Welcome to Full Moon Tarot, a blog dedicated to the beauty and mystery of Tarot.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Card of the Week ~ 10 of Swords

10 of Swords ~ Rider-Waite/Smith
Most decks show the same image for the Ten of Swords ~ a lone figure lays face down in a desolate environment with ten swords protruding at various angles from his back. A little nasty, yes?

The Ten of Swords is similar to the Death card in that it's appearance, while somewhat macbre, should not be taken literally. Both cards appear to auger death but should not be taken literally as such, more rather impending change that will be difficult to accept but must occur for growth. Endings and loss are always associated with this card but look in the distance; there is a beautiful sunrise, heralding the dawn of a new beginning, a rebirth, a rejuvenation of spirit. Remember that the Swords suit is all about the mental, should the Ten of Swords appear you can pretty much guarantee that the person receiving the reading is mentally exhausted, spiritually drained. Things will not be going smoothly in whatever arena you are dealing with because there are adverse conditions or obstacles. You are running on empty, bottomed out, at the point where things can't get any worse. You may be making a painful but necessary break from your past.

A difficult decision may have been pending for some time and action has finally been taken. There is no doubt that the Ten of Swords heralds a difficult period ~ painful loss or release, terrible misfortune, endings, ruin or in some cases hitting rock bottom ~ indeed, the Ten of Swords is the Swords suit taken to the nth degree. Nothing further can be achieved through either thought or aspiration; there is only room now for the new possibilities to emerge but it has to come from a different place ~ hence the sunrise (heralding the new dawn in your life) being in the background and thus different position to the central figure. The ending that is coming in your life must be accepted before the lovely new possibilities can show themselves to you.

10 of Swords ~ Druidcraft Tarot

The good news is though, that it can't get any worse, you have faced the worst that your situation has to offer and you've come through it. The only thing the fellow in the card can do is get up ~ staying where he is is going to achieve nothing, the same way that staying in a negative situation or mindset is going to bring nothing good to your life. Your hopes of the past may be dashed, but new ones will arise in time. One of the wonderful aspects of this card, and indeed of the tarot, is that even within the cards that show scenes of the utmost despair, there is still a beautiful blossoming of hope. Just look at Death and the Ten of Swords; Death rides through town with his scythe merrily taking the citizens with him to the underworld, the Ten of Swords has a figure lying face down in a desolate environment with ten swords poking out of his back ~ yet both have, in the corner, a pure, gorgeous sunrise, a breaking dawn full of the promise that new hope and new direction brings to your life. There is a sense of relief and surrender with this card too ~ you've done all you can do, matters have reached their conclusion, and now there is nothing you can do except explore the new possibilities are in the distance. Past obligations are now concluded; the karmic contract is fulfilled.

There is another side to this card that doesn't foretell of “doom and gloom”. Look at the card realistically; one sword would be enough to be the death of this figure ~ don't ten cards reek slightly of overkill??? The 10 of Swords can also talk about victim mentality and the lower vibrational martyr. You can almost see the figure in the card lifting his head and saying “You think you've got it a bad...I've got a big bunch of swords in my back...count them, ten! But don't worry about me, I'll be alright” We all know someone like this ~ being a martyr is a favorite activity for some people when they get the 10 of Swords. If you're not a martyr this card could be your Inner Guide gently having a joke with you about how you are handling a situation you are in right now. The troubles may be more melodramatic then real and while the suffering in sincere, there may be a hint of exaggeration thrown in. When you're in the midst of a situation in which you have assumed the victim mantle, you think everything is hopeless, hopeless and unfair. While remembering that the Swords suit is the suit of the mind, think of the power of the mind ~ what you visualize you quite often create. The Ten is the last number of the Swords suit, so literally the crappy, hopeless situation you are imagining you are in, you are actually in, most likely through your own creation. This isn't to say that we don't go through hard times that leave us in a state of despair, it just means that at times we can make the situation worse in our own minds, and that this manifests physically. What we think today creates tomorrow. Yesterday created today.

This card is also a kindly reminder that it is the moment that things appear at their worst is the moment when things get better. This difficult time is only a precursor to happier times.

