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Saturday, December 28, 2019

"The White Hart": A 2-Card Reading

I love love love my latest, newest Tarot deck (a Christmas gift from my sister): Forest of Enchantment Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone, illustrated by Meraylah Allwood (Llewellyn Publications).

Feeling an immediate, deep connection to this deck, I decided to immediately do a small spread featured in the accompanying guidebook. This 2-card spread is a good one to use as a daily spread.

Step 1: Place the White Hart card and the Wide World card side by side.

Step 2: Ask the hart these questions:
(1) Who am I as I enter the forest today?
(2) Who will I be when I emerge?

Step 3: Draw one card to answer each question and place them facedown above the two hart cards. Look at Card 1 now and Card 2 at the end of the day OR look at both now. If you choose the second option, use Card 2 as advice for how you can shift the energy to a different place, if you desire.

I am going to read both cards now.

(1) Who am I as I enter the forest today? THE LOVERS

My “standard” interpretation for this card is usually that it relates to a loving relationship (internal or external) and/or the need to make a very important choice or decision. For this deck, Lunea Weatherstone states that The Lovers represents a “true partnership and the life choices and sacrifices that come with commitment.” As I enter the forest today, I am aware that I am one of two people in an important partnership.

(2) Who will I be when I emerge? SEEKER OF SPELLS

In this deck, Seekers are the equivalent of Knights. The suit of Spells is the suit of Wands (Fire). This Seeker is known for being bold, spirited, dramatic, impulsive, and willful. She is all about creative exploration, breaking through a routine, and spontaneous travel. When I emerge from the forest today, I may find myself feeling and expressing these qualities. If these are not traits I want to demonstrate today, I will need to use my awareness and understanding to modify or moderate them.

I certainly see a contrast here between being a member of a partnership (The Lovers) and being fiercely independent, eager to venture out on my own (Seeker of Spells). It will be interesting to see what sort of day I have…

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Give me a reflection of what is happening...

A sample reading using
The Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot
by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
(Magic Realist Press)

"Give me a reflection of what is happening 
with Scott's and my relationship."


Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot

Your card is the NINE OF CUPS. On this card we see a somewhat portly and obviously very satisfied cat sitting on a barrel in the public room of an inn, licking his lips. Behind him, carved in wood, we see a scene of general merrymaking. The Nine of Cups is sometimes known as the "wish card." It frequently indicates the fulfillment of very basic, down-to-earth wishes or a period of great pleasure, satisfaction, and well-being.

The suit of Cups is associated with the element Water, representing emotions, creativity, affection, love, sensitivity, intuition, and compassion. Water is also associated with relationships, which means that its appearance concerning a question about a relationship is a very encouraging sign. The number Nine often represents a basis for completion, preparation for new cycle, growth through experience, perfection, integration, and fruition. This suggests that your relationship with Scott is at a turning point -- the end of one stage or phase and the beginning of a new stage or phase.

I would say that the reflection this card is giving you is that your relationship with Scott has high potential to be everything you need it to be. It encourages you to focus on the simple contentment and happiness available through this relationship, and to value what you have together. Celebrate the little things and let your appreciation of each other carry you forward.

I hope this is helpful to you. It is my hope that the insight gained through this reading will help you make decisions and take action in line with your best interests. Always remember that your future lies in your hands. Thank you for letting me read for you.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

"Will I have new love in my life soon?"

A sample reading using
Tarot of the Gnomes
Art by Antonio Lupatelli
(Llewellyn/Lo Scarabeo)

Will I have new love in my life soon?


Before I continue with your reading,  I need to let you know that really few things are "written in the stars." Most results and consequences derive from our own patterns of behavior and activity or inactivity, awareness or non-awareness. Because our futures are not etched in stone, the Tarot helps us to see the *possibilities* in our lives. Let's look at the possibilities related to your question.

For your 3-card reading I am using Tarot of the Gnomes. This is a somewhat "quirky" deck, yet I have found that it can provide helpful insight into all kinds of issues. I drew three cards to represent: (1) energy currently surrounding this matter, (2) a potential obstacle, and (3) a potential opportunity.

(1) energy currently surrounding this matter

Although the gnome on this card may seem pitiful, notice that he is smiling as he holds out his hand as if to catch the huge coin hanging in the air above him. I think this does reflect your current feelings about your situation in terms of your love life. You mentioned that you have been alone almost a year now with your three kids. You may be feeling not only lonely but "impoverished" in various ways. What I like about the Eight of Pentacles here is that it suggests help is on the way. However, with Pentacles being the suit of Earth, things may develop more slowly than you would like.

