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Teacher’s Tarot Spread

As I mentioned previously, I am now teaching an introductory course in Tarot. I am running this over 8 weeks, with 2 hours per week. There are 5 students and myself, which makes for a close, intimate experience, and lots of practice time as well.

I wrote this spread up to help myself understand my new role as “teacher” and get some general guidance with this new path. Overall, I am pretty comfortable with teaching Tarot and speaking in front of others – but this is only in this context, i.e. that of Tarot. I guess this is mainly because I revere and love the subject (this is most important!), I understand it fairly well (but there’s nothing like trying to teach it to make me learn even more!), I’ve had excellent, surreal and atrocious experiences and a whole range in-between with reading cards, and I also know most of my students as we are friends outside of class.

Nonetheless, it is good to have some insight and guidance into my new teaching path, so I penned 5 questions, and shuffled a personal favourite – the Fey Tarot.

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Fey Tarot: Queen of Swords – 2 of Chalices – The Tower – The Wisest – 8 of Chalices

1. What do I need to know about being a teacher?
Queen of Swords: the card leans towards the rationing/ thinking/ objective and also highly discriminating – these are the predominant qualities I do and/or should use, which makes sense, though she looks rather intense – it’s those penetrating eyes, I think. This Queen is a great role model for a teacher in general, because the element of air (swords) rules all forms of communication, which is what teaching is all about.

2. What do I do well as a teacher?
2 of Chalices: I interact well on a personal level with students – the 2 of Cups is about having a personal, deep bond with someone as well. It’s about exchange and connection on a one-to-one level, which I hope I do. With 5 students, I try and give everyone the opportunity to engage and communicate.

3. What do I need to improve upon?
DSCF7867 The Tower: I need to not be afraid of stepping outside conventional boundaries, and infuse my teaching with my own personal style. I think as a new-ish teacher I tend to err on the side of safety and limit myself to conventional approaches to teaching. Note that the fay in the card, while flying (aiming) high, is still within the confines of a brick tower, although the foundations are slowly coming apart brick by brick… I like that.

4. Advice for me on being a teacher
DSCF7865The Wisest: this corresponds to the Hierophant in traditional deck, which is a fantastic card to get as advice, for the Hierophant is the teacher of mysteries, occult etc. Also, see how the fey in this card is reading/ studying – this implies that, apart from teaching being a natural path for me (well, I am a Sagittarius after all!), I should always keep on learning and studying. This is something I naturally plan on doing, since I love being the eternal student, but it’s nice to get it as a guidance anyway.

5. What does the future hold for my Tarot teaching work?
DSCF78638 of Chalices: I wasn’t too sure about this one. I think it signals a new direction possibly, though I note how the fey keeps her eyes on that splendid chalice: I will always teach, I know that much. Where, how and when, are just details to be filled in :)

 

 

 

If you want to try this as a spread, keep in mind there are lots of other questions you can add – for example, “What is my teaching style?” etc.

Next time, I will do a Student’s Tarot Spread, although, since we are all students in life, I’ll keep it a bit more generic.

Wishing everyone a blessed week ahead,
Monica

 

Full Moon in Aries

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T
his is now my Tarot nook. In preparation for the Full Moon in Aries tarot work, I cleaned the table and changed the cloth. Normally it’s rather messy, with books, notebooks and stationery everywhere.

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Moon in Aries is a “brain dehydrator” so the best I could do was a low-caffeine coffee. Tarot in a coffee cup doesn’t quite sound right though – but never mind.

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I decided to work with a recent gift from a close friend, who happens to be a kiwi (there’s quite a few of us in Australia, it seems!). She had recently gone home and came back with her own old tarot deck, complete with the box she had always stored it in.

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The one and only, Marseille Tarot. What a treasure this was! This is!! I couldn’t believe it when I opened it – aside from the fact I do not have this deck (and the only Marseille type deck I have is a Jean Noblet, which is a great one but I did always want another one – I suppose all readers say that :) )  – aside from this, it’s in mint condition, a 1982 print, all the cards are there and I love it.

