Welcome to Full Moon Tarot, a blog dedicated to the beauty and mystery of Tarot.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dark and light tarot dance ~ Spring equinox

I love the arrival of Spring; the changes in the air that come with the rising power of the sun and the re-awakening of life bring incredible vitality.

I think often when we think about the changing of the seasons, we seem to believe that we need to start shaking things up in our behaviors and make dramatic shifts. The most dramatic of these comes at the Winter/Spring interchange ~ we spend winter in the dreamscape, in deep contemplation about the future lessons and directions we're taking with our life while we're allowing outdated structures to fall away from our lives. Then Spring comes along and we're expected to speed out of the winter cave and start dancing around a May Pole!

I've been thinking about this over the past few weeks while spring has been creeping in with a few days of solid protest from the dying winter. It's been a deep winter capped off with some big boundary lessons from the Blue Moon and I've been exhausted and withdrawn, even had a potent dream that I actually still remember (I have no talent for the dreamscape and have never been a prolific dreamer ~ but if that is something you're into, please do check out my dear friend Dream Walker) My Spring time is coming more slowly this year, and while that may have something to do with Black Moon Lilith moving from Taurus to Gemini recently, I'm welcoming the gradual process this year.

This year I seem to be more aware of the interplay of the Light and the Dark, and just how important both are in life. Both play necessary roles in the play that is Life (I can't decide if it's a comedy or a drama just yet haha) Rather then being mutually exclusive all the time, I'm starting to think that there are times in life when the two are like ribbons dancing in the wind, intertwining and playing together in some kind of bittersweet harmony. They feed each other when they need to, then go their seperate ways and play their respective parts. Winter – Spring is their time to dance (anyone who didn't have Kevin bacon's impassioned speech from Footloose in their heads at that line needs to rent the original movie immediately if not sooner)

It is also got me thinking that while I've always looked around and found or created a spread for myself for the new season, I've never done one that is about the transition from one season to another, particularly seasons as different as winter and spring. And I also thought, why not take it further and have a different deck represent each season? How fabulous would it be to combine two different decks in one reading? I firmly believe each and every deck has it's own special brand of wisdom to impart ~ why not use the wisdom of two decks that encapsulate the essence of winter and spring when asking about the transition of such? I know, freaking awesome!

So that's exactly what I've done. I've made a simple 6 card spread addressing the transition from winter to spring, using a darker deck, the Tarot of the Vampyre for winter and the gorgeous Joie de Vivre Tarot for Spring. Let's see what's in store...

9 of Grails ~ Vampyre Tarot
The seed that was planted ~ 9 of Grails
This is a sensual (code: hot!) card about finding natural happiness and blessings. This is a card about inner satisfaction, emotional fulfillment and finding our place ~ which is the journey I have started on, so that can definitely be interpreted as a seed being planted. This winter has seen me travel to a dark space to realise that this is what I need to be doing. Time to pay attention to the natural world (with which I have felt I am losing touch) as a quest for higher spiritual ideals is happening. Sometimes it's a good thing to question yourself and your ideals to give you more of a sense of your innate funky self rather then just going through the motions. The 9 of Grails also denotes gifts and success, which I can totally handle.

8 of Swords ~ Joie de Vivre tarot

The flower that will grow ~ 8 of Swords
In this position and context, I would see this card as denoting I will break through the mental blocks and agony I've been putting myself through. This is a card traditionally of self imposed restriction, but I also see vulnerability, release and freedom ~ but this only happens when inner power is discovered (or recovered) and acted upon. The mind has to be free of limiting ideas and beliefs ~ there's no room for new discovery or adventure in your life otherwise. So, looks like there'll be some growth and discovery happening as a result of getting my inner power groove on and spreading my wings / expanding my mind.

9 of Sceptors ~ Vampyre Tarot

The wisdom given in the abyss/winter cave ~ 9 of Sceptors
This 9 signifies tremendous inner strength, unshakable resolve and energy. It is about constant motion, and I can feel these things starting to emerge, this makes sense to me. The 9 of sceptors comes up when there has been a self realisation that gets rid of feelings of dread or weakness and replaces them with strength ~ this totally makes sense. This card talks about stability through transformation ~ an intriguing concept that makes sense with the steps forward I'm taking with my life now.

Queen of Swords ~ Joie de Vivre Tarot

How you incorporate this wisdom in your life ~ Queen of Swords
I love this Queen, and have a look at this majestic lady ~ she's facing you head on from the card, standing strong and tall; all indication of a strong, self assured woman. Nice! The Swords Queen is independent, tenacious and confident, but also quite guided by what I call “intellectual intuition” ~ she has a wonderful intuition but doesn't just follow it on a whim ~ her spirituality and work have to make sense to her, intellectually speaking ~ the heart and mind need to be work in unison. She uses the power of her mind to strengthen her heart and spirit, and achieves her objectives. Her experiences give her wisdom; I like the idea of blossoming into this woman!

8 of Grails ~ Vampyre Tarot

Structures falling away ~ 8 of Grails
The 8 of Grails is a situation that is confining, makes you feel bound ~ interestingly, it corresponds directly to the 8 of Swords I've got up there, and this card in this position reinforces that message of freedom from confinement. When the 8 of Grails makes an appearance, an intense journey of reflection has been happening (yeah huh). Previous binding attitudes and beliefs that no longer serve are falling away, endings are inevitable. Old needs to be wiped away to be replaced with the new.

