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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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.

Protect Your Love

Love is a beautiful spirit
that we get possessed by.
We don’t just feel it,
like happiness or sadness,
it becomes a part of us.

But,

spirits get possessed by other spirits.

Love could get possessed by obsession,
and obsession by jealousy,
and jealousy by violence,
and violence by pain,
and pain by regret,
and regret by hatred,
in no specific order.

Guard your love from the other spirits,
for it can be protected.
Guard it consciously,
before it gets suffocated.
Guard it internally;
guard it gently.

Let your love live.

Healing Touch

And when we held each other,
I felt like we had joined
our hearts with our hands,
like we had been dead all our lives,
and because our palms touched,
we had both come alive.
We had,
for the very first time,
taken real breaths.
We were both excited
because we had finally found each other;
we had both found sweet peace.
I was afraid to release his hand,
as though,
if I did,
I would drop dead again.

Unrequitedly Requited II

You only fell in love with me
because I fell in love with you;
you were happier
before we became “we”.

All Will Be Well

It’s okay if it didn’t work out,
I don’t work out either,
but I am fine,
and everything will be fine too.

The dream that you wish will come true.

Kintusgi

Kintsugi-Bowl

In Japan, ceramics are not thrown away when they are broken/shattered. Instead, they are repaired through an ancient practice called kintsugi (金継ぎ), or kintsukuroi (金繕い), and it literally means golden (“kin”) repair (“tsugi”). The broken pieces are attached together with precious metal– liquid gold, liquid silver or lacquer dusted with powdered gold, and the bowl, cup or whatever the ceramic is, is beautifully enhanced after the process.

The Japanese art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not to be hidden. Instead, they are to be displayed with pride.

What we can all learn from this is that we can heal beautifully if we allow ourselves to go through the process. It’s up to us to decide whether we want to dispose ourselves- our desires for love, happiness, success and good change- or choose to heal our wounds with liquid gold, irrespective of how much it hurts.

Scars from our healing are not to be hidden. The saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” definitely applies here.

More to the Land than You Sea

The happy people are sad;
the sane people are running mad.
The rich people are poor;
we all need more than just more.
There is more to everything than you see;
there is more to every land than we can sea.

Don’t Sacrifice Yourself for Love

sunflowers

“Sunflowers” by Becky Joy

Don’t neglect the love of your life
for the Love of your life.
The love of your life should be
the reason you’re with him or her,
in the first place.

Can We Be ‘Grokay’?

Can one be great but not okay?
Can one be okay but not great?
Can you be everything but okay?
Can you be okay, but without anything?
How can we be okay if we’re not great?
But, how can you be great if you’re not okay?

 


Money or Art?
Money or Life?
What do we do? We need both. 
We don’t get paid for living, we need money to survive,
but we don’t live when the money comes first.
Our art dies and so do we.