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, 30. Dezember 2012

The Story of Wands

Some time ago I did the "Story of Pentacles" in order to study the relationship between the Pentacle pip cards and the story they tell when placed in numerical order. The other day I stumbled across the idea of "in-between" cards in a tarot book. If you look at two cards in sequence you could ask yourself how you got from A to B and what happened in between. I think that is a good method for studying the progress through the pip cards in the suits. If you look at two cards in sequence and the situations they depict, what could have happened to change the situation from A to B. It creates a dynamic between the cards. I'll try this method now as I look at the "Story of Wands". 

For this I used the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight by Christina Benintende (Lo Scarabeo, 2009) but I didn't purely focus on the images but more on the "traditional" meanings of the cards. 

Ace of Wands
When Gustav was a little boy, he already had huge plans for the future. He always knew he would do something great one day. He often climbed the apple tree in the garden and sat there dreaming about tree growing and growing higher and higher into the sky taking him to places where nobody had been before. The world was so full of promises, it was absolutely impossible he should end up being ordinary and doing boring stuff.

Two of Wands
However, his parents had different plans for him. His father who had been running a successful hardware store was hoping for Gustav to take over the business. His mother was secretly hoping he'd go to university and become a lawyer. But this was nothing for Gustav. The world was so big and full of exciting and interesting places. He didn't want to be locked down. He wanted to explore, see where life would take him and he told his parents he would use the money his family had been saving up for his education to go abroad and find his calling. They thought this was silly and risky and he'd end up without the means to finance a proper education. But Gutav felt his parents' little world becoming too restrictive, too tight and small for him. He needed to get out. 

Three of Wands
At first Gustav joined an expedition team who were looking for a mythical city that - legend had it - contained not only vast treasures but had also been the centre of a highly developed culture long forgotten. It would be a great scientific triumph if they were successful and actually found something. Gustav worked hard and for a long time it looked as if they were close to actually detecting the fabled golden city. 

Four of Wands
It turned out the city didn't exist after all but they made some valuable finds and Gustav had learned a lot and earned a sum of money. What was more important, however, he had met Louise, a wonderful companion who made him feel at home. For the first time in his life he felt like staying in one place and settling down with her. They were happy for a while, making friends, building a home, Gustav went to university reading history in order to become a teacher. 

Five of Wands
However, after a few years, Gustav became restless again. There were so many challenges, so many options, was he ready to actually settle for a wife, children, a teaching job? Was that all that was to be had in life? And Louise...sure, she was very pretty and a great partner but looking around, he saw so many interesting, beautiful women. He was not ready to settle for anything yet. He needed to test himself, find his limitations, challenge them. 

Six of Wands
Gustav applied for a very challenging job abroad, leaving Louise behind heartbroken. Even though he left his old, comfortable life behind, he felt strong, vigorous, free, like nothing and nobody could touch him. He had beaten so many applicants, he was the one they picked for the job. A very responsible position, one where he would have to work hard and take over a lot of responsibility. But he felt up for it. After all, he had made it, they wanted him, not any of the others. 

Seven of Wands
With success came rivalry, soon Gustav found himself in a position where he had to defend his position a lot, he had to take unpopular decisions and face the music. Even though he was doing a good job and was in a good position he was under constant pressure, vigilant, defensive. 

Eight of Wands
Things happened much too quickly, there was never enough time, Gustav was always on the move. Meetings, business trips, projects, the company was growing rapidly and the market constantly changing. It was hard to keep up with the pace of developments in this trade. One day, Gustav's immediate superior was sacked. Nobody had really seen it coming and Gustav was presented with the opportunity to take over for him. Gustav moved up.

Nine of Wands
Experience had made Gustav wary. He was careful, always watching his back. He didn't really trust anyone, which didn't exactly make him the most popular person in the company. He was perceived as being a typical workaholic. Successful, always in action, tough, stern, powerful. But he was feared and well-respected. Soon he became a bit of a celebrity in the business world. 

