Tarot 1.01.

Be who you are

and say what you feel,
because those who mind

don’t matter,

and those who matter

don’t mind.

— Dr. Seuss.

So with that in mind, I share with you a reading I did for myself today.

1. The Empress:

The card represents myself, the questioner.

  • Mothering —– Fertility —– Sexuality —– Abundance
  • Material prosperity —– Pleasure —– Comfort —– Power
  • Nature —– Delight —– Desire —– Physical attraction
  • Health —– Sensuality —– Beauty —– Satisfaction.

The Empress sits on a throne wearing a starry crown, holding a scepter in one hand. The Scepter is representative of her power over life, her crown has twelve stars representing her dominance over the year, and her throne is in the midst of a field of grain, representative of her dominion over growing things.

According to Waite‘s The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, The Empress is the inferior (as opposed to nature’s superior) Garden of Eden, the “Earthly Paradise”. Waite defines her as not being Regina Coeli (the Blessed Virgin Mary), but rather a Refugium Peccatorum – a fruitful mother of thousands: she is above all things universal fecundity and the outer sense of the Word, the repository of all things nurturing and sustaining, and of feeding others.

The Empress is mother, a creator and nurturer. In many decks she can be shown as pregnant. She can represent the creation of life, of romance, of art or business. The Empress can represent the germination of an idea before it is ready to be fully born. The Empress is often associated with Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love, and indeed the Rider-Waite deck brandishes her symbol upon a heart-shaped bolster. The Empress is also often interpreted to be Demeter, goddess of abundance. She is the giver of earthly gifts, although at the same time, she can be overprotective and possessive. In anger she can withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. Due to her fury and grief, Demeter keeps the Earth cold and barren until Spring when her child is returned to her.

2. Strength
Tarot Card Number 8 of the Major Arcana.

This card covers me. You.

It represents the atmosphere and the influences around a problem.

A woman closes the jaws of a lion as the same symbol of infinity hovers over her head that we’ve seen on the Magician. Strength, in one of its most exalted aspects, is connected with the divine mystery of union. It also connects with innocence and with the strength that resides in contemplation.

The chain of flowers represents the sweet burden of divine law, especially when it has been taken into the heart . This card concerns the confidence of those whose strength is the divine. The lion may signify the passions and she who is called Strength is the higher nature in its liberation. It has walked upon the asp and the basilisk and has trodden down the lion and the dragon.

The Strength card represents power, energy, action, courage, magnanimity and also complete success and honors.

3. The Six of Wands (or rods):

This card crosses me. It represents the nature of the influence or obstacles which lie just ahead.

The Lord of Victory is a card of fight, competition and eventual victory. It applies to areas of our lives where we feel we have had to fight very hard to achieve our goals. It can apply to any area of our lives where we have had to contest our position strongly.

So, for instance, it could indicate passing successfully through tough training courses; it could apply to spiritual development after a period of test and trial; it could show that we have managed to establish stable and harmonious relationships through hard work and tenderness; it could even indicate that we have finally managed to get our bank balances to match our desired level of spending after much difficulty!

It’s a card which indicates that we have achieved both a point of balance and a moment of ascension during which we feel justifiably proud of ourselves, but maybe just a little overwhelmed by our final breakthrough into good fortune.

There will always have been struggle before this card appears. We will have been striving – sometimes against frustratingly unhelpful influences – to grasp our dreams, our hopes, our ambitions, our needs. There will sometimes have been pain or confusion as a result of that struggle. But when this card comes up, we can relax a little, and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

  • Grace
  • Pride
  • Power
  • Honor
  • Action
  • Victory
  • Triumph
  • Liberation
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Facilitation
  • Vindication
  • Illumination.

4. The Page of Cups:

This card is beneath me. It shows the broad and basic influences which existed in the past and upon which the present events are taking place.

The Princess of the Waters; The Lotus of the Palace of the Floods.

A symbol of Imagination.  May indicate a time for quiet reflection.  Depending upon surrounding cards: a messenger bringing news of an engagement, marriage or birth.  A reflective, poetic, quiet and artistic person, gentle and kind.  A person with a wealth of knowledge, giving freely his advice.  A person gifted with much foresight.

