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Friday, 27 September 2013

Building A Relationship With Your Tarot Cards In 3 Simple Ways


Building A Relationship With Your Tarot Cards In 3 Simple Ways


As a Tarot mentor, I always enjoy seeing the excitement registered on the faces of my protégés when they start to learn how to read the Tarot cards. During the mentoring sessions, we would be swapping notes, highlighting observations and sharing insights.  However sometimes, when they get home and attempt to practice a reading on their own, I might get a couple of frantic calls from some of them asking why they had not been able to do an accurate reading or might in some way not feel connected with the cards.

I believe that each Tarot reader has a special relationship with his or her cards.  I have 26 Tarot decks and my relationship with each of them are different.  My working decks ( the decks that I would use to read professionally with clients, are the Radiant Rider Waite updated by Virginisijus Poshkus and the Morgan Greer deck created by Bill Greer and Lloyd Morgan.  Somehow, I get the most insights from these 2 decks and they seem to be “gentler” on my clients because the images are quite easily relatable.  My Tarot of the Holy Light deck is a difficult one to use with my clients because the images though vivid, are not as friendly and the symbols are often more profound for non-Tarot readers to comprehend.  However, the deck is perfect when it comes to readings that I do for myself because I often find different and deeper insights with the symbolisms within each card, every time I use that deck.  

So start a relationship with your Tarot deck the very minute you own one.  Here are 3 very basic ways that you could easily use to build a relationship with your cards.

1. Explore Your Brand New Tarot Deck

When you purchase a new deck or are gifted one, examine the deck from box to cards.  Scrutinize the packaging in detail and take note of how the deck creator had decided to package the deck.  Examine the colours, the texture and the imagery on the box. Which card is featured on the box?  This will help stage an introduction between you and the deck creator. Then explore the imagery, not in too much detail yet, but assess the brush strokes, creative treatment, overall use of colours and fonts used to write the words and numbers on each card. Read the little white book that comes with it and correspond the written card description with what you personally glean with the imagery.  Treat this as your way of saying hello to the deck creator and your desire to get to know him or her better.

2. Pick A Card Du Jour And Meditate On It

Meditate with your Tarot cards each morning.  Start your meditation by breathing in 7 counts and breathing out 7 counts, imagining a white light going from the top of your head, through your forehead,  throat, torso, legs and feet.  Feel the white light pushing the stress and negativity into the ground.   When you are sufficiently calmed and relaxed, shuffle and randomly pick a card.  That would be your ‘card du jour’.  Examine the image within the card, the colours, the characters, the symbols, and imagine the card becoming gradually bigger, till it looks like a doorway.  Visualize yourself walking through that doorway into the card.  When you are “in the presence” of the imagery, notice how it interacts with you, listen to what the image says to you,  talk to it freely and even describe verbally what you are feeling at that point when you see the image and what each symbol, colours and the imagery itself means to you. 

You are strongly advised to note your thoughts down in a journal.  When you think you have already gleaned enough from the cards, turn to “walk out of the card” and ground yourself by being aware of your own surroundings.   

Read the notes in your journal and make a mental note of your observations.  At the end of the day, pick that card again and re-examine it, cross referencing it with the notes in your journal.  Ask yourself at that point, how had events of your day co-relate with the observations you have made of that card earlier in the morning.  What are the lessons learn?  What opportunities did you have which you became more aware of because of your observations about the card.

