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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Empress

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.

Now let’s look at how THE EMPRESS is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

ANGORA RABBIT (“Time to take action. Abundance and prosperity. Pregnancy. Creativity. Starting something new.”) We can understand the choice of a rabbit for this card when we read in the guidebook that The Empress, in contrast to The High Priestess, says, “Okay, that’s enough thinking! Time to hop to it!” Rapid movement and jumping in with both feet are actually not phrases I normally associate with The Empress card. She always seems somewhat sedentary to me and is often depicted as pregnant, sitting in a garden in the midst of Nature, looking benevolent. However, the association of rabbits with fertility and creativity cannot be overlooked.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

COW: The Cow is most certainly an iconic symbol of feminine energy, a creature whose milk nourishes not only her own children, but the children of many other species, human beings included. Here we have a lovely Scottish Highland Cow resting in open fields among the flowers, the mountains behind her. I like the way Leeza Robertson describes the energy of this card as “bountiful possibilities poised on the stage of expectancy.” The words “possibilities” and “expectancy” are keys to understanding the nature of The Empress card. This is not about a “finished product” but about that which is “on its way.”

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

COW (Earth Mother): Instead of the Scottish Highland Cow, this time we have what I’m going to guess could be a _Jersey_. Keynotes for this card in this deck are “Nourishment, Protection, Goodness, Love.” This serene, gentle cow rests in a lush, grassy field surrounded by flowers. She represents creative growth and the need to nourish and support all of our creations. The author’s MESSAGE: “Trust life; share, nurture, and participate with delight.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

DOLPHIN: Creativity, Fertility, and New Promise

For Ted Andrews, the dolphin represents the energy of The Empress. He notes that dolphins embody three of the most ancient and powerful creative forces: water, sound, and breath. In Greek tradition, the dolphin was sacred to Aphrodite, goddess of love, passion, sensuality, and fertility. Known for its ability to communicate, the dolphin encourages us to ask what our words and thoughts are creating for us.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

HERA: the Mother, nurturer, fertile ideas, the anima

For this deck The Empress is represented by the Greek mother goddess Hera, who presided over women, marriage, and childbirth. Notably (considering the appearance of the Cow in two other Empress cards so far), Hera is accompanied by a cow – “a lunar animal, associated with the fertile powers of the earth.” Another animal included on this card is the peacock, sacred to Hera, symbolizing beauty and dignity.

The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

THE GOLDEN TIGER: “She is life: the ground that supports us, the fire that warms us, the trees that shade us, the food that nourishes us and the very air we breathe.” (Cheung) Representing passion, delight, beauty, patience, loyalty, and protection, a Golden Tiger was chosen for The Empress in this deck. Gentle with her young and ferocious with anyone or anything that tries to harm them, the tiger breaks the pattern set so far by the other animal decks, featuring a fierce predator rather than a more docile, benign creature.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

SHE-WOLF: Another top predator who, like the tiger, is known for showing great gentleness and protection to her offspring, while showing no mercy to her natural prey or to enemies that seek to harm the cubs. Keywords from the guidebook: “Mother. Intelligence, practicality.” Reversed: “lack of offspring, indecision.” This beautiful arctic wolf is shown in the company of not only two cubs but butterflies and a toucan. I checked (because that’s how I roll), and found that toucans are native to the Neotropics, from Southern Mexico, through Central America, into South America south to northern Argentina. Not many arctic wolves in those areas. But that’s part of the fun of this deck. These images are not meant to be illustrations in a natural history textbook.

The tally for animals portraying The High Priestess in these seven decks:

Cow: 3 (counting Hera)
Dolphin: 1
Rabbit: 1
Tiger: 1
Wolf: 1

I have to say the cow is a very logical, meaningful choice for this card. I don’t deny that. But part of me loves the idea of a tiger or wolf as the Mother of All Mothers (so to speak). The dolphin and rabbit are also appealing choices. Which do you prefer?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Deck Interview: Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck

Interview with the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck by Matt Hughes. I am the proud owner of deck #852 in a limited edition run of 1100. To learn more about this gorgeous deck, click _HERE_.

Interview questions and answers below.

Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck

(1) What would you like me to understand about you?

NINE OF PENTACLES: I bring you rewards and feelings of accomplishment and success on your earthly journey, a richness of physical and material gifts along with an appreciation of your own values and sense of security.

(2) What would you like me to understand about myself?

FIVE OF CUPS: You need to stop thinking so much about what you have lost, where you have failed, and what “might have been.” Look up. Turn around. Seize the goblets that are waiting to be filled.

(3) What strengths and/or weaknesses do we have as a team?

