Tarot Blog Hop: New Tarot Deck

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This blog post is a part of a monthly Tarot Professionals Blog Hop. Please click the links above and the links below the post to see how other Tarot Readers interact with a new Tarot deck.

So…you’ve received a new deck in one way or another. Maybe, it was a gift or you acquired it from a proprietor of some sort, it doesn’t matter, you still want to use it. The deck itself may seem like a lifeless paper product with a weird factory smell when you first get it, and that may put you off to using it for readings. This can be disheartening if you are like me and must use everything you own. Otherwise it was a waste of money, and a waste of an artist’s hard work and dedication. With a lot of great decks being a good chunk of change, you may expect your new magickal item to be instantly, well, magickal. The pictures may ‘call’ to you (aka you love the artwork), but when you open the box, you become a nervous wretch and forget everything you know about Tarot.

I have been getting new decks lately, even though I don’t really necessarily want them. Mostly, these have been given to me as gifts or as rewards for my participation in fundraisers. I have most of the ones that I want, and I am very particular about the type of artwork I prefer. However, I feel like I should work with these decks, because it seems that I should be able to read most any deck. Plus, it keeps your skills fresh, and it’s kind of fun to play with a deck that you have no connection to at all. Here are my techniques of transforming a deck of cards into powerful allies in your magickal arsenal.

Get Acquainted

The first thing I do after freeing my new friend from the confining restraints of its

The Court cards for the cups in the Tarot Illuminati (top), Thoth Tarot (middle), and the Michelangelo Tarot (bottom)

The Court cards for the cups in the Tarot Illuminati (top), Thoth Tarot (middle), and the Michelangelo Tarot (bottom)

packaging is take it out and feel it in my hands. I like to get a sense of how the card stock is in my hands when I shuffle or just take a card out of the deck. I take note of how slippery the deck is, because this will produce a ton of ‘jumpers’ while I shuffle.

I like to look at each individual card and familiarize myself with the order of the Majors, as well as the names of these Trump cards. In some decks,the Devil may be named Oppression. In Waite-Smith based decks, Strength is numbered as VIII and Justice is XII. In other decks, the Strength and Justice cards are named something else completely and their order is flipped. Sometimes, the Court cards may be in a different language than one you are familiar with or they aren’t what you are used to. For

example, you might have only used decks whose Court cards are Page/Knight/Queen/King, and now you have a deck that has them as Princess/Prince/Queen/Knight. This is when that little booklet included with all new decks becomes your best asset in becoming acquainted with your new deck.

Shuffle…A LOT!

One of the best things to do is shuffle your new deck. First, these cards are in order, and will clump together if not shuffled enough. It’s kind of like making cookies, but only stirring the ingredients 3 times with a small spoon then trying to bake them. Secondly, this simple action stirs life into your new found friends. You start to incorporate your essence into them, and this starts to charge your cards. I will usually play with a new deck for a good hour before using it for readings that I would put any stock in. While I am stirring the cards, I will think about a million things, and I may even be anxious or excited. I will also periodically lay out the cards as I think of questions. I keep the spreads very simple, and I do not ask super serious life changing questions. I will ask questions that I know, or I will even ask the cards about their personal tastes. Asking playful, yet respectful, questions calms my own anxiety, and allows me to fully connect with my new deck. I will use the booklet if need be.

Everywhere I Go…

One of the most important things I do is take my new deck everywhere with me if it’s portable. It goes to work with me, and it goes to the grocery store. It is not uncommon for me to have at least 4 different divination tools on my person. This may be a little harder for menfolk as they may not have a knapsack that they carry with them. Another way is to sleep with the cards nearby you. This continues to aide you in not only strengthening your intimate connection, and continues to charge your cards. This will also remind you to keep working with the cards. I feel that by doing this, you really establish the cards as a magickal tool that you can trust and work with on a daily basis.

While with ritual tools you want to consecrate these items for specific purposes, because you do not use them on a daily basis. I do not do this with my cards or other divination devices. I establish them as a tool for this purpose by passively attuning them to my energy. They then become a part of me, and my cards are a trusted member of my life.

I hope this was helpful! See the other blogs to get different ideas, and try them out to see what works best for you!

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Spicy Kabbalah Dreams and Tarot

So, I am taking a course on Kabbalah, and every time I receive a new lesson, I have some sort of dream about that lesson. I always wake up sweaty, and flailing around. I find it amusing when I wake, and wonder if I am talking feverishly in my sleep. This dream was especially fun because I am also reading Lon Milo DuQuette’s Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot. I was reading the excerpt on The Fool before bed. Earlier0-The-Fool3 in the day, I was reading my lesson on the three veils which cover the essence of Kether or the Ain Soph Aur.

