Transformational Tarot
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games (2006)
ISBN:1572815396

The Book says: Spiritual awakening, a card of summing up of an important matter, a clean slate, paying off old karmic debts, reward for past effort, a time of rejuvenation, sincere attempt to come to terms with oneself and to take responsibility for one’s actions, rising above the negativity in order to resolve the situation. In the reverse, this card can mean existential angst; fear of the unknown; fear of death. It could imply disillusionment.

TarotHunter’s Theories: This card suggests that our journey to liberty might be long and somewhat gray at times. But at the end of our journey we will be able to see our true selves, to look ourselves in the face and to accept what we see. This card is about facing our reflection in the mirror without harsh judgments or useless self-criticism. It is about reaching a place of self-acceptance and acknowledging our flaws without negativity. To me this card reflects the wisdom of experience and the benefits of completing that long journey towards self-knowledge and freedom from self-defeating, self-critical attitudes and behaviors. It’s about finding the truth and allowing it to set you free.

Heart’s blood flows no more

Swords of betrayal withdrawn

Move forward and heal

Just take the freakin’ compliment

While at Readers’ Studio, I was chatting with Elinor Greenberg and Diane Wilkes. During out chat Elinor turned to Kooch Daniels and commented that several of my blog posts incorporating Tarot and psychology were some of the most insightful writings on the topic that she had read. I immediately made a self-deprecating comment along the lines of “knowing my own bullshit”. Elinor commented “Just accept the freakin’ compliment”. That stopped me dead in my tracks. Like a lot of people, I find it easier to take criticism than praise. Why? What is there in my soul, my ego, that cringes at compliments?

I wasn’t always this way. As a child I was very much a solar baby – soaking up all the attention and praise that I could get. I was a very good student and relatively well behaved child. In fact I was often embarrassed by teachers telling my mother they wished they had a “classroom full of Debbies”. Looking back now I realize that I began shying away from praise when it began to cause mocking by peers. One incident in my junior year of high school is still seared into my psyche. I took typing and steno (because why the hell not?). During one class the teacher asked for volunteers to read the transcription we had just completed. I can’t remember if I volunteered or was selected but as I was reading it I could hear a voice from behind me mimicking and mocking me as I read aloud. I felt so hurt and defenseless. I started tearing up and knew I couldn’t let them see me cry because (as I’m sure many of us remember) high school can be quite a dog eat dog environment. Another classmate sitting next to me realized I was close to losing it and told the mocker to cut it out. I will always appreciate her defense of me. I managed to finish reading without breaking down but it really took the joy out of that class for me.

Looking back I realize that kind of thing happened a lot to me. Not as cruel as the mockery and mimicry but being teased for being a brainiac, egghead, using $100 words. Even friends would make comments about my vocabulary so instead of feeling proud about it, I ended up feel embarrassed, shamed. Even in my family I’ve heard comments like I “think too much” or that I’m the “smart one” as though it makes me an outsider. I sometimes joke that I’m a Lisa Simpson in a Bart & Homer kind of world. It’s funnier to say than it is to experience.

This is just my roundabout way of explaining why I resist compliments – because I always assume they’re actually backhanded insults; ways to mock and tease me. I hate feeling that vulnerable and exposed so I go into an offensive position – I make fun of myself before they can do it. I treat it like a joke so they won’t realize how much it truly hurts me. It’s amazing and sad to me that after 30+ years that incident still causes pain. It’s not as painful as it once was but there is still tenderness and soreness attached to the memory. It’s ironic that when I was on FaceBook I got a friend request from the same person behind that incident. Just another reason I prefer to not be on FaceBook.

Judgment – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

 

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

 

Traditional meaning: Experiencing the natural process of growth and maturation, principle of cosmic understanding, spiritual truth, change and transformation; a push, a call from within to make some important change; the final settlement of a matter; accepting the results of your decisions.

TarotBroad’s Theories: This card brings to mind the image of a loving parent who may be disappointed in a child’s behavior but who still loves the child and will continue to help offering guidance. Both the Virgin Mary and the Buddha are also well known figures of forgiveness and guidance. When we feel the need to be cleansed and purified, we pray to one of these beings for forgiveness. The Virgin Mary is often perceived as a gentle, nurturing figure who prays for sinners. And there are many stories of Jesus forgiving the past actions of others. But the key is that we must want to change, we must be willing to take the steps necessary to stop the behavior.

This card reminds me of a recovering substance abuser who finally cleans up his act and looks at the devastation his behavior has created in his life. Once this has been faced he has two choices – to run away from this knowledge by burying himself in his abusive behavior or to face the truth, forgive himself and move on trying to make amends where possible. We have this choice in our own lives. We can leave behind the self-defeating, critical inner voice that often holds us back and move forward with a sense of wholeness and newness. We are cleansed and purified. And the loving guidance these beings offer will be there, as long as we remain faithful and continue to follow the new path. We can move on to a new level, begin our lives on a new path, as long as we learn from the lessons of the past and don’t continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. We can let it go, start anew and allow ourselves to forgive ourselves and release ourselves from our own negative energy. And once we can forgive ourselves, we open ourselves up to a new world of possibilities.

