The Lonely Dreamer Tarot Guidebook
O THE FOOL
In an interesting ‘Tool’s Journey” kind of way, a modified version of The LDT’s “The Seeker” has transformed into the LDT2’s Fool card. I felt this design had a strong “trust factor” about it. I envision the floating head calmly and gently leading the figure off die cliff into their next adventure. Traditionally, this companion is a dog, but I like to think of the “floating head” as an unconscious heeding of one’s intuition. The Fool has been given what looks like the number “0”, but this is actually a circle, representing nothingness. This is the moment before the beginning, but an element of The Fool is present throughout the
Major Arcana, and indeed, throughout our lives, so The Fool can be placed at the end of one journey, signifying the beginning of another, or anywhere along the way to show moments of realization and risk-taking. In practice, it is usually the first card in the deck, and a great place to start. The Fool is associated with the element air, and with the planet Uranus. In readings, The Fool usually signifies that it is time to close your eyes and take a leap. Trust in the process. In reversals, The Fool can remind us to take greater care, or ask us to be mindful and cautious.
Keywords: innocence, purity, risktaking, trust, faith, joy
Reversed: recklessness, caution, lack of trust, reluctance, self-doubt
i THE MAGICIAN
After the Franco-Prussian war (which Redon served in), Celtic legends, particularly of Brittany and the Pays Basque gained popularity in rebuilding national pride. The druidess is related to the virgin priestess and clairvoyant known as Gwyn fea. According to Plutarch, female Celts were active in negotiating treaties and wars, and they participated in assemblies and mediated quarrels. In short, they are powerful women according to legend, making for a sharp magician who can manifest and wield power and see into the future. The Magician is number one in the deck - a great card for new beginnings and projects, and is associated with the planet Mercury. In readings, The Magician is a reminder to us that we all have the tools we need at our disposal. We just need to remind
ourselves of that sometimes, and give ourselves the space to access our innate gifts.
Keywords: realization, manifestation, new projects, inspiration leading to action
Reversed: wasted skills, laziness, poor planning
ii THE HIGH PRIESTESS
A veiled figure holds an open book. A mysterious light seems to emanate from this book. An ornately decorated wall in the background is difficult to make out due to the cover of darkness. The High Priestess is often seen as a cold character in the Tarot. People are put off by her lack of willingness to give answers. The comfort comes from knowing that the answers are there, but it is up to us to figure out why they aren’t available to us at this point in time. Perhaps, like the high Priestess, we need time for quiet reflection. This card is about veils - between the conscious and the unconscious, between the physical realm and the psychic realm, between the seen and the unseen. The High Priestess will reveal the contents of her book when the seeker is ready to look beyond the
physical realm. The High Priestess can signify a number of different things, She is viewed in the Tarot as the Divine Feminine, she is associated with the moon and lunar cycles, as well as with psychic abilities. If she comes up in your readings, it is time to start looking inward and asking yourself some questions. And they probably won’t be easy ones to answer.
Keywords: hidden truth, psychic ability, things of a cyclical nature, divine feminine, intuition, subconscious, a need for reflection
Reversed: disconnected from intuition, conscious mind, a need to seek out others
The card depicts one of Redon’s many iterations of the Birth of Venus, which is truly an ideal choice for The Empress, as this iconic figure is associated with Venus, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. The mother of pearl in the shell is a reminder of the nurturing qualities of the shell from which she springs, this pearl called Venus. The Empress is associated with nurturing, abundance, with the twelve months of the year and natural cycles, pregnancy, sensuality, and with Mother Earth herself. She is grounded in nature, and connected to the material world. She is strongly associated with the ability to create. The shadow side of The Empress is challenging, as she is associated with martyrdom and can be controlling or sulky if she feels she is not getting all
that she deservers from others. In readings, The Empress is often a reminder to recognize the abundance that we have, or a reminder to reconnect with nature or the more sensuous aspects of ourselves.
Keywords: beauty, abundance, nature, nurture, femininity, sensuality, sexuality, creativity, extravagance
Reversed: dependence on others, martyrdom, bitterness, materialism, creative block, lack of care, narcissism
An Emperor, clad in red signifying the planet Mars and astrological association Aries, regards his domain in orb form. His heavy robes demonstrate his strength, and his beard is a symbol of wisdom. This orb is present in the traditional deck in the palm of his hand. In this case, it is magnified, demonstrating the control and care he exhibits. Behind him stands a stable structure of tradition and order, but this can also translate into a lack of willingness to change. The Emperor is an authority figure, but can also represent someone paternal, or someone with natural leadership abilities. Just as The Empress is the natural mother figure of the Tarot, The Emperor is the natural father figure of the Tarot. Aries is also the natural leader of the
Zodiac, and is full of energy and passion. The Emperor has difficulty backing down though, once they have made up their mind about something. This may mean they can also hold grudges, and have difficulty letting go of things that are no longer serving them. Regardless of the situation, The Emperor demands to be heard and is usually successful at captivating his audience.