The Dream

I was standing on the edge of a cliff, and a huge storm was coming inland from the sea. I was walking calmly out to the sea wearing a simple muslin frock tied at the waist. I had no shoes on, and my hair was wildly whipping in the wind. I had a determined look on my face, much like what is known as a “resting bitch face.” It must have been the summer time, because I could see and feel the grass between my toes as I was walking towards the edge of the cliff starting to raise my arms to the sky.

When I got to the edge of the cliff, the storm had rolled in with a vengeance. I was surround by hurricane force winds, lightening, and pelting rain. I started screaming, “Ain Soph Aur!” over and over again. The storm got worse, and then I jumped off the cliff into the water. And woke up.

The Aftermath

I figure that I am either extremely susceptible to things I read, but this was the second time it happened with the Kabbalah Course by Marcus Katz. This time was more potent due to reading about the Fool card in Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette. Plus, I just have really ridiculously vivid dreams sometimes. I write them down, and everyone should write their own night wanderings down. I don’t feel like every dream is prophetic, but you never know. Either way, I personally have to take Kabbalistic information slowly. I had to take a break from learning both things so my head could wrap itself around these concepts.

If you are interested in either the course or the book or both, I have provided you the links above. I highly recommend anything by both of these men. Their books have been a great asset in my life. 

Exciting Kickstarter Tarot Project!

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Tarot Fundamentals Kickstarter Campaign

Lo Scarebeo Tarot and other names in the Tarot world are currently working tirelessly to create a complete work centered around the subject. There is a Kickstarter campaign going on right now! If you are interested in the project, please visit the campaign for more details!

Numerological Energies for the New Year

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Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to be forewarned as to what you may be dealing with on a yearly, monthly, or daily basis? While there are a ton of divinatory tools at your disposal, simple math can help you deal with everyday, physical energies. You can then add on to all of this using Runes, Tarot, Lenormand, or whatever else you are wonderfully attracted to.

So, let’s get started!

Calculating your Yearly number:

First, add up the month of your birth, day of your birth, and year you are looking into.

Month of Birth                   4
Day of Birth                 +  28
Year of Inquiry              +2015
Total Number for the year     2047

Next, we are going to break this down into a single number, unless it’s 11 or 22, by adding the individual numbers together.

2+0+4+7 = 13
Still not done! Now time to simplify the number even more.
1+3 = 4
So, 4 is the final answer!

So, the number 4 would be the energies that were playing into your life on a physical level.

Now, you try it! The meanings of numbers are HERE

Calculating your Monthly number:

Take the Year’s number that you had calculated. So, mine is 4. Now, you are going to add the yearly number to the month in question.

January:          4+1 = 5
February:         4+2 = 6
March:            4+3 = 7
April:            4+4 = 8
May:              4+5 = 9
June:             4+6 = 10; 1+0 = 1
July:             4+7 = 11
August:           4+8 = 12; 1+2 = 3
September:        4+9 = 13; 1+3 = 4
October:          4+10 = 14; 1+4 = 5
November:         4+11 = 15; 1+5 = 6
December:         4+12 = 16; 1+6 = 7

The meanings of numbers are HERE

I did the whole year so you can see how you would break down the numbers to their simplest form. You do not do this with the number 11 or 22. These are considered Master Numbers, and they do not need to be simplified into a single digit.

Calculating your Daily Number:

Now, you can go even further down the number rabbit hole, and calculate the number for each day of the month. You do this as follows:

For October, the number that was calculated was 5. I would then take the number 5 and add it to the day that I want to know about. So, let’s take the 6th of October.

Month Number (October)      5
Day of the Month (October) +6
                           11
11 – This is the energy you are working with on the 6th of October.

Let’s try another. Let’s take the month number for April, and the 11th of April.

Month Number (April)           8

Day in the Month (April)     +11
                              19
1+9 = 10; 1+0 = 1
This is the energy you are working with on the 11th of April.

The meanings of numbers are HERE

I hope this has been informative. Enjoy 2015!

