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Insight for the Tower

As a tarot reader and tarot student, I find that I gain more insight from books and articles that have nothing to do with tarot knowledge. Sometimes the connection to completely random characters, or different points in time is what makes the understanding of a card stick. I want to share some insight I gained about the Tower from a beautiful book that I am reading right now.

Right now I am reading Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’ Donohue. This book is a stunning read, and has a lot of insight towards other cards, but one particular passage really stuck out and gave me a deeper understanding of the Tower as teacher:

Often all the possessions we have, the work we do, the beliefs we hold, are manic attempts to fill this opening, but they never stay in place. They always slip, and we are left more vulnerable and exposed than before. A time comes when you know that you can no longer wallpaper this void. Until you really listen to the call of this void, you will remain an inner fugitive, driven from refuge to refuge, always on the run with no place to call home. (O’ Donohue 101)

When I read this passage, I felt like I had the greatest clarity over this card. I mention in my March Newsletter that I don’t read the Tower as this predictive card of bad luck or omens. Why? Because I think that the Tower is here to show something that may be more troubling, but it is perhaps one of the greatest lessons to learn. The passage above is making a reference to understanding the psyche, and how interconnection to home, to landscape, and to nature are ultimately the best healers.

When we engage in small earthly wonders, or even just engaging in the quiet space where our inner self stirs, we are creating a wholesome understanding of who we are and what gifts we have. When we seek outside of ourselves to fill the void of connection, we will always be left searching. The answers are inside of us, but we are often to scared to turn over those rocks and search of the mysteries of ourselves.

The Tower comes to us when we have strayed far from ourselves, and when we have placed vigorous meaning in possessions and situations that are outside of us. These may feed our ego, but they shrink our souls. They rest on the surface like oil, but they make the metaphorical water undrinkable regardless. When we routinely learned how to please the ego, we also learn how to silence the starving soul.

So, with the Tower being our monthly card, take time this month to shed the possessions and choices and people and places that are egocentric. These fill the ego with meaning, but have nothing to offer in terms of deep connection. This can be unpleasant, so don’t forget to feel through this process and this month with the Sea Serpent, keeper of the Second Chakra. Find intimacy, play, pleasures, and creativity. Let these precious spaces help handle the Tower energy.

If you would like to book a reading with me, click on my OFFERINGS tab to see what spreads are currently available. If you would like to read more into my messages from the Tower and the Sea Serpent, you can download my free newsletter under the FREE OFFERINGS tab. I hope this is helpful for you!

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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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Mother of Cups in the Dark

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There have been numerous words given to the Mother of Cups, full of praise and light, justly deserved. But there needs to be time given to the dark mother, the one in the corner, carrying wounds and weapons that haven’t been seen.

There are many reasons why it is important to go into the dark side of the tarot:

1.) There is no card in the deck that is strictly good or bad. They all carry the cosmos of light and trouble.

2.) There is no one way to “define” good or bad. Is a good card good because it makes us feel positive? Is a “bad” card the good one because it challenges us to grow and learn so we can honor our highest potential?

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The Mother of Cups promotes self-love, self-discovery, the need for boundaries, and a self-actualized encouragement to go deeper into what we love and cherish in this moment. However, despite these nuisances of deeper love and celebration, the Mother of Cups (just like any other card) has a dark side that reveals obstacles, troubles, or a need for change.

The Mother of Cups shows the beauty of self-love and love to others, but that doesn’t mean that everyone we are around is someone who will bring us joy. We are often required to be around others who we do not hold the best feelings for. This is not a shadow element, but how we deal with this can become a shadow element if we are unchecked in certain behaviors.

One behavior is shit-talking. This behavior does nothing but breed hostility. We are vocalizing our negative feelings,  but not in a way that reaches any conclusion or solution for growth. I want to be clear that shit-talking is not the same as venting. When we vent to someone, we are also not looking for any conclusion to be met, nor are we trying to make a point. We are simply letting out our emotions to someone we trust, or venting in a journal. When someone is trash-talking someone else, we are not trying to reach a solution, but we ARE trying to make a point of how bad this other person is.

When someone trash-talks another it is often because they would never express their feelings in a constructive way to the person involved. Obviously, this is problematic behavior. The Mother of Cup teaches self-love. If we are hurt or upset with someone that is okay, but it becomes problematic when we refuse to address the issue, and resort to bad-mouthing someone behind their back.

