Knight of Wands

Page of Wands (1)

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

Please see my thoughts on age, race, and gender in tarot.

There are few characters in the tarot who burn brighter than the Knight of Wands. This energy is a combination of fire (Wands) and air (Knights) and we know what happens when we mix those two elements: combustion! This may represent someone with an assertive and action-oriented nature.

The Knight of Wands can be very theatrical and may live to entertain. In discussing this personality, Lindsay Mack associates performers such as Prince, David Bowie, and Madonna which are all wonderful examples of this energy.

The flip side may be a tendency to be hasty and run headlong into battles without too much thought. Someone with this energy may also be prone to hyperbole and recognized for their large, erratic gestures

flame dancerThe Knights are all about movement and the way we take action in the world. This Knight asks us to look at where we enjoy the spotlight. When do we feel our fiery energy flowing and notice our posture changing to an upright, self-assured silhouette? If it is social justice, you may feel this spark when you are contributing to a cause that is close to your heart. If you have neglected an art form that lights you up, this knight insists that you make time and space for that. If it is performing where you shine the brightest, try to get involved in theatre or your activity of choice. If nothing comes to mind, this knight may nudge you to try new things to find something that ignites you (pssst, this could also be sex).

The Knight of Wands invites you to take up space and occupy the attention you deserve. You have the capacity within you to delight, so tap into your own unique gifts and unleash them!

“Occasionally we encounter a person whose personality is so effusive that they take over a room. They may not be the type of person everyone wants to resemble, but we enjoy watching them, and their presence uplifts us. An extrovert craves other people noticing and acknowledging their presence, they can never receive too much attention.”
― Kilroy J. Oldster

“What I like my music to do is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.”

–David Bowie

Until our paths cross again…

Page of Wands

Page of Wands

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

Please see my thoughts on age, race, and gender in tarot.

When was the last time you fingerpainted without worrying about results or the mess? The Page of Wands (Daughter of Wands in The Wild Unknown) invites you to tap into childlike play and wonder. This Page is the ultimate spark of inspiration and creativity. If you have ever suffered from writer’s block, the Page of Wands is that glorious moment when you are suddenly inspired and fly through another chapter. If you have been feeling apathetic lately, you can be sure that this card will usher in a time of rejuvenation.

The Page of Wands asks us to call in our inner child and embody that untarnished view of the world. In this suit, which is fire-based, it can be re-igniting a passion project that has been on the sidelines, or following an inspired idea to see where it may end up!

This Page reflects the story of the Four Healing Salves:

In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.

When did you stop dancing?

When did you stop singing?

When did you stop being enchanted by stories?

When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves.

Often, this Page is associated with swift good news and may represent an optimistic, playful, warm person in your life. In its shadow aspect, this can represent someone who is passionate but reckless and does not pause before they act. This can often be associated with a lack of ego exploration or overall immaturity.

Because of the nature of this card, I would like to invite you to create the Page of Wands as you imagine them using paint, collage, creative writing, or your medium of choice. Imagine you are fleshing out a character for a film and consider doing a character sketch of this person. Introduce yourself to the Page of Wands as you have created them.

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
― Richard Lingard

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
― Osho

Until our paths cross again…

Why I am not Afraid of Tarot…

…and You Shouldn’t be Either.

Fear of Tarot (1)I recognize that suggesting what you should or should not be afraid of might sound arrogant–please hear me out.

I receive a range of reactions when I mention that I am a professional tarot card reader. Generally, people are interested and curious but I do meet folks who immediately put their hands up and shake their head saying that they “don’t want to know what is coming.” In some belief systems, the tarot is even thought of as a tool of the devil. Yikes!

The unfortunate part is that there are readers out there who will aim to create a dramatic and sometimes fearful response from their clients. Some people have experienced this first-hand, and others have heard their horror stories. Recently, I have had people share similar experiences of a tarot reader turning over a card,  gasping and refusing to continue the reading! I call bullshit on that noise! Perpetuating fear is a disgrace to the practice and the reason that many people do not wish to explore the tarot. This is unfortunate, as they miss the opportunity to discover what a powerful self-development tool it can be!

afterglow avian backlit birds

While there are as many different reading styles as there are tarot readers, I align myself with those who use the cards for personal exploration such as discovering blind spots we may have and recognizing aspects of ourselves that need healing. Tarot is a great tool for getting out of a rut and setting intentions. It is a beautiful self-care process: I have had clients tell me that after a reading with me they felt like they had left a therapy session. The magic is what they do with the meaning I share with them! While I always offer the narrative I see in the cards, often the reading will unlock something vital within my clients. It is deeply rewarding to see this happen. The cards do have the power to lay out a path for us but we can choose whether or not it is a good fit for us at this time.

