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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Lenormand 5-card Line: New Apartment for Mom?

Today I’m revisiting the question of when an assisted living apartment might come open for my mother. I did a reading in July that you can see _HERE_ .

It appears that my Yes-Yes-No response from the Lenormand cards in that reading turned out to mean “NO.” (At least as far as I know… and I don’t know what might have been going on behind the scenes. It’s possible that something “almost” became available.)

Let’s see what the Dreaming Way Lenormand (artwork by Kwon Shina / U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) says in answer to the same question today: Will an assisted living apartment become available for Mom within the next 30 days?

Instead of a 3-card line this time, I am going to use a technique I saw in Sylvie Steinbach’s book The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle. For this technique, I decide which card represents the issue being explored. The HOUSE card is typically used for issues related to moving or changing residence. I choose any card, at random, from the deck and turn it upright. I keep doing that until I pull the HOUSE card. I keep the two cards I pulled immediately before I drew HOUSE. Then I turn over two cards after that to create a 5-card line with HOUSE in the middle, and the two cards drawn immediately before and after HOUSE on either side. Here is the result:




SUN ….. ANCHOR….. HOUSE….. LADY ….. RIDER

The SUN card is always nice to see, as it typically represents optimism and success. Taken as an individual card the ANCHOR suggests to me that Mom is likely to be able to stay in the retirement complex where she currently lives, that it is her home. Therefore, if she needs to have an assisted living apartment, one will become available there.

Sylvie Steinbach interprets SUN plus ANCHOR as “legacy, long-term success, empire.” Her keywords for ANCHOR plus HOUSE are: “family estate, inherited family home, final residence.” That makes sense, and is also encouraging.

The LADY card, I think, probably refers to my mother. In fact “mother” is a keyword that Sylvie Steinbach offers for that card.

The RIDER card often suggests positive news and change, movement, and opportunity. Notice that the horse on this card is going in one direction, while the Rider faces the opposite direction. In the booklet that accompanies this Lenormand deck, Lynn Araujo writes: “Though the Rider looks back, she trusts her horse to carry her eagerly forward toward her destiny…” Both the LADY and the RIDER are looking “back” at the HOUSE, but the horse carries them forward, onward, and into the future.

Sylvie Steinbach’s keywords for HOUSE plus LADY: “housewife, landlady, real estate agent.” When asked her “occupation,” on a form, my mother always answers “housewife.” And, yes, she is very particular about how her house looks, the decorating, and so forth. It is much more than a “place” to her. It’s a very personal space.

And for LADY plus RIDER, Steinbach writes: “new relationship with an attractive man.” Well. I’m not so sure about that. Although, it doesn’t say “romantic relationship,” so perhaps this is another type of relationship, and the man just happens to be attractive. It will be interesting to see how that might develop.

If I use the formula I have used in other Lenormand yes-or-no readings, this group of five cards consists of three red (YES) answers and two black (NO) answers. Once again, a mixed bag, as if the cards are hedging their bets.

I have to say that I find it interesting that the question specifically mentions “the next 30 days,” and I pulled cards numbered 29 and 31. I don’t know what that means, it’s just interesting.

It’s time to admit that before I did this 5-card line, I did the same 3-card line I did a month ago to answer this question. I’m not going to share the whole thing here, but the yes-no ratio was two NO to one YES. And the ANCHOR was one of the three cards. I have to think it has special significance for my mother’s situation.

If I wanted to be whimsical, I would speculate that since it is card number 35, an assisted living apartment is likely to become available in 35 (not 30) days. But more importantly, I feel that this is telling us that Mom is likely to be able to stay where she is – in that retirement complex – rather than facing the need to move to an assisted living apartment in a completely different facility. (She and the family would prefer that she stay where she is.)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Circle of Life Tarot Reading

I recently gifted myself the beautiful and perfectly round Circle of Life Tarot, with artwork by Maria Distefano (Lo Scarabeo). I am taking it for a spin (round deck… spin… get it?) using an 8-card spread I found in The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot by Johannes Fiebig and Evelin Burger (Llewellyn Publications). The spread is called “Living with Uncertainty.”


The cards are laid out in a circle (of course!). Below are the positional definitions and the cards I drew into those positions:



(1) this is possible: QUEEN OF WANDS
With my Sagittarius Sun, I consider this card to be one of my significators, and in this deck, the appearance of a satyr evokes the idea of the centaur that represents the sign. This card is about creative focus and creative talents. The spirit of Fire is passionate, optimistic, and “active” or outward-directed. It is possible to be this Queen and to manifest her active energy.

(2) this is important: NINE OF SWORDS
Nightmares, anxiety, stress – these are important in the sense that they can distract or interfere with our lives, even when they are not based on real or serious threats.

(3) this is courageous: THE WHEEL (X)
It is courageous to understand, accept, and adapt to the cycles of our life, the ups and downs, ins and outs, times of plenty and times of want. Most courageous of all is to remain steady at the center of the wheel instead of letting fortunes or failures dictate how we feel and how we act.

(4) this is trivial: THE MAGICIAN (I)
Perhaps this is meant to suggest that feeling powerful, in control of every area of life, is not the most important thing. In fact, it may be the least important thing.

(5) this is necessary: NINE OF CHALICES
It is necessary to believe that wishes can come true and that we can accomplish great things of which we can be proud.

(6) this is lighthearted: SEVEN OF PENTACLES
I love that the instruction booklet (written by Bepi Vigna) describes the person on this card as “mischievous.” The card represents a bountiful harvest, gathering resources, and satisfaction from a job well done. A lighthearted celebration is in order!

(7) this is witty: ACE OF WANDS
A human baby forms a yin-yang shape with a baby bird within the womb of a single egg. The human baby holds a seedling. This is indeed a “witty” look at creation from an unusual perspective. The Ace, of course, is about beginnings – in this case, human, bird, and plant. All ready to be born. All ready to grow.

(8) this takes you farther: ACE OF CHALICES
The woman on this card seems to have no reservations or qualms about diving down into a shell that rises from the ocean. She trusts that she will be taken care of, that all will be well for her. Since this is the suit of emotions, we might say that she trusts her feelings or her “heart” to take her farther and deeper, without fear.

With three “ones,” a “ten,” and two “nines,” I get a strong impression of ending and beginning, a turning point, the end of one cycle or stage and the beginning of a new cycle of stage. Led by the Queen of Wands, the cards turn and spin in a dance of fire, air, earth, and water.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: Dr. John Watson (Strength)


The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
Trump 8 / DR. JOHN H. WATSON
(Strength)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the Strength card is portrayed by Dr. Watson, originally portrayed in films as something of a bumbler, kind of a “straight man” to Sherlock Holmes. Upon closer scrutiny, however, it becomes clear that Watson is a highly intelligent man and able-bodied assistant to the great detective.

The Holmesian Wisdom for Strength is: “If I have one quality upon earth it is common sense.” This quote is from Watson’s diary, as recorded in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “self-discipline, enduring strength, balanced exercise of one’s abilities, health of mind, body and spirit, moral certitude without self-righteousness, courage to accept challenges, fortitude.” Reversed meanings: “reversal of fortune, delay and stasis.”

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 Strength: “the strength to keep going when the problem appears to have no solution. . . You are resourceful, but may need to tame the desire to meet opposition in a combative way. Strength held in check remains a reserve which you can tap into.” Examples from “The Fog”: “Weakness, an inability to grasp the problem or to find the energy necessary to combat the situation. An inability to master your fears. . . Feeding your fears gives them strength over you; acknowledging your limitations helps you survive.”

More recently, films have depicted Dr. Watson in very different ways. For example, in the television show “Elementary,” Dr. Watson is JOAN Watson, played by actress Lucy Liu. In the TV series “Sherlock,” Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes is accompanied by Martin Freeman as the good doctor. Jude Law plays Dr. Watson in the movie starring Robert Downey, Jr., as Holmes. I confess that although these Dr. Watsons are quite acceptable to me, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Nigel Bruce, who teamed up with Basil Rathbone for my favorite version of Sherlock Holmes.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Lenormand 3-card Line: New Apartment for Mom?

Back in 2016, I had some interesting results doing a series of readings with the Lenormand cards concerning the possible timing of the sale of my mother’s house. These days, my mother is looking at moving from her independent living apartment into assisted living in a senior living community. Right now, there are no assisted living apartments available in the community she prefers, but Mom is at the top of a waiting list. I have also looked at an apartment in another community.

So my question today is: Will an assisted living apartment become available for Mom within the next 30 days?

As you may remember, cards from a red suit indicate "yes", whereas cards from a black suit indicate "no.") Let’s see what the Gilded Reverie Lenormand by Ciro Marchetti (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) can tell us.



(1) CHOICE (22) – Queen of Diamonds (red) = YES
(2) KEY (33) – 8 of Diamonds (red) = YES
(3) MOUNTAIN (21) – 8 of Clubs (black) = NO

The answer appears to be leaning toward “yes” with one “no” vote – MOUNTAIN – which, appropriately enough, represents challenges and obstacles, blockages and resistance. In addition to waiting for an apartment to become available, we are also faced with the possibility that Mom might not like the apartment that is available or “resist” moving there for whatever reason.

The CHOICE card (aka The Crossroad) is interesting because it suggests that there are options or choices. Is it possible that more than one apartment will open up within the next 30 days? I like that idea!

The KEY is also an interesting card to see here, as it commonly represents discoveries and solutions, but also makes me think of having the “key” to an apartment. This card tells me that there is a way to unlock the solution to this problem. (I am also intrigued by the appearance of this card here because we recently attempted to get the keys to Mom’s current apartment duplicated so that my sister could have a set. Local hardware stores do not have the correct blanks for these keys, and we were told we needed to go to a locksmith. Since we really are hoping to move her sooner rather than later, we decided not to go to the trouble and expense of having a locksmith do the keys.)

CHOICE + KEY is a promising combination (I am picturing Mom being handed two keys from which she can choose the apartment she prefers). Another interesting things about these two cards is that according to Sylvie Steinbach in her book The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, both CHOICE and KEY are linked with the planet Uranus (the unexpected). Could it be that one or more apartments will become available “unexpectedly” due to a sudden, unanticipated development in the life of the current resident(s)?

KEY + MOUNTAIN suggests delays, possibly controlled by fate (no surprises there). CHOICE + MOUNTAIN also represents delayed outcomes.

I am left feeling hopeful that indeed, something will open up within 30 days, ideally something that Mom will want to move into. (I realize now that I did not specify which community I meant when I phrased my question, but in my mind I meant to ask if something would come open in her current, preferrred community.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

U.S.A. Birth Chart (another reprise)

The following is a post I originally made on July 4, 2014 to coincide with Independence Day here in the U.S.

It is about America’s birth chart and the Tarot cards that one could associate with that chart. Please note that I am not ignoring the fact that there were many nations on this continent long before the arrival of European settlers and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. I am choosing in this post to deal with the formal establishment of the United States of America in 1776.

After doing a bit of research, I quickly discovered that astrologers do not agree on the date and time (mostly the time) for which the birth chart of the U.S. should be cast. I won’t go into all of that here. You can do a search on the net and find out more than you probably want to know about it!

