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Posts Tagged ‘21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card’

~ “Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” ~

– Anthony Robbins

One of the best ways to determine what a reading about is to ask questions. Questions not only stimulate the energies that reveal a life pattern, but also enable us to break out of the habit of blindly making assumptions and taking things for granted. Even what we deem as a ‘silly question’, can end up revealing a whole lot about a card. For example, if the 9 of Cups is the card of Happiness, why (in the RWS deck) is the man sitting alone with his arms folded (a body language cue that he wants to be left alone)?

In this Step, we need to go back to the description of our chosen card, and based on it, ask any 3 open-ended questions. The best part about this is that we don’t really need to give a ‘correct’ answer! Yes, we can make up our own answer to our own self-imposed open-ended question. After all, we do contain the answers to the universes greatest mysteries within ourselves (we just need to search deeper than we think), so surely answering such questions should be a snap for us!

However, while we do this, we might just be reminded of a past event within our own lives. This ‘snapshot’ memory image could posses vital clues that would not only help us understand our chosen card, but Tarot as a whole.

So let’s go back to the description of our chosen card…

6 of Swords - Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Two people are standing on a boat/vessel that appears to be made of wood with intricate carvings. The woman stands in front, wearing sapphire color robes. Her arm is bare, but is adorned with bracelets around her forearm and bicep. She wears a golden tiara, and her  brown hair, though thick and long, are loosely tied with what appear to be golden beads.

The other figure wears a dark robe with a hood that covers their face, making it all the more difficult to decipher whether it is a man or a woman. Both it’s hands are on the steering rod, from which a chain dangles. Behind this figure is a golden/yellow light orb that though bright, makes it all the more hard to decipher the figure’s gender.

Above them, three swords dangle, suspended with metallic chains. One is right in front of the woman, and one right behind the second figure. The third being the largest of them, dangles in the middle. All three swords have a circular jewel embedded within, which has the purple-ish color of amethyst. Behind the three swords are two chandeliers which hold candles. Behind the middle sword, a bright white light glows.

In the water below, there are three more swords. The one in the middle is closest to the boat, while the other two are spaced further away. The one on the left of the card seems to have a jewel similar to the ones above (we can’t see clearly with the other two swords because that particular area is covered by the water).

The water below is full of ripples, distorting the reflection of the boat, while the walls of the area they are in seem to have carvings of a similar nature on each and everyone of them. Beyond the boat, there seems to be an archway, but due to the darkness we cannot see what’s on the other side clearly.

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Going over this description over and over,  I can think of more than just 3 open ended questions, but if I begin asking them out loud, this would end up being a massive post, and thus would run the risk of boring you (I refuse to let that happen, I care about you, my readers, with all my heart). So hence, will pick the 3 most ‘interesting’ ones of the lot ;).

QUESTION ONE:

“… her  brown hair, though thick and long, are loosely tied with what appear to be golden beads.

Why are her hair loosely tied? And why with golden beads of all things?

Her hair are loosely tied because if they are tied too tight, it might just make it hard for her to think straight. After all, tying hair up too tight would always lead to massive headaches*, and considering where they are, I’m sure the Princess would prefer it if she could think clearly without a headache. However, considering she is a Princess, she would ensure her hair, though loosely tied, would appear neat and well-groomed. The fact that her hair are thick and long, indicates a healthy body,  a tension free mind, and a well-developed crown chakra (seriously, it’s true!). This shows she’s balanced on a body-mind- and soul level (and if you remember in Step 5, the number 6 was a number of ‘Balance and Harmony’ among other things).

The golden beads not only signify her royal heritage, but also her intellectual prowess. Alchemist believed Gold represented the perfection of all matter on any level, including that of the mind, spirit, and soul. Gold is also the most malleable and ductile metal, often made into threads or extremely thin sheets (gold leaf), as well as, intricate ornate jewelry and large bulky slabs and bullion. Thereby symbolizing the incredibly depth, purity, and versatility of the Princess’ mind. gold is a good reflector of electromagnetic radiation such as infrared and visible light as well as radio waves, it is used for the protective coatings on many artificial satellites, in infrared protective faceplates in thermal protection suits and astronauts’ helmets and in electronic warfare planes like the EA-6B Prowler. Thereby indicating that her mind is protected from all outside ‘interference’ and ‘pollutants’, allowing her to remain focused with ‘pure’ intentions.

(* The minute I wrote that, I got a ‘Snapshot’ of when I was about 10. I had really long hair back then – long story – and would often try to braid my hair to resemble my sister. I remember I did so too tight, and thus got the worst headache ever! So horrible, that when I was playing on the swings in the park, I got so giddy, that I fell off my swing and hurt myself horribly. Luckily there was soft sand below the swing, so my fall wasn’t as drastic, but the gashes on my arms and legs were horrible.)

QUESTION TWO:

Above them, three swords dangle … In the water below, there are three more swords”

What’s the deal with 3 Swords above and 3 Swords below?

Hmmm… Well, this is a bit of a toughie. However, I’m going to go with a bit of a ‘creative’ take on it.

This reminded me of the old saying, “As above so below”. This phrase is often circulated throughout esoteric texts and has been quoted numerous times. The concept was first laid out in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, in the words “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.”

In accordance with the various levels of reality: physical, mental, and spiritual, this relates that what happens on any level happens on every other. So if air represents our ‘thoughts’, while water represents our ‘psyche’; the placement of the swords could perhaps represent the connection between our conscious ‘thinking’ mind and our subconscious mind that’s deep like the ocean.

Now, to get a little more creative –  there are 3 swords above and 3 below. Perhaps the 3 of Swords plays an important role. The 3 Swords above could represent the Princess having to deal with numerous issues like heartbreak, betrayal, mourning. And maybe she’s wondering ‘why’ did she have to experience such things. Through her journey, she gets to the psychological root of her issues, and realizes that due to all this conditioning that’s occurred over the years, she’s been inviting all sorts of 3 of Swords like experiences within her life. Thus realizing how the Law of Attraction comes into play*.

(* As I wrote this, I had another ‘Snapshot’ flash before me. Earlier this year, I was totally 3 of Sworded by someone I cared deeply about. So painful the experience was, that I had a major breakdown. It was indeed a dark time within my life. After a few sessions with a spiritual healer and karmic counselor, I not only discovered the psychological and emotional roots of why I invited such an experience within my life, but also discovered the past life connections between us. Doing so gave me a better understanding of the entire situation, and thus helped me move on and heal from the experience.)

QUESTION THREE:

“…boat/vessel that appears to be made of wood…”

Why is the boat/vessel made of wood?

