Saturday, 3 December 2016

Formerly known as Mystic Meg Tarot...

I bought a tarot last weekend. First one in a while. It was at The Works. Yeah, you know I bought a house. I thought the down payment was going to be the big investment. Well, okay, it was the 'BIG' investment, but I have to be honest and say I've done nothing but spend money since we moved here. Literally. I mean, that and eat my weight in mini marzipan stollen. I like the house and I don't miss the old flat at all. I like the new neighbourhood. Not so much the spending money every time I turn around. So my splurge on a £5 tarot deck felt kinda ritzy. No plumbing or estimates or tradesmen involved or anything!

I can't remember what this set is called because I threw the giant box away at once. I think it was called 'The Tarot Pack.' The book inside is called 'The Tarot Book' and is written by someone called Mystic Meg. I gather she was rather famous a while ago as a pyschic. Anyway, the artwork for this deck is by Caroline Smith. It was previously published as The Mystic Meg Tarot.  It's just a harmless bit of frippery, really.

As you'd expect it's on thin card stock and the pips are the emblem from the ace cards presented in multiples. The four suits are called by their elemental correspondence, so we have Fire, Water, Earth, Air rather than Wands, Cups, Coins and Swords. The courts are Princess, Prince, Queen, and King. Majors don't vary wildly from traditional, though four of them are softened through a name change: Fool becomes 'Beginning', Hanged Man is 'Self-Sacrifice', Death is 'Changing' and the Devil is 'Temptation'. The art work is pleasant enough. Majors have a sort of 'tribal' feel, and the court cards echo one another in posture. (All the princesses are in the same pose, all the princes are in the same pose, etc).


You may also have noticed that courts and majors have elemental and astrological symbols included on the cards.

As to the book, it's 112 pages long and follows the traditional pattern of two pages per major and one page per court and pip card. There full colour illustrations of the cards. The introduction has the usual silliness about tarot coming from ancient Egypt and 'even older civilizations right across the world.' Selection of significator is based on age and star sign of the querent. For each card, we are given four bits of information: Love Reading, Life Reading, Luck Reading and Cosmic Counsel (aka, affirmation). The interpretations are highly idiosyncratic. The book is pretty much useless, though could make for amusing reading.

It's no TdM, but it's kinda cute. :) I will be drawing from it this week.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Space clearing

Who is watching over me and strengthening me today? What energy do they send me? What do they wish for me today? 

It's White Eagle from Keepers of the Light by Kyle Gray. I was sort of surprised by this, but reading the companion book helped. The healing of family wounds didn't seem relevant to me now but this did:

'He also helps us move into sacred ceremony, where we can hold sacred space to honour a change, transition, celebration, or anything else that deserves time. He is wonderful for clearing space.'

This is very relevant to me right now as we've just bought a house and it's standing empty waiting for us to move in and clearing and sacred space to honour change, transition and celebration seems just the ticket. So it would appear today is the day to do any rituals we intend to do for space clearing and blessing.

Thanks, White Eagle, for clearing up the timing of that particular task. :)

I'm going to be without internet connection for some time as we make this transition, but I'll be back! We move early next week!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Greenwood: Dedication

What should be the focus of my spiritual practice this week?

Greenwood Tarot, Ryan & Potter 1996
I have not engaged in any formalised spiritual practice in a very long time. This last week has been hard, and I believe that returning to a daily spiritual practice can only be a good thing. I've been playing with the Greenwood all week, just shuffling and looking at it and reading the book, not doing any readings, trying to decide what role it should play in my life right now.

The image here is luminous. The female figure in blue robes, decorated with spirals and leaves, having swan feathers in her hair, plays the bow with an arrow like a violin. More arrows shoot out from her in all directions. Thousands of luminous flecks light up the area around her. It's like she puts out her energy and receives luminous energy back in return. It is an interplay between herself and the universe. But she cannot experience this without the key ingredient of dedication.

'To heed the calling to dedicate one's life to any skill, spiritual path, belief system or philosophy requires sincerity, self-discipline and hard work. It is a sacred summoning that requires time and effort,' writes John Matthews and Mark Ryan, in the Wildwood Tarot companion book (which is more or less an expanded version of the Greenwood companion book.)

The card I've drawn spells it out very plainly. If I want a spiritual practice, I have to do it. I can't just think about it, intend to do it, or write journal entries about it. I must do it, and that requires dedication. The card portrays the rewards of this dedication very well.

Monday, 12 September 2016

When life gives you Lemonde...

TdM Jean Dodal, Flornoy 2009
The last time I drew this card was in July, see entry 'We are the World'. It's not a card I see very often in my draws. Even when reading for clients, this card almost never turns up. But I drew it again here, and I've explored it in the past here and here. It's a strange card, until you know what you're looking at.

