Review – Heart of Tarot An intuitive approach

This one is for my sister, whom I love very much.

Today I’m not going to talk about a particular card. With my exam quickly approaching and all the assignments that are still coming up thick and fast like rapid fire, I haven’t had the time to go deeper in the symbolism of a specific card. So, in the meantime, I’m just going to do a quick review.

heartoftarotThe book in question is Heart of Tarot An intuitive approach, written by Amber K & Azrael Arynn K. It talks about a different way of reading the Tarot: The “Gestalt Tarot“. It caught my attention because my sister, who is a trained Gestalt psychologist and an art-therapist, had told me the powerful impact these techniques have.

Gestalt psychology is a school of thought that deals with psychological problems using imagination and creative visualisation. Its focus is in how we organise our outlook in life, how we cope with difficult situations and it helps us in changing our perspective. In a sense, it has an animist point of view: everything around us has a meaning and a voice provided that we listen to them; gestalt practitioners work with metaphors and try to bring us back to a sense of wholeness. A couple of years ago I had therapy with a Gestalt psychologist, who also used hypnosis, for some ongoing issues and I have to say that the results I got were amazing and long-lasting. Sorry, sister, I should’ve listened to you earlier!

For example, one of their most powerful techniques is called The Empty Chair. There are always 3 chairs in the room even though it’s just you and the therapist. So you’ve gone there because you have some unfinished business with someone or something: they are no longer around or you can’t get an agreement because no one wants to lose face or you feel unable to express your anger or it can also be a part of yourself that you dislike…

So you speak your truth to the empty chair, warts and all, without holding anything back. Then, you sit in the empty chair and that’s when the magic happens. Once you are in the other chair, you are the other party and you also speak up. The insights and revelations that come up from that are truly eye-openers.

Gestalt Tarot, a technique developed by John McClimans, works better if the querent doesn’t know the meanings of the card because it may interfere with the free flow of ideas. It is also recommended to use a deck where the minor arcana have drawings such as Rider-Waite, the Morgan-Greer (that’s the one used in the book) or even the Crowley Thoth Tarot. There are plenty, but it’s better to choose one rich in symbolism.

Then you use a spread of your liking, as any will work. Along the book they use many different examples, including a full Gestalt spread and a condensed Gestalt spread. I won’t describe them, they are loosely similar to an astrological spread. But the core of the technique are the questions that the reader asks the querent:

  • What so you see in the picture?
  • What are they doing?
  • How do you think they feel?
  • What are they thinking?
  • How do they interact with each other?
  • How would it feel to be like that?

And so on. Then the cards are read as if they were telling a story. After that, the reader asks the querent to notice any patterns: colours, numbers… It is very important that the reader lets the querent to speak freely and doesn’t guide his/her interpretation of the cards by using open questions. To finish, the reader summarises the key points of the reading. It should hopefully have brought light to the issues the querent had.

It is a very niche kind of reading: it requires a reader trained in Tarot and Gestalt psychology to really deliver insightful results. Plus also I am not sure that anyone expects to do all the work when going to a Tarot reader! Nonetheless, I think that it may be a good tool for self-reading, provided that you can detach yourself from what you know about Tarot. Easier said than done!

It also includes some chapters on type of clients, creating your own deck, how to teach tarot and tarot magic and herbs and stones, which I thought they were odd because they didn’t really have much in common with the rest of the book. Not really sure what the point of including them was.

IMHO, not for everyone but I did find the extensive chapter about how to ask good questions in Tarot very interesting. Often overlooked, it is a really really useful skill in life, I may write about that in future.

Fortress of solitude, made of selenite.
Fortress of solitude, made of selenite.

I bought my copy in a bookshop in Avebury, when I went to see and touch*! the stones. I am gutted that I haven’t found any copies of the pictures I took there to show you how lovely it is; I’m lucky enough that I live at 1 hour of distance from it so it’s a frequent picnic place. If you are in the UK and haven’t visited it, please do so. If you are not, keep it in your mind if you ever decide to visit this country.