Well, the answer for that comes from Feng Shui. The Wood Element is associated with Spring – The season of new beginnings and renewal. Wood periods are a time for healing, for bestowing favors, for helping others, for beginning projects and time for initial growth both personally and professionally; thus representing the Princess floating away from the ‘winter of her life’ and entering a new phase of her life, filled with a renewed sense of hope. It’s interesting to note that Wood is nourished by Water, but destroyed by Metal (Swords are made of metal), so in a way, this is quite a balancing act of a journey for the Princess.

According to ancient Chinese medicine, Wood rules the Liver, and one of the primary functions of the Liver is ‘detoxification’; thus symbolizing a cleansing  process of sorts. According to various schools of holistic healing, the Liver is considered the ‘seat of anger’, and the primary emotion of Wood is anger as well.* Thus showing the importance of having a healthy way of expressing anger. If suppressed for too long within, it turns toxic for our souls. If expressed carelessly, it could lead to disastrous consequences. Similarly, the vessel needs to be navigated with care, else it could strike against a sword, causing it to sink like the Titanic.

(* At this point, I had another ‘Snapshot’ flash. This was about 18 months ago, when I was initiated into Reiki. During my Level II initiation, I was taught about psycho-somatic causes of all dis-eases, as well as, the various connection between the mind, body, and soul. My Reiki Teacher actually used those very words, “Liver is the seat of anger”, and she spoke of how people with dull brittle nails, excessive restlenessness, menstrual/gynecological problems, and blurry vision/eye disorders, etc have weak livers, and thus either suppress their anger or have a vicious temper. A week later, I had a blind date with someone I met from the internet. Over our chats online, he seemed really sweet, funny, and incredibly grounded. And when we met, he seemed ever so mellow. However, while he got up to excuse himself to go to the men’s room, I noticed he had really dull nails. Even though he manicured them regularly, there was a certain dullness to them. When he returned, I noticed his cuticles were nitpicked intensely. He kept on shifting in his seat, unable to really sit still for a minute. My ZiZi-senses (my own spin on Spidey-Senses) were tingling, and not in a good way. Throughout the evening, he remained quite mellow, leaving me to believe I was just imagining things. However, when it came time to pay the bill and leave, he got into an arguement with our waiter over the silliest of issues. I’m not able to recall what it was all about, but it was definitely something trivial. However, he went on and on and on… shouting angrily and belittling the waiter for no legitimate reason. And as he drove me back home, he kept going on and on, ranting and raving about the incident (and yell out a few choice phrases to other motorists). Needless to say, a second date was out of the question).

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Wow, who knew that just by ‘asking questions’, we could discover so much about a card, and even though it might seem random and out of the blue, the ‘answers’ we receive for our questions might just reveal the answers we’ve been seeking all along!

I hope you all enjoyed this Step. Give it a try sometime. Describe the card as explained in Step 2: Description, and then ask open ended questions. I can guarantee, it will be a fun and revelatory experience!

Love and Blessings

Zorian

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This exercise was taken from Mary K Greer’s fantastic book, 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card. For more information about the exercises and the various ’steps’ click HERE to purchase a copy of this masterpiece that’s a must have for every one ever acquainted with the Tarot.

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~ “A world ends when its metaphor has died.” ~

— Archibald MacLeish

According to Dictionary.com, A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison. It is also applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance. “All the world’s a stage”

In her book, 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card, Mary K Greer states that “Tarot imparts information via symbol and metaphor – the stock-in-trade of a reading. Metaphors express what cannot be told in any other way, prompting pictures that trigger the imagistic unconscious mind and bypass the critical conscious mind. As a basic mechanism for understanding our experience, metaphors convey in very few words the essence of a card meaning by evoking emotions, sensations, and memories.”

In other words, we tend to experience metaphors on a physical, emotional, mental, and sometimes even spiritual level. For example, with a phrase like, “The Boy Next Door”, we imagine a young boy in his late teens to early twenties, with the most dreamiest smile ever. A slight blush appears on our cheeks as our lips curl into a shy yet naughty grin, and for some reason, no matter how old we are, we still feel like a young girl crushing away. However, with a phrase like, “Prima Donna”, immediately roll our eyes as we imagine this beautiful yet over-the-top-drama-queen that believes the world revolves around her, and everything that happens is always all about her.

So in this step, we learn how to access symbolic information embedded in cliches, aphorisms, puns, song lyrics, proverbs, and even movie quotes; for they can evoke personal experiences and trigger remembrances that vary from person to person and change with changing circumstances, but can serve us very well when reading a Tarot Card. For example, “I was your fortress you had to burn” from Madonna’s Power of Goodbye can so be used for “The Tower”. Or the phrase, “Crying over spilled milk” is so very “5 of Cups”.

So without any further delay, let us list as many metaphors we can with our chosen card – The 6 of Swords

6 of Swords - Legacy of the Divine Tarot

6 of Swords

Go with the flow

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Obstacle Course

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Piercing Depths

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Sailing through troubled waters

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Labyrinth of the human mind

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Moving to calmer waters

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Guiding Light

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Navigating by Heart-Light

(Suggested by Lisa Lloyd)

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Ripple-Effect/Ripples in Time

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Leaving on a Jet-Plane

(Suggested by Submerina)

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Like a bridge over troubled waters

(Suggested by Submerina)

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The Windmills of the Mind

(Suggested by Helen)

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How do we use metaphors to understand the card better, and also apply it to our reading? Well, the best example I can cite is my own personal experience with not just the 6 of Swords, but with exploring all the various steps within my journey. As mentioned in Step 1, the card chose me, I didn’t choose the card. So in a way, the message I got from the card was –

“I shall be your guiding light throughout your journey. I shall help you sail through the troubled waters within the labyrinth of your human mind.”

Pretty cool huh?

Can you think of some more metaphors for the 6 of Swords?

Can you think of some metaphors for your chosen card?

Give it a try, and have as much fun as you can :D.

Love and Blessings

Zorian

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~ “Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits” ~

— Carl Sandburg

This step is to synthesize everything we’ve learned in Steps 5 & 6 – number, suit, element, and mode – into simple statements. In other words, we get to have a lil fun and mix and match the keywords in order to create mini-meanings or aphorisms to help us out in not only understanding our chosen card better, but also apply them when the card appears in our readings, as we seem fit.

The best part about this technique is that not only can it help us whenever we’re having intuitive dry-spells, but it can even help us with cards that have unillustrated minors that make it hard to read with ‘intuitively’, as well as, whenever we need to do a ‘quickie’ reading where we need ‘instant answers’ without being too ‘therapeutic’. For those of you who do the whole ‘psychic fair circuit’, as well as, those of you who read at parties, events, metaphysical stores, salons, etc, where you have to stick to a fixed amount of time per seeker, and wish not to be too drained at the end of the day; this reading technique can prove surprisingly useful.

