Three of Swords

The Three of Swords is about loss, separation, heartache and grief. I have chosen three different versions of this card, which I feel illustrate the vibe of the Three of Swords, and I have written a flash fiction piece which is my own personal take on a Three of Swords experience.

Like most people I have had many of these experiences in my life. The card serves to show us that the grief is not empty, it has meaning, and maybe it will also be there as a shadow, but it can also help us to gain strength when faced with future grief. For me when I see this card I feel intense grief for the things I believe I have done to cause pain for others, not just my own personal grief. In the Thoth deck, Crowley calls this card Sorrow, with good reason.

The three cards below are from The Deviant Moon Tarot, The Lucy Lescot Tarot and The Poet Tarot.

The Deviant Moon card on the far left, follows the RWS system fairly closely, but it also has it’s own unique twist, which can often cut like a knife. In my own experience there is no messing with this deck, it comes straight to the point. The figure appears to be dressed in some kind of armour but it still cannot defy the swords piercing her heart. The shadow behind her shows that her own pain is bigger than she is at this moment. Yet through the window, the moon is shining over the mountains, showing a sliver of light, she just needs to find the strength to turn towards that hope.

The card in the centre is from The Ludy Lescot deck, and this is almost a perfect illustration of my biggest personal Three of Swords experiences. A broken home, broken family, broken children and lost babies. The blood is on the woman’s dress, signifying her guilt and her part in this wreckage. She cannot face what she has done at the moment but she clings to the cross, a sign of hope and strength to help her go on, like the moon in the previous card.

The third card is a bit different, but I chose it because it reflects art and writing which are both big in my life. The Poet Tarot substitutes Swords for Mentors, which signify revision… the stuff we do to put things right once we have created them, this card is when we may have to kill our darlings. But another side to this card according to the accompanying book, is the darkness that can sometimes take hold of a mentor, causing them to act out of personal petty jealousy, rather than honest critique. It is a different take on this card as is shown with Cupid wearing a death’s head. It is a sign to look deeply at your own work and be sure that those who purport to encourage you, are not actually out to make you feel bad.

3 of Swords from Deviant Moon Tarot, Ludy Lescot Tarot & The Poet Tarot.
Three of Swords from Deviant Moon Tarot, Ludy Lescot Tarot and The Poet Tarot.

The piece of drftwood in the photo is something I found a few years ago, recently it wants to be part of all my Tarot readings, so who am I to argue. Driftwood is watery, it may be to do with my current emotional state., It is also very Cancerian in its vibe.

This is a piece of flash fiction that I wrote for the Three of Swords:

When she woke to hear rain battering against the iron roof,  and heard the tides rushing up to fill the mudflats, she knew it was the right day. It was hardly light outside, and even standing over by the estuary she could still see the glow of the candle she had left burning in the window.  She took the white plastic strip from her pocket, looked at the two blue lines, and remembered the hopes and dreams that they had signified.  She touched it to her lips one last time, and then sent it spinning through the curtain of rain, out to the high tide. She stood watching, tears and raindrops blurring her vision, fighting the urge to plunge into the water after it.  When she could no longer see the tiny flash of white she turned back back to the house. ‘Go free little soul’, she whispered.

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Rapunzel – A Poem

This is a poem I wrote a few years ago but tend to re-visit and revise now and then. I once planned a series of fairy tale poems, but then art got in the way of writing. I see them moving in together in the future…

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Rapunzel… Rapunzel
let down your hair
to be twisted and pulled
and wrenched from the roots
at your towers foot…

No gentle Prince awaits you there…

No… we of old pain
worn down, harsh, raw with grief
we seek to punish…

We do not care

As we trample on fragile endings
our boots, encrusted with ancient mud
we close our eyes
we do not dare…
to see… To feel..
or let some kind word
escape through parched lips.

