For some people, the court cards are the hardest cards to understand in the entire Tarot. A lot of teaching methods tell new readers to imagine people they might know - but sometimes that's hard to imagine or interpret in a spread. Other times the cards are related to forms of energy or abstract ideas, but that's even harder to fix in a reader's mind. For me, it's always been a combination of both. The court cards are forms of behavior, broad personalities, and it's important to take a good hard look at whether you're displaying - or need to display - what they portray.
Take the Knight of Pentacles, our card of the week. The Knight is the moody teenager of the bunch. He works in extremes, inhabiting some of the best and worst qualities of the suit he belongs to. The Pentacles are the suit of earth - dry, solid, full of roots. They represent material and practical things, a well-organized mind, being solid and comfortable. What's the extreme side of that? When those roots go too deep, getting so big and snarled they can't be moved to a different place.
We can grow very attached to our ideas, or the stories we tell ourselves. They become a broken record in the back of our minds, informing how we live and how we behave.
"I'll never be lovable or desirable."
"I'll never have the career I want."
"I'll never look or feel the way I'd like to."
"I can't make things happen for myself."
Even young trees sometimes have to be flexible, willing to be taken up by their roots and moved to a place they'll grow and thrive. If we can't move to where there's more sunlight and nourishment, we get blocked by weeds, overshadowed by blooming flowers. Our foundation was never solid to begin with, so our tangled roots can't bring up nourishment.
If you feel mired in a bog, stuck in your old habits and routines with your goals out of reach, ask yourself: have I stopped moving? Is there a new frontier I haven't looked at because I'm digging my heels into what's comfortable?
Am I telling myself the wrong story?
Bring in some Page energy - the energy of someone youthful, enterprising, and ready to start something new. Ask yourself "why?" the way a young child does. And then ask yourself "why?" again to the response. When you've stopped running out of answers, you may have loosened up the mud and muck beneath you enough to start forging a new path, and get yourself moving again.
I can't believe it's already November! The year's gone by so fast, and it's been a major one with a lot of big changes. Now it's time to reflect on the past year, reward ourselves for everything we accomplished, and set our sights for the new year ahead. And it's in the spirit of things to come that I'm hosting my first giveaway!
One major accomplishment for me this year was creating my first e-course, Tarot Journeys: Of Mentors and Magic Wands. Now I'm giving away a copy of the entire six week e-course, free to one lucky member of my tribe!
Tarot Journeys is a creative, wisdom-filled look at the first six Major Arcana of the Tarot. Whether you're brand new to Tarot or want a fresh look at the cards, these powerful archetypes will become your mentors and guides on a journey to claim your own power and become your truest, most powerful self.
The course has six e-books, two meditations, and six unique Tarot spreads I've created myself. Each week is jam-packed with meditations, journal prompts, exercises and worksheets to take you through one card at a time, teaching you to:
- take the leap on a new goal or project with the Fool
- feel like a master of your environment with the Magician
- trust your intuition with the High Priestess
- harness your creativity with the Empress
- claim your own inner authority with the Emperor
- tap into your spirituality with the Heirophant
It's a powerful new way to discover the teaching side of Tarot, while also discovering yourself.
Here's how to enter:
1. The winner will be announced November 24th in my newsletter, so be sure to click the link (or use the box at the top of any page on this site) and sign up! You'll also receive a copy of my free offer, Your Tarot Journal, with 22 journal prompts for self-discovery!
2. Then leave a comment below about why you'd like to win, and which card you're most looking forward to connecting with. Be sure to leave your name and email address so I can contact you.
3. You can add up to two additional entries into this contest! Click here to share this giveaway on Facebook, or here to talk about it on Twitter. Then link to it in your comment to this post.
Good luck, and thank you so much for being a part of my tribe this year!-----This contest is now closed! Congratulations to Christine for winning the giveaway! You'll be receiving a link to the course material in your inbox today!
`Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'
When the Caterpillar asks this infamous question in Alice in Wonderland, he's mainly just being difficult. But there's a reason such a pointed question stirs feelings in Alice - and in us. Ask any of us who we are, and there's at least two dozen ways we could answer.
Most of us, if we're asked how we see ourselves, start listing off our titles and our accomplishments. "I'm a daughter. I'm a sister. I'm a Tarot reader and a coach. I'm a Floridian." We can go on and on with the labels we attach to ourselves, right down to things that set us apart from the mainstream, put us in categories, or even just put us down.
