revelation tarot

MAJOR ARCANA

The Fool

[intepretation]
He is a free spirit without worry, full of optimism while embarking on a new journey. He sees the world with fresh new eyes and which are unconventional and lateral in thought

[reversed]
He is cautious before he leaps for he worries about the risks involved. He ponders his movements and takes things slowly.

[symbols+images]
The butterfly represents the chasing of the childlike dream.
The baby in the rose demarks the innocence of the beginning of a journey.
The mountains in the background are symbols of the height of knowledge the fool has yet to climb to.

The moon represents the subconscious, which is linked to intuition and the unknown.
The float/flying people in the background represent caution throwing in/by the wind, loss of control and uncertainty.
The canyon like background represents the erosion of the mind through the wearing of time and doubt.


The Magician

[intepretation]
He brings together all elements as he is the catalyst of for all. He is the energy, which drives, the one who sparks interest. He is charming, he is witty and he is at home with the world around him.

[reversed]
Outside forces hold him back. He is unable to channel his energy. He is distracted or blinded by other things.

[symbols+images]
The dove represents the freedom of creation, which can come from within.
The hands in the background are representation of outside forces, which control and affect the paths and choices the magician takes. The upside had is open with palm facing towards the sky – expression release, the release of self. The hand on the reverse represents an expression of constriction and control – holding the magician back from his full potential.

The staves of the magicians contrast between the control one has over the energies in their lives. The upside magician utilizes a stiff and straight staff, a representation of the sureness of his direction and conviction of his power. The reversed magician utilizes a crooked staff from a fallen branch – a representation of the haphazard nature of his mind and powers.
The gestures of the magician’s hands holding the staves points to their direction – of moving forwards or dwelling on the situation for too long.

He carries all four elements of the minor arcana – the sword for wind, the wand for fire, the cup for water and the pentacle for earth. He has command over these elements.

The varying green background represents the deep relationship the magician has with nature in all its seasons.

The High Priestess

[intepretation]
She patiently waits for things to unravel. She is in control of all things in her life. While the world around her moves in constant motion, she stands firm in her ground of logic and intuition to guide her through.

[reversed]
Things are hidden behind masks. More things lie beneath the facades and superficial appearances of the situation. Be aware and be ready to take the time to unravel the mysteries.

[symbols+images]
The priestess has no real body illustrated but the continual unraveling and wrapping of a ribbon cloth define her from. This illustrates that great power that she holds in the controlling of the elements around her to create both a presence and a mystery.
The scroll in her hand represents the knowledge she holds firmly in her grasp. It remains a secret and is read only by her and her kind.
The moon represents the triad of womanhood, the girl, the woman and the crone. The images of pomegranates and shapes in the back herald fertility and the issues relating to the core of her womanhood.
The masks of different shapes and sizes reinforce the notion of the mystery of the unknown – sometimes a pleasant surprise, other times of unforeseen dangers. The deep blues and purples play on the idea of the darkness of night and the reflective depths of still water.

The Empress

[intepretation]
She is mother of all things. She nurtures all within her grasp with her generous giving nature and her over abundance of joy. She brims full of life and life revolves around her.

[reversed]
She is lost in the wilderness of despair. The joys of life escape her. She runs away from love and hides in the mountains and rock faces of loneliness.

[symbols+images]
The warmth of the sun and the golden fields of wheat and grain indicate growth that surrounds her.
The background shows a waterfall cascading from a lush forest illustrating the gift of life flowing through nature. This water changes the path of life and erodes away at things of old. The flow of water represents change, which comes from the continual flow of life.
The warm hues add to the radiating beauty of the empress’s kindness and joy as she basks in the glory of the sun.
Moon is in her background representing her connection with the symbol of womanhood. Stars crown her head for she is the mythological Ishtar/Eoster.
The world represents nature, which sits in her lap. She lays it under her bosom, for she is the mother of nature – she is Mother Nature.

The dark purples and blues of the reversed side help mask the desolate background of her anguish.
The rain lines indicate a veil, which clouds her path to happiness. Nature has turned against her and she tries to seek refuge in the cover from life.
Her face is craved by the anguish of her tears and sorrow.

The Emperor

[intepretation]
He is the ruler of all. He holds power effortlessly in his hands. He commands. He controls. He dominates.

[reversed]
Others are in control. He is but a puppet in play – he has no say.

[symbols+images]
Aries is his ruling sign. He is the ambitious leader, the instigator of all things new. He is dominant and is war-like in his leadership. The Ram adorns his shoulder dress armor, it adorns his throne.
Purple, the colour of royalty, is lavishly used to affirm his position.
The city in the background is mirrored by the mountains on either side showing his dominance over both issues of man and of nature. There is no mountain too high he cannot control, nor is that no city to wide for him to reign over.
He holds an Ankh in his hands – the Egyptian symbol for life, of which he rules over.
The moon contrasts the empress who basks in the sun. Here the moon is nothing more than a source of light.

