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Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Reading with Tarot Familiars

I really love the spread Helen Howell designed for a New Year’s reading, so I am going to use it with my newest deck, a birthday gift: Tarot Familiars by Lisa Parker (Fournier).

Designed by Helen Howell

And here are the cards I drew:

Card 1: What appears to be the overall energy that surrounds you in the New Year?
The overall energy surrounding me in the New Year seems to be the energy of both cooperation and contrast. With the Two of Cups, I usually get a sense of connection at an emotional level between other people (or perhaps one specific person) and me. The Two can also represent opposing forces that need to be reconciled so that they balance and support each instead of pulling against each other. I can see where all of these interpretations could apply in 2019.

Card 2: How can you make this year successful for you?
I usually see this card as representing kindness and giving to others (charity). Certainly I will continue to give what I already give to charities, and perhaps there is a message here to think about doing even more than I already do.


How can you make the best of your:

Card 3: Health?
The messages of this card -- moderation, self-control, careful management, and balance -- all make a lot of sense in terms of making the best of my health.

Card 4: Career/work/job
I may be approaching a turning point in 2019 after a long journey on my way to meeting a goal or goals for my career/work/job. Certainly it has felt like an uphill climb much of the time. This card (from a different deck) showed up in this spread in the “Health” position last year. I cannot quarrel with the message that too often I carry more burdens than I need to or should, purely by my own choice.

Card 5: Romantic Relationships? (or Relationships in general?) 
Aces often suggest new beginnings or the start of a new phase or stage of something. The suit of Wands is typically about enthusiasm, optimism, passion, and forward progress. All of that sounds great when applied to relationships, romantic or otherwise.

Card 6: What one thing this year do you really need to change in your life? 
This card, to me, often conveys the message that “the worst is over” or “there’s nowhere to go but up.” It’s about disappointment, grief, misfortune, and trouble. It can be a point of view or state of mind (with Swords as the card of the mind), and that is probably what I need to change in 2019. It can be too easy for me to view setbacks as “permanent” instead of temporary and to bemoan a negative situation as something that “will never change” when in fact, it very well could.

Card 7: Based on the above cards, what is the overall outlook for the New Year? 
Another Ten! In the suit of Pentacles, the Ten is a wonderfully encouraging card, often representing security, family, and success. There is a sense of having reached a pinnacle after much effort and time spent building towards a goal. A very nice outlook for the New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Favorite Holiday Songs of Tarot Cards

For some reason, I felt inclined to discover the favorite holiday songs of various Tarot cards. I made a list of ten well-known songs and then drew a card for each. I am using the Cat’s Eye Tarot by Debra M. Givin, DVM (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) The songs are not necessarily my favorites or my “choices” for the best holiday songs, or anything like that. They are simply the first ten titles that came to mind.

Angels We Have Heard on High is about the birth of Jesus Christ narrated in the Gospel of Luke, specifically the scene in which shepherds outside Bethlehem encounter a multitude of angels singing and praising the newborn child.

It is the favorite holiday song of the TWO OF CUPS because it celebrates harmony and a close connection between heaven and earth.

The Holly and the Ivy is a traditional British folk Christmas carol.

It is the favorite holiday song of the KING OF CUPS because it is about the birth of the King of Heaven and has a tender quality that speaks to his heart.

Little Drummer Boy lyrics relates how a poor young boy was summoned by the Magi to the Nativity of Jesus. Without a gift for the infant the little drummer boy played his drum.

It is the favorite holiday song of the SEVEN OF WANDS because the little boy who played his drum was doing what he did well, facing his inner doubts in the face of possible disapproval or rejection.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas is sung from the point of view of a soldier stationed overseas during World War II, writing a letter to his family. In the message, he tells the family he will be coming home and to prepare the holiday for him, and requests snow, mistletoe, and presents on the tree. The song ends on a melancholy note, with the soldier saying, "I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams."

It is the favorite holiday song of the NINE OF PENTACLES because she is self-confident and self-assured enough to appreciate nostalgia and dreams without losing her connection to reality.

Here Comes Santa Claus combines two veins of the Christmas tradition, the mythology of Santa Claus and the Christian origin of the holiday (most explicitly in its mention of the nativity promise of "peace on Earth").

It is the favorite holiday song of DEATH because sometimes you just need a jolly, happy song to get you through difficult times.

