Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Father of Pentacles And The Mother of Cups

I used to be The Star. When I first started reading the Tarot around the age of fifteen, The Star was the card that came to me the most consistently about myself. Single card readings, Past-Present-Future three cards, Celtic Crosses, Path To A Goals, more often than not, The Star would appear.

In readings where you're sometimes supposed to select a "character"-card (a Page, Knight, Queen, King, or Daughter, Son, Mother, Father) based on your physical attributes and personality, I always asked for The Star instead.

 The Star was my constant, like Polaris itself, steady in the sky.

It's a card of hope, of the future, inspiration, discovery. It leads towards a clearer path and encompasses both the spiritual and physical realm, connecting them in that ideal future.

  Five years ago, during my move stateside I lost my original deck of cards, and since then have used a variety of decks with little ability to commit to them. Somehow, I fell out of the habit of reading. Until this fall, I only read my cards sporadically, without discipline, whenever it occurred to me. For a while, Tarot was not an integral part of my life.

Then, as a mentioned in a previous post, a most magical, beautiful deck of Tarot cards came to me a few months ago. Everything about it is just right, for me. I've made quick work of reading almost every day, learning more and more about the cards as I go, feeling more and more comfortable with them. They provide clear, insightful readings, their meanings right there on the surface, yet with plenty of room for interpretation and mystery.
It's been really inspiring and comforting to have my old ally and self-reflection tool available again during this time of huge transition. I often feel like reading the Tarot keeps me honest. About my motivations, about the truth, about what I know is right. Divination for me is less about trying to tell the future, than it is about what you may want from your future, be it years down the line, or this very day.

The questions we ask from the cards tell as much about us, and what might happen next, as the answers themselves.

One of the most interesting realizations I've had since having these cards, is that my main card is no longer The Star. It took me a little while to actually take notice of the fact that it no longer kept showing up for me and even longer to realize that there's now a totally different, and rather unexpected, card making regular appearances.


Like everyone in the Cups "family" The Mother of Cups is considered artistic, a dreamer, an introvert, but she's also emphatic, sometimes overly so, to the point of being psychic. An animal lover, tender-hearted, yet keenly aware of undercurrents of other people's behavior. Hers is a witchy, intuitive presence.  In The Wild Unknown Tarot she is represented by a Swan, a bird who's symbolic connotations often involve human-animal transformation, or seeing all sides of everything.  She is associated with the Moon, the Underworld, both water and fire, calm yet fierce. In many fairytales the swan represents the psyche, the wild, yearning side of man.

Not that I'm saying that this card describes me to a tee. The Mother of Cups is also often depicted as fair-haired, quiet woman, and anyone who has lofty ideas about how intuitive, or empathetic they are is likely to have more than a little ego mixed in their self-image. However, sometimes a card that keeps coming up is not so much a description of your person, but a side of you that you need to be tapping into, or exploring, a side of you that will help you get where you need to go. The Star maybe did not so much describe who I was at that point in time, but was rather my psyche whispering into my ear "Have hope." at a time when I needed all the hope I could get.

Lucky for me, my intuition has always been a part of myself that I've trusted unconditionally and will follow almost blindly. Perhaps The Mother of Cups is validating that approach for me, telling me to go to the ends of the Earth if that's what my intuition tells me.


The other interesting discovery I've made since I started using the Wild Unknown Tarot has been that there's also another reoccurring card in the mix; The Father of Pentacles. Pictured as a stag with a radiating pentacle between its horns this card represents:

"... a steady, gentle man. Upon first meeting he can seem almost dull because of his extremely calm temperament. But underneath is an incredibly passionate man, who prioritizes the stability of his job, family and home." 

Whoever could that be?
Drawing the Father of Pentacles is a good way to remind myself, amidst the franticness and squabbles of every day life, to feel so damn lucky that I've found such a person to share my life with. Just as the frequent appearances of the Mother of Cups call my attention to those sides of myself, insisting that I listen my intuition, that I follow my natural feelings of empathy in spite of frustrations with people.

One of the first people I read for after getting this deck was my husband, someone without much experience with the cards, nor divination in general and I like to think that it was a good, reassuring experience for him.
Each reading is a little window of insight, a way to look a familiar situation in a new light.

Do you read the Tarot? What card calls to you? What deck do you use? Or have you had your cards read by another and how was that?

I know that perhaps many of my readers are not that familiar the Tarot and if you're interested, we can certainly discuss this practice some more. 


  1. I read my tarot with the Wildwood deck. Every day. I, like you, have tried a few different decks but the Wildwood resonates with me, it reflects the longing for nature, the wild, the connection with the land and the ancestral spirits.