Numerology – Meanings of Numbers

When it comes to any meanings in the divinatory sense, everyone has their own keywords that they prefer to use. While doing any sort of research will prove that people just kind of make things up as they go it seems. Personally, these are the keywords that I use for the numbers. Mainly, because that was what I was taught a long time ago and old habits die hard. I like to use one word keywords, because they convey a thought or feeling for every person based on their own map of reality.As you read through this list, you may notice that the fun numbers are the odd numbers, while the even numbers are a little more about hard work. I like to think that this keeps balance in the Universe. Plus, if we only dreamt of great things, but never worked on those great things, we would never move forward on our path.

The Keywords for the Numbers:

1: Individuality: This number means that you are working with the energy of being separate from the rest of the people around you. It speaks of how you treat yourself on an outer level, and asks us to work on taking care of the self, first.

2: Cooperation: The number two talks to us of togetherness. How we work with the other people around us. It asks us to focus on how we are treating others around us.

3: Creativity: The number 3 is a magic number for sure. This kind of magic speaks to us about how we are using our imagination to make our world a better place. It asks us to think outside the box.

4: Hard Work: The number 4 tells us that we will need to grit our teeth, and work hard. This number is about getting things done. It asks us to find the self-discipline we need to work through our responsibilities at hand.
5: Personal Freedom: This number is all about letting your hair down. It’s not about being irresponsible with our actions, but letting go of that which may be holding us down. Letting go of guilt, changing old ways of thought, being flexible, and having some fun is what this number asks of us.

6: Decision: The number 6 is telling us that a decision needs to be made. This could be a big decision that has been on your mind for a while or a tiny one that you think may have no real impact on your life. The decision that you make may make a lasting impression on our lives. This number asks us to make decisions wisely, but at the same time not to overthink the decision.

7: Introspection: The number 7 tells us that we need a little time to think. We need time to work on spiritual matters, and spend some alone time working on spiritual pursuits. This number asks us to seek out knowledge to better ourselves.

8: Business: Now we’re back to work! The number 8 is all about taking care of our business pursuits. This number is also about leadership, control, and power. This number wants us to focus on how we can balance our career pursuits so that we do not step on someone else in the process. It also asks us not to become over-bearing tyrants on those who may be more sensitive than we are.

9: Completion: The number 9 is all about completing the things that we may have been putting off. This could be creative projects, and sometimes it could even signify the end of a relationship. This number gives us relief from stagnant situations, so we can move forward on our path. It asks us to look around us, and see what needs to be changed.

11: Illumination: The number 11 is all about being a light in the darkness for other people. This is like being a flame, and all the little moths gather around your light. While working with this energy may seem like a wonderfully good time, there is always a downside. The people that may be attracted to you could not be the best of people; however, they may be a mirror of your own thoughts and actions. This number asks us to look at the people around us as reflections of where we happen to be on our path at that present moment. If you do not like to see, it is time to make some changes in yourself.

22: Master Builder: The number 22 helps you make your dreams into a reality. This is an auspicious time to start those things that you may have previously believed to be unattainable. The energy of a 22 asks us to dream big, and work on those dreams. This is not a time to sit on your laurels.

Now, these are the numbers that I have personally been using for the past 10 years. Some people like to use the numbers 0 and 33. Since I am not familiar with how these work, if you wish to look into this further, by all means go for it!

Recommended Reading:
Numerology by Hans Decoz

Tips: Tarot Reading for Yourself

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tarotWhen I first started to learn how to intuitively interpret Tarot cards, I did a ton of readings for myself. I was going through a very hard time, and I would do a “million” readings every day. However, the massive amounts of readings I was doing were only useful in helping me quell my anxiety. The readings themselves were of no use due to the bad questions and sheer number of readings. While this helped me learn Tarot, it did not produce valuable readings. There is definitely an art to reading the cards for yourself, but it’s not impossible.

The key to doing a reading for yourself is to put your feelings aside for the “outcome” of the question. Fear or excitement towards what the reading is going to “say” is why people have a hard time reading cards for themselves in the first place. An Intuitive or Psychic can read all day long for other people because they have nothing invested in the outcome of the reading. However, some may find it difficult to do a reading for themselves until they learn to trust exactly what they are seeing within the reading, and not focus on what they want the reading to tell them about the situation. That sort of manipulation of the outcome is what makes the reading you gave yourself incorrect, and this can be discouraging to someone who is just starting to learn Tarot.

Any and all of the tips below can be used to help keep yourself neutral during a reading, and they will also help with many other intuitive readings as well.