10 of Swords ~ Mystic Dreamer Tarot

You may have literally been “stabbed in the back” or may be the subject of malicious acts or unmerited hatred.

Depending on what kind of spread you have set out for yourself, the Ten of Swords has the following implications:

Work: Your work situation is about to come to an end. Best to get yourself sorted in every way and think through the “next step” if you were to lose or quit your job, for any reason. Whatever situation is being indicated here ~ being badly treated by someone, dissatisfaction with your work ~ it requires no more energy then to get your affairs in order and get on with the next phase of your career.

Love: Sadly, the Ten of Swords is not a fabulous omen in love readings. Something about the relations/situation is not quite right ~ ask yourself a lot of questions, accept reality and don't close your eyes to the truth. You can't force someone to feel the way you do, or act the way you want them to. Someone is not who they say they are.

Finances: You are facing disappointment money wise. This is definitely not the time to gamble, but is the time to take stock. Try not to beat yourself up ~ this isn't the end of the world.

Health: Your health may not be as vigorous as you had hoped. Don't be afraid to call on any means of healing you feel necessary. There is much more to life then meets the eye and miracles happen every day ~ but you have to be doing your part in the healing process. It may be a time to consider alternative healing methods. There have been a couple of times that this card has appeared in a reading for someone and it has literally been acupuncture!

Spirituality: You may be spiritually exhausted through tests in your life that have tested your faith, or you may have let go of some long, deeply held spiritual beliefs that have been hindering rather then helping you. Be careful putting blind trust into spiritual leaders that seem to be acting in your best interests but are only lining their pockets.

The Wheel ~ Druidcraft Tarot

Something I think is a fascinating aspect of the Tarot is that the Minor and Major Arcana are related to each other. The Tens are the lower echo of the Fool, the Wheel of Fortune and Judgment. The Fool is about heading your fate straight into the unknown, which is shown in the Ten of Swords by showing that once the bottom has been reached, the adventure of living and recovery begin, and who knows where that will take you! The Wheel of Fortune serves as a reminder that all circumstances change, nothing is static in life, which is illustrated by the new tomorrow in the sunrise amongst the violent and desolate landscape of the card. Judgment is a card of heeding the call and deciding your path, sticking to it no matter what, which the Ten of Swords echoes in it's absolutist position.

At this time of the Full Moon in the Winter Dreamtime, this card is a timely call to have what is called “the final purge”, which is the purpose of this moon, the “Quiet Moon”. Look at what needs to be cut fro your life for once and for all, and be gone with it before the wonderfully bountiful and creative time of the spring.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Winter Solstice ~ A Tarot Contemplation

Winter Solstice is a time of beautiful paradox ~ a time of being still, immersing yourself in the Earth and the womb of the Goddess, delving into the darkness inside and discovering what lies in the soul while simultaneously shedding the extraneous and unnecessary from life, and making plans that are to be borne at the Spring Equinox. It is here that we stand on the horizon, during the darkest hour gathering warmth in the Sun's promise of growth and renewal in times to come.

Winter Solstice is a time of darkness, release, letting go, warming the heart, nourishing the soul and affirming that which is to come, a time of being still while taking an inner journey as we get closer to the Spring Equinox. We need to remember that life continues in the darkness and that light will always reappear.

The journey of Winter Solstice can be depicted in the tarot, whether by casting a spread and seeing what lessons the universe has in store for you, or by meditating on certain cards that represent the Winter Solstice journey. In this article we do both! I am going to explore a tarot journey using four cards that I feel are connected to Winter Solstice, and I am also going to give you a spread to use as part of your Winter Solstice ritual/celebrations.