4 of Coins ~ Joie de Vivre Tarot

What is going to be built in it's place? 4 of Coins
For me, this has always been a card of security, success and prosperity but with a little bit of stubborn thrown in. I think it's still a good omen here in this position. It suggests to me that good things are coming, but I do need to beware of missing out on anything on this new journey for fear I might lose what I already have. I guess the “better the devil you know” saying makes a bit of sense here. Making good choices will ensure a nice flow of energy that will attract prosperity and balance. It seems to be about letting go and not hanging on to crap for fear of having nothing and making good decisions.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Selfish Space for the Tarot Reader

Today it's my birthday and my present to myself is going to be Selfish Space. And about fucking time. 

This post actually started last week (hey, Mercury is in retrograde, my motivation is a little off) as a post about respect for tarot readers and the goods/evils of free readings, and now it's morphed a little into the idea of selfishness being good for the soul. Like the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, it's all interconnected. 

Getting started in the tarot biz is two things: 1) not easy and 2) a field where personal goal posts constantly change. My idea of myself as a reader is constantly changing, usually based on the experiences I have and the info I soak up from my interactions with the tarot community, as is my idea for where I want to take this part of my life. I am not in the same space I was 12 months ago; I daresay after this entry into Selfish Space I won't be the same 12 months from now.

A couple of weeks ago I had an Experience; note the respectful capital letter, that's a sign that something important is coming up. 

Every month or so I offer up free readings on my Facebook page Full Moon Tarot  in Drive by sessions, where I have an hour in which invite the first 10 Likers of the page to post a question and I give them a free one card reading. For Friday the 13th I decided to do a special one, but made the fatal error of not putting in a limit, I just posted that for an hour you could ask a question and I would answer it. Between wall posts and private messages I got over 40 requests for readings. It took all Friday night and most of Saturday to get all the readings done. On Sunday I had the worst Tarot Comedown I've had for a long time; I was exhausted, completely wiped out. 

I logged back on on Sunday night to make sure that people got their readings (I tag them in the posts so that they know I have replied to them) and here's what I found ~ only about a third of the people I read for even acknowledged their readings and said thanks or expressed their appreciation. Some of the people I read for are people I work with and they didn't acknowledge the reading on the page or at work that week despite the fact that I had conversations with them! 

My reaction: I was pissed. I had poured myself into that session, lost a weekend to it, and only about a third of the people I read for were lovely enough to say thanks. I did appreciate those people and their sentiments ~ they kept me sane actually, and convinced me that my time wasn't wasted, so thank you! 

Two things got me thinking: the fact that I was pissed and wondering about the motivation of people who happily take something and don't acknowledge what went into it. Was I right to be upset? Did I have the right to expect a thank you/acknowledgement  from people I had performed a service for? I also started thinking about free readings and the function they serve, then delved into the realm and nature of service. 

I was thinking a lot that week. 

I'm still thinking about it, and I guess it's something that you always have to consider as a worker in any kind of area: tarot, reiki, healing, reading. 

Because I'm so conflicted, I started doing the whole Devil/Angel on your shoulder train of thought for each issue I was confronting. 

Issue one: Are free readings doing anyone any good?

Angel Tara: Of course they are! Free readings are accessible to anyone who needs them and provide valuable guidance. They give you a chance to practice your skills and become a better reader. If you've got any sort of gift you have a duty to use it In Service and be thankful you can ~ reading tarot is a beautiful experience that gives joy, hope and confirmation to people at all kinds of junctions on their path. 

Devil Tara: Ppffttt. Look at the situation clearly, sans cloudy white heavenly visions and harps in the background. Yes, free readings help ~ you gain more practice, hone your skills and get to explore a new deck. Squee! And yes, some people who may not otherwise be able to get a reading have access to them. But here's the rub ~ you need to look at why you're doing free readings. You have to make them mutually beneficial. Coming out completely drained while others get benefit from the time and energy you put into something is not mutually beneficial. Having fun, setting realistic limits and having people get something out of the readings is a much better scenario. No one said you should never do free readings ~ but be conscious of why you're doing what yo're doing, and make it an experience where everyone, including you, gets something from it. 

Issue two: If I have a gift, shouldn't I be using that to be Of Service to God/Goddess and others who need me and not expect thanks?

Angel Tara: That is not a question worth pondering. Of course you are In Service, and should be thankful to be so. It's like Divine supply and demand: you have a gift and others need it. Always trust that you are in the right place and right time ~ that is the thanks you receive. Know that you've helped someone every time you pull a card and speak it's truth. That is your thanks and your service. 

Devil Tara: Get over yourself Angel. You need to examine your motivations for giving free readings and labeling yourself as being In Service and what that definition means for you. I've had a lot of experience with people who label themselves as being In Service and I'm starting to wonder if it's a crock ~ and I also want to know why being In Service entails being in said service to anyone but yourself? I may be speaking out of turn here, but I wonder if people who are In Service are just suffering from low self esteem and love being seen as selfless martyrs? If you're doing it to be a martyr, you're self serving and fooling yourself by saying you're doing what you're doing for the benefit of others ~ you're not, you're doing it to feel useful, to feel that you have purpose, to give your low self esteem a much needed boost and external validation. You need to be strong enough to give yourself validation from within. You keep on giving away free readings/healings/services, you won't be respected, you'll be used as a doormat, with people just waiting for the next drive by rather then get a full, paid reading/service. You'll also find that your readings/services will more often go in one ear and out the other. Like it or not, people put a value on things, and if you don't value yourself enough or have confidence in yourself to offer paid readings/services. 

