September 20, 2010

Ho-Hum mood and tarot readings

Lately, I have been feeling withdrawn from things. Not too happy and neither too sad. I am not feeling like meeting up people too much and am happy to curl up with my book. Between all this, a friend called up yesterday asking if I could do a tarot reading for her. I told her I wasn't too sure this was a right time but I would try.

First thing I noticed when I was deciding on the deck was that I simply did not want to read with Shadowscape or Thoth (bought recently in the last few months). I kept aside the RWS and reached straight for Mythic and started shuffling. Strangely, I felt quite confident with the cards in my hand and as I laid up the cards for the spread, ideas seemed to pop and pop in my head. For example when I looked at the Four of pentacles, rather than control I got the feeling of someone being suspicious and insecure about a junior's great work. The Fool and Magician together had to mean that this person had grand new plans and is determined to make them a success and will. Within a span five minutes I had a comprehensive reading I was sure of. I called up my friend and relayed the whole thing to her. She told me how close it all was.

All in all interesting experience. I think the distance I was feeling from everything kind of translated into a reading with no preconceived notions and a greater intuition.  

September 1, 2010

Shadowscape Tarot: Deck Review

I had been wanting the Shadowscape Tarot ever since I had seen it on Stephanie's website. But, I held back due to the various reviews on card size and deck quality. Finally I relented and ordered my copy from Flipkart which I received last week. I have been over the deck and book and a couple of readings. Here's my take on it....

Deck Inclusions and Packaging: The deck and book set come in a pretty box (thin card and not study). The box which measures 8 inches by 5 inches (about 2 inches thick) is illustrated with the Queen of Swords. The Book, measuring 8 by 5 inches, is definitely not your usual LWB.It has an introduction by Barbara Moore and Stephanie's thoughts on how you should explore the deck. There is a full page black and white illustration of each card in sharp print with Stephanie's meanings and interpretations. I liked these a lot as it gives the card a new dimension. For example, in the Ace of Cups section, she writes, that a small ripple create larger and larger whirls and ultimately have a greater effect on things than initially anticipated. To note is that the cards do not have a box for themselves which is very inconvenient.

Card Stock and Print: There are no two ways here, the publishers went into cost cutting mode for this beautiful deck. I had been looking at the Shadowscape cards on their website since some time now. These are large and the colors are rich. The actual cards are scaled to the size 4.75 inches by 2.75 inches. They have a purple back with a white/silver wheel and are reversible. The card stock is thin and will have to be used carefully or will easily bend. I stacked up all the cards and the height comes up to 1 inch only. Its almost 50% thinner than my Mythic deck. The front has a think silvery lavender border which needs no trimming. The details are of course shrunk but I took that in my stride since I knew the cards were going to be small. But, what I was disappointed was with the color print quality. It is sharp and smooth no doubt, but lacking in richness. So what happens is the figures will not leap at you, they stay there, behind the window frame.

How the deck reads: The most important part which also happens to be the good part for the deck. The images are very intuitive. Even if you do not read the Guide Book you can understand the differences between this and the other decks by just looking at the cards. The Chariot for example is not trying to control here, it is simply confident and telling the horses to lead the way. Fairy characters and animals dominate the cards of course. Fishes in the cups, foxes in wands, swans in swords and reptiles in pentacles. I tried a number of readings with the deck. The deck, I noticed worked beautifully with relationship readings. They turned out bang on. When I placed the cards side by side they seemed to flow one into the other. For some strange reason, many cards repeated themselves in a couple of related spreads despite shuffling well. I was able to read in a fluid manner without referring to the book. And when I did, it added a whole new dimension to the reading.

All in all...I am very happy with the deck. I will though be using it primarily for relationship readings. They have a lot of depth and read well. My only regret is the production quality of the deck.

August 22, 2010

Who is your Queen of Swords?

