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Card Comparison: The Emperor

The Two Emperors: Ostara tarot and the Wild Unknown

There are many things that move across the cards, particularly the Major Arcana, like a wave, no matter the image. This bloodline of understanding, symbolism, or definition comes from the archetype, the held knowledge of numbers and namesakes.

The Emperor is no different. When the word EMPEROR is said, each one of us can visualize something. He or she may look different. The kingdom may hold different colors and material grandeur. But, the general understanding of an Emperor is a ruler who stands alone. He is the beacon of order for all that he rules.

It is because of this general understanding that the Emperor is often given a fierce and authoritative connotation. In this post, we will not be looking so much at the card definition and attributes. If you would like to read my interpretation of the Emperor please click here to go to my interpretations of the Wild Unknown card meanings. You will find the Emperor, as well as all the cards that I have thus far written a personal interpretation for.

In this post, we will be taking time to look at the Emperor across the two decks that I own: the Wild Unknown tarot and the Ostara tarot. These two cards will be examined and shed light on the nuance that they bring to the interpretations of the Emperor.

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Starting from left to right, we have the Emperor from the Ostara tarot. Unlike many other decks that depict the Emperor as a wise or authoritative older man, here the Emperor is young. He wears not a crown of gold or jewels, but two horns that symbolize his dominion over the natural earth. He is of both worlds, showing that he can understand the rule of law and the laws of nature.

These combined together can create balance in the physical fabric of the world. His youth means that he has vigor, and he does not rely on others to to uphold or protect those whom he serves. His gaze is off in the distance, showing that his vision is on the horizon, far off in the distance. The symbols on his body show that he is also mysterious, something seen hardly at all in other decks. In fact, the directness of other decks (which we will see in the Wild Unknown) is the antithesis of mystery. But these symbols as part of his physical body means that he is learned in other languages, ones that may unlock other mysteries that can serve and protect. He has taken the time and embodied the learning the different languages that are part of his world.

He also does not depict a foreboding or fierce figure. He seems gentle, a little wild or mischievous perhaps, but his face is beautiful and soft. As a counterpart to the Empress, he also holds the a childlike whimsy to create and protect the world that he is a part of.

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The Emperor in the Wild Unknown is depicted as a large tree. The size of the tree emphasizes age and time. A tree that big has been around for a long time. This sticks with the more traditional definition of Emperor as one with the benefit of experience because of age and time. Behind the Emperor is a brilliant, fiery sun, which may be the crown of the natural world.

With this brilliance comes clarity of vision, and fire for action. In this deck, the Emperor as a tree speaks to action in terms of giving. At this size, he acts like one of many lungs for the planet, taking in loads of carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Trees this size create a canopy for the sky, and a network for the soil. They are a home for the fauna, shade for the weary, and a beacon for the lost.

The Emperor is depicted in only one color. He is stark black, resembling his stark nature, perhaps a little harsh and direct, but beautiful and giving nonetheless. There is also a notion of simplicity with this card, which is very different from the other Emperor. The symbols that adorned the Emperor’s body speak to a complicated understanding of different languages and symbolism in this world. Here, the Emperor is much more simplistic. He is there, front and center. He is visible, giving, nurturing, but also abrupt in palate to some.

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There you have two different images for the Emperor. I hope these comparisons help show how the image brings nuance and layers to the knowledge of the cards. Please let me know how these, or other images of the Emperor resonate with you. Much love.

Ashlie

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Card of the Week: Mother of Swords

mother of swords

 

“We dream in neurons. Form lost in forms, a blizzard of data blinds our motors.” ~ The Six- Cornered Snowflake by John Frederick

 

She has made a few appearances the last couple of weeks. However, when I draw in the card for the week, I keep the first one that I choose. It was chosen for a reason. In the previous week we were able to let go and walk away from painful emotions. Now, we shift ourselves in the knowledge of what is working for us.

Now, we turn our thoughts to rooting in the ideas of what we have, and how to use these tools. We have, and will need, a softness in our approach. The light in this card is the unfailing ability to cooperate with ourselves and others. She is the one that urges us to speak kindly, even when we may not want to. She is the one that can ease the individual and collective consciousness down to honest words and thoughts. We need more of her right now.

