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.

Dienstag, 31. Januar 2012

Dark Angels prompted me to write this...

I wanted to get something written for IndieInk and Trifecta. The Trifecta prompt was the word "image" as in "a : exact likeness : semblance
b : a person strikingly like another person ".

In addition to the prompts I pulled a card from my latest acquisition, the "Dark Angels Tarot". The Nine of Cups came up.

Dark Angels Tarot by Luca Russo. Lo Scarabeo (c) 2010

Read my story HERE.

Problems Commenting?

Hi there!

I just had a PM on Aeclectic Tarot because somebody wasn't able to post comments on my blog here. Does anybody else have problems? If so, please contact me: satu.gustafson(at)googlemail.com

Mittwoch, 25. Januar 2012

Sonntag, 22. Januar 2012

New Deck Interview: The Circle of Life Tarot




The Circle of Life Tarot by Maria Distefano. (c) 2008. Lo Scarabeo. All Rights Reserved

I have had this deck for a while because at first I thought the idea of a round deck was interesting. I soon discovered that for reasons not really clear to me I don't particularly like round cards. Perhaps because it's difficult to shuffle them and to use them in spreads. Despite that I decided to give this deck a chance and was very surprised to see what it had to tell me in the New Deck Interview. I picked this spread up on Aeclectic Tarot a while ago but can't remember who it was by so forgive me for not giving this person credit here.

1. Tell me about yourself: what is your most important characteristic?
2. What are your strengths as a deck?
3. What are your limitations as a deck?
4. What do you bring to the table: what can you teach me?
5. How can I best learn from you?
6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

1. What is your most important characteristic?

Five of Swords - the card shows a fairy that looks like a wasp (except for the colour). It has a mean-looking sting and carries four swords.

I totally hate wasps. I just find them scary and annoying and they know that, always zooming straight at my face the nasty buggers. Not only do I have a difficult relationship with wasps but I also happen to dislike the Five of Swords very much as for me it is all about being mean and hurting people or taking pleasure in hurting oneself or others. So a deck which is scary, annoying and bent to hurt me? Not for me, no! At least that was my first reaction. And perhaps that is what this tells me. What strikes me the most at first is that for me it's prickly, bristly, difficult to handle and that was actually what it felt like when I had bought it and tried my first readings with it. I just didn't get it.

2. What are your strengths as a deck?

Eight of Pentacles - You can see two fairies sitting on the ground. One of them is painting what looks like wooden beads on a string and the other one holds one of the beads. Some of the beads have legs and wings and look as if they are trying to lift off but they can only hobble as they are being held by the string.

What it instantly made me think of was that if I take the time to really study the cards, learn to "paint" them in my colours perhaps they will give my readings wings and legs and make them come alive and lift off. So I need to get immersed in the imagery and try to give them my personal stamp.

3. What are your limitations as a deck?

King of Wands - The King of Wands for me is all about will-power, energy, self confidence and determination. Once he has set his eyes on a goal, he will work towards achieving it. In this card I found it strange to see the King of Wands with his eyes closed wearing a cap that looks like a falcon's head and wings. He is carrying a staff that curls at the end. There is what I would see as a sceptre shaped like a hand that seems to be functioning as an incense burner here. The background is a reddish brown and cloudy as if the King is flying through smoke.
The falcon as an attribute here let me think of air and the Swords suit, flying with his eyes closed he looked more like a Prince of Cups to me going by instinct and intuition. The falcon's eyes radiate and it made me think the King didn't need his own eyes because his falcon head sees for him.

So the fiery King of Wands has a lot of airy and watery qualities in this deck, which also shows in his staff that is bent and curled, not pointed and straight. For me it means that this deck is probably not the best to use if you would like a straightforward action plan or focus on how best to achieve your goals. It's more on the intuitive side than on the practical perhaps, which is not bad. In my readings I lean towards the systems-based, traditional approach and try to mix it with intuitive reading as I find it rather limiting sometimes. I find it difficult not to quote stuff I read in books but really make a reading work using the imagery.

