‘Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil’, is a very old saying. Shakespeare used it. Hugh Latimer, one time time Bishop of Worcester, is recorded as having quoted it in 1555, and it was noted then as being already a ‘well known saying.’
But what exactly might have been the sentiment behind it? There are times when common sense, tact, wit, grace and compassion depends on the wriggle room of the Little White Lie. Absolute rigour in truth at all times regardless of circumstances is, to say the least, charmless and socially unskilful.
In a reading, clues alerting me to the fact that the person I am reading for is not telling me the whole truth, while at the same time absolutely expecting me to see clearly on their behalf, are these tarot cards:
The Magician, The Moon, Justice Reversed, Judgement Reversed, The Seven of Swords, and The Devil.
I find people true and sincere in the main. Very movingly so at times, but I’m not likely to forget the reading challenges that the Artful Fibsters pose in a hurry. They want you to see clearly for them, while deliberately throwing dust in your eyes. Could the original meaning of this saying, <b>Tell the Truth and Shame The Devil </b> have been:
See if you can’t put him to shame, by means of your good example? (Is it likely shame is on his menu?)
Make even him cringe with the awfulness of the transgression you’re owning up to?
(You did what?? You didn’t??? I have been outperformed. I’ve come over all faint. Pass me my sulphur’. What brand new wickedness could there be it/s/he hasn’t thought of already?)
I jest, and it’s rare I’ve met a real out and out liar, and not for a long while. I sense trouble now and head those people off now rather than deal with them. But I have met them, in my early days of reading, and what a waste of time and energy it can be. Telling the Truth cuts the Gordion Knot.
My cards seemed to be saying ‘watch out for news of Death on Monday.’
My first concern was for my brother. He is a police officer (The Emperor can refer to the Police) and had been working extra duties because of the London riots (The Ace of Swords Rev can mean a battle or a riot) though he was not deployed to London itself.
The Emperor Reversed COULD have been indicating an injury, so could the Ace of Swords Reversed. Drawing more cards to ask myself whether the coming news was connected to my brother, the indications were thankfully no, he was OK, and was going to continue to be OK for the foreseeable future.
Who were the cards ‘seeing’ then? What was the association involving Death, and Monday, and possibly an older man? A certain uncle of my husband came to mind, but I have never met him, and my sense of personal connection to this person is not strong.
I got the answer just before we left home. A client I know well and regard very highly emailed me to say that sadly, her father had passed away a few days earlier.
His funeral was scheduled for Monday.
So the Death card had been pre-empting news of coming obsequies.
I was well aware that my client’s father (The Hermit Reversed) had not been at all well, not really ‘himself’ for a couple of years. He had been sleeping a lot in that time, and had been remote, disinclined to eat, and sometimes confused when awake (Loss of Attention/Focus/Clarity = Ace Of Swords Reversed)
My client’s father’s state of health had appeared many times in my readings for her, reflecting her deep concern, even when I was conducting readings on her behalf on purely business questions. Our thinking and feeling does not recognise compartments, and clearly also, I must feel a strong sense of connection to this lady.
Happily, after his long infirmity, this much loved Emperor had passed away very peacefully. My client emailed me because, without making any outright prediction of death (a tarot reading no-no of the nth degree) I had all the same seen this coming back in January, and had dropped a hint to the effect that a 2011 business trip in the second half of the year might need a last minute change in plan owing to family circumstances.
She was giving me the feedback that this circumstance had now actually materialised, and that though she was so sad, she was glad and grateful for her father’s peaceful release.
The Tarot’s Insights offer a head start on uncertainty. Tarot in the hands of a practically minded Intuitive ot ‘psychic’ can minimise risk and wastage, resulting in savings of time, worry, energy – and money.
It is instinct rising from the gut and finding words. It is a key element of intellect, and is probably, I suspect, actually super-fast reasoning and deduction that’s bypassed conscious processes, simply by virtue of extreme speed. Intuition is not the antithesis of reason. Each is an element of the other. Where their findings meet in the middle, there is an advantage in the face of uncertainty.
Divination is an activity as old as mankind. We’re the species that likes to plan further than a day or two ahead. Mankind is always, by one means or another, from weather forecasting to mineral prospecting, trying to stay ahead of the game. Instinct is about survival first, and decisions great and small are often taken in advance of the proof that fully rationally justifies them. That’s why we say ‘Rather safe than sorry.’
‘Oh noo-ooo. I just KNEW something was wrong, but I couldn’t be sure, without hard evidence. The hair went up on my neck. But I didn’t see it, hear it or, um, smell it. Now here it is , and as a matter of fact (I only deal in the known facts) I am in its jaws right now, and it’s a lion. Sheesh. I wish I had trusted my instincts on this one. Ewwww. It’s slobbering. The evidence is in, I am in a lion’s load of trouble and that’s a fact. Owww! Too late now. Good-bye world!’
Yesterday, and this is not an unusual task, I was asked to clarify a spending figure for a fashion retail client who has been using my service for some years, which I did for her straightaway by Email, pending her upcoming trip to Munich, Paris and London.