What’s even more cool about it is that you can create an infinite amount of aphorisms and statements, as you can mix the keywords in any possible combination, as it suits the reading. So you can even create a set of ‘ready-made’ interpretations for your own personal convenience. However, I feel that it’s important that I mention that the cards are incredibly dynamic, and while this is a good step to follow, never ignore your own personal intuitive impulses at the time of a reading!

And with that, let’s see how we can synthesize the various structural aspects of the chosen card – 6 of Swords.

In this exercise, I’m making it like a mathematical formula (6 + Swords =…). 6 being a variable that contains all the keywords associated with 6, including the fact that it’s ruled by Venus; Swords being another variable that contains all the keywords associated with that suit, including the fact that it’s associated with the element of Air. And since it’s belongs to the Minor Arcana, one of the Modes of a Tarot Deck, all the resulting aphorisms are connected to the “what?” in a situation, and the “what action to take?” For more details on these, please check the previous step.

6 of Swords - Legacy of the Divine Tarot

6 of Swords

6 (Hamony) + Swords (Thoughts) = Harmony of Thoughts

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6 (Balance) + Swords (Mental) = Mental Balance

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6 (Perfection) + Swords (Planning) = Perfectly laid Plans

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6 (Union) + Sword (Mindset) = Unity of mindsets

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6 (Beauty) + Swords (Mind) = A Beautiful Mind

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6 (Fairness) + Swords (Decision) = A fair decision

(Make your decisions fairly; A decision shall be made that’s fair to everyone)

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6 (Emotions) + Swords (Detachment) = Emotional Detachment

(In order to move on we need to detach ourselves emotionally from the past)

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6 (Pleasantries) + Swords (Cutting) = Cutting through the Pleasantries

(Cut the crap and get down to business)

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6 (Yin) + Swords (Yang) = Yin & Yang

(A balance of our feminine emotional self and masculine logical self)

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6 (Idealism) + Swords (Ideas) = Idealistic Ideas

(Through our idealistic ideas, we can create a revolution, and move forward in our personal evolution)

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6 (Discrimination) + Swords (Criticism) = Critical Discrimination

(After all, Uncle Al did call this card ‘Science’)

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6 (Reunion) + Swords (Letters/Communication) = Invitation to a Reunion

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6 (Resolution) + Swords (Battle) = Resolving Battles

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6 (Moist) + Swords (Air) = Humidity 😀

(Yes, I was once asked on Radio to give a weather forecast. I ‘winged’ it in this manner, and it worked)

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6 (Vanity) + Swords (Cruel) = Vanity and Cruelty go hand in hand.

(If we think about it, a lot of people who are exceedingly vain have quite a cruel streak (Mirror Mirror on the wall…). And yes, this step can also be used to elaborate the ‘shadow’ aspect of a card)

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Wow! Just by synthesizing the various structural aspects of the card, we’ve managed to come up with 15 unique aphorisms which we can use with the card! See, just by understanding the various structural aspects of a card, we can learn so much about it, as well as, be able to create our own interpretations, and apply them to a reading where it seems fit. Some of them, I just created on the spot, because they just ‘hit’ me at the moment. That just goes to show how ‘intuitive flashes of inspiration’ can strike us even when doing something as ‘mundane’ as mixing and matching keywords to create aphorisms.

We shall next see how we can use our intuitive abilities and create metaphors for our chosen card in Step 8: Metaphor.

Till then, have a lovely week ahead.

Love and Blessings

Zorian

PS: Hey, be a sport, try this out and see how you can synthesize the various aspects of the 6 of Swords (or whichever card you’re doing your own personal Journey through Mary K. Greer’s 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card), and please share them with us here. I’d so totally love to read them. You could just end up teaching us all something new!

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~ “A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.” ~

— Guillaume Apollinaire

In the previous steps in our jouney, we’ve been focusing mostly on intuitive methods of reading a Tarot Card. While, those are wonderful ways of not only enhancing our understanding and appreciation of the Tarot, as well as, expanding our own intuitive abilities; it’s also important for us to understand the basic structure of a Tarot Card. By ‘structure’, I mean the card’s Number, Mode, Suit, and Element.

Reading a card on an ‘intuitive’ level does bring an extra depth to a reading, however, sometimes even the most intuitive of readers tend to blank out in the middle of a reading because they are just unable to ‘get’ a card. It’s normal – we’re human beings. We have our moments. Also, not all readings require us to go ever so deep into a card. A quick, no frills, blunt interpretation of the card at times is more appreciated than a long detailed descriptive one that we’ve ‘channeled’. It’s kinda like those days when you just crave a Big Mac and fries, and know that Fois Gras or Coq au Vin can’t satisfy you.

In her book, 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card, Mary K Greer has dedicated two separate chapters on exploring the structure of a card. One entirely focusing on the card’s Number, while the second focusing on the card’s Mode, Suit, and Element. I however, have decided to include them within a single posting, mainly because at this point, I’m only focusing on the ‘Way of the Apprentice’ exercises, as well as, I feel that each aspect is essential to the card’s structural make-up, and thus enable us to enhance our understanding of the card when applied together, than separately.

So without further delay, let’s delve into the structural aspect of our given card – The 6 of Swords

6 of Swords - Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Number

The number of our given card is ‘6’. Six is the number of equilibrium, as well as, balance, harmony, health, and time. Pythagoras considered the number 6 as the form of forms, the perfection of all the parts, and associated it with immortality. In Christian symbolism, 6 is also considered as the number of perfection, as God created the world in 6 days. According to the Kabbalah, 6 represents beauty and creation (Tiphareth). According to the Chaldean system of Numerology, 6 is associated with the planet Venus, and thus represents a feminine/yin energy that is pleasant, harmonious, settled, and peaceful, and emphasizes on love, beauty, relationships, diplomacy, and resolution.

Applying it to the card:- Seeking calmer waters. Releasing Tension. Moving away from chaos and anxiety and entering a more peaceful state where balance and harmony are restored.

Mode

In Tarot, Modes are the four unit divisions of the deck; i.e. Majors/Trumps, Court Cards, Aces, and Minor Pips (Numbered cards from 2 – 10). The 6 of Swords is a Minor Pip card, which represents the ‘What?’. They describe the situation and events that are occuring within our lives, as well as, what exactly we are dealing with and what action we can take to deal with it.

Applying it to the card:- Journey. Travel. Transition. Change. Progress.

Suit

The given card belongs to the Suit of Swords. Swords represent the qualities necessary to survive, especially boldness, dexterity, efficiency, alertness, and courage. They also allow us to observe scenes from our life without emotion and somewhat detached, critical, and allow us to discriminate fairly. Swords are also indicative of struggles or conflict, and point to a need for making decisions to shape our lives. They cut through all the drama and BS surrounding us, offering us clarity.

