Friday, November 15, 2013

Love on Friday- Blog Links

Here are some of the wonderful tarot-centric things I have been reading this week-

Lisa at Love Dove Tarot gives you 5 Signs That You Are Cheating Emotionally.

Angie at Thematic Tarot muses on Tabula-Got Danged Rasa.

Jenna at Queen of Wands Tarot wonders You're The Psychic, You Tell Me!

Elendil ponders The Best Approach.

Carla at Rowan Tarot listens to The Hierophant in An Apple A Day.

Zanna Starr at Tarot Notes tried out a new spread in Native Glyph Reading.

Secrets are exposed at Inner Whispers.

Are there any tarot blogs out there you love to read?  What are they?  Reading blogs is one of the best parts of most of my days.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review- The Tarot Activity Book

There are many tarot readers who prefer to work with the psychological aspect of the cards, using them as a guide to delve the depths of the psyche and map the road to self knowledge.  Even the traditional "tall dark stranger" type of reader can be of the most service to their client, and themselves, by learning to use the archetypal patterns and energies ever present in tarot cards to open dialogue between the reader and the deepest parts of themselves.

The Tarot Activity Book by Andy Matzner is filled with activities and prompts to help the reader connect the cards with self exploration and explore them in a non-occult manner.  The publishers' summary specifically markets the book to art teachers and mental health professionals as well as tarot readers.

You all know I love a good quote, and this book is full of them.  Andy Matzner is a social worker, psychotherapist, life coach, and professor, so he certainly boasts the experience to bring such a book into being.  The language is simple and plain, which makes the book accessible to everyone, and the author is a proponent of keeping a journal to track the exercises and record your experiences.  This, in fact, is not so much a book to be read and absorbed, but a book to be experienced and worked through.  There are 271 pages of activities to experience and record and each of them.  There are also tactile crafts to do with the cards, and I suggest making a copy of your deck of choice on your printer so as to be able to throw yourself into the experience without worry of replacing a deck.

There are no explanations of the cards, which allows you as the reader to lean deeply on either your previous understanding of the cards or the way the images speak to you.  There are no rules in this book but to honor yourself and be prepared to be honest with yourself.

An example of the activities in the book is Strength/Weakness.


To understand that your greatest strength can also cause distress if you are not careful.


Think about the personal quality or characteristic that you are most proud of.  Or the one that people consistently have complimented you on.  What is it about you that truly makes you unique, or has served you well in life?  Could it be your dependability?  Or that you're a great listener?  Incredibly creative?  Deeply compassionate?

But there is always a shadow side side to a person's strength.  For example, a creative person might find it easier to focus on his art and not bother learning about the business side of things.  Or a compassionate person might find it hard to cut off a dysfunctional friendship.  Or someone who loves helping others might spend all of her energy giving her time away and be left with none for herself.

Your challenge is twofold.  First, to make sure that you acknowledge and honor your greatest strength.  Second, to recognize that if you're not careful, it can become a liability.


Go through your tarot deck and search for a card that you feel represents your greatest strength.  Using that card as inspiration, please answer the following questions in your journal:

  1. What is your greatest strength?  How do you know?
  2. How has your greatest strength positively impacted your life?
  3. Is there some aspect of your greatest strength that could be detrimental to your well-being?  How so?
  4. Can you remember a specific experience where this positive aspect of yourself actually ended up backfiring?
  5. What are some things you could do to prevent your greatest strength from becoming a liability?
You will know if this kind of introspection suits you, although I feel we can all use some of this from time to time.  When I do not know the answers to questions like this, I find that a good time to pull out cards for a conversation, too.  Most of the activities require that you choose the card that best expresses the energy you are dealing with, but they can also be easily adapted into spreads which help to recognize the answers.

I feel it should be said that I feel strongly that people who are not trained for it should not be counseling others, and it is unethical at best and damaging, not to mention, illegal at worst.  I also want to emphasize the fact that for me, this kind of inner dialogue is crucial, but that tarot is also valuable as a divination tool, and as my area of expertise is in using the cards to answer specific questions, I would not feel comfortable taking clients into some of these exercises.  That does not stop me from finding them invaluable for myself, though.

If you are looking for new things to do with your tarot deck, or if you are interested in administering self therapy at your own pace using tarot cards, you will enjoy this book.  If you are looking for occult roots or to learn traditional tarot, this book does not contain what you seek.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Daily Draw- So Much Energy!

Maybe it has to do with Mercury going direct yesterday, but really it has been months I have been fighting lethargy and battles with myself just to get the most basic of things done.  Yesterday I felt as if a cloud had lifted and I was inspired, no, even driven to complete projects begun long ago and make headway on new ones.  Whatever the reason, I am grateful for it and I will take it!

Still, I am interested in keeping this momentum going so I would like to know where the sudden burst of energy has come from so I have the best possible options to sustain it and make it into a way of life.  So I did what I usually do- I asked my cards where my energy has come from.
Bonefire Tarot- Queen of Wands, Knight of Swords

I am using a method outlined in Dusty White's Advanced Tarot Secrets, which has become my best friend in tarot reading over the past couple months.  He calls it "Hero and Sidekick" and it is basically a method for linking the cards and having them strike up a conversation.  As you look at a pair of cards, drawn in relation to a query, you decide which of them is the hero, the main card of the answer, and you use the other card as a sidekick, a way to modify the meaning of the first card and fine tune it to your reading and question.  This is a tool I find invaluable as I believe the nuanced message of each reading lies in the context of the reading, which is achieved with a specific question, a positional meaning, or the interaction between the cards (or any combination and whatever other methods you prefer).  Without these things, I am often left guessing where a card falls on its' spectrum of meaning.  Intuition is an important component in reading cards, but one of my favorite aspects of tarot cards is that they show up, always, even if intuition decides to have a margarita at the beach instead.

