Friday, February 28, 2014

The Magician - The Inner Guide

A great card the Magician  is,who appears to possess all the tools needed.  The first card following the Fool in the Major Arcana, it is a masculine card suggesting powerful energy.
There is a great will and determination to see ideas or projects through to their completion. God knows procrastination is something many of us struggle with, and can cause all manner of trouble, chaos, and difficulty. So there is much to learn, and benefit from the Magician's tools. Powers of concentration and control along with desires that are fulfilled by a strong will, and the ability to utilize one's innate faculties to their fullest advantage with originality and invention.

The Magician is the inner guide, and a spiritual teacher for the Fool., and that unconscious power that looks after us.

 The Magician is seen often standing at a table with the four emblems of the Minor Arcana: wand (fire), cup (water), sword (air) and pentacle (earth). The four elements are at his disposal and always readily available to him to be used to their fullest extent.

Note: The Magician needs also his own inner guide as he is in danger of becoming preoccupied with the world of material things. I will discuss this in relation to The Hermit in my next post.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The High Priestess - Wisdom and Discernment

I decided to draw a random card this morning from my Mythic Tarot Deck. I want to spend some time thinking and relating to the Queen of Pentacles, the card I drew, to see what I can decipher. At the end of the day, I'll journal what it has revealed to me intuitively, for myself alone. I've learned this is a great way to become engaged with each card's meaning.

I chose the second card of the Major Arcana to study and write about, for today's post, The High Priestess, the intuitive guide, known as Persephone, Isis, The Corn Maiden and Artemis, and is ruled by the Moon. This image is a link with the inner world, commonly referred to as 'the unconscious' in psychology, the hidden world only revealed in dreams, fantasies, visions, symbols, etc.

 The High Priestess bares the mark of  Isis on her forehead, or wears a crown, symbolizing the Triple Goddess. Isis, was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife, as well as the patroness of nature and magic. The High Priestess also wears the solar crucifix around her neck, symbols of spirituality, balance between male and female. She sits between the two pillars of peace and severity, darkness and light. She embodies the feminine influence and indicates, divine knowledge, perception, creative ability, and self-motivation.
The High Priestess is the Goddess of the Underworld, representing spiritual wisdom and enlightenment, discernment, serenity, mystery, the unknown, the keeper of secrets, and has dominion over intuition. She uses this knowledge to teach rather than to try to control others.

" Discernment is the ability to grasp, comprehend, and evaluate clearly. It means we can see the true nature of things; it allows us to distinguish between what is real and what is imitation.

Discernment may begin with intuitive hunches and perceptiveness. With intuition as a starting point, the quality of discernment is built over time on honest observation, careful reasoning, and balanced application of our knowledge and principles. In a person who is highly discerning, intuition, emotion, and reason inform each other. As we grow in experience, our ability to discern usually grows stronger, providing us with insight that propels us toward greater wisdom" -

Monday, February 24, 2014

Death - A Time For Endings

 As I make my way through my daily study, through the 22 Major Arcana cards, today the Death card was what came to mind; the card that signifies a time for endings, and is the 13th card in the Major Arcana.

The Death card I don't often see in readings, but when it comes up in a spread, many folks are fearful of seeing this card. It is by no means an indication of physical Death, but a card of transition and transformation. We need to accept and let go of what was, in order to embrace and allow for our soul's future growth and change. In a way, I think of it a kind of shape shifting card were we can transform ourselves in some way if we can let go of past issues that are holding us back. We die to the old and are re-birthed into anew kind of being, in better circumstance.

A major change is needed and due! The destruction of the old is a blessing in disguise, though we are saddened and are mourning,  it signifies the end of a cycle, or a way of life, where we relinquish an old dream, an attitude, or a way of being in the world and this is replaced with a new beginning. How we handle this experience depends on our capacity for acceptance and recognition for the necessity of endings.

Death is always our invisible companion throughout our lives, and all part of the life-death-life-cycle.
If you are faced with an ending, this is a good time for a reading to receive insight into the darkness, and to help you prepare for the new beginning that awaits you.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The World - Wholeness

A beautiful card the World is. The last card of the Major Arcana. It is a card of wholeness, unity and duality. Love, creative imagination, intellect and physical reality, are all represented by the symbols of  the four suits in the Minor Arcana: Cups, Wands, Swords and Pentacles. These elements are all surrounded and held in harmony within the great circle of the World Snake, an image of inexhaustible life.

Wholeness is an image portrayed here in the card, as an ideal goal, rather than something which we can completely attain and achieve. We can however experience and glimpse a sense of inner healing and transformation when we find resolutions to those conflicting and warring parts of ourselves, that finally brings  peace and serenity.

The World card has been likened to a great egg, that gives birth to the Fool.
The power of transcendence is within reach. We get our deserved rewards and triumph, attaining greater consciousness.

