78 Notes to Self: A Tarot Journal

We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

And Justice For All
When we think of what is "just" we often equate it with what is "fair." However, what seems fair to one person is often not how another would envision it. Enter, Justice. She is the embodiment of the moral virtue that would not be swayed by personal interest, nor an individual sense of fairness, but an overarching global, cosmic sense of what is "right" because in the end of it all it is just and fair.

No idea in Western civilization has been more consistently linked to ethics and morality than the idea of justice. From The Republic, written by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, to A Theory of Justice, written by the late Harvard philosopher John Rawls, every major work on ethics has held that justice is part of the central core of morality. So where does the concept originate? Social justice is likely as old as the first humans as they structured their communities and fought among themselves for their own conflicting interests. Without the cooperation and equity justice provides, we would quickly extinguish our own species. Egyptians knew her as Maat, the one who weighed the hearts of men. Greeks knew her as Themis, goddess of order and oracle at Delphi who was the mother of Dike, goddess of justice. Romans knew her as Justitia. It wasn't until the 16th century that images of justice showed her blindfolded to represent impartiality, but the sword and scales have shown up in her various incarnations over the ages.

She is one of the four cardinal virtues in Christianity (borrowed from Plato anyway), representing the need for individuals themselves to cultivate justice as a spiritual and moral quality in order that society itself be just for all. Divine virtues are intended to reflect the divine nature of God in humans, and as such she reveals God as perfectly just. Therefore, from her earliest incarnations as Maat, she represents the concept of divine justice. Karma. What goes around comes around. If you don't get your comeuppance in this life, you'll be sure to get it in the afterlife or the next life or something.

Traditionally, Justice's number is eight and Strength is eleven, but Waite changed the order to better reflect the astrological correspondences developed by the Order of the Golden Dawn. There are still hard feelings about this. But the Golden Dawn's Qabbalistic reasoning is not without merit. Justice corresponds with Libra and Libra is the cardinal sign starting Autumn. The Hebraic month of Tishrei corresponds to Libra, and sees the celebration of the Jewish New Year, followed by Yom Kippur, the prayer of atonement to divine Justice. Also, in the Hebrew alphabet, prior to the letter Lamed, there are exactly 11 letters, since Lamed begins the second half of the alphabet, leading the next 11 letters. The problem with doing this was that it screwed up all the other cards' associations and so the Golden Dawn folks practically rewrote the Tree of Life to fit with their ordering sequence. Ok, well. Historians and tarot purists will argue this ad infinitum with good cause, but suffice it to say that a century of misalignment has resulted in a new ordering system which is now considered legitimate. This is why in most Rider-Waite-based decks Justice is eleven and Marseille-based decks have Justice as eight and deck designers of all kinds get to pick and choose according to their own preference. Personally, I don't have a preference. Numerologically speaking, both numbers have good associations with divine virtues in general and attributions that can be applied to both Strength and Justice.

We can understand the need for divine, individual and social justice, but when the Justice card shows up in a tarot reading, her meaning can seem too broad, too vague, and difficult to understand in the context of a reading that hardly involves anything to do with the Supreme Court or the Final Judgement of your soul. Divinatory meanings pare things down to manageable size somewhat. Justice can represent a legal matter in a querant's life, a divorce, any kind of legal document or contract. She bodes well for such things and assures the seeker that things will likely shake out in your favor, or at least fairly. She can tell you you're in the process of making a Big Decision in your life. As a Major Arcana, she represents matters of destiny, big choices that impact the course of your life. As advice she urges you to consider all the evidence, weigh it, and above all: Be Fair! Sometimes you may need to cut something out of your life in the process of balancing those scales or add something in order to find that equilibrium. Her sword, just like all the swords in tarot, represents wisdom and communication, but it also stands for just punishment for wrongdoers. Be careful where you point that thing.

More often than not, as a Major it represents a decision that will impact you rather than one you have to make. It can point to events occurring through which divine justice will be evidenced, karmic balance. There's no need to fear Justice's sword unless you've been racking up check marks in the naughty column. Even so, you will know that when it comes down you deserved it. Above all, she is fair and there isn't any railing against her, even though you might be kicking your own backside up the street.

