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Beltane Blog - Traditions in Tarot

Posted by The Seer on April 30, 2013 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (7)

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Linda England


Beltane Blog – Tarot Traditions

"What traditions are important to you in how you read Tarot?"


The Subject of Traditions in Tarot is quite a knotty and complex one. On the one hand, we have the varied and often exaggerated claims dating the tarot back 3,500 years or so, to the Ancient Egyptians; while some,with more evidence to back it up, claim the deck images are from the 13th AD; at the earliest….with the first full deck appearing in the 15th Century AD. On the other hand you have the myriad of misinformed superstitions that I’m sure we all grew up with, about Tarot. Finally, just to confuse matters further, we have a third hand (you saw that coming, right?) which holds the various so-called “Traditional Methods” of employing Tarot, from the simplest of practicalities, like wrapping your cards in coloured silk, and storing them in a wooden box, the most complex of High Magicks which dictate what the cards are to be used for and how the symbolism equates to certain Deities, Energies, Mystic Principles and altered states of consciousness. All pretty heavy stuff!


So what are traditions TO ME, and what is this blog post going to be about? Well, that’s a good question; thanks for asking! I don’t plan to go into huge detail about the most historically based traditions and sentiments, because much excellent material has already been written on this “stuff” and I doubt that I could add to its volume; beyond my own vague impressions and personal opinion. I will however devote some small amount of time to my “beliefs” about Tarot origins; perhaps a paragraph or so. As for the superstitions surrounding Tarot, which can be viewed as one aspect of the traditional nature of the deck, I will briefly cover this also; looking at each of the superstitions that I grew up with, in turn, and giving my thoughts on them. Again, I do not plan to spend long on this.


When it comes to “Traditional Methods” I don’t plan to go near the “High Magick” side of Tarot, mainly because that’s not how I work with my decks, and my knowledge of it is extremely limited, but what IS of use to me, and may be of use to you as the reader, are Tarot Spreads, Shuffling, Cutting, and handling of the Tarot deck. These are all full of “Traditional” methods, and I will be exploring this somewhat. The other angle I plan to explore is the evolution of the Deck itself; from the earliest example of a tarot deck which I possess, the 1JJ Swiss, through the Rider-Waite-Colman-Smith Tarot, and of course Thoth Tarot, into some of the most interesting decks available today, such as the Robin Wood Tarot, Gilded Tarot, Norse tarot and Golden Dawn deck. This is the most interesting aspect of the “changing face of Tarot” as far as I am concerned and worth a look, to give a sort of “time line” for the art.


Finally, I will devote a small amount of time to how I, personally, read and work with Tarot. I by no means consider myself a “Traditionalist” and so any who are, among you, will doubtless cringe at my approach and ideas; but hopefully you’ll secretly find it interesting, and fun too!


Historical Perspective


 As stated previously, there are a number of schools of thought on the History and origins of the Tarot; just as there are for other divination tools, such as Norse Runes, and it’s rather difficult to untangle the fact from the fancifulness. Of all the “Origins Stories” that I’ve heard though, the most imagination capturing and fanciful postulates the theory that Tarot is ANCIENT, and dates back to the Ancient Egyptians. There is, to my knowledge, absolutely no physical evidence to support this, beyond a few wall carvings depicting Tarot-esque images. So why does this idea endure so? Well, one might as well ask why any belief, theory, idea endures in the face of a complete lack of any tangible proof that it is true. For me, personally, I think it is the IDEA of Ancient Egyptians using something like a Tarot deck, even if it was wooden tiles carved with Hieroglyphic versions of the Tarot images; that captures the imagination. It is well known that the Egyptians practiced many forms of divination, so many people say, “so why not an early form of Tarot?” Again, from what I understand, there isn’t a shred of evidence to support this, yet it endures; fascinating and stubborn, in equal measure. Certainly Egyptians feature heavily in modern tarot decks; with everything from single cards to entire decks being devoted to them. For my own part, I don’t think we are going to see the Egyptians removed from Tarot any time soon, but let’s move on.


Theory two, which I am going to cover today, dictates that the Tarot is a Renaissance era invention, which dates from the 13th century AD, at its very earliest. There are woodcuts and paintings to support this assertion and historically know full decks, with the patrons and creators names known and documented. It would seem that all the weight of evidence supports this idea; in that way which is so common in the modern world, dry, dull, lifeless “factology”. (Yes, that is a made up word!) Now, I’m not saying that the Renaissance theory doesn’t have its charms; because, to any lover of the period, the tarot decks of the time are a “chocolate box” of fascinating paintings which show the way deck creators thought and visualised the world, back then. Also, we do have a few surviving (and oft reprinted) decks that are quite unique and interesting to use; the 1JJ Swiss (with its removal of the Pope/Hierophant and Papess/High Priestess cards in favour of the Roman Deities Jupiter and Junon), the Tarot of Marseilles, The Visconti Sforza; to name just a few. Personally I’m always intrigued when I pick up my mini-1JJ Swiss deck (acquired through a magazine subscription, believe it or not!) and read with it. This style of deck has, essentially, five “suits” Wands/Batons, Swords/Cups, Pentacles/Coins, and Trumps/Major Arcana. The ONLY illustrated cards being the Court cards; Page, Knight, Queen, King, and the “Trumps”; namely, the Major Arcana from “Fool” to “World”. For me, reading with this deck is as much an exercise in memory as it is in Divine connection or Intuition. After all, when you’re faced with five coins spread out on a fancy background, and nothing else to go on (no, Hebrew, Runes, Astrological symbols, Elemental Symbols, Numerology, or anything else that we’ve become accustomed to in modern decks) you really have to WORK for your reading! But I’m getting side tracked here. In terms of “Traditions” one would have to state that the so-called “Pip decks” of the Renaissance are the most “Traditional” tarot decks out there, and I know of many, many readers who swear by them, and wouldn’t thank you for a modern, illustrated deck as "a gift"! (see superstitions in a later paragraph!) But do I use my 1JJ Swiss deck much? No, not really.




One of the most interesting facets of “Traditionalism” forme are the huge number of superstitions that I, and I am sure many others, grew up with. A short list of some of them follows;


1.      You must never buy your own deck; it must be bought for you as a gift.

2.      You can never give your deck away.

3.      You cannot destroy a Tarot deck.

4.      Tarot decks contain spirits.

5.      Tarot decks are evil.

6.      Tarot brings nothing but misfortune to the reader.

7.      Tarot cards must be stored away from sunlight, because the deck doesn’t like it.

8.      Tarot decks must be wrapped in *insert colour* silk, to protect its energies.

9.      Tarot decks must be stored in a lockable wooden box.

10.  The Tarot deck is a Magickal tool, and must be venerated as such.


OK, here’s pretty much the top 10 which I grew up hearing. Some of these seem, to a 21st century mind, so ludicrous as to not even require writing about, but it is against this kind of backdrop of fear, and Christian dogma (see numbers 4, 5 and 6 in particular) that I spent my youth; all the time wanting what I was not allowed to have; because of the above foolishness!


Little more needs to be said about superstitions I feel, except to say that they are just that, in my eyes. If I were to give credence to any of these, I would say that 7, 8 and 9 are sensible precautions, to prevent damage to the cards, if you so choose, 10, is potentially so, as I know of people who do use the Tarot deck in Magickal workings, The rest are frankly silly, and especially number 1; hell! I’d not have a single deck today, if I’d waited around for people to buy one for me!!


Traditional Methods


As I began to look into studying Tarot I discovered that,along with the myriad of card meanings that I was required to learn and memorise, came a whole raft of “must do” preparations, shuffling dos and don’ts, ways of cutting the deck, instructions for handling the cards or letting the querent handle them, and so on, and so forth. Below is a shortlist of some of these.


1.      Say a small prayer over the cards before you begin

2.      You should ONLY shuffle “hand over hand”, never “Rifle shuffle”; American Poke fashion.

3.      The cards should be shuffled “X” amount of times.

4.      You must cut the cards in “X, Y or Z” manner, with “X” hand.



Now the Client related ones


5.      Only you must touch your cards.

6.      The Client must shuffle and cut the cards (in direct contradiction to no.5)


I’m sure you can see from this the vast array of contradictory “information” I received about how to even USE a Tarot deck? Taking each in turn; “Saying a Prayer” is an interesting one, because I actually know quite a few Tarotists who are staunch Atheists; who absolutely have no belief in Deities of any kind and would not thank you for bringing “God into the Cards”. Equally, for those of us who have a faith, what prayer should we say? I am a Norse Pagan, so saying the Christian “Lord’s Prayer” would seema bit out of place and hypocritical to me; but equally, how should I invoke my own Norse All-father with a tool that, all evidence suggests, the Norsemen had absolutely no knowledge of?


The Shuffling directions seem, on the one hand, dogmatic; especially when you realise that the reason, in large part, is because “poker shuffling” is seen as disrespectful to the cards. If that is what people believe, who am I to tell them that they are wrong? However, I have seen people use a “rifle shuffle” and I do myself also; for very specific reasons.


The amount you shuffle the deck is another bone of contention. Again, like with so much of this stuff, there seems to be two schools of thought; the ordered and the intuitive. The “Ordered school” will give you a specific number of times to shuffle; usually associated to some esoteric principle, so 3, 7, and 9 seem arbitrarily popular! The “Intuitive school”,however, says simply “you will KNOW when to stop shuffling; so do it then!” This seems, to me at least, to make more sense. Tarot is a very intuition based skill, so why wouldn’t you “stop when you feel it” instead of being locked into a set number, which you might sense “feels” completely wrong for that reading?


Similarly, cutting the cards is a minefield also! The most common tradition seems to be “cutting into 3 piles; rotate the middle pile 180 degrees and restack the deck”. This is great, and I have seen this done numerous times. But what if you don’t use/read reverse cards? You’ve essentially just messed up your deck BIG STYLE, and anyone who has tried to reorganise a 78 card Tarot deck will know what a pain in the Base Chakra it is to do! Another aspect to “Cutting” is to use a given hand for this purpose. Nobody seems to agree on which hand though! Some say left, and give reasons, some say right, and give other reasons, and some say either Dominant or non-dominant hand! Oysh!


Finally for this section, we come to “handling the cards” and I have my own views and practises on this, which I will be going into later. For now though, conventional wisdom splits into, yep, you guessed it, TWO SCHOOLS! (You must be psychic!)


1.      Only you must ever touch your cards.

2.      The Querent/Client should shuffle and cut the deck.


The first of these usually cites “not messing up the energies of the cards” as its main reason. In this school of thought, you imprint your own energy into the cards, as they are YOUR tools, after all. To have anyone else touch or handle them would cause that energy to become “contaminated” and would affect how the cards work and ultimately require them to be cleansed. From a Magickal perspective, this is perfectly sound! However, it doesn’t allow the clients energy any direct contact with the reading medium (that is precisely the point) so some say that adversely affects the reading.