  • Meditate: It is helpful to meditate thoroughly before doing a reading for yourself. This helps you get rid of any anxiety that may contribute to manipulation of the meanings. When you do a reading you should feel neutral and keep your emotional feelings or fears of the outcome out of the reading. Remember that the future can be changed if you do not like something. The cards are a great way to guide you to the help you need if your reading is less than desirable.
  • Blind Reading: You can perform “blind” readings by writing down questions, and placing them in an envelope. All you need is several questions, and similar envelopes to place the questions in. Mix the envelopes up, and mark the envelopes with numbers. This way when you are writing your reading into your journal, you can determine which answer belongs to the envelope. You can mix them up again after you put the numbers on them or flip them over. Pull one envelope out at a time. (Make sure that you are only putting one question in each envelope, so that you are not getting confused as to which question goes to which answer. It works best if you wait a few days so that you have forgotten what you asked.)
  • JournalingJournal: It is always a good thing to write down all your readings that you do for yourself. This way you can look back at them at a later date and analyze the outcome. This will give you confidence, and your accuracy will improve. Also, sometimes we interpret a card a tad bit differently than what it meant to say. You will be able to see the exact outcome of the reading that you had given yourself, and make changes to what a Tarot card means to you.

In conclusion, if you do readings for others there is no reason you cannot do them for yourself. If you are just starting out, doing readings for yourself is a great way to learn Tarot or any other form of divination. It is easier for you to check your progress, and gain the necessary confidence to begin reading for other people without the aid of a book. Feel free to use a book for your own readings while you are learning. Eventually you won’t need it!

Most importantly, relax and have fun!

A History…of sorts

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I have been a pagan for 20 years now. Not that I have been one religiously by any means. Things come up in our lives and it is good to take a break and reflect upon the work we have done. Even Crowley took a break for years before returning to his occult studies. There is nothing wrong with that. I find that I tend to take breaks after studying extensively on one area of expertise. I look into what I am researching as far as I can, and practice daily. It is hard to find information as deep as I would like to go. Usually, though, it was just nonsense that was distracting to me. Combine that with a dead end in information, and Viola, a break is to be had whether I want it or not.

The moon herself takes a break 12 times a month. No one should ever feel guilty taking a break from long hours of reading, everyday rituals, and hoping no one comes in accidentally. I do seem to get The worst of all was the significant other who was abusive and thoroughly embarrassed by what he saw as an annoying hobby that everyone around would hate HIM for. People did stay away from him, but not because of my supposed “weirdo crap.”

I even completely lost all confidence in my path, because he decided that it would be cool to join a group. I decided to try it out, and I disliked it immensely. The experience seemed dogmatic and fanatical, and that was the reason that I despised another dogmatic religion. It made me want to literally vomit, and I stopped associating with the members of this supposed group.

I never thought I would do well in a group, and I never joined one until then. So, maybe that in itself wasn’t the shiniest example of working with others in a coven like setting. These people weren’t really pagan, witches, or anything that made natural sense to me. I am not quite sure what they would call themselves, but the group they represented wasn’t for me.

Eventually, I want to start a study group of sorts. I will just start there. I can be difficult to work with myself, because I am stubborn. I am fine until someone interrupts me or tells me flat out that my way of thinking is wrong. Regardless, I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I enjoy having others around to discuss spiritual practices with. I do go through a lot of intellectual changes when I am going through a stale period. For example, I did not see the point of spells until recently.

Although, these periods come and go, my time is spent reflecting what I had learned when I was studying so hard when they are here, and reading and doing new things when that period ends.

The Law of Attraction Part 2

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I feel that the real secret about the Secret is that it does not work for everyone. So, this is a buyer beware if you will.

When I had been going through a hard time last year, I tried to use the secret to make my life better. I love the concept of the movie, but its techniques do not work for me. What worked for me was to get really threatening, angry, and hateful. I thought that was really odd that love and light only provided disappointment. Then, I realized I have never been about all that New Age foo foo nonsense.

The real reason that my negativity worked better, was the intense emotion sent out into the universe. It was the psychic drama that was released that made things start to actually happen. It didn’t have to be a negative emotion either; just a strong one.

Another thing that helped a great deal was that I got rid of any negative nancies that were around me. Those are the people that say they are your friends. However, when you tell them your plans, they somehow ruin them. They either tell you it can’t be done, or they think you can’t do it. I think of this as a kind of astral cock blocking. It negates all the hard positive thinking you just did. I don’t think that everyone does this intentionally, but the best thing to do is to just keep quiet until you have what you want. This way, you keep your friends and you get what you want.

