Archive for June, 2007

The Ace of Pentacles: Penny from Heaven

June 27, 2007

Ace of Pentacles

 

I like the Ace of Pentacles. I don’t love it. I don’t keep my fingers crossed and hope it turns up in a reading, or put it on my tarot altar for contemplation. Last Saturday I co-facilitated a Writing with the Tarot workshop. When a participant pulled this Ace to kick off the day, my first thought was, Oh, well.

Each participant hunted down the Ace of Pentacles in her deck. We were to write our impressions, examining the imagery, the story there, our personal associations—kind of a warm up for the deeper personal and creative work we would do.

I closed my eyes, trying to clear my mind. I didn’t want the Ace of Pentacles to be about planting seeds and new business opportunites—my ususal interpretations. When I looked into the card, my eye was drawn to the hand that seemed to hold the sun. I imagined it floating above me, following me around, bobbing like a balloon. Having my own private sun felt kind of nice. Then I started to look around, and I could envision a little cottage outside the frame at the bottom of the card. All the windows were open to let in the fresh ocean air—yes there was an ocean, somewhere past the arched gate of the garden—maybe on the other side of the mountain. The cottage was inviting, but not as inviting as the garden. I didn’t feel the need to venture out towards the mountains, but I liked knowing that I could. I wrote all this down and then some. Satisfied, I recapped my pen, closed my journal and waited for the others who were still scribbling away.

I took in the space we rented from Presence of Heart in San Francisco. It was as pleasant as could be—beautiful wheat walls with white molding at the ceiling, natural light, a plush white carpet over hardwood floors, white couches, plants and candles and tarot decks spread out over a forest green blanket in the center of it all. I picked up the card again, and it struck me: Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck.

The Ace did feel like a lucky penny that day. We pulled poetry out of the cards, spun stories, and had the space and courage to get in touch with what matters to us.

Exercise for reflection:

Find a card that you feel neutral about—one that seems less interesting than the rest, and write about it. What is the first detail you notice? Describe the card. Imagine you are in it. What’s happening, or what can be seen just beyond its borders? Are there any personal associations that come up? Is there a story there?

I invite you to post your writing, or share your thoughts on the process. One of the best parts of the workshop was getting to hear what others wrote. It deepened my imagination and understanding of the cards.

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Choose Your Card for the Week of June 24, 2007

June 24, 2007

If you are viewing this entry on Sunday or Monday, choose the card below that best illustrates how you expect your week to go. At the end of the week you can see if things went as anticipated.

If you are viewing this entry anytime between Tuesday and Thursday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week is going. On Sunday you can see if anything unexpected happened to change your feelings.

If you are viewing this entry on Friday or Saturday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week has gone.

Don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel.

Let us know which card you chose—post a comment! Click on Read the rest of this entry to read about the card you chose.

Justice Eight of Cups Nine of Pentacles

Knight of Swords The Tower Eight of Wands

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Take a Tarot Test! (4) Inside out!

June 19, 2007

This Saturday I’m co-teaching a Writing with the Tarot workshop in San Francisco. While preparing an exercise on setting, I realize that almost all of the cards in the Rider-Waite deck are set outside!

Can you name five Rider-Waite cards that are set inside? (There may be a few more than five—some of the settings are ambiguous.)

Click read the rest of this entry to see which cards I have identified.

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A Compilation of Tarot Table Talk Exercises

June 18, 2007

I have several books with writing exercises, and all of them include the authors’ musings or philosophies, or encouraging words, example poems or stories. There are times when I just want to get to the darn exercises! In case any of you tend to feel that way, I thought I’d make a list of the exercises in this blog. If you are so inclined to read my thoughts on the cards, you can click on their titles to take you to the original post.

I will add to this post as I create more. If you try any of them out, I invite you to share your reflections!

