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The Tarot can empower you to create the future you want and transform your life by providing you with insights about yourself and the world around you.

Conversational Tarot – Eight of Wands

A while back, I described a way to initiate thought-provoking conversations using the messages of the cards. (See: https://jamesricklef.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/tarot-questions-instead-of-answers/) A great way to facilitate this process is to use my Pithy Tarot app, which provides a quick little meaning along with a card.

Eight of Wands rains 50pct 2Today I used the Eight of Wands. The pithy meaning I got was this:
When it rains it pours.

The question I came up with is this:
There is a saying, “When it rains it pours.” Why do you think that is?

Some of my thoughts:

First of all, it is often a matter of perception — we tend to notice extremes more than the averages. So, for example, boring times when nothing much is happening and hectic times when everything seems to happen all at once both stand out more than normal times when things move along at an average pace. Also, whenever those times of drought and deluge happen to come back to back, they are set off in glaring relief and we remember them even more vividly. Similarly, in some situations we have a very narrow window of comfort, so everything outside that window seems like either a drought or a downpour.

Secondly, a lot of situations and conditions have a tipping point where nothing much changes until you reach a certain point where drastic change occurs. (This observation leads to another pithy meaning for this card which I will post in the near future.) Let me give you a very simple example of what this (tipping point) means. Start pouring water into a glass. As long as the glass is not full, nothing exciting happens. But then, once the glass is full, you’re suddenly in crisis mode because water starts overflowing onto the table and floor. Another (unfortunate) example of this is a car battery. Those things work fine up until the moment when they fail.[1] But tipping points do not always lead to something bad. For example, what if you’re working on building a business but it doesn’t seem to be panning out? The advice here may be that you’ve not reached the tipping point where the business takes off, and in that case, this card may be encouragement to keep at it because you’ll soon get there.
So those are a couple of my thoughts about this. What do you think? I would love to hear what you think about this.

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[1] I’ve always wondered why it is that we can’t come up with a car battery that gradually stops working so you can get it in to the shop to replace it before it dies, usually at the most inopportune time.

Pithy Tarot meanings — Seven of Cups

Seven of Cups -- Tarot of the MastersSeven of Cups:
Have more faith in yourself. Believe that you can reach your goals.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — The Hanged Man

Hanged Man -- Tarot of the Masters The Hanged Man

For today’s pithy meaning I want to do something a little different. The following is a quote that may or may not be apt for this card. It all depends on how you look at it (which is a Hanged Man sort of meaning too, by the way). The great thing is that consideration of this quote and differing perspectives of it leads us to a deep discussion of life as well as of this card. Isn’t it wonderful how the cards lead us to that?

“Most people say that as you get old, you have to give things up. I think you get old because you give things up.” — Theodore Green

The problem with short quotes (as well as their beauty) is that they are so open to interpretation. I think the validity of this quote depends on what we’re talking about giving up. Are we talking about our attachments or about our dreams? Is this about our possessions (which, frankly, own us at least as much as we own them) or our compassion for others? Is this about our physical abilities, or is it about our emotional strength?

I believe that getting older does involve many losses and relinquishments, but it also involves many gains and it involves holding on to some things. It involves clearing out what is inconsequential and holding on to what is vital. So I agree with Green’s quote … and I don’t. It all depends on how we interpret it.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Nine of Pentacles

Nine of Coins -- Tarot of the MastersNine of Pentacles
There is a saying: “Home is where the heart is.” Here is a way to interpret that saying, which makes for a nice pithy meaning for this card:
If you’ve put your loving energy into your home, it will give that back to you when you need it.

This is a meaning for this card that came to me while doing a reading recently, so I thought I would post it here.

PS: If you want to see another interpretation of that quote, see a pithy meaning for the Ace of Cups that I posted a couple of years ago.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Ace of Wands

Ace of Wands -- Tarot of the MastersAce of Wands:
“Only light can cast out darkness.”
This is a paraphrase of a famous quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. which I have associated with the Ace of Cups, and last week I noted it again in a comparison of these two Aces.

