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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

 

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I shall start by saying that a Sagittarius Sun and Gemini Moon combination makes for a wide, wide selection of interests and pursuits. This, in turn, adds much variety and interest in my life, as well as making, at times, a superficial attempt at learning the many and varied topics that sail through my brain, often out of nowhere. Nonetheless, this combination guarantees one thing: learning and studying will never stop.

I am now at a point where I definitely feel the overwhelming need for decent, formal study, and have narrowed down my paths to the following four:

  • Herbal Medicine
  • Astrology
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Energy Healing

I note that all four are what I’d call “practical” paths. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love some art history, mysticism, women’s spirituality and more. I think that I cover these fairly well through books, blogs, and the like. What I am interested in, as a formal study, are the four paths listed above. I did not add Tarot, as there are no courses that interest me online, at least not enough to dedicate a good chunk of time towards them; and besides, I’m actually thinking about teaching Tarot myself, but that’s another story… Trouble is, time and money are limited, which brings me to today’s tarot spread: which study path shall I follow in 2014? The Haindl Tarot offered the following, with 3 cards for each of these:

I love that the last card under the deck is The Fool: an excellent undercurrent for new adventures in study.

I love that the last card under the deck is The Fool: an excellent undercurrent for new adventures in study.

Herbal medicine: Krishna (Prince of Wands), The Empress, Chief Seattle (Prince of Stones)
Astrology: The Sun, Ace of Wands, The Star
Yoga therapy: Spider Woman (Queen of Stones), 2 of Cups, 4 of Wands
Energy healing: 10 of Swords, The Wheel of Fortune, 3 of Swords

Herbal Medicine  Prince of Wands - The Empress - Prince of Stones

Herbal Medicine
Prince of Wands – The Empress – Prince of Stones

Herbal Medicine is a definite yes: two pages, court cards that imply study of any kind, on either side of the Empress. As it is, I’ve started making my own herbal salves, but I want to learn a lot more. I’ve been offered the opportunity to join a local whole foods cafe and offer my salves for sale. This brings about a thousand questions, not least those relating to licensing and regulations.

Astrology The Sun - Ace of Wands - The Star

Astrology
The Sun – Ace of Wands – The Star

If Herbal Medicine was a definite yes, Astrology is even more so. Lovely to see a luminary in the spread, and such a good omen too: The Sun. I’ve already researched providers, and I’m interested in the Kepler College online courses.

Yoga therapy Queen of Stones - 2 of Cups - 4 of Wands

Yoga therapy
Queen of Stones – 2 of Cups – 4 of Wands

Geez, I can’t do everything!!! I got the impression that I may do a short course, maybe a weekend away or something like that. Mainly because this spread didn’t have any major arcana cards, but nonetheless it is a great trio. I think with yoga, I am ready to start teaching it formally, I just need to find a suitable studio or venue. The 2 of Cups made me think of some one-to-one learning, which would be nice, but again, I don’t see this as being a long course of study, rather some study to inform my teaching or something like it.

Energy healing 10 of Swords - The Wheel of Fortune - 3 of Swords

Energy healing
10 of Swords – The Wheel of Fortune – 3 of Swords

Finally, this is a definite no. The 10 or Swords (Ruin) and 3 of Swords (Mourning) tell me to not even go there. I guess it’s not the right time. So for me, the focus in 2014 will be astrology and herbal medicine, as study paths.

Note that I have my north node conjunct Mars conjunct Jupiter in Virgo: I need to be on a path where I show people practical how-to: how to align a yoga posture, how to heal lower back pain, how to make a tincture, how to work with a transit, etc etc. It’s not so much about talking about an issue, like counselling or psychology – which has huge merit, but it’s not exactly the fit for me as an exclusive vocational path.

If you have a similar conundrum about what study path to follow, drawing 3 cards on each of your paths of interest can be really helpful. I think deep inside, we know what this is anyway, but having the cards confirm it is really helpful: no more procrastinating and wondering left or right.

