The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana represent the situations and events that impact our lives in highly significant ways. There are 22 cards in the Major Arcana numbered 0 through 21. When these cards are read in sequence, they trace the Fool’s (or querent's) journey from new beginnings to integrated endings. Along the way, the Fool will encounter archetypal forces, learn important lessons, and overcome challenging obstacles. When a card from the Major Arcana appears in a reading, pay close attention. They may be pointing to a key life theme, teaching, or difficulty.
0 - The Fool
Upright - Journey, Potential, Freedom, Nowness
Within a cozy tree hollow lies a straw nest and a single swallow egg ready to hatch. Looking out beyond the comfort and safety of this small home, an adventure through rolling fields, steep mountains, and open skies awaits. This journey may go to far away places, but swallows are excellent fliers. Their agile wings can carry them over great distances and around challenging terrain.
The Fool isn’t crippled by past regrets or future worries. She reminds us that the present is the only moment that truly exists. Everything else is concept. When we find ourselves burdened by heavy woes or self-doubt, look to the Fool who flies light and free. She is a reflection of your true self; the inner being that does not fear its potential.
Reversed - Restriction, Fearful, Foolish
The Fool reversed suggests that in this given situation, the timing is off. Perhaps you’re not quite ready to emerge from your shell. Maybe you fear the unknown path that lies ahead. There is wisdom in that precautionary voice. To leap before your wings can carry you would lead to an uncomfortable fall.
1 - The Magician
Upright - Skill, Manifestation, Confidence, Creativity
The Magician is a conduit between heaven and earth; a curious blend of the spiritual and physical. By tapping into the pool of infinite potential, he can manifest whatever he desires. Like a fox, the Magician is clever, adept, and resourceful. Some may mistaken his talent for luck, but his skill has been achieved through practice, diligence, and an unwavering belief in himself. Every move the Magician makes is done with confidence and purpose. Through the strength of his will he has mastered the elements and now uses them as his tools for creation.
The Magician will appear when you have a clear vision of what you wish to accomplish. Divine beings and elemental forces are working in your favor. The Magician points to these resources at your disposal. You have everything you need to achieve your goals. Call upon the magic of the fox and you might even be able to walk on water.
Reversed - Trickery, Uncertainty, Missed Opportunities
Does the idea that you can accomplish anything sound like trickery or illusion? Has your connection to the Divine feel severed or uncertain? A well of enormous untapped potential lies underneath you. Be warned, doubting yourself and ignoring the help of supportive allies may cause you to sink.
2 - The High Priestess
Upright - Wisdom, Subconsciousness, Intuition, Mystery
The High Priestess will make her appearance when the answers derived from our rational mind leave us feeling detached or unfulfilled. There are some ways of knowing that aren’t based on logic and reason. There is wisdom that lies beneath the surface of the thinking mind and the High Priestess is its guardian. She will be your guide if you choose to dive into this mysterious and dreamlike inner world.
As a totem, the whale encourages us to listen to the voice that echoes deep within. Her haunting and beautiful call resonates throughout the ocean of subconsciousness. Be receptive to these powerful yet often ignored messages. You will feel them in your body or see them in your dreams.
Reversed - Irrationality, Ignoring Intuition, Secrecy
Do your deep desires feel unrealistic like flying cetaceans? Have you stopped listening to your inner voice because you fear where it may lead you? Are you caught up in superficial affairs? By keeping your head in the clouds and avoiding the cold plunge, you will never know what power and wisdom are hidden below.
3 - The Empress
Upright Fertility, Nurturing, Motherhood, Sensuality
A mother rabbit and her young wait patiently in lush vegetation as a rainstorm passes. Surrounding them is a wealth of food, shelter, and other offerings from the earth. Just as a Spring shower generously gives its water, The Empress shares her compassion, support, and nourishing love.
The Empress, like the rabbit, embodies the traits of fertility, abundance, and feminine power. When this card is drawn, we are gently encouraged to explore how we are caring for ourselves and others. Where are we placing our love and creative energy? What are we trying to nurture and grow?
Finally, the Empress calls on you to be mindful of your senses, the sacred gateways of perception. Listen to what you are hearing. Taste what you are eating. And look at what you are seeing.
Reversed - Self-Care, Overprotection, Sensory Excess
The reversed Empress could indicate that you’re in state of overprotection. Do you feel that those in your care are as vulnerable as soft, young rabbits? They are actually more capable than you may realize and your excessive nurturing may be stifling their growth. This card signals it’s time to direct your loving nature inward. Sometimes self-care is how we best serve others.
4 - The Emperor
Upright - Solid Foundations, Experience, Protection, Security
A stoic red rock crab sits upon a rigid throne backed by austere cliffs. He looks across his domain with cold, analytical eyes made wise through years of experience. He has survived this long by knowing which battles to take and which to avoid. Although his hardened shell and strong claws present a tough exterior, they belie a soft underbelly. Shielded by his suit of armor, the Emperor may appear rigid and iron handed, but he is not without feeling. He will fight to protect those and that which he cares for.
When life feels groundless and stability is lacking, the Emperor can offer a solid surface for us to stand on. Similarly, when we’ve been caught in turbulent emotional waters, the Emperor can provide the balancing force of steady reason and logic.
Reversed - Rigidity, Emotional Unavailability, Power Imbalance
Do you wear your rigid shell like a shield against the world? Are you afraid to let down your defenses and expose your softer side? In order to grow, a crab must be willing to shed its hardened armor. Molting is a vulnerable process, but it’s also necessary for long-term survival.
5 - The Hierophant
Upright - Mentorship, Tradition, Instructions, Conformity
In a book-filled den, a rat with alabaster fur stands on a pile of stacked texts. From this exalted position, he has drawn the attention of two observers. The pair sit attentively as if waiting for direction from above. Rats are curious, shrewd, and social creatures. They thrive best in the company of their own kind where they can establish an order of hierarchy.
The Hierophant is a very learned individual who holds knowledge few possess. He will offer his teachings, but asks for your commitment that you will practice them regularly and without deviation. The Hierophant opposes the idea of haphazardly borrowing beliefs and rituals from various systems. To him, real mastery is achieved by following one trusted and traditional path to its end. Now is the time to be a little more conservative in your approach to learning. Instead of constantly swayed by the temptation of new, choose a mentor with a proven history of success and faithfully follow their teachings.
Reversed - Unconventional, Switching Roles, Personal Values
When viewed upside down, the two grey observers now appear above the ivory rodent. Perhaps those lower on the social ladder have more wisdom and power than they are led to believe. Instead of looking to one person to grant you enlightenment, do your own research and study. A wealth of knowledge lies in front of you.
6 - The Lovers
Upright - Love, Union, Commitment, Choice
A pair of mourning doves huddle together on a branch in their wooded home. The red and pink foliage signifies the passionate love they share. Like the roots of old trees, their connection grows deep. The Lovers have merged, blurring the boundary between one another. Together or not, a part of each will always exist in the other. From this place of unity, there are no more secrets or words left unsaid. Transparent honesty and unquestioning acceptance is how they relate.
The Lovers tell us that there is a fork in the path that requires a decision to be made. We don’t always get to decide what happens, but we can always choose how to react. The Lovers encourage us to embrace what feels right in our hearts and to move in the direction of love.
Reversed - Disconnection, Self-Love, Avoiding Decisions
A barrier between two loved ones splits the pair in half. The obstacle is not insurmountable, but will require the effort of both to overcome. The mourning doves turn their gaze inward. Perhaps it is a lack of self-worth that is has created the wedge between them.
7 - The Chariot
Upright - Focus, Determination, Action, Triumph
Under the light of the crescent moon, a snail climbs a thin tendril in ambitious pursuit. With steadfast concentration, it inches forward. Losing focus would mean falling down and starting over. The black and white flowers and the twinkling lights in the dark sky represent the opposing forces that the Chariot skillfully balances between. Its willpower is solid like its shell, protecting it from cynicism and distractions.
The snail encourages us to continue moving forward even when progress is challenging or slow. Cast aside doubt and stick to the course. Your goals are within your grasp if you maintain a determined will.
Reversed - Loss of Control, Stationary, Self-Driven
Is progress occurring at a snail’s pace? Does it feel like life has been turned on its head or that you’re being pulled in a downward direction? The Chariot reversed is a reminder that you are the one who is driving. Instead of wasting resources on what cannot be changed, focus your attention on what is within your control.
