ADEPT LEVEL; 21 Ways . . . Step THREE


"Emotions" are the focus of this step. Or, as Mary Greer notes, emotions are all wrapped up in the reasons why people seek tarot readings and in the ways they dialog, interact with the reader, and respond to the information given. Emotions are also part of the reader's experience. The emotions, in part, spring from the images. We have seen this in the previous steps.

A problem with emotions is that they are often attached to "complexes" or mixtures of many other emotions, memories, triggers, reactive habits, etc. Both perceptions and emotions shape the way we see and act within the world, and also how we "live" within a tarot reading. Mary notes that what we see in the cards, plus the emotions related to the image, creates meaning. In this step we will continue the process of reading emotions, energy, meanings perceived, and the triggers and reactions of these energy flows.

STEP 3:2
Using the Five of Swords of your chosen deck or another deck, list the emotional states seen there. Follow the steps given as 1) and 2) in the book. Make your list as instructed and also keep it for future use in another step. I expect that we may want to use the Waite-Smith deck so as to also use the list given at the end of the chapter.

Note the paragraph titled GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DECK. Mary notes that each deck is quite different from the others. She goes on to note the survey made relative to positive and negative attributes attached to the Waite-Smith deck and showed that it could be biased toward more positive meanings in the card symbols. The deck we each currently use may have an overall slant in much the same manner as the Waite-Smith deck.

STEP 3:3
This step is directed towards the use of our favorite deck. The directions given are explicit. I suspect that this could be a most fascinating exercise. The ones that ask us to work typically are the most rewarding.

Again, feel free to do these steps in sections. I would rather do a great job and learn a great deal doing just a small part than trying to squeeze everything into a free 20 minutes and thereby cheating myself.

Have fun. Dave


Dave's Step THREE

Activity 3:2

List of emotional states that are in the given paragraph shown on page 21.
** Aloneness in spite of others nearby
** Apprehensive due to the cold and wind
** Uncomfortable due to approaching weather
** Worried over consequences of battle (what does this accomplish?)
** Exhaustion over this continuing situation (continuing concern about fighting?)
** Uneasy over conflicting emotions of winning while losing (does this end any on-going relationship?)

My own impressions of this card.
List the emotional states that appear in the first-person description of this card for the WAITE-SMITH tarot deck's Five of Swords.
Primary figure:
** Gloating? (warranted confrontation or not?)
** Superiority (luck or skill?)
Second figure:
** Resignation (what's done is done, getting past it)
Background figure:
** Depression (what was truly lost? pride, honor, wealth, one's sword?)
** Humiliation (did he do his best?)
Scene in the card:
** Storminess (exhilaration, caught up in the feel of things)
** Change
** Scattering
** Littered space
** Strife (continued adrenalin rush, deep breathing, excitement)
** Conflict

Activity 3:3
Getting to know your chosen deck. The Fey Tarot and five of swords card

A female fey sits upon the cross bar of a giant solid-iron gray sword buried half in the sand. She is partially clad in a wind-blown long robe or cloth, colored orangish-red. The sand below her is white-beige in color without any vegetation. A sun-set or sun-rise sky has a pink glow at the horizon with a fade away to purple above. The fey is blowing small stars or pinpoints of light like bubbles. Her hair is swept up to a long pony-tail that is blowing up and out. She is facing 3/4's of the way away from the viewer. A thin leather strap, almost string-like, crosses her back toward one shoulder but what it's purpose is remains unclear.

Impressions and feelings:
** A large battle is signified as having taken place by the sword sticking in the sand. (Curiosity about when, how long ago)
** The nature of the night or day is changing as signified by the light at the horizon. (Do I see this as hopeful and anticipating opportunities, or as a period of calm, rest, and retreat for meditation?)
** The conflict seems associated with barrenness of the land, of the support environment, pointless.
** A calm manner can blow possibilities into the wind and attract or generate new possibilities. (Centering oneself can place oneself outside of conflict, Peace)

Picking out emotional words from Appendix A that link to this card:
** Accepting
** Ambivalent
** Anticipatory
** Blissful
** Calm
** Content
** Hopeful
** Peaceful
** Secure

This deck is so different in many ways, yet some of its meanings overlap the Waite-Smith deck. The main figure is at rest, not threatened. The conflict is over. One or more swords are left behind.

