The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, February 16, 2014

By Sarah Taylor

“I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love, the beauty of it, the joy of it and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.”  ~ Ellen Page

This week, we have a progression from the reading last Sunday: the shift from the Eight to the Nine of Swords, and the presence of a new Page — the Page of Cups.

Page of Cups, The Sun, Nine of Swords -- RWS Tarot deck.
Page of Cups, The Sun, Nine of Swords 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.

Fear and self-loathing in the bedroom. That phrase — with apologies to Hunter S Thompson — is what came to me when I saw the Nine of Swords in the context of this reading.

The Eight of Swords — the self-delusion that we create with our thoughts — has crystallised into the potential of the Nine of Swords. This is the card that shows us what happens when our fears isolate us to the point where we find ourselves alone and in the dark. The figure sits up in bed; the palpable emotion is one of despair. Despair cuts us off from the life-giving vitality of our connectedness to each other, but most of all to our source of life. In this case, The Sun.

The figure faces away from the Sun, hands over eyes, in a dark chamber of anguish. The implied meaning of the Nine of Swords is the self-wounding of our own beliefs. Here, about life and love.

However, with every card there lies within it the possibility of change. What makes itself shown here are the presence of love and a sense of belonging — to a cosmos that drapes itself around us, as on the blanket that covers the subject. There are roses. Love, in its purest expression. Physical, embodied. There are astrological glyphs. The ordering principle of life. Love is interwoven into a system that can accompany us even through our darkest moments, and which reminds us that we can choose, once again, to uncover our eyes and see what is in our presence.

And so to The Sun. In the Rider-Waite Smith deck, The Sun does not exclude the darkness, nor does it exclude the notion of separation. The child, who seems to draw my attention more than the Sun itself, rides a dark horse. And yet, in spite of the presence of this greyed out creature, who seems to be of the underworld, and in spite of the wall that stands in front of the sunflowers in the background, the child’s body language is open, joyous, inviting. Nothing is counted out. Everything is welcomed in with the wave of a red flag of lifeblood. All sit under the rays of an astral body that shines against the backdrop of a blue sky. The Sun simply is. The child’s opening is present — to both the darkness and the light.

The Sun throws its brilliance into the shadows so that what is there is revealed. And it doesn’t have to be anything other than it is. And everything in the shadow can been seen from another perspective: from the Sun’s perspective, which sees no shadow on the wall or on the back of the horse. The child knows this, and celebrates. All it takes is that shift.

What helps us into the 180-degree change of perspective? What helps us to see things as the Sun and not, perhaps, as the figure in the Nine of Swords? What moves things from the shadows and into the full spectrum of colour? The Page of Cups — another expression of the inner child.

The Page of Cups sees the magic and wonder in love. His world is the world of miracles. His body is open, leaning towards the cup that he holds, and seems engaged and utterly accepting of the impossible: the emergence from that cup of a fish. “Well, hello!” he seems to say, hand on hip, his jaunty cap a seaweed swathe of blue cloth that curls around his head and onto his shoulder.

“Well, hello, love!” His receptivity allows the miracle to happen, as the babe on the horse is the miracle of illumination itself. From the darkness and loneliness of the Nine of Swords we have the ability to look down, remember who we are, and do our own 180-degree turn towards the Sun and the fearlessness of youthful curiosity. No longer fire (the Page of Wands in the last reading), we have moved into emotion, and what rises from the depths is both surprising and seems to want to move towards us, too.

There may be fear; there is also a place in the Sun that is fear-less. There is a place of illuminated and radiating joy. Why not hold that Cup and expect a miracle?

Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Page of Cups (the earthy aspect of water), The Sun (Sun), Nine of Swords (Mars in Gemini)

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.


Have you tried the Planet Waves premium membership? Sign up for a six-month membership and receive weekly and monthly horoscopes, plus more.

14 thoughts on “The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, February 16, 2014

  1. “i’m wondering… is it possible that the horse in the Sun card is not so much darkness and shadow, but rather a neutral ground against which we tend to project our own darkness and shadow if that is the perspective we’re looking from?”

