Domination in Tarot

I realize the title of this blog sounds as though I’ve decided to write about sex rather than tarot. I haven’t (yet). It was the only way I could think to summarize what happens when a particular suit dominates all your tarot readings.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the tarot are the four suits of the minor arcana – Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles – and how they work together to fully represent the wide range of experiences we encounter in our day-to-day lives. Unlike the major arcana, which represent the big, spiritual lessons unfolding around us, the minor arcana speak to the more mundane things contained within the human experience. This includes things like worrying over finances, juggling daily responsibilities, or going out with friends.

As a brief summary, the four suits of the tarot represent the following:

 Swords – Air – Thoughts and Mental Activity

Wands – Fire – Creativity and Career

Cups – Water – Feelings and Emotions

Pentacles – Earth – Money and the Physical World

I have said that there is no greater teacher of tarot than life and time itself, and I stand by that. If you are studying tarot, a year of working with the cards daily and reflecting on how they play out in your life will be the best teacher there is. No book can teach you what life can.

A while ago I wrote about how the suit of Swords was affecting me personally. During this time I was grappling with the mental illness of a loved one. My mind raced constantly with worries about the future and pervasive guilt that I could not lift her out of darkness. As an empath (someone who easily feels the emotions of others), and someone who has grappled with her own depression, I found myself sliding into sadness with her. The swords were showing up consistently in my daily readings, and sleep did not come easily. Luckily, with time and psychiatric care, things begun to shift, and I am happy to report that the intense stress of the past few months has ended.

Interestingly, as the swords retreated back into the pile of cards, the cups emerged and began to take over my daily readings. This past month has been all about emotions and feelings in a way I have not experienced in years. Nearly all of my readings have prominently featured the cups. Experiencing them in this way has led me to my own increased understanding of how these energies play out in our lives.

My experience with the cups has been so intense that I’ve decided to examine each of them, card by card, and share my reflections on what they have meant to me personally. These descriptions below build on what I have learned from studying the tarot, reading for others, and journaling for myself. I will expand this post by delving into the other suits in time, as they unfold in my life. I will cover the court cards separately.

As you review these cards, you may find the symbolism in the Rider Waite is so overt that you can predict what each card is about before you even read the description. This is why I believe the Rider Waite to be the perfect deck for a beginning reader versus a more abstract, artistic tarot deck. If you want to read more about learning to read tarot for yourself, check out this article.

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Ace of Cups: Each ace is a gift from the universe and a positive omen for a new beginning. The Ace of Cups represents a new wave of emotion crashing into your life. A new love may present itself to you. This isn’t necessarily a sexual love – it could be a pleasant exchange with friend. The Ace of Cups can also appear when you have an opportunity to release emotional burdens. This card can also represent an outpouring of creativity powered by feelings of love and deep emotion. It can represent the birth of a child (likely a girl, versus a boy as suggested by the Ace of Wands).

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Two of Cups: The Two of Cups bodes well in relationship readings when someone wants to know if there is potential with a new love interest. This is the card of star-crossed lovers. When this card appears you know you have met someone very significant in your life. As a lover, it could be your soulmate. However, it can also be a very close friend or even a business partner. It can also represent falling in love with a new hobby or personal interest.

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Three of Cups: This card represents good times with friends. This is the card of abundance and celebration. It suggests a time in your life when you will go out, be social, and maybe have a few drinks. Modern interpretation could also see this as Internet dating or even a threesome (gasp!). In love readings it suggests that a person is more focused on having fun and being casual rather than something serious, and it can also be an indicator that someone may need to slow down on the drinking if their social life has been a little too full.

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Four of Cups: The Four of Cups suggests boredom or dissatisfaction within a relationship. Oftentimes there is nothing wrong with the union, but it feels stale. This could also present itself as depression or melancholy. This card encourages you to examine yourself and is a reminder to reflect on all the things that are right and well in a relationship rather than focusing on the negative. The figure in the card is being a bit greedy and ungrateful. (Jerk!)

