8 of Cups

move on

Eight offers a new direction and readjustment + Cups represent the emotional realm and how we relate to others

from The Shakespeare Tarot by Chris Leech

And so, in the centered aspect of the Eight of Cups, the Seven has given us new perspective from which to readjust, and we turn away and move on. We may have an emotional attachment to something, but it no longer serves our higher purpose and it’s time to leave the past behind in pursuit of something that offers more fulfillment. This is not a sad goodbye as in the Five of Cups, but a reflective and hopeful step forward. Take that step; even if we don’t yet know what that new horizon is, we’re asked to be available for it.

In resistance, we remain in a situation that no longer serves us (out of emotional insecurity?), refusing the call to leave.

In excess, we tend to walk away from situations rather than face them. Perhaps we’re abandoning success.

Questions we may be prompted to consider when this card comes up include

  • What do you find yourself dissatisfied with? What is no longer serving you? Why don’t you leave it behind?
  • Are there emotions, memories, experiences of your past that could prompt forward movement if resolved? How can you start that dialogue with your parts?
  • Are you in denial about moving from one stage to another?
  • Do you have spiritual aspirations? Have you been ignoring them? What step can you take toward them?
  • Is it time to plumb the depths of your subconscious? How might you start that journey?
  • Are you in need of an emotional break or a sabbatical?
  • Do you have a pattern of walking away from problems rather than facing them? What are you avoiding? What parts protect you from it?

What else? There are many layers to explore with this card, and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

8 of Wands

trust that things are moving swiftly, now

Eight opens up from seven’s stationary hold with new perspective from which to launch or realign + Wands represent our inner fire – energy, passion, and identity

from Paracelsus Dreams Tarot

And so, in its centered and balanced aspect, Eight of Wands reveals a new direction for forward movement, perhaps after a delay or blockage. There can be a sense of excitement with this card. Like an arrow in the air or an express delivery, something is released and it’s moving fast. I think sometimes of blocked Qi in the body– if you’ve ever felt that energy being released by a needle, it’s a powerful feeling and a literal example of the release of energy.

With eights, we may go in one way and come out another, we may not know where it’s going or where it will land, there may be a change of direction; but this card indicates that things are moving and coming into alignment. Allow it to take its course.

In resistance, we remain stuck in delay or neglect. There is a sense of stagnation, rigidity, or being blocked. What prevents us from releasing the arrow?  Perhaps we’re running out of steam.

In excess, we may be overstimulated and ungrounded. When things are going in too many directions, it can feel dizzying and out of alignment. Sometimes, overstimulation can result in meaningless activity. Are we rushing into something? Haste makes waste.

Questions to consider when this card comes up may include

  • Do you feel blocked? When did it start? What part is served by that?
  • What area of life feels sluggish? How can you help it to flow more freely?
  • Are you rushing into something? Why? What consequences could that present?
  • Do you feel overstimulated? Is there a specific area you can harness that energy in or redirect it?
  • Where is your energy focused?

What else? This card can go in different directions, and you may have other insights! How has it come up for you?

7 of Pentacles

be patient; allow the fruits to ripen at their own pace

Seven remains still in its waiting or assessing mode while activity continues outside of it + Pentacles represents how we as spirits navigate the physical world

from The Relative Tarot

And so, in the centered aspect on the spectrum, the Seven of Pentacles is a place of waiting for our work to materialize. We may be assessing whether to continue on our path, but we must be prepared to play the long game. Things may not be going as planned (Smith’s leaves are of blighted potato plants), or we’re still waiting for the rewards, but it denotes a period of growth and waiting where we’ve done our part (though it doesn’t hurt to do a little weeding or pruning, to stay in touch with the forces that impact our growth / goals). As Paul Quinn wrote in Tarot for Life, “despite our most controlling efforts, the things we cultivate ripen by their own timetables.”

In resistance, we expect defeat or sabotage our progress, over evaluating, second guessing, and abandoning plans that didn’t meet our expectations.

In excess, me may be trying to push the river.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Do you fear that things will not go as planned?
  • Are you a perfectionist in your expectations? Does this cause you to second-guess or abandon that which doesn’t meet your high ideals?
  • Do you sabotage your own efforts? What parts could be driving this?
  • Are you trying to push the river?

What else? What insights have you had into this card? How has it come up for you?

7 of Swords

focus on our strategy

Seven shows internal work in the midst of an external situation or activity; assessing, planning + Swords represent our mental acuity and belief systems

Antique Anatomy (1st ed. by Black and the Moon)

And so, in the centered aspect of the Seven of Swords, we see mental preparedness, focus, strategy. In being proactive, have we dotted all of our is and crossed all of our ts? Are we at risk of being compromised in some way, or are we using cunning and strategy to protect our interests, to steal the enemy’s Swords (as in Smith-Waite)? If the latter, can that act be rationalized? I would steal a nazi’s weapons, and consider it a valiant deed. Taking advantage is a neutral term until it’s done unethically. We envisioned our dreams in the 7 of Cups, but without focused research and planning, mastery eludes us.

