How To Use Tarot To Interpret Dreams

How To Use TarotTo Interpret Dreams

Tarot cards are an excellent tool for helping you find meaning and understanding in your dreams. Using the cards is more personalized than using a generic dream interpretation book, which knows nothing about your personal history or unconscious impulses. With the cards, you can take the information you receive and incorporate it with your own information to form a complete picture.

The heart of Jungian psychoanalysis lies in analyzing the messages your unconscious delivers to you via your dreams. The idea is that your dream material is what’s ready to emerge from the lower iceberg of your unconscious, so that you can now work with this material, integrate it and move forward in a more complete way. You can use your cards to perform this function on your own. Although it isn’t psychoanalysis, it is a valid instrument to gauge what’s going on underneath the surface and help you work with your hidden “stuff” that’s ready to be examined.

Today I’ll use myself as an example so you can see how this process works.

I follow my dreams and often remember them. I’d suggest that you don’t “force” remembering your dreams but rather allow the ones that stick with you to emerge. Work with the material that seems to call for your attention.

Over the past few years I’ve had a recurring dream from time to time that varies in setting and some particulars, but never wavers from its basic theme: my first serious boyfriend (who I broke up with at 20 after nearly two years, for no other reason than I was young and wanted to experience the world, not be tied down) returns to me in my dream and I desperately want to reunite with him. He, however, is unavailable and although he comes close in the dream and at times even indicates he wants to be with me too, he always leaves or is always somehow prevented from being with me (usually it’s because he has another girlfriend).

The most recent iteration of this dream was the most dramatic; I stood before him and looked right into his eyes and said in all sincerity: “Leaving you was the biggest mistake of my life.”

Here is a three-card spread I devised that you can also use for any dream image or message that you’d like more insight about and are ready to really delve into and work with consciously:

  1. What message is this dream showing me?
  2. How can I work with and integrate this message?
  3. What’s the next step?

For my example, I used the Thoth Tarot. While I generally rely on the RWS for most of my readings, I opted for the Thoth as it appeals to me in terms of dream work. The images on the deck are much more nuanced and have a dreamlike quality about them. Since I feel I haven’t fully penetrated this deck’s depth (and perhaps never will, because it really has that bottomless-well quality to it), it seemed the perfect match for working with dream imagery.

Here are the cards I received for my mysterious, recurring ex-boyfriend dream:

20170725_081129

With the Thoth, I first like to allow the images to soak in and I take my initial impressions without any additional input. The immediate message to me of the 7 of Cups here is that we have something that has “gone bad.” It made me think of spoiled fruit, something that’s past its expiration date. It’s no longer fresh. Hence, we can garner an immediate interpretation that the dream is trying to show me that my ideas about “going back” to this ex or still desiring him, or imagining that “he was the one that got away” all those years ago, are mistaken. This is a “relationship” that exists only in the realm of things that are spoiled and overgrown, rotten and unsuitable to eat.

Secondly I noticed the opposing symmetry between the 7 of Cups and the 7 of Swords. Such a profound difference. It’s as if all the muck we see in the initial card is purified and clarified and made razor sharp in the third card, in the “next step” after we pass through the integration phase in the second card. Clearly the cards are showing a way forward. Further, if you look closely at the 7 of Swords, there’s a planetary symbol hanging off the point of each sword, with the moon being indicated in the central position. For me this points to being called on to trust my inner knowing and intuition, my emotions and heart impulses, mystery rather than logic, when it comes to taking the next step in terms of relationships.

The middle card for me is such a departure from the two “bookend” cards here, that it seems to be the major message and lesson. In fact, I often see the Knight of Pentacles in my RWS readings when I ask the cards about my love life and future. They continually, continually insist that I must focus on and “go for” the stable man, the one who doesn’t move, the one who’s real, concrete, loyal, faithful, grounded, etc. Here then, we see an example of how the cards repeat their messages across decks and across time.

You can also turn to references for additional information. I absolutely adore the book by Lon Milo Duquette, Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot.

