How to the Deal with Scary Negative Tarot Cards

The Wound is the place where the light enters you. — Rumi 

Ryder Waite Ten of Swords

Ryder Waite Ten of Swords

Some people avoid the Tarot because of the negative cards.  Even seasoned readers dread having them turn up. And when my students accidentally leave cards behind at my house, it’s always the negative cards – lol.

But here’s the thing: These negative cards have wisdom we can use, just as the negative experiences in life are usually our best teachers.  

Before you get too upset when these cards turn up, remember that it’s all in your mind.

All Tarot cards involve your subjective not objective reality. So the negative cards are negative usually because you are seeing things through a negative lens, when you could instead take a positive viewpoint.

The Swords. The negative view happens in your head. So it’s not surprising that half of the thirteen negative cards in the Minor Arcana occur in Swords, which are conditions of the mind.

We all know that the mind is a wonderful thing, until it starts distorting, or we start over-thinking our way into confusion and fear. Once that happens, we can spin off into negativity, hence six of the ten Swords cards are negative.

Thoth Nine of Swords Cruelty

Thoth Nine of Swords Cruelty

If you lay out the Thoth Swords from Ace to ten, you can see how a person’s thinking can lead from very positive to extremely negative if they allow a traumatic experience to poison their outlook.

Start with the Ace. The Ace is always positive. It’s the root or seed of the element. It means “yes!” and represents all the Platonic ideal, the highest possibilities of the mind. Next comes the two of swords– which has the energy of peace —  two crossed swords showing a mind in balance. Then comes trouble in the form of a loss  – something everyone experiences at least once. The three of swords is called Sorrow – a painful loss that pierces our heart. The swords are bent and they break a flower’s petals from its center and pierce a heart. Grief has happened.  Because it’s a three and still close to the ideal of the Ace, the three of swords can be a healthy sorrow. You’ve got a good healthy reason to be in this condition.

But if you haven’t learned  to make meaning out of loss, for example, as Viktor Frankl describes in Man’s Search for Meaning, your mind may start to see the world through a cracked lens. The five of swords is “Defeat,” as if the next blow in your life convinces you that you are a loser. The seven is ‘Futility” – the feeling that striving is futile. The eight is “Interference,”  now you feel blocked from the outside.

But remember,  it’s all in your mind. Nine is called cruelty, a series of chipped and damaged swords dripping with blood. Crowley likens this energy to the cutting of an umbilical chord, and indeed, you feel like you’ve been cut loose from your home.  Lastly comes the ten – aptly called Ruin – there is nothing left for you.

Masterfully rendered by the artist Frieda Harris, the Thoth swords become more chipped, bent, and distorted, just as the mind itself gets distorted as one bad event in life, leads us to assume that nothing good will ever happen again, hence we continue to fall down.  By the time we reach the ten of swords, our perspective is “Ruin.”

So when you pull these negative cards, rather than assume that something terrible is going to happen in your life, realize that the terrible thing is in your head, which can be turned around with positive thinking.

This is how cognitive therapy works — becoming aware of our thoughts and then reframing those thoughts to a more positive mindset. It’s true that bad stuff happens to everyone. However we know that some people actually thrive from difficult experiences while others go into crash mode. Pulling negative cards makes you aware of the negativity and gives you a chance to stop carrying it around and instead change your outlook.

Tarot: Your Life in Twenty-one Steps

mindfulness and growth

Most people don’t realize the Tarot presents a map of your life, a 21-step journey from novice or child to mastery and enlightenment. It is filled with ancient stories that have lasted because of their truth. If you understand the journey and the wisdom hidden in the stories, you’ll see the big picture of your own life.  It’s like one of those trail maps that shows you the whole forest and then points to a spot on the map that says, “YOU ARE HERE.”

Life as the Fool’s Journey. Everyone’s journey, whether it is their whole life or some aspect of it, such as beginning to read the Tarot, begins as a child or novice. In the Tarot, the novice is called the Fool whose  number is 0 because he is a blank slate.

Ask a question and pull a card:  The best answers come from learning to ask questions that illicit insight. You could ask, “Where am I right now on my journey?” Or, “where am I right now in my career, relationship, or anything?” Or “what is there for me to know about (insert the issue of your query)?  If you have a deck, pull out the 22 Major Arcana (cards with Roman numerals) and draw from them. If you don’t have a deck, no worries. You can write down numbers 1 through 21 on slips of paper, then with eyes closed, choose one.  Or you can also just scroll up and down the cards on this page, not looking directly at them, until you feel it’s time to stop.  Now note what card has turned up. You’ll have your answer by reading below about the card that corresponds to that number.  If you read about all of the 21 steps, you will see your life in greater perspective.

The Major Arcana of Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot

0 Fool0. The Fool.The Fool is about to take off. He’s got his bags packed hobo style, he’s got a silly grin, and he’s going to lunge forward unaware of what hazards are there. He is full of energy, innocent, devilish, foolish, fun-loving, and utterly clueless – like a five-year-old child or Freshman college boy. He is you when you eagerly begin some new endeavor, whether it is a relationship, a job, or parenthood. He might be some guy who’s coming onto you, but is not serious beyond physical attraction. He has the freshness and clarity of a beginner mind, a naive boldness, and the potential to rule the world. If you pull this card: You’re at the beginning, whether it’s a new relationship or a new job or anything in which you are at that heady, early stage. Go for it! The Fool might also be someone you’re thinking about who is Fool-like, appears sincere but maybe immature.  Have fun with him, as long as you understand his Fool nature (read above). Keywords: child, novice, beginner.


1 Magus or Magician Thoth TarotI. The Magus or Magician
: The Fool begins his journey with two gifts. The first is the gift of communication as symbolized by Mercury, the messenger god. Also known as the Magician, this card represents the power of the spoken word. Mercury is everything that language can create – a healer, conjurer, trickster, a presenter, and a teacher. If you pull this card: teaching and/or presenting may be one of your strengths, and it may be time to embrace that role in your life. Notice that Mercury is happy and uses many tools of the trade to be a messenger of spirit. Keywords: Gifted teacher, conjurer, presenter, joy of communication.

 

2 Priestess Thoth TarotII. Priestess: The second gift our Fool (and you) are born with is intuition, symbolized by the priestess. Ruled by the moon with the light blue colors of spirit, this card represents the pure unadulterated intuition that is wired into every human being. If you pulled this card: You are using your intuition. It comes from universal consciousness and you’ll find it by learning to get in touch with your body’s senses, as in mindfulness. Keyword: Intuition. Message: trust your intuition.

 

3 Empress Thoth TarotIII. Empress. Equipped with language and intuition, the Fool now meets the first and most important “other” in his world: his mother. This fourth trump corresponds to the fourth Hebrew letter, daleth, which means door, since the mother is the door to all of life. Like the swan at her side, she is earthy, creative, commanding, loyal, nurturing, and fiercely protective of her young.  She is counterbalanced by her consort, the Emperor, who her head is turned towards. If you pull this card: you will draw upon the strength of your inner mother to guide you and/or a strong mother figure is operating in your life. Keywords: mother, matriarch.

 

4 Emperor Thoth TarotIV. Emperor. After mother, the Fool then meets the father. If the Empress is the archetypal matriarch, the Emperor is the symbol of the patriarch. Like all symbols, these two characters are multifaceted, existing on all levels — from strong, solid, leader, job creator, protector, and entrepreneur;  to negative, petty, controlling, and cruel. In his most exalted form he is as strong and tough as he is kind. His fiery colors indicate action, solidity,  and the sign of the ram, Aries, cardinal fire energy of the innovator. If you pull this card: you are dealing with patriarchy, the father figure in your life, both inside and outside of you. It could be in your partner, your boss, your real father, or yourself.  Your best bet is to be like the emperor in his best form -strong, creative, commanding, protective,while also kind. Also, don’t forget to have his very excellent  boundaries. Keywords: Father, patriarch.

 

5 Hierophant or Pope Thoth Tarot V. Hierophant or Pope. After the father, the Fool child has come of age to meet a higher authority than his parents. In the 15th century, this was the Pope. Today it can mean the law, government, a schoolteacher, a spiritual teacher, or really any higher authority. He is grounded by the powerful forces of tradition as symbolized by the great land beasts– the bull and the elephant. He can represent wisdom in his highest form, as well as the more petty and controlling religious leaders some people follow. If you pull this card:  you are going to be drawing from the guidance of a higher authority. Remember to use this energy to support you, take what resonates and leave what does not feel right. Keywords: higher authority, teacher.

 

VI LoversVI. Lovers. After teacher or higher authority, the Fool child now meets his peers and may move into partnership, find love, and eventually enter into marriage. The union is blessed and even ushered by angels, and is ruled by Gemini, the twins. Keywords: marriage, lovers, siblings, family. If you pull this card: marriage, family, and/or partnership is on your plate, is your lesson or your strength, and plays a huge role in your life. Keywords: lovers, marriage, partnership, siblings, twins.

