I'm going to start posting a Week Ahead spread at the beginning of each week here with a link to my Facebook page, rather than a daily card, though I may also post one of those from time to time. The spread will likely vary each week as well as the deck used. Today I used the lush Tarot Illuminati (one of my favorites) and chose a 3-card spread with the following positions: Opportunities, Challenges, and Potential. What I drew surprised me and puzzled me just a little: Temperance, The Emperor, and The Devil! Can you guess why I was surprised? (Pause here for you to think about it ).
Ok, well first, there are 3 Major cards - unusual to pull 3 in a row out of a deck of 78. And yes, I did shuffle well and cut the deck too. So what does this mean just by itself? Well, major cards indicate big issues rather than smaller ones; usually they are about life choices, not daily choices. So, it would seem that there will be some important situations, decisions, or changes coming up for all of us this week; perhaps it's even referring to situations on a national or world level. This is quite possible since there is so much going on everywhere right now - the volatile Middle East situation with (unfortunately) the US considering some sort of involvement, the violent group in Africa, ongoing violence in other unsettled regions, natural disasters, and the list goes on. I won't get political here but the just mentioned is enough for us to work with alone. So back to the tarot.
Temperance is our Opportunity card, so what does this suggest? Well, in light of greater world situations, it could be suggesting peace talks and mediation are possible in the very volatile situations we are watching, rather than further escalations of violence and destruction. Temperance urges balance, patience, a blending of options to create new solutions and reach compromises; it also promises healing, recovering, and harmony if the above is followed or allowed to take shape. So this week, either on the world or personal level, peace and harmony is possible if we slow down and listen with patience and an open mind, rather than insisting on our way alone. So wherever it is harmony is needed, whatever feels out of balance, this week is the time equilibrium can be achieved.
For Challenges, there's The Emperor. Now, I wonder, why is he a challenge? Well, The Emperor signifies the need for order, structure, restraint and discipline. So, actually, his appearance here makes sense when considering him following Temperance. If agreement is reached with opposing sides/people, etc. this week (Temperance), then order, leadership, direction, law and order, and structure is needed to successfully implement the details and create and carry plans through - in other words, Emperor energy. This is never easy, hence it is our challenge of the week.
The Devil in the final position as the Potential of the week is a puzzle. Any ideas what his appearance is trying to tell us? (another pause). I had to think long and hard about this one! For many, the appearance of The Devil is mostly a negative indication; here he appears as a potential. Looking at the previous 2 cards, The Devil here seems to be a warning. He is indicating a potential for failure - that is, falling back into bad habits, negative mindsets and/or behavior, self-indulgence, delusion, acting on impulse and passions rather than a conciliatory more rational approach. Temperance, as we have seen, is telling us peace and harmony is possible this week - go for it! The Emperor is telling us what must come after any agreements - the building of structure, the implementation of plans, the discipline and order to carry them through. The Devil is warning us to watch out for the pitfall of giving in to previous behaviors and returning to conflict and disharmony if there is no Emperor energy applied. It is usually easier to return to what we know and are accustomed to than to create and follow-through with change, regardless of what our good intentions may be. It is usually easier to give into negative habits than to let them go. So, in a nutshell - we've got great advice and an open road to harmony this week if we consider what is needed and keep a cool head!
I'd love to hear what you think about these cards. Any and all alternative interpretations are welcome, as well as any additional insights!
Today's Card the Day on my White Rabbit Tarot Facebook page was Golden Flower, or Temperance in RWS. After I posted on my page I found featured this week in Andrea Green's email Tarot Journal was - you guessed it - Temperance! I think I'm getting the message- must be something I need to hear. When a card comes up and comes up again and again, you know it's trying to get your attention and it's likely something you need to attend to, or take to heart. And so I will.
