Twenty One Questions: Oracle vs. Tarot…

“Dear Gypsy, I was wondering. What do you think about oracle cards vs. tarot cards? Is one better than another? What do you prefer?” ~ Wanda L.

Those are very good questions!

I prefer Tarot, but have many oracle decks in my vast collection. I love to play and experiment with all sorts of cards and decks. That being said, my least favourite are those cards that have the meanings printed right there upon them, as I feel it hinders free thought, spontaneous intuition and unadulterated first impressions. The traditional Lenormand is my very favourite oracle, as it has a direct link to history which lends to it’s mysticism. This falls into direct line with my thoughts and feelings about the Tarot – the older the better, the traditional Rider-Waite being the go to deck for me and all things divination. Not that I won’t purchase and explore new decks. I just find that I can be very picky about which decks I like and catch my fancy. The key is to work with tools that expand your intuitive abilities and stimulate the psychic mind. Anything else, to me, is sort of a waste of time.

Everyone is different. Some people are turned on by colours. Others go for realism. Still others are into heavy symbolism within the images. Some are pulled toward the feel or size of the cards themselves, while still others are drawn to particular artistic styles ie. fantasy, religion, mythology, history. My advice to you and to anyone who comes to me with the question of how to explore and choose decks without going broke in the process is to do web searches under the images tab in Google. Read reviews and keep asking questions. With decks starting at around $20 each, one can invest quite a bit of money into decks. And it is no fun to get stuck with a mediocre or ho-hum set of cards that leave you feeling let down and unstimulated after departing with your hard earned money.

These days folks are churning out decks right and left covering everything from poo to baseball to Buffy to Hello Kitty. (No…I am not kidding! ūüėČ ) Pay attention to card size, material and how the deck is packaged. You may find that certain publisher’s decks all have the same quality – for better or worse – that may be a good or not so good thing. For instance, some deck publishers use inferior paper. Some may be flimsy and bend too easily to be comfortable to handle without fear of damaging the investment, while others make cards so stiff they are uncomfortable to work with. Some have artwork that is cartoonish or inferior, which also lends to the way the images can trigger responses in a negative way. It is a wise reader who does his or her homework before making that final decision.But even then, with these factors woven in, one won’t know for sure how one will feel about the deck until they have it resting in their hot little hands! (And I do love putting my hands on a brand new deck of cards, don’t you? ūüôā )¬† In the end….Tarot or oracle…what matters is how they make you feel when you look at them. After that, nothing else really matters…

Reader...

Twenty One Questions…Gifted Tarot Decks…

Howdy, Miss Gypsy! I have a burning question. My mom told me once that it was bad luck to buy your own tarot deck, that it had to be given as a gift to the reader in order for it to work. She said that if a person was to buy their own it would rob them of their powers. Is that true? …Jacki W.

That’s a good and honest question that I have heard so many times over the years. I am of a notion that your mom was just trying to make it harder for you to dabble in the art of Tarot reading, as this is a rumor with no merit whatsoever.

Here’s a really good link that explains some of the reasons for this “urban legend” at Aeclectic Tarot.Friends...

Sometimes I wonder…is it that the person has a deep yearning to explore the cards, feeling the pull but afraid to endeavor, so they use this myth as an excuse to not journey forward with any further exploration? Perhaps they are afraid of what they may uncover, not about the outer world so much as the inner world within themselves. Or maybe there is a more simple and practical reason such as they are just too cheap to fork out the money for a deck, thinking if it wasn’t their cup o’ tea that they would be out the money and stuck with a deck they will never use. Could it be that the fear of the unknown is just too much for them to bear? Whatever the reason, there is no bearing to this superstition. Back in the early 20th century a great deal of fear was still attached itself to the Tarot thanks to superstitions surrounding witchcraft, satanism and the dark arts, to name a few. All it takes is one scraggly old witch to be throwing cards around willy nilly for the rumour mills to get all fired up starting the conspiracy stories to flying! ūüėȬ† I would hope that as of the 21st century we as a civilization would be well beyond all of that nonsense. The best thing to do is educate and set a positive example to the young ones, letting them know that it really is ok to explore one’s own psychic gifts and talents. At least we have grown past being burned at the stake for our beliefs…well, in America, anyways.