Her Question: Should she allocate for Stock Buying For the Season Of Spring/Summer 2012 :-
a) £150 k b) £170 k c) £180 k?
Pass the smelling salts. The responsibility of a question remains the client’s, but the reader accepts a responsibility in answering it.
I sat with my cards, spoke the question, shuffled and drew three cards blind and at random.
The £150k option was ‘The Answer.’
How did I arrive at this conclusion?
I drew 2 cards upright out of 3 in respect of this option, and only 1 out of 3 upright in repsect of the other 2.
To me this intuitively calibrated as a ‘yes’ for the 2/3 result, and a ‘no’ for the 1/3 results. In addition those two upright cards were symbolically positive and relevant in respect of the presenting question.
The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
This card shows a woman who works hard, provides for others, and is a lover of fine things. She may be a collector of beautiful objects, and a cultivator of gardens. She often has a good head for business, and is a manager or employer.
I have also come to associate this card with boutiques/beauty salons/related business and services.
And we had the Queen of Wands: a card indicating a consummate saleswoman, with great marketing instinct.
I therefore confirmed the optimal option as £150k. The client was delighted.
She had already decided on this sum herself. She had been ‘testing’ to see if I would arrive at the same conclusion. The fact I did so gave her, an independent sole proprietor for over 20 years, and an employer of several staff, the extra assurance that she was reading her own instinct aright. Now she could proceed with confidence.
The Tarot’s insights and affirmations offer a head start on uncertainty. This in turn can minimise risk and wastage, and result in savings of time, energy – and money.
A lady had a number of things to discuss, seen from the first card layout. The 10 of Cups Reversed indicated that someone had left home and The King of Swords suggested this had been the man in her life. The Knight of Swords Reversed suggested there had been an element of shock about it. These facts, the lady confirmed.
There were several Swords cards, some upright, some reversed. I therefore asked about legal matters, to which she replied that I was mistaken if I thought she worked in a solicitors (because her booking email had come from a solicitors email address)
Nevertheless I replied that legal matters were indicated as relevant to her current situation, and it emerged later in the reading that there were major property matters to be sorted out between the two of them, which she had been holding fire on, in case of a reconciliation.
Sadly, he was with someone else now, and this looked extremely unlikely, as indicated by the Tarot, and we discussed ways to set about finalising matters and freeing herself from what, six months later, otherwise threatened to become a limbo of passive waiting.
The lady had questions about a business idea and I was able to answer these, but first, because she did not wish to tell me what the business idea was, I asked the Tarot and I drew the Six of Cups.
The Six of Cups: The Gilded Tarot:
By Kind Permission of Ciro Marchetti
This gentle card represents childhood, nostagia, old haunts and old friends. Its negative meanings are unhappy memories, a sad childhood, unhelpful sentiment, wallowing in nostalgia.
I suggested to the lady that the business idea was something to do with children and pets, toys and knick knacks. Perhaps picnic baskets? And, the number Six being symbolically associated with friends and local community, the business would probably be locally based rather than regionally or nationally distributed, or Internet based.
The lady was thinking of opening a gift shop in a nearby town centre. Aha!
Temperance suggested it was a good idea, the Three of Wands suggested eventual success, but the Wheel of Fortune Reversed suggested the time was not yet right for launching but might be better in another ten months to a year, while the Chariot card boded well for a partnership she was considering forming. I could just about ‘see’ another King coming into view, when the lady should feel ready, which was not yet. I sensed him about 18 months to two years away, and he was likely to be met through her new business activities. She might not be ready for that yet, but six months after what had felt like a blow to the heart (we had an appearance of the hurtful card the Three of Swords) the Tarot sensed she was ready to set a term on grieving for what she had lost, and move on.
True Tarot was so happy to see the signs a self-recovery set in motion, and brighter days not far ahead.
Click on this link for superstitions and symbolism associated with the Number Six
Here was an instance of using tarot card counting to arrive at a qualified forecast.
My daughter, 16 at the time, was learning piano. She went for lessons once a week and practiced – ahem, sometimes– on a small, reconditioned 1930s piano in the dining room. We had been hearing a lot of renditions of ‘Oliver!’ – Fagin’s song about reviewing the situation, ‘I think I’d better think it out again!’
At Christmas I got a phone call the piano teacher, to say my daughter would soon be due to put in for entry for her Grade 2 exam, but she wasn’t going to be ready as she wasn’t putting in the necessary work. Well, I asked my daughter, did she want to go for it or not? It was her decision, but if she decided to go for it, I expected her to show that she meant business.
She opted to go for it, upped the practise sessions, and had the exam 29 March, held at school during the school day. She came dragging home with a long face. ‘I made loads of mistakes,’ she said, ‘in both pieces.’
What did the Tarot think, she wanted to know. Had she passed? She couldn’t see how, she was sure she had made ‘loads of mistakes’.
‘And what did you do? I asked.
‘I kept going,’ she said.
