Order a Reading from Me

Order a Reading from Me
Please send relevant information to zannastarr@gmail.com.

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.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Empress

For this series, I am exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:

  • Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  • The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  • The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  • The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

To read my previous posts in this series, enter “Animal Tarot Time” in the search field on the main page of the blog.

Now let’s look at how THE EMPRESS is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

ANGORA RABBIT (“Time to take action. Abundance and prosperity. Pregnancy. Creativity. Starting something new.”) We can understand the choice of a rabbit for this card when we read in the guidebook that The Empress, in contrast to The High Priestess, says, “Okay, that’s enough thinking! Time to hop to it!” Rapid movement and jumping in with both feet are actually not phrases I normally associate with The Empress card. She always seems somewhat sedentary to me and is often depicted as pregnant, sitting in a garden in the midst of Nature, looking benevolent. However, the association of rabbits with fertility and creativity cannot be overlooked.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

COW: The Cow is most certainly an iconic symbol of feminine energy, a creature whose milk nourishes not only her own children, but the children of many other species, human beings included. Here we have a lovely Scottish Highland Cow resting in open fields among the flowers, the mountains behind her. I like the way Leeza Robertson describes the energy of this card as “bountiful possibilities poised on the stage of expectancy.” The words “possibilities” and “expectancy” are keys to understanding the nature of The Empress card. This is not about a “finished product” but about that which is “on its way.”

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

COW (Earth Mother): Instead of the Scottish Highland Cow, this time we have what I’m going to guess could be a _Jersey_. Keynotes for this card in this deck are “Nourishment, Protection, Goodness, Love.” This serene, gentle cow rests in a lush, grassy field surrounded by flowers. She represents creative growth and the need to nourish and support all of our creations. The author’s MESSAGE: “Trust life; share, nurture, and participate with delight.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

DOLPHIN: Creativity, Fertility, and New Promise

For Ted Andrews, the dolphin represents the energy of The Empress. He notes that dolphins embody three of the most ancient and powerful creative forces: water, sound, and breath. In Greek tradition, the dolphin was sacred to Aphrodite, goddess of love, passion, sensuality, and fertility. Known for its ability to communicate, the dolphin encourages us to ask what our words and thoughts are creating for us.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

HERA: the Mother, nurturer, fertile ideas, the anima

For this deck The Empress is represented by the Greek mother goddess Hera, who presided over women, marriage, and childbirth. Notably (considering the appearance of the Cow in two other Empress cards so far), Hera is accompanied by a cow – “a lunar animal, associated with the fertile powers of the earth.” Another animal included on this card is the peacock, sacred to Hera, symbolizing beauty and dignity.


The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

THE GOLDEN TIGER: “She is life: the ground that supports us, the fire that warms us, the trees that shade us, the food that nourishes us and the very air we breathe.” (Cheung) Representing passion, delight, beauty, patience, loyalty, and protection, a Golden Tiger was chosen for The Empress in this deck. Gentle with her young and ferocious with anyone or anything that tries to harm them, the tiger breaks the pattern set so far by the other animal decks, featuring a fierce predator rather than a more docile, benign creature.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

SHE-WOLF: Another top predator who, like the tiger, is known for showing great gentleness and protection to her offspring, while showing no mercy to her natural prey or to enemies that seek to harm the cubs. Keywords from the guidebook: “Mother. Intelligence, practicality.” Reversed: “lack of offspring, indecision.” This beautiful arctic wolf is shown in the company of not only two cubs but butterflies and a toucan. I checked (because that’s how I roll), and found that toucans are native to the Neotropics, from Southern Mexico, through Central America, into South America south to northern Argentina. Not many arctic wolves in those areas. But that’s part of the fun of this deck. These images are not meant to be illustrations in a natural history textbook.


The tally for animals portraying The High Priestess in these seven decks:

Cow: 3 (counting Hera)
Dolphin: 1
Rabbit: 1
Tiger: 1
Wolf: 1

I have to say the cow is a very logical, meaningful choice for this card. I don’t deny that. But part of me loves the idea of a tiger or wolf as the Mother of All Mothers (so to speak). The dolphin and rabbit are also appealing choices. Which do you prefer?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Deck Interview: Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck

Interview with the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck by Matt Hughes. I am the proud owner of deck #852 in a limited edition run of 1100. To learn more about this gorgeous deck, click _HERE_.

