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.

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?


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. 

Montag, 5. August 2013

On the page of pentacles: Get your game on, go play...

Someone in my tarot-related facebook group sent me instructions for an easy meditation on tarot today and as I had a quiet moment to myself (which is rare these days) I thought I'd try. I pulled the Knave of Pentacles from the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight and received some very powerful messages. 

Admittedly I'm not a huge fan of court cards in readings, least of all the pages and knights. I'm not always sure what to make of them. The meditation made me aware of a number of things about the Knave (Page) of Pentacles though. 

I instantly had the idea that this card was an invitation to play or to enjoy a performance and the words "inner child" sprang to mind. In the Voyager Tarot the card (Child of Worlds) is also called "Player". 

One of the messages I received was to enjoy the little things I'm doing, getting lost in them for a while without being concerned about the "higher planes" I'm trying to reach. Like children can get lost in the moment of their play without thinking about what needs be done, what will happen next or who's there. I can see that so often when my son is playing. Ask him what he would like for dinner and you won't get an answer. He can't be bothered with thinking about profane things like dinner when he's so wrapped up in his game. 

Another message I received touched on the question, "whose child are you?". In my case it invited me to explore this literally but it does not necessarily mean you need to think about your biological parents it's more like thinking about the "stuff you're made of". Who or what made you what you are now? Who or what influenced and shaped you? Try to remember where you are coming from. It was a bit of a "back to the roots" thing. 

So the Page of Pentacles invites you to play with the possibilities, to enjoy life without thinking too much about the consequences or the future, to stay in the moment and enjoy it before you move on and to turn your attention to where you are coming from. All the while he told me to take small steps and be concerned with what's manageable and hands-on rather than what's "up there". I'm in my head a lot and find it hard to turn off the carousel that's going on up there, so it's good advice to focus on the tangible, manageable even though it may appear small at first. 

Thank you, Page of Pentacles and thank you Delphine for the meditation. 

Freitag, 26. Juli 2013

Where is my mind...? - Trying out the Deck of 1000 Spreads

Today I tried out the Deck of 1000 Spreads by Tierny Sadler. It has colour coded cards that mark positions in a spread.

There's various uses. You can recreate existing spreads and put the cards on top so you won't have to look the positions up in a book anymore. But you can also create variations on existing spreads or make spreads entirely of your own. The most interesting option for me was that you can actually divine spreads by pulling random cards from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. 

Today I did just that and created an interesting spread. I pulled the cards "Mind" (green topic card), "What is Hidden" (blue influence card), "Blocking or Covering" (blue influence card) and "Advice" (red outcome card). I pulled completely random cards but it was nice to have a topic card and an outcome card in there, so structuring the reading was easy. 

So I called the new spread "Where is my mind?" and structured it as follows:

1: Mind - The current mental/emotional state, what's on your mind right now?
2: What is hidden - What is also on your mind but perhaps not in your conscious thought, something that might need to be seen.
3: Blocking or covering - What distracts you, keeps you from setting your mind on what's important now
4: Advice - What can you do to focus?

My cards were: 
1: The Hierophant
2: The Empress
3: Death
4: 10 of Wands

I read it as follows:

Right now I believe there's a higher calling or a higher force and that it's important I trust and believe on being guided. There's enormous creative potential that I can't always get at because of the Hierophant being too dogmatic and critical sometimes. What's blocking me is that I have the feeling there's only limited time and I find it difficult to deal with changes that are happening in my life (one of them being an actual death in my family). Ten of Wands tells me that there is too much I am dealing with at the moment but there's light at the end of the tunnel and if I get through this difficult phase, results will be positive. 

Quintessence card would be IV the Emperor, funnily enough the card between what's on my conscious mind and what is "hidden" in my subconscious, so perhaps it could help me connect the two. The Emperor for me is about rules, structure and order, so probably I need to plan things better and get some structure into my responsibilities. With two kids (2 years/ 4 months) it's not always easy because you make plans and then they overturn them. ;-) However, I should probably be more disciplined about a number of things, like setting special times for certain activities. I guess better structure and time management would help me a great deal. (Which is something I also see reflected in the 10 of Wands). 

