The Magical Buffet featured the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg in their Moonlight Tarot's Question corner.
This column is intended to provide messages from the Tarot to address modern problems experienced by everyday people. Questioners, also known as “Querents” submit requests to have their issue addressed in a complimentary three card Tarot Reading published as part of the Magical Buffet. The reading not only addresses the Querent’s issue but also provides education about the role of Tarot as a tool for exploration and empowerment.
It’s November, and love is in the air…at least it is for our Querent who will be referred to as Helena. She writes in wanting to know if the man she is seeing is as serious about the relationship as she is. Whether her relationship has long term commitment potential, and what obstacles she may face in this relationship as well as general advice for the future are also questions on her mind. For this reading the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg is used. The resulting cards drawn are ....read the full blog here.
There are many great blogs on the web. A favorite of ours is the Tarot-ically Speaking by Madhavi Ghare. Last week she shared an experience about reading with two (or more) Tarot decks.
Madhavi shared, "Doing a Tarot reading with two or more Tarot decks was one of the most fascinating experiences I have had in my entire career as a professional Tarot card reader. Not only was it more illuminating, but it was also challenging and interesting for the client. Normally, most Tarot card readers end up using a...Click here to see the full blog.
Enjoy! Share some of your favorite blogs in the comments here. Let's make it about others so share someone else's blog instead of yours!
Today's Ask A Reader comes from X who has two possible apartments to move to. We drew from the Joie de Vivre Tarot. I want to point out that I drew blind and put them on the scanner without looking at them first. I was suprised by the cards! Seems like a clear cut case, but is it?
First apartment Pro/Con
Second apartment Pro/Con
So what advice can you offer X today? Which living situation seems to be the better of the two?
It's Ask The Readers day again! You are the reader. The question is:
What should I do to find love?
What would you tell this client? I drew the following three cards for the Situation, the Action and the Outcome? See the bottom of this post for how you can be the next one we all read for.
Thanks for your assistance. And if you have a question you would like answered, please send it to Stella with the subject line, "Ask The Readers". We will pull three cards and ask our blog readers for their interpretations.
"This deck is so well conceived that each card could stand as its own little universe. In readings it communicates in a clear, rich and friendly way thanks to the lovely card images and characters that inhabit them." -- John Alan, The Tarot Guild
Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy, U.S. Games Systems Inc, 2011
Two card spreads are fun to do because they are fast, but do they give you enough information? I think that they do if you consider that you can eliminate the situation card and just ask two questions about it.
Here are just a few ways to do that.
"Should I Stay Or Should I Go" This lyrical two question spread can be applied to many situation including a relationship, a job or even a housing situation.
"Hold On or Let Go" will answer whether or not you need to try harder or just step back from a situation.
"Fold 'Em or Hold 'Em" is a poker version of whether you should commit to something or bow out.
"Step Up or Step Back" would be whether or not to volunteer your time and energy.
So let's try one, shall we? Your client wants to know if they should volunteer to be a chaperone for their child's field trip to the museum. You draw the Tower for the Step Up card and the 2 of Coins for the Step Back card.
What are some other two card spreads you can think of?
The vibrant imagery draws largely on the African experience, depicted in a primitive art style. Evoking universal childhood emotions, African Tarot can help you explore your true inner nature. Review by Lizzie of Lizzie's Logic
Tomorrow, February 7th brings us a Full Moon in the sign of Leo. Native American tribes refer to it as the Full Snow Moon, the Little Famine Moon, or the Full Hunger Moon, referencing the time of year, weather conditions, and how the tribes were affected. Leo brings in the energy of an increased sense of purpose, and how we creatively express that purpose.
The Full Moon itself is viewed by many as a time for bringing to fruition the seeds that were sown during the New Moon, and releasing those things that are no longer working for us. While I do hold that to be true, I also believe that the full energy of the Moon can be used to begin new projects. The choice of releasing the old, bringing in the new, or doing a combination of both is up to each individual.