4. What do you bring to the table: what can you teach me?

Knight of Swords - this knight of swords is half animal, half fairy. Like a centaur, only different. The horns look like those of an ibex (Capricorn) even though the fur looks more like a llama. He is standing on top of a hill or mountain, rearing up on his hind legs wielding what looks like a scimitar. He has long red wavy hair. Again the elementary attributions strike me as odd, Capricorn being earth, Swords being air and I would associate a knight with fire. So this seems to be a good mix of earth (Capricorn), fire (red hair, shaggy fur, yellow colour in the background and the knight) and air (swords). What I don't see here is anything I would associate with water. But that's good as I'm overly emotional anyway. But this deck can help me not being too lofty (airy) and lose my grounding but at the same time be more daring. Not bad. The Knight of Swords always strikes me as a bit of a rebel, so perhaps it's time to kick some inner critic's ass. ;)

5. How can I best learn from you?

The Star - on this a woman is kneeling on a black surface that is bordered with two streams of golden liquid. This makes it look as if the black in the middle could just as well be a river. The woman is holding two chalices from which she pours golden liquid into the two streams running either side of her and her head is poking through a star-shaped golden object. The bottom part of it is hidden by the kneeling figure but I think it looks more like the Star of David than a pentagram. Makes me think of the six directions of space: up, down, north, east, south, west and centre, the woman's head is poking right through the centre.

What it made me think of is a conduit, like she receives messages from her own centre or from "the universe" and pours them out as golden liquid - equally, on either side of her, which I take as an image of how I can read with this deck, trying to become a conduit, let it flow, just pour out what comes into my mind when I see the cards rather than using my systems-based knowledge of what the cards mean.

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

The Empress - the Empress in this deck is sitting naked on the ground in what appears to be a cave, there is a mirror in front of her and she is touching it with her palm but not looking at it. Her hair appears a dark green and there is red bits in it that look like roses to me. Apart from that everything on the card appears brownish grey. There's a little impish creature lying on top of a rock looking down at the Empress, he blends in completely with his surroundings as does the mirror image of the Empress.

For me this tells me not to focus my attention on the mirror image being what I think I should be like as a tarot reader, move away from my ego or conscious mind that has studied so hard and learned so much from books but at the same time I should not lose touch completely with that side of me. Every thing on the card is brownish-grey except for the Empress, her hair and what appears to be a bundle of brown cloth behind her (perhaps her clothes?). She creates beauty in this barren-looking environment. I know that I tend to overthink and overintellectualize (is that even a word?) which can make my readings a bit grey and too rock-solid like the cave but I need to allow myself to grow and to bloom more and then it can be a very fertile relationship.

I was really amazed at my results here as it seems this is a great deck to help me use my intuition more and make my big head shut up. :)

Samstag, 21. Januar 2012

Tarot and Numerology feat. Robbie Williams

This is another post I have imported from my old blog. The first version of this was posted on May 4th, 2010. I edited and shortened it slightly.


Today I’m going to explain about the link between numerology, astrology and the Tarot. As an example, I will use Robbie Williams (or Robert Peter Williams).

According to Indian numerology, there are a couple of numbers that determine our lives and our character. For example there is the “psychic number” which is the checksum of the month you were born in and tells you something about the way you see yourself. It shows your talents and your basic character. For Robbie Williams, who was born 13th February, this number would be “2″. Its significance lessens the older you get and the “destiny number” becomes more important. In the Tarot this number would correspond to: II The High Priestess.

The destiny number is calculated by adding the single digits of the day, month and year of your birth. For Robbie Williams that would be:

1+3+2+1+9+7+4= 27 = 2+7 = 9

In the Tarot that would correspond to the card of IX The Hermit

Finally there’s the “name number”. You may have different name numbers as you are called differently by various people. So in the case of Robbie Williams his given name is “Robert Peter Williams” but most people know him as just “Robbie Williams”.