Image source: Edwin Austin Abbey, Royal Academician, The Record of His Life and Work, by E.V. Lucas, 1921, London: Methuen and Company Limited, New York: Charles Scribner's Son.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Last Minute Procrastinators
You know who you are. Last minute gift shoppers. Me, too. Every year I swear I won't and every year I do. I'm about to join the throngs out there to finish up the last bits of holiday shopping. I really hate this part, honestly. I think most of us do. It places such unnecessary pressure on us. Whatever happened to twelve days of Christmas? By December 26th it's all over. You don't meet that deadline, you're screwed.

Well, may I make a suggestion? You know what I'm going to say, don't you? A tarot reading makes a great gift! All you need to do is make up a card yourself to give to the recipient. Send me their email address and first name. Go to my reading page and click the PayPal button and I'll do the rest after Christmas.

Online shopping is so cool.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Keeping It Real
Bonnie said something about my podcast segments over at The Tarot Connection that made me laugh but got me thinking, too. She said, "You certainly have a flair for taking the Tarot out of the ethers and placing it squarely into real life!" It got me thinking about those different approaches to tarot. Certainly there is value in each approach and it is not my intent to proclaim one above another. However, it is definitely my style to bring these cards and their meanings and use into the nitty gritty of the daily grind, don't you think? I wondered why some of us are more drawn to the "ethers," as Bonnie put it, and others are more interested in "keeping it real." They're not exclusive, of course, and one can certainly explore the esoteric aspects of tarot while also mooring it in the practical and mundane.

I have a habit of doing this kind of thing with spiritual stuff. It can ruffle certain folks' feathers sometimes if they happen to think esoterica is a sacred cow that must never be messed with. You should see what I can do paraphrasing the words of Jesus. King James English, it's not. I have him rolling his eyes at the Pharisees and calling the disciples retards. That's because I got so tired of the super-spiritualized, sanitized Jesus. In the Bible, he's chilling with the riff-raff, so it stands to reason he's heard a cuss word or two. For some reason I can't wrap my mind around the untouchable divine Jesus and find the idea silly when I try to envision a scenario of him being all super guru-like among plain old folk. I've done my time in the ivory towers of high minded spiritualism, and I've paid my dues, so once I understand the theories, I want to find out where that rubber meets this road. I don't want to be so heavenly minded that I'm of no earthly good. I've been that before. I have been so insulated in spiritual pursuits that I became too detached from the real lives of people around me. I do have the leanings of the Hermit, the High Priestess and the Fool. So, it's not that I'm not attracted to the more esoteric, spiritual side of tarot, I am. It's just that I have a need to find another use for what I learn other than my own spiritual enlightenment.

Spiritual enlightenment is cool. It has its perks. Peace is one primary benefit. A better ability to go with the flow of life and the universe is another. There comes understanding and compassion for oneself and others and a sense of connectedness to everything. That connectedness thing is particularly amazing. I try to take that understanding, compassion, and connectedness and do something with it and I end up seeing the images in tarot as real people, real emotions, real bodily functions. Isn't that just so pentacles-ish of me?

