The “Boss from Hell” – A Riff on Mastery

I've never been satisfied with the accepted notion that the 3 of Pentacles represents the "master craftsman" while the 8 of Pentacles shows an "apprentice." The number Three appears early in the numerical sequence and is therefore relatively undeveloped; in the suit of Earth it portrays a golden opportunity to "learn the ropes" but not … Continue reading The “Boss from Hell” – A Riff on Mastery

The Eights and Anxiety

As the result of an ongoing Facebook discussion, I've been solidifying my opinion of the tarot Eights as an expression of anxiety. This appears clearly in two of the RWS cards but is less obvious in the other two. Although I'm not well-versed in it, my understanding is that conventional numerology treats Eight as a "power" number, and in exoteric tarot … Continue reading The Eights and Anxiety

The “Light and Shadow” RWS Storyboard

This is the third of my "storyboard" examinations of the Minor Arcana cards of the Waite-Smith (aka RWS) tarot. The suit of Swords is unquestionably the least encouraging  of the set since any light it emits is muted and often fades into gloom, so the title of this post may be somewhat optimistic. Swords encompass the realm … Continue reading The “Light and Shadow” RWS Storyboard

Tarot Euphemisms: A Work-in-Progress

If you've been following my "RWS storyboard" posts and have read any of my example readings, you're already aware that I make extensive use of metaphor and analogy when interpreting the minor cards of the tarot, often bringing in shared cultural, social, historical and literary references. The Thoth tarot, my mainstay for many years, offered … Continue reading Tarot Euphemisms: A Work-in-Progress

The Sagittarian Conundrum

Sagittarius is described in the literature of astrology as a high-minded philosophical and religious sign (along with its associated 9th-House placement in the "natural" zodiac, although traditional astrologers tell us signs and houses have nothing to do with one another); it is the province of academics and clerics and the most abstract and "temperate" of … Continue reading The Sagittarian Conundrum

The “Barbarians at the Gate” RWS Storyboard

This is the second in a series of "storyboard" studies of the Minor Arcana cards of the Waite-Smith deck, this time examining the Wands. The quote in the title originated in Roman times, although modern readers will connect it more readily to the story of rapacious corporate greed portrayed in the book and movie of … Continue reading The “Barbarians at the Gate” RWS Storyboard

The “Boy-Meets-Girl” RWS Storyboard

The "boy-meets-girl" fairy-tale is one of the oldest (and perhaps now most irrelevant) cliches in the annals of romantic storytelling. It struck me that the RWS suit of Cups offers an almost pitch-perfect "storyboard" for the ups-and-downs often associated with these narratives, with a few added wrinkles to make it interesting. In this essay I … Continue reading The “Boy-Meets-Girl” RWS Storyboard