We will be looking at our individual freedom (which is rapidly changing as the structures that make up our society change), as well as our responsibility to community (local and global). We need to take care of ourselves – to create personal time, to take the time to meditate, ground ourselves, and connect with whatever we accept as Spirit. A new paradigm is coming into being – as we adjust to it, we need to find our sense of balance in life – personal/professional, work/play, family/self … the list goes on.
Leo is all about spontaneity and freedom of expression. It is also good to remember that Leo is a Fire sign – it wants to be out and about and doing things! It is time to share stories, and to allow ourselves to grow from both sharing our own stories, and listening to other people’s stories.
Leo also asks us to express our dreams and hopes for the future. To do this, we need to be grounded in the present. Other energies to keep in mind as we navigate the Leo Full Moon are those of the Hierophant (2012 is a number five year, relating to the Hierophant in the Tarot), and the Dragon (from the Chinese New Year, which started January 23rd).
The Leo Full Moon has a partner in all this – the Aquarius Sun. While the Leo Full Moon is more about individual self-expression, the Aquarius Sun brings our energy and focus to the common good, towards helping humanity as a whole. It is all about community, groups, and social causes. Push/Pull between individual good and common good.
One way to share our stories is through divinatory readings. I am going to add the small thought here that these readings can be done as individuals, or they can be done within a group setting. Or we can read as individuals with a focus on global issues/connections. Do what feels right for you.
This is my offering for the Leo Full Moon. Cards were drawn from Patrick Valenza’s “Deviant Moon Tarot” .
The Seeker is conscious of new information coming into a situation, and, on a more personal level, of the influences that a possible romantic interest is bringing into their life. It can well be that the new insights, and new opportunities, are opening up because they are opening themselves up to another person.
The Seeker is not yet conscious of the fact that they are accessing their imagination, and their creative/emotional self. They are beginning to experience and express a greater degree of compassion in their life.
What is coming into the consciousness of the Seeker is a need to get to the truth of things – in their own life, and in the world around them. During this time, the Seeker will be walking alone.
The Seeker literally needs to release their need to control everything, and to be the one that makes things happen in their life. They need to step back, take a time out, and learn to flow with life, to allow Spirit to do its work.
What the Seeker needs to bring in is the ability to make decisions on the fly (sometimes pondering too much is not a good thing!), to allow themselves to be impulsive from time to time, and to go on a journey that may come to them in a very sudden manner.
The Seeker can access their creative self by being willing to nurture themselves, to give themselves time and attention. They also need to open themselves up to the feminine mysteries. The Seeker needs to be willing to birth their own ideas.
The Seeker can best express themselves in a creative way as an individual by living their life in harmony with those around them, by not creating or adding to conflict.
The Seeker can best express themselves in a creative way in community by going within themselves, recognizing the answers they will find there, and sharing the strength of that wisdom with others.
The new goals that the Seeker is forming are coming out of the previous cycle of their life – they are at a point where their life is coming together on all levels. They need to take the time to enjoy being “whole”, they need to enjoy their sense of “victory”, before they move on to the next level. The goals that percolate during their time of celebration will be the ones they take into the next cycle of their life.
The new goals are taking the Seeker into the land of opportunity, into a time of success, prosperity and abundance in the physical world, but also into a sense of balance between their physical and spiritual worlds.
I would love to see comments on this interpretation – to see how others interpret this spread!
Scans were taken from the “Deviant Moon Tarot”, Patrick Valenza, U.S. Games Systems., Inc, 2008.
© January 2012 Bonnie Cehovet
3Jane requested that her Astral Pyramid reading use the Happiness house.
In row two (which actually starts with row one the Astral House card of Happiness), she got the Crown and the Ladder. The next two weeks will see her getting a lot of attention at work. She will not have to work too hard to be noticed. There may even be a promotion in the works. If she has any projects out, I think this indicates a lot of good news for her.
Row two, the three week (or day or month...I'm just sticking to week for now) shows the Eagle, the Star and the Knot. So this is a two-against-one week. Two cards indicate triumph and one failure. I am going to say that 3Jane's happiness may take a blow but it will all work out. And for the better in the long run. This feels like one of those arguments that brings out old issues that will finally get fully worked out. Good week. Hard discussions that lead to more commitment. When I look at these I also see that 3Jane will need to avoid tying herself into knots over little things.
