tarot

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Review- Tarot, Rituals, & You

Published June 7, 2013 by Tarot By Elizabeth

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I just love Bonnie Cehovet, so when Schiffer offered to let me review her new book, I absolutely positively fired back an email right away saying “YES, YES, YES!”  Her new book Tarot, Rituals, & You demonstrates the amazing power of Tarot combined with the awesome power of ritual.

This fantastic book is 96 pages and may seem a bit small but I’m telling you, the information that Bonnie has included will absolutely blow you away! Bonnie starts out by explaining  just what a ritual really is, by asking the reader to think about how they define a ritual and by pondering that very question, I actually discovered that I had many forms of ritual that I practiced but never really put much thought into whether or not it was something that I did on a regular daily basis, take for instance my routine of drawing three cards each night before bed…That in itself can be considered a ritual and as such becomes a powerful grounding influence on my daily life.

Tarot, Rituals, & You has a rather impressive list of topics covered within it’s pages such as… using ritual directly with the Tarot cards; ritual in daily readings; using ritual for personal growth; honoring moon cycles and SO much more that it would take me pages just to explain what a treasure this book is! I’m particularly fond of the sections about Tarot shadow work. Tarot shadow work, in my honest opinion is the most important avenue that a person can undertake, especially when coming from an extremely dysfunctional background like myself. By recognizing our shadow selves and incorporating these areas in our lives helps to find the resolution or peace of mind and spirit that so many search for.

Another greatly insightful dialog that this book covers and that I positively adore, is the section is “Honoring the Moon cycles through ritual.” This is an area in my personal life that has pretty much gone by the wayside in recent months and Tarot Rituals, & You covers both the Full and Dark (New) Moon rituals that when put into practice, perfectly connects one with the subconscious, intuitive selves  and serves a greater purpose…tapping into our psychic sense (something that I believe we are all capable of)  but not sure how to access such information.

There is one more subject that I would like to touch on  is “Entering the Major Arcana” in which Bonnie quite thoroughly covers with pertinent questions and thoughts to ponder as we take a card and wander into it’s landscape , there is so much information that one can glean by studying each card this way…sometimes we can gain insights that have up until this time, have eluded us. Oh my goodness, I could go on and on, but I’ve gotta tell you, there is so much more included that I haven’t even touched on that I heartily encourage you, the reader to stop by Schiffer and give this book a read! I can guarantee that no one will walk away disappointed!

 

Publisher: Schiffer Books

Author: Bonnie Cehovet

IBSN: 978-0-7643-4318-6

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Review- Tarot Workshop

Published June 3, 2013 by Tarot By Elizabeth

 

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Not too long ago, I was approached by a wonderful lady, Betty Boylan Worlan  who asked if I wanted to review Tarot material published by Paradise Musc Ltd.  in the format of a teaching cd named “Tarot Workshop.”  I was a bit intrigued after speaking with her and couldn’t wait to listen to it.

This cd is a home workshop for personal or group sessions in which Tarot is introduced in easy to understand language and narrated by a student of pagan and spiritual traditions for over 30 years, Suzanne Corbie.  Having read and studied tarot and teaching for the last seven years, Suzanne regularly teaches classes and workshops around the country and even held sacred theater of Tarot workshops where the participants act out the cards themselves in order to gain deeper insight into situations and understanding of each and every card.

This is a two disc cd that starts out with an introduction by Suzanne who explains the purpose of this cd and speaks a bit on the topic of learning Tarot. She encourages the listener(s) to sit back, relax and let your intuition guide you as you listen and follow along with her. The meanings are geared to The Rider-Waite tradition but also can be used with any of the Rider-Waite clones, my favorite deck as of late is The Anna K. Tarot which closely follows this style but tastefully does not carry an over abundance of symbols and items within it’s cards, which makes for an easier read.

I would recommend, that for beginners, the Universal Waite or Radiant Rider-Waite be used at first until one becomes familiar with the basic meanings then after grasping Tarot’s concepts, one can find a deck that may suit them better.

