JUSTICE

DESCRIPTION

On Card 11 we see the familiar figure of Justice. She has the scales of equality and impartial judgment in one hand, and the sword of decision in the other. In the tarot, Justice represents the understanding that life is ultimately fair and just. Even though the vagaries of day-to-day life tend to make us doubt this fact, Justice reminds us that there is divine balance. Notice the similarity between the Emperor and Justice. Both cards stand for universal order; the Emperor in its underlying structure, Justice, in the action of karma – cause and effect.

There is a serious feel to Card 11 – the tone of the courtroom. This card refers to legal matters of all kinds, but is not restricted to them. The courts are where judgments are made and decisions rendered. Our legal system is the official arena in which we explore the principles of Justice – fairness, impartiality and the quest for truth.

In readings, Justice often appears when you are concerned with doing what is right or making sure you receive your due. This card can also appear when you are feeling the impact of a past mistake or good deed. The cause you set in motion at one time is now returning to you as an effect.

Sometimes Justice is a signal to do what needs to be done. A time comes when responsibilities must be accepted, and accounts settled. The past will continue to haunt you if you do not recognize your mistakes and make amends for them. You will need to weigh matters carefully and perhaps make important decisions about your future course.

STRENGTH

DESCRIPTION

Usually we think of strength in physical terms – big arms, powerful legs – but there is also inner strength. Inner strength comes from an exercise of the heart muscle. It is perseverance, courage, resolve and composure – qualities that help us endure when times are tough. In the past, a person with inner strength was commonly said to have character; he or she could be counted on in the darkest moments. Card 8 represents this energy of quiet determination. Strength is not a flashy card, but one that is solid and reliable.

Card 8 also represents patience and compassion. Getting angry is easy when events turn sour, but dealing calmly with frustration takes great strength. So does accepting others and forgiving mistakes. We need strength to mold situations softly. The Chariot controls through mastery and authority. Card 8 is more subtle, even loving. Notice how the lion (itself a symbol of strength) is being guided and tamed by the woman’s gentle hands.

Card 8 will appear in a reading when its qualities are needed. It can be a reminder not to despair or give up. You have the inner strength to endure and triumph. If you are pushing too hard, you need to withdraw for the moment and be patient. If other people or circumstances are driving you crazy, remember the strength that comes with love and forbearance. These will see you through the hardest moments.

THE HIEROPHANT

General Meaning
The Hierophant Tarot this card refers to a master and the learning of practical lessons from the study of natural law. This energy of this card points to some agent or resource that can reveal the secrets of life, the cycles of the Moon and tides, the links between human beings and the heavens.
Because monasteries were the only places a person could learn to read and write in the Middle Ages, a Hierophant was one to whom a student would petition for entry. He was the one to set the curriculum for the neophyte’s course of study.
Often pictured with the right hand raised in blessing, the Hierophant is linked with the ancient lineage of Melchezidek, initiator of the Hebrew priestly tradition, the one who passes on the teachings. All shamans of any tradition draw upon this archetype.

In the Advice Position
Develop your expertise, and have faith that you are a master in the making.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Hierophant advises that you return to the role of a meticulous student. Learn everything you can about your chosen area. Let that knowledge become a part of you and an operative influence on your day-to-day awareness. In this way, you can slowly and steadily establish real credibility in your field or chosen subject.
Earn respect and recognition by completing your education and broadening your experience. If you already have all the necessary experience you need, then rewrite your resume so others can appreciate who you are and what you can bring to a situation. Focus on your goal and be determined. You may be destined to be a master in your realm.

THE HANGED MAN

DESCRIPTION

The Hanged Man is one of the most mysterious cards in the tarot deck. It is simple, but complex. It attracts, but also disturbs. It contradicts itself in countless ways. The Hanged Man is unsettling because it symbolizes the action of paradox in our lives. A paradox is something that appears contradictory, and yet is true. The Hanged Man presents to us certain truths, but they are hidden in their opposites.

The main lesson of the Hanged Man is that we “control” by letting go – we “win” by surrendering. The figure on Card 12 has made the ultimate surrender – to die on the cross of his own travails – yet he shines with the glory of divine understanding. He has sacrificed himself, but he emerges the victor. The Hanged Man also tells us that we can “move forward” by standing still. By suspending time, we can have all the time in the world.