(2) a potential obstacle

The woman on this card carries a heavy burden, and I think this could refer to the heavy responsibilities and duties you bear as a single parent. However, I do think that this card is saying that your worries about your situation may actually be an obstacle that interferes with your ability to seek and find a fulfilling love relationship. I am wondering if the "help" suggested by the Eight of Pentacles could refer to help with your children, which would relieve some of your burden and free you to be more receptive to relationships at all levels.

(3) a potential opportunity

Here we move back to the suit of Pentacles, and we see the Knave holding a large coin aloft. You can almost imagine him standing above the person on the Eight of Pentacles, dropping the coin into the beggar's hand. In this deck, the Knave of Pentacles is subtitled "Loan." The loan may not involve money, but is probably going to be available in some area of your everyday work and domestic life. There is perhaps a person or organization that might play a role in presenting you with opportunities for a fulfilling love relationship. Like the Eight of Pentacles, the Knave seems to be saying, "You don't have to go it alone."

Your original question is what we call a yes-or-no question. In other words, the answer can be "yes" or "no." In my experience, the Tarot isn't very reliable in answering yes-or-no questions. However, using a method that I am familiar with, these three cards seem to be saying that the potential isn't strong for you to have a new love in your life "soon" but that there is potential. As I mentioned above, this could develop more gradually or more slowly than you would like.

My purpose in doing this reading is to offer options, possibilities, and perspectives for you to consider. I hope I have succeeded in doing that. Always remember that you are in charge of your destiny and only you can decide the best way to act in your situation.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Samhain Spirits Spread 2019

Samhain – [pronounced sah-win]

I enjoyed doing this spread for past Halloweens on Tarot Notes, so I’m giving it another go. To set the stage, I am quoting from The New Encyclopedia of the Occult by John Michael Greer (Llewellyn Worldwide):
“Samhain. The beginning and end of the year in the old Celtic calendar, falling around the beginning of November in modern terms. Samhain is the oldest documented festival of Celtic Paganism. . . Samhain was traditionally associated with the spirits of the dead, who were believed to walk the world at that time. After the arrival of Christianity, the feast of Samhain became All Hallow’s Day. The evening before it, the modern Halloween, retained much of the same symbolism.”
The positional definitions for this spread are inspired by the hauntingly beautiful song “All Soul’s Night” with words and music by Loreena McKennitt. You can listen to the song _HERE_.  You can read the lyrics of the song _HERE_.

This year, I am using the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) The layout is in the shape of a pentacle.

I stand in darkness at the entrance to the graveyard on All Hallow’s Eve, on Samhain, when spirits walk the world…

(1) This Spirit dances around and around

EIGHT OF CUPS (Der Schimmelreiter)

I have to say this is a troubling card to see today, as heavy rain and storms continue in my part of the country. As I write this, I listen to the steady downpour outside my window and rumbling thunder in the distance. The spirit of “Der Schimmelreiter” dances around and around – the ghost of a dyke builder named Hauke Haien, whose dyke gave way during a severe storm flood. It is said that his ghost appears, on horseback, during storms to check the integrity of his dyke.

Read the story of this spirit here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rider_on_the_White_Horse

(2) This Spirit brings a hidden memory 

THREE OF SWORDS (The Phantom Rickshaw – Mrs. Wessington’s Ghost)

A hidden memory is brought by the ghost of a rejected lover who hounded the man who abandoned her until he went mad. Although this memory is heavy with tension, pain, and broken promises, it is brought to me now perhaps to help me put it behind me and move on, if I can.

Read more about this Spirit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phantom_%27Rickshaw_and_Other_Tales

(3) This Spirit carries a light in the distance

EIGHT OF SWORDS (The Flying Dutchman)

A phantom of the unforgiving sea, the spirt of a Dutch captain sails for eternity in the rough waters around the Cape of Good Hope. This Spirit carries a light that I can see in the distance any time I have to navigate turbulent seas. This Spirit’s light is not meant to guide me, I think, but to act as a warning that I may need to let go of my need to control a situation and listen to what others have to say. Digging in my heels and refusing to give up may not be the best approach at all.

Read more about this Spirit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Dutchman

(4) This Spirit waits for me on the bridge

ACE OF SWORDS (Poltergeist)

A “noisy ghost” waits for me on the bridge, ready to lead me into something new, to begin a new cycle of activity or a new idea or concept or way of looking at things. I love the idea of this energy waiting to accompany me “across a bridge.” However, it behooves me to remember that poltergeists are mischievous and disruptive – and in fact, could actually be made of displaced energy from my own subconscious or unconscious mind. This may not be a smooth, calm passage.

