Temperance - reversed Card facing down Five of Swords - reversed Card facing down The Hierophant Card facing down

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Problem Solving 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.


Temperance - reversed


Card position:


Context

This card represents the querent’s general environment. These are the forces and influences currently at play, beyond the immediate problem or hardship.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Economy, moderation, frugality, management, accommodation.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Things connected with churches, religions, sects, the priesthood, sometimes even the priest who will marry the Querent; also disunion, unfortunate combinations, competing interests.

Inner Symbolism

A winged angel, with the sign of the sun upon his forehead and on his breast the square and triangle of the septenary. I speak of him in the masculine sense, but the figure is neither male nor female. It is held to be pouring the essences of life from chalice to chalice. It has one foot upon the earth and one upon waters, thus illustrating the nature of the essences. A direct path goes up to certain heights on the verge of the horizon, and above there is a great light, through which a crown is seen vaguely. Hereof is some part of the Secret of Eternal Life, as it is possible to man in his incarnation. All the conventional emblems are renounced herein.

So also are the conventional meanings, which refer to changes in the seasons, perpetual movement of life and even the combination of ideas. It is, moreover, untrue to say that the figure symbolizes the genius of the sun, though it is the analogy of solar light, realized in the third part of our human triplicity. It is called Temperance fantastically, because, when the rule of it obtains in our consciousness, it tempers, combines and harmonises the psychic and material natures. Under that rule we know in our rational part something of whence we came and whither we are going.

Description

14. Temperance. The winged figure of a female--who, in opposition to all doctrine concerning the hierarchy of angels, is usually allocated to this order of ministering spirits--is pouring liquid from one pitcher to another. In his last work on the Tarot, Dr. Papus abandons the traditional form and depicts a woman wearing an Egyptian head-dress. The first thing which seems clear on the surface is that the entire symbol has no especial connexion with Temperance, and the fact that this designation has always obtained for the card offers a very obvious instance of a meaning behind meaning, which is the title in chief to consideration in respect of the Tarot as a whole.


Temperance - reversed


Card position:


Context

This card represents the querent’s general environment. These are the forces and influences currently at play, beyond the immediate problem or hardship.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Temperance - Combination, Conformation, Uniting.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Ill-advised combinations, Disunion, Clashing interests, etc.

Symbolism of the Keys

Temperance - An angel with the sign of the Sun on her brow Pouring liquid from one vessel into another. She represents Combination.


Temperance - reversed


Card position:


Context

This card represents the querent’s general environment. These are the forces and influences currently at play, beyond the immediate problem or hardship.

Card interpretation:


Description and Meaning

". . . the Genius of the Sun holding two cups and pouring from the one into the other the liquor which holds life." (Papus)--" A winged angel with the sign of the sun upon his forehead . . . pouring the essences of life from chalice to chalice." (Waite) Another version has: ". . . pours the fluid of Life from a golden vase into a silver one." (Papus) This is evidently the cosmic function next to the Sun, messenger of the same: Mercury or Vulcan, lord of the sphere of Virgo, surrounding the solar Leo-sphere. Other traditional descriptions confirm this: "It is the symbol of combinations, working incessantly in all regions of Nature." (Papus) On his breast this angel bears a square with inscribed triangle, reminding us of the passage of the cosmological Stanzas of Dzyan, "The Three fall into the Four," which means the beginning of Manifestation. "Entry of Spirit into Matter and reaction of Matter upon Spirit." (Papus) So on the subject of this card there seems to be perfect understanding. "Incarnation of Life," Papus adds. This is Mercury, who has to do with the distribution of life-currents from the Sun farther on into the solar-system and from the heart and solar-plexus farther on into our physical body. The golden vase and the silver one illustrate this distribution from higher to lower regions.

So this card signifies all sorts of distribution, from the nervous system and its workings of co-ordination to correspondence by the post office, letters and communications, and the latter not only limited to this physical world but extended to other planes of existence. The function of Mercury is that of the mind in its concrete activities and imparts knowledge, learning, which after all is the beginning or potentiality of all our further relations in this world.

Papus seeks to establish relation between it and the Hebrew letter Nun, which means "the offspring of the female--(we said rightly, that Mercury has much to do with the Moon)--a son, the fruit of any kind . . . the image of the being produced or reflected. . .". Yes: reflection and above all reproduction. The name 'Temperance' appears to have been chosen because of the transposition from one plane to another, or one centre to another, which has much to do with 'time' also. The latter is the proper reason for naming this principle directly after that of Saturn.

