I’m relearning the tarot. This is the 3rd time I’ve picked them up, each time marking a new era in my life. The first time, I was in college and got to where I would do readings for my friends. This was using the Ryder deck. The second time, also with the Ryder deck, I had young children and not a lot of time to focus on relearning meanings, but I’d flip through the cards, studying . This time, I’m using the Hermetic Tarot and relearning it with exercises from The Easiest Way to Learn the Tarot…Ever by Dusty White. I’m really enjoying the book and already know that by the time I get to the end of the exercises, I’ll know the Tarot better than I ever have.
The first exercise in the book is to go through the cards, studying the picture and write about what you see in the image. Each exercise involves more “playing” with the cards, telling stories with them, finding what two cards have in common, finding bridges between the cards, etc. Because you’re not learning a set of definitions by rote, but instead creating your own definitions and learning to read the physical cards like a book, the cards have deeper meanings for you, and you grow used to reading the connections between cards instead of just analyzing each card separately.
Queen of Swords
Today, I’m looking at the Queen of Swords
All the face cards in the tarot can represent an individual. So I can say that the queen is me, or it could represent another woman if I’m focused on someone else. It could even represent the feminine side of a man.
She has recently been into battle, and is still brandishing her weapon, but has emerged victorious, utterly defeating her enemies, as shown by the dripping head she’s carrying. This is not a weak woman, but a very strong one. The head is about twice as big as her own, so she’s defeated a giant. The clouds circle around her, so maybe she is “walking on air” after the victorious conclusion of her battle, or perhaps she is on her way to show the head to a god, tell them she’s completed their task and receive her reward, or perhaps she herself is a god.
Following another idea from The Easiest Way, I have a spreadsheet where I’m tracking what I learn from each card. For today, I’ll write:
Warrior, Return from Battle, Strength, Trophy, Goddess, Victory, Absolute victory, Victory over incredible odds. Through it all, this seems to me to be a card about being victorious over incredible challenges.