Ten of Wands
Rising through the ranks, Gustav became the top expert, he could be seen on TV a lot, his ideas were innovative, creative and he was always one step ahead of the competition. He was passionate about his work, unconventional, strong-willed, showed great leadership qualities. However, it took a lot of strength to keep up this pace. After a while, Gustav felt it was all becoming too much, too many projects, too many appointments and responsibilities to juggle. He needed to focus on what was really important. Gustav took some time off to rethink his priorities, his visions, his goals and ambitions. What was really important? What could he let go or delegate? He remembered his childhood dreams, sitting in the apple tree. What was important to him then was being special, having achieved something extraordinary. He had made the most of his potential, given it all his passion and energy. He had achieved astonishing things. Perhaps it was time to settle down and give it a rest. However, even if he decided on taking it a little slower these days and taking more time to enjoy the fruits of his labour, Gustav knew, he would never be someone who could stop dreaming and reaching for the stars altogether. 

Mittwoch, 26. Dezember 2012

Merry Christmas to you all!

Fate seems to have been against me. My laptop no longer recognized its hard drive. I hope I can restore my files. Most of the important stuff is on an external drive anyway but among other things there's the most recent version of my book on the old drive. Argh!

So I didn't really get round to blogging much. I'm on my new laptop now and trying to install all the stuff that I need to get things running again. It may take a while until I'm back at regular intervals. 

Before the advent calendar started I have done a few readings for volunteers on Aeclectic tarot forum which I will start to post now. Keep your fingers crossed I'll be able to restore the stuff that was on the old hard drive. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time no matter whether or not you celebrate Christmas and I hope I'll be able to post again before the New Year. :-)

Dienstag, 18. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 18th December 2012 - Your personal Major Arcana card for 2013

Did you know that you have your own personal Major Arcana cards that suit your character and describe you? You can easily calculate them. 

There's the soul card which you can calculate by adding all the single digits in your birthdate until you get a single digit number. This card tells you about what motivates you, what the major life issues are for you.

As an example I chose Barack Obama whose birthday is on August 4, 1961. 

8+4+1+9+6+1= 29
2+9= 11
1+1= 2

His soul card would be the High Priestess.

 Image: Bohemian Gothic Tarot

This means he would for example be interested in understanding the nature of things, seeing beyond surface appearances and in understanding life's deeper secrets.

The personality card is calculated the same way only it can be any of the 22 Major Arcana. You add the digits until you get a number between 1 and 22. 22 stands for 0 (The Fool). 

This card says what you show of your personality, what you display on the surface, how you express yourself and how you live your inner drive as symbolized by your soul card. 

For Barack Obama this would be XI. So Strength if you follow the traditional numbering (like Crowley) or Justice if you follow Waite's changed numbering. I tend to use the traditional.

Image: Roots of Asia Tarot

Strength means that he is courageous and compassionate, trying to strike a good balance between tough and indulging, forceful and caring. It also points to a high level of self-confidence and leadership qualities. 

In this fashion you can also calculate the card that will dominate the coming year for you by adding the digits for your birthday next year. In Barack Obama's case that is:

8+4+2+0+1+3= 18

That's the Moon, which means he would have to be dealing with deep-rooted fears and worries, premonitions, creative processes that cost a lot of blood, sweat and tears, things that stir his subconscious a lot. 

As this is a two-digit number it can be further contracted to make 9, the Hermit.

This also indicates a phase of introspection and looking for answers within oneself, rethinking one's convictions and attitudes. 

Funnily enough I have the same cards for this year (although I don't share a birthday with Barack Obama). 

Are you curious now? Well, go ahead and calculate your personal card for the year. 

Montag, 17. Dezember 2012

Sonntag, 16. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 16th December 2012 - Tarot Remedies

Today I'll introduce a nice and easy one-card exercise. It's fun and you can use it for your tarot journal. It's called "Tarot Remedies".

What if the card you draw could cure an ailment - not necessarily a physical one - any kind of affliction. Which would it be?

1 Draw a card from the deck of your choice
2 Take some time to look at it and reflect
3 Which affliction would this card remedy?


Image: Golden Tarot by Kat Black - Temperance

Temperance will help you regaining your inner balance and harmony, will balance out your electrolyte metabolism, strengthen your sense of equilibrium and alleviate vertigo.

Freitag, 14. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 14th December 2012 - Inside Ollivanders

“Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember...I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter... After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great.”
J.K.Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Today I have a Harry Potter inspired tarot exercise for you. If you are not familiar with the books, I should explain that Ollivanders is the shop at which most young wizards and witches buy their first magic wand. No magic wand is the same, they are all a different length, a different material and have a different core (a magical substance like unicorn hair for example) and according to Mr Ollivander it's the wand that chooses the wizard, not the other way around. 

