circlingin

A bunch of Tarot Enthusiasts on Facebook decided to have a Tarot Bag exchange, where people chose partners and made each other bags. This idea was the brain-child of the pixie-ish Gidget London, a lively and creative member of the group.
I knew it was a good idea the moment I read about it, and immediately jumped on the bandwagon. “I’m game!”
Almost as quickly, a friend in the group spoke up and said she’d love to partner with me, and we were off and running.

Jera-Babylon Rootweaver, aka “Andi” -my partner in this project, loves saturated, hot colors, and so I chose an iridescent fabric in a flame orange, satin ribbon in an intense deep red, golden beaded fringe, deep red eyelash yarn, and a deep golden, red and brown chunk of tiger’s eye for the proper juju.

I collected together some charms to also give the piece some…

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The symbolism in The World card by Tarot de St. Croix


ImageThe World is the final card of the archetypal journey of the soul. This card represents wholeness and as Jung said “…indissoluble communion with the world at large.” The self becomes numinous containing all the elements, all creation and the entire cosmos.

Plato said “… this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related.”

In painting The World; I was inspired by the 14th century alchemical engravings of Anima Mundi – the Soul of the World. The Alchemists saw the world as a loving, spiritual being. In this tarot card Anima Mundi is surrounded by the constellations of Leo, Aquila and Taurus. The angel represents the great mystery. Anima Mundi stands with one foot on earth, one on water with her head in the stars surrounded by the wreath of triumph. She is a woman who might come from any continent. She represents the origin of life with the sun radiating from her womb and her breasts are the full and new moon.

Tarot Symbolism: The Contract Tarot 0: The Fool


BY JEAN HAMILTON-FFORD

“The Fool is cool! He’s old and he’s new Beginnings and choices As he approaches His journey, hearing voices Of inner wisdom. He is creative potential Innocent yet full Of faith and trust as Towards the Magus He must travel!”

The Fool card in the Tarot takes the completed energy of the Universe card and transmutes it into the start of a new journey! It’s almost like looking at the world anew through the eyes of a child.

Let’s look at the images on the card and then we’ll look at the symbols.

The background of this card is a sunlit atmosphere on top of a yellow/white diamond shaped background. Yellow is the colour of the element Air. The white diamond shapes signify Kether, the 1st Sephiroth on the Tree of Life.

In front of this background is a rainbow and a vineyard. The rainbow represents the promise of new life and is a link between the higher and lower energies of the chakra system. The vineyard signifies ecstacy and creative energy.

Three flying creatures can be seen: a dove, a vulture and a butterfly. The dove represents the descent of spirit into matter; the vulture signifies Mut, the Egyptian mother-goddess considered to be the creator of all things; and the butterfly is the symbol of Air and the soul.

In front of the vineyard are lilies and white roses. Lilies represent purity crowned by Spirit and the white roses signify Kether.

The lemniscate lies between Kether (Crown) and Chokmah (Wisdom) and represents infinity. The symbol for the zodiac sign Uranus is accompanied by the elemental symbol for Air and across from this lies the Hebrew symbol Aleph relates to the element of Air and the Scintillating Intelligence of the path between Kether and Chokmah on the Tree of Life.

The verse was given to me, or channeled. I ‘zone out’ and start typing and that is what emerged. I think it represents the Fool energy quite well. Any time you transmute energy, you keep a small part of what was and invite what is new to create something completely fresh. A new journey requires listening to that still small voice and applying creativity, faith and trust to go confidently forward without becoming attached to the outcome.

What do you see in this card?