Keywords: paternal nature, structure, stability, authority, leadership ability, establishment, tradition
Reversed: dominance, overbearing nature, stubbornness, lacking sensitivity, lack of discipline, micromanaging
An enlightened figure addresses two bowing student followers. Crossed keys to knowledge hover and glow in between the students and the Hierophant. The students must uncross the keys representing the subconscious and conscious by gaining knowledge passed down from the Hierophant, as tradition dictates. The Hierophant is ruled by Taurus and associated with the element earth, and is sometimes known in other decks as the Teacher or the Pope. The Hierophant is associated with tradition and convention and pursuits such as teaching, counselling, religion, giving or getting advice, and activities that involve a structure or a system such as information technology, work on the internet, or lab work. The Hierophant is the masculine complement to the
High Priestess. In a reading, the Hierophant can be a signal for you to listen to advice (which could be from someone else, but usually, you already know the answer yourself), or an indication that you need to seek out answers that will help set you on the right path. Shadow elements could indicate a need to break away from a path that others are creating for you but which doesn’t satisfy your needs or wants.
Keywords: advice, following tradition, learning, spiritual guidance, education, academia, family structure
Reversed: rejection of convention, leaving family, not listening to advice, personal beliefs, freedom
Two figures emerge from darkness, glowing with possibility and their connectedness to the divine. They are not fully realized and signify the inbetween point of a decision in progress - do we go back to before, or do we take steps forward to the after? This card is ruled by Gemini, the twins, often evoking a “this” or “that” situation, or a duality of some sort. Of course, this card can also represent love in all its forms, which includes self-love or a sense of self-worth, but also consideration of one’s values and what is cherished, people-wise or otherwise. If this card comes up, it could represent what has been previously mentioned, or it could mean that something in the seeker’s life is currently in alignment, or in a shadow or reversed sense, something is
out of alignment and needs some attention to return to a balanced situation, or may require a perspective shift to move forward.
Keywords: harmony, unity, balance, relationships, alignment, values, decision, self-worth
Reversed: disharmony, lack of unity, imbalance, dysfunctional or toxic relationship, values out of place, indecision, worthlessness
One of Apollo’s daily tasks was to harness his four horses (two depicted here) to his golden chariot to drag the sun across the sky every day Thankfully we have this kind of energy and action in our daily life! The magnificent horses know what they are doing already, so at this point, they are guided by the willpower of the charioteer. Normally, the warrior inside the chariot is depicted with full armour, indicating bravery. The nude depiction adds a level of vulnerability, because showing up to a situation with no protective layers and no pretence is often the bravest act we can undertake. The horses are two different colours and moving in two different directions, signifying opposing forces and duality, but Apollo is able to steer them in the direction they need to go. The pulling
of the sun indicates a need for the seeker to have an awareness of the ebb and flow of daily life while also forging ahead with plans and decisive action. Ruled by Cancer, one can’t simply disregard other factors in place and steamroll over others or shirk existing duties. Responsibility balanced with action is key.
Keywords: willpower, action, motivation, control, decisiveness, vulnerability, bravery
Reversed: lack of control, lack of direction, confusion, indecision, opposition
Joan of Arc Jeanne d’Arc) is depicted here in her final moment. Rising up from the flames is her spirit, manifesting as a lion. In her short life of only about 19 years, ‘Jeanne La Pucelie” (a derogatory form of Joan the Maid) claimed to have experienced visions. At around 11 years old, she claimed she was visited by Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret and instructed to drive the English out of France and deliver the heir to the French throne for his consecration. Exhausted of all options, King Charles VI agreed to put Jeanne in control of the French army. She did drive out the French and deliver the heir to the French throne, making a very accurate military prediction days before the events unfolded.
Unfortunately, Jeanne was recaptured
by the English and tried for heresy (it was heretical to dress in men’s clothes, and it was downright witchcraft to talk to the dead). Jeanne committed the crime of dressing in men’s clothes on a number of occasions. She claimed they were more practical for movement, and protected her from assault while in prison. Jeanne was burned at the stake for this repeat offence. Sword-wielding aside, it is her inner resolve and determination which make her an ideal subject for the Strength card. Pick up her sword.
