The Mars Retrograde Tarot Spread

mars retrograde tarot spreadIf you want to know what Mars Retrograde (RX) is all about, just take a look at the reversed Tower in the Tarot.

A picture says a thousand words, and in the current climate it rings eerily true.

Mars RX occurs just once a year or even every two years, but when it does, we can all feel that planetary kick in the bum somehow.

Mars is linked to the Tower in the Tarot, but it also rules Aries, the Emperor, and this year, Mars stations retrograde in Aries on the 9th September until 13th November.

So, we can also envision the Emperor reversed, a ruthless, destructive and despotic male figure with an inflated ego, lack of empathy and not a care in the world how much damage is caused while pursuing his dubious goals.

It’s funny, how Mars RX timing coincides with this year’s US election. But we don’t want to dive too deeply into those events. We all know how divisive, tense and even violent the situation is.

Let’s take a look at what we can expect in our own little individual worlds.

Reversed aspects of the Tower include suppressed anger, power struggles, an impending destruction, revelation, epiphany or even revolution.

Mars RX is about acknowledging what is really going on and facing facts, even though it’s more comfortable sticking your head in the sand.

But ignorance isn’t bliss, and sooner or later it all comes to a head. Boom!

But there are also positive Martian energies bubbling amongst the mayhem:

a fighting spirit, more ambition, standing up for what you believe in, courage to tear down restrictions and start again from scratch, purging outdated beliefs, making space for a breakthrough, a re-structure of your life, acknowledging misplaced anger…

When you reverse the image of the Tower, the figures seem to rise rather than fall, which reminds me of the Osho quote Don’t fall in love, rise in love.

A radical change of perspective.

Whatever upheaval or destruction you are facing, it may push you into a new way of thinking and acting, or you will realise that you don’t have a choice if you want to survive this storm.

Retrogrades tend to focus on activities starting with the preposition re-:

  • re-visit
  • re-purpose
  • re-evaluate
  • re-vive

…and so on.

Re-tro. Blast from the past. Re-surrecting the past (and maybe not in a good way…)

The old world order is breaking down and shaken up, but new possibilities and opportunities are emerging from the wreckage. Mars RX intensifies the emotional upheaval.

Here’s a tarot spread you can use to explore how to make the most of the Mars RX energies:

  1. Something I am angry about, and I need to acknowledge it:
  2. How to use my anger in a more creative and constructive way:
  3. What aspect of my life do I need to be more ambitious about? Where am I aiming too low?
  4. What is worth fighting for?
  5. What do I need to be radical about?
  6. A sudden realisation:
  7. A limiting belief I need to discard:
  8. What I am trying too hard to control:
  9. What needs rebuilding:
  10. My new world order:

Here is a layout suggestion, which is inspired by the Tower:

mars retrograde tarot spread sample
Deck: Sharman Caselli Tarot

Have fun exploring this spread. If you found it useful, please do let me know and share this page with your tarot friends.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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The Lion’s Gate Opening Reflected In The Tarot

lion's gate opening reflected in the tarot

The Lion’s Gate is opening on the 8th August (8/8), but what does that mean? And how can you make the most of it?

In astrology, the alignment of the earth, sun (currently in the zodiac Leo) and Sirius (the brightest star in the sky) is called the opening of the Lion’s Gate.

It is said that during this time you can harness the power of the Lion’s Gate to activate your third eye.

Sirius as the brightest star in the night sky is easily visible. Look up and it often stands out from all the other stars.

It pops up in Greek and Egyptian mythology, and it is said that around the 8/8 date Sirius can be seen above the pyramid of Giza.

Sirius is called the spiritual sun hence its alleged spiritual powers we can harness, especially at the time of the Lion’s Gate alignment.

The Lion’s Gate Opening Reflected In The Tarot

In the Tarot, Strength is number 8 in the Major Arcana – a link to the 8/8 date and to the zodiac sign Leo.

Also note the lemniscate above the maiden’s head – the symbol of infinity, and together with the number 8 also holds empowerment and rebirth.

Talking about rebirth, Strength in the Tarot is also linked numerically to key no. 17, The Star (1+7=8), and the star on the image is 8-pointed.