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

 

The Book says: Transformation; bringing matters to resolution; releasing or forgiving; freedom to act with full power or resources; a new lease of life; recovery of essential focus.
Reversed: Denial of imminent change; inability to admit faults or allow changes; procrastination; reproach for wasted opportunities; stubborn self-justification; little chance of cure; failure to focus.

TarotHunter’s Theories: Traditionally the Gundestrup Cauldron is connected to transformation and rebirth. Legends connect the Gundestrup Cauldron with reviving warriors killed in battle. But when they come back they are mute; unable to describe this experience to anyone. One of the panels on the Cauldron shows a large figure, possibly a deity, shoving warriors into the Cauldron. They emerge beneath the Cauldron, alive but changed. The three spirits and the elder sprig are connected with healing and renewal. These images suggest that sometimes we need to be forced into making changes but they will ultimately prove healing and transformative. The experience will allow us to release the burdens of the past and move forward into a future that remains unwritten.

Mansions of the Moon Star

Mansions of the Moon Star

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The Books say: The principle of self-esteem and confidence, knowledge being given out, principle of courage to be ourselves, opening to the Goddess, hope, a sense of healing and wholeness, especially after emotional storms.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: I love this image. It just brings to mind a sense of healing, purifying ourselves, washing ourselves clean. We can celebrate who we are and accept ourselves. We can gather fluid from the stars and sprinkle ourselves with star matter. As Crosby, Stills & Nash (maybe Young) sang “we are stardust”. This card brings that sentiment vividly to mind. I am able to grasp the star chalice and heal myself. This Star offers the healing power of the Holy Grail. It will make us whole again but we must believe it ourselves and in its power.

I just love how open and vulnerable the central female figure is. She is so focused on herself and her healing that she leaves herself unprotected and unshielded. She no longer needs her protective armor. She is open to the healing energy of the stars and the water and the amethyst. She is a reminder that in order to truly heal ourselves we must also risk coming out of our shell and being vulnerable. Only then can we truly experience the magic and wonder of The Star’s energy.

Celtic Wisdom Dreamer

Celtic Wisdom Dreamer

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: The Dreamer shows the god Noden, aka Iriel Faith (True Seer) and Nuada Airgetlam (Silver-Arm) who had a healing and dream incubation shrine on the banks of the Severn. The two-headed nature of the god represents outward sight of the physical senses and the inward sight of the seer or dreamer. The yew is the Celtic tree to the Otherworld, gateway to the Land of Promise. Its evergreen spines and red berries create the appearance of a tree on fire.
Keywords: Hope, insight, inspiration, healing, unconditional love, optimism, keeping faith, dreams, aspirations, widening horizons, promise and opportunity, a period of calm after storm, recovery.
Reversed: Hopes dashed, doubt, short-sighted outlook, poor health, negative self-image, pessimism, insecurity, self-doubt, lack of trust, swept into a spiral of activity.
Soul Wisdom: What is the important source of refreshment in your own life?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: The image on this card is reminder that The Dreamer (Star) is about healing and renewal. It is about looking back to see where we come from so that we can heal ourselves. If we don’t remember what the roots of our illness are then how can we hope to heal. Sometimes facing the past is the hardest thing to do. We have already survived the earth-shattering Tower and we want to focus on the hope and healing offered by the The Star but is we don’t remember what we learned during that Tower moment.  We don’t incorporate it into our lives and that may limit our ability to heal.

The Dreamer shows that we need to look within and without, behind us and ahead of us in order to fully experience the healing energy of this card and the hope it represents. Hope is more than just closing our eyes to reality and ignoring it. Hope is facing the reality in our lives and still believing that things will work out for the best. In fact in some healers are beginning to realize that if a patient doesn’t have hope, faith and optimism then any treatment may ultimately prove unsuccessful because these things are necessary for us to heal on a spiritual and psychic level.

If we believe we can heal, then we can. There is a phrase (which is almost a cliche) if you can dream it you can achieve it or as the Rocky Horror Picture Show suggests “don’t dream it – be it”.  Both offer similar insight. Dreams are an important part of who we are as humans and if we allow ourselves to appreciate them, our hopes, dreams and optimism can help us reach our goals. Dreams can heal us and make us whole; they can open us up to new possibilities and potential. But we have to be willing to take that chance and open ourselves us to the healing powers of the Dreamer.

Okay, first things first. I may have hinted at or even mentioned it before but my childhood was messy. I suffered from physical, psychological/emotional and sexual abuse at the hand of a family member. I’m not going into details because the reality is they’re not important. They’re not necessary for the point I’m trying to make. Suffice it to say that my family put the fun in dysfunctional.

