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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

In the jungle, the mighty jungle

This is a very appealing Strength card from Sacred Rose Tarot (US Games 1982). You may notice it is numbered XI, which is the traditional placement of this trump. Waite changed that around for the RWS. He said the reason was 'obvious' -- If 8 is Leo and 11 is Libra, wouldn't you put the card with a lion in the Leo position and the card with scales in the Libra position? Also, 11 is 1+1 which might represent the balance of the scales, so that's another reason. And some Strength cards have the infinity symbol on them, which looks like an overturned 8. BUT...this only works if you agree with the notion that the trump cards have some sort of Universally-decreed astrological correspondence. I'm not terribly into astrology and only throw it into an interpretation on the rare occasion I remember something. Not only that, but I don't really use numerological attributions either, and the earliest tarot decks were not even numbered. I just don't find numerology all that convincing. In short, I don't care if Strength is at 11 and Justice at 8 or vice versa. But if it bothers you I have a simple solution - take a marker pen and draw a big fat number over the one on your card and switch them around yourself. Job done!

There's an interesting passage in James Ricklef's 'The Soul's Journey: Finding Spiritual Messages in the Tarot' --

Jesus said, " Blessed is the lion which the man shall eat, and the lion become man; and cursed is the man whom the lion shall eat, and the lion become man." -- The Gospel of Thomas  This verse says that we are all struggling to live according to our divine nature, but the important difference between people lies in the extent to which we let our bestial soul dominate versus the extent to which we let our divine soul rule instead. The first step toward the actualization of our divinity and subjugation of our bestial nature comes with our dawning awareness of this conflict (Ricklef, 42-44).

So what's my 'beast' or 'lion'? It was suggested to me yesterday that my aversion to the Queen of Wands comes from her being my shadow side. When a card is our shadow, we used the so-called 'reversed' or 'shadow' meanings. And about Queen of Wands we see that she:

--can be intimidating
--refuses to listen to the opinion of others, it's her way or no way
--displays a terrible temper if you cross or go against her
--will gossip and backbite you if you cross her
--lacks energy
--loses faith
--fades into the background, has no friends
--may have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - certainly gives every sign of it!
--is intolerant of weakness or apparent failure

Well, ouch, ouch and double ouch. Now that's a lion to confront and tame. This looks like a job for Ringling Brothers. Barnum and Bailey. Them sort. :)


  1. I prefer Strength at 8, probably just because I learned with the RWS. However, I don't even bother with the marker. If I note a reading in my journal, I know that I always write VIII for Strength, no matter what the particular card says. As for numerology, the problem is with the transference across systems. In Lenormand, the Stars are 16 instead of 17. So, suddenly they take the place of the tarot Tower, how can a numerologist deal with that? I guess they could just say Lenormand doesn't count, but it does all feel a little strained to me, anyway. I think you could come up with numerological justifications for almost any system, if you tried...

    Good luck with taming your lion. I've been trying to feel my way into the Queen of Cups, more, too, and admit that I'm sometimes emotionally manipulative, can be a bit of a drama queen, and, yikes, maybe co-dependent... ;)

    1. Can you give some advice (maybe on a You Tube or your blog) on what you mean by feeling your way into the Queen of Cups? I'd like to hear your thoughts on shadow work. I'm not well versed in it!