Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

Fall is harvest time! In preparation for a very special gift for you, readers, I am revising the focus of this column to attune with the most popular topic for Tarot readings…Love!

This month’s Querent is a woman we will call Anna. Anna is gorgeous, friendly, and has a great sense of humor, yet like all of us she suffers the ups and downs of rollercoaster relationships. She asks if her boyfriend and she will be reuniting.

The initial guidance coming for Anna is not from the cards, but from a very significant spiritual presence that surrounds her. This figure appears as a woman in very bright white clothing-whose presence is very peaceful and healing- she appears as if carrying a Rosary and either Anna or this woman in her life would have had strong attachment to the Catholic faith or would have carried a Rosary. Anna is being guided to take a second look at this relationship as if it were not the best situation even though it may be what Anna wants. I also see a gavel coming down as if a judge were making a big decision or a verdict being reached. There is a lot of stillness/apprehension with this image- I feel like Anna is putting a great weight on this relationship so that it feels like other options are being excluded.

I get a sense of energy around the possible reunion in this relationship but it comes in faintly- as if to say there is a pulse but not a strong one. The cards drawn are the King of Swords- reversed, followed by the three of Cups, Lovers and the 7 of Swords. Yes I know that is 4 cards, not 3, but the King of Swords is a “Leaper” a card that “jumps” from the deck to signal the reading is ready to begin so I count it as holding significance.

I feel the reversal of the King of Swords shows a judgment about this past relationship that holds the man in a position that is not favorable to Anna. Either he has lost connection or for Anna and he are not on the same wavelength- he is out of touch, but I don’t sense that he is completely out of the picture.

The 3 of Cups and Lovers suggest to me that the potential for continued connection and renewal/reunion in this relationship is possible but I feel that efforts need to be made to bring about change in the relationship. If all continues as it was I don’t see this being a fulfilling situation.

The 7 of Swords suggests futility, wasted energy, and even a note of deceit or disappointment because of the lack of follow through on his part. This couple was brought together for important reasons, however it also feels like the “pulse” on this relationship is very weak I encourage Anna to proceed carefully, mindful of actions speaking louder than words. It feels like at first it would be a happy time, with excitement to have him back followed by a reminder of what went awry to begin with which will feel like a repetition of a self-sabotaging pattern from the past. I am a strong proponent of free will- so having stated this if such insight helps you to manage the relationship in a new way, open to possibilities but also aware of limitations, the outcome can be shaped by Anna’s actions and choices.

We all can benefit from Anna’s reading in an important way. By remembering free will, choice and the process of cultivating a relationship, we are reminded that partnerships are not just about whether someone is in our lives. A relationship is an active process involving effort and choice. All too often we subconsciously repeat old patterns, expect different results, and become frustrated as we watch history repeat itself.

Have you had a question like Anna’s before? Whether he returns or not, relationships take honesty, risk, and effort. To help you gain clarity and understanding, I am offering a FREE recorded presentation. Join the mailing list to receive the audio presentation 3 Biggest Reasons Single, Professional, Independent Women are NOT Finding the Love they Want. Receive this gift FREE by clicking here and joining the mailing list: http://eepurl.com/2k6r9

This month’s Tarot reading was conducted using the traditional Rider Waite deck. For more information on this deck, please visit http://www.usgamesinc.com/Rider-Waite-Tarot-Card-Deck/. This deck was created by A.E Waite and Pamela Colman Smith and is currently under copyright by US Games Inc, 2012-14.

Interested in finding out more about Psychic Readings from Angela Kaufman of Moonlight Tarot LLC, check out the new website moonlighttarotllc.com.

The Inner Wizard

Many decks I’ve featured on The Magical Buffet are designed to tap into your intuition more than using a divinatory system. The cards I’m writing about today are touted as “Message cards from your higher self” and I couldn’t agree more. However, what at first may appear to be merely random notes on cards begin to reveal far more thought and design than one might have originally thought.

The Inner Wizard contains 84 cards with messages on them. The notes are from you, God, Venus, the Soul, etc. These personal notes will hopefully offer insight into your situation. The reverse side of the card has what they call a “renewed choice proclamation”. I might almost call them affirmations. Now if things stopped here, I would call this a wordy oracle deck, but it doesn’t.

Front with Message
Reverse Side

Did you notice the little Aries symbols in all four corners of the card up there? That’s right, each card is given an astrological designation and the enclosed instructions discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each sign. So you have your message, and then you apply this extra layer of information in the form of astrological data on top of it. But wait! There is still more.

Once you know the astrological designator for your card, and you have the informational sheet out, you’ll see that the four elements (earth, air, water, fire) are listed on it. Each astrological sign is listed with an element, and each element reveals a bit more information. It’s one last layer of information to that original card draw.

Due to the nature of The Inner Wizard the writers only suggest the single card draw reading and the three card past, present, future reading. I would have to agree with them, although honestly I only ever tried single card draws and that was enough for me.

The Inner Wizard is a truly unique divinatory experience. As far as I know, you won’t find anything like it, anywhere else.

You can find Inner Wizard at http://www.kabbalahinsights.com/en/products/the-inner-wizard.

10 More Questions with Sasha Graham

1. First, may we still refer to you as the Tarot Diva even though your latest tarot book is “365 Tarot Spreads” and not diva related?

Of course!

2. Your book launch party for “365 Tarot Spreads” was sponsored by Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur. I’ve never heard of any tarot author getting sponsored by such a fabulous sounding sponsor. Tell us how the sponsorship came about and how the party went.

The innovator of Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur is a good friend, Josh Morton. http://barrowsintense.com/ He’s enjoyed wild success with Barrows, throwing tastings around the country. Since I was planning on wine, cheese and snacks, I thought the Barrows would be a great addition. Plus, I liked having the magical energy of ginger on hand. It heated things up!

The party was glorious. I host lots of parties at my place in the mountains. I planned the evening like a garden party except it was at the event space of the fabulous Namaste Bookshop in NYC with tarot thrown in!

3. Why did you decide to do a book with 365 unique, different tarot spreads?

I thought about a daily spread book because I wanted to buy one. When I realized there wasn’t one out there, I knew I had to write it!! It was such a fun challenge to see if I could pull it off. Plus, tarot is a daily practice for so many readers, it seemed an obvious thing to write since it hadn’t been done.

4. On each day you highlight a piece of history that influenced what the spread for that day is. How did you decide what historical tidbit to use?

I had specific criteria as I pieced it together. First, I found all holidays. Then, I looked for every important date in Tarot history I could find. I wanted to use everyone who has contributed to tarot history. Birthdays of tarot luminaries like Pamela Coleman Smith or Aleister Crowley. Events in Tarot’s history. I wanted the readers to learn about tarot as they performed the spreads. I found correlations with the occult, the Victorian era, anything gothic and ghosty felt very right. I included Greek and roman festivals, gods and goddesses when I could. I included artists and writers because true art is supernatural and artists are shaman in their own right. I included universal stories, fairy tales and popular films that almost anyone would be familiar with.

