Symbols & Meanings Aug 1

Tarot Symbols and Their Meanings

A richer way of connecting to your soul’s purpose and to the Divine within you is through symbolic language. Sometimes symbols materialize in a very timely way to underscore a bit of guidance that has already been nudging its way into your life. Symbols can be life-altering when they present with such clarity, you absolutely know what you must do or how you must do it. Other times we carry symbols with us for awhile, unaware how much they are deeply ingrained within our personalities and connected to our individual choices. Symbols are around us constantly. You may see hundreds of symbols daily without consciously acknowledging them.   

“Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images.” —The Gospel of Saint Phillip

“We don’t always have to be strong to be strong. Sometimes,
we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track.”

– Melody Beattie

Strength

The original distribution of the tarot were not ordered as they are today, placing the Strength card several cards away from the Chariot. Originally, before the creation of the Rider-Waite deck, the Justice card stood in Strength’s place.

Much speculation and controversy surrounds the ultimate switch, but it is generally agreed that, with the Chariot exhibiting outer or hard control, the next symbol in line needed to supersede these externals with internal, or soft control. Make no mistake: both cards are equally ironclad in their residual power. However, where the Chariot involves an active, outward display of power, Strength involves internal, psychological resilience.

Justice did not match the Chariot’s structure as equally as Strength, because Justice involves weighing the pros and cons of one’s own intentions and attempting to keep them in balance. Strength implies that the conscious mind is being tamed and controlled by the directives of the unconscious, even that of a new understanding that is at first dispersed unconsciously. The search or evaluation inward, therefore, cannot be accomplished by action or egotistical effort.

Even as we articulate or contemplate the word Strength, many of us conjure an outward manifestation of power: Rosie the Riveter flexing her bicep. We have to remember that Strength as a symbol first points to inner strength. A deeper understanding of what it means to be inwardly strong involves careful self-inventory, and a willingness to define for oneself the components of being inwardly strong.

rosietheriviterWhat kind of circumstances require Strength? What makes one inwardly strong? The answers may come as a surprise. For example, lack of spontaneity may foster and perpetuate a bitter, angry disposition. If we follow out why a person becomes less flexible in the first place, we may see plenty of ongoing opportunities to engage in spontaneous events, but a resistance to take them.

If we look further, we discover that some elements intrinsic to spontaneity may seem too frightening. The fear that arises from that fear is  losing control.

If Strength were to truly enter this person’s life, he or she might begin to realize that spontaneous decisions don’t necessarily have to be dangerous, unlucky, irresponsible, or costly. Unfortunate outcomes in the past can certainly jade someone into mislabeling all spontaneity as foolhardy. A person could conceivably change their life course and eroding disposition, however, just by allowing him or herself a single spontaneous event per month.

The kind of power required to confront one’s psychological weaknesses calmly and without fear is on a completely different spectrum from that of the Charioteer wielding control over his horses. In some ways, it may be far more straightforward and direct to be the Chariot! While the Charioteer may certainly have to quell his own inner fears and draw upon his residual internal feelings as a source of energy, his action remains primarily directed outward, in steering his chariot where he wills it to go, action akin to making decisions about all the external directions or choices in one’s life.

Strength, however, must face fair and square one’s own force of personality, which may very well be like facing a lion! When the lion is tamed, it can also be released. When these components of my personality are tamed, I am free!

Let’s look at some other qualities found in a strong psychological disposition:

  • knowing one’s limits of endurance
  • unshakable resolve
  • willingness to keep stepping forward in spite of setbacks
  • calmness in the midst of storm
  • fully accepting others
  • patience
  • taking the time to understand how something works
  • refusing anger
  • forbearance
  • compassion
  • tolerance
  • forgiving imperfection, especially your own
  • working with someone who does not meet your standards
  • indirect guidance

The most difficult part of incorporating this symbol can be one’s own unwillingness to accept the qualities of strength that are already within. We have what we need already. We can tackle the lion—namely those beastly emotions that threaten to throw us out on our ear—and come to a resolution. Spiritual wisdom, intuition, and transcendence are waiting in line for us, after the lion is tamed. Though it may be difficult to see at first, you will eventually realize the wisdom of releasing the persistent inclinations of the ego-self. You can honor and experience the inherent strength within your nature!

strengthcard

The Strength card also compels us to remember that, in confusing times when we are more likely to meet a stressful circumstance head-on with fear, rage, or impatience, the one element that will truly aright most circumstances more quickly and easily is calm. Calm keeps us in the flow, rolling with the punches as it were, and ticks through the dreadful and disorderly we see in front of us with far less mistakes, controversy, and collision.

