Today’s Tarot Card for December 18th is Justice


Wednesday, Dec 18th, 2013







Traditionally, what has been known as the Justice card has to do with moral sensitivity and that which gives rise to empathy, compassion and a sense of fairness. Since the time of Solomon, this image has represented a standard for the humane and fair-minded treatment of other beings.

Often including the image of a fulcrum which helps to balance competing needs against the greater good, and a two-edged sword to symbolize the precision needed to make clear judgments, this card reminds us to be careful to attend to important details. It’s a mistake to overlook or minimize anything where this card is concerned. The law of Karma is represented here — what goes around comes around.



The Tarot


The TAROT is made up of 78 cards. The MAJOR ARCANA, or trumps, comprises 21 of the cards. They bear allegorical images and titles. They symbolize “the big
picture”. They are in numerical order as a journey through life starting with
the fool and ending with the world. The rest of the deck is made up of the


They comprise four suits: the swords, wands (staves or batons), cups,
and pentacles (coins). They are made up basically like a regular card deck. Each
suit has four court cards: princess (traditionally page), prince (traditionally
knight), queen, and king. The numbered cards are ACE (1) through 10. The minor arcana focuses on ourselves as we exist from day to day. They deal with our personal lives, our ambitions, hopes, fears, and relations to each other. The
major arcana has implications of the individual and the minor focuses more on
the world at large. The major and minor arcana both work together to form a
whole, or a continuum. Below is a list of the traditional cards—both the major
and minor arcana.

Major Arcana

0 The fool, I The magician, II The priestess, III The Empress, IV The Emperor, V
The hierophant, VI The lovers, VII The chariot, VIII Justice, IX The Hermit, X
Wheel of Fortune, XI Strength, XII The Hanged Man, XIII Death, XIV Temperance,
XV The Devil, XVI The Tower, XVII The Star, XVIII The Moon, XIX The Sun, XX
Judgement, XXI The World.

Minor Arcana

Suit of wands:

Ace of wands, two of wands, three of wands, four of wands, five of wands, six of
wands, seven of wands, eight of wands, nine of wands, ten of wands, princess,
prince, queen, king.

Suit of cups:

Ace of cups, two of cups, three of cups, four of cups, five of cups, six of cups, seven of cups, eight of cups, nine of cups, ten of cups, princess, prince, queen, king.

Suit of Swords:

Ace of swords, two of swords, three of swords, four of swords, five of swords,
six of swords, seven of swords, eight of swords, nine of swords, ten of swords,
princess, prince, queen, king.

Suit of Pentacles (coins):

Ace of pentacles, two of pentacles, three of pentacles, four of pentacles, five
of pentacles, six of pentacles, seven of pentacles, eight of pentacles, nine of
pentacles, ten of pentacles, princess, prince, queen, king.


The way to do readings is through spreads. Spreads can be very easy, with one
card, or can be very hard and complicated. I will go over some of the basic,
easier spreads you can use. To prepare for the reading, make sure you are in a
calm, relaxed state. Do not do a reading if you are depressed or hysterical.
Pick a calm, quiet spot where you will not be disturbed. You may shuffle the
cards anyway you want, and after a while, may find that you pick up a certain
style in doing so. On all the spreads below, start by taking the first card off
the deck and place it face up in order that you see the spreads laid out. In
other words, do not take the first card and place it in the fourth card spot. To
read the cards, either do it one at a time as the cards are turned over, or wait
till all cards have been laid out and read the cards like a story.

The Time spread:

This spread is good for beginners because it only involves four cards. Before
you start this spread, have a clear question in mind. It does not have to be a
yes or no question, but it should be specific.

Card 1: The Past

This card will tell what has happened to lead up to the question being asked. It
can refer to events in your childhood but will more likely refer to things directly related to the question.

Card 2: The Present

This card tells how your situation stands at the moment. It might refer to some
feelings or something you have that you did not want to admit or show something that might have caused your particular question.

Card 3: The Future

This card will show how it expects things to work out in the near future.

Card 4: Action

This card will show what you may do to either encourage the outcome or change



by Melanie Fire Salamander

Let me put my cards on the table: Narrative and divination  are  two  of  my oldest obsessions. My first encounters with my narrative voice  came  early. I recall at four  years  old  retelling  the  story  of  Peter  Pan  all  in pictures, mostly stick figures, a narrative  impressive  to  my  mother  but unintelligible to any but myself without interpretation. (Perhaps Peter  Pan was my first muse; he’s certainly a pagan figure.) I got my  first  pack  of Tarot  cards  later,  when  I  was  13  years  old,  wandering  through  the multilevel  market  of  Crown  Center,  a  shopping  mall  in  Kansas  City, Missouri.

