Archive for December, 2011
I am in a highly religious / spirtual mood, must be all the theological based spreads I have been doing. I found an old post of a poem I made inspired by tarot. I thought to myself, “why did I stop making these”? so I pulled 4 cards from the Mythic tarot and created this Poem called “Entering The Kingdom”
The inner mysteries are freely shared
Gnosis, once secret are now declared
That which cannot be understood by mind or heart
Take you higher from this earth you depart
The hymns of Orpheus sings you into sleep
I say to you do not morn and do not weep
For the Kingdom you enter makes Midas poor
For your soul now stands in higher grandeur
The Seven Deadly Sins is a very popular theological concept known through out the western world. The Seven Deadly Sins was created by a 4th century Greek monk Evagrius Ponticus who wrote of the “evil thoughts” in Greek. He lists these “evil thoughts” as gluttony, fornication, avarice, hubris, envy,wrath, boasting and dejection. In 590 AD Pope Gregory I revised the list into the list we know today. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.
Explanation of the sins
Pride – The excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.
Envy – The desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.
Gluttony – The inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.
Lust – The an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.
Anger – The manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.
Greed – The desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.
Sloth – The avoidance of physical or spiritual work.
The seven deadly sins though written by a Greek monk is not a emphasized teaching in Orthodoxy as with Catholicism, the focus tends to stay on the virtues, not the sins.
We all are subject to the following “sins” at some point or another. We all become prideful, envious of others, eat more than we need, become lazy and so forth. Using the tarot will allow us to explore how/what/why we fall into these patterns.
This spread involves 7 cards, one card for each sin. There is no layout shape so lay them out as you wish.
 Pride -What in myself do I pride myself in/ why am I prideful?
 Envy – What do I envy in others/ why do I envy others?
 Gluttony – What do I desire excessively / why do I desire this excessively?
 Lust – What do I lust after / Why do I lust for the things I do?
 Anger – What makes me angry/ why do I become angry?
 Greed – What am I greedy for/ why do I become greedY?
 Sloth – What spiritual work am I avoiding / why do I avoid spiritual work?
Sinners! All of you dirty sinners forever to burn it the pit of fire! That might be the kind of thing some people may think of when they hear “sin” (Catholics you especially). Sin is normally thought of some sort of transgression, a stain on your soul that needs to be washed away. Hmm how do you wash sin off, would you have to soak it over night in bleach? lol
This idea of sin resides in western christianity thanks to Augustinian theology. That we are born sinful, with the guilt of Adam (original sin) and that we are inclined to sin. However and thankfully I was born in Greek Orthodoxy which holds a very different view of the nature of sin. “Original Sin” in the Orthodox tradition is known as “Ancestral Sin” and the fundamental difference is that Orthodoxy states we do not inherit the guilt of Adam, but the consequences. The consequences is the world that we live in is “fallen” from the “perfect” state of being in communion with God in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve introduced Death into the world which transformed the world into a “Fallen” state.
The goal of a good Orthodox Christian is to align yourself with God in a process called “Theosis”(deification/divinization), where we work to become like God, partaking in the God’s Divine nature. Sin comes into the picture as an action we take that puts us in misalignment with God. The Greek word for “sin” is Hamartia ἁμαρτία which means to “miss the mark”. When you “sin” or “miss the mark” you are making a mistake, you fall short in your goal to become like God. The remedy, simply to correct your mistake. These are one of the few things in the Orthodox faith which I really like and connect with.
That is it, no hell fire, no angry God, no punishment. Just correct your mistake.
This bit of theology inspired me to create this simple tarot spread based on this notion of sin.
 How have I sinned? (Missed the mark/Mistake made)
 What was the root or cause of this sin/mistake
 How can I correct this mistake?
 How can I keep from repeating this mistake?
Give it a try.
Tarot has had such a huge impact on my life that it is wonderful to be able to share my experience, knowledge and opinions with everyone else who is learning tarot and needs some pointers.
I would like to give a huge thank you Donnaleigh de LaRose and Theresa Reed , whom exemplify integrity and everything that is good and right about tarot for being the role models who helped guide me along my path.
I will continue to provide material on tarot here on my blog and on YouTube.
Thank you once again to everyone who made this possible.
At the start of 2011 I made a YouTube Video about 11 resolutions I planned on doing for the year. As 2011 comes to an end and looking back at the year I reflect on which ones I did and did not complete or am I still working on.
#1) Use non Rider Waite Decks – Yes, I was able to use non-rider waite decks in 2011. For almost the whole year I did “Tarot Fortunes” here on my blog where each week I featured a different deck. This way I would be able to try a new deck a week and use them in a reading.
