Using tarot for dream interpretation

The other night I had an odd dream. Now, a lot of dreams are odd and strange and sometimes there is no meaning behind them – you’re just wondering through a surreal landscape and everything is bizarre to say the least.

Othertimes, however, the dream has a meaning. You may be dreaming of a traumatic experience as a means to process what has happened, or it could just be haunting you until you resolve the situation – say by acceptance, or forgiveness, healing work, etc. Or it could be that the dream has a symbolic nature, a message from your subconscious, and you need to figure out what it’s really all about.

Salvador Dali, ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening’

In cases where your dream is symbolic in nature, and you want to find out more about it, or you can’t even figure out where to start, tarot can be of great help.

Quite simply, you can draw just one card and ask any one of the following:
– What is this dream about?
– What is the meaning of this dream?
– What aspect of myself shows up in this dream?

etc etc. Really, it’s up to you – and also if you don’t think one card is enough, then draw 3 cards for your question, or alternatively, create a custom spread as I did further below.

So back to my odd dream. It goes something like this:

I am walking down the street, and someone starts shooting at me from an upper story window. I don’t recall anyone else being in my dream, other than me and the shooter. However, I cannot see who the shooter is. When I look up, I can see the window, it is open, it is dark inside the room, and I know someone is there, shooting at me. I dodge the bullets, and that’s as far as I got.

To find out a little bit more about this dream, I did a simple four card spread as follows:

  1. Who was the shooter?
  2. Why was he/she shooting at me?
  3. What was this dream about?
  4. What is the overall meaning of this dream?

This is the answer I received using the Sharman-Caselli deck:

Sharman-Caselli tarot deck
Sharman-Caselli tarot deck


1) Who was the shooter?

Queen of Pentacles
Sharman-Caselli tarot

Queen of Pentacles – someone with the qualities of this card, which has the element of Earth – thus someone fairly grounded, pragmatic, business savvy, financially secure; this does not necessarily mean a woman, for it could be a man with the qualities described above. It definitely indicates someone I know. Could this be me (as in, self-sabotage) – I don’t think so, as I relate with the Queen of Wands as an archetype.




2) Why was he/she shooting at me?

Knight of Swords
Sharman-Caselli tarot

Knight of Swords – clearly, this is a card of attack. This is the most volatile of all the Knights in tarot, and there’s no stopping him. This person was definitely angry at me and wanted me out.





3) What was this dream about?

The Tower Sharman-Caselli tarot
The Tower
Sharman-Caselli tarot

The Tower – whoa, ok so this is one card that depicts fairly well what it would feel like to have such an experience – the whole scene is unsettling, sudden and abrupt. Here we have two people falling out of their man-made tower – so it’s about the disintegration of a relationship/friendship, about breaking apart (at least, that’s how it feels to me).





4) What is the overall meaning of this dream?

5 of Swords
Sharman-Caselli tarot

5 of Swords – traditionally known as the card of ‘defeat’. I feel in this instance it is more than just that. It’s about someone having the upper hand, the vantage point (the shooter) and using this to try and undermine me. It is also a card where one person has won, but they have done so at any cost, often sacrificing their integrity in the process. This is a card of conflict, where the outcome is less than favourable – for all involved, even though one person looks like they are the winner, in reality it is a shallow victory that does not bring any satisfaction or rewards long-term.
The last card under the deck was the 8 of Swords, which supports the

Sharman-Caselli tarot

energy of the dream in which I had something happen to me, over which I had no control, and the only thing I could do is to run and seek shelter. The 8 of Swords appears in readings where things are happening to you that you cannot really control, and often you are limited (bound) by circumstances beyond your control.


Dancing with the Devil : Part 1


New Mythic Tarot
New Mythic Tarot

Ouch. The Devil has started to make an appearance, and I am not ready. I am not prepared for this, but he’s here, for the Devil is my birthday year card* for approximately the next 12 months.

*The birthday year card is obtained by adding up your birth day, month and the current year of your birthday, and reducing this down to a number between 0 and 21, corresponding to the Major Arcana. So if your birthday is say, 17 November 1950, your current birthday year card would be 1+7+1+1+2+0+1+5 = 18 = The Moon. This would apply from 17 November 2015 through to 16 November 2016, however I have read, and also found from personal experience, that the energy of this card can be felt a couple of months beforehand.

