Today we have a reading that is about the need to start new and fresh. We begin with an interesting grouping. We have the Hanging Man, the Queen of Coins, and Judgement.
Here we have an earthy, loving, and generous woman who is realizing that like the Fool in the form of the Hanging Man, she is half way through her journey and is looking to start new and fresh. The Hanging Man symbolizes the sacrifices that need to be made, he asks the question “what do you need to give up in order to move forward?” We see this repeated in the Judgement card. In order to be reborn onto a new path, we must leave the old way of being behind.
Making this great leap takes Faith. This card is the Hierophant or the Pope in the traditional decks.
The creator of this deck changed the card to be more inclusive of other religious paths. It can symbolize getting a formal education, identifying with a formal group, the sharing of a belief system.
Then we have the Eight of Cups. This card often means moving on, leaving something behind, either because we are weary of it, we’ve out grown it, it no longer fulfills our needs, or leaving something behind to seek some deeper meaning.
The last card is the Seven of Swords. This card has a couple of meanings. One is running away, shirking responsibility, being deceiving or lying or stealing, which you can see from the devious look of the fellow in the picture. The other is simply stealing away to be the “lone wolf”, staying away from others or preferring to go it alone, feeling like you don’t need anyone else.
This reading gives the distinct impression of leaving behind the familiar structure of the old institution to go into some self directed study. It looks like the mid life transition of changing careers, perhaps leaving the business world to start something independent, or leaving your church or other spiritual group to study solitary . Because this is the Seven of Swords here and not the Hermit, I have to say there might be a little bit of anger and bitterness or maybe hurt feelings about this retreat. My advice here would be not to burn any bridges. You may not want to work alone forever.