I recently met a lady at a meeting in our office. She is probably aroud 40 and working at a high profile post with the Government as an advisor. As I heard her speak, I was impressed. She seemed to know so much about every possible subject and spoke in an effortless manner. And she was very very confident. Most men I could see were in awe of her. And I thought..she is exactly a Queen of Swords. Sharp, intelligent, witty and confident.

Most of us struggle with court cards. I am no exception. Since a couple of months, I have been trying the method of associating someone I know to a Court Card. And I find that works very well as I now have a real life 3-D persona to relate the card to. Most people i find are a mix of cards. However, there are some which seem to totally fit a card like a frame. Similar to the lady I mention above.

Is there someone you know who fits a Court Card to the T?

Another, thing I felt was that Court Card personalities vary amongst decks. For example...

When I look at the Queen of Cups in the Rider Waite deck, I feel she is someone who is ofcourse emotional but even a wee bit nostalgic or sad from inside. Someone like...Jennifer Aniston ? (from what I read from the gossip magazines!).

But if I take the Shadowscape Queen of Cups, I think of someone who though emotional is a free spirit, filled with joy for life. Someone like...Goldie Hawn?

Cher Green has a post on Court Cards which I found quite interesting.

August 11, 2010

Objectivity, Objectvity, Objectivity

I find I am quite objective about my own readings, even if they are important questions. BUT, I find at times that it is difficult to be objective and rational about reading for people very close to me. Maybe because we all are very uneasy to see our nearest and dearest sad or hurt. So we tend to hope for the best for them.

I recently did a reading for someone very close to me, and at that time decided the outcome would be positive (ignoring the niggling at the back of my head). In retrospect, I can clearly see a very different story coming out of the cards. Clearly, I should have read the cards differently before. I would have done so for anyone else.

A career reading. Will firm X make an offer?

My interpretation before: They see you have the qualifications and are seriously considering your candidature. They will make you an offer, though it might not be exactly what you want.

In retrospect: They see you have the qualifications and are seriously considering your candidature. However, someone else will get the position (even though you might be the better candidate). You will receive an empathic reply but not an offer.

July 30, 2010

I feel..."Six of Wands"

I was feeling a bit low. Just a bit. So i decided I would pull one card and just write what it makes me feel now. I pulled....

I feel the time has come for talents to be recognized. To move forward. The old of of life just isn't good enough anymore. I think we are ready and set for the next leap. Its due now. The man in the card for me represents my better half. The green color prosperity. This card, I suppose is both our wish and hope for now.

July 28, 2010

Reading: "When?" is the operative word

When will I go for my holiday? Get a pay hike :)? When....?

When I do tarot readings, of course I want to know if things will happen but most times I also want to know when. So I tried a couple of spreads to figure out the when. Simple 3 card readings to tell me if the event would happen and when.

Question 1: Scope of a new career opportunity for MM?

My initial interpretation: Well, there are some conflicts on at the moment. Nothing major but minor things you need to get sorted out before the "big jump". And the Knight of Pentacles with the Queen say there will be one. When? Not very soon as Pentacles is a slow suit. But with the Knight it won't be too slow either. The Knight will bring the good news and the Queen will help settle things by December.

Feeback from Taroteon: Since V of wands rules July 22 to Aug 1 and Knight of Pentacles August 12 -Sep11, chances of an important event in August are very high.

July 20, 2010

The Chariot from Bhagvad Gita

I have been reading some extracts from the Bhagvad Gita lately. The Bhagvad Gita is essentially a discourse given by Lord Krishna to his friend and disciple Arjun who is about to go to war with his cousins and he extremely upset about it.

This picture reminded me of the Chariot card in the Tarot. More so, the description of the above picture.

The chariot in itself represents our body, the rider us, the horses are our senses and the bridle our mind with which we control our senses. The battleground is our heart. Also, here Krishna is telling Arjun (the rider) that he must not be emotional and do the duty of a warrior, fight for victory.

July 7, 2010

Are second thoughts = hedging ?

