Earth; Flesh; Time; Money; Reality; Situations; Relationships
ace of pentacles
The Ace of Pentacles in the infinite potential of all tangible matters, & all non-tangible things that matter. The pentacle is given from the right hand, which indicates action; this is a reminder that life isn't about what happens to you, but what you choose to do as a result.
two of pentacles
This is Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune) in Capricorn (the Devil). If we think of the Wheel of Fortune as the hands of fate & the Devil as our own stagnant relationship patterns due to an inability to forgive each other's sins, we see this card is about being confronted with relationships where we feel a subconscious need to be either victim or villian, hero or damsel, bad or good guy, etc.
If we take the picture literally, we see that the proximity of our relation "ships" are in direct proportion to our knees (needs). In other words, the people closest to us are the ones who we need the most, & make us feel the most needed. Unfortunately, these relationships impair our own ability to stand firmly on our own two feet. We become co-dependent on the relationship for balance.
Real life application: Your parents divorced just after you were born. You grew up watching your mom struggle financially, versus seeing your mom struggle alone financially. Subconsciously you decide you'll never let a man control you, even if you have to be broke. You meet a man with deepset abandonment issues; he hates to be away from you to the extent that it becomes difficult for him to keep a job; which you don't mind at first, because if you have all the money, you can control him instead of vice versa. But soon you get tired of paying for everything. You want to leave him. His abandonment wounds are triggered & in a fit of passion, he gets you on pregnant on purpose so you won't leave. In the end, you are just as controlled & manipulated as your stepmother & just as broke as your mother.
three of pentacles
This is Mars (the Tower) in Capricorn (the Devil). Again, Mars is raw power & the Devil is stagnant relationships. Therefore we understand this card is about people who think they can will shit that don't work, to woorrrrk. A tweak here, a compromise there, should fine. Except anything stagnant is dead, period. You cannot negotiate life from death. Life requires growth, not obedience. This card is about commanding a dead thing to live. But no matter how many times we set our requirements "in stone," the plan is bound to fail because it is built from self interest rather than spiritual understanding.
Real life application: A couple has been together a long time amassing wealth, respect & notoriety. As the years progress, they both stray but keep a united front because as a unit, they have too much to lose by separating, They go to therapy & come up with new relationship "rules," that protects both their interests. Except someone always breaks the rules. Although they are still admired from the outside, there is no trust or respect between them, After awhile, they can only stand to be in each other's presence when its necessary to front for other people.
four of pentacles
This is the Sun in Capricorn (the Devil). If we think of the Sun as clarity & Capricorn as the debts we refuse to forgive our debtors, then we see the four of pentacles is someone refusing to let go of a grudge. Both the people in the relationship, & thus the relationship as a whole is unable to grow up & evolve organically. Instead this person stunts their own growth by being controlling & planning ways to make the other person pay. The presence of the Sun indicates clarity; this person knows exactly what they are doing. Since the relationship failed to make one or both parties happy, they will settle for making each other miserable.
Real life application: A man cheats in his wife. Instead of telling her, he asks for an open relationship. He figures if they both have an outlet to be with other people it will ease his guilt. After some soul searching, research & several conversations, she agrees. A few months into it, the wife falls in love with a new man. The husband doesn't meet anyone interesting & things fizzled out with his original mistress. Suddenly he is the odd man out. He begins to resent his wife's happiness. He knows their relationship has been changed forever. In a fit of jealousy, he tells her to either dump the dude or get divorced. She breaks up with her new bf but her heart is broken. The husband doesn't care; he's glad to be center of attention again.
five of pentacles
This is Mercury (the Magician) in Taurus (the Hierophant). If we think of the Magician as a person's ability to shapeshift reality through deed, word, emotion or situation- & the Hierophant represents personal law & integrity- then the five of pentacles is someone altering their personal law, or abandoning their own principles. This is usually inspired by someone who appears to be helpless, & the person violating their principles believes they would be "wrong" not to, if it means helping someone in need.
Real life application: A woman breaks up with her boyfriend after a year because she has observed he has a poor work ethic & can't keep a steady job. She promised herself she would never let a man take advantage of her financially. In response, he works to get her back. He tells her he has seen the light & promises to try harder. He also tells her its hard for him to focus on looking for work because he misses her so much. Its distracting. If only they could reunite, they could be a team the way God wants. She agrees to try again. He asks if he can use her new computer to look for a job while she's at work. Soon he's at her house all day & her electric bill is higher, but months pass & he has no job. But every day he thanks her for believing in him & supporting him; she feels guilty for admitting her frustration & doubts herself for doubting him. And on top of that, she is taking care of a man financially.
six of pentacles
This is the Moon (High Priestess) in Taurus (the Hierophant). This represents cycles of following your moral code, because that is what's "right," even though your moral code has been altered by the Magician. You are bound by your own rules to continue a cycle of giving that counters your own best interest, that is directly opposed to what you secretly desire & privately deserve. You give endlessly to a dynamic you created just because you created it. Your intuition begs you to stop but you continue sewing the seeds of your own destruction.
