Autumn Equinox – Embracing The Dark Season

autumn equinox oracle cardA friend of mine told me recently that she found the transition from summer to autumn hard.

The falling leaves make her feel depressed, and she was dreading the unavoidable approach of the long cold winter months ahead.

To a certain degree I understand her sentiment, but once you consciously decide to tune in and embrace the light and dark of all the seasons, you discover the magick and beauty of each one of them.

Just like the trees shed their leaves in the autumn, so can we shed old stuff that is holding us back.

The shedding of leaves is preparation for new life and growth in spring, and we can do the same in order to pave the way for new experiences and growth.

Today is Virgo’s (the Hermit) last day in the sun until Libra (Justice) takes over tomorrow.

Over the last four weeks, the energy of the Hermit has encouraged us to go inwards, reflect and explore what new skills to learn, new knowledge we can acquire and how we can turn it into wisdom that will serve us and others well in time to come.

The New Moon in Libra tomorrow invokes the energies of Justice, encouraging us to create and appreciate harmony in life, especially in relationships, including friendships that need building and nurturing.

So there is much we can do, and the approaching darkness will help us focus on what we need to do including planning and implementing.

Perhaps today at the time of the Autumn Equinox, or over the coming weeks until Samhain, you may want to consult the Tarot to explore some of the following questions to help you gain focus and direction:

What is holding me back right now that I need to let go of?

At this time of year with the energies of Libra/Justice, explore your options rather than making a decision. It’s about weighing up the pros and cons, so you can make your final decision by Samhain (31 October).

What new skills do I need to learn to help me reach my goals?

Depending on the card/s you draw, these could relate to

  • leadership and creativity (fire, wands),
  • emotions and relationships (water, cups),
  • mental challenges and conflict resolving (air, swords), or
  • hands-on practical skills and money management (earth, pentacles)

What can I do to strengthen my relationships with people that are important to me?

Remember that important people in your life are not restricted to your partner or close family, but also extended family, friends, co-workers, professional networks… Explore how you can build bridges, overcome conflict, encourage solidarity and teamwork, bring people closer together etc.

And here are a few other practical ideas to get you started:

  • make a to-do list
  • declutter your bookshelf to make room for new knowledge
  • network with people and see what you can do for them
  • when it comes to friendships, it’s not about quantity but quality. Only two genuine friends are worth more than a large bunch of acquaintances, who don’t care about you.
  • get your finances in order
  • avoid drama and the people creating it
  • enrol on a course

Wishing you a Happy Equinox and a magickal autumn season ahead.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 



Ask the Right Questions

ask the right questionsWhen clients approach me for a reading, they are often tempted to ask questions like

When will I find new love?
When will I get a new job?
Does he still love me?
What does the future have in store for me?
Will my business be successful? etc…

Although I don’t rephrase questions and aim to answer them as best as possible, I also include some additional insight clients may not have thought about, which are meant to provide opportunities for personal development and growth.

It is important to ask the right questions, which put you in control and empower you. Strive to “know thyself” with the help of Tarot.

Through self-exploration you will find the answers within you rather than hoping to find them elsewhere.

“An empowered life begins with serious personal questions about oneself. Those answers bare the seeds of success.” 
– Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Here are some personal questions you can explore with the Tarot, which you can also adapt to a specific issue:

“Who am I?”
“What do I need?”
“How do I function best?”
“How can I achieve my dreams?”
“How can I fulfil my potential?”
“What are my strengths and weaknesses?”
“What is blocking me?”
“What do I need to pay attention to at this moment in time?”
“What do I have to give?”
“How can I help and support others?”
“What’s the next step I can take right now?”

Self-inquiries like these help you

  • stay true to your values and principles
  • pursue your dreams and desires
  • take responsibility and make the most of what life throws at you
  • recover from setbacks
  • grow through challenges and adversity
  • set and maintain healthy boundaries
  • learn from your mistakes
  • accept and embrace change with confidence and resilience
  • add value to others and the world around you

“At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become.” Leo Babauta

The right question should encourage you to take action rather than sitting back waiting for something to happen or surrendering to fate.

The right question should also discourage you from regarding yourself as a victim, and instead inspire you to step into your power in order to heal from any negative experiences.

For more information on asking the right questions, you can also check out relevant posts here and on my journal blog.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Going Pro: Why You Cannot Help Everyone

you cannot help everyone
Image: Bohemian Gothic Tarot, 1st Edition, (c) Magic Realist Press 2010

“But what if a reading didn’t seem to be helpful to a client?”

My students keep asking me this question, as they are anxious to deliver accurate readings with a big dash of wow-factor Smile

I have written about this kind of insecurity before, but here I pick up on people’s intricate nature, and my answer is as follows:

You cannot help everyone. Even the most qualified and capable psychologists, doctors and counsellors experience limitations to their knowledge and skills.

For example, cognitive therapy is supposed to help people overcome phobias and depression. It’s a useful therapeutic tool, but doesn’t always work.

It’s not because you lack knowledge or skill per se; it’s because we deal with the complicated workings of the psyche. What goes on in a client’s mind is complex, and it’s not always possible to untangle the web in one or two sessions. Sometimes even 20 sessions won’t help.

When certain issues are deeply ingrained, it can take years for someone to unravel and overcome them.

It’s not your job as a Tarot reader to do this for your client in one sitting; you offer them guidance, but it’s up to them to be determined to make a change and take action.

Remember that clients sometimes have unrealistic expectations of Tarot readings; they hope for them to be like a magic wand, providing the answer to all their questions and taking all their problems away.

Your job as a Tarot reader is to offer insight by making empowering suggestions based on the cards drawn; your client has to do the work afterwards. Not you.

But it is only natural that as a compassionate and empathic soul you want to help your client resolve their issues, so it sucks when sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.

When this happens, ask yourself, if it was down to you, e.g. did you communicate clearly, was there a misunderstanding, or did your client have unrealistic expectations?

Here are some tips to help you limit these situations:

1. Be clear and realistic about what you can achieve with your readings.

2. Set your boundaries. In advance of the reading, communicate clearly what you can and cannot do.

3. Ask the client what they are hoping to get out of the reading.

4. Be aware that not every question can be answered in one sitting.

Trying to answer “big” questions, such as “I want to change career, but don’t know what I could do” are hardly ever resolved with one reading, and your client is likely to walk away still pondering. That’s normal.

Sometimes a reading is just a stepping stone on a long journey, but in most cases each stepping stone is useful, even if the client isn’t aware of it at the time or doesn’t openly appreciate it.

And with experience and acquired wisdom you will learn to handle those big questions, offering glimpses of illumination before you even look at the cards, but knowing full well that your client still has a long way to go when they leave you:

“I’ve just turned 40. Is this it? What do I do with the rest of my life?

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

subscribe to cosmic news

Reading Reversed Cards

reading reversed cards
Aquatic Tarot

My retreat holiday has been such a wonderful experience, but it’s also good to be back, and I’m diving straight into Tarot with a question my students keep asking me:

Do we need to pay attention to reversed cards in readings?

Some readers do, others don’t, and to be honest it is down to personal preference.

Here’s what I do:

In a reading, I usually make a mental note of any reversed cards and then turn them around. I cannot leave them upside down for visual reason; topsy-turvy images block my reading abilities.

It depends how many cards are reversed in a reading. I once had all ten cards in a Celtic Cross spread for a client reversed!

Immediately I thought there was a blockage somewhere in the client’s life, perhaps an inability to move forward with something, which was confirmed when I mentioned my first impression at the beginning of the reading.

Needless to say I turned all the cards around and proceeded with the reading and took the message of the reversed cards into account.

I don’t like the term “ill-dignified”, which is also used to describe reversed cards. Not every reversed card has a negative meaning.

For example, the Hanged Man reversed could indicate movement after a time of stagnation, or the Ten of Wands shedding of a burden rather than carrying it. It also depends very much on surrounding cards in the reading.

I often feel that just one reversed card in a 5 – 10 card reading can be more significant than many reversed cards. Again, this also depends on surrounding cards and what your intuition is telling you.

Sometimes, a reversed card can stick out like a sore thumb, and it can carry a more meaningful message than if you ignore it.

