When Did I Stop Looking at the Symbols in the Cards?

I decided to do a Celtic Cross spread for my work situation with my newly trimmed Tarot of the Magical Forest, by Leo Tang, asking HOW am I ever going to get caught up??

Since this deck is based on the RWS images and doesn’t vary much (relatively speaking), I didn’t even think about the fact that there aren’t borders.  As I was laying out the cards, my first thought as each card went down was, “Geez, what’s with all the courts?”  (Courts have never been my friends…)  Then, the closer I looked, the more I realized that I had to actually look at the cards to figure out which ones I had drawn.

When did this happen?  It occurred to me that when I draw cards I read the title and make assumptions.  When did I stop looking at the actual images??  (At least with RWS-based decks.)

I admit that when I use a deck that is not based on the RWS (my learning deck), I read the title and then look at the image.  And I’ll usually let the images speak to me, trying to see if they fit into my understanding of the basic card meanings I’ve learned.  (Sometimes they do and sometimes it’s a stretch.)  But to look at the RWS-based image without titles and question the image I was looking at was surprisingly unsettling.  And eye-opening!

Celtic Cross for July 3, 2013 - How will I ever get caught up at work?

Celtic Cross for July 3, 2013 – How will I ever get caught up at work?

For instance, I could look at the little characters on the backs of bigger animals and know those are Knights.  I can see the stance of the kitten below the crossed cards in the middle and know it’s a Page.  But when I saw the little froggie on a throne, my first thought was King because it’s looking straight at me.  But what’s that beside the throne?  A black cat, which means this is the Queen of Wands, which changed my take on the card in this position completely.

Then the card above the Queen of Wands looked at first like the Queen of Swords (though she’s facing the wrong direction), until I saw the balanced scales in her hand.  Huh.  So, others see me as Justice, which does make sense as I always make an effort to be fair to all, separating myself from any emotions I might feel in a heated situation.  Plus, if I had to match up a court with the Queen of Swords (my significator and the card I thought it was), it would be Justice (which, by the way, is my Birth card in Mary K. Greer’s system).

It was an interesting exercise, and one I think I’ll try to keep going with.  On Fortuna’s Oracle, I’m using the Inner Realms Tarot, by Saleire, published by Schiffer, but I think I’ll continue to do my personal dailies with this trimmed deck.  Maybe I’ll even trim one of my International Icon Tarots….  or would that be sacrilegious?  😉

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Readers Studio 2014, Here I Come!

At the end of April, my husband took the boys to C2E2 in Chicago (some comic book entertainment conference) and I saw my chance…  For years I always felt guilty about wanting to go to the Readers Studio because of the expense of what my family sees as a solitary vacation just for me.  But since they got to take their vacation, that means that I get my own next year!  🙂  (<– big smile!)

So this month I signed up to attend Readers Studio 2014 and I couldn’t be more excited!  I decided that I want to drive because I have more freedom with how many decks I can bring.  I’ll even have room to bring the plethora of decks that need new homes.  Shoot, if I can’t find trades, I’ll just give them away, since most of them were Robyn’s decks, and she always gifted her decks to others.

I used my iPod’s Tarot of Prague folder (using the shuffle-slideshow feature) and “drew” cards, asking for a message from Robyn/starladyxvii:

2013-6-22 RS14 starladyxvii

I drew The Fool from another deck just a few days ago, and I saw it as something new starting up very soon.  And here he is again.  It’s time to put on a fresh tarot face for myself; after years of disconnection and distraction, it’s time to start anew.

Five of Cups – I can’t think about the fact that I’ll be there without Robyn by my side as we had planned the year before she died.  Appreciate the joy of being there in the energy that we used to enjoy together.

The Sun – and a fun time will be had by all!

Ten of Cups – the sense of family and grand tradition that’s felt by all who attend.

And the card that was on the bottom of the deck was none other than the Queen of Wands, Robyn’s significator!

