Showing posts with label Tarot Deck Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tarot Deck Reviews. Show all posts

May 26, 2020

Journey Through the Tarot

Yay! I have finally published my thesis from 2014 - Journey Through the Tarot: An Integrated System for Holistic Health.

A comparison of the traditional Rider-Waite deck to modern day decks demonstrate how the Tarot can act as an integrated tool for holistic health through the use of archetype, symbol, and allegory.

Tarot readings provide a wealth of information and insight to both the lay person and the professional reader. Each card has the capacity to activate wisdom for personal growth and transformation. It is based on a system hat is easy to learn and can be immediately beneficial for healing in a number of levels: physical, emotional, energetic, intellectual, and spiritual.

This book presents a brief history of the Tarot, an explanation of how information is gained from the cards, and an depth examination of both the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana in terms of their element, numerology and potential for holistic healing.

I'm excited to share these nuggets of esoteric information and hope that you enjoy, savor, and relish this sampling of the Tarot!

Blessed Be!

April 30, 2016

Mystical Wisdom Cards

 It is Beltane, May Eve. The last quarter moon is hidden in the fog that covers all of Carmel, where I am on a retreat at the Highland's Inn. Smoke from chimneys combine with the grey mist, all is still, even the ocean sounds are muffled and distant. After spending the day in the thermal waterfalls at Refuge, we now curl up by the fireplace and begin to feast on The Mystical Wisdom Card Deck. In direct contrast to the somber tones around us, the cards burst with rainbow colors, dazzling details, and an overall feeling of entering into an enchanted realm, like stepping into a fairy tale of your own making.

Written by Gaye Guthrie and illustrated by Josephine Wall, The Mystical Wisdom Card Deck has just been published by US Games Systems. The set includes 46 cards, printed on glossy heavy stock that are pleasing to both the hand and the eye. Accompanied by a booklet with both card layouts and meanings, there is both comfort and wisdom to be found in the short passages which include a mantra.

A veritable smorgasbord of angels, fairies, unicorns, mermaids, animals, flower devas and other guides run the gamut in this deck. The art is simply beautiful, and would appeal to young women who are just discovering oracle decks. The writing is short and sweet, and completely non-dogmatic. For example, in writing about the Celtic Cross spread, the author states, "Please be aware that you have the power to change the outcome of your reading if you desire. Nothing is written in stone."

The soft sound of shuffling cards blends with the quiet crackling of the fire. After a simple breath blessing, I take a moment to set my intentions, both for the reading and in what will unfold over the year. The first card I pull is "Face Your Fears: Release the Power of Fear". A blindfolded woman appears to be dreaming, cradling a golden rose, her body merging into a horse's, while planets, comets and stars fill the sky. "Fear has a subtle way of showing you the dark side of yourself...Fear can also show you that something is worth fighting for..."

The second card is "Knowledge". Infused with golden light, this image shows a young woman reading a book from which swirling clouds with small figures spill. Fairy tales, myths, legends and lore are a part of the teaching here, a sense of weaving stories with imagination to gain insight and understanding. Certainly knowledge will support me in facing my fears. The mantra reads, "Knowledge brightens my horizons for the future."

 The last card is "Friendship: Nurture Your Relationships". Three feminine beings gaze over a lush green valley with a peaceful river flowing through it. One being is blue, with feathers for hair, several birds on her shoulders and even nesting in her hair. One is golden yellow, with butterflies as her coiffure. The third is a soft mauve, with an abundance of flowers instead of tresses. Each is unique, yet they blend well together. "The value of friendship is expressed by mutual understanding, compassion and the ability to comfort each other for emotional support." I take a moment to feel the deep love and gratitude for my friends, and all the ways that they have contributed to my knowledge and helped me face my fears, and I hope I have done the same in return.

The Mystical Wisdom Card Deck is a great set for anyone who considers themselves a dabbler in the mysteries. "The cards offer you choices and options. It is up to you or the seeker to determine what is right for you at the time of the reading." Like the grey fog now slowly lifting from the Carmel Valley, revealing the true colors of the crashing sea, I feel my mind lifting the veils and reconnecting with a deeper sense of hope and optimism.

Blessed be.

June 3, 2015

Review - Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck

It might be early morning or sunset, New moon or Full. You have set aside some time, could be half an hour or half a day, to connect with your most sacred and authentic self. Maybe you are outside in nature, maybe you're snuggled in jammies sitting on your bed, either way you have spread out a silk scarf and are shuffling cards, relaxed and focused. Music or bird song fills the space, you are pleasantly aware of the smell of incense, roses, fresh air. Cleansed and purified, you are ready to begin your journey.

The Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck by Lisa Porter, published by U.S Games Systems, offers the seeker a way to reconnect with the archetypes of feminine wisdom. "When we develop access to our higher senses, we are being initiated into higher dimensional awareness and begin to work with universal energy... When we learn to call forth our eternal spirit back into our earthly bodies, we experience the ancient arts of actualization and connection to universal truth" (from the introduction).

Consisting of 36 Goddess Cards, 3 Confirmation cards, and a 48 page booklet, The Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck strives to activate both the right and left sides of the brain. Looking at the images stirs the creative imagination while reading the ancient stories brings about deep understanding, wisdom, and transcendence. The 3 Confirmation cards (Negation, Affirmation, and Revelation) can be shuffled in or used separately to explore the shadow aspects of the particular deity as well as to affirm positive aspects, or to create more mindfulness by cultivating non-duality.

It is a full Moon in June, and after a ritual bath I am wrapped in my favorite kimono, sitting on the deck with both the cats, where I have created an altar to welcome in the summer. The smell of jasmine is in the air, I can hear the barking of seals down at the wharf, and I arrange and rearrange the crystals and seashells into pleasing patterns while chanting softly to myself.

I set the intention to look at who is affirming my path, what shadow aspect do I need to embrace in order to experience enlightenment, and where do I combine my energies in order to synthesize a greater sense of wholeness. First I take the Confirmation cards and randomly place them, face down. Then I pull three goddesses to guide me, placing them also face down on top of the Confirmation cards.