Several movies were made in the “Poltergeist Film Series.” If you are interested, click here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltergeist_(film_series)

(5) This Spirit passes by the bridge and me

SEVEN OF PENTACLES (Canterville Ghost)

The Spirit of Sir Simon de Canterville passes by the bridge and me, eternally destined to float between worlds, belonging to neither the land of the living nor the land of the dead. Ultimately, this Spirit is saved by a young girl named Virginia, who listens to him, accepts him, and helps him pass on to the next world. There is a sense with this card that “This, too, shall pass,” even if my efforts do not show desired results at this moment in time. Patience will bring me to my reward.

Read more about this Spirit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterville_Ghost

The three Swords cards may represent an emphasis mental activity as well as conflict that needs to be resolved. Emotions play a part (Cups), as does the physical, material realm (Pentacles). Plenty of messages for me to consider this All Hallow’s Eve.

Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain to all!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

“Is this relationship worthy of my efforts?"

A sample reading using
Tarot of the Animal Lords
by Angelo Giannini (Illustrator)
(Lo Scarabeo)

“Is this relationship worthy of my efforts or is it time to let go and move on?” 
"Is he my soulmate or do I move forward and never look back?"


Before I continue with your reading, I would like to share with you my understanding of what a soulmate is. I believe that the soul has many facets. A soulmate is a reflection of one of the facets -- a connection to something in yourself that connects to the same thing in the other person. Thus we can have (and usually do have) more than one soulmate in a lifetime.

For your 3-card reading I am using Tarot of the Animal Lords. This intriguing deck by artist Angelo Giannini uses humanized animals to represent traditional Tarot card meanings. I drew cards to represent (1) strengths of this relationship, (2) obstacles or problems in the relationship, and (3) what will be most helpful to you in making a decision about the relationship.

1. Strengths: KNIGHT OF PENTACLES (Wild Boar)

This card suggests that the relationship has had a certain sturdy, stable, secure quality to it. The boar usually represents fidelity and strength. The suit of Pentacles is the suit of Earth, associated with practicality, material matters, physical condition or experiences, finances, security, family values, and domestic issues.

2. Obstacles or problems: EIGHT OF PENTACLES (Chimpanzee)

The obstacles or problems with the relationship seem to be in the same area as the strengths (Pentacles / Earth). With this card there is a suggestion of "rough edges" or "work needed." Chimpanzees are self-aware, social creatures. They can also frequently use deception to get what they want. The 8 of Pentacles calls your attention to a possible unwillingness to work on the relationship, to resolve differences in an open, honest manner.

3. What will be most helpful to you in making a decision: DEATH (Crow)

In this position, the Death card suggests change -- an end and a beginning. It points to the fact that life is made up of cycles: birth, life, death, and rebirth. The crow is black, the color of night -- but it is out of black darkness of night that the new day is born. This card indicates that something "new" is needed. Something old and outworn needs to be set aside so that something new can be born. Does this mean you should end the relationship? Not necessarily. You must also consider the possibility that the relationship can be improved if both of you are willing to make changes and discard behaviors, attitudes, or circumstances that are no longer useful or beneficial. It is clear, however, that the relationship will probably not thrive if things remain the way they are

It is my hope that the insight gained through this reading will help you make decisions and take action in line with your best interests. Always remember that your future lies in your hands.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Is She Being Truthful? A Sample Reading.

A sample reading using 
The Animals Divine Tarot
by Lisa Hunt
(Llewellyn Worldwide)

“Is T---- being truthful with me about what she wants with me?
What is my future with this woman,
and will she ever love me?"


I don’t want to disappoint you, but I need to let you know that I cannot read people’s minds or tell you what they are feeling. Also, I do not predict the future or "tell fortunes." Your future is not predetermined. You and T---- have free will, and are constantly making decisions and choices that affect your future. What I can do is ask the cards what you need to understand about your relationship with T----. For your 3-card reading, I am using the Animals Divine Tarot. Below are the positional definitions I used, the cards I drew into those positions, and my interpretations.

Position 1. Situation: EIGHT OF WANDS (reversed) - the Ant

This card suggests confusion and delays, lack of cooperation, and failure to maintain individuality. This looks like a one-sided situation to me. It doesn't seem like you and T---- are on the same page, singing from the same songbook, or whatever expression you choose to employ to indicate two people who are not progressing toward the same goal. 

Position 2. Challenge: TWO OF PENTACLES (reversed) - the Panda

The challenge is to achieve a balance between seemingly opposing choices. You seem to be between a rock and a hard place (sorry -- these expressions just keep coming to me, and they actually seem to be appropriate!) Making a sacrifice or compromise now may or may not result in a more harmonious situation in the future. You can't tell right now. That's the dilemma.

