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.

Transformational Tarot Moon

Transformational Moon

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

The Book says: A cycle of change; solutions to present questions can be found in the symbols of dreams and intuition rather than logic and reason. Trust your hunch; an important time for meditation. The moon rules the rhythms of life; of tides, menstruation, and other natural cycles. This card suggests that you acknowledge and respect your own natural biorhythms, moods and cycles and those of nature. The moon is metaphorically seen as the womb which both gives and takes life, so this card also stands for being sensitive to the inner knowing of when to bring something into your life as well as letting something go when the learning or spiritual process is complete. When one’s natural cycles and biorhythms are ignored or suppressed, a feeling of listlessness or even depression can emerge. Pay attention to your emotional state.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card sends a message of serenity and calmness as well as one of loneliness and loss. It is both peaceful and sad. The Moon’s calm, almost distant, expression brings to mind times when I felt alone and lost but looking up at the moon somehow brought a sense of peace and protection.

I hadn’t actually thought about that until now but that was my connection to the moon. I always felt as though it watched over me and protected me from harm. I love the night and revel in the darkness. It always seems so soothing and mysterious. Yet at the same time I adore the daylight hours (I just hate waking up ;-D). I was not a creature of the moon but any means. As I’ve often told friends, I do not feel the same connection to the moon which many of them experience, and yet I love the moon.

The moon is a magical, mystical protector who guides me through whatever darkness surrounds me. Maybe I see the moon as more masculine than feminine (a product of reading a lot of Norse & Irish mythology as a child). The moon cut through the blackness of the night and was a beacon of love and acceptance.  This Moon’s face might be feminine but I get that same sense of guidance and protection. She seems to be watching the empty boat to ensure that it makes it safely through the rocks. I can connect with that because heaven knows there have been moments in my life when I have felt adrift and alone but that something watches over me and protects me from ever getting truly lost. It guides me back to myself and helps me to look deep within and find my true course again. Is it The Moon? Well perhaps not the celestial body in the sky, but certainly the energy we have often associated with it.

The Moon reminds me of the song “Somewhere Out There” from the animated movie An American Tale (Tail). The Moon reminds us that we are not alone, that many others stand beneath the same moon making similar wishes and experiencing similar hopes, dreams and doubts. And maybe, just maybe, the moon helps us all work through them and move on with our lives.

Celtic Wisdom Imaginer

Celtic Wisdom Imaginer

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

The Book says: The Imaginer shows the seascape of Manannan, the Irish God of the Otherworld and of the Sea. Like Odysseus, he is courteous and cunning, a companion to our soul’s seafaring. He issues invitations to his realm to those who are worthy to seek his rich treasury. The golden-oared boat is an authentic image of the vessel used by those who made the immram or heroic voyage to the Blessed Islands of Manannan. Under the light of the moon, within the rhythm of the tides and currents, we discover our deep harmonious self.
Keywords: Imagination; latent powers; attunement to the rhythms, tides and patterns of one’s life; unconscious influences; dreams and visions; introspection; creative conception; pregnancy.
Reversed: Illusions; fear of the unfamiliar; inflexibility and impatience with natural rhythms; mental disturbance, magnification of worries and problems.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card speaks of the soul journey to the center of ourselves. Irish myths and legends offer several stories of heros’ voyages to a number of mystical islands before finally returning home, changed forever. Manannan also serves as the gatekeeper to the Otherworlds and he guides and guards these lands. We cannot visit these islands without Manannan’s approval. In his role and lord of the seas he also can help us cross the waters of emotional turmoil that arrive in our lives.

This card reminds us that even when we feel we are most alone in this voyage to the center of ourselves, we are not alone. Whatever one chooses to call one’s greater power it is there for us – guiding and guarding us on our journey. It is an opportunity for healing and growth, crossing over to a new level of emotional growth and introspection. The Imaginer reminds us that while the journey may take us to uncharted territory and unfamiliar places, we can safely make the journey and reap it benefits. But first we have to get passed our fear of the unknown and our worries about what is hidden along the journey.

A true reflection of myself

For two days in a row I drew The Mirror card (The Hanged Man in traditional decks) from the Wildwood Tarot in my daily reading. The image shows a mermaid seeming to hold the moon in her hand while the other clutches a mirror to her breast. Her eyes are closed and she can see neither but she seems aware of both on a deep, unconscious level.

