Vampires: Psychic, Emotional, or Energy

The Vampire Spread with The Bohemian Gothic Tarot – second edition.  Karen Mahoney and Alexandr Ukolov of Baba Studio, Magic Realist Press, 2010.

This spread can be used anytime, not just Halloween.  It looks at people or situations that somehow seem to drain the life and energy from us, much like a Vampire would drain it’s victim’s blood.  Have you ever experienced being around someone and feel that all your energy, your vitality has been sucked right out of you?   Emotional, Energy, and Psychic Vampires are terms used to describe people whose influence leaves a person feeling exhausted, unfocused and depressed.   This spread might help someone to explore this phenomena.

  1. Who or What is draining my energy?   Queen of Cups
  2. Why am I vulnerable to this?   Strength
  3. What is the main effect this is having on me?  Eight of Cups
  4. What should I do in order to avoid  this happening?  Seven of Cups
  5. One further piece of advice about the situation.   Ten of Swords

This is a great spread that can really shed some light on this area of your life.  If you have ever come away from a situation or person, and it leaves you feeling emotionally drained and exhausted, this is a spread I recommend trying.  Once you become aware, you can prepare yourself better for any future encounters.

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year and holiday.  Ok, it’s not an official holiday, but, as far as I’m concerned, it should be.  Autumn brings the cooler temperatures, beautiful crisp colors, crunchy leaves falling, and fun costumes!  And candy, we can’t forget the candy, scary party themes, and trick or treating.

It’s also a great time to bring out my Halloween or darker theme  Tarot decks.   The Halloween Tarot by Karin Lee and illustrated by Kipling West, is a great example of all this fun.  And what luck! I found an exercise (designed specifically with this deck in mind) by Janina Renee’ on her web/blog, Tarot Magic Adventures.     (For the full post and instructions, please follow the above link.)

Per Janina’s instructions, while shuffling your deck (you can use any deck) form the question,Please show me five things that scare me.  Then, turn the deck over, face up and proceed to draw one card for each suit, Ghosts-Cups, Pumpkins-Pentacles, Bats-Swords, and Imps-Wands, plus the first Major Arcana you come to.  It does not matter in what order you draw them.  You can see in my example above the cards I drew for this exercise:  The High Priestess, Knight of Pumpkins, Ace of Ghosts, Seven of Bats and Ten of Imps.  I left mine in the order that I drew them.

Everyone has something that scares them, makes them feel anxious, or just things we avoid because they make us feel uncomfortable.  Do yourself a favor and visit the link above to get the whole picture for this fun and informative exercise.   Find out what “scares” you and face it.

Have a Happy and safe Halloween (Samhain) everyone!

Review – Today’s Journey Tarot

Author:  Expanding Dimensions

Artist/Illustrator:  Christopher Wilkey

Publisher:  Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN:  978-0-7643-3905-9

     “Today’s Journey Tarot  is a fresh approach to the ancient wisdom offered by the classic Tarot.  Everyday experiences come alive with the power of archetypal imagery.  The deck of seventy-eight cards represents the true essence of the Tarot: spiritual enlightenment, transformation, and discovery as humanity expands into new dimensions.  It is easy to relate to the contemporary symbolism without struggling to understand the esoteric ideology.”  (excerpt from the Introduction)   

Who are Expanding Dimensions?  The members, Ben Perry, Teresa Sue McAdams, John Lavey, Pat Lavey, Bonnie Taylor, are from Louisville, Kentucky.  They have spent years studying the Tarot and they read professionally at psychic fairs, other events, and privately for clients.

You can find out more about this collection of friends and authors through the link above and through their blog-website at: blog. Today’

As mentioned before, this is a 78 card deck and it is based on traditional Tarot structure and meanings.  There are some major differences, although I do not feel that this makes it difficult to read with.  The Major Arcana are all renamed,  referred to as “Keys” and numbered 0-21.  The Aces are designated “One”; the court cards are, Child, Youth, Mother, Father; and the suits are Water, Air, Fire, and Earth.  Each card in the suit is surrounded by a border which reflects that particular suit’s element.  All of the “Key” cards have a purple border.

