I'm a die-hard Jane Austen fan and there could not have been a better deck to thrust me back into the world of tarot than the Tarot of Jane Austen. I spotted it in my favorite bookstore and didn't even think twice. While I haven't read all of Austen's books, this book helped me reacquaint myself with the author in a way that watching the documentaries and the movies and reading and rereading my favorites (Persuasion is my number one) never could.
I love this part of the Major Arcana… when you finish with the scary cards (you know the ones) and start soaring into the skies with the heavenly bodies. The Moon is probably the dark horse among the Star, the Moon and the Sun, but I still like it (despite my propensity to favor shiny happy cards over the dark and mysterious ones). Read on to see how I tackle the Major Arcana's 18th player.
The second deck I ever bought was this mid-century modern looking deck of giant Lenormand cards called Fairy Tale Fortunes. The only deck I had prior to this was the Thoth Tarot, which I had purchased in the late 90s—I thought I was done with divination! That's until I spotted this deck, which I guess is to 'blame' for my deep dive into the cards that has taken me to building this website and putting up my own little Practical Magical biz.
This month's Full Moon is particularly significant for me because it ushers me into a brand new phase for this year. It's been almost a year of planning leading up to my big vacation (I'm crossing the ocean and heading to Europe!), and the entire process has taught me the importance of pull and push, yin and yang, masculine and feminine, and duality.
I'm starting a new series this month by going through my card collection, one deck at a time. Part personal documentation, part FAQ for all of you deck shoppers just waiting for someone to enable you (😉), I tackle the 5 Ws + H to help you get to know some of the tarot / Lenormand / oracle world's most fab decks.
I'm doing a mini-post right now about three things that I'm finding incredibly important. Intuition. Intention. Action. When you bring these three factors together, you may find that you can actually craft the kind of life you can fall in love with. I love year-end wrap-ups and goal-setting when the New Year rolls in! And after years of making this check-in part of my year-end ritual, I feel that zoning on these three aspects of your soul self is a wonderful way to kick off the next 365 days of your life.
I find that adults don't take to the act of wishing as easily as kids do. On birthdays, kids put a lot of thought into what they ask for just before they blow out their candles. Adults, on the other hand, have had so many birthdays and (unfortunately) a run of unfulfilled wishes that asking for something well out of one's reach just isn't as appealing as it used to be.
A little disclaimer before I dive into these exciting decks that will be part of my collection—through hell or high water! I write my posts way in advance so as of this writing (it's the beginning of August right now), none of these decks are actually available. Some may be shipping quite soon and are on my pre-order list, so by the time this blog is published, I may already have them in possession—and, good news, they just may be available for you to snap up too. ;)
I am unapologetically disappointed every time this card pops up in readings I do for myself (and I find myself blameless here!). One of the most "feared" cards of the Major Arcana, The Tower is the inferno of unexpected sh*ttiness that comes to surprise us and smack us in the head every now and again. It's not all bad though (… she tells herself). While it can be a struggle to find the silver lining from this shadowy card, I assure you, it's there.
This New Moon, let's try and figure out where we find light in our lives. It's way too easy to give in to shadows and darkness and just stay in that space of wallowing, grief and sadness… but when we pull cards that remind us that light does exist, it may be just that much easier to work our way towards whatever optimism and positivity that eludes us.
I'm doing a tarot and oracle rewind this week as I dive into two decks that helped me kick off my spiritual practice early on. Still in production, these two independently published decks are light, modern and easy on the eyes—probably why they grabbed my attention right away!
The Devil looks straight at us, confronting us with our defects and compulsions that we seem beholden to. The character's face is strewn with tears showing some discomfort and even a little bit of mourning. There's a floating face caught between its horns, calling to mind the imagined versions we have of ourselves.
If you want to get serious and scholarly with your Tarot studies and history, you'll ultimately run into the three decks that pretty much form the backbone of tarot as we know it today. Historically, the Tarot de Marseille reflects the beginnings of tarot with its non-scenic pips and archaic visual interpretations of the Major Arcana. The Rider Waite Smith (RWS), on the other hand, infuses the "original" Marseille cards with a scenic Minor Arcana that, along with the Majors, incorporates esoteric messages and the occult leanings of the Golden Dawn (an organization from the late 19th century to early 20th century).
After the difficulty ushered in by the Death card comes a time of repose and rest with Temperance. This is one of my personal favorites from the Major Arcana… anything that gives me permission to pause before stepping ahead to secure some semblance of balance in my life is absolutely welcome!
