After a dark and gloomy January here in the UK, February has finally arrived.
I can sense a sudden exhilarating shift in my mood as if a button has been pressed in my brain.
The days are getting longer, the snowdrops are blooming, the crocuses are on their way, I’m looking out for buds on shrubs and trees…. on our tarot journey, it’s the return from darkness into the light. Yay!
The return to the light is symbolised by the Sun in the Major Arcana. Before we embrace this positive energy of joy and enlightenment, we can put closure on the darkness with this little spread:
Now that we have put the darkness to rest (at least for a while), we can focus on the lighter side of life – creation, success, clarity, simple abundance, vitality.
In the tarot, when the Fool reaches the Sun, he has reached his goal. He is exactly where he wants to be.
In the RWS deck, his achievement is symbolised by the red feather on his head on both cards and the sun in the sky, which has turned from white (beginning) to golden (completion):
In the Cosmic Faery Tarot, I have illustrated the Fool’s milestone as a seedling growing into a beautiful sunflower:
Working with the Sun, ask the following questions:
What has come to fruition?
What commitments have I made?
What do I now understand?
What can I celebrate today?
What is making me happy right now?
The Sun is very much about living in the moment, the here and now. Just for a change, there is no need to make plans or think about the future. What is most important is to savour the present and just be.
The Sun’s energy is linked to various cards in the tarot, most notably the Ten of Swords (Sun in Gemini), which depicts quite profoundly the emergence from darkness into the light.
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!
The 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.
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.
This card depicts my little familiar of 14 years, who now resides in the spirit world.
I adopted Mondy when she was five years old, and she died at the age of 19, a ripe old age for a cat, which makes me believe that she felt content living her life with me and my family.
After all this time with her, I still sometimes see her from the corner of my eye in the house or in the garden at her favourite spots (where she is also buried), and I know that she is still around.
When this card comes up in a reading, it indicates that a loved one (person or pet), who has passed on, is still watching over you.
They may want you to know something important, so you can pull an extra card to see what message they want to convey.
The Cosmic Cat may also represent your spirit guide or guardian angel, so do pay attention to what they are trying to say to you.
The Happy Bunny
Whatever challenges or strife you are currently battling with, the Happy Bunny indicates that all will be well in the end.
Despite your worries, fears and insecurities, don’t forget to enjoy the little and simple things around you that can lift your spirits even in the darkest of times.
Life can be short, the future is unknown, so make the most of what you have in the present.
The Happy Bunny may also ask you to be vigilant. Protect yourself by not being too trusting and apply some healthy scepticism. You will be okay as long as you keep your eyes open to any harm that may just lurk around the corner.
I hope you enjoy using these two additional cards in your readings. Please do feel free to add your own interpretations to these cards.
For more information on the deck and to buy, please click here.
There are many Tarot readers out there advertising and charging for their services, but are they true professionals?
If you are thinking of starting your own Tarot business, you can use this checklist based on the Major Arcana to find out what it takes to be a professional Tarot Reader:
0. The Fool
You never assume anything and treat each reading like a blank sheet of paper. You know nothing about your client, looks can be deceiving, and you are open to all possibilities.
1. The Magician
Before you carry out the reading, you communicate clearly with your client about how much you charge and the type of reading you provide.
2. The High Priestess
When interpreting the cards, you trust your intuition. You listen carefully to what your client has to say and observe body language. You may even have had some formal training in counselling.
3. The Empress
You nurture your clients by making them feel comfortable and giving them your full attention and compassion.
4. The Emperor
You are clear about your boundaries and stay in control of the reading. You are not pressured into answering questions you feel uncomfortable about, e.g. financial advice, pregnancy, medical conditions etc.
5. The Hierophant
Rather than being set in your ways, you are open to learning more and enhance your skills. You may be familiar with the cards, but there is always something new to discover. You enjoy using different decks, read new books and articles on Tarot to avoid stagnation.
6. The Lovers
You strive to encourage your clients to make their own choices based on love and knowledge.
7. The Chariot
Difficult readings can be a challenge, but you persevere and do the best you can. Most of the time you will succeed. Occasionally, you will need to bow out gracefully. Learn from it and move on.
You empower your clients with gentle guidance and kindness.
9. The Hermit
You take regular breaks to renew your energy and declutter your mind. Never do readings when pre-occupied with your own personal issues, and keep all information shared by your client as strictly confidential.
10. The Wheel of Fortune
You remind your client that nothing is set in stone, and luck can change at any moment, especially when “big” questions are asked, such as “Will I ever find my soulmate / twin flame, get married and have children?”
Make sure you are “legal”. Register with the tax office as self-employed and arrange public liability insurance cover, if you work in public places or offer readings at your home. It is also useful to list some basic Terms & Conditions that cover issues such as refunds, cancellations etc.