 

Another dark side to the Mother of Cups is the need for validation from others. If there is a need to be validated or approved by others, it can often be because of deep-rooted insecurities. The problem here is that the gratification for validation never promotes self-love because it didn’t through us or for us. It came out of a need to be enriched by the words of others, to be seen or in the spotlight. When we practice self-love, we are validating our own vulnerable nature, complete with gifts and flaws.

The urge to be validated can be seen in many ways. It can be seen in jealousy, that we want more validation that someone else. It can be seen in toxic comparisons, or in the need to be competitive with another person, to outdo them and shine brighter. Obviously, all of these are problematic because it fosters a negative outlook. It preaches that we don’t have enough, but it never encourages a healthy way to express our emotions.

Finally, the Mother of Cups is highly intuitive and nurturing. Because of these qualities, she is also prone to burn-out, creative dismantling, or emotionally worn. If the Mother of Cups does not take time to spend alone or with others who fuel her creative or emotional passions, if she is constantly fulfilling the needs of others while neglecting herself, she will burn out. Boundaries and the Sacred No are incredibly important for the Mother of Cups. She needs to be able to take care of herself so that she can serve others.

**Please note that I am not saying that these traits equal a bad person. We all hold and often can act on this dark elements at times. What is important to be mindful, and work to foster an environment where we are self-loving, and promoting love and honesty to others.**

Let me know your thoughts!

Much love Wolflings,

Ashlie

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Card Comparison: Justice

Wolflings,

We now look at the two Justice cards from the two decks I own: The Wild Unknown and the Ostara Tarot. These two decks are very different in style and use of symbolism. In these comparisons, I look to what each image is representing, and how they speak to me in terms of applicable use during a reading. I aim to see the similarities and differences they carry, and how both have a lesson to teach us.

There are some images that will speak to me, or perhaps to you, more. There may even be a favorite. That is okay. They are both still valuable in terms of understanding the deeper connections to be had in applying these cards in real-life scenarios. Let’s jump in. Please remember that these are my interpretations. You may see things differently, which is perfectly fine.

justice comparisons

 

Going from left to right, we have Justice from the Wild Unknown. There are two cats, one black and one white, facing forward with their tails intertwined. Between them is a diamond cut down the middle, representing the color of the other. Above them, a sword points downward, almost touching the diamond. The background has straight lines that come from every corner to the middle.

The two cats represent opposing contrasts, the same outlines, physical being, or metaphor can carry both the light and the dark. There is also an interpretation of how beliefs can be made from simple variations. White is purity. Black is bad luck. These beliefs are not based in anything other than superstition, and superstition does a disservice to actual reality.

The diamond further emphasizes this point. If the color of these cats was so accurate in representation, why does the diamond reflect the color of the other? I believe that this shows that there is no such thing as absolute balance. We carry both the light and the dark within us. We have the options of inflicting either love or fear in all actions and choices. What is important is how we make those choices. How can we, as imbalanced beings, create balance and change? How can we achieve the greater good when we carry the weight of baggage of both energies?

I think this answer lies in the sword. A sword is mute unless wielded. We can stay silent to the things that we find unsettling, disturbing even. We can refuse to create action, hoping instead that the divinity and supreme karma of nature will even the score, but as we all have seen, that is not always the case. We must pick up our sword, and be a warrior for truth, including our own. We must recognize that Justice is not a prophecy. It is a fight for greater understanding and possibility of being in service to all.

Moving to the right card, we have a woman blindfolded. This is a traditional representation of Justice, as it should be blind. She is human in every way, except for the long wing on her right arm. She carries the scales, weighing both a heart and a feather. She stands in an exotic land with trees and mountains behind her. This interpretation is both more on the nose, and more obscure.

First thing that is noticeable is her one wing. This in no way can a representation of balance. She cannot fly with one wing, and she has lost the use of her other arm. I think that this further drives the point home that Justice is not so simply to attain. She could be representing the balance between the human form and wild nature, but in this circumstance it seems to be more crippling. Which I think is the point. We have the need of both our modern human form, and a need for the wild drive in us. We are messy creatures, seeking the authenticity of our wild selves, but we also need the rule of law to guide us.