Essentially, the second idea is the complete, polar opposite! The Client touches the cards precisely because you WANT their energy on them, in them and thus in the reading. After each client you then have to cleanse your cards in some way or other, before reading for the next one. This can prove to be quite a long process, and it isn’t ideal if you are doing acouple of dozen readings face to face, in quick succession. Also, you have to consider that a non-Tarotist is unlikely to be as careful with your cards as YOU are, so you may find yourself having to try to replace your prized,favourite, hard/impossible to get again, rare deck….due to careless client “bear paws”. All in all, you have to decide what compromises you are willing to make, and if this method suits you, read with a bog standard “will never go out of print” deck, that you can buy by the dozen if needs be!


Evolution of theTarot Deck


1jj, Swiss (top left), Centennial Colman-Smith (top right), Thoth (bottom)

Now we come to the bit that all Tarot Deck addicts will love; the evolution of Decks. As mentioned before, the earliest recorded decks were essentially playing cards with a fifth suit, and these included the 1JJSwiss, Tarot de Marseilles, Visconti Sforza, and others. These are fascinating decks, and interesting for a modern Tarotist to try to use. They also proved very popular, when you consider that this style of deck seems to have lasted right up until the beginning of the 20th century, when finally someone had a different “take” on what a Tarot deck should be; thus we enter the era of the “fully illustrated” deck! In the last 100 years, since the creation of the Rider-Waite-Colman-Smith deck (written by Arthur E. Waite and Illustrated by Pamela Colman-Smith) there has been an absolute explosion of “Picture decks”; and some of the most popular of these include;


·        Morgan-Greer Tarot

·        Robin Wood Tarot

·        Hanson-Roberts Tarot

·        Sharman-Caselli Tarot

·        Gilded Tarot

·        Tarot of Dreams

·        Legacy of the Divine Tarot


There are many, many more of course, but the one thing that all of these decks have in common is that, structurally and image-wise, they can be viewed as “Clones” of the Rider-Waite. In fact, many variants of that original deck are also available, including; the “original” Rider-Waite (which is actually a reprint, and nothing of the sort), the Universal Tarot,and the Colman-Smith Centennial deck (a commemorative publication to celebrate 100 years of the Rider-Waite)


Gilded Tarot (top left), Robin Wood (top right), Golden Dawn Magickal (bottom)

Next we come to a type of deck which is incredibly popular these days, and that is the “Themed deck” I recently spoke to one Tarotist who was dismayed at the increasing popularity and variety of these “hello kitty” decks (as he called them) In fact, name a theme, and there is most likely a tarot deck for it! Among the ones I have seen are;


·        Norse

o   NorseTarot

o   Tarot of the Northern Shadows

o   VikingTarot

·        Celtic/Druid

o   Druidcraft Tarot

o   Wildwood Tarot

o   Sacred Circle Tarot

o   Tarot of the Druids

o   Celtic Tarot

·        Egyptian

o   Ancient Egyptian Tarot

o   Nefertiti Tarot

o   Nefertari's Tarot

o   Ramses: Tarot of Eternity

·        Babylonian

o   Babylonian Tarot

·        Greco-Roman

o   Mythic Tarot

o   Olympus Tarot

·        Arthurian

o   The Arthurian Tarot

o   Legend: The Arthurian Tarot

·        Vampires/Gothic

o   The Vampire Tarot

o   Vampire: Tarot of the Eternal Night

o   The Tarot of Vampyres

o   Gothic Tarot of Vampires

o   Gothic Tarot

o   Necronomicon tarot

·        Dragon

o   Dragon Tarot

o   Imperial Dragon Oracle (Majors only)

o   Celtic Dragon Tarot

·        Fey

o   Tarot of  the Celtic Fairies

o   Tarot of the Sidhe

o   Twilight Realm: a Tarot of Faery

·        Cats

o   Tarot for Cats (Yes! It exists!)

o   Medieval Cat Tarot

o   Bohemian Cats Tarot

o   Cat’s Eye Tarot


Believe it or not, these (some of which I own, some not) are just a tiny fraction of the amazing and varied number of Themed decks that are available. The fact is, love them or loathe them, Themed decks are here to stay, and they provide a very wide palette of images, styles, archetypes and intuitive “keys” to suit all tastes and persuasions


The Tarot of Vampyres (top left), Gothic Tarot (top right), The Vampire Tarot (bottom)

Finally in this section, we come to the last deck type, which began to become popular, I feel, due to the work of Aleister Crowley. (Some would argue Golden Dawn, and other Occultists before him, but I don’t feel they ever achieved his level of success or popularity) This section is the Esoteric Tarot deck. Beginning, as I said, with Crowley and his Thoth Deck, many tarot creators since have imbued their work with a whole plethora of Esoteric, Alchemical, Qaballistic, Numerological, Astrological, Runic and many other symbols. In some decks it’s even hard to keep track of what is what; so rich is the additional symbology! If you are someone who thrives on this sort of thing, then these decks are for you! Among the ones I’ve seen are;


·        Thoth Tarot

·        Golden Dawn Ritual Magick Tarot

·        Magickal Tarot

·        Alchemical Tarot

·        Tarot of Dreams

·        Babylonian Tarot

·        Mystic Meg Tarot

·        Grand Etteilla deck

·        Hermetic Tarot




In the modern age it would seem that Tradition sits side by side along with the avant garde, unique, interesting and down right strange! This is a good thing I feel; for it gives us all a variety of ways to connect to, what is essentially, the same tool.

Norse Tarot (top left), Babylonian tarot (top right), Druidcraft Tarot (bottom left), Ancient Egyptian Tarot (bottom right)

How I use the Cards


So, after this rambling odyssey through the wilds of Tarot Tradition and Execution, we finally come to the meat of this blog; which is my personal methods and approach to the tarot. I am by no means a “Traditionalist”, as I think can clearly be seen from the above. I revel in the weird, and the unconventional, I make giant leaps of faith with my intuition, which I trust to a very high degree, and what I do not know and cannot find out about, I turn inwards for how I “feel” it should be. (I also plague my Tarot Friends’ lives out with questions too!) To best understand my approach though, let me split it up into sections and explain.


Superstition – I absolutely refuse to accept the many superstitions about Tarot. After all, if I had paid heed to them, I would have never GOT a Tarot deck in the first place, and wouldn’t be here, so you would not be reading this now! I bought my first deck, online, in my early 20s; against a back drop of warnings and displeasure from my parents! Tarot had been in my family previously, with my Gay Uncle (Mum’s middle Brother) who had largely paved the way for me in a lot of things, and frankly wrecked the pavement as he went! Tarot and Spirituality in general were no different, because of his misuse of the tools; including crystal balls, cards, Ouija boards etc, my mother was terrified of me “getting into that stuff”. I persisted though, and would like to think that I’ve re-educated her as time’s gone on.


Traditional Methods – Nope, not going to see a lot of those with me either! Some, I follow in my own way, but most I just plain ignore! To give you some idea of my “process” when reading, it would go something like this;


For a reading either by Email or in-person


·        Meditate briefly and calm myself. Take myself up into my higher mind, to the sacred space I have created up there.

·        If the question is known to me, sit with it a little while first. If not, skip this step.

·        Hold my Cards (or Runes, as I read those aswell) and invoke the All-father Odin to guide me. For Tarot, I have also been known to use the Gorsedd Druid Prayer, which speaks of Knowledge, truth, justice and love! I haven’t yet “settled” on my final way to do this with Tarot, though with Runes I use Freya Aswynn’s “Odinic Invocation”, but still I find that the Gods heed me and the readings work.

·        Next I shuffle them til I feel a pull to stop. I don’t let client’s handle my cards. I “have” in the past, and it didn’t feel right to me. I can’t focus, when I’m worrying about my cards being mistreated!

·        I usually cut once, in the hand, and I feel for where in the gathered deck I “need” to split the pack, then do and place the bottom pile on top. I have though, when space has allowed (my reading table is actually too small for this, but my dining table isn’t), spread the cards out in a line, face down, and selected the cards I felt drawn to. This method requires no cutting at all.

·        I place the cards in position in the spread; sometimes a “Traditional” Celtic Cross, sometimes a custom spread with positions dictated by me, and sometimes my own, unique (I think) inverse pyramid “time line”. Again, it depends what I am instructed to do by the guides and Gods that help me.

·        Then, I read, but if something is unclear, I will happily pull “qualifiers” to help.

·        After the client has had chance to ask any further questions, if in person, and I have drawn any additional cards I need, I then collect the cards together, ensuring they are all well-dignified, split the pack into two and “rifle shuffle” them to release the energy of the reading from them.




Whoa! What a journey! I hope you have found this an interesting read. It certainly is a LONG one! I think you can see that, actually, I am quite “traditional” in approach, but in a very un-traditional way; if that makes sense? I don’t just “throw the cards around”, I have a ritual, a format, a method, except that it is my OWN method; divined over several years of working, experimenting and trying all the stuff I was told I HAD to do; then discarding that and doing what felt RIGHT. That, I feel is the essence here; sure, Tradition can be a wonderful thing… gives us a link to the past, and perhaps can provide a framework for deeper study and discovery, but when it starts to get in the way of innovation, insight, intuition and the efficacy of readings; saying you “can’t do that! Simply because Tradition dictates otherwise!”, then it’s time to throw out the rule-book and do what you feel….what you KNOW in your gut works!


Enjoy your readings, and the rest of the Blog Hop!


A blessed Beltane to all!


Now please visit:

Arwen Lynch

Samhain Blog - The Shadow side

Posted by The Seer on October 31, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (4)

You have come to the Cave from the excellent:

Mary Muse

Samhain Blog - The Shadow side

This is a blog hop which, though late because I have had so many other things praying on my mind I almost missed it, is nonetheless fascinating to me, and it forces me, once again, to open up a side of myself which is deeply private, and to share aspects of my inner being, and personal beliefs which I don't think I've shared with anyone before.

Hold on tight!

I am well acquainted with the ideas that this topic puts forward, the Shadow Self; the inner realm of dark secrets, deep desires, frightening visages which you do not, CANNOT, let the everyday world see. The reason for my familiarity with this is that “He”, namely one such Daemon, has been buried in my psyche for around a decade now and until last year, I thought the entombment was complete and successful. It turns out I was wrong. But let me not get ahead of myself here. The History of this goes way back, to my late 20s.

I have always been a fairly lonely person, and equally I have never been particularly comfortable with that. Late in my 20s I began to yearn for a partner; longing for the love that so many people around me seemed to acquire without effort, and take for granted. I tried EVERYTHING, on both a mundane and Occult level to try to draw in a loving partner. Where I went wrong however was to not necessarily be too specific about the SORT of guy I wanted to attract. So what did I get? Precisely what I asked for, “somebody, ANYBODY!” Not good!

