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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Listen to the Animals: Pelican

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_.

Today I am consulting The Secret Language of Animals Oracle Cards by Chip Richards (Blue Angel Publishing).

Our animal for today is the WHITE PELICAN (22)
Ease, Optimism, Grace, Cooperation

The deck’s creator, Chip Richards, tells us that in alchemy, Pelican symbolized the Philosopher’s Stone (a stone that turned base elements into gold). The pelican (Henet in Egyptian) was associated in Ancient Egypt with death and the afterlife. In medieval Europe, the pelican was thought to be particularly attentive to her young, to the point of providing her own blood by wounding her own breast when no other food was available.

Like many birds, pelicans glide in formation with each other to create draft and lift. They nest colonially, typically in groups of tens or hundreds. Cooperation is key.

Pelicans dive into the water for food, but literally cannot sink, thanks to air sacs beneath their skin. When we imagine ourselves sailing on air currents and floating on churning waves, while also feeling at home on the ground (where white pelicans nest), we begin to understand the ideas of  “ease” and “grace” as traits of the pelican.

The great white pelican is the national bird of Romania. The US state of Louisiana is known colloquially as the Pelican State; the bird appears on the state flag and state seal.

Richards concludes his “Message” for this card as follows: “From the outside, your life appears like a symphony of movement that defies nature. But within your soaring ways, it is the most natural, effortless and joyful expression of who you came to be.”

Here are some photos I have taken of pelicans.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Clinton and Trump: A Tarot Perspective

As most of you probably know, the presidential election in America is, well, interesting in many ways. I thought about using the Tarot or Lenormand cards to predict the winner, but decided instead to ask several of my decks their opinion of the two major party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, along with the chance each candidate has of winning (Fire, Air = strong chance; Earth, Water = poor chance).

Before I continue, I must warn you that I am going to pursue this in a spirit of fun, and I fully expect the cards to enjoy playing along. My guests are:

  • Tarot of the Gnomes by Antonio Lupatelli (Lo Scarabeo)
  • Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall (U.S. Games Systems)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)
  • The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot (Magic Realist Press)
  • Shapeshifter Tarot by D.J. Conway and Sirona Knight, illustrated by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Publications)

Tarot of the Gnomes

Opinion of Clinton: The Hierophant (Earth / Trump 5)
The gnomes see Clinton as a wise guide and advisor, a representative of “the establishment.”
Chance of winning: Regina di Spade (Queen of Swords/Air)
The gnomes see her chance of winning as being strong.

Opinion of Trump: Cavaliere di Coppe (Knight of Cups / Water)
For the gnomes, Trump is a seducer, presenting himself as courageous and courteous to win and keep supporters.
Chance of winning: Re di Spade (King of Swords/Air)
The gnomes also see Trump’s chances of winning as being strong.

Tarot of the Cat People

Opinion of Clinton: Knight of Swords (Air)
Bravery. Skill. Capacity. Opposition and war. Impetuous rush into the unknown.
Chance of winning: 4 of Pentacles/Earth (not strong, but she can improve those chances by overcoming selfishness, envy, or bad debts)

Opinion of Trump: 8 of Wands (Fire)
Sudden progress or movement. Hastily made decisions. Too rapid advancement.
Chance of winning: 9 of Wands/Fire (strong)

Tarot of the Animal Lords

Opinion of Clinton: Knave of Pentacles (Earth)
Student, new ideas; need for a guide, loss of money
Chance of winning: King of Wands/Fire (strong)

Opinion of Trump: Temperance (Fire / Trump 14)
Moderation, patience, agreement; dislike, tension, tiredness
Chance of winning: The Tower/Fire (strong)

The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

Opinion of Clinton: 6 of Coins (Earth) – “The Benefactor”
Generosity, generosity with strings attached; lack or excess of generosity
Chance of winning: Ace of Swords/Air (strong)

Opinion of Trump: Queen of Swords (Air)
Intellectual and witty; mean and spiteful, a shrewd gossip
Chance of winning: The Fool/Air (strong)

Shapeshifter Tarot

Opinion of Clinton: 2 of Cups (Water)
Love, harmony, kindred soul, preparation for positive changes
Chance of winning: Ace of Wands/Air* (strong)

Opinion of Trump: The Star (Air / Trump 17)
Illumination, inspiration, psychic energy, hopes and ideals
Chance of winning: God of Fire / King of Swords* (strong)

Although the polls currently show Clinton gaining ground against Trump, the cards in general seem to feel both have a strong chance of winning. Tarot of the Cat People had reservations about Clinton, but offered suggestions on how she could improve her chances.

To summarize:


  • The Hierophant / Queen of Swords
  • Knight of Swords / 4 of Pentacles
  • Knave (Page) of Pentacles / King of Wands
  • Six of Coins / Ace of Swords
  • Two of Cups / Ace of Wands


  • Knight of Cups / King of Swords
  • Eight of Wands / Nine of Wands
  • Temperance / The Tower
  • Queen of Swords / The Fool
  • The Star / King of Swords

Perhaps not surprisingly, the cards linked Trump with four Trump cards to Clinton’s one. Clinton has two Aces up her sleeve, which is interesting given that if she wins, she will be the FIRST female President of the United States.

Clinton is represented by a total of four Earth cards (counting The Hierophant, associated with the Earth sign Taurus), whereas Trump has no Earth cards representing him. Could this have something to do with stability or dependability?

Trump has a total of two Cups (Water) cards to Clinton’s one. Trump has a big lead in the Fire and Air category with nine cards to Clinton’s five.

Beyond that, I will let you make your own explorations and form your own conclusions.