Dreaming Way Tarot

I received this deck, Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi (art by Kwon Shina), back in September or October 2012, compliments of US Games Systems, as a review deck.  This is a deck I would probably not have purchased myself at first glance, so I am soooo glad it found its way to me!  Thank you, Lynn Araujo! 🙂

However, the time in my life being what it was (work, work, work, sleep, work, work, work, etc.) it got put in a drawer until it started calling to me.  And I gotta say, when a deck starts a callin’, I have a very hard time ignoring it!

I pulled three cards (and always the bottom card as well, which I position to the left as the underlying energies of the situation) asking “What do the cards want to tell me?”

2013-4-17 Dreaming Way Interview

I don’t usually do open spreads, but since I didn’t have a specific question at the time the deck was calling, I just let the cards talk to me.  And wow….  they spoke loud and clear.  First of all, Temperance is a special card for me, for better or worse.  From the time I started using the tarot, Temperance has consistently popped out of almost every deck I’ve used, as if to say, “You’re not hearing what I’m trying to tell you!”  In this spread, I say to her, “I hear you!!  But making a change in life is not always easy, you know?”

Temperance faces me straight on, feeling very “in my face” so to speak.  And her wings could be reminding me to lean more on my Higher Power for help.  She’s sandwiched between two tens, as if to say that it’s time to end this cycle I’m on.  Too much on my plate is making my family suffer.  The people/family in Ten of Pentacles is looking toward me, seeing me trying to pick up all of those wands in the Ten of Wands, wondering when they’re ever going to get my attention.  And of course, my back is to them, too busy to see that they are desperate for my attention.  (As if I didn’t feel badly enough…)

The Knight of Pentacles was on the bottom of the deck, ye ol’ stick-in-the-mud, looking on at the sad scene.  Or is that pentacle, representing his desire for a stable life, blocking his view?

These cards are sending me a clear message that my work has completely taken over my life.  It has gone from Three of Pentacles, to Eight of Pentacles, to a Ten of Wands, no more just about work and doing a good job, but it’s become all I can see anymore.  Thus an appearance from Temperance, my trusty personal alarm, telling me (AGAIN) that I’m out of balance.

By the way, yes, it is the end of June and I’m back posting, but I had so much fun with this deck I wanted to share.  I don’t always post on my blog, website, or message groups I’m on, but I always keep my handwritten tarot journal.  🙂

Separation Can Be Good for the Soul

Hi all!  I’m finally on my way back to the land of the living (and my kids are thrilled).  As I mentioned in my last post, work has just been crazy, and even though I was “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel” back in February, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I just NEED my life back.  I’m still behind, but after what happened with my boss, screw it.  They’ll just have to take what they get.

So here’s what happened.  I had only been back from vacation for 2 days (I took a week off and took the kids to North Carolina to see my mom) when I got an email from my boss asking me if it was true that I had only entered in one year of history from the old accounting system.  (The Powers-That-Be want me to enter in 10 years of history though I’ve been discouraged to do so by every single person on the implementation team).  I told him that it was true, that I am going to enter in the remaining years when I am caught up, and he got upset that he didn’t know this already. I went on to remind him that I DID let him know back when I made this decision.  He still insists that I never told him.  (My new catch phrase at work is turning into “Whatever.”)  More was said back and forth, but the point was that not only did I never get any kind of recognition for the thousands of hours I put into this project (or even a thank you), but I get a hard time for not being superhuman.  Well, that just PISSED ME OFF.

So, at this point, I’m done. I’m only going to do what I can do during work hours, and screw them.

I thought I would take out one of my comfort decks and do a Past-Present-Future reading about work.  I used my Illuminated Tarot, the Rider-Waite-Smith deck recolored by Carol Herzer, and drew the following cards:

Where have I been? ~ Queen of Wands
Where am I now? ~ Eight of Cups
What is my potential? ~ The Magician

This spread made total sense to me. I saw myself as a hard-working, successful, and respected business woman, able to take on heavy responsibility.  (Queen of Wands)

Eight of Cups – Upon finding out that I wasn’t seen that way by others, I am separating myself from this project emotionally; I am walking away from the extra effort I put forth since, let’s face it… nobody appreciated it, apparently.