THE HANGED MAN: Together we can end old ways and release the restrictions that are holding you back in life. First, there is a need to reflection and “inaction,” contemplation that can help develop a new perspective, a different way of looking at things. Sacrifice may be needed, but the results will be worth it.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Advice from the Guardians of Wisdom

To purchase a reading from me, visit my _ETSY Shop_.

Today’s reading comes from one of the information cards included with the Guardians of Wisdom Universal Power Cards deck by Todd Hershey, Illustrated by Emy Ledbetter. For more information about this fascinating deck, visit http://www.guardiansofwisdom.net/

Also, if you’re interested, I used this deck for my blog post “A Journey through My Decks: EIGHT OF WANDS. 

Today I am doing a 3-card spread to answer the question, “What advice do my guides have for me at this stage in my life?”  As you will notice, these cards “read themselves” in a way, with the messages being printed on the cards. Different messages apply depending on which way the card is positioned (upright or reversed).

11 of Diamonds / FERTILITY

“A new cycle of life within you is ready to come forth.”

The suit of Diamonds in this deck represents the “Native Americans category,” the physical aspects of the world. If I were of child-bearing age, I might wonder if this card refers to pregnancy, but I am not. Since I am middle-aged, this could refer to a new cycle in my health or finances, day-to-day life, material concerns of any kind. In terms of advice being given, I feel the cards are simply alerting me to this possibility so that I will be more aware and attentive to it.

11 of Spades / MARTYR

“Taking on other people’s problems while ignoring your own.”

Spades represent the “Ancient Asians category” in this deck, a category that includes the mental process going on in my life – all forms of thought, including conscious and subconscious thought. The cards in this category can help me know when and how to use my knowledge. It seems that this card is telling me I need to be careful not to act as a martyr. Now, I honestly don’t believe I have that tendency, or if I do, I have learned to question or resist it in most cases. But I will not ignore the cards. It may be that I still have some work to do in this area.

1 of Diamonds / DESTINY

“Spirit will provide you the resources to fulfill your life’s work.”

Back to the suit of Diamonds (“Native Americans” category, physical aspects of the world). “Destiny” is an interesting concept. I tend not to believe in destiny – as in a fate that we cannot avoid. I honestly don’t believe anything is “destined” to happen – cannot be changed or avoided. That being said, the message on this card isn’t so much about that as a belief that if I am listening, paying attention, and/or tune in to Spirit, guidance and assistance will be provided to help me fulfill my life’s work. I can believe that. I don’t feel I am “guaranteed” to fulfill my life’s work. There are many other factors involved.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ultimate Happiness with the Shadowscapes Tarot

It’s been awhile since I visited with my Shadowscapes Tarot deck created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and published by Llewellyn Publications. To read my interview with this gorgeous deck, click HERE.

I am using a spread called “Ultimate Happiness” from the Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)

(1) This is what you will get rid of


Like the “Seeker of the Seas” shown on this card, I will get rid of the weariness and demands and weight of the material world, turning away and disengaging, swimming serenely down, deeper into the sea of spirituality. The woman on the card holds onto one chalice, allowing the others to float away, which tells me I will get rid of emotional ties to many things, keeping only what is important and necessary.

(2) This is what you will accomplish


I will accomplish a reunion with my true identity and nature, the skills and abilities and personality of the Queen of Wands. I will experience the calm assurance of this fiery Queen, her exuberance in life.

(3) This goes with it


What goes with this is surrender and emotional release, giving up control in order to gain a new perspective or perception of the world. Willingly, I give up the part of my Self that is bound to the material world and the narrow view I have held of life.

(4) This will bring you luck


What will bring me luck is heeding the message of the Page of Swords to rid my eyes of “the clouded haze of too much daylight, and to see the path that the nocturnal guidance of the sky offers.” I can look to the stars for guidance as I fly through the skies in the company of swans, freed from the restraints of an earth-bound life.

(5) You will still be confronted with this


Even with all of the deep-sea diving and flying through the air, I will still be confronted with the need for order and control at some level in certain situations. I cannot completely reject the need for structure and stability. I will need to work with or deal with power and authority, whether given to me or to others.

(6) This solution as a blessing


The solution and blessing comes in the form of moderation of extremes and the balance of opposing forces to create unity, harmony, and healing. The blending and balance of the elements – Earth, Fire, Water, Air – creates power that is much stronger than the strength of any one element alone. Physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental energies are wielded to a single purpose.

The Queen of Wands and Temperance are cards that I and others associate with my Sun sign, the Fire sign Sagittarius.

Temperance appears in my interview with this deck in the position “What are your strengths as a deck?” I wrote the following lines to represent that card:

In a single, simple circle
Are both Yin and Yang
Swirling, curling, giving and taking from each other.
I share with you the power of opposites perfectly balanced,
Of dragons blue and yellow,
Mixed and mingled,
Flowing into a lavender sky.