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Friday, April 3, 2020

Listen to the Animals: CROW

For this Tarot Notes feature, I pull one card from an animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

If you are interested in finding out who your own Animal Guides are, you can get an Animal Guides Reading through my _Etsy shop_ or my _Web Site_.

It’s been a long time since I did a “Listen to the Animals” post! As it happens, I have a new animal-themed deck in the house: Animal Kin Oracle by Sarah Wilder (Hay House).

From the guidebook: “Sarah combines her love of nature and design to intuitively create symbolic talismans, tools and teachings for self-reconnection which help focus the mind and reconnect people to their true nature; incorporating symbolism, animals and plants in everything she does.” You can learn more about Sarah HERE. https://sarahwilder.co/

This “Listen to the Animals” entry features the CROW. The keyword provided by Wilder is “magick.” She writes that the “Kin Essence” is “Divine messages are gifts for your future self.”

Animal Kin Oracle / Sarah Wilder

Most of us know that crows are considered to be very intelligent creatures. They have been known to use tools, solve complex problems, and count. Their color – black – commonly symbolizes power, mystery, and (sometimes) death. Wilder assigns all of her animals to an element – Fire, Water, Earth, Air, or Spirit. The Crow’s element is Spirit. All the creatures of Spirit advise us to do more of what makes us happy, listen to our intuition, and get more sleep.

Wilder tells us that the Crow shows us “to look deeper into our own reality to find hidden messages, keys, and signs in order to move beyond what we feel to be a comfortable and safe place to dwell, and to look deeper into the things we don’t see (but trust are there).”

How you feel about crows (and ravens) might depend on where you were raised or where you live. In Europe and India, this species is often a negative omen, representing war, death, solitude, evil, and bad luck (Quoth the raven: “Nevermore!”) In contrast, American crows are often presented as positive, even heroic, in native mythology. Crows are viewed as guides or prophets in Greek and Roman lore.

Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Reading with The Playing Card Oracle

A lot of tarot readers and astrologers are weighing in on the coronavirus pandemic. I wanted to do something here at Tarot Notes, but wasn’t sure exactly what. I don’t do much mundane astrology (well, none, really) so I won’t get into any of that.

In terms of tarot, during a brief meditation, the Playing Card Oracles divination deck by Ana Cortez and C.J. Freeman (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) came through loud and clear, announcing itself as the deck that should be used for this reading. If you are interested in reading my review of this deck, click HERE .

So many questions can be asked about this confusing, distressing event. This reading will not attempt to predict the future or address health issues. Instead, I am hoping to receive insight into what might help me (something to seek or embrace) during this pandemic, what might harm me (something to avoid), and finally, an overall message to keep in mind.

(1) what might help me (something to seek or embrace)


In this deck, Spades is the suit of material form and physical being. Mardoc (a Court card somewhat comparable to the King of Pentacles in traditional Tarot decks) exemplifies mastery over earthly affairs. Well, this COVID-19 pandemic is certainly an “earthly affair” with enormous impact on the physical, material world.

Industrious, efficient, and stubborn, Mardoc can also have a cold, unforgiving nature and assume the role of “terminator.” According to Ana Cortez, “His throne is the deathbed, the inevitable final stage of all Spade manifestations.”

For me, as something that might help me during this pandemic, I can see where the energy and fortitude represented by Mardoc might useful, whether coming from within myself or from other people or entities trying to overcome this crisis. This is not a time to be overly emotional or weak-spirited. However, it is difficult for me to see how the “heartless, cold, unforgiving” aspects of this card could be helpful.

(2) what might harm me (something to avoid)

DEJA (12 of Hearts)

Comparable to the Queen of Cups in traditional Tarot decks, Deja represents emotionally mature energy, a sensitive and empathetic nature, a quiet knowing and internal focus – yet she can also be withdrawn or reserved. It seems strange that she has appeared in this reading as something that “might harm me” (something to avoid). I can only deduce that an excess of her qualities could create a problem as I cope with the pandemic. With her eyes closed, she could be withdrawn in a harmful way, unable or unwilling to see things the way they really are.

As with all Court cards, it is possible that this card refers to another person in my life whose beliefs, attitudes, behavior, or tendencies could interfere with my wellbeing. 