As I flip the cards, the first pairing is Revelation/Confirmation, with Mary Magdalene/Identity - 22. "The Zen-like Revelation card is a sacred talisman... always a very personal experience, and requires meditative contemplation." Mary is seen with the sun behind her which casts her shadow into the desert, a serene look on her face, holding an alabaster vessel filled with sacred oils, long hair braided. Her message is to ask myself the eternal question, "Who am I and what are my values?" Much to ponder.

The next set is Negation/Confirmation, with Seshat/Intellect - 29. In the Negation card, we see the cup has spilled, the altar cloth stained, but still a full moon shines brightly in a window, symbol of renewal, rejuvenation, release. Seshat appears as an Egyptian scribe, hieroglyphics behind her, scrolls around her, draped in a leopards fur. She looks extremely focused, disciplined and determined. Seshat speaks to enjoying the written word, sharing information, and creative expression. For me, the shadow side is over-intellectualizing, over-thinking, and being too left-brained in my work, a need to find balance with more art, music, and dance. Interestingly, my silky black cat chooses this moment to launch herself onto my lap, a sweet reminder to "embrace the shadow".

The last pair is Affirmation with Baubo/Laughter - 7. Now the cup is full, a sunny day, a card filled with hope and optimism. Baubo is an intense card, a jester's head springing from a jack-in-the-box, hearts in her eyes, smiley emoticons on her cheeks, tears being shed, an exclamation mark on her third eye. In the corners we see the classic comedy/tragedy masks, and indeed, when pulling this card I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. "Bawdy Greek goddess Baudo is a jester and dry nurse... able to console... as laughter is the best medicine!" An excellent affirmation on my own path to cultivate lightheartedness, I am reminded of a Jamaican saying, "The Ugly-Beautiful of Everything".

The moon is just beginning to rise, casting her light upon the cards, blessing this moment for sweet contemplation. I write and sketch in my journal next, using the tools and gifts brought by these goddesses, to continue to build a solid foundation for the temple of my soul.

May 20, 2015

Flights of Fancy - The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck Review

Imagine you are walking out in nature, simply enjoying your path, aware of the breeze on your cheeks, the sway of your hips, the colors and textures surrounding you, and the sound of birds nearby. Maybe it's the sweet trill of the hummingbird, the chattering of swallows, the calling of crows and ravens. You take a moment to find your avian familiar, maybe hiding in the trees or soaring over your head. Like an augur of the past, you take the time to honor your sacred familiar, and all of the messages being brought to you now.

Playing with The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck, written by Lesley Morrison with artwork by Lisa Hunt, and published by U.S Games Systems, puts you in touch with our feathered friends, taking one on a flight of fancy, a chance to deeply connect with our soul's ability to soar above and into the beyond. 39 oracle cards are accompanied by a 48 page illustrated book, so whether you are actually out in your garden and visited by a feathered friend, or engaged in personal vision quest and use these cards as a meditation tool, there is much to be found in these extraordinary cards.

Today we have New Moon in Taurus while Mercury is retrograde in Gemini. These heavenly bodies are transiting my tenth house, traditionally associated with career and life path. I consult the cards to review my chosen profession, contemplate my current private practice, and create a proactive plan for upcoming business opportunities. After shuffling the deck 9 times, I pull three cards: left hand, from my heart, reflecting the past; right hand, using my head, representing the future; and and both hands, the hear and now, combining my head and heart to reveal my soul's purpose.

The first card I pull is 29-Robin. A young girl who seems to be metamorphosizing into a robin sits in a nest. Around her are the four seasons - a wintry ground below, bright blossoming summer cherries above, migrating birds and budding branches on either side. She looks intently towards the heavens, a snowflake like crystal in her hand. "The hibernation of your talents and dreams has no place in my medicine... I am your wake up call at sunrise...Something needs tending... You are the caretaker of your own soul.You are your own change." Powerful words and a powerful image, full of determined hope and a call for self-actualization.

The next card is 36-Turkey. Deep in the woods a shape-shifter takes a moment to go into trance, hands clasped, melding with both the birds and the forest spirit itself. "You are being asked to serve a purpose. You are being guided to put something else first...Look around to see who needs you...There is quiet dignity in servitude." A profound affirmation as I deal with the mundane aspects of creating a business plan, contemplating budgets and domain names, to remember my original intention - creating right livelihood by helping others.

The last card I pull, letting my hands play with the deck, back and forth until finally my fingers agree, is 23-Ostrich. This card reminds me of a fantastical masked ball, a fusion of human and bird that blends into a delightful and whimsical image that is both enchanting and delightful. "I am Ostrich, one of the great connector birds... Raise up your head and keep your eyes on the prize. I am a quick runner and can show you how to quickly spread your newfound wisdom...I have simply come to ensure that you follow it through."

Robin, Turkey, and Ostrich - not the totems I usually work with or would have chosen, but I respect that they have come to me for a reason, as new teachers and I humble myself before their teachings. Renewal, Servitude, and Follow Through - a new mantra for my daily meditations, my visualizations as I continue to dream, imagine, and take action on my own flights of fancy.

"If you want to fly, let go of everything that weighs you down." - From the introduction.

July 2, 2014

​The Holistic Tarot: Fours represent Stability

Four equidistant points in space create a square, symbol of solidification, foundation, stability, hard angles, tension, security, maturity, the four directions, the four elements, resolving conflicts by integrating needs, and organization. In the Osho Zen Tarot we discover the image of “The Miser” in the Four of Pentacles, a theme repeated in the Rider-Waite deck where we see a king holding tight onto his coins. IV-The Emperor in the Rider-Waite is the archetype of the male principle, shown in full armor while sitting rather stiffly on a throne which has bulls, sign of Taurus, carved on the arms and back, full of power and full of responsibilities, stable yet rigid at times. 

In The Tarot for Transformation we find the archetype of The Green Man, “the living intelligence of nature, shape-shifting into various forms” (Arlenea and Cori 25). Recommendations when pulling a Four is to create a positive discipline for one's self, with realistic expectations and support.

June 4, 2014

​The Holistic Tarot: Threes for Energy and Creativity

Threes in the Tarot represent the offshoot, creativity, expression, the trinity, focus, support, growth, and joy. One of the most iconic cards, the Three of Swords in the Rider-Waite shows a red heart pierced by three swords, rainy storm clouds in the background. This is the card of heartache caused by mental anguish, the story of every three way relationship. In The Housewives Tarot we see a frosted cake sliced by three serving knifes with the message of “any relationship that causes chronic heartburn should be sliced out of your life” (Kepple and Buffum 71).