The scales and her blindfold are seen often. The scales are meant to represent how we weigh cause and consequence, right and wrong. Here we have a heart and a feather, and they seem to be the same weight. How so? Is the heart light because of a choice to be unburdened by judgement and ridicule, or is it so because it has never experienced the weight of the world? The feather is going to light, so how do feathers carry the biggest birds? This may show that what is right for one is not for another, but Justice supposed to indiscriminate, able to fit all? Not necessarily. Justice for one may be seen as a loss for another. Justice is not so easy to identify. Just take a look around to see how much discourse is being spent on what is truth.

What is true is that actions have consequences. The land she is surrounded by is beautiful, lush, full of resources. If we wanted to claim and harness this land for profit or self-service, we would harm and hinder growth. But if we work with the land, if we work with what is provided, we can use what we need without stripping or depleting the needs of communal enterprise.

Based on both cards, I would say that the Wild Unknown Justice speaks more directly to me. It makes a more lasting impression on how I work with the card meaning. That is not to say that the Ostara Tarot Justice is one I don’t like. I actually really like this card, and it presents a lot of things to go deeper on. I personally do not like analogy of Justice as a blindfolded woman. I understand the reference, but I think in order to engage and make decisions about this world, for this world, we need to have our eyes open to highlights and the horrors. We need to see how things are to decide how we want them to be.

**I hope you will comment and let me know what you think of these, or your own cards. This card is a hard one, but it so applicable right now. Much love Wolflings!

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9 of Cups

9 of Cups and the Bear

Wolflings, let us deep dive now into the 9 of Cups (I will be discussing the Bear card at a later time). This card is often considered the “wish” card, implying that when this card shows up in a spread the things we wish for will come to pass. I think this notion is a little overindulged personally, and I think there are other aspects of this card that are much more potent than a wish. Wishes, dreams, and hopes are incredibly powerful, and I do not wish to dumb these needed aspects of life down. But I think that when it comes to this card, the message is more accessible in achieving the wishes of emotional integrity, and following the dreams of living in emotional wellness.

So let us go in deeper within the boundaries of this card…..

From the deck the Wild Unknown we see 9 cups arranged, almost in the way we would see at a dinner table or gathering. A crescent moon is found at the top, completely the circle. This shows that although the arrangement is almost complete, there is still room for collective creativity and growth that stems from personal possibility and accountability.

One of the biggest things I see with this card is the effect of community, strength in numbers, or support system. No one in this world makes their life ring without having the chorus of others. We all need someone or more to help us achieve what we wish. We need to be part of the table, the conversation, the collective integrity of whole growth. When we have those who are loyal, who help us lead our best and whole selves, we find comfort, security, or safety.

This card also shows that it is never to late to find emotional wellness. Even when the cards are stacked against us. Even when we face loss, grief, or trauma. When we let the spectrum of light, uplifting emotions down to deep, troubling emotions flow and open our hearts, we can actually find more emotional wisdom to become wholesome and honest. This is also greatly served by having a support system who will nourish and walk by our sides.

When we become conscious of our deep wishes and dreams, we can become more poised and capable of finding gratitude. If our deep wish is to connect with lost friend, a family member who we haven’t spoken to, or to achieve a great and emotionally fulfilling success, we tap into what we have to help us, and what we potentially still need. When we are honest that what we want isn’t always in our higher self-interest we can go deeper into what would help our self-interest in the most effective way.

One thing that I see with this card is the combined and mutual efforts between self and the universe. When we send out our best wishes, coupled with the gratitude of what we have here and now, the Universe receives that information, but the Universe is not responsible for us. We are responsible for ourselves, and the Universe. That does not mean that Universe does not hear us. She hears everything in our hearts, but we must take the initiative and start to enact the changes that we wish to see. We must start the process of attainment within our own ways.

When we follow our heart minds, and what they are really asking, we can unfold new possibilities. We can create a new emotional chapter, one that is more honest about our personal and communal evolutions. We can seek greater things. We can feel the conviction of new or awoken integrity to heart truth. These are medicines that will keep when the other things in the world are a struggle. When we can look to the hardships in life, and see them as a way to prosper and grow in a new way, we open the new chapter with much strength and intelligence.

 

**This is one of my favorite cards, and a beautiful look into the month of September, and how we can achieve what we desire emotionally. Please let me know what you think of this card. Stay wild wolflings!

Much love,

Ashlie