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Friday, September 15, 2017

Situation and Advice Spread with The Playing Card Oracles

I was in the mood to do a reading with two decks – not two different decks, but two copies of the same deck. One reason I like to do this occasionally is that the same card can show up more than once, which can give an interesting slant to the reading.

For this reading I am using the Playing Card Oracles Divination Deck by Ana Cortez and C.J. Freeman (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) To see my review of this fascinating deck, click HERE.

I have this deck in two different sizes, so I am using the larger size for the odd-numbered card positions in the spread below, and the smaller deck for the even-numbered positions. (Keep reading. I promise it will all make sense.) šŸ˜Š

I am using a spread created by “Lunakasha” and posted on _Aeclectic Tarot. _



Positional definitions:
1. Current situation……… 2. Advice
3. Internal Obstacles/Fears……. 4. Advice
5. Subconscious Desires/Hopes……. 6. Advice
7. External Obstacles/Challenges……. 8. Advice
9. Outcome……. 10. Advice

I am using my larger deck for the odd-numbered card positions (1,3,5,7,9), representing the current issue for that position. The smaller deck is used for the even-numbered card positions (2,4,6,8,10), representing advice on how to deal with that particular issue.

1. Current situation……… 2. Advice

GAWAIN (9 of Diamonds) …….. LIVIA (Queen of Diamonds / 12)

My first reaction when I saw these two cards was that they could be mother and son. Gawain (9 of Diamonds) typically symbolizes a “changing dynamic” or “energy that is here and then gone.” He rides into a situation, fixes things to his satisfaction, then rides off again. Here he represents the “Current situation,” which suggests to me a situation that is in flux, that changes often with ups and downs, with wrongs that are made right and errors that are corrected. But things are not settled, by any means. In the role of “Advice,” Livia (Queen of Diamonds) is known as one who is “hospitable and kind” as well as honest and trustworthy. She seems like a very steady influence, someone who doesn’t get all bent out of shape or out of sorts, and that is the energy that will be useful in dealing with a fluctuating situation.

3. Internal Obstacles/Fears……. 4. Advice

MARDOC THE HEARTLESS (King of Spades / 13) …….. EAST WIND (4 of Clubs)

Internal Obstacles and Fears are represented by Mardoc (King of Spades), known for being stubborn, skeptical, cold, and unforgiving. These traits can act as obstacles in any situation, especially if they are rooted deep within us. If this is the case, the East Wind advises us to think carefully, be patient, and take slow, deliberate action.

5. Subconscious Desires/Hopes……. 6. Advice

LEAH (Queen of Clubs / 12) …….. ETHRA (Ace of Clubs)

Leah (Queen of Clubs) is a very appropriate card to represent “Subconscious Desires/Hopes”, as she is known to be an intuitive, imaginative dreamer and visionary. She is certainly in tune with her deepest desires and the thoughts of her unconscious mind, but if she dwells too long in those realms, she can become delusional. During the fluctuating situation represented by Gawain (9 of Diamonds), it might be all too easy for Leah to lose touch with what is realistic or practical. Ethra (Ace of Clubs) also represents a connection to another, invisible world, where dreams, ideas, and creative impulses exist. Ethra is a moth, a creature who “lives between imagination and reality,” and we might deduce that Ethra’s advice here would be to explore and understand our subconscious desires and hopes, while at the same time making sure we take care of what is needed or desired in the physical, material world.

7. External Obstacles/Challenges……. 8. Advice

FORTUNA (10 of Clubs) …….. SOUTH WIND (4 of Diamonds)

As an External Obstacle/Challenge, Fortuna (10 of Clubs) is described as “here and gone” (very much like Gawain, the 9 of Diamonds)! Amusing and light-hearted, Fortuna is also known to be fickle and flighty. It appears that the fluctuating nature of our original Current Situation is only made more changeable by external influences. What advice, then, will the South Wind (4 of Diamonds) impart? Good question! The South Wind is viewed as the source of mischief and mayhem, unplanned circumstances, confusion, and misunderstanding. Perhaps the advice is to expect those things, and try to “roll with the punches” and maintain a sense of humor.

9. Outcome……. 10. Advice


The Outcome seems rather glorious as we behold the Swords of Enchantment (7 of Clubs) whose motto is “Believe in me.” Another motto assigned to this card is “Positive thoughts attract positive circumstance at the moment we need it most.” Having faith in a shining, magical outcome will go a long way in making that outcome a reality. The Advice here seems appropriate, as the Bridge (6 of Clubs) refers to “safe crossing over troubled waters” as well as “newfound perspectives and newfound hopes.” The card points to surmounting and overcoming obstacles and finding peace of mind.

