Happy Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican army's unexpected victory over the French in the battle of Puebla (they were greatly outnumbered). Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT Mexico's day of independence (that's 9/16). Here's a Tarot spread I created I created for you to use:
Have you heard of Kindle Vella? It's Amazon.com's newest venture--a way to read stories in episode format on the Kindle iOS app or online. It's like an app in that you buy a certain number of coins and you can use them to read episodes.
My newest work, Tarot Look-a-Likes, is now up on Vella at this link. Nine "episodes" are already published.
If you ever wondered what differentiates similar looking cards (e.g. 2 and 3 of Wands)--or ones with similar energies (e.g. Celebration: 3 of Cups, 4 of Wands and 6 of Wands)--this series is for you.
Those with strong Hermit archetypes have already been self-isolating. In fact, self-quarantine is a natural state of being. The Hermit goes it alone, seeking knowledge--and trusting that his next step is lit by destiny. This energy is comfortable by itself, not needing the company of others to entertain, distract or solace.
And yet, an actualized Hermit can also embrace others into his/her sphere, experiencing exquisite intimacy and demonstrating extraordinary compassion. (Usually, this is limited to smaller groups, because the energy output is just too much for the Hermit archetype--even among extroverted ones!).
Temperance is a middle path, a synthesis. This Tarot card can indicate blending and practical alchemy, which would cover alternative healing remedies--especially ones that are taken internally (think tinctures, essential oil blends, poultices and tisanes)-- as well as more traditional apothecary.
In the Snowland Deck companion, the "secret" I came up with was Solitude prepares for vicissitude (because The Wheel of Fortune is often the next card in a traditional Tarot deck). In many ways, those with a strong, balanced Hermit archetype have an advantage, because they usually operate from their center by default. Just like on a merry-go-round, the center is less wobbly--and less dangerous. (Think of hanging on the edge of a merry-go-round as it spins quickly. Ack!)
Unfortunately, those unfamiliar with Hermit energy may feel off kilter during these times of COVID-19 (aka the coronavirus). Just a few minutes ago, the governor of my state announced that all schools will be shut down for at least 2 weeks. Disneyland and Walt Disney World are closed. Live talk shows are performing with empty in-person audiences. Some places are ghost towns.
Many have chosen social distancing. Some are doing it because they are infected; others, because they fear infection. To some extent, though, this isolation is forced (whether by lower-chakra fears or by Temperance's practicality).
But the ailments they highlight stem from those who don't feel connected to others. Feeling connecting to others isn't dependent upon having them in physical proximity, however. In fact, many feel lonely among a sea of people.
I can't help but wonder if The Hermit would say:
You are not connected to your Self. Your center. Your ground of Being. When you're alone, you're aware of this because of the physical separation from an Other--which only mirrors the internal disconnection of the One.
As Terence McKenna points out in the video below: You are the center of the mandala.
With the omnipresence of social media, individuals parade about their dozens (or hundreds) of Tarot decks and spirituality books—often surrounded by glitzy crystals, fragile flower petals, fresh herbs, glowing candles and smoking palo santo sticks. Pretty to look at, sure—and certainly an enticement to buy more, more, more (after all, gotta keep up with the Body/Mind/Spirit Joneses, right?)—but do such public antics encourage going deeper? Acquiring, retaining and, more importantly, applying empowering knowledge? Only the Instagram posters can tell for sure. However, the biggest leaps of personal growth occur alone—without anyone watching, encouraging or commenting—or so says The Hermit.
Obviously, this passage goes one step further by implying "social media distancing", which brings a whole 'nother layer to The Hermit...
Stay safe everyone. And remember: at core, you're never truly alone. We're all connected.
In case you didn't know, our son Noah does amazing work as a Tarot bag designer. His stylish Tarot wallets can also be used to hold Lenormand decks, large oracle cards, essential oil rollers and inhalers--as well as mundane things like tissues, medicines, anti-bacterial containers, money, credit cards, etc.