Art Against Society curated by Cali Vasaturo:

We are in a space where the light in being sentient is snuffed out by the vulgar and ugly slack of others. Almost everyone takes in the glory of the world, but many never absorb it. There are so many ways to use our thoughts and words to shape something for the better. But sometimes it feels like we use these tools to merely survive the lacking stretch of humanity. Those who know the Mother of Swords, know this is not enough. We must plan, and then act.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago some of the shadow energy of winged mother. Some of the energy is similar and worth noting. Card of the week: Reversed Mother of Swords
However, much of this shadow is external. If in the shadows, she can cause destruction and break down the foundation between us and others. She can cause the roots to die without a trace of evidence. If we breed toxicity in our minds, we will only have a toxic family. If we do not defend our lines, we will become the casualties of someone else’s mental games.

art of the psychotic brain | Sebastian Eriksson is an 18-year-old up-and-coming surrealist artist ...:

We must be first rooted in ourselves. We must take our river of doubts and insecurities and remember that they help make our own ocean. We would not know what we can fully do if we don’t acknowledge the things that may hold us back. But the Mother of Swords reminds us that firm boundaries are there to protect us. Being grounded in our honesty is hard. But there is bravery in knowing the distance between protection and tenderness.

 

**Thank you so much for reading. Please let me know how the Mother of Swords comes forth for you. Please follow if you like what you read and want more. If you would like a personal tarot reading please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com.**

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Card of the week: 8 of Cups

8 of cups

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” ~ Sylvia Plath

One of the positive aspects from the energy of the 3 of Swords is the ability to confront the demon sitting on the precipice between the void and the light. After we have engaged and acknowledged this outline, this hyperbolic despair, we can start to understand which way he is going to lean. This allows us to see understand how tall the obstacle is, and what strength we will need to move up or away. This is the 8 of Cups.

The 8 of cups speaks to the emotional aftermath, the chronic battle between the mind and the heart. There is a change in emotions with this card. Much like the previous energies, there is something wrong that must be addressed. The 8 of Cups takes this farther. We must accept now what is no longer working or helping us. We must strengthen the persistence to find our singular equation.

This energy, on the surface, speaks to the flight instinct. It could be this impulse, which goes into the shadow sense of this card. But the energy goes much deeper than that. It is not just the need to run, and leave no trace of ourselves for the dark hunter close behind. It is the need to find closure even though the door is made of glass. We can only grow if we consciously understand what link we are breaking and why.

There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have a feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well. So I take the memories as they come, accepting them all, letting them guide me whenever I can.   ~Nicholas Sparks:

The light in this card is the unseen veil of freedom. The freedom either from, or for something else. When we remove ourselves from emotions withering down to dust, we are free to drink from a new stream, settle in a new place, and build a new hearth to house our fires. It may seem like we are lost, but we are now in a space where we can leave, and the offender cannot follow.

There may be some stigma in this. Sometimes it feels like we are destined, by ourselves or others, to trudge and pain ourselves into a certain and similar future. In this space, we must hold our hearts in a cramped space, away from the changing scenery. If we are told to walk when we have wings, we must weigh our small spirits against this.

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This balancing act can bring in the shadow 8 of Cups. One trauma or pain that is intolerable does not mean that all are. To be human we will face disappointments and struggles. We cannot turn away from them all. The 8 of cups serves as a reminder that we must not forget the battles that we have won, or have yet to conquer. We cannot run from every obstacle because we literally will have no where to go.

For this week, we have to be cognizant of the climbs we face, and the ones we don’t. We owe it to ourselves to remove situations and people that will never be on our side. But we must not trivialize the ones that are by consistent absence. Carry all the swords that you are willing to fall on, leave the ones you wouldn’t. Drink from the cups that hold your reflection, and move away from those that shatter in your hands.

 

**Thank you for reading. Please let me know how this card makes an impact in your life. If you would like a personal tarot card reading, please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com. Follow if you like what you read, and stay wild.**

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Card of the week: Reversed Mother of Swords

reversed mother of swords

Woooh, says the wind, and I stop /  where I am, put out my arms / and look upward, allowing / myself to disappear. It is good to be here, and not here…..”
~ Windfalls, by Jane Kenyon

Last week, we became warriors. We stretched our listening beyond the immediate pain or paintings of ourselves. We had the audacity to run our dreams further than our colors. For a week, we could have been both bigger and smaller, wiser and more naive. This aggressive shift in energy can call forth the shadows, and also the light. For this week, we can either find a nurturing energy, or a fight that can wreck us into indifference.

There is a difference between withdrawing inwards to dust off the jars of thought and reason, and becoming numb to state of our mental home. We cannot honor our warrior self, or any other version, if the safer ground we seek is further than the echoing of our mind. Sometimes we must acknowledge the shadow and storm. Sometimes, we must step inside the deluge to find the ship we are meant to captain. If you need this time and space, take it.

The Reversed Mother of Swords can be a safe retreat. She can (if in the light) speak to strong boundaries, and a brave focus on yourself. Sometimes, there needs to be healthy selfishness. This can be tricky, and this is why the shadow is never far away. But selfishness, in healthy amounts, is something we all need.

There is a cultural teaching that we must always do more, work more, produce more. If we ever wish to ground ourselves, we must know when we need to take a step back and be enough as we are. Sometimes we may go to far in either direction, but this is normal. This is human.

