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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oracle Card

My oracle message today comes from The Rune Vision Cards by Sylvia Gainsford with Howard Rodway. The message is delivered by Njörd, the Norse god of the seas that border the shoreline and patron god of seafarers. All ocean and plant life near the shores belonged to him. Njörd was the husband of Skadi and the father of Freyr and Freya.

Notice all of the symbols on the card that tie into Njörd’s connection with the element water: seashells and seaweed in his hair, a mother seal and her pup, a seagull. The fingers on Njörd’s right hand fade, becoming a waterfall. We see a twig from a willow tree, a tree that is associated with the location of water.

The willow is also connected with the rune Laguz, which we see in the upper right corner of the card. The object associated with Laguz is the axe, symbol of both battle and work. On this card, the Laguz symbol is colored orange, the color associated with fire. Njörd controlled fire as well as the wind and the waves. In the words of Icelander Snorri Sturluson: “He governs the movement of the winds and controls the sea and flame.” The color orange also represents a bountiful harvest. Njörd was linked to the harvest of the land and sea.

Howard Rodway describes the divinatory significance of the Laguz card in this deck as “Intuition. Psychic ability. Use your psychic insight. Acquisition. A successful pursuit. Birth.” Reversed, again according to Rodway, the card can deliver the message to “work within your limitations.”

When I look at this card I am reminded of a marvelous dream I had many years ago in which I was able to breathe under water. I swam to an island where there were many seals. We played and swam together freely. The element Water is commonly seen as representing the subconscious or unconscious mind and the world of dreams. The Laguz card from The Rune Vision deck certainly reinforces that symbolism.

I welcome your thoughts and comments on this card!


In addition to my 60 Tarot decks, I own a great many oracle decks. I love these decks, but don't use them as often as I would like. Every now and then, I am going to share a card from one of these oracle decks here on the blog. I hope people will enjoy seeing cards from various decks and will gain something from the interpretations of the cards!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tarot Exercise: Your Tarot Initials (by Zanna)

Many thanks to Helen for sharing this exercise and to Tarot Dame for creating it! More details about the exercise can be found here: http://tarotdame.com/. I just had to give this a try using my Faery Wicca deck!

Shuffle your deck, asking for cards that will describe you. Then, starting with the top of the deck, count cards until you get to your first initial. Remove that card. Then continue counting further into the deck until you get to your middle initial (if you have one), removing that card. Then do the same for the initial of your last name, removing that card. Turn over the cards, and they will share facets of yourself.

The cards that corresponded with my initials were:
  • Ridire of Domhan (Knight of Pentacles/Earth)
  • Seven of Uisce (Seven of Cups/Water)
  • Six of Aer (Six of Swords/Air)

Ridire of Domhan (Knight of Pentacles/Earth)
Well, this is a perfect example of why it’s not a good idea to assume that a Court Card literally represents a specific gender and age. I’m neither young nor a man. However, it could be argued that I have something of the same sort of temperament (in some situations) as a youthful male. In fact, when I was a young girl, I often thought I’d prefer to be a boy because boys got to wear pants all the time (I did not like wearing skirts and dresses). I felt males had more opportunities and options available to them in a number of areas. I was not a “tomboy” and not into sports or anything like that, I just had very little interest in all the frou-frou-lady stuff. Although this Knight is young, he is also viewed as the most reliable, stable, and dedicated of the Knights because of the Earth component. From an astrological standpoint, I have a very strong Earth presence in my birth chart. And yes, I am reliable, stable, and dedicated – I am also very much in contact with my “younger self.”

Seven of Uisce (Seven of Cups/Water)
Ah, the card of dreams, fantasy, and poetic sensibility. That fits me very well. I have a very rich dream life and I enjoy reading and writing fantasy and poetry. I also see in this card one of my other traits: a tendency to pursue many different things rather than devoting myself to one and mastering it. It is my choice to do this. I’m pretty sure I would quickly get bored if I focused on one or even two things to the exclusion of everything else. I don’t flit from place to place, but I do have a wide variety of interests and pasttimes. I take delight in a great many things.

Six of Aer (Six of Swords/Air)
A passage or journey is often suggested by this card, and I can truly say that my life so far has been a journey, or series of journeys, at times toward an unknown destination. There is usually a sense with this card that one is moving *away* from something – a situation, a person, the past. Although the future is unknown, there is also usually a reason to hope for success, although it may not be immediate. The smoothest transitions have occurred when I faced and solved potential or actual difficulties before heading in a new direction.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Interview with Tarot of the Animal Lords

I love animals of all kinds, so it’s no surprise that I have acquired several animal-themed Tarot decks. One of the most entertaining in my view is Tarot of the Animal Lords by Pietro Alligo and Angelo Giannini.

