Tarot Thursday Three: March 16, 2017

Another week, another….Friday?  Seems I’m in a pattern to miss #tarotthursdaythree on actual Thursdays…  But that’s ok, because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, so this is a holiday edition as well.  Enjoy!

1.  Classic deserted island scenario: You’re stranded for a year on an island, but can bring along one companion.  Who from the court family keeps you company?

Oh snap — reading other’s answers, the Fool kind of popped in to my mind.  Like, he has this wild, free, careless energy that would keep me motivated and entertained (and, intermittently, completely annoyed) during our year of exile.  BUT then I read the question again and it said court family *duh*.  Hmm.  Who makes a good friend to the Queen of Swords (me)?  The most similar energy, I believe, to the Fool in the court is the Page of Wands.  So now I’m thinking about Lost; have you seen the show?  It was the first TV show that I was totally obsessed with in high school and college.  It’s about an airplane that goes down on an island and the survivor’s existence there.  Of course, that’s not all it’s about but that’s a decent one sentence summary.  Kate, similar to the Queen of Swords, is the character that I identify with, and she has two men that keep her entertained (heh) and fuel her will to survive.  One, Jack, is kind of the King of Pentacles: he’s got his shit together (kinda) and is the classic leader figure.  The other, Sawyer, is the “bad boy,” full of kinetic, crazy energy (that he eventually tempers, to a point), but he is similar to the Page of Wands.  I think the Page of Wands/Sawyer would be able to help me not murder myself (literally) while stranded on a desert island and would be resourceful enough to keep us alive for a year.  As long as it’s ONLY a year…….

2.  What are off-limit topics for you; inquiries that make you say “I won’t go there”?  Or is anything fair game?

Hmmm.  I haven’t specifically outlined topics I “won’t touch” but others’ answers were really good here (and that’s probably because most seekers have asked me for general guidance, nothing too specific or crazy).  In my “terms of service,” I’ve outlined clearly that the insight and inspiration my readings afford do not replace the advice of a professional in any field.  If someone comes to me for a reading and doesn’t know how to formulate a good tarot question, I’ll help them form a good open ended question that will get the energetic read of a situation and that I feel comfortable answering with the cards.

3.  How do you get “in the mood” or mind-frame to read?

In the mood, awww yeah.  It kinda depends.  I love to light incense, meditate for about 5-10 minutes before a session (lately, while listening to classical music), cleanse with palo santo or sage and Florida Water; this is my general routine.  But, sometimes that just feels like too much and too formal so I just grab a beer and shuffle.  Really, shuffling is the primary activity that focuses me and gets me in the groove.  As described before, my standard shuffling ritual is somewhat in depth — I shuffle the whole deck nine times, then split into three piles, shuffle each pile nine times, then shuffle the whole deck nine times, and shuffling the whole deck nine times between each card position.  I perform this shuffling ritual always between clients (the only thing I consistently do for each client) because it helps to center me on the querent/query and reset the deck (in my opinion).  So I guess my final answers is: I shuffle.

Here are other posts from this week that I’ve seen…

Ania

Julia

Jill

Rachel

Who would you bring on a desert island that wouldn’t make you go crazy?  What topics make you cringe?  What gets you in the mood, baby?  Let me know your answers in the comments below, or link me to your post!

exploringly yours,
Alaina x

 

Tarot Thursday Three: March 9, 2017

Another Thursday (that I missed, again!).  So, it’s after midnight, late Friday night/early Saturday morning, and here I am composing this post.  Enjoy!