http://journeythroughtarot.com

Tarotelic: Ten of Wands


The most striking thing about this image in the Universal Waite deck is the heavy burden that the central figure is struggling to carry, it seems almost too heavy to bear. In the background we see a village, symbolizing the community that he is serving, and the ploughed fields that testify to the progress of his labours.
The historical figure that came to mind when we started discussing this card at first seems like a very unlikely match to the card, but the more we discussed this the more it seemed to fit her so well. Today we will focus on the story of Mother Theresa.
Mother Theresa chose to serve the poor people in India. A country where Catholicism didn’t have a large following, compared to the two major religions there of Islam and Hinduism. She must have often felt completely over burdened by the difficult task ahead of caring for the poor in a country where so many people are poor. She was already at a disadvantage, being Catholic, not to mention the realities of every day life under the caste system. The injustices and inequalities that she witnessed on a daily basis must have often caused her to feel as if she was fighting a loosing battle.
As if her task wasn’t overwhelming enough, she admitted towards the end of her life during an interview with TIME magazine that she had sought in vain for the presence of God, she looked for any evidence of God in the desperation that she encountered every day in India. She continued this search for the last 40 years of her life, in vain. For 4 decades she had secretly lost her faith in the God she served, yet she persisted to do what she believed to be God’s work. She worked tirelessly amongst the poor to care for them and to give them a sense of belonging, something that many of them had not had before.
She uplifted the poor in her continued compassion for them, and by giving them an identity. Finally they too ‘belonged.’ Bearing in mind the inequality of the caste system, she empowered the poor by giving them a sense of self-worth in the knowledge that they mattered very much to her. Even though they were impoverished for life, many of them were deeply and personally touched by her compassion for them and became spiritually wealthy as a result.
Through her hard work, despite often being overburdened and possibly overwhelmed, Mother Theresa uplifted her community through service and unconditional love.
Recognition came in the form of a Nobel Peace prize, but perhaps more importantly, her name has become synonymous with compassion.
Re-examining the Ten of Wands card one can only hope that this figure too reaps some reward for his tireless efforts as he too serves his community in what appears to be an overwhelming task.
Many beautiful quotes have been attributed to Mother Theresa, but the two I wish to share with you today is this:
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one, for love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.

Tarotelic: Five of Swords


This card speaks of dishonourable gains, and thus the story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan Horse comes to mind.
According to Myth Helen, queen of a Greek king, left him for someone named Paris of Troy. Helen was the most beautiful woman ever created, and her husband the king was enraged! The Greeks got together under the leadership of Agamemnon and laid siege on Troy to recover Helen from her lover, Paris. It is however widely believed by historians that this was an excuse to invade Troy motivated by greed for this was a very wealthy city indeed. Wealth that the Greeks coveted for themselves.
After 10 years the Greeks had still not conquered Troy, so in an act of deception, they decided to leave a wooden horse outside the city as a ‘gift’ from the gods. The Greeks disappeared in their ships leaving the horse behind. The Trojans, firmly believing that this was indeed a gift from the gods, brought the horse inside the fortified city, not realizing that it concealed Greek soldiers inside its belly. Once inside the city of Troy the Greek soldiers snuck out and opened the city gates, a signal for the other Greek soldiers to storm the city from the outside. The result was that Troy was conquered.
It was such a bold and cleverly deceptive strategy that in today’s modern world some computer viruses are named after this false gift, the Trojan. These viruses will apparently sit in-waiting on our hard-drive, undetected, sometimes for months before crashing our system.
The lesson that today’s card brings warns us to be wary of false gifts, of people who give with one hand but take with the other. Such people may have the ability to make us feel ‘important’  by appealing to our ego or vanity, but the danger is that they often have ulterior motives and will ultimately betray us. We would be wise to be more discerning about whom or what we invite into our lives, as none of us want to be visited by a Trojan horse!
While there is great wisdom and truth in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt who said: You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give, we each have been blessed with the gift of discernment, a gift that we should remember to use when the little voice within cautions us that all is not as it seems. We most certainly do not walk through life in a state of perpetual paranoia, afraid that everything and everyone is ‘out to get us’, no, but we act wisely in the selection of our friends and energies that we invite into our lives.
If nothing else, today’s card impresses upon us the importance to heed that little voice within, and to trust our intuition, even when – by all outer appearances – the gift we are offered may seem sincere and genuine. No harm can come from discernment, if anything we have been given this ability to protect what we hold dear from those who come bearing false gifts.
In closing I’d like to share a quote by Jonathan Lockwood Huie who said:
Smile at the riddles of life, knowing that life’s only true lessons are writ small in the margin.


Telling Time with Tarot


By Andrew McGregor

I do a lot of divination for myself and for others. One of the most awkward questions for me to answer has always been, “when will this particular thing happen?” Some cards have obvious associations with timelines but others do not. How long a time is suggested by the knight of cups? What point in time is indicated by this card? Well the question can be resolved easily when one sees how the cards fit onto the wheel of the zodiac as depicted in the model we are looking at. This is the first advantage of working with this visual tool, answering the difficult question of “when” actually becomes actually quite simple.

The second advantage to knowing this model is that it can help give clues as to which kind of energy one might want to work with in relation to the question. Sure there are the elemental attributions of cards but these may be too limited, or if you are working on a more macrocosmic level they may not be enough by themselves, and you’ll be asking, “where do I look next?”

So as we go through each card below take a look at the illustration. It may look a bit complicated but it will be simple if you read along and keep referring to the illustration.

The Wheel of the Year and the Tarot

Tarot cards laid out on the wheel of the year.

So we all know there are 12 signs of the zodiac. These each rule 30º of the zodiac. It’s a no-brainer we just divide the wheel of the year 360º by 12 to get the amount each sign will rule. But note that the Astrological year starts in Aries, in March, and not as we are used to in January.