Customers at our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop get to buy already-made bags, or have custom Tarot bags with their choice of liner color and vintage button. Here's a video I made with showcasing some of Noah's work (including Kitty Kicker Kushions filled with organic catnip!):
Doesn't he do extraordinary work?]
In fact, the customer that ordered two more Lenormand-size bags (that I mentioned in the video) just posted a 5-star review of her original bag, along with this photo:
Here's Noah talking a bit about his process (from a few years ago):
You can snag your very own bag made by Noah on our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop here.
Naked Tarot was written over a several-year period and was finished late 2017--publishing in Fall of 2018.
Before Marianne Williamson declared her candidacy for President of the United States, I pegged her as a Queen of Cups--with the personal mandate of "All You Need Is Love". As we can see from her interviews and Democratic debates, her life theme is more public than ever.
Here are the pages from my book about the Queen of Cups, the subsection of The Queens as Healers:
As you can see, several men are also listed, because in Tarot, Queens and Kings don't correlate to gender but energy--how a person conducts themselves on a daily basis.
What famous people (or characters) would YOU correlate with the Queen of Cups? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Dax and I discussed the power of The Enneagram on Tarot Insider Radio--and you can listen in below!
Here are two free tests for you to take to help determine your Enneagram Type: Eclectic Energies and RHETI Sampler. If you want to take a full-length, validated test from The Enneagram Institute ($12)--I highly recommend it--click here. To read all about the 9 Types, click here.
So what about YOU, dear reader? What Type are YOU? (Me? I'm a 7 with a HUGE 8 wing).
In my latest podcast, I discuss rabbit symbolism in Tarot--and how pop culture references to the bunny can enhance our readings-- as well as how the Queen of Pentacles "Breeder" card connects to fertility. Listen in below!
Looking through your favorite (non-RWS) Tarot decks, how many cards featuring rabbits can you find? Share in the comments below!
To make sure you never miss an episode of my Naked Tarot Podcast, click "Follow" at Podbean here.
In this episode of the Naked Tarot Podcast, I discuss the mystical, symbolic aspects of the death and resurrection of Christ as represented by the scorpion/Scorpio and the Phoenix--as well as the Death and The Sun cards of Tarot. Listen in below.
What Tarot cards do you associate with death and resurrection?
In his fun Facebook Group Tarot Tarot Tarot, Paris Debono often posts memes and pictures, encouraging members to share which Tarot cards best represents the image.
Often, he asks for three cards--but I often feel like an image could be best represented by only one...or perhaps more.
This was the case with a recent Which Step Have You Reached Today? meme. I thought I'd share, and break down, my own answer--especially for those newer to Tarot.
I Won't Do It: 4 of Cups
The 4 of Cups is often a card of petulance and stubbornness--of refusing to try new things. This figure would rather stay in the emotional doldrums than exert some effort to change, or improve, his state. I mean, look at his body language! Just like toddler refusing to eat his peas...
I Can't Do It: 8 of Swords
The 8 of Swords depicts a woman trapped by her own self-defeating thoughts. She could easily remove the blindfold and loose wrappings--but chooses to stay where she is. "Can't" is an excellent keyword for this card, because those who utter it assume defeat before even trying. This could be because of a fear of failure--or, a fear of success. Change of any kind, especially for the better, encourages a "repeat performance". This is the nature of growth. And some would rather say in an unlocked cage, proclaiming incarceration, rather than walk out towards freedom...and all the personal responsibility it entails.
I Want to Do It: Ace of Wands
In my opinion, the Wands is the "want" suit--cards of personal identity, desire, passion, gumption, self-starting and excitement. The Ace of Wands is the first stirrings of "wanting" something--much like "wanting" to make, and keep, New Year's resolutions. Whether or not an individual actually follows the desire and takes those first steps...well, that remains to be seen. But the initial enthusiasm is there.