In readings, the Hanged Man reminds us that the best approach to a problem is not always the most obvious. When we most want to force our will on someone, that is when we should release. When we most want to have our own way, that is when we should sacrifice. When we most want to act, that is when we should wait. The irony is that by making these contradictory moves, we find what we are looking for.

THE STAR

General Meaning
The Star Tarot card is about reconnecting one’s soul with the divine — the transcending of personality, family, community, and reputation. It has to do ultimately with the freedom to be one’s self. The soul is responding to celestial influences — forces that can provide the personality with a stronger sense of purpose. The Star card helps us to remember our exalted origins and our attraction to a higher union.
This card could also be called The Celestial Mandate — that which refers us back to our reason for being, our mission in this lifetime. The Star reminds us that, in a sense, we are agents of divine will in our day-to-day lives. If we let go of the idea that we are supposed to be in control, we can more easily notice and appreciate the synchronicities that are nudging us along. In this way, we become more conscious of the invisible helping hand, and we better understand our place within — and value to — the larger cosmos.

In the Advice Position
Your time is better spent in reflection and spiritual pursuit.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Star card advises that you rededicate yourself to your higher values, increase your spiritual cultivation and meditation practice, and surrender to the greater good. Connect to your higher self — a being of a larger realm traveling on an evolutionary course that started long ago and runs indefinitely into the future. This is the part you wish to contact and communicate with.
Now is a period for quiet contemplation. Listen for the voice within. Anything that would interfere with this communion may not be serving your best interests right now.

THE EMPRESS

DESCRIPTION

The Empress and the High Priestess are the two halves of the female archetype in the major arcana. The Empress represents the fertile, life-giving Mother who reigns over the bounty of nature and the rhythms of the Earth. From her comes all the pleasures and joys of the senses and the abundance of new life in all its forms. The Empress encourages you to strengthen your connections with the natural world which is the ground of our being. Too often false sophistications and pleasures take us far from our roots. Let the Empress remind you to keep your feet firmly planted in the Earth.

In readings the Empress can refer to any aspect of Motherhood. She can be an individual mother, but as a major arcana card, she also goes beyond the specifics of mothering to its essence – the creation of life and its sustenance through loving care and attention.

The Empress can also represent lavish abundance of all kinds. She offers a cornucopia of delights, especially those of the senses – food, pleasure and beauty. She can suggest material reward, but only with the understanding that riches go with a generous and open spirit. The Empress asks you to embrace the principle of life and enjoy its bountiful goodness.

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

General Meaning
The central theme of The Wheel of Fortune card is cyclical change. The wheel keeps on rolling, churning events in a ceaseless progression of ups and downs, either way freeing us from the past. No one can escape its cyclical action, which can feel somewhat terrifying — no matter whether we are rising or falling. When one is balanced on top of the wheel, there is a moment of crystal clarity. However, the only part of the wheel that’s actually not going up and down is the hub, which represents your eternal self.
Every one of us will occupy all the points on the wheel at one point or another. The cycle of the wheel is its lesson — and we can learn to take comfort in it. If you don’t like the look of things right now, just wait — things will change. Of course, if you do like the look of things right now, enjoy it while it lasts, because that will change too!

In the Advice Position
Fundamental change is imminent. The positive benefits you gain during this period could last a long time.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Wheel of Fortune advises you follow the flow of events. Physical moves, spiritual awakenings, or dramatically changing social patterns could arise now. Accept these transformations.
This is a safe place for you to be. You are watched over and protected as you go round and round the wheel. You will learn a lot. You will also learn it quickly, and what you absorb will benefit you for a long time to come.