Looking at all of this, I get a sense of a tumultuous, changing, fluctuating situation that is exacerbated by internal “bad attitudes” and a tendency to focus too much on fantasies. External influences aren’t much help, and it may seem to those involved that everything is going to crash and burn. However, if they can remain steady and hospitable (Leah), patient and thoughtful (East Wind), and if they can maintain a sense of humor as they roll with the punches (South Wind), a magnificent Outcome is a strong possibility.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Tarot Magic" with the Wonderland Tarot

Today, in honor of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, I am using The Wonderland Tarot, created by Chris and Morgana Abbey (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) to do a series of two-card readings based on the spread “Tarot Magic” featured in the Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)

I am going to explore four basic areas of life:

  • Myself
  • Home and Family
  • Relationships with Others
  • Career or Vocation

The positional definitions for the two cards in the Tarot Magic spread are:
(1) Choose this card. It represents your conscious attitude.
(2) Pull this card. It represents your unconscious attitude.

The process for this is to pull two cards from the deck, turn them up, and select the one that draws me the most concerning the subject in question. Make a note of that card. Then, return the cards to the pack, shuffle, and draw one card. This will represent my unconscious attitude about the subject. I will be using this process to pull a pair of cards for each of the areas of life listed above.


First two cards: SEVEN OF HATS (Cups) and JUDGEMENT. Of these two, the one that draws me most with respect to my conscious view of “Myself” is the Seven of Hats. I identify with the wide array of possible choices, dreams, and visions available to the rabbit on the card. I do see myself as someone who has many options, interests, and abilities – lots of ways to look at things, lots of opportunities.

I return both cards to the deck and shuffle. Then I pull a card to represent my unconscious view of Myself. Oh look, it’s THE EMPEROR as portrayed by The Cheshire Cat. This is too perfect, really. Very funny and astute. For one thing, The Cheshire Cat is my favorite character in Wonderland. Of course my subconscious would truly love to believe that I am The Emperor of my own life, wise and confident, stable, a born leader. I also would like to be able to master teleportation like The Cheshire Cat!


First two cards: THREE OF FLAMINGOS (Swords) and SIX OF PEPPERMILLS (Wands). Well, I do have to take into consideration that I am on my third marriage (THREE of Swords), and the separation and pain aspects of the Three of Flamingos most certainly apply to some of that. However, if I focus on the here and now, the Six of Peppermills is closer to how I view “home and family” consciously. Everything does feel quite successful these days, with expectations rewarded. So Six of Peppermills it is.

Let’s see how I view “home and family” unconsciously… THE HERMIT. I like the fact that once again, I have pulled a Major Arcana card to represent my unconscious perspective. I tend to think of the subconscious or unconscious as being close to those deeper universal truths and lessons that the Majors so often represent. I am a bit of a recluse who enjoys staying at home, occupying myself with my favorite studies, entertainments, and activities. As the eldest of three children, I can also see myself, to some degree, as a “teacher” or one who guides or leads my younger siblings in many ways.


First two cards: NINE OF OYSTERS (Pentacles) and TWO OF FLAMINGOS (Swords). When it comes to relationships with others, I am drawn more toward the idea of balance and harmony suggested by the Two, plus the mental compatibility we might infer from the suit of Flamingos (Swords). I’ll take the Two of Flamingos here.

Unconscious view: TEN OF OYSTERS (Pentacles). At an unconscious level, I see relationships with others as something that fills my life with feelings of prosperity and security, a larger “family” that includes many actual family members.


First two cards: SEVEN OF HATS and THE STAR. The Seven of Hats resonates with me here for the same reasons it drew me in the “Myself” position – many options, opportunities, interests, and abilities are involved in my career/vocation choices. At the same time, however, The Star – wishes and dreams – seems relevant. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a writer. That was my dream or wish all my life. I envisioned that being my only career, for life, and yes, I imagined myself as becoming a “star” in that field. But that is simply not how things worked out, for many different reasons. Even so, I am going with The Star for this one.

Unconscious view: THE STAR. Well, that settles that!

I have to say that I did not experience any shocks or unexpected developments concerning my unconscious views of these four areas of life. This has been a fun and informative reading for me. I hope you enjoyed following along!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Oracle Reading with Earth Magic

It’s been awhile since I consulted the Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer (Hay House). To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

Today I am doing the “Landscape” reading from the booklet that accompanies the deck. The layout is three cards in a row, numbered left to right (1, 2, 3). This reading is designed to offer a broad picture of the most critical factors involved in a question or concern.

TSUNAMI (Wake-Up Call)  ....... CAVE (Sanctuary)  .......  NEW MOON (Promise)

(c) Steven D. Farmer
Like The Tower in the Tarot, the TSUNAMI card is unsettling no matter how you interpret it. It represents something scary, destructive, or disturbing that we would rather not experience. The card points to a significant loss or dramatic event, typically unexpected. All we can do when this happens is trust our instincts and seek “higher ground.”