You also have to look at it this way: the value you set on yourself and your readings is exactly what people will take away from it. If you do nothing but give away free readings, people aren't going to value you or your services ~ and that will have a trickle effect. People will start expecting free readings from every tarot reader they interact with (particularly online) and will not like having to pay for what is essentially a service, not a right. Tarot readers and other workers in similar industries have bills too! And there's nothing wrong with wanting payment in exchange for a service, especially when you put a lot of time and energy into what you're doing. I love reading tarot, but that doesn't mean I am willing to whore myself. 

Well, I'm not an artist, but you get the drift!!
Hence, my entry into Selfish Space. I actually think I'm worth more then the price I've been setting for myself. My readings are good and they're worth the money that's invested into them. My time is precious and  there's nothing wrong with wanting a thank you in exchange for a free reading. It's not going to happen every time, and I accept that ~ but there's no crime in getting pissed if I spend a weekend doing readings and don't get a lot in return. There's going to be some changes with regards to drive bys and readings, but that's fine ~ the universe isn't going to strike me down for it. I love reading tarot and I want to keep loving it. Being in Selfish Space is the only way I can do that. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Winter Solstice is a time of darkness, deep mystery and life affirming soul journeying. I have started to view this time of the year as the ultimate “You” season in our Wheel of the Year ~ this is your time to meditate on what you need to dissolve and shed from your life, what needs releasing, warming your heart and nourishing your soul, to find peace in the stillness that the Goddess provides with her Winter Womb.

It is also a time to celebrate and revere the Crone. Sadly, in modern society where age and beauty are the determining factors of a woman’s worth, the Maiden stage of a woman’s life is revered, whereas Crones are viewed as dried out, crotchety, cranky ugly beings who contribute nothing of value. Christine Gaudet poses an interesting question ~ what would happen if we chose to honour Crones as compassionate healers who radiate beauty?

With this in mind, my Winter journey with the Tarot is going to be one in which I explore the Crones of the Tarot; the wise, compassionate healer/teacher and holder of Women’s Mysteries and Rites.

The Tarot Crones we will be exploring are Justice and Death from the Druidcraft Tarot and The Hermit from the Daughters of the Moon Tarot . We’ll also explore the Cronesbody spread.

The Hermit (Daughters of the Moon Tarot)

This Crone is a shapeshifter who continually renews herself in the Maiden and Mother forms ~ having lived through all three forms, she can now move within them. She is the Wise Old One who knows the secrets of our universe, and symbolises that part of us that hungers for deep knowledge and understanding of both ourselves and our world. This Crone appears as the Dark Moon and lives in the unconscious, where dreams are born and intuition is guided. She is teacher, spiritual guide and protector, our Wise Grandmother. This woman knows the value of creative solitude, of aloneness (“all-one”) This Crone reminds me of Hecate, the Greek Goddess of the Underworld with the light in her wand lighting the way for us to seek our own inner truth, lighting her lamp in the abyss.

There is a beautiful relationship between the Crone and her Maiden form ~ the younger woman needs to revere the Crone’s wisdom, power and experience; the older woman loves and respects the humour and experience of youth. The two enrich each other with their different experiences and views of the world and glisten wisdom from each other, hence the Shapeshifting between the various forms of Goddess for this Hermit.

Justice (Druidcraft Tarot)

On the surface, Justice does not appear to be a spiritual card; in fact, it looks quite cold. But Justice tells us that now is the time that true understanding of our place in the world, and her sword is pointed upwards, showing us that the world of Air (reason and intelligence represented by Swords in tarot) is connected to Spirit. The pommel of the sword in the Justice card of the Druidcraft Tarot is two testes, serving as a reminder to us that the decisions we make sow seeds in the world. The Crone’s wisdom comes from experiencing the fruits these seeds sow.

Think of the two cards that precede Justice in the Major Arcana ~ the Hermit can bring you objectivity that comes from the inner work of Winter and the Wheel gives us the sense of the patterns and cycles of life. The scales seem to be balancing the two worlds with the message “You've spent all your time in one world, now it is time to move into the other to balance yourself out” which makes sense ~ the Winter world is an inner one, the journey is internal. We eventually have to step back into the world and start participating again, which is what Justice is all about. Justice is the Crone telling you it’s time to get back out there girlfriend!

Justice’s Crone energy (and please remember, it is about the energy sometimes with tarot, not the outward appearance ~ the Justice card is another example of the Shapeshifting qualities of the Crone) is straight forward ~ look at her posture, she faces you front on, hides nothing and has her eyes open wide, and is to the point (literally represented by the Sword). Her Sword, like all the Swords in the Tarot, is double edged ~ it can pierce to the truth and it can cut away what is no longer needed. The Sword is like the Crone’s wisdom and insight.