What is different is the relative shallowness of the figure in the Waite-Smith deck compared to the Fey deck where calmness and expectation of some change is shown. Harsh change is indicated in the W-S, gentle change in the Fey tarot.

NOTE to those who follow these threads but do not participate. Learning about deck differences is one of the side benefits of this study group. We come to learn about differences, sameness and alternate views of what might be indicated by a card image. We tend to expand the image meanings and to consider "more" of what might be. Dave


My step 3 adept

RWS 5 of Swords

I am in an environment that seems cold, stormy, and bleak. Sleet falls at a distance and it feel like low, ominous clouds are over my head

(?) a feeling of helplessness
(?) alienation- “sleet falls at a distance”
(?) confusion

I am unbearably sad and dejected. I feel wounded and am experiencing inner pain

(?) disappointment
(?) wounded pride
(?) lowest point

I feel cold, lonely, and unaware of anything except my broken hopes. My attitude is ‘Poor me, nothing will ever get better’.

(?) feeling misunderstood
(?) not aware that others have been where they are now
(?) a sense that this is a permanent state of being

Behind all this a shadow part of me is dancing for joy, kicking up its heels and showing off. This shadow part of me is proud and happy and has an attitude of delight in my own or someone else’s pain

(?) self-conflicted, dualism
(?) guilt complex therefore wanting to hurt self
(?) not taking personal responsibility for own misfortune

Following Dave’s lead…
My Emotional Impressions of card-RWS 5 of Swords



Compare the Victorian Romantic 5 of Swords with the RWS 5 of Swords

Victorian Romantic 5 of Swords
It made me smile when I first found it. I am not familiar with this deck at all since I received it a couple of weeks back. This 5 of swords is down right “cute”.
3 little people in what appears to be clown outfits in a bit of a discussion. One is speaking, actively, one is listening, actively, and another appears to affirm the speaker. There is a single sword lying on the floor, the piercing tip not visible.
It looks as if they are putting on some sort of production and are trying to get their cues in sync. The “listener” holds a tambourine. All seems rather innocent, but also serious.
The card has a calm, casual, organized feel to it. It’s colors are somber, but elegant. Everyone seems to be playing his or her assigned roles correctly.
If this card has some issues connected with it, they are not dire and will take little effort to address.
The drama from the RWS version is gone, the contention is contained, and more seems to be understood by all.
Here(VR)this 5 seems more hopeful, and creative. Structure is put into action, and is far more productive than the RWS version.
Again, this is just from my standpoint, and feelings.

Emotional words from Appendix A:
Victorian Romantic 5 of Swords



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1.Feels like low ominous clouds are over my head , with only a small patch of clarity.
A. This seems like the beginning of a bout of depression
2. I am unbearably sad and dejected.
B. This is the person closest to the water( emotions) he needs to open his eyes and let go
3. I am wounded and am experiencing inner pain.
C: Before it was his emotions that caused the problem now it is his coping ability.
4. I feel cold and lonely
D. This is getting dangerous when you have a depressed person make theme even lonelier and lack of hope is next. A depressed person with no hope for a better future can feel as if there is nothing worth living for.
5 .My attitude is “poor me , nothing will ever get better”
E. Please see above comment. If this person will open his eyes and step back like the guy in the middle he will get better.

6. Behind me is the shadow part of me .
A. This is the guy will all the swords . if this guy where alcoholic in recovery I would say he is about to relapse.
7. The person is proud and happy. delightfully in mine or someone else's pain.
B. I think this person needs to realize that shadow self is a potential "him" as well

Personal thoughts
The fix in this card as in all the 5’s is in the middle of the card. . the person in the middle has moved beyond the loss and although had to see the shadow self as he was walking buy does not get controlled by him. He also is recognizing his emotions( the sea) from the mid point. He does not get trapped by the shadow self nor does he get trapped in his emotions nor is he trying to hide from there like the other guys in this picture.
Also as an aside we do not know if the shadow self ( the one with the swords) is sneering at the men in front of him or his emotional side( the sea)

3.3 I placed the emotions in paragraph form nstead of list form i hope that is ok.

Tarot of Dreams 5 of Swords.( scan included in the attachment)

I cant even begin to describe this card and be accurate the good thing is I do not have to I will provide a scan( go to love Ciro). I will talk about what is different between this and the R.W.S. version.