5. Knight of Wands.

This card is behind me.

It shows the most recent sphere or events which have just passed or which are just passing.

There is no card in the Tarot that portrays such daring and enthusiasm as the Knight of Wands. His energy and courage are boundless, and he has no fear of anything; while this sometimes serves to get him into trouble, these are also the means by which he can free himself from any detrimental situation. There are few times when he does not move with the speed of a flash of lightning. When he rides into the area he always kicks up dust behind him, and when he enters your life he can be one of three things. He could be a person around you, an event that you will experience, or a part of yourself that you must bring to the surface.

Any event that enters your life quickly and unexpectedly is generally ruled and predicted by the Knight of Wands. His energy moves with the speed of a raging fire pushed onward by the wind, and with just as much energy as such a blaze. The Knight often represents the coming or going of an important matter, and you can rest assured that these comings and going will be swift ones, no matter what the matter involved. He also augurs speedy changes of residence, which may not be advisable but which are sometimes necessary. Sometimes he shows that an important person will be either leaving your life or coming into it.

Such a person, when shown by the Knight of Wands, shares his spontaneity and kinetic outlook on life. Though he may seem gruff or even violent at first glance, underneath that armor he wears a warm and generous heart. He will be highly supportive of those he considers friends – and you’d be surprised how high that number can go! He typifies the “knight in shining armor” prototype because he is always swooping into situations, saving the day and then moving on to the next adventure. This suddenness hides a deep sense of morality and honor; he is always ready to protect those who cannot defend themselves. But he cannot stand to stay in one place for long; there is always more to do.

If the Knight of Wands shows energy within yourself that you have to bring to the surface, doing so shouldn’t be very difficult. In fact, keeping it in may be harder than letting it out, so you probably shouldn’t attempt to fight it at all. Your confidence levels will rise to the surface along with the Knight’s energy, and you’ll feel ready to take on the world. Tackle any and all challenges that come into your path, and always be ready to help others who lack your determination and exuberance. Take the torch he offers you and step into the light of your own strength. Just be careful not to burn yourself while holding that flickering flame.

  • Bold
  • Wild
  • Brash
  • Cavalier
  • Raucous
  • Energetic
  • Impatient
  • Charming
  • Rebellious
  • Surprising
  • Audacious
  • Exuberant
  • Determined
  • Opinionated
  • High spirited
  • Uncontrolled
  • Strong willed
  • Unpredictable

I have my own ideas about how creative and spiritual ideas should be handled, and I’m not shy about letting my opinions known. It’s not that I’m always right in my vision, but I do have the best way to get to the goal. I’ve usually got the best short cuts too!

I have no time for methodology or pragmatism. If you want to do things the dinosaur way (traditional, old-fashioned) then I am going to blaze a trail without you.

But, if you are stalled and need inspiration, I’m the vibrant young man to call. I will give you the jump start you need. Hold on tight though, it will be a wild ride.

6. Page of Wands:

This card crowns you.

It shows the sphere of influence that is coming into being in the near future in a broad sense.

The Page of Wands stands for a child or a childlike person that exudes excitement, a lot of energy, a strong sense of self, and adventure. Involvement with this person fosters enthusiasm and a lighthearted approach to life. Doors to passion are opening. He signals a time for real opportunities to experience the fiery wonders of the Wands suit—creativity, inspiration, charm, and courage. Seize any daring or exciting opportunity that presents itself.

Personality traits at the heart of the Page of Wands Tarot card meaning:

  • Free
  • Artistic
  • Soulful
  • Initiator
  • Creative
  • Talented
  • Eloquent
  • Visionary
  • Intelligent
  • Impetuous
  • Clairvoyant
  • Flamboyant
  • Resourceful
  • Adventurous.

I am here to remind you that intelligence is not always gained from age or experience. I have a naturally bright mind, and a clairvoyance that sees quite clearly. Don’t let my youth belie my acumen.

My perceptions are uncanny in their accuracy. My opinion should be asked in creative endeavors. Be sure to ask me what I see in the future about these projects too.

I’m usually grounded, but have high ideals. This makes me somewhat contradictory. You will also observe I am impulsive and impetuous. I sometimes need to be reminded of my roots, and need to be brought back down to earth.