Real life application: A man marries his pregnant girlfriend, only to discover when the child turns 1 that he is not the father. The child was unknowingly conceived during a short break up before the couple's reconciliation. The couple is devastated; they go to counseling to recover. Eventually they decide to try for another baby, to heal what has been broken. However, secretly the husband is deeply hurt & cannot forgive or trust his wife. His heart just isn't in it anymore. He knows having another baby with her isn't the right decision.
seven of pentacles
This is Saturn (the World) in Taurus (the Hierophant). If we see Saturn as security, structure, authority & responsibility & the Hierophant as morality & personal law, then we understand this card is about recognizing that you invested in an external structure that now has authority over your inner laws, i.e. giving your power away. This person leans on a hoe, demonstrating the fact that they have already spent time & effort trying to grow this thing, yet all he has to show for it is the one pentacle beneath his feet, presumably the pentacle he started with. After all that he has invested, he can only walk away with what he came with: himself.
Real life application: A poet with significant talent gets a job teaching high school. She thinks this is perfect because she'll have summers off to write. Except during the school year, she spends all extra money on supplies for her students because the school is severely underfunded. She winds up teaching summer school for extra cash instead of writing & pouring all her energy into her students. After 20 years the school is shut down unexpectedly. She & all her colleagues are looking for work but the market is saturated & jobs are scarce. After so much time, money & sacrifice, she's back where she started with nothing to show for it.
eight of pentacles
This is the Sun in Virgo (the Hermit). If we see the Sun as clarity & the Hermit as a unified self ready to shine his internal wisdom as a light to guide others, then we see this is a person who has tamed their anger into strength, learned to harness & guide their emotions, has matured through a series of life experiences & is ready to serve. Even if all this person walked away with in the seven of pentacles was themselves, they have realized they are more than enough.
Real Life Application: A young man worked as a chef's apprentice for many years, learning from a master & perfecting the art of cooking. After many years, he asks for a specialty item he has created to be added to the menu. The chef refuses; he is old & set in his ways. The man quits, unable to work in his teacher's shadow any longer. He opens up a small food stand selling the one speciality item he asked to have placed on the menu. His stand is an instant success, & people come from far and away to sample his specialty; soon he earns enough to open his own restaurant.
nine of pentacles
This is Venus (the Empress) in Virgo (the Hermit). If we know the Empress is our ability to grow our reality based on where we focus our attention, & the Hermit represents a sense of self-purpose, then we see the nine of pentacles is someone who has invested their time, money & efforts in endeavors that bring them the highest personal benefit. It may seem as though this person is self centered (and they are!), but it is this self-focus that produces self-sustaining fruit.
Real life application: A young woman gets a job right after college & instead of getting a new apartment (which she can certainly afford), she chooses to move into her parent's basement. Her friends mock her choices- she could have her own space, privacy, luxury - but the young woman is undeterred. After five years, she's saved $50,000. Just as her friends are taking on second jobs to pay back maxed out credit cards, or searching for home loans, the young woman is planning a year long international backpacking trip to plan her next phase of life. She can't decide if she wants to open a store-front business, sell products online or flip houses, but she has enough time to figure it out.
ten of pentacles
This is Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune) in Virgo (the Hermit). If we think of the Wheel of Fortune as the hands of fate turning us toward destiny, & the Hermit as a fully idealized individual ready to serve, then we see the ten of pentacles is the moment where luck + preparation = an unique, personalized opportunity for a hard-working individual that provides blessings to all.
Real life application: A young immigrant makes specialty cloth only available in his homeland & sells his wares in & around the business district. For many years this gives him & his family a meager living, but he doesn't give up. Making the cloth makes him feel closer to home, & it is a healing experience no matter how much money he makes. His work is unique, excellent & he is proud of it. Over the years he develops a niche clientele. One of the people who buy his cloth becomes a fashion designer who styles music videos. Due to a well placed outfit in the video of a popular song, the humble cloth vendor becomes a trendsetter overnight. Soon he has more orders than he can handle; with the money he makes he is able to hire many people from his village to make the cloth & ship it to him. His wealth improves life drastically for his people, locally & internationally.
Air; Thoughts; Speech; Decisions; Plan; Plots ; Gossip; Wisdom; Listening; Doubt; Certainty
ace of swords
The Ace of Swords is the infinite potential for all manner of thought & speech. Swords represent the tongue; both are double edged. The thoughts & words we put out in the world have an uncanny way of coming back to affect our lives. Therefore we must think before we speak- & choose our swords carefully.
two of swords
This is the Moon (High Priestess) in Libra (Justice). A woman sits holding two swords. If we understand swords represent thoughts & truth, then we see the picture depicts someone of two minds, unable to make a clear decision. Usually we articulate our desires & intentions about what we want to happen next in our lives based on our perception of pleasant vs. unpleasant past experiences; but what if we don't have a clear perspective of what's behind us? What if our hindsight isn't 20/20? "Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it." If we remember the Moon actually represents the High Priestess, keeper of intuition, secrets & cycles, & the Justice card represents karmic balancing within relationships, then we see there is a cycle occurring; a relationship pattern remerging; but the woman does not understand what has already happened, therefore she can't determine one way or the other whether to perpetuate or end the cycle.
Real Life Application: You grew up in a household where your mother made excuses for your father's imperfections. She covered up his bad behaviors & exalted his choices, even when his actions clearly didn't match her words. In college, a guy you're dating often shows up later than planned, sometimes missing dates altogether. He's usually apologetic & you forgive him easily. Perhaps too easily. When he doesn't apologize, you find yourself making excuses for him. After college, you make plans to move to your favorite city for graduate school. Shortly after you tell your boyfriend, you wind up unexpectedly pregnant even though you've always been careful with birth control. As soon as you miss your period, he proposes. Should you have the baby & marry him? Have an abortion & move? Have an abortion & marry him? Keep the baby & move? Nothing is going the way you planned but is that... bad? Is this just... life? He loves you... right?
three of swords
This is Saturn (the World) in Libra (Justice). Now the relationship karma comes full circle & we understand what our intuition was trying to tell us. But it's too late. We are stuck in a situation we didn't want, but that we had to experience in order to know WHY we didn't want it. When we are open to our present reality, life flows through us. When we are accepting of ourselves, our choices & our circumstances, our heart chakra is wide open. But when we close ourselves off to our current situations because we wish they didn't exist, our heart chakra closes. Because we'd rather things not be the way they are, we cut off the energy within us that is fueling the situation. In order to kill our present circumstances (or at least our awareness of them), we die inside.
Real Life Application: Your father rarely said out loud, "I love you," to you, your mother or your siblings. Instead, he demonstrated his love through working hard, paying rent & keeping food on the table. As an adult, you fall deeply in love with your girlfriend, but she has trouble understanding the depth of your feelings because she expects fairytale romance & affection but that isn't your way. She breaks up with you, believing you cold & uninterested. You remain friends. You witness as she starts dating a man who is extremely romantic & demonstrative, but manages to never pay for anything. She is sure he loves her, however, so she marries him. Over time the romance between them fades but he still manages to never pay for anything. She comes to redefine love in terms of actions rather than words, & realizes you loved her all long. But its too late, & you both suffer a life of heartache as a result.
four of swords
This is Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune) in Libra (Justice). You live by the sword, you die by the sword. What goes around comes back around. Keep living. The Wheel of Fortune turns events around in relationships so that we can see the other side. The four of swords gives us perspective, by allowing us to see things from the other side. If our words & actions hurt others, fate brings us situations that make us feel the way we've made others feel. If we felt the words & action of others hurt us, fate brings us situations that cause us to act similarly to those we've condemned. Thanks to the Wheel of Fortune, everyone will find the words & thoughts they have put out into the world, pointing back at them.
Real Life Application: As a child, you were always in your mother's room. You wore her makeup & put on her clothes. One day you ripped a dress she never wore, & you didn't think you deserved her rage (since she never wore it). Years later, your daughter ruins a dress you've kept since high school because it reminds you of happier times. You get so upset - its like she's murdered the last bit of your youth! Suddenly you get the urge to call & apologize to your mother. She is appalled that you'd yell at her sweet grand baby over a stupid dress. Unexpectedly, your mother apologizes to you.
five of swords
This is Venus (the Empress) in Aquarius (the Star). This card is tricky. If we look at the Empress as our creative principle & power of manifestation, & we see the Star as expressing our innermost desires for peace & healing- then in the five of swords we're seeing someone determined to get what their desires met at all costs. Notice the swords in different positions - two up, one down, two on the ground. If swords represent words, then what this person has chosen to say & not to say, has left the other two in the picture with no choices to speak at all. They have been disarmed.
Real life application: An intuitive woman whose been hurt before & has learned to interpret patterns of behavior as a defense mechanism, senses her husband is cheating. She's confronted him about her suspicions before, but without proof the accusations remain unfounded & easily denied. One night after he falls asleep, she goes through his phone. Instead of waking him up when she finds the evidence, she emails it to herself secretly & pretends not to know what she knows. In the morning she asks him a series of questions that gives him one last opportunity to tell the truth, but again, he denies everything. She leaves for work & checks into a hotel afterwards. She is done. When he calls that night wondering where she is, she emails him her proof & asks for a divorce. There is nothing left to say.
six of swords
This is Mercury (The Magician) in Aquarius (The Star). Two people are huddled in a boat with no luggage. Wherever they are going, they appear to have nothing except the clothes on their backs. The boat is guided by someone standing behind them, As bad as things may seem, these people are being guided, led, protected, assisted in their hour of need. The fact that this person is behind them indicates they may be someone from their past. Sometimes we make relationships that, unbeknownst to us, are a blessing to our future selves. One of the people huddled in the boat appears to be a child. Regardless of negative circumstances- whether deserved or undeserved - innocent ones are always affected. This is why, even in the midst of executing our five-of-swords strategy, we must also speak words of protection over everyone involved.
