Hopefully, when this goes live I’ll be blasting away and earning excellent scores.  Lets see what the stars have to say about my chances, shall we?

The only alignment is Mercury with the Earth and Jupiter retrograde, which doesn’t have a very specific application towards the shooting sports.  If you’re the head of a family, it’s a warning that you’re going to do something sufficiently stupid that it becomes a story that gets retold.  Good luck with that.

Shooting is ruled by Sagittarius (of course) with an assist from Mars.  Sagittarius being empty doesn’t give any hints (at least Saturn’s not there) and Mars is in Aries, indicating that I should try and be more aggressive than normal.  The Moon in Libra is interesting in this context:  a change sign linking up with a stability one is usually a bad thing, but in an event where being able to move and quickly transition while maintaining balance is important, it’s a good sign.

Venus in Gemini means continued good fortune for those who are coupled, and the Sun in Leo means that it’s getting really hot outside.

Now let’s talk about one of the most misunderstood cards in the deck, and how it will be read in the Glibertarian tarot, which should come out any year now.  Well any year except this one.

Five of Swords. If you forget, you can tell by noticing that there are swords on it, and also that there are five of them.

According to the Key to the Tarot (copyright expired because it’s not owned by Disney even though it’s only 109 years old) the Five of Swords is described as:

A disdainful man looks after two retreating and dejected figures. Their swords lie upon the ground. He carries two others on his left shoulder, and a third sword is in his right hand, point to earth. He is the master in possession of the field. Divinatory Meanings: Degradation, destruction, revocation, infamy, dishonour, loss, with the variants and analogues of these. Reversed: The same; burial and obsequies.

So first of all, yes, the main figure is smug AF.  One might even say he’s got a… snarky attitude?  I think it’s safe to say that He’s a Glib.  Furthermore, it’s the people he’s defeated that are suffering the dishonor and loss, not him.  I mean look at the figure furthest down field — he’s crying!  Also, while the Glib is by no means poor (the tunic he’s wearing over his other garments has decorated sleeves) he’s not wealthy.  He has no jewelry, not even a belt.  Contrast that with the guys who’s asses he’s just kicked:  they’ve got slashed pantaloons and fashionable, purely decorative, useless capes.  It’s dangerous to read too much into a depiction of weapons and armor that were made from the middle of the 18th c. to the middle of the 20th, they are notoriously unrealistic.  But I think it’s safe to say that the defeated combatants weren’t fighting Florentine style, so our red-headed protagonist has beaten not only them but two other people who are not shown on the card.  He’s kind of a badass.  The descriptive text tells us that the two swords lying on the ground belong to the two defeated rich guys.  However, the sword in the figures right hand is described as “a” sword, not “his.”  It’s possible that he’s defeated five opponents.  It’s possible that the fight started as five armed people against one unarmed person.  In any case, the card shows victory against the odds.   The description does specify that the sword is in the right hand (symbol of preferred action) and with the point towards the earth.  This has many meanings.  but the four that are most prominent here are:

  • Orientation towards nonaggression (aggression is indicated by having the point towards an enemy)
  • Orientation against vanity (glorification of the figure would be represented by carrying to point upward)
  • Ownership of the area (the right hand is connected directly to the ground through the sword — this is also explicitly called out in the text)
  • Conflict is resolved (the sword is not in a position of immediate use)

It’s good to notice that he is gathering the spoils of the fight, but he hasn’t stripped the defeated parties of their purses.  Again, this doesn’t show a brigand who has just rolled a pair of college kids, it’s someone who was minding his own business, got fucked with, and turned the tables.

One last point that’s a bit subtle but can definitely prove relevant in a reading is the weather shown.  A storm is coming in.  The clouds are gray and streaky, the water is being blown into whitecaps (and notice that this particular body of water is a sheltered bay)  and the main figure’s hair is being blown back from the wind.  Pamela Coleman was illustrating this card before anime hair was a thing.

So why does a card that tells such a good story portend such bad things according to A. E. Waite’s description?  Well remember how I mentioned that occult writings often encode or otherwise misdirect in their plain text?  This is one of those times.  It’s a particularly elegant example of that since the description is accurate, just as long as you look at it from a different point of view.   It’s the illusionist drawing the attention of the audience towards something (in this case the background figures) so they don’t notice how the trick is being played.

Leo:  Page of Coins reversed – Prodigality, dissipation, liberality, luxury, unfavorable news

Virgo:  7 of Coins – money, business, barter, altercation, quarrels, innocence, ingenuity, purgation

Libra:  7 of Wands –  valor, discussion, wordy strife, negotiations, war of trade, barter, competition, success

Scorpio:  5 of Swords reversed – As above, except in this case you’re the crying people in the background

Sagittarius:  2 of Cups reversed – Unified opposition, foolish alliances, broken promises

Capricorn:  Queen of Swords reversed – Malice, bigotry, artifice, prudery, bale, deceit

Aquarius:  Ace of Swords – Triumph, the excessive degree in everything, conquest, force, love, hate

Pisces:  8 of Wands – Activity in undertakings, the path of such activity, swiftness, great haste, great hope, speed

Aries:  The Empress reversed – Light, truth, the unravelling of involved matters, public rejoicings, vacillation

Taurus:  8 of Cups reversed – Great joy, happiness, feasting.

Gemini:  The Sun – Material happiness, fortunate marriage, contentment

Cancer:  5 of Wands – Imitation, competition, gold, gain, opulence