Sunday, March 29, 2009

PDR - Divining Myself

The PDR spread I am using today comes from The Tarot Bible by Sarah Bartlett. I don't love card by card meanings books, but I do enjoy the spreads and extra information in this one! I am using my Deviant Moon.

The spread looks like this : (2 crosses 1)




1. I am this now - Two of Cups. This card is deliciously creepy! I often associate this card with The Lovers. The couple toasts each other, although I feel she is somewhat reluctant in the gesture. Today, the card feels a bit menacing. He has her up against the wall, and it looks friendly, but she has her hand placed protectively in front of her womb. He surrounds her completely, and blood drips on the floor, though there are no obvious wounds on either of them.

I am being a bit reluctant about love right now, fearful of the hurt that can go along with it. That emotion is causing me to be difficult.

2. This is what bugs me - The Devil. This Devil is one of my favorite! He is so sneaky, so creepy! I can just imagine he is tippy-toeing through some unsuspecting's house! The ways I have bound myself to "less than the best", even outright harmful behaviors, bugs me. Worst of all, there really is no devil I can blame it on, because most of my problems I create for myself with bad habits, procrastination being chief among them, and bad attitudes.

3. What I like about myself - Six of Wands.
However, I always seem to land on my feet, victorious. I usually manage to accomplish whatever I set my mind to, and I feel very proud of that.

4. What I don't like about myself - Ten of Swords.
Sometimes, I get absolutely certain that doom is upon me, and I kind of just give up and give in, and don't do anything about the situation. When that happens, I wallow way longer in the misery of the situation than I probably should, letting it best me. I need to embrace less of the victim mentality that goes along with this card so often and more of the "completion" thought. The Anna K tarot displays it very well, with the image of the man walking away from his place of defeat. That single image was the reason I HAD to have that deck.

5. My talent - Queen of Swords.
I am a sharp, analytical thinker, with a way with words. Those things have served me well, in school, and as a writer. I am honest, and I cut straight to the point.

6. My temptation - Knight of Cups.
I am often tempted to lose myself in love, in romance. Sometimes I am more in love with the thought of being in love than I am willing to work on the tough issues that go along with a relationship. I am often tempted to use my words to manipulate the situation, any situation, to one that suits me better. I often think I am being sincere in a moment, but often, upon serious reflection, I realize that I was swept up in that moment.

7. My personal quest - Justice. This is no surprise to me. I have a keen sense of right and wrong, and I hate feeling like I am on the losing end of that stick. I feel very strongly that my childrens' father did wrong by all of us, and we are embroiled in court proceedings that are supposed to be righting that wrong, as much as it is possible. I also feel very strongly that the world is right when everything is in balance, and I spend so much time as a mother trying to teach my kids about personal responsibility and logical consequences of ones' actions, good and bad.

8. My current guardian angel - Ace of Swords
. My current guardian angel is in fact represented by an angel today! I see the Ace of Swords as cutting through illusions to the heart of a matter, so my current guardian angel must be clarity.

The shadow card, at the base of the deck, for this reading is the Lovers, mirroring my first position card, the Two of Cups. This couple seems to be equally into each other, more on common ground. They are so wrapped up in the moment of their embrace that they do not even notice that the man is being bit by a viper! I have been so wrapped up in my relationship, and the impending move, that I have not been paying close attention to much else. I have, in some ways, put my life on hold, waiting for the real one to start. But this is my real life, too, what is happening right here, right now.

I like keeping a blog so that I can have snapshots in time of where I was, back when. I keep good journals, but I like the pictures that go along with blogging, and I like the insights I have been giving by sharing pieces of my journey. So thank you all for that!

These images are from the Deviant Moon tarot by Patrick Valenza and the Anna K.

Friday, March 27, 2009

One Good Reason To Have Kids

Tonight, my seven year old Princess NicNoodle the Poodle Princess Pineapple Buttercup BabyDoll Peach wanted to give me a reading (her real name is Danica *grin*) using her Halloween Tarot. She has big brown eyes, crooked front teeth (*gasp* the orthodontist bills and I would know - 13 year old son is about to get his braces off), and a blond pixie haircut. She is also one of the sweetest, most empathetic people I have ever known. I call this pic "Self Portrait". There are few things she likes as well as taking pictures of herself, haha.