Jingle Bells was originally intended for the Thanksgiving season, having no connection to Christmas. It became associated with Christmas music and the holiday season in general decades after it was first performed on Washington Street in Boston in 1857.

It is the favorite holiday song of the KNIGHT OF PENTACLES because dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh sounds like the carefree, fun sort of thing he too often denies himself as he focuses on security and routines.

Jolly Old St. Nicholas originated with a poem by Emily Huntington Miller (1833-1913), published as "Lilly's Secret."

It is the favorite holiday song of the EIGHT OF WANDS because she marvels at the ability of St. Nicholas to remember and promptly provide all the different gifts requested by all those children – all in one night.

We Three Kings was written by John Henry Hopkins Jr. in 1857. At the time of composing the carol, Hopkins served as the rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and he wrote the carol for a Christmas pageant in New York City.

It is the favorite holiday song of the NINE OF SWORDS because she appreciates that the three Kings knew exactly what to bring to Bethlehem without hesitation or apprehension about whether their gifts were appropriate, whereas she would have been beside herself with anxiety about the situation.

Blue Christmas is a tale of unrequited love during the holidays and is a longstanding staple of Christmas music, especially in the country genre.

It is the favorite holiday song of THE WORLD because the person having a Blue Christmas is going to eventually realize that all things will balance out and they won’t be “blue” forever.

Good King Wenceslas tells a story of a Bohemian king going on a journey and braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (December 26, the Second Day of Christmas).

It is the favorite holiday song of THE EMPEROR because, hey, it’s about a famous ruler who truly cared about his subjects and wants them to be safe and secure.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Are You the Knight of Pentacles?

Whether you are male or female, if you were born between August 13 and September 13, you are the Knight of Pentacles. Read on to find out why!

Although many Tarot readers choose not to incorporate astrological attributions for the cards into their readings, others find that doing so adds a fascinating layer of information to consider and explore. The Order of the Golden Dawn* established a system of astrological attributions used by many Tarot readers. Here are the fundamentals of this system:

Major Arcana cards are associated with a planet or sign in most cases, exceptions being The Hanged Man (Water) and Judgment (Spirit and Fire).

The numbered cards are linked with the placement of a particular planet in a particular sign. For example, the 5 of Cups is assigned Mars in Scorpio, and the 8 of Swords is assigned Jupiter in Gemini.

1JJ Swiss
Kings, Queens, and Knights are given a range incorporating a total of three decans** over two signs. For example, the Knight of Pentacles is associated with the last decan of Leo to the second decan of Virgo. The dates covering this range are August 13-September 13.

The Knave – or Princess – of each suit is associated with the element Earth plus the element linked with the appropriate suit. The Knave of Wands is called “Earth of Fire,” the Knave of Cups is called “Earth of Water,” and so forth.

My focus in this article is on the Knight of Pentacles – and how the astrological attributions chosen by the Golden Dawn can be used to enhance a Tarot reading in which this card appears.

According to Book T***, and as stated above, the Knight of Pentacles is associated with 20 degrees Leo to 20 degrees Virgo, that is, the last decan of Leo to the second decan of Virgo. The date range for this segment of the zodiac is August 13-September 13.

What do we know about the sign Leo? It is a Fixed Fire sign, single-minded, energetic, outer-driven. Ruled by the Sun, Leo is typically characterized as determined, proud, courageous, and generous, with a tendency towards intolerance, self-righteousness, and vanity.

The Golden Dawn specifies 20 degrees Leo, which begins the last decan of the sign. That decan is ruled by the Sun and subruled by Mars. Known for its energy and force, Mars combines with the Sun to create impressive willpower and creativity, and an eagerness to plunge into new projects.

That description represents one-third of our Knight of Pentacles. What about the rest: the first and second decans of Virgo?

Virgo is a Mutable Earth sign, adaptable, versatile, practical, and conservative. Ruled by the planet Mercury, Virgo is commonly characterized as organized, methodical, discriminating, analytical, and critical.

Oswald Wirth
Let’s blend in the first and second decans of Virgo.

The first decan is ruled by Mercury and subruled by the Sun, adding a layer of individuality and conscious will to Mercury’s intellectual energy.

The second decan brings in the planet Venus as subruler. Known for being gregarious and social, Venus combines with Mercury to create a desire for approval and a special talent for using words, an ability to speak and write in a charming manner.