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead. Many blessings,
Monica

 

 

 

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Friends, I am placing the blog on holiday for a while, since I’m heading off for one too :) We’re loading the bus up, and heading to the northern shores of Queensland, in search of sun, chilling, good food, awesome beaches, the most amazing rainforest sights (the Daintree) and a bit of tarot reading at the lovely Mission Beach festival not far from Cairns :)

Tough life, I know. We’ll be away for two weeks, which is never enough, but a welcome break, nonetheless. I’ll be back mid-October or so. Until then, I’ve dug the post below from the archives (it’s very lazy of me, but I have to pack and plan and am running out of time!) To redeem for my lack of fresh ideas, I must say the post below really struck a chord with me at the time. And I realise I haven’t blogged about any other spreads I dreamt of while reading Women who run with the wolves, which is something I’ll be thinking of while on holiday and hopefully will share when I return.

Many blessings,
Monica

Soul Search

This is a very simple spread, with only 2 cards. It came to me while reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I have many, many spreads from this seminal book. This one is from the story about losing and finding one’s soulskin.

It is a spread on a noble quest, the soul search.  What is it you seek in life, what is it you want? What does your gut response tell you? Don’t kid yourself, for the ego and the soul want different things, and so, how do you know what you want? Shuffle your deck, and pick two cards. The first card answers the question What does my soul want? The second card answers the question What does my ego want? Take the time to focus before doing this spread, turn off all external noise, find a quiet space, and focus. This is what I got.

Soul Search Spread – Rider Waite Smith deck

1. What does my soul want? The High Priestess.

Mystery, intuition, the subconscious, behind the veil, the unknown. She who knows but doesn’t tell. What a powerful woman, a woman initiated. My soul wants to seek, my soul yearns to contemplate a full moon, my soul wants life to be a mystery, my soul will take nothing but the sacred. My soul asks for a woman true to herself, she doesn’t have to justify herself to no one else. My soul wants to understand, to study, to learn, to be dedicated to the inner work, to know and to not know.

2. What does my ego want? 3 of Swords.

My ego wants pain. Ego loves pain, and sorrow, and martyrdom. The same story that energetically sucks you into a black vortex of “poor me”. Ego wants a threesome, a love triangle, or maybe just a deep, deep release of pain. Janina Renee notes “this card could denote someone whose view of reality has been distorted by depression, indicating a need to change perceptions”. Ego wants heartbreak.

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I am re-posting below am entry from my archives, a while back. I think the starting quote, one of my favourites, came to mind straight away when I read something a good friend sent me: Women of Power.

Photo of Maria Ela Lewańska from Women of Power by Katarzyna Majak

Photo of Maria Ela Lewańska
from Women of Power by Katarzyna Majak

‘Women of Power’ is a series 29 portraits of Polish witches, healers, enchanters, visionaries and spiritual leaders. According to what Ewelina Jarosz wrote about the project: “The title points to Katarzyna Majak’s intention to develop and socially rehabilitate women identifying themselves with the widely understood spirituality of their ancestors, Mother Goddess, pagan beliefs, and old sources of wisdom, which may still empower and inspire contemporary secularized consciousness by its valuable content and alternative energy”. The website for the project along with more detailed descriptions of some of the women can be found here. I think I’m starting to really enjoy this Hanged Man year. It’s cementing and solidifying my path, bit by bit, ever so slowly yet surely. Every time I have a doubt about my path or purpose (and I’ve had plenty), there’s a reassuring nudge from the universe. 