1.  Does spell work have a place in your practice and if so, how?

I don’t do spells.  I had an interest in spell work (and still do, I guess), but I ultimately find it too complicated to be practical for my life.  Gathering supplies, casting a circle, calling down deities, etc — I just find that too much.  And I don’t see the space or need to call things in to my life (or banish them!  Though that could be useful…).  I like what Ania said about not feeling the need to affect reality in this way.  I feel like life is complicated, and I don’t know enough of what I want or need to ask for it specifically.  I feel like spell work in the traditional sense is something that needs to be practiced regularly for it to be effective, and I just don’t have the desire, or need, to practice spell work regularly.  However, I also like what Olivia wrote about her small spell and ritual work that she does, she made it seem very natural and intuitive.  I do like to hold intentions and affirmations, which I kind of view as mini-spells anyway.  And I do like doing ritual work, that is not quite spell work, but close.  I do this usually around the new and full moons.  I feel that this aspect of my practice is asking to be explored more, but I am not sure what that would mean in physical terms.

2.  What is the element you most identify with and/or enjoy working with and why?

As a through-and-through Aquarian, I live in my head and in daydreams.  I like to think through things, I create alternate timelines in my head (I maintain the idea that all possibilities exist in some realm), and I like putting word to paper.  I regularly have dreams of flying, where I literally kick off from the ground and float in the air.  Sometimes, the feeling is so strong that I recall it in my waking life, and I experience the desire to kick my feet into the air and float along in real life.  So I guess Air is really my jam.

I haven’t worked that much, specifically and pointedly, with any element.  I love to burn candles and incense, I love to collect bits of earth in stone/gem form, I love ritual baths… I have been told (by Benebell, no less!) that I should work to connect more with the earth element.  She gave me a pretty good overview on this, but to be honest, I don’t really know why or how to do this.  So, beyond placing a bunch of grounding rocks on my bedside (a big chunk of Mookaite!), I haven’t done much about that…

3.  Besides the cards, what are you favourite tools for divination and/or ritual?

As I said above, I love to burn candles and incense, but I don’t use this in a divinatory sense, more to set the mood — uh, so I guess for ritual!  However, I do this outside of ritual as well, and to be honest, I haven’t sat down and practiced any kind of ritual lately… I really love to use poetry collections (primarily Mary Oliver) for bibliomancy/stichomancy, and I’ve had some really great results with that.  I love to write, and I’ve been really into writing poetry (thanks to Jodi and her poetry challenge!) and making art (thanks for Kristen and her create this oracle deck challenge!), so I’ll be trying to include more of making both poetry and art into my practice.

At the time of publishing, here are the other posts that I’ve seen (and referenced above :))…

Julia

Ania

Olivia

Do you use spells in your practice?  What is your favorite element to channel?  What other stuff do you use in divination/ritual?  Let me know in the comments below (or let me know if you’ve made a post yourself!).

exploringly yours,
Alaina x

Tarot Thursday Three: March 2, 2017

Hey all!  Another week I’m behind on the prompts…. Sometimes the days just get away from us, eh?  This week, Julia also shared a really cool spread by Kimberly, @fablesden, entitled “A Tarot Spread for a Tarot Reader.”  Here, I answer the blogging questions, and include my pulls for this spread.

1.  What was it that initially sparked your interest with Tarot? 

As previously recounted, I was formally introduced to tarot at a costume party.  I purchased my own first deck shortly thereafter, but didn’t dive in to the hobby until years later.  I remember I was in Edinburgh on a solo trip, I had just purchased some crystals while in London at the Natural History Museum… I had a lot of time on my hands… And I guess it must have been the magical feel of the city, but the metaphysical was on my mind.  In Edinburgh, I purchased a labradorite ring, and not long after being home, I purchased my first working deck, The Wild Unknown.  I cannot recall what exactly pushed me to do this, really.  Maybe it was the striking art of the deck, to be honest.  But I’m not sure how I even really came upon the deck… I should look back in my journals and see if I wrote down my actual logic……

2.  Is it what you expected it to be and if not, in what ways were your expectations defied?

Yes and no.  I guess my initial exposure to tarot made it seem really mystical.  When watching the tarot reader at the costume party, she was getting shocked reactions from the people she was reading for.  People she didn’t even know!  She read the tarot very intuitively and I got the sense that she had never actually “studied” tarot, but it was just something her parents exposed her to and she just kind of knew.  I hoped my experience would be like that — HA! — and so in that way, my expectations were defied.  While I’m regularly bowled over by the readings I do and receive, I’ve learnt that tarot is more a reflective tool than a tool with inherent magical powers.  They are, after all, just cards.

