ADEPT LEVEL Step 8; 21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card


It's time to move to STEP 8 which deals with metaphors. Mary Greer notes that metaphors tend to be linked to emotions, memory driven emotions. She goes on to note that metaphors can be so powerful that they can immediately impact one's environment, and that by changing a metaphor you can change your environment. Powerful stuff. There is a lot of material about metaphors to read in this step/chapter.

Step 8:3 directs us to review metaphors for the Five of Pentacles that were used and/or rejected at the Apprentice Level. Pick one of the "then rejected metaphors" and then to consider re-applying it in the ways suggested, being very dramatic and extreme in our application as a way of drawing out before-unseen qualities.

We are shown that a metaphor can become a self-fulfilling prophecy -- talk about practical magic! Mary Greer than gives us a list of examples -- we are expected to then run wild with our own metaphors and cards to the extent we can, or to re-use her examples in our own way. This really should be fun. Dave


Metaphors chosen and rejected

The FEY TAROT Five of Pentacles shows several Fey sitting around a table within a warm and comforting atmosphere. There is something threatening and dark outside the window, but that is not inside the room.

The best metaphor or phrase, for me, is Home is where the heart is. "Home" is a metaphor for safety, protection, comfort, support, familiar ground, resources. Linking home to "heart" brings in all the warm emotions connected to those words and their meanings. Secure, safe, comfort, a place for renewal, the place we leave to face life's challenges and then return to.

In my case, home is where we raised our first family and where we are raising our second family now. It is a place of support and familiarity, as well as place of some stress and challenge. In this regard, I note that the Fey Five/Pentacles has that dark monster outside the window. Sometimes, its impact does intrude into one's comfort zone.

"Safety in numbers" doesn't seem appropriate once you go beyond superficial considerations. In much of life, we have to act alone. We don't live within a "herd" and we do take chances in life as we work at what is important to us.

As an example, both my wife and I have had several medical procedures occur in the past months -- nothing critical, just those things that have to be done from time to time. While we support each other, drive the other to the hospital, take care of home activities -- we each go through our experiences ourselves in these types of situations.

Both being strong personalities, we often act on our own within mutually set guidelines, so "safety in numbers" is not for ourselves but is applied to working with the children we are raising at this late stage in our lives.

I'm not sure how to respond to question 3) on page 75.

The card I'm now working with is the Fey Hermit. This "Fool-like" character is stepping down a twisted stairway within a tower, other stairs twist up and across in a maze-like pattern, doorways everywhere. The problem is not that the paths are puzzling to choose, but that any stair can be taken to get to any doorway one chooses. So, the journey is only outwardly confusing, the real inward problem is to choose the end-of-this-segment-of-the-journey by choosing a door. Make a decision. This seems to be the operative phrase.

Many see cards such as the Waite-Smith Hermit as being a beacon for others to find in their search for knowledge. I've always been open to the idea that that Hermit may be searching for his own knowledge, the last portions of knowing that he needs to complete his life's set of answers. In the Fey Tarot, the Hermit is definitely on his own search, making his own choices, looking for his own answers within a bewildering world.

My metaphors for the Fey Hermit include:
** Keep on trucking.
** Seek and you shall find.
** Any decision is better than no decision at all.
** Don't expect any path or any situation to continue forever.
** Change is the norm.
And the metaphor I use here on Aecletic Tarot; "If you have options, choose them all."

I have learned, and adopted the view, that I am a seeker and that I should not ever try to hide that. I don't pretend to know it all, but I do try to find out all I can about something. In this sense, there is a bit of the "child" within me. That's good. At the same time, I try to encourage others to also explore the child within them, to be curious, to just "try" even though you don't how to get directly to the solution. Taking the steps is what is important. Results alway come from an effort. I think all of this is why I can identify with the Fey Hermit as he goes up-down-across his many stairs and passes by the many doors that might be opened for him once he makes a choice.


More thoughts off on a tangent

I was listening to NPR radio this evening and heard of SYNAESTHESIA, the inter-mixing of the senses. This occurs when some see colors associated with letters or with music, as an example. Others might hear sounds as they touch something. This got me thinking about METAPHORS -- the complex symbols that bring up emotions and meanings when we see or hear a metaphor.

I linked this to the card I've been working with, the Fey Tarot HERMIT. In this card the Hermit is stepping down a convoluted stairway, one among many that go in all directions. The stairs are inside a tower and one can step from one to another quite easily. Around the tower walls are many doors/windows. Small creatures inhabit the stairways.