I just love the Chrysalis Tarot version of this card! The colors are warm pastels, the imagery inviting and joyous, and in fact, the card is actually a meditative tool, a mandala with its sunflower center, a bright stillness surrounded by dancing movements of fish and butterflies - outer movement with inner stillness - a metaphor of our lives if mindfulness is applied. The world may do as it will, and waters may swirl around us in life's circumstances, but if we can touch into and maintain our inner center, we can avoid being swept up and away with ups and downs. Looking into this card brings joy for me - and I think most anyone who takes a moment will experience the same.
I've been using the Chrysalis Tarot for almost every self-reading I've done in the last week or so to get familiar with its meanings and images. I'm looking forward to getting to the point where I'll feel comfortable using it to read for others. It's such a joyous, life-affirming and gentle deck that I think most people will really appreciate and enjoy it.
But getting back to synchronicity - I was communicating with an online fellow tarot reader yesterday and she had a little discouraging hiccup in her plans to build her tarot business. I didn't do a reading for her then, but off the top of my head I told her that something better may be coming and that was the reason this initial situation didn't work out. Today I did a short reading on her situation and the cards very clearly echoed my hunch from last night - 5 of Cups for present experience, followed by 2 of Cups and the Wheel of Fortune - a new collaboration. There was more to the reading, and the additional cards moving into the near future basically echoed this theme with the 6 of Swords as the final card (moving away from discord into something better, or moving to a new location, in this case, her reading venue).
Interesting how this Golden Flower/Temperance imagery is like a wheel -almost like a Wheel of Fortune- one minute you're on the top, then on the bottom, and around we go...think it's telling us to accept this relentless up and down movement that is life and by this find the bright, still peace that is really ours? Maybe the simplistic phrase that was a popular song some years ago really did say it "Don't worry, be happy!" Might as well, right?
So recently I decided to work almost exclusively with Chrysalis Tarot so I can get acquainted with it and feel comfortable using it both for myself and for others' readings. I don't usually like to spend time learning a deck that deviates too much from RWS (you've probably noticed I've mentioned that a few times here!). Now, while this deck is RWS based, it's also its own thing - that is, some meanings have been modified and/or made more "soothing," shall I say - like take The Devil. I drew this card today as part of a larger 9-card general self-exploratory spread, and The Devil came up as the final card - in the "Free will" or "Action to be taken" position. Now, ordinarily I would not be happy to see this card anywhere, as I view The Devil as announcing being stuck or prisoner of something (habit, bad relationship, etc); in that particular position, I would see it as advising me to break free of negative thinking - the self-doubting stuff that holds me back at times. In Chrysalis, this card is titled "Bella Rosa" with the attribute or keyword being "Detachment." Interesting. The image of this card is quite pleasant, especially for me, as one who loves masks and masquerades. What we see is a woman in ornate Carnevale de Venezia costume and mask, holding a hand mirror in her left hand and a red rose in her right; there is a snake swallowing its own tail (Ouroboros) in the air near her. This card, according to the LWB with the deck, indicates rebirth (the Ouroboros) and fulfillment of a cycle, an understanding of the benefit of detachment from material obsessions and unhealthy habits. Quite different from the standard RWS version! Here in Chrysalis it's about new beginnings, breaking out and free, realization, wisdom even. So while it does admonish being a slave to materialism (which is one of the RWS possibilities in the Devil), it also indicates the querent is beyond that and on his/her way to clarity and freedom. I like that Chrysalis takes the high road and gives the benefit of the doubt and the gentle nudge to us with the assumption that we all are not only capable, but inclined to be this way. Is this whitewashing reality? No, I think it's a softer approach with a more optimistic (and artistically beautiful) message than the grim RWS we're mostly all used to.
I think it's interesting to compare the same card from very different decks. Each deck creator puts his/her own interpretations into the artwork; sometimes there isn't much deviation from the standard RWS meanings - a little extra flourish here or there, slightly different colors, but nothing that changes things too much. Other times, the art (and the LWB) really change or add greatly to the meanings. A reader can choose to ignore those changes and interpret the cards according to what he/she has learned and is accustomed to, or he/she can work more by intuition and the specific deck creator/artist's interpretations in the LWB or companion book that comes with the deck. I am going to compare the Moons from three decks: Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS), Chyrsalis Tarot, and Thoth Tarot.