After the introduction, Suzanne starts with the Major Arcana and keywords plus a mini journey into each card, all the while keeping in mind to listen to that little inner voice as you envision what scene is taking place within that given card. I love this idea of taking a journey into the cards because it allows one to notice things that may not have been noticed by memorizing just the basic keywords.

The beautiful part is that this teaching method takes away all of the fear out of taking up Tarot and Suzanne’s easy going style and voice is calm and soothing so that as the cards are introduced, one does not feel totally overwhelmed by learning all those meanings…without that pressure, learning becomes a breeze!

The Tarot Workshop comes with a booklet that lists the Major Arcana keywords, descriptions of the four elements in the Tarot and how they interact as well as The Celtic Cross Spread. The second cd goes into the Minor Arcana and describes the four suits that we see that make up the Minors…Swords, Wands, Cups and Pentacles. I love the way Suzanne introduces these cards and how one can identify areas in ones life described in the stories found in the cards.

This is an Awesome cd and a fantastic resource for any teacher, individual or group of friends that wish to study Tarot and all of the ways that it can be used in life. I absolutely recommend it to anyone from beginner to seasoned professional alike!

Deck Review- The Joie de Vivre Tarot

Published November 13, 2011 by Tarot By Elizabeth

From the amazing creatrix  Paulina Cassidy, of the Paulina Tarot comes her latest addition to the Tarot community, The Joie de Vivre Tarot…what a truly charming and chatty deck that when translated, means Hearty or carefree enjoyment of life.  I had been eagerly awaiting this deck, watching it’s progress and marveling over her unique artistic style and now that I have it in my hot little hands it is absolutely wonderful and quite child-like in it’s energy.

The Joie de Vivre Tarot is a 78 card deck that is just the perfect size to work with and shuffle with ease. It comes with the standard LWB (little white book) of interpretations and each card and character is described in loving detail and absolutely inspires a truly joyful feel. I thought rather than to review this deck as I usually do, I would perhaps do an actual interview of it instead and I was not disappointed by it’s lively and straight forward answers. Here are a few of the questions I asked and how the deck responded…

Tell me about yourself, what is your most important characteristic? King of Swords- “The King Sagacity possesses the wisdom and courage to obtain all his desires. His dove companion, Justice, helps him work against dishonesty.”  What a terrific card to pop up when describing this decks most important characteristic! The King of Swords encourages the use of logic and intellect to navigate the path ahead and will definately get to the heart of the matter so buckle your seat belt, this deck will take you on a journey to see through all the clutter and fog to show you what the issues really are!
What are your strengths? The Moon- “Illuminating hidden truths, the Moon’s energy brings clarity to the surface.” Here we can see Phantasm and his three owl companions Daze, Haze and Maze sitting on a branch, illuminated by a huge full moon in the background. The Moon calls attention to the shadow in all of us and leads us to becoming consciously aware of any fears and anxieties that may be projected onto your external surroundings. The Joie de Vivre tarot tells me that it will turn these fears around and into more positive and constructive energy, illuminating a path through the unknown.
How can I best learn from and work with you? Knight of Cups- “Intrigue, the passionate and poetic Knight of Cups is the messenger of ideas and opportunities.” This Knight is in touch with his intuition and emotions, and The Joie de Vivre will teach me to blend my imagination and logic to make dreams come true. this deck will bring inspiration and encourage me to undertake the journey of imagination and creativity to which the unconscious will guide my path. What a beautiful statement this Knight makes, I’m filled with an expectant anticipation of this journey with The Joie de Vivre Tarot and can hardly wait to get started!
This is truly an amazing and energetic deck full of excitement and wonder, it would make a fantastic deck for beginners and seasoned readers alike. I love Paulina’s imagery and the whimsical yet charming characters that flow through this deck and I had a terrific time reading with it. I heartily encourage you to check out the Joie de Vivre Tarot and see where your imagination and intuition take you!
Publisher: US Games
Artist: Paulina Cassidy
ISBN: 978-1-57281-662-6

Images used with permission from US Games Systems

A Gift For My Father

Published October 23, 2011 by Tarot By Elizabeth

“What happens to us after we die?”  “Where do we go?” ” Why do some folks seem to hang around after their death?” These are questions that have lingered in our psyche from almost the beginning of time.  This is going to be a quite lengthy post and I hope that you will accompany me as I write. This is what I believe…

Sometimes spirits remain at or near the site of their death, especially if it was sudden and unexpected. They remain confused and don’t know or accept that they have died.   Sometimes they do not go to the light for reasons such as the fear that their existence will end, fear of the unknown, fear of going to hell or being judged for past deeds. These spirits are bound here because of their own fears.