From these hardened hearts
no compassion we share

Rapunzel…  Rapunzel
let down your hair
for we are weary…
Allow us some sanctuary
shelter from harsh reality
where we will remain
thankless souls

Rapunzel…  Rapunzel
the bastards cut your hair
Shorn of strength
disempowered in your tower
you grieve
for those lost ones…
the poets
and the dreamers
who felt only their pain
never allowing for your sorrow

Yet still you bow you head
and weep for them

As those proud
but snagged locks
fall to icy flint floor

Rapunzel, Rapunzel
come down from your tower
it is no safe haven
but your prison
Afraid of your strength
they blinded you
and kept you there
with threats of dragons and witches
and blackhearted suitors

Rapunzel Rapunzel
come down from your tower
Hold your head high
bring forth your pride
and watch those cheats and liars
and feint hearted triers
as they tremble and cower
in the shadow of your power
as you pass them by

Rapunzel Rapunzel
let down your hair

Red Riding Hood by Anne Sexton

I found this while looking through Transformations , a collection of Anne Sexton’s poetry which is based around the tales of The Brothers Grimm. Sexton was a confessional poet, like her contemporary Sylvia Plath  she suffered from depression and mental illness. I feel at home with the work of both these women. They tell life as it is.

In Transformations Sexton has told these stories as they were portrayed by The Brothes Grimm, but within a darker context. The stage set has changed, the props are different, the lighting is altered but the stories are still there, to be interpreted as we will, or as society dictates.

Red Riding Hood by Anne Sexton

Many are the deceivers:
The suburban matron,
proper in the supermarket,
list in hand so she won’t suddenly fly,
buying her Duz and Chuck Wagon dog food,
meanwhile ascending from earth,
letting her stomach fill up with helium,
letting her arms go loose as kite tails,
getting ready to meet her lover
a mile down Apple Crest Road
in the Congregational Church parking lot.
Two seemingly respectable women
come up to an old Jenny
and show her an envelope
full of money
and promise to share the booty
if she’ll give them ten thou
as an act of faith.
Her life savings are under the mattress
covered with rust stains
and counting.
They are as wrinkled as prunes
but negotiable.
The two women take the money and disappear.
Where is the moral?
Not all knives are for
stabbing the exposed belly.
Rock climbs on rock
and it only makes a seashore.
Old Jenny has lost her belief in mattresses
and now she has no wastebasket in which
to keep her youth.
The standup comic
on the “Tonight” show
who imitates the Vice President
and cracks up Johnny Carson
and delays sleep for millions
of bedfellows watching between their feet,
slits his wrist the next morning
in the Algonquin’s old-fashioned bathroom,
the razor in his hand like a toothbrush,
wall as anonymous as a urinal,
the shower curtain his slack rubberman audience,
and then the slash
as simple as opening as a letter
and the warm blood breaking out like a rose
upon the bathtub with its claw and ball feet.
And I. I too.
Quite collected at cocktail parties,
meanwhile in my head
I’m undergoing open-heart surgery.
The heart, poor fellow,
pounding on his little tin drum
with a faint death beat,
The heart, that eyeless beetle,
running panicked through his maze,
never stopping one foot after the other
one hour after the other
until he gags on an apple
and it’s all over.
And I. I too again.
I built a summer house on Cape Ann.
A simple A-frame and this too was
a deception — nothing haunts a new house.
When I moved in with a bathing suit and tea bags
the ocean rumbled like a train backing up
and at each window secrets came in
like gas. My mother, that departed soul,
sat in my Eames chair and reproached me
for losing her keys to the old cottage.
Even in the electric kitchen there was
the smell of a journey. The ocean
was seeping through its frontiers
and laying me out on its wet rails.
The bed was stale with my childhood
and I could not move to another city
where the worthy make a new life.
Long ago
there was a strange deception:
a wolf dressed in frills,
a kind of transvestite.
But I get ahead of my story.
In the beginning
there was just little Red Riding Hood,
so called because her grandmother
made her a red cape and she was never without it.
It was her Linus blanket, besides
it was red, as red as the Swiss flag,
yes it was red, as red as chicken blood,
But more than she loved her riding hood
she loved her grandmother who lived
far from the city in the big wood.
This one day her mother gave her
a basket of wine and cake
to take to her grandmother
because she was ill.
Wine and cake?
Where’s the aspirin? The penicillin?
Where’s the fruit juice?
Peter Rabbit got chamomile tea.
But wine and cake it was.
On her way in the big wood
Red Riding Hood met the wolf.
Good day, Mr. Wolf, she said,
thinking him no more dangerous
than a streetcar or a panhandler.
He asked where she was going
and she obligingly told him
There among the roots and trunks
with the mushrooms pulsing inside the moss
he planned how to eat them both,
the grandmother an old carrot
and the child a shy budkin
in a red red hood.
He bade her to look at the bloodroot,
the small bunchberry and the dogtooth
and pick some for her grandmother.
And this she did.
Meanwhile he scampered off
to Grandmother’s house and ate her up
as quick as a slap.
Then he put on her nightdress and cap
and snuggled down in to bed.
A deceptive fellow.
Red Riding hood
knocked on the door and entered
with her flowers, her cake, her wine.
Grandmother looked strange,
a dark and hairy disease it seemed.
Oh Grandmother, what big ears you have,
ears, eyes, hands and then the teeth.
The better to eat you with my dear.
So the wolf gobbled Red Riding Hood down
like a gumdrop. Now he was fat.
He appeared to be in his ninth month
and Red Riding Hood and her grandmother
rode like two Jonahs up and down with
his every breath. One pigeon. One partridge.
He was fast asleep,
dreaming in his cap and gown,
wolfless.
Along came a huntsman who heard
the loud contented snores
and knew that was no grandmother.
He opened the door and said,
So it’s you, old sinner.
He raised his gun to shoot him
when it occurred to him that maybe
the wolf had eaten up the old lady.
So he took a knife and began cutting open
the sleeping wolf, a kind of caesarian section.
It was a carnal knife that let
Red Riding Hood out like a poppy,
quite alive from the kingdom of the belly.
And grandmother too
still waiting for cakes and wine.
The wolf, they decided, was too mean
to be simply shot so they filled his belly
with large stones and sewed him up.
He was as heavy as a cemetery
and when he woke up and tried to run off
he fell over dead. Killed by his own weight.
Many a deception ends on such a note.
The huntsman and the grandmother and Red Riding Hood
sat down by his corpse and had a meal of wine and cake.
Those two remembering
nothing naked and brutal
from that little death,
that little birth,
from their going down
and their lifting up.

