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The Raw and Scary Meaning of Death in the Tarot

the real meaning of death prisma visions tarot
Prisma Visions Tarot

It’s Scorpio season, a time of letting go, endings and transformation.

Scorpio is linked to Death in the Tarot, so it’s the perfect time to talk about the raw and scary aspects of this card nobody wants to raise when it pops up in a reading.

There is no beating around the bush: Death isn’t the happiest card in the Tarot.

It ain’t pretty (unless you are a tree in autumn shedding your leaves), it ain’t fun.

Even the cheerful motto Out with the old, in with the new often covers up melancholy moments of letting something go that holds bittersweet memories.

Scorpio’s sting hurts, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

And while Death may well symbolise the transformation of the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, for us humans the process is more complex, at best uncomfortable and at worst very painful and crushing.

There is no point in denying the true meaning of Death, which in essence is about irreversible endings. It’s the finality of Death that can be so painful and hard to accept.

There is no point in denying the ugly side of Death, full stop. Popular tarot blogs and new age happy clappers want to make us believe that Death is a wonderful thing.

That it’s about fabulous change and new beginnings, which sounds great but somehow sanitises its actual meaning. It’s time to acknowledge this card for what it really stands for:

An ending you – or your client – don’t want and didn’t ask for. And yes, it can sometimes even mean physical death. It was my father’s year card in his final year of life.

That doesn’t mean you should tell your client that they or one of their loved ones is about to die. No.

Instead, when this card comes up in a reading, ask yourself (or your client) what this card means to you (them) at this moment in time.

Death is a taboo subject in our society and is often brushed under the carpet. Anything to do with it including fear of death, grieving, and preparing for it when seriously ill.

Because we are living longer, we tend to take the time we have for granted. Death in a reading can remind us that we don’t have all the time in the world.



Death reminds us not to delay turning our dreams into reality, because one day it will be too late.

Death in a reading can act as a reminder of our mortality. Together with Justice, it may be a good idea to make a will and get your affairs in order (including life insurance) to prepare for the inevitable.

To many, this sounds macabre, but what you would really be doing is taking care of your loved ones in case something happens to you.

It can suggest any of the five stages of grieving – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – you or your client may be experiencing. It is time to tackle those emotions.

Death says: “What are you wasting your time on? Life is too short.”

Death is a process, and sometimes we don’t realise we’ve been through it until we look back and realise that the last couple of years or so have been tough and transformed us into the person we are today.

And we are still alive – that’s the good news! Let’s make the most of it.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

PS: Learn more about how to use the cards for self-exploration and healing in my Discovery Tarot Course.

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Tarot Shadow Work: Descend into the Underworld

descend into the underworld
Cosmic Faery Tarot Deck

With Halloween and winter fast approaching, it’s a good time to light some candles, burn some incense, play some atmospheric music and work with the shadow cards of the Major Arcana for some serious self-exploration:

The Hanged Man, Death, The Devil, The Tower and The Moon.

The late Hajo Banzhaf (Tarot and the Journey of the Hero) assigned these cards to the Arc of the Night of the Major Arcana, the descend into the underworld, which starts with the Hanged Man and ends with the Moon.

These are not the most welcome cards when they appear in readings, but when we face them and examine our dark side (including those past experiences we’d rather forget), they can help us turn our darkness into light.

The best way to do that is through self-enquiry. Here are some questions you can ask yourself for each card:

The Hanged Man – What do I keep avoiding? Where am I stuck in my life? In what situations did/do I find it hard making decisions? What sacrifices have I made in order to make progress? What do I refuse to give up?

Death – Endings in my life that were painful. Changes that were unsettling. New beginnings that resulted from these endings/changes. What do I need to let go of now (habits, things, people…)? How can I transform anguish, loss and grief into a new sense of purpose and understanding? What transformations have I experienced in my life?

Tarot spread: 1. Me now / 2. Me a year ago – What has changed?

The Devil – What is controlling me / what am I controlling? Where do I feel trapped? How can I break free? Where am I complacent? Where am I wasting too much energy that isn’t worth it? What am I obsessed about? Where have I been despondent? A taboo in my life / family / society.