Interview questions and answers below.

Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck


(1) What would you like me to understand about you?

NINE OF PENTACLES: I bring you rewards and feelings of accomplishment and success on your earthly journey, a richness of physical and material gifts along with an appreciation of your own values and sense of security.

(2) What would you like me to understand about myself?

FIVE OF CUPS: 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.

(3) What strengths and/or weaknesses do we have as a team?

THE HANGED MAN: Together we can end old ways and release the restrictions that are holding you back in life. First, there is a need to reflection and “inaction,” contemplation that can help develop a new perspective, a different way of looking at things. Sacrifice may be needed, but the results will be worth it.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Advice from the Guardians of Wisdom


To purchase a reading from me, visit my _ETSY Shop_.

Today’s reading comes from one of the information cards included with the Guardians of Wisdom Universal Power Cards deck by Todd Hershey, Illustrated by Emy Ledbetter. For more information about this fascinating deck, visit http://www.guardiansofwisdom.net/

Also, if you’re interested, I used this deck for my blog post “A Journey through My Decks: EIGHT OF WANDS. 

Today I am doing a 3-card spread to answer the question, “What advice do my guides have for me at this stage in my life?”  As you will notice, these cards “read themselves” in a way, with the messages being printed on the cards. Different messages apply depending on which way the card is positioned (upright or reversed).

11 of Diamonds / FERTILITY

“A new cycle of life within you is ready to come forth.”

The suit of Diamonds in this deck represents the “Native Americans category,” the physical aspects of the world. If I were of child-bearing age, I might wonder if this card refers to pregnancy, but I am not. Since I am middle-aged, this could refer to a new cycle in my health or finances, day-to-day life, material concerns of any kind. In terms of advice being given, I feel the cards are simply alerting me to this possibility so that I will be more aware and attentive to it.

11 of Spades / MARTYR

“Taking on other people’s problems while ignoring your own.”

Spades represent the “Ancient Asians category” in this deck, a category that includes the mental process going on in my life – all forms of thought, including conscious and subconscious thought. The cards in this category can help me know when and how to use my knowledge. It seems that this card is telling me I need to be careful not to act as a martyr. Now, I honestly don’t believe I have that tendency, or if I do, I have learned to question or resist it in most cases. But I will not ignore the cards. It may be that I still have some work to do in this area.

1 of Diamonds / DESTINY

“Spirit will provide you the resources to fulfill your life’s work.”

Back to the suit of Diamonds (“Native Americans” category, physical aspects of the world). “Destiny” is an interesting concept. I tend not to believe in destiny – as in a fate that we cannot avoid. I honestly don’t believe anything is “destined” to happen – cannot be changed or avoided. That being said, the message on this card isn’t so much about that as a belief that if I am listening, paying attention, and/or tune in to Spirit, guidance and assistance will be provided to help me fulfill my life’s work. I can believe that. I don’t feel I am “guaranteed” to fulfill my life’s work. There are many other factors involved.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ultimate Happiness with the Shadowscapes Tarot

It’s been awhile since I visited with my Shadowscapes Tarot deck created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and published by Llewellyn Publications. To read my interview with this gorgeous deck, click HERE.

I am using a spread called “Ultimate Happiness” from the Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)


(1) This is what you will get rid of

EIGHT OF CUPS

Like the “Seeker of the Seas” shown on this card, I will get rid of the weariness and demands and weight of the material world, turning away and disengaging, swimming serenely down, deeper into the sea of spirituality. The woman on the card holds onto one chalice, allowing the others to float away, which tells me I will get rid of emotional ties to many things, keeping only what is important and necessary.

(2) This is what you will accomplish

QUEEN OF WANDS

I will accomplish a reunion with my true identity and nature, the skills and abilities and personality of the Queen of Wands. I will experience the calm assurance of this fiery Queen, her exuberance in life.

(3) This goes with it

THE HANGED MAN

What goes with this is surrender and emotional release, giving up control in order to gain a new perspective or perception of the world. Willingly, I give up the part of my Self that is bound to the material world and the narrow view I have held of life.

