Psychic Animal Whispering: a Tarot Reading for Mustard The Pony

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I had been reading the cards five or six years when I received a first request to do a reading on behalf of an animal, a pony called Mustard.

What did I know about ponies? Not a huge amount. I have been riding just once in my life, on a school trip to The Trossachs when I was fifteen, and rode on a pony called Thistle, and soon found out why she was called Thistle. She kept stopping to chew….thistles. I said ‘move on’, and she snickered, looking at me out of the side of her eye, a clear invitation to get lost. The woman, exasperated, shouted at me, ‘you there, girl, get her head up!’ but I did not like to pull hard on the bit. The woman knew her stuff and I did not, and the pony’s mouth was tough enough to chew on thistles, but I worried it would hurt.

I am not the only person to have been haunted since childhood by the death of Ginger in ‘Black Beauty’. Oh no. There are a lot of us. Such is the agency of story, and when it comes down to it, there is no such thing as fiction. There is only truth presented as fiction or poetic truth.

This was the author’s only novel, and it was written with an adult audience in mind. But one is all it took to haunt the next six generations of children and we are still counting. Anna Sewell was nearing the end of her life, disabled after a fall when she was fourteen and she broke her ankles, ill, confined indoors and often bed-ridden while she wrote ‘Black Beauty’, published in 1877 by Jarrolds for £40. Her mother helped her, but this was the work of a decade, and she died only a few months after publication, aged 58.


Ignorance. Only ignorance. How can you talk about only ignorance. Don’t you know that it is the worst thing in the world next to wickedness and which does the worst mischief heaven only knows. If people can say, oh I did not know. I did not mean any harm,’ they think it is all right.

Mustard was a 13 year old gelding, and he competed in dressage. This much I had already been told before looking at his cards. He had a clean bill of health from the vets, but his owner was worried that he seemed depressed, and wanted me to inquire into his happiness and well-being, and to see whether the Tarot could pick up on his preferences or wishes.

I was working with the Universal Rider-Waite deck at the time. I have mixed up the imagery here, using cards from other decks, but without compromising on the meanings as I read them for Mustard.

How was Mustard feeling about life at that moment?

Answer: The Four of Pentacles.

The Rider-Waite Tarot

This card of material stability, sometimes unjustly nicknamed The Miser card, indicated that Mustard generally felt safe and secure, and liked his current routine. He didn’t seem too keen on changing things, and liked to hang on to any good thing he was given. (Don’t we all) He was by temperament, reserved but friendly, not given to impulsive behaviour. He liked a little bit of variety in his routine ‘but not too much’.

His owner laughed out loud at this description, saying this was Mustard down to a tee. He could be stubborn.

The Seven of Cups was the next card out.

This suggested Mustard was sensitive and responsive with a plenty of imagination. His owner said he was the most easily trained pony she had worked with, very quick on the uptake.

I asked the Tarot, what did he like? and drew the Three of Cups.

From The Gilded Tarot, artwork Ciro Marchetti

Gossip, chit-chat. Party time! This card suggested Mustard had two special friendships. These must have been a horse and a pony he shared his field with during the day, his owner explained. He had one friend in particular.

I was glad to hear this. I hate it, all those lone ponies you see in fields, bored and lonely, resting their weight on one hoof. People who keep ponies do know they are HERD animals, right? It ought not to happen.

But what might be weighing on his mind, such that his owner worried he was depressed? I drew the Six of Swords, a card of relocation, or moving on in other ways.

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot

I asked if Mustard was being moved. The answer came, yes, he was going to be moved to a new, bigger livery with 30 horses and ponies.

The Five of Cups , a grieving card, suggested Mustard sensed a change coming up, and did not want to be separated from his two old friends.

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot

His owner said he would still see his friends. She and the owners of these other two ponies rode out together and would continue to do so. I suggested, silly though this may sound, that she tell 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 message, and the emotion she attached to that. Who is to say he could not?

I drew a general advice card for Mustard. This was The Moon card, suggesting Mustard was frightened of being alone at night.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

There were barking dogs, he seemed to be telling me, and, though I was reading with the Rider Waite that day, the essential imagery of this card from The Gilded Tarot Royale is the same. Look at the dogs, baying at the moon, just as in the Moon card in the Rider Waite deck.

He could not have been telling me more literally, than by my drawing this particular card when there were 77 other cards I could have drawn instead.

He didn’t like that barking. Not at all. And strange shadows scared him.

This was why he was being moved, his owner told me. He was stabled alone overnight and not with his friends. They just met up in the day, and now she was moving him to be stabled near with them. This seemed like excellent news for Mustard, and meanwhile, pending the move, I suggested his owner leave an old coat with him, so that her scent could reassure him in her absence.

This was very peculiar, the owner said. There were a number of dogs at a nearby house, Jack Russells, and from time to time she had heard them barking during the day, but it hadn’t occurred to her they might worry Mustard with night time barking as she wasn’t usually there at that time.

What else bothered Mustard, she wondered.

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti


The Five of Wands, a card of competition in crowded markets suggested Mustard was prone to stress and became anxious in competitions. He didn’t like loud noises. If he had been a show jumper, this would have suggested a fear of jumping a 5 barred fence. I suggested rubbing a little non-alcohol Rescue Remedy behind his ears or on his nose (not on the sensitive bits) the next time they competed, which was the following weekend.

The owner contacted me the week following this event, and though Mustard didn’t win any prizes, she said there was a difference in his body language. He was more ‘laid back.’

A reading is not a substitute for appropriate medical advice. The reader is not a vet, but nor does a client need a nanny. A reader does not try to tell anyone what to do. They do have a duty of responsibility. They must exercise great care, but the whole point of having such a reading is that the reader will share what they see and feel.