When I was granted an interview with this deck, I was excited but a bit leery, wondering which animal-people would show up and whether they would fit in my house. I decided to conduct the interview in my back yard just to be safe. I wasn’t sure what sort of refreshments to prepare, so I picked up a variety of items at the grocery store and hoped for the best.

My guests turned out to be a mouse-woman, a koala-woman, two giraffe-people, a marsupial- mole-man, a polar-bear-man, and an antelope-woman. The smaller animal-people rode upon the larger ones, and they created quite a scene on their way to my house, stopping traffic in all directions.


(spread by FireRaven, Aeclectic Tarot Forum, Spreads Thread)

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
“My most important characteristic. . .” mused Miss Mousie, nibbling on a wedge of cheddar cheese. “Let’s see. . . I suppose that would be my ability to help you overcome problems and make decisions even when you feel overwhelmed or paralyzed with indecision. I am quick thinking, and there are very few places I cannot escape from.” She mentioned the fable in which a mouse gnaws through the ropes binding a lion and sets him free. “Little friends may prove great friends,” she said.

2. What are your strengths as a deck?
Miss Koala seemed a bit disappointed that I didn’t have any eucalyptus leaves to offer her, but she settled for some potato chips with spinach-and-onion dip. “My strengths as a deck,” she said, “include the intensity and aggressiveness I display when necessary. I am a true friend and will protect and defend you as long as you treat me well.”

3. What are your limits as a deck?
FOUR OF WANDS (Giraffes)
The very pleasant Giraffe couple before me seemed perplexed by this question. They whispered back and forth for quite a while before one of them answered. “I think perhaps we are limited in that sometimes we are so pleased with the way things are, we don’t offer enough encouragement for you to change and grow. We like to show you the bright side of things whenever possible, but that might not be what you need.”

4. What do you bring to the table -- what are you here to teach me?
FIVE OF SWORDS (Marsupial Mole)
Mr. Mole seemed lonely, and I couldn’t help noticing that he was bound by ropes and a chain. “I am here to teach you to examine each situation and relationship with an eye to your role and behavior. Do you see yourself as the winner or the loser, the conqueror or the conquered, the betrayer or the betrayed? If you are the winner, will you display compassion to your vanquished foe? If you are the loser, will you seek revenge? Are you resigned to your fate or will you follow your period of mourning with renewed hope?”

5. How can I best learn from and collaborate with you?
After finding out that I did not have any seals for him to eat, King Polar Bear devoured an entire tray of shrimp and a large bowl of fruit. “You can best learn and collaborate with me by listening to my practical advice concerning how to live in the physical, material world. I am reliable, methodical, and responsible – and you should be, too!”

. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
“Now, dear,” Queen Antelope said to King Polar Bear, “You needn’t be so gruff. We’ll find you something suitable to eat later.” She smiled at me apologetically. “Please excuse him,” she said. She took a bite of the prairie grass growing nearby and chewed it thoughtfully. “The potential outcome of our working relationship is that you will mature and grow more powerful to the point where you will feel safe and secure within yourself and in your daily life. You will feel that you can afford to be charitable and generous with your time and talent, and that you have the qualities you need to successfully pursue what you desire.”

“Can we go now?” demanded King Polar Bear. Queen Antelope smiled and patted his paw with her delicate hoof. “Yes, dear.”

I thanked them for their insights and for sharing their time with me. Off they went down the road – Miss Mousie riding Queen Antelope, Miss Koala riding Mr. Giraffe, and Mr. Mole clinging to King Polar Bear’s dense fur.

Oh look, here comes the president of my neighborhood association. I wonder what she wants?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oswald Wirth's Tarot Spread

I came across Oswald Wirth’s Tarot Spread while reading Mary K. Greer’s blog:
You can read about the history of the spread on Mary’s blog. Here on this blog, I am posting a reading I did for myself using the spread.

First, here are the instructions:

Ask a specific question, and using only the Major Arcana, shuffle and cut. Then, taking cards from the top of the deck (*see alternate technique below), place them in the positions indicated.

The first two cards are the lawyers and the evidence presented by the two sides.


The first card (left) is affirmative, showing what is in favor of (“for”) the situation. It points to what it is wise to do and those people or qualities on which one can depend.

