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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lunar Nomad Oracle Interview

Interview with The Lunar Nomad Oracle by Shaheen Miro (Weiser Books).

(To read my review of this deck, click HERE.) 

Here are the questions I asked this oracle deck and the answers she provided.

(1) What would you like me to understand about you?
PATHWAYS – Card 22

Understand that I am here to show you options and opportunities, to help you make decisions about which direction to take when you are at a crossroads, and to tell you when it is time to let something go and move forward on your path.

(2) What would you like me to understand about myself?
FOX – Card 14

I would like you to understand that you have within yourself the qualities of a trickster – sometimes not in a good way. Yet, these qualities can be harnessed and directed to your benefit, giving you power in competition (The Fox is the patron of entrepreneurs and creators). The part of you that aligns with The Fox knows that opportunities must be taken while the iron is hot. Timing is everything. Uncertainty can be lethal.

(3) What strengths and/or weaknesses do we have as a team?
COFFIN – Card 8

Together we approach the stages of life as endings and beginnings, loss and gain. We learn and teach the art of letting go and surrendering to the natural cycles of change. The ability and willingness to do this is a strength, but there may be times when even together, we are not able to embrace the message that time is passing or running out. We may see only troubled times until and unless we are able to flip our perspective and experience a new way of being.

This is good information and food for thought as I begin to do readings with these cards!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

REVIEW: The Lunar Nomad Oracle


The Lunar Nomad Oracle: 
43 Cards to Unlock Your Creativity and Awaken Your Intuition 
by Shaheen Miro
Book: 160 pages
Cards: 43; 4-1/4 x 6 inches
Publisher: _Weiser Books_
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1578636310
ISBN-13: 978-1578636310

Having fallen in love long ago (2013) with Shaheen’s Tattered Nomad Oracle (see my review of that deck HERE), I couldn’t wait to get his Lunar Nomad Oracle deck and book in my hands.

My copy of the Tattered Nomad deck is “poker size,” meaning fairly small cards (3-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches). The images used in the Lunar Nomad deck are the same as those in the Tattered Nomad deck, but the cards are larger (6 x 4-1/4 inches), so I can appreciate the art on this gorgeous deck even more.

With the Tattered Nomad deck, I received an 8 by 10-3/4 inch paper insert giving keywords for each card and a diagram of how to lay out the cards for a reading. The Lunar Nomad Oracle comes with a 143-page guide filled with so much more than keywords.

I love this new “incarnation” of the Tattered Nomad Oracle as the Lunar Nomad Oracle! The cards are packaged in a lightweight cardboard box, which is then placed into a sturdier box made with one side open. The guidebook slips neatly into that heavier box alongside the box of cards. Kudos to Weiser Books for this attractive and practical presentation!

I read the guidebook cover to cover, while looking at each card as I read Shaheen’s descriptions, insights, and commentary. The care, attention, and writing style all combine to create an enjoyable, informative experience.

The idea of my Lunar Self appearing in “sudden sparks of inspiration, the stirring of dramatic gut feelings, in vivid dreams” resonates strongly with me. I would like to think that I am not burying my Lunar Self these days or allowing my Solar Self to take over. However, at one time in my life, I am certain that I did do that. I agree with Shaheen when he writes, “It is important to understand that the Solar and Lunar Self are not in opposition with each other when they are fully venerated. The Solar Self supports the Lunar Self. . . The Solar Self takes the abstract impressions of the Lunar Self and finds a way to utilize the information in a logical sequence.”

Let’s visit some of my favorite cards…

MOON (32)

Keywords: “emotion, feeling, intuition, lunar cycle, art, hidden talents, imagination, winter”

Favorite Quotes:
“The Moon offers a passage into your unconscious mind where your wisdom, potential, and power really reside.”
“Something deep within you is awakening. Make space for that beautiful moonbeam to glow and gain light.”
Mushrooms are plentiful on this card. As a symbol, mushrooms can represent longevity, an image of primeval Heaven, the souls of the dead or reborn, or life regenerated (life from death). Supernatural associations with mushrooms are also common.

TOWER (19)

Keywords: “authority, large business, buildings, places of power, school, church, enterprise, condescendence”

Favorite Quotes:

“Historically the Tower was built as a defensive structure. . . Whoever watches from the Tower is alerted to your presence before your arrival.”
“The Tower can become a shadow or a torch. What are you locking away from the world? What feelings are you trying to swallow?”
Unlike traditional Tower card in the Tarot, there is no lightening or fire hitting the central structure, nor are the people falling from the windows or parapets. Huge wings seem to me to suggest the possible beneficial nature of place of power, depending on what you are looking for or rebelling against.