5. Did you pick something special for your birthday, because I would?

Everyone picks up the book and goes straight to see their birthday spread! Mine birthday falls on Halloween! The Halloween spread is massive. It looks at the 12 months ahead, considers personal magic and reflects on what you should embrace and reject.

6. What’s one of your favorite spreads from the book?

That’s like asking which is my favorite child! My daughter’s favorite is the Indiana Jones Spread. Hmmmm … one of the most useful spreads that really helped me through a tough time was a spread I created when I was having a difficult time communicating with my sister whom I love dearly. I named it the Sibling Issues Spread but really it can be used for any relationship you are struggling in. It changed the trajectory of our communication and things got better quickly. This is tarot at its BEST!

Cast Your Cards

1. The situation.
2. What I’m feeling.
3. What they are feeling.
4. What I see that they don’t.
5. What they see that I don’t.
6. What is truly possible for the two of us.
7. What action can I take to heal the relationship?

7. What’s one of your favorite historical tidbits from the book?

Random and fascinating was the Battle of Los Angeles! Right after US entrance to WW2, in 1942, there were objects spotted in the sky. Some thought enemy fire, others thought UFO’s, an air raid was called, shots fired, seven people actually perished. The incident was deemed a false alarm though many suspected a UFO cover up.

I turned that date into a tarot spread about personal defensiveness.

8. What are you working on next?

I just signed a contract with Llewellyn for my next book but I’m keeping the subject under wraps for now …

9. Any chance of a Tarot Diva Tarot Deck coming out one day?

Not that I know of 🙂

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

Mmmmm, fall is in the air! What are you most looking forward to as the air turns crisp and the witching season is approaching?

I’m kind of meh on autumn because it means winter is on the way, and I am not a fan. However I do love the Celebrate Samhain event that takes place every October, so I must accept fall if I want to go to Celebrate Samhain.

About Sasha Graham:
Sasha Graham teaches tarot classes and produces tarot events at New York City’s premiere cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has shared her love of tarot on film, television, radio and print. She lives in New York City. Visit her blog at http://tarotdiva.wordpress.com/.

Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

July brings the climax of summer and for this month’s Querent Jonah, the heat is on. Jonah has excelled in his career with many successes but feels the pressure to make a change. He wants to know what potential the future brings to find success in advancement of his education, or whether a different career track is in order.

Exploring the crossroads in his career I sense the stagnation- that he is good at what he does but it has become routine and I also feel that there is/may be a change in family responsibility and caretaking that also influences the desire for a change.

Jonah will have an opportunity to make a drastic change and reinvent himself, this will be a breath of fresh air. I feel like education is a part of this but it may involve taking a class, or completing a training program- I don’t feel like it involves going back to school for a lengthy period of time as it seems to promote his skills with a new level of development. I feel like his interests are being stirred up and I perceive a pattern of fine lines- like a plaid pattern involved- this may be related to visual arts or to a technological device that consists of these fine lines- it isn’t clear to me, but I feel like he is being inspired in a new direction for a reason. It seems that if he wanted further education he would be assisted through a program to help re-enroll and get training, I feel like this is either government sponsored or with the assistance of a powerful agency and that he would be recognized by them as a good investment. I feel like part of what keeps him back is an obligation to others or caretaking for a family member however the change would be good for him and would not involve as much stress as he is expecting.

The three cards are the Ace of Rods (Wands), 7 of Cups and King of Cups. This suggests that a new plan is in order and will appeal to his curiosity and need for excitement, following the change in direction will bring Jonah close to numerous old goals and current interests. Here is the best part- of the numerous talents, and the numerous goals, whichever he chooses Jonah will find success, the only difficulty is prioritizing.

Decide which talent brings the most joy or is of the most interest and focus on that for now and he will develop it successfully. I feel like Jonah already has most of the experience and knowledge and if he did further his education it would just be to learn the ground rules and receive the credibility on paper. A healing or helping profession is involved- like medical work but more family, children or counseling focused.

I say this because the final card is the King of Cups and it seems like he is in for a rise in status and the reputation will be that of powerful nurturer and provider for others’ emotional needs. Jonah’s family obligations do not seem to suffer, in fact he become stronger in your role of provider. Going back to the drawing board and following a new idea that brings interest and excitement will work out for success and emotional well being in the long run.

This month’s reading was conducted using the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini. This deck follows the format of the traditional Rider Waite deck which are my template for working with Tarot and the archetypes. Palladini adds his own style to the original themes and cards without changing their names/numbering system etc. As the Rider Waite deck has been written about previously, I wont belabor the specifics in terms of theme, format etc. for this deck as the Majors and Minors are in the same template with the exception of Wands being labeled as Rods. What is different and inspiring about this deck is its artwork. As the name suggests, Palladini brought the archetypal representations originating in the Renaissance forward to his era- the 1970’s when the deck was published. In doing so, we have a blast from the past with art deco, “stained glass” feeling imagery. The original symbolism and figures now pop with color and classy style. If my reaction to first seeing the Rider Waite deck was mistaking the cards for being flat and lifeless, and my love for the originals an “acquired taste”, this deck is more a love based on intrigue. Intentionally two dimensional it feels like each card is its own stained glass window which for me further evokes a feeling of sanctity in the cards. They are not the neon signs that many modern decks try to be, nor are they a passive menagerie of colors and pretty pictures that easily become wall paper. Each card is rather commanding.

While the cards have been modernized in this deck in true Aquarian style, in which mystical wisdom is brought forth in a dramatic way and distributed to the people, and for the benefit of the people, I like seeing a deck that is modern in color scheme and design without being quite so modern that it becomes a reminder of everything digital. Therefore for me, this deck is advanced enough so I can smile at the colors that are so 70s it may as well be part of their name (mostly 70s orange, 70s blue, 70s red) but not wince at seeing one more graphic design that was formulated on a computer and looks identical to many other images designed the same way. There remains a human touch in these images. Plus the artwork inspired by the original trumps but brimming with newer colors and illustrations of Palladini’s time is also reminiscent of the revival of classical wisdom and folklore rampant at the time of their creation. So each card could easily be an album cover for Donovan, or an even folkier revival group, portrayed through Tarot archetypes. In addition the spiritual quest made hip edge invokes the energy of the day in which many religious “molds” were broken and spirituality in its own context became liberated from the confines of traditional Towers (think Jesus Christ Superstar, or even Tommy, in which spiritual themes are explored in taboo or unorthodox ways that speak to a modern world without losing the original message). The artwork is liberated but not so trippy as to be unrecognizable.