She is a fan of 78 card spreads, but here is a highlight of the reading -

"Oh, Mommy! It's The World! You got this card because you are my whole world! And my brothers, and you do lotsa stuff in our house and you are the one who makes it all come together so you are The World and you make our home complete!" When questioned about what exact 'stuff' I do to make it all come together she replied, "You make the dinners and pack our lunches and take us swimming and buy us jammies and you tell the boys to do their homework but not me 'cause I just do mine and you remind us to feed the guinea pigs so all their hair doesn't fall out and you clean the cages when we forget and you write stories about us and you read to us even though we can read to our selfs and you know how to make the BESTEST brownies and you let me sleep with you when I have a bad dream and you help me make my hair pretty and you buy me the pretty clothes." I guess that is what makes a mom for a seven year old!

Solemnly, she flipped another card - "Mommy," she whispered. "Which ones are Ghosts again? Oh Cups, that's right... oh! Oh! Oh! The WISH card, Mommy! You got the wish card! You got the wish card because before I was born I looked down at you and I LOVED you and I WISHED I could be your daughter, and then when I got borned, I WAS! That was my wish!" She flung herself into my arms then and squeezed me. "You're my BEST Mommy!" she declared, though I am not aware she has any other mommies. The kid has a lot of enthusiasm, though!

Then she drew the last card. "The Queen of Pumpkins. She is almost as pretty as you, Mommy, cuz she has long dark hair, too, but yours is better, and she is petting the cat like you pet Zoe (the dog). I'll bet she is a nice mommy, but you are the NICEST Mommy. Thank you cards," she whispered as she gathered them up and put them away in their little pouch.

One of the best things about having children is the pure unadulterated sweetness they can exude sometimes. Even the one that is as tall as me, and with a much worse attitude *grin*. All parents think their kids are gifted, but I think this little one has a real thing going with the cards. Or I bask in her adoration. Whichever.

This sweetie pie munchkin sweet baby is now trying on my (largely unworn) cocktail dresses and heels. And telling her dolls to sit still and get THEIR readings.

The card images are from the Halloween Tarot for US Games.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Daily Draw - The Magician

Are you ever just haunted by a card? I mean, it seems to want to just show up EVERYWHERE? For me, for the past couple months, it has been the Magician. I have drawn in no less than once a week since the beginning of the year as a daily card, and if I do a reading for myself, it is almost a given he will show up. We are getting on good terms, him and I. Or today, her and I, rather. I am bringing you another beautiful image from the Templar Tarot today. This Magician is different than any I have ever seen. A splendid, multi armed dancer pirouettes on a deadly cobra, blithely juggling her implements. Is she not aware of the danger of the poisonous snake, or is she just that confident in her abilities? The crowd around her is completely enraptured, some postulate as they bow before her, some cheering her on. One of her audience reaches for her with only stumps for arms, having sacrificed hers to some disease, or maybe worse? She is dressed in white, suggesting a purity of grace, and either way she dances on, because she must. She is brave, beautiful, and completely captivating.

I am particularly drawn to the fact that literally, she is dancing on a snake. I have a completely irrational, but very real, phobia of snakes. I cannot even look at pictures of them, even drawings, without breaking out into a cold sweat and shaking. The reptile house at the zoo is a trial for me, and let's not even talk about the time my little ones put a garter snake in my bed. I literally thought I was having a heart attack! Shooting pains in my arm and everything.

Did I draw this card today to remind me to face my fears head on? There are two winged angels looking on, and they seem to be as enraptured as the rest of the crowd. Are they her guardians? Will they rush forward to save her if she is bitten? I guess this is where faith gets tricky for me - it's the easiest thing in the world to proclaim faith, but possibly the hardest to live in it utterly. I haven't taken some of the leaps Spirit has called me to, danced on some of those snakes, because I have been afraid that I will be be bitten, and I do not trust fully that I will be protected. Limiting God is something I know to be foolish, but knowing something in one's head does not always help it translate to heart.

