SN: This card evokes the process of our joint creativity: bound together sharing thoughts but not perspectives – an ongoing conversation that celebrates change. This card brings together opposing forces, yin and yang, twins and the two sides of a coin, light and dark, lost and found, past and future, growth and decay, cycles of death and rebirth.
II The Unknowable
SN: Where do questions come from? There are so many and they keep changing. This fire and the water of life, the air and this earth of mystery, what do they mean? Why don’t I see what you do? Whose art, whose mind, whose will has brought me here? Why am I here? What is my purpose?
III The Knife Thrower
SN: The Knife Thrower has been, and continues to be wounded over and over as he flings his knives at the world in automatic response to the pain of the blades imbedded in his back and those that he beieves will continue to pierce him. A conduit of the cycle of retribution and an icon of primeval justice, there is no relief or solace for him. He is caught in the cage of his own creation.
IV The Fall
SN: From an apparently clear and expansive view of reality, the winged body falls through sunlight and cloud, water, and earth into fire. The fall brings knowledge, understanding and wisdom. It brings empathy, compassion and truth. It brings the creative spirit to life.
V The Librarian
SN: She’s always a “she.” She wears glasses and is only sexy when she takes them off. She’s good and she knows a lot. Someone you should know, as she will come in handy some day. She is the queen of order. She is rational, alphabetical, categorical, loves stories, facts, and words. She remembers what you forgot, she has an internal mental map of where things, ideas, characters, and you belong. She will save your life by handing you the book you need to read but didn’t know to look for. She can summarize the written web of human aspiration and imagination. She waits patiently for the next instalment.
SN: Requiring death, and probably pain, this necessary event turns the wheel of life. Born out of wisdom, it brings innocence, fresh vision, new learning, and hope.
VII The Laundress
SN: She is strong in every way. Her muscles beat and twist and shake the dirty clothes until they are fresh smelling, and cleaner than when they were new. Her heart has plenty of room for dirt as she knows it is a sign of human achievement. For people to survive, they must be renewed with the optimism and satisfaction that work aspires to. Clean clothes help us work. Her task is never done but her satisfaction is secure.
VIII The Dancing Master
SN: To be truly graceful you must know the music and the steps. He helps you have confidence in your goals. He uses strength against gravity to create the illusion of angelic presence. Like all great teachers, he can inspire you, berate you, praise you, and challenge your will. You hope you can fly like him if you keep practicing.
SN: The place where we want to be does not actually exist, except in our imagination. Where we are, however strange, is the place where we learn our understanding of perspective. While withholding the imagined homeland, Exile gives us back our sense of self in another context. It clarifies our definitions, our containments.
X The Miser
SN: The miser is a dry, empty man because he does not perceive his riches. The miser thinks he is poor. It is not gold he lacks, but love of all that is not gold. He will not give away his time, energy, knowledge, or love because he believes he will blow away in the wind. He is doomed to a life of spiritual poverty by his lack of generosity.
XI The Matchmaker
SN: The matchmaker believes in true love. She knows that people looking for love often seek it from the wrong people. Her gift of perception, seeing people for who they really are, allows her to deliver up the perfect mate. To fulfill her promise she knows everything about you. Even if the nose is too big and the hair too thin, the voice too loud and the chin too weak, the matchmaker knows hearts better than you, and you best take her advice. She has an excellent track record.
XII The Foundling
SN: The foundling is the luckiest of people. Once lost, abandoned, discarded on the heap of human misery, the foundling is a miracle. All the power the foundling has by virtue of his/her fate will bring luck to all those who see themselves in the foundling’s situation. For who has not been lost and desired to be found?
XIII The Costume Mistress
SN: Need a temporary disguise? Want to step into someone else’s shoes, try on another’s perspective, be an understudy for a different role on the stage of life? The costume mistress is the person who can help. Her closet is infinite, her fitting skills unmatched, her acceptance of change unrivaled.
XIV The Front Man
SN: The front man gives you short-term cover for your questionable actions. He is not to be trusted, however, and you best be careful of what you tell him. He has no concept of loyalty. He does not watch your back, for he is the front man.
XV The Customs Broker
SN: The customs broker is interested in the movement of goods. He rules the marketplace of exchange, of supply and demand. Whatever it is you want, you must pay his price. And if you have something to sell, share or give, you must know its true value as the customs broker is under no obligation to give you a deal.
XVI The Juggler
SN: The juggler comes in two forms. The male juggler is a performer of intricate, carefully timed feats apparently accomplishing the impossible. The female juggler provides a point of stillness that maintains the integrity of everything so that nothing falls into imbalance or out of orbit
XVII. The Backroom Boy
SN: The backroom boy manages to influence the outcome of actions so that no one loses face. What’s in it for him? He loves power without the uncomfortable costs of celebrity.
XVIII. The Forger
SN: The forger’s aim is to represent reality so perfectly that wealth, power and recognition are deflected from the rightful owner into the forger’s hands. The forger’s true identity is hidden and/or misrepresented. The forger pushes the world off balance, questioning its honesty, its order and hierarchies, shifting the burden of proof from the imposter to the genuine article. The forger has a way of making us reconsider who we are.
SN: This card advises reconsideration of past actions. It approves of guilt, regret, a change of heart, and asking forgiveness. Under the circumstances, going forward will be easier with a cleaned slate.
XX. The Flaming Sword
SN: The flaming sword is both a beacon of hope and a warning. What lies ahead will test your will, your strength and your intentions. If they are pure, the fire will cast them in their proper light, if not, the fire will burn away the putrid rot, distilling the truth in its crucible. The results will be the same but the means experienced quite differently.
XXI The Swimmer
SN: The swimmer has two purposes: to be one with the water and to get to the other side. In calm waters, one goal can sometimes be accomplished without the other. However, miscalculating the distance or refusing to go with the flow can mean death by drowning.
She is a transformer: sometimes a fox, or a coyote, sometimes a raven or a hare, sometimes a spider or a small girl playing make-believe. She knows the game and plays for humanity to win against its whiney, greedy, pretentious self. The joke’s on us. We laugh for our own good.