How Do I Do It?: 7 of Swords
I'm sorry, but the 7 of Swords gets a shitty rap among most Tarotists. I see it mostly as a card of strategy and cunning. It's the energy of figuring out a plan, playing a video game and solving a puzzle.
I'll Try to Do It: Page of Coins
Pages will try anything...but its the Coins/Pentacles/Earth suit that takes the most convincing...and enters the fray the most cautiously. Given the hesitancy of the previous steps, this Page seems like the best fit to me.
I Can Do It: Strength
Several cards could fit for I Can Do It, but Strength seemed the most appropriate to me. Whether in a fit of bravado or quiet confidence, Strength comes with an assumption that a task can be met. Still, "can" leaves some wiggle room for loss of confidence or strength: assuming you can tackle, and overcome, a challenge doesn't mean you can. (Why am I feeling a sudden urge to do the Can-Can...?)
I Will Do It: Knight of Wands
You know that famous quote by Thomas Paine "Lead, follow, or get out of the way"? That's Knight of Wands energy. Now, whether he'll do it well...that remains to be seen. But at least this Knight charges right in there!
Yes, I Did It! - The World
Initially, I chose The Sun for this one. But then I got to thinking: The Sun would be more I Am Doing It--it's active, shining and public. But past tense "did it"? Well, that would be The World, methinks.
What about you, Tarot enthusiasts? Do you agree with my choices? Or would you choose other card? Weigh in at the comments section below!
Starting a new job, school, relationship, eating plan or exercise program? What about needing a blank slate--a life do-over or reboot? And then there's New Year Resolutions and/or Intentions!
Fortunately, Tarot can help us usher in this new, exciting phase of our life--especially The Fool, Death, The World and all four Aces. You can use this energy intentionally and consciously (my favorite way to use Tarot), pulling them out of your favorite deck and then focusing on card imagery and their energy/meanings via prominent placement or ritual.
The Fool - OK, this is THE herald of new beginnings. Naive, carefree, without assumptions or expectations--he's just ready to hike rocky mountaintops, sled down a snowy hill...or ready to start his life is as good cup of joe! When this card comes up in a reading, you won't feel the weight or baggage of the past. It will be almost as if your memory has been wiped (almost) clean--or that you were just born, no preconceived notions to limit or stop you. If your Fool is carrying a hobo pouch, you can be sure it's only filled with joy...and maybe a pencil with blank notecards to record his new adventure.
Death - When something passes, it stands to reason that something may take its place some day--or changing into something else (First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It only transforms or transfers). Snowpeople melt and nourish the ground or evaporate to return again some day. Businesses close--only for the owner to find a new vocation or job (or retirement!). The old business may be bought by a new owner for another incarnation--or its building might serve a different function. Death is inevitable for all carbon-based entities (like us!). At least, our physical form passes away. (It's up to theologians and philosophers to discuss what happens when we die, but the book Journey of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton provides compelling evidence for an afterlife--and life between lives).
When the Death card pops up in a reading, inevitable change is afoot. Resistance is futile. In fact, it's inadvisable since it's one root of suffering, in my humble opinion. You're being invited to transition, to surrender to a passing away, to walk through a door labeled "No Turning Back". Oh, you can try to escape it. But like the merchant in Baghdad, you'll still meet your appointment with impermanence...
The World - This card often features a circle or mandorla quite prominently within its image. The circle evokes a sense of containment, wholeness, totality, integration and completion (to come "full circle", springs to mind). The mandorla, the pointed oval motif often seen in architecture and the vesica piscis, often appearing in sacred art, is reminiscent of the female vulva--the place where a little life exits the body and enters a brand new world. It's a garden in full bloom, a degree from an intuition, a birth, the film credits at the end of a movie, The End at the close of a book--even enlightenment (if there truly is such a thing on this dualistic planet).