I can tell you this for sure…if I had waited for someone to have gifted a deck to me all those years ago, it would have been forever before I would have ever set eyes on my very own 78 Friends. Over the years I have been gifted a deck or two, but one woman’s treasure can often be another woman’s folly. I hold gifted decks in high esteem for their sentimental value mostly; I prefer to choose my own deck, however. It really is that personal to me and I am sure many others who take their craft with any degree of seriousness.

My advice to you is to…Take the plunge! Do your research and find your perfect deck. Then dive in! Savour every line, every colour, every nuance. Choose your deck carefully and wisely. If it doesn’t resonate, then pass it on with no strings attached. One never knows. And there really is no reason to wait…

Twenty One Questions: Tarot Spreads…

“Good morning, Gypsy! I have a question that I hope you will be able to help me with. It’s about tarot spreads. I am so confused! I have read books and watched other readers, all to no avail. Spreads leave me feeling bewildered in that I have a hard time trying to keep all the designations and positions straight in my mind. It turns tarot reading from being fun into being a major pain in my backside. Help!” ~ Terri A.

Seriously, I know exactly how you feel. Early on in the beginning of my Tarot journeys, I too felt a bit overwhelmed about spreads. It seemed that everyone had their own way of laying out the cards, adding to that the impression – sometimes quite aggressively, I might add! – that their way was the only way to do it, leaving me feeling more than a little. Then it dawned on me. Tarot doesn’t have to be defined by someone else’s rules. In fact, the whole function of the Tarot is as a tool to access higher realms of consciousness and communication with the world of Spirit and Higher Self. What difference does it make how one gets there. And so it goes. It was in those early days that I discovered that I was the master of my own Tarot ship and the Captain of that journey. So, I decided to invent my own spreads…ones that made the most sense to me, ones that resonated with my own psyche, ones that helped me to achieve the best and most efficient way of communication with the places and beings that I needed to engage in the best interests of my clients as well as myself. And the rest is history…

My advice to you is to play with the way you lay out the cards in such a way as has the most meaning for you. It could involve numbers of cards pulled, the shape of the spread, or even the style of what I call “winging it”…that is, letting Spirit suggest the ways and means of the way you lay out the images before you. Let Spirit move you. I do a mixture of both. When reading for clients, I normally use a set formula for spreads in order to keep it fair among all my clientele so that everyone receives the same type of spread energy. But once in a while, Spirit will suggest a deviation from the norm to achieve better results in any particular situation or reading. I am always open to Spirit for such proddings and follow in kind. (After all, the first rule of the psychic arts is to never second guess yourself or Spirit.) And then during almost all of my own personal self readings, I let Spirit guide me as to the type of spread I use on any given day. It all just depends on what They feel is right for me on that day, at that moment. Getting to this place with Spirit, of course, takes practice and time, so be patient with Spirit and yourself while walking the path in this way.

Bottom line is this: go with what you feel is right. If certain traditional spreads resonate with you more or the discipline of using pre-made spreads gives you more control or a greater sense of accomplishment in your reading, or better results for you and your client over all, then most definitely go with those. If, on the other hand, you feel confused or tied down by a divinitory dogma that doesn’t seem to jibe or suit your style or purpose, then by all means let those creative juices flow! The rule here is this…there just ain’t no rules when it comes to Tarot spreads. Your question is a viable one, to be sure. Hope this helps. ūüôā

Tarot Spreads...

Twenty One Questions: Reading the Tarot…

Tarot Reader...Hey Gypsy! I have a quick question. I have been interested in reading cards – especially the tarot – for a couple of years now. Not knowing where to start, I have picked up a few books to try and learn how to read them. Nothing seems to work. Try as I might, I simply have no luck in memorizing the meanings. I get so frustrated. This seems to be more work that it’s worth. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you in advance! ~ Mary H.

This is an excellent question! I will tell you exactly what I tell my other students…take the LWB (Little White Book…the little info pamphlet that comes with tarot decks these days) and put it in a drawer somewhere. Pay it no mind. And the reason that I say this is because while the LWB is an excellent source for gaining insight into what the original author of the deck had in mind when creating the beautiful work of art that is a Tarot deck, it is just one of many insights that can be had by any one person when experiencing the deck in question. Even then, one person can have varying interpretations of the images from reading to reading with no two readings of the same card duplicating itself from one reading to the next.

