Tag Archives: tarot

Random

Today I got frustrated and angry because someone bought my ebook and then returned it. Look, I understand that if you click “buy” on accident, or if you get a few pages in and decide it’s not for you (read the sample first!), but this person had the book for at least a week because s/he bought it at full price, and it’s now on sale. That means they could very likely have bought it, read it, and returned it. Which is a crap thing to do to an author. Especially an indie author. Publishing houses have lots of money to back them; a return or two won’t hurt. But us little guys (and gals)… Someone told me they thought Amazon had a policy that didn’t allow returns on ebooks if the reader goes past a certain percentage? Is that true? Last time I looked (and it’s been a while), it wasn’t, but maybe Amazon got smart? Then again, Amazon seems never to have been on the side of the authors.

Anyway, to distance myself from my woes and irritation, I decided to distract myself by cataloguing my various tarot and oracle decks. Final tallies:

  • 39 tarot decks
  • 7 Lenormand decks
  • 15 oracle decks
  • 9 “other”

I posted a new tarot video to YouTube, too, so please go take a look, Like, and Subscribe! Maybe I’ll do this instead of writing. (I do private readings for those who are interested. You can’t return them for a refund, though!)

Tarot: The Weaver Tarot (Journeyer Edition)

I saw this deck being used by an online tarot reader and I simply had to have it. I just felt so drawn to it. It is not an inexpensive deck, and I seldom treat myself to ones this costly, but every now and then I feel it’s worth the splurge.

The cards in this deck use holographic ink for the backgrounds and gold foil stamping for the images. That means, depending on the light, they’re not always easy to read. Still, I find them very worthwhile to own. They are of high quality card stock, with glittery gold edges. They are a somewhat large size, but I can shuffle them without problem.

This tarot has a direct, no-nonsense feel in responding to questions. In fact, when I did the deck interview, it told me that it would remain detached and give me a higher perspective on things. It’s not a touchy feely deck, despite its beauty. But sometimes that’s what you need: clear, impersonal answers.

The Weaver Tarot

For those who rely on imagery when reading cards, the symbols used here are a bit different and may take time to learn. There are seeds, roots, bones, teeth, among others. What’s particularly lovely is that the deck comes with a card that gives you keywords and shorthand for reading those symbols. And the booklet is also nicely done.

Also, the creators have worked to remove gendered language from these cards. Instead of the Empress and Emperor, we have the Pillar and Anchor. Instead of Queens and Kings, we have Sovereigns and Rulers.

This deck is from Threads of Fate, which also has some lovely oracle cards and other items. I promise they haven’t sponsored this in any way; I’m just always glad to find interesting new outlets.

Tarot: Spiritsong Tarot

Last night was the first night of Hanukkah, and my gift was this tarot deck I’ve been wanting for a while. And it’s just as lovely as I’d hoped!

Spiritsong Tarot is a gentle deck of intricate, pastel images by Paulina Cassidy. Each card features an animal and a couple of keywords for the card, which makes for easy readings. The focus of these cards is on the positive, which means even traditionally “scary” cards are made kind in this deck. It’s a wonderful deck for someone who is, say, uncomfortable with a reading or having a reading done for a possibly difficult or traumatizing subject. It directs the reader and querent to look at things in a positive light.

Spiritsong Tarot

In the image above, you can see the Three of Feathers, which corresponds to the Three of Swords in a more traditional deck. But while the image for the Three of Swords is often along the lines of three swords piercing a heart, here we have a moth in sunshine, the three feathers below. The keywords are “Release” and “Recovery.” The feathers have been shed.

Likewise, the Death card becomes Transformation in this deck, and The Devil is The Shadow.

Instead of the typical suits, the Spiritsong Tarot uses Acorns (Wands), Crystals (Pentacles), Feathers (Swords), and Shells (Cups). I worried that it would take me too long to understand readings with these changes, but they feel natural and clear as I use the cards, perhaps because of the keywords. In any case, this has become one of my favorite decks already. Its kindness is reassuring, and readings with it feel less like being told what to do and more like being gently nudged in the right direction.

Rules Need Not Apply

I have a Master’s degree in Writing, Literature and Publishing. I worked in publishing for ten years and have been writing and publishing my own work for almost as long. But today, when I posted a question about which of two names I should possibly use for a new project, a old, white man responded with: “My writing books say…”

Patronizing? Absolutely. Mansplaining? Yup. And completely useless. Because how-to writing books are for losers.