The strings, which control him in the reverse, are illuminated to represent that they are invisible. He is one of many who are controlled by a higher power.
Here the reversed emperor is the powerless. His stare is blank and soulless.

The Heirophant

[intepretation]
He is the maker and follower of rules. He is a man of routine. He has his processes, his plans, and his routines. He helps all that he can through structured guidance. He is removed from his surroundings.

[reversed]
He is unorthodox. He marches to a different tune. Guides the way, but through an unconventional path. He is at one with his surroundings.

[symbols+images]
The symbols of the staff and the keys relate to the pope and the structure associated with organised religion.
The symbol of Taurus is formed between the keys – the sign of Taurus represents the house of materialism, worldly possessions, and security.
His fingers point up, drawing attention to a high power and the teachings, which come from above.
He is adorned in the symbolic luxury of the church – the golden headdress, the purple robes. The background is floating montage of stain glass. Both these images reinforce the structure and rigidity, which accompany years of tradition of the church.

The druid like man on the reverse is points to the side, indicating the idea of the “other” or all around as a source of knowledge.
He wears robes coloured of clay and of earthen tones, drawing association to his relationship with the earth.
The background has a faint mosaic formation of a pentagram – reflecting the teachings of paganistic/unorthodoxed traditions.
He does not look directly at us, instead to the side encouraging to find our own paths instead of following his own.


The Lovers

[intepretation]
Together through the guidance of and angel, the lovers find their souls entwining as they look into each other’s eyes

[reversed]
The pleasures of the flesh are to be enjoyed through the passion, which often accompanies love.’

[symbols+images]
The angel of love brings together two lovers under his protective wings to foster a relationship, which transcends the physical nature of the body.
They represent the twins in Gemini. Being children of the air, they deal with issues of the mind more than the body.
Roses fall all around them in this blessed union reinforcing the notions of romance and of love.

The reversed finds two lovers entangled in a moment of lust – which only indulges in the pleasures of the flesh.
The winged creature in the backdrop is a deviled seductress. She represents the exploration of fantasies such the masks in role-playing or the temptations associated with affairs and adultery.

The Chariot

[intepretation]
He wins the race after traveling far and wide to achieve his goals. The crowd behind him roars as the scale his accomplishment reaches new highs.

[reversed]
He focus and drive has taken him to the state of uncontrollable obsession. His ambition has driven him to rage and abuse of position and power. He only sees the finish line and will stop at nothing till he gets there.

[symbols+images]
Crab on the shield represents the sign of Cancer, which is ruled by the moon. The card indicates a victory felt through emotion. The seahorses also add to the layer of being a water card.
The city in the background represents the monumental achievement, which the rider of the chariot has won.
His face is not one of immense joy or elation for he knows that he has struggled far to reach this point. He deserves this victory.

The intensity and the speed that the driver shows through his face, and his clenching fists indicate the rage of an obsessed individual. He only leaves a path of destruction behind him both in the physical and emotional sense.
The sea dragons that he rides frantically drag his chariot in a haphazard manner – they hurl him uncontrollably to his destined path.
The bottles of wine in the background warn a leaning towards substance abuse in coping with such highly stressful situations.


Strength

[intepretation]
She is calm in knowing that it is her courage and gentle nature, which will overrule the ferocity of the lion. Within her comes the strength that will triumph over all.

[reversed]
Courage has deserted her. She cries in despair and fear for herself.

[symbols+images]
The lion represents Leo, a sign of generosity, loyalty and reliability.
The greens represent the richness of nature that the card is grounded in. The lady not only conquers the lion, but a lion of the wild.
The stained glass and large wooden door draw from spiritual aspect of the card – on of finding inner strength.

The reversed lady has lost all strength and dwells in fear and sorrow.
The thorns, dried up vegetation and a dark forest in the background represents the arid nature of the loss of strength.


The Hermit

[intepretation]
He resides in the darkness of solitude. He finds comfort in his reflection. The only light, which guides his path, is the brilliance of his lantern.

[reversed]
He runs away from everything. He turns away from life. He must retreat for his own good.

[symbols+images]
The druids in the card represent knowledge and traditions of old.
The hermit finds himself alone in a mountainous area, signifying the quest for knowledge which one has to take alone. These are the same mountains, which can be found in the fool.
The Star of David illuminates the path – for the up side hermit, representing the use of knowledge and wisdom to illuminate his long journey ahead.
The image of the clock denotes the passing of time and the importance, which it plays in the meaning of the card. In this case, the clock has no hands indicating that time is at a stand still or of no movement.
The snakes that coil around his staff represent his knowledge of medicinal remedies.

