Phrasing your Question

job-interview-questions-and-answersQuestions, they are the reason we approach the tarot or any divinatory tool. We may be facing a difficult situation in our lives, a tough relationship, and an important decision that needs careful consideration or some small curiosity.

Tarot is a tool, which answers questions. The way a question is asked is very important. A well-worded question can provide a more specific answer. Vague questions can lead to vague answers.

Author Joan Bunning of Learning The Tarot provides wonderful tips for this subject.

Joan says that you should phrase the question to show that “you accept responsibility for your situation”.  Joan provides the following example

  1. Should I put my father in a nursing home, or take care of him in my house?
  2. What do I need to know to decide on the best living arrangements for my father?

In the first question, the writer gives up her responsibility for making a decision. She wants the cards to tell her what to do. On the second question, she is simply asking the cards to give her more information. She knows the decision lies with her.

It is tempting to ask questions like the first one, but Joan stresses that we should  “avoid questions that deflect responsibility”. Such would be questions that are answered with a “Yes” or “No” or Questions that begin with “Should” or questions asking only about time.

So what kind of questions should we ask the tarot? Joan says the question should be open ended, which are questions that allow for conversation and explanation. These questions start with “How” or “What”. Example: “How can I improve my relationship with…” or “What do I need to know about….” These questions allow tarot to provide a detailed answered which is how tarot is designed to answer. Tarot likes to talk.

Joan also states that the question should focus on yourself, not on others. It is very tempting to ask, “What is my ex thinking” or “What does my boss think of me”. We want to know the unknown and get into people’s heads. It is natural to ask these questions, if only we knew what they thought then it fix our problems, we would know what we should do based on what the other wants. However tarot is not a mind reader. Yes, I have used tarot to find reasons for behaviors in others, but it is only speculative.

Instead of asking questions totally directed about someone else, stay focused on yourself and phrase the question where it gives you an action or advice. Instead of “What does my boss think of me” you could ask “How can I best present myself in front of my boss”.

The finale two tips from Joan are to “stay neutral” and “be positive”.

Staying neutral removes your interest in the outcome. Joan states “it is easy to begin a reading convinced that your position is the right one, but if you truly want to receive guidance, you need to be open to other points of view”. 

Being positive gives the question confidence and removes defeating thinking. For example, Joan provides us with a question, which is negative then is rephrased into a positive statement.

  1. Why can’t I overcome my fear of public speaking?
  2. How can I improve my ability to speak to groups effectively?

Personally, I think you can ask the first question, it is valid because it is a “why” and tarot can provide an indication of the problem. However the main purpose of the second, rephrased question is to provide a positive self-foucsed question.

What happens if there is no question? Can’t think of a question to ask the tarot? Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin from “Tarot, Face to Face: Using the cards in your everyday life” provide guidance on this. They go on to ask that if you woke up in the middle of the night, what issues may be on your mind? Or you were to stare out a window and daydream, where would your mind wander off? The goal is to engage the imagination to allow deeper questions to emerge.

After you phrase the question properly, it is time to activate the question. Activating the question is more of a ritualistic idea, which I have come to through my own practice, and study of magick. It is not enough to think of the question in your head because the question remains internal and private to yourself. To activate the question it needs to be released into the universe by way of the four elements.

You think the question (Air), speak the question (Fire) and write the question on paper (water and earth). If you use a pen the ink represents water and the paper is earth.  This is my practice, the way I see it by this process you are conceptualizing the question and manifesting the question into reality (birthing the question to life). This makes the question a thing, and releasing the question to the universe allows it to be answered by whatever it is you connect with (God, Goddess, Spirit, Higher Self).

Finally, a tip I learned from studying Lenormand (another system of card reading), Rana Geroege in “The Essential Lendormand” reminds us that we should stay focused on the answering the question asked, do not go off into other tangents of unrelated subjects. Rana also says that if the cards do not make sense, then your question or focus may not have been clear. So make sure to follow all the steps listed above.

Tarot M&M – Judgment

Key Concepts

Renewal, Healing, Rejuvination, Rebirth, Change, Transformation, Calling, Deliberation, Freedom, Revelation.