This week, I pull from two of my favorite oracle decks and find the theme of Freedom. What's it like to live unencumbered by To Do's and musts and should's? A lot of fun, for sure. I'd love nothing more than to have zero responsibilities and just hop on a plane to everywhere and explore, explore, explore. Hypothetically.
For most of my readings, I like drawing from two to three decks. Mixing up the tarot with oracle is a favorite practice of mine because I get the best of both worlds—the structure of the tarot and the soft, affirming hug that an oracle delivers (granted, not all oracle decks are all-affirming and the ones I do own also carry a lot of hard-hitting shadow messages).
When first time querent get their cards read, one of the biggest concerns they voice out is that they don't want to see the Death card popping up in their spreads. This is why, as part of my spiel to tarot newbies, I explain that Death doesn't really mean Death… and what they perceive as a generally bad, ominous thing can actually be positive.
Confession: Sometimes, I pull cards just for the heck of it. As in last week's Tarot Top 5, I find shuffling the cards and just playing around with them a great way to bust through boredom. A lot of times we look at the tarot as a highly esoteric and spiritual practice that helps us get in touch with the deepest parts of ourselves.
From one of my challenge cards, Justice, we move on to one of the cards that sometimes feels threatening or scary for clients who aren't used to tarot imagery. The Hanged Man does, after all, typically show you someone who's literally turned feet over head. But by infusing your readings with some positivity and perspective, it's possible to find opportunity in this precariously positioned Major Arcana character.
Here's a familiar scenario: You're stuck at your desk, knowing full well that your employer / boss / Entrepreneur To Do List is waiting on you to get things done. Technically, you know how to get results but Real Life is getting in the way. When a lot of stuff is happening outside the workplace— and I mean the kind of stuff that stirs up emotions in not-so-good ways — it can be extremely difficult to get back to business and just get on with your top priorities.
While it would be super ideal to always be pulling cards because I want to set intentions, give someone a positive message, or soothe my soul, I think I actually turn to my tarot collection when I don't have anything better to do and I just feel like playing. You're never bored when you're toting a tarot deck with you—even just one image can provide hours upon hours of inspiration and creative prompts
When I think of Justice, my mind immediately goes to fairness—people getting their just desserts. When we're on the losing end of a black and white situation and feel we've been unfairly treated, we sometimes wish that someone would intervene and defend us. In this card, that would be Lady Justice… the person whose role is to help restore balance in any situation.
Songwriters come up with their hits when they're at their lows, we pull out our journals when we've got a bunch of complaining to do or anger to be released, and oftentimes, we turn to the cards when we need some cheering up. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's shuffled the cards as an alternative to: a. calling up a friend and talking about the same problem for the 100000th time, b. going out for a few drinks (I don't drink, so therein lies the problem…), or c. Netflix as a way of forgetting.
Unlike a lot of the symbolism found in the tarot, the Wheel of Fortune is one thing that's still very present in the zeitgeist. You could be familiar with the game show or maybe have heard the term in a heist / gambling / casino-type movie… Even without any tarot associations, it's easy to equate the term "Wheel of Fortune" with chance and luck.
Have you ever had an idea seemingly "stolen" away from you? It can be frustrating to have had that Oprah light bulb moment while in the shower one second, and have it glaring right back at you on someone else's Instagram feed the next. It's pretty impossible these days to ignore the fact that nothing is ever 100% original
I've always wanted to write a short story based on a single tarot card, so when Bree of Nym's Divination put a call out on Instagram for tarot people online to join a blog hop for International Tarot Day, I immediately put my name in.
I've always loved the look of "official" bags. The Pan Am bags flight attendants would bring with them in the 60s, traditional doctors' bags that they would bring with them on home visits, Mary Poppins' bottomless well of a bag, and Anne of Green Gables' carpet bag. I mean, who doesn't love accessorizing, right?
The Hermit is a special card for me because not only is it my birth card, but it embodies who I feel I am (for the most part!). The Hermit is usually coupled with a light, representing the insight and enlightenment that can come from solitude, self-reflection and silence. In the Spirit Speak Tarot's off the cuff rendition of the Hermit, the spark comes from the Hermit's finger.
I took a trip out to New York two years ago, right when I was really getting into tarot. As luck would have it, I actually forgot to bring a deck along with me, which is what prompted me to buy a deck at every pitstop of the trip. One of my NY-based friends who is very into astrology, crystals and other wonderfully, magically mystical things, told me that she would take me to Enchantments, the city's oldest witchy shop.