07/04/13: Over-Preaching it / King of Wands Rx

Happy Independence Day, for my US folks. Sorry I’m late. Mercury retro means missed post schedules, I guess. I had it written and slated to go, man!


On this Independence Day, I’d be inclined to read the reversed King of Wands as caution not to squelch other people’s independence! While the Tarot Wands tend to be passionate and creative, the court for this suit can tend to be a little…over-directive? That sounds so much nicer than “controlling,” don’t you think?

There’s no doubt Wands people are resourceful. Why, this Zombie fellow is managing very well adapting. But when a card appears inverted, I always look for the clogs in the line, the stoppage or block. The King of Wands can sometimes be so set on his ideas that he can overwhelm or alienate others who don’t share his depth of belief.

So if you spend the day with family and friends, be mindful of this dynamic. The fact you’re SO dead-set (if you’ll excuse the zombified pun) on your way of addressing the world may in and of itself be rather off-putting. I’d go for more of a soft sell today and give others the space for their own independence. If what you preach has found an audience, they will hear on their own. Dig?

Do you get carried away with your preaching?

The Zombie Tarot: An Oracle of the Undead with Deck and Instructions
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01/12/13: On Task | Swords Hold Court



I’ve been fighting with tech issues all day and it’s getting late. I haven’t done this column.

I pull the cards ahead—way ahead. I like to write ahead too, but sometimes, that doesn’t happen.

Today, I dealt with leftover issues from a web server move, tech work and problems of all sorts, a malfunctioning cat genie—aghh!—a broken website update here, a cat with an unhappy stomach, and more.

It was a crazy day. So I wonder, what cards did I pull, to write about after all this?

I am really digging these duos. They are like poetry, you know?

The Queen of Swords faces the King of Swords—she’s cutting out the bullshit and cutting through the obstacles. She’s sharp and impatient, because she has a lot on her plate. (Okay, she can bitch a little, too. But the reason it’s so damned annoying is because she’s generally right.)

She is looking to the right. That’s in the FUTURE, you know? She wants to move forward and you best stay out of her way.

The King, on the other hand, is more settled. He looks straight ahead, in the here and now. He focuses on ruling fairly and intelligently.

Taken together, I’d say stay on task but don’t be overly fussy. I made it today with half of that command fulfilled. I’ll leave you to guess which half. Har!

What do you see here?

11/29/12: Heart-True | King of Cups


When I was first learning the cards, Courts gave me fits. Even though I had a general idea of the qualities of each suit, distinguishing between Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings, understanding the differences and putting it all into context in the framework of a reading was challenging for me.

I found Joan Bunning’s Learning Tarot Online, and the lesson there helped. I learned the Golden Dawn element associations for the ranks, and that helped. (A good explanation of the Golden Dawn versus Thoth system of elemental attributions for the court –and a lot more on them!—can be found in the book, Understanding the Tarot Court by Mary Greer and Tom Little.) I thought in terms of what each rank’s role in the court structure may have been, and that helped. And after a while, I just got an overall “feel” for each one’s personality through working with the cards, you know?

But even with all that study, doesn’t mean I don’t ever take a look at one of these cards and wonder, “What are you trying to say to me?”

The King of Cups can be a bit slippery anyway. He’s passionate, always! But at times, he’s also moody. He may be prone to impulsiveness, getting carried away in the heat of the moment. The Kings often show us outwardly focused energy, so whatever is in his heart, you’ll probably see it in his actions as well.

As advice, I will usually take this fellow to be saying to act upon our feelings, behave true to the heart regardless of whatever other intervening forces may appear.

That’s never bad advice. As a follow-up to the recent Hierophant sighting, he adds an element much needed when you study the wisdom of the masters: the ring of truth in your heart.

Come to think of it, that’s an element much needed for pretty much everything. He lives “heart-true.”

Do you look for “heart-true” in all you do?

Mystic Dreamer Tarot
by Heidi Darras

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Interpreting Tarot Court Cards: Person or Not?

Great question! The Court cards are challenging, especially for those just starting out. I know I hated getting court cards at first. As I once heard the lament, “I’m looking for an answer, not a person!” But the Court can be strong allies in your reading once you get to know the family a little, you know?

A court card generally points to 1 of these 3 options:

  • An actual person
  • An aspect of the questioners’ personality
  • A quality, energy or approach in the situation

Your first clue is context! What exactly, did you ask? What position is the card in? If I saw the Queen of Wands come up for advice, I’d probably suggest remaining strong, determined or even stubborn. No flinching! The Page of Pentacles could suggest clear communication, whereas the King of Cups may lead me to suggest acting on feelings. In the past position in a relationship spread, it may well be an ex-partner making an appearance. In an outcome position, the court could represent what qualities you can expect to manifest as a result of the energies in play. Context and the position of the card together tell the story.