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If the Reversed Mother of Swords is in her shadow state, we may not know or care that we have gone to far. We may strike, then run. We may take our fight and say that defeat is inevitable, and walk away. We no longer care or find inspiration in what we used to love and cherish.  We feel left behind after we took the necessary space we needed.

There are so many ways for this energy to manifest. One constant thread is that this all stems from the mind. Be a little selfish if you need. Stop yourself from entering a race that has no finish line. Take a break, but do not lose sight. Our warrior selves are still surging. Do not forget the weight of the sword.

warrior

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Card of the week: Son of Swords

 

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“We gather words that shape seasons. Time-and-place, turning/ earth: Diurnal, heliotropic. Wax and wane. / Front, equinox. Constellate.” ~ Becka Mara McKay

 

When we have taken down morsels into the opening of our bellies we can start to move on our plans. We are able to create new intentions with strategy and purpose. The time may not be right to manifest, but the whirring mechanisms inside our minds are ablaze with new possibilities.

For this week place your priorities. Make a list, make time, make sense of them into the bigger picture of your place. Place them in your nest. The Mother from last week will help them harden. These projects or missions will quickly take shape. Soon they will be ready to leave their casings and create conquests in the world.

When you have determined what it is you want to pursue, speak to and about these thoughts. Place words in your mouth like a cube of sugar. Direct these words to action through communication, with others and yourself. Write them down, and do not judge. Be honest and honorable with others.

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If you are not yet sure what your thoughts are begging for, get aggressive. Be diligent about ways to find out these answers. Thoughts rarely stop, so if you hit a wall, find the weak spot and go forward with a new thought. The Son of Swords teaches us that we will continuously be bombarded with false, negative, or misleading intentions. We must combat these with clear and powerful acts of the mind.

We have to be warriors in this time. I do not mean going around and fighting with everyone. I mean warriors in the sense of searching and protecting what we value, or want to see. We have to place our thoughts, our words, and our truths up on a mantle that we have made from the bare bones of an idea. They need to be a bell that others will hear.

 

**Thank you for reading! Please let me know your thoughts or comments about the Son of Swords. Follow me if you like what you read and would like more. If you would like a personal tarot reading please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com.**

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Fairmount Cemetery

I know this post is long overdue. I apologize for not getting these pictures up earlier. As you may have guessed by now, if you have read some earlier posts, I love cemeteries. I find them beautiful, peaceful, a place of that buzzes with the electricity of memory.

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Fairmount Cemetery is the second oldest cemetery in the area. The oldest goes to Riverside Cemetery. The cemetery is 280 acres, and has thousands of trees. There are famous people who lay beneath their final tombstones. There are bird, people biking, chapels, and growth. So much growth. More information about this historic cemetery is here

 

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Coming here for the first time, I felt that buzzing I described. There are so many stories here. There are so many small histories that create the collective timeline. I loved it here. The sculptures and stones, so finite in their lines, were soft like skin.

 

 

These are the cemeteries that show beauty in loss, beauty in something unknown, perhaps even misunderstood. I feel that in some ways, I diminish the precious sense of this place by even trying to find words to use. If you are ever in the Denver area, and you like cemeteries, or just quiet walks to recuperate from the insane beast of living, come here. I will be back.

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Card of the week: Mother of Pentacles

mother of pentacles

“Mother, maybe you are a night house /  whose orange- yellow light can cheer; / whose blankness, chill. / I want to ring the bell / but who will I wake? Who / will appear at your door?” ~ The Living Portrait Kathryn T.S. Bass

There was a rebirth last week, a flame that lightly showed the skeleton of a dark room. That energy requires a lot of output. As we step into a place that is greater and more powerful, it can make us vulnerable and even weaker at times. It is important to remember that any output obviously needs healthy input in order to stay in equilibrium.

We cannot serve anyone if the stitches to our subconscious and unconscious fray and pull our outer layers. This is where the Mother of Pentacles comes in. She is the rhythm, the vibration, that only we can feel inside ourselves. She is the one who will tap at the window of our exterior to tell us that rain is coming, and we need to go indoors.

As we have taken on a role of soldier, either partially or completely, we need to replenish ourselves. Mediation and spiritual growth are needed, but those are not the only tools we can use to achieve a greater version of ourselves tomorrow. Our Mother of Pentacles is the tangible caregiver that we act on to provide comfort for ourselves. She is the one that makes us reach for the music, the art, the poetry, the funny movie, anything to physically bring us back from the exhausting cycle of being.