My World

© Caroline Falzon
the day is through, the sun is down,
only the moon seems to be up.
I go to bed, I lay to rest,
I open my eyes, as into the world I step.

I see green meadows, I feel the sun,
I feel content as I look around.
I keep on walking down the lane,
I hear the giggles of kids at play.

so many faces all come in glee,
the cheer, the laughter, everyone at peace.
singing and dancing, all around one man,
I take a step forward to join in the clan.

we all come together, no color no race,
we all want to shout out and to Him give praise,
our pastor, our savior, our only true love,
the reign of mankind, if only in Him we trust.

no rain, no pain, no evil, no shame
this is my world, it is yours too.
no tears, no fears, no aches, no blame
this is my world, I share it with you.

Source: My World, Inspirational Poem

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Fool - Seize The Day!

In 1980 I took an adventure. I traveled to Toronto to study Mime, Commedia dell'Arte to be specific at Mime School Unlimited. It was the great unknown, and one of the most difficult, challenging and at the same time most rewarding experiences of my life. I took a huge leap of faith.

Prior to leaving the Maritimes, I began to study clowning and the role of the clown, the Fool/Jester. Particularly the white face. I learned that the role of the court jester, in the days of Kings, was to remind the Royal Court of their mortality, the white face represented the Death Mask.

For me the Fool is a wonderful archetype, and symbol of how I have often lived my own life as an artist, a free spirit, and it retrospect I know I've learned the most life lessons from, in many ways.

The card of the Fool in the Tarot, is represented  by the number 0 - the Zero point, and the beginning of the 22 Major Arcana cards that depict the archetypal journey of life.
Some find the card to be most mysterious and even disturbing. I do not, as it brings to my mind a humble vulnerability, innocence, a trusting open heart, with an eternal optimism and hope. It is the beginning of the journey as individuals, a time of risk taking, and learning new things, as we move along the road of life.

The image of the Fool is that of our inner impulse and willingness to leap into the unknown, an ideal symbol for springtime, new beginnings and new growth, we follow our intuition and creative instincts. Our leap of faith can lead us into a creative and fulfilling lives. Instead of being the guilty bystander, we are participators. Carp Diem! Seize the day!

The Fool is the potential that it not yet applied to anything. One is eager to experience and develop oneself, and their nature to it's fullest capacity and potential.
We start anew and are unaware of the direction in which to proceed, we act on impulse. The Fool is the excitement of endless possibilities and innocence, but also naivete and lack of foresight.

 As illustrated in the Rider -Waite deck there are pure intentions here, which are symbolized by the rose, and having all the necessary and needed tools in life, which are carried in the shoulder satchel. We have a loyal companion and protector along side in the form of a little dog, who will push us forward.

The Zero  indicates the space before the start of the new cycle of experience that will require decisions and action. It is a carefree period, without pressure or direction. The Fool looks heaven ward to the Great Spirit for direction and faith.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Star - A Time of Hope

 "There shall be signs in the Sun, Moon, and Stars" -  Jesus Christ

I cannot study the Sun and Moon without including the Star, as they are, and have always been closely connected to one another, dating back to ancient days.
The Star being the 17th, card, Moon the 18th, and Sun the 19th, are the order in which these cards come within Major Arcana in the Tarot deck.

The Star portends experience of hope, meaning and faith, where we find inspiration, generosity, and serenity.  It is a very positive card, though a realistic one. It is about turning the negative into the positive, overcoming difficulties and rising above them, remaining hopeful, and becoming a stronger, a better person  with depth, of character, because of our struggles, not just in spite of them.
We can fulfill our highest human potential. We look to heavenward, lightening the burdens and struggles of the earth.
Many dreadful afflictions have been released into the world from Pandora's box but the promise of hope remains, always.

