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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!