Donnerstag, 13. Juni 2013

Our baby spread: Our daughter

I was curious about what the cards would say about my daughter who was born in April. So I used the "Our Baby" spread I introduced in an earlier post in which I did a reading about Elizabeth I. 

The positions are as follows: 

1 The greatest gift L got from me
2 The greatest weakness L received from me
3 The greatest gift L got from my husband
4 The greatest weakness L received from him
5 What does L currently most need from us?

I used the Tarot Illuminati and pulled the following cards:

1 Ten of Wands rx
2 Seven of Wands rx
3 Queen of Cups
4 The Chariot
5 Eight of Cups

First of all I think she will probably take more after her father as there are pips only for the traits she inherited from me and a court and a Major on my husband's side. 

The greatest gift L received from me: Ten of Wands reversed

I think it's a certain ability to handle chaos and multitask and a wide range of interests. 

The greatest gift L received from my husband: Queen of Cups

Sensitivity, empathy and the ability to reflect her own situation and emotions, interest in other people and their motivation and caring for others. 

The greatest weakness she received from me: Seven of Wands

A tendency to feel threatened or under attack even when not appropriate and feeling the necessity to justify what she does. Being very dependent on what others say or think. 

The greatest weakness she received from her father: The Chariot

A certain need for action and adventure, new projects and a strong need for independence that may sometimes clash with other motives and a sense of commitment and responsibility. Also it may point to impatience.

What L needs most from us at the moment: Eight of Cups

Eight of Cups for me shows departures, moving from a safe place you have been comfortable at into a new situation, encountering new situations/people etc. It's a necessary departure or an inevitable one. I suppose in this case that pretty much describes being born. Leaving the womb, entering the world. I think it means she needs a sense of security on that course and emotional support while at the same time she needs freedom to discover the world on her own.

Montag, 3. Juni 2013

About boundaries...

In one of the tarot-related Facebook groups I'm in the topic of boundaries was discussed and it was suggested that we all make a list of our own boundaries and share. First from our own perspective, then using the tarot. So here's mine...

From my perspective

Boundaries for myself

I will not do readings when I have a headache or feel unwell. 

I believe that the future is constantly in motion depending on the decisions we - and other people - take, so I don't think I can foresee future events in that sense and I will always make that clear to my querents. I tell them what is likely to happen if they continue on their current path.

I always end my readings on a positive note. If the cards are scary or show that there's a lot of problems to be expected, I end with some kind of advice for the querent to take home as to what they can do to cope with the difficult situation.

Boundaries for others

I won't read on the same question over and over again.

I don't do readings on health, legal or financial issues. 

Don't expect me to take decisions for you. I can offer you perspectives, you have to take the decisions yourself. 

Using the tarot

Boundaries for myself

Ace of Pentacles: I will stay pragmatic, realistic and give the querent something "tangible" to take home. 

Five of Swords: I will avoid being judgmental or cynical and won't hurt anyone, not the querent and not anybody they may be asking about. 

Six of Cups: I will try to shut out my own past experiences and explain everything plain and simple so that the "uninitiated" can easily follow.

Boundaries for others

Death reversed: Don't expect me to tell you anything concerning the time, manner or circumstances of anybody's death.

Nine of Wands: You need to be open to take new perspectives even though past experiences might tell you otherwise.

The Sun reversed: There needs to be mutual trust for a reading to be successful. Be honest with me and expect me to be honest with you.

Freitag, 24. Mai 2013

Mothers and daughters

I came across the link to The Tarot Lady's blog the other day on Facebook and it made me think. I suppose mothers and daughters have a very special relationship - one that can be so fraught and difficult but also very intense. As for me and my mother, I've always had a difficult relationship with her in the past but it has gotten a lot better ever since I moved out and lived my own life. Part of it is probably her mellowing with age but the other part of it - as much as I wanted to avoid that - is that I'm becoming more like her in a number of ways as I grow older. 

Saying that, it's very easy to list all the annoying characteristics your mother has and the things she did or said that totally pissed you off and can still drive you up the wall but I suppose it's well worth asking which are the good features you received from your mother and how you can make them work for you. I like the easy two-card spread the Tarot Lady suggests on the blog and I decided I will try it even though it still freaks me out to think I could become like my mother. 