Dark Carnival Strength

I have often made light and joked about these experiences in an effort to make them less important. I refuse to be defined by them and when I was growing up it was much too easy to be labeled “the girls who was raped” or “the girl from that white trash family”. As it was my family was a bit notorious because my parents were very young (Mom was 16 and Dad had just turned 17) when I was born. As a result many of the neighborhood busybodies watched me for years waiting for the demon horns they just knew existed to sprout from my forehead. Rather than becoming a statistic I married a man I love and not because I was pregnant. I managed to complete two master degrees in different majors and for many years was a successful career woman. I showed them! ;D

Norse Tarot 3 of Cups

One day while joking about some of my family dysfunction with some newly acquired friends, one of them suggested that it wasn’t healthy to joke about the pain I experienced. At the time I felt shamed and embarrassed, as though I wasn’t handling it correctly. Now my response would be a more colorful variation of “Screw you”. Joking was the healthy way for me to handle it – then and now. I recently realized that J.K. Rowling even offered a spell for just this type of situation in the Harry Potter series – Riddikulus!

Baubo Siren of Earth Dark Goddess Tarot

By joking about the abuse and demons that tormented my childhood I was making light of them; making them ridiculous and less dangerous. Sometimes when you can’t face and defeat the monsters attacking you then the only option is to make fun of them and drain off their power. Laughter is powerful magic. In fact in ancient Ireland the mockery of a bard was seen as damaging and harmful, especially if one is a king who has been mocked. It could reveal your unworthiness to the world.  Laughing at what scares us can help release some of the paralysis that chains us in place. It can help us get moving again; to find our way to a better, safer place. Thank all the gods for laughter!  It can help cleanse the most tormented soul.

I find it interesting when I’ve come across folks in life who seem to have no sense of humor. They see themselves as sober, “God-fearing”, practical folks. In reality I think they are the sickest among us. They have no ability to access the magical healing power of laughter. In the movie Dogma, Salma Hayek, playing a Muse, states that Catholics don’t celebrate their faith they mourn it.  It’s an interesting point. People who seem to have no sense of humor about their faith suck all the joy out of it. Who wouldn’t want to have joy and laughter in their spiritual celebrations.  Some of the most powerful rituals in which I’ve ever participated had moments of silliness, laughter and a touch of chaos.

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So from personal experience let me offer this one piece of advice – no matter how dark and desperate things may seem, find a way to laugh. If you can’t find a way to joke about your own experiences then at least find a comedian or movie that makes you laugh and watch it. Laugh until you cry; until you are purged of those poisons and toxins that are building up in your system. Believe me, I can take life much too seriously but I was blessed to find a man who taught me how to laugh at myself. He gifted me with the healing magic of laughter and for that I will always be grateful.

I have a well-known propensity for laughing hysterically at farts and/or fart-jokes.  In fact my mother purchased me a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “You’re never to old to laugh at fart jokes”.  For a long time I felt guilty about this habit – as though it revealed a tacky, low-class side to my personality.  Now I embrace it because I realize that if I can laugh at one of nature’s smelliest, most embarrassing and humiliating moments, then I can laugh at anything life throws my way. My wish for anyone reading this is that you are learn to laugh at farts; that you are able to laugh at whatever craziness life throw your way.  That you learn to tap into the powerful magic of laughter for yourself.

Alchemy – Transformational Tarot

Transformational Alchemy

 

Transformational Tarot
Created by Arnell Ando
Published by Ink Well Publishing
ISBN #0-9649386-3-4

The Book says: The blending of opposites. A conscious effort to achieve balance and harmony. In relationships, compromise and a balance of emotion and intellect is needed. Emotions that don’t flow stagnate. Creativity, transformation, alchemy: the mixture of diverse elements in order to create something new. Every part essential to the whole. For example, an engine can not operate correctly if even a small part is missing or broken, it also happens that one thing can upset all other aspects of your life.

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  This image reminds me of the goddess of the land pouring her creative and fertile energies onto the land. She is at one with the land, incorporating its strength and is solidness into her being. Her dress looks like the snakeskin has become part of her body. She has incorporated the snake’s ability to shed its useless skin and emerge rejuvenated. The fluid flowing from the urn is more than water, it is the source of life itself. It is what allows the land to transform and bloom; to go from lifeless and barren to bursting with life and energy.

The lady is the source of life and the force of her energy and her love is what guides us to a place of balance and healing, of harmony and unity. She teaches us how to become whole, how to integrate our various parts into a unified being. We are light and dark, passive and aggressive, masculine and feminine, lunar and solar. If we cannot integrate and accept these various parts then we run the risk of cutting off part of ourselves. And one cannot live if one denies part of who we are.

Temperance – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Temperance

 

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The LWB says: Temperance traditionally symbolizes balance, moderation, taking the middle path, spiritual healing, calm and serenity.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: There is a sense of peace, tranquility and serenity in this image. One gets the feeling of seeing a maiden conducting a purification ritual. She is seeking out the clear, cool waters of the babbling stream to help wash away whatever negativity has accumulated in her life. She is our guide and our healer. She helps us feel restored and washed clean.

She is able to accept the darker side of life and transform its energy into something healthy and beneficial. That is the key to her power. She transforms and transmutes the negative into positive, she balances the emotional and the practical, the intellectual and the spiritual. She is the nymph of Spring, whose will to bring forth life transforms the seemingly dead and lifeless earth into a fertile, green paradise.

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