A “Tarot and Trauma” Vignette

Early last week while working on a construction project at home, I fell off a 4-foot step-stool while dismounting with tools in my hand when it tipped on the carpet. I landed on my feet and was immediately thrown off-balance (hold that thought, it’s significant here), briskly back-pedaling my way into the corner of a bookshelf, which caught me on the bottom floating rib on my left side. The pain was severe and persistent, so I decided to do a tarot reading to see if there might be long-term implications for the injury. I used the Morgan Greer deck with reversals, and my usual well-being spread:


All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT

I used a combination of traditional “book” meanings, esoteric number theory and astrological correspondences in my interpretation, switching among them as necessary.

The 8 of Pentacles in the initial “State of Well-being” position needs little explanation. I was doing almost exactly what the picture shows, framing out a new closet with a hammer. Since this is the “Moon” position (habits, routines, familiarity in general), I was feeling somewhat nonchalant about it.

In this reading, the 2 of Cups doesn’t carry its usual textbook associations, instead relying on the idea that the binary Two is a number of balance and harmony, like the regular back-and-forth travel of a pendulum or metronome. Reversal upsets that equilibrium in no uncertain terms. (One of Eden Gray’s keywords for the 2 of Cups reversed is “instability.”) This is the Mercury position, the “Messenger” bringing notification of impending change; but Mercury was retrograde astrologically when this happened, so I guess I missed the message.

The 3 of Swords corresponds to Saturn in Libra. Saturn rules the bones and Libra is the Scales (aka “balance”). Once again, the reversal suggests balance overturned, with negative implications for the bones (as well as mental anguish and gnashing of teeth). However, this is the Jupiter position and is titled “Optimism,” offering hope that it may not be as bad as it seems.

The King of Cups is my normal significator card, and here it’s in the Saturnian “lessons learned” position. The lesson I learned (or actually remembered from my work days) is that you aren’t supposed to come down ladders – even short ones – with tools in your hands. The King of Cups relates primarily to Pisces, which rules the feet. The reversal shows that I was thrown off my feet. Once again, Saturn has a connection with the bones.

The ultimate card of equilibrium, Justice, is reversed in the Venus position, yet another expression of compromised balance. It also relates to Libra, which Venus rules. This implies at least a bit of a “soft landing” (more on that next).

The 9 of Cups is upright in the Mars position, which is titled “Unexpected Setbacks.” This Nine is generally considered a favorable card, and I like to call it the “fat, dumb and happy” card. In this case, the positional negative becomes a positive because my – ahem – slight midriff “padding” seems to have blunted most of the trauma from the impact.

The 10 of Cups in the solar “Consequences” position suggests that Fortune was smiling on me and I dodged a bullet here. So far I seem to be recovering faster than anticipated.

I certainly hope I don’t have an opportunity to exercise this spread again soon.


One thought on “A “Tarot and Trauma” Vignette

  1. Pingback: Wait For The Ricochet | Parsifal's Wheel Tarot & Astrology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s