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Monday, December 21, 2015

Conscious and Subconscious Energy: A Reading

In the Northern Hemisphere, in South Carolina USA where I live, the Winter Solstice this year falls on Monday, December 21, at 11:49 PM (EST).  I am taking an opportunity to celebrate by exploring how my conscious and subconscious (or unconscious) causes me to attract specific types of energy into my life.

I think we naturally intend to attract positive, beneficial, healing, helpful energy – and we are consciously aware of that. Yet there can be activity in the subconscious or unconscious mind that causes us to attract conflicting or reinforcing energies. Well, that’s my theory, anyway!

I decided to create a layout where the cards representing conscious choice are “on top of” the cards representing subconscious or unconscious desires. For the bottom tier, I added the numeric value of the first two cards to get the Major Arcana card that advises me on how to bring the conscious and subconscious/unconscious elements together.




Coming forward to assist me in this exploration is the Book of Shadows Tarot “As Above” by Barbara Moore, with artwork by Gregorz Krisinsky, Simone Gabrielli, Franco Rivolli, Pietro Scola di Mambro, Sabrina Ariganello, and Alessia Pastorello (Lo Scarabeo).

(1) What energy do I consciously want in my life?
TWO EARTH – A balance of Water and Earth such as that seen at a beach. Symbolically, this is a balance between soul and body (physical experience).

(2) What energy do I subconsciously (or unconsciously) attract?
SEVEN WATER – Justice, order, and a strict balance – a heart that lives most closely aligned with my beliefs of what is right.

(3) Trump 9, The Hermit: The Path
To bring the messages of the Two Earth and Seven Water together, I must seek guidance from my innermost or highest Self through contemplation, reflection, and a connection with the Divine.

(4) What sort of person do I consciously want in my life?
THREE AIR – Someone who finds the truth by looking at something with different eyes or from another point of view – possibly using divination tools such as scrying or dream work.

(5) What sort of person do I subconsciously (or unconsciously) attract?
THREE WATER – Someone who enjoys what is available in life with a young, fresh attitude and a spirit of Springtime.

(6) Trump 6, The Lovers: Beltane
To bring the messages of the Three Air and Three Water together, I must follow my heart and make choices that help these conscious and subconscious desires form a partnership, each supporting the other to help me attract the sort of person that completes me.

(7) What is an important conscious goal for me?
ACE AIR – To analyze, interpret, and understand my dreams and their messages.

(8) What is an important subconscious (or unconscious) goal?
MAIDEN OF AIR – Development and expansion of my intuition and ability to communicate. To share a bond with the creatures of the Air.

(9) Trump 13, Death: Yule
How fitting that this card appears at the end of the reading, which takes place on the Winter Solstice. To bring the messages of the Ace Air and the Maiden of Air together, I must recognize the end of something significant, a moment of darkness before the dawn – perhaps even a crisis of faith that leads to change.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 9 of Evidence

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
(9 of Wands)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Evidence (represented by a shoe print) is comparable to the suit of Wands. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Evidence is from The Copper Beeches: “Data! Data! Data! I can make no bricks without clay!”

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is a quote from A Study in Scarlet: “…where there is no imagination there is no horror.”

On the Nine of Evidence we see Holmes and Watson preparing to set out across the bleak, inhospitable moor towards Baskerville Hall, on the trail of the phantom hound of the Baskervilles. (See The Hound of the Baskervilles.) This story is one of my very favorites from the Sherlock Holmes collection.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “enduring strength, great reserves, obstinacy, defensiveness, dedication to intuitive purpose, the wisdom to prepare against adversity.” Reversed, the card can suggest: “obstacles, delays, imminent disaster, bad luck, displeasure.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings. Examples from “The Game” for the Nine of Evidence: “A dogged opposition when in unfamiliar terrain… Protecting others against attack… Recognizing the enemy or saboteur within.”

Examples from “The Fog”: “Expressing nothing but hostility in a situation… Looking for subtle ways to overcome a strong opponent rather than wasting your energies… Laying down the fight and allowing others to proceed.”

Friday, December 11, 2015

In the Dream – My Friend’s House

I have many dreams that I remember. For the “In the Dream” series here at Tarot Notes, I describe a dream I had recently and devise a Tarot spread to explore possible interpretations.
In a recent dream, I am visiting the home of Nita, a woman I worked with many years ago. (I did visit her home one time, but it was nothing like what I see in this dream.) Entering her house in the dream, I find myself in a huge room with shelves from floor to ceiling. Each shelf is divided into many sections and in each section sits a small glass object of some kind. The objects are all different colors. It is night, and my friend has placed candles all around the room. The glass objects glitter and twinkle in the candlelight. It is so beautiful I wish never to leave there. I actually have tears in my eyes at the thought that I will have to leave.
For the reading I used Twilight Realm: A Tarot of Faery by Beth Wilder (Schiffer). To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

The layout looks like this:

(1) What type of energy will help me interpret and utilize the message(s) of this dream?
(2) What might my friend/coworker represent in the dream?
(3) What might the large room represent?
(4) What might the glass objects represent?
(5) What might the darkness of night represent?
(6) What might the candles represent?
(7) What might the entire atmosphere of the location represent?
(8) Why am I sad about leaving?

(1) What type of energy will help me interpret and utilize the message(s) of this dream? 
QUEEN OF SWORDS – To me, this card suggests that it would be most helpful for me to take a calm, reserved, and detached approach to interpreting this dream. Having experienced pain, this Queen has learned to face loss and disaster without flinching. She is complex, a characteristic that becomes clear when we notice that Queens in general are linked with the element Water, representing emotions and the subconscious. Detachment is helpful, but I need to also pay attention to how I feel about the dream and any subconscious influences that may be present.

(2) What might my friend/coworker represent in the dream?
TEN OF SWORDS – This card depicts an air spirit from the Unseelie Court hovering over a desolate battlefield. This is a dark spirit who takes pleasure in spreading desolation. I’m not getting a clear sense of how this could apply to my friend/coworker, Nita. Perhaps she is there to remind me of something that came to an end, leaving nothing but the corpse. Perhaps she is like the Ghost of Christmas Past, making an appearance to call my attention to that which is gone or dead.

(3) What might the large room represent?
JUDGMENT – As Trump 20 of 22, Judgment can also be seen to represent an ending, only on a larger scale than the Ten of Swords, and with a more promising outlook. In this deck, a Phoenix rises from its own ashes onto a new life path. The fact that the dream-room is so large and open tells me that the awakening or renewal I am likely to experience has far-reaching implications and repercussions, and that it encompasses a vast area or realm. The opportunity to rise onward and upward has never been stronger.

