The lion on the image is guarding the entrance to a pub in a little village close to Hadrian’s Wall.
His posture is composed, dignified, serious and dutiful. In typical Leo fashion (Strength is linked to the zodiac sign Leo), his presence is making quite an impact in that position. He’s the first “thing” you notice when you approach the pub.
The lion symbolises the essence of Strength; despite his powerful physical strength, his self-discipline and control is taming the wild beast (desires) within. This lion isn’t pouncing at you any time soon!
The flowers in the tub next to the lion symbolise feminine energies as a balancing influence:
assertiveness (rather than aggression)
gentle persuasion (rather than oppressive dogma)
patience (rather than agitation)
compassion (rather than cruelty)
In a reading, Strength can indicate the need to control impulses and desires – not by force but with conviction and determination. It can also advise to draw upon your inner calm and persistence in difficult situations, facing fears and adversity with the courage and confidence to overcome them.
Other keywords: stamina, endurance, perseverance, kindness despite tension or conflict (with yourself and others), self-mastery, willpower
Astrologically, Leo is ruled by the Sun, which symbolises the Self and the Ego. Therefore, Strength may also ask you to explore how you can practice more self-care or, on the other hand, how you can become less selfish or self-absorbed.
I welcome your views and opinions on my cards. Please feel free to leave your comments below.
You can view all images of my Tarot deck created so far in the Gallery.
Sometimes the messages received from the Tarot can be confusing.
For example, you want to know what your strengths are in a certain situation, or what you can do to save your relationship, and the answer you get is the Ten of Swords.
You were hoping for something encouraging and inspirational, but all you got was that pesky card of someone lying back-stabbed on the floor suggesting ruin and painful endings.
But let’s not panic, Astrology to the rescue!
Once you know the astrological attributions linked to the cards, you can see more than just the image.
For the Ten of Swords it’s Sun in Gemini.
What does Sun in Gemini tell us about the Ten of Swords?
Positive aspects of the sun: vitality, clarity and confidence.
Positive aspects of Gemini: versatile, curious, social.
So, when exploring your strengths or asking which qualities you need to develop in order to resolve an issue successfully, you now have a few options to choose from.
Zodiac and planetary attributes can also offer more specific interpretations of the cards.
Here are some suggestions for the Ten of Swords:
an ending leads to clarity; curiosity will attract new opportunities; social interaction will increase confidence after a blow; an ending is a blessing (sun) in disguise; you have the energy to lift yourself up and recover; resilience…
Let’s take a look at other negative cards:
The Tower is linked to Mars, which in turn is also the ruling planet of Aries (The Emperor).
taking drastic action to achieve a goal; having the courage to face danger (extreme sports, a fire fighter etc.); confronting an adversary; implementing a radical overhaul or self-improvement program, e.g. diet, exercise etc., ability to see new possibilities beyond the destruction…
Death is linked to Scorpio, which is commonly connected to “sex, death and taxes”.
Positive traits: compassionate, intense, independent and determined. Its ruling planet Pluto suggests the ability to regenerate and overcome the unsettling process of change.
Positive card meanings influenced by Scorpio:
clearing the old to bring in the new; spiritual growth through acknowledging and tackling emotional issues; searching for deeper meaning and purpose; making sweeping changes to rejuvenate a relationship; sex therapy or an intense sexual experience…
The Five of Pentacles is linked to Mercury in Taurus
Positive aspects of Mercury: communicative, expressive, intelligent, thoughtful
Positive aspects of Taurus: disciplined, organised, reliable, steadfast, methodical, affectionate
Positive card meanings influenced by Mercury in Taurus:
being pragmatic at times of adversity; self-reliant; a thorough, hands-on approach to overcoming obstacles; willingness to work hard to achieve success; eager to create stability…
The Devil is linked to Capricorn and also to Uriel, the light bearer, one of the four arch angels.
Positive traits: down-to-earth, ambitious, hard-working, rational, resourceful and loyal. Its ruling planet Saturn also suggests responsibility, patience and an ability to strive despite adverse circumstances.
Positive card meanings influenced by Capricorn:
being disciplined at times of hardship; plodding through and not giving up; taking matters seriously; in relationships loyal and care-giving even when going through a rough patch; realistic expectations…
The Three of Swords is linked to Saturn in Libra.