The key is to surrender yourself to the image. Relax your mind…soften your vision…and let go of the hold the physical world has on you at the moment. Release yourself and become one with the image. Drift into it psychically. You will know that you are successful when you will feel somewhat detached from this world and begin floating psychically into the next. When this happens you will sense that you are just a little bit beside yourself or a little bit outside of yourself…like your mind is floating around somewhere outside of your head. This feels weird when you first experience it, but the more you practice, the more comfortable it becomes. Soon you will find that you can weave in and out of this trance and flow state. This special feeling will also confirm that you are connecting with other realms of being and consciousness, thus validating the process for you. Some days may prove more fruitful than others, so please do not become discouraged if one day you slip right into the groove while other days it seems more of a chore or difficult to concentrate. This is normal and is determined by fatigue and stress levels of any given day. Don’t push it. Just try again tomorrow or after the stresses of daily life have passed. You will learn how to pace yourself as time goes on. Practice makes perfect.

The next thing I suggest is to do what I like to call Tarot Journaling. Find a first deck that you feel drawn to. (You can do this with any deck in the future, but for the time being, choose a beginner deck that you feel most comfortable with. My favourite for this is the Traditional Rider-Waite. You will find Tarot decks fall into two categories…traditional Rider-Waite style and the non-traditional styles. This does not include oracle decks which are a whole other thing. Perhaps another question to tackle soon in this series!) Go get yourself a spiral notebook or journal that you can write in comfortably. For the next 78 days you will be doing this exercise in two parts…once in the morning and once in the evening. After perusing your deck in a casual manner, take your deck and shuffle it thoroughly. Lay the deck face down. Draw the top card. Which one did you pull? At the top of the page write the name of the card. Below that write about the card – anything that comes to mind. Take in the colour, the symbols, the numbers along with the way this card makes you feel intellectually, emotionally and physically. Anything that comes to mind, write it down. You may even draw the card if you are so inclined, or maybe even print out from the interwebz small graphics of the images and affix them to the page…anything to make connecting with the image easier.

Once you have written all that you can about the image, set it up in a sacred space or on a table top where it won’t be disturbed during the day. Close your journal and commence to go about your day keeping in mind the card that you pulled that morning. As the day begins to wind down, take up your journal again. Write about anything that you experienced during the course of your wanderings that reminded you of that¬† card. Did a situation arise that reminded you of the card? Maybe you ran into someone that reminded you of a character depicted in the image? Possibly something happened that caused you to feel the same feeling that the card invoked in you that morning? Anything and everything…write it down. When you feel there is just nothing more to write, turn to that LWB and see what the author of the deck had in mind. Jot a few notes about that, but do not focus too heavily on their interpretations. What matters it what you felt and what you experienced. That is where you begin to make a true connection with the cards. This is your own personal psychic connection with them.

On the following day, lay the card from the day before face up in a separate pile. This is your cast off pile. This way you won’t pull the same card twice. After 78 days, your drawing pile will be empty and your cast off pile will be full. Now you will find that you have 78 new very dear friends within a deck that you know intimately and personally.

Your next exercise is to pull a card of the day for yourself and to read for yourself every day in much the same manner as you did for the journaling exercise, but this time you won’t be writing it down. What you want to do now¬† is to try to remember without writing or reading. Soften yourself, pull a card at random, take it in and then set it in your sacred space. Go through the day remembering the image and reflect on what it means. Whenever something happens throughout the day make a mental note of it. At the end of the day take the card and regard it again. Finally, slip it back into the deck in a random spot then shuffle. Now you will be ready for the next day, and so on. By making yourself familiar with your tools…in this case, your tarot deck…you will be taking the first steps at opening up psychically while making a deeply personal connection with your intuitive self. These are the key components to psychic ability. The Tarot is not the doorway, as some highly superstitions, misinformed and misguided folks may believe. You are the doorway. Tarot is the tool, the thing that unlocks your intuitive abilities. And while tarot is a very powerful tool for doing so, it is YOU that have the real power…the power of seeing, of knowing and of using that power to help those that need it most in a most honourable way.