(4) What might the glass objects represent?
KING OF RINGS – In this deck, the King for the suit of Earth is represented by the Oak King, “a being considered more than Fairy, but less than a god.” We have the usual “Earth” qualities here, including industry, financial security, stability, and loyalty. Yet this King can also suggest materialism or gluttony. Do these manmade objects of glass – overwhelming in their quantity – indicate an overemphasis on possessions or the material world? And of course we know that, like so many things of this earthly realm, glass can break.

(5) What might the darkness of night represent?
SIX WANDS – This card is seen as a card of victory, leadership, or a possible journey. In this deck, the Six of Wands is the mythical Firebird. She is not fond of human beings, but when captured, she will lend her strength and magical powers to the one who has gained control over her. Of the suggested interpretations for this card, I think “possible journey” makes the most sense. Darkness and night can represent a journey deep into one’s Self or into a universal consciousness of some kind.

(6) What might the candles represent?
TWO RINGS – Here, a mischievous fairy sits atop a twig fallen from a tree, while the sign for eternity envelops the two mushrooms before him. My first thought is that darkness and light are opposites, and the Two Rings card is about duality and achieving a balance between two opposing sides or energies. The infinity symbol tells us that dealing with such dualities is an ongoing, never-ending process. Light and darkness both have their purposes, and it is up to me to seek ways to work with both to achieve harmony.

(7) What might the entire atmosphere of the location represent?
PAGE OF WANDS – In the Tarot, I view Pages as representing a young-at-heart perspective, innocence, and childlike brightness. Pages also often bring messages. In the suit of Wands we have optimism, enthusiasm, passion, and courage. I feel this captures the sense of wonder and delight I experienced in the location, a feeling of perfect safety, joy, and peace. It was as if the atmosphere returned me to a childlike state of mind.

(8) Why am I sad about leaving?
PRINCESS OF CUPS – The Princess loves peace, harmony, and beauty. These fulfill her and she sparkles and shines when surrounded by them. I am drawn emotionally to the large room with its candles and colorful, twinkling glass. I quickly become attached to the wonder of the place. Put simply, I feel like a princess. It is easy to feel beautiful and free in such a place. It is easy to understand why I am happy there and want to stay.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Where, Oh Where?

I can’t be the only one who thinks the Sacred Sites Tarot by Massimiliano Filadoro Federico Penco (published by Lo Scarabeo) is the perfect deck to use to answer questions that begin with “Where...” (To read my review of this deck, click HERE.)

I am using an inverted pyramid layout, and I now give you fair warning: I got a bit silly toward the end while creating “where” questions. I hope I don’t offend anyone. That is certainly not my intention.

The first three cards are quite serious in nature.

(1) Where does true love live? THE LOVERS
This is way too appropriate. True love lives in The Sacred Forest of Nemi, a site sacred to Diana, where the wise King Numa and the Nymph Egeria consummated their love. True love also lives in mutual trust, attraction, and harmony. It lives in the choices we make and our reasons for making them.

(2) Where can I go when I am afraid? KNAVE OF SWORDS
I can go to Notre Dame de Paris, a cathedral erected in the heart of Paris, constructed over an existing basilica, built in turn on the foundation of a Gaelic-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter. As a Sagittarius, my sun sign ruler is the planet Jupiter, and therefore this site can reinforce my courage and self-reliance and help me confront and vanquish my fears.

(3) Where can I go to refresh my spirit? FOUR OF WANDS
I can refresh my spirit in The Forbidden City, Beijing, China. This is the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, a place forbidden to all who were not members of the Imperial house. This site was a home, a place of refuge, protection, and family. Here I can find a sense of belonging, stability, and harmony.

The next five cards are just for fun. You may not think a deck called “Sacred Sites” would have a sense of humor, but you would be wrong.

(4) Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? THE SUN
This question is, of course, from the educational computer games and other media featuring a villain named Carmen Sandiego. Players pretend to be detectives who must locate her. They may have a bit of trouble in this case because Carmen has gone to The Sun… Actually, in the Sacred Sites Tarot, she has gone to Teotihuacan in Mexico (appropriate for someone with the last name Sandiego?) Its name means “the place where men become gods.” I should think Carmen would like that rather a lot.

(5) Where oh where has my little dog gone? SEVEN OF PENTACLES
My little dog has gone to the Lascaux Cave in France. Sacred to the ancient Shamans, its underground passages were used about 17,000 years ago for initiation rites of passage and rituals. No doubt my dog went there to see if his species is included in the Paleolithic paintings of animals that decorate the walls.

(6) Where does the Sidewalk End? KNAVE OF PENTACLES
Shel Silverstein’s book of poetry Where the Sidewalk Ends is a beloved classic for children everywhere. The Sacred Sites Tarot tells me that the sidewalk ends at Ayres Rock in Australia. Sacred to the Aborigines, it represents for them the Age of Dreams, when the world took shape and the myth of creation. It would seems that the Sidewalk ends where it began.

(7) Where are the Wild Things? EIGHT OF WANDS
Maurice Sendak’s book Where the Wild Things Are is another children’s book classic. The Eight of Wands in the Sacred Sites Tarot takes us to Peru, to the Nazca Lines – large drawings on the earth’s surface that can be visualized only from the air. How and why they were created remains a mystery. Wild indeed!

(8) Where’s Waldo? KING OF WANDS
And finally, we join the search for “Waldo.” Released in 1987, Where’s Wally? is a series of children's books created by the English illustrator Martin Handford. (In the U.S. and Canada, the book is titled Where’s Waldo?) Readers are challenged to find a character named Wally (Waldo) hidden in the pictures. Little do they know that Waldo can be found in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, near ancient Thebes (today known as Luxor). This was the chosen site of burial for the sovereigns of ancient Egypt. Look! I think I see Waldo just there!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Lenormand Birth Chart: Part 1

Lenormand Birth Chart
Part 1

Just for fun, I decided to explore my astrological birth chart using Regula Elizabeth Fiechter’s astrological associations for the Mystical Lenormand (AGM Urania). Feichter incorporates the 12 signs, 12 houses, 10 planets (or luminaries), Chiron, and Lilith into her system of associations for the 36 Lenormand cards.

I am covering my Sun, Moon, and Mercury in this blog post.

Sun in Sagittarius in the 4th House = The Key (33), The Clover (2), The House (4)

KEY/SUN: Although there is a Sun card in the Lenormand deck (31), Feichter links that card with the sign Leo, which is ruled by the Sun in astrology. She links The Key (33) with the astrological Sun.

CLOVER/SAGITTARIUS: In the middle, we have The Clover (2), associated by Fiechter with the sign Sagittarius. I don’t know for certain what her reasoning was, but The Clover card typically symbolizes good luck. Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter, Planet of Luck and Expansion.

