Asking Aquarian Tarot

I bought The Windows of Tarot written by F.D. Graves in 1973 aq-book.jpg at a time when few books were written about the cards. aq1.jpgThe Aquarian Tarot deck illustrations used in the book were created by David Palladini in 1970. As you can see my original box shows much wear & tear. This was the second deck of Tarot I bought after the famous Rider deck. The cards are in mint condition considering that they are nearly 38 years old.


If you get a chance to get a copy of this book it is well worth it. F.D. Graves describes in full the symbolic interpretation within the images of the Aquarian Tarot. In my opinion this book was a pioneer in the “new” way of reading the Tarot. David Palladini was one of the first artists to add his own unique blend of symbols in the traditional Tarot.

1973 The Windows of Tarot by F. D. Graves (Dobbs Ferry NY: Morgan & Morgan). (Illustrated with the Aquarian Tarot.) Light-weight.

1970 Aquarian Tarot published by Morgan Press, Dobbs Ferry, NY. Illustrated by David Mario Palladini. “An authentic interpretation of the medieval Tarot.” Palladini, when he was still a student, was one of the artists of the Linweave Tarot (1967).

I will be using the Aquarian Tarot to demonstrate the Celtic cross reading today.

QUESTION- what is the prognosis of “Joe” the family member who had open heart surgery Nov 29th?

aq2.jpg aq3.jpg

1-2-aq.jpg (image2) Cards #1 & #2. STRENGTH, 3 OF SWORDS.

STRENGTH is a powerful card to have in position #1. Leo is associated with this card and Leo rules the heart. How appropriate. What does it mean to have “strength”? The Aquarian card is very different from the usual connections to the lady with the lion as depicted by many other Tarot systems. Here we see a man ready for action. He is fully clothed in anticipation of a fight (symbolism of the sword in his right hand). We see the taming of the beast within (symbolized by the dog on the right side of the card). He holds the dog and has control of it. You almost get the feeling that if he lets go of the dog it will attack or at his command.

“Joe” the man who had the surgery a few days ago went into the operating room, ready for the fight- the fight for his life. This card suggests that Joe has reserve energy and power both in his body & mind. At this time balance is important for him – to keep his energy within control.

3 OF SWORDS as the crossing card. Is this card an opportunity or a challenge? When you look at the two cards in image2 you can see the struggle of emotions. This is a card of pain, mostly intellectual but it feels like emotional. When our ego gets pricked it hurts. I have written about the 3 of Swords in another post. It is almost eerie how the Aquarian Tarot is illustrating piercings in the heart when the actual situation involves the heart being operated on.

Does the 3 of Swords point to more problems ….?….involving the power/strength/energy of the STRENGTH card in position #1. Will the recovery process run into delays. Was the surgery a betrayal in that it will not help?

[UPDATE: JOE suffered a serious stroke Dec 6/07. There is a 17% chance of stroke in all open heart surgeries]

3aq.jpgCard 3 – King of Swords. BASIS OF QUESTION.

This King is known as the man in uniform and in this reading represents the surgeon. He is in command in his field of expertise- medicine. There are 2 Kings in the Celtic spread indicating a meeting between men…. other doctors. Also, in the past the personality of Joe was one of self sufficiency and he was a man to be reckoned with. He was not easily swayed and was firm in his opinions.

4aq.jpg Card 4 – 4 of Pentacles. PASSING INFLUENCE .

When you look at this card you can see 1 large pentacle covering the chest area which contains the heart. This card is known for it’s security/money connections. Joe had been preoccupied in a project that put additional stress on him both physically and materially. He is a builder of homes.

5aq.jpg Card 5 – King of Cups. PROBABLE FUTURE.

This King promises a softening of the King of Swords if it is used to represent Joe’s personality. His role as a father will come under serious focus. The King of Cups is traditionally the father card or issues around fatherhood. In some cases this King can be a counsellor or lawyer who has the person’s best interests at heart.

[UPDATE: Dec. 7th- Joe’s role as a father has been severely challenged in that his prognosis is not promising due to the stroke]

6aq.jpg Card 6 – 7 of Wands. IMMEDIATE FUTURE

The card of advantage falls in the imminent future spot, usually within 1 month. Of Palladini’s image, F.D. Graves explains that the man is protecting the other 6 budding wands/rods with the one he is holding with both hands. This picture sheds a different angle on the typical scene where the man is opposed by the staffs. This card can be a challenge but shows the person holding on to their position. For Joe, it means he will take responsibility for his recovery-

7aq.jpg Card 7 – 5 of Swords. JOE’S ATTITUDE.