 

7. Chariot Thoth TarotVII. Chariot. Finally the child now strikes out on his own to find his independence, perhaps this means career, perhaps just being his own person. He wears protective armors and sits lotus style on a chariot that will take him on the next leg of his journey.  If you pull this card: independence is yours at this time or you may be dealing with someone who is behaving independently of you.  Whether the figure is you or someone important to you, the behavior is self sufficiency. This phase of maturity is essential to thrive, and thrive you will! Keywords: Independence, career.

 

Trumps VIII and above: The Fool has now grown up, passed the milestones of relationship, family, and career. Contrary to what Disney fairytales led us to believe as children, life does not stop at this point with happily ever after. This is the point when you want to find out who you really are beneath the expectations. This is when the journey gets interesting. It begins with the next card which a sensitivity to how karma is working in your life.

 

8 Adjustment or Justice Thoth TarotVIII. Adjustment or Justice. The Adjustment card depicts the scales of Libra, and shows us that karma is weighing in every moment. Since the movement of all energy in life is as  exact as the laws of physics, each action we make creates a shift in the balance of things, both within us and outside of us. These waves of energy then travel throughout the universe and return to effect us. Like the blindfolded figure, we cannot see the effects of our actions, unless we are acutely sensitive to how we effect others. Like the Libra figure standing on tip toe, karma is exact and even the slightest wave of energy will upset the equilibrium.  As Lao Tso said, we should proceed as carefully “as if crossing an iced over stream.”  If you pull this card: you are feeling the effect of your actions on others and of others on you, or you might simply be waiting and listening for karma to unfold. Keywords: karma, balance, justice.

 

9 Hermit Thoth Tarot IX. Hermit. After the Fool has grown up, had his own relationship or family (Lovers), achieved independence with a career (Chariot), he may for the first time pull away from others and turn within. Everyone needs to go through this period of introspection.  The monk-like figure sits in the darkness turning inward for inner light, grasping the lamp of enlightenment. Occasionally he achieves a glimpse of insight when the grains of life part to reveal the orphic egg – symbol of light from which everything emanates. If you pull this card, trust your need for solitude right now even if you didn’t seek it on purpose. Keyword: solitude, turning within, meditation, loneliness.

 

10 Fortune Thoth Tarot X. Fortune or Wheel. This represents the halfway point of the Fool’s journey and shows how all life pivots on chance. Life is a game of chutes and ladders, and we know how easy it is to be boosted up or knocked down. The lesson is that it matters less whether our fortunes are up or down, but how we ride the wheel. Like all the great Trumps, this card is neither good nor bad, but the way it feels in a reading depends on how you feel when you see it come up. It simply refers to the choppy waves of life rocking your boat. If you want to know how you’re faring, ask yourself how the riders look to you on that wheel? Are you drawn to the one who is hanging off the sides for dear life, or are you noticing the sphinx sitting confidently on top?   If you pull this card: You are operating in the midst of upheaval. Notice how you ride the wheel. Keywords: luck (good and bad), chance, hazard.

 

11 Lust Thoth Tarot XI. Lust or Strength.  This is about the time on your journey that you may find your passion or feel the power of desire.  We need the strength that comes from having a passion, and the desire to move it forward in life. The woman on the back of the lion is fire energy personified; she is passion, creativity, that eat-your-heart-out power of going for what she loves. The world is at your command when you are passionate and have a message to share. If you pull this card, you’ve got a message to share that flows through you like fire, and you will influence the world. Keywords: strength, will, passion, charisma.

 

12 Hanged Man Thoth TarotXII. Hanged Man. Having experienced the heady power of passion (Lust or Strength card), the Fool now hits the limit of his abilities to control his situation.  He feels like he is hanging upside down by his toes, with no way out.  He has lost all control over his situation and can only turn it over to the Universe, otherwise he will become exhausted. The wisdom is to relax, and know that this too shall pass. The background shows a promise land awaiting him if he can just breathe and be patient. This card comes up when you can’t do anything to change a situation. This is the card of our age– watching world violence, suffering of so many, and a planet heating up with no way to get the polluters to stop. If you pull this card, you are powerless to effect your situation. You can, however, surrender to it, relax into it, and turn it over to the universe.  When you’ve learned surrender, you can handle anything. Keyword: Surrender.

13 Death Thoth Tarot XIII. Death. Once the Fool surrenders, he can fully let go. This card does not usually mean death of a person’s body, although it can. Usually it refers to a letting go, with all the lessons and insights that accompany that situation. Death is not only a painful ending, a cutting of all ties by the grim reaper who wields his scythe, but it is transformation, as shown by the spirits rising up as the threads are cut.  If you pull this card, you’re letting go of something. The sooner you allow this ending, the sooner will be your transformation to new beginnings. Keywords: death, letting go, transformation.

 

 XIV. Art or Temperance. It is around this time of your journey that you need the wisdom of this card to get you through.  We see a woman divided into opposite parts working together as she performs a task. XIV ArtWhen we are in balance, our many parts fit together into one congruent whole person. But often we tuck away our shadow selves, only to have them operating at cross purposes under the surface, draining our energy and our health. The Art card, called Temperance in other decks, shows us the importance balancing all our many parts. If you pull this card, there is inner conflict. You try to show a happy face, but deep within you are holding something untenable.  It’s time to get in touch with all your parts and allow  even the most painful to be felt and processed. Eventually you achieve  a lovely integration when all the parts are in balance. In this event, you have a work of art, where ordinary parts come together to form something divine. Watch where your eye takes you and how you feel when you see it, and you’ll get the message.  Keywords: balance, integration.

 

XV. D15 Devil Thoth Tarotevil. Before Christianity, the pagans saw the horned goat god Pan as the god of nature. He was sardonic, matter-of-fact, sexual like the goat, and he does not kowtow to humans because Nature always has the last word. Christians didn’t like the unrepressed sexuality of paganism and they rebranded Pan as evil. If you look closely, you may see his wry smile. You may also see life force or libido. Or you may see someone confrontational, nasty, and domineering. It’s your call whether you choose a pagan or Judeo-Christian interpretation. Either way, he’s in your face, telling you that nature is in charge, whether it’s sexual desire, someone’s ego, or the climate, so get used to it. If you pull this card: You are facing opposition. Try to step out of the way, don’t engage. Keywords: Dominance, sexual power, unyielding confrontation.

 

16 Tower Thoth TarotXVI The Tower. Everyone is afraid of the Tower, the scariest card in the deck. It is the point in our lives when major structures to which we have clung are now collapsing.  It’s the shedding of a skin that happens when someone loses a job or a marriage, fails at something, or experiences a breakdown of their world order. Watch where your eye goes when you are reading this card. Your eye will fixate on the part of the card that fits the situation.  Perhaps it’s the large third eye that sees what is happening and understands it’s a rite of passage. Perhaps it’s the dove that escapes from the burning building like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Your eye will provide the insight you need. No matter how cruel the Tower may feel, as long as you face the loss and allow old structures to fall away, you will move onto the Star – the card of hope and redemption. If you pull this card you are looking at your worst fears. Remember that your pain comes from holding tightly to old structures you have outgrown. Time to remember the lessons of surrender (Hanged Man), disengaging from opposition (Devil), letting go (Death), and turning inward (Hermit). Allow the waves of emotion to crash over you, and they will recede. Transformation and hope are next. Keywords: collapse of structures, deep fears.

TRUMPS 17 THROUGH 21

 Having endured the descent into the dark night of the soul, last nine steps (Adjustment/Justice through Tower), you have hit bottom and are now rising to the light. In the next few steps, you are connecting to heavenly bodies – the stars, moon, and sun – – for it is in raising your own consciousness to the vastness of the whole universe that you will find enlightenment and grace.

 17 Star Thoth TarotXVII. Star. The Star is hope, redemption, new beginnings after loss, a fresh new morning after a devastating storm. You have passed through the worst, and now energy from the heavens is sending you into a state of grace. The figure is Nuith, the sky goddess of the heavens, who nurtures us all. Ruled by Aquarius, the consciousness of higher mind, this card is about the idea of hope, the understanding of redemption that comes when we see life from the perspective of the whole universe, that there is a plan, a cyclical path that nurtures us all. If you pull this card, you have new hope and an understanding that there is a star out there working in your favor. You have emerged from the dark night of the soul and are now ascending towards the light. Keywords: Hope, redemption, grace, trust.

 

18 Moon Thoth TarotXVIII. Moon.   Everyone knows the moon, that mysterious heavenly body that we gaze at with wonder as it never ceases to change. It refers to the unconscious, the ultimate mysteries, the unknown, the female principle, moods, cycles, and our own inner journey into the unseen. We pass through the mystery of the moon on our way to the light because now have inner light to carry us through the darkness. We see mystery as beautiful, and when the moon disappears every month, we know it will reemerge whole, just as we will. If you pulled this card, you are dealing with the unknown, with unsolvable mysteries.  You simply cannot know what will happen. You are, however, equipped to venture into this situation without knowing. You will then emerge from the other side into the light. Keywords: mystery, unconscious, unknown.