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Five of Cups: The Five of Cups is about grief and loss. This is known as the card of “crying over spilled milk.” This card presents itself when we long for a past love or have our heart broken. It is a bad omen for an existing relationship as it suggests that the current energies within the relationship may be leading toward trouble or betrayal.

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Six of Cups: The Six of Cups is about nostalgia. With this card, we look back on a time when we were happy and fulfilled. It may be a time when we were younger, as in childhood. It could also be that we are longing for an earlier period in our relationship when there was still romance and intrigue. This card can also tell you that you need to indulge your inner child and have a little fun.

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Seven of Cups: The Seven of Cups appears when our fantasies are running wild. We may have several different paths (or people) to choose from. This card creates a certain degree of paralysis in your life because it is hard to know where to go or what to choose. It can also be that someone has high hopes for a relationship, but they are fooling themselves. I experienced this card at the beginning of 2017 when I wrote about intention deficit disorder.

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Eight of Cups: This card is about hard choices. It’s about examining our current relationship and/or situation and evaluating whether it still meets our needs. Oftentimes this card shows up if someone is contemplating a breakup or divorce, or leaving a job. It is about making difficult decisions and choosing a new, and often more difficult, path in order to seek one’s own truth. This is a difficult card to work through in your life.

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Nine of Cups: The Nine of Cups is one of the best cards you can receive in a reading. This is known as the “wish card” and it represents deep emotional fulfillment. In a relationship reading it means you are very satisfied. It also can suggest that you are in a time of life where you are able to manifest the things you want quite easily.

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Ten of Cups: The Ten of Cups celebrates the time and energy we invest into our relationships and families. This card celebrates the joy of family life. This is the high point of family life, when things are happy and simple.

We must celebrate the emotional depth that the cups add to life, and not just on Valentine’s Day. All the warm feelings, the sweetness of love, the emotional vulnerability, and even the heartbreak… Without love life wouldn’t be quite so sweet.

“To love is nothing. To be loved is something. But to love and be loved, that’s everything.” – T. Tolis

If you are experiencing issues in your relationship, check out my love and relationship analysis reading.

 

Learn to Read Tarot 

5 Quick, Easy Tips for Learning to Read the Tarot

After I read for a client, many of them express to me that they want to learn how to read the tarot cards for themselves. The two most frequent questions I hear are, “How do you learn to read the tarot cards?” and “How long did it take you to learn to read tarot?

I have compiled my top five tips on learning to read the tarot. Other readers may have different opinions, but this is my blog, so I’m offering my opinion. I welcome the feedback of other readers in the comments.

Tip 1 – Purchase the Rider Waite Tarot Deck (this includes the Radiant Rider Waite or Universal Rider Waite). 

I believe that this is the ideal deck for anyone who is learning to read the tarot. My reasons for this are numerous. One, almost every book you read when learning the meanings of the cards will feature images from the Rider Waite. This makes it very simple to transfer the knowledge from the book to the cards you are working with. Two, almost all tarot decks available for sale are based on the imagery found in the Rider Waite. If you can learn to read with this deck, you can learn to read with nearly any deck you want to work with. Sometimes when I read with an art deck (like the Wild Unknown), I close my eyes and see the images from the Rider Waite to help me determine the meaning of a card. I am very glad this was the first deck I learned.

Here is a comparison between the Rider Waite and some other popular decks. Can you guess the meaning of the card? Do you see how the card on the right doesn’t convey quite the same meaning? The meaning is the same, but it is harder to intuitively pick up on it.

Tip 2 – Purchase books on the meaning of the tarot cards and read, read, read. 

There are a growing number of readers who identify as intuitive readers (meaning they use their intuition alone to determine the meaning of the tarot cards), but I think it is critical to learn the traditional meanings. This will enable you to work with more decks if you choose to expand your collection. It is relatively easy to read the Rider Waite intuitively, especially the minors. But when you work with more abstract decks like the Thoth or the Wild Unknown, it is great to have an index of symbols and meanings associated with each card.

