Archive for the ‘ Talking Tarot ’ Category

Letting Go and Dealing with “Death”

8: Death (Tarot deck unknown)

Don’t let the name of the card discourage you just because it’s Death.  I can’t tell you how many times people freaked out and said “Oh my God! It’s Death!!! Am I going to die?!” I just laugh because part of this card’s message is about the unknown.  This card is misunderstood on many levels so let me clear up the unknown message here.

We are all going through a transition while here in college.  A lot of it has to do with ending things and beginning a new opportunity.  That is the main message that the Death card entails; the death of something but the birth of something else.  Now, we all know that the human body eventually dies off so there is no subject like that whatsoever regarding this card; it is not physical death.  It’s basically about change—ending something, but beginning something else in its place.

Some decks draw Death as a skeletal figure dressed as a Knight riding on a horse.  I chose to illustrate the Deviant Moon Tarot deck, obviously very differently illustrated, because I found that this illustration had a better picture of what’s going on.  Picture if you will the little creature being trampled upon as the person that is you that you want to change.  The bigger creature is then you that you should be transforming yourself into.  Basically what I’m trying to say is that we need to stop our old habits and move on.  The creatures illustrated are also drawn with a skeletal head of a horse.  This represents our basic instinct of when we know when it’s time to let go.  There is also a ship in the background which symbolizes our old habits being sailed away.

Forgiveness is another message Death generates.  It’s to “bury the hatchet” and let go of our rage and bitterness.  Having done that, Death will give us energy to give a whole new perspective on attentiveness and development.   But the flip side is that not many of us are so easily accustomed to change.  Even though in our minds we may know that it’s time to move on, we subconsciously create a wall of excuses and we stay where we are.  It kind of serves as a security blanket because of the familiarity it provides.  So we may stay in an emotionally harmful relationship or a bad job all because we know what to expect and are too afraid to see what else is out there; what may be available in the future—the unknown.  But if we build up the strength to let all the old habits go, we can create for ourselves a more genuine experience.

But to gain this experience, we must be able to create closure, forgive, and basically just let go of what might be standing in the way of our future plans.  The “shadow” side to the Death card is that you could end up ending the relationship or projects in an untimely way or as the book by Paul Quinn, Tarot for Life, states “affecting an attitude of nonattachment as a defense against the fear of loss.”  This means that we could be denying the truth when we’ve lost something or refusing to let go and move on.

So, like it is portrayed in the Death card shown, overpower your old self, let the ship take away your old bad habits, and begin something that you’ll really appreciate in the end.  One last sentence that Quinn said that stuck with me also was, “the ego’s fears of losing control are as intense as its terrors of a literal demise.”

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Let the Chariot Pull and Go Forth

From the Rider Waite Tarot

So here we are again in our first, second, third, or final year at Marist College.  We are all entering into a state of shock probably wondering where the time went.  College is a place where you test your individuality and face what you fear the most.  What most of us call the “real world” starts, what we think, to be when we’re out of college.  But really, it starts here, today, in the present of reality.

The Chariot signifies us facing away from our past and from our confinement of childhood (let’s face it, most of our parents still tried to control us in high school) to prepare ourselves to venture into the world of college to prove a larger world waiting for us in the near future.  To be prepared for such an adventure that we may or may not be ready for, we must be courageous and we must be purposefully charging ourselves into the challenges that are set in our way for advancement.  The Chariot’s number, seven, signifies just that: advancement.  Paul Quinn’s Tarot for Life does excellent comparisons.

As we leave the comfort of our home, we bring with us parting gifts from our loved ones.  These parting gifts that we take with us symbolize the love that our family has for us.  It is not only difficult for us to leave the flock, but for our parents to see us sore into adulthood.  We see the Chariot’s rider holding the Magician’s wand which shows the riders ambition and power to manifest what he wants the most out of this life journey.  The two sphinx like creatures at the bottom represent our polar opposites within ourselves that will ultimately pull the chariot in the right direction.

They serve as our protection and our conscious self to make sure that our ego does not get involved when making decisions.  The very idea that we are finally on our own away from our parents can often lead to zealous behavior which then conflicts with our ego and those who are in our path of our chariot get trampled along the way.  This can also be caused by the fact that we are afraid of being on our own.

Notice the invisible reins that are controlled not by us, but by a higher authority.  This could be a professor that we become close to and that will help us to achieve what we want the most.  These professors can help us to move beyond our ego-driven selves to see the bigger picture that living life doesn’t have to be done alone.  We are not solely in charge when we don’t want to be; there will always be help.

Getting back to the two sphinx like creatures, notice that they are both looking in opposite directions.  This signifies our opposing directions in which we may not know which path to take.  This could mean that you may have a thought that you want to pursue, but a rational doubtful thought stands in your way.  You must have self-trust to overcome this thought and understand that your ambition and self-driven awareness that college is where you want to be is the right path for you.  You chose this path to college in the understanding that this experience will lead to a better life.  Rather than waiting for things to get better, just say “Screw it” and let the chariot pull full force into what you’re life entails.  Eventually, these opposing paths will reconcile.

Although the Chariot has many good things to say about moving forward, you must be aware of the “shadow” side of this card.  Don’t think that the only way of receiving good credit from those you love is through achievement of work.  Family will always support you no matter what.  Don’t let this thought succumb to low-drive, just go for it.  You’re here now for a reason, don’t think, just go.