Along with Death, this is (unfortunately) one misunderstood and feared card – and I have to admit, despite all that I know about the Devil, I am yet to fully explore and be comfortable with this energy. So I decided to do a series of posts on this card, partly to share my experiences, partly for fun (which the Devil certainly likes), and partly to expand my own knowledge on this card.

To start with, I have done Rachel Pollack’s Devil Reading from her wonderful and substantial book, Tarot Wisdom.

Devil spread
Excerpt from Tarot Wisdom by Rachel Pollack

Using the MAAT tarot, I shuffled, cut, and proceeded:

. What have I lost? Queen of Cups

Queen of Cups from the MAAT Tarot by Julie Cuccia-Watts
Queen of Cups from the MAAT Tarot by Julie Cuccia-Watts

This Queen has a softer, gentler energy to her. She is actually a favourite of mine in this deck, largely due to the warm background and the overall calm energy I get from this card. This is the first time that I have noticed she appears to be holding onto her stomach the way pregnant women often do – and I regret not getting the book that accompanies this deck to check whether this is the case.

To be honest, when I saw this, my first gut reaction was that this is a part of myself that I have lost – in particular, before I became a mother. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, and while I am still, essentially me, at the same time, I am no longer who I was a year ago, or even 5 months ago.

2. What blocks me from returning? Ace of Swords

Ace of Swords MAAT Tarot
Ace of Swords
MAAT Tarot

The Ace of Swords: a new state of mind, a new beginning. There is something so finite and decisive about this Ace – the immovable, inflexible steel; the sharp edges. In any case, the blockage appears mental ( swords) rather than physical or emotional.

Even if I tried, I could not go back to the person I was before – mind-wise, body-wise, emotionally-wise.




3. What illusory chains hold me? The Sun

This is one of the most striking and alternative depictions of the Sun card that I have seen – the

The Sun  MAAT Tarot
The Sun
MAAT Tarot

moment of creation, both on a purely biological level, and yet simultaneously, on a magical level. Sure, science can explain it all ad infinitum, but really, trying to grasp the magnificence of the miracle taking place is at times beyond my human brain.

When I saw this card, I thought of both unity and separation. Now this, as I will write about later, is one of the core aspects of the Devil meaning, and this card reminds me that I can get caught up in such illusions as much as anyone else, and it takes sustained effort (via meditation, yoga, gardening, nature walks and anything that connects me to the greater whole) to not allow such illusions to permeate my life fully.

There is still another answer in this card – that of competition. The idea that we are all against each other and life is nothing but struggle is something that was imprinted on me from childhood. It is a false idea stemming from deeply rooted fears, unfortunately far too prevalent these days. Thankfully, I have learned this is not the case, but having this card come up reminds me of the insidious nature of such fears, and the possibility that they are still present within me. As the question states though, they are illusory, and there is no need to give them any weight or time. Competition surely has its place in this world, in a way that is healthy, rather than destructive and manipulative.

4. What reality holds me? Strength

Nice. In this deck, I see this card not just about personal strength, but also

Strength MAAT Tarot

about the ability to weave magic into my life. For magic – creating, playing, drawing down this energy – is as real to me as the sky, the stars, the earth.

I see that the creator has assigned this card the Full Moon Cycle of Gemini – interestingly, I was born on a Full Moon in Gemini, so there you go.




5. How can I free myself? The Fool

I love how Tarot can be so literal sometimes. For the Fool, first and

The Fool
The Fool – MAAT Tarot

foremost, is about freedom – the freedom to pursue one’s goals, instincts, intuitions and visions. It is also about not taking oneself too seriously, of course.
There is something else going on with this card, too: the man here looks to be involved in some form of shamanic work or ritual. Naturally, this is a path that I am drawn to and there is no denying it.

…also, can I say, love those horns on his head he he ;)

6. What will happen? Princess of Coins

Princess of Pentacles
MAAT Tarot

Oh my, how I love her. I love her bare feet. I love that wise smile. I love her white hair, the rich, fertile gardens surrounding her, the fruits of her labour, the simple, earthy energy of it all.