I can hear it now, the next question:¬† Isn’t it bad luck to read for one’s self?¬† In a word…no. It is not. In true RuPaul fashion, all I have to say is this… How the hell can you read for someone else if you can’t read for yourself? Can I get an amen up in here?¬†¬†¬†¬† ūüôā

New Category: Twenty One Questions…

Twenty QuestionsHello World! Apologies for being so quiet here so far this year. I have been busy…which is a good thing! …but I always have posting here on my daily list of things to do that, at the end of the day, always seems to fall to the bottom. No more! I say…

Over the course of my days I am asked many questions about many different things, mostly pertaining to mediumship, Tarot and other forms of Divination, intuitive arts, religion, the Occult…the list goes on and on. So I was thinking…this is the perfect thing to discuss right here. And so we shall…

So, I have decided to share these questions here along with the answers and opinions that I have gathered over the course of many years of living and doing within the realms of the supernatural, the spiritual and the truly bizarre. While I have a list of questions at hand, I would love to hear from you all! If you have any questions regarding divination, Tarot, mediumship, intuitive arts, psychic gifts, spirituality, conjure, the paranormal or other related topics, please feel free to submit your questions. Simply send off an email to me at gypsy@sleeping-gypsy.com¬†with “Twenty One Questions” in the subject line. (This way I can easily find them from among the scads of other emails I receive on a daily basis.) It is my sincere intention to post here in this category on a regular basis, say once per week, God willing! Please keep an eye on this spot for upcoming postings! Better yet, subscribe so that you don’t miss a single thing.

I look forward to this project!

I love you all and wish everyone a most beautiful day!

Free One Card Readings…

So…for the majority of my life I have been known to give away free readings of one sort or another. Some find that suspicious, but most find it awesome and helpful. Most of the free readings that I do consist of just one card. I have a few people who have complained about the quantity of the cards offered which to me is a bit rude, but it also tells me that they don’t know much about the Tarot and how it works. I urge these types to just give it a try, as one never knows the volume of information that can be gleaned from “just one card”. Most of the time they are simple blown away by the depth for the experience. This always makes me smile as my goal in offering free one card readings is multi faceted.

TemperanceFirst off, there are many folks out there that have no idea whatsoever exactly what the Tarot is. Most of them cannot even pronounce the word “Tarot” so right away they get an education. Quite a few approach the free reading saying “…oh my! I am scared!” I ask them why? Do they compare a card reading to a root canal, a pap test or a colonoscopy…all things I would have some trepidation approaching. But never would fear a reading in this way and so I get a chance to reassure them and calm their fears.

Then, there is the dreaded Devil, Death, 9 or 10 of Swords that pops up from time to time. The looks of complete and utter horror upon the faces of the person pulling these stigmatized images is almost comical and I have to stifle a smile because I don’t want to appear to be to be cold. But the plain and simple truth of the matter, once explained to them, puts their minds at ease. There is so much misinformation regarding the Tarot that enters their thoughts that they have a hard time figuring out exactly what the card is trying to tell them…change, rebirth, vice, habit, complacency, anxiety…just a few conditions touched upon by these important images that exist within the system that we call “Tarot”…a whole new world opening up to them.

I would be remiss to exclude the religious snobbery that rears its ugly head from time to time. “Do you believe in God?” or “Are you a Devil worshipper?” or “What does the Bible say about this?” are common questions that come before the pulling of the card. The answers “yes, I do” and “no, I don’t” and “Plenty!”¬†are comforting to them, the ensuing explanations setting their minds at ease. After all, we don’t want to consort with the Devil, do we? Too much TV, I explain to them. Don’t believe everything that you see on the toob.

Last, but not least…I just want to help people. I am certainly not in it for the fame, the money and the riches. But I do need to keep my lights on and support my web site as well as my tummy. But fame and fortune are not my goals (as is evident in the charges for my services…which some also suspect. It runs the gamut from “Only the truly gifted never charge for their services” to “Oh, your rates or so cheap. You must not be any good, then.” There’s always someone…). Some find it hard to believe that in this day and age that anything is free, and that there must be a catch or a trick or a hook. I’m sorry to disappoint…but no, actually, I am not. My goal and mission in life is to help others to find peace, calm and healing in their everyday lives. I wish to help them find answers. I want them to live a happy and healthy life. I long to educate others regarding what the Tarot really is and that anyone can use it to positively accent their lives and help to make the healthy changes that set one upon a path of wellness of body, mind and spirit. Plain and simple…

So, don’t be afraid to request a free one card reading. It is fun, productive and interesting! No strings, I promise… ūüôā

Let’s Talk Tarot…

Ok…now that I have all of that off my chest…let’s talk Tarot!