In these types of circumstances, reactions from fear will only further delineate us into primal, brute behavior. It’s in these moments we are forced to ask ourselves what is truly civil, and sometimes we may find that even what we originally esteemed civil, without the element of true Strength behind it, is nothing more than gold veneer on a pig’s back.


“Life is a Gentle Teacher (Initiator). She will keep repeating the lesson until we learn.
It is okay to become frustrated. Confused. Angry. Sometimes it is okay to despair.
Then, it is okay to walk away and allow the breakthrough to come.”

– Melody Beattie


Uncommon Tarot Meanings:

♠ Fatherhood

♣ Residual reward in store

♥ The need to release doubt

 

Energetic Forecast Sept 15-21

This Week’s Energetic Forecast

Each week in twelve key areas of your life a combination of your individual choices, collective consciousness, and galactic influences converge into a series of living energies and events you experience as life. These physiological and psychological patterns are posted here for your guidance. Understanding the patterns and cycles that influence you daily will help you live life more satisfactorily and serenely.

Sept 15-21

 

Self
Who I Am

The big picture right now contains movement into the limelight. Evaluating your comfort level as you go will help you step into it gracefully.

 

Possessions
What I Own

Diplomacy may prove a slower and more costly way to manage money this week.

 

Discovery
How I Learn

You are compelled to share the news, which overrides any feelings put out on the table. What you know is what you know; emotions, on the other hand, are confusing right now.

 

Family
My Kinship Connections

Working out where the shoe fits this week spills over from the healing journey you started last week.

 

Creativity
How I Express Myself

Spontaneous creativity is your best option, particularly in broad strokes.

 

Health
My Body, Mind, & Emotions

A stressful moment doesn’t necessarily have to spiral into old unhealthy habits. Acknowledge first the changes that you fear.

 

Partnership
Who I Share With

It seems you are putting more effort than others into making the relationships you want right now.

 

Transformation
How I Change

This week may draw you toward understanding personal transformation in terms of cycles and energetic roles.

 

Spirituality
How I Connect

The search for deeper meaning behind—well, everything is insatiable this week.

 

Career
My Livelihood

Your drive to sparkle in your abilities could inhibit others; more shared enterprises are needed.

 

Vision
My Goals

It’s time to carry your ideas into a community of like minds or students; if you’re already involved this way, cherishing the synergy this week is a big part.

 

Sacrifice
How I Surrender

Pay attention to your dreams this week. There are unconscious feelings bubbling to the surface that need to be recognized and fused into waking reality. Resolutions are waiting for you.

Energetic Forecast Sept 8-14

Each week in twelve key areas of your life a combination of your individual choices, collective consciousness, and galactic influences converge into a series of living energies and events you experience as life. These physiological and psychological patterns are posted here for your guidance. Understanding the patterns and cycles that influence you daily will help you live life more satisfactorily and serenely.

Sept 8-14

 

Self
Who I Am

Double check the facts in order to keep your emotional involvement in check.

 

Possessions
What I Own

This week’s challenge: exploring the spiritual link between the stages of ownership and your inner values.

 

Discovery
How I Learn

You may run up against competition if you try to probe a matter too deeply.

 

Family
My Kinship Connections

The healing journey you’ve embarked upon may require that you garner your own individual needs before you can bless your family with your new ideals.

 

Creativity
How I Express Myself

The need for personal escape time fuels your creativity and inventiveness this week.

 

Health
My Body, Mind, & Emotions

Effective service to others needs the extra touch of your own individuality.

 

Partnership
Who I Share With

If you boil down your emotions you’re feeling to a central core, it becomes about the primary relationships in your life at the moment. Although this to some extent is always true, it is especially evident this week.

 

Transformation
How I Change

For every answer about which way to transit this week, there’s another question to follow.

