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Can I Change a Tarot Spread?

There are a lot of Tarot spreads out there. If you follow any Tarot-related hashtag on Instagram, you’ll quickly see how many truly amazing and helpful spreads there are out there. There is a spread for just about every need that there could be. But we are individuals, and while some spreads hit close to the mark, you might be wondering if you can change a tarot spread to resonate more definitely with you.

Some can be quite complex. I know that I am certainly no exception of this. If you’ve looked at some of my spreads for the #30DayTarotWritingChalleng, they get kind of intense when it comes to how many cards and where they go. Or, if you’re not a writer, but into more classic forms of Tarot-reading, such as older ways put forth by Papus or even A. E. Waite in his Pictoral Key to the Tarot, you’ll find long spreads that can involve 32 cards at times. I’ve even seen spreads that require the whole pack!

While there are some intense spreads that can make for a lot of cards to keep track of, likewise there are sometimes cards that just don’t seem necessary to your question or to the reading at all.

For all that the designer of the spread might have intended for each card to have a deep relevance, it doesn’t meant that the tarot reader using the spread necessarily can connect the dots of the spread-maker’s thought process. However, the spread-maker has put thought into the spread, and no-doubt does have a purpose for each card-placement.

So, can we change a tarot spread to make it our own?

The Simple Answer

The simple answer is Yes, we can. We don’t need to keep it just as someone else has created it.

Essentially, when you are using a spread, what needs to be clear in your head is the card positions and their meanings. While you’re shuffling, keeping your question and focus in mind, you need to also be aware of where the cards are going to go when you put them down and the influence those positions will have on your reading.

If you are altering a spread to fit your own personal needs, I have a few suggestions:

  1. Re-write the spread omitting the card position that is seemingly unnecessary.
    This is to avoid any confusion for you while you’re laying the cards out. If you, say, are looking at a picture of a spread you found on Instagram while you shuffle to keep the layout in mind, while also trying to remember that you’re going to remove one of the cards, while also trying to keep in mind the focus of your reading, you’re likely going to confuse yourself. Just save yourself the hassle and re-write the spread somewhere to avoid confusion
  2. Consider if you want to remove the card position altogether or replace it with a different meaning.
    Maybe you don’t actually want to get ride of the placement of the card, but just the meaning of the position. What are you going to replace it with? What do you feel would be a better meaning in that particular position.
    If you are going to do this, some things to consider are the actual physical location of the card and how it corresponded to the position meaning intended by the spread-maker. For example, if it’s the center card in a pyramid-spread, does the position-meaning correspond to the core of the reading?
    Ask yourself how ths card position affects the flow of the reading of the cards around it. In your standard three-card, past/present/future spread, the middle card acts as the bridge between the past and the future, creating the flow of the beginning/middle/end of a story. There is a necessity to the flow. Does the spread you’re altering rely on a flow between the cards?
    Finally, consider the weirdest possibility of card that could come up with that position, and whether or not your new position meaning will make sense with any card showing up there. For example, if you want the position to represent “will I succeed in my goal during this time?” then will it make sense for the Moon to show up in this position? Sure you can look at the definition of the Moon and the message behind it regarding your goal and success, but it won’t give you a yes or a no in this position.

The Complex Answer

The simple answer as to whether or not you can change a tarot spread, or course is yes, you can. However, that leaves room for a complex answer.

The complex answer is that the maker of a spread has put time and thought into the spread. If you are going to alter the spread, then you need to consider the above-mentioned things.

I challenge you to really consider the link of the each card in the spread, and spend time contemplating what the importance of the seemingly unrelated or irrelevant card position might be.

Image Credit and Link to original Source: Divination and Fortune Telling

For example, when I was learning Tarot, I thought that the 9th card position in the Celtic Cross spread, the Hopes/Fears position was superfluous. It was mostly there so that it could make up the ten cards. I thought that what you were afraid of or what you hoped to get in general had nothing to do with the reading. However, after a lot of consideration, reading, studying, and general maturation, I realized that it’s there to serve as any blocks that might be hindering you from getting to the end result. Likewise, it might be the driving force behind you that’s pushing you toward succeeding in your goals.

Considering that the Celtic Cross Spread is usually done as a general reading (well, not always, but it can be most readily done as a general reading), this is an important factor. If at the beginning of my Tarot-learning I had simply just disregarded the position then there would be a large insight that would be missed in my readings and my understanding.

All this to say that when you do come to a reading that seems like it’s complex for complexity’s sake, spend a moment and questions why it might be that way.

To Sum Up

Tarot is a highly personal practice. How we all read the cards is like how we learn—we’re all individuals with different experiences and different ways that our minds work. Therefore, we all will have different ways of learning. Thus, we have different ways of reading the cards. There is no right or wrong way so long as it’s authentic to what resonates with you.

If you don’t resonate with a spread, then don’t use the spread, or you can change a spread to make it your own. However, take the time to really contemplate and consider why it is that it doesn’t resonate with you if you’re planning on altering it, and spend time really working to alter it so that it can best serve you and the art of Tarot.

Remember to always be respectful. That is how communities and individuals evolve and grow.


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Re: Gender in Tarot – Thank You Root Lock

Understanding gender in its entirety is a huge necessity in our society. Whether it is to simply accept that there is more outside the dualistic masculine/feminine binary we’ve created, or to fully understand each point on the spectrum, as people feel more comfortable fully expressing themselves, we are understanding that gender is a complex topic. However, Tarot can help, especially when we break open how we understand gender in Tarot.

I recently stumbled across another Tarot podcast – love podcasts so much! The Root Lock Tarot podcast is a product of Weston from New York, and the very first episode of his that I stumbled across was:

Busting the Binary: Reframing Gender in Tarot

I put that in MASIVE text because You really need to click that link to get to the episode, since his website doesn’t include it.

However, he has a beautiful theory that he posits regarding the idea of a dualistic gender within the tarot.

This is a topic I’ve discussed before when considering the idea of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ in tarot, and talking about how it doesn’t necessarily correspond to biological genders but rather the energy related to the genders. I talked about how each of us is a combination of some form of both masculine and feminine.

The Gist

What Westin has done is explained how there are actually 16 different expressed genders in Tarot. And it kind of blew my mind when he said it. It’s so simple, so obvious, and yet such a different way of looking not at the Tarot, but how we view binaries in general.

I won’t give away the whole plot of the episode, but the idea is that for each element you have either a masculine or feminine energy that corresponds to it: Fire and Air are masculine (active energy) while Water and Earth are feminine (passive energy). So when you begin looking at the Court Cards, you have each suit which is giving you an active or a passive energy, and then each member of the court which corresponds to an element, and thus to a masculine or feminine quality.

For example

The Queens are Water elements. Thus, the Queen of Cups is a Water meets Water type of energy. If water is passive, and thus feminine, then you have feminine/feminine. However, the Queen of Wands is Fire meets Water. Fire is an active element, and thus masculine. And so, you have a masculine/feminine. It goes even further when you consider that one is a fire-masculine while one is a water-feminine, vs say the King of Swords, which would be an Earth-feminine/Air-masculine: Kings are ruled by Earth, which is passive, thus feminine; Swords are represented by Air, which is active energy, thus masculine.

I found this absolutely fascinating, and a brilliant exploration of how we view gender as a spectrum rather than a binary set definition. Furthermore, it expands our understanding of energetic gender in Tarot, thus provides a new layer that we can draw from as readers.

Give the episode a listen. I promise it is worth your time, and will help you to be a better Tarot reader.

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In Consideration of the Weekly Tarot Cards

So in my absence, I stopped doing the Weekly Tarot Card, leaving it very partially completed. In fact, I believe that I left off having only completed the 3’s, and was about to get into the 4’s.

I don’t like leaving things partially done. I would like to continue doing them but in such a way that it isn’t going to drain me. I go back and forth on how I’d like to continue onward, but I don’t know how. I feel that it’s important to study the cards, and I want to make sure that that is happening for the new and budding tarot-reader, and I like the meditations that should happen in order to get to know the cards as well. The moral being that I don’t want to forgo those types of entries.

I thought then that perhaps I could combine these all into one post. That won’t work for two reasons – the first being that I write them all in one document at one time anyway, so publishing them in one post won’t do anything to stop draining me. The second reason is that it’s what I used to do, and it’s a lot of information for one post. That’s why I started breaking it up anyway, to make sure that it wasn’t a novel of an entry.

I am at a loss as far as what to do. So, I’m reaching out to you for suggestions. What do you think would work best for you? After all, I’m putting this information out there for you, my dear readers, and thus, what I produce must be in compliance with what you hope to gain from reading my blog.

What are your insights, friends?

Shifting Perception and a Message on Difficult Times

I wanted to share this post this morning because it truly is beautiful. I think that the message behind this is so important. We all have difficult moments in our lives, and sometimes difficult periods that can span for years, and it is often challenging to keep our chins up. But this post in a blog that I absolutely adore, Cauldrons and Cupcakes, hits the nail on the head.

I have a higher message for you at the bottom of this post, drawing from my oracle decks. But first, I wanted to provide a little personal story which may or may not be helpful to you. If it isn’t for you, you can skip to the bottom here.

A Personal Note on Experience

Over the last few years I’ve gone through my own challenges that I never thought I would. I thought I’d experienced depression when I was younger, and not to say that I didn’t, but over the last few years has been a whole different ballgame. Likewise with anxiety. This year I hit my peak, or my bottom, however you want to look at it, and I knew that something had to change.

