1 - The Magician
(Upright) This is the most creative and proficient card in the deck. It exhibits a sense of potency, effectiveness, sexuality and command of all four (4) elements through having unity within ourselves. The person of this quality is what others call a “shaker and a mover.” They are independent and stand alone.
(Inverted) There is a person or situation that is missing unity and integrity. Disparate parts create chaos. Parts of the person fights against themselves. This may show as combination of impotency, ineffectiveness, illness and/or absence of vitality.
(Recommendation) There is no need to look beyond our current situation or person for what is creative and teeming with potential. Blame does not solve or eliminate ineffectiveness. Take it easy. Be at home. We must work from where we are and know that we are plugged into the source. Everything can move with the ease of expertise.
2 - The High Priestess
(Upright) The person or situation is filled with secrets and potentials. This is what the Chinese refer to as the “uncarved block.” It is a wealth of potential in balance and availability. Its content is a mystery. It is how the feminine energy naturally listens and balances itself through polarities.
(Inverted) This card may indicate hidden information or harmful secrets which, if battled against, may cause stress and difficulties for the person or the situation.
(Recommendation) When we are surrounded by too many choices and potentials it’s best to quiet the outside world and listen to that small voice in the center of our heart. Listen. Stop all action. Quiet the chattering mind. Never mind what methods look better or what advantages can be deduced. Ask yourself what feels right?
3 - The Empress
(Upright) She is a mother figure and she and/or the situation are pregnant with possibilities. The beginnings are difficult but have the necessary support. The potential for expansion is tremendous.
(Inverted) There is either no nurturance available or too much. Things may be pushed to an extreme. There is a disconnect from the source leading to an absence of knowing how far to go. Barren fields grow no corn or too much water floods it. Potential illness can be a result of blocked energy or too much energy.
(Recommended) Balanced nurturance of a project or creativity is the best course of action to take now. Do it cautiously. Do it with sensitivity. Be in the moment. Our creativity is expressed best with our full focus. We must learn when is too much or too little.
4 - The Emperor
(Upright) We are in control of all four elements. We are extremely competent, sensual, grounded and can easily master the human experience. We may be a mentor, father figure or authority.
(Inverted) We can represent a corrupted authority or the quality of being out of control. Sensuality is either absent or too important to us. Materialism is overemphasized. There may be illness, physically, emotionally, mentally as a result of too much or too little self-control.
(Recommended) We have to become a lone wolf. We must move to the drumbeat of our own experience. We do not follow the status quo. In being such, we pose a threat to the tribe’s security by not supporting collusion in creating a social smoke screen that prevents the exposure of their fears and inadequacies. Depending on their self-perception we may be viewed as either selfish or a shining example. We likely cannot be fooled or constrained by any system. We are not a true believer.
5 - The Hierophant
(Upright) Our exchanges and communication will be conducted in a conventional and/or formal manner. Sometimes called the Pope the Hierophant epitomizes a conventional authority figure. We will likely behave in a way that people expect us to.
(Inverted) We are likely to do things in an unconventional or seemingly disorderly manner. We may make others feel uncomfortable or even unsafe. We may be seen as avant-garde or eccentric. In the extreme, we may even devolve into chaos.
(Recommended) Convention holds us to a pattern. Many of us feel very secure in that pattern knowing exactly what is expected. When we follow no pattern there can be unlimited possibilities. When we follow a pattern, our potential can be curtailed by its structure. We must choose which path to follow depending on the type of energy that is needed or favored.
6 - The Lovers
(Upright) There may be an important decision pending concerning the people or issues. The importance of our values behind our decisions cannot be overemphasized. Choice puts us on a path of commitment. Through our choice we may also create allies or enemies.
(Inverted) We may have either made an important decision or we may be procrastinating committing ourselves knowing that we may lose one of our options through committing to one of them. Whether our choice of acting or not is appropriate or not remains to be seen.
(Recommended) Before choosing or committing ourselves to a course of action we must ask ourselves is choosing really necessary? Choosing an option for growth is very different from choosing sides in a dispute. We must determine which choices we are confronted with. If our choice is made through our possessive animal nature it will cause conflict with the passage of time. If our decision is made with a larger scope in mind, our choice may not matter.
