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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Reading with the Ethereal Visions Tarot

In my review of the book Journaling the Tarot: a little book of big questions by Andy Matzner, I wrote:
"For me, I think the fun will come in following this procedure:
(1) Draw a card
(2) Draw a second card to indicate the number of the question I need to ask.
(3) Check the book. Focus on the question chosen.
(4) Pull as many additional cards as I like to help me answer that question." 
(To read the entire review, click HERE.)

Let’s see how this idea might work. I am using the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck by Matt Hughes.

Step 1. The Card: FIVE OF CUPS

Interestingly, this same card came forward in a deck interview I did in April with this same deck. Click HERE. In that reading, the 5 of Cups represented an answer to the question: “What would you like me to understand about myself?” My interpretation at that time: “You need to stop thinking so much about what you have lost, where you have failed, and what 'might have been.' Look up. Turn around. Seize the goblets that are waiting to be filled.” All of that still holds.

Step 2. The Number of the Question: Knight of Pentacles = 12

This card was drawn primarily to provide a number, but I think it is worthwhile to look at the card meaning as well. Matt Hughes provides the following keywords for the Knight of Pentacles --
“Upright: prepared, efficient, ambitious, practical”; “Reversed: stagnant, lazy, careless, idle.”

It will be useful to look at how those words plus my own interpretation of this card could help me understand what the cards want me to know. I sometimes see the Knight of Pentacles as representing a determined, careful, direct approach. That’s all well and good, but this Knight can also be “stodgy” or single-minded in pursuit of an objective, with little ability or desire to look up and not only see what is going on around him, but attempt to understand it and to take it into account.

Step 3. Question 12 under the Five of Cups in Journaling the Tarot:
"Whom or what do you need to exorcise from your life? What would that ritual look like? How do you imagine you would feel afterwards?"

That looks like three questions to me, so I am drawing three cards to answer:

Whom or what do you need to exorcise from your life? 

QUEEN OF PENTACLES

Keywords from the guidebook for the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck –

  • “Upright: prosperity, pleasure, motherly, security”
  • “Reversed: imbalance, reclusive, superficial, martyrdom”

Wow. I know exactly what this refers to. I’m a private person in many ways, and I don’t really want to broadcast my personal problems and issues all over the internet. Let me just say that the keywords – and my own personal way of interpreting the Queen of Pentacles – make a whole lot of sense. And also let me say that the fact that this is Mother's Day is also very appropriate.

What would that ritual look like? 

TWO OF WANDS

Keywords –

  • “Upright: focus, decisions, discovery, planning”
  • “Reversed: overconfidence, stunted, undetermined, blocked”

Yes to all of the upright keywords, while hoping and trying to avoid the conditions suggested by the reversed keywords. I also notice how the man is standing alone at the top of a tower, looking down or out at a vast landscape of sea and shore. I know that the “traditional” interpretation of this card is usually about gazing out at the “landscape” with confidence and even pride. To me, however, in my current state of mind, the image suggests the possibility of feeling overwhelmed by the number of things or issues that need to be addressed, which of course means that focus and planning are absolutely critical to counter that sense of being overwhelmed.

How do you imagine you would feel afterwards?

THREE OF SWORDS

Keywords –

  • “Upright: pain, grief, deception, rejection”
  • “Reversed: “forgiveness, recovery, clarity, introspection”

Yep. Spot on. The questions posed by Andy Matzner and the way the cards both directed me to the questions and answered the questions – all of it – spot on.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

REVIEW: Journaling the Tarot: a little book of big questions

R E V I E W

Journaling the Tarot: a little book of big questions
180 pages
ISBN: 1987796888
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC



TOP LINE

When I receive a book for review, my first step is usually to find a quiet place and time where I can read that book. Not so with Andy Matzner’s Journaling the Tarot. Instead, the very nature of the book invited me to jump in the “play” immediately. There would be time later if I wanted to read and digest each page (and I will).