(4) This will bring you luck

PAGE OF SWORDS

What will bring me luck is heeding the message of the Page of Swords to rid my eyes of “the clouded haze of too much daylight, and to see the path that the nocturnal guidance of the sky offers.” I can look to the stars for guidance as I fly through the skies in the company of swans, freed from the restraints of an earth-bound life.

(5) You will still be confronted with this

THE EMPEROR

Even with all of the deep-sea diving and flying through the air, I will still be confronted with the need for order and control at some level in certain situations. I cannot completely reject the need for structure and stability. I will need to work with or deal with power and authority, whether given to me or to others.

(6) This solution as a blessing

TEMPERANCE

The solution and blessing comes in the form of moderation of extremes and the balance of opposing forces to create unity, harmony, and healing. The blending and balance of the elements – Earth, Fire, Water, Air – creates power that is much stronger than the strength of any one element alone. Physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental energies are wielded to a single purpose.

The Queen of Wands and Temperance are cards that I and others associate with my Sun sign, the Fire sign Sagittarius.

Temperance appears in my interview with this deck in the position “What are your strengths as a deck?” I wrote the following lines to represent that card:


In a single, simple circle
Are both Yin and Yang
Swirling, curling, giving and taking from each other.
I share with you the power of opposites perfectly balanced,
Of dragons blue and yellow,
Mixed and mingled,
Flowing into a lavender sky.





Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lunar Nomad Oracle Interview

Interview with The Lunar Nomad Oracle by Shaheen Miro (Weiser Books).

(To read my review of this deck, click HERE.) 

Here are the questions I asked this oracle deck and the answers she provided.


(1) What would you like me to understand about you?
PATHWAYS – Card 22

Understand that I am here to show you options and opportunities, to help you make decisions about which direction to take when you are at a crossroads, and to tell you when it is time to let something go and move forward on your path.

(2) What would you like me to understand about myself?
FOX – Card 14

I would like you to understand that you have within yourself the qualities of a trickster – sometimes not in a good way. Yet, these qualities can be harnessed and directed to your benefit, giving you power in competition (The Fox is the patron of entrepreneurs and creators). The part of you that aligns with The Fox knows that opportunities must be taken while the iron is hot. Timing is everything. Uncertainty can be lethal.

(3) What strengths and/or weaknesses do we have as a team?
COFFIN – Card 8

Together we approach the stages of life as endings and beginnings, loss and gain. We learn and teach the art of letting go and surrendering to the natural cycles of change. The ability and willingness to do this is a strength, but there may be times when even together, we are not able to embrace the message that time is passing or running out. We may see only troubled times until and unless we are able to flip our perspective and experience a new way of being.

This is good information and food for thought as I begin to do readings with these cards!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

REVIEW: The Lunar Nomad Oracle

R E V I E W



The Lunar Nomad Oracle: 
43 Cards to Unlock Your Creativity and Awaken Your Intuition 
by Shaheen Miro
Book: 160 pages
Cards: 43; 4-1/4 x 6 inches
Publisher: _Weiser Books_
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1578636310
ISBN-13: 978-1578636310


Having fallen in love long ago (2013) with Shaheen’s Tattered Nomad Oracle (see my review of that deck HERE), I couldn’t wait to get his Lunar Nomad Oracle deck and book in my hands.

EDITED TO ADD: The Lunar Nomad Oracle and Tattered Nomad decks are not identical. Some have been reworked for the Lunar Nomad deck. (zs 3 Apr 2018)

My copy of the Tattered Nomad deck is “poker size,” meaning fairly small cards (3-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches). The Lunar Nomad deck cards are larger (6 x 4-1/4 inches), so I can appreciate the art even more.

With the Tattered Nomad deck, I received an 8 by 10-3/4 inch paper insert giving keywords for each card and a diagram of how to lay out the cards for a reading. The Lunar Nomad Oracle comes with a 143-page guide filled with so much more than keywords.

I love this new “incarnation” of the Tattered Nomad Oracle as the Lunar Nomad Oracle! The cards are packaged in a lightweight cardboard box, which is then placed into a sturdier box made with one side open. The guidebook slips neatly into that heavier box alongside the box of cards. Kudos to Weiser Books for this attractive and practical presentation!

I read the guidebook cover to cover, while looking at each card as I read Shaheen’s descriptions, insights, and commentary. The care, attention, and writing style all combine to create an enjoyable, informative experience.

