The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, February 23, 2014

By Sarah Taylor

The presence of the Six of Swords at the centre of this week’s spread indicates that the oppressive forces of the Eight and Nine of Swords in the past few readings have eased, and a new experience is emerging. This experience is informed and contained by two very different states, which are acting as ‘ushers’, as it were: the Three of Cups and The High Priestess, which frame a journey from one place to another.

Three of Cups, Six of Swords, The High Priestess -- RWS Tarot deck.
Three of Cups, Six of Swords, The High Priestess 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.

The Three of Cups, part of the minor arcana, describes community and heart-based inclusiveness more than any other card in the tarot deck. It embodies celebration, fecundity, love among (moreso than “between”) people.

As a minor arcana card, its focus is on our everyday interactions. We live out the Three of Cups when we come together in a joint cause that has at its basis a love of self and others. It is supportive and stable — look at the configuration of the three figures and the cups they hold above them. There is a symmetry to the card that implies balance.

Three is also a sacred number: think of the significance of three in fairy tales — three wishes, for example — and in the Holy Trinity. Here, three is not a crowd. It is a dance of co-operation and magic.

When we are in the Three of Cups, we are very much in and of the world in which we live. We feel a part of things; we pick up on the rhythm of the movement of others, of love, of soul.

On the other side of the Six of Swords lies The High Priestess, which offers a very different encounter — that of the encounter with ourselves as we connect to what lies beyond us, however we choose to understand it.

The High Priestess dwells in the liminal world between matter and spirit. The High Priestess is solitary, but she is not alone. As feminine counterpart to The Magician in the major arcana, she is the receptive force that communes with the unseen. If we are to be Magicians in balance — aligned with a Will that is higher than ours — then The High Priestess describes the way to alignment.

The High Priestess collects; The Magician creates. When One (The Magician, as card number 1) and Two (The High Priestess, as card number 2) come together, they have the potential to create Three: we move down into matter, into the physical world. This is indicated by the pomegranates on the backdrop in The High Priestess, which become part of the dress of the next card in the major arcana, The Empress, who rules over the natural world.

The High Priestess is governed by the Moon. She reflects divine knowledge, which we can then put to use in our everyday lives. When we work with divinatory tools, for example, we are working in the realm of The High Priestess. But knowing is one thing; doing is the other. When we act on our inner knowing — our inner connection to Spirit — we are co-creating our lives.

Here, therefore, we have the support of both our outer lives in the form of togetherness (Three of Cups), and our mystical union with the Other (The High Priestess). This opens up a pathway that is described in the card at centre, which denotes a passage away from troubled waters — waters that helped us to find our calmer centres — and towards something that we cannot yet see, but which is moving towards us as we are moving towards it. Here, the surface of the flow that carries us is smooth; we have everything and everyone we need; we may not be able to see past our own thinking (the six swords standing, point down, in front of the seated figures in the boat), but we can tell that the waves have softened and the vessel is steady and true.

We have felt fear before: we have felt it trap us and hold us in isolation. We are no longer isolated; we are in transition.

Between the Three of Cups and the The High Priestess lies the mystery. There lies the way, into uncharted waters and new lands, new experiences.

Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Three of Cups (Mercury in Cancer), Six of Swords (Mercury in Aquarius), The High Priestess (The Moon)

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.


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7 thoughts on “The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, February 23, 2014”

  1. Dearest Lea

    I am so deeply touched reading your words; and I am happy for you that you found something of value — more of your self — in the journey that you’ve taken with “Descent to the Goddess”. It’s a book I will almost certainly be reading again and again as I take my own journeys down and back up.

    Thank you! I wish you fulfilling, life-changing, affirming travels, my love.


  2. Thank you for your comments. P. Sophia and Sarah. In particular, Sarah, I want you to know that your Tarot readings and your offering of yourself in other ways here at PW have had an intrinsic effect on my life’s moving forward (slowly, oh, so slowly, but with good reason). Your mentioning your having read DESCENT TO THE GODDESS several years ago (2011 ?) (yes, it has been THAT LONG for all of us) was a real turning point for me in my search for meaning, reason, sanity, answers….Starting with that book, I was led to several others along that way and line of understanding that have truly given me insight, wisdom and new ways to “go on.”