The thing is, so many of those things aren't permanent. They're changing, and our sense of self changes with them. Jobs are lost, divorces are filed, people move across the country or even across the world. One minute we "have it all together", with the relationships and careers we're told make us capable adults, and the next something changes - as life inevitably does - and the way we talk and feel does too.
But what changed? Are you any less 'you' when you've lost the weight, converted to the new religion, or made the move to another country? Or is there a core 'you', when you peel off all the layers, that remains constant no matter what is going on around you?
I'm not saying some labels aren't important parts of who we are. Sometimes they describe an experience we only share with certain people. Or they're part of an identity that's so important, we want the world to know it.
But you ask five different people what those labels mean, and you'll get ten different answers. For a friend of mine, calling my ADD a "disability" meant I thought I couldn't do anything I set my mind to. I had to explain that for me, it meant I knew what naturally came harder to me, so I knew where I had to focus my energy - and to be patient when it took a little longer to improve.
In the end, it's what a label means to us more than the word itself. When I first went into business for myself, I researched the business style of a professional Tarot reader. Then I looked at coaching, and found that it was a huge element of what I did in my readings: helping clients take the next step towards the person they wanted to be, the life they wanted to live. But was I a life coach? A Tarot reader? How to market myself? I came to realize that these two parts of my work - the spiritual and the practical - were so intertwined they were both a part of what I did. Ultimately, no matter what the term, these were my tools as someone who loved to counsel, guide, and give.
So who ARE you?
Start writing - or talking, or vlogging, or whatever's comfortable for you. Think about what comes to mind when someone asks you that question. And then look for the meaning inside the words. What are the qualities in you that guide that huge part of your life? If you suddenly didn't have the money, the job, the spouse, what feelings from those things would still be left, shaping who you are?
And if you suddenly feel like you'd be less loveable, capable, or "together"...well, take a look at that. Where does that come from? You'd be no less loving, ambitious, or accomplished if you were still looking for a way to share it. And wanting something you feel you don't already have - well, that means you value those qualities. And that's a powerful thing all on its own.
Who are you? I guarantee you know, maybe even more than you think.
I want to wish all my readers a wonderful Halloween, Samhain, All Saint's Day, Dia de los Muertos, and all the rest! I thought I'd bring out the Seven of Pumpkins today from Kipling West's Hallowe'en Tarot, to provide a little holiday spirit.
Today is a really big day for people like me, who have a more witchy or pagan streak. Samhain is the Witch's New Year, the time of the final harvest, where we look over the past year and what we've grown.
Tonight's also the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, and we remember the people who've gone before us. Our ancestors and lost loved ones are still here, watching over us, as we take stock of what we've done and the seeds we'll plant after the winter's through.
Of course, it wouldn't be Halloween without the potential for fear. Taking stock of your year so far can be scary - was it enough? Have your dreams grown into prize-winning pumpkins, or do you feel like they've withered on the vine? It's hard to face "real-life" fear with the same kind of brave face that you take to haunted houses or monster movies. But so often we forget that our fears are there for a reason. Not only do they try and protect us, they come up to show us where our pumpkin patch is weedy or the soil isn't as fertile. They can point the way to where things feel "just not right", so we can make the changes we need to move on to the next life - or just a new year - with no regrets.
It can be a huge and seriously awesome thing to take a look at your harvest. Make a list of everything you've accomplished this year. Spare nothing - the new dress you bought, the projects you started, the milestones of your kids, or the books you read. A lot can happen in a year, and there's still a few months left to go! Leave me a comment and let me know what you've harvested from this year. I'd love to hear from you!
It's been a long, weird month away from my business and from you, my amazing tribe. I've had a few personal emergencies that threw me totally off my groove and left me putting out some fires - including, at one point, a full-scale top-to-bottom cleaning of my apartment! I suppose it's only fitting, with Halloween and Samhain (the New Year for a lot of Pagans) only a week away. And it's left me thinking about clutter of all kinds: the physical kind, the mental, and even the spiritual.
You don't have to be a hoarder - or someone in a long-time battle with cleaning, like me - to suffer from a buildup of junk. We're reluctant to get rid of things that no longer work for us, to create new systems for our lives, to streamline the world we live in. In honor of the upcoming new year, here are five ways you can cut down the clutter in your life - and feel like you're getting a whole new start!
