Meditating with Tarot Cards

Meditation and Tarot

There are two ways to get to know the meanings of the Tarot cards…the hard way and the easy way.

The hard way is to try and learn all of the interpretations.
The easy way is to discover the meanings for yourself.

You can spend years studying Tarot books and learning the interpretations from books, but then you have to reinterpret that information when doing readings. Most people struggle with Tarot studies, and they simply want to get beyond simple memorisation of card meanings. Do you want to bring the potent energy of these cards more fully into your life? Meditation with the Tarot is the key to discovering their deeper meanings.

Meditating with the characters of the Tarot cards always provides interesting and useful information. It results in an expanded awareness of the meanings of the cards on a very personal level. From this you gain greater insight for your readings, and you will learn more about Tarot as a whole. Meditation with the Tarot helps you to feel connected to the cards with greater intensity than simply committing the standard meanings to memory.

During a Tarot Meditation your consciousness will be opened to the infinite possibilities of each card. You will be guided by your inner wisdom to see things in the cards that you’ve never seen before. You will be open to unique personal experiences sparked by the characters featured on the cards. And when you’ve made this soulful connection with each character, they will be more accessible when you are doing readings.

Meditation with the Tarot is an intensely profound method to connect with the cards. The rich, symbolism displayed on each card makes them ideal for subconscious exploration. You will be filled with deep insights and you will connect with them on a soul level.

How to Meditate with the Tarot

To meditate with a Tarot card, such as The Empress, start by looking at all of the details on the card. Now close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. As you focus on your breath, allow your breathing to become slower and deeper. Enter a deep state of relaxation and then visualise the card called The Empress. Hold the image of the card in your mind and see it as a doorway in your mind. When you are ready, take a step through the doorway and into the landscape of that card.003a

Introduce yourself to The Empress as she sits on her lounge and ask if you can talk with her for a while. You can now ask her about the symbolism, energy, and meanings of the card. When you have finished talking, thank The Empress and bring yourself back into your conscious surroundings.

After the meditation, reflect upon your experience and write about it in your Tarot journal. You can do these meditations at any time, and you can lead yourself through them, but sometimes the most powerful results come from guided meditations led by another person. It allows your conscious mind to be completely at rest and it gives you the opportunity to explore the card’s meanings at a deeper level.

One of the best Tarot Meditation courses available is Brigit Esselmont’s ‘Soul Meditations: A Journey Through the Major Arcana’. Brigit says, “Meditating with the Tarot can be used to deepen your understanding of the cards to a level that is very personal and profound. It is also incredibly powerful as a self-healing tool, a method for manifestation or a way to access the Divine.”

soul meditations

When you are ready to create a soulful connection with the Tarot, take a peaceful journey through Brigit’s Soul Meditations. It’s a powerful set of guided visualisations that have been specifically designed to lead you on an uplifting spiritual adventure through the Major Arcana. Make time now to deepen your connection with these powerful cards, so that you can access your inner wisdom. They provide a unique experience of the Tarot that will change the way you look at the cards.

“When you actively engage in the Tarot—through meditation, journaling, and other heart-centred activities—you unlock your potential and open yourself up to a deeply personal and soulful connection with the Tarot. It begins to ‘live’ through you and you no longer have to rely on memorising meanings. Your mind opens up to its infinite wisdom and its infinite potential by connecting with the Tarot cards in this way.” – Brigit Esselmont

I’ve listened to many Tarot Meditations over the last 30 years of my Tarot studies, and this is the best that I’ve experienced. This is a unique opportunity to explore the Tarot in a safe, positive and inspirational manner. But it’s more than just a way to discover the meanings of the cards…the meditations and exercises in this program will integrate the wisdom of the Tarot with your own spiritual path, so that you can fully connect to your higher consciousness.

“The incredibly powerful guided visualisations that underpin the Soul Meditations course will help you connect deeply with your fullest potential; heal emotional wounds; and dive beneath the surface of typical Tarot interpretations—all leading to the discovery of solutions and meanings that are unique and significant to you.” – Brigit Esselmont

The Major Arcana cards are a pathway to enlightenment. Through the rich, symbolic tapestry of these 22 cards you can connect to your inner wisdom, your intuition, and your higher self.

Click here to find out more about Soul Meditations

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Tarot Spread for the New Year

Here’s a Tarot spread for 2014…

At the beginning of a new year, it’s always interesting to do a Tarot reading to give insight about the months ahead.

I’ve created a new spread that shows what you can expect, and more importantly, what you can gain from the experiences of each month.

Shuffle your cards with the following thought in mind…
“What should I be aware of in 2014?”

Place two cards next to each other at the top of the spread. These cards represent significant events for January. Now place a third card over the base of the two cards. This card shows what you will gain from that situation. Continue placing cards (clockwise) in this manner until you have filled twelve spots on the circular layout as shown in the photo below. There are three cards for each month.

yearly spreadIn the centre of your circle place three more cards. The one on the left is for the challenging influences you may have to face during the year. The centre card shows the trend for the year. The final card on the right indicates helpful influences. Place all the cards into this layout before starting the interpretation.

I hope your year ahead is filled with excitement, friendship, romance, and prosperity!

If you want me to do a reading for you, email me through the contact page of this website. For the next week I’m doing Skype sessions, or sending people recordings of their readings for only $25  The readings last for approximately 20 minutes.

Testimonial: “During a personally difficult and confusing time, Don’s Tarot reading gave me the objectivity and clarity I needed. There was also a genuine focus on my well-being. Don’s expertise with the Tarot is very evident.”
– Sue (Blackwood, SA)

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Tarot Tip – December 2013

The Gods & Goddesses of Tarot:

The main characters in Tarot cards are drawn from stories of myth and magic, and understanding the energy of these archetypal figures in the cards can give your readings deeper meaning.

Magician and Mister TarotFor example, while looking at The Magician, consider the tales of the Greek God Hermes, a god who could travel through the heavens, the earthly realms, and the underworld too. This god of spiritual journeys is the key figure who guides The Fool during his initiation through the Major Arcana.

Holding the card called The Empress while doing some research on the Goddess Demeter will give insight to the mother-energy associated with this card.

Apollo is the God of Light. He rules over the arts and the intellect. He is a source of strength and light, so he is an appropriate figure to associate with the card called The Sun.

All of the characters in the Major Arcana cards can be linked to deities and their legends. Making time to read the stories of the old gods & goddesses and connecting them with the Tarot will bring greater insight as you interpret the cards during readings.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Verification Cards

Using Verification Cards:

Back in 1997 I went to my first International Tarot Conference and I met someone who changed the way I used Tarot.

His name was James Wanless—the creator of the Voyager Tarot. He was one of the guest speakers at the conference and his approach to Tarot transformed the way that I did my readings. At that conference I experienced the energies of the Death card. Through him I left many of my concepts of Tarot behind and I awoke to a world of new possibilities.

James had a unique method of using Tarot. To him, Tarot was not fatalistic; he stressed again and again that he used Tarot in a pro-active manner. It was from James that I learned about the use of action cards.

Action cards are ones that are chosen during a reading when you want to discover how to overcome a situation. If you don’t like an outcome, you choose an action card which tells you what you can do to change your future.

This concept opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at Tarot, and it has been the basis of every reading that I have done since then. And now I would like to share with you an extension of this unique approach.

The next step is verification cards. When you do a reading and you see an outcome, or an obstacle that you want to change, you can choose an action card and work out an interpretation for it, but how do you know if your interpretation is correct?

How do you know if the action you choose to undertake is going to give the result you expect? The answer is to choose a verification card.

After giving your interpretation for the action card, ask yourself the following question: If I take this action, what will be the result? Choose a card from the remaining ones in the deck. If you have interpreted the action card correctly, you will see a positive outcome in the verification card. It will indicate a successful conclusion to the situation.

In a reading that I did recently, a lady (Miss M) was having difficulties with her sister-in-law. During the reading it had become clear that the obstacle hindering the relationship was the sister-in-law’s need to be overly protective of the rest of the family. She was always interfering, even though in her mind she believed she was being helpful.

20130406091013_00006AAn action card was chosen to work out how to deal with the sister-in-law. The card was the Page of Cups. It suggested that Miss M offer a nurturing attitude—and when this idea was brought up, Miss M had the realisation that the sister-in-law was acting as a continual care-giver because of her own need for love and acceptance.

To test whether this interpretation was correct, a verification card was drawn. We asked the following question: “If Miss M is more loving and nurturing to her sister-in-law, what will be the result?” The card that was drawn from the rest of the pack was the Ten of Cups. Did we get it right? Definitely. The situation had been verified!

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International Tarot Conference 2013

Melbourne’s International Tarot Conference 2013

What do you get if you take some of the top Tarot authors of the world and mix them with 100 enthusiastic, professional Tarot readers? You get a weekend conference that is stimulating and inspiring. It’s an event that reawakens your passion for Tarot.