There’s one thing people always tell me is that I am not the average card reader. My readings are different. In fact, everything about them is unique. First off, I work independently…there’s no third party breathing down the necks of myself or my clients for fees, minutes or percentages. This enables me to read by the session and not by minutes. There is no pressure time wise, but I do try to keep the sessions within an hour to hour and a half time frame. Secondly, my rates are very reasonable with lots of choices for every budget. So, instead of counting minutes by the dollar and annoyingly watching the clock or running out of time, with my service you order up a reading by the card number. Got a quick question? A three card reading and a half an hour will get you the info that you need. Have a huge dilemma to contend with? Then a full ten card will fit the bill, with unlimited questions and extra cards at no extra charge if more clarity is needed by the end of the session. Initial consultations and after reading follow ups are always free of charge. Thirdly, here in St. John’s county, a bona fide legitimate reader must be licensed, permitted and thoroughly back ground checked in order to do business. I am proud to say that I pass the criteria and am among the few who meet these expectations of the county. And while some “psychics” hide behind a church affiliation to avoid paying taxes, I proudly pull my weight and do my duty by claiming my income so as to pull my weight and put in my fair share for my county, state and country. (Sure, I think taxes suck and think they way are too high, but by dodging them, I would be contributing to the problem and so it goes…karma is a bitch. What can I say?)

Reading style…I have a very unique way of doing things when I read cards. Some folks approach me in suspicion and fear, saying things like “I’m afraid of those things!” or “…the cards are of the devil!” I have to chuckle. The fact is that the tarot is a tool in the very same way that a whisk is a tool for a chef and the way a pen is a tool for a writer. Tarot, a set of images, is like any group of images, put together to use in the aid of intuitive stimulation. They are binoculars for reading the Akashic Record. They are brushes full of colours to paint our psychic landscape. They are individuals who speak to you and me about what was, what is and what is to come. In my workshops I share with others my techniques. We experiment with image just as an artist plays with colours, brushes and medium. Any set of images can be used to aid to tap into our own innate psychic abilities. So, we set out book covers in place of tarot images and did readings with them…and very accurately! Tarot is a specific collection of signs that we use to read energy so as to get a better grip on the realities of our lives. A gift. A treasure…

Spreads…a pet peeve of mine. I invent my own. You won’t find a Celtic Cross on my desk…

Energy…shifts. While the Tarot can spotlight an issue within a frame of time, it is a snapshot through a mariner’s spyglass. We have our energy. We have the others we illuminate within the reading. And then there is everyone else’s energy tromping around in our lives between the time of the reading and the desired or perceived outcome of said reading. It is free will in action. Everyone is playing their own music all together. Sometimes it will harmonize and sometimes the notes will distort into something unrecognizable to the senses. So, one has to nurture an outcome. It won’t just fall into ones lap. It reminds me of water colours. They spread and shift and have a mind of their own upon the paper. But one can work with it in beautiful ways. That is what the future is…

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Sleeping Gypsy Readings…What to Expect…

XI. Strength ~ Mary-El Tarot

XI. Strength ~ Mary-El Tarot

 

¬†So many people wonder what it is like to have their tarot read. I know only too well the gamut of emotions that goes into even thinking about having one’s cards read, what with all the stigma and superstition that has been attached to the tarot, readers and the whole¬†idea of going outside the realm of what is¬†common and mundane in the established world that we live in and what that evokes and entails. When I was very young and first¬†wrapped my hands and mind¬†around the cards,¬†many feelings¬†crept in, from religious taboo to “what would my mother say?” (I decided not to tell her! ūüôā )¬†to “my friends will make fun of me” (well…they weren’t that great of friends, anyway…)¬†and so on and so forth…fill in the blank, I’m sure many people reading this blog right now can identify with one or even more of these scenarios.¬†I finally decided, one day so long ago that it really didn’t matter, all of those little questions fueled by guilt or fear or the control¬†by others, and to follow my heart and explore those hidden realms that only the mystery schools used to claim to call their own. Looking back, I am so glad for the desicions I have made in my life concerning my spiritual path and where it has lead me even now, as I write here in this, my little electronic¬†link to the outside cyber world.¬†¬†¬†