I look to nature and authority figures whom I respect for guidance. But I cannot be ruled, contained or stereotyped. Once you try to label me, I am impossible to communicate with.

The Card is a simple depiction of a young boy holding a wooden staff (Wand) that is just a bit taller than him. He is looking toward the top of the Wand, dressed in yellow and wearing a funny bowler hat adorned with a feather. In the Tarot deck’s court of wands, the clothing pattern is repeated in the Knight, King and Queen of Wands. Each Tarot deck has a unique illustration of the court costumes, but the court of Wands is usually depicted in a yellow or gold fabric with dragon or lizard patterns in a dark color. This signifies the synergy with nature that the suit of Wands illustrates.

Page cards in the present position represent you starting life over again. The Page of Wands shows you with a new idea of taking control over your own destiny. It is a powerful card in the present position, a clean slate with momentum in your favor.


This card is ahead of you. It shows the future.

A tower on a rocky outcrop, a powerful bolt of lightning, one or two figures falling from the tower, sometimes waves crashing below.

As the Fool leaves the throne of the Goat God, he comes upon a Tower, fantastic, magnificent, and familiar. In fact, The Fool, himself, helped build this Tower back when the most important thing to him was making his mark on the world and proving himself better than other men. Inside the Tower, at the top, arrogant men still live, convinced of their rightness. Seeing the Tower again, the Fool feels as if lightning has just flashed across his mind; he thought he’d left that old self behind when he started on this spiritual journey. But he realizes now that he hasn’t. He’s been seeing himself, like the Tower, like the men inside, as alone and singular and superior, when in fact, he is no such thing. So captured is he by the shock of this insight, that he opens his mouth and releases a SHOUT! And to his astonishment and terror, as if the shout has taken form, a bolt of actual lightning slashes down from the heavens, striking the Tower and sending its residents leaping out into the waters below.

In a moment, it is over. The Tower is rubble, only rocks remaining. Stunned and shaken to the core, the Fool experiences grief, profound fear and disbelief. But also, a strange clarity of vision, as if his inner eye has finally opened. He tore down his resistance to change and sacrifice (Hanged man), then broke free of his fear and preconceptions of death (Death); he dissolved his belief that opposites cannot be merged (Temperance) and shattered the chains of ambition and desire (The Devil). But here and now, he has done what was hardest: destroyed the lies he held about himself. What’s left is the bare, absolute truth. On this he can rebuild his soul.

With Mars as its ruling planet, the Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower, as Wang points out, stands for “false concepts and institutions that we take for real.” When the Querent gets this card, they can expect to be shaken up, to be blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What’s most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.

No card scares a Tarot reader like the Tower – or the person they’re reading for if that person knows anything about Tarot cards. It is however one of the clearest cards when it comes to meaning. False structures, false institutions, false beliefs are going to come tumbling down, suddenly, violently and all at once. What’s important to remember as a tarot reader is that the one you’re reading for likely does not know that something is false. Not yet. To the contrary, they probably believe that their lover is being faithful, that their religious beliefs are true and right, that there are no problems in their family structure, that everything is fine at work…oh, and that they’re fine. Just fine, really.

Alas, they’re about to get a very rude awakening. Shaken up, torn down, blown asunder. And all a reader can really do to soften the blow is assure the Querent that it is for the best. Nothing built on a lie, on falsehoods, can remain standing for long. Better to tear it all down and rebuild on the truth. It is not going to be pleasant or painless or easy, but it will be for the best.

8. The Hierophant.

This card shows what you fear most. It represents all negative aspects. Fear.

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.

lthough 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.

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 liasion between man and God.

getting an education
pursuing knowledge
becoming informed
increasing understanding
studying and learning
seeking a deeper meaning
finding out more

having a belief system
sharing a cultural heritage
learning a religious tradition
honoring ritual and ceremony
identifying a world view
following a discipline
knowing where to put your faith

following the rules
taking an orthodox approach
staying within conventional bounds
adapting to the system
fitting in
going along with the program
doing what’s expected
being part of the Establishment

identifying with a group
being committed to a cause
devoting energy to a group
joining an organization
working as part of a team
feeling loyal to others
being in an institutionalized setting.
In many modern packs, the Hierophant is represented with his right hand raised in what is known esoterically as the blessing or benediction, with two fingers pointing skyward and two pointing down, thus forming a bridge between Heaven and Earth reminiscent of that formed by the body of The Hanged Man. The Hierophant is thus a true “pontiff”, in that he is the builder of the bridge between deity and humanity. The Hierophant is typically male, even in decks that take a feminist view of the Tarot, such as the Motherpeace Tarot.

