Tarot Card Meanings: The Magician

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The Magician (“Le Bataleur”) – Card I

We’re starting off Monday with some Magic here, as this morning sees the next in our series of page entries that capture basic Tarot card meanings:meet The Magician!

Please continue to feel invited to send in any comments, suggestions, and requests you may have with respect to this growing library of Tarot Card Meanings pages.  Your input is important, and will always be considered here! You can reach me via the info found in my Contact page…

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!

I’m A Tarot Card!

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For years, I’ve studied Tarot cards…and now – thanks to the mighty and benevolent Steven Bright of Tiferet Tarot – I am one!

Steve has been putting together a new deck that he’s creating called the Fragments of an Illusion Tarot, using photos of real people, and then adding in other images, text, and graphic wizardry to conjure forth the final visuals. I’m honored that he asked me if I’d be interested in participating (I totally was!), and kind of humbled and dumbfounded that he cast me as his new deck’s Emperor card! As I told the man himself, I’ve been feeling challenged lately to specifically bring forth my own inner Emperor, so the synchronicity here was definitely not lost on me…and now I can so much more easily picture myself seated on a suitably Emperor-ian throne, because Steve has done the work for me!

Do yourself a favor and check out Steve’s website and his work, follow him on Instagram (@tiferettarot), and generally throw love in his direction, because he’s a super-talented Tarot reader and scholar, and an all-around charming guy!

Also: who knew, until now, that The Emperor would wear Converse sneakers?!

Make or Break Cards

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Aside from scooping up the out of print Tarot of the Origins, which I’d been coveting for a long time, I haven’t treated myself to a new deck in over a year now. Last week, I ended that streak, though, by picking up Lo Scarabeo’s Epic Tarot. I’ve been sidetracked by various bits of biz since then, and haven’t had a lot of time in which to get to know this new deck. I did do a reading with it last night, though, and one of the cards I drew was The Star, a huge favorite of mine in general.

This made me think about how lots of Tarot people have these “make or break” cards – the ones that they absolutely must like in a given pack of cards, or else they won’t consider buying that deck. These are often – but not always – the person’s most well-liked cards.

I never really thought of myself as having make or break cards in this way. If I liked enough cards in a deck, I’d get it, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t. But in recent times, I’m finding that I seem to be drifting in that make or break direction. I now won’t entertain thoughts of getting a given deck if I don’t like its Star card. Or its Hanged Man. Or High Priestess. Or its Moon, Magician, Hermit, Death, Devil…mostly it’s the Majors that most resonate with me on the conceptual level that I need to like now if I’m going to add a deck to my collection. My buying urges aren’t as crazed and lustful as they once were, so it takes more for a deck to lure me out of complacency.

This Star card, I like. At first glance, it doesn’t seem especially Star-like and celestial, and in line with the most traditional Tarot card meanings usually given for Trump XVII…but it occurs to me that it shows this great inclusion of, and connection among, the three worlds of the shamanic viewpoint: the ray of Starlight shines down from the Upper World, it calls to a human(oid) Woman who exists in the Middle World, and it illuminates a flower/Plant Spirit that pushes up from out of the Lower World. This deck’s version of the card is intended to be about the presence of the Divine, and the Divine does exist on all “levels” of life…

So do you have make or break cards? And if so, are they the same as your most well-liked cards, or are the two sets different beasts entirely…?

Are you interested in learning to read Tarot, and in ways that will go beyond just asking you to memorize reams of traditional Tarot card meanings? If you’d like to be engaged in your learning by a fresh and more innovative approach, consider the Tarot Toolkit Online Course:

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Combining Tarot with Meditation

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Tarot Tip: combine it with meditation!
Meditation Tip: combine it with Tarot!

These are definitely two great tastes that taste great together.

On the Tarot end, just pick a card that you want to consult with, or that has energy you want to coax into your life in greater quantities. Set the card up in front of you so that you can easily see it, and then focus on it until you feel you’ll be able to “see” it floating before you even when you close your eyes. When you reach that point, try actually closing them, and then just relax. See if anything comes to you from out of the card at all, either while you’re zoned out, or that night as you sleep and dream, or even the next day, in the form of synchronicities that seem related to the card.