3.  Write Down Your Tarot-Related Thoughts In A Journal

I am a strong believer of keeping a journal.  I have a hard-copy leather-bound journal custom-made for me as a gift.  However, you can journal your thoughts anywhere that you feel most comfortable with.  Some of my friends do it as blog posts and one of them update his notes in his IPhone daily.  So what do you write in your journal now that you have gotten one?  You are advised to note down everything you see and feel about your Tarot card daily.  This is the best opportunity to write down your reflections when you pick a card a day.  Your reflections are your own, there are no rules to developing these reflections, but here are some tips to watch out for besides the colour, imagery and symbols within the cards:

i)              If you have picked a court card, note the personality and characteristics of the card and reference it to someone you already know, a family, a friend, or even a celebrity.  I used to call the King of Wands “Donald Trump”.
ii)            If you have picked a Major Arcana card, note down your observations about the card and reference it to someone or an event in your life that you are familiar with.  I saw the Empress as Mum and her generous nature of nurturing, loving and giving her family members the best of everything.  I likened the Tower to the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11.

Constant Practice Helps

Different Tarot readers build their relationship with their Tarot cards in different ways.  There are no hard and fast rules.  Ultimately, they are your Tarot cards, your reading style and your personal relationship with them.  As with most relationships, yours with your Tarot cards can only be built over time.   You should solder that relationship by using your Tarot cards for regular practice readings.  Practice your readings with your family, friends and self.  Start with a 1- card pick, then move on to a 3-card spread and when you become even more confident, you can expand the reading to a 5-10 card spread.  By that time, you would already have that strong relationship with your Tarot cards that will allow you to gain even better insights with each reading.

Below this post is a picture of my Tarot journal and sitting on it are some cards picked from the Goddess Tarot deck by Kris Waldherr.


About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist.  She is currently running a Tarot consultancy based in Singapore called Sun Goddess Tarot,  which provides confidential intuitive readings combining the metaphysical disciplines of Tarot, Numerology and Astrology via face to face and emails as well as readings at corporate and private events and workshops.  A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and mentors Tarot protégés on behalf of the American Tarot Association


Website:www.sungoddesstarot.com
Email: Joanna@sungoddesstarot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunGoddessTarot
Twitter:www.twitter.com/SunGoddessTarot


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Re-telling The Story Of Beauty And The Beast

To celebrate the Autumn Equinox, many of my Tarot blogging friends wrote some beautiful blog posts which regaled us with stories about the myths surrounding Autumn. They also created Tarot spreads inspired by these myths, and shared some of their life’s lessons and transformational experiences that were an eye-opener for me. 

One of the Tarot bloggers Chloe McCracken from Inner Whispers took that opportunity to create a myth-inspired Tarot spread based on the story of Beauty and the Beast.  Do read her blog post here,http://innerwhisperscouk.blogspot.sg/2013/09/mabon-blog-hop-mythical-things.html.

Beauty And The Beast Tarot Spread

I loved the story of Belle and the Beast.  I watched the movie a gazillion times and could even play the song on my piano just by listening to the soundtrack for the very first time.  However, doing a Tarot reading with a Beauty and the Beast spread was another thing all together.  I used it on a reading for myself and was utterly bowled over.  I wished more Tarotists could create simple Tarot spreads like what Chloe had done.  
This was how the Beauty and the Beast Tarot spread went:

1) What is my heart’s desire at this time?
In the case of Beauty and the Beast, Belle wanted a single red rose which symbolically represented her desire for true love.

2) What price will I have to pay for it?
Belle had to leave her family to stay with the Beast in his castle.  That must have been a frightening experience for her.

3) What lesson will I learn in the process?
Belle learnt that true love was  about far more than appearance.
So, I applied the spread to my question which was "What insights could Tarot provide  about the direction for Sun Goddess Tarot?"  I used Barbara Moore's Book of Shadows Volume 2 - So Below Tarot deck for the purpose.  It was not a myth-inspired deck but it was calling out to me to be used for this spread.
What Is My Heart’s Desire At This Time: 8 Of Wands

The 8 of Wands reflected my desire to take action on some of my ideas that had been stewing in my mind for Sun Goddess Tarot.  The journey I had taken in the past few years was remarkable.  I saw my Tarot reading skills growing as I started learning from more teachers, mentors, and fellow Tarotists.  Being part of the various international Tarot communities had widen my perspectives on Tarot and when I was interviewed by established Tarotists, invited to contribute articles for established Tarot organizations, encouraged to share my knowledge and skills at various forums and asked to mentor other budding Tarotists, I started to gain even more confidence and assurance that the path I had taken, though difficult, was a very rewarding one.   