Lunchtime Tarot, Birth Card Reflection, 11/13/09

  1. Explore the imagery of the card. What detail stands out when you first look at the card? What is happening in the card? Is there a story there? Consider what might have happened five minutes earlier and what might happen five minutes later. What is the mood of the card? Consider the setting, the weather, and the expression on the faces of the figure(s) in the card.
  2. When I look at this card I feel…
  3. These words and phrases come to mind when I look at this card:
  4. This card reminds me of this significant childhood experience:
  5. This card reminds me of this significant experience from my adolescence:
  6. This card reminds me of this significant experience in recent years:
  7. This card reminds me of this person who has shaped my life:
  8. This card challenges me to…
  9. This card represents my potential to…
  10. This card warns me against…
  11. I hate this birth card because…
  12. I love this birth card because…
  13. I wish was my birth card instead of this one because…
  14. Choose another card in the deck (perhaps your year card) to interview your birth card about what it sees as your strengths and weaknesses. Write a dialogue between them.
  15. Imagine that you are teaching a class on something that you enjoy doing and that your birth card is your student. Write the scene that unfolds.
  16. Imagine that your birth card is willing to barter the secret to its virtue for the secret to one of your own. Write the dialogue between you.
  17. Do a three card reading for your birth card.
  18. Calculate the birth card for a significant person in your life. Imagine each of your birth cards in conversation about the two of you. If you have the same birth card, you might use cards from different decks. Write a dialogue between them.
  19. Find your birth card in several different decks. Which do you like best? Which do you like least?

Lunchtime Tarot: Point of View, 11/7/09

Go through the deck and pull out all the cards that a particular person in your life might use to describe you. This person in your life might be

  • someone who is a significant ally in your life right now—someone who knows you and supports you. This might be a partner, a parent, a sibling, a co-worker, a friend, etc.
  • an acquaintance who doesn’t know you very well. This might be a store clerk, your mail carrier, a co-worker from a different department, a friend of a friend, etc.
  • a family member or a pet.
  • a childhood friend that you have lost touch with.
  • a teenage friend that you have lost touch with.
  • an ex love.
  • a nemesis.

For each round, record the cards that you have selected, so that you can see how many come up multiple times.

Consider that each card has a light side and shadow side. You might discover that one person in your life might describe you as the shadow side of a card while another might describe you as the light side of the same card.

For reflection:

  • Are you surprised by any of the cards that you have chosen?
  • Have any forgotten memories surfaced?
  • Have any surprising feelings surfaced?
  • What have you learned about yourself and the way others might see you?
  • Which cards do you feel best describe who you are, or who you were at another time in your life?

Lunchtime Tarot: The Saboteur and The Liberator, 10/30/09

A goal that I need help reaching:

Pull each of the Ace cards from the deck and spread them out in front of you.

  1. Under the Ace of Cups, place a card that shows how the goal will fulfill your heart—what your heart has to gain from reaching this goal.
  2. Under the Ace of Swords, place a card that shows how the goal will fulfill your mind—what your intellect has to gain from reaching this goal.
  3. Under the Ace of Pentacles, place a card that shows the practical benefits to be gained from reaching this goal.
  4. Under the Ace of Wands, place a card that shows how the goal will fulfill your creative spirit—what your creative spirit has to gain from reaching this goal.
  5. Choose a card with a figure that represents your Saboteur. List signs that will warn you when your Saboteur is in charge.
  6. Choose a card with a figure that represents your Liberator. List signs that will show you that your Liberator is in charge.
  7. Consider the possibility that your Saboteur has good intentions and wants to protect you. Imagine your Liberator saying that you don’t need that kind of protection any more. What agreements might they come to?
  8. Imagine that each Ace is a gift from your Liberator and/or your Saboteur. Look at the imagery of the card. What might it symbolize? A seed that needs planting? A tool? A reminder of your strength?
  9. Choose a card that represents an action you want to take.

The Ace of Wands: In Search of Fresh Soil, 7/18/07

Find a card in the deck that represents a situation or a relationship that you have outgrown. Find another card that represents how you imagine you would feel if you were to move on.

The Ace of Pentacles: Penny from Heaven, 6/27/07

Find a card that you feel neutral about—one that seems less interesting than the rest, and write about it. What is the first detail you notice? Describe the card. Imagine you are in it. What’s happening, or what can be seen just beyond its borders? Are there any personal associations that come up? Is there a story there?

I invite you to post your writing, or share your thoughts on the process. One of the best parts of the workshop was getting to hear what others wrote. It deepened my imagination and understanding of the cards.

Temperance: The Morning Card, 6/18/07

  • Go through the deck face up and find a card that represents your morning self. If you are unhappy with your morning self, find another card that symbolizes who you would like to be in the morning.
  • Find a card that shows your best time of day.

Three of Pentacles, Judgement, Five of Wands: Styles of Collaboration, 5/3/07

Think about a time when you were called upon to collaborate with others. Go through your deck and find a card that symbolizes the role you played. Find other cards to represent the other people you worked with.