To calculate the name number you match each letter of the name with its value according to the following chart:

A-J-S =1 , B-K-T =2 , C-L-U =3 , D-M-V =4 , E-N-W =5 , F-O-X =6 , G-P-Y =7, H-Q-Z =8 I-R =9

Robert+Peter+WilliamsThen you add the values until you get a single digit number. For “Robert Peter Williams” that would be:

(9+6+2+5+9+2)+(7+5+2+5+9)+(5+9+3+3+9+1+4+1)=96=9+6=15=1+5=6

As there are 22 cards in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, any number between 1 and 22 will be all right, 22 being the fool. So here we get two cards we can attribute to the name: XV The Devil and VI The Lovers.

Astrologically he’s an Aquarius with Leo as his Ascendant and a Scorpio Moon. The sun sign stands for your personality, the Ascendant shows your potential and the way you interact with others. The Moon Sign tells you something about how you deal with emotions.

Aquarius is attributed to the card: XVII The Star. Leo is attributed to the card: XI Strength and Scorpio is attributed to XIII Death.

Now what can we conclude about Robbie Williams from this numerological and astrological data and the Tarot cards associated with the numbers?

1. The Psychic Number: 2 “The High Priestess”

This reveals that there is a lot of sensitivity and also a strong feminine personality aspect. Underneath the cool exterior, there is a very vulnerable, sensitive and emotional personality. The High Priestess points to a person who feels that there is more to life than our rational mind can grasp and this person will probably be looking for this “something”, trying to find answers even with unconventional methods. This person would be highly emotional with good instincts and intuitions could be spiritually interested or even have a psychic streak.

2. The Destiny Number: 9 “The Hermit”

Whereas the High Priestess shows the starting point, the influence of the “Hermit” will grow especially from the mid-thirties onwards. It shows that this deep knowledge of there being “more” to life is still driving him. The Hermit stands for a path of transcendence, for someone on a mission. That mission is to find answers and to reveal the truth behind things. So as he grows older it is more likely that he feels discontent with having achieved material success and fame. It is likely that he wants to be taken seriously as an artist and that is more important for him than the actual fame and money. He is likely to take life more seriously as he grows older, to look for meaning and sense in other places than he used to. The Hermit also shows that he can be very solitary and retreat into himself, keeping things bottled up and trying to solve them on his own.

3. Name numbers: XV Devil and VI Lovers

The Devil hints at his tendency to do everything he does excessively and points to his drug and alcohol excesses just as well as to his affairs of the past. The Devil points to a charismatic, magnetic personality who has sex appeal but finds it hard to keep the right measure in what they do. What is behind this is that he needs and wants to be loved for who he really is. It may sound corny but someone with the Lovers as their name card will be very dependent on what other people think of them. They need appreciation. They are also people who are driven more by their emotions than by their rational mind. They find it hard to make choices and decisions because they take them very seriously. Once they choose a path, commit to a cause or a person, they feel the need to stick with it. Therefore they might have a tendency to shy away from commitment until they are really certain it’s the right choice.

4. Astrology: XVII The Star; XI Strength; and XIII Death

The Star representing his sun sign stands for the eternal optimist, a person who believes that things will be all right in the end. It also points to “star qualities” in the literal sense, someone who sparkles and stands out. Strength represents the side he shows in interaction with others: there he is lively, full of energy and power, charismatic, outgoing and extrovert, a real stage hog who is very self-confident and not easily unsettled. These two make up a perfect cover and facade to hide his somewhat gloomy Scorpio moon. Death shows that he finds it difficult to deal with losses and letting go of things. It is not easy to upset or disgruntle someone with an Aquarius sun and Leo Ascendent but once you have managed for this person to hold a grudge against you, the Scorpio moon will cause him to remember that for a long time. With a Scorpio moon you don’t forgive and forget easily. Also there is a tendency for self-hatred and self-destructive behaviour.