In terms of the first card, “what message is this dream showing me?”, Duquette says the original title of the 7 of Cups is “Lord of Illusionary Success” (which immediately makes me think about the castles in the sky in the RWS 7 of Cups and how what we think is real or available or possible isn’t always the case). I immediately realize my ideas and longing for this past relationship and my romanticizing of it belong to a world of illusions. In fact, in the card itself, you can see how the lotus plants are covering each cup, much like an umbrella, and as Duquette points out, “all the cups are empty.” We’re reminded there’s no love here, there’s no substance here, there’s nothing here to nurture or grow. Duquette says:

This is much-too-much of what was once a good thing and, this low on the tree and this far off balance, there isn’t a single influencing factor left to remind her the party’s over.

At this point I feel I understand the message that’s trying to break through: what you think is this perfect past relationship really isn’t how you imagine it at all. It’s not real, and it’s not available to be revived.

Granted, this was always obvious to me on a semi-conscious level, but a part of me continued to want to cling to the idea or fantasy. This is where the cards help hammer home the message of the dream.

Moving to the final card, despite the keyword “futility” (I often ignore the Thoth keywords, because they distract me and I don’t get into the Kabbalah aspects of the cards), Duquette mentions Crowley said this card is “like a rheumatic boxer trying to ‘come back’ after being out of the ring for years.”

As it regards my love life, I’ve been “out of the ring” so to speak for about six years as I’ve been floundering around in the dating world since my divorce, coming up not with any healthy fish but rather seaweed and tin cans. In his divinatory meanings, Duquette mentions: “Yielding when victory is within grasp, as if the last reserves of strength were used up. Inclination to lose when on the point of gaining, through not continuing the effort.” This makes sense to me in terms of my love life. I often go for the unavailable or inherently impossible, and then give up when it inevitably doesn’t yield results, which takes us back to the central card, the Prince of Disks.

Everything about Disks suggests stability to me. Duquette suggests Crowley’s prince represents “the ultimate handyman.” Crowley’s take: “He is competent, ingenious, thoughtful, cautious, trustworthy, imperturbable; he constantly seeks new uses for common things.”

Once again I feel I’m being shown the direction for the “right” man in my life – if only I can accept and integrate the messages of letting go of expired illusions and take the next step of understanding how I might get “just this close” and then somehow abandon ship.

Using the tarot to work with dreams is a very organic process. By that, I mean you need to really allow yourself to be fluid and accept what comes through as resonating with you, rather than sticking to super strict rules or interpretations. Dreams offer the messages we’re ready to receive, much as the cards do.

How To Use TarotTo Interpret Dreams

Tarot for Troubled Times: An Online Workshop With Theresa Reed and Shaheen Miro

tarot-for-troubled-times-shaheen-miro-theresa-reed

Today I’m featuring two tarot professionals I’ve been following for years and have learned a lot from. Theresa Reed (The Tarot Lady) and Shaheen Miro (Insights) are smart, empathetic, ethical, intuitive, committed professionals, and they are teaming up for a two-part online workshop in August.

In honor of the very last day of their early bird sign-up special (It’s June 30! Hurry!), here is an interview with both of them. They have much to teach and share with our community. Enjoy!

Theresa and Shaheen, tell us how you first “met” (in quotes because I figure it was probably online?) and what drew you to each other as professionals?

Theresa: I met Shaheen online and liked him immediately. I’m very conscious of energy, both online and off. Shaheen had an aura of kindness and compassion that I was instantly drawn to. I was lucky enough to meet him in person last year when I was on the book tour for The Tarot Coloring Book. He’s the same in person as he is online: genuine and oozing with kindness. My kinda people!

Shaheen: Theresa and I met online a few years back. And then we met in-person during her book tour last year. I instantly felt a soul connection with her and knew we were meant to work together. I really admire Theresa’s candid approach and her immense integrity with what she does. She is an inspiring teacher, mentor and friend. There is no one else like her!

In your workshop, you each bring different experiences and skills to the table. How do your different styles and talents complement each other?

Theresa: My style is practical, straightforward. I’m also hyper-organized, which helps for running a classroom! I’ve also been doing my work for over 25 years so I bring a lot of life and professional experience forward. I’ve worked with clients from every walk of life and that’s my strength. This has made me versatile as a reader but compassionate. When you’ve been around as long as I have, you develop a better understanding of how humans tick – and what they might need from tarot. As a woman, I’ve also experienced plenty of oppression in my life, which is why I’m a feminist. I know what it’s like to be held back, to be marginalized. But I am also aware of my privilege as a white cis-gendered female and have been looking for ways to be a better ally. I feel that I learn so much from Shaheen in that regard. In our time of working together, I feel like he has taught me how to show up better.