8 - Strength
Upright - Durability, Composure, Patience, Vitality
Appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes the meekest looking amongst us possess the strongest resolve. And sometimes the most cheerful have weathered the toughest storms. The Strength card represents one’s inner power and perseverance.
When faced with challenges, we can look within and connect to that solid oak tree with its deep roots and strong limbs. Without aggression, it embraces life’s obstacles with patience and peace. It has endured hardship in the past and it is confident in its fortitude to withstand whatever fierce storms arise.
As a totem, the hummingbird teaches us that resilience and joy make a complementary pair. When we trust in the strength that lies within, the world will appear light and playful.
Reversed - Self-Doubt, Weakness, Heaviness
Do you feel depleted after a period of speediness, darting from one important project to the next? When we’re exhausted, setbacks no bigger than an acorn can feel has heavy has giant oak trees. The reversed Strength card is your invitation to rest and allow your wings and racing heart to recover.
9 - The Hermit
Upright - Introspection, Solitude, Reflection, Discernment
In a coastal temperate rainforest, a kermode bear stands at the edge of a pool. His white fur a symbol of the spiritual wisdom he’s attained over time. Peering down at the reflection in the still water, he sees an old friend peering back.
The Hermit invites you on a path of introspection and self-discovery. Look closely at your strengths and weaknesses. Determine what you value and believe; what you love and fear. Knowing oneself is key to living harmoniously in this world.
The Hermit’s self-worth isn’t dependent upon outside recognition, possessions, or the opinions of others. Everything we seek from the external world can be found within. Have the distractions of everyday life caught you in their grip? Find a quiet space where you can be alone. An old friend is waiting.
Reversed - Reclusive, Isolation, Avoiding Introspection
Has the fear of being misunderstood or hurt led you to hide away in your den? When this card appears reversed, it may indicate that you are purposefully isolating yourselves from others. Don’t withdraw too deeply. Like the spirit bear, you possess uncommon qualities that others revere.
10 - The Wheel of Fortune
Upright - Cycles, Destiny, Fate, Change
There are times when we are in the flow. Opportunities and success come effortlessly as if we are being assisted by unseen forces. Then there are times when we are fighting against the current and any progress we make requires everything we have. Life goes in cycles and the highs and lows are a natural part.
The Wheel of Fortune reminds us to be grateful when our situation is favorable because nothing is guaranteed. Likewise, we shouldn’t be too discouraged when difficult situations arise because they too will pass. What is certain is that all things will change and some change is beyond our control. But rest assured, the universe and fate are operating with benevolent intention. The salmon that successfully climbs the waterfall and the salmon that jumps into the mouth of a hungry bear have both fulfilled their destinies and are equal parts in the circle of life.
Reversed - Stagnation, Repetitive Cycles, Resisting Change
The reversed Wheel of Fortune may suggest that you feel stagnant. Are days, weeks, and years flowing by all appearing the same? Instead of waiting for a change to occur, take it upon yourself to make it happen. Perhaps embarking on a new challenge will provide the stimulation you desire.
11 - Justice
Upright - Truth, Clarity, Patience, Karma
If your actions and intentions have been in alignment with the greater good, Justice will appear as magnificent as the rising sun after a dark night; its rays of truth illuminating all shadows and obscurities in your path. If however your activities have caused harm and confusion, be prepared for the spider’s bite. This card signifies that balance will be restored.
As the spider, Justice is patient and methodical. Like building a web, details matter when uncovering the truth. Justice will persist until the entire woven network of facts has been established.
The spider totem asks you to be mindful when making important decisions, carefully considering how your actions will impact yourself and others. All causes have their effects, so strive for harmony. The choices we make reverberate throughout the entire web of reality.
Reversed - Unfairness, Injustice, Harsh Punishment
Have your actions been deceptive and your words untrue? Take care, or you may end up caught in the tangled web you weave. The spider represents the delicate balance between light and dark. It’s within your power to step out of the shadows and into the light. Do so now while the decision is still yours to make.
12 - The Hanged Man
Upright - Awareness, Suspension, Surrender, Different Perspective
A man stands with arms outstretched at the bottom of a narrow cave. A beam of light shines down, illuminating his form. His feet are buried in the earth, keeping him solidly in place. Hundreds of bats circle above in a flurry. If he wished, he could remove the dirt off his feet and climb out of the dark and frenetic cave. But he is here under his own volition.
Right now it may feel as if the walls are closing in and your mind is as busy as the flapping of wings. The Hanged Man suggests that there is a need to relinquish control and surrender voluntarily to the chaos around you. By resting in this confined and frantic space, you can avoid acting out of fear or desperation. As the only human figure in this deck, The Hanged Man is asking you to look at your circumstance through an alternative or uncommon perspective. Some bats may have poor vision, but they know other ways of seeing.
Reversed - Blindness, Apathy, Feeling Stuck
The Hanged Man reversed signals that you are blind to the need for pause. Perhaps you’ve allowed yourself to be distracted by the many important tasks that hover around you, unaware that your resources are dwindling at a hurried pace. Conversely, if you’ve fallen into a pit of apathy, now is a good time to examine why you feel this way. Do you lack emotional support? Do you fear failure or feel hopeless? The first step of getting out of this cave is to figure out why you’re here in the first place.
13 - Death
Upright - Endings, Transition, Transformation, Rebirth
All that exists is impermanent. Life is in a constant state of change. In the end, you will lose everything. When faced with this unavoidable reality we can resist and suffer, or we can choose to accept and embrace the inevitable. Endings may be painful, but they provide our experience with meaning and significance. Death teaches us gratitude for the people and events that enrich our lives.
As the serpent sheds it skin to allow for further growth, we too must be willing to shed our old habits, relations, and ways of thinking. Like fungi growing from a fallen tree, death and decay provide the fertile ground for fresh opportunities to emerge. Nothing new can manifest unless something else comes to an end. The matter and energy within you has taken countless forms over eons and will take countless more until the end of time. What we truly are is something much more grander and eternal than any one single life.
Reversed - Inability to Let Go, Preventing Change, Fear of New
Sometimes out of fear of loss or abandonment, we cling to others so tightly that we squeeze whatever life remains. Through our constriction, we prevent the occurrence of any new growth. Unknowingly or not, you may be using venomous words and thoughts to paralyze yourself and others. If so, look closely at why you are engaging in this behavior.
14 - Temperance
Upright - Tranquility, Moderation, Melding, Balance
A frog rests on a lilypad, captivated by a lotus in bloom. The amphibian’s ruddy colors in contrast to the pristine white of the flower’s petals. Contentment and peace emanate from the still pond water.
Just as a frog is as comfortable on land as it is in water, Temperance encourages us to find balance between opposing forces. When faced with extremes, opt instead for moderation. A unique perspective or approach can be gained by blending the wisdom of disparate elements.
Due to the permeability of amphibian skin, they are highly sensitive to environmental disturbances. The appearance of this card is a reminder to maintain the health of your personal environment. Be mindful of inner or outer pollutants that may poison the water.
Reversed - Extremes, Disharmony, Incompatibility
Temperance reversed may be a warning sign that the current path you’re on is unsustainable. Have you been captured by excess and indulgence? Are you engaging in activities that harm your body, mind, and heart? Like a frog in a pot of slowly warming water, you may not realize how extreme the situation has become. It’s in your best interest to make a change towards balance.
15 - The Devil
Upright - Manipulation, Attachment, Hedonistic, Enslavement
In an open patch of snow, a trap has been set. A sharp blade covered in frozen blood has been left for the prey. The smell of the kill has attracted a hungry wolf. The trappers intend to trick the beast into gnawing at the frozen blade, thereby revealing its sharp edges. If the wolf were to continue, it would slice its tongue and soft gums. And with a numb and frozen mouth, the wolf would be unaware that he himself was now bleeding.
Temptation and craving are powerful forces that require a cautious and critical eye. Chasing instant gratification can be a dangerous game. The Devil represents the external factors we’ve allowed ourselves to be tricked by; the outside influences we have given our power to. When this card is drawn, we are invited to look at the areas in our life where we believe we’re powerless, stuck, or out of control. And after careful examination, ask “Is it true?”
Reversed - Confronting Fears, Breaking Addiction, Detachment
When the Devil appears reversed, it indicates that you are courageously confronting your deepest worries and insecurities. Like hungry wolves, these troubling thoughts have prowled the dark and hidden recesses of your mind. With light and warmth, gently melt away unhealthy attachments or self-limiting beliefs.