I also suggest you seek out information from the best and brightest in the field of tarot. My personal favorites include Benebell Wen, Marcus Katz, Rachel Pollack, Mary Greer, Eden Grey, and Joan Bunning. Here are a list of some of my favorite tarot books.

Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen (I just got this, but I know it’s going to be one of my favorites. It’s thicker than the Bible.)

Llewelyn’s Complete Book of Tarot by Anthony Louis

78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack

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Tip 3 – Commit to drawing at least one card daily.

Each and every day, draw a card in the morning. Write it down in a journal along with the date. Write down everything you know about the card. As the day progresses, be sure to pay attention to how the energy of that card plays out in your life. At the end of the day, write down any notes from what you observed. Then, look up the meaning in one of your books and jot down any meanings or symbols you may have missed. The best way to truly learn the meaning of a card is to experience it on your own. Journaling is an excellent way to record your personal experiences with each card in the deck.

Tip 4 – Study!

You aren’t going to learn tarot without commitment to studying regularly. When I was learning I didn’t go a day without reading, listening, or talking about the tarot. Podcasts, audiobooks, regular books, blogs… Consume them all.

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BE LIKE THIS GUY
Personally, I would recommend tackling the meaning of the cards in the following order.

The Major Arcana (you must understand the Fool’s Journey)

The Wands

The Cups

The Swords

The Pentacles

The Court Cards

For some reason, court cards were the most challenging for me to master. I suppose that is why I saved them for last. You may wish to tackle them first. The choice is yours.

I also recommend sticking to the upright meaning of each card at first. Reversals can be very confusing for a beginning reader.

Tip 5 – Join the tarot community.

The tarot community is alive and thriving. Where I live, I am lucky to have an entire “fortune-telling family” that supports and encourages each other. If you live in the Tallahassee area, there is a fantastic FREE tarot class held every Sunday by one of Tallahassee’s best and most experienced readers, Leah. Please contact me for details. These are the people you need in your life!

Sadly, this isn’t a possibility for many people throughout the world. Fear not, because as long as you have Facebook, you are among friends. Reach out and join some tarot groups. Here are the Facebook groups I couldn’t live without.

  • Tarot Tarot Tarot (this is definitely aimed at beginners, and provides new tarot readers a place to exchange readings and get feedback in a public forum)
  • Tarot Professionals (over 24,000 members and counting!)
  • Tarot Rebels (just don’t post pictures from Rider Waite here – this is for other decks only)
  • Tarot Nerds

If I follow these tips, how long until I’m proficient with tarot?

I would say that with six months to a year of devoted daily practice and study you can learn to read for yourself, as well as friends and family, rather fluently.

*SOAPBOX ALERT*

Under no circumstances do I feel it is ethical to charge for readings until you have completed at least 50 free readings for your friends, family, and strangers. Once you are comfortable with several spreads and can ascertain the meaning of the cards without using a guidebook, you may be ready to charge for a reading. You may decide never to charge for a reading. Whatever floats your boat!

 Also, I don’t believe there comes a point in the life of any tarot reader when you are finished learning the tarot.

The truth is, professional tarot readers never tire of discussing and learning about the tarot. As a tarot tribe we all learn from each other. The more we work with others who share our passion, the better we get at our craft. The task of learning about tarot is never done.

Have fun on your journey!

XO Bethany

The Genius of Kim Krans

Lost in the Wild (Unknown)

It isn’t often that I get obsessed with artists, writers, and poets. But it happens, and when it does I simply can’t get enough of them. As a result, I will read/listen to/watch as many of their creations as I can get my hands on. Some of my previous obsessions include (in chronological order): Stephen King, Radiohead, Quentin Tarantino, Cormac McCarthy, Arcade Fire, Sylvia Plath, and The National.

