Do you remember the 80’s? All those outlandish outfits, glam rock, and epic television series that focused on the cut throat world of money? Regardless of what you think of the politics of the era, the spokespeople of the times, or its glamorous image, the symbolism from the 80’s was about success.
Well, guess what? It’s BACK! Only this time it’s not dressed up with shoulder pads, skin tight Levis jeans, converse tennis shoes, and the Atari 2600. This time it’s using concepts that were considered “witchcraft” in the 80’s (mastermind groups, affirmations, power of positive thinking) and the spokespeople are not glitzy celebrities such as Michael J. Fox, Joan Collins, and Larry Hagman, yet down to earth practical people like Marianne Williamson and Gabrielle Bernstein. Regardless of how you dress up the image of the day, the urge towards success and being successful is archetypal, yet a slippery term that’s elusive and very few can define.
This month on Keep It Magic, Jacki Smith and I discuss success. Who has it? How does one get it? What the heck is it? Our discussion is very candid (as always) and I hope you get the chance to listen to our podcast (I have included the player at the bottom of the post). Since we only have 60 minutes to discuss the subject and often more information to cover than the time allows, I decided to ask some questions to my trusty tarot deck about success. I will be frank with you, I was rather surprised by the results. To perform the readings, I used the Pam A. Tarot deck.
Question 1: What is success?
Card: The Devil
What a shocker! I expected to see the 4 of pentacles, The Sun card, or the 6 of wands. The Devil appearing as the answer kind of tossed me off my chair leaving me breathless for a hot moment. The most notably keywords for the Devil are bondage, obsessions, illusions, lies, and bad relationships.
If anything, shouldn’t ‘The Devil’ be the anti-success card?
The Devil is associated with the astrological sign of Capricorn – the sign of the sea goat. Of course, this isn’t shocking since the imagery on many Devil cards is the god Pan or his artistic likeness. At its deepest levels, the sign of Capricorn reflects our need for structure, organization, and social accomplishment and in many ways, in order for us to achieve this is to embrace many of the attributes that the Devil has at his command.
For many the Devil is a card of bad omens and lesser knowledgeable querents are horrified when he appears in a reading because of his bad reputation. However, many of the qualities of The Devil are necessary in order for an individual to succeed. Karen Zondag, in her book, “Tarot as A Way of Life,” has this to say about him:
“But the Devil can also be a ‘sharply dressed dude’ who well and truly sets to work with selfish motives and lots of elbow-work to gain an advantage over others.”
In many ways, our Judeo Christian heritage, may actually invoke the darker dimensions of The Devil card. After all, Pan is the only Greek god that was cast into the pits of hell by the Catholic Church, which has made it rather difficult for us to create a relationship with an archetypal image that is associated with the instinct of self-preservation. Yet, on the flip side, we are a society populated with individuals that are self-centered, egotistical, and only out for themselves and their question for power.
The balance within the Devil card is that we might need a bit of self-centeredness, egotism, and quest for power in order to achieve anything. It might be the very qualities that motivate us, and our relationship with The Devil (and even our lack of relationship with this image) might be one of the keys towards developing success. After all, in order for us to achieve anything we must have ‘desire’ which is another keyword that is associated with The Devil card.
So, success may be the desire for us to understand what we want to achieve combined with the energy to go out and do it. This may require us to spend a bit of time with ourselves and deeply search our psyches for inner answers which will help us create a healthy relationship with The Devil rather than being in bondage to his darker qualities.
Question 2: What blocks success?
Card: The Fool
Once again, I was rather stumped by this card pull. The ability to take risks and leap out into the great unknown is a quality that many people associate with successful people.
So, why is the Fool here? One of the divinatory meanings for the Fool is recklessness. One of the foundations of any successful endeavor is the ability to be grounded and organized. Although the Fool does help us take risks, there needs to be strategy and a well-oiled game plan in motion for anyone to succeed. Otherwise, if we constantly stay in Fool mode, we are too busy leaping off of mountains in order to nurture something enough to grow.
The Fool, in this position as an obstacle card, reflects the need to be grounded and centered in reality in order for our risks to take shape and form. Discipline is not one of the Fools characteristics, yet it is necessary for him to remain focused in order to land on solid ground.
Question 3: What does one need to do to achieve success?
Card: 6 of Wands
referred to the 6 of Wands as the card of “victory”. The keywords associated with this card are optimism and confidence. Rachel Pollack says in her book, “The New Tarot Handbook”:
“Believe in yourself enough, assume you will get what you seek, and not only will it happen, but others will expect you to triumph.”
This card is rather clear. The more you believe in yourself and the more you are optimistic about your future, success will truly come your way.
You can learn more about success by listening to the latest episode of Keep It Magic!
Storm Cestavani is the co-host of the top rated metaphysical show “Keep It Magic” and the co-creator of the “Tarot Magic” with Coventry Creations. Storm is available for consultations by setting up an appointment to speak with him. Simply click on Get a Reading at the top of the page.
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