The reverse side hermit struggles on a path on top of the mountains, the wind blowing him forcefully along his path – signifying an enforced retreat where even the universe takes an active role in.
Behind him the path is overcastted with faint lights, which from no specific shape – signifying a dark and difficult journey should he only depend on the senses of his sight.

The Wheel Of Fortune

[intepretation]
The wheel of fortune spins in the direction of good fortune and luck.

[reversed]
The universe hands you out a dish of bad luck – careful not to ask for seconds.

[symbols+images]
Once again the Ankh, the Egyptian symbol for life is held in the hands of the spinner of the wheel. The card deals with issues of the circle/cycle of life and the constant motion. Here the holder of the Ankh is happy for the good fortune that life has presented to him.
The actual wheel is adorned with the letters TARO and the Hebrew letters of Yod, Heh, Vav, and Heh – unpronounceable consonants that made God’s “true” name unpronounceable. The wheel also houses the head of the jackal, representing Anubis, the son of Set and the guide to souls of the underworld. While the snake represents Set himself as the god of Evil.
The strong symbols within the wheel are contrasted with the symbols of the cycle of life outside the wheel – the Angel (Spring), the Lion (Summer), the Bull (Autumn) and the Eagle (Winter).

On the reverse side of the spinner of the wheel is defiant and struggling to gain control of the wheel. The universe has dealt him a bad run of luck and he vainly tries to spin the wheel in hope for better luck.

[intepretation]
Legal matters will eventuate in a positive light. Balance will be reached.

[reversed]
Legal matters will be slow, there will be delays. Imbalance will play against you.

[symbols+images]
The dominant sign of the card is the Libra scales – symbolizing balance and partnerships.
The sword of justice indicates dealing with issues of the mind.
The open eye of the sword implies the third eye of the mind opening to see things that may not be apparent.
The men in the background posing in the manner of Da Vinci’s study of proportion and scale of man reinforce the notion of achieving balance within one’s mind as well as body.
The parchment scrolls and pen relate directly to issues of contracts and agreements – usually dealing with legal matters.

The eye of the sword is closed and the mind’s eye cannot see past the blindness of justice.
The clock implies the passing of time in terms of proceedings. In this case the hands are absent symbolizing the delay in the movement of time.
The chain of rings indicates issues relating to partnerships and commitments.

The Hanged Man

[intepretation]
He takes time from life. He waits patiently as he sacrifices something in the process.

[reversed]
He is caught in a trap and is left to hang. His money slips from his pockets and luck has run out. He is a victim of some one else’s plan.

[symbols+images]
The hourglass on its side denotes the stillness of time. The sands in the glass represent the movement of time determined by the forces of nature – such as gravity. Here even gravity cannot move the sands of time for the glass is suspending sideways.
The man in green hags in suspension, he meditates to reach a level of enlightenment. From him head his aura glows as he reaches an understanding.
The images in the background indicate sacrifice that one has to take in order to find time to hang and contemplate. On the left side, are images of people blown about the winds of change – symbolizing a loss of control over the situation, which also brings the man to his current state.

The coins falling from the man in blue indicate the loss of material well being. He has hung on for too long to the situation from being selfish and materialistic.
The card warns of letting go and un-hanging oneself from their current situation.
The red hues of the card warn of danger from outside players in life and forewarns of the grief associated with loss.

Death

[intepretation]
Kali does her fluid dance. She sings a tune that marks the end.

[reversed]
With every end comes a new beginning.

[symbols+images]
The skull, the black lotus and the scythe are all icons associated with death.
Kali is the goddess of death in Hindu traditions.

The baby amongst the bloodied tendrils show that even from dramatic change can blossom some new hope.


Temperance

[intepretation]
Effortlessly the angel brings a balance between air, water and fire.

[reversed]
The elements work against the angel as conflict comes from within.

[symbols+images]
The liquids represent a flow of life or energies – one being that of water, the other of fire.
The angels represent an inner spirit, which tries to find synergy and harmony of the elements.


The Devil

[intepretation]
Material things, pleasures and lust and desire drive him.

[reversed]
He abuses his power. He is trapped by the lure of money. He only cares for the fulfillment of his own desires.

[symbols+images]
The devil is drawn as a well-dressed charmer here to indicate the power of illusion.
The background and foreground show the trappings of material things, which keep him occupied.

The golden wheel in the foreground show two people tied up in bondage indicating sexual fantasies and role-playing. The devil plays towards the pleasures enjoyed by the flesh whether it be from pain or from tenderness.