 

My throat hurts from laughing…

I have a sore throat, a head full of something that feels like it came from Gollum’s cave, couldn’t sleep. So I picked up my iPad and read a book that I had got on Kindle on a 99p deal. The new Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding. I mean who doesn’t love Bridget? Especially when you are a bit under the weather. I have to admit knowing that Colin Firth’s character had died, was the reason I have put of reading it until now, I mean he really was the whole point of Bridget Jones, at least in my book.

So I settled down under the duvet with my iPad screen turned down low to save my eyes, and soon realised I was not reading what I thought I was. The book I had opened was actually entitled Bridget and Jones Diary – Mad about The Toyboy by Bridget Golightly. I laughed, a lot, even though it hurt.

bridget-and-joans-tea-party

It is parody, it is way over the top, it is slapstick and clichéd, and it suspends belief. But at the same time, it is warming and funny, and it gives you hope and warms your heart. My favourite passage:

Half past nine. Joan came knocking on my door again this evening. I told her to leave me alone but she insisted she had something very important she had to show me. Reluctantly, I followed her out of the B&B into the dark and down the road. After a little way, she stopped and looked at her watch. I looked around. ‘What’s going on?’ I asked, a little grumpily. ‘Why have you brought me here? Isn’t it enough you’ve hidden my phone, now you’re trying to finish me off? Are you planning on pushing me under the next tram?’ ‘Shush,’ she answered. ‘We just need to wait a minute.’ ‘Wait for what?’ I said. ‘I don’t get it. Why are we here?’ ‘I told you. Just wait,’ she answered, curtly.‘No,’ I said. ‘I mean, why are we here? In Blackpool? I’ve been here hundreds of times. Why did you think this would make me feel better?’ ‘Ah, but have you ever been at this time of year?’ Joan asked. ‘Well, no. Of course not. Why would I? It’s freezing! I don’t get it.’ ‘I’m afraid my savings didn’t quite run to the Arctic Circle,’ she said, looking up from her watch, ‘so I thought this might do instead.’ I followed her gaze. Suddenly the black night was filled with sparkling rocket ships, laughing sailors, the gleaming tower – all aglow with a billion watts of good old-fashioned northern electricity. ‘Blackpool Illuminations,’ she announced, proudly, ‘the real Northern Lights.’ I stared at her, then back at the lights. ‘Why Joan…’ I said, beaming, ‘they’re wonderful.’

