‘The hunger for meaning and purpose is nothing less than the human homing instinct — the Fourth Instinct — at work. But in the tangled maze of history, we have been sidetracked; in the long journey home, we forgot our destination. Indeed, we were told that it does not exist.’ Arianna Huffington.
But where is ‘home’, beyond it being the people in your life?
‘There’s that feeling I get, when I look to the west’.’ Led Zeppelin.
‘My sun shall rise in the East, then shall my soul be at peace, ‘ Vangelis.
‘From all points of the compass flock’d birds of all feather.’ Source: Gutenberg. Org
From the beginning, we have been a migratory animal, in some parts of the world, more than others. Several cards in Tarot talk of home, rightly so, as it is a key ingredient of human experience, and a ruling perception. The Ace of Pentacles, Ten of Pentacles, Four of Wands, and Six of Cups all tell stories of a person’s home in a reading.
The Tarot’s Ace of Pentacles, which sometimes talks about food, money, or books, or bricks and mortar says, Earth itself is the nest, the Soul of Man is in the roots of the species. Below is The Ace of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot, publisher Llewellyn, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.
You don’t have to be ‘psychic‘ in order to learn tarot, which is a skill of divination, in which one attempts to uncover hidden or semi-hidden information or understanding. You do have to be interested in symbols and associative thinking, you do have to be receptive, but to be ‘psychic’ helps sometimes, to make the symbolic more precise, and to talk in every day, concrete terms, about specifics.
Am I ‘psychic’? Yes, to an extent, and so probably, are you, but what does it mean?
The word ‘psychic’ may comes from the Greek, ‘psyche’, meaning soul and derived from the word ‘psychikos’ meaning, mental, of the mind. ‘Psychic’ implies soulic knowledge, the soul entering and leaving the body on the breath. The word intuition also refers to an inner knowing, that which is our inner tutor, and which we all possess as an inseparable element of normal human instinct.
So what is the difference between being intuitive and psychic? It’s subtle. Perhaps it’s most simply defined as a matter of precision or degree.
The intuition provides us with impressions, feelings, and reactions. Time being of the essence where safety is an issue, intuitions arrive instantly, in advance of any hard evidence to explain them. Intuition is a courier of super-fast intelligence, bypassing conscious processes. Everyone is intuitive. It is a function of competent, normal intelligence, but not everybody, maybe for cultural or ‘intellectual’ reasons, feels comfortable about acknowledging it.
Some ‘diss it’ by saying they will deal only with ‘proven facts’ or evidence or reason.
Yawn. Well, let them, if they want to limit themselves unnecessarily. But this, it could be argued, is actually anti-intellectual. The mind is a whole, not a pie servable in slices.
Psychic insights come when they come, are instantaneous and specific. Something may be ‘seen’ or ‘heard’ or ‘smelled’ or dreamed of, but it will be particular, unlike the formless but none the less powerful, and even life- saving promptings of the intuition.
The High Priestess, pictured above, represents both the Intuition, and the Psyche and psychic promptings, or refers to a person who may be female or male, who works or serves as an advisor, or seer.
Reading for a client one evening, I sensed she was holding something back, and to encourage her, asked her directly about a ‘rude man’ I kept sensing, a bully with a loud voice, fair or ginger, a salesman of some kind? The card triggering this was the King of Wands Reversed.
My client said she knew who this was; a man who had a market stall near hers, but she insisted that she’d come only for advice regarding retirement. Courtesy demanded I take her at her word, and we carried on, but I remained uneasy that she hadn’t shared the real worry, and so I hadn’t had a chance to try and help. Such was my feeling.
After she had gone, I was lying in front of the television with a cup of tea, when I suddenly ‘saw’ her in my mind’s eye. She was holding a big round pot in both hands, and she was mending it, with great care and attention.
Oh! I thought. Well, I had mentioned to her that I could see her taking up pottery (prompted by the appearance of the Page of Coins) But I was struck, the mental picture was so vivid.
Next day she called, but I had someone with me and couldn’t call back straight away. When I returned the call, the phone rang for a long time before I rang off. She called again and at last we spoke. The lady now wanted to tell me what was bugging her about the rude man. He was an unwanted admirer. He’d told her that he’d been to me for a reading, that I had performed psychometry on his wrist watch (psychometry is a psychic reading performed using as a focus an object connected to the person being read through a history of physical contact or at least, proximity) I had predicted, so this man said, that he and this lady were going to marry.
So her real reason for coming to see me had been to check this out. Would I say anything that would correspond with this man’s account?
The gentleman was a fibster. What a lot of porky pies and utter ……
I did not know him, I had not read for him, nor do I offer psychometry readings. Nor would I ever have said such a thing. I do not offer predictions, but forecasts, offering a sense of the odds on a question, but nothing prescriptive, for whom am I to disregard the possibilities of free will or the wild card?
I told her this, we chatted awhile, and as a light hearted way of signing off the call, I mentioned my vision of the night before.