STARS (16)

Keywords: “wishes, hopes, possibilities, guidance, independence, dreams, expansion, fame”

Favorite Quotes:
“In the vast expanses of the sky, an octopus floats tranquilly in the embrace of infinity. He is an emblem of mystery and intelligence. The enigmatic quality of the octopus mirrors the mystery within each of us.”
“Consider looking at your natal chart to gain more insight on the energies that are working in your life. Moving with the cosmic flow allows you to create more fluidity.”
I just love the design and coloring of this card, especially the octopus as he shoots through the sky as if sky and ocean were one and the same.


Keywords: “confusion, conflict, lack of focus, obstacles, worries, depression”

Favorite Quotes:

“Confusion can blow in like a deadly storm or slip silently through the cracks like an insidious smoke.”
“The Clouds may seem ominous, but avoid holding them in contempt. They are teachers of tough love. Usually they show us where we are working too hard and pushing against our own wisdom.”
I love that this illustration shows a perfume atomizer and clouds of fragrance, capable of confusing not only the eye but the sense of smell and taste. Clouds up in the sky seem far away, but clouds of smoke or perfume swirling around your head add a dimension to the card that I find enriching and enlightening.


The Lunar Nomad Oracle is a set of keys for unlocking and understanding your intuitive side, your "lunar self." As a nomad on the path of the lunar self, you will awaken your sense of wonder and discover your creative desires to facilitate introspection, awareness, and lasting change.

The Lunar Nomad Oracle is inspired by the traditional Lenormand system, but unlike the Lenormand, this deck comprises 43 cards and additional significator cards that are multiracial and multiethnic. The Lunar Nomad Oracle cards are rich with layers, colors, and imagery, all designed to speak to the intuitive self. The book and deck allow users to explore their inner depths, looking for clues and prompts to activate their lunar side--their creativity, intuition, and inner wisdom. The symbolism of the cards helps the user formulate a story or reading. The process will be familiar to followers of tarot, but because The Lunar Nomad Oracle does not have suits or a linear structure, readers have the freedom and fluidity to really explore the deck and add their own insights and interpretations.


Shaheen Miro is a spiritual nomad working with people all over the world to help them reclaim their power through intuitive guidance, energy work, and spiritual cleansing. As a tarot and tea leaf reader, he conducts workshops and presentations nationally. Visit him at www.shaheenmiroinsights.com.

Stay tuned for a deck interview!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The High Priestess

For this series, I will be exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:

  1. Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  2. The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  3. The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  4. The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  5. The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  6. The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  7. Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

To read my post about The Fool, click HERE.
To read my post about The Magician, click HERE.


Now let’s look at how The High Priestess is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

OWL (“This is a time to pause and reflect, not to take action.”) – On this card, an owl glides over the water that flows between two pillars, dipping the tip of the scroll he carries into the water. Although this particular owl is “taking action,” owls are often seen sitting silently in a tree, observing, contemplating, and perhaps even reflecting. With perfect night vision, owls wait for the perfect time to take flight in pursuit of prey. Owls represent both knowledge (information) and wisdom (experience), making them an excellent choice to portray The High Priestess.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

BLACK WIDOW – “But I know who I am and each and every day I honor my divine self by being true to my vision of myself who I am.” Robertson begins by pointing out that this “small, unassuming, nocturnal creature” who “prefers silence and solitude over the spotlight” has nevertheless become “one of the largest archetypes both on and off the silver screen.” Robertson compares the black widow spider to The High Priestess by writing that both of them have “transcended the limits of manmade boundaries, labels, and restrictions.” In that sense, I do see how this spider can play the part of The High Priestess, although I have been conditioned over time to fear the black widow and to think of it as sinister and threatening, qualities I would not associate with The HP.

