Tarot cards: Every picture tells a story

I didn’t post this before because I didn’t want it to intrude on or distract from my Gracie updates but these are the cards I got when I asked about finding her.

The Three of Pentacles
Judgment

What is interesting is that no familiarity with cards is needed to interpret either of these cards. Look how the three is showing a group effort, papers being shown around and even a column, (the posts I was stapling signs to). Then, looking just at the picture and wiping any memorized meanings from your head, Judgment shows the action of either calling or hearing a call. Obvious, but sometimes cards are that simple. This reading says to hang up signs, talk to people, trust in cooperation, drive around calling and stay close to a phone and to home to respond to a call, and that is exactly what happened — amazing!

I find I am kind of a Tarot iconoclast, not in quibbling about the pictures but in breaking cherished beliefs about them. My first advice for new readers is sleep with your cards and get rid of the booklet that came with them. In other words, spend your time pondering the pictures, not learning what other people say about them! It is too easy to get wrapped up in all the supposed meanings and symbology of the cards and find yourself unable to answer a simple question with them. Here are a couple of examples of interpretations from the Internet:

from Aeclectic.net:  With Fire as its ruling element, Judgement is about rebirth and resurrection. The idea of Judgement Day is that the dead rise, their sins are forgiven, and they move onto heaven. The Judgement card is similar in that it asks us to resurrect the past, forgive it, and let it go. There are wounds from the past that we never let heal, sins we’ve committed that we refuse to forgive, bad habits we haven’t the courage to lose. Judgement advises us to finally face these, recognize that the past is past, and put them to rest, absolutely and irrevocably. The reader can tell the querent that they need to forgive or be forgiven, do something they’ve been putting off, or have the courage to finally end something that isn’t good for them. It is time to move on. 
 
From Biddy Tarot: Judgement, rebirth, inner calling, absolution, The Judgement card shows a number of naked men, women and children rising up from their graves, arms outspread and responding to the trumpet call of the archangel, Gabriel, who hovers high above them. The people are appealing to the angel, ready to be judged by the power of the Universe. In the background, there are huge mountains, or even tidal waves, which signify insurmountable obstacles and the impossibility of avoiding judgment. The ocean represents the end of the river that flows through the Major Arcana, starting with the Empress. Gabriel’s banner is red on white, the same as the Magician’s clothing. As with everything in life, the beginning is woven irrevocably into the end and the end eventually leads to a new beginning. The planetary ruler of this card is Pluto, the ruler of the underworld.
 
From Keen: Are your days of sitting on the fence done? Have you found a reason to keep living? Are you feeling refreshed and looking forward to moving on? Has a casual interest turned into a dominating philosophy of life that you are pursuing as your true calling? Are you able to brush aside the ambiguities and obfuscations of the past and clarify exactly what it is you have been through? When the Judgment card arrives in your Tarot reading, it is time to take a stand as the hardest choices become obvious after the simplest of appraisals.

I am not picking on these websites, their meanings are a useful review of standard meanings with some Jungian archetypes and hero’s journey imagery mixed in. These sites aren’t even particularly woo-woo examples of what is out there in tarot-land.

Are they interesting from a meditating on your cards type of view? Sure.

Useful in answering a simple question? Not so much.

I remember one of my first readings on a psychic line. It was a Sunday morning and never one for chitchat, I asked the caller, “What’s up?” She said, “You’re the psychic, you tell me.” I cut cards and the top card was Chariot.

Here is Aeclectic.net again:  The Chariot is a fascinating card, but also frustrating to interpret. Like Cancer, the crab, it is about being armored, self-reliant and in command of one’s own destiny. On the battlefield, a chariot is autonomous. It fights alone, not with other troops or cavalry. Yet the Chariot is also a symbol of unified parts. If any part is missing – chariot, horses, driver – it cannot go. The crab moves from one plane to the next (water to land and back again) and the Chariot is viewed as moving likewise, from conscious and unconscious, Earthly to spiritual. Also, like chariots, crabs come upon each other from the side rather than straight on. So there is a tricky element to The Chariot for all that it seems to travel in a straight line.

So I suppose I could have said, “you are feeling that your autonomy is challenged,” or “you are bringing material from your unconscious to your conscious mind,” of course if I had, she would have hung up on me.  What I noticed about the card at that particular time is that the wheels look like stone and the sphinxes aren’t attached to the chariot , so I said, “You’re car is stuck and you are wondering how badly broken it is.” She said she was driving home from a bar on Saturday night and drove into a mud-filled ditch. She left the car and now wanted to know if she would be able to get to work on Monday. I assured her that the car wasn’t broken, just stuck and if she could get it pulled out it would be fine. Really, she just needed to get those sphinxes in harness. 🙂

Bonus:  I found Tarot card images to use digitally, in crafts, or just for coloring. These would be great printed large for painting, collage, beading or tapestry weaving.

Copyright free black and white images: Rider Waite Smith deck.

Color Images of the Minor Arcana: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_Arcana

Color Images of the Major Arcana: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_Arcana

My Tarot flash cards:

Memorize the Golden Dawn correspondences for the minor arcana

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