In most iconographic depictions, the Hierophant is seen seated on a throne between two pillars symbolizing Law and Liberty or obedience and disobedience, according to different interpretations. He wears a triple crown, and the keys to Heaven are at his feet. Sometimes he is shown with worshippers, as his alternate title is the Pope or, sometimes, Jupiter.

The papacy was not just a religious force, but was a political and military force as well. When the tarot was invented, the Pope controlled a large portion of central ItalyRenaissance culture did not question the abstract ideal of the Pope as God’s human representative on Earth. In Tarot of Marseilles, he wears a red cape and a blue robe, in contrast to The Papess, who wears a blue cape and blue robe.

The more commonly encountered modern name “Hierophant” is due to Antoine Court de Gébelin. According to de Gebelin, “hierophant” was the title of the chief priest in the Eleusinian mysteries (an ancient Greek ritual).

9. The King of Wands.

This card represents family and your social environment. It is the sum of all opinions and influences related to your family and to your friends.

The Prince of the Chariot of Fire
A charming, responsible, loyal, entertaining, witty, honest, conscientious and generous person.  A lover of the home and family life.  A very passionate and virile man who is good at moral support and encouragement.  When pushed or provoked he acts without hesitation, but can sometimes find this hard as he can often see both sides of an argument.
The King of Wands card depicts a mature man who is decisive and passionate. The throne he sits on has no top, indicating infinite possibilities. The lion and the salamander at his feet symbolize his purified desire and a decisive will that remains unbroken even when tested by trying circumstances and fire. The card may be used for a decisive man who is given to quiet deliberation. Some of his undesirable traits include a quick temper and/or self-righteousness.
The suit of wands is associated with the element fire, and the lion on the back of his throne is symbolic of fire in the tarot. The salamander, once thought to be able to walk through fire, may be symbolic of the test you must endure when you draw this card in a spread. The fact that he appears to be in a burning hot desert is another indication of the element fire.

10. Judgement.

This card represents your hopes. It is the sum of all your wishes, aspirations and ambitions.

Rider-Waite symbolism:

Very clearly, it is modeled after the Christian Resurrection before the Last Judgment.

  • An angel, possibly Gabriel, is depicted blowing a great trumpet, from which hangs a white flag bearing a red cross, most likely the St George’s Cross.
  • A group of humans (man, woman, and child) of grayish complexion stand, arms spread, looking up at the angel in awe. The people are apparently emerging from crypts or graves.
  • There are huge mountains or tidal waves in the background, which almost seem like glaciers as they are so white and blue. These may signify insurmountable obstacles and the impossibility of avoiding the Judgment, or may be a reference to the ocean giving up its dead on the day of judgment, as described in 1 Thessalonians.
  • Judgment —– Rebirth —– Inner Calling —– Absolution
  • Restart —– Accepting past mistakes/actions —– Release
  • Forgiveness —– End of repression —– Reconciliation —– Renewal
  • Decision —– Salvation —– New beginning —– Hope —– Redemption

When Judgment appears in a reading, it is usually interpreted as a signal of an impending judgment, such as of postponed decisions. As the card symbolizes resurrection, it can also be interpreted to herald the return of individuals from the past. The card also represents God‘s promise of life after death. In a reading, especially near the Six of Cups, it may represent a preoccupation with the past, while also suggesting a new beginning and clearing out of the past. Tarot scholar Tara Miller writes that “Judgment represents the House of Gabriel, the knowing that Judgment Day can come at any moment; live your life to the fullest, as the trumpet of Gabriel is at hand.”

11. Queen of Swords.

This is the final result. The result from all previous cards together.

