbolically, those uneasy waves on the “action” side of this card may indicate rash action may have been taken and we’re taking further action to soothe the raging seas in our lives.

Port, the left side of the boat, was originally the side seamen loaded cargo into the boat. We could take this as an intuitive signal that as we seek (move into) more tranquil states of emotion, we shall be “loaded” with the precious cargo of peace.

Look What the Swords are doing in this Card:
To my intuitive eyes, those six swords are acting as plugs. When this card comes up in a reading, it often indicates there are holes in our boat (holes in our stories, those we tell ourselves and others, or holes in our theories, etc.).
Recall, logic is represented by the suit of swords. Plugging up leaky (self-deluding) stories with logic is a common theme in this card. This is what I mean by “Band-Aid action.” Stuffing ineffective solutions into a problem is a temporary fix. Further, running away, as the six of swords Tarot card meaning suggests, may give us some relief but isn’t always the most fitting answer.

I frequently bring attention to the directions of the figures in the cards. When we see backs turned in the card, it’s often a sign of turning away from past events. In this case, we’re moving away from the past, moving into the future with the hope and promise of being “loaded up” with the peace we seek.

I’m not painting a grim interpretation of the six of swords Tarot card meaning. On the contrary, any action to move away from pain is always a step (or oar-stroke) in the right direction.

This card simply asks the questioner to:

Know the implications of his/her actions – there is a ripple effect.
Know he/she is not alone; there are other lives in the boat to consider
Know bandages serve a good purpose; they are not permanent solutions

Some Focal Symbols Relating to Six of Swords Tarot Card Meaning:

Boat: Boats are a sign there are some pressing thoughts rumbling within the subconscious. These thoughts will have a tendency to put us in motion, and this is another symbolic trait of the boat. Boats deal with deeper thoughts and the motion (to action) these thoughts produce. In a reading boats may also indicate travel, or movement in a different direction (usually after much thought and deliberation).

Ship: Yes, of course ship symbol meanings deal with travel and journey’s. However a commonly overlooked factor is the medium upon which they said – water – it deals with the deeper levels of the psyche and the subconscious. When Ships sail across your vision in a reading, take into consideration where your thoughts (psyche) are traveling – what kind of baggage (cargo) are you carrying around, and are you charting (navigating) out the best course for your thoughts and emotions?

Children: Children represent promise, hope, fresh starts, new beginnings, new ideas, and a fresh way at looking at the world. Children are full of promise for the future and as such they are a symbol of this promise. When they show up on the cards in a reading it could mean the beginning of a new venture, the promise of a new beginning, or it could literally mean children are on their way (new births/adoptions).

Some Questions the Six of Swords Asks Us:

Am I running away from my problems?
What are some healthy strategies I can take to deal with turmoil?
Am I applying temporary solutions to problems?
When I pay attention to my thoughts, which ones do I most avoid? Why?
Who else should I consider in the choices and actions I take?
Can I accept that sometimes the best solution is to remove myself from the situation?
Is there shame in leaving? Why does there have to be?

November

Four of Wands

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Some keywords erected from the four of wands Tarot card meaning:
* Growth
* Vitality
* Fertility
* Gateway
* Unifying
* Claiming
* Initiation
* Invitation
* Enhancing
* Invocation
* Preparation
* Establishing
* Youthfulness
* Homecoming

When I see those four stoic, inviting poles in the forefront of the four of wands, my mind can’t resist the idea of celebrations held at the May pole.

Indeed, Beltane is one of the four major fire festivals of Gaelic origin in which raucous fun and frolic are encouraged and much of it is done around maypoles fashioned around bonfires.

We get the sense of this kind of climbing up, or climaxing to a big event, especially in the Waite rendition (far right card in the trio above). And, as Beltane is a fire festival, it would play nicely to our fire-themed suit of rods.

Further, this particular festival traditionally marked the first day of summer. With that delineation, there is focus on new growth, rites of fertility, and renewed blessings within the homestead. Keep aware of this reference to the season in your readings, as this cue may define a timeframe in your readings (i.e., auspicious dates for new projects, weddings, partnerships, home purchases, etc.).

I also like the idea of those poles “staking our claim” on the richness that is inherent within, and available to all. The energy of number four suggests claiming our foundational heritage and solidifying our personal proclamations in the matter of house and home.

The idea of homecoming holds true when we remember the messages in the preceding card (three of rods). This spoke of being the ambassadors of our dreams. In that phase of our lives we watched patiently after the launch of the ideas we let set sail. Now, in the setting of the four of wands, it seems our send-off is returning with promising results!

The four of wands Tarot card meaning also deals with openings and gateways. We can step right through the makeshift bower, and in so doing we step into the party, move into the mix, and embrace the virile power the ‘summer season’ of our life.

For those of you who are consistently lured by numbers, I invite you to contemplate the visual presence and ramifications of the number 1, 2 (think of the wands in this card as Roman numerals) and of course the number 4 in the card.

One: Beginnings
Two: An act of joining together; procreation
Four: Stabilizing and solidifying the creative process
Semi-tangentially, I see 11’s in this card which always prompt me to shift and move into a new gateway of the mind. I’ve written some ideas about this my blog post on 11 here.

To re-focus on the four of wands Tarot card meaning, when this card shows up in our readings, it’s time to:

Invoke blessings within the home
Stake our claims
Light our creative fires
Let the party begin!

Some symbols poking out of the four of wands Tarot card:

Arch: Arches are symbolic of openings, passage-ways, and initiations. In a reading, the arch is a symbol of a new direction for the querent. This new opening or path is indicated by the card.

