Tarot Blog Hop: Imbolc: Earned Success


Six of Wands--Yoga Tarot
The Six of Wands from the Yoga Tarot.

Welcome to the Imbolc Tarot Blog Hop! This time our esteemed wrangler, Joy Vernon, has asked us to write about earned success as tarot readers. When I think of earned success, I actually think of the Six of Wands–which to me is recognition, that moment of being paraded about for your accomplishments, as in the Rider Waite Six of Wands–and the

Eight of Pentacles--Samurai Tarot
The Samurai Tarot Eight of Pentacles–work.

Eight of Pentacles–that moment when you are literally earning your success by doing the work. You’ll notice that both the master craftsman on the Samurai Tarot’s Eight of Pentacles card and the dancer on the Yoga Tarot’s Six of Wands card are making circles, of a sort. And that’s very much the nature of earned success: going in circles, or feeling that you are, when really your repeated action of engaging in the same details again and again is actually giving you a lot of stability. I especially like the dancer on the Yoga Tarot card, for this topic, because she is doing hard work, yet creating art, literally from her body’s precision. Or maybe I just like this card because I used to study ballet, long ago in another lifetime (middle school, high school, college). I also see a shared sense of balance in these two cards.

One thing I also can’t help but think of, in regard to earned success, are the habits that I have noticed in the most successful people I know. The key habit that I’ve noticed in successful people is the ability to pay attention to their time and their timing, the habit of using a clock, yes, even an ALARM clock, and a calendar, and planning with the use of those fine astrological tools. The clock and the calendar, as you know, are also circles. 

But what do I need to know about my own earned success? There are a few things that I already know: this is my eighth year of reading tarot for others, so I’m still a baby at this in some ways–or maybe a toddler. On the other hand, I’ve spent much of my life studying symbols and reflecting on themes in literature, philosophy, and religion–going back to my 20s, some thirty years ago. I’ve come to see the tarot and other oracle cards as a set of vocabulary–and I love the Lenormand because you can tweak the vocabulary a little to suit your needs. I decided to look for more insight into this question, though, with a deck I don’t know well from a literary canon I don’t know well: the Sherlock Holmes Tarot. I asked about my own earned success in a basic four card format: the situation, what I need to know about it, my advice, and the outcome.


The Sherlock Holmes Tarot has slightly different suits than most decks. But it’s suited to my Mars in Virgo personality, and I should read with it more often. My situation came up as the Four of Deduction. Though Deduction makes sense for my overthinking, in-my-head personality, I feel a little called out by this card. It corresponds to the Four of Pentacles, a card about holding on, possessively, to what you already have. It suggests I tend to have difficulty sharing my work with others–I hoard it for myself. It doesn’t matter that that’s because I feel that I haven’t been doing this as long as many others. We live in a world in which this work is needed. I need to be out there more, if I want to earn success. I am spending too much time at my desk, like the person on this card.

What to Know came up as Mrs. Hudson, standing in for the angel of Temperance, in front of 221B Baker Street. Temperance is a card that has a lot of significance for me: it has been coming up regularly in my readings for years, and since my husband died six months ago, Temperance has for me represented the idea of a foot in each of two worlds (in this case, the world of the living and the world of the dead). But not everything is always all about me. And I have to admit, as well, that the best readers I know have a little of Mrs. Hudson about them: they make people feel warm and welcome, they provide tea. The book that goes with this deck also claims that Mrs. Hudson is especially good at reconciling diverse or contradictory bits of evidence. I guess she’s an overthinker too. And she does it all from her living room–home is where I do a lot of my work, too, though not readings.

Advice: 18, the Hound of the Baskervilles, or the Moon. This is a card, like the Holmes story from which it draws inspiration in this deck, that focuses on dreams, illusions, delusions, and maybe even mental illness. It’s almost like the card is saying, go a little crazy, and don’t worry if you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s what deduction is for.

Outcome: The Inspector of Evidence, looking out an open window at, the book tells us (though we can’t see this on the card) a line of footprints moving away below. This suit corresponds to wands in other decks, and the inspector is the king–so this would be the King of Wands.

What I’m fascinated by, here, is that three of these four cards shows doors or portals of some sort. Mrs. Hudson stands in front of her door. The Hound of the Baskervilles shows a path almost like a tunnel through the forest. And the Inspector stands looking out a window.

It seems like the answers I’m looking for are more likely outside than in. And that’s where I need to concentrate my efforts in order to earn more success.

Maybe some of you know Sherlock Holmes better than I do. I have been meaning to read Conan Doyle for so long! If you have some insight into these cards based on your knowledge of Holmes, by all means, comment away, below! (And please comment even if you haven’t read about Holmes.) When you’re done, please head to the next blog in the hop, or go backwards to the first, or pop over to the master list and just hop randomly about.



  1. OMG, I left a comma out of the post I just posted! [insert Scorpio handwringing and gnashing of teeth] Oh well. I’m going to leave it as is. Because one thing to know about earned success–I almost typed earned mistakes, ha ha–is that you can make mistakes and still get to where you’re trying to go. It’s more important to DO the work and put it out there than it is to hide it until ALL the mistakes are fixed.


  2. I love Sherlock Holmes and have read all the short stories, all the novels, and the play, over and over. But somehow I was never drawn to this deck. Seeing it in action makes me curious about it. Maybe I will pick it up after all! I like your conclusion that the answers lie outside.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, Bonnie! Nice interpretation of the deck! I agree with the Mrs Hudson in all of us; make folks feel comfortable & they’ll tell you things their mother doesn’t even know! Earning one’s trust is just as important I think: without it, we’re on a hiding to nothing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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