I know everyone’s journey, methods and ways of doing things are different. So when I think about the many ways readings are done, I feel a need to share a little of what happens when someone has a reading with me, what they can expect and how it generally goes. Having had many readings myself over the years I have found that everyone’s style is different and I don’t want anyone to come away from a reading with me feeling weird because they expected something different or an experience like someone elses altogether. Simply put: no two readers read alike and no two readers tap into the etheric realms in¬†quite the same way.¬†¬†¬†

I have developed a style of reading over a span of 30 plus years and, looking back, I smile at what a learning experience it has been. The first step was to take that LWB (Little White Book – the pamphlet that comes with decks of tarot cards) and put it away in a box where others would soon join it after glancing through any interesting information about the author/artist of the work. That is really all the LWB is really good for, in my humble opinion, because the heart of the deck is where that of the creator’s heart and soul resides. That information is quite valuable. After that, however, the cards are all mine. ūüôā (Watch this blog for a coming post all about what to look for in a deck and what I look for when chosing decks that I love.)¬†¬†¬†

III. The Empress ~ Mary-El Tarot

III. The Empress ~ Mary-El Tarot

 

When I sit down to do a reading, many things come into play and a lot of convention goes right out the window. First off, I prefer to have whomever I am reading for sit next to me as we deal out the cards together. I like to have the seeker be able to see the cards as they pick them and we lay them out together; they see the cards and the layout as it unfolds, and are encouraged to bring whatever feelings, intuition, thoughts and ideas into the reading at any time. Traditional spreads are not used during the readings, as we set down the cards in a unique and different way so as to watch as the relationships between the cards come up to initiate a relationship with the seeker. Meanwhile, I watch, look and listen to what is going on while the cards are revealed. One or more things come into play now. Guides, angels, those in spirit Рboth in the human and animal form Рbegin to come through as the session progresses. Depending on the questions and the things a person wants to touch on, any or all and even more can happen during a reading. I can never tell what will happen and I am constantly amazed by the things that we see and hear! And, one by one, as the cards come down, the doors to the other realms are opened and important information is imparted, loved ones in spirit begin to come through and answers to questions in deep desire for answers are brought into the light of day. All there for the asking, if only one has a need to know and a yearning to find the answers to their most burning questions.   

The duration is no less than an hour and most times run into the hour and a half time frame. All readings are held in the strictest of confidence, never told or revealed to anyone ever. A session is always private unless the seeker requests that someone else be present, which is entirely fine. The seeker has very much control over their reading and I will always do my best to accommodate.   

There are other services which are available in additon to oracle as well as traditional tarot readings: spatial cleansings of homes, areas of business and larger lands; group readings and parties; psychic investigations and walk-throughs of areas suspected of spirit activity, with follow up solutions in regard to spirit activity; gemstone and aromatherapies. And more!   

For further information, please visit my website at: Sleeping Gypsy  to find out all about readings, other interesting people and places, and the world of the Sleeping Gypsy! I will be sending out a newsletter beginning in August that will include all sorts of interesting and sundry things pertaining to tarot and the world of those who seek knowledge and answers from the intuitive realms. Please sign up on the main page!   

Finally, please feel free to email me at any time with questions and inquiries and take advantage of the FREE tarot reading services offered at my website! New and free stuff will be added  throughout the year, so make sure to visit often!   

Until next time…¬†¬†¬†

…Namaste!¬†¬†¬†

[Note: Please visit the Official Website for Mary-El’s Tarot featured here in this blog post. It is beautiful and I can hardly wait for it to be available!]

The Mystical Lenormand…

16. Stars ~ Mystical Lenormand

16. Stars ~ Mystical Lenormand

As many of you may know, I am always on the look out for the rarest of the rare Lenormand Cards. Never have I seen a more provocative nor awe inspiring set of images as the original Lenormands! The original decks are as illusive as they are beautiful, however, and sometimes one must settle for more recent facsimiles or current editions of updates inspired by the originals. Such is the case with he newer Mystical Lenormand.