The second card (right) is negative (the opposing counsel) and represents what is “against” it. It points to hostilities that should be avoided or feared: the fault, enemy, danger or the “pernicious temptation.”

The third card (above) is the judge who discusses the evidence, weighs the pros and cons, and may arbitrate between the for and against. The judge helps clarify the decision to be made and gives advice as to what’s required.

In the fourth card (below) the “sentence,” result or solution is pronounced. Taking into account the synthesis of the fifth card, this “voice” of the oracle offers a look into what comes from the decision. It may contain a “teaching” about what style, attitude or demeanor is ultimately to be aimed for.

The fifth or center card is determined by adding the numbers of the first four cards and reducing to 22 or less. It is a synthesis of what has gone before, and points out what is of prime importance on which everything else, the situation itself, depends.

The Fool is considered 0 when adding and 22 when it is the result of the addition. The fifth card may be the same as one of the other four.

* Wirth suggests a special way of selecting the first four cards that you can use if you like. Shuffle the Major Arcana and then ask the querent for the first number between 1 and 22 that comes into her head. Count down that many cards and place the final card of the count in position one. Shuffle again and repeat for each of the next three positions.

-->Now my reading. Using my Sharman-Caselli deck, I asked the question: What advice can you give me about my writing career?

1. Attorney For (Do): THE HERMIT
I need to meditate on this subject, to search within for insight into the direction I should take, rather than busily scurrying about performing assignments and tasks. I also sense encouragement in this card to teach others and share what I have learned so far, to help them develop their writing abilities and goals.

2. Attorney Against (Don’t): THE MOON
The Moon in this position seems to warn against believing in illusions where my career is concerned. I may be challenged by uncertainty or lack of clear vision in this matter. My unconscious or subconscious mind can play tricks on me or deceive me into believing that which isn’t true. I should not take anything at face value or let my emotions carry me away. I need to realize that I am probably not seeing everything there is to see, or perhaps not seeing things clearly at all times.

How lovely to have this lady as the judge. I associate her with the planet Venus, which happens to rule the sign associated with The Hermit (Taurus). This might be considered a conflict of interest! But seriously, The Empress does seem to lean in favor of The Hermit’s position. She is down to Earth and practical, and encourages me to take a realistic view.

4. Sentence (Outcome): THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
The Wheel in this position seems to suggest that I need to be prepared for ups and downs, for runs of luck and periods of disappointment in my writing career – and to avoid letting these affect me too much emotionally. It is important not to let myself be flung forward and backward, up and down as the wheel turns, but to maintain stability and balance. There will always be elements I cannot control, but many things are within my power. In particular, I can decide how to respond to my situation and circumstances.

5. Center (Summary): 9 + 18 + 3 + 10 = 40 = 4, THE EMPEROR
In summary, action, decisiveness, and leadership are needed as I continue my writing career. I need to acknowledge and accept my role as my own “master” in this situation, capable and skilled at choosing the best direction to go. I need to respect my own judgment, and use the insights offered by The Hermit to my best advantage.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Interview with the Fantastical Creatures Tarot

(spread by FireRaven, Acelectic Tarot Forum, Spreads Thread)





I’ve had this deck for awhile now and even used it in a Tarot course recently, which was a bit of a challenge since it doesn’t use what we might call “traditional” Tarot symbolism. Nevertheless, I do like the deck and I admire Lisa Hunt and D.J. Conway for creating the wonderful imagery and mythological connections.

The Interview

When I called the Fantastic Creatures office to request an interview, the receptionist put the TEN OF CUPS on the line.

“Well, we have a number of family commitments already on our calendar this week, and those are of primary importance,” said a female voice, “but let me see if we can fit you in.”

When the doorbell rang at the appointed time, I opened it and was startled to see a group of lovely young girls. It took a second, but I soon realized they were the nine Muses, companions of the Greek god Apollo. I was a bit embarrassed, and afraid I had not prepared enough refreshments. But the Muses didn’t look as though they would eat much, so I hoped for the best. I considered asking why the TEN of Cups would feature NINE muses, but I thought that would be rude, so I didn’t.

The Muses suggested that Calliope be the one to answer my questions on behalf of the deck, and I agreed. Once everyone had chosen a seat, we began the interview.

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
FOUR OF SWORDS (Vegetable Lamb)

I bring relaxation and rest and peace, an atmosphere in which you can contemplate and consider where you are and where you want to go. I provide a much needed respite from the everyday helter-skelter hubub of life, inviting you into a secluded garden where the playful presence of young lambs will soothe and delight you.