The confusion starts to creep in with the small cards and the court cards. Each quarter of the year is ruled by one element as represented by its Ace. So, for instance, the first quarter is ruled by Taurus and Earth. It is also ruled by the Princess of that same suit. After subtracting the Princesses and the Aces we have 36 small cards and 12 court cards left over.

The small cards each rule 10º of the zodiac, three to a sign. Each small card is also governed by a planet. Its meaning is actually the product of that planet in the sign that gives it its meaning. For instance the 2 of Wands is Mars in Aries, in the Thoth deck Dominion, Mars in the sign it rules amplifies the martial energy to create power and control. Each of the small cards can be understood in this manner.

The court cards, like the signs of the zodiac, rule 30º of the wheel. However due to their intermingled elemental nature they are offset from the signs of the zodiac by 10º so each card rules from 20º of on sign into 20º of the next sign. This can also help to determine what energy a person would have in their personality. Sort of like a mini astrological chart.

I have found this to be and invaluable tool for expanding the way I relate the tarot to both the year and to time in general. I hope it helps.

Andrew McGregor

How I use the 3 Card Spread


By Odyn PenDragon

If I am not mistaken, the common view of the 3-Card Spread has the basic model of a “Before / During / After” methodology. The method is entrenched in a time-based causal-linear mode. One flanking card is described as “leading up to” or “preceding”, and the other flanking card is described as “following after” or “succeeding” — or otherwise similar metaphors.
But I have found it more ‘profitable’ to take the mind out of such a causal-linear model in the initial stage, and then subsequently consider a causal-linear image to make the possibilities of the ‘prediction’-picture “fuller”.

“What the hell does he mean by all this?”
There is a way of viewing the Houses of Astrology in terms of four clusters of three phases (yes, I get that this is not new, but just be patient), and the three phases can be described with ideas that lend to divorcing from a causal-linear mind-set, even though the ideas in that context still do apply to an “input / output” model. The three metaphors used are an “Entry phase”, an “Assimilation phase” and a “Preparation phase”. What I found fascinating was to shift the mind from the “input / output” model to a “condensation / evaporation” model. (Fans of classic alchemical metaphors will find a parallel by taking “solve et coagula” and inverting it to “coagula et solve”.) There is a “coalescing” and a “dissolution”. This process is intimately bound to my own conception of YIN and YANG in terms of “enfolding” and “unfolding“. To steal terms from ‘wave dynamics’, there is a “compression” and there is an “attenuation”.

The central card still retains its description as “the central consideration”. It is the focus of the theme. The flanking cards are auxiliary to this “central theme”. That does not change. What changes is the beginning assumption that the flanking cards describe “before / after”, “preceding / succeeding” causal-linear determination. This is where the reader’s mind is challenged. How does the “condensation” to the “central issue” not “precede”, and the “evaporation” of the “central issue” not “succeed”? The reader is forced to face an intrinsic time-based causal-linear bias; which, in my opinion, ‘limits’ the possibilities of what can be delivered with the reading. The reader can still eventually consider a time-based causal-linear description — it just might best not be the primary mode.

“So how do you get out the time-based causal-linear mind-set?”
I do no have a convenient ‘cookbook’ answer to that. (Actually, I do, but that is way beyond the simple considerations here.) The key is simply “change your mind”. You do not have to go into any “cosmic jim/jane” mode to get there. Just dare to consider a way of viewing the picture without a “before / after” model. The best way to describe the mind-set is to really take the “Be Here Now” attitude to heart. The entire event is concurrent. It is like sending a message, and getting a response ‘before’ the message-receiver might have received the message, but ‘after’ you sent the message; or, receiving ‘the response’ just as you ‘send the message’ — as if “they read your mind” (or some similar soothing explanation). When Uncle Einstein described the ramifications of ‘general relativity’, he described how when the vehicle “slows down” and the passenger’s body ‘falls forward’, it is caught in a ‘gravitational field’. The usual causal-linear mind-set thinks “brakes applied”=”make gravitational field”. What really messes with the causal-linear mind-set is to first consider “gravitational field”=”brakes applied”, then to wonder “did ‘gravitational field’ make the ‘breaks applied’ phenomenon?” Now you are getting closer, but no less confused.

I choose to view the flanking cards as if one of them is like an enfolding to the “central issue”, and the other is like an unfolding of the “central issue”. As with any Card Spread, it is up to the reader how to determine which card ‘means’ which. If you choose to do a ‘controlled spread’ and have the cards placed ‘side-to-side’, or ‘above-to-below’, is entirely up to you as the reader. If you choose to discretely place a card before you and call that one “the central issue”, and then wildly fling one card one way in the room and call that one “the enfolding“, and then wildly fling another card another way in the room and call that one “the unfolding” — so be it!