When I consider the Magician, I think of someone who has all the tools they need to succeed, but is working on the mastering of them. I think of someone who is learning to bring their conscious living into line with the divine plan. I think of someone who has the ability, and the responsibility, to bring about change, through the use of their own power, for good. The Magician brings about his desires not just by happenstance, or seeming coincidence, but he sets out with a plan and takes conscious action to bring it to fruition. To pull this card today reminds me that I CAN have everything I want and need, as long as it is good for me, as long as it is part of the wonderful plan that animates the Universe, but that it is not enough to just long for it. I have to make the choices that need to be made, heed the call of Spirit, and take ACTION. I don't have to know what the outcome is going to be, but pure intentions and a loving soul go far.

And I can trust that I have angels waiting in the wings to help me if it all proves too much.

These cards are from the Templar Tarot by Allen Chester and the Radiant Rider Waite by US Games.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Daily Draw - The Hermit

I want to show you one of the most beautiful cards I have ever seen. This one comes from the Templar Tarot, which I have fallen completely, utterly in love with. Here we see the Hermit, as an angel, wings torn asunder. One of the striking things to me about this deck is that while angels abound, they are not the bright, perfect angels we often see in imagery. These angels have been tested, and they are sometimes worse for the wear. Even so, I find them hauntingly beautiful and I love them deeply.

There is no way to know the gender of this angel, but I imagine she is me, wrapping herself up tight against the world, deep in retreat with her thoughts and her God. I am not surprised to see a message about isolation and withdrawal, because I am well aware that this is a season for that, for me. What I am endlessly pleased to note, however, is that this is my favorite card from this deck, and I scanned a picture of it only because I wanted an excuse to write about it, at some point. Then my cards obliged me by providing it for the card of the day. Beautiful synchronicity at work!

The LWB from the deck describes the angel figure as John the Baptist. "A cloaked and hidden figure stands in a grim land without comfort, yet the location is high and close to God... The Hermit is the teacher who points out truth in the chaos of life through reflection and introspection." I have been led by faith through some pretty tight places, and I don't doubt that there are more to come. Nonetheless, it is a comfort to know that wherever we go, we can find that quiet place within ourselves, and fill it with light and love and just bask there to recharge.

I see the Hermit as a reminder that God speaks softly, most often, so we have to have the ears to hear. I often get the Hermit when I need to spend time alone, which is maybe more often than some people, because that is where I find the most rest in healing, in solitude, in deep reflection, in prayer and meditation, all of which is terribly simple to say, simple to do, but not as easy as it sounds, if you know what I mean *wink*

We all know I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to decks, but this one is really speaking to me. I think it does a good job of appealing to my Christian sensibilities while not excluding the other mysteries that exist in our wonderful, perplexing world. I love God, but I don't think that means only in church, and I don't think it means to be closed minded.

Happy Monday to you all! I will be posting a review of the mass market Touchstone Tarot very soon!

These images are from Templar Tarot by Allen Chester and Radiant Rider Waite by US Games.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Night Love Reading

Feel free not to read this post. It is going to be sappy and self congratulating, and probably overly personal, but that's what writers do; let little pieces of themselves hang out all over. I'm not sure where this spread came from. I did not make it up, but I did not leave any notes about where it came from in my journal, either, which is not like me at all. Because the Touchstone is so driven by the portraits, expressions, and feelings of the people on the cards, I felt it would make a good relationship reading.

Me ~ Him
1*****2 Our perceptions of each other.
3*****4 Our feelings for the other.
5*****6 Our attraction for each other.
7**9**8 Past bond, soul bond, present bond.

1. My perception of him - Strength.
I see him as gentle, compassionate, and kind with me. Sometimes I roar, and he lets me, while calming me down. I also see him as very brave, and capable. He inspires complete confidence from me, and I trust him absolutely.

2. How he perceives me - The Magician.
He sees me as talented and skillful, if not somewhat manipulative. "Manipulative" should not always have a negative connotation, though sometimes it should. I am very good at getting what I want out of him, and I am always consciously striving to reach both my own goals and our shared ones.

