Daily Card: 9 of Wands

IMG_8251.JPG

The 9 of Wands depicts a character in a strong position, defending what they have worked so hard to gain. Nines are near the completion of the journey through the suit numbers. The figure in this card is no longer striving towards his goal. Now he is defending what he has earned.

On the one hand, this card shows that you are in a position of strength. It recognises your achievements. But on the other hand, and what resonates most strongly with me, is the defensive elements of this card.

The wall of wands behind him keeps out those who seek to take what he has. But at the same time, it contains him. It traps him. While he stands and guards what is his, he is unable to be free.

As I examine my own feelings towards this card, I recognise that my response reflects what is important to me. To be free is one of the things I value most. Freedom, to me, means having the ability to live my life as I choose. It also means talking and behaving in the way that I choose. Being free to be me.

I once had a relationship with a man who had been hurt badly in the past, and as a result of that (and other factors) was constantly on the defence. He was so scared of being hurt again that he couldn’t allow himself to just be himself around me, or anyone. Very rarely did he let his walls come down. His persona was fake, like a mask he put on. This is the opposite of my concept of freedom.

While the 9 of Wands reminds me of these values, it also reminds me to be grateful for what I have. Too often, I lunge ahead towards the next goal, with little consideration for appreciating what I have already achieved.

A Strange Exchange: My first reading for a stranger

Yesterday I did my first tarot reading for a stranger.

It came about like this. Recently, I have been thinking that I would like to read for others, so I put an ad up on Gumtree offering to do tarot readings in exchange for some small service or gift. I don’t feel comfortable with charging money for readings, and I’m not sure I ever will, even if I become much more experienced. I feel like I get more out of it than the querent.

So yesterday, a guy came around to have his cards read, and in exchange, he read my cards and my palm.

It was a strange exchange. I didn’t get a good vibe from him for a number of reasons. And when I laid down his cards, the 5 of Pentacles and the 9 of Swords appeared in future and outcome positions. I couldn’t bring myself to say what I was really thinking, and I played down the negative connotations and gave it all a positive spin. Afterwards, he spoke of things that were happening in his world which confirmed the interpretation I had in my head.

In my reading I gave what I felt was some pretty solid advice. But, he was not prepared to take it on board. And he didn’t like that I didn’t allow him to shuffle the cards.

The agreed exchange was that he would read my tarot. He brought his own cards. He laid them out in a spread with lots of cards and proceeded to make guesses. Some of his statements were way off. The cards he laid were all familiar to me, and he didn’t use any of the meanings, or refer to the imagery. And then he lectured me on not letting him shuffle, and that I have to use my intuition and “read” the person.

I was basically waiting for him to stop talking, the reading was excruciatingly bad, and I was too polite to call him out. I wondered why he came, what he had wanted to get out of having his cards read. It seems he wanted me to bullshit to him, just as he did to me, with no real reference to the cards at all. When he talked about the difficulties he was facing, I thought “Ah, this is why you’re here”. But he didn’t ask anything that pertained to the subject before I did the reading. And he was resistant to the things I said. Perhaps he just wanted someone to talk to, and he wanted to hear what he wanted to hear, nothing else, nothing contradictory. Is this what everybody wants?

It’s given me lots of food for thought. What do people want when they come to a reading? What am I prepared to offer?

Mary K. Greer talks about different approaches to tarot reading, differentiating between psychic, intuitive and therapeutic tarot:

Self-styled ‘tarot counselors’ (when eliminating the intuitive and psychic words) seem to have an altogether different vibe. They use tarot “as a therapeutic method and means for self-realization,” “for drawing out information lying deep inside,” and “for helping someone to clearly see a particular present situation.” Sessions are “designed to bring personal fulfillment . . . to assist and guide, to empower and uplift.”

When I read this, I thought, “YES!” This really resonates with me. I have been trying to define my approach to tarot, steering clear of associations with psychic claims. I think tarot therapy or tarot counselling is the description I was looking for without knowing I was looking.

This is something I am going to give more thought to, and develop as I continue my journey. However, thinking back to yesterday’s reading, I don’t think he wanted tarot counselling. How can I attract querents to my style of reading? How can I even develop my style without querents to practice on? If everyone is only after psychic and intuitive tarot readers, then I’m pretty sure I will only ever read for myself.

3 Card Spread & Introducing the Spirit Speak Tarot Deck

IMG_8235.JPG

A quick three card general draw featuring one of two new decks which arrived yesterday – the Spirit Speak (reversed) deck.

Past – Page of Wands: Recognise that I have tackled challenges head on recently, this period of challenge is moving away into the past.

Present – 6 of Wands: Enjoy the recognition I receive for work well done. I feel that this card’s appearance is a little spiritual “big up” – thanks, deck!

Future – The Hierophant: Watch out for the arrival of a mentor or guide. Perhaps someone with advice worth listening to will rock up in my life soon. I recently drew the Hierophant in the “outcome” position of a reading for myself, perhaps today’s draw reinforces the previous one?