Applying it to the card:- Detaching ourselves emotionally as we release the past and enter our future. In order to sail through a time of struggle and difficulty, we need to detach ourselves from all the BS and focus on the things that matter. Critical and objective reflection is required in order to gain an understanding of our situation and achieve clarity.

Element

The given card belongs to the element of Air. Air represents our mind, intellect, logic, reason, rationality, and our ability to communicate. In a psychological context, Air corresponds to nimble analysis, flexible discrimination, and therefore to ideas, ideals, and knowledge acquired through study and education.

Applying it to the card:- Transferring ideas, data, and thoughts. Channel of Communication. Education helps us move from the ‘dark’ and into the ‘light’ by opening our minds and expanding our horizons.

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As you can see, just by examining the various aspects of the overall structure of the card, we discover quick and to-the-point interpretations of the given card. This way, whenever we go through an ‘intuitive dry-spell’, we can still tap into the wisdom within the card and gain the answers we seek. In a way, it almost gives us a ‘scientific’ way of analyzing and interpreting the Tarot.

Stay tuned for Step 7: Synthesis, where we shall combine the various structural aspects of the card and expand on our abilities of interpretation.

Love and Blessings

Zorian

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~ “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~

Maya Angelou

This is a step I have been really looking forward to. Here I get to unleash my incredibly active and crazy-fertile imagination. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but my Sag-Mercury that conjuncts Uranus in my birthchart does give me a flair for the dramatic!

If a picture can speak a thousand words, then a Tarot Card can speak a million! (Yes I made this up all by myself, and you can quote me on it, but do remember to credit me :D). And of those million words spoken by a single Tarot Card, countless stories can be woven. And the best part is, the story can have absolutely NOTHING to do with the traditional meaning of the card!

Yes, you heard right! The story doesn’t have to be related to the traditional meaning of the card! That’s what makes this step so fantastic, because here we can let our imaginations run wild and allow ourselves to weave a story more wondrous than Alice’s Wonderland itself! So get ready to liberate yourself from the bondage of LWB’s, companion books, mile-long lists of correspondences,  and all the ‘researched historical theoretical’ books on the Tarot, and let’s take a Fool’s leap into the realm of our imagination…

6 of Swords - Legacy of the Divine Tarot

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Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there lived a beautiful princess named Aria. Like every princess, Aria had every possible luxury and privilege bestowed upon her from the moment she was born. From the finest gowns spun from the finest silk, to the finest shoes crafted of the finest and most rare materials. From jewels of the most precious of gold embedded with the most brilliant stones, to trinkets and baubles gifted by various princes from all corners of the world. Aria had an army of servants to cater to her every need, as well as, was provided the finest education from the world’s finest tutors. She would attend the  fanciest of fancy balls and dance with the most charming of charming princes. Princess Aria had everything a princess could ask for, and everything a commoner could only dream of. Aria hated her life!

It wasn’t like she wasn’t grateful for all that she received. She truly loved her family, and she understood that she was incredibly blessed to lead such a lavish life of luxury. However, a part of her felt like a bird trapped within a gilded cage. Within the confines of her palace, and her kingdom, she was treated as no less than a ‘God’. Even though one could get used to such treatment, Aria understood that it was fake. All the love and adoration was for the title that was bestowed upon her from birth. No one truly loved her for whom she truly was. If she was just born a peasant girl, no one would ever give her a second glance. Those pompous princes and shallow princesses she would meet and greet with on a regular basis were so caught up with the glittering dazzle of being royal that they never bothered to discover themselves, nor dream of being anything but a bunch of entitled nitwits.

Oh how Aria would wish she could just escape from it all. How she wished she could just take off in the middle of the night and run away to a distant kingdom, where she could hawk her jewels and gain enough money to travel the world incognito, experiencing life the way it’s meant to be experienced – one adventure after the other. There was so much out there to be discovered and so much for her to learn; and yet here she was, wasting away her life while everything is handed to her upon a silver platter.Oh how she wished she could just escape!

“Be careful what you wish for child”

‘Who is that?’ Aria awoke from her slumber with pearl-like beads of cold-sweat dripping down her spine out of fright. She looked around frantically, only to discover she was alone in her chambers. Just as she was about to dismiss it as a figment of her imagination, she noticed a golden glimmer through the cracks of the door. Aria called out for her chambermaid, but she didn’t respond. Lazy Cow! Probably off canoodling with the stable-hand again!

Unable to shake off her curiosity, Aria slipped out of her bed and headed over to the door, only to discover upon opening, a golden orb of light hovering mid-air. Startled, she tried feeling the space above, below, and around the orb, trying to see if there were any strings holding it up like that. Before she could finish her examination, the orb began to move down the hallway at a gentle, yet, quick pace. Without a second thought, Aria began chasing it.

It was so odd, usually the palace was filled with guards, servants, courtiers, someone or the other; but tonight, the palace was empty. Not a soul was around to witness the site of Aria in her sleeping-gown chasing after an orb of golden light down the flights of stairs and through the foyer. She had almost caught it halfway down, until her sleeping gown got caught under her foot, causing her to take a nasty tumble down the stairs.

The first thing she felt was her head felt as though she was carrying a ton of bricks upon it. She slowly tried opening her eyes, but everything was so hazy that she felt all the more discouraged to do so. The spinning only made her headache worse.

“It would help if you take a few deep breaths before you open your eyes”

Aria’s eyes shot up wide and she sat up in a frightful jerk. She began breathing rapidly, almost on the verge of a panic attack, as she noticed her surroundings – a dark dingy labyrinth of sorts with a river, filled with various tunnels. She was on a wooden vessel of sorts that seemed to move as if it were floating through air rather than water.

“Well, that’s another way to get up.”

Aria turned around and saw a mysterious figure shrouded in a dark cloak that covered him from head to toe. Behind him, was the very same golden orb she was chasing! At first she wished to grab onto it, but then considering what happened the last time she chased after it, she decided she had enough for now. She slowly managed to stand up by grabbing onto the edge of the vessel and began examining her dark dingy surroundings. Something about the figure forbade her to try to make direct eye-contact, but the fact that his hands were chained to the steering rod, didn’t escape her sight.

“W-Where am I?… H-How did I get here?”

“You always wanted to escape didn’t you? Well, now you got your wish!”

“What do you mean?” Aria turned towards him, without making direct eye-contact. “Who are you? And how did I get on this vessel? I demand to know! I’m a Princess for Nyx-Sake!” It felt so unnatural for Aria to use the ‘princess card’, but this was getting way too creepy.

“I only steer the vessel from one port to the other. That’s all I know. That’s all I do. I do not ask questions about who I carry with me. Nor do I question why I have to carry them.” The mysterious one replied in a low ominous tone.

