The Taro Of Longevity


My name is Nolan McFadden, and i have been working for over seven years with a new system of interpretation for the Taro Of Marseille (for hundreds of years known as the Italian Taro); i call IT The Taro Of Longevity!

i have had (for the past eighteen years) an interesting and unfolding relationship with the Chinese character Shòu, translated variously into English as “Longevity,” “Long Life,” “Long Life Of The King,” among others i have heard…. In Chinese culture, living a long life is a true accomplishment, and an ambition worthy of brave effort; and my studies in Taro have drawn me inexorably towards the oldest continuous energy of the ongoing system, found in the Taro Of Marseille….

The Art of the Marseille Taro has lost no gusto, despite the many generations through which IT has traveled, and i am happy and excited to be publishing a new system for ITs interpretation – a system which (i hope) may stand the test of time as well as have the hundreds-of-years-old cards themselves! Truly, “everything old is new again”…. i herein publish the system so far, to be peppered with frequent installments and updates (as IT is both a labor of love and a work in progress)….

peace and illumination on the journey!

Nolan McFadden 😉

Published in: on 06/16/2013 at 2:49 AM  Comments (2)  

Taro Triumphs

Herein find described the possible meanings of the Triumph Cards (also known as the Major Arcana) of the Taro:


– The Fool

Go-between betwixt worlds, Trickster, Joker, Riddles necessary to realization, Spirit unvested in mortal garb – conjunct upon the material for the sake of experience, Extrinsic to the other 21 Majors, The Joke of the Flesh – “This IS my costume,” Entranced by experience, IT forgets from whence IT came, “Only a fool looks at the finger which points at the moon,” Renewal, Open to possibility, Appreciation, Taking IT all in, Be aware of consequences, Innocence, Don’t take IT too seriously, No-mind, Freedom from knowledge, Clown as Metaphysician

I – The Magician

Seer, Shaman, Manipulator of the miraculous, Will and motivation attuned with cosmic and karmatic motion, Holds all the cards, Reveals reality through use of illusion; reveals illusion through use of reality, Spiritual education, Unprecedented process – NEW IDEAS, Ambassador of the earthly to the exalted; Medium of contact between the ephemeral and the extant, Concentration, Focus, Active Motion, Manifestation

II – The High Priestess

Keeper of Secrets – Fruit of the Spiritual Womb, Silence, Meditation, Knowledge beyond the interpersonal or scientific – eclipsing at once both reason and emotion, The Heart of the Matter, Intuition – Instinct, Initiation – Trial by Fire, Challenge of Honest Assessment, Last Leg of the Journey, Balance; Yin-Yang, The Doctor does NOT make house calls, The Mirror, Gateway to the Unconscious, Arbiter of Necessary Timing, Encompassing the Other

III – The Empress

Pastoral Comfort, Abundant Fertility, Generation in Action, Gaia The Earth Mother, Desire of tactile pleasure, Patience, Unconditional giving, growth, nurture – inexhaustible in supply, Luxury; Profusion to Excess, Gentleness, Auspicion, Personal / Impersonal / Transpersonal

IIII – The Emperor

Control, Order (to a fault) – Fixity, Aggressive leadership, Practice of Hierarchy – Solid foundations and Defensive fortifications, Conscious Realization and Triumph over the Material World, The mating of ambition with tenacity gives birth to Work Ethic – do the best job you can with the right tools for the job, Strength of Character, Absolute Freedom constrained within Absolute Conscription

V – The High Priest

Signpost, Inspiration and invitation to spiritual exploration, Conscience, Mentor, Communication of spiritual insight fractated through cultural precedents, Pretension to influence through value of appearance, Spiritual integrity surrounded by trappings, raiments, and ambiance of spiritual materialism, Worldly roadblock to gnosis, Tradition, Exoteric orthodoxy, Self-discipline, Morals & Ethics, Roles & Structures, Organized grouping

VI – The Lovers

Tolerance through duality, Blessings, Process of Congress, Love, and ITs many aspects, Communication; contact, Freedom of Choice, Dilemma; decision, Transition of Individuation, Equality; Harmony; Coexistence, “Can’t we all just get along?”, Complement, Growth (Inner & Outer), Attraction / Union / Desire, The Human Drama, “To thine own self be true,” Dilection, Transcending duality, Division breeds decision, Civil war

