Category Archives: My Journey

Creating a Spiritual Garden

Saturday, I drew the Six of Swords, and then promptly forgot about it. (Okay, I was having a busy morning!) The six of swords indicates travel, transition, and moving from an unsatisfying situation to a different one. All things that I had no idea I was going to do!

Then, something hit me. What, I still don’t know for sure. I had a burning, unnamed inspiration in my heart, and it sent me into panic mode. What on earth was going on? I was freaking out, as my friends could testify to.

So, I spent some time journaling about it, and came up with this conclusion. Create a spiritual garden. Holy ground. To bring forth fruits.

Okay, so it sounds very biblical and whatnot. I guess that’s how my brain is hardwired. But either way, I decided right then and there to create a special space just for me, to meditate, focus, journal, and read tarot cards.

I spent the better part of an hour cleaning my bedroom, to find a kid-safe zone to keep my stuff. Since they spend some time in there anyway (usually bouncing up and down waking me up) I also had to find a plastic tote to keep all my stuff in. I could not survive without plastic totes!

After a while, I decided I had to try out my new space. I taped up a plastic sheet protector, so I could slip in new pictures at will, without fussing with picture frames. I got out one of my spread cloths, and some candles to hold it down with. Candles always make me feel good, and help me center and focus.

Also included was a lovely smelling soap sent to me in a trade, and my junk oracle! All of the random little bits of coins, shells, dice, and other goodies in one bag, to use in divination. I haven’t tried it yet, but it makes me feel good to have all of those memories in one place.

I also included my big journal, which is getting a lot of pictures taped into it. I need the visuals just as much as I need the written words. Right now, I’m studying the Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot, and although it isn’t in that picture, it was included as well.

I spent about an hour that night journaling about the cards, and then an hour in the morning — 7 A.M.! — to see how it would change my focus. It feels wonderful to do, but then Sunday night I had to go to bed early with a headache, and I slept in late this morning. So, hopefully having this space will give me the incentive to get into a routine.

Most people would call this an altar, but the phrase spiritual garden popped into my mind, and stuck. I’m not focusing on one deity or spiritual practice, but rather on whatever I need to do to grow. That could change as time passes. But for now, I’m very happy with the opportunity to take time out for me. No other focus, disconnected from the internet, a time for peace and contemplation.


A Drive Through a Small Town

I thought it was time to share a bit about where I’m coming from in life. The Tarot path encompasses anyone willing to walk it, and my own spirituality is no exception. My spiritual life has been pretty topsy turvy, more so than many, and also less so. So here’s a well-timed flashback, to show you my example of spiritual growth.

*cue flashback*

I was born into a Christian home, Seventh-Day Adventist by denomination. My mother believes every bit of it, but does not feel the need to go to church. My father is a good man, hardworking to a fault, but doesn’t contemplate the higher spiritual pathways. I suppose he believes it will all turn out for the best in the end.

I attended church when I was small, until I was about 12. Various different people gave me rides to church over the years, but my favorite was a lady I’ll call Betty. She was probably in her late 40′s at the time, and had curly light brown hair and a winning smile. She was very nice to everyone, and knew her Bible well.

I remember one time on the way to church, we were talking about the return of Jesus. During a pause in the conversation, I saw her looking off into the distance, and she wasn’t smiling. Her eyebrows came together, her lips pursed.

Then she saw me looking, and gave me her signature smile.

Forced, with the light gone from her eyes. I could see it, and saw what I believed was hypocrisy for the first time.

It bothered me then, and bothered me for a long time. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t happy, why there was no real joy under her smile. After all, when you know that you are saved, isn’t that supposed to bring you unending joy?

Looking back now, I realize there could have been a thousand different reasons why her smile faded away. She could have been stressing about bills or wondering about the fate of our little church (which I found out shut down years later).

Yet it wore down on me, that she would fake a smile to a child. Wasn’t that like lying? Did she truly believe I couldn’t tell the difference?

Now, with two daughters of my own, I know the meaning of that smile. It was an attempt to spread happiness, at all times, to all people. A monumental task for any human being, and especially for those of us with real worldly concerns. Children deserve to know that there is good out there to balance out the bad, and they deserve to have faith in the basic goodness of the human spirit.

I cannot fault her for wanting to preserve that.

*end flashback*

So, what does this have to do with Tarot? I suppose, the fact that I was already questioning things as a young child, looking for elements that didn’t quite fit together. Trying to find the underlying pattern in life.

Also, that I came from a Christian background. Although there are many good-hearted people who believe that Tarot has no place in a God-fearing home, I respectfully disagree. I do still believe in God, although in a far different way that a lot of people. My chosen word is “The Divine”, to identify this higher power in the universe.

But that story is for another post….


Tarot Deck Collecting

Lately, I’ve been expanding my tarot deck collection. No, I haven’t bought out half the decks in existence – not even close! But via trades and some well-timed purchases, I’ve expanded my collection to a whopping 15 decks. My love of tarot has finally spilled over to my man, who now has three decks in his possession. Tarot deck collecting is addictive! And a lot of fun. Seventy-eight works of art that fit in your pocket, priceless!

