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It is May 2013 and I am reading tarot at a local festival. It is hot. The sun beams down on the awning shade cloth above me, and the cosy tarot nook I carefully set up starts to heat up like a sauna.

A woman of middle age comes in for a reading. She sits down and I can tell she is slightly nervous, or worried rather, though she doesn’t make a fuss about it. I do a general spread first, which I usually start off with, and go through the cards. Being general in nature, my answers mirror this. At the end, I ask her if there is anything specific she would like answered. She replies yes, and asks about having children.

Ace of Pentacles and Page of Pentacles: a positive result for conception and pregnancy

Ace of Pentacles and Page of Pentacles: a positive result for conception and pregnancy

I remember drawing 3 cards using my Rider Waite Smith deck, and they strongly indicated a yes. I explained what I saw, although at this stage my mind had its doubts. These primarily focused around the woman’s age, which although I did not know, I guessed around early to mid forties.

Now I am well aware of the advances in modern medicine concerning pregnancy and so on. Still, my mind had its doubts.

The woman then proceeds to tell me that she has had a number of IVF treatments, which resulted in pregnancies, however none were successful. I think it was around 3 or 4. She then told me this was the last round of IVF she was prepared to go through, due to its emotional and physical toll.

This only served to increase my doubts about giving her such a positive answer. You might think that as a tarot reader, I never have such doubts, or at least I never should have. That is wrong. I am not God. I live in a world where for most of my early years I was exclusively taught to rely on my mental faculties. You know, worship of the IQ and all that. It was only in late twenties that I truly opened up to the other realms of intuition, gut instinct, etc. After swinging the pendulum from one side (mental) to the other (intuitive), I am now finding a balance between the two.

So in a reading like this, I have the cards telling me loud and clear one message, while in the corner of my mind there’s a few other thoughts going on: she’s too old, she’s had IVFs and pregnancies that did not succeed, etc etc. This was a particularly charged situation: someone who is nearly at the end of their patience, endurance, and hope, on a matter that, to most women, is as vital as the blood flowing through our veins. You can forget all about women’s role in life via a career, or running a business, or political leader, or scientist: try telling someone who wants to have children more than anything else in the world, and cannot, that being a mother is not the only thing there is to life. Let me know how it goes…

I know I have to trust the cards. I reinforce what I see, and explain the cards to her in detail. As she gets up to leave, I say, “well, you may have a son”. I don’t know why I said that, it just came to me. And then she leaves, and I am left thinking about the reading as the sweat beads drip down my back, and I know I shouldn’t think about it for now it is done, but it stays with me.

I actually saw two more women that day with the exact same question, though they were younger. It seems to be a very common question, and I understand the pain and hunger that sometimes accompanies it.

It is May of 2014. Same festival, same heat. I am almost done reading for the day, and looking forward to a cool soak in the crystal river that graces the festival fringe. I am just about to leave the stall, when a woman rushes towards me with a pram.

“Remember me?”

Initially I didn’t. And then I did. She was beaming, and in that radiant glow introduced me to her baby son.

That experience really shook me. Again, there are those who will say it shouldn’t – but it did. Experiences like this mean a tremendous amount to a tarot reader. Not because of some ego drive, not because of some power trip, or anything like that. On the contrary, as I soaked in the river afterwards, and looked at the blue skies and the hills and the trees and all the goodness of this Earth, I actually felt really, really humbled. I was also happy, very happy of course. Her radiance diffused all around me.

I guess I am writing this in part for myself, for those moments when I doubt what I do and why I do it. But I also write this for anyone who has doubts and questions what they see. It’s a natural part of being human, but if your intent is good and honourable, the cards will not lie.

Wishing everyone a blessed week ahead,
Monica

 

 

 

 

A Happy New Year to everyone, may this year bring blessings and fruition of dreams to all.

It’s been a good break to think about what I would like to do over the coming year, which promises to be epic and filled to the brim with personal immersion into tarot and astrology – as if that wasn’t already the case! However, I have formalised my vision firstly by enrolling in a Kepler College course, Introduction to Astrological Symbolism and Practice. While some of the material may be familiar to me, I am aiming for a solid foundation building up to their Diploma, which will take a few years to complete.

Secondly, I am very excited to have enrolled in the Dark Goddess Lodge six-year exploration of the Goddess with the tarot deck by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. I would highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in the Goddess, tarot, and spiritual studies, which will take place at each New and Full Moon for the coming six years – granted, that’s a long time, yet I already honour these cycles every month of every year.

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For the coming Full Moon in Cancer, I did the first spread offered by the Dark Goddess Lodge using the MAAT Tarot by Julia Cuccia-Watts. It was a spread based on the first Goddess to be studies, La Santa Muerte (Death), shown above. I won’t post the spread details here, suffice to say it reaffirmed it is well worthwhile to take part in this monthly mediation and celebration of the Goddess.

So it looks like I’ll be fairly busy in the first half of the year, in a good way. I’m also part way through cleaning and painting my tarot room. Being a natural hermit, having a room of my own dedicated to my tarot and astrology work is paramount, and I’ve missed not having this (I’m sure other readers can relate!). Currently I have a table and study nook set up in our bedroom, and while, the room itself is very large and spacious, nothing beats having personal space. Once it’s all done, I’ll post some photos up in a couple of weeks.

Until then, I wish everyone a beautiful and enthusiastic start of the year :)
Many blessings,
Monica

Thunder and lightning

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Above is a photo taken about a week ago, giving you some idea of just how dry it has been.

The grass is crunchy.

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After months of no rain, you start to really ache for some rain drops. You see the grass turning brown, and even the weeds dry up, and you start daydreaming about rainy days.

The flowers of a native tree, whose name I really do know, yet it's eluding me today...

The flowers of a native tree, whose name I really do know, yet it’s eluding me today…

And then finally, last night, the skies opened up. I think Zeus was right above us, for the lightning and thunder were relentless. Every few seconds the skies lit up, and the thunder kept rolling endlessly. It was quite the experience, I tell you – and it went on for what seemed like hours, though I couldn’t tell for sure since we fell asleep at some point, despite all the apocalyptic backdrop.

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So this morning’s first cards somewhat reminded me of rains and water, and lots of it – the Ace of Cups and the 2 of Cups. These are from the fairly new 78 Tarot, “a global art collaboration” of 78 different artists.

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I love collaborative decks, even though I don’t use them for public readings, but I just like the different styles of art and fresh ideas.

These three cards welcome a great day in my opinion, even though the rain has now subsided and the sun is out again.

Wishing everyone a splendid weekend,
Monica

Student’s Tarot Spread

Here is a simple spread for anyone contemplating a course or a degree or vocational undertaking.

Of course, one doesn’t need Tarot to let them know whether doing a degree in the Arts, or an apprenticeship in woodworking, is the right path for them – most people have some inkling, or desire, of their chosen interests – proving the freedom to choose is there, naturally.

Still, it is good to get the Tarot opinion, I feel. Especially given the plethora of courses nowadays, from astrology, to herbal medicine, baking, glass work, psychology and so on.

I haven’t done a spread for myself since I won’t be embarking on a study anytime soon, but hope this is of interest to other Tarot enthusiasts out there (if you click on the picture you’ll see a larger size). Enjoy!

Student's tarot spread 2

Blessings,
Monica

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

 

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