If world peace would ever be achieved, this would be the card! In some versions of The World, a hermaphroditic dancer--symbolizing both ecstatic joy and the integration of masculine/feminine energies--features prominently. Maybe even the soul after death, triumphing at yet another life well-lived (with pats on the back all around from angels and spiritual guides) would feel the exultation of The World.
A word about the Aces: They are offerings of new beginnings--not a guarantee nor proof. It's up to you if you plant it, grab it, wield it or drink from it.
Ace of Coins - You are being offered a chance to invest in the material realm. Time, money, resources, health, job, food, clothes, house, environment, property, seed--any new opportunity within the physical, tangible realm falls under the Ace of Coins (aka Pentacles, Earth, Disks, Crystals or Rainbows). But again, it's just a chance. A lot can happen between the Ace and the Two: Indecision, lack of action, opportunity going to someone else, fear of accepting the offer, laziness, indifference, bypassing the chance to buy lottery ticket (or worse, forgetting to scratch off and redeem a winning one!)--snooze and you lose. The portal only stays open for a short time before it closes unexpectedly. (By the way, when I look at RWS versions of this card, I'm reminded of a basketball hoop for some reason. Don't drop the ball! may be the message in this case). You don't plant the seed, don't expect to see any ROI.
Ace of Wands - If a person offers you a match to start a fire for roasting marshmallows...there's no guarantee you'll see flames. The match holder may change his mind. He may drop it amid fallen foliage. You strike it...but wind blows the damn thing out (the holder may not have anymore). Ya just never know. The Wands suit (aka Batons, Fire, Staves, Sticks) governs energy, action, ambition, enthusiasm, courage, gumption, career (as opposed to actual job), as well as many issues related to the "self" (as in, "self starter", “self esteem”, "self propelled", "self possessed", etc.). When the Ace of Wands shows up, you're invited to reinvent yourself--to "grab the baton" and begin the race of becoming a fulfilled, courageous, self-defined, passionate creature. I also consider this the big "thumbs up" card in the Tarot (i.e. a resounding yes! or go for it!). Reversed? Negatory. Nope. Hell no.
Ace of Swords - Aha! What a brilliant idea! Are you content to just "sit with it"? Ponder it? Play with it? You can, you know. Who says that we need to be production fiends, right? Or share our lofty ideals or dazzling musings. Nope, our thoughts can remain just ours if we desire. But what if we want to "make something of it"? Say, communicate it via written or spoken word? Like the other Aces there's both opportunity and risk involved here: wield the sharp Ace of Swords--and risk bursting balloons or bubbles. The Swords suit covers the intellectual realm, as well as words, beliefs, assumptions, thoughts, decisions, analysis, facts, data, logic and judgement. The Ace of Swords (aka Athames, Blades, Air or Wind) also cuts through BS; its clarity and precision is beloved and embraced by truth-seekers...but feared by poseurs, charlatans and liars. It's a force to be reckoned with, as are all the Swords cards. Of all the Aces, this is the one most passed over for the sake of maintaining the status quo, avoiding scrutiny and averting disruption.
Ace of Cups - With this card, we're being offered warm, fuzzy feelings: love, peace, compassion, harmony, forgiveness A new chance for romance is possible; the conditions are certainly favorable when the Ace of Cups pops up. The Cups suit (aka Chalices, Water or Vessels) governs matters of the heart, as well as succor, healing and spiritual communion/connection (after all, the corresponding ancient TdM suit relates to the clergy). Moods, emotions, feelings, dreams, aesthetics and preferences also indicated by the Cups suit. Thus, when the Ace of Cups shows up in a reading, there's an invitation to forgive, to remedy, to kiss the boo boos--as well as feel deeply, widely and strongly.
