Toledo, Spain: Food, Culture, & Tarot

June 17, 2018

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If you love to travel, enjoy soaking in art, history, and culture that is thousands of years old, and you love to eat delicious food, then Toledo, Spain, is a must visit place for you. If you are into the tarot cards, like me,  you will find the tarot cards and their symbols everywhere. This is my exploration of Toledo, Spain and how the tarot cards are everywhere here! 

A visit to Toledo is just a short train ride from Madrid, you would be in the company of the Romans, Arabs, Christians, Jews and many other travelers who have roamed its famous walled city.

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain

Here is part of the castle wall that surrounds the historic walled city of Toledo, Spain.

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain 4 of WandsFour of Wands. In this card, the people are preparing a big celebration. Notice the castle and castle walls in the background. Historically, a castle and it’s fortified walls represented home, safety and protection.
The symbol of the castle appears in several tarot cards off in the distance, usually as the goal or ultimate destination.

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain

Toledo town square.

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain

That’s me at the town square.


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Email me at Karina@theempresswoman.com to schedule a tarot reading or click on the image.

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain, Ace of Pentacles

Ace of Pentacles – This card represents the promise of a new beginning with regards to work, financial prosperity and abundance. The card shows an arched doorway leading to that new path.

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain
Above: The arched doorway appears with the Arabic architectural influence of Toledo’s Moor inhabitants.
(When I see something like this doorway, it makes me think that the Ace of Pentacles, it’s new beginnings, new opportunities and abundance is present and all around.)

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain

I love this doorway and its stained glass design. It’s so simple.
The clean lines make it look modern, yet attractively mysterious and esoteric.

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain

The doorways are immense with beautiful, antique knockers.
Originally the big double doors would open wide enough to allow horses and carriages to enter.

Time for a “tapas” break.

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain

This bar dates back to 1952 and has much of its original design inside. Here we had a “pincho” (a portion) of Spanish tortilla – which is a potato and egg omelet. This one came smothered in a delicious pork and meat stew.

Next, we visit the majestic and gothic Toledo Cathedral, which began construction in 1226. It is an artistic and architectural wonder, filled with glorious art, sculpture, and design all to bring your senses and soul in unity with God. The tarot is blatantly present all over this place.

Toledo Cathedral- Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo

Tarot & Travel: Toledo, Spain

This beautiful statue of Mother Mary surrounded by angels reminds me of The High Priestess with her no-nonsense look. And her throne looks like the two pillars of the High Priestess.

The High Priestess represents your subconsciousness. She represents your internal feelings and thoughts you keep just below the surface. There is a mystery about her – like those feelings you get out of nowhere, that intuition or inspiration that rises to the surface from your inner, dark depths. Like Mother Mary, she represents feminine power, the Goddess, the creative life force, and the feminine mystery.

When you pull the High Priestess card, she is inviting you to sit quietly and tune in to your inner messages, your intuition and that inspiration that is trying to communicate with you. In a sense, she is the Muse, letting you know she is here for you.

A huge painting that takes up an entire wall depicting Judgement day.
The time has come to evaluate what we have done so far.

The Judgement card asks: “Do you feel worthy? Are there issues of self-love that could be healed and transformed?”
This is a fundamental question for our self-growth and evolution. We are ultimately our best or worst judges and only WE can decide how to best live our lives and find our happiness.

Yes. I am worthy of abundance, love and joy.

When The Judgement card appears, it could mean: Are you getting “the call”? –
The universe is calling you, pick up.
Is your inner voice asking you to finally write that book? Move to a new city?
Reassess your current relationship?
It’s time to look in the mirror and make some changes in your life.
Do you feel worthy to make changes for the better?

 

The Hanged Man
This is a painting of St. Peter the Martyr from 1616. (Wikipedia: It is traditionally held that St. Peter was crucified upside down at his own request since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus.) Keywords: by his own request!