The Queen of Wands is the one I am least likely to associate myself with, as I am a practical and sensual, sometimes overbearing Queen of Pentacles to my core, sometimes a sharp witted, sharp tongued, clear seeing Queen of Swords, and less often but still reliably a sensitive and sometimes over empathetic Queen of Cups.  But the Queen of Wands, with her confidence and creative force, no not so much.  Clearly I need to channel some more of this fine and fast lady, because I owe this burst of energy to embracing a bit more of her archetype.  I am going to wear that hat, because damn!  I am hot because I'm fly.  At least I feel so today.

The Knight of Swords brings a burst of masculine energy, or maybe he is being brought by his white horse, fairly out of control, which to me symbolizes a new found willingness to work with what is unpredictable in my life, and to ride the energy, wherever it takes me, for as far as it will go.  It's a wild ride, but exhilarating.  The two together create a burning combination, with air to feed the fire, and water to control the boundaries of the flame so that it can be fully utilized without burning.  In practical terms, this means I am uniquely able at this time to channel my emotions and my skills into my work without letting the intensity of them bowl me over.  It is a balancing act, although that precarious Knight shows it is more about faith than skill right now.

Bonefire Tarot- Emperor
I had a bit of help interpreting the Queen of Wands as her Aries self in full glory because twice while shuffling The Emperor decided to take a flying leap out of the stack.  The Emperor rules over boundaries and gives structure to that which may otherwise lay about all loose-y goose-y not ever living up to its' full potential.  Or their full potential, as is the case with me.  I need structure and I know it.  I have been made acutely aware of that and rather than returning to an imposed structure of working for THE MAN, which is not possible anyway, I must take control of my own domain and impose a structure I can both work in and love.  With style.  Like the Queen of Wands.

Are you struggling with blocks in your creative, professional, personal life, or in your relationships?  Book a reading today and we can either power through them together, or softly fold them, wherever the cards lead us.  You may be surprised, as I was today, by who you find waiting for you on the other side!

These images are from Bonefire Tarot, self published by Gabrielle West.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thematic Tarot Post!

I am proud to be part of a group blog with many fabulous tarot thinkers at Thematic Tarot!  Come read my post over there- Grateful Is As Grateful Does?

Bonefire Tarot- Judgement

Bonefire Tarot- Judgment
Today's card comes an exquisitely rendered and self published deck, Bonefire Tarot, self published by Gabrielle West.

Whenever I see the Judgment card I have to decide quickly if I feel it is referring to the biblical Day of Judgment, a concept which can span any theology or none at all when we consider it a day of reckoning, or a second chance, or if I feel it referring to literal meaning of the word- to judge.

Tarot cards never fail to entrance and delight me by managing to convey so many nuances of life and love, and so as I look through this card as the lends for my week I know I am likely to see both, and even more, meanings emerge from the card.

I am immediately struck by the ticking clock, which is on fire, adding to the urgency of the situation.  Judgment Day is coming, and no one can stop it, and neither can we know for sure the time it will arrive.  This is a distinctly Christian idea, but we can all apply to our lives and our journeys because the truth is the time we have to act on Earth will end for all of us, regardless of religious beliefs, and we aren't given to know when.  We just have to do the best we can with our finite time and make it all count.  I feel that especially lately, as my kids have grown to the point they do not need constant care and attention but still a good deal of it.

The golden hammer and gavel speak to a judgment being passed, possibly from an impossible position, as the richness of the tool places firmly out of my (current) reach.

The tattoos across the face remind me of the song lyrics by Jordin Sparks- "You're still a part of everything I do, just like a tattoo."  We end relationships of all types for myriad reasons, and many of them are just because it was right, but many people leave their stamps on our souls and they remain there.  I have dreamt this past week of a former lover, which is exquisite in both the memory of the immense love and the pain it causes.  We couldn't stay together, not least because I belong where I am now, married to my handsome man and taking this family where we are all meant to be, but in that time and that place I believe utterly that we needed to be together, too.  I have to, or all the tears and the constant undertone of love that never leaves, even when physical presence does, were in vain.

Do you tend to read the Judgment card as a kind of phoenix, or do you feel the discomfort of being judged, or maybe the righteous smugness of doing the judging?

This card is from Bonefire Tarot, self published by Gabrielle West, who you can contact at her site-

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Deck Review- Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards is a 50 card deck and book set brought to us from the imagination of P.C. Cast and Colette Baron-Reid.  In small print on the back of the booklet I see that the design is credited to Danielle Deschenes and the illustration to Jenna DellaGrottaglia of Duirwaigh, Inc.

The deck is based on the young adult novel series, House of Night by P.C. Cast.  I have not read the books and I am not likely to, which speaks more to my time constraints and my preferred reading material than it does to the worthiness of the series.  So many books, both for fun and learning, and so little time.

Despite not having read the books this oracle is based on, I used it to great effect, paired with Mystic Dreamer Tarot.  I find there are two kinds of oracle cards.  The first has a system and you learn the system and use the imagery of the cards to intuit meaning.  Tarot falls into this category of oracle cards, as well as lenormands, playing cards, Sabian Symbols, and many other decks.  Obviously tarot is my preferred method of divination.  The second type of oracle deck is prominent in New Age stores and even regular bookstores, and those are the type with artwork on the cards, usually with a number as well, and you look up the card in the book to garner meaning, as well as using the particular imagery on the card.  These types of oracles usually have beautiful artwork and apt messages, but no formal system that can be defined and worked with.  Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards fall into the second category, as do most of the ubiquitous Doreen Virtue oracle decks.

