The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, May 20, 2012

By Sarah Taylor

I tend to look at movement depicted in tarot cards as an indicator of a particular sequence of events. As with the Weekend Tarot Reading of April 29, the only figure who is in motion is the one in the central card — this time, the Six of Wands — and this sets the direction for all three cards as they work together. In a nutshell, this reading is inviting me to read it from left to right, and it feels straightforward in terms of form, although the content will be unique for each of us, especially that of the third card, The Devil.

Four of Cups, Six of Wands, The Devil -- RWS Tarot deck.

Four of Cups, Six of Wands, The Devil from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck. Click on the image for a larger version.

The Four of Cups and Six of Wands form a pairing that stands in visual contrast to The Devil. Both share similar colours; both are bright. In the Four of Cups, a male figure sits under a tree, either ignoring or unaware of the Cup being offered to him by a hand issuing from a small cloud. I often refer to this single cup as the Ace of Cups in miniature, the Ace of Cups being the source of all love — in other words, divine love, before it is manifested in its many different guises in our lives.

Divine love comes from another place. We can feel it, but it defies description, which tries to limit to words something that is limitless. The closest my words can take me today is the moment when we ‘click’ into oneness with everything, and that feels painfully insufficient. In the Four of Cups, the young man is so preoccupied with something — perhaps the three cups on the ground that he feels are not giving him what he wants — that he is failing to notice something else that has the potential to give him so much more. He has the opportunity to reach out and take a gift that would end his sense of isolation, self-absorption and disillusionment.

Does he take it? I think the Six of Wands suggests that he does, the solitariness of the preceding card giving way to victory and recognition.

I find the echoing of the grass of the Four in the green of the horse’s caparison in the Six interesting. It is as if the figure is grounded in something that is supportive and revivifying even while he is on the move. He carries his roots with him, and so he can draw on the strength of his connection to nature no matter where he is. It is not required of him that he stays in one place. In fact, this reading suggests that staying in one place is the stuff of torpor — and by ‘staying in one place’ I mean both emotionally and creatively.

Looking at the past and somehow holding on to an idea of how things ‘should be’ comes at the expense of greater inner freedom. When we choose to let go of our disillusionment, we can look up and see that not only is there an alternative, but that alternative offers us something we might not have believed was possible if we had chosen to keep our eyes focused downwards. Instead, here, the figure has raised his sights, and finds himself on the move again, supported, lauded. The effort has paid off.

Nevertheless, the Six of Wands is not the destination, but a waypoint: graduation implies movement to the next level. It is The Devil that provides him with the forum in which he can apply his newly found heart wisdom and his increased connection to the creative fires.

How The Devil manifests will depend on our own paths. The Devil is anything that enslaves us because we fail to acknowledge it as a part of us, and it is most often through relationship that we are given the opportunity to look into the darkness — our shadows — to illuminate what is there. What we find asks to be integrated: to be embraced with compassion and temperance, just as we can embrace with compassion and temperance those in our lives who are facing their own shadow natures.

And so I return to the Ace of Cups and a message that it gives us that feels central to this reading: to remember what real love is, to know that we are worthy of it, and to draw it into our hearts so that we can work to transform ourselves, and to create a space where others can do the same.

 

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's services include one-, three-, and six-month counselling-based tarot immersions in order to remove blocks that are hindering your experience, and a five-week online and Skype-based tarot training course, starting in the spring of 2014. Please see her website for more information: www.integratedtarot.com
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13 Responses to The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, May 20, 2012

  1. patti.t16 patti.t16 says:

    I feel like I’ve spent a long time looking at the Devil – it seems to have come up a lot lately here and in my own readings. I also think of it as attachment or entrapment or enslavement. But when you look at the chains around the necks of the man and woman they hang very loosely. I think we sometimes think of attachment as something that is difficult to let go of. But it could be as simple as just deciding to take responsibility for removing the chains from around our necks. I think I read somewhere it only takes three days or the brain to adjust to a new reality. Seems like it’s worth a try!

  2. Charles says:

    I see the Devil-6W pair as being about “attachment to results.” Being so focused on total victory makes us oblivious to what is happening in the here and now.

    If you’re looking at the 4C as a “mini-Ace” then also consider the other group of 3 Cups. He’s staring at the 3C symbol of being enmeshed in joyous emotions, while he ignores the Ace and all its potential. The 3 Cups are up against the front plane of the image, out of his reach, while the one Cup is in easy reach. Focusing on potential happiness prevents us from grabbing ahold of real happiness that is offered to us now.