Intution and gut feeling is what we should go by in tarot readings. Most of agree on that. But arn't there times when you look into the card for a few more seconds a tiny frown appears on your face? The card could mean the other way round too. And when we do that are we just trying to balance and be on the safe side? Let me take an example from a recent reading I just did.

I am practicing one card readings. So I did one last night on whether it was going to rain today? It had been raining since the last two days. (ok, I know this is not earth shattering stuff). My card?
Two of wands from the Thoth deck.

My immediate reaction: Nopes, it is going to be scorchingly sunny
My second thoughts: Peering more into the card, the tiny blue specks in the middle somehow caught my fancy and I figured , yeah maybe a bit
Third thoughts (and last): I decided I was just trying to hedge my bets here and I should go with my first reading. So I firmly wrote in my notebook "nopes, it is going to be scorching".

So did it rain? It was terribly hot till 5 in the evening and then a shower which lasted for precisely 10 minutes.

What did I learn? Go with your first thoughts, but its not like they are end all. Practice some more... ;)

July 5, 2010

The Celtic Cross, its been some time

Celtic Cross, one of the most popular, very relied upon and comphrensive spread. And in all probability, customized by many of us to our own needs. When I got my first tarot deck-the Rider Waite, it was the only spread described in the LWB and so a spread I assumed as a default for any readings I did. But slowly, I admit, I moved away from it and it has been quite some time I read from a Celtic Cross spread. The, way I initially practiced it was in a grid of 3 X 3 cards with an extra 10th card crossing the center card. So the layout was essentially a a square.

Today after a long long time, I did a celtic card spread. Instead of asking a question, I decided to let go and let the Tarot tell me what I need to know/learn most at this point of time. And here is what I got...

BIG PICTURE: There is some news awaiting and which I will get to know soon (3 pentacles). Chances are this is something I have been hoping for since long (7 cups). This same news can be detrimental if I act upon it rashly (knight wands). Most likely, it concerns my husband directly or will effect him significantly. The future has some promising prospects in store but it will involve some significant choices to be made (two of pentacles/chariot). This is reemphasized by Justice in the outcome card which seems to say that pros and cons will have to be weighed and a course of action will have to be decided on.

July 1, 2010

Shadowscape tarot: I really want my own deck but I think I will wait

Oh! was my first reaction as I saw the cards on the artist's website. Breathtakingly beautiful and full of detail. It feels as if I can touch the figures or maybe enter their world? And when I look at the 2 of cups card above I know seem to know exactly what the characters are feeling. The way they are looking at each other tells it all. I sigh. I am determined to have my own deck. I research the web. I read the reviews at amazon. Maybe I can order the special edition. But the reviews on the small cards and thin card stock play back at me. I know I want these cards to be large when I read them. And I know I will just have to wait until the publisher decides to re-print these better. They will! 

A reader at the Aelectic forum posted a link to the Shadowscape tarot. Though it has been published in 2010, it is quite well known amongst most readers as the artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law the has been uploading the cards as they finish on her website. The official website with large images of the cards and the artist's blog are below.

Shadowscape tarot
Stephanaie's blog

June 30, 2010

Purple Box Thoth Deck

I had been searching for a Thoth deck since over a year but with no success. In India, most bookstores carry varions of Rider Waite or popular decks like Osho-Zen. I finally lucked with (a website to order books In India). I have ordered several books now and am very pleased with them.

Onto the Thoth deck:

With various versions and confusion about size and color I was not sure what to expect. But since I was not going to lose this chance I just went ahead. First the ISBN number of the deck is 0880793082. Most sites mention the box size which is useless. The cards are medium in size measuring 7 X 11 cm. I have been using my cards over the last month and like it. (they are smaller than my Mythic deck and maybe someday I buy the larger size but for now this is fine)

The card stock is of good quality and so is the print. The colors are bright and stand out. My brother (who does not read cards) was also very fascinated and said that they are beautiful to look at. The deck comes with three Magnus cards and a small booklet.