Keywords: persuasion, courage, dedication, stoicism, vulnerability, compassion
Reversed: fear, brute force, aggression, low energy, being reactive rather than proactive
ix THE HERMIT
The sage Buddha is depicted here in his garden, meditating on a glowing orb floating in front of him. The flora surrounding him indicates his growth and spiritual attainment. The Buddha retreats and seeks refuge in solitary stillness and has reached a heightened state of self-awareness. As our Hermit, the Buddha is able to achieve a state of mindfulness, or living in the moment. In this way, The Hermit becomes free from the distraction of interpersonal relationships, which is so often necessary for opening one’s mind and becoming more present in everyday living, present to others, and present to oneself. The Hermit is ruled by Virgo, so often characterized by critical and analytical thinking and patience. The Hermit knows that not everything will be revealed all at once, and that
typically, only part of the situation is clear at one time. For the Hermit, it is about the journey of discovery, and about the moments. Those with heightened self-awareness recognize that it is about the journey, as there is no destination. To quote the Baker’s Wife from Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods:
“Oh if life were made of moments - even now and then a bad one, but if life were only moments, then you’d never know you had one.33
Keywords: inner guidance, reflection, soul-searching, introspection, analysis, patience, being alone
Reversed: seeking advice from others, lack of patience, loneliness
X WHEEL OF FORTUNE
In the darkness, a glowing wheel is encircled by moths and other creatures. They are pulled into its orbit as if by gravitational forces, and are subject to its laws. The Wheel of Fortune is associated with the planet Jupiter and the element fire. The Wheel of Fortune represents stability amidst movement and change. As the number “X” in the Tarot, this card represents a turning point, an end and a beginning, and tire completion of a cycle.
Keywords: good karma, cycles, new beginnings, good luck, destiny
Reversed: bad karma, good things coming to an end, bad luck, lack of control, resistance to change, repeated negative behaviour.
Justice is depicted here in quiet retreat, seeking answers with fairness and impartiality. An gesture of the fingers for “silence” reminds us of the importance of making this decision we are facing without distraction and without pressure from others. Justice is ruled by Libra, an air sign associated with diplomacy and fairness.
Keywords: truth, justice, just desserts, law, balance, legal issues, justification
Reversed: deceit, lack of accountability, dishonour, cheating
xii THE HANGED MAN ^Pically The Hanged Man is 'Resented by a man hanging upside ^tvir, Its source is from medieval Italy hanging a person by their ankle 'Vas a common form of punishment °r treachery. In fact, some versions coins falling out of pockets or Sacks of money spilling out, painting a Picture of the ultimate traitorjudas Iscariot. The legs of the traditional Hanged Man make the shape of a number four, symbolizing Earth with Us four directions, and the Unconscious. This version does not show the number 4, but it does show four sides, bordering the image of a person’s face, who, judging by the rays emanating from this glowing head, are undergoing a paradigm shift. The Beacon (as the artwork is known) is like a guide for us all, hanging from a living
tree, serving as a guide and helping us along our path. This card is associated with Neptune and with the element water. People sometimes erroneously drink that this card is about incredible pain and sacrifice, but in actuality, it is a card of surrender and letting go, and of seeing things from alternate points of view. By changing our perspective we can gain new insights.
Keywords: surrender, letting go, sacrifices, new perspectives, making a decision, rest
Reversed: clinging to something that is not serving you, controlling the outcome of a situation, martyrdom, resistance, stalling, indecision
Depicted here is the death of the Buddha, in the moment of crossing over, as the spirit leaves behind the physical body. Death is a card of transition and transformation, of birth and rebirth. Very rarely does this card refer to a literal death, but it can happen. It is ruled by Scorpio known for determination and bravery.
Keywords: transition, change, renewal, discovery, stepping into one’s power
Reversed: resistance to change, stuck, reluctance to make waves
This depiction of Temperance shows Pandora just at the point before she opens the box, a perfect balance between a before and an after. This composite image shows that she stands on the ground, water surrounding her, showing a need to stay grounded but also in a state of flow. Her robes reflect her surroundings, blue like the water, and white like the flowers and clouds around her. In the distance there is a path through a village, reflecting a journey through life. Temperance is ruled by Sagittarius.
Keywords: patience, purpose, balance, moderation
Reversed: impatience, imbalance, lack of moderation, excess, the need for realignment, self-healing
A fallen angel surrounded by darkness holds onto a heavy chain. The angel has functional wings that can be used for upward momentum and yet is focused on holding onto a chain which clearly does not serve their highest good. The Devil is usually a sign that something needs to be released like a behaviour pattern or an addictive behaviour. It is often a sign that the seeker is giving away their power to someone or something else and then blaming that person or entity or habit for their own suffering or lack of forward momentum.
Keywords: addiction, a rut, a focus on more primal needs, the shadow self
Reversed: releasing from limitations, taking back power, cutting a cord
This depiction of The Tower shows a lightning bolt knocking someone out of the sky and blasting a tree. This is a depiction of the fall of Icarus, his wings having melted off. The Tower is a clear message that massive, dramatic change is coming. Rather than a time of rebirth or transformation as represented in the Death card, this is a time of complete redefining, of razing to the ground and building back up again, like the Phoenix. The Tower is associated with Mars and the element fire.
