March 21 – April 19
Ten of Cups
On the Ten of Cups we see a loving couple with their carefree children. The family home is in the background, surrounded by trees and water. A rainbow of cups is overhead blessing the scene. A cynic might scoff at this romantic picture, but I see it as a symbol of what our emotional life could be at its best. The feelings represented here are an ideal that is within the reach of each of us.
First, there is joy. Joy goes beyond happiness, contentment, enjoyment. It is the feeling that comes when we know at the deepest level that we are one with all that is, and it is good. Unfortunately, this is not exactly a common feeling! Too often we are blinded by the trials of life and overwhelmed by their challenges. Joy exists, though, and is our birthright.
Peace is another aspect of the Ten of Cups – the serenity that comes when all elements are in harmony. There is inner peace and outer peace which are reflections of each other. When you are in harmony with yourself, you experience harmony in your environment. When you see the Ten of Cups, know that an end to hostility is possible. If there is fighting around you, it may cease. If you are at war with yourself, you may find peace.
In readings, this card often signals a time of abundant blessings. It tells you that you can reach for the fulfillment you deserve, and it will come to you. Look for ways to realize joy and create peace. You may find the key to happiness in your family. Your family is the group of people you are attached to emotionally – for better or worse! If there is trouble in your family right now, work to restore harmony. The time is right for greater closeness.
April 20 – May 20
Five of Wands
You wake up and stub your toe going to the bathroom. You’re in the shower and find out there’s no soap. At breakfast, you get juice on your shirt. When you get to the car, your battery is dead. It’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day [note]. You’re beset by hassles – those petty annoyances that are infuriating because they are so minor.
The Five of Wands stands for times when your environment seems to be fighting you. Nothing flows smoothly; everyone is working at cross-purposes. The figures on this card are all batting at each other. There is no coordinated effort, no agreement. When this card shows up, be prepared for a bumpy ride. You’re going to need extra patience and perseverance to get to the point where you can accomplish something. The Five of Wands does not represent major blockages, just many small, irritating ones.
This card also stands for competition. In the right circumstances, competition is useful. It fosters extra effort, generates excitement and encourages the best. When the Five of Wands appears in a reading, check for competitive elements. You may be involved in a contest, race or game. You may discover you have rivals who are opposing you or challenging your position. You may feel disheartened (or invigorated!) by the dog-eat-dog environment you find yourself in. At its heart, competition is divisive. Make sure it is helping you and others reach your true goals. Otherwise, work toward cooperation.
May 21 – June 20
Five of Cups
The Five of Cups is about loss. On this card, we see a figure draped in black and covered in grief. He so dominates the card that it is hard to look beyond him. The Five of Cups refers to that time when the pain of a loss is most acute. This man is looking only at the overturned cups in front of him. For now, he cannot acknowledge the two cups that are still standing. Later, when he has healed somewhat, he will be able to see all that remains.
In readings, the Five of Cups can alert you to the possibility of a loss and its associated emotions – sorrow, regret, denial. The loss could be great or small. It could be tangible (money, possession, relationship, work), or intangible (dream, opportunity, prospect, reputation). You may already know what this card represents, but, if not, use it as a warning to help you avoid a loss, or at least reduce its toll.
You may feel discouraged by this card, but it does have a positive side. Every loss opens new possibilities for growth because every loss initiates change. Loss hurts because it is our emotional resistance to change. No matter how much we accept intellectually that we must go with the flow, if that flow separates us from what we love, our feelings say, “No!”
June 21 – July 22
Queen of Swords
The personality of the Queen of Swords combines the positive air energy of the Swords suit with the inward focus of a Queen. You can always count on her to tell you exactly how it is. Above all else she admires honesty, and she lives by her commitment to being truthful. Lies, tricks and games are of no interest to her, but she’s not easy to fool. She is experienced in the ways of the world, good and bad.
The Queen of Swords can size up a situation quickly. She understands human folly, but doesn’t condemn it. She knows when cow manure is being thrown around and simply finds clever ways around it. She prefers being straightforward and direct. Her observations are candid, but never hurtful. In fact, this Queen has a delightful sense of humor. She likes a good laugh and always has a witty comeback ready-to-hand. She knows that life isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. The Queen of Swords is refreshing in her candor and lack of pretense.
In readings, the Queen of Swords asks you to think and feel as she does. For example: Are you being completely honest? (Check this one first!) Do you see the humor in the situation? Are you getting right to the point? Have you figured out what’s really going on? Are you letting yourself be fooled?
This Queen can also represent a man or woman who is like her, or an atmosphere of honest, direct communication. In a reading, she tells you that her special energy has meaning for you at this time. Let yourself be inspired by this Queen in whatever form she appears in your life.
July 23 – August 22
Ten of Wands
On the Ten of Wands, we see a bent figure trying to carry ten heavy poles. They are ranged so closely in front of him that he can’t even see where he’s going. Nothing exists for this man except his burdens and responsibilities. How true this is for so many today! We take on so much, trying to do all the things that need to be done. We think that if we can hang on until the weekend (or vacation, or end of the semester) then we can finally relax. The weekend comes, and the overload continues.