The Queen of Swords indicates a woman who is blessed (or cursed) with sharp perception, and highly honed intuition. She is acutely analytical, with a razor-sharp ability to get to the heart of a situation, seeing exactly what is, rather than what others would wish her to see.

She is a private woman, unwilling to let people too close to her until she is satisfied she thoroughly understands their motivations. But once won as a friend, she is unfailingly loyal, honest and supportive.

She’s usually very intelligent, with a dry sense of humour. Her penetrating insight will often reveal aspects of themselves to others that they had previously been unable to grasp – thus she is a capable therapist, teacher or leader.

The woman represented by this card will be experienced in the flow of life, understanding a great deal about both the great triumphs, and the deepest failings of the race. Her clarity and measured expression will be of great value at times of confusion and sadness.

Sometimes in a reading, this card will turn up to indicate a woman in a particular phase of her life, where she temporarily becomes a Sword as a result of what is happening to her. In that case the card is not quite so positively defined, for it can indicate a woman left alone, and perhaps embittered. She may be a widow, or a woman passing through the aftermath of divorce.

Rider-Waite symbolism

  • She is extending her hand, perhaps to reach for another; but she also holds her sword firmly before her, perhaps as a warning, a self-protection or a test for another. The PKT says she is familiar withsorrow, so it may be understood in this way.
  • Her crown is made up of butterflies, showing the freedom of her thought and her active intellect.
  • Note the difference between the pristine white clouds, and the darker ones showing up on the right bottom corner. The latter ones may reflect upon her sorrows. The former – the unusual clarity of her mind and thoughts. Compare with other sword court cards, where the clouds are mostly tarnished.


Then to be read…

1 + 2: The Empress + The Queen of Swords.

2 + 10: Strength + Judgement.

3 + 9: VI of Wands + The King of Wands.

4 + 8: The Page of Cups + The Hierophant.

5 + 7: The King of Wands + The Page of Wands.

6: The Tower. (Rules and dominates the theme in question.)

The Tower, again, means to be currently in a harsh and chaotic situation but exiting in a good manner. Indeed you are falling but landing with your feet over the soil.

I’ll write about Pamela Colman Smith at another time as she’s worthy of a blog all to herself. She is the artist responsible for the illustrations of the Rider Waite Tarot system. And what I’ve learned from my brief foray in to readings is that she’s pretty cool, by all accounts.

In conclusion, let me say this–

I also did a psychic nuerology reading for myself today and pulled Healthy Self-Esteem 7: My destiny is to experience pain, suffering and personal struggle.

If I invert it;

I now release any repetitive patterns that bind, limit, and restrict my growth and evolution.

My point being, I know what my tower is. And I know what my destiny is. And it’s not destruction.

And what causes the real grief– for me– is the heat in my kidneys, The General, my pineal gland wants to be stimulated organically, my dreaming life wants a fighting chance, my tower is my drinking…

As I woke Saturday, bleary-eyed, from an evening spent dancing on table tops at a Russian club house I was disappointed by my inability to rise early, feeling rested. Toddle off to yoga and then jump on a train to the Blue Mountains to workshop an idea at Dhama Bhumi in Blackheath.

It didn’t happen.

I lay in bed and got my period instead.

Had it been a month already?

Am I losing time?

Am I really giving my body a fair chance?

Where the mind goes… the body follows.

It’ll be six whole months I’ve spent in A Year with Leonard Cohen on Wednesday.

Six months.

Half-way there.

I don’t like to do readings or have readings done

when I’m feeling lost or uncertain of what it is I meant to do next.

I like to really have a sense of knowing.

The reading, I think, should only ever be a reconfirmation of what you’ve been meditating on.

I don’t have a lot of time left. Six months is nothing.

There’s so much I want to get done in that time.

Least of all– finish my crackin’ book of justice!

Get that thing on a shelf.

Make it sing.

And it is for this reason alone that I’d like to spend the next six months with Leonard Cohen, sober.

No tower.

Not this time.

Not without a song.



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  1. […] alexandrajeancoffey пишет: The lion and the salamander at his feet symbolize his purified desire and a decisive will that remains unbroken even when tested by trying circumstances and fire. The card may be used for a decisive man who is given to quiet … […]

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