The magic that happens in a tarot reading is beyond my full comprehension. Somehow, even with a one-card reading, the message gets to each person at the right time.

Here is a very brief description of what a standard tarot deck consists of:

There are 78 cards in total: 56 of these are known as the Minor Arcana which are numbered much like playing cards.  These are the cards that describe the mundane but influential scenarios we encounter regularly. They include the Aces to Tens in each of the four suits, as well as the court cards which are made up of four personalities: often Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings. The suits consist of Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles. There are a number of variations to this depending on the theme of the deck. There are also 22 cards that represent the larger events in our lives, such as weddings, new homes, separation, and existential challenges. These are referred to as the Major Arcana

All 78 tarot cards represent stages of our journey, both inner and outer, throughout our time on earth. All of these archetypes and events are woven together into a story that can help us mediate challenges and manage obstacles. When laying out a spread, where each card shows up is as important as the card itself. This is why there are endless possibilities with tarot and no two readings are ever the same. 

The artwork on some decks can be dramatic and without explanation by a learned professional, could be quite startling. I will give a few examples of how you can look at the more challenging cards:

13-death-meaning-rider-waite-tarot-major-arcana_large

Death:

This might be the most feared card of all and yet it is one of the most necessary aspects of life. Letting things go that no longer serve us allows for fresh growth and new beginnings. Imagine the forest floor in Autumn; all of the fallen leaves begin to decay and provide rich, fertile nutrients for those buds we all eagerly anticipate. Death needn’t be associated with fear but celebrated for the new life it provides for.

 

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The Tower:

While the Tower indicates sudden and unexpected change, it only breaks down structures in our life that were not built soundly to begin with. It will remove illusions we may have and leave us with a strong foundation to rebuild our next chapter. I often use the example of how your companions deal with you when you are in crisis. There are those who become ghosts and those who make you tea and hold space for you. This is the energy of The Tower. Again, how you cope with change is the larger component to address, rather than the change itself.

 

The Devil:large

The Devil represents lower-vibrational behaviors and unhealthy attachments. Often this card calls us out on behaviors that we indulge in when our “cups are empty” or we have not been taking care of ourselves. It can indicate addiction, toxic relationships, gossip or any other behaviors that do not serve our higher good. We all fall into negative patterns, so having The Devil pop up to call us out on this is a good thing!

 

fanIf you are someone who enjoys visual cues that bring a narrative to life, tarot might be a wonderful tool for you to explore! It can be used for journaling and writing prompts, problem-solving, personal development, meditation practice, and so much more! If you are willing to approach this dynamic system with an open mind, you will likely fall in love as I did over 20 years ago. Then, the real problem comes in: how to limit spending on new decks!

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

Age, Race, and Gender in Tarot

These are my personal reflections on age, race, and gender in the tarot so please enjoy what resonates with you and feel free to disregard the rest. This is by no means a thorough examination of this subject, but I wanted to touch on it before the first court card description in my “78 Ways to Heal with Tarot” series. 

RiderCourt

As we have approached our first set of court cards in this tarot series, I wanted to briefly acknowledge the fact that most of the older, traditional tarot decks that we know and love have problematic elements in our modern society. To begin with, the majority of us have limited emotional connection to royalty, so for many readers and seekers, when the court cards show up in a reading there is potential for confusion or detachment from the reading.

The larger issue is that most of the characters we see in the decks are cisnormative, white, enable-bodied humans which hardly reflects the beautiful range of people we encounter in our daily lives. This is problematic throughout the deck but tends to stand out in the Court Cards.

When studying the tarot, many traditional resources will suggest using the court cards (generally labeled Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings) to represent the person seeking the reading and/or people in their lives. This often extends to a suggestion of the appearance and age of the person. As an example, it is common to see suggestions like this:

Pages = children under 14
Knights = teenagers, unmarried young adults
Kings & Queens = older (or wiser) people, married (or partnered)

The descriptions for each of the court cards are often quite detailed, such as: “The Queen of Pentacles has a dark complexion and her hair and eyes are often dark brown.”

While there may be a place for using the court cards this way, I find it too limiting and it supports assumptions that I am not comfortable with.

My personal approach to these cards is that the energies may be inherently masculine (active) or feminine (receptive) and that the ages suggested by the court cards reflect maturity and experience. This is a broad generalization but the idea is that for me these cards often embody certain qualities rather than physical appearances. While these cards may represent the querent or people in the querent’s lives, it can also be personality traits in the seeker that are being called in.

For example, I have met individuals in their early 20s who had wisdom far beyond their Court-cards-collageyears and could easily fit into the Queen/ King territory. Similarly, I have known adults in their late 70’s who seemed to have halted their expansion in the “Pages” timeline. By opening up the way we use the court cards, we allow possibilities to further tap into our intuition and best serve our clients. Within the court cards, as in all tarot cards, we can find rich symbolism and correspondences which can be a bit overwhelming at first.

The wonderful thing is that there is a huge shift in tarot card designs and approaches towards the issues mentioned here. There are some lovely decks featuring people of color, non-binary individuals, differently-abled people and all manners in-between.* Many modern readers wish to honour the diversity in their lives. While there is so much rich dialogue to be had around this topic, I will take my leave here for now.

*While it is important to support artists who are creating diverse decks, it is worth a bit of research to ensure that the artist profiting has not directly appropriated a culture that they do not belong to. This is tricky territory…or tarot-tory 😉

Until our paths cross again…

 

Ten of Wands

Ten of Wands

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

Finally, after all of the struggles and battles, it is time to look around at what you have created. YOU did this! This is not to say that success comes without a new share of responsibilities, but you have weathered the struggles and are now ready to delegate.

Often this card is associated with “burden.” It makes sense as we often see a figure either carrying or trying to lift ten wands on their back, sometimes uphill. However, the great cardslinger Tom Benjamin offered a positive, and potentially more helpful association with this card which was: “anything worth doing costs, is worth spending energy on.” When we think about passion projects that we have worked hard on, even the times when we are spread so thin we barely have time to eat, there is a sense of satisfaction there. While we are certainly feeling the weight of responsibility, this comes from creating something that really means something to us. It could be compared to someone who has started and grown a successful non-profit. This takes incredible dedication and stamina, yet you will be hard-pressed to find someone in this realm who doesn’t love the work they are doing.

What is important now is to ensure you aren’t taking on unnecessary burdens. If you have the opportunity to delegate the aspects of the project that do not excite you, do it. If someone asks for your help and you can’t extend yourself any further without experiencing burnout, learn kind ways to decline. Make sure that you are making the best use of your energetic resources in order to continue doing this great work.

Saying “no” is something that many of us struggle with, so with this card, I invite you to practice saying “no” in ways that feel comfortable to you. Remember that being a people-pleaser is a trauma response. By all means help when you can but when you are already feeling overextended, learn how to “give good no.”

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch

“When you start living the life of your dreams, there will always be obstacles, doubters, mistakes and setbacks along the way. But with hard work, perseverance and self-belief there is no limit to what you can achieve.”
― Roy T. Bennett

Until our paths cross again…

Nine of Wands

Nine of Wands

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Nine of Wands comes along just when you thought the coast was clear. In the Eight of Wands, you let your guard down for a moment to enjoy the ride and along comes the Nine to interrupt you. This card is here to test your courage and resilience and take a final swing at you. The card is often depicted as a battle-weary individual with an expression of doubt and resignation. In The Wild Unknown (pictured above) we see a staircase littered with wands reminding us how steep stairs can feel when you are exhausted. This is the final challenge before the culmination of your creative efforts and the passion you have invested in this area of your life.

This card asks you to dig deep and find that last reserve of energy and stamina in order to make it to the finish line. Tap into your primal side and let loose with one last battle cry! If you can find your way over this last seemingly staggering hurdle, your endurance and persistence will pay off. This is a great time to make your boundaries clear to those who test them.

What does the word “courage” represent to you? Do you recall a time when you were about to give up but were able to find hidden strength you didn’t know you had? I invite you to do a free-write  about how it felt to discover that you had more fight in you than you realized. Often this is where deep and lasting growth occurs.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
― Jane Austen

Until our paths cross again…

Tarot Guidance for the Full Moon in Taurus

The energy of the Six of Cups Reversed may find us feeling a bit nostalgic or looking at times in the past when we were truly happy and felt engaged with our family and/or community.

This full moon is a time of grounding and finding our stability. Often as we evolve and grow into the person we are meant to be, we lose relationships with people we care about. This is not always something to grieve, but a natural process. Think of all of us as trees–we may start out on the same trunk but as we grow and twist, our branches may diverge and that is okay! This lunar cycle brings us home to the things that help us to be aware of our foundations and what makes us truly happy.

This card often features happy children playing. As adults, we spend so much time making sure our needs (and often the needs of loved ones) are being met that we forget to tend to what makes us blissful!

🥰I invite you to take some time to engage in play. If you have children, they will likely be more than happy to join you, but if not, play on anyways. What did you love doing as a child? Could you try it again? Is there something you have always wanted to try but were afraid to? Think of the fearlessness of children! They are constantly trying new things. Return to joy!

If looking at the past is painful for you, it may be helpful to do a small ritual of letting go during this full moon (remembering that the energy of this full moon will be around for 3 days after tonight. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. It can be as simple as writing something that you wish to release and (safely) setting fire to it, or simply setting an intention to let go of that which is no longer serving you.

If you would like to have a personal reading with me, you may do so here.
And as always, if you have any questions or would like to know more about my reading style, please feel free to drop me a line.

Until our paths cross again…

Eight of Wands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Eight of Wands indicates a time of unexpected good news and swift movement towards resolution. Anything that has been lagging or lacking momentum will propel forward at a staggering rate. All of the trials we have seen in the wands so far will loosen up and your inner fire with be nourished with oxygen, allowing the full, creative force within you to become engulfed. There is so much exciting, raw energy in this card that it would be a shame to watch the flames die out slowly. This is a spark that needs to blaze, so let it!

With this card, you may be feeling a sudden wealth of creative energy but be aware that like all things, this is one position in a cycle and it won’t remain here indefinitely. Now is the time for action–the universe is asking for it and has already cleared the path for you. Eliminate distractions and maintain focus on your goals. 

This is also an opportunity to speak your truth; if something has been bubbling up in you for some time, waiting to erupt, this card invites you to release it. Be mindful not to burn any bridges, but trust the fire in your belly.

How do you feel when you are close to a roaring fire? Is it exciting for you, or does it make you anxious? What is your initial reaction to the quick momentum of a project you have started? Are you exhilarated by the progression or do you try to slam the brakes on? Take some time to examine the limiting beliefs you have about your potential-often they are the only thing holding you back.

“Sometimes the loss from taking a wrong action is less than the loss from taking no action.”
― Amit Kalantri

“Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see, one chants out between two worlds, fire walk with me!”
― David Lynch

Until our paths cross again…

Seven of Wands

7 of Wands

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

There are times for composure and there are times to engage. With the Seven of Wands, we are being called to be courageous. We have reached a position in our project where we may experience further conflict and are going to have to stand our ground. Because Wands are associated with the ego, our growing success may bring out shadowy aspects of those around us such as envy and resentment. They are aiming for the same goals we are, so be sure to stay a few steps ahead.

7wands

Rider-Waite Smith

Unfortunately, this opposition may come out of left field. This is well-represented in decks which illustrate an individual with mismatched shoes on, suggesting that this conflict came without warning (see image on left). Even the most articulate individuals may find themselves scrambling to defend their project. This may come at a time when you are on the cusp of giving up on this endeavor–don’t. If you can hang on and defend what you have worked so hard for, you are on the home stretch! Those of us who shine the brightest can be threatening to those who live in shadows.

How do you manage unforeseen challenges? Are you adaptable, or do you feel like you are trying to dance on ice? How can you develop your intuition in order to sense incoming turbulence? How can you prepare your footing in order to better support yourself when it hits?

“I think we each have a certain number of unnecessary apologies, which we willingly dish out before we realize it’s time to stand and fight. I may still have two or three left.”
― Joyce Rachelle

“We have to stand up for what we believe in, even when we might not be popular for it. Honesty starts with being ourselves, authentic and true to who we are and what we believe in, and that may not always be popular, but it will always let you follow your dreams and your heart.”

-Tabatha Coffey

Until our paths cross again…