Seven of Swords Fifth Spirit Tarot
Tarot

Strategizing With The Seven of Swords

During a recent tarot reading, the Seven of Swords kept appearing. And every time it did, I sucked my breath grudgingly. As you might have noticed, I had never written about it before because, well, I am kind anxious around it.

Unlike other cards that I am not a fan of, because either I don’t have much understanding of (Temperance) or just not that into (Queen of Pentacles), I am all too familiar with the Seven of Swords.

Especially the young me.

As a teenager living under a strict roof of my traditional Indian parents, I have called upon and emulated the Seven of Swords energy plenty of time. Tricking, not telling the whole truth or just plain lying to manipulating ━ I have done it all ━ just to have a chance of a normal teenager life; like eating pizza with friends, not coming straight home after school or going to a friend’s house over the weekend.

Learning the Seven of Swords as a tarot-loving adult unwillingly brought back all those childhood memories ━ or traumas, depends on how I feel like framing it. Either way, it wasn’t fun; hence I avoid hanging-out with the Seven of Swords.

Back to the reading, I was expecting advice along the “beware of trickers and manipulations” line, but the reader kept saying “strategize” whenever the Seven of Swords popped up.

At the end of the session, I asked why, and she said:

“Because it asks you to strategize. You might have the tools, but you need to know how to use it for your advantage to achieve what you want — kind of like The Magician.”

Seven of Swords is the strategy card

Before then, I had never seen the Seven of Swords in a positive light. Strategize doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Maybe I can work with it to slowly rewrite my childhood stories.

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The Chariot Moon Void Tarot The Spacious Tarot
Tarot

Flights, Chariot, Action!

I pulled the Eight of Wands and The Chariot (Cancer) as the cards of the day. It wasn’t a surprise. It has been a tradition of mine to travel on the 26 January; even before I moved to Australia, which has it as the first public holiday of the year.

This time though, what caught my attention was The Chariot card.

Along with The Magician, The Chariot was one of the first few tarot cards that I liked and understood. Or so I thought.

When I first started learning tarot based on the images, I associated The Chariot with travelling. Obviously, as the guy on the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck is riding a chariot. He is on the move or about to move. So is the witch who is riding the bike on the Everyday Witch Tarot deck.

But the Chariot on the deck I used for the reading today, the Moon Void Tarot, shows pages and pages of papers. Each one dated by month. July 2016, August 2016 and so on. There is a hand holding a pen writing on one of those pages. As if the person is scheduling and making plans. I don’t see anything that resembles travelling, which ironically fitted my situation of being unable to travel this time.

Alas, it got me curious about the artist’s interpretation of the card, and I dug through my piles of to-read books and found the guide book for the deck which I bought separately (one of the best tarot related decision I made so far: When in doubt, get the guide book). It says:

“…connect with our momentum, as we develop a clear vision, we begin to take action. …daily practice becomes the structure that takes us from one phase of life to the next. Small steps in physical reality will be met by large leaps from the Universe, but first, (you) must begin.”

I then went through The Spacious Tarot deck wondering how The Chariot is depicted there as I don’t think I have ever pulled this card from that deck. The image on the card itself reminded me of the Milford Sound in New Zealand South Island. Again travel related. But the mini-guide book offered an explanation closer to one given by the Moon Void above:

“…define exactly what is it that you want to do. What hard things do you need to do at this time? Affirm that you are capable and go do what you need to do.”

Wow. Reading it was like peeling another layer of The Chariot card.

The one that I didn’t even know existed.

The one about taking inspired actions.

I love it when that happens. That is also why I am love learning about tarot. The more I understand, the more interesting it becomes.

🛒 ❥K

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Seven of Wands Tarot Moon Void Tarot Crystals
Tarot

The Spacious Seven of Wands

With space as the guiding word for my year, I went through my tarot-mental Rolodex, to pick a card, which best represents space for me.

Not able to associate the space I have in mind with any major arcana cards (not even The Fool nor The World), I moved to the minor ones in sequence starting from the Wands suit. It was then it clicked, without needing to review the rest of the cards on the deck – the space energy I wish to invite for this year is represented in the Seven of Wands.