The idea of my Lunar Self appearing in “sudden sparks of inspiration, the stirring of dramatic gut feelings, in vivid dreams” resonates strongly with me. I would like to think that I am not burying my Lunar Self these days or allowing my Solar Self to take over. However, at one time in my life, I am certain that I did do that. I agree with Shaheen when he writes, “It is important to understand that the Solar and Lunar Self are not in opposition with each other when they are fully venerated. The Solar Self supports the Lunar Self. . . The Solar Self takes the abstract impressions of the Lunar Self and finds a way to utilize the information in a logical sequence.”

Let’s visit some of my favorite cards…

MOON (32)

Keywords: “emotion, feeling, intuition, lunar cycle, art, hidden talents, imagination, winter”

Favorite Quotes:
“The Moon offers a passage into your unconscious mind where your wisdom, potential, and power really reside.”
“Something deep within you is awakening. Make space for that beautiful moonbeam to glow and gain light.”
Mushrooms are plentiful on this card. As a symbol, mushrooms can represent longevity, an image of primeval Heaven, the souls of the dead or reborn, or life regenerated (life from death). Supernatural associations with mushrooms are also common.

TOWER (19)

Keywords: “authority, large business, buildings, places of power, school, church, enterprise, condescendence”

Favorite Quotes:

“Historically the Tower was built as a defensive structure. . . Whoever watches from the Tower is alerted to your presence before your arrival.”
“The Tower can become a shadow or a torch. What are you locking away from the world? What feelings are you trying to swallow?”
Unlike traditional Tower card in the Tarot, there is no lightening or fire hitting the central structure, nor are the people falling from the windows or parapets. Huge wings seem to me to suggest the possible beneficial nature of place of power, depending on what you are looking for or rebelling against.

STARS (16)

Keywords: “wishes, hopes, possibilities, guidance, independence, dreams, expansion, fame”

Favorite Quotes:
“In the vast expanses of the sky, an octopus floats tranquilly in the embrace of infinity. He is an emblem of mystery and intelligence. The enigmatic quality of the octopus mirrors the mystery within each of us.”
“Consider looking at your natal chart to gain more insight on the energies that are working in your life. Moving with the cosmic flow allows you to create more fluidity.”
I just love the design and coloring of this card, especially the octopus as he shoots through the sky as if sky and ocean were one and the same.

CLOUDS (6)

Keywords: “confusion, conflict, lack of focus, obstacles, worries, depression”

Favorite Quotes:

“Confusion can blow in like a deadly storm or slip silently through the cracks like an insidious smoke.”
“The Clouds may seem ominous, but avoid holding them in contempt. They are teachers of tough love. Usually they show us where we are working too hard and pushing against our own wisdom.”
I love that this illustration shows a perfume atomizer and clouds of fragrance, capable of confusing not only the eye but the sense of smell and taste. Clouds up in the sky seem far away, but clouds of smoke or perfume swirling around your head add a dimension to the card that I find enriching and enlightening.

PUBLISHER’S PRODUCT SUMMARY

The Lunar Nomad Oracle is a set of keys for unlocking and understanding your intuitive side, your "lunar self." As a nomad on the path of the lunar self, you will awaken your sense of wonder and discover your creative desires to facilitate introspection, awareness, and lasting change.

The Lunar Nomad Oracle is inspired by the traditional Lenormand system, but unlike the Lenormand, this deck comprises 43 cards and additional significator cards that are multiracial and multiethnic. The Lunar Nomad Oracle cards are rich with layers, colors, and imagery, all designed to speak to the intuitive self. The book and deck allow users to explore their inner depths, looking for clues and prompts to activate their lunar side--their creativity, intuition, and inner wisdom. The symbolism of the cards helps the user formulate a story or reading. The process will be familiar to followers of tarot, but because The Lunar Nomad Oracle does not have suits or a linear structure, readers have the freedom and fluidity to really explore the deck and add their own insights and interpretations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shaheen Miro is a spiritual nomad working with people all over the world to help them reclaim their power through intuitive guidance, energy work, and spiritual cleansing. As a tarot and tea leaf reader, he conducts workshops and presentations nationally. Visit him at www.shaheenmiroinsights.com.

