Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wands on Holiday

I have all this lovely wands energy warming me, but I won't be doing any more readings in New York this month, as I will be away.

If you would like a reading, please contact me after January 4th, to see what the New Year brings... in the mean time have a warm and festive holiday,

best wishes,


Monday, December 14, 2009

2 of Wands

I like this card and see it often. It is someone who has achieved a certain level of success, but wants more… there are 2 wands beside you and the world in your hands but you are looking out into the distance. It’s a card of ambition and accomplishment. It’s also a card of planning. The person in the card is not rushing off, he’s harnessing his wands energy and using it wisely. It’s a sense of being in control of your life. I read somewhere that it is the card of applied power, and that’s a phrase that really resonated for me.

The shadow side of the card is someone who doesn’t feel connected to their own lives. They don’t appreciate what they have, and don’t value what they’ve accomplished but are always looking out for something more…

Lovely image of man climbing comes from Cathy Hughes

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ace of Wands

Wands aka as rods, sticks, magic wands, scepters…

The ace is always the most intense distillation of the suit. If wands are fiery energy, then the Ace means that you are going to have a boost of energy, creative, passionate, forceful, coming into your life. It’s a wonderful card for new ventures. If you have big plans and want to know if you should go ahead, the Ace of Wands is a flaming yes! It’s a positive card signifying new starts and adventures.

I personally don’t read reversed cards, but I do look for the shadow side of any card. The shadow side of the Ace of wands is that all that energy and enthusiasm can lead to stubborn or even reckless decisions. Fire can consume and destroy if it’s not contained properly. So make sure that you have some facts backing up your decisions, make sure your plans are in place. And then let the Ace of Wands sweep them into fruition.

This perfect fire version can be bought at DoroTarot

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lovely links

While looking for images of the Ace of Wands (that blog will go up tomorrow) I can across this lovely site, with a really beautiful quote, that so clearly expresses my own feelings about tarot cards - so here it is:

"Tarot cards are like people. We get to know them more or less well, but never completely. And like people, they change over time and with experience of them. This is not to say we can't really know a card. Anymore than one would say one doesn't really know one's best friend or mate or lover. Simply that with these cards we form, as with people, many-faceted, living, changing relationships." Roswila

She also has really gorgeous photos of 'found tarot cards' that she sees in the world around her. A nice find :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The many faces of the suits

The playing cards we are so familiar with have a clear relationship with the Minor Arcana. As the picture above shows, modern cards have a relationship with the Tarot suits. The suits are divided into 4 groups - wands, cups, swords and pentacles, though there is certainly plenty of variation on those themes. In the Inner Child Cards that I also use, the 4 suites are wands, hearts, swords and crystals.

The four major groups hold 4 distinct energies.

Wands are fire, energy, ambition, initiative, creativity, passion
(wands can also be represented by sticks, batons, staves, rods etc)

Cups are water, emotions, intuition, love, empathy, the Holy Grail
(cups can also be represented by hearts, harps, flowers, esp roses, chalices, etc)

Swords are air, intellectual, sharp, cutting through illusions, objectivity, Truth
(Swords somehow are the most common suit, rarely changing. I guess swords are such a definitive image!)

Pentacles are earth, work, coins/material possessions, security, comfort.
(pentacles can also be represented by coins, stars, crystals, discs, bells, etc)

Each suit goes from Ace to ten, and then has 4 court cards - the page, knight, queen and king. And of course, there are many variations on those themes as well (from princesses to mermaids…) Court Cards can also be referred to as sister, brother, mother, father – which can explain a lot!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Journey Continues…

I’m so thrilled we’ve gone through the Major Arcana!.

Now, we face the 56 other cards, the Minor Arcana (sometimes referred to as pips) 40 cards in four different suits of ten — traditionally wands, cups, swords and coins, and 16 court cards of four per suite – traditionally the page, knight, queen, and king.

And here I pause, uncertain which way to go. There are different ways to read the minor arcana – some focus more on the suites, others on the numbers (did you get all wands, did you get all fours…) and which way should I start describing it? Do I start with Kings and work my way down, or start with Aces and work my way up? I’ve been focusing so much on the court cards in my own personal reading on Tarot right now. Do I go there with you (though it’s probably a lot more than you want to know!) or do I go in a more ordered fashion?

Well, despite being intuitive and loving the creativity of the cards, when I learn something, I really need order and systems. So I’ll keep reading away, but I’ll structure this blog in a more orderly fashion. After a brief introduction of the suites, I’ll start going through them, from Ace to King, and afterwards (in a year or so) we can focus on cross currents, and look at the numbers and other aspects of the Tarot. So pleased to be thinking of still writing this in a few years time!

Friday, November 20, 2009

At the World's End...

The World (21)

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, the end of the Fools journey. So it signifies completion - everything finally coming together, all your hard work paying off. It also signifies a shift, from student to master. You started this journey a ‘Fool’, but end it at the centre of your world, having gone through many trials and tribulations, meeting with devil, watching it all crumble, but then coming to the light at the end of the tunnel, walking into the sunshine, hearing the call for a new way of doing things and here you are… at the World.