16 - The Tower
Upright - Awakening, Catastrophe, Destruction, Illumination
Some obstacles to enlightenment are dense yet imperceptible. Like invisible walls, they prevent us from moving forward despite the appearance of a clear path. When we’ve been duped by these hidden obstructions, a wrathful protector may come to our defense. The scorpion sting forcibly wakes us to reality and its pincers shear away at what has been holding us back.
The Tower indicates a sudden catastrophic event that leaves us questioning everything. Like a bolt of lightning that pierces the night sky, a flash of insight can breakthrough darkness and illusion. In this time of upheaval, the scorpion spirit encourages you not to resist the change. Allow its venom to run its course. Let it destroy that which does not serve you so there is space for something new to flourish.
Reversed - Denial of Truth, Avoiding Disaster, Inner Transformation
Are you putting on a brave face trying to convince yourself you haven’t been stung? Are you pretending that you didn’t just see the light? The reversed Tower card suggests you are denying the clear and obvious truth. You may try to maintain poised, external appearances, but a thunderstorm of change is occurring within.
17 - The Star
Upright - Renewal, Peace, Hope, Inner Light
Following the destructive and challenging events of the Tower, the Star surfaces with the clarity and calm of a clear night sky. It offers soothing water to nourish your spirit and heal your wounds. In this fresh and open space we have the opportunity to take a new approach guided by a clear vision.
The firefly teaches us not to fear our inner light, but instead to let it shine brightly. This is a time for connecting to that inner guiding star; a time to trust in the universe. The atoms in your body were forged by ancient stars that scattered their contents across the galaxy in a supernova long ago. You are made of stardust. Coming from this place of vastness, it is time to think and dream big.
Reversed - Hopelessness, Losing Faith, Distrust
In the reversed position, the Star could mean that you’re losing faith or feeling hopeless. Perhaps you’ve forgotten your connection to the Great Mystery. Know that this profound and sacred force surrounds you, embraces you, and is you. If you’re feeling as small and powerless as a tiny insect, remember that the single light you shine can illuminate the darkness around you.
18 - The Moon
Upright - Illusion, Fear, Imagination, Projection
The Moon card calls attention to our shadow; the aspect of our psyche composed of our repressed feelings and deepest insecurities. Although shadows are not solid, they can appear dark and frightening. And if we aren’t mindful, we may unknowingly cast our shadow over others. In doing so, we project our fears and shortcomings on to the outside world, unaware of their true source. This card is asking you to look carefully at the areas of your life where you may be susceptible to illusion or self-deception. Shine radiant moonlight on the darker aspects of your being.
Reversed - Clarity, Overcoming Fear, Self-Composure
When reversed, the Moon card suggests that you are dispelling illusions and beginning to work with your fears. With sight that can pierce through costumes and masks, the owl spirit sees the scared and vulnerable self that lies underneath the brave facade. Be like the owl who isn’t afraid of the darker aspects of our psyche. It welcomes the night and shadows.
19 - The Sun
Upright - Optimism, Warmth, Joy, Uplifted
No matter how dark the night, the sun will always rise. Like an eagle, spread your wings and soar on this new day. From your elevated vantage point, the view is clear and expansive. Not only are you able to see the path that lies ahead, but the hardships you’ve endured can be held in a more positive light.
Bask in the radiant, healing warmth of sunshine. Invigorated by this energy, embrace life with a renewed sense of wellness and enthusiasm. The Sun is the ultimate source of life for our planet and the arrival of this card signals a connection to this fundamental force. You have the power to breathe life into places that are withered and cold.
Reversed - Pessimism, Darkness, Egotistical
The reversed Sun card is an indicator that you may be experiencing an episode of sadness or depression. Like heavy clouds, stress, tragedy, and setbacks have blocked out the Sun’s rays. When life appears dark and dreary, it can be nearly impossible to find a moment of brightness. By flying above the clouds, the eagle sees the honest picture. He cautions you not to identify too closely with troubled thoughts and difficult emotions. Like clouds, these experiences are mutable and fleeting. Your true nature, he says, is like the open sky: consistent, vast, and clear.
20 - Judgement
Upright - Mercy, Release, Revival, Forgiveness
A field of dandelions at the end of their cycle scatter their seeds to the winds. They softly rise into the sky like souls ascending to the heavens. It is time for you to release feelings of sadness, guilt, and regret about the past. Know that every beautiful misstep and setback has been necessary to guide you to this significant stage of your journey. The weight you carry served you at one point, but it now may be holding you back. Let go of this burden so that you are able to move forward wholly unhindered.
The Judgment card suggests that you are being called to fulfil your highest potential, but you need to listen closely to hear the message. The praying mantis is a symbol of mindfulness and meditation. Embrace these qualities to tune in to a higher frequency and achieve understanding of your new purpose.
Reversed - Biting Criticism, Hesitation, Lack of Self-Awareness
The reversed Judgment may signal that you are biting off heads with rash words. If so, look closely at why you are coming from this place of aggression. What is it that you fear? Are you stuck in the weeds and feeling overwhelmed by unending but ultimately trivial demands? Being busy is addictive and keeps us distracted from our higher callings.
21 - The World
Upright - Full Circle, Completion, Fulfillment, Journey
On a sandy beach at sunrise, a leatherback turtle returns to the ocean after laying her eggs. She is exhausted, but satisfied for completing what she had intended to do. She has returned to this place year after year, but this will likely be the last. As the sun sets on her time, it rises for her unhatched young.
The journey that began with the Fool reaches its conclusion with the World. If you are trying to accomplish a task or reach an important milestone, know that you are close to achieving your goals. Alternatively, this card reminds us that nothing is missing or lacking. We are already whole just as we are. Just as the cosmic turtle carries the world on its back, we too can be at home wherever we go.
Reversed - Impatience, Incompletion, Disappointment
The World reversed suggests that on your quest to achieve your goals, you’ve lost focus and determination. Perhaps it feels like progress is moving too slowly or you’re unsure if you’re on the right path. Are you dragging your feet in the sand, wishing that there was an easier route? Are you dreading the long journey that still lies ahead? Only you know if these goals are worthwhile or if it’s time to cut your losses and change course.
The Minor Arcana
The 56 cards of the Minor Arcana speak to the events and circumstances of day-to-day life. Although less impactful than the grand life themes represented by the Major Arcana, the cards of the Minor Arcana offer guidance on practical issues and everyday living. They are divided into four suits, each representing a different aspect of our lives. Each suit is comprised of fourteen cards - Ace (1) through 10 and four court cards.
Suit of Cups
The Suit of Cups represents feelings, emotions, and intuition. In this deck, these themes are embodied by aquatic creatures. Cup cards offer guidance on issues relating to relationships and our emotional well-being. This suit is associated with the element of water as represented by the droplet outline.
Ace of Cups
Upright - New Relationship, Emotional Generosity, Abundant Love
A waterfall leads down to a pristine forest spring. In the center of the pool lies a brimming vessel made of stone. This offering of cool, clean water a welcome relief to parched lips or an empty heart. The emotional energy around you is fresh and fluid. Be receptive to the kindness that is provided. Open yourself and allow the stream of love and compassion to flow through you.
Reversed - Sadness, Repressed Feelings, Parting Ways
Is your spirit heavy with grief and sorrow? Has the fount of love that once flowed freely been depleted. The Ace of Cups reversed signals the need for self-compassion. Tend to the life-giving wellspring of your heart. Remove the leaves and fallen wood that blocks its flow. Offer yourself the gift of patience. The murkiness that clouds these waters will settle with time.
Two of Cups
Upright - Attraction, Affinity, Complementary
A pair of dolphins swim together in unison, each guided by the light they see within the other. Deeper and deeper they dive into the depths of mutual love. This card signifies the presence of a relationship based on shared respect and appreciation. Dolphins are highly cooperative and communicative beings. They work together with a common purpose.
Reversed - Distrust, Communication Breakdown, Separation
The Two of Cups reversed suggests disharmony between two beings that care deeply for one another. Out of confusion, you may be trying to complete your half-full heart by taking half from another. If so, this is a reminder that only you can truly fill that hollow space. Trust and connect with the light that resides within you.
Three of Cups
Upright - Community, Celebration, Playfulness
A joyous gathering of otters swim and dance in the river. They have found their tribe and this is reason to celebrate. Life may have its choppy waters, but together these otters know how to stay playful even while riding difficult waves. Seek the company of supportive, like-minded friends and have fun.