The Moon, 4/27/07

Go through your deck and find a card that represents the wolf in your heart. Find another card that represents the dog. Lay the cards next to each other. What story do they tell? If there are people or animals in these cards, imagine what they might say to one another.

The Empress and the Ivy, 4/23/07

  • Consider the excess in your life. What needs to be pruned? Cleared out? Hauled away? What would you be better off without? Find a card in your deck that symbolizes the excess, or the clutter in your life, or that which is growing out of control. Find another card that shows how you would feel if you were more on top of it.
  • Find a card in your deck that represents how you nurture yourself.
  • Find a card in your deck that shows the way you feel when you nurture others.

Finding The Star in the Painted Desert, 4/18/07

  • Find a card in your deck that represents a situation or a place that has brought you peace and solitude.
  • Look at The Star card and make a wish. Find a card in your deck that represents the wish. Find another that shows you what you need to do to make that wish come true.

The Devil and “A Passion for Clothes,” 4/15/07

  • Is there a little devil in you who talks you into overindulging? Go through your deck and choose a card that illustrates the devil in you. Find another that represents the part of you that knows when you need to treat yourself or live it up a little and when you are being too extreme or getting out of control.
  • Find a card that represents the chain about your neck and another that shows you how to remove it.

The Ten of Swords and Acupuncture, 4/12/07

Go through your deck face up and choose a card that represents something that you have been “analyzing to death.” Find another card that represents what you need to do in order to lay that issue to rest.

The Emperor, Strength, and the King of Swords: A Reflection on Assertiveness, 4/9/07

  • Make a list of people who you admire for their assertiveness. Go through your deck face up and find cards that illustrate their strengths.
  • Choose a card that represents a person or a situation that makes you feel intimidated.
  • Choose a card that represents your typical response to a person or a situation that makes you feel intimidated.
  • Choose a card that represents the response you would like to have to a person or a situation that makes you feel intimidated.

Knight of Cups and Death: The Romantic Idealist and the Existentialist, 4/9/07

  • Think about a fantasy that you have had for some time. Perhaps you have always wanted to take flying lessons or learn how to salsa dance. Or maybe you have been dreaming about a graduate program or an alternative career. Go through your tarot deck face up and choose a card that illustrates what has stopped you from turning this fantasy into reality.
  • Choose a card that illustrates a painful experience for which you need closure. Choose a second card that illustrates what it would be like without the guilt, the sadness, or bitterness in your life. Choose a third that symbolizes what you need in order to move on.

The Magician: Getting Things out on the Table, 4/9/07

Go through the deck face up and find a card that illustrates something you need to “Get out on the table.” Draw a random card to give you insight into what is stopping you.

Temperance: The Morning Card

June 18, 2007

Temperance

This morning I give the cards a shuffle and draw Temperance. I consider her for a split second and toss her back into the deck—the middle of the deck where she will be hard to fish back out. Sometimes, when I’m pulling a card for myself, and it doesn’t knock the breath out of me on the spot, I get impatient and lazy. Or perhaps it’s just something about Temperance that isn’t very appealing this morning.

Okay, I’ll flip through the deck to find her again. Ah, there’s the problem. Temperance takes place in the morning, and I’m not a morning person. The Temperance angel dips her foot into the pond. The sun is rising, the sky still gray, the air sweet and moist, bird song all around. I know what that early morning is like. I catch a quick glimpse of it when returning a guest to the airport for an early morning flight. There were also long-ago camping trips and a brief stint where I hauled myself out of bed to write before dawn.

I reject Temperance because she reminds me that I’ve already lost precious hours. I rolled out of bed at 8:15. I suppose 8:15 is hardly what some would call sleeping in, but by 8:15, others have already swum a mile or scratched away at their novel, or taken a hike and gone for a bagel and coffee run.

The sun’s beam has already passed the window where I sip my coffee—the window with the lone plant that withered behind closed early-morning blinds. The sky has already moved from gray to tepid blue.

I dub Temperance the Morning Card.

Perhaps I would be as radiant, centered, and balanced as the Temperance angel if only I would spread my wings a bit earlier.

* * *

Interesting facts about the Temperance card:

  • The Rider-Waite Temperance angel is intended to be the archangel Gabriel.
  • The Temperance card is also commonly known as the Art Card.

