When The Tarot’s High Priestess was not One, but Two Greek Goddesses.

An artist wanted us to look at the year ahead in 2018. There was no specific question, and I drew 13 cards, one for each month of the year starting with January and laid them out anti-clockwise. The thirteenth card went in the centre and represented a key question, comment or theme, like so.

This is known as The Wheel of the Year Spread. There are variants.

Number 1 represents Aries the first House of the Zodiac and the start of the Astrological years.

Number 2 is Taurus, 3 is Gemini, 4 is Cancer, 5 is Leo, 6 is Virgo, 7 is Libra, 8 is Scorpio, 9 is Sagittarius, 10 is Capricorn. 11 is Aquarius and 12, Pisces.

 

Tarot spread year ahead

 

The central question card, the Eight of Coins, suggested to me that the client wished to explore and discuss work this coming year, and maybe income. You can see for yourself the relevance of this card, drawn from The Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti. (Promotional video)

3 coins legacy divine

My eye was quickly drawn to cards 6-8. There seemed to be a flurry of artistic impetus collected there, heralded by the appearance of The High Priestess in position 6, early autumn in 2018.

high priestess legacy divine tarot

The client draws, paints and sculpts animals, though not only animals, and is not only a very talented artist but a very generous patron of a number of small animal charities.

The High Priestess is an apt card for describing her. This is a lady well used to keeping her own counsel.  Her art is her shrine and it is sacred.

My eye was drawn to the owl. I could equally have chosen to focus on the scroll or the pomegranate but no, on this occasion it was the detail of the owl that drew me into the card.

Had she ever made a particular study of drawing or painting owls, or was she planning to? No, but the idea appealed, why did I ask?

Cue mad moment.

Reader duly opened gob and proceeded to do a thing one could inelegantly describe as gob-shiting….ie speak and not self- edit or self- censor.

‘I want to say, why do I want to say it? I don’t know, but I’m hearing it, so I’ll say it. There are two goddesses wanting to work with you, you are the priestess, your art is the shrine, but wild life is the greater shrine. There are two goddesses. One is Athena, and the other is Artemis.’

Athena and Bubo from C of the T

I was aware that the owl, specifically the Little Owl is the special bird of Athena, and that Artemis is the goddess and guardian of all wild creatures, but still, I had not read this card in this way before. Athena shown here as portrayed with her beloved ‘Bubo’ in Clash of the Titans.

We were doing the reading via Skype, using the web-cam.

‘Look at this, Katie-Ellen!’ the client leaned in close. ‘See this little medallion on my chain here?’

She held it forward to the camera.

‘Look!’ she said again, ‘I’ve got Athena on this side…’

She flipped it over…

‘And on this side, Artemis! How about that?’

How about that indeed.

Artemis

She was delighted. It chimed a note she had been hoping to hear but didn’t have a question for finding, and this is typical of what Tarot can do when in full flow.

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot is a friendly, easy- to- use deck, modelled on the Rider-Waite and very suitable for any reader starting out.

The trick is to learn your stuff but then go with the flow. Easier said than done, but that’s what you need to do, to get those weird eureka! moments.

I’ll leave you with a picture of a Little Owl, Athene Noctua.  This individual is Dudley the Deadly, here he is, sitting on my gauntlet, the ferocious little scamp, and I met him at the Barn at Beal in Northumberland.

He pooped but missed my shoes. My lucky day.

Dudley

Till next time 🙂

 

Mystery of the Missing Diary

 

katie ellen feb 2016

I was cackling peaceably into my cauldron, ie; cooking lunch when Il Matrimonio meandered in, nonchalantly asking; what did it mean if you had lost something, and asked the Tarot where it was, and you drew the Page of Wands?

I paused in my stirring, and asked why. Il Matrimonio does not in general, derive interest from anything Tarot-related, unless consulting about financial matters, and is otherwise mildly dismissive, despite it not having let him down so far. He was never an accountant but would have made an excellently sound one.

Our friend Ms X had lost her diary, she had just told him via ‘social meeja’. She is learning Tarot, had looked in her deck of Tarot cards, asking where the diary was, and had drawn  the Page of Wands.

page wands gilded

Image by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti, from The Gilded Tarot.

But what might that mean in real, practical, where- the- eff- is- it, terms?