Going into 2012 I will keep this as a resolution. I plan on studying the Mythic Tarot so that I could use that as my secondary deck. I just love my Rider Waite so much
#2) Get my book Done – NO, Sadly the book was not completed in 2011. However I did made progress and I am sure that 2012 will be the year I finish it. So hold tight people.
#3) Become a better reader – YES, I think I am in a better place as a tarot reader than at the start of the year. I learned more this year and I plan on learning more. I will be honest I don’t think I develop dramatically. It feels more like a slow move or change over the whole year. But a step in a good direction non the less.
Going into 2012 I am going to keep this as a resolution. I will try my best to go to some classes at The Tarot School in NYC. I am sure I will learn something from those classes that will help me.
#4) Teach another person tarot – NO, I was not able to teach someone tarot. Thats ok, I am teaching many people through my blog and YouTube and that is just fine.
#5) Meditate more – Kind of, I tried to meditate a few times but I just did not follow through with it. However I have been thinking and contemplating a lot the last 2 months so that to me counts as “meditating”.
#6) Share More – YES, I feel I have shared more through out this year.
#7) Don’t get so stressed out – YES, I started to control my stress at work later in the year and when I got laid off the stress went right way! My stress has been low but was directed towards other areas in my life. Oh joy! lol Over all I don’t get so stressed.
#8) Say “No” when I need to, and “YES” when I need to – YES, I have learned to do things that help the family out without being asked. I still have my moments of “NO” lol but it has shifted through out the year.
#9) Blog more, YouTube More – YES, I kept to this one for use. 2011 was my year on YouTube. I have made 49 videos in 2011! That is a lot of videos! I also blogged more.
Going into 2011 I plan on doing card study videos on YouTube.
#10) Be a more genuine me – YES, In 2011 I have expressed my self more and started to be more genuine. Still working on this one though. There is still a lot that needs to be done for me to be truly ”genuine” with everyone.
#11) Read more – Working on this still, I have not stopped buying books. Have I been reading more? Not as much as I wish I was. I need to work on this still.
Going into 2011 I plan on reading more.
Many of us tarot readers have heard of the idea that tarot should not be used to predict the future and give specific predictions. This may seem like a new trend in tarot, however actually this is a ancient belief. Normally divination is seen as a way to see the future, but that is a more modern view. Divination to the ancients was a way to determine the will of God or gods. This is the case for Biblical and non Biblical divination.
The ancient Greeks were well known for their oracles, the most notable was the Oracle at Delphi. People would travel across the Greek world to seek the advice of the Oracle. The oracle had a long history spanning from the 8th century BC until it’s closure by emperor Theodosius I in 395 AD.
How there what was asked of the oracle would be questions that could be answered in a YES or NO response. Questions where also asked about what should be done to appease the gods. Greeks were always making sure the gods were not mad at them. It was a rule of thumb that you do not ask for a specific prediction or outcome. If asked about the future, the oracle would be truthful but her answers were ambiguous. As the case with King Croesus. King Croesus asked the Oracle whether he should go to war with King Cyrus of Persia or negotiate terms of peace. The Oracle’s answer was that who ever crosses the river Halys will become the ruler of a great empire or another version stated If you cross the river, a great empire will be destroyed. Believing the response favorable, Croesus attacked, but it was his own empire that ultimately was destroyed by the Persians. Hows that for Greek irony?
What does this all mean? The reason you should not ask about the future and the idea of divination was meant to be used as a means to understand your present more than a future that is out of your hands and up to the fates/gods. Now this principle can apply to tarot. I do however feel that we can ask questions about the future but just like the oracle’s predictions our predictions can become ambiguous because we have to decode the cards and come up with a predictions based on the images. When events come to pass than we will either be like King Croesus, seeing the message we wanted or if we will see the real message. Like oracle I do feel that tarots true gift is reflecting the present, understanding the past and using it as a means to set the pathway to a future you create.
Kim’s death was announced today by state television from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, the Associated Press said.
Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008 but appeared relatively vigorous in photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia and in numerous trips around the country carefully documented by state media.
His death raises the specter of political chaos in a nuclear-armed hermit country. In September 2010, Kim Jong Il unveiled his third son, Kim Jong Un, as his successor, putting him in high-ranking posts. But it is unclear whether the Swiss-educated, Jong Un, 27, has the skills to stay in power or keep the fragile country from collapse.
- USA TODAY
This is big news on the international stage of politics and world events. So what better than for me to do a Tarot Reading! Lets explore how this will affect North Korea.
Question 1 – How will Kim Jong II death impact North Korea?