Death from the Druidcraft Tarot

How perfect to have the Crone as Death ~ 13 is the number of the Moon and there are a number of Crones who serve as lunar Goddesses ~ Hecate and Ceridwen to name only a couple, who also serve as Goddesses of Magick and women's intuitive knowledge. Death is often a sphere of the Crone Goddess, the Dark Woman of Knowledge, and this card of full of the symbolism of the Crone ~ the sickle (representative of the Harvest Moon), the river, which is associated with life and death; after we die, we cross the river to the Otherworld before being reborn, the snake that sheds it's skin to show us the process of death and rebirth is a continual process of transformation, which is the Death card's inner meaning. The wise welcome the cleansing power of the Death card ~ look at the tenderness with which the skull is treated ~ letting go, release, is an act of love and compassion, not anger. At the heart of Death is compassion ~ during the Winter we die to our old selves so that come spring, we can be reborn into new ways of working, living and relating to the world. This is the Crone's wisdom working through the Death card ~ She intrinsically understands both the power and importance of rebirth and transformation, and not only welcomes it, but is there to guide us, her Grand-daughters, through such times as we often resist Death in it's many forms. She teaches us that the old and un-necessary wants to die, and that we can open ourselves to the new with an open mind and full heart.

Cronesbody Spread

Simply shuffle your deck in your usual manner and lay out 4 cards in a row

1 2 3 4

1.Bones: the structure of your existence

The card in this position speaks to your survival needs, the root of your situation and it’s requirements. This also indicates your physical health, your financial and other physical resources that allow you to live life as best you can

2. Flesh: the intimate surroundings of your existence

The card in this position speaks of your friends, family, lovers ~ it indicates your bonding and social needs, address issues of emotional health, how you live with and love others.

3.Blood: the juice of our existence

The card in this position spraks to your needs for expression, creation and individual recognition. It also indicates our sexual and other gratification needs and feedbacks your self demands. This card tells you how to stay juicy!

4.Breath: the environment of your existence

The card in this position speaks to your place in the web of life, your routines, habits and surroundings. What you take and give each day, how on a daily basis and in small ways you affect change in your world.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Samhain's Fruits of Wisdom

It is Samhain Eve here in the Southern hemisphere and as it is the time when the veils between the world's is thinnest, I thought it appropriate to do a spread for myself and see what the coming season brings with it's descent into the Underworld as Mumma Earth begins her slumber. 

The spread I have used is the "Fruits of Wisdom" spread from the amazing book "Tarot for All Seasons" by Christine Jett. If you practice within an Earth based spirituality and have a love of tarot this is definitely a book you should have on your shelf. 

I used the Tarot of the Vampyres deck (Ian Daniels) which I am finding incredibly potent ~ a raw, honest deck that is sensuous and jaw dropping in it's beauty. I am using this deck for my drive by sessions on my Facebook page and it is brilliant, a gloriously dark diversion from my usual deck of choice, the Druidcraft Tarot. 

And here we go...

  1. A time of reflection. Fears and blocks. What is holding you back from creating the life you want? What blocks your desires?
Card drawn ~ 7 of Grails
This card is about taking hold of dreams, exploring fantasy, imagination and the unconscious. This card encourages you to reach for your dreams and let go of control and rationality. The 7 of Grails urges diversion from the safe path, the exploration of new experiences, stimulation of the senses. This card actively encourages you to push beyond your boundaries and setting out on new adventures. This makes complete sense ~ I have been thinking a lot about taking my tarot reading to a professional level and my fear of pushing past my comfort zone has created a frozen flight pattern. All of what is described in this card ~ pushing past boundaries, reaching for dreams and taking hold of them ~ are issues I am struggling with. I am terrified of failure and am paralysed by the fear of not being as good as other readers that i admire so deeply. This is obviously holding me back and it is no surprise that this card has come up in this position. Perhaps I need to learn to trust that it is ok to go with the flow and allow myself to be taken on the tarot journey that is waiting for me. 

2. Card 2 ~ Acceptance. Who or what do you need to accept? What can not be changed?

Card drawn ~ The Lovers
The merging of opposites is the underlining theme of The Lovers. Two opposing forces need to be reconciled, a path needs to be committed to. the Lovers can also be concerned with inner completeness, reconciling with our spiritual source, overcoming our fear and loving ourselves. In this position that would reinforce the message of the 7 of Grails. I have to look at all the opposing factors in my life, primarily the mundane and the spiritual. I need to accept that a path needs to be chosen, I have to decided where I am taking myself, where I am taking tarot.. Time to open myself to a deeper spiritual understanding during the Winter Dreamtime. 

3. Card 3 ~ Release & let go. What is no longer useful? What habits, relatinships and thought patterns are worn out?
Card Drawn ~ 6 of Grails

This is one of the most positive cards in the deck ~ it's about pleasure, harmony that comes with immersing in the flow of life, seeing good in others. Innocence is also a theme of the 6 of Grails ~ the innocence of purity of being, natural creativity of the heart, freedom from ulterior motives. this is also a card of childhood memories, times passed. Another card that talks about taking a risk, seeking a renewel of faith ~ faith in oneself, in me, I would think. This card in this position is urging me to rid myself of old childhood patterns of low self esteem and lack of belief in myself in order to move into the next phase of my life ~ considering that there were 3 out of 6 cards that were Major Arcana in the spread, a new journey is coming. 