    What card resonates with me?
    Lately it's been the two of stones....reminding me to deal with adversity and challenge by holding my ground, following my beliefs. I'm thinking it may be more of a foreshadowing of events to come, as we are planning big changes in the not-so-far future, changes that took years of struggle to finally bring to our lives. We have been sidetracked in the past, but this time the signs tell us to hold to our beliefs.

  2. I've never even been in the same room with a deck! I would love to read though. Every time you mention it I make a mental note to learn more about it but I always seem to forget. Let's talk more about it!

  3. Talk more about it! Since your last post about reading a few months ago, I've been wanting my own to practice with. I went to see a reader for the first time this summer and was absolutely blown away at how accurately he described the next four months of my life.

  4. I received an Arthurian tarot deck for my birthday when I was in the eighth grade and have started using it more in recent years. It is such an incredible tool for seeing me through particularly challenging times, when all I need is some semblance of direction. The cards tell it like it is; that's why I love 'em!


  5. so beautiful!! this deck is going to be a winter solstice gift to myself. I keep misremembering to get it when I have extra $... thanks for the reminder! I was a longtime devotee of the thoth tarot and it turned a bit wicked and for years anytime I drew, Death was my card and I became pretty bummed and paranoid about that and took a break. I've been back into cards for a few years and while I still get Death often, the card I get most is the Chariot and that feels good and right. I have the motherpeace deck also and haven't spent much time getting to know it. I have a pretty basic deck called "art nouveau tarot" that has pretty art and I am also into these animal totem cards. lately my divination tool of choice is the humble pendulum. xo m

  6. I have Oshos Zen tarot deck. It really has supported my growth, but for couple of years I have not been so drawn into it anymore.
    I haven't got much experience on the use of more traditional decks and I am very interested to read more about this subject!

  7. I've never used the Tarot.. sort of curious as to what I'd find if I did

  8. i've been thinking of this deck ever since you mentioned receiving it. it makes for a yummy post whenever you bring in the divinatory...i am dreaming of a future fireplace, a cup of tea and the cards with you! i love the way your archetype has changed, and i've noticed the same thing in my own readings over the the point of absurdity where pulling the card, AGAIN, is like "yeah yeah, i know". i always think of you and missa both, with the star card, as it seems to represent aquarius so aptly. now i'm imagining how you are bringing all that starlight down into goodness manifest, a maturing of your own authenticity, putting it out into the world.

    i had a strong tarot practice before fern was born, and then everything went out the window. we've gone through spurts of having family tarot mornings, but it can be tricky since the kids get restless. another reason my practice has waned is that i'm not in love with any of my decks. most recently, about 1 1/2 years ago, i got the wildwood deck, thinking i would love it. but i find it to be shallow and hard to relate to. my go-to used to be the medicine woman deck, and while i still secretly prefer it, it is a little too icky when it comes to appropriation. so now i mostly use the thoth deck...which i do really like, but often feels too heady or jungian, not enough connection to EARTH. i also feel a little twinge of guilt about tarot, which keeps me avoidant...i created a major arcana in grad school, for using with clients, and got a lot of feedback that i should complete it and market it. and that "should" stopped my creative process cold!!

    i think i might have to get this deck of yours. you've got me missing my own inner high priestess. :)

  9. I like the theory of Tarot. I read about it a lot and I loved the story of starting as a Fool, going through stages, achievieng the world and going back to Fool again. It's like learning the Tao. I loved the idea of picking one card with some archetypical meaning to consider through the day, to find if it's a lesson learnt or to be learnt. I loved the meaning of the Death card and I was unhealthily fascinated by the Tower. Never got to the Minor Arcana, though.
    The problem always was that the Tarot was so damn expensive and I was broke most of my life so when I finally got myself one (that would be 10 years ago, I think) I got myself the one on sale;P It was a teeny-tiny version of Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot. Which was a mistake, because uncle Aleister and I - we are not best buds. [I don't know why. I just don't like the guy, k? Creepy salivating satyr, that's what he looks like in my head]. So of course I never used it. It just never felt right. So I finally gave it away and I hope it serves well someone else.
    I like the way The Wild Unknown Tarot looks and I like that it's so woodsy - I feel drawn to woodsy things recently, maybe to counterpart my being drawn to cyberpunkish things on regular basis. But after ten years of figuring it out I think that Rider-Waite would be the best. It seems just so easy to read! Everything is on the card, nothing to remember, I love that. Very classic, simple lines. So maybe both, once I'm filthy rich and can afford such frivolous things...;)

    As for my card, I never thought about that, really, but I gave it some thought now and I would guess The Lovers.