Honestly, one of the cards that disturbs me the most is not the Ten of Swords, nor the Tower, but the Seven of Cups. Oh, I know, it's a creative card, wonderful for brainstorming and imagining the possibilities. It feels good to indulge in fantasy and daydreams, sure. One cannot hope to reach a future goal if one cannot even envision it, so the card certainly has its promising side. I sometimes hear the words, "Just imagine!" when I see that card. Who among us has not pondered what we might do if we won the lottery, even if we never play? It's the "What if?" card and it's full of potential and possibility. But all that building castles in the clouds makes me want to take up residence there. And while I have no doubt whatsoever that the spiritual realm is every bit if not more real than the physical, living there while I'm still incarnated here tends to be a bit problematic. Otherwise the card can indicate someone caught up in delusions and operating from that place. You know, the one who is always talking about starting his own business and even has great ideas about how to do it but somehow years go by and he never manages to put his ideas and dreams into play. The minute you look at him sideways with skepticism, he's mortally wounded, deeply offended that you don't see how real his imaginary world is. There are those of us who cling to dreams despite reality slapping us in the face saying, "It's NOT gonna happen!" Well, at least not the way we envision it. We do have limitations, we do live within restrictions of time and material resources, and the actions of other people often impact our plans in significant ways. That's why the advice of this card is to choose one option and focus on that in order to manifest it into reality. Basically it's saying, "Get real."
Some truly have difficulty grasping the ethereal concepts of the intangible spiritual world of tarot. I know I've had my own struggles with the more esoteric side myself. Delving too much into Qabbalistic, Golden Dawn, and Hermetic associations with tarot can be at times too thick and deep for me to navigate. Give it to me in smaller portions and when I'm in a more spiritual mindspace, ok. The High Priestess embodies that esoteric aspect to tarot, but without the Magus/Magician to put the lessons of the spirit realm into action and manifest them into reality, we may find her deep knowledge engulfing and even smothering. She can also be paired with the Hierophant who translates the intangible into tangible rituals and practice that ground us in the here and now and move us along the physical realm in our spiritual paths. So maybe because I get tired now and then slogging through the woo-woo that is so prevalent in the study of tarot, I seek out solid ground.
On another note, The Tarot Connection Podcast has a new episode up for downloading. This time Leisa put together a great show that begins to address the usage of reversals in tarot reading. Her guests, Roger Tobin and Teresa Michelson are, as usual, top notch readers and tarot educators. She ends the podcast with my segment on the Tower, "Shake, Rattle, and Roll."

DruidCraft Tarot By Stephanie Carr-Gomm & Philip Carr-Gomm & Will Worthington Published by Connections 2004

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Some Ramblings
Damn that Murphy. It never fails that I can sit for hours randomly surfing the internet logged on to Kasamba hoping to catch some readings because it's how I pay my bills, and nothing. Nothing. I log off and attend to other things like laundry or going to the bathroom and I come back later to find five or six emails demanding to know when I'll be online for readings. *SIGH*

I don't know why that is. Well, I kinda do. See, I don't have "regular office hours." Some readers will sign on for shifts and let their clients know their schedule. That's pretty smart. I don't do that. One of the beauties of reading online is the flexibility and with three kids, two dogs, a houseplant (only one that my black thumb of death has not yet killed), my university classes and my mood swings, I appreciate being able to take down my shingle so I can pick up a vomiting child at school or any other random responsibility the day throws my way. But consistent it isn't. That's my life, though. It isn't consistent. It isn't even consistently stressful. Sometimes it's so boring I bore myself. Personally, I'll take boredom over frenetic, stressful happenings any day, but because my life is filled with random younger people who need me, I don't get to choose which I'll get on any given day. So, I don't have a reading schedule. Sorry.

Here's another benefit to reading online, and actually this would apply to anyone who works from home -- a bed tray, coffee in a thermos because I'm too lazy to take refill trips downstairs, a laptop with a wireless connection on my bed and me, dressed in what I slept in last night and bedhead laying out cards on my bed for readings. I do make the bed at least. I need a smooth surface. If I could manage to turn this gig into something that could actually pay ALL my bills instead of just a few, it would be the perfect setup.

An old friend called the other night. At around midnight. I didn't recognize the number, so I answered. I don't usually do that, but sometimes random friends call from various phones at odd hours because they don't own phones and are borrowing one. This time it was my old high school boyfriend. I say old because he's a year older than me. I hadn't talked to him in maybe six months or so, so when I heard his voice on the phone I didn't immediately recognize it. Doesn't matter that I've known him since I was fifteen, I get amnesia when I don't talk to someone in a while. So, somewhere in the subsequent four-hour getting all caught up on each other's lives conversation, he asks what I'm doing and I tell him I'm reading tarot professionally. He was taken aback.

"You? You read tarot? You? For money?"

"Uh huh. It's great. I really enjoy it."