So I bought the book and the husband fell in love with the selenite on the left. He even made a base with perspex to illuminate it from behind with green LEDs.

If someone is interested, it’s published by Llewellyn Worldwide and the ISBN numbers are.

  • ISBN-10: 1567180086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567180084

* You can’t do that in Stonehenge.

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Ace of Wands, go forth and multiply

Morning is due to all —
To some — the Night —
To an imperial few —
The Auroral light.

Emily Dickinson, poem I

Crowley, Marseille, Gran Tarot Esotérico, Balbi.
1. Crowley, 2. Marseille, 3.Gran Tarot Esotérico, 4.Balbi.

I  know, I know, the Ace of Wands is the herald of spring, the beginning of the Aries season… and we are in May now! But I hope you forgive me as the spring has been dawdling a bit in the UK and it hasn’t been until the last few days that I can say that it’s truly among us. I went to the Forest of Dean a couple of weeks ago to see its famous carpet of bluebells and there were none! Methinks another visit is in order.

The number one is the first of the natural numbers; it is the one who has the power to decree whether a number is prime or not; itself being above that classification, he is not one of them but the one who defines what they are: primes are those numbers than can only be divided by themselves or by 1. Both the Ancient Greek, who liked to attribute sexual characteristics to numbers, and the Chinese thought that prime numbers were macho numbers because they resisted any attempt to be broken down into a product of smaller numbers. It is not surprising given the fiercely male-gender paradigm those societies were based on. Number 1 fits the bill nicely if only for its similarity with the male organ.

Here we have four examples of Aces from my small collection of tarot decks. Being the Wands the fire suit, all of them include the flames surrounding the rod, which each artist has drawn in a different way:

  • a ray of light sending forth curly flames in (1),
  • a freshly pruned branch in (2),
  • a regal sceptre enveloped by fire in (3)
  • and what looks like the neck of a guitar in (4) (isn’t that charming?).

Looking closely, the ones in Crowley seem snakes rather than tongues of fire. I find myself attracted and intrigued by the images in this deck but it’s too hermetic for me, I’ve never been able to read anything out of them. Although, after reading what Barbara Walker has to say about the Ace of Wands, I think I get the image in this particular Crowley‘s card.

Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean artist behind the resurrection of this version of the Marseille Tarot, has some interesting reflections about this Ace in his book La voie du Tarot*. He says that the creative energy embodied by this trump is androginous because, even if the Ace  has a phallic form, its tip looks like a yoni. He also explains the meaning of the cut branches along the wand, it’s all about the direction we choose when using the energy that the Ace of wands brings to the table: “one cannot create this energy, the only thing one can do with it is to wisely choose in which direction it is going to be directed

Riding the dragon not metaphorically
Snake charmer.

Barbara Walker goes back to the origins and talks about the ancient strife between the Goddess and the Patriarchal Gods; when the serpent was considered the firstborn of the Goddess, who had power over it. It is interesting to note how the victor of his battle is shown in Catholic iconography, it is common to depict the Virgin Mary, in her incarnation as the Blessed Virgin, treading over the head of the serpent. She could overcome the evil snake because she was born free of sin.

There is also a wonderful paragraph that has made me quite anxious to re-read some Arthurian legends or, at least to watch Excalibur again:

Five thousands years ago, the pole star was Alpha Draconis, the Dragon’s Eye. Precession of equinoxes since moved the north celestial pole to the constellation of Ursa Minor, the Little Bear. This subtle precession was interestingly personified in Celtic Myth. King Arthur’s name has been derived from Welsh Arth Vawr, Heavenly Bear. His predecessor was Uther Pendragon, which means “Wonderful Head of the Dragon”
Barbara G. Walker The Secrets of the Tarot. Origins, History and Symbolism p. 164

So, we have got a card that means start,  power, new foundations, Creativity with a capital C, plenty of potential. As always, when Aces turn up in a spread they are usually sign of something good coming up, a torrent of new energy that should be channeled in the right direction.

And, unlike Ms Dickinson says in the poem that opened this post, anyone can be one of those Imperial few, as long as one can harness this surge of Auroral light.