I like the world in the eye as well, as it gives the sense that for a moment we see clearly, and it all makes sense, we see the pattern and the payoff.

I particularly love the Inner Child version of this card, that beautiful magical baby, floating in space. It gives you a sense of innocence and wonder, the completion of the gestation, and then birth – and a new journey commences - the Tarot is all about cycles. I often get this card when women are anxious about conceiving and we are both so happy to see it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Heeding the call to Judgment...

Judgment is such a complicated card, and the resurrection imagery of the Rider Waite card can scare some people off. Judgment is about hearing the trumpet call, and responding. There is a new energy in your life. It’s about awakenings and rebirths. If you are worried about changes and get this card, then your worries are over. It signals a good time for career moves, a new energy, new vitality and clarity.

It’s about hearing a call and releasing old guilts and sorrows – forgiving yourself and others. It’s a great card for therapy breakthroughs, moving from knowing something intellectually to truly knowing it at an emotional level. I love the story of the wolf and the pigs, here, finally, safely in their brick home, having built something substantial that can truly protect them.

It is also about making profound decisions in your life. Is it time to move – from a bad marriage? To a new job? To a different country? This is not the small stuff, but rather the huge life changing events. If you feel drawn in a new direction, and you get this card, then you should definitely follow your inner conviction.
I really like the seed imagery here, Judgment being the small kernel unfolding, creating a new life…

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sparkling in the sunshine

Sun (19)

Now who doesn’t want to get this card? It shines warm and bright.

After the intuition/dreaminess of the moon, the sun is bright eyed and wide awake. I call it swimming the Tao, when you feel in the flow of the universe. It’s a lovely energy card and I’m always happy to see it. The sun burns away all the mist and cobwebs. Things that were confused become come clear and everything falls into place. It’s a great outcome card, though anywhere it falls is a good place.

In case you are wondering where these beautiful tree cards come from (I used her poignant death card image as well,) they are created by Dana Driscoll and she called pack, appropriately enough, the Tarot of Trees

Friday, November 6, 2009

Learning by moonlight

The Moon (18)

It’s funny, as I look around the net for images of cards that speak to me, some cards definitely get more love than others. There are hundreds of beautiful moon cards out there, all with interesting, personal interpretations. I guess the moon cards is a card that speaks to Tarot readers…

The moon is cyclical, it waxes and wanes... It's a 21st century mantra that change is the only constant, and the moon proves that. It gets fat and happy and we want life to stay that way and then it gets thin... but we have to remember that it will get round again... We also struggle with what we can change and what is the moon, changing on its own cycles, nothing to do with us...

I like the Cinderella theme in the inner child card - it's about needing someone else to rescue you, longing for a magical intercessor, and then seeing the image of your destiny in the magical moonlight.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Star Light, Star Bright

Star (17)

The Star is a card of peace, harmony and balance. It reminds us of Temperance, but because the Star follows the Tower, it appears as very welcome light at the end of the tunnel.

The Star is a card of fresh hope and renewal. If you went for a job interview, you will get the job. If you have just been through a really painful experience, the worst is over. Whatever you are wishing for most, can come true.

The Star is one of those cards everyone loves to receive. When this card appears, you know somehow that life is just about to become easier and brighter.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It all falls down

Tarot is a funny beast, you get the devil card and we say it’s not all bad, you get the death card and we talk about rebirth… Well you get the Tower card, and things are crumbling.

It can feel like a lightning bolt from the blue, or like a river inexorably rising. You can know it’s happening or it can sweep you from behind, but sweep it does. Some edifice, something you’ve built that had substance and importance in your life, is breaking. And when the tower comes, although we can talk about things being better in the long run, in the short run it feels bleak.

I saw this card as I was looking for images, and of course it fits perfectly: - that shocking, awful, wrong experience that just crumbles things to the ground. When the tower appears, planes crash into buildings and we feel bereft…

From any loss, good can grow, in any tragedy, heroism can be shown. But the tower is about that feeling of everything breaking, the centre not holding, and we have to let ourselves feel the loss and mourn, before we can more on.

I like the Inner Child's Rapunzel image, because it shows that some towers were wrongly built in the first place. In an effort to protect the child she stole, a witch hides her in a tower. To the witch, the tower breaking is the loss of love, the death of a dream. To Rapunzel, the tower breaking is a total change, an escape from a weirdly loving prison, to the woods, where anything can happen...

I actually don’t get this card so often in readings, for which I am grateful (as no doubt are the people I read for!) But I’ve never found it to be about a trivial or simple thing – it’s about loss of jobs, breakups of marriages, foreclosure, bankruptcy. It’s an upheaval and if you see it in your cards, gather all the support you can because you will need it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Devil you know...

The devil, well he’s just so.. demonic in the Rider Waite card. All chains and misery. And that hand up, almost like stop sign.

I like the big bad wolf better, you can see the seductive element of the devil more clearly in that notion. When we meet the Devil our quest for excitment and adventure is leading us into the woods. We are putting ourselves in situations where we will be vulnerable to wolves, who do not have our best interests at heart...