So, when we consider the Knight of Pentacles from the perspective of Golden Dawn attributions, we find that he is 1/3 Leo (ruled by the Sun, subruled by Mars) and 2/3 Virgo (ruled by Mercury, with the Sun and Venus as subrulers). Earth is the dominant element, and Mercury is the dominant planet. Yet we cannot ignore that Leo-Sun-Mars connection. A complicated fellow, our Knight of Pentacles!

If you were born between August 13 and September 13, you can rightfully claim the Knight of Pentacles as your “significator card,” that is, the card that represents you in the Tarot.

* The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – or simply the Golden Dawn -- was an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

** A decan, or decanate, is a ten-degree subdivision of the zodiac that divides each astrological sign into three parts of approximately ten days each. There are three decanates in each sign.

*** Book T – The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Mystical Wisdom Oracle Card Reading - December 2018

My Mystical Wisdom oracle deck (written by Gaye Guthrie, with art by Josephine Wall, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) called out to me today, so I decided to consult it concerning matters in my personal life. Without going into details, I am providing the positional definitions and interpreting the cards drawn into those positions.

(1) something I know: INTUITION
Message: “Trust your intuition.”

Yes, I do know that I can trust my intuition if I “listen” carefully enough to sense what it is telling me. Too often, my fears are louder and more compelling, causing me to react based on those fears, when my intuition has a more complete picture of what needs to be done.

(2) something I may have forgotten: CHOICES
Message: “Make the best choices.”

I do sometimes forget that I do have choices at almost every step of almost every situation. I can choose not to panic. I can choose not to leap to a “fight or flight” level. I can trust myself to make good choices.

(3) something I need to learn: DRAGONFLY
Message: “Live life to the fullest.”

An interesting message! What does it mean to “live life to the fullest.” I do not think it necessarily means that we all need to take up hang gliding or parasailing or parachute jumping. I think living life to the fullest can be simply opening ourselves to all of the possibilities and opportunities life (or the Universe) offers us. Making the most of things the way they are, but also looking beyond that to what could be.

Friday, December 7, 2018

New Moon Reading with The Spirit Animal Oracle

I received my copy of Colette Baron Reid’s The Spirit Animal Oracle today. Published by Hay House and illustrated by Jena DellaGrottaglia, this gorgeous deck jumped right out at me from the Hay House web site, and before I knew it, I had bought it, and it was one its way to my eager self.

Serendipitously, Colette includes a 7-card New Moon Reading that can be done with this deck at the beginning of each New Moon. That’s today! The purpose of the reading is to see which animal spirit has chosen to help me this coming month in seven specific areas of life.

1: survival, money, tangible assets, work


Conditions are changing, and I need to adapt, while still maintaining an inner equilibrium. There may be a need for me to resist any urge to rescue someone by trying to manage it all, or to withdraw from challenging emotions. The key is to maintain healthy boundaries and to take a break or “timeout” from someone else’s problems.

2: intimate relationships, family dynamics, friendships, and your tribe

COYOTE SPIRIT: Trust in divine detours.

There is a sense that I may be on some sort of detour in this area of life, having difficulty choosing the best path. Coyote energy is trickster energy, which may be disconcerting but always provides a lesson that needs to be learned. When I get off track, I need to try not to take the world too seriously. The right path may not be obvious or straight, but in spite of detours, I will reach my destination.

3: your personal power, self-worth, and how you show up in the world

DOLPHIN SPIRIT: This and that are true.

The dolphin is both mammal and sea creature, both “this” and “that,” which reminds me that nothing is “all good” or “all bad.” Duality is a fact of life, and sometimes we are “between time” rather than 100% on one side or another.  It may not be helpful to view things as “right” and “wrong” right now. Somethings that seems wrong could end up being right for me.

4: deeper connections to life, healing past patterns, and support for overall well-being and happiness

ELECTRIC EEL SPIRIT: Bring your ideas to life.

A big awakening is in store in this area, something that will awaken me to a big idea or new path. I have an opportunity for profound transformation. I need to be careful not to dismiss an epiphany simply because I can’t see where it might be leading me at this moment.

5: communication, being heard, owning your voice, and how you say who you are to others

GIRAFFE SPIRIT: See the big picture.

I am being encouraged to see things from a higher view, a broader perspective that allows me to look beyond the obvious. I will not benefit from focusing too closely or from being too far “up in the clouds.” Somewhere in the middle should be helpful.