As an amulet, it is very useful when someone is feeling stagnant and needs a bit of a push to break the statu quo.

Next time, I’ll talk about a spread based on Gestalt psychology and a card from the suit of Pentacles, I haven’t decided which one yet.

*Destiny Books published an English version in 2009: The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards.

The queens locking horns

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hit a wall and wasn’t feeling inspired at all. It seems that my mojo comes and goes without any regular pattern, so I need a change of plans in order to publish more regularly. However, I’ve got an exam coming up, so I just need to be more organised. I plan to spend some time each day prepping this blog as a rest from revising.

Anyway, I’ve got a spread to discuss today, a friend from Twitter asked me to look into some new work project he’s undertaking so I asked him to draw 6 cards and send me a picture of them. To be honest, I should’ve asked him to draw 7 cards, as it’s a spread I’m more familiar with. Nice and easy, with 3 cards for the past, the one in the center as the present situation and the last three for the future. There is another spread that I like, specially useful for mundane divination, so if you are using tarot, I recommend to take the major arcana out and use just the minor arcana. I know this is a bit controversial, but for certain questions, I do believe that using the Major Arcana seems overkill.

Three rows of 7 cards, with the centre cards as the focal points:

  • the bottom one is the past
  • the middle one is the present
  • the top one is the future

It is a wonderful spread for the wealth of information it yields and also for how easy it is to link the different meanings of the cards. It certainly helped me to find my feet while I was learning the tarot. Plus one can always go into more depth with a celtic cross to clarify certain points; although it took me some time before I felt confident to move on to the celtic cross. You may have seen similar ones when reading the Lenormand* cards. Although I think the Grand Tableau uses all 36 cards and there are just 21 in this one.

So, after telling myself off for asking for 6 cards instead of 7, I started looking for a spread with 6 cards and I came across faerygodmother’s awesome blog: Faerygodmother: My top ten relationship card spreads. And there is it, the last one, the harsh truth has 6 cards! Excellent, I can use that.

The positions are as follows: 1*3*2
4*6*5

6 card spread, using Barbara Walker Tarot
6 card spread, using Barbara Walker Tarot

Let’s go to the reading:

1. What you want to be true: Queen of Swords

2. What you don’t want to be true: 2 of Wands

3. What it’s true: Justice

4. What you want to happen: 8 of Wands

5. What you don’t want to happen: Queen of Wands

6. What will happen: Strength

Although the question was about work, those two queens (one of them is his mum or someone older than him and the other one, his partner) are telling me something else, as this is a spread for a man, however I’m going to try to focus on the work side of things.

1. What you want to be true: (Queen of Swords) He’s a person that is capable of a long sustained effort to achieve his goals, he wants to prove himself that he can make it on his own. I’d also say that he’s forgotten his own strength as he feels attacked by everyone and his uncle.

2. What you don’t want to be true: (2 of Wands) He thought that the way to his goals was going to be easier. He has taken an important step, but there is still a lot of hard work ahead. He feels his knees weaken at that thought.

3. What it is true: (Justice) I’ve always thought of the Justice as a karmic card, so I’d say that he is now where he needs to be (as if he wasn’t before because he was living someone else’s expectations of how his life should be and he’s now broken free from that), that he is in a quest to find his inner voice, his inner strength. It is very important that he cross-examine his motivations before committing to do anything, as he has a tendency to play fair even when the rest of the players in the game aren’t.

4. What you want to happen: (8 of Wands) He wants things happening and happening now, there is a slight whiff of desperation as if his patience has run out and needs some action straight away. I’d suggest him to stop and meditate, to take this opportunity to take some time out for himself now that things are slow.

5. What you don’t want to happen: (Queen of Wands) He doesn’t want to be bossed around, I’d say that he is also worried about how much money his partner is spending (is she financially independent? I’d ask)

6. What will happen: (Strength) The test he must pass is to find the courage to speak his truth. It is crucial for him to speak up, otherwise situations from his past, where he has done as he was told to, will arise again. This is his Rubicon for the classically inclined or his Punxsutawney for the Bill Murray lovers 😉

I think that although things are a bit slow at the moment, his project is likely to pick up from where it is now and grow steadily. I wouldn’t worry about that if I were him. However, the main undertone of the reading is the tension between the two queens. Oh boy, I wouldn’t like to be in his position. There is a lot of diplomacy to be used and gallons of oil to be poured onto troubled waters.