1. Keep, Store, Toss
Everything has a purpose, but sometimes it can wear out its welcome. Go through your house and take a look at what you have in storage, laying around the house, or in your closets and dressers. Decide what you use all the time, what you need to put in storage (for me it's the books I can't bear to get rid of), and what needs to get donated or thrown out.
2. How's That Working For You?
But this isn't just about physical "stuff"! Spend about a week keeping track of your day, from what you do at work to how you spend your evenings when you've got a moment to yourself. Where are your breaks too long, or too short? Is there a way to cut down on the time your work takes? How effective are you at what you're doing, and is there another way to make it easier?
3. Make Some Sacred Time
It might sound ridiculous to add one more thing to a packed and overwhelming day. But if you're reading this blog, chances are you have a spiritual path you follow and you know how important it is. Set aside ten minutes for some kind of daily ritual: meditation, exercise, yoga, daily devotions, or prayer are just a few of your options. Taking time out for your connection to the Universe gives you clarity and discipline, and most of all, it lets you know you're part of something bigger than yourself. You matter, and we all need that reminder sometimes.
4. The Power of Three
At any point in time, I've got twenty different things I keep meaning to get to "someday". The trouble is, those "somedays" can clutter up my mind and leave me distracted with half-baked ideas, vague plans, and guilt when I don't achieve half of what I wanted to. Pick just three things to get accomplished in a day, and make them your goals. If your goals are long-term, pick three small things you can do to accomplish those goals. Write them down, put the list somewhere you can see it, and commit. When you're done with that list for the day, you can tack on more if you need to, but this will help keep your life streamlined and clear.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help
It can be hard to ask for help - but sometimes it's what we need. When everything gets overwhelming, there are places to go. Life and spiritual coaches can help you get a handle on the day-to-day. Friends and family can give you a new perspective, or just a sounding board if you need it. It's scary to admit you don't always "have it together", like you're making yourself vulnerable and opening your life up to visitors all at once. But sometimes, just getting it all out in the open can leave you feeling clear and refreshed. And two pairs of hands can work much faster than one.
Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, and clutter-free week!
In my small but growing collection of Tarot decks, the Osho Zen deck is by far my favorite. I don't know a lot about Zen philosophy, but I love how calm and affirming it is, how visually beautiful, how clearly it reads. I love the re-imagining of the cards that affirm and lend new depth to their meanings.
"Completion" is a lovely keyword for the World, since it emphasizes a lot of what it's about: the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one, the feeling of contentment and fulfillment that comes with achieving what you set out to do. In the metaphor of the Fool's Journey across the Major Arcana, this is the feeling we're supposed to seek. This is the great outcome that we're looking for, the hero's quest we're on.
But what is it, exactly?
A key tool for a lot of counseling and coaching is to consider what happiness looks like:
- "If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be?"
- "What's your ideal vision for this project/relationship/outcome?"
- "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"
It's an effective tool. It gives us a sense of perspective. So much of the time, our idea of what would satisfy us is either enormous, playing to the idea that it's impossible and out of our reach, or too small in order to keep us safe and comfortable. More than once I've heard of life defined as a quest for a great, nebulous "something" that we're all never going to find. We imagine that our dreams need to be impossible in order to be worthy. We imagine that we'll never be satisfied, that we'll always be looking for more.
Asking what your dreams look like right now, allowing yourself to name them, lets you move forward without self-consciousness. And it's the moving forward that's the important thing.
The truth is that life isn't a quest for one "something". It's a journey towards a lot of little somethings. The beauty of the Fool's Journey is that the Fool can be visiting any of the Major Arcana at any time. When he achieves the World in one realm of his life, there will be others that call his attention. And all of his successes will become parts of his new journey, towards a different piece of his evolution.
Don't paralyze yourself worrying about your path - if it's the "wrong" one, if you're playing it too large or too small, if it's too grandiose or too shallow. Life itself is a journey towards a constantly expanding conclusion. The things that are calling you now, the wishes you have, will become a part of your life and make even grander things possible.
The Fool doesn't take one journey, he takes many. And they're all pieces of a grand puzzle.
While a good Tarot reader can give you some incredible insight into your life, one of the most important things about a reading is your approach. When you're looking for some guidance, remember that few things matter as much as the question you ask.