* Note: Unlike the other four decks I used, in the Shapeshifter Tarot, Wands are linked with Air and Swords with Fire.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hidden Influence Spread: Winged Enchantment Oracle

For today’s reading I am using The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck, written by Lesley Morrison with artwork by Lisa Hunt (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

I am using a spread provided in the guidebook that accompanies this beautiful deck. Titled “The Hidden Influence Spread,” it employs five cards with the following positional definitions:

(1) This card shows your past actions that have led you forward.
(2) This card represents you now.
(3) This card reveals what is on the immediate horizon.
(4) This card shows influences that are holding you back.
(5) This card reveals hidden influences that are supporting your past.

The Layout:

I am including a brief “By the Numbers” comment for each card, my own idea incorporating numerology based on the card numbers reduced to a single digit.

The Reading:

(1) This card shows your past actions that have led you forward.


The Pelican demonstrates careful observation and planning, the use of skills that are needed to reach a goal, determination, and teamwork. These are characteristics that have led me forward. At the same time, Pelican observes that my viewpoint in the past may have been too restricted, and I may have let my expectations control me instead of releasing those expectations and allowing things to unfold naturally. I may have tripped over my own feet or lost sight of the bigger picture. Even so, I do feel the more useful qualities of the Pelican have served me on this journey.

By the Numbers: The number 9 (2+7) usually points to completion and transformation, the end of one cycle or stage while entering, transformed, into a new cycle or stage.

(2) This card represents you now.


The Starling represents a relinquishing of the ego and the ability to embrace a powerful relationship with society. I do this by teaching what I have learned to others, blending myself into the bigger picture. I share my work, seeking unity and wholeness with the world.

By the Numbers: The number 6 (3+3) is often about peace, harmony, and balance as well as resolution of tensions and social responsibility.

(3) This card reveals what is on the immediate horizon.

DUCK / 9

The Duck offers the idea of exploring and understanding my inner motivations, the complexities of my emotions, and how feelings can propel me forward or drown me. On the immediate horizon, there is a need to equalize polarities, to avoid being overly emotional while still allowing my emotions to play a role. Heavy emotional entanglements can overwhelm me, but healing is only available when I accept my emotions and allow them a place in my life.

By the Numbers: As mentioned above, the number 9 usually points to completion and transformation, the end of one cycle or stage while entering, transformed, into a new cycle or stage.

(4) This card shows influences that are holding you back.

HAWK / 15

On the positive side, the Hawk is a majestic visionary, seeing everything from every angle. In the guidebook for this deck, Lesley Morrison writes: “If I [The Hawk] am circling overhead it is because you are not yet aligned with your future.” Influences that are holding me back might include a lack of vision that prevents me from constructing and shaping my path ahead (rather than just *seeing* it). I can imagine and project, but I must also act in a way that supports what I seek to accomplish.

By the Numbers: As mentioned above, the number 6 (1+5 in this case) is often about peace, harmony, and balance as well as resolution of tensions and social responsibility.

(5) This card reveals hidden influences that are supporting your past.

LARK / 19

It is interesting to see this card here because when I initially removed this deck from the box for this reading, The Lark was face up on top, causing me to look at it for a few seconds before carefully shuffling the deck. Clearly it had no intention of being buried! Hidden influences that are supporting my past might include the influence of sound – words, expression, songs, any use of my voice. This is about my ability to direct my voice toward my destiny clearly and with intention, depth, and purpose. The positive qualities of the Lark supported those of the Penguin (position 1, above) to lead me forward.

By the Numbers: The number 1 (1+9 = 10, 1+0 = 1) often references purposeful behavior along with independence and new beginnings. All of these have certainly played a part in bringing me forward from my past.

This is an interesting collection of birds: pelican, starling, duck, hawk, and lark. Some are known for their voice, others for their hunting prowess. The pelican and the duck are masters of both air and water, where the lark, hawk, and starling travel the airways. For numbers, I have 9 twice and 6 twice, with 1 in the last position. Transformation, harmony, and a clear direction.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 8 of Evidence

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
(8 of Wands)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Evidence (represented by a shoe print) is comparable to the suit of Wands. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Evidence is from The Copper Beeches: “Data! Data! Data! I can make no bricks without clay!”

The Holmesian Wisdom for the 8 of Evidence is: “Make a long arm, Watson, and see what V has to say.” This quote is from “The Sussex Vampire.” Holmes is asking Watson to reach up and take down the “V” volume of a reference book. The first part of the quote reads: “But what do we know about vampires? Does it come within our purview either? Anything is better than stagnation, but really we seem to have been switched on to a Grimms’ fairy tale. Make a long arm, Watson, and see what V has to say.”

The image on the 8 of Evidence shows a train steaming towards its destination with Sherlock Holmes aboard. As the deck creators tell us: “Holmes and Watson lived in a time when the rail network spanning Britain was second to none. . . The underlying meaning of this card has to do with swiftness, expediency and communication.”

In the Sherlock Holmes movies, I always love the scenes aboard the train, with Holmes and/or Watson sitting in their private car as they rumble along the tracks to the sound of the piercing train whistle.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “swiftness, expediency, hasty perpetration of intuitions, prophetic insight, speedy progress, communication.” Reversed meanings: “quarrels, disputation, setbacks, stoppages, regrets, lack of scruples.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings. An example from “The Game” for the 8 of Evidence: “The freedom to move forward without hindrance. Things moving fast – sometimes too fast. . . The swiftest means of communication.” Examples from “The Fog”: “Delays hamper you. . . Lack of control makes quarrels flare. . . Stagnation follows, upon dealing with too many issues at once.”