“That doesn’t make any sense to me!”

“It’s not even supposed to.”

Aria turned around in a huff, looking ahead of her as the vessel headed out into a courtyard of sorts. Unlike the rest of the labyrinth, this area seemed to have a white light illuminating the room. No matter how much she tried, she just couldn’t identify the source. Above and below were sword like stalactites and stalagmites that though seemed dangerous at first, merely just seemed to reflect the white light, illuminating the chamber all the more.

“Where are we?” Aria asked breathlessly, in awe of it all.

“This is the chamber of consequences.”

“Chamber of what?”

“You wished to escape didn’t you? Well, every wish has its consequences. Take a look in any of the mirrors.”

Aria gazed into one stalactite that dangled above them as they passed by it. Her jaw dropped as she saw her reflection dissolve in front of her very eyes, revealing a vision of her mother lying in bed almost lifeless, with her father sitting by her bedside covered in a veil of melancholy. “M-M-Mother…”

“You were their only child. The apple of their eye, their pride and joy. They had tried for over ten years to bear a child, and had almost given up hope. You were their miracle, and the center of their world. The moment they discovered you were gone, your mother collapsed on the spot. No matter how many physicians and healers attend to her, she still refuses to get better; almost like she lost the will to live.”

Aria’s eyes began welling up with tears. Yet a part of her refused to believe the vision before her. After all, this could just be a trick, a way to ‘guilt’ her into returning to the kingdom and resume her suffocating life. Though the vision did look pretty convincing…

“Go; take a look into the other one. You’ll see a different vision.”

Upon doing so, Aria saw the kingdom in sheer and utter chaos. The once joyous and abundant kingdom was now the center of discord. People were rioting all over the streets. Crimes were being committed in broad daylight, and nobody did a thing to stop them. Fistfights broke out in the drop of a hat. The lush farms and valleys were now dead and charred due to enormous fires that occurred during massive rampages.

“With your Father struck so deeply with grief, he lost all interest in managing the kingdom. Without a king to command them, the peasants took full advantage of it. After a certain point, the palace guards even joined in the looting and plundering, realizing that the King could care less.”

“But why would Father allow this to happen?” Aria wiped her tears quickly before they could fall down her cheeks, trying her best to remain skeptical, “he loved his kingdom. He was so devoted towards developing it into a utopian society of prosperity and knowledge.”

“That’s because the kingdom was his legacy to you. You were next in line to the throne. Everything he did for the kingdom was all for you Princess. And since you’re no longer there, he lost the will to lead his kingdom to glory…”

“Stop it!” Aria screamed as tears began flowing down her cheeks, “This just can’t be true.”

“Oh but it is true dear princess. You wished ever so desperately to get away from your charmed life that you didn’t realize the consequences of your wishes. You were so caught up in detesting your life that you never bothered to wonder about your role and duty as a future monarch.”

Aria wiped away the tears from her now swollen cheeks, “What happens to me once I run away?”

“Take a look and see for yourself”, the mysterious stranger pointed towards the mirrored stalactite ahead.

Upon gazing, Aria saw herself in a far distant kingdom. She was all alone, living in a tiny hut, which she had to share with five other people. There was no one to wait on her, no one to really look after her. She would work all day long at a field for wages well below the amount of effort she put in. At nights she would have to be a serving wench at an inn, where drunk patrons would make lurid passes at her, and again she wouldn’t earn as much as the efforts she would put in. It was a lonely existence. Even though she lived with others, they were too caught up in their own lives, that they didn’t bother befriending each other.

“No!” Aria’s eyes widened with disbelief, “That can’t be it! Can it?”

“You wanted to be free from being a princess and living a privileged life. That’s the life of a peasant. Freedom is a double-edged sword princess. Just like wishes.”

Aria’s head drooped in shame. She fell upon her knees and began sobbing uncontrollably. Oh what a short-sighted fool she had been. Spending all her life fantasizing about being free from a life of privilege, without realizing how it would affect her family, as well as, herself. Oh how selfish it was of her to live in those fantasies. To believe that fulfilling them would make her life all the more better.

“W-W-What if…” Aria stammered as she tried to stand up.

“Yes?”

“W-What if I didn’t runaway? What if I didn’t wish so dearly to escape? How would my life be?”

She couldn’t see it, but she could feel the mysterious stranger smiling under his cloak, “See for yourself dear princess” He pointed towards a stalagmite, floating near the boat.

Aria drooped over and to her delight; she saw her kingdom all lush and abundant. She could see everyone celebrating with joy at her coronation. Everyone was so happy to see her ascend the throne. Unlike earlier, Aria didn’t seem unhappy or suffocated by it all. She seemed all the more content and at peace. The vision went on to show how as the sovereign ruler of the kingdom, she would build universities to educate the peasants, especially the girls. Wages would be increased; women would be treated with respect wherever they’d work. The arts and philosophical and progressive thinking would be nurtured throughout, and thus making the kingdom into a rich cultural melting pot, attracting aspiring artists and philosophers from kingdoms allover the world to migrate over and only add to the richness and beauty of the kingdom.

Everything was so blissful, but the vessel was moving away from the stalagmite. Aria leaned in closer and closer, trying to get closer to see how the vision turned out. Just as she had come to the scene of her wedding day, she felt the vessel rocking, and before she could regain her balance, she fell over into the icy cold water, screaming in sheer fright.

She woke up, only to realize she had water splashed across her face. By her side were her parents – the king and queen – and an entire brood of attendants. It was all a dream. She reached out and hugged her parents. Salty tears of joy flowed blissfully down her cheeks as she kept apologizing about how selfish and rotten she had been, and how she truly valued and appreciated everything they had done for her. Her parents were bewildered by her revelation, but laughed it off, reminding her of their unconditional love.

Six years had passed since that fateful night. Aria had ascended throne and ruled over her kingdom with pride and joy. Everything she saw in the vision had come true. Her kingdom was one of the most prosperous Kingdoms in all the lands. Women were empowered and treated with respect, and wages were so generous, that no one felt exploited, which made them all the more willing to work hard and pay their taxes on time regularly. The university had attracted scholars, philosophers, and artists from all over. Peasants got a fair chance for an education and choose their path in life, than have it dictated for them. Aria had done well for her kingdom.

And now was the day of her wedding. The only part of the vision Aria never saw too clearly. Her groom was a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom. Unlike the princes she knew while growing up, he wasn’t a snob, nor tried to suppress her under his thumb. He was the perfect partner, politically and romantically. The two of them fell in love when they met for the first time during the ball inaugurating the university she had built.