Astrological Correspondence

Mercury


Five of Swords - reversed


Card position:


Focus

This card represents the problem or hardship at hand. These are forces or influences, now coming into effect, that may either complicate the situation or present an opportunity for untangling the knot.

Card interpretation:


Description

A disdainful man looks after two retreating and dejected figures. Their swords lie upon the ground. He carries two others on his left shoulder, and a third sword is in his right hand, point to earth. He is the master in possession of the field.

Divinatory Meanings

Degradation, destruction, revocation, infamy, dishonour, loss, with the variants and analogues of these.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

The same; burial and obsequies.

Additional Divinatory Meanings

An attack on the fortune of the Querent.

Additional Meanings - Reversed

A sign of sorrow and mourning.


Five of Swords - reversed


Card position:


Focus

This card represents the problem or hardship at hand. These are forces or influences, now coming into effect, that may either complicate the situation or present an opportunity for untangling the knot.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Five of Swords - Mourning, Sadness, Affliction.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Losses Trouble (same signification, whether reversed or not).


Five of Swords - reversed


Card position:


Focus

This card represents the problem or hardship at hand. These are forces or influences, now coming into effect, that may either complicate the situation or present an opportunity for untangling the knot.

Card interpretation:


Tradition

Loss, dishonour, degradation, defeat, ruin, reversal of fortune, diminution, wronging, bad luck, destruction, etc. Reversed: Much the same, burial, obsequies. It is also said to represent a thief and theft, corruption, seduction, plague, and all that is hideous and horrible.

Theory

The element of Earth with its influence of Mars and Saturn on the Fifth house, ruling the heart, cannot be very 'favourable' in the ordinary sense of the word and is certain to lead to a feeling of being wronged by the world, an inner bitterness and impotence, which hinders enterprise and business; so these will suffer. And the heart itself, being of precisely the opposite nature, will suffer and find things awkward, horrible, hideous, etc. In the same way this card must indicate affliction of honour, which is ruled by the Sun. Moreover, as "from the heart are the issues of life," the card may indicate vice and a bad use of the inner or spiritual forces. Still there is another possibility, and this is given by Mr. Waite when he says that this card's image signifies a man who "is master of the field." So he may be if the inner force is great enough to conquer the afflictions which assail him. In other words, it need not be a card of absolute defeat, for there may very well be a good result, but nevertheless it denotes serious difficulty and a critical moment or period in life, in which the querent or some one to whom it relates will be threatened with the above-mentioned sad effects.

Conclusion

Affliction, crisis, morose disposition, bitterness, impotence, lack of self-respect, or self-confidence; it may be that self-confidence is ascertained by some struggle or conflict; difficulties, which after all may prove very useful but necessitate much self-discipline. In the same way discipline of children is necessary. Enterprise or expansion is impossible or not advisable. Things indicated by this card may indeed be bad-looking or unpromising. There will be a question of a loss in most cases.


The Hierophant


Card position:


Outcome

The card represents the potential outcome of the Context and Focus cards, in their operation on the problem or hardship at hand.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Marriage, alliance, captivity, servitude; by another account, mercy and goodness; inspiration; the man to whom the Querent has recourse.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Society, good understanding, concord, overkindness, weakness.

Inner Symbolism

He wears the triple crown and is seated between two pillars, but they are not those of the Temple which is guarded by the High Priestess. In his left hand he holds a sceptre terminating in the triple cross, and with his right hand he gives the well-known ecclesiastical sign which is called that of esotericism, distinguishing between the manifest and concealed part of doctrine. It is noticeable in this connexion that the High Priestess makes no sign. At his feet are the crossed keys, and two priestly ministers in albs kneel before him. He has been usually called the Pope, which is a particular application of the more general office that he symbolizes. He is the ruling power of external religion, as the High Priestess is the prevailing genius of the esoteric, withdrawn power. The proper meanings of this card have suffered woeful admixture from nearly all hands. Grand Orient says truly that the Hierophant is the power of the keys, exoteric orthodox doctrine, and the outer side of the life which leads to the doctrine; but he is certainly not the prince of occult doctrine, as another commentator has suggested.