These experiences fuelled my intentions to take Sun Goddess Tarot even further. I was now ready to weld my 17 years of marketing experience with Tarot to guide other Tarotists to market their Tarot businesses with traditional and non-traditional marketing strategies that I had learnt and deployed over the last 17 years. The action-plan was to create a curriculum around marketing strategies for budding Tarot businesses.

I was also hungry to learn even more, expand my skills to other different metaphysical disciplines beyond the courses I had already done in Numerology and Astrology.  And even within these disciplines, I was not done studying yet.  My little mind and my time was limited.  I needed to expand my reach beyond Singapore but I felt I could not do enough on my own.  So I had planned to create a partnership with a couple of fellow Tarotists each specializing in their respective metaphysical disciplines, who were as hungry as I was and even more determined than I was to touch as many people as they could beyond our shores, to bring these people light.  The action-plan was to launch this partnership within the next year.

What Price Will I Have To Pay For It: 9 Of Wands Reversed

One of my greatest fears was the heavy responsibilities I was already piling upon myself.  I did not have much resources, let alone deeper and wider metaphysical skill sets unlike my counterparts who generally had 20-30 years of experience under their belt.  So I worked with whatever I had.  I did not want to take on too many projects and courses as I was afraid that I would be juggling too much and with the given responsibilities at my current job as a marketing professional at a multinational corporation and my commitments to my family, I was not prepared to give too much of myself and my time.  However, the Autumn season was possibly the best time for me to think about how one could harvest what they sowed.  If I had not made the effort to sow the seeds of growth and expansion with a clear vision of where I wanted to be in the future with Sun Goddess Tarot, I would of course not have much of a harvest. 


I believed I saw the light when I picked this card.   I had to be prepared to sacrifice my time and resources to build the type of business that Sun Goddess Tarot deserved to be. I needed to be prepared to take calculated risks.   It would take a lot of hard work, courage and plenty of personal time especially weekends to nurture this business through research, studies, business development and marketing.  I had to be prepared to reach out further by working on speaking engagements, workshops and webinars.  I also had to write more. I had been so erratic with my writings, that I only wrote when there was a Tarot blog hop or when I got truly inspired by something, like Chloe’s very simple Beauty and the Beast Tarot spread, or when I got struck down on the road by lightning and saw a vision…just kidding.  This erratic way of sharing my skills had to be replaced by discipline. 
That would be the only way to ensure that I could turn my ideas into viable action plans so that I could manifest my goals for Sun Goddess Tarot.

What Will I Learn In The Process:  The High Priestess

I need not have to write on.  This card was that “lightning” that struck me on my head.  I woke up with a jolt at that point because as professional Tarot readers, that was what we aspired to be – The High Priestess.  Throughout these few years of running Sun Goddess Tarot, the demands of my everyday life, my day job, my clients and my family, were the chatter in my head and the cacophony of routinal activities that caused me to be “stuck” where I was in terms of growing even more depth in my metaphysical knowledge and spirituality.  This card indicated that as I worked to grow and expand Sun Goddess Tarot, I would be learning to listen to my inner voice more, trusting my intuition more, and hence deepening my intuitive skills in the process. I believed that with effort and time, I would be establishing a new and more profound relationship not only with my Tarot cards but also with my clients.

I knew that in time, my growth as a Tarotist, would not just be driven by the educational experiences and classroom lessons that I had been going through all these years.  It would be driven by my trust of and surrender to the Universe.

A Transformational Lesson Indeed

I have Chloe to thank for, for opening my eyes to the fact that a simple Tarot spread could draw a profoundly impactful reading for me.  I would definitely be trying this spread on my clients in the future.