I chose this deck without giving much initial thought to why, but in retrospect I feel it was a perfect match for this month’s Querent who is hovering between his past and future mission, reinventing himself and choosing between traditional and revolutionary roles. This deck is easy to use and I recommend it for beginner to advance. Specifically, if a student of Tarot or a Querent is straddling two worlds, or exploring new horizons and needs an energetic boost to bring revolution to their own lives, this deck carries inspiration that can help catapult the Querent into their future self without forgetting their roots.

In accordance with NYS law all readings are intended for entertainment purposes only.

Aquarian Tarot is produced through US Games Systems Inc. and was created by David Palladini (1970). http://www.usgamesinc.com/Aquarian-tarot-deck/

Interested in being the Querent in next month’s column? Contact Angela at Trionfi78@gmail.com.

About Angela Kaufman:
Angela Kaufman has been exploring divination through Tarot cards for over a decade. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and uses the Tarot and intuition to assist clients in exploring personal growth and development, and in accordance with New York State Law offers readings for entertainment purposes. Angela began providing readings on a professional, “Moonlighting” basis in order to provide affordable readings to those seeking guidance, inspiration and fun. Angela is also co-author of the new book “Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions.” (Schiffer Publishing, 2011) and Sacred Objects, Sacred Space; Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch (Schiffer Publishing 2013). In August 2014 a third book, The Esoteric Dream Book, will be available also through Schiffer.

For more information on services offered by Moonlight Tarot LLC, visit http://www.moonlighttarotllc.com.

Moonlight Tarot is now part of The Psychic Connection! Check out the profile at: http://thepsychicconnection.net/moonlight-tarot-psychictarot-reader/ New callers register at: https://prodca.click4talk.com/c4a/usignup_page.php?c4a=30236 to receive your first five minutes FREE!

If you prefer a live reading, check out www.cafenolany.com for listing of Tarot events at Café Nola in Schenectady NY.

For weekly FREE Tarot Card-A-Week Workout Journaling guide and other great offers and updates, join the mailing list by clicking here: http://eepurl.com/UF0N1

Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

It’s graduation season, a time of high hopes and high anxieties. This month’s Querent, whom we will call Veronica, asks if she will be likely to get full time employment after graduation. In conducting her reading, the initial impression before drawing any cards is that of success, having a job offer through an agency she is currently connected to through internship or temporary work that becomes long term, especially with the help or mentorship of a friendly professional woman within the organization. I also sense an initial compromise, a feeling that time with this job shows is to not be as Veronica was expecting. Either not being recognized for her skill level or not being compensated at the rate she was expecting initially, but that it is a valuable starting point nonetheless. I feel like this job will be a foot in the door that will bring Veronica valuable experience, yet in 1-2 years she will make a significant move and will seek new employment at that time. The sense I have is this is a move to an area in the midatlantic, connected to a change in relationship status.

The cards drawn are positive indicators for career. Right away the Ace of Pentacles appears. This is a positive beacon of a new job being handed down unexpectedly. Veronica may still need to send out applications, network and interview, but this opportunity seems closer at hand than she may expect and appears to fall into place. This is a new beginning and as a starting point may not have the status, pay, or level of credibility from peers that she is expecting, but she will come to earn the recognition she deserves with time. The impression that goes with this job is that of a city area and a fast paced environment where it feels as if Veronica is part of a large structure that involves some excitement as it is a very action oriented workplace. It feels like being part of a race- at times exciting, at times high pressure, but that she has the energy and talent to keep up. I also feel like at first she will be restrained from fully getting engrossed in the work- either prolonged training or orientation sessions, a slow start but this will not be for long and once the action starts she will be quite busy.

The following cards are the 9 of Wands and the Devil. This suggests that Veronica will receive much in the way of training and at times may feel like she is spinning her wheels and not progressing. I feel like there is potential for frustration with a colleague or with the organization itself, this frustration stems from perceived criticism or miscommunication. If communication blocks are caught early and addressed assertively with an open mind, this can perhaps be avoided. The key is to take feedback seriously but not personally. I feel like it will also be important for Veronica to have an outlet for her stress to keep balance in her life. This is especially true with the appearance of the Devil card as it is likely that Veronica will become so enmeshed with work responsibilities and stress that it could trigger headaches, exhaustion and compulsive escape behaviors to “turn off” work on the off hours such as drinking or over indulging in other escapes. Veronica will do well to find healthy ways to leave work at work and take the valuable lessons from this job without allowing criticism or work stress to impact her self esteem and identity. I also feel like this job varies from the initial job description or expectations in some ways and knowing this in advance, Veronica can keep an open mind to reading between the lines and discerning what is promised from what is delivered. Observe early on how things- especially interpersonal dynamics in the office- are, and avoid expecting things or people in this organization to be as they “should” be rather than as they are. It seems like later in the year the demands of the job will increase and it will be important for Veronica to strive for balance. This brings a valuable lesson as well, in boundaries and fostering balance in spite of high demands from work.

My sense is that in spite of the demands and mental stress load that accompanies this job it will be endured for at least a year motivated by reasonable pay, and will provide the opportunity to make a good financial start. I feel like Veronica will start to feel stuck at this job but will find it profitable and in under 2 years will have the opportunity she needs to move to the next stage in her career.

This reading was completed using the Girlfriend’s Tarot. This is a delightful deck full of modern, sassy illustrations. It was also a gift from my boyfriend several years ago making it particularly special to me. The Girlfriend’s Tarot is smart, modern, and sassy. Gabrielle Tolliver is the creator and the deck was produced in 2005. The cards are not your typical Tarot or even Oracle type card sizes. They are mini-squares measuring 3.4 x 2.9 x 1.8 inches. They are easily handled by even the daintiest hands and are an ideal deck for younger people (or people of any age whose shuffling ease has been affected by arthritis). The deck contains 78 cards. Ok, I won’t lie, my deck has 79- there are two Hermits but I find this ironic and hysterical, adding to the deck’s charm. The interpretation of the major and minor arcana are different from traditional decks.

