The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, April 14, 2013

Please visit our fantastic new website by clicking this link!

By Sarah Taylor

On March 24 this year, the Seven of Wands made an appearance in the Weekend Tarot Reading using the Voyager Tarot deck. It was then alluded to in the following week’s reading, using the Rider-Waite Smith tarot, in the form of the Eight of Wands — namely, that something released from the unconscious was “moving quickly into view,” i.e., that it was making itself conscious.

Seven of Wands, The Tower, Ten of Pentacles -- RWS Tarot deck.

Seven of Wands, The Tower, Ten of Pentacles from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck, created by A E Waite and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith. Click on the image for a larger version.

It appears again today, but now in a more concrete form — as concrete as it gets when it comes partnered with the second and the third cards: The Tower and the Ten of Pentacles.

How do I write of The Tower without provoking the reactions it so frequently elicits? Because I don’t feel it always deserves the bad press that it gets. In fact, I’m not sure it merits its bad press most of the time. What we react to most strongly when we see The Tower might be seen as a reaction to the unknown, and the fear of change — especially change that is visited on us with such force that it bypasses our defences.

It is in our nature to wage war against those parts of us that seem foreign enough that they feel nothing but threatening. For the most part this war is quiet, we keep it so well-hidden — not least from ourselves. But we can see it in the world around us, the political and militaristic posturing reflections of our railing at the inner unknown, which dares to be different to the point where we don’t know where we stand in relation to it. We have no idea how to approach it; it refuses to identify itself; it refuses to play by our rules. And so we take up arms, all of us silent soldiers to a greater or lesser extent, defending something we have built that has already run its course.

What has been constructed so carefully is seen in the Ten of Pentacles, which is the final card in the tarot deck. In this version of the Ten, there is a family — three generations — which speaks of security and tradition, the pinnacle of material fulfilment. Overlaid are ten pentacles in the formation of the Tree of Life, which symbolises the myriad paths Spirit can take as it moves further into the realm of matter — i.e., becomes more solid.

In the Thoth version of the Ten of Pentacles (the Ten of Disks), this is made even clearer with an image that is dominated by the Tree of Life, the final pentacle (or disk) at the bottom of the Tree larger than the others. Writer and occultist Lon Milo DuQuette suggests that this is a depiction of “cosmic constipation.” A process of manifestation has gone as far as it can; there is no further room for forward movement or evolution along a particular path:

A magical laxative will need to be administered to prevent this stagnant wealth of energy, experience, and matter from putrefying and poisoning the body. [“Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot”]

In the Seven of Wands and the Ten of Pentacles, I see a fight to retain the status quo both internally and externally. There is a reciprocity in the colours of the cards, which feels like a visual collusion against the contrasting central card: to keep things just so, even when they are “putrefying and poisoning the body.”

The antidote? DuQuette suggests that it is Mercury, who is symbolised in his exalted state in the Ten of Pentacles (Mercury in Virgo), and is thus excellently aspected to provide strong medicine. As it happens, I found this quote from mythologist Joseph Campbell last night which expands on this beautifully:

Almost all non-literate mythology has a trickster-hero of some kind. … And there’s a very special property in the trickster: he always breaks in, just as the unconscious does, to trip up the rational situation. He’s both a fool and someone who’s beyond the system. And the trickster represents all those possibilities of life that your mind hasn’t decided it wants to deal with. The mind structures a lifestyle, and the fool or trickster represents another whole range of possibilities. He doesn’t respect the values that you’ve set up for yourself, and smashes them. … The fool is the breakthrough of the absolute into the field of controlled social orders. [Joseph Campbell (interviewed by Michael Toms), An Open Life, p.39]

In The Tower, we witness the effects of the antidote to the poison — a breaking through of the unconscious that is tangible, and often powerful to the extent that it cannot be stopped. The lightning bolt that hits the top of the tower can feel like divine intervention — and it is. But, if we choose, we are also able to see that we had a hand in our own undoing. We sowed the necessary seeds of destruction in the very thing we sought to create.

Everything has its end, clearing the way for something new. We are released to build again.

Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Seven of Wands (Mars in Leo), The Tower (Mars), Ten of Pentacles (Mercury in Virgo)

If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.