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Looking at this image I consider what it might be trying to tell me. Considering the questions I asked both day, the key element is one of changing perception, altering mindsets, looking at things from a different angle. I also get a sense of trusting your heart, your instincts, your unconscious. She speaks to me of looking at yourself and changing how you view the reflection. This became especially appropriate when I had a profound epiphany today (I do love profound epiphanies). While looking in the mirror the thought flashed across my brain that I looked beautiful. Not pretty, not nice but beautiful. I have recently gotten a haircut and was wearing a new shirt but that wasn’t why I felt this way. It was because I was in a wonderful mood. I felt fabulous inside and it was visible outside. I finally realized the meaning of the expression “true beauty comes from within”.

The truth is that my physical being changed little. I’m still overweight, fairly worn-out and wore no makeup. I know I’m attractive enough but that’s never been a major priority in my life – call me ugly I’ll shrug it off; call me stupid and them’s fighting words. Seeing myself in a different light today, truly believing I am beautiful, was powerful. How many of us go through life believing we’ll only be beautiful and acceptable if we meet some arbitrary norm. If we lose weight or dye our hair or fix our nose or get that new outfit. It doesn’t matter what the variable is, the commonality is that we believe some external factor is what will make us beautiful. In truth we already possess that quality if we can see it and believe in it. Of course the irony is that it takes maturity and wisdom to actually accept and embrace this fact. The expression “youth is wasted on the young” was coined for a reason.

That brief look in the mirror has convinced me that my attitude and mindset dramatically changes how I see myself and how I present myself to others. If I stop staring in the mirror looking for flaws and instead let myself be bathed in the radiant light of the moon, I’ll find it easier to let my inner beauty shine through. Maybe we should all stop focusing on our flaws and instead change our perspective and celebrate our gifts, embrace our inner loveliness. We all have the potential to be radiantly beautiful if we believe in ourselves. I’m going to start off taking one step at a time, day by day.

Hermit – Blue Rose Tarot

Blue Rose Hermit

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says: The Hermit archetype makes its appearance at the time it is needed the most by our Fool. The diversion from the distractions of the outside world is utterly necessary, for the teachings of the Hermit are loudly silent. In order to perceive these lessons, we must use our inner senses, for the teachings of the Hermit encompass visions that cannot be seen and sounds that cannot be heard. And the ultimate task for any Fool is to first develop the ability to perceive the lessons, then understand their messages and finally, assimilate that knowledge deep within his psyche so that they travel as an intricate and essential part of him as he walks back to his Chariot – ready once again to enter life’s highway and continue on with his journey.

And this time, that intense, fiery blue core, representing the fusion of his material, spiritual and emotional beings, burns brightly and steadfastly within him.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card symbolizes the enlightenment and gateways to new landscapes that we can find if we focus our energies within. But it might not be an easy process. Sometimes we might feel that we are going on the road to nowhere. Other times we might feel overwhelmed and as though we are being swept away by it all. But the bottom line is that if we look within ourselves, and are willing to do the work, we can climb the path to wisdom and self-knowledge. We can explore these inner landscapes and learn to see the beauty in solitude.

It shows us not to fear being alone. There is a difference between aloneness and loneliness. The Hermit represents having the inner serenity and strength to seek this kind of inner knowledge. One of the things that has occurred to me in considering the various Hermit cards is that shining light into the darkness that can be our unconscious, our id, our deepest, darkest depths, takes a strength of will and determination that many of us may not realize we have. The Hermit is not only willing to shine his light on this side of human nature, he also has gained the understanding and wisdom to accept it and not judge it harshly after the fact.

The Hermit is about seeking this inner knowledge so that we can better understand ourselves. In some respects The Hermit is similiar to a psychologist or other counselor. He or she is able to delve into the depths of the human psyche to bring forth the healing light of inner knowledge and serenity, while still being able to resist the tendency to write off humanity. The Hermit helps us face both the best and the worst in human nature and gives us the wisdom and knowledge to face these extremes and keep moving forward.

Introspection – Transformational Tarot

Transformational Introspection

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

The Book says: The need to withdraw from the busy, outer world in order to find peace, to evaluate one’s beliefs and to replenish. Inner vision quest. Time for soul searching. It is a good time to get in touch with the creative self, to keep a dream journal, work wight the Tarot or tools for meditation and self-awareness. One who cares little for the approval for others, who is independent, introspective and on the path of individuation. The reversed meaning of this card warn could warn of excessive isolation, inactivity, “antisocial” tendencies or even deep depression. It could stand for loneliness or an inability to ask for outside assistance.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: I see this card as representing our quest deep within ourselves to find wisdom and understanding. It is the need to shine light on those dark sides of our nature which seem so frightening and horrible until we look at them clearly. The Hermit holds his lantern high in the air. He is surrounded by darkness and “scary” things. A skull rests on his chest; a snake across his shoulders and a bat flies above his head. Typically these are things that would scare people. Many of us shudder at the mere thought of a snake or a bat. And skulls elicit a similar reaction. And the polar bear, while beautiful, can be quite deadly and terrifying if met under normal conditions. But The Hermit has no fear of these creatures. He has learned how to communicate with them and incorporate them into his live. He is at home with man’s darker side as with his light.