So, let's enter Ollivanders and see what happens. As most of us are mere Muggles (non-magic people), "magic" here stands for your special touch, your inspiration, your creativity...

1 Shuffle the deck and put it face down on the table.
2 Turn over one card at a time until you turn over a wand card.
3 The wand card itself tells you a little bit about what your strong suit in "magic" is.
4 The following three cards you turn over tell you (in that order):
   - the "core": what is the source of your "magic"
   - the "material": what element is strongest in your "magic"
   - your best spell

Example: First wands card turned over: "Four of Wands"

My strong suit is making people feel at home and feel welcome and accepted.

The core: Ten of Cups - the source of my magic is emotional fulfillment, my family and my ability to commit to others and my sociability

The material: Two of Wands - to my surprise the strongest element in my magic is "Fire". I've been told that before but always believed to be a water person. So what fuels me most is a strong will and passion and enthusiasm

My best spell: Four of Pentacles - in Harry Potter terms I would see that as petrification of stunning someone or deflecting curses, in Muggle terms I'm best at holding things together, creating a stable environment, a home, a fortress, protecting myself and others. The Pentacles suit would also suggest a successful hand at finances but I don't really feel that is one of my strong suits. 

Donnerstag, 13. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar - 13th December 2012 - Three Cards, Three Words - One Sentence

Fate seems to be against me and my advent calendar these days. A wonky internet connection (on and off), Christmas baking and a toddler with a fever kept me from doing 11th and 12th December. I'm sorry. Well, 13 is a lucky number at least to me so here goes...

A simple warm-up exercise: three words - one sentence

Here's a fun exercise to familiarise yourself with your cards and help you find connections between the single cards. It's an exercise you can use as a daily draw for a tarot journal or just for fun when you feel like it. 

1. Draw three cards from the deck of your choice.
2. For each card, write down the first word that comes to mind when you look at it.
3. Take the three words and make them into a sentence. The sentence of course should    
    have the character of an advice. 


Two of Cups - The High Priestess - Ace of Cups

compromise - secret - decision

The secret to the decision you are trying to take lies in striking a compromise.

Montag, 10. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 10th December 2010 - Tarot Mad Libs

It's best if you do this with a friend. Each of you writes a short story about something they did that week or take your favourite holiday time poem. Leave out random words. Make sure to leave out different types of words like nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. If necessary, specify. Make a list telling your partner which type of word is needed and whether it's needed in singular or plural form.

Now your partner draws the required number of cards and writes down a word they associate with the card. Add the words and have a laugh. :-)

Example: Christmas in our family

Christmas is always a ___________________ (adjective) time of the year. All our family come together. First we have ___________________ (something edible) and ________________ (a drink) and then we ____________________ (verb) together in the living room. Uncle Fred always _______________ (verb 3rd person) in an armchair close to the fireplace and the children __________________ (verb) and ____________________ (verb). 
Mother is in the kitchen preparing _____________________ (adjective) duck and ________________ (something edible) for dinner and father ____________________ (verb 3rd person) for the children. This year mother will get a big surprise. Father finally bought her the _______________________ (noun) she had her eye on for so long.
And so on and so forth...you get the picture. Here's the cards:

1) adjective: 5 Pentacles - deprived
2) something edible: Ace of Pentacles - pancake
3) a drink: Six of Pentacles - rain water
4) verb: Queen of Cups - float
5) verb 3rd person: Eight of Cups - meanders
6) verb: The Tower - explode
7) verb: 6 of Swords - emigrate
8) adjective: 10 of Swords - stabbed
9) something edible: Page of Cups - trout
10) verb 3rd person:  Page of Pentacles - procrastinates
11) noun: 4 of Swords - marble slab

Here's the Tarot Mad Lib version of "Christmas in our family"

Christmas is always a deprived time of the year. All our family come together. First we have pancake and rain water and then we float together in the living room. Uncle Fred always meanders in an armchair close to the fireplace and the children explode and emigrate.
Mother is in the kitchen preparing stabbed duck and trout for dinner and father procrastinates for the children. This year mother will get a big surprise. Father finally bought her the marble slab she had her eye on for so long.

