What this is all about...

This blog describes my journey with the tarot. Here you can find articles, spreads, deck reviews, tarot fiction, practice readings, exercises or get readings (see tabs above).

TIP: You can navigate the categories on the right to find Spreads, "Dear Satu" readings for fictional characters, Deck Reviews, Exercises and more.

Sonntag, 2. Februar 2014

Got the blues?



A lot of the people I work with who are interested in tarot and spirituality believe in the law of attraction in one way or another. They believe that our thoughts and attitudes will attract manifestations in the form of people or events coming into our lives that can be a positive or a negative influence. So positive thinking sends you on a positive path while negative thinking will inevitably lead to negative things happening. 

While I do believe that our attitude can shape our perception of reality and thereby influence our degree of happiness, I think the law of attraction is all too simplistic. I think bad things happen because they are a part of life and they happen to everyone at a random frequency and in random severity. However, there are people who master life's ups and downs much better than others and - seen from the outside as well as in their own perception - are more content and happier than others. 

I think a postive attitude will certainly help and it is a good idea to remind ourselves of the things we have that we can be grateful for. The Five of Cups shows a person's reaction to loss and disappointment. The person stands wrapped in a black cloak, looking at the three cups that have fallen, their content spilled. It is true that there are elements in the card that spell hope: 

There's the river into which the liquid spilled from the cups will eventually flow. Nothing is ever really lost but transformed. 
There's the bridge that connects the person to whoever lives in the castle in the background. It shows us that we can reach out.
And finally there's the two cups still standing up. They represent the parts of our life that have not been affected by the loss or disappointment. They stand for what cannot be taken from us and what will eventually allow us to move on. 

The lesson of the card certainly contains the advice to shed the black cloak, allow the liquid to return to the river, pick up our two cups and cross the bridge to connect with others and let them participate in what we have to give. 

However, I think the black cloak is an important element of the lesson, too. We do need our black cloak moments. We need to allow ourselves to be sad, to mourn, to whine and mope, even to be angry and rant. I think it would be unhealthy to try and leave out the black cloak entirely. If we keep it in our closet it will only attract moths. Sadness and mourning are natural. So is negative thinking and pessimism. As long as we don't remain in this stance forever, it's a vital part of dealing with difficulties. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I have found that followers of the law of attraction often try to skip this important step. It is certainly possible to see the positive aspects and the opportunity for growth and learning in a difficult situation but only after an appropriate time of sadness and contemplation. Skipping over the very real emotional impact of life handing you lemons in my opinion is unhealthy, dangerous and would need superhuman strength.

Acknowledge the loss or disappointment, allow yourself time to grieve and moan and THEN turn around to see what's left. Pick up your two cups, shed the cloak and cross that bridge. Perhaps there's lemonade in them. 

Montag, 9. September 2013

Turn and face the strain - ch-ch-changes....


I thought I'd try and have the tarot pose the question for me. So I pulled a card to represent my hidden question. 



Two of Pentacles made me think of the Bowie song "Changes" hence the title of this post. The question for me is: 

In what area of life do I need to see changes?

Answer: 

Seven of Pentacles (rx), Wheel of Fortune, Seven of Cups

Thinking about elemental dignities, I read this as Earth (Seven Pentacles) vs. Air (Wheel of Fortune) and Water (Seven of Cups). 
The Wheel in the middle made me think of a water mill. The wheel should be turning but the Seven Pentacles are slowing it down, clogging it while the Seven Cups is what should keep the Wheel turning. 
Two sevens showing the seeker and thinker and the struggle to find meaning. This clearly refers to my struggle with creativity. Seven Cups for me is strongly associated with the imaginative, creative mind and my writing. 
Seven Pentacles is everyday life, time-consuming work and it also has a timing aspect. 

For me this points to my constant dilemma. I'd love to be able to write for a living but it is not so easy to make a living as a writer. So I need to work. But while I have a job and two kids, there is no time to write as it is also very time-consuming. This slows things down and it takes forever to get things done. Either I write and chaos reigns (washing piling up, the house is a mess etc.) or I keep up with my daily chores and don't get anything written. A vicious circle (also to be seen in the Wheel). 

This definitely needs to change as it's driving me mad. But so far I don't have any clever ideas how to break the circle. Maybe I'll ask the cards in another reading. I'll keep you posted. 

Mittwoch, 28. August 2013

Let's Celebrate: Four of Wands

“Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people”
Nido Qubein




In the Thoth tarot, Crowley has termed this card "Completion". It's what comes after the enterprise, undertakings, goals and vision that is expressed in the Three of Wands ("Virtue" in the Thoth). So it's time to celebrate first successes, to stop for a moment and look at what you have achieved. It's a moment's rest and peace after working hard towards a goal and it is shelter from troubled times. Time to look back at the Three of Wands, look at what you set out to do and how far you have come. A cycle is completed. 

I find that in tarot I can often see what in learning theory is called the "spiral curriculum" or "spiral approach". Imagine moving upward in a spiral. You pass the same points again and again but every time you do, you have moved up onto a higher level. Here you have just completed one of these laps and can move on to the next higher level of understanding initiated by the Five ("Strife" in the Thoth), which brings in the competition and the challenge. If you don't move on up, you will be going round in circles.

Now it's time to rest for a moment and celebrate your achievements, in learning you would secure and document your results for revision. So it's also a time to consolidate and reinforce so you can weather the storms to come. (Perhaps that's why the card can also stand for weddings or engagements). It's a time to welcome other people and have them partake in what we have achieved and built. 