On the whole, if you throw all these qualities together, you get a very alluring mix. Someone with a magnetic personality, who is outgoing and lively but who has depth – and some darker qualities that sometimes add to a person’s appeal because a star without scandals and abysses would be boring very easily.

It's very interesting to have a look at what your personality cards are. It can give you some valuable insights.

Freitag, 13. Januar 2012

Working

My blogging output has not been very prolific these days as I have finally been able to remove large parts of my prolonged writer's block concerning one of my book projects. I got stuck because the plot didn't work somehow and I needed to make it fit the timeline. Now I have sketched all the events and the timeline and it finally works. I only have to write the particular scenes and bits now.

So I have been writing a lot but will return shortly with a "New Deck Interview" and a Review of the "Circle of Life Tarot" (once I have experimented with it some more).

Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2012

Sonntag, 8. Januar 2012

Meeting Mr/Ms Right Spread: Dear Satu, Yours Marianne



Jane Austen Tarot by Pietro Alligo and Diane Wilkes. (c) 2006. Lo Scarabeo. All Rights Reserved


I think the most frequent question I have had as a tarot reader is "When will I meet Mr/Ms Right" or variations on that theme. So I developed a spread that would help me with that particular question. I have always been fond of the "Secret of the High Priestess" spread by Hajo Banzhaf as it involves a card that is only interpreted if it is a Major Arcana, so there's an element of surprise there.

So mine is a 5-card spread the outcome of which is determined by what card you get in position "I". "I" answers the question: "Will I meet Mr/Ms Right within the coming three months?". The four other cards give you further insight.

If "I" is either a court card or one of the "people" cards in the Major Arcana (The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Hermit or The Devil) it means "Yes, you are going to meet Mr/Ms Right within the coming three months". And the card describes this person's characteristics (you don't have to pay attention to the gender of that card).

If "I" is the Lovers it means "Yes, you will meet Mr/Ms Right and it will hit you like a thunderbolt - love at first sight, across a crowded room...you get the picture".

If "I" is a pip card or one of the other Majors it describes an obstacle (either in your attitude or in external circumstances) to finding a partner

If "I" is a person cards 1-4 are read like this:

1. Where will we meet?
2. Under what circumstances will we meet?
3. What is my first impression of them/my first thought when I meet them?

4. What can I do to help attracting Mr/Ms Right?

If "I" is not a person cards 1-4 are read like this:

1. What past baggage might prevent me from finding a relationship?
2. What present external influence might prevent finding a relationship?
3. What present attitudes might keep me from finding a relationship?

4. What can I do to help attracting Mr/Ms Right?

As an example I used Marianne Dashwood from Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility".

Dear Satu,

Recently my sister, my mother and I have run into some bad luck. First our father died, then our half-brother made us leave our home. Even though our father made him promise to look after us and take care of us financially, he left us just enough money to scrape by. We had to relocate to a very humble cottage we can only afford because it belongs to a distant relative of Mother's.
Mother says everything now depends on me and my sister Elinor marrying well. I don't know if I am willing to sacrifice romance and true love only to make a sensible decision and choose a wealthy husband. Please, Satu. Can you tell me if I will meet somebody I can truly love?

Yours Marianne Dashwood


Dear Marianne,

I have used my Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot and a spread I have recently developed to find out whether you are going to meet Mr Right within the coming three months. Let me begin with the good news. The cards say yes, you are going to meet him. I get the King of Pentacles. This means it will indeed be somebody who is financially independent and rather wealthy, a very down-to-earth, no-nonsense character, probably older than you or at least appearing very mature in his demeanour. He may at first appear somewhat "sedate" as he is realistic and pragmatic but don't let yourself be fooled by appearances, he can be very sensual and caring and a very loyal partner who may not always have his heart on the tip of his tongue but once he loves somebody he is not easily swayed.