    I would absolutely agree, Amanda. I took the horse to be a ‘dark horse’ because of its expression. If you look at all of the horses in the RWS deck, you’ll see that their faces and demeanours are pretty telling. See the horse in the Knight of Swords, for example. Here, I see the horse’s head lowered, and its eyes seem heavy, as if there it were carrying a weight far greater than the child. In this way, I see it as being dark: brooding, intense, the ‘bag’ under its eye, its lower lip pulled down at the corner of its mouth in a subtle show of some inner effort. Its tail is swishing — and its ears are facing towards the child, as if waiting for its cue from it.

    DivaCarla — I can feel the child in elements of what you write; and the Nine of Swords may well be a karmic debt, but I do feel that implicit in the card is the idea that you don’t necessarily need to use that realisation as a stick with which to beat yourself. Pain is one thing; suffering is another.

  2. “it’s often hard for us human beings to feel our inherent light and divine love without immediately calling up its opposite, our shadow.” Yes. Thank you for this, Amanda.

  3. I’ve been sitting with this reading for 24 hours, along with another 3 card reading that came from the workshop on Saturday. I feel like I’ve just awakened from a 9 of swords nightmare. Not that the 9 of swords situation(s) are resolved in my life, but that the emotional attachment or identity is relieved. Perhaps the light is dawning so that I can see the quilt of roses, the grace I am wrapped in, and have an inkling that whatever happens, I’ am loved.

    I am mesmerized by the Sun and infatuated with the Page of Cups.

    The Sun speaks to what frustrated me last week, that I’ve never met my inner child. If so its such a serious child. Perhaps I could ask an independent observer if they’ve seen my inner child. The great golden sun is benign and neutral, beaming peace and “it’s all good” on everyone. The naked, open, ebullient, innocent child is the Sun. Look at its head: hair like sunbeams, and a sunflower crown, and see the Fool’s single feather, that curls up to the sun’s ray? The child sits astride the horse, which speaks to me of the unconscious, feeling rather neutral. Strength and power, and the child has as yet not accumulated the fears and beliefs that would dim its light, or has dealth with them, mastered them. The child is the innocent adult, who remembers her/his true nature, and can access it at will. Because this card is the Sun, I see it as a level of mastery rather than pure innocence. So many of us can’t remember innocence because we were already taught we were bad before we knew we had a Self. I am wondering about the overwhelming billowing red banner. What comes to mind is the scene after Jesus baptism, when the light poured down and a voice said “this is my beloved SUN, with whom I am pleased”

    I embrace Sarah’s reference to the Page of Cups as Love, miracle making love. I’ll take it. That fish intrigues me. I looked up the totem meaning of fish, and every culture has a take on the fish. A lot of it derives from the mystic and feminine depths of the ocean and water. Here is a rundown of what I found:

    Abundance, Fertility, Children, Regeneration, Love, Balance between mind and emotion and this one of my favorites: Pagan traditions recognized the fish as a feminine symbol of fertility and an attribute of the Goddess. Water is a natural emblem of the flow of the Divine Mother principal, and as such, all creatures of the water (including fish) are aspects of the fertility and power of the female deity. from “” website

    You might google fish totem for yourself if like.

    Whatever karmic debt I have to pay in the 9 of swords, I take hope and practice faith that the Sun rules. Whether I can feel it or not, I’ll claim the promise that the Page of Cups, miracle-making Love, will see me through. Expect a miracle. Yes.

  4. i find it interesting that you describe the horse as “dark.” it clearly is not snow white, but neither is it brown or black. i guess its grayness strikes me as “neutral” — as does its posture: it is neither bowed down, nor holding its head high, nor charging ahead.

    i’m wondering… is it possible that the horse in the Sun card is not so much darkness and shadow, but rather a neutral ground against which we tend to project our own darkness and shadow if that is the perspective we’re looking from? we fill in what is neutral with whatever it is we are feeling; and it’s often hard for us human beings to feel our inherent light and divine love without immediately calling up its opposite, our shadow.

    not meaning to split hairs, here — just was struck by how “not dark, yet not white” the horse looks to me.

