Joie de Vivre & Holding the Dark at Bay

Today’s draw is from the Joie de Vivre Tarot (Joy of Living) by Paulina Cassidy and U.S. Games Inc.  

While shuffling for my daily draw I was also reading posts on my facebook which prompted today’s question.  “How best to handle nastiness that is intended as an obstacle to hurt and halt another.”   If you happen to be in the Tarot Community you will know what I am referring to.  But, this not only applies to this particular situation, but anytime we encounter this type of dark energy.

Well the Ace of Wands gave some great advice on its own as the cotd, but for further insight let’s take a look at all three drawn.

Ace of Wands: Creativity, beginnings, energy, direction, intuition.  In pursuit of happiness – is the phrase that came to mind when I pulled this card.

lwb – “Setting forth confidently, Spark holds a flaming star of life force within. Her sunlight wand glows with radiant light. Prowess, her lion companion, is a guide as she takes on a challenging task. Spark and Prowess forge ahead with a roar of energy.”

Death:  Transformation, transition, rebirth, change, inevitability.

lwb – Metamorphosis embarks on a voyage into the unknown. Riding a bat named Destiny, they soar through an inter-dimensional tunnel toward the star of rebirth.  Her blood-red flower loses its petals along the way, an indication of the shedding of the physical. 

Three of Coins:  Progress, success, perseverance, teamwork, planning.

lwb – Harmony shines as Soma, Pneuma, and Psyche combine their concentrated creative energies. Focused  and committed, their cooperation delivers healthy progress and quality workmanship. The shimmering golden coins are the fruits of their work.

And so, in the pursuit of happiness, stay true to your path and yourself.  Allow your inner light to shine forth and the dark will be held at bay.  Know too that you do not travel this path alone.  We know that when we face an obstacle that even in triumph in overcoming, we are changed.  Changed in ways that may not be apparent at first, but in time will be revealed.  As with most change, it’s inevitable and usually for the best.  Once the transformation has taken place, this is where your perseverance will pay off.  You may find your alliances have changed, or just grown stronger, or both.   Trusted teamwork is essential.  Lean on and rely on your team, who are along to support you and each other.

Card by Card – The Empress

The Empress (renamed, The Gardener) from the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert, is by far my favorite representation of  the third card in the Major Arcana.  She glows with good health and life, surrounded by fertile fields, lushness, and beauty.  Sensuality, Creativity, Abundance, Fertility, Growth, Nurturing, Appreciating Beauty, and Mother Nature, are just some of the keywords associated with this archetype.


Throughout history people have identified motherhood with nature, so that the term ‘Great Mother’ for the earth itself appears all over the world, and even today we speak vaguely of Mother Nature.  ~Rachel Pollack, on The Empress (Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom)

Most Empress cards you encounter are laden with symbolism.  In this post we will look at several and explore some of the symbolism depicted and their meanings.  For instance, Joanna lists 19 different symbolic items and their significance, just for this card alone.  Some are more obvious than others-The basket of produce, fields ready for harvest:  Abundance, prosperity. Dolphin (necklace):  From the Greco-Roman delphinos, from the Greek root delphus, meaning womb.   Increased creativity, fertility.  Emblem of Aphrodite.

Robin Wood - sun and moon - Crystal Visions Tarot

In the Robin Wood version, a spinning wheel has been added, but much of the same symbolism is still present in the expected birth and the shield on the tree above her head.  The sun and moon empress sits on a crescent moon, which represents female cycles, instincts, emotions, dreams, imagination and creativity, and female principles.  The Hebrew character Dalet is the symbol of a door, and represents a passage.  This seems to replace the stream or river, which can be seen as a passage through various worlds.  The Crystal Visions Empress stands with one foot planted firmly on land and the other dips into the river of life.  The pomegranate tree she stands beneath, is another feminine symbol of fertility and her scepter shows the power of the Triple Goddess.  (Maiden – Mother – Crone)

New Palladini - Llewellyn Tarot - Old English

Here again we see a shield, but each have a different symbol. The New Palladini has the symbol of Venus, as does the shield in The Llewellyn Empress, two Swans reminiscent of a heart shape.  All three are wearing crowns, but only the New Palladini version shows the 12 stars which represent the 12 signs of the zodiac, twelve months of the year and in Revelation, Chapter 12, “on her head a crown of twelve stars, she was with child” describes the Holy Mother.  You see this reference also in the RWS Empress.  The Old English version seems a bit barren in comparison to some of the others-see an interesting note (below) discussing the eagle on the shield.

