Nine of Swords Card facing down The Emperor - reversed Card facing down Seven of Wands Card facing down

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Decision Making Tarot Reading



The deck is shuffled and your tarot cards are dealt on the table, face down.

Reveal the cards

When you are prepared, and your query is formulized, please reveal each card by clicking on it, or reveal all cards at once by use of the button appearing below the tarot spread.

Decipher the cards

Once revealed, click on a card to learn of its significance, alongside a larger image of the card. You can leaf through different books offering tarot card interpretations by use of the drop-down list, above (the default selection, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, is recommended for the casual querent).

Advanced options

The advanced cartomancer can draw additional cards to further clarify the tarot reading, by clicking on the Show Deck button, appearing below the tarot spread, and dragging a card away from the deck. Once dropped, the card can be moved again to a different position.

Good luck on your tarot reading.


Nine of Swords


Card position:


Passive Choice

This card represents the more passive of the two alternatives before you, i.e., the one that would come to pass through a relative lack of action; perhaps, the well-trodden road. This card is a potentiality, good or bad, of that choice.

Card interpretation:


Description

One seated on her couch in lamentation, with the swords over her. She is as one who knows no sorrow which is like unto hers. It is a card of utter desolation.

Divinatory Meanings

Death, failure, miscarriage, delay, deception, disappointment, despair.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Imprisonment, suspicion, doubt, reasonable fear, shame.

Additional Divinatory Meanings

An ecclesiastic, a priest; generally, a card of bad omen.

Additional Meanings - Reversed

Good ground for suspicion against a doubtful person.


Nine of Swords


Card position:


Passive Choice

This card represents the more passive of the two alternatives before you, i.e., the one that would come to pass through a relative lack of action; perhaps, the well-trodden road. This card is a potentiality, good or bad, of that choice.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Nine of Swords - An Ecclesiastic, a Priest, Conscience. Probity, Good Faith, Integrity.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Wise distrust, Suspicion, Fear, Doubt, Shady character.


Nine of Swords


Card position:


Passive Choice

This card represents the more passive of the two alternatives before you, i.e., the one that would come to pass through a relative lack of action; perhaps, the well-trodden road. This card is a potentiality, good or bad, of that choice.

Card interpretation:


Tradition

A bachelor, priest, clergyman, hermit; monastic order, monastery, church; religion or cult; devotion, rite, ritual, ceremony. Another version says: "Death, failure, miscarriage, delay, deception, disappointment, despair." (Waite) Reversed: Justified doubt, fear or mistrust, scruple, shame, imprisonment; timidity, pudor.

Theory

On the house of Sagittarius, the Ninth, the element of Earth must of course relate to the earthy side of religion, i.e. the material expressions of it, to the more heavy, earthy, materialistic mind and its ideas about religion, ethics, etc. It is not very flattering for priesthood in general, perhaps, that from this sort of condition have come so many of those who call themselves ecclesiastics, but still it is natural, because the 'ecclesia,' which has been built upon the rock (Petrus = Capricorn,) is served by the teachers or inspirers of it, to be found in the preceding house. In lay language this means: the expression of religion, of ideals and ideas, descending into matter, taking material shape and culminating in the church or monastery, which, however, come under the tenth house, and into dogma and creed under the ninth. Under the latter's influence are the representatives of dogma and creed, viz. priest, officiant, monastic or monk. It is fairly sure, that from the essence of this card arises inquisition and every sort of intolerance, religious intolerance above all, because the materialistic mind thinks itself in possession of the only expression of Truth, and condemns every other. So this card nay also indicate all sorts of hard judgment, rigid attitudes of mind, orthodoxy. For this indeed is the meaning of materialism in religion and ethics. When the material expression of truth and ideals is at its height, it reaches the value of rite and ritual or religious ceremony, which at its best stands in relation to dogmatism as the jewel to simple stones or dry sand.