Using Tarot to locate lost objects can be a  headache. But the imagery can prompt ideas or prompt the memory by visual cues alone, sometimes. Tarot reading works on associative thinking. Logic has its part to play, but psychic hits require lateral, not linear thinking. Readers build their own associations with the cards, over time and through practice. They add their own meanings to the cards, so that one reader can never say another reader is wrong, saying that a card means this or that in real terms, because interpretation arises from the reader’s own intuition.

My response was to say, adding a glug of olive oil to the pan was, that the card suggested, she took it out with her  and had left it somewhere local.

Page = small. Wands = travel. 

Additionally…or instead; I suggested, it was near somewhere warm or loud, such as a radiator next to a TV, or in the kitchen near the oven.  Wands is the suit of the south, of warmth and anything loud and quick.

He came back saying, Ms X  had been adamant she never took the diary out with her, and I remarked that, well, it was between her and her own Tarot, but that card strongly suggested she would find it, and probably quickly.

Ms X  shortly later remembered that she had been to the hairdressers earlier that same day. She returned and found the diary was on the arm of a sofa there, next to the stereo.

Let’s the both of us add ‘stereo’ and ‘hairdresser’s, then, to the list of associations for the lively Page of Wands.

That’s how we have to do it. That’s how it’s done, and why it is an on-going study, however long you’ve been doing it.

Until next time 🙂

 

 

Tarot Says, Tummy Bug!

An outing for the Tarot’s Moon card, with Katie-Ellen, UK Tarot reader, writer and business consultant.

Happy New Year, and the tummy bug in question was nothing to do with me, I am happy to say, or the seasonal festivities. I was doing a Skype reading, investigating questions to do with ongoing and future creative projects- the client is an artist and sculptor, when I drew the Moon card.

The image below is from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti. Also available from Amazon but the publisher Llewellyn  is getting this shout-out.

Gilded Moon

 

Classical meanings for this card are; the Moon itself, Fertility, monthly cycles, tides, floods (alas), conception, confusion, deception, secrets, vivid dreams, visions, leaps of imagination, fantasy, art, animals, hunting, secrets, fraud, theft, surveillance, risk, travel with danger attached, disease.

Reversed/Upside down: the meanings take on a different complexion, and may suggest any of these things- but they are fading away and now belong to the recent past.

The key challenge for a reader is to decide which meanings are relevant, and quickly, not to bore witless and alienate the client. One must say the first thing that comes to mind. I call it ‘gob-shiting’and I really shouldn’t; it’s hardly elegant and perhaps this should be a New Year’s resolution. The thing is, the reader needs to just speak. 

I said the first thing that popped into my mind and asked whether a loved one had been ill, just recently, and perhaps they had gone down with a tummy bug? Or,  could it even have been a bout of food poisoning, but whatever it was, they seemed to be better now?

I held up the card to the camera. ‘Look at this,’ I said, ‘see the two dogs?’

The client has several dogs, and said, ‘I don’t believe this! Two of my dogs have been ill.  We went out a walk and they went into a ditch after a ball and they were quite poorly for a few days afterwards, both of them. A filthy ball in a nasty, dirty ditch. But they are over it now.’

The reader of Tarot or any other divination system must learn not to self- censor. If they do, because their first thought seems just too stupid, they will likely get it wrong, and then want to kick themselves. Learning to trust yourself enough to do that is the hardest thing, or at least, I found it so and I still sometimes have to tell that inner critic, aka saboteur of the oracular mind, to shut up.

shut-the-fuck-up

People may well say, and many do, sod all the soothsayers. Wits or just good old common sense is what is called for, in working out a response to a problem. This is fair enough and often true…at least, it may be from where they are sitting.  Nine times out of 10, in making their own predictions, they may prove quite correct. But what the oracular reader sniffs out, like a wild animal, using whatever oracle as a spade for digging in the  primal mind, is what is hidden and could not wisely or even reasonably be expected.

Britishwolfhunt

 

The Tarot is nothing but printed card stock, physically. But the imagery and its many and deep rooted associations facilitate telepathy, triggering both receiver and transmitter. The client is equally active in this process, at a level they are not consciously aware of, any more than the reader is consciously aware of why they said A and not B.