The Empress Tarot Card On a more positive note, the archetype of Threes is found in the Major Arcana cards: III-The Empress shows a woman in a floral gown lounging on a throne, a crown of stars in her hair, a large symbol of Venus planet of love and attraction. In the Daughters of the Moon we see a woman giving birth on top of an elephant, a snake winding about a branch above her. This is the card of potential, pregnancy and possibilities, the female archetype of the Great Mother and a time for rebirth. Holistic recommendations when pulling card with the number three is to find creative outlets, including play, sports, artistic, and musical pursuits.

May 7, 2014

​The Holistic Power of Tarot: Twos for Balance

6The Twos in the tarot represent balance, assimilation, togetherness, lines of communication, analysis, bonding, opposition, the shadow, reflection, duality, polarity, and friendliness. The Two of Wands in the Rider-Waite deck shows a man gazing off into the distance, one wand firmly planted, the other in hand. He also carries a globe, thus traditionally the card of travel. In the Osho Zen Tarot we see an eagle flying above a canyon in a dusky sky. The card is titled "Possibilities" and there is the sense of gaining new perspective.

High Priestess Tarot Card Meanings tarot card meaningThe archetype for Twos is II-The High Priestess in the Rider-Waite deck, a robed figure who sits between two pillars, one black, one white with the letters J and B carved on them. Digging into the esoteric, these are Joab and Boaz, pillars of wisdom at Solomon’s Temple. The High Priestess, a female archetype, moves from the male archetype of The Magician creating for himself to the duality of creating for others through ritual. Ritual is conscious transformation of energy, and in holistic terms this is the card indicating a need for ceremony, whether that be a rite of passage, wedding or a wake. The High Priestess is portrayed in the Osho Zen Tarot as “Inner Voice”, who “speaks not in words but in wordless language of the heart... (and) represents the clarity that comes from transcending all dualities” (Osho 6) . In holistic terms. Twos indicate a time to look at balance on all parts of life: diet, checkbook, work and play, left and right brain.

April 2, 2014

The Holistic Tarot: Aces, the Power of One

Ace of Swords Tarot Card Meanings tarot card meaningIn the Tarot, Ones are a symbol of wholeness, integration, beginnings, the self, creation, source, wholeness, unit, point, one in the midst of all. Indeed the word "aloneness" can be changed to "all-one-ness". In the traditional Rider-Waite deck in the Minor Arcana we see a hand emerging from a cloud holding one of the symbols of the four elements, with a backdrop that has mountains in the distance, and Yods (tears of God) surrounding the symbol. In other decks we see more interpretations, such as in The Housewives Tarot where the Ace of Pentacles “reminds us that, before we can begin any endeavor, we need a sensible plan, fierce determination, and a heavy duty pair f latex gloves” (Kepple and Buffum 83).

Another archetype of Ones is I-The Magician, and in the Rider-Waite deck is seen with the symbols of each of the four elements in front of him, an infinity sign above his head. This is the card of discovering wholeness, integration, and combining all of parts of the psyche to co-create ones universe. In the Daughters of the Moon we see The Witch, holding her magic wand while stirring a cauldron. An owl, symbol of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom is perched in a tree, a reminder to check one's blind spots. Ivy, a tenacious plant associated with wisdom, curls around a solid oak, showing both solidness and flexibility. A cat sits close by, indicating a familiarity with the animal kingdom. Holistically, pulling an Ace indicates a time of starting something new or a time of integration.

November 6, 2013

The Sacred World Oracle Deck

Written and illustrated by Kris Waldherr, creator of The Goddess Tarot, The Sacred World Oracle deck is a sumptuous feast for the mind and an excellent gift for the upcoming holidays. The cards themselves are pleasing to eye, beautifully illustrated with animals, both real and mythological; pleasing to the hand, nice and thick yet well sized for smaller folks; and further complemented by the rich descriptions found in the accompanying booklet. Waldherr writes, "Oracles bear the double duty of being the message as well as the vehicle to communicate it..."

The Sacred World Oracle is divided into four sections- earth, water, fire, and air. Each suit has a main card for the element, plus ten associated animals. The mythology of each is contained within the booklet, however, merely gazing at the images evokes personal resonances, memories, and inspirations. Two different spreads are also outlined in the LWB, one a past-present-future card spread, fairly standard. The other a five card spread developed by Thalassa of the Daughter's of Divination's San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium ( BATS) was inspired by the ballet Swan Lake is called Black Swan, White Swan. This spread "helps us explore our blind spots - those pesky obstacles we can't, or don't want to see. It also points to the wisdom that lies in front of our noses."

I shuffled the cards, pensating upon it being Day of the Dead. I had a ho-hum Halloween yesterday and had no plans for the new moon this weekend, so doing the Swan reading seemed like a good way to acknowledge the change of seasons and tap into the thinning of the veils. I whispered the names of my ancestors as well as my kin/cats passed, friends who have crossed over and even contemplated my own death, hopefully far into the future. It has been in a time of endings and beginnings, as my daughter started college and I completed my PhD, empty nest syndrome hitting hard after her last visit. Recognizing the new chapter of my life unfolding, I pulled the five cards...

The first card is the black swan, or what you need to see that can get in your way. I pulled I-Earth. A very green card, right away I was aware of the animals suggested not just in the distant mountains but in the nearby copses, a huge oak in the foreground, beautifully framed with vining flowers and a picture of Ivy at the bottom. I reflect up upon how much time I have spent inside my house, working on my studies in particular, especially since my sweetie was hospitalized last spring and we stopped going on our weekend hikes. "When the Earth card appears in an Oracle reading, look for opportunities to take your dreams and turn them into a concrete reality" advises Waldherr. Certainly there is the opportunity to turn my dissertation into a book, changing a thought into form, but I also recognized the message to spend time in the outside world as much as in my interior landscape, and to change my isolation over the last six months into more outgoing, social adventures.

