08 January 2011

Tarot Reading for a New Semester

"Six of Cups" by Stephanie Lee
Since it’s the start of a new semester, I did a tarot reading to project what the semester will be like, what challenges I may face, and just in general find out what’s ahead of me academically, physically, militarily, and in my personal life. I just did a four card spread for the reading and used my Celtic Tarot deck. I pulled one card for each area of my life. The first card I pulled signified the academic realm of the coming semester, and it was Five of Chalices (or Cups), which in my deck is symbolic of sacrifice, and can warn of problems brought on by one’s own actions, such as rebelling against limitations. However, the positive aspect of this card can also signify new experiences and surprises, variety, knowledge questing, and creative activities. Thus, I interpreted this card to be a warning for me not to let my fun get in the way of my studies, or else I’ll regret it. One possible consequence would be my grades dropping too low for me to get into my grad school of choice a few years down the road. So. Taking that one to heart.

The second card I pulled, which signified the military aspects of my life, was a little more difficult for me to interpret. It was the Knave (or Prince, or Princess, or Page) of Pentacles, and it was reversed. It was the only card in my reading that came up reversed. For those of you unfamiliar with tarot, reversed refers to when a card is pulled from the deck upside down. On a quick side note, my method of tarot isn’t necessarily orthodox as far as tarot goes. I shuffle the cards, face-side down, by laying them out on a desk or rug and just moving them around with my hands, usually in circles, but making sure that they are thoroughly mixed. I shuffle this way for three reasons. First and foremost, I can’t shuffle as a normal deck of playing cards would be shuffled. Second, I don’t want to bend the cards or otherwise alter their form through shuffling too roughly. Finally, it allows some of the cards to be reversed and some to be upright in a pretty even ratio, so the number that actually turn out reversed in the spread is always interesting. I shuffle until they feel “done” to me, which usually is after a few minutes. I then reassemble them, focusing on my problem or question. When the stack is all in order, I cut it twice to make three separate piles, then reassemble those in reverse and draw straight from the top in the order of whatever predetermined layout I decided on.

Now, back to this particular reading. In my deck, the Knave of Pentacles is the Mage, and the reversed card could imply delayed communications and obstacles. It could also imply learning by doing, a very hands-on process, but a process that may be self-taught. Thus, I interpreted this as evidence of what I pretty much already know. I’m a Platoon Leader this semester, and during the academic year, communications are key (and usually problematic). I also don’t receive much guidance, so everything I’ve been doing and will likely continue to do, is pretty much self-generated. I am the ruler in my tiny little kingdom. We’ll see how this one plays out, I suppose. I’ve been meaning to look up more information about that particular card to see if other resources can give me any further insights.

The third card, which represented the physical realm of this semester, was the Nine of Chalices. This card in the Celtic Tarot corresponds to Awakening, and the imagery on the card is pretty traditional if you’re accustomed to more popular decks. It depicts a robust and older man in regal attire, lounging casually on castle steps with six chalices behind him and three in front. The three chalices in the foreground contain wine. This card signifies blessings, goal fulfillment, satisfaction, reward, contentment, all good things. Thus, I interpreted it to mean that I’ll enjoy good health this semester and reach my physical goals, which incidentally include losing 10 lbs. However, I’m going to keep in mind the imagery of the card itself, which may imply gaining some weight if I’m too indulgent and not careful.

The fourth and final card I pulled, corresponding to my personal and emotional life, was the Six of Chalices, which signifies Amazement. This card, according to Tarot for a New Generation by Janina Renee (book available here), implies a “relaxed and prosperous time following a period of insecurity,” as well as an emphasis on recreational and social events, making new friends and reuniting with old ones, and in general, feeling loved and protected in your relationships. It may also imply (like so many other tarot cards seem to) a new romance, and in particular, a harmonious one. Through a connection with the number “six,” this card can also be linked to the major arcane card VI: The Lovers. This card, with its depiction of two happy children playing in a garden, also implies an idealized past. That all sounds like it bodes well to me. I’m curious which direction this aspect of my life will take, and how the implications of this specific card will manifest.

However, those were not the only cards I looked at in this reading. While I was shuffling, before I even had laid out the spread, two cards flipped themselves over. They did not flip over at the same time, but just in the process. I’m pretty careful when shuffling, so when a card flips or falls off, I consider it something outside of my reading, but that still needs to be seen and taken into account with the other cards. The first card that revealed itself during the shuffling process was the Four of Wands, which signifies Concord in the Celtic Tarot deck. The second card was the Queen of Wands, which signifies Whim. These cards I interpreted separately from the spread, and also as general guidance when taken with the actual four-card spread. The Four of Wands predicts happiness and a good life, and that one is on the right road to obtaining one’s desires. The Queen of Wands implies many things, but I took it as a prediction of success in a leadership position, confidence, and general capability, but to also serve as yet another caution to not overindulge. The Queen of Wands can also represent a warning to not take out one’s wrath on others, which I know is a weakness of mine.

Overall, I found this reading a pretty positive one, and I hope the semester turns out with all the good things the cards foretell, and that I can heed the imbedded warnings well enough to avoid any overly negative outcomes. Of course, only time will tell.

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