Alternative Tarot Course · Cups · pentacles · Swords · Wands

Crossover Cards

Phew!  I am verrrry behind with my tarot studies in the Alternative Tarot Course!  I was hoping that January would slow down a bit — and the first half definitely did — but the second half of January was crazy with social and work commitments.  I’m happy to say that I’ve continued to pull a card a day, and have done a pretty dang good job staying committed to my at-home yoga practice.  I’m feeling good!  Anyway, I digress.

Part of week 2 includes analyzing the elements in the tarot.  One of the exercises asks me to pick some minor arcana cards that I view as “crossover” cards, cards that I feel communicate more than their corresponding element.


Four of Wands — fire and earth

One of the major keywords that comes up for me with this card is stability.  In this way, I find this card very earthy.  In the Morgan Greer version, there is a castle built upon a rocky structure.  There is a strong foundation in this card.  There are four, wreathed wands standing before the castle, hinting at celebration, merriment, a opportunity for creativity and optimism that stems from stability.

three of cups

Three of Cups — water and earth

I’ve recently written about this card, more than once, as my daily card.  I love the grounded energy shown by the flower crowns the figures wear and the fresh fruit on the table before them.  The camaraderie of the figures is obvious, the cups before them shared.  This card points to the peaceful acceptance that one can find within healthy community, a deep rootedness, and how when one is open to receiving one is able to connect to the wonder of life.


Seven of Cups — water, fire, and air

The seven of cups, especially the Morgan Greer version, speaks directly to my airy nature.  It is all imagination and ideas.  Look at the clouds the cups sit on, the fantastical creatures coming from the cups.  This card is abundant creativity, it is daydreaming and wishes.  This comes back around to water, for me, in that this is what feeds my soul.


Ten of Cups — water and earth

The ten of cups is interconnectedness.  The Morgan Greer version makes me feel more than just the connection between humans.  The way that the rainbow comes from/goes into their cups and the forest setting in which this card takes place highlights the connection of human to nature, the joy of being of and in the earth.  In addition, the rainbow connects us to God or spirit.  Happiness is a gift, and this card implies a grounded, centered, plugged-in celebration.

Two of Pentacles — earth and water


I love what Rachel Pollack writes about the two of pentacles in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom:

“Like so many Pentacles, the card implies a hidden magic in its ordinary pleasures.  The juggler holds [their] magic emblem within a loop or ribbon shaped like an infinity sign, the same sign which appears above the head of the Magician, and the [figure] in Strength.  Some people believe that spiritual development occurs only in serious moments.  Pleasure and amusement can also teach us a great deal, as long as we pay attention.”

I pulled this card as my daily card on January 29.  All week, I have been listening to Lindsay Mack’s recent podcast episode on the brain versus intuition and how to use my intuition more in my tarot and spiritual practice.  This excerpt from Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom was like a beacon for me.  I noticed the water in the background, no earth in sight.  I felt the flow of intuition, the trust in self that it takes to balance the mundane, the magical, and the spiritual.  This card is about our daily lives, and guides us in how to stay plugged in.

Knight of Swords — air and fire


This knight is going somewhere, and going there fast.  I love the blatant combination of the air and fire elements;  the Tower burns in the background.  This knight is about to embark on his quest, for vengeance, for redemption, for valor, for honor; he is going right into the thick of the action, where ever he is going.  They are wild, all of their energy moves outward.  In that way, they are of no air at all.  They face the conflict unflinchingly.

This exercise crystalized for me that I find the tarot to be a very earthy tool.  Tarot helps me to ground and center.  Tarot helps me to categorize, to journal, to process.  Tarot is a stalwart friend.  The cards are a comfort, a set of universal experiences and archetypes that humans have known for millennia.  I find that most cards have an inherent earth-like nature to them because of the way in which I connect with the tarot.

I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Alternative Tarot Course · Cups · pentacles · Swords · Wands

Four Aces

The first exercise in the Alternative Tarot Course Week 2 is all about the aces.

