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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?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Kipper Reading for the Week Ahead

For today’s post I am going to revisit a spread I used back in 2015. Commonly used with Lenormand decks, it’s called 3+1.

The far left card gives background, the center card reveals the current situation, and the far right card is the probable future/outcome. The 4th card drawn is the Clarification card.

Instead of a Lenormand deck, I am using the Fin de Siecle Kipper Fortune Telling Deck by Ciro Marchetti (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

My question: What area(s) do I need to be especially mindful of this coming week?

(1) BACKGROUND: Imprisonment / 29
Clearly, this card suggests feelings of being trapped, lonely, and isolated. Limitations, restrictions, and barriers can all be part of the scenario.

(2) CURRENT SITUATION: Concern / 33
Anxiety and fear, pessimism, or lost hope all come to mind when looking at this card. There is a sense of being stymied, unable to focus or determine what to do.

(3) OUTCOME: Change / 9
With Imprisonment and Concern as the other two cards, I can certainly see the need for Change! The message seems to be “Get out, and get out now.”

(4) CLARIFICATION: Occupation / 34
As the Clarification card, Occupation suggests to me that this may be the area of life referenced by the preceding three cards. I am self-employed, so if I am feeling trapped or filled with anxiety, needing a change, it’s probably my own fault – and only I can fix the problem.

This does give me food for thought. Certainly, at various times in my life, I have felt trapped or "imprisoned" in my occupation/job but it's been a long time since I felt that way. I honestly don’t think I am feeling worried about any of several “occupations” I currently work at. I have chosen to do them and I enjoy all of them. These cards tell me that it would be worth my time to consider how some aspect or aspects of these occupations could be limiting or worrying, and perhaps try to find out a way to change that.