Reversed - Solitary, Excessive Socialization, Seriousness
When reversed, the Three of Cups may indicate the need for quiet solitude. Perhaps you’re feeling drained after a period of socialization. The otter spirit teaches us the importance of relaxation. Spend some time alone and become friends with yourself. Recharge your battery and determine what you truly want and need.
Four of Cups
Upright - Contemplation, Disinterest, Withdrawing
A painted turtle sits on a rock in the middle of a quiet stream. Offerings from the water gently float by, but the turtle is too absorbed in his own world to acknowledge them. Sometimes it’s necessary to withdraw into your shell to determine what you truly need from the outside. It’s alright to decline invitations, but don’t stay hidden away forever.
Reversed - Intrigue, Eagerness, Misanthropy
After a period of retreat or disengagement, you’ve begun to poke your head from out your shell. With a renewed energy and willingness, you look outwardly for opportunities for social connection. Conversely, this card in the reversed position may warn that you are drifting down the stream of misanthropy. Is your frustration and broken trust becoming bitter cynicism? Swimming against this stream is challenging but not insurmountable.
Five of Cups
Upright - Loss, Impermanence, Prolonged Heartache
A mother mallard looks mournfully at the broken remains of her eggs. Her nest once held five, but now only two are left intact. She can grieve over her loss or cherish what remains. Where she focuses her energy is up to her. Although we learn by reflecting on the past, take care not to dwell too long on brokenness. By forgiving ourselves or those that have wronged us, we release the heavy burden of loss and disappointment.
Reversed - Bittersweet, Acceptance, Healing
The reversed Five of Cups speaks to the beauty of bittersweet. It’s a reminder of the ephemeral nature of our treasured experiences. When loss reclaims what was given, allow gratitude to mend your broken heart.
Six of Cups
Upright - Innocence, Childhood, Nostalgia
A gathering of mallard ducklings swim closely in gentle wetland waters. In this protected place they are safe from danger. Free from the responsibilities and concerns of adulthood, they explore their environment with open minds and curious hearts. There is a wisdom and purity to how children approach their world. Where in your life can you bring a sense of wonder and childlike curiosity?
Reversed - Inner Child, Childish, Maturity
The Six of Cups reversed could mean that your inner child has been neglected. With unmet needs, this vulnerable part of your being may be acting out in childish ways. Are you ignoring these cries because you feel they’re outweighed by the demands of adult life? The mature mallard in flight symbolizes the avoidance of these fundamental responsibilities.
Seven of Cups
Upright - Choices, Wishful Thinking, Distractions.
A hermit crab contemplates selecting a new home. There are many possibilities, some much more favorable than others. Although the allure of newness is tempting, inaction is also an option. A pair of white koi fish dance amongst the clouds. Perhaps not everything is what it seems. Have you been paralyzed by choice? Sometimes we just need to make a decision even when all the information isn’t available.
Reversed - Lack of Choice, Constraint, Authenticity
The reversed Seven of Cups could indicate that upon investigation, the opportunities currently available are not the correct fit for your needs. Perhaps you feel constrained or trapped by the lack of options. You know you must make a decision, but nothing here feels right. You are gently encouraged to continue searching. Don’t settle for anything less than authentic alignment between your personal values that the choices you make.
Eight of Cups
Upright - Unfulfillment, Disappointment, Escapism
After exhausting all available options, a defeated octopus ejects an inky plume. Cloaked by a murky, black shroud, it exits the scene unsure if it will ever return. Something meaningful is missing and it cannot be found here at this time. Do you feel called to leave an unfulfilling situation? Determine what exactly is missing, so that your search is informed and guided.
Reversed - Final Attempt, Settling, Emotional Immaturity
When reversed, this card may indicate that you are making one last attempt to improve a troubled situation. Like the limbs of an octopus, you trust old wounds can be regenerated with time. Although your heart is hurt, avoid the use of deceptive tactics like inky cloaks and camouflage. These behaviors leave others lost and confused and keep you further from the healing connection you seek.
Nine of Cups
Upright - Satisfaction, Luxury, Fulfilled WIshes
A sea lion sits contently on a rocky slab, basking in the warm light of day. This pinniped may appear idle and obstinate, but below the surface it moves with graceful enthusiasm. Across the water lie nine oyster shells. Although eight remain sealed, one has opened revealing a shiny pearl. This iridescent gem an omen of good fortune. The Nine of Cups is known as the “wish card” and is a positive indication that your hopes and dreams will come true.
Reversed - Unsatisfied, Unfulfilled Dreams, Gluttony
A baroque pearl is one that is imperfectly round. During their formation, nature provides these gemstones with irregular bumps, lumps, and grooves. Have the blessings you’ve been generously gifted possess minor but upsetting imperfections? Perhaps you’ve forgotten just how privileged you are to be in this position.
Ten of Cups
Upright - Togetherness, Wholeness, Contentment
A pod of orcas swim through sheltered coastal waters. These emotionally intelligent beings love, play, and mourn together. Like the ocean, the connection they share is powerful and profound. These whales live cooperatively, each knowing they are fully supported by the others. This card signifies the importance of togetherness and spending time with family. How are you nurturing your relationships with loved ones?
Reversed - Shallowness, Homesickness, Individuality
The Ten of Cups reversed may signal that although you’re looking for deep connections with others, the waters you swim in are shallow. Perhaps in search of rainbows, you’ve found yourself stranded and longing for home. This may be time to reevaluate the relationships you’re pursuing.
Page of Cups
Upright - Childlike Curiosity, Messages, Dreamer
A harp seal peers inquisitively at a hole in the ice. Shadows and glimmers of light dance below. With slight hesitation, she wonders what mystery and magic wait in the icy depths. The Page of Cups carries a sense of purity and innocence. Without agenda or ulterior motives, she can clearly see what lies in front of her. You are being invited to remain curious and receptive. If you stop to pay attention, you may notice the creative opportunities available to you.
Reversed - Doubt, Frozen Ideas, Unseen Messages
If reversed, the Page of Cups may suggest that you are experiencing self-doubt. Are there possibilities that you’d like to explore, but for whatever reason you feel frozen in place? This is your call to embrace those fears and take the plunge. These opportunities will soon ice over.
Knight of Cups
Upright - Romance, Charm, Sensitivity
A spirited narwhal pierces the ocean waters with his spiraled tusk. The unicorn of the sea skillfully whirls his magic to captivate those that he desires. As a sensitive and diplomatic being, he is highly receptive and responsive to the emotional state of his environment. Although soft and gentle, he will boldly defend who he loves. Allow your heart to inform your decisions. It intimately understands the emotional needs of yourself and others.
Reversed - Sappiness, Melancholy, Obsession
The Knight of Cups reversed symbolizes the neurotic aspects of romantic pursuit: saccharine gestures, melodrama, and obsessive thoughts. Do your actions appear grand but lack substance? Are you using your love and affection as pointed weapons? This card calls on you to drop your guard, masks, and pretenses. Dare to be authentically you.
Queen of Cups
Upright - Empathy, Nurturing, Calm
Guided by intuition, a gentle beluga whale glides gracefully through subtle realms. In this unseen place, she feels connected to all others. Perceiving their suffering, she extends to them boundless love. Tune in to your intuition and recognize the divine nature that we all possess. Whatever background, experience, or choices we’ve made, the Queen of Cups acknowledges the common sacredness we share.
Reversed - Martyrdom, Depression, Cold
When reversed, this card may represent someone crowned with the halo of martyrdom. In some cases it is commendable to sacrifice one’s needs in the service of others. But when this behavior becomes habitual and fueled by victimhood and silent suffering, it’s time for reflection. What needs are being fulfilled by taking the role of the martyr?
King of Cups
Upright - Emotional Maturity, Diplomacy, Reassurance
A broad and sturdy walrus faces crashing waves head on. He understands the emotional landscape of his world and he is confident in his ability to balance whatever strong feelings arise. Others turn to this King for stability and support during rough times. If you’ve been rocked by difficulty, this card encourages you to reclaim your seat on the throne.
Reversed - Dominating, Aggression, Unskilled Leadership
Dominant male walruses are commanding figures that clash with potential rivals to establish rights and territory. The reversed King of Cups may indicate that you’re using your tusks and imposing presence to crush possible threats. Ask yourself if this aggressive approach is needed. Can your quarrels be more gently diffused through compassion and mutual understanding?