Click on image to enlarge
Row four is a bit of a mixed bag. Looks like 3Jane will need to be careful not to overdo it with the partying otherwise, she may need bail money! She's going to have to stay strong though to overcome any blocks to her personal happiness.
So that's my first Astral Pyramid reading. I did not use the book. I wanted to show you how easy this deck is to read with even without the detailed write-ups in the book for each card.
3Jane, what do you think?
Bring it on – the journey, the experiences, and the empowerment – bring it on! Bring what on? Bring the Tarot on! Bring on the archetypes! Bring on the Minors! Bring on the Court Cards! Bring them all on! Understand that the Tarot works in many ways – through the use of spreads, meditation, visualization, ritual, journaling, story telling – the ways in which Tarot works are endless! The key is to reach out, pick up a deck (or several decks) and use it!
World Tarot Day originated with DenElder. She's since passed the torch but the original spirit was that all those who loved Tarot would share it in some way on this day. Her thoughts were not commercial but were community oriented.
May 1st , or May Day, is a day that I remember from my childhood as one of gentle celebration. We would put small (as in tiny!) baskets together, and leave them on our neighbors’ porches. We would ring the bell, and run like mad! This is what you were supposed to do! It was a marvelous surprise to whoever answered the door to find lovely little May baskets sitting there.
May Day (the whole month of May, IMHO) is all about celebrating spring, new growth, and just plain enjoying the good weather and getting to the actual planting of lovely flowers (and vegetables, for those who do vegetable gardens). While I have never seen it done, I love the image of young girls dancing around a May pole that is decorated with streamers and flowers, honoring the energy of the moment. What great fun! May Day is also connected with Beltane, one of eight solar Sabbats in Wiccan and Pagan traditions, and one that focuses on spring and fertility.
How do you celebrate this day? Or do you? Celebration of May Day is certainly not as widespread as it once was. Perhaps we need to do something about that! Getting back to our literal “roots”, working with the soil, honoring the cycles of the year, enjoying the beauty of the spring flowers, and the sense of joy and freedom that they bring, to me is intrinsic to this day. Honoring this day in a personal way opens you up to aligning yourself with life and its cycles (no matter what your religious background). Whether you create a May basket as a centerpiece for your table, or create smaller May baskets to leave at your neighbors’ doors, the intent is set, and the energy comes to you. What a great way to bring positive energy into our lives!
The following spread
When studying the Tarot, you may find that many readers/consultants/Tarotists will tell you that the question you ask is as important as the reading itself. That is because it anchors you in the reading. Just asking "Does Bob like me" will not garner you nearly as much information as "What do I need to do to make sure Bob will want to marry me this year." It is more concrete.
One exercise you might try is to
St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays – even if I am only a little bit Irish! While it is actually a religious holiday, recognizing St. Patrick as one of the patron saints of Ireland, in modern times it is more a celebration of Irish culture. The wearing of the shamrock (and the color green in general), drinking green beer and serving corned beef and cabbage are all ways in which this holiday is now celebrated.
It is said that St. Patrick used the shamrock, with its three leaves, to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people. It was here in the United States that the first parades were held in honor of St. Patrick – largely to make a political statement. Today the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is one of joy and merriment – eating, drinking and dancing to honor the Irish, but to also honor the "spirit of the Irish" within each of us. That spirit is our ability to gather in community and allow our inner child to come out and play. I thought that it might be interesting to work with a couple of "inner child" spreads that are more for play than for wisdom (although true play brings with it its own form of wisdom), in honor of the joyous nature of St. Patrick’s Day.
I decided to sketch a portrait of the inner child in each of us. For this purpose, I placed the Major Arcana and each of the four suits in separate piles. I defined them as follows:
We are entering this new year with a new moon in Capricorn, and a partial solar eclipse, also in Capricorn. Layer this over the number four (Emperor) universal energy for the year, and we have some serious power at our disposal!