Real life application: You're a cop & you've been working undercover within a secret organization. There is a young boy affiliated with them & you know if he's around when the group gets busted, it will ruin the rest of his life. You want to protect him but you don't want to jeopardize your work. You come up with an excuse to keep the boy far away when the shit goes down. He's upset you lied & betrayed the organization, but also grateful you saved his future.
seven of swords
This is the Moon (High Priestess) in Aquarius (the Star). If we remember the High Priestess is the keeper of cycles & the star is deep healing after difficulty, then we see the 7 of swords is someone who finally realizes what they've always wanted- it just took calamity for the clarity to rise. Likely, whatever they said they didn't want is what they later discover they actually DO want. This is why this person's feet are going one way & their head is going another way. This person is inconsistent; they say one thing & do another. There is a circus in the background; this person's antics are entertaining & no one takes them seriously. But the one being laughed at doesn't mind at all; they are simply delighted to find their truth.
Real life application: You're a psychiatrist & part of your job includes prescribing mood altering drugs. One of the side effects of the drug is suicide & after your 5th patient takes their own life, possibly as a side effect of medication you prescribed. You publicly denounce mood-altering drugs sold by the pharmaceutical industry, effectively ending your career. You begin educating yourself on herbs & & other natural remedies. Your loss of status, respect & income makes you the laughing stock of your peers; you don't care though, because for the first time in your life, you feel like a real healer.
eight of swords
This is Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune) in Gemini (The Lovers). If we see the Wheel of Fortune as fate & the Lovers as an individual quest for a united identity, then we understand that the eight of swords is someone being helplessly turned on their path toward self-discovery. This person is being faced with the truth of who they really are versus who they thought they were. They are also being faced with the mental constraints that keep them struggling against being grounded in their current reality, closed in by their OWN choices & decisions. Even though this predicament is uncomfortable, it brings you exactly to where you need to be in order to reflect on who you truly are. When one confronts their choices, they also have to confront their identity.
Real life application: Because of your critical upbringing, you have zero confidence in yourself. Your low self-esteem becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, & you realize you've done nothing to make yourself proud. You lose your job & are forced to live with your parents. They berate you, dropping your self-esteem even further. One day you realize their degrading voices sound exactly the voice in your head that's been belittling you all these years. The voice also sounds like your former employers, old friends & ex-boyfriends. You confront your parents, explaining how the way they've spoken to you has shaped the way you've spoken to yourself, & allowed others to treat you. You aren't blaming them for your choices, but you are recognizing that you made the choices you did based on how you felt about yourself, & you're finally clear regarding their role in that. The very act of acknowledging your truth & interrupting their narrative makes you feel stronger. Standing up for yourself instantly garners your own self-respect, & begins a new journey of self-love & new, healthy choices.
nine of swords
This is Mars (the Tower) in Gemini (the Lovers). If we think of the Tower as raw power & the Lovers as the unified self, we see the nine of swords is someone lamenting the fact they are holding themselves back by refusing to express who they really are because it would require destroying certain relationships, or at least downgrading their significance. This person is so charged up with the thoughts & words flowing that they aren't expressing, that they literally can't sleep at night. The more this person suppresses their desires, the more they are overcome with the thoughts of them. They've become a prisoner of their mind.
Real life application: A teenager has been raised with one religion but has been secretly studying another. The secret religion makes much more sense to the teen but she knows her parents would consider the mere discussion blasphemy. The more the teen hides who she is becoming, the less she likes herself for lying about it. She then resents her parents for making her lie. She finds solace for this specific issue in her new religion, which makes her love it even more- which starts the downward spiral all over again.
ten of swords
This is the Sun in Gemini (the Lovers). If we think of the Sun as clarity & the Lovers as a unified self, then the ten of swords is someone with complete & total clarity regarding who they ARE & who they ARE NOT based on the complete experience of their former self. It is this old self that lies dead, with every thought, word & confirmation about why that old man cannot live, lodged firmly in his back. This picture looks bleak, but we're seeing someone dead to who they used be, ready to be reborn & rise anew.
Real life application: You're a recovering alcoholic with two years in AA. You're spent the appropriate time alone & you're finally ready to date. You've been seeing a nice person & taking things slow. One night at a restaurant you run into someone you used to drink with, who has clearly not gotten sober. This person wants to catch up & gives you their card. You throw it away in the first trash can you pass. Hellll no.
Water; Feelings; Emotions: Intuition
ace of cups
This the infinite potential of feelings; a well spring of emotion. People tend to think the Ace of Cups always means love, but truly ALL emotions flow, not just the positive ones. This is why this suite is represented by cups; you don't know what's in a cup until you drink it. To be effective, emotions have to get inside you. Feelings are made to be felt.
two of cups
Two of Cups: This is Venus (Empress) in Cancer (The Chariot). A man & a woman stand together; each have a cup. At first glance first glance this looks sweet; like an even exchange of love. Yet a closer analysis shows the woman is giving her cup away with both hands; even though her cup is full of the infinite potential of love, she gives it all away & keeps none for herself. The man is reaching to take her cup but makes no move to give her his own. His right foot is stepping back which indicates his actions & investments will retreat even as his requests advance. What looks at first like reciprocity may turn into saying one thing & doing another.