(c) Steven D. Farmer
It is reassuring to see the CAVE in this set of cards, reminding me that I have a sanctuary available to me, even if it is only a quiet, still place inside of me. There is a sense of safety and security here, protection from the turbulence and danger indicated by the Tsunami.

(c) Steven D. Farmer
Finally, the NEW MOON appears, a card of promise and the start of a new cycle following the full completion of the previous cycle. Whether this promise is one that I make – a commitment or guarantee to myself or someone else – or something promised to me, there is a sense of fulfillment and hope for the future.

This is really quite a lovely story being told by these three cards: from Wake-up Call to Sanctuary to Promise. Very reassuring and comforting in spite of the feelings of alarm initially delivered by the Tsunami.

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 naĆÆve 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 BeyoncĆ© 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

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Mary-El Tarot Answers: Who Am I?

The Who asked the question best in their song: “Who are you? Who who, who who?” I decided to combine this idea with a popular meme that uses humor to illustrate categories such as “what my friends think I do,” “what society thinks I do,” and “what I really do.”

Here are the positions I am using:
(1) Who I think I am
(2) Who my friends think I am
(3) Who my family thinks I am
(4) Who my colleagues think I am
(5) Who my spouse thinks I am
(6) Who I really am

I am arranging the cards as follows:


The Mary-El Tarot by Marie White (Schiffer) was looking sort of lonely and put-out over on my shelf, so I’m going to work with her today. To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

This should be interesting.

(1) Who I think I am


I know that I can get bogged down by what I perceive as my failures and shortcomings, my own negativity, anxiety, and pessimism. This card shows someone riding a white horse, a symbol of ultimately overcoming and rising above the burdens in my life, many of which I have taken on myself. At heart, I do believe that I am one who can see above and beyond my past and current problems, difficulties, disappointments, and bad choices/decisions. I do have the ability to recognize and tap into the divine spark or life force and energy available to me, and to reach my potential. I like the quotation from Rumi that Marie Claire uses in connection with this card: “Burdens are the foundations of ease and bitter things the forerunners of pleasure.”

(2) Who my friends think I am


Looking at this one way, I could say that my friends think I am “one step above or beyond” who I think I am (with the Page of Wands being the card that follows the Ten of Wands). They see me as perhaps having progressed farther than I myself can see. Marie Claire describes the Page of Wands as “initiators of spirit.” Inspired by Joan of Arc, this Page of Wands represents divine inspiration, faith, enthusiasm, and a great heart. As number 11 it can be associated with Key 11, Strength. It is not a card of physical strength but strength of heart and faith. My friends think I am someone who follows her heart.

(3) Who my family thinks I am


Awwww, this made me a little bit teary-eyed. Who wouldn’t want their family to think of them as “The Sun”? (The fact that my father used to sing the song "You Are My Sunshine" to me contributes to my emotional response.) In the Mary-El Tarot, The Sun is a symbol for God but also represents the full potential of a human realized. I doubt my family thinks of me in quite those terms, but I am fine with the more down-to-earth keywords such as happiness, joy, creativity, energy and vigor, glowing, shining, good luck, celebration, enthusiasm, and success.

(4) Who my colleagues think I am


This is quite appropriate, I think. When I worked in an office setting, surrounded by people, I did socialize and interact with them, of course, but I also greatly valued time I could spend alone, focused on whatever project I needed to finish. I do not like to be interrupted by the telephone or by someone asking me questions or interrupting me when I am concentrating. I keep to myself in many ways. My colleagues these days are “virtual” for the most part, that is, we work together or work on the same kinds of tasks while communicating via the internet or email. I love this. It suits my somewhat reclusive personality perfectly. People have told me they don’t feel they know me, which fits with The Hermit’s tendency toward solitude and self-containment. Often I conceal or disguise things about myself – not in an attempt to deceive but in an attempt to preserve my privacy. I am fairly sure that my colleagues in the past and present have picked up on this about me. The other chief quality I associate with The Hermit is knowledge or wisdom and experience, which The Hermit can use to guide others along a path, as a mentor. I feel my colleagues of the past and present have seen me that way as well.

(5) Who my spouse thinks I am


Boom, we get to the spouse and right away the suit of Cups shows up. The title given to the Five of Cups in the Mary-El Tarot is “The Guarded Heart.” On the card we see a pure white unicorn guarding a well in the garden of paradise. This card is about a wounded heart and the need to release pain. It incorporates the qualities of compassion, kindness, and empathy. My spouse said at one time that I am one of the kindest, most compassionate people he has ever known. He is also aware of the heart-wounds I have suffered and the fact that I tend to hide or deny the power those wounds have in my life. I think it is fair to say that he thinks I am someone who needs to deal with heartache and emotional challenges in a different way than I do.