What’s that she’s holding in her hand? An apple half, showing the 5 point formation that apple seeds form inside – the shape of the pentagram. Now as I’ll explore in further posts, the pentagram was attributed to the Devil…

How interesting. This woman here has some secrets to tell, I think. I also think that those secrets are not really secrets at all – they are the timeless wisdom of being connected to the earth and nature, and the health and well-being that comes from doing so.

What I also find fascinating is that the Queen of Cups, which is a mature energy in a Tarot deck, is portrayed by a younger looking woman (and recall from above, this is what I have lost), while the Princess of Coins above, which is a younger energy in the traditional Tarot, is painted as an older and wiser woman in this deck. Fascinating.

I feel like this spread has so many answers and riddles in equal parts, and will be digesting this one for a while.

Until next time,



Relationship Tarot Reading : Case Study

A young woman sees me for a tarot reading. Her question is about her current relationship.

Being a reading about a love relationship, I choose the excellent and topical Victorian Romantic tarot. I shuffle the deck, except this time I spread the cards, face down, in front of her. I ask her to pick three cards, and leave them face down. Once she has done this, I turn the cards over, and this is what comes up:

Victorian Romantic Tarot from Baba Studio

And in one instant swoop, I know this will be a difficult reading. Anyone familiar with the cards can tell this from the combo above. I proceed with care.

I see the first card, the King of Cups, as describing her current partner. I describe the qualities of the King of Cups to her, although I don’t elaborate on the visual description of this card, since it shows a King enjoying a drink and I don’t see this as relevant in this instance.

Next, I move on to the Wheel of Fortune. Now this is a great example where this card does not bring fortune or great benefic changes – precisely because it is followed by the 3 of Swords which I will discuss shortly. Again, I keep to the core meaning of this card, which is that of a great change. One way or another, the relationship will face such a great change.

And then there is the 3 of Swords: in tarot, this is the card of heartbreak and pain. In this particular version of the card, we see a young woman in distress, possibly crying, while a man rides off in the background. I try to be as gentle as possible in describing this card and what it means, and my young querent has tears rolling down her face. To try and tell her that she is young and has many years ahead of her to find another love, is to downplay the power and genuine feelings of first love, and dismiss my client’s sorrow: this I won’t do.

When I finish, she tells me that her current boyfriend is looking to move with his family, as one of his parents recently obtained a job in a different part of the country (and Australia being as vast as it is, this is no small move – in essence it spells the end of the relationship). This, to me, is that Wheel of Fortune card at play. Because my querent is so young, making the move herself is not an option. So her boyfriend will move, and she will feel the pain of loss acutely – this is the 3 of Swords above.

While this was not an easy reading, and it was not a happy reading, I see it as a good reading: what I mean by that is, it is a very simple reading with 3 cards, that delivers the message so well and clearly. There is no guess work here, though such readings always challenge me as a reader to be compassionate and to carefully describe the cards with gentleness.

Until next time,

Tarot reader myths

Today’s post is brought to you by a delectable cup of tea (or three), served in vintage Crown Lynn and savoured as close to nature as I can get. I find the view from the back veranda most soothing (though the IBC tanks in the foreground will soon hopefully find a new home as aquaponics tanks).

For Crown Lynn lovers: teacup and saucer: Earthstone collection; teapot and plate: Peter Gibbs (circa 1967 I think)

I love the reflection of the trees in the tea, it brings about a romantic touch and makes me prone to daydream… but I digress.

I decided to list my top tarot reader myths (which I find rather irritating to say the least), simply because it beats talking in my head at 3am in the morning. Here we go, in no particular order:

You must be given your first deck
Nonsense. I bought my first deck. And the second. And the third… etc etc. Sure, it is always fantastic when you are given a deck, and I have received a few treasures as gifts from friends in this way, but it is no way mandatory that you must be given any deck in order to read with it.

Tarot reading is a gift that is passed down from generation to generation
And always from your mother’s side. Yeah, right. Utter nonsense. Again, it is great if you have such role models in your family, somewhere along the genealogical tree. But is it a prerequisite? Absolutely not.