Naivety is not usually a King of Cups trait but the image above, from the Necronomicon Tarot really shows the focus I had on “finding love”, the Magickal efforts I went through to attract it, and the extent to which I was prepared to sacrifice EVERYTHING, my home, my heart, my faith....all was “up for sale” for this one thing. How stupid of me!


I went through, over the space of 6 or 7 years, a string of very corrosive, abusive, destructive relationships which left me feeling worse than I had before. I lost my connection to the Divine, simply because I was in so much pain that I couldn't feel it any longer, I was ridiculed, insulted, controlled, and ultimately abandoned and I realised, or began to form the opinion that LOVE was nothing but a “poison chalice” which would lead to heartache, despair and ruin.

The two images above illustrate precisely where I was “at” by this time. The Necronomicon Tarot's Ace of Cups is indeed a “Poison Chalice” of blood and pain, all in the name of so-called “Love”, and that was largely my experience of it; painful, tearing, destructive and draining. So it left me like the Five of Cups from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot – by Ciro Marchetti, alone, weak, afraid, crushed and feeling very, very small indeed.


Subsequently I began to realise that there were some feelings, some thoughts, emotions and parts of myself which had to be locked away, for my own protection. I began a process of internalising this rage I felt, which was starting to get out of control. If you have every experienced that feeling of anger, hatred, and pure unadulterated rage, then you will know just how painful and destructive it can be. It burns through everything! The slightest provocation brings it boiling to the surface like a tidal wave of molten lava! Ultimately, it can destroy everything, if not, at least, kept in check! I began to realise that I could not quench this anger; I could not satiate my rage. The things IT wanted of me, the retribution that it demanded was so terrible, so unthinkable, that I could never hope to perform it, and remain at liberty in the world. So I had to bury it, ALIVE! I had to take it down, into the darkest, deepest, dampest recesses of my soul and lock it away behind giant, cast iron doors; it had to be subdued and subjugated!

That is why, for this part of the story, I have chosen the King of Disks and Hanged Man from the Necronomicon Tarot. The practical King has seen a solution to what is ailing him, and he is using all of his considerable knowledge and power to trap this spectre deep below. But where has he put it? Locked within a giant, gilded box (the HangedMan) hopefully never able to emerge and cause havoc again; or so I thought.


So there it is, this Daemon of Chaos, Locked behind Iron doors, and within a “Magickal Box”, to which only I had the key, and even within this box it was chained and supine. Lost to despair, rage, hunger for release and revenge. I was “safe”, at least for a time, but what did that leave to me? I wandered through the next few years, aimless, even more alone than before! I had locked away, not only all my pain and rage, but my spark also! I was in a cold wilderness of disenchantment which saw the world as joyless, and pointless. I searched, and searched for answers, went to 3 counsellors....but they were useless too. I was even medicated for a time, but that just made the world around me even more “grey”.Then, one day, I began to pick up my Tarot decks and Occult tools again. I'm not sure why, be it compulsion for Source, or boredom, or some other impulse driving me to reconnect with parts of what I had lost. I began to study again, and soon realised that there WAS a wayout of the doldrums that I felt quagmired in! The Hermit had found a light!

Here I chose the Necronomicon's Eight of Knives (Swords in that deck) to represent the sorrow of the beast that I locked inside, and the Legacy of the Divine's Hermit (which ironically has always been a favourite card of mine) to represent my loss in the wilderness and my search.


The irony is though, no matter how hard you try to bury certain things, and no matter how completely you think you have, eventually they finda way to surface! Thus it was with me! From the moment that I began tapping into my powers again (and believe me, it took me a long time to even be able to use that “word” to describe them) my Shadow self grew in strength! Secretly, silently, surreptitiously it began to summon strength of its own; working away in it's inner prison to loosen the bonds I had placed on it, til finally.......CRASH! It would have been around Samhain last year that my Shadow Self finally burst its chains, shattered the box in which I had placed it, which frankly was always going to be something with the name “Pandora” carved in Runes upon it and flung wide the doors to the dark vault which, far from being a prison, had become a Fortress and a Home! The first that I was aware of this was with a new, fiery sensation deep within, and with my Solar Plexus Chakra going absolutely mental! I work with the pendulum a lot, and periodically check my Chakras. The readings I got from that one Chakra point were off the chart. Then I received, from my Shadow self, a stark and foreboding message of its return; in the Form of a Poem! Suffice to say, it was back, but WHAT exactly was back? Was this the unruly, rageful, “rache süchtig” (revenge addicted) Fire Beast that I had locked away? At first, I feared so....but I was recommended to confront Him, rather than hide from him, so I did, and I realised that something had happened, which was quite remarkable. There was a transformation which had taken place, in which, somehow, the core essence of what I am; my power, will, determination, fire and indefatigability had absorbed all of the negative Daemonic Fire it was locked up with, and transformed itself into a creature of the soul which was even more powerful, yet under control, and focused! On first sight, within the sacred space of my mind's eye, it was terrible to behold....make no mistake! The card image I've drawn, of the Necronomicon Emperor doesn't even begin to do it justice, TRUST ME! Imagine, if you will, my Higher Mind and my Spirit calling this Fire Beast up to the Fortress which is my Astral Sanctuary (something I created decades ago as a place to do my meditating, studying on an Akashic and Astral level, and to commune with Spirits of all kinds, in a safe space, and being confronted by a creature standing a full half dozen times larger than my Spirit self! This Creature was wreathed in flames, part animal, part humanoid, and the stuff that nightmares are made of. Yet, I refused to fear it any longer, and something of an understanding seemed to be reached. More on this shortly.

The cards chosen here show this part of the story, with the Emperor from the Necronomicon Tarot showing, rather poorly, the Fire Beast. Sadly I do not have, in any deck, an image of a creature which comes even remotely close to the real thing! I also chose the Tower from the Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels. Two reasons here; firstly, it shows the escape from confinement of the Creature, but also, it shows a paradigm shift in my thinking, such that I was not prepared to be afraid any more!


So began a process which continues to this day of working WITH rather than against this side of myself. The Shadow Self, perhaps more accurately called the Fire Self or Soul, is lending His skills of Passion, Aptitude, Drive, Dauntlessness, and Self-belief to my Light Self or Spirit's Compassion, Intuition, Focus, Serenity and Universal Faith and blending the two energies together as a melange of opposites which make me, finally, whole! It is by no means a completed project though, and there are days when one or the other“side” goes off on a tangent and I feel either ungrounded and absent from events, or raging with fire and irritability, but at least now I am starting to recognise this, and learning ways to deal with it. I will get there in the end.

The cards I have selected are the Magician from the Tarot of Vampyres, because I see that as being a more humanised form of the Fire Beast, finally starting to work constructively for me, and also the communication element between my Spirit and Soul Selves is evident as one of the Magician's key powers. The Sun, again from Vampyres, not only lends an optimism to the endeavour, but also shows nicely a blending of two opposing “worlds” The Angelic and Daemonic, the Light and Dark, the Brightness and the Shadow.

So where am I heading, finally? What is the goal? Well, life is a journey, and I have been reminded many a time that it is this journey that counts, far more than the destination. However, I think my final card, the Emperor from the Tarot of Vampyres, really does illustrate an ideal at least. Here we have a powerful man, calm and serene; dark and brooding, yet measured and controlled, with both the compassionate energy of the Rose (in one hand) and the powerful energy of the Havoc staff in the other. The kidd glove and iron fist combined for a single purpose; united at last!

A blessed Samhain and Happy Pagan New Year to all!

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Donna Faber


Mabon Blog - The Power of Transformation

Posted by The Seer on September 20, 2012 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (9)

Welcome to the Blog Hop!

This is a very significant time for me, as It is the beginning of a time of anniversary for me. It was at this time, last year, that I made the decision to follow my path properly and put all my energies and efforts into it. Between Mabon and Samhain 2011 I started to experience a transformation in my awareness, my abilities, my knowledge and everything just seemed to be falling into place. At times, in the last year, this has been quite intimidating in its speed, but never frightening. A better word would be exhilarating!

For me, transformationand change have come at the end of a very, VERY long cycle of trials and torment (most of which is too graphic to go into) Suffice to say that I have always been Psychic, and highly Empathic, but for many years....while I led a fairly safe and unchallenged existence, my abilities did not extend beyond my, normally excellent, memory and my ability to pick up the emotions, feelings, and occasionally thoughts of others. Then, 10 years ago, I struck out of my comfort zone and tried to grab life by its “proverbials” which resulted in a decade of heart ache, betrayal, misery, depression, and yes, thoughts of suicide. Towards the middle of this period I went to counsellors,and achieved nothing from it. It became obvious that external interventions, be they advice from well-wishers, or prescribed medicaments, would avail me nothing. The answers lay within; not without. Finally, having started to get a hold of my personal circumstances, thoughts and feelings, I was confronted with yet another set of challenges, in that my father's Kidneys failed and he ended up in hospital. That was 4 years ago and we have been fighting to keep him in Midgard (the Mortal realm) ever since. After a brief recovery, his Kidneys in fact failed again around Imbolc last year,throwing the whole family again into turmoil.


So why am I telling you all this? It would, I suppose, seem to have nothing to do with aTarot Blog on Mabon, however I feel it is very relevant because it is the crucible in which I have been smelted for the last decade, and brings me to my first two cards; The 8 of Cups and 6 of Swords. The essence here of this combination is that, firstly, I had to let go of a lot of long-held emotional beliefs and views. All that I held to betrue and all that I valued emotionally was stripped away from me over the first 6 years of this journey. While I held onto those emotions and refused to accept the blindingly obvious, I would be in pain that wouldn't heal! So, slowly, reluctantly I had to let it go, to move on.....just like the figure in the 8 of cups, who leaves behind the emotional attachments of the past and seeks something new; something better, under the light of the full Moon (more on this later).

Secondly, and perhaps sequentially, the next step was to move away from the difficulties which had plagued, battered, beaten, and threatened to destroy me. In this I was like the figure in the boat of the 6 of Swords; being driven to calmer waters, and towards safer shores by unseen hands (Spirit, my Guides, my Ascended Masters and Teachers) This is an ongoing process of course, and who knows, it may never end.....simply being one long journey which, as the saying goes, becomes what is important.....rather than the destination. So both of these cardsare very personally transformative for me. They illustrate pretty well the road I have travelled this last decade, and that which I continue to travel even now.

Returning briefly to the crucible idea; for a long time I bemoaned my “bad luck”, my “lot” in life, and curse the Gods, loudly and openly, for being so plagued by uncaring, destructive and evil people, and situations that I felt unable to handle, and totally undeserving of. But as time has passed I have begun to feel that perhaps these were not “curses” upon me, but “trials and lessons” which have led me to a greater understanding of myself, and may eventually lead me to a deeper understanding of the darker side of human nature. In fact, my greatest trials could be wonderful wouldn't that be aturn around? This brings me to the next pair of cards that I've chosen here; The Tower, and The Wheel of Fortune.


