Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Some Perspectives on Readings with the Judgment Card

For those who weren’t with us on Sunday, one of the things we did was get out the Tarot decks and pose a request to the effect, “Please show me where I can experience new life.” Then, we shuffled and went through our decks until we came to the Judgment card, and noted the cards to either side of it. As we discussed, the card to the left of Judgment can represent parts of your Self that could stand to undergo renewal, transformation, or uplifting--often because they can represent aspects of your personality or other interests that you had to suppress in trying accommodate society and make your way in the world. The card to the right of Judgment shows ways that you can express your rejuvenated selfhood.

When I got home Sunday evening, I tried to reconstruct some of the card combinations that came up. I can’t remember all of the readings, as there are some that I’m fuzzy about, so in the future I’ll have to take notes. Now, as time permits, I’ll try to write down a few observations on what I recall. As I’m not able to get to my computer on most days, it will take a little while to work through this.

From what I recall, a number of the first drawn cards (on the left of Judgment) were what we call “people” cards, in that they feature certain Tarot personalities. Among these were the Knight of Swords, the Queen of Wands, the Knight of Pentacles, and the Empress.

The Knights represent your ability to get involved in something in a very focused way, so in the context of this reading for resurrection/rejuvenation, the people who got knights might think back on focused activities of the past that made them feel “in the flow,” “in the zone,” that made the sense of time go away or made them feel alive and invigorated with a sense of new possibilities. In the case of the Knight of Pentacles, this could denote immersion in some material world activities such as crafts, or gardening, or looking after some basic financial or maintenance concerns, whereas the Knight of Swords could pertain to involvement in ideas and causes.

The person who drew the Knight of Pentacles was using the “Universal Fantasy Tarot,” which portrays the Knight as a small, black goblin who rides a squirrel which is clutching a coin. This imagery very much suggests focusing on the little things, including what some people might look down upon as money-grubbing details. If this card comes up for you in this context, it could mean that you have been neglecting some of the basic contingencies of life, perhaps out of a desire to focus on more spiritually refined ideals. If so, the Knight of Pentacles gives you “permission” to indulge your more materialistic instincts, (consider the instinctual activities of the squirrel), as something that would be beneficial at this time. The card to the right of Judgment was the 2 of Swords, which indicates that attention to small, material details can be helpful in mediating relationships, and that this ability to create balance between Self and Other, or between other individuals, (such as two children?), can lead to greater confidence and harmony.

By the way, when we did the bibliomancy, where we pulled random books off the shelves and read passages, I think that the person who drew the Knight of Pentacles was the same person who pulled a book on gardening. I no longer remember the message, but it may have been on gardening as a focusing activity. Taking another look at the “Universal Fantasy” card, I see that the goblin knight and his squirrel are portrayed amidst a bed of golden flowers, (which also has implications for prosperity). Those of you who were taking notes might want to give some more thought as to whether your bibliomancy has any resonance with your Tarot reading.

I do not recall which deck was used with the Knight of Swords, but the other card in the reading was the Magician. Because the Magician is concerned with achieving worldly mastery through exploration of the elemental qualities of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, this spread would suggest applying Knight of Swords intensity to the quest for knowledge and skill.

In my next installment, I’ll get into the Queen and Empress. In the meantime, Barb Moore has been posting a really excellent series of articles on the Court Cards on the Llewellyn Journal webpage. The one on the Knights can be found at Barb does a really great job of getting to the essence of the court characters, to better understand what they mean when they come up in your readings.

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