Other spirits stay behind to make sure their loved ones are ok or to pass along one final message. Often they will contact the living to assist them. Almost anything that a spirit feels compelled to do before it goes to the light can make it remain here until it feels comfortable with how they have left things.

Guilt can also be a reason for a spirit being stuck here. They may feel like they have left the family or loved ones too soon and uncared for. This is also the main reason why suicide victims and other spirits whose death was caused by their actions (alcoholics, drug overdose, etc) remain behind. They feel guilty over taking their life or contributing to their death.

The living can also hold a spirit here. By not letting go of them, they can be bound here by our love and unable or unwilling to go on until the living can come to terms with the loss. They feel that they left things unsaid, undone, etc. and they feel guilt over it. This keeps the spirit from going over many times simply because it does not want us to feel this way or be that upset. After having said all that…

This is my story….

The year is 1975… The Vietnam War is ending as Communist forces take Saigon and South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally… popular films such as Jaws and Benji are playing in major theaters… Alice Cooper, The Eagles and John Lennon play daily on AM radio stations…and I turned nine years old. My parents had separated, after eleven years of marriage, and my mother had contacted a lawyer to proceed with a divorce…you see, my father was a deeply troubled man who suffered from alcoholism for most of his adult life and was very likely suffering from mental illness as well…a family trait going back several generations.

Later that year in November, my father, Calvin Sinclair Christy took his own life. I can still remember that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as my mother tearfully broke the news to me that day after returning from school. The only emotion I remember feeling was a terrible sadness for my mother having to deliver such devastating news, I don’t remember feeling sad for myself, just sad for her because she carried a terrible burden that she now had to share with me.

The days that followed seem like a blur now, the family showing up to show support, the funeral and then the military burial at the family plot in Eastern Washington (my mother and I did not attend due to the fact that it was a great distance away from where we lived and my mother felt a great need to shelter me from any further trauma) That small little fact that we did not attend his burial haunted me for many years after that because the sense of closure that we all need when facing a loss of a loved one was left open. For many years my child brain held on to the hope that maybe my father was not really dead after all, maybe somewhere he lived on…somewhere… and as silly as it sounds now as an adult, it has affected me to this day.

Although I am all grown up now, there has always been a part of me that searched for answers about my father, what was he like, how did he think, what was special to him…I have always wished that I had been given the chance to know him as an adult…then one day it suddenly dawned on me…I realized that the Tarot may hold answers that were always just beyond my grasp! Maybe, just maybe, I could connect with my father and provide the closure that for so long had eluded me.  The following Tarot Cards are in reply to the question of my father “What do you have to say to me”

Now, being a tarot reader,  I know that detailed questions are the best way to get information but for some reason I felt compelled to simply ask in generalities…perhaps out of fear that I would get a detailed answer that I may or may not want to hear, so I took the easy road.   As I looked at the cards, they quite literally took my breath away.

I didn’t start out reading reversed cards but it always bothered me when I read because I always had the feeling that without reversed cards that I may not be getting the whole picture so I incorporated reading them and as my fellow readers know, many reversed cards in a reading have a message of their own. Usually, reversed cards indicate a blocked or stuck situation and given the nature of my question, these cards being reversed told me that my father’s energy is blocked or stuck.

With the Seven of Cups, we normally see that we are faced with many options or avenues that we can choose to go down but at the same time, we must also have clarity of mind in order to make wise, informed choices and not be distracted by the stuff of daydreams and wishful thinking. Having the Seven of Cups reversed indicates  that there were opportunities for him when he was alive and even now, in death,  and that he is either  not taking them or acting on them for whatever reason..The Ace of Swords tells me that perhaps he is having trouble seeing clearly and may even be stuck in a never ending loop of guilt, shame or regret.

