Tarot Enlightenment

in-depth readings by Heather-Rose Ryan

Today's card for you, Monday, September 23

Eight of Swords, reversed

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

The woman is trapped. She's bound to the posts so she can't move forward or backward. She's blindfolded so she can't see her way clear. She's hemmed in by menacing swords. You might be feeling like this woman now. Perhaps you're struggling with overwhelming anxiety, uncertainty, or guilt. You could be in a situation in which you feel restricted - you can't find work, your living conditions are stressful, or you're facing mountains of debt. But this card, reversed, encourages you to change your perspective. Your bonds and your blindfold are self-imposed and you can make them disappear if you choose. The swords can be seen, not as threatening weapons, but as symbolic of the cool, sharp rationality that is characteristic of the suit of Swords. You have the power to pluck these swords from the earth and use them to save yourself. Cut through the emotional turmoil that has made you feel powerless. Use your head! There's always a solution. You can find it if you detach yourself from your fears and anxieties and instead take a calm, intellectual approach. And you're not alone. Ask your friends for counsel. Good friends can ground you and give you better perspective. Two heads are better than one.


Today's card for you, Friday, September 20

Ten of Cups

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

You've done it! Because you've held love and kindness in your heart for so long, you've created the nurturing environment that has led to today's sense of harmonious connection between people with whom you're close. This card usually refers to family, but it can involve friends, coworkers, business partners, artistic collaborators - anyone with whom you share a deep personal bond. There may have been disagreements and conflicts in the past, but you’ve managed to smooth out the bumpy roughness, and now you're coasting along together just fine. Take some time today to enjoy this unity born of mutual caring. Express your heartfelt love and appreciation to the others. Bask in the warmth together. Know that you can move forward supporting each other in creating joy.


Today's card for you, Thursday, September 19

Eight of Cups, reversed

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

You may have experienced a major disappointment that has set you back considerably. It's likely to have had something to do with a romantic/emotional relationship or with a project that is dear to your heart. If so, you've been tempted to dump it all and leave it in the past. While there is validity to the idea “What's done is done”, it's also possible that something valuable can be salvaged from the wreckage. Don't walk away just yet. It's also necessary to make the separation in the correct spirit. Leaving in despair or a vindictive rage will leave important issues unresolved. Tie up all loose ends, heal as many personal conflicts as possible, and when all that is done, make a formal break, observed with some kind of ceremony. This observance, however small, will ensure that you put the experience in the past for good, in terms of your personal reaction to it. When you're ready, you'll be able to look back on this setback and see its positive effects in your life, how it caused you to learn and grow.


Today's card for you, Wednesday, September 18

Nine of Swords

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This is the “dark night of the soul” card. You may be in the grip of overwhelming depression or anxiety - the kind of feeling that keeps you awake at night, full of doubt, obsessing about what has gone wrong, or what could go wrong. Usually this card comes up to suggest to you that things aren’t that bad and that you’re catastrophizing. But sometimes it’s a warning that you could be heading down a dangerous path. These dark feelings might be your intuition trying to sound the alarm. In either case, you should look at your situation in the clear light of day and evaluate it as honestly and realistically as you can. Ask others whom you trust to give you their perspectives. And listen to what they say! Often we cling to our own perception, in spite of the facts to the contrary, because it’s comfortable. Even if it’s a negative one that keeps us mired in depressive mode. We humans are fearful of change, even positive change. This is a reminder to let go of your fears and look at things as they are.


Today's card for you, Tuesday, September 17

Strength

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card also came up in the daily reading on August 31. Its return so soon indicates that you should pay close attention to it, as it conveys important guidance for this phase of your life. It’s especially significant that it’s a Major Arcana card, as the Major Arcana cards usually speak to the “big picture” of what you’re going through, rather than day-to-day issues.

The Strength card depicts a quiet inner strength rather than a blatantly overpowering one. The woman in the image is controlling the lion not with physical force but with placid guidance. The lion appears to be cooperating without a struggle. If you’re embroiled in conflict at this time, Strength suggests that you let go and refrain from active fighting. Nothing will be gained in this case by a head-to-head clash. To deal with the situation, withdraw into yourself and cultivate your character. Think of the rock on which a lighthouse stands, battered by waves and winds, but always standing firm. This is what it means to have real strength. No matter what kind of disaster unfolds outside, you’ll remain calm, cool, and collected, and will always do the right thing and make the correct moral choice.

But achieving this serene balance can be a difficult task. It means that you must give up indulging in the fierce emotional reactions which are so satisfying for letting off steam and asserting your ego. As the reading said on August 31: “If you've been tempted lately to unleash your raw emotions - anger, grief, resentment, frustration - this card advises you to keep them under strict control. Letting them loose will only cause damage and won't solve your problems. Instead, detach from them and put them aside.” It’s tough to break old habits. But in the end, the only person you can control in life is yourself.