First RWS- A night scene. Two large, foreboding towers are shown. They also can be seen as tombstones, because the same symbol appears on the card of Death. Two wild beasts, a dog and a wolf, howl at the Moon and a crab appears in the water (as the Moon rules over the zodiac of Cancer) and crawls from onto the land. The Moon is shedding the moisture of fertilizing dew. The figure in the moon is seems to be frowning and reflects obviously displeasure. The card can be considered as the fears of the natural mind. There is a pathway into the distant, dark unknown. The light of the Moon illuminates all the things you can't see in daylight. Overall, it's strange and uncomfortable scene. The standard indications of this card are possible deception and illusory situations , moodiness, hidden truths, and the rising of intuition. Overall, it's not a very positive card in RWS.
In Chrysalis Tarot, we find an ornate quarter moon in forefront of the card, smiling as rays of white light radiate off it, illuminating the water beneath and faint ornate patterns in the sky around it. There is a tiny green island in the middle of the water with a lone standing figure with arms raised. The key word in the LWB is "Reflection" and the moon is described as embracing "the tiny island as a mother might embrace a bewildered child." This Moon is about creative reflection and (again in the LWB) "joyful celebration of your success" in energizing your goals and aspirations with positive thoughts." The Chrysalis moon here too is about diving deep into intuition through inner voice, dreams, etc, but it is also an empowering and embracing figure, rather than disturbing as in RWS.
In the complex imagery of the Thoth Moon we find the two towers from RWS with two wolf-headed figures of Annubis, Egyptian God of Death, each with a jackal, standing guard in front of each tower. The moon here is a waning moon and it is clearly the land of the dead. The jackals are scavengers and ready to fall upon and devour the corpses of the dead who pass between the two ominous towers. It is all shadows and uncertainty and danger; it takes great courage to pass through this threatening dark landscape. It is not for the confused, uncertain and faint of heart; here there is no benevolence of the embracing Chrysalis and the dark aspects of RWS have been heightened. However, within this dark imagery is a glimmer of light and hope; there is also the sacred Egyptian scarab beetle holding a symbol of the sun between its pincers, a renewing positive sign, indicating there is light in the darkness - the light can be understood as consciousness illuminating the illusory shadows. One of the messages is to open up to what is hidden - again through listening to intuition, dreams, shadow work, though it may be difficult and frightening.
We can say that all three Moons do encourage tapping into one's intuition and unconscious to reveal what is hidden, though RWS and Thoth do present the experience as frightening and dangerous. As the moon can be seen as a metaphor for the feminine, visible in these two decks is an inherent fear, then, of that aspect of being - the female. The female is the unknown darkness, the unconscious, emotions, uncertainty. The Chrysalis is by far the most female/unconscious/spirit-friendly. All three, however, are ultimately about embracing the totality of one's complete self, the darkness and the light, which will lead to transformation, though in RWS this possible transformation is not apparent within the card itself. RWS is a warning regarding not only oneself, but others and exterior situations; . It is quite interesting to see the similarities and differences of these three decks. I'm sure with all the many hundreds of decks out there, this one comparison could end up as a book, and an interesting one at that!
Ok, so just a few days ago I wrote here that the honeymoon with Chrysalis Tarot was waning. Well, I'm not giving up, I've decided! Yes, the meanings are different in many cases from RWS for sure, but this means I need to call on my intuition more strongly with this deck - precisely what Chrysalis is meant to do. Precisely what I need to do even though it feels like diving deep sometimes, instead of relying on the tried and true RWS interpretations I've got in my mind-vault.