A note on inspiration: you may be thinking "Which Ace deals with inspiration? Isn't that the 'breath' of something new?" I'm glad you asked this! Early in my Tarot career, I pondered long and hard on this very topic. Personally, I feel all the Aces provide inspiration. Ace of Coins: If someone gives you a $50 gift card, you're suddenly inspired to buy something (unless your a 4 of Coins miser!). For a creative, this could mean paints, canvas, pens, paper, classes for further study and so on. With the Ace of Wands, you're inspired with a rush of energy to start a project or accept an opportunity to collaborate. A sense of passion and vitality infuses your being.
With the Ace of Swords, you're inspired by a singular idea--some notion or observation that could revolutionize the world, shake up the sleepy, solve a problem or communicate a complex concept with clarity and simplicity (alliteration unintentional!). And the Ace of Cups? That dreamy, flowing, kaleidoscopic inspiration that feels like you're tripping on acid (just guessing...honestly). It's warm, watery, luxurious.
Welp, I hope you found this post on Tarot cards about beginnings to be illuminating and helpful! Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you.
Want even more information on the cards that often signify new starts? Check out my video below!
Imagine the cards of Tarot lined up to give you advice for the New Year. First the Major Arcana cards, followed by the Wands, Swords, Coins and Cups suit. Each card considers the wisdom it offers to you, and melds it with the anticipated wisdom of the next card.
Which of following 78 Tarot Tips for the New Year resonates most with you?
The Fool – Leaps of faith invite magic.
The Magician – Creativity generates intuitive guidance.
High Priestess – Honed intuition nurtures the soul.
The Empress – Abundance benefits from boundaries.
The Emperor – Inner authority begets wisdom.
The Hierophant – Tradition determines our commitments.
The Lovers – Commitment fuels forward movement.
The Chariot – Force submits to grace.
Strength – Courage lends itself to individuation.
The Hermit – Solitude prepares for vicissitude.
The Wheel of Fortune – Fairness is but one setting on the Wheel…and never a guarantee.
Justice – The relentless pursuit of fairness halts progress.
Hanged Man – Reality upends less when practicing non-attachment.
Death – Once the rumbles of transformation settle, balance is restored.
Temperance – When caught between heaven and earth, always side with heaven.
The Devil – Chains explode when illumination dawns.
The Tower – Remove the roof to see the stars.
The Star – Hope is a star navigating us through uncharted waters.
The Moon – Only by embracing the dark can you appreciate the light.
The Sun – Earthly achievement pales in comparison to spiritual fulfillment.
Judgement – What is it to gain the whole world if you forget your soul?
The World – All the world’s a stage, and I am the writer, actor and director of my personal play.
Ace of Wands – Original ideas and passionate purpose never go unchallenged.
2 of Wands – As iron sharpens iron, so does one man to another.
3 of Wands – Do it because you love it, not because you expect attention or applause.
4 of Wands – Even the most idyllic neighborhoods host troublemakers.
5 of Wands – Participation in high-spirited fun sometimes leads to unexpected victories.
6 of Wands – Hollow victories are the ones unearned and undeserved.
7 of Wands – When you view people as friends, resolution arrives quicker.
8 of Wands – Hurrying may lead to delays at best and disaster at worst.
9 of Wands – Choose your battles wisely, for some will lead to even more struggle.
10 of Wands – It’s a sobering moment to realize that most burdens are self-created.
Page of Wands – Usually, necessities are required before great quests are undertaken.
Knight of Wands – Inner Sight often guides trailblazers and renaissance souls.
Queen of Wands – Valuing our Inner Sight helps others to see clearly, too.
King of Wands – Exercising creative muscles often leads to mastery, then benefaction.
Ace of Swords – First thought, best thought.
2 of Swords – Better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.
3 of Swords – Going it alone makes for lighter travel.
4 of Swords – Calm focus prepares for activity.
5 of Swords – Healthy competition can pave the way to new discoveries.
6 of Swords – It’s easier to think on your feet when the proper groundwork has been laid.
7 of Swords – It only pays to be fast on your feet if you’re actually heading somewhere.
8 of Swords – A rut is a grave with the sides knocked out.
