Here we are again! Thursday, the day before Friday, the almost-there to the weekend day, the #tarotthursdaythree day. Today is a little extra special because it’s also Imbolc, and the day that my tarot shop is officially open! Check out the page above titled “Book a Reading” if you’re interested in my philosophy, fine print, offerings, and if you want a reading!
Ok, anyway, back to #tarotthursdaythree — the questions are by me this week, which is exciting! They are pretty basic questions, but the answers are gonna be tough for me… So let’s get going, shall we?
1. What is your favorite tarot card and why?
Alright, alright. First question and I already kinda hate myself — like, how am I supposed to pick one favorite tarot card?! Should my favorite be a card that I pull often and that means a lot to me, or should it be one that I love the message of and wish that I pulled more?! Those two groups tend to be exclusive in my reading experience.
But when I think about what my favorite card is, generally two quickly come to mind (one will be the answer to this question, and one for question three). The first is Strength. This card was the inspiration for my new logo and header: the woman and the lion. The lion is special to me because there are three lions on the “O’Brien” family crest, and in high school a math teacher used to rhyme my last name with lion — “O’Brien the Lion.” I’m particularly drawn to the lioness, though, hey, any lion is good by me.
I thought about selecting the Moon or the Star, my significator (Queen of Swords), or the Four of Swords which always means a lot to me, but Strength is a card that I can consistently and easily identify with and align myself with the message. It should be noted that I rarely actually draw Strength, not sure what that could mean. She combines the messages of the High Priestess and Empress (which I don’t often identify with well on their own), and rolls them all together and adds a sash proclaiming “Badass.” Strength reminds me of courage, inner power, and mastering your emotions. Strength has got her shit together and she’s going places. I want to be that badass. In a way, she reminds me of the Queen of Swords, because of her sense of self and discipline.
2. What is your least favorite tarot card and why?
So, like other posts that I have read, I do agree that all cards are necessary in the spectrum of tarot. I’ve written briefly about the cards that I struggle to interpret, and that automatically kind of puts them in the “not-as-favorite” category. But, I wanted to pick a different card for this prompt. I don’t like the Five of Pentacles because this card is straight up sad, and though it’s message can provide hope, it ultimately provides little. When this card shows up, it’s like saying, “Well, you’re in it. Shit sucks, but stay hopeful because it’ll get better….some…time….” And the fact that, in the RWS, these poor people are standing helpless outside a brightly lit church puts a bad taste in my mouth — why is no one helping them? This card is my least favorite because it just makes me feel without hope.
3. If you could be a tarot card (live in/personify/experience), which would it be and why?
Nine of Pentacles! After the Queen of Swords (my significator), I identify strongly with this card (in conjunction with Strength). This card is like what happens to a person after they internalize the message of Strength. The Queen of Swords is strong, and fierce, and powerful to be sure, but she is lacking some warmth that I would like to embody. The Nine of Pentacles is, again, about being a badass. The Fountain Tarot writes that this card says “life is beautiful,” and I really love that. I love this independent, successful woman, and I want to be her. She’s worked hard to get where she is, and she has co-created a life that she loves.
Through writing this post, I’ve noticed that the Five of Pentacles is like the antithesis of the Nine of Pentacles and Strength. The Fountain Tarot (I keep referencing it because it’s my favorite LWB to work with) uses the keywords (among others) “self-discipline” for Strength, “self-mastery” for the Nine of Pentacles, and then “self-pity” for the Five of Pentacles. The Five of Pentacles is like a warning, to not let life and my ambitions to get too far away from me, because a substantial loss could be experienced. A lot of our life comes from our perception, or internal experience.
However, there are substantial external circumstances which shape and determine our lives. I realize that I’m privileged enough to be able to sit here and analyze these cards. I realize that I’m privileged enough that my life can be considered a product of my own determination, in which I don’t have multiple, toxic systems working against me. I’m privileged enough that I can see myself in the Nine of Pentacles, the woman who created her own life. I’m privileged enough that I do not anticipate the Five of Pentacles as my fate. But, that’s the very lesson of the Five of Pentacles. Do not become so prideful, so unassuming, that this fate couldn’t be yours. Circumstances change so quickly. Be ever mindful.
This also reminds me of the movie Life is Beautiful — have you seen it? It’s about an Italian Jewish family that is put into a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. The movie is gorgeous, and it’s all about hope and how beautiful life can be even in the most horrendous circumstances. I always think of the movie when I work with the Nine of Pentacles, because the quotation “life is beautiful” is in the Fountain’s guidebook. The stark delineation between the Five and the Nine becomes more clear when they are next to each other. The Strength needed to get from the Five to the Nine is apparent.
And, if you’re privileged enough to sit here and analyze this, to analyze meanings assigned to cards, then you are privileged enough to get out there and help others move from the Five to the Nine. Why is no one helping the couple in the Five of Pentacles? Because no one has gotten up to do it. Be that person, use your privilege to lift others up, be that Strength for others.
Well that escalated quickly. Thanks, Julia, as always for putting these prompts together.
At the time of publishing, here are the other posts that I’ve seen around…
What is your favorite/least favorite tarot card? What card would you love to be? Did you make a post answering these questions? Comment below and let me know!