Position 3. Opportunity: TWO OF WANDS (reversed) - the Dragonfly

This is another card referencing a choice (the number Two). You have the opportunity to see past potential illusions and choose how you will direct your energies. You are being encouraged to flow with your intuition and make a decision based on your gut instinct. Don't be deceived by appearances or what may seem immediately attractive. Look at how things might evolve in the long term and plan carefully.

The way you have phrased your questions tells me that you already suspect that T---- is not being truthful. The cards do not seem to dispute that suspicion. Only you can decide what you want, who you want to be, and where you want to go -- with or without T----. I have known people in relationships who are aware that they are being deceived, yet they want to be with the other person so much, they are willing to accept that. 

As I said above, I cannot read T----'s mind and I do not predict the future. I can only hope that the insight provided by this reading will help you make choices and decisions in line with your best interests. Always remember that your future is in your hands. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Easy as STU…

In this Tarot Notes series, I will be pulling a card for each letter of the alphabet. Each card will be from a different deck. To add to the cleverness, of course, the name of the deck will begin with the letter being used, if at all possible. (Deck attributions are provided at the end of this post.)

To read the blog post for the letters ABC, click HERE
For DEF, click HERE
For GHI, click HERE
For JKL, click HERE
For MNO, click HERE
For PQR, click HERE

Background image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

S is for SIBYL. 

Well, why not? In Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery, The High Priestess is portrayed as the ancient pagan prophetess Sybil. Her open scroll “displays the symbol for consciousness in the center of the seven-pointed star and the circular anagram relating the words TAROT, ROTA, and ATOR.” In this case, “S” can also stand for Symbolism,  and the number Seven: for the Seven Virtues of Temperance, Strength, Justice, Prudence, Faith, Hope, and Charity.

T is for TYPHON.

Typhon is the character descending the wheel in the Thoth Tarot representation of the Wheel of Fortune card. According to Greek mythology, Typhon was a Titan (another “T”!), a terrifying, huge monster who had nothing but serpents below the waist. When the card is reversed, Typhon ascends to the top of the wheel, a representation of dark times and bad luck. We might also say “T” is for TEN, as seen in the ten-spoked wheel on this card. “T” might also represent “TIME,” as the position of the wheel changes, and Typhon rises and falls, with time.


The Ace of Wands is often seen as representing creation, a beginning, or the start of an undertaking. This card has appeared before in the ABC series, representing the letter P for “Potential.” This time we are using the Universal Waite Tarot. Synonyms for “undertaking” include enterprise, venture, project, campaign, scheme, plan, operation, endeavor, effort, task, assignment, charge, activity, pursuit, exploit, job, business, affair, procedure, proceeding, process, and transaction.

S: The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery by Robert M. Place  (Hermes Publications)
T: Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
U: Universal Waite Tarot with drawings by Pamela Colman Smith and coloring by Mary Hanson-Roberts (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Monday, September 9, 2019

Does my partner of 15 years still love me?

A sample reading using 
Tarot of the Old Path
created by Sylvia Gainsford and Howard Rodway

“Does my partner of 15 years still love me?”


I don't want to disappoint you, but I cannot read your partner’s mind or tell you what they are feeling or thinking. What I can do is ask the cards for insight into the energy currently surrounding this relationship. Using Tarot of the Old Path, I drew three cards to represent the Situation, Challenge, and Opportunity. Below are the cards I drew into those positions and my interpretations.

Position 1. Situation: THE STAR

On this card, a woman pours nourishing ambrosia onto the land (conscious awareness) and into an estuary flowing forth to the sea (intuitive unconscious). In the foreground we see an iris, symbol of hope and power. This is a very encouraging card to draw in this position. It conveys a sense of harmony, balance, success, inspiration, satisfaction, and a bright future.

Position 2. Challenge: SEVEN OF SWORDS

On this card, a man dressed in protective leather clothing and gloves clutches four swords and glances back over his shoulder with a grin. He appears to have stolen these weapons. As he darts quickly away, he leaves three swords standing in the background. The challenge that faces this relationship appears to involve someone not telling another person everything he or she needs to know. The "theft" shown on the card is in the area of the mind and communication. Concealed information is likely to cause conflict and insecurity.

Position 3. Opportunity: TWO OF CAULDRONS, reversed

On this card, a man and woman stand facing each other. They hold small cauldrons towards the other's lips in a gesture of love and union. Cauldrons is the suit of Water, representing emotions. Reversed, this card warns of separation, disillusion, and a troubled romance. However, in this position (Opportunity), I see this as an indication that you have an opportunity to avoid these things by heeding the messages of the other cards. Open communication and frankness is needed to restore emotional balance and allow all the positive potential indicated by The Star to shine forth.

