The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 6 of Swords

Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith, © U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The RWS 6 of Swords is the last of the Swords pip cards that I consider ambivalent in their expression of opportunity. The rest of the suit - Ace, Two and Four - are essentially neutral in that regard, and the Six nudges the dial close to dead-center … Continue reading The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 6 of Swords

The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 5 of Swords

Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith, © U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The 5 of Swords is another RWS card in which Smith's image sends a mixed message that has caused a good deal of head-scratching. The man in the foreground appears to be victorious over his retreating adversaries (and even sports a small, self-satisfied smile), but the Golden Dawn … Continue reading The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 5 of Swords

The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 7 of Swords

Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith, © U.S. Games Systems, Inc. It's hard to tell just what this card is promising. Waite himself says "The design is uncertain in its import, because the significations are widely at variance with each other." Does it mean a chance to get away with something, like a "thief in the night?" A conflicted … Continue reading The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 7 of Swords

The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 10 of Swords

Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith, © U.S. Games Systems, Inc. This is the "scorched earth" card of the RWS deck - even more so than the Tower, which flattens the structure but doesn't necessarily raze it to its foundation and then poison the surrounding soil. The 10 of Swords gets personal, right down to the particulars.  Here, there … Continue reading The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 10 of Swords

The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 9 of Swords

Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith, © U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Now things start to go downhill fast in the morose-looking 9 of Swords! By all accounts, Nine is a positive number; the Third Perfection of the Greeks, the fulfillment of the element of a suit (with the Ten as a fading postscript), the number representing return to balance … Continue reading The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 9 of Swords

The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 3 of Swords

Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith, © U.S. Games Systems The RWS version of the 3 of Swords is one card that I think can be easily misinterpreted. It has a heart on it, so it must be about heartache, right? But I see that heart as something of a red herring. Tough-minded Swords are related to mentally exigent … Continue reading The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 3 of Swords

The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 8 of Swords

Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith, © U.S. Games Systems, Inc. One of the greatest challenges for a tarot reader is fashioning constructive advice out of what are patently difficult cards. As I'm fond of saying, I'm no fan of the insipid - and untrue - platitude "It's all good" since, the last time I looked, "bad things" still  … Continue reading The Suit of Swords as “Opportunity” – 8 of Swords

Adherence of the RWS Pips to Their Golden Dawn Roots

As a follow-up to my previous post on the relationship between the RWS and Thoth decks and their common source in the Golden Dawn's esoteric system, I conducted a small exploratory analysis of the relative adherence of the RWS pip cards to their Golden Dawn roots. I took the descriptions in Liber T and compared … Continue reading Adherence of the RWS Pips to Their Golden Dawn Roots