 The cards are large, measuring just shy of 3.5 inches by 5 inches.  They are slick and flippy, shuffling easily, and showing fingerprints on the glossy finish, especially the mostly black backs, which is a shame because the artwork is lovely.  The cards are gilded on the edges with shiny silver, which adds to the special feel of the deck, and they come in a sturdy two part box, with a small but full accompanying guidebook.  The book includes a description of each card with a small black and white inset of the card, and suggestions for how they can be read when they occur in a reading, as well as spread ideas.

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards
The images are computed generated, and populated by characters of the novels as well as some still life vignettes and a few animals, mostly domestic cats.  As could be expected from the name, the colors are dusky.  There seem to be far more females than males in the deck, and the males, for a change, are the less clothed of the two.  They certainly are eye candy, and the females are young, nubile and lithe.  It is a bit incongruous to me to see a kitten next to a hard bodied, shirtless male torso, and I certainly would not feel comfortable exposing my 12 year old daughter to the images, at least not together because the mixed message of the sweet kitten next to the undeniably sexed up six pack abs would confuse her, I feel, but it certainly appropriate for older teenagers and adults.  There is no violence or nudity, but the deck is probably edgy for some audiences.  There are five High Priestesses in the deck, one for each element, and Spirit.

The images did not intuitively speak to me, but this is not my preferred type of oracle, and upon reading the entries for each card I could easily find the thread of meaning in the readings.  It is not this decks' fault that I am so closely aligned with the system of tarot, and there are many people who greatly enjoy this kind of oracle.  What I read in the guidebook did pique my interest in the novels the oracle is based on, but ultimately not enough to drive me to read the books.  Even so, the guidebook as written in such a way I believe anyone could use the cards for divination or personal development.  A friend who has read the House of Night series also bough the deck and raves over the way they interact with the books, so if you like the story, you may find the deck a worthwhile visual to add to your enjoyment.  This is not a deck that is likely to enter my rotation, but few oracle decks would make it there, anyway.  It is a deck I enjoyed using and found value in.  As always, your mileage may vary.

There is also an app available from the iTunes store for iOS devices.  I have not used it, but I do have several different card apps on my phone, iPad, and Kindle Fire and I find them fun and useful when I do not have the deck I want handy.

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

These images are from Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards by P.C. Cast and Colette Baron-Reid, published by Potter Style.

Deck Review- Mystic Dreamer Tarot

Okay, so my use of the Mystic Dreamer Tarot, illustrated by Heidi Darras, companion book by Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn, was a few months ago.  Life caught up to me and we all do what we can do, right?

My neglect of issuing my review has nothing to do with the deck, which I have had since its' release in 2008, and it was one of my first decks when I began to collect them in earnest.  It has to be said before we dive too far into the review that the images we who watched the progress of this deck with excitement came out substantially different, so you have to take the ones you got.  If you would like to see Heidi Darras' art before the publishing company changed them, the images are available on Deviant Art.  One of the things I have read her say, though, was that she loved seeing her work published, but she was quite sad about the treatment of the borders.  On a personal note, if this deck sells well enough I would love to see Llewellyn go back and do what I consider right by this deck, which would be no borders and like all their decks, I would like a sturdy inner box rather than the over sized one they give.

The companion book was written by Barbara Moore, and as one of her earliest offerings it is maybe not as polished as her more recent ones, but it certainly fits the deck well, with a dreamy quality to the writing and prompts that help the reader look for symbolism and learn to follow that inner voice to wisdom.  It weighs in at 240 pages of insight into the cards, from Barbara Moore, not the creator, a few spreads, and constant encouragement for the reader to consider what different aspects of the cards mean to them.  That repetitive prompting can wear a bit thin when you read the book from cover to cover, but I believe many newcomers to tarot will pick up this set and for people trying to find their way, the permission to listen to their own intuition can be a revelation and an important piece of learning to read the cards.
Mystic Dreamer Tarot- Back

In the deck, you can expect to find 22 Major Arcana, which are both titled and numbered with Strength at VIII and Justice at XI.  You will find the suits to be Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles, containing Court Cards labeled Page, Knight, Queen, and King.  The cards are 2 inches by 4 inches with a reversible back.  The borders are meant to mimic parchment, and they have the triple sin, in my eyes, of being far too yellow, which detracts from the colors, much too large, taking up valuable space which could have been art, and untrimmable, which is my usual method for dealing with the first two offenses.  The cardstock is quite thin, though sturdy, and shuffle-able, though the borders will chip, which is the point of having borders, so that the art will not be damaged by shuffling.  The deck and book come in a large box meant to hold both together and a flimsy inner box which will do almost nothing to protect the cards and keep them together, as is standard in Llewellyn sets.  My set included a black organza bag, but I recently acquired a newer printing of another Llewellyn set.  My earlier printing came with the black organza bag but the newer one did not, so I cannot promise a Mystic Dreamer Tarot bought today will have one, not that you would be missing much.  Organza is nearly as ethereal as the atmosphere in these cards.

The artwork is computer generated, which I have found people to either love or to hate.  There are a couple images which I feel are a bit clumsy, especially in the face or the facial expressions, but by and large they are lovely and flowing.  Five years ago, when the deck was first released, I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  As time has gone on and my tastes, and exposure to the art form, have progressed I no longer hold that view, but I still find the images haunting, done in a vaguely medieval/fantasy style.  The twilight hues are done no favor by the large border, and some of the models seem to be repeated through the cards, though you may not notice it or it may not bother you.  To my eye, the use of the moon and ravens as symbols are used so often that they cease have meaning in the deck, and there is little diversity in the skin tone or physique of the depicted characters.  Some are scantily clad, though there is no overt nudity, and there is no violence.  I consider the imagery safe for most audiences.

