Editor’s Note: 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. You can visit Sarah’s website here. –efc
By Sarah Taylor
Well, well, well — again! Here we have the Queen of Pentacles — at the centre of the reading last week — with the King of Swords, by now a familiar visitor to this column. Today, however, the Royal Couple are together. What does this mean, and what are they creating through their union?
First, a digression about the phenomenon of repeating cards. And it is a ‘phenomenon’; there is nothing accidental or coincidental about it. Rather, I believe it is an example of synchronicity — a concept created by Carl Jung to describe “an acausal connecting principle”. In other words, a synchronicity is the meeting of two separate objects or events that do not appear to have any logical, provable link. The idea of how tarot works is based on this principle: We get the cards we are meant to get, and yet we cannot prove it or explain it through logic. Repeating cards is a variation on this theme. There is something about the repetition itself that is trying to convey a message to us.
This morning, I happened to read a blog post by Jordan Hoggard, author and creator of the Land of Mystereum Tarot deck, about what this message might be, and this is what he had to write about about it:
When a card or cards come up multiple times when reading for myself, reading after reading, to me it feels like successive laps on the track continuously voicing their time-message, their presence, each time differently, to inform me from different perspectives, as a chorus of a card voicing its multiply informing messages. Meaning, it is my job to resonate more with its/their iterations, as if the card is pulse-cycling to gift me a fuller meaning before I slingshot out of a curve back onto the straightaway powered by it and the other card(s). Meaning, ‘I am trying to message you!,’ the cards seem to say.
Of all three cards, the King of Swords seems to want to make his presence felt the most. Then again, this is the Queen of Pentacles’ second outing in a row, which seems equally compelling in its own way. Together, they form a couple — masculine and feminine, yang and yin. And if we add the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, then at its essence the union of the King and Queen gives birth to The Fool.
I think that the King of Swords and the Queen of Pentacles are one of the better potential couplings in the court cards: They aren’t so polarised that they find little in common; there are uniting factors that attract my attention — both in the design of the cards themselves and in the feelings that their qualities provoke in me.
The King is airy — thoughts active in and around him, echoed in the skies that dominate the background, giving lift to the birds, helping to form and shape clouds, the sparse trees a reminder of how the swiftness of air moving can strip something away to its barest essentials. On the other hand, the Queen is earthy and very much part of the physical world over which she holds dominion: The land takes up much more of the background, and whereas the King seems to ‘float’ in front of us, the Queen is very much sitting on a throne that is visible, linking her to the ground. The King’s card is blue-hued and cool; the Queen’s is yellow-hued and warm, a reflection of the Sun that gives life to the nature that surrounds her.
The linking points: The height and positioning of the pentacle and the sword correspond; both figures have strong accents of red on their clothing, and red shoes — lifeblood that connects them, and in turn connects them to the ground; both have natural images carved into their thrones, although the King’s are, fittingly, more structured.
As a couple, they stand distinct, the individualistic embodiment of their suits, independent. Yet they correspond, and they seem to ‘communicate’ with each other in a way that is harmonious and constructive — the word “simpatico” comes to mind — rather than discordant and disconnected. They correlate — or ‘co-relate’.
And what comes of this intercourse? The striking out on the Fool’s Journey: A new chapter in our quest to find ourselves through an adventure of the soul. A specific adventure. What that will be is how your own Fool chooses to experience it but, make no mistake, this is a powerful alchemical image: The conjunction of the Queen and the King creates Fool’s gold. But, unlike the fool’s gold that stands for something that is inauthentic, this Fool’s gold is the real deal. The catch: It is not something that we obtain by grasping or holding. It is something we achieve by expanding and letting go. How open we are to the adventure that is our self-discovery is the measure by which we can judge the experience as valuable. It is what you find out about yourself in the process — rather than anything or anyone else — that will be the true gold.
The repetition of King and Queen in this instance, therefore, feels like a preparation for the journey, as we spiral and evolve into the qualities that both offer to us. Each time we revisit the King, we have the opportunity to hone the sword of truth, insight and integrity. It might be, then, that you have had repeated opportunities to do this. Each time we revisit the Queen, we have the chance to engender a greater responsibility for our lives, our bodies, our environment (both man-made and natural), our planet.
The meeting of the two today, fine-tuned through experience, make a formidable creative team: analysis, integrity, truth, groundedness, nurturing. The King, at the centre of the reading, distinct in blue and looking at us face-on, seems to emphasise above all the ideas of truth and integrity. From here, we can use what we have attained to strike out into new terrain, knowing we have prepared enough for this. If we weren’t ready, the opportunity wouldn’t have presented itself to us. Something is waiting to be discovered — or recovered. All you need to do is to step into the unknown with an open mind, open heart and open arms.