The two main variances seem to be the “Sibly chart,” originally published in 1787 by English astrologer, physician and herbalist, Ebenezer Sibly (1751-1799). Those who use this chart note that Sibly was alive at the time of the signing and therefore could have had access to information that is no longer available. The Sibly Chart, cast for July 4, 1776, 5:10 pm LMT (Local Mean Time), Philadelphia, PA, has Sagittarius rising.

In contrast, we have the “Gemini Rising Chart” for 02:13am, attributed to Evangeline Adams in the 1920s. This chart places Uranus (planet of rebellion and upheaval) exactly on the Ascendant. Some astrologers argue that this reflects the “birth” of America quite accurately, but opponents feel the chart does not depict the true nature of American character. Anthony Louis explained his support for this chart in a blog post in 2012: http://tonylouis.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/why-i-use-a-usa-gemini-rising-chart/

So… which chart shall I use for this post? In Tarot terms, using the astrological attributions developed by the Order of the Golden Dawn, I have a choice between Temperance (Sagittarius rising) and The Lovers (Gemini rising). I think I am going to go way out on a limb and not only choose the Gemini chart but use the Aleister Crowley Thoth deck (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) as my Tarot reference for this post.

This should be interesting…

Below is a chart for July 4, 1776, 02:13am LMT (Local Mean Time), Philadelphia, PA. I am using the Equal House System.


The Rising Sign, Gemini, is represented by The Lovers card. Because the planet Uranus sits on the Ascendant, I am pairing The Lovers with The Fool, which is linked with Uranus by modern occultists (Uranus had not yet been discovered when the Golden Dawn made its original astrological attributions, which attributed the element Air to The Fool).


In her book The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need (Taylor Trade Publishing), Joanna Martine Woolfolk writes, “Your Ascendant is the sign that reflects your outward demeanor and to a great extent determines how the outside world looks at you.” It often represents the “mask” we wear or the way we act when our defenses are up.

In the Thoth deck, we not only see “The Lovers” in Trump 6, we also see The Hermit officiating over the marriage depicted on the card between the Black King and White Queen. The Hermit (linked with the zodiac sign Virgo and the Hebrew letter Yod) contributes a creative, virile, fertile energy to this card.

Notice the white child standing with the Black King and the black child with the White Queen. These four figures together can be seen as representing the integration of opposites which, interestingly, is one of the themes of the Temperance card (Art in the Thoth deck), which is linked with Sagittarius, the rising sign in the Sibly Chart I mentioned earlier.

The Fool is commonly seen to represent birth, creation, the very beginning of something – perhaps a new idea, since the card is associated with the element Air by the Golden Dawn. On the Thoth card we don’t have The Fool gazing in the air as he steps off a cliff. However, the fact that The Fool on the Thoth card is being threatened by a tiger and a crocodile tells us that he is not in a “safe” situation, that there are risks involved, energies that may distract or block him from moving forward.

It appears that the colonies did try to reconcile the conflicting views held by the Mother Country and themselves. Indeed, before April 1775, many of the colonists hoped for reconciliation with King George III and Great Britain. But by the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, the relationship was damaged beyond repair and the colonies were ready to bring forth “a new nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” ~ (- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863). That “new nation” is The Fool, independent, original, and ready to face an unknown future.

The Lovers card from the Thoth deck can be said to represent equality in that we see opposites being integrated or brought into balance. Neither the Black King nor the White Queen will rule over the other. To me, this actually foreshadows the argument of the abolitionists in the 1800s, who pointed out that the Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal” and that slavery was in conflict with that belief.

America’s Sun Sign is Cancer. In Tarot terms, this gives us The Sun and The Chariot.


In Astrology, the Sun in a birth chart represents our general character, our ego, our identity and sense of Self. In the Tarot, The Sun is a positive, strong card associated with freedom, happiness, and good health. In The Chariot we see triumph over adversity, self-control, moving forward and taking advantage of opportunities. Cancer is a Water sign known for being sensitive, nurturing, emotional, loyal, and protective. The connection between the sign and the card can be found in comparing the protective shell on the Cancer crab with the armor, helmet, and shield used by the charioteer. Also, Cancer is a cardinal sign, which gives it the qualities of action, leadership, and outgoing activity – all of which apply to The Chariot.

In The Chariot I see a “new nation” that is fortified, armored, and steeled for whatever lies ahead, determined to direct its own path and to remove any obstacles in its way. But the armor is only necessary because the creature wearing it is vulnerable and sensitive. Cancer is the sign of home and family, concepts Americans have always held dear. America will defend its homeland and its friends with armed force if necessary.

The Moon (The Priestess) is in Aquarius (The Star).


In Astrology, the Moon represents emotions, instincts, and the unconscious – the hidden aspects of the personality. In Astrology, the Moon rules the sign Cancer. The Priestess holds the Book of Mysteries on her lap, a book containing esoteric knowledge that can only be accessed using intuition, emotion, and the unconscious mind.

The sign Aquarius (which happens to be ruled in modern Astrology by Uranus) is known for innovation, humanitarianism, idealism, and intellect. Aquarians are often described as displaying rebellious, unusual, even shocking behavior.

The Star card in the Thoth deck features Nuith (Nuit) pouring the Water of Universal Life upon the fertile earth. Nuith is based on an Egyptian sky goddess, Nut, who was appropriated by Aleister Crowley for use in the Thelema pantheon. Crowley wrote: “Nuit is All that which exists, and the condition of that existence” and "Note that Heaven is not a place where Gods Live; Nuit is Heaven, itself."