At the venue there was a buzz of excitement right from the start as we gathered in the registration room, which was also the marketplace. Tables were stacked with books and Tarot paraphernalia, and on the floor there was a Qabalistic Tree of Life Labyrinth that could be walked if you wanted time for reflection, guidance, or healing.

International Tarot Conference 2013After coaxing attendees away from the booksellers and into the main conference room, Linda Henery (President of the Tarot Guild) gave the opening address, in which she mentioned that people had travelled from various parts of the world for this conference: England, America, Beijing, and Malaysia. Annie Dunlop (Past President) then began the opening ceremony, which was a ritual based upon The Enchanted Tarot by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber. Annie said, “Give yourself permission to open your mind and your heart to all the possibilities and the new learning and the new friendships you are going to make.”

Wendy Rule (soulful singer/songwriter) cast a circle of love and participation over the rooms being used for this event. She honoured the directions and the elements through ‘The Circle Song’…

Wendy Rule at the Opening Ceremony

Wendy Rule at the Opening Ceremony

The East, the Air,
The sword, the mind
The gate that leaves the night behind

The North, the Sun
The flame, the Fire
The gateway to our souls’ desire

The West, the womb
The Water’s flow
The gateway to the world below

The South, the star
The silent Earth
The Gateway to our souls’ rebirth

The International Tarot Conference marked the 21st year of the Tarot Guild of Australia’s existence, and after the final notes of the music at the opening ceremony faded, Anne Shotter (co-founder of the Tarot Guild) addressed us as ‘one of the parents’ of this 21st birthday celebration. I was pleased to hear Anne’s comment, “My personal focus has always been concentrated on the practical use of the Tarot, as a tool for my work with clients, and in life issues.” In 1992 the Guild was formed to bring like-minded people together to share their passion for Tarot…“but also to have a professional association, so that those who wished to align themselves to using Tarot in a professional way could be supported in this quest.”

This was the second International Tarot Conference that I’d attended, and once again, it fulfilled my expectations as a rewarding and enlightening gathering of Tarot enthusiasts. The workshop presenters were experts in their fields and they provided enlightening concepts that I know I’ll be putting into practice whenever I pick up a deck of Tarot cards.

Here are some of the insights I discovered during this conference…

  • 80% of the participants only use their cards upright. 10% sometimes use reversed cards, and the remaining 10% use reversals every time.
  • One of the key concepts discussed was how we need to acknowledge the energy of difficult cards such as Death. Rachel Pollack said, “It’s too easy to call it simply ‘death of the old self’, or ‘transformation’. The idea of something dying, of loss, of pain, needs to be addressed.”
  • A significator doesn’t have to be consciously chosen. Caitlin Matthews suggested choosing one ‘by chance’ to see what comes out to represent you or the client/querent.
  • The term cartomancy comes from the word mantic – the mantic arts – the art of prediction. So, cartomancy is the art of using cards for predictions.
  • Check the direction in which characters in a card are looking – see who they are interacting with.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the weekend…

  • “The card you least like is your soul card.” (Brian Clark)
  • “Tarot is a very succinct and rich tool for helping us connect with universal messages.” (Wendy Rule)
  • “Signs point to something. Symbols open up.” (Brian Clark)
  • “Through the Tarot we can see the unfolding of somebody’s life. We can find meaning, we can find truth, we can find something that is valuable for that person to understand…we can see things that we cannot see by our own limited means of perception.” (Rachel Pollack)
  • “Soulful moments punctuate the everyday…” (Brian Clark)
  • “The Five of Pentacles is so distressing because the spiritual is separated from the physical. The physical ends up as suffering, and the spiritual ends up as inaccessible.” (Rachel Pollack)
  • “This is the end of the conference, but also a beginning for all of us. Hopefully we’ll step out carrying all of that integrated wisdom of The World, but also lightly and open-heartedly and bravely like The Fool, and we’ll be willing to take that leap into unknown adventures.” (Wendy Rule)
Guest speakers at the conference

Guest speakers at the conference

What were my favourite workshops? That’s a difficult question because I learnt something valuable in each of them. However, the following workshops had my head buzzing with ideas that I could incorporate in my own readings, or they filled me with enthusiasm for new spreads that I could use in my own training workshops…

  • Linda Marson’s workshop on ‘Reading for Yourself’ was enlightening.
  • Caitlin Matthews’ ideas about ‘Rejoicing in the Significators’ opened my eyes to a concept that I had ignored for decades.
  • Brian Clark’s talk on ‘The Soul and Tarot: The Power of Images’ reinforced the fact that Tarot’s symbols are more potent than we realise.
  • Mary Greer’s presentation on the ‘Symbolism of Waite’s High Priestess’ revealed the hidden meanings of some of the esoteric imagery decorating this beautiful card.
  • And Rachel Pollack’s discourse on ‘Transforming the Cards we Fear’ was a defining moment in my Tarot education, as it changed the way I perceive cards such as Death and the Five of Cups.

Other Highlights:

  • Rachel Pollack

    Rachel Pollack

    Rachel Pollack gave me a sneak peek at some of the cards from the Burning Serpent Oracle, in which she is collaborating with talented artist Robert Place. This is their version of the Lenormand deck and the cards that she showed me are stunning!

  • Wendy Rule’s performance at the welcoming and closing ceremonies added a lively, spiritual element to the weekend that was appreciated by all.
  • Chatting with experienced Tarot professionals during the breaks gave me opportunities to discuss various ways of dealing with challenging issues within readings.
  • Original artwork from Tarot decks were displayed around the conference room – there are some very talented artists amongst us!

This conference also gave me greater insight into the Lenormand Oracle, which has created a stir of excitement within the world of Tarot. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you soon will. Lenormand is one of the hottest selling card divination systems of the decade, and more decks and books are being produced every year! About a third of the conference delegates were ardently using the Lenormand cards prior to the conference, and nearly all were interested in finding out how to use this system.

What is Lenormand? In France, in the early 1800s one of the most popular readers of that time was Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand. She had an apartment in Paris where she read the cards for the general population, as well as famous people such as the Empress Josephine. The Lenormand system is an oracle deck, it isn’t set up as a traditional Tarot deck. And despite the name, the Lenormand cards are not what Mademoiselle Lenormand used in her time as a fortune teller! She used normal playing cards of the day. After her death, an astute business man merged her name with a children’s parlour game and passed it off as a famous fortune-telling system. Tarot readers like it because it gives them a new way of looking into the future. But the two systems are different in style and very different in the way that you read and interpret the cards. At the conference there were a few workshops devoted to it, and an impromptu gathering was held after dinner one night so that people could continue to do readings and discuss the cards. Since this form of divination isn’t a Tarot system as such, I had resisted learning anything about it, even though I’d owned a Lenormand deck for about thirty years. This conference gave me the opportunity to become familiar with the rules for this oracle, and I gained a new respect for it.

One of the great things about this conference was to see people willingly sharing their Tarot journey. All who attended jumped into conversations with interpretations, suggestions for new spreads, case histories of situations they had faced as readers, and useful resources they had discovered.

The conference theme was Reflection, Celebration & Revisioning, and it fulfilled all of these areas with professionalism and passion. The special guests and presenters were generous with their time and energy, and I’m sure all of the participants left with an invigorated desire to incorporate their new understandings of Tarot in their readings for themselves and others.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

Click here to see a slideshow of images from the Tarot Conference.

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Soul Readings with Tarot

Soul Readings:

Tarot Tip (November 2013)

If you want to know the current stage of your spiritual growth, separate the Major Arcana from your deck, and tell yourself you are going to choose three cards which will reflect the past, present, and future of your spiritual development. Now allow your subconscious to direct your hands to pick three appropriate cards.

The Major Arcana are strong, significant, archetypal forces of spirituality. They represent a sequential journey towards enlightenment, so they are perfect for portraying the steps of your spiritual journey.

The first card represents the actions that brought you to this point. The second card tells you what you are going through at this time (on a spiritual level) and the final card reveals the spiritual insights that are about to manifest in your life.

Your circumstances change on a daily basis, so you can use this technique as many times as you like to track your spiritual development. It’s a great way to understand the inner process which links your thoughts, emotions, and spiritual expression.

Here’s an example to illustrate this process. In a recent reading for Margueritte, the cards chosen were The Magician, The Lovers, and Death. An interpretation of these cards shows the following spiritual forces at work.

soul readings

Example of a Soul Reading

Past – The Magician: In the recent past, Margueritte found a spiritual teacher who suggested a variety of mystical paths for Margueritte to explore. This opened her consciousness to many interesting options, but she found herself scattering her energies between different forms of spiritual practices.

Present – The Lovers: Margueritte has now become focused on only one or two spiritual interests. She has found a way to integrate her spiritual path with her daily life and now feels that she is in tune with her spiritual destiny.

