Natural magic journeys : Ondines

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Witch of Water (from the Dark Goddess Tarot) on my altar

For the last few years, I have cautiously, yet certainly, started to tread upon the path of magic. I think for all purposes, I have been doing this ever since I acquired my first tarot deck back in 2008 or thereabouts. However, in recent years, my book collection has increasingly shifted towards natural magic authors, practices and methods.

To be specific, my interest lies solely with natural magic. Someone asked me recently, what I mean by this (natural magic). For me, natural magic is the magic of nature, of trees, of the earth, of rivers and lakes, the magic of stones, birds and sky. Natural magic is the magic practiced by those who connect with nature, whose spirituality lies rooted in the sacredness of all life. Natural magic is magic that can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, it is the magic of common people, of folk peasants, of wise women and men.

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The energy of a natural, untouched and wild nature is incredibly healing for the human body, mind, heart and soul

To me personally, there is a clear distinction between natural magic and ceremonial magic. I find ceremonial magic far too convoluted, and I care not for complex phrases, distinguished robes or following a particular order when reciting a spell.

Deciding to “officially” start my journey into natural magic, I have begun by exploring one of the four main elements that a magician makes use of. The four elements are fire, air, water and earth. To be a well-rounded magician, one needs to understand and incorporate these elements in equal measure throughout their work.

“Although all four elements (in the form of physical objects) should be used in every magical operation so that you can raise as much power as possible, in actual practice one element is usually emphasized over the others, depending on the goal and the element to which it belongs.” Nancy Watson

I started with water, though I now realise this is a particularly difficult element for me to explore for various reasons I won’t go into detail here.
Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 12.12.53 pmBefore I go on, I should make a note that I have based my work on Nancy Watson’s brilliant book, Practical Solitary Magic. I have found this a great reference for the beginner, though I am sure it is by no means the only one.

Each element has a spirit, or elemental, associated with it. The water elementals are called ondines.

Elementals are little creatures which animate the four elements. You cannot ordinarily see, hear, feel, taste or touch them, but this doesn’t mean they don’t exist.” Nancy Watson

So, in order to delve deeper into the water element, I thought it would be a good idea to try and connect with the water elementals, or ondines. One way to do this is to find a body of water, such as a creek, river, lake or the sea, and express your intentions out loud to the water spirits, followed by the offering of a gift.

The sequence I followed prior to setting out on this journey is as follows:

  • Decide on the intent of the journey (so for me, this was to connect with the water elementals)
  • Choose a place to do this (in my case, the local waterfall)
  • Choose a time to do this; for me this involved three considerations: first, I needed to be well rested; secondly, it must be early morning in order to avoid the tourists and any other people that I find disturb my focus; and thirdly, the moon phase must be in a Water sign
  • Pack the tools you need: tarot cards, crystals, and a gift for the ondines in my case
  • Choose correct clothing – I live in tropical Queensland, so long pants and long sleeves were mandatory to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes; I do not use chemical mozzie repellants as they are far too toxic
  • Any other considerations you may need to make depending on your goal and place
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The local waterfall on the morning of my visit 

On a Scorpio Moon, early in the morning, I set off to the local waterfall. This is about a 5 minute drive from where I live, and I feel incredibly blessed to have such a wonder so close by. This also means that every tourist camper van can be found here during the day, hence my early morning start.

As it happened, no one was there when I arrived, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I then proceeded to walk to the top of the waterfall, which is a more private space where I felt I could say my words without worrying that people may arrive and see me.

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The river at the top of the waterfall, before it heads out over rocks; this is where I chose to sit by the water edge and connect

Once I arrived, I took a few moments to gather my thoughts (and breath), and to absorb the energy around me. When I felt comfortable, I spoke my words, infusing as much intent, focus and reverence for the water spirits as I could. That done, I offered my gift: I took a small bottle of perfume from my bag, and poured a couple of drops into the water. Ondines love perfume, however note that this is not to be substituted with an essential oil (perfume is water based, however essential oils belong to the fire element).

I was amazed – actually astounded – to see the “jelly donuts” Watson describes in her book appear in the water where I had poured the perfume. This was a great sign my intent had been acknowledged, and made me feel rather elated.

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After thanking the water spirits for their help and guidance, I walked to the water rapids, sat down and took out two aquamarine crystals for cleansing. I placed these in a safe pool of water and let the flow wash over them, cleansing them as it did so.

 

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And then it was time to go.

Once home, I placed the crystals on my altar, where I also have a bowl of water to acknowledge the water element and spirits.

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My simple altar is also a bookshelf

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The Witch of Water, from the brilliant Dark Goddess Tarot, I chose on purpose.

My work with the Water element, and ondines, is by no means over. I am not sure what direction to take next, however I am certain guidance and direction will arrive as needed.

Wishing everyone a blessed weekend,
Monica

Heart’s desire tarot spread

Firstly, I think I need to reconsider my blog’s title, given that coffee is the primary beverage of choice around here these days. A cup of tea is rarely seen, though the summer heat is partly to blame for this too.

So, a delectable cup of flat white by my side, I did a quick 3 card spread. This is a spread I do when I’m not sure about what I really want – which might not make sense, but sometimes, it is not clear; perhaps because of conflicting desires, or perhaps because there are too many choices; perhaps you are not sure what should take precedence. Anyhow, it happens.

Personally, this came about because I wanted to perform a magic ritual, yet had difficulty wording, expressing exactly what it was I wanted to create. So, out came the Halloween Tarot, and this is what I got:

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Halloween Tarot 10 of Ghosts (Cups) – 9 of Ghosts (Cups) – The Hermit

I am a huge fan of this deck – it is so well executed and keeps things light hearted. I’ve used it often, though obviously closer to Halloween time might be a more suitable timing – however, it really works so well all the time that I keep using it throughout the year anyway.