Suit of Pentacles
The Suit of Pentacles represents finances, career, and material matters. In this deck, these themes are embodied by terrestrial mammals. Pentacle cards offer guidance on issues relating to money, home, and physical health. This suit is associated with the element of earth as represented by the mountain outline.
Ace of Pentacles
Upright - Material Possibilities, Good Luck, Unobstructed Growth
A golden disc emerges from the trunk of a massive tree. The forest giant offers its wealth freely, knowing that more can always be cultivated. The world is full of abundance and there is more than enough to go around. This card indicates that your material, financial, or physical health goals are being supported by the earth itself. You are offered the resources, but it is up to you to take action.
Reversed - Frugality, Lack of Resources, Unseen Opportunities
When the reversed Ace of Pentacles makes an appearance, it may signal the need to exercise frugality. You could be saving for a larger expense, or just trying to extend the life of your current financial situation. The low hanging fruit that once filled the boughs of this tree have all been picked. You may have to work harder and climb higher to obtain the same rewards that previously required little effort.
Two of Pentacles
Upright - Flexibility, Priorities, Adjustment
Defty balanced between two thin branches, a nimble chipmunk stays focused on the task at hand. She subtly shifts her limbs and weight as she climbs, careful not to stretch herself too thin. When this card appears, reflect on how you are balancing your roles and responsibilities. Are there adjustments that could be made? Is there something that needs to be let go of?
Reversed - Overextension, Inflexible, Poor Planning
Do you feel as if you’ve lost your footing or that responsibilities are slipping through your grasp? Trying to do too much may result in little getting done. The Two of Pentacles reversed is your invitation to reduce the number of tasks you’ve acquired. Focus on only the most pressing priorities and don’t take on more until those demands have been stabilized.
Three of Pentacles
Upright - Synergy, Cooperation, Attention to Detail
A trio of wolves are on the hunt. One looks, one listens, and one smells. By each contributing their unique skill and insight to the pack, together they can accomplish more than they ever could alone. These wolves know the power of teamwork. Seek the assistance and advice of others as you work towards achieving larger, joint goals.
Reversed - Disorder, Autonomy, Overreliance on Others
Do you feel underwhelmed by a lack of group cohesion? Does progress feel slow when many conflicting viewpoints need to be considered? When reversed, the Three of Pentacles suggests that you are following the path of the lone wolf. Sometimes the best way to ensure that a project gets done is by doing it yourself.
Four of Pentacles
Upright - Wealth Accumulation, Scarcity Mindset, Control
A masked raccoon closely guards his treasure. He tightly clutches one possession and places a foot firmly on another. Paralyzed by the fear of loss, he is no longer in control. His quest of collecting ever more has left him feeling stuck. There is wisdom in money management and saving for the future, but be careful not to lose focus of what’s most important. You may be skilled when it comes to obtaining material matters, but shiny things will not replace something missing from within.
Reversed - Carelessness, Decluttering, Generosity
Throughout the course of our lives, we accumulate many things. Over time, possessions that once held significance may now simply take up space. The state of our physical environment is often a reflection of our mind. Are you holding on to endless physical attachments or feel disorganized by scattered thoughts? Perhaps it is time for a release. Is there something you own that could be better used by another? Do you have belongings that could be offered back to the earth?
Five of Pentacles
Upright - Poor Health, Financial Struggles, Loneliness
An emaciated lynx drifts through deep snow on a frozen winter night. Hungry and cold, the feline knows it must keep moving or risk losing it all. Light and warmth emanating from nearby sources goes unnoticed. Do you feel broken, lacking, or left out in the cold? Identify something or someone in your life that you are grateful for. Sometimes a single experience of gratitude can lift the heavy layer of inadequacy.
Reversed - Improvement in Health, Feeling Accepted, Overemphasis on Material Things
When reversed, the Five of Pentacles may indicate the ending of a difficult winter. Through the strength of your will, you have endured biting winds and icy nights. Spring will soon be arriving and with it new hope, life, and an appreciation for earthly pleasures. Allow this vibrant and bountiful coming season to nourish your body and revitalize your surroundings.
Six of Pentacles
Upright - Reciprocity, Offerings, Kindness
One marmot blessed with worldly abundance offers nourishment to another in need. Given without expectation of return, this act of kindness will not be forgotten. Money and material possessions are energy in stored form. This energy, like other forms, wishes to flow from one source to another. Is there someone that needs your help, either physically or financially? Alternatively, are you open to receiving help from others?
Reversed - False Charity, Inequality, Selfishness
Marmots are gregarious creatures, symbols of community and generosity. When the reversed Six of Pentacles make an appearance, that charitable energy may be clouded or confused. It could indicate that what was given was done so miserly or with reluctance. Perhaps the provider’s gesture was done solely to establish superiority. You are advised to be judicious when requesting or receiving help.
Seven of Pentacles
Upright - Harvest, Review, Future Rewards
A discenering squirrel carefully evaluates his cache. If he were to bury a few of these acorns now, generations would have food for years to come. Keeping too few however, may cause him to starve over winter. This card indicates that you are working hard towards a long-term reward. Your future self will be grateful for the time, effort, and energy you are expending in this moment.
Reversed - Lacking Plans, Poor Results, Feeling Strained
Are you unnecessarily postponing important actions or decisions? The reversed Seven of Pentacles indicates that like the coming of winter, there is an inflexible deadline that demands your attention. We procrastinate for many reasons; fear of failure, lack of motivation, or low self-efficacy to name a few. If the task feels overwhelming, break it down into manageable steps. Start by gathering just one acorn.
Eight of Pentacles
Upright - Discipline, Productivity, Repetition
Through focus and skilled craftsmanship, the diligent beaver begins construction on its dam. This hardworking creature demonstrates that it’s possible to alter the course of rivers, even those that are mighty or have flowed for ages. If you are working towards developing a skill, this card is a positive sign. Remember, mastery is possible with patience, practice, and repetition.
Reversed - Overambition, Self-Development, Laziness
The Eight of Pentacles reversed may mean that your goals are too ambitious and your timeline too short. Like the tenacious and earnest beaver, your capacity to accomplish great feats is unquestionable. Be careful however, of the potential for burnout. Maintain a broad perspective and don’t lose sight of what truly matters. See the forest for the trees.
Nine of Pentacles
Upright - Independence, Material Stability, Affluence
A composed cougar rests on solid foundations encircled by a ring of engraved stones. In this golden lit and plentiful space that she resides, she is confident and content. With all of her base needs met, she looks up wondering what else may be possible. Take a moment to appreciate the luxury that is around you. Through self-reliance and a strong work ethic, you have surrounded yourself with the finer things.
Reversed - Ungrateful, Dependence, Financial Insecurity
The solitary cougar may be a symbol of fierce independence, but when you are on the top of the food chain, you are reliant upon all the levels below that hold you up. Have you forgotten how fortunate you are to be in this elevated position? Give thanks to those whose shoulders you stand on.
Ten of Pentacles
Upright - Prosperity, Family, Inheritance
Within a lush and verdant forest a young moose family find their home. Golden mushrooms surface from fallen, decaying wood. In the middle of the lake, a half-submerged log provides fertile ground for new growth. This card indicates that all of your material wishes will be satisfied. Abundance and prosperity permeate your surroundings. When your financial aspirations have been achieved, think about your legacy. How can you nourish future generations? What can you do to foster wealth in others?
Reversed - Insufficiency, Avarice, Family Dispute
The Ten of Pentacles reversed signals the compulsive pursuit of wealth. Perhaps you are surrounded by material abundance, yet you feel incomplete. Through confusion and at the cost of our relationships, we may look to fill that void by accumulating more riches and possessions. The message here is simple and profound. You have enough. You are enough.
Page of Pentacles
Upright - Discovery, Attentive, Learning
A lithe weasel stands upright, prepared to take action on a new find. Her curious mind considering the potential uses of the suspended object. The wild strawberries at her feet a symbol both of earthly delights and her pure heart. Are you intrigued by a burgeoning opportunity, a personal goal, or the idea of learning something new? The keen and observant weasel spirit encourages you to examine the subject and learn as much as you can about it.