For more information about my readings and how to get a reading, visit my website HERE

Until next time 🙂

Zero Intolerance: Don’t Fool With The Fool

medieval pic larger
Katie-Ellen, resident at True Tarot Tales

When I draw The Fool card in a reading, the Major Arcana card numbered Zero, or in some decks numbered 22, it may classically signify good news; a birth, a welcome opportunity, a fresh start of any significant kind. I drew it this very day, for a client who is not just moving house, but changing a way of life, and it is absolutely the right way to go. It suggests taking a chance, a leap of faith. Reversed, it cautions against hastiness. You need time. You need more information. You need to think, properly think, or you will do summat truly daft.

But the Fool has other, darker associations, as fools and jesters and solitary wanderers always have, in western culture. There are good reasons people are afraid of clowns, the jokers in the pack. The Tarot’s Fool is the Joker in a pack of ordinary playing cards, and means the same things, if you are using playing cards to read with.

The Fool represents that which haunts all margins and borders.  The  ‘outwalker;’ that being. force or agency, which observes and may, given opportunity and sufficient reason, may find its way in to where you do not want it.

There is another Tarot card, more often cited in association with Odin, or Odin-esque associations. This is The Hanged Man, Major Arcana number 12. Odin hung upside down on the world tree, Yggdrasil, for 9 days for knowledge, and for a world view gained through a changed perspective.

But The Fool card, Trump 0 of the Major Arcana, contains something as frightening as it is innocent, not only birth and opportunity but something not quantifiable, as real as it is unreal, a ‘thusness’ or haacceity more implacable than Death.

Google Definition:

haecceity
hɛkˈsiːɪti,hiːk-/

noun

PHILOSOPHY
  1. that property or quality of a thing by virtue of which it is unique or describable as ‘this (one)’
    • the property of being a unique and individual thing.
      “he has a paramount concern with haecceity, the thisness of things”

Zero is a something as well as a nothing. Even leaving the philosophical questions aside, and they are bogglers, without 0, as without 1, there is no binary, and no digital age.

The Fool

Zero draws the Number of the Fool
But only fools will fail to fear
The oddly smiling one who walks alone
Magician, outland, dawn and dusk
Fleeting, glimpsed by tree and mere
Where ripples lap without a breeze
Or single casting of a stone
Zero, Odin’s one remaining eye
His other traded for all kenning
Out-with the knowing of the Norns
Nine days he hung considering
On Yggdrasil, the great ash tree
But Life is flux, and, unfulfilled
Does Odin walk abroad with Men
Entranced, he follows their technology
Their blindly restless struggles to get free
Refusing that their final liberty
Is in their choice of sacrifice
Their ultimate expression
In their direst of necessity
Insatiably, dispassionate, he watches, waits
And sometimes smiles, but has no tears
For what might dim or blind his sight
Of conjurings and reckonings with Fate
The new born come, and dead depart
His scouts of Thought and Memory
Twin ravens, Hugin, Munin, fly
Through Odin’s questing, flaming Eye
The singing echo-chamber of The Gate.

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine's photo.

Touchstone Tarot: Death and The Duckling

ktln at home june 2015 1

Oh no! Oh, yes, I’m afraid. I wish it wasn’t so, but I undertake to demonstrate divination at work in the real world. Sometimes it’s fun, at least for me and I hope it is for you but sometimes it just can’t be. The title gives fair warning. Pass by if you can’t bear it, but if you’re learning Tarot, try to stay with it and not flinch. You may one day find yourself faced with someone in deep distress, hoping to find not solutions or advice, but some kind of sustenance, or at least meaning in their situation. The Tarot will rise to these occasions, if you will. because the Tarot is you, yourself, your deepest, archaic and arcane self.

This is a true outing for Tarot’s Death card, as drawn from my beautiful new deck,  Kat Black’s Touchstone Tarot.

View-Buy here

Her Golden Tarot is another favourite, but one likes to ring the changes now and then.

It’s duckling time again out on the pond, and Nature is wreaking carnage, red in beak and claw. The most relentless predators by day are the sea-gulls. There are two duck mothers this season; one with an excellent track record of rearing and one with a dismal record. The successful mother has for the past 3 years, the neighbours downstairs tell us, reared at least 6 ducklings to independence from a brood of 12-15. The less successful mother loses them all and cries loudly. Anyone who says animals don’t feel what we do doesn’t watch closely enough. If they forget more quickly than we do, if they do, and I have my doubts, well, they need to, and it’s a blessed mercy.

It was cold, and the dismal duck was down to the last of her twelve ducklings on Monday night when Il Matrimonio went over to the pond to feed them, watching as the last duckling ran calling after its mother and she ignored it, eating and then wandering off. Maybe she had given up, and decided it was just no use, and all was lost.