The Magician – I’d like to say that this card is telling me that I can make whatever I want happen, but I’m sure there are many meanings this card can take. Magician can be a trickster, but since I didn’t use reversals in this spread, I’m not sure if that’s what this means. If it did, it could signify that I can trick co-workers into thinking that I’m still working hard but really I won’t any longer. Nah… I don’t think that’s what it means.

I think it means that the choices are mine to make. I can continue on in this job as is, I can ask either for what I feel is my due or for more responsibility, or I can look elsewhere. I’ve already been contacted from the company of our new software and she told me to send in my resume and she would forward it to the recruiters with her recommendation.  So I feel like I proved my worth to someone, just not the someone’s I was hoping to.  (Pathetic of me, I guess.)

Well, sorry for the droopy attitude, but this really set me off and truly upset me.  😦

Tough Week!

WELL!  I have had a week like you wouldn’t believe.   I did a full Celtic Cross to get a bird’s eye view of the week and the situation surrounding it.  Very telling, I think…

About a year ago I was given a project to find our company a new accounting software package.  I had been keeping my superiors (CFO & CEO)  informed through emails and conversations.  I finally narrowed it down to two packages and this last month I had moved into the stage of getting price quotes from the companies.  I guess, thinking about it right now, I should have had a more formal meeting to give them an update of the different products and what they can do before moving into the price phase.  But I went ahead and got prices and had the meeting when I had all of the information.  Unfortunately, that was at the beginning of the week, and Friday was a quarter-end, meaning one of the companies, who is publicly traded, was trying to meet their own quotas and was rushing us for an answer.

To make a long story short, we were pressured to sign by Friday, but things happened behind the scenes that made the whole situation a powder keg.  We did end up signing, but I feel that trouble may follow.  Now, I have no signing authority; my job was just to collect the information, relay my findings, and give my recommendation.  And that’s what I did.  The rushing to deadline is partly my fault because I got numbers a little late and didn’t have a meeting mid-way through the process.  However, we didn’t have to sign.  On the other hand, I think that it ultimately ended up to our advantage.  Because it was quarter end, we ended up with a price lower than we otherwise would have gotten, with other concessions that will benefit us for years.

The situation that created the “powder keg” is not over, and even though I’m not in the direct line of fire, I’m exposed.  Ok… I know I’m speaking in code, but the story is long.  I’ll post it at the end of the spread for those who are interested.  🙂

1) Situation: Ten of Swords Rx
2) Crosses Situation: Eight of Swords Rx
I read these two cards together, and they certainly do paint a picture.  This whole situation has me at the edge of my stress levels and I feel completely trapped within the situation.  I even thought of going back on my anti-anxiety medication because of the panic attacks that had ensued after Friday.

3) Unknown Factor:  The Tower Rx – I think there is probably more to the “powder keg” event, but because The Tower is reversed, it will probably remain hidden from me.  Fine with me!
4) Quality to Let Go:  Empress – My tendency to nurture and protect others is not going to help me in the current situation.  It’s time to be more forceful and defend myself, if needed.
5) Potential Development:  Eight of Pentacles – Well, I know this card!  Now that we have a new system, I’ll be working like a dog to get it implemented within time and budget constraints.
6) Approaching Influence:  The Devil Rx – I feel that this card represents the CEO, and me being trapped in his underhanded ways (there’s a backstory here).  Because it’s reversed I will probably never know how he’s going to throw me under the bus, but I’m guessing the probability is high that he will.

That bottom right quadrant of the first 6 cards are enough to give me a headache, but I really think they give a solid picture to how awful my week has been.  I know it’s not over, but I do hope that the effect to me and my job are minimal.