Conclusion

Dogma, dogmatism, ecclesiastic spirit, scholastic mind, creed, rite, ritual, ceremonial. The persons representing these. Hard judgment, orthodoxy, rigid attitude of mind, ascetism. Intolerance, inquisition. The 'fear of God' may well be turned into hatred of mankind. In weak cases there may be swearing, atheism, agnosticism, shyness, miscarriage, shame, false evidence given, error of judgment. In strong cases the mind is scrupulous, conscientious, and in strict accord with time and fashion.


The Emperor - reversed


Card position:


Dilemma

This card represents your dilemma. These are the forces - internal or external, relevant or irrelevant - that are presently guiding your preference. Perhaps, this represents a third opportunity.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Stability, power, protection, realization; a great person; aid, reason, conviction; also authority and will.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Benevolence, compassion, credit; also confusion to enemies, obstruction, immaturity.

Inner Symbolism

He has a form of the Crux ansata for his sceptre and a globe in his left hand. He is a crowned monarch--commanding, stately, seated on a throne, the arms of which axe fronted by rams' heads. He is executive and realization, the power of this world, here clothed with the highest of its natural attributes. He is occasionally represented as seated on a cubic stone, which, however, confuses some of the issues. He is the virile power, to which the Empress responds, and in this sense is he who seeks to remove the Veil of Isis; yet she remains virgo intacta.

It should be understood that this card and that of the Empress do not precisely represent the condition of married life, though this state is implied. On the surface, as I have indicated, they stand for mundane royalty, uplifted on the seats of the mighty; but above this there is the suggestion of another presence. They signify also--and the male figure especially--the higher kingship, occupying the intellectual throne. Hereof is the lordship of thought rather than of the animal world. Both personalities, after their own manner, are "full of strange experience," but theirs is not consciously the wisdom which draws from a higher world. The Emperor has been described as (a) will in its embodied form, but this is only one of its applications, and (b) as an expression of virtualities contained in the Absolute Being--but this is fantasy.

Description

4. The Emperor, by imputation the spouse of the former. He is occasionally represented as wearing, in addition to his personal insignia, the stars or ribbons of some order of chivalry. I mention this to shew that the cards are a medley of old and new emblems. Those who insist upon the evidence of the one may deal, if they can, with the other. No effectual argument for the antiquity of a particular design can be drawn from the fact that it incorporates old material; but there is also none which can be based on sporadic novelties, the intervention of which may signify only the unintelligent hand of an editor or of a late draughtsman.


The Emperor - reversed


Card position:


Dilemma

This card represents your dilemma. These are the forces - internal or external, relevant or irrelevant - that are presently guiding your preference. Perhaps, this represents a third opportunity.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

The Emperor - Realisation, Effect, Development.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Stoppage, Check, Immature, Unripe.

Symbolism of the Keys

The Emperor - He is crowned (and leaning against a throne, his legs form a cross, and beside him, beneath his left hand, is a shield blazoned with an eagle). In his right hand he bears a sceptre similar to that of the Empress. His body and arms form a triangle, of which his head is the apex, so that the whole figure represents a triangle above a cross. He represents Realisation.


The Emperor - reversed


Card position:


Dilemma

This card represents your dilemma. These are the forces - internal or external, relevant or irrelevant - that are presently guiding your preference. Perhaps, this represents a third opportunity.

Card interpretation:


Description and Meaning

There is much more mystery buried in every symbol than words spoken can tell. Superficial consideration might make astrologers wonder at this image, which assimilates worldly power with the sign Cancer instead of with Leo, to which they are accustomed. Still there remains this to be taken into account, that originally 'emperors' got their power from the people,--China, Rome--long before they began to claim God as their private protector against eventual aggression from outside. The people are ruled by the sign of Cancer, says the astrologer. And thus originally the chosen emperor accepted vox populi as vox Dei. This chosen dignitary was nothing of a tyrant, originally, nor did he have anything to do with rulership or warfare: he was simply the highest and most pure expression of the soul of the people or nation. In China sometimes a poor but extremely virtuous old man without any other antecedents was elected to be emperor. All later usurpations of power and succession were deviations from the old and pure institution. The present position of the president in a republic comes very near to that of the original emperor.