To me, these qualities of Aquarius and The Star beautifully depict the inner spirit, emotions, and “unconscious mind” of the United States of America that was “born” on July 4, 1776 – the motivation and deepest emotional needs of the people who journeyed to and settled in the New World. What I am getting are the hope and faith and high ideals within so many of those who settled here: the sentiments that inspired the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Lovers (and The Fool) rising, The Chariot sun sign, and The Star moon sign together create a picture of this country that reflects the past, mirrors the present,  and offers hope for the future.



Happy Birthday, America!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Emperor

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 Leeza 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 previous posts in this series, enter “Animal Tarot Time” in the search field on the main page of the blog.

Now let’s look at how THE EMPEROR is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

DEER MOUSE (“Structure and organization are important right now. Don’t be afraid to take on a leadership role, as you have much wisdom to offer.”)

An unexpected choice for The Emperor in some respects, the Deer Mouse does have that determination, focus, and appreciation for structure that one expects from The Emperor. Planning and responsibility are also key components here, and the illustration does convey a sense of being in charge of one’s realm.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

GORILLA (“Everyone says they want to be a ruler, but I wonder how many would last a day in my world.”)

A silverback gorilla does seem like an appropriate choice for The Emperor, a character known for great strength, with great responsibility. As the leader of his tribe, the dominant male gorilla must constantly demonstrate that he is in charge, protect the group, and defend his position. I am posting a picture I took of a gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo. I love the expression on his face.

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

RAM (Earth Father): “Authority, Order, Structure, Rule, Control”

Great choice for The Emperor, especially given that the zodiac sign Aries (the Ram) is commonly associated with Key 4 in the Tarot. The attribution breaks down a little bit here with the title “Earth Father,” given that Aries is a Fire sign. The energy symbolized by the Ram – and The Emperor -- is that of authority, purpose, and leadership. Message: “Feel the support of Earth; direct your life with balance and integrity.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

EAGLE (“Vision, Power, and Healing”) 
Ah yes, the Eagle. Long-time symbol of imperial authority. Ted Andrews points out that “there are four categories of eagles” (The Emperor is Key 4). I did a bit of research and found that these informal categories of eagles are: snake eagles, fish (or sea) eagles, booted eagles (these have feathered lower legs), and harpy (“giant forest”) eagles.

The bald eagle shown on the Animal-Wise Tarot Emperor card belongs to the fish (or sea) eagle group. I have taken a number of pictures of bald eagles. The photo shown here was taken with a web cam at explore.org.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

ZEUS (“the Father, leader, creating order and structure, the animus”)

For The Animals Divine Tarot, Lisa Hunt chooses a bull (“a solar masculine symbol signifying virility and power”) for The Emperor card. The Greek god Zeus, of course, took the shape of a white bull when he abducted Europa – and his behavior in that instance along with many others demonstrated the less appealing qualities of an Emperor personality. Even so, his qualifications for appearing on The Emperor card can hardly be disputed.

The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

KOMODO DRAGON: “strength, bravery, protection, wisdom, permanence, power”

What a marvelous choice for The Emperor! (Ted Andrews also respects the Komodo Dragon, naming it as his Knight of Ancients in the Animal-Wise Tarot). This deck doesn’t go into detail about the animal chosen for each card, electing to focus on the qualities or characteristics of the card. It’s up to us to see the connection. I will share that the Komodo Dragon is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a maximum length of ten feet (3 meters) in rare cases and weighing up to approximately 150 pounds (70 kilograms. As a result of their size, these lizards naturally dominate the ecosystems in which they live, in true Emperor style. I snapped a few photos of a Komodo Dragon at the St. Louis Zoo on one of my visits there.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

LION: “Father. Authority, strength, safety, ineptitude, bad judgement.”

I know I heard a few of you muttering as you read through the previous entries, “What about the lion? The King of Beasts? Why not the lion?” Well, here you go! The Lion-Man who would be emperor. Instead of an eagle, this Emperor is shown with what I believe is a falcon or hawk. Symbolically, the falcon (like the eagle) represents victory and was considered “the king of birds” in ancient Egypt. I'm sharing one of my favorite photos of a lion, taken at the Peoria Zoo in Illinois.

I think this may be the first Animal Tarot Time post where no animal is shown on more than one of the cards: Deer Mouse, Gorilla, Ram, Eagle, Bull (Zeus), Komodo Dragon, and Lion. I have to give points for originality to the Animal Tarot Cards for Deer Mouse and The Animism Tarot for Komodo Dragon – but having said that, I love all of these depictions of Emperor-like creatures.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Thoughts on Father's Day 2018

I was born on my father's birthday, so when I got into astrology, I was fascinated by the differences in our charts (given that we were both Sagittarius, born on the same date in different years). For starters, if you look at what I call the "Big Three" (Sun, Moon, Rising Sign):
  • Dad: Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Cancer, Pisces Rising
  • Me: Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Taurus, Virgo Rising
One similarity I see, of course, is that we both have the Sun in a Fire sign (Fire is active or "masculine") with the Moon and Ascendant in receptive or "feminine" signs (Water for him, Earth for me). We never talked to each other about astrology, although he did think it was "fun" that I was doing that. He said something like, "If Nancy Reagan can have an astrologer, so can I!"

It's also interesting to see that my Sun and his Moon were both in the 4th house, house of home, family, and the past. His Sun was in the 10th house, and he had a very successful, traditional career as an electrical engineer. My Moon was in the 8th house, giving me that occult-y, alternate spirituality thing. Our ascendants are in opposing signs (Pisces / Virgo), which presents some interesting possibilities.

As for Jupiter (ruler of Sagittarius), Dad's was in Aquarius in the 12th house. Mine was in Pisces in the 6th house. Aquarius makes a lot of sense when you think about his career as an electrical engineer (as I mentioned above). I consider my Jupiter in Pisces to be a very strong indicator of any divination abilities I might possess.