While I approached my doctor about this (which is a whole differnt story in itself), I also knew that I had to make some changes in my mentality, and commit to trying to change for the better. I waited for nearly a year to get the help I needed through the proper medical channels, and in the meantime, I worked on myself. I made the effort to see positive things–for example, clovers, as I’ve mentioned before. Once I saw clovers, and how damn many there were, I noticed how many butterflies there were, and bees. I noticed rabbit tracks, and I began being able to actually hear the hum of insects going about their day while I walked the dogs.

I made the dedication to say a positive affirmation every day, even if I didn’t believe it that day, and I made the effort to say at least three things I was grateful for before I went to sleep at night. And gradually, oh so gradually, things began to get better. Better enough that I survived the wait for professional attention, and eventually got to the point where I felt that I didn’t need said attention (though I did absolutely take it, I’m not going to turn down help!)

Focusing on What I Love

Deciding to start this blog was a massive help as well. It allowed me to focus on what I truly enjoy, writing and tarot. Being able to write about writing, write about tarot, and just write really helped me stay focused on the positive, even when I drained myself and had to take a break, it was enough to keep me lighter.

By starting this job and deciding I needed to broaden my content, I was able to discover differnt books I might not have read. I don’t mean Tarot books, but some of the other books, such as The Universe Has Your Back and Rise Sister Rise. Both of these books, while I wasn’t sure how much I bought into them at the time, led me on to other books such as Tolle’s New Earth and Light is the New Black, and finally onto May Cause Miracles. All of these books worked together to shift my perspective and daily practices into something truly positive, bright and beautiful.

My life has drastically changed by applying spiritual principles found in these books, by going to my doctor, and by taking small, active steps to make small, daily and weekly changes in my life toward something of better quality.

I followed what made me happy, what brought m joy, and now I feel I am doing joyful things. My day job is not my favorite, but I love my coworkers and I love the customers. My living location is not my favorite, but I love seeing the betries on the hawethorn outside my window and all the clover in the fields, the badger track that splits the field in two, the fox I catch glimpses of from time to time, and I love that I can tell the difference between a hare and a rabbit at a distance. My living situation and job situation haven’t changed, but I can see the positives in both things enough to make my actual life better.

Of course, I am by no means saying that these methods worked for me, therefore they should work across the board. What I am saying is that I found the small changes I could make that did work for me, and I used those to incrementally shift my perception and my quality of life.

Higher Message for You

While I was writing this post, I asked my two oracle decks what message I could bring to help you through your difficult time.

From the Ancient Feminine Wisdom of Goddesses and Heroines, I drew Penthesileia, and from Work Your Light, I drew two cards, Lemuria and Star Mother.

Lemura and Star Mother From the Work Your Light Oracle; Penthesileia from the Ancient Feminine Wisdome of Goddesses and Heroines

Lemuria and Star Mother

Lemuria reminds us that we are the creators of our Heaven on Earth, that through our own perceptions we can create a better reality. While those of us who are struggling might not be in a financial, physical, or practical positions to make the drastic changes to make our lives better (paying off large debt in one lump, moving to a better location, loose x amount of weight, get on y expensive medication, etc.), the one thing we do have control over is how we percieve the world.

Complimenting Lemuria, the Star Mother asks how it is that we can nurture and mother ourselves. Similar to the Empress, this card reminds us that we have to look after ourselves if we are to be able to care for others. We cannot give water from an empty well, and we all know that our water is our caring, our love, our intuition, and our creativity.

The combination of these two cards asks us what we can do to nurture ourselves to create a better reality? How can we look after our mental, physical, and/or emotional wellbeing to bring ourselves closer to contentment, emotional abundance, and gratitude? What are the things you can find yourself grateful for? What are the small things within your power that contribute to your happiness that you can indulge in? Is it getting icecream with your kids? Is it dancing in your kitchen to your favorite song? Is it treating yourself to a bouquet of flowers? Is it going to the batting cages and hitting a few balls? What is it that you can do to light you up, even if it’s only for a few minutes? What can you do to work toward creating your Heaven on Earth.

Penthesileia

Penthesileia was a queen of the legendary Amoazons, the women worriors of lore. They were the women who represented capability, strength, autonomy and earthly sensibilities.

her appearance is a reminder that you have the capabilities of balance, not in the same sense as Justice, though closer to Temperance. She is the like the coming together of Empress and Emperor, of masculine and feminine qualities to create a direct and forthright message of strength and inner knowledge. She represents the fight for what is yours, ‘a period of fighting for your rights and being a champion of the feminine in the world. The card supports your energetic spirit and fortifies your resolve in confrontations’ (Little White Book, p. 55).

Her presence is assurance that you can do what you need to do to make your world better, to shine your light brighter. You have it within you to make the small shifts in perception as indicated by Nicole of Caudlrons and Cupcakes, you just need to be direct.

Penthesileia aimed her arrow at Troy, and it was Troy who lost the battle against the Amazons. She is direct with her intention, and coupled with her strength, the directness is your message to you.

Set your intentions, make the goals, take the steps, however small they are, to get there. Know yourself, nurture yourself, create your Heaven on Earth, and fight to get there. You can do it.


Sometimes we need to honor and remember how to nurtur ourselves. Earlier in the year, in honor of Mothers Day, I created an Empress Spread to remind us all of our mothering capabilities, regardless of our roles in the world. Spend some time discovering your inner Empress. You can read more about the following spread here.

Good Morning Eos; Good Night Offer

Good morning readers and writers!

I woke up this morning feeling so excited for this October day. I sat down at my computer and peered over the fence just outside my window to see a thick wall of fog, set to inspire my absolute adoration of autumn.

I thought I would start the day by asking for some guidance from my new oracle deck (which I am so excited to have!), Ancient Feminine Wisdom of Goddesses and Heroines by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark.

I shuffled, thinking about how excited I was for the day, and asking what guidance the deck had for me this morning.

Out popped Eos.

The authors write:

‘To the poet Homer, Eos was the “rosy-fingered” goddess of the dawn. As she rises, she lifts up the night sky, yet through her veil some stars remain visible. Her seductive appearance entices us to rise and welcome a new day…When Eos is chosen, it suggests you are at the dawning of an adventure or new stage of life. The future is filled with new possibilities…’

Little White Book, p. 15

After posting my offering yesterday, I was so thrilled by how quickly my available spots filled up, and I am excited to work with each person. This card aptly summarizes what I hope to move forward with, and I am so grateful for those who are coming with me for the journey.

However, this does mean that the offer is now closed. I’m so sorry for those who missed it this time. Our partnership was not meant to be, yet at least. But thank you to all of you who did respond. I’m grateful for your interest.

KarmaStar: Writing Coach (Free Offer)

Ok guys, I have a confession: I’m not just a two-dimensional character. I do more than just read tarot. I have many interests and hobbies and experiences, such as writing! But I’m sure you guessed that after exploring my writing prompts and my #30DayTarotWritingChallenge.

However, I have even more about me than just reading tarot and writing stories (and blog posts). I’m wanting to delve into the world of Writing Coaching. As a former student at Durham University studying English in the UK, as well as years of experience as a writing tutor in the US, I’ve worked with dozens (approaching a hundred or more) of writers on their essays, short stories, novels, and even their gaming storylines (any DMs out there?).

So here’s what I’d like to offer you: I’d like to work without on your NaNoWriMo projects. I’ll take three of you, totally free of charge, and work with you through your current WIP. You don’t have to specifically be working on NaNoWriMo, but just on a novel that you want to get done by say New Year. I’ll work with you for two months, with an hour session a week, giving you 8 hours of my one-on-one attention in total.

What do these sessions include?

  • Weekly hour-long sessions either via messenger or via Skype, or sessions which run every other week for up to two hours. If you opt for the latter, regardless of session length, it will be seen as a two-hour session, thus giving you four one-on-one sessions with this offer. Take full advantage of the two hours—I do love to talk story theory!
  • Plot development. This can be talking through holes you can’t figure out, strengthening weaknesses, etc.
  • Character development
  • Writers block. Addressing any fears that might be holding you up, working through where you might be stuck, providing exercises to get you unstuck (this can include a four-card Tarot reading to address this as well).
  • Setting and maintaining goals
  • Conversation around any of the spreads you’ve used to plot or create your WIP
  • A second pair of eyes. I’ll provide a readthrough of your chapters in a beta-reader capacity. This means that either I’ll read your completed manuscript when you’ve achieved your goal, or I will read chapter by chapter as you write them (however, I won’t do both at this point). I’ll provide feedback and notes of clarity in scenes, any holes spotted, etc.

What this does not include:

  • Line editing. While I do provide a freelance editing service, this won’t be included in these sessions. However, if that’s something you’re interested in, we can talk pricing.
  • Discussion outside our designated session times. I will of course be reading whatever you send my way to work with you, and I will make comments on the document (though no edits) that can be discussed during our sessions. However, for the sake of not burning myself out, I’d like to keep discussion of your work to our one-on-one times.