  5. Aha! Thanks for explaining why you don’t use reversed cards. I dispensed with them long ago, but couldn’t put into words why they seemed superfluous to me. Yes, it is the Sun card that unsettles me and holds the key to my reading. Its shadow qualities are in play, and so specific they leap out at me.

    Comparing that against your explanation of the Sun card, I appreciate how the card in and of itself has no fixed meaning, only potential. Its images are fixed, but with each reading we see and feel its symbolism in some unique way, depending on context and intuition. In theory I’ve understood this, but I think I’ve finally absorbed the lesson for good – it feels as if I’ve just gotten it for the first time!

    Thanks again, Sarah. You’re really a great teacher. 🙂

  6. Thank you, everyone – as always, it is great to get such commentary and participation in the readings!

    jinspace – I would say that if that is what you see, then your interpretation of the cards is equally valid. I also work on the understanding that all cards have a shadow and light aspect – hence why I don’t deal with reversals. So each card has the antidote to itself within it. If you see the presence of the evil twin, then The Sun is doing its job, and there remains the option to turn things 180 degrees — however and whatever that looks like.

    muddpi – I am happy that the reading gives you hope; and I would gently suggest that the hope is a reflection of a part of you that can see yourself from a completely different perspective. Sometimes the validation of our situation is all we need to get up and get going again.

  7. Your reading is beautiful, Sarah. No matter which cards you draw, you seem always to extract a positive message from them; in your hands the tarot is gentle medicine.

    As I read this grouping from left to right, I feel like I’m seeing the evil twin of your uplifting interpretation (alas for me!). This makes me wonder: a different message reveals itself for every querent, but I’m wondering whether you – given your intimate knowledge of the card meanings – ever look at a spread and see conflicting messages of equal weight.

  8. Thank you so very much for this astounding reading. dear Sarah. Really what I needed to read right now, as I swing between that bedroom and its shadows, and the sun.

  9. Adding on to the reading and my comment-

    Regarding the Sun, consciousness and the child on gray horse he so confidently rides, I just stumbled across this passage I’d like to also share..

    Faith is the shadow of our higher self that remains here on earth, to remind us of our purpose in the Universe. Faith is a reflection of what our higher consciousness knows to be true.”

  10. I love the Page of Cups. I swear, my life is a total expression of that card right now, looking at that fish, & thinking, “You are so adorable; where did you come from?” But I’m very aware that the 9 of Swords is just over my shoulder. Taking a chance on the Love that I am is such a foreign concept in this culture, it feels like it’s under threat at all times; mostly by my own thoughts: I don’t deserve this, it can’t last, it can’t be real, I’m being delusional, etc., etc., etc.

    And yet the inner light will always lead us back to Love, whether it’s the delightful & unexpected fish-in-a-cup or the blanket keeping us warm when we can’t even see it.

    Thank you for this, Sarah. It’s a lovely reminder.

  11. “Well, hello, love!”

    I am thankful for your teaching Sarah as you ask of us..what is missing in this week’s reading that gets us here from Swords to Cups? it is in the Pentacle piece of form and structure, the material, earth element ..season is to come.

    But first we need to do the actual asking. For in the question’s reflection we recognize and remain in anticipation to the message and opportunity to receive (Page of Cups), the answer (The Sun) is of purpose ‘Yes!’

    It’s interesting that the Sun follows Moon, in the Major Arcana.

    In clarity (Pentacles) and identity, the Emergence (The Sun) comes the joy and love of life.

  12. Thanks for this inspiring reading, Sarah. Always enjoy Monday mornings pondering your words for the coming week.

  13. Excellent and encouraging, Sarah. We seem to be poised on so many breakthroughs, clearing out the old, archaic rules we’ve embraced as our own. I’m heartened. Thank you!

Leave a Comment