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Monday, September 20, 2010

Listening to the Animals

I am currently writing a children's book about animals. I've written several drafts, and I feel I'm ready to polish up the manuscript and send it to the editor. But first, I thought I'd do a reading to get some insight into anything I might need to do or might not be aware of -- as well as a sneak peek at the potential for success of the finished product.

As this is a book about animals, it seemed appropriate to use one of my animal-themed decks. I debated whether to go with a Tarot deck or an Oracle deck. Finally, I decided to throw all common sense to the wind and pull cards from six different decks, one for each of the following positions:

(1) What energy currently surrounds the project?
(2) What do I need to keep in mind as I work on the final draft?
(3) Is there anything I might not have thought of that would be helpful?
(4) What could the manuscript use more of?
(5) What could the manuscript use less of?
(6) What insight can you provide about the potential for the book's success?

The layout looks like this:


(1) What energy currently surrounds the project?
Rooster / Tarot of the Animal Lords

Well, that's mighty nice, if I do say so myself! I love that this deck uses roosters "tooting their own horns" on this card. Roosters are known for strutting their stuff and their proud, "cocky" attitude. I do need to be careful not to count my chickens (er, roosters) before they hatch.

(2) What do I need to keep in mind as I work on the final draft?
Cricket / Animal-Wise Tarot

The emphasis in this card in this deck is on intuition and the importance of dreams and beliefs. Crickets are viewed by some as the reincarnation of relatives and by others as familiars or devils. In some areas, their singing was believed to herald good luck. Crickets are mainly nocturnal, and this suggests to me that I need to keep in mind that insight may come from dark places where I must rely on senses other than sight.

(3) Is there anything I might not have thought of that would be helpful?

Beasts of Albion

The Hedgehog is known for its spiny exterior, a solid defense against attack. Those of us who have similar (though unseen) barriers in place may be perceived as aggressive or aloof. It may be that I should be careful not to assume that I am "protected" in this project or perhaps that I need to protect myself from disappointment or hurt feelings.

(4) What could the manuscript use more of?

Druid Animal Oracle

LOL. The manuscript could use more loyalty, guidance, and protection. It's true that I have been somewhat neglectful lately. I need to demonstrate faithfulness and allegiance to the project, "working like a dog" until it is the best it can be.
(5) What could the manuscript use less of?

Little Owl / Tarot of Reincarnation

Hm. That's interesting. Although not an exact "match," this card is comparable to The High Priestess in traditional Tarot decks. It represents the veil of memory that conceals the secrets of the unconscious, as well as hidden knowledge, intuition, magic, and lunar energy. The LWB that accompanies this deck describes the owl on this card as a Little Owl, an actual type of owl. However, the picture on the card is not that type of owl. Rather, it is a barn owl. In any case, owls in general are nocturnal, lunar creatures. There seems to be a connection between this card and the Queen of Shapeshifters (Cups) or Cricket in position 2. Perhaps the point being made is that intuition and dreams can mislead or deceive as well as reveal.

(6) What insight can you provide about the potential for the book's success?

Wolf Song Cards

In this deck, the Moose represents the ability to assess a situation and the importance of approaching all situations with goodwill rather than with negative preconceptions or anxiety. The key message is: Choose your battles. Do not strike out. Gather information. Assess the situation. The Moose is viewed as a "good thinker," a far-seeing soul who knows that catastrophe is always possible and plans accordingly. It seems that the potential for the book's success depends on these factors, whether on my part or the part of my editor and publisher. A healthy, physically fit Moose is a force to be reckoned with and almost impossible to ignore. That's a good thing, right?

Well, I have a mix of birds, insects, and mammals in this reading -- just like I have in the book I'm writing. None of the animals on the card I drew are in the book, but some of their relatives are. I am particularly intrigued by the Queen of Shapeshifters (Cups) as what I need to keep in mind and the Owl (High Priestess) as what the manuscript could use less of. I need to give that a bit more thought.

  • Tarot of the Animal Lords. Artwork by Angelo Giannini; Idea and graphics by Pietro Alligo (Lo Scarabeo)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Beasts of Albion by Miranda Gray (Aquarian)
  • The Druid Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm. Card Illustrations by Bill Worthington (Fireside: Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
  • Tarot of Reincarnation by Massimiliano Filadoro (Lo Scarabeo)
  • Wolf Song by Jeanette Spencer and Lew Hartman (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)


  1. This was an interesting reading along with all the different animals, I did have a thought about the cricket in the position of "What do I need to keep in mind as I work on the final draft?"

    Crickets I think shed their skin, and therefore changes may happen, it may suggest here that even though you feel this is the final draft you may just have to make way for a change or two, shedding the old idea and bringing in something new again. Maybe it's saying be ready to expect to make changes that will bring a new growth to the whole manuscript.

    Also Crickets hop from place to place, make great leaps, perhaps to it suggests that you should rely on your intuition to help you make this final leap towards your goal.

    Enough from me! I enjoyed reading this Zanna and I wish you all the success with it - I know it will be good!

  2. Oh, I like that about the cricket! I do have a feeling that there is some sort of change that I'll be making in my final draft. It's like things just aren't quite "settled" the way they should be yet. Thanks for your good wishes!


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~ Zanna