Nine of Wands

Oof, I am really out of the habit of writing every day.  Let’s get this show on the road.

Side notes: 1) new keyboard! I can type now! 2) Alternative Tarot Network rocks my socks.

Nine of Wands

This character is looking a little worried. She also has a bandage on her head? And she’s clinging to a wand, perhaps out of fear that someone will try to take it from her, or maybe she’s just gotten through one fight (hence the bandage) and is afraid there’s another one coming. Wands are for fire, but this card seems very airy to me– and not just because I keep mixing up wands/swords and fire/air!  The sky takes up the top three-quarters of the card, and there’s sky between the wands in the background.

All that, plus the nine indicating the last steps of a journey, indicates that yes, a creative project is nearing completion, or something you’re passionate about is working out.  But perhaps there’s one problem left to conquer: doubts that maybe this isn’t a justifiable passion, or worry that you won’t be able to rationalize your “fire” to someone.  Or maybe it’s just your brain getting in the way.

If I wanted to give someone advice based on this card, I might say to wrap it up!– it’s almost done!– don’t look back now!  It’s the wrong time to start wondering if this is really a good idea, because for goodness sake, you’re almost done.

Speaking of looking back, the character on the card is sortof wanting to glance over her shoulder, but her body is facing straight ahead, like she knows better.  This also says to banish those final doubts.

Nine of Wands


I’m learning about the suits and elements, so I’ve pulled the aces to think about what opportunities they might be presenting to me.

Actually I am finding this difficult. I can see what the cards mean or signify, but when I wonder what they may be saying to me, specifically, right now, there’s a block. Let’s put on some music.

[Regina Spektor “Far” album]

Ace of Swords

This is a darker-colored scene, looking like night to me. The sword is presented with a crown and laurels attached. Obviously the swords make one think of combat and conflict, and crown and laurels indicate a prize or reward. But knowing what I do about the suit of swords, I wonder if this is a temptation rather than an actual promise.

It’s night, I’m in the mountains, here’s a sword– what is this for? There is no path; am I lost? There is no river; have I already crossed it? Kindof interesting to think about, given this is an Ace. This seems to be offering a way out rather than a brand-new journey.

Swords signify intellect and struggle…

[five minutes of distracting myself]

How interesting that it’s hard to type out!

I started taking antidepressants last year, and I’m starting to think about getting off them. I don’t need to be taking them for the rest of my life, and the longer I go without dealing with the issues that got me here, the more likely it seems to me that I’ll get used to the artificial adjustment of serotonin in my brain and struggle to quit the drug. I’m grateful for it- it’s helped me- but I feel the drag on my mood starting up again, and I need to work on the reasons behind that.

That might sound like more of a cups issue, but I don’t see it that way. Yes, I certainly have emotional blocks, but I see my struggle with depression as more of an intellectual struggle, and certainly one involving inner conflict.

So the Ace of Swords is telling me I have an opportunity to get my moods sorted out.

Whiiiiiich is why I’m doing tarot.

Ace of Cups

Ah, my cup overfloweth. We’ve got an ocean, water lilies, a dove, and droplets and streams coming from the cup. Oh, and little bells on the cup, how neat. It seems like I’m already in a good place, but here is a promise of something else. Or perhaps the whole scene is the promise. Cups signify water, which signify emotions. Here we go.

I’ve been hardening my heart for a long time. It’s disconnected me from my emotions and detached me from reality. From my strict religious upbringing, I learned that feelings were the enemy—that I was the enemy. Anything that held up a mirror to myself wasn’t trustworthy, because the idea of self as an authority is evil; humans are born to evil.

I got married young and it was always sexually abusive, but it because more twisted after I stopped believing in god. My feelings never mattered, especially not my feelings about sex. I now believe I have always been asexual, but during my marriage, I was told there was something wrong with me. I don’t think I ever really believed that, but my feelings didn’t matter, so I ignored them. They weren’t going to change anything. Until they just because too much. Actually, like the image in the Ace of Cups, they built up and built up pressure until they spilled out of me.