More traditionally - our desire for physical and material things is out of balance, we hoard rather than rejoice, spend our energy collecting more things, rather than dealing with feelings. We long for material security rather than creative or spiritual fulfillment.

In this card, a woman is surrounded by addictions. The devil is about temptation, ambition run amuck, addictions over taking us…

One thing that the Tarot does emphasis is that all chains are of our own making. If we feel yoked to a way of life – too much materialism, too much competitiveness, then we can break those chains simply by becoming aware of them. Then again, if we refuse all joy, want everything extremely ordered and controlled, the devil card can be a message about breaking loose, letting go. It’s a very masculine energy, thrusting forward, fulfilling its needs. But, as the song says, the devil takes his dues, so beware of the costs, you may not want to pay them further down the line…

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How's Life Flowing?

Temperance (14):

This is one of the hardest cards to interpret. It’s a card about merging, healing, synthesizing, blending. It’s about balance and fluidity. But mostly it’s a card about moderation (not a New York concept at all!) If things are going well, then Temperance means that negotiations will be successful, a good balance of life and work, there is co-operation and coordination happening. But if things are not going well, then it’s about imbalance, conflicting interests, things not pouring smoothly, one to the other. It’s about trying to combine too many or the wrong elements in too short a time. (Maybe it’s more New York than I first thought.)

One of my mother’s favorite saying was ‘everything in moderation’. Temperance is saying that we need to moderate, to look at what we are trying to mix together, to make sure that there is balance or if we draw the card reversed, we could get a chemical explosion…

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Death, but Change

Death (13)
Everyone flinches when they see this card, but it is not a card predicting an actual death! Rather, the Death card portrays symbolic death - a change or transformation. It's the death of the caterpillar to give birth to the butterfly. After this card, nothing will be the same.

I chose this tarot image because as the artist says, the Death card reveals a permanent change--and what is more permanent for a tree than being cut? But, she assures us, the wood will live on--in paper, furniture, the flame, or even as food for other plants.

Tarot looks at cycles, and in this card it tells us a cycle in ending, and simultaneously, that another is beginning. Of course some people fear change more than they fear death, so this is a card about facing fears, to see how we can grow. I just came across this fabulous quote - “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” Richard Bach, which perfectly epitomizes this card.

Here is my favorite death card image:- which shows it how I think it is, as a gateway card. None of us know what's beyond the gateway, but our expectations reveal a great deal about us and how we deal with life...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hanging in the moment.

The Hanged Man (12)

Some cards are easier to explain than others, some resonate more in a Western, fast paced culture. The Hanged Man is not a card that New Yorkers necessarily want to find, but it is a card they often need. In the hanging moment, in the stillness and suspension, answers become clear. Solutions to problems are found.

The Hanged Man is about insight. Suddenly the pattern will emerge, and you will something truly, clearly. But there was a reason you weren’t seeing clearly before, and sometimes clarity can hurt. Sometimes a really clear insight means there is no going back. I like the alien abduction card as a visual metaphor, because once you know something so extreme, you can never be the same...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Which Cards do I use

Someone recently asked me to mention on my blog which cards I use. I use the standard Rider Waite pack, in every reading, it is one of the most popular packs in the Tarot World and many other packs use it as a starting point for their own images.

The second pack I occassionally use, but always have on me, is far less well known, and is based on Fairy Tales. The Inner Child cards are colorful and delightful, but also full of more familiar images than the tarot. I get a lot of good insight from them.

If you are starting to learn tarot, I would recommend the Rider Waite, as they are the most popular, before bridging out.

Justice is blind...

Justice (11)

Justice is about fairness. The catch cry of ‘it’s not fair’ resonates with us all, and the wise parents response of ‘life isn’t always fair’ comes back. But Justice is about an objective balance which may not seem fair to us anyway, because it is about consequences - you can’t smoke and party without paying with your health, you can’t focus solely on career and ignore your family - all your actions will have consequences. Justice is not about punishment, it’s about adjustment. It not about the law, it’s about natural consequences. And it’s not about compassion, it’s about results.

And, of course, not all of us want to meet the fair and rational results of our actions. Often life has given us special treatment, because of our looks or charm or luck. Justice won’t give us that, and that’s when absolute fairness can feel implacable.

I like the Inner child version of Justice, with King Midas, because it shows two things – be careful what you wish for and a fair and scrupulous consequence can be a painful thing indeed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Turning the Wheel

The Wheel of Fortune, the 11th card in this Tarot Journey.

Sometimes you just get lucky - you spin the wheel and the right number appears. This is a card of luck - almost always good luck – you are going to get what you want, something unexpected and good is coming your way.

I like the Alice in Wonderland round about, which gives you the giddy feel that good luck can bring.

However the reason I liked the spider web image, which is more sinister than other images out there, is because this is a kind of karmic good luck. So if you have done good, good luck is coming. But if you have done bad, then it’s karmic payoff time… So be kind when you break up, because Karma is a tough love goddess…