Sunday, August 28, 2022

The Sun (Card XIX) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

Yes, life is good again, all is groovy. The Sun, numbered XIX (that's nineteen in Roman numerals), is all about the sunnier happier side of life. The simple joys. Riding in wagons, wholesome fun, running in the grass barefoot, dogs on a beach, cats in the windows. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a good day to make new friends and keep the old. Play, enjoy your responsibilities, enjoy your down time. 

Obstacle:

If the Sun is in the obstacle position that tends to indicate TOXIC POSITIVITY BABY. Trying too hard to see the bright side of things that you don't see reality in front of you. No, that person really is a jerk face and can't be trusted. No, that really did suck and you didn't really deserve that. Sometimes it can mean refusing to see the good things too, but if nothing matters then everything matters. 

Solution:

If the Sun is in the solution position then it's likely telling you to quit being a negative nelly. Look at the bright side. Even if you believe "life is pain" enjoy smelling a rose, listen to your favorite music, laugh at comedy. Something terrible may have happened, but the positive side is when people react it by during their part in doing right. Remember all of your blessings, it makes the trials go down easier. 


NOTE: Picture slot intentionally left blank. NO pics used on purpose so that anyone using any deck, especially ones based on the Smith-Waite system, can relate to the meanings more easily. 

Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Moon (Card XVIII) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

The great cyclic bridge between night and day. The Moon, numbered XVIII (that's eighteen in Roman numerals), speaks to illusion and shifting forms. Facing your shadow self, the parts of yourself that don't live up to your own principles. Look up at the "inkblot" of the Moon to hopefully see beyond what is traditionally seen in the moon; a face, rabbit, frog, Hebrew letters, koi fish, or something else?

Obstacle:

If The Moon is in the obstacle position then it indicates a stubbornness to hold onto an illusion, or belief that all things labelled "dark" are bad or evil. A refusal to look at yourself honestly. A refusal to look at someone else or a situation honestly. Believing that the distorted long shadows are more real than the "thing" that's casting the shadow. Look at your fears under the sun in the twilight hours.

Solution:

When the Moon is in the Solution position it's time to look at all viewpoints, and to  discern your own motives and desires. Take note of the turns being made to hide what's private while still revealing the truth in conversation. Also, remember, at times the moon can be seen while the sun is up. It's okay to do moon work during the day, especially at these times. Moonlight is sunlight kissing the night sky. 


NOTE: photo slot intentionally left blank. NO pics are used so that these meanings can apply to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system (aka: Rider Waite Smith, RWS).

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Star (Card XVII) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

In the skyrise of the dark night of the soul, there is hope. The Star, numbered XVII (that's seventeen in Roman numerals) reminds us of the hope we feel when we look up at the stars, when we have our feet firmly planted, feeling the Earth beneath them. The Star tells us that somehow, in someway, things will be good again, and right now, despite the hardships, you can feel the wonder and awe of being alive. 

Obstacle: 

If the Star is in the obstacle position can indicate feeling completely jaded, apathetic and hopeless, or, pinning all your hopes and dreams on one thing or one person. Neither are healthy. One is a bleak way of living and the other is counterfeit hope, like is being caught in a cycle of abuse under the pretense of the perpetrator changing. Look up, and dream something new, something different. 

Solution:

If the Star is in the solution position then you need to keep hope in front of you, constantly, in any way you can. Find the golden thread, the iron banister, the healing stone, whatever connects you to the groundedness and reality of hope. Somehow in all the messiness of life there is so much beauty to be found and so many beautiful ways to ease suffering. 


NOTE: Picture slot intentionally left blank. I'm NOT using pics so that the meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck, particularly those based on the Smith-Waite system (aka: Rider Waite Smith, RWS). 

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Tower (Card XVI) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

The rude awakening. The Tower, numbered XIV (that's sixteen in Roman numerals), is like a punch to the gut, a boot to the head, horror and dread. Your shelf broke, no wait, the whole bookcase, no wait, the whole house, holy hell, and you're thrown for a loop and wonder how you are going to land. You're blown away, but, always the dust settles. Always you come back to center, to ground, as you process it all. 