‘Am I cured?’
‘No. You’re someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that, in my view, is a serious illness.’
‘Is wanting to be different a serious illness?’
‘It is if you force yourself to be the same as everyone else: it causes neuroses, psychoses and paranoia. It’s a distortion of nature, it goes against God’s laws, for in all the world’s woods and forests, He did not create a single leaf the same as another. But you think it’s mad to be different and that’s why you chose to live in Villette, because everyone is different here, and so you appear to be the same as everyone else. Do you understand?’

from Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

Another simple two card spread came to mind reading the above. A few people I know do not like Paulo’s writing style, which is a shame, although millions have been touched by his books. Regardless of whether his writing is liked or not, the messages contained within are so relevant – take the above paragraph, in the context of the rise and rise of prescription medicines for depression, anxiety and so on. Anyhow, I kept this one simple. One could ask for advice on how to nourish or support what makes them different and so on. I chose the Vanessa tarot mainly because I received this not long ago from a friend and wanted to try it out, though I feel it is more of a “practical” deck for day-to-day events.

1. How am I different
2. How do I conform

Veronika Tarot Spread using Vanessa Tarot

Well, look at that. I conform in a group, and am different on my own, is perhaps what really stands out. The 3 of cups explains the How – social situations, parties, friendships – how many times hasn’t it happened. Not always a bad thing, of course. As for the Queen of Wands, the words freedom and adventure jump right out of that card. So vibrant and alive, that one. When I was young, about 8 or 9, my friends asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Everyone had something to answer: doctor, pilot, architect. My answer: I want to be an adventurer. I kid you not. Everyone had a good laugh on that account – you know, what kind of a job is that, it’s not a proper job blah blah blah. At that time I was reading a children’s version of Jules Verne, and was so engrossed in that world, so mesmerized by it all, I lived it and loved it with pure naivety. And so far, I have to say, life has been a pretty fascinating journey.

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Haindl Tarot

Haindl Tarot

It must be the mid-year funk – there are no public holidays for a while, the New Year break is a long way away, and an irritable energy hangs in the air. God only knows we’ve had nothing but sunny skies for a while now, hot days and warm evenings, the garden looks great and peace is upon us. Nevermind all that, sometimes the tension of trying to direct one’s life on the path true to one’s heart permeates through the calmness and deep fears raise their ugly heads. I’ve even stepped away from the blog, from checking other blogs, and leaned on Leunig for some support.

Leunig

Michael Leunig

Michael Leunig

M Leunig M Leunig lifeache

And then, I picked up my trusty Haindl and asked for advice on what I need to do in order to be happy and content. I guess I just wanted to see what the cards had to say, versus reading a book on buddhism or doing a yoga practice…

So, the cards I drew said to me: adopt a more carefree attitude and don’t take yourself too seriously (The Fool), keep an optimistic and positive frame of mind (The Sun – and maybe some more sun and vitamin D wouldn’t hurt). Then Osiris was rather interesting. Here are some of the quotes from Rachel Pollock’s book on this deck that resonated with me:

As a ruler, Osiris taught agriculture to humanity… In readings Osiris symbolizes someone gentle yet persuasive. He is highly intelligent and may be an initiate into esoteric mysteries, or at least someone with a strong interest in esoteric matters. ” I guess I have a love for organic gardening (in a way, agriculture) and the “occult”, so the advice on what to do is to follow these, though I think specifically my studies in tarot and astrology which have languished over the last few months. I shall keep this in mind.

Many blessings,
Monica

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DSCF5497

Above is a spread I did for my current job. I won’t go into the full details of what I received, but I thought I’d post this for anyone who may be interested. I suppose you can use it for your current business if you are self-employed as well.

I think when designing a spread like this, even though I may think I know what the rewards are, I find it useful to see what the cards say. In this instance I had to smile as I got the 3 of Pentacles in the “Rewards” place – simply being employed and gaining experience is a reward in itself, especially these days.

Here are the full questions in case the above photo is not clear enough. You can actually arrange these in any way you like or use the diagram above.

DSCF5499

I will be away from this blog for a couple of weeks as I am taking time off work to attend the Wintermoon Festival – hurrah! There will be amazing local artists and great food, beautiful people and a balmy, lush tropical setting. I’ll be working as a tarot reader, so have been busy compiling lists of everything I need and getting stuff sorted. Wish me luck!