Future – Death: This card looks negative, but it shows a period of transformation in the near future. Margueritte’s old life will be left behind as she whole-heartedly embraces her devotion the spiritual realms.

Soul Readings indicate your spiritual progress and can reveal what you need to know about your spiritual development. Contact me if you’d like a Soul Reading from the Tarot.

 

 

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Book Review – ‘Tarot Masters’

Book Review – ‘Tarot Masters’ by Kim Arnold:

Kim Arnold - Tarot Masters

Kim Arnold

In her book Tarot Masters, Kim Arnold, founder of the UK Tarot Conference, has created a delightful collection of Tarot wisdom. It features articles from the biggest names in the Tarot world: Alfred Douglas, Caitlin Matthews, Carrie Paris, Ciro Marchetti, Corrine Kenner, John Matthews, Juliet Sharman Burke, Lyn Howarth-Olds, Mark Ryan, Mary K. Greer, Rachel Pollack, Sasha Fenton, and many more! And it has been beautifully illustrated with Kati Oppermann’s line drawings of all the cards.

Book Review - Tarot Masters

Tarot Masters was inspired by Lyn Howarth-Olds  Letters to the Past  project, in which Lyn asked 22 Tarot authors to write a Tarot-related letter to someone from days gone by. In a similar manner, Kim asked a selection of her favourite Tarot writers (thirty-eight in total) to describe how their adventure with Tarot began. She also assigned a Major Arcana card for each author and asked them to write about the image and to give an interpretation of the card. The second half of the book continues with a similar format, except those writers were able to choose a card that they loved or loathed.

Each writer only has about three pages to describe their card, and to tell their story of what stirred them into picking up their first deck of Tarot, so you might expect to skim through this book fairly fast…but no, you’ll be reading and stopping and contemplating the interpretations given for each card. And then you’ll re-read them before moving to the next one because there will be so many insightful phrases that will change the way that you look at the cards from that moment on. For example, words from the very first chapter resonated within me as I read about The Fool.  Kim Arnold wrote that chapter, and the following sentence gave that sparkle of enchantment that you get when you gain new awareness of the card’s energy…‘The main aspect of The Fool is that the road ahead is full of potential and invites change. However, the way we handle that change dictates whether the experience will be positive or negative.’ It’s such a simple, yet beautiful explanation for that card’s meaning, and one that will be remembered by me for a long time.

Carrie Paris - Tarot Master

Carrie Paris

Caitlin Matthews connects her card The Empress with the Celtic Triple Mothers, while her husband John sees The Emperor as, ‘the Green Man, King Arthur, the Emperor of Rome and the god of change and fecundity.’ Rachel Pollack included a poem about The Wheel of Fortune, and in her description of her own journey with Tarot, she wrote, ‘Tarot is as open as life and imagination, and Tarot people are among the finest in the world.’ That’s a lovely sentiment, but the best quote from the book (in my humble opinion) has to go to Carrie Paris who gave this gem of illumination about the card called The Tower, ‘The thunderous crack that follows the lightning in this card makes a loud, radical cry for change. It transmits its message through a variety of earth-shaking notes and, like the music from the Gods, some notes will soothe the soul while others will shatter everything you know.’ I’m so impressed with that explanation!

At the start of this superb collection of stories, Kim mentioned that she hoped that the book would ‘become a legacy and inspire future generations of Tarot enthusiasts.’ I believe that it will live up to this ideal. It’s a treasure-trove of useful interpretations from the world’s most influential and inspirational Tarot Masters on the planet, and it’s destined to become a must-have book on any Tarot reader’s bookshelf.

Edited by: Kim Arnold
Published by: Hay House, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-78180-304-2
Price: £9.99

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The French Rider-Waite Tarot

The Marseille Tarot Deck:

French Rider-Waite TarotThe French Connection: While visiting Paris, I was given a Rider-Waite deck with French titles on the cards. And from a Tarot point of view, this was fascinating because the manufacturers hadn’t just translated the English names for these cards…they used the images from the modern Rider-Waite deck, but they combined them with the titles from the Tarot de Marseille. So, instead of calling The Magician, Le Magicien, he is termed Le Bateleur, which has the literal translation of Mountebank.

Tarot de Marseilles cardsWhat is the Tarot de Marseille? The cards now known as Tarot de Marseille were given this name in 1889 by the French occultist Papus (Gérard Encausse) in his book Tarot of the Bohemians. They are called Tarot de Marseille because they came from Marseille, a city in the south of France which was the centre of playing card manufacture in that era. Each card was originally printed from a woodcut and these outlines were then coloured by hand, or by the use of stencils. The Tarot de Marseille is one of the traditional sets of cards which form the basis of many Tarot decks, including the Rider-Waite.

Tarot de MarseillesThe Tarot de Marseille has twenty-two trump cards (Major Arcana) and fifty-six pip cards (Minor Arcana) in the four standard suits of that era: Batons, Coins, Cups, and Swords. The Minor Arcana are only illustrated with the appropriate number of items from that suit. For example, the Three of Cups is shown only as three cups; neither people nor scenery are depicted in the Minor Arcana of this deck.

The Major Arcana images on the Marseille deck may be familiar to you, because many of them were used as a foundation for the Rider-Waite Tarot. Most of the modern Rider-Waite cards bear exact title translations from the Marseille deck, for example, The Empress is a direct translation from L’Impératrice, but the following cards had their names changed when A. E. Waite (the designer of the modern Tarot) revamped the images for his deck.

  • Le Bateleur (Mountebank or Juggler) became The Magician
  • La Papesse (The Papess, or The Female Pope) became The High Priestess
  • Le Pape (The Pope) became The Hierophant
  • And La Maison Dieu (The House of God) became The Tower

Suits of the Tarot de Marseilles deck

Old Titles / New Titles: In my new French Rider-Waite deck, those titles listed above have reverted to their original labels. The other variation that I noticed is with the names of the suits… They retain the Marseille wording Coupes (Cups) and Épées (Swords), but the modern suit of Pentacles has been changed to Deniers, which equates to Coins. Deniers literally means money, but a denier was a medieval coin which was minted in France and Italy in the Middle Ages. And the suit of Wands are again known as Bâtons, which usually means sticks, but the translation can be stretched to wands as well. To be precise, a magic wand is normally (and to my mind humorously) translated as une baguette magique.

a suits

This new French Rider-Waite Tarot Deck has the imagery of the standard Waite designs, but with French titles taken from a pack created in 1760. It’s a harmonious blend of old and new that links modern Tarot images to its colourful past.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Amber Petty’s Light Switch Event

The Light Switch – Adelaide – 2013

In November I was grateful to be invited to Amber Petty’s Light Switch event in Adelaide. It was a full day of talks with some of Adelaide’s spiritual practitioners. I chose to talk about Tarot, of course!

When it was my turn to be interviewed on stage, we discussed the history of Tarot and my own journey as a Tarot reader. We also did a couple of quick readings for some of the people who came along.

Amber’s questions made me think about some of the basic Tarot concepts, and I’ve decided to share some of the thoughts that were generated from that day.

What is a Tarot reading?

Tarot is different things to different people. You can use it in a variety of ways. In its most general form, people use it for fortune telling, but you can also use the cards for psychological evaluation…to discover why you react in a particular way when faced with specific situations. And of course you can use Tarot on a spiritual level too; you can choose cards to discover how well you are progressing along your spiritual path.

The Light Switch - Adelaide 2013

Mister Tarot with the Soul Sisters

Tarot is an intuitive tool that allows you to connect with your subconscious mind. You use your intuition when looking at the symbols on the cards to discover what your higher self is wanting you to know about any situation.

Tarot reading has been around for centuries. If you are into divination, or fortune telling, you come from a long line of gifted people who have put aside prejudice in order to help and guide others to full awareness of their lives, and if you use Tarot to look at the spiritual aspects of a person’s life, then you can be helping them to an awakening of their true nature, and their true potential. That’s powerful stuff! It’s a huge responsibility too. You have to be prepared to speak the truth, as you see it, regardless of the consequences.

How and why did I become a Tarot reader?

Even as a young teenager I was interested in spiritual matters, mythology, and new age concepts. As time went on, I became increasingly aware of the need to develop my intuition. When you are young there are so many big decisions to make, and they have long term effects on the rest of your life. In my mind, I kept thinking… Wouldn’t it be great if I were intuitive enough to make the right choices in life every time. By the time I was in my mid-twenties I had discovered Tarot. I realised that it was the perfect way to strengthen my intuition, as well as giving me a tool for making good decisions in life.

Mister Tarot at the Light Switch event

Mister Tarot at the Light Switch event

It took me a while to understand the concept of Tarot, because I was given the wrong type of deck and the wrong type of book. It was a struggle at first, but I persevered and when I bought the appropriate gear, things started to fall into place. This was in the mid-eighties, and we didn’t have internet and it was hard to find good books on Tarot. It was a slow start, but it made me question how it all worked, and why it worked, and eventually I found some good books that verified what I had discovered for myself, and they helped me along the way to a better understanding of the Tarot.