(6) Who I really am


Wow. In the Mary-El Tarot, the Knight of Wands is the power of transformation and transmutation. The type of animal shown on the card is not meant to be clearly determined. It is intended to be ambiguous. Is it a wolf, rat, bat, bear, panther, human? Here there is darkness and the possibility that the holy flame could be turned into something destructive if a different goal is not actively pursued. It seems that I am someone who needs to be cautioned to use my energy and power for good rather than something malignant. One of the reversed meanings of this card in this deck is “alienation,” and that sounds like a caution as well. The reclusive nature of The Hermit, if taken to extreme, can create alienation on many levels. I also note that we are going "up" one more step in the suit of Wands, from the Ten (Who I think I am) to the Page (Who my friends think I am) and now to the Knight (Who I really am).

The predominance of Fire in this reading is interesting, given that my natal Sun is in Sagittarius. The Ten of Wands even depicts a person with a bow and arrow riding a horse – a very Sagittarian image. The Hermit is linked by the Golden Dawn with the sign Virgo, my rising sign. I can't help noticing the striking contrast between the bright, fiery cards in the first three positions and the deep, dark image on the last card. The Knight does have the lightning bolt in his hand/paw, though, doesn't he?

All in all, this turned out to be a thought-provoking, emotionally engaging reading. I would expect no less from the Mary-El.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Old English Tarot: 9 of Cups

In today's blog entry, Helen Howell continues her exploration of cards from the Old English Tarot by Maggie Kneen (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Old English Tarot
Nine of Cups
by Helen Howell

Old English Tarot

Today I’m looking at the Old English 9 of cups and comparing it to the more traditional Rider Waite card. At first look neither card bears a resemblance to the other. With the Rider Waite it is more obvious from the image that this is a card about satisfaction and emotional fulfilment. We see a man sitting in front of nine cups and looking very happy with himself. Very often this card has been called the “wish card” and it represents for us that what we desire emotionally can be achievable.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot
Now when I look at the Old English I don’t get that impression so much. What I like about the Old English Cards is that they make you think. What we have here is a boy doing a handstand and his drum is on the ground beside him. I suppose one could ask themselves why is he doing the handstand? Is the same as jumping for joy? Perhaps he has just mastered a difficult drum routine and this is his way of shouting “Yay!” I think from this image we can at least take the meaning of success and one that can make you feel good about yourself. By looking into the image and analysing it, we can determine that this is representative of emotional happiness and one of achievement. 

So although at first look it is not so obvious what it means as the Rider Waite image is, both cards do seem to be delivering the same message. Basically satisfaction, celebration and emotional happiness.


Positive: Success, abundance, victory, Celebration

Reversed: Mistakes, material loss, imperfection

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Not Only, But Also with the Wisdom of Avalon

Today I’m doing a two-card spread where the positional definitions are (1) Not Only and (2) But Also. I have used this spread in my “Day of the Druids” series here on the blog, but today I’m using The Wisdom of Avalon Oracle Cards by Colette Baron-Reid (Hay House).

The question is: What do I need to keep in mind to have the best day possible tomorrow?

Not Only...................................But Also

Not only THE STAG
(pride, leadership) . . .

. . . But also THE EARTH FAERY
(physical health, grounding, foundations)

Not only do I need to make sure I have the highest intentions, that I take responsibility, and take pride in what I do, I also need to pay attention to my health and physical body, to appreciate the sensual world, and to avoid over-analyzing and focus on staying grounded and connected to the basics.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Should I Buy a New Deck?

I have come across some awesome Lenormand decks for sale, self-published by the amazing Lynn Boyle, at www.etsy.com/shop/AquariusWellbeing . We all know that I already have enough Lenormand decks, right? (Right?) So what could be more fitting than asking one of those decks: 

Should I buy one of Lynn’s Lenormand decks?

I am using a system in which cards from a red suit (hearts, diamonds) indicate a "yes” or “very likely” answer, whereas cards from a black suit (spades, clubs) indicate "no" or “not likely.”

The Celtic Lenormand by Chloƫ McCracken, illustrated by Will Worthington (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) has agreed to help me answer my question with a 3-card line. (To read my review of this deck, click HERE.)

And the cards say….

CROSS (36 / 6 of Clubs): NO
SNAKE (7 / Queen of Clubs): NO
WOMAN (29 / Ace of Spades): NO

So, my first reaction to this is: “Hey, who asked you?” Then I remember… oh yeah, I did.