A gull alighted, lingering near the duckling as it crouched shivering, calling for its mother. Seeing this Il Matrimonio could bear it no more, and it was not a ‘good’ thing to do; he knew that; we’ve watched enough David Attenborough, but there it is. The HUMAN animal, male as well as female, is hot-wired to respond to the cry of an infant in distress, and to the immediate, the personal and the particular.

Therefore, enter Il Matrimonio with one shivering duckling. By bedtime it had eaten enthusiastically (not bread; proprietary duck food) It had drunk lots, splashed about in a shallow dish and done much sitting in cupped hands, clearly regarding these as a warm place and acceptable brooding alternative.

Dee Dee eating

It slept on a towel in the bath, curled into the lap of a large teddy bear. Next day it ran around, ate, drank, paddled, pecked my bare feet, calling for its mother, and was incessantly demanding of Il Matrimonio’s cupped hands for brooding.

‘What’s the plan?’ I fretted, ‘it’s been warmed and fed; it needs other ducks; it needs its mother, to go back  as soon as possible and take its chances along with the other ducklings. Maybe the other duck will take it.’

Ducks can count, of course. There was no question of her being fooled by the appearance of an extra duckling.

‘It would be murder,’ said Il Matrimonio. The other duck was unlikely to accept it.

The one hope, and it was a long shot, was to get little D big enough to be safe from gulls, then return it in clement weather, and let it take its chances then. And indeed, it seemed to grow bigger even overnight.

But after Il Matrimonio brought D in on Monday night, I had drawn The Devil card, The Four of Coins and Death.

The Devil shows Pan/Nature in violent aspect. This is the truth, that Nature is full of violence. One creature or many creatures must die for another to live.

Devil card touchstone tarot

The Four of Coins represents holding on, a holding action, a brooding of money or other material possessions or objects.

four of coins touchstone tarot

Death speaks for itself. Many Tarot readers today won’t have it that the Death card may actually represent Death. Too unpalatable. Sorry to disagree. Call me old-fashioned, but the oracular mind is not susceptible to convenient reinvention.

The Death card does not always mean physical death, it is true. It may mean an ending in any other sense, or a transforming situation such as the ending of a job, or other situation,  but to say it never does is to create the most enormous elephant in the room. Sometimes it has meant exactly what it says. Death as represented by this card is usually natural, often timely, rarely cruel or violent. There are worse cards the Tarot could use if it needed to communicate a sensing to do with such a terrible picture as that.

Death card touchstone tarot

Last night at bedtime, little D looked so tired, head drooping as she sat in Il Matrimonio’s hands I felt a misgiving. I said, ‘she looks like she’s dying.’

‘Just a very tired little thing,’ he said, ‘aren’t you? Bed time! Yes!’

Little D passed away very early in the morning, found lying with her eyes shut, still warm, head snugged into the lap of the teddy bear.

Tears in  my cup of tea.

Sick? I asked the Tarot? Had she got too cold? Stressed?

‘Strength Reversed’, replied the Tarot.

Little D had no strength left. It had all been just all too much.

Duckling

She was too dead tired.

Read here for Mallard Duckling Rescue information.

Until next time.

Tarot Says Miaow: A Tale of Two Kitties

It’s a tale of two cats ( and there’s another Miaow Tarot Tale  or two in the archives.)  Daughter Numera Una, Artemis, aka RT who’s 29 and a vet nurse, and a brill one; rang one evening two weeks ago, ‘Mutti, we seem to have lost an Elsa cat. Will you look in your cards about it? We’ve been searching and calling for the last three hours.’

Artemis has recently moved address and has two cats, both girls, Elsa and Salem. Elsa is a teensy bit (…let’s whisper this…) thick. Salem’s practically a goddamn genius. Here they are. Elsa top, Salem below with RT. You might be forgiven for wondering which one is the thickie and vice- versa. All I can say is, Salem is being seriously disrespected in being made to wear that pink combo which is actually Elsa’s.

Elsa CatArti and Salem

Where might Elsa be? Let me say loud and clear I had no idea but I drew the Moon card first and put it to Artemis that she might have been frightened from returning by a barking dog living a door or two away.

She confirmed there was a barking dog Elsa didn’t like.

Gilded Moon
Image from The Gilded Tarot by courtesy of Ciro Marchetti.

