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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jodorowsky 3-Card Spread

Today I’m going to totally copy a spread from Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mary K. Greer, and Helen Howell. I thank all three of them for making the spread available for me to use. Check out Mary’s post HERE  and Helen’s post HERE. 

Mary K. Greer calls this Jodorowsky’s Three-Card Theosophic Sum Spread. It uses only the Major Arcana. We can ask a question or simply let the cards identify an issue for us. I am using Jodorowsky’s layout, with the first three cards laid out from left to right (A B C) and then a column of four cards (descending) to the right of them. It seems that Jodorowsky did not read the first three cards, only the subsequent ones. However, I am going use a slight variation favored by both Mary and Helen, in which I read the first three cards as a clue to the issue to be explored, and the rest of the cards as shown below.

Here are the steps:

(1) Pull three cards, laying them out left to right. These are cards A, B, and C. They will reveal the issue to be explored.

(2) Add the numerical values of A, B, and C. Reduce any sum over 23 (22 = The Fool). Place the resulting card to the side and upper right of the three cards. This card represents Underlying Aspects of the Question or Issue.

(3) Add the numerical values of cards A and C. Reduce any sum over 23. Place the resulting card under the card derived in Step 2. This card represents Exterior Aspects of the Question or Issue.

(4) Add the numerical values of cards A and B. Reduce any sum over 23. Place the resulting card under the card derived in Step 3. This card represents Receptive Influences (What You Are Receptive To).

(5) Add the numerical values of cards B and C. Reduce any sum over 23. Place the resulting card under the card derived in Step 4. This card represents Active Influences (Likely Actions).

For this reading, I am using the Crystal Visions Tarot by Jennifer Galasso (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

I begin with the foundation of the reading, cards A, B, and C.

(A) THE CHARIOT (7) . . . . . (B) THE MOON (15) . . . . . (C) STRENGTH (8)

Quite a bit of contrast here, with The Chariot being a card of victory, self-confidence, and control, much like Strength, which typically represents courage, confidence, and willpower. In the center we have The Moon, a card with a very different “vibe,” often symbolizing dreams, the subconscious, and intuition. The two main characters on The Chariot and Strength look away from The Moon, as if not interested in or not aware of her presence or influence. The woman on The Moon faces us front and center. The message I get here is that the issue to be explored is something significant or meaningful that I am aware of at a subconscious level but that doesn’t seem to be manifesting itself or expressing itself in my actions or “active” decision-making. I also get a sense of “past, present and future” with these cards, with The Chariot pointing to decisions and actions from the past, The Moon calling my attention to the here and now, and Strength showing me a path forward. I also notice that the number 15 (The Moon) represents the sum of The Chariot (7) and Strength (8).

Let’s see what the other four cards can tell us about this matter. Following the prescribed formula:

Underlying Aspects of the Question or Issue: THE EMPRESS
A + B + C = 7 + 15 + 8 = 30 = 3 + 0 = 3
The nurturing, harmonious nature of The Empress underlies the issue described by the three cards above. A strong symbol of feminine influence and character, The Empress brings life, growth, and rebirth. It is easy for me to see The Empress and The Moon combining their energies to encourage my efforts to understand messages from my subconscious and to use them to support growth at many different levels.

Exterior Aspects of the Question or Issue: THE MOON
A + C = 7 + 8 = 15
Viewed primarily as a card that reflects my “interior,” here The Moon represents “exterior aspects of the issue,” which tells me that whether I accept or realize it or not, my subconscious does play a part in what goes on around me or “outside” me, or at the very least, in the way I perceive those exterior aspects. I might also interpret this to mean that my view of these exterior aspects depends a great deal on the limited light provided by The Moon. In other words, I may not be seeing or understanding those exterior aspects clearly.

Receptive Influences (What I Am Receptive To): THE FOOL
A + B = 7 + 15 = 22
I am receptive to taking a chance, to being spontaneous, and to the belief that potential is unlimited. This may all be well and good, but I need to be sure I am not being naïve or “foolish.” On this card, the woman is entranced by the butterflies all around her that she does not look where she is going and is about to step off a ledge.

Active Influences (Likely Actions): THE HIEROPHANT
B + C = 15 + 8 = 23 = 5
Of course, my least favorite card in the Major Arcana has to make an appearance. I always struggle with this card because its (to me, obvious) association with organized religion is a big turn-off for me. Religious tradition, order, rules, and dogma hold no appeal whatsoever for me. However, it almost looks like the cards are saying that even though I am receptive to taking chances and “free thinking,” my actions will continue to follow a certain line, never straying far from a conservative, conformist approach. The energy of The Moon within me may remain below the radar of people I encounter, acting as a prompt or influence that doesn’t often show on the surface. This could be a good thing in some ways. It might not be useful or wise to put The Moon in charge.