 

19 Sun Thoth TarotXIX. Sun. Having accepted our fears and the darkness, we can finally step out into the sun and dance in the light. The 19th Trump card finds us free and invulnerable as naked children playing in the sun. The sun is everyone’s deity, the god of gods. If you pull this card, expect to experience a child’s exuberance.   If this card appears when you ask about a relationship, you are sensing someone with whom you can laugh and play.  Nearing the end of our final ascent, we are close to achieving mastery.  We have experienced life’s woes and uncertainties, understood and surrendered to things we cannot change, and suffered heartbreaking loss. Through all this, we have learned to hope, to live comfortably with the unknown, to brave the darkness, let go of the past, and play like children. Keywords: joy, light, gratitude.

 

Aeon Judgement336 XX. Aeon or Judgment. This card represents the step before mastery or final decision, the moment in which we ask that last ditch question before making a final plunge. It shows our inner child wondering what to make of the world or some part or person in it.  It’s about a final evaluation of ourselves at the end of life; about questioning the project we’re doing just as we approach mastery, or the career we’ve worked so hard to master, the marriage we’ve made, the people we’ve invested in. It’s a final evaluation that questions our underlying motives, or the motives of someone we thought we knew. If you pull this card, you are trying to evaluate a decision, person, or group. Keywords: evaluation, new beginning, open minded wondering.

 

Universe335 XXI. Universe or World.  Finally it all comes together for our Fool. We all want to achieve mastery, and when we do, this card shows how it feels and what it means. Like the dancing figure in the center, you can groove with the complex swirling forces of the whole universe. You now live your life in a state of flow, fed by a powerful intuition (see the eye of Horus), relaxed, and fully integrated in body, mind, and spirit.  The world is your oyster! If you pull this card, you are fully equipped for whatever endeavor you undertake. You are a master. Keywords: mastery, enlightenment. 

The Journey Continues. Although we are never back where we started, the journey starts again with the Fool, only we are more evolved. That’s because the trajectory is a spiral, not a circle, so we seem to come full circle, but we are further along in our path.

Further reading: For a brilliantly written analysis of the Tarot as a life journey, read Theodore Roszak’s pamphlet Fool’s Cycle/Full Cycle: Reflections on the Great Trumps of the Tarot (listed here) where the late Stanford scholar analyzed the cards as a life cycle in the tradition of Western thought from Dante to Freud. 

For a private phone/SKYPE reading with Jeanne, Email or Call 781-239-3489. 

Celtic Cross: Most Popular Tarot Spread

Celtic Cross with Thoth Tarot Cards

Celtic Cross with Thoth Tarot Cards

The Celtic Cross is a good place to start a reading, especially with a new person where you need an overview.

I’ve thrown it over 20,000 times.

It tells me the client’s central struggles, their strengths, where they are coming from, where they are headed, their main challenge of the moment, and how it will resolve– all this in one spread!

Many people throw just ten cards for this spread, but when I first learned it 35 years ago, I was taught to throw eleven cards – which gives a clearer picture.

The extra card is number 2 – sometimes called the personality card, but also known as something more outward about that the person, which contrasts with the soul card, which is something inward about the person.

Life (and people) vacillate  between two extremes – the yin and yang, the high tide and low tide. It’s the way energy oscillates as it flows forward. And it’s the way the psyche shifts back and forth at we flow forward.  We move in a spirallic flow that is both circular and forward in motion.

So I prefer having two central cards, the soul and the personality cards, rather than one to more accurately gage a person’s process.

When reading the Celtic Cross, I begin by doing something that I recommend you do when reading every spread, and also even when reading a single card: allow your eyes to settle on the images that jump out at you, rather than trying to read each card in a specific order.

In this way, you are allowing your intuition to guide you, rather than following a  logical or linear path.

Your senses, including your eyes, are your intuitive antennae to the world of energy, so allow them to guide you.

Here’s a guide to the spread (see diagram below):

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-17-33-02

  1. The central feeling or state of mind, also called the soul card.
  2. Another state of mind that contrasts to the central state. You could think of this as the outer you, versus #1, which is a deeper more inner you. You may vacillate between these two extremes.
  3. Your challenge at this time– something you must confront if you are to move forward in your growth.
  4. Something that is foundational for you, often a childhood situation that continues to effect you, especially in your present situation.
  5. The past, or something that is pertinent to your situation that you are growing away from.
  6. Something that graces you in your situation, often one of your strengths.
  7. Near future. What to expect next.
  8. Something else about you in this situation that it is helpful to understand.
  9. Your environment – could be the work or home environment, often describing whether you are supported or stressed by it.
  10. Hopes, dreams and/or fears.
  11. Outcome – how this situation resolves for you. If you don’t like the outcome, you can always throw more cards to see what happens after that, until you see it resolve.  I often throw more cards so I can give the person some hope about how it will eventually turn out.

 

 

 

 

41 Short Tarot Spreads for Reading Any Situation

Tarot Spreads for Every Situation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[There are actually 46 spreads here now, as I keep finding and creating new spreads.]

Half the skill in using the Tarot is posing good questions. Below are spreads covering every aspect of your life – your purpose, growth, money, love, health, pet, even loved ones on the other side.  Scroll down and find the spread that fits your interest. Shuffle, then lay down a card from left to right for each question. Try this with a friend so that you can help each other with your interpretations. For those of you don’t read cards, these questions can help you think through an issue.

I’ve marked the spreads I use the most as “favorite.”

GENERAL SPREADS

1. PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE SPREAD (favorite)

This is the best spread for a first-time beginner and also for a simple quick read on any situation.  Lay out three cards from left to right.

    1. Past      2. Present     3. Future

2. CELTIC CROSS: BEST GENERAL LIFE SPREAD (favorite)

Celtic Cross with Thoth Tarot Cards

Celtic Cross with Thoth Tarot Cards

Although not a short spread, by far the best and most widely used general spread is the Celtic Cross. Used it at the beginning of every reading, it gives  an overview of the client, and reveals the main issue as well as the origins of the problem.  It allows me to get a feeling of the person’s general energy (e.g., sad, happy, vibrant, unwell, fearful, confident, motivated) similar to the way that Chinese medicine reads people’s pulses.  For a more detailed discussion of the Celtic Cross, go here.

SPREADS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS

3. RELATIONSHIP SPREAD (favorite)

Shuffle deck thinking of you and another person.. Can be friendship, work relationship, family, or  love relationship.relationship-spread

  • Lay out three cards on the left in a triangle for you.
  • Lay out three cards on the right for the other person.
  • In the middle put one card which is advice on how this relationship could work.

 

 

4. NEW RELATIONSHIP

1.  What I bring to the relationship.
2.  What the other person brings to the relationship.
3.  Nature of the relationship for me
4.  Challenges to the relationship for me.
5. How the relationship will progress.

5. FINDING THE RIGHT MATE

  1. What I need to know about myself in partnership
  2. What am I looking for in a partner?
  3. Positive qualities I bring to a relationship.
  4. Obstacles within myself to finding the right partner
  5. What will help me find a new partner?

6. RELATIONSHIP SPREAD FOR A SPECIFIC LOVED ONE

  1. General situation between you and your object of desire.
  2. How he/she feels about you.
  3. How you feel about him/her.
  4. Obstacles to a relationship with this person.
  5. Outcome/Advice (answer to “Is this person for me?

7. GROWING TO RELATIONSHIP

Lay out six cards in an upward diagonal from left to right.
Card 1: Where I am right now in my love journey.
Cards 2-5: Lessons I need to learn or steps I need to take to attain love.
Card 6: Outcome.

8. FUTURE LOVE

  1. My future true love
  2. Will the attraction be instant or a gradual awakening?
  3. What will this person be like?
  4. Challenges I’ll face.
  5. What will help us along?
  6. When/where/how will I meet this person?

9. LOVED ONE ON THE OTHER SIDE

  1. How is my loved one doing?
  2. Anything my loved one wants to say to me.
  3. What’s it like on the other side?
  4. How can I best support you?

10. YOUR CHILD

1. What my child came into life to learn.
2. How my child is doing now
3. What graces my child.
4. What my child needs from me.
5. Where the child is headed at this time?

11. YOUR PET

1.  What my pet is feeling.
2.  What my pet is trying to tell me.
3.  What my pet most wants from me.
4.  What I can do to help my pet.
5.  My pet’s general health.

12.  PERSON YOU DON’T LIKE SPREAD

  1. What is it I don’t like about this person?
  2. What is it that this person triggers within me that I have been avoiding?
  3. How might this person be a teacher for me?
  4. What obstacles are there to my learning?
  5.  What do I need in order to grow from this relationship?

SPREADS ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE, LESSONS, SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

13. BLIND SIDE SPREAD (best)

  1. This is your outside appearance; what you know and others can see.
  2. This is the unknown; what you’re not aware of, no one can see, but what is ruling.
  3. This is the hidden; what you know but won’t show others.
  4. This is the blind spot; what you can’t see but what others see in you.