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I’m going to take my time with this deck, for now I just wanted a 3 card guidance reading:

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The Tower, Page of Pentacles and the World – no big deal. As with any lunar eclipse, I think the message will take a while to filter through. My thoughts were, this is possibly related to me breaking through (Tower) my own fears and advertising a tarot course, which I will run as an eight week course on Monday nights. This is a new endeavour for me (Page of Pentacles) but it will indeed mean the World to have a small core group of students to share my experiences and knowledge with. I’m sure I will learn a lot as well – everyone who comes to the (Tarot) table has stories to tell and wisdom to share.

I’ve also, for the first time (appropriate for an Aries Moon!), started working with natural magic. I made an amulet, and consecrated it. I used frankincense from Mount Athos (Greece) to purify and bless it for magic. I think the three cards above are also a fitting description of this kind of work – there’s me in the middle, the student (Page of Pentacles), breaking through and shaping the material world, which natural magic is a part of.

Wishing everyone a blessed weekend ahead,

Monica

 

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That’s our lovely bus, parked up for the weekend at Ball Bay, a small coastal village. It’s a quiet and rather sleepy place, which is just how I like it sometimes.

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The camp site is next to the beach, and it’s soothing to have the sound of waves as a backdrop in the evening. A glass of wine, a candle, and some cards, and that’s pretty much heaven for me. My partner went fishing off the rocks, and I even joined him for a bit of beach fishing in the evening.

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I then spent Sunday at the Cape Hillsborough Lifestyle expo, which was a thoroughly enjoyable experience – if only to enjoy the  Old Station Tea House and its wonderful surroundings. Sadly I didn’t capture any photos of it – it’s a relocated old Railway Station house, full of that old world charm, and decorated as such too – even the toilets are full of nostalgia and old posters.

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Anyhow. The point of this post is to talk about one of the readings I did, which is not something I do often – but maybe I should? I’ve contemplated writing a “Case Studies in Tarot” Workbook or similar, but frankly, I’m a long way away from even starting something like that. I digress again.

A woman came to see me about a difficult relationship with her daughter (coincidentally, this is not uncommon and perhaps a mirror of my own challenging relationship with my mother. I digress, again). She wanted to know what she could do about this.

I fanned out the old trusty Rider Waite Smith, and asked her to choose 3 cards, and leave them face down. Once she did this, I proceeded to turn them over, and this is what I received:

Rider Waite Smith Queen of Cups - The Emperor - Queen of Wands

Rider Waite Smith
Queen of Cups – The Emperor – Queen of Wands

We both had a laugh seeing the two Queens. And then I paused for a while, because, well, that Emperor just felt so heavy. And rigid, and stubborn, and wearing armour, and not looking like budging one little bit.

I pointed out that the two Queens – which stand for mother and daughter – are not facing each other. They are looking away from each other. And between them, stands what looked to me like an impenetrable force – the Emperor. I proceeded to just describe the qualities of this card, and then the woman told me that her daughter had taken out a legal restriction against her, and that legally she was not allowed to contact her.

And with that explanation, the whole thing made sense – there was absolutely nothing she could do. The cards mirrored that. Fractured relationships come up in tarot readings very often – court cases, legal disputes, custody battles, the whole lot. A question such as “What can I do” is a great one to ask, in instances where one is actually in a position to do something. In this case, that was not possible.

So where to after this? I drew 3 more cards for her daughter, which showed hope for reconciliation (I received the Star and Knight of Cups) as well as remorse and sorrow (9 of Swords). And sometimes, hope is all one needs in such cases. And hope is all I can give, as a reader. I continue to be astounded and amazed at the people that sit in front of me and their tales. And I realise that Tarot is such a powerful and important craft for carrying us through both light and dark moments. I need to step back and reassure myself sometimes, of this, and of my path. And I digress, again.