Symbols

  • The theme of the image of the Judgment card comes from medieval and Renaissance art of the Last Judgement.  
  • Tombs and resurrected people represent new life, restoration, rebirth and renewal.
  • Angel Gabrial blowing horn calls us to a higher calling or a direction/purpose.

Meaning & Message

  • A profound change may be happening or urging you to make a change in your life. This change is transformative, you change as a person, develop and evolve.
  • You may be called to do something greater in life or to do something significant. There is an urge to change the normal course of things.
  • You feel rejuvenated and energized. Reborn from a period of “death” or lifelines.

Shadow

  • Clinging to the old ways, resentment and anger about change.
  • Doing something you do not desire.
  • Resistance, avoidance of what is important.

Review : 365 Tarot Spreads by Sasha Graham

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Have you ever asked yourself, “What should I ask my cards today?” The daily reading is a common practice for tarot readers. However the practice can become a bit dull over time without a little spice. Sasha Graham knows all about spice and she brings in a lot of flavor into the daily reading tradition.

365 Tarot Spreads is an ambitious work. Sasha’s goal here is to provide the reader a daily spread for them to explore. I had high hopes for this book and was excited to see how Sasha would pull this off. Sasha has done a excellent job and I am pleased as pie.

Each day has its own spread and each spread is somehow linked to something related to that specific day. For example January 3rd, this is the feast day of Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. The spread presented on this day is a protection spread used to ponder from whom, how and why you might need some extra protection. The spread goes like this,

 

1)   Am I open to the influences of others?

2)   What energy surrounds me?

3)   Is there energy I must be aware of?

4)   Who aids me?

5)   What protection can I count on?

6)   How can I ground myself?

7)   What should I do to protect myself?

 

Sasha also includes a card on the side, which relates to the spread, in this case the Queen of Wands. Sasha comments that the Queen of Wands maintains the strongest energetic field in the deck. She also says that if you read for others grounding is important as to not unintentionally absorb the querent’s energies.

There is also a blurb above the card, often relating to some historical fact or background or comments on the spread of the day and inspiration of the spread. I like this section because as a history junkie and trivial knowledge king these little cookies of wisdom are great to use at parties!

The spreads you will find inside this book are various, unique and will provide you continuous insights. This is a one of a kind tarot spread book!

Review: The Essential Lenormand: Your Guide to Precise & Practical Fortunetelling

The-Essential-Lenormand-Your-Guide-to-Precise-Practical-Fortunetelling-Paperback-P9780738736624I first heard about the Lenormand in 2012 at Readers Studio in New York. I saw little groups of people (Rana was among them) gathered at tables gazing over cards I never seen before. These were not Tarot cards nor where they oracle cards. These were Lenormand cards. What the heck is this? I thought to myself. Someone took the time to explain the cards to me and do a sample reading. I was skeptical and wary of trying to learn another divinatory system, “Ain’t nobody got time for that” as I thought to myself.

The spread of Lenormand within the Tarot community was apparent. Groups were forming and growing online. New books and decks began to be published. The famed artist Ciro Marchetti (Gilded Tarot, Legacy of the Divine) created his own “Gilded Reverie Lenormand” which is the deck that got me to look into Lenormand. However, it is Rana George I can give credit for teaching me the Lenormand and now I see its real value.

The Essential Lenormand is the first book you should purchase to begin your Lenormand journey. It may even be the only book you will ever need. Rana is the perfect teacher for the subject, a dependable expert in the subject. Rana has been reading Lenormand practically her whole life. If you are going to learn something from someone it better be from someone who has being doing it for many years. Rana is this person. Her knowledge is vast and her ability to convey the Lenormand is effortless. Learning the Lenormand like any divination system is not easy, you need to practice but Rana’s gives you the ability to start reading Lenormand right away.

I have two other books on Lenormand but Rana’s has that “it” factor about it that makes it an enjoyable book to read and learn the Lenormand. Rana teaches that with the Lenormand when interpreting the cards, it is essential to keep your question in mind and answer only the question. Something I have to learn to do! Do not deviate into different subjects. The question is so important; it must be worded specifically to get a specific answer. Form questions that allow for concrete and descriptive answers.