They are given a modern feminine spin on the “girl’s night” side of feminism. They radiate girl power while reclaiming everything delicate, curvy, intuitive and light. It is the energy equivalent of estrogen appreciation, rather than estrogen overthrowing testosterone and having an androgenous party. Some examples of its modern spin include the Chariot. I love the interpretation of the Chariot not as a traditional wagon commandeered by a robed figure and pulled by two Sphinx. Rather Tolliver gives us a modern gal balancing on one leg as she propels herself on a razor scooter. It is also balanced both in representation of gender and ethnicity as the figures come in many skin tones and ages. Kings and Queens are expressed as traditional gender connected roles but may be wearing sun shades or dressed as if for a party. Another favorite is the Devil, of all things, a business man with a contract held behind his back. Very clever. The minor cards are also updated. While the Swords are called Swords, they are drawn as pens (which I am told is mightier than the classic weapon) and since Cups or Chalices are rather Medieval, Tolliver gives us cute little coffee-house style mugs which could also pass for large tea-cups. Pentacles keep their name but are drawn as Pentacles inside flower blossoms. The Wands are likewise called Wands but illustrated as Umbrellas. The bohemian style of this deck is also illustrated in the Lovers- a couple standing in a yogic tree pose and supporting each other this way.

The backgrounds are all earthy solid colors, green, yellow orange, burnt sienna, and a neutral grey-sandy color which is much more attractive than the words I am using to describe it *see the picture of the Ace of Pentacles) and the illustrations are simple yet powerful. The point is clearly expressed in each card and a novice can easily learn on this deck. It is just as impressive symbolically in spite of the lighter take on the images. No flaming Tower here, the Tower is a birdcage sprung open from which free birds fly….in escape of some rather small and unintimidating flames. The message is the same- a challenge creating the need to spread your wings and fly, and much more tolerable than suggesting that all of one’s structure has just taken a nose dive…have a nice day. The Girlfriend’s Tarot deck comes with an equally cute instruction booklet, and the deck and book are packaged in a sweet little box with magnetic flap. The box has held up quite nicely.

This deck is very inspiring for me and the images connect me to the energy of milestones, especially those achieved related to youth and the promise of young adulthood. It was also published around the time I graduated from college so I gravitate toward it as a young person’s/college grad deck making it ideal for this reading. Perhaps some day in the future I will look on its symbolism the way people growing up in the 60s look back on the symbolism and trends portrayed in pop culture depicting this time and make enjoy the nostalgic moments. This however brings me to my only complaint about this deck. In order to ensure that it lasts long enough to bring my nostalgic moments, I have had to discontinue using it in one on one readings. After about a year the edges of the cards have begun to fray, not a good track record in my opinion. The quality of the cards do not seem to withstand repeated heavy duty usage and this is quite sad as I would love to make this my ideal on-the-road deck. It would fit in well at Café NOLA, or in graduation parties or gatherings for young adults or trendy people of any age, but I do not trust that it would hold up to rough handling over a long period of time so I have been reluctant to bring it out in order to preserve it. This may just be my deck being special, however. It does, after all have two Hermits!

If you are a beginning reader looking for a modern connection to the archetypes or an intermediate or advanced reader looking for a fresh interpretation, check this deck out just handle it with care. Best of luck to Veronica in her pursuit of post graduation success and happiness! Remember no matter where you are reading this, all readings are intended for entertainment only in accordance with NYS law.

More about this deck as well as purchasing information can be found here:
http://www.amazon.com/Girlfriends-Tarot-Gabrielle-Tolliver/dp/B005Q8NL0CCopyright 2005

Interested in being the Querent in next month’s column? Contact Angela at Trionfi78@gmail.com.

About Angela Kaufman:
Angela Kaufman has been exploring divination through Tarot cards for over a decade. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and uses the Tarot and intuition to assist clients in exploring personal growth and development, and in accordance with New York State Law offers readings for entertainment purposes. Angela began providing readings on a professional, “Moonlighting” basis in order to provide affordable readings to those seeking guidance, inspiration and fun. Angela is also co-author of the new book “Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions.” (Schiffer Publishing, 2011) and Sacred Objects, Sacred Space; Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch (Schiffer Publishing 2013).

For more information on services offered by Moonlight Tarot LLC, visit http://www.moonlighttarotllc.com.

Moonlight Tarot is now part of The Psychic Connection! Check out the profile at: http://thepsychicconnection.net/moonlight-tarot-psychictarot-reader/
New callers register at: https://prodca.click4talk.com/c4a/usignup_page.php?c4a=30236
to receive your first five minutes FREE!

If you prefer a live reading, check out www.cafenolany.com for listing of Tarot events at Café Nola in Schenectady NY

Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

The economic turmoil Americans have dealt with since 2008 has had some positive aspects. People are reinventing “career”. People who expected to be taken care of by a regular 9-5 job ‘til retirement do us part are taking inventory of their marketable skills and stepping up the plate in the biz world, taking matters into their own hands. Jared, the Querent for the month of May, is discouraged with his career and thus at an important crossroads. He asks for guidance this month to help reveal what direction he should take next.

Jared is dissatisfied with his current line of work, and wants to start a business as a professional psychic medium. You may wonder why a psychic would consult another psychic and the answer is simple, we all need an objective second opinion. Similarly a hair stylist may let someone else style their hair. Also in psychic reading the perspective of someone removed from the emotions in a current situation can be helpful. Jared is very talented and has always had a good connection to Spirit. He feels compelled to bring his abilities forth after years of experiences.

My initial impression from Jared’s reading is that he is racing. I literally see him in a car zooming down the road frantically, spinning the wheels and cutting corners too closely. I feel the pressure and panic, as if he is rushing a delivery to beat a deadline. Jared is not under a deadline per se but feels mounting pressure at his job, and is feeling burned out and anxious about going to work. Like many Americans, Jared is particularly in tune with the increasing demands the economy has put on those in corporate America. The cards reveal a positive potential flow for Jared if he is able to slow down and proceed with caution.

The first card is the 5 of Coins. This card suggests a recent financial hardship, the result of an interpersonal challenge that left him with less of an income or resources than he is used to. Challenged to make up for lost time it is no wonder he perceives the strain. This calamity is a part of the catalyst for Jared’s current situation. There is some dis-assembling and rebuilding going on his life and the road financially is rocky but navigable. Still this is not terrain you want to race through.

The next card is the 2 of Wands. This is the crucial focal point for Jared at this time. He needs to network more. His talent is a viable foundation but he needs connections from his peers to help pull him out of his shell. In particular he needs to explore ways to get the word out and paperwork, application, and education are all emphasized here. He has the seed of a plan but it is still in the growing phase and the written and planning aspects of his business need not be ignored. He will have a way to go before the final stages because he needs to take the idea he is conceiving and work to give it form. His vision is not yet complete and he will need the help of others to gain confidence and comfort to develop his plan. His reading skills are sharp but his networking, writing and communication skills may need to be further developed to cover the finer points of sole proprietorship. I also feel there is a choice at hand and he is on the fence about this. Knowing what he wants but not yet committed to the action to get it.