7) Me As I See Myself:  Nine of Pentacles – I feel as I have accomplished something of magnitude; I was given a full project and I was being tested by my CFO, and I feel I passed, though not without some stumbles.  But a co-worker, with whom I have a tenuous relationship, even complimented me and said I should be proud of myself for what I accomplished.  Wow!  Never saw that coming!  😉
8) How Others See Me:  Ten of Wands – After I turned over this card, I had to laugh.  Guess other people don’t see what I do!  But I see their point; I look overburdened by all that I took on.  I’m sure my occasional comments, like “You can’t buy Valium over the counter, can you?” contributed to the way they see me.
9) Guidance:  Six of Cups – I have to remember, as I start to feel overwhelmed, to reconnect with the things that make me happy from the inside out: Tarot, reading, walks in nature.
10)  Most Likely Result:  Nine of Swords – Well, great.  Guess this situation is the gift that keeps on giving.  Sleepless nights are not over, I guess.  Maybe I should think about that anti-anxiety medicine….  😉

If I look at a snapshot of this reading, I see:
Four reversals  (all related to events around me and how they’ve been affecting me)
3 Major Arcana  (Hmmm…  Felt like more!)
1 Wands
1 Cups
3 Swords  (8, 9, and 10)
2 Pentacles
No suits were missing, but there was definite emphasis on the Majors and Swords, with 2 of each being reversed. 
If I add up all the minors (10+8+3+8+9+10+6+9) I get 63, which reduces to 9 (6+3), the end of a cycle.  Hopefully that means that this whole situation is being wrapped up so that my new cycle of implementing the software can begin.
If I include the Majors into the numerology (10+8+16+3+8+15+9+10+6+9) I get 94, which reduces to 13, which is the Death card.  This whole situation has exposed me to some politics within the company that I’ve never been directly involved in before, and that has affected how I see my place within the organization.  Maybe this has started a transition for me and will lead to more responsibility…

Ok… the “powder keg” – I don’t even know how to explain this.  The person that the CFO and CEO report to is the owner of the company.  And he is… tough.  He’s eccentric and it’s always hard to predict how he’ll react to things.  This whole process was not supposed to be a big deal; we needed a new accounting software system, the last one acquired being 12 years ago, and it would have been as simple as finding one and signing on the dotted line.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, all the other stress would have been there.  But one of the meetings had legal counsel in attendance (why, I’m not sure), and that person, when approached by the owner asking about the reason for the meeting, told him about our search for an accounting system (he probably should just have said that we were going over accounting matters).  Well, that threw the owner into a fit of anger.  (And here’s where his unpredictability comes in.)  Even though he never gets involved in the day-to-day running of the company, he was obviously upset by the knowledge that we’re going to be entering into a new financial obligation.  And that’s not the whole “powder keg” I was talking about!  The CEO went ahead and signed without the go-ahead by the owner.

And here’s the backstory of the CEO.  Now he was telling me point-by-point of how he was going to defend his position to the owner, and he has solid points.   The owner is out of town right now, so this hasn’t come to a head yet.  Hopefully when it does, he’ll see why the purchase was a good idea.  But the CEO has a constant habit of trying to make himself look good by making others look bad.  He’s done it to everyone surrounding him, including me more than once.  Others have seen it and are aware of it, and it doesn’t actually make him (CEO) look good, but I really think it’s something that he doesn’t even realize he’s doing.  Anyway, as CEO was leaving the office last night, he said to me, “Congratulations, you have your new accounting system, and I’ll be losing my job.”  ???  Excuse me?  So I KNOW that when it comes to defending his reason for signing on the dotted line, my name is going to come up in the conversation for one of the people to blame.  (Devil Rx)  There’s no real way to avoid it; I can just hope that my CFO, who I work more directly for, will have my back if he’s in that particular conversation.  <sigh>  What can you do?  Right?  😉  It’s just now I will be completely exposed when it comes to implementing this system.  I’m going to HAVE to make sure it goes smoothly without any cost overruns.  And I’ve done this before; you can never predict what you’re going to run into when you’re moving to something new. 

I did another Celtic Cross spread for the implementation itself, but I’ll post that later.  🙂

Congratulations if you finished this whole post!!  It was a LONG one!