Sonntag, 9. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 9th December 2012 - December Magic

I would like to introduce a spread today, which I thought was quite nice for this time of the year. It's by winterchild and was proposed in one of the reading circles over at Aeclectic Tarot forum. It's called the "December Magic" spread and goes as follows...

December is a special month for most of us, whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule or The Winter or Summer Solstice or any other holiday. It is also the last month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. Because we are a huge tribe of many cultures and locations I wanted a spread to cover December for everyone. I couldn't find anything suitable so I created my brand new, shiny gift wrapped December Magic Spread.

December Magic Spread by Winterchild 


1.What is the most important meaning that December holds for you this year

2.What will be your greatest gift to others this December

3.What is the greatest gift you will receive this December

4.What magic will the fairy on your tree bless you with this December

Shuffle your deck and take the bottom card and place it in position 1. This is the base card, the root of the tree. Deal the next first three cards using your usual method and place as shown.


I used the Thoth deck by Aleister Crowley. Here goes:

1. What is the most important meaning that December holds for you this year?
Nine of Cups 

It's a time where I can enjoy life, where I feel happy and grateful for all that I have. And I think that is very appropriate. Life is full and I'm very grateful for everything, especially my friends, my family, my neighbours and all those great and wonderful people in my life.

2. What will be your greatest gift to others this December?
Princess of Wands

My greatest gift to others this December is passion, fire, the ability to feel joy and enjoy things, a strong will and great enthusiasm. Hm....I'm not sure that's me this December, I feel a little subdued...not unhappy but only running on 50% power. Well, let's hope my passion and joy is still contagious. 

3. What is the greatest gift you will receive this December?
Seven of Cups

I will be well able to see through things and people and recognize them for what they really are. I'm not prone to be "seduced" by appearances this month. 

4. What magic will the fairy on your tree bless you with this December?
Prince of Disks

A great ability to enjoy life, give practical advice and help, reliability and the ability to enjoy the fruits of my labour (quite literally when I come to think of spring next year when the baby is due). It's a very earthy, homely card, a bit of stubbornness mixed in with comfort and making yourself feel at home. Not too bad as a blessing. :-)

Samstag, 8. Dezember 2012

Little break in my advent calendar...

Sorry, I've been a bit under the weather these past few days. Tummy bug and then migraine...so I had to pause the Advent Calendar. I'll post again tomorrow. 

Thanks for understanding.

Donnerstag, 6. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 6th December 2012 - Good Deed of the Day

Today a lot of people are celebrating St. Nicholas' Day. St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra is famed for having been a benefactor especially of children and here in the area where I live it is custom to put your boots out on the evening of 5th December for St. Nicholas to come and fill them over night. 

So today's tarot exercise is all about doing good and surprising somebody with it.

Here's how it works:

1. Draw a card from your deck.
2. Look at the card.
3. What "good deed" could it stand for?
4. Who could you surprise with this good deed?
5. Go out and do it!

I drew the Seeker (Knight) of Cups from my World Spirit Tarot. The Knight of Cups stands for a loving, caring atmosphere, for somebody who is on a quest for their true heart's desire, love, flirting, romance, looking for emotional fulfillment.

Here's the list of "good deeds" I came up with:

- Help someone look for a lost/misplaced item.
- Organize a romantic evening out for you and your significant other and surprise them    
   with it.
- Spread some love and care and pay somebody a compliment or tell them how much you  
   appreciate them/their work.
- Buy somebody a drink.
- Babysit for a couple so they can go on a romantic evening. 

I'll keep you posted on which I chose and how it went.

Mittwoch, 5. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 5th December 2012 - The Fives

When I thought about today's entry, it occurred to me that I don't particularly like the Fives in the tarot deck. Probably because it's an odd number and a prime number and I do not even have any direct associations with it - as is the case with seven. 

Odd numbers in the minor Arcana are usually more dynamic than the even numbers. There's more "upheaval" and less harmony. However, of course this dynamic is needed to get ahead. Otherwise you'd get stuck. 

So I thought maybe I should take a closer look at the four Fives today.


