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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.