Keywords: Awakening, rejuvenation, chaos, sudden change, upheaval
Reversed: Avoiding disaster, resisting change, inward change
A figure is in a boat surrounded by the light flashes of enlightenment and psychic hits. This is a card of gentle comfort, the kind that doesn’t come all at once, but gives you just enough to let you know that it really is going to be okay. It is the beginning of the postTower moment rebuild. It is ruled by Aquarius whose element is air.
Keywords: hope, psychic abilities, intuition, faith, purpose, renewal, and spirituality
Reversed: disconnection, lacking trust in one’s intuition, hopelessness
A moon, an unusual flower growing in the darkness, tinges the night sky a watery blue. A dog and a wolf pass by. There is just enough light cast by the moon to see the next few steps on the path of higher consciousness. The dog and the wolf represent the tamed and untamed facets of our mind. This card is associated with Pisces, cycles, and intuition. It is often linked to fears but we must remember that fear is an acronym for “false expectations appearing real”. In other words, most fears are illusions and we can find a way through by the light of the moon.
Keywords: intuition, fear, illusion, subconscious
Reversed: confusion, cloudiness, release of fear
This is a joyous card, filled with newness and warmth and lily flowers opening up. The sun overhead beams down and shines the bright light of truth on situations. The nakedness of the woman is a sign that there is nothing to hide. She is vital and worthy just as she is. The sun is associated with fire.
Keywords: vitality, truth, joy, fun, comfort, clarity
Reversed: cloudiness or confusion, softened joy or comfort, excessive optimism, hidden truth
An angel appears in a stained glass window, awakening the sleepers. This is the day of judgement. It signifies a call to action, a point in one’s life when a person reflects and decides how they will move forward through a situation. Often the most striking moments of awakening come after a long period of self-reflection. This card indicates that there is a sense of what needs to be done in order to grow and progress.
Keywords: renewal, finding purpose, new beginnings, motivation
Reversed: harsh self-judgement, missed opportunities, reflection is needed
A nude figure is encircled by life forms, indicating harmony in the Universe. The figure is glowing with a sense of completion and the excitement of new beginnings. The figure’s leg is bent into the number 4, reminiscent of the RWS deck (also the inversion of The Hanged Man, number 12). This card indicates the moment when one’s inner self and outer expression are in harmony. There is a sense of accomplishment and gratitude and optimism. The World is associated with Saturn and the element earth.
Keywords: fulfillment, completion, integration, feelings of abundance
Reversed: emptiness, lack of closure, something is missing, feelings of scarcity
ACE OF WANDS
Wands are associated with the element fire and the burning, passionate energy that goes along with that. The Ace represents the core essence of that kind of energy. It is the spark of passion, a new project, a decisive action, and exuberance. The Ace of Wands in the RWS shows growth and that is also depicted in this deck, the trees verdant with life. It is the essence of the element of fire. The gate invites us in and the low wall is a threshold to a new adventure. When reversed, there could be low energy, a creative block, or hesitation. It is associated with fire signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
A child is on the verge of action but still in the decision-making stages, Thev hold a globe, and (heir tunic shows an imprint of a map, indicating potential to broaden horizonsailer gaining some experience. When reversed, there could be delays or a lack of personal power. Note (he presence of a salamander which appears in three court wands of the RWS deck. (Mars in Aries)
THREE OF WANDS
A figure stands looking out over a vast horizon with a ship in view. This indicates a journey or plan is taking shape. The seeker is urged to keep an open mind as nothing at this stage is a done deal yet. Reversed, there could be obstacles or frustrations. (Sun in Aries)
A couple is in a boal surrounded by calm walers. An imp,cl plays n violin in celebration while n pleased ancestor looks on, This card is awash in excitement and plans coming In fruition. Il is ollen associated with weddings and gatherings, stability, and belonging. When reversed, then* can be instability or a lack of belonging and lack of support. (Venns in Aries)
FIVE OF WANDS
This is a tumultuous card that relates to intense action and shows a desire to prove oneself or to assert dominance. It can range from playful disagreement to something more destructive. Upright or reversed, it represents challenges, but don't forget that most problems are solvable. (Saturn in Leo)
