March 28, 2020
A few days ago I was inspired by a post by Lonnie Scott in the TarotCreate section of the Tarot Professionals Group on Facebook (January 23, 2016). The post suggested selecting one card to describe a particular current in your life, and then two other cards: one that illustrates what this current will remove from your life; the other what it will inspire in or bring into your life.
I decided to try it out with the current pandemic as the theme/current. So there was no need to pull out a card for that. I also decided to expand on the spread by adding three cards below the two main ones to show what I could do about this current.
Cards used: Sheridan Douglas Tarot. This is one of my favourite Rider-based Tarot decks. As you will see from the pictures below, it’s a stylized deck with bold vibrant colours.
What will be removed: Death (Card XIII)
What will be gained: The Star (Card XVII)
What to do about it while it lasts: The Chariot (VII), The Emperor (IV), Four of Swords
This is a reading I did for myself, but if it resonates with you, fantastic.
The first thing that struck me was that out of five cards, four were from the Major Arcana, which to me signifies that this current had very powerful forces behind it, and not something that would be easy to change.
What will it remove? The card shows the common personification of Death as a skeleton with a scythe. Its passage has severed the heads of people from all classes of society. Who can say they’re not attached to their heads? Since I did the reading for myself, I see this as a removal of many things I’ve been and still am attached to. It’s no longer easy to go buy things. Even with online shopping, there are going to be fewer people able to man the websites. Furthermore actual deliveries have become less reliable.
What will I gain from it? Like the Star that is kneeling naked in the middle of nature and is pouring all the water back into nature, even into the streams themselves, I hope I will learn how to give more and also to live in a way that is more attuned to nature. The Star in this case is the hope to see myself as I am behind the masks I usually wear. If we compare the two cards (Death on the arid ground with only a few tufts of grass and The Star is a lush green space), we see that instead of all being lost, this is a chance to start afresh by peeling away all blockages to seeing our essential nature.
So what to do while it lasts? The Chariot seems to be saying to keep going. Figuratively yes, but any physical movement outside will be discouraged by the chariot horses facing opposite directions. They usually do, and that is usually what stops me from seeing success in this card when it comes up as an outcome in readings. This is a Chariot that’s going nowhere right now, especially because it is followed by the Emperor who is staying put. (The Emperor is even turning away from the Chariot, and facing the card that confirms all this.
The last card is the Four of Swords. It shows two soldiers playing a game of chess. If this card with this illustration had shown up in a different type of reading alongside the Death card, I might have been tempted to associate it with the idea of playing chess with Death, as in Ingmar Bergman’s film, “The Seventh Seal”. But here it comes after a clear injunction to stay put. The soldiers are simply showing that the safest option is to stay home (tent) and devise healthy strategies (chess game) to relax your body and your mind, but if with others, only with those we already share our life with. You don’t want to make others sick. Who knows, maybe that card also suggests that these soldiers will be the ones to keep us home for our safety for a while.