The Tower is well known,and almost universally feared because it shows a dark, destructive transformation which, on the surface at least, brings nothing good or helpful with it. After all, in just about every standard depiction Ihave seen, we have a high tower being struck and rent apart by lightning and fire....and two hapless souls flee from the maelstrom in the only way they can.....BY JUMPING FROM THE WINDOWS! Not very positive.....or IS it? Consider what we would see where it not for the storm and lightning? A tall, dark, foreboding Tower, sat majestically on an island of dark, jagged rocks.....with the sea splashing and lapping around it. Anyone within this tower, far frombeing its Lord or Master, could be imprisoned there and unable to escape! So what now of the destruction of this place? Perhaps the Lightning and Fire are working to free the captives within, who can jump into the cooling water beneath (or in other depictions, run outof the door at the bottom, while the Tower crumbles around them.There is a question though, “What does it all mean?” Well, my feeling is that the Tower is a prison, it has walls of solid, restrictive ideals, bars of “security”, cages of thought and feeling that keep people trapped within, terrified to venture out,not because they fear what is outside, but because they simply cannot SEE anything but their own captivity. This is precisely where I was, and it took some pretty catastrophic events to destroy my personal Tower and allow me to move on.

Now, the Wheel of “Fortune” is yet another Transformational force, which bears absolutely no heed to our wishes or whims. It is like a giant cog which will continue to grind away, whether we be sat atop it, or struggling to not be macerated by its iron teeth at the bottom! This is a reminder of many things; not least, that life moves in cycles, in seasons...summer follows spring, autumn follows, summer, and winter follows autumn, regardless of what we may wish or want. There is a time for planting seeds, for raking, digging and tending.....the is a time for basking in the sun, as all around us grows and is beautiful.....there is a time for harvesting the fruits of our labours, for storing grain, and root vegetables, for slaughtering and hanging meat, and for making Beer, Mead and Wine, a time for getting prepared......and of course, there is a barren time, of cold winds, dormant soil, dark nights, and the chilling cloak of snow. These events go on regardless, and are depicted in the Wheel.....which is after all a Major Arcana card. (as is the Tower) For me personally, I have experience this cycle in a slightly altered order.....beginning with winter and the barren, cold, hard, unfeeling energies, but this was then followed by a time of rebuilding and planting anew. I feel strongly that I am beginning to see the first blush of summer in this cycle, and Harvest time (autumn) is a little way on....yet.


This brings us to the last two Transformational influences I would like to cover. The first is probably the most feared card in the Tarot, namely “Death”. Variously this shows a skeleton, sometimes as a Knight, and he has come to claim the souls of the dead. In my Robin Wood deck (which I'm using here) he is actually a scarlet cloaked figure who carries a flag, showing the white rose. It is an eerie, but perhaps less scary image. The meaning though is very misunderstood often, I feel. To me, we have the signal of a Transformation which MUST take place. Just as, to make Mead, you MUST let the good fruit and honey Recede and Rot, because the end result will be “worth it”, so too must some things in life recede and rot in order for a better outcome to take their place. You may look at it, in fact, as a “necessary evil”. Consider also this part of the “fool's journey”.....The Wheel of Fortune (number 10) pushes forward the cycles of life and cannot be stopped, much as we may wish to try.....this is responded too, either by our own inner “Strength” or by a hope that“ Justice” will prevail and thing will be made right in the end. Is this a destination though? We may think so; which is why the Hanged man (number 12) has so little movement. Sure, he is searching, searching himself deep inside, but he is waiting too. His inaction is due to a need to see “what will happen next”. Well, he sees! “Death” (number 13) comes in, as I was saying before, as the“necessary evil” to move things on, change those things that need changing, cause spiritual and inner growth and make things better, ultimately. After that, a rebalancing is needed, with “Temperance”and if this is not achieved, “The Devil” can bring out the most stubborn, fearful, trapped elements of us. (Almost like an internal view of the Prison which is the next card!) Next, and crucially, the Tower comes up to finally blow the blocks, procrastination and fear away, completely wrecking the “House of Cards” that has been built up, and what follows this Tsunami event? “The Star” (card17) “Hope”.

The final Transformational influence I have chosen is gentle, not generally feared by readers or clients, yet can be just as potent as its “badboy” cousins; Death and Tower. This is the Card of Judgement. I very much see this as a Paradigm “Aha” moment when suddenly things become clear! In myself, I believe that I am still riding the crest of a wave of this event; finally having realised where my destiny lay, and doing everything I can to ensure that it is fulfilled. Of course, this is another Major Arcanum, so naturally destiny WILL be fulfilled, it is just a case of how, and perhaps, how soon. Once again though I am reminded of the Wheel of Fortune and of Mead making; “All in its own time”.

As a final few thoughts, I wanted to get into the receptive, soul-searching, deep down“ getting to know yourself” element of Mabon and the Autumnal Equinox. We are, of course, very close now to the Pagan New Year, and Samhain. So we are approaching a time when the “veil” is thinnest, and Spiritual connection is at its easiest and strongest.This in itself is the Anniversary for me, and the point at which I feel the “lights were turned on”. You might think that I would choose the Hermit here, but that to me seems a little predictable (even for a non-psychic! Lol) and I am nothing if not unpredictable! So, in the Spirit of being different, I have chosen three cards; one to show the innate searching and the ability to dig really deeply into the dark recesses of our souls....namely the High Priestess. One to show the outward manifestation of all that we find there and the determined practical application and communication of that inner wisdom....the Magician. Also, finally, I have chosen a card to reflect this time of year, with these two introspective festivals a mere 5 weeks apart; and the journey from the half to full moon; namely the Moon card itself.


The High Priestess is one of my all time favourite cards, and it reminds us so clearly about the constant need for balancing the outer and inner worlds, forsearching for inner knowledge, and for listening to our intuitions.....which are there for a reason. This, to me is the ultimate card of getting to know yourself, alongside the more obvious Hermit, but you always get a sense, I feel, that the High Priestess is really in a position to make use of what her inner mind can discover, and she is a bridge between the Spirit world, The Realm of the Soul, and the Mundane, material world around us. She is almost like the Power Animal "Raven", in that respect, and such a powerful emblem of personal transformation. It is as if she says, “Know thyself fully, delve deep within the mysteries of your soul, and rise to the heights of your spirit....then bring back what you learn to the world around your physical body”.

As a natural progression, the Magician (Magus, Wizard) is that philosophy put into action. We see his tools, physically manifested on his table, but what we don't see, because we cannot, is what he has learned and internalised within. What secrets does he hold? What journeys has he been on to find that inner knowing that the High Priestess spoke of? Well, fortunately for us, the Magus' nature is to share this with us; through his Mercurial influence. He is the archetypal doer, speaker, sage and sooth-sayer. He works in the realm of the physical but brings to it all that he has learned and Transforms his environment to suit his needs, desires and inner purpose. He IS our Power of Transformation made manifest and into being!

Finally, we have the time of year shown to us. Yes, the Moon is often associated with Pisces, astrologically, so you would really expect a card of timing to come from Virgo or Libra; as we are teetering on that cusp. So the Hermit (Virgo....and how ironic!) or Justice (Libra) would be obvious choices, but I choose the Moon because I feel that we are moving into a time of mysteries, of shadows, and unique glimpses into things that, perhaps, we cannot see so easily at other times of the year.This 5 week period has, to me at least, a kind of “special light” to it, which is the essence of the Moon, and we can use that light, like an X-ray, deep down into our soul. Additionally, that Spiritual X-ray light is, in my opinion, likely to leave its footprint on whatever it exposes, and we will be changed; bathing in its silverylight. Stand outside on a full moon, when the sky is clear, and just FEEL that energy, then ask yourself,.....with that light penetrating to the core of your being how could you NOT be changed?

A Blessed Mabon to all!

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Joy Vernon's Blog




Lammas Blog - The Fruits of Harvest

Posted by The Seer on July 31, 2012 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (6)

You have come to the Cave from the excellent:

LammasBlog – Fruits of Harvest

In thinking about this topic, “The Fruits of Harvest”, I cannot help but think about the year that has so far been; with all its ups and downs (mostly downs) and how the ground has been so very stony to attempt to sow anything on. 2012 promised a lot, to us all, didn't it? Yet what have we really seen? A year beset by planetary retrogrades and the utter havoc that the heavens, Gods, and fates have heaped upon most of us. I know I am not alone in this, for sure.

It was originally my intention to simply look at cards from the Pentacle suit which resonate with me, but as I sit and write, what I'm being told to do is treat the year thus far as a journey; a story if you will, expressed through the cards I have chosen. I would suggest a cup of tea and piece of cake or biscuit as you read this posting, as it maybe quite long, and is totally unscripted or planned.

To begin, our protagonist this year is the first card out, the Knight of Pentacles from the Robin Wood tarot. This has to be one of my favourite depictions ofthis gent! There he sits, on a slightly rocky hill, with trees and meadows in the background. He is wearing full battle armour, as is his magnificent horse, and he holds up a Pentacle in one hand. This I have always imagined to be a “Crystal Ball” of sorts; into which the cautious, dutiful and careful Knight peers. For me this is very much how this Warrior operates, careful, cautious, taking no chances, and doing his best to see what lies ahead. As an allegory for the year this is rather apt, because on a mundane, physical, financial and health level that is exactly what my family have been experiencing. All attempts at moving forward have had to be undertaken so carefully as to make progression near impossible! Any slight carelessness, or ill-consideration has literally brought the universe crashing down upon us, and we've really needed the Knight's splendid armour!

So, how has the year panned out thus that we have seen who the major player in our solar return has needed to operate? Well, much like many other years, for us we began with the Ace of Pentacles from the Robin Wood tarot; an exquisite image of a long, dark, garden path topped with a canopy of trees and at the end of the road stands a single, Corinthian column, beckoning us on. For me this was the perfect analogy for the beginning of 2012; leaving the dark winter of 2011 behind, with all it's regrets, mistakes, sorrow and the problems of last year. We were beckoned into the new year, and the new Aquarian age, with promises that this year would be different, and we could perhaps even see the goal and brighter future ahead.

Move we forward now to the work that began this year, with great enthusiasm and gusto. Into the realms of the 8 of Pentacles from the Druidcraft Tarot (Carr-Gomm& Worthington). Here we see a metal worker tirelessly toiling next to a scolding furnace, and he is creating dainty little gold pentacles; some of which are completed, and laying out to cool. This man, just as we were, is industrious, methodical, and full of effort. He is literally forging ahead with the project which will bring him his future, and his heart's desires. What could possibly go wrong with this image you may ask, and so did we at the time. The first few months of the year being such powerful, energised and productive months!