He must be firm and listen to his heart first, instead of trying to please them.

*I bought a Mystic Lenormand oracle and I have started studying them, but it’s early days, I am not fluent in their language yet.I’m keeping a handwritten journal with the daily draws, I may post something if I find it interesting.

 

The Fool says: Why so serious?

Hey ho, let's go!
Hey ho, let’s go! Balbi, Gran Tarot Esotérico, Marseille by Camoin, Barbara Walker, Crowley

Goodbye to the Life I used to live –
And the World I used to know –
And kiss the Hills, for me, just once –
Then – I am ready to go!

Emily Dickinson, poem 279

I wish the Fool had been playing up tricks in my mind lately, he always brings a sense of cheerfulness that I was sadly lacking. As the winter seemed to stretch forever, I was feeling sluggish and withdrawn, nothing to do with the spring in the step that our friend The Fool has.

What a jolly bunch of fellows we’ve got today, all going resolutely towards the East (except the one from Crowley, who bizarrely looks at the spectator in a static position, but Mr Crowley always liked to do things his own way, didn’t he?) I seem to remember that the one in Rider Waite looks to the left, I suppose that it’s up to the artist to depict the symbolism of this card but I personally prefer it going to the right.

The innocence and wonder that fills our hearts when we start a journey! The Fool is our soul before the Fall, when everything is new and good and bright and we still don’t know the many lessons that lay further ahead in the way. His fair hair is yellow, the colour of spring and new beginnings. He still carries the baggage of his previous life in a bundle and the dog is trying to stop him in his journey. That’s my favourite part of the card, as that’s no longer a symbol of bigger-than-life things but a small sample of everyday life.

It’s remarkable how he is the only one of the Major Arcana that has survived in common playing decks, as a Joker. Barbara Walker in The Secrets of the Tarot says:

“So the Fool was permitted to stay with, if not exactly in, the deck of cards, because he had no heresies to teach.”

Didn’t he fooled them? He wasn’t so innocent after all 😀

When I started reading the Tarot, I really didn’t like the Fool; his nimbleness and innocence made me suspicious and I thought that behaving that way was wrong. Ah, that stubborn teenage belief in all things black and white!

It can be used as a charm, although not on its own as it needs some counterweight to secure us to the ground, for the following situations:

For artists or just anyone who is about to embark in a creative pursuit: it will act as an antenna to open up our senses to new ideas and be non judgmental of our efforts. Combine it with the Ace more suitable to your purpose.

– With the 9 of Pentacles and the 2 of Swords: Very favourable for online-based businesses. Maybe because of its connection to Uranus, I think the Fool is very technology oriented. The 2 of Swords represents communication and the 9 of Pentacles gives fruition to our endeavours.

Many faces.
Many faces.

In the Secret Dakini Oracle, there is a card related to the Fool, but with an interesting twist: it’s the Fool but after he’s finished his journey through the 21 Major Arcana; he has attained enlightenment and knows that everything, the good and the bad, are parts of the journey, are just jokes of Brahma. He is many things, as shown by his numerous faces, but he doesn’t get caught up in self-definitions. I like that, as sometimes we focus in just one part of us, in sorrow, in anger, in self-pity… and forget that we may as well choose lightness and humour as our persona.

So that’s my intention for today: be merry and forget about inevitability, things don’t have to be just because, we are free to choose. I’ll go watch something amusing 😀 Suggestions welcome!!

Lord Ganesha

Fully formed!
Fully formed!

I have just received a parcel for my birthday with this beauty inside. It’s got everything: one tusk, a whip, an axe… It only needs his faithful ride, the mouse!

I’ve read that Lord Ganesh likes sweets and flowers as offerings but I need to investigate more. I now have to make a proper altar for him.