As they exchanged their vows, for a fleeting moment, Aria noticed a figure shrouded in a heavy cloak watching from afar. Her eyes widened with shock! It was the very same mysterious stranger that she had met in her dream. Was it really a dream?

Before she could ponder further, she noticed the stranger removing his cloak, only to reveal that he was actually her. The stranger was truly her reflection. And the stranger smiled upon her, blessing her with love and approval. Aria smiled back and finished exchanging her vows.

The crowd cheered as she and her prince were pronounced husband and wife. The two of them embraced each other passionately and exchanged a tender yet deep kiss. A kiss so powerful that Aria could just feel it to the core of her soul.

And they lived Happily Ever After!

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Wow! That was such an intense journey! In all honesty, I never planned the story out at all. I just kept observing the cards image and let the story just pour out of me. It was almost like I could feel a force beyond my comprehension whisper the story in my ear, and guide my fingertips upon my keyboard. Gosh, I’m getting goosebumps and chills down my spine just looking at the story I created. And through the story, this has helped me discover so many ‘new meanings’ to the 6 of Swords, which I would have never really felt fit with the card before (such as reflection, introspection, following your destiny, consequences of our wishes, etc.).

Imagine! Just from a single card, a story of more than 2500 words could be weaved. Perhaps with a 3 card reading, we could create an entire novella. Perhaps a Saga from a major spread like the Celtic Cross. Hell, I bet if all 78 cards were used, one could have an entire epic tale on the same level as say Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tale that was weaved from the 6 of Swords. And I do hope you all give this (and the previous steps) a try as well. I can totally guarantee it will be an intense and powerful experience.

Love and Blessings

Zorian

NOTE: I have typed the entire story as I observed the card, and didn’t edit it a single bit, because I felt it might rob the integrity of the exercise where we’re supposed to let our imaginations run wild! Please excuse any typographical or grammatical or narrative flaws and errors. Thank you.

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Careful the wish you make
Wishes are children
Careful the path they take
Wishes come true, not free
Careful the spell you cast
Not just on children
Sometimes the spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you
Careful the tale you tell
That is the spell
Children will listen.

— Stephen Sondheim (Taken from the song Children will Listen from the Musical Into the Woods)

 

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~ “Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions.” ~

— David Borenstein

In Step 2, we discovered how describing the card objectively and in full details (without letting our personal assumptions and projections get in the way) helped us connect with our card on a deeper level. Noticing the most minute details within a card can lead to so many personal revelations that not only could it change the way we’ve viewed or appreciated a card, but also add a whole new dimension to our ability to read it.

Now, we shall delve deeper into our card by describing what seem to be the emotions, feelings, and attitudes of the figures on the card, and the mood and atmosphere of the environment. Some of you might wonder, isn’t this exactly the opposite of what I discussed (ranted/raved/preached/nagged – take your pick) about in the previous step? Well, yes it is, but the thing is, before we can allow ourselves to open our emotional floodgates over a cards imagery, it’s important for us to first have a clear concise idea of the card. This way we remain ‘grounded’ when reading the card without being carried away with our emotions. In my case, had I not given an objective description of my chosen card, I would have been singing ‘Think of Me’ from Phantom of the Opera in each and every reading the card appeared in, as in Step 1, I so felt the card was a total rip from it.

So let’s begin the third step in our journey, and describe what seem to be the emotions, attitudes, and feelings of the figure(s) on the card and the mood and atmosphere of the environment.

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6 of Swords

6 of Swords - Legacy of the Divine Tarot

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The scene seems to be in an underground labyrinth of sorts. Due to the massive metallic swords and the bare stone walls, it seems as though the air has a slight chill to it. The woman in front seems to be a princess. She isn’t afraid, nor is she nervous. She’s almost stoic, as if she already has an idea where she is heading, and in a way is just preparing herself for it. The way she is holding onto the ledge of the vessel, gently and subtly but very obviously, it’s almost like a part of her feels she cannot handle things all by herself, and thus needs a ‘support’ of sort. She certainly isn’t getting any from the mysterious figure behind her.

The mysterious figure steering the boat though seems sinister at first, is actually a slave to his position (I’m sticking to masculine pronouns for the sake of convenience. I’m all for women’s lib and equality, but what can I do, the English language is highly chauvinistic). His hands are chained to the steering rod of the boat/vessel, making it seem as though he’s stuck to being the navigator of this vessel for eternity. In a way, one would feel sorry for him, but he seems to be more or less accustomed to his purpose in life, even though it seems forced upon him. Perhaps he’s made peace with it and goes about his work stoically. Maybe that’s what makes it bearable for him.

Despite the stoicism displayed by both the figures, the water below tells another story. Despite the overall calm and serene appearance of the card, the water is incredibly ‘disturbed’ with all the ripples. The swords creeping up from below only seem to add to the ‘troubled waters’. Perhaps this reveals how the two figures truly feel from within, despite doing such a good job of masking their emotions.

The swords that dangle on top perhaps represent the various issues being faced by the two figures. In the case of the Princess, she is only aware of the minor issues that though are important in the present moment, aren’t really the ones that need all her attention. Those are represented by the large sword behind her. Though she isn’t consciously aware of them, on a deeper level she is. Thus she can feel them weighing her down, but yet is unable to identify them. The Mysterious Stranger however knows what they are, but it isn’t his duty to say anything, for he bears a cross (sword) of his own (the one behind him). And even though he doesn’t try to think about it too often, the bright light next to that sword constantly reminds him what’s looming above.

He knows that the middle sword, the big one dangling in the center represents not just the problems (as it has the largest and clearest amethyst crystal embedded within – amethyst being the crystal of ‘awareness’ and ‘healing’ among other things), but also the solution for those problems for the princess. Yet he is paralyzed by his obligation of just being the navigator and due to the ‘chains’ that bind him, he can’t really make the princess turn around and face the main issues. Instead he just watches as she spends all her time throughout the journey focusing on the little things that don’t hold much value. Then again, who is he to talk? He has issues of his own that constantly seem to haunt him. He knows what they are clearly, but he’s doing nothing about them, instead he remains entrapped, and keeps focusing on the issues of the Princess; all the while steering this vessel as smoothly as possible in these troubled waters with swords popping out of no where.

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*~*~*~*

Wow. Now that was a trip! In all honesty, had I not done this exercise, I would have never been able to come up with all that in the card! Isn’t it just amazing how connecting emotionally with a card can lead to such an enriching experience with the Tarot! Let’s add a spin to this and again connect with this card on an emotional level, but this time we do it in the ‘first person’ mode. In Step 2, I chose to be the princess, hence I feel it’s only fair that I be the mysterious stranger this time. I so wanna be the Princess again, but my Libra rising insists on instilling  a sense of fairness and impartiality to the two figures. So let’s delve deep into the emotional narrative of the Mysterious Stranger…

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I am in an underground labyrinth. The massive metallic swords and the bare stone walls only add a chill to the air within. The woman in front of me seems to be a princess. She isn’t afraid, nor is she nervous. She’s almost stoic, as if she already has an idea where she is heading, and in a way is just preparing herself for it. Yet, the way she is holding onto the ledge of the vessel, gently and subtly but very obviously, it’s almost like a part of her feels she cannot handle things all by herself, and thus needs a ‘support’ of sort. She certainly isn’t getting any from me.

