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Friday, October 5, 2012

Past Lives Reading

As promised in my Review of Sandor Konraad's Classic Tarot Spreads (Schiffer), I am sharing my reading using the Past Lives Spread (page 115 of the book). For this monumental undertaking, I chose the Simply Deep Tarot by Chanel Bayless, with artwork by James Battersby (Schiffer Publishing). You can read my review of Simply Deep HERE.

I am not a big fan of gi-normous spreads like this, simply because I feel they provide an "information overload" that does more to confuse me than to help me. However, I really did want to give this one a go. Also, one reason I do not typically do readings about myself on this blog is that I have no desire to share intimate details of my life with the world-wide web. I hope I will be forgiven for not "spilling my guts" below.

This Past Life Spread uses only the Aces and Majors.  It is based on a "Table of Thrones":
Throne I - Destiny and Early Childhood
Throne II - Career
Throne III - Love and Marriage
Throne IV - Psyche (Past Lives)

It appears that only Throne IV is about Past Lives, so I'm not sure why the spread as a whole is called a "Past Lives" spread.

For each Throne, I dealt an Ace. Then I dealt Majors into various positions under each Ace, as instructed by Konraad's book. Konraad provides an interpretation for each of the Aces, so I will share that information below (followed by Konraad's name). After each card, I jotted a few keywords provided by Chanel Bayless in the LWB for Simply Deep. My comments follow that.

Throne I - Destiny and Early Childhood (first 30 years or so)
ACE OF WANDS = Work and Responsibility (Konraad)
Hierophant: "Profound religious, ethical, or moral significance"
Lovers: "Choose between falling into someone and losing your 'self' or remaining separate"
High Priestess: "Energy is working behind the veil"
Temperance: "Moderation, Balance, Equilibrium"
Tower: "Everything you knew as true before now is being tested by the Universe"

I definitely see the relevance of each of these cards to the "first 30 years or so" of my life. Temperance is the card associated with my Sun sign, Sagittarius. When I was born, I had a life-threatening health situation that naturally carried religious or spiritual significance for my family (Hierophant). I know that many prayers went up from my ardent Baptist, Lutheran, and Catholic family members, and there were probably even some attempts to "bargain with God." I believe my recovery was at least in part due to energy "working behind the veil" -- and the talents of an excellent surgeon "in front of the veil." I married at age 20 and had a Tower experience at age 33, in which I realized that I had indeed lost myself in the marriage, and that what I believed for years was simply no longer true for me. The "work and responsibility" (Ace of Wands) mentioned by Konraad probably refers to my lifelong tendency to be "responsible" and to "work hard" in every area of my life. With Virgo rising and my Moon in Taurus, that tendency is not surprising.

Throne II - Career
ACE OF COINS = Great Power (Konraad)
Sun: "You are your own individual with many layers of creative radiance to spread in this world."
Hermit: "You are being asked to take a deeper look into your psyche."
Fool: "Chase the sun! Have faith that you will succeed at all costs."
World: "Each time you reach another phase of completion, another root firmly plants in the ground to support your core."

Wow. This is pretty awesomely accurate. In a nutshell, I worked many different jobs to earn a living before I finally felt able to single-mindedly pursue a career as a writer, which was really the only career I ever wanted to have. I admit that I can't really call writing a career because I have never made enough money at it to support myself financially. However, I have achieved much of what I hoped to achieve as a writer, and that is what matters most to me. I now not only write but design and make jewelry, a creative effort that I never imagined myself pursuing. My Tarot and Astrology is a third "career" that engages my inner Self and creative energy in wonderful ways.

Throne III - Love and Marriage
= Joy (Konraad)
Devil: "Temptation. Addiction. Lust."
Emperor: "Supervise. Discipline. Boundaries."
Chariot: "Decision. Crossroads. Freewill."
Hanged Man: "taking a wait and see approach... seeing things from different angles"
Empress: "Respect. Creation. Beauty."

Well, it's interesting that my first husband was a Capricorn (the sign associated with the Devil card). Putting that aside, let's just say I know exactly what the Devil means in this position. And how amusing that both the Emperor and the Empress appear under Throne III (Love and Marriage). I do have a very traditional view of marriage in some ways, although I have never bought into the "obey" part of "love, honor, and obey." It is interesting that the Chariot and Hanged Man separate the Emperor and Empress, which makes a lot of sense to me with respect to my experiences with love and marriage.

Throne IV - Psyche (Past Lives)

= Great Power (Konraad)
Strength: "Personal Power. Control. Confidence."
Moon: "You don't know what's going on behind the scenes, it's all an illusion. There are secrets being kept from you."
Death: "You are emerging as a re-birthed soul."
Wheel of Fortune: "Fortune. Cycle. Destiny."
Judgment: "In order to move forward from this place, it is time to reflect on all that has happened, and be prepared to forgive both yourself and others."
Star: "Your skills, talents, and inner beauty spread the essence of your spirit through everything you touch."
Justice: "There are consequences, whether good or bad, for your behaviors. Have you learned the lessons?"
Magician: "Gather all your tools and knowledge together in order to manifest your will."