3. How I feel about him - The Lovers.
I am absolutely convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is my other half, and that my completion as an individual rests in loving him and having him love me. I realize we are different in many ways, but I feel that those differences compliment each other.

4. How he feels about me - Four of Wands.
He feels that I am stable, and that we have a firm foundation to build on. I may be overstepping my bounds to say here, but I think that this card says I make him happy, joyful even. I think it may even be possible he would like to marry me *grin*

5. My attraction to him - The Moon. I can't necessarily explain the connection between us, but it is there, and it goes soul-deep. I don't need to have it explained, though, because I am drawn to him in a way I will never be able to explain. It seems almost magical to me.

6. His attraction to me - Five of Wands.
He feels like he has beat out some competition for my affection, and that it feels good to win. It's always nice to know that others appreciate what you have. A small degree of jealously does not have to be a bad thing, and can in fact be healthy. It's all about balance. It is also likely that he feels somewhat conflicted. I do not take offense to this, because I know wherein the conflicts lie, and it is not in how he feels about me.

7. Our past bond - The Fool.
We started off on a new and unknown path together. We took a leap of faith, both as individuals, and as a couple, that marked the start of a new and completely different phase of both our lives. Walking this path together has been part of what has kept us so bonded in the past.

. Our present bond - Knight of Cups. At this moment, we are bound together by intense romantic feelings, nearly gushing, and the fiery Knight mixed with the watery Cup makes for some steam. Hey, people stay together for less than that all the time!

9. Our soul bond - Six of Wands. We stay completely bonded, and likely will throughout our relationship, because together we triumph over adversity. Our strengths shore up each others' weaknesses, and despite the difficulties we go through, we emerge victorious, time after time.

We all know that one of the dangers of reading for oneself is seeing what we want to see more than what is actually there. Even so, I read this as spectacularly positive. The Majors I see in this reading, in their respective positions, make me feel as though this is a fairly permanent relationship, which is both completely exhilarating and utterly terrifying all at the same time. Three of the four minors that have arisen are Wands, which is not surprising to me as the very core of our relationship is passionate and fiery. It is also interesting to me to note the return of two of my three cards from my daily draw this morning - the Four of Wands and the Lovers.

"Touchstone Tarot, tell me true. This is what I ask of you." So opens the booklet that goes with this deck. Kat Black also refers to it as 78 friends you hold in your hand. Thus far, my readings with it have all been very friendly, and I suppose the day will come that the cards will have to tell me something I don't really want to hear, but I have the feeling that they will be so gentle with me I could take just about anything from them!

These images are from the Touchstone Tarot by Kat Black for Kunati.

Daily Draw - Four of Wands, The Chariot, & The Lovers

I just got such a case of the warm fuzzies when I pulled these three cards today. They seemed to be writing such a pretty little story. I was heartened because I just didn't want to go to work sooo much this morning. It fairly consistently gets tougher and tougher. But I fairly consistently keep on going even though I know I should be moving on, so I make my own bed and continue to lie in it.

However, I digress and look to my happy reading. I did not assign positions to the cards so that they could just tell me a story. Here I see the solid foundation, built on joy, of the Four of Wands, driving me with the cool confidence of The Chariot, towards the wholeness expressed in The Lovers. That's it for 4 am. That's the best I can do *sleepy grin*

This is of course, not the only way the cards could be read, but that is what I saw. I see that continuously cultivating an environment of joy and gratitude is furthering my journey to where I want to be - whole, complete, content.

Incidentally, even though I am simply adoring this deck on the whole, these might be my least favorite Lovers. The Chariot is my Life Path card, and this is one of the favorites of mine to depict it. I really like the feminine presence, and she is just so very sure of herself.

These images are from Touchstone Tarot by Kat Black for Kunati.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Daily Draw - Eight of Pentacles, Knight of Swords, The Empress

This morning I used a simple three card spread from The Tarot Bible by Sarah Bartlett. This is a fabulous book for spreads and such, and it helps figure the meanings of cards in their positions, if you struggle with that, but as with all books that list meaning, I suggest beginners not look at them at all until they have a journal full of recordings of their own impressions. Book meanings are excellent to shore up one's personal definitions, but the cards should always reflect the reader because that is the way to truly read them, and not just recite some memorized words. It is a slower, but much more satisfying way to learn!