This is a good Waite Smith clone deck, with most of the images being reworked directly from that famous deck.  This tarot deck will appeal to those who want to work within that system and are drawn to this art.  I feel it is a good deck for beginners, and for anyone who is attracted to the art.  The book will not satisfy serious students and is not exhaustive, but it will do quite well for people who read intuitively or already have an understanding of the cards.

Mystic Dreamer Tarot
Mystic Dreamer Tarot
Mystic Dreamer Tarot

These images are from Mystic Dreamer Tarot by Heidi Darras and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn.

Deck Review- The Healing Tarot

The Healing Tarot: 78 Ways to Wellness comes to us from the artistic rendering of Monica Knighton and the deep tarot knowledge of Juno Lucina, and is published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

This is a a deck rendered in black and white line drawings with a modern twist on Waite Smith imagery.  It can be used as you would use any other tarot deck, but it has a particular emphasis on doing the ever controversial tarot reading about health.  This is accomplished through the use of Medical Astrology translated into tarot specific imagery.

The deck comes in a magnetic closure box which measures a very manageable 6 inches by 9 inches.  I mention this because some older Schiffer box sets are housed in unweildly boxes which have to be stacked on most bookshelves rather than shelved upright.  Included is a comprehensive companion book of 192 pages written by Juno Lucina, who is the author of The Kingdom Within Tarot and The Alchemy of Tarot: Practical Enlightenment Through the Astrology, Qabalah, & Archetypes of Tarot.  She describes herself as "an empress by design and a star by nature. Ever fluid and changing, Juno is more a verb than a noun, more an introduction than a conclusion. She wishes that All awaken from Vishnu's dream, to see the truth and embrace All That Is. Juno is just a Story pointing the Way."  She includes a quote and a short essay about the meaning of each Major Arcana, astrological correspondences, traditional meaning (which of course must be read through the lens of the authors' experience, but I largely agree with her) and meanings specific to a health reading.  The Minors lack the essay and detailed astrological correspondence, but include the rest of the information, which is an excellent starting point for reading any deck of tarot cards.  A small image of each card is included next to or above its' text and the book is well done.

The Healing Tarot- backs
The cards come on glossy 3 inch by 5 inch stock, which my average size hands had no trouble shuffling, although decks on this stock do tend to be a bit stiff and sticky right out of the box.  The most recent deck I received published by Schiffer, Bleu Cat Tarot by Beth Seilonen, is on a much silkier and matte card stock, so they appear to have changed what they usually use.  The backs are reversible, and reversed meanings for health readings are included in the book.

The suits contain 22 traditionally named Major Arcana, which are titled but not numbered, so you can place the cheeseburger eating Strength card and Justice wherever makes sense to you in the ordering.  Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles round out the the Minor Arcana suits.  The Court Cards consist of Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings.

The artwork is black and white, with imagery that mixes modern imagery with more traditional Waite Smith imagery and alchemical and astrological symbols, as well, of course, various body parts and possibilities of ailments.  Whether this is successful or not depends in large part on the reader, to the degree these images stimulate the intuition and the readers' understanding of the symbols used.  My fear with this deck is that it will not get used as often as it may otherwise because it required me to sit with the book in hand, which was okay for me, here at home, but I would never offer anyone a reading with a deck I needed to look each card up for.  I do not have time to commit the cards to memory, and that will inhibit its' use to private only.

To my eye, which is of course subjective, some of the images point immediately to the specific health related issue, while others were more oblique.  It is an ambitious undertaking to try to portray both meanings to use in a regular reading (I hesitate to use the words "traditional meanings" or "usual meanings" as there will be as many answers as there are readings) as well as to point to specific health problems, and for me, this deck is not always successful in doing both, or even either, but I always encourage people to see and judge the images for themselves because everyone responds to images in a different way.  Even so, it has been an enjoyable deck to work with, and the times I understood, and even found a card brilliant, far outweighed my "Huh?" moments and I will happily use the deck again.  An activity I particularly enjoyed was making a large copy of a card and coloring it in, although I only managed it with one.  It was soothing and made me take the card in a new way.

The Court Cards are quite unique, without a throne or a mounted horse to be found.  According to the medical astrology used, the King of Wands speaks to issues of the head.  Well aspected it points to taking risks with new medical technology, the book counsels, while ill aspected it has to do with any issues around the head, like aches, stroke, even toothaches.  The Queen of Cups, according to the book, is concerned with the breasts.  The Page of Swords concerns herself with legs, and the very non-traditional Knight of Pentacles deals with the intestinal tract and optimal (or not) nutrient absorption.  I leave you with the images to decide if they speak of these things to you.
The Healing Tarot- King of Wands, Queen of Cups, Page of Swords, Knight of Pentacles

Using this deck will of course bring up the question of using intuitive or psychic abilities to discern physical ailments, which is hotly debated in tarot communities.  The answer for me is that I will read on medical issues for myself, my family, my pets, but not for clients or friends, because I will promptly follow my readings with a visit to the doctor or vet regardless of the cards information because if it was important enough to ask my cards it is certainly important enough to ask my doctor, and I cannot in good conscience give anyone else medical advice based on the cards without being sure they will follow up on it.  Of course, I say that as a person blessed with very good health insurance, and I have no judgement for people who feel they have no option but to look at cards for answers.