The Tower – What am I angry about? When was the last time I showed my anger? What incident or situation shook my world? How have I recovered? When did I feel that my life was falling apart, and how have I rebuilt it? What has gone out of control? What have I destroyed on purpose in order to start again differently?

The Moon – When did my imagination last run wild? What are my fears / insecurities and doubts? What am I confused about? A nightmare I can remember I once had. My lunar fantasies: visions and illusions (pull a card for each). What is obscured and needs to be revealed? Where and how am I deceiving myself?

Make this Halloween a date with your shadow and descend into the underworld with these cards. Enjoy!

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

PS: Learn more about how to use the cards for self-exploration and healing in my Discovery Tarot Course.

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

Transform your life this year:

Tarot Readings – Insightful guidance when you need it
Learn Tarot – A magickal, inspirational tool for life
Tarot eBooks – Great value, innovative Tarot study material

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Going Pro: 3 Mistakes to Avoid as a Tarot Reader

mistakes to avoid as a tarot readerWhen you start out and progress on your journey as a professional Tarot reader, you most likely look for advice and inspiration from your peers, usually found on their websites and in online networking groups.

Although it is helpful and enjoyable to engage with your fellow readers, I have noticed over the years that there tends to be a herd mentality, which can have the unfortunate effect of self-brainwashing.

I do understand that when you start as a professional, you are looking for all the help you can find to get yourself established, but at one point it is important to find your own way and think your own thoughts.

From that herd mentality and the resulting self-brainwashing, try to avoid the following three mistakes:

1. Being judgemental and presumptuous

Many tarot readers claim they are non-judgemental and objective, but are they really?

When readers announce in their blog posts that they refuse to read on repeat questions, or they “have to” rephrase some of their clients’ questions, then in fact this sounds pretty much judgemental. They seem to judge their clients’ situation based on these issues.

And when you read about their reasons why, then it seems that most of them are based on assumptions and speculations, such as the client obviously hasn’t moved on, or why are they asking me such a self-restrictive fortune-telling question? I can teach them how to do better...

When one tarot reader complained about clients requesting several readings from various readers about the same issue, it sounded like that client almost committed a criminal offence.

Of course the reader refused to do the reading, and I will probably get shot by the tarot ethics police when I admit that I have no problem submitting my reading when asked and getting paid for it, too.

Why? I hear you ask. Well, because every client has the right to spend their money on what they want. They can invest it in a huge DVD collection, or they can ask several readers for advice on how to handle and deal with a situation.

Everyone is entitled to second opinions, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they feed a habit or live in denial. And being in denial is nothing to feel ashamed or bad about. Denial is often part of the grieving process.

If I hadn’t asked another doctor for a second opinion many years ago, I would have been dead today.

When you need help resolving an issue, you may ask several people for their advice. In the end, you evaluate and make up your own mind. What’s wrong with that?

Not every client in this position is a tarot junkie.

The antidote to being judgmental and presumptuous is unconditional open-mindedness and acknowledgement that anything is possible. Avoid generalisation. Treat each client as an individual with their own unique issues.

2. Being a copy cat

When you are in awe of fellow tarot readers’ fabulous websites and blogs, it can be tempting to emulate them and inadvertently ending up being a bit of a clone.

How many unboxing videos are there on YouTube now? Who has time to watch them all? Are you sure you want to spend / waste time adding to that pile?

How many thousands of websites are out there offering tarot readings? How is yours standing out to get noticed? It doesn’t help to copy another website’s colour scheme or stock photos.

It’s even worse copying their products or services, such as courses and ebooks.

Last year I noticed that a big name in the tarot business had copied the concept of my Tarot Moon Journal, which I first published in 2012. My creation was given a different title and a once-over in corporate colours, but I know mine is the original and best, like all original ideas usually are.

The antidote to being a copy cat is to find your own style, your true and authentic voice and create unique offerings with your personal touch.