What I’m asking from you:

  • Dedication and Respect. If you take me up on this offer I request your dedication. This is an offer I’m not making lightly, and I hope you realize the energy I want to put in toward your project for free in this offer. Please be respectful of this and be sure to show up as equally as if you were paying me £100 a session. Please show the dedication to this relationship, and be ready to follow through for the next twelve weeks.
  • Understanding. I have tutored students with English while they learn it as a second language. I have worked with students as young as 15 to as old as 70 on essays, research papers, reports, short stories, and articles. I have worked with folks to develop blog posts, and with gamers developing a Dungeons & Dragons storyline. However, I have not specifically worked as a coach. While I have been learning to this over the past few months, I have yet to put it to the test, and thus, I request your understanding and patience during my learning process. This is part of the reason why I am offering this service for free, so that I can learn through practice.
  • Feedback. While I am so excited to work on this with you, I am in part doing this so that I can have experience working with writers for several weeks on their larger projects in a coaching capacity. At the end of the 12 weeks, I hope you’ll provide me with feedback on how I can improve, what I did well, and what more I might bring to the table for future clients.
  • Professionalism. Please show me the same professionalism you would show a colleague, a mentor, a trainer. Be communicative if you aren’t able to make a session—I’m happy to reschedule. Pretend you are paying me a lot of money to do this, and that this is an investment for you, and treat your work as such. Remember, you will only get out of these sessions what you put in. While I can help you to develop your story and get you through blocks, you still have to be the one to do the work. You have to write the scenes, brainstorm the climax, and consider the motivation of your characters (I can ghost write your story for you if you want, but for that I will be charging).

Have I got your attention yet? If so, if you’re interested, or you have any questions, feel free to use the Contact Me form and send me an email. We can chat, see if we’re a good match and go from there.

I’m so excited to work with you, and I hope this will be the start of an exciting new adventure!

Are You Spiritually Bypassing?: Using Tarot as a Tool, Not a Medicine

Tarot is a beautiful and fantastic messenger that many people turn to in times of need. However, it’s important that we recognize that we are using tarot as a tool, and it is not the medicine itself. Only you can distribute the medicine prescribed through tarot, or any spiritual tool for that matter.

I think it was February or March that I realized my year’s card was the Moon, meaning that I had a lot of inner stuff to work on and sort out this year. That was part of the drive for my hiatus, was my own personal inner work and discovery.

Jordan, my unofficial tarot mentor (who does really great video reviews of deck on her store’s Facebook page here) once described the Moon as that which makes the shadows darker. In the night, when we’re struggling to see, the Moon shines a beautiful glow over the world, but where there are shadows, they are even darker in the night contrasted with the moonlight. So while the Moon can give us direction in navigating the subconscious, it can also be the key to finding the areas that just aren’t letting any light in.

These shadowy places are what scare many people when they see the Moon. But they’re just places in which the subject of the reading need to do some extra work.

With the use of the Tarot as a tool, a querant can be guided toward the work they need to do, but in knowing what needs to be worked on, the task still needs to be fulfilled. It is not uncommon for tarot readers and those who turn to tarot readers for answers to see Tarot as answer to their problems, rather than the guidance system. And it is important to know that when you have the map laid out for you, you still have to travel along the roads in order to get to the destination.

Too many times have I had people ask questions regarding whether their partner will come back to them, if they’re being cheated on, if they’ll be able to obtain x, if their job will work out, etc., only to get their answer but do nothing toward what the cards have expressed.

The Moon from the Aquarian Tarot

To return to my example of the Moon being my guidance for the year, I could simply have acknowledged that this year is for my shadows to become prominent, and that be that. But the message of the Moon is that now is the time for me to deal with those shadows. While accepting that they’re there is a great first step, it doesn’t do anything to sort them out and address them. The message and guidance of the Moon is that this is the year that my attention should be turned toward them so that I can move on to the Sun next year (that’s the exciting part!), which will then come with new things to address.

It is the same with any Tarot reading. A spread saying that everything is going to be alright, generally isn’t all there is to it. One can usually expect some homework that comes along with the reading, such as ‘everything will be alright so long as you don’t allow x to interfere, as it’s want to do.’ or ‘everything will be alright once you face y within you/at your job/in your relationship/etc.’

Spiritual Tools

I once did a reading for a person who was very worried about the outcome of a situation, and the reading confirmed a few of those worries, as well as some advice on grounding in order to resolve the worries. I gave the client a list of grounding techniques that I personally found beneficial, and directed them to some resources, only to be met with the response that they were fine because they carried a grounding stone with them.

I am by no means saying that a grounding crystal won’t do the trick, but crystals, like Tarot, are a tool. A tool won’t do the work for you unless you are putting it to use, and carrying it around with you isn’t necessarily the way to put it to use.

Hematite wrapped in silver. Image credit: Rock Paradise. Item available for sale at RockParadise.Com.

Consider hematite, whose properties are to draw in and transform negative energies into neutral or positive energies, grounding, mental stimulation, courage in women, balancing, calming, protection, and is helpful with self-confidence and self-worth—just to name a few. These are the energetic properties of the crystal, that which works on a vibrational level. This is different than say an herbal tea that we ingest, in which case would be working in the physical world and having an effect on our physical bodies. However, because the use of spiritual tools in a metaphysical manner is energetic, then it requires our energies to meet it part way, to direct it, so to speak, and be the operator of this tool.

Thus, if one believes that simply wearing a crystal without the intention of working on the issues the crystal is meant to be addressing, then the energy of the crystal is directionless, and thus might not be as beneficial as one might think. If you have an emergency carrier of fuel in your car so you don’t run out of fuel, it doesn’t mean your gas tank won’t run dry. It means that if it does get too low, that you, the wielder of the tool—the carrier of fuel with an emergency supply of gas in it—will have to direct the tool toward the fuel tank and pour it in. This might not be the best analogy, but I think it gets the point across: just because you have a tool, doesn’t mean it will do your bidding without your influence.

This isn’t just crystals, obviously, but with any action. If you write a book, it won’t publish itself. You have to do the work to get it published, however that might be. If you self-publish it, you have to get it into the hands of the right audience, you have to direct its energy. Furthermore, you have to channel your energy into the right avenues in order to put your book in the right hands.

If you’re using meditation as a healing mechanism, while simply stilling the mind and remaining in stillness does absolute wonders for the mind and body—there is no disputing this—in order to meditate for a specific purpose such as discovering a past life, a life purpose, meeting a guide, etc., the meditator has to direct their meditation toward their goal. Thus, the meditator is required to meet their goal half way via meditation in order to achieve it.

Doing the Work

So what does ‘doing the work’ mean?

It means meeting the energy you’re wanting half way. In the example of grounding, it means that while yes, you might have hematite to help you to ground, you need to also be making the mental efforts and putting in the exercises to practice grounding, and recognize that the hematite is just something to assist you in achieving the goal, but you are the one who has to operate the tool.

Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

In metaphysical circles, the Law of Attraction is used as a method of understanding this. The LoA states, by many people and in many ways, that we are the co-creators of our realities. The very simplified and shortened idea is that when we put ourselves out there, then the energies of the Universe will meet our energies. It’s kind of like at an old bar job I had—on Christmas and New Years, any tips that we made, our boss would match, thus doubling our tips. It’s kind of the same idea. If you put in the work to ground yourself, then you’ll bring grounding energies to you. If you put in the work to ground yourself, then your hematite will be that vessel of grounding energy for you.

In my personal situation, I have been working on stress-release, as well as healing past wounds. I’ve been working on letting things go in order to make way for better things. I recognized that holding onto past hurts was hindering my ability to make new connections. I have been working on letting those go, and new connections have, in fact, made their way into my life.

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

I have a whole other post about my theories and thoughts on co-creation, the Law of Attraction, and energetic return coming up at some point, both arguing for and against many of the popularized ideas regarding this subject matter. However, what I will say is that our mentalities affect how we see the world, and thus affect what opportunities we witness. We all have the ability to heal our mental and emotional wounds, and there is no right or wrong way about it. For some of us, it’s medication, and that’s ok. For others it’s therapy, and that’s ok. For some, it’s meditation, and that’s ok. For others it’s nutrition and exercise, and that’s ok. The important thing in all methods of healing that is prevalent in all of the above mentioned is that the individual is putting in the work themselves. One can’t just buy a treadmill so they can strengthen their cardio. They have to actually use it. They can’t just go to the doctor and get the prescription for the antidepressants. They have to actually go to the pharmacist, pick them up, and take them as prescribed.

Likewise, you can’t get a Tarot reading, assume the reading itself is your dose of medicine and call it good. No, the Tarot reading is the prescription. You have to actually get the damn meds and take them.


If you’re interested in using Tarot as a deliverer of medicine messages, I strongly recommend you check out the Tarot for the Wild Soul podcast. She has some truley beautiful healing messages every month. You can check out the link above, or you can read my review of the podcast here.

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I Think I’m Back

As I noted in my previous post, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.

In an effort to get a website up with lots of content, I definitely burnt myself out, which obviously worked against me. As a result, I have two Tarot series left unfinished, and I felt that anything I wrote about would just be….forced and inauthentic. And that just isn’t fair to you. Of course, neither is taking an unannounced hiatus.

I’m tentatively back, though I’m going to try and just post when I feel the need rather than on a schedule, for now anyway. I don’t want to make any promises that I don’t keep.

I don’t remember which book it was, but in either Rise Sister Rise or Light is the New Black, Rebecca Campbell expressed that we move in seasons. We don’t have to be all go all of the time all year round. We can acknowledge when our ‘winter’ time is and rest when that time comes. It turns out, my winter time is during the summer, which makes perfect sense because who wants to be inside writing on a computer when they can be outside in the sun????