  3. Hugging Scorpio says:

    Thank you Sarah, very insightful reading. I am also really enjoying what others are saying too. I’ve pulled the Devil card earlier this week and was probably too close to the subject matter to really know. I just leave it and see what happens. Thank for bringing some clarity now on it.
    HS

  4. Sarah Taylor Sarah Taylor says:

    What came to me now was this: that it is intuition that often leads us into the realm of The Devil; and it is the heart that gives us the courage to look at what is there, and holds us through it and back into the light.

  5. Lizzy Huffy says:

    “When we choose to let go of our disillusionment, we can look up and see that not only is there an alternative, but that alternative offers us something we might not have believed was possible if we had chosen to keep our eyes focused downwards”. Thank you, Sarah.

  6. Lizzy Huffy says:

    Yes, this is beautiful Jude “what we resist, persists — which is why we must love ourselves out of poor choices, rather than fight ourselves out of poor circumstances”. Though I also think that resistance and struggle is a necessary part of the process, that can ultimately lead to our understanding of the need to let go – which brings liberation

  7. Alexander De Witte says:

    This is a very powerful reading Sarah, thank you for bringing such light, particularly to the four of cups.

    Amanda, I’d suggest that shadow has two distinct but related aspects. It is a by-product of mind firstly. Mind divides. To focus it attempts to extract essence from substance. This only works for analysis but violates the ontological whole.

    So secondly, shadow is not only what is violated or left out of the whole, but being itself, alienated from itself. In a real sense then, embracing shadow is embracing yourself; the self that has refused to feel, that has left the building, that has lost touch with the inescapable truth that life is intrinsically nourished in compassion.

    Folk often forget that embracing our estranged self is the deepest key to dealing with shadow. Our obsessions with morality see to that.

  8. Lizzy Huffy says:

    I quote the bit just before Amanda’s “The Devil is anything that enslaves us because we fail to acknowledge it as a part of us, and it is most often through relationship that we are given the opportunity to look into the darkness — our shadows — to illuminate what is there”. This is so bloody hard – precisely because it’s so difficult to see what enslaves us – and when we do, it’s like a light coming on. But by jove it’s hard to find that light switch. Thank you for this stunning piece, Sarah – which echoes much of what Judith has written today – and gives me support in what I’m working through now.

  9. P. Sophia P. Sophia says:

    Yes I agree with Sarah, awareness, understanding felt in ones heart, ultimately forgiveness brings healing.

  10. Judith Gayle Judith Gayle says:

    There are logical consequences to any choice, Amanda, and finding access to our shadow side, and loving it into harmless, is simply to 1] notice it, 2] realize you have a choice of actions and 3] weigh the logical consequences of such a decision. Once we get a nonjudgmental sense that we can take a lower or higher path … each leading to experience that is valuable … we are able to be conscious about the selection.

    You might say that this is part of the Hole in the Sidewalk discussion we’re having, a couple of posts below this one. Noticing the hole — i.e., the pattern — is the first step to no longer being asleep about falling in it. After that, it’s all about choice. If you read the chapters, you can see it takes a few tries to get it right; and sometimes more than a few.

    “Getting it” that the shadow side experiences aren’t going to lift us out of enslavement is the a’ha moment we’re working toward. Loving ourselves out of the NEED for them is the nonjudgmental factor that is necessary because, metaphysically, what we resist, persists — which is why we must love ourselves out of poor choices, rather than fight ourselves out of poor circumstances.

    Life is, after all, a long list of glorious mistakes that bring us wisdom. Selecting the choices that bring us closest to what we want to experience is the goal, while being able to find the lesson, the blessing and the wisdom in the result is the transformation that occurs on the other side.

    Great piece, Sara. Inspiring! Thank you : )

  11. Sarah Taylor Sarah Taylor says:

    Your comment feels more like a matter of trusting that you know, rather than wondering if you know.

  12. Sarah Taylor Sarah Taylor says:

    I would say, Amanda, that if you’re aware that there is a difference between the two, then you might have it more figured out than you think … :)

  13. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    “What we find asks to be integrated: to be embraced with compassion and temperance, just as we can embrace with compassion and temperance those in our lives who are facing their own shadow natures.”

    anyone else finding it slippery trying to figure out the difference between “embracing” shadow versus acting on it in a way that keeps one enslaved?

    or is that just me?

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