3. Following the Tarot herd

  • you don’t need to have a huge tarot deck collection
  • you don’t need to join the latest social media platform, because other tarot readers do (what on earth is Periscope?)
  • you don’t need to condemn a fellow tarot reader solely based on accusations from another tarot reader. Tarot readers can be highly strung at times. Best to avoid this kind of drama – and judgement! Be fair and kind rather than part of a tarot mob.
  • only because one reader claims that they don’t read reversals doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Whatever works best for you really counts.
  • contrary to popular opinion, you can still use Tarot for fortune-telling, if that’s what you want to do
  • you don’t need to be constantly on social media. Switch off to think for yourself and generate your best ideas
  • you don’t need tarot certification
  • you don’t need to bombard the world with masses of tarot deck reviews, complicated spreads and tarotscopes. Instead, why not create a Best of… list linking to your favourites you found on other people’s blogs? Better than rehashing what is already out there (watch this space for my list coming soon :))
  • you don’t need to call yourself a healer only because it seems like the new buzz job title for tarot readers
  • not all third party readings are equal. Some of them are okay to do, others are not. Avoid putting them all into one bucket. Consider each one carefully and see how far you want to go with it.

The antidote to following the tarot herd is critical thinking, discernment and realising that less is more. Take a step back, observe and evaluate without worrying about your peers’ acceptance or rejection. It’s the age-old dilemma of fitting in versus standing out.

Deep down you are wise, clever and intelligent enough to avoid these three mistakes as a Tarot reader once you put your mind to it.

Yes, I have made some of the mistakes listed here, learned my lessons and began to focus on my own imagination, new interests and experiences outside the tarot world that have inspired me to create the crazy cosmic enlightening stuff on offer here on my website.

What about you?

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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The Sevens in the Tarot of Quotes

seven of wands tarot of quotes - sevens in the tarotMoving on from the restorative Sixes, we are now experiencing the crazy creepy contemplating Sevens in the Tarot.

This is not as bad as it sounds, since the number Seven is regarded in numerology as a mystical and sacred number.

In the Tarot, the number Seven is linked to movement, struggle, contemplation, self-reflection, indecision, new direction and restraint.

The corresponding Major Arcana card is the Chariot.

Seven of Wands – defence, resistance, struggle, perseverance

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Valour

Astrological Attribution: Mars in Leo – stress, competition, aggression, stamina, energetic, intense, friction, willpower, courage, survival instinct

Interpretation: standing up for yourself, fight for what you believe in; enduring a stressful situation, be daring, taking a risk in order to prevail; on the defensive

Image symbolism:

Fire – Mars (also see the Tower); attacking forces, chaos

Figure on the podium – defensive position, ready to confront trouble

Water in the distance – resolution ahead

 

seven of cups tarot of quotes

Seven of Cups – Wishful thinking, desire, escape, daydreaming

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Illusionary Success

Astrological Attribution: Venus in Scorpio – creative visualisations, sensual dreams and desires, fantasy worlds, imagination, escapism, mixed emotions

Interpretation: lots of ideas floating in head, choices, flights of fancy, imagination overwhelm; reality check; gullibility; prioritizing, turning dreams into reality

Image symbolism:

Vases and jars – choices

Stars in the vases – dreams, treasures, happy thoughts, aspirations

Sky with clouds – castle in the air, dreams and hopes that need action to turn them into reality

 

seven of swords tarot of quotes

Seven of Swords – deception, secrecy, insincerity, stealth, ambiguity

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Unstable Effort

Astrological Attribution: Moon in Aquarius – obscurity, insecurity, hidden agenda, cunning, slyness, self-protection, vagueness, subversion, plotting, resistance, mistrust, intrigue

Interpretation: avoiding confrontation, running away from responsibility, a cover-up, lying, lack of integrity, hiding the truth; trying to get away with “murder”; malpractice

Image symbolism:

Dark grey colours – murkiness

Guy Fawkes – infamous 17th century English Catholic, who planned a plot against King James I (the gunpowder plot), which failed.

