Case Studies in Tarot : Relationship Reading

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3 card draw using Victorian Romantic

I’ve wanted to write about this reading for a while. It’s not an uncommon topic, however I recall this particular reading as an example where the cards drawn, and the message they impart, are so clear.

The querent’s main question was around her relationship. I used the Victorian Romantic deck from Baba Studio as I find this deck works very well (and not just for relationship questions).

I fanned out the cards in front of the querent and asked her to draw 3, shown above in the order drawn. I can’t talk about other readers or methods, but for me, the order the cards are drawn is very important. In this instance, chronologically, I read from left to right, with left as the past and right as the future, so that the middle card is the present.

So, the first card she drew was The Sun: here we see the passion and consuming love that they experienced as a couple. The Sun is a burning, fiery, life giving force: there is lust, abundance, joy, exuberance. That early, beautiful stage in a relationship – the honeymoon stage. And then we move onto the present.

DSCN1842Gosh, there’s been a battle. Bodies lay bloodied on the ground. Our querent is still alive and standing, but look at the stance and the expression on their face. There has been some serious fighting. There has been war.

I don’t exactly use this direct language, but nonetheless I make it clear what this card is all about. The lady in front of me starts to cry and confirms what has happened. This was a relationship where trust was utterly destroyed through infidelity, and not just once. She tried to heal these wounds, but her partner’s betrayal left some pretty deep scars. She took him back, but was not sure if the relationship was going to make it, and if he in fact was committed.

I have to say, that in my experience as a reader, when a woman sits in front of me with these kind of questions, her gut feeling is already telling her the truth. Our instincts, for all the reasoning and rationale and intellect we cultivate, are spot on. As a tarot reader, I see the cards, over and over, mirroring what the person already knows, deep down inside.

I move onto the last card, the Queen of Swords.

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Isn’t she rather fierce? And dignified, I think. My intuition tells me the querent will make a break and leave this relationship – in this card, she basically stands alone, on her own. Which is a good thing, when a toxic relationship seeps out the life energy from you and breaks your spirit.

I am reluctant to say to her, “you gotta break this off”. I don’t think that is my role. It’s up to the person to make that decision, and own up to their actions in life. However, I do explain what this Queen is all about. Her power, her resilience in the face of adversity, how she stands her ground and has the sword ready. She cannot be harmed.

I think my querent understands all this, but I can see it is hard. That Sun energy she experienced early on in this relationship, that is powerful stuff. Love is a drug, they say. She asks about her partner, and where he fits, and what are his intentions, so I ask her to draw two more cards.

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The Ace of Swords, by itself, is not good or bad. It is simply a new perspective, a new frame of thinking – a new beginning sometimes, although one that is framed mentally. However, next to the 3 of Swords, it is not a favourable answer by any means. And especially given the imagery on the 3 of Swords, which in this deck deals a blow.

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He is simply not there for her, nor does he intend to be (nor was he in the past).  Our lady above is left heart-broken while her knight rides away.

I think that, for all the sadness this reading brought, it also brought clarity, and in a way, a resolution for the querent, a way forward. I don’t think there was anything that I said, or that the cards showed, that she did not know already. In many ways, I felt this was a very good reading, because it was clear and concise. There really was no grey area or murkiness, or confusion.

Thank you for reading. Until next time, many blessings to all.
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:

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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

 

 

 

Taking a long, indefinite break

Over the past few months I’ve had to let the blog posts slide in frequency, though it’s not for lack of trying. Tarot continues to be an integral part of my life, of who I am, and shaping to be. In saying that, I am joyously taking a slight detour through the woods, a new path, a new beginning.

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At the half way mark and feeling very much like the Empress (or a Queen…)

My partner and I are expecting our first child in July, and among the preparations (read: I’m enjoying doing as little as possible for as long as I can, in a very good way) blogging has fallen to the side. Initially it was a lack of energy and the common “morning sickness”, although now the more delectable endeavour known as “nesting” is taking place.

Through it all I am still reading cards, though almost exclusively for myself (save for a handful of clients), every week, if not every day. Cups of nettle and red raspberry tea are savoured in vintage Crown Lynn, so some things will never change.

Despite this, I have to acknowledge time will become an increasingly rare commodity, and the blog is basically being put on hold. I am not even sure if I will keep it or delete it – it seems there’s 97 subscribers out there, and a few more regular readers, and I thank everyone for taking the time to browse through, comment, and give me feedback.