3.  How do you primarily use Tarot? I.e. for divination, self-reflection, analysis, shadow work, ritual or something else?

My tarot work, at this time, is primarily reflective work.  I like to use the tarot for guidance and for analysis of what is going on in my daily life.

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And now, my spread.

1.  Why do I want to read for others?  VII of Swords.  To help others see the paths laid out before them.  To help others analyze the energies of what is going on in their life and to make an informed decision of what happens next.  To help others see the risks/benefits of putting a plan into action.

2.  What is my biggest strength as a tarot reader?  VIII of Pentacles.  There is a pride and love that I have for this kind of work.  I’m honored that people come to me and find value in what I have to share with them.  I view this work as a process of discovery for myself, while shining a light for others on their own path.

3.  What are some negative attitudes or beliefs that may hinder me as a reader?  II of Wands.  While the two of wands is about making a choice, and boldly following my bliss, as an answer to this question I feel the reversed aspects of this card are applicable.  Second guessing myself, comparing myself to others…

4.  How can I continue to grow and improve as a tarot reader?  The World.  Continue on the cyclic journey of learning; there is always more to learn and improve upon.  Enjoying the journey, and finding ways to learn in new places.

5.  How does my practice help me grow as a person?  Knight of Cups.  Tarot reading, and especially reading for others, helps me to get in touch with my intuition and to trust the softer sides of myself.  I do not like to feel vulnerable, but when you are putting your work out there, for others to purchase, it is an extreme exercise in vulnerability.  It helps me to feel out my emotions, to share my concepts and ideas that do not otherwise have an outlet.

At the time of publishing, Julia’s is the only other #tarotthursdaythree post that I’ve seen!

What sparked your interest in tarot?  Did your expectations change as you went along?  Did you try out this spread?  Did you make a post this week?  Let me know all about it in the comments below!

exploringly yours,
Alaina x

Tarot Thursday Three: February 23, 2017

Heya!  Another round of #tarotthursdaythree coming at you.

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This is really big, so you could see the LotR Tarot art….that is really small 😦

1.  If you could have your likeness immortalized on any one of the 78  Tarot cards, which would it be and why?

Hmmm well, I guess I would say the Queen of Swords.  I liked Olivia’s and Julia’s ideas because they picked cards that are not typically depicted by women, but the Queen of Swords just always does it for me.  I identify with her, I get her, she’s my significator, and I think she’s pretty badass.  Also, how awesome is this interpretation of her from the Pagan Otherworld’s Tarot?

2.  When reading for yourself, are you able to remain unbiased and if so, what tips can you share for others?

Of course I’m biased when I’m reading for myself!  To be honest, I think it’s a good thing.  How else would I be able to apply the reading to my life?  Intuition is important, but if I want a reading to truly mean something to me, I need to make a connection to what is going on in my life.  Aka, I need to be biased.  For example, if I pull the Queen of Swords, I know she’s saying wisdom through sorrow, “wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure,” etc. etc. but that means nothing if I don’t put a little personal spin on it!

I feel the same way about reading for others.  I actually find it really difficult to continue to come up with vague unbiased statements to provide a full, cohesive reading to someone.  For email readings, I love when someone asks a pointed question, or provides a little more information about their life to me.  This allows me to connect the card, or what I’ve written, to them personally.  In person, I love when my friends ask questions (“Do you think this could be talking about *blank*?”) or that I can relate the cards to what is going on in their lives.  This is why I like pulling an oracle card, particularly with one card readings, because that almost always gives another angle that allows the reading to remain “unbiased,” yet focused.

