Playing the Hand You're Dealt
rating: +46+x

Excerpts from D. Walmorgna's Codex of Esoteric Therapeutic Tools

pg. 45

The tarot deck is commonly seen as a focus tool for prognostication and fortune-telling, and there are many decks which perform admirably in that capacity. However, from 1780-1802 CE, a limner and occultist by the name of François Desjardins created a series of five known decks with properties more suited to investigating the mind. Although the sophistication and responsiveness of the decks increased with each iteration, they all share the same general properties of adapting their imagery, suits, or trumps so as to reflect important aspects of the person receiving a reading. This did not result in appreciably increased forecasting accuracy, but became a valuable resource regarding the mindstate of the one receiving a reading. As such, these decks offer a valuable opportunity to help individuals gain insight into their own situations and, with proper guidance, clues as to how to improve that personal status.

pgs. 198-200

Current Common Variations and their Meanings

Original Card Replacement Description & New Meaning
VII The Chariot VII The Risen Queen A woman clad in scarlet robes, reclining upon a palanquin draped in cloths in various shades of green. The palanquin is carried by six monsters or beasts while a small child carrying a large urn is dragged behind by a chain. The urn is occasionally broken and emitting a black smoke which encircles the remainder of the image.

This card represents violence, destruction, and loss in all aspects of life. Proper, it indicates imminent and unavoidable dangers. Reversed, it offers the possibility of escaping or forestalling danger at great personal cost. As the representation of the Querent, it indicates continuing losses or destruction.
VIII Strength VIII Resilience A group of warriors upon a sunlit grassy field, attacking a hovering starry void in the shape of a lion, alligator, bear, or other predatory animal. None of the weapons used make contact with the void, and a variety of broken spears, arrows, and swords lay on the ground beneath the void.

This card represents overcoming obstacles and perseverance in the face of adversities. Proper, it indicates the ability to adapt to surprising or adverse situations and successful outcomes. Reversed, it indicates unnecessary sacrifice, austerity, and survival. As a representation of the Querent, it typically indicates inner strength and fortitude and changeable personal situations.
XVI The Tower XVI The Lighthouse A stone lighthouse, either black or dark gray, arising from a featureless plain of the same material. Backed either by a clear blue sky with the sun in an upper corner, or a clear night sky with a moon in one upper corner and a starfield in the other upper corner. A series of candles are arranged in windows at the top of the lighthouse, and rays of light radiate, separating the lower portion of the card into three to seven sections.

This card represents boundaries, rejection of absolutes, and the importance of necessary but forgotten duties. Proper, it's an indication of change, danger, opportunity, and age. Reversed, it's an indication of failure of one's responsibilities, inability to adapt, and stagnation. As a representation of the Querent, it typically indicates that the person is in a state of transition from one powerful condition or state to an opposing one.
XII The Hanged Man XII The Sacrifice A naked man in profile carrying a leafy club in each hand, crossing them in front of himself to block a sword attack from a person in full modern military gear. The man is bleeding from gashes to his hip and neck. The man is standing at the edge of a grave or pit beneath a flowering tree.

This card represents unwilling, painful sacrifice and the cyclical nature of life. Proper, it indicates personal growth through hardships. Reversed, it indicates being trapped in damaging patterns of thought and behavior. When representing the Querent, it indicates the need to break free of one's current situation.
XXI The World XXI The Battlefield

XXI The Cosmos
A photorealistic representation of the Earth, usually similar to The Blue Marble photograph, set in a black background. Surrounding the Earth is either a ring of pages or a braid of gold and silver. In the corners of the card are a partially unfurled scroll with the Sator Square written on it, a dual-faced head with one bearded and one hairless face, a computer screen with many lines of computer code listed on it, and a blank white or pale green oval with lines radiating from it.

Although the iconography of these cards is highly similar, The Battlefield only appears in the proper position (with a ring of pages) and The Cosmos only appears in the reversed position (with a shining braid). Both are indicative of a protracted battle against an implacable opposition, with the implication that there is no opportunity to compromise. The Battlefield indicates conflict, subtlety, and misdirection, while The Cosmos indicates resolution, dominion, and either fresh starts or the resumption of the status quo, depending on the placement of other cards. When representing the Querent, it indicates that they are either currently or will soon be involved in a high-stakes conflict or competition that they do not want to lose.
Five of Wands/Staves Five of Implements One of the few cards that changes its imagery after being placed, the scene depicts four individuals attacking a fifth using staves or sticks. The attacked individual usually resembles the Querent and is attempting to defend themselves with a staff/stick similar to those of their attackers. After being drawn, placed and observed, the defender's implement will change into another object inappropriate for defense, such as a sheaf of papers, a twig, or a soft cap. Simultaneously, the defender's face will change to show a dismayed expression.

This card represents sudden, unexpected misfortune, especially regarding the loss of necessary resources. Proper, it indicates loss of trust and negative surprises, but with a slim potential for success. Reversed, it indicates stronger aspects of misfortune, without a possibility for recovery.
Three of Pentacles Three of Discs An archway or open doorway set into a metal wall. Set above the entrance is a trio of discs inscribed with two to three concentric circles with three or five radially-symmetric inward-pointing arrows connecting the circles. A figure clad in a white coat or cloak stands with its back towards the viewer and is reaching through the doorway towards a pair of figures within. The figures are typically depicted by people with close emotional ties to the recipient of the reading, one masculine-oriented and one feminine-oriented. Occasionally the doorway is barred by a closed portcullis, usually when in the reversed position.

This card represents safety, security, and protection, and the efforts put forth to achieve and maintain this. Usually oriented towards emotional and spiritual concerns, but rarely refers towards physical safety as well. Proper, it indicates appropriate and effective efforts. Reversed, it indicates confinement, overzealousness, and rejection.
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