HOUSE/4th HOUSE: It’s neat that the Fourth House (House of Home and Family) is linked with The House card from the Lenormand deck. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Also, the number Four typically represents stability and security – what we all hope to have in our house or home.

According to Feichter, The Key combined with The Clover represents “Luck” and “A matter has a good conclusion.” The Clover combined with The House: “Happiness in your home.” The Key combined with The House: “Stable home” or “New home.”

The Key to my identity, my Self, my spirit (Sun) is optimism, luck, and a sense of well-being (The Clover), providing stability, security, and a strong foundation (The House). A lot of truth in this.


Moon in Taurus in the 8th House = The Lilies, The Ring, The Coffin

LILIES/MOON – The Lenormand Lilies typically represent harmony, peace, purity, and innocence. Other aspects include family and sexuality. In astrology, the Moon represents emotions and the subconscious. This astrological association doesn’t work as well for me as others that Fiechter makes, but it will do.

RING/TAURUS – The Ring is about lasting alliances and connections like marriage or an employment contract. Long-term bonds are a fitting link to the sign Taurus, an Earth sign known for loyalty and reliability, a sign ruled by Venus, planet of love and appreciation.

COFFIN/8TH HOUSE – An appropriate choice here, as the 8th House in astrology is the House of Death, Taxes, Shared Resources, and Sex. As one astrologer puts it: “Physical death is inevitable and other symbolic deaths occur every day.” It’s all about “letting go” of an attempt to control one thing or another.

Feichter’s keyphrases:
Lilies + Ring = strong ties to family; sexual relationship
Ring + Coffin = widow or widower; end of a relationship
Coffin + Lilies = disease in the family; trouble with the family; no sex

My emotions and subconscious are deeply involved with family connections and/or problems. “Family” becomes especially important when we note that the Moon rules the sign Cancer, the sign linked with home and family in astrology. “Family” here clearly includes relationships with spouse, parents, children, siblings, etc.


Mercury in Capricorn in the 4th House = The Rider, The Mountain, The House

THE RIDER/MERCURY – I like this association, with Mercury being the planet of communication and the god Mercury being a messenger. The Rider often represents news or something new occurring. In this deck, he wears a winged helmet and winged shoes (further supporting the Mercury association).

THE MOUNTAIN/CAPRICORN – Feichter writes that “hostility, obstacle, blocks, stubbornness, and burden are associated with this card.” This interpretation works well with the zodiac sign Capricorn, an Earth sign ruled by Saturn, planet of lessons and limitations. (Also, I can't help thinking of a Mountain Goat!)

HOUSE/4th HOUSE: It’s neat that the Fourth House (House of Home and Family) is linked with The House card from the Lenormand deck. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Also, the number Four typically represents stability and security – what we all hope to have in our house or home.

Feichter’s keyphrases:
Rider + Mountain = wait for news; message leads to responsibility
Mountain + House = cannot leave, doesn’t want to leave house; block regarding house
House + Rider = mailman comes to the house; young man visits the house

My ability to communicate or deliver messages may hit large obstacles from time to time, especially in the setting of home and family. The Rider cannot move through The Mountain, but must go around, which takes a long time, before finally arriving at the destination.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Will the Closing Take Place Before Dec. 31?

Well here I am again “dabbling” in predictive Lenormand readings. This time for a real-life person who wants to know, “Will the closing on Mom’s house take place before December 31, 2015?”

Today I am using the Mystical Lenormand deck by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter, painted by Urban Trösh (AGMüller / U.S. Games Systems Inc.) This deck does not incorporate playing card associations (suits), so I am taking odd-numbered cards to represent a “No” answer and even-numbered cards will represent “Yes.”

The Answer:

THE SNAKE (7) ... THE CLOUDS (6) ... THE BOOK (26)

In brief, one odd and two evens equals a “probably Yes” answer. The Snake, to me, suggests possible complications or manipulation that might affect the closing date.

Fiechter tells us that THE SNAKE plus THE CLOUDS can represent “inscrutable woman.” Does this refer to the buyer? Or might it refer to an attorney or lender who plays her cards close to the vest? THE CLOUDS by itself can indicate an older man/ex-husband who is unreliable or inscrutable. I happen to know that the buyer’s ex-husband, an older man, has been helping her with the purchase of the house. Is he somehow going to cause a delay or postponement of the closing?

Fiechter writes that THE CLOUDS plus THE BOOK represents “mysterious threat; all is hidden in the dark.” That doesn’t sound good. THE BOOK plus THE SNAKE: “clever, educated woman; mistress; mysterious woman.”

Even though the odd/even method does suggest that the closing is likely to take place before December 31, 2015, it may have to overcome a troubling undercurrent of mystery, inscrutability, and capriciousness in order to do so.

This is not a “comfortable” reading, in my opinion. I will be interested to see what happens.

UPDATE: The closing did not take place in December, but it seems likely that it will occur around January 15, 2016. 

NEW UPDATE: The closing was tentatively scheduled for January 25, but has now been postponed for "a week or two" depending on when the underwriter gets the loan package done. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: The Giant Rat of Sumatra (Wild Card)

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
Wild Card

As John Matthews and Wil Kinghan point out in their book The Sherlock Holmes Tarot (Sterling Ethos): “Sherlock Holmes had several cases involving Sumatra, an island in the Dutch West Indies. . . It is the reference to the case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra that gives us the subject of the wild card. This case is never written up by Watson, who declares it to be too horrific to describe. . .”

This delightful creature is first mentioned by Arthur Conan Doyle in "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire". In that story, Holmes says to Watson: “Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson, ... It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.”

Wikipedia has quite a lot of information about the Giant Rat of Sumatra, complete with sources and links to other material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Rat_of_Sumatra

You can also find a lot of information about giant rats in general on Wikipedia, if you are so inclined: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_rat

Yikes! So how might we use this wild card? Again quoting Matthews and Kinghan: “The wild card may act as both an independent significator and a means of locating stand-out cards within the deck which you need in order to pursue your enquiries.”

The Giant Rat of Sumatra card has no intrinsic meaning of its own, and therefore can be used in a number of ways. One suggestion provided by the deck’s creators is to shuffle it into the deck and wherever it appears, the card next to it will give the answer. When it appears in a draw, it may indicate that you need to return all the cards to the deck, reshuffle, and draw again.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Yes or No: Was Lula murdered?

I paused to do a reading about halfway through another mystery – this one by J.K. Rowling writing under the name Robert Galbraith. It’s called The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1).

SPOILER ALERT: If you are planning to read the book, 
don’t read this post. I will be revealing the correct answer 
to the question at the end of the post.

