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Understanding the Tarot** Lesson Two


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#1 Holly

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 06:29 PM

All of the Major Arcana cards will be explained in this thread, 5 or 6 at a time.

During a reading, a Major Arcana card always adds an extra amount of depth. They are more intense, more forceful than the Minor Arcana. They press an issue to the nth degree.
The Major Arcana represents our journey through life, beginning as an innocent youngster (The Fool) and culminating with a personal understanding of life and surroundings. (The World)

As I explain each card, I'll be listing opposing and supporting cards. They may not make sense to you right now, but they will begin to as we move along.
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#2 Holly

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 06:36 PM

Appropriately, the Fool indicates a beginning. The journey is about to start. Face a new situation and address it with spontaneity and trust. Embrace all the experiences that are about to lay themselves at your feet. You may, at times, stand alone, but your trust in yourself helps you to always see the wonders of life. You're about to take a huge, beginning step - keep an eye on your path while taking a detour every now and then just to enjoy the view.

Reversed

You may have the same desire as the upright Fool, but there may be a foolhardy decision made. The satchel will lose its contents, the flower falls from the Fool's hand.


Opposing Cards

Hierophant - following routine
Two of Swords - Sense of order

Supporting Cards

Judgement - rebirth
The Star - trust, confidence

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:43 PM.

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#3 Holly

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 06:42 PM

A man of concentration, the Magician is an achiever. He stands with one arm pointing towards the Universe, the other towards the Earth. He thus combines inspiration with remaining grounded. He has all the tools on his table and will create with them, using his passion and thought.

Reversed

The tools fall, scattering his ability, resulting in an inadequate use of talent. His creativity now will be only mediocre.

Opposing Cards

Seven of Cups - unable to focus
Eight of swords - confused

Supporting Cards

The Chariot - forceful, concentration
Eight of Pentacles - productive

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:44 PM.

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#4 Holly

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 06:50 PM

A woman of mystery and intuition, the High Priestess encourages us to see below the surface. She is kind and gentle, but wise enough to know that things should not always be taken at face value. She holds a Torah (truth), but it is half hidden. Draw it out through seeing the potential. J and B on the pillars represent Joachin (positive)and Boah (negative). The crescent moons are the power of intuition. The High Priestess would like us to take a step back from a situation we may be too close to. Trust your inner voice.

Reversed

Her psychic energy is confused and she is less than honest with herself. The truth is not as easily attainable because the Torah has fallen from her lap.

Opposing Cards

Seven of Wands - aggressiveness
The Magician - Acting consciously

Supporting Cards

The Hermit - looking inward
Four of Swords - contemplation

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:45 PM.

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#5 Holly

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 06:56 PM

Completely maternal in nature, the Empress is the archetypal Mother Earth. She is content, happy and nurturing. She would like us to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. She symbolizes abundance, as is evidenced by the wheat and trees surrounding her. Venus, on her shield, represents love.

Reversed

The Empress is somewhat uncomfortable now. Something is lacking in her home life. There is no understanding. She encourages us to pay attention to that before it becomes a larger problem.

Opposing Cards

Four of Pentacles - possessiveness
The Emperor - Fathering

Supporting Cards

Ten of Pentacles - physical comfort
The Lovers - pleasure

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:46 PM.

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#6 Holly

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 07:04 PM

The Emperor is a strict father figure. He is stern, sitting ramrod straight in a concrete throne and epitomizes authority. He is associated with legal matters and our dealings with them. He encourages organization and structure. The ram's heads indicate War...He would be a wonderful General, such is his nature. The Ankh is wisdom. With red robes and a purple throne, he is indicative of royalty.

Reversed

The Emperor has fallen from his seat of comfort. He is a bit more timid now and his armor seems to be more in evidence. He is more guarded in this different, uncomfortable situation.

Opposing Cards

Seven of Cups - lack of order
Five of Swords - bending the rules

Supporting Cards

Three of Wands - assume leadership
Justice - concerns of a legal nature

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:47 PM.

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#7 Holly

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 07:14 PM

The Hierophant stands for conformity and development within a culture. He endorses education. He believes social approval is important and oversees structured organizations. He appreciates rules, rituals and facts. He follows the guideline of "What's good for the whole is good for you". The Hierophant colors within the lines at all times and always does what is expected of him. Two clergymen pay homage at his feet.

Reversed

Unconventional behavior and unorthodox ideas abound. People seek answers within the metaphysical studies rather than through established venues. The clergymen rise above him, which unsettles the Hierophant.

Opposing Cards

Two of Pentacles - changing with the times
The Fool - being unconventional

Supporting Cards

Three of Cups - focusing on the group
The Emperor - following the rules

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:47 PM.

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#8 hawkerdriver

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 05:50 AM

Holly, what does 'reversed' mean?  Does it mean that when it was laid out it was upside down?    I've noticed that some of the cards mean one thing but when either supporting or opposing they have a slightly different meaning, true?