Obstacle:

If the Tower is in the obstacle position, this is you processing it all but instead of making some changes for the better, you're like NOPE, Imma go ahead and do the SAME thing I was doing before. So you rebuild the same faulty house, with the same faulty foundation. But eventually, you will be blown away again by the excrement hitting the fan and it all comes crumbling down again, until you take your lessons to heart. 

Solution:

If the Tower is in the solution position, it's time to SHAKE THINGS UP. Yeah, sometimes, YOU are the tower moment in someone's life, laying out the truth as fairly and kindly as possible, but holy moly, sweet Jesus that still hurts. Embrace the whirlwind. Ride it out. Even if it's your world that crumbled, there's always beauty in the breakdown, and a touch of humor as well. 


NOTE: Picture section intentionally left blank. No pictures are used on purpose so that anyone using any Tarot deck, particularly the Smith-Waite system (aka: Rider Waite Smith, RWS), can use these meanings for their cards. 

The Devil (Card XV) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

The Devil, numbered XV (that's fifteen in Roman numerals), is about vice, the misuse of power and control, addictions and beliefs that steer you away from whole hearted healing and being. Virtues turned inside out into extremes, bastardizing intentions and meanings. False beliefs that vilify life in the flesh. Using the sensual to harm life instead of to edify life. The Just World Fallacy.

Obstacle:

When in the obstacle position the Devil indicates staying in a bad situation, refusing to see that the qualities of honor, loyalty, safety, love, and other good qualities you have, are being exploited, or used against you. There's gaslighting going on. And self-deception to the point where you are not only hurting yourself but others as well. 

Solution:

When the Devil is in the solution position it may be one of those times where it's better to with the devil you know than the devil you don't. Also, sometimes, love can hurt, light can hurt, it's all too much, so the positive can feel like a devil hounding you. So, sometimes, that's the "devil" you need to listen to, or conversely, perhaps you are the "devil" by being a force of light and love in someone's life. 


NOTE: Picture spot intentionally left blank. NO pictures are used so that the meanings can be more easily applied to anyone using the Smith-Waite system (aka: Rider Waite Smith, RWS). 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Temperance (Card XIV) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

Temperance, numbered XIV* (that's fourteen in Roman numerals), is about harmony, knowledge, and discernment; knowing what, when, where, and how to do something as well as knowing for how long, what tools to use, and when to wait. Rather like baking a cake or a yeast bread. Time Tools and Techniques, use them all to get a more desirable outcome. 

Obstacle:

When in the obstacle position, Temperance indicates you are skipping an essential part of the process, moving too fast, unwilling to learn moderation.  You are not in control of your life; unsustainable life practices, beating a dead horse, running your life ragged. Even our physical hearts need to rest between beats.

Solution:

When in the solution position, Temperance is telling you to remember even handedness, to be calm of heart and clear of mind. Now is not the time to fly off the seat of your pants but to use thoughtfulness and care. Preparedness and planning, three deep cleansing breaths, listening and patience. Good timing. Rather like, flipping a pancake. 


NOTE: Picture spot intentionally left blank. NO pictures are used on purpose so that it's easier for anyone to use their favorite Smith-Waite based deck (aka: Rider Waite Smith, RWS)  with these meanings. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Death (Card XIII) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

Death, numbered XIII (that's thirteen in Roman numerals), is change.* The acorn dies in order to become an oak tree. Whenever something ends, something else begins. Change is the only constant in the universe, so you may as well have fun with it. Let change edify your life. Every time you learn something new, you change a little bit, and that's so very cool.  

Obstacle:

When in the obstacle position, Death tends to speak to fear of change and of the unknown; a denial of change. Yet, in reality, if you delay change for too long the change happens anyway. Chronic denial of change moves into stagnation, which changes into regression, and then into unnecessary suffering. It's okay to be scared, but gather your courage so you can zen it out while moving forward; progressing.

Solution:

When in the solution position, Death is asking you to make them your friend by embracing change with wild abandon. Get excited about the adventure of discovering what needs to change. Get grounded and real about what needs to change. You have to let go of what no longer serves you in order to get through what you are going through well, even when it's hard. Embrace it with compassion and curiosity. 


*Addendum: Death almost never means physical death, and even if it did, it's illegal to predict physical death anyway. 


