To keep up with my Marseille practice I decided to do a little 3-card draw for my weekend and pulled the Nine of Swords, Death and the Three of Cups.
I usually pay attention to directionality when I read tarot, but I find this is amplified further when I am using Marseille. As the only (somewhat) human figure in this storyboard, I wonder if Death is my significator here, what am I reaping?
The Nine of Swords tells me that my weekend is focused on an introspective and assessing/reassessing state of mind, and considering how much time I spend actively thinking about something specific, particularly now that I am trying to master the Marseille and Lenormand, this is of little surprise. But what am I turning my back on here?
The nurturing and growth of my relationships.
I spend a lot of time, most of it in fact, with my family, and while I am always attentive, half of my mind is often off doing its own little thing, exploring ideas and pondering various subjects, meaning that while I am technically ‘here’, I am not always 100% present with my husband and kids.
So today, Death is telling me to cut it out, to get out of my own head and be wholly present for the ones that I love.
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”→
I tend to think of cards as divination tools rather than predictors or fortune telling. This seems to be pretty commonly shared in the modern tarot community (although not universal), while Lenormand on the other hand seems to be used much more for predicting future events. I haven’t been using Lenormand long enough to come to any solid personal conclusions about this, but what I can say now is that it is a sharp mirror for reflecting back at you what is going on right now.
My potential move to the US is certainly dominating my thoughts right now, and my Lenormand deck keeps glaring it right back at me, even when I want to think about other things. We’ve had some issues with our application not appearing on the online system and we’ve heard no news or updates in over two months.
One of the first two-card draws I did for myself a couple of weeks ago was after a rather futile phone call with customer services for US immigration. I’d been on the line for 15 minutes, pressing 5 for x and 7 for y and 4 for z, I finally got through to an actual human who wished to transfer my call to a superior, the phone queue for this transfer was an hour. ‘To arrange a call back please enter your phone number’, the damn thing doesn’t accept a non-US number. Typical, an immigration service doesn’t recognise international phone numbers…. the line goes dead.
Anyway, after this exercise in futility (and a $20 phone bill) I slumped onto the sofa and reached for my Dreaming Way Lenormand perched on the arm.
Damn right I’m waiting for news about documents.
The following day, I asked the deck what the situation is with our application at the moment. After the draw I decided to go off-book a little and practice reading it both as a situational statement and as advice.
Complex documents are dead in the water. Pretty sound as it turns out. A family member in the US arranged an appointment with the center and when asked for an estimate on the processing time, he simply said, ‘we are still working on applications from January of this year’. Great.
Persevere with the documents and don’t lash out, sound advice too, as I tend to start sending sarcastic emails when faced with infuriating bureaucracy.
After receiving the news about potentially how long our application might take, I slumped down into the sofa once again and reached for my cards. This time however I wanted to practice a bit with Ship and sought it, and its preceding and following card, for a little escapism. Lesson learned. Never look to Lenormand to escape from the real-world because it will slap you in the face with it.
Gah! I just want to play with my cards and not think about this anymore! One last try, clearing mind, shuffling, pull three cards:
A major obstacle is dominating your life and depleting your energy reserves. OK, fine. How about you tarot, you want to give me anything else to think about for a while?
Hanged Man. Surrender, suspended, waiting… Not you too Steampunk!
Right. Fine. I guess it’s time to put the cards away for a while.
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.
I’ve been feeling in a bit of a funk recently. In the past month I’ve been hit by two viruses (cold or flu or a combination of both, I’m not sure) and the reality of our possible move to the US is really starting to sink in. I have so many mixed emotions I don’t even know what is going on anymore, so I decided to ask Dame Darcy for a bit of a check-up to put the main issues into size-manageable pieces. This is an open reading and the only card that has any sort of positional meaning is the last one.
While my first instinct is to start off reading chronologically from left to right, the Empress feels like my significator card here. Her purview, like my concerns at the moment, is all about nurturing, comfort and abundance, and right now I feel caught in between all of the new possibilities, opportunities and encounters a move to the US could bring us and the very real knowledge that we will have very little money to live on. How will we survive? How much are we, and my kids particularly, going to go without as we scramble to find our feet? Will the whole thing fail?