Starting with the third card, WOMAN, I feel this could refer to me or to Lynn, the creator of the decks I am considering. The woman on the card faces and looks toward SNAKE (who faces and looks towards her).

In ChloĆ« McCracken’s guidebook for The Celtic Tarot, interpretation of the SNAKE card focuses on the idea of transformation or “shedding” something that is no longer useful. There is a female association to this card as well, along with the possibility that this female is either deceptive or simply making big changes in her life. If I am the female, is it possible that I am trying to “deceive myself” into thinking I need another Lenormand deck? Could the cards be saying I need to “shed” some of the decks I currently own before I think about buying a new one?

By the way, I do have several oracle decks for sale on eBay! Here are the links if you’re interested:

Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck: http://www.ebay.com/itm/122550482655
The Chakra Zodiac Healing Oracle: http://www.ebay.com/itm/122550482476
Art through the Starstream Oracle: http://www.ebay.com/itm/122549935479
The Inner Wizard Message Cards: http://www.ebay.com/itm/122549935192

Back to the line of three. Looking at the first card I drew, CROSS, I personally get a strong “religious” or “religion” vibe. Secondarily, I think of the expression “a cross to bear,” suffering under a burden. CROSS can refer to the ethics of a situation or to overcoming difficulties through spirituality.

Now, left to right:

CROSS plus SNAKE: I am getting a sense of the need to transform, change, or “shed the skin” of something related to religious or spiritual beliefs.

SNAKE plus WOMAN: As I mentioned above, perhaps a deceptive female or one who is making or needs to make big changes in her life. Self-deception?

WOMAN plus CROSS: A woman who turns to or needs to turn to religion or spirituality to deal with a burden or important issue in her life.

Well, then. Please do hurry over to eBay and buy one or more of the decks I am “shedding.” Perhaps then I will get the go-ahead for one of Lynn’s decks from my cards.

Monday, June 12, 2017

In the Dream: House of Hecate

In this installment of “In the Dream” I am revisiting a spread that was created by a friend of mine many years ago (13 to be exact!) in an attempt to interpret the following dream: 
In the dream, I decided to visit a witch-friend of mine to see if she ccould help me solve a problem. The only way to get into her house was to float up over the roof and call her name, which I distinctly remember was "Hecate." It was the middle of the night and very dark. I floated up over the house and called her name a few times. The roof (which was flat) opened at the middle, kind of like sliding doors, so I could descend into the house.
As you may already know, Hecate or Hekate is a goddess in Ancient Greek religion and mythology. She is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. Her name means "worker from afar" from the Greek word hekatos. In statuary Hecate was often depicted in triple form as a goddess of crossroads.



1. This represents an area of my life where I have come to a crossroad.

2. This represents a way in which I can step back and look at this situation with a new perspective (fresh eyes)

3. This represents a way in which I can forge ahead.

For this reading I am using The Book of Shadows (As Above) Tarot by Barbara Moore, with artwork by Gregorz Krisinsky, Simone Gabrielli, Franco Rivolli, Pietro Scola di Mambro, Sabrina Ariganello, and Alessia Pastorello (Lo Scarabeo).

1. This represents an area of my life where I have come to a crossroad.
As Barbara Moore so correctly observes in the guidebook that accompanies this deck, “Although the Element of Water is considered passive, it often feels very powerful.” I tend to view Water as “receptive” rather than “passive.” That just feels more appropriate to me. In any case, I love the young girl splashing in the water, playing with a dolphin. There are many things this card could represent in terms of “an area of my life where I have come to a crossroad.” Expressing emotions, communicating with my subconscious, connecting to others in a healing, meaningful way.

2. This represents a way in which I can step back and look at this situation with a new perspective (fresh eyes)
The Maiden of Air calls attention to my words and thoughts, world view, philosophy, and outlook on life. Like the Maiden of Water, she encourages a joyful, spontaneous approach. Certainly looking at a situation with fresh eyes can mean re-examining or analyzing the way I think about it, even the way I “talk to myself” about it. Am I sharp and divisive or uplifting and refreshing?  

3. This represents a way in which I can forge ahead.
When the Mother of Earth “forges ahead,” she does so with determination, consideration, and purpose. She does not run or “leap before looking.” She manifests the feelings and thoughts referenced by the Maidens of Water and Air, seasons those feelings and thoughts, and turns them into real-world results. At the same time, she moderates and gently manages that maidenly, immature energy, nurturing and encouraging growth.

I am, quite honestly, blown away by the fact that this reading -- named after the goddess Hecate, who is often depicted in triple form -- called forth three female characters, two Maidens and a Mother. Wow. The crossroads in question seems to exist at an emotional or subconscious level that can be brought into the light by communication between my conscious mind and subconscious mind. The practical, grounded energy of the Mother of Earth can bring the result of that communication into the physical, material world, where it can thrive.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day - 5 of Observation

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
(5 of Swords)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Observation (represented by an eye) is comparable to the suit of Swords. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Observation is from The Red-Headed League: “This is a time for observation, not for talk.”