NOTE: Picture slot intentionally left blank. I'm using NO pictures on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Friday, August 5, 2022

The Hanged One (Card XII) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

The Hanged One (aka: the Hanged man), numbered XII (that's twelve in Roman numerals) is a call for you to change what you are doing by doing nothing; be still, wait, pause. Things are a bit topsy turvy, upside down, inside out, and it's time to look at things from a different perspective. Sometimes the best thing to do is to stop and look around; left, right, up, down, turn around. 

Obstacle:

When the Hanged One is in the obstacle position it means you don't want to stop and get your bearings. Maybe you already think you know everything you need to know about the situation, or maybe you are afraid that if you slow down you'll get screwed over. Either way, you are moving to fast and you have got to slow down before you make that turn or you really fall over and it'll hurt bad. 

Solution:

When the Hanged One is in the solution position it means a whole lot of "Naw, I'm chill" is needed. The, "No, not now, let me think about that first," type language creates the space you need pause and think more deeply about things. Do you have the spoons? Do you want to be involved? Saying yes to all things gives you tunnel vision; negating compassion, self-care, and gentle inquiry. STAHP. pls.


NOTE: Picture slot intentionally left blank. I'm using NO pictures on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Justice (Card XI) - Basic Meanings


General:

The Justice card, numbered XI (that's eleven in Roman numerals), is about logical liberation, making the logical fair choice because you value life and liberty; even when it's hard. Justice is about ensuring that mercy isn't misplaced, that the one doing harm is not favored over the one harmed. Secular law, equity, ethical business practices, the golden rule. 

Obstacle:

If the Justice card is in the obstacle position of a spread, then you're probably being too nice; allowing yourself to be walked all over in an effort to be a peacemaker. It indicates resistance to doing the logical thing, likely because feels mean to say no, to have boundaries, or to assert yourself. It can also indicate that someone is playing fast and loose with the spirit of the law.

Solution:

 If hte Justice card is in the solution position it indicates that it's time to balance the scales, to let the chips fall where they may, to allow fair consequences to happen. It's time to be impartial. Set aside your emotions and feelings, set aside your attachments, so you can do the right thing, even when its hard. Be matter-of-fact; it is what it is, and what must be done must be done. 


NOTE: Picture slot intentionally left blank. Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Wheel of Fortune (Card X) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

The Wheel of Fortune (aka: The Wheel), numbered X (this is ten in Roman numerals), is the card about the ups and downs of life; the cycles in the flow of life. You have to know the bitter in order to know the sweet. Yet this too shall pass, sorrow will turn to joy. The push and pull of unity and separation, the wheel turns, the circle of life. 

Obstacle:

When the Wheel of Fortune is in the obstacle position, it indicates a resistance to allowing contrast in your life; trying to turn back time.  Also, letting things happen to you instead of taking part in your own life. Counterfeit go with the flow, refusing to be your own person and make your own decisions; letting others choose for you as your default. Stagnation.

Solution:

If The Wheel of Fortune is in the solution position, It's time to roll with the punches baby! Dance to the beat, fast and slow, breathe deeply in the pauses. Find the humor and wonder in it all to stay afloat. Gratitude for the cycles of existence. Acceptance of the impermanence of everything, except for change. Trust the process. 


NOTE: Picture slot intentionally left blank. Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The Hermit (Card IX) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

The Hermit, numbered IX (this is 9 in Roman numerals), is about sacred solitude. Sometimes you need to cut out the noise, so you can hold up the lamp of your Heart, so you can see what you need to see, and hear what you need to hear. Vibe with the wildness of existence; within and without. Rest, recharge, take a break. Doing so is vital for healthy living. 

Obstacle: 

When in the obstacle position, the Hermit can indicate that you are isolating. Solitude is healthy, but isolation is torture. You can be among family and still be emotionally isolated. It doesn't feel safe to come out of isolation, but you'll die before you're dead if you don't. And if you already died before you're dead, let connection breathe life back into you. 

Solution:

If the Hermit is in the solution position it's time for the silence to be heard. Look for the people who aren't saying anything. Talk to the quiet ones, hold space for them, and listen to understand. Listen for who is being left out of the narrative, who or what isn't being considered. Meditate before you do this so you can be zen no matter what is said, otherwise no one will talk to you. 


NOTE: Picture slot intentionally left blank. Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Monday, August 1, 2022

Strength (Card VIII) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

Strength, numbered VIII (that's eight in Roman numerals)*, is about befriending the ego, and respecting the wildness within, and accepting all emotions as they come. The courage of radical acceptance that things are the way they are, and then using your personal power to make things better, friendlier. Coming to an accord with the good, the bad, the neutral; within and without. 

Obstacle:

When Strength is in the obstacle position you may be forgetting that you do have sufficient fortitude to weather the storm, but, you do have to be able to bend or you'll snap. Obstinate, controlling, dominating, disrespecting boundaries, misusing your strength to have power over other beings. Power is meant to be shared for equitable living. 

Solution:

When Strength is in the solution position it is an indication that gentle persuasion, calming patience, is needed. Putting anger and unhelpful emotions on the backburner in order to facilitate a better outcome. There is strength in zenning it out, so to speak. Draw on your inner resources to keep moving, keep going, so you can get to the light at the end of the tunnel. Be more kind to yourself. Let your friends love you.


*In some decks Strength is numbered XI (that's 11), and number VIII is Justice. 


NOTE: Picture slot intentionally left blank. Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Chariot (Card VII) - Basic Meanings


General:

The Chariot, numbered VII (which is seven in Roman Numerals), is a card about doing the work of personal triumph. The timeless story of discovering yourself, and what you are made of. The story of gathering your resources, deep inside, your shadow and your light aligned, to move forward in a positive direction. Passion, drive, and preparedness for the task at hand. You got this. 

Obstacle:

If the Chariot is in the obstacle position, you've dug in your heels or you're stuck in the mud spinning your wheels but unable to get enough traction to get out the mess you're in. Or, you are in perpetual crunch time, oppressive overwork, glorifying the grit, sleeplessness in the name of productivity. Personal triumph at the expense of running others down. No human or animal can run, or fly, forever.

Solution:

When this card is in the solution position it typically a reminder that you are capable of doing what you need to do, and learning and learning anything you need to long along the way. You are the driver of your chariot. You choose how fast to go, when to go, and when to pause. You know what resources you need to gather for whatever it is you got going on. Harmonize your light and shadow, and GO. 


NOTE:

Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS).  

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Lovers (Card VI) - Basic Meanings


General:

The Lovers, numbered VI (this is six in Roman Numerals),  is about commitment, romantic and otherwise. This card is about choosing who is family, and choosing where, what, and with whom to commit your time, your life, your soul. Love of friends, love of hobbies, love of community, love of work, love of nature, of self, etc.  Partnership. Union. 

Obstacle:

When the Lovers is the the obstacle position it typically speaks to counterfeit love. Either you being manipulated or someone else is manipulating you. Sometimes it's simply you trying too hard. Whatever the case, something, a belief, a person, an anxiety, is getting in the way of you experiencing the real deal kind of love, romantic or otherwise. Remove the block so you can love more clearly. 

Solution:

When the Lovers is in the solution position it typically speaks to doing what you love, and being with whom you love. Return to whatever it is that creates real connection and joy, be that with a person, nature, a pet, a hobby, etc. You gotta go back to the courtship aspect to get back into right relationship with the real deal love. Of course, this applies to all forms of authentic love; platonic or otherwise. 


NOTE:

Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Friday, July 29, 2022

The Hierophant (Card V) - Basic Meanings

 

General:

The Hierophant*, numbered V (this is five in Roman Numerals), is the card of translating the Word of God into daily living, the outward expression of faith, hope, and trust, with a little bit of pixie dust. The teacher, the elder, the guru, the reverend, the seer. This is the card of honesty and integrity, ethics and love eternal; learning and studying spiritual truths to live life with more grace and ease, with more compassion and understanding. 

Obstacle:

If the Hierophant is in the obstacle position of a spread then it indicates that you are giving away all your power to a "higher authority" which robs you of being able to be the Hierophant of your own life; doubting yourself to the point where you are gaslighting yourself, shutting yourself off from your own way of expressing heavenly compassionate living.  It's a terrible way to live.

Solution:

If the Hierophant is in the solution position then it likely indicates a need to seek out a trusted spiritual advisor and/or sacred text. It's also a call to trust yourself to know who that person is, and when to let go of continuing to trust someone/something in authority that makes you uncomfortable. Do what works for you with honor and fairness. Personal sacred ritual is needed here. 

*The Hierophant is pronounced high-roh-fant (like ant and hieroglyphics)


NOTE:
Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Emperor (Card IV) - Basic Meanings


General:

The Emperor, numbered IV (which is four in Roman Numerals), is all about structure. This is like rocks and mountains, and the work that goes on behind the scenes. It's indirect the part of service and care that's the initial leg work so you know WHAT kind of service and care is needed, and then HOW you are going to organize it all so it can actually get done; preferably at the most optimal time. 

Obstacle: 

If the Emperor is in the obstacle position then it's quite likely that you are being so structured that you are nitpicking yourself or others to death. Micromanaging, requiring a level of exactitude that is stifling and beyond reason. You are too far removed from why you are doing what you are doing. You've lost sight of the joy of appropriate creative free flow and collaboration. It's okay to take time to make it beautiful. 

Solution:

In the solution position the Emperor is reminding you that you need to do first things first, that there is an order and structure to getting things done. Get all your ducks in a row, all the paperwork and requirements squared away, all before you go out to do anything. Every house needs a foundation (even prefabs), before building the frame, before building the rest, etc; THEN you can have fun decorating.


NOTE:
Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Empress (Card III) - Basic Meanings


General:

The Empress, card III (this is three in Roman Numerals) is about going out and taking care of things,. Community service that is directly with the people, the community; including plants and animals - the whole ecosystem. The Empress is the big nurturing doer. Warmth, care, trust, and relief are in this card. A bit of both sunshine and shade; whichever is most needful.  

Obstacle:

When in the obstacle position of a spread, The Empress may indicate a need to nourish yourself, a time out for attending the community, nearing burn out. Sometimes you have to go out and do things for YOU. It's can also indicate a call to check your motivations. Are you really being altruistic or are you being self-serving; using the concepts of community and care to manipulate others into doing what you want? 

Solution:

When in the solution position of a spread, The Empress may indicate a need to use your creative compassionate energy to focus on serving others. There are many ways to be of service, to have a direct impact on others and the ecosystem. Do the service thing that you enjoy!  Show warmth and care in your interactions with others, doing so is like offering sweet water to parched lips. 


NOTE:
Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The High Priestess (Card II) - Basic Meanings


General:

The High Priestess, numbered II (this is two in Roman Numerals), is about an inner knowing that makes you smile. A whispered wisdom like the susurrus sound of wind in the trees, beckoning you to return to the land in which you belong, to come home to your heaven on earth, home to your inner peace, to do the work to get there. The pause of self-reflection before you go out again to do the thing. Wisdom is knowing what to say, when to say it, how to say it, and when to say nothing.

Obstacle:

If the High Priestess is in the obstacle position in a spread then it likely means you are being too cagey,  trying too hard to be the wiser bigger person, to the point where you are betraying your own self. There is sacred silence which is good from time to time.  Then there is being silenced and staying silent which is an act of violence.  Speak up. And keep speaking up until you are heard. 

Solution:

If the High Priestess is in the solution position in a spread then it likely means that now is a time to engage in sacred silence, to check in with yourself, perhaps even to invite someone else to check in with themselves. Meditation, prayer, and reflection are needed here. Lead by example. Wait to speak up. It's okay to say, I need think about this first.


NOTE:

Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 



Monday, July 25, 2022

The Magician (Card I) - Basic Meanings


General:

The Magician, numbered I (that's one in Roman Numerals) , has all of the elements at their disposal; fire, water, earth, air, spirit. The Magician brings forth the magic and wonders of Heaven, and the  magic and wonders of living in grounded reality on Earth. You have all the tools you need to know what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and when to do nothing. 

Obstacle: 

If the Magician is in the obstacle position in a spread then it likely means that you are missing some vital piece of information. A disconnection from either Heaven or Earth, or seeing your tools as insufficient for the work at hand, not knowing how to use what you have. If you have a hammer but don't know how to hit the nail without hitting your yourself along with, then a little bit of step back is needed.

Solution: 

If the Magician is in the solution position in a spread then it's time to bust out all you got to hit that nail on the head. Knowing your own power, showing up with a little flair. Courage in showing people what you can do, taking charge of your own show. Following through with knowing how and when to use all the tools in your tool belt. Maintaining your connection to Heaven and Earth. 


NOTE:

Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS).  

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Fool (Card 0 or 22) - Basic Meanings


General:

The Fool is about choosing to move forward, about childlike wonder, and unabashed joy in living. New beginnings, new ventures, and wholesome fun. Sometimes this is seen as being foolhardy, or unwise, yet sometimes what seems too risky isn't so risky at all, or it's worth risk because The Fool is witty and clever. 

Obstacle: 

If The Fool is in the obstacle position in a spread then it likely indicates that you actually are being foolhardy, and rejecting tried and true conventional wisdom, being too risky, or trying so hard not to act the fool, trying so hard to "be mature" that it hurts.

Solution: 

If The Fool is in the solution position in a spread then it likely indicates it's time for a leap of faith, but it's a fun one, and it's safe to make the leap. Remember childlike wonder, and fun, and go for taking the risk.  Go for it, embark on the new thing. Wisdom is knowing when it's Time To Play and when it's time to Do The Thing.


NOTE: Using NO pictures is on purpose so that these meanings can be more easily applied to any Tarot deck using in the Smith-Waite system, aka: Rider-Waite Smith (RWS). 

Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Deck That Made Me Brave

Before I bought my first physical deck, I only used phone apps. It was easier to hide the Tarot you see, because good Mormon girls don't use the Tarot. 

The first Tarot deck I ever wanted was a novelty deck from the Escaflowne anime. I was so excited to see a DVD offer to get one for free while supplies last! Unfortunately, I told my mother about it first who basically told me in no uncertain terms, that I was not allowed to have. If I got the deck I would start using it and relying on the deck instead of Jesus Christ, and being a bad influence on my younger siblings (I'm the third out of eight children). 

Years later, married with my own singular spawn, I found myself in an FB group about developing your spiritual gifts from a Mormon perspective. Some people there talked about how much they loved oracle cards. Some mentioned that they will use oracle, but never Tarot because they thought the Devil card and the Death card were evil. A couple said that they didn't have a problem with those but understood the view. While I got into oracle, Tarot was still in my mind. 

Because you see, I would still look for Hitomi's Tarot Cards from Escaflowne. I could always find them for sale but they would cost about three hundred dollars or so. I knew I only wanted them because they came from the anime, and that I wasn't going to misuse them as my mother predicted I would. 

And well, these other Mormon women, developing their spiritual gifts made some interesting points, so I decided to download free Tarot apps onto my then-android phone. Some of those apps were so badly designed, but yet, I would open them up, randomly pull a card and feel like I got what I needed. I discovered the Galaxy Tarot app (my favorite Tarot app of all time, on Android phones/tablets only). I started to learn the cards a little more and found that the Death card and the Devil card and other "scary" "negative" cards had been misunderstood by some of those ladies in the FB group. 

Yet still, I never intended to buy a physical deck.  This was my little secret. I didn't even think I would ever get that Escaflowne deck because dang, who has that kind of money laying around? Not me! 

Then, Memorial weekend, in 2015, I went to BayCon, a Bay Area general science fiction and fantasy. I started going every year for my birthday. That year, I went with ZERO spending money. I spent my time going to the different writing panels. However, my big sister was attending as well and I went to the dealer's room with her (she gave me twenty to spend for my birthday out of her own very limited budget). Therein, I saw the artist guest of honor's table. Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. She had all sorts of things, but also a Tarot deck, and two big ol' special Tarot art books, one for the major arcana, one for the minor. 

Let me tell you, her art was breathtaking. I liked the cover of the big convention book with her work on it, but that Tarot. Her Tarot art had me spinning in stunned delight and joy. The Death card had me reeling and I wanted to cry for the beauty of it, and for the beauty of the rest of the cards. 

Except, I could not afford to buy her deck. I got Stephanie's business card and she reassured me that yes, I would be able to buy the deck later after the convention. I felt so worried that this was going to end up being an unintended lie, as sometimes happens. But, there was nothing I could do but take it up on faith. 

This deck was so powerful to me, that I started telling my sister about how I have been using Tarot apps as the Spirit guided me. While she was dubious, there was no dispute that Stephanie's art was simply that stunning. 

As time passed, I kept looking up the cards on Stephanie's Shadowscapes website, taking them in, while still using the smart phone apps. Waiting to be able to afford the cost of the deck, which was only $33. But at that time, that was a lot of money. About 17 months later (oh hey, look 17, the Star!), on Oct. 5, 2016, I was able to buy the Shadowscapes Tarot. A few months after in 2017 I was able to buy her big Shadowscapes Tarot art books.  