He can’t have arrived in a better moment, as I need to smite a few obstacles, some outside and some in my mind, the latter ones being the stickiest and hardest to beat so far.

Aum gam ganapataye namah.

 

 

The Hanged Man and the miracle of spring

Nine nights I hung in the windy tree, wounded with the spear, sacrificed to Odin,

I myself to myself.

Major Oak, whose branches are as big as trees.
Major Oak, whose branches are as big as trees.

This weekend I went for a walk to Sherwood Forest, to decompress from a very long and tiring week. To fill my soul with the wonder of nature, by watching  the wild life and the ancient oak trees, still sprouting acorns after those many centuries in their belts. We were blessed with the delightful sight of many great tits, blue tits, blackbirds, squirrels, wrens and robins, whose fun-spirited demeanour filled my heart with a joy that it’s difficult to translate into words. Even though we’ve changed seasons, at least by name (the spring equinox is old news already), it felt like the winter was still among us. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground and the wind was still bitterly cold, leaving the noses red and dripping with silent tears.

Barbara Walker, Gran Tarot Esotérico
Barbara Walker, Gran Tarot Esotérico

When I saw those magnificent oak trees with their branches still bare, oblivious to the arrival of spring, I couldn’t help but think of the Hanged Man, one of the cards of the Tarot that cannot conceal its pagan origin. For example, the Great Priestess is related to Hathor and Isis, but as their cult was disguised as Virgin Mary’s, they could get away with it. Unlike the Hanged Man, that shows a man hung upside down, with an unusual expression of bliss or contentment for someone in such predicament, this kind of worship (men hanging themselves as a sacrifice to Odin) wasn’t considered appropriate to keep when Christianity took over.

Odin’s is a male-centric myth, as he had to hung himself in the Yggdrassil for 9 nights in order to gain the knowledge of the runes, magic, the secrets of Fate and poetry. All these lores had traditionally been preserved and taught by women, hence his choice of staying 9 nights, as a symbol of the 9 months of gestation. According to some versions of the legend, he had to endure all this ordeal to earn all this knowledge by drinking from the sacred blood of the womb of the Goddess. However, as it can be seen in Barbara Walker’s 5 of swords, despite having become a wise man thanks to all this knowledge, he wasn’t above the control of the Fates, who still remained the ones who called the shots 😀

The other card shown is from the Gran Tarot Esotérico, a deck designed by a Basque witch, with many references to Basque mythology  that has omitted the hanged man but kept the bare trees. The name of the card La Picota means “The Gallows” which I think that keeps the theme of the card in a simple but effective way. We may not see the hanged man as the trees have become the focal point of the card.

The main theme of this card is sacrifice, we have to sacrifice something precious to us (the ego, our time, our friends…) in order to gain something better in the future.

Today this card resonates deeply within me because it’s my birthday and I’m away from my family. I wasn’t born in this island of Faery, she’s treated me well and given me many things, I grew up as a woman here, I found my voice, but I had to leave many things behind. I don’t regret that decision  but a price had to be paid; I wasn’t there when my dad died, I was even late for his funeral; now, I’m missing watching my sister’s belly grow with my nephew and I grieve for my native language that I seldom get to speak anymore.

To end with a more positive note, this card is really good to use as an amulet, combined with the World as they are mirror images of each other, as their legs point one to the sky and the other to the ground, for the following situations:

  • For students revising for exams: all that work may seem overwhelming at times, but this period of intense concentration will pay off when the results come up. Make a colour photocopy of the cards and keep it in your wallet, o somewhere in your desk.
  • When trying to beat an addiction: meditate on these cards when you are fighting the cravings, as they will help you remember why you are quitting.

And remember that spring is coming, whether we like it or not. I want to be like the daffodils that are blooming and filling the roads with the happiness of yellow just because they must.

daffodils

10 of wands – Stretching out too thin

Gran Tarot Esotérico, Marseille, Barbara Walker, Balbi
Gran Tarot Esotérico, Marseille, Barbara Walker, Balbi

I’ve taken a day off work to catch up with my uni homework and I feel a bit tired. So I’ve decided to change the card I was going to talk about today, the 9 of wands, for the 10 of wands, as I feel outflanked by life in general and by this homework in particular.