Was I reading Mustard’s mind during this reading, or was I reading his owner’s mind, telling her things she already knew, but that she did not consciously know that she knew?

Or was it a three-way telepathy?

I’d likely struggle to read any animal too different in its organization from ourselves, animals with very different nervous systems. Though a reader could always try, and wouldn’t an octopus be interesting.

All life is interconnected at some level. All life is driven by some form of intelligence, brain or no brain. Such is the unfathomable mystery of the real life web.

We patronize the animals for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they are more finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” ― Henry Beston

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Till next time 🙂

Death, The Diamond Ring And The Mystery of The Missing Diary

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I was cackling peaceably into my cauldron as you do, in other words, cooking lunch when Il Matrimonio meandered in, nonchalantly asking; what did it mean if you had lost something, and you 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 he wishes to consult about finances, and touch wood, I have not (as yet) caused him to come a cropper.

His friend Janet X had lost her diary. She is learning Tarot, had looked in her deck of Tarot cards asking where the diary was, and had drawn  the Page of Wands but wasn’t sure what it might mean.

page wands gilded
mage by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti, from The Gilded Tarot.

In classical terms it means a young person born under one of the Fire signs, Aries, Leo or Sagittarius. A student. It means a trip or a social gathering, or sudden good news, or a sale, or a bright idea for a new business or creative project. On a direct physical level it might mean heat and light, a candle, a torch or a cigarette.

But what did it mean in this particular situation? How could it help to find the missing diary in real, practical, where- the- eff- is- it, terms?

My response, adding a glug of olive oil to the pan, was that her cards seem to suggest she had taken it out with her to some local haunt and left it there.

How did I arrive at this interpretation? Because:

Page = small. Wands = travel. 

Additionally…or instead; I suggested, it was somewhere warm or loud, such as a radiator next to a TV, or in the kitchen near the oven.  

Why? Wands is the suit of the south, of warmth, of loud music, any place fast moving, lively and colourful.

Il Matrimonio 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 the Page of Wands suggested she would find it soon and probably nearby.

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Ms X  shortly afterwards 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. (noise)

OK. Let’s add ‘stereo’ and ‘hairdresser’, then, to the list of vocabulary for the Page of Wands.

The Tarot is a living oracle for use in the modern world. It expands. It evolves.

The Death Card and The Diamond Ring

I once read for an elderly lady,who had mislaid a diamond ring two years previously. It had been a gift from her husband who had died three years previously, and she still missed him desperately. She wanted to know, was the ring still in the apartment, or had it been lost irretrievably?

I used my pendulum to help me refine the possibilities for its current location, and so far as I could work it out, the missing ring seemed to be in the sitting room.

The Tarot said something really quite freaky. The lost ring was in the keeping of the dead, suggested The Death card. And was there a white rose in the sitting room?

The lady, Mrs C, was very definite that the ring had last been seen in the bedroom. It had fallen off her finger and rolled under the bed just as she was leaving for the airport to go on holiday with her daughter. The taxi had arrived, she couldn’t keep the driver waiting, and she had left with every confidence of retrieving the ring immediately upon her return home.

However, much to her bewilderment it wasn’t there on her return, and as time went on, she worried she had inadvertently thrown it out with the rubbish or during a clear out.

But my Tarot seemed pretty clear, yes, the ring was still at home, ‘in the care and keeping of the dead.’ Near a white rose?

From The Rider- Waite Tarot

The lady insisted there was no white rose.

What more could I say? Whether I was right or wrong, I didn’t know, and all I could say was, well, we can only wait and see.

Mrs C left, but an hour and a half later the phone rang; a very happy and excited lady telling me she had gone home, sat and thought and then had a eureka moment,and fetched a stepladder and found the ring on the top shelf of a furniture unit in the sitting room.

Right next to her beloved husband’s ashes.

She said she had no recollection whatsoever of having put it there.

She also wished me to know, there was a white silk rose in a vase on the mantel piece over the fire.

This is typical of what can happen with the Tarot. The imagery prompt ideas or prods the memory, working via associative thinking in addition to traditional book meanings of the cards.

That’s how we do it. That’s how it’s done, sometimes with fluency, sometimes like pulling teeth. And sometimes of course it fails altogether. My mother lost a favourite ring. The cat took it outside, I ‘saw’ it in a meadow, and I couldn’t provide the clues sufficient to find it in such a wide area of possibilities.

Tarot divination is an on-going study, however long you’ve been doing it.

We can but try to serve.

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

A tale of two cats ( and there’s another Miaow Tarot Tale  or two in the archives.)  Daughter Numera Una, an Animal Care Assistant, and a brill one; rang one evening, ‘we have lost Elsa- cat. Will you look in your cards about it? We’ve been searching and calling for the last three hours.’

She had recently moved address and had two cats, both girls, Elsa and Salem. Elsa was very gentle, borderline dozy, Salem’s practically a 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 was being seriously disrespected, being made to wear that pink combo which was actually Elsa’s.

Elsa Cat
Arti and Salem

Where might Elsa be? Let me say loud and clear I had no idea, how would I?

I drew the Moon card first, look at the picture, and put it to my daughter, that Elsa-cat might have been frightened from returning by a barking dog living only 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.

Other meanings for this card: lies, hunting, danger, tricky travel, infection, fertility, psychic dreams,paranoia. But 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 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 the refuse collectors had already been that morning, and I decided Elsa was not trapped inside 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 disorientated by the move, and 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 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; we’re not, but sainthood is a state of grace and they won’t hold it against you)

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.

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 is 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, Mustard seemed to be telling me, and he didn’t like that. Not at all. 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 lack of verification would be an issue, but at some level all life is interconnected, I’d be open to trying. Such is the real life web represented by the Tarot.
Till next time 🙂