There is however the potential, when one works so hard and with so little thought to the efforts that one exerts on behalf of others, to end up in a situation where one gives, and gives, and gives....and never receives back! Enter the next card, the 6 of Pentacles from the Druidcraft Tarot; the generous poorper who will literally give his last coin, the clothes off his back, sandals from his feet and have nothing left; yet the hands of the demanding still stretch out to him! On a personal note (separate from my family) that is where I found myself. I cannot speak here for how my parents for the Arian months, but personally I found them quite a strain; constantly giving to others with little or no thought of myself or my needs. This ran me down, emotionally, physically, financially.......on every level really, then as if this wasn't enough, disaster struck only 2 weeks ago!

Enter the double edged sword that is the 7 of Pentacles from the Robin Wood Tarot. In fact, because of the double edge here, this could equally be the same card from the Thoth Tarot. The Robin Wood version shows a drabbly dressed gardener, standing on his land, surrounded by plants and vines which bear the “Fruits of Harvest” which he is soon to pick. On the one-hand this would seem to be a very worth-while and positive card, and in many other readings I would totally agree; this is the card of earned success. However the events of a fortnight ago throw adifferent spin on things here. My father was rushed into hospital once again (3rd time in 4 years!) with Iron deficiency Anaemia, this time, and we were all extremely concerned as to whether he would survive. So what of the 7 of Pentacles in this context? Well, Thoth's “Failure” interpretation comes to mind, and it really did set up a pattern where we now feel like the rest of this year, and possibly many to come will be set around trying to maintain the status quo, and keep my father alive.

At this point the Knight cannot make any progress forward, he is stuck. Enter the last card of this Lammas read, the Ten of Stones/Pentacles from the Wildwood Tarot, a card which shows an archway of hewn stone, through which can be seen a Celtic Roundhouse, built around a strong, Oak tree, and the card has the meaning “Home”. This is another card which in anyother reading would seem positive, yet here I cannot help but feel that it is a tease, a torment, an enticement of what OTHERS may have; home, family, security, safety, yet my family are to be denied. This card is an illusion and, far from being the place of safety and security that it should be, my home has become my prison, my tomb....and I am buried here.

I hope that you have a blessed and wonderful Lammas, with those whom you love, and that your Lithasblot harvest will be kinder and less bitter-sweet than mine.

Wynn and Friþ!


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Litha Blog - Celebrating the sunrise

Posted by The Seer on June 20, 2012 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (13)

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Litha Blog – "Celebrating the sunrise"

So, how will I be celebrating the Solstice this year? Well, Litha of 2012 has significance and meaning beyond that of almost any year since I became Pagan, back in 1989! Why? Because this year has seen me finally take up and pursue what I was BORN to do in this life....i.e.The Path of the Psychic. It's a big statement to make, that I was born to do this, but this last solar return has seen so much progression, development and movement, inexorably, in this direction that realistically....the signs are there. Anyway, this blog isn't about me, per say, it's about Litha....the summer solstice, and how I will be spending it.

Well, a second thing to note is that I am a Leo, so the Sun is very significant to me indeed; not in a “sunbathing” kind of way, because I am also Northern European and burn really easily. Rather the Sun is my sign's overall ruling planet (combined with Jupiter for my particular decan) Also, mythologically I am very connected to Solar Deities, Apollo, Baldr, & Horus (as well as one Lunardeity, Antinous-Mithras) so I will most likely be performing an offering, meditating, and doing a card spread for this festival, and it is the last of these three that I wanted to discuss with you all today.


I have gone through three decks for you this time; the Druidcraft tarot & the Wildwood tarot, illustrated by Will Worthington, and the Norse tarot by Clive Barrett....and I've picked out cards that speak to me firstly of the sun's power. At this time of year we are moving into Cancer with the height of the Sun's astrological power only 1 month away, and we have the shortest night/longest day symbolising this, so naturally anything that reflects that potency is going to beon our minds. It is for this reason that I chose the “Sun of Life” (Sun card) from the Wildwood tarot, which shows a warrior stood with his back to the blazing sun, and the light is so intense that it is permeating his very being and filling him with its warm, power, and brilliance! This, to me, is a perfect example of what we can expect at this time of year, simply going out on a sunny day, standing for a few moments and soaking up that power, potential and ebullience which our Sun has in spadefuls; giving us the energy and drive to accomplish anything that we desire or design!


The next card that I took was a way of showing that we have that power “in our hands” so from the Druidcraft tarot I took the ace of wands. Here we have a giant fiery sun front and centre of the card, with a wand pointing straight at it, but also standing in front of it; it is as though the power of the sun is now within this wand, andt he wand is putting itself in our hands! We also have a Stag, which to me is a symbol of potency, and birch, for new beginnings, and the question begged here is, “ok, so now you've got it, what do you dowith it?” What indeed we may not know, and that is where card number three comes in.


Number three on my list is the Hanged man (from the Druidcraft Tarot) and this may not seem like an obvious card to choose, but consider that we have all this potential around and may not know what we wish to do with it, don't we NEED a moment to stop, and reflect? Power is all well and good, but without the wisdom to use it generously and well, we become, at best, dangerous, and at worst, a Tyrant! So taking a moment, suspended, to gain that wisdom (as Odin did on the World tree, surely the origin of this card!) would be the wisest thing to do. In addition to that, the two Solstices are without doubt the best time to really consider these things, as we are at a marker in the year, and should we decide that things aren't going our way so far, we have the chance to reverse course somewhat, and make any necessary changes. One last point, the surroundings of this card are very summer oriented indeed; showing corn yellow and high in the fields, trees bursting with life, flowers all around and a brilliant light coming down onto the scene from beyond the card border. I see these very much as indications of the Solstice!

So, after our little “mini reading” I also thought that it may beworth taking another symbol of the Solstice, namely the Henge, andlooking to see if, and where, standing stones may appear in various cards and what those cards could tell us. Interestingly, the cards from the three decks we are using split the “standing stone”cards into 3 “suits” of a sort; well actually, technically two.....Stones, Discs (essentially the same element, Earth) and one card from the Major Arcana. Let us look at the Major card first.


The card which screams “Summer Solstice Sorcery” at me is the Magician, from the Druidcraft Tarot. Here we have an elaborately dressed man, in traditional RWS posture, with his tools set out on astone Altar. There is a black cockerel in the background and the stones are positioned all around him; also the sun is clearly just coming up over the horizon of the backdrop. This could easily be a Pagan Sorcerer at Stonehenge in the UK, at sunrise on the morning of the 21st! So what is this gentleman telling us here? Well, the suggestion to me is one of the endless possibilities taking shape, by the power of our will, and utilising the energies that were gifted to us from the cards we spoke of before. It would seem that we are in a position to make whatever we wish manifest, through willpower, determination, and the application of Arts! A very happy thing to see at this exalted time of year!


The next card moves away from the Will Worthington decks completely, as it is one of a pair from Clive Barrett's “Norse tarot”. The Princess of Discs shows ayoung shield maiden examining a buckler and in the background is a circle of standing stones. The feeling here is one of attention to detail really. Discs/Pentacles/Stones are a suit of care, stability, steadiness, and cautious progress, so naturally the shield maiden is going to be very cautious and careful to ensure she is ready. Perhaps, in our scenario, the deed has been done, the Magick cast, and now she is preparing herself for the fruits of those labours? Message to us? Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it,....and by Odin, you had better be ready for it!


Moving on, or rather, you will see, the next card is the Shield maiden's brother, the Prince of Discs (from the same deck). Here we see a young man, not so much a warrior as perhaps a squire, stubbornly stood with hisarms folded and a Shield strapped to his back. Again we have a circle of stones in the background, but this one is more of a Henge, as there are capstones present in this one. So we have moved forward to a position of readiness, we have our shield with us, but what is required of us now? Patience! If there is one Prince/Knight who is capable of this trait it IS the Prince of Discs. The folded arms speak perhaps of a little boredom, or impatience, but he is holding himself back, waiting, watching, being vigilant and ensuring that he stays determined and grounded, still awaiting the outcome of the Magician's spell.

At this point we are all no doubt wondering exactly what it is that our youthful, earthen pair are waiting for, and indeed what WE are waiting for. What was it exactly that the Magician conjured up on the Solstice for us? The next three cards (all from the Wildwood tarot – another Will Worthington deck) have three possible answers to that question.


First, there is the 3 of stones – Creativity. Here we see a woman standing beneath the familiar Henge formation of two standing stones and a capstone, and she is literally communing with the earth! She has her arms outstretched, hands on the stones, and her feet have become roots that burrow deep into the ground. She is one with nature, and as such has an inexhaustible supply of ideas, potential and creativity available to her. So our first possible outcome could be that we are looking for that nurturing push, that motherly hand to help us along, and for our connection to be strong enough for us to hear and feel it. Here we have a card of stretching out with our very beings, and touching all the myriad or possibilities that are out there, just waiting for us to find them.


The second card, and yet another outcome appears in the form of the 4 of stones – here wehave a simple image; a faun laying beneath a crop of standing stones,with the sunrise coming up over the horizon, and the meaning on the card? Protection. In this image it is as if we have been embattled for such a very long time with no way out, and no form of assistance available and finally we have gone to someone for help, and they have agreed! So now, after the Magician's spellcasting we are ensconced beneath the strong, protective stones of the Henge and we are protected from the ills that have dogged us for so long. Protected how? That isn't clear; maybe it is simply being hidden from view, so that negativity cannot find us, or perhaps the protection is more tangible than that, and the mystical power of the Henge puts us beyond the reach of those who would harm us? Either way this moment is a happy respite from what we have been suffering and it is to be enjoyed.


Our final offering and the last card that I deliberately pulled to represent the Summer Solstice is again from the Wildwood, and this is the 7 of Stones. Here we have a battle scarred warrior, beaten and bloody, laying in the centre of a stone circle; the sun is higher in the sky here, perhaps indicating that this outcome will take longer, because beside him, tending him, is the greenwoman spirit; the Empress herself! The card meaning here is “Healing” and clearly the warrior is in need of it, as perhaps are we all. Of course, healing our past wounds can be a very tiring and time-consuming affair; requiring patience, acceptance, preparedness to let go, an element of protection, the creative will to make it happen, and ultimately the energy and Solar warmth to completely cleanse ourselves. It is by no means a “quick fix” but it is possible, and a solstice (in particular the Summer Solstice) is to my mind the perfect time to undergo such an endeavour.

A Summer Solstice Spread and Reading

So, my final gift to you on this Solstice morning is a custom spread looking back at the energies of the year so far, and perhaps giving an inkling of what may be to come, and what we must be prepared for. The first thing to consider is the spread itself, so I am including a diagram to help in that. Study it well, then read on.