Rana breaks down each card into different contexts for easy application of the meanings in a reading. Here is the breakdown,

Future
Woman or Man
Work
Love
Health, Body and Spirit
Money
Time and Timing
Advice or Action
Orientation
Objects and Areas
Personal Anecdote
Traditional Meanings
Sample Reading

Rana also shares with you’re her personal knowledge which she has learned over the years. She uses nuances, themes or tones that certain cards appear to group into. Rana lists four Action, Portrait, Mood and Time. I would say these are kind of like elements in Tarot, Water, Fire, Earth and Air. When you see a certain nuance appear in a reading you can see what sees to be the main focus of tone. Much like elements influences the theme of Tarot reading.

Within each chapter of a card you will see meanings for all the contexts, which I listed above. Rana will also share with you a personal story about that card. She explains the card as it might mean within the Grand Tableau (the celtic cross of the Lenormand world, a spread which uses all 36 cards). Rana also gives you examples of card combinations, which is very helpful.

Rana includes nine Lenormand spreads. Rana spreads a whole section on how to use the Grand Tableau. This is a spread which while large can be an amazing experience.

I have to say that I think I finally found a system to explore my fortunetelling side. Being a Tarot reader I try not to use tart for fortunetelling. I think Tarot is not a good tool for fortunetelling in the traditional sense. It is more psychology dealing with the consciousness, subconscious, archetypes and spiritual lessons. Lenormand on the other hand is a fortunetelling system through and through. All the questions regarding the future that I would not use Tarot for is perfect for Lenormand.

Tarot and Lenormand pair up very nicely as well. You can use both systems together in a reading; Rana explains how to do this as well. You will find this under the Appendix section.

After reading The Essential Lenormand and putting the cards into action I quickly got direct and specific answers to my questions and validations of some concerns. Rana has made a convert of me. This Tarot guy is now riding the Lenormand train.

New Pagan Channel

Last month I created a new YouTube Channel dedicated to the pagan pursuit. I have always wanted to talk about spirituality/religion and philosophy on my Tarot Channel however, never felt it would mesh well with the Tarot Theme. I figured my viewers would enjoy it, but not want it to take over the channel which is dedicated to tarot.

So as a result, I created a channel where I can converse with other pagans on YouTube and share my ideas. The channel is called “The Unorthodox Pagan: a Different Pagan Perspective”. To learn more, here are some videos which I created which will help you get acclimated.

Introduction

My Pagan Persspective

Super Bowl XLVIII – Tarot Prediction

It is that time of the year again, Super Bowl Sunday! I am not a football fan, but I watch for the sake of watching it as a tradition. I mainly watch it for the commercials and the half time show. I also make yearly predictions on who the victor will be. So far I have an excellent track record.

 

This year the Seattle Seahawaks will vs the Denver Broncos. Who will win? The tarot knows.

 

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The card on the left (4 of Cups) represents the Seahawks while the card on the right (8 of Pentacles) represents the Broncos.

My prediction is that Denver Broncos will win.

 

The four of Cups is not a promising card as it shows dissatisfaction and apathy. Dissatisfaction in that they lose, of course, but I feel like they will be close to a win but miss it completely.

Eight of Pentacles shows methodology, attention, hard work and consistency. Broncos will win.

Book Review : To Walk a Pagan Path

51UiJ8pSNvL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_To Walk a Pagan Path” by Alaric Albertsson is a fantastic book for the pagan to learn how to be practicing their faith.  One of the disappointments of most pagan books is that most books focus on the theory and lack real guidance on practice. How does someone live a pagan life?

This is a question I have often asked myself and I can say that To Walk a Pagan Path is an excellent resource for incorporating paganism in your daily life. I greatly appreciate the author’s ability to incorporate various traditions such as Nordic, Greek, Roman or Egyptian for example. Being Greek I find it hard to connect to other pagan books because the focus seems to be on Northern European traditions.

The Sacral Calendar was an impressive chapter.  The Wheel of The Year was taught. The Wheel of the Year has not sat well with me because it is a concept foreign to my Greek ancestors and I was happy that Alaric brought that up this book.  Alaric explained the Greek sacral calendar having little in common with the modern wheel of the year. Paganism is not cut and dry, there is variety and Alaric always tries to be inclusive of other traditions.

