Conversing with the Cards – The Major Arcana: The Magician

The Magician

by Morgana Moonfire

Impressions: A shirtless man with a scruffy red beard and a big hat sits on his knees on a seat carved out of a rock. He holds a staff around which a snake is curled and various metal objects hang from the tree underneath which he is sitting. His clothes are simple and apart from the hat solely consist of plain trousers. Quite a few other animals surround him, including a white goat, a turtle and a rooster. At his knee he touches an object that resembles a chess board. A pouch hangs from his shoulder.

This man is obviously a magician. Earthly riches, other than those serving as instruments or tools, bear no importance in his eyes. As such, his attire is kept to a minimum, very plain and simple. The animals sense his capacities and are drawn towards him. His eyes are blue and bright and he lifts up his head just enough to fix one eye on me. Such a man has no need for earthly desires; to him they are futile and unimportant. He understands the greater treasures that life has to offer and knows where to look for them. Due to his appreciation of simplicity, he has learned to understand and bend the elemental forces in the world. Due to his patience and perseverance, he has mastered many arts, gained much knowledge and has become proficient in many a skill.

It are those who contemplate the profound nature of a situation – that which resides at the heart of the matter and which drives all else – who are able to grasp the true meaning and as a result wield the outcome to the benefit of all. We must learn to distinguish between what is important and what is not, see the virtue where virtue is to be found and identify the vice in any given position. By weighing up all the different sides to a story and by carefully pondering the various options available, a solution may be found to any problem. More often than not, all it takes is some healthy common sense.

Key words and sentiments: Make sure you can see the wood through the trees; if the situation asks it of you, climb a hill so that you may see everything from a distance; confidence; logic; satisfaction; fulfilment.

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Conversing with the Cards – The Minor Arcana

The following post includes my impressions of the minor arcana, excluding the court cards, and the four suits. I have consciously tried to spend just a short while on each card so that I might be able to grasp the essential, basic energy of the card at a glance. This list is not meant to be correct, it merely shares my personal impressions.

Morgana Moonfire

Wands: fire, the soul, passion, will power, the primitive forces of nature that reside within us and the ones that act in the universe and which we have no control over.

Cups: water, the heart, emotions, relationships.

Pentacles: earth, the body, materialistic affairs, practical or tangible matters, health, wealth, work.

Swords: air, the mind, intellect, thoughts, mental abilities and mental health.

Suit Number Meaning
Wands Ace Primitive power, first growth or surge of power/passion; forceful, natural energy, where it all starts
Two Having achieved what you wanted to achieve, being at ease, having power, no worries or concerns, confidence
Three What’s to come, preparation, stillness before the storm, waiting, capability, being calm and unafraid of the future
Four Picking the fruits of your labour, harvest time, fruition of plans, prosperity, happiness, good times, celebrations
Five Fight, testing each other’s strength and one’s own strength, being tested, opposition
Six Victory, achievement, confidence, respect and support of others, conqueror, strength, capability, advancement, nothing can hold you back
Seven Take issues head on, face your problems, courage, strength, boldness
Eight Action, speed, news, enlightenment due to a message/news, something important is brought to might
Nine Effort, having to fight for something, determination in spite of the odds
Ten Heavy burden but you can pull it off if you put in a lot of effort, hold on, trying times, keep your eye on the prize, it will be hard to achieve your goal
Cups Ace Emotion, beginning of a new awareness or relationship
Two Partnership, harmony and support in relationships, understanding and attraction between two people
Three Solidarity, union and closeness in a group, everyone is on the same page, sincerity and integrity in relationships, people support you and are there for you
Four Desolation, disappointment, being blue or down, seeing only the negative side, being so absorbed in oneself (self-pity) that one does not see the gift/bright side of the situation or the opportunities that the situation brings
Five Desolation, hard time, things are not really optimum or as they should be
Six Happy memories, the past, people from the past, unfinished business or relevance of the past in the present
Seven Dreams, illusions, being unrealistic, preferring to live in a dream world
Eight Feeling lost or led astray/alone, not feeling sure or confident about oneself or one’s path
Nine Joy, bliss, achieving what you most desire, gain
Ten Satisfaction, harmonious and happy family life/domestic life, peace in the household
Pentacles Ace Beginning of manifestation of a project or wealth, putting in motion something, actions, deeds, hands-on experience
Two Balance, yin yang, coping very well with the small changes that are taking place, being able and at peace, no great upheavals
Three Seriousness, master, perfecting and perfection of skills, producing high-quality work, you know what you are doing, fulfillment and exceeding expectations, excelling at what you do
Four Greed, stubbornness, hanging on too much to something, selfishness, no real riches, being stingy, useless wealth, doing nothing with the opportunities that are available to you
Five Struggling financially or at work, be content with (the little that) what you have, use the means you have, financial or material setbacks, not a lot of possibilities, not the right time for projects or purchases, material loss
Six Generosity, teaching, wisdom and sharing of wisdom and knowledge, being friendly, goodness, sincerity, balance
Seven Period of waiting for results after the necessary deeds, monitoring the progress
Eight Labour, concentration, devotion, perfection and perfectionism, patience, eager and willing to work and perform well
Nine Abundance, good and prosperous times, time for leisure or personal projects and personal development, the sun is shining, happiness, everything is as it should be, surplus, possibilities
Ten Material wealth and security, boredom, passing of time, in need of a challenge/being motivated/expanding one’s horizons
Swords Ace Invoked, “man-made” power, channeling power and thoughts, projects, ideas, something you conceive of in your mind or are thinking about
Two Not knowing what to do, crossroads, not seeing the best solution
Three Heartache, missing, having lost something or someone dear to you, betrayal
Four Rest, pause, break, needing to be away from everything and everyone, being alone, loneliness
Five Disappointment, things did not go as planned, expectations were not fulfilled, feeling of abandonment
Six Journey, half-way there, a challenge but you already have experience, know where you are going, being on a mission, travel, things are happening or moving >< stagnation
Seven Intentions are not clear, uncertainty, there is more to a situation than meets the eye, the unseen or unknown, secret
Eight Tunnel vision, blindness, captive in a situation
Nine Misery, powerlessness, irritation
Ten Feeling depressed, overwhelmed, incapable; hitting rock bottom; it can’t get any worse than this; negative feelings but exaggeration