14. DHARMA SPREAD (SPIRITUAL LIFE LESSONS)

  1. What is my lesson right now?
  2. How can I grow spiritually at this time?
  3. How else can I grow spiritually at this time?
  4. What’s my biggest challenge at this time?
  5. Where am I headed?

15. MANDALA SPREAD

  1. Overview of myself
  2. Ambitions, goals
  3. Achievements
  4. Dependencies, faulty beliefs
  5. Strengths

16. THE WORLD BEYOND

  1. What is it like on the other side?
  2. What does the other side have to teach me?
  3. Why do we come here?
  4. Anything else to know about the other side.

17. INNER PEACE SPREAD

1:  Quality within me that leads me to inner peace.
2:  Obstacle within me to attaining inner peace.
3:  If there is any one thing I should be doing to achieve inner peace?
4:  Something in my environment that helps or blocks me.
5:  Outcome

18. SELF DISCOVERY SPREAD

1. Who have I been?
2. Who am I?
3. Who am I becoming?

19. SIX STEPS TO FULFILLMENT

Lay out six cards in an upward diagonal from left to right.
Card 1: Where I am right now in my journey to fulfillment.
Card 2-5: Lessons I need to learn to reach fulfillment.
Card 6: Outcome.

20. PATH TO HAPPINESS

1. What are the strengths I bring to every situation?
3. What quality in myself should I develop more?
4. Where am I headed in the short-term?
5. Where am I headed in the long-term?
21. MY PURPOSE

  1. What is the purpose that I was brought here to fulfill?
  2. What obstacles do I need to get over?
  3. 3 Lessons (lay out 3 cards) I need to learn along the way.
  4. Who or what can help me attain my goal?
  5. What can I give to the world?

22. TREASURE WITHIN ME

1. How do other people perceive me?
2. What is my shining self?
3. What is my inner most passion?
4. What is hidden within me that is waiting to be discovered?

23. MY PURPOSE THIS LIFETIME

  1. What did you come into this world for this lifetime?
  2. What did you come into your specific family for?
  3. What is the specific emotion that’s been most difficult for you to learn to use to your advantage this time?
  4. What is your biggest challenge this time around?
  5. What will be your greatest gift this time?
  6. What is your greatest lesson this time?

 CAREER, MONEY, HEALTH

24. CAREER SPREAD (FINDING MY LIFE’S WORK)

  1. What I am good at doing.
  2. What I enjoy doing.
  3. My calling.
  4. Biggest challenge within myself
  5. Issues in my environment I should know about.
  6. Anything else I should understand about finding my right work
  7. The next best step to bring me to my true work.
  8. Someone who will help me along the way.
  9.  Outcome

25. MONEY

1.  My current financial situation.
2.  What is the lesson here for me regarding money?
3.  Who or what project will bring in more money?
4. Outcome

26. HEALTH SPREAD

1: What is the overall state of my health?
2: What is the overall state of my mind?
3: What is the overall state of my body?
4: What is the overall state of my spirit?
5: How do I integrate these parts of myself?

27. CHAKRA SPREAD Tells condition of your body’s energy centers

1: Root chakra – physical, including sexual, health
2: Hara – center of your being, digestion, overall life force
3: Solar Plexus – strength of will
4: Heart – your love
5: Throat  – communication center
6: Third Eye – psychic center
7: Crown Chakra – spiritual center

28. MY FOCUS AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE

1: The issue that’s upper most in my mind.
2: Something more to know about it.
3: Obstacle to my focus.
4: What to do about it?
5: Outcome

29. EMPOWERMENT SPREAD

1: This is my power.
2: How it is best used.
3: What inhibits this power within me?
4: How can I bring it out more?

30. ESSENCE OF YOU AT THIS TIME

  1. Soul card
  2. Personality or external card
  3. Crossing card or challenge

SPREADS ABOUT A SPECIFIC SITUATION & WHAT TO DO

 

31. EVENT SPREAD

1.What does this event have in store for me?
2. What do I need to watch out for?
3. What can I do about it?
4. Result
32. ADVICE SPREAD

  1. Problem
  2. Background
  3. Advice
33. DO THIS-DON’T DO THAT-SPREAD (favorite)

  1. Do This
  2. Don’t Do This
  3. Overview

34. UNDERSTANDING SELF IN ANY SITUATION

  1. My inner self regarding a situation
  2. My outer self regarding a situation
  3. What I need to confront.
  4. What’s helping me.
  5. Outcome.

35. PROBLEM SOLVING SPREAD

  1. Nature of the problem
  2. What led up to the current problem
  3. Current attitude/actions that preserve the status quo
  4. Secondary gains from staying in the situation
  5. Necessary changes in attitude/actions
  6. Outcome

36. STALEMATE SPREAD

  1. The overall conlict/situation
  2. How they really feel about you
  3. How you really feel about them
  4. Common Grounds (what the 2 of you have in common and can use to help the situation)
  5. Outcome

37. ADVERSITY SPREAD

  1. Describe the situation I find myself in.
  2. What do I fear?
  3. What’s the lesson in it for me?
  4. How might I end out benefiting from this situation?
  5. Obstacles within me to my growth
  6. Outcome at this time.

SPREADS SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE FUTURE

Although most spreads have at least one card about the future, these are more so.

38. FUTURE DIRECTION

1. What do I need to progress?
2. Is there a positive help to be asked for?
3. Is there a venue to pursue?

39. PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

  1. Past
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional
  2. Present
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional
  3. Future
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional

40. THE NEXT DECADE OF MY LIFE

  1. What am I finishing now and leaving?
  2. Who are my guides for this next journey?
  3. What traits can I work on to achieve a more successful outcome?
  4. What will be my new learn strengths?
  5. Outcome?

41. WHAT’S AHEAD OF ME?

1. What you need to leave behind, to release.
2. What you must confront.
3. What you need to know.
4. What you attain.

42. PAST LIFE SPREAD

1. Show me a past life.
2. What was my purpose in that life?
3. What what my profession or avocation in that life?
4. What other family members were in that life?
5. Were there other people from this life in that life?
6. What lessons did I learn?
7. Did I fulfill my purpose?

SPREADS FOR  SEASONS, MOON PHASES, PLANETARY SHIFTS

43. Full Moon Spread

    1. What is my most important insight for my life at this time?
    2. What message does spirit want to give me at this time?
    3. What do I hope for in my life?
    4. How can I live inside that hope?
    5. Outcome.

44. Sagittarius New Moon (November)

This new moon is a shift from Scorpio to Saggitarius. This change  from introspective Scorpio to the bright, fiery and expansive Sagittarius  pulls your old stuck stuff right to the surface where you can release it.  If you’d like to make the most of these powerful energies, begin by tuning into yourself to see what you’d like to release. Then make a plan for liberation with this spread:

  1. What is still buried within me that I want to release?
  2. How can I best liberate myself in the coming months?
  3. What can interfere with my success?

45. Springtime Spread – Nurturing Growth Within Me

  • What’s ready to emerge from within me?
  • What must I overcome to push through?
  • How can I nourish it to grow and bear fruit? (2 cards)
  • Outcome

46. Scorpio Full Moon  Spread  (late April – a Springtime Full Moon Spread)

  1. What do I need to let go of now, that I’ve outgrown or has become too small for me?
  2. What is becoming/growing in me that I need to nurture to grow strong and happy?
  3. What stands in the way?
  4. Outcome or what is next?

The Positive Lessons of Negative Cards in the Tarot

towr343People need not be afraid of negative cards in the Tarot any more than they need be afraid of negative thoughts. Here is how to approach reading them.

1. The Tarot represents consciousness, not events.    Negative cards  can look scary, like someone is in pain.  The Rider Waite deck has some gruesome images of people with swords stuck in their backs. The Thoth deck’s nine of swords, called “Cruelty” shows broken swords with blood dripping from them. The Tower card, which is the scariest card  in the Tarot (see image),  looks like Armageddon. But these scenes merely represent how a person perceives a situation, not the actual event.

2. Ignoring negative cards is like sweeping something under the rug. It just keeps the pain inside rather than providing a chance to release it. I have known people who only use happy decks with sunny messages. I find those decks a bit fluffy and have a hard time trusting their message. Often it is the pain that helps us grow.

3. Seeing a negative card in a reading of the future is a useful warning.  Precognition is a gift to steer us around the mine fields of life. Studies show that we all have this gift because it has helped our species survive. So when you see a negative future, find out how it can be avoided or, if it can’t be avoided, how it can be resolved over time. Maybe the person needs to see how they are creating that future.  Maybe they just need to see what steps they will have to go through to come to resolution and happiness. So if you’re reading a spread and you don’t like the outcome card, just throw more cards to see how it can be resolved.

4. Negative  cards can serve to make us more aware of how we experience reality which enables us to choose more healthy reactions to events. We create our reality with our expectations, our thinking, and our responses to the events in our lives. This awareness is the basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is the leading form of psychotherapy today.  It’s only when we become aware of the thoughts we form about our lives that we can change our thinking and see life through a more positive lens.

