Heck if I know

You don’t have to know. All you need is to know how to know, you know?

Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here. Short Sip Tarot episodes like these are Tarot contemplation in the time it takes to sip from your coffee – or whatever you happen to be drinking at the time of day when you read or hear this.

I’m using the Alleyman’s Tarot today. This card is the nine of disks, used as the nine of pentacles, or coins. Pentacles, disks, coins: the name is up to the deck author, but they all symbolize the basic things. There may be other names for the suit, but these three are the ones that I’ve seen. The Nine of Disks in the Alleyman’s Deck is from the Sola Busca Tarot used via Wikimedia commons. This is a public domain deck from the 1400s.

When I first drew the card. I honest to goodness had no idea what it was or what it was about. The little dude getting squashed under a flaming barbeque grill filled with a bunch of pot lids in it could be anything. It is a world apart from that happy, truth-y, good conclusion, earned reward vibes we see from the 1909 Waite Smith Tarot and later decks based on the RWS structure.

Seven Dane Asmund’s interpretation in the Alleyman’s Guidebook is entirely on point for this striking, remarkable card. I can see why he chose to put it in the deck. In the guidebook he, in the guise of the Alleyman, he writes about the cost of success and the crushing emotional and mental burdons of striving for (and maintaining) success, particularly the material type of success and that defined by those outside oneself.

In other words, what price victory? What is true success and is it worth the toll it takes? In my experience, those questions and concepts attach to the five of swords in a typical deck. The Alleyman’s Deck, however, is different. The artwork here is perfectly aligned with the caution against pyrrhic victories. I’m glad he picked up on that. Totally blew by me.

So back to me staring at the card and thinking “heck if I know” I didn’t recognize the deck, I didn’t recognize it as a nine of disks or or nine of pentacles analog, and I sure as heck didn’t have any sense of a message from it.

I think that, in itself, is part of the day’s energy and message. Again it is something I typically get with or through another card, in this case The High Priestess. Mystery and the unknown is, to my way of thinking, under the priestess’ purview. The mysterious is the High Priestess’ expertise. Living with the abstract & unknown is very much a part of the lessons that this card teaches.

The message here is an important one. In my opinion,life’s mysterious, intangible, abstract, and perhaps unknowable aspects are more fitting to a major arcana card rather than the nine of disks. But that’s just me, and that is drawing from other decks, not the Sola Busca.

You know that adage where if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, then you feed him for a lifetime?

The same is true of knowing things.

You can’t know everything, but if you learn how to learn, if you learn how to go out and find what you don’t know now, it’s the next best thing to knowing in the first place. Only an empty cup can be filled. You can only learn something when you know that you don’t know something.

Knowing that the unknown can be learned, takes the fear out of the dark corners of life’s uncertainty. Both Tarot and science shine this light. Neither offers absolute knowledge, but both offer a method of learning about the inner and outer cosmos respectively.

It’s ok to not know what you are seeing or what to do when a flaming grill full of pot lids falls from the sky like some sort of medieval Sputnik. Life is like that sometimes. It’s ok to not know stuff. The trick is being willing to learn what the space grill means to you.

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See you at the next sip!

Author: SageWordsTarot

I read Tarot, write e-books and make stuff. 25 + years experience reading Tarot, oracle cards. Retired Tai Chi instructor. Reiki master-practitioner 20+ years

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