My goal in providing this reading is to help you feel empowered to make practical, life-affirming decisions or changes. Always remember that your future lies in your hands.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Easy as PQR…

In this Tarot Notes series, I will be pulling a card for each letter of the alphabet. Each card will be from a different deck. To add to the cleverness, of course, the name of the deck will begin with the letter being used, if at all possible. (Deck attributions are provided at the end of this post.)

To read the blog post for the letters ABC, click HERE
For DEF, click HERE
For GHI, click HERE
For JKL, click HERE
For MNO, click HERE

Image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay


P is for POTENTIAL. 

On the Ace of Wands from the Tarot of Pagan Cats, we see an orange tabby perched in a tree. Out of a weathered, dead tree trunk, a new trunk and multiple sprouting branches grow, representing an opportunity to take a fresh, new, exciting action.

Q is for QUERY. 

I do not have a Tarot deck beginning with Q, so I decided to use The Quest Tarot, which I accessed on line. The Eight of Stones, titled “Knowledge” seems to me to fit well with the idea of a “query,” which usually involves an attempt to learn or understand something. With Tarot readings, the person asking the question(s) is often referred to as the "querent."


Like many other decks, the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg presents the Ace of Swords as a card of ambition, initiative, triumph, and determination. Like all Aces, it represents a beginning. With Swords being the suit of mental clarity, we can easily see the Ace of Swords as representing recognition – an awareness or understanding of something, perhaps for the first time, leading us in a new direction.

P: Tarot of Pagan Cats by Magdelina Messine with artwork by Lola Airaghi (Lo Scarabeo)
Q: The Quest Tarot by Joseph Earnest Martin (Llewellyn Worldwide)
R: Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg, illustrated by Yury Shakov (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Sunday, August 25, 2019

How can I get out of this funk?

A sample reading using
the Haindl Tarot
by Hermann Haindl
(U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

"I'm feeling like I"m in a funk at the moment and
I want to know what is going on and what I can do to get myself out of it."


For your 1-card reading I am using the Haindl Tarot. Your card is the TWO OF WANDS (Dominion).

Haindl Tarot

On this card we see a ruined church with a staircase that leads upward to an opening that reveals the sky. We see two crossed spears in front of the entrance. The ruins of the church symbolize the power of the soul. The stairway represents a spiritual ascent. The spears symbolize both power and pacification.

Wands is the suit of Fire, representing passion, action, will, confidence, creativity, and brightness, but also battles and struggles. The number Two commonly suggests balancing dualities, tension, or choice.

You mentioned that you feel like you are in a funk. The Two of Wands seems to suggest that there is a decision or choice you need to make, and that you need to then take action based on that decision or choice. The title of this card is "Dominion" and its imagery conveys the spiritual power and strength available to you. The church is in ruins on the card, which makes me think that something in your life may no longer serve the purpose for you that it once did. It still has meaning for you, but has ceased to be what you need it to be.

You can overcome your feeling of being in a funk by starting something new in some area of your life, by choosing to move forward, to follow through on something you have been thinking about. This is a time when it pays to be ambitious, to discover and claim your personal power instead of giving away that power to others. The Two of Wands doesn't guarantee that your path will be completely smooth or easy, but it suggests that you have the stamina and energy to make your way in the world.

My goal in providing this reading is to help you feel empowered to make practical, life-affirming decisions or changes. Always remember that your future lies in your hands.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Am I With the Right Man? Will We Be Married?

A sample reading using
the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg
by YuryShakov
(U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

“Am I with the right man for me?”
"Will we be married after this separation due to him being in jail?" 




I don’t want to disappoint you, but I do not predict the future or "tell fortunes." Your future is not predetermined. You and the other people in your life have free will, and are constantly making decisions and choices that affect your future.

A Tarot reading is like a snapshot of your life at the time of the reading. The cards can give you a picture of unseen influences, patterns of behavior, obstacles, and strengths. From this, you can sometimes determine the likelihood of an event or circumstance occurring. However, if just one factor changes, the projected outcome can also change. It’s a bit like forecasting the weather — and we all know what can happen with weather forecasts.

For your 3-card reading I am using The Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg.

Your cards are:
THE LOVERS (reversed)
EIGHT OF SWORDS (reversed)

The presence of two Major Arcana cards (The Lovers and The Chariot) tells me that this issue is of great significance in your life. It is not "just any relationship" but one that is likely to have a profound effect on you.

