Harry Potter and the Major Arcana, pt 1

Remember when I used characters from Harry Potter to describe court cards? Yeah, I’m doing that shit again. But this time, we’re doing the majors. 

THERE ARE A MILLION WAYS TO DO THIS. For this series of posts, I’m going to use Harry’s entire journey through all seven books. 

THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
0. The Fool

Ready? I’m skipping the first book entirely. Harry’s not comfortable enough to even venture forth confidently until the Chamber of Secrets, so that’s where I’m going to put him for the Fool. The Fool thinks he’s got shit figured out. He doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know. Harry sets out with his faithful little dog (sorry, Ron) with his eyes trained so confidently on his success that he just might step off a cliff. I can guarantee you that Harry never once thought, “Wow, I sure hope there aren’t any enormous fucking snakes rampaging around the school petrifying people this year!” He didn’t even know this was a problem one could have. This isn’t, of course, to say that it will lead to his downfall (it didn’t), but that he simply wasn’t prepared for the kinds of shit he might run into. He thought he was ready with his books and quills and wand, but wizardy bullshit was waiting just around the corner to pry his world right the fuck open. 

1. The Magician

If I were to give Harry a significator out of the majors, I would give him The Magician. And no, not because of the whole magic thing, but because the Magician is about taking action and knowing how to use what’s available to you. Harry’s fantastic at scraping and scrambling and stabbing possessed journals with fangs ripped from a dead snake’s head because that’s all he had at the moment. But even before that, he had decided that he wasn’t going to stand by and wait for someone else to save Ginny when she had been taken to the chamber. Something needed to be done, right fucking now, so he gathered his little resources and set out to fix this shit himself.

2. The High Priestess

The High Priestess generally represents a kind of self-awareness. Often times, self-awareness involves realizing that shit is much bigger than you originally thought, and that your part in it may be smaller than you had been thinking. Remember in the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry is crouching under a table in the Three Broomsticks listening to Fudge tell Madam Rosmerta about how Sirius Black betrayed Harry’s parents and that’s what led to their deaths? His day had just gone from cheerfully sneaking out of the school to go to a candy shop to suddenly wanting to kill a man. The High Priestess had just revealed to Harry the scope of the problem, and leaned in to whisper, “You ain’t shit.”

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Arcana of Astrology Review (by BlackandtheMoon)

You really don’t need to know shit about astrology to use this deck, trust me. I don’t even know the dates for the zodiac signs and I glean clear, consice information from it. 

I almost don’t even know where to start when trying to convey my love for this deck. This is the Thneed of decks. It’s genuinely a “fine-thing-that-all-people need.”

First off, it’s an oracle deck with 42 amazingly illustrated cards in a gorgeous box. Don’t know what the fuck Hygeia means when you draw it in a reading? Never fear, there are three additional keyword cards. 

For anyone interested in learning astrology, these cards are a great jumping off point.

(This, by the way, is the second, expanded edition of the deck. If you have the original first edition, your deck will not have all the cards seen here.) 

This deck is made up of different groups of cards. Firstly: Zodiac signs and their constellations.

Isn’t that shit just to die for? I wish I could decorate my walls with it. Oh wait, you can. 

Next up: planet cards.

If you know your Roman mythology, you probably already have a pretty good grasp on these cards’ meanings, but again, if not: keyword cards.

There are the nine planets of the Solar System (yes, Pluto is a goddamn planet), the Sun, and the Moon. And speaking of the Moon…

There are eight different moon phase cards. I nearly always have at least one of the moon phase cards sitting on my altar (which is a fantastic use for any of the cards in this deck). It could be the current moon phase, a moon phase’s energy I’m trying to harness, or a reminder that I have some shit planned for a specific moon phase coming up. 

As I mentioned earlier, the second edition of the Arcana of Astrology has more cards than the first (as well as many of them reimagined), and these are the “new” cards: the asteroids and eclipses.

