Spread for Spiritual Gifts

Over at the 3 of Cups Tarot Community we have started doing weekly buddy readings and this week my buddy asked for a reading about her spiritual gifts. I couldn’t find any spreads online that really fit the bill and creating new spreads is something I love doing, so I got to work and came up with this. It came out with some interesting insights so I decided to try it for myself. [Sorry about the terrible picture quality, the lighting in my house is terrible and my phone camera is just not having it.]


I used a mix of oracles and tarot that I felt best suited to answer the positional questions, of course if you decide to use this spread yourself, follow your gut on which deck/s to use.

The top row of cards are from the Celtic Tree Oracle and represent three spiritual gifts that you may or may not be aware of, but are the most accessible to you at this time. The row of tarot cards beneath, here from Raven’s Prophecy, are drawn from the Major Arcana and read together with the gift cards to show where you are with that gift right now. Continue reading “Spread for Spiritual Gifts”


The Tower as a welcome sight

After enjoying my little random three card draw with Le Tarot Noir earlier this week, I decided to pull it out again for a little play… I think I’m trying to talk myself into keeping it and properly learning Marseille.

Anyway, I previously asked the Lenormand to tell me about my upcoming and very short trip back home to the UK, and I asked Le Tarot Noir the same thing. I’m not particularly stressed about the trip, but I was honestly lacking in imagination and couldn’t think of what else to ask.


The Chariot, yep, there will be forward motion, a destination clearly in mind, the harnessing of will and endurance to cope with various unruly forces like navigating my way through multiple borders and airports while keeping all my shit together and not getting lost or missing a connection. Next, The Lover. I don’t think I will be facing any major decisions while I am there (you never know though) so I take this card simply as arriving at a place of love, my mum’s home.

Aaaand The Tower. Oh f*%#

Stop. Switch off Waite-Smith brain. This is Marseille we’re talking to here, and luckily for me, it is nowhere near as dire and can actually be a very welcome sight. Breakthrough, freedom from confinement are just a few of the TdM Tower key words, and looking at the card, really looking at it, that bolt blowing off the top looks rather revelatory and benevolent, it even looks like there’s confetti! But what structures of confinement am I breaking free from?

I go outside to have a ciggie (yes, yes, I know, filthy habit) and ponder where this great sense of release could come from. Standing on my front porch my gaze falls where it usually does, in front of me to the military checkpoint and watchtower.

The watchtower.

I am so used to seeing it and feeling all that it stands for that it has become part of my daily landscape – so very ordinary. Deep down I always know that the soldiers can watch us, see through our windows, heck, even shoot through our windows if the mood takes. Deep down, I also know that this isn’t ordinary or normal, I’m simply numbed to it, and soon, for four whole days, I will be blasted free from its constrictive and constant intrusion.

Above and Below Lenormand Spread

I’m currently reading Caitlin Matthews’ The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook, which I highly recommend for fellow beginners, and what is really nice is that she includes spreads and exercises to practice your reading skills.

To lay the Above and Below spread you shuffle the cards while focusing on your question, next you cut the deck into 3 small piles, taking one card off of the top of each pile to make your first line of three, then one card from the bottom of each pile to make the second line of three underneath the first.

Because of complicated life/visa stuff I have to make a short trip back to the UK in a couple of weeks, so I asked the cards to give me a little snapshot of how the trip will be.

above below

It’s amazing that both the Ship and the Rider appeared and they are a nice confirmation that the journey will happen and I will arrive. The Ship and Snake also seem pretty spot on as the journey is complicated. What would for others in a less politically loaded situation be a 5-hour direct flight, for me involves 1 (deeply unpleasant) land border, an airport and a stop-over, totalling over 18 hours in transit. Snake indeed. Or perhaps there will be complications with my tickets or I’ll be sat next to a biter…. SNAKES ON A PLANE. Only time will tell!

A couple of the combos with Bear made me chuckle as I do intend to pretty much hibernate on this trip. Once I arrive at my mums I want to get into pyjamas and stay in them for four days while I sleep, laze about, catch up on movies and eat all of the foods I have been missing for the past 2 years. I also haven’t shaved my legs in about a gazillion years so the top line could also be speaking of a hairy person arriving from overseas…

I am really intrigued by the appearance of tree, other than a long journey, it could mean that my health will be impacted by the trip, but what resonates more with Birds+Snake+Tree is that I plan on chatting with my mum about our ancestors (a few of whom did range from difficult to toxic) and hopefully pick up some more pictures for an ancestor altar I’m trying to build.

above below journal

I combined the corner cards but missed a message about Bear+Birds before photographing my journal notes, where I also see ‘anxious mother’. This could be referencing my mum as she is worrier, but I have a strong feeling it is more about me. I certainly can be overwhelmed by stress, but I am not a worrier by nature, however this trip will be the first time I have ever been away from my children. The longest I’ve been away from my eldest was 3 nights while I was recovering from an emergency c-section delivering her brother, and even then she came for visits every day. One part of me can’t wait to have my first night’s uninterrupted sleep in 4 years, to be able to wake up and go to bed when I want, to shower, read and watch a film in peace, but whenever I look at them now and think about leaving my stomach clenches into a thousand knots.

