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21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- Step SEVENTEEN

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Step 17


Rider-Waite-Smith
7/The Chariot


17.1: The 4/Pentacles Exercise

I found this one to be interesting. I used a soft, square pillow for a pentacle stand in and it was some effort to hold this light thing in the pose shown when I began to tense. It was like the exercises I’ve been doing in beginning Yoga where you fight against yourself to create an exercise. I imagined balancing this pentacle on my head and then stamping my feet down hard (like you would do on pieces of paper during a windy day you don’t want flying away). My soma/body said, “This figure in this card is working very hard to keep all these pentacles under his control.” A very good exercise, I saw this one also in K and K (2002) Heart of Tarot: An Intuitive Approach. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn. It was neat to do this myself!


17.2: 7/The Chariot Exercise

I experimented with tensing my forearms and found quite a difference in holding the rod/wand and the fist the figure has from just letting the wand dangle (point to the ground) and the hand completely open. This person is taking a strong stance for sure! The sphinxes are relaxed I think as our cats will strike a similar resting position like that one, but not the man. He is on alert and taking a stance of power/force. It was hard to figure out what to do about his poise as it looks like he’s stuck in a pillar of concrete which makes him perpetually stand. Whatever it is, he’s not sitting but I did because it can be hard to stand for me with a wand and a fist (no way to grab my cane when I need it). I think I have to agree with Bunning (1998; Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners. San Francisco: Weiser Books.) here, this figure is into a win-lose dynamic.
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21 ways - step 17 - crow's magick page of cups


4 of pentacles

that took forever for me to want to do! i wonder whether that had something to do with the fact that it was a rider-waite card (not my favourite), whether it was THAT card, or - who knows. anyway, here i am. what struck me that most was that by having that disc in front of my heart, so totally encircled by my arms, it seemed that i couldn't feel any emotions. the fact that my feet felt ungrounded didn't help either. having the one elbow up so high was uncomfortable, and then balancing the other plate (even though it was only plastic!) took up quite a bit of my concentration. re the inability to feel, i had a sense also that it had the potential for more than that - that, if i held this position, i would forget that there is such a thing as emotions.

page of cups

the position of the page of cups - an animal jumping out of a ring, laughing/smiling, mouth open, tongue almost hanging out - was very easy. actually, i did it first, right away, it was easy, and it didn't give me any more insight into my card, simply because i had already gone so deep into it.

interestingly enough, this exercise really helped me with a reading the other day, when i was faced with a death card where the skeleton holds the scythe in a really awkward position, which helped with the interpretation of tiredness that this card seemed to imbue.

phew, i'm glad i finally did this.
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Tarot of Vampyres (Ian Daniels)


17-1 Four of Skulls
This is a very different card from the RWS 4/Pentacles but after a while I started to see so many similarities that I decided to use this one for this exercise after all.
There are two figures standing next to each other. There is a huge male Vampire fighter and a delicate looking but obviously an equally powerful feminine Vampire. As the companion book says it is not clear which Vampire is in command. This card is all about the different aspects of balance and power.

To embody this card I went out to the horses. I leaned on the wall next to them and felt their huge energy and I remembered my riding accident from years ago and thought about the fact that with horses it is not always clear who is in command! They are now sheddining their winter fur so I brushed the younger (and unschooled) one and she loved it. I tried to relax but with big animals one also has to remain slightly alert and ready to react if needed. I imagined I´m the female vampire and the horse is the muscular huge warrior Vampire. I even tried the stance of the female vampire but my lower back started to ache (which is unusual) so obviously I just could not relax in that position the way the Vampire does. I took a more comfortable position and relaxed, just breathing with the horses.
I thought why do I not do this more often? Why did I need an exercise from AT to do something like this today!?


17-2: The Empress
I went to the old apple tree and stood under it. I started to study the numerous different mosses and lichens growing on its old bark and immediately thought about how the moss is the exact same velvety color as the Empress dress. Everything in that Empress card is moss colored in fact. She is the Moss Lady! I remembered my favorite wool cardigan from my teenage years and how it was the same beautiful color. We have been planning to fell that old apple tree for some years because it simply is over aged and rotten. I thought about maybe leaving it for all those mosses and lichens but after a while I found the same species in other old trees in the garden and I thought, okay maybe it is time to fell this one after all. Maybe wait after it blooms for the very last time this spring, though?
I remembered one of my favorite quotes by Peter Steinhart in The Company of Wolves: “Death is nature´s way of making things continually interesting. Death is the possibility of change. Every individual gets its allotted lifespan, its opportunity to introduce change through mutation or culture, its chance to try something new on the world. But time is called, and the molecules that make up leaf and limb, heart and eye are disassembled and redistributed to other tenants.”
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemera View Post
I remembered one of my favorite quotes by Peter Steinhart in The Company of Wolves: “Death is nature´s way of making things continually interesting. Death is the possibility of change. Every individual gets its allotted lifespan, its opportunity to introduce change through mutation or culture, its chance to try something new on the world. But time is called, and the molecules that make up leaf and limb, heart and eye are disassembled and redistributed to other tenants.”
what a powerful quote!
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Yes, it is, isn´t it. Very humbling and a bit scary..
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