This seems to be a pretty accurate representation of the situation at hand so I decided to pull one more card for advice. The Four of Pentacles – solid, practical, stable and my good ole reliable stalker card. It tells me to keep my shit together and find a balance between hopes and fears. No one ever grounded their feet in the air or water of cups and swords, so it’s time to come back to earth, to give the dreams a rest for a while and try and ease up on the anxiety by simply taking it one sensible, solid step at a time.
I took the outline of this spread from Barbara Moore’s Tarot Spreads book, which is packed with plenty of layouts that go well beyond your basic three-card and Celtic Cross.
This spread was originally designed as a seven card affair, with positions based upon the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greek pantheon. To increase its resonance with me I decided to use the gods from my own pantheon, adding two cards (the number 9 is highly significant in Norse myth) and amending some of the positional meanings to better represent the scope and character of the Northern gods.
Tyr – The role will and determination play in your life
The High Priestess – My will and determination play an integral yet somewhat secret and hidden role in my life. From the outside, I am aware that I do not appear to be a particularly ambitious person, but it is there, quietly bubbling underneath, informing and driving my actions and desires. These things do not manifest loudly in what I say, but quietly in what I do and how I choose to live my life.
Odin – The role learning, knowledge and wisdom play in your life
The Fool – New beginnings, always new beginnings. I try to approach life as a perpetual student, always learning something new, something challenging. The Fool shows not only how unwanted ignorance plays a role in my quest for wisdom, it also reminds me that the things we do not know in life will always outweigh those that we do. Regardless of how stern or studious a face we put upon ourselves, there is always plenty of room for humility, humour and the ability to laugh at our own foolish ignorance with lightness rather than embarrassment. The Fool says, relinquish pride and never be afraid to admit what you do not know, it is only in this admission that you will ever be able to learn anything new.
Frigg – The role that sensitivity and intuition play in your life
King of Swords – My sensitivity and intuition shape how I plan my approach to life, events, challenges and people, they are the primary tools I use to make sense of the world. The mind and rationality are important to me, but it is my intuition that leads my thoughts to places where they then seek to create some semblance of structure of order. Furthermore, taken literally from the card image, my intuition and sensitivity inspire my desire to write and share my thoughts on the stranger, and often stigmatised, things in life like divination and alternative spirituality.
Freyja – The role spirit, mystery and magic play in your life
Eight of Wands – In any other deck this might be quite an odd card to pull here with it’s swiftness and speed, in Ceccoli however we see a doll like girl holding twinkling fireflies on strings like balloons that gently illuminate her face. She looks as though she’s listening to their messages and seeing them through her mind’s eye. It’s a beautiful image and I can see myself tethered to spirit and magic in such a way, letting it softly guide my thoughts and illuminate different mystical possibilities.
Freyr – The role that sensual experience, pleasure and joy play in your life
Page of Swords – Yep, totally inevitable that I should pull a Sword here. I often get so wrapped up in the pleasures of my mind – reading, learning, thinking, playing with ideas and communicating them, that I feel quite out of touch with my body. My joy comes from acquiring new knowledge and playing in the mental realms of imagination and I often feel that were my character understood elementally, I would be all Water and Air with a dash of Fire, but very little Earth (do you see any Pentacles in this spread?). Much of my relationship with my body is perfunctory, treating it more as a vehicle for my mind and soul, and I am prone to neglecting its needs and pleasures. Freyr reminds me that I must make changes in this area and do more to enjoy and appreciate my body.
Thor – The role of friendship and family in your life
Seven of Wands – Quite a funny looking card to show up here, but what I think it is saying, quite simply, is that friendship and family keep me in check – they ground me in reality and challenge any tendencies towards selfishness. They give me a reason not to partake in destructive behaviours because I know the consequences will be swift and undesirable – I do not wish to disappoint or lose face in front of those I care about and have a responsibility to protect.
Heimdall – The role of observance, listening and receptivity in your life
Ten of Cups – I find this a really interesting and apt card here, as much as I like to write and create output, what gives me that Ten of Cups feeling of fulfilment is the opportunity to absorb. Spending time people-watching, reading, seeing films and generally observing all of the peculiarities of humanity and nature helps me to feel like a part of it and emboldens me to explore even further.
