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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.

Pithy Tarot meanings — Seven of Cups

Seven of Cups -- Tarot of the MastersSeven of Cups:
“Dream with your eyes open.”

Pithy Tarot meanings can come from pretty much anywhere. This one is from an ad campaign for a realty company, and when I heard it, I immediately thought of the Seven of Cups.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Eight of Cups

Eight of Cups -- Tarot of the MastersEight of Cups:
To find more fulfillment in your life, spend more time on your spiritual journey.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Six of Wands

Six of Wands -- Tarot of the MastersSix of Wands:
“We are all just walking each other home.” — Ram Dass

To see my take on this famous Ram Dass quote, I refer you to a Spiritual Tarot blog post about this card from a few years ago.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Five of Cups

Five of Cups -- Tarot of the MastersFive of Cups:
Find a safe place to pour out the sadness and loss that you feel.

This pithy meaning for the Five of Cups was inspired by an article I read recently: http://www.ramdass.org/learning-grieve/. That article also inspired yesterday’s post about the Death card which further discusses the grieving process that both of these cards can indicate.

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PS: There are several statements in that article by Ram Dass which might serve as pithy meanings for this card. Here is one for you to consider:

Grieving is a healthy, necessary aspect of life … [we should] be patient with the process, and not be in a hurry to put our grief behind us.

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Dealing with Death

Death -- Tarot of the MastersDespite the common view of the Death card that is held by the general populous, it does not mean that someone is about to die. (There are, however, pros and cons about interpreting it this way. See a blog post I wrote a few years ago that includes a poll about this topic, which you can still participate in.) Nevertheless, it may be about death in one way or another. For example, I once did a reading for a recent widow in which the Death card came up and initiated a discussion of how she needed to deal with the loss of her husband. And so a physical death can be an important aspect of this card in that sometimes it can indicate that we need to grieve and heal from the loss of someone who was important to us. That loss, however, may not be a recent one, so it can be hard to recognize this message in the course of a reading. Let me give you an example from my own life about how a decade-old loss may still require effective grieving.

When I was sixteen years old, one of my brothers was in a fatal accident. At that age, I was old enough to understand what had happened (I was not a bewildered child, after all) but not how to deal with it. And the people who otherwise would have been tasked with helping me cope with a personal tragedy (i.e., my parents) were living in their own private hell at that time and were not able to help me. In fact, their abject suffering caused me to decide that I needed to be the strong one, so I sublimated my pain and thus failed to deal with my loss adequately.

As time went on, it was like having a broken bone that had not set properly. It was no longer a visible injury, but it still exerted crippling effects on me. For example, I had recurring dreams about my brother. I would dream that he came back, that he had not died after all, and that it had all been a horrible joke or that he had had to fake his death for some reason. Of course, I would always awaken back into the cruel reality and have to suffer an echo of the pang of loss once more.

More than a decade passed in this way, and then finally I had a discussion about this with a friend who was wise enough to recognize the nature of the problem and to propose a healing solution. Simply put, he suggested that I say goodbye to my brother. I protested that he was gone, so how could I do that? My friend told me that it didn’t matter; I could imagine him there and tell him goodbye. So I tried that. I had a lengthy talk with my brother, and that led to a long-overdue grieving process, which finally brought me closure and healing.

I still have those dreams now and then, but they don’t hurt me anymore. Now I see them as evidence that my brother is still here with me—not physically, but in spirit instead. I think that’s the place that effective grieving brings us to. The ache doesn’t go away so much as it stops hurting us, and so we are finally able to leave the suffering behind and find a place of peace.

Postscript: This discussion about how to grieve and heal from a tragic loss was inspired by a wonderful article by Ram Dass, which I highly recommend to anyone dealing with the death of a loved one, whether it be recent or years past.

“How accurate are your Tarot readings?”

I was recently at a party where a man asked me what I do for a living. When I told him I read Tarot cards, he asked, “Oh really? How accurate are you?” I sighed (internally), and then I explained that that’s only a valid question for someone who does predictive readings, which I don’t do; I don’t really believe in such readings. For me (and for a lot of other readers, although not all, of course), a Tarot reading is a way to gain insights into someone’s situation so that they can solve their problems and create the future they want. So, for me, the valid question is “How helpful are you,” and the answer is “Very helpful.”

I’m not sure the guy asking me the question really got it, though. This sort of discussion is usually difficult because the average layperson doesn’t want to give up their mistaken belief that Tarot readings are always fortune telling, even when I show them my business card, which says explicitly: “A fortune helper, not a fortune teller.” Or, as a reader I know once said to me, “It seems that no matter what you tell them, they still say, ‘Yeah, but what’s my future?’”

This all begs the question, why don’t people hear what I’m saying when I provide this explanation? I think this sort of thing is typical for people in any area of life. We all get entrenched ideas, which then become really hard to shake. In fact, once an idea gets stuck in our head, we only hear whatever we’ve become conditioned to hear. Then we get confused and distressed when someone talks about something (like Tarot readings) in a way that conflicts with our preconceived notions. This is what’s called cognitive dissonance, which is a sort of mental discomfort that arises when we are confronted by new information that conflicts with our entrenched beliefs or ideas. Two of Swords RWS2.0 Tarot eCards(Incidentally, this reminds me of the Two of Swords.) When this happens, we try to reduce this distress by actively avoiding any information that might increase it.

So I guess the best I can do in such situations is to present my information and hope that it will eventually percolate down into the other person’s consciousness. And meanwhile, I have to accept that they may continue to cling to their mistaken concept of what I do, at least for a while.

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PS: Just a side note that goes off on a bit of a tangent — I make it clear on this website that I am not a fortune-teller. For example, the subtitle at the top of the home page says:
“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.
See also a post called “A Fortune Helper, not a Fortune Teller” as well as my Tarot Philosophy page … and now this post.
Nevertheless, I still get Christian fundamentalists abusing my blog’s contact form by sending me tirades that have cherry-picked the Bible in order to condemn fortune-telling. There’s just so much wrong with them doing that, it’s hard to know where to start. I’ll just leave it at this. To those people, I say, “Just stop. You’re only making yourself look foolish.”

 

Pithy Tarot meanings — Two of Swords

Two of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersTwo of Swords:
Two heads are not better than one if they want to go in different directions.

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Nine of Swords

Nine of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersNine of Swords:
You don’t have to believe all your thoughts!

I came up with this pithy meaning after listening to one of Tara Brach’s talks about meditation, which you can listen to here – http://www.tarabrach.com/audio/2011-09-14-Part1-Do-You-Pay-Regular-Visits-TaraBrach.mp3

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Knight of Swords

Knight of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersKnight of Swords:
The Knight of Swords suggests that you consider this question —
“What kind of person am I, and what kind of person do I want to become?”
Or, even pithier —
“Who am I, and who do I want to be?”

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Pithy Tarot meanings — Ace of Swords

Ace of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersAce of Swords:
Believe in yourself.

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