12. The Hanged Man
You offer your clients different perspectives on their issue, so they can move forward rather than live in denial or ignorance.
When this card comes up in a reading, you won’t be telling your client that s/he (or a loved one) is about to die.
You aim to offer readings that are healing, based on a balanced mix of offering choices, illuminating what is hidden, highlighting opportunities and exploring future possibilities.
15. The Devil
You avoid being tempted to manipulate your client into making decisions or choices you think are right for them.
16. The Tower
Rather than letting negative feedback destroy your confidence and trust in your abilities, you use it to learn and grow. Be objective: was the client ready for your message? Did they resist change? Or were you trying to dazzle them with some dubious statements or predictions you “saw” in the cards?
17. The Star
Your highest intention is to give hope and offer inspiration to your clients even at the darkest of times. Occasionally, you will encounter very sad and tragic stories, and you will have to draw on your innate ability to be a guiding light towards healing, renewal and a new purpose.
18. The Moon
You help your clients face and overcome their insecurities and fears.
19. The Sun
You aim to raise your client’s confidence and optimism.
Never judge your client or people that come up in a reading. Remember you only hear one side of the story.
21. The World
You have come a long way, have found your niche and established a reputation. But you also know it is time to expand your horizons and take your skills and experience to the next level. New networks, ideas and projects will offer you new opportunities for growth and fulfilment.
Where are you on your journey? I’d love to hear from you.
If you are using crystals in your spiritual practice and would like to combine them with Tarot, then the Crystal Tarot deck by Philip Permutt is ideal for this purpose.
The cards have wonderfully sparkly vibes radiating from the colours and images. Each card depicts a crystal together with the traditional Tarot image. For example, we see Moonstones at the feet of the High Priestess and pink Tourmaline with the Ace of Swords.
The small companion book provides the basic information for each card and its chosen crystal. It also offers a brief introduction to Tarot crystal meditation, includes Chakra correspondences with each card and also includes two spreads.
The pip cards in the Minor Arcana are non-illustrated, which doesn’t make this an ideal beginners’ deck. But if you would like to learn more about using crystals in your Tarot work, then this deck is a very useful tool for that.
I’ve listed below the Major Arcana cards and their corresponding crystals as suggested in this deck.
The crystals in brackets are alternatives based on the Golden Dawn correspondences; use the crystal that you feel more comfortable with, works for you better or is available to you; some crystals mentioned seem to be rare and difficult to get hold of.
I have drawn a card from this deck to sum up the inherent quality and energy of this deck, and I pulled Strength:
Based on the book’s interpretation of this card, the Crystal Tarot may be especially helpful when at a crossroads and trying to make sense of the possibilities and opportunities available. Messages received from this deck will offer confidence, encouragement and illuminate the need for balance and show how to achieve it.
Luckily, I have both Citrine and Tiger’s Eye in my crystal collection, but I don’t see the need to purchase all the crystals suggested in order to read with this deck.
You can also obtain crystals for those cards you use more often for spells, magick and path working.
Overall, this delightful deck with its gentle images can be used without crystals if necessary. The naive-style artwork of the cards will also no doubt speak to children, who show an interest in the Tarot.
I managed to get the Crystal Tarot from Amazon UK for less than a Fiver; if you live outside the UK, try the Book Depository (they ship worldwide and are often cheaper than Amazon).
There are thousands of love quotes out there, but none of them sums up the true essence of love, because nobody really knows what it is. Is it passion? Desire? Attraction? Lust? Devotion? Attachment? Madness?
When I chose the quote for the Lovers in the Tarot of Quotes, I wanted it to reflect the image. Doesn’t the woolly couple look like soul mates?
Shakespeare’s quote “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind” reflects the Lovers’ attribution to the element Air, which is associated with intellect, logic, reason and life’s challenges.
Challenges…yes…We all have our own love stories to tell, which will have generated a multitude of feelings and emotions, from happiness and elation to tragedy and sadness.
Everyone experiences love in various and different ways, and my image of the Lovers reflects love as caring, nurturing, unconditional, protecting, trusting, comforting and enriching.
But we also know that there is a dark side to love, and we may see a hint of it in this cosy image – restricting, clingy, needy, possessive, dependent.
The astrological association of the Lovers with Gemini suggests the need for balance between the heart and the mind, freedom and commitment, trust and knowledge.
Two bodies sharing one soul suggests lack of individuality, conflict and choices to be made, when one of them wants to break out of the cosy union.
“To be wise and love exceeds man’s might.” W. Shakespeare
Love can be precarious, but let’s not be cynical. Let’s just enjoy the heart-warming image of two loving sheep in the Yorkshire Dales.
You can see more images of the Tarot of Quotes in the Gallery.