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

CAT (“Knower of Secrets”) – Brunke offers “Mystery, Knowledge, Awareness, Intuition” as Keynotes for this card. The message she assigns to the card is “Still and silent, seek wisdom within.” Having living with cats my whole life, I can easily see a cat in the role of The High Priestess. When I look at the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith High Priestess card, I have no trouble replacing the woman in that image with a cat. As a Knower of Secrets and Guide to the Mysterious, the Cat calls us to consult our dreams, pay attention to our inner visions, and fine-tune our instincts. As Brunke puts it, “Cat helps us to realize the supernatural is simply natural – an expanded part of our true self.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

SPIDER (“Intuition and Weaving of Fate”) – Here we have another deck which, like The Animal Totem Tarot, uses a spider to represent The High Priestess. Ted Andrews writes that spiders “signal an awakening of our creative energies.” He adds that the spider reflects three kinds of magic at play within our life: the magic of creativity, the magic of assertion, and the linking of past and future, death and rebirth, waxing and waning (reflected in the web’s spiral). As I mentioned above, I can see why the spider might be chosen to represent The High Priestess, but I always think of a spider’s web as a place where it traps its prey and kills them, which doesn’t quite match how I view The High Priestess sitting between the two pillars.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

BAST (seeking knowledge, following intuition) – Lisa Hunt chooses the ancient Egyptian cat goddess Bast for her High Priestess. A benevolent deity, Bast protected the population from vermin and assured fecundity and health. She was associated with the lunar mysteries of the night, an association that reaffirms her connection to The High Priestess card, which the Order of the Golden Dawn links to the Moon. As mentioned above, the nature of the cat seems very much in keeping with the qualities associated with The High Priestess.

The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

STRIPED OWL (rebirth, knowledge, secrecy, foresight, intuition, inspiration) – Like The High Priestess, the owl in this deck represents “the insight and wisdom found deep within.” With her power drawn from the moon, she links the conscious and unconscious. A creature of the night, the owl nevertheless brings the light of knowledge into the darkness, revealing what we otherwise could not see.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

COW ELEPHANT – The elephant is a marvelous choice for The High Priestess, in my opinion, given the qualities we associate with both.  Although elephants can be unruly and aggressive (particularly the males) in certain situations, for the most part we see them as gentle giants who care for the other members of their herd much as humans care for family members. The herd is led by the oldest and often largest female in the herd, called a matriarch. Elephants are extremely intelligent and have memories that span many years. The instructions by Bepi Vigna offer the following keywords for the upright card: study, wisdom, mystery. Reversed, the card can indicate hysterics, selfishness, ignorance.

The tally for animals portraying The High Priestess in these seven decks:
OWL – 2
CAT – 2

I think, if forced to choose, I lean towards the Owl as an animal representative of The High Priestess, with the Cat a close second. I appreciate the effort to give spiders the respect they no doubt deserve, and I do love the idea of the elephant in her blue dress, but they don’t quite resonate with me the way “the owl and the pussycat” (LOL) do. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Excalibur Spread with The Arthurian Tarot

Recently I was looking through The Arthurian Tarot Hallowquest Handbook by Caitlin and John Matthews (The Aquarian Press), and noticed (not for the first time) that there are several really neat spreads in the back of the book. One of my favorites is the Excalibur Spread, which looks like this:

The meanings of the positions are:
1. Who I once was.
2. The lessons I learned in that incarnation.
3. The lessons which I failed to learn.
4. Who I am in this incarnation.
5. The things I find easy.
6. The things I find difficult to accept.
7. Recurrent problems.
8. The best method of confronting them.
9. This life’s challenging lessons.

For this reading I am using (what else?) The Arthurian Tarot, with cards illustrated by Miranda Gray. Here we go…

1. Who I once was. 

STONE QUEEN: The Queen of the Chessboard Castle; Queen Igraine, Arthur’s Mother

As a Queen, I channeled the energies of the Stone Hallow (element of Earth). Stable and dedicated, noble and practical, I understood the relationship between all life and the land. It was my purpose and pleasure to impart a sense of nurture and security to all I encountered. My gwyddbwyl board represented the land itself. The blackbird was my totem and companion.

2. The lessons I learned in that incarnation.


In that incarnation, I learned to make and to shape, to use practical skills and creative instinct to bring together ideas and skills in organized pursuit of a goal. I worked with craftsmen and magicians alike in this pursuit, and reaped much honor and many rewards.

3. The lessons which I failed to learn. 


Alas, in that incarnation, I failed to learn the true strengths and weaknesses of the Spear Hallow (element of Fire). In spite of my innate stability and practicality (Stone Queen), I made hasty decisions and behaved impetuously, at times displaying a hot temper, expending valuable energy and enthusiasm on risky or false quests that took me farther from my goals.

