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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Earth, Moon, Sun Spread

My lovely Animal Dreaming Oracle Cards (purchased on a trip to Australia) were calling me to come and play, so I am using them for a 3-card reading provided by deck creator Scott Alexander King in his guidebook to the deck (deck and book published by Blue Angel Publishing).

The spread is called the Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon and Grandfather Sun Spread. Here is the layout:

And here are my cards:

(1) Connection to the Earth Mother

Here I am looking for a card that represents my connection to the Earth Mother, one that reminds me to honor every living thing as my brother or sister.

BROLGA (Dance)

The brolga is a type of crane formerly known as the “native companion.” This is the first time I have heard of this bird by this name. The “Dance” association in this oracle deck comes from the brolga’s elaborate mating dance. In my case, this creature is showing me that dance can be my bridge into other worlds, and that I can experience the unity of the Universe through dance. I love the mental image this gives me of joining all creatures of the Earth in a life-affirming dance.

(2) How to honor primarily feminine influences in my life

Here I am being advised how to honor the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, wives, and daughters in my life.

BAT (Rebirth)

It is quite appropriate here that the Bat symbolically recreates the act of birth when it exits its cave, with the cave being an ancient symbol for the Womb of Mother Earth. I am being encouraged to face any emotional issues I might have with any woman in my life, to remove any obstacles that might prevent life from flowing smoothly. I must be open to being reborn.

(3) How to honor primarily masculine influences in my life

The influences this card helps me to honor are those of fathers, grandfathers, brothers, husbands, and sons.

PLATYPUS (Women’s Wisdom)

I almost cheated and drew another card for this position. “Women’s Wisdom” seemed like a really odd thing to try to associate with “primarily masculine influences.” But I decided to persevere with the Platypus. Before now, I did not know the Aboriginal legend of how the Platypus was birthed from the forbidden, unlawful union of two souls. In retribution, the Elders turned her into a Duck and him into a Water Rat. From the egg the female produced emerged what we call the Platypus – a furry duck-billed creature with webbed feet.

The Platypus is said to look to her inner yin and yang for guidance, honoring her innate masculine and feminine qualities. Here then, perhaps, is how I honor the masculine influences in my life – by allowing them to complement, blend with, and balance my feminine influences rather than rejecting or repressing them as being foreign to my “female nature.” The deck’s creator writes: “Women are natural dreamers, visionaries and mystics, but they must embrace their masculine aspects in order to realise the full potential of these gifts.”

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Past Life Relationship Reading: Llewellyn Tarot

Many of us are fascinated by the idea of past lives and past life relationships. I am doing this reading for a friend who is in a new relationship, and wondering what connections (if any) she and her partner might have from a past life.

The spread is from Sasha Graham’s 365 Tarot Spreads (Llewellyn), so I thought it would be fitting to use the Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson (Llewellyn Publications).



(1) Who was she in a past life?


I get the impression that she was an entrepreneur, a person who was not afraid to launch new enterprises, investigate new directions, and explore adventure. Perhaps she was a merchant involved in trade across the oceans. In her book Tarot Life Planner (Hamlyn), Lady Lorelei associates each card with several careers. For the 3 of Wands she lists “sailor, explorer, prospector.”

(2) Who was her partner in a past life?


I get the sense that her present partner was, in a past life, a youthful person (perhaps immature or na├»ve, or maybe just young at heart), someone with a lot of potential and flexibility, open to new ideas and to broadening horizons. Perhaps they worked together in some enterprise, as mentor and apprentice? Lady Lorelei lists the following likely careers for the Page of Wands: “religious counsellor, church worker.”

(3) What was their relationship?


Interestingly, the companion guidebook for this Tarot deck states that this card can suggest “falling in love” or a “whirlwind romance.” An opportunity for adventure plays a part, but we might also be looking at the potential for “quarrels amidst partners and friends” or “choosing to let an opportunity or love die.”

(4) Was it a stable relationship?