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For me, my main healer is my morning cup of coffee. When I sit still and let the morning chill gently seize my stupor, I find a small opening of myself. This is the part of me that is nothing and everything all at once. I am not creating. I am not planning. I am not moving. I am simply drinking my coffee and letting myself be still. This is the time where I have my epiphanies, where I latch on to my fading dreams, and imagine a spectrum of possibilities.

She is also the one that brings out the need in us to take care of others. Many times the best physical healing we can do is to encourage, listen, and support other people. This card, more than most, speaks to the tangible world of connectivity. We pay ourselves a service by being the helper, not always the leader.

 

 

**Thank you so much for reading. Please let me know in the comments section how the Mother of Pentacles helps you. Please follow if you would like to see more tarot, and other blog posts. If you would like a personal tarot reading, please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com**

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Card of the week: Judgement

Judgement

“For mankind are one in spirit, and in instinct bears along,
Round the earth’s electric circle, the swift flash of right and wrong;” ~ James Russel Lowell

 

There is something serene about absolving ourselves from aspects or people that do not fit anymore. To let there be a stillness as we move away from an old  shape into a new set of skin. Last week there was a victory, small or big, that shows our fortitude. We were called upon the last couple of weeks to sit and mold our intentions out of raw energy.

This week beseeches us to take these reflections farther. To step back from our wins and assess them with scrutiny and diligence. The system, other people, and circumstances may have flaws. So do we, but if we consistently keep in mind a deeper understanding of what our unique calling is, we come from a place of balance.

Judgement calls on us to self- preserve in some way. We cannot pretend that everything is always going to be okay, or that we can always have what we think we need. Sacrifice is hard. It is supposed to be hard. But if we take that inner voice from the previous weeks, and use that as our compass, our sacrifices will be less, or at least less superfluous. Not every battle is a win, but every victory is a victory.

Now that we are moving past finding and listening to our intuition, this is the week to test and integrate our epiphanies and intentions into our daily lives. Meditating on our intuition can be therapeutic, even healing. But if it is not tested and strengthened in reality it will always just be an inner voice.

For this week, look at your processes, and the transformations you are creating each day. This is a direct reflection to the mindful, physical, and spiritual currents of ourselves. This what affects others around us. This is what we harvest from the unseen darkness. There is new territory, new groupings, and new epiphanies. Somewhere a bell is ringing, we only need to lift our head and listen.

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**Thank you so much for reading. Please respond with any comments or questions, or ways that Judgement has served you. If you would like a tarot reading, please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com

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Card of the week: 6 of Wands

6 of wands

“Our share of night to bear,
Our share of morning,
Our blank in bliss to fill,
Our blank in scorning.
Here a star, and there a star,
Some lose their way.
Here a mist, and there a mist
Afterwards ~ day!” Emily Dickinson II

The world did not stop for us to tune into our High Priestess last week. Many public and, I am assuming, personal entanglements could have occurred for each of us between these two Mondays. Nor will the world stop. That does not mean the energy investing into the intuition and the inner self are wasted. On the contrary, by connecting and weaving ourselves together, to be more whole, we are now more prepared for the vapors that pull up from the dark hole. By pulling ourselves out of the vacuum and cultivating our passions and intentions, we can now assess new situations with flexible, maneuvering hands.

With those tools, we can now communicate to ourselves or others how to approach our circumstances with both our head and our heart. Pragmatism and flexibility are key this week. It may be an endless list of tasks, or something larger or harder to conquer. Whatever that beast is, for this week we need to move and adapt.

It may seem like there is so much to get upset by. Strike that. There IS so much to get upset or enraged at. For this week focus on passions, causes, personal growth, anything that you hold tenderly in a well- lit window of your making. Take that small flame and find another. Give it life. Burn it hotter, bigger, and brighter. It does not have to be some large-scale global cause. It can be a small as choosing new words towards someone else. It could seem as insignificant as a meal, or anything that satisfies you. Find a new way to solve an old problem.

Evolution takes time. But what about the daily evolving we can blossom from a conversation, a song, a break from a buzzing society that never has its fill? I think the 6 of wands speaks to that evolution. For this week, we should try to twist ourselves out of the debris, public or personal. How can we each actively listen and pursue our way into a freer space.

This could include anything that helps you. I find my best tool is journaling. In my journals I can erase and redo myself over and over again. I can have conversations (both with real and fictitious figures) I would never have in my public life. I still say what I mean when I do finally have some of those conversations, but I can say it without pride, doubt, or illusions in my way.

Any way to move in sync with the waves that hold you is moving forward. If there is an obstacle, now is the moment to push through it. As I said before, the world did not stop for those of us who feel the vibrations and pings more deeply. That does not mean we can’t catch up and shake the cage to let the leopard of intent free.

 

**Thank you for reading. Please comment and let me know how the 6 of Wands manifests for you. If you would like a personal reading, please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com. Stay weird!