The Star card - A Time of Hope 
The Star card always gives me a feeling of hope. It's an important card for the times that we are in right now. Following the Tower card, the Star is a guiding vision of hope and promise that arises from the ashes of the Tower which has been destroyed. In the journey of the Mythic Tarot, the Fool waits amidst the rubble, and has no clear sense of how or what to rebuild - all he is left with is hope, and a sense that all is not lost.
The Star card is the 17th card of the Major Arcana, and the next step on the Fool's journey in the Mythic Tarot. The card of the Star portrays Pandora as a beautiful, young woman with long, fair hair, kneeling before an open chest. From the chest, a swarm of flying creatures rise including dragon flies, wasps, bees, flies, moths and spiders; and they fill the sky with darkness. Pandora's eyes are fixed on a bright star symbolized by a female figure in glowing, white robes with a rainbow shining behind her.
In Greek mythology, Pandora is a lot like Eve, who represents the feminine side of human nature which includes feelings, instinct, imagination and intuition along with the need to probe for the truth despite the consequences. The wooden chest that Zeus, the father of all the Greek gods, sends to mankind is a lot like the apple in the Garden of Eden which Eve found hard to resist. The chest like the apple is something which is forbidden, but yet impossible to resist. It contains knowledge of the reality of human life which means the death of innocence and childlike fantasy, but it also contains the most precious attribute of the human spirit which is hope.
When Pandora opens the box, the terrible afflictions of human life that had been locked away by Zeus were now released which included - old age, labor, sickness, insanity, vice and passion; and they spread all over the world. Hope alone, which had also been locked in the chest, did not fly away.
On an inner level, the image of Pandora and the Star of Hope, is a symbol of that part of us which, despite disappointment, depression and loss can still cling to a sense of meaning and future which can still grow out of the unhappiness of the past. The Star does not reveal the future plans, or solution to one's problems, but like the cards of the Hermit and the Hanged Man, the Star is a card of waiting, for the sense of hope is a fragile light which glimmers and guides us through the darkness. Somehow, it offers us faith, and therefore in the card's image, Pandora's eyes are fixed not on the unhappiness of the human condition, but on this intuitive feeling that a dawn of a new day is coming.
The quality of hope has nothing to do with planned expectations, but is connected with something deeper which has sometimes been called the will to live. Doctors experience this with their patients – those who have a sense of hope and a strong will to live - will often find the inner resources to face a life-threatening dis-ease, and beat the odds. Likewise, individuals who have suffered tragic circumstances, or have faced challenges which are far greater than any human should have to go through such as those who experienced the concentration camps in Germany and Poland during World War II - have often expressed that it was some inner sense of hope and faith that meant the difference between survival and death. Hope is a profound and mysterious thing, for it would seem that it can transcend anything life offers us.
In a reading, the Star card represents the experience of hope, meaning and faith in the midst of challenges. It's a sign that there is new and better life coming in your future if only you can believe.
The Star is a symbol for all of us right now as we face a challenging world. If we can believe and envision a better life, we can co-create this life for each one of us. If you need some hope right now, have a reading to shed some light on your future path.
By Donna M. Fisher-Jackson, MA © 2010
Thanks to Juliet Sharman-Burke, and Liz Greene, the creators of the Mythic Tarot for their insightful comments.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Sun Acts, The Moon Reacts - The Snow Moon


We are entering the last quarter of the Snow Moon or what was commonly called the Hunger Moon.
A time when the most snow occurs and coldest temperatures. I think it is a neat thing the Snow Moon began in Valentines Day this year.
I have long had a strong affinity with the Moon. After finding out from my astrological chart that my Moon is is Pisces, it makes perfect sense to me why I have always said I am in love with the Moon and identify with this planet.

 The Moon is associated with the feminine and the mother. It represents our inner child and our inner mother, spontaneity, and instinctive, intuitive abilities and having an empathetic compassionate nature. I am a hopeless romantic, a typical personality trait of someone born with the a Pisces Moon. I've been told I wear my heart on my sleeve, and have been described as a ball of emotion. There was a time that I'd try to hide these personality characteristics and even thought of them as defects, but now I know they are my strengths, being older and wiser.

The Last Timber Wolf

Wild Woman Singing Over The Bones

From the Introduction - Singing Over the Bones The archetype of Wild Woman resides in the guts, not in the head. She can track and run and summon and repel. She can sense, camouflage, and love deeply. She is intuitive, typical, and normative. She is utterly essential to women's mental and soul health. She is the female soul. Yet she is more; she is the source of the feminine. She is all that is of instinct, of the worlds both seen and hidden -she is the basis. She is intuition, she is far-seer, she is deep listener, she is loyal heart. She encourages humans to remain multilingual; fluent in the languages of dreams, passion, and poetry. She is the voice that says, "This way, this way." She is the one who thunders after injustice. She is the one we leave home to look for. She is the one we come home to. She is the things that keep us going when we think that we're done for. To adjoin the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from left to right, from black to white, to move the east to west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one's primary socialization, or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it. It means to establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one's cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can. La Loba (Wolf Woman), the old one, the One Who Knows, is within us. She thrives in the deepest soul-psyche of women, the ancient and vital Wild Woman. She describes her home as that place in time where the spirit of women and the spirit of wolf meet —the place where her mind and her instincts mingle, where a woman's deep life funds her mundane life. It is the point where the I and the Thou kiss, the place where women run with the wolves. The Creation Mother is always the Death Mother and vice versa. Because of this dual nature, or double-tasking, the great work before us is to learn to understand what around and about us and what within us must live, and what must die. Our work is to apprehend the timing of both; to allow what must die to die, and what must live to live. You can dent the soul and bend it. You can hurt it and scar it. You can leave the marks of illness upon it, and the scorch marks of fear. But it does not die, for it is protected by La Loba the underworld. She is both the finder and the incubator of the bones. People do meditation to find psychic alignment. That's why people do psychotherapy and analysis. That's why people analyze their dreams and make art. That is why many read Tarot cards, cast I Ching, dance, drum, make theater, pry out the poem, and fire up the prayer. That's why we do all the things we do. It is the work of gathering all the bones together. Then we must sit at the fire and think about which song we will use to sing over the bones, which creation hymn, which re-creation hymn. And the truths we tell will make the song. There are some good questions to ask till one decides on the song, one's true song: What has happened to my soul-voice? What are the buried bones of my life? In what condition is my relationship to the instinctual Self? When was the last time I ran free? How do I make life come alive again? Where has La Loba gone to? Go back and stand under that one red flower and walk straight ahead for that last hard mile. Go up and knock on the old weathered door. Climb up to the cave. Crawl through the window of a dream. Sift the desert and see what you can find. It is the only work we have to do. You wish psychoanalytic advice? Go gather bones.