I highly recommend this book to any pagan who is looking to connect with their pagan faith in a deeper way. This book will help you get out of “theory only” and into practicing.

 

Purchase on Amazon

Two of Pentacles – Preview: Tarot – Unlocking the Arcana

Two of Pentacles

Esoteric Title – Lord of Harmonious Change

Two of Pentacles - Tarot Illuminati

Two of Pentacles – Tarot Illuminati

Description

A man juggles two pentacles between his hands; the pentacles are linked together with the infinity sign. In the background there is one small ship and one large ship that are riding large waves.

Symbolism & Meaning

The Two of Pentacles represents juggling different responsibilities in life. Work, family, school, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, painting, fixing that door that has been broken for five months because you have been too busy to fix it. The daily grind is represented by the Two of Pentacles, because of all the responsibilities being required of us we need to become flexible. Flexibility and adaptability are essential in this card.

The esoteric title of the Two of Pentacles is Lord of Harmonious Change; the Two of Pentacles represents the ability to bring balance and harmony into the material world by practical means. The meaning of harmony (from the Greek Harmonia) is that which fits together, is in agreement and joined. The harmonious change in this card is accomplished by the blending of earth and water.

The Two of Pentacles represents weighing choices. What should I do, which option is worth my time, money, attention and investment? You are trying to weigh pros and cons and the long-term effects of one choice over the other, this is suggested by image of the pentacles joined by the infinity symbol. The ships in the background riding the waves represent our intention and action to pursue a goal even when it may seem we may feel conflicted inside. The Two of Swords was conflicted by the intuition and intellect so no choice way made, the card is static. However the Two of Pentacles is of the earth element which water helps to develop. This card is in motion; however it is the starting phase of motion. As you see the waves are rough, moving forward is a challenge. The man is capable of juggling, he is not struggling, yes it is not easy but it is doable. As to with life, it is hard but we are capable of meeting the challenges.

In readings the Two of Pentacles represents flexibility, balancing the everyday things in life. Many times when I see the Two of Pentacles it tells me that my clients are working multiple jobs or are balancing work and school. A need to be flexible in any given situation, you need to give a little to get a little. Pondering the possibilities of one choice over the other and being conflicted over which of the options is best. It is essential that you have thought things through before you make your choice.

When ill dignified the Two of Pentacles can represent inability to cope and adapt to change and new demands. You may feel nervous and tense about a new opportunity or task. You may be trying to multitask too many things and you suffer as a result. It is best right now if you focus on one thing at a time. Things can be unstable at the moment, it is not a good time to make change or try something new. Stick to what you are currently doing until circumstances are different.

The Moon : Preview from Unlocking The Arcana

maj18“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.” Tupac Shakur 

 THE MOON

Moving onward leaving the serenity that is The Star we come into contact with The Moon and are spellbound by its influence. Along with the stars the Moon has captivated the imaginations of mankind for as long as we can remember. When the Moon is full it glows bright, gazing into it can put you into a hypnotic state because of it beauty. The Moon is mysterious and is rich in mythology and symbolism.

The Moon card depicts a scene that is dark and mysterious. There are no humans, only animals. The full moon shines down on a dog and wolf who howl into the night. A lobster or crab is emerging from the water. There is a trail that leads from the water down into the foreground passing two pillar structures similar to those we saw in the Death card.

The Moon is associated the subconscious, emotion, intuition and creativity. The Moon is linked with the High Priestess because of their similarities with intuition, subconscious and psychic tendencies. The water in the card represents our unconscious. This card is connected with such right brained activates as poetry, drawing, music, dramatic acting and dance. Anything outside of the realm of logic and order is in the realm of The Moon.

On the other hand The Moon represents illusions and misinformation. Everything is not as it seems.  The Moon does not actually produce its own light; it reflects the light from the Sun. The light from the Sun removes darkness and shows reality. The Moon since it reflects only a part of the Sun’s light we only see some of the truth; we get part of the whole picture. The full moon lights the path in the card for us to walk, but we need to proceed with caution. We can’t see far ahead, our eyes may play tricks on us. What that a person or just a shadow I just saw? What is that sound? Is someone following me? There is a sense of paranoia here, doubt and fear. Because we don’t see the whole picture we try to fill in the rest by what we perceive might be there. This might be right it could be wrong. Our perceptions are subjective, often our senses can fool us and what we perceive to be happening is not. It’s all in our mind. The Moon is subjective because of its nature of fluctuation, the Moon controls the tides. The rising and lowering of the ocean represents the change in emotion and fluctuation in perception.