The Holmesian Wisdom for the Five of Observation is: “…the motives of women are so inscrutable” from The Second Stain. The card shows a “distressed lady” (the dĆ©butante Lady Eva Blackwell) pleading with Holmes to retrieve her indiscreet letters, a scene from the story The Adventures of Charles Augustus Milverton. Milverton, "the king of blackmailers," demands £7,000 (over £800,000 in 2015) for the letters, which would cause a scandal that would end Lady Eva's marriage engagement.

The Five of Swords has much to do with deceit, slander, and unethical activities, making this an excellent choice for the Sherlock Holmes Tarot card.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “slander, defeat, cowardice, unethical behaviour, divisive means, thwarted plans, malicious intent, being burgled.” Reversed meanings: “misfortune, loss, mourning, pain, vengeance.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings. Examples from “The Game” for the Five of Observation: “theft of your identity… humiliation from treachery or cowardice… sloppy or malicious thinking may cause things to go awry.” Examples from “The Fog”: “re-establishing your hard-won reputation…being alert to the signs of treachery…an advocate or witness who supports you… getting to the bottom of a web of envy or malice.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Old English Tarot: 4 of Batons

In today's blog entry, Helen Howell continues her exploration of cards from the Old English Tarot by Maggie Kneen (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Old English Tarot
Four of Batons
by Helen Howell

Today’s comparison of the Old English and the more traditional Rider Waite is  between the 4 of Batons or Wands if you prefer. The images on both of these cards have a good feel about them. Certainly the idea of completion is portrayed in both of these.

Let’s look at the Rider Waite first, and I choose the Rider Waite first in all my posts, because it is the Mother of all the modern decks that followed, in that they are based on the Rider Waite tradition from what I can see. In the RW image we see four wands support a flowered garland, a crowd gathered to one side, a couple in the centre with their arms raised, holding bouquets of flowers and to the other side a bridge. This is definitely an image of celebration. It’s a card that tells us you have completed the first round. The bridge indicates that you still have further to go, but right now it’s time to relax.

I love the image in the Old English. We see lush trees, green green grass and what appears to be a peacock or maybe a very colourful turkey? If we look closely we also see four baby chicks in the grass. Mama has hatched her babies and that is one cycle complete. That’s a reason to celebrate and to enjoy the achievement after all that hard work sitting on those eggs! But they are just chicks and that reminds us that there is still a new cycle to begin.  When we look more deeply into the image, we see it speaks to us of harmony, prosperity (those green trees are growing well), and the results of hard work (hatching out the eggs). It says take the time to enjoy where you are, but it also reminds you that you cannot stand still forever. Chicks have to grow up!

Both cards deliver the same message, but with very different images. The meaning of the Old English is not always immediately obvious, but if you just take the time to study the artwork you’ll see the message is very clear.

Positive: Romance, harmony, peace, prosperity, fruit of labor.
Reversed: Tarnished beauty, loss of tranquility.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sacred World Oracle Reading #2


Facebook has informed me that today is Kris Waldherr’s birthday. I am a huge fan and enjoy working (and playing) with her wonderful creations, including The Sacred World Oracle, The Goddess Tarot, and the Doomed Queens Playing Cards (all published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

You can learn more about Kris Waldherr on her web site: http://www.kriswaldherrbooks.com/site/

Today I am using The Sacred World Oracle with a 5-card spread presented in the guidebook that comes with the deck. Kris tells us that this spread “was created by Thalassa of the Daughters of Divination’s San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium (BATS). It was inspired by the ballet Swan Lake.” Its purpose is to help us “explore our blind spots – those pesky obstacles we can’t, or don’t want to see.” (In searching Tarot Notes, I discovered I did this reading once before, in 2014: http://tarotnotes-majorandminor.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-reading-with-sacred-world-oracle.html )

Step One -- Lay out four cards to represent:
(1) The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way)
(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)

Step Two – Lay a fifth card across the top of the previous cards to symbolize the Swan in Flight. This offers an overview of the situation for additional perspective.

And now for my reading. (The keywords following the name of each card are provided by the author in the guidebook.)

(1) The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way)
PHOENIX: Rebirth. Resurrection. Immortality. Hope.
One sentence in the description for this card struck me: “What appears to be gone will return again if we are patient.” What I need to see is that it is unhelpful to dwell in sorrow on the loss or decline of something. Instead I need to life my eyes and watch for its “resurrection.”

