August 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

7 of Wands – Courage

Seven wands reach for the moon. This card always makes me think of someone standing on tippy-toes, stretching as tall as they can, yet the thing they want remains out of reach. These wands are striving so hard to reach their goal yet they’re still clinging to the rocks. Is it fear that holds them back? The rocks are familiar, safe. They provide stability. But it’s madness to believe you can touch the moon without taking your feet off the ground.

What is courage? It’s a quality of spirit that pushes us forward in spite of fear. The word screws itself into a ball, like fear tightening your heart in your chest. Courage comes in all forms. Telling someone how you feel about them takes a lot of courage. So does standing up to the bad guys, or even the good guys if you think they’re doing something wrong. Anytime we put any part of ourselves on the line, we are courageous. Even when we know there’s a chance we’ll get hurt, the consequences of not doing anything are worse than the prospect of failure. Maybe just the smallest glimmer of hope that we might succeed is enough to help us overcome our biggest fears.

It takes courage to change the status quo as well. There’s nothing wrong with not leaving those rocks but could you live with yourself if you never even tried? That’s what this card is speaking to me about today. I’m trying to make a big change in my life and, at times, the enormity of it overwhelms me and I start allowing compromise to creep in. I start looking for a safety net. What if I didn’t take such a big step all at once? Would it really be that bad? Things aren’t so bad where I am so why take such a big risk? It’s very difficult to leave the familiar when you’re not entirely sure what you’re leaving it for.

The hexagram on this card is 40, Loosening. It symbolizes release from obstruction and from whatever has been holding you back. Knowing what that is is half the battle. If you look closely at the base of the wands (starting with the leftmost) you can see that the first, fifth and sixth wands aren’t touching the rocks. They have begun to rise, to leave behind the safety and stability of the rocks. With this small but tremendous act of courage they are on their way to the moon.

Some courageous quotes:

Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.  ~Arthur Koestler

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.  ~Ambrose Redmoon

Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.  ~Raymond Lindquist

But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail. ~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

The Daughters

April 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

The Daughters in the Haindl Tarot roughly relate to the Pages in more traditional Tarot decks. (Although really I think it’s a mistake to try and make the Haindl court cards fit into the standard court card template – they don’t take well to being pigeon-holed.)

Pages are sometimes thought of as messengers and this made me wonder about the Daughters and what messages they bring me.

Radha, the Daughter of Wands, shows me how to enjoy life. She tells me to play, dance, laugh, and love – to appreciate beauty and music and art in all its forms. She reminds me that life is something to be enjoyed.

Brigid, the Daughter of Cups, shows me that I am part of something much bigger than myself – something that existed before I was born and that will keep on after I die. She reminds me to honour the connection with my past, my ancestors, and the places I come from. She tells me to care for and celebrate my family and cultural ties.

The Daughter of Swords, Isis, shows me how to learn and to listen. Learning isn’t something that just happens in formal education – it’s something that we do every day, every time we meet a new person or find ourselves in a new situation. Isis tells me to be open, honest and humble, and to remember that everyone can teach me something.

White Buffalo Woman, the Daughter of Stones, tells me how to value my material possessions and to see them not just as possessions but as gifts that help me live my life. She teaches me that it’s not just sacred items that should be cherished, but everything I have, from the shoes that protect my feet to the house that shelters my family. She makes me want to get rid of everything I have that I don’t value.

Court Card Keywords

April 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

A little while back, I was browsing an old Aeclectic Tarot Forum thread about the Haindl and found a list of keywords for the court cards that had been posted by Lee Bursten. These keywords are actually taken from the Quest Tarot, which is based on the Haindl, but I think they work very well with the Haindl cards themselves.

I love the court cards in the Haindl, I think they’re the best part of the deck. However, it does take a bit of effort to get to know them which is why these keywords are so helpful. Here they are:

Mother of Wands: CREATOR. Untamed energy.
Father of Wands: INTELLECT. Keeper of tradition.
Daughter of Wands: LUXURY. Sensual creativity.
Son of Wands: CHARISMA. Sensual hero.

Mother of Cups: MOTHERHOOD. Oldest truths.
Father of Cups: FATHERHOOD. Sacrifice for knowledge; harsh authority.
Daughter of Cups: CONNECTION. Keeping alive the inner flame.
Son of Cups: SEEKER. Courage to act responsibly.

Mother of Swords: MYSTERY. Gentle protectiveness, with something held back.
Father of Swords: LEADERSHIP. Harsh, fair analysis.
Daughter of Swords: CONFIDENCE. Dedication.
Son of Swords: FAIRNESS. Compassion.

Mother of Stones: PERCEPTION. Serene creativity.
Father of Stones: GUARDIAN. Quiet helper.
Daughter of Stones: POSSIBILITIES. Explaining the sacred in daily life.
Son of Stones: ADVOCATE. Articulating ideals.

Kali in my Corner

February 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

Kali – Mother of Wands in the East

Everyone should have a friend like Kali.

A few days ago I drew a card to help me decide what to do about a loved one who disapproves of my interest in tarot. When I sat down to do the reading, I braced myself to do some soul-searching. Then Kali barged in.

“Screw them!” she says, in the most literal way imaginable. “You love tarot. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about doing what you love!”

I see her point. It’s hard not to.

“And don’t try to hide it either. Live it. Own it. Wear it all over your body. Show everyone – this is what you do. This is who you are! It’s not a dirty little secret, it’s a wonderful beautiful exciting thing. And so are you.”

Well, that solved that problem. It’s great having Kali in my corner.

Further thoughts on Kali

October 26, 2008 § Leave a comment

Later yesterday, I read the entry for Kali in the Reader’s Handbook. Under the heading of “Teacher”, Rachel Pollack writes this:

Kali teaches us about fundamental energy. She reveals to us our own power, as well as our fears. Her aspects may terrify us but what we really fear is ourselves, and what we might do if we did not repress our strength. Kali teaches us to let go of all the trivial matters by which we define ourselves and close ourselves off from life. She teaches us to trust our own power.

This made me think of the primal, wild, uninhibited, life-affirming act of childbirth and, in a lesser way, of sex.

Daily Draw – Kali

October 25, 2008 § Leave a comment


Mother of Wands in the East

Scary, assertive, intimidating. Someone who gets what they want. A person in control. Open, unapologetic, passionate.

She is a giant – you can see the curvature of the earth. Potentially destructive – a story tells of her almost destroying the world with her dancing. Perhaps indicates someone impulsive, who doesn’t think about the consequences.

A powerful, forceful personality. But at the same time, likeable. With her tongue sticking out like that, she seems cheeky, fun and mostly harmless. Like an exuberant dog.

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