 

Spirituality
How I Connect

The drive to travel and quest your spiritual journey will supersede any reticence you may feel.

 

Career
My Livelihood

This week, striving for perfection in your chosen line of work could cause stress-induced illness. You notice the link between emotions and body, and that’s an important take-away point.

 

Vision
My Goals

In developing your own unique sensitivity to others’ needs, it’s important to maintain a system of checks and balances about what is what, and what is not.

 

Sacrifice
How I Surrender

It’s time to realign the choices that ultimately string on unneeded drama in your life. You deserve a break!

 

Energetic Forecast Sept 1-7

This Week’s Energetic Forecast

 

Each week in twelve key areas of your life a combination of your individual choices, collective consciousness, and galactic influences converge into a series of living energies and events you experience as life. These physiological and psychological patterns are posted here for your guidance. Understanding the patterns and cycles that influence you daily will help you live life more satisfactorily and serenely.

Sept 1-7

 

Self
Who I Am

The intensity of the situation warrants your attentiveness, as well as the courage to speak up.

 

Possessions
What I Own

You may have a tendency to spend more this week, fueled by an attitude of abundance that comes with good times a jovial emotions.

 

Discovery
How I Learn

The wisdom you need is more available and potent than you may think. Knowing when to share it may be the more difficult decision.

 

Family
My Kinship Connections

Part of your attempt to recapture the ideal outing or entertainment this week stems from the desire to reestablish positive memories, especially the time when you pushed too hard before others were ready.

 

Creativity
How I Express Myself

Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that one cannot recreate congenital Qi, or what was originally missing at birth. The best place to start is seeing things as they really are.

 

Health
My Body, Mind, & Emotions

Your ability to find optimum health requires that you set your own schedule this week, where it is within your power to do so.

 

Partnership
Who I Share With

In the midst of several unpredictable undercurrents in other areas of your life, you savor a predictable evening with your partner.

 

Transformation
How I Change

This may prove a difficult week if you determine to let your feelings be your sole guide; you have to give others clearer indications about which way you’re heading.

 

Spirituality
How I Connect

Your spirit could be cleansed by travel; insecurities about leaving the comforts of home can be assuaged by selecting some personal articles for the ride.

 

Career
My Livelihood

It’s important for you to now make your mark in your career. You need to establish a place where you can shine.

 

Vision
My Goals

Some may say you are too picky about the company you keep; make sure your criticism aligns first with realistic expectations of others.

 

Sacrifice
How I Surrender

If you find your feelings are out on the ledge this week, reel yourself back by engaging in some backstage endeavors. Being too public can deal too much anxiety.

Symbols & Meanings Sept 1

Tarot Symbols and Their Meanings

A richer way of connecting to your soul’s purpose and to the Divine within you is through symbolic language. Sometimes symbols materialize in a very timely way to underscore a bit of guidance that has already been nudging its way into your life. Symbols can be life-altering when they present with such clarity, you absolutely know what you must do or how you must do it. Other times we carry symbols with us for awhile, unaware how much they are deeply ingrained within our personalities and connected to our individual choices. Symbols are around us constantly. You may see hundreds of symbols daily without consciously acknowledging them.

“Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images.” —The Gospel of Saint Phillip

“Detachment is a gift. It will be given to us when we’re ready for it. When we set another person free, we are set free.”
Melody Beattie

The Hermit

9-hermite

Numbered nine, but characteristically thought of as the tenth card of the Tarot, The Hermit is commonly illustrated with an elderly man wearing a hooded cloak and wandering (a similar landscape to the Fool) with the assistance of his staff and lantern. Both numbers nine and ten symbolize a soul who has traveled many journeys of the psyche and is nearing the end of its reincarnational journey.

The lantern the Hermit holds in his right hand shines a bi-directional star, symbolic of both inner and outer worlds we experience. He holds this symbol of light and leadership in his right hand to guide his way, and from experience he has learned to rely on the wizard’s staff with his left.

The bi-directional Star of David with its intertwined equilateral triangles is common to the Middle East and North Africa, thought to provide a protective balance in matters requiring insight. The two directions symbolize polarities (fire and water, yin and yang, expansion and contraction, heaven and earth). The Star of David was also inscribed on King Solomon’s signet ring, purported to give him power over demons, genies (jinni), and the ability to communicate with animals. Solomon’s proverbial wisdom in rulership probably further inducted this symbol as an amulet or talisman.