I love that the book offers several individual pages containing relevant quotations, and when we come to the page titled “Instructions” it is blank except for the statement, “[this page intentionally left blank.]” Seriously, my Virgo ascendant immediately thought, “Oh dear, an error.” To which my Sagittarius sun replied, “No! It’s perfect! Don’t you get it?!?!”

Starting with The Fool (always the best place to start, I think), Matzner presents two pages of around 20-30 questions that each card of the Tarot might ask us (actually, let’s face it, they DO ask us). I confess (possibly with great embarrassment, possibly not) that I am not the journaling type. But if you are, this book will give you prompt after prompt for your journal entries as you delve into why that particular card speaks to you and what it is saying.

For me, I think the fun will come in following this procedure:
(1) Draw a card
(2) Draw a second card to indicate the number of the question I need to ask. (Because the questions number between 20 and 30 for each card, and the Tarot only goes up to 22, I need to figure out a method that doesn’t exclude questions numbered 23 and above.)
(3) Check the book. Focus on the question chosen.
(4) Pull as many additional cards as I like to help me answer that question.

Stay tuned – a blog entry using this approach is quickly approaching!

If you’re looking for a book you can use immediately, that also provides marvelous insight into the purpose and meaning of each Tarot card, get a copy of Journaling the Tarot by Andy Matzner. You won’t regret it.

Andy Matzner
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Matzner is gender therapist, coach, author, and educator with an office in Roanoke, VA . He is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist who also teaches psychology at Virginia Western Community College and gender and women’s studies at hollins University. His published books include The Tarot Activity Book: A collection of creative and therapeutic ideas for the cards.

Of himself, he writes: “In the end, my mission is simple: To learn new things, share those things with others, and empower people to expand their horizons and fulfill their potential. That’s why I do what I do.” – Andy Matzner

To read more about Andy Matzner, click HERE. 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION from Author/Publisher

”If your tarot cards could speak, what questions would they ask?

Questions are powerful catalysts for introspection and self-growth. They can lead us in surprising directions. Or reconnect us to long-buried truths. It is important to take time in our lives every so often to check in with ourselves and meditate on the thoughts and feelings that well-thought-out questions can generate.

Usually we expect tarot cards to provide us with answers. In this book however, you will see that the cards themselves generate questions that you can use as prompts for journaling and discussion.”

SOME OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK

  • The Fool: Who or what are you currently taking on faith?
  • The High Priestess: What don’t you know? What is your next step?
  • Temperance: With whom should you join forces? Why might that be a good idea?
  • The Moon: How are you missing the point?
  • Four of Wands: What should you be celebrating? How can you best do so?
  • Eight of Cups: What parts of your past must you explore and resolve in order to move forward?
  • Three of Swords: Whom will you disappoint? Why? Can this be avoided? If so, how?
  • Seven of Pentacles: How are you appreciating what you have?

BASIC INFORMATION / APPEARANCE, SIZE, QUALITY / ART

This 8 x 5-1/4 inch paperback book does not contain illustrations or art. Its pages are direct and uncluttered, each featuring 20-30 bullet-pointed questions that might be asked by a particular Tarot card.

DETAILS / COMMENTS

Paper quality and binding are up to standard. Use of white space and type font/style make the book easy to read and reference.


In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Elderly Parent Reading with the Ghost Tarot

I am dealing with some issues concerning my elderly (age 96) mother right now, so I thought I would see what the cards might be able to tell me. Theresa Reed provides a great spread for this purpose on her blog: https://www.thetarotlady.com/mothers-and-daughters-cant-we-all-just-get-along/

This is a simple 3-card spread with the positional definitions (1) Me, (2) Her, and (3) Advice. It may seem a bit odd, but I felt led to use my Ghost Tarot (Davide Corsi / Lo Scarabeo) for this reading. Here we go.



(1) Me: DEATH ("The door that is always open.”)