6: imagination, vision, and creativity


If I am wondering where and when I can express my imagination, vision, and creativity, the answer is “here” and “now.” There is no need to look far afield or to focus on grass that may or may not be greener than what I am standing on. Here, in the timeless present, I will become the person I wish to be, and to have the experiences I wish to have.

7: intuition, spirituality, and your relationship to a Higher Power

LIZARD SPIRIT: Dream the world into being.

I can get in touch with my intuition, spirituality and relationship to a Higher Power by letting my imagination flow and open myself to the inspiration that is available. I can consciously dream a dream in which I have what I desire and in which I am who I wish to be. I need to trust my ability to create my own dream.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Chariot

For this series, I am exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:

  • Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  • The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  • The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  • The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

To read my previous posts in this series, enter “Animal Tarot Time” in the search field on the main page of the blog or scroll down and click on Animal Tarot Time under CATEGORIES.

Let’s look at how THE CHARIOT is portrayed in seven different animal decks.

Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)

You’ve earned the rewards and recognition you’re receiving.

In this deck, the Arabian Horse is meant to represent “the balance of strength and intellect,” and like The Chariot in traditional decks, success depends on the ability of the driver of the chariot to guide opposing forces or energies forward together in the same direction. The image on this card does not show opposing energies pulling against each other. Rather, we are meant to consider the Arabian horses themselves as symbols of grace, intelligence, passion, and confidence.

The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)

You have to pay just as much attention to the energy that creates 
your movement, as the direction of the movement itself.

To capture the essence of The Chariot, this deck describes the manner in which Orcas (Killer Whales) hunt. The pack travels together, using speed, diving techniques, and tail movements to master their environment and capture their prey. They not only know which direction to go, but the types of movement and behavior to use to achieve their goal. With each movement, ripples are created that affect the surrounding environment and everything in it.

The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)

Let go – become master of your vehicle.

Keynotes for this card in this deck are “Power, Balance, Alignment, Control.” The equine association with the traditional Chariot card is picked up in this deck, with the addition of wings. The message is similar to the traditional Strength card in that we are encouraged to control our direction in life with calm focus rather than trying to force or fight our way along. Brunke writes: “We are the vehicle that carries our soul through life. Nurture courage, self-authority, and poise to lead yourself.” We are encouraged to “align divergent energies and direct movement through inner balance.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)

Movement and Balance

Here again we see the importance of both movement and balance in The Chariot. We may be very good at “movement” but if that movement is undisciplined, out-of-control, and fraught with inner discord, we are not likely to get where we want to go. Harnessing and guiding our raw power and passion is necessary in order to go in a specific direction. The idea of balance is further represented by the fact that horses have four legs, giving them stability and balance in their movements.

The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)

departure, experiencing the world, deliberate actions

In this deck, The Chariot is represented by the Norse goddess Freya riding a golden boar, an emblem of her power. She is assisted by an emerging lynx, whose exceptional eyesight guides her. Freya’s beauty, determination, and powerful spirit are, of course, legendary. Her energy inspires us to find a purpose in our actions and to pursue that purpose as we continue on the path we have chosen.

The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)

strength, control, resilience, intuition, determination, victory

Like others, this deck chooses the Horse to represent The Chariot card. The image shows a lavender-gray horse flying in a deep purple, starry sky as a crescent moon shines above. Cheung’s keywords reinforce the message we associate with The Chariot. Rather than trying to rephrase her poetic description, I will quote part of it here: The horse “is the journey: the road travelled and the obstacles ahead. He is the will, willing himself to triumph.”

Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

victory, success, huge ambitions, sudden loss

As I have come to expect, this deck gets the prize for the most interesting and unexpected imagery for The Chariot. Symbolically, swans commonly symbolize peace, tranquility, loyalty, strength, beauty, grace, and love. Cranes are viewed as symbols of vigilance, longevity, wisdom, fidelity, and honor. These are the qualities, then, that can help us reach our destination.

To summarize, we have:
Horse – 4
Orca – 1
Swan and Crane – 1
Boar, Lynx (Freya) – 1

I’m not surprised to see the Horse take the lead in this group of animals. It is interesting to think of myself as a horse, steering myself, rather than someone driving a chariot pulled by horses. I like the image of the pack of orcas working in concert towards a goal. Freya riding her boar works pretty well for me. The swan and crane are, well, fun. Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Lenormand Line of Five: New Apartment for Mom?