In the book, a famous model named Lula falls to her death from a window at her home. Suicide seems the obvious reason to many, but Lula’s brother isn’t buying it. He believes she was murdered and hires a private detective (Cormoran Strike) to investigate.

I asked the Playing Card Oracles Divination Deck by Ana Cortez and C.J. Freeman (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.): Was Lula murdered?

In the system I am using for this reading, red cards (hearts, diamonds) suggest a “yes” answer and black cards (clubs, spades) suggest a “no” answer.

Here are the cards that came forward to answer the question:

Playing Card Oracles Divination Deck

Fata Morgana (Red / 5 of Hearts): “Behold the reflection of a hag in the water and understand that this temptress is not what she seems. Many illusions (fata) will be cast upon the waters of our emotions.” (Cortez)

Field of Stone (Black / 8 of Spades): “The unluckiest card in the deck, the dense field of Spades represents numerous obstacles and the fruition of bad seeds.” (Cortez)

East Wind (Black / 4 of Clubs): “The old man wind symbolizes slow and weak forces, which generally take a long time to develop. The direction of East.” (Cortez)

First of all, that’s two black and one red, which suggests that it is unlikely (but not impossible) that Lula was murdered. Let’s see what else these cards might reveal.

It seems likely that deceit or illusions about something – probably believed at an emotional level -- contributed to Lula’s demise. The Five of Hearts also can represent a restless heart or “change of heart.” Fives in general suggest an influx of new energy, new possibilities and change. A Five may also represent a trap.

Obstacles or challenges and/or a “bad seed” coming to fruition also played a role. Eights in general can point to success, achievement, and rewards but can also indicate reaping a “bitter feast” due to poor choices or misfortune. The Eight of Spades suggests the possibility of bad timing or time “running out.” There may be a need to rethink things in the face of a threat from a group.

Forces that might have saved her were not strong enough or fast enough to make a difference. The Four is usually about structure and organization – or a lack thereof. With the Four of Clubs (The East Wind) we may be looking at things that occur over a long period of time, slow, deliberate, weak.


And now, here is Helen’s reading, using the Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck by Mary Hanson-Roberts (U.S. Games, Inc.)

Hanson-Roberts Tarot

“Well I got Justice, The Magician and Ace of Pentacles, so my cards are saying probably not. The message they seem to be giving me is that something happened maybe someone turned out not to be what they first appeared, was Lula involved in something that she couldn’t get out of?  I get the feeling that she had nowhere else to go; the Justice card makes me think that she weighed up all her options and chose the only way out of her situation. The Magician makes me think that someone tricked her into this situation; the Ace just confirmed that she took an idea and made it a reality.

So according to my cards she probably wasn’t murdered.”


THE ANSWER for the question “Was Lula murdered?”

Once again, both sets of cards seem to be “playing coy” with us, not offering a 100% “yes” or “no” answer. Both sets offer a probable “no” answer.

In fact, as I discovered when I reached the end of the story, Lula WAS murdered – by the very brother who hired the detective to prove she was murdered even though the police were convinced it was suicide. The brother – actually it was her adopted brother -- wanted the detective to unwittingly help him frame Lula’s real brother for murder to prevent the real brother (whose existence she had just discovered) from inheriting Lula’s money.

Regarding Helen’s cards: In the end, Justice was served, the trickster Magician was exposed, and Lula’s real brother (a soldier) got a new start in life with the fortune he inherited (Ace of Pentacles).

Concerning my cards: There was plenty of illusion involved (5 of Hearts). The “bad seed” coming to fruition (8 of Spades) can be said to refer to Lula’s adoptive brother, who not only murdered her but had murdered his natural brother many years earlier. The whole thing played out over a long, extended period of time and was caused by one man’s extreme weakness of character (4 of Clubs).

I am thinking there may be a need to modify or alter the method I use for providing a “yes-or-no” answer. I am certainly going to give it some thought!

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Kipperscopes

After the idea came to me of drawing a card for each zodiac sign from the Mystical Kipper deck by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter with illustrations by Urban Trösch (AGM Urania), I decided to do a search for the word “Kipperscopes” to see if someone else was already doing something similar. The only thing that showed up in my search was a racehorse named Kipperscope. I love it. (You can check him out over at the _All Breed Database_.)

Anyway, I’m sure it’s possible that someone else is doing “horoscopes” with a Kipper deck, so I certainly won’t claim it as my own original idea. That would be just silly. But please do allow me to draw a card for each of you lovely zodiac signs!

I do realize that the Kipper cards are meant to be read in “sets,” like the Lenormand, rather than single cards. However, I am going to proceed with this experiment as planned, just to see what comes of it. The “Significant Numbers” listed at the end of each Kipperscope are based on the numbers on the cards. These could refer to dates within the month or something entirely different.

So without further ado, here are your NOVEMBER KIPPERSCOPES!

I shuffled the deck and then drew cards 1-12 off the top.

Aries: Gloomy Thoughts (33)
Watch out for negative thinking, and try to avoid dwelling on discouraging aspects of your life this month. Don’t make any important decisions based on your feelings of discontent.  Significant Numbers: 33, 6.

Taurus: Good Gentleman (5)
This month, focus on your interaction with an influential man – father, an (older) brother, grandfather, uncle, acquaintance, colleague, or boss. This person has quite a lot of power and strength, and also has your best interests at heart. Significant Number: 5.

Gemini: Bereavement (19)
Something comes to an end this month. You cannot go on as before, and you need to rethink not only your current situation but what you want going forward. The reference is most likely NOT to the death of a person or animal. Rather, it is about saying goodbye to something or someone that has been part of your life but is going away. Significant Numbers: 19, 10, 1.

Cancer: Short Illness (31)
Well, it is “cold and flu” season, is it not? The discomfort represented by this card is nothing to sneeze at, but it is also likely to be short in duration, as long as you take appropriate steps to get well. If symptoms do not disappear in a short space of time, consult a medical professional. Significant Numbers: 31, 4.

Leo: Marriage Card (3)
While you may or may not be getting married this month, you are likely to experience an emphasis on relationships, be they to a partner, friends, or family. The key is to be willing to bond with someone at “the next level” in your personal or business life. Significant Number: 3.

Virgo: Great Happiness (26)
Well look at you! November brings you the success of a project, wishes come true, contentment, and/or wealth. Incorporate inner growth and self-awareness, and the month shapes up to be a clear winner. Even if you encounter a difficult situation, you’ll have the confidence and positive energy to overcome the challenge. Significant Numbers: 26, 8.

Libra: Grief and Adversity (32)
A challenge or two in the private or work sector of your life may arise this month. Something is likely to “give you grief” and you should consider yourself warned. The solution lies in approaching the problem actively with an eye to preventing a worst-case scenario. Significant Numbers: 32, 5.