On the meditation end, here’s a trick that really helps me: try humming.

I don’t mean throughout the entire experience. I just mean that as you relax into your meditative state, try a four-part breathing cycle rather than a two-cycle, “in-out” method. Instead, try “in-pause-out-pause,” and then repeat.

Except on the out-breaths, allow yourself to vocalize at low volume. Just hum whatever note wants to come out of you naturally. This isn’t singing, so don’t worry about sounding pretty or whatever. The idea is just to feel that vibration through your face, your head, and even in your body. Do the humming thing just, like, four times, even. You can go for more if you want, and try out different notes, too.

The point is that after you stop the humming and just sit quietly, you should hopefully find yourself way more likely to achieve real trance. Hell, I did this last night, and I started slipping into an actual lucid dream state! Sadly, I couldn’t keep it going, but there’s always next time!

Are you interested in learning Tarot, or in energizing your existing practice? The Tarot Toolkit Online Course could be for you:

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The Death Card: Like a Snake Sheds Its Skin…

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The Death card is one of a very small handful that seems to provoke immediate, visible unease for a lot of querents.  And that’s not too surprising: Death comes suddenly, and without warning, often with a lot of attendant suffering, and it steals away people and things whose departures we hadn’t necessarily signed off on beforehand.  Unless you’re Wednesday Addams, death is usually regarded as something that’s scary and/or sad.

But the Death card doesn’t have to be limited to fear and sorrow as its only sensible responses.  Try thinking about the Death card process as being like that of a snake shedding its skin.  Unlike many organisms, snakes continue to grow throughout their lives…but their outer layers of skin don’t grow with them like yours and mine would.  So it’s incumbent upon the snake to cast off its outer layers every month or so in order to continue growing.  If it fails to undergo this shedding process – called ecdysis, by the way – it will suffer, and become stunted.  Buildup of old, dead skin tissue will bind their bodies, and it also frequently occurs around the eyes, so without proper shedding, snakes can even go blind.

And metaphorically speaking, some of this does sound applicable to us humans.  We don’t shed our literal skins, but we do have the ability to shed many things in our lives.  Some are tangible: clothing, furniture, other belongings.  Some are intangible…and we often tend to shed things in this latter group way less than we should.  Think here about concepts like old programming, self-defeating beliefs, unhelpful behavior patterns.  If we don’t shed these things once we’ve outgrown them, they can trap us and make us go blind.

But just as a snake can rub itself against rocks and other rough surfaces during a shed to help speed the process along, we can do the figurative version.  When the Death card appears, it can actually be an empowering force.  When you leave Death’s logistics up to the Universe to determine, you will probably not enjoy the results…but what if you take an active hand in sorting through the detritus of your life?  What if *you* decide what gets stripped away?  Embrace ecdysis, and GROW…

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Another Reason to Love The High Priestess

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LIMINAL!!!

I’ve been even more into The High Priestess lately than I usually am…and that’s saying something, because along with The Star and The Hanged Man, The High Priestess is a longstanding member of my own personal pool of Top 3 Favorite Cards (bonus question: which ones make up your Top 3?).

One of the many reasons I so 💜  The High Priestess is the fact that she’s liminal. Liminality is basically the state of being in-between, transitional, of dwelling upon or on both sides of a threshold. Twilight periods – dawn and dusk – are liminal intervals of time. Physical areas such as doorways, windows, bridges, corridors, catwalks, and stairways are liminal regions of space. Hypnotists and trance-workers aim for that liminal strata of consciousness that exists between the waking and the sleeping minds. Because liminal spaces are very conducive to the occurrence of magic.

So maybe you’re a diurnal day person, or maybe you’re a nocturnal night-person. And that’s all cool, too! But if you’re possibly more of a crepuscular twilight person, or are at least interested in exploring liminality a bit more…you might try cultivating more of a relationship with The High Priestess. She knows these landscapes better than anyone!

Interested in learning Tarot?  The Tarot Toolkit Online Course may be exactly what you need:

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