Shaheen: I grew up in a very open and diverse environment. My mother began teaching me Tarot as a child, and it has become a second language. This has allowed me to stay connected to my intuition and creative imagination. And, to cultivate my strength and move through the world more fluidly. As a gay man with a father from the Middle East I see how harsh the world can be, and yet, I have learned that our perspective and our willingness to go out into the world authentically is key to making lasting change. I wholeheartedly believe we are powerful beings meant to express ourselves and thrive. This takes extreme courage, commitment and self-compassion to express ourselves and trust our inner power.  When I work with people it is always from that awareness. Theresa has such a powerful way of holding space for people and really grasping what is happening in the world. Collaborating together on Tarot for Troubled Times felt right and necessary. Our approaches blend beautifully!

All different eras in time have their challenges and leave people feeling fearful. So what inspired you both to offer “Tarot for Troubled Times” in this particular moment?

Theresa: I’ve always had clients coming to me during election years with various fears or worries. This year, that has been elevated. Many people are fearing for big, real reasons such as health care or deportation of loved ones. I’ve been doing a lot of work helping to reassure people or to help them find solace or direction. After talking with Shaheen, I thought perhaps a class might be a way to give people tools to work with – tools that might be able to help them feel empowered. It’s a time of great uncertainty but also great promise. I hope that through this work, we can help show people the way to access the positive part and become agents of change.

Shaheen: We are in a time of great shadow work. The collective consciousness is coming unraveled and revealing all the unloved, unacknowledged parts that have pulsed under the surface for years. Troubled Times are not new, but our awareness is! People are stepping into their power more and more, and asking how they can be more authentic and on-purpose. The change and uncertainty we feel is so much bigger than just the day-to-day mundane things in our lives. The tone of my one-on-one work is less about the future, and more about the right now, and how that creates the future. Which is always how I’ve approached my work. Now people on the other side of the table are getting it too! More and more I feel people need to know how to show up for themselves, and for the world. This feels the right time to share this information. People are asking the questions… so why not have the conversation!

Would either or both of you like to tell us a little bit about your own work with the “shadow side” of yourselves, or in general, and how the process of diving into your own fears and deep “stuff” has brought about positive changes in your lives?

Theresa: My biggest fear is being trapped. It’s the Devil card! I always need to feel that I have a way out or I tend to get claustrophobic. When I was younger, this led to me being a bit of a commitment phobe. Which means I wasn’t always a reliable partner. That need to be free often came at a price tag for relationships. Learning how to stay put, choose healthy relationships, and set boundaries so that I feel safe has been a major shadow lesson and one that I’m still working on.

Shaheen: I am a very curious person. I always want to know more and discover ways to honor and express myself more fully. So shadow work has been a big part of my life. Checking in with myself to see where I’m flowing and where I’m resisting is something I do often. Showing up in the world as brave and authentic as possible is number one for me. Delving into the shadow shows me how I am holding back and giving away my power. Standing in the dark has given me the courage to shine my light… even when I feel weak, uncertain or battling the dreaded “imposter syndrome.”

How is tarot particularly well-suited to this type of work?

Theresa: Tarot is ideal for reflection. By looking at the images, we can ask ourselves questions about how we feel, what’s coming up, and what courses of action might be the best for us. Tarot helps with awareness. It’s a tool for conscious living. And during scary times, that’s powerful stuff. Because every decision you make can influence your destiny. Taking time with a tool like tarot helps you to bring awareness to how you’re operating in the world and hopefully, it can encourage you to find a path that is compassionate, non-violent, and positive.

Shaheen: Tarot is about storytelling. When you hold space with the cards you begin opening doors to your inner world, and what lies beyond the threshold is so powerful and important. I always remind people that we are all telling an energetic story. This energetic story is the accumulation of your thoughts, ideas, beliefs and feelings about the world, and how it responds to you. By accessing the wisdom of the cards you begin seeing the narrative of your energetic story to shine awareness into the shadows. You will never show up in the world in all your power and grace without showing up for yourself first. Many people want to thrive in their lives, and add something to the world. By showing them what power lies within, they begin taking it into the world and doing the work that they are meant to do! Which is the whole premise of Tarot for Troubled Times.

