If you read the A.E. Waite card descriptions, he waxes enthusiastically about the four streams of water emerging from the Cup in the Ace of Cups. Take a closer look at the picture, though ... notice anything? Yep, there are five streams of water, not four! How about The Magician? Remember how I noted he is adept at using Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles? How can you know that? Well, look at what's sitting on the table right in front of him!
We can thank Pamela Coleman Smith (also known as Pixie Smith) who illustrated the cards per Waite's instructions. Smith not only illustrated the Major Arcana (the Trump cards), she also illustrated the suit cards with pictures or vignettes rather than simple pip counts as had always been done before. In doing so, she really transformed the art of reading Tarot.
Up till then, there was really only one style of Tarot cards -- I call them "Marseilles" after a popular French deck. Pixie Smith developed a whole new style pretty much by herself (Waite didn't really care what was on the suit cards -- he was more interested in the Trump cards). Some of the most popular decks today are variants of Pixie Smith's original concept. Since then, a third desk style has emerged ... but perhaps I'll talk more about the three styles next time!
We'll again pull two cards -- the first suggests something we should focus on for the week. The second suggests things we might consider in order to fully benefit from the attributes of the first card.
The cards are:
|Seven of Wands||Wheel of Fortune |
The Seven of Wands suggests contention – strife, struggle, argument, debate, etc. This can actually be a positive message! For instance, it might suggest you assertively seek what you desire and be steadfast against those who oppose you.
When involved in a struggle, some of us question whether it’s worth it. It just seems too much trouble to go through the hassle. The Seven of Wands reminds you that if you are convinced in the rightness of your purpose, then you shouldn’t avoid the struggle simply because it may be difficult. Sometimes, the hassle really is worth it!
Our second card offers a little hope if that hassle seems just a little too tough. The Wheel of Fortune can help us when times seem tough by reminding us that things tend to go in cycles.
Like the song says: there are good times, and there are bad times. When times are good, don't sit back and become complacent ... because things can change! When times seem bad – don’t become too discouraged. If you think about it, when things seem their worst, that simply suggests that things can then only get better!
Furthermore, the Wheel suggests you shouldn’t simply stand still and accept what life hands you. You can take an active hand to try and remain on the upside of the Wheel. When things are down, instead of waiting and hoping for things to get better, you can work actively towards improving your situation, thereby speeding up the recovery process.
Finally, the Wheel can suggest not becoming discouraged when faced by adversity – adversity is a natural part of life and should be expected to happen. The fact that bad times happen shouldn’t worry you – accept them as natural and not necessarily indicative of problems. Instead, look for ways how you can face and conquer the adversity. If it cannot be addressed, then that might be taken as suggestion of a problem.
When we put these cards together, we see the concept that we may face a struggle whenever we strive for something we feel is worthwhile. The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that this struggle may be well worth our while! If we think we should avoid strife because things are pretty good, the Wheel reminds us that sitting tight doesn't guarantee that things will continue as they are. If the struggle seems too tough, the Wheel suggests that brighter days lie just ahead -- if we only take a hand in the matter rather than avoiding contention.
Bottom line, sometimes we have to work for what we want. And ... if it were always going to be fun, then they wouldn't call it "work", would they!
And that's about it this week; I look forward to seeing you again next week. As always, if you're interested in a private reading, please check out some of the super readers I work with at http://www.woodsongtarot.com/readers.html.
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