While the 9’s are more about getting there, you’ve worked your way up the minor arcana scale, enjoying the ride, happy that you are moving on; the 10’s are a different matter: the terminus and end. When you’ve gone full circle and accomplished your tasks or when a relationship breaks down. Depending on the cards that appear along the 10’s in a spread, they can even potentially indicate serious illness.

So, do pay attention if many 10’s turn up in your spread, that means that the end of the current cycle is nigh and you are going to get what you saw, whether it’s positive or negative. The Major Arcana marked with the 10th is the Wheel of Fortune, which reinforces the idea of change and impermanence of our toil, although I find its message more positive and uplifting that the one conveyed by the Minor 10’s, which is quite dramatic and final.

Let’s go into to the general meaning of the 10 of wands. First of all, it’s a funny card within the Wands suit. The Wands, all fiery and energetic, full of life and stamina, are symbols of our inner creativity to fight obstacles, while this one is all about tiredness, of being at the limit of our physical endurance and forced to live under someone else’s rules*.

  • Among the cards shown in the picture, the one in the far left is from “El Gran Tarot Esotérico”, a friend of mine found out that I’d been looking for it for some time and decided to send it to me. Thanks for that! I’ll make a review of it next week. I like the fact that the artist has drawn the 10 wands interleaved as a circle, very neat.
  •  Balbi and Marseilles have the same geometry: 2 vertical in the centre and the other 8 pointing to the centre in a star-like pattern. Balbi feels more about being under attack from all directions while the central interweave of the Marseille is like a solid weight over our shoulders that we just can’t take off.
  • The Barbara Walker one shows the fall of Lucifer, the Morningstar, after his rebellion against God (We all know how the story goes**). It focuses in injustice, abuse of power and a sense of powerlessness. And, sometimes, of stubbornness and refusal to acknowledge that the battle is lost.

So, a few points for when the 10 of wands turns up in a spread:

  • Ask yourself in which side of the tyranny or oppression you are: are you the oppressor or the oppressed?
  • Remember that this situation won’t last forever and try to come to terms with it.
  • It’s also a not so subtle nudge to take more care of our health, as we are feeling overworked. So a bit of meditation and trying to take things easy wouldn’t go amiss. One of the simplest tips to accomplish that is to go to bed earlier than usual. If that’s not possible, meditation is the key to a happy life (I can vouch for its effects); it can be done anywhere and you only need a few minutes.

That’s all for today, folks. Please let me know if this has been useful.

* Just a normal day at the office 😉

** I must recommend, if you are interested in this story to obviously read “Paradise Lost” (I haven’t yet… I know, I’m not proud of it either), but also the collection of comic-books, created as a spin-off of the hugely successful series of The Sandman, called Lucifer Morningstar. A tremendously fun read!

The Secret Dakini Oracle – review and musings on how to create your own oracle

Dancing Durga
Dancing Durga

I recently purchased The Secret Dakini Oracle, the book and the cards. Being honest, I didn’t know a lot about dakinis or Durga, whose fierce image appears on the cover, but I felt somehow intrigued by it, so I went ahead, made a bid and crossed my fingers hoping I’d be lucky enough to win it. You know how this ended up, don’t you? 😉 After all, I chose the name of this blog because No 28 “Cosmic Carrot” made me laugh the first time I heard about it.

This copy was originally released in 1977. The cards were printed by AGMueller. I wasn’t familiar with this card maker as my all decks have been from other makers so far, I must say that they are of outstanding quality more than 30 years on. This copy hadn’t been used much by their previous owner, fact that explains their mint condition. They have really vivid  colours and a lovely satin feel. I’m afraid I’m going to give them a worse life that they had before; I plan to use them for meditation and self-guidance quite often!

I was expecting that they were going to portray fierce goddesses or even abstract symbols of the many sides of femininity, but what I got was completely different. I was a bit disappointed to be honest at the beginning.