Scorpio: Good Lady (6)
This month, a female relative or boss, lover, friend, or female confident takes center stage in your life. Her motherly, mature qualities can help you deal with any hardships you might experience. Consider the value of “old wisdom,” such as herbal and medicinal lore. Significant Number: 6.

Sagittarius: His Thoughts (16)
Where is your head at? Pay attention to your secret thoughts, uncontrolled thoughts, and sudden inspirations. No matter what you are dealing with this month, educate yourself on the matter and “give it some thought” before you take action. Significant Numbers: 16, 7.

Capricorn: A little Child (18)
Something in your life requires a whole new perspective or new beginning. You may want to start a new hobby or new job – or you might simply want to adopt a new attitude toward life. Another possibility is that an actual child needs your attention this month. Significant Numbers: 18, 9.

Aquarius: Meetings (4)
Whether it refers to your personal or professional life, this card is about the value of communication, giving and receiving, cooperation, teamwork, and negotiation. Your support may be needed by others, or you may need theirs. Either way, the connections you establish are important this month. Significant Number: 4.

Pisces: Success in Love (15)
Sorrows and problems be gone! It’s smooth sailing this month, with successful outcomes in all matters of the heart, family, friends, and society. If you are looking for a new love, this may very well be the month you find one. Significant Numbers: 15, 6.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Samhain Spirits Spread

Samhain Spirits Spread
[Samhain is pronounced sah-win]

To set the stage for this seasonal spread, I am quoting from The New Encyclopedia of the Occult by John Michael Greer (Llewellyn Worldwide):
“Samhain. The beginning and end of the year in the old Celtic calendar, falling around the beginning of November in modern terms. Samhain is the oldest documented festival of Celtic Paganism. . . Samhain was traditionally associated with the spirits of the dead, who were believed to walk the world at that time. After the arrival of Christianity, the feast of Samhain became All Hallow’s Day. The evening before it, the modern Halloween, retained much of the same symbolism.”
The positional definitions for this spread are inspired by the hauntingly beautiful song “All Soul’s Night” with words and music by Loreena McKennitt. You can listen to the song _HERE_.  You can read the lyrics of the song at _this link_.

Fittingly, I think, I am using the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) for this reading. The layout is in the shape of a pentacle.

I stand in darkness at the entrance to the graveyard on All Hallow’s Eve, on Samhain, when spirits walk the world…

(1) This Spirit dances around and around


A handsome knight named Guntram dances around and around with his bride, the corpse of a castle owner’s daughter who seduced him when he took shelter in the castle [_The Legend of Falkenburg_]. The daughter slipped a ring on Guntram’s finger before revealing herself as a corpse. Even though Guntram hastened back home to marry his true love, the beautiful Liba, that marriage could not be. The ghost-bride materialized at the wedding, and Guntram embraced Liba as he lay dying. Their dance is a sad one for Guntram, as he can only seem to focus on what he has lost. I must confess, I might do the same if I were in his shoes. Fortunately, I am not in his shoes, and I choose not to focus on what I have lost.

(2) This Spirit brings a hidden memory


_The Flying Dutchman_ sails into my mind, bringing a memory of a time when I felt a loss of control in a difficult situation, primarily due to my own stubbornness and refusal to see a way out. He invites me to hop aboard his ship, to live in that memory forever. I must decline.

(3) This Spirit carries a light in the distance


The Babylonian demi-god hero Gilgamesh holds a light in the distance, as if beckoning me to follow him along the path he travels. He reaches out to his friend Enkidu after summoning his ghost from the grave to ask him about death. I need to think and reflect on my journey thus far, and consider where I want to go before moving forward.

(4) This Spirit waits for me on the bridge


Perfect. The ghosts of people from around the world gather on the bridge to receive honor from their descendants. The living and the dead join together through merriment, feasts, dances, rituals and parties. It is indeed the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), and those who have passed over wait on the bridge for me to celebrate with them, to remember them, and to experience their presence while the veil is thin between worlds.

(5) This Spirit passes by the bridge and me


The ghost of a girl known as Acheri descends from the mountains, passing by the bridge and me on her way into the valley. I watch her pass, knowing that she brings disease and devastation. In Native American folklore, it is said that she flies through the valleys at night spreading a shadow of illness over sleeping children. She respects all who wear the color red, and children are given necklets of this color to protect them. My challenge is to try to understand the message this Spirit has for me this Samhain season. What is the story she wants me to hear? How can her message benefit me or help me assist others?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 6 of Observation (Swords)

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
6 of Swords

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Observation (represented by an eye) is comparable to the suit of Swords. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Observation is from The Red-Headed League: “This is a time for observation, not for talk.”

In spite of that quote, the Six of Observation depicts Holmes and Watson deep in conversation on a train. The creators of this deck note that “The Six of Swords has long been seen as a card of relationships, and especially the things we learn from sharing.” I have not thought of the Six of Swords that way, really, but I think I see what is meant. On the traditional Rider-Waite card, a woman and a young child are being rowed across a body of water towards a land that lies not far ahead. Their voyage is aided by the man who propels the boat. The woman and child have a relationship with each other, and it could be said that the man rowing the boat has a relationship with both of them, as he is helping them travel.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is a quote from Silver Blaze: “Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.”

Keys for this card, upright, are: “success after trouble, safety and protection, a journey, new perspectives, clearance of difficulties and blockages as a result of perceptive thought.” Reversed, the card can suggest “disclosure, revelation, unwanted surprise, change of plans or direction.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings.

Examples from “The Game” for the Six of Observation: “A journey or fresh insights and clues. . . escaping from the present circumstances. . . New approaches to old problems.”  Examples from “The Fog”: “An unwillingness to leave the past life behind. Taking your troubles along with you. . . Maintaining a partnership that is over.”

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Did Brianna Kill Hilde?

Once again, Helen and I are comparing readings using oracle cards and Tarot cards. This time, our Yes/No reading is based on a novel I am currently reading: Die Smiling (Book 3 of the Claire Morgan series) by Linda Ladd.

Having reached a certain point in the novel, I decided to ask the cards: Did Brianna kill Hilde?

In addition to that question, I gave Helen the following background information: Brianna and Hilde are adult sisters. Brianna told her boyfriend (a detective) that she had not been able to reach Hilde for a day or two and was worried about her. The detective and his partner (a woman) went to check on Hilde and found her murdered in the bathtub with her face disfigured. In the book, as readers, we are beginning to get the sense that Brianna and Hilde did not like each other (even hated each other).

For my reading, I am using the Mystical Kipper fortunetelling cards by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter (AGM Urania). In the method I am using even-numbered cards represent the answer “Yes” and odd-numbered cards are “No.” Here is the Mystical Kipper’s answer to the question, “Did Brianna kill Hilde?”