I began to teach myself Tarot by laying out all  78  cards  on  my  bed  and memorizing their meanings from the book. This  process  was  made  a  little harder by the fact my first deck was a Marseilles deck, and the book I  had, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by A.E. Waite, showed the Rider-Waite  deck. (I still recommend Waite’s book on the Tarot, if you don’t mind  his  formal prose and his harping on the  second-class  citizenship  of  divination,  in comparison to using the Tarot as a mystery key.) I had to  make  a  leap  of transfer in my mind,  imagining  the  Rider-Waite  cards  while  seeing  the Marseilles  cards,  with  their  medieval  images  and   nonrepresentational designs for the Minor Arcana. In retrospect, I’m amazed – the young mind  is an astonishing thing when focused.

So my first step with the Tarot was memorizing card meanings. An analogy  to writing might be memorizing  letter  meanings;  consider  too  that  letters originated as  pictures,  and  that  letter-systems  often  have  divinatory meaning, runes being an example. At first, when doing  a  reading,  I  would just call up my memory of each card’s meaning and spout it  out.  But  early on I realized that the  book-meanings  pure  and  simple,  parroted  in  all situations, weren’t what made the cards work. Once  I’d  internalized  those meanings and could bring them up “in my own words” – as I was told to  write the essays of my schooldays – I could play with  them.  And  intuition  came into that play. I realized soon that it was my own intuition  that  made  my readings useful: that the first thing off the tip of  my  tongue,  my  first idea, was the true thing. I’m not sure if I got this theory from a  book  or from my own deduction, but I recall it was an old  concept  by  the  time  I took a class in Tarot at college.

That Tarot class was of course not at the college. They didn’t  teach  Tarot at state schools in mid-Missouri in the 1980s. The class  arose  at  one  of those efflorescences of metaphysical community that  appear  now  and  again even  in  the  hinterlands,  a  sort  of  metaphysical  culture  co-op,  the Chautauqua Center. There I learned – duh! – that you  could  look  at  Tarot pictures, just the pictures, and divine from them. For a long  time,  I  had in cumbersome fashion used the pictures only as a mnemonic device,  to  call from memory meanings I’d  learned.  Now  I  discovered  that  even  with  an unfamiliar deck, I could look at an image and have a useful  meaning  arise. This divination from the pictures themselves was a revelation to me.

As I stumbled through my adolescence and early  20s,  I  also  developed  my narrative voice. I was one of those kids driven to write. I produced  poetry and journals and stories  for  teachers,  but  –  I  couldn’t  help  it –  I produced them on my own as well.  They  were  a  way  for  me  into  another country, the country of my mind, whence I was driven  as  so  many  children are  by  various  traumas,  and  whence  I  was  led  by  the  call  of  the imagination.

The border of the imagination is coterminous with that of intuition.  During my teens I was also obsessed with divination and the occult.  No  young  boy with his guitar could have been more  focused  than  I  was,  gleaning  from books that I found in the library and that  otherwise  appeared  nuggets  of Tarot, Western astrology,  Chinese  astrology,  palmistry,  the  meaning  of flowers, color meanings, love spells, the I Ching, magick,  witchcraft,  the wheel of the year, numerology, omen meanings, herbalism.

Where does this obsession come from? The lust for magick is  native  to  our species. As early as we can read ancient cultures’ writing,  that  early  we find spells and rituals. Divination is at  least  that  old  –  witness  the Neolithic inhabitants of North China about  5,500  years  ago,  who  divined using turtleshells heated with red-hot pokers, which they then analyzed  for crack patterns. Divination begins as the desire to read  the  story  of  the future, I think – it’s only later we learn to want to clarify  the  present. Magick begins as the desire to make the future turn out  the  way  we  want. Old desires among humans; old desires for me.

The desire to divine and to work magick also has something to  do  with  the powerless taking power. The ancients  rightly  felt  at  the  mercy  of  the tempests of the world, in a way we often forget to  feel.  That  uncertainty made them want to know and change the  future.  Children  too  feel  at  the mercy of parents, teachers, unintelligible world patterns it takes years  to fathom. As a child and teen, I had the same desire as the ancients, to  know and change the future.  I  read  deep  into  fairytales,  doing  comparative folklore at an early age, and found magick.

I wanted magick to be, so  I  did  it,  and  it  worked.  But  what  of  the consequences? However much I desired outcome, even as a teen I  sensed  that pulling on someone else’s energy made myself negative karma. So I never  did hexes and gave up love spells  early.  I  get  no  points  for  a  specially ethical nature: My morality was bounded by fear.  I  didn’t  want  the  dark powers to come and fuck with me. I was attracted to divination by  the  idea it’s the safest of the magickal arts – a debatable point. Perhaps I  doubted too much my right and ability to control the future.  If  so,  even  more  I needed to know that future, to prepare.

My first and best-learned divinatory tool  was  the  Tarot.  I  learned  the Tarot by doing reading after reading, telling futures  for  my  friends  but most especially for myself. Many teachers and books don’t recommend  reading for yourself, and I agree it’s easier to read for other people, but I  don’t see how I can disrecommend this approach, since that’s how I learned  Tarot. Reading after reading, I tried to see my future.

For myself, and I think for others, divination begins as a need to know  the story’s end. Do I get the editorship of the  school  paper?  Will  I  go  to camp? And always and repeatedly: Will my crush love me  back?  What  happens next? To me, divination feels inextricable from storytelling.