Oh wow, you are Romanian, are you a gypsy?
What do you even mean by that?!! In my experience, I’ve found whenever western people use the word gypsy, they do so with a look of old world romanticism and wishful thinking. It conjures up quaint little wagons, a nomadic lifestyle in tune with the rhythms of nature, and a good dose of escapism from whatever problems reality imposes on them. Sure, I love the notion of travelling like a nomad in a tiny house – in fact, for someone who lives in a rather big solid home, I have developed a strong affinity for tiny homes and the like.

What I think they really mean when they ask that, however, is whether I am a gypsy by blood, although most of them display common cultural illiteracy by associating Romanians with gypsies, which came to Eastern Europe from India many, many moons ago. As far as I know, no, I am not, though I wouldn’t care either way and it wouldn’t matter an iota for my tarot readings whether I was one or not. It would simply tick someone’s preconceived notion of what a Tarot reader should be. Ugh.

To read Tarot you must be soooo spiritual
Yawn. Again, what do you even mean by that? Because as far as I’ve learned, dealing with the material world is equally important as delving into the spiritual one. In fact it is imperative that one has a good grip on the material realities of life when dipping one’s toes in spiritual waters. I’ve met so many people who are indeed well in tune with the spiritual dimension of life, yet are unable to keep any job for long, or pay the bills, sustain healthy relationships, nourish the body and so on. Granted, most of us, including myself, have had to struggle with one or more of these challenges at one time or another, but overall, as time goes by, one matures and learns a few lessons on the way, including mastery over such matters to the best of one’s ability.

Just because I read Tarot does not mean I spend my days in seclusion meditating upon the cards, or my nights worshipping the Moon. Truth be told, most of my time is spent looking after a 3 month old, cooking, baking, washing, folding nappies, and some gardening in between. The precious “me” time I now have is reserved for my astrology course, the occasional blog post and, one or two evenings a month, to tarot work. It would be great if I could spend 50% of my time devoted exclusively to my Tarot pursuits, but at present it’s just not feasible. Plus, I’d rather be sleeping ;)

So no, I don’t think I am any more “spiritual”, just like I don’t think I am any more “material” than most folks out there. I believe everyone has the ability to tap into and exercise their spiritual awareness, and it is not an exclusive club where some people with personal issues get to feel more superior over others.

Tarot is very spiritual because it comes from ancient Egypt
or Atlantis. Or whatever New Age fluff is your flavour of the month.Gaaaaaa!!!! Get yourself to a Tarot history lesson!

The only reason the whole Egypt reference came about was due to a French fellow who gave the cards and their symbols the Egyptian link – a great article on the matter can be found here, though I quote the relevant extract:

By the mid-18th century, the mystical applications for cards had spread from Italy to other parts of Europe. In France, writer Antoine Court de Gébelin asserted that the tarot was based on a holy book written by Egyptian priests and brought to Europe by Gypsies from Africa. In reality, tarot cards predated the presence of Gypsies in Europe, who actually came from Asia rather than Africa. Regardless of its inaccuracies, Court de Gébelin’s nine-volume history of the world was highly influential.

Teacher and publisher Jean-Baptiste Alliette wrote his first book on the tarot in 1791, called “Etteilla, ou L’art de lire dans les cartes,” meaning “Etteilla, or the Art of Reading Cards.” (Alliette created this mystical pseudonym “Etteilla” simply by reversing his surname.) According to Etteilla’s writings, he first learned divination with a deck of 32 cards designed for a game called Piquet, along with the addition of his special Etteilla card. This type of card is known as the significator and typically stands in for the individual having their fortune read.

Etteilla eventually switched to using a traditional tarot deck, which he claimed held secret wisdom passed down from ancient Egypt. Etteilla’s premise echoed the writings of Court de Gébelin, who allegedly recognized Egyptian symbols in tarot-card illustrations. Though hieroglyphics had not yet been deciphered (the Rosetta Stone was rediscovered in 1799), many European intellectuals in the late 18th century believed the religion and writings of ancient Egypt held major insights into human existence. By linking tarot imagery to Egyptian mysticism, they gave the cards greater credibility.