The holiday season is upon us, filled with sensuous memories from the past that sustain us, and loving memories in the making. It is a rich storyboard, with each individual story waiting to be written. The Tarot is a wonderful tool that allows us to write our personal story in our own fashion. Arm yourself with your favorite beverage (coffee – full strength, please for me!), and gather near you the decks that excite you, the ones that want to go with you on this journey of telling your own story. Take your time – this is meant to be a fun journey!
The first thing that you want to think about is
I saw this idea mentioned on Living Tarot on Facebook. They were talking about making a Tarot quilt. I happen to love quilts. I'm not a quilter, but the idea of sleeping under something that has been put together with such care and love amazes me. So I started daydreaming about what cards I would put in my quilt. So many cards came to my mind. The Empress and the Queen of swords for feminine creativity, beauty and clarity of thought. Then there was the 6 of cups for those happy memories. Of course the 9 of Coins so I could enjoy my rest after a hard day's work.
So I developed this Tarot Quilt spread for you to try.
The Tarot Quilt Spread
Row one is the grounding row. This is where you find what you like to wrap yourself up in so you can feel safe and protected. The cards I got were the 7 of Swords, the Page of Pentacles and the 7 of wands. What would you make of that group? I see it as mental mult-tasking, budgeting and standing my ground.
Row two is the comfort row. This what you like to wrap yourself up in so you can feel nurtured and creative. Here I received the 4 of Cups, the Moon and the Ace of swords. From this I take away the hope of one more good thing, intuitive knowledge and sudden inspiration.
Row three is the dreams row. This is what you like to wrap yourself up in so you can have beautiful dreams and reachable goals. I drew Temperance, the Knight of Cups and the King of Cups. I like this row the best because it tells me I can create my own balance and I have more holy grails to seek with friends who will nurture me.
What cards did you draw? What do you think it means? Would you sleep under this quilt? If you could pick the nine cards, what would you choose?
The deck depicted is the Tell-Me Tarot.
© November 2010 U.S. Games Systems Inc.
A spread should give you insight into areas of your life both good and bad. If we only focus on what we need, we can lose sight of what to be grateful for. Here in the United States we celebrate a Fall holiday called Thanksgiving.
But did you know that Americans don’t have a lock on this holiday? Eight countries total celebrate a Thanksgiving meal. They are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Liberia, Switzerland and, of course, the US.
I don’t know how they do it in other countries, but my family’s tradition involves cooking up your best dish then sharing with friends and family. We follow that up with watching football and parades.
Here is a spread to help you digest what areas of your life to be grateful for and what areas you may to attend more.
If you do this spread, I hope you will share it here in the comments. We’d love to hear back from you!
© November 2010 Stephanie Arwen Lynch
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice."
"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action."
There is a path to Thanksgiving? Yes, there is a path to Thanksgiving – and to thanksgiving (the giving of thanks). Thanksgiving is celebrated here in the U.S. on the fourth Thursday in November. (Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October.) The first Thanksgiving celebration in the American colonies was shared by the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. It was a celebration of the colonists having survived their first difficult winter, but also a celebration of their having learned from the Indians how to live off of the land.
Modern Thanksgiving is a time of families getting together, of traditional family recipes appearing on the table – of roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. It also highlights one of my favorite events of the year – the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which ends with the arrival of Santa Claus in his sleigh. Your household may be watching old movies, or that very important football game, or, in the past few years, a very important NBA basketball game.
Readers see another side of this holiday, especially if they read for a phone line. They see the stress that people are under – dealing with difficult family members, tempers flaring, alcohol consumption gone out of control. They might also see those individuals who are spending the day alone, which might trigger some level of depression. How can we help our clients (or ourselves, if we are under stress)?
I designed the following spread as a way to get a quick overview of the Seeker’s situation. Further questions can be built on this spread.
From the Fantastical Creatures Tarot (Lisa Hunt & DJ Conway) I drew:
The giving of thanks is an ingrained part of Thanksgiving, beginning with the pilgrims being thankful that they had survived their first year, and that the native Indians shared their wisdom on how to live in harmony with the land, in a healthy manner. The giving of thanks does not have to be limited to Thanksgiving Day – it can be honored all through the month of November (actually, it can and should be honored year round).