Both my father and I were much more the "philosophical thinker" type of Sagittarius rather than the sporty, outdoorsy type. However, he was an excellent bowler, whereas I could never get the hang of it at all. Not sure which planetary placement would represent that!

My father passed away in 1998 after a battle with lung cancer that spread everywhere, as it likes to do. I'm not into medical astrology much at all, but I did take a look through his chart when he was diagnosed, and saw that his natal Neptune (in Leo in the 6th house) was square his natal Saturn (in Sagittarius in the 9th house). One interpretation I read said that this could represent a difficult disease, possibly incurable, which his was.

Of course, there is a lot more one can do with a comparison of our two charts, but this is as much as I want to share today.

Monday, June 11, 2018

ANNOUNCEMENT: A New Project!

I would like to take this opportunity today on Tarot Notes to announce an exciting new project I am undertaking: I am writing monthly, weekly, and daily horoscopes for a site called TELL MY TAROT.  Click HERE to read the latest entries.

Charmaine Frapp has done a wonderful job with Tell My Tarot thusfar, and I am honored and excited to be involved with content going forward!

Tell My Tarot has a lot of great features, including automated Tarot card readings that are – in my opinion -- amazingly insightful and helpful. As a Tarot reader myself, I am pretty skeptical of automated readings, but these are written exceptionally well.

  • Click HERE for Tarot Readings.
  • Click HERE for Angel Readings. 

The section on Tarot Card Meanings is also very well done. I am hoping to contribute to this section in the future by writing about the cards from the Tarot de Marseille. I also hope to eventually offer a weekly Tarot email through Tell My Tarot.

If you have a web site or blog, we would love for you to link to Tell My Tarot and also TELL YOUR FRIENDS about this fun, educational, inspirational site. Charmaine and I look forward to your visit. Let me know what you think of TELL MY TAROT!

Blessings,
Zanna Starr

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sacred World Oracle Reading #3

Today I felt led to do a reading with the Sacred World Oracle by Kris Waldherr, and was reminded that I did a reading with this deck a year ago, on Kris Waldherr’s birthday (May 17). So I’m a bit late, but wishing Kris a happy belated birthday with another “Black Swan, White Swan” reading from the Sacred World Oracle guidebook.

Click here to see the reading I did in May 2017: Sacred World Oracle Reading #2.
I also did this reading in 2014, as shown at this link: A Reading with The Sacred World Oracle

Step One -- Lay out four cards to represent:
(1) The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way)
(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)

Step Two – Lay a fifth card across the top of the previous cards to symbolize the Swan in Flight. This offers an overview of the situation for additional perspective.

And now for my reading. (The keywords following the name of each card are provided by the author in the guidebook.)


(1) The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way):
DOVE / XXVI – Peace and serenity. Higher wisdom. Love.

Something I am not seeing is the option I have to be peaceful and serene in this situation, to act with and from Love at all times. My knee-jerk reactions may be hard to fight, but fight I must. Perhaps I can come up with a mantra of sorts to cut my knee-jerk reactions off “at the knee” (hahaha, that’s pretty good).

(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
FIREBIRD / XXXV – Hope and magic. Brilliance. Divine protection.

Waldherr describes this card as a promise of “unexpected help just when you need it most.” What I need to do about gaining peace and serenity is to open the channels for that unexpected help to come through from Spirit. I don’t have to try to “force myself” to be peaceful or serene. The potential is there if I invite and welcome it.

(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
AIR / XXIII – Ideas. Communications. Making connections. Perspective.

There is no question that ideas and communication, making connections, and developing a healthy perspective will all help me in this situation. I need to see that, believe that, and open my mind to being successful in all of those things.

(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)
EARTH / I – Feeling grounded. Appreciating the good things in life. Manifestation.

The perfect card to see here, as the solution (in the form of ideas) becomes concrete reality. Improved communication and connections can manifest in the physical world as well. When Air and Earth work together, many great things are possible.


(5) Swan in Flight (an overview for additional perspective)
CHIMERA / XXXVIII – Compromise between opposites. Balance. Finding a way to bring it all together. Creativity.

Again, there is no question that finding union between seemingly disharmonious elements in life can have a huge effect on a situation or problem. A creative solution is required and can be found using the fiery energy of this card. In mythology, the chimera was comprised of different animals, and allowing myself to see something from different perspectives will be very useful.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Pyramid Reading with The Spirit Within Tarot

This spread comes from the Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fieborg (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.) I use this as the textbook for the Basic Tarot course I teach at _The Magickal Circle School_, and I highly recommend it as a resource.

The purpose of my reading today is to explore the potential and possibilities related to a business venture I am considering that uses my tarot and astrology knowledge and skills. Using the Spirit Within Tarot by Steven Bright (Schiffer Publishing), I pulled ten cards into the following layout:

…………..10…………....
…….8…………….9…….
….7……...6……..….5…
1………2...……3…...…4

* * * * * * * * *

1, 2, 3, 4 – Task


FOUR OF SWORDS, FOUR OF CUPS, STRENGTH, THE HIGH PRIESTESS

In order to perform this task well, I need to get plenty of rest and relaxation and avoid excessive worry. There will be times when I am dissatisfied or when I tend to see only the three “empty cups” rather than the fourth being offered to me. This task requires that I face my fears, acknowledge and accept all aspects of who I am in order to create a stronger, more successful “whole person.” My intuitive powers and inner guide can provide everything I need to perform this task successfully.