7 - The Chariot
(Upright) We feel we have command over our animal nature. We have full detachment. Our sensitivities are at peak potential. We feel we have a sense of command and mastery over ourselves and our environment. This may also indicate a trip by road or rail or the initiation or purchase of a “new” vehicle.
(Inverted) We feel that he have little or no control over ourselves, our environment or our issues. Our sensitivities are overwhelming us. We are unable to create distance from the influences. Our “vehicle” is in need of repair. A trip is either completed or terminated.
(Recommended) When we use our mind or “think” about our issues we can easily become overwhelmed by the polarities within its components. When we are in command of a situation, we have become a witness to our own action or somehow detached from it. Hence, we can sense it more clearly and perform more effective actions in response.
8 - Strength
(Upright) This indicates that our animal nature has been integrated with our activities. We feel power in this unity. We have the courage and the stamina but we also have the wider view of things and an understanding of the path our actions, and those of others, will take.
(Inverted) We literally, have no strength, no power and no understanding of what forces are governing our issues. We are either afraid to act or are reckless in our approach to things.
(Recommended) Having the strength to meet the unknown is a tremendous challenge for all of us. We must have faith; not that our dreams will be realized as we expect them but that we will have the capacity to recognize the patterns they follow and act on them when they present the opportunity.
9 - The Hermit
(Upright) Healing is a valuable commodity. We are either getting and education or giving one. We’ve learned a lesson. We can also provide insight to others.
(Inverted) We have not learned our lesson and/or we are at risk for repeating it. There are many left over issues to tend to. We feel we must be everything to everyone while we can’t even take care of ourselves.
(Recommended) If we follow our heart and trust in our own experience, we will have what we need to be a beacon for others to emulate and learn from. Show others what we know. If it falls on deaf ears, walk away. Simply do what we need to do in the way we think is proper and we will provide a good example to others.
10 – The Wheel of Fortune
(Upright) Issues have come full circle. We can either change our focus or continue on with a completed cycle behind us. Its completion was patterned from the beginning. The “rightness” of its fit may make us feel the outcome was “inevitable.”
(Inverted) The change or opportunity has occurred. Either we have made a change or missed an opportunity.
(Recommendation) We have an opportunity to see the completed cycle and all its contents and polarities before us. Do we see the pattern? Is it what we want? We must choose whether to continue on or change gears.
11 – Justice
(Upright) We will handle or are being handled in a fair manner concerning the issues of our attention. Things are aligned, balanced and operating smoothly. All is as it should be.
(Inverted) We believe that things are being handled unfairly. We don’t see the inequity of our own actions. We believe things should be handled more in our favor.
(Recommended) Things are as they are. The reason doesn’t matter. We must, resolutely, move through this transition with balance and awareness. We must move past the patterns that have held us in check to continue growing. We must allow old useless patterns to fall away and not panic. Do this with mindfulness.
12 – The Hanged Man
(Upright) We can see things clearly but are unwilling or unable to change them. We see things objectively but they are immovable at the moment.
(Inverted) Whatever objectivity is available is insufficient to give complete information. We must trust our gut and fly by the seat of our pants. We see things subjectively. It’s easy to move but difficult to know where our actions will end up.
(Recommended) As we see both sides of any situation, we realize that taking opposing positions will only serve to exacerbate the polarizing effect as a result. We realize that light and dark must co-exist for balance. Allowing both sides to integrate within us is the best choice. We also know that when we act, we don’t see clearly and when we are not acting, we are able to observe the complete picture. Immersion precludes objectivity.
13 – Death
(Upright) Everything has a life span. Whether it’s physical, emotional, mental or spiritual; in every death there is potential for birth as illustrated by the white rose. Resistance is futile. We will return to the earth.
(Inverted) Transformation has already occurred. However, our refusal to let go of holding on to what we feel that we want or need for security only increases the stress we face with the people we believe are preventing or blocking our attainment of it. Acceptance by us seem unconscionable.