VII – The Chariot

Victory, Triumph, Progress, Forward Thinking & Action, Preparation, Overcoming of Obstacles, Self-Reliance, Passage, Safe Conduct, Confidence, Motivation, Pomp / Glory / Recklessness, Response Ability, Cosmic Determination, Travel beyond duality, The Inner Journey, Non-dual Awareness, Co-Creation, Maverick Action, The Adept

VIII – Justice

Balance; Integrity, Impartiality in Observation and Interaction, Karmic Predisposition, Tough Love, Stabilization; Equilibrium, Reason, Self-evidence, LAW: legal, ethical, physical, energetic, Adjustment, Adaptation, Inexorable consequence, Examination of Causality, Do The Right Thing, Sapience, Accountability, Redress

VIIII – The Hermit

Inner life, Introspection, Surrender, Spiritual practice in action, Self-maintenance, Choice of non-interaction, Regrouping – centering, Illumination, Circumspection, Thorough analysis, Isolation, Renunciation, Transcendence of distraction, Father Time, Guru, Enstasy, Detachment, Doing One’s Own Thing, Ascetic Purity

X – The Wheel Of Fortune

The cycle of samsara, Destiny/Free will, Chance, Change, Paying karmic dues; Reaping karmic rewards, The passage of time, Conjunction, Synchronicity, The Big Picture, Expect the unexpected, Impermanence, Speculation, Causality, Caprice

XI – Force

Felicity, Strength through Compassion, The Eternal surrounding The Temporal, “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast,” “The Force will be with you…. always,” Working through Inner Conflict, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” Courage, Spiritual Warriorship, i-am-thou, Manifest Evolution, Perseverance, Courage of Convictions, Maturity, Consilience, Catalyst, Resolve

XII – The Hanged Man

Upended and suspended between the sublimity of the heavens and the gravity of the terrestrial body, IT dangles, Awareness of the situation, Application of yoga as mitigation, The Paradox of Consciousness, Alteration of Perspective, Sacrifice of personal equilibrium, Clarity found in freedom from Usuality, View from The Threshold, Motionless Observation, Suspension, Inversion of Circumstance, Noblesse Oblige, Relinquishment of Ego, Response Inability, Staying the Course, Witness

XIII – The Nameless

Inevitability, Transit, Endings / New Beginnings, Transformation; Perpetual movement, The Undiscover’d Country, Absorbtion – Renovation, Disintegration / Reintegration, Mystic Renaissance of Consciousness, The Great Equalizer, Release, Absolution, “I wear the chain I forged in life,” Don’t fear the reaper, Nothing lasts, Last Rites, Surrender

XIIII – Temperance

The Middle Path, The Dynamics of Contentment, Appreciating The Buffet; Open-Mindedness, Discernment – Deduction – Diagnosis, Admixture; Reconciliation, Synthesis, Proportion, Continence, Awareness of Boundaries, Reciprocity, Alchemy, Transubstantiation, Flexibility, Moderation, Rising From The Depths, Tolerance, Giving & Receiving, Forbearance, Inspiration, Combination, Modulation

XV – The Devil

Tunnel-vision, Self-indulgence, Self-interest, Obligation; Enforced servitude, Repressed or Unaddressed Trauma, Extremity, Obsession, Addiction; Destruction; The Self-imposed Shackles, The Power of The Dark Side, Predestination, Confrontation, Conflict – “War is Hell,” Primal, instinctual Desire, Exploration of The Shadow, Engrossment with Experience; Lack of Reflection, Subconscious, Chaos, Unchecked Aggression, Hunger, Panic, Restriction, Guilt, Consignment, Alias

XVI – The Tower

The illusion of Security rent asunder by the flash of Brilliant Clarity, Unforeseen Circumstance, Codependence; Dysfunction, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley,” Release of Attachments, Ruin, Inconsolation, Opportunity Knocking, Falsity – Hubris, Breakthrough, Return to Nature, Egress, Entropy, Cataclysm

XVII – The Star

Replenishment, Healing, Alignment, Accord, Cosmic Caretaking, Guidance; Getting one’s Bearings, The Essence of Life, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” Widening of Horizons, Visionary or Psychic Experience, Full Disclosure, Rejuvenation, Promise, The Naked Truth, Sustainability, Grace, Generosity

XVIII – The Moon

Imagination; Subconscious, Life down the rabbit hole, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” Illusion, Indirection; Involution, Vacillating dichotomy, Unseen influence, Lunacy, Instability; The non-rational, Periodicity, Obscuration; The veiled Realm of Shades, Surreality, Intuition, Feeling IT out, The Stranger, Reflection, Mystery, Secrets, Warning, Caution, Fantasy, Fear of the unknown, Potential, Nightwalking