(3) overall message to keep in mind

SOUTH WIND (4 of Diamonds)

The number Four often represents structure and organization. In this oracle deck, each Four represents one of the cardinal “winds.” For the suit of Diamonds (Fire), it is the South Wind. The suit of Diamonds is comparable to the suit of Wands in the Tarot, so we need not be surprised to find that the Four of Diamonds can bring disturbances, unplanned circumstances, confusion, and misunderstanding. Things are certainly “abnormal” these days, and we don’t seem to know exactly what to expect from day to day. The key message here, then, is: “Plan on the unplanned.” Things will go amiss; lines will get crossed. This card also can represent a sense of humor, an ability to joke – something that almost always improves a situation.

It is interesting to me that the first two cards are Court cards, pointing to the importance of my own personal traits or tendencies and/or those of other people who might have an effect on my life. It really is all about people – acting both as individuals and together. The South Wind is something of a “wild card” (in more ways than one), and its energy is likely to be prevalent for quite some time to come.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tarot Card of the Year: 2020 and 2021

One interesting way to use Tarot cards is to calculate which Major Arcana card represents a particular year. As you might guess, this involves adding the individual numbers of the year to arrive at a total that matches the number of a Major Arcana card.

Here are my calculations and thoughts for the years 2020 and 2021.

Card of the Year for 2020

2 + 0 + 2 + 0 = 4 = THE EMPEROR

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

To see versions of The Emperor from other decks, 
along with astrological associations, click HERE.

As an American, my first thought upon seeing this card was that it represents Donald Trump and the authoritarian type of government he seems to want for this country (with him as “the authority,” of course). He wants to be “The Emperor.” And that influence in both a personal sense and larger sense is going to continue to affect, infect, and infuse not only American life but life around the world.

Another way to look at this card for 2020 is to think of it as representing a struggle for control, which we are certainly seeing not only here but elsewhere in the world. Who will be “The Emperor”? Who will be in charge? Who will rule? An individual? A select group of people? The masses?

When we look at the number FOUR, we can see a variety of meanings. I explored the number FOUR in detail HERE.

Card of the Year for 2021

2 + 0 + 2 + 1 = 5 = THE HIEROPHANT

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot
To see versions of The Hierophant from other decks, 
along with astrological associations, click HERE.

I typically see this card as representing organized religion and/or established entities, methods, and traditions. On one hand, as an American, I might see this as encouraging because it suggests that the “traditional” operation of government is going to prevail, in spite of efforts to create a government in which the Executive Branch has more power than any other.

At the same time, I can see The Hierophant as an indication that organized religion -- particularly the “conservative Christian right” – will continue to increase pressure and build power in order to try to bring society at large in line with their beliefs.

As for the number FIVE, I presented a detailed discussion HERE.

I feel these two cards definitely show areas of focus for 2020 and 2021.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day!

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. In celebration of Valentine's Day, it seemed appropriate to explore the Two of Hearts (Cups) from The Enchanted Tarot by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber (published by St. Martin's Press).

I am fond of saying that all of the Hearts cards in this deck resemble Valentines, with their lace and bric-a-brac, pinks, purples, and reds.

The suit of Hearts corresponds to the element of Water, which Monte Farber tells us is associated with "emotions, moods, dreams, fantasy, romance, the season of Summer and the direction, West.

On the Two of Hearts we see two white swans circling in a calm stream among drifting water lilies. Swans, which are said to mate for life, often symbolize the power of love. In his Dictionary of Symbols (Duncan Baird Publishers), Jack Tresidder describes the swan as "a romantic and ambiguous symbol of light, death, transformation, poetry, beauty and melancholy passion." A swan can also represent the ebbing or loss of love.

At the top of the largest heart shape on the Two of Hearts, we see cupids and white flowers. A floating heart decorated with a moon and stars tells us that love is written in the stars. Another heart displays elegant, graceful curves that suggest joyful play and sociability. Monte Farber writes: "These two hearts beat as one."

A card of mutual affinity, union, and partnership, the Two of Hearts encourages us to cherish the loving relationships and partnerships in our life. The beautiful place depicted on the card is a place we create within us, where our thoughts, hopes, and memories of love abide forever.

Happy Valentine's Day, my dears!

Love always,

(Note: This blog post originally appeared on Tarot Notes on February 13, 2011.)