This is not a new idea. Reading a Tarot layout has often been considered  as telling a story. The relation between divination and narrative inheres  even in how we talk about divination. We talk about a psychic “reading”; we  talk about “telling” the future.

My premise goes a little further: that one  essential  type  of  divination, whether telling the future or elucidating the present, is a  narrative  act. That, if you will, besides clariaudience  and  clairvoyance  and  the  other psychic senses exists a sense of narrative, of how the story  goes.  Perhaps this sense is a subtype of intuition; I’ve  never  been  very  concerned  to pigeonhole psychic phenomena.  I  think  such  a  sense  may  be  useful  to consider on its own.

A Divinatory Sense of Story

I do think this  sense  exists.  I  have  practiced  it.  That  is,  I  have practiced telling the future by considering what is going  to  happen  next, by feeling with my psychic sense the branching of  the  possible  paths,  by discovering outcomes following pure narrative flow. It’s  like  the  ability that I admired in my mother as a child, to predict how a TV show  was  going to end. The bad guy wasn’t going to kill the hero. The  hussy  wasn’t  going to wind up with the man. Certain narrative imperatives dictated  how  things went.

This rule holds true, I think, in our world that is not a TV show,  and  yet on some level is a show we all agree to play out, a consensus  reality.  The classic case I conjure is when a couple is, or is not, going  to  break  up. At the first sign of trouble, if you let your intuition follow the  possible paths of breakup or rejoining, you can discern a pattern. You  might  think: Now if they spend time apart, it will fix things. But if  she  doesn’t  move out, it’s doomed. Or: He’s never going to learn, but his boyfriend is  going to take him back at least once, maybe  twice,  before  they  split.  It’s  a sense of pure narrative, of how things go. It occurs for me not  as  images, or not only as images, but as a story.

Some  stories  have  only  one  possible  end –  the  characters  or   their adversaries are too rigid to admit more than one outcome. But  most  stories have many possible endings. To me, the future is not one eventuality  but  a multitude of branches leading outward,  some  more  likely  to  occur,  some less. The question becomes what branch is most likely, and if you  prefer  a different branch to prevail, what’s needed to switch. I think that  you  can sense the answers to these questions, and  that  by  asking  your  intuitive sense further questions you can clarify the tale of the future, or at  least the next few episodes.

Perhaps this sense is simply the result of worldly  experience.  It  doesn’t feel like that to me. It feels exactly as when I’m writing  a  short  story. Any halfway experienced writer of fiction can tell tales  of  stories  that, try as you might, don’t go the desired direction. Narration  has  a  certain logical flow, and you can’t make the river go backward. (Or  at  least  it’s very hard, and usually not worth the trouble.) In fiction writing, you  hone a sense of the correct next thing, what your characters can do  and  cannot, what the world might or might  not  hand  them.  The  predictive  sense  I’m describing feels very much like this sense of the correct next thing.

The sense of the correct next thing plays with, and against,  what  we  know of story structure from our experience as audience and sometime creators  of fiction, TV  shows,  movies.  We  know  many  Ur-stories,  their  structures starting as simple as Boy Meets Girl or Boy Meets Boy and the  like.  Pagans in particular steep themselves in mythology. The Hero’s Journey,  by  Joseph Campbell,  analyzes  the  structure  of  one  type  of  mythological   tale; Morphology of the Folktale, by Vladimir Propp,  analyzes  the  structure  of various Russian folktales, though unlike Campbell, Propp  does  not  concern himself  with  the  stories’  deeper  meaning.  With  or  without  conscious analysis, we take in story from the time we are children,  and  from  it  we learn  its  building  blocks,  basic  to  this  type  of  divination.  Basic narrative tropes can be seen as the lexicon of  this  divination,  as  Tarot cards are the lexicon of Tarot reading.

How to Use This Psychic Sense

In my experience, you can perform this foretelling  in  your  mind,  without props. This process follows the rules of pure intuition, in which  you  take the first answer that pops into your head. It  helps  first  to  clear  your mind. Ignoring your question for  the  moment,  bring  yourself  into  light trance by grounding and centering, clearing your  psychic  space  of  blocks and foreign energies and using whatever techniques you  prefer  to  enter  a meditative state.

Then ask a question about what will happen  next.  Phrase  the  question  as precisely as you can; ask the  exact  question  you  want  answered.  Having asked, note your very first reaction, before your rational  mind  alters  it to jibe with common sense. Often the answer will surprise you.

To me, this answer comes as “just knowing,” or as a voice. My related  sense of the branching paths of fate arises as a feeling, rather than as a  visual tree or roadmap. Your mileage may vary. If  you  do  get  information  as  a psychic voice, you’ll need to learn to  differentiate  among  inner  voices, filtering out leftover parental injunctions and emotional reactions to  hear the voice of true knowing or of a specific psychic guide.