Image: Rider Waite Tarot

In the Rider Waite Tarot you find a figure draped in a black cloak standing at a river bank. Three cups in front of the person have been knocked over with red and green liquid spilling from them. Two cups have been left standing behind the figure. You can see the river running through the image, a castle in the background and a white bridge. The sky is murky and grey. 
The card shows times of sadness and disappointment, setbacks or failures. Something has gone wrong or has been taken from us and now we have to deal with it. Not a very friendly card at first sight, which is probably why I don't live the fives so much. However, it pretty much depends on how the person on the card deals with this loss that determines whether it's a positive or negative card. Do they realise this loss also gives them the opportunity for change? Do they know that not all is lost and there are still two cups standing? Have they made the experience that the liquid spilled will return to the river, that loss is just part of natural cycles? Will they be able to shed the black cloak? 
In any event this card will leave them changed and richer in experience. 


Image: Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

The five shows hardship on a physical or material plane. A disruption of the elements and instability in matter. Decks inspired by Waite usually show poor people in rags walking in the snow and a lit church window in the background. Here the disks remind me of gear wheels or similar metal machine parts. Crowley describes the effect of the card as that of an earthquake. So it is not unlike the Tower in the Major Arcana. So again, the question is how we deal with a situation of hardship and strain that we have been flung into. Does it shake us from a state of inaction and make us improvise? Are we able to take the lemons and actually make lemonade, sell it and become stinking rich? Do we perceive it as a challenge or as punishment and a blow of fate? Probably the point of the Fives is that there is always the element of challenge and rising to it and therefore a chance to replace something good by something even better - after a period of turmoil. 


 Image: World Spirit Tarot

One of my least favourite cards in the deck, which probably says a lot about myself, is the Five of Swords. It speaks of cruelty, hurt, aggression, baseness and beastliness. On this card from the World Spirit Tarot (clearly inspired by Waite) you see a wounded figure standing among broken swords, rainclouds in the sky and a shadowy figure in the background in some kind of victor's pose, which even looks a bit as if they were dancing. Usually the card shows situations in which others have been cruel to us and left us wounded or situations in which it is inevitable to cause hurt. The swords are the suit of the rational mind, the intellect and communication. They often indicate decisions. When we take decisions, even if they seem right and just, we sometimes have to hurt other people's feelings or even our own. That can not always be completely avoided. So it's another one of life's challenges. Unpopular, unpleasant decisions. Meh! Or in the worst case being on the receiving end of somebody's sadistic streak. What fun! However, these things happen and again - it very much depends on how we deal with them. Do we allow people to walk all over us? Are we so sure we are doing the right thing that it is worth getting hurt or causing hurt? Have we thought things through properly? How do we deal with the people we hurt? Will we actually do a little victory dance and hurt them some more or are we able to keep the sadistic little devil on our shoulder in check? Again, these situations are challenging and we can learn a lot through them.


Image: Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

Probably the friendliest of the four Fives as I associate it with playful struggle and competition, rivalry and challenge. Comparing your strength with others. For me it's the Sporty Spice card. In a lot of decks you see five people bearing wands/sticks in something that looks like a mock fight that has a bit of a ritualised, dancelike quality. A lot like Capoeira. In Ciro Marchetti's Legacy of the Divine Tarot you have three male figures growing from a tree trunk like branches and fighting with sticks that have a glowing orb at the end. He stresses that the people here have a common ground or a common source and indeed, conflict becomes the more likely, the more closely we are linked and depend on one another. Colleagues at work, a circle of friends, a family, a school class, a religious community, a sports club...how do we come to terms with our diversity and our differences? How do we manage to be different and of different opinions and convictions yet work towards a common goal? How can we compete without obstructing each other and jamming up the works? How do we make productive use of rivalry and competition? Do we elbow our way through life or do we stick to fair play and "may the better person win"? Coming to think of it, perhaps this card is the less threatening to me because in my own perception I cope rather well as a team-player. I'm not overly competitive and like working with others. I'm probably having more troubles with the other Fives - the Swords in particular. 

What I can take from this closer look at the Fives is that actually they are all about challenges and difficult situations that are inevitable but manageable if we learn how to deal with them. They are all character building situations that will shape us and the way we deal with other people and with ourselves and our emotions. So the Fives indicate situations we should not try to avoid or shy away from because they will probably catch up with us anyway and if we have to go through a Five moment in life, we'd better face it well-prepared and tackle it head-on. 