About Shaheen Miro

ShaheenMiro

Shaheen is an Intuitive Consultant helping people to reclaim their lives through intuition, energy work, and intention. He is a writer, teacher and creator. To learn more or book your session visit: ShaheenMiroInsights.com
Website: www.ShaheenMiroInsights.com
Twitter:twitter.com/ShaheenMiro
Phone: 937.213.3426

About Theresa Reed

729A6759_THERESAFINAL

Theresa Reed (aka “The Tarot Lady”) has been a full-time Tarot card reader for close to 30 years. She is the author of The Tarot Coloring Book, an illustrated tour through the world of Tarot with coloring sheets for every card in the deck. You can connect with her or book a reading at: www.thetarotlady.com
Website: http://www.thetarotlady.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thetarotlady
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thetarotlady
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/thetarotlady

How to Talk With Gods and Spirits

olivebranch_001

The title of this post is a bit of a teaser. The whole “how-to” phenomenon is a big part of content marketing nowadays, and people type things like “how to [insert skill here]” into Google probably millions of times a day.

So when it came to me wanting to share with you my experience regarding connecting with the invisible world of gods and spirits, it felt appropriate to be a bit tongue-in-cheek with a straightforward “how to,” as if this were something that you could go to a website for, follow a few specific instructions, and poof! Conversation complete.

Here’s the thing: it’s even simpler than that.

I won’t lie to you; I’ve taken courses on shamanic journeying and channeling angels. I’ve done lots of formalized things to get in touch with the spirit world. So I’m not coming at this from a totally novice perspective. What’s different now, however, is that I realized you don’t have to learn a bunch of techniques to do this. Much like learning tarot, or playing jazz, for that matter: first you study all the methods and all the theories and all the ritualized and codified concepts. Then, like Charlie Parker said: “Just play.”

quote-master-your-instrument-master-the-music-and-then-forget-all-that-bullshit-and-just-play-charlie-parker-52-76-02

Recently I wrote a post on my website, Sparrow Tarot, providing a tarot spread for the self-employed and small business owners. I was inspired to write that post because I knew I needed to kick start my own tarot practice and was feeling lost about how to do that.

In that spread, I specifically included a card whose purpose was to show me the Spirit that could help me or wanted to help me in my goal. My magical colleagues here at Maelstrom helped me to better understand which direction to go with the card I received. Then Miguel said: Ok. Go talk to her.

What?!

What is that supposed to mean? You just dial up a goddess on the phone and have a chat?

That advice really baffled me and I kept asking for more details. But how? Isn’t there some ritual? Shouldn’t I go into some altered state of consciousness or chant a specific series of words? Do I have to build a shrine first?

I’m exaggerating just a bit for effect, but the point is I had always imagined people who “talked” with deities had to do all sorts of very particular rituals and then they’d actually “hear” voices or something. I guess we have pop culture and Poltergeist and stories about haunted houses and Ouija boards and seances to blame for all that.

Here’s the thing: knowing less about what you’re “supposed” to do is sometimes hugely beneficial. You know that phenomenon they call beginner’s luck? It’s because the beginner doesn’t know all the codified rules yet. Although rules and practices do have their place, so does the Fool-like beauty of taking a step into the unknown and opening yourself to what the Universe can show you.

You can devise your own method of contacting whatever spirit, guide, deity, angel, or saint you want to talk to.

People, can we step back for a moment and realize that sanctioned religions do this all the time with prayers?

Somehow it seems illicit in polite conversation to say you’re calling on Athena to help you and give you support and guidance, while praying to Saint Pio and keeping a picture of him on your wall and covering it with a rosary and a few other accoutrements that have meaning doesn’t seem illicit at all.

The fact of the matter is that as human beings, talking with the gods is obviously as old as time, and each and every one of us is innately equipped with the tools we need to do so.

Personally, you need nothing more than your heart, honest intention, and being open to listening for whatever comes through.

Let’s be clear: I’m not discounting the power of ritual or codified practices. They absolutely have their place and serve their purposes. What I am trying to get across here, however, is that you don’t have to necessarily do anything fancy or have anything special in order to communicate.