The Star symbolises higher consciousness, so questions to explore in connection with this card and the Lion’s Gate opening are:

  • How can I awaken my divine light?
  • How can I align with my higher self/authentic self?
  • What does my soul need right now to evolve?
How to harness the power of the Lion’s Gate?

The best thing to do is to take some time out to go inwards.

Unplug from devices and social media.

Meditate. This can involve the classic meditation of sitting still with your eyes closed, but you could also take an evening stroll through the local park or forest. Time out in nature helps to calm down an overactive, over-stimulated mind.

Take a relaxing bath.

Meditate on the Strength card. Focus on where in your life you want to activate your empowerment, passion, creativity and resilience.

Why not try a Third Eye Chakra meditation? I do like this one, so if you’re curious, give it a go.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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The Tens in the Tarot of Quotes

ten of wands, the tens in the tarotWhile the Nines mark peak moments and contemplation, the tens complete the suit with a brooding restless energy.

This energy is heaviest in the two active suits Wands and Swords, whereas in the passive Cups and Pentacles all looks happy and positive on the surface.

Looking deeper, change is in the air. Whether the scene is positive or challenging, transition and movement are inevitable.

Ten symbolises completion as reflected in the ten commandments found in the Old Testament and the ten Sephirot on the Kabbalah Tree of Life.

The metric measurement system is based on ten, and time is measured in decades (ten years) and centuries (10 x 10 years).

In the Tarot, Ten is linked to the Wheel of Fortune, indicating a continuous cycle, ending and new beginning.

The numbers 1 and 0 are also linked to the Magician and the Fool suggesting infinite potential.

In a reading, the Tens can indicate the need for closure or necessary change.

Other meanings include:

Completion of a cycle, result, regeneration, release, responsibility, consolidation; new direction or re-commitment; purpose.

A classic 10-card tarot spread is the Celtic Cross, and many different versions of it can be found on the internet.



Ten of Wands – burden, difficulties, responsibilities, oppression

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Oppression

Astrological Attribution: Saturn in Sagittarius – in the Major Arcana, Saturn is linked to The World – carrying the world on your shoulders; change is required to create balance

Interpretation: awareness of self-limitations; bogged down; discipline and self-reliance create suffering; sense of duty; not sharing responsibilities; not delegating, trying to do it all on your own; lack of resources, feeling overwhelmed but carrying on

Image symbolism:

Man supporting building on his shoulders – heavy weight, burden

Surrounding fire – urgency of situation to free himself of oppression, precarious situation

Red / orange colours – element fire, high energy

ten of cups tarot of quotesTen of Cups – emotional contentment, harmony, fulfilment, wholeness, optimism

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Perfected Success

Astrological Attribution: Mars in Pisces – happy families, or are they? Something may be brooding underneath the surface; dormant volcano; beware of challenging times ahead;

Interpretation: feeling blissful and at ease; content with yourself and present situation; as good as it gets; commitment; feeling secure; close-knit family; count your blessings; gratitude

Image symbolism:

Swans – linked to Pisces (also see Knight of Cups)

Water – feelings and emotions

Lake – calm water

Signets – responsibility, unconditional love

Flowers in water – happiness, beauty

ten of swords tarot of quotesTen of Swords ending, exhaustion, resignation, failure, disillusion

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Ruin

Astrological Attribution: Sun in Gemini – new beginning, new life, new opportunity, birth, resilience, survivor spirit, looking at the bright side.

Interpretation: drawing a line, close the chapter, it can’t get any worse; devastated; ruin; shattered (dreams); giving up; acknowledging it’s the end of a situation, time to take a new direction.

Image symbolism:

Graveyard – endings, finality

Sunrise – new beginning, new dawn

Church ruin – something broken

Castle in distance – new goal, direction, possibilities

ten of pentacles tarot of quotesTen of Pentacles permanence, tradition, family, prosperity, wealth, establishment

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Wealth

Astrological Attribution: Mercury in Virgo – good organisational skills, nurturing a network of friends/ family / support, being established as an influencer / speaker / advisor, clever with money and long-term investments

Interpretation: investing time and energy to gain in the long-term; family heirlooms, inheritance, financial security, family support; legacy; status, privilege

Image symbolism:

Fireplace – warmth, luxury

Seasonal decorations – family gathering for festivities; traditional celebration; timing of card is winter

The decorations on display also symbolise values and aspirations with regards to money, home, family and work

You can view all images of the Tarot of Quotes in the Gallery.