Dienstag, 4. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 4th December 2012 - Modifying Tarot Decks

Today's door opens to a little video tutorial I found on YouTube about how you can modify and embellish your tarot deck.

Have fun! :)

Montag, 3. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 3rd December 2012 - We come bearing gifts

Traditionally the three wise men arrive on 6th January but as there is three of them and they bear three gifts, today I would like to show you a self-reflection spread I made up.


This is an introspective 3-card spread which shows you three important and valuable gifts you got at your birth. The three gifts the wise men bring are gold, myrrh and frankincense. All three are gifts usually presented to kings. As gold is a valuable, I took it to stand for what you can "spend", i.e. give to others, myrrh is an anointing oil, so I took it to stand for what makes you unique and special or what is a characteristic that makes you stand out particularly, frankincense is a symbol of deity and is traditionally used in offerings, so I took that to show your spiritual gifts.

Here's the cards:

1: Gold - what I have to give: STRENGTH
2: Myrrh - what makes me special: 4 of Pentacles
3: Frankincense - my spiritual gifts: 10 of Cups

I used the Tarot of Metamorphosis (Massimiliano Filadoro/Luigi Di Giammarino, Lo Scarabeo), a deck I'm not overly familiar with yet, so I'll have to have a look at the LWB (little white book), too. 

GOLD: Strength - Strength is the ability to turn our lowest instincts and urges into a valuable and civilizing force, kind of what psychology calls "sublimation". The Tarot of Metamorphosis version of the card shows a person sitting in a cave that is shaped like a dragon's head painting or writing something. The LWB says - The Metamorphosis of Energy. Even the most frightening and aggressive force can be sublimated through metamorphosis. Strength helps us correctly channel the lowest energies, transforming and purifying them. Be careful of excessive trust. 
Especially with the last sentence I can relate to it as I think I have the ability to see good in most people and am prone to be too trusting. Perhaps I should not perceive that as a weakness. 

MYRRH: This is difficult as I don't particularly like the 4 of Coins and as I associate it with stubbornness and stinginess. The LWB also gives a rather negative interpretation of the card. It says: the road of blind change. The power that corrupts and obscures awareness, isolating it from the external environment. Insensitivity. False objectives. The card shows a steel train with a grim-looking face pushing ahead at full speed and somebody shoveling coals into the furnace.
As I keep pointing out though all cards have positive and negative aspects and in this particular spread the card shows a "gift", not a curse. So I take it as the ability to "plough on" and even though I don't think myself a particularly reliable person as I tend to forget stuff and am sometimes rather chaotic, I think I'm reliable in the sense of steadiness or steadfastness in convictions and friendships. I am usually very loyal and have a strong need and strong sense of security. So perhaps that is my 4 Pentacles side. 4 of Pentacles is also a card that shows the ability to build durable structures and connections, make a home and secure it, so perhaps it refers to my careful, rational and homely side. What strikes me is the phrase "corrupts and obscures awareness" as I have always thought it one of my great weaknesses that I am too firmly rooted to the ground. My inner censor is very strong and I am too realistic and pragmatic sometimes to dream big, so...maybe a gift and a curse (as my favourite detective Mr Monk likes to put it)? And instead of lamenting the curse side of it I should learn to appreciate the gift side more. 

FRANKINCENSE: Ten of Cups is a nice card I think. It shows the ability to connect socially, to love and be loved, it speaks of sensitivity and empathy. As for spirituality and religion in my opinion they are systems that help us interact with other beings and kind of "set the rules". Also, spirituality for me is something that is shared and always involves interaction. I'd make a very bad hermit. The cups as representation of the water element show that definitions and borders are "swimming" for me. I don't really adhere to one religion or belief in particular but can see that most religions are pretty much the same at the core and are trying to give people a set of rules of conduct in order to avoid general mayhem. Sadly, often this intention is misinterpreted and religions and beliefs are taken as an excuse to cause general mayhem. I suppose I'm a bit of a New Age person when it comes to spirituality. All lovey-dovey, try to embrace it all, go with the flow, we are all God's children, live and let live... 
The LWB says: Complete metamorphosis. The acquired art of changing oneself and the things and satisfaction that follows. The value of profound feelings.
Sometimes I thought whether it's not just leaving a loophole that I don't really follow any of the organized religions. I have considered it and am often in awe at people who have such a strong belief but perhaps I should perceive it as a strength that I am trying to see what is behind a religion. At least I'm not prone to smash your head in because you believe something completely different. 

