Why do I love Tarot?
Because Tarot is about stories. It's about creating a life where you walk with wanderers, magicians, and kings. Where you see the big, powerful themes of your life, and the small but poignant scenes that make up who you are. Where you're able to review your life's story and see how you want it to be told.
Because it's about possibilities. Because I can take a look at seven cards laid out in a pattern and see myself reflected back at me - parts of me I'd never considered before, and options I'd never imagined. Because when we're bogged down by too many choices, or by a sense of being overwhelmed and lost, we're able to illuminate our path and see one direction where it might lead.
Because Tarot is art. It's taking 78 ideas, 78 moments from life, and seeing the myriad ways those images have evolved and changed from person to person, theme to theme, artist to artist. It's seeing the unique lens through which each deck views our lives, and then learning about yourself through which images speak to you.
Because the world needs magick. Because we're
magick, and the sheer power and beauty of peering into the unknown and calling up what we find there is something we're never too old for.
Want to command the elements with the Magician? Harness your creativity with the Empress? Tarot Journeys: Of Mentors and Magic Wands
is available to teach you the unique lessons of the Major Arcana! Go check it out!
It's been a rough start to the week after Tropical Storm Isaac blew through my part of Florida over the last few days. I don't know if I'm really qualified at all to speak about it, since I've always had a lot of luck with hurricanes. In the many years I've lived in Florida, my family's had to deal with exactly one tree falling down in front of our door, and a few days without power whenever an honest-to-goodness hurricane blows through. We've been incredibly lucky, compared to a lot of people who've lost homes, businesses, and loved ones.
But there's something about even the most basic of disaster preparedness, the break it makes in all of our routines. Suddenly you're accounting for a lack of power and Internet capability, for limited access to the outside world, all the stuff a lot of us normally take for granted. It cuts out the choice-heavy, hyper-stimulated world we live in, and leaves us with just single moments. It's just you and a book, or getting a flashlight to work, or the sound of the wind and the rain outside. It's a sort of meditative, in-the-moment feeling.
The Tarot of the Mermaids by Mauro De Luca and Pietro Alligo changes up the suits a bit, and the Swords suit is changed to Tridents. I like that idea; instead of cutting away excess and getting mental clarity, tridents stab to the heart of things, direct but also a bit cold the way the Swords can be on a bad day.
Like all the Knights, the Knight of Swords can be unbalanced. When he's the worst aspects of his suit, he can be blunt and overbearing, maybe even a little intimidating. But he cuts out the excess and gets to the truth of things. Riding a dolphin in this illustration, he's in the middle of stormy weather but he's heading straight for the sun - which is even clearer because of the surrounding darkness.
In the Heirophant portion of my Tarot Journeys course
, I talk about how tradition can be a rock in a storm. That's one of the ideas behind daily practices like meditation or journaling, having a quiet and simple thing to rely on where you can collect your thoughts. When the storm of your life feels overwhelming, try taking yourself out of it for a little while. Cut out all the choice and the noise, and just sit for a while and focus on one thing. We make our lives so complicated that getting down to the basics can be a little scary. But it often reminds us of the inner core of things we're so quick to leave behind.
This week's card is from the Fantastical Creatures Tarot by DJ Conway and Lisa Hunt - and Ms. Hunt always creates some of the most beautifully illustrated decks I've ever seen. In this case it's a deck about mythical and mystical creatures, focused on communication with these powerful forces. Whether you believe this is a literal possibility or not, it adds another layer to the richness and beauty of the Tarot.
The Six of Wands is illustrated by the White Eagle of Zeus, a messenger of the gods. The glowing wands emerging from Zeue's hands seem to indicate the power and energy of the Wands suit, while the eagle spreads its wings, about to set off to communicate with mortals and allow them to touch the gods.
It's an interesting idea when compared with the image of the Rider-Waite deck: a man on horseback proclaiming his victory, wreath and all. It's as if our victories get us closer to the Divine itself. Acknowledging our power, our ability to achieve the things we desire, makes us feel like we've touched something godly. Or isn't that the reason for the legend about the parades in Rome, where there'd be someone asked to stand next to the victorious general and whisper in his ear, "Remember, thou art mortal."
The Six of Wands is numbered six of ten. It's only in the middle of the path. But I don't think that's because the next steps are the fall of mortal men. I don't even think it's because in the Rider-Waite, the Ten of Wands is someone being crushed under the burden of too many responsibilities and expectations.
I think that achieving all we are gets us closer to the Divine - but really, we were divine already. Our achievement brings us in communion with the gods because we remember our ability to manifest wonderful things. We remember our connection to a world that works with us, not against us.
That may seem materialistic, selfish even. But only if you think the point of achievement is to get "stuff", money, goods, or accolades that have no meaning beyond the idea that you have it. Our deepest victories aren't the simple idea of money in our bank accounts, or a trophy on a wall. They're how we worked to achieve that thing, something we'd never imagined to be possible before. They're how money is one road to more time with our families, or more freedom to discover and grow beyond our current limitations.
Who's to say our victory has to be material things or accomplishments? Our best achievements are inside us, discovering all we're capable of, all we can grow to be. And if that's not touching the Divine, I don't know what is.
The first installment of Tarot Journeys, a jam-packed six week walk through each card of the Major Arcana, is finally here!
(Like that picture? That's my oh-so-basic Photoshop skills. I feel so clever!)
I am hugely excited, because not only does this fill one of my goals for Mirror Moon Tarot, becoming a teacher of Tarot and spiritual development, but it's opening up a truly unique offering to all of you.
So many Tarot courses tell you how to read the cards. Which, well, that's what they're here for - right?
Yes and no. Because Tarot is all about archetypes, larger-than-life story figures that teach us about ourselves and the world. It's all about symbolism, from the little dog chasing the Fool to the two pillars framing the High Priestess's temple. And it's all about micro-lessons in wisdom, spiritual development, and ways to create change in your life.
I wanted to create a course that highlights all that - the things that Tarot can teach us emotionally, spiritually. And I wanted to do it in the way I love best, as an interactive journey - meditations, exercises, quotes, spreads, and lessons about how to tap into the wisdom of the cards.
This is a huge, HUGE undertaking. So huge that I had to divide even the Major Arcana up into parts. This first segment, Of Mentors and Magic Wands
, lets you apprentice to the first six cards of the Major Arcana - the Fool through the Heirophant - as a journey to a deeper understanding of Tarot and of yourself.
Enter the Magician's garden and call the elements. Create your own daily traditions with the Heirophant. Let the Emperor show you that you, and only you, are the authority on yourself. And much, much more.
(or on the 'Courses' tab above) to find out more about exactly what you'll get over the full six weeks.
And if you enjoy this course? The others in the series are well underway!
Still not sure if this is right for you? Take a look at a preview from the opening of the course,
where I show you how archetypes - and even the stories you love - can tell you a lot about who you are and what you value.