Archive for May, 2013

The Hermit is looking for me

Sevenfold HermitSteampunk Inventor

Looking at the images on these cards, the sense of isolation and determination present in both figures struck me. The Inventor is certainly surrounded by a more splendrous isolation accompanied only by his cat. He seems content in his isolation – perhaps he is more focused on his inventions than his surroundings. I get the sense of someone who others appreciate and honor for his inventions but who has no interest in the rewards. His focus is on the act of inventing. The Sevenfold Hermit is more traditional in appearance. He walks through the wilderness with only his star for companionship. He focuses on that star and appears oblivious to his surroundings.

Both cards seem to carry a message of focus and determination; a willingness to ignore all distractions. This has not been my modus operandi lately. I seem to have developed a temporary case of ADD – I am allowing myself to become distracted by all kinds of stimuli. Rather than focusing on what I need to for myself, I put it off and focus on superficial matters. I think both these cards are reminding me that I need to regain my focus and start moving forward. I have to stop waiting for someone else to come along with me or help me and just keep going on my own.

This is the second time in the past few days that I’ve pulled the Hermit/Inventor. Obviously my theme this month is repeat messages which suggests that the Universe feels I’m ignoring or not understanding them clearly the first time. From these cards I get the sense that I need to focus on spiritual matters. I need to get focused and start actually performing my daily devotionals and rituals. I know that I feel better when I do these things and yet I keep putting them off. In fact I do the same thing when it comes to dietary/health issues too. Hmm, perhaps these two are pointing out that I know what path I need to take and the direction I need to follow. What I need to do now is start down the road. The time for procrastination is past and I need to set off in pursuit of a healthier, happier, more fulfilling future.

Special delivery from the Universe

Sevenfold Lady of SwordsSteampounk Messenger of Airships

Looking at these two lovely ladies I was struck by the sense of calmness about one and the eagerness of the other. The Sevenfold Mystery Lady of Swords is playing a zither and seems serene and yet a bit pensive. It’s as though she knows things are not always as lovely as they seem and she plays her music to keep her in touch with the beauty and joy that is in the world. She brings this music and joy to others too by sharing her message of serenity and beauty.

The Steampunk Lady of Airships is a more energetic card. She crouches on a beam of an airship as though waiting to jump off. She is determined to deliver her message and nothing will stop her. She is confident and self-assured as well as focused. Whatever her message is, it is clear that she believes it is important and must be received.

This is the second time in the past few days I’ve drawn this card. In fact it’s the fourth time I’ve drawn a Lady/Messenger card while using these two decks. So obviously there are some messages the Universe does not feel I’ve received as yet. I think these two ladies are trying to remind me that while I need to move forward with my current ideas and plans, I also need to remember to see the beauty and joy in life. I need to listen to the music and let it soar through my soul envelopes me in its magic.

I also need to take chances and make that leap of faith in order to manifest my plans into reality. I sometimes lose steam in these endeavors and I think these ladies are encouraging me to keep going; to communicate my new ideas and goals to the world. I also think they’re reminding me to finish updating my website so that others who might be seeking the messages I offer know where to find me.

Steampunk (Matthews) Emperor Sevenfold Imperator


Looking at both images I was struck by the Emperor’s aura of confidence and self-assurance at being the master of all he surveys. He is surrounded by the trappings of his success – sword, orb, eagle and staff for one and a multitude of machinery for the other. They are reminders that in order to build an empire, one must have a stable and solid foundation. A civilization cannot be build upon chaos.

For me personally, this card is not about building an empire (as much as that might appeal to my ego), it’s about reinforcing the message that I am the Emperor of my own life. I have claimed the power and authority to do what I want to do and not follow the dictates of others. Of course that’s easy to say and doesn’t necessarily mean I will follow my own advice.