TBR, the Seven of Wands has never been a favorite – both as a Seven (I prefer Seven of Pentacles) nor in the Wands suit (I favor the Eight of Wands). It’s also the only Seven suits that I haven’t journal-ed about as I had never put much thought into it, until this week.

Also, the image of the card in the classic Rider Waite Smith deck is not pretty. It shows a man, with mismatched shoes, standing on a higher ground, ready to fight other wands pointing at him. But then, when I envision conquering 2021 by claiming my space, I so want to be that man. Ready to defend my place, come what may!

In tarot, Seven of Wands traditionally means courage, persistence, competition, challenges. It can also be about:

Perseverance, defending one’s territory and expansion which for me translates to space, space and more space.

Space Word of the year 2021 Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne Victoria Australia
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Film Camera MjuII Kodak Color 400 Four of Cups Moon Void Deck Tarot Goals Winery
Tarot

My 22 Tarot Goals

  1. Complete the posts on the traditional meanings and keywords of the 78 tarot cards.
  2. Complete the 78 tarot memoir I started last November.
  3. Give free tarot readings to others for practice.
  4. Note down all new and full moon tarot spread in one year.
  5. Practice reading with two and more tarot cards and more tarot spread.
  6. Carry my tarot deck everywhere.
  7. Combine my photography and tarot passions.
  8. Study the connections between tarot cards and arts.
  9. Find real-life depiction of the image on the tarot cards.
  10. Interview a tarot reader and a female tarot deck creator.
  11. Incorporate Oracle into my tarot practice.
  12. Get a professional tarot reading done.
  13. Work and shed more light into difficult cards.
  14. Create stories with more than a single tarot card.
  15. Be a part of and participate actively in the tarot community.
  16. Read and review a tarot book.
  17. Get a tarot tattoo.
  18. Turn the blog to be a bit more tarot-savvy. 
  19. Memorize the keywords of each tarot cards.
  20. Support indie tarot decks created by female artists.
  21. Lean on tarot as a self-care and self-discovery tool.
  22. Support the normalization of tarot.
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The Nine of Swords Depression Moon Void Tarot
Tarot

The Depressing Nine of Swords

I pulled Nine of Swords from the Moon Void Tarot deck today on my last working day of 2020.

Though it might be unusual to pull the gloomiest card on the tarot deck a couple of days before Christmas, I wasn’t surprised at all. I have anticipated my workday would be hell, and it was. Alas, it’s done now, and I don’t even want to think let alone elaborate about it anymore.

Let’s talk about the Nine of Swords itself. A card that dominated the year 2020 collectively ━ at least for most of us ━ included me during the large-part of #isolife.

The Nine of Swords is a card of sadness, depression, despair, helplessness, and inability to escape reality.

Whenever I pull the Nine of Swords, especially as a stand-alone card say as a card to describe my day, I feel like the air around me has been sucked and making me unable to breathe normally.

As I shared here before that I am not deterred when I pulled The Moon, The Death even The Tower card but Nine of Swords always want me to shove the card back into the deck, take a nap to restart my day and redo the reading.

There is no two-way about it, the Nine of Swords put a fear in me.

Aside to the depressive general interpretation of the card above, the image of it is also unpleasant.

The traditional Rider Waite Smith tarot deck depicts the Nine of Swords as a girl crying alone in her bedroom. Eek!

Also, I don’t particularly appreciate that on the most tarot deck I have seen, the Nine of Swords, if it has a person on it, is usually shown as a woman instead of a man. As if depression, crying and showing vulnerable emotions are more of a woman thing. It’s not. It’s universal. Let’s change the narrative!

Yes, I am sure the Nine of Swords also has some redeemable qualities about it and like all the card in the tarot deck, is here to guide and or teach us something. Maybe I can start a quest on Nine of Swords. An in-depth study on it so I can understand better and learn from it. But for now, I am just glad this card comes to me very rarely, and if it’s a stand-alone or where I wouldn’t want it to be the likely outcome or solution, I usually pull a clarifying card to ease up the pain of the many, MANY, swords.

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Waxing Moon Morning Sky Mjuii x Fujifilm Industrial 100
Tarot

Shedding Some Light on The Moon

“What is your association with The Moon card?”