Reversed - Distractions, Tunnel Vision, Learning Difficulties
The Page of Pentacles reversed suggests that a distraction has caught your eye and now that’s the only thing you see. Perhaps you have willingly allowed your attention to drift to avoid an uncomfortable or uninteresting reality. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and allow your awareness to become panoramic. Your challenges will not vanish by ignoring them.
Knight of Pentacles
Upright - Steady, Methodical, Hardworking
Climbing higher and higher still, the Knight of Pentacles moves steadily until the summit has been reached. The challenge he faces is immense, but his will to overcome steep obstacles is as unshakable as the mountain he climbs. Just as a mountain goat must carefully choose where to place its feet, you understand the importance of being detail oriented when working towards your goals. The message from this card is to stay focused and remain on course, but remember to look up and enjoy the view.
Reversed - Stubbornness, Fatigue, Boredom
The mountain goat spirit is a stubborn force. When the Knight of Pentacles appears reversed, it may indicate that you’re being driven by the neurotic aspect of perseverance. Are you scaling great mountains without a clear vision? Is your current path unfulfilling, but you fear starting over at the bottom of another? Sometimes we stand in our own way. Be honest about what inspires you and follow that.
Queen of Pentacles
Upright - Earth Mother, Grounded, Pragmatic
A pregnant doe surveys the forest grounds of her home. She is deeply attuned with her natural surroundings and understands the practical needs of her unborn fawns. The tree cover, ample vegetation, and flowing creek will support her growing family. The Queen of Pentacles has a supportive and motherly energy. She will feed you when you’re hungry and keep you warm when you’re cold.
Reversed - Impractical Fear, Neglect, Self-Care
Deer are skittish creatures, perpetually scanning their environment for potential threats. When the reversed Queen of Pentacles makes an appearance, it may indicate that your vigilant nature has drifted to an extreme. An overactive fear response can transform the gentle rustling of leaves into the footsteps of hungry predators. When we are unnecessarily held by the jaws of anxiety, we are unable to serve ourselves or others.
King of Pentacles
Upright - Leadership, Richness, Perseverance
With all the wealth and majesty of the forest, the elk’s presence is impressive. He holds his head up high, confident in his worth and power. Through diligence and a methodical approach, the King of Pentacles has become a master of the material world. He will find a way to manifest whatever he desires. A committed and patient leader, the King of Pentacles provides for and protects those under his care.
Reversed - Materialism, Pride, Poverty
Often our identities become intertwined with what we have and the positions we hold. This illusion can be painful when we begin to lose our treasures and rank. As antlers are shed in the winter, material symbols of status and power are impermanent in their nature. You have intrinsic value that cannot be altered by the acquisition or loss of material things. Look within and find the crown that has always rested upon your head.
Suit of Swords
The Suit of Swords represents thoughts, words, and logic. In this deck, these themes are embodied by birds. Sword cards offer guidance on issues relating to communication and the state of our minds. This suit is associated with the element of air as represented by the cloud outline.
Ace of Swords
Upright - Realization, Breakthrough, Assertiveness
At the top of a mountain where the heavens meet the earth, a pathway leads to a sword lodged in stone. The clouds above part in the presence of the blade, revealing open, clear sky. If your thinking or methods of communication have been foggy and obscure, the Ace of Swords can offer insight and clarity. Now is an opportune time to embrace new ideas and approaches. The path ahead may be rocky, but you are being guided by truth.
Reversed - Clouded Thinking, Misguided, Passivity
The Ace of Swords reversed may suggest that transparency is lacking. The sword firmly rooted in rock could represent the tendency to hide or the avoidance of bold action. Are you holding words unsaid or ideas unexpressed? We walk a treacherous and ambiguous path when we conceal our true thoughts and feelings.
Two of Swords
Upright - Hidden Information, Stalling, Avoidance
A grey jay looks down on at two uprights swords embedded in the snow, one white and the other black. The points of the swords are obscured, indicating that relevant information is missing. The frigid landscape a deterrent for action. Are you avoiding a tough decision because you fear that it might not work? Remember, inaction and avoidance often demand tremendous mental strain to maintain.
Reversed - Indecision, Divided, Frozen
As grey lies between black and white, you may feel caught between two antithetical choices. Perhaps it is difficult to make a decision because you resonate equally with both options. The reversed Two of Swords suggests not to stay frozen in one place. Fly above and gain some perspective. The choice may be more obvious than it initially appeared.
Three of Swords
Upright - Anguish, Sorrow, Hurtful Communication
A fallen robin lays motionless on the parched and dusty earth; three cracks leading to its red breast. The Three of Swords speaks to broken hearts and painful thoughts. Drop your guard and permit yourself to fully experience the grief of heartache. There is wisdom and beauty in sadness. Shedding tears will ease a drought.
Reversed - Optimism, Self-Kindness, Processing Pain
The reversed Three of Swords reminds us that every cloud has a silver lining. Although solemn and sad, this scene is not hopeless. Little white flowers emerge from the barren ground. A sign that not all is lost. Take this moment to examine the quality of your inner voice. Are your words nourishing your heart or do they wither it?
Four of Swords
Upright - Meditation, Retreat, Rest
With eyes closed, a snowy owl sits perched in silent contemplation. Four sheathed swords hang from the tree limbs. At this time there is no need for weapons. The appearance of this card signifies the necessity of respite. If you’re experiencing mental fatigue, take this as a sign that quiet time alone is needed. Exhaustion leads to ineffectiveness. Replenish your reserves so that you are better able to serve yourself and others.
Reversed - Lack of Self-Care, Inactivity, Unease
When the reversed Four of Swords reveals itself, it may indicate that a period of rest is being forced upon you, not by choice but out of necessity. No matter how hard you try, you cannot fly with broken wings. Alternatively, you may be slowly awaking after a period of inaction or disengagement. With renewed focus and mended wings, gently glide back into this world.
Five of Swords
Upright - Conflict, Falling Out, Win-Lose Mindset
A proud goose poses victorious with its prize. Those that were unsuccessful in the hostile competition, hide or fly away. For the victor, the cost of winning may be greater than anticipated. Carefully consider what battles you choose to engage in. The fight to be right is a dangerous game. Ask yourself if winning an argument outweighs the loss of trust and respect from others.
Reversed - Reuniting, Compromise, Tactfulness
When reversed, the Five of Swords is indicative of group cohesion. Animosity has been pacified and cosessions have been made. A flock of Canada Geese fly synchronously in order to conserve energy and travel farther distances. As a totem, they remind us of what is possible when we work together.
Six of Swords
Upright - Surviving, Letting Go, Moving On
A small family of quail narrowly escape from their burning home. Leaving behind all they know, they search for something new. The transition will be difficult, but there is a promise that all will end well. Do you feel that change is forcing you to exit a situation? It is difficult to leave that which is familiar, but staying still is untenable in this precarious moment.
Reversed - Immovable, Fear of Change, Trapped
The reversed Six of Swords represents resistance to transition. A forest fire of change is encroaching, but you are holding your ground. You may be adamantly maintaining your position because this event occurred without your approval. Fire is often a destructive force, but it is also purifying and life-giving. Old habits may need to perish in order to make room for new growth.
Seven of Swords
Upright - Deception, Theft, Cunning Strategy
The cowbird will furtively lay an egg in the nests of others. When the egg hatches, the unsuspecting foster parents will raise the chick at the expense of their true offspring. Here is an opportunity to examine how your own words and thoughts may be deceiving yourself and others. What secrets and hidden tactics are you employing for self-gain and preservation?
Reversed - Secrets, Guilty Conscience, Confession
The Seven of Swords reversed suggests that you are questioning closely held secrets. You may feel burdened by the cost of maintaining illusions and keeping others in the dark. You have the option of freeing yourself from this heavy weight. The gateway of truth may be intimidating, but liberation lies on the other side.
Eight of Swords
Upright - Self-Imposed Imprisonment, Negative Self-Talk, Victimhood
As if paralyzed, a cardinal sits motionless on an icy branch. The twigs that surround the crimson bird are too thin and sparse to contain it, yet it feels trapped. Convinced of the hopelessness of its circumstance, the cardinal has given away its power. The Eight of Swords calls to our attention self-limiting talk. Motivated by fear of pain or loss, the inner critic may hold you in place. Its grip however is not as strong as it appears. At any moment you are free to fly.
Reversed - Taking Ownership, Liberation, Self-Belief
When reversed, the Eight of Swords represents the realization that you have been holding yourself back. The icy grip of self-limiting beliefs is slowly melting away. Disentangle yourself from the twisted words of your inner critic. The heart yearns for the freedom of self-expression.
