Alternative Tarot Course · Tarot · Tarot Spread

The Reader’s Reading, myself as a tarot reader

reader's reading
the tarot reader’s reading

This is the week one reading from the Alternative Tarot Course.  I’ve moved away from larger spreads (and, really, this one isn’t even that big) because I feel like I can gain a myriad of insights from just one card at a time and I don’t need six cards telling me different things at the same time.  However, Beth Maiden does craft my favorite spreads, so I’m happy to be re-entering the spread game with her at the helm.

1. About me in general: what is my most important characteristic?  Three of Cups

Connection: making connections, feeling connection, celebrating connections, and focusing on the good stuff.  Yes, tarot isn’t all roses, but even the messy stuff brings about big shifts if we are honest with ourselves.

2. What strengths do I already have as a tarot reader, what am I bringing to this course?  XX, Judgment

Plugging in, reconnecting with the small, quiet parts of self, and analyzing the task or question before me.

3. What limits do I feel as I start this course?  Three of Wands

I feel like this is a warning in the sense that it’s easy to get carried away, in looking beyond the shore and forget that life is what is right here, in front of me.

4. What key lesson can I learn on my developmental journey with tarot?  XIV, Temperance

I mean, this is the perfect card for a tarot journey.  As Lindsay Mack says, Temperance is “where we learn, holy shit!  When I’m not operating from ego, spirit drops in even better than I imagined, even better than I dreamed.”

5. How can I be open to learning and developing on this journey?  King of Swords

Straight up connecting with my eternal student, airy, swords-y mind.  Making a plan of attack, and staying dedicated to learning.

6. What is the potential outcome of my tarot journey?  Ten of Wands

Letting go of what no longer serves me, to tackle tasks with my full head and heart.

The conclusion of the week 1 lesson is to select a card from this spread which most represents my tarot journey, and to keep it close through this course.  While the King of Swords may most represent a student and dedication to the course, I feel that Temperance is the card I most want to emulate during this time.  I love how Temperance tasks ego with taking a back seat, how Temperance has struck a balance between spiritual and earthly pleasures, how Temperance is a symbol of what is Right.  Temperance is why we humans bother with the tarot at all: to get a glimpse, a notion, of the divine journey beyond and outside ourselves.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Alternative Tarot Course · Daily Tarot Card · Wands

daily tarot card: Eight of Wands

eight of wands
eight of wands, morgan greer tarot

The eight of wands is one of my favorites.  It implies forward movement and action — the directionality of the wads if forceful, bold, and obvious.  As a card of the suit of fire, the impulse to do, be, and create with this card is very overt.

The wands themselves are juxtaposed with the peaceful river scene, which symbolizes deep breath and balance.  One cannot be all demanding action, there must be yin to the yang for the task to be accomplished in the most fruitful way.

The expended energy should be focused and not spent furiously, aimlessly.  Inherent in this card is the pause before the action, the need to organize, to be in formation, before action.

In addition, I feel that there are a lot of the same questions in this card that are in the three of pentacles, my card from yesterday.  What am I creating?  Where is my energy going?  To sit with this card is to examine where we are on track versus where we are missing the mark and to purposefully chose our next step forward.


My card progression over the last five days is: five of wands, the World, the Hermit, three of pentacles, eight of wands.  Cycles, balance, depth, breath.  Bringing what is inside my mind, what is craving space, outward.  Making my outer world in alignment with my inner world.  Playing, flowing, being.  There is less emphasis on overt action and more of a call for stasis, which is appropriate as we transition into 2019, a Hanged Man/Empress year, a year I’ve chosen as a “depth” year, a year my partner and I have agreed to enjoy slowly together, as a family, as we put down roots in our new home.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Alternative Tarot Course · Daily Tarot Card · pentacles

daily tarot card: Three of Pentacles

three of pentacles
three of pentacles, morgan greer tarot

What am I dedicated to?  What am I creating?  Building?  The three of pentacles asks me to look at how I spend my time on what matters to me.

The artisan in this card works on a church, which is a project that takes a long time, it takes a vision, it takes a creative drive that lasts.  This card is all questions to me: wondering how I apply my creative energy, how I bring my imagination, my dreams, to life.  What a card to pull the day after the Hermit, who urges us to go after the wild life.

Lindsay Mack says the pentacles “really help us to discern how…we marry our human stuff with spiritual soulwork, and how we can make those things one thing, and how they can both be in alignment with each other.”  Yes yes yes!  She talks of how speaking of the pentacles in terms of money really short changes (!) the suit because the tarot really isn’t about the external anyway.  And, man, I so identify with that in how I read the pentacles.  (Ps, if you haven’t listened to her podcast, Tarot for the Wild Soul, please listen to January’s Monthly Medicine.)