The final card is a Major Arcana card, the Empress numbered 3. This card suggests growth, abundance and success. It suggests he will need to expand his scope and reach. I also feel that female energy, perhaps a literal woman in his life, if not the energy of receptivity and nurturing, are at hand. He needs to work with his plan and nurture it, and the development will be slow but fruitful. The presence of an older woman who is a mentor or guide will also be helpful, someone of a practical earthy nature who can help him gain footing as a business person. The number three will also likely be significant, growth within three months or years or a process involving three major transition phases that are required to build to the point of completion.

This reading was conducted using the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg. This deck is similar in most ways to the Rider Waite- Smith deck featured last month, as the Major Arcana have the same name and numbers. The Minor cards differ, as Pentacles are Coins, and Wands are Clubs. The basic outline follows the traditional Tarot most familiar with the Waite Smith deck will recognize, but if you have never seen this deck before, novice or veteran Tarot reader, you are in for a treat!

Using this deck is like conducting a reading with 78 Faberge eggs. What the images present in delicate detail the quality of card stock makes up for in sturdiness and even in this complex duality these cards carry the polarized energy of the best of Russian culture- tough as nails, but beautifully intricate. This deck is quite luminous and I favor its artistic quality to that of the Waite Smith deck. The background and borders are black and this brings a striking luminescence to the characters and scenes depicted on each of the fully illustrated cards. The artistic style is detailed and seems inspired by folk art in the tradition of beautiful minute details brought out through careful precision of applied dark and light creating a three dimensional quality that is difficult to find in Tarot art.

The way the colorful images pop out from their black background makes this a handy deck to use when you are learning or advancing intuitive practice. In particular it is reminiscent of the way clairvoyant images appear in my “mind’s eye”, a dark background on which bright and lively symbols suddenly emerge. Using the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg is a lot like holding a working meditation in your hands. To further this effect, the central “scene” on each card is portrayed in an oval sphere framed by intricate floral design.

It is said that artist Yuri Shakov actually hand painted the miniature scenes on the cards- or at least the ones he contributed to, as the mystique of this deck is enhanced in some ways by the story that Shakov actually died before the deck was complete and the remaining cards were finished by an unknown artist. I do not know the detailed history of this deck but if this is to be taken at face value, I find absolutely no discrepancy among the quality or beauty of the various cards. There are symbols from Russian folk lore worked into the archetypes presented in this deck as well, and it mirrors Russian culture and history. The Devil’s face will bear a resemblance to a prominent historical figure, but don’t take my word, see for yourself! The accompanying booklet also weaves the connection between the artistic interpretations of the various Tarot cards and Russian folk lore, however I have not had the privilege of this comparison as my copy was acquired used without the companion book. This is no deterrent however and speaks well for the continuity of this deck in the world of Tarot as it is easy to use and adapt to without the instruction guide.

There is a stained glass effect from this artwork and the juxtaposition of light and dark gives physical and spiritual depth. The balance of optimism and strife are found in each card as the backdrop balances the bright palette used. This makes it easier to produce cards like Death, the Tower and the Devil for a live audience because the dark and light feel balanced in even the most challenging cards. They really are just too beautiful to be scary and the seriousness implied in their meaning is also not lost on the balance of dark and light in the Sun or 10 of Cups, as each carries a deep dark mystery along with the cheerful elements. The depiction of royalty among the King, Queens and Empress, Emperor etc. is also quite rich and luxurious. Many of the cards look like you could reach in and touch the fabrics, jewels, water or fire. This deck truly is a sensual treat. It helps the reader focus as well to have a plain black background, so that the images convey depth without overbearing confusion.

I chose this deck because this reading was conducted live and this is my default in person deck. I use this deck for in person readings for several reasons- it is a visual delight and feels like a trip through a museum of archetypes, and for its sturdiness. I mentioned the strength and quality of these cards before and it bears repeating. I acquired this deck used in 2009 and it still shows absolutely no sign of wear, bending, weathering, it literally feels like brand new. When clients are apprehensive about shuffling the deck for fear of ruining the cards this deck proves to them instantly they can do no harm. If I didn’t love this deck so much I would be interested in knowing just what measures it would take to destroy one of the cards, but even the thought of this as an experiment seems a sacrilege. It is also easy for clients to relate to the images in this deck as they are classic in some ways but they convey meaning in a way reminiscent of reading a book of illustrated folk tales. The Pentacles being Coins also helps clients grasp the association with work, career and valuables. The cards can be as deep or superficial as you want to make them. If you know the background of the archetypes or Russian lore there is plenty of room to pull deeper and more complex meanings from each card. If you don’t, it is simple enough to see the Five of Coins showing a disheartened couple looking over the rubble of their treasure and “get” the meaning of financial setback.

If there is one minor setback in using this deck it is the size of the cards and relative size of the artist’s detail. I have found that clients with arthritis or small hands struggle with traditional shuffling methods as the cards are a large size. The images, again reflecting the style of Russian folk art, have small details and people with visual impairments will be able to get the basic impression but may miss the finer details in the images. You can accommodate this by using this deck with a magnifying glass- which I don’t, but I do allow time for clients to lift and examine the cards to their liking- and by allowing freestyle shuffling- which I do and the readings are always just as accurate.

Best of luck to Jared as he finds his way to success and fulfillment!

More about this deck as well as purchasing information can be found here:
http://www.usgamesinc.com/Russian-Tarot/
Copyright 1996 U.S. Games Inc. Instruction Book by Cynthia Giles

Interested in being the Querent in next month’s column? Contact Angela at Trionfi78@gmail.com.

About Angela Kaufman:
Angela Kaufman has been exploring divination through Tarot cards for over a decade. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and uses the Tarot and intuition to assist clients in exploring personal growth and development, and in accordance with New York State Law offers readings for entertainment purposes. Angela began providing readings on a professional, “Moonlighting” basis in order to provide affordable readings to those seeking guidance, inspiration and fun.

Angela is also co-author of the new book “Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions.” (Schiffer Publishing, 2011) and Sacred Objects, Sacred Space; Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch (Schiffer Publishing 2013).

For more information on services offered by Moonlight Tarot LLC, visit http://www.moonlighttarotllc.com.

Moonlight Tarot is now part of The Psychic Connection! Check out the profile at: http://thepsychicconnection.net/moonlight-tarot-psychictarot-reader/
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If you prefer a live reading, check out www.cafenolany.com for listing of Tarot events at Café Nola in Schenectady NY

Like Moonlight Tarot on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoonlightTarotLlc

For more related to Tarot and Wicca, check out: Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? At www.wwtrd.webs.com

Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

Choice liberating yet can be overwhelming. If you have ever had equal parts craving for Chinese food and Italian, then you know that ambivalence can feel like a pull in two directions that seem equally satisfying, or at least equally carb loaded. This month’s Querent is looking to intuitive guidance to make a decision that looms larger than simply deciding what to have for dinner, but nevertheless has her feeling conflicted. A woman we will call Rhoda asks for guidance in making a time sensitive decision about selecting her future home. She is choosing between a big apartment complex, and a smaller option. Having never met Rhoda personally, I have no insight into her preference for housing styles. For intuition’s sake, this is a good thing, as the reading can then come direct from Spirit and not my meddling mind trying to think about the best match.

