Two of Cups

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.

Traditionally, this card is read as a coming together of two people in a new, loving relationship. This eliminates a large part of our wonderful population so let’s explore a slightly different angle. While this card can be about an equal, compatible partnership, it has more to do with the overall theme of “coming together.”

In tarot, twos often point to decisions and duality. Because we are in the realm of emotions with the Cups, this card often comes up when someone is having trouble holding space for two or more parts of themselves.

12644951_10153749695945935_4116842080432364353_nAs we go through life, we often branch off in many directions, sometimes nudging parts of ourselves away. This can be a positive thing, but it can also lead to a sense of instability. It brings me back to the idea of “This AND that are true.” Meaning, the more we open ourselves to loving all polarities that exist within us, the more balanced and self-loving we become. 

There is also a gentle vulnerability in the Two of Cups. An offering of the cup that holds all of your precious secrets, fears, shame, and hopes. With uncertain hands, we hold this out to someone. Such a beautiful gesture, and a courageous one.

For those who are seeking partnership, this can be a vital step in attracting someone that will provide a more supportive and rich relationship. It is almost as if we send out signals that we are unwilling to settle for anyone who won’t appreciate our unique gifts the way we do. 

For those not seeking a partnership, this could mean both a deepening of self-appreciation or potentially a new friendship, or experiencing a new level of closeness with an existing friend. That goes for individuals currently in a partnership as well. 

I invite you to spend some time looking at all of the “hats” you wear in life. Using myself as an example, I am a homeschool mom so that is my “teaching” hat, I’m also a mother, a partner, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a tarot instructor. There are times where being a homeschool mom does not play well with being a mother so it can be difficult to appreciate both of those things at the same time. Out of these “hats” the most challenging one would be associated with my family of origin. This is something I am continually working on due to a necessary separation from them. 

What are the “hats” you wear? How about masks? Many of us have masks that we must wear to fit in under certain circumstances. Some of those are necessary, but are there any masks that might be shed? In order to love all parts of ourselves, including parts that we hide away, we must be willing to look inward with curiosity and love, and without judgement.

We think the fire eats the wood. We are wrong. The wood reaches out to the flame. The fire licks at what the wood harbors, and the wood gives itself away to that intimacy, the manner in which we and the world meet each new day.”
― Jack Gilbert

“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.”
― Ayn Rand

Until our paths cross again…

Tarot Myth-Busting #2

Myth: Tarot is Evil/ Satanic/ Black Magic.

Truth: Tarot is simply a deck of cards.

With respect to the rich spectrum of belief systems, there is nothing evil about using tarot. It is simply a deck of 78 cards, each with a place in a timeline of the human experience.

The readers I choose to align my work with use tarot from a place of support and encouragement. We use it to provide clarity to folx who are struggling to find their way forward. We use it to gently guide people towards a place of healing. We illuminate blind spots in ourselves and others so that we may move forward in a strong, compassionate way.

Of course, anyone can use the tarot and while I have not heard of anyone using it to ring up demons for their party, I can say that I have heard of tarot being used in ways that are incredibly insensitive. I have heard several accounts of people going to a tarot reader and having left with dread and fear. It is not unheard of for a reader to turn the cards over, gasp and claim that they can’t finish the reading, leaving the person who sought their guidance sick with fear about what was coming. If there is potential “evil” that can be associated with tarot, it lies with the reader.

Most of the above accounts were before the age of the internet so now we can learn more about a reader before seeking their services. While I don’t know if those examples could be classified as “evil,” I will assert that it is definitely “irresponsible.” Most tarot readers have descriptions on their approach as well as videos and/or writing that you can look at to see if they feel like a good fit for you. If you aren’t sure, ask them! If you are looking for a particular kind of reading, the good news is there are as many tarot readers available as there are decks. With online interactions becoming the new normal, you are not limited to a reader in your area, so poke around.