Conversing with the Cards – The Major Arcana: The Hierophant

The Hierophant


by Morgana Moonfire

Impressions: A man dressed in a white tunic holds a sword in one hand and a wand in the other. His arms are crossed and he stands in water. In front of him are three naked children in the water. He looks at them but does not smile. They are secluded by a fence and fruit-bearing trees.

Whether the man is the father or the teacher of the children is quite irrelevant. He is a teacher nonetheless and he takes his task seriously. Whether his apprentices are children or not is equally irrelevant. He teaches them discipline as well as the study matter itself and he expects that they too take their apprenticeship seriously. The teacher imposes order on them and demands their full attention and respect. The children must be fully aware of the importance of the art, skill or knowledge they are to master, of the role they are to play and are being prepared for. Each of them is meant to fulfil a certain part of considerable magnitude and so it is imperative that they are already conscious of what is expected of them at an early age. When they complete their training, they will walk their separate paths but they may continue to support and aid each other as they have done throughout the learning process. In addition, they will most probably continue to receive their teacher’s guidance if they wish it.

As students or simply as individuals involved in an important learning process, we are required to take our learning serious, to manifest ourselves as humble and disciplined students. If we are to succeed we must be severe on ourselves and be fully dedicated to the cause. Yet we are never alone and even if we opt for self-learning, there are still many other like-minded persons out there who are committed to the same journey. It is not uncommon and it is even advisable for those with similar interests to support and learn from each other. Regardless of the other persons’ age or experience, you can learn something valuable from everyone if you would only open your mind. Age in general is insignificant as learning is a life-long affair. It is never too late to get started. This card may also indicate that guidance or advice is readily available to you in whatever situation you may find yourself. This will normally be in the form of a wise person, who takes on the role of a teacher or father figure, and who will willingly assist you with the issue, question or concern that you are occupied with.

Key words and sentiments: authority, teacher, discipline, order, tradition, guidance, advice, training, preparing yourself, dedication, learn from others, ambition, destiny, it is never too late to learn.

Conversing with the Cards – The Major Arcana: The Emperor

The Emperor

by Morgana Moonfire

Impressions: A man with rosy cheeks, a rosy nose and a sluggish look in his eyes sits in a kitchen. He is leisurely eating out of a silver bowl, a large wooden spoon is tucked into his belt and a harp rests against his (rather voluminous) belly. His reddish eyes are fixed on me. They are watching me, taking me in; but the expression they bear do not betray a specific, unmistakable feeling. On the contrary, he makes a rather insignificant impression and seems detached from the world. There is no certainty as to what he is thinking.

This man is obviously well-of, judging from his round belly and the right to take food from the kitchen whenever it suits him. In his spare time, he enjoys the simple (yet not always accessible in great quantities to the masses) pleasures of life such as food and ale, music and merry-making. As a warrior and certainly as a ruler, he has a right to these delights. The thinking lines that are engraved in his forehead, as well as his intelligent stare which may easily be mistaken for a fool’s gape, reveal his identity as a chief. The look he is giving me may be misinterpreted as a drunk’s look, eyeing me in spite of difficulties to focus his vision. He may even inspire pity. But the truth is that he is more cunning than the persons he is watching. No amount of ale can take away his authority although it may somewhat influence his judgment. He is a man, after all.