In readings, the Ten of Wands can be a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. If your days are an endless round of duties and tasks, then you need to lighten up for the sake of your health and well-being. Cut back and take on only those activities that give you pleasure. If you love your work, but it’s all-consuming, you may be too narrowly focused in one area. Balance your life with other interests.
The Ten of Wands can also stand for times when you have to assume the lion’s share of responsibility. You may be blamed or left holding the bag. On the other hand, you may have to step forward and take charge because you are the only one capable enough. Rightly or wrongly, the cleanup will fall to you.
The Ten of Wands indicates that your life is going to be tougher than usual for a time. You will have to fight uphill for every little gain. Each step will feel like a struggle. When you see this card, be kind to yourself. Lighten the load wherever you can, and let others help you. You don’t have to handle everything yourself.
August 23 – September 22
Eight of Wands
In readings, the Eight of Wands is often a sign that now is the time to declare yourself. All the elements are ready and will work for you as long as you don’t hesitate. The iron is hot – so strike! If events are in motion, they will proceed rapidly. You may feel caught in a whirlwind, but soon the dust will settle, and you see how your plans have fared.
The Eight of Wands also stands for the arrival of news or information. You may see or hear something important. The news could show up in a disguised form, so stay alert. Pay attention to everything that comes your way for a while.
This card also signifies endings. Sooner or later all activities run their course. The eight wands on this card not only symbolize putting events into motion, but also bringing them to a close. They appear to be ending their flight by coming down to earth. If you see the Eight of Wands in a reading, it may be time to conclude whatever you have been doing. Celebrate the past, but prepare to move on to something new.
September 23 – October 22
Knight of Swords
On the positive side, the Knight of Swords is a master of logic and reason. He has a keen intellect that grasps the fine points of any subject. He speaks clearly, directly and always with authority. His judgments are sure and free of emotion. Others rely on his lucid analyses of problems and solutions. On the negative side, this Knight is not a master of diplomacy. He can be downright tactless and rude. When he thinks you are wrong, you’ll know it. He’s convinced of his own superiority and has little tolerance for stupidity. He expects others to comply with his views. To him, feelings are irrelevant and illogical.
In readings, a Knight of Swords shows that his penetrating style is involved in the situation as an aspect of you, someone else or the atmosphere in general. you need to ask yourself, “Is this Knight’s energy helping or hurting?”
If his style is evident, then balance is needed. Are you always forcing your position on others? Do you get in trouble for saying what you think? Is your partner too cold and aloof? Do your colleagues tend to be critical rather than supportive? It may be time for a change.
If this Knight’s energy is missing, a dose of clear-sightedness may be called for. Are you too emotional? Let your head rule your heart next time. Do you overvalue the opinions of others? Trust your own authority. Are you afraid to offend? Speak your mind. Let the Knight of Swords introduce you to his world of reason and self-assurance.
October 23 – November 21
Queen of Pentacles
The personality of the Queen of Pentacles combines the positive earth energy of the Pentacles suit with the inward focus of a Queen. If you were to visit the Queen of Pentacles, the first thing she would say is, “Come in, come in. It’s great to see you. Have a bowl of soup!” No one is more welcoming and nurturing than she. Her greatest pleasure is to care for others – making sure they are happy and secure. Her home is always overflowing with children, pets, plants and footloose friends. She is warm and generous to all. In day-to-day matters, she is sensible and practical. She doesn’t have a lot of time for elaborate plans and other craziness. If something needs doing, she just takes care of it without a lot of fuss and bother. If necessary, she makes do with little and always comes through in a pinch. There is a down-to-earth, matter-of-factness about her. She is always loyal and steadfast. Because she is trusting by nature, others trust her completely. When you are hurting or in need, the Queen of Pentacles will calm your fears and share your troubles.
In readings, the Queen of Pentacles asks you to think and feel as she does. For example: Are you feeling warm and caring toward others? Are you being sensible? Have you been true to your word? Do you feel generous? Can you be counted on when times are tough?
This Queen can also represent a man or woman who is like her, or an atmosphere of warmth, trust and security. In a reading, she tells you that her special energy has meaning for you at this time. Let yourself be inspired by this Queen in whatever form she appears in your life.
November 22 – December 21
Five of Swords
The Five of Swords is about self-interest. Society tells us to think of others, yet we resist. How we can ignore our own concerns and still survive? This dilemma comes from our definition of self. If we view our self as our personality/body, our interests become those that relate to that self. Do I have enough to eat? Am I happy? Do I have all I want?
We may expand our concern to those we love, but, then, how can we stop there? We are connected to everyone in the long run. In truth, our self is the world. What we do to that world, we do to ourselves. This understanding is so basic, but so infuriatingly easy to forget day-to-day.
