A Special Guest Reading

Every tarot practitioner experiences fallow periods, when few people are interested in having their cards read. This is okay – it allows one to regroup and enter a period of study. Whether these periods occur because would-be querents are far too busy going full speed ahead after a burst of New Year’s enthusiasm, or are far too broke following the festive period, I am unsure. However, reading for others is a skill that must be exercised. Therefore, I turned to those closest to me to request that practice on them.

So, today we have a special guest here to have her cards read. She has recently gone through a transatlantic relocation and is finding her feet whilst raising her joey. Our guest today is my childhood friend, Redface the kangaroo. For her, we are doing a four-card obstacle spread to pinpoint what is holding her back at the moment.

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Now, Redface. The first card, representing the situation at hand, is The Devil. From this, I can see that you are in a situation that feels controlling, as if you cannot get away from it. It also shows temptation, overindulgence and a materialistic lifestyle. Often when this card comes up, it means that we are living in a cycle of obsession and guilt. However, the object of our obsession is often a scapegoat – we blame our bad behaviour on it, rather than taking responsibility for our actions. This is not something to be upset about, my love. We all fall into these slumps, and just by coming here to ask for a reading you are announcing that you are ready for a change. Awareness of the problem is the first step in changing it.

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The second card, the obstacle, is the Page of Pentacles. He signifies a new financial opportunity and the initial impetus to get started on this project. However, his energy is flighty. Because he is youthful and easily distracted, this ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ motivation is often not enough to see the task at hand to a successful conclusion. Obviously, this type of energy is unsurprising with such a young joey to watch out for. It’s a busy time for you, I know, but the ground is ripe for growing your dreams right now.

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The third card represents the suggested course of action, and we have drawn The Hierophant. He represents the formal, traditional path for solving your quandary. The Hierophant welcomes newcomers to his path, and acts as an experienced guide in leading them on their way. While he is there to lead, it is down a well-trodden path. Though this may not seem flashy or entrepreneurial, it will help you through your obstacle and also add a sense of solid community to your life. If you decide to take on a more trailblazing path later, your foundations in this traditional setting will serve you well. However, this is not the time to make that particular leap.

The final card shows the expected outcome of heeding the above advice, and the result is one of the most positive cards in the deck: the Ten of Cups. This card represents the culmination of a life well-lived: security and love. A rainbow arches across the sky, and the storm has passed. Relaxation and happy times are ahead. It also indicates that a strong romantic love will provide a foundation for this happy life, and shows that your journey will render your life unrecognisable from its current state.

I know things feel challenging now, but please trust that the tried-and-true path on which you are about to embark will lead you to the ultimate satisfaction in life. With this in mind, I hope you have a bit more confidence to take that leap of faith. Sometimes, our cycles of obsession feel impossible to leave, but we’re only ever there because we haven’t lifted the chains away.

An Election Night Tarot Reading

As I sit here late in the evening, obsessing over an election that I cannot control, I am trying desperately to not get melodramatic. However, I have decided to do a tarot reading for our two candidates to see if I can glean any insight into what is about to happen. At this point, the first polling stations close in seventeen minutes. Though I cast my absentee ballot a little while ago, the results are unknown to me.

Thus, I have done a three-card spread for each candidate to hopefully gain some insight into what we can expect.

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Clinton: Queen of Wands, Ten of Swords, Knight of Cups. Deck used: Kat Black’s Golden TarotGolden Tarot
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Trump: Wheel of Fortune, The Devil, The Hermit.

The major difference between the two is the fact that Clinton’s cards are all of the minor arcana, whilst Trump’s are all majors. Immediately, this says that her actions are all those of an individual, whilst the other is on a ride of events controlled from outside himself.

In the first reading, the Queen of Wands displays a strong, independent woman unafraid to lead. She is nurturing and capable of bringing forth life. The Ten of Swords, however, displays a betrayal. This indicates a loss or disaster which may signify the end of a road – however, all is not lost. It can also signify new beginnings, though on a different path. Lastly, the Knight of Cups acts as a messenger of love, marching calmly on in its name.

In the second reading, the Wheel of Fortune reminds us that certain movements of fate can throw us high or trample us. However, it is usually seen as a positive card. The Devil represents the temptation and fear in our lives that causes us to do things even when we know there is a better way. Additionally, it can also represent a scapegoat – a reason for doing things in one way when our higher selves know the way to be destructive. Lastly, The Hermit is a paragon of introspection and self-knowledge, retreating inward to learn more. The Hermit has authority in some realms, and has dedicated his life to the knowledge of life.

From this reading alone, I would expect that we are looking at a Trump presidency, but perhaps I will be proven incorrect in the morning.

A Tarot Reading for the Ancestors

Last night, as I was knitting and the Laird Hamilton was being equally glamorous and ironing his shirts, we spoke about the cloudiness of our ancestry. This topic had come up earlier in the week during a barbecue we hosted, and I was keen to know his thoughts on the matter.

I have always been rather desperate to know the specifics of my family’s past – their home, their religion, their dress sense outside of the string of pearls that I inherited. I ache for the sense of belonging to a chain that stretches back in time.

He, on the other hand, didn’t seem troubled by it. He said that it didn’t matter to him if he was a Stuart or a Foster or a Hamilton – he was still my husband, still our cat’s daddy, still the owner of our lovely house. Why would it matter?

I couldn’t help but laugh at his suggestions. Perhaps his surname would be different if his full ancestry was known, but there was no way he was questioning if he was Scots. Of course his heritage is Scottish – one only needs to look at his beard for confirmation of that. We could have a different name, but to be without a tartan would be unthinkable.

On the other hand, I have learned slightly more of my ancestry. I know that my great-granddad was in the Russian army before he and his family immigrated to America with the assistance of the White Star Line. My great-grandma had said that their third class stateroom was built for a queen; her phrase has a ring of Lenin’s ‘Taj Mahal’ assessment when he saw an example of an American kitchen. Perhaps Russians are just prone to hyperbole.

In light of this, I have done a Tarot reading today for my ancestors. Obviously, there is no way of gaining confirmation of my findings now, but the results feel right to me. Ultimately, that is the point of a Tarot reading, I feel.

Thus, without further ado: Tarot, please will you tell me what I need to know about my ancestors?

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A spread using Kat Black’s Golden Tarot; journal found here.

For this reading I have done a five-card spread and read it like a journey. None of the usual past/present/future spreads or even the classic Celtic Cross felt suitable for a purely past-orientated reading. So, first of all, we have the Wheel of Fortune, which sets the scene for their journey. Generally considered positive, it reminds us that we can have our fortunes changed – the Universe has a hand in our progress and downfall.

Next, we have the Nine of Coins. This is one of the most positive cards in the deck. It shows harmony and material satisfaction. The harvest has been fruitful and leisure pursuits (such as falconry, which we see here) can be taken on. There is also a fluffy lamb at the back, perhaps displaying innocence or livestock with a renewable resource in their wool.

Following on, we have the Knight of Wands – a knight of passion, fire and growth. Even the grass seems to be made of fire in this card, and the knight’s livery is covered in vines as he charges ahead. This card indicates impulsiveness and courage, charging ahead regardless of risks.

Then we see The Tower, one of the most tragic cards in the deck. It depicts helplessness and fear, dealing with dramatic change beyond control. As it often speaks of disaster and upheaval, I was not shocked to see this card; immigration is a very stressful thing. Circumstances often forced people to immigrate, and happy occasions (such as marriage, which led to my own transatlantic resettlement) would have been unlikely. So, in this card, we see a tower in (red) flames and someone leaping out of it in desperation. If I were feeling heavy-handed, I would point to the October Revolution. At any rate, the old structures were no longer working, and so it was time to abandon them.

Initially, The Tower was my final card and I felt a little dismayed. After all it’s the worst card in the deck! But I asked for a card representative of the aftermath, and drew the Two of Cups. This one slightly resembles the Nine of Coins – both feminine in nature, accompanied by sheep and an exotic bird. The robes are still rich and the woman appears pregnant, which I heard my great-grandmother was when she went through customs. This card is one of partnership, of love and, indeed, happy beginnings.

I wonder if my ancestors look on my ‘return’ to Russia a few years ago as a betrayal of their escape. I like to think that they would see it as a short stint in the Motherland, and a relearning of the culture that they left behind.