Once again I am exploring the issue of when an assisted living apartment might come open for my mother at the same facility where she currently has an independent living apartment. I did a reading in July that you can see _HERE_,  and a reading in August that you can see _HERE_.:

So far, the cards have basically hedged their bets by giving me a mixed Yes-No response. As in August, I am going to use a 5-card line I saw in Sylvie Steinbach’s book The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle.

My question, once again, is "Will an assisted living apartment become available for my mother in the next 30 days?" This time, I am using The Under the Roses Lenormand by Kendra Hurteau and Katrina Hill (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

For this technique, I decide which card represents the issue being explored. The HOUSE card is typically used for issues related to moving or changing residence. I choose any card, at random, from the deck and turn it upright. I keep doing that until I pull the HOUSE card. I keep the two cards I pulled immediately before I drew HOUSE. Then I turn over two cards after that to create a 5-card line with HOUSE in the middle, and the two cards drawn immediately before and after HOUSE on either side.

I use the suit associations for my initial interpretation, with Red suits (hearts, diamonds) meaning "Yes" and black suits (clubs, spades) meaning "No."

Here is the result:


This time, it appears that the answer is “probably YES” (four red cards, one black).
A crossroads will be reached, a time for personal growth and reflection that leads to a place where one is most comfortable, complete with good fortune and longevity, but not without worries or suffering.

Friday, November 2, 2018

3 Reasons Not to Get a Tarot Reading

There is a lot of advice out there to help us determine when it might be a good idea to get a Tarot reading and when the type of insight and advice that Tarot provides might be beneficial to our lives. There is less discussion out there about when a Tarot reading may not be the right decision.

This is because usually when your intuition leads you to believe that you should have a Tarot reading it is a good idea, it is an appropriate time for a reading. But there are times when our intuition is clouded, or our experience with Tarot makes us think that we need a reading, when in fact it should be avoided. Let’s have a look at three times when you should avoid having a Tarot reading.

1. You aren’t in the right state of mind

Tarot readings help us take a closer and clearer look at what is happening inside our lives and inside ourselves to help us better understand what is happening in the here and now, empowering us to make better decisions for the future.

Gaining this insight relies on pulling on the intuition of the reader and your own intuition in order to better understand what is happening. If your intuition has been compromised for some reason, this can interfere with your Tarot reading, sometimes leading to further confusion rather the clarity.

If something is clouding your mind, this can be a bad time to have a Tarot reading. The most common reason you might not be in the right state of mind for a reading is that you are very emotional or depressed. For example, in the wake of a heated argument with a loved one or colleague, if you are particularly hot tempered you might be seeing red, and this will interfere with your intuition. It is best to wait until the dust has settled before having a reading. If you are suffering from serious depression, which is clearly dust that just won’t settle, it is best to seek professional help to deal with this before consulting the Tarot.

For similar reasons it is best to avoid a reading when you are drunk or otherwise intoxicated. This similarly clouds your mind, and also limits your access to your intuition. While they say that your true feelings come out when you are drunk, you also just don’t have access to all your facilities. Without clear access to your intuition you are probably just wasting your time and money, not to mention damaging your relationship with your reader.

2. When you have already made up your mind

Tarot is about getting a new, deeper understanding of a situation to develop a new perspective. If you have already decided what a situation means, a Tarot reading will be of little help. Like being overly emotional, your certainty about what is happening or what an outcome will be will influence the accuracy of the reading. According to Numerology Sign, even if you can get an accurate reading, your stubbornness will limit your benefit from the reading.

To get the most of a Tarot reading you need to approach it with an open mind, letting yourself see new possibilities and opportunities. We aren’t talking about simply desiring a certain outcome, many of us have this desire a lot of the time, it is more a refusal to believe that a current situation may be different than what we assume, and that the outcomes of particular actions may be different that you desire.

You may not be happy with the information that you get in a reading, but you do need to take that information on board. It is with this information that you can make better decisions that make your desired outcome more likely.

3. When Tarot has become a crutch

While Tarot is there to help us make better decisions, and while it can help us when we are stuck to make a difficult decision, if you find that you have reached the point where you can’t make any decision without the assistance of Tarot, it is time to take a break.