The first impression for Rhoda is the location that seems smaller, more family friendly and feels like a suburban or rural setting, yards, near a small body of water. It feels like a more comfortable and rustic atmosphere. The first card to appear is the 10 of Cups and the scene portrayed in this card matches my impression- a country setting, family together in a yard, and a generally friendly intimate atmosphere. Already I feel the smaller option is more like home for Rhoda. I then get the sense she will sign paperwork with a woman soon, she will make a decision about which she is confident. I get the sense that some initial hesitation presents around a lease of a year or being locked in for a year time with money being tight. The indication I get is that this will be a happy, positive experience and that with careful planning she will make the finances work. Other images I see when doing this reading are a wagon wheel and a grey stone wall, so these may be features associated with this home or as symbols the wheel represents change and movement and the stone wall would be security.

This impression is confirmed by the presence of the Sun and Hanged Man cards, both Major Arcana, suggesting valuable developmental lessons are underway in this transition. I feel the Hanged Man presents a prolonged period of about a year in which it feels like finances are a struggle but a valuable lesson is being learned and important experiences surround Rhoda if she can remain open minded to viewing her options from a different angle. This also echoes the sense of fear of being “locked in” to a commitment. While in this transition Rhoda will be fulfilling an obligation and awaiting another transition in about a year.

The Sun card is a very positive indicator. It suggests optimism and an overall sense of joy. I feel like Rhoda will be happiest in the smaller home and will be successful in making the transition work in her benefit with a little perseverance and patience. She will need to “hang in there” when obstacles arise that have her feeling like she is not in total control but the overwhelming feeling is a positive one for this move. It seems like after the lease expires she will once again be making a move and that this stage is an important first step along the way on her journey. I feel like relationships are developed in this phase and peace of mind cultivated.

About This Month’s Deck

Rhoda’s reading was completed using the Rider Waite or Waite-Smith deck. This 78 card 22 Major/56 Minor Arcana deck’s structure and images are universally recognized as quintessential Tarot. The courts consist of Page, Knight, Queen and King for each of four suits, Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles. Traditional elemental associations are Water/Cups, Earth/Pentacles, Wands/Fire, Swords/Air, but esoteric training in areas where Wands are more associated with Air and Swords with Fire can easily adapt these images. Likewise those of pagan faiths may also ascribe a more spiritual connotation to the traditional “earth” association with the pentacles.

The illustrations display allegory in two dimensional settings. All cards are fully illustrated and the pip cards are full scenes as opposed to simply a picture of two swords for the Two of Swords. In addition to this, traditional Tarot numbering, names, outlines, and connection to universal occult systems from astrology to Kabala, numerology, Judeo-Christian and Classical Pagan belief systems make the Rider Waite-Smith deck an excellent tool for developing Tarot enthusiasts and advanced readers alike.

My understanding of the Tarot evolved from Smith’s portrayal of the archetypes but as a reader I needed to adjust my expectations. When I first received these cards I had a difficult time appreciating the messages conveyed through the colors and images as my taste in art at the time favored more complex, layered styles and I initially found Pamela Colman Smith’s art to be flat. The scenic feeling to the cards emerges from Smith’s background in stagecraft as a set designer. In the learning process, one can imagine the characters forming their interactions on a set stage and this image can stimulate intuition and further help the novice interact with the archetypal energies represented in the cards. The symbolism contains enough mundane elements to make easy connections to realistic events and people, so intuitive discernment can easily transport the King to the role of father, boss, CEO etc. Some may take issue with this as the gender roles are defined based on traditional medieval society and other decks have altered this to be more culture/gender sensitive. These limitations can be overcome through accessing intuition to help the reader discern whether the Queen really represents a woman or a man in a more nurturing role etc.

If you are looking for imagery with complex depth or a variety of colors, you may be in for a shock as Smith’s color scheme is basic, with emphasis on primary colors, bold but with a limited spectrum. One way to work with this color scheme is to develop a connection to the colors and the depth of interpretation offered from their meanings. The color scheme makes it easier to focus on specific energies and becomes familiar the way a common brand logo is instantly recognizable. McDonalds, for instance, doesn’t use a full artistic palette, red and yellow work just fine. This deck is also useful for psychic development and study of the occult. I have come to appreciate the fact that the art work is not so elaborate as to be distracting. As for quality, I have had this specific deck 17 years at least and can still shuffle them without fear of damage. The corners show the tiniest bit of wear, however this may be attributed to my choice to store them in a felt bag rather than in a box.

Another step to becoming comfortable with this deck is finding ways to intuitively connect with images that did not emerge from one’s specific religious system. The symbolism in this deck is rich but like good esoteric tools the power is hiding in plain sight. It can be said that this is exactly what magick is, yet when I first saw the cards I was shocked by the “regularity” of the images. So, if you are looking for a deck that screams fantasy/sci fi, this one may fall short of your expectations, or as the Hanged Man suggests, you may need to alter your view and open your mind. The Waite- Smith deck is a timeless classic with much value to a budding or accomplished Tarot reader. Once you are able to see the spiritual influence in an image of a man suspended from a tree by his ankle, finding the magick and mystery in other mundane settings becomes second nature. Luckily I got past my first impression and came to recognize their mystical nature. The symbolism is easy to learn and this is a deck I would recommend for beginning Tarot students as it is referenced in most Tarot books.

This is also a great deck to use when conducting face to face readings as the images are illustrative without being grotesque. It is also helpful that the settings are medieval so as to provide a basis for explaining the symbolic quality of cards. Just as an audience watching a play, even the difficult scenes are close enough to home to evoke emotional response, but distant enough to be seen as part of a greater story line. This can be very important when a client is nervous about getting a “bad” reading.

I chose this deck because Rhoda’s question was straight to the point and this deck is the common currency of Tarot, and the deck I learned on 17 years ago. For me this deck represents “straight talk” from Spirit and in spite of my initial response to the cards as looking “too mundane” I now find it very helpful to use this deck for exactly the purpose of getting the clear picture of daily life issues. To contrast, I have other decks whose imagery I favor much more artistically but that I don’t view as being as reliable a tool for concrete guidance because they speak to me on a level of higher vibration and in a lens that promotes more spiritual concepts with less anchoring in worldly affairs. It can be said that both aspects carry a connected virtue- that what is spiritual is mundane and vice versa, and I would agree with this, yet in receiving the messages from Spirit and conveying them to a client with greatest ease when practical matters are involved this deck is my universal “taking care of business” deck.