Here’s the method I devised. Yours may be different, of course, and just as valid. What’s important is that it’s a method that feels natural and comfortable to you and a method that you feel you can honestly engage in and trust the results of without putting in too much over-thinking or mental doubting.

Because I’m a writer both by trade and basically by birthright, it felt appropriate and natural to me to initiate contact by pulling out a notebook and writing.

I opened by writing a small invitation (sort of like a prayer, if you will) to the goddess I wanted to address, welcoming her presence and explaining to her why I was turning to her and what I hoped she would help me accomplish. This was all included in just one brief sentence.

The next sentence I wrote was a direct question, to open the line of communication. I simply asked: “How can I honor you to bring your help into my life for success with my tarot business?”

Then, I closed my eyes and waited for the answer.

I’m not kidding you when I say that I literally just sat there and waited for the answer. No burning candles, no incense, no induced trance, no drumming, no bubbling cauldron or smoking potions.

And I am telling you that the answer came.

Here’s another thing I think gets completely lost in the overwhelming confusion generated by an onslaught of New Age gobbledygook: talking to the invisible world isn’t like watching TV.

I’m not discounting the fact that there are many ways people experience the spirit world, and those ways include auditory and visual hallucinations and the like. But what I am saying is that for folk like you and me who don’t have “visions,” it simply doesn’t matter.

The voice you hear in your head, that voice you think is you, that voice that is part you and part spirit? That.

Write that stuff down.

I think what often happens is people think you have to have some sort of psychic superpower in order to open up a dialogue, but in my experience that’s just not the case.

When I was writing down the snippets of words and thoughts that flowed after I posed my written question, I was doing two things, essentially:

  1. I was “hearing” my own inner voice. It wasn’t like suddenly some spirit possessed my body and I started hearing an otherworldly voice telling me things. Nope. Just me, plain old me, regular voice-I-hear-all-the-time-in-my-brain voice.
  2. I was trusting whatever came through and writing it down without sitting there and going “Now what the HELL does THAT mean?” I think this is pretty essential. It doesn’t have to make sense. It has to be accepted for whatever it is. And welcomed. And then put into some concrete format as a way of honoring it. For me that was writing it down.
  3. Don’t force, push, exert, or demand. Allow. It’s much like shuffling the tarot deck. We shuffle, and then, when we feel it’s time to stop, we stop.

I sat for a few minutes and listened to whatever came to mind. I wrote things down. It ended up being a list of 16 brief statements, phrases, commands or nouns. It had a logical flow but wasn’t logical in the sense we would give to a regular, everyday conversation. And just like the tarot shuffle, at a certain point I knew that it was done.

Before I initiated this process I read a little bit about the goddess I was planning to “talk” to, but not much. Just the basics. To my delight, some specific suggestions that came out on my list ended up being directly related to this goddess even though I had no idea beforehand. (I went searching online afterwards, to see if they somehow related).

Spiritual connections are personal and unique. Opening to the idea that you don’t have to have special psychic powers or have anything more than what you already have is really important. Trust plays a fundamental role. This is how you build intuition.

If this is all new to you, I suggest first trying a practice developed by Carl Jung called active imagination. In this practice, you actively engage through writing with a figure you encountered in a dream (or work of art) and ask it what it has to teach you, and then you write down the response.

Here is an excerpt from the link above, written by Jungian analyst Lawrence H. Staples, Ph.D., PsyA., that illustrates the mysterious underpinnings of this process (italics mine):

Isak Dineson, a Danish novelist, had quite a reputation as a storyteller, and following dinner her guests usually asked her to tell a story. She complied, but stipulated that her guests must supply her with the opening sentence. Using this sentence as her starting point, she would then spin tales that were hours long.

She had a way of forming and telling stories that is, perhaps, a microcosmic example of the macrocosmic processes of all creation. I could see that, like a verdant and luxurious garden, all creation must first be seeded before it can produce a crop. In Dineson’s case, the opening sentence given by the guest was the impregnating seed that she took into her imagination to create the story, like an acorn taken into the earth creates a tree. She began with a word (her acorn) that unfolded from itself a string of words connected to each other by some associative bond that produced a coherent creation. It is as if the opening sentence contained all the genetic codes that knew from the beginning where they were going and how they would get there. The mother is not conscious of the code; it operates invisibly and unconsciously once the seed is fertilized.

