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 :))…




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.


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 9, 2017

On Julia’s post for today, she talks about how this practice has contributed to more blogging overall, and I totally agree.  Thank you so much, Julia, for creating this practice!  I love blogging but can struggle with ideas/posts.  This exercise keeps blogging in the front of my mind, so it’s easier for me to think of other posts through the week.

So, here’s another Thursday, another #tarotthursdaythree…. Here you go!

1.  Reversals or nah?

I do not shuffle to include reversals, no.  I know some people have very intricate shuffling practices in order to incorporate reversals (or: throw all the cards on the desk and mix ’em up, a suggestion from Julia, ha!), but I do not.  I take a more hands-off approach to reversals, as if if a card ends up reversed, it must have happened somewhere along the way and I keep it that way.

If I turn up a card that is reversed, I read it reversed.

Do I actively try to incorporate reversals into my readings?  No.

When I go to reset my decks (putting them all back in order), I right all the reversals.


2.  If you could go back in time and give your novice self one piece of wisdom to fast track your tarot learning, what would it be?

I really love Julia’s suggestion of making an Excel little white book (LWB) cataloguing all 78 cards with my own keywords.  I haven’t done anything like that, mostly because when I tried to systematically learn tarot in that way, I got really bogged down in the technicalities and ended up writing too much for each card and losing steam really quickly.  Thus, I think the Excel LWB is a brilliant, low pressure project.  And I think I’m in a good place now to start such a project.  I just signed up for Little Red Tarot’s tarot course, so once I actually start, I’ll use Julia’s idea!

I guess I wouldn’t really change my learning experience exactly because I think the way I learned tarot basically would be the only way I could get into it.  I learned early on that if this was a hobby that I wanted to enjoy long term, there would be no “fast tracking” for me personally.  Too much deep study too quickly was going to kill the mystique and enjoyment of tarot for me.  What I did to learn, mostly, was to pull at least a card a day (or near to each day), and journal about it.  It also helps me to compare cards across decks, and, actually, that would be something that I’d tell myself to include more to help me learn.

3.  What is your go-to spread?

I like to pull one tarot and one oracle card to get a quick picture for the day/question.  I love the 4 card spread (1 card for the message, 3 cards as how to explore that message), which I think gives a nice, well-rounded snapshot of the situation without creating specific questions/definitions for each position.  I love all of the mind-body-spirit and within-without-advice three card spreads.  But, if I had to pick, I’d say the one tarot and one oracle card is my basic go-to, even if it’s not really a spread.  I don’t like to do very large spreads very often, which is why I try to keep the spreads I make under 6 cards.

At the time of publishing, here’s another post that I’ve seen published — Julia.

Did you make a #tarotthursdaythree post?  If so, let me know in the comments.  If not, how would you answer the above questions?  Let me know in the comments!

Exploringly yours,
Alaina x

Tarot Thursday Three: January 26, 2017

Phew!  Like others have noted, where does the time go?  Wasn’t it just last Thursday?  I suppose between last Thursday and this Thursday we live in an entirely new world with you-know-who’s inauguration and all the ensuing political and social justice fallout…… *cough* Anyway, that’s another topic that I have been, and will continue to, explore on this blog.

But now, the fun stuff!  Another #tarotthursdaythree, hosted by Julia with questions from Vanessa (links at the end).  As I was reading the questions I couldn’t help but notice there are eight this week instead of three (hehe).  Here we go!…..

1.  What was your first time like giving an in-person reading?  Where were you?  How did you feel?  Spill the deets!

Well, the first time I read for someone other than myself, I read for one of my best friends.  I read for Hilary, who I met my freshman year of college — we lived on the same floor.  She was visiting for the weekend and had seen me and my cards on Instagram and asked for a reading.  I was armed with my trusty The Wild Unknown, crystals, and, like Vanessa, my guidebook.  I hadn’t been reading for very long at this time, but I was keen to try it out with friends (and now, typically, I do a reading for each of my besties when we’re together).  Anyway, that experience wasn’t that great (nerves!!  awkwardness!!) but it was fun and my friend seemed to get something out of it.  Though I’m still pretty terrible at in-person readings, I’m working on it.  The photo below is from that day — the 7 of swords and 5 of swords in one reading?!  To this day, two of my least favorite cards to interpret.  Oh, and since Vanessa asked, we did this reading in my bed (if that wasn’t already clear :)).