4. Card 4 ~ Keep, nurture, protect. What talent, skills and abilities do you need to keep and nurture?
Card Drawn ~ The Emperor

The skills of the Emperor come in handy when you are feeling lost or overwhelmed (both of which directly apply to me) to bring yourself to a place of harmony. The Emperor is forthright, looking at situations with logic and reason rather then emotion. He takes a firm stand, sets boundaries and takes control. The Emperor is the fighting spirit I need to nurture, the acceptance of limits I need to master. It’s time to draw on my fabulous energy and overflow with confidence. The Emperor is encouraging me to take control, weigh the facts with a clear, focused mind then take action. This is about making intelligent plans, so perhaps I need to put some logic and boundaries into the equation ~ stop wallowing in hopelessness and useless emotions that do nothing but paralyse me and use that fiery Triple Leo (oh yes, my wife ended up with a Triple Leo ~ isn’t she lucky??) nature of mine to start making solid plans and going forth and living my life and truth a lot more purposefully. I’ve lost my way a little and just need to get my groove back.

Card 5 ~ Crone’s wisdom. What is your intuition telling you? What can you learn from the situation?
Card drawn ~ Temperance

Temperance is about combining opposites and creating something new ~ this process dissolves old thoughts and beliefs. There is a beautiful gateway symbolising the connection of the spiritual and Earthly realms. The Crone’s lesson here is that before we can transform our negative ego-driven behaviour and thoughts must die ~ also a message of the winter dreaming, also the season of the Crone.

Card 6 ~ Cauldron of Rebirth awaiting the new. What future are you building as a result of reflecting, accepting, releasing and nurturing?

Card drawn ~ 9 of Sceptors
This card represents strength gained through uniting conscious and unconscious energies. This card shows the woman being fluid and ethereal, connected to the Moon ~ I have been missing my connection with Her lately so this is definitely something I need to work with. This card is an omen to proceed with care and be flexible. Use the skills learned from the past to strengthen resolve and anything can be achieved. My full potential is unfolding (nice!) from a source of inner strength. I need to continually press onwards no matter the obstacles ~ so no giving in to negative bs. The 9 of Sceptors also refers to a connection of masculine and feminine, which flows on perfectly from both the Lovers and the Temperance cards messages of creation through duality. The Divine Masculine flame of the 9 of Sceptors impregnates the Divine Feminine, pushing deep into the realm of intuition to be reunited with ir’s original source ~ the process of assimulating Will with the unconscious, creative power grounded in the deep mysteries of the Moon.

I think the message is pretty clear ~ I’ve got to release the fear of imperfection and failure that is holding me back, and accept myself and my abilities for what they are. I also need to take emotion out of the question when it comes to looking forward and making plans for the future and make plans based on the facts.

I also have a few issues with internal balance that I need to sort out, along with getting rid of long outdated modes of thinking and ways of looking at this situation. To get creative and achieve my potential, I have to get down and dirty with the duality that lives within.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Acting the Fool?

Gilded Tarot ~ The Fool

The Fool is the first card of the Major Arcana and according to many Tarot scholars, is representative of us  as we travel on our journey in life, which is why he is numbered as 0.

Ironically, I think there is a lot to the Fool that goes beyond his/her snazzy dress sense, and I thought it fitting to explore this often misunderstood figure of the Tarot on this, April Fool's Day.

I think the Fool is a brilliant card to receive in a reading, almost like a blank rune ~ the Fool serves to remind us that nothing is set in stone and life is full of infinite possibilities if we open our eyes. The staff and the little bag of tricks tells us we have everything we need. All we have to do is pick up and take off in the Fool's example ~ you'll notice in most decks the Fool has his/her face turned up to the sky; this is symbolic of trusting in the Divine and those unseen forces in the Universe that guide us. The Fool is a reminder that on this journey we need to release what I call “adult world” fears and expectations (But what if this/that/the other happens, looking down the road and seeing 10 different consequences to the one action and becoming frozen in inaction, that sort of thing) and trust our instincts and intuition. The Fool is often represented as being na├»ve, but I don't see this ~ the Fool just chooses to have an open mind and heart, and to follow his/her destiny with an openness of spirit that is sometimes difficult for us hard modern world types to fathom. Seriously, when was the last time you spontaneously picked up and went away for a weekend, just to spend time in nature and see where your mind took you? Or even took a risk, just to taste the experience? For some of us, it's been a while...and for some people I know, they are finally starting to follow their heart or soul calling rather then analyze every decision they make and are having some of the most amazing experiences they never thought they would have.

Mystic Dreamer Tarot ~ The Fool
The Fool is the most free of any of the figures in the tarot ~ s/he is completely unbound by anything except the limits of their imagination. Remember though that the key word here is carefree, not careless ~ the small dog/animal companion that always appears in a Fool card serves as a reminder to watch your step to make sure you don't fall off the cliff!

The Fool is youth, energy, revitalization, that second chance we never thought we would have on our set path. I saw a wonderful slogan about the Fool, “May innocence beget wisdom”. So true, I mean, think about it ~ if you were to plan every single thing in your life, all your journeys, all the steps within those journeys ~ how boring would life be? I'm not saying everything should be scattered to the wind, I'm just saying there's room for an open mind along the way, a chance to enjoy the world and all it has to offer.

The Fool is also about renewal and new beginnings ~ if this card pops up in your life, get excited! I've had some people get offended when the Fool shows up in a reading because they believe the modern connotations of the word Fool ~ foolishness, foolhardy, to be played like a fool ~ but nothing could be further from the truth. In medieval times, the Jester of the Royal Court, who some Tarot scholars believe the Fool is based on, had in a way a privileged position. The Jester was the only person in the entire land who could put shit on the King, or anyone, and get away with it, even be applauded for it! The Jester's insights were often shrewd and witty but taken in the jovial manner in which they were delivered. The jester was more then a Joker, he was a satirist who while often used for cheap amusement, actually saw a lot more connections in the web of life then he was ever given credit for; while he was perceived as a Fool, he was anything but. The same applies to the Fool card ~ instantly the negative connotations come to mind but we must always look deeper (as you do with any Major Arcana card) When you do, you see a rich depth of brilliance, renewal and optimism beneath the seemingly devil may care attitude.