The Cosmic Faery Tarot Guidebook  is now available, which also includes empowering messages, spreads and journaling promps as well as a printable mini edition of the Cosmic Faery Tarot.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

The Nines in the Tarot of Quotes

nine of wands tarot of quotesFollowing on from the energetic Eights, the Nines in the Tarot mark the completion of a cycle – fulfilment, conclusion, integration and attainment.

Linked to the nine months of pregnancy it also symbolises gestation.

We have reached a peak, and now it is time to consider a new path to avoid stagnation as indicated by the Hermit (card 9 in the Major Arcana).

There is a sense of aloneness in all the Nines in the Tarot indicating a need to be self-reliant and take sole responsibility for our situation.

The Nines reflect experience. We have come a long way. How did we get here? A good question to ask, when the Nines show up in a reading.

By evaluating and reflecting on past actions, we can gain an understanding why we are in the situation as depicted by these cards and choose which path to take next.

Numerically, the number Nine is linked to 18 (1 + 8), The Moon, which can indicate confusion and insecurities often on an emotional level.

Nine of Wands –endurance, exhaustion, threat, protection

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Great Strength

Astrological Attribution: Moon in Sagittarius – rest from strife, yet feeling restless and weary; insecure, flexible, strong, power of cyclical forces

Interpretation: battered and bruised, but still standing; careful, guarded, cautious, watchful. Suspicious and distrustful. Safe.

Image symbolism:

Castle wall – protection, secure base, boundary

Dog figure with shield – watchman, guard, protection, prepared for the unexpected, defence

Waning moon – a cycle ending, consolidation

Yellow / orange colours – fiery energy

Bushes – blocking view, obscurity, hidden dangers / obstacles

nine of cups tarot of quotes

Nine of Cups – pleasure, satisfaction, sensuality, happy times, indulgence

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Material Happiness

Astrological Attribution: Jupiter in Pisces – higher purpose, gratitude, emotional growth, spiritual love, benevolence

Interpretation: enjoying the simple pleasures, wishes fulfilled; lucky in love, being content, emotional and spiritual nourishment and abundance, manifesting dreams

Image symbolism:

Laughing buddha – happiness

Blue cup filled with stars – positive feelings and emotions

Red rose – passion, love

nine of swords tarot of quotes

Nine of Swords –worries, anxiety, panic, loneliness, guilt, nightmares

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Despair and Cruelty

Astrological Attribution: Mars in Gemini – destructive forces of the mind; cruel words, negative self-talk

Interpretation: negative thinking, irrational fears clouding sound judgement, sleepless nights, self-torment, need to confront issues head-on to dissolve anguish; dark night of the soul, sense of hopelessness

Image symbolism:

Ugly creature – negative thoughts and fears personified; they affect outer persona and appearance

Crystal ball – focus on clear thinking

Grey-green colour – bleakness, lack of inspiration

nine of pentacles tarot of quotes

Nine of Pentacles -abundance, harvest, reward, status, independence

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Material Gain

Astrological Attribution: Venus in Virgo – enjoying the fruits of labour, success and abundance achieved through diligence and efficient planning

Interpretation: enjoying the good life, luxuries, plenty, affluence, self-sufficiency, outer and inner wealth, gratitude

Image symbolism:

Manor house – wealth, status, security

Luscious garden – rich harvest, fecundity, growth

Large trees – maturity, long-term, patience

Red rose – Venus, beauty, solitude, self-reliance

You can view all images of the Tarot of Quotes in the Gallery.

The Cosmic Faery Tarot Guidebook  is now available, which also includes empowering messages, spreads and journaling promps as well as a printable mini edition of the Cosmic Faery Tarot.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

The Eights in the Tarot of Quotes

the eights in the tarot eight of wandsAfter the Sevens, we are now experiencing a sense of revival with the Eights in the Tarot.

In numerology, Eight is the number of regeneration and renewal, linked to the (eight-pointed) Star, number 17 of the Major Arcana.

Eight also represents cosmic balance.

On its side, the shape of this number becomes the lemniscate, a symbol for the eternal balancing of opposites, which can be found above the heads of the Magician and Strength in the Rider Waite Smith Tarot.

And on the Wheel of Fortune, the eight-spoke wheel reflects the perpetual balancing act symbolised by this number.