For anyone wishing to get in touch in the future, or request a reading, please go to my Whitsunday Oracle website (which is in a very draft stage – one more project to tidy up before the big day…) and you’ll find contact details there.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a lovely Tarot story about the beginning of my journey into pregnancy: a while before I fell pregnant, I asked the Dark Goddess Tarot for a Goddess to guide and help me through the journey of conception and birth. I needed a bit of encouragement and strength at that time, you know, when you really need the energy of the world to acknowledge and support you.

The Empress card from the Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
The Empress card from the Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince

It so happens that I drew the Empress card, which was a very strong message of support and guidance for me at the time. I have actually taken this card out of the deck and kept it framed, either by my bedside table or on my Tarot study table, ever since. I know I still have a long way to go – and the best part is yet to come, but having her as my guide is exceptionally reassuring.

Again, thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and/or comment on my little corner of the world. I’ve loved it all and am grateful to live in a time when the Tarot world is so widely, and openly, created and shared. I thank all the women and men who have contributed towards making this world available and beautiful, despite considerable challenges over the past few decades.

Wishing everyone a blessed journey ahead,

Monica

A good sign

 

 

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Well, I’d say it is 😉

This is the custom-made sign for my tarot and (future) astrology readings. It is an outstanding work of art and craftsmanship, created by hand by a local sign writer. I have been sworn to secrecy to not reveal his name, since he has a big backlog to catch up on (and you can see why), and he can’t take on any more requests.

The middle black section is chalk paint, so I can write on it the times, prices, quote of the day or anything else that strikes my fancy. I need to do it justice and take a better photo, really.

There are two things that make it even better. The first, is the actual material: a Council “No camping” aluminium sign, which I assure you was acquired legally. Honest! Every extra bit to help recycle counts 🙂

And the second…

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The base! How stunning is that?!! It is a buttress root from my partner’s dad, which he had kept in a shed for a while. Well I’m pretty chuffed with the whole thing.

So there you go – thought I’d share this since I absolutely love it. After all, a tarot reader does need a good sign 😉

Wishing everyone a beautiful week ahead. Many blessings,
Monica

Wintermoon 2014

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I’ve been very lucky to once again offer tarot readings at the beautiful Wintermoon festival. I wrote about my first time experience last year here. It is truly a slice of paradise, and again, I have relished my time there, both as a tarot reader and as an enthusiast of great music and delicious food. And lets not forget the surrounds!!

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St Helens Creek… deep enough for a decent swim come the midday heat…

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Well yes. This year we arrived on site 3 days prior to the festival starting, so we could enjoy the atmosphere and the crystal waters in peace. It was stunning.

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As usual, the children gave the whole place a wonderful atmosphere of merriment and simple joy. As for me, I rolled up my sleeves… actually no sleeves, it’s tropical Queensland 🙂 But boy, was I busy. Which is fantastic, especially to have a couple of clients from last year turn up and give fantastic feedback.

I ran a tarot workshop too, which was only 1.5 hours, so of course not enough! Nonetheless, I managed to pack a whole lot of history, lore, and pictures, and naturally ran out of time for all the things I wanted to do… never mind.

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Tarot workshop at the Yurt
Tarot workshop at the Yurt

 

In between all this, I sampled a bit of shopping, tasted some healthy food, and enjoyed the music.

Henna and flowers
Henna and flowers

 

Stall decor
Stall decor
Readings by candle light
Readings by candle light
Festival art
Festival art
Music enthusiast
Music enthusiast

 

Wishing everyone a beautiful week ahead. Many blessings,
Monica

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New beginnings

New Mythic Tarot
New Mythic Tarot

First, a big Thank You to everyone who offered their gentle thoughts, whether in writing or in prayer, following my last post. It has been an intense and rather challenging past month, and we still do not know for sure what or where we will be in the near future. I’ll just keep learning to go with the flow.

Death is a time for endings, but also a time of new beginnings. I have finally created a new site for my tarot and astrology services – well, the astrology part is still being incubated. It’s still in a very rough draft – I need to:

– get a photography shoot done. This is the easiest and most fun part, as I know a fantastic local photographer and she has some great ideas already. Think a mix of vintage gypsy bohemian.
– figure out whether, and how, to offer online readings. I’m shelving this idea for now, because if we end up having to move house next month, I won’t have any time to offer online reading services.
– tidy up the site. Does anyone know how to remove the “leave a comment” text? Is it a simple tick box somewhere or do I have to roll up my sleeves and write code for this?

Anyhow. I now officially run the Whitsunday Oracle. I am happy to hear your thoughts, comments, tips, suggestions etc etc. It’s certainly a work in progress.

http://whitsundayoracle.com

Many blessings,
Monica