Wishing everyone a blessed week,
Monica

 

A tarot spread on Geomancy

The Haindl Tarot

The Haindl Tarot

I decided to get a book on Geomancy thinking, erroneously, that it was about earth energy and lay lines and the like. As it turns out, Geomancy isn’t quite that, and as I started reading John Michael Greer’s The Art and Practice of Geomancy, it became apparent I have bitten off more than I can chew. Keep in mind, what with Moon in Gemini, intense study isn’t my cup of tea. Not that I’m not capable of it, I just need something like this broken down into little morsels, rather than one big gulp. Truth be told, Moon in Gemini expects to just inhale a book and absorb it all via osmosis.

Feeling a bit dejected by the fact I have to, you know, think (it is Sunday after all, folks), and caught by surprise that Geomancy isn’t something I’ll master in an afternoon, I drew the above cards with the following questions:

1. In a nutshell, what is Geomancy all about?
9 of Cups – Fortune

2. Advice for me on practicing Geomancy 
7 of Swords – Uselessness

3. What will be the outcome of studying and practicing Geomancy?
Ace of Swords in the South

4. What do I need to know about Geomancy?
Ace of Stones in the West

The advice card is excellent. On one hand, it mirrored how I felt about the whole thing. On the other hand, 7 of Swords (generally speaking) is a card where one tries to understand and learn. The Druidcraft version of this card shows this brilliantly:

Druidcraft Tarot

Druidcraft Tarot

Knowing this, and seeing the last 2 cards, gave me some hope. I shall have to put a bit more effort and set aside some study time for it. As for the first card – well I just had to laugh, and that’s all I’ll say for now.

“To the diviners of earlier times, the entire world was a dance of meanings that could be read by the perceptive eye and interpreted by the attentive mind. When birds flew past from a particular direction, when stars and planets assumed certain arrangements, or when the chance patterns of a geomantic divination gave rise to a specific set of figures and their interactions, some part of the great dance of the cosmos was brought into clearer view. All these events formed pages in what scholars and magicians of the Renaissance called the Book of Nature – a book that geomancers, among many others, studied with great care and learned how to read.” J M Greer, The Art and Practice of Geomancy

Wishing everyone a blessed week ahead.

Monica

September outlook

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After a couple of months of busy schedules, it seems my body and mind have been left drained of energy. Feeling worse for wear today, I took the day off and decided to spend a good chunk of it in the sun, trying my best to recover health-wise. The prolonged break in my blog has been largely due to busy weeks at work, and packed weekends, though also a lack of decent internet for the past month too.

So I took my blankie, the latest copy of Grass Roots magazine, and the strange but wonderful Light Grey tarot deck, and sprawled myself on our “front lawn”.

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I drew 3 cards on what the month of September will bring, and received the 4 of Pentacles, the Hierophant, and 6 of Wands.

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I like all of them, and it will be interesting to see how everything pans out, but here are some of my thoughts for each:

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The 4 of Pentacles brings a festive air – carnival, masquerade… Yet what really stood out was that mask – I may be hiding my true face from the world, or keeping something hidden in any case.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Hierophant has a beautiful lotus flower on his lap. At least that’s what I saw. Three faces, three masks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As for the lovely 6 of Wands – well, it just made me feel all warm and fuzzy :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent the rest of the day savouring the Encyclopedia of Natural Magic by John Michael Greer. He is well known for his blog The Archdruid Report, as well as his books on magic, the occult, and druidry.

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Most of what he writes resonates very strongly with me – both the ongoing slow decay and collapse of our civilisation, and the natural magic/druidry side of things. I have yet to sit down and dedicate a “grand plan” for the next few years and decades ahead, but I know that, on our small 5 acres of heaven, we will create an organic garden and food forest, have some chickens, bees, a herbal apothecary with locally grown herbs, and generally try and be as much as possible, self-reliant. I realise that 100% self-sufficiency is not possible – and I am not aiming for that anyway. I like to trade and swap with the local community, and there are plenty of like-minded folk around.

Natural magic, tarot, astrology and a yoga practice are a key core of this way of life. I used to struggle to see how I would ever merge all of these interests of mine, but now I see they already blend into one another effortlessly.