He is rather the summa totius theologiæ, when it has passed into the utmost rigidity of expression; but he symbolizes also all things that are righteous and sacred on the manifest side. As such, he is the channel of grace belonging to the world of institution as distinct from that of Nature, and he is the leader of salvation for the human race at large. He is the order and the head of the recognized hierarchy, which is the reflection of another and greater hierarchic order; but it may so happen that the pontiff forgets the significance of this his symbolic state and acts as if he contained within his proper measures all that his sign signifies or his symbol seeks to shew forth. He is not, as it has been thought, philosophy-except on the theological side; he is not inspiration; and he is not religion, although he is a mode of its expression.

Description

5. The High Priest or Hierophant, called also Spiritual Father, and more commonly and obviously the Pope. It seems even to have been named the Abbot, and then its correspondence, the High Priestess, was the Abbess or Mother of the Convent. Both are arbitrary names. The insignia of the figures are papal, and in such case the High Priestess is and can be only the Church, to whom Pope and priests are married by the spiritual rite of ordination. I think, however, that in its primitive form this card did not represent the Roman Pontiff.


The Hierophant


Card position:


Outcome

The card represents the potential outcome of the Context and Focus cards, in their operation on the problem or hardship at hand.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

The Hierophant or Pope - Mercy, Beneficence Kindness, Goodness.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Over-kindness, weakness, Foolish exercise of generosity.

Symbolism of the Keys

The Hierophant or Pope - He is crowned with the papal tiara, and seated between the two pillars of Hermes and of Solomon, with his right hand he makes the sign of esoterism, and with his left he leans upon a staff surmounted by a triple cross. (Before him kneel two ministers.) He is the symbol of Mercy and Beneficence.


The Hierophant


Card position:


Outcome

The card represents the potential outcome of the Context and Focus cards, in their operation on the problem or hardship at hand.

Card interpretation:


Description and Meaning

The fifth step on the cosmic ladder is that of the Atma, the Spark in macrocosmos and that of childbirth and of the heart in particular on the physical plane. The latter is sanctified by the former and this fact is symbolised in the image of the Hierophant. It may also be interpreted in its turn as the sanctifying of the profane (man) by the holy (man) in general, and this fact gave the reason for the other nomination of this card: the pope. Of course it may equally well be called the patriarch. In the masonic lodge it is the R.W.M., the sun in the solar system and the heart in every living body, as also the solar plexus in the etheric body. And as the teaching of St. Paul--and others--has it: from the heart are the issues into life. It is the dynamic centre of every living existence.

The Hierophant "is seated between the two pillars of Hermes and of Solomon" . . . "He is symbol of mercy and beneficence." (Mathers) This is exact. Papus says he is the principle "which attaches the material body to the divine spirit." Which is precisely that of the heart. So there remains little doubt with regard to identity. The same author identifies further the principle of the Hierophant with the Hebrew letter He, which means aspiration or breath. In fact the heart is the cause of this periodical movement, which we find in pulsation and respiration, in analogy with the Law of Periodicity in Cosmos.

In the different versions given by authors there is very little of value. The Hierophant is, in short; the heart and herein resides the motoric force for good or for evil, according to the more or less sanctifying force that comes through. In case of affliction there may be lack of courage, self-confidence, honesty, sometimes certain evil or bad character.

It is rightly asserted, that this card may denote "the man to whom the querent has recourse" (Waite), also some authority or official having power to sanctify or gratify demands. Leo is the 'king,' it is said by astrologers. And in mundane evolution the king derived his power from the emperor, as in the zodiac. He was invested by the latter with a power to wield and rule a definite and concrete organisation, for which he became individually responsible. So where the emperor was chosen and came forth from the soul of the people and apparently from below, the king is appointed from above, and seems more spiritual because more actually known. There ought to be no kings, however, without an emperor over them. The king is and remains the central official, as the heart is the central organ of the organism.

The triple crown of the Hierophant and his triple crossed staff both indicate his rulership in the three worlds, which I should like to name the spiritual, the psychical and the physical.

Some say the card means marriage. This may be, but only in the inner sense of true revelation to the heart, and consequently in the same sense as Jesus meant when He said: "Marriages are contracted in Heaven."

In another way, in practical divination, the card means of course 'sanction,' be it of marriage or of something else, but always in the way of inner consent, not of outer law, which is ruled by another house.

Self-centredness and some sort of natural authority are the chief characteristics of Leo and the Hierophant.

Astrological Correspondence

Leo