THE EMPRESS

General Meaning
The Empress is a Major Arcana, or “trump” card, that portrays the energy of the great mother. She is nature, around us but also within us, the ever-unfolding source of life-giving power. The Empress is often pictured as a pre-Christian Goddess, as the one whom The High Priestess is channeling down to Earth for the rest of us.
In medieval Europe, The Empress card was painted to represent whatever queen currently ruled the land, probably to satisfy the Inquisitors. But the scholars of the Renaissance and beyond had no doubt of her true identity — she could not be fully revealed on Tarot cards as “the woman clothed with the sun” until after the French Revolution.
This supreme archetype of femininity also symbolizes fertility. It is The Empress who provides us nourishment and security. She is also sometimes seen as delighting us with flowers and fruit. A potentially terrifying aspect of this archetype manifests itself whenever karmic mood swings wipe out our plans, like a storm that has come upon us. Whatever happens, The Empress is the source of our embodiment and of natural lLaw. She might even be called “The Great Recycler.”

In the Advice Position
Rather than being tough on yourself for not measuring up, know that your positive influence has facilitated favorable outcomes.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Empress advises you to trust in the good sense you have shown up to this point. Recognize your good intentions in carrying out your responsibilities as a compassionate human. You are capable of demonstrating the finest aspects of your personality.
Demonstrate this through caring actions, a forgiving and generous attitude, and wise understanding of others’ needs and struggles. Bring a healing influence to the current situation and take full credit for the supportive part you play.

THE HANGED MAN

HANGED MAN TAROT CARD MEANINGS KEYWORDS
Upright: Suspension, restriction, letting go, sacrifice
Reversed: Martyrdom, indecision, delay

HANGED MAN TAROT CARD MEANINGS AND DESCRIPTION
The Hanged Man shows a man suspended, upside-down, from the living World Tree, rooted in the underworld and supporting the heavens. Given the serene expression on his face, it is believed he is hanging on the tree of his own will. His right foot is bound to the tree but his left foot remains free, bent at the knee and tucked in behind his right leg. His arms are bent, with hands held behind his back, forming an inverted triangle. The man is wearing red pants representing human passion and the physical body, a blue coat for knowledge, and yellow shoes representing his high ideals. Around the Hanged Man’s head is a bright yellow halo showing spiritual attainment, with the grey background suggesting invisibility (a good reminder to not flaunt your spirituality). This is the card of ultimate surrender, of being suspended in time and of martyrdom and sacrifice to the greater good. This is the archetype to meditate on to help break old patterns of behaviour and bad habits that restrict you.
The Hanged Man’s number is 12 – a higher octave of the number 3, representing careful planning and orderly growth leading to spiritual development. 1 (beginning) + 2 (the reasoning force) = 3 (the product of rebirth). The ruling planet is Neptune, the planet of self-sacrifice and idealism.

UPRIGHT HANGED MAN TAROT CARD MEANINGS
The Hanged Man reflects a need to suspend action, and as a result, a period of indecision may be indicated. Decisions or actions that need to be implemented will be postponed, even if, at the time, there is a sense of urgency to act. In fact, you may be much better off if you can stall on any decision-making and action-taking at this time in order to provide yourself with more time to reflect on the situation at hand and to consider the greater good. If you can buy yourself some more time or hold off on any further activities for a short period, then you may actually create a different, and better, outcome. This is a card that is all about suspension and waiting, and suggests that this may be just what you need to do in order to allow new possibilities to arise. Sometimes not acting will help to shed more light on what other options are available to you and will allow more attractive opportunities to emerge.
The Hanged Man can sometimes reflect that you are feeling stuck or restricted in your life. You need to get in touch with why you are feeling this way, and work to release yourself from these restrictions. In this way, the Hanged Man is also about letting go. You need an emotional release from whatever it is that is leaving you feeling stuck. Accept and surrender to your present circumstances. You may need to become more vulnerable and open to different experiences but this will help you end the struggle and give up your need for control. It is when you can really let go of all the worries and concerns that you have, that you find these concerns suddenly disappear and a new reality is possible.
The reversed position of the man in the Hanged Man indicates the need to look at yourself from an entirely different perspective, while the hanging indicates that your life is simply suspended for a time in order for you to recognise what needs to be changed in your personality. The tree is also abundant with leaves and vines, which suggests the possibility that the situation will bear fruit. Thus, the Hanged Man represents a reversal of your usual way of life and seeing the world from a completely different angle. Try hanging upside-down yourself and look around you. Does it not all look so different?! Your perspective has changed completely, yet the physical surroundings are exactly the same as when you were looking at it from an upright position. The Hanged Man asks you to turn your world around and view your situation differently. When you do this, you will find something new that will prove to be of greater value to you on a much deeper level. It may be that you have to sacrifice your previous beliefs or even way of life but it is a time of renewal and your life will go forward.
The Hanged Man is a willing victim, someone who has chosen the path of sacrifice to accomplish a higher goal. The Hanged Man represents the willingness to forsake the temptations of instant gratification for a higher cause, and because of this willing sacrifice he accomplishes the goals he has in his heart. He is like the ultimate martyr, putting his self-interest aside and giving up his personal needs for the greater good. Consider areas in your own life where you need to act in a more selfless manner, either for the benefit of others or for the fulfilment of your own deeper needs. On the flipside, you may need to assess your life for areas in which you are giving up too much to others at the expense of your own mental and spiritual well-being. Sometimes martyrdom can go too far!
Similarly, the Hanged Man tells you that you should be willing to lose something lesser in order to fulfil a greater goal. This goal is likely to be spiritual and personal. An investment of time, energy, and/or money may have to be made in order to reach this higher level of attainment. You are devoted to the cause and are open and ready to take on the task in front of you but first you need time to pause and consider.