Now I'm mother to a daughter myself (who will probably not want to become like me either), which makes exploring this even more interesting. 

How am I like my mother and how can I embrace, accept or transform this quality?

How am I like my mother? - The Emperor reversed

Funnily enough, the Emperor is about rules, principles, structure and order - which pretty much embodies where me and my mother disagreed the most. She drove me nuts with her constant bickering about how awful my room looked (no matter how tidy or untidy it was, the bickering would remain the same). She had/has very strict principles and I found that very restrictive. The positive aspect of this is, she was and is very reliable, predictable and structured. She managed life with four kids, a husband and a part-time job. She did have some help in the household and garden but still, I can only admire her time management and organising skills (something I lack). She would never forget a birthday or get swamped. The reversal points to my shortcomings in that area but for me it also means that even though on a surface level I'm not like my mother as far as order and principles are concerned, I still have my own "order" and structure in my "creative chaos". I have found my own way of structuring my days and my life. I'm more chaotic and could definitely improve my time management but with the important things I'm well-organised and structured. The other thing about the Emperor is that I have my principles and can be very strict about them just like my mother. 

How can I embrace, accept or transform this quality? - Three of Cups

I can best use this quality in dealing with my social contacts. That is very true. With my bad time management and everything I often forget birthdays or just don't get round to calling or writing and it would definitely help if I was a little more organised in that area. I suppose my mother sets a good example there. 
The three of cups is also about joy and pleasure and I suppose it means it would be easier for me to enjoy life if I was a little more organised as I wouldn't become hectic and walk through life thinking "damn, you still have to..." or "oh no, I totally forgot to..." and I'd probably waste less time procrastinating. 
My principles and convictions make me reliable and predictable like my mum which probably helps me in social interactions as I'm usually not moody and there are no unpleasant surprises when dealing with me (at least I don't think there are). 

This was fun - even though I kind of dreaded this reading. 

Donnerstag, 14. Februar 2013

My new mascot

Somebody over at Aeclectic Tarot forum drew my attention to the fact that there is a LEGO fortune teller figure. Needless to say that I couldn't resist. So here's my new mascot:

Funny thing she has the Sun and the Tower cards, I kind of expected the Lovers and Death as the most "obvious" choices. ;)

Sonntag, 10. Februar 2013

Reality bites - 5 of Swords in a relationship reading

A while ago I did a couple of readings for feedback with permission to post them or parts of them on my blog for study purposes. As I had my Advent Calendar going at the time I decided to wait a bit and post them afterwards. Here is one of them now. I will comment on my methods and interpretation in italics. 

Linda* asked: "I would like to know if Brian* and I will have an enduring love relationship in the future. If so, if there is a time reference."
(names changed)

Note: I'm only posting parts of the actual reading (as much as the querent was okay with).

The cards and positions were the following:

1: The basis of the relationship - Two of Coins rx
2: Your past, your "baggage" - Eight of Cups
3: Brian's past, his "baggage" - Strength rx
4: You in the relationship right now - Seven of Wands rx
5: Brian in the relationship right now - Five of Swords rx
6: Your possible future - Ten of Coins
7: Brian's possible future - The Hierophant
8: What connects you in the future - Nine of Coins

The first thing that drew my attention was how many reversals there are in this one reading, which for me is a pointer that a lot is happening underneath the surface, not so much on an event level. Two Coins as the basis suggests there is no stable basis so far. Linda's baggage points to the past, while Brian's baggage points to an inner conflict and the need to balance opposing forces. Linda's Seven of Wands points to the fact that she is not in a happy place right now and feeling under pressure or threatened:

Your current position in this is that somehow you feel threatened or challenged by Brian. Not that there's actually bickering and quarreling but perhaps an uneasy feeling that he has expectations in you that you cannot or will not live up to. It may also be that you fear opposition from a third party in this matter. As restraint seems to be a thread running through this reading with a lot of reversals it may very well be that there are still external obstacles to form a relationship.