Sarah Taylor

About Sarah Taylor

Sarah is now taking applications for her online tarot training - a five-week course starting in the fall. Find out more on her website:
This entry was posted in Reading Tarot. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, April 14, 2013

  1. Bette Loreen says:

    Lizzy, my heart goes out to you. My late mother drifted off into dementia in her 70’s, and became progressively more hostile and vicious toward my father, who did everything in his power to comfort her, please her, and care for her. She would refuse food he prepared, constantly criticized him, blamed him for every unhappy moment of her life. He wore himself out, but never did I hear him say a critical word about her, in all their 54 years together. It was painful for everyone, with no visible solutions at the time.
    As things worked out, my father passed away suddenly while mother was in hospital for assessment. I always believed that he died of a broken heart, feeling he had somehow failed to care for her “’til death do us part.” Dementia is cruel, and still so poorly understood. Perhaps when what emerges is such rage, like my mother’s, it is the product of a life spent repressing small and large hurts and angers. When I as a child expressed hurt, my mother always told me “Oh, just put it out of your mind.” I did not do that, and I hope, as I age, to remain clear in mind and heart.
    When all of that was happening, both Saturn and Pluto were making some really harsh aspects to my personal planets, and my own life was a mess. Fear is not unexpected, and feelings of profound helplessness.
    One of the principles of astrology which has immensely helped me through the years is remembering that “this too will pass.” But these passages are not easy, yet we do emerge from the crucible of pain. It felt like a long, dark passage for me, but we get through. Take heart.

  2. alpssmile alpssmile says:

    p.s. what happened to the wordpress edit capability here? it’s s/be its :)

  3. alpssmile alpssmile says:

    As the tower topples, then may I allow it’s power to fuel a truly orgasmic ride! Family dementia, sibling conflagration, stymied sexual expression (as if you couldn’t tell), stuckedness, wild winds, lowered economic viability, longing for the cave — may these lift rather than sink into an abyss. For all. Of us.

  4. DivaCarla DivaCarla says:

    Just coming off a weekend in the company of Colin Tipping who wrote Radical Forgiveness. This reading evokes radical forgiveness to me. I picked a card from a Voyager Tarot Deck the first day of the conference, and drew the Tower. It was alarming in connection with the question I was carrying as I drew the card. If 7 of wands and 10 of pentacles speak of defending a status quo, and the Tower tells us it’s going to topple anyway, then radical forgiveness can give a new perspective: things do not happen to me, they happen for me.
    Once again, your Tarot reading is riding the vibration, Sarah.

  5. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    “Despite whatever happens, keep that vision joyful and passionate”. Yes, needed to be reminded of this right now. Thank you, dear friend.

  6. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    Daniel, gumbybug – you can’t imagine how much support your loving kindness and warmth have given me. Daniel, will put into practice your excellent advice. Have already started doing the rounds again and am feeling less hopeless about finding more work. Sarah’s right, “Support from others can make all the difference”. Thank you all so much. xxxx

  7. gumbybug10 says:

    Lizzy: Sending you a great, big, warm hug along with the support from Daniel and Sarah. My thoughts and energy are being sent your way.

  8. Hugging Scorpio Daniel says:

    Lizzy, sending you lots of love. I’m sorry for these painful things happening with your mom. I can’t even imagine. With your job hopes, I have a feeling you already do this, but try and work from the end. See yourself surrounded by the job you want, by people who support you, by abundant opportunities that are freely given to you. Have a knowing. Despite whatever happens, keep that vision joyful and passionate. Perhaps a message in the 10 of Pentacles is also saying (well, to me anyway), is to recognize the wealth all around, our own abundance, and receive it.

  9. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    Thank you so much, dearest Sarah! Your words have helped me *enormously*. Bless you….. xxx

  10. Sarah Taylor Sarah Taylor says:

    Thank you for sharing what you’ve been going through, Lizzy. That does feel very much like The Tower energy. What works best, I’ve found, is to let things go the way they will — try and find the way the energy is flowing and align with it as the path of least resistance (much like continuing with the ‘path of least resistance’ of the lightning strike) and keep to your centre if at all possible.

    As always, to anyone reading, ask for help if need be. Support from others can make all the difference, and can change the experience of what you’re going through markedly.

  11. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    “The mind structures a lifestyle, and the fool or trickster represents another whole range of possibilities. He doesn’t respect the values that you’ve set up for yourself, and smashes them. … The fool is the breakthrough of the absolute into the field of controlled social orders”. Just wonderful (but oy vei is it hard!).

  12. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this piece, dear Sarah, it’s come at the right moment. Since Pluto’s stationing and going retrograde all havoc has let loose again in my life. Two jobs I had set up to help me replace the work I lost, fell through one after the other at the end of last week, while back home my mother’s dementia is becoming unbearable for my father, as she turns on him in the most terrible rages ,more and more frequently. and has become bed bound, for over a month, though she is physically not too bad. Had the most terrible nightmare last night, so much fear is coming up. But your words give me strength, help me to turn and face those fears, that tower, Thank you.

Leave a Reply