I tend not to read funny books or romances etc, (unless of course Colin Firth is involved), but his works for me – highly recommended.

Oh and before I forget, Bridget and Joan have a twitter page which continues the fun, here

Photo via: https://www.oneworld-publications.com

Quote from Bridget & Joan’s Diary by Bridget Golightly

 

 

 

 

Naming Me

I was looking through some of my old poetry and I found a couple about identity, I like this one, it is full of names and labels that defined me in the eyes of others, I may use this in a future piece of work which will also use some of the fragments that I created for this project and then decided not to use.

Anyway here is the poem:

The Naming of Me

The one who came at 4.00am
The firstborn
The one whose spring was autumn
She who was born on a Friday
New baby for St Swithin’s Day
Woman they call a Witch
The child who came from a caravan
Princess of a thousand books
Siouxie with hair like an Indian squaw
Who is a builder of towers
The dreamer who wakes up contented
(although she rarely sleeps)
She who ran away to the bottom of the world
Mother of Shoog, Chickpea and Beetroot
Mother of angels who walk through her dreams
Mother of Tabby and Polly and Phoebe and Boo
Sister of the worlds best sister (and aunt)
Hippy Tripp and the attachments
Bib best forever friend and soulmate of Dilly
She who cooked Bob Dylan’s breakfast
One he calls Bonegirl the lover
She who can burn in her passion
One who loves once and forever
She who plays guitar late at night
She who wants to sing like Janice and Patti
but who sings just like herself
Brighid the Goddess of Poets
Dylan the wanderer from the sea
or a rabbit on The Magic Roundabout
Daughter of the Moon
Daughter from the wild side of life
Daughter and Sister who was lost (and so
collects waifs and strays)
Daughter who was a boy named Sue
Wife who was a girl named Bob
She who followed the hares
She who whispers with goats
She who waits to be found
She who you all gave names to
She who misses you all, in every moment

It’s all true, all of this is me… and some…

It’s only words…

I made a word cloud of my Identity…

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and another one of my blog…

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I feel somewhat fragmented ;-/ But this is fun!

I like to see words thrown together like a jumbled up box of magnetic poetry… now that should definitely feature in my identity… as should tarot…

 

 

The sheet has a story…

 

Last Sunday of summer… well, it is to me!  Next weekend the clocks go back and my favourite time of year begins :) I must remember that there are now 12 hours difference between us and the UK, as their clocks went forward in the early hours.

So… today I worked some more on my Identity project, after I had finished my catalogue review and my visual analysis and comparison for other parts of the course. The image analysis and comparison was very enjoyable, I tend to go off on all kinds of tangents.  It amounts to adding more stuff to the vast and disorganised library that I call my brain. I love libraries.

I cut some bamboo for my Tower of Strength, but then I decided not to cut anymore as I want the tips,  (which will be at the top of my tower), to keep growing until the last minute. This is part of using bamboo, to have the tops still shooting, because the tower is still getting taller. It may be tricky getting them to stay together while I stitch the panels. I think I will lay them flat on the ground and stitch all the panels on, and then stand them up and stitch the last two corners together.

I have done a few trials of getting the images onto fabric. I tried citrus cleaner but that didn’t work. I then tried acetone but it was too smelly. Finally I decided to iron the fabric to wax paper and risk feeding it through my old black and white laser printer…

and it worked!

Initial prints were too dense so I turned the toner down as much  as I could and also lightened the photos in Photoshop.