The spread is simply called Daily Practice, Card For The Day. The first card is Card For The Day (the important aspects of the day ahead) - Eight of Pentacles.

I am endlessly pleased to note that though this gentleman is hard at work on his project, paying infinite attention to the details of it, he has a book laid to the side, marked and ready to pick up when he has a spare moment to read. Reading IS work for writers, as is daydreaming, and staring off into space. There is a fine line between procrastinating and using those tools productively, and for sure I cross it from time to time, but this card is reminding me today to pay good and close attention to my writing projects, but also to take time to do the other things that are part of it. I could sit here at the keyboard forever but that will not necessarily net me more output.

This is also a reminder to keep on keeping on with the work I have been putting into making my home a writer's haven, and the personal work I am doing on myself to let myself flow creatively. I hate, hate, hate doing an exercise called Morning Pages, in which you are supposed to freehand write three pages of whatever comes into your mind, for however long it takes. I despise this activity, but I need to keep doing it. My hands hurt and I am writing inane things that I am never going to want to read again, but that is the point - to get it out so it is not cluttering up the ol' creativity pipes. I don't have to like it, though.

Attend To This (personal issues that will require attention) - Knight of Swords.

Be still, my heart. This single image might be the entire reason I chose this deck at all. His burning intensity is right up my alley, and I adore this image. I might have it blown up poster size and put it on my bedroom wall like he was a New Kid On The Block back in the day. (*sigh* Joey...) Just kidding! Maybe...

Anyway, the Knight of Swords is all about analytical thought and logic in action. He is handsome, to be sure, but is he feeling? I should be careful today of letting my head rule my heart and making impulsive decisions that seem logical on the surface but do not take into consideration my feelings and of course my intuition. He is also a truthful fellow, sometimes more than he needs to be, and this card reminds me to temper any hard truths I may have to break today with kindness and compassion.

I was thinking I would possibly let my boss know exactly what all I am thinking about how they have run a very good idea into the ground, but on second thought, maybe that is not such a good plan. He has to know that the situation is not right, and after all, it is his life savings on the line, not mine. I can walk away anytime I want and get the same, or better job, even in this economy.

What To Look Out For (feelings, desires, or reactions that could arise) - The Empress.

I particularly love this Empress. She is beautiful, and so very pregnant. There is no chance I could be pregnant (perish THAT thought) but there are probably some people in my life that could use some nurturing. It would also be good for me to attend to my projects and bring one or two of them to fruition.

I am smack in the middle of a major spurt of nesting, and that is not really surprising since I am deep in an Empress year myself. I am cooking, and cleaning, and rearranging furniture, and redecorating on my sparse budget. I have built myself a little altar and meditation space, and I have been so very careful to keep my work spaces clean and organized so that when I am writing or reading at least I am not distracted by thinking,"Oh, I should go put that away, or clean up this," or whatever else I use to procrastinate the things I really need to be doing.

In addition, with the Knight hanging around up there this card reinforces the idea that feelings matter a lot today, mine, and other people's, and to nurture them, and myself, and not feel one iota of guilt about that.

Shadow Card (the card at the bottom of the deck)- Five of Swords.

I don't know why I do this, but I always feel like the card at the bottom of the deck has something to say to me, so I peek. Like most people, I find many of the Swords difficult, this one no exception. This card, with the defeated slinking away and the main figure looking so smug and self assured, always makes me feel that he has won, but at what cost? When I see this card in my own readings, I try to look very hard at my own motivations and make sure that I am being scrupulously honest with myself and others.

As a Shadow to my reading for the day, I think that I need to be aware that sometimes people play dirty, and not everyone values honesty the same way I do. I am well aware that my bosses act pretty shady at times, and I should not be surprised if it should come back to me at times.

I am finding the Touchstone Tarot imminently readable, probable the most of all my latest batch of decks, and I am enjoying using it for my daily draws! After a few more days of working with it, I will probably post a review.