For me the Fool also embodies potential, seemingly limitless and ever flowing. Each day is an adventure and each moment is to be lived to the fullest in the Fool's creed.

Sometimes I think the Fool appears to us when we need to take a new journey or search for a new perspective; it's so terribly easy to become bogged down in a rut, in a routine, that we forget that other options exist and that we're a lot more free to explore then we give ourselves permission for. The Fool is spirit expressed and experienced as wonder, awe, curiosity and delicious anticipation. I often see the Fool as a powerful card because it is all about possibilities that start in nothing and reach to infinity. No challenge remains unanswered, no journey untraveled. When the Fool appears in a reading it is a reminder to follow our paths with our hearts. Sometimes we just get too caught up in our headspace, which serves us well sometimes and other times, not so well. The Fool's time is a time to follow your intuition and in the wise words of Roxette, listen to your heart.

Tarot of Dreams ~ The Fool
One of the wonderful messages of the Fool is that we are reminded that there are new opportunities available in every stage of life, that at any moment we can connect with you true self. Sometimes these opportunities take us to unexpected places ~ keep an open mind and always remember the decision is ultimately yours thanks to this fabulous Free Will we all have.

The Fool is all about the winds of change; suspend what you think you know and go forth, experience something new or different, or rediscover something beautiful you let go because it didn't quite “fit” into your modern world. Be innovative, be shocking, flexible, innovative, try something new but above all ~ Be Yourself. Even if it's just for one day...do beware though, it can addictive!

Act the Fool today and see what worlds open up to you!
Gummy Bear Tarot ~ The Fool

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mabon's Fruits

Mabon is the completion of the harvest that began at Lammas. Day and night are equal, and this is a time of balance, harmony and change ~ Mumma Earth is preparing for Winter and her period of well earned rest (it's not easy carting us around all the time!)

Mabon is a time of inner reflection after all the activity of the past spring and summer. It's a time to reflect on your journey, achievements and the path still before you. It is also a time of contemplation and release, and is also known as the Thanksgiving Harvest. Give thanks for the blessings in your life, for your gifts, for being able to live on this brilliant planet and to feel the presence of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine.

The seeds you have planted are bearing fruit and it is time to look at your harvest and evaluate what worked and what didn't. Is the fruit you have borne sweet or sour? Some questions you may want to consider during this time of evaluation:
  • What am I harvesting?
  • What projects/endeavors are bearing fruit?
  • What do you have in your life you can give thanks for?
  • Where is balance needed in your life?
  • What personal provisions do you need to make for the darker half of the year forthcoming?

Take a look back at the dreams and hopes of Imbolc and Ostara and reflect on how they have manifested. It's time to complete some projects, clear out and let go what is no longer needed/wanted in preparation for the Winter Descent so that you can reflect and journey in peace.

You're not withdrawing at Mabon; rather, you're being drawn into a meditative state. This is a time to look at the workings of fate and the Divine in your life and where your actions and path are leading you.

Normally I explore tarot cards that can be found in almost any deck so that you can find your cards in your deck and journey with them. This time around, I am going to look at Mabon through the eyes of an amazing tarot deck that came out last year called the Wildwood Tarot. I was lucky enough to be gifted this deck last year for my birthday by one of my best friends, and it has become an important part of my tarot journey. The major arcana is simply stunning. I turn to it when doing spiritual readings, and I have found those readings to be profound, insightful and inspiring. The major arcana of the Wildwood Tarot is placed on the Wheel of the Year in the companion book, and the cards allocated to Mabon that we will explore today are The Wheel and The Mirror.

The Wheel
The Wheel ~ Wildwood Tarot
The images on the robe are constantly changing, not unlike the cycles of fate and nature. The loom is waiting for an unseen weaver to complete the patterns of possibilities and potential that fate and chance offer us. The Wheel itself represents the cycles of life that we're all governed by. Change, triumph and defeat, love and sorrow ~ all this and more encompass the cycles of life and are unavoidable yet necessary. Without the Wheel turning and trusting fate, nature becomes stagnant and can't regenerate. On a personal level, WE are the weavers of our destiny, WE create the possibilities and patterns in our lives, be it consciously or subconsciously. We can affect the path of our life by taking control and this is a big part of Mabon ~ take the time to reflect on the paths and patterns you see in your life. Reflect on where they are taking you. Ponder where you are going in the context of where you have been. It is a common belief that after is set ~ I personally believe that while we all have a purpose, feats we are meant to accomplish, gifts we are meant to use with purpose, but at the same time we also have an indomitable free will that allows us to weave our own cloak of fate. Mabon is the time to reflect on your own special pattern. Always remember that having the ability to weave your fate comes with responsibility ~ always remember to maintain balance and act with dignity and integrity. The Wheel reminds us that in all facets of life there is a time and tide; the Wheel is ever turning and you are not a prisoner of fate or the will of the Divine ~ you are an integral part of it! Welcome these changes and this time of contemplation, be at peace with the cycle you find yourself in and take control of your actions within it.