5, 6, 7 – Obstacles


THE FOOL, TWO OF PENTACLES, TWO OF CUPS

There is an element of “the unknown” in this situation as I prepare to step into a new activity, and that can create anxiety, but this is the right time for what I am doing as long as I maintain a sense of balance and a practical approach, with both feet on the ground. I need to nurture relationships and partnerships involved in this situation in order to avoid any unpleasantness in that area.

8, 9 – Help/solution


DEATH, QUEEN OF SWORDS

It may be necessary for something to end in order for me to pursue this new path. I can determine what that is by using my mind to analyze and evaluate everything I am doing. I have the ability to make sound decisions about this. There may also be another person with the qualities of the Queen of Swords who is able and willing to help me.

10 – Outcome of efforts


KING OF CUPS

If I follow the advice of the preceding cards, I will be able to offer levelheaded yet sensitive advice from a mature perspective, confident in my ability to counsel and share what I understand and know at a deep personal level. I will be “on top” and in control, taking charge of my own direction.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Reading with the Ethereal Visions Tarot

In my review of the book Journaling the Tarot: a little book of big questions by Andy Matzner, I wrote:
"For me, I think the fun will come in following this procedure:
(1) Draw a card
(2) Draw a second card to indicate the number of the question I need to ask.
(3) Check the book. Focus on the question chosen.
(4) Pull as many additional cards as I like to help me answer that question." 
(To read the entire review, click HERE.)

Let’s see how this idea might work. I am using the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck by Matt Hughes.

Step 1. The Card: FIVE OF CUPS

Interestingly, this same card came forward in a deck interview I did in April with this same deck. Click HERE. In that reading, the 5 of Cups represented an answer to the question: “What would you like me to understand about myself?” My interpretation at that time: “You need to stop thinking so much about what you have lost, where you have failed, and what 'might have been.' Look up. Turn around. Seize the goblets that are waiting to be filled.” All of that still holds.

Step 2. The Number of the Question: Knight of Pentacles = 12

This card was drawn primarily to provide a number, but I think it is worthwhile to look at the card meaning as well. Matt Hughes provides the following keywords for the Knight of Pentacles --
“Upright: prepared, efficient, ambitious, practical”; “Reversed: stagnant, lazy, careless, idle.”

It will be useful to look at how those words plus my own interpretation of this card could help me understand what the cards want me to know. I sometimes see the Knight of Pentacles as representing a determined, careful, direct approach. That’s all well and good, but this Knight can also be “stodgy” or single-minded in pursuit of an objective, with little ability or desire to look up and not only see what is going on around him, but attempt to understand it and to take it into account.

Step 3. Question 12 under the Five of Cups in Journaling the Tarot:
"Whom or what do you need to exorcise from your life? What would that ritual look like? How do you imagine you would feel afterwards?"

That looks like three questions to me, so I am drawing three cards to answer:

Whom or what do you need to exorcise from your life? 

QUEEN OF PENTACLES

Keywords from the guidebook for the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck –

  • “Upright: prosperity, pleasure, motherly, security”
  • “Reversed: imbalance, reclusive, superficial, martyrdom”

Wow. I know exactly what this refers to. I’m a private person in many ways, and I don’t really want to broadcast my personal problems and issues all over the internet. Let me just say that the keywords – and my own personal way of interpreting the Queen of Pentacles – make a whole lot of sense. And also let me say that the fact that this is Mother's Day is also very appropriate.

What would that ritual look like? 

TWO OF WANDS

Keywords –

  • “Upright: focus, decisions, discovery, planning”
  • “Reversed: overconfidence, stunted, undetermined, blocked”

Yes to all of the upright keywords, while hoping and trying to avoid the conditions suggested by the reversed keywords. I also notice how the man is standing alone at the top of a tower, looking down or out at a vast landscape of sea and shore. I know that the “traditional” interpretation of this card is usually about gazing out at the “landscape” with confidence and even pride. To me, however, in my current state of mind, the image suggests the possibility of feeling overwhelmed by the number of things or issues that need to be addressed, which of course means that focus and planning are absolutely critical to counter that sense of being overwhelmed.

How do you imagine you would feel afterwards?

THREE OF SWORDS

Keywords –

  • “Upright: pain, grief, deception, rejection”
  • “Reversed: “forgiveness, recovery, clarity, introspection”

Yep. Spot on. The questions posed by Andy Matzner and the way the cards both directed me to the questions and answered the questions – all of it – spot on.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

REVIEW: Journaling the Tarot: a little book of big questions

R E V I E W

Journaling the Tarot: a little book of big questions
180 pages
ISBN: 1987796888
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC



TOP LINE

When I receive a book for review, my first step is usually to find a quiet place and time where I can read that book. Not so with Andy Matzner’s Journaling the Tarot. Instead, the very nature of the book invited me to jump in the “play” immediately. There would be time later if I wanted to read and digest each page (and I will).

I love that the book offers several individual pages containing relevant quotations, and when we come to the page titled “Instructions” it is blank except for the statement, “[this page intentionally left blank.]” Seriously, my Virgo ascendant immediately thought, “Oh dear, an error.” To which my Sagittarius sun replied, “No! It’s perfect! Don’t you get it?!?!”

Starting with The Fool (always the best place to start, I think), Matzner presents two pages of around 20-30 questions that each card of the Tarot might ask us (actually, let’s face it, they DO ask us). I confess (possibly with great embarrassment, possibly not) that I am not the journaling type. But if you are, this book will give you prompt after prompt for your journal entries as you delve into why that particular card speaks to you and what it is saying.