‘ That’s why I couldn’t pick up the phone when you rang!’ she said. ‘That’s why I
had to call you back. I had glue all over my hands, trying to fix a pot I broke yesterday!’
The vision had therefore been an instance of psychic, as opposed to intuitive ‘knowing’.
It’s a matter of record now, I’m as sane as the next person, or at least as sane as any one of us could prove ourselves to be, but I am a ‘potty’ psychic.
There are many depictions of animals and birds in the Tarot. They form a great part of the human landscape physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and symbolically. If there’s a heaven, what would it be without them? I wouldn’t mind, personally if mosquitoes, maggots, deadly snakes and komodo dragons didn’t make it. Spiders would be all right as long as they were non-venomous and less than two inches in diameter. However, it’s not me in charge.
The songbird traditionally most associated with Christmas, or to give the winter festival its older name, Yuletide – is the robin redbreast. The cheeky, dumpy little European robin, Erithacus rubecula is a member of the flycatcher family.
Its preferred habitats are woodlands, hedgerows, parks and garden. Its staple diet is worms, seeds, fruits and insects. It will fight over sunflower seeds and it adores mealworms. You can buy these in dried form in lots of outlets including many supermarkets. They look revolting though people used to baiting fish hooks won’t mind them. Robins have been to take mealworms by hand, so irresistibly delicious are they to robin-kind.
Male and female European robins are identical to look at, adults of both sexes having the red breast, while young robins have no red breast, and are a speckled golden brown colour. The lack of red breast in the young defends them from territorial attack by adults. The robin lives a little over one year on average. If it lives beyond 1.1 years it may achieve twelve years and has been known to reach the age of twenty, but long life is rare.
The robin’s endearing appearance belies its feistiness. It’ll fight to the death for its territory, and one in ten die in combat. They have been seen to chase off pigeons much bigger than they are. The one in my garden right now however, is rather timid and will scurry into the rosemary when a pigeon appears. Well, I suppose they are individuals just as we are.
Robin redbreast builds a cup-shaped nest in a hole or hidden in ground cover, and will sing all year round. Click here to hear its song and for other general information from the RSPB:-
The robin received the human pet name of ‘Robin’ in the fifteenth century. It has a special place in the library of legends embedded in the Tarot, and a robin may be observed in some decks, including the King of Pentacles card in the Sacred Circle Tarot Deck.
It belongs there by virtue of the symbolism and superstitions attached to it.
Some older people consider the robin a bird of ill omen, a harbinger of death. It is considered unlucky for a robin to fly into a house as Death is expected to follow. For this reason, a Christmas card with a picture of a robin on it is not always welcome with people aware of this tradition. But compassion and care for the dead is also attributed to the robin. One legend says that it tried to help Christ by pulling off a thorn from the crown Jesus had been made to wear, injuring itself in the process – hence its red breast. Another old tale says that it was a robin who found the bodies of the lost ‘Babes in the Wood‘, and who buried them with a golden coverlet of fallen leaves.
If your robin seems shy, it may be a visitor from Europe. British robins haunt gardens more than their European relatives, are more used to human contact and are bold in comparison with European winter visitors which tend to favour woodlands in their native lands.
All right, you robin.
I’m on my way out with sugared bread (for energy it’s better to give them cake or sugared bread than plain bread) Here are some more of those revolting mealworms, and let’s hang up another half coconut of fat and nuts. But note this, my fine robin friend; this is not just for you, but is for sharing with the blue-tits and coal-tits, the blackbirds, sparrows and the finches.
The North Wind Doth blow
And we shall have snow
And what will the robin do then, poor thing?
He’ll hide in a barn
To keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing, poor thing.
Let’s see what the robin currently peering out from the safety of the big rosemary bush, will communicate via the Tarot.
Are you a cock or hen robin?
Answer card: The High Priestess. Just to make sure, I pull another card and get the Moon Reversed. Meanings: I am a hen bird. I am solitary right now, I want no mate. This is not the time.
What are you thinking right now?
Answer card: The Empress. Meaning? What have we here? Food! I have discovered a new harvest! Being provided for, I must eat my fill while I can.
I pull another card, just as the robin flies off again…and, strangely enough, the card is The Chariot.The robin has flitted just a short distance to sit on top of the seed feeder hung in the bare branches of the laburnum tree.
Why have you gone to sit there?
Answer card: The Seven of Wands Reversed. Meaning: I am new to this garden and I must be careful. This is a good vantage point from which to spy out enemies and not be taken unawares.
What’s your favourite time of year?
Answer card: The Empress Reversed. Meaning: A time when there are plenty of fruits and seeds, but there are still sheltering leaves on the trees. A time when there are still long hours of light to feed by, and sometimes there’s still warmth…the night is not so bitter, the air does not bite so hard. My legs creak like sticks at first light when I must move for food or die. How I wish it could always be the time of the Empress.