Could the Emperor also respresent rules?  Could I add that definition to him?

How long do I have to memorize and digest this information until you make another installment?


OH!  Did I miss lesson one?  I can't find it or is this thread the beginning of our studies?   (I'm digging this!!!)
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#9 MoonChild

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 10:24 AM

I assume reversed means when we pick up the card, it comes headds down!
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#10 Holly

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 05:42 PM

The card is considered reversed, when it appears upside down in a spread to you, the reader. I don't mean that the card itself is upside down so that you see the back of it...I mean the picture faces the person you are reading for, and you are viewing it upside down. If you own a deck, when you are reading the reversed definitions, it helps to actually turn the card upside down. You'll be better able to visualize my descriptions...


(You see how his armor is more apparent in a reversed position?)

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Supporting and opposing cards add a higher intensity to a card, or diminish it's importance. I'm going to do some sample spreads at the end of the card explanations, and you'll understand -
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I'm going to be posting this every day at about the rate of 5-6 per day...I'm just about to start today's additions.
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Yes, "Rules" could certainly be added to the definition of The Emperor -
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And I'd like to thank everyone also for their kind IM's, and for your posts, Hawker and Moon! I'm glad you're all enjoying this!
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Oh, Hawker, Lesson One is a history of the Tarot, etc...You'll see it when you scroll down a bit!

Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:48 PM.

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#11 Holly

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 05:49 PM

The Lovers want a relationship to be balanced. The angel blesses the union. This Major Arcana card symbolized love on all levels - spiritual, physical and emotional. The Lovers may be at a moral crossroad at this time. If other signs are in evidence, it may be time to choose a new direction, ethically.

Reversed

The mountain seems to divide The Lovers, representing obstacles. They make a decision that is unfulfilling.

Opposing Cards

Five of Cups - Loss in a relationship
Three of Swords - rejection

Supporting Cards

Ten of Pentacles - permanent unions
Nine of Cups - sexual pleasure

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:49 PM.

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#12 Holly

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 05:58 PM

The Chariot

The Chariot encourages us to be assertive. There is a goal to be met and perseverance is necessary. The driver needs no reins to manage the Chariot - He has complete control through stamina and focus. He is self-assured and has great strength. The sphinxes represent the negative and positive aspects of the pending goal. The Chariot assures us that we must be firm and we will overcome the competition.

Reversed

The Chariot driver is having a problem maintaining focus. It's difficult to follow the guidelines he has set up for success. There are now loose ends. He needs to rest, re-group and begin again.

Opposing Cards

Strength - soft control
Eight of Swords - confusion

Supporting Cards

Four of Pentacles - control
Six of Wands - triumph

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:50 PM.

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#13 Holly

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 06:04 PM

Strength

The woman symbolizes strength in its most effectve form. With gentleness and compassion she,in fact,has more power than any amount of physical force could bring to her. The infinity sign is above her head, flowers decorate her head and waist. She has earned the respect of the lion who responds to her gentle ways. Her inner strength and composure will get for her the things she needs.

Reversed

The lion is in control. Fear is overcoming the woman. Loss of composure alarms her and she determines that she must devote total attention to the lion.

Supporting Cards

Hanged Man - patience
Nine of Wands - stamina

Opposing Cards

The Chariot - strict control
Six of Swords - apathy

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:51 PM.

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#14 Holly

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 06:20 PM

The Hermit implies that we may need some time alone. He offers silent counsel and wise advice. He believes all answers lie within us and he encourages us to do some introspective soul-searching. Look beneath the surface of your surroundings to find the truth. The Hermit is alone but he is not lonely.

Reversed

The lantern of truth is dimming. We still have dreams but are doing nothing within to make them come true. We must learn from past mistakes and not disregard the wisdom that is being offered to us.

Supporting Cards

High Priestess - look inward
Seven of Swords - staying away from others

Opposing Cards

The World - involvement with the world
Two of Cups - partnerships

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:52 PM.

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#15 Holly

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Posted 30 July 2004 - 06:32 PM

The Wheel of Fortune is one of the few cards without a man or woman on which to focus. The Universe is the central point of the card. It acknowledges that we are all part of a bigger plan. The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes an upcoming moment of great clarity, a possible detour on out journey, a request to assess our location at this time. Four fixed signs of the Zodiac are present - Aquarius(Angel), Scorpio(Eagle), Taurus(Bull) and Leo(Lion).

Reversed

Your moment of resolve is not as apparent. The animals and the angel are about to drop their books of knowledge. The situation continues to stagnate rather than see its way clear.

Supporting Cards

Eight of Wands - fast movement
Two of Wands - - materialization of plan's success

Opposing Cards

Four of Pentacles - stagnation
Four of Swords - quiet, slow

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Edited by Holly, 16 January 2006 - 04:53 PM.

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