The Hermit understands that life is more than just black and white. A rainbow of colors and shades of gray exists as well. If life were that simple then we would always know right from wrong. But nothing in life is that simple. We may all understand that murder is wrong. But we can also acknowledge that in certain circumstances we might find ourselves capable of killing someone. The Hermit has tread these paths of the human psyche and is comfortable roaming there. But at the same time he must be careful not to become lost among these pathways and to lose sight of the light side.

There is a glamour and attraction to the dark side of human nature and if we stay there too long we risk losing contact with the light all together. Andrew Vachss, a fairly well-known advocate for the right of abused children, writes a series of books about a character named Burke. Burke is the Hermit, with a twist. He roams the roads among the dark and evil things that men do and tries to save potential victims. But at various points in his career Burke has lost himself in these dark pathways and has to struggle to come back. But sometimes it’s easier to lose yourself – just as pessimism can seem safer than optimism. But the Hermit offers us a light to find our way back and he is waiting there for us to help us process what we’ve learned and not get lost in the dark.

Hermit – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

MotM Hermit

 

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

The author says: The prophet Elijah being fed by the ravens. YHWH was not in the fire, the wind or the earthquake. YHWH came in a still small voice.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This image reminds me of the very traditional versions of The Hermit – a wise old man out in the wilderness. The candles symbolize bringing the light of his wisdom and experiences to others. The raven is the messenger bringing him the voice of divine enlightenment. The simplicity and starkness of his surroundings forces him to focus inward. There are no distractions. And as a result he hopes to learn something about himself and gain illumination and spiritual growth.

This is the sacred Fool grown older and wiser. He is the Fool on the Hill of which the Beatles sing “The Fool on the Hill sees the sun going down and the eyes in his head see the world spinning round”. He has seen it all and yet still retains something of his foolish optimism and love for life. He still honors the sacred. His experiences and knowledge have not embittered him or made him cynical. They have made him understand that stuff happens, stuff that is occasionally beyond our ability to understand and accept. He is wise. yet naive; experienced yet innocent. He is a walking marvel in some respects; a man who continues to love mankind and life despite the imperfections and flaws. In fact on some level he may embrace these very things because they celebrate humanity in all it’s glory.

The Hermit has withdrawn himself from regular interaction with society but not because he dislikes it or finds it repugnant. He withdraws because it allows him to focus on it, to see the patterns woven through life, and to learn more about our connection with the divine.

 

Hermit – Celtic Wisdom Tarot

Celtic Wisdom Counselor

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

The Book says:  The Counselor is the Celtic god whom the Romans called Silvanus. The figure is one who returns to nature for his healing, with only trees and animals for companions. This deity was sometimes seen as a hunter or guardian of animals, a wise countryman who respected the rhythms of the seasons.

Keywords: Counsel, inner guidance, seeking professional help, tactical or purposeful withdrawal to recoup energies or ideas, pondering or planning, discretion, prudence, proceeding carefully.
Reversed: Bad advice, refusal to heed wisdom or seek help, isolation, reliance on limited resources, lack of accountability, rash or foolish actions.
Soul-Wisdom: The Counselor of Truth is a touchpoint of assurance and validation, reminding us that the three candles that illumine every darkness are truth, nature, and knowledge. What seeks to be born in the silence?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: The Counselor shows a more mythological aspect of the Hermit. This is the wise madman that populates so much Celtic myth. He is the guide who points out the right direction. The person who may ask us seemingly ridiculous riddles in order to help us gain understanding and enlightenment. He is the wildman who fled into the woods seeking healing and solace from the madness surrounding him. He has wondered these woods, howling at the moon and mourning his loss. He has experienced the depths of anguish, pain and insanity. And yet somehow he survived. He plunged to the depths of human misery and came out whole. But it was not an easy process. This is no comfortable walk along a wooded country lane. The Hermit’s experiences have taken him through the dark, wild woods, full of danger and the unknown – whether from real creatures or from his own mind. The Counselor offers a friendly face to help us along the way. But much like a dedicated teacher, he will push you and prod you to achieve all that you can and to test yourself beyond your normal limits. He will not ease up if he feels you have the potential. He will help you expand your horizons and explore unfamiliar terrain.