So I now have two photos and two fragment panels ready to go! Now I know what I am doing it will be a faster process I hope. For the fabric that I print the photos on, I am using one of my bedsheets. The sheet has a story…

When I first came to New Zealand, and I got my bed, it was very symbolic. This was my bed, and mine only, for years I had shared a bed, but now I had my own bed, just for me. I used to walk past the bed and get this big grin on my face! What I wanted most was Egyptian cotton sheets, but I couldn’t afford them at the time. A few years later I got some, and my bed dream was fulfilled, although by then I had a partner sharing the bed.  My partner wore a copper bracelet which left green and blue marks on my gorgeous cotton sheets… and they wouldn’t wash out. In the end I tried bleaching them, but sadly it weakened the cotton, and the sheet got torn and full of holes in no time. I am using the bits of that king size sheet, stitched and layered, with my fragments and photos. It holds history of my bed, my dreams and a long and intense relationship, which although tough at the time, did make me stronger.

I will take some photo’s of my fragments and panels as I make them, but meantime, this is how I often work. Check out Blue, my gorgeous new grandson asleep on the bed :) No wonder I am single!

 

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Who Am I ? Identity Project

Hmmmm…  that’s a difficult one.

Who are you?

I am branching out here and choosing not to do the ‘safe for me’,  graphic design option. Instead I want to use this opportunity to find out more about me, who I am now and where I want to go from here.

My first thoughts are quite painful, because I often feel that I am no-one, defined only by the other people in my life, and my relationship to them. I sometimes feel that if they were not there then there would be no me. I think this may be a common feeling with other women too, especially long time single parents.  A huge part of our life has revolved around the needs of others,  but with no one to care about our needs.

I guess most of us have had it tough at one time or another, I certainly have. I never knew a father or a father figure. I have always looked after myself, (or not), and others. It seems to be my lot in life to look after others, not just my own children, but waifs and strays from all over the world have found me, and just about demanded my care, since I was little more than a child myself. I always feel I have to be responsible for others.

I went down all the sad and crazy paths, depression, breakdown, suicide attempts, psychiatric wards… for most of my late teens and twenties. I still had no idea why or who I was when I had my first child 21 years ago. I grew with my kids, while I nurtured them, but there was little time to nurture me. I am still a bud.

Coming to college last year was the best thing I have ever done for myself, apart from stand up to the authorities to have the births I wanted with my four children. Since then I have started to grow into more of who I am, I think, and I need to continue to feed that. I feel blessed to be where I am in my life, because I feel I have a way better idea of what is important, than I did 20 years ago, and I have discovered some simple things, for better quality living. I will share a few here:

There is almost always a choice as to what path we go down in life, at any time.

No one can make us feel small or unhappy, unless we consent to it.

If you feed the black dog, it will grow bigger and bigger until it eats you all up.

When something needs to change, look to your attitude first.

Gratitude is our most powerful magic.

So those are my initial thoughts. Exciting, and daunting at the same time, but it’s going to be a great ride I hope, and one that will take me to many other viewpoints, from which I can stand back and look at me, and figure out some more about the mystery.

 

Exchanging~Spires

Image from an original lithograph that I bought many years ago, by UK artist, Nicola Slattery. (1996)

 

 

 

 

What a beautiful mind!

 

Wow, I just watched this TED talk by French artist JR.

I am so inspired and humbled by this guy, and his projects. What a beautiful mind! There will be more abut my thoughts on this but for now, I am too filled with awe to make words here.
Just go and watch it…

 

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Tarot – All the Sixes

I have been getting back into my Tarot study during the college break, and have been looking at the numbered cards in the Minor Arcana and the corresponding card in the Major Arcana. As a framework for this study time I decided to look at one number every few days and see how the cards in different decks relate to each other.

As it is nearing Saint Valentines Day, I am beginning with the number six – The Lovers. Except this card is not really about lovers as such, but of being in love, and not necessarily romantic love. It could be a new passion or obsession, a new country, a new career choice. Any sudden need to take a new path in life, something that overcomes you with all the power of Cupid’s arrow. Whatever you fall for can often result in a difficult choice, or even a rash move that may have huge consequences. But if you don’t make the move, and follow this new found love, then you will never know, which could cause a lifetime of regret.

The past is a great place and I don’t want to erase it or regret it, but I don’t want to be it’s prisoner either. – Mick Jagger

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. – Sydney J Harris

In this series of studies I intend to look at many different decks, but I will always include a standard Rider Waite Smith deck for comparison. For the sixes I have chosen my Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative deck, Tarot of the Wyrd, the Thoth, and The Wild Unknown.