4. Who I am in this incarnation. 


In this incarnation, I have retained my connections to the Stone Hallow, sworn to uphold it, but instead of being its Queen, I am a Maiden, a student of the mysteries of Earth. A raven has replaced the blackbird as my totem and companion. Like all Maidens, I am here to open new paths on the Hallowquest.

5. The things I find easy.


Unfortunately, I find it easy to dwell on sorrows, disappointments, loss, and “broken bridges”  – analyzing, over-analyzing, and brooding as if somehow that activity will eventually lead to relief or escape from the mental ordeal. This is especially easy at around 3:00 in the morning, if I happen to be awake at that hour for a “call of nature.” I find it easy to vacillate back and forth between blaming and justifying my past feelings, choices, and actions -- although these days, I do seem to be able to put a stop to it by simply saying, within my own mind, “Shut up.”

6. The things I find difficult to accept. 


I find it difficult to accept that I need to do more to replenish my spirit, whether it be meditation or retreat of some kind. I need to reassess my “powers and limitations” in quiet seclusion. I find it difficult to accept that it might be possible to  “sink deeply into the peace of the spirit and wake refreshed for the quest.” Call me a skeptic.

7. Recurrent problems. 


Recurrent problems exist in the physical, material world, a realm that includes possessions, finances, health, and security. This refers to something I may be “hoarding” in some way, reluctant to share for fear that I will be left with nothing.

8. The best method of confronting them. 

THE GREEN KNIGHT (Key 15 – The Devil)

The best method of confronting those problems is to overcome any ignorance, self-limitation, and inflexibility that could be creating an obstacle for me. My own fears of what *might* or *could* happen are part of the problem.

9. This life’s challenging lessons.

PRYDWEN (Key 7 – The Chariot)

In this image, Arthur’s ship, Prydwen, sails into the entrance of the Underworld. The challenging lesson in this life is to learn that I can achieve victory and attain goals through self-confidence, self-discipline, and determination. I am indeed the “captain of my ship,” with abilities I can harness towards a purpose, even in the face of tests and trials. The challenging lesson is to learn not to give up or to let fear of failure put a stop to my progress even before it has begun.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Cardinal Spread - Imperial Dragon Oracle

Today’s spread is provided in the guidebook for the gorgeous Imperial Dragon Oracle deck by Andy Baggott & Peter Pracownik (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

The 22 cards in this oracle deck correspond to the 22 Major Arcana cards of the Tarot.

Here is the layout for The Cardinal Spread:

Card 1: Where the root of the issue lies

THE DESTROYER (16) – Mars / The Tower / Breakthrough

Fiery Mars energy is clearly represented on this card in the form of a fire-breathing dragon. The root of this issue lies at a major breakthrough or catastrophe, a period of great instability filled with unexpected events. The energy here is “the movement from material to spiritual.” This “tower moment” could be something from the past or something happening right now (even if I haven’t noticed it yet?). If it was in the past, repercussions are still being felt at some levels, like aftershocks from an earthquake.

Card 2: Your guide in this issue

THE WOUNDED DRAGON (12) – Neptune / The Hanged Man / Peace

Andy Baggott does not see this card as symbolizing suffering but rather a catalyst to release us from old patterns in order to raise spiritual awareness. That transitional energy is perfect as a guide during an upheaval such as the one represented by Card 1. It is interesting that this is card 12 in the deck, linked with the planet Neptune, which rules the 12th House – House of Sorrows and Self-Undoing -- in Astrology. Very nice tie-in. To get through a major breakthrough, it is often necessary to let go of a self-defeating mindset, perception, or way of looking at things.

Card 3: What you need to learn from this issue

LOVE (6) – Mercury, Gemini / The Lovers / Acceptance

I need to learn how to open my heart and connect with unconditional love. This could apply to relationships with other people or to my relationship with myself. Ultimately, if possible, I need to choose to accept myself and accept that everything in my past needed to happen, even if I do not know why. Events that seem negative may actually contribute to an overall positive outcome.

Card 4: Obstacles or challenges you need to be aware of

WISDOM (2) – Moon / The High Priestess / Wisdom

This card represents “obstacles or challenges,” which leads me to consider the opposite of wisdom: superficial thinking and short-sightedness. A tendency towards selfishness or the opposing extreme – ignoring self to please others – may block or delay what I hope to gain.