Tarot helps us gain clearer access to our intuition, but our intuition is with us always and we should have a level of access to it at all times, helping us in the moment as needed. When you start to second guess the decisions that you make and need to double check them with the Tarot, you have become too dependent.

The philosophy of the Tarot is that you are the master of your destiny and take control of your world with the decisions that you made. If you sacrifice your personal power to the Tarot deck, it is no longer serving you.

A sign that you have become overly dependent on Tarot is when you think that Tarot is the best first response to situations like illness or threat, when your first call should be to a doctor or the police. You may want to get a reading later to better understand the situation, but a Tarot reading should never come before dealing with the practicalities of an emergency situation.


The other time you should consider at least delaying a reading is when you don’t get a good feeling from the Tarot reader. Not getting a good vibe from a reader does not mean that they are a bad person, or a bad reader, but that your energy is not compatible, at least not at this moment, which means that your reading will be less fruitful. This can mean that perhaps you should return at another time, or that you should find a different reader whose energy is more compatible with your own.

As Tarot is all about intuition, trust your intuition when it comes to when you should or shouldn’t have a reading.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Poetic Reading for All Hallows Eve

I decided to write some rhyming lines that, for me, evoke the spirit of Halloween:

Something that stands on the threshold
Something that waits within
Something I need to banish
Something I need to let in
Something I need not fear
Something I need to begin

I am pulling a card for each line/position. The layout looks like this:


I am using Black Cats Tarot by Maria Kurara (Lo Scarabeo).

(1) Something that stands on the threshold 


The energy I typically pick up from this Queen is that of mental clarity, decisiveness, and intellect balanced with emotions. Her less desirable traits might include being critical (including self-critical) and harshly judgmental. If this Queen is “standing on the threshold,” she wants me to pay attention to those characteristics and ways in which I might be influenced by them (or people who exhibit them).

(2) Something that waits within


To say that this Queen “waits within” suggests that I already embody her characteristics, which include a desire to nurture (including self-nurture), generosity, and a down-to-earth, resourceful nature. Less desirable characteristics might include a tendency to be overly focused on the material world, overly concerned about my health, or insensitive and stubborn. These traits wait for me to enlist them as I choose.

(3) Something I need to banish


I need to banish any effort to use cruelty or force to “tame” or control the “lion” – the instinctual aspects of my nature, the passion or “life-force” that some might feel the need to repress or suppress in order to appear “civilized.” Instead, I need to seek balance and integration between instinct-passion and intellect, and to do so with quiet courage and inner fortitude.

(4) Something I need to let in


I need to “let in” a completely different perspective or way of looking at things, to give myself time to pause and reflect, to be still and wait and watch. I need to “let in” the spirit that encourages me to question and challenge preconceived ideas or beliefs and perceptions foisted upon me by others. I need to “let in and let go.”

(5) Something I need not fear


In the Black Cats Tarot, this card does not depict the typical character with ten swords sticking out of his back. Instead, we see a cat considering whether to go through a door. He is on the brink of attaining what he has always desired, but is overwhelmed by fear. I need not fear taking the next step, moving forward through the door to embrace whatever awaits. From outside, it appears that the door opens on a stone-brick wall barricaded with swords – but that image is the product of fear. In order to find out what is actually on the other side of the door, I must go through.

(6) Something I need to begin


I need to begin a battle or fight – probably within myself – between conflicting ideas, thoughts, or perspectives. For too long, perhaps, I have been complacent, allowing the “strongest” of the competitors to be in charge without challenge. It is time to push back.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tarot Myths Debunked!

Today I welcome guest blogger Christine Hirlehey to Tarot Notes. A tarot reader with many years of experience, Christine is co-owner of the spirituality website _Numerology Sign_.  Read on to learn about a number of tarot myths that are ripe for debunking!

Tarot Myths Debunked!

by Christine Hirlehey

While knowledge and understanding of Tarot is increasingly moving into mainstream culture, many myths about Tarot are also taking root. In the early 19th century Tarot took on many esoteric characteristics, which have left the practice clouded in mystery. This is part of what makes Tarot interesting and draws people to it, but it can also be a barrier to engagement and understanding.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common, and most damaging, myths about Tarot.