XVIIII – The Sun

Radiance, Good life, Health, Longevity, Compassion, Charity, The unyielding force of growth, Joy, Cooperation, Sharing, Communality, Direction, Non-biased distribution, Exposure, Surplus, Consciousness / Attention / Creativity / Wholeness / Integration / Unity /  Enlightenment / Luminescence / Encouragement / Galvanization, Vitality, Celebration, Co-creation, Redemption

XX – Judgement

Liberation through Universal Vibration, Paying the piper, Reserving Judgement, Acceptance of Roles, Reckoning, Renewal, Evolution past material limitation, Enforced movement, Forgiveness of the Past, Penultimacy, Catharsis, Revelation, Summons, Wake-up Call, Imminence, Clarion Call, Homunculus, Clairaudience, The Writing On The Wall

XXI – The World

Plenitude, Freedom of Expression; Multiplicity, Exuberance, Totality, Endless Variety, Samhadi, Microcosm / Macrocosm, Manifestation; Aspiration realized, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven,” Natural Perfection – Wabi-sabi, Anima Mundi, Completion; Quintessence, Endurance, Life, Pleroma / Kenoma, Full Circle, Interconnectivity, Pageant, Circadian Rhythms

Published in: on 09/25/2012 at 8:06 AM  Leave a Comment  

Triumph Card Inversions

Herein find described the possible meanings for the Inverted Triumph Cards of the Taro:


0 – The Fool

Upright card indicates freedom, openness to new experience, “Devil-may-care” attitude, innocence, no-mind, potentiality in motion, release of ego, humor as the best medicine, a wink and a smile; inversion highlights a lack of attention to consequences, mindless wandering in circles, childish stubbornness; also lack of practical decision-making, unwillingness to self-reflect, acting like an idiot

I – The Magician

Upright card speaks to the process of conscious transformation, the will to change, malleability of perception & “reality,” personal choice, Focus & Activity, adaptation; inversion indicates deception, living in denial, stagnation, inability to concentrate, obsession with permanence, “The Charlatan,” prestidigitation

II – The High Priestess

Upright card indicates movement towards personal evolution, bringing what is hidden to light; the contemplative/meditative life, facing difficult understandings, meeting the unconscious; inversion may indicate choosing a non-functional path, not moving in a growthful manner, lack of attention to inner process, refusing to look in the mirror; also premature timing, unreadiness to hear the music, not ready for prime-time

III – The Empress

Upright card speaks to all things feminine, supportive and nurturing, the Earth Mother, also growth, connectivity in relationship, being held and cared for; inversion indicates a need for support and care, disconnection in relationship, a harsh reality needing to be faced, standing on one’s own feet, taking matters into one’s own hands

IIII – The Emperor

Upright card connotes the masculinity of power and organization, reason and logic, the uses of control, self-discipline, the protection of necessities, the Sky Father; inversion can imply focus upon the letter of the law rather than ITs spirit, the will to dominate, power for power’s sake, rigidity of structure, disownment; also giving up control and domination

V – The High Priest

Upright card indicates mentorship, lessons to be learned, teaching/education involved in the situation (begging assessment of who is doing the teaching, what their biases might be, and their motives for teaching), a guiding samaritan, roles & structures; inversion can indicate encountering a teacher that doesn’t seem like a teacher (difficult lessons to be learned); lessons to be learned in the negative (learning by not acting on current options), manipulation by self or other, no need to teach someone a lesson (“Preaching to the choir”); pretension to influence through appearances, spiritual materialism

VI – The Lovers

Upright card depicts the Human Drama in full swing, doubts/duties /desires, decisions to be made, guidance found in love, one’s own truths; inversion points to an undue emphasis on external circumstances guiding our choices, rather than internal truths; also unhelpful waffling, emotional walls and isolation, disloyalty

VII – The Chariot

Upright card indicates assured movement, success over a struggle, victory, guidance in the right direction, the Inner Journey, co-creation, maverick action; inversion describes stillness, megalomania, being on the wrong track, blindness of the ego, low self-esteem; also obsession with goals, “Stop and smell the roses,” lack of “checking in,” acting without proper authorization

VIII – Justice

Upright card alludes to objective observation and lucid decision-making, doing what’s right (and not easiest) in a situation, adapting and adjusting circumstances to achieve balance, an even keel, holding accountable, laying down the law; inversion indicates the presence of bias or prejudice which clouds the judgment, losing sight of what’s appropriate; also getting away scot-free, karma seeming to turn a blind eye (but IT always comes back around), imbalance in the Cosmic Scales, Travesty, Vendetta

