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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Dead Love IV

African Woan

She was only married for 5 years,
but she lived with the man
till the day of her death.
First, he was the love of her life,
then he became her man,
then he became her husband,
then he became the father of her children,
then he became the man,
till he was simply a man,
a man that she lived with,
that she had sex with,
that she fed,
that she washed clothes for,
that she went to events with.
A man, and nothing more.

Unrequitedly Requited II

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

Moving On

Nude Back

“Nude Back” by Michael Escoffery

I was devastated,
but more accurately, devastation was me.
I wasn’t happy,
and almost all of the time,
unhappiness clung very tightly to me.

I didn’t even feel that I was living,
that I was,
because I couldn’t feel,
and when I did, it hurt.

One minute, I thought,
“he left me,
so I’ll leave me too.”
The next, I thought,
“he dislikes me now,
so I’ll like me.
Who the hell needs him;
who?”

I’ll dislike all the things he likes.

He likes water,
so I’ll hate water.
He likes air,
so I’ll hate air.
He likes fire,
so I’ll hate fire.
He hates life,
so I’ll hate life.

The ‘only’ that truly like me,
water,
air,
fire
and life;
are the same things keep us alive.

How do you find peace
when a piece of you is gone?
How do you put yourself together
when you’re left in the cold to burn?

“Does he miss me?
Does he miss at feast,
or has he found a different Miss?
Is there a new Beauty for my Beast?”

You have a list of things you hope
he’ll remember and cherish at least.

It hurts;
it’s like an invisible stab to the chest.
It really hurts.

Moving on
and looking back;
moving back
and shedding tears.
Moving on
and looking back;
looking blank
and shedding fears.

That is how the broken have moved on,
for years and years.

Don’t Live in Denial

When someone shows you
who they really are,
you must believe them.
Don’t live in denial.
Make no excuses for them.
Go over what you learnt
from your experience with them,
forgive yourself for everything
you think you did wrong,
and move on.

Exist in the present,
bury the dead feelings that have
made your heart their home,
and leave it all behind.
Live.


UNREQUITED LOVE:

There are two kinds of abuse in love. The first kind is the one you suffer from before the other person shows you who they really are and what they really want. The abuser would be them if it’s the first kind, because they can’t really decide if they want you or not, at your own expense. They’re not sure if they love you, so they want you to wait till they make up their mind.

The other kind is self-inflicted. Someone bluntly says they don’t love you or they don’t want to have anything to do with you and you say “oh, I mustn’t pay any attention to that. He’s a Pisces. He’s just being his moody self; there’s nothing wrong here,” or someone refuses to return your calls and messages and you say “you know how these INFP Capricorns and Scorpios are, plus his grandma’s sister’s daughter’s baby daddy’s second cousin’s niece died, so he’s probably just in a bad mood or busy with work”. No, what are you doing?

The other person/party wouldn’t be at fault in cases like the second one. It’s up to you to jolt out of this terrible, energy-sucking fantasy that you have placed yourself in.

Ask yourself, “what good is this unbalanced, abusive union or lack thereof to me?” If your answer is “none”, you can make a change right there and then. You can cry if you need to. You have to make yourself happy again, without them. 

You wouldn’t need to worry about, or be unsure if someone loves you if they do, because it will be clear; it will be as clear as a bright, sunny day.

The key to the prison in your heart is in a safe place in your mind. In cases of unrequited love, one must accept the challenge of thinking more and feeling less. Feeling and daydreaming, till it begins to affect your health, will affect you very badly. It will make you useless to yourself. It’s hard, but one must die first to possess eternal life. Stop living in denial. Let go! 🌻 “Alaafia.” 💛🍯

Love Lives, Love Dies

Every love is a risky gamble.
A person might need you for a thing,
for something, for anything,
but it’s for a set amount of time.
They’ll be the butterfly;
you’ll be the flower.
They might bring beauty to your life;
it’s what butterflies do.

When they’re done with you,
they’ll give any excuse to leave.
They’ll be very manipulative;
they’ll turn it on you.
They’ll play with your intelligence
and blame it on you-
their desire to flap their wings,
their need to explore.

“Your petals don’t smell as nice
as they used to;
I’m leaving you.”
“Your breasts aren’t perky enough and
you are not as tight as I want, down there.”
“You have thorns and they’re poking me;
oh, if only you were a red rose!”
“You were rude to me”,
so I’m saying ‘goodbye’ now.”
“You are letting the breeze
blow you from side to side,
and I can’t deal with that.”
“If only you were a few inches longer.”

Why do you think a person who has
treated you so badly still deserves you?
You have to snap out of it!
Make new friends!
You owe it yourself to heal;
you owe it to yourself to feel-
to feel free.
You owe it to yourself to breathe-
to live.
Grieve.
Forgive.
From the imaginary relationship
that you’re still holding on to?
Leave.

disaSTAR

If the stars come together as one,
they’d make a gorgeous display.
If the little moons left the Moon
to spread across the sky,
they’d create something beautiful too.
A twinkling, giant disaSTAR,
and its little MOONsters.

It won’t last for long;
stars aren’t built to not crave for attention.
At least one would pop
out of the group often and complain,
“I’m not being noticed enough!”,
and in no time, there’d be no group.
The moons are better together as one Moon;
things are good as they are.

Love and Pride

She always went back to plead
every time they fought,
whether or not she was in the wrong,
because she had swallowed her pride
alongside his semen a while before;
her self-esteem was wounded,
at the very core.

He didn’t want to be with her;
but he didn’t want to lose her.
Thoughts of her filled him with pleasure
when she was far away,
and with disgust each time
she came back to stay.
There’s only so much one’s pride can take;
my people often say “one day na one day”.

If Love and Pride could have sex,
she [Love] would always like to stay on top.
Pride would obviously be
more sexually active;
Love won’t be in control for long.

They fought again;
they were both in the wrong.
He waited for her return,
but she’s wasn’t going back anymore.
She had coughed out her senses;
she had rescued her drowning pride.
Now he huffs and puffs because
he wants his stray bitch back,
but “again” is a gain,
and this time, as always, it’d be whose again?

 

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We’ll Get “Bark” to You

New

We’re very qualified,
but we’re not.

“Acceptable resumes should be printed on white A4s”,
but we are black ones.

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Our experiences and skills are printed in white,
just like everyone else’s,
but that’s never enough.

They’ll get back to us,
but why wait for the “barks”?
Their backs are already turned at us;
they don’t hire the “darks”.

New York

Paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (born 1977, UK)

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

The moon won’t shine bright without darkness;
it won’t appear to say “hello”.
If you are filled with so much sadness,
if your light of joy is really low,
your heart is plagued with heavy emptiness,
and happiness’ middle name is currently “Slow”,
stay strong in this moment of darkness,
the moon’ll be right there to make it glow.