Sonntag, 2. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 2nd December 2012

Today's calendar door opens to....

Tarot Exercise: THE SIXTH SENSE - Use your intuition

1. Draw a card from your deck. 
2. Place it face down on the palm of your hand.
3. Close your eyes and concentrate.
4. What ideas/images/feelings come into your mind when you think about the card?
5. Take notes on what came into your mind.
6. Turn over the card. 
7. How does what you felt about the card match the actual card meaning?

Notes: nature, natural forces, spring, a tree, a hare, apprehension, warmth, a path - the card felt warm and positive, not threatening

I turn the card over and it is....THE MAGICIAN (Golden Tarot)

The first thing I noticed is that there actually is a hare on this rendition of the card. The Magician is surrounded by all kinds of animals (looks a bit like St. Francis) and on the left hand side, the side he is facing, there is a hare and two rabbits (about eye-level with the magician), which amazes me as I'm usually not very good at these things. I'm too much of a scientific, rational, "brain" person and have a strong inner censor. You can see grass and flowers covering the ground the magician stands on. 
The Magician is dressed in red (warm colour) and the background is gold. My associations with the Magician card are mostly positive, too. So the feeling of warm and non-threatening was accurate, too. 

At first sight the Magician does not, however, strike me as being a "natural force" as he shows the influence of will and vision on energy. I'd probably have expected The Empress  with that kind of nature imagery. On the other hand, The Magician and The High Priestess symbolize the two divine forces active in creation. The Magician being the "male", active agent of creation, the High Priestess the "female", receiving, flowing and joining aspects. 
I also like the image of the tree as it is something big coming out of a small seed, it breaks through the surface of the earth and its branches reach up to heaven. The idea/concept of the tree, the intent and vision and the will to grow are all contained in the seed which is the Magician's creative energy. It needs to fall on fertile ground and be watered (High Priestess) and nurtured in order to grow tall. 
The path also was a good image as you need a clear idea of where your path should lead in order to make proper use of your skills. The Magician stands for vision, skill, determination and influence, so I think I wasn't too far off with my feel for the card. 

Samstag, 1. Dezember 2012

Tarot Advent Calendar: 1st December 2012

In many Western Christian churches it is common to celebrate the season of advent during the 24 days before Christmas. The term comes from the Latin ”adventus” = arrival and refers to the period of expectant waiting and preparation. It’s both a time of preparation for the arrival of the Messiah in this world and on a deeper level a preparation for the second coming.

Here in Germany many people use advent calendars. Traditionally it is like a poster with a winter/Christmas theme that has 24 doors or windows you can open with pictures inside. More elaborate ”calendars” contain chocolate or candy or even consist of 24 little boxes or pouches with sweets and other small presents inside. This was meant mostly for children to make the long wait for Christmas a little more pleasant.

Advent is a time of celebration and anticipation of something you look forward to but also a time of preparation for what you need to expect in the future. So the first door on my tarot advent calendar opens to:

Reading Exercise: One-Card Draw - What ”arrival” should I prepare myself for?

Two of Coins: Golden Tarot

You can see a man in a red coat juggle two coins in a green rope at the and of a cane. His left foot is slightly raised. In the background there’s a wavy sea with two ships being tossed about on the waves.  The sky is a clear blue with a few white clouds.
Despite the wavy sea the scene does not appear threatening to me. It has an air of playfulness and the raised left foot of the juggler suggests flexibility and lightness.

This cards asks me to be prepared for a time of turmoil and/or change, to keep an open mind, to keep ”juggling” my options and be flexible in my reactions. It shows the ability to stay calm in uncertain and/or stressful times. It asks for a playful attitude and the ability to accept and welcome changes and react spontaneously.

With the new baby due in spring I think this is a very appropriate card. I quite literally will have to juggle two balls and try to keep them both up in the air. I think it will be quite a challenge to keep my attention for both children balanced. On top of that, a lot is happening at work at the moment where it’s difficult to anticipate what is going to happen. So on the whole this card provides excellent advice for my near future.