At first I was sceptical and wary¬†of this newer deck, produced by Swiss artiste Urban Trosch in 2005 using a technique older than the original cards themselves, an egg tempera on wood with a chalk base. In doing so, Mr. Trosch has created a mystical deck¬†whose images¬†truly resemble the icons of yesteryear, as each image is framed by a “window” that really makes one feel as if they are looking though a portal and glimpsing an altogether different reality, a¬†place of mystical wonders and other worldliness. Even the backs of the cards takes one away from the ordinary. Celestial angels encircle the earth and look down at the planet from the heavens, leaving one to feel as if they are going on a journey, far far away.

The deck is smaller of size, and I thought that would be a turn off, but quite to the contrary, it lends to the charm of the deck. When first opening the sturdy little box one is confronted with the LWB (little white book) which is really quite informative, with a brief history of Mlle. Lenormand’s life, her deck and how Urban Trosch came to make this new take on the French classic. There are spread suggestions and the original meanings for the cards as well.¬† What really impressed me, however, was the way the instructions treated the art of reading the deck (or any deck, for that matter) for beginners. They really stress the personal experience and encourage the neophyte to branch out and feel the cards and use first impressions and personal deep seated meanings before ever looking at the black and white traditional meanings. Nothing cut in stone here! This is so refreshing to me. It does my heart good to see the art of reading decks go beyond the cookie cutter definitions and diving head long into how a card makes a person feel in their gut, where all good reading begins and ends, with the intuition and uncharted senses.¬† Add to that the mentioning of how to treat a deck with awe and respect from the beginning, and you have a really good deck for the beginner that an experienced reader will also enjoy. This is how deck reading should be and this is how¬†itis presented from the beginning, with honour and dignity and not a frivolous “game”.¬†¬†I know Mlle. Lenormand would agree with me on this. ūüėČ

All in all, this deck is a very nice package, especially if one cannot get heir mitts on any sort of Lenormand deck. This demure replica is a good start and far from a mere copy, it can hold its own reading after reading, or simply as a tool for meditation and contemplation. I find the images compelling and possessing their own personalities apart from the original Lenormand Рlike a long lost cousin to the original, or even a sibling Рthey are very much alike, but different enough to be able to show unique traits original to each and the other.

I highly recommend this deck to anyone looking for a meaningful departure from the classic Waite-Smith fare. In a day and age when everyone and their brother are making and publishing their own decks, both oracles and tarots, it is a rare thing to¬†find one or two that really stand out and stand up on their own merits, The Mystical Lenormand is one such deck. And¬†especially in the case of the Lenormand decks, as they sort of fall somewhere between a tarot and an oracle style of deck. If one decides to add this deck to their collection of cards you ave my word that you will not be disappointed…

Until next time…

…Namaste!

Disaster in the Gulf…

I don’t think there is one person in the aware population of the world that hasn’t at least heard something about the sad state of affairs taking place in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States today and over the past 58 days. One would have to be blissfully separated from the realities of the everyday world not to know the sad truth of this horrific event. Be that as it may, my weary soul tells me to write about it here, if for no other reason than to join the multitudes of mad and helpless Americans who feel frustrated in the wake of this terrible thing.

XIII. Death ~ Animals Divine Tarot

XIII. Death ~ Sedna ~ Meaning: transformation, rebirth, renewal, new beginnings.

Just¬†a few weeks ago¬†I received a phone call from my sister-in-law.¬† Her voice was frantic. “Has the oil¬†reached your beaches yet? We are so worried…”. Well, no. Not yet, that is. As absurd as her question sounded at the time, it is becoming more and more of a reality here and everyone I know and meet are scared to death of this big, black oily monster headed to the Florida coastlines and beyond. I watch with tears in my eyes as the horror stories unfold in the media of how the wild life and the ecosystems are¬†being destroyed, one after another after another. the residents of these areas are crying in pain and fear over the loss of their lands and heritages as they are consumed by the crude. My heart sinks at every report and my heart cries out in disgust at the images revealed¬†by every news report, the by-product being unadulterated anger. How can this happen? Why did it happen? But most of all, why are the people responsible for this, and those who are their supporters (and visa versa), not doing something about this? I cannot imagine if this were to happen in another country the outcry our country would be emitting if the shoe was on the other foot. How sickening.

Having recently moved from the coast of Lake Michigan to the coast of the Atlantic ociean, and having grown up on or near natural water ways my whole life, I thought I was “aware” of my surroundings and its delicate nature. Only now, in the wake of this catastrophy, have I begun to realize just how messed up things can be – especially when man gets his fingrs into the works.