So, I’ll do a quick recap of what decks are in my possession, and give you a taste of what to expect in the upcoming readings I do with them. Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, each deck has it’s own reading style and personality, and it always amazes me when I meet a new one and establish a connection. It’s like meeting a perfect stranger and talking for hours!

My Tarot Deck Collection, At the Moment

Rider Waite Smith: The classic tarot deck that set the standard for scenic pip cards. While not my favorite, it is strikingly accurate, and works extremely well in meditation. We have a love-hate relationship!

Thoth: Aleister Crowley’s infamous legacy! We haven’t spent a lot of time together as of late. Yet I know it has a lot in store for me. It just seems to be speaking in a different language! I’m sure one of these days, it’ll all just click in one giant wave.

Fenestra: A beautiful deck that adheres closely to RWS meanings. I find it very soothing and comforting, and tend to use for emotional issues and spiritual healing.

Gilded: Another deck that walks the RWS, with lovely details brought to life by Ciro Marchetti. There is more here than appears at first glance, and the first glance is gorgeous! It is my “first” tarot deck, and already well-loved and well-used.

Deviant Moon: A darker, yet wildly creative deck! Not for the faint of heart, this deck leaves you wanting more – in a good way! I hear tell of a number of decks in the works from Patrick Valenza, and rest assured I will be happily adding them to the collection.

Paulina: Elegant and full of details! I love it so much, for the artwork and it is a very readable deck as well. Light and whimsical, it always cheers me up to read with it, even when the message isn’t as pleasant.

Bohemian Gothic: A rare find indeed! Another darker deck, it forces me to look underneath the surface and reach the true source of the issue at hand. The second edition is going to be published soon, from what I understand, with quite a few changes. Excitement!

Mythic: This deck has haunted me. I suspect I saw it mentioned in a library when I was younger, but I honestly cannot remember. While I’m not as familiar with all the legends, it still reads beautifully, and sends me back to a different phase of my life.

Legend: Arthurian: This well-loved deck came to me in less than ideal condition. However, I want to learn more about the Arthur mythos, and look forward to getting to know this one!

Animals Divine: An instant keeper! I love animals, and found an immediate connection with this deck. It draws you in, and although it is “just” animals, portrays the meanings of the cards very well. Loving it!

Fairy Tale: Not to be confused with the Fairytale tarot by Baba Press, this one was made by the creator of the Animals Divine. The artwork is beautiful here too, although I’m not as familiar with all of these stories either. Clearly, I have a lot of reading to do!

World Spirit: The art was created via wood carvings! What’s not to love? But seriously, a fun, inviting, and original deck. It is a tad thick for my smaller hands, but a real pleasure to read with.

Necronomicon: A very dark deck based off of Lovecraft’s writings. Not one I would recommend lightly, but powerful imagery that is rich with meaning. It’s a love it or leave it kind of deck, and I’m not sure which side I’m on just yet. Time will tell.

Ship of Fools: A fool on every card gives “The Fool’s Journey” a whole new meaning! I didn’t know what to expect with this one, but it’s black and white line drawings force you to pay more attention to the cards’ details, and enhance the reading experience.

Golden Tarot of Klimt: The Bling-bling deck! Gold foil highlights this deck, which gives very pointed and meaningful readings. The people populating this deck are very startling to my Americanized eyes, but add a lot of depth. This one won’t leave my side easily!

Whew! That’s a lot, and doesn’t count the ones that are still in the mail! After those arrive, I’ve got to take more time getting to know the ones I’ve got, rather than accumulating more. Once you dive into the world of acquiring tarot decks, you’ll find it difficult to stop.

Happy tarot hunting!


Physical and Emotional Tarot Blocks

I’ve been MIA the past few days. I’ve been fighting a nasty bug, and dealing with some emotional hang ups that I’ve been ignoring for awhile. Thanks to that, I haven’t posted, even though I’ve been doing my daily draws and such.

So, I thought I’d explore how being physically ill and emotionally spent hinders the tarot reading process.

Of course, it seems painfully obvious. If you’re not feeling well, physically or emotionally, you won’t do well reading the cards. I know my interpretations of my friends’ cards and my cards have been off lately. Not thinking clearly, missing obvious connections, and generally not wanting to do much but zone out and rest all day.

Yet, I did do my draws, and they were still beneficial. Even if it took a bit longer for me to see the connections, they were still there. And they were exactly what I needed, even if I didn’t know it.

Physically, the Ace of Wands indicated a lovely batch of cramps (sorry, TMI folks) and the King of Wands indicated a fever. Fire of Fire, and all that. Emotionally, the King of Cups Reversed indicated emotional blocks that needed to be dealt with. I have a lot of stuff in my past that is hard for me to even think about, let alone deal with. There are days where I feel miles away from all of that, and others where it rears its ugly head at me.