Wow. I’m not really sure what to do with this. I think it may refer to the idea that in many ways I am acting as an agent of major changes in my mother’s life. The fact that she broke her hip certainly is the cause of her being in a rehabilitation hospital and a nursing home for the past two months as she recovers, but she wants to return to her apartment and seems unwilling or uninterested in making changes to accommodate the risk of re-injuring or new injuries that would sideline her once and for all. You see, she still drives a car and feels that she “can take care of herself.” She is fiercely independent. She does not want to hear about how she might need someone to stay with her for a few days after she gets back in the apartment, someone to help make sure she takes the right medications at the right time, and so forth. I am one of the primary agents pushing changes that she does not want, and does not feel she needs.

(2) Her: THREE OF SWORDS (“The cold of the soul can perceive the warmth of the heart, even during a storm.”)

Hopefully this means that even though the suggestions and changes being introduced are painful for her, she can still understand (at some level) that it’s all because people care about her and want to keep her safe. I think the 3 of Swords is a pretty accurate representation of the way things feel to her right now. It is interesting that the man on the card is holding an umbrella over the woman-ghost, trying to protect her. That is what I am doing (at least in my own mind!) My mother, however, is the type of person who is determined to do what she wants to do, when she wants, the way she wants. She is determined to “take care of herself.” Though she be but little, she is most definitely fierce!

(3) AdviceTHE MAGICIAN (“The Alchemist’s Will”)

I often see this card as advising us to take charge of our own lives using the tools at our disposal, channeling the energy of the Universe down into our everyday lives. If this advice is intended for me, it could be suggesting that I simply do my best with what I have to work with, to be aware of all that I have available to work with, and to switch gears as needed from a logical approach, to an emotional one, to whatever method or means is best suited to specific situations. Is it possible that The Magician is also advising me to give my mother permission to do the same?

Two Major Arcana cards tell me that this situation is of great significance, and the way things are handled matters a great deal to my mother’s well being and my own.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lenormand Line of Five: Relationship Reading

One of my current projects is rewriting the Lenormand class at The Magickal Circle School. In connection with that, I hope to do more Lenormand readings here at Tarot Notes.

A common method used by Lenormand readers is a line of five cards designed to answer a question. To do this type of reading, you can either decide ahead of time what your focus card will be or you can "let the deck decide" what the focus card will be. You then read the cards to the left of the focus card as past influences or what lead up to the situation. The cards to the right of the focus card look to the future of the situation.

Below is an example of a Lenormand 5-card line. The cards were drawn at random, letting the deck decide what the focus card would be. The deck was shuffled between card draws. I am using the French Cartomancy deck by Lo Scarabeo.

The question being asked is: What does Mary need to know about her next relationship?


Focus Card: DOG (18) - This card tells us that Mary needs to recognize how important friendship and loyalty are to her in a relationship. She needs and wants someone who is helpful, protective, and loyal to her.

Past: ANCHOR (35) and HEARTS (24) -  In the past, Mary wanted or had (or perhaps thought she had) a stable, safe relationship in which she and her partner were building a legacy together. From her perspective, this relationship was loving, romantic, and passionate. She was (or saw herself as) deeply emotionally involved, with her whole heart devoted to the relationship. (In the book The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, Sylvie Steinbach describes the Anchor/Hearts pair as "faithfulness, loyalty, unconditional love."

Future: COFFIN (8) and CHILD (13) - Looking towards the future, we see the strong possibility of important life alterations, a completion of a life cycle or period in Mary's life, the "end" of something. She may need to acknowledge that it's time to let go of the past and be hopeful. She may feel fragile and perhaps not certain she can handle a new relationship. Although she feels vulnerable, she may have to become more "like a child," to set fears aside, trust, and open herself up to emotional involvement. Another interpretation might be to look at the Coffin-Child pair as representing the end (death) of childlike innocence and naiveté. What Mary wanted or had (or thought she had) in the past, was simply not realistic and she needs to "bury" those unreasonable ideals in her next relationship. (Sylvie Steinbach describes this pair as "destructive youngster, depressed teen." It is possible that this is something she will have to deal with in her next relationship.)

Looking at the middle three cards (Heart, Dog, Coffin), we might suspect that a previous relationship ended because of a partner's actual physical death. In any case, looking only at those three cards, the lovely sentiments expressed by the Heart and Dog seem to come to a halt with the Coffin.