Building on Court de Gébelin’s Egyptian connection, Etteilla claimed that tarot cards originated with the legendary Book of Thoth, which supposedly belonged to the Egyptian god of wisdom. According to Etteilla, the book was engraved by Thoth’s priests into gold plates, providing the imagery for the first tarot deck. Drawing on these theories, Etteilla published his own deck in 1789—one of the first designed explicitly as a divination tool and eventually referred to as the Egyptian tarot.

Plus, the earliest recorded Tarot cards we have are from Italy, circa 1450, and they were used for playing card games.

You can read what I’m thinking, can’t you?
No, I cannot, nor do I wish to. If I could truly read people’s minds, I’d end up in a mental asylum. Sure, I intuit what a person is about fairly well if I need to, but I truly do not read anyone’s mind. I’ve got enough on my plate dealing with my own mind, thank you very much, and let me tell you, it’s a good thing I discovered yoga and breathing techniques.

DSCF8786Phew. I think that’s about it for now.

I shuffled the Alchemical Tarot and asked for a card on these tarot myths. I drew the 8 of Swords.


Shackled by the boundaries and fears of our own minds, is how I read this card. Our most powerful limitations are often driven by our mind – superstitions, fears and desires alike.

Until next time,

Trusting the cards, trusting yourself – Part 3 (also titled: do not fear the 10 of Swords)

Part 1 can be read here. Part 2, here.

It was early 2009 or thereabouts.

I was in the midst of a rather painful and unsettling time. It was so raw and cutting in fact that I remember considering either running away to India (an ashram looked particularly appealing at the time), or getting a caravan and moving in the middle of nowhere. The location ultimately did not matter: I was so broken up that I realised I could not remain in my current flat, or take up a full job, or even deal with people.

I simply needed to be alone and have the time to lick my wounds. I needed time and space to heal, and being in the midst of a busy city was no place for that.

I also needed some sage advice. This came from my psychologist, who put it very well: “No matter where you go, Monica, you’ll take yourself with you.”And with that, I realised I didn’t need to do something as drastic as move continents, but I still could not handle staying where I was or trying to get back to “normal”, whatever that meant.

As it happens I came across a small “bush hut” for rent. It was nestled among tress and Nikau palms on Auckland’s lush west coast. It was only a couple of minutes drive up to the local village, so I was not exactly a hermit’s cave, but still, it was very secluded.

The bush hut: solitude and serenity
The bush hut: solitude and serenity

At the time, the Tarot was a strong guiding force in my life – as it continues to be to this day and beyond. I decided to draw a card to check whether this was a right move for me. The main problem being, the realisation that I’d be alone, in a forest, at night… you know, those kind of fears. I mean, I wasn’t well enough to be dealing with people and life in general, so was it a wise move to be someplace that forced me to deal with my own issues and fears?

Universal Rider Waite Smith Tarot
Universal Rider Waite Smith Tarot

I shuffled the Rider Waite, cut the deck into three piles and turned over the top card from the middle pile: 10 of Swords. Ouch. In part, this card showed exactly how I felt at the time. And as an answer card to my question of moving to the bush hut, it was not exactly a yes.

I checked the card underneath the deck: the Star.

To me, the card underneath the deck adds an extra layer to the answer. Sometimes, it is just as important as the card drawn. This is the answer as I interpreted it: moving to the hut will be a really painful experience; it will facilitate the process of ending one stage of my life, and that in itself would be a difficult transition (10 of Swords). Equally, it will also be a time of healing; a time to take care of myself and process whatever I needed to; and a time to draw on the universal energy of wellness and to become whole again (the Star).

Next, I did something all tarot readers and teachers advise not to do, yet most (if not all?!!) have, at one time or another, tried: I decided to try again one more time. Just in case, you know, I got a really good card after all…

So I give the deck a good shuffle. I cut the deck into three piles. And I turn over the card from the middle pile: 10 of Swords. I look at the card underneath the deck, and it is the Star.