When my clients sit with me, they're often a bit confused about what would be the best subject for a reading. I've been given several different options and told to pick, or given no options and told to simply explain what I see in the cards. Some clients even give a list of everything on their minds, even when those subjects aren't closely related.
I totally understand the confusion. There are all kinds of readers, and a bunch of different approaches. I've had readers that used an all-purpose spread to cover every possible subject in twenty minutes. I've had one who immediately began talking to her spirit guides, and only drew a single card in the last few minutes. (I confess I felt a little cheated by that one - I had paid for a Tarot reading, not a channeling!) It's easy to assume that because a lot of Tarot readers work with psychic abilities, or simply with their intuitive response to the cards, that they can pick out what you need to know just by glancing at you.
But in my experience, the best readings come from having the best questions: questions that are clear, focused, and open to a lot of different information. So here are five basic tips for asking the best question for your reading, and receiving the best results!
1) Make your question clear and specific.
If you ask me about money, there's a lot of things that could come up: your position at work, your spending habits, the results of any financial windfalls. If you ask me about the results of your business in the next six months, I'll be able to focus my reading and give you a lot of specific, useful advice via the cards.
2) Don't be afraid of not covering everything.
Most Tarot readers will read for as a little as fifteen minutes to as long as an hour. Not only is that usually time for more than one spread, and a detailed heart-to-heart about what your reading shows, but the issues in your life can be intertwined. Talking about your relationships will lead to a look at boosting your communication, or raising your self-esteem. The cards have a real knack for revealing what's hidden and bringing it into the light, so if you need to see what the real issue is, don't worry. It'll be there.
3) Don't ask about other people.
If you're asking about your relationship with another person, that's fine. But if you just want to know how they're feeling, or what's going on in their personal lives, that's not so easy. For one thing, some readers believe it's a breach of ethics to read for anyone other than the clients who've consented to it - that includes celebrities! And more importantly, there's no guarantee you'll get the answers you want. Any reading about another person will still be through your eyes, with your perspective. It might miss important details, or be clouded by your energy and bias. Try asking about your relationship with the person, or what you need to know about the situation.
4) Don't limit your possible answers.
One of the biggest things I see newbies to Tarot do is limit the scope of their answers. They'll ask a yes-or-no question, or they'll be looking for a specific result: "Will I get a boyfriend?" But part of the beauty of Tarot is how many levels and shades of meaning you can find in a reading. Depending on the spread and what cards you draw, the cards can reveal what's hidden, show different options, or tell you when you're headed for an unpleasant result so you can change your tune. The 'how' and 'why' are so much more important than the 'what' in a good reading. One of my favorite templates for this kind of question is "What do I need to know about...?" That way you can stay as broad or specific as you like, while leaving your reading open to all the detail that's possible for you.
5) Timing isn't always important.
There are definitely Tarot spreads for what will come in a specific amount of time, and how specific it can get depends on the reader. But personally, I like to keep questions of timing in a reading open-ended. The future can always be changed by our actions, so the longer you project into the future with a reading, the less accurate it has the chance to be. Tarot should be an active experience, where the path you take towards your goals is informed and enhanced by the reading. Rather than asking when something will happen, I like to ask what I can do to help bring it about, and then trust that the universe will send it to me in its own time.
Be open to all the possibilities, and your reading will surprise you by the depth of the information it will give - and all the new insight it'll open up!
The Star is one of my favorite cards. And I'm always pleasantly surprised that it doesn't have more people resisting it like The Tower, or giving it layers of meaning like The Devil or Death. It's a card about faith, hope, and Divine guidance, and yet everyone's as delighted to see it as me.
Okay, I know that sounds ridiculous. Why would people be opposed to the promise of good things to come?
Well, hope is a challenging thing. Hell, the President of the United States made it a campaign topic. It suggests the Divine or angels, an end to struggle, the light at the end of the tunnel. That's tough sometimes. When you're sad or overwhelmed, being told there's a way out can be frightening. It suggests changes that might be large and just as scary. It asks for you to take risks, make adjustments, and be ready to entertain second chances.
The Star follows The Devil, a card about being trapped by harmful patterns and self-defeating behaviors, and The Tower, a card about breaking down the crumbling foundations to rebuild new things. It's a hope that emerges from tough, painful circumstances, a guidepost that points the way home. And the beauty of The Star? Is that all of these things are steps on the road to something amazing. The World, with its completion of a cycle and feeling of having it all, is only four steps away.