Time to ask yourself: what have I achieved that I can be proud of? Which achievements in my life should I turn my attention to and secure now? Who or what should I invite into my life to celebrate and share? Which things in my life call for a celebration? What have I learned, what have I completed? What will be the next step so I don't go round in circles?


Samstag, 24. August 2013

Let's talk about Death, baby...


In one of my tarot-related facebook groups there has been a heated debate going on whether or not we as tarot readers are allowed to talk about death, which prompted me to think about this question again. 

Basically I think you need to make a difference between touching upon the subject of death in general and actually making any predictions for the future concerning death. 
While the latter is a definite no-go for me, I could imagine circumstances in which I would talk about the subject with my querent. I have once had a reading for a widow who was coming to terms with her new life. I suppose that's a situation where you have to talk about death. 

Of course these things depend on the situation and the circumstances. If you ask me would I ever wish death upon anyone, I would clearly say "no!" but then I found myself in a situation with a family member in a terminal condition and me wishing for an end to their suffering. What I mean to say is, that there are circumstances and situations that merit a deviation from our convictions and rules but they are rare. 

Still, I would never ever ever make any predictions about how, when, where and why a person is going to die. Especially not out of pure curiosity. The same goes for divorce, disease and disaster, the other three Ds that Mary Greer says you should never predict. 

I believe predictive statements in this area to be unethical. First of all I personally believe that we are not supposed to know. Secondly my belief is that nobody can accurately predict the future because the future is constantly in motion and future events depend on our actions in the present - and not only on our own actions. If that were not the case we'd have the perfect excuse not to take responsibility for our actions. Besides, if tarot readers could make precise predictions they wouldn't be reading tarot cards but sitting at a sunny beach somewhere enjoying the millions they made in betting and gambling. 

I am a member of the German Tarot Association (Tarot e.V.) and a certified reader according to their standards. This means I adhere to the Tarot Association's Code of Honour, which also stresses that there is never one valid interpretation of a card's meaning or a reading. In consequence that means there are no accurate predictions - least of all of the movie fortune teller kind "On 5th October you will meet a tall, handsome stranger you should be wary of - he will bring death!".

Having said that, you will hardly ever find me actually making predictions at all. I believe that we need to stress that a person's fate to a large portion rests in their own hands (given that there may be circumstances that you cannot influence). With my readings I would like to enable people to take charge, become the pilots of their own lives and fates rather than passively waiting for fate to strike. 
So I like to point out what is the most likely result of their current course of action and what they can do to change a negative result or speed up i.e. support a positive outcome. 
The aim of my readings is to help the querent and to enable them to take action to achieve the best possible outcome to a situation, not to scare the living hell out of them. 

Not making any predictions about the 4 Ds (death, disease, divorce, disaster) does not mean I'm sugarcoating things and only saying positive lovey-dovey things. Still I think a responsible reader should steer clear of such predictions - perhaps even predictions in general. 

Again, this is my opinion and I do believe there may be circumstances that prompt you to digress one way or another, at the core, however, you will never hear me making any predictive statements about the 4 Ds. 


Samstag, 10. August 2013

Three cards, three words: a sentence...




Here's an easy exercise you can do in order to familiarise yourself with a new deck or to become more confident and spontaneous in your readings or just for fun. 

It's a three-card draw. For each card you draw, note down the first word you associate with this card and make a sentence using the structure: subject, verb, object

I drew The Star, The High Priestess and The Emperor from the "Dark Fairytale Tarot". 

The words I associated were: 

Star: hope
High Priestess: to know
Emperor: limits

Possible Sentences: 

Hope knows no limits. 
When placing your hopes on something you should know its limits. 
Don't give up hope but know your limits. 

Donnerstag, 8. August 2013

Card of the Day: The three of Wands

The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.

Helen Keller (American Author and Educator who was blind and deaf. 1880-1968)


We see a man standing on a hilltop looking out over a landscape. There's a river with golden waters and a range of mountains in the far distance. On the river you can see ships sailing. 

This card is all about vision, enterprise, progress, opportunity and adventure. The ships could represent ideas and thoughts traveling towards distant, unexplored shores. Where would your ships be sailing? From where you are standing, what distant goals do you see? Allow your ideas and thoughts to travel far. What new ideas, projects, adventures are waiting for you? 

The man on the card can see all this because he has climbed to a higher point. What have you reached in the past that serves as a solid basis for your vision? What can you build on? What can you be proud of? 

Two of the staffs are behind the man like a gate that he has already passed through, the third one is placed slightly ahead and serves him as a staff to hold on to. What first steps have you already taken to realise your dreams and plans? 

Don't be afraid to think and dream big but be willing to start small. As long as you don't lose sight of your distant goals, small steps will also take you there. Being able to be far out there with your thoughts but still with both feet firmly on the ground holding onto your staff there is perhaps the secret to successful entrepreneurship. Deal with what's manageable but dream up the big picture. 

This card encourages you to move ahead with your projects and tells you that prospects are good. 


Dienstag, 6. August 2013

Card of the Day: My cup runneth over...


Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest [2] my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (Psalm 23, King James version)

Ace of Cups (Sharman-Caselli)


Remember that love and compassion are the resources in our lives that we will never run out of. So give freely. Where can you see love and compassion at work in your life? How do you show love and compassion towards your co-workers, your friends, your family or even to God (or whatever higher force you may believe in)? 

The five streams running from the cup are symbols of the five senses. Open yourself to sensory experiences. What can you see, feel, smell, hear and taste? Which channels do you use to express your emotions? 

It's time to love, to let your emotions flow and explore your deep desires and hopes. What is your personal Holy Grail? It may be just within reach without you being aware of it.