Now, the cards as they fell were as follows;

  1. Center sideways/Present - The Emperor
  2. Above left sideways/Present Factors - 3 of pentacles
  3. Above right sideways/Present Actions - 7 of wands
  4. Upper left low/Past Factors - 9 of pentacles
  5. Upper left high/Past Actions - 6 of wands
  6. Upper right low/Future Factors - High Priestess
  7. Upper right high/Future Actions - 8 of Swords
  8. Lower left low/Factors released - 7 of Pentacles
  9. Lower left high/Actions released - Queen of Cups
  10. lower right low/Factors adopted - Queen of Pentacles
  11. lower right high/Actions adopted - The Hermit
  12. Bottom/Outcome -Temperance


Card 1 shows us The Emperor, a figure of great control, fire, authority, dominion, so it is suggested here that we have pretty much been wrestling with this year, trying to grab hold of it forcibly by the scruff of the neck, and make it do as we wish; a very Imperious approach!

Card 2 shows the 3 of pentacles, which suggests that, on some level, we have had a degree of success in carving out the process we wanted; though it has been nowhere near as extensive as we wanted and we are still working hard for the recognition and developments we seek.

Card 3 indicates our current actions, those of the 7 of wands, a strong and determined resistance to all efforts to push us back. We ourselves have been meeting with fierce resistance, blockages, and obstacles, but we are refusing to yield.

Card 4 on the lower portion of the upper left shows the 9 of pentacles, indicating to me a fair degree of self-reliance and independence. We have neither asked for, nor received aid on a physical level in the last 9 months (probably since September 2011)

Card 5 also in the upperleft quadrant of the spread shows the 6 of wands, which indicates a fair degree of success, in spite of the lack of help and assistance.We dared, we set out, and to some extent we conquered.

Card 6 moving to the bottom of the upper right quadrant (the future) gives us The High Priestess, which indicates to me that we will need to make better use of intuitive abilities, as the subtler approach is likely to gain us more than brute force alone. We cannot bludgeon our way along, we must feel it!

Card 7 at the top of the right side indicates the reason we need our intuition, 8 of swords - fear! We have reached a stage where we fear the lack of progress, and perhaps begin to worry whether or not progress can BE made. It can; we know this in our hearts and we must not let fear become yet another barrier.

Card 8 In the lower left quadrant, we begin with the 7 of pentacles, a card of taking stock, but also of realisation of what hasn't yet been achieved; of failure. We must let go of these failings, and realise that they are the past, ended, and have no place in shaping the future.

Card 9 at the top of the lower left quadrant is the Queen of Cups. On the face of it, a very positive card to have to “let go” of, but consider the nature of this queen in her negative aspect; volatile, smothering, emotionally unbalanced; these are traits and behaviours that, like fear, and reminders of failure will not serve us; let them go.

Card 10 moving to the lower right quadrant we begin with the Queen of Pentacles, a much more stable, grounded, and settled lady, who will not be beset by worry or emotion. She nurtures the physical side, keeps us solid and on track, and develops the care and attention that will be needed in the months ahead.

Card 11 at the top of the lower right quadrant is The Hermit, one of only four Major Arcana cards to appear, he shows us that the answers to what we seek will befound within. We must search within ourselves for solutions, rather than forcing the world around us to conform we must learn how best to interact with it, gain that inner wisdom which will bring success, and only when we are steady and calm (Queen of Pentacles) will we gain that knowledge and insight.

Card 12 So we come to the end of our Summer solstice read, with the ultimate advice for the 6 months ahead, and our fourth Major Arcana card, Temperance! The message here is clear, Patience, Balance in all things, a synthesisof opposites, and an initiation into the ways of working that will bring us what we NEED, perhaps more than what we DESIRE. Perhaps one final clue as well, look to the time of Sagittarius (November-December) for these lessons to have been assimilated andmade part of us.

Have a blessed Litha, one and all and may the Sun's light fill you with the fire of endless possibilities, and the enthusiasm to explore them!

~The Seer~

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Beltane Bloghop - "The Fire tends to All"

Posted by The Seer on May 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (5)

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Beltane Blog - The Fire tends to all

As soon as I read the title of this Sabbat's blog I let out a little “whoop” inside, because fire really is my element! I have always felt a connection to it, so to have it as the topic within a blog is truly wonderful. However very quickly it became apparent to me that what we are dealing with here is actually pretty complex, and needs some consideration. As a beginning, let's look at this phrase itself and see what we can glean. “The Fire tends to all”....what does that mean exactly? Well, there are many fires in our lives, inner fires, external fires, fires of warmth and comfort and fires of destruction and mayhem, but as I meditated on this, one thing became clear, all fires have a starting point, an essence, a source, if you will; the Divine.

Now, as this is a Tarot Blog, I will be relating my feelings and insights about “The Fire” to various cards, from a number of decks, which really stand out to me on this subject. The first card that springs to mind for “The Fire” is the Sun card from the New Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli. This shows the god Apollo, complete with bow and harp, stood in front of a Greek monument, with sunlight streaming through from the left (in my mind's eye, the East, direction of the creative seed) and around his head glows a halo of golden power. This to me symbolises the fire in its purest, divine form, the God himself; radiating that energy for all to see, and absorb. Inspiring us to action of one sort or another (more on that later).

The next card that comes to mind here is the Sun card from the Wildwood Tarot, but John Matthews, Mark Ryan and Will Worthington. Here we have a very different image; one of a  warrior stood with his back to the Sun, and as it shines down brilliantly upon him his body is wrenched with the potent, solar energy that courses through him. He is clearly the receptacle into which the Divine is pouring Its power, and inspiration and as a result, the warrior's Solar plexus chakra begins to shine brilliantly; indicating that he now possesses some portion of the power he is experiencing.

This brings us neatly to card number three, which isn't from a traditional Tarot Deck, but surely MUST be included here because it is so relevant. The Solar Plexus Chakra card from John Holland's excellent “Psychic Tarot Oracle” shows us, in essence, that Chakra filled and brimming with the power that the warrior, in our previous card, has just received.  The card itself is simple, just the Chakra symbol, in a kind of golden yellow, radiating energy and almost pulsing with it. But crucially there is in this card a hint to the later cards that you will see; as there are two streams of energy shooting out from below the card, one heading to bottom left, and the other to bottom right. What do they mean? What am I implying from them? Simple, a choice! This is the second indication we have had that there is a choice to be made of what to do with the Divine fire that has been received.

So at this point let us review the story so far, as it were. The “Fire that Tends All” has begun as the Divine spark from the Gods (depicted here as Apollo, but could so easily have been Baldr...from Sylvia Gainsford's Runic Vision Cards and of course, could be any one of the Solar Deities, Ra (Egyptian), Lugh (Celtic), Nanahuatl (Aztec), Wi (Lakota), or even Sun Goddesses, Arien (Eldar), Amaterasu (Japanese), Sekhmet (Egyptian). This spark is then passed to the realm of mankind and fills us all with it's radiance, warmth and power and offers inspiration to us; so that we can have ideas and knowledge, and a thirst for action. Our Solar Plexus Chakra heeds this energy the most strongly at first, and acts like a Spiritual battery of sorts; powering us and generating a constant flow of that spark in our daily lives. Oh, you may be wondering at this point what I truly mean by “Spiritual Battery” and where I get that idea from. This is simply explained! You will doubtless understand the long spoken phrase, “a fire in the belly”, and even though “the belly” refers to a part of the body which is some inches below the Solar Plexus Chakra point, the two are connected and much of what goes on in the body, both physically and emotionally, is linked to this “Power source”.

So, to continue our journey; the next card that immediately came to mind when I saw this phrase, “The Fire tends to all”, was “The Creator” - King of Fire/Wands from the Osho Zen Tarot. Here we see a Buddhist monk, wearing a bright reddy-orange robe, and sat in a meditative pose. Around him is a strong, vibrant aura of red, orange, yellow and white light (in bands which get lighter and brighter, the nearer they come to his physical form) and at his centre, cupped in his hands, is a brilliant, yellow ball of energy, as if his Solar Plexus Chakra was wide open and visible for all to see! This, to me, shows the state of contemplation in which we find ourselves while we ponder what it is that we are to do next. But it also symbolises something quite special, and something that I feel is lost many times; that feeling of being at peace, calm, centred and content. Look at the card image here and you cannot fail to see how completely at peace this man is! Yes, he is the creator, on one level, but he must consider what he is to create in order for it to be of the highest good for all. There is one last point here as well.....the accompanying book states that there are two types of “creators”, the first....those who work on objects, paintings, poetry, music, sculpture etc. They work externally to create things of beauty and mould the world around them. The second are those who work with the subject.....themselves! They work internally to create themselves, to create their own being. Thus turning themselves into a work of art!

As our journey moves on, the next card I was drawn to is once again from John Holland's deck, and this is the card of “Hope”....number 17 from the “Major Arcana”. Now the sharp-eyed amongst you will immediately notice that this is NOT the Sun card from this deck, it is in fact the Star. “So what has this got to do with the Fire?” you may ask, and you would be right to do so, but consider this. First of all, what is the Sun itself? Sure, to us it is the centre of our Solar System, and even that very name suggests that we, here on earth, could not survive without it, but to other beings, far out in the wider Galaxy, it is but a point of light (and a dim one at that), far off in the distance; it is a Star! Besides this rather obvious, Astronomical observation, we are actually past the point of looking at “the source” here, as the energy and fire imparted to us by the Gods has been absorbed into our form, processed, has worked on and affected us, and now we are at the stage of wondering what to DO with it. This is the realm of the Star! This card is titled “Hope”, as previously mentioned, and here we have a clue to what we are looking at. We have in our hands our own Hopes, and perhaps Dreams, and we have a power which we can use to accomplish them, but also the power to facilitate the hopes and dreams of others. We can, in fact, be a benefactor, as well as serving ourselves. We have received a gift from the Divine, so how are we going to make use of it?

Our next card that relates to the Fire is the archetypal card of this energy manifested, I is the Ace of Wands from the awesome Robin Wood Tarot deck! Here we see the main image, a blazing bound wand, with a Quartz crystal point at the top, and a Smoky Quartz crystal point at the bottom (again, an indication of choice and polarity). The background features two sunflowers, symbolising, to me, the support and nurture of the Sun's energy and this card speaks of options, inspiration, mental energy, ideas and the process of deciding how best to use the Fire that now burns brightly within us. In fact, this message of “a choice” has really been there throughout most of these cards; from the Solar Plexus card onwards!

Now let us pause once more to consider where we are now. In this segment we had “The Creator” which spoke of us being grounded, centred, energise and Divinely inspired, and taking time to consider what we might do next, satisfied that where we are now is a wondrous place of peace, strength and joy. It also reminded us that there are two types of Creators, the external and the Internal and suggested a balance between the two being necessary; so that, as we attempt to build things on the outside, and use our creativity there, we must also be the Architects of our own inner realm as well. We create ourselves! Following on from this was the card of “Hope” reminding us again that, just as we have hopes, dreams and aspirations which the “Fire.....!” can help us to achieve, so too do all the people around us, and as the Fire “.....tends All!” their aspirations are just as important as our own, so we can choose to help facilitate those too; as well as working to achieve for ourselves. Finally, we have the instrument of our Divine Fire, the wand with which we are to act! This can be an idea, or flash of inspiration, or our willpower and mental energy, or even a point of focus for our efforts.....the start of something concrete that we will nurture and help to grow!