My tarot teacher asked me when we practiced reading tarot with a spread.

I told her that:

“I always feel a strong connection to the moon. I also find The Moon card on most tarot decks attractive”.

She seemed a bit relieved by my answer, before going on explaining that tarot readers have divided perceptions about The Moon card; some consider it as a good card, while others find it difficult.

I looked at the card on the spread. We were using the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck. There a few things going on for sure. The lobster, the howling dogs, the towers with the dark sky draping the background. But nothing calls out to be as a problematic.

Yes, the moon can be emotional, but so are we, are we not?

I put my thoughts aside and continued reading the spread. I interpreted The Moon as I needed to wait for a whole month before being able to see any progress.


The Moon card (Pisces) itself is about intuition.

The Moon


It’s time to let the moon illuminate our dark side. For us to embrace our shadow-self, to go deeper inside, in the effort of understanding ourselves better.


The other day, I meditated under the full moon on Aries. Again a homework from my teacher. I took out all The Moon cards my all the tarot decks (excluding Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, as these days I only use it as a point of reference) I owned to contemplate more on it.

The depiction in The Spacious Tarot deck is my favourite. The card is dominated by a large moon – which reminds me of the time I went to Uluru and saw the moon up close point. It also has two mushrooms on it, which reminds me of The Lovers tarot card.

After spending sometime with The Moon tarot cards, I journaled about it – a whole three pages in my Moleskin. I am not ready to share it here yet. Thought at this rate, I have a feeling that I will eventually share it with you but for now, do know it has been cathartic.

That night, I honoured the moon’s energy by drinking Lavender tea and going to bed with Selenite charging me from the bedside table.

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Tarot

Ten of Pentacles and The Introvert

I have always associated the Ten of Pentacles with family.

From having a family gathering, throwing a party and inviting your family or at the least celebrating the fact of having made it in life seen from your family or community standard. Those are pretty close to the traditional interpretation of the Ten of Pentacles: financial security, family, legacy and stability (for me, stability relates closely to family).

In the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, the Ten of Pentacles depicted by three generations sitting in the courtyard with a castle in the background. It shows prosperity — excessively.

Echoing a few tarot readers sentiments, I too have a qualm with the classic image of the card. Firstly, why there is only an older man? If it’s of three generations, where is the older woman? Did she die? Why the young-ish couple’s body language doesn’t exude warmness? Why are they being showered by the coins? Are they purposely flaunting their wealth? If yes, yikes! And lastly:

If it’s a family celebration, where is the food??

Btw, I haven’t done deep-dive study nor worked enough with the Ten of Pentacles, but these are the questions that keep coming up when I see the Ten of Pentacles in Rider Waite Smith tarot deck.

Whenever I pull the Ten of Pentacles, the introvert in me paused. Yes, yay for a good-omen card! Yay, for completion but…

What if I don’t feel like celebrating with people today?

Because sometimes – well, most of the times – a celebration for me involves some me-time. I also most likely treat myself first as a reward for having tick-off my goals or having “made-it”. And those activities carry more of the Nine of Pentacles’s energy than the next card in the deck.

It also makes me wonder whether it means introverts journey stops at the Nine of Pentacles just because that’s where our happy place is? That doesn’t seem fair, does it?? After all, we also work as hard as our more social counterparts. We also deserve to obtain the 10th coin, but you know, in our own terms.

So you can imagine my delight when I saw the Moon Void Tarot deck depiction of Ten of Pentacles – which I draw during my morning ritual. The Ten of Pentacles here is seen from the vantage point of the slightly opened gates (adorned by carvings of pentacles), in front of it laid a beautifully tended garden leading to the front door of a house (more of a bungalow than a house, it’s Ten of Pentacles after all).

All tens are about completion, and the introvert in me relate more entering my own home at the end of a very eventful ten cards worth of journey instead of partying it up with the extended family in the piazza flashing our wealth to all the passersby.

Also, it’s nice to think that the Moon Void Tarot deck gave the choice of what’s-behind-the-door entirely to us. It can be just Netflix and stacks of books, or your cat, or your just partner or your entire family waiting for you to share a meal, or a coven of witches, heck even a full-on party. Giving the nod to your perception of “family”.