The sign of the soul indeed is . . . Cancer. At the same time this is the sign of the breast (Papus) and of the womb, as Waite translates this passage about the card, which Papus says is connected with the Hebrew letter Daleth. In the older pictures we see the effort to let the man make a figure 4 or something like the symbol for Jupiter with his crossed legs. There may be some meaning in it, but this seems futile with regard to the general significance of the Emperor as the representative of the past, of memory, tradition in the people and in family life, dharma and the real motives of the soul in the background of life, which actually rule life. It relates ..to every inner power of the soul from which outer activity (karma) will arise.

In different editions of the cards we find different sorts of sceptres in the hand of the Emperor. In some there appears also an eagle. We prefer the sceptre which Mr. Waite puts into his hands: the crux ansata, symbol of the might of inner life, which rules matter. The planet Jupiter has only to do with this card, in so far as it is exalted in the sign Cancer, which means, that virtually hopes and expectations as well as ideals for the future take their origin in the deep-rooted attachments of the soul, which themselves are the expression of dharma or cosmic memory.

Still in a personal way the Emperor indicates the father of the querent, because it is from his father that his soul derives its elements. Compare in the horoscope the IVth house. Therefore this seemingly very feminine sign was symbolised by a male figure, while the seemingly male messenger was represented by a woman. The Empress indicates the spiritual parentage, the Emperor the physical one. The latter finds its counterpart (physical mother) in the Xth house, as is well known.

Some authors say this card means 'realisation.' That is correct so far as this word means an inner realising of the significance of outer facts: the gathering of the harvest of experience, which will become the store of memory.

Astrological Correspondence

Cancer


Seven of Wands


Card position:


Active Choice

This card represents the more active of the two alternatives before you, i.e., the one that will be achieved through a greater exertion of effort or risk; perhaps, the road less traveled by. This card is a potentiality, good or bad, of that choice.

Card interpretation:


Description

A young man on a craggy eminence brandishing a staff; six other staves are raised towards him from below.

Divinatory Meanings

It is a card of valour, for, on the surface, six are attacking one, who has, however, the vantage position. On the intellectual plane, it signifies discussion, wordy strife; in business--negotiations, war of trade, barter, competition. It is further a card of success, for the combatant is on the top and his enemies may be unable to reach him.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Perplexity, embarrassments, anxiety. It is also a caution against indecision.

Additional Divinatory Meanings

A dark child.


Seven of Wands


Card position:


Active Choice

This card represents the more active of the two alternatives before you, i.e., the one that will be achieved through a greater exertion of effort or risk; perhaps, the road less traveled by. This card is a potentiality, good or bad, of that choice.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Seven of Sceptres - Success, Gain, Advantage, Profit, Victory.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Indecision, Doubt, Hesitation, Embarrassment, Anxiety.


Seven of Wands


Card position:


Active Choice

This card represents the more active of the two alternatives before you, i.e., the one that will be achieved through a greater exertion of effort or risk; perhaps, the road less traveled by. This card is a potentiality, good or bad, of that choice.

Card interpretation:


Tradition

Discussion, negotiation, conference, conversation, deliberation, dissertation; measure; correspondence, words and language; generally success, but there may be also some hesitation, uncertainty, irresolution, light-heartedness.

Theory

All this is very strikingly typifying the element Air on the Seventh house, that of the airy Libra, house of relationship, marriage, meeting of the Self and the Not-self, which rules contracts, books and manuscripts. Here only comes 'discussion' into play. In the Fifth house the individuality was alone, and for discussion you want two persons.

Conclusion

Discussion, relation, negotiation, entertainment, discourse, lecture, reasonable explanation, contract, marriage proposed, society-rulership and orders given out to inferiors, arrangements, regularisation and measurement; measure, proportion, rules given for conduct. There is uncertainty or opportunism in so far as rules are given in relation to circumstances, which may change. The personal interests are brought in, in relation with those of others. Fair weather.