Zigzagging Rider+Snake+Bear seems to hint that an overbearing woman will be arriving, and since I am the only one arriving, I guess the overbearing woman is me! Cheeky. And Birds+Ship+Tree suggests a long and stressful journey, which all sounds about right.

I’ve been continuing my pair and 3-card practices multiple times a day and this week I experimented with a few 5 card strings and had a crack at my first 3×3. I’m still trying to find the best approach with 5-card strings and, as every Lenormand expert says, consistency is key, so I need to dedicate some time to working out whether I want to go for a narrative, near-far, closest significator or central-card focus methodology when deciphering them.

I really enjoyed this spread though and found it gave detailed information without being quite as overwhelming as the 9 card (the thought of a Grand Tableau gives me brain  ache, but I’ll get there one day) and I definitely plan on using this spread more, maybe for month-ahead type readings or for any more specific questions I might have.

What to leave in 2017

One of the admins of the Lenormand Cards Study Group on Facebook asked members to post a short three-card reading asking what thoughts about ourselves we should leave in 2017. I pulled House+Mice+Book


I ended up finding two relevant messages in these cards, the first, an idea about myself I need to drop (and something I have written about a couple of times here before) for 2018 is that being a stay-at-home mum somehow depletes my intelligence. I don’t actually believe that staying at home with my kids makes me dumb, but, as stupid as I know it is, I still worry that people look down on me and assume I must not be smart or driven because of it, and this can negatively impact how I feel about my home life.

Another message I see here more generally about something to ditch for 2018, is to stop letting anxiety about the unknown nibble away at my sense of safety and stability.

Le Tarot Noir – The Great Balancing Act

I’ve been thinking about selling or trading Le Tarot Noir, it is by far one of the most stunning and classy looking decks I’ve ever seen, but I am not sure I have the patience for learning Marseille style reading at the moment and the cards are just. so. large. Trying to read with even five cards feels cumbersome and takes up so much space that I hardly ever read with them unless I’m just looking for a tiny snapshot. I suppose I could use it as a Majors only deck, but that seems like such a waste of a visually stunning deck.

As I was flicking through the deck pondering whether or not to keep them, I decided to draw three cards from the Majors. I had nothing in particular in mind and the draw is not intended as any sort of personal reading, I just wanted to see what the cards came up with for consideration today.

le tarot noir

I don’t usually post my more aimless readings, but I loved the striking juxtaposition of the cards that appeared. In the middle we have Justice, the great equaliser, and on either side, The Pope and The Fool. Here I see the beautiful but delicate balance between two very different approaches and experiences in life: teacher and student, wise and foolish, predictable and spontaneous, knowledgeable and ignorant, responsible and free, old and young, solemn and blasé, traditional and pioneering, establishment and rebel, weighed down and weightless, the sacred and the profane.

Justice demands that we be vigilant and choose wisely in which role to play at any given time, for they both have their virtues and their vices.

I’m now having second thoughts about letting this deck go….

Exploring Tarot and Runes: 15 – Algiz/Elhaz

Algiz/Elhaz [meaning disputed, generally understood to represent protection]. The phoneme of the rune, a Zh sound, fell out of usage by the time of Viking era to be replaced with R, as such the rune is not amongst the Norwegian or Icelandic rune poems and survives only in the Anglo-Saxon rune-poem as Eolh-secg. The most commonly used translation is ‘Elk-Sedge’, however this meaning is very ambiguous and some scholars have argued its etymological inaccuracy. Other meanings, reconstructed linguistically in Old English, Gothic and German, posit a variety of different meanings such as eel-grass, holy grove, elk, sword and swan. Whichever meaning most appeals, the overriding understanding of this rune remains relatively constant as meaning some form of divine or otherworldly protection. For me, swan is where it gets most interesting and resonates the strongest.

algiz upright

In Norse mythology swans were closely connected to female fate spirits, most notably, the Valkyries, choosers of the slain on battlefields. Swans are also connected to the fylgjur, one or more ancestral spirits that attach themselves or belong to a family, protecting and guiding its members. They are said to come in either animal or humanoid form. [Additionally, two swans are said to drink from the Well of Urd (Origin) at the base of the World Tree Yggdrasil (also associated with the fate-goddesses, the Norns). According to the Prose Edda, the waters of the well are so pure, that any being that drinks from it or submerges itself in its waters will become white in colour.]