OK, verification may not be an option as with readings done for domestic species. Still, I have done animal readings before, and know intuitive communication can work inter-species. Maybe it would not work with all species, but the tarot affords a means of extending perception beyond the boundaries of self, and living things share common drives and goals. Sentient and sensate beings, whether bare or feathered, scaled or furry, are inextricably subject to vagaries of environment, the common denominator in shared consciousness.
During the severe winter of 1962/63, the UK robin population was worse than decimated, reduced to an estimated 50-60 breeding pairs. Spare a little if you can, for your fellow creatures outside this winter.
Idly playing with my cards at the dining table, I asked Il Matrimonio what he was doing with the fish tanks. He kept two tanks of tropical fish at that time, guppies in one, neon tetras in the tank in the dining room.
Male guppies are colourful, every individual’s unique. The females are drab coloured. They produce live babies, but the adults tend to cannibalise the newborns if they don’t make for the weeds as soon as they emerge, and hide there until they’re too big to be eaten. Awww. So sweeeet.
Neon tetras are small and slim, blue, red and white, with a zingy neon strip along their sides, as the name suggests.
The hubby explained that he was introducing a young male guppy into the tetra tank for his own safety. Whereupon, using my old Universal Waite deck that day, I drew The High Priestess. (US Games)
However, I work with reversed cards, and I drew her reversed. A reversed card is not necessarily negative in connotation. It may simply flag up an area requiring special care. But I felt this was a warning, to be read in a literal sense.
‘I don’t think you should do that,’ I said. ‘I’m seeing danger here from a lady who is blue, white and red. I think the tetras will have him if you put him in there, and I think he won’t last two weeks.’
(Tarot can work like this with timing. The High Priestess is Major Trump 2.)
Il Matrimonio was having none of it. The tetras were no risk to the guppy, they were too small, completely harmless. What did I know about tropical fish, etc etc?
Eff all, it is true. Please, any proper a-fish-ionad-os reading this, do not troll me on this score. But the reader does not have to factually know. That is the point and indeed the potential usefulness of oracular divination.
‘Ok,’ I said, ‘in which case it is a warning against the tetra tank. I wouldn’t put him in there.’
‘Well, he won’t last if I leave him where he is.’
A few days later, poor guppy was gone. RIP. Not so much as a fin left.
Not saying the tetras did it any harm. It might have been something about the tank, and maybe guppy was toast whatever Il Matrimonio did, but they certainly cleaned him away.
All we had left were the tetras, swimming innocently about, the piscine little High Priests/esses in their grotto.
Today let’s talk about the ultimate Tarot card of Masculinity with a capital M, The Emperor.
‘The Emperor’ appearing in a Tarot reading signifies the current extra significance of an important man in your life, at an individual level. He’s a father, husband, employer, friend or advisor.
The Emperor stands for government, law and order, other big, hierarchical organisations. He is the Armed Forces, the Police, the Civil Service.
He is the principle of protection and of the guardian at work in society and in the home.
See those ram’s heads on the arms of his throne? The Emperor is associated with the sign of Aries, the fiery ram. It may indicate a future event occurring at that time of year.
Image below is The Emperor from The Gilded Tarot, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti
Not surprisingly I’ve drawn this card when doing readings for police officers, both male and female. Women too can embody The Emperor’s qualities.
But once – and I won’t handle any more requests for lawsuit predictions; I drew the Emperor card, and it was talking about a real live judge. This judge was in the US. We won’t say where. A client’s son was facing a court appearance charged with sexual assault. There was no assertion of coercion whatsoever. In fact, the details of the charge sounded so minor as to be ridiculous, but whatever the rights and wrongs and the facts of the case; the man had already incurred serious consequences. He was a teacher and though the accuser was not a minor, a family friend in her late twenties, he had been suspended from his employment as it involved work with minors, and had been temporarily debarred from his own home, denied unsupervised access to his children. He was, at the time of the reading, due to appear in court four days later.
A Tarot reading is not of course a substitute for suitable, professional legal, medical or financial advice. The client had employed such; but wanted to be prepared for the worst, ready to support his/her son.
Based on this, I didn’t KNOW because a reader cannot KNOW for certain, ever. But I felt as certain as I could be, she was going to like this judge. I felt that the man was not guilty of anything much more than imprudence and that the judge would decide so.
Three weeks and several new grey hairs later, I learned the The Judge had thrown the case out. He had also offered this personal opinion:- verbatim (pardon me)
‘What a crock of sh*t.’
The Emperor at his very best represents order, structure, logic, sense and reason.
He is a defender, a chevalier, a sheltering tree, nests held safely in his branches. He is rule with mercy, compassion for the weak. He upholds fair play, raising his shield so not everyone sheltering behind it gets splattered with rubbish and, er…manure.
He has another side to him of course: war, dictatorship, tyranny, petty officialdom, overbearing bureaucracy. The card may alternatively signify absence of structure and leadership. As a person, it may be pinpointing weakness or conversely, a bully boy.