Yeah, I said it.

Let me tell you a story about when I was learning to read tarot. I bought every book about tarot that I could find, and every time I read a spread, I’d check the books to see what each card meant, trying to suss meaning from what was in front of me. I was trying to follow “rules” but it wasn’t working. Then one day I just read a spread on my own. It was intuitive. It came easily. The cards made sense. The how-to books had been a buffer between me and the natural flow. They’d been a crutch to me because I’d been too afraid to try on my own.

Grammar has rules, ones you should stick to… mostly. Writing has rules, too, but they’re better learned from actually reading than from a stack of manuals. Why? Because I’ve found that people who write based on how-to advice produce stilted, dry prose and often terrible dialogue. Writing isn’t math, despite the use of the word “formula” being tossed around now and then. You don’t learn the rules and then apply them universally, not if you want to write anything with actual heart and emotion—basically anything compelling and, well, good.

I’ve also discovered that writers who’ve armed themselves with “rules” often never get far in their projects, largely because they worry so much about whether they’re doing it “right.” That’s the problem with these books and this idea that there is a wrong and right way to put words to paper. I’d say some things work better than others, but even then that doesn’t mean if you do it differently it’s somehow incorrect. In any case, I always tell people to write first. Only after it’s written should you worry about fixing anything that isn’t working. If you worry about it being correct the first time, you’ll paralyze yourself. First drafts are meant to be edited. So are second, third, and fourth drafts. Writing isn’t about getting it right the first time. There is no correct answer to your story. YOU get to decide what’s right for it, for your characters, etc. That power can be scary, but once you learn to wield it wisely, it’s also very liberating.

Writing rules don’t account for personal writing style. And many writing books are old and don’t apply to newer, more modern methods of writing. Some things about the craft are eternal, but much of the business is fluid and ever changing. That’s why books written in the 80s sound so different from books published in the last couple years.

Going back to my tarot example, there are hundreds of various decks one can use. Mostly, they all have the same cards (there are, of course, exceptions). But a Queen of Cups in one deck might look and feel very different from the Queen of Cups in another. While some of the core meanings of the card are the same, depending on the deck (and the reader), you might intuit very diverse meanings. That is to say, not all possible meanings apply all the time. Nor do all writing rules apply universally or with equal weight to every story.

Find your voice. Find your style. Write. And only after having written, go back and figure out what does and doesn’t work and which rules to apply.

Intro to Tarot: Major Arcana

I mentioned a while back that a friend of mine had asked me to write a sort of tarot manual for her. Basically, I’ve bought her a tarot deck and have been mailing her cards, a few at a time, with information about them and how to read them. I thought that since my most popular posts on this site are my astrology and tarot posts, I might start posting excerpts from this manual here.

The manual begins with an overview of the Major Arcana, which is what I’m going to share with you now.


The Major Arcana
 
The tarot is divided into two main sets of cards: Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards and explores the journey of the first card in that set, which is Card 0: The Fool. In this text we’ll travel with the Fool through the Major Arcana, but here I just want to say a few things about what it means to have Major Arcana appear in a tarot reading.
 
The easiest way to look at it is to say that the Major Arcana are Big Things in life and the Minor Arcana are little things. Some read the Majors as signs of destiny, fate, or karma. Some read them as things that cannot be changed versus things that can (meaning the Minor Arcana). I hesitate to ever say that anything is set in stone and cannot be changed. I simply don’t believe that to be true. But I think, when you see a lot of Major Arcana in a spread, some big life lessons are—if you’ll forgive me—in the cards.
 
A surfeit of Major Arcana cards turning up means one of two things. (1) This is important so pay attention to what we [the cards] are telling you. (2) You didn’t shuffle very well.
 
Eventually, as you learn the cards and become confident in reading them, you’ll intuit what it means to have many Majors in a spread. What I don’t recommend is reshuffling and asking again. Asking the same question, even rephrased, over and over is a surefire way to irritate the cards and only confuse the issue further. If you feel like you’re not getting the message, set the cards aside. Or if it has been a while since you cleansed and recharged them (more on that later), do that. Then still set them aside for a few hours. The cards, like people, need breaks, and jumping from question to question wears them out.

From Introduction to Tarot: Card by Card by M Pepper Langlinais

If people get interested, I’ll start posting about each card.