Card Interpretations & Combinations


Hemera & I have both agreed that it might be a good idea to start a thread concerning alternate interpretations in regards to these cards. This thread will be dedicated to interpretations that have come about as we use the deck. I will also be providing the LWB interpretations and my understanding of how these have manifested given a particular situation. I generally meditate on these LWB sayings with each draw, and have found them applicable in context though somewhat confusing by themselves.


9 of Swords/9 of Cups

9 of Swords LWB:
"When you do not have the strength to fight, look for an immaculate point inside yourself where you cannot be hurt. Then nothing can harm you"

9 of Cups LWB:
"Beware of what you desire, because what you desire will be what you will become"

Card images here

Within the picture of the 9/cups we see a man within a ring of cups that are glowing. He appears to have fangs like a vampire. Behind him lays a body of a woman in white with her chest splattered with blood.

Within the picture of the 9/swords, a woman lays surrounded by 9 swords pointing inward, though her head or crown is not encompassed by swords. She is dressed in white and has two pinpricks of blood on her neck. She clutches a cross in her right hand.

These two cards appear quite frequently of late in spreads for me. I have come to interpret this pairing as:

A psychic leeching/draining

This could be in instances when you are a broadcaster or receiver. This may involve the utilization of empathic abilities, connecting to the energies of others, applying your own energy to a situation, or being under attack (attack could refer to a situation that is drawing all your mental energy leaving you exhausted or troubled).

The two cards could represent two parties in a situation, or two elements of a situation coming together to cause the drain.

The LWB interpretation of the 9/cups applied to another person who wanted to be 'connected' to me when I was in a troubling situation. I believe she wanted to channel some of that energy away from me, but she left a bit of an inprint.

The 9/swords interpretation came to me as I was broadcasting some negative 'panic' energy. I had been in some deep meditation when the situation arose, and couldn't mentally reach that 'place within where nothing could harm me'.


9 Swords & 9 Cups

This is a very special pair of cards as they seem to show the same scene. The scene is tragic but for some reson I see the cards also as positive. The 9 of Swords is maybe less positive since she is the victim but it is the end of a cycle for her. This card makes me remember how the death of an antelope may look gruesome but the lion gets food for his cubs and it´s really the way of nature and the cycle of things. Maybe it was time for the antelope to give his life for the lion and her cubs?
The 9/cups is for me often the "Finally getting what you have always wanted"-card. And so here, too. I can´t help thinking of the lion or maybe a Wolf who has finally caught something to eat. The scene is bloody and makes us a bit uncomfortable but the man is truly empowered and extatic and somehow it just makes me feel good!

Naturally the interpretation depends on the question and the spread and the intuition of the reader and all that stuff. But I just wanted to to say that this card may not be as bad as it looks at first.


9/swords & 9/cups

That's brilliant Hemera!

I never thought of it in that way. Would sort of break apart the two phases of the Death card, now wouldn't it? Death/Rebirth

Death to the Ego, Rebirth of our True Self... our passions, desires, what carries us forward etc..



I like predators and I always like to put in a good word for them :p They have their place and function in the ecosystem but people always seem to abhor them.
Yes, death and rebirth. Or maybe the Wheel?


Justice & 4/Chalices

This is a curious pair. They could be sisters or it could even be the same lady in both cards. Their posture is the same. There´s a tree/pillar behind them and water/cups in front of them and they are both looking down at the water. Their left hand is up and on their right hand they are holding something. Justice is holding the scales (which actually has two metal Cups!-like the metal Cups in the other card. Is that significant?). The other lady is holding a letter. Justice has the pair of wolves on the background (-duality there again!) Both ladies have gowns of matching color and both wear headbands. Both look very quiet and introspective and they don´t seem to want to interfere in the flow of things but rather just be still and look at the situation.

Four of Cups is here:


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4/chalices & Justice

This is really interesting Hemera, especially since there's some debate on whether Major 8/11 should be interchangable. There would be some continuity then between the 4's and 8's as a higher octave of one another. An idea to explore maybe?

Here's what I have in my book Who Are You In The Tarot? by Mary K. Greer who follows the Golden Dawn tradition. These descriptions are based on your Soul Card and inner action/truth (and also corresponds to the other octave of the number (either 17 STAR or 2 HIGH PRIESTESS), so take from it what you will:

Justice as the Number 8 "If you see the Justice card as embodying the number 8, then the focus of this constellation is on cooler, more intellectual characteristics such as those found in the corresponding air signs Libra and Aquarius. This is still the constellation of the visionary and innovator. An idealistic desire for social justice is more defined, along with a draw to social activism and humanitarian causes. The Star's vision of universal rights becomes the inspiration for action but may get lost in abstract principles. Truth, justice, and integrity serve as the basis of your convictions and self-esteem. The Star's sense of personal destiny involves turning hopes and ideals into the soul's need for a higher Justice. Reason is seen here as the basis of the urge to cultivate, civilize, and conserve, rather than arising from instinct and desire. If you are a signle 8, then issues of justice and injustice and of maintaining one's natural rights become paramount." pg 150-151

Strength as the Number 11 If you see the Strength card as embodying the number 11, then the focus of this constellation is on how the feminine responds both inwardly and outwardly to the call to resurrection or a new life of the Spirit. It indicates that good judgment is having the strength to act outwardly on your inner wisdom. It takes faith (the High Priestess) to hold fast to our natural instincts when challenged by Judgment. Strength is the power and resolve that is needed when the High Priestess answers a higher calling or responds to a time of great crisis and change. Strength represents the laws of Nature - "tooth and claw" - rather than the human law represented by Justice. This alternative view suggests that rather than intuition and reason being united, the focus is on body and soul uniting as is prophesied for the Last Judgment." pg. 82

Don't know about you, but the pictoral images seems to lend themselves to these descriptions. Strength is pretty ferocious!!! Hair color in Strength and HP as well as Justice/Star are similar too. Whatcha think?


The Star & 3 of Pentacles

I got this card combo in the outcome position of a celtic cross about a week ago (both were reversed). It's taken a little while for me to figure it out, but it was in relation to a friend of mine.

Turns out he submitted an English paper that required rigorous Work Cited references, and because he was working on a different edition of the book he was falsely accused of plagiarism !! I can see how the 3 of Pentacles could align with this idea as he is copying the RWS image of the 3 of Pentacles!

The Star's influence came as a calming conclusion as he was able to point out to his teacher that he was using the edition mentioned in the syllabus.


4/Swords & 5/Chalices

I got these cards as Card of the Day on successive days this week and I was quite surprised that I had not paid attention to their striking similarity before. I first drew 4/Swords on Wednesday and it was spot on for that day. Then on Thursday I drew 5/Chalices and my first thought was "What, again the same card!"

Both depict a mourning woman who has collapsed by a tomb. The differences are:
4/Swords: the lady is a brunette, she is bleeding, there is a man´s statue on the tomb.
5/Swords: The woman is blonde, vines are growing on the tombstone (sign of life) and the man is alive and walking towards the woman.


Magician/4 of Swords

Does this combination look like a resurrection to you Hemera? Weirdest pairing I've gotten in a CC position #6 (near future) in a long time. I interpretted it as 'coming back to life, leaving the period of rest behind'

But I'm wondering now about the 4/swords. Could it relate back to Isis/Osiris and how she brought him back from the underworld?

This would definitely point towards the idea of the spirit descending into the body at the point of creation for the Magician (like I discussed in the Devil thread!)