The Tarot and The Wheel of Time

A hot lazy day, today. With nothing better to do, I unpacked my tarot cards and sorted out my tarot books. Some of the books match a specific deck, and I like to keep the matched sets together. Other books seem more generic, or it could be I simply don’t have the decks the books mention. I also set aside the duplicates, the unopened packs, and those that might be collector’s items, such as the Dali tarot. I’ve never opened either the Salvador Dali tarot (supposedly a deck he was creating for the James Bond movie Live or Let Die), or the Tarocco di Sissi (from artist Amerigo Folchi and based on the life of Austrian Empress Elisabeth) thinking these might have more value still in their factory seal, but things only have monetary worth according to what people will pay, and I don’t know how to find people who want such things. I could keep them as part of my collection, of course, but when one has more than three dozen decks (and doesn’t use any of them), another one or two, especially one by an artist you don’t admire or one about a person you don’t know, doesn’t seem that important.

Just for an experiment, I attempted a one-card tarot reading for a friend who is trying to figure out whether to move or not, and I drew the King of Wands. To be honest, I have no idea how this card answers the question (apparently, it’s best to do a spread and see how the cards relate to one another, but maybe he can figure out if the card means anything to him), but I was struck by a coincidence having to do with The Wheel of Time. Coincidence? Considering the ten years that Robert Jordon put into researching, constructing his world, and developing the story before he started writing, I would have to say that it’s a good bet there’s no coincidence here.

In the book The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot, the King of Wands is described as “a red-haired man with blue eyes riding upon a fiery black stallion. The horse and rider both seem wild and warlike, but this is due to raw, unleashed power. The overall feeling that the card gives is one of great uncontrollable energy which erupts with volcanic force.” Another passage says “He is extremely dynamic. He is the Fire of Fire, the volatile igniting spark of the Father Force.”

In the Sadowscapes Companion, the King of Wands strides forward and “The trees part before him, lifting their branches to make way for his passage. The environment shifts to his will and obeys his unspoken desires and commands.” Also, he is charismatic, and is “a source of inspiration and bears his mantle of authority with ease as if he were born to it.”

If you know anything about The Wheel of Time, you will recognize The Dragon Reborn. Although sometimes his eyes are described as gray rather than blue, this is the savior character in the series, a clueless country boy who attempts to control the raw power of the universe at his command. Eventually he controls the power and develops into a fire-wielding king who rides a black horse. He becomes a charismatic leader who changes the very lives of those he meets, who molds the world around him however he wills. Also, the salamanders in the red tarot card are more like the dragons in the book than what we consider to be dragons.

At one time I thought it would be interesting to use the tarot to create a story, basing the story on cards chosen at random, as well as by a spread, but apparently, Robert Jordan has already done it.

Many of characters in The Wheel of Time are typical archetypes, such as the trickster, nurse, queen, shapeshifter, but now I suspect there’s a completely different element to the book, a tarot element, for me to deconstruct.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Inviting Myself to Dream, Explore, Believe

Yesterday I moved energy around. Today I moved two carloads of stuff around. Took the things to a friend who has a use for them. At least I hope she does, otherwise I’ve just used her as a dump. Of course, she’s also free to move the stuff around. It’s hers now.

Someone used me as a means of moving energy/stuff around — she gave me her tarot cards and the book to help me interpret the meanings of my readings. I’m not really into tarot or any sort of divination for that matter. If we can change the future, then it doesn’t matter what the predicted future is, and if we can’t change it, it doesn’t matter either.

Still, out of curiosity, I did a one-card tarot reading where you ask a question and the cards give you some sort of answer.

Right before Jeff died, he told me things would come together for me. And recently, my publisher said he has a strong feeling things will work out for me. Of course, I’d like to know how they will work out. I mean, personal and financial successes are ways of things working out, but so is death. (That is how things work out for all of us in the end.) But I gave the cards a break and simply asked if things will come together for me.

I dealt myself a fantastic card, the Three of Wands, painted by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. The picture is of a woman accompanied only by a cat, standing on the end of a bridge to the edge of the world. It arcs out across the sky, and ends abruptly, a shimmering river far below. She is obviously standing on the edge of the precipice, wondering where to go. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? That seems to be a recurring theme in my wonderings on this blog.)

Knowing that sparkling potential waits for her, she takes a step. And it is not emptiness that meets her unhesitating foot, but sturdy rock and shale. She continues to walk, the bridge growing beneath her feet with every step.

Wooo. Seems apropos, doesn’t it? And so much like an answer to my question. Just go, believe in the journey, and everything will come together when I need it.

The section about the Three of Wands in Shadowscapes Companion by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore ends with, “The Three of Wands invites you to explore, seek out the uncharted, expand your horizons. Take a long view of situations and express leadership.”

I’m not sure how much leadership one can express when one is alone at the end of bridge that is being dreamed into existence as one walks upon it, but otherwise, it’s exactly what I’ve been inviting myself to do — dream, explore, believe.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.