There are many ways to interpret this saying. In the case of the full MLK quote, it is about love conquering hate, but we might also see this as enlightenment overcoming confusion and ignorance. In addition, this adage may say that if you’re in a situation where there is a lot of nastiness, being nasty yourself will not help; you need to bring kindness into the picture. Similarly, we should bring cheerfulness into a gloomy situation, etcetera. In other words, wherever there is darkness, the only way to improve the situation is to bring in light.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Knight of Wands

Knight of Wands -- Tarot of the MastersKnight of Wands.
Strike while the iron is hot.
This is a complementary meaning to “Haste makes waste.” This comparison is discussed in yesterday’s Conversational Tarot post.

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Conversational Tarot — Knight of Wands

A little while ago, I described a way to initiate thought-provoking conversations using the messages of the cards. (See: https://jamesricklef.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/tarot-questions-instead-of-answers/) A great way to facilitate this process is to use my Pithy Tarot app, which provides a quick little meaning along with a card.

CotD 8 23 2014 Knight of Wands haste makes waste 50PCTToday I used the Knight of Wands. The pithy meaning I got was this:
Haste makes waste.

The question I came up with is this:
Do you think it’s true that haste makes waste? Why or why not?

Some thoughts:
First, I think that much depends on our definition of “haste.” Some of us use this truism as an excuse to avoid change, to avoid doing something new. “Let’s not be hasty” can actually mean “Let’s not do anything new and different.” We may over-analyze something to death (which can be associated with the Ten of Swords) so that we can justify not doing anything, so we can stay in our comfort zone, but that keeps us from moving forward in life. Others, of course, could use a bit more attention to this admonishment, “Haste makes waste,” because they’ll jump into anything without looking first. So I think we need to take a temperate view of this advice wherein we understand what is not being hasty versus what is just hesitation and dithering. (Go see a performance of Hamlet or read the play to see what dithering gets you.) So we have to be able to tell the difference. Can we do that with our minds, though, or do we sometimes just need to feel it? I think that sometimes you have to follow a gut feeling that it’s time to take a leap of faith (ala the Fool card). After all, there is another pithy meaning that I use for this card that sometimes applies: “Strike while the iron is hot.” So those two complementary sides of this card must be kept in balance: Haste makes waste and Strike while the iron is hot.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Ten of Swords

Ten of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersTen of Swords
Perhaps you’re over thinking this situation.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — The Hermit

Visconti Svortza HermitThe Hermit
“Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.”Max Ehrman (Desiderata)

I associate this quote with the Hermit both for its implications of the wisdom of age and of the passage of time. (The Hermit has traditionally been associated with Father Time.)

My interpretation of this quote from the Desiderata is, briefly, as follows:

First: Learn and become wise as you age (i.e., use your experiences as an opportunity to learn, no matter what those experiences are, both good and bad), and second: realize and accept that aging is also a constant process of giving some things up, little by little, one thing at a time. Thus, there should be a tradeoff between acquired wisdom and the loss of things of your youth. As my mother used to say, “I’ve earned every one of these gray hairs.”

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Conversational Tarot — Ten of Cups

A while back, I described a way to initiate thought-provoking conversations using the messages of the cards. (See: https://jamesricklef.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/tarot-questions-instead-of-answers/) A great way to facilitate this process is to use my Pithy Tarot app, which provides a quick little meaning along with a card.

Ten of Cups -- Tarot eCards AppToday I came across a meme on Facebook that showed a picture of the Ten of Cups along with this quote: “When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinessess.” – Joyce Brothers

Is this true for you? I think this may be a good general rule of thumb, but many of us did not have a happy family life. Perhaps a more general interpretation would be better: “The greatest happinesses are tribal happinesses.” For some of us, our “tribe” is indeed our family, but for some, it is not. Some of us are “ugly ducklings”, meaning that we have to fly away from home to finally find our “tribe.” I know that has been true for me. This is not to say that I had no happy times with my family as a child growing up, but my happiest memories are with groups of friends I made after the fact and also with the family I have created as an adult. But perhaps that latter case fits the description given in the quote above.

So let me know what you think, ok?  Where have your greatest “happinesses” been?

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