About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist.  She is currently running a Tarot consultancy based in Singapore called Sun Goddess Tarot,  which provides confidential intuitive readings combining the metaphysical disciplines of Tarot, Numerology and Astrology via face to face and emails as well as readings at corporate and private events and workshops.  A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and mentors Tarot protégés on behalf of the American Tarot Association


Website:www.sungoddesstarot.com
Email: Joanna@sungoddesstarot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunGoddessTarot
Twitter:www.twitter.com/SunGoddessTarot




Taken from Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Autumn Made Richer With Lessons From A Myth


At the blink of an eye, ¾ of a year has almost gone by and we are in the throes of welcoming Autumn.  Autumn is a season traditionally surrounded in myths which in turn contribute to the different ways that various communities around the world honour the season. One of these festivals is Mabon.   As I wrote this blog post to celebrate Autumn, I found some lessons in one of the myths associated with the season.  So, I am glad you are visiting this blog whether you are a regular reader, or you had come from the posts on the same topic written by my fellow Tarot blogging mates.  You can find Cassandra's  at http://quickcardreading.com/fall-equinox/ or the ever effervescent Pepi's  at http://depepi.com/2013/09/22/inanna-and-the-journey-to-the-underworld/.  For rest of the posts on the same theme (Mabon - Divination and Myths) from other Tarot bloggers who participated in this blog hop, do visit http://tarottrends.com/content/2013-mabon-tarot-blog-hop-master-list

Celebrating Autumnal Abundance At Mabon

Mabon falls on 22 September, marking the start of the Autumn season.  It is a celebration of the equal division between day and night, when we see impending dwindling sunlight followed by the changing colors of the leaves from a lush green to a hue of rust red and golden brown. Autumn is a season that is traditionally associated with change and transformation.  It is also a season surrounded in myths.  In fact, the name Mabon came from an age-old Celtic myth about the Welsh god, Mabon who was abducted when young, and found again by King Arthur so that he could be reborn into the light. For more on the story of Mabon, do read it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mabon_ap_Modron

Myth Of Demeter And Persophone

One of the myths I fell in love with as I started my Tarot journey some time back with the New Mythic Tarot deck by Liz Greene and Giovanni Casselli, was the Greek mythology about Demeter and Persophone.  Demeter was the Goddess of the harvest whose patronage had allowed the land to grow in abundance, bountiful crops were harvested throughout the year and fields were blooming with flowers and greenery. The myth goes like this.  Her daughter Persophone was abducted by Hades one day and because she had consumed a Pomegranate (the fruit of the dead), she had unwittingly submitted to become Hades’ wife in the underworld.  Angered by this, and grieving for the loss of her daughter, Demeter cursed the land and allowed crops to die, and the land laid barren and in darkness. Zeus then stepped in to mediate and through a compromise, Persophone was allowed to surface from the underworld to live with her mother for 6 months of the year, during which Demeter would once again allow crops to grow and light to be cast on earth.  For the other 6 months of the year though, Persophone was to return to the underworld to be with Hades and Demeter was allowed, in her grief, to turn the land into barren darkness.   For more on the story of Demeter and Persophone, do read about it at http://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Demeter/demeter.html

More Autumnal Myths – The Mooncake Festival
Around the same period when my friends celebrate the Autumnal abundance of Mabon, my family and friends over in my part of the world in Singapore, celebrate the Autumn Equinox with  the Moon Cake festival.  Like Mabon, it is also a festival surrounded in myths.One version of the myth is that in ancient China, there was an archer called Hou Yi who successfully shot down  9 out of the 10 suns that appeared in the sky to scorch and destroy the land.  He left only 1 sun in existence to provide light and life, not allowing the earth to fall into darkness.  Celebrated for his prowess, he became King and married the lady Chang Er.  Over time, Hou Yi became a despot obsessed about continuing his rule by searching for an elixir.  This elixir promised eternal life.  When the elixir was found,  Chang Er decided to consume it instead in a bid to prevent her husband from continuing his despotic rule forever.  She then transformed into a fairy and flew to the Moon on which she lived.    The grateful people on earth lighted their lanterns on earth so that Chang Er could see them from the moon.  That is why today, the Chinese hang lanterns around their homes during this festival.    Hou Yi grieved for his beloved wife so he put out a table of offerings of cakes and sweets to honour her every Autumn.  Today, the Chinese consumed moon-shaped cakes today with the same intent to honor her.   To find out more about Chang Er, do read it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang%27e . This was a story of loss, transformation and thanksgiving that had lived for generations.