Five of Swords for me is a difficult card in a relationship spread as I don't like it, it has a cruel feel and speaks of hurt and meanness. In Brian's case it marked the position of how he was feeling in this relationship right now. As Linda is clearly interested in a relationship with him, I thought it unlikely that she was hurting him or being cruel, so I had to assume a different source of the hurt. Maybe some form of self-punishment or the hurt he feels because he does not allow himself to give in to his feelings:

Brian's Five of Swords shows that Brian is feeling hurt or is perhaps being very strict with himself as if he is trying to punish himself. It's a weird card in this position. As it's a reversal it shows that this is happening below the surface. Brian might not be showing his hurt and it's not about actions or events, more about something that's simmering below the surface. Does that ring a bell with you?

It turned out he was indeed not ready for a relationship one of the reasons being that Brian and Linda work together, so it is quite possible that Brian feels that he has to keep a stopper on things and thus hurts himself. The Hierophant seems to say the same thing:

From Brian's point of view it is a matter of principle and moral beliefs. I almost get the impression Brian feels that the relationship is "wrong" or might be looked upon as immoral by others. Brian will have to come to terms with that, else it will not work. It's very important to Brian that things are "sound" and that he stays true to himself and his own beliefs. 

The outlook is actually not that bad but it would depend largely on Linda's and especially Brian's decisions. Linda thought the relationship might have a chance if she left her position but thought it wiser at the time to walk away from both him and their working relationship because she found it very hard to let go unless she cut herself completely off:

The possible outcome and what connects you in the future is Nine of Coins, which is a rather positive card because it shows a realistic chance of building something valuable, of enjoying life together. It promises (material) prosperity and success. But it seems you need to deal with the obstacles first. They seem to be more on Brian's side than on yours. 
I'm always careful with times as the future is dynamic and not fixed but as a time reference in the 9 of Coins I would say late summer (harvest time). So probably it will take a while to work things out and before there's a chance of it becoming something really stable. 

Quintessence is 14/5 so Temperance and The Hierophant. The right path to make this work is to balance the forces and take measured steps. There's no forcing or rushing it as this relationship may touch on very strong inner convictions and beliefs and challenge them. You need to stay true to yourselves and your beliefs in this, which does not mean you may not question some of your attitudes and convictions. What's is important is the question whether or not it feels "right" to you both. 

Sonntag, 27. Januar 2013

Deck Review: The Haindl Tarot - my verdict

I have taken some time to try and test the Haindl Tarot by painter Hermann Haindl (Lotos)  and this is my verdict on the deck.

The cards are rather big, with a matte finish and well-rounded edges. The size is not really good for shuffling or riffling the deck, which is a bit of a pity as that means it will probably not make it into my standard decks. I tend to get annoyed with cards I cannot shuffle properly. The back shows a non-symmetrical human eye, so it's perhaps nothing for people who put a lot of weight on reading reversals. 

The pip suits were superimposed on paintings and I'm not sure they always fit the meaning of the card but in most cases they do. The colours are muted except for some of the fundamental colours (red, blue, yellow) that appear a bit brighter, which gives the deck a bit of a serious and sombre quality. 

The imagery is clearly influenced by Crowley's Thoth deck but not a Thoth clone or derivate, Haindl has developed imagery of his own using mythological images from various cultures, occult systems and religions (Norse, Hindu, Egyptian, Native American, I Ching, Runes, Alchemy....), which makes it a bit of a deck for the advanced reader. I find it hard to interpret the pips without any prior knowledge of tarot, the suits and the progression within the suits. So it's clearly not a deck I would recommend for total beginners. Haindl uses different names for some of the Majors (e.g. Transformation/Death, Alchemy/Temperance, Pan/Devil) and for the Courts (Mother/Queen, Father/King, Son/Prince and Daughter/Princess) and he follows Waite's numbering of the Majors (XI=Balance, VIII=Strength)

The imagery and style reminds me a bit of the Petersen deck. I think it's a bit of an acquired taste. Either you like it and it "talks" to you - or you don't and it doesn't. Personally I found it quite interesting to work with and got very clear and good results in my readings. I would have instant associations with most card images and the key words and references helped, too. 

The LWB gives you very little to go on, there's a description of the card and a very short and somewhat limited explanation of its divinatory meaning. Again, I'd say that makes it an "advanced readers' deck". 