Positive aspects of Saturn: disciplined, responsible, reliable, endurance
Positive aspects of Libra: fair-minded, cooperative, sincere, striving for harmony
Positive card meanings influenced by Saturn in Libra:
determination to restore harmony out of discord; alleviating anguish with an objective mind; mourning with dignity and self-composure; ability to cut your losses and move on…
At first glance it can be difficult to see the positive aspects in negative cards, especially when they are placed in positions relating to possible strengths, skills, talents, helpful qualities and inspirational guidance.
Remember that there are two sides to each card – positive and negative – and with the help of their astrological attributions you can discover them.
Why don’t you give it a try with the following cards, and let me know how you get on:
On the 22 June 1990, leading politicians from the US, UK, Soviet Union, France and Germany gathered in Berlin to celebrate the end of the Cold War between East and West.
On the image you can see the removal of the Checkpoint Charlie hut (precariously balancing above people’s heads!) and the permanent opening of the border (view the original photo at the end of this post below).
After so many years of division, communist oppression and isolation, Justice has finally prevailed and balance restored.
We all have different ideas about what Justice means; some favour the emotional notion “an eye for an eye”, others prefer fairness based on detached but careful consideration and cooperation, as expressed in the quote by the 34th US President Eisenhower.
Justice in the Tarot isn’t suggesting an eye for an eye. Linked to the zodiac sign Libra, it stands for objectivity, fairness, honesty and balance.
In a reading, Justice can also indicate legal matters, the need to be emotionally detached to make fair decisions, considering all sides of an argument with an open mind and personal integrity.
Sometimes Justice can also indicate that life isn’t always fair, and it can take a long time for Justice to prevail – patience is required.
There may also be a need to be true to yourself, do what you think is right, even if you stand alone and face intimidating opposition.
Questions to ask, when Justice is drawn:
How can you create balance in your life? Do you need to detach yourself from emotions in order to resolve current issues? What decisions do you need to make, and how do you weigh up their pros and cons?
All images of my Tarot deck created so far can be found in the Gallery.
There has been lots of global anticipation and speculation about the significance of today’s date, an those people, who expected the world to end today, may realise with relief (or disappointment?) that the world is still spinning as usual.
We’ve come to a point, when a lot of us are reflecting on the year that has passed with a view on how we will progress next year (check out my Tarot Moon Journal, which contains useful journalling sheets for this).
On a personal note, 2012 has been my year of the Hanged Man. Combined with the global year card of the Hierophant, it has taught me some lessons about reconsidering the structures and traditions that I have been accustomed to for so many years and finding a new perspective.
Keywords for the Hanged Man: stagnation, suspension, stasis, being stuck, putting your life on hold, self-sabotage, inaction, avoid making decisions, putting your head in the sand, letting things happen, relinquishing control, letting go, sacrifice, release, new perspective.
The keywords listed in the order above tell a story; nobody can stay in the Hanged Man position for ever. Sooner or later changes will take place, which will lead to transformation. No wonder that in the Major Arcana sequence the Hanged Man is followed by Death, which will be my year card next year.
The image I have chosen above for my Tarot of Quotes shows the perspective of the Hanged Man; he is looking up the tree while he is hanging from it upside down. His view is turned around. The Hanged Man is looking up towards the light for mental and spiritual illumination.
When he finally lets go of something familiar, secure or even treasured, he is making a sacrifice to clear the path for new experiences and growth. But “sacrifice” is his point of view; it is an emotional word stirring up feelings of self-pity, sadness, regret and fear. New emotions are released rather than suppressed. What is once regarded as a sacrifice, will make perfect sense later during the transitional process.
Questions to ask when the Hanged Man comes up in a reading: Where in your life do you feel stuck right now? What are you holding on to that you need to release? Where do you need to relinquish control and be more open, receptive and trusting? How can you deal with certain issues in different ways? What are you avoiding or trying to escape from?
More images of my Tarot deck can be found in the Gallery.
Recently I was so lucky: I normally don’t win competitions, but when I saw the Witchy Tarot images on Chloë’s blog, I just had to enter this lovely giveaway competition – and I won!
Thank you, Chloë, for drawing my name out of the hat
The Witchy Tarot is a seriously funky, slightly naughty deck, depicting saucy witches with big pointy hats, goats, broomsticks and even scateboards!
At first glance, the images are fun, full of symbolism, and each one really tells a story. The style is a mix of traditional and contemporary – surrounded by nature and old-fashioned kitchens and gardens, the witches are dressed in mini skirts, flare trousers, stockings and high heels. This deck certainly has a sense of humour!
The Major Arcana is based on a traditional Tarot deck, but it is also divided into groups of 7 cards relating to tools, plants and animals that are part of a witch’s life. The Devil is the odd one out – he doesn’t belong to any group.