The Six of Wands is an indicator of success, acclaim, and pride. It can also mean that some good news is coming. The sixes are not yet finished their cycle, so there is still more to come here. When reversed, it may indicate fear (which is often what stands between where we are and what we want) or disloyalty. Jupiter in Leo)
SEVEN OF WANDS
There are obvious forces trying to upset this rider, but there is enjoyment and enthusiasm for conflict. This could be a time of exploring different facets of your personality. Reversed, this card can mean embarrassment or a new recognition about who you are. (Mars in Leo)
This card indicates swiftness and action. The wands are moving to completion or to ground. Swiftness is represented by Pegasus. The surrounding colours indicate inspiration coming to fruition. (Mercury in Sagittarius)
NINE OF WANDS
The fixation on conflict is the downside of the wands, and a closing off to emotional or mental processes. Reversed, the card could be a warning to take a different approach, or take a step back for awhile. (Moon in Sagittarius)
This is a card of endless burden and responsibility, and often a result of the expectations we place on ourselves. Reversed, this card can indicate overcoming a burden, or may indicate that the burden has become too much to bear and the choice to put down the load will be made for you. (Saturn in Sagittarius)
PAGE OF WANDS
Nude and surrounded by fire, this page is the embodiment of a new venture in life. A message is indicated, or you could be ready to present yourself in a way you haven’t before. Reversed, this can indicate confusion or indecisiveness, or the recognition that you are not living up to your fall potential. (Earth of Fire)
Riding with wild energy but not a whole lot of focus is what this knight is about. This card is the epitome of zeal and passion (and often considered the most sexually potent court card of the Tarot), and without the focus of a sword or the grounding influence of a pentacle, this card can fizzle out quickly. When you want to get a project started, this is definitely the energy and motivation that is required, but when reversed, there is often a lot of arrogance and bravado without the work or the experience to back it up. (Air of Fire)
When I saw Redon’s cat “Bezon” I couldn’t resist including him in the deck, and found the Queen of Wands to be the ideal spot, as the RWS features a black cat. In this case, the cat is made of fire. This queen has an honesty and openness about her. She is comfortable in her own skin and her second chakra is open. It is often said that people who love life are rewarded by Mother Nature with a protective animal. This queen is someone who is invaluable in a crisis. If reversed, this person can be deceitful and bitter. (Water of Fire)
king of wands
This king is a natural leader who has harnessed the fiery power and inspiration prevalent in the wands, and has transmuted this energy into longterm projects and careers. This king sees no value in lies and can be brutally honest. When reversed, this might indicate a new ability to understand others’ needs, which this king can be blind to in the upright position. (Fire of Fire)
ACE OF CUPS
A cup sloshes with possibility, and indicates an opening, new emotional connections, a new bond with someone, or a new project coming from the heart. Even when reversed this tends to be a positive card, although may be more emotional. It is the essence of water and is associated with Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.
TWO OF CUPS
Two people are shown hovering in a colourful seascape, depicting a healthy, loving relationship. This is a card about connections, a truce, or an emotional realization. When reversed, it can indicate a parting of ways or a toxic relationship. (Venus in Cancer)
Three goddesses gather in nature. This card is about the journey we have with others. It represents joy, friendship, a sense of community, and our chosen family. It can also indicate a celebration or even a baby. When reversed, it can mean excess, a love triangle, gossip, or a warning to choose friends wisely. (Mercury in Cancer)
FOUR OF CUPS
A fallen angel sits in chains on a rock. A cup presents itself in the air while three sit on the rocky ground. Fours are cards of rest, but this card is about self-absorption, apathy, and going within. When reversed, it can indicate deeper, more chronic issues. There is a lot of reflecting to be done when this card appears. (Moon in Cancer)
Fives are tension-filled cards. This one reflects an act based on feelings of loss or scarcity. The person in this card is so fixated on the spilled cups that are in front, that she is forgetting what she already possesses. This is also a card of loss, and regret. Reversed, the meaning can essentially become the opposite, or more hopeful. (Mars in Scorpio).