There are other meanings for this card: lies, hunting, danger, tricky travel, infection, fertility, drama, psychic dreams, this immediate pictorial association was most I felt was most relevant to Elsa’s absence. Often this is how a Tarot reader works, look-and-speak-and-sod-the-book-meanings.

Next, I drew The Four of Swords; a knight entombed. This card signifies isolation, sickness, hospital visits, chapels and tombs and raised the fairly obvious question, had she got stuck or trapped? I thought of wheelie bins and asked was a collection due next morning? Artemis was horrified, thinking of a notorious incident in the media where a woman had maliciously swiped a kitty into a wheelie bin but in fact, the bin men had already been that morning, and I decided Elsa was not trapped in a wheelie bin, but might well be hiding behind one.

I drew the Five of Wands and asked RT had she been to Number Five to ask if Elsa had been seen there? Yes she had, and the woman had kindly checked her out-houses.

She asked, was Elsa coming home that night?

I drew three more cards, all upside down and said no, I didn’t see that, but I tended to think it would be all right. Elsa was not dead. She was not hurt. She was being a dumb-ski, not used yet to her new abode, she was disorientated and probably hiding no more than three properties away.

Animals may be the primary department of St Francis, but that former librarian, St Anthony, patron saint of lost things, has kindly helped us with lost beasts once before, and I suggested she ask him for help in bringing Elsa home.

Next morning I received this message.

Elsa-Smellsa just found 🙂 Could hear plaintive meowing when we called from the back garden coming from property to our rear so walked round and found her cowering down a little ginnel! She was very hungry but none the worse for wear. Salem was behaving very strangely this morning. I think St Antony acted through her somehow…It was her lead I followed when listening out for the meows!

What did I tell you? That Salem cat’s a genius. Yes, and of course, thank you too. Thank you very much, St Antony.

(You don’t have to be Catholic to ask him for help; we’re a bunch of heathens)

 

Salem

Until next time 🙂

Divinity In A Dish? The Tarot Feeds the Cat.

True Tarot Tales

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…

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Thinking On Joy

The Tarot’s Ace of Cups: And a Joyful Piggery.

My Own Watercolour Design

My youngest child is 17 today. An Aquarian of the eccentric variety, she was also born under the sign of The Pig in Chinese astrology.

Peacable, fun loving, prone to indulgence of themselves….and others. Today brings the memory of joy at her safe arrival.

‘My Cup Runneth Over’…the Tarot’s card of earthly felicity is The Ace of Cups.

‘Miaow!’ Said The Tarot.

Tarot says ‘Miaow’ A Tarot reading for a cat??? Oh yes. I kid you not.

ktln at home june 2015 1

A few summers ago we had a broken down old patio replaced. Sam, who did the work for us, asked me to look in my tarot cards….on behalf of his cat, Bilbo.

Sam lived alone with his cat, and there were no problems so far as Sam was aware, but he wondered how his cat was doing.

What might Bilbo want to say to him, given an opportunity?

Mini Reading for Bilbo

(Performed In Absentia)

Card One: The 8 of Swords.  Entrapment, frustration, chagrin, damp. Swords is a suit referring to sharp things and clear things…like windows.

My feeling about this card prompted me to put it to Sam that Bilbo had a difficulty in getting outside whenever he wanted to. Sam confirmed this to be the case. He lived in a downstairs flat. Bilbo usually had to go in and out by means of the sash window. There were no cat flaps, so if Sam was not there, Bilbo’s options were to be inside or outside.

Card Two:  The Page of Coins Reversed. This is a card of Earth, and of small amounts of money, while Pages often refer to pets and also small items and objects.

Bilbo seemed to be saying to me he wanted a pot of earth. This prompted me to ask Sam, what were the toilet arrangements for Bilbo? Sam explained that he kept a litter tray in the flat. What was it lined with? Pellets or what? Shredded newspaper. And just outside the flat window, there was a shrub in a pot, which Bilbo liked to sit in and scratch at.  There was no garden in front of the flat, only an area of hard standing. I therefore suggested Bilbo might like  some  nice deep ‘diggable’ cat litter for his tray, and maybe a ‘play tray’ full of soil outside. Oe more shrubs in pots.

Card Three: The Page of Cups…a card of kindness, and love, and childhood, also love letters or visits.