9 of Swords – A close mind prevents compromise and alliance.
10 of Swords – Forgiveness covers a multitude of sins.
Page of Swords – Harsh words stir up anger.
Knight of Swords – If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.
Queen of Swords – Reviewing in the early stages prevents mistakes later on.
King of Swords – No outcome is ever guaranteed, so go big.
Ace of Coins – Jumping through windows of material opportunity may lead to monkey in the middle.
2 of Coins – Balancing tasks on your own time gives you an advantage when collaborating.
3 of Coins – Budgeting wisely protects sweat equity.
4 of Coins – A scarcity mindset perpetuates loss.
5 of Coins – Suffering opens our heart to the struggles of others.
6 of Coins – Giving without expectations erases the need to keep score.
7 of Coins – Taking stock early on makes for less work later.
8 of Coins – Dedicated effort brings personal satisfaction and material reward.
9 of Coins – Enjoying abundance is your birthright.
10 of Coins – Your future isn’t defined by your lineage or the past.
Page of Coins – Tackling chores as they arise creates the habit of completion.
Knight of Coins – Extraordinary discoveries are made amidst caution and care.
Queen of Coins – To feel rich, appreciate the intricacies of the natural world.
King of Coins – How are profits and losses measured in the business of humanity?
Ace of Cups – Knowing you deserve goodness paves the way for comfortable intimacy.
2 of Cups – Better to have deep love with one than shallow ties with many.
3 of Cups – Cliques and chicks can prevent beneficial solitary pursuits.
4 of Cups – Familiarity breeds contempt, but sadness results when it disappears.
5 of Cups – Better to regret something you’ve done than something you haven’t.
6 of Cups – Your past doesn’t equal your option-filled future.
7 of Cups – Confidence in your selection leads to enjoyment.
8 of Cups – It’s only a vacation when you’re enjoying it.
9 of Cups – Food is not a substitute for human connection.
10 of Cups – It’s easier to navigate a cold world when love and warmth waits at home.
Page of Cups – Precocity will open the door, but ardency will keep you there.
Knight of Cups – If you can’t have what you want, then want what you have.
Queen of Cups – The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
King of Cups – Provision for games and diversions pays great dividends during lean times.
Have you snagged your 2018 Tarot Journal yet? Instant download at 2018TarotJournal.com. 377 Tarot prompts based on the Minor Arcana--but no deck (or knowledge of Tarot) necessary. Full-color, with 13 bonus spreads at the end. Enjoy!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my little family of creatives have a Patreon page where you can support our artistic endeavors and get exclusive goodies in the process.
One of these goodies at our Patreon home is my Tarot Look-a-Likes videos (something no one has done before--and will be the basis of a future Tarot book of mine). Below is a mini-video contrasting The Moon and 7 of Cups Tarot cards in light of the keyword CONFUSION. What makes them different--and why do some deck creators/authors give the same keyword (confusion) to them? To find out, watch below!
My Back in Time (BIT) Tarot Method (as featured in my 2008 book Back in Time Tarot, published by Hampton Roads) shows how anyone can use--and learn--Tarot just by associating the cards with memories, songs, historical events, stories, fairytales, TV shows and more. Here's the chapter on Songs from the 80s--complete with videos to go along...and questions for further exploration.
Arguably one of the best eras for music, the eighties were a time of big hair, fluorescent colors, leg warmers, upturned collars, stonewashed jeans, and banana hairclips. Madonna began her reign as a pop goddess; synthesizers replaced disco beats, and glam metal found dudes raiding their mom’s makeup bag. Surprisingly, some successful acts from the 1980s are still around making music, but they’re sporting a lot less hair and mascara.
Wheel of Fortune: “Changes” by Yes - There’s only one constant in life, and that is change. The capricious Wheel seems to dump fortune in one person’s lap, while robbing another blind. Some people believe that a petty God lives upstairs, ready to deliver a toasty lightening bolt to those who are bad and luxurious rewards to those who are good. Others believe it is the Law of Attraction serving up whatever a person happens to be “vibrating.” One thing is for sure: the Wheel brings frustration and delight, luck and disaster. How you interpret the source of the cycles is entirely up to you.