Autumn is my favorite season of the year, and the time I always feel most inspired. I live in the northern hemisphere, and thus, am currently enjoying the early onset of autumn with it’s warm winds, orange and yellow leaves and the emergence of red berries on the hawthorns. I love it so much.

And with its arrival, I’ve felt more and more inspired to write. So, hopefully, here I am.

With me are a couple of new additions: I have some new oracle decks (which is kind of a big deal since I’ve never had any interest in oracle), and a few new ideas I want to talk about. So hopefully, you’ll be in for a treat, and hopefully, I’ll stick to things and actually write regularly!

But for those of you who have stuck around, I appreciate you so much. I am so grateful to you.

Likewise, I know there have been a few newcomers to my blog, especially with the nearing of NaNoWriMo! I’ve seen an influx of visitors to my #30DayTarotWritingChallenge page. I hope you find some help with your writing projects! Let me know how it all goes!

Thank you again for all of your patience and support, and I am so luck to have you all as readers.

In the meantime, until my next post—catch me up! What’s new in your tarot and/or writing world?

New Moon Libra, Balance, and the Climate Crisis

This is the first time in a long time I felt that I had something that must be said, and I think, I hope, that it’s the reawakening of my blogging. I have so many things I want to say, I just hope I can get my thoughts organized enough to get it all out.

Today marks the New Moon in Libra, which is a time of balance. The Autumn and Spring Equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively mark this balance as well, with (very closely) equal night and day. Though I know the equinox was last week, both these symbols of balance have occurred very close together. I find this deeply significant.

The world is at a turning point. We hare in dire need of changing something in order to keep itself in balance. I was listening to a beautiful podcast episode by Lindsey Mac on Tarot for the Wild Soul, and she was expressing how the autumn equinox is a preparation for death while the spring equinox is a preparation for rebirth, and how one can not be prepared for without the other. This is how I often express the 10’s and Aces in the Tarot.

And right now, we are seeing exactly that: a preparation of death of the old ways and a preparation of life of the new.

The world has been taken by the Greta Thunberg phenomenon, and other great and wonderfully brave and strong young people such as Autumn Peltier (13), Nadia Nazar (17), Isra Hirsi (16), and so many more. Every time I hear any one of them speak, I am personally moved to tears.

A few months ago, when the new report came out that said we only had 12 years to try and backpedal to fix the Climate Crisis, I had a bit of a freak out. I examined everything I personally was doing and looked for how I could make my own personal changes, but was at a loss as to what else to do. I then went on to contact every witch in the public eye that I follow on social media (via YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, blogging, etc.) and ask them to work within their covens to do some world awakening magick to help the environment.

And finally, I fell to my knees and I prayed to the Universe.

I don’t pray. I think this is the first time I’ve done so in this manner, and I’ve found myself returning to this position again and again. I speak to the Universe, I give thanks, but for this, I actually prayed.

I’ve considered myself pagan for 21 years now, though participated in spell work and ritual fairly randomly, and thus, I felt that none of my efforts would be grand enough (thus I turned to “established” witches). However, I do know how to send my thoughts and desires into the Universe by opening myself up, and thus it was the only thing I can do.

Isra Hirsi
Image Credit: Adam Iverson, GreenPeace.org

I prayed for someone like Isra, like Nadia, like Greta, and like Autumn. And I am not arrogant enough to think that I am the only one who did this. I know there are thousands and hopefully millions out there who have prayed for the same. And we have been delivered these voices.

I know this is not the regular analytic tone I generally take on in my posts. I recognize that. But I also recognize that sometimes I just have to put analysis aside and recognize the blessings for what they are. Sometimes I feel like to question and analyze takes away the magic of reality, prevents the miraculous from being observed, and thus creates for a far duller world (that being said, there are some mind-boggling discoveries found via analysis, scientific and Socratic methods, that are even more magical because of their methods of discovery, but those are far fewer). These individual voices that have risen up to create one voice, a plea for help from those who can make the changes in legislation and policy around the world, and regardless of how you view it, they are a miracle, and they are an answer to those of us who have asked.

When one receives a gift, it is not enough simply to receive it. It must be honored, and thus, while these wonderful individuals have the spotlight, we must do our parts to honor them. So ask yourself what you are doing to honor those who speak for the trees, the oceans, the atmosphere, the future.

Personally, I have made my small changes to begin with:

  • I no longer drive my own car
  • I won’t buy any books/journals/cards first hand (if I do, they must be made or recycled material, and for books I opt for e-books and audiobooks where possible)
  • Part of our power is solar (though I will say that isn’t my doing, but was this way when I moved here)
  • I take recyclable things from my day job home so that I can recycle them (they won’t be at my work otherwise)
  • I’m refraining from purchasing disposable things where possible and things in plastic.
  • I use websites like Ecosia (a search engine that plants trees for each search)
  • I research the businesses behind the products I buy to ensure that I’m supporting environmental ethics (not always possible, I realize, but there are some fantastic companies such as OrganiCup for menstrual cycles, who are environmentally-oriented, for example)
  • I make sure I’m not purchasing anything that uses Palm oil (there are supposedly sustainably resourced palm oil sources, but when I went to research how that was possible, I found that it actually isn’t. A really quick Google (or Ecosia!) search will show several article debunking sustainable palm oil at the top of the page).
  • While I used to be vegetarian, and would like to return to it, I’m not at that point yet, though I won’t support any beef or dairy production (my partner’s having a difficult time with this one, as he’s all about steak and milk and cheese, but we’re working on it)

These are small gestures, but they’re a start for my situation.

Where can I go from here? I can meet up with local environmental groups and see what else I can get involved in. I personally would like to eventually work with the local councils to see what I can do to make it a legal requirement for businesses to recycle all glass, cardboard, paper, and plastics, separately. I’ve seen far too many businesses happily throw away unused blank paper in the trash because they couldn’t be bothered doing anything else with it. Likewise, I’d like to look into how France created a zero-food waste system (I think it’s France, anyway), and see how that can be implemented in foodservice industries. Finally, when my tarot business gets big enough, I’d like to donate 20% of my profits to environmental causes, whether it be planting trees locally, or to large organizations like the WWF.

Ancient Feminine Wisdome of Goddesses and Heroines Perseophone by Kay Steventon & Brian Clark
‘Persephone is characteristic of the intense changes that occur when we come in contact with the unconscious. The descent stage in the archetypcal journey confronts unknown aspects of the self’ (pg. 25 of the LWB).

This is how I am preparing for the rebirth. It is up to us to restore the balance of this world. Greta’s plea is not that we let her give us answers, but that we, as adults, do what we are responsible to do: adult. If we are not preparing a better future for the generations to come, then why are we even making generations? We need to act like adults, like nest-makers, like people who want the best for our children. We need to find the balance between human and non-human nature. We need to balance ourselves in this world, because the earth is not just about us. It’s about the delicate ecosystems that ensure that we can survive on this planet.

Finally, it’s about balancing masculine and feminine energies. So far in history we have been in an excess of masculine energy and let it topple into problematic. I, as always, am not attacking men, but rather the active energy that masculine energy (which can be embodied by anyone) that has been left unchecked. We need action, we need force, absolutely. However, it has become like a Tarot card reversed, extreme and thus toxic. Our action and force has become laden in hubris and dominance. We can balance this out with feminine energy which, while passive, is also listening and intuitive and nurturing.

The New Moon in Libra is represented by the Justice card, a card which is the representation of right and wrong. We know what is right in this world. We know what is right in this world. We know what is right in this world! Sometimes what is right is uncomfortable, but I truly believe that if we actually balance our hearts against the weight of a feather that we know what is the right thing to do.

Balance comes in all forms and transactions. Consider when we go to the shop to buy a loaf of bread, we are charged what it’s seen to be worth, and thus seen to be an equal exchange. When we see something as expensive or cheap, then we feel it’s out of balance, either in our favor or out of our favor. However, the exchange is there. When something is less costly than we thought it should or would be, then we are excited, happy, and perhaps enjoy the product more because we feel we got a bargain. Gifts are no different. While gifts don’t require another gift to complete an exchange, honoring the gift is necessary. We can do this by expressing our joy in receiving it, by keeping it safe, by using it, etc., whatever the gift requires.

The young voices calling out for environmental action against the Climate Crisis are a gift. And it is up to us to honor it to keep in the theme of balance.

Thus, I have questions for you to consider. There is no right or wrong answer, but I only request that you sit in stillness and allow the answers to come to you, what is right and meaningful to you. If you wish, draw a Tarot or Oracle card and spend some time journaling or recording your thoughts on the questions.

  1. How does balance speak to you personally?
  2. Regarding the last answer, how does this apply to a larger scale (in your home, community, town, country, the world)?
  3. What actions can/will you take to ensure balance?

It should be noted too that I am not associated with any of the above-mentioned companies. I have no affiliation other than I use their product/service and recommend them personally.

Non-Binary Paganism — Book of Eucalypt

I wanted to share this post from Book of Eucalypt because I do think this is important, especially when we’re considering Tarot. While Tarot isn’t Paganism, it is closely linked with it, though itself doens’t have a specific spiritual path.

One of the issues with it which is addressed in Queering the Tarot is the bionary lanugage within it: Queens and Kings, Emperor and Empress, never mind the portrayal of haromony between man and woman in cards like the Lovers, the Devil, and the 2 of Cups.