What I didn't fully appreciate was that the stairways are a total distraction that hide other meanings within this complex symbol-set. Instead of dwelling on the logic behind the many stairs, or in trying to maintain a constant path, the Hermit can ignore the stairs and choose any/many of the doors/windows that are all around him. As I noted, the Hermit strikes me as being very much like the Fool, only dressed in a long coat with an absurd tall hat. His manner and clothing suggests that he is still locked into looking at the stairs instead of seeing the "choices" (the doorways out of the chaos). In this manner, he has his "senses" crossed in that he can't see what he could see. He sees solutions and believes in confusion. He steps along stairs but cant push open a door.

Once we "see" the metaphor, we have to look past it and see the images behind it. The beauty of life isn't the reflection on the window pane, but rather the images that can be seen looking through the glass. Just some more thoughts. Dave



I’m going to look at the VR 5 of Pents for this:

Accepted metaphors:

I used “down but not out” for the RWS 5 of Pents in apprentice step 8 and I think it applies here as well.
On the VR 5 of Pents a woman is holding onto a hand-made cross as she, simultaneously, holds her son outside the steps of a building.
There is a weariness in her face as in their clothes. “Times are tough”, comes to mind as well, but the times can also (and have been) worse.
Both “times are tough” and “down but not out” make me think that I’ve been blessed with a sort of optimism, to my core. I may complain, be puzzled, appear less than stellar at times, but, I do believe, my actions have been forward looking, ultimately.

Deleted metaphors:

I find it funny that one of my rejected metaphors was “mother’s little helper” from apprentice step 8. This seems to strangely fit the VR 5 of Pents and speaks of recent events in relation to my own mother. When I read through my rejects I laughed because they all spoke to me to one degree or another, now.
“practice makes perfect”
“long and winding road”
“bringing down the house”
“a life less ordinary”
I felt all these to one degree or another for the last three months. Having to run things myself at work, taking over her clients (mother’s little helper), doubting if I could do a good job (bringing down the house), fearing I would damage business for her. Learning while on the job (practice makes perfect), the long hours on my feet (long and winding road), having my day to day schedule disrupted (a life less ordinary), and being changed by it on many different levels.
For the VR 5 of Pents, the boy comes to my attention when I think of “mother’s little helper” as he sits, and shares his mother’s fate. It was my mother who broke her wrist and yet I also became affected in a different manner in regards to the circumstance. I think this little boy will be compelled on some level to never experience poverty ever again as an adult. I believe it will be upper most in his mind as he grows.
That’s just what I feel from this card, along with a deep, abiding love for his mother.

I will have to be the boy in the VR 5 of Pents:

It is so cold I can barely stand it this morning. We woke up so early as we always do, so that we can get to the soup kitchen, and mother sell her crosses. Sometimes I get scared, what will happen if mom isn’t around anymore. What will happen to me?
I love her so, and worry that she is killing herself with father leaving and now us not having a home. I love her arm around me, it makes me feel warm, even now.
I’m very close to my mother, very close, and many times it had seemed as if it was just the two of us against the world…
lol, another metaphor!
This card hit close to home and I am surprised as to how the simple words from the boy, were, in fact, my words, in my heart.

The VR 4 of Wands:

Switching shifts :laugh: now…

~What metaphors for your card most surprise and delight?
*get up and go!
*where there’s a will, there’s a way
*don’t rain on my parade
*strike up the band!
*making the hard look easy

~Which do you find fresh and intriguing?
“strike up the band”
These gals in the VR 4 of Wands maybe a bit raggedy, but I sense, they put their whole heart into that performs. It is their intent to please and entertain, and it will be the same intent to transform them into a rousing success.

~Which depict an improvement in circumstances?
“get up and go!”
I think it is in the peace and happiness that is on the girl's face, the one in the crowd. Hey, if you can make just one person’s day a little better, mission accomplished(metaphor?)!

~Which challenge you to become a better person?
“where there’s a will, there’s a way”
Again, a reminder to tap into that core optimism that make things happen.