And now, I’ve found that Tarot helps me to be more intuitive in general, and it has been an incredible method for helping me to make choices in my everyday life. Whether it’s big decisions about which job to accept, or which holiday to take, or whether it’s minor decisions about which restaurant to go to for a special dinner… I’ll do a reading and get an answer — and that answer has always proved to be an accurate representation of the outcome.

***

So, big thanks to Amber Petty for organising a great day of discussion about spiritual values. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet clever people (such as the Soul Sisters) who work on a daily basis in the field of personal development. I’m sure this is just the start of a series of Light Switch events, so stay tuned for updates and make sure you go along to the next one.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Tarot and your Spiritual Progress

Tarot & Spiritual Progress:

“What can I do to be more spiritual?” my Tarot client asked me. I sat back in my chair and smiled because Tarot is a great system of divination for this type of query, but not many people ask questions of this nature. Even though I enjoy answering the usual queries about romance, career, and money, it is more satisfying to use Tarot on a deeper level.

The sincerity shining from my client’s eyes showed that she had an intense desire to gain a deeper understanding of her life and the universal laws that governed it. “Can your Tarot cards tell me if I am on the right path?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied, “We can look at where you are now, and also which direction will be best for you.”

In a soft voice she added, “Sometimes it seems so simple to think of spirituality as just being nice to yourself and others, but I feel there must be more to the spiritual life than this. I mean, what is spirituality? What does it mean to be a spiritual person? I guess I really want to know if I am making the most of my life, and if I am doing enough in this world to make a difference.”

The Major Arcana cards of the Tarot are a fascinating series of archetypal images that are filled with spiritual symbolism. From these cards you can gain meaningful information about your spiritual progress.

Even drawing one card from the deck can give useful insight. For example, the card called The Fool tells you that spirituality doesn’t have to be too serious. Lighten up, be adventurous, and have some fun to clear your energy centres.

the hermit When The Hermit is drawn from the deck, he’s telling you that spirituality is a personal journey. Don’t feel as if you have to share this experience with others, for they can only find the right path when they are looking for it. Some are not ready to join you on this search, so allow those individuals to find their own way, in their own time. People can only truly learn through their own experiences.

The card called Justice suggests having balance in your life. Instead of giving all of your energy to others, make some time for yourself. Know how to receive, so that spiritual energy can truly flow.

The image of the card called The Sun reminds you to read positive affirmations at the start of your day, and before you go to bed. Reading inspirational words each night may help you to dream about your perfect life. Realise that all great achievements began as a vision or dream in a person’s mind.

The card called The World asks you to meditate on the gratitude you have for the many blessings you have. Be thankful for your abundance, and affirm that you are open to all possibilities for improved prosperity.

There is no easy way to measure how spiritual you are. It cannot be measured by how psychic you are, or by the strangeness of your clothing. It cannot be calculated from how many times you meditate each day, or how much time you devote to charity work. Spirituality is only revealed through your thoughts, words, actions, and the level of peace and contentment you have in your life. Even Tarot cards cannot really tell you how spiritual you are, but the Major Arcana cards can give guidance for improving your spiritual progress.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Tarot Tip – October 2013

Know Your Elements:

Tarot Tip (October 2013)

As I mentioned in last month’s Tarot Tip, when you are doing a reading, take note of the suit of the card, then recall its element and the associated attributes, and make your interpretation based upon this information.

Here is some more information about the elements associated with each suit.

Cups = water = the psyche, fertility, imagination, intuition, dreams, friendships, and partnerships.

Pentacles = earth = physical or material qualities, matters relating to business, finances, the natural world, assets, security, and the home.

Swords = air = intellect, worries, thoughts, mental conflict, ideas, communication, and study.

Wands = fire = energetic qualities such as creativity, enthusiasm and inspiration.

the elementsIf you are struggling to understand the meaning of a card during a reading, you can use the energy of its suit to help you approach its interpretation.

If the card is from the suit of Cups, then consider how that card makes you feel. What emotion does the image bring to your heart? Do these feelings remind you of situations from past relationships? Do the characters in the card look like a family member or friend, and if so, how do you feel about that person?

If the card is from the suit of Pentacles, look at it from a practical perspective. Do you get the sense of stability and resourcefulness from this card? What is it about the card that makes you settled or unsettled?

If the card is from the suit of Swords, then recall your first thoughts when you saw the image. Consider a logical interpretation based upon the energies of the surrounding cards.

If the card is from the suit of Wands, then ask yourself how that card inspires you! Look at the characters in the card and consider their actions. What do they make you want to do or be?

When you approach a difficult card in this manner, you can gain further insight into its nature, and your interpretation for the reading will flow with ease and confidence.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Tarot Tip – September

Overcoming Blocked Readings:

Tarot Tip (September 2013)

Have you ever dealt out the cards and then stared at them for ages hoping their meanings would finally become clear?

What about when you see a story in the cards, but one card doesn’t make sense and it stops you from being able to give a good interpretation for the whole spread. What do you do? Go back to basics!

The Ace of CupsWhen your mind has gone blank and you’re not sure about the meaning of a card, it’s time to fall back upon traditional interpretations. If the difficult card is from the Minor Arcana, look at the suit first of all and remember the element that governs that set of cards. For example, in the suit of Cups, you need to remember that water is the element that flows through that suit. All of the cards in the suit of Cups reflect your emotional life, your feelings and your romantic attachments. If a card from the suit of Cups is hard to interpret, look at the image and remember to see it as an emotional situation. Use your imagination to discover if the card is about a relationship, or if it is about someone’s inner needs or desires.

If your intuition is still telling you that there is more to a card’s meaning than you have managed to uncover, then there’s one more trick you might like to try…stop thinking about possible interpretations and start to feel instead. When looking at the card, discover its connection to you. When you stare at the card, what feelings does it generate in you? Do you sense that the character in the card is happy or unhappy? How do you respond to the colours in the card? If the characters in the picture could talk to you—what would they say? Use your imagination and open your mind to the possibilities generated in the card.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Notes About The High Priestess

Symbols of The High Priestess:

I’ve been reading Tarot Cards for over 25 years. You’d think that by now I would have noticed every symbol on every card, but no…I’m still being surprised by subtle (but significant) imagery and symbolism that I’d previously missed.

High PriestessThe High Priestess is such a card. Just moments before typing these words I looked at the image to work out which symbols I’d like to discuss with you. The first things that I noticed were the letters B and J on the pillars. Then my eyes drifted to the solar cross on her chest. It was here that I found a missing piece of another puzzle set by the designer A. E. Waite, and his artist Pamela Colman Smith.

The letters B and J stand for the Hebrew words Boaz and Jachin, the two pillars at the front of King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. These Hebrew words traditionally meant in strength and he establishes. In modern Tarot, Boaz and Jachin are not thought of in biblical terms—they represent extremes such as: severity and mercy, dark and light, night and day.

Waite calls the equal-armed cross on her robe a solar cross, even though a true solar cross usually has a circle around it. A solar cross represents the sun and the seasons of the year, and by having the crescent moon (at her feet) and a sun symbol (the solar cross) in the same image, this card reinforces the concept of duality, as seen in the two pillars.The High Priestess (section)

But this solar cross is not a true solar cross—by leaving off the circle, it has also become a plus (+) sign. Therefore, the image shows B + J. The High Priestess does not sit between justice and mercy, she is justice and mercy—she is darkness and light!

Her crown indicates this too. She wears the crown of Isis, which is normally shown as a sun disk between two cow horns, but Waite’s symbol looks like a full moon between a waxing moon and a waning moon. She is the light of the sun and the moon.

The High Priestess is therefore a combination of extreme qualities that results in a harmonious blend of spiritual perfection.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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This Month’s Tarot Tip

Your First Tarot Reading:

Tarot Tip (August 2013)

As a beginner, when is it appropriate to attempt doing readings for others?

You don’t have to wait until you think you are the greatest Tarot reader on earth before you can do readings for others. Of course, it’s a good idea to get used to your deck and to gain some confidence by doing readings for yourself first, but don’t put off any opportunities to do readings for others if they come your way.

D7K_0293 webPeople love having Tarot readings, and if you mention to a friend that you are learning about the cards, you’re sure to get asked to do a reading for them. Don’t let that opportunity get away – give it a go. They’ll understand if you mumble your way through some standard interpretations as the cards land in the spread, but you might be surprised at some of the intuitive insights that also come your way.

The best way to learn the meanings of the cards is to do some readings for others. It challenges your memory and forces you to come up with interpretations in the context of a particular query.