5. Negative Tarot Cards Can Help You Transcend Your Fears.  In her book, The Tarot Handbook, cross cultural anthropologist Angeles Arriens addressed the negative cards as positive and negative mind states. Arriens notes that the Thoth Tarot’s thirteen negative and twenty-six positive Minor Arcana cards correspond to the Tibetan Buddhism’s thirteen Bardo or Beasts states,  similar to the structure of Dante’s Purgatory.  These cultures saw negative mind states as aspects of thinking that we have to transform to become happy or enlightened.

6. In the Thoth Tarot, there are twenty-six positive states that Arriens says we can use to transform the negative ones.  This is cognitive behavior therapy a la Tarot. When you pull negative cards, tell  yourself they are indicating fears and distorted thinking, rather than reality.  Ask the cards what will help turn this thinking around and pull another card.

 

 

Using Heavenly Energies to Liberate Yourself

Music&CharacterS_1The heavens are always in flux, which stirs up the energies that effect you.  Whether it’s a new moon, a full moon, an eclipse, or some heavenly body going in or out of retrograde, these fluctuating energies give you a chance to release  old stuck stuff and catapult yourself forward into something new.

Here’s a Tarot spread just for this occasion. If you don’t read the cards, then you can get equally wonderful effects by just closing your eyes, breathing, and asking yourself each of the four following questions then jotting down the answers that come.

What Wants to be Released Tarot Spread

(Remember to breathe, shake off tension, center yourself, then lay out the cards from left to right.)

  1. What is still buried within me that I want to release?
  2. How can I best liberate myself in the coming months?
  3. What can interfere with my success?
  4. Outcome.

If you don’t like the outcome card: Whenever you throw cards and don’t like the outcome, here’s what you can do.  First, take a moment to center yourself by closing your eyes, taking a deep breath, shaking off tension, and feeling your feet on the floor, the seat underneath you, and your hands wherever they are touching.  Then make an intention about the change you are seeking. See yourself freed of the stuckness and living in liberation. Once you’ve made this positive intention, throw the spread again and see the result. If the outcome is still unsavory, examine the new cards for the insight they provide,  then throw more cards, carefully, thoughtfully,  laying them down in sequence, until you get the outcome you want. Now take a good look at all the cards that came before the happy outcome.  They are the stages you have to go through to get there.

 

Answering Yes-No Questions with the Tarot

YesNo Oracle

Until I found this spread, I discouraged yes-no questions because they give too much power to the cards, without providing much insight.  When clients insisted on a yes-no question, only an ace indicated “yes”.  The Yes-No Oracle  provides a more complex answer, providing insight into the situation, while also offering direction.  Thank you, Mary Greer (my favorite Tarot blogger- see link below), for finding this spread in the February 1955 issue of Fate Magazine in an article by British astrologer Irys Vorel. Vorel learned it back in the 1930’s from a celebrated gypsy in Switzerland. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Write down your yes-no question.
  2. Remove the Wheel of Fortune from the deck and place it before you face up.
  3. Shuffle the rest of the deck, with your mind on the question. Spread the cards before you in a fan, face down. With your left hand, draw seven cards from the deck. Put them face down on the table. Set the remaining deck aside.
  4.  Turn the Wheel of Fortune face down and add it to the other seven cards. Still thinking of your questions, shuffle these eight cards until you no longer know where the Wheel of Fortune is.
  5. Deal the top four cards in a row, left to right, side by side.
  6. Next deal the remaining cards on top of the first group in a row, left to right side by side.
  7. Now turn over your four pairs of cards, keeping the pairs together and them in four quadrants (see below). The pair that contains the Wheel of Fortune gives you your answer.
  • Top Left: The 1st position (cards 1 & 5) signifies – YES.
  • Top Right: The 2nd position (cards 2 & 6) signifies – SOON.
  •  Bottom Left: The 3rd position (cards 3 & 7) signifies – DELAY.
  • Bottom Right: The 4th position (cards 4 & 8 ) signifies – NO.

The fun comes when you read the arrangement of the cards for insight. Here’s what I got for the question, “Has the world reached peak oil yet?” This is a much-debated question in economic, political, and  environmental circles. Some experts had thought we’d reached peak oil a few years ago, but recent press over North Dakota drilling says that we may continue to see new highs. When we think we’ve reached peak oil, the economy falls, although it’s good news for the environment. When we think oil production is still rising, the economy flourishes, although it’s bad news for the environment. At the moment, no one knows which way oil production is going.

  • YesNo OracleMy spread indicates that we have reached peak oil.  The Wheel of Fortune is in the upper left “Yes” quadrant, next to the nine of swords, indicating that many will find this news painful, if it turns out to be true. The lower right shows that if the Wheel had fallen in the “No” position, the world would see continued strength to the world’s superpowers (4 of Disks- “Power”), as well as a surge in new drilling (Ace of Swords – likely in frozen wildernesses).  To check my result, I threw another spread asking, “Will we see continued growth in oil output over the next ten years?” The Wheel fell in the fourth quadrant, indicating a resounding, “No,” which replicates my first answer that world oil production has peaked.

I hope you find the Yes-No Oracle useful.  Mary Greer’s Tarot blog on it is here. She provides more ways to interpret this spread, which is also used, with her introduction, on Tarot.com.

Seven Steps to Giving an Insightful Tarot Reading

  • Reading CardsThe trick is to quiet the mind, be in the moment, and allow awareness to come to the surface.
  • Research shows that everyone is intuitive, including you. Your intuition is in your body, accessible through your senses. You just have to feel what’s going on with you below the surface because what’s going on is intuitive information about the person you are reading, whether that person is you or someone else.
  • So get some cards, find a friend to read and try these steps (if you are reading for yourself, follow these same steps with you as both reader and subject):
  1. Close your eyes & breathe. Repeat this throughout the reading to stay in touch with your senses. Ask your friend to close her eyes too, so you can both focus together. Now ask her while still in meditation to make an intention that she will get just what she needs from the reading. Meanwhile, you should also make an intention — that you will be guided to deliver what is needed.
  2. Think of this exercise as brain storming.   Stay positive in your outlook. Above all, do no harm. Think of your reading as creative suggestion rather than dictating to another person.
  3. Begin with a simple three-card spread with a card each for the past, present, and future. Pull the cards randomly from the deck and lay them out from left to right.
  4. Now comes the big moment. Look at the cards, and, without thinking, talk about the first thing you notice, or the first thought you get. Begin with the card that jumps out at you because it will be the most important. Note colors, movement, characters’ expressions and body language. Take more breaths to maintain focus. Ask yourself: what is going on in this picture? Talk about it even if you don’t know what it means. Let the recipient of the reading figure out what it means.
  5. Look for images emerging from any abstract designs in the cards. What do they remind you of? If you find your eyes glued to a part of the image, read it! Say what you’re seeing.
  6. After you’ve described what you see, step back, breathe, and allow it to all come together. Sum up what you are thinking even if it seems silly. Always stay positive in your tone and message. Remember you are giving insight and ideas, not telling someone what to do.

Over time, if you like, you can learn the Tarot’s symbols, archetypes, and hieroglyphs. You can become acquainted with the ancient myths handed down in these cards–Greek, Roman, Celtic, and Egyptian gods and goddesses whose stories contain the wisdom of the ages. Your readings will become wiser and richer for it. Most important, however, is to practice listening to your intuition.

41 Short Tarot Spreads for Reading Yourself

Reading Cards

Half the skill in using the Tarot is posing good questions. Below are inquiries covering every aspect of your life. Scroll down and find the spread that fits your interest. Try this with a friend so that you can help each other with your interpretations. For those of you who don’t read cards, there are some good questions here to help you think through an issue.

 

Springtime Spread – Nurturing Growth Within Me

  • What’s ready to emerge from within me?
  • What must I overcome to push through?
  • How can I nourish it to grow and bear fruit? (2 cards)
  • Outcome

SPREADS ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE, LESSONS, SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

1. BLIND SIDE SPREAD

  1. This is your outside appearance; what you know and others can see.
  2. This is the unknown; what you’re not aware of, no one can see, but what is ruling.
  3. This is the hidden; what you know but won’t show others.
  4. This is the blind spot; what you can’t see but what others see in you.

2. DHARMA SPREAD (SPIRITUAL LIFE LESSONS)

  1. What is my lesson right now?
  2. How can I grow spiritually at this time?
  3. How else can I grow spiritually at this time?
  4. What’s my biggest challenge at this time?
  5. Where am I headed?

3. MANDALA SPREAD

  1. Overview of myself
  2. Ambitions, goals
  3. Achievements
  4. Dependencies, faulty beliefs
  5. Strengths

4. THE WORLD BEYOND

  1. What is it like on the other side?
  2. What does the other side have to teach me?
  3. Why do we come here?
  4. Anything else to know about the other side.