The Emperor: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears - Bureaucracy, gridlock, and insane pressure. While many of us don’t want to rule the entire world like an emperor, we certainly want to rule ours. What happens when the energy of rules, boundaries, and calling the shots butts up against another’s desire to do the same? Compromise would be one solution, but you’ll have to look to another card for that.
Seven of Cups: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by the Eurythmics - “I’ve traveled the world and the seven seas—everybody’s looking for something.” Because of all the intriguing choices offered in each of the seven cups in the imagery, I consider the Seven of Cups to be the “life is a buffet” card. Fame, fortune, identity, knowledge, truth, achievement, love, peace, meaning—yes, just about everyone is chasing after something. Every dream, even crazy ones, begins with a healthy dose of imagination, so is it possible that believing is a precursor to seeing?
Two of Swords: “I Know There’s Something Going On” by Frida - One-fourth of the seventies group ABBA, the attractive red-headed Swede, aided by tons of reverb, sang this haunting refrain. More often than not, many individuals do, indeed, know when “something” is going on because they’re equipped with gut feelings. However, like the blindfolded lady in the Two of Swords, they choose to “see no evil” (or, better yet, refuse to address it), so they go on pretending that nothing is going on.
Ace of Cups: “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood. When I think of the Lovers, arranged marriages and fitting partnerships come to mind. The Two of Cups, for me, is the deep connection of soul mates and close friends. What exactly is a “higher love” than that? Well, I see the Ace of Cups as a pure heart, communion with the Divine, and unconditional love.
Five of Pentacles: “Jeopardy” by the Greg Kihn Band - Admittedly, “Weird Al” Yankovic’s spoof of this song has tainted my memory a bit (“I was on Jeopardy . . . baby”), but when lead singer Kihn asks, “Where were you when I needed you?” I think of the Five of Pentacles. I can totally see the two huddling figures in the foreground as individuals who helped others in their time of need, only to be abandoned when they were in jeopardy.
Five of Cups: “Tainted Love”by Soft Cell. Speaking of tainted, I just had to include my absolute favorite song from the eighties! “Take my tears and that’s not nearly alllll, tainted love . . .” Although the tossing, turning, and not sleeping at night would be more akin to Nine of Swords, I’ve always gotten a weird vibe from the Five of Cups. The figure cloaked in black—what’s going on behind the robe? I swear, every time I look at the Universal Waite version of this card, I think I see some peeking. “Boo hoo! My feelings are hurt!” Call me cynical, but I suspect they’re crocodile tears, and if that’s the case, there’s probably a manipulator under that cloak. “Once I ran to you, now I run from you.” Indeed!
Six of Cups: “Don’t You (Forget about Me)” by Simple Minds. In one Tarot tradition, the Six of Cups is associated with the sun in Scorpio. One thing is certain about Scorpios, especially low-level ones: they never forget—especially injury and slights. However, this lovely croon tune refers to looking to the past with fondness and longing, another meaning often associated with this card. “Hey, hey, hey, hey . . .”
Ten of Pentacles:“Our House” by Madness - “Mother wearing her Sunday best”—never a good sign in song or movies. Oh, it sounds so 1950s perfect, but behind closed doors, there’s probably spousal abuse, child neglect, Internet-porn addiction, and alcoholism. But golly, I bet the linoleum floor sparkles! If the Ten of Cups is the truly cohesive, loving family, then the Ten of Pentacles may very well be the ones who pretend to be such because, for them, appearances are everything.
