This Week in Tarot: October 8 – 14

The Power of Tarot

This week, I am not so much focusing on a deck of Tarot cards, as I am a book on the Tarot by a world-renowned Tarot expert Rachel Pollack. It is named, “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom,” and it includes both the Major and Minor Arcana. Pollack mostly uses the Rider-Waite deck for her images, but also includes other decks for contrast. This book is said to have inspired a whole generation of students of the Tarot. Many describe it as “the Bible of Tarot readers,” and Pollack blends awareness of myth with modern psychology in her interpretations.

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Pollack writes, “Today we see the Tarot as a kind of path—a way to personal growth through an understanding of ourselves and life.” And with that, let’s see what Ms. Pollack has to say about our cards for the week ahead. She does read reversed cards, and so do I, so I am including those interpretations. A lot of trump cards from the Major Arcana came up this week, so it’s bound to be intense!


DAY (THE CHARIOT [REVERSED]): The Chariot implies that a situation contains some contradictions and they have been controlled until now. Reversed, these inherent contradictions gain greater force. The Chariot upside down implies that willpower has proven unsuccessful, and the situation has gotten out of control. Unless the person can find some other approach to the difficulties, he or she faces disaster because willpower alone cannot always sustain. Like Oedipus, we must sometimes give way to the gods too.

EVENING (THE HIEROPHANT): This name belonged to the high priest of the Greek Eleusinian Mysteries. This trump card can signify initiation into a secret doctrine, which can give us direction to begin working on ourselves. It can indicate speaking to God or speaking to God via an oracle. So, it’s a good night to get a reading as well. For Aleister Crowley, the Hierophant represents the individual becoming united with the Universe. In a reading, the card signifies churches, doctrines, and education. Psychologically, it can indicate orthodoxy, conformity to society’s ideas and codes of behavior, as well as a surrender of responsibility.


DAY (THE HIGH PRIESTESS [REVERSED]): According to Pollack, this card reversed is not too bad. The High Priestess represents a single-minded picture of one aspect of life. When reversed, however, it signifies a turn towards passion and towards a deep involvement with life and other people, in all ways. However, the pendulum can swing too far, and then this card when reversed can symbolize a loss of that most precious knowledge: the sense of our inner selves. So the key on this Monday is to enjoy life and not to go too far overboard.

EVENING (FOUR OF CUPS [REVERSED]): Here, the reversal takes us out of ourselves and awakens us to the world and its possibilities. Therefore, it’s time to go out to someplace new, meet new people, and listen to new ideas. Most importantly, the reversed card shows enthusiasm and the seizing of opportunities. Carpe diem! (or in this case, the night!)


DAY (THE HIGH PRIESTESS): Today, there is a sense of the mystery in life, both the things we do not know and the things we cannot know. It indicates a sense of darkness. Sometimes, it’s an area of fear in our lives, but also sometimes it’s one of beauty. Therefore, take time for yourself and allow things inside to awaken. This is a good day to call California Psychics and speak to a life path psychic too.

EVENING (PAGE OF WANDS [REVERSED]): This is an evening where you or someone around you may feel confused and indecisive. You want to start something, but there are disruptions, and in some cases, outright opposition. This Page’s basic qualities are simplicity and faithfulness, so when he becomes indecisive he can become unstable and weak. A person who receives this card needs either to get away from complexity or to develop the maturity to deal with it. Continued indecision can only lead to resolving and self-confidence degenerating further. Keep it simple! Press the easy button!


DAY (TEMPERANCE): The key to this day is moderation in all things and balance too. Temperance signifies mixing disparate elements together and blending activities and feelings to produce a sense of harmony and peace. It means balancing and combining the different sides of life. Push the reset button!

EVENING (THREE OF SWORDS): The Golden Dawn title for this card is “Sorrow.” This card most simply represents pain and heartbreak. This means it’s probably not a good evening for relationships. Pollack tells us, “Yet, for all its gloom, the picture brings a certain calm in the symmetry of its swords. To true sorrow, we can make only one response—take the pain into our hearts, accept it, and go beyond it. It tells us that we must not push the pain away from us, but somehow take it deep inside until it becomes transformed by courage and love.” Therefore, this may be a time to grieve a loss, but also to have the courage to go on and love again.


DAY (TWO OF SWORDS [REVERSED]): Today you could lose your balance or just give up trying. Either the person becomes knocked over by people or problems charging her defenses, or else the blindfold is given up for the purpose of either seeing the truth or communicating. The latter experience can prove very emotional, even shattering, if the person does not receive help from the outside.

EVENING (THE TOWER): This night could bring a time of violent upheaval (either literally or psychologically), the destruction of long-established situations or the breakup of relationships in anger or even violence. One could experience a flash of enlightenment, especially if such enlightenment replaces a limited view of life. Shift happens!


DAY (THE MAGICIAN): This is a day when one could receive more power and/or direct more power. It means an awareness of power in your life, of spirit or a simple excitement possessing you. It can also mean someone else’s power affecting you. The Magician can become a strong personal symbol for the creative force. It also means willpower—the will unified and directed towards goals. This can indicate great strength. People who seem to always get what they want in life are often people who simply know what they want and can direct their energy. The Magician teaches us that both willpower and success come from being conscious of the power available to everyone. However, most people rarely act. Instead, they react, going from one experience to the next. To act is to direct your strength to the places you want it to go.

EVENING (THE QUEEN OF CUPS): This Queen shows the possibility of blending imagination, action, creativity, and social usefulness. Her throne, decorated with cherubic mermaids, sits on land, indicating her vital connection to the outer world and to other people. Yet, the water flows over her feet and merges with her dress, signifying the unity of self with emotion and imagination. This Queen joins consciousness to feeling. She knows what she wants and will take the necessary step to get it. Yet, she always acts with an awareness of love. Hence, this is a good night to take your vision and make something real and lasting from it.


DAY (DEATH [REVERSED]): It could be a lazy Saturday when you just want to stay in bed and take it easy. Pollack says of Death reversed, “The trump reversed indicated being stuck in old habits.” Waite talks of, “inertia, sleep, and lethargy”  in life. This sense of a sluggish, boring life masks the sometimes desperate battle of the ego to avoid change. The card always indicates that Death, with its subsequent rebirth, is not only a possibility but also in a sense, a necessity. The moment has come to die. By drowning us in lethargy, the ego prevents awareness of this fact from coming to consciousness. Inertia, boredom, and depression often conceal inner terrors.

EVENING (EIGHT OF PENTACLES): Tonight is a good night to work and get organized. The way to Spirit, for Pentacles, lies not in success or even in the awareness of value in ordinary things, but in the work that allows us to appreciate those things. The Eight shows both discipline and skill. Work, whether physical, artistic, or spiritual, cannot succeed if the person thinks only of the end result. We have to care about the work itself. Therefore, in this card, we see the apprentice lost in his task. And yet work also needs to relate to the outside world. Also, our work lacks meaning if it does not serve the community. Service is the key, and also a key on “Saturn’s day.”

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