While the idea of masculine and feminine don’t necessarily only correspond to men being masculine and women being feminine, but rather adress the energies, it is easy to simply see it in a heteronormative way. The more we spend time considering these things, the more we can broaden our understanding and bring in the complexity of life into our readings, thus only creating a more accurate and realistic art.

This article is going to be speaking of Witchcraft within the Pagan umbrella because, due to my personal practice, it’s all intertwined. As a polytheist, I don’t separate the two. With more and more of us discovering that we don’t fit within the binary of standard gender – that is, we don’t associate with our […]

Non-Binary Paganism — Book of Eucalypt

Tarot Readings For Sale

Good morning readers!

Some unexpected bills have come up, and I am in need of drumming up some money to make it happen. Thus, I have a question to ask you:

Anyone want a Tarot reading?

I would love to hear from you if you do. I have my email reading available via my Etsy site, or you can Contact Me for face-to-face readings (if you’re in North Yorkshire or southern County Durham area) or Skype readings.

Not sure? Check out my reviews on my Buy a Tarot Reading page at the top.

Let’s sling some cards!

Summer Solstice Reading | Spread to Practice

Happy belated Solstice! Happy Winter solstice to those in the southern hemispheres and happy Summer solstice to those of us in the northern hemisphere.

This week’s Media Review, during which I reviewed Queering the Tarot by Cassandra Snow, didn’t have any spreads included in the book. So, in celebration of the solstice, I decided to do a spread that I found on Instagram.

I recently started following Seed of Shakti, and they posted their Summer Solstice: Embracing Your Radiance spread. The card formation is a V, starting with Card 1 in the center, then moving up to the left for Card 2, up and to the right of Card 1 for Card 3, then up and to the left of Card 2 for Card 4, up and to the right of Card 3 for Card 5, and so on until there are 7 cards.

  1. What is the Sun illuminating for me on the longest day of the year?
  2. How can I use the medicine of the Sun for my growth?
  3. What energy am I currently radiating out into the Universe?
  4. What will manifest from my Summer Solstice intentions?
  5. What do I need to release and surrender to the Sun’s fire?
  6. Message from the Sun
  7. Message from the Ancestors

For my spread I used the Neo Tarot. There is also an eighth card in my spread, since it fell out while I was shuffling.

As a shuffled, I asked a question or requested a card for each position. I didn’t stop shuffling and then lay out the spread, but rather shuffled until a card fell out while focusing on each position, then continued shuffling for the next position. I found this to be quite effective.

I am my own subject for this reading (don’t worry, I gave myself full permission to share!).

My Reading

Card 1: What is the Sun illuminating for me? – The Fool

The Fool is open-heartedness, and a new journey. When I woke up and did this spread on the Solstice, I honestly felt like something new was dawning. I felt refreshed. I personally connect to the Summer Solstice deeply (despite my birthday actually falling on the Winter Solstice). It’s always been my favorite day of the year, I think perhaps because it’s the longest.

It is a day of inspiration. Last week I had a week somewhat off from blogging, and took a while to let myself rest and re-examine what I’m doing. Yesterday morning, when I woke up on the Solstice, I felt confident in moving forward for the first time in a long time.

The Fool offers new beginnings and an openness of what’s to come, and that is exactly what I felt. The Fool, this delightful being, confirmed this.

Card 2: How can I use the Medicine of the sun for my growth? – Hierophant

Spiral Tarot Hierophant

While the Hierophant is generally seen as the teacher or the guide, I see this card as a two-way street. I think it’s being the teacher and the student. It’s a matter of looking at the lessons that can be learned and ingesting them so they can be passed on. Of course, this isn’t always applicable to everyone. Sometimes it is just being open to being taught. Sometimes it’s looking at institutions/organizations which can teach you, or involve conforming to a certain way of thought.

When I first flipped this car over, I saw the two-way street. My first thought was circular breathing, but in a teaching sort of way. When you have learned enough, when you know a subject enough, then you can teach it. I thought about breaking down the lessons I learned into smaller, bitesize wisdoms and sharing them.

One of the best ways I’ve experienced this was when I worked as a writing tutor. I worked with folks from just about every background—adults living in their cars trying to get their GED, high school students taking college classes, students having just arrived from somewhere in Asia learning English, people who were working the same job for 40 years and are forced to learn a new trade, people who were differently abled regarding vision or hearing, and people who were on the Autism spectrum. This experience taught me so much while I was helping them to learn and develop their own skills of communication to get them through their studies.

I truly believe I am about to enter into this role again, in some way.

Card 3: What energy am I currently radiating into the Universe?  – 7 of Pentacles

I’m very work-focused. One of the problems I know I’ve been having is that I’ve been working too hard, so hard in fact that I lost sight of the goal. I also got pretty lonely. I need to adjust myself and remember the goal, and use that as my motivation to prevent burnout. However, the work is there for the garden. I am trying to make sure it grows.

Card 4: What will manifest from my Summer Solstice intention? – 10 of Pentacles

This looks like my hard work will pay off. It’ll result in accomplishment, something having been built.

The 10 of Pentacles is about legacy, creating something that will last. Sure it’s financial gain on some level, but given that the Pentacles, in my book, represent the spirit realm as well as the physical realm (the Pentacle itself having five points—one for each element plus Spirit, and a circle that shows how they all work together to elevate), there is a ‘level up’ aspect to the 10. There will be spiritual fulfillment, and that is what I personally believe is important.

Card 5: What do I need to release and surrender to the sun’s fire? – 9  of Pentacles

The 9 of Pentacles is usually someone in their fruiting garden, enjoying the labors of their hard work. This is a nice time of rest and enjoyment, a time of giving yourself a pat on the back. But I think it’s also a point of complacency. There is still a further step. What do you do with the fruit and veg? You eat it, share it, store it for the future, make it last. Thus, while the 9 of Pentacles is a great card to get to say that you’ll be accomplishing your goal, it’s also the reminder that you can’t stay in the garden forever. You have go on to the next step.

I need to remember that when I reach a goal, not to be complacent. In fact, I need currently to remember not to be complacent.

Card 6: Message from the Sun – 5 of Pentacles

This is one of those ‘difficult’ cards that people generally dread. It looks gloomy. But I think it’s a matter or reminding you to keep your head up. While things look rough and gloomy, they’re generally not that bad, or rather, even if they actually are that bad and you have hit rock bottom, you can look up and see that there is support. Traditionally, the 5 of Pentacles depicts two people, sick and injured, in the snow, barefoot, looking down as they make their way. What they don’t see is the glowing church window above them, signaling sanctuary at least through the worst of the storm. That is the support that is there for them at that time.

The message from the Sun is telling me to keep my head up. Just keep looking up. Remember that there’s help if I know and remember to ask and look for it.

Card 7: Message from my ancestors – 3 of Wands reversed

Slow down. That doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily moving to quickly or that I shouldn’t be working toward my goals, but rather, I don’t need to be thinking as far ahead as I am. I need to see things as they are, moment to moment. Of course have the goal in mind, but just look at the next two steps opposed to the next ten steps. Things will happen at the pace they do, but in order to fully be present for what I’m trying to achieve, I need to slow my roll.

Bonus Card: 5 of Swords

This is another of the ‘difficult cards.’ Many books, when you read about this card make mention that it’s unclear as to whether the querant is the one having been beaten, or the one who has beaten the two who walk away. I actually had never considered this aspect with this card until I started reading more books for reviewing.

This card has always been about humility, remaining humble. It doen’t do to get cocky.

My main deck has been the Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon, for the last 15 years. The depiction of the 5 of Swords is someone on a raft with all the swords, while the other two are in the water. The message behind it is that while the cotrious one is on top, the waters under his feet make the raft unsteady, and he could just as easy get knocked into the water himself.

This is humility. Don’t get cocky.

Other Factors

Suit/Element

Pentacles rule this reading. Pentacles, as I mentioned earlier deal with the physical realm, but also the spiritual realm. If we are not well in our bodies, then it is difficult for us to be well in our spirit (this is not, of course a rule–there are many wonderful people who are chronically unwell and still are beautifully spiritual or well in spirit), and vise-versa.

This reading is about looking after myself on both matters in order to move myself forward. Sure I want to be financially successful, but I want to be healthy. I to be connected to the natural world, to the needs of my body, to sort my weight out, to sort my diet out (after living as a student, generally your diet doesn’t come out positively), and so many other things. This reading reminds me that this is important. This needs to be something of focus to me. Meditation, eating well, exercising will all help me in my career. I can’t think if my brain isn’t nourished, for a start. I can’t feel good about what I’m doing if my spirit isn’t nourished, either.

Recurring Numbers

A recurring number in this is 5. 5’s are the number of transition, which is why they tend to be difficult when they come up in the cards. It is a number of shifting from the lower to the higher, into something better. Thus, when this transition comes up, we feel uncomfortable. But, the Hierophant rules ove the 5’s. There are lessons to be learned, and, returning to the idea of the HIerophant being cyclical, the 5’s are transitioning from student to teacher.

Strength

The numbers, when all added up bring me to 44, which reduces to 8. This corresponds to the Strength card. Strength has to do with finding the inner muscle to bring you through a situation or lesson. It is about ignoring brute force, and instead moving forward with the power of character. This means courage, this means compassion. The woman in Strength sooths the lione not because she is physically strong, but because she is using her inner peace to connect with the beast and work with it rather than against it.


