A Sip of Tarot: Go to the source

Today’s card is Strength from the major arcana part of the Tarot deck

The strength card is so iconic. It is one of those where the images and symbolism seem pretty consistent across many if not most Waite-Smith based Tarot decks. You almost always see a lion, or some reference to one. Lions have long been a symbol of strength, and yes, I am currently suppressing the urge to imitate the opening line of the “Lion King” movie.

The infinity symbol in the upper left corner of this particular card by Tarot reader and artist Thom Pham is fairly consistent on all Strength and Magician Tarot cards. That is the part that draws my attention this morning.

What is an infinite source of strength?

The answer will, naturally, be different for everyone. It’s the question that matters. Tarot will often ask individual questions rather than give universal answers. There is no universal answer that fits every individual person, but in answering these key questions for yourself, then you will find your way.

In BBC tv show Doctor Who, Clara often says something like “the souffle isn’t in the souffle, it’s in the recipe.” It’s the same idea here. The answer isn’t in the answer, the answer is in the question.

On one hand, Tarot cards asking questions seems evasive and vague and fuel for all of those pedantic skeptical arguments against this kind of spiritual contemplation. On the other hand, asking the just-right question for you to find your own, intimate, individual answer is like a giant flashing neon arrow pointing to exact tree you need in a dark, dense forest. The right question gives as much guidance as the right answer.

Everyone feels tired, injured, fragile or vulnerable sometimes. This card isn’t a pep talk, cheerleader or empty platitude to just go be strong every minute of every day. It’s asking a key question. It’s asking what is your individual source of strength? What is your inspiration, your restorative and your spiritual nourishment? It’s asking you to find it now so it is there when you need it.


Don’t forget: Zombie Cat yes/no Tarot readings by email are $5 off until 31 October 21. “A Sip of Tarot” daily meditation Tarot readings are available here, in even shorter form on YouTube, and wherever you listen to Clairvoyant Confessional podcast.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot 20-26 Sept. 2020

As seems to be the emerging natural pattern, just have a quick announcement before moving on to this week’s cards: I’ll be on a reduced Tarot / online schedule Tue-Sat. because family stuff. If you are interested in a reading or anything from the store, don’t hesitate to order. The only change is that shipping & delivery might take longer than usual. Thank you in advance for your patience.


Left: 10 of Cups (grasshopper) Take the leap and dare to be happy. Beware of self-sabotage, and allow yourself to succeed. Don’t be afraid of finishing well. 10 cards, being the largest of the number cards in any suit, are a sort of pinnacle, the essence of the suit in its greatest expression. Taoism teaches that anything in its extreme holds the seed of its opposite. Be careful not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victoty. Finish, succeed, allow your self to be happy.

“People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” – attr. Abraham Lincoln

Center: 5 of Swords (Goose) Overcoming obstacles is a journey as well as a destination. This card has shown up previously. My hunch this is for emphasis rather than a hint that we aren’t getting the lesson. Historic things have happened between the card’s appearances to show how important the lesson is: Stay chill, stay calm, work the problem. Swords are associated with the element of air and thereby mind and logic and cool intellect. My attention is drawn more to this elemental association than the contemporary relationship style of meanings. Mr. Andrews association with vision quest grabs my attention too. Especially the quest part. Big, systemic problems aren’t solved in a day. They take time, steps, parts, cooperation, and both tactics and strategy. The journey around or through an obstacle may be long and arduous but also needed and worthwhile.

“Let’s work the problem, people. Let’s not make things any worse by guessing. The Lunar Module just became a lifeboat. I don’t care what anything was designed to do.” – Ed Harris playing Gene Krantz in Apollo 13 (movie)

Right: Strength (Lion) This isn’t going to be easy, but when you have the strength to meed the challenges, the hard doesn’t matter. This card is just exactly that sort of reassurance. You have strength, whether you feel it ahead of time or not. If you don’t, get some. The ability to find solutions and to obtain resources is as good as having them in the first place.

“When you can’t walk, you crawl. When you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you.” – from Firefly (TV series) by Joss Whedon