When we give thanks, we are acknowledging the things that we have to be grateful for – the things that nourish and sustain us. In acknowledging the things that sustain us, we are able in many ways to release at least some of the stress that we are under. Our lives are filled with blessings, if we choose to see them.
In what ways can we acknowledge the blessings in our life? Here is a partial list – place in your life the tools that work best for you. You are a unique individual, and you lead a unique life. Only you know what will work best for you.
The Tarot represents the story of our life. Its archetypal nature tells our personal stories, as well as the stories of communities and nations. It is an excellent tool for understanding where and how we have a need to give thanks. In giving thanks, we are keeping in touch with ourselves, and with the environment around us. We are keeping our mental/physical/emotional/spiritual selves in balance, and living our life in an authentic manner.
What does the Seeker have to be thankful for in the:
From the Medieval Scapini Tarot I drew:
May this Thanksgiving find you healthy, happy, and celebrating the abundance and prosperity that is rightfully yours!
Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
© November 2010 Bonnie Cehovet
I dearly love the month of October – the beautifully colored leaves, the crisp, cool air, and all of the spooktacular Halloween costumes and the preponderance of lovely chocolate candy! I love the decorating, I love carving up a pumpkin every year (although I have zero talent in this direction, and they all end up looking the same!), and I love getting small bags of (chocolate!) candy ready to give out. I also love doing late night readings on this one night of the year when the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is at its thinnest.
I do want to take a quick look at the different names for this night, and then I want to talk about a reading that you might want to try. This night of nights can be referred to as Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, or Samhain, and is associated with the Day of the Dead. Halloween is of relatively modern origins, having its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, as well as the Christian celebration of All Saints Day. It is largely a secular holiday, focusing on activities such as trick or treating, costume parties and the telling of ghost stories. All Hallow’s Eve is the night before All Saints Day (November 1st), and is a time for feasting and remembrance. Samhain is a Celtic festival celebrating summer’s end and the harvest. The Day of the Dead is a Mexican festival that brings families together to pray for and remember family and friends who have crossed over.
Rather than dialogue with ancestors, or ask for wisdom from Spirit, this year I decided to address the Shadow side of life. The thinning of the veils makes it very easy to access Spirit, but it also carries another huge dividend: it allows us to use wisdom from Spirit to bring up our Shadows from our subconscious into the light of consciousness. Think about it: Shadow would not exist without the benefit of light. This is my reading for you on this night of nights:
Integrating The Shadow
The Cauldron: What do I need to know on this night?
The Ghost: What shadow from my past is holding me back?
The Goblin: What actions can I take to understand this shadow?
The Broomstick: How can I best move forward on my path, now that I have integrated this shadow?
The cards that I drew were:
The Cauldron: King of Cups
The Ghost: Queen of Pentacles
The Goblin: Two of Cups
The Broomstick: Queen of Wands
I have chosen to illustrate this reading with four different decks: the Deviant Moon Tarot, the Fantastical Creatures Tarot, the Halloween Tarot In Tin and the Lover’s Path Tarot. Each deck brings its own energy to the table.
The Deviant Moon Tarot, by Patrick Valenza, deliberately includes images of cemeteries and mental asylums to help illuminate the deeper parts of the subconscious. The imagery is jarring, and a bit on the dark, or shadow side, yet amusing in its own way. It is all about visions and bad dreams, and acts as a wonderful gateway on this night of nights.
The Fantastical Creatures Tarot, by Lisa Hunt and DJ Conway, is a much lighter deck. Based on mythical creatures and fantasy animals, it is an awesome showcase for talented artist Lisa Hunt’s work. The one thing to note with this deck is the elemental associations: Swords are Fire, and Wands are Air. Other than that, it is based on the traditional Rider-Waite template. Deep messages have the ability to sneak through the lovely watercolors of these cards without scaring the heck out of anybody!
The Halloween Tarot In Tin, by Kipling West , is a very light, fun deck with the suits entitled Pumpkins, Imps, Ghosts and Bats, and a sleek black cat as a central character! The artwork is cartoon style, with strong coloring. As with the “Fantastical Creatures Tarot”, this deck brings messages across from Spirit in a very non-threatening manner.