Some of the Major Arcana cards are interpreted differently to my own perception. For example, the Fool‘s keywords are “chaos, haste, breathlessness, loss, rebellion”, whereas the Hermit‘s interpretation is “sluggishness, delay, cold blood”. In comparison to the Hermit, the Hanged Man suggests “temptation, punishment, natural therapy”.
The Minor Arcana has been changed the most; the suits and the court cards have been renamed:
There is method to this madness, but you really have to get used to it.
For example, the “celebrations” relate to the four fire festivals of the Wiccan/Pagan wheel of the year:
Celebration of Flames (Page of Wands) – Beltane
Celebration of Cauldrons (Page of Cups) – Imbolc
Celebration of Broomsticks – (Page of Swords) – Samhain
Celebration of Boulders (Page of Pentacles) – Lammas
The Moon seems an apt connection to the Knight expressing volatility and movement. The four phases of the moon are linked to each Knight:
Moon of Flames (Knight of Wands) – Waxing Moon
Moon of Cauldrons (Knight of Cups) – Full Moon
Moon of Broomsticks (Knight of Swords) – New Moon
Moon of Boulders (Knight of Pentacles) – Waning Moon
The Goddesses (Queens) are:
Flames – Holda (German)
Cauldrons – Bona Dea (Roman)
Broomsticks – Morrigan (Celtic)
Boulders – Hekate (Greek)
The Trials (Kings):
Flames – Flight with whip and broomstick
Cauldrons – Sabbath with dancing
Broomsticks – Initiation and kiss
Boulders – The brand of fire
I really like these correspondences and have listed them here, so you can make use of them with any Tarot deck, if they resonate with you.
The enclosed mini booklet offers a brief overview of the structure of this deck and card interpretations. It also contains a 13-card spread, the Circle of Witches, which is useful as a general reading covering all aspects of life.
Overall, I really enjoy getting to know the Witchy Tarot. It is a deck for 21st century women, who embrace witchcraft as the “Craft of the Wise” and as a tool for empowerment and spiritual growth.
Although this deck may be aimed at the younger generation, it will appeal to the young at heart, regardless of age
Finally, I have drawn a card that expresses the inherent energy of the Witchy Tarot:
3 of Cauldrons
“Witches cuddles, tenderness, assistance, availability, communication, study, love designs with an older man”
I took the photo on my recent summer holiday, and I must say that the angel is quite a wonderful and impressive monument when you stand right in front of it.
Astrologically, Temperance is associated with Sagittarius, which symbolises the need to create the perfect mix of opposites to achieve harmonious balance and healing.
By blending opposites such as yin/yang, wants/needs, less/more, work/life, strengths/weaknesses, excess/abstinence, virtues/vices, we can achieve moderation, tolerance and compromises without losing out.
Temperance in the Tarot embodies a harmonious healing balance of mind, body and spirit; it is also a part of the transformational process.
What opposites in your life or within yourself do you need to blend in order to create harmony?
More images of my Tarot deck can be found in the Gallery.
There are thousands of love quotes out there, but none of them sums up the true essence of love, because nobody really knows what it is. Is it passion? Desire? Attraction? Lust? Devotion? Attachment? Madness?
When I chose the quote for the Lovers in the Tarot of Quotes, I wanted it to reflect the image. Doesn’t the woolly couple look like soul mates?
Shakespeare’s quote “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind” reflects the Lovers’ attribution to the element Air, which is associated with intellect, logic, reason and life’s challenges.
Challenges…yes…We all have our own love stories to tell, which will have generated a multitude of feelings and emotions, from happiness and elation to tragedy and sadness.
Everyone experiences love in various and different ways, and my image of the Lovers reflects love as caring, nurturing, unconditional, protecting, trusting, comforting and enriching.
But we also know that there is a dark side to love, and we may see a hint of it in this cosy image – restricting, clingy, needy, possessive, dependent.
The astrological association of the Lovers with Gemini suggests the need for balance between the heart and the mind, freedom and commitment, trust and knowledge.
Two bodies sharing one soul suggests lack of individuality, conflict and choices to be made, when one of them wants to break out of the cosy union.
“To be wise and love exceeds man’s might.” W. Shakespeare
Love can be precarious, but let’s not be cynical. Let’s just enjoy the heart-warming image of two loving sheep in the Yorkshire Dales.
You can see more images of the Tarot of Quotes in the Gallery.