Today's card for you, Monday, September 16

The Sun

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

The Sun comes up today to tell you that you are destined to shine brilliantly. The card also appeared in the reading for August 25! It’s unusual to receive this blessing again within such a short time. Count yourself lucky! The Sun fills you with a fiery vitality that warms everyone with whom you come into contact. You’ll feel at ease and on top of the world, confident that everything will turn out well. Your favorite projects will grow and thrive under your attention. Make sure to devote time to them today because your creative energy is especially potent during this time. Think of it as radiating from you like sunlight, bright and nurturing. Not only will your work go smoothly, but people will be attracted to your presence. Expect much positive attention! In the past, you might not have trusted your ability to succeed, but The Sun tells you that you should believe in yourself and fully embrace your many gifts. Let your light shine forth.


Today's card for you, Sunday, September 15

Seven of Wands

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

You’ve been making great progress, asserting yourself in positive ways, both in your personal life and in your job or career. You’re feeling confident and strong, radiating vibes of success. Alas, shining your light in this way inevitably attracts people who want to tear you down. You might be encountering some pushback at this time - perhaps criticisms of your work and/or your character. This card warns against overreacting to such comments. Difficult as it may be, you must strive to rise above this kind of conflict. When you respond defensively, it feeds the negative energy of the naysayers. Think of them as predatory "emotional vampires” (because that’s what they are). The more you engage in battling them, the deeper they sink their teeth into you. Instead, learn how to put up your psychic shields and deflect their attempts to latch on. Here are a few pages that explain various methods of protection:

10 Easy Steps to Psychic Protection

Basic Psychic Protection

Creating Your Psychic Protection Shield

Pick the method that resonates with you and practice it. Or invent your own method! My favorite is to envision a column of white light, pure protective energy, coming simultaneously down on me and up from below, like the transporter machine in Star Trek. While I’m within this column, I’m shielded from whatever slings and arrows people might want to throw at me. Often I add colors to the white light for additional power. It’s fun! And when I feel that the danger has subsided, I allow the light to return to its source. You’ll find that once you’re able to protect yourself in this way, you’ll encounter far fewer problems. The most important thing to remember is that you are the one who sets your boundaries. If others get under your skin and provoke you, it’s because you are somehow allowing it to happen. Keep your focus on your goal and don’t let anyone distract you.


Today's card for you, Saturday, September 14

Knight of Cups, reversed

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

Upright, the Knight of Cups represents a powerful energy focused on art, imagination, and emotions. Reversed, the card indicates that this energy is being repressed somehow, leading to stagnation. Does this feel familiar to you? Knights are strong warriors, men of action with a mission to accomplish - even the Knight of Cups, who’s a dreamer and a sensitive romantic! This card suggests that you should find a way to get in touch with your inner Knight of Cups and release his energy into your life. Have you felt the impulse to create art or poetry, or to envision new worlds? Are you moved by humanitarian concerns and drawn to helping others who are less fortunate? Have you thought of becoming a therapist or counselor? We’re often discouraged from these pursuits because we’re told they aren’t practical - that is, they won’t make us much money. But if this is truly your path in life, you’ll forever be frustrated, and the world will lose your voice. Use the Knight of Cups as a symbolic key to unlock your creativity and awaken your visionary side. And remember that Knights don’t just think and talk about stuff - they ride forth and get things done.


Today's card for you, Thursday, September 12

The Hanged Man

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

Remember Monday’s card, which was The Chariot, reversed? The Hanged Man conveys a similar message: It’s time to pause and reflect. You may be hurtling along toward your goal at high speed, with everything feeling like it’s coming together, but you’d be wise to pull over and stop. There might be problems on the road ahead or you could be going in the wrong direction. This card suggests that this is a moment to observe the Taoist principle of “doing non-doing” - letting go rather than pushing. We’re brought up to believe that we can only get things done by constantly taking action and moving forward. But often, that leads to us getting in our own way, running up against obstacles. “He who butts against things does damage to his own head. The superior person avoids using his strength rashly and goes forward only when the way is open.” I Ching, hexagram #34. Today we encounter the paradox in which in order to impose our influence, we must back off; to have our views heard, we must be silent; to make progress, we must remain still.


Today's card for you, Wednesday, September 11

Two of Cups

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

This card is from the Morgan-Greer deck, published in 1979.

You may have recently started a new relationship with someone. It could be a friendship, a romance, or a business partnership. The Two of Cups says that this relationship will be a fulfilling one. You and the other person will share much in common. You’ll feel as if you’re both on the same page. While you definitely think in similar terms - as Shakespeare wrote, the “marriage of two minds” - the connection between you is highly emotional and intuitive. Go with the flow and appreciate each other. Such a deep rapport is rare.