As to where you will meet I got the Ace of Wands. From the picture I infer that it will most likely be a stately place, possibly a mansion (there's a stone lion and a big entrance door to be seen). The Ace of Wands could point to there being somebody strong-willed, enthusiastic or bossy, too.
The next card showing the circumstances under which you will meet is the Eight of Swords which shows that there will be initial difficulties, some kind of obstacle. Something holds you back or incapacitates you or him, I see inhibition or faltering.
The third card shows your first impression. It's the Nine of Pentacles. You will probably just see him as being "well off", perhaps you will even think him snobbish.

Card number four shows what attitude or insight will help you attracting Mr Right. The World shows that there is a cycle to be completed first, you need to find out where you're headed in life and where you would like to stand. The World says there is probably some growing up to do and perhaps you need to revise your view of the world. However, the World promises there will be a happy ending for you after you have been through a "journey of initiation".

I hope I could help you with your question and this reading makes sense to you. All the best for you and your King of Pentacles.

Love and Light
Satu

---

The funny thing about this is that I got the King of Pentacles here. It really made me laugh as it instantly made me think Colonel Brandon - not Willoughby. So the cards clearly tell her who her Mr Right will be but they also say that there will be initial difficulties and something "holding her back", some lesson to learn before she can finally arrive at "The World", her own personal happy ending. The Ace of Wands would have made me think of Willoughby but as the card is supposed to show a place where they would meet, I went by the picture.

Later I thought I should have used my Jane Austen Tarot for this reading and just for fun I reconstructed the spread with the cards from the Jane Austen deck and nearly keeled over backwards when I saw the King of Pentacles. I thought now clearly everybody will think I made this reading up to fit the story. The King of Pentacles in the Jane Austen deck looks a lot like my beloved Alan Rickman - Colonel Brandon in the movie by Ang Lee and Emma Thompson. Then the Eight of Swords shows a woman playing harp and a man standing there watching her in a very formal posture. In the movie version of Sense and Sensibility Marianne meets Colonel Brandon for the first time when he walks in while she is playing the piano. I don't remember under what circumstances they meet in the book as it's so long ago that I read it but it must have been at Barton Park, too. The Nine Pentacles in this deck show a wealthy old man - which is basically what Marianne at first sees in Colonel Brandon. The Jane Austen deck version of the card fits so well it's uncanny. The final card shows the happy ending, the wedding, so it is also very fitting.

When I saw the Jane Austen version of the spread laid out on my table it really made me laugh just how accurate it was.



Swan Song - Trifecta Writing Challenge

The Five of Swords left me no rest, I kept thinking about the card and the emotions I connect with it trying to work it into a story. So I came up with another piece for the Trifecta challenge using the word "cutting" as in "inclined or likely to wound the feelings of others especially because of a ruthless incisiveness ".

Swan Song

“Do you have any idea just how ridiculous you look?“

He had drawn blood.

We had known worse insults in the ten years of wielding this razorblade relationship.

Dancing barefoot on the cullet – each piece a fractured “I love you”, we laughed and kissed and made love on the broken glass unscarred.

It was the cutting acidity with which he had spat out the words now lying on the floor between us edge up.

Recoiling at the thought of blatant self-mutilation, I beat down the urge to step forward and throw my arms around him.

We both knew there was nothing left.

Samstag, 7. Januar 2012

Comfort zone

Tarot of the Sweet Twilight. by Christina Benintende. © 2009, Lo Scarabeo. All rights reserved.