GOOD LADY (6) – Even / Yes
A LONG WAY (35) – Odd / No

I love the fact that in every one of the Yes-No readings I have done, the cards have never once given me all three “Yes” or all three “No.” It’s always a combination. In this case, it looks like the cards are saying it is very unlikely (but not impossible) that Brianna killed Hilde (2 No, 1 Yes).

Having read most of the book before drawing these cards, I interpret the Good Gentleman as Brianna’s detective boyfriend. It is interesting that the Little White Book (LWB) for the Mystical Kipper states: “He has a lot of power and strength” but “He only becomes a fighting lion in order to help you if others attack you.” This is exactly what happens in the book, very near the end, when Brianna and the detective’s partner are attacked.

The Good Lady, I think, could refer to the detective’s partner. There aren’t any other females in the story that have such positive, caring qualities. Finally, “A Long Way” could easily refer to the difficult, at times horrifying road that Brianna and her sister traveled from childhood to the present day.

Now, let’s see how Helen’s cards answer the question, “Did Brianna kill Hilde?” Helen is using the Wonderland Tarot by Christopher & Morgana Abbey, with Artwork by Morgana Abbey (published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.)

7 Hats (Cups) 
Ace Peppermills (Wands)
Ace Hats (Cups)

Helen writes: “Firstly using the system I use with 2 Aces the cards are saying she probably did, but there is an element of doubt here shown in the 7 of Hats.  When I look at both the Aces it tells me that her emotions towards her sister are overflowing, and this is what drives her into thinking that she can run with an idea. These two cards together show me a burning desire to act against her sister.

However, along with these two cards is the 7 of Hats (Cups) and what this tells me is that she is weighing up what she can achieve and what is just an idea that she cannot possibly carry out.  I think what  the cards are actually saying is that Brianna has the desire to kill her sister but the choice of how to go about it may just be a stumbling block for her - this is the element of doubt that the cards are presenting.

All in all if I had to answer yes or no then strictly going by my system of Aces, I would have to say  it’s likely she did.”


Both readings carry some element of doubt. The Mystical Kipper seems to say it is unlikely (yet not impossible) that Brianna killed her sister, whereas the Wonderland Tarot seems to say it is likely (with an element of doubt) that she did. As a reader, before drawing any cards, I strongly suspected Brianna of killing Hilde.

As it turns out, Brianna and her sister did hate each other while growing up, but only because of the way their their psycho-mother treated them both – she idolized Hilde and tormented Brianna. Hilde took advantage of this and told lies about Brianna. Psycho-mom responded by abusing Brianna even more. Then, a psycho-boy who lived nearby became friends with Brianna and helped her devise ways to torment Hilde. Eventually, Hilde and Brianna became rivals for the affection of the psycho-boy, and he betrayed Brianna with Hilde.

We do see that Hilde and Brianna both carried a lot of hate for each other growing up, to the point where they each wanted to kill the other at different times. Eventually, though, they both realized that psycho-boy was a much worse threat to them both. When they got older, they tried to get away from him, but he found Hilde and killed her because she wouldn’t tell him where Brianna was. Then he found Brianna anyway and came after her, whereupon the Good Gentleman and Good Lady intervened.

So it is certainly fair to say that Brianna was “involved” in Hilde’s death, both because of her behavior in childhood (when she would have happily killed her sister) and because Hilde died trying to keep Brianna’s location hidden from psycho-boy.

Sorry to have spoiled the ending of Die Smiling! But if you like psychological thrillers, there are lots of other books in the same series that might interest you: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/25421 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Celtic Cross with Book of Shadows Tarot

I have been known to state that I avoid the Celtic Cross spread, mainly because I feel it can give way too much information that can be distracting when trying to answer a specific question about a specific area. However, The Book of Shadows Tarot really wants me to play Celtic Cross with it, and I thought it would be quite interesting to do so, using both the “As Above” and “So Below” decks associated with it.

I will draw cards from the “As Above” deck, but will place the same card from the “So Below” deck next to it in the spread.

The Celtic Cross spread I am using is provided by Barbara Moore in her book The Book of Shadows Tarot, which accompanies the deck(s). The layout looks like this:

1. You: this card represents you.
2. Crossing: this card indicates the conflict
3. Foundation: this card illustrates the basis or foundation of the situation
4. Past: this card shows influences from the past that are affecting the present situation
5. Immediate Future: this card illustrates what is likely to happen next
6. Crown: this card represents the outcome you desire most in this situation
7. Yourself: this is your self-image; how you see yourself in the present situation
8. Environment: this card represents the influence of those around you; it can show how others see you in this situation
9. Hopes and Fears: this card indicates either what you hope for or fear the most in this situation
10. Outcome: what is likely to happen if nothing changes

Ready? Here we go! (By the way, I am not using reversals in this reading.)

1. You: this card represents you.

ACE OF AIR / Ace of Swords

I am delighted with this card representing me. The Ace of Air in the As Above deck is subtitled “Dreams.” The scene on the As Above card represents Divine guidance or the Universe giving us messages or information through our dreams. I have a very active dream life, remembering several dreams almost every morning. I also experience lucid dreaming, in which I am aware of being in a dream and choose to act or interact in certain ways. The Little White Book (LWB) for the So Below card describes the Ace of Swords as indicating “a new approach or solution to a problem.” I do experience the positive effects of dreaming but also experience “nightmares” or “bad dreams” that deserve my exploration and understanding.

The suit of Air in this deck represents how we think – our world view, philosophy, or outlook on life. It represents our words and our thoughts.

2. Crossing: this card indicates the conflict.

NINE OF EARTH / 9 of Pentacles

In my opinion, this position in the Celtic Cross spread is extremely important, and especially important to understand. How I interpret the meaning of this card sets the tone and colors my interpretation of every other card. This is “the conflict” or “the issue” that the entire spread addresses.

The Nine of Earth in the As Above deck is subtitled “Land creatures,” referring to the many animals that walk the earth with us and the state in which these animals exist. The Earth is our symbol for stability. In this card there is a sense of satisfaction and/or satiation, a feeling that all is right and as it should be. On the 9 of Pentacles from the So Below deck, we see a woman who is “justifiably pleased with her work.”

On both cards, we see little Earth elementals gathered around – nine of them on the As Above card and three on the So Below card.

So how can such a lovely card represent “the conflict”? It makes sense to consider the reversed meaning or shadow side as described by Barbara Moore: “doing things or creating things in order to meet emotional needs” (So Below) and “a pre-occupation with the past or the future.” In other words, a failure to appreciate and enjoy the gifts of the moment, the things that bring satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment right now, today.