"Ginny. I've known you a long time, and I've always thought you were an intelligent, rational person. Are you going to tell me that you really think that you can tell what is going to happen with a deck of cards?"

This from a guy who swears he can make it rain at will and change red lights to green, except when it doesn't work. You wouldn't believe the metaphysical bullshit that comes out of this guy's mind and mouth when sober, nevermind when he's high. I think he forgot, I've known him a long time, too.

"I am intelligent and yes, the cards are amazing, or rather I am amazing. The cards are tools, after all, just pictures on paper. They're archetypal images, and if you don't know what that means it's basically that they are images that portray emotions, situations, and so forth that are universal and common to the human experience. Everyone has a brain they only use a tenth of and when I read the cards I try to exercise that underused part of the brain, you know...where all the powerful, woo-woo stuff comes from."

"Alright, I hear you. So what kind of stuff can you see in a reading?"

"All kinds of stuff. But mainly what seems to happen is a situation, a course of events, has a history of energy, momentum behind it. If you want to know why you are where you are now, you just have to look at your past actions. If you want to know where you are going, look at your present actions. It's not that hard."

"So how do the cards tell you that?"

"There is a whole range of skill to tarot reading, it's not just pulling stuff out of your underwear. Well, sometimes it is just that. Wait, nevermind. It's hard to explain."


"Well, I don't really know how it works or why, and sometimes it doesn't work. But when it does, which is usually, I will describe what I am seeing in a card that comes up in a past position in a reading. Even though I've seen this card a million times before, it tells me something a little different each time, just for the person I'm reading for. I listen for clues and watch for details in the cards, hearing phrases in my head I write them down. I also know the historical meanings of the cards and the numerological associations, some astrological associations, some symbolism, too. It all comes into the mix. And I move through the cards like that, linking what happened in the past, to the present and seeing the flow you can see where it's likely to go. I dialogue with my client and I make sure what I'm hearing/seeing/processing is making sense to them, to their life. But sometimes I can't do that, such as with an email reading, I just have to spill all that I am seeing onto the page and hope I hit the mark and offer something meaningful. My goal is to help people gain perspective on their dilemmas and recognize what their own intution is telling them. To help them focus on something they know, but have lost sight of or can't quite nail down until the reading brings it into clear sight."

"Sounds like psychology to me."

"Well, there is some of that. I do draw on my experience as a counselor during my readings, as well as my own life experience and understanding. But that's not all. Sometimes there just isn't any explanation for how I could see what I see in a reading. It's not like I know the person usually. Often, they are anonymous and I might only know their first name. I have picked up on the hour and minute someone would call, the fact that a woman was experiencing PMS and would get her period the next week, that a client's ex would act a specific way and say a specific thing the next time they spoke, that someone's friend was in jail (verified later to be the case) and there just isn't any way I could logically pull any of that from my own subconscious. Are there invisible bands of energy that connect all of us and I somehow intuitively tap into those? I don't know. I have no idea. These cards never fail to amaze me and the mystery and magic is a big part of why I love this so much."

"Alright, alright, I get it. I see what you mean. Will you do me a reading?"

And so I did. And it was good. So good that he called me the next day and left a message saying it really hit the spot. Effin' naysayer. Somehow, saying all that stuff to him felt really good. I really don't like having to defend what I do, but it comes with the territory. So when I went through the explanations, I realized as I was talking that I sounded intelligent and sane. That's always a good thing because there are definitely moments I question the same things. Even though I am a tarot reader, it doesn't mean I check my brains at the door. Quite the contrary. And I sometimes wonder if maybe I'm just good at putting the meanings together in a way that is generalized and able to be fit to any circumstance? Maybe I'm a sham and I don't know it? And then something happens when I read that does not fit so neatly into how things are, it defies rational explanation, it goes way beyond me picking up cues and clues from the seeker (because I don't get any) and beyond my own life knowledge and experience. And I am amazed once again.

So bring it. Let me read for you. I may or may not knock your socks off, no promises there. But I'm good at this, and that is worth something.