The Empress seems to have had a rather uneventful five centuries. Waite and the other occultists are responsible for the starry crown, the emblem of Venus, the waterfall, and the vegetation and wildlife. In historical decks, the Empress sits on a throne, almost always holding a shield or orb in one hand and a scepter in the other. The shield typically bears an eagle, the heraldic emblem of the   Holy Roman Empire. The Empress Adelaide, beautified by the Catholic Church, seems a likely historical person this card may allude to. ~Wikipedia

The Lady, Druid Craft TarotWheat is a common theme seen throughout many Empress cards.  As I understand it, it is symbolic of the Greek Goddess Demeter (among others) who ruled over plant life.  Demeter is also the symbol of mother hood and its absolute devotion, in her willingness to stop the world rather than losing her daughter to Death.  Well, what Mother wouldn’t, given a choice?

Lastly, we take a look at  The Lady,  Druid Craft Tarot,   Opening to Love, Trust and Abundance.  The Lady encourages you to open to love and to trust.  However hard life may have been, the blessings of the Goddess and of Nature are all around you, and all you need to do is accept them graciously, and begin to live your life with passion and purpose.   Open yourself to the fertile nurturing power of the Goddess.

The Empress, in all her forms seemed a very appropriate card for this week of Thanksgiving.  Now, we come full circle back to the Gaian Tarot where Joanna leaves us with this affirmation:  I give thanks for the abundance and prosperity in my life.  Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Tarot’ing!

An Empress Reading; by Rachel Pollack from Tarot Wisdom.

  1. What is my passion?
  2. How have I expressed it?
  3. How can I express it more fully?
  4. What blocks me?
  5. What frees me?
  6. What do I nurture?
  7. What does it ask of me?
  8. What does it give me?
  9. How can I bring together my passion and my nurturance?

Tarot of Dreams & Baby Boxing

Today’s draw is from the beautiful Tarot of Dreams.  The Palace of Wands; Page of Wands; the Fool.   The Palace cards were added to the Standard edition and represent places.   “In a reading, the Palace cards indicate the energies of the suit expressed as an environment.” *

Well it didn’t take me long to figure this one out.  Some of you may know that I watch 3 of my grandchildren while their parents are working.  The one and two yr. olds, (cousins) were happy to see each other and then promptly began screeching at each other and fighting over everything.  If you have never experienced baby-jabber arguing then you won’t  know how funny it can be.  That is until someone loses an eye. (no actual eyes were lost)  They begin by pointing little fingers and raising their voices.  A stamp of the foot accelerates the tension and the next thing you know someone is getting shoved, kicked, or smacked.   I don’t know how many times I needed to separate those two and try to distract them with other toys and activities, but the next thing I knew it was as if someone had hit the rewind/replay button…again.  I expect this a couple times throughout the day, but it was constant this morning.

And where does this leave me in all this?  Why, playing the Fool of course.  LOL  I’m happy to report that after lunch things calmed down a good bit with the 1yro taking a nap and the 2yro resting on the couch with no one to argue with.  The 5yro will be arriving shortly from school.  Hopefully the calmer atmosphere continues through the evening.  Or, that just might be “foolish” thinking.

*Tarot of Dreams Standard Edition, text by Lee Bursten, illustrated by Ciro Marchetti.


No Gloom and Doom in the Moon Garden

Today’s draw comes from Tarot of a Moon Garden, with the Nine of Staffs as the cotd.  There are several ways to interpret this card depending on many variables, but for today it was about looking for failure and disappointment because, all good things must come to an end.   A cynical outlook like that will suck any and all happiness and enjoyment out of any of the good things life has to offer.  If we expect gloom and doom all the time, that’s exactly what we get.

The contentment in the Ten of Cups, the deserved recognition in the Six of Staffs, are both real and deserved.   We can be our own worst critics, but, we shouldn’t judge ourselves too harshly or unrealistically.

 It’s counter productive and unhealthy to go looking for trouble all the time. Negativity and cynicism only breed more of the same and makes the old saying, “Don’t go looking for trouble, because you just mind find it”, all too true. Not to mention deepening your frown lines by worrying over something that may never happen anyway. Enjoy each and every piece of happiness that comes your way, whatever form it may take, and stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.

*images are from Tarot of Moon Garden, illustrated by Karen Marie Sweikhardt, text by Laura E. Clarkson and published by U.S. Games In.