Slips might not have mattered as much as she feared if the examiner had detected an overall fluency, I told her. The examiner would expect slips due to nerves and overall ‘flow’ would have been the indicator of underlying technical competence.
I drew 8 cards and turned them over. Six were upright, which to me signified a yes answer from tarot. Two were reversed, upside down, indicating a no answer. Therefore the Tarot thought it highly probable, a 75% probability that she had in fact passed, despite her feelings about it.
Two cards in particular were encouraging. The Page of Swordsmade an appearance and was upright. This was a lucky sign because my daughter is herself a Page of Swords, born under Aquarius. Facially, the card resembles her too, and the hair is not dissimilar, nor the build.
The Queen of Swords was another of the cards drawn in its upright or positive aspect. Was the examiner an older lady, elegant and well-spoken? I asked her. Yes, she said, sort of old-fashioned, serious, but very nice.
‘She liked you,’ I said, I sensed that this Queen had recognised in her a young ‘page of music’.
Because the suit of Swords has strong correlations with Science – Physics in particular- and Medicine, Mathematics and Music.
These two court cards appearing amongst the six upright cards reinforced my confidence on her behalf and anyway, the thing was done, and I told her not to worry. And she did pass.
A good discipline for a reader is to read little and often. It’s a kind of self-programming. Make it tough on yourself, tarot is wonderfully subtle but sometimes you need to nail a colour to the mast.
However open your vision, and habits of interpretation when doing readings for others, it’s good to know you will generally get it right. You won’t always of course, so feed yourself a piece of humble pie every day, but you need to be right a LOT as a professional reader, or what’s your value? So practice, and challenge yourself with the nail-biting no-no that is the CLOSED QUESTION.
‘Will XYZ happen or won’t it?’ The second card is to ask why will it or won’t it? The discussion or meditation then opens out again if necessary.
Here is a recent example: I was thinking of attending a tarot social event, taking a friend, a fellow local tarot reader and professional clairvoyant . Knowing what a hermit-crab this shy friend can be, I marked him as a POSSIBLE attendee only, half-expecting him to bow out in advance.
Two days before the scheduled event, he rang to say he’d be going, but I still expected him to change his mind, and the day before I pulled two cards to test this out.
I drew The Ace of Wands Reversed. Wands is the suit of trips and longer journeys, also of selling, bartering and exchange, buzz, chatting, marketing…general communications. Drawing it reversed, denied, suggested he was about to cry off. Now, this was absolutely fine, and was just as I expected, but could the Tarot tell me why in advance of the facts?
I drew The Hierophant Reversed. The Hierophant which used to be known as The Pope, suggests a priest, a teacher, a counsellor or healer, a church, a tradition and an established order. It is orthodoxy and conformity. It can also signify marriage…and keys! That’s the Tarot for you!
I looked at it and was puzzled. ‘But A***** doesn’t GO to church!’ I said.
Later that afternoon he rang to say he still wanted to go to the tarot event but was now double-booked. I was glad to think he had plans elsewhere, he’d been a bit down and depressed, and I read this as a sign of recovery. I told him not to worry about the tarot social, I could see he really wanted to go to the other thing instead.
What was it?
A Christian Science church, he said. Did I want to go? Er, well, no. They had a guest speaker coming in, he said. A healer visiting from the States.
Ahaaa! So that was why the Tarot had seemed to say ‘church.’ But it also meant ‘priest/healer.’ It knew what was going on, all right. And the cards had been drawn reversed because, having decided time-planning didn’t allow him to go to both, the events were then being perceived as being in conflict with one another.
Not a cheerful tarot tale today, but terrible and sad. Such is life sometimes. But maybe also indicative of something so very much more than that.
On March 2nd, I had the cards out to get a sense of the following day. My husband, Il Matrimonio had flown to the States, and my 16 year old daughter had required a little support in previous days to deal with a nasty little outbreak of attempted bullying. A venomous sneak weasel boy, though this is unfair on weasels which are such attractive animals in many ways.
Looking out in respect of both situations I drew cards which made me feel like I had been hit in the stomach.
Justice Reversed with the Knight of Swords Reversed is a seriously unpleasant combo. It brings with it such ideas as a judgement against someone, injustice (but for whom?) attack, violence, anger, ruthlessness, cruelty, murder, sudden violent fatality.
The Knight of Swords Reversed is, I personally feel, the card most to be dreaded of the cards of the Minor Arcana. Upright, it has certain stern but powerful virtues, speed, decisive action, incisive thinking, swift invocation of force, attack, resolute defence, a knight rides out for you full pelt, or you yourself, are that knight.
From The Gilded Tarot: Ciro Marchetti: Llewellyn.
In other words, drawn right way up, the card promises everything you’d howl for if you needed the cavalry. Drawing it reversed I knew a pang of dread.
The three of Wands was the reason I did not think this was not about my daughter. It’s a card of overseas, so now my thoughts switched to Il Matrimonio, and since Swords correlates to the element of air, I thought, what about his flight? Was he having trouble at Immigration? Just then, he rang. No, he was fine, he had landed, very excited at collecting his hire car, (the big baby!)