The Mirror
The Mirror ~ Wildwood Tarot
This card represents the unconscious journey of the soul that only comes from soul searching and deep questioning, an important part of our time during Mabon. This is the time on the Wheel of the Year for us to take stock of who and where we are on our soul path. We are preparing for our underworld journey and we can only do this in a state of natural surrender ~ but to get to this state, we need to question and search.

The beautiful serpentine woman depicted in this card is holding a mirror to aid you in your quest for self reflection. She also carries an orb to illuminate the shadows of your inner self. Trust plays a large part in this process, a surrender of will is required as is strength. It takes courage to seek guidance from the Divine and truly accept it for what it is. Insights may come from dreams, meditations and flashes of intuition or Divine guidance ~ but don't force or plan this soul searching; practice patience and acceptance. Let the journey start to allow you to awaken fresh, full of energy and ready to deal with with the rigors of the Winter descent.

The Mirror is here to aid you in your evaluation of self and your path. She is the initiator of sacred knowledge the same way Mabon is the initiator of our Winter Journey. Take this time to contemplate the fruits of your spring and summer harvest and evaluate your path and where you're going.

The author wishes to acknowledge the Wildwood Tarot companion book as a source.

Here is a wonderful Mabon spread I have found from Christine Jette's “Tarot for all Seasons”

Position One: Taking Stock. Your strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind Tarot tells you what you need to know, not what you want to know. This card is an honest appraisal of your life at this time.

Position Two: Giving Thanks. Blessings in your life. Sometimes with the amount of busy in our lives we overlook blessings, even (and maybe especially) the small ones. If there is a conflict between this and the first card take special note.

Position three: Personal Balance, Inner Focus. Attitudes, thought patterns, emotions or feelings of powerlessness that may put you out of balance.

Position Four: Personal Balance, Outer Focus. Will, ego, drive, motivation, sense of personal power.

Position Five: Prosperity, the Inner Focus. Examines your attitudes, beliefs and feelings about money and abundance.

Position Six: Work and Career, the Outer Focus. Your will, drive, ego and motivation surrounding work and career. Note if there is conflict between cards five and six.

Position Seven: Protection, Inner Focus. Attitudes, emotions or beliefs that lead to feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness.

Position Eight: Health, the Outer Focus. Shows the area of your life that is displaying the greatest degree of imbalance. Note whether there is any conflict between cards 7 and 8.

Take this time of Mabon to reflect and change/maintain your path, gifts and blessings. Celebrate what you have and start shedding what you don't need. Immerse yourself in the sacred waters of the Mirror and wear the cloak of the Wheel with wild abandon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Trim, Taut and Tarot-iffic!

I am not in any way a Craft person ~ I have no imagination nor inclination for it, I really am hopeless with the craft side of life. But yesterday, inspiration was mine to be had ~ I had an itch to scratch.

When I first heard about deck trimming in a meeting of a tarot group I used to belong to, I was horrified! How dare we presume to mangle the cards! How dare we take the guillotine or scalpel or scissors to these beautiful creations! Who did we think we were?

Then the readers in the group who trimmed their decks showed me the finished product, and I saw the value immediately. The images on the cards became more vibrant, less washed out by the borders, and seemed to have more clarity to them.

The deck I read with primarily is the luscious Druidcraft Tarot. Anyone who is lucky enough to own this deck knows that it is quite a large size ~ it hurts to shuffle! About a year ago I trimmed the borders of my deck but left the titles on ~ purely because the writing was “so cool”. This helped dramatically with the ease of shuffling, but it still wasn’t completely comfy to shuffle. I would get a little embarrassed sometimes when clients had difficulty shuffling the cards ~ and worse, I would get a little peeved if they dropped a whole section of the deck onto the floor.

And no one likes a cranky tarot reader.

I’ve been thinking about trimming the titles off the deck for the last couple of months and when yesterday proved rainy and cool (instead of the steam baths we’ve been living with in Brisbane lately) I just had an urge to get the guillotine out and trim the cards a second time. The process itself is pretty easy ~ you just need a craft mat, guillotine (mine is a steel and plastic ruler with a small guillotine and razor) a corner cutter and a table at a comfy height, because you’ll be bending over it a lot to make sure you cut the edges straight. All you need to do is line the edge of the card along a line on the mat, set your guillotine and let fly! After you have removed the edges, use your corner cutter on each corner (no one likes a tarot card that has sharp edges) and voila! Mischief managed!

And I have to say, they look and feel fabulous. As a dear friend pointed out to me, the energetic difference between the two “versions” is palpable ~ check out this comparison.

To me, these cards are now in their naked form ~ no borders, no titles, just essence. When I read, I have two main methods that I use ~ I use the positions of the spread to get to the heart of some issues that have appeared, and secondly I take a step back and look at the story that is being woven. I can’t explain it (and why would you want to sometimes?) but different cards in different positions/spreads connect and flow together, and it is different for every single reading I do. It’s just the way it works. With the deck trimmed I can really feel the flow of the energies in the cards a lot more smoothly then before ~ it’s almost like the borders and titles create little stop signs on the path to wisdom!

There are several videos on YouTube on how to trim your deck, here is one of them:

And here’s a great blog post by Donnaleigh Rose with a few videos on deck trimming. 