Bilbo did not think in terms of love, not having the words. Nonetheless, like a baby that cannot yet speak, he loved Sam, and a very little affection in return made him very happy. Just as one would expect, Bilbo lived in the moment. This card also suggested that he was physically in good condition (Cups is a healing suit), and that he was, in general, happy and content.  Cups being the water suit, he probably liked fishy tastes (not all cats do, birding is more natural to cats than fishing.) This was confirmed.

I asked, what about these love letters or visits I was sensing?

What about them? Sam wanted to know. I thereupon drew:-

Card Four: The Queen of Cups Reversed. Indicative of a lady with certain qualities of self-indulgence, or to feelings of unhappiness, a lady who did not reciprocate affection?

The reading was for Bilbo and purely complimentary, done over coffee. Therefore in answer to Sam’s question, I confined myself to asking whether a blonde lady visited his flat sometimes? The answer was yes. I then asked, had he noticed that Bilbo made himself scarce when this lady was in the flat? Yes, he had noticed.  Bilbo, for whatever reason,  did not view this lady with favour. Did this surprise Sam? He thought a moment then said, no.

I heard from him a few weeks later, that Bilbo had a new kind of cat litter now. The lady was unlikely to be around again. What Bilbo had been picking up or reflecting had been Sam’s own feelings about the situation with the lady. This figured, absolutely. It made perfect sense, as pets are sensitive to atmosphere and ‘their’ human’s mood.

Ethically dubious, do you think, reading for the puss cat without his express permission?

Purr-lease.

The Tarot is self regulating. If Bilbo had not wished to be observed or shall we say, eavesdropped on, and the Tarot had therefore not wished to read for him, any feedback obtained would have been nonsensical to Sam.

I’ve learned that the Tarot does not disdain to speak of whatever concerns the person approaching it.  The Tarot’s an oracle of the human heart and warmed by human hands.

The image below is of a watercolour drawing I did many years ago, a portrait commission of a cat called Tuppenny.

Until next time:)

A Robin’s Tarot Tale

A real reading done for a robin, befitting the season.

 

 
Image: Public Domain

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.

English: Robin Redbreast
English: Robin Redbreast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Until next time 🙂

Divinity In A Dish? The Tarot Feeds the Cat.

Cover of
Cover of The Gilded Tarot

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.

Card 1 represented Turkey 

Card 2 represented Duck

Card 3 represented Lamb 

Card 4 represented Beef

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.

Image: The Gilded Tarot: By kind permission of Ciro Marchetti, Llewellyn. Buy From Llewellyn or Amazon.
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.

The High Priestess Reversed was a little fish villain….

The High Priestess Reversed was a little fish villain…..

Welcome!

True Tarot Tales – real life stories behind the scenes. Watch the Tarot at work with UK reader Katie-Ellen Hazeldine.

KTLN 2

I am a practitioner of divination via cartomancy. I use Tarot cards, ordinary playing cards and Norse runes as tools for uncovering or clarifying what is hidden or unclear, looking at people and situations, investigating any questions, analysing and evaluating strategies and options, and sourcing guidance and forecasts (estimates and predictions) in respect of specific scenarios.

How does it work?

There is no easy, pat answer. Basically it is a kind of applied psychology enabled by symbolism. Sometimes it is ‘spooky’, occasionally exceedingly so, and at other times less so, but read on while I illustrate as best as I can, how this psychic reading ‘thing’ works in practice.

Important: I read in confidence and I keep my promises. These are true stories, shared within the boundaries of confidentiality and ethics and client identities are thoroughly disguised.

There is no such person as ‘a psychic’ or ‘A tarot reader’. There is only the reader you consult; this, that or another reader. The only common denominator is the use of a 78 card Tarot deck in delivering whatever is the reader’s stated service remit.

This may mean fortune-telling or it might not, depending on the reader’s personal approach. There are many applications for Tarot. There is no industry standard, and no formal training or accreditation available. Readers come from every kind of educational and employment background, and the reading you get depends on the background, interests, skills and abilities of your chosen reader.

tarot_de_gringonneur

Sometimes I find myself operating as a kind of bloodhound, doing an investigative reading. This is often practical and specific in scope. At other times I find that I am operating as a personal adviser or even counsellor. Sometimes the experience is oracular. We are dealing with the great imponderables, and in that moment, whatever emerges via the cards, I am nothing but a voice. My approach is secular but that is not in any way to dismiss, exclude or discount the sacred, whatever is your understanding or definition of that word.