If you are a bit nervous about the process, feel free to ask the querent (the person for whom you are doing the reading) for their opinion on what a card looks like to them, and you can work your way through the interpretation together. Sometimes those who are unfamiliar with Tarot can provide accurate and interesting interpretations that you might not have considered using.

Give it a go, I’m sure you’ll do better than you imagine! And I’d love to hear about your results.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

PS: if you want to learn some easy spreads, see my free e-book on my Facebook page. Here’s the link – click here!  And please remember to click “Like!”

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Three Card Spread

Variations on the Traditional Three Card Spread

I love the Three Card Spread – it’s simple and direct, yet it still offers plenty of insight into your circumstances. The other day I was playing with the Three Card Spread and decided that I wanted even more clarification about a situation, so I created a variation on the traditional layout – and it turned out rather well, so I thought I’d share it with you.

When you are using a Tarot spread, don’t feel bound to its usual setup. You may decide that an existing spread could work even better for you if you changed the wording—feel free to experiment until it feels right. For example, a simple spread of three cards to determine past, present, and future could be reworded as, past hurts, present gifts, future rewards. There is no right and wrong of Tarot spreads.

Tarot layouts are an opportunity to discover more about yourself and your situation, so make the most of these options and create a personalised spread that suits your exact needs.

You can also switch the positions of the cards within the spread. Cards in a Three Card Spread (for past, present, and future) are usually placed on the table from left to right, with the past on the left, present in the middle, and future on the right. But you might decide to place them in reverse order—or perhaps you might like to place the cards in a vertical line, with past at the top and present in the middle and future at the base—you can choose to do it that way!

In my variation on this traditional spread I decided to add extra places for cards so that I had more information in the layout. The standard Three Card Spread was enhanced by adding another line of cards for the following positions: The effect of the past on my psyche; the effect of the past on my present self; and the effect of the past on my future. My Three Card Spread became a Six Card Spread, and it offers much more information!

Three Card Spread Variation

Experimenting with Tarot spreads is fun. It helps you to personalise your Tarot experience and you get to create a unique way of using the cards that offers a new perspective that is more meaningful to you.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Tarot Cards For Today

Tarot Cards in the Modern World:

Now is the time to look at Tarot from a fresh angle. Now is the time to acknowledge that Tarot is a practical tool, devoid of eeriness and mystery. It’s a form of divination that can help you to gain more of an understanding about yourself through natural, intuitive methods. In our modern world, the time is right for Tarot to be used with a fresh, practical approach.

tarot for modern timesTarot can reveal the future. It can also help you to have a greater understanding of your present circumstances, and it can offer a more meaningful perspective to past events. But there is no magic or mystery inherent within Tarot cards themselves. The cards are not a divine entity telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. Tarot cards are nothing more than colourful pieces of cardboard illustrated with archetypal images. The symbols, patterns, and colours act as triggers to the subconscious, which reveals information you are not consciously aware of.

After experimenting with many forms of divination, I found Tarot to be the most effective method for glimpsing the future, because you can do a reading about absolutely anything! And you can obtain accurate forecasts for any situation, because you can incorporate a time-frame into your question to indicate precisely when a specific event will occur.

Why not buy or borrow a pack and try them for yourself?
Approach it in a playful, spontaneous manner, and allow your intuition to guide you.

You don’t have to memorise lots of meanings and spreads to start with, just ask a question and draw a card from the pack. You’ll be amazed at how meaningful the imagery on a card becomes when you are looking for the answer to a specific question.

Tarot cards are much more than just a method of fortune telling, as they can be used on many levels. For example, they can be used during meditations as gateways to higher realms of consciousness, and as such, they are a useful starting point for the development of your intuition. Initially you may only want to use Tarot to help you to discover when your love life is going to improve, but if you are serious about your spiritual life, you will soon realize that Tarot cards can also be a valuable tool for personal growth and higher learning.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Letting the Light in

Shining the Light on Tarot:

Here in the Southern Hemisphere, as I write this post, it’s raining outside. The sky is grey. The trees are bare of foliage and it’s getting colder every day. That’s what winter is about. If you find yourself in the same situation, you now have a choice; you can huddle in a corner of the room and watch mind-numbing television shows, or you can fling open the curtains and let the light in.

Like winter, sometimes life can seem dreary and uncertain. That’s when Tarot can come to the rescue and brighten your day.

Tarot is like a window to another universe—it’s a
vibrant multi-dimensional portal to future possibilities.
Grab your cards and let the light in.

Looking through Tarot cards can infuse your life with energy, clarity and direction. The card called The Emperor, for example, is a good example of a card that can raise your awareness, lift your energy levels and help you to become a dynamic individual.

The EmperorThe Emperor’s throne is made of dull grey stone, but he is not confined to this position, and he doesn’t limit his thinking to these surroundings. He chooses to wear a crown that is decorated with the colourful jewels. His clothing is bright. His armour has been shined and he’s ready for any action that comes over the horizon. This is a person who is in charge of their own destiny.

When you find yourself surrounded by bleakness, think of The Emperor from the Tarot and choose to rise above the drabness. Open the windows of your mind and look beyond the ordinary. Let the light into your life and shine for the entire world to see!

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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World Tarot Day 2013

World Tarot Day™

On Saturday 25th May 2013, join Tarot readers, students, teachers, and enthusiasts worldwide in a celebration of the spirit of Tarot. Use World Tarot Day to recognise Tarot as a useful tool for making excellent choices in life, and for the development of your spiritual awareness. Dust off those Tarot cards and make a promise to yourself to get to know them better. World Tarot Day is the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge of Tarot and to let others know about its treasures.

World Tarot Day 2013In an interview for the American Tarot Association, Den Elder said she created World Tarot Day because she, “Wanted a day of celebration for Tarot. A day everybody could just come together and have some nice fun and make an effort to help those unfamiliar with Tarot to realize it has a lot of positive attributes.”

Here are some ways to celebrate this special day…
Have a Tarot party.
Offer a free reading to a friend.
Try a new Tarot spread.
Set a goal for developing your Tarot wisdom.
Swap a reading with another Tarot enthusiast.
Buy a new deck or book as a personal Tarot treat.
Do a Tarot meditation and contemplate your life’s purpose.
Research one new fact about the history of the Tarot.
Check out some Tarot websites for further inspiration.
Watch my video of Tarot Affirmations!

Use this day to have some fun with Tarot. It’s an amazing gift that we have in our lives, and it’s time to share all of the wisdom that Tarot offers. What are your plans for World Tarot Day?

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Tarot Tip: Look for what’s missing

What’s Missing in your Tarot Spread?

Today’s Tarot Tip is to see if a Tarot suit is missing from your spread. A Tarot spread (such as the Celtic Cross Spread) is often filled with a smattering of cards from each suit, as well as one or two images from the Major Arcana. Sometimes one suit dominates the spread, and this indicates that the focus of the reading is about one issue in particular.

The Ace of CupsA spread filled with Cups is going to be offering relationship advice. Lots of Pentacles in a layout suggests that business and financial matters are on the person’s mind. When Swords dominate a reading, the person has lots of issues they are worrying about. And a spread with many Wands shows travel, inspiration, or restlessness.

But keep in mind that sometimes you can learn a lot from a reading when certain cards are missing. In a spread, if you don’t have any cards from the suit of Cups, it means that emotional attachment to the situation is not present. Not a good sign if you are doing a relationship reading!

A business reading that is missing the suit of Pentacles means the financial aspect of the business is not as important as other qualities associated with the person’s work. If you are missing the suit of Swords, not a lot of rational, logical thinking is going into the situation. When Wands are missing, you can ask yourself, “Where’s the passion gone?”

What about when the Major Arcana is missing from a spread? This shows that the reading is only about the mundane aspects of a person’s life. There’s unlikely to be any highs or lows for the person at this time.

So remember, look at the spread with the intention of seeing what’s in front of you, and also look for what’s missing too.

If you’d like to receive a FREE Tarot Tip by email each month, just download the free e-book shown on the right, or send me a message through the contact page.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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How to Choose the Right Tarot Deck

Choose the Right Tarot Deck:

If you’ve browsed through the Tarot section of a metaphysical bookstore lately (or an online one) you would have noticed a huge variety of Tarot decks beckoning to be bought. How are you going to know how to choose the right Tarot deck for you?

If you are a beginner, I suggest choosing a traditional deck like the Rider-Waite, which is the one I work with in my classes. Most Tarot books refer to the Rider-Waite deck when they give their interpretations, and many modern decks are simply variations on the Rider-Waite theme.

Once you are comfortable with the Rider-Waite deck, you might feel that you’d like to stretch your boundaries and look for a deck that is more appealing to your personal taste. Being familiar with the Rider-Waite system means that you can easily transfer the meanings you have already learnt, and you can build upon that basis through the extra symbols on your new cards.Choose a Rider Waite Tarot deck

Even if you are an experienced reader, going back to basics with the Rider-Waite deck can help you to pick up clues to a card’s real meaning. Its colours and symbols have been specifically designed to impart a clear interpretation to the reader.