Part of my resurrected determination and enthusiasm stems from the wonderful interview with Toney Brooks this morning online with Guiding Echoes on YouTube here. If you haven't listened, I highly recommend this. Toney is so knowledgeable and it was great to listen to his background on the Chrysalis deck and sthe deeper meanings of some of the images. I promptly emailed him later and asked for tips on getting more out of the deck and less out of my head and he suggested the Pentagram spread in the back of the LWB. I'd already tried that spread once and liked it, so I tried it again and this time asked for his impressions of some of the positions I got. Needless to say it was all very helpful and I'm hooked and determined to make this deck mine, so to speak. So, from now on for an open ended time, I will be using only Chrysalis and working with it more intensively. It's a treasure for sure, and I do agree with Tonie that it's a mind/spirit opener for anyone and everyone. Stay tuned!
The Card of the Day today is from Chrysalis Tarot - Sorceress (High Priestess) perfect for today, Friday the 13th under a glorious once in a century full honey moon (called so because of its yellow color, the moon being quite close in its orbit to Earth tonight). You can read the details on my Facebook page (link above). Needless to say, the gates of perception are opened today and the mysteries are flowing in! Get ready for some interesting synchronicity, creative surges, heightened intuition, revelations, and expanded vision where suddenly a whole picture reveals itself where before it had you stumped. I've already experienced some of this today, with heightened creative thoughts, a synchronicity in pulling the Sorceress after reading someone else's posting of that card on a Facebook tarot group. And yes, it may also have to do with the deck itself, which the creators' think of as magic -inducing. They may be right!
To heighten intuition, try carrying or wearing an amethyst crystal or moonstone and get out under the glorious coming moon and feel the magic! Try choosing a tarot card from any deck that symbolizes or expresses your deepest desire and place it under a bright yellow or orange candle and light the candle tonight, asking the Sorceress for help in manifesting that dream. Tonight of all nights, she'll be listening. Keep your ears open for her messages today!
So, I have a great tarot quote I heard last night from Grey, an acquaintance: "Tarot is the signpost(s) on the highway of life." Love it and so true! Tarot can let you know when the exits, detours, closed roads and shortcuts are coming up - important information if we don't have a map! It can help make our journey smoother, less full of traffic jams, accidents and just getting lost. Think of Tarot as GPS - you can follow the directions or go your own way, but at least you know where you're going!
Now to the Magic part. Last night Grey, who has a drop-in tarot discussion group, talked about Tarot candle spells. Now I've done my share of candle workings (though admittedly nothing very deep or sophisticated), but what was new was his suggestion to choose a tarot card from any deck with good illustrations that best expresses whatever you'd like to change or manifest and print out that card (at the size that will fit around a candle in a glass container) and tape it to the glass. Do the usual thing of writing down what you'd like to manifest, adding symbols (like $ for prosperity) fold it and place it under the candle. Light the candle and keep it burning until it exhausts itself, though keep it safe in a fireplace, sand, bathtub, etc. If necessary, put the candle out when you sleep or go out (put the flame out by snuffing it rather than blowing it, as snuffing indicates this spell will continue, while blowing it signals the end of the magic).
Another new thing I learned from Grey was that he uses orange or yellow candles to manifest prosperity and success, rather than green, which is the usual choice. He sees orange and yellow as dynamic energetic manifestation energies, rather than the more tame and common green, and it makes a lot of sense. I love those fiery colors and I can see in aspirations and ambitions that sort of energy - the Wands energy in fact. Wands in Tarot as manifestations of fire are usually depicted in red, orange, yellow - hot colors - you want the heat and energy of aspiration, the sparks and fire of will. So, grab that bright candle, choose an appropriate card and fire away to make your dreams come true!
Beautiful day today - birds singing, sun shining, gentle breeze, perfect temp, everything is aglow - it's all abundance and I think of The Empress on a day like this. Playing some more with my new Chrysalis Tarot and while I still love the beauty of the art and the soft, bright happy colors and positive spins of most of the card meanings, the honeymoon may be slowly winding down.