5. INNER PEACE SPREAD

1:  Quality within me that leads me to inner peace.
2:  Obstacle within me to attaining inner peace.
3:  If there is any one thing I should be doing to achieve inner peace?
4:  Something in my environment that helps or blocks me.
5:  Outcome

6. SELF DISCOVERY SPREAD

1. Who have I been?
2. Who am I?
3. Who am I becoming?

7. SIX STEPS TO FULFILLMENT

Lay out six cards in an upward diagonal from left to right.
Card 1: Where I am right now in my journey to fulfillment.
Card 2-5: Lessons I need to learn to reach fulfillment.
Card 6: Outcome.

8. PATH TO HAPPINESS

1. What are the strengths I bring to every situation?
3. What quality in myself should I develop more?
4. Where am I headed in the short-term?
5. Where am I headed in the long-term?
9. MY PURPOSE – by Vicky

  1. What is the purpose that I was brought here to fulfill?
  2. What obstacles do I need to get over?
  3. 3 Lessons (lay out 3 cards) I need to learn along the way.
  4. Who or what can help me attain my goal?
  5. What can I give to the world?

10. TREASURE WITHIN ME by Linda

1. How do other people perceive me?
2. What is my shining self?
3. What is my inner most passion?
4. What is hidden within me that is waiting to be discovered?

11. MY PURPOSE THIS LIFETIME by Irene

  1. What did you come into this world for this lifetime?
  2. What did you come into your specific family for?
  3. What is the specific emotion that’s been most difficult for you to learn to use to your advantage this time?
  4. What is your biggest challenge this time around?
  5. What will be your greatest gift this time?
  6. What is your greatest lesson this time?

SPREADS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS

12. NEW RELATIONSHIP

1.  What I bring to the relationship.
2.  What the other person brings to the relationship.
3.  Nature of the relationship for me
4.  Challenges to the relationship for me.
5. How the relationship will progress.

13. FINDING THE RIGHT MATE

  1. What I need to know about myself in partnership
  2. What am I looking for in a partner?
  3. Positive qualities I bring to a relationship.
  4. Obstacles within myself to finding the right partner
  5. What will help me find a new partner?

14. RELATIONSHIP SPREAD (for a specific loved one)

  1. General situation between you and your object of desire.
  2. How he/she feels about you.
  3. How you feel about him/her.
  4. Obstacles to a relationship with this person.
  5. Outcome/Advice (answer to “Is this person for me?

15. GROWING TO RELATIONSHIP

Lay out six cards in an upward diagonal from left to right.
Card 1: Where I am right now in my love journey.
Cards 2-5: Lessons I need to learn or steps I need to take to attain love.
Card 6: Outcome.

16. FUTURE LOVE

  1. My future true love
  2. Will the attraction be instant or a gradual awakening?
  3. What will this person be like?
  4. Challenges I’ll face.
  5. What will help us along?
  6. When/where/how will I meet this person?

17. LOVED ONE ON THE OTHER SIDE

  1. How is my loved one doing?
  2. Anything my loved one wants to say to me.
  3. What’s it like on the other side?
  4. How can I best support you?

18. YOUR CHILD

1. What my child came into life to learn.
2. How my child is doing now
3. What graces my child.
4. What my child needs from me.
5. Where the child is headed at this time?

19. YOUR PET

1.  What my pet is feeling.
2.  What my pet is trying to tell me.
3.  What my pet most wants from me.
4.  What I can do to help my pet.
5.  My pet’s general health.

20.  PERSON YOU DON’T LIKE SPREAD

  1. What is it I don’t like about this person?
  2. What is it that this person triggers within me that I have been avoiding?
  3. How might this person be a teacher for me?
  4. What obstacles are there to my learning?
  5.  What do I need in order to grow from this relationship?

 CAREER, MONEY, HEALTH

21. CAREER SPREAD (FINDING MY LIFE’S WORK)

  1. What I am good at doing.
  2. What I enjoy doing.
  3. My calling.
  4. Biggest challenge within myself
  5. Issues in my environment I should know about.
  6. Anything else I should understand about finding my right work
  7. The next best step to bring me to my true work.
  8. Someone who will help me along the way.
  9.  Outcome

22. MONEY

1.  My current financial situation.
2.  What is the lesson here for me regarding money?
3.  Who or what project will bring in more money?
4. Outcome

23. HEALTH SPREAD

1: What is the overall state of my health?
2: What is the overall state of my mind?
3: What is the overall state of my body?
4: What is the overall state of my spirit?
5: How do I integrate these parts of myself?

24. CHAKRA SPREAD Tells condition of your body’s energy centers

1: Root chakra – physical, including sexual, health
2: Hara – center of your being, digestion, overall life force
3: Solar Plexus – strength of will
4: Heart chakra – your love
5: Throat Chakra – communication center
6: Intellect Chakra – intellectual center
7: Crown Chakra – spiritual center

25. MY FOCUS AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE

1: The issue that’s upper most in my mind.
2: Something more to know about it.
3: Obstacle to my focus.
4: What to do about it?
5: Outcome

26. EMPOWERMENT SPREAD

1: This is my power.
2: How it is best used.
3: What inhibits this power within me?
4: How can I bring it out more?

27. ESSENCE OF YOU AT THIS TIME

  1. Soul card
  2. Personality or external card
  3. Crossing card or challenge

SPREADS ABOUT A SPECIFIC SITUATION & WHAT TO D

28. EVENT SPREAD1.What does this event have in store for me?
2. What do I need to watch out for?
3. What can I do about it?
4. Result
29. ADVICE SPREAD

  1. Problem
  2. Background
  3. Advice
30. DO THIS-DON’T DO THAT-SPREAD

  1. Do This
  2. Don’t Do This
  3. Overview

31. UNDERSTANDING SELF IN ANY SITUATION

  1. My inner self regarding a situation
  2. My outer self regarding a situation
  3. What I need to confront.
  4. What’s helping me.
  5. Outcome.

32. PROBLEM SOLVING SPREAD

  1. Nature of the problem
  2. What led up to the current problem
  3. Current attitude/actions that preserve the status quo
  4. Secondary gains from staying in the situation
  5. Necessary changes in attitude/actions
  6. Outcome

33. STALEMATE SPREAD

  1. The overall conlict/situation
  2. How they really feel about you
  3. How you really feel about them
  4. Common Grounds (what the 2 of you have in common and can use to help the situation)
  5. Outcome

34. ADVERSITY SPREAD

  1. Describe the situation I find myself in.
  2. What do I fear?
  3. What’s the lesson in it for me?
  4. How might I end out benefiting from this situation?
  5. Obstacles within me to my growth
  6. Outcome at this time.

SPREADS ABOUT THE FUTURE

35. FUTURE DIRECTION by Pam

1. What do I need to progress?
2. Is there a positive help to be asked for?
3. Is there a venue to pursue?

36. PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE by Janet

  1. Past
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional
  2. Present
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional
  3. Future
    1. Relationships
    2. Financial
    3. Professional

37. THE NEXT DECADE OF MY LIFE by Melissa

  1. What am I finishing now and leaving?
  2. Who are my guides for this next journey?
  3. What traits can I work on to achieve a more successful outcome?
  4. What will be my new learn strengths?
  5. Outcome?

38. WHAT’S AHEAD OF ME?

1. What you need to leave behind, to release.
2. What you must confront.
3. What you need to know.
4. What you attain.

39. PAST LIFE SPREAD by Sotiria

1. Show me a past life.
2. What was my purpose in that life?
3. What what my profession or avocation in that life?
4. What other family members were in that life?
5. Were there other people from this life in that life?
6. What lessons did I learn?
7. Did I fulfill my purpose?

 

2013: The Great Tarot Trumps Tell Us Where We are Headed

The Star - Trump XVIIThe Trump Cards of the Tarot describe the Fool’s journey throughout his lifecycle, (the Fool is the first trump card numbered zero) and since we are the Fool, the Trumps describe our journey, both individually and collectively.  They tell us where we are in our lifecycle, what we need to do to move forward, and what we can expect down the road.  The Tarot has  been handed down at least since the fifteenth century, and possibly since ancient times, so they reflect wisdom we can use at this unprecedented time in human history.

2012 is the year of the Hanged Man, the 12th of the great Trumps that teaches us to let go of control and surrender to our situation.    Suspended upside down by his ankle, the Hanged Man has nowhere to go but inward. Appearing meditative rather than panicked, he tells you to take stock of your situation. Instead of quick action to escape the pain and chaos, it’s time to back off on control and reflect on how you got yourself in this situation. If you resist and hold tight, you will suffer.

The message is the same for humanity as for the individual. In 2012, the Hanged Man shows our species  hanging in the balance.  As the climate heats up, the seas rise, and storms become larger and more destructive, the Hanged Man teaches that the way to surf this phase of our journey is not to fight it and especially not to deny it. We must instead turn inward and surrender to it. In the Crowley Hanged Man, his brains seemed to have dumbed their contents.  He’s no longer thinking in the old ways, but is steeping in the way things are for his situation calls for a new paradigm. Says the late scholar Theodore Roszak, “Hanged Man cracks the shell of our selfhood, opening the way to rebirth, but not before the hulk of our old identity has been discarded.”

