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21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- Step NINETEEN

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step 19
RWS 5 of Swords

Song used-
The Winner Takes it All by ABBA:
Music & Lyrics by Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson


At what stage in the song does your particular situation come in?

The chorus/title of the song, I think captures the conflict after it dissipates:

“The winner takes it all, the loser standing small
Beside the victory, that's her destiny”


It appears as if, by looking from the outside in, that we know exactly who is the winner and who is the loser.

What happens in the story before and after this point?

What leads up to the conflict, I think, is a false sense of security. Either a case of not knowing a person well enough and placing trust in them or having known a person too long…taking them for granted…assuming all is well when it is not:

“I don't wanna talk about things we've gone through
Though it's hurting me, now it's history…”


There is a feeling of having seen and/or heard too much:

“I’ve played all my cards and that’s what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say, no more ace to play”


In believing too much that all was well, or in quickly dismissing ill conceived behavior, one looks away not trusting what the inner self is saying. The part that wishes to remain comfortable only thinks of the good times, the safety in
the past:

“I was in your arms, thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense, building me a fence
Building me a home, thinking I’d be strong there
But I was a fool, playing by the rules”


So reality steps in and suddenly it is apparent that I did not play by the rules. That I was in fact standing on a pile of flimsy set of values. Values that needed tweaking, badly:

“The gods may throw a dice, their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here, loses someone dear
The winner takes it all, the loser has to fall
It's simple and it's plain, why should I complain”


So something happened, something rather meaningless, not directly correlated to the problem. An excuse arises to fight, to breakthrough (if unconsciously) the rut that has evolved, and a conflict is created.
After there maybe regrets, self-doubt, shock, not only by the loser, but the winner as well:

“ The judges will decide, the likes of me abide
Spectators of the show, always staying low
The game is on again, a lover or a friend
A big thing or a small, the winner takes it all”


The reason I say winner AND loser is because when I see RWS 5 of Swords as a whole, I see both dynamics in me, regardless of situations or the many persons (outside of myself) involved. I speaking about myself.

What might these suggest about possible motivations and future choices?

That first I have to strengthen my value system and the only way to do this is through self-esteem/self-discipline. It all begins within, my own relationship with myself. I think I also have to stop fearing adversity. Not so much court it, but if there is a need to speak up, to do so. There is a way to bring up a point of contention without yelling and screaming. Adversity can be productive if you make it so.

How might you rewrite the end of the song to allow for other options?

I would say:
regardless of the plan, the gift remains still
will never forget all that you have meant…


(this is true) victory, (in this) destiny.
It’s simple and it’s plain, why should I complain”
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Abba


Not one of my favorite Abba songs but it was a great choice in the way you used it for this step. You have worked hard and I see that you realize that you have made lots of progress.

Just a note, we will use the next several weeks to rest and to consider how or what we will do for the Adept Level of the book. Any suggestions are welcome. Dave
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21 ways to read a tarot card - step 19


Step 19.1 Based on your chosen card, find a myth, story, fairytale, movie or even a song that in some way fits the card and what you’ve previously said about it.

I’ve chosen Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

At what stage in the story does your particular situation come in?

At the end of the story when Elizabeth and Mr Darcy marry along with Mr Bingley and Jane Bennett.

What happens in the story before and after this point?

Before ~ Elizabeth takes a dislike to Mr Darcy after overhearing a remark he made, this feeling intensifies when she is told a story by Mr Wickham about how he was done a wrong when Darcy’s father died. Elizabeth goes to visit Charlotte and is thrown into daily meetings with Mr Darcy, whom eventually proposes and is turned down by Elizabeth. Mr Darcy gives Elizabeth a letter, which explains a few things and she starts to see him in a new light. This is compounded when Darcy protects her sister Lydia and the family from scandal. After more interference from Darcy’s aunt Darcy and Elizabeth eventually become engaged and marry.

After ~ Everyone lives happily ever after.

What might these suggest about possible motivations and future choices?

Don’t judge a book by the cover. There is always a reason a person behaves in a certain way. If you take the time to get to know a person then you will get to know the real them and not what they portray.

How might you rewrite the end to allow other options?

I don’t think you could rewrite this story, its one of my favourite books and I love the way Elizabeth slowly gets to see the real Darcy and fall in love with him, despite a terrible start to their relationship.

nicki
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I've tried to do this step with no luck. I've decided to pass and go on to Step 20. Maybe I'll come back at a later time.
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21 ways step 19


Druidcraft
The Hermit

It would seem appropriate to look into the Druid traditions that accompany the deck and look at the story associated with the Hermit

The Druid story is about king Comac and his struggle to get his wife and children back. They have been abducted by an unknown warrior. Cormac sets off with his army to get them back from the otherworld. A mist comes and separates him from his army. He comes across a well. He is alone. The well is the well of Segais. This well is surrounded by nine hazel trees. These trees drop hazelnuts in the water, where five salmon swim. Hazelnuts represent wisdom in the druid world. The salmon by eating these nuts are the salmon of wisdom. From the well flow 5 streams, these represent the 5 senses. The well itself represents the spirit of man deep within. The god of the sea, Manannan, who reunites Comac with his children and wife, explains that the wise drink from the 5 streams and the well. The God was the unknown warrior.