The Counselor reminds me of one psychological school of thought which sees schizophrenics as the “normal” people and the rest of us as the mad folks. This school of thoughts proposes that if modern life doesn’t drive you mad, then perhaps you are the truly “crazy” one. Or he can be seen in movies and books which present us with a “natural philosopher”, the hobo, hooker or mental patient who truly makes more sense than any other character in the movie. James Stewart in Harvey is the Counselor, helping us navigate the journey through life with wit, humor and love and not giving up hope no matter how overwhelming the odds.

Blue Rose High Priestess

High Priestess
Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says:  “What does she tell [The Fool} with such eloquence?  That not everything he needs to learn can be perceived with the naked eye or sensed with the physical body that delights him so.  She gives him a sense of the awe and mystery of the great No-thingness.  She gives him a sense of its great cosmic cycle and its universal rhythms.  She gives him a glimpse of the eternal.  More importantly, she gives him an awareness of the eternal, for one cannot seek it out if there is not realization that such a state of being even exists.

This glimpse, this awareness, along with a hint of what it takes to find this state of being again … these are the great gifts of the High Priestess, the Spiritual Mother.”

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  The High Priestess almost seems to be coming out of the wall at us.  It’s as though she’s ripping through the veils of time and space and entering our awareness to bring us a message or offer guidance.  A chalice sits on a table in the center of the room.  What does it offer – healing, insight, knowledge?  The butterflies reinforce the sense that this woman is otherworldly and connected to our spirit freed from all boundaries and limitations.  It’s as though I walked in expected a gypsy woman to tell my future and instead met a Goddess.

She seems ageless, timeless; both a being of the otherworld and yet real and grounded in this one.  Her aura glows with power that she has learned to use wisely.  I have a feeling she has made mistakes along the way but only once and then she learns from it and grows stronger and wiser.  She is almost terrifying.  As I look at her I feel the need to kneel and pay obeisance.  I feel unworthy to enter her presence because I am so flawed and arrogant.

However that is her mission, her calling in life.  She is there to gently lift us up and offer guidance and wisdom.  She reminds us that our mistakes are lessons and the only way to true wisdom is to embrace those lessons.  She knows human nature and while it may sadden her she is realistic too.  She knows there is potential for abuse of her powers and knowledge.  She knows that there are those who seek it only for their own glory and fame.  However she is a true spiritual leader.  She offers the wisdom and insight to all.  What we choose to do with it is our decision.

The Seer R (Greenwood/Wildwood)

 

 

At first glance the Seer in the Greenwood Tarot appears to be a large owl.  Upon second glance I realized it’s a priestess wearing an owl cloak or perhaps shape-shifting into an owl walking through the forest holding a staff with a glowing orb on top.  The Seer in the Wildwood Tarot is more clearly a priestess wearing a cloak of owl feathers.  She also holds a staff but rather than walking, she stands before a large stone basin of water.  She appears to be gazing into it, perhaps for insight of knowledge.

Both images suggest that these figures are sources of wisdom, knowledge and power; the wise woman of the woods that weaves her way through many legends and fairy tales.  The owl is often seen as a source of wisdom in mythology although it can also be a harbinger of death.  It seems to me that these women would be comfortable dealing in either aspect of this symbolism.  They are wise enough to understand that death is a necessity.  Perhaps it’s not pleasant but without death there would be no new life.   I remember reading this nursery rhyme when I was a child and it has always stayed with me:

A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he heard, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why can’t we be like this wise old bird?

Unfortunately I have never mastered the ability to speak less.  In fact if anything I’m rather like a babbling brook that just goes on and on and on.  I may be observant and occasionally insightful but in both areas I know I could improve my skills if I listened rather than waiting to speak.

So what message is The Seer offering to me today?  My first reaction upon drawing this card reversed is that what I need to see today is myself.  I need to look deep within myself and see what is there.  It’s time for me to priestess myself; to listen to that inner wisdom and see where it guides me.  Perhaps like the priestesses on these cards, I can shapeshift myself into a new reality.  I can manifest those skills of listening and wisdom into my life.  It’s often very difficult for me to take a more passive, receptive approach to life but I think that is exactly what The Seer is telling me to do.  Rather than always running about and doing things, it’s time to start actually seeing them.  That will be quite a challenge but it also ties in with the message I received yesterday.  In order to be more nurturing, supportive, compassionate and understanding towards others, I have to learn to have these traits towards myself.  That is easier said than done.

 

 

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