Tarot reads the future

Tarot is often associated with the work of psychics, and Tarot cards are one of the tools that a clairvoyant may choose to use in order to help focus their psychic abilities, but this is not the main purpose of the Tarot deck, and you do not need to have particular psychic or clairvoyant skills to read Tarot.

Tarot is about better understanding what is happening in the here and how, both in the world around us and in our heads and hearts, by accessing our intuition. While it is certainly not the case that anyone can pick up a Tarot deck and pull out something meaningful on their first attempt, reading the Tarot is something anyone can do with practice and dedication. Everyone has intuition and the ability to access that intuition. Tarot is a tool to help focus that ability.

Your deck must be a gift

Many people believe that at least your first Tarot deck, if not all your decks, must be a gift. This reflects the idea that in some way the universe must invite you to read the Tarot. This myth is exactly that! If you have a strong feeling that Tarot is for you, or your gut tells you that you are drawn to Tarot, what other kind of invitation does the universe need to send?

Many of the occult aspects associated with Tarot were developed by the esoteric group known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn that was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They may have said that your deck needed to be a gift in order to reinforce the idea that you needed to join the order, and pay the costs that were surely involved, in order to read Tarot. In other words, a recruitment drive!

In fact, picking your own Tarot deck can be an important part of starting a Tarot practice. There are many different decks out there, designed to appeal to the sensibilities and intuitions of many different people. If you purchase your own deck you have the luxury of exploring the different possibilities and finding the right fit for you.

You need to memorise all the cards before you use them

A standard tarot deck has 78 cards, each with multiple layers of meaning, which can transform depending on whether it is drawn with positive or negative (otherwise known as upright or reversed) connotations. Memorising the meanings for all the cards that are written in the guide book that comes with them is a daunting task! A great place to learn all the Tarot card meanings is Numerology Sign: https://numerologysign.com/tarot/card-meanings/

But it is not true that you need to know the meaning of all the cards off the top of your head before you start using them. While stopping to consult your book while doing a reading for a paying client might seem unprofessional, there is nothing stopping you from doing this when you are doing a reading for yourself or a friend.

Moreover, just memorising the information about the cards that comes in your guide isn’t enough to be a truly good Tarot reader.

The information in the guide that comes with your cards has been carefully put together by experienced Tarot readers based on collective experience gathered over a long period of time. It is useful information and should be respected. But, reading the Tarot is about accessing your intuition, and understanding what the card is telling you personally.

When starting out it is recommended to spend time with the cards individually. Draw one from the deck, read its meaning in the book, but then spend time looking at the card, see what it makes you think and feel. See which meanings in the guide book come through strongest for you and think about anything else the card tells you that isn’t in the book. These are the most important aspects of the cards for you and will probably come to mind most easily when you see the card again.

Beware the card of Death

The Death card in the Tarot deck has a bad reputation, mostly thanks to modern pop culture. However, the Death card is hardly ever an omen of physical death. The Death card is an indicator of change, often a change that a person needs and will leave them better off, but change rarely comes without some pain, and the Death card acknowledges that. As a symbol of transformation and renewal, the Death card can be highly reassuring.

Similarly, The Lovers card is not usually a sign of romantic love. The Lovers card is more attuned to ideas of finding balance, and practicing self-love, being complete within yourself without the need for another person.

The scariest card in the Tarot deck is the more subtly named Tower card. The appearance of the Tower in a reading usually means that we need to expect the unexpected, and that chaos, upheaval and destruction are on the horizon. This can be a symbol of death, divorce or financial ruin. It often heralds something that will shake you to your core, impacting on you mentally, physically and spiritually.

Tarot readers give a positive spin to keep their clients happy

While it is true that if you visit a professional Tarot reader, they will probably focus on the positive aspects of your reading, they aren’t doing this just to keep you happy and coming back.

Experienced Tarot readers have learned that just like with most things in life, mindset matters. For example, if you go into a job interview believing that you are unqualified and that the interviewers will see that and not give you the job, that is probably what will happen. However, what if you go into that job interview believing that you have what it takes to do the job well, even if you don’t have every piece of experience they asked for. What if you think that if you are the right fit for the job you will get it, and if not, you won’t get the job but will probably be better off and find something more suitable later. Whether you get the job or not, in a month or so, you are more likely to be in a good place than if you went in with the first mindset.