Saga – The self-constructed narratives at play in your life.
Five of Wands – I think because of where I live and the difficulties I have faced to remain with my family, I have built a narrative of us against the world. I have dreamed of living a life of radical action, but there is no magic flaming sword to defeat this dragon of bureaucracy and violent state politics, so I begrudgingly appease it with my compliance to maintain the status quo. The narrative then is one, not of victimhood or rebellion, but pragmatism, and the knowledge that some dragons cannot be slain.
The Disir – A message from your ancestral mothers on how you can improve your approach to life.
The Magician – Don’t fear the unpredictable, wear the masks you need to wear, use your skills and know your worth. Have magic and be adaptable, know your surroundings and know your audience, these things will serve you well in life. Despite what they say, it is never too late for a leopard to change its spots.
I found this great ancestor spread on the blog Tarot in a Teacup and thought it would be the perfect reading to do on Halloween. Since I found the Wild Unknown Tarot and Animal Spirit Oracle work so well together, I decided to use both for this reading.
Top Row: What is my ancestral lineage?
Gazelle, Panther and Lizard – The first thing that caught my attention with these cards is that all three are designated as Fire animals by the deck’s creator, Kim Krans. A few people in my family have done some work on our family tree and both my maternal and paternal lines are populated by immigrants, and I see the fire of these cards characterised by this heritage of wanderlust and questing for a better life.
In Gazelle and Lizard, I see two creatures of acute observance, aware of their surroundings and always attuned to any change in their environment – the slightest movement, the faintest breeze or a new scent. There is astuteness in this lineage, attention to detail and a hint of vulnerability too.
In the little paper fold-out of card keywords, Krans defines the Panther as representative of “annihilation of the unnecessary, purging”, which is a wonderful precursor for the following three cards. Continue reading “Halloween Ancestor Reading”→
Lisa Frideborg posted this fantastic spread a few days ago and I’ve finally had a chance to give it a go. For full details and a good run down of the Sun, Moon and Rising signs’ significance I highly recommend you check out her post here.
The cards in the central vertical column act like significators, they are the Major Arcana cards that correspond to my Sun, Moon and Rising signs, which are Gemini, Capricorn and Scorpio. The card to the left of each significator indicates where you are out of balance in this area, and the cards to the right indicate what you can do to restore balance.
I decided to use the Wild Unknown Tarot for the significators and imbalance cards and the Animal Spirit oracle for advice on how to restore harmony, to give me that extra boost of having a spirit guide to visualise and call upon for assistance.
The Sun sign represents your ego-personality in this lifetime, which in my case is Gemini/The Lovers. I associate strongly with the element of Air, always up in my own head thinking, thinking and thinking, which frequently troubles my ability to fall asleep or stay focused while performing repetitive or menial tasks.
The Wing of Isis spread is one of two spreads created by Alana Fairchild especially for the deck, she says that it is intended to “lift you into new understanding”, and after some interesting one and two-card draws I thought it was time to try another larger spread with the deck. The cards are read left to right.
What is the real issue for me right now on a spiritual level?
Ancient Power Mysteries, “Hear the Rattle of Isis Playing”
Excerpt rom the guidebook: “You are guided to use words that reflect the experience you would like to create in your life. It may involve shifting how you speak , for example, rather than focusing on struggle or what is not working, focusing on the signs of life and healing that you experience. This may also include using chant, incantation and prayer…The Oracle guides you to honour the power of your voice whether through spoken or sung words, and in what you write, speak about or stand for symbolically also.”
Today is my birthday, the big 33 – old and uncool to a teenager and a child to a crone – so I decided to pull a rather random mix of cards for some reflection time and guidance.
First, I went to the Ceccoli tarot for a simple three card draw.
What lesson/s have I learned in the past year?
The Moon – I have learned that there is a whole other universe of energy, mystery, meaning, truth and power both within myself and in the universe. All is not as it seems and I have been sleepwalking for far too long. Continue reading “Ecclectic Birthday Reading”→