This card can also suggest that, if you’re currently solo, it’s a good time to look for a partner. Someone you meet now could turn out to be a true friend or soulmate. Or perhaps you’ve been working on a project and could use a collaborator or an investor to get to the next stage in development. If you’ve been emulating the Hermit or the High Priestess for a while, get out and socialize with the rest of the human race!


Today's card for you, Tuesday, September 10

The Star

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

The cards of the past seven days - Death last Tuesday, followed by several reversals, and yesterday, the Two of Swords - have been challenging. They have suggested that you need to rethink your approaches and reprogram your thoughts. But today, we see The Star, one of the most hopeful and encouraging cards in the Tarot deck! It comes up when you’re moving out of a period of darkness and confusion into a positive, peaceful, centered phase in your life. As you continue to leave behind old negative patterns of thought and behavior, new vistas will open up for you. Clouds are dissipating and revealing a clear sky filled with light, representing endless opportunities. Open yourself with gratitude to receive inspiration. At the same time, give generously to others, so the good energy flows through you and around you. You’re a conduit for the blessings of the Universe. All things are possible now. Aim for the stars.


Today's card for you, Monday, September 9

The Chariot, reversed

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

There is some aspect of your life (or perhaps another person’s life?) which you’ve been trying to control. You’ve been focused on driving forward aggressively. The Chariot comes up reversed today to suggest that you put on the brakes and back off a bit. This is a situation which won’t be improved by your attempt to impose your will. Pushiness will only result in a block like a brick wall. Time to pause and re-evaluate your goals. If you’re trying to push yourself, think carefully about your objective, and whether it truly fits into your long-range plan. Blocks tend to arise because the Universe is telling you you’re going in the wrong direction. You might have to rework your entire plan, but the extra time and effort will be worth it because you’ll have success once you find the right approach. If you’re trying to push another person, STOP! You’re crossing a line and interfering in something that isn’t your business. There are occasions when it’s OK to be The Boss and put pressure on others, but this isn’t one of them. Respect others’ boundaries and let them operate on their own schedule. Give them space. Allow them to rise to the challenge without your nagging.


Today's card for you, Sunday, September 8

Two of Swords

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

The Two of Swords tends to come up when you’re facing a difficult decision and you don’t have enough information to make the choice. Or you’re refusing to see the evidence that’s right in front of you. It can also indicate that you’re at an impasse, trapped by some kind of block, probably based in your emotions. The blindfold the woman is wearing is significant. She could easily put down the swords and take it off so she can see clearly, but she appears to be frozen in that pose, and unhappy about it. Consider how this image might reflect your current situation. Are you hiding your true feelings? Are you presenting a facade of cool indifference? Are you stuck in denial? If so, ask yourself why. Who or what are you afraid of? Finding an answer to that question will help you untangle the net that you’ve knotted around yourself.


Today's card for you, Saturday, September 7

Seven of Swords, reversed

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

We all encounter temptations in our lives, and sometimes we give in to some which aren’t good for us or for anyone around us. This Seven of Swords comes up today, reversed, to warn you to be on your guard for this phenomenon. Either you or someone you know could be on the brink of making an impulsive decision that would have negative repercussions. There’s an emphasis here on secrecy, sneakiness, and taking something that rightfully belongs to another. This card often suggests an illicit love affair, but can also indicate stealing, plagiarism, forgery, and backstabbing gossip that damages a person’s good name. Be alert to the behavior of others during this time, and take great care with your own choices. Be scrupulously honest and honorable. Any misstep is likely to lead to grief in the long run.

Today's card for you, Friday, September 6

Two of Wands, reversed

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

You might be thinking about making a big change in your life - undertaking a major project, a new career, or a move to a different city or country. If so, this card comes up today to advise that wishing and hoping aren’t going to get you to where you want to go. You must have a coherent, realistic plan in place. The world is waiting for your contribution but you have to find the proper key to unlock your potential. So don’t make any impulsive moves just yet. You’re currently at the “inspiration” stage where you’re kicking around ideas. This is a necessary phase so don’t rush through it. Look at every option and weigh its pluses and minuses carefully. Consider the long-term ramifications of each choice. Map out a detailed, practical plan and examine each step. Then make your decision wisely. If you take this kind of methodical approach, you’ll find success.


Today's card for you, Thursday, September 5

Ace of Cups, reversed

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

Listen to your intuition. It’s trying to tell you something, but you’re blocking it out. It’s as if you’ve turned the volume all the way down. Why is that? Have you recently experienced an emotional trauma that might have caused you to shut down your connection to your intuitive self? Or is it that you’re afraid of what it might tell you? Take some time to get back in touch. Pay attention to your body’s feelings rather than your mind. We are accustomed to asking questions and “checking in” mentally, but we often neglect to do the same with our physical bodies. Our heart and our “gut” are highly sensitive and will pick up on things that our mind disregards or doesn’t notice. If you’ve been worried about a problem, fretting about it in your mind, try moving your consciousness to your heart or your solar plexus and viewing the issue from there. Your perception will be different. As opposed to the complex web of thoughts that you create when considering something in your mind, your sense in your heart and “gut” is a feeling that is simple but deep. It’s an inner knowing, an awareness. With practice, you can turn up the volume on your intuition and hear what it’s saying to you.