                                                    - Clarissa Pinkola Estes Ph.d 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sun, Sun, Sun Here It Comes!

 Being that we are mid -Winter, and many of us are fed up with snow and cold, I thought I would  choose the Sun to study today. I was thinking about what would be the best card in the deck. It is said to be this one, The Sun. It is thought to be the most positive card in the Tarot deck. I have to agree. Whenever I do a reading, and this card appears, it immediately gives me a feeling of happiness, great hope, optimism in the present and for the future. The Sun is after all, the life giving planet, and it makes all things grow, including ourselves. We always feel better when the Sun is shining. I know I certainly do.

After yet another snow storm I was at a loss as to how the heck I was ever going to manage to get dug out again. I had shoveled for over two hours yesterday, and now we had even more snow than last time, and it was heavy! In spite of sun shine I was feeling a little on the very glum side, from being shack whacky and  being completely snowed in. Then a miracle happened. I got plowed out!!! A complete surprise! Oh, and now the Sun is shining even brighter, and my back is feeling better already! Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes! I'm heading out tonight!

The Sun
The naked child mounted on a white horse and displaying a red standard has been mentioned already as the better symbolism connected with this card. It is the destiny of the Supernatural East and the great and holy light which goes before the endless procession of humanity, coming out from the walled garden of the sensitive life and passing on the journey home. The card signifies, therefore, the transit from the manifest light of this world, represented by the glorious sun of earth, to the light of the world to come, which goes before aspiration and is typified by the heart of a child.
But the last allusion is again the key to a different form or aspect of the symbolism. The sun is that of consciousness in the spirit - the direct as the antithesis of the reflected light. The characteristic type of humanity has become a little child therein—a child in the sense of simplicity and innocence in the sense of wisdom. In that simplicity, he bears the seal of Nature and of Art; in that innocence, he signifies the restored world. When the self-knowing spirit has dawned in the consciousness above the natural mind, that mind in its renewal leads forth the animal nature in a state of perfect conformity.

 The Sun, the giver of life, represents our conscious mind in Astrology. It represents our will to live and our creative life force.
Just as the planets revolve around the Sun in our solar system, we derive our life purpose from the Sun in our natal charts. The Sun is our ego. It is also our "adult"-- the part of us that censors our "inner child", that reasons things out, and makes final decisions. The Sun is our basic identity, and represents self-realization.  When you are asked, "Who are you?", and you've passed your basic statistics and occupation, your answers will be a description of your Sun. The Sun also represents our overall vitality. The Sun directs us, and can be considered "the boss" of our chart.
The Sun () is so important in the chart, that the happiest people on this earth are those who identify (without over-identifying) with the Sun's expression. Though one might think that the traits of their Sun would come easy to them, the truth is, the Sun shows what we are learning to be. It is very important to remember that the Sun represents reason as opposed to instinct.
Sun Symbol GlyphWith respect to the other luminary (the Moon), the Sun reflects the present or the "here and now", while the Moon infuses the past into our lives through the feelings.
Grant Lewi referred to the Sun as indicative of "the psychological bias which will dominate your actions". He went on to say, "You may think, dream, imagine, hope to be a thousand things, according to your Moon and your other planets: but the Sun is what you are, and to be your best self in terms of your Sun is to cause your energies to work along the path in which they will have maximum help from planetary vibrations." (1)
When we are "acting out" our Sun, we are purposeful, directed, proud, and creative. On the negative side, we can be haughty, overly willful, self-centered, and judgmental.
In the chart, the position of the Sun by zodiac sign represents the native's life purpose and the style in which they leave their mark in the world. By house, the Sun's position shows where our personalities shine. The areas of life associated with that house reveal the types of experiences which contribute to our sense of individuality and which shape our sense of pride. These areas of life are ones in which we seek to express and focus our Sun sign qualities.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Chariot - War, Battle, Conflict, Struggle