Navigating Transformation

Whether you are celebrating Mabon, Moon Cake festival, or just celebrating a bumper harvest of carrots in your backyard, I would see this period as an occasion to celebrate transformation.  As you know Transformation usually involved a painful process of letting go the “what has been” to accept the “what is to come”. My son, Joel had been going through that, along with me.  As a mother, I held him through this transition from a schoolboy, through to his tertiary stint in Nursing school at a local polytechnic.  It was not a course he had initially opted for.  The course was allocated to him as a second choice because his grades were not good enough to allow him to do a mass communications course which he had indicated as a first choice in the admission forms.  I could see him struggling through the choices, and I still see him struggling with himself to accept the outcome and embrace nursing school as a journey of learning.

So this is a spread I created to get insights on Joel’s transformational journey through Nursing school.  I called it Demeter’s Journey Of Transformational Spread and I have used the New Mythic Tarot deck by Liz Greene and Giovanni Casselli to perform this reading for Joel.


Demeter's Journey Of Transformation Spread

Demeter's Grief - Self

The 4 of Cups was picked to represent Joel at present.  The card indicated that he was taking a step back to re-evaluate the direction he was taking in his life. He might be feeling disengaged and unmotivated by the Nursing course currently.  In fact, he had complained to me about the stress of his examinations and the boredom he was experiencing during his industrial attachment to the hospital.   However, he recognized that he was now committed to the course as he was in his 2nd year.  So the card suggested that he needed to look deep within himself to understand what lessons this experience could bring to the table for him in the long run.  He must not get distracted by “noises” from friends and family.  Ultimately, only Joel was the only who could determine his own career directions.    I liked the number 4 because in numerology, it symbolized his need to use this experience as a period to build his foundation of skills, experience and knowledge for the future whether or not he would decide later, to pursue Nursing as a career.   I used this card to explain to him that he should learn to be grateful for the opportunity afforded him because besides the medical skills, he got to learn so much more from this course, for example, how he could interact and communicate better with people.

Persophone's Dilemma - Situation
The reversed Star was picked to assess the influence Joel’s emotional and mental state had on the situation.  As Joel felt disengaged and uninspired with the course,  he had allowed this feelings of negativity impact his relationship with us, his parents  and his attitude to life.  That explained why we had issues with him not being open and honest in communicating to us.  He had started out with great vision and enthusiasm for nursing in his first year, and then started questioning  his interest for it when the examinations came around the corner to pile the pressure on him. Furthermore, a fellow classmate dropped out of the course midway, and this had impacted Joel’s motivation even further.   From time to time, he seemed quite lost in direction, as if he was hoping to see a sign affirming that he was treading on the right path to a meaningful career.


