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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Bookcase – A Reading

I had an idea for a reading and thought I would share it here at Tarot Notes. (Knowing that there is almost NEVER anything “new under the sun,” I hasten to add that it’s very possible someone else has already come up with this idea.)

This spread can be done with any number of cards you like. The layout is designed to resemble books on a shelf. I am using a 5-card spread, therefore, five books are shown.

The title of each book will be the title of a card drawn to represent that book. I will then do a brief description of what that book is about, followed by the “moral of the story” or the message it has for me.

I am using the Wizards Tarot by Corrine Kenner, illustrated by John J. Blumen (Llewellyn Worldwide).

Let’s put the books on the shelf!


In this rags-to-riches story, a young man achieves success through hard work and a willingness to learn from the experts in his field.

Moral: Keep making, creating, working, learning, and refining what you love to do.

(2) Book TitleSEVEN OF WANDS

A young man rises to a position of power, meeting challenges and challengers with courage and determination, standing his ground in the face of overwhelming odds.

Moral: Take the high ground, keep both feet firmly on the ground, and defend your position.


A keenly intelligent, charming woman of royal birth learns from her troubles and pain, emerging from them with grace and wit intact. For her, understanding the difference between and importance of balancing reason and emotion helps her protect and defend her domain.

Moral: Rule your kingdom with both head and heart.

(4) Book TitleSIX OF SWORDS

In their search for calm and safety, two young people book passage on a mysterious boat piloted by a ghostly figure. Although thoughtful and quick of mind, they fail to notice the swords piercing the bottom of the boat and how their placement might affect their journey.

Moral: When voyaging across troubled emotional waters, keep your wits about you.


In the mountains in the dead of winter, a man of Gnome descent embarks on a mission, his objective clearly in his sights. Hands and face red and raw from the cold, he doggedly pursues his goal without theatrics or show of force, determined to finish no matter how long it takes.

Moral: Slow and steady may not always win the race, but it will always reach the finish line.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: Six of Analysis (Cups)

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
(6 of Cups)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Analysis (represented by a magnifying glass) is comparable to the suit of Cups in traditional decks.

The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Analysis is: “There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically” from A Study in Scarlet. This comment is made, as you might expect, by Sherlock Holmes himself. It is prefaced by the following: “In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the every-day affairs of life it is more useful to reason forwards, and so the other comes to be neglected.” I love that.

The Holmesian Wisdom for the Six of Analysis is: “I watched the little working gangs as once I watched the criminal world” from His Last Bow. The card shows Sherlock Holmes tending a row of bee hives, dressed in a beekeeper’s hat and veil. The scene takes place after Holmes has retired from active sleuthing and has set up a bee farm in Sussex. He studies the behavior of bees the way he once studied human nature.

Although “analysis” may seem more like a Swords/Air quality than Water/Cups, the creators of this deck refer to the “leap of intuition” that often enables Holmes to “connect one detail with another.” Intuition is very much a Water quality, and it can add much to our efforts to interpret something logically or mentally.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “rest and retirement, rediscovery of one’s roots, ancestral memories, the pleasure of remembered times, a sense of tradition.” Reversed meanings: “future events and prospects, promise of better times to come, plans that might fail.”

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 Analysis: “nostalgia for simpler or happy times… anniversaries that recall other times… volunteer service to others.” Examples from “The Fog”: “being stuck in the past… steering by outworn traditions, memory of anniversaries, sometimes painful…old events trigger difficult memories.”

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Reading with the Astrological Oracle Cards

For this post, I felt led to work with the Astrological Oracle Cards by Lunaea Weatherstone and Antonella Castelli (Lo Scarabeo). The guidebook that accompanies this deck offers two suggested spreads. I was especially intrigued by the Circle of Houses Reading.

For this reading, I picture the wheel of an astrological chart and the placement of the 12 Houses around the circle:

If you are not familiar with the areas of life governed by each astrological House, there are many places on the internet where you can find that information.