I seem sinister at first, but I’m actually a slave to my position. My hands are chained to the steering rod of the vessel and it seems as though I’m stuck to being the navigator of this vessel for eternity. In a way, one would feel sorry for me, but I am more or less accustomed to my purpose in life, even though it may seem forced upon me. I suppose I’ve made peace with it and hence go about my work stoically. Maybe that’s what makes it bearable for me.

Despite our overall calm and serene appearance of the card, the water is incredibly ‘disturbed’ with all the ripples. The swords creeping up from below only seem to add to the ‘troubled waters’. Perhaps this reveals how the two of us truly feel from within, despite doing such a good job of masking our emotions.

The swords that dangle on top perhaps represent the various issues being faced by us. In the case of the Princess, she is only aware of the minor issues that though are important in the present moment, aren’t really the ones that need all her attention. Those are represented by the large sword behind her. Though she isn’t consciously aware of them, on a deeper level she is. Thus she can feel them weighing her down, but yet is unable to identify them. I however know what they are, but it isn’t my duty to say anything, for I bear a cross of my own. And even though I don’t try to think about it too often, the bright light next to that sword constantly reminds me of what’s looming above.

I know that the middle sword, the big one dangling in the center represents not just the problems, but also the solution for those problems for the princess. Yet I am paralyzed by my obligation of just being the navigator and due to the ‘chains’ that bind me, I can’t really make the princess turn around and face the main issues. Instead I just watch as she spends all her time throughout the journey focusing on the little things that don’t hold much value. Then again, who am I to talk? I have issues of my own that constantly seem to haunt me. I know what they are clearly, but I’m doing nothing about them, instead I remain entrapped, and keep focusing on the issues of the Princess; all the while steering this vessel as smoothly as possible in these troubled waters with swords popping out of no where.

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Wow! That was even more intense than just narrating from a third person point of view. I would have never guessed, but after doing this exercise, I actually feel oh so connected with the Mysterious Stranger!

This actually reminded me of an incident not so long ago. I was giving a reading to a young woman who had quite a pampered and privileged upbringing. Perhaps the dark labyrinth represents the subconscious mind – the esoteric realms of the mind and universe that both, the reader and the seeker navigate through during a reading. She came asking a question many Tarot readers get asked numerous times (and I too am very guilty of asking all my Tarot reading friends this question over and over) “When will I find true love?” However, when I laid the cards out in the spread, it was clearly evident that she was going through a whole lotta shit, and needed to focus more on getting her life back on track rather than finding true love. (Due to privacy, I can’t really discuss what they were about, but let’s just say within a 7 card spread, there was a 7, 8, 9 of Swords – in different positions – as well as, the Devil and the Moon. I forget the other two, but they certainly weren’t ‘cups’ or ‘lovers’).

Now don’t get me wrong, I love reading Tarot. In fact, I can’t really imagine my life without the Tarot, but the reading was taking such a major toll on me that I did indeed feel like a ‘slave to my situation’. I tried my best to counsel her, as well as, help her see the ‘big picture’ and perhaps even go a step further and offer her some healing. She acknowledged a lot of her past issues were still plaguing her, but she refused to really focus upon them, claiming that she came here only to find out when she’ll find true love. A part of me felt she didn’t really understand the gravity of the situation she was in. Maybe it was denial, maybe she genuinely didn’t care; but it was clear she was truly turning a blind eye to them.

I so wanted to help her, and counsel her, and even offer to use forms of energy healing to ‘heal’ her past (and karmic) wounds that were making her life a living hell, but due to her insistence of knowing when she would find true love, I couldn’t really do anything about it. Then again, like the Mysterious Stranger, I too had my own issues in the area of love. Earlier this year, I had my heart broken (not once, twice) by two people. One was just a tool, the other was someone I truly cared about, and it took me many months (and 20 odd lbs worth of emotional eating) to fully heal from it (and lost about 10 lbs of those courtesy yoga and spinning). And thus, in a way, I felt like a hypocrite wanting to ‘heal’ her, and help her see the ‘light’ in this matter.

Plus, along with all that, I had to remember that in this case, I was merely her Tarot reader. Not her friend, nor her shrink, nor her spiritual helper. She wanted me to only answer this question, and didn’t really care about any spiritual guidance of any sort. Hence, I had to steer through those troubled waters, with swords popping out of no where. Unfortunately for her, the answer I got for her question, was many many years from now. She was a lil unhappy about the long wait, but in a way, she already knew that would be the answer. She began laughing at her predicament, and then asked a few more questions about her career and with that we ended the session when the hour was up. Even though she was happy with the session and paid me a lil extra, than my usual rate, I could still feel she needed someone to talk to and help her out. I had to control myself from reaching out and giving her a comforting hug, but alas, due to professional constraints, I couldn’t. I still at times say a prayer for her whenever I am reminded of her.

This also reminds me of a former friend of mine. We met about six years ago when I was eighteen, and we hit it off immediately. We were tight as two peas in a pod. We were so close that people would think we were brothers (I wasn’t out of the closet back then, so the gay angle wasn’t really something people would comment upon). However, as our friendship progressed, I came to realize he came from a very abusive past, where he was subject to numerous incidents of physical and mental/emotional abuse. This lead him to start experimenting with LSD, which lead to him snorting cocaine, and further on, shooting heroin. I kept crying inside as I saw him literally killing himself in such a manner filled with so much self-inflicted hate, that no matter how much I tried to help him ‘see the light’ and even get him to go to de-addiction centers and 12-Step programs, it was of no use. He’d go off the wagon after a couple of weeks of sobriety, and just continue his self-destruction. I stuck by his side for a good 3 and a half years, because I was his only friend, and the only person he could turn to (as he had alienated everyone). Sometimes I even bore the brunt when he would turn violent on me.

However, I then realized that I could no longer be his friend. I couldn’t help him out, because even though it hurt me to see him this way, he wasn’t really willing to help himself, as well as,  in the process of trying to help him, I was ignoring my own life and my own issues. It was no longer a healthy friendship, and just like the heroin, I too had become a ‘crutch’ for him as I put up with everything he did. What can I say, I’m an extremely loyal friend. A few months after I made the firm decision of ending our friendship and pleading with him to get help, I began taking care of myself. I haven’t heard from him since. I tried contacting him, but apparently some new people had moved into the house he used to live in with his family, and he didn’t have a cell phone I could reach him on.