The Chariot poped out of the deck, this can indicate two possibilites. His death will allow North Korea to move in a new direction, make progress and direct a new goal. Thats a “Positive side”, the “negative side” can bring out The Chariots less than favorable qualities, that of war/combat and recklessness in general. They can go into two directions right now it all depends on who becomes the next leader and how they direct the country (like the charioteer in this card).
The main reading features the 4 of Swords, The High Priestess and Page of Pentacles
The High Priestess at the center, signals secrecy. North Korea is going to be very hush, hush on governmental issues and the such. This card is also about passivity so they may appear to take a step back and won’t appear that they are going to do anything harsh. This may then say that The Chariot is not directed in a negative way. The 4 of Swords usually signals “rest from streif”, this can mean that things may cool down with North Korea. Both the 4 of Swords and High Priestess indicate thinking and contemplation. To the right, the Page of Pentacles deals with goals, direction, learning, practicality and the like. This can be very good that through there contemplation they may be deciding important issues for the future growth and development of the country.
Question 2 – How will the world (other countries) react/respond to North Korea now?
The 3 of Swords shows sorrow and maybe sympathy. The other countries will expend there condolences. The 6 of Cups shows a peace offering/ offers of good will and help. Things from the past come up and wanting to bring North Korea to a “better time before all the crap”. The 9 of Pentacles, in the end though the international community is going to leave it up to North Korea to decide what they are going to do. They are to be independent and able to do it on their own.
More to come……
The winter solstice falls on December 22nd this year. The winter solstice is the longest night out of the year. Spiritually it represents the New Year. Even though We place the New Year on January 1st, the winter solstice marks the time when the Sun is “born” and day begins to get longer.
There are many points in the year in which I do tarot readings for myself to evaluate where I am, where I was and generally what’s going on. I do a reading on my birthday, the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice or New Year.
In this post I will be sharing with you a Winter Solstice spread that I shared on YouTube where I pulled cards for my reading. In this post I will be giving my interpretations to these cards.
The spread goes like this.
1) How do I feel overall about the past year?
2) Where were my challenges in the past year?
3) Where did my support come from in the past year?
4) How have I changed in the past year?
5) Where do I need to change?
6) What do I need to release?
7) What do I need to bring in?
8) What do I need to honor in myself?
How do I feel overall about the past year? – 6 of Wands. This card is about victories and the overall feeling about this past year is a feeling that I have come out on top, that I have achieved something and that I am victorious in some aspect. This is true. In the start of 2011 I felt that good energy was heading my way, many things positive happened for me tarot wise. Personally, I lost 55 pounds and that without a doubt is a victory. The 6 of Wands can also indicate support and praise from people around you, which is true. I had great support from my fellow readers and I have been cheered on in my endeavors. In the last part of the year I was laid off from work however I see that as a GOOD thing, my tarot business picked up right after being laid off and I have been able to focus on my book, blog and youtube much more.
Where were my challenges in the past year? – 4 of Cups. Oh how I laughed when this card came up, tarot has a good sense of humor for sure. This card relates to my challenges in this past year perfectly. I see this card is boredom, apathy and losing interest in things and I see it also as laziness. Laying around, wanting to do something but not having the drive to do it. This is the story of my life. I see this card influences me the most with my book. It often found it card to get myself to sit and write. I was overwhelmed by the energy of the 4 of Cups.
Where did my support come from in the past year? – The Wheel. This is an interesting card to see here. The Wheel represents cycles and the flux of ups and downs. As what supported me this can show that either I understand this idea of cycles more and that I understood that lows don’t last that sooner or later things move on up. As a force outside of me it represents that higher forces have been at working pushing me into a positive direction. Which is a great thing to see here.
How have I changed in the past year? - The Fool – The Fool is about newness and taking risk, jumping into new things, trying new things. This is something I did do, during the summer especially felt the energy of The Fool. I was more adventurous and really went with things as they came.
Where do I need to change? Justice - This card is about balance, fairness and about understanding cause and effect. Justice is about taking responsibility for our actions. I need to take more responsibility for my actions. I also need to change and become more balanced. As well as more rational.
What do I need to release? – Ace of Wands. This is odd and somewhat of a stumper. The Ace of Wands as what do I need to release? Perhaps instead of something I need to release as in “let go of”, I may need to release in another way. I may need to release as express what is being kept inside. If this is the case there is a whole bunch of fiery energy that this ace represents that needs to be let out of the bottle.
What do I need to bring in? – 10 of Swords. This seems odder than the Ace of Wands this card may seem counter-intuitive as something you should bring in right? Maybe not, this card can signal a need for me to let go of something, which has become a dead horse, which I keep beating. This card can signal a need to usher in a new cycle or thought and new ways of thinking to old problems.