The card of the day for me, is The Chariot.  This card is symbolic of war, battle, conflict and struggle, which may seem initially to be a negative thing, but if we allow ourselves, this struggle and conflict can give us strength of character, and great personal transformation, depending on our attitude. I have found this to be very much  the case personally. I have witnessed this inner strength, and courage in others, who have been, and are warriors.
Although it is necessary to face these conflicts and contradictions within ourselves, and cannot be avoided,  I have never found this to be easy, but it is all part of growing up, even becoming and adult!.
Resentment and aggression  are luxuries I can  no longer afford. I stopped carrying around a little gunny sack full of grudges toward others. I have learned to forgive others and myself.

The Chariot is the seventh card among  the 22  Major Arcana. The astrological sign Cancer and the Moon are linked with this card of conflicting animal urges and the inner instincts that can threaten to run away with us, if we do not learn to live in balance and harmony. This does not mean that we should repress our feelings, otherwise we loose our personal power, and ability to not just survive in spite of ourselves, but to thrive because of our selves, in finding our way, traveling along on the road of life.
Harnessing and balancing human nature, being pulled in opposing directions; will and action, the two horses, one black, one white symbolize this struggle that takes place within the human psyche, as we make daily decisions in our lives.

Ares, the God of War, is seen in bronze helmet and bronze armor over a blood-red tunic as he drives his war chariot. He wears a shield at his hip, and at his side is a large spear. He holds the reins of two horses, one black and one white, as they pull in opposite directions before him. The landscape is reddish and desert-like as a storm approaches.

War Symbolism (Chariot, Armor, Shield, Spear, etc)
  • chariot is a symbol of war or battle
  • chariot is the image of the mastery and mobility of gods and heroes
  • armor identifies a warrior
  • spear is a symbol of war and struggle, aggression or hostility
  • spear represents that which may cut, pierce or injure
  • spear represents phallic power and potency in both men and women
  • an environment of hostility, aggression and oppression
  • an internal struggle
  • retaliation for previous thoughts, words or actions
  • the need to consciously deal with problems that are struggling at the unconscious level
  • the need to fight for what’s right
  • the process of disintegration and reintegration
  • abolishing disorder and creating order out of chaos
  • the spiritual battle between good and evil within man’s own nature
Black and White Horses
  • Deimos (fear) and Phobos (terror) accompanied Ares on the battlefield
  • the potential for both good and evil contained in the aggressive instinct
  • white horse represents pure intellect while the black horse represents chaos
  • black symbolizes lack of consciousness, descent into darkness, evil, corruption, ignorance while white represents innocence, purity, truth, perfection, redemption, illumination
  • conflicting animal urges within man that are full of vitality yet unwilling to work together
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • “to know black from white” is to understand the difference between right and wrong
    • “to see everything as black and white” is to have limited vision, to see things only as true/false or right/wrong
    • “a horse of a different color” means additional information that causes a situation to be reconsidered or different
    • “don’t put the cart before the horse” means it’s important to do things in the right or natural order, and is also used to correct people who confuse cause and effect
    • “zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse” means that uninformed enthusiasm will only lead to disaster
Desert Landscape
  • the lack of feeling and relatedness in which the aggressive impulses thrive
  • that which is not fertile, is bleak or is abandoned
  • that which lacks insight or spirit; hopelessness and pessimism
  • god of war, he reveled in fighting and was in love with the heat and glory of battle so that he could unleash all his strength to challenge his foe
  • because he was associated with bloodshed and conflict, he was disliked by Zeus and Athena because of his brute-strength and lack of refinement
  • Aphrodite fell in love with him though, and together they had a daughter Harmonia, whose quality was the harmonious blending of love and strife
  • the image of aggressive instincts guided and directed by the will of consciousness
  • as fatherless god (he was born from Hera without male seed), he’s the image of the natural aggressive and competitive instincts of the body because he lacks the archetypal spiritual father who might provide him with vision and meaning
  • this iron will and great courage are a necessary complement though to spiritual vision, which isn’t enough to survive in a competitive and difficult world
  • the second of life’s greatest lessons – the creative harnessing of the violent, turbulent urges of the instinctual nature
  • arriving at maturity – learning how to take the consequences of one’s actions as an adult and facing the anger and conflict one has invoked both internally and externally
  • the need to deal with the warring opposites and war-like urges within
  • lesson of how learning to contain and direct the aggressive drive fosters the development of the whole personality

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Did My First Online Tarot Reading Today!

O Bonny Portmore, I am sorry to see
Such a woeful destruction of your ornament tree
For it stood on your shore for many's the long day
Till the long boats from Antrim came to float it away.