The Lovers (reversed) depicts obstacles this relationship is facing because of poor choices or the triumph of passion over wisdom. The Eight of Swords (reversed) often indicates incarceration. In this deck, it is subtitled "Captivity." The fact that it is reversed suggested that the captivity is temporary. The Chariot supplies a positive note in this reading - - a strong, clear note that tells of victory, success, and force of will that triumphs in spite of conflict and opposition.

Because we have such an accurate portrayal of current circumstances in these cards, I am encouraged by the appearance of The Chariot, upright. This is a card about readiness to make changes, about being in control of one's life. There seems to be positive support for leaving the old ways behind and moving on to a brighter future. Note, however, that this requires a deliberate effort, and there are challenges to overcome. It's not going to happen automatically.

With freedom comes responsibility and acceptance of the knowledge that you create your own destiny. Thus, the decisions and choices the two of you make will shape your future. Only you can tell if this is the right man for you. Marriage is a possibility, but you may want to see how things go in general before you embark on that particular journey, which carries its own challenges.

It is my hope that the insight gained through this reading will help you make decisions and take action in line with your best interests. Always remember that your future lies in your hands.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Easy As MNO...

In this Tarot Notes series, I will be pulling a card for each letter of the alphabet. Each card will be from a different deck. To add to the cleverness, of course, the name of the deck will begin with the letter being used, if at all possible. (Deck attributions are provided at the end of this post.)

To read the blog post for the letters ABC, click HERE
For DEF, click HERE.
For GHI, click HERE.
For JKL, click HERE.

Image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay


M is for MASTERY. 

On the Eight of Pentacles from the Mystic Dreamer Tarot, we see a woman working in a studio. At the moment, she is an apprentice, still learning her craft, but her goal is mastery of that skill. Why else would she work long hours and devote endless energy to her work? Mastery may require tedious repetition and practice, but if we are passionate about our goal, we can be enthusiastic about the process.

N is for NATURE.

The Strength card typically represents interaction between our higher and lower natures, and how our higher nature can overcome or subdue the lower nature in a calm, gentle manner. In Tarot of Northern Shadows (one of my oldest and dearest decks), the beautiful giantess Grid is poised to take on strong, negative emotions that threaten to overcome us. We might use the term “gentle giant” to suggest the approach taken by the higher nature in dealing with the lower nature.

O is for ORDEAL. 

With the Ten of Swords in the Otherworld Tarot and many other decks, we are often looking at “rock bottom” when things can’t get any worse. We may not have much hope for the future or may feel beaten down or overwhelmed. The good news is that this last card in the suit of Swords often points to the start of something bright and new, better times after a period of darkness. Nowhere to go but up!


M: Mystic Dreamer Tarot by Heidi Darras (Llewellyn Publications)
N: Tarot of Northern Shadows by Sylvia Gainsford and Howard Rodway (AGMuller)
O: Otherworld Tarot by Alison Williams, Artwork by Sarah Howell (Schiffer)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mercury Retrograde Reading with the Celestial Tarot

What is your reaction when you hear the term “Mercury retrograde”?

(a) Huh? What’s that?
(b) Oh no! I’m doomed! Nothing will go right!
(c) Something in between

As an astrologer, I am very familiar with Mercury turning retrograde (appearing to move backwards in the sky) several times a year. It’s retrograde even as I type this (July 7-July 31).

Mercury is the planet of the mind and communication, so it’s pretty obvious that if it “moves backwards,” all manner of thinking and communication could be jumbled, confusing, erroneous, and downright disastrous. The current Mercury retrograde started out in Leo and then sashayed backwards into Cancer, which also affects the effects one might expect to experience.

I am delighted to share a Tarot spread that I recently heard about through Bridget at _Biddy Tarot_  : The Mercury Retrograde Spread by _Liz Worth_. Her positional definitions are based on the nature of Mercury retrograde as well as the energies we associate with Leo and Cancer.

Liz has graciously allowed me to post the spread here. The Celestial Tarot by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) insisted on participating in this reading with me, and I agreed that it made a great deal of sense.

1. What is it time for me to value within myself?

FOUR OF CUPS / Serpens
The zodiac sign linked with this card is Scorpio (Water), whose modern ruler is Pluto. There is a sense of loss, disappointment, and grief in the Four of Cups, and most likely these feelings are deep and powerful. It is time for me to value those feelings – not so I can wallow in them or use them as an excuse, but so that I can honor them as real and useful to my current-day Self.

2. How can this help me shine in the world?

With this card we enter into the first decanate of Sagittarius (my Sun sign), ruled by Jupiter. The energy is that of strong conviction and determination to defend that which is valued against all attacks. Both Jupiter and Sagittarius (Fire) carry the confidence and power to handle this sort of thing quite well. This is about reaffirming my beliefs and goals in the face of adversity, and that is how I can shine in the world.