Beth Maiden writes, “Pull out the four ace cards from your deck and lay them out in front of you.  What doors might be opening here, what sort of thing might each ace be suggesting you do?  How might you best take advantage of these opportunities?”

ace of wands
ace of wands, morgan greer tarot

Ace of Wands

The Ace of Wands is the spark of the fire suit.  It is eagerness and strength.  It is often seen as the beginning of the journey of creativity.  To view “creativity” simply as an outlet for the creation of art is limiting to me.  Personally, I have a hard time accessing my own artful abilities.  This is primarily because my creative fire is often expended at work.  As a nurse, my job can be emotionally, mentally, and physically draining.  It is easy to default to coming home from work and sitting on the couch binging the Office on Netflix cuddling with my cat, Gary.  For me, taping in to the fire energy ranges from anything small — maintaining a daily tarot practice — to large — painting the bathroom in our still unfinished home.  Because the Ace of Wands shows up in your reading doesn’t mean you’re about to pick up a new hobby or pen a bestselling novel.  When the Ace of Wands shows up in your reading, there is an invitation to identify and access what physical activities or projects can bring you joy.

ace of cups
ace of cups, morgan greer tarot

Ace of Cups

The Ace of Cups is the source of the water suit.  It is overflowing with sweetness and grace.  It is often seen as the beginning of an emotionally transformative journey.  I like to relate this card to “connection” as opposed to “love,” because love doesn’t always resonate.  Love can be used as a guise for many things, and not all of them healthy.  To read Cups through the lens of connection lends more depth because it includes any kind of relationship we may have, even ones with ourselves or with our spirituality.  I love the sweet water flowers depicted on this card, how they grow from the murky depths and blossom on the surface, representing how we create and curate relationships.  The dove in the sky represents spirit, grace, and flow.  One need not be perfect or clean to show up to the suit of cups, one must simply show up, ready to receive.  The Ace of Cups prompts the reader to consider how they create value in their life.

ace of swords
ace of swords, morgan greer tarot

Ace of Swords

The Ace of Swords is the spirit of the air suit.  It is truth and awareness.  It is often seen as the beginning exploration of deeper wisdom.  This deeper wisdom serves to mature raw emotion.  There is intellect in the Swords, yes, but it also serves as a portal to examine spiritual experience and truths.  The Swords can be a difficult suit because it covers a wide range of situations which relate specifically to the human experience, and within that is pain, complexity, and contradiction.  As an Aquarian, I easily identify with the suit of air.  I like to daydream, plan, and extrapolate.  But, it is also easy for me to overanalyze, judge, obsess, and I have a constant desire to be Right.  I have learned, and continue to learn, how to find greater balance in this.  Ace of Swords is the ferocity to slice through our illusions; it symbolizes our mind and its ability to pierce confusion and suss out a clear understanding of the facts.

ace of pentacles
ace of pentacles, morgan greer tarot

Ace of Pentacles

The Ace of Pentacles is the foundation of the earth suit.  It is manifestation and a grounded sense of being.  It is often seen as the beginning of material building.  The Ace of Pentacles is lush and inviting, it inspires satisfaction with our physical world.  This card highlights the magic of the Earth and everyday things.  The garden in this card invites the reader in, to luxuriate in the peacefulness there, and then, when the reader is ready, to take the path out into the wider world, to the mountains beyond.  This, too, is spiritual work.  It is integrating and implementing the deeper wisdom that our mind has helped us uncover.  The Pentacles relate to self care, family life, physical space and our resources.  When the Ace of Pentacles turns up, it asks the reader how they can shape their world, take action, in order to make their physical world more aligned with their intentions.