Hade's deception – Obstacle
Death was picked to determine the stumbling block in Joel’s journey.  Death is a card of transformation and new life.  It was an apt card to pick for Joel as it indicated to me that the card was encouraging him to let go of his past when he had experienced poor academic performance, with lack lustre grades at school and even failure in the examinations during one of his secondary school years.  In fact, it was a less than stellar performance at the GCE O’ Level examinations that had led to the polytechnic allocating him into a course that was his 2ndchoice – Nursing.  He did not get into Nursing school out of pure interest in the vocation.  While he attempted to embrace the course with as much enthusiasm as he could muster, he continuously harbored aspirations to be a marketing professional instead.  He enjoyed his vacation jobs interning at several advertising agencies and wanted very much to get back into advertising.  However, the Death card is telling Joel to let it go and put 100% focus into his Nursing course.  The aim is to complete the course with a Diploma then decide upon graduation what he wanted to do next.  We advised him not to pass over this opportunity at the Nursing course because of his stubbornly clinging on to the past.  Instead, finish the course and gain some hands-on experience with it to build a strong foundation of skills that could enable him to pursue a career as a marketing professional at the Health Promotion Board, the Ministry of Health or the private medical organizations.  There could also be a possibility that he could use his skills to establish a business venture in private nursing care which will give him opportunities to expand his skills to business development and marketing.

The Death card as an obstacle is a manifestation of  Joel carrying negative aspects from the past that may interfere with the opportunity he may have for a new beginning.  He was resisting the change necessary to mould him into a resourceful adult keen on viewing every aspect of life as an opportunity to grow.


Zeus' Mediation – Advice
The Page of Swords was picked to offer Joel some advice.  Joel, like the Page, is young and idealistic.  He has capacity for intellectual growth which the Nursing course can provide.  He was advised by the Page to continue his Nursing course with energy, passion and enthusiasm and not let doubt and distraction get in the way of the completion of this course.  He should leverage the energy of the Page to fuel his vision for his career and not take a short-sighted approach.  The Page of Swords is encouraging him to start thinking about his future career and  aspirations.  His ambition to be a marketing professional should not come to a dead end because of the fact that he is now studying for a Nursing diploma.  Instead, he should look at the Nursing diploma as an added advantage to his marketing and communication skills in future should he wish to pursue the latter as a career later.  There will always be challenges with whatever career option he chooses eventually but the crux of the message from the Page was that he needed to follow his passions and go with the path that he believed to be the best for him.  Also,  the Page of Swords warned that he should not take unnecessary risks with his opportunities for intellectual growth by quitting the Nursing course half way.

Demeter's Harvest - Outcome

The Page of Pentacles is a manifestation of the eventual outcome for Joel’s journey in his Nursing course.  It indicated that Joel will indeed come around from his dilemma, to focus on his goals.  He will be motivated to begin the process of creating tangible plans towards attaining his goals. Like this Page, he will view his Nursing course with a practical approach.  He will start to understand that beyond the medical knowledge gained, the course would also teach him interpersonal skills, accountability, resilience and resourcefulness, opening doors to contacts in the industry that could prove to be important to his career in future.  These are all practical skills needed in future, whatever job he lands himself with.    As he had mentioned about establishing a private nursing care business in future, the Page of Pentacles who is filled with young, entrepreneurial vision also reflects that he will come around to view his current experience as a stepping stone to future growth and expansion that could prove to be a lucrative business venture.


My Hopes For Joel

Like Demeter who worried for Persophone’s welfare in the underworld and rejoiced when Persophone returned to be with her , I am actually doing the same with Joel.  When he was feeling down, defeated and lost with his life directions, I grieved for him.  When he started to come around and tried his best at the 2nd year Nursing examinations, I rejoiced at his determination and effort in trying to pave the way towards his goals.  I felt that this experience has slowly transformed Joel’s level of maturity. If I could not influence the choice of his career, at least, as a Mum, I hoped I had helped shaped him into a resilient adult.


About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist.  She is currently running a Tarot consultancy based in Singapore called Sun Goddess Tarot,  which provides confidential intuitive readings combining the metaphysical disciplines of Tarot, Numerology and Astrology via face to face and emails as well as readings at corporate and private events and workshops.  A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and mentors Tarot protégés on behalf of the American Tarot Association

Website:www.sungoddesstarot.com
Email: Joanna@sungoddesstarot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SunGoddessTarot
Twitter:www.twitter.com/SunGoddessTarot