Card 5: The potential future if lessons are learned and obstacles are overcome

THE MAGUS (1) – Mercury / Creativity

Well, this is a very nice “potential future,” indeed. The tools at the disposal of this Magus are: “the sword of truth that connects you to your higher self” and “the cup of creativity.” The symbol of the pentacle on the chalice represents Earth. I don’t see an obvious “Fire” symbol here, but the dragon is certainly a fiery red and the dark sky behind him is full of flame-colored light. The point, as with most Magician cards, is that I by drawing down spiritual energy, have all the resources I need to create the reality I desire. This depends, of course, on my willingness and ability to learn the lessons and overcome the obstacles presented earlier in the reading.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Magician

For this series, I am exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:

  • Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  • The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeze Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  • The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  • The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

To read my post about The Fool, click HERE

Now let’s look at how The Magician is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

UNICORN (“There is magic in the air! You can manifest everything you need to be successful.”) -- A great choice for this card, in my opinion. The unicorn is a magical creature, held sacred by people since ancient times. As The Magician, the unicorn encourages us to see ourselves as being above what is normal and “regular,” able to direct and channel the energies we need or desire to use to accomplish whatever we wish. The art does not incorporate the “Cup, Wand, Pentacle, and Sword” symbolism used in traditional versions of The Magician, but the unicorn does have that marvelous horn that can serve as a magic wand.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

FOX – Robertson draws a comparison here between the fox, who knows how to find food, even though it cannot be seen beneath the winter snow, and The Magician, who also knows “there is more available to them from the world they live in than what the physical eye can see.” The art depicts a fox mid-air above the four elemental symbols. This fox, Robertson tells us, has sensed a food source that can’t be seen and is leaping up to pounce on it. It seems like this is a bit like using “The Force” in Star Wars.

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

RAVEN (“Messenger of Magic”) – Brunke offers “Transformation, Creation, Illumination, Conscious Magic” as Keynotes for this card. The message she assigns to the card is “Feel, trust, and use the force within you.” (See my Star Wars comment above.) The art shows a raven with “one wing swept upward to Spirit, one lowered to Earth,” the traditional pose of The Magician. The four elements are represented by a Shell, Branch, Fossil, and Feather. Ravens are known as highly communicative birds, making them a great choice to act as a channel to divine wisdom (“As above, so below.”)

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

FOX (“Blessings and Magic Afoot”) – We now come to Ted Andrews, whose Animal-Wise Tarot names the Fox as The Magician. Andrews views the fox as a creature “revered at some time by every society in which it was found.” In a slight twist to the idea of a fox being aware of things that can’t be seen, the Animal-Wise fox offers “quiet invisibility,” the art of camouflage, the better to see and hear things we might otherwise miss. Heightened senses (including psychic senses) are an important part of this Magician card as well. 

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

CERRIDWEN (creativity, learning magic, directing energies) – Rather than a single animal, Lisa Hunt chooses the ancient fertility goddess Cerridwen. The art shows the goddess surrounded by a fox (cunning), a deer (rejuvenation), and a boar (fertility, strength, magic). The “animal” aspect comes into play further when we read the story of Cerridwen (in the shape of a greyhound, then an otter, then a hawk) chasing Gwion Bach (in the shape of a first a hare, then a fish, then a bird). The moral of the story is about the value and dangers of gaining knowledge and the significance of how that knowledge is used. Cerridwen holds a wand on this card, but we do not see the other elements or symbols that traditionally appear on The Magician.

The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

COYOTE (skill, cunning, power, instinct, transformation, action) – Although I would not recognize the creature on this card as a coyote, that is indeed what it is meant to be. The usual ‘trickster-Magician” analogy applies. Look closely and you will see the four elements represented by a huge pentacle beneath the coyote’s feet, fires flickering around him, water running alongside him, and a “powerful wind” that “flows and fills him with renewed energy.”

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

FOX – Last but not least, Tarot of the Animal Lords gives us a Fox for our Magician. Characteristics listed in the guidebook: “shrewdness, will to succeed, lack of prejudice; errors, lies.” Giannini does not give us the traditional tools (elements) of The Magician. Instead, Mr. Fox performs a familiar magic act using two cups and a marble. A bird and a mouse observe.

The tally shows The Magician represented by:

  • Unicorn (1)
  • Fox (3)
  • Raven (1)
  • Cerridwen (1)
  • Coyote (1)

While I do lean towards the Fox as my favorite, I also like the Raven and Unicorn quite a lot. Which one works best for you?