Nine of Swords
Upright - Anxiety, Nightmares, Despair
A scared young barred owl looks above at a circling murder of crows. Their incessant cawing has haunted her without pause. Unable to properly rest, the situation appears even more dire than it actually is. When the voice of anxiety warns of impending doom, embrace that part of you like you would comfort a scared child. If you feel overwhelmed by troubling thoughts, reach out to others for support. Our fears are more intimidating when we face them alone.
Reversed - Coping, Dissipating Worries, Nervous Breakdown
The Nine of Swords reversed may indicate the ease of mental suffering. The panic of flapping wings and feathers has ended and you’ve regained your calm composure. In this moment of peace and clarity, reflect on how reality differed from your initial perception events. Remember this jewel of insight during the next inevitable encounter with dark and scary thoughts.
Ten of Swords
Upright - Betrayal, Grief, Difficult Endings
Unaware of the threat behind him, a red-tailed falcon sits at a cliff’s edge. An enemy dives down with eight sharp talons and two beak tips ready to pierce its rival’s back. Whatever the outcome of this encounter, the relationship between the two will fundamentally change. This card indicates an unexpected and challenging ending. Whether you realize it or not, the situation was likely unhealthy and it is ultimately good that it is over.
Reversed - Near Miss, Recovery, Suppressed Woes
When reversed, the Ten of Swords may suggest narrowly escaping from impending disaster. Maybe the hawk will turn and flee before the blow can land. Perhaps with grace, the strike will miss its mark. Don’t take this moment of good fortune for granted. It would be wise to reflect on how you came to this position. Are there challenges or worries that you are ignoring until the very last moment?
Page of Swords
Upright - Enthusiasm, Inquisitive, Promise
Energized by the power of an intriguing thought, a black-capped chickadee departs in haste. This clever bird, a symbol of truth and good fortune, takes off to explore her world. The suspended wooden sword symbolizes the mental training that she is undergoing. Her communication style may be blunt, but it is honest and direct. She is eager to learn and her blade will sharpen with time.
Reversed - Scattered Thoughts, Frivolous, Hidden Agenda
The Page of Swords reversed may represent someone with a propensity to get tangled up in the affairs of others. This person may be highly communicative, but not taken seriously due to their light and cheery nature. New and exciting ideas may come to this individual effortlessly, but they may abandon them when they encounter an obstruction.
Knight of Swords
Upright - Ambition, Quick-Thinking, Headstrong
A boisterous bluejay bursts through thickets and thorns. It flies headfirst through obstacles, unafraid to lose a few feathers in pursuit of his goals. This intelligent knight is a skilled communicator. He seeks interaction with those of a similar mental powers. If shyness and hesitation are holding you back, the Knight of Swords offers courage and assertiveness.
Reversed - Perfectionism, Insulting, Indifference
WIth high expectations and pointed opinions, the reversed Knight of Swords is on a mission of perfection. This card may be suggesting that a little more patience and forgiveness is necessary, both with yourself and with others. Words that cut like prickly thorns prevent us from reaching our highest potential.
Queen of Swords
Upright - Piercing Intellect, Serene Mind, Perception
With beauty and grace, the regal heron stands firm as she quietly observes the surrounding wetland. Her mind is disciplined and receptive. She stands in the midst of everyday affairs, but also slightly removed. She knows that clearly defined boundaries are key to her well-being. With a gaze that pierces through confused emotions, she is able to accurately address the truth of the matter. Seek this queen’s counsel if clarity is required. She can see what stirs below the surface.
Reversed - Superiority Complex, Unempathetic, Cutting,
The reversed Queen of Swords may represent the feeling of being above others in regards to wit and intelligence. Without compassion, this figure looks down at those swimming in circles beneath her. Perhaps it is a lack of emotional maturity or understanding that has led to this view. Arrogance is often born out of ignorance.
King of Swords
Upright - Analytical, Objectivity, Power
From great heights, the mighty osprey scans over his vast kingdom below. With unwavering concentration and superb vision, he carefully considers all aspects of a situation before diving in. Holding himself and others to high standards, this king motivates us to be intellectually curious while maintaining a discerning eye. A glass sword pierces through a tree branch, a symbol of the mind’s power over matter.
Reversed - Unreasonable, Ineptitude, Intimidation
The reversed King of Swords may symbolize an incompentent and uncaring figure in a position of leadership. This person may believe their ideas are superior because they are based on a perceived sense of logic and reason. In truth, there is much this individual cannot see or comprehend. With sharp talons that grip tightly, they cannot be swayed off their perch. Others may fear this king, but they do not respect him.
Suit of Wands
The Suit of Wands represents passion, energy, and inspiration. In this deck, these themes are embodied by insects. Wand cards offer guidance on issues relating to creativity and the spirit. This suit is associated with the element of fire as represented by the flame outline.
Ace of Wands
Upright - Innovation, Flowing Ideas, Vigor
The warm winds of inspiration are whirling around you, energizing your creative spirit. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the muse’s call. Follow the trail of colorful foliage she leaves in her wake. Her butterfly messengers will help guide the way. If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to begin a creative endeavour, this is a sign that this moment has come.
Reversed - Creative Block, Discouragement, Listless
The reversed Ace of Wands often represents impeding forces that are stalling progress. It may suggest that the wind in your sail is strong, but lacks any specific direction. Perhaps the motivational flame that once burned brightly is now little more than a faint flicker. Can you wait for the winds to settle? Does the flame within need stoking?
Two of Wands
Upright - Planning, Possibility, Alignment
To achieve greatness, one requires intention, determination, and a little bravery. You may come from humble beginnings, but what is possible is beyond imagination. This is a sign that your ambitions are in alignment with the needs of the outer world. But before you can become what you’re destined to be, you must first be willing to let go of what you currently are.
Reversed - Misalignment, Fear of Change, Lack of Options
The reversed Two of Wands may suggest a sense of doubt regarding what is possible. Like the caterpillar looking back, you may be unsure if you are heading in the right direction. Perhaps you fear what you would become if you followed this path. There are few options around you and they don’t appear much different.
Three of Wands
Upright - Progress, Preparation, Evolution
To the outside observer, it may appear as if little is happening. In reality, a profound transformation is occurring within. The chrysalis is preparing for its great expansion. Patience is being called for during this period of metamorphosis. Do not attempt to hurry the evolution. Meaningful change takes time to unfold.
Reversed - Held Back, Stasis, Immobilized
The reversed Three of Wands speaks to the cocoon of habitual thoughts and patterns that we have wrapped ourselves within. In this cozy and familiar womb, we hide and fall asleep. When the walls become constrictive and the air feels stale, we can break loose with a little effort. Freedom and fresh perspective wait on the other side.
Four of Wands
Upright - Achievement, Happiness, Victory
After the careful planning of the Two and the progress made in the Three, the Four of Wands jubilantly emerges. A significant milestone has been reached and it is a cause for celebration. The journey may not be complete, but you’re newly formed wings will help carry you the rest of the way. Before you depart, take a moment to appreciate the transformation you’ve undergone and acknowledge how far you’ve come.
Reversed - Clash, Restraint, Losing Perspective
When reversed, the Four of Wands may be indicative of conflict. The transformation you’ve made may be unwelcomed by others because you’re no longer recognizable to them. If we’re not mindful, outside fears and restrictive beliefs can hold us back or block our view of what’s possible.
Five of Wands
Upright - Competition, Quarrel, Variance
Five ants from various colonies climb and inspect a dandelion. They all have their separate desires for its beautiful seeds and a conflict feels imminent. You are being asked to listen to the opinions of others. Be open to their ideas and suggestions even if you disagree. By doing so you can avoid a conflict with serious ramifications.
Reversed - Collaboration, Working Together, Internal Conflict
The Five of Wands reversed may signal the end of a disagreement or dispute. Perhaps a compromise has been reached and everyone’s needs have been heard and accommodated. One of the most potent teachings from the ant is that extraordinary achievements are possible when we work collectively.
Six of Wands
Upright - Recognition, Glory, Success
A beetle of sapphire and gold stands triumphantly on a rock surrounded by five others. In this moment it is victorious and has the attention of all. Recognize what you’ve accomplished and welcome the praise you’re receiving. External validation feels wonderful, but do not let it be your only source of worth. There will come a time when your shine will fade and you’ll no longer stand above. How then might you feel worthy?