For this reading, I need to choose which House (area of life) best represents my question or concern. I choose HOUSE 1, which Lunaea Weatherstone describes as:
“the house of personality, the outer self that you express to other people and the impression you make at first glance… Ego, in the sense of the traits and characteristics that make you uniquely you.”
Next, I separate the star sign cards from the planetary cards. I mix the star sign cards and draw one randomly. It is LEO. As stated in the guidebook, Leo is a Fire sign ruled by the Sun. Leo’s motto is “I will.” Leo can be described as being proud, radiant, and warm, with inborn confidence, generosity, and a belief in its own power to get what it wants or needs. If unbalanced, this energy can come across as arrogance or vanity, with a tendency toward exaggeration.

I place the Leo card at House 1 on the wheel.

If I wanted to read about any of the houses after House 1, I would place the remaining star sign cards, in the correct order, around the wheel, one to each house: Virgo for House 2, Libra for House 3, etc. However, my question relates to HOUSE 1, which is LEO in this reading.

Now I draw at least one planetary card for insight into the area of life in question. I can draw more than one planetary card if I wish.

I mix the planetary cards and draw: URANUS. The guidebook describes this planet as ruling invention and originality, a fresh point of view, originality, eccentricity, and a willingness to go to extremes. Uranus is the planet of rebellion and revolution, that flash of brilliance that can lead to meaningful change.

In this reading, the area of my life governed by HOUSE 1 demonstrates or expresses the qualities associated with the planet URANUS in the sign LEO.

TO SUMMARIZE: The impression I make on others (House 1) can be seen in the energy of Uranus (originality, eccentricity, rebellion) under the influence of Leo (pride, confidence, generosity, arrogance, vanity). Here is how the guidebook describes the energy of Uranus in Leo: “Others turn to you for inspiration.”

This is quite fascinating, really, when I compare it to my actual birth chart, where House 1 is in Virgo, with Saturn in Libra as its only planetary occupant. Both Virgo and Saturn impart a restrictive, disciplined, reserved nature that is almost the complete opposite of what one would expect from Uranus in Leo.

I identify with and accept the Virgo/Saturn nature as a key part of my personality, yet perhaps at this point in my life, at this moment in time, my outer self is also creating an impression of Leo/Uranus energy. I can see that as well, and have no trouble accepting it.

This has been a lot of fun, and I plan to do it again soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Reading with the Mystical Cats Tarot

After doing a quite revealing reading for a client using the Mystical Cats Tarot by Mickie Mueller (Llewelyn), I decided to try one of the spreads from the accompanying guidebook, Tales of the Mystical Cats by Lunaea Weatherstone.

(To read my review of this deck, click HERE.)

The spread is called Shield of Sekhmet. Lunaea explains that “Sekhmet is one of our most revered deities, an Egyptian lioness goddess whose name means ‘the one who is powerful.’ In ancient Egypt, she was invoked in times of war to ensure victory and celebrated in times of peace for her powers of healing and reconciliation.”

The layout is based on a gold aegis, or breastplate shield, with a likeness of Sekhmet.

Positional definitions:

(1) What weakens you?
(2) What strengthens you?
(3) How can you best use your power?

While shuffling the cards, I meditated, asking that enlightened insight come through from the Highest Source, and that the information brought forth inspire the Greatest and Highest Good for all concerned.

Here are the mystical cats who came forward for this reading:

(1) What weakens me?

FOUR OF FIRE: In the Tarot of Mystical Cats, the members of the Fire Clan are skilled warriors, passionate lovers, bold adventurers, and visionaries. They are the most spiritual of the clans, and for them, the source of all mystical power is light. Curious and daring, they often find themselves in challenging situations. On the Four of Fire, we see the importance of wonder, beauty, magic, and connection to the sacred. There is a need here to move above and beyond “mundane practicalities” in order to fully feed my spirit. What weakens me is a refusal or failure to give ritual or spiritual practice as much attention in my life as it deserves. I am weakened when I focus too much on physical, material realities.

(2) What strengthens me?