So what was it? Suddenly the thought came into my mind ‘death sentence.’ Where had that come from? What string had the Tarot plucked to send me such a dire vibration? I went to the computer and, on another impulse Googled ‘death sentence.’
And my eye went straight to a link. I opened it and read a piece that had just been posted, 6 minutes previously, which would have been almost simultaneous upon my drawing of the cards. The item was copyright, but it was in that days news in the States, in particular Alabama.
In short, tragedy. In short, murder. in 2008 a young man, an ex-soldier who had served in Iraq called Courtney Lockhart abducted and killed an 18 year old student called Lauren Burk, shooting her in the back as she tried to escape.
Wednesday 2 Match 2011, and Courtney Lockhart, a man with a daughter of his own, had his earlier sentence reviewed, of prison without parole, and in the presence of Lauren’s grieving family, and in his mother’s presence received a death sentence from the judge who had decided to overrule the jury.
Had this double death-knell then been felt so acutely and at the same time so deeply it’s vibration had crossed the Atlantic to reach an utter and previously completely unaware stranger?
Well, actually, is that so hard to imagine?
If it is possible to read tarot for people at a distance, which it certainly is, why should this not have travelled through the ether to an intuitive who was extra-receptive and ‘facing the right way’ because she was tuning in on her own daughter’s security and was also in a psychic sense ‘facing west’ with a husband flying state-side?
Did this vibration originate with the sentenced man and his family, or the victim’s family? Did it emanate from one of these individuals, or all of them rolled up together in a snowball of agony, a Munchian scream in the ether? Or from the residual energy, the ghost if you like, of the poor little girl herself?
It makes me think yet again that the world, and we, are so very much more than matter which is really energy slowed down. Life isn’t discrete, isn’t so lumpen. It’s more like a vast invisible web, dew drops where the sun catches it, beautiful and ugly. Bluebottles trapped, struggle darkly iridescent.
You don’t have to be ‘psychic‘ in order to learn tarot, which is a skill of divination, in which one attempts to uncover hidden or semi-hidden information or understanding. You do have to be interested in symbols and associative thinking, you do have to be receptive, but to be ‘psychic’ helps sometimes, to make the symbolic more precise, and to talk in every day, concrete terms, about specifics.
Am I ‘psychic’? Yes, to an extent, and so probably, are you, but what does it mean?
The word ‘psychic’ may comes from the Greek, ‘psyche’, meaning soul and derived from the word ‘psychikos’ meaning, mental, of the mind. ‘Psychic’ implies soulic knowledge, the soul entering and leaving the body on the breath. The word intuition also refers to an inner knowing, that which is our inner tutor, and which we all possess as an inseparable element of normal human instinct.
So what is the difference between being intuitive and psychic? It’s subtle. Perhaps it’s most simply defined as a matter of precision or degree.
The intuition provides us with impressions, feelings, and reactions. Time being of the essence where safety is an issue, intuitions arrive instantly, in advance of any hard evidence to explain them. Intuition is a courier of super-fast intelligence, bypassing conscious processes. Everyone is intuitive. It is a function of competent, normal intelligence, but not everybody, maybe for cultural or ‘intellectual’ reasons, feels comfortable about acknowledging it.
Some ‘diss it’ by saying they will deal only with ‘proven facts’ or evidence or reason.
Yawn. Well, let them, if they want to limit themselves unnecessarily. But this, it could be argued, is actually anti-intellectual. The mind is a whole, not a pie servable in slices.
Psychic insights come when they come, are instantaneous and specific. Something may be ‘seen’ or ‘heard’ or ‘smelled’ or dreamed of, but it will be particular, unlike the formless but none the less powerful, and even life- saving promptings of the intuition.
The High Priestess, pictured above, represents both the Intuition, and the Psyche and psychic promptings, or refers to a person who may be female or male, who works or serves as an advisor, or seer.
Reading for a client one evening, I sensed she was holding something back, and to encourage her, asked her directly about a ‘rude man’ I kept sensing, a bully with a loud voice, fair or ginger, a salesman of some kind? The card triggering this was the King of Wands Reversed.
My client said she knew who this was; a man who had a market stall near hers, but she insisted that she’d come only for advice regarding retirement. Courtesy demanded I take her at her word, and we carried on, but I remained uneasy that she hadn’t shared the real worry, and so I hadn’t had a chance to try and help. Such was my feeling.
After she had gone, I was lying in front of the television with a cup of tea, when I suddenly ‘saw’ her in my mind’s eye. She was holding a big round pot in both hands, and she was mending it, with great care and attention.
Oh! I thought. Well, I had mentioned to her that I could see her taking up pottery (prompted by the appearance of the Page of Coins) But I was struck, the mental picture was so vivid.
Next day she called, but I had someone with me and couldn’t call back straight away. When I returned the call, the phone rang for a long time before I rang off. She called again and at last we spoke. The lady now wanted to tell me what was bugging her about the rude man. He was an unwanted admirer. He’d told her that he’d been to me for a reading, that I had performed psychometry on his wrist watch (psychometry is a psychic reading performed using as a focus an object connected to the person being read through a history of physical contact or at least, proximity) I had predicted, so this man said, that he and this lady were going to marry.