All of these are very powerful emotions and fear, often a great motivator, can also become a dark prison. In his life, my father was not a great communicator, he rarely shared his feelings and I never once saw him shed a tear. This  very well could be the case now,  I do not believe that “what makes up who we are”  changes…even after we pass. We still somehow retain our thoughts, feelings and even the very hang ups we had while we lived. The Wheel of Fortune reversed indicates to me that this is not something pertaining to the past but a very present state of being in which my father is having great difficulty moving on, also indicated by the Eight of Cups reversed. It almost feels as if he is unsure how to make the connection to move on.

I sat with these cards for a couple days and looked at them often, I asked myself many times “Is this correct…?” “Is there something I’m seeing that isn’t really there?” It is difficult to read for oneself sometimes simply because we, as readers, are very close to the question and issue at hand so I decided to contact a really awesome lady who helped me shed some light on the cards that I drew. As it turns out, I was not as far off base as I had thought I was and she suggested that  maybe I should intuitively draw some cards from the Coins suit to add some grounding energy in order to help him move on.

It wasn’t as difficult of an exercise as I had thought, four cards seemed to pull at me immediately as I looked through the suit of Coins and these are the cards that spoke to me the loudest…

The very first impression when looking at the four cards I had pulled was that before me lies a story, a progression so to speak, of thought. The Eight of Coins is about assessment, “where do I go from here” and when applied to my father, I see him hesitating, wondering what should he do next, where should he go.  Followed by the Five of Coins, which indicates need and want…of going through hardship and given the picture of the figures inside a church, I am reminded that my father had a very dim view of Deity and on occasion even proclaimed himself an atheist.

In my heart of hearts, I do not believe that my father truly felt this way, I think that maybe he was afraid to believe in a power greater than himself and with the opinion of many mainstream churches denouncing suicide as a sin and worthy of the concept of hell, I feel that this idea and very real fear binds him from moving on to where he needs to be. What greater stumbling block can you imagine than to be certain that you will go to hell and suffer from the guilt of knowing that you took your own life. That, to me is the very definition of hell itself, not a destination that you may be headed towards but a state of mind that binds you.

In the Ace of Coins, we see an angel holding out a Coin almost as a gift. I see this as a sign that I have a gift to give my father, one of release and comfort…of knowing he is going to be okay and the fear he feels is not justified.  There is nothing to fear by moving on and he can finally be at peace with his loved ones that have already passed on, intimated by the Ten of Coins. Now the ball is in my court, I have an opportunity to do something amazing and beautiful, I have the chance to help my father find the peace he so desperately sought in his life and still seeks from the other side.

It’s a difficult thing to let go of my father…I wasn’t given the chance to say goodbye while he was alive but now it is time for him to move on  and I am struggling with this. I feel selfish, I feel like it was just yesterday since he’s been gone and now he must go again . I know deep down this is the right thing to do but it hurts…more than anyone can imagine.  It’s hard to lose someone to such a tragedy once only to feel you must lose them all over again and this is my struggle.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross famously wrote that there are five stages of grief… Denial; Anger; Bargaining; Depression and Acceptance and this is very true. I now find myself experiencing them all over again but with a little hope and a whole lot of faith, maybe  my father and I will finally receive the closure that has escaped us both for so long.

Occupy Wall Street- My Three Card Draw

Published October 18, 2011 by Tarot By Elizabeth

For the past four weeks it’s been pretty difficult not to notice what has been happening in our country, it’s been in the television news,  on the internet and in newspapers about the Occupy Wall Street protests. It now has spread to as many as 84 countries around the world… people are tired and I don’t blame them.  I sat watching reports on MSNBC this morning and I wondered,  what does Tarot have to say to us about the situation that we find ourselves in? So I layed down three cards… Situation, Obstacle and Outcome.