Often you’ll get an answer, and want  more.  What  I  do  then  is  continue asking, making the questions as precise as possible  and  noting  always  my initial reaction, before rationality muddies the waters. But if  you  get  a clear answer to a question, stop asking that question!  Don’t  poke  at  the same thing again and again trying to change your psychic  hit.  You’ll  only confuse the information and chase away your psychic sense. If  you  want  to make change, do magick.

To further hone your psychic narrative sense, keep track  of  the  questions you ask and answers you get. Track how best  to  ask  the  questions.  Which preparations work for you, which merely distract you? Do  you  have  a  best time of day or month or best frame of mind  for  psychic  clarity?  To  help check your answers, get other like-minded people to ask the same  questions, if you can, and note their answers. Cross-check the information as  well  as possible. Over time, you’ll begin to see patterns, and from  those  patterns you can determine your most useful way of getting answers.  In  relation  to specific questions, comparing answers with  other  people  will  show  which fates are most marked and which are most malleable or undefined.

Everyone’s psychic sense is different, and  the  sense  I’m  describing,  of narrative flow, of “just knowing” what comes next, may  not  work  for  you. This process of asking questions and recording answers will pay off  anyway, if you keep at it. Asking questions and tracking answers  can  help  sharpen any psychic sense that is natively yours.

Psychic  abilities  are  multitudinous;  your  answers  may  come  in   many different ways. You may receive images in your mind, either literal  psychic photographs of the future, or symbols requiring interpretation.  Dreams  may give you information literal or symbolic. Or you  may  get  answers  in  the outside world – if your  phone  rings  just  as  you  ask  a  question,  pay attention to what your caller says. Or a raven might  suddenly  wing  across your line of sight, carrying for you a specific meaning. Your answers  might come as all of the above, or in other ways.

You can also use the narrative  sense  I  describe  in  combination  with  a divinatory tool such as the Tarot or a pendulum,  whatever  you’re  used  to and most comfortable with. Turning a reading of any kind into a story  is  a good way to make sense of it for yourself and your querent.

To show the psychic sense of narrative at work with  the  Tarot,  suppose  I ask the question: What will Widdershins’ next few months look like?  I  draw three cards: the Empress, the Nine of Pentacles  and  Justice.  The  Empress for me is a sense of unlimited potential,  burgeoning  life,  fertility  and promise for the future. The  Nine  of  Pentacles  is  abundance,  a  satiety almost to smugness. Justice conveys that what is  right  will  prevail,  and also that as much effort as Widdershins’ staff puts in, that much  will  the paper thrive.

The narrative sense comes in as I draw links  between  these  cards,  making from them a kind of flow-chart. I  feel  moved  by  this  psychic  narrative sense to put the Empress and Justice before the  Nine  of  Pentacles.  These two feel like beginnings to me: the Empress the  opening  door  and  Justice Widdershins’ staff  passing  through,  with  hope  and  effort.  Then  comes abundance, a full-fed sense – I hope not smugness!

The psychic narrative sense thus  draws  paths  between  the  shining  Tarot forms, as footpaths between stations of a ritual.  The  order  in  which  we take our initiations can matter a lot; here the narrative  sense  speaks  to that order.

By itself or in combination with other divinatory forms, a psychic sense  of what naturally comes next can help tell and change  the  future.  Myself,  a child who grew up in dreams, making stories, I feel great harmony in  having the future tell itself just as the stories I write tell themselves.  Is  not life a set of stories that we all tell each other? The campfire  flares  up, a log falls, and all around is darkness. But the stories go on.




by Dawn

Finding a united vision when giving a Tarot reading can be a challenge. Most books on Tarot have conflicting interpretations of the cards, and very few books clearly explain how cards affect each other when they appear in a spread together. Although I won’t be able in this short article to touch on all of the cards and spreads available, I do hope to give you, dear reader, a few steps toward performing spreads and interpretations so that you can give your readings more clarity.

One of the most important steps when learning the Tarot is choosing a deck that speaks your language. If the images on the cards contain symbols that are familiar to you, you will find it easier to remember the cards’ meanings and develop a close working relationship with the cards. I have used quite a few different decks over the years and am now primarily using two of them, the Voyager Tarot and the Spiral Deck. I like using both during readings, because together they give a very detailed map of what is happening energetically with the client and hard answers on what is coming up, what actions should be taken and new information that till the reading may have been hidden.

When doing a reading, I start with a general landscape overview using the Voyager Tarot because of its spiritual and self-growth orientation. This deck has lots of visual impact because of the photo collage technique used to create the images of the Major and Minor Arcana. The photographic images of people, places and things I am familiar with helps to ground the cards in reality for me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate other drawn and painted decks; it’s just that I have an affinity for photography, so this deck works for me. During this overview phase of the reading, I don’t have the client ask any specific questions. I just tell him or her to relax and be themselves as they are shuffling the deck, to say their name out loud and let their minds go to the people, places and events in their lives in the past and present, and to their goals and dreams for the future.

When the client finishes shuffling, I cut the deck into three stacks and choose the bottom cut, taking the very bottom two cards out first. I use these two cards as clues as to the client’s big questions. Doing so helps me because often they are so nervous and excited they can’t remember what it is they want to know!