Summary: The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards illustrating, or suggesting various aspects of the human experience. Because anyone can use the tarot, I suspect you can find people who are using it for darker purposes, but it is simply a tool that can be used for so much good. Try not to let fear turn you away from a tool that has quite literally saved my life.

Until our paths cross again…

Embracing the Shadows: New Course Offering!

Whether you are new to tarot or a seasoned reader, chances are you have found yourself thrown off by some of the more dramatic cards in the deck. Perhaps the person you were reading for had a strong response to the images on one or more of these cards. The truth is, these dark or traditionally “scary” cards are some of our strongest allies!

I have spent years with these cards and have found ways to bring the light to them in your readings for yourself and others. This course was put together with my profound love for the special gifts within these challenging cards.

What is Embracing the Shadows?

Embracing the Shadows is a self-guided journey through ten of the most misunderstood cards of the tarot. Once you register, you have lifetime access to this course material including updates and improvements. Whether you are new to tarot or a seasoned reader, there will be something in this course for you. I have included a brief introduction to tarot to ensure accessibility for new tarot students.

This course will take you from cringing at the sight of these cards in a reading to celebrating the healing gifts that they bring to you and your clients. We will be looking at the Five of Cups, Three of Swords, Eight of Swords, Nine of Swords, Ten of Swords, Five of Pentacles, The Hanged Man, Death, The Devil, and The Tower. 

This offering is highly personal and I am so grateful to be able to share it with you. 

As someone healing from C-PTSD from severe childhood abuse, 8 years into recovery from addiction, and living with a host of brain chemistry issues, I continue to walk this healing road with you. I am passionate about sharing my favourite tool for this journey: the tarot. 

Tarot has the potential to bring us home to our inner knowing. Facing these ten cards from  this perspective helps to remove fear from the equation whether you are reading for yourself or for others. If you approach these ten cards with an open heart and mind, they have the most transformative potential to offer. They will help you learn to move through triggers and challenges with fluidity while still living your truth. 

This course includes:

  • Over 2 hours of recorded video with slides.
  • 4 Lessons covering why these ten cards are traditionally challenging and new ways to work with them.
  • A 12 page workbook full of information, definitions, journal prompts and tarot spreads.
  • Insight from an instructor with over 20 years experience. 

If you would like to gift this course to someone, please contact me after purchasing.

Ace of Cups

TarotCups1

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.

Here, we enter the realm of the Cups which represent our emotions, intuition, and relationships.

Screenshot 2021-01-15 132526With the Ace of Cups, we are being offered a new beginning in the form of a rush of feelings, excitement, and/or intuition. While traditionally this card is associated with new relationships, considering many folks are not looking, it is helpful to widen our approach to this card. In this way, the idea of a rush of new feelings can be applied to friendships, events, and realizations. This energy may come through as the experience of something the seeker has not felt before. 

This Ace is an awakening of sorts. Sometimes it manifests as a deepening of feelings for a certain person or a rich deepening of your intuition.  

How would you describe the feeling of the Ace of Cups? Where does it manifest in your physical body? This might be a fun intuitive painting, sketch, or free-write. Can you recall a time when something inside of you awakened? Do you think there might be ways to invite Ace of Cups energy in when things are stagnant? Perhaps you could journal about these thoughts and the idea that we can, at any time, summon the energy of a tarot card as a guide and an ally.

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”
Ramana Maharshi

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”
― Helen Keller

Until our paths cross again…

Notes on Shadow Work

What is Shadow Work?

The term “Shadow Work” gets thrown around a lot these days but often without an explanation. Perhaps it is because the process itself can look vastly different from one person to the next. The intent behind shadow work (sometimes referred to as underworld descent) is to uncover internal parts of ourselves that have been consciously or unconsciously repressed for any number of reasons. Essentially, our shadow is comprised of our blind spots: things we can’t see about ourselves. These often pop up in the form of triggers and/or very strong reactions to other people or situations.

Throughout our lives, we learn to repress parts of ourselves that society may deem inappropriate. Often, we do this to better fit in with family and our peers. This is important as our survival has historically relied upon our integration with our community. However, this stifling of our expression can lead to unwanted thoughts and behaviors, and over time can become quite destructive. It is in recognizing how these shadows affect our interactions and narratives that we begin to lessen our burden and gain emotional maturity.

Shadow work stems from the teachings of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung. This work seeks to address the “negative” or “unflattering” impulses and aspects of our personality and learn how they came about. Often this can include jealousy, greed, rage, and sometimes unwelcome or troublesome desires. One of the more benign examples is if we were told as a child to be “seen and not heard,” the idea of public speaking as an adult can be paralyzing. Most of our shadows are born in childhood. As children, our capacity for joy, creativity, and curiosity are celebrated yet this is only part of our experiences in youth. We also experience anger, envy, and greed. Even expressing ourselves as silly or vocal in school was often met with negativity. These traits are experienced throughout our lifetimes, but it is in suppressing them as a child that they begin to take on a new shape. This reinforcement of reward for “good” behaviours and punishment for “bad” behaviours in childhood begins to take on the news shape: our shadow selves. 

As we work to accept and love all parts of ourselves, including those aspects that are contrary, we become further integrated human beings. Over time, we find that we are less sensitive to the behavior and comments of other people. This work is vital and a life-long journey. 

If you would like a wonderful resource for deep self-acceptance, I highly recommend the book “Existential Kink” by Carolyn Elliot, Ph.D. While not for the pearl-clutching lot, it is an intelligent but accessible and refreshing approach. 

Until our paths cross again…

Full Moon Reading–July 4th 2020

The Ostara Tarot
The Ostara Tarot by Applejohn, Cooke, Gibbard, and Iredale

This month, our full moon is in Capricorn and we will experience the final lunar eclipse of Summer. This is a Buck Moon which refers to when male deer grow their antlers. In tarot symbolism, antlers and horns remind us of our connection to the divine, to higher consciousness. This full moon will be amplified by the eclipse, so the energy at this time will focus on our truth and the relationships and situations that no longer serve us.

I drew each of these cards to represent the energy around specific weeks of this moon cycle, but it quickly became clear that the cards were tying together a beautiful narrative. It goes something like this:

This is a month to dive deep, I mean really deep, into self-love and unflinching, radical self-acceptance. We may begin the moon cycle by investigating some self-limiting beliefs as represented in the 8 of Swords. This is where we kick Imposter Syndrome to the curb and realize that we have unique gifts that other people need. Step out of the cycle of self-doubt before the last chapter of the Swords suit plays out: insomnia, anxiety, etc. Know that you may be blind to the way out of this thought pattern so it will take some courage to move away from it.

While many of the cards in this spread traditionally point to a new, satisfying relationship, I tend to approach the cards with the philosophy of the wonderful Lindsay Mack who asserts that each of the cards in the tarot HAS to apply to EVERYBODY or it doesn’t apply to anybody. What this means is that if we look at the Two of Cups and The Lovers as cards suggesting a new relationship, how does that work for people in a committed, monogamous relationship? How does it apply to someone who is single with no desire to partner up? There are so many variations of these examples that I find it much more helpful to explore ways that we can love and unite parts of ourselves in order to be of service to our loved ones and our communities. When we learn to accept and celebrate what we previously deemed undesirable we become a more integrated person and for those looking for a partner, you will naturally attract healthier matches.

Some refer to this as raising your vibration, the law of attraction and many other new-age terms, but I think of it as fine-tuning your bullshit filter. When you hold yourself up and unlearn all of the critical narratives that have been forced on you, anyone who comes into your life with unhealthy intentions is likely to be scared off. As we see in the Ten of Cups, which came up as our meditation card for the month, it is our birthright to feel whole and celebrated. For you, if this is finding a life-long companion, great! If you are already in a committed relationship, this could mean getting to know each other in new and fulfilling ways. If you prefer to be on your own, this is a time to fully envelope yourself in rich, loving kindness and rejoice in the freedom that comes from not answering to anyone.

I truly hope this was helpful and I look forward to connecting with you during the next full moon. As always, feel free to contact me with thoughts and questions.

Until our paths cross again…

King of Wands

page-of-wands-3

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.

The King of Wands is a powerful combination of fire (Kings) and fire (Wands). This King is passionate, creative, confident, and highly driven. When this card comes up in a reading, it can suggest that the seeker is being invited to trust in their abilities and mastery in their area of interest. This is not the time for self-doubt.

LightSeers-14-King-of-Wands-Tarot-Meaning

The Light Seer’s Tarot did a beautiful job of illustrating a more youthful King of Wands.

The King of Wands is someone who is incredibly passionate, ethical, and capable of igniting fires of inspiration wherever they go. Despite their inherent power, there is a restlessness about this energy and there can be a tendency to want to move on as soon as things become tedious or repetitive. This King has a nearly limitless supply of energy but this can cause them to ignore the physical constraints of their body which can lead to burnout if they are not careful.

Freedom is deeply important to this King and without it, they can become hot-tempered and experience control issues. However, if given the room to fully express their abundant nature and passions, this frank and friendly King will be the warmest, most magnetic person whose spark is a pleasure to be around.

I invite you to consider what lights this fire inside of you? Perhaps you could make a list of the causes that are closest to your heart. Social activism is a wonderful way to experience King of Wands energy. Is there a way you can become involved? It may also be helpful to think about figures who exude this kind of energy. Who in life has inspired you to become part of necessary change? How can you embody this courage and inspire others?

“Mother Dear, one day I’m going to turn this world upside down.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

“Love is an expression of power. We can use it to transform our world.”

― Ericka Huggins

Until our paths cross again…

Queen of Wands

Page of Wands (2)

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.

With the Queen of Wands we get the intriguing blend of fire (Wands), and water (Queens). The energy in this card burns hot but flows like cool water. This Queen is not likely to go unnoticed. She holds the key to bringing polar opposites together magically and exudes this effortlessly. This may remind you of people you have met who just radiate sexuality and seem to be a magnet while their external features are not those traditionally admired. There is just something so special about them. This reminds us that we all have the birthright to feel sexy, powerful, and radiant regardless of our physical appearance (which is ever-changing). This Queen embodies creative and productive energy.

220px-Wands13

It is worth noting a few things in the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith card (left). First, this is the only Queen who sits in a wide-legged position, suggesting assertiveness and strong sexuality. Second, this card is often referred to as the “Witch of the Queens” in tarot which suggests that the black cat may be her familiar. There is such a magical quality to this energy. Perhaps this is due to the alchemy required to bring fire and water together in such a harmonious way. It is as though this person can silently insist that the two elemets play nice.

It is interesting to consider that apparently Pamela Colman Smith, who illustrated this deck, was instructed to draw a different animal for this card but chose a black cat instead. This black cat has become an iconic topic of discussion in tarot communities. What does it bring to mind for you?

With all of this in mind, I invite you to explore when and where you feel empowered and sensual. I ask that you do your best to shelf shame and guilt while you ease into this. How do you experience your inner magic? How can you tap into your personal power? Is there a way to spend more time exploring this space?

This can also be a great time to look at where you are allowing your boundaries to be taken for granted or disrespected. Everyone has a right to their own boundaries. If you find that you are constantly defending them to someone, it may be time to take a break from that relationship until they can honour what you have established for your own safety. You do not have to answer to or apologize for your personal sense of power (assuming no harm is being done). You will find that as you strengthen your boundaries, your relationships will become more mutually fulfilling.

“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.”

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue—my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.”
—Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Until our paths cross again…

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…