Castle: Castle symbol meanings deal with goals. Castles are physical representations of our need to build (block by block) upon a strong foundation in order to obtain our goals. Castles may also deal with sheltering ourselves or limiting ourselves from reaching our goals. They are also a symbol of obtaining our desires.

Flowers: As we would guess, flowers possess symbol meanings of joy, beauty, growth, sensitivity and unfolding. They are predominant features on the six of cups and four of rods, but they are seen sprinkled throughout many deck renditions (see also the Sunflower symbol meanings entry). Flowers are all about opening up and receiving the light of love, joy and compassion into our lives. They remind us of the better things in life, the good times, the sweet smell of success, and the beauty that surrounds us if only we open up to its presence.

Grapes/Grapevines: Symbol meanings of grapes and grapevines deal with fertility, abundance, transformation and blessing. Considered the fruit of the earth in both pagan and Christian circles, the grape is rich in symbolism. Bunches of grapes have long been depicted in funerary art and are symbols of redemption. Grapes and grapevines are also found in Greco-Roman art as symbols of hospitality, bounty and symbolic of youthfulness. All of these attributes come into play when we see these power-packed fruits in the cards.

Yellow: The colour yellow is symbolic of intelligence as well as cheer, satisfaction and all-around contentment. Corresponding with the Manipuri chakra, also known as the solar plexus chakra, yellow is an anchoring hue dealing with core issues in our lives. That which is at our emotional centre is worth paying attention to. In the four of wands, yellow represents our emotional well-being in the high-bright summer days of our lives.

Questions offering a gateway to deeper understanding of the four of wands Tarot card meaning:
Is the timing right to implement those ideas relating to family, partnership and home?
What, if any, structure should I impose in my home life?
Am I taking advantage of the opportunities and openings available right in front of me?
What am I trying to conceive?
How can I step through the door of consciousness to enter the home of wisdom?

December

The Hierophant

Briefly:

Full Meaning: Key Words for the Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings
* Law
* Holy
* Respect
* Ceremony
* Knowledge
* Tradition
* Conformity

The Hierophant can be a tricky card to interpret as there are many different layers of meanings being presented at once. Foremost, the Hierophant (link to the definition of hierophant) is a vehicle for religious knowledge. Historically, the Hierophant has spent his entire life (chosen as a child for religious purpose) studying the texts of many or a chosen branch of organized religion.

Although he is a keeper of religious knowledge, he differs from the High Priestess. Where she is the holder of esoteric knowledge for the sake of holding – the Hierophant is the keeper of religious content for the sake of presentation. The Hierophant has an enormous responsibility because he stands as a religious icon to the people. Just as a priest or the Pope is the image of his religion, so too is the Hierophant.

The Hierophant is certainly a master of esoteric wisdom – incredibly well-versed and educated in the ways of spirit. However, he is bound by tradition, ceremony, and committed to presenting himself in a manner that is suitable to the ideals of the people to which he preaches. The Hierophant is the leader of religious order – he guides the masses in instruction and serves as a liaison between man and God.

As such, he wields great power and is ever in-check not to abuse this power. He is consistently conscious of his responsibility to the people, and his mission to present the word of God in an honest, true, accurate manner to the people. He knows he must not mislead the people, for to do so would mislead himself, and all he has learned of God.

When we pull the Hierophant Tarot card, our attention is focused on our convictions. The occurrence of this card is a message for us to examine our belief systems, how we operate with these beliefs, and how they affect our lives.

Key Symbols Relative to Hierophant Tarot Card Meanings:
This section focuses in on a few select symbols that can help us further define the Hierophant Tarot card meanings.

Hand: The Hierophant’s right hand held up in such a manner is a sign of benediction. This position (mudra) symbolizes a blessing of love and spiritual well-being. His position is also pointing heavenwards, which reinforces the spiritual blessing. As the people come to the Hierophant, this hand blessing is sought out by them – it is an assuring motion and grants the people assurance that all of their spiritual needs are met.

Keys: What do keys do? They unlock doors. The keys of the Hierophant card symbolize the keys to spiritual knowledge, and wisdom. The ancient Greeks depicted keys as a symbols for knowledge and life. This specific card symbol: A gold & silver key crossed is a papal emblem of authority and translates to mean the “keys to the kingdom of heaven.” As such, the Hierophant is seen to be an authority, and the holder of the kingdom keys – again, an intermediary figure or translator between God and man.

Staff: This is the symbol of the triple cross and is one of the symbols used in the office of the Pope, who is the global head of the Roman Catholic Church. Each mark is symbolic level of devotion – meaning: 1) the Father, 2) the Son, 3) the Holy Ghost. This staff is another sign of the Hierophant’s authority and his supreme status. This symbol reinforces the Hierophant’s responsibility of the spiritual well-being of the people. The staff, (as well as the keys, and the hand blessing) are all external signs that the Hierophant is more than qualified to extoll spiritual advice and leadership to the people.

Key Questions Relative to this Tarot card meanings:
When contemplating the Hierophant Tarot card meanings, ask yourself the following questions:

Is my religion serving me?
Am I called to do religious work?
Am I an effective spiritual leader?
Are my beliefs helping or hindering me?
What are my views on organized religion?
Do I have the conviction to back my faith?
Do I need approval for my spiritual beliefs?
When was the last time I examined my belief system?
Am I disciplined and committed to spiritual development?
What is my responsibility in religious/spiritual growth?
Who do I look up to or who is my mentor in spiritual matters
Do people look to me for spiritual advice, and am I properly meeting their needs?

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Elisa Medhus


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Channeling Erik®