Lastly, you actually have to get out there and do something about your situation. This is the one thing they say in The Secret that I full heartily believe. If you are looking for that special someone to spend a while with, then you need to get out there. I suggest that you know what you want in a significant other, or you will attract vultures.

The secret is nothing more than performing a spell every single moment of your life. So, keep your intentions a SECRET, and get out there and notice things around you.

The Law of Attraction Part 1 – My take on the Secret

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Everyone wants to be successful in their life, but many people are unsure how they can achieve their dreams. We live in such a hectic world that we as individuals lose the insight that we need to achieve those goals we have set for ourselves. We lose direction because of many factors; many of them have to do with our self esteem levels. It seems as though those who have good self esteem in themselves attain greatness in their lifetime more so than those who live on the low end of the esteem scale. Every single one of us has the ability to kick the low self esteem habit, because that is all it is in my belief. Most people believe the best and easiest to use tools to kick the pattern of self hatred is the Secret or the law of attraction.

The Secret is the easiest way to build up an individual with very low self esteem, and you need to believe with every atom of your body in order for it to work. It teaches the love of self, money, and your health as a way of making the secret of the universe work for you. Love of self is the biggest of the lesson, I feel, because then you know that you are worthy to receive the things that you want. If you don’t love yourself, you will be given the gift of stress and more of the things you don’t want. The same principle applies to money. If you hate money, you will never receive money. In a way, you are dispelling the money that you desperately want, because you hate the money you don’t have. You are focusing on the negative in the situation, and that is exactly what you are getting. It furthers the belief that the money is unattainable, and that belief becomes more ingrained in your psyche and very being. In a way everyone uses the Secret, but may not know it. The Secret all boils down to the Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction simply states that whatever we give attention to is created in our environment. This means that if an individual believes that they will fall off of a ladder if they even attempt to climb a ladder, they will do just that. This is a very elementary way of putting it, but in essence, that is how it works. Even though the person who fell off the ladder probably performed a mind freak on themselves, the basics of attracting money and worthwhile relationships is the same. If you believe with every part of your being, whether conscious or not, that you deserve a man in your life who is demeaning and abusive, then men like that will be the only ones that are attracted to you. They will come to you, and encircle you like a vulture does to road kill. Once you decide that you deserve better than to be treated as a four day old flattened possum then you will find that those abusive men are replaced by men who are loving and treat you well. You will see that the men you meet who are mean and condescending will dissipate like a pond in a drought. It looks simple on paper, but the law of attraction is harder to put into action for some people.

Another very important part of the Secret is being appreciative of the things you have and want. Everyone has supportive people in their life, and some people will turn their backs on those people. These people are addicted to the negative, and will have a hard time achieving any success. It is not impossible, but the further these negative Nancies go down the spiral, the harder they will have to get back onto their chosen path to success(aka childhood dreams, etc.) It will always be important to appreciate things and people in your life, but most importantly, YOU must appreciate YOU. You cannot depend on another to lift you up, that is not their responsibility. It is yours!

In conclusion, you are the one responsible for your future. It takes you to become the person who loves you most to make you successful, without being a narcissist of course. You grant yourself the wishes that you desire, whether in relationships, abundance, health, etc, by feeling worthy enough to receive the gifts that the universe has to offer. All you have to do is to love yourself, and believe that you can achieve or get the things you wish to obtain.

The Life Marathon

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I hear some people use that line made famous by that movie. You know… the one about a box of chocolates and not knowing what you’ll get. Sure, that would work if your life was fairly simple and Hollywood easy. In fact, you can plan your box of chocolates. They have a list on the bottom of the box of exactly what is contained within that box. It is predestined and easy to figure out. For the rest of us, it is more like a Marathon in the Dark.

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Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Life is like a marathon in the dark, you never know when that tree is going to smack you in the face.”

This seems to be more or less the way it is for some of us. We may keep charging ahead blindly, but we are cautious most of the time. However, when that overconfident mood strikes, Wham! A brick wall. Sometimes, that wall may be just a small one and other times it’s one that takes a few years of feeling around in the dark trying to find a way around it. No clues are given on this marathon, especially if they are helpful. You know, like a light bright with an arrow on it to point out our paths for us. The path must be paved on it’s own with all the scrapes, bruises, and possible broken limbs.

Eventually, a torch is found, and it illuminates the surroundings a bit. It helps for the short term, but until the flood light is found it is better than nothing. When that is found, then the possibilities open up for us, and it becomes easier to surround ourselves with all the box of chocolates we could ever hope for.

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net