The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, January 20, 2013

By Sarah Taylor

Three cards, one central to the WTR last week, all of them working their energies through our lives simultaneously rather than in succession; this is an ‘everything-all-at-once’ reading.

Seven of Swords, Nine of Cups, Lust -- Rosetta Tarot deck.
Seven of Swords, Nine of Cups, Lust from the Rosetta Tarot deck, created by M. M. Meleen. All images the property of M. M. Meleen. Click image for larger version.

The card on the left is the Seven of Swords, or Futility. It is also referred to as The Lord of Unstable Effort. Here, one sword — representing the Ace — is beset by six swords that seem to hold it captive with the tips of their blades. The Ace is straight, whereas the others are curved: only one holds integrity, aligned as it is from above (the world of Spirit) to below (the physical world). Where the point of each of the six blades touches the Ace, there is a jolt of electricity, as if the central blade is being discharged of its energy, which then weakens its ability to act from a position of alignment.

M. M. Meleen writes:

Since the sephira Netzach [from the Kabbalah Tree of Life; Netzach is associated with the Seven of Swords] means Victory, there is some hope if one overcomes inertia and puts forth effort. The problem here is vacillation, and the theme of many against one. …

[It is] a form of mental impotence. An unconscious self-protective mechanism is triggered — if one gives up, then by rights they did not really lose. … This card warns against insincerity, especially towards oneself, as the amoral mind is not capable of deep insights. There is no time for hesitation and inconstancy if the goal is victory.

The word “sincere” comes from the Latin “sincerus,” which, according to means “clean, pure.” Its opposite suggests something being sullied or impure. The truth of the Ace has been compromised. However, M. M. Meleen suggests that this insincerity is “especially towards oneself.” If there is no sincerity to the self — if we cannot speak or live out the truth that we discover in ourselves when we are in alignment — then sincerity to others lacks the necessary foundation for it to be both consistent and pervasive.

Where is it that you are not aligning with the truth that lies at the core of you? Or, if you don’t know what that truth is, where is it that your thoughts feel conflicted? This card suggests that at the heart of that conflict lies the truth.

Next to the Seven of Swords we find the Nine of Cups, or The Lord of Material Happiness. Both cards set aside each other; both cards set against each other. In the Seven, the curved sword at centre right has taken on the rose-pink hue of the Nine of Cups. It is as if the Nine is reflecting itself in the Seven and the swords are defending against it, curved away from it, resisting it.

Against what are the swords defending? If the Nine of Cups is anything to go by, we are looking at the resistance of love, happiness, and the belief that we can experience something that, up until now, we have perhaps believed we were incapable of experiencing.

The symmetry of their arrangement reflects the correction of the imbalance of the seven and eight. … The Nine of Cups is known as the “wish card” as when it appears it is an indication of wish fulfillment. There is love on a spiritual level — and faith in the goodness of the universe. We have a higher purpose, we have gratitude, we have belief and we get satisfaction.

This is what we are fighting: a truth that sets us free to know love and goodness. The central card of the reading, the Nine represents a reality that is available to us, the Seven the possibility of what our mind is telling us about this reality. How do we reconcile these two opposing forces?

The key is in Lust. When we work with the Lust archetype, we step up to the business of owning our instinctive, sexual natures. The Lust card indicates that at some point we learned to repress or suppress (the former an unconscious act, the latter a conscious one) our sexuality — that, somehow, we developed the belief that we could not be ‘spiritual’ or worthy (of God) if we gave in to our impulses and deepest erotic desires.

Our warped sense of truth — reflected in the warped swords — has been bent out of shape by this act of denial. And, when held down for too long, these impulses erupt from us, seeking expression in ways that are out of balance and equally lacking in integrity and alignment. This throws us into a hall of mirrors where the true path — our connection to the Ace — is concealed by what is reflected back at us from our outer and inner encounters.

The invitation with Lust is to the process of understanding that eros is equally divine; it does not run counter to our higher natures. When looked at and expressed consciously, it becomes like the beast in the card — in the service of the part of us that is connected to Spirit.

And when we do this, we liberate our hearts to the potential for love and fulfillment, and our actions are imbued with a sincerity to self and others that reflects our connection to Truth, whatever that is for each of us.

Astrology correspondences: Seven of Swords (Moon in Aquarius), Nine of Cups (Jupiter in Pisces), Lust (Leo)

M. M. Meleen’s website:

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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.

4 thoughts on “The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, January 20, 2013”

  1. You see these cards have followed me all week Sarah!

    As long as you keep your humanity that is also another clarity. So then each side has its safe exit into awareness and if stuck you can reference the clarity of the ace of swords for Dionysian ‘madness’ and one’s humanity if the swords are too ‘sterile’ in their rational thinking.

    And that too is a double healix (helix!) around the path in the middle.


  2. Hello Sarah

    Looking at the three cards (admittedly after reading willow’s latest post – serious, some lighjt for the mo -) I wondered if futility can be also the fool’s chance ie your stance makes the difference if anything can – giving something your best no matter the outcome. The Ace of swords – a sort of clarity and discipline.

    The hope in the middle and the task at hand, bordered on one side by force and on the other by license, and if there is a doubt err towards the clarity of the ace of swords (independent thought) but not too far into all the other 6.

    Lust. i have a problem with lust as a good card. if it was lusty ok. But lust to me speaks of licence – soldiers raping and pillaging, imposed desire, envy and envie (wanting to) to hurt, corruption, temptation, being base, drug induced highs – the pretty picture is part of it – a honey trap. (For me being fully in your sexuality and aware of others and with some self mastery as necessary, and lauyghter all come under desire). For me this card is a distraction and a temptation for the task at hand which will basculate it. Is this possible as a take on the card.

    It feels like a LOTR scenario – these are cards Aragorn could pull from the deck, or any of the wise.

    All that is gold does not glitter
    Not all those who wander are lost
    The shoot that is strong does not wither
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken
    A light from the shadows shall spring
    Renewed shall be sword that was broken
    The crownless again shall be king

    (you, your ie one, anyone – the same for the other day too, it’s a habit I’ll try to stop now I’ve seen it!)


  3. luckydriver – I was thinking about just this question when I was laying out the cards yesterday. My answer is that sometimes I work with a ‘traditional’ meaning, no matter what the deck — although this meaning will take on the feeling of the deck itself. Sometimes I don’t, and I work visually, often referring to the creator’s (or another writer’s) interpretation of the card. This week, I was drawn to work the second way.

    Also, I tend to believe that the visual relationship between cards is based on the idea of synchronicity, rather than simply being about my own interpretation of them. Often I find elements across the cards so strikingly interrelated that I cannot think I have simply made it up; the cards themselves are emphasising a particular point (though whether I pick up on that point accurately is entirely my own responsibility).

  4. Really wonderful reading, Sarah! I have been wondering about something as you move through the readings using different decks. Does the meaning of a card differ from deck to deck depending on its unique graphic depiction within a particular deck, or would you argue that a specific card holds universal meaning across the decks? Or is it a little of both? I’m always struck by how well your interpretations express meanings that are revealed by examining the relationship between the chosen cards in any one reading, but you are also so adept at visually analyzing each card that I started thinking about how much impact the visual form of a card has in determining its content.

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