I like this rendition of the Four of Wands as it helped me understand the card a bit better. Crowley calls his card "Completion", which seems to be a contrast to the card image here because the castle in the background is in ruins and there is what looks like a tornado on the horizon. The man on the picture looks exhausted, the way his right arm is hanging down and he stares off into the distance, like he has been through some trouble or excitement.
But he has loosened his tie, his cuffs are unbuttoned. The woman snuggles into his lap. The trouble seems to lie behind them, like they just returned from a hectic work day.
They seem untouched by the storm outside and the ruined castle. The couch is their safe haven, their comfort zone. They feel at home and protected here - in this place they have built for themselves as a result of their efforts.

Four indicates stability and security. Wands as the suit of the fire element stand for passion, desire, dynamic force, growth, vitality, action, movement, ambition, creativity, will-power and leadership. You are now securing what you have achieved through your passion, drive and will-power enjoying a moment of peace. This can be a reason to celebrate, too - the RWCS rendition of the card shows a celebration - but mainly this is about completing a cycle, striking a balance of forces, having created something stable.

So this card invites you to unwind, enjoy what you have achieved so far and forget about the raging storms outside for a moment - you can take care of those some other time. Whether you share this moment with friends, a special somebody or on your own, enjoy it - you deserved it.

Freitag, 6. Januar 2012

Who's afraid of the big bad Tarot?

On Tarot Sojourns - one of the blogs I follow - I found an interesting YouTube video by Paul Hughes Barlow. He talks about how fear of the tarot destroys spirituality.

Tarot Cards - Death


When they find out I am interested in tarot, people are often sceptic and some even afraid. Some people think you are involved in a satanic cult or at the very least a lunatic. This I think is mostly due to the image they have of tarot reading. Most people take their ideas from literature, films or television. They have some kind of vague idea of a shady old woman wearing flowing gowns in bright colours, too much make-up and jewellery staring sullenly at the Death Card on the table mumbling something about you having the evil eye on you. You are in luck - for only a hundred euros the old crone will remove the curse.

This is not what tarot is all about if you take it seriously - at least not in our modern day and age. As I wrote in the "About Tarot" section of this page, tarot is a very versatile tool. Tarot is fun, insightful, creative, innovative, pragmatic, helpful - it is a lot of things. Just not scary.

Some people are scared that the Death card will appear in their reading. There is, however, absolutely nothing to be scared of. Death in the tarot stands for all sorts of natural endings, it shows that you need to let go of something old in order to welcome something new into your life. This can point to a great opportunity. Finally you are getting rid of your rusty old car and buying the BMW you had an eye on. Good news, at last you will get over that awful breakup and open yourself to the possibility of finding a new love. Of course saying goodbye to something or somebody that we grew accustomed to always involves a bit of sadness, mourning or regrets. And the Death card may stand for a time where you find it difficult to let go of something.

Each single card in the 78-card deck has both positive and negative aspects, contains lessons and/or warnings. Life is not always great, we all know that. The question is: how do we react to mistakes we make, to misfortune and setbacks?
Do we choose to be scared? Of course fear has a function - if we didn't feel fear we'd probably do some very stupid things. Fear is a natural warning system that tells us when it is time to run for cover. There are situations when fear makes sense biologically but not when you are looking at a piece of cardboard with an image on it. The cards and their images are a projection screen you can use to gain access to your subconscious. If you are scared of a certain card it is well worth asking yourself: Why am I afraid of this card? What inner fear does it reflect?

If you face your fears, take them seriously, acknowledge and explore them, sometimes the things you are scared of seem a lot less scary. Saying that, there is actually a card expressing just that: The Moon. Sometimes you need to go through unpleasant experiences in order to bring forth something new/better or in order to release something. Like giving birth. Anything but pleasant to go through but still an experience that changes you and results in something wonderful. It would be the end of the human race if women let fear keep them from going through that experience.

Life can be pretty scary at times but there are ways of dealing with and coping with fears. Tarot is actually just the tool to show you how.



Tarot Nano Fiction #5


Taming the Beast

Funny coincidence (if you believe there is any such thing) that I just had a reading done stating Strength to be my card for the year. I usually follow the "old" numbering of the trumps so I took Justice and the Star to be my cards for the year (17 = 1+7 = 8). I suppose both hold some validity and lo and behold, today I drew Strength as card of the day.