O Bonny Portmore, you shine where you stand
And the more I think on you the more I think long
If I had you now as I had once before

All the Lords in Old England would not purchase Portmore.

All the birds in the forest they bitterly weep
Saying, "Where shall we shelter or where shall we sleep?"
For the Oak and the Ash, they are all cutten down
And the walls of bonny Portmore are all down to the ground.

O Bonny Portmore, you shine where you stand
And the more I think on you the more I think long
If I had you now as I had once before
All the Lords of Old England would not purchase Portmore.

I had my first reading online today. I was feeling very happy and excited! Sorry to say the offer of a free reading no longer is available, as I have had my first comment and had the pleasure of honouring that.

The cards never seize to amaze me. The more I read, the more I learn, and the more amazed I am. I love the oldest spread, the Celtic Cross. I have been so drawn to all things Celtic. It's like I feel in deep down in my roots!
Perhaps I was a Druid in another life, as they had such a love of trees, and believed them to be sacred. It may explain my deep affinity with  trees too.

I've was asked what kind of deck am I wanting to get next, and I said a Celtic Tarot deck. I found  an artist who has set my soul afire who designed this exquisitely illustrated deck with his beautiful Celtic art. His name is Courtney Davis. Simply for the art work alone is plenty enough reason for me to purchase this deck.That said, his dedication to his art work, and his remarkable life's journey, does not surpass his God given gift of his talent and creativity. These cards below a just a mere glimpse of his prolific art work he has created.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Hanged Man - Letting Go

When I had very my first reading done for me by my friend many years ago. This card, The Hanged Man came up in my reading, and it totally freaked me out, but I was really wanting to know it's meaning. It looked pretty gruesome and a little disturbing. Oh the other hand the guy looked kind of peaceful just hangin' there! Some particular cards will kind of shock us especially if we aren't familiar with them, or know what they mean. As time passes I learn more about each card on a deeper level. I don't believe there are any "bad" cards.

Today this card kept coming to me in my mind's eye. Then I did a one card reading for myself and guess which card came up when I asked my question? The Hanged Man. Oooo well now, that did kind of freak me out a little. But when I thought about my question in relation to this card, it made sense to me ,even though I wasn't too sure if I liked the answer!

The following overview I found at
The Hanged Man is one of the most mysterious cards in the tarot deck. It is simple, but complex. It attracts, but also disturbs. It contradicts itself in countless ways. The Hanged Man is unsettling because it symbolizes the action of paradox in our lives. A paradox is something that appears contradictory, and yet is true. The Hanged Man presents to us certain truths, but they are hidden in their opposites.
The main lesson of the Hanged Man is that we "control" by letting go - we "win" by surrendering. The figure on Card 12 has made the ultimate surrender - to die on the cross of his own travails - yet he shines with the glory of divine understanding. He has sacrificed himself, but he emerges the victor. The Hanged Man also tells us that we can "move forward" by standing still. By suspending time, we can have all the time in the world.
In readings, the Hanged Man reminds us that the best approach to a problem is not always the most obvious. When we most want to force our will on someone, that is when we should release. When we most want to have our own way, that is when we should sacrifice. When we most want to act, that is when we should wait. The irony is that by making these contradictory moves, we find what we are looking for.

 The card of the Hanged Man in the Mythic Tarot deck portrays Prometheus as a mature man with brown hair, and a beard. He is shackled in an upside down position to the bare face of a cliff. His upside down posture implies that his head - the rational mind - no longer controls him. Like the setting sun on the card, this image symbolizes the descent of the spirit into the darkness of the unconscious. Behind him there are the craggy rocks, and the large wings of an eagle as it approaches.
Many people are familiar with the story of Prometheus. He was the Titan who defied Zeus, the father of the gods, and stole the fire from the gods to give to man, knowing that he would be punished for his deed. The name Prometheus means 'foresight', and he also possessed the gift of prophecy. He had a deep sympathy for humankind, and wanted them to have some of the holy fire so that they could discover progress and illumination, but this didn't go over well with Zeus. Zeus seized Prometheus, and had him chained to a high cliff in the mountains. An eagle flew down each day to devour Prometheus's liver; and each night, his liver was renewed, and the torture continued. After 3o years of this torture, Zeus relented, and allowed him to be rescued by Heracles thus making Prometheus immortal.
On an inner level, the Hanged Man, is an image of a voluntary sacrifice for a greater good. The sacrifice can be of a material object, or an inner attitude, but it is made with willingness, and an acceptance of the suffering that might be required. The image of Prometheus is a symbol of the part of us which has the foresight to understand that such changes might be needed for the unfoldment of an inner plan which is not yet clear. He implies an acceptance of waiting in the darkness which many mystics have called the 'Dark Night of the Soul' where one can only wait without a vision of how everything will turn out. The card of the Hanged Man is the natural next step after the turning of the Wheel of Fortune, for it implies a willingness to trust in the Self which knows better than the ego what might be right and necessary for one's personal development.
In a reading, the Hanged Man can signify the need for a voluntary sacrifice for the purpose of acquiring something of greater value. It may be an external object, or a cherished attitude which needs to be released. In any case, it often involves a time of waiting where we are not able to see clearly in the darkness, and must wait for a time of clarity.
By Donna M. Fisher-Jackson, MA © 2010
Thanks to Juliet Sharman-Burke, and Liz Greene, the creators of the Mythic Tarot for their insightful comments.