The idea back this is that the wise seek solitude. We have to be by ourselves not distracted by worldly things or people (his family) to achieve a state of calm, so we might achieve wisdom.
The wise truly experience their senses and their inner self. Water seems to be the conduit to self-awareness. That is emotions and feelings are the way to wisdom. The well must represent the deepness inside us. That we have to delve deep to achieve wisdom. All this connects to the Hermit.

I see the Hermit as both the King Comac and the god Manannan. The Hermit as the god, guiding the king to wisdom and showing him that it must be done alone and in solitude. The Hermit as the Kings, having to use his senses and having to delve deep into himself to gain wisdom.

The water is interesting as it lays weight on emotions and feelings as the way to wisdom. The Hermit according to Golden Dawn is of the Earth, the French: fire and Egyptian: air (according to appendix C).

The story in itself does not need to be changed or altered I feel. However I think it underlines the fact that our emotions and feeling are so important in the journey of self discovery.

I originally bought the DruidCraft deck because I liked the pictures. I realise now that the druid myths and legends have so much to offer.

Verdi
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I've chosen another card. Perhaps because I'm still quite new to Tarot, I can't settle down with one card for very long. Maybe I'm just shallow! In any case, I have been thinking about the Strength card so I decided to focus on that for this exercise.

The Tarot of Prague Strength card shows a beautiful woman with long red hair bending down slightly and holding open the mouth of a reclining lion. The first story that I thought of was the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. In the story, a ferocious beast holds a beautiful young woman captive. He falls in love with her and wants to marry her, but although she grows fond of him she does not want to marry him. He allows her to leave his palace to visit her family, but she has to agree to return in one week. While at home, she is persuaded to stay another week. Soon she regrets her decision, though, and returns to the beast, who has nearly died from his broken heart. Beauty realizes she does love him after all and begins to weep. Her tears turn him into a handsome prince, etc.

The scene that is pictured on my card occurs somewhere in the middle of the story. It doesn't actually exist in the story, but it could, for example, in the evening, when Beauty and the Beast are having one of their regular conversations. The Beast might accuse her of being afraid of him, afraid to touch him. She would deny it. And then he might open his mouth and let out a roar, and Beauty would feel scared, and perhaps a little repulsed, but she would walk over to him, and just to prove to both him and herself that she was brave, she would put both her hands into his mouth.

This would be a telling moment for both of them because it would be the first time she would have reached out to touch him. She would no longer fear him because they would both realize that he would never be able to do her any harm. Looking into his eyes, she would realize that she could trust him totally. In a way, this does happen in the story, even though it is more of a gradual process and doesn't happen in this way. She does grow to understand that he won't harm her, and of course he knows it too.

So the story could continue on from this point as originally written.

I could imagine a different ending to this story, from this point, although by no means do I think it is an improvement on the original tale.

At the moment that she looks into his eyes, the Beast could disappear. By overcoming her fear, she would have absorbed his being into her own. She would then discover that she was as brave as a lion. And she would have the knowledge that it was the combination of her own courage and kindness (and of course beauty) that made this transformation possible.

The problem ending, in addition to its being totally unromantic, is that Beauty is now alone in the world. But the story could end with her welcoming the surrounding village into the palace that had been closed off for many years. There would be great rejoicing, etc., and she would still be young and beautiful, so no doubt a neighboring prince would hear about her, etc., etc.
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21 Ways Step Nineteen RWS The Emperor


19-1

I chose Grapes of Wrath because of Ma Joad. To me it is an illustration of archetypal energy at work. She did not choose this role it was thrust on her as Pa Joad retreated from being the head of the family. Because the Emperor’s archetype was part of her psyche, she was able to rise to the occasion. “…inner intent that may surprise your conscious self.” -Greer

- When does my situation come in?

As Pa Joad leadership weakens, Ma Joad began to take charge this was first seen when the grandparents died and their youngest son ran away. Ma Joad was deeply affected by those losses because to her keeping the family unit together was of utmost importance. “Faced with these losses, Ma Joad demonstrates her strength as never before.”

- What happens before and after?'

Ma Joad was a traditional wife/mother who knew her place, i.e. Casy helps Ma Joad salt the meat. Despite her protests that salting is women's work.

Even though Pa Joad loved his family and cherished his role as the head, the hardships faced by the Joads prove too great for him. In the end, “…he follows Ma as blindly and helplessly as a child.”

The ability to act decisively, and to act for the family's good, enables Ma to lead the Joads when Pa begins to falter and hesitate.

- What might these suggest about possible motivational and future choices?

This is a toughie. Ma Joad’s choices were to either step up and take charge or watch the family disintegrate completely.

- How I might write the end of the story to allow other options?

At one point Pa Joad attempted to build a dam to protect the family from losing all of their possessions and maybe even their home during a rain and subsequent destructive mudslides. A tree fell and destroyed the dam, which devastated him to the point he withdrew into himself.