3. Which of my needs is most important to focus on to support my path at this time?

Another reference to my Sun sign, Sagittarius, comes in the form of the constellation Sagitta. With Aces often representing new beginnings and the suit of Pentacles being the suit of Earth (physical, material world), it is important for me to focus on a new direction or plan on the material, physical plane. This could refer to health or to finances, for example. Ruling this card are the sign Capricorn (Earth) and its ruler, Saturn. It’s all about structure, discipline, ambition, and achievement – and how I can use that to support and enhance my spiritual and creative nature.

During this Mercury retrograde, the consecutive signs Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn form a trio of diverse energies that can be channeled in my chosen direction.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

U.S.A. Birth Chart (reprise)

The following is a post I originally made on July 4, 2014 to coincide with Independence Day here in the U.S.

It is about America’s birth chart and the Tarot cards that one could associate with that chart. Please note that I am not ignoring the fact that there were many nations on this continent long before the arrival of European settlers and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. I am choosing in this post to deal with the formal establishment of the United States of America in 1776.

After doing a bit of research, I quickly discovered that astrologers do not agree on the date and time (mostly the time) for which the birth chart of the U.S. should be cast. I won’t go into all of that here. You can do a search on the net and find out more than you probably want to know about it!

The two main variances seem to be the “Sibly chart,” originally published in 1787 by English astrologer, physician and herbalist, Ebenezer Sibly (1751-1799). Those who use this chart note that Sibly was alive at the time of the signing and therefore could have had access to information that is no longer available. The Sibly Chart, cast for July 4, 1776, 5:10 pm LMT (Local Mean Time), Philadelphia, PA, has Sagittarius rising.

In contrast, we have the “Gemini Rising Chart” for 02:13am, attributed to Evangeline Adams in the 1920s. This chart places Uranus (planet of rebellion and upheaval) exactly on the Ascendant. Some astrologers argue that this reflects the “birth” of America quite accurately, but opponents feel the chart does not depict the true nature of American character. Anthony Louis explained his support for this chart in a blog post in 2012: http://tonylouis.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/why-i-use-a-usa-gemini-rising-chart/

So… which chart shall I use for this post? In Tarot terms, using the astrological attributions developed by the Order of the Golden Dawn, I have a choice between Temperance (Sagittarius rising) and The Lovers (Gemini rising). I think I am going to go way out on a limb and not only choose the Gemini chart but use the Aleister Crowley Thoth deck (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) as my Tarot reference for this post.

This should be interesting…

Below is a chart for July 4, 1776, 02:13am LMT (Local Mean Time), Philadelphia, PA. I am using the Equal House System.

The Rising Sign, Gemini, is represented by The Lovers card. Because the planet Uranus sits on the Ascendant, I am pairing The Lovers with The Fool, which is linked with Uranus by modern occultists (Uranus had not yet been discovered when the Golden Dawn made its original astrological attributions, which attributed the element Air to The Fool).

In her book The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need (Taylor Trade Publishing), Joanna Martine Woolfolk writes, “Your Ascendant is the sign that reflects your outward demeanor and to a great extent determines how the outside world looks at you.” It often represents the “mask” we wear or the way we act when our defenses are up.

In the Thoth deck, we not only see “The Lovers” in Trump 6, we also see The Hermit officiating over the marriage depicted on the card between the Black King and White Queen. The Hermit (linked with the zodiac sign Virgo and the Hebrew letter Yod) contributes a creative, virile, fertile energy to this card.

Notice the white child standing with the Black King and the black child with the White Queen. These four figures together can be seen as representing the integration of opposites which, interestingly, is one of the themes of the Temperance card (Art in the Thoth deck), which is linked with Sagittarius, the rising sign in the Sibly Chart I mentioned earlier.

The Fool is commonly seen to represent birth, creation, the very beginning of something – perhaps a new idea, since the card is associated with the element Air by the Golden Dawn. On the Thoth card we don’t have The Fool gazing in the air as he steps off a cliff. However, the fact that The Fool on the Thoth card is being threatened by a tiger and a crocodile tells us that he is not in a “safe” situation, that there are risks involved, energies that may distract or block him from moving forward.

It appears that the colonies did try to reconcile the conflicting views held by the Mother Country and themselves. Indeed, before April 1775, many of the colonists hoped for reconciliation with King George III and Great Britain. But by the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, the relationship was damaged beyond repair and the colonies were ready to bring forth “a new nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” ~ (- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863). That “new nation” is The Fool, independent, original, and ready to face an unknown future.