VIIII – The Hermit

Upright card indicates solitary wisdom, the experience of a lifetime, finding the way through the darkness, taking time and space apart, introversion; inversion speaks to the energy of youth, stubborn ignorance of experience, morass of desires; also letting go of being the guru, coming back to society, returning to studenthood, extraversion, peer pressure, immaturity

X – The Wheel Of Fortune

Upright card indicates the mechanics of karma, passage of time, what goes around comes around, alternation, venturing a gamble; inversion indicates immobility awaiting the force that will set IT in motion, denial of present circumstances, imminent unpredictability, forcing change before ITs time; also taking a risk with too much at stake, Non-linear perception, “From the bottom, the only way to go is up,” Delaying the inevitable

XI – Force

Upright card displays confrontation with the Dark Side, facing one’s fears, breaking through duality, intimacy with the Alien Other, Courage and Warriorship, strength of compassion, the Art of Delicacy; inversion may indicate difficult inner conflict, giving ground, consumption by the darkness; also fears getting the better of one, unconditional surrender, brute excess

XII – The Hanged Man

Upright card indicates motionless observation, immobility, alternative perspective, need for sweeping change, the point of no return, response inability, staying the course (hang in there!); inversion may say, “Don’t just hang there – do something!”, taking a stand, too much attention to the head and not enough to the heart, empowerment through adaptation

XIII – The Nameless

Upright card indicates inevitable radical transition, the definitive end and the imminent beginning, necessary awareness of finality, last rites, surrender; inversion can indicate lack of awareness surrounding impermanence, stubborn ignorance of necessary change, call to experience fully in the present moment (“Live a little!”), a new lease on life, attention called to a new birth, letting the past be the past, haunting, legacy, rebirth, Mercy-killing

XIIII – Temperance

Upright card indicates balance and the search for harmony and acceptance, the art of compromise, flexibility, willingness, facilitation of functionality; inversion can indicate difficulties with charitable respect and relation, maintaining boundaries; also being “off-kilter” or out of balance, unwillingess to give (or to receive), inability to find the right mix, going to extremes

XV – The Devil

Upright card indicates conflict between one’s desires and surrounding social circumstances, repression or the state of being held down/back, basic primal instinct, fixation on ego-based experience, doing what feels good as opposed to what’s right, disguise, branding; inversion can indicate release from bondage/non-functional temptation, rehabilitating addiction, not enough attention to one’s gut feeling, overcoming dysfunction, conquering one’s demons, redemption, “Giving the devil his due,” Brutal Honesty

XVI – The Tower

Upright card warns of the illusions of security, the eventual downfall of arrogance, the emptiness of expectations, return to nature; inversion may indicate forseeing of consequences, not being taken in by appearances, sitting tight in a burning building; also a fortified stronghold, imprisonment, “Slow down! The building’s not on fire….”

XVII – The Star

Upright card represents hope, rejuvenation, promise, guidance through the darkness, the naked truth; inversion may indicate mendication, ignorance of signs & omens, veiled truth or half-truths, unanswered wishes

XVIII – The Moon

Upright card indicates an entrance to the Underworld of the subconscious, the inner life of fantasy and connection with archetypal energies, Nightwalking, therapeutic submergence; inversion can indicate disconnection with one’s own inner motivations and landscape, allowing darkness and mystery to overtake inner exploration; also need to separate from obsession with one’s fantasies, “Darkest before the dawn”

XVIIII – The Sun

Upright card bears omens of good tidings, growth, clarity, cooperation and progressive evolution; inversion can indicate obscuration of broad view or clear vision; temporarily cloud-covered positivity may go unappreciated for ITs unseen brilliance; also withering from lack, “Sol Niger” or the inexorability of the Black Hole

XX – Judgement

Upright card indicates imminent transition, revelation, situational climax, new beginnings, a hands-off approach, awareness of one’s place in the Big Picture, the Writing On The Wall; inversion can indicate an unheeded call, admonition to let things take their natural course; also waiting for a sign, letting the dead rest in peace (“When you’re dead, you stay dead”), head in the sand

XXI – The World

Upright card indicates totality, fullness, fulfillment, truth, perfect placement, coming full circle, the connectedness between things; inversion may describe more to come, more work to be done, not the end, the trap of considering the material world to be the only definitive reality, difficulty with the big picture, still not getting IT

Published in: on 09/20/2011 at 4:55 PM  Leave a Comment