I then do a simple six-card spread, laying the cards out left to right with a row of three above another row of three. The top layer is the outside world: work, friends, family, how other people see the client and the tasks he or she is being asked to do. The bottom layer is how the client is reacting to the outside world and life, as well as the things he or she brings to the world and the gifts he or she is receiving. The far left pair is the past, the center pair is the present and the right pair is the future. By looking at this spread, which I call the current energetic road map, I can more easily see the overriding themes and lessons being experienced by the client. I take a close look at the cards and observe whether the cards have a similar feeling or meaning.

The second part of the reading answers very specific questions. I use a more traditional deck, the Spiral Deck, for getting hard answers. I have the client shuffle the deck while saying his or her name and asking the specific question; the client then cuts the deck into three stacks again. I always choose the bottom stack for the reading, but in this case I just lay out five cards in a row from left to right.

Card One represents the client and where he or she exists in the moment regarding the question. Card Two is the thing asked about; Card Three is something hidden about this thing. Card Four is an action suggested for the client to take regarding to the question, and Card Five is the most probable result.

As you can see, I prefer small card-spreads. I like to keep things as clear and simple as possible, so that I have enough form to relax into but not so much structure that I can’t receive any additional information clairvoyantly. I find that if I let my logical mind work with the given meanings of the cards but still allow my intuitive mind to spring about, creating links and juggling all the information into a new whole, the reading is more accurate and helpful.

Now to the actual working of the spread and the cards found within it. I did a reading on my life and came up with some interesting results.

My reading with the Voyager Deck resulted in the Seven of Worlds (Pentacles) and the Three of Wands as the bottom two cards, which represent the burning questions I have. The key words and meanings for the Seven of Worlds is material or financial breakthrough. The Three of Wands traditionally means a successful business person, but in the Voyager deck the card has the keyword of “compassion,” which I interpret to mean that I want to know how to have compassion in my actions. These two cards make a lot of sense for me at this time, because I have my own business as a psychic and Reiki healer, and I also want to branch off in some new directions, Web design and making magickal ceremonial garb and jewelry. Using my common sense, I say “But of course! I really want some constructive insight into how I am going to accomplish all of this beautifully and well while still coming from my heart.”

Here is the reading as it looked, with (R) standing for reversed:

The Past               
Devil's Play (R)
Woman of Worlds (R)

The Present           
Man of Crystals (R)
Woman of Crystals

The Future
Ten of Crystals (R)
Five of Worlds

Remember that the top layer (Devil’s Play reversed, Man of Crystals reversed and Ten of Crystals reversed) is the outside world and that the bottom layer (Woman of Worlds reversed, Woman of Crystals and Five of Worlds) is how the client reacts and what he or she brings to the outside world.

The first thing I notice is the Devil’s Play reversed in the outer past position. I feel that this means that I have been feeling very manipulated and part of some karmic pattern in all of my relationships, personal as well as professional. Major Arcana cards in a spread always signal that there is a big lesson to be learned, or a job to do. In this case, Devil’s Play signals to me that it is time for me to acknowledge that I have allowed myself to become part of the karmic wheel and that I need to stand up for myself and get off of it.

Next I notice the three court cards, the Man and Woman of Crystals and the Woman of Worlds. Court cards can represent people in the client’s life and the role of leader and responsibility to guide others. With the Woman of Worlds reversed, “Preserver,” I realize that, out of guilt and fear, I haven’t been asking for what is rightfully mine, especially materially. I notice that the Woman of Crystals, “Guidance,” the great decision-maker, is in the present inner position, reminding me that I have put on my tough boots and taken back the helm of my ship, making the decisions I need to keep me on course and getting rid of all the unnecessary crap.

Opposition still appears, in the form of unresponsive and self-absorbed people in my environment: the Man of Crystals reversed, “Inventor.” But I appreciate the reminder that I don’t need to take on other people’s issues with my decisions, as well as the reminder to keep to my resolve strengthened.

In the next position, The Future – well, frankly, it looks a little bumpy, with the Ten of Crystals reversed in the outside world. The keyword of this card is “Delusion,” and it stands next to the Five of Worlds upright. The Five of Worlds has the keyword “Setback,” which means a small financial setback that is necessary for my spiritual growth, so that I keep my money focused on what I am trying to create instead of buying into “keeping up with the Joneses” and so that I try not to spend money to fill a spiritual or emotional hole.

This card doesn’t show a hopeless situation; it just means I need to keep steady on course and listen to myself and my true instincts, instead of being swayed by the outside world. I love when I receive information like this about the possible future, because I can take action to lessen any impact this situation might have on my life, by saving money now and tightening my belt. Doing so will also help me to stay grounded in my authentic self, so I don’t get blown off-course by inaccurate or unhelpful outside influences. I have some events planned in the next three months that I hope will make me some additional income, but with this warning I will tread very carefully and make frugal financial decisions.

I will now do a quick spread using the Spiral Deck to answer the question “What does my business look like in the future?”