In the spot of the attitude, one can see that a battle has been fought. The image illustrates a man with two swords against his shoulder while holding on to the one that appears to be in the ground. Joe has taken the information(swords) from what has occurred and is shouldering it. Also he is pondering on some other news(sword in ground). Two swords lay to the side of the man in the image. These 2 swords represent past thoughts and the figures in the background are aspects of Joe, the parts of him that were battling after receiving the news of the heart attack & pending open heart surgery and…. whether to agree to surgery or not.


A great card to have in position 8. The card of moderation. Tempering positive and negative influences. The image in the card is in perfect balance. There is a strong suggestion that Joe will slow down and make the appropriate modifications to promote further healing. Position 8 rules the environment and other people as well. It seems as though he will get co-operation during his time of adjustments.

aq4.jpg Cards 9 & 10. Knight of Rods (Wands) & Knight of Swords.

Two knights – a deal or some negotiations in planning….a legal situation. Both Knights face into the center of the layout. They look straight at the King of Cups. These men are communicating. Knights represent the need for action. There will be a legal situation that might arise. Legal things do not have to be bad, they can be helpful- like finding out your right to medicine, compensation for time off work, etc.

[UPDATE: Dec 7th- the doctors and nurses in conference after the stroke]


The Knight of Rods/Wands strongly suggests a change in environment. There is speed involved in this matter or a decision. Could Joe be fearing that he will lose his home or business? He will not be able to return to work in the same capacity for a very long time but the Knight suggests that he will make an attempt.

[UPDATE:- Dec 7th- the change of residence was the re-admitting to the hospital]


The Knight of Swords as the result card strongly suggests that the prognosis involving Joe will certainly demand that he defend his well being. It shows that Joe is not about to give up without a good fight. The Knight(Joe) is inexperienced in this type of battle (heart operation & recovery) but will risk his life to follow his King’s (surgeon)orders.

The only card that unsettles me is the 3 of Swords falling as the crossing #2 card. Is the operation a betrayal of hope?

[UPDATE: Dec 7th- the 3 of Swords left me with an uncomfortable feeling when I did this reading- yes the operation was a betrayal of hope because now Joe faces………… I really don’t know yet and am very distraught at the news. PLEASE PRAY for Joe]

12 thoughts on “Asking Aquarian Tarot

  1. Hi Seaqueen,
    nice to see you back in action.
    I like the look of these cards very much – interesting that they are one of the early packs of the modern period. As I enjoyed the images and digested this information about them, I found myself wondering if there are too many packs being produced at the moment. I guess you could take one of two attitudes: 1) every artist has something personal to say; 2) surely not more than a minute fraction of those producing new packs have any really fundamental new vision to add to everything we already have in the umpteen tarot packs already published?
    Which view do you incline towards? Or is there a third view?

  2. P.S. Of course, I do hope things go well for your relative ‘Joe’ – I’m sorry I can offer no informed feedback on a tarot reading.

  3. Hello,
    I like the Aquarian deck as well. It is not one that I use regularly because it does not vibe with me. You are absolutely right about the Tarot decks being created at a rapid pace.
    The core meanings of the deck remains the same. The Tarot was meant to illustrate an image that is in keeping with the fundamental meanings. When artists take up the challenge of creating their own deck their own particular flavor of imagery is biased because it will illustrate their belief system at the time.
    In former years the creators were Esoteric scholars belonging to secret societies. The Tarot’s face may have changed over the last few decades but the message of each and every card has not.
    As far as adding a personal touch I only see that in the artwork…but it is a copy cat of sorts. The Rainring took one giant leap in it’s creation, it is not a copy cat of any system.
    The Tarot cannot be perfected because it already is perfect but it can lose the respect it had many years ago.
    I tend to be more fascinated by a completely new system of divination…but then that’s just me. Others may fear learning and are stuck in the same ol’,same ol’.
    The newer Tarot decks on the market are only new if the creators add new interpretations.. something that we can study and say, “ahhhhh never looked at it like that”. It’s the same thing as sketching or painting a tree….. a tree is a tree.
    Well that is my two bits worth.

    Thanks. “Joe” is recovering quickly. As far as offering feedback on the Tarot reading I believe that you could…on a few cards at least (wink).

    Best regards to Hacina.
    Madame Seaqueen

  4. Hi SQ,
    Thanks for your sharing your thoughts on the tarot etc. It’s certainly true that there is a massive bias against the new out there – perhaps because every politician of recent years keeps shouting change!
    I spend most of my time at the moment feeling like I’m wading through treacle. Well, at least Rainring has two supporters! I did a spread recently asking why no-one on aeclectic tarot ever leaves any comments in response to my posts, and the summary card was ‘Fear’. I’m not sure I really get this – fear of what?