Best of luck to Rhoda as her new life takes shape in this idyllic setting. Remember no matter where you choose to settle down in accordance with NYS law all readings are intended for entertainment purposes only and not substitution for financial, legal, or medical advice.

Interested in being the Querent in next month’s column? Contact Angela at Trionfi78@gmail.com.

This month’s Tarot reading was conducted using the traditional Rider Waite deck. For more information on this deck, please visit http://www.usgamesinc.com/Rider-Waite-Tarot-Card-Deck/. This deck was created by A.E Waite and Pamela Colman Smith and is currently under copyright by US Games Inc, 2012-14.

About Angela Kaufman:
Angela Kaufman has been exploring divination through Tarot cards for over a decade. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and formed Moonlight Tarot in 2009 which would become Moonlight Tarot LLC in 2010. Angela uses the Tarot and intuition to assist clients in exploring personal growth and development, and in accordance with New York State Law offers readings for entertainment purposes. Angela began providing readings on a professional, “Moonlighting” basis in order to provide affordable readings to those seeking guidance, inspiration and fun. Angela is also co-author of the new book “Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions.” (Schiffer Publishing, 2011) and Sacred Objects, Sacred Space; Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch (Schiffer Publishing 2013). For more information on services offered by Moonlight Tarot LLC, visit http://www.moonlighttarotllc.com

Like Moonlight Tarot on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoonlightTarotLlc.com

For more related to Tarot and Wicca, check out: Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? At www.wwtrd.webs.com

Want a chance to get a live Tarot Reading? Check out www.cafenolany.com for listing of Tarot events at Café Nola in Schenectady NY!

The Daemon Tarot

Calling Ariana Osborne’s “The Daemon Tarot” a tarot is giving it far too little credit. Osborne based the set of 69 cards on Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy’s “Dictionnaire Infernal”. As you would suspect, that’s French for “Infernal Dictionary”. The book itself, we learn from Osborne’s introduction, has a bit of history itself. The Dictionary was originally published in France in the 1818 when Collin de Plancy was a demonologist. The book at that time was filled with magic and the idea of using skepticism instead of superstition when making decisions. Then in the 1830’s Collin de Plancy converted to Catholicism and in 1863 a sixth edition of the Dictionary was published that reflected his new beliefs. Essentially, demons became demonic.

Enter Osborne who gets her hands on a copy of this late edition of the Dictionary. She comments that the art, done by Luis Breton, really speaks to her because although the creatures portrayed “are clearly inhuman, their strangeness does not make them appear terrible.” And Osborne sharing that really struck me, and that’s when I was ready to look at these cards with fresh, unbiased eyes.

Like all tarot sets, each card has its own entry in the companion book. The entry is broken into three sections: Annotation provides information on the subject and includes research from the Dictionary and more, Inspiration shows Osborne’s interpretations and insights into the subject of each card, and Divination, since the cards don’t follow a traditional tarot deck format this section gives focused meanings that can be used in spreads. Osborne suggests using a one card draw or a six-card spread that she describes with this deck.

Ariana Osborne's The Daemon Tarot

With all the information contained in the 142 page book, and the classic artwork on the 69 card set, “The Daemon Tarot” is an excellent reference tool, not just a divination tool. At a suggested retail price of $19.95 everyone should own it. Seriously.

Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

Allegedly, March will bring spring, at least according to the calendar. As we all look forward to sunny days, this month’s Querent would like to know the potential for her budding romance. A woman we will call Esther has been enjoying a gradually developing courtship and is beginning to wonder about the long term commitment potential as well as any potential roadblocks in this relationship.

First, Esther should be applauded for her approach, as her inquiry reflects her awareness that regardless of indications from a Tarot reading, she is ultimately the one to direct her own destiny. The Tarot can help Esther anticipate strengths and set backs along the way, yet the development of a relationship is like the growth of a garden and numerous factors contribute to a successful harvest.

But fall is a long way off, we are approaching the season of growth and Esther’s reading reflects this. The initial impressions are of light, excitement, and adventure. It feels like this relationship brings invigorating surprises and that it has brought rejuvenation and hope to Esther. It also feels like this couple is growing in comfort and familiarity with each other. This relationship feels committed and feels like it has strong potential for long term growth. The Tarot cards drawn for this reading are the 9 of Cups, the 2 of Wands, and The Fool.

The 9 of Cups reflects the happiness this pair finds in this relationship and suggests this is a match that meets Esther’s standards in many ways. Contentment and celebration are also suggested by this card, as well as a sense that this couple is very comfortable sitting at home together, but is more likely to get out, travel and have an active social life. Over about 3-9 months this relationship develops smoothly.

I feel that within the next 3-9 months the euphoric phase of this relationship will unfold followed by an important decision. I feel like this decision, represented by the 2 of Wands, deals with a change in direction that requires compromise and agreement in this partnership. It seems that development in a life area other than the relationship will require a move, it feels career related, and that this is a significant turning point for this couple. Their partnership can continue together, it feels like the commitment to this change is mutual. It seems initially that without moving in together right away, Esther’s partner will be spending more and more time in her home, it seems like living together without officially living together, until this point of change where it feels more like a commitment is made official but part of this requires venturing out of the comfort of familiar surroundings. The Two of Wands also suggests an opportunity that brings career advancement and coincides with growth in the relationship. It also indicates travel together, frequent adventures and a common starting point from which this relationship can develop.

The Fool is a significant card and bears no indication for the intelligence of Esther or her partner. Rather it signifies the beginning of a journey. I feel this card speaks to the journey for both partners although this is typically a carefree, independent energy. It feels like spontaneity and willingness to be open to travelling where opportunities offer without excess baggage from the past. This can have a twofold significance. Letting go of emotional baggage from the past in order to fully embrace this new relationship, as well as not being hindered by excess obligations, being able to move with the changes presented in this relationship. The Fool is about liberation and this relationship seems to follow a course of being inspiring, carefree and liberating. Esther will be confronted with new ideas and plans that may seem risky or out of the blue. She can expect good things to develop if she maintains an open mind. Faith in herself and courage to let go of what has not worked in the past will help her transcend limitations. This is not the time to give in to self doubt or fear based thinking.

In regard to any obstacles in this relationship, nothing from this reading stands out as a red flag or major issue to overcome. The only indicators of a challenge are the indicators of change requiring an open mind. I feel like there are aspects of Esther, or her partner’s career that potentially distracts from the relationship at times- particularly long hours or an unusual schedule seem to play a role in this, but it does not feel like this diminishes the relationship. When the time comes for change to take place it feels like relocation to someplace new is on the horizon, Miami feels related to this but Esther should be open minded to exploring the options as they present without feeling confined or limited to options that were not part of the original plan. It feels like faith in a major move will bring advancement both in the relationship and in career. It feels like an official commitment is made in the process of this transition and this solidifies long term potential.