When reading reversed cards, consider the following:

  • Do they enhance the overall message of the reading?
  • Do they weaken or oppose their upright meanings?
  • Do they strengthen the meaning of other cards in the spread?
  • Do they indicate a blockage, restriction, suppressed energies or indeed out of control energies?



Here are some examples for reversed card meanings:

Five of Wands: getting over a dispute, an argument getting nasty, not playing by the rules, quick temper

Emperor: loosing control/authority, being over-bearing, dictatorial

Tower: a disaster avoided, or something is brewing underneath the surface

Sun: burn-out, restricted creative potential, over-indulgence, hedonism

Ten of Swords (image above): on the way to recovery, releasing fears/pain/ resentment/regrets; starting over, inability to see that something has ended

Four of Pentacles: spending beyond your means, risky investment, becoming more generous with money after a time of frugality

Queen of Cups: over-emotional, drama queen, moody, insensitive, highly strung, easily stressed

When reversed cards come up, ask an empowering question such as:

  • What is the card asking you to avoid?
  • Every cloud has a silver lining. What is the silver lining of the reversed card?
discovery tarot course for beginners
Learn Tarot with me

As mentioned before, it is not vital to read reversed cards; you can consider both positive and negative aspects of the cards in a reading regardless which way they come up.

But once you get the hang of reading reversals and paying attention to them, you may well get some additional, valuable insight you wouldn’t have considered before.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Enjoyed this article? Make me happy by leaving a comment or just click the “Like” button:

Why I no longer rephrase my Clients’ Questions

Why I no longer rephrase my clients' questionsAs a professional Tarot Reader I have been asked hundreds of questions, such as “Is my husband cheating on me?”, “Will I ever find love again?“, “Am I pregnant?”, “When will I get a new job?“, “Does he love me?“, ” and so forth…

At first glance it’s easy to roll your eyes at some of the questions, but I have learned over the years to take these questions seriously and treat them with respect; after all they reflect my client’s deepest concern/worry/fear/mystery, and it is the main purpose of my work to offer the best and clearest answer I can possibly give.

When I started learning Tarot many years ago, I was taught to ask the “right” questions, and there is no doubt that they do invite insightful and enlightening readings in return.

However, I cannot assume that my clients have had a crash course in tarot and question phrasing before they contact me for a reading.

Now it no longer feels right for me to make changes to questions, dilute them, make them fit or even make them more vague for the following reasons:



  • Rephrasing a question is judgemental. It implies the client is judged as being stupid, silly, careless, dim, ridiculous…etc. Surely he/she could have thought of a more “empowering” or “intelligent” question to ask? Tut tuut…
  • Rephrasing a question is condescending and suggests a hint of arrogance. Tarot Readers are NOT superior to their clients, and they shouldn’t give that impression by lecturing them about better choice of words.
  • Rephrasing a question is rude. Bear in mind that some clients will feel offended. Do your best to avoid that.
  • Rephrasing a question can knock a client’s confidence. They have taken the courage to ask you something that plays on their mind, troubles them, and all they get in return is some “friendly advice” on how to ask the right question. Ouch.

Can you remember your school days, when your teacher said “Don’t be afraid to ask. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a stupid question. Just ask.” You were encouraged to open up without worrying about being ridiculed, and this is my philosophy when it comes to tarot questions my clients ask me.

But…

what if you feel uncomfortable answering certain questions?

It’s perfectly okay to say no, and I’m perfectly fine with admitting that my abilities are limited: I’m not a qualified doctor, lawyer or financial adviser, and I cannot connect with dead people.

If I feel uncomfortable with a question, I am honest and let the client know I cannot answer it. It’s the extreme ones like “pregnancy”, which I have to decline, but thankfully they come up very rarely.

My experience over the years has also taught me that many questions I would have dismissed immediately in the past were actually quite interesting on second glance and lent themselves to deeper exploration, just like the famous “Will I ever find love again?

It is always worthwhile giving any question careful consideration and regard it as an inspirational challenge to answer it with humility, grace and integrity for the highest good of the person, who is asking. So much better than slapping the client in the face with a rephrase.

Warmest Wishes,

Christiane

subscribe to cosmic news