Exercise for reflection:

  • Go through the deck face up and find a card that represents your morning self. If you are unhappy with your morning self, find another card that symbolizes who you would like to be in the morning.
  • Find a card that shows your best time of day.

Choose Your Card for the Week of June 17, 2007

June 17, 2007

If you are viewing this entry on Sunday or Monday, choose the card below that best illustrates how you expect your week to go. At the end of the week you can see if things went as anticipated.

If you are viewing this entry anytime between Tuesday and Thursday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week is going. On Sunday you can see if anything unexpected happened to change your feelings.

If you are viewing this entry on Friday or Saturday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week has gone.

Don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel.

Let us know which card you chose—post a comment! Click on Read the rest of this entry to read about the card you chose.

Six of Swords Three of Wands The Empress

King of Cups Four of Pentacles Three of Swords
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Looking for love? Try this spread.

June 16, 2007

When will I meet the love of my life? If only the cards could tell! Instead, let’s ask, “What can I do to prepare myself to meet the love of my life?” Albeit, the answer may be less magical, but far more reliable.

You might draw these cards randomly or by going through the deck face up:

  1. A lesson learned from a past relationship.
  2. Another lesson learned from a past relationship.
  3. Your ideal self in a relationship.
  4. Your ideal partner.
  5. Your hopes or fears about the way the two of you would connect.
  6. Your hopes or fears about the way the two of you would interact during a conflict or a crisis.
  7. How you might focus your time and energy until this person appears in your life.

Tarot Podcasts

June 14, 2007

I have two tarot podcasts to recommend today.

The first is by Tarot-To-Go. Here you can listen to interviews by tarot wonderfuls such as Mary K. Greer who wrote the classic book Tarot for Yourself and her most recent, 21 Ways To Read a Tarot Card; Lon Milo Duquette who wrote Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot and The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford; and James Wanless of the Voyager Tarot, a unique deck of collage images. If you are out there studying tarot alone, you will also enjoy the company of the host of the show, Anastasia, who also has stimulating conversations with her cohosts about tarot books they have read as well as a variety of other topics. Be sure to have a listen:

Tarot-To-Go: http://www.tarot-to-go.net/Podcasts.html

I also highly recommend The Tarot Connection, hosted by Leisa ReFalo. There is a huge range of topics such as creative visualizations, deck reviews, and interviews with tarot professionals about reading on 900 lines. I thought I’d check it out while doing the dishes, and, let’s just say the dishes didn’t get done. I was glued to the computer. Many well-known tarotists can be heard in these episodes. Here are just a few: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, Bonnie Cehovet, James Ricklef, Teresa Michelsen, James Wanless, Jeanette Roth and Dan Pelletier of The Tarot Garden, and Ginny Hunt. Did I mention that The Tarot Connection site is also gorgeous? Enjoy:

The Tarot Connection: http://www.tarotconnection.net/

I must say a special word about Ginny Hunt, author of the blog 78 Notes To Self: A Tarot Journal. The blog is as snappy as its title! Ginny has a regular segment on The Tarot Connection podcast, and if you scroll down on the home page of her blog, you can directly access her segments on the tarot court, which will forever influence how you look at those cards.

You can get a free subscription to these podcasts through the iTunes store.

The Fool Hits a Dead End

June 11, 2007

The Fool

The other night I read for a couple at a party. The Fool came up, and when I asked them to describe the card, they both looked at the edge of that cliff and said, “A dead end.”

Most tarotists think that The Fool is about to take a leap of faith, or that he doesn’t realize that he is about to step off a cliff. What if he recognized he was at a dead end and simply turned around? More than likely, with his desire for adventure, he wouldn’t go back the way he had come but would take off in some new direction.

The next time you feel you have hit a dead end, be sure to invoke the spirit of The Fool!

Choose Your Card for the Week of June 10, 2007

June 10, 2007

If you are viewing this entry on Sunday or Monday, choose the card below that best illustrates how you expect your week to go. At the end of the week you can see if things went as anticipated.

If you are viewing this entry anytime between Tuesday and Thursday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week is going. On Sunday you can see if anything unexpected happened to change your feelings.

If you are viewing this entry on Friday or Saturday, choose the card below that best illustrates how your week has gone.

Don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel.

Let us know which card you chose—post a comment! Click on Read the rest of this entry to read about the card you chose.

Six of CupsFive of WandsThree of Pentacles

Seven of PentaclesNine of WandsSeven of Swords

 

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