This positional definition is phrased as a yes-or-no question, which can be tricky to interpret in Tarot. I tend to avoid doing that in readings, but decided to leave this as is for this reading. My impression here is that it was NOT a stable relationship. The 3 of Swords is typically a card of heartache, hurt, distress, severance, perhaps even unrequited love. Certainly the more negative meanings of the 8 of Wands (above) make sense when paired with the 3 of Swords. I have seen the number Three appear in readings with reference to a love triangle.

(5) Did they have children?


Again we have a yes-or-no question and must decide what qualities of this card would suggest a “yes” answer and which ones might suggest a “no” answer to the question. One method I have used with some success assigns a “yes” answer to the two active elements (Fire/Air, Wands/Swords). Here we have not only an active suit (Swords) but the Knight, who generally symbolizes activity.

(6) Were they together a long time?


Another yes-or-no question. In general, I view Major Arcana cards as providing a “yes” answer to such questions. Not only that, but The Magician is linked to the active element Air in many systems. I think perhaps they were together a long time (whatever that means), plus I feel that The Magician (as a Major Arcana card) reinforces the idea of a soulmate and/or past-life connection between them.

(7) What lesson did they learn together in their past life?


In their past life they seem to have learned what it is like to feel discontent, isolation, doubt, and loss. And perhaps they also learned that it is possible to focus entirely on what one does NOT have, thereby failing to see or appreciate what one DOES have.

(8) What lesson are they learning in this life?


Back to the suit of Wands we go with a card that typically represents confusion, erratic energy, stress, clash of ideas and principles. They seem to be learning how to deal with this type of conflict and inconsistencies in their lives, possibly within themselves and from people around them. They need to learn how to resolve these conflicts and channel conflicting energies toward a common goal.

(9) Are they evolving and moving forward?


This yes-or-no question is answered by a Wands card, which suggests a “yes” answer (see my explanation above). The 9 of Wands seems to me to indicate the importance of guarding one’s assets and preparing to defend one’s position or place. In order to evolve and move forward, they will need to anticipate possible hostility towards their relationship, outwit adversaries, and use the experience to grow and refine their own characters.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Listen to the Animals: Pelican

For this Tarot Notes feature, I pull one card from an animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

If you are interested in finding out who your own Animal Guides are, you can get an Animal Guides Reading through my _Etsy shop_ or my _Web Site_.

Today I am consulting The Secret Language of Animals Oracle Cards by Chip Richards (Blue Angel Publishing).

Our animal for today is the WHITE PELICAN (22)
Ease, Optimism, Grace, Cooperation

The deck’s creator, Chip Richards, tells us that in alchemy, Pelican symbolized the Philosopher’s Stone (a stone that turned base elements into gold). The pelican (Henet in Egyptian) was associated in Ancient Egypt with death and the afterlife. In medieval Europe, the pelican was thought to be particularly attentive to her young, to the point of providing her own blood by wounding her own breast when no other food was available.

Like many birds, pelicans glide in formation with each other to create draft and lift. They nest colonially, typically in groups of tens or hundreds. Cooperation is key.

Pelicans dive into the water for food, but literally cannot sink, thanks to air sacs beneath their skin. When we imagine ourselves sailing on air currents and floating on churning waves, while also feeling at home on the ground (where white pelicans nest), we begin to understand the ideas of  “ease” and “grace” as traits of the pelican.

The great white pelican is the national bird of Romania. The US state of Louisiana is known colloquially as the Pelican State; the bird appears on the state flag and state seal.

Richards concludes his “Message” for this card as follows: “From the outside, your life appears like a symphony of movement that defies nature. But within your soaring ways, it is the most natural, effortless and joyful expression of who you came to be.”

Here are some photos I have taken of pelicans.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Clinton and Trump: A Tarot Perspective

As most of you probably know, the presidential election in America is, well, interesting in many ways. I thought about using the Tarot or Lenormand cards to predict the winner, but decided instead to ask several of my decks their opinion of the two major party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, along with the chance each candidate has of winning (Fire, Air = strong chance; Earth, Water = poor chance).