There is only one man in this deck there is a figure on the ground it looks to be female I cant tell if she is still among the living or just so beat up she is passed out

His expression appears mischievous and arrogant. He is facing us the woman is lying down this gives the impression of superiority. When I look at this card the emotions I get are confident, calmness, defiant, smug he could become spiteful. He is obviously triumphant.

Assuming she is alive and just lying there while he is gloating above her I will assume she is fearful, lonely, impotent, and inadequate, heart broken, feeling shame and lost. Well at least I would have to feel that way to just lay there and not fight any more.

In the RWS version I think he shows the different sides of loosing a fight and more importantly how we deal with it . This card shows you how it feel to loose but also and more to the point what a arrogant winner is. some people need to win at all cost even if by winning you lose more then you won in the long run. win the fight lose the war type of single mind ness..

On my first AA retreat Brother Giles a Dominican monk( he is on the other side now) asked the group “ would you rather be loved or be right” I was only 6 months sober so I promptly said to my self “I would rather be right “because I was in the wrong for so long. But now going on my 11th retreat this Friday I would much rather be loved by others and just as important be loved by my self.



3:2.1. List emotional states for the 5 of Swords description. Add a question mark and any notes about what imply to you.

 “low ominous clouds are over my head” – (? Sense of dread; an unknown heavy weight or burden; fear; an unknown threat)
 “with only a small patch of clarity” – (? Feelings of hope)
 “I am unbearably sad and dejected” – (? Sense of loss of control over something; hopelessness)
 “I feel wounded and an experiencing inner pain” – (? Someone has perhaps hurt this person deeply)
 “cold and lonely” – (? Feelings of loneliness and isolation; a sense that no one cares)
 “unaware of anything except my broken hopes” – (? Feelings of self-pity; cannot see any good around them)
 “poor me” – (? Self-pity)
 “nothing will ever get better” – (? Sense of helplessness and hopelessness)
 “dancing for joy, kicking up its heals and showing off” – (? A part of this person, the shadow self perhaps, likes feeling bad; likes getting others’ attention from others through pity or guilt)
 “proud and happy” – (? Sense of getting what they deserve)
 “attitude of delight in my own or someone elses pain” – (? Loves misery and believes that misery loves company)

3:2.2. I reviewed the comments I made in 3:2.1 and verbally acknowledged them as my own opinion.

3:3 Exploring the emotional characteristics of the Fantastic Menagerie using the list of emotion words in Appendix A. I chose the emotion words that most closely matched my own personal reactions to each card. The result of this exercise was that I used 34 of the emotion words as follows:

5 Interested 2 Annoyed 1 Nostalgic
5 Content 2 Smug 1 Defensive
4 Festive 2 Arrogant 1 Frustrated
4 Adventurous 2 Hostile 1 Amused
4 Loving 2 Desirous 1 Belligerent
4 Patient 2 Expectant 1 Suspicious
4 Eager 2 Ambivalent 1 Carefree
3 Serene 2 Disappointed 1 Sad
3 Determined 2 Happy 1 Confused
3 Triumphant 2 Elated
3 Mirthful 1 Shocked
3 Prideful 1 Curious

 Though I did not use all the emotion words many cards, to be fully described could have used anywhere from two to five emotion words. This decks seems very much a social commentary so it shows the effects of the characters on one another. As a result settling on one emotion for each card was a very difficult task.

 The deck has a wide range of emotions, from strong to mild to indifferent. In some cards it was very difficult to even pin point a specific emotion or emotion at all for that matter. As stated above, I would describe this deck as one of social commentary, as such some cards seem objective and removed from the emotional realm, but it really works in this deck. Often times humor and satire are what is prevalent, not so much emotion. I consider this one of the strengths of this deck.