While the Hermit himself can be a teacher, guide, mentor, or guru who manifests to help us find our way, he remains an alternative to the Heirophant, or obvious doctrinal direction. Ultimately the Hermit teaches us to trust our own internal direction versus looking outward for answers. This includes the possibility of approaching the Divine through our own personal experience, a newly accepted idea even today.

Some symbolic interpretations look upon the Hermit as a mystic, saint, or wizard with magical powers. Wrapped within these interpolations was the construct that the Hermit very well could be a wizened version of the Fool, and not seen by general audiences as particularly wise or sage. But unconsciously, we can see he really is the wiser for it, and something within us recognizes him as a true guru. From this idea we can also extract that the Hermit is serving more as a marker of our own personal development than an external guide. If we withdraw from the distractions we create in our own lives, we have the opportunity to reawaken our inner nirvana. We can turn down the noisy volume of our mental chatter in the Alpha and Beta states, and enter the Theta frame of existence more often.

Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia outlines the previous idea in his three levels of divine enlightenment:

  • We first learn ideas about spiritual awareness from doctrines or teachings of inspired authors

  • We choose to follow the closer guidance of a select few mentors or gurus

  • We enter into ecstatic union with God

A Hermit in every right is a soul who acknowledges that he never arrives; he is a heart in constant transition through meditative practices and a mind sharpened by the analysis of psychic discipline. We must harness the inner charge of Strength to follow the direction of the Hermit.

In some decks, the lantern is concealed under the cloak, as enlightenment is concealed from conscious deliberation. In older decks, this lantern was an hourglass, giving the Hermit energy the essence of Father Time. If anything, the Hermit reiterates that time will tell, and the necessity of gleaning some forms of wisdom from age and experience only.

The Hermit leans on his wizard staff and is not adverse to using this metaphysical tool to help him on his way. As the name implies, he may choose to remove himself from society, but even this selective removal doesn’t matter as much as his transfer of attention to inner needs. The energy of this symbol may even prompt our emotional withdrawal from people and activities once considered to be all-important. By nature it is always a solitary quest and a point in life where we begin to question the obvious. We’re after a deeper reality.

Diogenes, a Greek ascetic, went out with a lantern into the marketplace in broad daylight in search of one honest man. He demonstrated the obvious: finding honesty is difficult. Getting back to basics and living more simply is needed for further development of one’s soul. And, even after much introspection, questions may still abound.

In the classic Rider-Waite design, the Hermit is dressed like a Capuchin friar. The Capuchins were an offshoot of the Franciscan order who lived like hermits and took vows of poverty and ascetic living. Their living arrangements, though reclusive, were anything but idle. Most monks averaged three-to-four hours sleep nightly. Abbots routinely observed seven-to-eight ceremonies of prayer, mass, and lauds daily. Monasteries also required at six hours of agrarian labor daily, in addition to studying and copying scripture.

Simeon describes the heart of the Hermit:

There is—behave as if there is—no dinner to be made tonight, no hunger to be found, no child to care for, no schedule to be made, no job to be pursued, no next tick of the clock to be heard. Behave as if none of this is available to you now, and you will reach that eternal moment outside your time in which all these great things you have spoken of before can be found. It is a willful act on your part, and yet, it is a releasement of will—the will not to look upon this earth and its needs and wants it would impose upon you for a time. You must behave as if none of these things truly exist, and then for a brief time you will start finding a whole world outside of your own, and another existence, in which these things can be mastered. It will require more earth time on your part, and yet, it requires no time at all. These things are performed quite easily outside of time. Perhaps if you ask your dreams to become the impetus for all that we must do—simply ask, and add no more thought to it. Simply wish, and add no more longing. Simply strive only in the essence that you would have this with all your heart [reserve all the heart’s space for receiving what you wish], with no room left for the encroachment of the ego’s desires, and what it would will you to be for the rest of your natural life. You are closing in now to a place where you will find your facilities more useful for doing and being that which you have desired.


Uncommon Tarot Meanings:

  • A guide who is still seeking
  • Losing oneself in a crowd
  • More reflection is needed