For the Situation,  I drew the King of Coins reversed, now the King of Coins normally indicates abundance and success but when he appears reversed he often signifies  a disproportionate interest in material things and a tendency to indulge in excess. Materialism and excess has been a defining factor of the American way of life for a very long time.  It is an attitude that paints the American picture… It has  given a perception of wealth and prosperity, however it is more often than not, a shallow example  of reality. The possession of things does not equate to financially stability and as we are all finding out that materialism, excess, big business, lack of jobs and other countless issues has led to the unrest we see today.

The Obstacle card is the Page of Wands. Now the Page of Wands reversed as an obstacle card indicates to me that the protesters and their cause must walk a very fine line, they must not appear to be  using their strength of numbers and fiery motivation to bully or intimidate the powers that be… steer clear of petty arguments and minor scuffles.  So far protests against Wall Street and big business, with the exception of a handful of folks, has been peaceful and non violent.  If they want their message to be heard loud and clear, they  should avoid indecision and the instability which accompanies it by  declaring a firm objective and  clear mission statements.  Become a united front,  speak with united voices,  they may need to repeat the message  many times but they should remain firm in what is being said.

Now, as far as a possible Outcome,  I drew the Two of Wands. This is a wonderful card to have in the outcome position,  the Two of Wands takes the spark of inspiration from the Ace  and matures it into an actual path forward,  it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and exhibiting great courage. As we have seen, thousands have joined the Occupy Wall Street movement and it seems to me that the longer these protests go on, the better chance we as a nation have,  to realize this opportunity to make our country and even the world a much better place.  We should all begin to consider our longer-term goals and aspirations and plan ahead for what we will all need to do to achieve such goals as job creation, gay rights, the various forms of oppression,  equal status of ALL people… not just a select few and we must  demonstrate our patience and focus of  intent. Let us all work towards these goals no matter who we are or where we come from.

Tarot History

Published October 15, 2011 by Tarot By Elizabeth

How did tarot come about you may ask, well that is an interesting question…let’s take a look. Researchers have tried for years to pinpoint the true origin of the Tarot and many are still in disagreement as to who created the first deck. Some believe they were in use as long ago as the early 1300’s in Italy, others say in Egypt.

.Here’s what we do know…The designs of the 22 cards in the Major Arcana can be traced back as far as 1440, when the first known deck appeared in Italy. The 3 decks called the “Visconti Trumps” are generally regarded as the forefathers of the decks that are widely available today. It is believed that they were originally created as a game for Nobles. It is not until centuries later that the cards reemerged, this time as a tool of divination.

By the 18th and the 19th centuries, the mystics and occultists began using Tarot cards. Their use started after a study on religious symbolism by a Swiss clergyman called Antoine Court de Gebelin was published. He proclaimed the name tarot to have originated from the Egyptian word, ‘tar’ that meant royal and ‘ro’ meaning road. He suggested that the word tarot signified a royal road to wisdom.

The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot was published by A.E. Waite in December 1909, the English Christian occult philosopher who worked with the artist Pamela Coleman Smith to produce the 78 card deck that we use today. It replaced the traditional designs with the portrayals of symbolic scenes. This deck remains popular in the English-speaking countries even today.

There are many decks available from the “mainstream’’ Rider-Waite deck to tarot cards with woodland images for Pagans, feline images for Cat lovers, as well as pictures of beautiful lands both real and imagined. The decks come with complete instructions and meanings for all of the cards, so the true mystery of the tarot can be as easy as trying it for yourself, if you’re game and absolutely no gypsies needed .

Three of Coins

Published October 14, 2011 by Tarot By Elizabeth

The Three of Coins, like the Threes in the other suits, represents the initial completion of a goal or plan. In this case, the Three seems to imply the fulfilment and manifestation of a creative venture, business, or building project.

The inspiration of the one is beginning to be concreted in the material world, and the decisions of the two have been made successfully. An initial satisfaction is now being enjoyed and the project is well underway.

The message of the Three of Coins, therefore, is primarily one of encouragement. If you continue to work toward the fulfillment of your dreams and do not allow disillusionment to dampen your enthusiasm, ultimately you will experience prosperity and success in your goals.

What new beginnings are you experiencing in the material realm? Is there some project or creative venture you have been putting off because of fear of failure? The Three of Coins indicates that dreams can be made real with persistence, determination, and effort.