Many blessings,
Monica

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I try to keep this blog inspirational. Not because I am a fan of all that is light and fluffy at the expense of owning one’s own shadow; nor am I a fan of superficiality, or some Eckhart Tolle neophyte. Well, I have read Eckhart actually and found his writings of great help, but that’s another story.

I mainly try to keep my blog on the beautiful side of life, because to me, life is beautiful, despite all the tragedy that besets us at one time or another. This does not mean that, in my personal life, I do not confront issues or aspects of my personality that are, more or less, unfavourable. As a tarot reader, I have to acknowledge and work with these aspects, the most persistent of which is anger. To be honest, there are times when it can correctly be called rage. Such times do not happen often, but when they do, can be devastating.

I know many people have to deal with this. I know the incidents in my life (childhood, adolescence, etc) that have accumulated over the years, and trigger an anger response in me. I also know the genealogical roots of anger and where I can trace them from in my family tree. There is a wealth of psychological knowledge and research out there that has explored our make-up in terms of what we actually inherit (and what we don’t) from our ancestry line, though, once this is obvious, it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. Not at all, in my case anyway, and one must be very careful in not playing the blame game, no matter how convenient that is.

I trust my own work with the tarot and know that, given a sacred and respectful setting, the cards answer my questions, no matter the topic. Finally, after a few months of thinking about where to start on this topic, I set aside some time and did a simple spread: two questions, 3 cards for each question:

1. What is the root cause of my anger?
2. What I need to do to heal/resolve my anger issues

Tarot Spread - dealing with anger

Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert

1) What is the root cause of my anger? Four of Cups, Strength, Nine of Earth

What struck me about this the most, is the first card. It’s as if the woman in it is looking at the past, absorbed in it – how true! Without exception, when the dark clouds of irritability and range appear, I have instant flashbacks to certain events and people. I am not talking about the sense of unfairness or exasperation one may feel when seeing or reading about current events and so on. I think any sane person with the bare minimum of emotional intelligence would have a reaction to say, mass shootings in primary schools or the brutal deforestation of rainforests. I am particularly talking about a spring of deep rage that swells up, most noticeably at certain times of the month, and engulfs everything. There is nothing rational about it. The volcano erupts, and the lava flows, unstoppable.

Gaian Tarot4 of Cups - Strength - 9 of Earth

Gaian Tarot
Four of Cups – Strength – Nine of Earth

The Strength card – the Strength to keep on going, no matter what. And in this instance, perhaps not the best option. How could Strength be a root cause of my anger? Easy. When one bottles things up – because sometimes that is the only way to survive, when one puts the face of Strength on and keeps going, because they may have no other option but to bury their feelings deep, deep down – such feelings sink into a pool of vitriol that poisons you, little by little, and eats you away.

The 9 of Earth puzzled me a little. I would say it’s about trying to stand on my own and not asking for a lot of help, not accepting a lot of help either. Not appearing to be vulnerable (ties in with the Strength card). I see the 9 of Earth as a card of self-sufficiency, a card of holding back certain desires in order to achieve security.

2. What I need to do to heal/resolve my anger issues

Gaian TarotThe World - Ace of Earth - Three of Swords

Gaian Tarot
The World – Ace of Earth – Three of Swords

I saw the World card and it filled me with so much hope. Not imaginary, but a real sense that this is something I can overcome and surpass. It’s not insurmountable, though certainly when I am in the midst of it, it certainly feels that way.

I read the Ace of Earth not just as a card of a new stage of growth and realisation in my life, but I looked at the image and felt tenderness: Be kind to yourself, this card said. Allow yourself to feel vulnerable – for Gaia holds you and protects you.

And the Three of Air spoke to me about the process of literally writing it all down, so I may heal. This in itself is a huge ask, because writing such things down makes me feel uncomfortable and – once again – exposed. The Three of Air (3 of Swords) is a card of deep sorrow and pain, but here, as concrete advice for me on what to do, rather than allowing myself to unconsciously wallow in it like the woman in the Four of Cups above, I am actively working through it.

I hope you all had a blessed Easter break. Many blessings,
Monica

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