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Getting to Know You

Yay!  I just got my Tarot of the Silicon Dawn in the mail yesterday.  (Created by Margaret  Trauth and published by Lo Scarabeo)  I spent a good half-hour looking through each of the cards, enjoying the varnish effect that LS added at the artist’s direction.  Very unique!  [This isn’t the first time that LS has done this; they also used varnish on the Quantum Tarot v2.0.]

Every time I get a new deck that I think I’m going to really use, I’ll do an interview spread that I’ve dubbed, “Getting to Know You.”  I usually use 3 cards, because that’s proven to be the “right” amount for me, and although the questions are not always the same, they usually center around the same ideas.

As I was shuffling the cards, I asked the following questions:

What can I expect from working with this deck? The Moon
What will this deck offer me that other cannot?The Tower
What kind of relationship will I have with this deck?Ace of Swords

Getting to Know my Tarot of the Silicon Dawn

The Moon shows us a female figure complete with a scorpion’s tail.  She sits on a crescent moon, which hovers over a great body of water, skimming her fingers over the surface of the water.  A jackal doggie-paddles right through the moon’s reflection in the water. 
It seems as if this deck will give me just enough light to shine in the dark, the dark being the unknown landscape of these new images.  The jackal could represent my subconscious that’s going to have to steer through the currents, and the woman on the moon could actually represent the energy of this deck, keeping her fingers entangled in the energy of the readings.  Should be interesting!

The Tower shows us a view of two tall buildings , each on fire, with the obligatory falling people.  However, I also see little white blotches, what looks like pieces of paper, making this image just a little too close to the 9/11 twin towers episode to be comfortable.  Of course, The Tower isn’t supposed to make us comfortable, so I guess this card is doing its job!
So what will this deck offer me that others cannot?  Hmmm… a feeling of great discomfort?  What’s interesting about this image making me uncomfortable is that it’s not that it’s The Tower, which never makes me happy when I see it in a reading, but the image itself, reminding me so viscerally of an event that had such a deep effect, not just to me but to the world.  It could be that this deck will challenge me with its images, and isn’t that the point with using different decks?  Why do I have so many?  Because I enjoy seeing how each artist illustrates their understanding of the cards.

The Ace of Swords shows us a woman hovering atop a group of gears, darkness underneath her, but her body illuminated from her feet upwards.  Her nude figure sports gears on her wrists and a gear over her solar plexus chakra.  But what’s most noticable is that in place of facial features is a blank space sporting one lone sword. 
My relationship with this deck will be a great source of new ideas, whether they be about how I see Tarot or the topics of my readings.

It seems working with my new Tarot of the Silicon Deck will be an interesting challenge, but one that will yield great benefits.  🙂

Should I or Shouldn’t I? Using the Tarot School’s Double-Edged Sword Spread

For many days now I’ve been debating whether or not I should attend the upcoming Tarot School’s Readers Studio in April 2012.  My husband is okay with me taking a “vacation” without the rest of the family, so it’s really all coming down to money.  After I mulled it over for 3 days, I finally remembered to pull out my cards.  (duh!  It’s funny how often I don’t think of using Tarot when making big decisions, like recently when we were trying to decide whether to trade in our older car for a newer one.)

Anyway, the first spread that came to me is by none other than Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone, the very people who host the Readers Studio.  It’s called the Double-Edged Sword, and it uses a columnar format with 5 cards in each column, and each column representing a different choice.  I don’t usually use reversals, but this spread is really set up for reversals.

I shuffled and laid out the cards; the left column represents going to the RS12 and the right column represents staying home during that week.

I drew the following cards:

Go to RS12:
Ace of Pentacles Rx
The World
Seven of Wands Rx
Knight of Wands
King of Pentacles Rx

Do Not Go to RS12:
Three of Swords
King of Swords
Nine of Cups
The Lovers
The Chariot Rx

At first glance, if you were just looking at reversals, this might seem an obvious call to stay home since there are 3 reversed cards in the “go” column and only one in the “stay” column, but if I really look at the cards, it’s definitely not a cut and dry decision for me.