Best of luck to Esther in all of her future endeavors. Remember, no matter where you are reading this, in accordance with NYS law all readings are intended for entertainment only.

Interested in being the Querent in next month’s column? Contact Angela at Trionfi78@gmail.com.

About Angela Kaufman:
Angela Kaufman has been exploring divination through Tarot cards for over a decade. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and formed Moonlight Tarot in 2009 which would become Moonlight Tarot LLC in 2010. Angela uses the Tarot to assist clients in exploring personal growth and development, and in accordance with New York State Law offers readings for entertainment purposes. Angela began providing readings on a professional, “Moonlighting” basis in order to provide affordable readings to those seeking guidance, inspiration and fun. Angela is also co-author of the new book “Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions.” And the newly released “Sacred Objects, Sacred Space, Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch” (Schiffer Publishing, 2011). In 2006 she joined ISIS Paranormal Investigations and has accompanied the team on numerous investigations in private residences and businesses throughout the capital region, Adirondacks, Vermont and Massachusetts.

For more information on services offered by Moonlight Tarot LLC, visit http://www.moonlighttarotllc.com

Check out Moonlight Tarot on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoonlightTarotLlc

For more related to Tarot and Wicca, check out: Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? At www.wwtrd.webs.com

Want a chance to get a live Tarot Reading? Check out www.cafenolany.com for listing of Tarot events at Café Nola in Schenectady NY!

This month’s Tarot reading was conducted using the traditional Rider Waite deck. For more information on this deck, please visit http://www.usgamesinc.com/Rider-Waite-Tarot-Card-Deck/. This deck was created by A.E Waite and Pamela Colman Smith and is currently under copyright by US Games Inc, 2012-14.

Fast and Easy Daily Divination

By Deborah Blake

Lots of people read their horoscope every morning, but for many of us, that is the only bit of “checking in” we do. After all, few people have the time (or inclination) to do a full tarot spread with their morning coffee. And mostly, we don’t need that much detailed information. Luckily, there are lots of fast and easy ways to get a quick hint at what your day holds, or what you need to know to make the most of it.

Years ago, when I was practicing with my first coven, my then-high priestess had us do an interesting experiment. Every day for a month, we pulled one rune stone at the beginning of the day. We wrote down the stone, and any flashes of intuition we got when we looked at it, and then checked in at the end of the day to see if there was, in fact, any relationship between the two. Not surprisingly, there often was.

This also turned out to be a great way of learning the runes themselves. I started out having to look up the meanings of each rune in a book [my favorite is Lisa Peschel’s A Practical Guide to the Runes—it’s old, but it is easy to use and understand], but by the end of the month, I was much more familiar with them. If you’re interested in becoming better acquainted with the stones or any other form of divination, try doing something like this. It’s a fun and practical way to learn. Either pull one out of a bag, if that’s what you store them in, or place them in a small bowl and just close your eyes and grab one.

If rune stones aren’t your thing, you can do this with tarot cards instead. If you’re not used to using the cards, I suggest starting with something basic like the classic Rider-Waite Tarot. That’s the one I started with, lo these many years ago, and I have been reading professionally for ages with this one pack. [It’s a bit battered by now, but it works so well for me, I’m rarely tempted to switch to something else, despite the bevy of beautiful decks out there.] However, there are lots of variations on the tarot card deck, and you can pick whichever one seems to “speak” to you the most loudly.

As with the rune stones, you can start your day by shuffling the deck and picking out a card at random. Sometimes one will even jump out of the deck at you. You can either ask a question (“What does my day hold?” “What do I need to know today?”) or just see what comes up. If you are dealing with something tricky, you can ask a specific question, like “Should I go out on a date with that hunky guy at the office?”

There are plenty of alternatives for those who don’t have or don’t like either rune stones or tarot cards. I have a number of interesting decks that I use for inspiration, answers, or just a way to get in touch with spirit quickly and easily.

One of my favorites, which I’ve used numerous times in ritual with my group Blue Moon Circle, is the Goddess Inspiration Oracle deck, by Kris Waldherr. She’s well known for her beautiful goddess-themed artwork, and this deck is filled with amazing images, as well as lovely descriptions of the 80 goddesses featured on the cards—yet another way to learn while being inspired and guided.

The Conscious Spirit Oracle Deck by Kim Dreyer

My current favorite was a Yule gift from my friend Rebecca Elson of this very blog, The Magical Buffet. The Conscious Spirit Oracle Deck by Kim Dreyer has lovely pictures and inspiring affirmations. I’ve taken to pulling one each morning, standing at my altar, and reading it out loud. Then I try to carry its message through the rest of my day. For instance, this morning’s card was number 18: Air Elemental. And the affirmation said, “I embrace the element of air and am open to all knowledge and wisdom.” Isn’t that a great way to start out the day? (Also, I have to do research today, so it makes a certain amount of sense.)

I’m not sure exactly what it is about the Conscious Spirit Oracle Deck that has me so captivated. Some of it is the sheer gorgeousness of the cards themselves. (Even the back of the deck is amazing.) The introduction says the deck was created “to honor, celebrate, and reconnect to Nature, Spirit and the Divine Feminine in all her forms: the angel, fairy, goddess, the maiden, mother and crone,” and it does just that. The deck (from U.S. Game Systems, which puts out many of my favorites) comes with a 44 page guidebook, and gives you the option of working through the cards from beginning to end, or using them randomly, as I have chosen to do. Kim Dreyer, who did both the illustrations and the writing, had done exactly what the introduction suggests, and created a deck that can help guide you, connect you, and inspire you. Little wonder it is my new favorite.

The simplest way to use either of these options is to choose one and simply pull one card each morning. Take a minute to focus on it, and you’re done.

To move a little more deeply (and I highly recommend trying this, at least for a month sometime), write down your card, and any thoughts or feelings you have about it, and keep track of them in a small notebook. (If you already journal, you can add this to your daily jottings.) At the end of a day, a week, or a month, take a look back and see if you can make out any patterns that could be helpful.

Asking for guidance and/or inspiration doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time. You certainly don’t have to be an expert card reader to do it. And the Conscious Spirit Oracle Deck is just one option, but it is a great one.

About Deborah Blake:
Deborah Blake is the author of six books on modern witchcraft from Llewellyn Worldwide. Her seventh, “The Witch’s Broom”, will be coming out in April, and her first two novels (about a modern version of the Baba Yaga fairy tales) are coming from Berkley Publishing in September and December.

You can learn more about Deborah at her website, DeborahBlakeAuthor.com, and you can follow her exploits at her blog.