This example, for me, highlights the importance of trust in the practice of intuition. The storyteller in the example didn’t say to the guests, “Nope, I can’t work with that word, choose a different one.” Instead, she opened herself to the spontaneous and random act of accepting whatever came her way and then using it as a springboard to continue its natural unfoldment process. This is like what we do when we read the cards.

Honor this process within yourself and trust the fact that, just like the acorn becomes a tree, the process knows how to get you where you need to go.

Please share your thoughts on your own experiences in the comments section. I would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

How Tarot and I-Ching Work Together

iching_graphic

If you use tarot for divination, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t explore other systems of divination as well.

Although runic divination is on my bucket list (and if it’s on yours as well, enjoy this gorgeous post from Camelia’s archives, Renewed (M)antics), the complementary system I use most often with tarot is that of the I-Ching, or the Book of Changes.

Because my tarot practice is largely based on the principles of humanistic psychology, empowered decision-making and self-determination, it was only natural that I would discover the I-Ching in the course of my reading and research over the years. I came to this system of divination by way of the work of Carl Jung, who was working with the oracle some 30 years prior to meeting sinologist Richard Wilhelm. Wilhelm’s translation of the I-Ching remains one of the most well known.

For those of you who know not a thing about the I-Ching, let’s back up for a moment.

What is the I-Ching?

The I-Ching is a book that, according to my favorite I-Ching translator, the Taoist Master Alfred Huang, existed more than two thousand years before Confucius (ca. 551-479 B.C.). Just think about that for a moment. Ancient doesn’t even begin to describe this work.

Huang says the I-Ching was originally a handbook for divination, and only later, once Confucius wrote his commentaries, did it become a book of ancient wisdom. He goes on to say:

It is a book that not only tells one who consults it about the present situation and future potential but also gives instruction about what to do and what not to do to obtain good fortune and avoid misfortune. But one still retains free choice.

Hence it becomes clear that this system could complement a tarot reading quite well.

How does the I-Ching work?

The Book of Changes is divided into what we might refer to as chapters, each of which is called a hexagram (in Chinese called a gua), which is a symbol that is arrived at after a systemized ritual that provides six lines. I often think of each hexagram in much the same way as a tarot card, or perhaps even an entire tarot reading in and of itself, and the ritual, such as a coin toss, as the shuffle.

There are 64 hexagrams in all, and each is formed of two trigrams, of which there are eight in all. Each trigram is named such because it is composed of three lines. The readings go into numerous possible permutations because each of the lines can also be determined through the casting process to be “changing” and this adds more depth to the overall reading and also can comment on possible future outcomes.

How can I-Ching complement a tarot reading?

Rather than this being a tutorial on the I-Ching, which is far beyond the scope of this post, I’d like to share with you how I use the I-Ching as part of my overall practice.

I find that the tarot and I-Ching provide complementary messages that overlap only in how they are able to pinpoint and highlight different aspects of the same question.

The tricky part is when the client hedges in identifying the meaning or wants to avoid the message.

I was looking for a question and at the moment I was writing this post I got a text message on my desktop and started chatting with an acquaintance. I asked if he had any pressing questions, and he agreed to be a willing participant in my experiment, but didn’t give any details about his situation or context.

His question for the cards was simply:

“Which is stronger: my desire to change or my fear of leaving?”

I don’t know much about this person at all; he’s an acquaintance, but someone I recently met and who isn’t very forthcoming about his personal life, so there’s really no way for me to hypothesize much about the meanings of these cards as they apply directly to him. He didn’t offer up much by way of what resonated, either, so we’ll just have to go on theory and practice.

In any case, I decided to go for an old-fashioned A or B for this one. When you have two options, it’s a nice way to put it out on the table and get a baseline idea. A (left) being “desire to change” and B (right) being “fear of leaving.”

Here’s what came up:

20170613_230641

I tell him: look, your desire to change is stronger. And I go on a little bit about the element and characteristics of the Knight of Wands, which I won’t go into here. That’s just a whole lot of fire, so, that desire for change is literally burning strong.