Look at the surrounding cards. What came before and after the card? Stings of cards present as part of an ongoing dialog, each rubbing elbows with those nearby. What interpretation best fits into the narrative of the surrounding cards?

Personal Associations. If you have a special association for  a particular royal, that card can show up to draw your attention to something related. Say the Knight of Wands always makes you think of your brother. Does he show up in a reading to refer to the questioner’s brother, or suggest an approach your brother would take, or maybe just reveal some other parallel between your brother and the question itself?

The card itself. Look for details that seem to “pop” at you, whatever seems bigger or brighter or catches your eye. That will often show you the most relevant features of a card. So if you notice the face, perhaps we’re talking about person. If you notice a detail of the background, maybe the card speaks to the background of a situation. Or maybe it’s just showing up to give you a single idea to convey. Listen to your inner voice, whether or not the interpretation is standard.

It’s always about the Questioner. Even if the court card shows up to talk about somebody or something else, the argument can be made that every situation in an individual’s life–and the people in it–is an expression, direct or indirect–of that individual’s energy. So even if the card talks about another person, or an approach to a situation, or whatever, it’s always kind of always about the questioner as well.

As far as telling the difference, if you stay in the flow of the reading and have your radar full-throttle on, you’ll be able to just go with what you get in that flow without over-thinking. It’s that second-guessing tendency that leaves us feeling confused. Your first impulse on reading a court will normally be the best. But if you find the card nagging at you after you’ve moved past it, return to see if there is more. A card can sometimes have multiple interpretations, more than one meaning or layer to add. Just follow the vibe.

Hope that helps!

How do you do with court cards?

Have your own question? Ask Dixie!

08/18/12: Acting on Impulse | Knight of Wands

page of wands tarot meaning

Grant us a brief delay; impulse in everything is but a worthless servant. –Caecilius Statius

Okay, okay. I hear you, Tarot! We’ve got a little more Tarot Court to address today.

Yesterday, it was the Knight of Swords, delivering admonition to be careful how we charge ahead with those words and thoughts, being cognizant of exactly HOW we pack truths in need of delivery. Understood.

Today, we’ve got the Knight of Wands (Air in Fire). He moves—and quickly!—often with creative solutions to problems or getting new arrangements off the ground. The desert around him, his horse, the feather in his cap and even his hair are fiery red! He is positively ablaze, on a mission.

Just as we’d be well cautioned with the Knight of Swords to consider the climate, here the same consideration applies as far as consequences go. This guy tends to act in haste, reflect in leisure. Bravery, passion and ambition are all fine qualities. But make the risks you take calculated ones for the best results.

When the Knight of Wands appears, know it’s fine both to move ahead with your plans and to feel good about doing so. Wands build, and require action to be most effective. So yes, act! But since it IS a single-minded Knight showing up (and this one is especially driven), do slow yourself enough to consider both sides of relevant issues. Then you can follow the impulse with high expectations, regrets less likely to follow.

Are you feeling the Knight of Wands?

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot
by Us Games Systems

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06/03/12: The Parents You Got | King of Pentacles, Queen of Pentacles, Ace of Wands


I always think of the King and Queen of Pentacles as the “lesser” Tarot parents. If the Emperor and Empress are the ultimate Tarot Mom and Dad, perhaps the idealized parents we see as children (or wish we did!), the King and Queen of Pentacles are the parents you actually got. Pentacles are  what physically manifests, real life flesh and blood.

And that Ace of Wands there, in between the two of them? That’s what they built together. It’s the gestalt of their union, what they created as a unit neither would have made alone. It’s the alchemy between them, their composite, that sets the stage for the family.

I’m feeling this lunar eclipse like gangbusters. It’s showing up as Mommy issues, Daddy issues with some baby issues in between. The air is saturated in who loves whom, who supports whom, and  who acknowledges whom. Are the parents good enough? Are the children? What did that family unit create?

Your parents probably impact your sense of identity more than any other people alive, for good or ill, and it’s not always a clear cut call, which it is. Hardship and struggle can give positive gifts as well as unwelcome ones. It’s all in what you do with it. Clarity about who you are and what you want in your life is your job to take, using whatever you have to work with as tools. If you’ve got lemons, you know what to do with ’em. No point in just standing around with a sour look on your face when you can open up a stand and make a buck or two off of it.

Are you seeing this, too?

The Transparent Tarot
by Emily Carding

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