So her real reason for coming to see me had been to check this out. Would I say anything that would correspond with this man’s account?
The gentleman was a fibster. What a lot of porky pies and utter ……
I did not know him, I had not read for him, nor do I offer psychometry readings. Nor would I ever have said such a thing. I do not offer predictions, but forecasts, offering a sense of the odds on a question, but nothing prescriptive, for whom am I to disregard the possibilities of free will or the wild card?
I told her this, we chatted awhile, and as a light hearted way of signing off the call, I mentioned my vision of the night before.
‘ That’s why I couldn’t pick up the phone when you rang!’ she said. ‘That’s why I
had to call you back. I had glue all over my hands, trying to fix a pot I broke yesterday!’
The vision had therefore been an instance of psychic, as opposed to intuitive ‘knowing’.
It’s a matter of record now, I’m as sane as the next person, or at least as sane as any one of us could prove ourselves to be, but I am a ‘potty’ psychic.
I was in good odour with a regular client. In June 2010, a reading indicated that her husband had reason to be hopeful of early retirement with a viable retirement package. He had been wanting to go for some time, but hadn’t found an early way out that he would find acceptable financially.
The cards assessed the chances of an opportunity materialising before the end of 2010 as 6 out of 8, odds I translated as meaning it was highly likely, though not inevitable.
Nothing is inevitable but Death…and taxes, so the saying goes. The future consists of so many complex variables, I find it more meaningful to attach a weighting to ‘predictions’, or forecasts, as I prefer to think of them.
What’s the difference? Well, a prediction is a statement about the future presented as a virtual fact, a done deal. A forecast is an indication of the likelihood that something will happen, leaving space for the workings of undetected random chance and free will. Society uses all manner of forecasting…from the weather to the Stock Exchange. tarot readers just offer another, personalised form, intuitively collected using tarot symbols as tools of assessment and translation, as our equivalent of the gathering and statistical analysis of hard data.
The chief cards I drew indicative of a viable ending coming into view over time’s horizon were The Emperor Reversed, Justice and Judgment.
The Emperor often indicates a man of mature years, or an organisation, generally a large one. His employer was a global defence company. Justice = Law, contract. Judgement = as in Judgement Day, in a benign way, a time of reckoning, the right time for completing or ending something.
I heard today he was invited to go in December, as part of a larger redundancy programme and – which will not necessarily the case for all such invitees – he is delighted.
There are many depictions of animals and birds in the Tarot. They form a great part of the human landscape physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and symbolically. If there’s a heaven, what would it be without them? I wouldn’t mind, personally if mosquitoes, maggots, deadly snakes and komodo dragons didn’t make it. Spiders would be all right as long as they were non-venomous and less than two inches in diameter. However, it’s not me in charge.
The songbird traditionally most associated with Christmas, or to give the winter festival its older name, Yuletide – is the robin redbreast. The cheeky, dumpy little European robin, Erithacus rubecula is a member of the flycatcher family.
Its preferred habitats are woodlands, hedgerows, parks and garden. Its staple diet is worms, seeds, fruits and insects. It will fight over sunflower seeds and it adores mealworms. You can buy these in dried form in lots of outlets including many supermarkets. They look revolting though people used to baiting fish hooks won’t mind them. Robins have been to take mealworms by hand, so irresistibly delicious are they to robin-kind.
Male and female European robins are identical to look at, adults of both sexes having the red breast, while young robins have no red breast, and are a speckled golden brown colour. The lack of red breast in the young defends them from territorial attack by adults. The robin lives a little over one year on average. If it lives beyond 1.1 years it may achieve twelve years and has been known to reach the age of twenty, but long life is rare.
The robin’s endearing appearance belies its feistiness. It’ll fight to the death for its territory, and one in ten die in combat. They have been seen to chase off pigeons much bigger than they are. The one in my garden right now however, is rather timid and will scurry into the rosemary when a pigeon appears. Well, I suppose they are individuals just as we are.
Robin redbreast builds a cup-shaped nest in a hole or hidden in ground cover, and will sing all year round. Click here to hear its song and for other general information from the RSPB:-
The robin received the human pet name of ‘Robin’ in the fifteenth century. It has a special place in the library of legends embedded in the Tarot, and a robin may be observed in some decks, including the King of Pentacles card in the Sacred Circle Tarot Deck.
It belongs there by virtue of the symbolism and superstitions attached to it.
Some older people consider the robin a bird of ill omen, a harbinger of death. It is considered unlucky for a robin to fly into a house as Death is expected to follow. For this reason, a Christmas card with a picture of a robin on it is not always welcome with people aware of this tradition. But compassion and care for the dead is also attributed to the robin. One legend says that it tried to help Christ by pulling off a thorn from the crown Jesus had been made to wear, injuring itself in the process – hence its red breast. Another old tale says that it was a robin who found the bodies of the lost ‘Babes in the Wood‘, and who buried them with a golden coverlet of fallen leaves.
