Today’s Tarot 20200504 – Sword Hallow from the Arthurian Tarot
Today’s Tarot 20200504
The Ace of Swords, two days in a row, two different decks. That’s the draw for today. Oh, and by the way, May the Fourth be with You! Continuing with a different deck, until I run out of decks here at the house. I had a bunch more than I do now, before Hurricane Katrina. Alas, the “Tarot Drawer” in my desk was too low to the floor, and its contents drowned. The collection grew again, as we got back to normal, but nowhere what it was in 2005.
Today’s draw offers us a common mythos: Arthur. The Once and Future King and his mythos have many twists and turns. The classic, Christian, Arthur presents in most stories. The more-pagan (but still Christian) Arthur of MZB and others offers a more-nuanced aspect of the story.
The Arthurian Tarot, originally published in 1991, updated in 2016, presents a classic version of the Arthurian legends. While authors travel down different paths with Arthur, this deck is true to the basic story. Authors Caitlin and John Matthews, along with Illustrator Miranda Grey, stick to the Celtic/Roman roots. The deck follows the 78-card Smith-Waite format. It deviates from Smith’s drawings, presenting the legends.
Changes in Major Arcana
The Major Arcana remain in their usual positions, but the names change to Arthurian context. For example, the Arthur is the Emperor, and Taliesin is the Hierophant.
The deck follow the Smith-Waite structure, again, with illustration/symbol changes. The Arthurian Tarot refers to the Aces as “Hallows.” So, for Today’s Tarot 20200504, we have the Sword Hallow.
Ace of Swords
The Sword Hallow draw offers an interesting contrast to the Ace of Swords in the Celtic Dragon Tarot from yesterday. How does that fit into a daily draw? We’re presented with a choice of interpretations. The pattern of the same Ace, two days in a row, isn’t easily discarded. Still, it’s a daily draw, focusing on changes from yesterday to today are valid.
While both of these decks present the single sword, both do so differently from Smith. The original Ace of Swords depicts a hand holding the sword upright, as it pushes through a background of clouds. The Dragons change the focus of yesterday’s deck. For the Arthurian structure, a hand on a sword presents a complication.
A hand extending a sword is a significant and profound part of the Arthurian legend. These authors chose not to go there. While the Lady of the Lake becomes the High Priestess (2) for this deck, the Sword Hallow is not associated with Excalibur.
So, we’ve got a sword, coming forward from a nebulous background. We ascribe the same meanings to the card. In the larger context of a “Hallow Quest” (one of the original names for this deck), the cards take on a more defined Arthurian role. For just a daily, where-are-things-headed draw/reflection, we stick to the script. That means breakthrough, success. Things going well. I prefer tempering good news with a bit of caution. So, while things are looking up, the card prior to these two Ace of Swords pulls was The Tower. That gives me extra reason to proceed with a bit of caution.
Overall, though, it was a good day. My teaching went well, as did dinner. By the time I drew the card, things weren’t so bad, even for a pandemic.