(Recommendation) Growth cannot be taught; only experienced. We can grow willingly or we can go kicking, screaming and fighting. The point is, either way, we will grow. The choice is a no-brainer. Aging with grace only comes from the acceptance of the world as we find it. We change what we can, accept what we cannot and recognize the difference.
14 - Temperance
(Upright) Issues appear to be in balance. This can relate to health, metabolism, nourishment or any other set of contributing factors that require a rapport between them. Our perspective is such that we feel and recognize that the issues that currently face us are in a delicate balance because we are in balance within ourselves.
(Inverted) Issues are out of balance. We are troubled and in need of a perspective that will produce or even allow a feeling of balance within us. This struggle is a very strong contributor to ill health; whether physical, emotional or mental.
(Recommendation) Light needs dark to define itself. The reverse is true, also. To favor or deny one emboldens the power of the other through reflection. In this it will seek to resolve itself into balance. The natural tendency toward balance is a most important understanding in alchemy. Balance requires no action. Imbalance requires adjustment: not too much and not too little.
15 – The Devil
(Upright) Any form of habit, bondage, conditioning or patterning can be self-perpetuating. These are chosen. These include commitments, contracts, obligations and any form of chronic condition. Commitments have limits. Contracts have conclusions. To recognize this implies awareness.
(Inverted) A commitment or obligation may be finished, terminated or released. In its completion there is freedom from bondage. After initially committing they may also be ignored or avoided. Misuse or coercion of commitments and obligations create manipulation, blackmail, extortion, dependency (emotional or substance), and the bondage of ourselves and others.
(Recommendation) What have we been trained into believing about ourselves? How have we been labeled by others? Our public identity doesn’t come so much from what we’ve done but how people choose to see us. If we live within their boundaries and assumptions, we may remain included and safe in collusion. Individuals are dangerous. They don’t support the illusions used for creating group security. They think for themselves. Notice the chains on the card? They are loose. They can be taken off at any time. We choose our bondage through siding with the clan and ignoring what they are too fearful to see. We must do our own thinking. Additionally, choices and commitments must not be conducted in an extreme. These produce enmity and their extreme can be considered fanaticism.
16 – The Tower
(Upright) The pressure between what we personally want or need and what natural law sets in motion is building. The further we resist, the more intense the pressure becomes. This is a test of our sensitivity. It’s as if a dam is filling up with water. We have mounting opportunities to become aware and to release the pressure by changing our course. If we do, disaster will be averted. If not, there will be total destruction of our deluded perception of our security.
(Inverted) Our resistance could no longer contain the pressure and the issue has exploded.
The worst is over but at tremendous loss…But, like a forest fire, the space has been cleared for new growth. We must now assess the damage and do a cleanup.
(Recommendation) We perceive the world through our understanding of how we think it should be. We build our world brick by brick. But when the direction of life changes its course and we don’t, the walls begin to sustain a growing pressure. Eventually, the never ceasing change grows past the wall’s ability to withstand the external pressure and collapses. Often, the unawareness of our own resistance leads us to be surprised when it does. Unless we learn to recognize a change of course before the pressure goes too far, we will repeat this painful obstinacy again and again. Nothing lasts forever. Least of all, what we insignificant humans put in place to preserve our recognition.
17 – The Star
(Upright) A long distance goal gives us the best frame to align our abilities and assets with. With it we feel our life has purpose and direction. With it our challenges become clear. Our intensified focus offers us the opportunity to apply confidence and strength. Will we accept the distance and effort we must traverse to attain it?
(Inverted) We don’t know where we are going or what we are doing. We feel lost and helpless. We feel discouraged that we see no clear way to get “from here to there.” We feel hopeless and paralyzed by our inability to see alternate choices.
(Recommendation) Long distance goals are hardest to see when we’re preoccupied with resisting an influence. Our best path is often seen after the battle and in the calm after the storm. What we might have resisted so vehemently has passed but what is left is in shambles. Everything has been broken down to its basic elements. There is no structure to hold on to. We can see for miles with no obstructions. All we can hear is our own heartbeat. Resonate to its rhythm. This is the new path.