My latest obsession is with artist/writer Kim Krans, the creator of the Wild Unknown.

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Photo credit: Portland Apothecary
To begin with, she is beautiful, creative, and intelligent. But my admiration goes far beyond that.  I sincerely admire her creative drive. She has passion and an amazing work ethic that has led her to create music, calendars, a tarot deck, an oracle deck, a children’s book, jewelry, clothing, and more. Her creative vision is unstoppable, and her art will live on forever. As an aspiring writer and artist she is the quintessential role model.

Not that it came easy. Kim worked hard to hone her craft. This is how she answered Portland Apothecary when asked what she turns to for inspiration in her work.

“Aritsts memoirs, biographies, and interviews. Its easy to look at others and think wow, they have it all, their life is perfect, their success came easy, etc. This leads us to feeling disconnected and bummed out. But when you read the actual stories of people’s lives, you hear all that they have gone through to get where they are, all the resistance that could’ve stopped them at any point. Its very uplifting to read stories like this, to know the truth of an artist’s life instead of a projection.”

Girl crush.

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Photo Credit: Live the Moment
It wasn’t long ago that I purchased the Wild Unknown Tarot deck, and I was instantly smitten. It is incredible. So when I learned there was an accompanying oracle deck called the Animal Spirit deck, well, I couldn’t exactly wait until Christmas to get it. I encouraged my husband to buy a new video game and I placed my order ($56 with shipping) guilt-free. He gets his, I get mine.

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The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Guidebook, $50
The Animal Spirit oracle is the perfect accompaniment to the Wild Unknown tarot. While the Wild Unknown Tarot provides a clear glimpse of all elements of day-to-day life, the Wild Spirit oracle provides a big picture view of our personal development. As you all know, the person we are today is not the person we were last year. We are constantly growing and evolving, changing and morphing. Using this deck in tandem with the tarot deck provides a deeper glimpse at ourselves and our current place in life, as well as where we are going.

Kim fashioned this oracle deck and the animals therein around the five elements – earth, fire, water, air, and spirit. This further enhances the connection of this deck with the world at large.

I decided to use this deck to enhance a reading with the Wild Unknown. The example is below. In recent months I have felt a strong desire to write my own story with tarot and/or continue to education on a completely new path, so I decided to probe that issue.

Question: What do I need to know about my calling to work professionally and/or write about tarot?

 

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Past-Present-Future
Past 

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WU Tarot – Son of Swords (Forceful, Determined)
I jumped into reading professionally and developing a website and blog with a lot of unbridled energy. My efforts were bold, and I certainly didn’t ask for or consider the input of others in moving forward. My efforts were exhaustive and I didn’t take it slow. Within the course of a few days I had a blog and a website completely operational.

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WU Animal Spirit – Cosmic Egg (Completion, Harmony, The Infinite within the Finite)
This is the final card of the Animal Spirit deck, and it represents cosmic completion and the seventh chakra. The decision to move forward with reading professionally and writing about tarot was based on the long journey I took in exploring it. It was only after a long period of dedicated study and practice that it was set into motion. Only when I felt I was fully developed in this area did I proceed.

Present

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WU Tarot – The Lovers (Union, Desire, Joy)
At this point I am reading professionally but certainly not enough to justify leaving my career in education. I have choices to make about where I go from here. I need to decide what my next steps are. I have been feeling torn about where I should focus my attention.  Should I return to school for another advanced degree to further my career in education or psychology, or should I honor my creativity and spirituality and pursue learning that supports my spiritual desires? Or, should I continue my day job and dedicate myself to a daily writing practice? Whatever I choose, I must honor and nourish my relationship with the tarot. It is my passion.

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WU Animal Spirit – Turtle (Ancient Soul, Trusting, At Home in the Self)
The turtle is grounded and connected to life. It collects life experiences and preserves these ideas under its shell for the future. The turtle energy is the energy of writers and storytellers. My current experiences are teaching me where to go from here.

Future

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WU Tarot – 10 of Pentacles (Fulfillment, Abundance)
A welcome sign – there is fulfillment and abundance in the future! The groundwork I lay now will result in success and achievement in the material plane. Whatever I choose to pursue will ensure a firm financial footing for myself and for my family.

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WU Animal Spirit – Frog (Clearing, Cleansing, Healing)
It is imperative that I remember to take care of myself even as abundance abounds on the material plane. There is a tendency in the frog to become overworked and undernourished. Connecting to the source is paramount. Though frogs spend much time on land, water is critical to them! Water is rejuvenating to frogs, so when I feel bogged down I should seek renewal in lakes, rivers, or the ocean. This is an easy task as I live in Florida and am surrounded by all of the above!

I hope you have enjoyed this peek at the Animal Spirit deck. If you enjoy the Wild Unknown I would suggest adding this to your collection when feasible. As the Wild Unknown is the deck I purchased exclusively for my own readings, I simply couldn’t resist and I find it compliments my readings with the deck nicely.

 

The Wild Unknown 

Diving into the Wild Unknown

(This post contains expletives)

Here in the United States, yesterday was Election Day, but I will more fondly remember yesterday at the day MY MOTHERFUCKING WILD UNKNOWN tarot deck finally arrived!

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I was so excited to finally have this deck in my possession, having ordered it on September 25th and being forced to wait what felt like forever. Once I took it out of the Amazon packaging I promptly poured myself a big glass of wine and filmed my first unboxing video, which I immediately deleted because it was so terrible. I’m not made for film, folks.

The deck and guidebook did not disappoint. I am honestly so impressed with every aspect of this deck. Kim Krans created a beautiful work of art when she designed these tarot cards and the packaging for them is just as exquisite. The kit contains a gorgeous, sturdy guidebook that is really well done. I find the card meanings align very closely to a traditional Rider Waite deck, though the art is certainly different. The card stock is pretty good, maybe a little thin, but far better than some other decks (Thoth and the Gilded Tarot, for example).

The biggest distinction with this deck is that is features only animals, no people. For some that may be a turnoff, but it wasn’t a problem for me.

The court cards feature owls (swords), snakes (wands), swans (cups),  and deer (pentacles). Here are the “Fathers” of the court, aka the Kings.

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Now, I present to you some of my favorite cards from this truly rewarding deck.
The Majors:
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The Devil (this reminds me of Black Philip in The Witch): Addiction and Negativity
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The Chariot: Strong Will and Triumph
The Minors:

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Nine of Swords: I know the worms aren’t visually appealing, but there is nothing appealing about the Nine of Swords. Dark visions and Anguish

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Ten of Wands: Burdens, Blockage, Difficulty
 

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Ten of Cups: Radiating Energy

I am enthralled by the artwork on this deck and highly recommend it to anyone who may be considering adding this to their collection. I am looking forward to using this for my daily readings.

 

Prep Work 

Preparing for a Tarot Reading

I am an intuitive reader who prides herself on honest and open readings, and I consider it an honor and privilege to connect with spirit and help people. I am committed to an ethical spiritual practice and ensuring that my clients are satisfied with their readings.

Tarot readings are a tool for providing you with divine guidance in life. I take my responsibility as a tarot reader very seriously. If I cannot establish a connection with you and spirit, I will end the reading and refund your money. Most of the time, however, spirit shows up and information will begin to flow.

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My office, encapsulated by the Florida sun.
A reading can greatly benefit people who are open and empowered to take control of their lives. I believe the future is predictable, but not predetermined. We have the power to change the future and that power lies in our day-to-day actions. In a tarot reading, we will analyze where you are. We can then look at your future and give you an idea of what you can expect if you stay on your current path. If you do not like what the cards predict, we can discuss strategies to change your outcome.

It’s easy to get a reading from me – even if you are across an ocean. Spirit doesn’t require that we be in the same place at the same time. I am able to connect energetically with only your name, though I find a photo and birthday to be very helpful in establishing a connection.

If you are on the fence, please check out testimonials from my clients. If you have questions you can always contact me here (it may take up to 24 hours for me to respond).

Visit my Book a Reading page and locate the kind of reading you want. Payment will be sent through PayPal. I will contact you within 24-48 hours to confirm that I have received your payment and verify the details of the reading you wish to receive.

Once you have ordered a reading please send me your name and date of birth. I also need you to send me your question and the method through which you wish to receive your reading. You may send any additional information or other necessary details about your situation if you wish. I find a photo can be helpful in connecting with a long-distance client, and the birthday allows me to delve more fully into astrology which complements the tarot.

Here are tips to prepare for a phone, Skype, or Facebook Messenger reading:

  • I will call/contact you at our scheduled time. If you do not answer or respond, your payment will be forteited.
  • Make sure you are in a quiet space and will not be interrupted.
  • Prepare your questions in advance.
  • Refrain from asking the same question again and again – this will never produce a good reading.
  • The future is not predetermined! If you do not like something that comes up in a reading, know that you always have free will and can alter your life any way that you wish.
  • Timing is the hardest thing to predict. A tarot reading can only give a general outlook on timing.

 Here are tips for an email reading:

  • Make your question as specific as possible.
  • If you have requested a general reading, you may respond with three follow up questions. Once completed, your reading is done. If you want to continue to go deep on a question, it may be best for you to seek a phone reading instead.
  • You may ask between 1 – 3 follow up questions within several days of the reading and I will gladly respond.
  • Do not try to wrap more than one question into one. It may confuse the energy of the reading.  One thing at a time is always best and leads to a more focused answer.
  • Timing is the hardest thing to predict. A tarot reading can only give a general outlook on timing.

Final Notes:

  • Please refer to my ethics and business policies here. I will not perform readings on medical, health, pregnancy, or any other issues for which I am not qualified.
  • I do not “tarot stalk,” meaning I will not read to pry into someone else’s life except for how it may intersect with your own.
  • Once I receive payment and your information, all readings are usually completed within 24-48 hours. If you book a reading over the weekend or during holidays it may take longer but I will be in communication immediately as to timeline.
  • I reserve the right to refuse to read for any client and will refund any money paid.
  • I will not read for anyone under 18.

 

 

 

A Peek into the Psychic Capital of the World

The Importance of Ethics in the Psychic Realm: A Story from Cassadaga

Earlier this year I visited the mecca of the psychic world: Cassadaga, Florida. This quaint, sleepy town is the hub of the modern spiritualist movement. It has been termed, “the psychic capital of the world,” with more psychics and mediums per capita than anywhere else across the globe.

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A myriad of psychics located directly across the street from the Cassadaga Hotel.
How did this come to be? Were individuals with psychic abilities drawn to this region of Florida like a moth to a flame? I’m afraid it isn’t that interesting, but still notable.

In the early 20th century a group of people within the budding spiritualist movement left their home in upstate New York following their leader, George Colby. As a young man, Colby was told during a séance that he would someday be instrumental in founding a spiritualist community in the south. In 1875, that prophecy was fulfilled when he was led through the wilderness of Florida to an area surrounded with hills by a spirit guide named “Seneca.” There he established the Cassadaga Spiritualist camp, fondly named after the city of Cassadaga, New York, that he and the others had left behind.

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A photo beside Spirit Pond (which is said to have cured Colby of tuberculosis)
The first night there my husband and I enjoyed dinner at the historic (and haunted) Cassadaga Hotel, which hosts séances twice a month with one of their seasoned mediums. We did not attend the séance, though I did have a session with esteemed medium Rev. Judy Cooper while I was visiting. One night, 15-minute tarot “mini-readings” were being offered during dinner, and I encouraged my husband to get one.

It was disappointing to say the least. The reader was insistent that my husband, if not currently in the medical field, would work in the medical field soon. When he explained that he actually manages a very successful pest control office, she was insistent that he would go back to school and become a doctor.

Now I don’t claim to know the future, but this really missed the mark for us. The odds that my husband will quit his job, go to college for the next 8 years, and become a doctor are about as likely as winning the lottery. Nonetheless, he shelled out $20 for the reading and returned to dinner with me disappointed with the experience.

Later that night during our coming and going from the restaurant, we overheard the conversation of several readers in the lobby, one of which was my husband’s. They were discussing business as readers and we distinctly heard his reader say, “You have to fake it before you make it, right?!

When it comes to psychics and mediums, there are quite a few phonies out there who spoil it for the rest of us. These individuals bring shame upon us lightworkers who honor spirit and only operate from the highest good.

I have spent most of my life as a public servant and a teacher, and I am committed to working with the tarot with only the highest ethical standards. I will tell you what I see in the cards, honestly and clearly. If we do not connect during a reading and I cannot be certain of the message, I will not take your money.

Please take a moment to review my ethical principles and business policies that govern my work at Namaste Tarot Readings and let me your thoughts below.

Read here: http://www.namastetarotreadings.com/ethics-and-business-policies.html

Card #13

Make Friends with Death

 

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How many times has a tarot card reader had to explain the Death card to a frightened querent?

Don’t worry! The Death card doesn’t mean death – it means change and transformation.” No doubt more than one of us has received a skeptical look as we try to assuage the fears of our client upon seeing this ominous card.

This is a much easier explanation if your deck featured a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis on the Death card, as I imagine some deck out there does (surely there is a butterfly-themed tarot deck out there). But in most decks, a skeletal being almost always represents Death. Also present is a sickle, reminiscent of the grim reaper. Traditional Rider Waite decks often portray this figure on horseback with dead and dying people left in its wake.

The Thoth deck is wrought with imagery and symbolism. In Crowley’s Death card, he portrays the figure busy at work with the sickle, slashing it back and forth, creating bubbles in its wake. A variety of figures in various stages of life are shown in the watery images. It also features a snake, a symbol of resurrection and reincarnation, and a scorpion that reminds us that this card is associated with the astrological sign Scorpio.

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The Death card is the sign that the butterfly needs to emerge from its chrysalis, and that it’s time for the snake to shed its skin. Like these creatures, we humans also metaphorically need to shed from time to time. On our path we must grow and change into the people we are meant to be.

We are fluid beings and every experience leaves us changed. And yet we all know of someone, perhaps ourselves even, who sometimes allows themselves to get stuck for too long. While some of us love change, others detest it.

I love change, and I applaud the Death card (hence the title). Recently the Death card worked its way through my life as I found the strength to work my way out of my own comfortable chrysalis. I spent much time hiding in the “broom closet” as most of my family members are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was raised to believe that anything to do with the occult or spiritualism was simply communication with the Devil. I was terrified of what my family would think of me when they found out that not only was I not a practicing Jehovah’s Witness, but I was a practicing tarot reader and part-time Pagan!

Sadly, my last living grandmother passed away very suddenly this May. I never wanted to disappoint her, because she was so loving, gentle, and innocent. She was deeply afraid of the occult and I didn’t want to break her heart with my fascination with the topic. With her passing, I found the courage to be more transparent about who I am as a person. A new time had begun in my life and it, ironically, started with death.

The coming out was just the first part of my transformation, as this year has given me several personal challenges that are causing me to reconsider who I am as a person and how I want to live my life. At 36, I’m beginning to realize the importance of living for ourselves, and not to simply conform to what society expects of us.

Thank you, Death, for helping me to grow and change into the person I was born to become. I look forward to the next visit, dear friend.