The Lovers card from the Thoth deck can be said to represent equality in that we see opposites being integrated or brought into balance. Neither the Black King nor the White Queen will rule over the other. To me, this actually foreshadows the argument of the abolitionists in the 1800s, who pointed out that the Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal” and that slavery was in conflict with that belief.

America’s Sun Sign is Cancer. In Tarot terms, this gives us The Sun and The Chariot.

In Astrology, the Sun in a birth chart represents our general character, our ego, our identity and sense of Self. In the Tarot, The Sun is a positive, strong card associated with freedom, happiness, and good health. In The Chariot we see triumph over adversity, self-control, moving forward and taking advantage of opportunities. Cancer is a Water sign known for being sensitive, nurturing, emotional, loyal, and protective. The connection between the sign and the card can be found in comparing the protective shell on the Cancer crab with the armor, helmet, and shield used by the charioteer. Also, Cancer is a cardinal sign, which gives it the qualities of action, leadership, and outgoing activity – all of which apply to The Chariot.

In The Chariot I see a “new nation” that is fortified, armored, and steeled for whatever lies ahead, determined to direct its own path and to remove any obstacles in its way. But the armor is only necessary because the creature wearing it is vulnerable and sensitive. Cancer is the sign of home and family, concepts Americans have always held dear. America will defend its homeland and its friends with armed force if necessary.

The Moon (The Priestess) is in Aquarius (The Star).

In Astrology, the Moon represents emotions, instincts, and the unconscious – the hidden aspects of the personality. In Astrology, the Moon rules the sign Cancer. The Priestess holds the Book of Mysteries on her lap, a book containing esoteric knowledge that can only be accessed using intuition, emotion, and the unconscious mind.

The sign Aquarius (which happens to be ruled in modern Astrology by Uranus) is known for innovation, humanitarianism, idealism, and intellect. Aquarians are often described as displaying rebellious, unusual, even shocking behavior.

The Star card in the Thoth deck features Nuith (Nuit) pouring the Water of Universal Life upon the fertile earth. Nuith is based on an Egyptian sky goddess, Nut, who was appropriated by Aleister Crowley for use in the Thelema pantheon. Crowley wrote: “Nuit is All that which exists, and the condition of that existence” and "Note that Heaven is not a place where Gods Live; Nuit is Heaven, itself."

To me, these qualities of Aquarius and The Star beautifully depict the inner spirit, emotions, and “unconscious mind” of the United States of America that was “born” on July 4, 1776 – the motivation and deepest emotional needs of the people who journeyed to and settled in the New World. What I am getting are the hope and faith and high ideals within so many of those who settled here: the sentiments that inspired the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Lovers (and The Fool) rising, The Chariot sun sign, and The Star moon sign together create a picture of this country that reflects the past, mirrors the present,  and offers hope for the future.

Happy Birthday, America!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Easy as JKL…

In this Tarot Notes series, I will be pulling a card for each letter of the alphabet. Each card will be from a different deck. To add to the cleverness, of course, the name of the deck will begin with the letter being used, if at all possible. (Deck attributions are provided at the end of this post.)

To read the blog post for the letters ABC, click _HERE._  For DEF, click _HERE_.  For GHI, click _HERE_.

Image background by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

J is for JUSTICE. 

Yep. I finally drew an actual card with a title that starts with the appropriate letter. I love it. The Joie de Vivre Tarot is obviously tuned into this game. In this deck, Lady Justice is accompanied by a “furry green companion named Creed,” who displays a golden set of balanced scales.

K is for KARMA. 

I don’t have a Tarot deck whose name begins with “K.” An internet search revealed the Karma Tarot. You can see the cards from this deck _HERE_. I went to one of hundreds of sites on line where you can randomly click and choose a Tarot card. The card that turned up was The Wheel of Fortune – which, in turn, I have decided represents “K is for Karma.” (See what I did there?) I think of this card as a “what goes up must come down” kind of thing, meaning that we all have ups and downs and round-and-rounds as we go through life. At times we might even feel centered and stable, in the middle of the Wheel. How much of what we experience is actually due to “karma” (“what goes around, comes around”) is not always clear.

L is for LANGUISH. 

In Legend: The Arthurian Tarot, the story linked with the Nine of Swords is the story of Elaine, Lily Maid of Astolat, whose unrequited love for Lancelot (another “L”) cause her to die of a broken heart. When we “languish,” we are obsessing over something or someone, giving ourselves over to grief or worry or suffering.


J: Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
K: Karma Tarot Deck by Birgit Boline Erfurt (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
L: Legend The Arthurian Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson (Llewellyn Publications)