There are a number of cards I like especially in the Majors, for example The Hermit, The Tower, Strength, The Lovers, Two of Cups, The High Priestess and the Magician. My least favourite card is perhaps the Queen of Wands depicted as Kali as it stresses only the dark side of this card (makes me wonder if Haindl is scared of strong women). 

As I already said in the deck interview this deck somehow had an "old wise man" feel to it. It's a rather serious deck with a distinctly sombre quality. Not necessarily dark but perhaps a good deck for serious questions, meditation and shadow work. I quite liked it but it will probably not become one of my standard decks in use. I still have to test its use in creative writing and there was a spread suggested in the LWB I have yet to try. In any event, this one is a definite keeper. Beautiful artwork and rich symbolism. Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea...but mine. 

Freitag, 25. Januar 2013

Dear Satu - Yours Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

In my deck interview with the Haindl I picked up the idea that it could be worthwhile asking the deck about matters concerned with creative projects. So I thought I'd combine that with a decision-making spread and do a reading for a historical figure. Here goes...

Dear Satu,

for about six years now I have been very successfully writing detective novels using the same protagonist. Somehow I feel that I have hit a dead end. It's very lucrative but if truth be told, I am getting a little bored with writing about the same character all the time and writing about him doesn't leave me enough time to work on other projects. 
So I have been thinking about having him die in the next novel. It's a difficult decision and I don't know if it's a wise move to kill off a character that's so popular. My mother has been trying to convince me not to - she's a big fan of my detective apparently. 

What advice can you give me?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


if I am not mistaken you are talking about your world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes? I feel extremely honoured and flattered that you are turning to me for advice in this matter and hope that I can help you with your decision. 

I used a decision-making spread I made up for these occasions. It's a 7-card spread using the following positions:

1: Your attitude/feeling concerning option A
2: Your attitude/feeling concerning option B
3: Cons of choosing A
4: Cons of choosing B
5: Pros of choosing A
6: Pros of choosing B

7: General advice on this matter

I used the Haindl Tarot to answer your question and the cards were as follows:

1: Your attitude/feeling concerning option A - Ace of Swords
2: Your attitude/feeling concerning option B - Princess of Disks
3: Cons of choosing A - Four of Swords
4: Cons of choosing B - Seven of Swords
5: Pros of choosing A - Ace of Pentacles
6: Pros of choosing B - XIII Death (Transformation) reversed

7: III The Empress

You have thought a lot about killing off your famous detective, you find it hard to do so but somehow feel it could be an act of liberation that is necessary. You feel something like a parent's responsibility towards Holmes and allowing him to live would mean you put your own interest behind that of our famous protagonist.

The negative aspects of allowing him to die would be that it could mean a period of standstill or rest in your work, possibly a creative pause of some kind in which you need time to refocus. The Four Swords could also stand for stalling sales of your work, so it could very well be that for a while there will be no or considerably less money to be made with your other projects. 
Seven swords shows me though that simply carrying on with your Holmes series is not really an option for you as you feel it would be dodging the issue and doing something futile or useless. Your heart would not be in it. 
Ace of Pentacles tells me that allowing Holmes to die is a chance for you to focus on "real life" projects, on building something lasting and more solid. Death reversed could point to the fact that you would feel like you are "riding a dead horse" if you continued writing your Holmes story even though you feel your passion for it has gone. 

There are only Swords, Pentacles and Majors in this spread which tells me you see the problem chiefly in rational and financial terms. Would it be a wise move to keep writing Holmes for the money? The cards suggest your mind is already made up as you feel it would be "dishonest", non-productive and like trying to avoid the inevitable. Your interest has turned elsewhere and though I am sure as a skilled writer you could still produce wonderful Holmes novels, you would do so without passion and love. 

The Empress reminds you that creativity is a natural process, you have to go with the flow, make the best of what's there, be prepared for surprises. Allow for natural rhythms and follow your own creative path. If you feel you don't want to write Holmes anymore, perhaps you shouldn't, no matter what people say. It probably depends on how important financial success is to you in this matter. The card shows an open door in the background with a diffuse source of light. Perhaps you could leave a loophole, not shut the door on Holmes entirely.