For me, I think the fun will come in following this procedure:
(1) Draw a card
(2) Draw a second card to indicate the number of the question I need to ask. (Because the questions number between 20 and 30 for each card, and the Tarot only goes up to 22, I need to figure out a method that doesn’t exclude questions numbered 23 and above.)
(3) Check the book. Focus on the question chosen.
(4) Pull as many additional cards as I like to help me answer that question.

Stay tuned – a blog entry using this approach is quickly approaching!

If you’re looking for a book you can use immediately, that also provides marvelous insight into the purpose and meaning of each Tarot card, get a copy of Journaling the Tarot by Andy Matzner. You won’t regret it.

Andy Matzner
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Matzner is gender therapist, coach, author, and educator with an office in Roanoke, VA . He is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist who also teaches psychology at Virginia Western Community College and gender and women’s studies at hollins University. His published books include The Tarot Activity Book: A collection of creative and therapeutic ideas for the cards.

Of himself, he writes: “In the end, my mission is simple: To learn new things, share those things with others, and empower people to expand their horizons and fulfill their potential. That’s why I do what I do.” – Andy Matzner

To read more about Andy Matzner, click HERE. 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION from Author/Publisher

”If your tarot cards could speak, what questions would they ask?

Questions are powerful catalysts for introspection and self-growth. They can lead us in surprising directions. Or reconnect us to long-buried truths. It is important to take time in our lives every so often to check in with ourselves and meditate on the thoughts and feelings that well-thought-out questions can generate.

Usually we expect tarot cards to provide us with answers. In this book however, you will see that the cards themselves generate questions that you can use as prompts for journaling and discussion.”

SOME OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK

  • The Fool: Who or what are you currently taking on faith?
  • The High Priestess: What don’t you know? What is your next step?
  • Temperance: With whom should you join forces? Why might that be a good idea?
  • The Moon: How are you missing the point?
  • Four of Wands: What should you be celebrating? How can you best do so?
  • Eight of Cups: What parts of your past must you explore and resolve in order to move forward?
  • Three of Swords: Whom will you disappoint? Why? Can this be avoided? If so, how?
  • Seven of Pentacles: How are you appreciating what you have?

BASIC INFORMATION / APPEARANCE, SIZE, QUALITY / ART

This 8 x 5-1/4 inch paperback book does not contain illustrations or art. Its pages are direct and uncluttered, each featuring 20-30 bullet-pointed questions that might be asked by a particular Tarot card.

DETAILS / COMMENTS

Paper quality and binding are up to standard. Use of white space and type font/style make the book easy to read and reference.


In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Elderly Parent Reading with the Ghost Tarot

I am dealing with some issues concerning my elderly (age 96) mother right now, so I thought I would see what the cards might be able to tell me. Theresa Reed provides a great spread for this purpose on her blog: https://www.thetarotlady.com/mothers-and-daughters-cant-we-all-just-get-along/

This is a simple 3-card spread with the positional definitions (1) Me, (2) Her, and (3) Advice. It may seem a bit odd, but I felt led to use my Ghost Tarot (Davide Corsi / Lo Scarabeo) for this reading. Here we go.



(1) Me: DEATH ("The door that is always open.”)

Wow. I’m not really sure what to do with this. I think it may refer to the idea that in many ways I am acting as an agent of major changes in my mother’s life. The fact that she broke her hip certainly is the cause of her being in a rehabilitation hospital and a nursing home for the past two months as she recovers, but she wants to return to her apartment and seems unwilling or uninterested in making changes to accommodate the risk of re-injuring or new injuries that would sideline her once and for all. You see, she still drives a car and feels that she “can take care of herself.” She is fiercely independent. She does not want to hear about how she might need someone to stay with her for a few days after she gets back in the apartment, someone to help make sure she takes the right medications at the right time, and so forth. I am one of the primary agents pushing changes that she does not want, and does not feel she needs.

(2) Her: THREE OF SWORDS (“The cold of the soul can perceive the warmth of the heart, even during a storm.”)

Hopefully this means that even though the suggestions and changes being introduced are painful for her, she can still understand (at some level) that it’s all because people care about her and want to keep her safe. I think the 3 of Swords is a pretty accurate representation of the way things feel to her right now. It is interesting that the man on the card is holding an umbrella over the woman-ghost, trying to protect her. That is what I am doing (at least in my own mind!) My mother, however, is the type of person who is determined to do what she wants to do, when she wants, the way she wants. She is determined to “take care of herself.” Though she be but little, she is most definitely fierce!

(3) AdviceTHE MAGICIAN (“The Alchemist’s Will”)

I often see this card as advising us to take charge of our own lives using the tools at our disposal, channeling the energy of the Universe down into our everyday lives. If this advice is intended for me, it could be suggesting that I simply do my best with what I have to work with, to be aware of all that I have available to work with, and to switch gears as needed from a logical approach, to an emotional one, to whatever method or means is best suited to specific situations. Is it possible that The Magician is also advising me to give my mother permission to do the same?

Two Major Arcana cards tell me that this situation is of great significance, and the way things are handled matters a great deal to my mother’s well being and my own.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lenormand Line of Five: Relationship Reading

One of my current projects is rewriting the Lenormand class at The Magickal Circle School. In connection with that, I hope to do more Lenormand readings here at Tarot Notes.

A common method used by Lenormand readers is a line of five cards designed to answer a question. To do this type of reading, you can either decide ahead of time what your focus card will be or you can "let the deck decide" what the focus card will be. You then read the cards to the left of the focus card as past influences or what lead up to the situation. The cards to the right of the focus card look to the future of the situation.

Below is an example of a Lenormand 5-card line. The cards were drawn at random, letting the deck decide what the focus card would be. The deck was shuffled between card draws. I am using the French Cartomancy deck by Lo Scarabeo.

The question being asked is: What does Mary need to know about her next relationship?