I am beginning by looking at The Lovers cards as they are the archetypal sixes and their symbolism shines light onto the minor sixes.

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The Lovers card relates to the sun sign of Gemini, which is evident in the symbolism on all of these cards, and Gemini is often represented by twins. Tarot of the Wyrd I think confuses the card a little, as in my understanding this card does not always represent romantic love, although they could be brother and sister or even old friends, but the love letter in the background suggests otherwise. The angel is there in the form of a wee cupid-like cherub, and although Gemini is an air sign this card has both the passions of fire and the emotions of water, which seem to go with romantic love.

The RWS Lovers card is very biblical in its imagery. The angel is said to be Raphael and by the way he holds his hands he appears to be blessing the couple below. The mountain in the background looks to me like a volcano, which gives the card some tension. The serpent and the tree of knowledge are shown behind Eve, and Adam stands before the Tree of Life. But what will happen if they come together? I see this card as more of a balance of the energy of male and female rather than opposites. They are equal, they have not yet been tempted and the love they have is pure and innocent, and platonic.

The Wild Unknown is a lovely interpretation of this card, with the two Canada geese flying free and yet together through the air, the sun shines on them blessing their journey. Unlike many birds, the male and the female Canadian geese both look very alike, and it is hard to tell whether this is two male or two females or one of each. I think the fact that we cannot tell in this card, is a wonderful piece if possibly unintended symbolism. To me is says that in love and true friendship gender is irrelevant. That’s my take and I am sticking with it.

Then we have the Thoth Lovers card. This card is very focused on opposites,  and in the background we have a large central figure who is hidden behind a veil. Like Raphael in the RWS, the hands appear to be held out as if blessing all the creatures below. There is cupid at the top and the serpent at the bottom. It speaks to me of choice and balance, everything being kept in harmony, but it cannot stay this way forever. A choice has to be made, and possibly with that choice comes sacrifice.

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The images in the Rider Waite Smith are familiar to many. The Six of Swords is about crossing from a place or situation or even a problem, to another place of solace and clarity. There is a hint of sadness. The way ahead is made clear, and the journey is easy once you know where you are going. Like many six cards it is about  balance, responsibility and family. The ferryman works while the family rest, they in turn will pay him when they reach their destination. They have earned this fare, the books are balanced. It is a gentle card for a Sword.  The family are in the capable hands of the ferryman, and the water is calm, there is no need for high passions or emotions. This is one of the most peaceful Sword cards in the deck. Maybe it signifies a world cruise even.

The Six of Wands shows a procession of victory, or the arrival of someone important. It could be a new passion in the life of the querent, if so it may be fiery and short lived. I get the feeling this guy is resting on his laurels from the crown on his head, maybe a false triumph. At least it is a welcome break after the struggle in the Five of Wands. Still there are many around him waiting to takeover, well that’s how it feels to me.

The Six of Cups is about harmony, good memories and family, especially children. The symbolism here reminds me of holy communion, and the card is about communion of friends and family and shared joy. It is a rainy afternoon over an old photo album maybe with grandparents or old friends. It is a happy and comfortable card in most RWS based decks. It is the most emotional of the sixes, but the six of cups is not about romantic love. It could represent a new or old friend coming on the scene but only in a platonic, brotherly way. The  figure in the background is leaving the party, going back to the home, maybe this could represent the querent is some readings, looking for the comfort of the past.  It’s a safe place to be for the moment.

The Six of Pentacles is clearly about giving and receiving, the rich man gives to the poor. The Robin Hood card. The scales indicate balance. Pentacles relate to material riches, and this is what is being shared in this card. It could symbolise a small win or monetary gain, or it could equally be about donating to charity.

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Tarot of the Wyrd, (above), has very similar images to the RWS. The main difference is the Six of Watches, which shows a nurse, so rather than giving the gift of material things she is giving the gift of time, and as the key word says selflessness. Still they say time is money, and she is presumably paid for her work, so it has the same give and take meaning.