Also, have I mentioned that these cards are the exact same size as BlackandtheMoon’s other decks? Yep, these are perfect to shuffle into your Antique Anatomy Tarot or Oracle of Oddities for a little extra oomph in a reading. 

If you give a fuck, these cards also photograph beautifully. 

In conclusion, do you need this deck? Yes. Get it here.

A Real Life Example of the Empress and Emperor

Tarot card explanations can be shitty. They’re hard to learn and then, even once you learn them, they’re hard to explain to someone else. After a very long time of pondering this problem, I resolved to keep a look out for real, actual situations that embody the cards. As I come across them, I’ll share them under the “Tarot Cards in Real Life” tab here on my blog. In no particular order other than how I come across them.

This requires a short backstory: my husband is a Virgo and I am a Sagittarius. The more he insists I do things his way, the more I refuse, and it goes on and on.

The particular day that I had a clear vision of a real, relatable example of the Empress and Emperor, we were arguing over laundry. It usually starts out that way. He wants me to hang his shit in his closet organized by style and within that style properly colorized. So just to piss him off extra, I leave his clean clothes in laundry baskets. As well as my own. The shit’s clean, okay?

My husband tends toward drama, so he has to make a scene and say things like, “I go to work every day to put food on our tableĀ and all I ask you to do is take care of the kids and the house.”

(All he asks me to do. That’s a good one. He must think there’s a magical fairy that sneaks in at night and does fucking everything, because he’s under the impression that I sit on my ass all day.)

But this day, I thought of a comeback that’s actually ended the argument for the past few months, which is just stunning.

“You might bring home the money,” I said, “But who makes the grocery list with meals for every single day? Who goes to the store and buys the shit? Who cooks it? Who literally sits it on the table in front of you? Who cleans up the mess so it can happen all over again the next day? Fucking me.”

Silence.

Then he said, “Let’s go watch TV and order pizza.” His fury over laundry abruptly ended.

Stunned, I stood in the bedroom for a minute thinking about tarot cards (because obviously nothing gets through to me).

In this instance, the genders may be swapped, but this, right here, is the Empress and the Emperor.

My husband is the Empress. His paycheck is potential. It could be spent on anything. He spends all day working to build up this possibility.

I am the Emperor. I take that potential and focus it, funnel it into something concrete. Spaghetti tonight, tacos tomorrow, some rice shit for lunch.

Why I Don’t Read Reversals

That’s right. I don’t read reversals in my tarot readings.

I get tagged and messaged quite often on Instagram with people asking for help or my opinion on a reading they’ve done. Nine times out of ten, they’re flipping shit over a reversed card.

My recommendation? Step number one: turn that shit right side up. Step number two: glean information from the cards.

Why? Let me share with you why I, personally, don’t read reversals.

Tarot cards are worlds. Each of the 78 cards is a door into an entire world that’s based around that one idea. It has the good, the bad, and everything in between that has to do with this theme. That being said, I don’t find reversals necessary.

Reversals give the cards too strict of a meaning. It takes away their power. Learning to read the tarot isn’t just memorizing “meanings.” This isn’t a multiplication table.

For example, some people read court cards as the “positive” attributes of the character portrayed if it’s upright and the “negative” aspects if it’s reversed. But if I draw the Queen of Cups, that’s a door I’ve opened that has everything to do with the Queen of Cups: LIGHT AND SHADOW.

So how the fuck do I know, then, to read it as positive or negative if I don’t do reversals? Well…

Where is it in the spread? If I draw the Queen of Cups for a space that’s “what is no longer serving me,” that’s probably not going to be the Queen of Cups’ positive traits.

Or what are the other cards around it? If I do a three card spread and draw the Queen of Cups, The Devil, and The Tower, that’s definitely going to be refering to her shadow aspects.

No, seriously, though. How do I know? MY INTUITION.

Tarot cards aren’t mathematical equations. Don’t treat them that way.