THE HERMIT: This mystical feline Hermit “retreats to the highest branches of a magical pomegranate tree to meditate on the Mysteries.” Wisdom comes from introspection, not from being constantly engaged in “activities and busyness.” Too much solitude can skew my perspective, but in general, it helps me see far and comprehend calmly what I observe. It is the key to understanding the deeper meaning of life.

(3) How can I best use my power?

MOON: I can best use my power to distinguish what is real and what is illusion, to listen to my subconscious and become aware of what is not revealed by sight alone. The introspection and spiritual attentiveness recommended by the preceding cards can help me be aware of secrecy, mystery, and things that are not obvious. By going deeper within and focusing less on the physical, material realm, I learn to identify what the moonlight reveals and what it hides.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Will They Win the Game?

UPDATE: My reading and interpretation for the College Football Playoff Championship game (below) turned out to be quite accurate. Clemson beat Alabama 35-31.

My question: How likely is it that Clemson will win the College Football Playoff Championship game against Alabama tomorrow night? 


It is often said that the cards reflect the fears and hopes of the Seeker, which is why we need to bwe careful about predicting the future or trying to tell the Seeker what someone else is thinking, feeling, or doing. In this case, the 3 of Swords most certainly reflected fears that Clemson would suffer a devastating disappointment. The Wheel of Fortune and The World, however, reflected confidence and hope that this would indeed be their moment in the sun, that they would achieve the peak, reaching the "top of the world."

So how did the cards so accurately hone in on the ultimate reality of the game? You'll have to decide that for yourself.


Game Time!

I apologize in advance to those who feel that using the Tarot for such insignificant things as football games is a travesty. I mean no disrespect.

First some background information:
Before the ACC championship game between Clemson University and Ohio State University I did a 3-card reading for each team, asking simply: “What can you tell me about the team’s performance in this game?”
I used The Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans (HarperElixir).
Clemson received the Tower, 10 of Wands, and Chariot. I interpreted this as an unexpected situation that would come as a shock and turn things upside down; the experience of carrying and/or overcoming a burden; and control of their own destiny.

Ohio State received the 10 of Wands, 7 of Swords, and Daughter of Cups. This looked to me like (again) the experience of carrying and/or overcoming a burden; a deception or perhaps feelings of being “robbed”; and a highly emotional state.

Now, the 10 of Wands appearing for both schools made a lot of sense. Both bore the “burden” of proving themselves to be good enough to win the championship.
The idea of being in control of their own destiny definitely applied to the Clemson team’s attitude and perspective.
As it turned out, even though Ohio State was expected to win the game, Clemson not only won, they kept Ohio State from scoring any points at all. That had not happened since 2010, and Ohio State’s coach had never had a team go scoreless in his entire college football coaching career. Sounds like a Tower experience to me!
Throughout the game, the announcers kept referring to the Clemson quarterback’s “misdirection plays” (7 of Swords) that were causing a lot of problems for Ohio State.
And finally, the Ohio State coach did indeed become very emotional as Clemson’s score kept going up and Ohio State remained at zero (Daughter of Cups).

All this is to set the stage for today’s 3-card draw which is designed to answer the question: How likely is it that Clemson will win the College Football Playoff Championship game against Alabama tomorrow night? The answer comes from The Wild Unknown Tarot:


Okay, in the system I use for determining the likelihood of something occurring, Major Arcana cards suggest a strong “YES” answer. The suit of Swords, being an active suit, also suggests the possibility of a “yes” answer.

By itself, the 3 of Swords usually indicates heartbreak, turmoil, emotional entanglement. That could apply to whichever team loses.

The World is a card of wholeness, completion, and contentment. The Wheel of Fortune is a card of destiny and/or change of course, a major turning point. It is easy to apply both of these to the Clemson team. They lost the championship matchup against Alabama last year; a win this year would be the season’s crowning touch for the team, players, coaches, and college. The Wheel of Fortune could be saying that now is their time, their moment, to rise to the top.

Even though the college football experts are predicting a win for Alabama, I’m not so sure. The cards seem to suggest that Clemson has a very strong chance at a victory. I do wonder if that 3 of Swords is a warning, however…