The waterways are medicine for our souls. Every human sense is stimulated by it. The smell of the water, suntan lotion or a barbecue; the feel of the ions in the air and the sand between our toes; the sight of the wild life and the colour of the sea, the awe as we watch¬†a surfer catching a wave; the taste of the salty water on our lips when we swim; the sound of the gulls and the crashing waves, the air horn of a passing ship, and the laughter of children being carried upon the winds of the shore; the lifting of our very souls when we are near the water…all these things we take so much for granted will be silenced by the greed of other men, men in power and hungry for more and more money, so much money they don’t even know what to DO with it all. Makes me sick. Makes my heart cry out for justice and resolution to this awful thing that has happened.

XI. Justice ~ Animals Divine Tarot

XI. Justice ~ Maat ~Meaning: judgement, balance, legalities, making decisions

I know I am not alone. I can feel the presence of a multitude of other souls just like mine carrying the heavy burden of this unspeakable thing that has happened within them. And more closer to home, the looks on the faces of every resident and visitor that we pass at any given day or evening tells the story. No need to be psychic to know how everyone in our area is being effected by this event. Which may have an upside, and this might give me some hope that this oil spill will help to set guidelines and the implementation of safe guards for future generations, and Рbetter yet Рspur the development of cleaner energy solutions and get us away from our dependence on oil and its byproducts. Just think of it: this is just one oil well in a mighty plethora of them all around our planet. This is a warning and a reminder that we need to work harder and faster at adopting better and wiser fuel and energy choices. Now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now. What more needs to happen to open our eyes?

What really angers me is how we as individuals are trying so hard to make wise choices, and to consider and use alternative energy in our daily lives. We ride bikes,walk or take public transportation instead of taking the car. We recycle and reuse and reinvent uses for things we would normally toss into the trash. We are urged by the media (and the powers that be) to do our best to make lifestyle changes to make a difference, one little person and one little household at a time. And then along comes some mega company (BP) that just throws caution to the wind to save a few extra bucks (while they are the ones who have more money than they know what to do with! *see above*) and the end result -> Catastrophe. Doom. Poison. Suffering. Waste. Loss. Death. And all in huge proportions. Every American I know does what they can and sacrifices when and where they can to make a difference. But to what avail when in one fell swoop a huge corporation screws up so astronomically as to wipe out every little effort we make? How can they do such a thing?! I am deeply appalled…

XXI. The World ~ Animals Divine Tarot

XXI. The World ~ Gaia ~ Meaning: the state of wholeness, self-awareness, oneness with all living things.

¬†So…where do we go from here? What do we do? I, for one, am not going to let this break my spirit. I am stubborn. And I am not a real fan of big business nor big corporations. My household has decided to not do business with BP any more, which is a¬†bit of a Catch 22. Surely, they need our support to clean up the mess and fix this problem some may argue. But I really have no sympathy for this corporate monster. The oil companies are no different than the pharmaceutical companies or the tobacco companies where their commerce and ways of getting money from people are concerned. They don’t need my help. The world, however, does. So this is where¬†I am starting. With the world, and especially my little world. Our household has already vowed to step up our awareness of the earth, our environment – especially the immediate environment – and make our best effort to clean up our act even more. We will continue to remain ever diligent of our way of life and how we impact our surroundings, both immediate and beyond. We will show respect to the earth, ourselves and especially others by being mindful of what we are doing and what we are leaving behind during and after we are doing it. We will be more aware of where we are putting our money and more educated about the companies we are doing business with, both on a local and more wide spread scale. We will donate to wildlife and environmental friends more often. They so need our support. And, finally, we will be keeping the soul of the earth and all its inhabitants in our thoughts and prayers in an ongoing way, so as to aid in the healing that is so desperately needed at this time. I encourage everyone who is reading this now to do the same. Don’t let all that anger and frustration go to waste! Convert that energy into healing prayers and thoughtful and loving action for our planet and thus ourselves and our plant, animal and elemental families. Let’s make a difference now more than ever! I hope you will join me in this…and thank you for listening to my rant.

Namaste, my friends…¬†

[*note: The Tarot used in this blog is from the Animals Divine tarot by Lisa Hunt. She is a tarot genius! ~L.]