Real life application: A woman meets a man who subconsciously reminds her so much of her father; she immediately desires to submit to & be approved of by him without understanding why. She interprets her fixation as love, decides he must be the one. Her father was often absent (either emotionally or physically) for long periods of time, and as a child she resolved within herself to be as perfect as possible so he would remain present. This pattern has carried into her adult relationships; she gives everything & expects nothing, because she believes total self-obliteration is a prerequisite for love. This requires self-deception as well, because if she were honest with herself she would admit she deserved better than what her father gave, & she deserves better than what she has accepted from the men in her life. So to keep from being angry with her father, herself, her choices & her partners, she looks for people to pour her emotions into, so she doesn't have to feel them. Her "head over heels" relationships are distractions from internalized rage, confusion, disappointment, self loathing & grief.
three of cups
Three of Cups: This is Mercury (the Magician) in Cancer (The Chariot). Three people raise their cups in celebration; they can be seen as three separate people intertwined or as one person in three states of being; spirit (white), soul (red) & ego (yellow). Whether these are one or many, the raised cups show how feelings have become the topmost priority; the way in which, no matter what our spirit, soul & ego says, no matter what our friends & family says, how we feel becomes the only thing that matters, the only thing that is real. Except people are solid but feelings are fluid; the only thing for certain here is that while it all feels good for the moment, feelings are bound to change.
Real Life Application: You're in a brand new relationship with someone who seems perfect & because of your excitement things between you & this person are moving kind of fast. Things are passionate & fun; your self esteem soars because you feel attractive& irresistible. Your spiritual principles (that your friends and family- although happy for your happiness- can't help but mention) suggest that you should slow down, get to know each other better; but secretly you fear that if you interrupt the flow because of silly doubts & caution, your father, oops I mean boyfriend, will vanish, leaving you alone & hating yourself again. So you silence all internal & external voices of dissent & press forward. Because, FEELINGS.
four of cups
Four of Cups: This is the Moon (High Priestess) in Cancer (The Chariot). If we think of the High Priestess as the knower & keeper of cycles & the Chariot as forward movement through emotional blocks, then we understand this person chilling under the coconut tree is someone who knows where this is going & doesn't want to go. He's been there before. The three cups in the foreground are the feelings he put above everything; his intuition reminds him of all the other times he did the same damn thing & wound up in the same damn place. He wants to do something different but the chance has already passed. He can't go back but now that he recognizes where he is, he doesn't want to go forward. He's stuck.
Real Life Application: A man raised by a single mother & various stepfather figures promises himself that when he grows up, he's going to get married & be a great father, and always live in the house with his kids. When he is 21, he meets a beautiful young woman with small child. He falls in love with both of them. Things move very quickly; he has a few initial doubts but he loves her son right away & doesn't want to disappoint him. They get married & the woman gets pregnant. After a few years, the couple realizes they aren't as compatible as they thought. The woman files for divorce & begins dating other me. Soon, the man's children are having the exact experience he didn't want them to have. He can't go back but to continue forward would break his heart. Therefore he exists in a subconscious denial of reality.
five of cups
Five of Cups: This is Mars (The Tower) in Scorpio (Death). A person stands literally cloaked in negative emotion, unable to reveal who they truly are underneath layers of painful experiences. This person is fixated on the three spilled cups, the cycles of putting feelings above everything despite caution, intuition, spiritual discernment & logical advice. Unable to pause time in the four of cups, this person's failures are on display for the world to see. And yet when this person gathers the strength to turn around, they will still be faced with the two of cups: the opportunity to come together with someone new & discover if they've learned enough to do a new thing or naw.
Real Life Application: You've cheated in every relationship you've had. Your behavior has cost you everything- marriages, children, friends, money, property; for some reason, temptation always gets the best of you. You swear off relationships & get determined to focus on yourself. An attractive single neighbor moves in, & you see each other often in passing. You begin to date, taking things slow. One day your ex surprises you, saying they've forgiven you & asking to get back together. To say no would hurt your ex, to say yes would hurt your neighbor, to date them both would be putting yourself right back in a toxic cycle.
six of cups
Six of cups: This is the Sun in Scorpio (Death). Notice the stark contrast between this & the five of cups. There is innocence, life, flowering, growth, healing, sharing. A total transformation. A recognition of being the rose that grew from concrete, the feeling of being blessed despite it all. There is a blooming of new, pure emotions, which can only come with time. Only once we grow into more mature versions of ourselves, can we go back & offer compassion, understanding, forgiveness & love to the mistakes & heartbreak of our past. This takes perspective, which can only come with distance. This is also a time of childlike innocence & vulnerability because only the best memories have survived the test of time. The past becomes idealized, highlighted with a golden glow. We long to return to a reality that never existed; in this state we would do well to remember that these moments are only perfect because they are over. Like a sunset, glorious...and gone.