I wish everyone a healthy and peaceful remainder of the week. Apologies for the sparse blog posts, I will do my best to return to a weekly blog in the near future.

Warm blessings,
Monica

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My cat Fae, the witch’s familiar :)

 

 

This morning’s draw is brought to you by the sights and sounds of the Queensland bush.

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I moved my tarot reading “nook” to the back of the veranda, as it looks out onto a more wild landscape (ignore the mowed lawn…). After an early morning start pottering around the house, I indulged in a coffee and drew a trio from Songs for the Journey Home deck:

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I paused a while after drawing the Tenth Wind Song (10 of Swords), the Fifth Earth Song (5 of Pentacles) and Earth Innocence (Page of Pentacles). The first two are rather dire, yet I liked what the accompanying book had to say:

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 “The Tenth Wind Song represents the revisiting of a situation or relationship which has previously lured and entangled you. It is an image of incompatibility, not of evil intent… Sometimes when you have recovered from a crisis point, you may feel the need to return and face the person or the addiction to prove to yourself you can now handle the experience to your advantage… The opportunity is here to illuminate and transform a previously damaging experience.”

Without going into detail due to personal/privacy issues, this card was spot on. Instead of the dreaded 10 of Swords energy, reading the authors’ interpretation bought a huge sigh of relief.

Next, the card of “poverty and hardship” but with a timely twist in its interpretation.

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 “Time is speeding up to the degree whereby you feel you are under intense pressure….The Fifth Earth Song is an image of imbalance. Ancient timekeeping flowed with the movements of the stars, moon and sun and thus continued to connect people with elemental, diurnal, tidal and seasonal patterns. This connection is now, for the most part, severed…”

I see this card as a warning to not take too much on, and rather just be and enjoy the incredible gift of what we have: the sounds of birds to wake up to, a sky full of stars at night, a soothing fire at night. The last couple of months have been full on for us, and now we need to take the time to rest and just enjoy it all.

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Finally, Earth Innocence. A child happily climbing and exploring a tree. I loved doing that, as a child. I see this card as reconnecting with my inner child and maybe even “going bush” out and about our patch of land. It’s about un-shackling from the earlier experiences shown by the Tenth Wind and Fifth Earth cards – good riddance too.

“Earth Innocence is a purposeful child who is independent from an early age. She may experience herself as being quite different from other children around her and she knows she thinks and sees differently from most adults she meets… When the child is not told what should make her happy, but discovers this for herself, she is free of the need to squeeze herself into an ill-fitting mould.”

All quotes taken from Songs for the Journey Home by Catherine Cook and Dwariko von Sommaruga.

 

New beginnings

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Sun and Moon Tarot The Emperor, 6 of Swords and Ace of Pentacles

Yesterday’s morning draw, taken at our new place. Good to see the solid Emperor make an appearance – he’s all about solid foundations and order, though balanced nicely here with a sheep and bees :) Which is good, since one day we intend to have some farm animals, and bring in bees as soon as we can. Native bees, preferably – Australia has stingless native bees, and while they don’t produce nowhere near the amount of honey European bees do, they are fantastic for native plants, not to mention that permaculture patch we are eagerly anticipating…

On the other side, the Ace of Pentacles heralds our new start. It’s a good omen – the Ace of reality I like to call it.

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Part of the view from the veranda table. Unfortunately not captured very well, though I hope to soon have some more shots of the 5 acres we are getting to know. As for the 6 of Swords in the middle – well that’s me there, typing away updating my blogs and keeping in touch with friends. I could do with about 3 months off work, to be honest – just to set out the gardens, get bees, get the chickens sorted, plant an orchard, and study astrology – I have not started the course I am interested in, since the past month has been full of cleaning and packing and moving.

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Well, good things take time, as they say. Despite all the hard work of the past couple of months, I am grateful to be here, among nature, trees, birds. I am grateful for the serenity and peace the land brings, which I have craved ever since I moved from a tiny bush hut on Auckland’s west coast. Can’t wait to go wandering through the bush and explore a bit of this world.

Wishing everyone a blessed week,

Monica

June02

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