Before I continue, I must warn you that I am going to pursue this in a spirit of fun, and I fully expect the cards to enjoy playing along. My guests are:

  • Tarot of the Gnomes by Antonio Lupatelli (Lo Scarabeo)
  • Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall (U.S. Games Systems)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)
  • The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot (Magic Realist Press)
  • Shapeshifter Tarot by D.J. Conway and Sirona Knight, illustrated by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Publications)

Tarot of the Gnomes

Opinion of Clinton: The Hierophant (Earth / Trump 5)
The gnomes see Clinton as a wise guide and advisor, a representative of “the establishment.”
Chance of winning: Regina di Spade (Queen of Swords/Air)
The gnomes see her chance of winning as being strong.

Opinion of Trump: Cavaliere di Coppe (Knight of Cups / Water)
For the gnomes, Trump is a seducer, presenting himself as courageous and courteous to win and keep supporters.
Chance of winning: Re di Spade (King of Swords/Air)
The gnomes also see Trump’s chances of winning as being strong.

Tarot of the Cat People

Opinion of Clinton: Knight of Swords (Air)
Bravery. Skill. Capacity. Opposition and war. Impetuous rush into the unknown.
Chance of winning: 4 of Pentacles/Earth (not strong, but she can improve those chances by overcoming selfishness, envy, or bad debts)

Opinion of Trump: 8 of Wands (Fire)
Sudden progress or movement. Hastily made decisions. Too rapid advancement.
Chance of winning: 9 of Wands/Fire (strong)

Tarot of the Animal Lords

Opinion of Clinton: Knave of Pentacles (Earth)
Student, new ideas; need for a guide, loss of money
Chance of winning: King of Wands/Fire (strong)

Opinion of Trump: Temperance (Fire / Trump 14)
Moderation, patience, agreement; dislike, tension, tiredness
Chance of winning: The Tower/Fire (strong)

The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

Opinion of Clinton: 6 of Coins (Earth) – “The Benefactor”
Generosity, generosity with strings attached; lack or excess of generosity
Chance of winning: Ace of Swords/Air (strong)

Opinion of Trump: Queen of Swords (Air)
Intellectual and witty; mean and spiteful, a shrewd gossip
Chance of winning: The Fool/Air (strong)

Shapeshifter Tarot

Opinion of Clinton: 2 of Cups (Water)
Love, harmony, kindred soul, preparation for positive changes
Chance of winning: Ace of Wands/Air* (strong)

Opinion of Trump: The Star (Air / Trump 17)
Illumination, inspiration, psychic energy, hopes and ideals
Chance of winning: God of Fire / King of Swords* (strong)

Although the polls currently show Clinton gaining ground against Trump, the cards in general seem to feel both have a strong chance of winning. Tarot of the Cat People had reservations about Clinton, but offered suggestions on how she could improve her chances.

To summarize:


  • The Hierophant / Queen of Swords
  • Knight of Swords / 4 of Pentacles
  • Knave (Page) of Pentacles / King of Wands
  • Six of Coins / Ace of Swords
  • Two of Cups / Ace of Wands


  • Knight of Cups / King of Swords
  • Eight of Wands / Nine of Wands
  • Temperance / The Tower
  • Queen of Swords / The Fool
  • The Star / King of Swords

Perhaps not surprisingly, the cards linked Trump with four Trump cards to Clinton’s one. Clinton has two Aces up her sleeve, which is interesting given that if she wins, she will be the FIRST female President of the United States.

Clinton is represented by a total of four Earth cards (counting The Hierophant, associated with the Earth sign Taurus), whereas Trump has no Earth cards representing him. Could this have something to do with stability or dependability?

Trump has a total of two Cups (Water) cards to Clinton’s one. Trump has a big lead in the Fire and Air category with nine cards to Clinton’s five.

Beyond that, I will let you make your own explorations and form your own conclusions.

* Note: Unlike the other four decks I used, in the Shapeshifter Tarot, Wands are linked with Air and Swords with Fire.