~Which require that you use and increase your skills?
“making the hard look easy”
Learning for me has always been better when it is a (metaphor alert)hands on experience. For my profession (hairdresser) that fits rather perfectly, but it really has to be done over and over again.
In the last 7 years since I started doing hair, it has gotten better, and I can make something look easy…something that I really did put my (here we go again) blood, sweat, and tears into:)

~Which ask you to do something you’ve never done before?
Probably “making the hard look easy”, but not in terms of profession.
It’s one thing to read something out of a book. The words can be meaningful and touching giving to some thought. It is the changing of attitude and thought that is a challenge to me every day. With the VR 4 of wands, the four does promise stability in my life, but it will take work. Wands is about what inspires, to get out of those things, the habitual ways of thinking/being that wear a person down. To drop it. In this 4 of Wands, I think this musical crew is challenging the crowd to drop whatever worries they may carry for just a few minutes. To enjoy a show, a song, a dance, and to have that spirit/energy raise them up. With the 4, that little happiness may endure far longer than anyone ever suspected.

~Which metaphors share something in common with your goal?
“where there’s a will, there’s a way”
Sometimes it seems that everyone and their brother have a goal, and in some of the teachings I’ve been reading, the word “goal” come up. For the longest time, I thought of what my own goal was about. I am a seeker, first and foremost. I can’t help it, I am drawn to knowing something bigger than myself, it is just my thing. Can’t really earn money from it, but it gives me a peace that is priceless. The VR 4 of Wands isn’t the London Symphony, and yet, they have their place in the world, and in what they give to others. The only way to give, for me, is to understand where I’ve been, where I want to go. As I make my way to an enduring inner peace, I find that I can give a little more of myself to others. This, in turn, brings me moments of quiet happiness. I will work toward this goal, and play my part as best as I can…just like this little raggedy crew of performers(VR 4 of Wands).


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dadsnook2000 said:
What I didn't fully appreciate was that the stairways are a total distraction that hide other meanings within this complex symbol-set. Instead of dwelling on the logic behind the many stairs, or in trying to maintain a constant path, the Hermit can ignore the stairs and choose any/many of the doors/windows that are all around him. As I noted, the Hermit strikes me as being very much like the Fool, only dressed in a long coat with an absurd tall hat. His manner and clothing suggests that he is still locked into looking at the stairs instead of seeing the "choices" (the doorways out of the chaos). In this manner, he has his "senses" crossed in that he can't see what he could see. He sees solutions and believes in confusion. He steps along stairs but cant push open a door.
Once we "see" the metaphor, we have to look past it and see the images behind it. The beauty of life isn't the reflection on the window pane, but rather the images that can be seen looking through the glass. Just some more thoughts. Dave

I think that is the challenge, to get past the distractions to the core, to the center of things or beings. Being that it is the Hermit, it almost seems as if he has allowed himself to be tested. The Hermit, to me, "knows" already, and gives himself as an example for other to learn. I think people learn from his courage, his insight. It gives weight to what he wants to, "I've been through this myself, and so can you."


The Hermit.

Yes, the Hermit is deeper than his surface-image. Is he looking for himself, is he seeking to be in the right place for another to discover him? Why is there, what will he do next? I don't think he knows. I think he is moving on faith, just to see where his steps take him and then to see what he sees.

Where the Fools knows not who he is or where he is going, the Hermit does know who he is, greatly cares about whatever he can find and learn about. He is somehow related to the hanged man, I haven't yet determined how, just a sense of mine. I'll dwell upon this a bit. Dave


~gulps~ I am sooooooooo far behind!!!!!! Looks like time for a "Sonic Boom" on my part. I have really missed being able to dedicate time to this study. I guess better late than never. I believe I am back on Adept Step 5. Hope to catch up soon! Miss studying with you guys!


What Jewel Said we will duo sonic boom!


21 ways adept level step 8

21 ways adept, level 8.

Activity 8.3
1. Looking back I see my chosen metaphors are quite “narrow”. I’m leaving no room for release or better times. It seems I was quite contented to let the five of pentacles stay in her misery. This is interesting in so much as I’ve had this card in reading for others, and they have pointed out that that card opens up for better times and moving on.