For specific questions such as this, I use a five-card spread. Here it is:

Me:     The Fool
Issue:  The Lovers
Hidden: Two of Pentacles
Action: Strength
Result: Ace of Wands

Note that all cards appeared upright.

Whew! It all looks good in the end. The result arises as the Ace of Wands, which means  illumination and creative and spiritual gifts. I see too that the Fool appears for myself. Seeing this card, I realize that of course things are feeling a little overwhelming, because this whole path is completely new for me, The Fool (new beginnings, serendipity and trust!).

The issue card, The Lovers, reflects that I love all of the work I do and care about it so much that it would be a big deal emotionally if it didn’t work out. The Lovers means having to choose, matches and the significant other. I guess I really am a workaholic if my work is my lover! This card also suggests that the wonderful thing I haven’t acknowledged is that all of these projects and branches of my business provide a perfect balance for me emotionally as well as financially,

The hidden card appears as the Two of Pentacles, balanced life and reflection. I know that I will need to focus my energies toward accomplishing all of my goals and obligations, and that I will have to forgo some late nights watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel so that I can get things done and further my education in Web design. My “World Domination Plan,” as my partner would call it, is to be able to use my skills to work anywhere in the world

My action card is Strength, which means reining in my animal self and focusing that brute strength on a specific task, without killing my spirit so I can still pounce when needed. Strength also suggests higher education.

One thing to note as well is that three out of five cards in the spread are from the Major Arcana. This occurrence signals that big energy is afoot with this question and path in my life. This path is obviously something I am here to do, because it helps me learn many things about myself.

So, in a wee nutshell, dear reader, follow these tips and see what comes:

  1. Choose a deck or decks that speak your language. 
  2. Start with a global reading in order to illuminate any underlying themes in the client’s or your own life. 
  3. Do a separate spread to answer any specific questions. 
  4. Remember to relax and let your left brain do the literal interpretation and your right brain tackle weaving the connections. 
  5. Pay attention to any commonalties between the cards, to whether they have the same number, type or meaning. These are all clues pointing to who the client is and the information sought. 
  6. Keep practicing, and soon it will all work for you in a fluid way.

I hope that this article has sparked anew any interest you have in reading the Tarot. I have certainly found reading an enlightening and enjoyable task

Using the Tarot as a Tool of Healing

Using the Tarot as a Tool of Healing

by Dr. Neala Peake, selected from

The Tarot,  long a powerful tool of divination, can also be used as a dramatic tool of healing,  and for shifting deep patterns. The deck that I suggest for this, the  Rider-Waite, is perhaps the most well-known deck in the Western world. Created  by Dr. Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942), a scholar of occultism, and illustrated  by Pamela Coleman Smith, a theatrical designer and American member of The Order  of the Golden Dawn, it is the “standard” teaching deck, and the first to use  detailed illustrations of the Minor Arcana, not just the Major.

The Deck Itself

The 78 cards of the tarot deck are divided into two groups: 22 Major Arcana Cards, and 56 Minor Arcana cards, made up of pip or suit cards (1-10), as well as court cards, which more or less correspond with traditional playing cards. The meanings of the Major Arcana are generally considered more far-reaching, relating to our journey for meaning and enlightenment, while the minors are considered more transient, representative of day-to-day activities.

The Seven Chakras

Using both the structure of the seven Chakras and the images of the Rider-Waite deck, the Chakra Lube Job illustrates how the  cards of a layout may be replaced as the healing progresses; as the images  shift, they actually depict the process of growth and resolution, similar to  time-elapsed photography.

The term Chakra is the Sanskrit word for “wheel,” and refers to our  own energy system: the interface between our energetic and physical selves, our  body and consciousness. Just as the car’s engine requires regular maintenance,  the Chakras, too, require regular “tune-ups.” This not only keeps its system  running smoothly, but addresses any blocks or problems on the core level.

While the chakras can be “tuned-up” through meditation, energy work with  light, sound, color, crystals, singing bowls, musical instruments and others,  the method which I’ve created and coined is known as The Chakra Lube Job.

The Chakras, one through seven, are: #1, the Root, at the base of the spine,  which relates to our ability to prosper and thrive on the earth; #2, the Sacrum  relates to our ability to gratify ourselves; #3, the Solar Plexus addresses our  own personal power and capacity to be comfortable in our skin; #4, the Heart  preserves unconditional love, and the integration of all polarities; #5, the  Throat, the center of the seven, is self-expression; #6, the Third Eye, our  ability to see the big picture and our psychic center; and, #7, the Crown, at  the top of the head, is our connection to the universal, wisdom and bliss.

The Chakra Lube Job Reading

Here is a sample healing Chakra Lube Job, to show you how this works. This  was a session with a woman in her early fifties, who is accomplished in her  field, and highly regarded in her community. She pulled seven cards, one for  each of the seven primary Chakras, in a vertical formation. She then continued  pulling cards, until I, or, she, or both of us felt the process was complete.  This process uses the images of the Rider-Wait deck to heal and shift the  chakric patterns, in a very conscious fashion, and may take anywhere from 20  minutes to several hours. (You may want to use your own deck to follow  along.)