SIX OF CUPS
Two sisters reminisce about childhood, the younger one wearing a flower from her youth. This card indicates an influence from the past; a memory of goodwill, childhood, innocence. It is nostalgic but can also mean the seeker is stuck in the past. Reversed, it can signify looking to the future. (Sun in Scorpio)
A figure looks over the horizon as a group of seven cups mysteriously float in the air. These are illusions - the conflict between what one wishes for and the reality of the situation. Care must be taken to explore with different lenses so that things come into clearer focus. This card often represents something more tangible and possible when reversed. (Venus in Scorpio)
EIGHT OF CUPS
A blackened figure moves away from the cups. It is time to move on to more fruitful things, This can often be a tough choice to make, as the familiar is often die easiest route. It could be time to leave something behind. If reversed, caution yourself against leaving something too soon. (Saturn in Pisces)
A musician plays at a weddingreception. Tliis is a card about fulfillment and comfort, and wishes coming true. The cup is full and the music is exactly what you need in that moment. When reversed, this card can indicate excess, or too much of a good thing. Jupiter in Pisces)
TEN OF CUPS
This is a card of utter joy, peace, emotional security, connections with others, and the beginning of something new and lovely. This card can also refer to positive living arrangements. When reversed, something unsettled is indicated or the seeker is cautioned to look for something that seems too good to be true. (Mars in Pisces)
A child gazes into a vessel containing a collection of treasures, captivated by a magnificent conch. Is there something inside? This card speaks to new beginnings at the “feeling” level, an awakening of intuition, an artistic venture, or even a new relationship or a birth. Be prepared for a surprise! This card is all about what it means to be “authentic”. It is often associated with artistic pursuits or careers in creative fields. When reversed, it could indicate a creative block or someone who has been inauthentic. The Page of Cups is often seen as the personification of the element water. (Earth of Water)
KNIGHT OF GUPS
A centaur is shown taking some time out of busy centaur life to play a cello. This is a person who is in love with the very idea of love. This individual is poetic, kind, introspective, artistic, and ready to give. The devotion from this person runs deep and the seeker will often get the sense that they have met this person before. Also associated with this card are heightened psychic abilities and vivid dreams. When reversed, this person can be aloof and hard to reach, even self-absorbed and narcissistic. The Knight of Cups is associated with Aquarius/Pisces. (Air of Water)
The Queen of Cups is in tune with emotions, but doesn’t wallow in them (unless reversed). This queen is a loving, nurturing type, possessing a strong intuition, one who easily reads the room as an empath. This queen upholds honesty and treats people as they would wish to be treated. This queen is a visionary and spends a lot of time imagining the future. The Queen of Cups is a devoted helper and can be called on in times of need. When reversed, this queen can be sulky, needy, fragile, and insecure. The Queen of Cups is associated with Gemini/Cancer. (Water of Water)
KING OF CUPS
The King of Cups, of wise and calm demeanour, presents here a vessel, one hand carefully supporting its contents, and die other securing the lid. This represents die King’s balanced approach, with equal mix of head and heart. This king is a good reminder to take a deep breath, and know that with your head screwed on straight and led widi the heart, you will find a way forward. This king is a natural leader, and a reminder to maintain diplomacy and take the high road. When reversed, this king can be intolerant, harsh, and careless. The King of Cups is associated with Libra/Scorpio. (Fire of Water)
^e^uit of ^words
THE ACE OF SWORDS
A sword points upward, indicating cutting to the truth of the matter, clarity, and the sudden flash of an idea - an inspiration. The Ace of Swords can pierce through the veil and reach beyond the tangible to intuition, more than any other minor arcana. Swords are associated with air and this card is the embodiment of that element. The Pegasus reinforces the swiftness and mental acuity of this ace. This is a great omen if you are desperately seeking insight or a solution to a problem. Reversed, this card falls into confusion and illusion, and could mean that you are making a mountain out of a molehill. This card is associated with the air signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
I WO OF SWORDS '
I A person closes their eyes, with swords remaining in opposition against each | other, one wanting to strike out, and the other wanting to retreat in fear. J
The face is filled with the dark blue ( waters of emotions in turmoil. Head [ and heart must work cooperatively |
here to gain clarity. It is okay to shut the world out for awhile when *
decisions of this magnitude are on the horizon. When reversed, this could I indicate that the seeker has lost
) balance or has given up, which can be a very emotionally distressing situation. ? (Moon in Libra)
THREE OF SWORDS
This card radiates melancholy, but also j hope. It is the card of grief in the tarot
and stalked me for ages after the death of my dog Stella (inspiration for my Low Rider Dachshund Tarot). In this version, three swords appear to pierce through the heart of this person, indicating that we must take the grief in and work with it, ultimately transmuting it into action through courage and love. When reversed, the healing process may have become blocked because of a refusal to accept a hard truth. An alternate view of this card reversed could also be that grief period has passed its peak (we can visualize the swords falling out of the figure when upside-down). (Saturn in Libra)
FOUR OF SWORDS
It is time to put down the sword, stop thinking for awhile, and go inside oneself for a period of healing. Reversed, this card often means a reengagement with one’s surroundings, or possibly an indicator that the seeker is burning the candle at both ends. Jupiter in Libra)
FIVE OF SWORDS
In the RWS version, the victor is in the foreground and the loser is in the background. In this case, the knight in the foreground has lost. The victor is a tiny fairy flying in the background wielding a sword. This card often translates to feelings of inadequacy. Reversal may indicate prolonged suffering. (Venus in Aquarius)
SIX OF SWORDS
Two people are on a boat carrying six swords. They are in turbulent waters but are on a journey towards calmer seas. It is the quiet passage through a difficult time, with the glow of light bringing hope in the darkness. Reversed, this card sometimes indicates the seeker is coming into a more challenging time, but more often, this is an indicator that it is time to stop accepting what you have been putting up with quietly for so long, and move on. (Mercury in Aquarius)
SEVEN OF SWORDS
I often see this card as taking what we deserve. But it could also indicate a rash action that requires more careful planning. WE often put others’ needs before our own and this card can be an indicator to take care of ourselves or to ask for help. (Moon in Aquarius)
EIGHT OF SWORDS
This is the feeling of being trapped with no way out, or feeling isolated. And yet, the swords are not so numerous that they can’t be overcome. The world is truly not so bleak. It is all confusion and illusion, brought on by our innermost fears. When reversed, clarity is indicated. (Jupiter in Gemini)
nine of swords
This is the card of mental anguish; a waking nightmare. The swords cut through and feel as though they are everywhere and never going away. The figure has their hand over their heart, which is an indication that love still surrounds us. Love is enough, and it will help you through. When reversed, anguish turns to shame. (Mars in Gemini)
A solitary fisaire crouches behind a J o
rock as if beinff hunted down. The o
damage is done. Words and events leave their marks like invisible swords in our backs. It can feel like the pain will never go away, but this card indicates a clearing in the distance, offering brighter days to come.