For the time being, however, it seems you have grown fed up with him and it would make little sense to just keep going if you ask me. 

Quintessence of this reading: VIII Strength (in the Haindl) - You should follow the path that makes the best use of your energies and your strengths. It's okay that you didn't give in to your first impulse but took the time to think about this properly but since you describe your feeling as having hit a creative dead end, I think you should do what you feel is necessary to free your creative passions that have been domesticized for six years. Sure, (financial) success is nice but it's not everything. 

I hope I could help you with this and wish you luck with your writing and other projects, no matter what you decide about Holmes. 


Montag, 21. Januar 2013

Don't be afraid of the dark: What are you afraid of?

Now that my Haindl Tarot told me it was not the right deck for lovey-dovey girlie questions and trifling matters because of its depth and sophistication, I think I could use it for a spread I found over on Aeclectic Tarot Forum. It was created by Sammie.

Here’s how it works:

The title of this spread reminds me of one of my favourite films ever, a German tv production („Schwer verknallt“) about a young woman called Alma who has a wonderful voice and is very pretty but overweight. In an online forum for Japanese films she gets to know a man who shares her passion for these films and they talk for hours on the phone. It turns out, he is the man she had been swooning over from afar and she is the voice he thinks is so sexy that announces the trains at the central station.
Eventually they meet and get along very well but of course he only likes thin women. He has a band though that is looking for a singer and his best friend thinks Alma would be perfect. But the band thinks they need a thin lead singer, so the guy she has a crush on doesn’t invite her to the casting at first...anyway, I’m giving away too much. It’s a film about hiding in the dark because you feel insecure or inferior and finding your way into the light, which of course Alma does. So I think it fits this spread perfectly.

Here’s the theme song on YouTube

And here goes my reading with the Haindl Tarot:

11)   What are you afraid of?
22)   What will turn on the light?

11)   Ace of Swords
22)   Two of Swords

1) My first thought was: harsh or hurtful criticism. While I thought about this  today I suppose it works both ways. I am afraid of criticism that hurts me. I’m okay with being criticized usually as long as it’s constructive but criticism about my personality or other touchier subjects scares me.
The other thing ist hat I don’t like criticizing people either though as a teacher it is often part of my job. I don’t like hurting people and I shy away from confrontation sometimes. It has become a bit better recently but still, it’s one of my major problems.

2) The two of Swords in this deck shows two swords parallel to each other suspended between two rock formations. There’s a red moon and one of the rocks has a red glow to it while the other is icy blue like the background. Probably I have to bear in mind that criticism is only ever one opinion, one way of seeing things, never totally objective, especially if it is not constructive but bent on hurting somebody. So if one person criticizes this or that about me, another person might view it differently. It would probably help me not to take matters to heart too much and see them as ”possibilities” that I can either accept (and change) or ignore. 

Sonntag, 20. Januar 2013

New Deck Interview - Six Questions for the Haindl Tarot

After my disastrous start with the Golden Rider Tarot, I'm hoping for better luck exploring another deck from my collection I have so far hardly worked with: The Haindl Tarot by the painter Hermann Haindl. 

Image: Hermann Haindl - Der Haindl Tarot, Lotos: "XIII Transformation (Der Tod)"

Here's my six questions for the deck:

1) What adjective do you think describes you best?
2) What will you help me with?

3) What would you rather not be bothered with?
4) What lesson can you teach me?
5) Your message for me?
6) What would you like to ask me?

1) The Chariot
2) Nine of Cups
3) Knight of Cups
4) Death
5) Three of Swords
6) Three of Stones (Pentacles)

Q: What adjective do you think describes you best?

A: Fearless

All right...that sounds good and scary at the same time.

Q: What will you help me with?

A: I'll allow your emotions to flow freely, I will help you have breakthroughs in your readings. 

That sounds very promising to me. I am looking forward to that. 

Q: What would you rather not be bothered with?

A: Questions about where/when/how to find Mr Right, they insult my intelligence. I have the gift of sight and don't like to be trifled with!

Okay...a deck with an attitude. 

Q: What lesson can you teach me?