Four of Cups: “I Don’t Care Anymore” by Phil Collins - Whether jaded by experience or disappointed by expectations, the bored-looking figure in the Universal Waite version of this card seems to exude an “I just don’t care” attitude. Like the lyrics of this song, he just sits there “and bides his time.” But what is it that he’s waiting for? A hand emerges from the cloud, bearing a cup—what might that represent to the central figure in this card? We can only speculate, but his obstinate body language seems to indicate that he needs to deal with whatever is in those three cups before him in order to be open to the offered chalice floating in the air.
Temperance: “Send Me an Angel” by Real Life - I admit it: I made this choice because I saw it in a dream. No, I’m totally serious. I woke up one day, the dream world trailing ether as it went back from whence it came. In my head, I heard this song and saw the Universal Waite version of Temperance. The lead singer pleads, “Don’t give up . . . don’t give up . . . I’ve never been lucky in love.” Well, I believe in healing and hope, so let’s hope that angel in the card brings some measure of peace to the troubled waters of lonely hearts everywhere.
The Devil: “Witch Hunt” by RUSH - “Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice, as we walk hand in hand.” The Devil can be an ignorant son of a bitch, quick to call “evil” what he doesn’t know or understand. Perhaps if he’d go beyond the surface with his eye (the Hebrew word ayin, meaning “eye,”is associated with this card in Qabalistic tradition), he’d realize that we’re far more similar at core than different.
Songs convey stories, emotional content, concepts, and messages, which make them perfect catalysts for stimulating memories and intuition. Symbols are shortcuts, and like the Tarot, songs are often full of them. Thus, both can deliver a wide range of information for those who are paying attention.
For those born after 1985, “totally” was an oft-used term originating with the “Valley girls” on the left coast, but it eventually worked through the entire United States. (Don’t believe me? Look up the lyrics of the song “Valley Girl” by Frank and Moon Unit Zappa. Yes, Moon Unit is her real name. If that’s not bad enough, she has a brother named Dweezil!) Like, anyway, I’m still not done with the word “totally,” so please excuse the multiple uses in this particular BIT Snapshot. I’m not trying to gag you with a spoon, honestly.
Make a list of your favorite songs. Consider the lyrics and beat, as well as any memories or emotions evoked. Which cards would you choose to pair with the associations that arise.
Eras and cultures often have distinct musical flavors--medieval chants to doo-wop, surf music to klezmer, and so on. Bring to mind a particular culture, era, or style of music and come up with some examples. Then go through a Tarot deck and select cards that you feel represents those songs.
Recall a famous singer who made history, went far past their fifteen minutes of fame, or often lands in the headlines. Which cards seems to embody their personality, songs, reputation and personal life?
-- Janet(P.S.Back in Time Tarot was voted one of the Top 10 Best Spirituality Books of 2008 by OneSpirit Book Club--along side Deepak Chopra and other Self-Help luminaries.)
Queen of Pentacles: She's usually a dull, shallow busy-body
with nothing better to do than interfere in the life of her grown children,
neighbors, friends, etc. Tends to be a boring homebody that cares more about
appearances and the spotlessness of her home than actual personal connection.
Or, she's a workhorse that prefers the familiar ruts of repetitive jobs; don't
expect this one to be original!
Queen of Cups: She's usually co-dependent, using
relationships to bolster her own (lacking) self-esteem. She may be creative and
inspired, but her escapist tendencies often include benign neglect of her
offspring and/or too much nursing of the ol' bottle. ::hic::
Queen of Wands: This ambitious firebrand blazes through
ideas, projects and people at lightning speed. That's right: if people don't
serve her uses, she'll be outta there. Projects and innovative endeavors are
her game, and if you're hanging on for the ride, you may want to strap a pillow
to your backside when she jettisons you for more useful folks.
Queen of Swords: Battle
Axe? Judgmental Bitch? Perfectionist? Yes to all. Beware all who cross her path
with incorrect grammar, sloppy appearance and abject stupidity, for She will
call you on it. You won't get away with anything in her presence, for she's
honed her hair-splitting skills with a razor's edge.