I realized yesterday, after a less than successful event on Sunday, that I am still riddled with self-doubt and those damn inner demons are quick to jump on that. I only attracted one client at the psychic fair. My friend, sitting at the next table, got three. I actually watched one person look at us both and then chose her. This led me to wonder why? If one knows nothing about either of us (and as far as I’m aware, they didn’t) then what would make you choose her rather than me. I’m not questioning her abilities (she’s an excellent reader), merely what would draw someone to one of us and not the other.

I put this question to my hubby and he pointed out that I can sometimes be intimidating – especially when I’m on a rant. I completely understand and agree with him on this but that wasn’t the case here – I wasn’t talking. Another friend mentioned that maybe sitting next to my friend unconsciously brings out all my insecurities as a reader – another great point and possibly true. I also realize that although I want to do well, sometimes I’m more concerned about others making the money they need. Is it possible I’m subtly jinxing myself? Or maybe I’m just over-thinking this and the Emperor is here to remind me that I am in charge and need to stop second-guessing myself (although it is my favorite hobby). Sometimes stuff just happens.

The bottom line is that I do know I am a good reader. However, that does not mean my reading style and approach will work for everyone. I have a unique take on life, Tarot and pretty much everything else. I know that I’m an acquired taste and sometimes I overwhelm folks or even repel them. I had the same effect on guys when I was younger and trying to date. I intimated or downright frightened a lot of the guys I knew growing up but I eventually found the perfect guy for me. The same thing will happen with my Tarot practice. The more authentic and true to myself I am, the quicker I will develop my client base. The more I put myself out there as a reader, the more likely I will be to find the right clients for me. So I just need to take a deep breath and trust. Whew!

When things aren’t Transparently obvious

Okay, so today i pulled my COTD from the gorgeous Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery deck by Bob Place and drew the matching card from Caitlin & John Matthews’ Steampunk Tarot.  My card was the Lady of Coins (or Messenger of Leviathans).  Quite honestly, looking at these cards left me a bit stumped.  It’s not that I couldn’t come up with some meaning for them, it was simply that none of them felt right.  So as I was standing the feeling puzzled, I decided to try something I used at a past Readers Studio – I drew the matching card from the Transparent Tarot and laid it over my card of the day.

It’s an interesting tool.  The simplicity of the images in the Transparent Tarot allows the card to focus your attention to one specific area.  For example on the Lady of Coins you can see the small figure of the Princess of Pentacles from the Transparent Tarot is right over the coin itself.

Sevenfold Lady of Coins w Transparent


For me, this suggests that perhaps this lady is bringing me a message about focusing on issues of prosperity or physical matters.  In fact the more I looked at her, the more I was convinced that the simple line drawing was offering an apple to the Lady.  This made me thing of health issues and I ended up realizing that perhaps this Lady of Coins was reminding me that I haven’t been paying the attention I should to my general health and well-being.

When I used this same technique on the Messenger of Leviathans, it appears that the Transparent Princess of Pentacles is hovering over the chopsticks and the scroll they hold.  In this instance I get the sense that she is offering me a secret formula to success in this area.  Her message is that I can find the answers to address my health concerns as long as I know where to look.

Messenger of Leviathans w Transparent

In reality, I might have come to these realizations without using the Transparent Tarot.  However one of my new goals is to play with my Tarot decks in new ways and to find new techniques to add some life to my card of the days draws.  I think this fits the bill on both counts.

Revisiting a past Tarot reading

In light of my reaction to and insights gained from my 3 of Swords moment after the phone conversation with a former co-worker, I had another epiphany. My foundation reading at Readers Studio 2013 (done by the fabulous Nancy Antenucci) was interesting and helpful at the time. My focus was on how I can better see myself as a professional Tarot reader. As I considered the cards drawn (using Julie Cuccia-Watts’ amazing Ma’at Tarot), it hit me that this reading is equally as appropriate and powerful when addressing my termination and the factors that led up to it and the 3 of Swords phone conversation.