The background on the reverse side is highlighted by a flash of lightning which plays towards the notion of abuse of power – which may lead to sudden destruction of those material things, which are held precious.


The Tower

[intepretation]
There is a change in the wind, which will bring forth new beginnings.

[reversed]
A tornado is about to tear everything apart and nothing in it’s path will be the same.

[symbols+images]
The tower is composed of panels and sheets representing the multiple elements that when brought together can create a larger structure. But just as easily as how one item is constructed in parts, it can be deconstructed in parts too.
The upside of the card shows that the tower construction is in a state of flux – neither forming nor breaking apart. The lightning symbolizes a dramatic surge of energy, which has changed the forces around the tower. Panels fly away from formation burning.

The reversed side illustrates the dramatic destruction of the tower. Lightning has definitely broken through and there will no longer be any tower. Change, and a destructive on at it, seems inevitable.


The Star

[intepretation]
She oozes with hope and balance inward and outwards. She embodies the giver of hope in our lives.

[reversed]
She turns her back on the world for she has lost all hope. She cannot give what she does not have within herself.

[symbols+images]
The concept of the Aquarian water bearer being the giver of life plays a symbolic role in the card. The sign of Aquarius also is one of air, and not water, dealing with matters of the mind and thought. The card plays towards the hope one can have in their mind and not necessarily in their heart.
The stars illuminate around her and serve a metaphor for dreams and hope which we look towards to. They number 8 – the sister to the card of Strength.
The doves in flight around her represent the freedom we feel inside when we are released from the troubles of life. She is also not dressed in any robes but is bare, only with her own hair to comfort her. She is not trapped by any material possessions or wants to.

There is only a dramatic swell of red around her representing an inner loss of hope. The loss frustrates her to a point of anger but she can only show grief. The showing of the back is a symbolic one of turning away or shutting out the world outside. Her posture lends towards her sorrow as she burdens the weight of her misery.


The Moon

[intepretation]
The birth of illusions, dreams and psychic inspirations

[reversed]
A collection of delusions, nightmares, dementia and mental suffering.

[symbols+images]
The pair of fish, Pieces leans towards notion of the unconscious.
The card is a highly emotive card, being water and lends itself to the effects, which dreams and nightmares play in the mind.
The fairies by the moonlit garden play towards positive fantasies of gentle and beautiful dreams or images, which stir the imagination in a positive light. These dreams bring colour and hope to daily living.

The darker notion of mermaids drowning sailors in the depths of the oceans water reflects upon the destructive nature of delusions and nightmares and the outcomes of blind faith in following them.


The Sun

[intepretation]
The sun shines the path of life towards happiness and good tidings. They are happy within and with the current situation.

[reversed]
The pursuit of happiness can lead delays or even failure. Be weary of flying too close to the sun for the risk of being burnt.

[symbols+images]
Happiness and fulfillment can be derived from the radiance of the sun.
The children playing in the background heralds the possibility of new beginnings and childbirth
The sunflowers in full bloom indicate a fruition of projects and growth.
The sign of Leo, which embodies warmth, comfort, and caring of the soul rule the card. The image of the lion can be found in the banner flag, which flies in the background.
On the same flag also rides a white stallion, which symbolizes the purity of energy, which comes from being free and happy.

The cherubs in the sky fly too closely to the sun in a pursuit of happiness. They are blinded by the light, fatigued by the heat and burnt by the radiation.


Judgement

[intepretation]
Hear the trumpets calling – heed the blaring sounds. Answer the call of the awakening sounds of the universe.

[reversed]
The deafening sounds cannot be avoided, the constant beckoning cannot be ignored.

[symbols+images]
The angel of judgment represents the call from a higher source. A choir of angels accompanies the sound of the trumpet. The message is of a life after death.
The man in the middle opens his arms wide to accept this new stage in his (after)life. He is naked, as all beings are born and as they shall die.

The angel blares his call but the man covers his ears to hide from the sound. The choirs of angels sing in vain. The man does not want to move on from the grave of his fate.


The World

[intepretation]
Things will come around a full circle

[reversed]
There is a bumpy road along the journey of the circle

[symbols+images]
The World card is very similar to the Wheel of Fortune as it plays on the theme of things coming to full circles and of completion.
The two dancers hold on to two wands (for balance of the element of creation, fire) – each flying a purple flag (the colour of divinity) and dance upon the serpent, which represents the world.

Surrounding the wreath of laurel leaves, are once again the four symbolic representations of the seasons and the elements: the lion head for summer and fire; the bull head for autumn and earth, the angel head for spring and air; and the eagle head for winter and water.

The deep blues and purples of the background blends into the darkness of space, where stars shine the brightness. This is the world set within the universe – where everything begins and end, a full circle.



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