If you’d like to book a reading with me, you can go via my Etsy shop for a reading that I’ll conduct and send you via email, or you can contact me and we can arrange a chat via skype or messenger that will go based on timeframe (half and hour or an hour).


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4 of Wands | Weekly Tarot Card pt 5: Defining the 4 of Wands

This is the fifth and last installment in this Weekly Tarot Card series: 4 of Wands defintion. The next series will begin on Monday. However, if you’d like to get caught up on the rest of the week, you can use the following links:

Starting the week, we spent some time developing our own personal meanings before breaking down the components of the card. Each of these components is like a puzzle. They all fit together to create a certain picture, but that picture is specific to the puzzler. It is up to you to make your own connections as to how these pieces fit together. What has the puzzle told you so far.

4 of Wands definition

The 4 of Wands is about structure, but it’s about bringing forth the element of Fire in a structured manner. Considering that the element of Fire is about creation and passion, then this is beyond having started your creative project, but about that moment when you know it’s self-sustaining. It’s been put in motion and has gotten to a place where you can take a moment to celebrate this success. The danger behind this is that it might make us complacent, and thus we will be unprepared for what’s to come. This is a pat-on-the-back moment, but the work isn’t done yet (as we’ll see with the 5 of Wands).

The astrological association of Venus in Aries brings together the masculine and feminine. Biologically we can consider that it takes the masculine and feminine parts to create a baby. However, from a metaphysical standpoint, There are the masculine and feminine parts to all of us, and it takes both aspects to work in harmony in order for our goals to be achieved. Furthermore, as Venus is the representative of the Empress and Aries is the representative of the Emperor, who are both seen as parent figures, it can bring in the element of family into the definition of the card.

In some depictions of the 4 of Wands, the two figures seen are a man and a woman being married. However, A. E. Waite intended for the two figures seen in the card to be two women, which equally be representative of a wedding, but with Waite’s depiction is more likely to be a celebration.

4 of Wands Divinatory Meaning

This is a time for celebration. It could mean the expansion of family or of a creative project. However, structure has been established, and there’s no turning back. The reminder is to keep moving forward!

Keywords:

Celebration, community, harmony, harvest, regarding past works.

What does the 4 of Wands mean to you? How do you define it with the exercises and information from this week?

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Decks Used

The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.

Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’

Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.

Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.

Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.

The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.

Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.

Writing Prompt: Character Reaction

Writing Prompt: Exercise of Character

Not all writing prompts can be formulaic. As a writer, I am a creative person, and it is because I was using a formula for writing prompts simply to help make production faster that I got burnt out, and had to take a week off.

This week I thought I would do something a little bit different. Instead of a prompt per se, I’m providing an exercise/prompt.

I once responded to a competition which gave a photo for a writing prompt and the instruction to throw away your first two ideas for the story. This was a brilliant approach, and it created diversity in stories for the anthology that was created (which included my story).

I want to do something a little along those lines.

Step 1: Character

If you have a deck of Tarot cards, pull a card to represent your character. Spend a few minutes getting the idea of your character before you move on. However, if you don’t have your own Tarot deck, then spend some tiem creating a character, taking a character you’ve already created, or using a character already in existence from something you like. You can always change them later.

Step 2: Setting

Put your character in this position: the world around them is crumbling. Ask yourself, is this literal, or metaphorical? Is this personal, or literally the whole world? Once you’ve answered these questions, delve into as much detail as you’d like. Whatever the answers is, your character is in distress.

Step 3: Belief

Your character knows that there is one person/thing that will always have the answers. Not just suggestions, but true answers that are 100% correct. In this time of need, your character goes to them.

Step 4: The Answer

Your character implores what to do. The person or thing says nothing, only reveals a single image, and continues to say nothing. That image is the wheel of Fortune.

Step 5: The Prompt

  • What is the answer?
  • What does it mean?
  • How does your character use this?
  • Is the answer true?
  • What’s the catch?

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4 of Wands | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 4: Symbolism

This is the fourth installment of the Weekly Tarot Card: 4 of Wands symbolism. You can read the first three installments in the following links:

Now we’re delving deeper into the components that make up the 4 of Wands, the symbolism. To do this, we’ll be considering some of the more common images used in the 4 of Wands. There are many different symbols and ways to understand each Tarot card, and there will be things that are missed out in this post. However, this should be a good starting point for you. If you have any additional images that you’d like to include, talk about them in the comments. It’s through community that we learn best.

4 of Wands Symbolism

Color: Green, Red, Yellow

Green

The color green is a representative of fertility and creativity, thus, creation. It also can represent healthiness, prosperity, and the Hearth chakra. Green also represents the element of Earth.

Red

The color red corresponds to the planet Mars, which is the planet of sexuality and passion. Likewise, the color red also is a color of sexuality and passion. Passion can be defined positively and negatively—it can be excitement in a productive way, or it can be anger. Red is also the representing color for the element of Fire, along with the color of Orange.

Yellow

The sky in the Rider-Wiate 4 of Wands is yellow. Yellow skies represent good omens. They are like the sun shining down on the scene below in such a way that all that can be seen is the sun’s beaming energy. However, the color yellow can also represent the element Air.

Astrology: Aries and Venus

When we are looking at the Tarot rather than specifically Astrology, we can see the combination of the Empress and the Emperor in this card. Because Aries rules the Emperor, and Venus rules the Empress, as the Thoth Tarot 4 of Wands says, we have completion.

Aries is the sign of new beginnings. It is the first sign in the new year, and is of a fiery energy. It doesn’t just start a new project, but it bursts through with gusto. Aries is a sign of charging forward into new things. This is also a masculine sign.

Venus is the planet of beauty and of romance. She is a feminine planet, and the ruler of love.

The combination of these two equate to a union of masculine and feminine, of energy and beauty. 

Plants: Garlands

The garlands are a symbol of celebration, but also of the seasons. Depending on when the celebration is, only certain flowers will be included. Thus, there is the meaning of renewal and of the cycle of the seasons. This gives the reminder that while this celebration is warranted, it too will pass.

Scenery: Castle and River

In the Rider-Waite 4 of Wands, there is a castle in the background. The Castles in the Tarot represent goals. The important thing to note in the 4 of Wands is that while there is celebration, it is not at the castle. It is still in the distance. The finish line has not yet been crossed.

Similarly, a river present in a Tarot card represents motion and fluidity. Rivers might slow or be quick in places, but they don’t stop moving. Thus, this continues on with the reminder that the goal has not been met yet, this is just a small victory along the way.

Again, these are just the broad strokes for the symbolism in the 4 of Wands. There are so many beautiful and intricate decks out there that bring new dimensions to the cards. When you consider your observation exercise from Monday, what stood out to you that you didn’t see here? What stands out to you that speaks differently than what was mentioned above? Share your thoughts in the comments to start a discussion.

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Decks Used

The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.

Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’

Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.

Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.

Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.

The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.

Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.

Media Review: Queering the Tarot by Cassandra Snow (book)

I have been eagerly awaiting my copy of Queering the Tarot for ages. Things take a little bit longer to come out in the UK if it’s an American print, so it just heightens the anticipation.

And this book did not disappoint.

I cannot tell you HOW IMPORTANT THIS BOOK IS—yes, with all caps, all italicized, all bolded, and all underlined. It’s that important.

Queering the Tarot is a book about reclamation. Reading cards has always belonged to the most oppressed, from the extremely persecuted Romani people to modern-day readers from all walks of life. Yet, even now, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any people of color, queer people, disabled people, or people who don’t look wealthy in a traditional tarot deck. I wrote this book for all the people not represented in the aforementioned history of books on the tarot.

p. 5

Tarot is an art, and as an art, it belongs to everyone. The beautiful thing about the Tarot is that the main tool for the art of reading tarot is art itself. Each Tarot deck is an artistic representation of the cards that have been in use for centuries. As readers, we choose which art we want to represent our style of reading.

What is the art of Tarot reading? How we connect the images to one another to create interpretation, and the words we use to express those interpretation.

Queering the Tarot is a book about how to use our words to be inclusive regarding an artform that historically has been used to depict the white and wealthy, the able-bodied and straight. Of course there are exceptions: in Death there is the depiction of people from all walks of life; in the 6 of Pentacles there are the beggars and the givers; there are depictions of the religious (who were privileged in their own way), and the poor/sick/injured (5 of Pentacles). The latter are depictions of those in a low point, and don’t empower those who are permanently differently abled, or those who are any other race other than white, or, as the book’s main focus, of the LGTBQQIP2SAA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bi, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, 2-spirits, asexual, and androgynous) community.

Queering the Tarot: The Book Itself

Queering the Tarot spends the entirety of the book (with the exception of a forward by Beth Maiden of Little Red Tarot, an introductory message and a closing message from Snow) focusing on redefining the Tarot, card by card. Almost each card has at least one full page, with the exception of the Empress and Emperor whose roles cross and intermingle, and thus share a page.

…[S]ome cards make more sense to queer as a set or a series. The empress and the Emperor are two such cards. Traditionally, these cards are seen as Mother and Father, each presenting the best and worst of those archetypes…Most readers, at least at the professional level have figured out how to read around gender in the court cards, but this pair presents a different challenge…To truly queer these two, you have to be willing to throw out any gendered notions of them—not only to acknowledge same-sex relationships, but also to acknowledge the experience of transgender people, including those who don’t identify on the binary.

pp. 17-18

Other exceptions include the 2, 3, and 4 of Wands, the 8, 9, and 10 of Swords, the Ace, 3, and 3 of Cups, etc. There are many more series of cards that are defined together because of their intertwining relationships to each other. When writing about the 5 and 7 of Swords, Snow says,

These two represent oppression both large scale and personal. They represent pain, theft, and the feeling of drowning or being trapped in your misery…I’ve chosen to queer these two cards together because I tend to think of them as two different faces of oppression or trauma.

p. 104

Along the way, Snow talks about the difficulties that LGTBQQIP2SA+ go through in various forms, from family life, to social life, to self-expression, to acceptance, to simply understanding themselves. Through each of the cards, Snow navigates the experience of being a LGTBQQIP2SA+ person, and provides insight via the Tarot to those who might not be of this community and thus doesn’t understand full or at all.

However, as she points out at the book, this book isn’t for the latter mentioned. It is for the LGTBQQIP2SA+ community, for those who have been left out and under-represented in text and in art. This book is for them to know themselves and to use their Tarot art of help others know themselves as well.

Queering something, then, means taking what our society has given us and finding our own way, outside of that society’s limits. They put us in a box, and we still find ways to create and prosper and make it the most well decorated box you’ll see. Queering erases the narrowness and small-mindedness of normal. It embraces the beauty, the mystery, and the vastness of our differences. It welcomes everyone who needs a safer space, and it takes responsibility for helping those people heal. Tarot is supposed to help people heal, after all.

p. 2

Do you need to identify as queer to get the most from this book? No. Although it’s tremendously important for me to address the needs of the overlooked LGTBQQIP2SA+ community, this book is for any unique soul who has felt wronged, left out, marginalized, different. Which is most people. This book  is meant to guide you as you learn tarot, but it’s primarily meant to make you ask questions, encourage you to sit with your cards, and learn to let the deck speak to the beautiful, powerful, hurt, confused youthat you are.

p. 5

This book is straight forward, there’s no tricks, no spreads, no insight to the elements, numbers or symbolism. It is simply an in depth dive into the cards to show their inclusivity, and the importance of keeping that understanding at the surface of our reading.

My Thoughts on Queering The Tarot

I’ve already said it. This book is insanely important for any reader who has even the slightest inkling of reading for others. I would even go so far as to say this is just an important book for any one to read, even if they don’t know what Tarot is. Tarot, after all, is a collection of archetypes found in our daily living and in the important lessons we encounter. These archetypes are found in the stories we tell and create: the movies we watch, the books we read, the people we meet daily. The Tarot Exists in Real Life.

Thus, to better understand the experiences of all the souls around us, we all need to expand our reading and understanding to meet and accept those souls for the plight they’re one, and look at everyone with compassion. This book, I believe, helps to highlight those areas where we, as a society, can improve.

I know, this is “just” a book on Tarot cards, but I assure you, art is never just color on a canvas. Art says something. Words say something, and any words put to paper is an art, regardless of its subject matter. It is a choice of stylistic expression. This book is an art, talking about art, and the art is a medium of self-express and understanding.

My Rating

This book is important.

This book is important.

This book is important.

Do I need to say it again?

Go read the book. Trust me. You want to do this.

***** 5 Stars *****

4 of Wands | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 3: Element & Number

This is the third installment of the 4 of Wands Weekly Tarot Card. Today we will look at the 4 of Wands suit and number. You can read the first two installments in the following links:

Yesterday we looked at how the 4 of Wands can help you as a map to your goals through meditation. Today we start breaking apart the 4 of Wands suit and number in an effort to look at the broader representations of the card. I often think that the number and the element of a card are like looking at the colors that make up another color. By knowing yellow and knowing blue, we can put them together and make green. In this case, the colors are the element of Fire and the number 4.

4 of Wands Suit and Number: Fire

The element of Fire is our inner drive. It pushes us forward, makes us move whether we want to or not. It is adrenaline, it’s anger, it’s passion, it’s lust, it’s creative force. Cars use combustion to run, and electric cars use electricity to run. These are both related to fire. Electricity doesn’t cause water, air, or rocks. It causes fire.

Thus, consider the things which get us up and moving, that is, things that propel us. I don’t mean responsibilities like needing to go to that job you hate, but things that get you excited, that which makes you act without thinking. It’s the idea that makes you jump up and say, “This is what I have to do, right now,” and makes you giddy with excitement. When you talk about it, people see your eyes light up, and hear that this is more than just a mere interest, this is a sould-driving passion. This is the Fire within you.

However, Fire isn’t always a positive force. It’s whatever makes you move, and sometimes anger, hurt, fear, jealousy can make you move. People go blind with rage, they go silly and possessive with lust. These are the negative aspects of Fire.

The Fire within all of us is like a camp Fire: once we have the spark going, it’s our responsibility to maintain it and keep it safe. It can do so much good for us while it’s contained, but if it strays from a safe position, it can destroy.

4 of Wands Element & Number: 4

The number 4 is a number of structure. Structure comes in many forms, whether rule, laws, and systems, or physical structures of buildings, cities, kingdoms, or foundations. While the 3 represents the first shape with the triangle, the 4 is the first structurally sound shape with the rectangle. It provides not only strength, but also the ability to be build upon.

Before moving on, consider how it is that the understanding of the element of Fire can be infused with the number 4. What does it mean to you? Look at what structure looks like in terms of Fire. Consider what Fire looks like in terms of structure. How do they differ? How many different perspectives can you develop of these combinations? Relating back to the color metaphor, consider the various shades of green there are based on how much yellow or blue are added to the combination. What are the different hues which can be made from the combination of Fire and the number 4? Share your thoughts in the comments below to start the discussion.

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Decks Used

The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.

Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’

Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.

Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.

Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.

The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.

Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.

4 of Wands | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 2: Meditation

This is the second installment of the 4 of Wands Weekly Tarot Card. You can read the first installment, ‘Observation and Description’ here. Today, we will look at the 4 of Wands meditation.

To prepare for this, pull out your 4 of Wands from your deck or decks, and something to record with. This could be something to write with or something to record audio, whatever works best for you.

Find yourself a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for the duration of this meditation. Allow yourself at least ten minutes for the meditation, plus a few more to record your thoughts.

4 of Wands Meditation

Breathe in, finding that quiet center in yourself. Imagine the goodness of fresh air filling your lungs with white light. As it passes through your throat chakra, your heart chakra, and moves down into your belly, the chakras grow brighter.

Breathe like this for a few moment until you feel yourself calm and relaxed. Notice if there is any tension in your body. Your neck? Shoulders? Legs? Hands? Toes? Mentally go through your body and release your muscles. Breathe.

Feel the warmth on your face from the sun. Smell the scent of freshly cut grass, and hear the rustle of branches as a light breeze blows through them. You can hear the laughing and chatter of a group of people not far away. They sound like they’re having a good time.

Look to the left, what do you see? What do you feel?

Look to the right. What do you see? What do you feel?

You can start to make out what the cluster of people are saying. They’re raising their glasses, toasting, and you hear your name. It is in your honor. You are the reason they are here, and they are happy. Their joy is infectious, and you can feel it.

They are celebrating your creation, your brain baby. What is it? What is your passion, your creative pursuit that is the purest of passion that you want to come to fruition? What does it look like to reach stability? Is it a building? Is it a team coming together to create it? What does the stable aspect of your passion look like?

This is what they’re toasting, and this is what you see before you.

Spend some time exploring this, whatever it means to you. Does it mean touching it? Reading it? Shaking hands? Signing documents? Explore the group of people there, what do they have to say? What thanks are they giving you? What praise? What advice?

Spend as much time as you’d like here. When you’re reading, take a few deep breaths to bring yourself back into your body, and open your eyes.

Spend some time recording what you observed during your meditation. What did you think? What did you feel? Did it give you a pathway to making your creation something stable? Did you struggle to envision your passion in fruition? Consider why that might have been. Is there anything blocking you from creating that vision?

This meditation is just as much about getting into the 4 of Wands as it is about creating a vision of your goals so you can map them out. If this was helpful, use it while brainstorming a plan of action. In readings you can use this card as a signifier to help you ask for directional guidance, as well. Yesterday’s observation and today’s 4 of Wands meditation are designed to help you create your own experiences with the card. Tomorrow we will look at the element and number of the 4 of Wands, giving you two points of guidance to enhance your understanding and definition of the card.

If you’d like to look at more Tarot Meditations, visit the Meditations Page.

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4 of Wands | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 1: Observation

Last week we worked with the Empress, which capped the 3’s in the Tarot. This week we move on to the 4’s with the 4 of Wands. Our first exercise of the week is one of simply observing. In spending time observing the 4 of Wands, we can notice the things that stick out to us, take note of the images that say something to us.

The key to this exercise is not to define what you see, but rather to listen to what the images say to you, if they say anything. If all you notice is that there’s a lot of yellow in the card, for example, then take note of that.

Doing this exercise regularly with your cards will help you guide querents in the future by asking them similar questions, and it will also alert you to certain aspects of your own life that might need attention. Is the ram not letting your attention go? Consider why this might be.

To do this exercise, pull out your tarot deck and the 4 of Wands, if you have a Tarot deck. If not, then you can look at other depictions of the card online or use the ones provided below.

Set yourself with a means of recording, whether it’s making a video on your phone, with a voice recorder, or with a pen/cil and paper. Describe your card, by writing or speaking, and record what your eye is drawn to. Don’t try to define what this means, just write down what you notice, and if you feel so inspired, what it makes you think of. By this, I mean associations you have. If you have read any definitions of any of the images you see or a definition of the card, now is a time to put that aside, and simply listen to the card.