As the Ace of Air, perhaps I am living too much in my mind instead of allowing myself the satisfaction and enjoyment that can be experienced in the physical, material world. On the other hand, another possibility is that I am focusing too much on the physical, material realm, on the things that bring satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in this world rather than a higher world. Either way, this is the area in which there is conflict.

3. Foundation: this card illustrates the basis or foundation of the situation.

THE ELEMENTS / The Magician

Whereas I am represented by Air and the conflict is represented  by Earth, the Foundation or basis of the situation consists of all four elements: Air, Earth, Water, and Fire. These four elements are pictured on the As Above card. For the So Below card, we have a Magician with all her tools in front of her as she prepares to manifest change in her life and in the world. The number ONE does seem to be an excellent number to represent a Foundation on which something is built.

4. Past: this card shows influences from the past that are affecting the present situation. 

FIVE OF WATER / 5 of Chalices

In the As Above deck, the Five of Water is subtitled “War.” Featured on this card is Bellona, an Etruscan goddess of war. In the suit of Chalices, we are talking about “a clashing of wills and desires, when one party wants something that the other party does not want.” (Moore) We are likely looking at a highly dramatic situation from my past in which all parties involved felt highly charged and restless. We may be looking at chaos and wanton destruction – physical, emotional, or relationships.

On the So Below card, a woman is mourning the fact that her expectations were not realized. She experiences loss and grief, as things did not turn out the way she had hoped they would.

I know exactly what this refers to in my past, and I also know that it does influence my present situation.

5. Immediate Future: this card illustrates what is likely to happen next. 

CRONE OF WATER / King of Chalices

On the As Above card, the Crone of Water holds dear memories in a bottle, knowing that there will come a difficult time when these memories will be needed. The people on the King of Chalices card in the So Below deck appear to be creating the sort of memories that the Crone of Water might choose to cherish and preserve in her bottle. The two cards contrast strongly in terms of color and “mood.” The Crone of Water seems deeply serious or sad, as if the “difficult time” is already upon her, while the King of Chalices card is filled with joyous color and smiling faces.

With the “conflict” (position 2) being related to Earth (physical, material world), I am wondering if what happens next (A loss? A difficult time?) will bring that conflict to the fore, causing me to face it and deal with it.

6. Crown: this card represents the outcome you desire most in this situation. 

NINE OF WATER / 9 of Chalices

Another Water card, pointing to relationships as well as how our feelings and emotions shape our relationships and vice versa. Like the Nine of Earth (Crossing / conflict), the Nine of Water suggests prosperity. The Hindu goddess Lakshmi governs over abundance and wealth – both material and spiritual. On the So Below card, a girl makes a wish while blowing out her birthday candles. She is surrounded by friends and family.

The outcome I desire most in this situation is material, emotional, and physical well-being that arises from my own generosity and willingness to share abundance with others. In order to fully enjoy my blessings, I need others with whom to share. This relates quite well to the conflict represented in the material, physical nature of the Nine of Earth (Pentacles). The conflict may stem from a feeling that I am not giving as much as I could, that I am not going beyond merely appreciating what I have.

7. Yourself: this is your self-image; how you see yourself in the present situation. 

MOTHER OF AIR / Queen of Swords

It is so interesting that I am represented by the Ace of Air in position 1 of this spread, and by Mother of Air in position 7 representing my self-image. I am especially intrigued by Barbara Moore’s description: “The Mother of Air writes books and creates language. She builds bridges with words and ideas, helping you communicate more effectively.” Well, yeah, that is exactly how I see myself. The So Below Queen of Swords depicts one woman helping another “focus her actions by eliminating the unnecessary and highlighting the essential.” I see myself in this mostly through my Tarot-reading and astrology work, teaching both subjects at an online school and doing free readings through the American Tarot Association.

As I mentioned earlier, the element Air in this deck represents words and thoughts, including world view and philosophy of life.

8. Environment: this card represents the influence of those around you; it can show how others see you in this situation.

SIX OF AIR / 6 of Swords

I love that the woman on the As Above card is surrounded by papers, books, and a cat. That’s how others see me, I’m pretty sure. Animals (cats among them) have a strong influence on me, as do books and other written documents. The card is subtitled “Familiar.” It emphasizes our relationship with and connection to special animal companions, guides, or familiars. The 6 of Swords from the So Below deck is quite different in mood and coloring. On this card, a woman is seen leaving a “dark or dangerous situation” as she seeks the truth for her highest good, knowing that her search will reveal guidance for the way out. She is obviously very happy doing so.

I am being shown the “way out” of the conflict represented by the Nine of Earth – or at least the way to find the way out. Guidance is available all around me, in the form of my connection with nature and other resources, whether on the physical plane or another plane.

9. Hopes and Fears: this card indicates either what you hope for or fear the most in this situation.

OSTARA / Temperance

A common keyword for the Temperance card in any deck is “balance.” Pagans celebrate Ostara (Spring Equinox) around March 20, as the world is filled with new life (in the northern hemisphere). This idea of balance is shown on the As Above card by the white rabbit in the Goddess’s arms and the brown rabbit at her feet. The So Below card depicts moderation and control, “the right thing at the right time in the right place.” I certainly hope for all of these things (and perhaps fear that I won’t achieve or experience them). Going back to the “conflict” of the Nine of Earth, my hope is that I will learn to put my focus on the physical, material realm in its proper place, in balance with the other elemental realms in my life.

10. Outcome: what is likely to happen if nothing changes.

LITHA / The Sun

I have to love this! As an outcome in this spread, The Sun suggests that the conflict represented by the Nine of Earth is already in the process of being resolved, or that I have the ability to resolve it right now. Nothing actually needs to change in order for that to happen. I already have the tools (Magician) I need. The As Above card shows us the Oak King in his full power at Litha (Summer Solstice, Midsummer, around June 20). DMs are: “a time of pleasant success, enjoyment of everyday life, happily reaping the first fruits of your efforts.” The So Below card depicts “connections, generations, and cycles that bring joy.” With the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) now approaching, I have every opportunity to address the conflict and achieve balance in my life.


Of these ten cards, three are from the Major Arcana (Foundation/Magician; Hopes & Fears/Temperance; and Outcome/The Sun). This suggests a certain level of significance and “higher self/higher power” involvement, especially in the areas represented by those positions. The elements represented are Water (3), Air (3), and Earth (1) – and that lone Earth card is HUGE, representing the conflict that the entire reading is supposed to address. Two of the Air cards represent me and how I view myself, revealing the large impact that thoughts and communication have on my identity.

I keep going back to the Ace of Air (representing me) and the Nine of Earth (representing my conflict). The chaotic swirling of images and thoughts shown on the As Above Ace of Swords is such a strong contrast to the pastoral scene on the As Above Nine of Earth. It seems no wonder that I am conflicted about life in the physical, material realm when so much of who I am exists in a dream state, entirely in my mind. The lines from an old hymn keep running through my head: “This world is not my home; I’m just passing through.”