What do I need to honor in myself? – 6 of Cups. Finally, the 6 of Cups for what to honor in myself directs me to look towards the past, my childhood, my upbringing perhaps making peace with it. Honoring my past and my experiences growing up. I don’t need to go into much detail but I look at my past with mixed emotions of regret, missed opportunities and a desire to change certain things. However this card being a card of the past and in the “honor in myself” it says I need to stop wanting to change what can’t be changed and honor that which made me who I am.
This reading was very accurate and resonated with me very much. I would love for all of you to try this reading and see what the cards have to say to you.
Have a Blessed Yule, a Merry (happy) Christmas and a great New Year.
I was lucky enough to be a part of a great collaborative work called Tarot Turn started by Marcus Katz (Tarot Professionals & Tarot-Town.com). Tarot Turn is a comprehensive book on tarot reversals. Those who are a part of the project were given a tarot card which you need to pair with the remaining 77 cards of the deck and form an interoperation. I was given the 2 of Cups Reversed (and someone else was given the 2 of Cups upright) paired with all reversed cards. The project was amazing to do and a good exercise in reversals. With reversals on my mind I wanted to write this blog on reversed cards and share the popular views and my three main ways to read a reversed card.
Oh reversed tarot cards! This is one subject that can get tarot readers all fired up. Should we use reversals? Whats the point of them? Are they useful? If I don’t use them am I less of a reader as someone who does use them? There are two schools of thought when it comes to reversed cards.
This camp believes reversed cards are useful and should be used or that it would be good for readers to use them. The normal idea is that reversed cards add another layer of meaning and another level of experience with the cards. Reversed cards can indicate something that needs special attention. Something that should jump up and go “HEY LOOK! I AM REVERSED, SOMETHING IS UP. GO FIGURE IT OUT!!” As Mary K Greer explains in her book “Tarot Reversals” a reversed tarot card is a “red flag”. This side of the argument would say the reversed cards are act as the missing pieces to the puzzle. Reversed cards give more info and details to the reading that an upright card might not be able to express or represent in the same way. Ok this seems all good, what about the other side?
This camp believes that reversed card are not necessary. All possible meanings positive or negative can be expressed by an combination of upright cards. It is also believed that reversed cards just add more meanings to remember. Let’s say you can remember 3 things about each card. With 78 cards in the deck that would be 234 meanings for upright cards only. Adding reversals gives a total of 468 meanings. This argument concludes that adding reversals only adds more to remember and is an overload of information to remember. Readers who read with upright cards only have there own system of indicating trouble spots that a reversed card does. Instead of reversed cards, a card when near a card that is elementally incompatible will make the card ill-dignified. I currently do not look at the elements (at least no consciously lol) when determining when a card is ill-dignified. I look at the image of the card. For example, The Sun will override all negative cards. So The Sun next to the 9 of Swords would signal that the “Light will shine through the sorrow and grief”.
Does it make you a better reader?
Personally I do not think using reversals makes you a “better reader”. What makes a good reader is not in the position of a card but how the reader uses what is laid out to the fullist extent. This can be done with or without reversals. It comes down to personal preference and what you feel is right for you. If you are going to use reversals you are going to need to determine how you will read a reversed card.
How to read a reversal
There as many ways to read a reversals as you have fingers on your hand. In my book “Tarot: Unlocking The Arcana” I list 8 ways to look at a reversed card which I feel are useful. However in this blog I will share with you the 3 ways that I personally connect with and use in my understanding of reversals (if and when I use them) and for ill-dignified cards. I use all three of these methods as possible expressions and I need to figure out which is being expressed when I see a card is ill-dignified or reversed.
THREE WAYS TO READ A REVERSAL
1) Opposite – This would be opposite of the upright meaning. This would make “negative” cards lean towards a “positive” meaning and the same vice versa. Example: 9 of Swords. Would go from worry and grief into healing.
2) Extreme – This would take the energy of the card and show it’s most extreme level. Example: 4 of Pentacles. Would go from material protection and saving into hording and greed.
3) Blocked/Weak – This would take the energy of the card and make it blocked/hard to obtain. The normal upright meaning still applies but at a lower influence. Example: 8 of Pentacles. You work hard but are having trouble focusing and details are overlooked.
Where do you stand?
Now that all the information and opinions have been provided where do you stand? Which do you choose? Reversed or Upright? The answer is not the simple and you can always bounce around between using and not using reversals. I have bounced back and forth between using reversals and not using them. Currently I have not been using reversals (for a long time now). However I can always use them if I wanted to. I like to keep thing simple and use only upright cards. I recommend that you play around with reversals, see if you like using them. Figure out which method of expression fits you best and go with it. If you don’t want to use them that totally fine.