Reversed - Imposter Syndrome, Arrogance, Ignored
The Six of Wands reversed may represent the feeling of inadequacy, self-doubt, or of being a fraud. Despite external evidence of your skills and talents, you may unworthy of the admiration you’re receiving. Alternatively, you could be feeling under-appreciated or unrecognized. Perhaps you’ve worked hard and sacrificed much to be in this position. Do you wish your efforts were more widely acknowledged?
Seven of Wands
Upright - Challenge, Defensive, Vigilance
The sonorous buzzing of a honey bee hive has caught the attention of a curious black bear. The bees have worked tirelessly to build their home and they will defend it against any foe that challenges them. Is there an external obstacle that threatens your creative or spiritual pursuit? Perhaps someone wants to unfairly claim what is rightfully yours. Set clear boundaries and hold your position. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in.
Reversed - Timidness, Submission, Inner Conflict
The reversed Seven of Wands may appear when looming challenges leave you feeling doubtful or unprepared. You may be thinking how much easier it would be to turn around and walk away. This card serves as a reminder that not all endeavours are effortless and sometimes our ideas face fierce opposition. If you want the reward of honey, you must be willing to suffer a few stings.
Eight of Wands
Upright - Rapid Change, Movement, Nearing Completion
Cicadas live for many years underground as immature nymphs. When the time is right, they emerge from the ground en masse to climb up vertical structures. There they shed their exoskeletons to reveal their adult forms. And in a period of a few days to weeks, they buzz around, mate, lay their eggs, and perish. Rapid and tremendous change is occurring around you. Go with the momentum and capitalize on this fleeting opportunity. It will be some time before this event reoccurs.
Reversed - Disorganization, Delays, Ill-Timing
When reversed, the appearance of this card may suggest that you’re feeling inundated with many ideas or tasks. With your attention constantly darting from one option to the other, very little progress is made in any direction. The persistent hum of busyness can leave us feeling anxious and exhausted. If you’re able to, it may be wise to take a step back and allow this frenzy of activity to subside.
Nine of Wands
Upright - Endurance, Stamina, Exhaustion
Eight tall pine trees stand in the distance, representing the barriers that have already been overcome. Missing limbs and fighting fatigue, a seed bug makes its final ascent. With its journey nearing completion, a soft whisper encourages the little one to hang on. Your destination is in sight, but your spirit is weathered and fatigued. Do you have the resources to push forward, or do you need to heal and replenish your reserves?
Reversed - Falling Down, Fragility, Shortcomings
The reversed Nine of Wands indicates that your energy, resources, and support are lacking or depleted. With low reserves and a weakened will, you could be losing your grip on the situation. If you’re struggling to see the end of this hardship, you may be questioning whether you should continue on this path. Ask yourself if this pursuit is worth the cost of your health and wellbeing.
Ten of Wands
Upright - Overburdened, Excess Responsibility, Obsessive Commitment
The burden placed on a termite queen is severe. She is unable to move because her egg-filled abdomen is so heavy and large. Is she a sovereign of the nest or its captive? The Ten of Wands warns of losing freedom by taking on too much responsibility. Examine the roles you’ve taken and accepted. Were you egoically driven by power and status, or are you selflessly working for the common good? Are you the only one that can fill these roles, or are there others that can stand in when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Reversed - Delegating Tasks, Seeking Help, Avoiding Responsibilities
The reversed Ten of Wands may indicate the need to ask for assistance. Like the termite queen, you are surrounded by others that are willing and able to help you. There’s no need to do this alone. If you’re unable to take on more responsibility, you are encouraged to say so. We do no favors when we agree to commitments we’re unable to keep.
Page of Wands
Upright - Creative Potential, Leap of Faith, New Discovery
A grasshopper clings to a wooden wand planted firmly in the ground. From this position it could jump in any direction. The grasshopper symbolizes a youthful spirit at the dawn of their creative or spiritual path. There is great energy stored within your legs that is waiting to be unleashed. Take the leap and trust that the wind and your wings will carry you to great and far places.
Reversed - Uninspired, Procrastination, Wavering
The reversed Page of Wands may represent a lack of ambition. There may be many paths or tasks to choose from, but none feel particularly inspiring in this moment. You might be stuck in one place, idly watching others as they work hard towards their goals. New opportunities may be sprouting all around you, but what you’re clinging to will not grow.
Knight of Wands
Upright - Daring, Adventurous, Impulsive
The moth is unafraid of the shadows. This inspired Knight welcomes the unknown as he seeks new adventures and promise. His charisma is magnetic and his passion is burning, but sometimes his wings are singed when he flies too close to the light. If you are working late into the night on a creative project, careful not to burn your candle at both ends.
Reversed - Restless, Frantic, Volatile
The reversed Knight of Wands may indicate that the initial spark of motivation, confidence, or excitement has triggered a raging and uncontrolled inferno. The larger this fire grows, the more resources it consumes and the greater its potential for havoc. Like a frenetic moth dancing near a flame, you may be acting with reckless abandon.
Queen of Wands
Upright - Courage, Expression, Self-Actualization
A ladybug opens her vibrant shell to reveal transparent wings. She knows exactly who she is and hides herself from noone. Her inner and outer beauty capture the admiration of others. The marigolds below a symbol of the fiery passion she brings into this world. The Queen of Wands is exactly who she appears to be. She encourages you to be open and to share your true self with the world. The light of life is bright, but brief.
Reversed - Introversion, Modesty, Holding Back
The reversed Queen of Wands is indicative of radiant, but introverted energy. Your inner world burns vividly, full of magic and richness. You may be an innovative and creative force, but you prefer to do so quietly. When others catch a glimpse of your hidden skills and talents, you may struggle to receive their compliments and praise. Do not reject the precious gift of gratitude.
King of Wands
Upright - Visionionary, Guidance, Big Picture
Amidst the swirling chaos of directionless passion, the dragonfly enters to provide arrow-like focus. This powerful insect has nearly 360 degree vision and can adjust mid-flight in any direction to hit moving targets. The King of Wands resides above the weeds and is able to see the clear path from beginning to end. With swift confidence, he executes a strategy to manifest his vision.
Reversed - Lack of direction, Losing Focus, Inconsistent
When reversed, the King of Wands suggests that the vision that birthed a grand undertaking has been lost or compromised. If you’ve strayed off course of your current target, you are encouraged to explore how this occurred. Perhaps the motivation to continue with this project has dwindled. Maybe you’ve been distracted by temptations or encountered obstacles on your path. Take a moment to realign yourself with the original vision. Your intuition is pointing in the correct direction.
Cards Unique to the WilderWoven Tarot
The Tree of Life
Upright - Connection, Indivisibility, Lineage
An interwoven ring of branches and twigs stands upright amidst a forest of birch trees. A swirl of soft, golden light emanates from its centre. There is a sense that everything is good and nothing is broken.
The Tree of Life represents the interconnectedness of all things. No matter how alone or detached we may sometimes feel, this card reminds us of our underlying unity. When this card appears, we are asked to view all phenomena as parts of a whole. Just as there is an unbroken link between the highest leaf and deepest root, so too is there a perfect union between all that exists.
Reversed - Separation, Aloneness, Exile
The reversed Tree of Life may indicate that someone close is feeling alone and isolated. You have an opportunity to reestablish a connection with this person. It can be easy to forget the sacred bond we all share. When we do so, it’s as if we are cut off from the source of life itself. You can help this person remember their connection by being vulnerable and fully present with them.
Upright - Transmission, Inspiration, Propagation
The panspermia hypothesis proposes that comets and meteorites may have seeded Earth with life. These ancient bodies of icy rock could have ferried dormant microorganisms here from distant space. According to the hypothesis, when the microscopic life crash landed on this planet it found a hospitable environment to grow and flourish.
The appearance of this card signals the arrival of a new idea or opportunity that has the potential for radical change. This occurrence of this event is beyond your control, but the degree of its impact is dependent upon the groundwork you have laid. Provide the seeds of possibility with the mindset and environment they require to thrive.
Reversed - Empty Promise, Unpredictability, Unpreparedness
When reversed, the Messenger may represent an awe-inspiring event that has all the wishful promise of a shooting star. But like a streak of light in the night sky, this episode will rapidly dissipate. Unlike the orbits of planets or moons, the trajectory of comets may be quite unpredictable. It may be wise to place your energy and focus on something more solid and reliable.