If you are trying to figure out which print version of the Thoth you want to purchase check out the below site. It tells you exactly what to expect from which print...

Choosing between the various Thoth deck prints

June 29, 2010

Exercise 7: First Impressions of Suit of Swords

Went over my last set of suits, the Swords yesterday and noted down my first thoughts on the cards.

Ace of swords
- clarity of mind and objectivity
- honesty and justice

Two of swords: Peace
- momentary relief
- two equal powers at rest

Three of swords: Sorrow
- cruelty
- heartache

Reading: Is this love? Will he, won't he?

Question: Gautami was looking to understand how her relationship with a friend might evolve, specially will her friend commit? They know each other quite well but are unable to committ due to various reasons.

Spread and Interpretation:

The presence of 4 major arcana cards and an ace clearly point out to the fact that they have significant presence and influence in each others lives. The hermit for her implies digging deep into herself to first understand "what is it she really wants" and then using logic and will to act in a clear headed manner. The Aeon for him implies reinventing and starting anew from a point which is re-emphasized by death which implies significant changes in his life in the coming 2-3 months. They have a romantic connection between them which is pure. While she deals with her own struggles (internal) and he deals with the changes outside (external) they should keep hope and faith about their relationship. They should also realize that it will be best if they "rise up from the petty issues" and start seeing the big picture.

June 10, 2010

Exercise 6: First Impression of Suit of Wands

My third suit of learning card meanings and noting my first impressions of the cards, I moved on to the suit of wands. I have been feeling the need to get a little more energy into my actions as lately I think I have been too emotional and a pushover?? :(

Ace of wands
- made me think of stampeding rams the flames reminding me of horns which seem to be saying " make way for us...we are coming!"

Two of wands: Dominion
- establishing control and power and being victorious in the process

Three of wands: Virtue
- making plans for future
- showing the softer side of aggression

June 6, 2010

Exercise 5: Entering the Art Card (MKG)

Entering a card: From Tarot for Personal Transformation , Chapter 1

I went through all the major arcana cards and picked out the Art (XIV) to enter as it pulled me the most. I observed the card for sometime before closing my eyes and imaging that I had entered it and was "in" it seeing what is happening and interacting with those in the card. My observations....

I saw... a large old fashioned kitchen with wooden roof slats and big iron pots on fire. There are iron spoons and stirers hanging off hooks. There are pods of garlic and some green tendrils. A leopard and vulture, quite harmless and friendly are roaming about. A lady is busy mixing into one of the pots while others are simmering.

It smelt of...herbs, mostly of ginger with some honey. The smell was strong and not particularly sweet. I heard...soft noises from the leopard and vulture. The lady was chattering and busy mixing. It was... warm and sunny. I could not make out the weather as we were indoors but it was probably a warm winter afternoon with the sun shining bright.

I touched... the iron pots while helpng to mix with large wooden spoons the thick brew inside. I was gifted... a cup of the drink  with the message to.. to live life with love and what might seem harmful or unpleasasnt might turn out to be quite freindly. The gift had qualities of... acceptance, love, hard work and cheerfullness. 

An affirming statement... as I mix love and light into life, friends and relations will welcome it with warmth.  

Reading: Next six months for business project

Question: How are the next three months for the business project (fty)?


June: Two of cups
July: Two of swords
August: Queen of cups

June should go well. You will feel the need to make some decisions in July and you might be confused which way to take. August will seem to flow by and you might feel that things are a bit out of your control.

June 4, 2010

Reading: Relationship in 3D

Question background: A friend of mine is happily married but some isues have come up now and are troubling her. She asked me for a reading for understanding their relationship. I have done this as an online reading from newagestore. I copy-pasted the phrases which caught my attention and then tried to interpret it from my side.

Spread and interpretation:     

The situation or issue is a major one is the life of the couple and sometime they will have to make a descision around it. The querent's husband appears to be in a peaceful and happy state of mind and views the relationship positively. The issues seem more from the side of the querent. It appears that she is confused about what is the correct course of action and knows that a firm decision needs to be made. Many cards like the Tower, Seven of Swords and Lovers indicate changes in life out of choices made. The querent should seek strength from her inner self and rely on her husband as he is loyal and steadfast.        