Mask – famous mask appearing in V for Vendetta, a graphic novel created by Alan Moore

 

seven of pentacles tarot of quotes

Seven of Pentacles – patience, choice, growth, development

Esoteric Title: The Lord of Success Unfulfilled

Astrological Attribution: Saturn in Taurus – completion, lack of movement, restrictions, new opportunities, outgrown a situation, resistance to change, indecision, preparing for change, fear of failure, stagnation

Interpretation: patience, waiting for the right moment, a choice between the familiar and the unknown, contemplating risks, taking time to act, cultivating what is nourishing and sustaining (e.g. healthy habits, friendships, beliefs etc.)

Image symbolism:

Fruit and plants – harvest, growth, success

Open door – new opportunities, the unknown

Orange / brown colours – autumn, the season linked to the suit of Pentacles

I welcome your views and opinions on my cards. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

You can view all images of my Tarot deck in the Gallery, and you can buy the Cosmic Faery Tarot deck here.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

Transform your life this year:

Tarot Readings – Insightful guidance when you need it
Learn Tarot – A magickal, inspirational tool for life
Tarot eBooks – Great value, innovative Tarot study material

You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

Tarot Astrology: Saturn in the Tarot

saturn in the tarotAfter Jupiter, the next stop in the line of ancient planets is Saturn.

In astrology, this planet is associated with hardship, discipline and limitations, the latter being reflected in the famous rings composed of rocks and ice surrounding it.

Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture, who was also in charge of conformity, social order and creating civilisations.

Saturn is ruler of Capricorn, hence the presence of the Devil amongst the Saturn cards.

Saturn’s prime attribution in the Major Arcana is to the World. In the Rider Waite deck, we see the wreath around the figure, which we can link to Saturn’s rings.

Although the World is a card of completion, achievement and self-realisation, the Saturn energy also suggests boundaries and limitations.

Additional meanings of the World derived from Saturn: the end of the line; as good as it gets; the need for self-regulation; maintaining of what has been achieved.

Saturn reflects our innate desire for structure and order, and in the Devil its energy is reflected in a hard-working nature, which can easily descend into slaving along in dull routines, narrow-mindedness and lack of growth.

In astrology, Saturn is regarded as the greater malefic, which means it can indicate negative energy such as hardship and sadness.

Saturn in the tarot is linked to the following pip cards:

  • Five of Wands (Saturn in Leo)
  • Ten of Wands (Saturn in Sagittarius)
  • Eight of Cups (Saturn in Pisces)
  • Three of Swords (Saturn in Libra)
  • Seven of Pentacles (Saturn in Taurus)

How does Saturn influence the card meanings? Here are some suggestions:

Five of Wands – quarrels and misunderstanding due to narrow-mindedness; everyone is just focused on their own agenda. No discipline; rules not adhered to; lack of progress; a dull routine interrupted, pushing boundaries

Ten of Wands – awareness of self-limitations; bogged down; carrying the World on your shoulders; discipline and self-reliance creates suffering; sense of duty

Eight of Cups – leaving something behind that offered no more growth; having outgrown a situation; leaving the comfort zone; looking for something more unconventional; walking away from responsibility

Three of Swords – sadness, melancholy, emotional endurance, cold-heartedness; a painful lesson learned; having lost something comfortable or secure; being restricted by grief; absorbed by loss, not seeing a way out; stuck in a gloomy world

Seven of Pentacles – new growth outside the comfort zone; sowing new seeds; perseverance; hard work paid off; hesitating about taking a risk; security is important; frustrated about limited success

These are just a few ideas how Saturn influences the meanings of these cards. You are welcome to share yours in the comment box below.

You can also try this exercise: 

Pick out all the Saturn cards from your deck. Which of the pip cards would you relate to which Major Arcana card?

Take into account visual clues as well as similar meanings. For example, I see the Ten of Wands linked to the Devil and the Seven of Pentacles to the World.

But you may have different ideas. How do you see the Saturn cards connected with each other? Let me know Smile

For this exercise I have created journaling sheets, which you can download from my Tarot Astrology online course page. If you prefer to study on your own, please check out the self-study version of this course.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane 

 

Transform your life this year:

Tarot Readings – Insightful guidance when you need it
Learn Tarot – A magickal, inspirational tool for life
Tarot eBooks – Great value, innovative Tarot study material

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram

 

Going Pro: Why You Should Answer the Same Question Again

answer the same question again
The Cosmic Faery Tarot

Quite a while ago, I came across a discussion in an online tarot forum about querents asking the same question again and again, especially with regards to relationship issues such as breakups.