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: Page of Evidence (Wands)

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
Page of Evidence (Wands)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Evidence (represented by a shoe print) is comparable to the suit of Wands. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Evidence is from The Copper Beeches: “Data! Data! Data! I can make no bricks without clay!”

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is a quote from The Sign of Four: “Dirty looking rascals but I suppose every one has some little immortal spark.” The actual quotation continues with “concealed about him.”

The Baker Street Irregulars were a group of ragged children who were ready to take any risk for their hero, Sherlock Holmes. He paid them a shilling a day to ferret out information, with a bonus to anyone who found something highly significant. On the Page of Evidence we see Wiggins, the leader of the Irregulars, about to pick the pocket of a villainous-looking man.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “resourcefulness, loyalty, enthusiasm, candour, uninhibitedness.” Reversed, the card can suggest: “bad news, fables, concern, indecision, instability.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings. Examples from “The Game” for the Page of Evidence: “an adventurous person who acts as an emissary or ambassador. . . a catalyst for change and improvement. . . devotion to a particular interest.”

Examples from “The Fog”: “someone easily influenced. Occasionally over-zealous or bored, he likes to grab attention. . . Strange or unsettling news.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Chakra Spread with Legacy of the Divine

Today on Tarot Notes I am sharing a reading I did for myself using the Chakra Spread from Barbara Moore’s book A Collection of Spreads (Llewellyn Worldwide). My deck is Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine Tarot (Llewellyn Publications).

In her book, Moore explains that Chakras are spheres of energy. Our bodies have many chakras, with each chakra governing many facets. Below are the names and descriptions Moore provides for the chakras in this spread, along with the cards I drew in each position.

1) Self-Preservation (Root Chakra): Your survival instincts and how you seek health, prosperity, and security.


My first reaction to this card is that I don’t have good survival instincts and I do not seek health, prosperity, and security very well or very successfully. Instead, my mind tends to spend a lot of energy going over past and current problems, potential future problems, worst-case scenarios, worry, guilt, doubt, and pain. At one level, I know this is NOT the way to survive and thrive, nor is it going to help me attain health, prosperity, and security. In fact, it does the exact opposite. In the book that accompanies this deck – Gateway to the Divine Tarot – Leisa ReFalo offers the following two “Gifts” related to the Nine of Swords: “Priorities, perspective.” These are the Gifts that can help me improve my self-preservation abilities.

2) Self-Gratification (Sacral Chakra): How you connect to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement.


A fascinating card to see here. The realm of this King is the mind, theories, and science. I don’t see him connecting to others “through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement.” He would prefer a “meeting of the minds.” I always get a sense of detachment and calculated analysis from this King. These traits are beneficial in many situations. When trying to “connect to others” I think these same traits can get in the way. I may focus so much on getting on the same wavelength mentally that I fail to make an emotional, spiritual, or physical connection. The good news is that the suit of Swords is the suit of communication, so perhaps my “impartiality, precision, logic” (the Gifts assigned to this card by Leisa ReFalo) will be useful after all.

Look at how the Sword hanging over the woman on the Nine of Swords lines up perfectly with the Sword in the hands of the King. It is as if the King (at the Sacral Chakra) is responsible for the worrisome thoughts of the woman on the Nine (at the Root Chakra). My connection with others (Sacral Chakra) seems to have a strong influence on my survival instincts and ability to seek health, prosperity, and security (Root Chakra).

3) Self-Definition (Solar Plexus Chakra): How you express personal power, will, autonomy, energy, and spontaneity.


It appears that I express my personal power, will, autonomy, energy, and spontaneity by imagining, contemplating, and examining what I have vs what I do not have but want. I see all of that power and energy wasted on fueling discontent and dissatisfaction, with an overly keen awareness of missed opportunities. Self-Definition turns to Self-Absorption. The only way out is to accept the reality that nothing will ever be perfect or totally to my liking, but it can still be enjoyed.

4) Self-Acceptance (Heart Chakra): Your ability to love deeply, feel compassion, and experience peace and centeredness.


This card could suggest that a choice or decision needs to be made, or it may be that the key shown on the card opens both of the boxes, not just one. Either way, an opportunity is presenting itself for me to seize control with self-assurance and clear intent. The “ability to love deeply, feel compassion, and experience peace and centeredness” is something I can choose to own and cultivate, channeling my desire and will power toward that goal.

5) Self-Expression (Throat Chakra): How you communicate with others and express yourself creatively in the world.


This card stands in stark contrast to the King of Swords (how I connect to others). My communication with others apparently has a much stronger emotional component. The suit of Cups is about all kinds of relationships. Love, intuition, and the subconscious influence how I express myself creatively in the world. My connection to the emotional world around me affects how I communicate with others. It is important for me to replenish my emotions regularly so that I can continue to express them freely.

6) Self-Reflection (Brow or Third Eye Chakra): How you see the world, both physically and intuitively; your ability to see the big picture.


This appears to be a sad commentary on how I see the world. As Ciro Marchetti writes in his description of this card: “Our worst fears are realized. Everything did go wrong.” The threats and worries that interfere with my ability to survive and thrive (Nine of Swords / Root Chakra) color my view of the world and block my ability to see the big picture. I am awash in defeat, ruin, pain, envy, loss, betrayal... overwhelmed and overburdened. Some of those fears (at the Nine) were real and justified. So where does that leave me? Leisa ReFalo offers the following “Gifts” related to the Ten of Swords: “End of illusion, fresh start will be possible.” Her advice: “Quit the struggle and surrender completely.”

7) Self-Knowledge (Crown Chakra): Your ability to know and understand yourself; your wisdom and spiritual connection.


Another Ten greets me at the top of the spread, representing the Crown Chakra (Self-Knowledge). Like the Ten of Swords, it depicts being overwhelmed and overburdened. The man on the card struggles, crawling through the underbrush with ten wands tied to his back. My quest or journey for Self-Knowledge is exhausting, but I am committed to carrying it through to completion. This is not a struggle that I want to quit. I could never be satisfied with that. One thing I might want to consider is asking for help, to ease the burden somewhat. The Gift, according to Leisa ReFalo, is “Sense of accomplishment.” Her Advice is “Take it one step at a time.”

My first reaction to all of these cards taken together is that I seem like a “tortured soul” in many ways, struggling, suffering, striving, sinking. I do seem close to turning over a new page in several areas, though, with the Nine, Tens, and Ace. Swords, Wands, and Cups – no Pentacles, so I’m missing that practical, stable (but potentially stagnant) energy.