We first learned about the Greenhouse Effect 40 years ago. Not only was our planet warming, but a widely distributed M.I.T. study showed that the unprecedented economic growth we’d been enjoying worldwide since the Industrial Revolution would come to a screaming halt around 2010. In response, concerned citizens launched the first Earth Day. Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House.  A series of best-selling books about the warming planet swept through the media. But we were not willing to surrender to the truth of our situation. First we collectively denied it was happening. Then the word Greenhouse Effect disappeared entirely from our vernacular. Many who agreed with the  scientists have become mired in anger and political infighting.

The Hanged Man tells us that denial and control only makes the situation more painful.  He calls us to look inward to ourselves for the cause of our situation, then surrender to it’s inevitability and ride the inevitable wave of change. Just so, a sustainable living moving has arisen in the world.  Eco philosopher Joanna Macy, not wasting energy with anger or denial, calls joyfully on us to awaken to the new world at hand and prepare for what she calls The Great Turning. In Tarot terms, all life is cyclical, and if we accept where we are on the wheel, we can surf rather than stumble down the path before us.

Like the Hanged Man, humanity in 2012 can go nowhere but inward. As my family sat without power during Hurricane Sandy, with no Internet to lose ourselves in nor land lines to chatter our minds, and fearful to squander what power was left on our cell phones, there was nothing to do but be in the situation.  I awoke to how far from sustainable my life is. Driving a Prius, drying my wash in the sun, and recycling the garbage barely scratches the surface of sustainable.  Nearly everything we do is dependent upon fossil fuel.

Says  Macy,”The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world — we’ve actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves, and each other.”  She has listened to the Hanged Man’s message. We best do the same.

POST SCRIPT: This post was released hours before the Newtown Connecticut tragedy occurred in which 19 tiny school children were slaughter by a deranged young man at an elementary school. It was a painful time for everyone in the world who heard about. A slaughter of innocents leaves us all reeling and able to go nowhere but inward.

12.12.12: Precipice

 

by Catherine Mayell12.12.12. Today we stand on a precipice. Humanity will not see this date again for a hundred years. Tomorrow is Sagittarius New Moon, a time to begin expansive ventures; a time to live a new paradigm. All this is happening on the advent of the Winter Solstice, 12.21.12, when we begin our journey towards ever expanding sunlight. This is a great day to breathe in all that is happening both within and outside us. It is a good time to write down intentions for our lives and cast them to the universe tomorrow during the New Moon.

In the Tarot this is the year of  the Hanged Man (Trump XII)– the archetype of surrender to a situation we can no longer control. We have grown up thinking we can control everything and fix anything with hard work and ingenuity. We are entering into an unprecedented time that calls for a new paradigm in which we will first have to sit with a situation that is beyond our control.  It is the state we must embrace to advance to a higher plane.  If we can allow ourselves to be in this day, at this time in human history, if we open our awareness to what is coming up for us as we tune inward, and if we can accept what we see, then we can surf the ride of a millennium.

The Great Turning. Joanna Macy calls this time The Great Turning. It is also a time of great unraveling.

Stay tuned for more on how the Great Trumps of the Tarot describe the journey of humanity to this point, and what we can expect in the future.

Post script to this post: Two days after I wrote this post, the Newtown, Connecticut Tragedy occurred in which 19 tiny school children and six adults were slaughtered by a deranged young man. The whole world wept and considered the situation that led to this horrible event. Yes, we are definitely in the Hanged Man time.

24 Quick Tarot Spreads for Reading Yourself

  • Reading Cards1. DO THIS-DON’T-DO-THAT-SPREAD
  1. Do This
  2. Don’t Do This
  3. Overview

2. FUTURE LOVE

  1.  My future true love
  2. Will the attraction be instant or a gradual awakening?
  3. What will this person be like physically?
  4. What will this person be like emotionally?
  5. Obstacles
  6. When/where/how will I meet this person?

3. NEW RELATIONSHP

  1. What I bring to the relationship.
  2.  What the other person brings to the relationship.
  3. Nature of the relationship for me
  4. Challenges to the relationship for me.
  5. How the relationship will progress.

4. FINDING A LIFE MATE

  1. What I need to know about myself in partnership
  2. What am I looking for in a partner.
  3. Environmental factors.
  4. Obstacles within myself to finding the right partner
  5. What will help me find a new partner

5. RELATIONSHIP SPREAD (FOR A SPECIFIC LOVED ONE)

  1. General situation between you and your object of desire.
  2. How he/she feels about you.
  3. How you feel about him/her.
  4. Obstacles to a relationship with this person.
  5. Outcome/Advice (answer to “Is this person for me?”)

6.  MONEY

  1. My current financial situation.
  2. What is the lesson here for me regarding money?
  3. Who or what project will bring in more money?
  4.  Outcome.

7. YOUR CHILD

  1.  What my child came into life to learn.
  2. Where my child is now.
  3. What graces my child.
  4. What my child needs from me.
  5. Where the child is headed over the next ___ (state time frame).

8. YOUR PET

  1.  What my pet is feeling.
  2. What my pet is trying to tell me.
  3. What my pet most wants from me.
  4. What I can do to help my pet.
  5. My pet’s general health.

9. LOVED ONE ON THE OTHER SIDE

  1. How is my loved one doing?
  2. Anything my loved one wants to say to me?
  3. What’s it like on the other side?
  4. How can I best support you?

10. DHARMA SPREAD (SPIRITUAL LIFE LESSONS)

  1. What is my lesson right now?
  2. How can I grow spiritually at this time?
  3. How else can I grow spiritually at this time?
  4. What’s my biggest challenge at this time?
  5. Where am I headed?

11.  MANDALA SPREAD

  1. Overview of myself
  2. Ambitions, goals
  3. Achievements
  4. Dependencies, faulty beliefs
  5. Strengths

12. CAREER SPREAD (FINDING MY LIFE’S WORK)

  1. What I am good at doing.
  2. What I enjoy doing.
  3. My calling.
  4. Biggest challenge within myself
  5. Issues in my environment I should know about.
  6. Anything else I should understand about finding my right work
  7. The next best step to bring me to my true work.
  8. Someone who will help me along the way.
  9. Outcome

13.  THE WORLD BEYOND

  1. What is it like on the other side?
  2. What does the other side have to teach me?
  3. Why do we come here?
  4. Anything else to know about the other side?

14. PROBLEM SOVING SPREAD

  1. Who? Who is involved in the situation?
  2. What? What does the situation involve?
  3. Why? Why did the event(s) take place?
  4. When? When did the events take place.
  5. Where? Where did the events take place
  6. How? How did this event/situation come about.

15. INNER PEACE SPREAD

  1.  Quality within me that leads me to inner peace.
  2. Obstacle within me to attaining inner peace.
  3. If there is any one thing I should be doing to achieve inner peace?
  4. Something in my environment that helps or blocks me.
  5. Outcome

16.  HEALTH SPREAD

  1. What is the overall state of my health?
  2. What is the overall state of my mind?
  3. What is the overall state of my body?
  4. What is the overall state of my spirit?
  5. How do I integrate these parts of myself?

17. CHAKRA SPREAD (Tells condition of your body’s energy centers)

  1.  Root chakra – physical, including sexual, health
  2. Hara – center of your being, digestion, overall life force
  3. Solar Plexus – strength of will
  4. Heart chakra – your love
  5. Throat Chakra – communication center
  6. Intellect Chakra – intellectual center
  7. Crown Chakra – spiritual center

18. MY FOCUS AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE

  1. The issue that’s upper most in my mind.
  2. Something more to know about it.
  3. Obstacle to my focus.
  4. What to do about it?
  5. Outcome

19.  EMPOWERMENT SPREAD

  1. This is my power.
  2.  How it is best used.
  3. What inhibits this power within me?
  4. How can I bring it out more?

20. Event Spread

  1. What does this event have in store for me?
  2. What do I need to watch out for?
  3. What can I do about it?
  4. Result

21. ADVICE SPREAD

  1. Problem
  2. Background
  3. Advice

22. WHAT’S AHEAD OF ME?

  1. What I need to leave behind, to release.
  2. What I must confront.
  3. What I need to know.
  4. What I attain.

23. BLIND SIDE SPREAD

  1. This is your outside appearance; what you know and others can see.
  2. This is the unknown; what you’re not aware of, no one can see, but what is ruling.
  3. This is the hidden; what you know but won’t show others.
  4. This is the blind spot; what you can’t see but what others see in you.
24. UNDERSTANDING SELF IN ANY SITUATION

  1. My inner self regarding a situation
  2. My outer self regarding a situation
  3. What I need to confront.
  4. What’s helping me.
  5. Outcome.