I will always remember this moment, because I instantly got goosebumps, and simultaneously I felt time stand still. The common advice for sticking to the original cards received in a reading, no matter how unpleasant, is to avoid the confusion that can arise when re-doing the same reading and receiving different cards. I may also add to this, consider what would happen when you receive the same card despite shuffling well a deck of 78 cards, not to mention having the exact card underneath the deck come up as well. A part of you will try to comprehend what has just happened, but alas, the mind is no match for the wonderment of magic. You’ll simply be awe-struck.

The view from my bed at the time. I would wake up with birdsong and the gentle swaying of trees.
The view from my bed at the time. I would wake up with birdsong and the gentle swaying of trees.

In the end, I chose to move. It was, as the 10 of Swords showed, a deeply, deeply painful time – in part because a part of my life – essentially who I had been up to that point – had to end; it truly had to end, and I knew there was no turning back, and I had to let go, and that was excruciating at times. But I also got the chance to face some fears, some past hurts, to start the journey towards healing (for that was just the start of it) – in essence the Star was also there.

The path to the hut, covered in beach shells
The path to the hut, covered in beach shells

I remember finishing my yoga course at night and having to walk through the bush in the middle of the night – this was at times terrifying, and other times magical. I felt, for the first time, the effect of the Moon: on a Full Moon, the path to my hut would be lit up and easy to see, while on a New Moon, it was pitch black. Primordial fears would surface up whenever I had to walk through on a dark night, hearing the critters and the rats moving around.

Yet at the same time, it was so, so deeply healing. The Star, alongside Temperance, is one of the great cards that signal healing, although it is much more than that. I got to live surrounded by nature and birdsong and that in itself was an incredible soothing experience.

The kitchen window
The kitchen window














I was there for almost 9 months, a perfect cocoon of transformational gestation. So I guess in the end, I experienced the 10 of Swords in its full meaning, and part of that meaning was the much-needed ending of a cycle. Which of course, when it was done, heralded the beginning of a new one – but that’s a story for another time.

Many blessings,





Deck Review: The Housewives Tarot


I’ll be straightforward: this is a brilliant, well executed deck. It is fantastic for pragmatic questions, topics on mundane affairs, and concerns dealing with the tangible, material world – yet it is far from being a dry, uninspiring deck. In fact the only thing dry when working with this deck is the martini you’ll be savouring as you shuffle the cards from the immaculately clean kitchen table :)

DSCF8672Let’s start with the package: a well made, sturdy box that serves as a filing cabinet, with tabs for the Major Arcana, Minor Arcana, and the instruction book: a perfect start towards domestic orderliness.

The deck is a collage of retro images from 1950s Americana, complete with vintage cars, domestic bliss (or nightmare!), DSCF8674scotch on the rocks, a plethora of martinis, the start of suburbia and kitchen appliances, and let’s not forget the politically incorrect (that Justice card, in particular…) Strictly speaking, I am not a fan of retro vintage art, however I love the creators’ clever use of words, colour and decor that bring the message across with ease.

The design is based on the Rider Waite tradition, and, for the most part, keeps well in line with the Rider Waite interpretations.

EPSON MFP imageThe suit of Swords features sharp utensils that can be equally used to cut a cake or to backstab: knives, skewers, pins and scissors are the favoured tools here.


The suit of Wands is all about cleaning – now I don’t know about you folks out there, but this is a brilliant choice. As a fire sign myself, and knowing quite a few other fire signs too, I can attest to our love-hate relationship with keeping the house clean. Most of us end up hiring a cleaner at one point or another, since there’s just too much going on out there in life, than sweeping floors and wiping windows. Sure, I want a spotless home to come to, but in reality I am faced more with a 10 of Wands scenario at the end of the month, rather than that admirable 6 of Wands above.

EPSON MFP imageThe suit of Cups can be summed up in one word: Martini! It’s great to have a deck where there is no room for ambiguity or grey messages in a card. In the Four of Cups above, the woman is leaning away from what she is being offered: a full glass is being handed to her, while 3 empty ones sit in front of her. This is a great visual interpretation of not taking an opportunity when offered, which is something most people do at one time or another. Unless, of course, she’s an alcoholic – and then of course it is a wise choice ;)

EPSON MFP imageThe suit of Pentacles features mostly plates or dishes – in the Nine of Pentacles above we have, what must have seemed at the time, the ultimate in kitchen fulfilment: the invention of the dishwasher.