I love the way the sun shines through the stained glass in this card, and that the figure is in shadow.  It makes me feel seen, witnessed; the stained glass draws me in, shining light on my inner self.  It says everything we do is part of “the whole,” each moment, each tiny decision affects the outcome.  This card is about taking what lies inside my creative, emotive body and bringing it physical.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Alternative Tarot Course · Daily Tarot Card · Major Arcana

daily tarot card: the Hermit

the hermit
the hermit, morgan greer tarot

Today’s card is one of my favorite of the majors, in part because the Hermit is my birth card, but also because I can so easily identify with it.

I love this Morgan Greer version in particular.  It could be dusk or early dawn by the deep color of the sky.  The Hermit stands on a precipice, looking into the abyss.  They know what they will find there, but they peer, contemplating, in wonder.  It is a long way down from where they stand, and they traveled a long way to get there.  Ever on a path, the Hermit is.  Ever exploring the galaxy of their mind.

“Life is transitory and though the imposing mountains may belie that fact, don’t be fooled into thinking they will be there forever.” — The Hermit, Notes from the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot

The Hermit is wise, true to themself, and has a thirst for knowledge and personal righteousness.  They walk a solitary path, unafraid.  They are ever searching, spiraling deeper into themself, into the world, on a quest for answers, meaning.  They do what is right simply because they should, not for glory.  They are Gandalf.  They know the value of living and “implores you to follow your dreams and make the most of your short, wild life on this planet” (Notes from the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot).


The next exercise in the Alternative Tarot Course for week 1 was to calculate and explore my birth card.  I already knew my birth card so I found it interesting for it to show up today!  The above writing is my exploration of this archetype.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Alternative Tarot Course · Tarot

week 1: what is tarot?

I first came across tarot when… those of you who happen to know this blog, may remember this story.  I came across tarot when a woman read tarot for others as a Karneval party trick.  I was so intrigued that I ordered the Original Rider Waite shortly thereafter.  I tried to read with this deck a number of times, but I wasn’t inspired by the art and the woman who read my cards did so so seamlessly that I had no idea what actually went in to learning tarot.  Five years later, and I was in London, at the Natural History Museum, fascinated by rocks and stones, an old childhood hobby of mine.  I purchased a pocket full of them, and traveled on to Edinburgh, where I found a beautiful labradorite ring in a shop.  I started Googling.  I have no idea what actually “led” me to tarot, but it wasn’t long before I had ordered the Wild Unknown and committed to actually learning tarot.

The reason I want to learn tarot is… I have already been practicing tarot for just over three years.  I’ve drifted away from tarot and my other spiritual practices in the last half of 2018 as my partner and I went through a lot of physical shifts (purchasing a home, doing renovations, and moving in to the home!), and I’m ready to re-center and re-ground.  I had enrolled in the Alternative Tarot Course in early 2017 and I’m using it now as a way to deepen my relationship with tarot, certain decks, and my spirituality.

Here’s how I feel about learning tarot in three words:
1.  Witchy
2.  Wild
3.  Connected

Ha!  *shrugs*

Tarot’s main purpose (for me) is… tarot has shifted a lot for me the more I’ve practiced.  When I first started reading, I had no idea what I was doing tbh and just followed along with whatever I saw people doing on Instagram.  I purchased way too many decks way too fast, participated in monthly challenges, in which I asked my cards very specific questions, pulled year ahead spreads trying to see the future, did huge spreads that didn’t inspire me, etc… Tarot for me, now, is all about using the tarot’s archetypes as a mirror, to reflect back what I already know within me.  I don’t ask the cards specific questions and steer away from large, complicated spreads.  Typically, I just pull a card and journal to see what comes up.

Here are some things I don’t believe about tarot… tarot can’t predict the future, tarot is not a box, tarot decks don’t have personalities, tarot is not the devil.

I think the most important qualities for a tarot reader are… a tarot reader should have an open and questioning mind.

In learning tarot, I hope to… dive deeper into myself, reflect, and connect.

I think my main challenges will be… not getting swept up into the witchy/spiritual/tarot culture of Instagram.  I did return to Instagram in order to garner inspiration from others, but, in late 2017/early 2018, IG led me far from my personal path, and I will strive to remain true to myself and my own feelings.

But I will try to overcome them by… I think I covered this above.

Any further thoughts… I’m grateful for this course, excited to learn, and to get back into a healthy habit for me.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

This is the first exercise, “What is tarot?,” from week 1.