2. What are your strengths as a deck?
FIVE OF CUPS (Lorelei)

My greatest strength is that I can help you to deal with emotional issues and situations by taking the time to think through your feelings. I encourage you to question negative attitudes that may cause you stress or sorrow. I have no emotions myself, so I am able to offset any tendency you may have to let your feelings control your life.

3. What are your limits as a deck?
DEATH (Anansi)

I like to play games, and I will trick you if I can. If you are not careful, I may spin a web of illusion that can trap you into thinking your future is determined by Fate rather than your own actions and decisions. If you challenge me and demand the truth, I can be a catalyst that prompts you to make major changes and to cast aside illusions and delusions you harbor.

4. What do you bring to the table -- what are you here to teach me?

I am here to teach you that if you break karmic laws, you will have to pay a price. Explore your past lives and settle karmic debts if you want to avoid dire consequences. Do not be lured by beauty, for it can hide evil and disease. Life’s most unpleasant lessons may benefit you more than you expect in the long term.

How can I best learn from and collaborate with you?
THREE OF CUPS (Hippocampus)

You can best learn from and collaborate with me by joining hands, as if with a friend, and by celebrating all that life may bring. I am here to show you your subconscious mind and to lead you to a place where you expect abundance. I can help you move out of your mental fog and liberate yourself from unproductive emotional conditions.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
SEVEN OF CUPS (The Selkie)

Our working relationship will help you to assume different forms – especially at mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Whereas now you may feel disappointed in the options available to you, working with me will help you see that there is more available to you than you realize.

I thanked the Muses for their time. After they were gone, I reflected on the abundance of Water in this reading. Five Water cards and two Air cards altogether: emotional and mental energies. It appears that these two areas will be particularly enhanced by working with this deck.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Today’s Oracle Deck is Oracle of the Radiant Sun by Caroline Smith and John Astrop. As an astrologer, I adore this deck. I have found it to be uncannily accurate in readings (I know, everyone says that about their favorite deck). Sometimes I draw cards from this deck and just respond to the images on each card, without figuring in the astrological components.

This deck is also a great teaching tool for learning about how the planets and luminaries behave in each sign. The introductory material in the accompanying book covers the planets, houses, and signs. Several spreads are included in the book: The Sun Year, The Horary Reading, the Grand Trine Reading, and the Cardinal Cross Reading.

The card I am writing about today represents the Sun in Sagittarius (my Sun Sign is Sagittarius). The card is titled “Enthusiasm.” In this deck, the Sun (in every sign) represents “Fortune.” Sagittarius represents “Optimism, Adventure.” The image on this card is described as: “A bright intelligent head haloed by the sun sits at the top of a traditional alchemical jar. Within the jar, a figure floats among the stars, sun and moon.”

Before I began to study astrology, I had a really hard time seeing myself in the “Sun in Sagittarius” personality. I still have trouble identifying with some of the characteristics associated with this placement. However, my interest in astrology blossomed once I found out how the rising sign and placement of the Moon and other planets in a birth chart impact an individual. I discovered my rising sign was Virgo, and when I read about that sign’s traits, it was like looking in a mirror.

Meanwhile, I also began to see how certain Sagittarius traits expressed themselves in my personality and approach to life. Although the “energetic and outgoing, with a good sporty sense of fun and adventure” part doesn’t resonate with me, I do identify with the ability to “deal with deeper, more abstract concepts” and the tendency to be blunt or tactless.

The number Nine at the top of this card refers to the Ninth House, the house associated with Sagittarius. This is the house of philosophy, foreign places and travel, higher learning, law, religion, publishing, and sport. The Sun can be said to represent a person’s life-spirit, identity, and manner of self-expression.

I confess that I’m not quite sure why the keyword “Fortune” was chosen for the Sun in this deck (regardless of the sign involved, the Sun always represents “Fortune”). The Moon represents “Security.” Venus represents “Love.” Mars represents “Action.” Jupiter is “Gain.” Saturn is “Ambition.” Those make more sense to me.

In a reading, the Enthusiasm card can express the characteristics of the Sun in Sagittarius and of the Ninth House.

Zanna Starr

In addition to my 60 Tarot decks, I own a great many oracle decks. I love these decks, but don't use them as often as I would like. Every now and then, I am going to share a card from one of these oracle decks here on the blog. I hope people will enjoy seeing cards from various decks and will gain something from the interpretations of the cards!