In the centre is Christ in glory, surrounded by the vesica piscis traditionally seen around figures of Christ or Virgin Mary. The 'Four Living Creatures of the Apocalypse' are present in the four corners of the card. These are mentioned in the books of Ezekiel and Revelations:

'The first living creature was a like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. ... And they do not rest night or day, saying "Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come."' - Revelations 4:7-8

These are also said to stand for the four evangelists: Mark the Lion, Luke the Ox, Matthew the Man and John the Eagle. It was St Jerome who worked this out. These four creatures were often depicted as one being known as a Tetramorph. These four aspects are also considered four facets of Christ: Matthew the Man shows Jesus's earthly lineage; Mark the Lion shows Christ's royal dignity, king of kings and lord of lords; Luke the Ox shows Christ as the sacrifice; John the Eagle is concerned with Christ as the Word.

The ox and lion are positioned at Christ's feet and the man and eagle near Christ's head because the ox and lion were considered lower beasts than man, who can reason, and the eagle, who can fly.

Apparently, though, these animals as symbols predate Biblical associations and originate in Babylonian symbols of the fixed signs of the zodiac: the ox is Taurus, the lion is Leo, the eagle is Scorpio, and the man is Aquarius. We also see them associated with the four elements: ox is Earth, lion is Fire, eagle is Air and man is Water.

To make a long story short, this card represents the king of the hill. (Cue the music--)
Top of the heap.
A-number one.
Top of the list!

...  This little Lemonde! Is coming your way! You'll make a brand new start of it, Lemonde! Lemonde! If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere, it's up to you, Lemonde Lemonde!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

10 questions every tarot reader should answer

I found this topic on youtube here and thought I'd have a go answering the questions.


1. Were you mentored, or were you self-taught?
I discovered tarot on my own and have never had a teacher in real life. No one introduced me to tarot and taught me to read. However, I can't say I am 'self-taught' because everything I know about tarot I learned from reading the work of others. So in effect, I am mentored by the authors of certain books and creators of certain decks. My mentors are, in random order:

Rachel Pollack
Robert Place
Arthur Edward Waite
Aleister Crowley
Dawn R Jackson
John and Caitlin Matthews
Paul Huson
Camelia Elias
Enrique Enriquez

Without their work, I have no way of knowing what my understanding of tarot would be.

2. Are you a psychic or a Tarot reader?
This question has become a bit of a bugbear in the tarot community. I do not identify as psychic. Some clients do consider me psychic. When I think of the word 'psychic', I identify it with people who look you up and down and say, 'You are the third of three children and your father was an alcoholic. By the way, you should know your daughter is still seeing that boy you don't like.' That is certainly not my modus operandi.

I read tarot cards by taking a question and laying out a series of cards from which I tell the stories the images inspire in me, in response to the question. The same 78 cards yield an infinite variety of stories, so something is going on there. If I were just reading the cards, the stories would always be the same. I don't know how or why it works. It is largely up to the querent to apply the story to their question and see how (or if) the story fits their lives or answers what they want to know. Somehow it almost always does.

So your guess is as good as mine.  Am I psychic? I don't know. If I am, I make no claims to be. Am I a tarot reader? Definitely.

3. Are your predictions accurate, and is accuracy important to you?
If the cards present an outcome, I say it. I don't hold back. If they don't, I say so. Again, whether this is accurate or not is down to the perception of the person receiving the reading.

When you use the word 'accuracy', I wonder if we're getting back into that 'psychic' territory, where it is important to some people that a reader should be able to say without being told what your history is and how many kids you have and what you want to do for a living and all that sort of thing. My readings may pick up on patterns in your life, but I don't make a game of trying to get the details of your life right. I also don't make a game of trying to tell you what is going to happen to you. That is not my aim as a tarot reader. So if it's that kind of accuracy, no, it isn't important to me.

If we're talking about a client being able to make connections between my reading and his or her life, and feel that the information shared in the reading has been of personal benefit, then yes, that is important to me.

4. Is there anything you can't predict in a reading?
That word predict is troublesome. I will say there are few things I can't 'depict'.

There are very few questions I won't do a reading for. However, sometimes you have to draw the line. I once had someone tell me her daughter was being abused by her husband and asked me would he eventually kill her? I did not do a tarot card reading for that question, but instead offered information on how to report domestic abuse and urged her to get help at once. It turned out this person was testing me to see if I was a 'fake'. She didn't even have a daughter. She said she thought I was arrogant for being a tarot card reader and wanted to test me, and said at least I did the right thing by offering help and advice.

I'm in the business of offering help and advice. Not predicting stuff.

5. Do you use only Tarot, or are you multi-disciplinary?
I use tarot, playing cards, Lenormand, and occasionally other oracles. I am a cartomant -- cards are my line!

6. Is the message in the cards, or in your head?
The message is the alchemy of the cards and my head. And maybe something else.