The Lover’s Path Tarot, by Kris Waldherr, features classic loves stories and myths from around the world. It references love, emotions, and relationships – all of which play into our shadow selves. Waldherr notes that all love relationships mirror our relationship with ourselves. It is in our relationship with ourselves that our shadows lie. The artwork in this deck is very easy to connect to.
I hope that you have enjoyed all four of these decks, and are getting some ideas for what you want to do on your “night of nights”!
© October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet
This spread can be used with any Tarot or oracle deck, as well as runes.
You can choose one card for each position, or multiple cards:
Ghosts: What is haunting me from my past? (Recurrence)
Bats: What is driving me batty at this time? (Irritations)
Graveyard: What needs buried right now? (Surrender)
Cobwebs: What is a source of confusion for me? (Uncertainty)
Wicker Man: What needs burned right now? (Purification or Removal)
Monsters: What am I afraid of right now? (Fears)
Jack O’ Lantern 1: What needs illuminated from within? (Awareness)
Jack O’ Lantern 2: What do I need to carve out time for right now? (Priorities)
Trick or Treat Bag: What goodies do I offer the world? (Gifts and Blessings)
Do let me know if you try out my Halloween Spread, as well as how it worked for you!
-- Janet, Social Media Maven for U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Image from the Halloween Tarot ISBN 0-88079-965-X
Yes, intrepid readers, we’re celebrating the thinning of the veil—a time of ghouls, flying brooms and haunted houses…
This month, look for spooktacular posts that will enchant, inform, intrigue and entertain you.
From a virtual costume party to ghastly giveaways, terroriffic spreads to “dark” deck profiles, the Fool Stop Tarot Blog is THE place to be during October!
So bolster your courage, don a mask and grab your trick or treat bag, because fiendish frights and frolicking fun are heading your way this Halloween!
-- Janet, Social Media Maven for U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Image from the Halloween Tarot ISBN 0-88079-965-X
Before I go to sleep, I open to a random passage to read and contemplate—a bit of bedtime bibliomancy I guess you could say. The last two days, I’ve been chewing on this portion of Emerson’s essay "Compensation":
"The good are befriended even by weakness and defect. As no man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him, so no man had ever a defect that was not somewhere made useful to him. The stag in the fable admired his horns and blamed his feet, but when the hunter came, his feet saved him, and afterwords, caught in the thicket, his horns destroyed him. Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults. As no man thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against it, so no man has a thorough acquaintance with the hindrances or talents of men until he has suffered from the one and seen the triumph of the other over his own want of the same. Has he a defect of temper that unfits him to live in society? Thereby he is driven to entertain himself alone and acquire habits of self-help; and thus, like the wounded oyster, he mends his shell with pearl. Our strength grows out of our weakness…”
After re-reading this portion many times (Emerson isn’t an author to gulp down!), I realized that his insights could be turned into a profoundly illuminating spread that could be used with any Tarot or oracle deck. I call it the Horns and Hooves spread:
Horns and Hooves Spread
1. Trait Admired (Horns)
2. How is this trait a downfall? A weakness?
3. Trait Despised (Hooves)
4. How is this trait useful? A strength?
5. What do I need to “mend my shell with pearl”? (Advice towards wholeness and integration)
You could select cards 1 and 3 consciously (that is, determine the traits you despise and admire in yourself based on a card's imagery, symbolism, title, esoteric associations, reaction or "just a feeling". Or, if you're feeling adventurous, select cards 1 and 3 randomly, especially if you'd like to uncover shadows within yourself that get either projected onto others or suppressed/denied altogether.
I've found this Horns and Hooves Spread to be quite enlightening. If you choose to try it, do let me know how it works for you! I'd love to hear of your experience.
Speaking of stags, horns and hooves, if you happen to love animal imagery woven together with rich symbolism and sparkling brush strokes, do consider our gorgeous Fantastical Creatures Tarot illustrated by Lisa Hunt with companion booklet by D. J. Conway:
The ISBN for the Fantastical Creatures Tarot is 9781572815414and is available in your favorite on-line or brick-and-mortar bookstore. If you don't see it, you may ask them to order it for you.