So, in an instant, the answer is pretty clear really. The first card is all about family happiness and contentment. A card of good times, a card of emotional fulfilment – in our increasingly turbulent world, to have this is a real blessing. Something to acknowledge, and certainly not take for granted.

The third card, The Hermit, cracked me up: I just want oodles of time to myself so I can “tinker” in my tarot room – study, shuffle cards, design rituals, perform rituals, explore astrology charts and generally envelop myself in the craft of natural magic. There’s even a green frog in this card – got this too (though she sits on the outside of my window and croaks away at the most inappropriate times, like when I’m lighting the incense all ceremonial and focused)….

And the middle card? There I am, happy that my heart’s desires are, really, already present in my world. Well, I could do with a bit more personal time, but honestly, this is a card of wishes coming true. It’s a card that pretty much said to me, What more could you want?!

Over the next few blog posts I shall start writing about my journey through natural magic and what I am learning so far.

Wishing everyone a blessed weekend,
Monica

The Devil : Part 2

I’ve written previously on my card of the year, which is the Devil. In this post, I am taking a journey through the various artist renditions of this card. This is mainly a visual post – there are 22 images from all sorts of different decks currently in my collection.

The Devil JC
Jean Noblet Tarot

To start off with, above is the Jean Noblet Tarot, one of the oldest Marseille type decks. In fact, the accompanying booklet for this deck states, “The originality of this extremely elegant tarot resides in its age and its unusually small size. It is the oldest known tarot of the popular “Marseille” tradition.

The Devil Marseille
Marseille Tarot (reproduction of 1930 edition)

The Marseille tarot themes are clear: bondage, domination, enslavement.

However, my favourite Devil cards are those that show him as Cernunnos, also known as The Horned One. Below is such an interpretation, from the beautiful Legend The Arthurian Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson. This, to me, is what the “Devil” is all about, or at the very least, this is how I see him: presiding over nature, over the wild, over free animals and untouched wilderness. He stands for the raw power of nature, and nature magic.

The Horned One Legend Arthurian Tarot
Legend The Arthurian Tarot

Also by Anna-Marie Ferguson, we have the The Llewellyn Tarot, whose companion book notes,

Before Christianity triumphed in Britain, the Horned God was an important figure as lord and protector of animals and god of the hunt. The delicate ecological balance between man and his environment was the charge of the Horned One, and since lives could depend on his favour, his worship was particularly difficult for Christianity to eradicate. It is not surprising, then, that the image of the nature-based Horned God conveniently became the  image of the devil for the incoming Christian religion. Part man, part beast, hairy pelt, cloven hooves, dressed in animal skins and often horned and larger than life – these describe the personification of the spirit of the woods and wild, known under such names as the Horned One, Cernunnos, Wild Herdsman, Herne the Hunter, the Woodsward, Pan, Piper of the Dawn, etc. His appearance was meant to symbolise the integration of the animal cunning, strengths, and senses with the human consciousness and culture, resulting in a supernatural, supreme being of acute animal instinct and human intellect.

15 Wild Herdsman Llewellyn Tarot
Llewellyn Tarot

Unfortunately (for me, that is), most decks do not reflect this interpretation in their depiction of the Devil. Instead, we have various renditions of the same themes found in the Marseille decks, that is oppression and the worship of material desires (money, sex, drugs etc) without any recognition for the spiritual side of life.

Destructive and toxic relationships between 2 people often show up in the Devil card: the manipulative control over each other, issues of codependence, and power imbalance. Sometimes in such relationships the key Devil energy is fear: fear of leaving, of being alone, of losing financial assets – these are the fears that keep two people chained to each other, sometimes for far, far too long. Shown below: Bohemian Gothic (from Baba Studio, left) and the Sun and Moon Tarot (right).

Above: Aquarian Tarot (left) and Tarot of 78 doors (right).

Sometimes temptation is the main message in a card: below we have the Victorian Romantic Tarot (left) and the Jolanda Tarot (right).

Above: Fey Tarot (left) and Alice Tarot (right).

Above: Bohemian Cats (left) and Efflorescent Tarot (right)

Above: Anna K Tarot (left) and Alexandr Daniloff Tarot (right).

When the Devil comes up in a reading, the person often feels as if they are bound and cannot escape or leave a situation. Not surprisingly, we find some Devil cards where the protagonist is in chains or tied up: below, on the left is Tarot of the Absurd, and on the right, the Vision Quest Tarot.

Above: Alchemical Tarot Renewed (left) and Cosmic Tarot (right).

The Devil Gaian
Gaian Tarot

The Gaian Tarot has retitled the card, Bindweed – again, we have a person bound by this plant, looking absolutely in torment. The artist, Joanna Powell Colbert, writes in the accompanying book:

The Bindweed card depicts a life lived desperately out of balance. The figure is in despair, bound to his own addictions. He sees no way out. His internal struggle is reflected in the world around him, where non-native invasive plants and birds crowd out native species, causing a severe imbalance in the ecosystem.

 

 

And finally, one of the most original, striking and powerful Devil cards that I have come across:

EPSON MFP image
MAAT Tarot

This is the artwork of Julie Cuccia-Watts, from her MAAT Tarot. What an exceptional card, beautifully rendered.

That’s as far as I have time to go through today. I have every intention of updating this blog more regularly, however a teething baby and a mathematically challenging astrology course are keeping me rather busy – in a good way. After all, what do they say, the Devil makes work for idle hands, or something like it😉

Until next time,

Monica

 

 

 

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:


1
. 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
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,
Monica

 

 

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,
Monica

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).

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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.

DSCF8792

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,
Monica