For me this is a niche deck with appealing artwork that I am glad to have in my collection, and certainly will use, but it is not a deck I am likely to become intimate with.  For the person who likes to study and memorize meanings, they may enjoy the system in this deck a great deal and become quite good at using it for health readings.  Of course any deck with artwork that appeals will work well for the purely intuitive reader, and I end this review with some cards for you to judge for yourself.
The Healing Tarot- High Priestess, Strength, Death
The Healing Tarot- Devil, Star, World
Healing Tarot- Four of Wands, Queen of Wands, Ace of Cups
The Healing Tarot- Six of Cups, Two of Swords, Seven of Pentacles

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Giving The Devil His Due

The Spiritual Path of Tarot Telesummit is still going on, and you can still be part of it for free!  It just takes an email address to sign up, and you can hear the fabulous speakers, one for each Major Arcana.

At 1pm Eastern Standard Time I will be speaking about Giving the Devil His Due, and later today Janet Boyer tackles Surviving and Thriving After a Tower Experience.

Click here to join us and take away so much wisdom, and free gifts, from all the speakers!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Little Big Man = Future Bo Jackson?

Today I am debating the merits of the sports my Little Big Man plays.  The kid has a fire for basketball like I have never seen him have before, and that is going to be nurtured no matter what.  But he also loves football, and is much desired back on his team for fall.  We had originally agreed that two club sports at one time was too much for our family to handle, and he eagerly chose basketball, with no thoughts.  But last spring, when he was playing both, I was just out of a major surgery and barely getting to the bathroom alone, let alone all the running around two sports requires.  I may be able to manage it now, or at least I can try.
The Healing Tarot- Ace of Wands, Three of Pentacles, The Hierophant

I am using a simple three card Mind, Body, Spirit spread to see how this might affect my boy.  I want to see how the demands (and joys) of laying two competitive sports will play out for him.  These cards will not be the only factor in our decision, but they do shed light where I may not necessarily see it.

In the Mind position is the Ace of Wands.  My first thought was of burning the candle at both ends, so to speak, so I think his mind will be challenged, but it will also be kindled, because he loves these things, and doing what we love IS fulfilling our life's purpose.  The enthusiasm of the Ace of Wands is incredible, and he brings that to everything he works at.  The book says, "Everything is within you to succeed in your health and fitness goals: Go for what you want, think outside the box, and don't let anything stand in your way!"  He will set some goals and reach them, because he is driven.  There is also a little bit of ego and swagger indicated in this card, which I wrote about in my daily post earlier today, and in some cases that is a very good thing.  I have to be aware of the toll this could have on him and try to minimize it, but overall it is a positive card.

In the Body position is the Three of Pentacles, which I see as him working to perfect his skills and athleticism.  I see the two figures at the foot as two coaches pushing him to work harder, get better, go stronger.  This was the most important position to me as I am concerned with him putting himself through the rigors of two competitive sports again this season, as well as the fact that football is rough.  Kids get hurt.  But they also get hurt playing basketball and skateboarding and crossing the street.  As a kid, I broke my ankle tripping over a crack in the sidewalk.  You can't control everything, and in fact can only control very little.  We pad them up, make sure they have the right equipment, and train them well, then hope for the best.  Playing two sports will help him increase his skill in both, according to this card.

I am not so sure I like the look of that right leg, and the book, which I remind you is geared towards health readings, says watch out for broken bones, but I do not get a sense of dread from these cards.  The injury, of course, would affect both sports, and that was my argument against playing football at all- Why take the chance of injury if your love is basketball?  But this is not my life to live, just advise, and provide rides.

The Spirit card is The Hierophant, and I think this is so important.  We meet the Divine where our passions lay, because they were given to us to drive us to our purpose.  I don't know that Eli will be a professional athlete, or even that I want him to be, because that is a long, hard road to follow, but that there is a purpose in the deep desires of his heart I have no doubt.  He will draw closer to Loving Source through his pursuit of the game.  The Hierophant being a teacher points again to him learning more and more, which is the most important thing to me.

The Hierophant is also linked to Taurus, which rules pleasure, and there is deep pleasure for him in getting sweaty, working hard, winning, camaraderie with his teammates.

The Hierophant has authority, and a prime reason to keep kids involved with sports and other activities is to keep them involved with and active in their own lives, as well as giving them mentors to help them to stay on track.  While I adore, and he adores, his basketball coach, I think he may benefit from the coaching style of other people as well, although I can see in him a fear of disappointing the Coach he admires so deeply by pursuing his other activity.  That is in the Hierophant too, as representative of a jealous God here on earth.  Obviously I know, and Eli knows, that coach does not equal god, but in the minds of children, the parents, teachers, and people we surround our kids wear the face of God and Goddess for them until they are spiritually mature enough to seek it on their own.  That is something I need to remember more often, to keep my behavior on its' best.
Healing Tarot- The Tower

To conclude the reading, I asked how my Little Big Man would feel if I did not let him play football this fall.  I got The Tower, and my immediate sense was of stripping him of something that is vital to him.  Now this knife can cut both ways, and there is value in making him see that he is not just his athletic ability, but a whole person with a hundred, no, a thousand beautiful traits, but I am not sure it needs to come to a 13 year old young man quite like that.  I believe kids need to be built up as far as you possibly can, and be afforded opportunities to build themselves up, like in sports, as much as possible, and it is not my place to cut him down in any way.  Right now Eli gets his sense of self esteem from being good at sports, from setting goals and reaching them, and he will learn soon enough what it is to be stripped without me doing it for him.

To catch a possible glimpse into your future, or to discuss the pros and cons to various paths you may be considering, there is no finer option than a tarot reading, and I would love to be the one to offer you one.  Please contact me here if you are so moved!  Not only do I believe in tarot for myself, but for my most precious things in life, my kids as well.