Stay tuned for a deck interview!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The High Priestess

For this series, I will be exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:

  1. Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  2. The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  3. The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  4. The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  5. The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  6. The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  7. Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

To read my post about The Fool, click HERE.
To read my post about The Magician, click HERE.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Now let’s look at how The High Priestess is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

OWL (“This is a time to pause and reflect, not to take action.”) – On this card, an owl glides over the water that flows between two pillars, dipping the tip of the scroll he carries into the water. Although this particular owl is “taking action,” owls are often seen sitting silently in a tree, observing, contemplating, and perhaps even reflecting. With perfect night vision, owls wait for the perfect time to take flight in pursuit of prey. Owls represent both knowledge (information) and wisdom (experience), making them an excellent choice to portray The High Priestess.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

BLACK WIDOW – “But I know who I am and each and every day I honor my divine self by being true to my vision of myself who I am.” Robertson begins by pointing out that this “small, unassuming, nocturnal creature” who “prefers silence and solitude over the spotlight” has nevertheless become “one of the largest archetypes both on and off the silver screen.” Robertson compares the black widow spider to The High Priestess by writing that both of them have “transcended the limits of manmade boundaries, labels, and restrictions.” In that sense, I do see how this spider can play the part of The High Priestess, although I have been conditioned over time to fear the black widow and to think of it as sinister and threatening, qualities I would not associate with The HP.

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

CAT (“Knower of Secrets”) – Brunke offers “Mystery, Knowledge, Awareness, Intuition” as Keynotes for this card. The message she assigns to the card is “Still and silent, seek wisdom within.” Having living with cats my whole life, I can easily see a cat in the role of The High Priestess. When I look at the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith High Priestess card, I have no trouble replacing the woman in that image with a cat. As a Knower of Secrets and Guide to the Mysterious, the Cat calls us to consult our dreams, pay attention to our inner visions, and fine-tune our instincts. As Brunke puts it, “Cat helps us to realize the supernatural is simply natural – an expanded part of our true self.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

SPIDER (“Intuition and Weaving of Fate”) – Here we have another deck which, like The Animal Totem Tarot, uses a spider to represent The High Priestess. Ted Andrews writes that spiders “signal an awakening of our creative energies.” He adds that the spider reflects three kinds of magic at play within our life: the magic of creativity, the magic of assertion, and the linking of past and future, death and rebirth, waxing and waning (reflected in the web’s spiral). As I mentioned above, I can see why the spider might be chosen to represent The High Priestess, but I always think of a spider’s web as a place where it traps its prey and kills them, which doesn’t quite match how I view The High Priestess sitting between the two pillars.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

BAST (seeking knowledge, following intuition) – Lisa Hunt chooses the ancient Egyptian cat goddess Bast for her High Priestess. A benevolent deity, Bast protected the population from vermin and assured fecundity and health. She was associated with the lunar mysteries of the night, an association that reaffirms her connection to The High Priestess card, which the Order of the Golden Dawn links to the Moon. As mentioned above, the nature of the cat seems very much in keeping with the qualities associated with The High Priestess.

The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

STRIPED OWL (rebirth, knowledge, secrecy, foresight, intuition, inspiration) – Like The High Priestess, the owl in this deck represents “the insight and wisdom found deep within.” With her power drawn from the moon, she links the conscious and unconscious. A creature of the night, the owl nevertheless brings the light of knowledge into the darkness, revealing what we otherwise could not see.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

COW ELEPHANT – The elephant is a marvelous choice for The High Priestess, in my opinion, given the qualities we associate with both.  Although elephants can be unruly and aggressive (particularly the males) in certain situations, for the most part we see them as gentle giants who care for the other members of their herd much as humans care for family members. The herd is led by the oldest and often largest female in the herd, called a matriarch. Elephants are extremely intelligent and have memories that span many years. The instructions by Bepi Vigna offer the following keywords for the upright card: study, wisdom, mystery. Reversed, the card can indicate hysterics, selfishness, ignorance.