The Moon is third in line of the stages of increasing enlightenment by the representation of increasing light. Remember, Lightening from The Tower, star light in The Star and now Moon light. More is revealed to us with the moon light. However what is revealed to us is not objective information. Things are not revealed by logic but by intuition and the voice inside, especially by our dreams. Dreams are an important association to The Moon card. Dreams reflect on the things we process during our waking conscious state. Dreams help us solve problems by offering solutions; they let us face our fears in a safe environment where no harm can come to us. Dreams also reveal to us future events and connect us with those who have passed on. The Moon card signals you to pay attention to your dreams and your intuition over all.

In classical mythology the moon has been personified as a female goddess. In traditional esoteric thought the energy of a female has been associated with the intuition, unconscious, and the kind of unknown or mysterious side the Moon represents. Women are also associated with the moon because of the link between the cycle of the Moon and a women’s menstruation cycle. The Triple Goddess is linked to the Moon because the phases of the moon reflects the maiden, mother, crone that the Triple Goddess represents. Hecate is an example of the Triple Goddess.

In Greek mythology the Moon is associated with Selene the Titan Goddess of the Moon, this is pre-Olympian world view. When the Olympians took control Artemis became the goddess of the moon. Artemis was the twins with Apollo (god of the sun); Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness, wild animals, hunting among other roles. The wilderness and wild animals is an important one in association to The Moon card. The Moon card features an open landscape, set out in the wilderness. As I mentioned before there is a dog, wolf and lobster/crab. The dog and wolf represent our animal nature, one that is domesticated (dog) and the other wild and free (wolf). Artemis had dogs in her companion during her hunts. Another goddesses closely associated with the Moon is Hecate. Hecate was the goddess of the crossroads and magic. Hecate also had dogs in her company, dogs are sacred to Hecate. What is it about the dog that makes them so closely linked with the moon and the moon goddess? The senses dogs are more keen then that of humans. Dogs smell and hear things that humans cannot. This ability makes the dog appear to have a sixth sense and thus makes them to appear as a psychic animal. Waite wrote that the dog and wolf are “the fears of the natural mind”. The crab emerging out of the water was seen by Waite as the manifesting of the animal nature. I can understand that view; however I see it as the manifesting of your intuitiveness and the awaking of the unconscious.

Numerologically, The Moon is card 18. 1+8= 9, The Hermit. The Hermit held out a lantern out into the darkness to bring illumination to the dark. To be a guiding light to others. While The Hermit is often an external guide The Moon transcends. The Moon is a guiding light in the darkness of night, calling people to be their own guides, to delve into the unconsciousness. 1-8= 7, The Chariot. The Chariot and The Moon both depict two creatures. The Chariot has two sphinxes (black and white) and The  Moon has a dog and wolf. The creatures in The Chariot are controlled, in The Moon the creatures are free. This can represent the freedom of the imagination and the wildness of the Self when it has no master (logos/Logic) which is missing in The Moon.

Astrologically The Moon is linked to Pisces and Neptune.  Pisces is represented by the two fish swimming in opposite directions linked by a think cord. The swimming in opposite directions can denote inability to make a decision. The Moon card is not a good card for making any actions or decisions because as we already understand the facts are not all there, the picture is not complete, all we have is our perceptions and subjective experience of the situation. The direction of the fish can also be symbolic of be pulled in different directions, as represented by the dog and wolf as two opposing forces. Neptune is the ruling planet here; Neptune is associated with illusions which reinforce the nature of the moon as a card of illusion.

In tradition The Moon was seen as a negative card because of its female qualities. In a world ran by men of course they would fear the female because they could not understand its nature. So cards like The Moon which are heavily female in nature would then been seen as negative. This is not the case however. The Moon is not a negative card. It is just a mysterious card that is linked to the underworking of your unconscious, what can be so scary about that?