 Emotions were well represented across suits and Majors. To go into full detail on the results of this exercise would almost be like writing a novel, so I will only include a few examples of findings related to emotion words that included 3 to 5 cards: In the “content” category (5) there were 3 cups and 2 Majors; there were no swords in the “festive” category (4) but all other suits were represented; to my surprise I found no cups in the “loving” category (4); there were no swords or wands in the “patient” category (4). There were a couple of Knights in the “determined” category (3); there were two 7’s in the “interested” category (5); and a couple of 8’s in the “festive” category (4).

 The cards from this deck that were the hardest for me to assign an emotion to were: 7 of Swords, 7 of Cups, Temperance, Hierophant, Hermit, 3 of Coins, 6 of Coins, Page of Coins, 4 of Coins, Lovers, 5 of Cups, 10 of Wands, 7 of Coins, 5 of Swords, 4 of cups, and the Page of Wands. The difficulty usually came from either lack of emotional response on my part, or that there were conflicting or competing emotions in the card which made them very hard to place. It would depend on which character in the card caught my attention in a reading to determine how I would emotionally perceive the card.

I was following the book in doing Step 3 and did not see the part where I need to compare the list of emotions to my 5 of Swords in Step 3:2. I will have to do this and post it. It will be a good exercise as this was one of the cards I had a real hard time placing in a category when I evaluated the whole deck using the list from Appendix A.


Completing Step 3

dadsnook2000 said:
STEP 3:2
Using the Five of Swords of your chosen deck or another deck, list the emotional states seen there. Follow the steps given as 1) and 2) in the book. Make your list as instructed and also keep it for future use in another step. I expect that we may want to use the Waite-Smith deck so as to also use the list given at the end of the chapter.
In looking at the 5 of Swords from the Fantastic Meangerie (will attach once I can get it scanned). The card depicts a turkey lady and a moth lady in the process of some sort of exchange of a little white thingy, which to be honest I cannot tell what it is. It appears to have come out of a little treasure box (which is open on the table) so I assume it is of value. The turkey lady is holding it and showing it to the moth lady who seems to be having several emotional reactions at once. Now the turkey lady seems a bit indifferent to the moth's lady's reactions and seems to be voulunteering to either go get someone or something else, but I get a sense from the moth lady that she is here secretly and wants to do business very privately. I do not necessarily think the turkey lady can be trusted either, on the wall she has a painting of bugs fighting, with a close up of a mosquito stabbing a bee in the belly, the mosquito is standing on top of the poor bee. Anyway, this is a most unusual representation of the 5 of Swords and one I had a great deal of trouble trying to describe with a single emotion. In the end I categorized it as suspicious, but there is so much more going on here.

I found the found the following emtion words from Appendix A to describe the FM 5 of Swords: Ambivalent, anxious, apprehensive, cautions, doubtful, expectant, guilty, hopeful, indecisive, indifferent, insecure, intereseted, needy, and suspicious.


I love your 5 of swords from the FM. Nice work on breaking down the emotions for all your cards.

Personally I did not do that as my emotional take on a card can change day per day and plus i was lazy!

Some of the emotional words are kind of repeated and would have taken for ever .

you can tell you really like your FM.


For Coyoteblack

I really enjoyed your description of your 5 of Swords as well, emotionally I think you really dug into all aspects of the card. I read your description before viewing the card and I could really see the emotions you described.

I think what I love most about my FM is describing the cards and calling them "the moth lady" or bach when working with my Star "the Ibis-Woman" ~giggles~. When doing a reading with this deck and pointing out the "turkey lady" or whatever cool creature is there it lightens up the reading in a way while opening door to tell whatever needs to be told and it be well received. I a have to admit, I never thought I would like this deck as much as I do. Its social commentary aspects are so real and down to earth, and its wit and spunk just really do something. I will be eternally grateful to Karen for trading the deck to me.

It took me a long time to divide out the deck per emotion, but it was fun. I actually had to think some about each card in the deck. When I was done then I started to see what could be combined, and determine why I did not want to combine some things like "belligerant, hostile and anger". But as I looked at the cards they were different emotions and could not be lumped in together. On some cards I had to sacrifice one emotion over another, and I did it by how I was feeling when I did the work. As stated earlier in a reading it will depend on what stands out in the card at the time as to what emotion I will see. If you ever have the time or inclination, you might really want to try doing it.