  5. Hi Peter,
    Thank you for your reply.
    The Aeclectic forum would be a good venue for you to “discuss” Rainring. I find with forums like that the threads fade away and it seems it is the same people responding with the usual links to other people who are saying pretty much the same thing.

    You may just have to go on the road with Rainring- teach an introductory workshop (if you aren’t already) where people will come out to hear what you have to say.
    Learning on-line is great but requires little effort with the exception of a bit of energy in the fingers.

    If the summary card was FEAR it is understandable. To me fear also means the avoidance of the unknown or new.
    As I said, “Others may fear learning and are stuck in the same ol’,same ol’.” I think the only way to combat the “rut mentality” is by promoting the Rainring a tad differently- it is about marketing. I believe it fits it.

    Those of “us” that have gone beyond the Tarot and other common card systems know “our” answers will come from a system that is capable of delivering the answers by yanking at our core personality.

    I know you offer different layouts for the Rainring which forces a person to really look at themselves. Perhaps by designing a simple layout with the (gasp) fortune telling positions it may open the door a bit for newcomers. It could be fun.

    A simple 5 card spread such as…
    past, now, unexpected, advice, outcome.
    I would be willing to do post using a simple spread to illustrate a question that you or Hacina select. I would like permission to display the 5 card images of the cards chosen to create a visual with my interpretation, and it goes without saying … links back to the Rainring website.
    What do you think about that suggestion?
    When I did the Rainring reading asking about JSN’s sketches…..initially I thought the answer was inconclusive but now I know why. It was not so much a question of yes or no, it was a question of will he complete the sketches. This project began back in May. Right now I see him as the dancer in the Exhibition card but the crowd in the background is his own shadow. The shadow of self doubt in his ability to dance (to draw) is evident now but was not at the time of the reading. I thought you might like that feedback.


  6. Madame Seaqueen – guaranteed to be thought-provoking!

    I do really appreciate your efforts on our behalf (or ITS behalf!) and certainly, go for it! I like your idea.

    You know, this is the big dilemma – just as Hacina has added enormously to Rainring by her own individual perspective, so a system in these early early stages of development cries out for extension through the new perspective that an original person such as yourself and kapherus is able to bring.
    Workshop – yes, it’s on our list, just that we don’t always get to do exactly what when and where we would like on this particular plane of existence – but hopefully we’ll get there. For the moment, I’ve pretty much got my work cut out with the big extension-rewrite of the directory of meanings. I don’t know if you’ve sampled this (Masterclass 5) -it’s my attempt to respond to kapherus’ efforts to persude me to bring ACCESSIBILITY to darkest America – or something like that!
    take care

  7. (continuation of above)
    I wrote the above very late, then wished I’d said one or two things more or differently. Differently: I think I did you an injustice, because I feel that it is nor just kapherus but both of you who have been urging me in the direction of accessibility. I’ve had to re-appraise my performance and attitudes in that direction, and I’m even slightly shocked at the extent to which I’ve been unwilling to meet the general public half way – to recognise that the cards have been presented in an often obscure fashion and that this was working directly against my stated aim of getting them widely known.
    In reality, I feel the kind of supportive but critical (as in critique) feedback that you have been giving me is not only vitally important, but that I already needed it years ago. Of course, you can always argue I guess that breakthroughs are not achieved by committee…

    I definitely like your idea of a new spread. If I understand correctly, you would use the 5-card square formation available on the site, so that others (including me!) could repeat the spread using the facilities already available. In this case, I have a feeling (maybe you’re already ahead of me on this one) that it would be good to meditate a little on how this 5-card formation – four corners and centre – would lend itself to the positioning of five elements intended as the constituents of your new spread.
    If you had a strong feeling about prefering an alignment using N,S,E,W and centre, it might be possible later to modify the play programme of the nine-card centred octagon so that one could fill the 5 positions just descibed and then have the programme cut out the other 4 and take the reader straight to the results viewing board – the only problem is that this would need site modifications that would probably be a bit pricey – however, if this is an important issue, and you do want to use this formation, for the moment just designate top left as N, top right as E and so on, and later – if your spread seems to work well in use – we will look at sorting the IT modifications out.
    Good hunting!
    P.S. And do feel free to get back to me if I’ve sunk into obscurity yet again and not made myself clear!!!
    (I wanted to write ‘lol’ there at the end – but I haven’t been able to figure out what it means, if anything, so I’m a bit wary of it!)