When buying a new deck, check the size of the cards. Some are too large for small hands and they make shuffling a chore. But the main consideration in choosing a new Tarot deck is whether the images and colours are appealing to you. It has to be pleasing to the eye and it must suit your nature, otherwise you are going to avoid using it.

If you’d like to receive a FREE Tarot Tip by email each month, just download the free e-book shown on the right, or send me a message through the contact page.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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The Future of Tarot

What is the Future of Tarot?

In April I held a book launch for ‘Real Tarot’ at Cosmic Pages Bookshop. Lots of lovely people came along to hear about the book, and to listen to me talk about the future of Tarot.

In my talk I mentioned that I’d been reading Tarot cards for nearly 30 years, and that I was now on a crusade to change the general public’s perception of Tarot, so that it was seen in a positive light. I explained that I believed that it was time to look at Tarot from a fresh angle. And that for Tarot to become accepted in the wider world we had to leave behind the ‘spooky’ concepts and see it as a practical tool that can help us with our choices in life.

Future of TarotHere’s my prediction about Tarot itself: In the near future I see people showing greater acceptance of Tarot in the coming years. This has already begun, and here are some of the reasons why this has eventuated…

1) There are great books available these days, so that beginners can learn from appropriate teachers. Authors like Paul Fenton-Smith, Mary K. Greer, and Rachel Pollack write books that look at Tarot from a practical, down-to-earth perspective. This is the future of Tarot: good sources of information for enquiring minds.

2) There are also wonderful websites devoted to an exploration of Tarot and its symbols. If you dig deep enough, you’ll come up with some useful sites that promote Tarot as a way of learning about your true self, and as a way using the cards to provide guidance for those who need direction.

3) There are reputable groups such as the Tarot Guild of Australia, which has a huge focus on the development of your Tarot skills, and using Tarot in an ethical manner.

Book launch for 'Real Tarot'

What does this mean for Tarot in the future?

In the next few years I believe there will be more Tarot groups forming (online and in the real world) to share information, and to provide a support network for people who are beginners.

I see more people coming together to promote Tarot for self development.
I see people being more aware of their options for learning Tarot.
I see Tarot cards and books being more accessible in mainstream bookshops.
I feel that Tarot is going to find itself presented in the media in a more acceptable manner—and this has already started—here are some examples…

  • There is a game for Playstation called Persona 4, in which people fall into a portal and end up in the Shadow World. If a person accepts their Shadow, it becomes a Persona, which is based on the archetypes from the Major Arcana. And the Personas are summoned by using that particular Tarot card.
  • Tarot is finding its way into mainstream novels as well. I’ve just heard of a book called ‘Eight of Swords’ by David Skibbins. It’s part of a murder mystery series called ‘The Tarot Card Mysteries’, where a Tarot card reader finds that his readings have become very accurate and he has to help solve the crime!
  • Amber Petty is a columnist with The Advertiser newspaper, and her most recent blog posting is all about Tarot. She wrote, “I’ve totally and utterly fallen in love with the mysterious and wonderful world of the Tarot. It was one of those interests that had been creeping up on me until I suddenly decided the universe was telling me to get on with it.” And (on 17th April, 2013 in The Advertiser) she explained she was learning Tarot because she believed there was more to the world than what was being presented to her. I particularly liked her final paragraphs in this article… “I think it’s fabulous to ask yourself: What have I always wanted to do but haven’t through fear of pulling the outcome card I didn’t want to read? Regret is the card I would most fear to find in my deck at the very end.”
  • on a TV show called The View, Whoopi Goldberg had a Tarot reader come in and do a three card reading for her live on the show. They talked about how the cards worked and the reader explained each card as it turned up in the spread.
  • Other TV shows featuring Tarot in one or more episodes are…Xena the Warrior Princess, Mad Men, Torchwood, Criminal Minds, The Young and the Restless, The Simpsons, Monk, Buffy, Charmed, NCIS, X-Files, True Blood, Bones, and many more! See here for a full list.

xena - high priestessAs people become accustomed to seeing Tarot in a positive role on television shows and in other forms of mainstream media, the general public will become more accepting. They will finally realise that Tarot is a handy option for becoming aware of future possibilities, rather than being something to fear or ridicule.

I also know of psychologists, counsellors, and business coaches who use Tarot in therapy sessions and as a motivational tool. As their clients become used to these techniques, hopefully they will feel inclined to explore Tarot as a guide for other areas of their lives as well!

I’ve seen the future of Tarot—and in less than a decade it becomes a vibrant, powerful and contemporary method for personal awareness that has become embraced by the general public. In these coming years Tarot will be recognised by mainstream society as a positive technique for guidance, and a useful tool for making effective choices in everyday life-style situations. It will be acknowledged as an authentic means for insight. The Tarot revolution has begun, and I hope you’ll join me to spread the word.

Viva la revolution!
Mister Tarot

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Tarot’s Card Called ‘Justice’

The meaning of the Tarot card called Justice:

In Tarot, the card called ‘Justice‘ shows an enigmatic character. Who is she and what does she have to offer for our spiritual development?

At some stage in our lives, we have all watched the scales of justice weighing our actions. If we dread the outcome, it’s because we know we have failed ourselves and others with our words or deeds. At other times we know we are about to receive a reward for choosing the right path, or we might hope for compensation when others have acted unjustly towards us.

Tarot's card called JusticeIn either case, we expect Lady Justice to have taken into account all of the circumstances and to bring results swiftly and fairly.

In the Rider-Waite deck, the card called Justice is shown with all of the familiar symbols of the Goddess of Justice. She holds a sword and scales, and she is robed in official gowns of authority.

The other key symbol for this card is not hidden, but it’s not obvious either… it’s the blue square on her crown. This patch of blue represents insight.

Justice perceives the situation with calmness and clarity. She maintains an objective manner and her decisions are based on wisdom from within.

One of the key qualities for this card is ‘balance’. When this card turns up in a reading, look at all aspects of the situation, so you can gain a balanced and fair opinion. And by listening with your heart, you can provide an extra dimension to your decision making ability, bringing about a balance between feelings and rational thought.

Truth is the spiritual lesson of the card called Justice. The sword in this card is held upright, it is not wielded maliciously. The twin-edged blade is a symbol reminding you there are two sides to every argument. Hardly any situation can be seen as black or white, or completely right or wrong. The discerning mind will look at both aspects of a situation and will recognise the darkness and light of each side. The Higher Truth summoned through this card is to see the circumstances of any condition and know the needs, desires and fears binding it. Learning how to connect with the essence of your inner self can lead you to discover a well of truth you can draw from and express to the world.

Here’s a beautiful quote about insight that I found in a book called Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh. It ties in nicely with the main principles represented by the card called ‘Justice’.

“Insight is a mysterious, almost miraculous experience. A flash of insight can come upon us in a moment, without warning, like the opening in a cloudy sky that suddenly illuminates the landscape below. We see simply and clearly what before had been hidden in the shadows of concepts and confusion.”

In the coming months, when you have to pass judgement on another person’s actions, think of Lady Justice and the blue square on her crown. Wait for that ‘flash of insight’ before you make your decision and bring down the sword.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Three Parts to the Tarot

What’s in a Tarot deck?

Most people think Tarot consists of two parts—the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana, but really there’s three! The Court cards are a separate group.

All three sections of the Tarot show progression from potential to manifestation. The Major Arcana—from The Fool to The World—illustrates progress from a naive, simple attitude, to a state of enlightenment.

In the Minor Arcana the suits also show advancement from the Ace, which indicates the beginning of each suit’s energy, through to the culmination of each suit’s nature. The development of each suit is not sequential though; each card does not build upon the former and increase in strength. As in life there are ups and downs and sideways shuffles as we dance our way to discovering how to achieve certain results, but by the time we reach the Tens of the each suit the energies have developed and settled and come to a realisation of some kind.

Suit of CupsIn the Cups we go from the recognition of emotions to the fulfilment of a happy home life and family situation.

The Ace of Pentacles shows the start of financial projects and the Ten is a great portrayal of status and achievement.

The suit of Swords shows many dark and dreary images, and the final card of this suit is a fitting, but depressing outcome. This shouldn’t be too surprising as the suit of Swords is all about thoughts and worries, and an abundance of stress and fears and uncertainties is bound to culminate in depression and despair, which is clearly shown in the final card.

The suit of Wands has a similar conclusion; after beginning with the promise of new energy the final card in the series shows a man burdened with responsibilities. The suit of Wands is also about high levels of energy, inspiration, action, adventure and travel. Unfortunately, it can also represent those who get excited about life and want to try everything! It’s about people trying to achieve too much and scattering their energies. In the final card, we see a person who started too many projects without finishing some first, and the deadlines are obviously approaching fast.