Real life application: A woman, coming out of a difficult divorce, looks up an ex on Facebook. He is also recently divorced, & they begin to reminisce over old times. They haven't seen each other in years; they can't even remember why they stopped seeing each other in the first place. Whatever the reason for separation seems insignificant compared to the things they've lived in the meantime. This reunion feels like a breath of fresh air, & reminds them of a more innocent, simpler time.Where this relationship goes depends on both of their willingness to face reality; either they will coddle the fantasy by holding each other to outdated expectations, or they will face reality & become transparent about their fears, insecurities & shadow selves. Either way, paradise will be lost; but through maturity & hard work, they can make reality better than the fantasy. It won't be perfect, but it will be REAL.
seven of cups
Seven of Cups: This is Venus (Empress) in Scorpio (Death). This is where the Empress (the creative, expressive principle within us) deals with the shadow self. She's trying to understand why she manifests what she fears. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung explains that in order to be a solid person of substance, you must cast a shadow. When we don't face our dark sides, we project them into our relationships, & we are then forced to face our own negative traits over and over again through our interactions with others. In this way, an unexamined life can feel like a bad dream, a nightmare, where everything is exaggerated, distorted, repeated & never resolved. In the seven of cups, the Empress finds the courage to examine the root of all her emotions, triggers, impulses, memories, urges, etc., in order to unravel the mystery of her true self. This work can be messy, scary, dark & depressing, but its necessary to come to terms with the past & move on.
Real Life Application: No matter what you do, no matter where you go, no matter how many books you read on healthy relationships, you repeatedly find yourself in toxic unions with similar partners: emotionally unavailable, unfaithful, verbally abusive & financially exploitative. Finally you begin to suspect something is wrong with you, that you've been getting what you deserve. You lose faith in your ability to choose a healthy mate & give up on relationships altogether. Out of loneliness, you begin talk therapy. Your therapist helps you see that each of your relationships mimicked the unhealthy dynamic you witnessed between your parents growing up. You come to realize that you were choosing relationships that most closely fit your unconscious, dysfunctional model of love. You leave therapy empowered; you know that YOU are not broken, however your definition of love IS broken. You begin the slow process of reeducation regarding healthy relationships, starting with the way you love & care for yourself.
eight of cups
Eight of Cups: This is Saturn (World) in Pisces (Moon). If we think of the Moon as a card full of mystery & fear, & we think of the World as....the World...then we see a person who has had several experiences that caused them to fear life in general. This person likely felt a great amount of instability in place of a solid foundation, since its difficult to become rooted & grow in situations that are chronically turbulent, fearful & uncomfortable. However the person in this card is walking away from all those old cups full of fear, pain & misery. They don't know what the future holds, but they now understand that life can be better than what it has been. They are determined to seek a more fulfilling, stable experience, even if the journey to better is long & arduous. Notice the gap in the top row of cups; there is a certain emotion (happiness? peace?) this person knows exists but has never felt. They are determined to find it.
Real life application: You've lived in the same city all your life. Everything is "fine" you suppose, but still you experience a growing sense of dissatisfaction. For some reason you want to move. You need a change. You try to express your feelings to friends & family but they all say in subtle- and not so subtle ways that you are crazy to complain. You soothe your wanderlust by doing new things around your hometown, but no one shares your excitement. When you express joy to those closest to you, you leave the conversations feeling deflated. One day you come across a travelling show on tv, all about people living extraordinary, unconventional lives as a result of making radical, unpopular choices.They explain similar experiences as you: vague dissatisfaction, discussions with family & friends, zero support. You realize no one is going to give you permission to live your own life. You resolve to do it anyway.
nine of cups
Nine of Cups: This is Venus (the Empress) in Pisces (the Moon). This person looks super self satisfied, huh? If we see the Empress as the creative principle within us, & the Moon as a long road through our inner mysteries, we see this person is happy because they finally learned to create the experiences they never knew they always wanted, which results in positive emotion they never knew they could feel. This person is surprised & delighted. They had to face their own depths & move through inner fears & resistance for the emotional reward on the other side. For the first time, this person is proud of their own self.
Real Life Application: You've been at the same job for years & you're great at what you do but there's no room for growth. You have feelings of resentment toward your superiors because they often get credit for your ideas. One day you quit your job, resolved to start your own company. You've been saving, you have some freelance work lined up; still, people tell you it's a bad idea. You work your butt off but see little success; you begin to doubt your self. Right when you're down to your last money, you land a huge client that pays enough to replenish much of your savings. When you deposit the check you realize this is the first (but not the last!) time you've literally made your own money. You can't stop smiling.
ten of cups
Ten of Cups: This is Mars ( The Tower) in Pisces ( the Moon). If we think of The Tower as raw power & the Moon as our emotional depths, then the ten of cups is the power of love. We can't experience the true power of love until we obliterate the expectations & restrictions of others by being completely faithful to our individual paths. This is because love can only be shared; meaning you must already have it. You must be a self full of love, full of SELF love, powerful & confident enough to always do what's best for YOU, living YOUR best life & no one else's. What looks like a happy family in the card is really a unified self: one person harmoniously balanced between their inner masculine, feminine, childhood & adult selves: whole.
Real Life Application: As a child, you always wanted a house with a window seat, where you could read & daydream. But you realized those were for rich people. Years later, after surviving career failures, family deaths, marriage woes, health scares- you settle down for a cup of tea in the home you bought with the money you made from the book you wrote about surviving your terrible life- & you look down & realize you are in fact sitting in a window seat in your kitchen. Your heart gives off a little firework at the fact that somehow, down to the detail, your dreams came true.
