This post is part of the Tarot Blog Hop and our wrangler, Joanne, asked us to write about “your take on the influence of the Sun and/or Mercury in the Tarot or your favorite oracle deck”. Before we proceed onto the subject of my favourite deck, here are the links to enable you to navigate this Hop:
As you may be aware, I’m a Gemini, so I know first hand about those Mercurial shifts, so I’ll just reassure you now that I’m still very much enthused about this deck and my eyes have not yet slid away to gaze upon pastures newer. Besides, it would be rather rude of me not to choose my own deck on this website, so you may take it as read that I’ll be talking about Meniscus today 😀
One of the things I have enjoyed about creating this deck is asking you what you think. In some ways, it’s a total cop out on having to make choices, another thing Geminis can be astonishingly bad at doing, but also because it’s a learning experience to see to what extent my ideas match up with your views of a particular card. Hence, the frequent posts here and on Facebook, asking what you think or which card you prefer where I have more than one candidate. It’s quite hard to be objective about one’s own work and feedback is so helpful. I can take the crit! *juts out chin to take the blow*
Enough rambling though and on to the business of the Hop theme, the Sun and Mercury. Oh yes, I will be covering both. Make a pot of tea/coffee, grab a packet of biscuits, put your feet up and switch off the phone, this could get intense 😀
I’ll begin with the Sun. I did hope to have my Sun card in time for this Hop, because it would have been so apt for this time of year. I can visualise what I want so clearly in my mind that I wish I could just “print” that image, but unfortunately, in real life, the sunflowers aren’t yet ready for me, so we must all wait a week or two. Watch this space!
I don’t have many of the Minor Arcana done yet either and I’m not too au fait with the planetary association here either, so I’ve had to look them up*. The Sun in Aries is associated with the Three of Staves – don’t have that yet; the Sun in Scorpio with the Six of Cups – nada (have the image in my mind, just waiting for an opportune moment); the Sun in Gemini is the Ten of Swords – I’ll probably have to stage that, just need a willing
victim model; the Sun in Capricorn is the Four of Coins – nope, not thought about that one at all; that just leaves the Sun on Virgo for the Eight of Coins…aha! We have a winner!
Even though I can’t admit to being particularly knowledgeable about the implications of the Sun in Virgo might be, I can actually see how it works in this card. For me, the Sun is masculine, energetic, powerful and productive. I can see all of these things in a craftsman working with wood in the outdoors. I’ve dabbled a bit with woodwork myself and it is a physical activity. Similarly, from my experience of Virgos: hard working, meticulous, caring, moody, popular but prone to introversion, all characteristics that I would associate with the solitary path of a craftsman.
* Benebell Wen’s book, Holistic Tarot.
The planetary associations with Court cards are slightly more complex depending on your preferred system of assigning modalities. They all make a kind of sense from one perspective or another, but the one that I tend to lean towards is assigning Cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) to Kings, Fixed (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) to Queens, and Mutable (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) to Knights. This is largely because I just can’t see the King of Wands as anything other than Aries and given the characteristics of the Knights, they have to be Mutable (flexible), rather than Fixed (steady). Though if that doesn’t work for you, there are a myriad of permutations. Of course, the Thoth using Knights and Princes, instead of Kings and Knights respectively, muddies the waters even further since the label “Knight” means something different. It’s a minefield, I tell you!
For the purposes of this exercise, let’s just stick with the system I have described. Thus, since each sign also has a ruling planet and the Sun rules Leo, this would give us the Fixed Fire card of Queen of Wands. Dang! After all that, it’s rather a moot point since I haven’t done that one either yet :/
However, Leo is also assigned to Strength in the Major Arcana and here is mine:
So, onward to see what we have for Mercury…
The obvious Major Arcana card is the Magician – absolutely no dispute from me about this, as the Magician completely embodies “Mercurial”. However, thanks to my Geminian tendency to have all my fingers in various pies, I neglected to organise the photo shoot for that in time for this post. Once again, watch this space as I should have that done next week!
Needless to say, I don’t yet have any of the Minors associated with Mercury, namely, Five of Coins, Ten of Pentacles, Eight of Wands, Six of Swords or Three of Cups. I had planned to photograph the Three of Cups at the TABI Conference but there simply wasn’t the time *sigh*
That said, as per the system above for Courts, Mercury also rules Virgo, which would be…The Knight of Coins, and also Gemini, which would be….the Knight of Swords 😀
Woohoo! Two for two. Now we’re cooking!
Mercury is also the ruling planet for Virgo, which is associated with The Hermit. Hey, that’s three for three! Somehow, I’m not entirely surprised that I seem to be ticking off more cards for Mercury.
And because Mercury is a bit on the nippy side and gets around and we know it rules Gemini, there is also The Lovers. Guess what? I have two very different possibilities for this card that I’ve been (in typically Geminian) two minds about. Perhaps you can help me with that…
The second is much more in keeping with how I see the Lovers as depicted in RWS, where there is a mountain between them and a strong suggestion of the dichotomy between the sexes and their different responses to life’s challenges. My interpretation of the meaning tends towards the difficult choices thrown our way. Here we have our Lovers suspended on opposite sides. They can choose to move closer together or to maintain the gulf between them.*
*To add some context, these pictures were taken during an aerial performance based on The Tiger Bride by Angela Carter, itself a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The first is when Beauty first begins to warm to the Beast, who already loves her; the second is from a much earlier point when she first come to live with the Beast and they are circling around, trying to get the measure of one another.
So where do you stand on the interpretation of The Lovers? Does either of these cards chime with your views? Should I be swayed by my heart and choose the image I like, or my head and go with the image that makes more sense in terms of interpretation? Or should I just go back to the drawing board?
and here are those useful Hop links again: