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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Loved One on the Other Side - Tarot Reading

Today I’m doing a reading that I came across on Jeanne Mayell’s website at https://www.jeannemayell.com/

This spread is designed to explore a possible connection with a loved one who has passed on. It's called _LOVED ONE ON THE OTHER SIDE_.

It seems appropriate to use David Corsi’s Ghost Tarot (Lo Scarabeo) for this reading.

Jeanne Mayell does not provide a layout, so I decided to use a simple “diamond” shape, as follows:




(1) How is my loved one doing?
(2) Anything my loved one wants to say to me.
(3) What's it like on the other side?
(4) How can I best support you?

Let’s begin…

(1) How is my loved one doing?

THE CHARIOT: I get the sense here that my loved one is moving forward towards a destination. I am not certain if he is the driver of the chariot or a passenger, though. The driver guides the horses along the road, sure and steady. This is such an interesting image. The “death coach” is part of the folklore of north western Europe. It is particularly strong in Ireland but is also found in British and American culture. It is said to warn of imminent death or, in some cases, to collect the souls of the dead.

(2) Anything my loved one wants to say to me.

TEN OF SWORDS: There are thoughts, conflicts, and perceptions that I need to release, to let go. I may need to even “let myself go” in the sense of focusing less on my own anxieties and insecurities. My loved one has let go of his earthly form and existence, and perhaps I need to release some of the things that tie me down or limit what I can do and what I can be.

(3) What's it like on the other side?

THE LOVERS: On the other side there is union and harmony. I get the sense here that those who have passed make choices or decisions about where they will go and what they will be on the other side.

(4) How can I best support my loved one?

THE STARS: I can look towards the sky and keep hope always in my heart. I can seek the world of the spirit, of “the heavens,” to maintain a link to my loved one and to all who have gone before me.  In a way, it is strange to think about “supporting” someone who has passed, but that is what we need to do in order to smooth the way for them – as opposed to refusing to let them go or causing them unrest with our attitudes and actions.

This is a compelling group of cards, with three from the Major Arcana – appropriate when dealing with such a substantial subject. The Ten of Swords also has a lot of meaning and weight here.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Court Case / Lawsuit Reading

First of all, I need to make the usual disclaimer about Tarot readings and legal matters. I NEVER recommend using a Tarot reading for legal advice. There are experts in that field called lawyers or attorneys, and they are the ones who need to advise you on legal matters.

The reading I am doing today here on the blog relates to an upcoming court hearing that involves members of my family (not me directly). Lawyers are already involved. What I want to do is ask the cards: What can you tell me about this court case?

To do this, I am going to create positional definitions that will hopefully shed some light on the energies and “possibilities” or “potential” for this hearing. Before pulling cards, I decided, in my own mind, who is “Petitioner #1” and who is “Petitioner #2.”

The positions:

(1) Petitioner #1
(2) Petitioner #2
(3) True nature of the conflict
(4) Lawyer(s) for Petitioner #1
(5) Lawyer(s) for Petitioner #2
(6) Judge scheduled to hear the case
(7) Chances that Petitioner #1 will win
(8) Chances that Petitioner #2 will win
(9) Dominent energy surrounding this matter
(10) Possible Final Outcome based on current conditions



For this reading I am using Tarot of the Mystic Spiral by Giovanni Pelosini, with artwork by Giuseppe Palumbo (Lo Scarabeo).

(1) Petitioner #1: FIVE OF SWORDS

This is a card of conflict and self-defense, a clash that results in victory for one side and defeat for the other. I can tell you that Petitioner #1 in this case sees herself clearly as being in a position of self-defense, fighting to get what rightfully belongs to her (in her mind). She must prove not only her point, but herself during this process.

(2) Petitioner #2: KING OF SWORDS

A card of patience and endurance, the King of Swords is known for being fair, logical, analytical, just, and honest, capable of clear thinking and clear expression. Petitioner #2 comes from a position of strength and power, justice and fairness. The key is to remain alert and to stay the course.

(3) True nature of the conflict: ACE OF SWORDS

With Swords being the suit of the mind, we can see that the true nature (or root cause) of this conflict lies in the perception and point of view of each party – the way each party thinks about this situation. The outcome of this court case will determine a “new beginning” for both parties at many levels. They are fighting over their different ways of perceiving and interpreting that which is basic and fundamental. 

(4) Lawyer(s) for Petitioner #1: KNAVE OF CHALICES

The Knave of Chalices represents Petitioner #1 (Five of Swords). The Knave ( also known as Page) suggests the possibility of youth, inexperience, or immaturity. There is a focus on emotions (Chalices) that may not be helpful in this court case. From an elemental standpoint, we have Air (Petitioner #1 / Swords) and Water (Lawyer for Petitioner #1, Chalices). These two elements are considered “somewhat friendly” or “neutral” – suggesting that the relationship may not be productive or have the desired effect. On the other hand, the Knave of Chalices could be the “cooler head” that prevails over the client’s aggressive, fiery nature.

(5) Lawyer(s) for Petitioner #2: ACE OF WANDS

In general, I would say having an “Ace” as one’s lawyer is a positive sign. From an elemental standpoint, as the lawyer for Petitioner #2 (Swords/Air), the Ace of Wands (Fire) offers moderate mutual support – not the greatest or most powerful (which would be if they were the same element), but the next best thing. Fire and Air are powerful allies, both active and action-oriented. The Ace of Wands is often viewed as a card of opportunity.

(6) Judge scheduled to hear the case: THE HIGH PRIESTESS

How appropriate is this? The only Major Arcana card in the reading and The High Priestess, no less. This is a highly intuitive judge, one who can be trusted to make wise, knowledgeable, illuminated decisions. This is someone who can find the middle path between extremes, someone who looks beyond the obvious.

(7) Chances that Petitioner #1 will win: SEVEN OF WANDS

Once again we have a card of self-defense for Petitioner #1. This card is about defending one’s position, protecting one’s turf, and holding one’s own against adversaries. To me, this card suggests that Petitioner #1 will be left feeling that they did not win, that they did not get what they want, deserve, or need from this case. Backed into a corner, they are left continuing to defend themselves, whether by appealing the decision or some other approach.

(8) Chances that Petitioner #2 will win: SIX OF WANDS

It’s hard to find a more “victorious” card than the Six of Wands. Triumph, victory, and a joyful conclusion to a situation are all standard interpretations of this card. Good news, success, achievement. I am going to say the chances are very strong that Petitioner #2 will win this case.

(9) Dominant energy surrounding this matter: TEN OF WANDS

I usually interpret this card as being about burdens, being overburdened, stretched too far. There is no question that both petitioners in this case must be feeling this way. The energy for both is a continuation of stress, heavy spirits, and exhaustion. Both parties have many other responsibilities in their lives, and the added burden of this court case is wearing them down. This situation is heading swiftly towards a climax or turning point.

(10) Possible Final Outcome based on current conditions: KNAVE OF WANDS

The Knave (Page) of Wands is often about official communications: news of a decision or conclusion to a matter. I think we can see this as the judge’s verdict being communicated fairly quickly (Wands/Fire). As an outcome, I am not getting a clear sense of this card being favorable more towards one petitioner than the other. Both petitioners are represented by Swords cards, which are mutually supportive with Wands. We might say that a Wands card favors the lawyer for Petitioner #2 (Ace of Wands) more than the lawyer for Petitioner #1 (Knave of Chalices / Water). Not only that, the caduceus symbol is a central image on both the Ace of Wands and Knave of Wands in this deck. Perhaps the outcome will favor Petitioner #2, thanks to their lawyer?

Lots of Wands in this reading – certainly appropriate given the type of energy dominating this situation. We have boldness, ambition, drive, competitiveness, and initiative. Actions are being taken or suggested; change is in the works.

The judge (High Priestess) is a Water card, which could suggest sympathy or support for Petitioner #1’s lawyer (Knave of Chalices), but perhaps not enough to affect the ultimate outcome.

I do think that, overall, things look more positive for Petitioner #2. Time will tell.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Listen to the Animals: KIWI

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_.

This time my deck is Steven D. Farmer's Messages from Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle Cards, illustrated by Bee Sturgis (Hay House).

Our animal today is the KIWI, a flightless birds native to New Zealand. For those of us on the other side of the world, who may never have seen or heard of this creature, the kiwi is approximately the size of a domestic chicken. Fun fact: Kiwis are by far the smallest living ratites (which also consist of ostriches, emus, rheas, and cassowaries).

Photo by Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust
For this card, Steven D. Farmer has chosen the message, “Do a walking meditation each day for the next week.” Farmer describes “walking meditation” as a slow, thoughtful walk for ten minutes or more, preferably in Nature, with your goal being to stay present and aware of your steps and contact with the ground while also being aware of the sights, sounds, and smells as you walk.

Farmer’s “Associations” for the Kiwi card: “Grounded; Nocturnal; Survival; Flexibility; Fatherhood; Innocence; Earthiness; Ancient Wisdom; Inspiration; Saftey; Speed; Quickness; Detection.”

Thursday, October 12, 2017

All-Around Advice Spread with Hidden Realm

Today’s offering is an “All-Around Advice Spread” from the book Journey into the Hidden Realm by Barbara Moore. This book accompanies the deck Tarot of the Hidden Realm, with art by Julia Jeffrey (Llewellyn). I love these cards and I wanted to spend some time with them today.

I am not thinking about any specific “situation,” just taking the spread for a trip around the block, so to speak.

The layout for the “All-Around Advice Spread” looks like this:

Court Card represents me in this situation (what aspect of me is most 
present and reacting to what is happening). 

KNIGHT OF PENTACLES: The aspect of me that is most present and reacting to what is happening in this situation is the practical, physical, material, determined – and perhaps stubborn – aspect. I have this “in Spades” (so to speak), thanks to Virgo rising and a Taurus moon, with my sun in the Sagittarius-Capricorn cusp. This Knight is known for a quiet demeanor that helps him maintain a high level of awareness. Solid and watchful, he can sometimes be seen as dull or lazy, but his dedication and determination cannot be overestimated. I am responding to the situation with a balanced, down-to-earth, steady, careful approach.

Major Arcana card represents the lesson that is woven into this situation.

THE MAGICIAN: The lesson woven into this situation relates to personal power and the skillful use of force of will, the heart, the mind, and physical resources. There is an opportunity to learn how to control and manifest internal power to create a solution or path in the world.

Wands card represents something I can do to help the situation.

TWO OF WANDS: To help the situation, I can look at the pros and cons of various approaches and decide where and how best to invest my energy. I can balance conflicting ideas or approaches so that they augment or support each other instead of competing against each other. I also see this card as perhaps suggesting that I can help the situation by combining my energy with that of another person – two heads are better than one.

Swords card represents something I can say or communicate to help the situation.

FOUR OF SWORDS: I can say or communicate the need for stability and analysis rather than “knee-jerk reactions” to the situation. I can express the importance of quieting the mind in order to reflect and discover a reasonable approach that will help solve rather than intensify any problems.

Cups card represents a feeling to encourage or express that will help the situation.

NINE OF CUPS: I can encourage or express feelings of satisfaction or contentment experienced in the past and upon which the present has been built. The positive feelings associated with past success and achievement can keep emotional responses to the current situation from overwhelming me or others involved. Life is made up of patterns and cycles, and we are strongest when we accept and value not only the joys and laughter, but the hurts and regrets, as part of what makes us whole.

Pentacles card represents something I can create or give that will help the situation.

EIGHT OF PENTACLES: In this situation I can create or give a sense of commitment and discipline that will help me (and others) make progress in dealing with the situation. This card reinforces the message of the Knight of Pentacles by emphasizing the importance of Earth qualities in addressing the situation.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

REVIEW: Tarot Plain & Simple by Leanna Greenaway


Tarot Plain & Simple
The Only Book You’ll Ever Need
Copyright 2005, 2017 by Leanna Greenaway
Hampton Roads Publishing, Inc. (October 1, 2017)
Distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC
ISBN: 9781571747709
Book (Paperback)
5 1/2 x 8 / 176 pages / Line art

TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

Seasoned Tarot readers may well question the need for “yet another Tarot book,” and indeed, Tarot Plain & Simple does cover much of the same territory as countless other books on the subject.

However, I like the way Leanna Greenaway breaks up the text for each card into “Traditional Meaning” and “Modern Meaning,” followed by Reversed Meanings and Key Points. Occasionally there is a “Tip” as well, and these are quite helpful. She does a great job with the Court Cards, offering possible interpretations of them as a “Personality” as well as a “Situation.”

The use of subheads enhances the value of this book as a quick reference for any particular card. Another plus with this book is the presentation of exercises that encourage the reader to explore how combinations of cards can be read, in addition to giving meanings for each individual card.

I can highly recommend Tarot Plain & Simple by Leanna Greenaway for beginning Tarot students (it would make a great textbook for a class) and yes, even if you have been reading the cards for a while, you can find some useful, thought-provoking information in this book. I feel that Greenaway has achieved her stated goal of encouraging the reader “to learn, use, and enjoy the Tarot.”


Tarot is a popular form of divination that has been used for centuries. By following the guidelines set out in this book, you will come to understand how easy it is to master the art of reading cards. Many people struggle with the many different tarot books available today—they can be difficult for the novice to follow, and many present differing interpretations of the cards. This guide brings tarot into the 21st century, making the card meanings relevant and easy to understand and follow.

Tarot Plain & Simple offers modern and up-to-date interpretations for all 78 cards. Once you know these basics, you'll be able to easily branch out into more advanced and complex tarot books. Throughout this plain and simple book, the author discusses various card groups for interpretation, focusing mainly on the Celtic cross spread.


Leanna Greenaway
Leanna Greenaway has her own monthly column in Take a Break’s Fate & Fortune magazine. As their resident witch, she answers reader's questions and offers quick and easy spells to combat problems. She is the author of Practical Spellcraft and Wicca Plain & Simple and the cofounder of the Psychic Study Centre. She lives in the south of England. You can visit her website here: http://www.leannagreenaway.co.uk/


Measuring 5 1/2 inches wide by 8 inches high, Tarot Plain & Simple is 176 pages long. Illustrations are black-and-white line art with Tarot card images derived from the Waite Deck created by Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. Text is black printed on white paper. Font size and style are easy to read. White space is used liberally, adding to the pleasant reading experience.

In Chapter 1 – First Steps on the Path of Tarot – Greenaway discusses her approach to the study of Tarot (“modern and up-to-date translations for all seventy-eight cards”). Contrary to some Tarot teachers, who insist that your first deck should be a gift from someone else, Greenaway’s view is that choosing your own deck is preferable. She provides very specific instructions for storing the cards (wooden box, wrapped in silk). She then proceeds to discuss what it means to be “psychic” and how the Tarot “is the key to unlocking the psyche.”

Other topics covered in this first chapter are “How Does the Tarot Work?” and “Upright and Reversed Cards.” Also included are “A Few Tips to Help You Along the Way,” including such advice as “Only read for the same person once in three months. Too many readings may confuse the querent” and “Always keep a list of useful phone numbers on your table – therapists, doctors, prevention hotline numbers. With the best will in the world, you will not be able to help everyone – nor should you try…”

Chapter 2 covers “Basic Card Facts.” The Major Arcana and four suits are covered in chapters 3-7. Chapter 8 is titled “Reading the Cards for Others,” and the last chapter is “Answers to the Exercises.”

For the Majors and Pips, Greenaway provides the following:

  • Card number
  • Traditional Meaning
  • Modern Meaning
  • Reversed
  • Key Points

For each Court card, we are given:

  • Card number
  • Traditional Meaning
  • Modern Meaning
  • Personality
  • As a Situation
  • Reversed
  • Key Points

Occasionally, a “Tip” appears at the end of the other subheads for a particular card.

EXERCISES (ten in all) appear at the end of some of the card descriptions. These are intended to be performed as you go through the book, reading each page in order (as recommended by Greenaway). The exercises focus primarily on reading a set of cards in a group. For example, following the write-up on the Justice card, Exercise Two gives examples of how to read Strength + The Empress and The High Priestess + Justice. The exercise then asks the reader/student to describe how they would interpret other combinations (The High Priestess + The Empress; The Hierophant + The Fool; Strength + The Lovers). Answers to these exercises appear at the end of the book.

In the chapter titled “Reading the Cards for Others,” Greenaway offers a Basic 9 Card Spread and “The Sun Dial,” a spread that provides a general 12-month reading.


“If you are female and reading for clients in your home, never let a stranger into your home without someone being there. However “spiritual” you may feel about reading the Tarot, it is just common sense to take social precautions.”

“Sometimes clients visit Tarot readers because they have problems that make them unhappy. They are looking for answers. Your main goal is to guide these people and to lighten their load. Always bring about a positive outcome without making things up.”

“A good approach at the beginning of the reading is to tell the querent that the Tarot cards show overall situations and that they do not always give dates and times. This means that the querent may not understand everything that is contained in the reading, but assure her that it will make sense later. Tell her to keep an open mind because some of the things that appear in the cards may take six to twelve months or even longer to come about.”


Two things struck me immediately when I saw the cover of this book:


The title is the same as a book I own by Anthony Louis (Tarot Plain and Simple, Llewellyn Publications, Third Printing, 1997)

As far as I know, it’s perfectly fine (i.e., legal) for this book by Greenaway to have the same title as the book by Louis. It could be confusing for some of us, so I think I would prefer a different title, but as an author myself, I know how difficult it can be to come up with a title that no one has ever used before. (An earlier edition of Greenaway’s book was published as Simply Tarot.)


The subtitle “The Only Book You’ll Ever Need” reminds me of the first book on astrology that I ever owned: The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk (Taylor Trade Publishing, Copyright 1982, 1990, 2001, 2006, 2008 by Joanna Martine Woolfolk).

As for “The Only Book You’ll Ever Need” designation, I didn’t care much for its use on the Woolfolk astrology book, and I’m not wild about it on Greenaway’s book either. It’s not a big deal at all, just my personal resistance to a claim that I feel would be difficult or impossible to live up to. I still own the Woolfolk book (I even teach a class with it), but is it the “only book” I ever needed in my study of astrology? No.

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.) 😊

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 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

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.