Gosh, now I’m getting all teary-eyed thinking about it. Sheesh!..Lol. Oh well, it’s all part of the parcel in being a Tarot Reader. Especially if you’re an empath on top of it all. Wow! Who would have figured the card I thought was scene from Phantom of the Opera was actually an emotional pictoral metaphor for this situation in my life? No wonder, as mentioned in Step 1, the card chose me to ‘navigate’ through this journey of 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card :D.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this emotional excursion of the 6 of Swords. And I do hope you all give this (and the previous steps) a try as well. I can totally guarantee it will be an intense and powerful experience.

Love and Blessings

Zorian

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This exercise was taken from Mary K Greer’s fantastic book, 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card. For more information about the exercises and the various ‘steps’ click HERE to purchase a copy of this masterpiece that’s a must have for every one ever acquainted with the Tarot.

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~ “Don’t say it was ‘delightful’; make us say ‘delightful’ when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers ‘Please will you do the job for me'” ~

– C.S. Lewis

How many of us have been guilty of ‘projecting’ with the Tarot? It’s alright, we all are, Including me! It’s a normal human function really because at the end of the day, we human beings tend to always link everything with our personal perspective. When we describe anything, be it a beautiful sunset, or a moonlit beach, a supermodel on the cover of a magazine, or a child playing in a sand pit; we always tend to use adjectives to enhance our description to bring a certain depth to it and enhance it with a hint of emotion.

However, it’s important for us to understand that when we do this with the Tarot, we’re giving our own personal perceptions of the image, which may help when reading on a therapeutic level, but at times completely rob us from having an unbiased view of the card itself. If we begin reading a card based solely on our own projections, we tend to miss out on so many details.

In Step 1, when I had first seen the 6 of Swords, I was immediately reminded of a scene from the musical Phantom of the Opera by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. This is a classic example of ‘projecting’ onto a card the minute we see it. Now if I keep holding onto this, it would just hamper my ability to read with the card, because every time this card will appear in a reading, in the back of my head I will be singing, ‘Music of the Night’, which most of the time would be irrelevant to the reading (unless of course the seeker is Christine Daae and she wants to know more about her ‘Angel of Music’).

Thus, the second step in our journey has to do with ‘Description’. Here we simply describe the card, literally and objectively, with no meanings or interpretation whatsoever!  According to Mary K. Greer, “When a card’s landscape is precisely described, it opens a doorway into a world suffused with sensory experiences.” Doing so allows us to view a card from a fresh perspective without any assumptions or preconceived notions, as well as, enables us to discover things that escaped our attention before, which may end up being all the more relevant to our understanding of the card.

So keeping aside all my personal bias and musical theater references, let’s begin Step 2 by describing our cards as objectively and impartially as we can, giving every detail possible.

6 of Swords

6 of Swords - Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Two people are standing on a boat/vessel that appears to be made of wood with intricate carvings. The woman stands in front, wearing sapphire color robes. Her arm is bare, but is adorned with bracelets around her forearm and bicep. She wears a golden tiara, and her  brown hair, though thick and long, are loosely tied with what appear to be golden beads.

The other figure wears a dark robe with a hood that covers their face, making it all the more difficult to decipher whether it is a man or a woman. Both it’s hands are on the steering rod, from which a chain dangles. Behind this figure is a golden/yellow light orb that though bright, makes it all the more hard to decipher the figure’s gender.

Above them, three swords dangle, suspended with metallic chains. One is right in front of the woman, and one right behind the second figure. The third being the largest of them, dangles in the middle. All three swords have a circular jewel embedded within, which has the purple-ish color of amethyst. Behind the three swords are two chandeliers which hold candles. Behind the middle sword, a bright white light glows.

In the water below, there are three more swords. The one in the middle is closest to the boat, while the other two are spaced further away. The one on the left of the card seems to have a jewel similar to the ones above (we can’t see clearly with the other two swords because that particular area is covered by the water).

The water below is full of ripples, distorting the reflection of the boat, while the walls of the area they are in seem to have carvings of a similar nature on each and everyone of them. Beyond the boat, there seems to be an archway, but due to the darkness we cannot see what’s on the other side clearly.

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Okay, so that was a little hard for me at first. Primarily because the card is got such a vibe of ‘mystery’ and such a ‘haunting feel’ that just evoked so many emotions within. However, applying a lil bit of Capricornian discipline, I did my best to describe the card as objectively as I possibly could. However, in the process, I got to discover so many aspects of the card. An important one being the second figure’s gender being questionable as nothing in the card made it clear whether it was a man or a woman. Another being an archway beyond the boat. I never saw that before as I was so fixated on the card being a scene from Phantom of the Opera.

Now to make things more interesting, the second part of the exercise asks us to take the role of one of the figures in the card, and repeat the entire description in the ‘first person’. This way, not only can we improve our ability to ‘describe’, but we can use our imagination and put ourselves in the place of one of the characters in the card. For purposes of convenience (yeah right!) I shall be the woman in front of the boat…

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I am standing on a boat/vessel that appears to be made of wood with intricate carvings. My robes are of various shades of sapphire, while my bare arms are adorned with gold bracelet around my forearm and bicep, while a golden tiara rests upon my brown hair that’s loosely tied with gold beads.

Behind me is another person. I can’t make out if it’s a man or a woman due to their robe and the hood covering their head. The bright gold/yellow orb-light makes it all the more difficult for me to see. But I can see their hand is on the steering rod which has chains wrapped and dangling from it.

Above us, three swords dangle, suspended with metallic chains. One is right in front of me, and the other right behind the person behind me. The third being the largest of them, dangles in the middle. All three swords have a circular jewel embedded within, which has the purple-ish color of amethyst. Behind the three swords are two chandeliers which hold candles. Behind the middle sword, a bright white light glows.

In the water below, there are three more swords. The one in the middle is closest to the boat, while the other two are spaced further away. The one furthest away from me seems to have a jewel similar to the ones above (I can’t see clearly with the other two swords because that particular area is covered by the water).

The water below is full of ripples, distorting the reflection of the boat, while the walls of the area we are in seem to have carvings of a similar nature on each and everyone of them. Beyond the boat, there seems to be an archway, but due to the darkness I cannot see what’s on the other side clearly.

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Wow, describing the card from the point of view of the woman was a whole different trip altogether. Not only did it help me improve upon my objective description skills, but during the entire time, I could truly visualize myself as the woman in the card as I typed it all. What an amazing way to connect with the card!

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This exercise was taken from Mary K Greer’s fantastic book, ‘21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card‘.

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