If your robin seems shy, it may be a visitor from Europe. British robins haunt gardens more than their European relatives, are more used to human contact and are bold in comparison with European winter visitors which tend to favour woodlands in their native lands.
All right, you robin.
I’m on my way out with sugared bread (for energy it’s better to give them cake or sugared bread than plain bread) Here are some more of those revolting mealworms, and let’s hang up another half coconut of fat and nuts. But note this, my fine robin friend; this is not just for you, but is for sharing with the blue-tits and coal-tits, the blackbirds, sparrows and the finches.
The North Wind Doth blow
And we shall have snow
And what will the robin do then, poor thing?
He’ll hide in a barn
To keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing, poor thing.
Let’s see what the robin currently peering out from the safety of the big rosemary bush, will communicate via the Tarot.
Are you a cock or hen robin?
Answer card: The High Priestess. Just to make sure, I pull another card and get the Moon Reversed. Meanings: I am a hen bird. I am solitary right now, I want no mate. This is not the time.
What are you thinking right now?
Answer card: The Empress. Meaning? What have we here? Food! I have discovered a new harvest! Being provided for, I must eat my fill while I can.
I pull another card, just as the robin flies off again…and, strangely enough, the card is The Chariot.The robin has flitted just a short distance to sit on top of the seed feeder hung in the bare branches of the laburnum tree.
Why have you gone to sit there?
Answer card: The Seven of Wands Reversed. Meaning: I am new to this garden and I must be careful. This is a good vantage point from which to spy out enemies and not be taken unawares.
What’s your favourite time of year?
Answer card: The Empress Reversed. Meaning: A time when there are plenty of fruits and seeds, but there are still sheltering leaves on the trees. A time when there are still long hours of light to feed by, and sometimes there’s still warmth…the night is not so bitter, the air does not bite so hard. My legs creak like sticks at first light when I must move for food or die. How I wish it could always be the time of the Empress.
OK, verification may not be an option as with readings done for domestic species. Still, I have done animal readings before, and know intuitive communication can work inter-species. Maybe it would not work with all species, but the tarot affords a means of extending perception beyond the boundaries of self, and living things share common drives and goals. Sentient and sensate beings, whether bare or feathered, scaled or furry, are inextricably subject to vagaries of environment, the common denominator in shared consciousness.
During the severe winter of 1962/63, the UK robin population was worse than decimated, reduced to an estimated 50-60 breeding pairs. Spare a little if you can, for your fellow creatures outside this winter.
Well, it has been a white Christmas here where I live by the sea on Lancashire’s usually mild, if sometimes windy Fylde coast. It did not strictly count as white, for anyone who might have placed a bet on it, as no new snow fell, but it looked white all right.
Il Matrimonio, the husband, asked me, thinking of prospects for inter-familial travel, did I see a thaw coming by today, Monday?
I performed a single card reading and drew THE KNIGHT OF WANDS.
Updated: A light hearted look at an ‘Option selecting’ reading, and at deploying the tarot as an alternative tool for animal communication. All, hopefully, will become clear…
Our cat Willow was thirteen at the time of this reading. A small black and white moggie, she’s an introverted, timid and fussy cat. When she’s hungry she trots into the kitchen and meows. Obtaining service, she’ll jump up to sit by the window, a model of composure, looking studiously in another direction, affecting not to notice while you open her food and put it on a saucer.
The food served, Willow’s dignity demands she must not notice it immediately. The trouble is, she often loses interest altogether, jumps down again and stalks off, leaving it to congeal malodorously, so she refuses it later.
She came in meowing and my daughter said. ‘If I feed her, she’ll only turn her nose up, whatever I serve up.’
I knew from previous readings for cats, and other species that the Tarot will sometimes assist, verifiably so, with animal communication. ‘Let’s see if the Tarot knows what she wants,’ I said and drew a card for each of the available options on the menu.
While shuffling I asked the Tarot (ie the portion of the mind that is ‘Tarot’) to ensure the cat’s preference would appear right way up (Dignified) and any she wouldn’t eat would appear upside down (reversed, Ill-Dignified)
I laid out the cards, a row of four and Willow’s selection as translated by the Tarot leapt straight at me, by means of the only upright card amongst the four which was the Queen of Pentacles. The Queen represented the Duck (with courgette) option. Oddly, the colour scheme of the duck pouch matched the green of this Queen’s dress. The Tarot couldn’t quite manage to rustle up a duck, but it did well to produce a peacock.
I almost feel I should apologise to this eminently dignified Earth Queen. It hardly seems to do her justice, to summon he rin this fashion, and yet..if this was too menial a question to put to the Tarot, it begs the question, how low should the bar be set, out of respect for the dignity of the Oracle the Tarot represents? Tarot will talk about the highest things we reach for, also the simplest things. The greatest loves are bound up in simple things, and who is to say what is worthy of another’s attention? Who is to say, what’s simple, just because it appears simple?