Now some first impressions of the Spirit Speak tarot deck. The cards are a lot smaller than I expected, although I’m not sure what I was expecting exactly. I measure them at about 6cm across and almost 9cm long. They are a pretty cute size! This makes them very portable, and the fact that the included guidebook also fits into the box means that the whole package can be easily toted around in a handbag.

The cards are glossy with a fair amount of slip to them. I find the thickness to size ratio makes them a little hard to shuffle in my preferred shuffling method (I use the card-players method, riffling the two halves of the deck together with my thumbs), but I can still get by well enough to not have to resort to shuffling any other way.

The guidebook contains succinct descriptions of the meanings of each card. I have found the descriptions very handy. Although the creator of the deck has stated that she designed the imagery to be easy to read, as I am finding with any deck, it takes some time to “tune in” to the unique vibe and language of the deck. For example, on the Hierophant card, the guidebook states that the cactus is a saguaro, which has “spiritual significance” and is “sharp and unbending in its ways”. There’s no way I would have picked up on the meaning behind the image without a little help.

This is the “reversed” deck, the images are white on black. There is a non-reversed deck available (the original deck) which is black imagery on a white background, but I was completely not interested in that. I think the style of the illustrations really suit the reversed colouring. The white on black really pops  and combined with the hand lettering and line drawings, I find myself wanting to use more bombastic, action-oriented words to describe the readings when I use this deck.

It’s funny how a tarot deck has a character all of its own. It’s like 78 characters comprising one whole story, and the story has its own vibe, just like how a book or a movie does. To me, this is really cool, and I can see myself using this as justification to fuel my growing obsession with buying different decks. As I mentioned above, I received 2 new decks in the mail yesterday. One was the Spirit Speak deck, and the other was the Fountain, which I plan to write about later. Both decks were bought from Two Sides Tarot, which is a web shop I would recommend, especially if you live in Australia as they have free shipping.

Til the future!

 

Daily card: King of Cups

IMG_8180.JPG

Today’s card is the King of Cups.

Kings represent the “masculine” energy of their suit. They are masterful and in control. Their focus is outwards, which is to say they act out the character of their suit.

Although Kings and Queens have masculine and feminine energies respectively, that doesn’t mean that they can only apply to, or represent males and females. We all possess a mix of masculine and feminine energies.

The King of Cups is warm-hearted, loving and generous. He is a good listener. He possesses strong empathy, but is in control of his emotions.

This card reminds me of attitudes to living that I have encountered among my yoga peers – have love in all things. The act of loving is its own reward.

As a message for today, the King of Cups tells me that it’s okay to feel and that although I have been hurt recently, I am the master of my own emotions. Be caring, be calm, be emotionally mature.

Daily card: The Magician

IMG_8163.JPG

Today’s card is The Magician.

This is one of my favourite cards. My feelings when I see it are positive. The Magician stands for action, manifestation. Taking ideas from the plane of thought to that of reality. To me, the Magician stands for the important bits of living a creative life – the doing part of the creative process.

I want that Magician energy for myself. As someone who has given a lot of thought to the creative process and the creative lifestyle, the Magician represents who I want to be. Less talk, more action!

As I go through today, I think to myself, “how can I turn this into a Magician moment? Can I be more proactive right now?”

 

Daily card: 8 of Swords

Image (1).jpg

Swords again today. Following from yesterday’s theme, the 8 of Swords speaks of restriction, feeling stuck, isolated, wanting to be rescued.

This card does not resonate with me strongly today. I don’t want to feel like a victim. I don’t need rescuing.

By drawing this card, am I now more likely to see myself as the figure in the 8 of Swords? Will I be more likely to look for experiences that demonstrate the message of this card? Does drawing the card become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Probably, if you let it. It’s like how when I decided to buy a bike, I started noticing bikes everywhere. I have a friend who always notices triple digits on car number plates, to the extent that he believes they convey some sort of spiritual message.

I believe this demonstrates the power of the mind. We see what we want to see, and we can effect our own emotional well being.

I interpret the 8 of Swords today as a reminder that I am free. I could feel stuck and restricted if I chose to. I am grateful that I can choose not to. The figure in the card is bound and surrounded by swords, but freedom is just a few steps away. Sometimes you need to take a leap.

Daily card: 2 of Swords

IMG_8100.JPG

Stalemate, being unwilling or unable to see the truth of the matter, denying emotions, blockage. The lone figure shows that these stuck feelings caused by myself.

Thinking back on the themes of yesterday’s reading, and my recent emotions, I think that this card relates to my feelings about things being unresolved. At the conclusion of yesterday’s tarot reading, I decided to not engage in any more emotional texting. It has been a one-sided conversation, with him not actually replying to my tearful messages. I don’t regret anything I said. But as someone who needs to talk things out, it pains me that no conclusion can be reached.

This card reminds me that I can only control my own actions and emotions. In yesterday’s reading, the Hierophant told me to consider that T is acting on his own values and beliefs. Today, the 2 of Swords reiterates that, and adds that I should stop obsessing over what and why T is doing and thinking as he does, and focus on what I can do to move on.