3.  What is your least favourite deck in your collection and why?

I feel so bad about this answer, but, the Lord of the Rings Tarot (see above).  I feel so bad because my partner bought me this deck for Christmas, just a couple months after I started reading tarot.  I thought it was so sweet!….but then I opened the package.  This poor deck.  The art is actually awesome, but wtf is the rest of the shit on this card?  I guess you can also play a card game with this deck, which I actually should really try.  Maybe this tarot deck will find a new life’s purpose as a playing card deck!  My partner brings the deck up from time to time, to make sure I still have it I think (haha), because he knows I don’t ever really read with it.  Oh how I wish he had found the Hobbit Tarot instead of the LotR Tarot…….

At the time of publishing, here are the other #tarotthursdaythree posts I’ve seen….

Julia

Olivia

What’s your least favorite deck in your collection?  Omg tell meeeeee…I wanna know which decks to avoid 😉 tell me alllll about it in the comments!

Do you think bias is a good thing in a reading?  Did you make a post this week?  Let me know in the comments.

Exploringly yours,
Alaina x

Tarot Thursday Three: February 16, 2017

Well, I was pretty bummed to have missed posting this week’s #tarotthursdaythree on Thursday.  I had a funky work schedule this week — worked three midnight shifts then had to switch back to the day time on Friday.  Ugh.  Needless to say my sleep patterns were a little off, which found me very sleepy on Thursday during the day and not very productive….

Anyway, here are my answers for this week’s installment of #tarotthursdaythree, hosted by Julia, and questions from me!

1.  How do you feel about the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS)?

Basically my answer to this question inspired this set of questions.  The RWS was my first deck, but not the first one that really inspired me to learn.  (I feel like I’ve told this story a million times but now YOU GET IT AGAIN!).  I had my tarot read with a RWS deck at a Fasching/Karnival/Mardi Gras party (similar to Vanessa’s story).  My reading was done only with Majors, and I don’t even really remember what she said, but I think I got the Devil, the Hanged Man and the Tower…?  Yikes!  I was intrigued by the mysticism of tarot — I had watched this woman read strangers’ tarot all night, and everyone was impressed.  Like a good little tarot beginner, I purchased a RWS deck but ultimately put it aside for years before purchasing The Wild Unknown, which is the deck that really started my journey.

Lately, however, I’ve been connecting really well with my RWS.  Originally, I just did not connect with the RWS images.  They seemed aloof and disconnected from the daily life that I experience.  As I learned more of the card meanings, I developed a connection with the traditional symbolism of the cards.  This idea/practice is discussed also over at Julia’s and Jill’s posts.  I find that the more decks I work with, the more other decks’ images come to mind as I’m reading, particularly with the RWS, which I don’t think is bad.  This helps to remind of of the different dimensions of a particular card.  My favorite rendition is the Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot, which is just dreamy in my opinion.

Anyway, so umm yeah, lovin’ the RWS lately.

2.  What was your beginning deck?

Well, I guess I answered that above — oops!  First purchased deck was the Rider Waite Tarot Pack, but The Wild Unknown is what got me really excited to learn tarot.

3.  Do all beginners need to start with the RWS (or clone), in your opinion? Why/why not?

I am woefully under-qualified to give tarot beginners any tips….but, I would mainly recommend a beginner to look at the Rider-Waite-Smith and clones to see if they connect with any of the decks’ images.  As I know, if you’re not inspired by the art, you’re not going to be inspired to continue to learn.  If you don’t like the RWS, pick a deck that speaks to your intuition and has gorgeous art.

That being said, I feel that there are so many RWS clones that it should be easy these days to find one that a new reader can appreciate.  Furthermore, if the reader intends to make a life-long study out of tarot, starting with a RWS would be most beneficial.  So basically…..any rules here are meant to be broken *shrug*.

Well, that’s it 🙂 … I think I already linked to everyone who has done this round so far (Julia and Jill).  Let me know if you make a post and I’ll check it out!

What do you think of the RWS?  What is the ideal beginner deck in your opinion?  Let me know in the comments.

exploringly yours,
Alaina x