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In the Cards

"the High Priestess Tarot card" The women of the Major Arcana are versions of you. Your female or “feminine” sides, whether you are male or female. We all have the other inside us. Anima, animus.

In yesterday’s blog post I drew a few cards for a client, including the High Priestess and the Empress and today I thought to myself: these are two very different women.

What are we usually taught about the High Priestess? Occult knowledge, secrets, mystery, intuition. She’s witchy, wispy, a bit untouchable, remote. She seems more pure symbol than flesh and blood, a state of mind, an approach — whereas the Empress is body, zaftig, ripe, Venus as Goddess of love. Creativity and fertility are her common keywords. She gives birth to babies, paintings, poems, master plans, worlds.

I remember learning from my teacher that the Major Arcana represents larger life cycles or processes. Fate. Stuff that’s out of our control, unlike the quotidian of the Minor cards or the people/traits of the Court cards. And I am always seeking ways to bring the Major cards down to earth because I think that’s often how they function in readings — on two tracks: the larger process and something right in front of your face. It reminds me of Mercury and Jupiter in astrology. Mercury as the practical facts and Jupiter as the vision of the future.

This morning I also thought to myself: these women, these Tarot women, they truly are stages, phases, in our lives in that there are times when we need to pull back and be more psychic, tune in to those inner mystical processes, reflect, and there are times when we need to plant and grow and birth and be part of the earth-now. And sometimes we must do both, embody both at the same time! In one day! In one week, month, year.

Women are the multi-taskers of the world. Even the Tarot reveals this 🙂

Another way to look at it: the Major Arcana as analogous to astrological transits. Going through a Saturn or Pluto transit? You may see the Death card a lot. Endings and transformation. Enjoying the bounty of a good Jupiter cycle? You may see the risk-taking Fool. (By the way, I do not strictly follow the Golden Dawn’s tarot-astro correspondences.)

Are there phases in life that are distinctly feminine or distinctly masculine? I am posing this question without an answer because I think it’s an interesting one. Imagine this scenario: your husband or boyfriend repeatedly drawing the High Priestess. No, he’s not cheating on you with the local witchy woman but interesting to note that he’s getting this card instead of the Magician. And how awesome for you that you’ve found a dude who is into Tarot!

Aliza’s Rule Number Seven for Tarot Reading:
The more abstract the card, the greater the need to read big and small. The World could be achievement, material or spiritual. Or something as simple as a road trip! Maybe a long one.

Dear Readers, which cards do you keep seeing? What phases are you in? 

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