I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Alternative Tarot Course · Daily Tarot Card · pentacles · Swords

daily tarot cards: Four of Swords, Nine of Pentacles

four of swords
four of swords, morgan greer tarot

January 7, 2019

The four of swords is a card of pause, rest.  It’s a moment before action, a sleep before big moves.  It emphasizes that the moments in between acting are just as important as the action.  This card has a very Hanged Man energy to it, in that it’s all about the pause, surrendering to the moment.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven.”  — Ecclesiastes 3:1, from Notes From the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot

“No one slays a dragon every day,” continues the Pagan Otherworlds guidebook (if you haven’t noticed this is my go to tarot guidebook).  Just living takes enough energy and it’s important to allocate your energy appropriately.  Know your limitations, know your boundaries.  Live.  Enjoy it.

nine of pentacles
nine of pentacles, morgan greer tarot

January 8, 2019

This is one of my favorite cards of the deck, if not one of my favorite cards ever.  The person in this nine of pentacles knows what’s up, this person don’t give a fuck.  I drew this card this morning and didn’t have a chance to journal about it, but kept the thought of it, the feeling of it, close through the day.  The nine of pentacles is lusciousness, confidence, and deep joy.  It is knowing what you’re doing is working.  It is interest and pursuit.  It is being on your path and not caring what anyone else has to say about it.  The nine of pentacles is your inner being winking, and your outer being clicking into alignment.

I’m trying to blog my daily tarot card every day…but sometimes that’s just not feasible, therefore I will double up on cards like this.  Also, I’m going to start tagging cards based on their suit or if they are a major arcana card, mostly just for my own sanity and ability to look it up again afterward.  Yay!

I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.


Alternative Tarot Course · Daily Tarot Card · pentacles

daily tarot card: Three of Pentacles

three of pentacles
three of pentacles, morgan greer tarot

What am I dedicated to?  What am I creating?  Building?  The three of pentacles asks me to look at how I spend my time on what matters to me.

The artisan in this card works on a church, which is a project that takes a long time, it takes a vision, it takes a creative drive that lasts.  This card is all questions to me: wondering how I apply my creative energy, how I bring my imagination, my dreams, to life.  What a card to pull the day after the Hermit, who urges us to go after the wild life.

Lindsay Mack says the pentacles “really help us to discern how…we marry our human stuff with spiritual soulwork, and how we can make those things one thing, and how they can both be in alignment with each other.”  Yes yes yes!  She talks of how speaking of the pentacles in terms of money really short changes (!) the suit because the tarot really isn’t about the external anyway.  And, man, I so identify with that in how I read the pentacles.  (Ps, if you haven’t listened to her podcast, Tarot for the Wild Soul, please listen to January’s Monthly Medicine.)

I love the way the sun shines through the stained glass in this card, and that the figure is in shadow.  It makes me feel seen, witnessed; the stained glass draws me in, shining light on my inner self.  It says everything we do is part of “the whole,” each moment, each tiny decision affects the outcome.  This card is about taking what lies inside my creative, emotive body and bringing it physical.

I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Alternative Tarot Course · Daily Tarot Card · pentacles

daily tarot card: Six of Pentacles

six of pentacles
six of pentacles, morgan greer tarot

This card is a give and take, maybe portraying a miser, someone who keeps tabs, and makes sure the books are balanced.  There seems to be more people in need than are giving out.

This is a very practical, earthy card, in the sense that it is very stereotypical “pentacles” to me, and thus relating to the element of earth.

The red strip divides the card, and the six pentacles, right down the middle.

This card makes me ask how I can keep things fair and balanced, how everyone can be happy.  The man, however, doesn’t seem to be particularly pleased to be giving out his money but it seems that he views it as his duty.

To me, I see this card most playing out in my domestic life (I really hate reading the pentacles as solely relating to material possessions and money).  I see this card in my home, with my partner.  I see this card as a reminder or nudge to keep things tidy, with everything in order, and my partner and I on the same page.  This card is about acknowledging the “other’s” needs and offering what you can in return.

I’m neutral about this card, but if I read it beyond money and balancing the books, it’s easier to relate to.  When I read it as just sharing myself, my gifts, my time, it is easier to understand.

Today, the day on which I drew the card, I felt this card pushing me to get some chores and jobs done around the house, making sure things are set for the week and the New Year.  (Though that could have just been my anxiety around my to do list, but who knows :))

I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.