Bohemian Gothic Tarot. by Alex Ukolov & Karen Mahony. © 2007, Magic Realist Press. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the publisher. Card images are protected intellectual property and may not be recopied or reused in any manner without written permission from the publisher.

As is the case with most renditions of the card, the Strength card from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot shows a lion and a woman in peaceful companionship. This card reminds us of our origins, our animal nature. We all have instincts and urges, mostly considered uncivilized and therefore suppressed. This card reminds us, however, that they are part of us (you can see a chain on this picture, so the lion is chained to the lady and vice versa) and that we need to acknowledge them and make friends with our inner beast. If we do - like the lady on the card - we may find the beast is all cuddly and purry and serves us. By ignoring or suppressing our animal nature it could happen that we are not able to handle our "inner beast" once it emerges. But it can only be tamed with gentleness and kindness. You must not chastise or hate yourself for those times when your inner beast rears its head. If you accept it as part of your nature it is a lot easier to handle and to make use of its energy because it has a lot of strength, passion, will-power and joy to offer to spice up your life and help you in your endeavours.

Interesting though - on the Bohemian Gothic card I find the lion looking a lot cuddlier and friendlier than the lady. Or is that just my perception?

Donnerstag, 5. Januar 2012

A good day to fall in love

Legacy of the Divine Tarot. by Ciro Marchetti. © 2009, Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the publisher. Card images are protected intellectual property and may not be recopied or reused in any manner without written permission from the publisher.

Pages are the "children" of their suit, the potential - unspoiled but inexperienced. They are similar to the aces since their full potential has not yet unfolded but whereas the aces could point to the beginnings of new projects, ideas, convictions, attitudes, building, learning or acquiring new goods the pages clearly refer to people. They can actually stand for people in the querent's life (the page would usually be a child or teenager or somebody behaving childishly) or they can stand for the querent's state of mind, an aspect of their personality.

The Cups court rules the water element. The page - or Prince - is all water energy, full of creative potential, driven mainly by his emotions he experiences. He is able to go from enraptured to devastated in the shortest time, everything he experiences, he takes to heart. His emotions just bubble up and he doesn't really make an effort hiding them - wearing his heart on his sleeve. While the King rules the water element, the page is ruled by it.

The page of cups as card of the day means that you are open to all sorts of emotional experiences. You have put out your feelers and are open to receiving messages on an emotional level. You are sensitive and susceptible, spontaneous and/or full of creative ideas. It could mean you are oversensitive and bound to be too emotional in a conflict. However, it also means it is the perfect day to fall in love - with somebody else, with yourself, with a new project you started or with the world outside. If you get swept off your feet, do enjoy it but be careful. The page is also a reminder not to get caught in an emotional maelstrom - he gets easily carried away or when angry overreacts.

Tarot Answering Machines

World Spirit Tarot by Jessica Godino & Lauren O'Leary. © 2001/2006, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive. Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the publisher. Card images are protected intellectual property, and may not be recopied or reused in any manner without written permission from the publisher.

This is a fun exercise which doesn't take a lot of time and is great for recording it in your tarot journal.

Imagine you could call your tarot card. Unfortunately your card is not home.

What would you hear on its answering machine?

1. Draw a card
2. Think of a message the card would give you

Example: Four of Cups - World Spirit Tarot


"Hello. You have reached the Four of Cups. I'm awfully busy moping and brooding. So no matter why you are calling - whether you have found the true meaning of life or you are calling to tell me I've won the lottery - please don't bother leaving a message, I don't feel like listening."

Learning Tarot: Exercises

When you are learning how to read the tarot it is very helpful to play around with the cards and their meanings in order to be able to use them more intuitively and to be more flexible in creating a "synthesis" of LWB (little white book/companion book) meanings that fits the particular context in a reading.