The thirteenth century visionary Julian of Norwich said, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body.’ Divinity is in anything, even I suppose in sh… ahem. Pentacles represents all things physical, including crops and animal husbandry and cat food therefore resides absolutely under the jurisdiction of this suit. The Queen of the suit is a Demeter and derives her own happiness in taking care of living things. As a Taurus woman, well over 40, I am represented archetypically in the Tarot as a Queen of Pentacles. Willow is a queen cat and a Virgo subject, so she too, is a Queen of Pentacles in her own right.
No sooner was the duck on the saucer than she gingerly sniffed it, and dived in, leaving two tiny crumbs and not a lick of gravy.
There are implications beyond this, for the using of the Tarot as a sensing device for animal communication, or for people, in sensing whatever might be meant by ‘right choices’. I use this approach quite often in business readings, in order to help identify a target or best strategy.
Dozy old cat. Companion animals roaming our homes. They help us stay close to our roots. We need their lessons and reminders. The Tarot promotes our innate telepathy.
This could have been the theme for tarot blogs in recent unsettled weeks, in the fiery light of the London riots. In fact, I found my cards foreshadowed these events, and the tragedies that followed with the Tower card and the Ace of Swords Reversed. No, this is the story of a personal reading, in which I was struck by a definite theme.
There were Wands cards everywhere:-
Wands in Tarot is the equivalent of Clubs in playing cards and its corresponding element is fire.
The associations of this Tarot suit are: fire, energy. passion, drive, ambition, travel, communications, business, moving house, heading south, summer, speed, and speaking literally, such things as combustion engines, flames, hot foods…
The Five of Wandswas flagging up the client’s worries about disruption, gossip in her workplace and was indicating a certain amount of stress, even anger centering on failed communication.
The Page of Wands referred to a move at work that she was not happy about. It also referred to her reservations about a proposed house move. She had not fully realised just how uneasy the idea made her, she said, until she saw it reflected in the cards.
The Knight of Wands Rev. The man in her life had children and he didn’t want any more. She herself had no children. He had initially said he would consider having more, as she was helping look after his children, although they were not married. However, he had lately reconsidered and was saying no. This card spoke therefore of ardour dampened, ignition of new life denied.
The Queen of Wands Reversed referred to the client’s feelings about this situation. Astrologically speaking, she was a Queen of Pentacles, a Taurus queen. She was being shown as a Queen of Wands REv because her impulses were ruling her actions. Her common sense and her need for security, were being overruled by her passionate feelings, both happy and unhappy.
The King of Wands represented the man…an archetypal Wands figure, fun, dynamic, exciting, charismatic, but also, capable of carelessness, ruthlessness and selfishness. He could be chaotic and volatile and she had good reasons to feel cross.
Drawing another card of flames, The Devil I wondered what was her her job?
She couldn’t possibly be attached to the Fire Service, could she?
How was she to manage the flames of this relationship without getting burned? The Tarot’s answer came from the client’s own astrological suit…Pentacles.
The Tarot called for her to build and maintain a firewall of Taurean earth. to be able to enjoy the warmth of the flame in safe bounds.
What might this mean in practical terms?
The Four of Pentacles, the 10 of Pentacles and the Ace all asked her to reconsider begore agreeing to sell her house.
It was her own house, in her sole name, willed to her by a grandparent.
The Tarot could not have issued a louder warning against selling at urging of this man, her partner, without security of marriage.
Would she act on this?
True Tarot was secretly doubtful. Fire scorches earth, earth smothers fire, and what was the glue at work here?
The seductive power that’s also represented by that fiery Devil card. Uh oh. Can it be reasoned with, before it’s burned itself out? Does this golden oldie below remind you of the tarot card illustrated above?
East Card: Thoughts, intellectual preoccupations, planning.
A central card or simply an extra card placed alongside may be used to identify the question or concern that is the motivation for coming to the reading.
This may or may not be logged in the forefront of the client’s conscious thinking at the reading’s outset and may emerge later. Don’t be put off too much if you’re new to reading, share the meaning of a card and a client refutes it. Don’t argue, accept the rebuttal and wait…very often it will emerge during the reading that the Tarot was right, and the client just needed a little more thinking time or to settle into the conversation first.
In the North I drew The Chariot Reversed. A card of Travel, Transport, Ambition, Partnership, Cohesion, Teamwork, Success achieved through focus and determination. Being drawn Reversed…was he currently experiencing trouble with transport or a sense of dissatisfaction with his job?
Not with transport he said, looking baffled. Yes, to the dissatisfaction at work question. He was a building labourer, a skilled one, and that was OK, he liked the work, but he had a hunger for learning, and a taste in reading and curiosity in metaphysical matters that he found was not readily understood by his work mates.
This formed the greater part of the discussion that followed.
But for now that did not seem to be all of ‘it’…what about his car or van, I asked? This was probably not a serious problem, positive surrounding cards indicated it as a passing concern, but it was lodged in the material and financial department of this small spread.
The MOT was due on it the following week, he said, and he was not looking forward to the bill one bit.
Aha. The Tarot was picking up on basics. And so it should.
