Posts tagged Tarot
During a morning mass Pope Francis commented on the topic of Tarot readers and Psychics. You can read the post here.
The title is “Tarot readers and fortune tellers cannot save you. says Pope Francis“. Here is an excerpt,
Salvation can only come through Jesus Christ, not through tarot readers and fortune tellers, Pope Francis has said. In order to solve their problems many people resort to fortune tellers and tarot cards. But only Jesus saves, and we must bear witness to this! He is the only one.
This has been circulating the tarot community on Facebook and people have been commenting on it. I felt I should make a blog post and discuss this since it relates to two topcis I love, tarot and religion.
Why did the Pope make this comment? Psychics and tarot readers are popular, if you think we have a lot of them here in the United States go outside and you will see even more. In other countries they are on Tv stations, where people call up and get advice. I know in Greece they have them, I see them on tv all the time. We do not have them any more in US, ever since Miss. Cleo. Pope Francis is from Argentina and I am sure they have the same thing going on there with the psychics and tarot readers on tv.
The Pope is making a statement about Salvation and being saved, tarot readers cannot save you only Jesus can. Being saved from what exactly? Well from Sin. Jesus saves you from sin, not tarot readers or psychics. We need to bare in mind that we are dealing with the Pope, this is Catholic theology, western perspective. I have spoken on the topic of Sin but from a Eastern Orthodox view in my post The Sin Spread. The real meaning of Sin are the actions we do that put us out of alignment from God. Correcting the mistake (the actual meaning in Greek for Sin “missing the mark”) puts us back into alignment.
The early christians associated their faith with healing. Healing is a spiritual gift of the holy spirit and is a manifestation of Divine Power (this is also the case in Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions). It is believed that healing leads to salvation. The Christian faith is true because true healing takes place, if no healing takes place then the gospel is invalid.
Any time we talk about Christianity (or any faith) and theology we need to always examine history and the development of the tradition. The New Testament is written in Greek. You always need to read the text in the orignal language. The Greek word for healing and salvation are identical. So being healed = being saved. Salvation is physical health and mental comfort/peace. The idea of Jesus leading to Salvation comes as a later development when Jesus was equated with God, ideas developed in the Gospel of John.
So what about tarot readers? Do we “save” people? I think a tarot reading or a psychic who is good and wants to help people is healing people, if the person wants healing. We are not curing physical sickness, we focus on the psyche of the person. Their soul and mind, which can become sick and through the process of a reading we can help point things out and show the folly and suggest a better root. This can lead to a transformation in the person, a healing of some kind.
I also want to point out that what I think the Pope is really saying is that he does not want Faith in Jesus/God to be replaced with something else, anything else. Your faith should be the center of your being. When you rely on another medium or believe that medium is your salvation, the thing that we bring you ultimate peace your wrong. I believe in a higher power and I believe in the tarot as a tool to access this higher power. To communicate with it and to build a relationship with the higher power. Tarot for me is not a replacement for faith but as a assisting tool in keeping my faith.
Music lengend Whitney Houston has died, she was 48. It is reported Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. PT at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The cause was not given but sadly it is most likely a drug related death. Houston has had a history of drug abuse with cocaine. However some are calming her death was from prescription drugs and not cocaine. Never the less prescribed or not drugs seem to be the leading cause of death for celebrities.
Normally with a death of a celebrity I pull cards on the event. For Whitney Houston I pulled The Chariot as her influences around her. The Chariot is a very fast moving card so I can say that I feel her death was rather quick, the events that took place in her hotel room were fast. Probably from the time she took the drugs to the time she passed was quick. Because we are reading into a death the card should be looked at in a reversed/ill-dignified manner. The Chariot can signal inter conflicts, battling two aspects/sides of her Self. Houston may have felt out of control in her life, she could have felt under a lot of pressure and just caved in. It could be that the only way in her mind she could get some control or release the tension was through drugs.
Moving beyond Houston I wanted to ask a general question of why do celebrities die from drug overdoses? The list of deaths due to drugs is extensive. So what is the common denominator? I pulled the 5 of Swords. With the 5 of Swords it points to a few things, firstly we are looking at the mind here, thoughts and mental processes are at the core of this issue. Secondly, the main thing in the mind of most of the celebrities is self-intrest, looking at their own needs and wants. Then on an inner or outer level in their lives there is a level of discord and hostility that pushes them to do drugs. This can be inner as a mental issue or outer as a environmental factor (people around them, etc)
RIP Whitney Houston
Lets remember her for her music and amazing voice. Here is one of my favortte songs (remixed)
I heard President Obama on the tv today, only for a little. He was talking about mortgages and something called the “Homeowners Bill of Rights”, which would create simple mortgage disclosure forms, and protection for homeowners from inappropriate foreclosures. The new proposal would establish a quick refinancing plan open to people whose mortgages are owned by banks or held by investors in mortgage-backed securities.
Sounds good to me. What does tarot have to say about this bill of rights for homeowners? What impact will this have on the people of America? I shuffled my cards to find out.
I pulled three cards, Death 4 of Pentacles and Queen of Pentacles
Seeing Death here shows certain things will come to an end and be removed. This bill wants to simply forms and other things to help people when purchasing mortgages and help people in foreclosure right now. Death can indicate a end to bad practices by the banks. Overall, change will come as a result of this bill. I think the change impacts the people with the most financial control. The 4 of Pentacles can be see in two ways, either as the people with the control and influence over money (the Bankers) or the it can reflect the people of American at large. Death is changing the system of power and control from the Bankers and giving people more control over their finances. It will also help people save money. The Queen of Pentacles shows that this bill will be very resourceful for people as it gives them a way to solve problems. The Queen also indicates this bill is very gentle, that its purpose it simple and a no brainer. It’s only beneficial.
So how do you answer a question that seeks a Yes or No? This is a touchy subject because some readers think you should not answer questions directly as a yes or no…. Remember my post on the Oracle of Delphi, she never answered things as Yes or No. If you pushed her for one, then bad things happened lol
Well if you want to answer a yes / no question with tarot there are methods of doing this. This method comes from “Tarot: Prediction and Divination” by Susyn Blair-Hunt
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.
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……
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.