The Shadowscapes Tarot is still my favorite deck of all time. 

Here is the link to her website where you can see all the cards! https://www.shadowscapes.com/Tarot/cardsmain.php?suit=0

Bonus note: I now have the Escaflowne novelty deck. Robert, my spouse, bought it for me when he found it for about a hundred dollars!
I rarely use it, but it's a joy to have. 

Another bonus, my mom is now hella chill with me and Tarot!

Monday, February 21, 2022

My Unexpected "Initiation" Into Professional Tarot Reading

Back in June 2018 I finally decided to actually listen to the spiritual promptings to take a break on FB for  a year and a day. Yeah, it took me quite a long time to listen to my spirit guides on that. I swear they know I behave like an idiot sometimes and so start poking me early. 

I set the start and spent the time up to that letting people know what I was up to, and I got few laughs for my, "year and a day" length, but hey, that wasn't my idea. 

In a few FB groups I wanted to say goodbye to people, and in one part  Tarot group that I really like I said:

"All right peeps. I'm leaving FB for a year and a day. My guides say it's time to stop putting that call on voicemail. It starts on Friday. If you wanna stay in touch please PM me! I will give you my email and such so we can stay in contact. "HOWEVER, before I leave, I wanna give some peeps a 3 card reading. THESE ARE WHAT THE PLACEMENTS MEAN: 1: What your Guides want you to know 2: What the Earth wants you to know. 3: What your Heart wants you to know.

"I know for sure I can do 10 people, I might be able to squeeze more but no promises.

"Note: I will be using Shadowscapes Tarot. Images available here: From Shadowscapes Tarot. Images available here: http://www.shadowscapes.com/Tarot/cardsmain.php?suit=0

"Unless I'm guided to use a different deck for you, then I will tell you different. 🙂 "Love this group! ❤"

Okay, well, there were several responses, and I got it in my head to DO THEM ALL. Okay, when I say several I mean about 50! So in less than 24 hours, between the hours of 3:17pm on June 13th to 9:40am June 14th (with eight hours sleep in between and, I assume, making family dinner) I did 51 readings (I counted, and I looked back on the thread to see all the dates and times). 

Y'all, that was exhausting. So exhausting I don't even remember sleeping. I remember it as one big mass of time doing reading after reading after reading in short order. And there were times I was inspired to use a different deck for someone which meant it took MORE time to get the reading done because I had to take pictures of hte spread when I went to a different deck. 

I was tired y'all. So. Tired. And I received SO MANY positive responses to the readings! Like no one said it was a dud for them. It was a helluva experience. 

Soon after I realized, wait, if I can do a bunch of readings like that all at once, then hot damn, I'm actually ready to be a professional Tarot reader!  That same year, I participated in my first faire as a Tarot reader. And after that I started my Tarot Energy Healing meetup group, which is a story all on its own.

Anyway, I had never considered this experience as an "initiation", but as simply me goin' wild. It wasn't until one of my students in the meetup called it one that I went, oh, oh yes, I suppose it is. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Why Tarot?


This is a question that I frequently hear from people. Why use Tarot?  What's the point of Tarot? How is it helpful? 

Fundamentally Tarot is a tool of psychological, emotional, and spiritual empowerment.

Tarot is a way to get out of one's own head, whether reading for myself to get out of my own head, or reading for someone else to help them get out of their own head. Tarot is a great way to get out of your head because you can see images on the cards, using archetypes and symbols to help you see what you need to see; perhaps that things aren't as bad as you think they are, or perhaps uncovering toxic positivity. 

Tarot is a way of grounding and calming the mind. Shuffling the cards with deep calming belly breaths, thinking about the question and all the moving parts of that question, and thus thinking about how to lay it all out in a spread or choosing a premade spread that would fit. It's like cranking the music box of your soul to get the song started. Maybe that's too poetic, but you can think of it as getting into a car, checking that your mirrors, seat, and steering wheel are all in place, then putting on that seat belt; all before turning the key in the ignition, all before you start your drive.