The Emperor is always one step ahead of the others. His strength lies in his knowledge and his ability to use that knowledge in an effective way. He gains information through his keen observation skills and his diplomatic treatment of individuals. Thus he learns how to inspire and motivate his people. In times of merriment he drinks with them and joins them in their celebrations, in times of peril he fights by their side, in times of confusion and discord he shares his vast knowledge and able judgment. In short, he is always very aware and knows what to do in any given situation to secure harmony, respect and prosperity for himself and for his subjects.

When this card comes up in a reading, you are as successful as the emperor or you need to be more like the emperor or someone in your direct environment with direct influence on you has the qualities of an emperor.

Key words and sentiments: skills, people knowledge, awareness, justice, solidarity, friendship, do what is right, control, prosperity, good fortune through personal acts and effort, wisdom, success in most aspects of your life, father figure, leader, strict but just, strength of character, foresight.

Conversing with the Cards – The Major Arcana: The High Priestess

The High Priestess

by Morgana Moonfire

Impressions: A fine-looking woman with coiled blond hair is sitting on a throne carved out of stone. Beside her is a burning torch, which is a clear indicator of her identity for she is Brighid, Celtic goddess of smith craft, poetry and motherhood and her symbol is fire. Various types of fruits lay at her other side and a pile of straw rests on her lap. These are perhaps offerings and more symbols of the Goddess. Brighid wears a rather saddened expression, possibly in lament at the loss of her sons, and she takes off the purple veil which had been concealing her face.

Her facial expression reveals her knowledge of what has come to pass. Yet the card as a whole does not emit a downbeat feeling, but on the contrary conveys the joy of being blessed with gifts of intuition and spirituality. Brighid was honoured as a goddess by the Celts and as a saint by the Christians. Coming in second after St. Patrick, she is still a very popular figure in Ireland and her flame has been kept alight for many a year. Even nowadays, new groups have arisen with the sole purpose of keeping her flame alive and dancing. Brighid’s flame does not only represent the hearth (household), inspiration (poetry) and smith craft; but in the larger picture may also be regarded as the flame of the old faith and one’s personal devotion to the path, as well as the flame of intuition, psychic ability and one’s individual communication with the gods. The flame signifies the connection with the Other World and provides an unwavering light in the darkness -not in the sense of Christianism where the faith served to provide consolation for every-day discomforts, but rather as a steadfast way of life, a mentality and solidarity and a clear sense of purpose.

In a reading this card designates the path you are treading or supposed to be treading in life. The path may not always be straight and smooth; you may come across forks and crossroads, hilly or slippery parts, wild curves and rocky bends and sometimes it may even be hard to see the path you are supposed to be taking. At times you will be striding or even skipping along while at other times your progress will seem much more strained, slow and difficult. This card provides you with the guidance you need to take on the obstacles you come across. The Goddess walks by your side and will lend you the courage, assurance and inner knowledge you need to overcome the tricky bits of the journey.

Key words and sentiments: divination, higher knowledge, communication with the gods, peace, the old faith, understanding of the higher purpose, intuition.

Conversing with the Cards – The Major Arcana: Death

Death

by Morgana Moonfire

Impressions:  A man on a battlefield holds up the head of an enemy warrior for all to see. His gaze is menacing and a tad mocking. He himself is completely unharmed and no blood stains cover his attire. His red cape and the fur on his shoulder designate him as the leader. In his other hand he holds a spear and an arrow. The battle is over; the outcome has been decided and is being made clear to all the survivors by the chief of the winning forces.

The man’s stare is stern. His message is plain. His enemies have been defeated seeing that their chief has been killed in battle. His eyes almost challenge those willing to continue the fight, for he knows that they have no hope as victory has already been secured. Without their chief to lead them in battle, his enemies are nothing more than a scattered horde of ruthless warriors. It is better to save lives and end the fight (even if it means accepting defeat, because they were clearly overwhelmed by the other, greater force) than to prolong a battle they cannot win. This would lead to nothing but more casualties and would thus be a fruitless and foolish effort.

The Death card signifies a sudden and sometimes brutal change with an impact that will reverberate long after. This is the kind of change that cannot be stopped or impeded. The man’s confident gaze reflects the mood of the card: the indifferent energy of powerlessness. What has to happen will happen regardless of your feelings towards this change. Any efforts intended to hinder or to stop the revolution from occurring will be in vain. Often the transformation may not even be anticipated and it will take you by force even more so exactly because you did not see it coming. Many individuals fear such a change because it is so profound and because it will probably reshape who you are as a person and/or alter the direction in which your life is going. However, this transformation is a natural and necessary one and should not be resisted. Afterwards you should be better off than your were before it took place. The opposite hardly ever happens.

Key words and sentiments: sudden major change, transformation, revolution, powerlessness, go with the flow, accept change, do not fight a fight you cannot win, process out of your hands.

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In order to reproduce any material, permission needs to granted by the author, either Morgana Moonfire or Archangel Amitiel.

Dark Moon Circle

As a sister of the DMC, Morgana aka Funky Chicken would like to honour this wonderfully supportive circle of sisters who never hesitate to offer guidance and share their wisdom.