2 of Wands

2 of Wands ~ Druidcraft Tarot
 To me, this card in the Druidcraft Tarot represents a gateway or a doorway, which is what the Winter Dreamtime opens for us. A gateway to a new life, spiritual resurgence, greater understanding of ourselves and our view of the world, and the action we take within it ~ this all starts by stepping through a doorway. The 2 of Wands in this deck has literally made a doorway in the way that the figure holds the two wands in it's arms. The fact that the figure appears blank, as an outline, says to me that, as this figure is you, you are the one to color and fill this figure with your spirit, your practices, your thoughts, your actions and your lessons gleaned from the Winter Dreamtime. By going into the Winter Dreamtime with an open heart and mind, you chose to create this doorway to the Tomb of the Goddess, because you are searching for deeper meaning, contemplating a journey. The 2 of Wands says you can stand in this doorway and always wonder at the possibilities of what the Winter Dreamtime has in store for you, or you can jump down that rabbit-hole and return forever changed. The 2 of Wands is about the personal freedom of conscious choice, for it relates to the way we live in accordance with our Will and the results of this. Don't sell yourself short or settle for less. The 2 of Wands gives us new inspiration and boldness, the ability to contemplate where we are, where we have been and where we are going ~ the choice is now yours ~ stand at the doorway and always ponder “What if?” or step inside the wonder of yourself and be amazed at where the Goddess will lead you in this Winter Dreamtime?

4 of Swords

4 of Swords ~ Druidcraft Tarot
 The Winter Dreamtime can be a tumultuous landscape to traverse, particular this year with the full lunar eclipse we have recently been blessed with. I don't know about your personal journeys, but I know that for me, that short time of the lunar eclipse introduced the ecstasy of creative potential and the compulsion to expand and the agony that only near madness can produce.

After such a harrowing time, it is important to revisit the revitalizing energy of the 4 of Swords. The card was traditionally known as the Lord of Truce by the Order of the Golden Dawn, but it must be noted that the word “truce” does not denote “peace” here ~ this is a respite in which we gather our strength and answer the call of silence. This can be a hard thing to do in our hectic modern society. But the Solstice's are all about balance, and while there is indeed a time for action and confrontation, there is also a time where we need to withdraw, retreat into ourselves to find our sources of inspiration and inner strength. The reward will be the fruit of greater inner strength and confidence. The 4 of Swords reminds us that this is so necessary during our Winter Dreamtime. The 4 of Swords urges us to focus on the spiritual practices such as mediation or tarot or whatever speaks to you that will help provide calm and healing. Your faith will provide support during this time of spiritual hibernation. The Goddess will honor this stillness by keeping events at bay while we take this time to cocoon our souls.

Even if you have a full time job and ten children, you need to find the time for this solitude and soul repair. It is so easy to say “I just have too much on, I can't, I have no time”; get creative ~ your time coming to or from work, be it in the car or public transport can be your time by reading a book or listening to music that brings you comfort. Your daily shower can be your time, and how perfect ~ water is the manifestation of Goddess, let her flow over you cleansing you while you are repeating a mantra or just having some quiet contemplation. We are all sacred beings and we need our sacred space, wherever it may be found! The 4 of Swords is telling us we need to have this space to get in touch with our soul and the universal energies that surround us.


Rebirth ~ Druidcraft Tarot
This card from the Druidcraft Tarot, the deck I primarily read with, is an interpretation of the card traditionally known as Judgment.

Once we have had our respite with the 4 of Swords, it is time for us to emerge from our spiritual cocoon and hear the call of Goddess urging us to wake and be reborn, which is signified here in the figure of the child emerging from the womb of Goddess (as temples were known as in ancient times) with the High Priest blowing the horn summoning the soul to be reborn to a new life cycle. Many Tarot authors and experts believe that the horn, while a small symbol in the card, is actually the key symbol ~ it's in the power of the call that we hear in the Winter Dreamtime, the call to our spiritual path, to change or renew, to rebirth into a life that is truly more your own.

This is also a call to embrace the world and your place in it ~ and you do have a place. A dear friend once said to me “The Goddess doesn't make rubbish” and indeed, She has a place and need for all of her sacred children. Rebirth is also about the initiation many of us go through during the Winter Dreamtime, whether it is the inherent understanding of the duality of living in this world while understanding the spiritual world or a literal initiation into the Crone's Mysteries or the Mysteries of a Goddess who may have chosen you.

