Ostara has brought the best out in me this fine opening day of Spring. I feel motivated enough to jump right into the next article on this popular topic.
The lovely cards that I'll be using for this article are from the Ancient Tarots of Bologna created by Giacomo Zoni in 1780. My copy was published by Lo Scarabeo in 1995.
Let's take a look at our first pair, The Lover card and Judgment.
Most often, the order of two cards matters, but in this case, it seems like it might be splitting hairs. In either case the message seems to be very similar.
Again, the most important point in interpreting the message in the cards is to interpret them in relation to the question. If the question was to give insight to how a love match is going, based on just these two cards, it will be tempting to suggest that a wedding announcement will be forthcoming; but do take note of the next card(s) in the sequence. Might a secret be revealed instead? Ask yourself which card(s) might reveal a secret. If one is only using the suit of Trumps, then look for the Moon or Popess cards, either of these cards following Judgment might be an indicator that a secret is about to be revealed.
Speaking of the Moon, lets pair it with the Bateleur. Modern tarots have elevated the Bateleur to Magus status, but in understanding his origins, he is the lowest ranked of the trump cards. He is a common street performer, a con man. Think of the fellows who set up on a street corner and entice you to guess which cup the ball is under. News flash, you aren't likely to win because odds are excellent there's a slight of hand at play. As he appears side-by-side with the moon, we have reinforced the suggestion of a of covert activity taking place. If the question is about whether or not someone, such as a partner might be trusted, this combination might verify that there is an underhandedness about the partner.
Naturally, the Moon as a time of day might be taken literally. Someone might present themselves one way by day, and yet another by night. This might make sense for an entertainer who hasn't quit his or her day job yet. By day they might have an altogether different identity, but by night, they perform at some capacity. This shifts the meaning of the Bateleur from con man to entertainer, and the shift in meaning makes sense if the querent wants to take a chance on working an evening shift especially if they are some type of performer. Working at night clubs or evening hours might be what this combination would be suggesting for a would-be entertainer or night club performer. Heck, it could really suggest any work activity happening at night.
Now let's take a look at The Moon as meaning repression. When I was learning about The Moon's keywords, there were a few which suggested being thwarted and this never made sense to me until one day, on a whim, I decided to look up the nocturnal habits of crayfish and that's when it hit me and made sense in this context. Crayfish come out at night to feed. They are easy targets for predators and with the dogs present above ground, the crayfish are not safe to surface. They are being thwarted in their attempts to fulfill their need. Keeping this in mind, when The Moon appears with the Bateleur, the combination might suggest the querent's efforts to get ahead are being thwarted by an underhanded individual. I hope it's beginning to make sense why it is important to understand the meanings of what the cards represent. Research goes well beyond just clinging onto keywords from a book. Doing our own research gives us real understanding, and makes it easier to know which application of meaning is at play. I can't stress enough, always interpret the cards in relation to the question being asked. You have to find the connection between the message of the card and the question being asked. There's always a connection.
Let's look at the Hanged Man in its Medieval and Renaissance context. My research leads me to believe that the most likely reference to the Hanged Man would have been to Judas Iscariot and not to Jesus Christ as many modern tarotists adhere. I do not identify the Hanged man as someone who has sacrified himself for the greater good as Christ had. Their deaths are not the same. The hanged Man bears the number 12. Judas was referenced as Christ's 12th apostle in multiple biblical sources. There is no ignoring that connection. The sacrificial references do not gel in my mind. In many early decks including the Visconti-Modrone deck, the Hanged man is weighted down by bags presumably filled with coins. This is another clue of his Judas identity. Judas presumably betrayed Christ for coinage. He then hanged himself. And so the image to me, clearly communicates betrayal or treason. Coupled with The Chariot, who communicates victory or advancement, we have a few possible interpretations. It may communicate that someone is able to overcome less than desirable crimes of his past, or it may communicate that he or she is still at large, has left the scene of the crime and has moved on to escape consequence. This interpretation makes sense if we consider that during this time in Italian history, placards depicting hanged individuals were hung in much the same way that a police station might hang 'Wanted' posters. Since the individual was alive it meant he was still at large. He was a 'wanted' man.
And yet again, never overlook the literal possibilities. In example, if someone asks about a love relationship that is taking forever to gel or go to the next level, it might literally be a suggestion that the querent will be left hanging, suspended, and it's time to move on from that relationship.
With time and experience, connecting the cards to the questions becomes easier, and the relevant meaning of the card becomes evident. Because every card has multiple possible meanings, I cannot stress enough the importance of interpreting the cards to the question being asked. The question is key to understanding which meaning is relevant.
OK, I will do more of these entries, but not in quick succession. I have a few videos to tend to on my YouTube playlist, and that will consume my energies for the next few weeks. For those of you interested, here is the link to my Youtube Channel.