This card seems always presented as one of deceit or trickery, but that misses the point of the seven’s meaning in an upright position. The Antique Anatomy card pictured at left appears as an anchor and, with its lack of a mandible and twisted spine, seems to suggest that we be silent and steady but look both ways, be aware of our surroundings. This is not our time to shine but to maneuver, perhaps behind the scenes. Isn’t that really what’s going on in the S-W card?

In resistance, do we avoid confrontation, preferring to sneak around behind the scenes? The imagery in S-W suggests an element of possession. What do we covet? Are we so focused on getting what others have that we fail to see what we already have?

In excess, we rationalize behaviors — especially those involving deceitful trickery or taking advantage of others, even predatory behavior. Have we considered the consequences of our actions?

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • What are the ways you use strategy in attaining what you want?
  • What do you take for granted? Are you always looking to others for ideas instead of recognizing your own?
  • Are you appropriating the ideas or words of others?
  • Do you avoid risk? What protector part(s) are at play?
  • Are there issues around trust to be explored with your parts?
  • Do you perceive a threat? Is it real or a pattern of anxiety?

What else? This card is loaded and open to many interpretations, and you may have other insights. How has it come up, for you?

7 of Cups

consider the possibilities

Seven reflects in an inactive state while activity goes on outside of it + Cups represent the watery inner worlds of our emotions and dreams

from Murder of Crows Tarot

And so, the centered aspect of the Seven of Cups invites us to imagine, to dream. They may be unrealistic or scattered or just daydreams, but it’s important to allow ourselves the creative exploration of possibilities and ideals before moving on. Are you working on setting or tending goals? Dream big – you don’t have to share them with anyone else if you don’t want to. Take the time in dreamy Cups to indulge in this – the focus comes next, in the Swords.

In resistance, we may be stifled by indecision. All of these visions dancing before us can be overwhelming; choosing one means being denied the others. We may become fickle, moving from one to another. What are we searching for?

Cups deal with more than just dreams, though; consider the other possibilities (wink wink) of the inner realm – instead of hopes, are we focusing on our fears? Memories (as remnants of the six)? Spiritual pursuits?

In excess, we’re lost in pie-in-the-sky ideals, fantasizing about castles in the clouds, perhaps manic or delusional. We may have too much emotional clutter or creative vision and may want to rein it in. Perhaps we find ourselves distracted by the ideals of others and must be reminded to remain true to our own.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Are you unable to focus on your true north? What distracts you?
  • Are your aims unrealistic? How can you temper it back a little in order to be more attainable?
  • Are you swayed by the dreams of another instead of focusing on your own?
  • Are fears interfering in your process?
  • How is your inner spiritual life?

What else? Lots to unravel in this card, and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

7 of Wands

stand firm against adversaries

Seven is a place of internal work around an external situation; we aren’t in motion but are in the midst of activity around us + Wands represent the fiery realm of will and how we use our energy, but also identity

from Deck of the Dead by Tarot by Seven

And so the centered aspect of the Seven of Wands indicates holding our own against adversaries. In the Six of Wands we were victorious, and must now defend our spot. Sometimes, we just need to stick up for ourselves (no pun intended). Your aspirations (or those of others) are worth fighting for, and inherent in this card is the deep inner strength which allows you to remain calm amidst the chaos.

With Wands as creativity and passions, are the staves shown representative of encroaching projects or distractions that throw you off course of your focus? What are you devoting your energy to?  Resisting advances as we stand firm on our hill can help or hinder.

In resistance, we see resignation, timidity. We may feel overpowered.  Do the encroaching wands represent doubts?  Criticism?  The enemy may be ourselves as we stand in defiant opposition to our inner voices.

In excess, we must ask if we’re being overly defensive when openness is called for. Is it time to let our guard down? Is there room on the hill for others?

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Is there something you’re resisting?
  • Do you feel you’re being backed into a corner?
  • Do you need to be more assertive in the matter?
  • Are you being hyper vigilant?  Are there wounded parts to be tended around that?
  • Do you tend to get overdefensive? What prompts that? What protective parts are involved?
  • Is something draining your energy?

What else? This card can indicate various areas of our inner fire, and this only touches the surface. You may have other insights. How has this card come up for you? Feel free to share.