18 – The Moon
(Upright) Our intuitive faculties are registering the world around us at top efficiency and razor sharp. Depending on how vulnerable we feel, this may either be extremely gratifying or terrifying. Empathy can be blessing or a curse. Being in natural balance with the universe is not always the most secure feeling, especially, when there are parts of life we wish to avoid. If we are good with natural balance, we will feel supreme comfort. If not, we will be highly distressed.
(Inverted) We feel “out of sync” with “normalcy.” Our emotions are running ungoverned. Our ambitions, jealousies and fears are in high gear. Our intuition is in overdrive. We feel like an emotional basket case. The empathy we feel from the world is creating havoc with our emotional balance. We are in dire need of grounding ourselves.
(Recommendation) We know we know more that we’re able to describe. Yet, are we comfortable enough to allow that to happen? Now, we are prophetic. At our deepest levels, we know the outcome of all we see even before its completion. But is that something to be welcomed or dreaded? Are we ok being someone else’s anchor? Do we feel responsible for being so? Remember though, we can lead a horse to water but we can’t make them drink. We must drop our seeds and move on. Those who can recognize what we have to offer will find their way. Those who can’t must and will find another path and we should feel no guilt if they do.
19 – The Sun
(Upright) It seems like we’ve “come home.” There has been or will be a reunion, marriage or rebirth physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. There is a feeling of having arrived. It seems like everything has fallen in place.
(Inverted) There is a feeling of separation or divorce. The place we’re in feels foreign. We feel like we’ve lost something but don’t know what it is, where it is or what or where to look for it.
(Recommendation) When our conduct is such that we deal with each situation without preconceptions and as if it is a brand-new set of circumstances, we feel powerful, free and “connected.” We find a new experience in everything we do.
20 – Judgement
(Upright) When we have expended tremendous effort and feel a judgment of minimal returns, we need to look at the overall pattern that we are passing through. All life progresses through patterns much like seasons. They follow the natural laws of the universe. By contemplating these stages and recognizing what came before our current situation, we can understand where we are and what will come next. Human and worldly events essentially follow the same seasons and patterns. By finding similar beginning stages in other situations, we can begin to see the overall patterns as a reflection of our current situation. We can then see what we need to do to regain our path.
(Inverted) Tremendous effort has been applied with no returns. But we have been unable to see the situation from a larger perspective. We are unable to focus on what came before so seeing what’s next is out of the question. We can’t see the forest from the trees. We feel stuck. Failure.
(Recommendation) If we only believe in what we are told we will remain within the cover of a cocoon. There is no room for questioning. Those who don’t want to question want to remain in a state of assumed security; aka: illusion. We are afraid to see what might force us to adapt beyond the boundaries of our familiar and comfortable old patterns. Questioning only occurs in those who are willing to know that there is more than meets the eye and are willing to risk. This leads to the death of some illusions. New experiences replace old judgments and limits.
21 - The World
(Upright) There is no limit to what can be done now. The “world is our oyster.” We have adjusted our perspective and are able to move past our limits.
(Inverted) Things may take a little more time than anticipated. Issues may be postponed or delayed.
(Recommendation) No activity ever fully completes itself. It always brings a new door of experience to move through. Opening the door is easy. Closing the one behind us is frightening. We are leaving a world where the puzzle pieces have all fallen into place and almost all is known. This provides a tremendous sense of release from the past. It’s like graduating college. It’s the end of “adolescence.” After four years of work and accomplishment we must now apply our fruits to a new application. We must now move from being a “big fish in a little pond” to a “little fish in a big pond.”
22 - The Fool
(Upright) He indicates a brand-new decision or experience. With it comes inexperience as to what is needed to handle the new situation for the new and “innocent.” However, if we have prior experience and have been modest enough not to push ourselves on the environment due to any bias or preconceptions, we approach the brand new with eyes of a child and the patience of a master.
(Inverted) This new opportunity either has already transpired, been missed or turned down.
(Recommendation) Remember that this is a new opportunity for experience. There are no guide posts as to behaviors or choices. It is necessary to approach this new situation without any preconceptions or judgments. Others may think us crazy for this attitude. Fostering innocence, being in the moment and trusting our inner feeling is the best path to follow.