The Seniors/Elders in the Rider-Waite Tarot

There are only 4 seniors/elders in the Rider-Waite deck. I have a soft spot for elders, I have Saturn in my natal 1st house, and I’m not surprised that I intentionally chose to seek out the old in my deck.

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The first man is Baba Arugbo- the Emperor. I like to call him O̩bàtálá because he shares very significant characteristics with the father of the “òrìs̩à”s. He is wise, and he is a good leader/ruler. There are several lessons to learn from him, including his courage, sense of judgement, and wisdom. If one is too big to serve, one is too small to lead; a good leader is a servant.

If you look behind his throne, there’s a small, blue stream that runs behind him. This tells me that although he is logical, methodical, disciplined, dedicated, and meticulous, he is not heartless. He is an experienced and balanced person, and a balance between one’s thoughts and emotions is necessary when one is in a position of power/authority. 

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The second is The Hermit. This is an elder who probably lives alone, or has a place where he likes to go/sit alone in order to ponder on some things- the kind that you’d frequently visit or call for words of wisdom/advice. He is a writer too, and Baba Wole Soyinka/Araba Ifayemi Elebuibon always come to my mind whenever I see him. He is a wise sage, a knowledgable man, a seer. He is analytical and insightful, and unlike The Fool that he was when he was younger, when he was seeking to explore everything and anything, he has a decent sense of direction, and a desire to not just spread his knowledge but acquire more. He is a life-long learner.

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The third is the old man in the 10 of Pentacles, sitting by the corner. The cloak that he’s wearing tells me who he is- The King of Pentacles! He spent almost all his life gathering up his luxury/wealth, and him being included in the 10 of Pentacles tells me that he had a lot to do with the wealth that the nuclear family in the image has- he has a lot of possessions that his generations would continue to inherit.

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Something tells me that he was once dirt-poor [5 of Pentacles], and perhaps, the woman he loved left him for a wealthier man. I think of it as slightly similar to a Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby” situation, but not necessarily- his situation was not as sad in the end, as we can see. You have to forgive me, I’m Neptunian; I may be totally wrong.

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I don’t think the King of Pentacles was born rich though. This is a man that had to work himself silly to become a King.

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The 6 of Pentacles indicates that he tried to beg but he didn’t receive; he was not fairly or humanely treated by the self-righteous person he was asking for help from. He tried his hands on certain things that did not work out or yield the kind of results that he hoped for; he went through frustrations- 7 of Pentacles. He contemplated on what to do next, and he began the business that made him wealthy- 8 of Pentacles. There’s a smile in the 8 of Pentacles; it’s so heartwarming.

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The woman wearing red in the 10 of Pentacles is the one in the 3 of Cups- she’s Fitzgerald’s Daisy and Adichie’s Kosi- as long as she’s married to a rich man and she has a life of luxury, she’s good. She’s not the King of Pentacles’ daughter; she’s the one the King’s son married.

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The fourth, the one I worry about, is the old woman in the 9 of Swords. She is filled with regret, as you can see. She’s not really depressed to me, as much as I would like to go with other interpretations and state that she is; at this point, it’s not really an emotional thing. Depression seems like a ready-made, go-to answer for what’s going on, but it isn’t depression. When I look at the 5 of Cups and the 9 of Swords, I see vast differences. For the 9 of Swords, this isn’t really an emotional thing as much as it is a mental thing.

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She is sitting upright with her face in her palms, and she has a flowery [roses] blanket that indicates desire, so she’s okay right now, but she’s sad about a past occurrence that probably involved the unfulfillment of a desire or two. To understand the present, one has to look to the past. At a point, she lived a very restricted/limited life- 8 of Swords.

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Why? Well, let’s examine the card before the 8 of Swords. The 7 of Swords had something to do with it. He’s holding 5 Swords and leaving 2. He’s manipulative/secretly doing something/winning in his game, and leaving the 2 of Swords to believe their truth- hold their swords to their chest and refuse to see the light/reality [in the negative sense]. The bed the old lady is sitting on has a wood etching of someone being slain by a sword, and this confirms that someone did her wrong in the past.

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After a major separation that I had with someone, that I now know was for my own good, I used to be the 9 of Swords. I would wake up in the middle of the night from stressful dreams/have flashbacks. I would wish that I did not do certain things when I did them, or wish that I had, when I should have done them. At that time, I would see the other person in my dreams, and in those dreams, I would try, for a long time, to make them look into my eyes, but to no avail. 

For this old lady, it could have been domestic violence, or being lied to, or being extorted, or being emotionally and mentally manipulated, or being made to feel inferior so someone else could have the upper hand.  This old lady wishes she had known then, what she now knows. All in all, it indicates unfulfilled desires, desires for love, desires for winning in life, desires for happiness, satisfaction, and contentment. 

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Crying Helps

You can cry if you need to, sky;
you can cry if you need to.
I saw your lighting,
and I heard your thunder;
I know you are upset.

I will come out to sing for you,
and dance for you,
stretch my hands to you,
until you stop.
You can shed your tears into my palms.

I won’t hide from you;
you can’t always be strong.
I’ll listen to you,
and say nice words to you;
I won’t go till I see your sun.

Let’s Give the Sky a Show

I bet the members of the firmament 
always wonder what we do indoors
after we leave the courtyard each night.
Let me make love to you here tonight
before their very eyes.
Let’s make the moon shine brighter in shock,
and give the stars something different to twinkle about.

Venus in “Deadtrograde”

A plate of pain keeps
the potential heartbreaker away.
Two glasses of my old tears daily
will help me not go astray.
I am strong and I need no one’s attention,
but I want to be desired,
and I want affection,
but I was hurt,
I don’t want a repetition,
but I want love,
and I can feel the tension.

I don’t cry.
I don’t cry anymore because
there’s a pool of my tears
in my heart,
and I like to swim in it,
or go down, down, down,
and drown,
when a potential One
comes too close
to my feelings’ flat.
If anyone is to decide when I drown,
it has to be me, myself and I.
Would you give another potential
pretentious,
manipulative
dingbat
a chance to decide when you die?

Six planets are in retrograde
in my natal chart,
and venus used to be one of them,
but she’s not anymore.
My venus is dead;
a man has stabbed my sickly venus to death.

The Passover

He looked like every other angel of birth,
but he was an angel of death,
He looked like every other angel of berth,
but he was an angel of dearth.
He would make you moan in pleasure
so he could make you groan in pain.
I had been warned by his ex-prey,
and I was prepared to drive him insane.
I sprinkled the blood of his victims
on my door,
and in my eyes,
and in my ears,
and on my lips,
and on his head.
“You can’t kill me like you did them.
You have tried in vain, lame.”
He passed right over me,
and he never called me again.

Life is a Tyranny & Time is the Ruler

We are slaves of Time.
It is not a male or a female;
it is a lot greater than both.
It puts us in tight chains
before we even exist.
It is an invincible master
that cannot be rebelled against.
From the time we are born
till the time we die,
time rules us.

Today, it is too early;
tomorrow, it is too late.
Today, we are too young to do this;
tomorrow, we are too old to do that,
till our breaths are seized from us.

Life makes us do time,
and whether we like it or not,
we do it with our hearts behind our backs,
helpless.

You’re My Love

If love had a taste,
it would taste like you.
If love had a smell,
it would smell like you.
If love could smile,
it would, like you.
If love could laugh,
it would, like you.
If love could cry,
it would, like you.
The shape of your eyes
is the shape of love.
I love you because
you are Love;
my heart chose you.

You’re My Home

I breathe easier when I think of you.
I feel better when I talk to you.
I beam all day when I dream of you.
I find refuge and strength in you.

Out of Reach

The stars have remained special
because they live in the sky,
far away from our touch.
If they lived in the sand,
we would mistreat them 
and kick them around,
and they would mean nothing to us-
nothing more than mere stones.
We would get too used to them,
and we would not appreciate them.

I should have stayed out of your reach.

Unre-QUIT-ed IX

Love is a Cave:
I am in love,
but I am in it alone,
I am not in love with you,
and it hurts me to the soul
each time you remind me
that I am in love,
but you are not in it with me.