Tarot readers bring this same mindset to a reading. This is why when speaking to you they will suggest that you don’t ask questions like, will this new business venture succeed or fail, but rather questions like, what should I be doing at the moment to bring success into my life. In this way the reader focuses on helping you find ways to grow and reach your goals.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Lovers

For this series, I am exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:

  • Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  • The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  • The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  • The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

To read my previous posts in this series, enter “Animal Tarot Time” in the search field on the main page of the blog or scroll down and click on Animal Tarot Time under CATEGORIES.

Purely by accident (or is it?), I happen to be posting a discussion of The Lovers card on the day my husband and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary. 

Let’s look at how THE LOVERS is portrayed in seven different animal decks.

Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)

FLAMINGO (“True and long-lasting love finds its way into your life.”)

The Flamingo’s color is a key reason for a pair of Flamingos to represent love. The color pink commonly represents emotions, harmony, and sensuality. It is said to soothe conditions of anger and feelings of neglect. Pink can be used to awaken compassion, love, and purity. Flamingos form strong pair bonds, establishing and defending nesting territories. Just as flamingos stand on one leg, perfectly balanced, they can represent remaining balanced in your emotional or romantic life.

The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)

SWAN (“Come be with me and let me marvel in the You that is all magnificent.”)

Swans commonly symbolize peace, tranquility, loyalty, strength, beauty, grace, and love. Swans can form socially monogamous pair bonds from as early as 20 months that last for many years, in some cases, for life. Male and female take turns incubating the eggs. The image on this particular card shows swans in contrasting colors (black and white), representing contrasting states or identities that can create a harmonious whole. One of the trees on the card is filled with oranges (predominantly a symbol of fertility) and the other with white flowers (purity and innocence).

The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)

HONEYBEE / HEART AWAKENER: “Awaken to love.”

Keynotes for this card in this deck are “Relationship, Recognition, Blessings, Union, Joy.” The bee commonly symbolizes diligence, organizational and technical skills, sociability, purity, charity, cleanliness, spirituality, wisdom, courage, abstinence, sobriety, creativity, selflessness, eloquence, and illumination. Dawn Brunke writes that the honeybee signals “romance, passion, a new love or developing relationship” as well as “an opportunity to come home to self.” True honey bees do not form mating pairs. Rather, they live in colonies established by swarms, consisting of a queen and several hundred workers. In contrast, most other bees are solitary in the sense that every female is fertile, and typically inhabits a nest she constructs herself.

The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)

BEE: “Fertility and Spiritual Choice”

Like Dawn Burke, Ted Andrews uses the Bee to represent The Lovers. Unlike Burke, he incorporates the idea of choice (one of the common interpretations for Key 6) into his discussion. Given that bees operate in a highly organized society, each bee having distinct responsibilities, Andrews notes that the Bee reflects the need to make choices with integrity, adding, “If working with others, it is important to clearly define the job roles.” In reverse, this card can suggest scattered energy or indecision.

The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)

THE LOVERS / BRAHMA & SARASWATI: “relationships, seeking harmony

In the Hindu faith, Brahma was the principal creator god. His consort, Saraswati, was goddess of language, creative arts, and learning. It was said that she was the power behind Brahma’s actions. In Hindu art, Saraswati and Brahma are both sometimes shown riding either a swan or goose.

The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)

LONG-SNOUTED SEAHORSE: “joy, security, support, patience, equality, trust”

Seahorses are known to practice monogamy. It is no longer believed that they mate for life, but some do stay together for several mating seasons in a row. The male – not the female -- broods the eggs in its pouch before giving birth to live young called “fry.” In her write-up for this card, Joanna Cheung advises us: “Face the battle; stand united. Make your choice. Find your place.”

Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

MANDARIN DUCK: “Test, important choice, indecision within sentimental relationships, unfaithfulness”

Mandarin ducks have long symbolized love and marriage in South East Asia, especially in China, Japan and South Korea. In traditional Chinese culture, mandarin ducks are believed to be lifelong couples. It is thought that those who do not yet have a sweetheart can speed up the process of finding a soul mate by getting two Mandarin duck figurines or a picture.

To summarize, we have:
Flamingos – 1
Swans – 2
Bees – 2
Seahorses – 1
Mandarin ducks – 1

Obviously, the birds win overall, with four of the seven decks using birds to represent The Lovers. I am charmed by the Seahorses and Mandarin Ducks. Not really buying the Bees. Okay with Swans and Flamingos. How about you? What do you think?