In readings, the Five of Swords can mean that you or someone else is forgetting this larger view of self. You are defining your interests too narrowly. If you try to get ahead in isolation, your actions will come back to haunt you later, one way or the other.
Sometimes this card implies a need to put your own interests first. If you are being abused or taken advantage of, you must get free. If you are worn out by demands, take care of yourself. If it is your turn, step forward and claim your due. Just be aware that if you hurt others in the process, your victory will not feel complete.
The Five of Swords also represents hostility – from a cross word to warfare. When the cords that bind us are broken, we experience dis-cord. This card can signify dishonors that are fairly open. Cheats, lies, tricks, deceits, even crimes. You may be on the receiving end, or be the perpetrator. Either way, hold to a larger view of who you are. Find the solution that is best for everyone…including yourself.
December 22 – January 19
Knight of Pentacles
On the positive side, the Knight of Pentacles is like a bulldog. Once he bites down, you can be sure he won’t let go. He’s dogged in pursuit of his goals. A hard-worker, he has tremendous stamina and dedication. Every job is always completed down to the last detail. He’s careful and prudent, never wasteful. He knows the facts and is immune to false promises. On the negative side, this Knight is a bit stodgy and dull. He’s not known for his playful sense of humor. Work always comes first. He tends to be inflexible and obsessive about little details. Stubborn to a fault, he refuses to give in even when wrong, something he’ll never admit. He doesn’t like change or risk and will always take the gloomiest view.
In readings, a Knight of Pentacles shows that his cautious style is involved in the situation as an aspect of you, someone else or the atmosphere in general. You need to ask yourself, “Is this Knight’s energy helping or hurting?”
If his style is evident, then balance is needed. Are you working too hard? Do you refuse to listen to reason? Do you have a perfectionist in your life? Is the atmosphere around you one of gloom and doom? It may be time for a change.
If this Knight’s energy is missing, a dose of prudence may be called for. Are you spending too much? Maybe it’s time to slow down. Do you give up too soon? Dig in and refuse to quit. Is your work often careless, late or incomplete? Next time resolve to work up a sweat and get the job done. Let the Knight of Pentacles introduce you to his world of care and persistence.
January 20 – February 18
Page of Pentacles
The Page of Pentacles shows a young man who stands alone in a field full of freshly blossoming flowers. Behind him in the distance to his right is a grove of lush trees, probably fruit-bearing trees of some sort, and to his left lies a newly furrowed field which promises an abundant harvest. The Page walks slowly as though he were unaware of anything around him other than the golden coin in his hands, which he closely examines. The bright sky above him suggests that all is well in his world and that this is a tranquil moment spent planning his path towards future success. The Page of Pentacles, like the pages of all the suits, is a card of new beginnings, of inspiration and the initial stages of a creative project or venture. Pentacles correspond to the alchemical element of earth, and in this sense the coin that the Page holds may symbolise the beginnings of sensual awareness not only in terms of money and its value but also in terms of a growing awareness of the importance of health and other material needs.
The Page of Pentacles is a messenger bringing you opportunities for prosperity. He delivers real chances to experience wealth, abundance, security and solid achievement – the wonders of the Pentacles suit. In your readings, this Page suggests that an opening may appear that promises enrichment, comfort, trust or the chance to make your dreams real. When you see such a chance, act on it!
The Page of Pentacles can also stand for a child or young-at-heart adult whose interactions with you involve stability, trust, commitment, safety and material needs. Sometimes the Page of Pentacles implies that your entire situation is suffused with the spirit of physical enjoyment. At such times, feel free to have fun with your body, skills and possessions in a lighthearted way. Revel in the delights of being alive on Earth at this time.
February 19 – March 20
The High Priestess
The High Priestess is the guardian of the unconscious. She sits in front of the thin veil of unawareness which is all that separates us from our inner landscape. She contains within herself the secrets of these realms and offers us the silent invitation, “Be still and know that I am God.”
The High Priestess is the feminine principle that balances the masculine force of the Magician. The feminine archetype in the tarot is split between the High Priestess and the Empress. The High Priestess is the mysterious unknown that women often represent, especially in cultures that focus on the tangible and known. The Empress represents woman’s role as the crucible of life.
In readings, the High Priestess poses a challenge to you to go deeper – to look beyond the obvious, surface situation to what is hidden and obscure. She also asks you to recall the vastness of your potential and to remember the unlimited possibilities you hold within yourself. The High Priestess can represent a time of waiting and allowing. It is not always necessary to act to achieve your goals. Sometimes they can be realized through a stillness that gives desire a chance to flower within the fullness of time.
The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know in order to make a decision about a problem or a job, an investment, love, career, family, etc.
And, finally, there is, behind her throne, the curtain that leads to the deepest, most esoteric and secret knowledge; the pomegranates that decorate it remind us of Persephone, who was taken down into the land of the dead, ate its fruit, and became the only goddess allowed to travel to and from that strange land. Which indicates that when you get the High Priestess, you’re going to be learning some very odd things. Very odd.