The Major Arcana is equally ingenious and quirky – in the Temperance card we find “a delicious and healthy combination of opposite sides of the spectrum – a heaping helping of compromise or cooperation in marriage, relationships, or partnerships. Spoon this mixture into every aspect of your life“, the little book sagely guides.


In Judgment we find a literal interpretation – still a common experience in many women all these decades later, the constant inner and outer judgements of how we look, how much we weigh, etc etc. It gives an immediate visual visceral punch: no matter the circumstance, the message is simple: you are not good enough.

Throughout the deck we find a liberal encouragement of cake making, martini drinking merriment. Heck, the devilish little package even comes with a few inviting recipes, such as “Madame Marlena’s Mystical Martini”, to go with their Martini spread, because, as the little book explains, having a dry martini will “enhance the effect of a reading.” Well if you say so, who am I to argue? I also need to point out the little book is excellent and the messages contained fit the cards well. This is no generic little white book, and the creators have done a brilliant job of succinctly getting the message across without getting too fluffy about it.

TowerMy favourite card? It would have to be the Tower: just check out how happy our lovely protagonist is! For she’s breaking from convention, she’s breaking from the known and comfortable and secure, she’s breaking the mold. What a brilliant Tower moment – for anyone who is afraid of it, for anyone who fears that limitless unknown, this is the card to see every time you wake up and face another day in the mundane mediocrity of conformity: break free, be yourself, and be joyous.

To conclude, this deck, my dear reader, is certainly worth your moolah: at worst, you’ll enjoy a few martinis and give the bathroom a good scrubbing. At best? You’ll get a deep, sensuous satisfaction of the simple life: a home in order, a garden well maintained, a wardrobe meticulously put together, a pantry well stocked, a decent martini at the end of a well lived day – even if it may all very well just be a vicarious experience and not in the least related to the actual state of your ramshackle, chaotic and messy life.

Many domestic blessings to all,

Wild Gods and Stars

“Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.”

So begins Tom Hiron‘s darkly rich and sublimely satisfying poem.

I stumbled across his poem a couple of years ago, and promptly printed a copy to go in my cookbook. I pasted it next to the beef, mushroom and red wine recipe – I decided a long time ago that good poetry and good food make excellent bedfellows.


So I was elated to find the poem has been published and a hard copy – small and potent little pearl of beauty – promptly found its way to my kitchen table. I received it today, and somehow, in a fit of intuitive impulse, decided it goes wonderfully well with the Wooden Tarot by Andy Swartz. My opportunities for tarot play have morphed into quick shuffles in between nappy changes, feeding, and entertaining my bundle of joy (and I mean that very literally – the little man laughs in his sleep, every time he sleeps; I’m talking full on giggles…). This is good: there is not much time for thinking long and drawn out conversations in my head. It’s all very natural: this poem goes with this deck, regardless of whether any of it makes any sense and who cares anyway.

So there I was about an hour ago, experiencing the tactile enjoyment one savours from the printed book and thinking to myself, Who is the wild god?

And I shuffled the Wooden Tarot asking the question, and out falls the Star.

Now I am not a fan of taking cards that fall out as gospel. I know readers who swear by this method – as one shuffles the deck, inevitably one or more cards fall out. I don’t ignore them either – I know there’s a message in there, but I prefer to shuffle and cut my deck, choosing cards from the middle pile. It’s my solid, trusted and comfortable method.

So anyhow, I see the Star and think well that doesn’t make much sense, I mean, shouldn’t it be the Devil or something like it (see how the mind always churns; this is why I took up yoga, folks, to try and still the never ending conversation). I place the card back, shuffle some more, cut the deck, and pick the top card from the middle pile.


Of course it was the Star.

Tarot does that to me sometimes. Every time I experience one of these moments, I feel like divine grace is there, gently reminding me to trust and have faith.

I suppose they are also qualities one needs to meet their wild god – sooner or later he (or she) will turn up. Again.

Many blessings,