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Friday, April 3, 2020

Listen to the Animals: CROW

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

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

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

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

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

Animal Kin Oracle / Sarah Wilder

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

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

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

Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Reading with The Playing Card Oracle

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

DEJA (12 of Hearts)

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

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

(3) overall message to keep in mind

SOUTH WIND (4 of Diamonds)

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

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tarot Card of the Year: 2020 and 2021

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

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

Card of the Year for 2020

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

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

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

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

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

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

Card of the Year for 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Valentine's Day, my dears!

Love always,

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

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Amethyst for February

February 2020 is here, and I think I'll do a little "cross promotion" with my handmade jewelry shop (Jewelry by Scotti on Etsy: www.jewelrybyscotti.com)

The birthstone for the month of February is amethyst, a violet or cool purple quartz gemstone that is said to promote humility, peace, and piety. Related to the third-eye chakra, amethyst is believed to strengthen intuition and help heal past hurts.

The word amethyst is from the Greek amethus(t)os, meaning "not intoxicated" and therefore it is considered to be a stone of temperance. Amethyst is also said to promote wholesome dreams.

For the Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals (AGM AGMuller), Helmut G. Hofmann chose amethyst for the Death card. In his words, "[Amethyst] brings light into problems and so helps us in the transformation from the mental to the spiritual level. It both soothes hardened souls and supports people with gentle natures."

And now for the jewelry! The video below shows two pieces of amethyst jewelry. One is a multistrand coil bracelet with two sizes of faceted amethyst beads. In the same video you will also see a gorgeous pendant necklace that features not only amethyst and quartz gemstones but a beautiful purple carved tagua nut crescent moon.

For more information or to purchase, use the following links:

Amethyst Coil Bracelethttps://www.etsy.com/listing/573417030

Tagua Nut Moon and Amethyst Necklacehttps://www.etsy.com/listing/586887303

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Using "Sentence Structure" with Lenormand

Today I’m doing an exercise I have seen in several places using one of my Lenormand decks. As an English major and writer, naturally I love working with parts of speech (nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc.) so this just sounds like fun to me.

(1) Ask a question. Shuffle your deck and pull out 4 cards.
(2) The Adjective for card 1
(3) Subject for card 2
(4) Verb for card 3
(5) Adverb for card 4
(6) Interpretation in regards to the Question

My deck for this exercise is the Gilded Reverie Lenormand by Ciro Marchetti (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) I’m asking the cards what factors, issues, or forces I need to be aware of next week (January 20-26).

Adjective: MOON (32)

spiritual, emotional, mysterious, subconscious, romantic, creative

Subject: CROSS (36)

grief, burden, guilt, suffering, possible redemption, religion

Verb: MICE (23)

whittle away, destroy, gnaw, cause anxiety, cause doubt, lie

Adverb: PARK (20) 

publically, socially, harmoniously, pleasantly

INTERPRETATION: Next week, I need to be aware of deep, subconscious feelings of grief or guilt that cause anxiety or doubt, possibly in a social or public setting that is supposed to be pleasant and harmonious.

I can imagine one or two scenarios that would fit this description perfectly, but I’m not aware that any of those are taking place next week. It will be interesting to see what this might mean.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year Spread for 2020

It’s New Year’s Day here in North America, so I am going to celebrate with a spread for 2020. I used this same spread on New Year's Day in 2015 here at Tarot Notes.

I am using “Joanna’s New Year Spread” from Journey through the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert (Llewellyn Worldwide). My deck is the Forest of Enchantment Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone with illustrations by Meraylah Allwood (Llewellyn).

The Spread

The Positions

1. What do I leave behind in the Old Year?
2. What do I open up to in the New Year?
3. Key Opportunity of the New Year
4. Key Challenge of the New Year
5. Hidden concern (pull from bottom of the deck)
6. Deep Wisdom / Advice from God/dess (pull from middle of the deck)
7. Key Theme of the New Year

My Reading

1. What do I leave behind in the Old Year? 

TWO OF VISIONS: I have to say that the appearance of this card gives me pause. If I interpret this card to represent a relationship with someone special, a soulmate, then leaving that behind in the Old Year seems sad to me. It sounds like there is a chance I will be separated from someone either by choice or circumstances.

2. What do I open up to in the New Year? 

ACE OF BOONS: Aces, of course, often signify new beginnings, certainly appropriate for something I “open up to” in the New Year. The Ace of Boons is a toad. Nice. But seriously, there are promises here related to the physical, material world – prosperity, healing – the element Earth. I will wear my gift of a toadstone ring with pleasure. (Since I make jewelry, perhaps I will try to find some actual “toadstone” to use…)

3. Key Opportunity of the New Year 

THE GREEN MOTHER (Key III): A powerful card (called “The Empress” in traditional decks), The Green Mother is all about fertility, creativity, and generosity. Her feminine power is unrivaled, and she connects us to the natural world, teaching us to love ourselves as well as everything around us. I may literally have an opportunity to act as a “mother” figure to someone, or perhaps even to my own “inner child.”

4. Key Challenge of the New Year

SEEKER OF BOONS: Seekers in this deck are similar to Knights in traditional Tarot decks. Each Seeker has a quest to fulfill and takes action to fulfill it. My challenge in 2020 is to be more like the Seeker of Boons – steady, dependable, practical, patient, good-humored. I need to move slowly and carefully, deliberately and methodically.

5. Hidden concern (pull from bottom of the deck)

KEEPER OF CHALLENGES: Keepers are akin to Kings in this deck, and the suit of Challenges is comparable to the suit of Swords. What is it about the Keeper of Challenges that makes him a “hidden concern” for me? One interesting comment I read in the guidebook for this deck is that “The Keeper of Challenges is not evil, but he’s not good either. This wizard is coolly neutral.” This cool, detached nature is perhaps something I am concerned that I cannot achieve. If I view this card as representing an actual person in my life, this is the card I associate with my husband. Like most of us approaching the age of 70, he has health issues, and it is possible that I have concerns about that, even if I try to keep them hidden.

6. Deep Wisdom / Advice from God/dess (pull from middle of the deck)

WEAVER OF CHALLENGES: Like the Queens in traditional Tarot decks, the Weavers in this deck represent feminine energy and power. The Weaver of Challenges can make my quest harder – whether for my own growth or to prove my worth. The wisdom/advice she offers is delivered with clarity, as she speaks her mind fearlessly. She teaches me to value intelligence and attention to detail, discipline and strong self-esteem. However, I also need to be careful that I do not adopt her less attractive traits, becoming emotionally withdrawn, overly critical, sarcastic, or touchy.

7. Key Theme of the New Year

THE FAERY WIND (Key VII): This card suggests that the key theme of 2020 involves things picking up speed and flowing swiftly towards a positive outcome. Change leads to success, and increased confidence is justified. Important news of my achievements is highly possible.

In summary, it appears that 2020 is likely to have some significant moments or situations for me, given that 4 of the 7 cards in the reading are Major Arcana cards. The element Earth has a strong presence (Ace of Boons, Seeker of Boons, The Oldest One).

An interesting mix of elemental energy in these cards, with Fire being noticeably absent. Challenges (Swords / Air) and Boons (Pentacles / Earth) are the most commonly represented. I am really curious about the relationship or close alliance I am leaving behind.