Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tarot Blog Hop Bealteine 2019: Teaching Tarot, Learning from Tarot


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Our Wrangler for this Hop, Joy Vernon, suggested that we might wish to take a look, not simply at what we see when we do our readings, but at how we are deepening our understanding of Tarot and how we might be passing that knowledge along. Her questions, which are the topical threads for this Hop. were presented this way:
  • What classes are you taking/recommending?
  • What are you doing to advance your knowledge/experience/abilities with tarot?
I have been given much to think about in mentally pursuing this topic, and I have decided that some of what I know might need to be deepened, and some of what I do might need to be shared. Here are some of my own actions and intentions to make the experience of reading and interpreting Tarot be deeper and more meaningful, not just for me personally but also for my clients.

I have recently begun working with my coven, and with certain students who met me as a result of having readings, with the intent of creating a triadic meaning of Tarot spreads and individual cards. I utilize the Celtic lore of Body, Mind, and Spirit in discussing and teaching methodology for interpreting each card in a given reading as it relates to each of these elemental entities. And I have discovered a great benefit in assisting clients to look at the singular meaning of one aspect of a card, or a group of cards, individually interpreting the impact of that same card or cards on Body, Mind, and Spirit. In order to deepen my own abilities to assist clients in this kind of understanding, I myself have begun studying with a reader whom I met at a Psychic Fair last year, who is a psychologist in her mundane job, and who utilizes her awareness of the psychological, physiological, and philosophical ideas of humanity in any given situation to deepen her ability to explain the cards to her clients. I am finding that this is highly useful and adds a far deeper resonance to the knowledge the cards may already convey. In order to deepen understanding of the relationship of the cards with Body, Mind, and Spirit, I am teaching my coveners to take any card in the Tarot and decide which of the Trees of the Celtic Ogham also resonates with that meaning. We have found this a highly useful practice. 

And what I am learning is very new to me and very informative. This year, very recently, I was introduced by a friend to something I had never used, seen, or even heard of-- the Lenormand deck. I must say, beginning to study it and learn to interpret it has opened up an entirely new aspect of divination for me. I am now able, in a completely new environment, to look deep within my Self, and begin to understand, on a different level, my own thoughts, insights, foundations of understanding, and many other aspects of beginning to explain my own techniques and interpretations of the practice of divination to my Self. One of the first things I began to realize was that over the many years I have been reading, my interpretations of cards and card groupings had begun to be somewhat predetermined, and that it is simgularly essential to any individual reading to look at that set of cards as if you had never seen them before and interpret for the client from the base of the inner realm of spirit. The Lenormand brings an entirely new set of ideas to the table, and is adding much new awareness and insight to what I am able to read with this deck. I am actually just beginning to understand the inner meanings of cards and card combinations, so I am looking forward to deepening my awareness of these ideas over many months of study.

This summer I am going to be offering a class for those who wish to understand the Major and Minor arcana of the traditional Tarot with a deeper insight into modern society. More information about that will be available as I learn about it. But for now, I am delighted to discover that, even after 48 years as a reader of runes and cards, I am far from knowing all there is to know about it yet. Teaching, in my own experience, also includes learning, and in the realm of divination, I am currently experiencing both. I recommend that each of you might also benefit from this kind of practice.


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Friday, February 1, 2019

Tarot Blog Hop Imbolc 2019: Odd Associations

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This Hop recognizes the unique characteristics of the many different decks, different reading techniques, and different associations brought into play by each and every reader of Tarot and Oracle cards. In the words of our Wrangler, Morgan Drake Eckstein: "As readers and users of the symbolism of the Tarot and oracle decks, we create a string of associations with the emblems and mythology of divination. For instance, with the cards of the Tarot, a reader can associate them with events, people, feelings, places, etc. Those who dive into the esoteric systems will sometimes also have dates and locations, zodiac symbols, kabbalahistic ideas, etc. associated with the cards. Basically, divination systems are like a giant filing cabinet that we toss imagery into, so that later we can use the symbols as a hint of what is going on." And so each of us has been invited to share our personal experience of discovering "Odd Associations" as we delve into the esoteric meanings and resonances of our cards.

My own experience is connected on several levels with the Sabbat, Imbolc, that is the time of this Hop. I am a Priestess of the Goddess Brighid, and Imbolc is Her primary festival. And the associations of this Sabbat, whose name means, literally, "in the belly", have to do with the beginning of new ideas, the birth of images and connections with events, deities, and the actual energies of the person for whom I am reading. And for me, one of my primary and constantly occurring "Odd Associations" is the resonance of the aura of the person for whom I am reading with the basic meaning of each card, and the numerological associations of each card with all the others, and with the "soul numbers" of the client, which simply emerge in the process of the reading.

As an example of this phenomenon, and how the associations work, in my 34 years as a Tarot reader, I have had interactions again and again with people who are of significant "crossroads ages" in their lives, and many of them do not know the exact meaning of these guideposts until they appear in the reading. But the cards seem to be fully aware, not only of the phase of life that the person is entering or leaving, but of the new birth of ideas, events, and insights that occur "in the belly" of the person whose reading we are doing, and which need to be examined and "given birth" in order to manifest the new viewpoint and new actions that will assist the person in dealing with the events of this moment. As an example, I did a reading recently for a young man who was about to have his 22nd birthday. He wished to have a reading to give him some insights into what the next year would bring, but he was unaware of the resonance of 22 as a "Master Number" in numerology, and was also not familiar with the concept of reading someone's aura as a guidepost to the way the seven chakras of the individual were focusing and guiding the events of their current state of being. But the "Odd Association" of the cards which were drawn in this reading was that each of the seven cards we drew was one of the cards that represented a particular auric state and a threshold of change for the young man--and when they all were connected in the order of their appearance, we could link each of them to one of his seven chakras, and adding their numbers in both the suits that occurred and the Major Arcana cards, each group of cards added up to 22. Much of my interpretation of the cards had to do with explaining to the young man the numerological resonance of each individual card and the connections as we grouped them to the phases of his current threshold of being. And as we finished the reading, I shuffled the entire deck, Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, all 78 cards in one random stack, and asked him if he would like to draw a "threshold card" to answer the concept of "All right, then, what next? What do I focus on?" And he said that he would like to draw 2 cards, one that was about where he should go next, and the other saying what he should avoid doing or experiencing. And he did so--and, just to underline what the reading had already spoken to him, the two cards he chose added up, of course, to 22. 

Experiences of this kind have occurred so often that when I read cards, whether the Tarot, my Ogham Oracle, or my Spirit Deck, I always apply the numerological significance of the cards and the resonance of the auric connections to my interpretation of the reading. And even though on many levels these connections represent "Odd Associations", they keep reminding me that in psychic readings, nothing is fixed and immovable, and the reader needs to ride the constantly changing tides of flux and flow, both in interpreting the reading for the client and in focusing their own insight and awareness of how the Spirit works in psychic readings. So--I don't consider these associations particularly Odd, much of the time. I am more likely to hear Spirit saying to me, "So, you thought you understood how these cards connect and how they need to be interpreted, eh? Well--here's a new one for you. Take THAT, and see what you can do with it!!" And I do, and I will, because of all the insights of psychic reading that have presented themselves to me over the years, the one with which I resonate the most deeply is that nothing is set in stone, and if I think I know exactly what a particular combination of cards means--guess what? I just found out something brand-new about it. Odd Associations are the insights which make it possible to understand the aspects of a given set of cards, and realize that even the same set of cards is going to be able to be interpreted differently, every single time. So--as a reader, every time I  teach, I am also learning. May it be so, always!

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