These images are from Touchstone Tarot by Kat Black for Kunati.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Artist's Path Spread

Today I decided to Explore the Artist's Path through tarot. I have done this spread about once a year for the past few years, and it actually never changes that much for me, which is disheartening because that means I am not growing or addressing the issues I need to be in order to make progress. This is a long spread over tender subject matter so I won't be offended if you choose not to read *smile*

1. THE SELF-PORTRAIT : What is your self-image of an Artist? What is your relationship with this identity?

The Devil - No surprise to me here. I think it is amazing and stupendous for other people to be artists. I am in awe of them and I am happy for them, even more so if they can make their living creating, doing something they love. As for me, however, I often view time I spend in my art as wasted. It is not making me any money and it is not adding to the children's lives in a concrete, measurable way. One of my favored ways to beat myself up is to call myself lazy and wasteful, and most of all selfish, when I spend time just reading, writing, or daydreaming, even though those are critical activities for a writer to be doing. I would never speak to a friend this way, but I hold no compunction about talking this way to myself. Sometimes I catch myself doing it and am able to change the internal dialogue, but sometimes I don't.

I am also concerned that given the opportunity, I would let myself simply fall into a pattern of wanton hedonism. Now, this is obviously not the case, because I somehow manage to keep my life in pretty good order now, and I could choose to do different things with my time and money now, but I don't, because the party lifestyle doesn't really appeal to me, but for some reason I think it might if I had the money? And possibly some small degree of fame or notoriety?

And if I get that money, or any material thing, from this art have I sold out? Is it still a sacred thing for me, or have I corrupted it for greed?

I KNOW the answers to these questions logically, but knowing something logically is not the same as feeling it in your heart.

2. THE NOW: Where are you now, while looking at your path with an Artist's eye?

Seven of Swords - Again, no surprise, especially not with the particular imagery of this card in the Deviant Moon. The performer, the artist, has the swords precariously balanced. So far, he is making it, but how long can he keep up that delicate balance? And when it falls apart as it inevitably has to, there is sure to be a disaster. He has not made a plan to deal with this possibility and I do not have a contingency plan, either. I can't not write, it destroys me, but I have not taken the steps I need to be able to write, full time. I keep trying to keep the one sword balanced on the balls of my feet while keeping the other from dropping right down my throat. The evidence of my other failures lays strewn around me. Ray Bradbury said "First you jump off the cliff and you build wings on the way down." Well, I don't know if he had kids to feed and a ravenous ex that wants to prove that he couldn't take care of them properly, but I do. I often tell myself that if it were just me I could take risks that I can't because I have three little ones that need me.

3. THE DRIVING FORCE: What is the driving force; what feeds the internal springs of your creativity?

The Chariot - Sometimes tarot has a real sense of humor. The Chariot as "driving force"...haha! The Chariot is my personality card and it does fit. I am always moving ahead, always striving for mastery and control of a situation. This is a blessing, and a curse, because that Tower Shadow card likes to remind us that we do not have control over every situation nor should we. I keep plugging away at anything I choose to do, because that is how I am. I write for a lot of the same reasons I use tarot - to give voice and reason to the internal conflicts I feel.

4. THE MUSE: What external factors or forces inspire you? What gets you going?

Two of Wands - The figure in this card is digging up, or planting, some roots. Either way, that relates to reasons I write. It is often an internal excavation of things that go on inside on the landscape of my mind. It is also planting the seeds for projects that I want to complete later. Often I write something in a day, and come back to it later, sometimes months later, and I am inspired to try again, and do more. This card shows single minded focus on his work, and that state is when I feel most myself. Feeling good in one's own skin is a powerful motivator!

5. THE BLOCK: What blocks your creativity?

Three of Cups - Well, again, this is not really a surprise. I know exactly what this card is saying to me. I like this card, it is a celebration. But, as artists, we have to be careful how much we let that take over our lives. Moderation in all things. I am hesitant to write this at all, because while I am not an alcoholic in any sense of the word, and I would hate to give that impression, I promised myself to be completely honest here, with myself, and my readers. There are times when I have had a glass of wine or two, and honestly, what I have written is just effing brilliant. However, there are just as many times when it is complete rubbish and I have lost an evening to the haze of the wine. I also realize how dangerous it is to be dependent on any single thing to produce. So, if I have to give up my dinner wine on nights I need to write well, that is a small price indeed.