Initial Layout The Chakra Lube Job  Layout

Card #1 (Root) Ace of Pentacles (an immense  pentacle shown emerging from a cloud, held by a huge celestial hand, above a  flowering hedge and archway leading out to mountains)

Interpretation: This is a wonderful, life-affirming card  that points to new beginnings, particularly of a financial nature. This ties in  beautifully with the meaning of this chakra; the primary concern with this  image, however, is that it refers to divine intervention, and points to a  fundamental belief on this person’s part that she did not hold the power for her  capacity to thrive in her own hands.

Card # 2 (Sacrum) Three of Wands (man on land, facing away  from three wands).

Interpretation: This card indicates that this woman has  given up on fulfilling her own sexual and emotional needs. She has turned her  back on any expectation, but does not know where she will go from here.

Card #3 (Solar Plexus) The Magician (#1) Major Arcana (an  androgynous figure in a red coat holding a wand that points upwards and  downwards, behind a table bearing a cup, a pentacle, a sword and a wand)

Interpretation: This is a powerful Major Arcana or destiny  Card, #1 in this sequence, which like the Ace of Pentacles, which she pulled for  the first Chakra, (also a #1), shows she is in a powerful new cycle of putting  herself first or fresh beginnings. This card shows that she has all the  resources and power she needs to transform her life, and create all that she  envisions. She loved this card, and we did not feel guided to choose any other  cards. (This is quite unusual to stay with the first card chosen, and indicates  that this area of personal power is very solid for her, and that she has  everything she needs to make her life as she desires.)

Card #4 (Heart) Four of Wands (two women celebrating in the  background near a castle tower; in foreground, four wands forming a lush  canopy)

Interpretation: This is a beautiful celebratory card. My  primary concern was that the two women were so far in the background, indicating  they did not feel they were at the center of this area of their lives. They  clearly loved life and had a great capacity to give and receive love, but tended  to put themselves in the background.

Card #5 (Throat) King of Swords (Virile dark-haired young  king, in blue robes, seated on a throne, holding a sword erect)

Interpretation: This card indicates that this woman feels  very powerful in her position as a communicator; it is important, however, to  note that this is a strongly masculine or patriarchal card, indicating that she  does not necessarily feel this power as a woman, but more in a socially  determined position of authority.

Card #6 (Third Eye) Two of Cups (man and woman making an  oath or promise. I call this the “going steady” card, not as serious as The  Lovers, Major Arcana)

Interpretation: This is the second card that depicts two  people in it. This indicates that she does not feel completely self-reliant in  her capacity to express her intuitive gifts or see the big picture. It may  indicate that she prefers to be validated or supported by a partner (in this  case a male or romantic partner).

Card #7 (Crown) The Emperor #4 Major Arcana* (an imposing  bearded white haired ruler or father figure, in red robes and warrior armor,  seated on a stone throne, holding an ankh.)

Interpretation: This is the second card of powerful male  authority that she drew. This indicates that she feels strongly connected to her  higher wisdom and the Universe, but in a form of male authority, or following in  the footsteps of the father. It is no surprise that this woman has Saturn  prominently in her chart, which points to a tendency to look for authority, and  hence validation, within the framework of the established order of things. It  also indicates that she looks to work and outer sources of acknowledgement (such  as success, status and approval) for her personal validation. This is a powerful  card, as it is a Major Arcana, and points to an overriding theme in her  life.

The Crown

The remaining session lasted two hours, and while we don’t have time to show  the entire process, we will give the example of the Crown position to  demonstrate the process. I asked the woman to draw a card for a chakra position  in which she felt the need for healing. After interpreting that card, I asked  her to draw another card until she felt complete with the healing on that  chakra. We did this with each chakra until all were complete and healed.

Crown sequence

Card #1 The Emperor (see above)*

Card #2 Ten of Wands (shows a blond androgynous individual  carrying ten wands, as if burdened, on his/her shoulders. With home in the not  too distant background, she/he is closer to home than he/she realizes.)

Interpretation: This card indicates that she feels  overwhelmed by all that she has to do. This is emblematic of someone who always  has a chore to accomplish or a deadline to meet. While they feel overwhelmed by  this pattern, they don’t know any other way. The fact that they are closer to  home then they realize, indicates she is maxed out on this tendency, and very  close to reaching a place where she no longer will continue with this  pattern.

Card #3: The Empress #3 Major Arcana

Interpretation: I was thrilled to see her pull this card,  the female counterpart to the Emperor, and a Major Arcana card, showing a major  shift in core perception. This is Venusian card, a celebration of one’s  femaleness, a card where someone is allowing themselves to live in concert with  the natural cycles, enjoying life and comfortable in their female essence in a  powerful and celebratory way. This card indicates no pressure to succeed, and a  joy in just being, enjoying and being receptive to the sensual and natural  pleasures of life itself.