June 2, 2010

Exercise 4: First impressions of the suit of cups

Continuing with my exercise of learning card meanings and noting my first impressions of the cards, I moved on to the suit of cups.

Ace of cups
- channeling of all emotions
- an explosive aura filling up life with love and light

Two of cups: Love
- harmonious love in synchrony and perfect coordination
- beauty in balance, all colors coming together peacefully

Three of cups: Abundance
- joy and celebration from growth
- happiness to be enjoyed together

May 30, 2010

Is my future predetermined?

Do I shape my future or is it all predetermined destiny?

I have been struggling with this question for long now. I inherently am of the belief that we through our actions and thoughts shape our future. We cannot control all of it, of course, due to the many factors which are beyond us. It is extremely difficult for me to digest the fact that I am just a "cog in the wheel of the universe" and "que se ra se ra" (what will be will be). But am I being too egoistical here?
I found some explanation in an article " The Maya World of Quantum Physics". An extract...

" Are we capable of controlling our future. When our mind connects to the universal mind which we call Chitta in Hinduism, we are actually capable of controlling our future. This is because this chitta or zero point field provides a holographic blueprint of the world for all time, past and future. So one who can tap this field can well predict the future. Thus we can conclude as our scriptures tell us that everything in the future already exists at some bottom rung level in the realm of pure potential and when we look into the future or the past we help to shape it and bring it into being just as we do with a quantum entity in the present, by the simple act of observation. "

I find the latter half a little contradictory or am probably unable to understand it.

What do you believe? Is your life predestined or can you influence it?

May 23, 2010

Exercise 3: First impressions of the suit of disks

I took the Thoth deck and separated out the disks from ace to ten and spent a couple of minutes with each card. I wrote my first impressions of each card and what it meant to me.

Ace of disks
- powerful emblem of wealth and success
- confident creation of material aspects and wealth

Two of disks: Change
- differences of one whole being balanced
- completion of a cycle

Three of disks: Works
- action being undertaken
- wheels moving for creating results, may also cause some disturbance

May 19, 2010

Back to being a beginner

I have been reading a lot of Douglas Gibb lately and am looking back at all the Tarot I have practiced from an entirely different angle now. More than anything, I feel the need to start anew. To first unlearn and then begin with a fresh and more open mind.

Why? I think what I have done until now is to know my cards on a basic level (a little superficial if I may be entirely truthful to myself, ugh that hurts). While reading spreads, I need to connect a lot more between the cards and maybe also try some new spreads. I have also been a bit shy of doing larger spreads lately (to avoid taxing myself?) and am sticking to the comfort zone of doing spreads with 3-5 cards (justfying it by saying these are more to-the-point).

It might be just the right time to start with my Thoth deck. A deck which draws and fascinates me but I am yet to begin to understand. I hope to start soon and will record my exciting new journey. Wish me luck!

May 14, 2010

Exercise 2: My Tarot Profile

If I try and make a list of all the profile types (like my personality card, hidden card, soul card, year card, zodiac card…) I find there are just too many to deal with. Well, so as my exercise I calculated my favourite 3 profile cards. My personality card is 7 (Chariot), hidden factor card is 16 (Tower) and my year card is 8 (Adjustment).

My personality card: Chariot

If I were to look at the card as a person what would I read as its positive and negatives aspects? The Chariot stands for moving forward and the human will to go on in life. I always look for on how I can move ahead in life, no matter what. To keep doing what is required and what I think is right. But do I become too rational in the process? Do I build a wall around myself to maintain this composure. Do I need to learn to care a little more about how others might feel?

My hidden factor/teacher card: Tower

Break down the fortress of thine Individual Self, that thy
Truth may spring free from the ruins.