Reversed, this card often indicates that progress to overcome the pain is already underway. (Sun in Gemini)
This page is full of energy and never seems to run out of ideas. This is brainstorming personified. The page of swords is quick with words and can be sharp-tongued. This card may indicate news or when reversed, gossip or lack of planning. (Earth of Air)
KNIGHT OF SWORDS
The Knight of Swords wields a long sword, indicating focus. The white steed represents clarity of purpose. This card typically represents someone who is a “seize the moment” risk-taker. Balance this energy with the emotion of the cups or the caution of the pentacles. If speed and action are the aim, think about how you can bring the fire. Are you too impulsive? (Air of Air; Capricorn/Aquarius)
The Queen of Swords rides on horseback wielding a sword. Naked, this queen is an emblem of truth with no affectation. The Queen of Swords will cut through the fog and urge you to look at all the facts, taking emotion out of the equation. Compassion and empathy are distractions to this queen. If this represents a person, you want them on your side. The Queen of Swords reminds you to look at the situation objectively. In reversed position, this card can be an indicator that the seeker is allowing their emotions to get the better of them. It can also represent bad news, cruel behaviour, or a toxic relationship (who is the toxic person?) (Water of Air)
A sword grows directly out of this king’s mouth, symbolizing complete command and control over thought and language. This king can be stern and serious, but is not cruel, as indicated by the colourful stars in an outstretched hand which demonstrate morality and high ethical standards. The butterflies are a symbol of enlightenment and transformation. The King of Swords reminds you to use intellect and logic to make impartial decisions. When reversed, this can indicate an abuse of authority, harsh words, failing to be logical, or acting selfishly or rashly. (Fire of Air)
THE ACE OF PENTACLES
This card gives us the gift of material joy, both natural and human-created. This is a card of new beginnings concerning material, financial, or natural things. It comes up often for new jobs or new homes. A pentacle appears amidst a riot of nasturtiums in a beautiful design conceptualized by the talented artist and Redon researcher, Tora Matthews. At the time of printing this book, Tora is also collaborating with me on our Redon oracle. Reversed, this card can indicate that it’s time to leave a job or home, or some protection has come to an end. Pentacles represent the element earth and the ace is the embodiment of that grounded quality and the earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.