The spread was a reversed pyramid with 4 cards at the top and a single card at the bottom. The top layer reflected air or the thoughts that impact/help create the situation. In this reading these cards were all Majors (Temperance, The Tower, The Hanged One and The Emperor). In terms of my position at the NPO Temperance shows that I was trying to merge my personality and skills into the new paradigm and new management at the agency. The Tower is how I felt when I was fired. The Hanged One is the state of suspended animation I’ve been in since it happened. And The Emperor is the former Executive Director who fired me. Post phone call I still see Temperance the same way but not I can add that it represents me trying to forge a new me from the pieces of the old NPO me and the post-NPO me. The Tower now has the added meaning of the phone call and the information I received during it. The Hanged One now represents me changing my perspective on things and getting ready to break free of the cocoon and move forward again. The Emperor is now me enthroned, having reclaimed my own authority and now learned not to give it away to others or let them determine whether I’m good enough or smart enough or skilled enough.

Without going into too much more detail about the remaining levels and how the card meanings are enhanced and amplified by recent experiences, I have to say it was an eye-opening and fun project. I’ve seen the concept of harvesting your journals – reviewing past journal entries and mining them for new insights. Why not do the same with Tarot readings? I’m sure there are lots of folks who already do this but for me this was a new idea. Or perhaps it’s simply that I finally actually made the effort. It makes it a bit more interesting than simply pulling a card every day (although I still do that). In fact the card of the day (COTD) can actually add another layer to the initial reading. This is an idea I want to play with some more.

Reading on a 3 of Swords moment

The other day I received a phone call from a former friend/co-worker (I’ll call her Alice) that left me feeling betrayed and vindicated at the same time.

Alice and I used to work at a non-profit organization.  My immediate supervisor (let’s call him Frank) didn’t like the fact that I had connection at the agency’s main office and mistrusted me.  I was younger and arrogant and didn’t realize I should have taken some steps to reassure him.  As a result I found myself transferred to a meaningless position at the agency’s main office and my future career was in jeopardy.

At the time Alice was friend’s with both Frank and me.  I always had a feeling she knew this was coming but she never gave me a heads up.  Then again it’s possible that even if she had I would have blown it off.  After the transfer my career was a bit rocky for a while but I eventually found a mentor at the agency and flourished under her guidance.  My friendship with Alice was strained but we did stay in touch.  Eventually both she and Frank left the agency to pursue other careers.

A few years later Frank returned to the agency – once again a “golden boy” who was viewed as the future of the agency.  At the time I had little to do with him because I worked in a different division.  Frank eventually became the executive director of the agency and anyone who flourished under the previous regime was targeted for termination.  He brought Alice back as a consultant to assist him in team building and other personnel development exercises.

Alice and I were on friendly terms – perhaps not as close as we once were but still friendly.  Then the bloodletting began.  By the third round of terminations my mentor decided to leave the agency because she knew she was on the chopping block.  I stayed behind and tried to make the best of it.  I recall mentioning to Alice that I felt like a wife of Henry VIII waiting for the executioner’s axe.  Her comment was a non-committal one.

Eventually the axe fell and I was terminated (despite excellent performance reviews).  To say I was devastated would be an understatement.  It was a Tower experience I hope never to repeat.  I did not hear from my “friend” Alice, despite the fact that she is a train conflict resolution counselor and often see herself in the role of emotional supporter and adviser.

I didn’t hear from her again until last week.  She called me out of the blue to apologize for not having called me or reached out to me for over 3  years.  I was cold but not rude.  Then she mentioned that she had never been in a job situation which required her not to speak to someone.  My brain froze when she said this.  I took this to mean Frank told her not to contact me.  That infuriated me and stirred up a lot of feeling I thought had been settled.

After the phone call from Alice I wasn’t sure how to proceed with this relationship and the situation. I have no real desire to even attempt to establish a relationship with Annie however I do feel as though it isn’t quite over yet.