REVERSED HANGED MAN TAROT CARD MEANINGS
The Hanged Man reversed represents a period when you feel you are sacrificing a lot and getting nothing in return. You may have felt things were at an absolute standstill, with no movement or resolution. It is as though you are suspended in time and unable to make a move forward, backward or even sideways to get out of your current situation. Your own goals and dreams are put on hold because of external realities or internal issues. This is an energy that is passing out of your life and you can now expect things to start happening once again and major changes to occur. This period of suspension is like a catalyst for what is to come.
You may be putting off making a decision, in the hope that it will all sort itself out eventually. However, this is often just wishful thinking. What is happening is that you are simply stalling the inevitable and you will at some point be pushed to make a final decision and to make a sacrifice in the process. In a reading where a relationship has been put on hold, the Hanged Man reversed suggests that you are happy to wait around, to a point. You realise that this relationship will evolve over time and that, due to its complexities, it cannot be rushed. However, you also do not want to be ‘on hold’ forever and you acknowledge that there will come a time when you must make a decision about your current relationship.
The Hanged Man reversed suggests a loss of faith in your ability to surmount life’s obstacles. You may be refusing to go within for spiritual nourishment. It is very important at this time to look within through meditation and restore your faith in your ability to get over life’s challenges. Know that this difficult time will soon pass. Accept your circumstances and be at peace with yourself.
Alternatively, you may be preoccupied with yourself and unwilling to make a necessary sacrifice or compromise for the greater good. You may be acting in a selfish or even arrogant manner, and significantly disengaging others who are trying to work cooperatively with you.

THE WORLD

DESCRIPTION

It’s Thanksgiving Day. You’ve just finished a delicious meal, and there’s a hot mug of coffee in your hand. Friends and family are arguing about the latest fiasco, the baby’s cooing at you from across the table, and your feet are rubbing the belly of a devoted mutt. You’re happy, fulfilled and truly thankful (at least until you have to start the dishes!). For this moment, the World and everything in it is yours.

We all recognize this feeling. It can come at any time or place and is always welcome. We can feel it at home raking the leaves or on the world stage accepting the Nobel Prize. It can seem quiet and simple, or wild and glorious. What is this feeling, and where does it come from? Card 21 can help us find out.

A major element of happiness is wholeness – the sense that everything is working together in harmony. Not in a static way, but with dynamic balance. Involvement is also important. To be happy, we must feel connected – engaged with what is around us. There is also accomplishment – knowing that we have goals and are moving toward them successfully. When all these elements come together, we feel fulfilled and blessed.

The World represents these moments and all that goes into them. In readings, it is a very positive sign that you are in a position to realize your heart’s desire. What that is for you depends on the situation, but it will always feel great. Remember, though, that Card 21 is a symbol of active contribution and service. To hold the World in our hands, we must give of ourselves to it. That is the source of true happiness.