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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.

What does the Hermit card mean?

Hermit -- Tarot of the MastersHere is a pithy meaning for the the Hermit card:
“When the pupil is ready, the Master will appear.” — Theosophical saying (commonly said to be a Buddhist proverb, but this is questionable)

For more about this saying and how it comments on our lives, see my post about the Hermit from a few years ago.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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A Tarot Triptych: Five of Wands, Youth of Coins, High Priestess

Today I dealt the following three cards to interpret them as a story spread:

Triptych Tarot of the Masters Five of Wands, Youth of Coins, High Priestess

Let’s begin by considering the direction of movement in the cards here by looking at the central card.  The Youth of Coins does present some movement from left to right, but it’s rather subtle.  However, the person on this card is looking out at us and seems to be asking a question or seeking advice.  Consequently, I thought this card might be asking about money or career (since it is in the suit of Coins), and (due to the slight left-to-right movement) the left side would then indicate the problem and the right, the advice. With that in mind, I would like to present the following suggestion for a three card story that we might see here.

When troubled by mental chatter about what to do (as in “What do you want to be when you grow up?”), find a quiet place within your heart to search for the wisdom to advise you.

Finally here are a few bits of explanation:

First, one of the ways I interpret the Five of Wands is as an indication of what’s called “Monkey Mind,” meaning the chaotic chatter of our thoughts.  However, that card might also indicate all the conflicting advice we sometimes get from friends and family. Sometimes that can create more confusion than clarity, more heat than light. In that case, we might say instead, “When troubled by confusing advice …”

Second, this meaning for these cards may seem to be directed at a youth trying to decide on a career path. However, we are all faced with decisions about our finances and our careers now and then, so this advice is pretty applicable to people of all ages.

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A 3-card Story spread reading is a way to interpret three cards as a single triptych image that tells a story.  If you want more explanation of how (and why) to do such readings, see my blog post titled, “The Triptychs of TarotVille.”

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What does the Seven of Swords mean?

Seven of SwordsHere is a pithy meaning for the Seven of Swords:
Holding on to that secret can hurt you more than telling it would.

Let me provide a bit of explanation about this one.

First of all, I’m talking about your own secrets, not those of other people. (Don’t use this pithy meaning as an excuse to go around blabbing other people’s secrets.)

Now for a deeper exploration of this pithy meaning:

I am currently reading a book called Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, written by a neuroscientist named David Eagleman. At one point Eagleman talks about the psychic damage caused by holding onto our secrets. He defines a secret as something about yourself or your life that one part of you wants to reveal and another part wants to keep hidden, and that creates internal tension that can become debilitating.

He goes on to cite research that shows that if a person has been sexually abused and they keep that fact a secret (which people often do out of shame), their health is impaired by the keeping of the secret.  Once they tell their secret to someone, their health improves significantly. And it’s interesting to note that just the telling of the tale is helpful, regardless of whether or not they get helpful advice about it.

Of course, it is important how and to whom one makes that revelation. It must be in a safe environment. This is why people will tell strangers sitting next to them on an airplane—people who they’ll never see again—things they won’t tell their friends. This also accounts for the immense popularity of the website, http://postsecret.com, where people can anonymously send in their secrets. And it indicates part of the usefulness of the Catholic confessional, psychologists, and professional Tarot readers. These are all people to whom someone may confide without fear of their secret becoming common knowledge. Thus both parts of the person’s mind are satisfied: the part that wants to reveal the secret, and the part that is afraid of the ramifications of its revelation.

So when this card comes up, it might indicate that the person getting the reading has a secret they need to tell someone in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Perhaps you, as a Tarot reader, can provide that environment.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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What does the King of Pentacles mean?

RWS 2.0 King of Pentacles Here is a pithy meaning for the King of Pentacles:
“If you want something done right, do it yourself!” — attributed to Charles-Guillaume Étienne

This card is about being a highly competent, effective, and successful person. Although sometimes being effective involves leveraging your productivity by delegating tasks to competent “underlings,” at other times, you just have to do it yourself.

PS: If you want to become a more effective person, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a book with a lot of great advice.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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What does the Six of Swords mean?

Six of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersHere is a pithy meaning for the Six of Swords:
You need the boat to cross the river, but once you’ve crossed the river, you don’t need the boat anymore.

Note: This pithy meaning for the Six of Swords is a saying that I heard in an interview with Chris Evans.
Also, it is similar to one from a few months ago.  See that one for some explanation of what it means.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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A Tarot Triptych: Five of Cups, King of Coins, Queen of Coins

Today I dealt the following three cards to interpret them as a story spread:

Triptych Tarot of the Masters Five of Cups King of Coins Queen of Coins

First, let’s consider the direction of movement here.  I noted how the King in the central card is turning his back on the morose scene in the Five of Cups. Also, he is almost literally pointing toward the Queen of Coins, who sits nurturing her child.  It seems as if the King is giving that card his recommendation. Consequently, I see the direction of flow being from left to right, and I also see this as a choice / recommendation type of story.

So here are a couple of ways that I saw how to read this three card story.

First, it may be read as this:

The way to recover from great loss (such as divorce, death of a loved one, etc.) is to remember and tap into your vast reserves (which means your generous self) — go out and help others!

A similar reading might be this:

Staying in grief will hold you back from being the vastly generous person you are meant to be be. Go out and help other people, and your grief will fade.

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A 3-card Story spread reading is a way to interpret three cards as a single triptych image that tells a story.  If you want more explanation of how (and why) to do such readings, see my blog post titled, “The Triptychs of TarotVille.”

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What does the Eight of Swords mean?

Eight of Swords Today I’ll present a pithy meaning for the Eight of Swords which takes it into an area I’ve never seen for it before. Read this and you’ll never view this card the same way again!:

For this pithy Tarot meaning for the Eight of Swords, I need to start off with a short discussion of the term “Ulysses Contract.” First, here is the background for the term (from Wikipedia):

Ulysses wanted to hear the Sirens’ song although he knew that doing so would render him incapable of rational thought. He put wax in his men’s ears so that they could not hear, and had them tie him to the mast so that he could not jump into the sea. … Upon hearing the Sirens’ song, Ulysses was driven temporarily insane and struggled with all of his might to break free so that he might join the Sirens, which would have meant his death.

Ulysses and Sirens -- 8 of Swords .
(This description can’t help but remind us of the Eight of Swords!)

Although the term “Ulysses Contract” is generally used in medicine in reference to advance directives, it has more general applicability.  For example, in an article I found titled “Ulysses Contract: A Tool For Reaching Goals,” I found this example of how one might use this technique:

An example of a Ulysses contract for weight loss would be something like this: “Joan wants to lose 30 pounds in the next 6 months. She gives her best friend a sum of money, say 500 dollars to keep for her. Her friend is only to give her [back] the money if after the 6 month time period, 30 pounds of weight has been lost.”

And so we see that the Eight of Swords may suggest a general strategy of using the rational part of your mind today (when you are not being tempted by something) in order to bind or constrain your future actions at a time when the irrational, compulsive part of your mind will be overwhelmed with temptation. This may be condensed into the following pithy meaning for this card:

If you don’t trust your future self to act properly, make a Ulysses Contract with yourself now.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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What does the Page of Swords mean?

Youth / Page of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersHere is a pithy meaning for the Page of Swords:
One should always be suspicious of facile answers.

A little explanation may be needed here because the word “facile” has several different definitions that have conflicting nuances. For example, it can mean “adroit” or “agreeable,” but those interpretations are not what’s generally meant when one talks about facile answers or arguments. Instead, consider the following discussion of this word:

If you describe someone’s arguments or suggestions as facile, you are criticizing them because their ideas are too simple and indicate a lack of careful, intelligent thinking.
(Ref: http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-cobuild/facile)

Thus, this pithy meaning is about an answer easily arrived at, but in taking that easy path one may have overlooked better, deeper, or more important explanations that a tougher path would lead to. Also, it’s important to realize that easy answers (i.e., easily derived) make us content, and we resist looking deeper.  We got an answer without much effort, so we are happy that we didn’t have to expend much time and energy. We are happy at the small expenditure required, not at the value of the answer, and so we have but the illusion of accomplishment. Be wary of that!

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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A Tarot Triptych: Queen of Swords, Judgment, Queen of Wands

Today I dealt the following three cards to interpret them as a story spread:

Triptych Tarot of the Masters Queen of Swords, Judgment, Queen of Wands

First, let’s consider the direction of movement here.  First of all, the movement in the Judgment card seems upward, not right or left. So I considered the meaning of that card (to judge or evaluate) and I noted the curious fact that the flanking cards (ONE and THREE) are both of the same number / rank, differing only in suit.  So I decided to read this triptych as indicating a critical comparison of two things (character traits, since the flanking cards are court cards.)  Consequently, I saw the following message in this three card story:

A careful evaluation of how you respond to a difficult event in your life will make an important difference: will you become bitter (Queen of Swords) or more determined to be self confident (Queen of Wands)? The latter response will bring you the renewal promised by the Judgment card.

Note that the final part of this message (the advice) arose when I remembered that the Judgment card is associated with elemental fire, as is the suit of Wands.

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A 3-card Story spread reading is a way to interpret three cards as a single triptych image that tells a story.  If you want more explanation of how (and why) to do such readings, see my blog post titled, “The Triptychs of TarotVille.”

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