  8. Okay, you asked for it! 🙂 You requested my insight into this layout (I sure hope it was this one…I believe you said it was the Aquarian one with the Strength/3 Swords). Obviously your interpretations were accurate, so I’ll just share some additional thoughts that came to mind when looking at this layout.


    The Strength crossed by the 3 of Swords: (I have often seen the 3 of Swords come up in readings regarding surgery.) I read this coupling as indicating that his tough-guy exterior is being tested/put in check by the surgery, and may be a blessing in disguise, meant to soften him up. The “strength” of the swords being thrust into the heart: The swords (his exterior strength) disappear and become invisible for a time inside the heart (during the surgery and hospital stay he will be uncharacteristically vulnerable). Then they eventually come through on the other side. A thought that struck me from the way the 3 of Swords was laid out also: The sharp/extreme points of the swords (and corresponding aspects of his personality) are facing the left (the Past). The handles of the swords face right (future) which indicate that the strength/base is still there, along with some of the sword, but without the most extreme points. The way I would read this is that the surgery has the potential to ultimately soften his personality. A big wake up call.

    King of Swords as Basis of Question: I read the King of Swords as representing Joe. For some reason, this coupled with the two cards above, I had the feeling this was close to his personality before reading your description of him. Obviously, I can see where it would represent the surgeon as well.

    4 of Pents as Passing Influence: I believe wholeheartedly that your emotional state causes either health or dis-ease in your body. So if he was under pressure financially, and I don’t mean lacking money, but rather facing stress/deadlines in regards to his career life, then I think that would have had a tremendous effect on his heart condition. It being a “passing” influence indicates that it needn’t be a permanent negative influence in his life…it’s something that is under his control, so in the future his stress can be managed, and it doesn’t need to affect his health again…IF he is able to realize this mind-body connection.

    King of of Cups as Probable Future: Yes, I also saw this card as a softening of his personality, as I also saw the first two cards.

    7 of Wands as Immediate Future: Just by looking at the card image, I got the message that “It’s entirely in his hands”. His healing will largely depend on his own mind and belief in his ability to heal.

    5 of Swords as Joe’s Attitude: I saw this as his expectations of recovery. This card indicates to me that yes, he expects to survive and get better. He doesn’t expect to die. However, he doesn’t optimistically envision a 100% complete recovery. I think he fears that his recovery will come at a cost of some sort…some part of himself may not ever get back to “normal”. Whether this is mental, emotional or physical, I don’t know.

    Temperance as External Influences: I don’t think this card implies that there is already a great balance of his environment, or else he wouldn’t be in the situation he’s in. I think he needs to become more aware of what surrounds him in his daily life, and apply moderation where needed. There are probably aspects of his life that are out of balance that he never noticed or gave thought to before. What got my attention in this card was the stark white face/wings compared to the darker colors. The “spiritual” side stood out to me more. Perhaps he needs more balance in that area of his life. And I don’t mean going to church every Sunday, zoning out, waiting for the service to be over. I mean a more personal aspect to it. This, for a King of Swords type, may be a challenge, if he’s not already truly in tune (or comfortable) with his spiritual side.

    Knight of Rods as Immediate Influence: Hopes and Fears: I saw this in a different light than you mentioned (though of course you were right, as the change of residence came to fruition.) I saw this card as representing his looking back at his youth and vigor. He’s basically being forced into a situation that has the polar opposite energy from the Knight of Rods. When stuck in such a place, people tend to think of what used to be, and what could be. The Knight of Rods is energetic, vibrant, young, healthy and active. I got the feeling that while he’s laying helpless in the hospital bed, the man in him is yearning for some aspects of this card back in his life.

    The Knight of Swords as Potential Future Outcome: Okay, what came to me right away when seeing this card wasn’t the traditional meaning of the card at all. The thing that sprung to mind was a demotion from his being the King of Swords to the Knight of Swords. I don’t know how far in the future you take the final outcome card to reflect. But in this situation, I saw this as his going from Top Dog (King of the World) to Someone With Something To Prove (Knight Battling to Recover). I saw this as being the next few months…and not years down the line.


    Obviously I may be totally off base. It’s often hard for me to gleam insight from a layout that someone else did, as there isn’t that same connection I’d have if I’d done it myself. KWIM? But I do hope that maybe something I’ve seen sparks some sort of truth or help somewhere. 🙂

    All the best…
    ♥ Kiki

  9. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as wwell as with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify itt yourself?
    Either way keep up the nice qualijty writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one these

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