Friday, February 14, 2014

" Ten Things Your Tarot Reader May Not Tell You. ":

I was surfing the net looking for some blogs I could add to my favourite blog list roll on my Apple River Readings blog, and found this great post. It's an important one to me, as a reader, an artist and to those who are considering having a reading done by whomever reader they choose. I sure identify with this list posted on the great blog I found called

I remember years ago when my friend was doing readings for me, and how I was guilty of expecting things from her I shouldn't have. This list clarifies those things not to do.
I'm certainly  going to use this list for practical future reference. I thought it was a good thing to post for both myself, and for others, who may have their cards read. As an artist, I particularly relate to number five on the list.

Ten things your Tarot Reader may not tell you:

1.  I don't know whether the reading I will give you will be helpful or not.  I sure hope it is, but even when we have a clear understanding what we are asking and I have a clear understanding of the cards, the cards themselves may not be extremely helpful.  They may tell you what you already know and the reading can feel like a waste of time.

2.  I don't always get psychic information.  Tarot readers are not always psychic just as all psychics are not proficient in tarot.  I will occasionally get an unexpected nugget of information that comes totally out of left field, such as a time or date or other specific detail that I couldn't have known naturally, but in general I don't rely on these because they are so random.

3.  I am not a mind reader.  I cannot read your mind, so if you want to know what the cards say about a certain situation, you have to tell me about that situation.  If you hold back crucial information because you are testing my powers, you may not get important information you need.  This is because the message from the cards is filtered through my own conscious awareness, so if I don't know about it, I'm not going to address it.

4.  I want you to ask questions about your reading.  I prefer my reading clients to be actively engaged in the reading process.  I know sometimes it seems like a straightforward exchange in which you pay for a tarot reading and I deliver it, but a reading isn't like buying a cake at a bakery, it's about you and your life.  It is more akin to ordering a fine suit and having it customized and tailored to you.  I want your input during the entire process.  I love feedback, both positive and negative.

5.  You can't do what I do.  A tarot reader invests a vast amount of time, money, and energy into study of the cards and into honing their reading abilities and techniques.  I am not reciting your reading from a list of card meanings from a reference book.  Certainly anyone can do that.  I also have a knack for this and I am using my talent and gifts in reading your cards.  Everyone can sing, but that doesn't mean everyone should go on American Idol.  There's a reason I get paid for what I do. Even if you do read tarot quite skillfully yourself, I lend objectivity as well as my own unique intuitive insight to your reading that you can't give yourself.

6.  I hate when people ask for free readings.  I am a professional and I am not always on the clock.  Also, see #5.  I deserve the same respect you would afford any other professional.  Sure, if you have friends in various professions, you might ask their experienced opinion on various things, and I don't mind that, but if you wouldn't ask your doctor friend for a free exam, don't ask me for a free reading.  If I offer a free reading, that's one thing, but my services aren't usually free.

7.  Unless I advertise other services, don't assume I provide them.  Some tarot practitioners also have skills and services in other metaphysical arts but not all of us do.  Some practice astrology, numerology, reiki, magic spells, etc., but a tarot reader isn't necessarily going to have knowledge of other practices.  So if you provide a tarot reader with your astrological or numerological information, she may have no idea what to do with it. 

8.  I sometimes miss things.  The cards tell a story and I will do my best to squeeze every bit of nuance and all information I can for you out of them, but I am human and I might miss something.  So when a situation plays out in a way that, in hindsight, the cards clearly pointed to but I neglected to mention, I feel bad.  I wish I had seen that coming.  Sometimes, the cards don't warn of an event and it happens anyway.  That's not my fault.  Tarot is far from perfect.  It's like weather prediction.  Sometimes that thunderstorm moves in out of nowhere.  I am not perfect.  I can miss things. I make mistakes.

9.  I'm not going to snoop on your friends.  Don't ask me to read about your neighbors or your cousin or The Other Woman.  It's not that I can't read on their situations, I can.  But of what benefit is that to you?  How would you even know if what I am saying is true?  And how does this information help you decide what to do in your own situation?  Expect your reading to focus on you, primarily, and to help you take control of your own life by providing confirmation, affirmation, and positive suggestions for change.

