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    Obstacle

2 of Cups
   
Hidden Influences

8 of Swords
      External Influences

5 of Cups
         
The Present

The Hermit
      Suggestion

2 of Swords
         
The Past

3 of Pentacles
      The Outcome

9 of Wands
   
The Past Card represents past events that are affecting the question.
3 of Pentacles

A sculptor at his work in a monastery. Compare the design which illustrates the Eight of Pentacles. The apprentice or amateur therein has received his reward and is now at work in earnest.

Divinatory Meaning:

Metier, trade, skilled labour; usually, however, regarded as a card of nobility, aristocracy, renown, glory.

   
The Present Card represents the current state or immediately approaching influence.
The Hermit

The variation from the conventional models in this card is only that the lamp is not enveloped partially in the mantle of its bearer, who blends the idea of the Ancient of Days with the Light of the World It is a star which shines in the lantern. I have said that this is a card of attainment, and to extend this conception the figure is seen holding up his beacon on an eminence. Therefore the Hermit is not, as Court de Gebelin explained, a wise man in search of truth and justice; nor is he, as a later explanation proposes, an especial example of experience. His beacon intimates that - where I am, you also may be.

It is further a card which is understood quite incorrectly when it is connected with the idea of occult isolation, as the protection of personal magnetism against admixture. This is one of the frivolous renderings which we owe to Eliphas Levi. It has been adopted by the French Order of Martinism and some of us have heard a great deal of the Silent and Unknown Philosophy enveloped by his mantle from the knowledge of the profane. In true Martinism, the significance of the term Philosophe inconnu was of another order. It did not refer to the intended concealment of the Instituted Mysteries, much less of their substitutes, but - like the card itself - to the truth that the Divine Mysteries secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.

Divinatory Meaning:

Prudence, circumspection; also and especially treason, dissimulation, roguery, corruption.

   
Hidden Influences - Things that you may not be aware of, or barely be aware of.
8 of Swords

A woman, bound and hoodwinked, with the swords of the card about her. Yet it is rather a card of temporary durance than of irretrievable bondage.

Reversed Meaning:

Disquiet, difficulty, opposition, accident, treachery; what is unforeseen; fatality.

   
Obstacle - This is the challenge.
2 of Cups

A youth and maiden are pledging one another, and above their cups rises the Caduceus of Hermes, between the great wings of which there appears a lion's head. It is a variant of a sign which is found in a few old examples of this card. Some curious emblematical meanings are attached to it, but they do not concern us in this place.

Divinatory Meaning:

Love, passion, friendship, affinity, union, concord, sympathy, the interrelation of the sexes, and - as a suggestion apart from all offices of divination - that desire which is not in Nature, but by which Nature is sanctified.

   
External Influences - Attitudes about this situation from people around the querent.
5 of Cups

A dark, cloaked figure, looking sideways at three prone cups two others stand upright behind him; a bridge is in the background, leading to a small keep or holding.

Divinatory Meaning:

It is a card of loss, but something remains over; three have been taken, but two are left; it is a card of inheritance, patrimony, transmission, but not corresponding to expectations; with some interpreters it is a card of marriage, but not without bitterness or frustration.

   
Suggestion - The recommended course of action. 
2 of Swords

A hoodwinked female figure balances two swords upon her shoulders.

Reversed Meaning:

Imposture, falsehood, duplicity, disloyalty.

   
The Outcome - What will happen if the suggestion is followed.
9 of Wands

The figure leans upon his staff and has an expectant look, as if awaiting an enemy. Behind are eight other staves - erect, in orderly disposition, like a palisade.

Reversed Meaning:

Obstacles, adversity, calamity.

 
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