A: I can teach you to look truth in the eye, even if it's not pleasant. I can teach you that all is one as are life and death, to understand life's endless cycles of becoming and dying. I can help you let go of old and received beliefs and give you new insights. I'm an expert at showing you ways of letting go on a number of levels. I can show you how energies can be transformed. Is that nothing?

So I understand you are more the deep, philosophical type and you don't want to be bothered with girlie stuff, okay. I respect that and I'm looking forward to learning from you.

Q: What is your message for me?

A: Cleansing is often painful but necessary. I can help you deal with difficult situations and sorrow.

Q: What would you like to ask me?

A: What about your creative projects? When will you get on with those? Do you think you could use me for that? Would you like to try?

I'm not sure as I'm currently working on a children's book and a novel for teenage girls, so that might be too trifling for you. I'll still keep you in mind for creative writing processes. We'll try, okay?

Interesting interview. The deck feels like an old wise man to me. I think I'll have a great time exploring this deck. I'm not sure the deck and I will "click" but at least it promises to be a lot more insightful than the Golden Rider. 

Deck Review: The Golden Rider Tarot

I think I can keep this short and sweet. This deck is just not my cup of tea. It's a Rider Waite clone and uses slightly the slightly altered images of the Waite deck. To me it looks as if someone took a RWCS deck and some oil paint or acrylic paint and painted over the original images. 

The images are cruder and the colours darker and in some cases brighter. Backgrounds were added (for example a pink/purplish background that looks like sunrise/sunset on the Five of Cups). I'm not sure these alterations make sense. At least I don't see the sense. The original deck works better for me even though it has its limitations, too.

I quite like the artwork of Pamela Colman Smith even though it is rather simple but there's a rather simple colour code to the cards, they work a lot with blue sky/grey sky, red garments, yellow, white, for me it's very easy to read the colour symbolism (which is a strength and a weakness of the deck at the same time). This I find distracting. 

The coppery-brown-gold colour that gave the deck its name is too dominant in my view, it's used as a border and has been used extensively on most of the cards. 

This deck just didn't really speak to me as I didn't see a reason for the alterations to the original deck. There's for example the Vice Versa Tarot which uses the RWCS images but shows them from a point of view in the background of the card, so you get to see what the figure on the card sees - you get to see something that is not on the original card, something that adds to the original card meaning or twists it. THAT to me is interesting and plausible. This is just...I don't know...confusing and seems superfluous to me. 

No, definitely not a keeper for me. Me and the deck, we didn't do well during our interview and I didn't like it any better when I browsed through the cards again. This one is not for me. 

Samstag, 19. Januar 2013

New Deck Interview: The Golden Tarot

My first impression of the deck is that it is simply a RWCS clone with no real surprises. The images are the same as in the RWCS deck, the colours are sometimes a bit darker, a bit brighter on occasion with lots of pink and gold. Not really my taste, I have to say. But we'll see what the deck has to tell me.

Here's my questions for the deck

1) What adjective do you think describes you best?
2) What will you help me with?
3) What would you rather not be bothered with?
4) What lesson can you teach me?
5) Your message for me?
6) What would you like to ask me?

1) Nine of Pentacles
2) Judgement
3) Six of Wands
4) The Chariot
5) Ace of Swords
6) Four of Cups

? What adjective do you think describes you best?

! This is the card of wealth, so I would say "golden". ;-)

? What will you help me with?

! Starting over, doing something completely new.

? What would you rather not be bothered with?

! Your arrogance in this interview. 

? What lesson can you teach me?

! To have clear goals and set out into that direction immediately.

? Your message for me?

! Cut it out!

? What would you like to ask me?

! Why are you so sulky and not willing to accept what I have to offer?

Okay...I think this says it all. Me and the deck, we don't do well at all. I just don't like the images. It looks as if it has been painted over the original Rider Waite images. It doesn't really speak to me. 

I suppose the interview showed it's time for me to choose a new deck and part with this one. Not a keeper for me. I'll have a thorough look at the other cards again and then I'll post the review in the near future. 

As new decks the random generator suggests: 
The Bohemian Gothic Tarot, Haindl Tarot, Sharman-Caselli Tarot - I will choose the Haindl as that is a deck I'm very curious about.