The Use of Free Association When Interpreting Cards
Below is an example of identifying dots in each Card and then joining them. It also demonstrates the use of Free Association so that links and connections can be made. These two Cards were drawn randomly, and then, without a question or issue involved, I set about relating them to each other so that a perfectly believable and usable story came about. These two Cards, The Queen of Cups and The World, could have been linked in several other ways, but when I drew them, I stood back for a while so that I could allow the relevant dots to surface on this occasion. A pattern or trail began to form. I then applied Free Association which my imagination took flight with. Along with my knowledge of the Cards, I began to join the dots. This is only an example and not a definitive way of linking these two Cards.
Cards Drawn – The Queen of Cups and The World
When I look at both of these Cards together, I immediately see colours that complement each other. Indeed their colouring is very similar and another thing I notice is that both Cards feature a woman who has fair hair. Could they be the same woman but captured in a different manner, or even on a different day? The Queen of Cups has her hair nicely and neatly braided. It is styled in quite a formal manner so I presume she either had it done professionally or took some time doing it herself. If she did it herself then she is very clever with her hands. She obviously takes an interest in her appearance. She is also wearing a Crown and sitting on a throne. Maybe this is her professional look and how she likes to present herself to the world. Going on the basis that this is the same woman in both Cards, she has taken a far more relaxed and casual approach in The World Card, as we see her hair is now worn loose as its long rippling mane cascades down her back.
The Queen of Cups is beautifully dressed and her shimmering robe, which resembles rippling water, is very arty and creative. This unusual style is probably designer, a one-off creation, or even something she made herself. When we look across to her in The World Card, her attire is relaxed and casual, so much so that she has chosen not to wear any clothes at all, save for a loose free-flowing drape. Compared to her stately dress, concentrated intense stare, and elaborate throne in The Queen of Cups, she now appears foot loose and fancy free. It is as if she risen, shaken off her workaday clothes and let her hair down. She seems free and light in her mood. The Queen of Cups demonstrates her outward image, while The World represents her true inner nature. These two Cards are very uplifting and I feel envious of this woman who has managed to find a balance between both. Regardless of what she is doing, she has not lost sight of her true essence, and understands that to be happy in life, she needs to be true to herself and not always conform to others expectations. The World Card tells me that she feels very assured about who she is as she happily dances naked for the whole World to see. What is her secret?
The Queen of Cups is often viewed as being soft, shy, timid and passive, but in the World Card we see an instinctual passion for life and a blatant uninhibited nature. Could she even be a little eccentric? The Cups do have a reputation for being so. This Queen is a very interesting person who obviously understands the appropriate way to be at any given time. Yet, when I look at her staring at her ornate Cup, I cannot get the image of a potter, artist, dressmaker, or any crafts-person out of my mind. As she sits very still and focuses her whole attention on her latest creation, we must ask where her inspiration comes from? How does she do what she does? All I need to do is look over to The World for the answer. The World shows us the laurel wreath with a red ribbon infinity symbol on both the top and bottom. This speaks to me in volumes. When The Queen of Cup settles down to do her work, or when she is working on a new creation, we may think she quiet and faraway, lost in her own little world, as this Queen is often known to be. She may not be that faraway at all, but is very definitely in her own world, a world that is far from being little. What The World represents is her world of creative imagination. The Queen of Cups, being famous for her artistic and creative abilities, has been gifted with the Golden Key to the wonderful world of Creative Imagination.
The Queen may enter this World several times throughout the day, and even during the night when she sleeps. She never goes anywhere without this Golden Key, and is able to zone in and out of this Wonderful World, with its infinite supply of inspiration suggested by the infinity symbols on the top and bottom of the wreath. She has access to a never-ending supply of creative ideas. When she enters this World, she abandons all her preconceived ideas which her nakedness symbolically represents. This leaves her free to take in her environment; the world around her, the people around her, the natural kingdom and the animal kingdom without any interference. She connects with the Four Elements; Fire, Water, Air and Earth which are depicted in the corners of The World Card. She has all she needs and hungrily absorbs them all; taking a bit from one, more from another, a touch from a third and a dash from the last. Her mix of Elemental inspiration is never static or jaded as we see her dance and move to their individual rhythms. Today, she will take one blend, tomorrow another. The potential for unique and individual inspiration is endless.
Through the two wands she holds loosely in her hands she allows the Elemental Energies or Inspiration to flow. She draws them to her and they are more than willing to oblige, for all Elements are fascinated with her and in what she will create next. In each creation, The Elements can be readily identified, but rarely are they found in the same order. As in life, no two creatures or people are the same, no dawn or sunset the same as the last, no rose in the garden identical to the next. For the Queen of Cups, neither are her creations, for she subtly alters the blend each time. The two wands she carries in her hands resemble paintbrushes, and the flowing cloth that drapes her naked body, her blank canvas. These symbols are not limited to art alone but act merely as a representation of how every work of art or creative endeavour begins, first with abstract ideas, raw inspiration, and an expansive imagination. The cloth could also represent the roll of material before it is cut and sewn into an item of clothing, the clay before it is placed on the potter’s wheel, the blank canvas before it is introduced to paint, the blank page before it is written on, the piece of metal before it is transformed into jewellery, the raw ingredients before a dish is cooked or baked, an empty house before it is transformed. The list could go on and on. Her loose holding of the two wands is very different from the firm hold and stance of The Magician who prefers to force his will to achieve his goal. The woman in The World has come a long way and has learned much. Some things have to be allowed to naturally occur. She has learned the secret of long-lasting success.