Continue reading “Exploring Tarot and Runes: 15 – Algiz/Elhaz”

Personal Check-up: 3 Card Reading

This is one of my favourite spreads to do for myself, I find it maintains simplicity whilst still giving a good overview of where I am at. Here I am using my beloved, forever-deck, The Tarot of the Hidden Realm by Barbara Moore. I feel so attuned to these cards and they always hit it out of the park in both accuracy and insight. This is pretty much the only deck I feel I can’t live without and am thinking about buying duplicate copies just incase my toddlers or cats get a hold of them and destroy them.

Anyway, the spread is read left-right and represent the primary concerns bubbling beneath the surface, on the surface and up in the air.


Bubbling beneath – The Magician

My inner realm is currently concerned with ruminating on all of the new possibilities I am faced with. It is putting the feelers out there for how all of this potential pairs up with my innate skills, ambitions and (often conflicting) desires. I also see the Magician as representing a level of anxiety that has been niggling at me about picking the wrong career path when we move and worrying about feeling like an imposter. I keep getting these little waves of doubt that I am kidding myself wanting to go back to school, that I can’t study science and medicine, and I would be a fraud for even attempting it. And how long would I be able to keep up this slight-of-hand before it all comes crashing down around me, anyway?

The surface – Ace of Pentacles

At the most mundane, grounded level, I am all about sniffing out opportunities, gauging the environment and seeking a path forward that would bring material security. I am trying my hardest to be practical and pragmatic, I have my spikes up to repel any serious knocks, but I still feel very small in the face of this challenging move overseas.

Up in the air – King of Wands

The part of me that aspires and daydreams is currently concerned with leadership. Away from the practical, I can feel this loftier part of me that wants to prove myself during this move. I want to demonstrate that I can take the lead and protect my family effectively, that I can forge forward in a position of power, creating success and make them proud of me.

Lenormand Practice: Blending Pairs – Fish + Stork

Its official, I am obsessed with Lenormand.


Every morning I’ve been drawing one or two pairs to mull over and practice with that day, exploring individual and blended meanings. I do hope you can read my writing, I get in the zone and my handwriting goes a bit haywire, but I am trying not to scribble too much so my Lenormand journal is still legible as I want to share all of the musings but don’t have the time to transcribe everything!


Some of the standout blends for me at the moment are changing job/career, moving money, renewing resources – money/education/skills/capabilitieschanging finances and feeling drawn to a new career path. With the planned move, my thoughts have been dominated by how the move will affect our finances and what jobs/career I am going to go for once we go to the US. I have had my fill of NGO work and copy editing and I have always been interested in medical, but am completely new to the field, so I have been researching education and work opportunities and exploring which roles in the medical field I am most interested in, which, for the moment I have narrowed down to phlebotomy and respiratory therapy.

It’s still a ways off though, and I need to remain pragmatic about the financial reality of our move. Completely changing my career path may not be the most pressing thing to think about the minute we land, and I need to focus on pooling as many of our resources together for the transition by pretty much any means necessary, be that unappealing jobs or less than ideal accommodation. As limited as the use of directionality is in Lenormand compared to Tarot, I can’t help but notice that all of those little money and abundance Fish are swimming in the opposite direction to our Stork of change and transition…

Anyway, yet again, Lenormand pleasantly surprised me with its succinct cut right to heart of the issues and circumstances I am dealing with at the moment!

[There are a lot of difference amongst Lenormand schools and individual card readers about ‘work’ and ‘job’ cards. As Fish are intrinsically tied to wealth, accumulation and cash flow, they are what make sense to me, but it is not the same for everyone, and it isn’t the most traditional approach. This may change as I continue learning!]

Exploring the Divine Masculine – Part 2

*Warning – this post contains card images that portray full-frontal male nudity*

Here are the results of my own Divine Masculine Mjolnir spread (which can be found here).

[For anyone unfamiliar with the Mary-El Tarot, the creator Marie White’s card interpretations vary significantly from the established traditions of the Rider-Waite-Smith, Thoth and Marseille, and it is a deck that inspires intuition over wrote-learning, so if the meanings seem a little out there, that’s why!] Continue reading “Exploring the Divine Masculine – Part 2”

Walking the Path of the Major Arcana – The World

This post is a continuation of a month-long challenge hosted on Tarot Rebels. As I can’t commit to daily draws at the moment, I am following along at my own snail’s pace here. The concept of the challenge is to see the ways in which the energies of the Major Arcana are affecting and manifesting in my life at the moment. *

The World: What goal am I ready to achieve?

rebels world

I see the Prince of Swords’ appearance here as linked to one of the main messages of the ancestor reading I did for Halloween – I am ready to start chasing some ambition, to begin fighting and striving for my place in this world and proving I have something worthwhile to contribute.

If we do move to America, I am going to have to start earning an income, and I feel ready to cut through the old bonds of restriction I’ve sometimes felt after four years as a stay-at-home-mum. I don’t yet have a specific goal in mind that I wish – or am ready – to achieve, it is something broader than that, I am ready to step out of the same-ol’, same-ol’ and start setting goals I can pursue with the full force of my mind.