Tarot has a structure similar to a deck of cards, and uses archetypes, so that once you begin to remember them then that knowledge is easily transferred to a different Tarot deck. I love that I can pick up a new Tarot deck with beautiful art and already have an idea of what it all means. I love the different artistic expressions of the same meanings and symbols. 

Tarot is a way of organizing your thoughts and feelings, to help you see what you are having a hard time seeing, to think of things in a different way, understanding different perspectives, that sort of thing.

If you believe in God/Goddess/Source, Mother-Father-Parent God, or what not, it's a wonderful way to help you communicate with the Divine, with your angels, guides, your ancestors. It's a wonderful way to help you go within, and to help with shadow work, and mental health issues. While Tarot does NOT replace the need for mental health professionals, Tarot can help. Personally, I have used both mental health care professionals and Tarot readings in tandem and found it to be a great benefit. However, if you can't afford therapy, well, Tarot can still help you quite a bit. 

Does Tarot tell your fortune? Well. Not exactly. For me, it's a wonderful way to look at what is the most probable thing that is going to come up and how one can rise to meet it (Yes, that's a Princess Mononoke reference). In this way, Tarot empowers you to change how you handle things so that whatever difficulties that are coming up can be met with more grace and ease, more zen and finesse; and sometimes, you can avoid a messy situation altogether. This is why I love forewarnings. 

Tarot is also a fabulous way to help with decision making, especially when you are choosing between two good things and you can't do both; looking at the energies of each choice and the most likely outcomes. This kind of comparative reading has been so helpful for me as someone who gets anxiety-induced choice paralysis. Which brings us back full circle to being empowered, to getting out of your head, out of  that spinning cycle of anxiety, into grounding and calming the mind to invite in clarity. 

I hope this helps, and feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Much love!

Ruth :)

Note: Image above is the Czech version of the Shadowscapes Tarot (my fav), featuring Queen of Wands, Temperance, and the Hierophant; respectively. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Counterfeit Tarot Deck Problem

Yep, it's a problem that's real. 

Pervasive enough that I wrote to a local book thrift shop about counterfeit decks they are selling too, thinking they are legit mini decks when they aren't at all! 

Hallmarks of counterfeit decks:
  • They are smaller than the typical deck, so they might be thought of as a "mini" deck; which some decks do have. (The Wild Unknown Tarot, for example, now has a mini deck version, but it's in a *tin* not a little cardboard flip box.)
  • There are no physical guidebooks
  • There are QR codes to download a scanned version of the guidebook (some independent publishers might do this, but it's clear when it's an indie publisher)
  • Scans of said guidebooks look awful, btw.   
  • NO information on the publisher, 
  • NO credit given to the creator. 
  • Saying 78pcs
  • Shipping from China, (people who legitimately use Chinese presses start to have counterfeit problems with their works)

It's okay if you have been swindled before. I know I sure did when I was new at this! I thought I got the decks for a fabulous deal, but nope, I sure did not. 

Below are four images comparing legit vs bootleg versions of these two decks.  Click on the images below to see larger versions of each image. Conversely, you can also go directly to the links. 


Liminal 11, the publisher has this to say on counterfeit decks: https://liminal11.com/2021/07/08/fake-tarot-deck/


Real:
       
Fake: 
Real:
Fake: 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

How I Calculate Your Year Card

When I calculate for the year card for a year reading, it's for the CURRENT year. There are two ways to do this, which I discovered quite by accident. Both relate to numerology. It's adding up the month and day of your birth with the current year (NOT your birth year). The two ways to do this is to maintain the place values (yep, back to elementary school here), and the other is to ignore place value and to treat all individual numbers as single digit numbers that go in the ones place. 

I give detailed examples of how this is done here. I also stated at the end of that article that I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the difference because sometimes, the answer is the same, and sometimes it's not. 

For example if your birthday is May 28 with the current year as 2022 (it's the year 2022 at the time of this writing) then the "maintaining the place value" method will give you number 12, The Hanged Man. But the "putting all numbers in the ones place" method will give you number 21, The World.

However, if you were born on May 1 with the current year as 2022, both methods will result in the number 12, The Hanged Man.

So, now the way I handle this is to use BOTH methods. And if you have two cards, you get two year cards, and if you get one card then you have one year card. I find that more interesting, and it adds some clarity and richness to the reading. At least for me. 

As always, questions are welcome!