The hourglass shape of this number symbolises the passing of time.

After having sorted through the options available in the Sevens, decisions are being made about what to keep and what to release.

Flux and movement is a common theme of the eights in the tarot together with energy, thrust, evolution, restriction, persistence, resilience, expansion.

Priorities are set, and a new order is being established.

Eight of Wands – action, movement, change, initiative, energy

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Swiftness

Astrological Attribution: Mercury in Sagittarius – quick thinking and acting, swiftness, travel, excitement, adventure, rapid communication

Interpretation: finger on the pulse, living in the fast lane, creative overdrive, bright ideas, volatility, electricity, information overload, flux, momentum

Image symbolism:

Rollercoaster – the ups and downs of life, excitement, risks, intensity

Red, orange, yellow colours – fire energy

eight of cups tarot of quotes

Eight of Cups – moving on, resignation, quest, uncertainty, insecurity, sadness

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Abandoned Success

Astrological Attribution: Saturn in Pisces – Leaving comfort zone behind, outgrown an established situation, feeling restricted or tied down, embracing change, following your heart

Interpretation: a comfortable situation has become stale and sluggish; in need of a fresh perspective; abandonment; letting go, detachment, sombre mood

Image symbolism:

Waning moon – ending

Path in front – new direction

Lake – water, feelings

Red/white roses – mixed emotions, alchemy, balancing emotions

Horizon – new possibilities

eight of swords tarot of quotesEight of Swords – restrictions, crisis, isolation, suppression, helplessness, indecision

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Shortened Force

Astrological Attribution: Jupiter in Gemini – recognising self-restrictions, need for change and expansion, making conscious choices to create movement; restlessness, communication

Interpretation: obstacles, limitations, narrow-mindedness, victim mentality, entrapment, feeling trapped, helplessness, need to sharpen the mind and will to overcome obstructions

Image symbolism:

Surrounded by walls – restriction, limited view

Sky, windows – way out, possible solutions

Night time – lack of vision

eight of pentacles tarot of quotesEight of Pentacles -eagerness, mastery, development, effort, productivity, quality

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Prudence

Astrological Attribution: Sun in Virgo – growing and nurturing skills; quality work, working towards perfection, paying attention to detail

Interpretation: continuous effort, discipline and perseverance, regular investment, aptitude, tenacity, industrious, practice makes perfect

Image symbolism:

Washing hanging to dry – waiting for investments to mature, reaping the harvest, repetitive work

Stars leading up – moving up on career ladder, self-improvement, advance

You can view all images of the Tarot of Quotes in the Gallery.

The Cosmic Faery Tarot Guidebook  is now available to download, which also includes a printable mini edition of the Cosmic Faery Tarot.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

The Raw and Scary Meaning of Death in the Tarot

the real meaning of death prisma visions tarot
Prisma Visions Tarot

It’s Scorpio season, a time of letting go, endings and transformation.

Scorpio is linked to Death in the Tarot, so it’s the perfect time to talk about the raw and scary aspects of this card nobody wants to raise when it pops up in a reading.

There is no beating around the bush: Death isn’t the happiest card in the Tarot.

It ain’t pretty (unless you are a tree in autumn shedding your leaves), it ain’t fun.

Even the cheerful motto Out with the old, in with the new often covers up melancholy moments of letting something go that holds bittersweet memories.

Scorpio’s sting hurts, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

And while Death may well symbolise the transformation of the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, for us humans the process is more complex, at best uncomfortable and at worst very painful and crushing.

There is no point in denying the true meaning of Death, which in essence is about irreversible endings.

It’s the finality of Death that can be so painful and hard to accept.

There is no point in denying the ugly side of Death, full stop. Popular tarot blogs and new age happy clappers want to make us believe that Death is a wonderful thing.

That it’s about fabulous change and new beginnings, which sounds great but somehow sanitises its actual meaning.

It’s time to acknowledge this card for what it really stands for:

An ending you – or your client – don’t want and didn’t ask for.

And yes, it can sometimes even mean physical death. It was my father’s year card in his final year of life.

That doesn’t mean you should tell your client that they or one of their loved ones is about to die. No, please don’t.

Instead, when this card comes up in a reading, ask yourself (or your client) what this card means to you (them) at this moment in time.