As I said, it’s all going to come down to money, which the “go” column definitely emphasizes.  I mean, what more do you need to see?  We start with the Ace of Pents reversed, and end the column with the King of Pents reversed.  The whole column is bracketed by the beginning and end of the Pentacles suit, and both cards are reversed.  (And I actually confirmed this tonight when I took three hours to reconcile my bank account and try to rework my budget. <sigh>   And I’m in this position now because we did decide to buy that new car less than 15 days ago.)

The middle card, the Seven of Wands, is also reversed, and it says to me that I might spend the next 6 months defending my position to attend RS12, whether it be it to my husband or to myself.

However, on the plus side, these reversed cards surround The World. Because this is a trump card, I want to give it more weight than the other cards.  The reversed Pents, while discomfiting, are transitory problems (provided I have my current job) and there are things I can do before the RS to earn a little money (like sell some of the 300+ decks I own).  But the effects of The World card could very well change the very way I see the world (no pun intended!); it could mean that attending the Readers Studio could help to fill a part of my life that has been missing for a long time.

In the right column, there is only one reversed card, but it’s interesting to see what the other cards are.  First of all, the first card I drew, the Three of Swords, was just a big, “Don’t I know it!”  If I don’t go, it’s going to just break my heart.  And not just emotionally.  This is Swords after all.  Before I had the bright idea to use my Tarot deck ;), I journaled my feelings about my motivations for wanting to go when I know that money is tight.  It all came down to reconnecting with something that used to be very important in my life but went into hibernation after I lost Robyn.  Not only did I stop playing with Tarot and enjoying it, but I lost my connection to Spirit.  I’ll admit it… I have felt dead inside for two years now, and it makes me sad and lonely.  I think that going to the RS will help bring me back to something that matters to me.  Yes, I can do it through all of my online connections, but it’s not the same.  And if you’ve ever been to the Readers Studio, you know that nothing is quite like it!  🙂

The middle card is the Nine of Cups, which most people look at as a positive card.  And I suppose it is for the most part.  But when I look at this card, I see me surrounded by my wish (going to RS12) but not actually going anywhere.  There I am, just sitting in the middle of all those cups, not partaking at all.  It feels like total inaction to me.  And that kind of fits with the Chariot reversed.  That guy isn’t going anywhere either.  Normally he’s buried in cement anyway, so his movement could be interpreted to be spiritual.  But to have this card reversed tells me that not only am I not going anywhere physically, but I won’t be gaining any spiritual enlightenment either.

On a personal level, I tie The Lovers and the King of Swords together.  I usually associate my husband with the King of Cups because his Scorpio rising sign is prevalent.  However, he is a Gemini, and I believe in the case of his feelings about me attending or not attending the Readers Studio, he would be looking at it from a more unattached viewpoint and would be totally happy with me not going, thus The Lovers.  Not going would please him on more than one level and might strengthen our relationship, at least in his eyes.  (I’m sure I’m missing some significant points of this trump card, but that’s my first reaction to this card.  Plus The Lovers is one of his birth cards.)

So, like I said, this spread is not cut and dry, no matter that one side has more reversals than the other.  (Of course, because I have a definite preference for going, I’m going to try to see the brightest side of the cards on the left!)  Not going would mean that I continue to live my life as I have been, with lots of inaction and no spiritual connection, albeit a lack of financial struggle as Pents are absent in the “stay” column.  Should I choose to go, I may have some hardship attached to the actual getting there, but once there will gain far more to add to my life and overall well-being.

Knowing that my biggest hurdle is financial, I can do things now to help myself achieve my goal.  Whereas I might have gone ahead and purchased an airline ticket this week and had Wald and Ruth Ann start the payment plan for me, I still have time.  The smart thing to do would be to list my books and decks on the trading board at Aeclectic and try to raise money and see where I end up in a few weeks.  I do have a few collector decks that might help.  Plus, my birthday and Christmas are coming up and I’ve already told my sister that I want money toward my trip. 🙂

So what do you think?  Did I miss anything? 🙂

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