Monday, December 11, 2006

New Podcast is Up
No comments
The Tarot Connection has a new podcast up for downloading. Episode #22 features an interview with Joanna Powell Colbert, artist and author of The Gaian Tarot. Her art has appeared in print publications for 20 years and she has also published essays on mythology and nature spirituality. Bonnie Cehovet shares a review of The Gaian Tarot as well as her own interview with Joanna in her feature: "The Hermit's Journey." In the 78 Notes To Self segment, I continue the Tarot Court Series with a look at the Knights. Once again, Leisa presents a full and varied episode for your tarot enjoyment. Be sure to check out the show notes at The Tarot Connection site, too, as there is a Gaian tarot spread to download and relevant links to discover.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Yes or No?
In the comments section of my Confessions post, Roswila brought up yet another controversial topic in tarot: Yes/No Readings. Should we even do them? Some say that tarot just isn't the right tool for the job, that the cards are not suited to simple, flat answers like Yes or No. They are archetypes and tell stories and dig up subconscious mysteries, so asking them a simple Yes/No question usually ends up with the cards giving you all kinds of information then leaving it up to you to decide yes or no. Still others say that the oracle is fine for asking Yes/No questions of and it can and will yield an answer and even tell you why it's so.

Another objection to doing Yes/No readings is that they tend to, once again, place the seeker's power in the hands of a final judgement of Fate rather than in their own hands. Instead of passively asking if an event you want to happen will indeed occur, why not ask the cards what you can do to create the event you want? If the event is truly out of your hands, you might ask the cards what productive attitude or action you can be taking in the meantime. Yet, there's nothing to say you can't ask both kinds of questions. Throwing a Yes/No spread about a job offer might then lead to another spread which can give you more options. For example, if I ask, "Will I get the job I interviewed for on Monday?" and the cards give me a No answer, I can then proceed to asking what I might do to improve my chances? Should I call the employer and follow up? What might I do to find a job that will best suit my skills? See, even a Yes/No doesn't have to be definative and final. There may be things one can do to change that outcome. On the other hand, if the reason you won't get the job is because the employer intended all along to give it to his nephew and went through the interviewing process so as not to be accused of nepotism, it's best to research other options and not waste any more time waiting by the phone.

All too often a seeker will come to a tarot reading with nothing but Yes/No questions. Will I get married? Will I move? Does Maryann love me? You could hand them a quarter and tell them to flip it, heads mean yes, tails mean no. You don't think that would go over too well? That's because they really aren't merely looking for a Yes/No answer, it's just that most people don't take the time to really ask themselves what they really want to know about a situation. Will I get married might best be rephrased to, "What can I do to create the kind of relationships in my life that would most likely lead to a loving, committed marriage?" Essentially, you take the "Will I....?" and change it to, "What can I do...?" or "What do I need to know...?" Even after exploring these questions, the seeker may still want to hear, bottom line, if thus and so happen. At that point a Yes/No spread might be just the right thing, but usually you can glean the answer from the reading you've done.
There are many Yes/No spreads, often involving reversed versus upright cards, where the reversed means no and upright means yes. The method I use, because I tend not to use reversals, involves three stacks of cards and the Aces. I shuffle and cut the cards as usual, asking the question in my mind as I shuffle. Then, I begin dealing the cards from the top of the deck into a pile, stopping at the thirteenth card or at an Ace if it appears. I then begin a second pile, counting to thirteen unless another Ace appears, then stop. I do this a third and final time. If all three piles reveal an Ace, the answer is definitively Yes. The Aces themselves can give you more information, depending on their suits, so pay attention to that as well. If two out of three piles reveal Aces, the answer is "Probably yes, but..." with the third card revealing what might be an obstacle or reason. If only one Ace appears the answer is, "Probably not, because..." with the other two cards revealing the reason. If no Aces appear the answer is "No" with the top three cards revealing why. I like this spread because it tends to yield more information than simply Yes or No. Also, it allows for maybe's and possibilities and in studying the cards revealed you can understand more about why the situation may be leaning more in one direction than the other.

For example: If I ask the question, "Will I be hired for the job?" and got this result:

I can see immediately the answer is, "Probably not...because..." First off, the probability of the event occurring is lessened the longer it takes to yield an Ace. As no Aces showed in the first pile, nor the second, the chances of it happening dwindle. The Ace that finally did appear is of the Wands suit, so the action that I have taken was not quite enough to yield a positive result. While I may have sparked the employers interest, there are other reasons I probably won't get hired. One is Strength. I may have come across a bit less enthusiastic than I should have, reserved and restrained. The employer is probably looking elsewhere, as shown by the King of Wands. That King can also be advising me to look elsewhere and focus my actions on a different idea. So the cards show a bit more than a simple yes or no, and that's the kind of Yes/No reading I can appreciate.

Whatever method you choose, pick one and stick with it. Like timing methods or seasonal and astrological attributions, a Yes/No system works best when you have it deeply embedded in your subconscious. And don't rely too much on them, please. They work best when used as an adjunct to deeper readings that get more to the heart of what you need to know.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I am a naughty tarot reader. I break the rules. Oh, I know, there are no real tarot rules. Technically. However, there are some rather strong suggestions regarding tarot usage and I am here to say I've disregarded those, too. I say this with neither shame nor pride, but simply to say we each must forge our own way with this tarot reading thing and whatever works for you, both functionally and ethically, is what is best.

I'm a rulebreaker by nature. My own mother can attest to that. Some of her earlier memories of me involve me with hands on hips snapping to some adult or other, "I don't hafta listen to YOU!" It's good I am a Libra, so I only go off the rails part time. So it may not come as any surprise that where tarot is concerned, while I soak up everyone's opinions, ideas, and suggestions like a sponge, I don't set limits on what the cards can and can't do or what they should or shouldn't be used for. That, my dear, is up to you. As The Rebel, Arcana 4, from the Osho Zen Tarot depicts, according to Osho:

"People are afraid, very much afraid of those who know themselves. They have a certain power, a certain aura and a certain magnetism, a charisma that can take out alive, young people from the traditional imprisonment...The enlightened man cannot be enslaved - that is the difficulty - and he cannot be imprisoned...Every genius who has known something of the inner is bound to be a little difficult to be absorbed, he is going to be an upsetting force. "

So yeah, sometimes the rule breaking upsets people, but hey, they're my cards and I can do what I want with them. I have my own way of reading and so do you. I don't care if you read while standing on your head in the lotus position.

Broken Rule #1: Thou shalt not do multiple readings on the same question unless or until something in the situation has changed. Right. Ok, there is good reason for this rule. Often, too many readings on the same question, given the random nature of the cards, will only serve to confuse and befuddle the reader. Maybe it's a case of too much information, or not being able to accurately interpret the initial reading, but it is true that too many readings on one thing can leave you frazzled and no closer to an answer. However! (You knew there would be a "However," didn't you?) The primary benefit I have found from doing multiple readings on the same question is confirmation. The cards, over the years I have worked with them, have proven themselves to be amazingly consistent. Just last night I was doing a reading for a friend and the first throw didn't seem "right" to me. I second-guessed my own state of mind while throwing the cards and so I offered to do another throw right after I interpreted the first one. Lo and behold, the second throw, while different cards appeared, was very, very similar in meaning and message as the first. So it served to confirm that the first reading indeed had been on target. Personally, I really appreciate getting this kind of reassurance from the cards. Another version of reading on the same question is by using different spreads but asking the same question. I think that's okay, too, as different spreads often reveal different aspects of the situation and are different in their approach and nuance. I think each individual reader knows when to quit. When you've gotten your answer. Though you may still have doubts, you know the cards have spoken and even though you try again, they still say the same general thing. Or, the cards will start throwing out random things, nonsensical and obviously not pertaining to the issue at hand. One reader shared with me that when she does this, her cards will start throwing court card after court card as if to say, "No more information for YOU!" Other readers have said they will start getting all reversed cards. Now, there's a result that just screams, "BLOCKED!" So, you kind of know when your deck is giving you the finger. So stop already.