But you want to know what really intrigues me about these two cards? The story. Right? Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

I go: “Here’s the thing. Who’s the woman? Because she’s tied to your fear of leaving.”

Now, generally speaking I don’t always assume court cards are real people, but when you’ve got two court cards of the same suit and close in age (woman slightly older or more mature here), you’d have to be blind not to make the connection, amirite?

We were chatting online as I read the cards. I asked no less than four times who the woman was or if there was a woman in the middle of whatever this question was about, and it got DODGED and DODGED and DODGED like a mean game of dodge ball and let me tell you I could not get a hit on this guy to save my life. So I let it go. As an out, I suggested it could be “interior conflict” rather than a real person, and he latched onto that. But you see, we already know there’s inner conflict: it’s at the heart of the question itself. I just provided it as a comfortable place to rest. It’s not important for me to force a client to see what I see. I make suggestions, and like spaghetti on a wall, I let what sticks, stick. It’s their reading, not mine, and the bottom line is that clients will see what they’re ready and willing to see.

I say: “Look, your desire to change is so strong that you’re actually riding away already. And you’re not looking at this woman, and she’s not looking at you. You’re looking in opposite directions. But you’re actively moving away while she’s just sitting there, more stable, more calm, more mature in her inner fire.” (A note on the Knight of Wands, FYI, at least according to my experience with the RWS deck: if you ever get a question about love, this is your quintessential player. The Knight of Wands in a love context often really just wants to play the field and does not want to settle down to save his life. He needs freedom, and even if that’s a psychological hang-up a lot of times, it comes out in a perpetual string of affairs because there’s a restlessness and a need for adventure.)

I say: “Ok, let’s do an I-Ching reading. How about ‘What’s the best thing for me to do now?'”

In my practice, I write the hexagrams I cast on pieces of paper as I’m doing them. Here’s what came up:

20170614_002123

Without going into the specifics of method (I actually just used three US quarters I found lying on my desk), here are the themes that emerged:

What’s the best thing for me to do now?
This gua expands on the truth of avoiding contention. It talks about how conflict and contention is a part of life, but it must be resolved in order to move forward. Huang: “Generally, dispute arises from one’s mean intention and overly self-willed conduct” (italics mine: Knight of Wands, anyone?) “lacking flexibility in considering other people’s situations.”

The idea here is to find common ground, to try to see eye to eye, and there’s a special focus on trying to clear some sort of blocked truth.

I go back to this not seeing eye to eye, as we saw in the tarot cards, not seeing each other, not looking at each other. “Who’s the woman?”

(I imagine the conflict is with this woman.)

I say: “Didn’t you have a girlfriend? Do you still have a girlfriend?”

He says: “Yes, but we hardly ever see each other.”

I about die. I go “AH. Right.”

I mean, people, really?

When I point out that this is what the cards have been trying to show him, he says, “That’s too simple.”

[My greatest tarot teacher ever, Enrique Enriquez, taught me many things, but one of the recurrent themes of my work with him was this: “Shelley, you need to be dumb to read the cards.” Every time I’d complicate things, he’d remind me BE DUMB. Meaning: read what you see. Don’t embellish, don’t overthink, don’t complicate. Just read.]

Anyways, you get the point. It was like a dog chasing its tail.

If I had to craft a story based on these narratives, I’d say there’s some sort of decision going on deep in this man’s psyche and on the surface of his mind that he’s wrestling with, and this woman is part of the fear that’s attached to whatever it is he means by “fear of leaving.” It doesn’t much matter, though, this stated fear, because he’s already mostly out the door anyways. She seems pretty cool with it, after all, she seems to accept his restless, playboy nature. Perhaps she has her eye on someone else. (I should have and could have tried Isabel’s sight card trick here. Damn!)

At the heart of this, and where the I-Ching comes in with specifics, is in pinpointing this need to find common ground, resolve disputes, and “unblock” truth before moving on. It’s almost as if it’s a shame, as if these two people are two pieces of a puzzle that would have otherwise fit together, if he weren’t so intent on running away. In fact the man himself made an interesting unsolicited comment at one point: “But if the woman had come up first, they would have been looking at each other.”

Indeed. And there wouldn’t be any question then, would there?