I think it’s important to note the fact that The Moon appears twice in this reading and at the center of the original three cards. I almost always feel drawn to this card in any Tarot deck, and the appearance of wolves on the card is interesting, given that I consider the wolf one of my spirit animals. I feel as if the cards are asking me what I am going to “do” with my innermost feelings, subconscious ideas, and psychic inclinations. How am I going to incorporate that energy into a healthy “whole” (vs. suppressing it or allowing it full reign)?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Listen to the Animals: Cicada

For this Tarot Notes feature, I pull one card from an animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

If you are interested in finding out who your own Animal Guides are, you can get an Animal Guides Reading through my _Etsy shop_ or my _Web Site_.

The other day, when I stepped onto the back deck of my house, I nearly stepped on (or tripped over) a very large bug (photo below). I did not know what it was. Honestly, I love animals, but this very large bug gave me a most unpleasant sensation in my stomach and I froze in place. I was actually *afraid* it might be alive and would fly up into my face. Cautiously, I made my way around it and soon confirmed that it was no longer living. (I am sorry, dear bug, but this filled me with relief.)

Anyway, I found out that this was a cicada, specifically Neotibicen superbus, aka the Superb Cicada (or Superb Dog-Day Cicada). I am familiar with cicadas because of the shrill, loud “singing” (from the males) that I have heard all my life – but I had never seen one and didn’t realize how big they are (1-2 inches long for most species). Lordy.

Once I recovered from the incident, I was pretty sure I remembered the cicada being included in The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing). Indeed, it is there, portraying the role of the Six of Shapeshifters (Cups) with the key phrase “Happiness from the Past.”

Let’s see what else we can learn from the cicada.

Ted Andrews describes this bug as a “fairly large” (an understatement, IMHO, but Ted may have encountered way huger insects than I have…), sap-sucking insect” that feeds “mainly upon trees.” Cicadas lay their eggs in soil, and the nymphs remain underground for several years (17 years for one American cicada).

Andrews tells us that an increase in attraction to and from the opposite sex is one of the things we might expect when we encounter the cicada (nothing in that area from me so far), but we may also have past-life experiences or begin to realize the effects people and situations of the past have had on our present.

Reversed, the card can represent a delay in the “hatching” of something and the need for patience (remember that 17-year underground stage).

Like all insects, the cicada calls our attention to the importance of change, whether it is the need to change or a caution against trying to rush change.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lenormand Relationship Reading

This reading is for a friend who is in a serious relationship with a woman and is wondering how things might evolve between them. One concern he shared with me is that she is quite a bit younger than he is (26 years). At their current ages – 65 and 39 – that isn’t a big problem, but my friend is thinking ahead to whether the age difference would be a major issue down the road.

I decided to see what the Dreaming Way Lenormand cards could tell us. I am aware that typically, Lenormand cards are read in lines or rows rather than drawn into individual positions. However, I am eager to see how the cards can adapt to this type of reading.

The positions for this reading are: (1) what is the guidance for this relationship from the universe? (2) what does he want or need from this relationship? (3) what does she want or need from this relationship? (4) what temptation do they need to resist? and (5) what can help them make this relationship last?


What is the guidance for this relationship from the Universe?

WHIPS (11)

This card can be interpreted as indicating physical punishment or violence, but I think in this case it’s more about habits or reflex responses that have become ingrained and repeat themselves over and over again. The Whips card can refer to communication. Both of these people have been married before, and I think that the Universe is cautioning them to question and discontinue negative patterns of communication or behavior that they might have fallen into in past relationships. They need to break free and not “punish” each other by reenacting scenes or “playing old recordings” from the past.

What does he want or need from this relationship?


He wants or needs for the relationship to relieve confusion and uncertainty, troubling thoughts and challenges he faces.

What does she want or need from this relationship?

SUN (31)

She wants or needs for this relationship to give her a feeling of hope and optimism, to inspire confidence and enthusiasm that she may have lost due to a previous relationship or situation. As an extra note: Both of these people were born with the Sun in Leo, a sign ruled by the Sun. I get a sense that the woman wants to be with someone who is much like her, a "soulmate" if you will, born under the same sign with many of the same qualities.

What temptation do they need to resist?


They need to resist the temptation to abruptly end or cut away something or sever ties with someone without thinking the matter through and considering all of the angles. It could be that this something or someone really does need to go, but it can be done carefully rather than using a slash-and-burn approach.

What can help them make this relationship last?

RING (25)

As Beyoncé famously sang: "If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it." Commitment and dedication can help them make this relationship last. The Ring could refer to the idea that marriage (as opposed to living together without being married) could be an important part of creating a lasting relationship. Some type of contract is desirable here. It’s possible that buying a house together (for example) might prove helpful, but I’m inclined to think the Ring should be taken literally in this case.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Two Cards, One Interpretation: Ace of Coins and The Devil

Today, Helen joins us with the first installment in a new series for Tarot Notes:

"Two Cards, One Interpretation"
by Helen Howell

The posts in this new series demonstrate how two cards can be read together as one, their meanings blended to complement and enhance each other. I hope you enjoy this new series as much as I have in putting it together. I'm using the Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy (published by US Games Systems Inc.)

Ace of Coins / The Devil

It’s now time to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves, but beware of any rash impulses. Stay in control of your actions.

* ~ *

Be sure to visit Helen's new Tarot blog. 
Click here: Helen H's Tarot Blog