 What can I learn from the tower? Am I scared of change? Do I cling on too what I am comfortable with?  More than that is the combination of Chariot and the Tower telling me that I need to break away from bonds I have created for myself. Am I standing in the way of my own happiness?

My year card: Adjustment

The Adjustment is a symbol for the balance of contrasts, complementing one another and also the realization of cause and effect.
This year maybe I need to balance my actions and realize that what I do has consequences on other people too. I need to be honest with myself and see life in 3-D rather than my own glasses and act based on all I gather.

May 13, 2010

Reading: Career calling

Question: Will my career show some improvement in the recent future?

Spread and interpretation:                                                                                

The current environment at work is happy, with the querent getting along well her colleagues and team. The boss sees the querent as a budding worker, who is growing in her role. What is going against the situation is some issue/factor which is hidden and which the querent does not know about. The most likely outcome is that the querent will probably not get all she wants out of her position in the immediate future. But, in all likely hood, making a small sacrifice today will lead to better opportunities later.

Reading: Marriage this year

Question: Will I get married this year to the person of my choice?

Spread and interpretation:

The querent’s present circumstances is overall a positive one. Though there are a number of factors which might not seem favorable, there are not major. There is a third someone who has an influence on the outcome. What is going against the situation is this person who is confused whether the marriage should go ahead or not. His/her mind is closed and s/he is not sure which side to choose. What is positively affecting the issue is that this person is at the end of his/her struggle. The knot might not be tied by the end of this year but certainly favorable talks/actions will begin.

May 11, 2010

My new deck: Thoth Tarot

I received my new Thoth tarot deck through mail yesterday. I could barely wait to open the packaging and look at the cards! I have been trying to locate them since over a year now. I spent some time with the deck yesterday, going over the cards and illustrations. I love the images and I know I will enjoy working with these. It will, however, take some time to get a feel for the decks and be able to differentiate it from the others.

Its strange how my quest began for the Thoth deck. The first time I looked at the deck at a store, I did not like them. In fact I quite disliked them, I thought the images were dark and of the sinister kind! I soon forgot all about the Thoth deck. But, about two years back, I started reading about the Kaballah and the Tree of life. The more I read, the more fascinating the theories became. And slowly the illustrations of the Thoth tarot did not seem that dark. And after some time they began to look quite interesting! About a year back, I knew I just had to have the deck, but, I could not find it on any of the stores. Amazon said it was out of stock! I just found this available on Amazon and Flipkart (Indian site which lets you order books etc.) and managed to get it. The deck is out of stock again.

Reference: Most interesting tarot decks and books are not available in India. However, you can order them through Flipkart

I was quite apprehensive on the service but was pleasantly surprised. The site told me upfront that since my product was an imported edition, it would take 14-21 business days to reach me. I got it in 16 days through Bluedart and in good condition. I plan to order a couple of books too and will update as I received them.

May 10, 2010

Exercise 1: Why Tarot?

What is tarot (how would I explain to a friend)?
The tarot is a pack of 78 cards (usually) with illustrations meant to depict various emotions/stages/activities of life. The cards are divided into 22 major arcana cards (which illustrate significant aspects of life like Fortune, Strength, Sun) and 56 minor arcana cards which are further divided into 4 categories of Wands (Creative energy), Cups (Emotions), Pentacles (Wealth/Material aspects) and Swords (the Mind). Tarot cards are usually used for introspection or for making a prediction in future.

What do you feel is the purpose of the tarot?
The purpose of tarot is to bring together the learnings of all human subconscious across times and distances. We all experience common themes in life. A card we pick from a tarot deck reflects our current situation/feelings and helps to see life more clearly.

What do you want to learn from the tarot?
I want to know myself better and grow more as a person through the tarot. When I look at the cards, I realize the various lessons I need to incorporate in my actions. I also want to be able to be better prepared for the future or at times simply know what it might hold.

Reference: Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for Personal Transformation,  By Mary K. Greer , Chapter 1