Last Sunday my older daughter rang to say she had applied for a job at a vet’s practice. She had been considering a move for some time, due to lack of further training prospects at the vet’s she had been with for three years.
Hearing there was a job going, she called the recruiting practice only to found the closing date for applications had already gone. She was downcast, then thought, what the hell, sent her CV and a letter of application anyway and was rewarded for her intiative with an invitation to interview.
Would she be offered the job? I was disinclined to look. I didn’t need the cards to offer suggestions for tackling the interview. I used to work in recruitment amongst other things. Applying for the job was a no-brainer; no help asked or needed from the Tarot on that score. What would be, would be etc.
On Tuesday my mother rang, and we got talking about it. I quickly shuffled the cards while on the telephone, asking to be shown a card connected to the outcome of the interview. I was sneaking a peek with no intention of passing it back, as, whether the outcome looked positive or not, I had no wish to interfere with my daughters own processes.
This card of arrival, reinvention, reincarnation, setting forth, is above all a harbinger of new beginnings. Much energy and enthusiasm attach to it. Notice the dog. My daughter’s special interest is dog training and she has run puppy classes.
The dog in the card represents common sense. The Fool card, when drawn upside down indicates either over-timidity or recklessness, immaturity, irresponsibility, bad timing…and very occasionally, death, because the card is associated with number zero…
Looking at The Fool I remarked to ‘Grandma’ that I felt the prospective employer was going to like her. Being dignified, right way up, this was a great card for job hunting. If she didn’t get this one, she’d be getting another soon. My mother sniffed, unimpressed, declaring that of course they would like her; such a neat and efficient button-like person. A proper grandma is nothing if not loyal.
The interview was on Wednesday. On Friday evening my daughter rang to say she had got it, and though she’s not much ‘into’ what I do, she’s absorbed enough not to have been unduly perplexed at my turn of expression as I congratulated her.
This King has sterling qualities when functioning at his best. He is a hard worker, often good with money, conscientious, a good provider. He’s practical and capable. He has warmth – likely to be kind to women, children and small furry animals. He may well be green fingered.
He eats up his food, and often appreciates small and simple things…and this is a high quality and not to be despised in this world. He is careful, honest and faithful. He is sturdily masculine.
When ill-disposed however, and appearing as a subject of complaint, it is often because he’s habit ridden, perhaps miserly, a grumpy git, liable to be slovenly or dowdy and to have whiffy feet.
He’s being a refusenik; rigid, narrow, stubborn, petty, dull, gluttonous, lazy or alternatively, he’s a workaholic, knowing the price of value of nothing, obessed by minutiae, failing to see all manner of wood for the trees.
Well, let’s try respect, charity and compassion first…maybe the poor tatty bear is over-worked, stressed, depressed, run down and tired. Failing that, maybe he needs to pull his interpersonal socks up.
If you have one like this, do acknowledge and praise whatever is his useful contribution, do allow him to shine, feed him greens, buy him a new shirt or lovely aftershave, do try and tempt him into the fresh air, but be prepared to go out without him if he refuses to stir, and don’t buy him slippers.
Above all not tartan ones. It’ll encourage him in all the wrong habits.
Jung coined a phrase to describe how he thought tarot worked: ‘synchronicity.’ Something in the reader connects with something in the cards. The cards are shuffled blind and drawn at random. However, synchronicity proposes that actually the selection isn’t random;
”[In synchronistic experiences] the perception of wholeness derives not from our ego, our conscious sense of self, but instead from the way in which the meaning unites all of who we are, parts of experience we were unaware of, potentials we have that have lain dormant or underdeveloped, elements of our personality that we didn’t know existed”
One evening a client left after an intense reading, and that day I had been very, very tired. I went upstairs with a cup of tea to lounge with a book. My teenage daughter came in asking me to take a look in the cards for her.
I said, ‘not right now, sweetie, I’m too tired. Give me half an hour’.
She persisted, and as I knew the question, and knew it wasn’t serious, and could wait I became annoyed.
‘If you keep on asking when I’ve said I’m too tired,’ I said. ‘I’ll show you the Devil card! Now then.’
She asked again. Oh, dear.
‘Right!’ I said and whipped the cards out from their cloth and shuffled them furiously.
‘Now see THIS!’ I hissed, pulled a card and brandished it at her, and knock me down with a very small chick feather, it was, it really was THE DEVIL CARD. Look atta ugly mug.
Ooh-er. A Devilish Tarot Tantrum to match my own.
She was I might say, suitably impressed. In fact she ran from the room howling for her dad, who was watching the footie and wasn’t remotely interested in this psychodrama, while I sniggered, feeling better now, peacefully drinking my tea.
Hey, you old Devil… you said it for me, heh heh! Now go away again, thank you.
An Exploration of the Shadow Side of Lost Dudeists Everywhere: Astrology, Tarot, Metaphysics, Tinfoil Hat Conspiracy Stuff, Other Weird Stuff, and sometimes Fertility Goddess Icons (Scantily Dressed Pinup Girls)