Here is a link to some images of what different decks look like when they have been trimmed:

I can’t promise that any of my other decks are safe from the guillotine for the moment, not when I get results like this, it's hard to resist temptation!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My time with the circus

Last week I took a leaf out of my own book and stepped out of my comfort zone. For too long I have been sitting in my comfort zone reading for family and friends and the occasional festival and I decided that the time had come for me to start taking my love for tarot and tarot reading "out there". I still believe I could be more active but I am getting there. I recently did a "drive by" tarot reading night on my Facebook page (that ended up going all weekend!) that was so much fun and seemed to be a success that I plan on doing them once a month. It was a fabulous experience in cold reading and bombardment (which you often get at festivals and such, you can be booked for the entire day very quickly!) and I truly enjoyed every reading I did ~ and to get such positive feedback from a few people as well really gave my heart a happy. 

Last year I was approached by someone I have known for years who has started up SEQ Unity Events, a non profit organisation that provides readers for fund raising events and expos to become a regular reader on their rotation, starting with the Gold Coast Harmony, Health and Soul expo. My first reaction was to hang back and say "Oh no, I'm not good enough to go professional" and then I thought "Ah, fuck it ~ if Jae (and numerous others) think you're ready, get out there and be ready! Surely I can't be completely shit at something I love so much" So I booked a couple of days off work and said yes.

And man, was it amazing. Jae did warn me that I would want to "run away with the circus" after doing the expo and he was completely right! Even though I had to travel for hours, I was always happy to go, get in there and start "working". And where else could you go to work and have an American Indian do a drumming blessing before the day started? I know, seriously awesome! And there were so many presenters and workshops that were inspiring and stalls to visit...this was a little like Disneyland for me.

And at what workplace can you say "Let's have lunch at the food and wine expo next door?" Not many! I got to go on my first Food Safari, which is where you have to eat as much of the freely offered samples as possible. I don't think I ever want to eat chutney again (how could it be that there was so much freaking chutney in one place?!?!?) and I drew the line at pickled onions and whole marinated garlic bulbs (did I want to scare my clients away???) but fell in love with the Turkish bakery...ooohhhh spinach and feta flatbread, how I love thee...

But on to the important stuff, the readers gallery (or pit as it is affectionately known) Robert and Marilyn, the "pit bosses", took amazing care of us. I felt so supported and welcomed as one of the new kids on the block and I loved the way they organised appointments ~ some people were coming to see a specific reader, others were just in the market for a good reading, and for those people, Robert and Marilyn would have a talk with them and assign them a reader they thought would best serve the needs of the client rather then just take the money and fill a seat.

I had this idea that we would all be non-stop and just reading for 8 hours straight but that wasn't the case. Strangely, we were really quiet this year compared to other years so I got to meet and socialise with some people that I think I will be friends with for years to come ~ some of the other readers there were absolutely amazing!! I loved meeting them and learning from them and watching them work. Something that I love about readers is that we all have our own different ways of working with what we've got, and all have such different talents and modalities. I met some fascinating people. My favourite experiences were the reading exchanges we would do for each other ~ not only was it good for my ego when a professional reader would get goosebumps at what I was seeing, or would tell me I was on the money, but it was lovely to get pampered in return with a reading. I'm a raving egotist sometimes (hey, I'm a triple Leo, I can't help it!) and just love hearing about myself. Also, I really do see readings as something special to be treasured and enjoyed so to get a few of them from some people I consider to be at the top of the class was a real treat for me.

The best experience though was my first ever fourway. My wife had a heart attack when she first read my facebook status saying "I had my first foursome and I liked it!" It was a tarot reading foursome everyone ~ get your minds out of the gutter! Basically, four readers sitting at one table, and we each had a different deck so we shuffled and everyone pulled two cards from each other's decks and we read the cards from our decks for everyone. It was absolutely fascinating, because different decks have such meanings and ways of looking at life ~ I would do this regularly as a mentoring session if it was available. The messages we gave and received to and from each other were all relevant ~ Table Awesome was open for business!

I am also really proud of the readings I did for the people who sat across from me. I honestly believe I did some good work and truly felt I had found my place in the world. I've stepped onto a lifelong path that I know I don't want to deviate from or waste time on ever again. Something else I really liked about Robert and Marilyn is that they seek feedback from the people who received readings and gave it back to us ~ and it really gave me a soul-happy to hear that my clients were really pleased with the readings I had given them. Such a confidence boost and confirmation. Interestingly, the people I saw were all on various crossroads in their life and needed/wanted some direction or advice about the next step ~ and I am dedicated to Hecate, one of whose titles is Queen of the Crossroads. Coincidence? I think not!

There were a few downsides and lessons to the experience as well. Most of the readers were warm and inviting and fabulous people, but there were a couple who were quite negative ~ but I learnt to just block them out and concentrate on myself and the brilliant time I was having. Why be dragged down by someone else's bullshit?

I was amazed at myself for not being jealous of other readers who got more readings then me or got better feedback or that I perceived as being much better readers then me. The first day I was a bit perplexed at a couple of things, but I just decided that I was there for the experience and to take everything as it came. I realised I was there because I was good, and the feedback I was getting was testimony to that. I realised that the other readers being fabulous didn't make me less fabulous, it actually made me more fabulous and allowed me to see some new techniques and ways of reading that I am incorporating into my practise. It is so easy to fall into bitterness and jealousy (which is what I saw in a couple of other readers) but if you turn it around and become determined to make your experiences in life brilliant, it will be.

And now, I have to go, because I am getting fitted for my gypsy costume ~ I am running away with the circus after all!