I happen to have another novelty, which really gets in touch with “random Mercury”. I am the one who does the thorough shuffling, and then the querent is the one who divides that shuffled deck into three sections. When the querent divides the deck into the three cuts, I “mentally determine” which segment is which group. Then from each of those sections, I randomly choose a card thereof, by ‘wildly’ poking my finger into each of the designated groups, and pulling the according card.

I must emphasize that nowhere am I claiming that a time-based causal-linear interpretation is ‘incorrect’. I simply feel that it is a limitation of an otherwise richness that can be offered even by a simple 3 Card Spread.

O-A-Hum
OPD

opdtarot.wordpress.com

Tarot de St. Croix: Death and Ten of Swords


These are two of the most difficult cards in the tarot deck yet they also hold the unique position of something being totally and completely done, which is some-times a good thing.

Our fear of Death; both in the card and in life is our fear of the unknown. However hearing accounts of near-death experiences opens up a new vista of possibilities. In this Death card the skeleton travels through a vast cellular tunnel toward the light. In the skeleton’s hand is the key to unlocking the greatest of all mysteries. From all endings, there is the possibility of something new beginning. Death is necessary to make space for a new start, a fresh approach.

The Ten of Swords is the end of a tired, worn out way of thinking. The figure floating face-down is also a reflection of the figure rising up toward the new moon which promises a new cycle. We can rise above our old, unhealthy victim mentality, supported by the lessons learned.

 Lisa de St. Croix

Tarot Town – Important Message!


I am reposting this message from Tarot Town as it may be of interest to many of our blog-readers:

On May 25th, Tarot-Town will be revamped and only accessible thereafter to Citizens/Patrons at a new rate of $5/month. If you wish to upgrade your membership prior to May 25th, you will gain the the current rate of $1/month.

All current Citizens & Patrons, who have supported Tarot-Town so brilliantly, need do nothing!

As in our newsletter, we believe this is a fair rate to ensure the viability of offering quality Tarot courses and material in Town.

To upgrade, simply click MY HOME in the tab bar in Tarot Town, then select the EDIT ACCOUNT button. Select Citizen ($1/month) or Patron ($12/year) and then click CHANGE LEVEL.

If you wish to stay connected with our work outside of Tarot-Town, we invite you to join our free Facebook discussion group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/tarotprofessionals

Thank you,

Marcus & Tali


To an Old Mentor, with Great Love and Appreciation


Just a bit less than one year ago, I posted this entry after finding out that a cherished mentor had left this plane of existence. I am re-posting what I wrote then, as his influence in my life is far from over. Every time I shuffle a deck of Tarot cards, I think of him, and bless the day he first singled me out and spoke to me. I can’t even begin to express the importance of what he did for me; words are insufficient.

Image

Dr. Richard Arthur George; Poet, Teacher, Mentor

This wonderful man was the very first person who read my cards for me, with a Waite deck that had belonged to his grandmother. He gave me an amazing reading, full of hope and validation, and told me that someday I would become a very fine reader myself.

I had the great satisfaction of returning to him some years later, and reading his cards- and to my immense gratification, he was very impressed with the quality and depth of my readings for him. Over time, we traded readings, and his accuracy was beyond compare! I have always aspired to be as good a reader, and as upright a human being as he was. He set the bar very high indeed!

I wrote this memorial in his honor, as I remembered all the many great and small gestures of kindness and support I received from him through the years:

Dear Doc-
I knew you had left this plane of existence on some level of my being- I could feel the absence of your laughter in the sudden stillness of the present day.
You probably had some small idea of how important you were in my life, but not the whole of it. In fact, you kept me alive. I would have slid into surrender, the rapid beating of my mind gone forever under the iron tide of aggressive conformity. It was you who first told me that I was special, and encouraged me to fight my way back to the surface again and again to light and air, until I could win my way free of the forces that held me down. You couldn’t know- I had no way to tell you- (I was a child still, and didn’t understand it myself)-  I didn’t know that I was drowning, even when you held my head up above the waves and shouted for me to
“Breathe, damn you, breathe! Don’t let the bastards win!”
Thank you Doctor George, for doing so much more than you ever knew. I will always treasure the friendship you gave so freely, without agenda, without thought of gain for yourself.

Love Always- Anita

Travel well, old teacher and soul-friend, into that unknown country were we will all someday follow.
I hope I am fortunate enough to find you there when it is my time.