Broken Rule #2: Thou shalt not use clarifyers unless absolutely necessary. Whatever! I use them when I need to. Clarifying cards are cards drawn and laid onto an existing card to further illuminate the meaning of the first card. Many readers use clarifyers with court cards, especially when they appear as outcome cards in spreads. I will often use one on the Majors as well, especially a card like Death to see what is ending or transforming and what will it change into. They're helpful with the Tower to see how the Tower will affect the querant. Sometimes they act as confirming cards when I'm not quite sure which aspect of the original card is to be taken, such as the 2 of Wands where a decision is being considered I might ask what the decision is about. However (there's that word again), the reason this practice is cautioned against is because, again, too many cards can create the kind of confusion resulting from too much information. It can also make for a kind of "lazy reading." Coaxing the meaning out of a card isn't always quick or easy, so sometimes clarifyers can be used as a sort of crutch, allowing the reader to quickly cut to the chase without spending a long time on the first card. The problem lies when the clarifyer does NOT clarify but confuses instead. Also, one has to be pretty adept at reading card combinations with this method. You have to understand your cards very well and comprehend how they interact and whose energy is stronger and so on. For the novice, clarifyers just might be too much, too soon.

Broken Rule #3: Thou shalt not read for third parties, that is someone not immediately connected to the querant's situation, as it is akin to snooping and spying on someone without their permission. Well.....hmmmm...here we run into ethics and that gets messy. So much about this issue depends on how a reader believes and thinks about how the cards work. It also depends on the level of psychic intuitiveness a reader has. I have done third party readings, of course I have, and they have been more or less accurate. Many times there is no way to confirm the information you might receive in such a reading, thereby possibly acting on something you have no way of knowing is true or false. If a reader is very psychically inclined, she may feel opposed to "tuning in" to someone else in this way as she, knowing her own abilities, has learned that it is, for her, very much like spying. She may become privy to information that others with less psychic giftedness are not. In this one must trust the reader when she says, "I won't do that, it's against my ethics." What bugs me is when other readers attempt to impose their ethics on all readers and proclaim for all that third-party readings are violations of others' privacy and as such should never be done. Wait a minute. Some of us believe in a kind of universal filter that allows us to glean only that information that we need to know. Many readers, while doing third-party readings, have never uncovered anything intimate or private, and as such see no reason not to continue doing them. My main reservation regarding them is that they rarely yield useful information for the seeker. What is going on in someone else's life that is only indirectly connected to yours might or might not have ripple effects into your life, but in any case there's not a thing you can do about it. I would much prefer to offer a seeker choices and options that will impact their life, that give them power to change things in their immediate environment, not to sit by passively waiting for others to act. So while I don't place any restrictions on what or whom I should or shouldn't read about, I am reluctant to do third party readings for that reason. Often, there just isn't much point to them.

So there are my confessions. Come on, you know you do it, too.

Osho Zen Tarot by Ma Deva Padma Publisher: St. Martins Press, USA

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This Week's Podcast
Wow, Leisa has done it again, offering up a veritable smorgasbord of gourmet tarot delights on Episode #21 of The Tarot Connection Podcast. This episode features Bonnie Cehovet talking about The Hermit's Journey with an overview of 3X7 Theory, where the Major Arcana cards are placed in 3 rows of 7 cards each with each row representing a different part of ourselves: But what about the Fool? Where does he fit in? Listen to the podcast and find out.

Also featured is a reading of James Baldwin's Old Greek Stories read by Rob Shehee. Any study of archetypes is not complete without stories such as these. The characters and stories have become enmeshed into our culture to such a degree that we don't even realize from whence they came. Also, if you work with a deck such as The Mythic Tarot Deck, reading and interpreting these cards virtually depends on your familiarity with the myths and legends featured on the cards. Good stuff.

Finally, the 78 Notes To Self segment of this podcast features all five of my posts on the Pages in my Tarot Court Series. So, even if you've already read my court series, have a listen anyway and get to know these youngsters of the Tarot Court.