The Court cards begin with the Pages and end with the Kings. The Pages show the potential of the energy of each suit in a condensed form. In the Pages you see the youngest aspect of the family—they have the youthful exuberance and innocent enthusiasm of the young generation. They have ideas but they lack the experience or assets to bring their desires into reality. They have inspiration, but they lack the wisdom that comes with age.
As Knights they have expanded upon their knowledge and they put their ideas into practice. They experience life and learn from it.

court cards from the suit of wands

As Queens they have reached that stage of maturity where they feel satisfaction in their endeavours. They have an understanding of the ways of the world and they have begun to settle into routines. They know their roles in life. They have power over their own lives and they govern other people with a subtle and gentle forcefulness.

The Kings of the Tarot are the leaders. They are role models and bosses. They are the mentors and the pillars of society.

Rather than thinking of the Court cards as just being part of a suit, realise they are an entity in themselves. The Page, Knight, Queen, and King are the Royal Family of the Tarot. Get to know them and your readings will benefit from their energies.

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The Soul Activation Spread for Spiritual Growth

Spiritual Growth Tarot Spread:

I have been studying the Tarot for over three decades, and with each passing year, my interest in Tarot deepens, but I seem to be moving further away from doing readings about the future, and I am more inclined to explore the spiritual side of Tarot.

A study of Tarot can easily lead a person to higher levels of spiritual development. If you look closely at the images on your Tarot cards, you will find that the universal principles of spirituality are reflected through the suits and the main cards. The trump cards, called The Major Arcana, show the virtues and sacred qualities which must be embraced during a journey towards enlightenment. Like life itself, this journey is full of tests and trials, but there are also many blissful moments, represented by cards such as The Star, and The Sun. The pip cards of the Tarot, known as the Minor Arcana, express opportunities for spiritual growth through the energies of each suit and its Court cards.

Meditation upon the cards is the usual way to connect with their higher energies, but another way to enhance your spiritual growth is through a layout that I created, called The Soul Activation Spread. In this layout you are encouraged to choose a spiritual quality you wish to manifest in your life. You then draw cards to tell you more about your spiritual past, and your present situation. The final card that you draw from the deck represents the energy you are going to invite into your consciousness in an act of spiritual transformation.

In this spread, use only the cards from the Major Arcana, and guide yourself through the following steps.

choosing a tarot card for a spiritual reading1) Consciously and deliberately choose a card that represents what you want to be. This is the spiritual force that you would like to manifest in your life. It represents the type of person you wish to become. For example, if you want your spiritual nature to be gentle, yet powerfully persuasive, choose the card called ‘Strength’. If you want to feel the life force of the universe flowing through you, choose ‘Temperance’. When you decide upon a card, place it in position 1 of this spread. This is your ‘soul card’ and it is the focus of the spread.

 

Step 2) Shuffle the remaining cards without looking at the images. Fan them out (face down) and say to yourself, “I now choose a card that represents my past.” Pick a card for position 2 and lay it face up on the table. This card indicates where you have come from. It shows the path you chose, or the level of spiritual development you recently attained.

Step 3) While holding the remaining cards say to yourself, “I choose a card that represents me in the present time.” Pick a card for position 3 and lay it face up on the table. In this image you will see a reflection of your current state of spiritual progress.

Step 4) With the remaining cards in hand, say to yourself, “I choose a card that will activate my spiritual development.” Pick a card and lay it face up on the table in position 4.

 

soul activation

The ‘activation card’ shows what you need to do in order to bring about the desired personality. Concentrating on this card will activate or energise your consciousness and direct you to your preferred outcome. The ‘activation card’ stimulates an awakening of your consciousness and aligns your spirit with your soul-purpose. Meditate upon this card to draw its energy into yourself and to enhance this process.

Tarot is often used for guidance in everyday life situations—with this spread, however, I invite you to use your cards to provide greater wisdom about your inner life and your sacred journey to spiritual wholeness.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

 

 

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The Wildwood Tarot

Wildwood Tarot Review

The Tarot Guild of Australia recently held a raffle—the main prize was a new deck called The Wildwood Tarot, along with a card signed by the artist and designers—and I won it! So, I thought you might be interested in knowing what it’s like.Wildwood Tarot Raffle Prize

The Wildwood Tarot is a gorgeous set of cards that blends esoteric archetypes of the Wildwood and the pagan Wheel of the Year. Mark Ryan and John Matthews are well known in the field of Celtic and Arthurian mythology and they have teamed up to bring us this deck, which is based on the popular Greenwood Tarot.

Noted artist Will Worthington was commissioned to provide the pictures for the new deck, and Ryan suggests that Will’s beautiful imagery adds maturity and insights that “stir the soul and sing the songs”. The clever artwork from Will Worthington pushes the mind into the realms of myth and magic.

Wildwood Tarot cards and book setRyan and Matthews say that this deck is not just to be used for divination—they want it to be a meditation tool to “provide major healing and evoke untapped layers of wisdom.” In most decks this concept is usually contained within the Major Arcana cards, but the Minor Arcana cards of the Wildwood Tarot are also filled with archetypal imagery and mythic beings, so the whole deck becomes a spiritual journey.

All of the Major Arcana cards have been renamed with shamanic and mythic characters.The Stag from the Wildwood Tarot Deck For example, The Magician has become The Shaman, The Emperor has become The Green Man, and Strength has become The Stag. The suits are Arrows (Swords), Bows (Wands), Stones (Pentacles) and Vessels (Cups). The Court cards retain the traditional names of Page, Knight, Queen, and King. The suit cards incorporate a one-word interpretation underneath the image, which is handy for quick reference to the designer’s intentions for the card.

This deck is colourful, its images stick in your mind, and it’s beautifully presented. The accompanying book (15 x 20 cm) is 160 pages in length, giving detailed explanations for the meaning of each card. This is an ideal Tarot set for lovers of Druidry, shamanism, paganism, myth, and legend.

The Shaman from the Wildwood Tarot DeckTarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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The Women of the Tarot

Who are the Women of the Tarot?

Tarot is filled with images of beautiful women. One is draped in ritual robes, another is taming a lion, and many are naked! Who are the women of the Tarot and what do they represent?

When you first look at these cards you might think that they are just pretty pictures, but they are more than that. These symbolic designs are affecting your subconscious mind whether you realise it or not. These are images of Goddesses. These are the key players in the drama of the world’s myths and religions.

Let’s take a look at some of the main women of the Major Arcana: The High Priestess, The Empress, the maiden in Strength, Justice, The Star, and, of course, the dancing lady in the card called The World.

The High Priestess: The character in this card is more of a girl than a woman. And her Women of the Tarot - The High Priestess from Rider Waite Tarotyouth represents purity. She is robed in blue, a peaceful colour, so she has a clear mind. Behind her is a screen filled with images of pomegranates, which are the symbols of the Goddess Persephone. She sits at the entrance to the Temple of Solomon, with the book of Hebrew wisdom on her lap—and this represents that she is a keeper of secret knowledge or special wisdom. This card represents intuition and spirituality. She wears the crown of Isis, so she has links to Goddess energy. She is our introduction to the Tarot’s Feminine Divine—with the emphasis on ‘divine’.

Women of the Tarot - The Empress from Rider Waite TarotThe very next card in the series is The Empress. This is a card of manifestation. She is the strength of the earth. The Empress is earthiness and connectedness. She is voluptuous, earthy, sensual, and full-figured. In today’s terms she’d be called a plus-sized model—a Goddess with curves in all the right places! She, too, has images of pomegranates on her dress. This time the pomegranates have their stems pointing down, so that they form the symbol for female, which is also the sigil for Venus, as shown on her heart-shaped shield.

This shield is not a defensive shield, it’s more of a banner—something she can hold aloft and say, “This is who I am—I am woman of the earth—I am a Goddess!” Even behind the cushion, the abstract pattern is really a series of Venus symbols joined together—A. E. Waite (designer of the modern Tarot) is saying that The Empress is not just giving an outer show of being a woman and a mother figure—every part of this card supports this idea and tells us she is all about comfort, softness, femininity and desire in its most loving form.

The Empress can also be associated with the Greek Goddess called Demeter, with the symbols of this myth being the corn and pomegranates shown on this card. Demeter is a Goddess of fertility and agriculture. She is known as the Mother Goddess who held back the growth of crops when her daughter Persephone went missing.

The Empress is THE mother figure of the Tarot. She is the embodiment of creative energy. The positive aspects of a mother is one who is kind and compassionate She is someone who holds you when you were not feeling well, someone who protects you, and loves you regardless of your faults and failings. When you see The Empress card, think of her as a mother and all of these meanings can be seen in her.