These cards are from The Healing Tarot by Juno Lucina and Monica Knighton, published by Schiffer Books.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Daily Draw- The Tower, The Lovers, King of Swords

Knives abound in this reading.  They frame The Lovers and their perfect visions for each other.  The cute little kidney is warding off junk food, which is cute but deadly, with one.  Not all cute things are innocuous.
The Healing Tarot- The Tower, The Lovers, King of Swords
This deck is specifically geared towards physical health, which is every professional readers' bane.  I am not a doctor or a nurse.  I have intuitive feelings about what may be going on with you and when you should consult one, but that is never a substitute for health care.  There are often rigorous debates among readers about the morality of doing these kinds of readings at all.  But people want to know about love, money, their health, their kids, and their careers, generally.  It's important.

Because The Lovers are the middle of this reading, I immediately think to The Man, who has suffered from kidney stones with alarming frequency.  The last ultrasound he had revealed there were many, and much like childbirth, there is really only one way out of that situation.  I do not want him to suffer, and him getting sick right now could very well produce a Tower moment for us, because it is just not a good time.  Not that there ever is a good time to experience The Tower.

The King of Swords there shows me that there is a consequence to each choice we make, and the food we eat can be a great source of healing for our bodies, or it can poison us in increments.  I get frustrated with him, and with myself, reflected in The Lovers, because it is so simple to achieve and maintain health, but we still make poor choices.

The other thing this preponderance of cutting instruments makes me think of is that another surgery may loom on my horizon.  I desperately do not want that, because I thought I might be dying after I had the spinal fusion in March, but there is very little to be done with backs, and even with surgery it seems very much like you roll the dice and take your chances.  My surgeon has shown up as the King of Swords many times in the past year, and The Tower can certainly look like a spine. 

The best thing about readings like these is that forewarned is forearmed.  The future is never set in stone, and with this not so subtle reminder I can help The Man to eat better by cooking and providing that food.  We reflect ourselves to each other, and we can help each other be the best version of ourselves.  We also strive to be the best partner for each the other, and there is power in that, too.  We have to make positive change for our own good, but love often makes you place the good of someone else over your own.
The Healing Tarot- Three of Cups

The Shadow Card is the Three of Cups.  This card speaks to some underlying issues I have with food, health, love and body image.  My mom was a broken person, and I feel mostly sorry for her, but she had some clear lack when it came to parenting.  She called me Moo Moo Mandy until I was old enough to simply not talk to her at all anymore, and my handsome, adult cousin chimed right in, with a cruel song he made up about Mandy being a pig, a big pig, to the Davy Crockett television show theme.  To this day I will cry when hearing those words, and that is no longer their fault.  As an adult 30 years removed from the start of this, I should be able to process this in a healthy way.

I have some very entrenched ideas of food, and I feel immense guilt about eating foods I consider unholy, that add to my weight or (small) health issues.  This is also expressed in The Lovers, with the reflection of her just a little more perfect than the reality, although the reality is lovely.  I feel I cannot be worthy of love, as my name means, if I am fat, and that idea is so ridiculous I would snatch up and hug anyone else who expressed it to me.  We have to treat ourselves as well as we treat other people.

If there are some things in your life that need to be cut away, or that you need to cleave to, a tarot reading can help you get that clarity and offer advice.  If you don't know you are worthy of love, the tarot can show you different.  I'd love it if you booked one with me here.

These cards are from The Healing Tarot by Juno Lucina and Monica Knighton, published by Schiffer Books.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Only Way Through It

Today's spread brings me three Major Arcana cards, which does not really surprise me, but I do think it is interesting to note.  Today I am asking about the state of this little blog.

The first card shows my relationship with the blog, the second is the way to get from where I am to where I want to be with it, and the third card is the result.  It is a basic three card spread meant to cast a picture and offer advice.
The Healing Tarot- The Sun, The World, The Empress
The Sun shows the joy I take in writing, in tarot, and in connecting with people who are interested in the same kinds of things.  I love it!  I feel good, and it is a happy place for me, or at least it always had been.  That is where the darker side of The Sun comes into play.  It is such a positive card that I generally read it as still pretty darn good, even when it falls in a difficult aspect, so I know that what has happened was still to the greater good, but that doesn't always feel good in the moment.  The Sun shines a light on everything, all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and putting oneself on display in a public blog is a choice.  For the most part I do not mind, because I think tarot is the most intensely personal thing there is, and I strive to live my life in such a way that I do not feel any shame at my actions or words.  But the shining light Sun has left me feeling exposed at times.  My little bit of success, for which I am beyond grateful, seems to leave me a target for hangers on and moochers, not to mention the people in my personal life who do not wish me well (who are few and far between but incredibly tenacious).  I have been feeling tender and raw, and especially with the parenting time issue with The Man's kids, and his exes odd (to me) obsession with what I do online, I have not wanted to be so exposed.

But, as I said, I generally read The Sun as good, good, good, so it's still good.  The love is still there.  The Sun endures, and so does my delight in what I get to do in this space.  I firmly believe that where we feel joy is where we are meant to dwell.

The advice for getting through this difficult time is The World, and the skeleton inside the circle makes me believe the time has come to die to what anyone else may think and be self contained in my own little World.  I am whole just the way I am, and no one can take bits of me if I do not let them cross my boundaries.  I gotta do me, whole heartedly and with no regard for haters, clingers on, or the judgmental attitudes of other people, because what others think of me is really none of my business.

The result of successfully implementing the advice of The World is The Empress, a loving, wild card of abundant expression and joy!  Her beautiful world is sacrosanct, and her expression is inviting but does not invite ugliness into her precious creation.