10.  Don't lean on me, I'm not your crutch.  If you start ordering multiple readings from me on too many subjects, I'm going to start refusing to read for you.  The purpose of tarot reading is to empower you to both rely on your own intuition and to give you tools for making your own choices.  It is a powerful vehicle for clearing out the mental and emotional clutter and its purpose is to lend clarity.  Tarot doesn't make your decisions for you.  So if you start to feel like you "need" a reading on practically everything, that's not healthy and I will refuse to read for you until a certain amount of time has passed.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pamela Colman Smith

    This being my very first post on my new blog Apple River Tarot Readings. I felt I would like to give you an overview of why I became interested and passionate about Tarot cards. I hope you enjoy this blog and please feel free to comment, I love comments, and I will happily respond promptly.

Pamela Colman Smith
(16 February 1878 – 18 September 1951)

Many years ago I found myself drawn to finding out more about Tarot Cards. I always have had an interest but somehow thought it was really against my religious beliefs, and so stayed clear of it. Now, I have come to understand this was due to my own lack of knowledge, and preconceived notions about Tarot cards, it's history, origins and meanings.

My personal interest in mysticism and spiritual matters has always been with me as far back as I can remember. I am a now an individual who is of the opinion that religion is an about someone else's experience, spirituality is the experience of the individual.

In my study of the history of Tarot I leaned about Kabbalah . I was intensely interested and preoccupied with the connection between the two. I have since also discovered how many artists have had an interest in the Tarot, and so it now makes sense that this would naturally evolve into a deeper exploration and interest for me. I began to make art about The Kabbalah Tree of Life, it's symbolism and relevance to the Tarot.

Kabbalah Tree Of Life Drawing

Kabbalah Tree of Life Oil Painting

In the 90s I had a good friend who read Tarot cards, and she was an excellent reader. She took her time, was very methodical, and reasonably priced for her dedicated effort.
She never used the word physic to describe herself, nor did she refer to her readings as " fortune telling", and considered herself to be a spiritualist, and Tarot was a way to provide insightful guidance to others.

Some years later, I found myself wanting to find out more about the Tarot, and so I took it upon myself, little by slowly, to learn, as much as I could, studying intently, keeping workbooks, took copious notes, and journals. I practiced doing readings on my friends, and was excited to find out I was good at it. It was rewarding to feel  l was helping  another.

I first purchased two different Tarot decks, that were the traditional Rider-Waite, with cards designed by artist/illustrator Pamela Colman Smith. I became intrigued by her personal story, and the fact that she was an artist, left me with a feeling she was a kindred spirit that I greatly identified with her.

                           Pamela Coleman Smith
                          Second Series, Duet, Sonata in F Major for Violin and Piano, Mozart
                          Watercolor on paper
                           9.75 x 10.25 inches
                          Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe Archive

As time passed,  I became increasingly confident in reading the cards for others. I then quickly began to realize, this was work! I had several opportunities to read. On a couple of occasions, I did readings all day. Once, I was remunerated very well, for the other, I was volunteering for a fund raiser. At this fund raising event I had  a tip jar at my table, that was each given to each of us who was volunteering a service of some sort. At the end of a very long day, I felt deflated, not to mention exhausted and disappointed, when I got not so much as a penny for my effort. Needless to say, I was reluctant to want to volunteer to do this again when asked. It was just too exhausting and I felt I'd allowed myself to be taken advantage of. Readings can be exhausting, though you don't feel this way during the reading. It actually can energize you. You do have to be in the right frame of mind to read, clear headed, positive and not tried, otherwise it is very difficult to focus. I am always learning with every reading I do.

I found it tragically ironical, but not surprising, that Pamela Colman Smith who had designed the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, got a very minimal remuneration, or recognition for her talent, died virtually unknown, and penniless. So many women artists go unrecognized make little money, throughout history, through to the present day, and are underrepresented in galleries.
Notably, she was the first painter that exhibited her paintings in a Alfred Stieglitz's famous photo gallery, Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession in 1907, and attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York. She had synesthesia and had visions.

She was a member of  Golden Dawn  and later converted to Catholicism.

The last deck I obtained about a year and a half ago, called The Mythic Tarot, was given  to me by a good friend . This deck I feel a great affinity towards, and connection with, because it is very much about story telling, myths, archetypal imagery, and Jungian philosophy. I find the cards have a depth that explores all these dimensions of meaning. I have posted a picture of some of the Major Arcana cards in this beautiful deck.

The spread I use is the Celtic Cross. It is probably one of the oldest and most popular used for readings. I love it I think because it links me to my Celtic heritage and I find it gives a very comprehensive in depth reading that covers many aspects of our lives, within a time period of three to six months.

Well this concludes my first post. Please visit my other blog that I have had since 2008. If you are interested in seeing my artwork and reading about my thoughts on living life creatively. You can visit here: