tarot therapy, part iv

Missed the intro to this series? Read about it here.
This is the full suit of pentacles.


ACE OF PENTACLES:
Jupiter

The Ace of Pentacles represents abundance and opportunity. Jupiter is the planet associated with growth, expansion, and good fortune.


TWO OF PENTACLES:
neptune

The two of pentacles represents balancing multiple priorities and being adaptable.

The planet Neptune represents collective consciousness, idealism, artistry, the destruction of the status quo, and the ocean.

I consider my adaptability to be one of my artistic superpowers and the ebb and flow of the ocean is a perf metaphor for balancing priorities.


THREE OF PENTACLES:
mercury

The three of pentacles represents teamwork, collaboration, and learning.

The planet Mercury represents rationality, communication, and thinking in patterns, all of which are keys to successfully working and learning together.


FOUR OF PENTACLES:
pluto

Upright, the four of pentacles is about scarcity, control, and saving money; reversed, it represents over-spending, and greed. It usually depicts a man that is stuck in place because he is so afraid to lose his money.

Pluto is named after the god of the underworld and is commonly associated with transformation.


FIVE OF PENTACLES:
eris

The five of pentacles represents financial loss, isolation, and worry. Eris, a dwarf planet, is named for the the Greco-Roman goddess of strife and discord.


SIX OF PENTACLES:
makemake

Upright, the six of pentacles represents giving and receiving, generosity, and charity. Reversed, it’s self-care and unpaid debts — it’s basically a Taurus

Makemake is the creator of humanity, which seems like a great example of giving a gift that is used or mis-used.


SEVEN OF PENTACLES:
uranus

The seven of pentacles represents a long-term view, perseverance, and sustainability.

Uranus is visible to the naked eye, but it’s hard to see and moves very slowly, so early observers didn’t know it was a planet. With a commitment to discovery and a flexible mindset, we eventually figured it out.


EIGHT OF PENTACLES:
ceres

The eight of pentacles represents apprenticeship, repetitive tasks, skill development, and mastery.

Ceres is the goddess of motherhood and agriculture, two under-rated crafts that are best learned through experience.


NINE OF PENTACLES:
venus

The nine of pentacles represents abundance, luxury, self-sufficiency, and financial independence. It is usually depicted as a successful woman.

I often find the concept of a “girlboss” to be reductive, so I’m re-envisioning Venus. The planet is named for the roman goddess of love, but she’s also the goddess of prosperity and victory — and I love to see any representation of a woman winning.


TEN OF PENTACLES:
moon

The Ten of pentacles represents wealth, financial security, family, and long-term success.

When the card is reversed, it represents the “dark side of wealth” and who can resist a Pink Floyd reference?


PAGE OF PENTACLES:
mars

The page of pentacles represents manifestation and skill development. Mars is the Roman god of war, but unlike the Greeks, Romans treat their god of war as a god of peace, too — fighting only in the service of balance. For me, the pursuit of knowledge and skills feels a bit like goinp


KNIGHT OF PENTACLES:
earth

The knight of pentacles represents hard work and routine. What could be more pedestrian than the planet you’re on right now? Literally every slog you’ve ever slogged has been on earth.


QUEEN OF PENTACLES:
haumea

The queen of pentacles represents nurturing, practicality, and working parents. Haumea is named after the Hawaiian goddess of fertility and childbirth.


KING OF PENTACLES:
saturn

The king of pentacles represents wealth, business, leadership, discipline, and abundance. Saturn is the Roman god of wealth and agriculture.

tarot therapy, part III

Missed the intro to this series? Read about it here. This is the second half of the suit of wands: seven through king.


SEVEN OF WANDS:
verbena

The seven of wands represents protection and perseverance — usually depicting someone defending their territory. Verbena symbolizes protection, but it also symbolizes healing. It’s a reminder to me that I don’t need to be fighting for things constantly and it’s okay for me to rest.


EIGHT OF WANDS:
icelandic poppy

Upright, the eight of wands is about movement and fast-paced change; reversed it represents delays and frustration.

I picked the Icelandic poppy for this one. To be honest, I was trying to find a place of poppies in this suit and at first I couldn’t. But then I started thinking about WHY I wanted poppies and the answer was 50% because I think they look cool and 50% because I watched the Wizard of Oz every day as a little kid.

To me, the poppies in that movie represent a choice to get stuck or move forward and thats’s the choice that the eight of wands presents you with. As a person with severe anxiety, I often need to remind myself that I get to decide if I want to dwell or move forward.