Focus Card: DOG (18) - This card tells us that Mary needs to recognize how important friendship and loyalty are to her in a relationship. She needs and wants someone who is helpful, protective, and loyal to her.

Past: ANCHOR (35) and HEARTS (24) -  In the past, Mary wanted or had (or perhaps thought she had) a stable, safe relationship in which she and her partner were building a legacy together. From her perspective, this relationship was loving, romantic, and passionate. She was (or saw herself as) deeply emotionally involved, with her whole heart devoted to the relationship. (In the book The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, Sylvie Steinbach describes the Anchor/Hearts pair as "faithfulness, loyalty, unconditional love."

Future: COFFIN (8) and CHILD (13) - Looking towards the future, we see the strong possibility of important life alterations, a completion of a life cycle or period in Mary's life, the "end" of something. She may need to acknowledge that it's time to let go of the past and be hopeful. She may feel fragile and perhaps not certain she can handle a new relationship. Although she feels vulnerable, she may have to become more "like a child," to set fears aside, trust, and open herself up to emotional involvement. Another interpretation might be to look at the Coffin-Child pair as representing the end (death) of childlike innocence and naiveté. What Mary wanted or had (or thought she had) in the past, was simply not realistic and she needs to "bury" those unreasonable ideals in her next relationship. (Sylvie Steinbach describes this pair as "destructive youngster, depressed teen." It is possible that this is something she will have to deal with in her next relationship.)

Looking at the middle three cards (Heart, Dog, Coffin), we might suspect that a previous relationship ended because of a partner's actual physical death. In any case, looking only at those three cards, the lovely sentiments expressed by the Heart and Dog seem to come to a halt with the Coffin.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Empress

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 Leeza 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 previous posts in this series, enter “Animal Tarot Time” in the search field on the main page of the blog.

Now let’s look at how THE EMPRESS is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

ANGORA RABBIT (“Time to take action. Abundance and prosperity. Pregnancy. Creativity. Starting something new.”) We can understand the choice of a rabbit for this card when we read in the guidebook that The Empress, in contrast to The High Priestess, says, “Okay, that’s enough thinking! Time to hop to it!” Rapid movement and jumping in with both feet are actually not phrases I normally associate with The Empress card. She always seems somewhat sedentary to me and is often depicted as pregnant, sitting in a garden in the midst of Nature, looking benevolent. However, the association of rabbits with fertility and creativity cannot be overlooked.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

COW: The Cow is most certainly an iconic symbol of feminine energy, a creature whose milk nourishes not only her own children, but the children of many other species, human beings included. Here we have a lovely Scottish Highland Cow resting in open fields among the flowers, the mountains behind her. I like the way Leeza Robertson describes the energy of this card as “bountiful possibilities poised on the stage of expectancy.” The words “possibilities” and “expectancy” are keys to understanding the nature of The Empress card. This is not about a “finished product” but about that which is “on its way.”

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

COW (Earth Mother): Instead of the Scottish Highland Cow, this time we have what I’m going to guess could be a _Jersey_. Keynotes for this card in this deck are “Nourishment, Protection, Goodness, Love.” This serene, gentle cow rests in a lush, grassy field surrounded by flowers. She represents creative growth and the need to nourish and support all of our creations. The author’s MESSAGE: “Trust life; share, nurture, and participate with delight.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

DOLPHIN: Creativity, Fertility, and New Promise

For Ted Andrews, the dolphin represents the energy of The Empress. He notes that dolphins embody three of the most ancient and powerful creative forces: water, sound, and breath. In Greek tradition, the dolphin was sacred to Aphrodite, goddess of love, passion, sensuality, and fertility. Known for its ability to communicate, the dolphin encourages us to ask what our words and thoughts are creating for us.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

HERA: the Mother, nurturer, fertile ideas, the anima

For this deck The Empress is represented by the Greek mother goddess Hera, who presided over women, marriage, and childbirth. Notably (considering the appearance of the Cow in two other Empress cards so far), Hera is accompanied by a cow – “a lunar animal, associated with the fertile powers of the earth.” Another animal included on this card is the peacock, sacred to Hera, symbolizing beauty and dignity.


The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

THE GOLDEN TIGER: “She is life: the ground that supports us, the fire that warms us, the trees that shade us, the food that nourishes us and the very air we breathe.” (Cheung) Representing passion, delight, beauty, patience, loyalty, and protection, a Golden Tiger was chosen for The Empress in this deck. Gentle with her young and ferocious with anyone or anything that tries to harm them, the tiger breaks the pattern set so far by the other animal decks, featuring a fierce predator rather than a more docile, benign creature.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

SHE-WOLF: Another top predator who, like the tiger, is known for showing great gentleness and protection to her offspring, while showing no mercy to her natural prey or to enemies that seek to harm the cubs. Keywords from the guidebook: “Mother. Intelligence, practicality.” Reversed: “lack of offspring, indecision.” This beautiful arctic wolf is shown in the company of not only two cubs but butterflies and a toucan. I checked (because that’s how I roll), and found that toucans are native to the Neotropics, from Southern Mexico, through Central America, into South America south to northern Argentina. Not many arctic wolves in those areas. But that’s part of the fun of this deck. These images are not meant to be illustrations in a natural history textbook.


The tally for animals portraying The High Priestess in these seven decks:

Cow: 3 (counting Hera)
Dolphin: 1
Rabbit: 1
Tiger: 1
Wolf: 1

I have to say the cow is a very logical, meaningful choice for this card. I don’t deny that. But part of me loves the idea of a tiger or wolf as the Mother of All Mothers (so to speak). The dolphin and rabbit are also appealing choices. Which do you prefer?