(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
RAM: Moving forward. Birth. Fearlesslness.
With its link to the zodiac sign Aries (Cardinal, Fire), the Ram is about taking action based on my belief in rebirth or resurrection of things that appear to be gone. There is no place for fear and trepidation. It might be wise to avoid being impulsive or careless, but there is nothing to be gained by sitting still, afraid to make a move.

(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
SNAKE: Worldliness. Duality. Desire.
The Snake in this deck is not viewed as a symbol of fertility, birth, and regeneration. Instead, we are asked to focus on the idea of the Snake as a representation of duality – the dual expression of good and evil, creation and destruction, temptation and desire. An increased awareness of duality and where it can be found can help me.

(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)
WATER: Emotions. Psychic energies. Empathy. Intuition.
I can use the message about action and fearlessness (Ram) by seeking a psychic or spirit-world connection for my actions, along with intuitive and emotional support for those actions. An interesting suggestion that Water will help me use the “Fiery” solution of the second card.

(5) Overview of the situation for additional perspective
CAT: Fertility. Beauty. Magic. Independence.

Very nice. It is within my power to express my individuality in magical, beautiful ways, ways that help me expect or anticipate the “resurrection” of that which appears to be gone, and ways that help me perceive and understand the dual nature of many aspects of life. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Making Love Better - A Reading

Today I am doing a Tarot reading for a friend of mine and her husband about some issues they are experiencing in their marriage. I am not a professional marriage counselor or psychologist, and my friend knows this. However, she and her husband are interested in seeing what insights the cards can provide.

I am using the “Making Love Better Spread” that appears in Barbara Moore’s book Tarot Spreads (Llewellyn Worldwide). The deck I am consulting is the Mystic Dreamer by Heidi Darras  and Barbara Moore (Llewellyn Worldwide). I like this spread because it doesn’t try to go into “what he is feeling” or “what she is feeling” but instead focuses on the relationship as a whole. The positional definitions and descriptions are direct quotes from the book Tarot Spreads.

“(1) Strength: The most significant strength of the relationship to draw on at this time. This is active energy that you can use.


My first impression: Stability, security, grounded energy, material or financial matters

Barbara Moore: “Unlike in other aces, the woman here is far away from the pentacle. Why?”

Thoughts: The significant strength of this relationship is rooted in the physical, material world. There is a strong foundation on which to build, along with a sense of security and stability (Earth). Barbara Moore’s question causes me to wonder if either or both of the people in this relationship have distanced themselves or might be feeling “distant” from the core strength and foundation of the marriage.

(2) Lasting: The element of the relationship that has lasted and will continue to last. This is solid energy that you can count on.


My first impression: authoritative and rational (King), yet also emotional (Cups); body language and position seems “inward” or “closed” in some ways.

Barbara Moore: “This king is peaceful, sensitive, affectionate, and calm. He is generally friendly and caring, a very nice man to have around.”

Thoughts: With Cups being the suit of love and relationships, I see that area as being a “lasting element” of this relationship. Although the King can be overly sentimental or overly sensitive (Cups), generally he is in control of his feelings and genuinely supportive of those around him. The Golden Dawn assigns 20 degrees Libra to 20 degrees Scorpio to this king, which gives us a combination of somewhat detached yet cooperative and hospitable energy with keen sensitivity, strong passions, and a tendency to bear a grudge. This interesting mix is the energy this couple can “count on.”

(3) Weakness: The weak point in the relationship that could cause a problem or needs extra attention. This could drain energy.


My first impression: impulsive, heedless, reckless, sharp-tongued, charging ahead, communication problems

Barbara Moore: “This knight is single-minded and intensely focused. . . Do not, however, go to him with problems of the heart; he is generally impatient in the face of emotions.”

Thoughts: I was not surprised to see the Knight of Swords in the position of “weakness.” It seems that an unwillingness or inability to deal effectively with emotions is a problem for this couple. It is too easy to charge forward on a desired path or in a desired direction without noticing or respecting the feelings of one’s partner. Perhaps both partners are confident in their opinions and beliefs, expressing them often and firmly, without realizing how that affects the other person.

(4) Do: What you should do – something that will use the positive aspects in your life and relationship to their best advantage.


My first impression: compassionate, caring, nurturing, introspective, emotional, intuitive

Barbara Moore: “This queen likes to make a pleasant place for people to gather and wants everyone to be comfortable and happy. She is very sensitive to others’ feelings. . . She is kind, gentle, and nurturing.”

Thoughts: Along with her partner, the King of Cups, this Queen reinforces the importance of feelings and sensitivity to others. It is easy to see how actions based on this Queen’s characteristics could go a long way towards creating a happier environment.

(5) Stop doing: Something you should not do or stop doing. It may be something that seems right but is actually not best at this time.