In this category of my blog you will find suggestions and ideas. Some I have found in books, on blogs, in forums and some I have developed myself. I don't always remember where I got the idea from. So if I "nicked" it off somebody, please let me know so I can give you credit.

Weekly Tarot Motto Meme - Week 1

I totally forgot to post this yesterday because our new day nanny was here and I finally had some time to clean and tidy and get some writing done. I was so excited I forgot to post. Anyway, here's this week's card.


In your opinion, what motto does this card express for this week? If you would like to participate, post the motto in your blog or on your website and link it up clicking the Froggy button below. A link back to this blog would be nice but not essential. :)

My motto: Try (re)building a bridge every day of this week.




Mittwoch, 4. Januar 2012

Facing my "Enemies" #2: The Hierophant


1st version of this article published on my old blog August 2010 - edited and shortened

I made a point before of how cards you don't like can give you some valuable insights. One of my pet peeves in readings has always been The Hierophant. He just wasn't "my type" and the card meant very little to me.

So I started exploring the card trying to find out why I just couldn't become friends with it. First of all it's the Rider-Waite rendition of it, this yellow-faced guy on the throne whose mask-like face doesn't betray any emotion, the kneeling priests with their tonsure. He looked fake and waxen. To me this Hierophant just spells "bigot" and "hypocrite". The formalized posture, presiding over his disciples, not looking at them. And in a way that pretty much sums up my personal associations with what I would call "organized religion". Scholars and priests who appear non-human, stern, joyless and out of touch with everyday life. Formal gestures and ritualistic behaviour seemingly counting more than genuine devotion.

It tells me a lot about my approach to religiousness. I value above all genuine emotion and passion, faith springing from the heart. For me believing and being religious means actually feeling the presence of God, being able to touch, smell, feel, see, dance, taste, love "God". Religion needs to touch my heart. So I am very averse to the idea of strict rules, structures, dogmata.

On the other hand, I am and always have been a sceptic, a thinker, someone who lives inside their head a lot. If the Hierophant is Mulder, I'm Scully. He's the believer, I'm the one looking for rational explanations for the unfathomable. This also shows in my approach to tarot which is rather scientific.

A card you dislike may reveal something about character traits, talents, fears, desires that you repress and do not like dealing with for reasons of past experience, education or moral principles. The Hierophant reveals I am highly suspicious of "believers". I am a dyed-in-the-wool sceptic. I tend to overthink, second-guess, mistrust. It bugs me if there's anything I do not know. I value knowledge, education, curiosity, an enquiring mind, proper research. In that light of course subconsciously I think of "merely believing" as an inferior quality. Knowing is better than believing or hoping.

The Hierophant teaches that sometimes you just have to have faith and trust in a "higher power, some higher reasoning". And trust is something I find very hard - having been disappointed so often by people I trusted.

Another aspect of the Hierophant is that of the teacher. Jokingly I always say how I hate teachers - the problem being that I AM one. I suppose I have had one too many bad teachers - dictatorial, judgemental, unfair, the complete opposite of what I'm trying to be as a teacher with the result that I'm often too lenient. I have had very good teachers, too and perhaps I should look at the Hierophant more as a representation of them.

If I look at the reasons for my dislike of the Hierophant I must admit I have a very biased conception of him. Time to change my view and think about what qualities in the Hierophant I admire:

I am in awe of his ability to believe in something so deeply and trust in it so completely that probably not even all evidence to the contrary could sway him. I don't like dogmata and believe that spirituality and religion should free you and empower you, not chain you. On the other hand, I admire people who have a strong faith because it gives them guidance and a solid framework to fall back on. Personally I find it very hard to communicate with my "guides" and to receive any clear messages because my inner critic and censor is very strong.

In that sense the Hierophant could teach me a lesson or two in believing and accepting higher forces.