All this is very commendable and many of us claim to have the ideas, the inspiration, the imagination and even the talent. Some of us have access to all the raw ingredients and the blank canvas, just like in The Magician, but how many of us actually do anything with them? We know that The Queen of Cups is famous for her creative, intuitive and artistic abilities. We are aware of her very active imagination. It is this Queen who is strongly drawn to actually doing something with them. It is in her nature to do so, and indeed her inner-happiness depends upon her using her gifts and realising her creative potential. We can see how happy she is in The World Card because she is doing something she loves. She has found her true calling and does not think of what she does as work. She would burst if she did not have a creative outlet. So what makes her different to the rest of us? She uses her two wands in The World Card to lovingly channel the inspiration she has drawn to her so that she can manifest it in the physical. As I look up at the red infinity symbol I think, ‘as above’, and when I look down to the other red infinity symbol I think, ‘so below’. She takes her abstract ideas, her inspiration and imagination and allows them to form so that her inner vision conjures a picture. With strong visuals, she then sets about recreating her vision in the physical world.
However, The Queen of Cups, in The World Card will never force her imagination or seek to control it so that it conforms to the expectations of others. This is why she holds her wands loosely. This has to be a natural flow, and it is in not realising this vital ingredient that many of us make our mistakes. If it was to only create things solely for what others want, or what sells best, then she will lose the gaiety and free spirit of The World. Her world will no longer belong to her, and she may not wish to go there too often, or dread it when she has to. The woman in the World Card may as well put on a grey shift and tie her hair into a functional bun for she has chosen conformity and the needs of others over freedom of expression. She may think she can live like this as long as it is paying her way, but in time her vitality will erode and her world will close in on her. Her imagination and source of inspiration will dry up and become barren. The beautiful uplifting colours in the card will dull, and her wreath will wither and change into a conveyor belt. Without the constant flow of varying Elemental Energy, she will become rigid. No longer will she dance and be light-hearted. Deep unhappiness will seep through her veins and wither her strong healthy body. The Elemental Energy that we see seeping through the wreath from the individual Elements which surround her, are soft and vapoury. None of them overwhelm her as she floats on the cloud of their support. Should she force herself to only allow only certain Elements to infiltrate her World in order to conform to set demands of her, then just like her Aura, heavy dense grey or black patches would appear inside her wreath. Certain Elements would get overused, their quantities unrelenting and heavy, to the detriment of others. She would of course lose balance, and even if she was outwardly successful in life, she certainly would not feel it inside.
The Queen of Cups needs to bear all this in mind so that she maintains the present or desired status quo. When I look at the World Card and see her naked inside the wreath, I remember the connection to birth that this Card carries. I see her as the unborn baby in the womb and realise that this Queen was born with creative gifts and the need to freely express them. I look across at The Queen of Cups her self and now notice the cherub mermaids on her throne and think, yes, this is her birth right and she has been exploring these talents of hers in one way or another since a child. If she is not using her gifts, then she should be. If she wonders where her deep unhappiness is coming from then she should look to her creative talents and check to see if she has being neglecting them. Has her creative expression being put aside as she grew for one reason or another? If so she needs to revisit them for they will bring a wonderful sense of purpose and personal fulfilment to her. She might even become quite successful with them.
If The Queen of Cups is sitting on her throne thinking and debating over whether she should explore, re-visit, develop or showcase her creative talents, then The World Card is saying, yes, yes, yes. The Queen of Cups could be holding her personally designed Cup in her hand and thinking, that if so many people have admired her work to date, is there a possibility that she could make a living out of it, instead of the boring unimaginative job she goes to everyday. The World would be reassuring her that she would have no regrets, and has the potential to be very successful and her work well received. Not only that, but the freedom it would give her would outweigh any small sacrifices she might have to make. The World tells me that she has the ability to make a nice little world for herself where she can be who she wants to be, a place where she would have freedom over her designs and creations. She could easily feel that at last she has arrived where she wants to be. The Queen of Cups needs harmony and peace of mind, heart and soul. The World would certainly support her in this quest as it is a very Spiritual Card. Whereas this is a Card for ultimate success in your endeavours, because it is drawn with The Queen of Cups, this is not strongly connected to financial success, even if the result does bring that with it. For The Queen of Cups, money cannot buy happiness. She will need more than a healthy bank account to feel balanced and secure. The World offers her success on any level she so chooses. As The Queen of Cups sits beside the ocean, her Governing Element, The World encourages her to look to the natural resources that surround her, as it is more than likely where she will find her true inspiration.
Yes, my lovely Queen of Cups, you can do it. You have all the necessary ingredients and talent. All you need is a strong sense of self-belief, confidence and esteem. You have created or given birth to something great. As you hold it in your hands, you may not be initially aware of this. You take delight in all your creations, but this one is very special. You have reached a level of success and excellence that can take you as far as you wish to go. However, you must always remember this moment and never lose sight of this feeling, or of who you are and what makes you happy. Own your space and hold on to your personal freedom as you move forward and upwards. If you have lost your sense of personal happiness, then examine the world you have created for yourself, for there you will find the answers. Subtle changes may have disturbed its balance and harmony.
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Copyright © Vivien Ni Dhuinn 2006 – 2014
Were the cards drawn randomly?.. (In anyways it’s a strange kind of power your interpretations carry. A cool flame. Penetrating, and radiant. Asserting it’s aristocratic presence, reaching distant areas inside, but not harmful – it has invitation everywhere)
This example was not a reading but two cards drawn randomly for an exercise on finding connections and links between cards through the medium of free association.