6. THE BLOCK AT WORK: When you're blocked, what do you do instead of creating? How do you spend (or squander) your time?

Seven of Wands
- I like the imagery of this card, as I have mentioned in previous blogs. The little girl is frantic, rushing out of the forest she was lost in. The card alludes to confidence, faith in oneself to save oneself, and I think by this point in the reading it should be apparent that I don't have a lot of that, not in this area. There are lots of places where I am pretty sure I am all that, but my faith in myself as a writer is weak. I spend a lot of my time lost in a forest of self doubt, but if I would just be calm and look for the answers, or even just feel my way around in the dark, I would find my way out. Instead I get frantic and allow my anxiety to start whispering, then shouting, ugly things in my ear and I just run around in chaos, in my head at least.

7. THE MONEY: What are your views on the relationship between Creativity and Money?

Ace of Pentacles
- While this should be a very favorable card in this position, for me it's not. This Ace is a ferocious dragon, who never scared me before, but I have the distinct feeling of fear as I look at him now. Aces should be good omens, especially the Ace of Pentacles in a question about money. But so many of my fears revolve around not having enough of it, and that is not even for me, but more for my kiddos. I am worried that I cannot have both my creativity and money, that it has to be a choice. Again, I know logically, in my head, that this is not true, but we are not dealing with logic, people.

8. THE PRICE: What you need to give up in order to pursue your Artist's path?

Ten of Swords - This figure seems like they are in a completely hopeless situation, trapped in a box of sharp swords stabbing through the box they are in. I need to stop seeing myself that way. I am not trapped at all, except by the box I put myself into, and at any point I can get up and get out of there. Those aren't real swords at all. They are fake ones that my fear and anxiety has created, but my confidence and courage will make them dissipate.

I also tend to see this card as a person acting a bit overly dramatic, and I do have a tendency to do that. Just be calm, these cards seem to be murmuring to me in a soothing voice.

Further, I KNOW the situation at my work has to be over, but because I am so worried about the money, I have not been listening to the quiet prompts of Spirit. I could be building myself a Tower situation by not willingly taking the steps I need to now, instead waiting to be forced into change.

9. NEXT STEP: What you need to do next, to make sure you walk forth down the creative path you've chosen?

Nine of Swords - Here is the humor of tarot coming out again. I am currently in the process of making a large and deeply personal tarot journal for myself. I was ruminating on this card today, wondering how I could cast it in a positive light, or even as advice, when it is so clearly a card of negative connotations. I think the message for me here is that there is such a thing as productive worrying. Instead of taking matters into my own hands, I have kinda been haphazardly trying to let things unfold as they will. There is a time and a place for that method, but there is also a time and a place for careful planning and constructive consideration of a project. Also, I spend so much time worrying about things that are really just phantoms that my energy is consumed and I am not doing a good job of paying attention to what I need to in order to do well at this. So, in short, start worrying about the important things and let the rest fall away like chaff from the wheat.

10. THE ARTIST CARD: After dealing the nine cards of the Artist's Path spread but before reading it, place The Artist card as a Significator at the end of the spread (S). This card is You. Accept your creative powers and responsibilities, and your Artist's Path ahead will be clear.

The Star - I did not consciously choose this card, which acts as the Significator for the reading, but let the cards fall where they would. I do not own the deck this spread was created for, but I believe it has a special card that is supposed to signify the querent as Artist. I don't think I could have gotten a much more positive, encouraging card in this position, though! As much as I struggle, as much as I fall away from the path sometimes, hope springs eternal for me. I keep trying, striving, hoping, going for my dreams. Regardless of what happens for me, as a writer I gain insight and healing from the process of it, and at the end of the day, we all just want to be whole.

As I mentioned earlier, I have many of the same cards in similar positions in previous readings with this spread, but I am actually greatly heartened by this reading. The Major Arcana cards I see as positive ones, so that means I have control over changing the Minor Arcana that I am not best pleased with to what I see as a better path forward.

These images are from the Deviant Moon tarot by Patrick Valenza for US Games.