The second card is the magic feather, what you can do about it, and I pull XLIII- The Centaur - half human, half horse, pulling on an arrow notched into a bow, the classic sign of Sagittarius. As an astrologer I reflect that this sign symbolizes the higher mind, higher education, philosophy and travel. Here is the ability to focus on a goal, pull back to take aim, and the follow through. Mercury being retrograde, I notice it is a time of pulling back, with the trust that full moment will be gained after the planets shift in November. A card of being proactive, I feel encouraged to review my long term projects list and initiated some dreams that have been simmering on the back burner.

The third card is the White Swan, or what you need to see that can help you. I draw XXVII- Dragonfly. A lovely woman, maybe from South America, gazes at me, tattooed cheeks, a red dragonfly before her, a jaguar peeping in the background. Several of my students spring to mind, both past and present. The message here is of "unexpected grace found in difficult places". I laugh, this has been my lesson the last two weeks. In The Medicine Cards, dragonfly is a message to confront denials, honor inner truths and to break through any illusions.

The fourth card is also a magic feather, or how to use the solution presented in the card. Now I pull XXXIX- Firefly. I liked the transition from an air element (dragonfly) to a fire element, the ability to change thoughts into action. I grew up on the east coast, so catching fireflies reminded me of my childhood, times past, not an experience I have here now, living in California. Interestingly, the message here is to "seek moments of unexpected beauty that offer gateways for inspiration."

Finally, the fifth card is known as the Swan in Flight, an aerial perspective of the situation which gives an overview of the problems and steps for a solution. I pull II -Cat. Very curious, since I had completely shuffled the cards to pull the first card as the beginning card and the second card as the last, let alone the fact that I had invoked all of my past familiars/cats when setting my intentions. Here we see the Egyptian cat goddess, Bast, in a temple, with cats and kittens all around, even perching on the shoulder of the icon. My personal talisman, again my kin, my family, I am at times ridiculously attached to my cats and find it difficult to leave them for a night, let alone a vacation. The message in the booklet states, "the cat card challenges you to find ways to express your individuality. How can you create more magic and beauty?" Indeed, a good question.

So, personally I avoid using terms such as black/white to indicate problem/solution as it is basically racist if not simply reductionist. I did like the concept of exploring blind spots but wish it was presented in a way that was color blind. That being said, the cards themselves have a wonderful array of images, and although focused on animals, include humans in an international array, from Ganesha to Cimidye. The booklet really covers a gamut of worldwide folklore and hopefully will be expanded into a book. I honor that the author chose to use roman symbols for the cards, reminiscent of the Major Arcana in the Tarot, but I found the need to stop and calculate into western numbers a little tedious and off putting. The backs of each card had a representation of the four elements with the simple inscription, "As Above, So Below". Indeed, a simple reminder that the "function of an oracle remains the same: oracles offer us information. They can provide us with the experience of synchronicity... Our personal experience serve to frame these events, thus releasing information we already possess deep in our psyche."

Blessed be.

September 11, 2013

Magical Times Empowerment Cards

It is early in the morning, the cat is nestled on my lap, green tea is steaming beside me as I sit upstairs in my meditation space, sunlight streaming through the window, warming my back and illuminating my altar. I close my eyes, take a few cleansing breaths and set my intentions for the day. Asking the universe for guidance, I pull three cards from The Magical Times Empowerment Cards written and illustrated by Jody Bergsma, recently published by US Games Systems.

The first card I pull with my left hand, representing what is in my heart today. I draw a pale turquoise card titled "Faith" which shows an angelic figure, head bowed, with a kind smile on their face. The card reads, "Believe you are not alone. Spirit is right beside you. Ask for guidance and it will come." I spend a few minutes reflecting on the gentle strength portrayed, reaching for my pen and writing in my journal the type off guidance I feel I need in this moment.

The second card I pull with my right hand, representing what is in my head. Another pale turquoise card, this time with the title of "Expectation". A fairy in a green floral dress with lovely, lavender wings rides on the back of a dove while gazing at another dove flying near by. The card reads, "Be open for whatever comes next. It might just be the music your heart's been waiting to hear." I find it interesting that my head card is reminding me of what my heart wants to hear, and I ponder upon the power of creating positive expectations combined with the guidance I have just asked for.

The third card I pull with both hands, combining my head and my heart to discover my soul's purpose. I am greeting with a vivid, burnt orange card emblazoned with a winged dragon who seems to be guarding a shield that also has a dragon it, created out of Celtic knot work. The title here is "Energy" and the message works beautifully with the other two cards: "Life force is flowing. Open yourself to receive the power from within". I feel a great sense of empowerment and take a moment to tap into my third chakra, the solar plexus, the center of will power. I feel pleased with the sense of combining faith and expectation to develop my inner power for more sustained and sustainable energy, letting go of past burn out and disappointments and replacing these with renewed optimism, enthusiasm and encouragement. I review my goals, scribbling out those that are simply busy work and create a simpler, more focused list that is not only doable but truly enjoyable.

The Magical Times Empowerment Cards come in a sturdy box with a precious fairy on the cover, and each card is delightfully thick, nothing flimsy about this deck. The accompanying LWB has further affirmations and suggested spreads that make for both good meditation focal points as well as excellent journal prompts. For example, the Energy card states, "Today I feel strong. my head and heart are clear and focused. I will grab this magic moment with all of its potential and act. I will not be scattered. I will not waste time. I will not procrastinate, but instead will move forward with power".

I highly recommend gifting your self or a loved one a set of The Magical Times Empowerment Cards. Gentle and powerful, inspiring and uplifting, the delightful images and uplifting messages will be well received. Jody has created a wonderful tool that is easily accessible and immensely shareable. Brava!

"Be careful of your thoughts,
For they become your words.

Be careful of your words,
For they become your actions.

Be careful of your actions,
For they become your habits.

Be careful of your habits,
For they become your character.

Be careful of your character,
For your character becomes your destiny"
- Unknown (from the introduction)

July 24, 2013

Relationship reading with The Ancestral Path Tarot

The Ancestral Path Tarot by Julia Cuccia-Watts draws from four different ancient cultures in its' depictions of archetypal images found in the tarot. First published in 1995, this multicultural deck is a welcomed addition to my personal collection. I am always leery of cultural appropriation, however the respect and inherent universal messages that are truly cross cultural give new meaning and insight for the querent. Cuccia - Watts writes in the little white book, "We are all embryonic ancestors, similar to the fetus in the Hanged One image in the Ancestral Path Tarot. Through the placental cord of cultural transmission, we imbibe the world view of those who shaped and adapted it. We are nourished on the legacy of their belief systems."

Four ancestral cultures at specific historical times are used in creating the minor arcana - the Egyptian nineteenth dynasty of Ramses II for staves; Arthurian Britain for cups; post-contact America for Pentacles (called sacred circles); and the Japanese feudal era for swords. The major arcana are a mix of many cultures, including modern day, most notably the fool card portraying a woman doing a tarot reading, most likely a self portrait by the artist, and the judgment card which has a surreal image of a woman floating from her bed through a portal into another dimension where a helping hand reaches for her.

I did a twelve card relationship reading with my sweetie with the Ancestral Path tarot. After setting our intentions, we took turns pulling four cards each:
1) What am I bringing to this relationship?
2) What am I getting out of this relationship?
3) What is my foundation for this relationship?
4) What are my ambitions for this relationship?

Then we pulled another four cards together:
5) What is the significance of this relationship?
6) what is promoting this relationship?
7) What are the challenges in this relationship?
8) What is the gift/lesson in this relationship?

After pulling each card, we would describe what each saw in it to each other,then read the lwb out loud, and last tell each other what personal meaning we got from each card and how we saw it as a reflection of our relationship. It is always interesting to try to pull cards together, and on the challenge card my partner suggested that we pull the card with our lips. We spread the cards out on the coffee table and had a fun time bumping noses while giggling and trying to pick a card together with our lips. While usually I don't recommend licking your tarot cards, certainly this added a lot of joy to the reading!

My partner aka The Tarot Skeptic really loved these cards and commented on how many he thought were beautiful, in particular he liked the Eight of Staves, which has eight ibis' flying across the sky, giving a real sense of what is up in the air. There is so much detail on every card, especially in the expressions of the faces, from the ennui shown on the Four of Cups to the mystery of the Queen of Cups, leading one to ponder as to what is really going on inside, both in the card and the querent.

Overall I am quite impressed with the Ancestral Path Tarot and look forward to working with much more, both for my personal readings and for tarot readings with my clients. There is some wonderful descriptions in the introduction of the lwb of the four suits and in particular the symbolism used for the aces, but the actual card descriptions are fairly generic. I would love to get a companion book to go much further into the mythology, legends and history of each of these cultures. As Cuccia- Watts states, "The emphasis on the path of the not the anthropological emphasis on the cults of the dead, but on a living tradition from all human cultures available for us to factor into our world view."

Blessed Be.

June 26, 2013

Register Now! Summer Class: Journey Through The Tarot

Register Now! Summer Class: Journey Through The Tarot

 with Kayla Garnet Rose, CHT

Want to know just what’s in the cards, for you or your friends? Whether a complete beginner or already an experienced reader, come to a summer class to experience the magic and mystery of the irresistible tarot cards. Topics include:
  •  the importance of play
  • basic numerology
  • the five elements
  • intuition and storytelling
Tuesdays July 9-Aug 13

Call Twin Lakes College (831) 476-2152 to register today!

January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Laughter is still the best medicine. This humorous meditation was inspired by a spelling error in a comment on one of our other videos: "clam" instead of the intended "calm".

December 5, 2012

Secrets to Success

“The most important promises are the ones I make to myself.”
- Maryanne Radmacher

• I use tarot and astrology as a daily meditation tool, to focus on my career, my relationships, and my creativity. They serve as moment in my journey where I look at the map of my life and decide which direction to take. But I don’t just stay stuck looking at the map - journaling is one of the steps I take to put into action what I have been contemplating.

• You can have many different kinds of journals, that you write in at different times of your life. Just as your checkbook is a record of your spending habits, journals can reflect your patterns and serve as a reminder of the positive “emotional deposits” of life.

• Kinds of journals: Business notes, daily affirmations, dreams (night and day), poetry, sketches, coloring books, blank books or notebook paper put into a binder, a photo album or scrap books, engagement calenders.

• Who is your audience? Well, you, of course, but it also could be your children, your spouse or lover, your business colleagues, your therapist, your best friend.

• Privacy: there is so much temptation to read someone else’s journal. When my lover read mine, I stopped writing for 5 or 6 years. When getting divorced, I read my spouses' journal and found out things I really didn’t want to know. Talk about Pandora’s box.

• There is a lot of power in writing in your journal (or on loose leaf paper) all your thoughts and feelings, and then burning or otherwise destroying them. Recently I drew a horrible picture of myself being controlled by my last lover - it was quite a relief to destroy it.

• Time: even just five minutes a day can grow into a disciplined practice (like flossing your teeth or exercise). This is time for YOU, time to focus on achieving something you desire. keeping a little notebook in your bag is helpful for those odd moments of standing in the bank line. Putting the TV on mute and jotting down thoughts during commercials can reactivate your brain waves.

• Your other favorite tool is your PEN: do you like blue or black ink? Pencil? Colored pencils? Markers? Paints? I highly recommend crayons...
• To quote from the 5 of Wands card - Keep your expression flowing. Stop editing yourself and let go of concern about what comes out. Be playful. The openness of play allows for inventiveness and newness in a way that high expectations do not. (from The Tarot of Transformation by Willow Arlenea & Jasmin Lee Cori)

• You are writing your story and you can change your story - one exercise I did was to divide the page into columns and in the first write a sentence that begins “I wish...” the second column is the same sentence that starts with “I will”. This takes you out of wishful thinking into your will power, because it pushes you to the next step of figuring out HOW to achieve your goal. Examples:

I wish I had more money to I WILL have more money
I wish I was friends with my ex to I WILL be friends with my ex
I wish I had more tome to write in my journal to I WILL have more time to write in my journal

• Other exercises:
- Goals in the next month, year, five years
- List what you are afraid of. Burn it.
- List what makes you happy. Keep it.
- Pull a tarot card, medicine (animal) card, or angel card. Sketch it.
- Cartoons of you
- Songs, poems, quotes by others that inspire you
- Same as above, go from “I fear...” to “I wonder...”
- Pure color (finger painting)
- Create a couples journal, or a friendship journal
- That letter you would never send
- Who am I?
- Love letters to yourself

• Some book recommendations:
Earth Art Critters coloring books by Sue Coccia
The Coloring Book for Big Girls by Sudie Rukusin
When Your Heart Speaks, Take Good Notes: The Healing Power of Writing by Susan Borkin
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity -- by Julia Cameron
The Creative Journal by Lucia Capacchione

“Turn your wish bone, daughter, into a back bone”
- author unknown

November 28, 2012

The Hobbit Tarot

Who could resist a hairy toed tarot? The Hobbit Tarot created by Peter Pracownik and Terry Donaldson follows Bilbo Baggins in his adventures as a parable for our own quests and challenges. The mythic world of JRR Tolkein combines with the symbology and system if the tarot, which represents our sties to self actualization.  As the author says,  "the beauty-and genius- of the Tarot is that as a set of simple pictures it holds universal appeal. It provides a very simple, yet profound way of looking at ourselves... (which) can lead to greater understanding and self-realization."

Three new card spreads are presented: a twelve card "Ring of Gollum" spread that puts the card in a circle that follows the houses in an astrology chart; Then a nine card "Sword of Aragon" spread, which looks at both past influences and future expressions; and a very pleasing fourteen card spread, where the cards are laid out in a spiral and read in a storytelling fashion, starting at the center and moving outwards.

This is a wonderful deck for anyone who was entranced with Lord of the Rings. The 96 page booklet is very detailed in it's description of the card and it's divinatory meaning, including reversed cards. Shuffling through the cards face up, the images reminded me of first reading of the epic back in the fifth grade, and I thought about my own journey on the earth over the last forty six years. I cut the deck into three, pulling cards:

Where am I now: Nine of Coins -  Bilbo is seen with the Arkenstone out under a new moon, making the difficult decision to turn it over to the Bard. This card brings a sense of arrival, achievement, heightened self reliance and self worth with a warning against excessive enjoyment.

Where am I coming from: Eight of Cups - two eagles swoop in the sky while the silhouette of a horse and rider head towards the mountains. The traditional card of retreat or withdrawal, the divinatory meaning speaks to looking for something on a deeper level, commitments, and trust in being guided.

Where I am going: VIII - Strength - Gandalf Leans against a rune stone, taking a moment to fill his pipe and find the strength in resting awhile. The message here is take control by accessing inner strength and a need fir determination. A gentle touch combined with emotional strengths can be a way to deal with problems.

Blessed be.

October 24, 2012

Art Through The Eyes of The Soul Oracle

 "As an artist my highest aspirations is the infusion of Spirit into matter."- Cheryl Yambrach Rose

Access mythic beings and divine entities that exist in sacred sites through the recently released Art Through The Eyes of The Soul Oracle, painted and written by Cheryl Yambrach Rose, published by US Games Systems. Fifty-two over sized cards with gilded sides have images from original oil paintings andare accompanied by 108 page guidebook. Romantic, visionary and inspiring, these cards provide mystical guidance as well as deep insights into personal solutions by meditating upon the image and the sacred texts provided.

Each card is anecdotal in itself, reminiscent of fairy tale illustrations combined with the tapestries that graced Avalon of old. An affirmation is written on each card, however the guide book provides an expanded meaning with history, mythology and suggestions for incorporating the wisdom offered in everyday life. Rose suggests drawing a single card for daily guidance, or a three card spread - present, influence and guidance. There are iPhone and iPad apps that do three card layouts as well.

After opening the deck for the first time, I smudge the cards with sage and carefully look through the deck, noticing which ones catch my attention, speak to my deeper self. Then I shuffle the cards over and over, infusing them with my energy while creating chaos in the random disbursement of cards. I do my own personal favorite layout. I pull the first card with my left hand, coming from the heart. The second is with my right hand, coming from my head. The third card I use two hands, combining my heart and head together, creating my soul's purpose.

Heart card - A priestess is pulling a purple hood from her face. She is arising from a turquoise sea, and her braids that did into the primordial water are really spirals of DNA. She wears a gold crown and in the background is the new moon clustered in the Pleiades. Entitled "Beneath the Veil of Sophia" this card affirms create, activate your DNA, let the arts be a catalyst to bringing ideas into form, to create from one's dreams and heart's wisdom.

Head card - An angel dressed in white robes and veil crosses her hands over her heart. Between the tips of her lavender wings we see the planet earth, while in her lap there is a gold medallion. This card is called "Earth Rapture" and posits protection, guidance, feelings of being cherished, universal love and the golden age being born.

Soul card - A woman stands at the base of a mountain holding a lamp and walking stick, looking towards the rising sun. This is "The Hermit" who is here to encourage sharing wisdom, speaking one's truth and shining one's light. New life is beginning to take form and wisdom is waiting to be taught.

These are sumptuous cards, the Godiva chocolate of oracle decks, meant to be savored slowly, shared only with those who truly appreciate the finer things in life. Gift yourself or a loved one if you are a connoisseur of mythic art and would like to experience excellence in spiritual portraiture.

Blessed be.

September 26, 2012

Ghosts and Spirits Tarot

While are ancestors and those who have passed are always around us, certainly it is at this time when the veils are the thinnest at Samhain that the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt seems the most appropriate tool. Published by US Games Systems, this 79 card deck explores international supernatural lore and legend. Messages are delivered from the beyond through these ethereal images, illuminating our current situations, bridging past, present and future.

The author was always a sensitive child, picking up energies in her surroundings and compelled to transcribe her visions in order to bridge the physical and spirit worlds. She was fascinated, like all of us, by how do we as humans reconcile life and death, honor the dead, and prepare for the afterlife as expressed through many sources of lore and legend. As Hunt puts it, "Let the ghosts and spirits talk to you and help you dissolve the barriers between conscious constraint and objective inner reflection... (they) are messengers (and) a conduit for further communication and understanding."

Hunt presents a five card spread called The Realm of the Spirits spread to unearth whatever haunts your past and to free yourself to enjoy the present. The five cards pulled are:

1. Spirit of the Present: The right now, inspirations, concerns, anything that feels missing.
2. Ghost of the Past: whatever is lurking from the past that needs liberating
3. What frightens you: What is buried in the subconscious and needs to be faced and confronted.
4. What lifts your spirits: that which brings joy and liberation that needs to be embraced more fully.
5. Spirit of the Future: one you have removed the cobwebs of doubt, you are ready to move towards your chosen destiny.

I shuffle the deck, first the standard seven times for randomness, then thirteen times as it seemed appropriate. I am a wimp by nature and my daughter laughed when she saw the deck, knowing I am easily spooked. With the intention to look my demons in the eye and bid us to become allies, I pulled the following cards:

1. Present: Queen of Pentacles. A pale yellow card reminds me of the harvest, a dour looking queen wanders the fallow fields surveying the first sprinklings of snow. Dressed in white, she carries an amulet. Here is Cailleach Bheur, the Scottish bringer of winter storms, a reminder of the necessity for cycles of change and to make plans for the future.

2. Past: 3 of Pentacles. Three wraiths seem to juggle three different disks deep inside a cave, blocking a pathway that has stone spirits guarding the way. Considered the Divine Dead, the Manes inhabit crypts and burial monuments. The card represents a time to renew or create skills, and to acknowledge how individuals contribute to team effort.

3. Fear: 8 of Swords. A skeletal being reaches for the hilt of one of eight swords. In the background are many skulls, seeming to me like the echoes of the past, regret and remorse. The Flying Dutchman represents being indifferent, restrictive thinking, and feelings of futility.

4. Joys: 8 of Pentacles: one of the more positive images, a small bald headed gnome in a green tunic pauses between two enchanted trees who seem engaged in gossip. You know, they herd it through the grape vine. The Kobold from Germany is a household spirit who are helpful as long as respected, a reminder to work hard, be skillful and invest wisely.

5. Future: The Chariot. The only major arcana pulled, a figure labors through the snow by the edge of the treelike, staff in hand. In the background we see skeletal figures on horses, blades drawn, trampling across the night sky. More spectral faces fill the cosmos as birds take flight on the horizon. This is The Wild Hunt, signifying the polarities and a time to take action.

I love stories and mythology, and certainly the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot has added to my repertoire  of lores and legends. I intend to convey to my clients in order to give them comfort, hope and ways to let go of the past, to properly grieve and mourn that which has died, whether a relationship, business, deeply cheriched concept or actual being who has passed to the other side.

Blessed be.

September 5, 2012

8 Tips for Transformation

• Drink water: no ice – you’ll drink more; same with using a straw. When you urinate, consciously let go of whatever has been pissing you off lately. Same when you defecate – say out loud, “I now release all this old crap.” Notice that as you release the accumulated emotional and physical toxins, the sense of well being and serenity that permeates your body.

   • Breathe: take in what you need, and let go of what no longer serves you. Take deeper and deeper breaths until you feel the richness in your veins. Laughter is the best medicine – Breathe into your Buddha belly and feel a big belly laugh whenever you want to feel high.

• Purify: hot showers, hot baths, hot tubs saunas: release toxins naturally and effectively. Transmute old poisons, shed your skin, wash away the past to feel cleansed and renewed. Neti pots cleanse the sinuses & clear the head of congested thoughts.

• Cry: with a friend, a counselor, your favorite pet, a sappy movie, or yourself. Release grief, disappointment, guilt, heart break, frustration and the chemical compounds found only in emotional tears.

• Combine modalities: Chiropractic, acupuncture, traditional therapy, Reiki, nutrition and massage support the mind-body connection made during hypnosis. Ask for personal recommendations.

   • Meditate: Start your day by simply stating your intentions, take a moment to visualize them as if they have already occurred, feel that in your body, and breathe it into every cell of your being. To further amplify this frequency, write in your journal, speak your truth, or better yet, sing your truth. Attract what you need in order to grow.

    • Love your body: Feed yourself good, yummy foods that you truly enjoy to nourish your whole being; play with your body, dance, do yoga, go roller skating, get an exercise ball, stretch. Get rid of your scale – you’ll be surprised how much happier you’ll feel.

   • Sleep: as much as you want to. Take naps. Remember your dreams. Your mind and body are doing the repair work. This is where deep healing occurs. Allow yourself to go to bed when you want to, and to wake up when you want to. Get rid of your alarm clock – you’ll be surprised how easily you wake up when you need to, feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and refreshed, ready for a new day.

• Laugh: all the way to the bank, in your car, during dinner. make people wonder what you are up to. Smile at strangers. Make eye contact. Make “I contact”.
• Have fun!
copyright kayla g. rose 2008, 2012

August 29, 2012

Pick a card, any card: The Playing Card Oracles

By their numbers, suits and pictures
The cards communicate
And begin to tell their story
Each time we shuffle fate.


The Playing Card Oracles Divination Deck by Ana Cortez and CJ Freeman has a regular deck of 52 playing cards, each transformed by original artwork to invoke the wisdom of the ancient oracles. Here, the LWB is definitely our friend and guide to interpreting the archetypes and symbols of each card and revealing hidden meanings. With irrisitable names such as 10 of Diamonds, Tendra and 9 of Spades: The Throne of Spiders each card beckons for more investigation. Ultimately though, as the author states, "let the images, the colors, and the total picture of the cards in your layouts inspire your interpretations. The magic is inside *you*."

Very clearly not a tarot deck, instead the author links the 52 cards with the calendar and 52 weeks to a year. Cortez presents two spreads, the Present Spread and the Cats Spread, both of which use the cards in a way to look at the weeks and months to come.  She also suggests to look at the 4 card spread as if looking at a person, the bottom card relating to issues of the earth, feet, home, career, possessions etc of a foundational nature; the next card relating to water, the torso, love and emotions; the third card speaking to the air, throat, ideas and communication; and the top card representing fire, the head, what is dominating the reading and what the seeker is most aware of in the current situation.

After shuffling the deck seven times, focusing on what was grounding me (feet), what was moving me (heart/womb/torso), what was I talking about/listening to (throat) and what was most on my mind (head) I pulled the following cards:

For my first card I pulled 11 of Spades, Pampero, a shirtless man in striped tights is holding a thin épée loosely in his hands, looking somehow both amused and battle scarred. "This Jack makes a loyal ally or formidable adversary. Unlike his one sided brother in hearts, La Hire, who hides his other side, Pampero seems to be lacking in any great dimension."

The second card was 9 of Clubs, Galahad, a knight in full armor kneels upon a cushion win the clouds while gazing upon a Grail centered in the sun. "...associated with idealistic vision, and the tendency to become disconnected from reality."

The next card was 2 of Diamonds: The Rivals.  My first instinct was to say a succubus in evening gloves lounges on a cloud while a man gasps for air below her, his body half buried in the earth. "Rivalry or clash within our lives can create the push that brings our personal best." originally the card I resisted the most when I pulled it, this lesson actually rings the most true in my life right now.

The last card was 2 of Hearts: The Lovers. A man and a woman are back to back, bound together by ropes, both at the chest and one arm at the elbow. Each has their free arm outstretched, pointing or beckoning to something beyond our sight. "Two hearts are bound together in a relationship, tethered by the sweet and bitter cords of emotion." for what is most on my mind, this certainly ran true.

A very different reading from the upbeat, optimistic Art of Life reading, I certainly know the perfect goth person who would enjoy these cards and get a lot out of them.  There is also a full length source book available, The Playing Card Oracles by Ana Cortez, presenting the history and methodology for card reading. Beautifully illustrated by her father, C. J. Freeman, who also provided stories and poems for the book.

Blessed be.

August 8, 2012

Art of Life Tarot

 The real voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes, but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust

As I have confessed before, I am a quotaholic: I am powerless over a good quote. And what better way to have a quote a day to fulfill my quota than the  Art of Life Tarot Deck by Charlene Livingstone. This stunning deck combines three of my passions: art, tarot and quotes, but what really impressed me the most was the packaging. The cards come in a box where the lid folds up into a nifty little pop up frame, complete with a clear plastic cover, making this a wonderful accoutrement for your desk or altar.

The Art of Life, recently published by US Games Systems, can be used for traditional tarot readings but for me works best as my daily affirmation. For years it has been my practice to pull a tarot card everyday, and these delightful cards have added a new layer of literature and art appreciation to my life. While the oversized cards were difficult for my small hands to shuffle, they truly do the art and quotes justice, any smaller and details would have been lost. The card backs have a beautiful detail of The Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt.

Developed by Livingstone when her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, she found herself using the tarot as a way to find meaning and comfort rather than a mere hobby. A vivid dream inspired her combine her experiences and sense of purpose to give others a means to also help themselves. She writes in the LWB, "most importantly, I created the Art of Life because I wanted to empower the give (a) sense of strength, possibility and optimism... To encourage contemplation and for the reader to discover that the answers to life lie within."

Indeed, The Little White Book(LWB) is quite sparse in it's description and meaning of each of the cards,  but it will be clear to the expert reader that each one is a good representation of traditional meaning. Novice readers might find the deck confusing if they are trying to learn basic numerology and the five elements, but certainly they will enjoy the rich tapestry of images and inspiration that the cards provide.

I decided to do the Creativity Spread provided in the LWB:
Card 1 - Inspiration: What inspires you to do the best work possible?
Card 2 - Influences: Who or what has influences you in your decisions and endeavors?
Card 3 - Challenges: What current challenges do you face in your life?
Card 4 - Process: Where are you in your current process? What do you need to do to reach your goals?
Card 5 - Final Outcome: What are the results of your creative endeavors or current projects?

I shuffled the cards, thinking about my current creative projects, ranging from rearranging the furniture recently with more of a feng shui approach to revamping my website while Mercury was retrograde, playing in my garden after a long hiatus and my recent introduction to ballroom dance classes with my sweetie. I thought about my own long term plans create a tarot deck, how slow the artwork seems to be coming along although the writing is done. After cutting the deck three times and asserting no attachment to outcome, I drew the following cards.

Card 1 - Inspiration: Four of Wands (Harmony, Fulfillment, Growth) "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant." - Robert Louis Stevenson. Art: Red Vineyards at Arles by Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. Interpretation: A good reminder to review my long term visions and goals.

Card 2 - Influences: The Lovers (Love, Beauty, Choice) Quote: "The heart has reasons that reason cannot know." - Blaise Pascal. Art: Endymion by George Frederic Watts, 1869. Interpretation: Working with my partner in creative ways is a positive influence now, for example, our video series.

Card 3 - Challenges: The Magician (Will, Determination, Creative Power) Quote: "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." - William Henley. Art: Opus 217. Against the Enamel Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angels, Tones and Tints, Portrait of Felix Feneonin by Paul Signac, 1890. Interpretation: Yes, it is challenging to do it all by myself, but it is up to me to do the work.

Card 4 - Process: Page of Wands (Enthusiasm, Ambition) Quote: "It's never too late to be what you might have become." - George Eliot. Art: The New Armor by Franz Meyerheim, 1858. Interpretation: This is a message of energy to me,  as well a seeing being a teacher a part of my process.

Card 5 - Final Outcome: I was not content with drawing a minor arcana to end a reading, so I ended up pulling three cards, the first two being my steps to outcome.
  • Two of Pentacles (Harmony, Achievement, Balance) Quote: "Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort." - Franklin D. Roosevelt. art: Blue Dances by Edgar Degas, 1899. Interpretation: Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.
  • Queen of Wands (Affability, Growth, Motivation) Quote: "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."- Benjamin Disraeli. Art: Madam Heriot by Pierre August Renoir, 1882. Interpretation: Nourish my energy and share the abundance of my wisdom.
  • The World (Self Actualization, Fulfillment, Wholeness) Quote: "All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do... Build, therefore, your own world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson. Art: The Proportions of the Human figure by Leonardo da Vinci, 1492. Interpretation: I am a co-creator of this universe and I am now creating my reality exactly the way I want it.
Certainly a positive and optimistic reading, I am aware of pulling three wands (enterprise, development, creativity) and three major arcana (universal life stagehand major events) but the most significant card for me was The Lovers as my influence, for certainly my sweetie has been my muse, support and inspiration.  The Art of Life Tarot is indeed a treasure and will be treasured for generations to come.

Blessed be.