2.  Have you ever had a negative client response to one of your readings?  How did they react and why?  How did you respond back?

I have not.  I mostly do my readings online and, like others, have received no feedback at all, but haven’t had anyone disgruntled.  One person asked for further clarification, and, when given, was perfectly happy.  When reading in person with my friends, it’s more back-and-forth, conversation-like, so we hash out anything that doesn’t make sense.

I will say that since starting to read for others, I realize how valuable feedback is.  I’m one of those people that just kinda forgets to send feedback, or would send something like “oh that really resonated, thanks!”  But now I understand how helpful and validating feedback can be, so I’ve been making more of an effort there.

3.  Have you ever been challenged by a skeptic regarding tarot?  What was your experience like?

Hmm, not really.  My mom doesn’t super support tarot, so we just kind of don’t discuss it.  After seeing my Instagram for the first time, my coworkers will sometimes ask “so what’s this tarot thing?”  Like Dianna, I explain primarily how tarot is about archetypes and themes, and avoid the other woo-woo stuff.  My partner was uninterested for the longest time, but recently asked for a reading (his first!).  So, generally, everyone’s a skeptic, in my opinion, just because they don’t really know/understand what tarot is all about.  But I haven’t encountered any nasty behavior because of tarot.

And that’s it!  Make sure to check out these other posts *at the time of publishing*…





Did you answer these questions?  Did I miss your post?  Let me know below.  Otherwise, feel free to answer in the comments.  Until next Thursday!

exploringly yours,
Alaina x

Tarot Thursday Three: January 19, 2017

Another Thursday, another #tarotthursdaythree, organized by Julia, with questions from Ania.  Read on, friends….

1.  If you could design your own tarot deck and have it mass-produced, what theme would it have and what would it look like overall?

Hmmm this is certainly an interesting question.  I’m thinking about my favorite decks and what they include… Well, my favorite decks don’t have much in common with each other, ha!  I love the way The Wild Unknown uses color, the way the Pagan Otherworlds uses RWS symbolism, the way Slow Holler busts stereotypes, the way the Wooden uses whimsical and weird nature, the way the Fountain is so diverse…. so, umm, something that combines all that stuff?  Yeah.  Also, it would need to be anchored in some kind of reality.  I have a hard time with fantasy decks and don’t really reach for them (except for the Deviant Moon, I suppose).

2.  How do you feel about the Celtic Cross spread?

Well…..I’ve never used the spread, because it’s huge and daunting to me.  Ugh, I’m the worst.  I guess that tells you how I feel about it.

3.  If you could have any deck in the whole world (that you do not already), which one would you pick and why?

Hmmm.  I’ve tried to get away from deck-lusting because it tends to get me in trouble (meaning: gets me a whole lot of decks that I don’t use).  I don’t really know of any rare or OOP decks that I’m dying for *off the top of my head*.  But….I’ve been wanting the Soul Space Oracle for a while.  I asked my mom for it for Christmas (and thus didn’t buy it when she had her awesome sale before Christmas), but of course my mom didn’t buy it for me because cards are ~*evil*~.  So yeah.  I’d also like the Light Grey Tarot.  It’s not expensive or OOP, so I could easily purchase it, but…. I just haven’t.  Like Joanna, I like to trade for decks if at all possible, because I really love the feel of a secondhand deck, so I tried to trade for the Light Grey but didn’t get any bites….

That’s all from me!  At the time of publishing, here are the other #tarotthursdaythree posts that I’ve seen:




Answer the questions in the comments or on your own blog — and let me know if you make a post so I can check it out!

exploringly yours,
Alaina x