Many tarot readers were adamant that they refuse such repeat requests, as the querent has apparently “not moved on yet”.

I didn’t want to get into an argument, so I refrained from admitting that I was totally fine with that.

The simple reason is that I don’t assume anything, when I get a reading request.

Relationships can be full of drama, and I trust that my readings will reflect these issues and make the querent aware.

Relationships can be on and off. People meet, get together, split up, get back together again… and this can carry on for a while.

Yes, you may not think this is healthy, but it is not down to us to pass judgement and then refuse to help someone, who needs guidance.

Energies around the querent change despite the same question being asked, and this will usually be picked up by the cards you draw.

You may be answering the same question differently every time, even if there are just a few adjustments.

Usually after the third time of asking the same question, I offer the querent a quick phone consultation to establish what is going on in their life.

These conversations have always revealed the bigger picture of their situation and also how accurate my readings had been in the past relating to the issue.

Emotional turmoil can take some time to come to terms with. In that situation the querent may need reassurance, encouragement, a new insight or perspective.

The last thing I want to do is take the moral high ground and turn them away for asking the same question yet again. I see it as my job to support them with compassion and an open mind.

Is he/she coming back to me? Sometimes they do!

Life is not black and white.

We cannot expect love to follow a straight forward pattern or even make it so, because it is not always straight forward.

We cannot base our answers solely on our experiences or that of people we know. This is where we can get it badly wrong as professional readers, if we are not careful.

Only because my friend got back together with her husband after a two-year separation, that doesn’t mean everyone else will, or nobody else will ever get back together with their ex.

If they made the right decision is a different matter.

What counts is how you answer the question. How much you empower your client.

For some it is hard to move on, for others there is still unfinished business. And then there are those, who are being played with, who are confused and try to make sense of an ongoing saga.

They need someone, who can see the bigger picture from far, far away. Someone, who patiently answers their repeat questions, knowing that at one point it will create a positive shift in the querent’s mind.

It is all down to your judgement without prejudice to make the right decision when faced with repeat questions.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

 

The High Priestess in the Tarot of Quotes

high priestess in the tarot of quotesThe High Priestess in the Tarot is one of the most mysterious and fascinating archetypes.

She embodies the feminine energy that is inherent within us all – intuition, inner wisdom, silence, stillness, reflection, gut instinct, patience.

The High Priestess is your inner spiritual advisor, counsellor, guide and psychic muse. If you don’t know what to do or what to say, you follow her instead.

She represents inner knowing that doesn’t come with tangible proof but with feelings and perceptions that trigger your sixth sense.

Following the High Priestess requires a huge amount of trust in her abilities but also plenty of self-knowledge to distinguish sound advice from deception and illusion.

She encourages you to dig deeper in order to see the bigger picture, to work with nature’s rhythms such as the moon phases and the seasons, learn from your dreams, and follow your aspirations (those goals that seem to call you).

The High Priestess in the Tarot of Quotes is a lighthouse in the darkness, the guiding light that shows you the way safely to your destination.

The surrounding sea is the vastness of feelings and emotions within you, and just like an explorer you need to navigate on the surface to find your way and dive in to find all the treasures (talents, secrets, answers) hidden in the deep.

Astrologically, the High Priestess is linked to the moon. The waxing moon (new moon) represents intentions, conception and manifesting.

In practical terms, when this card comes up in a reading, you may want to observe rather than take action, wait and see, be silent rather than chatty, listen rather than speak. Let something work itself out or a situation unravel in its own time.

If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it or stop doing it.

high priestess cosmic faery tarot
Still waters run deep – Cosmic Faery Tarot Deck

Follow your inner guide or ask someone you trust for advice.

What to avoid: moodiness, being irrational, unpredictability, isolation.

I welcome your views and opinions on my cards. Please feel free to leave your comment below.

You can buy the Cosmic Faery Tarot deck here.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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