    The passage of my father (similar to your experience with your mother’s transition ), and the end of the marriage, have felt like doors closing for me. The future, a different future without the presence and structure of so much that is behind me now, is truly wide open. An adventure of sorts; and I now have growing confidence in myself and my Guides, to move into the adventure with wisdom, grace and, even, daring (with wisdom).

    I am truly so grateful to you for your part in my journey Sarah, and because I had posted often in the past about my journey and its difficulties and challenges, I felt it only right to let you (especially) know where it has taken me.

    Metta Namaste Blessing Inlakech

  3. Thank you, Lea and P. Sophia, for your wonderful contributions – both so heartfelt.

    “I am surrounded by loving, supportive community (Three of Cups). I am fully invested in following my intuition and trusting in the guidance of the Goddesses (High Priestess).”

    I feel that too, Lea. My mother transitioned out of this world on Valentine’s Day, and I feel a sense of things changing in the wake of her departure. I can still feel her – there seems to be work to do for her around that – and yet her death is also a call to life, however that looks, for her, for me, and for the mystery.

  4. “Well, what ever it is, it is good. How do I now know? Because everything that has brought us to this point has been Good.”

    Lea your words touched my heart with their truth. Thank you for sharing your personal place in the story. That IV of Swords for me surely illustrates the powerful moment of re-claiming me, in confidence, acceptance, and trust.

    Here’s to our continuing journeys, filled with appreciation, excitement and joy..

  5. How poignantly beautiful, to me, are the cards this weekend.

    I so see myself in them today: I am surrounded by loving, supportive community (Three of Cups). I am fully invested in following my intuition and trusting in the guidance of the Goddesses (High Priestess).

    AND for the 6 of swords I am the adult figure in the skiff , with shoulders decidedly forward, perhaps elbows resting on knees in exhaustion, the long, brutal ending a month ago of what turned into a 46 year long legal-financial contract (“marriage”, young women, take heed) along with the passage to the invisible world of my 92 year old father/patriarch of the family within two weeks of the divorce. AND the ending of another deeply meaningful relationship, for now (ending for now, if that can be 😉 (but Ended For Now is an end. The griefs of the moment are profound )

    Yet I sit in the skiff also as the child. The huddled/covered ego-adult’s future has dropped behind her, never to be seen again; ( I am waking as if from a dream, which is all it was anyway–is not one’s planned future only a dream? )

    AND I am the dependable skiff oarsman. I have become strong and deliberate and steady. That thrilled child looking ahead. in my heart cries Look!!! Look! What is that?

    Well, what ever it is, it is good. How do I now know? Because everything that has brought us to this point has been Good.

    Thank you as always for your gift shared with us. Sarah, and thank you for your insight, P. Sophia; it helped me frame the reading to myself quite gracefully. The picture of the 6 of Swords will hold me, and I will hold it in my mind’s eye in the coming days, to remind my heart of where I truly am now, and where I am going.

    Going? Where’s that? Who knows, but it definitely is out there and looks exciting!

    Lea aka Burning River

  6. Really beautiful reading Sarah. It reaches me on so many levels internally, externally and astrologically.

    There are many aspects in play in this moment for all of us and personally speaking this weekend the Sun transit is trine MC, and conjunct natal Saturn (over hardly our less Mundane aspect the Sun, Neptune conjunction taking place), as well as Mars transit conjunct my Natal Moon. So the III Cups and High Priestess cards of co-operation and action along with your interpretation speak much to me.

    The child of the VI of Swords you can see is the leader in this expedition of the group as he excitedly looks out towards the new lands and clear waters ahead. He sits with the adult (ego self) here very subdued and cloaked, (in bright, not dark color dress) although is in overall support of the mission. The figure in the back gently, capably carries them where they need to go. Again, the symbolism of the three is key and also carries a very relevant (although not surprising) spiritual integration to your reading.

    I had a dream last night of a inner child? What I do can recall is caring for, looking to dress, and finding her cloths that fit..

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