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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?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Deck Interview: Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck

Interview with the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck by Matt Hughes. I am the proud owner of deck #852 in a limited edition run of 1100. To learn more about this gorgeous deck, click _HERE_.

Interview questions and answers below.

Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck


(1) What would you like me to understand about you?

NINE OF PENTACLES: I bring you rewards and feelings of accomplishment and success on your earthly journey, a richness of physical and material gifts along with an appreciation of your own values and sense of security.

(2) What would you like me to understand about myself?

FIVE OF CUPS: 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.

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

THE HANGED MAN: Together we can end old ways and release the restrictions that are holding you back in life. First, there is a need to reflection and “inaction,” contemplation that can help develop a new perspective, a different way of looking at things. Sacrifice may be needed, but the results will be worth it.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Advice from the Guardians of Wisdom


To purchase a reading from me, visit my _ETSY Shop_.

Today’s reading comes from one of the information cards included with the Guardians of Wisdom Universal Power Cards deck by Todd Hershey, Illustrated by Emy Ledbetter. For more information about this fascinating deck, visit http://www.guardiansofwisdom.net/

Also, if you’re interested, I used this deck for my blog post “A Journey through My Decks: EIGHT OF WANDS. 

Today I am doing a 3-card spread to answer the question, “What advice do my guides have for me at this stage in my life?”  As you will notice, these cards “read themselves” in a way, with the messages being printed on the cards. Different messages apply depending on which way the card is positioned (upright or reversed).

11 of Diamonds / FERTILITY

“A new cycle of life within you is ready to come forth.”

The suit of Diamonds in this deck represents the “Native Americans category,” the physical aspects of the world. If I were of child-bearing age, I might wonder if this card refers to pregnancy, but I am not. Since I am middle-aged, this could refer to a new cycle in my health or finances, day-to-day life, material concerns of any kind. In terms of advice being given, I feel the cards are simply alerting me to this possibility so that I will be more aware and attentive to it.

11 of Spades / MARTYR

“Taking on other people’s problems while ignoring your own.”

Spades represent the “Ancient Asians category” in this deck, a category that includes the mental process going on in my life – all forms of thought, including conscious and subconscious thought. The cards in this category can help me know when and how to use my knowledge. It seems that this card is telling me I need to be careful not to act as a martyr. Now, I honestly don’t believe I have that tendency, or if I do, I have learned to question or resist it in most cases. But I will not ignore the cards. It may be that I still have some work to do in this area.

1 of Diamonds / DESTINY

“Spirit will provide you the resources to fulfill your life’s work.”

Back to the suit of Diamonds (“Native Americans” category, physical aspects of the world). “Destiny” is an interesting concept. I tend not to believe in destiny – as in a fate that we cannot avoid. I honestly don’t believe anything is “destined” to happen – cannot be changed or avoided. That being said, the message on this card isn’t so much about that as a belief that if I am listening, paying attention, and/or tune in to Spirit, guidance and assistance will be provided to help me fulfill my life’s work. I can believe that. I don’t feel I am “guaranteed” to fulfill my life’s work. There are many other factors involved.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ultimate Happiness with the Shadowscapes Tarot

It’s been awhile since I visited with my Shadowscapes Tarot deck created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and published by Llewellyn Publications. To read my interview with this gorgeous deck, click HERE.

I am using a spread called “Ultimate Happiness” from the Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)


(1) This is what you will get rid of

EIGHT OF CUPS

Like the “Seeker of the Seas” shown on this card, I will get rid of the weariness and demands and weight of the material world, turning away and disengaging, swimming serenely down, deeper into the sea of spirituality. The woman on the card holds onto one chalice, allowing the others to float away, which tells me I will get rid of emotional ties to many things, keeping only what is important and necessary.

(2) This is what you will accomplish

QUEEN OF WANDS

I will accomplish a reunion with my true identity and nature, the skills and abilities and personality of the Queen of Wands. I will experience the calm assurance of this fiery Queen, her exuberance in life.

(3) This goes with it

THE HANGED MAN

What goes with this is surrender and emotional release, giving up control in order to gain a new perspective or perception of the world. Willingly, I give up the part of my Self that is bound to the material world and the narrow view I have held of life.

(4) This will bring you luck

PAGE OF SWORDS

What will bring me luck is heeding the message of the Page of Swords to rid my eyes of “the clouded haze of too much daylight, and to see the path that the nocturnal guidance of the sky offers.” I can look to the stars for guidance as I fly through the skies in the company of swans, freed from the restraints of an earth-bound life.

(5) You will still be confronted with this

THE EMPEROR

Even with all of the deep-sea diving and flying through the air, I will still be confronted with the need for order and control at some level in certain situations. I cannot completely reject the need for structure and stability. I will need to work with or deal with power and authority, whether given to me or to others.

(6) This solution as a blessing

TEMPERANCE

The solution and blessing comes in the form of moderation of extremes and the balance of opposing forces to create unity, harmony, and healing. The blending and balance of the elements – Earth, Fire, Water, Air – creates power that is much stronger than the strength of any one element alone. Physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental energies are wielded to a single purpose.

The Queen of Wands and Temperance are cards that I and others associate with my Sun sign, the Fire sign Sagittarius.

Temperance appears in my interview with this deck in the position “What are your strengths as a deck?” I wrote the following lines to represent that card:


In a single, simple circle
Are both Yin and Yang
Swirling, curling, giving and taking from each other.
I share with you the power of opposites perfectly balanced,
Of dragons blue and yellow,
Mixed and mingled,
Flowing into a lavender sky.