Rebirth is also about acknowledging the past and leaving it in the past, absolutely and irrevocably. This is something that may take months or even years of work through counselling, strengthening of spiritual beliefs and practices and a lot of inner work, but, through the Winter Dreamtime and the showdown with our Shadows (as spoken of in “The Shadow of Samhain in the previous edition) this vital process of healing and wholeness has begun. Rebirthing your spirit is an incredibly empowering and healing experience, it gives you the power to make very hard and final decisions, and unlike the Death card, which brings change about whether you wish it or no, Rebirth is giving you the choice and the courage to recognize that you're holding onto something that needs to be let go and gives you the strength to do so.

You are awakening to a new life, assimilating past experiences, learning from them, understanding their value and confronting what no longer serves you. This is such an important part of the Winter Dreamtime. Know that the Goddess is with you and through Rebirth is giving you an inner awakening to set you on a new way of living and experiencing the world, a psychic rebirth and resurrection. It is time to heed our higher calling and use our Goddess-given gifts to answer it!


Justice ~ DRuidcraft Tarot
On the surface, Justice does not appear to be a spiritual card; in fact, it looks quite cold. But this is what is wonderful about the Major Arcana in the tarot, that there is so much dimension to them.

Justice follows on from the Rebirth card perfectly; with Rebirth we went on a journey of understanding our true place in the world, confronting our past and keeping it in the past, and being led through an initiation to be reborn again. Justice tells us that now is the time that true understanding of our place in the world will lead us to the right choice and action. Justice's sword is pointed upwards, showing us that the world of Air (reason and intelligence represented by Swords in tarot) is connected to Spirit. The pommel of the sword in the Justice card of the Druidcraft Tarot is two testes, serving as a reminder to us that the decisions we make sow seeds in the world.

With Rebirth, Justice tells us it is time to make a decision out of choice, not reaction like we would with the Death card. Through our Winter journeys we have been given the ability to act balanced with contemplation and inner knowledge ~ what is the next step in your life, and how will you make your decisions manifest? Think of the two cards that precede Justice in the Major Arcana ~ the Hermit can bring you objectivity that comes from the inner work of Winter and the Wheel gives us the sense of the patterns and cycles of life. The scales seem to be balancing the two worlds with the message “You've spent all your time in one world, now it is time to move into the other to balance yourself out” which makes sense ~ the Winter world is an inner one, the journey is internal, and come to the end of Winter, we need to make a decision about what we want to manifest in our lives in the coming year and how we are going to achieve this. We eventually have to step back into the world and start participating again, which is what Justice is all about.

Justice has, surprisingly, come to be a manifestation of the Crone to me. This is something I certainly didn't expect when journeying to be inspired and write this article, but so it has come to pass. Ponder this ~ Justice is straight forward, look at her posture, she faces you front on, hides nothing and has her eyes open wide, and to the point (literally represented by the Sword). There is no hiding, no procrastination, no making excuses. Justice cuts down all illusions and exposes the heart of the matter for what it is and demands action ~ sound like the Crone to you? Certainly does to me!

There is a wonderful spread that I have found that can bring some insight to you at the Winter Solstice called “Solstice Light”


                                                       2                                        3                   

                                                      4                              5


Position 1: Returning Hope

What are you hopeful about? If the card feels negative to you, it depicts painful issues that will be resolved or healed in the coming year. Remember, all cards show a spectrum of life from happy to sad and offer opportunities for wisdom and growth.

Position 2: Making Wishes

What does your heart desire? If you don’t like the card that has come up, it is because it is depicting a negative situation you wish were different

Position 3: Seeking Visions

What is your vision for the future? Where do you see yourself next year? If a negative card comes up this is an opportunity to avoid the disaster that may be showing

Position 4: Sense of Balance

What will restore balance to your life? If the card is negative it is showing a situation that is out of balance in your life and you need to focus your efforts on it to restore order

Position 5: Goodwill Toward Others

Your expression of love. In what way can you open your heart to others? If the card that comes up makes you feel uncomfortable, this represents a situation in need of repair, forgiveness or making amends. Note whether card 4 (balance) is related to this card in the spread

Position 6: Advice

The next step. Planning. The action card. What can you do on a mundane level during the winter months to make your hops and wishes real?

The Winter Dreamtime is intense but wonderful. My wish for you is that you find what you need, that your initiations are beautiful, and that you find what you need to serve your higher purpose and heed your callings beautiful sacred children of Goddess.