But here we get to the crucial question, which has loomed large in my mind since I began to write this; “What direction will we take”? How will we choose to manifest this “Fire that tends all” in the outside world around us? The next three cards give clues as to some of the possibilities that struck me as the most obvious.......Firstly, we have the card of Victory, the 6 of Wands! The card we have here is taken from one of my favourite decks, “Tarot of Dreams” deluxe edition, by Ciro Marchetti! This shows a Roman-style Tribune, a soldier or perhaps more accurately, a General, and he is stood on a high balcony, with banners fluttering in the wind around. He holds both arms aloft, and in his left hand is the symbol of his power, and his Victory, a blazing staff! (Incidentally, the others staves are worked into the design of the balcony, so the number is correct!) So what does this card mean? Well, firstly the pose and scene depicted is clearly representing success and Victory, but there are other suggestions too. On one level, perhaps our Triumphant Tribune is giving thanks To Jupiter, and Apollo, perhaps to Mars too, for his victory. The border of the card show the symbols for Jupiter, and Leo (the Lion of Strength) and even though Apollo and Mars are not directly suggested, they are implied by the very nature of this Roman General. Mars was said to be the Mythical father of Romulus and Remus, the architects of the City of Roman, and unlike his Greek counterpart Ares, was seen as a great, heroic symbol of Power, success, and Conquest to the Roman people. Apollo is one of the few Gods which survived the wholesale transferring of Deities from Ancient Greece to Roman, with his name unchanged. Again, his most auspicious aspects were his knowledge, physical prowess, insight, and of course, the Laurel wreath.......traditionally given to victors in Games, but also worn by Roman Emperors as a Crown! So here we have “The Victor”, proud, ebullient and receiving the adoration of the masses for his stunning success; all made possible by the fire in his heart, and belly........The Fire that tends All!

Conversely, the second card I have chosen returns us to “The Sun”, because it is that very card, from The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin. I have chosen this card because the  image of the sun which is shown reminds me of a Shield, and this is the essence of the meaning here. This is a much more unobtrusive card. Here we see an all but empty scene, no people around to notice the great deeds of the Sun, no banners, or rejoicing, yet the sun goes about its work, quietly and diligently warming the land and all things which live in it; grass, flowers, insects, animals, and of course, any human who may wander past when we are not looking. It is likely that none will notice the efforts of this shining benefactor, yet ALL would notice were he not there. This is the path of the protector, the guardian, the helper, he (or she) who acts for the benefit of others, without thought to his or her own physical gain. The reward this archetype receives is a spiritual one, a reward on the inside, knowing that what has been gifted to him/her is being passed on in purity and generosity. He has become.........the Fire that tends to All!

The third, and most disturbing path is best depicted (for me) by The Devil card, from The Gilded Tarot, by Ciro Marchetti. This is a very striking image, showing a hooded and blindfolded man, naked apart from his fool's cap, and fire leaps up his lower body. The upright pentacle sits quietly in the background; not threatening, in this card, more observing. The inference here seems clear to me; we have the receiver of the Divine fire corrupted and perverted by their own selfish desires. They have seen the gift as being for them alone and have not only jealously not shared it, but they have used it to further their own wishes and whims; perhaps at the expense of others! The archetype here is of the Tyrant, the Dictator, the Greedy hoarder, who absolutely will not share anything, with anyone and, erroneously, sees everyone as trying to take their gift away! In a sense they see the gift as Power, and they realise early on what potential that power has, but instead of sharing it for the good of all, they see it as a means to an end to get all the things that they have always wanted and perhaps have heretofore been denied. The card imagery here, in THIS context (because of course the Devil, like many other cards, has multiple meanings) is very interesting. The nakedness could be seen as a symbol of bare, base lust. Desire stripped of all pretence and showing its true form. The hood, of course, indicates just how blinkered (literally) and blind the Tyrant is to the reality around him; so consumed is he by his own fears and passions.  The fire climbing the man could very much be seen as a symbol of that consumption, gradually getting out of the man's control until eventually it will destroy him utterly! The Pentacle in the background, far from being a symbol of Evil, I rather see as Spirit watching the events unfolding, silently, passively, but attentively. Now I will return to two images in this card that I have already spoken of....nakedness and fire. Perhaps we are seeing a card that is a timeline within itself! Sure, we have the naked ambition, desire, lust, and we have the fire consuming the greedy man (also a suggestion of the voracity of his OWN greed) but consider this too, the nakedness could also be what he has left, having inevitably realised his own worst fears, by the very act of trying to prevent them! “The more you tighten your grip, the more will slip through your fingers” someone once true in this case! The fire is actually HELPING our poor, deluded “fool” (remember the hat?) and it is cleansing him of his greed, lust, tyranny and thirst for power. Here, “the Fire that tends All!” is tending to the saddest case of them all, the individual who, through their own blindness, arrogance, greed and fear, misused the gift from the Gods, bent it, perverted it and poisoned it Now the Gods are gifting them once again; with the warm, cleansing, nurturing and purifying fire....which truly tends all!

Blessings, Love, Light and Friþ to all!

~The Seer~

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Robin Wood COTW: 3 of Cups

Posted by The Seer on April 23, 2012 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (1)

For this week ahead we have the card of 3 of Cups, and there are some pretty odd things that strike me about this card; some from its conventional meaning, and some on an intuitive level that I'd like to share with you.


So first, let us look at the imagery in the card itself. What we see is three beautiful maidens, dancing around in a circle, cups flourished high in the air, and clearly having a wonderful time. They are dressed in pink, blue and green respectively, and these colours are mega vibrant in the Robin Wood card. Now, traditionally these three represent the other three suits besides cups, and the sense is of an acknowledgement to you, the person holding the fourth cup, of success, and JOY (a big watch word for this card) and happiness. But I am getting ahead of myself, so let's get back to the card. Below the three maidens is laid out, what appears to me to be, party food, like they are having some kind of grand picnic, and they are dancing around on lush, peridot green grass, with equally green trees visible in the background. The sky above is blue, and crystal clear, like the clearest blue topaz, and basically EVERTHING is right with the world, in this card. So then, the traditional meanings of Joy, happiness, achievement, success etc. are very plain to see. Job done, erm, not quite.


Now, I'm going to look again at this card, but this time with my psychic, intuitive mind, and see what comes to me. I will tell you up front that I'm not feeling anything in the card to negate the happy meanings listed above, but let's go deeper! The first thing that strikes me is the colours. This is always the way with me, colours, gemstones, chakra points ALWAYS jump out of cards at me; no matter the deck! Here we have the most gorgeous freesia pink, and peridot green, along with the topaz blue of the other woman's dress, and the light blue or turquoise sky! So what do these colours mean? Well, on a very simplistic level, pink and green are polarity colours of the heart chakra, and blue is a colour associated with the throat chakra, so I would say that them dancing around, in harmony like this is symbolic of the heart coming back into balance this week, and of us freely expressing ourselves to others. Now, I am no plant and gem expert, but after doing some research I found the following interesting titbits about Freesia, Peridot, Blue Topaz, and Turquoise. Freesia, first of all, is a flower associated with trust, which puts me in mind of the fact that sometimes we HAVE to trust that things will be all right, even if we cannot see how ourselves. Moving on to peridot, this is a very good cleansing stone. It is an emotional healer, cleanser, a good stone for forgiveness, also good for dealing with negative emotions and really helps us to move past hurt. (something rather significant for me this past weekend) The other attribute of Peridot is as an attractor of good fortune, and the suggestion here is that money will be on our minds this week, along with the theme of moving past previous difficulties. Topaz is a creativity crystal, and one which also helps us to express ourselves fully. Hence it's connection to the throat chakra. Turquoise, it seems, is a mega stone....having so many qualities that it's hard to cover them all, but to pick out a few that seem relevant is a truth stone, encouraging and facilitating us in speaking our truth and expressing ourselves honestly. It is another stone of the throat chakra, and also helps us to open up our heart to both giving and receiving!


So combining these various elements we have, potentially, a fantastic week ahead in which we heal the ouch of the past, recover emotionally, come back into balance, become open to both giving and receiving love and joy with others, speak our truth honestly, and attract great luck, fortune, happiness, joy, contentment, to ourselves, as well as finding that concerns we may have of a financial, emotional or any other nature we really have to open up our hearts and trust that these things will be taken care of, for our higher good, and work in our ultimate favour. All in all, a pretty fabulous week, I'd say!


Blessings, love and light to you all.

RobinWood COTW: 9 of Cups

Posted by The Seer on April 15, 2012 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)



For the week ahead wehave the card of 9 of Cups, and this strikes me very much as anotherpositive card for the future. Let us begin by looking in depth at theimagery in the card. In the Robin Wood version we see a jolly andrather rotund gentleman, dressed in a rather elaborate, purple andred jacket, and wearing a matching chapeau. Both Chapeau and Jackethave gilt edging, and the jacket also has little green leave patternson it. He seems quite clearly to be wealthy, from the ornate studs onhis jacket, and he also gives them impression of being very contentindeed. Behind him we see the nine chalices, golden in colour,stacked on a table or shelf of some sort (this is less clear). Theseare obviously the representative symbols of the card, so we knowwhich card we are talking about here.



Now that we've gonethrough the description of the card, what feelings do we get from it?Well the first thing that strikes me is the balance between thecolours. I have a great love of crystals, and so when I see thepurple of the Jacket I think of the crystal Amethyst, which isassociated, with the Crown and Brow Chakras. This to me suggests aconnection to Spirit and to the mind as well. The next colour tostand out is the vibrant, fiery red of the collar and the Chapeau.This is reminiscent in my mind of the Root and Sacral Chakras, asrepresented by the crystals Red Jasper and Carnelian. So here we havea grounded, physical, fiery and passionate association; grounding andphysicality with the Root Chakra, and Fiery passion for the SacralChakra. These two extremes are, of course, important to keep inbalance, because if we focus too much on the Higher ethereal centreswe can leave ourselves very “floaty” and “spaced out”;without the grounding energies to tether us down. However if we focustoo much on the mundane realms and physicality, we can lower ourvibration, become “stuck in the mud” and lose our higherinspiration. The additional colours present; Yellow and Green relateto two of the three remaining Chakras, yellow for the Solar Plexusand Green for the Heart, respectively. In the Solar Plexus we aredealing with our main energy generator (in my mind) and a chakrawhich I associate with intuition and “gut instinct”. Now, you maybe saying, “but I thought pink was the colour of the heart chakra”and you would be correct, in so much that both green and pink relatein different ways to it. Pink is the feminine, receptive energy ofunconditional love and romance, whereas green is the masculine activeenergy of protection, luck and good fortune. At this point though, ifwe do a count up of Chakras, we are short by just one, the throatChakra. Where is blue in this card? Answer, it isn't however blueautomatically makes me think of water and we have of course the cupsbehind our happy gent, and being that there are 9 of them, thisbrings communicative, throat Chakra energy in abundance! This givesus one of my favourite interpretations of this card, “Speak yourTruth!”