6 of Pentacles

share the wealth

Six shows the give & take or the ebb & flow of cycles + Pentacles represent navigating the material world

from Rackham Tarot

And so in the centered aspect of the Six of Pentacles, we have come up out of the struggle of the Five and are now in a position to share the [proverbial] wealth with others. We may question why some must lose while others gain, and what our place is in this system; we may see redistribution of wealth or resources within a framework of equality between all people. Ideally, it’s an exchange of giving and receiving where everyone benefits. Keep in mind that as Pentacles deals with our souls navigating the material world, we may also consider our soul’s path or spiritual journey throughout this suit, and the card pictured at left illustrates the concept of receiving from the act of giving.

In resistance, we lack the spiritual awareness that facilitates generosity. Are we afraid of losing what we have? If identifying with the receiver, we may feel degraded by being dependent on others.

In excess, we keep others dependent on us. What parts of us feel the need of a dominant/submissive relationship with others?

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up could include

  • Are you dependent upon someone or something? How does that make you feel?
  • Do you feel that life has treated you unfairly? How so?
  • Have you compromised yourself in some way? Are you indebted to another?
  • How are you sharing your gifts? Is there something you can offer which may benefit someone else? Are you holding back on that offering?

What else? This is merely my take on it and you may have other insights! How has this card come up for you? Feel free to share your own thoughts.

6 of Swords

communicate your needs

Six offers expansion in a new cycle out of the contraction of 5 + Swords deal with the mind

from the Proletariat Tarot

And so the centered aspect of the Six of Swords shows clarity steering us to a turning point; recovery. It’s a hopeful card; though it indicates difficulty that we must transition away from, its theme is solving problems. Note that in this six’s dynamic of give & take, the figures seated in the Smith-Waite card are being aided by the boatman doing the paddling. The lesson in this card is that our move out of the challenge of five may be made easier by asking for help. (It differs from the Five of Pentacles in that this is a mental card, dealing with beliefs. The Swords in the boat convey the idea that they are carrying old thought patterns with them.) Allow others to be compassionate toward us when we can’t do that for ourselves. Conversely, offer your own wisdom to those who can’t do that for themselves. With which side of this card do you identify?

In resistance, we’re not willing to seek help or to make that journey. What beliefs hold you back? What thought patterns are you perpetuating?

In excess, we may be facing a long journey if our method of solving problems is to run away from them, or to always try to go it alone. It’s amazing what help may become available if you communicate your needs.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card appears can include

  • What problem are you currently trying to navigate away from and could use some clarity or direction?
  • Do you resist help, even when offered? Why?
  • What support systems may be available to you?
  • Do you have a pattern of turning away from your problems?

What else? How has this card come up for you? You may have more insight on it — feel feee to share.

6 of Cups

open your heart

Six expands in a new cycle from the contraction of five like the cogs in a wheel + Cups deal with our inner life, including our emotions and relationships

from The Relative Tarot by Carris Paris

And so the centered aspect of the Six of Cups allows us to open our hearts to another with the innocence of childhood and the desire to share, to be playful. Each of the sixes in Smith-Waite include the support of others in the dynamic of give and take, and there can be great satisfaction in giving, of being in service to others. This card is often read with a sense of nostalgia, of returning to something from our past — a memory, an ideal, a love, a dream, a friend – and reclaiming or reconciling it.

In resistance, we remain stuck in the past; old wounds resurface but are not allowed into the light. Some attribute childhood trauma to this card, noting the adult figure in S-W walking away, his back turned.

In excess, we may romanticize the past at the expense of the future. It’s time to move into a new cycle. Learn from the past, look to the future, but live in the moment.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • What or whom might you be ready to revisit? What could help you to open up?
  • What are you nostalgic for? Why?
  • What painful memories do you still carry? Are there child parts that should be heard in order to foster healing?

What else? There’s more depth to this card and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

6 of Wands

take pride in victory

Six expands from five’s contraction + Wands represent our fire and identity.

from the Tarot Universal Dali

And so in the centered placement of the Six of Wands, we see both sides of victory. In reaching a goal and receiving acclaim, there are those who have supported you or are looking up to you, inspired. Inherent in all of the sixes is a power dynamic, and it’s important to remember that your current place on top is temporary, so take pride in this glory while you have it and practice non-attachment around being higher or lower than others.

In resistance, we experience self-doubt or imposter syndrome. We may fear jealousy in those around us.

In excess, we must guard against grandiosity (no one likes a show-off!), or taking all of the credit rather than acknowledging those who helped. Hubris.

Questions we may want to consider when this card comes up can include

  • Are you quick to support others but fail to acknowledge your own accomplishments? Can you name achievements you’re proud of?
  • Do you compare yourself to others?
  • Do you hold back from sharing your own work out of fear of being an imposter?

what else? This barely scratches the surface of meaning behind this card, and you may have more insight. How has this card come up for you? Feel free to share.