My first impression: Strong, stable, secure foundation (Four), optimism, enthusiasm, passion (Wands); celebration, marriage.

Barbara Moore: “If reversed, this card warns you not to celebrate too soon. Things appear very fine but you need to wait a bit to make sure.”

Thoughts: I did not use reversals in this reading, but in order to interpret a card that represents “Stop doing” I thought it would be good to consider reversed meanings for the card. The fact is, I was stumped initially, unable to understand why a card that is normally so positive would appear as something the people in this relationship should avoid doing or stop doing. The only thing I can come up with is that perhaps the cards are telling them not to take the relationship for granted, not to assume that issues will “resolve themselves.” Problems in the relationship need to be addressed and challenges overcome in order for the relationship to succeed in the long term.

(6) Guiding Star: Your highest and best hope for the situation, which can guide all your steps. If something moves you closer to this, then do it.”


My first impression: Nurturing, generous, growth, creation, cycles and seasons of life

Barbara Moore: “This card shows a time of natural growth. Your role is to nurture without forcing or neglecting your project. . . There is great potential for abundance if good care is given.”

Thoughts: Like the Queen of Cups, The Empress is nurturing and caring. The Golden Dawn assigns the planet Venus, planet of love and appreciation, to this card. If seems appropriate that a Major Arcana card would come forward in the position “Guiding Star – your highest and best hope for the situation.” With the help of the energy represent in The Empress, the relationship can continue to grow and flourish.

I am struck by this comment from Barbara Moore: “Your role is to nurture without forcing or neglecting your project.” If I had to give one piece of advice to this couple about their relationship, this would be it. I realize that striking a balance between “forcing” and “neglecting” is not the easiest thing to do, but it does hold a lot of promise if it can be done.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Relationship Potential: Lenormand Five Card Line

I am really enjoying browsing and reading information about the Lenormand over at http://www.annak-tarot.at . Anna K is bringing out her own Lenormand deck this summer (can’t wait!), but in the meantime, I decided to use a method she shares on her web site with one of the decks currently living with me.

I am using Shaheen’s Tattered Nomad Oracle (Lenormand style cards) for this reading. To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

I have a relationship in mind that I am interested in exploring, so my question is: “What is the potential future development of this relationship?"

A bit of background: These two people are in their 30s. They have been living together for a couple of years. He has expressed interest in getting married, but she is not sure that is what she wants. She has been married before; he has not.

Using a total of five cards, I am combining each card with its neighbor to the right and interpreting the last card individually, too, as a Peak. Lastly, I am discussing the center card as a potential Pivotal.

The Cards:
The House/4…..The Woman/29…..The Bouquet/9…..The Clover/2…..The Tree/5

Stage 1 (House + Woman):
Security, family, and home are keywords for The House. The Woman typically represents a woman or feminine energy. This combination gives me a feeling that the woman in this relationship has been the primary contributor to a sense of “security, family, and home.” It is possible that the man’s “feminine side” also is involved in creating this homey atmosphere they share.

Stage 2 (Woman + Bouquet):
The Bouquet suggests gifts, affection, and encouragement. Here again, it seems that the woman in the relationship offers (or feels that she offers) most of the affection and encouragement, or works hardest at bringing those things to the relationship. The man’s “feminine side” may also be involved, as with House + Woman, but I just get the feeling that the woman sees herself as the primary source for these things in the relationship.

Stage 3 (Bouquet + Clover):
The Clover can represent new beginnings, luck, or opportunities. In “stage 3” of the future development of this relationship, it looks like perhaps the provision of gifts, affection, and encouragement could be more equally distributed between the man and woman. Or, at the very least, the man is likely to have an opportunity to contribute more in that area.

Stage 4 (Clover + Tree):
The new beginning, luck, and opportunity of The Clover can contribute to the health, growth, and progress represented by The Tree. One leads to or naturally evolves into the other.

The Peak: The Tree
Certainly the qualities represented by The Tree are desirable in any relationship, and this card as “The Peak” tells us health, growth, and progress are indeed possible for this relationship in the future.

The Pivotal: The Bouquet
As the Pivotal, I see The Bouquet as reinforcing the message that if the provision of “gifts, affection, and encouragement” can be more evenly distributed between the couple, that will make all the difference in the outcome.

When I look at this line of cards, The Woman stands out, positioned between The House and The Bouquet. She seems to be (or at least feel) responsible for creating/maintaining the home and for giving affection and encouragement – and frankly, she doesn’t look happy about it. Perhaps one of the reasons she is not as keen on marriage as he is, is that she currently feels her partner does not “pull his weight” in areas that are important to her. She wants a more equal distribution and to be on the receiving end of some of the gifts she has been giving before she commits to a second marriage.