Fire; Spirit; Action; Passion; Power
ace of wands
The Ace of Wands is the infinite potential of all action & spirit. This is raw power, pure vitality. The possibilities are endless. However with all Aces, we must remember that until we harness, direct & focus our energy, it remains...potential. Power must be used in order to be powerful.
two of wands
This is Mars (The Tower) in Aries (The Emperor). If we look at the tower as a situation doomed to fall apart, we can interpret the two of wands as two situations the Emperor must deal with. One of the situations is falling immediately & will land in his home if he doesn't do something NOW. The other situation attached to his foundation is secure, although perhaps internally crumbling, likely because the Emperor is ever unable to focus on stability at home. He holds the world in his hand, as if to tell the incoming wand: I'm already dealing with so much! But both because of home & also in spite of it, the Emperor has to handle the energy falling in on him. It appears he has a choice but truly he doesn't. Sometimes these things just happen.
Real life interpretation: 1) While saving money to move, your car breaks down. To fix the car means cutting into your savings, which undermines all your hard work. But to leave the car broken means you'd miss work, lose your job & be unable to save more. 2) An old flame returns from abroad passionately longing to see you; this coincides with an unrelated & yet totally frustrating period in the relationship with your long-term spouse. To see the flame would be a moral burden; to ignore the flame would only intensify the feelings unspoken between you. Both options would cause more pressure internally & at home.
three of wands
This is the Sun in Aries (Emperor). We see that the Emperor is no longer at home; we also see that two wands stand behind him, indicating there are (at least) a couple of actions he'd prefer to leave in the past. You live & you learn; he holds a new wand. He does things differently now. He stands at the shore in the light of the sun, waiting for his ships to come into harbor in the early light of morning. There are hands waving out in the water; yet the Emperor does not swim out to save anyone. He has learned that he must leave his feet on solid ground; he can't jeopardize his security for every single emergency. His ships are not only coming in the morning, they also ride in on the waves of his mourning, for the sacrifices the Emperor has had to make.
Real life interpretation: 1) You've finally saved enough to move into your new apartment & your cousin, whose parents you were living with (rent free) for the last six months, wants to move in with you. She's given you gas money plenty of times to take her to work, but she also wears your clothes without asking and is currently between jobs. She figures you should say yes because you love each other but you say no (with love). She's mad for a while. 2) You're doing great in your new job when an attractive coworker begins flirting with you. Suddenly there is tension between you and his ex, who is your supervisor. You change your schedule so that you have minimal contact with either of them.
four of wands
Four of wands: This is Venus (Empress) in Aries (The Emperor). Now that the Emperor has learned not to dash about fixing this problem & that, his actions have stabilized. He has a routine. He is consistent, dependable, so much so that his actions (wands) are self sustaining & can provide shelter for others. Of course this comes with more responsibility (An exclusive relationship? A promotion? Buying instead of renting?). The Empress who depends on the Emperor is ecstatic; they can finally build something together! (Gender is non-specific, remember wands are about energy) However the Emperor (in the red) seems sad; all this growth and stability is contingent upon his actions. He has become the foundation & things are piling up on top of him. That's a lot of pressure. The walls are closing in.
Real life application: 1) You're a poet but you get tired of submitting work only to get constantly rejected. You use your writing degree to get a great advertising job & suddenly your money is coming in fast. You're doing so well that you get a promotion; everyone expects so much of you that you rarely have time to sleep, let alone write anymore. You want to quit or at least take a break but that would be foolish; you've upgraded your entire lifestyle & you can't afford it without your job. 2) You've been dating a woman for a long time. You love her, you're comfortable with her, but the passion is gone. You've both invested your youth & it would be a waste of years to walk away. You don't want to break up necessarily...so you get married. Congrats!
five of wands
Five of Wands: This is Saturn (World) in Leo (Strength). The Emperor can only do so much. Eventually the walls close in and come crashing down. The Emperor was never meant to carry the world on his shoulders. Actions begun in the spirit of responsibility & provision distort into excess, manipulation, & control. Since none of these are worthy or self sustaining actions, the entire structure is thrown into confusion. It falls because of instead of actions that fortify the structure, there are actions that weaken the foundation. A castle of bricks becomes a house of cards.
Real life application: A man is paying his family's bills; his large salary has also afforded him a mistress. He pays her bills as well, & takes her on expensive trips. However these distractions affect his work performance. He is given less responsibility, makes less money & has to cut back spending. His mistress notices the decline & threatens to tell his wife unless he keeps funding her lifestyle. He takes out more credit lines to augment his salary & keep peace at home. However eventually his wife notices the extra spending & familial debt he has incurred. She pieces the rest together & he has to face the same consequences he tried to avoid, except with less money, more debt & zero trust.
six of wands
Six of Wands: This is Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune) in Leo (Strength). Remember the Wheel of Fortune is out of our control; it is literally the hand of fate. This explains why this is the first card we see with a person on a horse; we are meant to understand that whatever success this person experienced, they didn't achieve it alone. They were "given" victory the same way it may seem others around them were "given" defeat. Everyone gets their turn on top of the Wheel & on the bottom. This is why we must be kind when we are on top & persevere while on the bottom; each requires uncommon strength.