As for the interpretation of the card in regards to my day today? Well, it was pretty straight forward, we accepted a last-minute invite to our friends’ home for a cozy evening gathering. There was plenty of food.

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The Hermit Tarot
Tarot

An Evening with The Hermit

I have the apartment for myself this evening. Earlier, I counted the last time I had the place for myself for more than an hour or so. It was pre-lockdown, which coincidentally was during my redundancy months. It was almost a year ago. Far too long, no thanks to Covid.

“The solitary evening must be celebrated”

the Virgo in me has spoken.

I took a long hot shower and poured myself a tall glass of chilled Moscato. It was the only bottle left from the eight bottles we bought last month in preparation for Christmas celebration. Pinning the thought that I might be a fully functioning alcoholic aside, I put the cookie dough on the tray into the oven. Yes, it might be a weird choice to combine cheap chilled Moscato and chocolate chips cookies on a summer evening, but those things bring me joy.

After putting Final Destination 2 as the background noise and while waiting for the oven to make the “DING” sound, I took out all my tarot deck. Tonight we party! Well, not all of us, as I only invited the Hermit from each deck.

The thing is, even though I claimed to be an introvert and a through-and-through

who need their space and me-time, I have yet to connect with The Hermit card. I have yet to sit and meditate, let alone journal with them. And I guess today is a good day as any to connect the archetype that I am all too familiar with.

Traditionally, The Hermit is about taking some time to contemplate, solitude, isolation, introspection, me-time and carving some space for oneself. With those characteristics attach to them, the Hermit can be seen as well harmless at their best and dull at their worst. It’s not without reasons. The Hermit is a not threatening card. None fear them in a reading. But at the same time , The Hermit card doesn’t scream good luck either. Well to be fair, The Hermit doesn’t scream for anything.

Even for a yes-no question, The Hermit won’t give you a resounding answer immediately. They will need to contemplate the question first, for some time — preferably alone in the dark. Before coming up with, what they think as, a well thought answer.

They can be border lining with boring those Hermits, but let me ask you this:

What can be a better card to represent our collective 2020 experience if not the Hermit?

It’s the epitome of the lockdown, confinement, isolation — both self-imposed or forced.

Back to the Hermits that I laid on the table — I could see a thread that connects them all, from the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck to The Light Seer’s Tarot deck, the lantern.

In The Spacious Tarot deck, The Hermit is depicted as a lantern, brightening the dark woods with its’ light. The guidebook says this about the tree in the woods: “they offer a clearing, a sacred space for you to reconnect with yourself.”

Refreshingly, in both This Might Hurt Tarot and The Numinous Tarot decks, the cards are drawn as feminine figures. Though their faces are hidden (typical The Hermit), the long grey-hair and the shapely coats indicate their womanhood.

In This Might Hurt Tarot deck, the woman is holding a lantern illuminating a dark snowy night. It’s beautiful. I also love Isabella Rotman’s parting message regarding the card. She said:

“It doesn’t mean that you need to rent a cabin in the woods and throw your cellphone in a river. You just need to withdraw enough to listen to yourself.”

And I will do just that right after this with a book companied by a plate of freshly baked cookies, another generous serving of Moscato. I wish you a lovely start of the weekend!

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The Hanged Man Tarot
Tarot

Hanging Out with The Hanged Man

While tarot muggles usually fear the Death card (thanks to the pop-culture), some tarot readers find The Hanged Man as one of the most challenging cards, both to read and in reading.

The Hanged Man traditionally drawn as a man being hanged upside-down by one ankle, but he looks calm as if he is doing this by his own choice. The interpretation of it varies from self-sacrifice, waiting, being stuck to contemplation.

At the beginning of my tarot journey, I tended to put a little importance on The Hanged Man. if I pulled it in the mornings as a daily drawing I deemed it as:

“it’s going to be a chill day”

Or if it’s a yes/no question or as the answer to a situational question as:

“must wait”

That’s pretty much it.

Until I learned that The Hanged Man is my birth card.