So yesterday I decided to face some of it. With the love and support of my friends, I did a freewriting exercise to address some of my fears and pain. I pulled a card to get my bearings, and to have a starting point to dive into. The Six of Cups, nostalgia. Perfect.

Although I’m not at a point to share those thoughts here, I wanted to let you know that tarot can be useful to work through your own personal issues. Of course, if you are facing serious physical or mental health issues, see the proper professionals right away. If you want to know what areas to focus on, the tarot can, at the very least, point you in the right direction.

Of course, the blocks themselves can hinder your progress with the tarot. Especially for the new tarot reader, when you feel poorly the last thing you might want to do is try to analyze a bunch of cards that are still foreign to you. However, once you have found a deck that you are comfortable with, even glancing through the images can restore some comfort and peace into your soul.

I’m thinking of going through my decks, and writing up my insights of each card from each deck, one by one. Probably random, personal freewriting, to keep the emotional pathways flowing on a regular basis. I may share parts of them here, as the desire arises.

How do you deal with similar blocks when trying to read tarot? Can you work around them, or do the issues demand your primary attention?


Study Tarot Cards Through Tarot Meditation

One of my favorite ways to study tarot cards is by doing a tarot meditation with one or more cards at a time. Now, I am not good at traditional meditation, sitting cross legged, chanting “om” and emptying my mind of all thoughts. Frankly, my mind gets bored, and needs something more concrete to latch on to.

That’s where the tarot comes in. The beautiful imagery of the cards can fill the mind’s eye, giving you a starting point for your imagination to explore. So, if you’ve had some difficulty with other forms of meditation, tarot visualization and meditation could work for you.

How I Do a Tarot Meditation

1. Prepare the area. I make sure I have everything I’m going to need, including something to drink, my tarot deck, my notebook, a pen, and a candle. If you like incense, soothing music or an audio recording of a guided meditation, go ahead and add those! Personally, I like the silence, so I can hear what’s going on in my mind.

2. Choose the tarot card(s). This one of the fun times where you don’t have to shuffle and choose a random tarot card. If you have been drawn to a particular card lately, wish to study one or more in combination, or have been drawing one card frequently, you can pick out that card specifically for the meditation. You can also do a whole reading’s worth of cards for a meditation, but be prepared to spend a lot of time and energy pouring over the cards.

3. Light a candle. This is the key action for me when I do a tarot meditation. Focusing on the pure light of a candle puts my mind into “meditation mode”, and relaxes me while maintaining my clarity of purpose. You may have other mental triggers that open your mind to experiencing what the Universe is trying to show you, so go ahead and use them.

4. Examine the “surface” of the tarot card image. You need not dive into the card right away. Look over the card, for as long as necessary, so that you become thoroughly comfortable with the tarot imagery. Explore every detail, every symbol. What areas appeal to you immediately? What images make you feel uncomfortable? Both the positive and negative attributes of the tarot card are worthy of study, and those images that evoke strong reaction are natural starting points.

5. Connect with the characters in the tarot card. Another natural meditation point is the people who star in the chosen tarot card. As humans, we easily relate and sympathize with another person’s situation, even fictional or archetypal characters. Most of us are accustomed to interacting with other humans, whether we choose to talk to them as a separate entity, or take on their role within the tarot card. Don’t discount animals or even inanimate objects, however. When meditating, anything within the card could have a specific message for you.

6. Visualize yourself stepping into the card. This is the point where your meditation can go as deeply (or shallowly) as you are comfortable with. See yourself entering the world of the tarot card. Explore the landscape as if you were walking through it in real life. Go beyond the borders of the card, if you so choose. Talk with the other characters within the card. Ask them what message they have for you, how you can use their energy most wisely, or whatever other concerns you may have about that particular card in your life right now. Spend as much time in this step as you find comfortable.

7. Gradually exit the card. Once you have experienced enough of the tarot meditation to fulfill your questions, thank the characters within your card and allow yourself to slowly return to the real world. See yourself leaving the card, and resuming your seat. See the card as just one tarot card out of seventy-eight, not as the vibrant world you were just within.

8. Write down your immediate impressions. Personally, I write as I go through the meditation, but I know a lot of people don’t do both simultaneously. Be sure to copy down as much as you can, or even record yourself talking through the meditation.

9. Blow out the candle. This is the final step, that signals that I am no longer actively meditating. Your own custom made ritual should be ended at this point as well.

Now, for those who haven’t tried it, tarot meditations or visualizations can seem a bit fluffy, a whole lot of spiritual mumbo jumbo. However, I thoroughly enjoy these meditations, and come away with new insights about the tarot cards and my life that I never would have otherwise. Give it a try yourself, but don’t push the process. If it doesn’t feel right for you, try other tarot study techniques and come back at another time.

Have you tried tarot meditation? What techniques help you visualize the cards in a whole new way? Have you had any unsettling revelations while doing a tarot meditation?