From the companion book- "The Empress beautifies and sweetens everything she touches: health, happiness, success, pleasure, luxury, artistic value, finances."  That is a value I hold sacred, and to get there from here means living fully in my purpose.

I would be deeply remiss in not pointing out that this reading resonates so deeply with the reading I received from Mandy Flint of Greeneyedgypsy last week that I could have almost pulled the cards face up to reinforce her words.  She is tough, but in a way that makes you know you are loved.  Thank you, +Mandy Flint!
The Healing Tarot- Five of Cups

The Shadow Card is the Five of Cups.  The book describes it as "loss of pleasure or desperate avoidance of pain" which shows exactly how I reacted to having my personal space invaded.  I lost my pleasure in it and I avoided it in order to avoid more pain.  Well, the Five of Cups shows your spilled ones, and there is no sucking liquid back up off the ground to put back in the Cups.  It is immeasurably sad.  But there are two more perfectly good Cups, and my intention is to stop mourning what was lost and turn to what remains.

This fits in eerily well with the Daily Card I pulled and posted at the 78 Whispers Facebook Page and the Google+ Community Page, which was the Page of Cups from this same deck.  I tend to record these at Tumblr as well.  If you enjoy the blog posts you may like what you get over there, which tends to be shorter, pithier, and more frequent, at least as of late.  There is also a newsletter that comes straight to your email inbox, full of new content, and no spam, which you can sign up for here.

Have you lost your pleasure or engaged in a desperate avoidance of pain?  A tarot reading can help you find your way out again, and I would love to help you do it.  If you would like to work together please contact me.

These cards are from The Healing Tarot by Juno Lucina and Monica Knighton, published by Schiffer Books.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Daily Draw- Emperor, Four of Wands

Another pair from the Fairy Lights Tarot graces the blog today, this one led by the faithful Emperor.

Fairy Lights Tarot Pairs- Emperor, Four of Wands
How do you feel about setting boundaries for yourself?  Boundaries can be a word that puts people off.  They sound constraining, because they, well, they set bounds.  The Emperor is the master of this, right?  Here's the thing, though.  We aren't free to chase seagulls without having protection in place.  It can be a mark of immaturity to balk at the protections in place.  We have this amazing freedom to practically fly down the highway, and most of us have vehicles to do so in, yet we must obey the speed limit.  We must get licenses, insurance, and tags on those cars.  All of those are restrictions which are for our own good and serve us well, when we allow it, but it sure can feel like unwelcome restriction at times.

There are many opinions on the wars being waged, and none of them encompass the whole truth, because I doubt any of us know it to share.  Most of us, though, have freedom to dissent, freedom to disagree with our government, freedom to say anything we like (though that should not be mistaken as freedom from the consequences of that speech) and we owe those freedoms to the brave women and men who serve to preserve them.  An ugly example of lashing out at authority can be seen when our service people and soldiers take criticism and sometimes even bear the brunt of hate because of their service.  They deserve respect, even when we can't support what they have been ordered to do.

Are you the protector, the keeper of the bounds, or are you frolicking carefree on the beach?  Are you able to switch in and out of those roles as appropriate to your situation, or do you struggle with taking either of them on?

These cards are from Fairy Lights Tarot by Lucia Mattioli, published by Lo Scarabeo.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Lens For the Week- The Hierophant

Fairy Lights Tarot- The Hierophant
The Hierophant can be one of those weird cards, and with so many people who read tarot feeling so conflicted about the church, traditions, and being asked to conform (or not feeling conflicted at all but just straight up not caring for any of it) it can be a difficult card for some readers.

I'm not one of them.  It might be that The Hierophant, with his structure and his love of doing things "just so" relates to my sun sign, Taurus.  It might be that I am not too angry with God so when this card strikes me as a mediator between earth and heaven I am not offended.  I think the most likely answer, though, is that in true Taurean form, I take a page from Robert Downey Jr's book, most days-

Maybe it is my Libra ascendant that makes this so easy for me, but I really just don't care what anyone thinks, and while this should never be mistaken for a lack of compassion, neither should my general good nature be mistaken for door mat-y-ness.  So, I respect traditions.  I even follow some.  But I have always understood that I could discard the ones that don't work for me while embracing the ones that do.  The same with all things concerning the Divine- I am absolutely comfortable with taking all of what works for me from different teachings, while leaving what just doesn't.

This requires a measure of integrity, to be sure I am not just leaving behind something because I just don't feel like it.  For example, I really believe that stealing shows a lack of trust in the Universe to provide, and a lack of faith in self to get what is needed and wanted, but it would be very easy to pretend that "Thou shalt not steal" didn't resonate with me.  Of course, I am pretty sure the authorities do not give a flying yahoo what resonates as long as we follow the laws.

The Little White Book addresses the issue of integrity when it comes to belief and imparting knowledge like this, "The Hierophant connects to ancient cosmic knowledge and passes it to those who seek his guidance.  The teachings you offer must be imparted with integrity and truth."

Fairy Lights Tarot pairs- Ten of Wands, The Hierophant
This deck has a unique slant, in which each card is part of a larger image which were cut in half and became a card in their own right.  As I examine the pairs, I believe this must have been a great work because the artist seems to have given a great deal of thought as to how to incorporate each card in both its' own meaning and in its' paired meaning.

In this case, the Ten of Wands and The Hierophant make up two halves of the whole.  The passage from the Ten of Wands is poignant- "Your essence has been scattered through too much outward activity.  Find a place of sanctuary where you can gather yourself together again."  When we want to approach the Divine, whether we feel strong, or we feel scattered and thin, we hope to meet kindness, integrity and truth.  I would put forth that whenever we don't find those things, we have to examine whether it is a false idol we are bowing to.