I’ve known for a long time that I need to learn how to feel my feelings. That’s what started me drinking—that overwhelming feeling of having too many feelings that I wasn’t able to identify. Metafeelings?


So here’s this ace of cups, offering me my own feelings. Hoo! That gave me chills.

This is what started my drinking problem, which is another joke. Cups? Drinking?

My tarot deck thinks it’s so funny.

Ace of Wands

On the other side of a stream is a city on a hill. In the Christian scriptures, the city on a hill is from Jesus’ teaching that we ought to live carefully, giving a good example, because you won’t be able to hide yourself. People are watching and they will attribute your actions to god, for good or ill.

But the biggest image on the card is the presentation of the wand. Maybe the city on the hill is a distraction?- or beside the point? I feel like this is telling me to do what I do for my own reasons. Let anyone watching think what they want to think, it’s not my problem.

I like that way of thinking about wands, which signify the element of fire, the inner spark. The ace is saying to do it! People will have opinions about you, but don’t let that distract you or affect you. This seems to be a “be true to yourself” card.

In the context of all the aces, this card is telling me to trust myself as I go forward. I won’t be able to rely on my intuition if I forget what’s driving me.

Ace of Pentacles

I’m starting off in a pleasant garden. There is a hedge around the garden, a path leading out, and a trellis over the exit. I can see a mountaintop in the distance. The symbol of the pentacle is coming out of a cloud and it looks like a sun in the sky. It feels like morning in the garden, a weekend morning where I’d like to stay and relax. But the hand coming out of the cloud is offering me something else.

Pentacles are earth: material or physical things.

I wonder if this is telling me to get off my butt, and stop letting my physical comfort be such a priority.

My home situation is chaotic and it has been for around five years. More, if you count the time I was married. I’ve finally been able to make my home more of a cozy nest, but I hate my city and my neighborhood and a) that’s not going to change soon and b) who cares if I hate it, this is where I am right now, accept it and get over it and focus on the things I can change.

I’ve been thinking about a big move, lately. I thought I was ready to start preparing. But this card reminds me that I’m safe where I am now, and the path out of the garden will be there when I need it.


Six of Pentacles

Finally, a suit card. I’m getting tired of the trumps. I wonder what that says about me.  But who cares! Right now its about the Six of Pentacles.

This is quite the capitalistic card. We’ve got a richly dressed businessman dispensing charity to two beggars, who are kneeling in supplication. The rich man looks self-satisfied, while the beggars look relieved. The rich man is carrying a scale, and I assume he is using it to give the beggars equal amounts. If they weren’t kneeling, I’d think he was paying their wages.

When I first glanced at the card, I thought it meant “generosity.” But looking just a tiny bit closer changed that. I feel like it actually represents greed or stinginess– whether you are the rich or the poor, inequality and unfairness are affecting you with this card.

Perhaps it’s also disappointment; you’ve recently been hoping for something, maybe despite your better judgment, and it didn’t turn out the way you hoped.

Six of Pentacles

first thoughts on suits

I have a preference for order rather than chaos, so it is perhaps needless to say that I looked for a pattern in the numbers of the suits… and also perhaps needless to say that I didn’t really find a pattern.

So what did I do? Made a spreadsheet. =D

Then I went through each suit, 1-10, and assigned each card a phase from the hero’s journey. There was a lot of similarity between suits, but my monomyth guide has 17 stages, and since I decided to leave the court cards out, that’s plenty of wiggle room, both for leaving myself options when interpreting cards, and for leaving out phases that didn’t work with a card.

Ace call to adventure
Two supernatural aid
Three crossing first threshold
Four belly of the whale
Five road of trial
Six temptation
Seven confronting power
Eight reward
Nine refusing to return
Ten mastery

So that was fun, and I’m happy with how it turned out. I’m still getting to know the suit cards on an individual level, but this seemed a great way to get an overview.

I’m going to do my very first spread this evening (probably; my fingers are tired because my keyboard is crunchy), so I need to shuffle even though I just spent some time putting my deck in order. Oh well.

first thoughts on suits