The artwork consist on collages of different things: the head of a snake between two mirror apples, a dark unicorn resting on a tree, Lord Ganesh on a throne made of jeweled spider webs… This technique seems to have been the flavour du jour during the 70’s, but somehow it doesn’t make the deck feel dated in the slightest. I found these whimsical and sometimes random mixture of pictures quite inspiring.

In fact, making collages has been used by artists in order to nurture their creativity or as a release of their inner demons. A very dear friend of mine, who was following The Artist’s Way method and got a bit bored with the Morning Pages, decided to create one of them a day during several months and she reported that revisiting her earlier work did wonders to kick-start her creativity when it was flagging. Let’s not forget that tarot readers and artists are closer that it’s usually assumed, we both think in images.

Example using the Celtic Cross
Example using the Celtic Cross

I did a reading for the husband, who had never had a reading done and surprisingly volunteered as guinea pig for the experiment**, and I wasn’t following the descriptions on the book to deliver the reading but they were surprisingly spot on. In fact, he said that I was just making things up as I went along, so I ended up handing over the book to him so he could read how the author had described each card. You can see what was going on in his life on the picture! I won’t go into depths apart from the fact that they provided a pretty accurate description of the question while also delivering a profound spiritual message.

They are 64 cards in total, the  first 22 follow more or less the Major Arcana and the rest are inspired by the elements of the Minor Arcana: fire, water, earth and air. And it made me think that I may create my own oracle one day: like a magpie, taking inspiration on different things.

My first card would be “Important message” and it would be from that scene in the Bible where king Belshazzar is having a banquet and a mysterious hands writes on the wall: “MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN” There you go, Rembrandt had thought of it before me. The passage in Dan 5:6, in case anyone is interested.

As always, plenty of information about dakinis in wikipedia. Although a visit to your local library to pick up a couple of books on Tibetan buddhism would be great as well. That’s my plan for tomorrow, anyway!

*A quite interesting link on collage, art, copyright and fair usage : What is fair use?

**I think the delightful Milky Way picture on the back of the cards won him over, these science-loving guys, huh?

Friday reading – 3 of wands – Use your gifts wisely or lose them.

The weird sisters :D
The weird sisters 😀

Today we start a feature of the blog, where I give a 1 card reading to anyone who asks for it, don’t be shy!

I’ve decided to use one card only as anything longer will be tedious to read and it will help me to keep focused in the present card. I do consider that one-card spreads are quite difficult to master, specially when you begin reading tarot or any other oracle of your choice, because there are no props, just you and your intuition. This spread is really useful to tune into the energy of the card/deck* and to create your own Tarot lexicon. Do start this practice and let me know if you need any help or clarification.

I may include wider spreads in the future if they are specially insightful. However, there is always a card in them that holds the key of the reading and I will just elaborate on that one.

I want to share that I pay quite a bit of attention to numbers when doing a reading: an abundance of Aces or of 10’s (for mentioning the full gamut) has a meaning that can give you clues about specific time (when something is going to happen) o in which step of the process the consultant is currently immersed. I’ll make a post about this shortly.

Let’s begin!

This time, it’s a question about work. The consultant has a work project and wants to know the present situation and whether it’s an opportunity worth pursuing or not.

The 3’s mean that something is coming to fruition, we are still in the initial steps of the way but we have all the required tools to start this project with a solid foundation. The Weird sisters tinge the meaning of the reading with their strict and powerful nature; sometimes, we think that life is being too hard and, resigned to the inevitability of our destiny and powerless, we think of throwing the towel. Not so, despair is not a feeling we should dwell on**.  The only option is to continue on our path because this is something that we are meant to do.

So, the card tells me that it’s a good opportunity, go for it! There is plenty of work ahead for you but the rewards will be worth it. Remember to make a business plan and advertise your work.

* Further instructions in Gordon’s amazing blog: How to calibrate your oracle – runesoup

** The giant from Stephen P Donaldson’s First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant said something along this lines. I love that Giant.