[A Chariot Reading Interpretation, Part 1]
5. The Hierophant in combination with the Ace of Wands I see as my life as a tarot reader. So far this year I have read for many people, and received excellent feedback. 'The Hierophant, at its best, uses traditions and teachings to help others,' writes Rachel Pollack in 'Tarot Wisdom'. I have always admired and respected the Hierophant, because to me it represents the best of spiritual tradition, ritual, method, instruction, etc. Yes, in its negative aspect it can represent dogma and repression, but I don't see it in a negative light instantly, as some do. So to draw the Ace of Wands in the Hierophant position is wonderful to me. It shows that aspect of my life and being firing forth in new, creative and energetic ways. I see it as meaning that my readings for others will go from strength to strength in their content and impact, and that makes me feel very happy and excited.
6. The Lovers in combination with the Princess of Disks has been interesting, because I no longer feel inclined to read the Princess of Disks as the equivalent of the Page of Pentacles. Like the Page of Pentacles, she is 'earth of earth', but the Thoth Tarot seems to place much more emphasis on her position on the Tree of Life at Malkuth. 'She is the Malkuth of Malkuths, and carries within her body the potential of all possible possibilities, and the key to perpetuation life in the universe,' writes Lon Milo DuQuette, in Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot'. However, Crowley's own divinatory meaning says, 'She is generous, kind, diligent, benevolent, careful, courageous, persevering, pitiful.' Okay, that's fine. In her position at Malkuth, and as the last court card before the small cards, she represents the end and the beginning (similar to how 10s in the small cards do the same). Combined with the Lovers, which represents the alchemical marriage, or integration of opposites, the Princess of Disks seems to continue the theme of this entire spread, that of integration of opposites within myself and my life. Again, it seems to be about becoming whole. The Princess of Disks holds a lotus blossom shield in the centre of which is a yin yang symbol. Her staff has a jewel at the bottom, pointed toward the earth, and the top extends outside the painting, suggesting drawing of power from the earth to the heavens and back again. The combination is filled with ideas about interconnectedness and integration.
7. And so that leads to The Chariot in combination with 9 of Swords, which may have looked so scary at first glimpse. A simple reading of this combination would have it: 'Where am I heading?' Answer: 'Toward bad times, heartbreak and nightmares.' BUT...The Chariot is not merely charging forward. The Chariot is about success, 'especially success achieved in exerting your will on the world. The Chariot implies what used to be called 'the good life': success, deserved pride, admiration of others, comfort. These material things can extend to success in love, for the card follows the Lovers' (Pollack, 'Tarot Wisdom'). So the card seems to me be asking, over what will I be successful? Over what will I exert my will? Over what will I find comfort? And what success is resulting from the alchemical integration of the Lovers? Answer: 9 of Swords. The card that represents overthinking, worry, strife, and pain. The Thoth Tarot calls it 'Cruelty'. I see this as cruelty to self as a result of thoughts and worries. Crowley says of this card: 'Consciousness has fallen into a realm unenlightened by reason. This is the world of unconscious primitive instinct, of the psychopath, of the fanatic.' Well, that sounds like something he would say. There's no arguing with the fact that the 9 of Swords is a nasty card. And in a divinatory sense, it's true that I struggle with overthinking, self-judging, and in general being unforgiving and 'cruel' to myself (A lot of us have this!) and there's no doubt the card combination here suggests that this will be an ongoing struggle. But in light of all the card showing the integration of various aspects of self, I must see this card as the beginning of triumph over this. The Chariot after all is in a pageant, a conquering hero. And Rachel Pollack offers this: 'We can say that the 9 of Swords might show us making sense of our lives, including the pain.' And so, The Chariot + 9 of Swords = triumph over some of the old ghosts that haunt my mind. In actual fact, I already see this happening for me. I've made great strides over the last year in that direction. This combination of cards suggests that I will continue to grow and overcome my old inner tapes, and to 'make sense of my life, including the pain.'
I'm a bit overwhelmed by this reading and need to ponder it all a bit more. There would seem to be a lot of work going on in my life in 2013, based on this reading.