The hanged man card symbolizes we are taking a moment to ourselves, we are taking a break by our own choice – to think, to grow spiritually, to contemplate.
When we are ready we can move on. But contemplation is necessary at this time.

This sculpture reminds me of the 4 of swords. It doesn’t have the swords above the sleeping figure, but when I see this I think of that card. I love what Biddy Tarot says about the 4 of Swords: a period of rest and recovery after a time of challenge, with the promise that once recuperated, you can and will return to the challenge. In the meantime, the Four of Swords provides a new challenge – to stay silent and inactive.

So the 4 of Swords is similar to the Hanged Man except in the 4 of Swords, the person doesn’t rest by choice. He should rest, needs to rest and hopefully, he won’t be stubborn and go against it. Because if he doesn’t rest, he won’t be ready to face his next challenge. And as you see in the 4 of Swords tarot card above, the lying figure has 3 swords above him. If he gets up too soon, he will be impaled by them!

Angels are very present in the tarot, and they are depicted all over this grand cathedral.

This sculpture below depicts the Four Archangels.

Clockwise: Archangel Raphael “God heals” on top, holding a fish, Archangel Gabriel “God is my strength”, the messenger, Archangel Uriel “The Light of God”, and Archangel Michael “Who is like God”.

Look for Angels in your life. They are all around us!

These 4 archangels also represent the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west) and also the four symbols of earth, air, fire & water. I could go further into this, but I’ll leave that for another time.

The Magician. He who turns water into wine. He who dies and comes back again.
The Magician, just like Jesus, says “Whatever can be done in heaven, can be done on Earth”. When you pull the Magician, it’s saying you have the power to create whatever you want. You have everything within you and around you to make your dreams come true. Work it. True Magic is believing in yourself.

Here is the original Magician.
This painting is STUNNING. The Disrobing of Christ  – by El Grecco – who was a resident of Toledo.
It is truly a masterpiece to behold.

The look in Jesus’ eyes shows an ecstasy as if he is already out of there and on to better places. (i.e. no matter your current situation, you have the power to think and feel positive to move on to better circumstances).

Empress woman in front of Toledo Cathedral

“I am continually creating my life with my feelings and my thoughts.”

The Two of Cups represents the joy we feel and the harmony that is created when we find someone who sees us completely for who we are and we see them completely for who they are and we LOVE IT!

Here is our very real version of the Two of Cups. Love and mutual admiration.

After witnessing masterpieces in the cathedral, we walked a few cobblestone blocks to try a culinary masterpiece at El Cafe de las Monjas (Cafe of the Nuns – pictured above), to try the famous local pastry – Marzipan. We shared a Marzipan cake with two fresh coffees and were connecting with the Divine yet again.

Other pastries made by the nuns of the Convent Santo Domingo.


When you pull the Ace of Cups, get ready to have all your five senses explode with life! (Notice the five streams of water flowing down from the cup.)

The sign above says “Toledo: Spanish Capital of Gastronomia 2016. Heritage of the Senses.”
TOLEDO is the ACE OF CUPS!
During this trip, my senses exploded! (Smell, Taste, Touch, See, & Hear)

Toledo: Heritage of the Senses – has not disappointed. It’s delicious food, the banquet of art and architecture for the eyes, the smooth, hard and cold marble and stone on the hands and feet as I walked through the Cathedral, the sounds of click-clack on the streets, the hearty voices of the Spanish people and last, but certainly not least, the love and joy I felt of sharing this day with my husband.

Back to Madrid via the Toledo train station!

Happy Travels!

Looking for symbols of the tarot wherever you go is a great way to learn the tarot cards from a deeper, richer perspective. If you come across a tarot card symbol, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below!
PS If you would like a tarot reading, click the image below.

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By Karina

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Tere- M.

    I absolutely love the tarot cards intertwined with your art pics! Toledo is on my bucket list now, but a piece of my spirit has already traveled there because of this great blog! Love you Empress Woman!!

    1. Reply

      Karina

      Thank you, Amiga. I am who I am today because of your friendship. <3

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