Death is a taboo subject in our society and often brushed under the carpet. Anything to do with it including fear of death, grieving, and preparing for it when seriously ill.

Because we are living longer, we tend to take the time we have for granted. Death in a reading can remind us that we don’t have all the time in the world.



Death reminds us not to delay turning our dreams into reality, because one day it will be too late.

Death in a reading can act as a reminder of our mortality. Together with Justice, it may be a good idea to make a will and get your affairs in order (including life insurance) to prepare for the inevitable.

To many, this sounds macabre, but what you would really be doing is taking care of your loved ones in case something happens to you.

It can suggest any of the five stages of grieving – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – you or your client may be experiencing. It’s time to tackle those emotions.

Death says: “What are you wasting your time on? Life is too short.”

Death is a process, and sometimes we don’t realise we’ve been through it until we look back and realise that the last couple of years or so have been tough and transformed us into the person we are today.

And we are still alive – that’s the good news! Let’s make the most of it.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

PS: Learn more about how to use the cards for self-exploration and healing in my Discovery Tarot Course.

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The Sevens in the Tarot of Quotes

seven of wands tarot of quotes - sevens in the tarotMoving on from the restorative Sixes, we are now experiencing the crazy creepy contemplating Sevens in the Tarot.

This is not as bad as it sounds, since the number Seven is regarded in numerology as a mystical and sacred number.

In the Tarot, the number Seven is linked to movement, struggle, contemplation, self-reflection, indecision, new direction and restraint.

The corresponding Major Arcana card is the Chariot.

Seven of Wands – defence, resistance, struggle, perseverance

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Valour

Astrological Attribution: Mars in Leo – stress, competition, aggression, stamina, energetic, intense, friction, willpower, courage, survival instinct

Interpretation: standing up for yourself, fight for what you believe in; enduring a stressful situation, be daring, taking a risk in order to prevail; on the defensive

Image symbolism:

Fire – Mars (also see the Tower); attacking forces, chaos

Figure on the podium – defensive position, ready to confront trouble

Water in the distance – resolution ahead

seven of cups tarot of quotes

Seven of Cups – Wishful thinking, desire, escape, daydreaming

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Illusionary Success

Astrological Attribution: Venus in Scorpio – creative visualisations, sensual dreams and desires, fantasy worlds, imagination, escapism, mixed emotions

Interpretation: lots of ideas floating in head, choices, flights of fancy, imagination overwhelm; reality check; gullibility; prioritizing, turning dreams into reality

Image symbolism:

Vases and jars – choices

Stars in the vases – dreams, treasures, happy thoughts, aspirations

Sky with clouds – castle in the air, dreams and hopes that need action to turn them into reality

seven of swords tarot of quotes

Seven of Swords – deception, secrecy, insincerity, stealth, ambiguity

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Unstable Effort

Astrological Attribution: Moon in Aquarius – obscurity, insecurity, hidden agenda, cunning, slyness, self-protection, vagueness, subversion, plotting, resistance, mistrust, intrigue

Interpretation: avoiding confrontation, running away from responsibility, a cover-up, lying, lack of integrity, hiding the truth; trying to get away with “murder”; malpractice

Image symbolism:

Dark grey colours – murkiness

Guy Fawkes – infamous 17th century English Catholic, who planned a plot against King James I (the gunpowder plot), which failed.

Mask – famous mask appearing in V for Vendetta, a graphic novel created by Alan Moore

seven of pentacles tarot of quotes

Seven of Pentacles – patience, choice, growth, development

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Success Unfulfilled

Astrological Attribution: Saturn in Taurus – completion, lack of movement, restrictions, new opportunities, outgrown a situation, resistance to change, indecision, preparing for change, fear of failure, stagnation

Interpretation: patience, waiting for the right moment, a choice between the familiar and the unknown, contemplating risks, taking time to act, cultivating what is nourishing and sustaining (e.g. healthy habits, friendships, beliefs etc.)

Image symbolism:

Fruit and plants – harvest, growth, success

Open door – new opportunities, the unknown

Orange / brown colours – autumn, the season linked to the suit of Pentacles

I welcome your views and opinions on my cards. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

The Cosmic Faery Tarot Guidebook  is now available to download, which also includes a printable mini edition of the Cosmic Faery Tarot.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane