Tarot Card Meanings: A Note on Strength and Justice

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Card VIII and Card XI: Strength? Justice? Adjustment? Lust? Which one goes where??!

And so we reach Card VIII in our travels through the sequence of the Major Arcana in the TAROT CARD MEANINGS section of my website.

But wait…which card exactly is Card VIII?! Some decks offer up their version of the Strength card in this position. Others, though, hold forth their Justice card or its analogue. It can’t be both Strength AND Justice, right? So which one is correct?

Answer: Both. Or neither. There are reasons and historical precedents to support either approach. Much of this will depend on you applying some critical thought as to which one works better for you…

And fortunately, to help you along in this thought process, I just put up a new NOTE ON STRENGTH AND JUSTICE that breaks down the history of this issue for you, and hopefully makes it clear that there is no One Right Way of doing things here.

You can ponder this odd and interesting schism among Tarot practitioners and their viewpoints for a bit, and then we’ll resume our march through the Majors with some thoughts on the Strength card in the next post in the series, to follow soon…

AND NOTE: The TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE will be discontinued at the close of this calendar year of 2016! Get your copy of this info-packed and accessible resource before the final bell tolls on its availability: 10 class sessions in MP4 format, a 120-page PDF Workbook, and a few extra freebie files to get you started on mixing some Astrology and Kabbalah principles into your Tarot game, all for the low, low price of only $33 USD!!!

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Tarot Card Meanings: The Lovers

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The Lovers (“L’Amoureux”) – Card VI

After being introduced to a string of solo players, we arrive at the first of the Major Arcana cards to feature a multi-character drama on its face. Who are these characters? What do they represent, individually and as a collective? How do we factor all of them into a reading when this card appears???

You can get the answers to these and other Lovers-related questions by taking a stroll through today’s addition to this site’s burgeoning TAROT CARD MEANINGS section!

Tarot Card Meanings: The Hierophant

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The Hierophant (“Le Pape”) – Card V

The TAROT CARD MEANINGS section continues to bloom and blossom here at Arrow In Flight! Today’s new entry focuses on THE HIEROPHANT, an often misunderstood figure in the Tarot deck. This new piece details just what a “Hierophant” actually is, and what the card can mean when it appears in a reading. Here’s hoping that in writing about The Hierophant, I’ve managed to actually serve for a minute or two as a worthy Hierophant, myself…

Tarot Card Meanings: The Emperor

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The Emperor (“L’Empereur”) – Card IV

The latest entry in the TAROT CARD MEANINGS section is now up! Today, we take a look at THE EMPEROR, and the dynamics of Power. I’m not The Emperor, and so I can’t force you to read through this new piece…but please do feel invited to do so if you like! Added incentive: it includes a quote from Jimi Hendrix…

TAROT THOUGHT: Can Decks Have Significators?

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There’s this practice that’s common among Tarot readers involving the use of what’s called a “Significator card.” The idea is that a person can be consistently represented within a reading or in a meditation by a given card. These Significator cards are often chosen from the subset of the Court Cards, and people will regularly zoom in on a Significator based on the age and gender of the querent (so someone with mature, Yang energy might best be represented by the King of Wands or the King of Swords, since Kings are mature and Yang, and the Suits of Wands and Swords are also considered to be Yang in nature). Other Tarot people don’t feel bound to choose Significators from only the Court Cards – much of this is down to personal preference.

Here’s a question, though: can a deck itself have a Significator card selected from within the ranks of its own 78 component members? Can a single card consistently represent a given deck? And can different decks have different Significators than the cards that serve as Significators for other decks?

That is, it would be one thing to say that, for instance, The High Priestess represents all decks, and any deck’s own High Priestess card could serve as that deck’s Significator. That would be one possibly valid approach here. It would be another thing, though, to hold that for Deck A, the Significator card that would always represent it would be, for example, the Emperor card, while Deck B’s Significator might instead be its own Ace of Wands card. That approach might also work, depending on your own responses to all of this…

But regardless of whether you want to use cards as official “Significators” for decks, it’s tough to argue that we don’t end up forming very strong associations linking a couple of specific cards with the deck from which they’re drawn.  Like, if I had to use a single card to capture the famed Rider-Waite-Smith deck for myself or somebody else, I’d probably settle first on The Magician.  To me, that’s the first card image that leaps to mind when I think of the RWS deck – that card means that deck in my mind, and that deck also means that card.  Other high-ranking possibilities for me would include The High Priestess, The Hermit (being on a Led Zeppelin album cover surely helps…), the Death card, and maybe a couple of the Court Cards and Aces.