In a way, The Star is a lot like a good Tarot reading. If you're feeling confused, lonely, or just plain in need of clarity, it can show you the road ahead. It can give you new insights on how you change your life. It's been delivered to you at a time you can handle it, when you're capable of making the change - but the change is up to you. It's a responsibility that is purely in your hands.
And making that change yourself, as scary as it can be, will make the conclusion all the more powerful and satisfying.
This week's deck is the Tarot of Prague by Alex Ukolov & Karen Mahony, a collage of photographs from Prague's art and architecture. I love the pensive, thoughtful look of the figure pouring the jars, and the little stars captured in the water. Divine love and new possibilities are wellsprings that never truly run dry, not if we know how to access them. But we do need to remember to take a drink.
This week's card, The High Priestess, is about our unconscious knowledge - unearthing the secrets of the universe, and recognizing that they were part of us all along. If we're all a part of everything, and everything is a part of us, then understanding the world starts with ourselves too. It's about trusting our instincts, tapping into our feelings, and believing that our thoughts have worth.
Have you ever heard the phrase "you don't know what you don't know"? The idea is that while intelligence is important, it's not admitting when you're ignorant that gets you into trouble. And I agree, in theory, but I think there's more to it than that.
Nobody knows everything. Nobody's instincts are absolutely perfect, every time, because without mistakes there would be no growth. But ultimately I think people know what they don't know - and know what they need, too.
I believe we know more than we think we do. We examine where we're lacking and often sell ourselves short. We're cautious to a fault because we doubt our true instincts. And we deny ourselves the things we want, because we're afraid we're being selfish, or overestimating their value.
When someone tries to come from a place of ego, to pretend they understand it all and can do no wrong, that's not out of a failure of instincts. It's because that person doesn't trust themselves or their decisions. They have to be that much more closed off to new information, because truly listening to themselves - to why they feel something, and what they're afraid of happening if they get it wrong - is something they don't yet understand.
Think about the knowledge you claim to hold. Is it coming from a place of ego and fear? Or is it from a place of trust in your internal landscape? Is it in the spirit of constantly being in touch with yourself and the world around you?
What's your biggest challenge in listening to your instincts? Let me know in the comments!
Every now and then, as a coach and the owner of a heart-based business, it's important for me to look at why I'm doing this.
What I want to communicate. What my message is. Because Tarot is the way I tap into the Bigger Picture in order to tell it, and coaching is the way I want to lend my gifts to the world - but it's important to remember the why.
The one big thing I'd share with everyone if I could, and that something is this:
Remember who you are.
You may not feel you know that. Or you may think it changed a long time ago. You may think you're not allowed to be the person you'd love to be, in the best of all worlds.
Everyone has those moments, those times knowing the answer feels too painful. Maybe you're too afraid of finding the wrong answer, so you never even ask the question.
But it's there. It's deep in the core of you. When you envision yourself at your most powerful, on-fire, truth-telling, the height of your potential, that's you. That's the height of your power.
And when you're at your most afraid, when you want to give up and hide, and there's that small voice that reaches out in the frightened silence. That voice that tells you to get up, keep moving, that instinctively reaches towards the sun - that's you too. And in a way, that's also one of the most powerful things you can do.
It doesn't matter how you look or what you weigh. It doesn't matter what mistakes you've made, or what fears you have.
It doesn't matter how far you step from the 'mainstream' path, because the secret is? In some way, we all do. We just think it's only us.
You are who you are, and nobody can take that away from you. The day you start to own it is the day you choose to make it yours. It's okay. You're okay.
The Moon is a card about the things we find in the dark. It's all the irrational fears and scared secrets. It's the stuff we're afraid to dig up because we think we can't handle it. It's the fears that, sometimes, are completely irrational and made to hold us back. And it's the intuition we find when we dig deep enough, the secrets and strengths that help us finally claim our real, authentic selves.
I call my practice 'Mirror Moon' because I think by providing a glimpse into a possible future, and a look at the archetypes and ideas that can help empower us, Tarot and coaching can help us do as the moon does.
We can reflect light - our own inner light, the truest part of ourselves.
And we can illuminate our paths. Avoid the potholes and tree roots, see ahead to where we want to go...and how to get there.
What do you want to reflect to the world? And what would you like illuminated? Let me know in the comments!