The questions are never the same, and I can never be ready. I can only prepare to respond. But the Tarot deals with the commonality of the human condition , and this is my touchstone for responding. This commonality, embedded in the symbolism of the Tarot helps me read in real time for someone I’ve never met or know nothing about.

For more information about me, please visit the ‘About’ page.

For the latest postings, stories, case studies and other writings, please scroll down.

Meanwhile- suitably numinous 🙂 – here is a video introduction to the Tarot, introduced by His Illustrious Numinousness, Sir Christopher Lee, RIP.

Click to View.

 

 

 

 

 

A Tarot Reading for Mustard The Pony

Mustard was a 13 year old gelding, and he competed in dressage. This much I had already been told before looking at his cards. My brief was to enquire about his general happiness and well-being, and to see whether the Tarot could pick up on any of his preferences or wishes. Here are a few of the cards we got, and an indication of the feedback I received from Mustard’s owner.
How was Mustard feeling about life at that moment? I drew the 4 of Pentacles. This card of material stability indicated that he generally felt safe and secure, and enjoyed his current routine. He didn’t seem too keen on sharing. He liked to hang on to any good thing he was given. He was by temperament, steadfast, slightly conservative, not given to impulsive behaviour. He liked a little bit of variety in his routine ‘but not too much’. His owner laughed at this description, saying she recognised it. He could be stubborn.
The 7 of Cups suggested to me that Mustard was sensitive and responsive with a good imagination. His owner confirmed this, saying he was the most easily trained pony she had worked with, very quick on the uptake.
I asked to know more about something he liked, and the 3 of Cups suggested Mustard had two special friendships. These must have been a horse and a pony he shared his field with during day time, his owner explained.
I asked about what might be coming up in the near future for Mustard. I drew the 6 of Swords, a card of possible relocation which made me ask if Mustard was aware of any plans for him to move. The answer was maybe; he was going to be moved very soon to a new, bigger stable with 30 horses and ponies.
The 5 of Cups , a grieving card, indicated Mustard would not like separation from his two old friends. His owner said he would still see his friends. Their owner and she rode the horses out together and would continue to do so.I suggested she try telling Mustard this, sending him a visual message of him going along the lanes with his old friends. He might not be able to understand the words but he might receive the ‘TV’ picture and the emotion she attached to that. Who are we to say he could not?
I drew a general advice card for Mustard. This was The Moon card and I sensed he felt afraid if stabled alone at night.
Rider-Waite Moon card, dreams, hunting, fear, psychism. U’S Games.

There were dogs barking somewhere near outside, he seemed to be saying; he didn’t like that. And strange shadows scared him. I suggested his owner leave an old coat with Mustard when he is alone, so her scent can reassure him in her absence. She confirmed that there were dogs on a neighbouring farm. There were two or three Jack Russells and they barked a lot. It hadn’t occurred to her they might worry Mustard with night barking as she wasn’t usually there at that time, but she was moving him to the bigger stable because she was aware he didn’t like being alone at night.

I drew a card to signify something Mustard else might worry about.
The 5 of Wands suggested Mustard was anxious in competitions. He didn’t like loud noise and if ever asked to, would be nervous of jumping a 5 barred gate. I suggested his owner try rubbing a little Rescue Remedy on his nose (not on the sensitive bits) the next time they competed, the following weekend. The owner did try it, and reported her surprise at noticing a difference in his body language from usual: she said he was much more ‘laid back.’
I drew another card, asking to know about something Mustard would enjoy but hasn’t got? I drew the Page of Pentacles, and The Moon card. These somehow suggested…and this was purely an intuitive impression – mangold or swedes. I was told he has never eaten one, to the best of the owner’s knowledge. Well, I hope he gets to try one soon so we will know. Meanwhile, on this point the Tarot remains unproven.
I was told Mustard was receiving citronella products to minimise insect bites. Tarot is not a vet and does not claim to be but The Empress Card suggested if there was any question of supplementing his diet in any way omega 3/6 oils – vegetable based, as with hemp or flax seed instead of fish oils might benefit him. Something to do with his grains or feed might not be suiting him…the card shows a field of what looks like wheat or corn.
Months later, I heard that the owner had changed Mustard’s hay intake, and this apparently sorted the problem.
Other species read for so far: dogs, cats, hamsters, fish and birds. I’d probably struggle with anything too different from ourselves. I seriously doubt I could read for a worm or a jellyfish, and verification might be an issue, but I’d be open to trying. Such is the fun of Tarot.