The key words on these cards all pretty much match the symbolism in the RWS. The word Solace on the Six of Cutlery seems to emphasise the leaving behind troubles aspect of the card. The Six of Wands makes me think of politics, all the important people carrying the staffs, I still see this card as a short lived success. That would fit the world of politicians very well :)

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I hesitated about including the Thoth deck in these studies, because I have not studied the system or any of the related teachings, except some astrology, in any depth at all. so  Still a little learning begets more learning and so what the hell, I am including it, if only to compare the basics to the other decks I am looking at.

I do know the sixes relate to the centre sphere on the Tree of Life. This sphere or Sephiroth is numbered six, and is called  Tiphareth, which means beauty and harmony, balance. The cross symbol in the centre of the Six of Swords  is one of the symbols used for Tiphareth. Although these cards are a lot more esoteric in their symbolism, they keywords are very similar to the RWS meanings.

The Six of Swords is Science, which at it’s most basic level means to know. The card has a lot of clarity, the swords are sharp. The windmill like things in the background seem to symbolise wind or air to me, and Air is the element of Tiphareth. That could be wrong though, it is just an impression I get! The astrological symbols show Mercury in Aquarius… this could have a connection the the keyword science, as Mercury in Aquarius is very open to learning and stretching the mind. They see the bigger picture with ease.

The Six of Wands is given the keyword Victory, the staffs are very reminiscent of the RWS image. The flames remind me of keeping the fires burning, Bighid’s flame, the torch they use for the Olympics. Astrologically it shows Jupiter in Leo. This pairing can represent someone who loves the limelight of success and victory, and it can be theirs through a benevolent and caring attitude. However, there is a need to take care not to let ego get in the way.

The Six of Cups is Pleasure – again very similar to the RWS. It feels abundant this Six of Cups. Astrologically we have the Sun in Scorpio. Scorpios can easily become addicted to pleasure at the expense of all else, but this is all I can remember that seems relevant to the card right now. The image has a kind of family, passing down feeling with the central cups connecting to and filling the other cups.

The Six of Disks is a lovely card, it has the sun, (from the Tree of Life sixth Sephiroth), a watery moon element, with the Moon in Taurus (Shown by the astrological symbols on the card), and Pentacles have the Earth element. Everything needed for things to grow and succeed. It is a very balanced card all round which again fits with the RWS symbolism. This card makes me think of putting something out to the universe and being in the right state to receive what you ask for.

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The Wild Unknown has fast become one of my favourite Tarot decks of all time. I will do a post about this deck as it does deserve at least one all to it’s beautiful self, but for now I am just looking at the Sixes, in relation to those on the other decks I have covered here.

Six of Swords, no boat, but the swords are laid down, at rest. Maybe the battle has finished, at least for now. On the horizon is a colourful rainbow, a symbol of hope, just as in the RWS image there is a journey to be made, but a hopeful one. All is looking good for now.

The Six of Wands is a kind of victory card. The butterfly has emerged safely from the chrysalis, escaped the ragged branches with it’s wings perfect where they could have been easily torn. It is above the troubled times below… just like the rider in the RWS Six of Wands. Still, this is a success for now, no one knows what lies in wait. Every battle won no matter how small is encouraging.

The Six of Cups is a stunning card. I see the Tree as representing family and roots. The tree of now is so easily turned into the colourful branches of the tree of the past. There are many routes to follow and get tangled in for some dream time. Often we see memories as far more colourful than they were at the time, this card demonstrates this perfectly.

The Six of Pentacles in The Wild Unknown like the Thoth card speaks to me of wishes coming true, the tree has borne fruit. When I look at this card the fruit is weighted to the left of the card which is bending the branch, this to me indicates that to attain balance some of the fruit could be given away, which will keep the tree upright and unbroken for more fruit to grow.

In summary, six seems to have a fair but of duality about it in all of these cards, both the trumps and the pip cards. Choice, balance, harmony. Leaving and moving forward to new things, Victory yet also the possibility of loss of that triumph, sharing, giving and receiving. Although most of the cards are illustrated with people, the love could quite easily be a passion or hobby whose undertaking can represent a difficult choice to the querent. Sometimes the love for ourselves and our own fulfillment comes at a cost to those closest to us.

As always the cards surrounding the six can cast light or shadow on the situation.

I am enjoying this journey, the sixes were great to start with, I may pull a card to see which one I do next!