I think the biggest surprise was when she mentioned that it was the first she was in a job situation that required her not to speak to someone. The only thing I can determine from that comment is that Frank told her not to speak to me after I was fired from the agency. On the one hand, that seems like exactly the type of behavior I would expect from Frank. On the other hand I cannot believe Alice gave in to that request. I think that surprises me more than anything else.

The day I received her phone call I drew a card to see what I needed/could take away from this situation and drew the 7 of Cups reversed. I interpreted this to mean that what I needed to accept is that my firing from the agency was out of my control. There was no choice I could have made and no action I could have taken that would have changed it. The decision was out of my hands and influence. It was Frank’s game and I had no input regarding the rules or anything else.

To help me process this issue I decided to do a reading on it.  I used the Osho Zen Tarot and pulled the following cards:

How can I handle this situation?

2 3 4

1 – The root of the issue – Inner Vision (High Priestess)
2 – Internal influences – 2 of Rainbows (Pentacles) R
3 – The core of the issue – 5 of Rainbows (Pentacles) R
4 – External influences – 6 of Clouds (Swords)
5 – Advice – Courage (Strength) R

3 of Swords Reading

This reading is showing that at the root of this issue was the fact that useful information was being withheld from me. My inner voice might have known that this was unavoidable and unpreventable but my mind found that hard to accept. I don’t like feeling out of control.  A friend also suggested that the High Priestess represents Alice too because she pulled back the veil and gave me information I did not previously possess that changes how I perceive this situation

The termination left me feeling off-balance and unsure what to do next as well as triggering my sense of isolation and being an outsider. No real surprise there. The 6 of Clouds reminds me that I’m carrying a burden that is not mine to carry. If I want to move forward I need to release that burden and lighten up my mind. The problem was, is and always will be Frank’s – why carry his mental bullshit on my back.

The advice card, Courage reversed, shows that I have the inner strength and ability to work my way through this situation regardless of whether I ever speak to Annie again or not. The situation truly is resolved all that might remain is for me to express how it made me feel to Alice but even if I never do that I don’t think it will hold me back anymore. And that’s a huge release and relief

Having returned from Readers Studio and seeing several decks whose appearance was greatly enhanced by judicious snipping.  I was inspired by a tablemate’s snipped Radiant RWS and Witch’s Tarot (by Ellen Dugan).  I had not previously been very enthusiastic about or attracted to these decks but without borders the images really popped!This inspired me to do some deck doctoring when I got home.

As I eagerly reviewed my decks (and came to realize that some needed to be cleared out of my collection), I selected a few for a trial snip (including my own Radiant RWS and Witch’s), got out the scissors and got to cutting.  At this point I have given 7 decks borderectomies:  Ghosts & Spirits, Radiant RWS, Albano RWS, Wizards, Witch’s, Sacred Rose, and Vampire’s Tarot of the Eternal Night.  During the snipping process, I realized that it allowed me to focus more on details in the individual cards that I might have missed before.  It was also rather meditative and relaxing.  However I also realized that that I need to pace myself because after half a deck my hand started to hurt.

Other decks that I’ve seen dramatically improved by some trimming of borders are the Robin Wood, DruidCraft, Wildwood and Thoth.  I find this allows you to personalize the deck as well as makes the images appear more intense and unobstructed.  A friend also pointed out that borderless images allows you to put the cards close together and create one image from the cards which can deepen your interpretation of the meaning and add more layers to it.

So take a deep breath, grab a sharp pair of scissors and try cutting the borders off one of your Tarot decks (just make sure it’s a deck you can easily replace in case of user error).

Here are some images to whet your appetiteEternal Night Chariot:Sacred Rose World

Albano Devil

Sevenfold 9 of Coins


All the treasures and abundance I need are within myself.  Now is the time to tend this temple of manifestation.

Okay so the reality is that I feel like crap and I think this card is reminding me to gather my resources and take care of me rather than trying to do too much.



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