So, for this week, I am, as usual, going to listen, smile, agree, and then, well you know.  Anyone who treats me like a jackass is probably doing a little too much projection for us to be comfortable together, and likewise, when it is my turn to teach, I will remember to do so with integrity and kindness, just as I wish to receive.

I will strive to remember to run, not walk, to my sacred spaces when I feel heavy and world worn, because those healing waters never dry up.

These cards are from Fairy Lights Tarot by Lucia Mattioloi, published by Lo Scarabeo.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Daily Draw- Two of Pentacles, Four of Pentacles, Queen of Swords

I like to use Thorhammer's Daily Spread when I feel like spending time with my cards but do not have any pressing issues to work out.  I like the barometer check on life and it usually gives me something to think about.

The positions are:

  • What I Did Well Today
  • What I Need To Leave Behind From Today
  • What I Should Carry Forward With Me Into Tomorrow
Dream Raven Tarot- Two of Pentacles, Four of Pentacles, Queen of Swords

What I did well today- Two of Pentacles.  Today I kept all my balls in the air.  There was a lot to do, and a lot of ways to do it, but it all came together, and I am grateful for that.

What I need to leave behind from today- Four of Pentacles.  Tomorrow may not be as smooth.  If things go south, I need to be gentle with myself,  Just because today I managed to balance the two Pentacles doesn't mean I can double my load tomorrow with no consequences.  Superwoman I am not.

What I should carry forward with me into tomorrow- Queen of Swords.  I have needed to set some boundaries, and they are for my benefit and the people I interact with.  I am not cold or cruel for doing so; it is actually a loving act.  I need to stick to my ethics and be bold and brave in my choices, because I know who I am and where I am coming from.  I try to express it in a loving way but I am not in charge of how anyone receives me, only how I express myself.

Do you know what you did well today?  Do you like to do any daily readings?

These cards are from Dream Raven Tarot by Beth Seilonen, published by Schiffer Books.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Opposite of Fear Spread

I love Danielle Laporte and getting Daily Truthbombs is a highlight of my morning (or my late evening if I am still up when they come in).  I saw this one on Pinterest and it resonated so deeply with what I am experiencing that I had to make a spread for it right away.  PS- that is how you can tell something really speaks to you, when you have to stop what you are doing to follow the voice.

"It's often best to do the opposite of what your fear is telling you to do." ~Danielle Laporte, Daily Truthbombs

  • Card #1- What is my fear telling me to do?
  • Card #2- How does acting on this fear manifest in my life?
  • Card #3- What is the outcome if I continue listening to the fear?
  • Card #4- What should I do instead?
  • Card #5- What can help me putting this into action?
  • Card #6- What is the outcome of defying my fear and successfully implementing Card #5?
I am using Beth Seilonen's Dream Raven Tarot to give this spread a test run today.  It may be best to give this spread a specific area of life to focus on because most of us don't only have one fear.  I am focusing on my work.
Dream Raven Tarot- Lovers, Hierophant, Seven of Swords

What is my fear telling me to do?  The Lovers- My fear is telling me to pretend I am happy and well content with the decisions I have made, to make a big commitment to those decisions because they were mine and I need to own them.  To admit I have changed, or the decisions were wrong in the first place, would be a terrible blow to my ego, and something I am having a really hard time dealing with.

How does acting on this fear manifest in my life?  The Hierophant- I have become intractable and ever more stubborn as I try to hold on to these beliefs, whether they warrant the adoration or not, I am growing fat (symbolically) and complacent, happy (or telling myself I am) to sit on this perch instead of exploring the big, beautiful world.

What is the outcome if I continue listening to the fear?  Seven of Swords- Listening to the fear is causing me to rob myself of experiences that I need to have, to grow, to make more money, and to live fully in this moment.  I have two Swords firmly in hand, looking back to the two figures on The Lovers, but five more (looking back to the Hierophant) are escaping and I will never be able to grab them all at once.  The trying is making me quite grumpy.
Dream Raven Tarot- Fool, Four of Swords, Five of Pentacles

What should I do instead? Fool- Something totally different!  The Fool is all about letting go, and this winged version can fly.  In introspective tarot readings, often each figure represents an aspect of ourselves, and this one is utterly joyous.  The Lovers are not able to fly, because they are so entwined together they are not making any progress, just as I am married to some mistakes I have made instead of just letting them go.  Letting go is my secret, and the Hierophant is not so much about any of that.

What can help me putting this into action?  Four of Swords- There is a difference between grasping and holding softly.  The Seven of Swords illustrates desperate, grasping energy.  This Four of Swords is a gentler, more intimate touch.  I need to find the idea I actually love, instead of the one I feel like I should love.  I need to utilize what I can hold on loosely to, not what I have to grasp and grapple for.  I also need to spend quiet time where clarity can find me.

What is the outcome of defying my fear and successfully implementing Card #5?  Five of Pentacles-
I will learn to draw security from my own self, abilities, and creation, rather than continually looking for outside of myself.  I will be better able to compartmentalize work, putting away in the branches of the tree like these Pentacles have been so carefully placed when it is time.

When I total up these cards, I come to 13, Death, which makes sense as I look to my lens for the week, which is Death.  There are things that need to be let go of since they no longer work, to make room for new things to come in.  What is gone can create fertile ground for the future, like the mistakes I have made have set me up for success, even if only by ruling out what doesn't work.  Tarot is cool like that.

I have found this spread insightful and helpful.  I hope you will, too, if you get a chance to try it out.  We can do this spread, or any other, together if you book a reading with me.

These cards are from Dream Raven Tarot by Beth Seilonen, published by Schiffer Books.