Hilary Barrett calls hexagram 6 “Arguing” and states “You’re in dispute with how it is.” (Italics hers.) The two moving lines five and six show that this is coming to a head anyways (he’s already riding away): “you have truths to seek and aspirations to follow, so make yourself heard” (Barrett, line 5); and yet, line 6: “there is no such thing as a final victory.” I take this to mean that running away isn’t going to necessarily help you find what you’re searching for, but, as Barrett says (line 6): “This is not the way to leave Arguing behind; it’s the way to trap yourself in a struggle for scraps, constantly hampered by the fear of loss.”

There’s much to unpack here. If you can debrief with clients to get their honest and unguarded feedback, lots of stuff can come out into the open. If, however, your client isn’t willing to open up, this can be a run around. You may find, however, that the client despite their best efforts to the contrary does somehow inadvertently slip once in a while into dropping a tidbit or two almost against their own will. This one, as we were chatting, kept denying there was a woman, and then his autocorrect inserted a woman’s name where he meant to say something about how he’s “too demanding with the world”—where the female name popped in before “the world,” inadvertently changing his intended statement to read “I’m too demanding with [woman] world.” The name wasn’t his girlfriend’s though, as far as I know. :-p

However, he insisted the question “wasn’t about love” and I told him I wasn’t insisting the message was about love, either. Here’s something most tarot readers will identify with: the cards respond to the question asked. The querent knows what’s behind that, but, confused and/or vague questions can generate confused and/or vague responses. However, in this case I think it was the cards showing a message that needed to get out, intentions behind questions be damned. It happens.

I dunno, folks. This is our service. We offer it up, we tell people what we see. But we absolutely cannot be attached to what they see. Tell it like it is. Say what you see. But let your sitters do the heavy lifting of applying the message to their lives and finding meaning in it—or not.

Thoughts?

Four Tarot Readers Enter a Bar …

Actually, three board a plane and one meets them at a train station. But still.

This weekend I am proud and happy to announce that your fearless readers here at Maelstrom Tarot convened for our first in-person summit. Shelley flew in from Rome, Miguel and Paulinnhhoo from Porto, Portugal, and we all convened in The Hague.

Why is this relevant to you? Because we are planning many exciting things and we want to involve you even closer each step of the way.

Maelstrom was born in 2013 when Shelley and Miguel met at what we affectionately refer to as TarotCon – a rather unfortunate name, really, if you consider how many in the tarot world are considered con artists (and btw EE has a brilliant essay on that: Peeking Through the Bars of the Tarot’s Occult Prison). It was run by Marcus and Tali over at Tarot Professionals, which I think is now simply Tarot Association – or Tarosophy; in any case, it was a fated meeting and a magical friendship was born.

We set the blog up shortly thereafter, but it lost steam due to – well, life.

Now, however, the pieces of the puzzle have come together and we have a foundation team that is energized, committed and ready to fully engage with a community of our own creation.

You are part of that community. Not only that – you are a FOUNDING member of that community simply by virtue of the fact that you’re reading this right now.

Part of our Den Haag summit (besides enjoying the moscatel that Paulinnhhoo brought us from Portugal) was making a sacred and solemn pledge to grow our site, ourselves, our clients, and our community.

That being the case, we’d like to ask you a dear favor: will you share our site and our community with your online networks?

We know we’re not for everyone – and that’s just as it should be. But we want to connect with the ones who resonate with what we are doing, with those who make up part of our tribe, our people – in short: others like you. And you can certainly help us with that.

Here are three easy things you can do right now to help. And we thank you in advance in our four (and maybe more) languages: THANK YOU and GRAZIE (Shelley), OBRIGADO (Miguel and Paulinnhhoo) and last, but certainly not at all least, DANK JE WEL from our country host, Isabel.

Please take just a minute now to do the following:

  1. Share our website with your social and online networks: maelstromtarot.com
  2. Share our Facebook page with your networks, and if you haven’t already, LIKE US!
  3. Subscribe to receive updates of our blog posts by email.
  4. Follow us on Twitter too @maelstromtarot

The cards are on the table and there are lots of good things to come.

18835779_1777556665888912_3444758345650948712_n
When four readers get together, lots of cards get pulled and lots of spreads tried out. Enlightening for all!

To see more photos, visit our Facebook page!