After sulking why my birth card wasn’t Strength, The Star or even The Tower, I slowly built a connection with The Hanged Man.

I made an effort to understand it. Starting by deliberately spending more time with it to reviewing the same card on different decks.

I have since learned that The Hanged Man is about the liminal space (what a cool term, might make it as a blog name).

Not unlike The Fool.

The difference though, The Fool is more like taking a deep breath before stepping into the next thing. It’s the space between two things, two actions; sort of like a comma. Meanwhile, The Hanged Man ranged from meditative breaths to being or choosing to be “stuck” in that space for a certain period.

Hence the need to be thread it a bit more mindfully.

I find this interesting, especially relating to it being my birth card because if there is one thing I can’t stand in life, it’s the feeling of being stuck. A situation that I have been avoiding and wriggled-out-from all my life. Being stuck, restrained and controlled is entirely against my nature. Which is why when I realized that Hanged Man could also be a deliberate choice of not to be grounded, it made much more sense to me.

And I could relate to it to a T.

I also learned that The Hanged Man is the most potent tarot card in Shamanism. As the person who looks like he is hanging in our world, essentially is standing in another world. They are also often seen as the meditating Buddha.

Numerical wise, The Hanged Man equates to number three, which is a powerful number in witchcraft and represents growth in the world of tarot.

All these and more learning only grow my fascination with The Hanged Man.

Image-wise my fave depiction of The Hanged Man comes from the Spacious Tarot deck (no surprise there I guess, it’s a favorite deck of mine). In here The Hanged Man has been renamed to The Hanged One — which I appreciate as it’s more of inclusive rep — accompanied by the image of half earth floating in the galaxy seen from the Moon’s vantage point.

In a word, it’s gorgeous.

It also made me wonder whether we all are in a perpetual hanging position, floating in this world.

Being the in-between beings.

It serves a great reminder that we are just passing through this world while paradoxically asking us to hit a pause and enjoy the moment.

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Tarot, Travel

Winery Weekend Getaway Tarot Spread

Fafa and I are heading to Mornington Peninsula, Victoria’s winery region, for a much needed weekend getaway.

While waiting for him to get ready and do his last-minute packing 🙄 I pulled a few cards to re-create my go-to travel spread.

Travel Spread position —

  1. My vibe during the trip
  2. The trip’s energy
  3. Something to focus on or be mindful of during the trip
  4. A must (do/see/experience) on the trip
  5. The trip’s highlights
  6. Lesson learned from the trip

Here is my reading for this trip —

My vibe during the trip: Ace of Swords (R)

I feel like I am going on this trip with highly-strung energy. Not the good kind. These past few days have been a bit too much. I have started feeling the tiring Thursday energy since Tuesday morning, dragging myself to get through the rest of the workweek. And the reversed position confirmed it.

The trip’s energy: Four of Swords

I let out a relieved sigh when I flipped open the Four of Swords.

Resting, relaxing and taking a pause.

Thank God! I am ready to absorb the restful energy served by the trip.

To focus on: Explorer of Wands (Knight of Wands)

The guide books says to:

Release (my) inhibitions, get fired up and be unapologetically alive.

I can only interpret it to get the fire-place going and get all warm and cozy near it tonight.

A must-do on the trip: Strength

Strangely I interpret this to explore the nature around the are. Maybe I can do it during my planned morning run tomorrow.

The highlight of the trip: Explorer of the Swords (Knight of Swords)

Lesson from the trip: Guardian of The Swords (Queen of Swords)

It looks like this trip is going to be dominated by the Swords energy. From my own vibe to the lesson to learn from the trip. Even the Strength from the Spacious Tarot deck is depicted by prickly cactus, and if I push it, the Wands hold by the tail of the Salamander (to focus on) looked like a sword.

Which means, I might have to put my drink-all-the-wine-all-the-way-to-our-Airbnb-until-I-pass-out plan on hold and embrace the what looks like might be an intellectually stimulating trip?

I packed a couple more books and an extra pen anticipation extra journaling time.

I also told Fafa, not to his delight, to be prepared for deep conversations and mini self-discovery sessions, in case we are called to do so. He finally agreed, only after I promised to draw him a bubble bath at the end of the day.

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