21 ways adept level step 3

21 ways adept level step 3

My comments are in parenthesis.

I am in an environment that seems cold stormy and bleak. (emotionless and alone, a clash of wills?) Sleet falls at a distance (something ugly is on its way?) and it feels like low ominous clouds are over my head (being pushed down?), with only small patch for clarity (mostly confused as to what is happening?). I am unbearably sad and dejected (depressed and unhappy and no hope?). I feel wounded and experiencing inner pain (hurting and rejected?). I feel cold lonely and unaware of anything except my broken hopes (alone and disappointed?). My attitude is “poor me, nothing will ever get better” (No hope?) Behind all this, a shadow part of me is dancing for joy, kicking up its heels and showing off ( I got them? I am best? I’m loving others unhappiness?). This shadow part of me is proud and happy and has an attitude of delight in my and someone else’s pain (vengeance? getting back? Success? Likes being hurt? Wallows in pain?)

3.2.1: Will get back to this in step 9.

I spread all my cards out on a big table (the DruidCraft cards are big!) and I took copies of the appendix, and a pair of scissors and starting cutting out words and putting them on the cards. I used my own personal reactions to the words and cards.

The words I did not use:
affectionate, amazed, ambivalent, angry, annoyed, Aroused, arrogant, astonished, awed, bitter, blissful, compassionate, complacent, courageous, depressed, despairing, disappointed, disgusted, disliking, dissatisfied, ecstatic, elated, embarrassed, envious, fearful, frustrated, gay(why this word today!!! – edit it out in next edition, its like seeing a couple of old aunts eating fruitcake and talking about the gay balls they went to, lol), grateful, grieving, hateful, heartbroken, helpless, hopeful, horrified, hostile, humble, humorous, impotent, insecure, interested, irritated, jealous, loving , lustful, mirthful, needy, nostalgic, optimistic, overwhelmed, panicking, passionate, patient, prideful,., puzzled, raging, regretful, scornful, secure, shamed, shocked, smug, spiteful, startled, surprised, suspicious, sympathetic, terrified, yearning and zestful

I see that I could have used several, but I was mostly occupied giving one word per card. And unfortunately I did it a bit haphazard. I took each card at random, not in suits, and majors. It was a big job, but fun. I had some difficulties choosing the "right" word and had to hard with myself or otherwise i would have been up all night.

The dominant traits were for wands were positive words,
The cups: emotional words,
The Swords; difficult words (like distressed)
The Pentacles it was calm words (like serene).
The Majors each had its own word, apart from Moon, High Priestess and the Star all ended up with “worshipful”.

I had most trouble with Fferyllt (temperance), Cernunnos (the devil) and Rebirth (Judgement).

Verdi :)


For Verdi

You noted having trouble with Temperance, Devil and Judgment. I can see how these cards could be difficult for anyone at first glance. In our modern life it seems that we seldom take the time to have quiet moments and let our minds wander where they may. I can't remember a specific time when I last thought about Temperance as a topic, although I am quite moderate in much of my own social discourse.

In one of her other books, Reversals, Mary Greer notes that the process of attaining balance might mean making continual adjustments. Process. This, to me, suggests that we have to develop, work at, consider and assess how we are moving towards this card's meaning. It becomes part of us rather that us adopting a view or stance by making a decision.

The Devil is a card I can understand as we all have our obsessions, large or small, from time to time. I think that is normal for many of us as we manage to keep these obsessions within narrow bounds. I do remember one lady being highly upset at the suggestion that she was involved in holding onto obsessive behavior in a relationship. That was an issue that was "off the (reading) table." How can you do a reading around a hole in the story? The Devil can have a sort of "hole" attached it in terms of what it keeps out of our lives.

Isn't Judgment so much like self-satisfaction when we look back on something in our life that quietly changed us or challenged us. We realize within ourselves that we have grown. I haven't seen this card in a reading as an external or "other" form of approval. Just as a "Hey, I'm ok" card. But, I can see the card as a resolution of some sort to Temperance versus Devil issues. At this point, I am exploring the Hermit card from the Fey Tarot, which is taking me outside of the thoughts about this card as seen in the Waite-Smith tarot deck. Dave