Balance and tension are indicated here, although this card is generally more optimistic than its sword counterpart. Two pentacles are stacked, symbolizing keeping everything going at once, work and play included. We don’t need to be serious to grow spiritually. Reversed, this could indicate a refusal to face a problem, or a lack of balance. Jupiter in Capricorn)
This card represents the theme of work, coming together with others to make tilings happen. It also represents spiritual work, as well as the coming together of all elements: air (thought/ skill), fire (action), water (emotion) and earth (work with materials). Reversed indicates weakness or stagnation. (Mars in Capricorn)
FOUR OF PENTACLES
An impish figure smiles faintly as pentacles tumble out of a raised hand. Like other fours, this is a card of stability, and in this suit, material comfort, security, and structure. Reversed, this card can indicate generosity or the inability to achieve stability or structures. (Sun in Capricorn)
This is an uncomfortable card associated with poverty. Although churches often represent sanctuary and protection, there is no comfort here for the figure in the darkness clutching a skull. But there is hope. On a column above, a mother cradles her baby and the sun is coming in through stained glass, signifying that “this too shall pass”. Reversed can mean the worst is over, leading to new opportunities. (Mercury in Taurus)
SIX OF PENTACLES
Pentacles flow freely from someone in a more affluent position to someone in a less affluent position. This is the victory following the struggle in the Five of Pentacles. This is a good time to replenish reserves, make a donation, or ask for help yourself. Reversed can indicate financial irregularities or the insistence that you go it alone. (Moon in Taurus)
SEVEN OF PENTACLES
This figure has put the work in and now waits for their hard work to materialize. This is a card of patience. Reversed, it can mean an unwillingness to put in work, impatience, or wanting something for nothing (Saturn in Taurus)
EIGHT OF PENTACLES
This is someone who is honing their craft, studying, and bringing things to fruition through practice and hard work. It is a card of persistence, focused vision, and keeping one’s goals at the forefront. Reversed, this card represents a lot of unfocused effort amounting to nothing. It’s time to recalibrate. (Sun in Virgo)
NINE OF PENTACLES
This is the payoff from all of the waiting of the seven and all of the hard work of the eight. This card is about showing gratitude and reaping rewards. Reversed, this card can indicate over-stretching oneself financially, or working too hard. (Venus in Virgo)
ten of pentacles
This card represents stability, spiritual or financial abundance, charity, sharing, and family. This card can represent patterns in your life and the challenges associated with deciding whether those patterns are yours or someone else’s and not meant for you. It’s about learning that your happiness is up to you, and not based on anything external. (Mercury in Virgo)
PAGE OF PENTACLES
This card is about introspection and learning how to be oneself. Discover what nourishes you and do more of that. It is light-hearted and urges you not to take yourself too seriously and to pause and enjoy the moment. Reversed, it can mean distraction and lack of focus. (Earth of Earth)
KNIGHT of pentacles
This card represents work, effort, and responsibility. This knight is the quietest of the knights, preferring to pause and reflect and plan the proper course of action before forging ahead. This card also represents routine and methods. When reversed, this can indicate the sensation that one is stuck or at risk of burnout. (Air of Earth)
QUEEN OF PENTACLES
This queen is sensible, and represents success in the material realm. She is nurturing and loving and kind. The flowers surrounding her are ephemeral, so she works on maintaining their image through needlepoint. When reversed, this queen becomes flighty or greedy and indicates a need to re-ground. (Water of Earth)
king of pentacles
This quiet king, associated with Taurus, represents security, and a loving fatherly figure. This is a card of generosity, kindness, and is a reminder to stay in control so that we may reach our goals. This king brings security in finances and employment. When reversed, this card can indicate being overstretched, feeling disconnected, or feeling impatient. It is also an indication that one’s happiness should not be based on outer or initial appearances but by weighing all aspects of the situation. (Fire of Earth)
This is the inner voice that we all have inside of us, whispering to us and encouraging us to follow our true path. If this card comes up for you in a reading, ask yourself if you are trusting your intuition more. The more you trust, the stronger it becomes.
We all have stuff buried deep below the surface that we are afraid to bring to the light and confront. Somewhere along our path, our negative qualities were pushed down below our level of consciousness. As Carl Jung states, “There is no light without shadow, and no psychic wholeness without imperfection.” This card can be used
to set up a reading for shadow work, or can be used to address elements of your personal shadow that need attention. If we fail to address our shadow, this can have negative consequences in our interpersonal relationships. We can behave in irrational ways and start to project onto others that which we are repressing in ourselves. For example, perhaps that person wasn’t angry with you. Maybe you just haven’t owned your anger. Shadow work is intense and will figure heavily in the up-and- coming companion oracle.
The prayer rug design which was the back of the cards in the first edition becomes the Intention card for this second edition. Use this card in your personal readings when you need to set
an intention for your reading. Speak your desires out loud. If you know where you want to be, setting an intention and focusing your reading around that Axtill help give you clarity for your path. If this card comes up in a reading, you need to make your intention known in a situation, either to yourself, or someone else.
Often in readings, ancestors will come and visit. Normally (in my case), these ancestors represent themselves in the form of court cards. Because of the very specific characteristics associated with court cards, I wanted to create a card that was dedicated to our ancestors which could also be used in past life readings. Use this card for such readings to help you channel those special messages from loved ones.
If your focus is on past lives, use this card to help open the door into the past and bring messages forward on ancient wings.
Joan of Arc is represented in the Strength card and I couldn’t resist having her make another appearance in this deck as a quiet force standing by your side. She has personally helped me through a lot in the past while, and I wanted to honour that. Use this card when you want to seek a connection with your own spirit guides, or you need an extra boost of clarity. If this card comes up with others in a reading, ask yourself what forces are at play that you are not aware of.
Each time I am surrounded by nature I experience some kind of awakening. This awakening is not always a mindblowing, epiphany-level moment, but could be just a conscious acknowledgement of my connectedness to my surroundings. It is in these moments that I feel whole and centred. What makes you feel whole and centred? Use this card as a central feature in your reading if you need some grounding. If it comes up in a reading, ask yourself how grounding can impact this aspect of your reading.