Below are descriptions of eight different cards. You can use these if you’d like to assist you with this exercise.

Rider-Waite

 The Rider-Waite 4 of Wands shows four Wands sticking into the ground, conjoined by flowery bows. At the top of each wand, springs of life grow. They are on a green ground. In the background, two figures can be seen holding up bouquets. Some consider this to be a man and a woman at a wedding, though A. E. Waite writes in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot that they are two women. Both are in a white gown, though one with a blue robe  and the other in a red robe. Further in the distance, toward the left of the card, a crowd of people can be seen. Behind all of them is a castle. The sky is yellow.

Spiral Tarot

The Spiral Tarot shows a man and a woman standing beneath flowery garlands held up by four Wands. The woman wears a veil, indicating a wedding. Behind them are two women to the right of the card, and a little girl walking away to the left of the card. In the background is a church and a rising hill. The sky is blue.

Aquarian Tarot

The Aquarian Tarot 4 of Wands shows four Wands, each blooming with flowers at the top, connected by a string with flowers decorating it. The ground they are before is brown, and in a valley. A small castle is in the background, with a river surrounding it. A bridge is seen to cross the river.

Vampire Tarot

The Vampire Tarotshows four stakes in a dark room. They are on a green surface. At the top is a portrait, or window, or mirror (though I think it’s likely that it’s a portrait) of a vampire in their coffin. It has a gold frame.

Faerie Tarot

The Faerie Tarot shows a faerie asleep in a flowery surface. She has blond hair and a green dress and pink wings. In the background are four wands. Further back, the silhouettes of five leafless trees, and a dark sky that gets lighter as it gets toward the top.

Thoth Tarot

The Thoth4 of Wands shows four sceptres which cross like spokes on a wheel. In fact, they are almost just that, as they are connected by a yellow circle. In the center, between each spoke is a flame. Each of the wands has a rams head at one end and a sparrow at the other end.

The background is green for this card. At the top is the symbol for Venus, and at the bottom is the glyph for Aries.

The keyword at the bottom reads ‘Completion.’

Prisma-Vision Tarot

The Prisma-Vision 4 of Wands shows four colorful wands coming out of the ground. A string of flowers connects them all. They are beside a river with long grass. At the base of the wands and at the other side of the river are flowers.

Impressionist Tarot

The Impressionist Tarot takes from Edouard Manet’s Monet Painting in his Studio Boat (1874). The Card features a man in a small rowboat with four posts holding up a sunshade. The man is painting a woman who sit in front of him and his easel.

News for the Week

For part of last week and this week, I’ve taken a little bit of an un-planned break. As a result, I’ve gotten a little behind on things. I’m in the process of trying to figure out the balance between maintaining a healthy and regular blog and not burning myself out while doing so. I’m slowly figuring it out. But please know that I’m not giving up any time soon. This website will continue on!

However, if you would like to help, donations and contributions via the ‘buy me a coffee’ button below are a beneficial energetic exchange. It serves as encouragement toward the work I’m producing as well as helps out with the small things in keeping this website going.

Likewise, purchasing a tarot reading from me is another helpful exchange. I love reading tarot for people—what’s why I’m doing this. And purchasing a reading helps me extend that love from me directly to you.

As you go through the various cards, what do you notice that is a running theme in imagery? What do you notice tends to differ? Which of the images resonates with you? Why? Spend time considering your own tarot decks, and do your own comparison.

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Decks Used

The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.

Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’

Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.

Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.

Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.

The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.

Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.

Tarot Elements: Spread to Practice

This week’s Media Review was Tarot Elements: Five Readings to Reset Your Life by Melissa Cynova. The book outlines five different readings (along with a few bonus spreads) to work through the blocks in each area of your life, inspired by the elements of the Pentacle: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit.

According to Cynova, Air has to do with boredom in some manner.

Most of the readings that I do regarding air/mind land in four distinct areas:

1. I am bored.
2. I hate my job
3. I love my job, but I hat the energy in my workplace.
4. I have a passion, but I can’t leave my job to pursue it.

Whether we’re talking about your job or about your intellectualal pursuits outside of work, the same can be said for both: you have to feel alive. You have to feel as if you matter and that your work is valued.

p. 60

The Air Spread

Cynova’s spread for the element of Air, regarding bordom and interllectual pursuits is shaped aroun d the elemental triangle: upward-facing and with a horizontal line through it.

The first card at the top of the triangle corresponds is the positon of ‘What can you hold on to,’ while the following three cards in the middle row of the triangle consider ‘what’s holding you back,’ and the final three cards making the base of the triangle show ‘what’s pulling you through.’

Accordning to Cynova’s example readings, you read each card individually, rather than as combined meanings. In other words, you would read each card in the middle or base row individually, rather than reading three of them as one meaning in each row.

Veronica’s Reading

Veronica was kind enough to let me use her reading regarding the element of Air. In life, in general, she’s bored. She has a day job and she has a creative passion that she goes after outside of work. She’s had some success, but it’s not enough to hold her attention, or make her feel like the work she’s putting into it is worth what she’s getting out of it.

Similarly, she feels her day job doesn’t value her, and that she’s simply a body there going through the movements, but doesn’t really know what her options are, as the jobs in her area are pretty few.

She’s restless and simply bored, so I suggested using this spread.

Neo Tarot

Card 1: What You can Hold on to: 7 of Wands (reversed)

Immediately the position became it’s opposite: what is she holding on to that she needs to let go. The 7 of Wands is about holding your ground and fighting for your position. But the reverse of it, especially in this position says that maybe she should be letting go of this position rather than fighting for it. Thus, I asked her what it is that she’s fighting for: her day job, or success in her passion?

I wanted her to really think about this. I wanted her to spend some time thinking that if right now she had to make the decision to let one go, which would it be? That would give her the answer as to what to pursue.

Of course, I didn’t tell her that she should quit her day job, especially without another gig lined up. However, I wanted her to discover which is worth her fighting for, or which she’s fighting for that isn’t worth her efforts.

Cards 2, 3, and 4: What’s Getting in Your Way

What’s Getting in Your Way: 4 of Wands

The 4 of Wands is a card of celebration. However, the Wands have to do with passions. What seems to be happening to me is that Veronica is celebrating small victories in her projects, and basking in the glow of these victories, leaving the project unfinished. Nothing is going forward from there. She discovers a new creative project and moves onto that before completing the last project.

This shows that she has the ability to do well at her creative passions, but she doesn’t have any follow-through. She’s happy to get that first level of achievement, but doesn’t move from there.

What’s Getting in Your Way: Empress

The Empress is a reminder to nurture ourselves. When she shows up, she is telling us that there is something we’re neglecting, and that we won’t grow as a result. This negligence is what’s also holding Veronica back. This could very well be related to her day job, especially if she’s not feeling appreciated. She needs to work hard to make sure she practices that self-care in order to act as her highest and best self.

What’s Getting in Your Way: 8 of Cups

Again, similar to the message of the 4 of Wands, Veronica is lacking the staying power. When she gets to a point where her cups are being filled, that is, when she is feeling fulfilled by her projects, she walks away from them. While the 8 of Cups is a card in which the subject walks away onto something better, I really feel this is the thought of something better, rather than the actuality of it.

If she wants to feel that spark of excitement, and to find herself fully fulfilled, she needs to stick through with a project until the end of it.

Cards 5, 6, and 7: What Pulls You Through

What Pulls You Through: Magician

The Magician is a card of action. Veronica has the ability to see things and start the ball rolling, and this is a strength. So many people never get their ideas put into action. This initial spark of energy just needs to carry on. She needs to find a way to fuel or nurture this aspect of her.

What Pulls You Through: Tower

The Tower is a card of swift changes, the kinds that knock you off your feet. While they’re generally as a result of not quite building a sturdy enough foundation, the Tarot has a different application in this position to Veronica. She’s adaptable. When her Tower falls, she doesn’t hesitate to rebuild. This ability to take shake-ups with a stride is what will help pull her through her boredom.

What Pulls You Through: 6 of Pentacles

The most important thing is that she has a support network. No matter what she does, no matter where her projects do or don’t take her, no matter where her day job does or doesn’t take her, she always has the support of those around her. The 6 of Pentacles is about giving and receiving. She’s a generous person, and always willing to lend a hand to anyone, or help them however she can. She needs to remember that when it comes time to ask for support, it’s there for her. All she needs to do is ask.

Summary

Veronica needs to evaluate what she’s holding onto that she needs to let go of. Where is the misdirection of her energy? This is part of the self-care of the Empress: evaluating what she needs or doesn’t need to see what is worth her time and energy. As a result, the energy saved can help her move beyond the small victories of a passion-project, can help her refrain from abandoning said project, and see it through to the end. Her adaptability, action and surrounding support is what’s going to get her to see that spark of excitement again.

I wanted to add my own version of reading this spread as well. As I generally do in my 9-Card reading, or my 3-Card readings, I see the middle card as the central focus and key message in a spread. In this reading, it’s the Empress that fills that roll. And thus, I think that what Veronica really needs to keep in mind is her own self-care habits so that she doesn’t get burnt out at work or with her projects. She needs to really focus on evaluating what means more to her—a pay check where she feels unappreciated, or expressing herself. From there, she needs to find solutions of how she can cope with her day job, or how she can make time for what really lights her fire.

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