2. My rejected metaphors were:
Out in the cold
Walking wounded
No rest for the weary
Beggars can’t be choosers
About to turn a corner
Light from above
Window of opportunity
Support in adversity
Within a stones throw
For better or worse, richer and poorer, in sickness and health, ‘til death do us part

I see now I have been a bit too quick to not see the possibilities in these metaphors. I did think this was a hard step the first time.
I believe “light from above” is very apt here. The light almost takes up the whole card; it’s so intense the animals are almost silhouetted in the background. If there was light at the end of the tunnel, so this it is: The tree and ground makes the tunnel of which the light shines through. If the woman in the picture does go down the tunnel, not only will she see light, optimism, renewal and cleansing, her heart will be laid bare for all to see. But she hides in the shadow of the tree. She is ready to move on, but what will give her the push forward? She buries her head, so no light can reach her. Why is she avoiding the light? This card comes so much more alive now. What a difference from the first step I am almost embarrassed!

3. I stand by the tree, and I bury my head in my arms. I am so unhappy I just want to stay here forever. I want nothing. I want to be alone. Leave me. Let me stand here and weep. I see the light seeping through the tree and try to ignore it. I see animals chasing each other. The beauty of nature eludes me now.

I think it suggest lifting your head, looking around. Try to see the possibilities. Life is not at an end. We can move on.

4. The Lady DruidCraft.
A little list to begin with:
A bun in the oven
Dipping your toe in the water
Hands are full
Mother Nature
The fruits of the womb
The flowering of creativity
Bearing fruit
The fruits of passion
Open to love
Mother love
Love is a fragile flower
A pregnant harvest
Land flowing with milk and honey
Barefoot and pregnant
In the family way
Bumper crop
Mother love
Face that only a mother could love
Fruits of the loins
Fruits of your labour
Love is the greatest thing

What metaphors for your card most surprise and delight you?
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world
Well I suppose it shouldn’t really surprise me, but considering 99% of the world rocks the cradle are woman, they are the one truly in charge. But then I do no think many people think this, just look at the leadership in most places and companies etc. The womans place is very much undervalued and belittled.

Which do you find fresh and intriguing?
The flowering of creativity: Despite her preoccupation with everything, hands full pregnant etc, there is still time for thinking about creativity. Weeds flower as well. So creativity can be used for good and evil. It’s a bit intriguing to think something bad can be creative.

Which depicts and improvement in circumstances?
Land flowing with milk and honey. I suppose this metaphor says it quite well. Honey was the old form for sugar, an expensive commodity as was milk. Today it would be gold and oil. Any way, riches are well depicted in this metaphor.

Which challenges you to become a better person?
Open to love. Being abler to receive love, is not always easy. It means having self confidence, having self esteem and self reflection. It means being able to take risks. To do these things means a degree of self development as a person. I think this is a challenge most people must take to have a happy life.

Which requires that you use and increase your skills?
Dipping your toe in the water. Taking that first step into the unknown. Learning as you go, not knowing everything requires that you learn. So taking that first step requires courage and risk taking, taking advantage of it requires learning and skills, even if you have to learn as you step forward.

Which asks you to do something that you’ve never done before?
Mother nature. This was not easy choosing to answer this question. Mother Nature, though an old concept, is so much more important today than ever before. Combating and doing our part to avoid the environmental disaster on its way, demands us to sacrifice things. Take a walk, not the car, recycle etc. Ok, this isn’t the total inner self development thing, but choosing to look after our planet, means reflecting on our way of living, and doing our bit to save the planet.

Which metaphors share something in common with your goal?
Dipping your toe in the water. I choose this again. One can never stop learning and in this case, will I have learned about Tarot if I hadn’t dipped my toe, and brought my first deck. We are never to old to learn :)

Thanks to dadsnook200 and squeekmo9 for inspiring me on this level. It wasn’t easy getting the Lady to cough up loads of really good metaphors.

Perhaps we should begin with a metaphor data base, or even better a new thread on this, like the Alphabet ones, but a metaphor one for each card in the Games and Fun forum: Key Metaphors!

Verdi :)


Strange about how we see . . .

It is a strange experience to see a particular card in different ways. The other night I was working with my Fey Tarot HERMIT card and wondering why the Hermit didn't just exit one of the doors to get out of the maze of stairs twisting inside the tower-round-room that he was in. It was so easy, couldn't he see the doors?

When I looked at the actual card a few hours ago, there weren't any doors leading outside, only internal doors leading to more stairways. Now, isn't that a message. A conflict between the dream card (and its added possibilities) and the "real" card and its comparative limitations. In one way its seems weird to have our symbols become so lifelike, life-appropriate, and imperative. In another way it is comforting to know we are making connections, being aware of those connections, and acting upon them in many cases. It is sort of like being able to step back and forth through Alice's looking glass.