In the sample reading provided by Konraad in his book, his client tells him she thinks that she has a Past Life connection to czarist Russia around the turn of the century and during the years before the revolution -- specifically, she thinks she may have been one of the daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra. Konraad proceeds to explain to her how all of the cards he has drawn for her under Throne IV could easily refer to Rasputin, who would have played a significant role in her life. After doing a follow-up spread, he concludes that the Tarot does not choose to reveal whether this woman was a daughter of the czar or Rasputin. He explains that the cards do not "always tell us what we want to hear, but rather, what is best for us to know for the development of our soul." He then proceeds to interpret the cards that appeared in this follow-up reading.

Having read this transcription, I was prepared for the fact that the cards might not give me a name or details about someone I was in a Past Life. Interestingly, like Konraad's client, I have always felt a connection to Russia. I majored in Russian in college. I have never gone to Russia (a trip during my college years was cancelled), but I would like to. I love Russian music, literature, and culture. So perhaps that suggests a Past Life in Russia? Let's see if my cards reference this at all.

We begin with Strength -- Leo, Fire, gentle rather than forceful control, especially over one's own base desires and ego. This is one of my favorite cards in most decks, mostly because it almost always incorporates an animal and shows a human-animal bond. I am a major cat lover. I wrote a children's book about cats. So I love seeing the woman on this card sitting casually on a lion's back. I wonder how literally I should take this? Did I have a strong rapport with actual "beasts" in a Past Life?

Next is the Moon -- Cancer, Water -- another of my favorite cards in most decks. Why is that, I wonder? The Moon is usually a reference to illusion and deception, not things that a "normal" person would be attracted to. Perhaps my attraction is due to recognition. Maybe I identify with the card because of who I was or what I did in a Past Life. I feel a kinship with the Moon. In many Tarot decks, there are animals on this card as well. Often a wolf is included. I also wrote a children's book about wolves.

Death -- Scorpio, Water -- is next, suggesting a major transformation in a Past Life, significant changes and shedding of old habits and people. As Chanel Bayless writes, I emerge "as a re-birthed soul."

The Wheel of Fortune -- Jupiter, Fire -- strikes me as a possible reference to the cycle of birth-life-death-rebirth we experience continually across our Past Lives or during our current life. It makes sense that this would follow Death. The Wheel turns.

Judgment -- Fire -- suggests an evaluation or assessment -- perhaps my own evaluation of my own life. I get a sense that this is also interwoven with Death and the Wheel, as part of a process of evolving from one stage or life into another. Is it perhaps true that we have some role in deciding who or what we will be in each life?

With the Star -- Aquarius, Air -- I feel myself entering a new cycle or new life as a brilliant, optimistic being.

Justice -- Libra, Air -- suggests to me that I entered this subsequent Past Life with an understanding of the responsibility I must take for my actions. Perhaps I am being given a chance to remedy a defect in that area from the previous life.

Finally, we arrive at the Magician -- Mercury, Air. In this Past Life, I seem to be ready to manifest or project the energy to which I have access. I need to use the tools with care and respect for myself and others.

I get a strong sense that these cards are talking about two different Past Lives. I see the first Past Life as being represented by Strength and the Moon -- a feminine energy that could be saying I was a female. I get a sense of a somewhat primitive energy here but also a powerful connection between conscious and unconscious mind.

I see Death, the Wheel, and Judgment as representing the transition to a second Past Life.

The second Past Life is represented by the Star, Justice, and the Magician.

But what do these cards tell me about who or where I might have been during a Past Life?

Past Life #1
Astrological associations (as per the Golden Dawn) and countries associated with those signs:
Leo (Strength): France, Italy, Romania
Cancer (Moon): Scotland, Holland, New Zealand

I can either choose to focus on Europe (because most of the countries are there) or on New Zealand, as the one "odd" country of the bunch. Food for thought. Interestingly, I have long felt drawn to Scotland. I love bagpipe music and my two visits there have been like visiting a "familiar place."

I also want to note that my husband's ancestors came from Italy and Romania. Now, I know this reading is about me, not my husband, but it intrigues me that those two countries (out of all the possibilities) are showing up here.

Past Life #2
Astrological associations (as per the Golden Dawn) and countries associated with those signs:
Aquarius (Star): Russia, Sweden, Ethiopia
Justice - not associated with any sign
Magician - not associated with any sign

Aha, there's Russia! Of course Sweden and Ethiopia are also possibilities...

Whether or not we can rely on this astrological method, I find it intriguing that Scotland and Russia -- two countries I have long felt connected to -- both made an appearance.

And that, my friend is my Past Lives reading. I apologize for such a long post, but perhaps you have found it useful or interesting!


  1. That was an interesting reading, however it's not a spread I think I would try for myself. Except maybe for the last position of past life and that would be purely out of curiosity. The spread really doesn't seem to serve any real purpose but to tell you what you already know again with the exception of the last position.

    Interesting that Russia and Scotland came up for your - I've always felt Egypt was part of me somewhere ^_^

    1. I agree with you, Helen, about the earlier segments of the spread showing things I already know. It seems to me that a lot of spreads do that. But perhaps when reading for a client, it helps if you start with areas the client already knows, so they can confirm that the cards are "accurate" (I don't like that word applied to a Tarot reading, but there you are). Then, the client is more likely to take the message of the cards concerning the "unknown" aspect seriously?

  2. The one I have always wanted to try is this one: http://www.psychic-revelation.com/reference/q_t/tarot/tarot_spreads/past_life.html. I think it is a good spread, certainly covers all the bases so it will be interesting to see I think.

    1. That looks like a really good spread, Tarot Witch. I'll have to try it myself. Thanks for stopping by!


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~ Zanna