In readings when The Moon appears it can indicate that you may need to be more consciousness of the unconsciousness. What does this mean? It means you need to pay attention to the way you react to people and situations. The Moon is a card rooted in emotion and emotions can change at the drop of a hat. Pay attention to these shifts in moods and feelings. The Moon suggests that there may be influences at work in the situation with remain unknown at the moment. There may be a person working in the shadows influencing things or there may be something at work internally which you are not aware of. For example you may be jealous of someone but you do not know this consciously. The Moon may suggest that things are changing and are not fixed at this time so do not build houses on sand so to speak. The concept of illusions is important as The Moon may be telling you things are not clear at the moment and you are only seeing part of the whole and seeing illusions, filling in the missing parts with your mind. The Moon can also indicate lies and deceitful tactics so be careful. Be more aware of what is happening around you.

When ill-dignified The Moon can represent deception, manipulation, people trying to take advantage of you by tricking you. You may fall victim to your emotions, which can get the best of you. Repressed emotions may bubble up which you are not ready to handle. On the same token you may be repressing a feeling which you are attempting to ignore. The Moon when ill dignified can also represent an escapism mentality in which you escape reality and attach yourself to a dream world, fantasy or your creation. It is a card of denial.

How to connect when doing online readings

Thanks to the internet tarot readings are no longer limited to in person encounters. Because of internet we are connected to people all over the world.

Woman typing on a modern keyboard. White background.This allows a client to find a tarot reader fast and easy. A tarot reader is not longer limited to clients from their local community. A reader can now read for a larger audience. I have read for people living in all across the world. However online reading is not for every reader. There are some challenges to online reading.

Email is the medium that I have used for the last eleven years when doing readings. The thing I love about email readings is the ease of scheduling it provides me. A client will email me asking for a reading and I will fit the reading into my schedule when I am able to do the reading. It also can be good for a busy client who cannot devote time to a session on the phone or in person.  The downside is the wait time, email readings do not provide instant gratification. Email readings also lack the intimate feeling of an in person reading. The experience is different you cannot deny it. However I can say that the outcome is the same, clients will get a good reading and will walk away with something to use in their life.

However reading for people online is challenging for some people. They find they cannot connect with the client via email. This may be due to fear. I myself still have a certain amount of fear when I do an email reading because you do not get any feedback as you are reading the cards. As I write out the reading as I see it in the cards I think to myself “Angelo you are crazy for writing this, what if it is wrong and you look stupid”. The payoff is when the client writes back validating the reading and saying how accurate it was. Then I think to myself “Oh yea your the man!”. If you are fearful when reading online try not to let that fear make you nervous, say what you see in the cards as if you would in person. If you have questions you want to ask the client ask them in the email and let the client answer it. There answer will then help you adjust the card’s meaning as needed.

Explain why you are saying what you are saying. I always give my clients an explanation for what I am saying. I walk them through my logic as I see cards together. I tell them what I see in a card and then in the next card I see something else and together they give a certain feeling. This way they know I am not just pulling it all out of my ass. Online or in person you need to talk, just talking the client through the cards, what you see and make you conclusions. Let the client follow up with you and you can continue the reading.

Another reason some readers cannot read online is that some reader do need a physical connection to the client. The reader might be more empathic and need to have the client in front of them to properly connect with a client. This is not the case for me because I strictly read the cards and only invoke the clients name as a way to connect with them.  If you are empathic and still want to try distant readings skip email and go to Skype readings. Skype will allow you to do readings live on video or by voice if a webcam is not an option. This may allow you to better connect with a client. This is the second best option to in person readings because the experience if live, there is instant feedback from the client.

If you want to explore email readings I will share with you what I do to “connect” before the reading. I will clear my mind (if this crazy mind of mine could be clear) and I invoke a deity or higher power to help me. Currently i am working with Isis. I will ask Isis to protect and guide me and allow me to give wisdom  to my client. At which point I think of the client and think of their question in my head as I shuffle. I normally heat up (I will get warmer)  or get a chill/shiver down in my body, that is how I know I am connected.

If the client is ok with giving you a picture of them you could ask for a photo as a visual way to connect with them. If you see no improvement in your readings you may simply need to stick to live readings there is nothing wrong with that. Do what you are good at and what works for you.

 

 

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