Today's card for you, Wednesday, September 4

Page of Wands, reversed

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

This card is from the Robin Wood deck, published in 1991.

The Page of Wands often comes up to signify something to do with communication on the internet and social media. Today the card is reversed, which suggests the negative aspect of these methods of communication. The sense is that you might be experiencing a kind of Mercury retrograde effect, in which messages are garbled, blocked, or otherwise problematic. Are you receiving a lot of spam or abusive messages? Have you ordered something online that has been delayed? Perhaps you have an online “friend” who isn’t what he or she claims to be. This card cautions you to be wary and to recognize that online talk isn’t the same as face-to-face conversation. There’s far too much opportunity for scammers, con artists, and just plain trolls to draw you in and steal your money and your time/energy. It might be time to take a break from the world of the internet and ground yourself in real life again.

Today's card for you, Tuesday, September 3

La Mort (Death)

This card is from the Piatnik deck by Rudolph Pointner, published in 1974 in Vienna.

This card is from the Piatnik deck by Rudolph Pointner, published in 1974 in Vienna.

It’s time to close one door and open another. You’ve experienced a profound change that has shocked you and plunged you into the depths of grief and confusion. The actual change may have happened long ago, yet it still haunts you. You’re still hoping that maybe it never happened - you’re clinging to the illusion that everything is still the same. But it’s not. You can only heal from this trauma by consciously putting it in the past. In our society, we observe a person’s death with ceremonies celebrating his or her life and acknowledging our loss. Ceremony is essential to helping us process our grief for a loved one so we can move on. But we encounter many other forms of death and loss in our lives - the end of a relationship, the crushing of an ambition, the leaving of a beloved home. These losses, when they affect you deeply, require a ceremony too. There’s a need to mark the event somehow in order to place it firmly in the past and cut the emotional cords to it, once and for all. Otherwise the shock will continue to reverberate throughout your life. Pinpoint the grievous loss you’ve experienced and create a ceremony to celebrate and mourn what you once had. Then cease the mourning, close the door on it, and open the next door. In creating this part of the ceremony, immerse yourself in symbolism that evokes letting go, freeing yourself, cleansing yourself, emerging into a new phase of your life. Choose a specific song, image, or idea to represent this new phase. Make it as vivid and exciting as possible. When you start trying to return to old patterns of thought, reconnecting the emotional cords to your grief (which usually happens - we humans are creatures of habit), immediately place the new concept in your mind and overwrite the old pattern. If you follow this practice, you’ll soon discover that your focus has changed from the dead past to the living present. You’ll be able to direct your energy to creating a way forward, rather than dwelling on what you’ve left behind.

Today's card for you, Monday, September 2

Le Monde (The World)

This card is from the Piatnik deck by Rudolph Pointner, published in 1974 in Vienna.

This card is from the Piatnik deck by Rudolph Pointner, published in 1974 in Vienna.

You’re on the verge of completing a project that is close to your heart and has been a long time in the making. You’ll have to pull together a few last details in order to finish, but you’re almost done. Look back on how far you’ve come and congratulate yourself! You’re a different person now than you were when you started - more experienced, more thoughtful, more spiritually aware. If this doesn’t ring true to you, then this card is coming up today to remind you of a grand project which you may have forgotten or given up in discouragement. It’s still in the realm of possibility and you’ve made more progress on it than you realize. Now the time is right to get back to work on it and bring it to fruition. Think of the process as a journey on an unknown path. There will be many twists and turns and a few dead ends where you’ll have to stop and choose another approach. But these are all a necessary part of the experience. Know that you have powerful guides supporting you and giving you the tools to achieve your goal.

Today's card for you, Sunday, September 1

L’Empereur (The Emperor)

This card is from the Piatnik deck by Rudolph Pointner, published in 1974 in Vienna.

This card is from the Piatnik deck by Rudolph Pointner, published in 1974 in Vienna.

The Emperor represents traditional authority and imposing a coherent structure on chaos. He's a "my way or the highway" type - he wants the best for his subjects, but he doesn't tolerate insubordination. He sets strict rules and expects obedience and effective organization. It might be time for you to embody some of the Emperor's qualities in order to get your life together. You could be held back by lack of focus and discipline, either your own or another's. Someone might need a swift kick in the butt and an admonishment to get with the program! Don't be afraid to step into the leadership role and take charge.