The tally for animals portraying The High Priestess in these seven decks:
OWL – 2
SPIDER – 2
CAT – 2
ELEPHANT - 1

I think, if forced to choose, I lean towards the Owl as an animal representative of The High Priestess, with the Cat a close second. I appreciate the effort to give spiders the respect they no doubt deserve, and I do love the idea of the elephant in her blue dress, but they don’t quite resonate with me the way “the owl and the pussycat” (LOL) do. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Excalibur Spread with The Arthurian Tarot

Recently I was looking through The Arthurian Tarot Hallowquest Handbook by Caitlin and John Matthews (The Aquarian Press), and noticed (not for the first time) that there are several really neat spreads in the back of the book. One of my favorites is the Excalibur Spread, which looks like this:


The meanings of the positions are:
1. Who I once was.
2. The lessons I learned in that incarnation.
3. The lessons which I failed to learn.
4. Who I am in this incarnation.
5. The things I find easy.
6. The things I find difficult to accept.
7. Recurrent problems.
8. The best method of confronting them.
9. This life’s challenging lessons.

For this reading I am using (what else?) The Arthurian Tarot, with cards illustrated by Miranda Gray. Here we go…

1. Who I once was. 

STONE QUEEN: The Queen of the Chessboard Castle; Queen Igraine, Arthur’s Mother

As a Queen, I channeled the energies of the Stone Hallow (element of Earth). Stable and dedicated, noble and practical, I understood the relationship between all life and the land. It was my purpose and pleasure to impart a sense of nurture and security to all I encountered. My gwyddbwyl board represented the land itself. The blackbird was my totem and companion.

2. The lessons I learned in that incarnation.

STONE THREE

In that incarnation, I learned to make and to shape, to use practical skills and creative instinct to bring together ideas and skills in organized pursuit of a goal. I worked with craftsmen and magicians alike in this pursuit, and reaped much honor and many rewards.

3. The lessons which I failed to learn. 

SPEAR KNIGHT

Alas, in that incarnation, I failed to learn the true strengths and weaknesses of the Spear Hallow (element of Fire). In spite of my innate stability and practicality (Stone Queen), I made hasty decisions and behaved impetuously, at times displaying a hot temper, expending valuable energy and enthusiasm on risky or false quests that took me farther from my goals.

4. Who I am in this incarnation. 

STONE MAIDEN

In this incarnation, I have retained my connections to the Stone Hallow, sworn to uphold it, but instead of being its Queen, I am a Maiden, a student of the mysteries of Earth. A raven has replaced the blackbird as my totem and companion. Like all Maidens, I am here to open new paths on the Hallowquest.

5. The things I find easy.

SWORD THREE

Unfortunately, I find it easy to dwell on sorrows, disappointments, loss, and “broken bridges”  – analyzing, over-analyzing, and brooding as if somehow that activity will eventually lead to relief or escape from the mental ordeal. This is especially easy at around 3:00 in the morning, if I happen to be awake at that hour for a “call of nature.” I find it easy to vacillate back and forth between blaming and justifying my past feelings, choices, and actions -- although these days, I do seem to be able to put a stop to it by simply saying, within my own mind, “Shut up.”


6. The things I find difficult to accept. 

SWORD FOUR

I find it difficult to accept that I need to do more to replenish my spirit, whether it be meditation or retreat of some kind. I need to reassess my “powers and limitations” in quiet seclusion. I find it difficult to accept that it might be possible to  “sink deeply into the peace of the spirit and wake refreshed for the quest.” Call me a skeptic.

7. Recurrent problems. 

STONE FOUR

Recurrent problems exist in the physical, material world, a realm that includes possessions, finances, health, and security. This refers to something I may be “hoarding” in some way, reluctant to share for fear that I will be left with nothing.

8. The best method of confronting them. 

THE GREEN KNIGHT (Key 15 – The Devil)

The best method of confronting those problems is to overcome any ignorance, self-limitation, and inflexibility that could be creating an obstacle for me. My own fears of what *might* or *could* happen are part of the problem.

9. This life’s challenging lessons.

PRYDWEN (Key 7 – The Chariot)

In this image, Arthur’s ship, Prydwen, sails into the entrance of the Underworld. The challenging lesson in this life is to learn that I can achieve victory and attain goals through self-confidence, self-discipline, and determination. I am indeed the “captain of my ship,” with abilities I can harness towards a purpose, even in the face of tests and trials. The challenging lesson is to learn not to give up or to let fear of failure put a stop to my progress even before it has begun.