The High Priestess and The Empress are archetypal images. An archetype is a symbol that occurs in mythology, fairy tales, and religions. They are powerful symbols holding deep, meaningful qualities that we can all associate with. Archetypes are as old as mankind. They are universal symbols or images that express concepts that affect us, and have meaning to us, even if we can’t put those feelings into words. They are primordial principles. All Strength - from Rider Waite Tarotarchetypal images are ingrained in our understanding even before we are old enough to think and reason. They are universal images—archetypes are found all over the world and all cultures resonate to them. Carl Jung said, “It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them.” Because Tarot is full of archetypal symbolism, when you find harmony with the characters in the Tarot, wisdom is yours for the taking.

Strength: The maiden in the card called Strength is closing the lion’s mouth. The lion represents the primal beast in each of us—our physical or mundane urges and desires. The Strength card shows us that even though women are seen as “the gentle sex” with passive qualities, they have an inner strength and in their own gentle, quiet way they can overcome difficulties. This is a card of courage, motivation, and a subtle power that we can draw upon whenever we need it.

Justice from Rider Waite TarotJustice is another card showing a woman as the main character. You could be forgiven for wondering if this figure is a woman—the character called Justice has very short hair and a rather stern expression, quite unlike the feminine imagery usually associated with the women of the Tarot. However, the virtues are always portrayed in female form and this card Justice is associated with Themis, the Goddess of Justice, so this is definitely a female image. Representing the concept of Justice as a seated woman with a sword and scales was a well-established device in religious art many centuries before to the Tarot was invented. I assume that Waite and the artist Pamela Colman Smith portrayed Justice as a woman with masculine features because Justice is supposed to be equal to all—it shows the fairness and equality that is implied by the meaning of this card. It reflects the concept of balance as represented by the scales.

Some may expect me to include the card Temperance in this article, but this is another androgynous figure. This angel is neither male nor female, so it cannot be included.The Star from Rider Waite Tarot

The Star is another card featuring a Goddess. This is Ishtar, Queen of the Heavens, whose symbol is an eight pointed star. The woman is naked to represent freedom and natural expression. Waite calls The Star ‘The Great Mother’.

Finally, we come to the last card of the Major Arcana, The World. In this image we see a female figure, draped in a violet sash, dancing in an oval wreath. This dancing figure is similar to the image of the Hindu God Shiva, whose dance of bliss is also a dance of death, representing both the creation and destruction of the universe. Maybe this Tarot Dancer is showing us the ballet of the stars and planets in the universe. The World from Rider Waite TarotThe white wands in the woman’s hands show that she has the power to create her own reality. The purple sash signifies the attainment of spiritual wisdom. It’s a lovely way to end the sequence of cards known as The Major Arcana.

The women of the Tarot are goddesses of the universe. They can also represent important women you will meet in your life. And above all else, they are milestones of your spiritual development.

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

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Webinar Review

Improve your Tarot Readings through Tarot History:

A Tarot Webinar featuring – The Lovers Card – presented by Mary K. Greer

A tarot webinar featuring The Lovers In Mary K. Greer’s Tarot webinars, she has the knack of uncovering fascinating information from diverse sources, and bringing it all together to make a profound point. Luckily for us, she is willing to share her discoveries through her books and online courses.

Global Spiritual Studies recently arranged for Mary to host a webinar on Tarot’s origins. It could have been a drab affair featuring timelines and historical documents, but Mary turned this around and looked specifically at the evolution of one of the most intriguing cards of the Major Arcana—The Lovers.

Faith - by Mary GreerIn this webinar (accompanied by images of the cards and photos of places described by Mary) you visit Milan, Ferrara and Bologna—areas of the birth and development of the first Tarot cards. The photographs of Italian cathedrals were amazing, with lots of sculptures and artwork reminiscent of early Tarot cards, for example, The High Priestess (or Popess) is clearly shown as ‘Faith’, and the Wheel of Fortune is plainly seen, along with the original versions of the Strength image.

The webinar takes you on a visual journey of Tarot’s evolution, featuring pictures of the very first Tarot cards, through to modern decks such as the Motherpeace Tarot. Examples of other ‘arty’ decks are also given, where artwork is overlaid with photographic images depicting the characters of the Major Arcana. Although the earliest images of The Lovers card signified love in its pure form, Mary says that modern decks (such as The Cosmic Tribe Tarot) emphasise physical attraction between the main characters, and are more about “finding passion and one’s soul mate.”

cosmic tribe tarotIf you haven’t considered the origins of Tarot before, I’d recommend viewing this webinar as it reveals how Renaissance life and art influenced the design of our Tarot cards. And seeing how the cards have evolved shows how interpretations of the cards have come about—and this will give you a better understanding of the cards when you are doing Tarot readings.

Title: Improve your Tarot Readings through Tarot History (A Webinar featuring The Lovers Card)
Presented by: Mary K. Greer
Length of Recording: One hour
Available through: Global Spiritual Studies (www.globalspiritualstudies.com)
Cost: online recording: AUD $14, DVD is AUD $18.50+ packaging and postage ($3 Australia and New Zealand: $6 all other destinations.)

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Valentine’s Day Tarot Spread

A Valentine’s Day Tarot Spread for Lovers

Just in time for Valentine’s Day: a Tarot spread about love. But this is not your ordinary, mushy reading about romance—this is about true love and your responsibilities to the concept of love.

This reading is based on ideas from Tarot teacher Mary K. Greer, and it’s a spread that uses the card called The Lovers. The question you will ask yourself as you shuffle the cards is, ‘What do these cards reveal about myself as a lover?’The Lovers Tarot on Valentine's Day

Mary Greer’s suggestion is to shuffle the Tarot deck and then turn the deck face up. Fan out the cards and look for The Lovers card. Remove that card as well as the cards on either side of it. You now have a three card spread with The Lovers in the middle.

What do those two flanking cards tell you about how you are as a lover?

If you are not in a relationship, your question could be, ‘What do I need to know about myself, so I can be ready for a healthy relationship?’ After you have shuffled, find The Lovers card along with its flanking cards. Those cards will help you to discover how you can prepare yourself for love.

If you want to challenge yourself even further, you can shuffle while thinking about the power of Eros, the Greek god of passionate love. Find The Lovers card and the flanking cards. Eros is initiating you into the energies of the card on the left. The card on the right of The Lovers shows the wisdom required to survive the power of Eros’ desires!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Mister Tarot

 

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The Hierophant

The Hierophant and the Banjo

Here’s a bit of Tarot fun featuring The Hierophant…

When I am preparing my Tarot newsletters, my thoughts become fixated on the card that I am writing about. I look for corresponding images that I might be able to include in articles, and I keep my eyes and ears open for quotes, poems, and passages of literature that might help me express my point of view about a card’s meanings.

While thinking about the edition that focused on The Hierophant, I heard a song on the radio that featured a banjo. I realised that the joyful, playful sound of the banjo was the direct opposite of The Hierophant’s serious demeanour. I remember saying to myself, ‘I can’t imagine The Hierophant plucking at a banjo in his spare time.’ Then I realised that his pose was perfect for banjo playing. He even looks like he’s just finished playing a foot-stomping tune and he’s raising one hand to thank the audience (of two) who are cheering him on.

The Hierophant and his Banjo

With a bit of Photoshop artwork I created a bizarre and whimsical image of The Hierophant that I had to share with you. I hope you find it amusing too.

Mister Tarot

PS: My Tarot Training Newsletters are sent to people who have attended my workshops, or who have bought my book Real Tarot. If you fulfill either of those options, but are not receiving it, send me an email and I’ll put you on the mailing list. Click here for a free sample.

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Using Tarot

Top Ten Reasons for Using Tarot:

I reckon I could think of a thousand reasons for using Tarot cards, but for the sake of this article I’ve narrowed it down to my top ten.

1) To see the past more clearly.
2) To understand the present.
3) To work out best choices in the future.
4) To understand dreams.
5) To develop your intuition or psychic abilities.
6) For personal growth and exploration of self.
7) To enhance your spiritual knowledge.
8) To help you solve problems.
9) To clarify your goals.
10) To access the unconscious mind and discover what you really want and why you want it.

Mister TarotWith Tarot – you can do all of these! Using Tarot cards brings clarity, insight and direction when we need it. In a Tarot reading we can be reassured that difficult situations are temporary, and through the cards we are supplied options or steps to follow in order to bring about changes if we feel stuck.

Tarot is a way of obtaining a more meaningful perspective for past experiences. It’s for having a greater understanding of present circumstances, and to gain a glimpse of future possibilities. Tarot is not a game; it’s not to be used ‘for fun’. It’s a useful tool for discovering more about yourself and the world in which you live.

Each time you are using Tarot cards you gain confidence in yourself as a reader, so why not make it a New Year’s Resolution to use them more—and to trust the messages you receive.

What are your main reasons for using Tarot?

Tarot Blessings,
Mister Tarot

 

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