Spring Equinox and Aries New Moon – Time for Reflection and New Moon Spread

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.03.51
With the Spring Equinox, an Aries new moon, and the surge of spring weather, it’s a fertile time for getting some inner guidance.

Whether you listen to your intuition while taking a walk in the woods, meditating, or throwing tarot cards, trying posing a question. Begin by taking some deep breaths.  Now be still.  Ask simply, “What do I need to know at this time of change?” Now listen for a voice, or hear the sounds outside and allow them to conjur meaning, or become aware of images in your mind. Breathe again and take in the spring air.  What is guidance telling you?

If you have tarot cards, try this New Moon Spread:

    • Card 1. What is most important for me to know at this time of change?
    • Card 2. What quality within me interferes with this knowledge?
    • Card 3. How can I move to peace and fulfillment?

Congratulations. You have used this fertile time to increase your awareness, and enrich your life.

Let the Full Sap Moon Propel You Forward — Full Sap Moon Spread

  • We are upon the full moon at the advent of the Vernal Equinox. Fgallery2-8The Algonquin Indians of New England called it the Worm Moon or Sap Moon, referring to the season when  the earth softens and the sap rises, when earth worms return to life and robins return to us.
  • After the long winter, it is the time to allow your own self to soften and your winter ruminations to rise up like sap and propel you to fulfill your dreams.  It is this powerful energizing change of seasons that we New Englanders are so fortunate to have, that many have credited with the region’s revolutionary spirit.
  • Whereever you are on the earth, you can make this planetary shift work for you.  The full sap moon starts the advance of upward energy that culminates in the Vernal Equinox on March 20.  Like a surfer waiting for a wave, you can use this powerful time  to leap forward and ride to the fulfillment of your destiny.  To help your process, try meditating on the first two questions listed below.  If you read tarot cards, try throwing a card for each question.
  • March Full Moon Spread
  1. What has served me during winter’s hibernation that I now must release?
  2. What quality in myself will help me to propel forward?
  3. What obstacles will I face?
  4. How will I fare?
    1.  

To deepen your intuition, pay attention to color

 

by Catherine Mayell

by Catherine Mayell

Color is always bursting with meaning. If you pay attention to it when interpreting images, it will deepen your insights.  Some tarot decks, like the Thoth deck, make great use of color to convey meaning. Check out the common meanings of colors below. The energy of colors varies with their wavelength.  So red, which has the greatest wavelength, is the most stimulating. While violet, which has the shortest, is the most calming.  Next time you see color in an image, feel its energy. What’s it telling you?

  • Red/Orange: vitality, life, libido, passion, strength, life force, fire energy (wands).
  • Brown: earth energy, fertility, nature, manifestation of earth energy.
  • Yellow: Joy, spirit in a male (yang) sense, the Sun, joyful energy, vitality.
  • Green: Growth, natural world, life, newness, creativity.
  • Blue: spiritual receptive love, wisdom, mental planes, air energy, the feminine (yin) principal, clarity (together with yellow and white).
  • Violet: royalty, spirituality, in Egyptian mythology, the color of the warrior, uncalculating warmth, lovingness.
  • Gold: transformation, as in alchemy, royalty, divinity, wealth.

 

Increase Your Intuition and Spiritual Guidance with Tarot Card-for-the-Day

  • Each morning draw a card randomly from the deck. That will become your “Card for the Day.” This practice invites higher guidance into your life, increases your intuition, and deepens your understanding of the cards.
  •  Imagine that you draw the Ace of Cups for your “Card for the Day.”  This marvelous and powerful card indicates there is a new heart opening for you.  You say goodbye to your partner in the morning and suddenly remember the Ace of Cups.  You follow him to the door and give him a hug, feeling your heart opening. At work, a colleague pops her head in your door and you feel a heart connection. Your heart opens some more and something expands in your relationship.  Back home, you think of your grown son away at college, and again, your heart opens.  The phone rings and it is your son saying he was just thinking of you and wanted to connect!
  •  When you pick a card each morning before beginning your day, your life will become richer, (and you’ll learn those cards very quickly).

How Tarot Works

 

  • People have been seeking answers from the divine since the beginning of time. There is no one right way to retrieve this precious information, which resides in our subconscious. But the Tarot is the easiest way to bring intuition quickly to the surface, while providing access to profound wisdom.
  •  How do tarot cards work? The simple answer is that using any visual tools to access intuition works like a Rorschach Inkblot test. You see an image, and your psyche matches it to your thoughts. If you’re reading another person, your psyche matches the image before you to that person’s thoughts.
  •  But Tarot gives so much more than the other visual divination tools because its ancient symbols and archetypes connect us to ancient wisdom. The Tarot contains 22 archetypes of the human journey, from the child-like Fool to the enlightened Universe. To get from fool to enlightenment is what we all seek. The Tarot will tell us just where we are on that path, and what is coming next.
  • But aren’t these cards just pulled by chance? In my classes, we often collectively read one person. Invariably two or three of us will pull the same cards for that person, the statistical likelihood being well over a million to one. “How can that be?” we wonder.  The answer lies somewhere in the obscure and spooky (Einstein’s term) field of quantum physics, which has shown that time is flexible, not linear, and can move forwards and backwards. We also know from quantum physics that we are “entangled” with each other and all of the universe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychic reading: A Rorschach Inkblot Test

  • We get intuition through our senses. As consciousness flows through us from the universe, we sense it in ways unique to our own being and life experiences. Some people hear the information, like quiet whispers in their heads. Others feel it in their bodies, especially in the gut. When I read someone who’s injured or sick, I usually feel their pain in the corresponding part of my own body. Some people sense energy through their olfactory sense, in the same way that hospice dogs can tell when a person is going to die.
  • The Visual Sense is the Most Dominant. But most people are able to most readily receive psychic information visually. Our vision is our strongest sense, both inwardly and outwardly.  That is why psychics so often use tarot cards, tea leaves, coffee grounds, palms, and crystal balls.
  • How to Retrieve Intuitive Information Visually.  It’s actually so easy that it’s hard to believe it’s called a mystery. We simply look at an abstract image, such as drips on a window pane or a picture on a tarot card, and allow the abtractions to form images in our minds. In other words, psychic reading is really a Rorschach Inkblot Test!  If you are reading someone, then the blob will begin to look like something which is relevant to the person you are reading. Those images come from your brain interpreting thought waves as they flow through you like radio waves.

Choosing a Divination Tool for Intuitive Readings

  • Some people use the I Ching, others find a tarot deck they like. Still others meditate and wait for answers to appear in the form of visions or words, gut feelings or a twinge in their bodies. So what method is going to help you the most? I find a combination works best so I don’t get stuck into one way of thinking. This gives me a diverse set of advisors.
  • Because it uses your visual sense, tarot may be the easiest, most direct way to tap into spiritual information. It’s not easy to see pictures in your head, to interpret a feeling in your body or just to trust a hunch. That’s because it’s difficult to separate psychic insight from all the noise in your head. When you stare at a tarot card, however, you have before you an image that is easy to just see. You then only have to allow yourself to conjure a story from that picture, or look up the meaning in a book and the right answers always come to you.
  •  Tea leaves, coffee grounds, and other Rorschach inkblot-type free association tools also use our visual senses to access spiritual information.  With tea leaves, you gaze at an abstract design and allow images to emerge in your mind.
  • While the tea leaf method has been used for centuries, I prefer the added help that the tarot provides because of its archetypes and symbols. The cards are a book of stories of wisdom accumulated over thousands of years. The Trump cards, for example, represent a mythical journey of the human psyche, i.e., the fool’s journey, depicted in archetypes of experience. So when I read the cards, I’m getting advice on my specific question laced with ancient wisdom.
  • When I’m reading for myself and I’m feeling particularly vulnerable, however, Tarot’s powerful imagery can sometimes trigger my fears. At these moments, it’s better to allow someone to read for me, or, if I insist on reading for myself, I turn to books of wisdom, which I open at random. The I-Ching and the Tao te Ching give great advice. A good book of poetry opened at random also works. I like Mary Oliver. Then there is the simple practice of taking a deep breathe and tuning into my own inner wisdom. That is the best divination tool of all.
  • What works best for you? Let us know by leaving a comment.

The Great Trumps of the Tarot – A Quick Reference Guide

  • Screen shot 2011-10-10 at 10.51.09 AMThe Trump cards, also known as the Major Arcana (arcana comes from the root “arcane” or mysteries), reflect archetypes of human experience.
  • Archetypes are symbols or idealized versions of everyday experiences that are so common to all of us that we have reactions to them when they appear before us. Andy Warhol made his name by highlighting archetypes of popular culture with his Campbell Soup can and Marilyn images.
  • The Tarot’s Trumps reflect archetypes that go much deeper and further back into human civilization than Warhols. Some of them, such as the archetype of mother, father, the sun and the moon, go back to the beginning of humanity, enabling you to get profound insights when you read.
  • Below are some keywords to help you learn the Trumps. The meanings of these cards, however, go far beyond a few keywords. As you play with them, allow your own associations with the images to well-up.