Found in Translation: The Dark Side of the Sun

I had always been taught that the reversed Sun card is still 100% positive, just less so. A reading brought to my attention a negative meaning for the Sun card, reversed, purely by accident. A word tranlated from English (giddy) to a Spanish word with a slightly different connotation (dizzy) hinted at a lost divinatory meaning. The meaning points back to Waite’s (and his predecessors’) writings. Elsewhere in these posts I have shown the flexibility of Waite and Colman Smith’s symbols to adapt to newer, more modern meanings. Waite’s Christian and (nationalistic) Celtic embellishments skewed his approach to the Tarot and may have “crowded out” the negative context noted by his predecessors’ in this particular case. Instead, the rediscovered meaning led us to other well known symbols, most particularly, the lemniscate, or sign of infinity. Perhaps it even means that if the Sun is reversed, and your journey is away from it, you may become giddy, dizzy, and disoriented such that your journey takes you to the “bass ackwards” end of infinity… away from the Holy Ghost and towards the Devil. But that is the genius of Tarot… it didn’t go away completely, and was there to be found when appropriate… though thoroughly by accident!

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Knights and the Hero’s Journey

We examine the four Knights of the Waite Colman Smith deck. We look, in particular, at the Book T’s assignment of astological dates to them, and examine how Colman Smith carries the chronology over to her illustrations. We use the chronology to place the Knights upon their path in the hero’s quest (a la Joseph Campbell), and attempt to update Waite’s divinatory meanings slightly, to make them a little more specific to modern society.

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The Moon: Waite’s Symbols

For the modern reader, it is usually the “deception” side of the Moon’s meaning that is given. Often, it’s a suggestion that one has to look again, preferably with better light; to recognize something that isn’t what it appears to be as it really is. To look beyond the mystery. But in Waite’s Moon, the mangy looking yellow wolf, quite singular looking, is yellow for a reason. Notice it is the same yellow as that of the moon. Waite has already told us that the intellectual light is a reflection and beyond it is mystery; it illuminates our animal nature. Therefore the message may be that when we reflect upon the thought of our animal natures using the reflected light of intellect… we see the wild nature of the wolf. I would add “reflection” to the standard “deception” meaning of this card. Thus, for example, in a questions concerning love and faithfulness, a reader might do well to ask the querent to use their intellect to answer the question as to whether the object of their affection’s domestic or wild side rules them. In doing so, the Moon card helps them find the answer to question inside themself.

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