I guess I'm a traditionalist in that I like my decks to mean what I know, what I've studied (RWS mostly); sure I love imaginative variations of the art - as long as the standard meanings are still clear. If a card (or entire deck) is beautiful or edgy, or whatever, I can appreciate the artwork and artist's innovation and imagination, but if the traditional meaning of too many cards doesn't come through, then I likely won't use the deck for readings. It will sit on my shelf, maybe getting very occasional use or no use at all - and certainly never with clients. I might pick it up simply to enjoy the illustrations, but for me, it's not a reading deck. Unfortunately, the Chrysalis Tarot is beginning to fall into this category.
The meanings of many of its cards don't adhere to RWS at all, or at best, the meanings are greatly extended above and beyond anything RWS had dreamed of. Most of the cards have positive twists - even the most "negative" or frightening ones (think Tower, 10 of Swords, etc.), which is ok, but often the meanings are so far out of the ballpark that they're almost entirely different. Therefore, working with Chrysalis properly - that is, using it the way the creators meant it to be used - with their meanings and interpretations - means having to use their LWB (Little White Book) for each reading rather than just relying on my own experience and knowledge (and intuition) as I would normally do. While it is usually uplifting to read the creators' interpretations and takes on each card, it feels more like I'm using an oracle deck than a tarot deck. I suppose with repeated use I would eventually memorize the Chrysalis meanings and not have to rely on the LWB, but still, it would be a different sort of reading - a much less predictive and basic nuts and bolts sort (which is what many people want and expect) - and a much more psychological/spiritual one.
Granted both oracle and tarot decks are divination tools and are catalysts to tap into a reader's intuition and the spiritual realm; however, when is a "tarot" deck a tarot deck and when is it an oracle? For me, considering the wide deviation of meanings, the Chrysalis deck is really an oracle and should be used as such (not for predictive purposes, for e. You know, there's really something to be said for tradition!
Started a new page on this site called "Tarot Art by Me" where I'll be posting images of my tarot deck-in-progress. First pic is The Fool. Keep in mind this is in-progress; the title area on the bottom will not look the same in the final version and I'm sure other aspects will change too. Love to hear what you think, so do drop a line if you're so moved!
Next up - I've been continuing to work with the Thoth deck and am actually warming to it even more! Had a very positive experience with it today - couldn't have wished for more uplifting cards than The Sun, 10 of Cups, 2 of Wands, and 6 of Cups for a reading on trends in my life. This is probably the first time I've felt such a glow after using Thoth. Previously, I'd be puzzled and/or out in the cold with that deck; in fact, I felt it almost as negative. Now, however, after moving along with Andrew McGregor's Thoth classes, I'm noticing the bright colors and at times exuberant designs and appreciating the wealth of detail on each card - even the "plain" minors have more than meets the eye to say. I might just get to the point where I'll be including this deck in my choices for professional readings. I do love the depths to this deck and it's great to expand one's horizons and add to the toolbox!
Waiting for the next synchronicity to occur - trying to catch it as it flies by - it's so easy to miss them! Have to pull out the Chrysalis Tarot again - using that deck seems to set things in motion somehow! Toney Brooks, the writer for the deck, calls Chrysalis a healing deck and swears by its synchronicity-inducing effects. He just may be on to something!
So here it is again today - another synchronicity! The Card of the Day on my Facebook business page was Queen of Swords (which I go into there); the card of the day for discussion by James Ricklef also on Facebook was - you guessed it - Queen of Swords! Ok, so I'm noticing these, not trying to figure them out - if there's anything to figure that is. Maybe, though, part of the meaning is in the cards. Ok, so The Moon tells us things hidden are emerging, and the Queen of Swords tells us to pay attention to truth, cut through illusions - think there's a correlation there? Taro, the Universe, wants to be sure we hear its messages, so it will repeat them, again and again. I'm listening - are you? Can't wait to see what tomorrow might bring!
Queen of Swords below from Tarot Illuminati by Kim Huggens & Erik C. Dunne
I am an intuitive counselor and visionary artist who has studied and worked with Tarot for over 20 years. I am an avid collector of tarot art, as well as a creator. I am the creator of four oracle decks. I also have an extensive collection of tarot art images on Pinterest.com which you can enjoy.