Over in Thoth-Land, even before I became a full-time Tarot zealot myself, I understood that some early glimpse of the Adjustment card was very formative for me, and I imprinted on that image hard as a signifier of the Thoth deck.  I don’t even know that I fully grasped what the image was depicting at first, but I knew that it was unique to the Thoth deck, and that seeing the Adjustment card called the Thoth deck to mind for me, and that stumbling across any reference to the Thoth deck would likewise bring a mental picture of the Adjustment card swimming up to plant itself on my mental front-burner.  Runners-up for Thoth Significators for me are the Universe and the Lust cards: these also feel very extremely and uniquely evocative of this deck.

So how about you? Do you feel that individual decks have their own Significator cards that can be produced from within the bodies of themselves…?

Hey: learn Tarot with me! You can browse my now-underway free section on TAROT CARD MEANINGS, you can sign on with me to receive PRIVATE LESSONS in Tarot, or you can purchase the TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE that I co-taught earlier this year, which features 10 recorded webinar-style class sessions in MP4 format and a 120-page PDF Workbook, plus a few freebie files that introduce the basics of some related metaphysical disciplines, such as Astrology and Qabalah. Questions? Drop me a line via my CONTACT page!

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Tarot Card Meanings: The Fool

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The Fool (“Le Mat”) – Card 0/Card XXII

As announced yesterday, I’ll be spending some time in the coming weeks putting up material on this website that’s aimed at capturing some basic Tarot card meanings for each of our 78 members of the deck.  I’m trying to do this in such a way that the results will focus on the basic traits of a card that are common to all of the major decks’ portrayals of that card.

Today marks the inaugural post in this series, as I take a gander at THE FOOL. What I put forth in that entry will hopefully feel applicable to whichever version of the Tarot’s Fool you know best, be it the Rider-Waite-Smith version shown above, the Crowley-Harris Thoth version, the Tarot de Marseilles version, or something other than those.

As always, your feedback is more than welcome!  Do you have questions about The Fool?  Did I not cover something about the card that you feel is important?  Is there anything you’d like to see included when I get to subsequent cards?  You can always reach me via my CONTACT page…

For now, I hope you enjoy those new thoughts on The Fool!

Site Upgrade Underway: Tarot Card Meanings Section!

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Site construction underway…

As a sort of public service to site visitors here, I’ve decided to start building in some free resources.  The first order of business under this heading will be to write up and post a list of generally accepted TAROT CARD MEANINGS.

Full disclosure: I was born and raised in the US, and I spend virtually all of my time in the mode of the English-speaker…and this state of affairs definitely informs my Tarot practice.  With that in mind, I’ll be writing up this section based on studies of the three most influential decks in this English-speaking sector of the Tarot world: the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (“RWS”), the Crowley-Harris Thoth deck (“Thoth”), and the Tarot de Marseilles deck (“TdM”).  To be very clear, though, I realize – and hopefully you will, too – that these are not the only decks in the world, and that people who speak languages other than English as their primary tongues may prioritize other decks than these.  No one way of doing things in this regard should ever be seen as “The Right Way.”

My opening entry for this new section just went up today, with more to follow until I’ve covered all 78 cards in a standard Tarot deck.

Once I pass that milestone, I plan to do a similar Resources page that puts forth generally accepted meanings for the Elder Futhark system of Runes, and I’ll put together yet another section to capture some commonly used meanings for the various symbols that comprise modern Astrology (including the Planets, the Signs, and the Houses).

This will all take some time, so please bear with me!  And any suggestions and requests are more than welcome.  Please reach me via my CONTACT page.