NINE OF WANDS:
euphorbia

The nine of wands is courage, perseverance, and strong boundaries — which are not my strong suit. This flower is closely related to the poinsettia.

I like the idea of using them to symbolize protecting myself because

a. While they do emit poison, you have to fuck with them to get poisoned and

b. they’re bright red, as a warning, so you’re fucking with them at your own risk.


TEN OF WANDS:
fuschia

The ten of wands represents hard work, burdens, and extra responsibility. It’s often represented by a person who is hunched over, so I picked fuschia, my favorite hanging plant. The flowers bend the stem, without breaking it,.

PAGE OF WANDS:
flowering apricot

The page of wands represents ideas, inspiration, potential, and a free spirit.

These are apricot flowers, which grow on an (imo) underrated flowering tree. I think they’re weird and beautiful and when I think about openness and creative inspiration, I think weird and beautiful


KNIGHT OF WANDS:
firecracker plant

The knight of wands is energy, passion, and adventure. I was about to tell you that I picked the firecracker plant because it’s the same color as adventures firecracker plant because it’s the same color as adventures, but I’m realizing that assigning colors to concepts isn’t a thing everyone does.

I think these are my adventure colors because I am obsessed with volcanos and the natural, neon, day-glo color of lava.


QUEEN OF WANDS:
dahlia

The queen of wands represents courage, confidence, independence, and determination. I picked dahlias.

There are a bunch of reasons they’re. a good match for this card: there are hundreds of kinds of dahlias; I love drawing them; I associate reds and purples with courage.

The reason I picked them, tho, is that I wanted to put them here and I felt like not-second-guessing-myself was the energy I wanted to give this card.

KING OF WANDS:
lotus

The king of wands represents vision, leadership, and entrepreneurship. For me, those concepts are tied into my identity — I like that my first impulse in the hardest times is to dream a big dream and then make it come true. I picked the lotus because it represents rebirth and enlightenment, and each time I build something for myself in a hard moment, I’m a step closer to whatever comes next.

tarot therapy, part II

Missed the intro to this series? Read about it here. This is the first half of the suit of wands: ace through six.


ACE OF WANDS:
lupinus

The ace of wands card is for new beginnings rooted in creativity or innovation. I picked a flower that stood tall and strong, that represented originality, and that was in a color palette that makes me feel inspired. 


TWO OF WANDS:
blue thistle

The two of wands card represents discovery and pushing past your comfort zone into something wonderful.

I first saw blue thistles in a grocery store. My girlfriend had just started a new job and I wanted to find a way to celebrate her and I saw a bouquet with these flowers I’d never seen before.

I looked at them and I thought, “these are weird and interesting and beautiful and I love them — and that’s how I feel about her.” Now, did that girl break the fuck up with me? Absolutely, she did.

But I still feel that way about the flowers, I still want to feel that way about my next relationship, and I still feel like something good is on the other side of my next discovery.


THREE OF WANDS:
lavender

The three of wands represents confidence, foresight, and being on the precipice of expansion.

I chose to represent this with lavender, which is a calming plant. I like the idea of feeling relaxed and confident in the face of forward progress. You see all that’s coming, but you know you can handle it.


FOUR OF WANDS:
marigolds

The four of wands card represents homecoming, safety, and security. I wanted to give myself a flexible definition of what it means to be safe at home because my house is my home, but so are my friends, and weeknight football practice, and drawing, and the dog. So I picked marigolds because they can thrive in almost any condition and can build a home wherever they land.


FIVE OF WANDS:
porcelain berries

The Five of Wands represents competition. I picked an invasive plant that I think is gorgeous — a reminder that asserting myself is a balancing act between ensuring my own survival and impacting someone else’s lived experience.


SIX OF WANDS:
anemones

The six of wands represents victory, progress, and self-confidence, so I pieced anemones — they’re my favorite flower to draw, so it feels like a celebration of my growth and success to put it on this card.

tarot therapy, part I

I’m in the process of designing a full tarot deck for myself. The combo of quarantine and 6+ weeks of unexplained hives has made me anxious and frustrated and I’ve been itching — pun intended —for a creative project and a lens through which to process my feelings.

Rather than picking a really specific overarching theme for the deck, it simply features the things that make me feel most connected to the broader universe. The plan for the Minor Arcana is as follows:

  • WANDS: flowers and blooming plants
  • CUPS: potted cacti and succulents
  • PENTACLES: celestial bodies
  • SWORDS: crystals

Each Major Arcana card will be rendered with one of each element to represent its position in the fool’s journey.