This short sequence demonstrates how this process maps a major shift in  self-perception. It displays this process, using the simultaneity of cause and  effect, and mirrors back to us, using the archetypal illustrations of the  Rider-Waite, our own healing.

This healing affects our own Chakric well-being, as well as our own  relationship to our self, and to the Universe. This process demonstrates how The  Chakra Lube Job functions to both heal and maintain a healthy and  life-affirmative relationship to mind, body and spirit, allowing us to prosper  and thrive, continuing on our path to true happiness and true self, fulfilling  our destiny, as we go.

The Chakra Lube Job is a term and technique created by Cathy  H. Burroughs and is protected by copyright. Any reference to the technique or  usage of the title of the technique must be attributed to Cathy H.  Burroughs.

Lessons In Tarot – Lesson 3 (The Minor Arcana)


The Minor Arcana

While the major arcana expresses universal themes, the minor arcana brings those themes down into the practical arena to show how they operate in daily events. The minor arcana cards represent the concerns, activities and emotions that make up the dramas of our everyday lives.

There are 56 cards in the minor arcana divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. [Note] Each of these suits stands for a particular approach to life.

  • Wands
    The Wands are the suit of creativity, action and movement. They are associated with such qualities as enthusiasm, adventure, risk-taking and confidence. This suit corresponds to the yang, or masculine principle, in Chinese philosophy and is associated with the element Fire. A flickering flame is the perfect symbol of the Wands force. This energy flows outward and generates passionate involvement. 
  • Cups
    The Cups are the suit of emotions and spiritual experience. They describe inner states, feelings and relationship patterns. The energy of this suit flows inward. Cups correspond to the yin, or feminine principle, in Chinese philosophy and are associated with the element Water. The ability of water to flow and fill up spaces, to sustain and to reflect changing moods makes it the ideal symbol of the Cups suit. 
  • Swords
    The Swords are the suit of intellect, thought and reason. They are concerned with justice, truth and ethical principles. Swords are associated with the element Air. A cloudless sky, open and light-filled, is a symbol of the mental clarity that is the Swords ideal. This suit is also associated with states that lead to disharmony and unhappiness. Our intellect is a valuable asset, but as an agent of ego, it can lead us astray if it is not infused with the wisdom of our Inner Guide. 
  • Pentacles
    The Pentacles are the suit of practicality, security and material concerns. They are associated with the element Earth and the concrete requirements of working with matter. In Pentacles, we celebrate the beauty of nature, our interactions with plants and animals and our physical experiences in the body. Pentacles also represent prosperity and wealth of all kinds. Sometimes this suit is called the Coins, an obvious symbol of the exchange of goods and services in the physical world.

Each minor arcana suit has a distinct quality all its own. Our everyday experiences are a blend of these four approaches. Your tarot readings will show you how the different suit energies are impacting your life at any given moment.

The suits are structured much as our everyday playing cards with ten numbered cards (Ace – Ten) and four court cards (King, Queen, Knight and Page). Each card has a role to play in showing how its energy expresses in the world.

  • Aces
    An Ace announces the themes of its suit. The Ace of Cups stands for love, emotions, intuition, and intimacy – ideas that are explored in the other cards of the Cups suit. An Ace always represents positive forces. It is the standard-bearer for the best its suit has to offer. 
  • Middle Cards
    Each of the middle, numbered cards presents a different aspect of a suit. The Wands explore such themes as personal power (card 2), leadership (card 3), excitement (card 4) and competition (card 5). A card may approach an idea from several angles. The Five of Pentaclesshows the many faces of want – hard times (material want), ill health (physical want), and rejection (emotional want). 
  • Tens
    A Ten takes the themes introduced by an Ace to their logical conclusion. If you take the love, intimacy and emotions of the Ace of Cups to their ultimate, you have the joy, peace and family love of the Ten of Cups. 
  • Court Cards
    The court cards are people with personalities that reflect the qualities of their suit and rank. The court cards show us certain ways of being in the world so that we can use (or avoid!) those styles when appropriate. 

    • A King is mature and masculine. He is a doer whose focus is outward on the events of life. He demonstrates authority, control and mastery in some area associated with his suit. A King’s style is strong, assertive and direct. He is concerned with results and practical, how-to matters. 
    • A Queen is mature and feminine. She embodies the qualities of her suit, rather than acting them out. Her focus is inward, and her style, relaxed and natural. A Queen is less concerned with results than with the enjoyment of just being in the world. She is associated with feelings, relationships and self-expression. 
    • A Knight is an immature teenager. He cannot express himself with balance. He swings wildly from one extreme to another as he tries to relate successfully to his world. A Knight is prone to excess, but he is also eager and sincere, and these qualities redeem him in our eyes. We admire his spirit and energy. 
    • A Page is a playful child. He acts out the qualities of his suit with pleasure and abandon. His approach may not be deep, but it is easy, loose and spontaneous. He is a symbol of adventure and possibility.

You now have a basic idea of the role of each card in the tarot deck. You have a feel for how they all fit together and what each one contributes to the whole. In the following lessons, you will learn more about these cards and how to interpret them in your readings.