The Power of Tarot
Now that summer is getting into full swing, I have chosen an offbeat and eclectic Tarot deck, The Portland Tarot. I admit I have a special fondness for this beautiful city as I have lived here now for a number of years. Yes, we love to “Keep Portland Weird.” That is a practical statement of our collective mindset.
The Portland Tarot was created by Portlander Theresa Pridemore using favorite parks and landmarks around town as a backdrop for her imagery. She uses photos of actual Portland individuals who she believes embody the archetypes of the Major Arcana. These Major Arcana cards so wonderfully speak about deep realities and infinite truths in a fresh and cutting edge manner. The Reading and Interpretation Guide included with the cards is by Theresa Pridemore and Jamie Morris. I have drawn my reading this week from it, as well as throwing in a few interpretations of my own. Let’s sample the Major Arcana of this fun and spirited deck! Take an excursion through Portland with me now and let’s discover the diverse and colorful sights, sounds, and people.
Day: The Lovers/Major Arcana 6
Today is a day to celebrate all the ways we love our soul mates and all the ways they love us. This card is associated with the sign of Gemini, referring to the idea of “soul twins” who recognize each other throughout lifetimes instantly upon meeting each other. As Pridemore points out, love is not a simple matter, but spans friendship, sexuality, commitment, work, and play. All we see in the image is a happy couple walking their dog. What their spirits see is so much larger. Their dog is actually the Guardian Angel of their relationship helping daily to hold them together. Let’s celebrate our soul mates today! Let’s celebrate all the diverse forms our love can take. Who’s the angel of your relationship?
Evening: Strength/Major Arcana 8
This woman has wild animals eating out of her hand. She demonstrates to us that strength is not about physical strength after all. At the same time, an aspect of strength is to not be afraid of our physicality. We are in a physical world in order to gain spiritual evolution, and this truth and the acceptance of it is what brings about integrity. Integration in all senses brings about the flexibility and solidity that is strength. In this depiction the Lion is the guardian of the woman’s strength, not a wild beast that she has subdued. The lions at the Oregon Zoo came out to pose for the author as if cooperating with her efforts to create this card’s image! Let’s meditate today on how gentleness and strength go together.
Day: Wheel of Fortune/ Major Arcana 10
It’s really our attitudes toward life that decide how content we will be. Difficulty is sometimes necessary in order to bring our own shadow to our attention. The Monarch butterfly in the upper corner wants to transcend the wheel of karma, the wheel of ups and downs, but the man in the picture knows that he is vulnerable to both the highs and lows of life. It is compassion for self and others that frees him from the fear of fate. Today let’s meditate on how we can maintain serenity in the midst of constant change.
Evening: The Empress/ Major Arcana 3
The Empress archetype shows a person who has the power to give life, whether to a project, a child, a business, a book or a painting. This is a night to really make space for creativity. The Empress will be at our backs inspiring, encouraging and spurring us on. Patience and understanding are part of this process because as we realize that we are all one tonight, we know our own creations bless not only us, but others. The quest for profit is never eclipsed by the greater, “heart-centric”, mission of making the world a better place. Let’s ask for the Empress’s collaboration.
Day: The High Priestess/ Major Arcana 2
This is a day for reflection on the deeper mysteries even as we go about weekday activities. Powerful insights will arise in consciousness throughout today with the High Priestess including you in her tribe. This card symbolizes the High Priestess energy with a photograph of Portland women gathering in a group during a Super Moon. The iconic St. John’s Bridge is in the background. It says to us that our inner knowing is individual but we move through life together with our real tribes.
Evening: Justice/ Major Arcana 11
This card exemplifies how we can “love the truth more than our own stories.” It can mean involvement with the Justice system or it can mean our own process of “accounting and adjustment” that balances the karmic scales. Tonight is a night for sober and honest thinking that includes love for self and others. Knowing that truth is seldom black or white, we allow for some grey tones in our judgments. The result will be a rebalancing inside that offers the gift of freedom to ourselves and those we love.
Day: The Hermit/ Major Arcana 9
Connection is so important, but we sometimes must pull into our own circle of energy. The Hermit reminds us of this today. Over-stimulation, too much involvement, and the desires and fears of others have over loaded our circuits. Withdraw into nature and unplug from electronic pollution today. When this is successfully accomplished we can become the sage or medicine healer for others. Our wilderness has been traversed and has prepared us for our purpose on the planet. This card reminds us to “take time” today because it will be worth it.
Evening: The Hanged Woman/ Major Arcana 12
A little “upside down time” sometimes brings the essential perspectives our soul wants to offer us right now. Suspended, with no power to make immediate changes, we relax into the surrender that will reveal some important mysteries about our lives. Don’t hold your point of view in a death grip. Accept that there is nothing you can do right now to make the changes you want to see. The world is “on backwards” now, but imitate the hummingbird which freezes in mid-air, gracefully and beautifully. In some situations we choose between being “right” and being “happy” today.
Day: Temperance/ Major Arcana 14
The healer heals others by knowing how to heal herself. The alchemy of moderation is exemplified in her approach. Using the four elements of earth, water, fire and air in balanced proportions, we can achieve this. The authors state that Temperance reminds us to always take the long view and brew a healing tea out of the “fire and ice, toil and trouble”, and “raging opposites” that sometimes emerge in day to day existence. Balance and healing come from the alchemy of patience and adaptation.
Evening: The Seeker/ Major Arcana 5
Traditionally known as the Hierophant, Trump 5 is about starting off on the path of spiritual wisdom. We do this through accepting guidance, of course, but as the authors stress, “with thanks to our teachers- we must still develop our own compass.” Dogmatism is to be avoided tonight. So is a total disregard for tradition and well earned authority. We must test our hunches before we add them to our personal body of knowledge. Humility and daring are required.
Day: The Chariot/ Major Arcana 7
Will, direction, and focus win the race. Discern the difference today, however, between will and willfulness, focus and fanaticism, direction and rigid obsession. Define your goal, be determined, and maintain focus. You may find yourself sailing along with the universal energies at your back!
Evening: The Magician/ Major Arcana 1
Theatricality, skill, and energy are all employed by the Magician. The hours of dedicated practice are invisible to his audience. He is the embodiment of craft. Tonight, whatever our activities, the Magician wants to aid us toward brilliance. By using powers for the benefit of self and others, and harnessing emotional energies in the process, we can form our world.
Day: The Fool/ Major Arcana O
Hey, it’s Saturday! Let’s follow the innocence of The Fool and take a leap into a new adventure. Be openhearted and take some reasonable risks. Take some unreasonable ones, too, if they’re worth the prize. Pay attention to the reasons of the heart, not just of the mind. Take provisions along, but not too many, they’ll weigh you down. Remember to laugh!
Evening: Death/ Major Arcana 13
Our week with the Portland Tarot has come to a close. In the image, Death rides through the park with a face painted like a harlequin. She masquerades as an ending, but is really an ending with an inevitable new beginning. By accepting change we find our way to rebirth. The rainbow in the picture of this card suggests hope to those who consider suicide from the bridge beyond it. “It” may be over, but life isn’t. Find the freedom in release. Reach for the new.
Thanks for wandering through town with me today. See you here again.
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