So in a nutshell, whatdoes this mean for the week ahead? Well, my feeling is that this maywell be a very settled and happy week; one in which we feel a certaindegree of “arrival” after the trial and tribulations of the past.We should feel a degree of balance, contentedness, and even joy. Alsoit is a week to speak our truth, let people know how we feel, what weare thinking and where we are coming from in life. I think, if we dothat, people will have a much greater notion of where they stand withus, and things being out in the open could serve to increase thefeeling of freedom and peace this week!



Blessings, love and light to you all.


Robin Wood COTW: Ace of Cups

Posted by The Seer on April 8, 2012 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)


For the week ahead we have the card of Ace of Cups. This is another card that I consider to be pretty much 100% positive, and I think it is always a joy when it shows up! If we look at the card in detail the first thing that strikes you is the cup itself, which is made from silver and gold and features a huge red crystal heart in the centre. This heart could be ruby, or garnet, or possibly even spinel. It is probably worth taking a moment to look at the metaphysical properties of these three “contenders” then you can decide for yourself which fits the bill best, as your week unfolds.




Ruby is the red form of the stone corundum and has an exalted place in myth, the world over. Among the many gifts Ruby bestows are the ability to focus and have clarity and wisdom in your life. Ruby is a crystal of fire, so a vigorous lifestyle suits it well, but it enables you to focus clearly on each task in turn, instead of flitting from idea to idea. Ruby is also a great stone for firing your passions and keeping you motivated and on track. It also is good for avoiding self-destructive tendencies which may have held you back in the past. Ruby is also a fantastic energy protector, and will keep you safe from any negative intentions of others.


If the gem in the cup appears to you as Ruby this week, then perhaps it is focus for all your energies that you lack. Are you flitting around from one thing to another, and not concentrating sufficiently on any one of them? Or perhaps you feel under siege and are in need of a shield of fire to burn the fingers of your oppressors? If so, wear or carry a Ruby with you, (or breathe in it’s dark, misty and slightly opaque red light and energize both your mental focus, and psychic defenses)




Garnet has a deep, dark, clear red colour to it (when it is not appearing in any of the other colours in which it commonly occurs) and is a stone associated strongly with romantic love and passion. It can be used to enhance sensuality, sexuality and intimacy and it is said that garnet will bring positive thoughts and boost energy. Among it’s other uses, Garnet can help with building your self-confidence as well as success in your work life.  In fact the connect to business with Garnet is well known, and three stones on your work desk is said to attract improvements in your business!


If you see the gem on the cup as the deep, crystal clear Garnet this week, the perhaps you have love and passion on your mind, but lack the self-confidence to really go for it. Or maybe your work affairs need a boost, and greater confidence here too would not go amiss. Try wearing or carrying Garnet (or breathe in it’s rich, red light) to give yourself the confidence, passion and drive you need.




Spinel is a stone that has historically been mistaken for a number of other stones, including ruby, and in fact comes in a great variety of colours; though it is the red variety that concerns us here. Red Spinel is said to be excellent for increasing vitality, confidence and leadership. It lends energy to the physical body and can be used to boost physical strength during periods of excessive exertion. Among its magickal uses is inclusion in spells designed to attract riches and wealth.


If you see the red gem as Spinel this week, then perhaps the physical side of life, in both effort and financial gain are foremost on your mind, and you should breathe in the vibrant, fiery red of this stone, or carry one if you have it, in order to give yourself a physical boost.


So, now that we have detoured through the crystal hearts, we return to the card image, and seen that the other striking feature about the cup is the overflow of water, which positively pours from the top, all the way down the sides and floods off the base of the cup! This is the water of emotion, and the suggestion here is that we will have our full measure of emotions this week, and that we should share them healthily with others.


Looking at the background of the card, and working from bottom to top, we notice that the ground beneath the cup is lush, and green and this rather reminds me of the crystal Peridot, which has a very similar colour. Peridot is an excellent stone to bring healing and vitality to the whole body. It it said to increase patience, confidence and assertiveness and its joyful and friendly energy helps to make and seal friendships, it clears the heart, releases the ego, which in turn cleanses jealousy and anger. Peridot is also excellent for stimulating the mind and relieving stress. The crystals just won’t leave us this week, will they?


There are also flowers at either side of the bottom and these have a beautiful pink colour to them, reminiscent of fuschias! Of course, pink and green are heart chakra colours, and this suggests that both friendships and love will be important factors this week. Moving up to the horizon we see yet more gorgeous Rose quartz pink (a stone associated with romantic love) in the sea and a deep violet colour to the mountains behind. The sky itself is a beautiful mix of salmon pinks, baby pinks, and gentle buttery yellows, and this gives a very calm, loving and beautiful glow to the whole thing. It’s not hard to see why I find this card so positive!


By now the theme of the week ahead should be fairly clear, but to crystallize it (sorry, unavoidable pun!) into a series of short thoughts, my feeling is that our emotions, feelings, desires, and self-confidence to express them will be centre stage this week. Also important will be our connection to others, and the unions we make and maintain; romantic, passionate and platonic. This will be a week to really show our hearts to people and for them to do the same with us. Be aware of how you do this, and to whom, but enjoy being able to open up to people and rejoice in the deeper connections you create.


Blessings, love and light to you all.

The Norse Tarot by Clive Barrett - The Seer's first musings

Posted by The Seer on April 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (1)



I have always had a huge affinity for all things Norse, and that extends somewhat to my choice of decks as well. Of course, the list of decks that actively employ Norse mythology, or Runes, or anything remotely Germanic in nature is quite scarce, and you are far more likely to find Celtic themed decks, of which I have several, than you are Nordic ones. I discovered this particular deck too late, I thought, as it was out of print by the time I was aware of it, and so began years of waiting to own this deck (hoping for one to come available second-hand maybe) and I was beginning to lose all hope, til finally I was told that the author himself was still stocking the cards! (if not the packaging and book) So I immediately put it on order and it arrived this morning! I eagerly opened the package and saw that the deck was shrink wrapped and brand new (always a plus) and turned out to be very easy to unwrap; with makes a change as sometimes decks are wrapped in a way that makes them near impossible to get into!


As soon as I started thumbing through these surprisingly large cards, 3.25 x 4.75 inches, I knew that all those years of waiting were worth it. The cards are all painted in a beautiful, watercolour style, and have a lovely, light and airy feel to them. They are bright, mostly, dark and brooding, where necessary, and stylized in a way that is pleasing to the eye. The border around the cards is an amazingly intricate knotwork affair, and the tablets for the suit/number/rune are worked right into the design. Yes, you read that correctly, these cards incorporate runes as well! The runes are only used on the Major arcana cards, but they add another layer of depth to a reading that simply wouldn’t be their without them. The backs too continue the knotwork theme, and are one of the prettiest back of card designs I’ve ever seen. The design is also completely symmetrical, allowing for reverse meanings if you use them; I personally do not.


In short, I KNOW that I am going to have a fabulous time exploring and using this deck and I will be writing blogs for each of the cards as they appear to be, and posting them up as a record of how I connected with each card, and my thoughts and musings on the meaning and imagery therein. It is worth noting that I do not yet have the book to accompany the deck, and even though it is on order, I plan to blog without referring to it, as an exercise in connection! I am also drawing the cards intuitively, so they will not be in sequence, and I have not decided what to do about cards coming up a second time, yet. I may simply put that card aside and redraw, purely for the purposes of the blog. Anyway, the first card to emerge is card twenty from the Major Arcana, “Judgement” blog on it follows below.


Judgement - a first connection


Today the card of Judgement came out of the deck and I was quite struck by the image on the card really. To explain, the card features a scene within a scene format, where at the bottom you have a lush, green field, and three distinct groups of people; comprising (on the left) a pair of youths who are dressed in tunics and trousers, and one has a cloak on, (on the right) we have a second pair, similarly dressed, (in the background) we have the silhouette of a third pair, with arms raised and one is clearly waving a bow. It’s not easy to tell but I sense that we are looking at three mixed gender couples, in spite of everyone wearing trousers, and the meaning just from this part of the card seems clear; “reunion”. I shall come back to meanings shortly, but to complete the rest of the card, just above these 6 figures we have a sky full of golden clouds, with sun rays blasting out from behind the central one, and above this, framed by the sun’s rays, we have 7 figures, 4 men and 3 women, who watch over the scene below intently. I have no idea at this stage who these “sky people” are, other than to say there is a feeling of them being either ancestors, or the Gods and Goddesses themselves; especially as the central figure looks like one of the depictions of Odin in another card. Overall the card has an amazingly bright, cheerful and satisfying feel, and so let us look at what I get intuitively here.


As I said before, the very first impression this card gives is of reunion; like we have an extended family who have been separated for a long time and now finally can return to each other. There is also a strong sense of protection and guardianship, as though the affairs of the mortals of Midgard are being keenly and vigilantly watched from the shining realms of Asgard and Vanaheim. The feeling I get here, reading into this, is that all shall be reunited when the time comes (and this card is an omen of that time being at hand) and it shall be a joyous reunion that spans the generations. But there is another sense here too, that must be mentioned. Thus far I have focused on this being a card symbolizing a physical reunion, but that friends, or family that have long been parted, but it is possible that there are other types of “re-connection” of which this card speaks. For example, this could be a return home and reconnection with the lands of our ancestors, and it is they who sit above watching us return to our place of origin. Or even deeper still, the re-connection could be within ourselves, soul to spirit, heart to mind, Hopes with desires; essentially making ourselves whole again, perhaps after years of being fractured and lost to the wilderness.


As a final mention I give attention now to the Rune that is inscribed on the bottom of the card, the rune Othel/Othila. This is a rune which relates to family, celebration, success, heritage and inheritance of the accumulated possessions, knowledge and wisdom of one’s family line. So my feeling here is that indeed this is a card of connection to the ancestral and familial lineage, and a “passing on” of sorts, of the baton from one generation to the next. Such a transition must surely signify the growing up process, and the new, younger generation being ready, finally, to take up matters that have long been tended to by their elders. This doesn’t mean that they will be alone though, far from it. They will always have their Elders and Ancestors around them, to watch over them, and guide them in the days ahead; but the Elders job now is to prepare the way for the next great transition and reunion, where they shall once again be reunited, in Valhalla.


Blessings and Friþ!



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