Real life application: You and your best friend work together at a tech company. Your friend is brilliant with big dreams & spends most of his time developing his own apps. His work performance suffers while you breeze through the ranks. Tragically the boss dies of a sudden heart attack and you get the top job. The first order of business? You've been ordered to fire your friend for his lack of focus & company dedication. You fire your friend, but you give him a huge severance. He funds his own apps, makes lots of money & hires you a few years later once the company you work for ( with a bad habit of firing their best & brightest) goes bankrupt.
seven of wands
Seven of Wands: This is Mars (the Tower) in Leo ( Strength). When the Wheel of Fortune pushes things our way, everything seem so easy. We just ride from glory to glory. But what about when when the Tower strikes? How does our strength hold up when the going gets tough, when shit's falling apart, when we're thiiiiiis close to snapping out & losing our cool? Are we still winners when all is lost? Are we merely the sum of our actions? Can we still stand when no one stands with us? Can we dig deep & find a strength we never knew we had?
Real life application: You are a star athlete, well known for being at the top of your game. For a long time things have come easy- money, relationships, fun, success. One night after drinking too much at a party, you get into a terrible car crash that ends your career & changes your life forever. You lose your job, endorsements, friendships; your money dwindles & then runs out. You realize you can't keep living in the past & you have to move forward, but you have no idea who you are without the identity of "Star athlete" or "crash victim." It's a terrifying time & a daily struggle to face yourself.
eight of wands
Eight of wands: This is Mercury (the Magician) in Sagittarius (Temperance). Please be quiet, meeting in progress. Someone in eight of wands energy should hang this sign around their neck. There is intense, fast moving communication happening here, between you, yourself & God. You might want to order food; you could be here awhile. Topics on the Agenda: 1) Who am I? 2) What the hell just happened to my life? 3) Whose fault was it? 3) How do I forgive myself? 4) How do I forgive others? 5) What happened that I didn't want? 6) What didn't happen that I did want? 7) What is my true purpose? 8) How do I get back on track?
Like I said, issa long meeting...
Real life application: Google: Dave Chappelle after he turned down 50 million from Comedy Central to do a 2nd season; Tina Turner after running away from Ike Turner with $.30 in her pocket; Malcom X in Mecca realizing holy has no color
nine of wands
Nine of Wands: This is the Moon (High Priestess) in Sagittarius (Temperance). The Emperor, wiser, warier, stands spiritually, energetically prepared to handle anything that comes next. He has been through an internal battle & come through stronger on the other side. His head is bandaged because his idea of himself is healing. He understands that "as a man thinketh, so is he." Where as he used to think he was alone, his time together with spirit has proven that regardless how dire the circumstances, he is never alone. He holds the one wand & leans on it slightly; this person has learned to lean on spirit in order to handle whatever comes next. He has also learned to handle 1 thing at a time, because he is only one person, & God wouldn't give him more than he can handle.
Real life application: A young, single mother has a nervous breakdown. The bills have piled up, her partner is absent, her kids are loud & demanding, & she hasn't eaten or slept in days from stress. One morning she ignores the school & work alarms, & continues to sleep. At first the kids are ecstatic (no school!), then concerned, then worried when there is no response from mom. Eventually they call a family friend over; mom reveals she's at her limit and doesn't know what to do. The friend takes the kids for a week, to give mom some time. While alone, she realizes things don't have to get to this point if she can remember she's not superwoman & learns to ask for help. She adjust her perception of herself from "single mother," to "supported person," & realizes that 1) the world will still carry on if she takes breaks & 2) no matter how bleak it seems, Spirit has her back. She resolves to take better care of herself going forward. She remembers that she has to be her own first priority & uses that foundation as a basis for all future actions.
ten of wands
Ten of Wands: This is Saturn (World) in Sagittarius (Temperance). Remember in the five of wands when the world was on the Emperor's shoulders & everything fell apart? This was because the Emperor's idea of himself was based on his ego. He thought he could handle more than he could because he thought himself more than a man. Now the Emperor has a spiritual understanding of his true self & his true power; he realizes he is just a man, & it is this humility that allows the strength of God to move through him. Paradoxically, now that the Emperor knows that by his ownself he accomplishes nothing, his submission to spirit allows him to accomplish anything.
Real life application: A woman has dreams of opening the best restaurant in the world. She works hard, saves her money & when the doors open, people flock to her tables. She's making good money, yet she notices a growing population of homeless people rummaging her trash every night. At first she runs them off because their presence makes her establishment undesirable & it affects her bottom line, but one days she sees young teens looking for food & her perspective changes. Whereas she used to run them off, she now invites them in, let's them dine for free. Her regular customers slowly vanish & soon little money is coming in. She is forced to close her doors. She is unfazed; she knows in her spirit she did the right thing. She continues to cook meals from home to feed as many in need as possible. Soon word of her charity spreads. Donations begin flooding in. Over time, she is able to reopen her restaurant for paying customers AND feed the hungry. People try to give her the credit but she says, "all I did was cook."