7. Are you a priest or a fortune-teller?
I am a fortune-teller. The cards are not my religion and I am not the priestess of them. I don't combine my spiritual practice with the cards when I am doing a reading for a client.

8. Are you a fixer or a looker?
I am a looker who can't help offering options for fixing.

9. Do you read for free, or for fee?

10. Is there anything you won't predict in a reading?
I am willing to do a tarot card reading about just about anything, as long as the querent understands that I am reading the cards and making no claims that the story I see in them has an actual basis in the real world. (Whether I believe they do is neither here nor there. I make no claims that they do.) If they want to apply it to the real world and it helps them to do so, they are welcome to do that. What I say might help, it might hurt, it might anger, it might confuse. It's just a story. Take it or ignore it; you have ultimate agency over your life and as your reader, I am not responsible for your reaction to the reading.

Having said that, I find specific timings virtually impossible using tarot cards. So if someone were to ask me for that, I usually decline, or warn them in no uncertain terms that my reading is as good as a wild ass guess. For example, someone may ask 'When will I get a job?' I can say what I see in the cards if they want to pay me to, but I make no promises about timings. That may sound mercenary, but it's actually just being honest.

However, if someone asked me something hideous, like when someone would die (see number 4), I would refuse to read and signpost to resources instead.

I have strong feelings about the limitations of confidentiality. I have a duty of care and will break confidentiality for the following: to assist the prevention or detection of a crime, to prevent serious harm to the client or others, or to disclose any information which may help prevent an act of terrorism or help in bringing a terrorist to justice. These points come from the National Counselling Safeguarding Policy. However, because the nature of my tarot business means that I virtually never know the true identity of a client, in practice this would mean refusing the reading and signposting to outside agencies for help and advice.

Of course, my answers to all these questions might be different in a week. This isn't a personal manifesto, it's a response to a youtube video. :D

Friday, 2 September 2016

So many swords

Yesterday I drew 4 of Wands, which is a blockage card. This became quite literal, because I went to the nurse yesterday to have her confirm I have wax in my ears (hearing aid has been feeding back and audiologist wanted me to rule out wax blockage before coming in for a mechanical repair) and she decided to try to irrigate my ear and ended up blocking my entire eardrum with wax and now I'm completely deaf in it. I am, as you can imagine, quite distressed by the situation. I have an emergency ENT appointment today and hope against hope that it really is just impacted wax and not somehow permanently damaged. Any reiki or prayers would be gratefully received and I will update upon my return.

I don't think it's a good idea to do readings on health or medical conditions, not with a view to outcomes. But the tarot can offer some advice. Let's see what it says about today. What is the advice of the tarot for me in coping with yesterday's events and today's events?

Jean Noblet Tarot, Flornoy 2014 

An abundance of swords fall on the table. What story is told in them? It starts with a partnership, the love and support of relationships. I did find lots of support yesterday from my coworkers when I returned to work deeply distressed because at this point I cannot hear a thing out of my right ear, and also from my husband, who is valiantly taking me to hospital today. The centre card is the double trouble card, 7 of Swords. However, it is also a card that shows will and determination, and it was this determination that helped me get an appointment today instead of accepting what the nurse told me and sitting at home waiting to receive a letter for an appointment to see an ENT. I pierced through blockages, as seen in the card.

The Ace of Swords looks literally like what is going to happen today. The sword enters the crown, and little squiggly bits fall out all around it. My ear will be microsuctioned and debris removed. It also represents power and control of the situation, and I think this represents the doctor I will see and his confidence in handling what (I hope) will turn out to be a routine procedure. I will be putting myself in the hands of a surgeon.

The final card is 4 of Swords. This has been a swords situation;  4 represents stability. So, the situation will stabilise, somewhat. The card suggests that it may take some time before I'm back 100%. I will certainly be stressed out by it all, and will need to give myself space to deal with that.

All in all, it's not been a nice couple of days, but let's hope this is just one of those things and will be sorted out by the good folk in ENT today. Wish me luck.

Evening update: So here's what happened. You know how in cartomancy swords (spades) are about digging. Well. Not to get too graphic. The ENT was not at all impressed with the story I told and looked in both ears and said they were completely impacted. It took 40 minutes of painful procedure to clear them, and I nearly squeezed hubby's hand off because she told me not to move and I kept flinching. I squeezed instead of flinching. That 4 of Swords is explained by the valium I took beforehand. LOL. The outcome is, I can hear again. My eardrum has some injury from the irrigation but it will heal. And I've got an ear infection and a prescription of antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in two months.


Thursday, 1 September 2016

New moon solar eclipse

So today it's a new moon solar eclipse. It was visible in Southern Africa at 6.08 GMT. Hope they enjoyed it.

My card today is 4 of Wands. A stand-off. I can expect no great developments today. All righty then. Still in a holding pattern, and not surprised. The new moon will be visible again in a day or two. I'd expect things to start picking back up around that time.

TdM Francois Chosson 1736