A new ending could be that the dam was built and served its purpose successfully. This would imbue Pa Joad with renewed faith in himself wherin he could once again become the head of his family.

Interestingly as I was going through this excercise, I saw the energy of Death and the 4/p.

I didn’t feel as if I had the time to re-read The Grapes of Wrath, so I relied on Spark notes to see me through this. Isn’t that’s what the partying college students do? (smiles) Although I wasn’t partying”
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21 ways - step 19 - crow's magick page of cups


the myth would be one of a fearless and maybe a bit naïve young man. there are a number of them – the one that fits the best is a brother’s grimm story that is not very well known in english speaking circles: “the story of one who went out to learn about fear”.

a synopsis: a young man, who had never felt fear and was curious about it, leaves home to learn about it. he sleeps under a gallows, rings the midnight bell in a spooky cemetery chapel – nothing fazes him. finally he lands in a haunted castle but even there the terrible ghosts don’t teach him about fear, and he lifts the curse that the castle had been under. as a reward, the king gives him his daughter for a wife. but still he does not know fear! he keeps complaining about it. then one night his wife empties a pail of cold water with little wiggly fish in them over his deeply sleeping body. he wakes up, screams and exclaims: “now i know about fear!”

at what stage in the story does my card’s situation come in?
at the beginning, when he leaves home.

what happens in the story before and after?
before: in the story, he is one of two sons, the more dreamy, less serious and therefore “useless” son. his father is getting fed up with him, gives him 50 talers and tells him to get lost. that doesn’t bother the son, he just goes off on his adventure.

what might these suggest about possible motivations and future choices?
the fearless, fun and somewhat naïve adventure-seeker definitely feels like a motivating force. the father who can’t get rid of him soon enough is not there; actually, so far i have only “seen” a mother (the cup). it does raise the question about the father, though! huh. never thought of that until now.

going on adventures – absolutely. that is what i was looking for when i was looking for an appropriate myth. it’s interesting, though, that it is all about an emotion (fear) and the cups is the suit of emotions. what that makes me think (!) of is how emotions by themselves can have pretty serious blind spots. a well-balanced person moves easily between emotion and thought. going out to learn about fear is, in a strange way, a rational process: “hm, i have all these emotions, but there is one missing, okay, i’ll go out and find it.” and now as i am saying it, i also see the commitment to action, which can be more a wands thing (although i know some people see actions also in the swords.) i’ve never seen the page of cups card as a “seeking completion” type of card. interesting. however, the page of cups, as opposed to the young man in the story, does NOT strike me as someone who consciously goes out like that. the page of cups is just this yippy little puppy who wants to go out and play

how would i rewrite the myth to allow other options? what comes up is that i don’t want to do that. i don’t want to write a script for the page of cups, at least not in this situation. if i did that what comes to me is that it would be like the interfering mother who can’t let go, pushing her son to become a doctor or lawyer or some such thing. i don’t know what the page of cup wants for his future, and that’s as it should be. that is interesting in and of itself! of course, if the card came up in a reading, that’s a different story (literally

btw, i just found a video of a motorcycle trip to the sound of enigma's "page of cups". perfect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkjpW_qrMZI
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Step NINETEEN~Tarot of Vampyres~The Empress


I was standing below my apple tree in the garden yesterday and the green apples reminded me of this Empress. I remembered that I still have a few steps to finish so here we go.

I have always seen this card in connection with the Snow White Fairy tale. In Step FOUR I wrote the following: “Somehow I see think Empress could very well be the Evil Queen from the Snow While and yet I do not think she is actually evil at all. She is like the Mother Goddess who has both dark and light aspects. Much like any human mother or any human being. I think this Empress is more interesting with all this depth than the average “all good” Empresses from many traditional RWS decks.”

At what point in your myth-story-tale-movie-song (mstms) does your card enter in?
I think the card is entering when Snow White has moved into the cottage with the dwarves. I see the Empress standing out in the garden and looking at the small cottage wondering why the girl moved in and pondering her options. She knows Snow White will have to grow and become an adult and she can´t go on playing house with the dwarves all her life. She must face her adult life, meet her Prince (-be ready when the prince comes) and move on. The Empress knows she can help with the process. I don´t think she is evil. She is more like a Force of Nature.

What happens in the mstms before and after your card's placement? – I think after this the Empress transforms herself into an ugly old woman and sells Snow White the comb and the apple and whatever - just like in the tale.

What might these before and after portions of the mstms suggest about motivations and choices?
I think the Empress is a Goddess and a powerful Force of Nature and her motivation is not good or bad but just life; moving on, getting things to ripen and mature and produce fruit. The Goddess dislikes stagnation and wants to get things moving and keep the eternal cycles going.

How might you re-write the end of the mstms to allow other options? –Well, I think I would make the Empress *whole* in that she would contain both the Evil Witch Queen and the good Queen Mother (who died when the story began). She would enjoy the wedding party and drink lots of champagne and dance till dawn. She would love the fact that Snow White finally grew up and she´d be looking forward to having grandchildren around to show her magic mirror and teach her magic to!
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