In the above example, you will notice that Key 0, Beginning, is better known as The Fool.  Key 19, Illumination, is better known as The Sun.  Key 14, Discernment, (aka Temperance) was not quite as apparent to me as the other two, but a quick glance at the Keywords in the LWB, Equilibrium; Harmony; and Balance, cleared up any initial confusion.

The booklet that comes with the deck shows a black and white copy of each card, the Keywords, a brief description of the image and the symbols that are incorporated into the image, as well as the meaning for the card.  There are no reversed or shadow meanings in the book.

The cards are printed on a sturdy card stock with a gloss finish and measure approximately 2″ 7/8 x 4″ 7/8.   The  booklet is the same size and they both come packaged in the Schiffer sturdy storage box with a ribbon-hinged lid and metallic clasp.  Perfect to keep your deck in between uses.  The backs are reversible and have a merkaba, a symbolic vehicle to reach enlightenment.  You will notice this same symbol repeated repeated throughout the deck.  “Mer” means light, “Ka” means spirit and “Ba” means body.  The merkaba is a spirit body of light.  A vehicle to expanding dimensions. (lwb)

All of the images show either a contemporary scene or people acting and reacting in a world and situations we can all recognize and relate to, especially in the Minor’s.

The Keywords for each card in the image above, are listed as follows.  The Eight of Fire – Energy, Movement.  The Six of Air – Journey.  Ten of Earth – Legacy, Bounty, Cycles of Life.  And the Five of Water – Regret, Disappointment, Attachment.

I’d like you to meet a few members of the Court, one from each suit.  The Father of Earth;  Abundance and Endurance, The Mother of Fire;  Creates success, Strength, and Mature Passion.  The Youth of Water;  Outpouring of Love and Emotional intensity.  The Child of Air is full of New Ideas and Optimism.

For the purposes of this review, I asked the question, “What would you say is your strongest point and message?”  Enter, the One of Water.

LWB Keywords:  Unconditional Love; Deep Emotion. – The sea, expressing its many aspects flows from calm to chaotic.  It nourishes all life.

For me this means that whether you use Today’s Journey Tarot for your own personal self exploration, with clients, or simply as a meditation tool, you can rest assured the intention is one of unconditional love.  Our journey is nothing if not an emotional one, and although those emotions can range from pure joy to utter despair, they will usually fall somewhere in between those extremes.  Water is sustaining, healing, cleansing and celebrates life.

I was a bit worried that the images for this deck would be “too” contemporary for my more traditional tastes, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Today’s Journey Tarot is very real and relevant to our modern day lifestyles, and yet it’s not a new system to learn.  It’s very easy to pick up and read with as you would with your favorite traditional deck.   Check it out for yourself and see if you don’t agree with me.

In the meantime here is Wishing you an Enchanted Journey and Happy Tarot’ing!

Review and Chat with Tarot Leaves

Title:  Tarot Leaves

Author and Artist:  Beth Seilonen

Publisher:  Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 2011

ISBN:  978-0-7643-3903-5

Introduction                                                                                                                                                                                                                           “The purpose of this Tarot is to offer an interpretation to the art of the Tarot Leaves through the artists’ eyes.  This deck utilizes symbols that are commonly found throughout Tarot, though it does take departure from the standard, as the images are seen through the silhouettes of leaves.”

Tarot Leaves is a 78 card deck which uses the shapes of Maple, Apple, Oak, and Birch leaves, to illustrate the symbolism utilizing color to help convey the meaning.  The deck structure is traditional with 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minors.  Strength is number eight (8), which makes Justice number eleven (11).  The cards are approximately 2.75 x 4.5 and have a high gloss finish on heavy yet pliable, cardstock.  The finish felt a little sticky to me when I first started using the deck, but, I found that the more I shuffled and worked with the cards, the smoother they handled.  The Court is made up of King, Queen, Knight, and Page.  The Major Arcana have retained their traditional titles and the four suits of the minors remain Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles.  The art is surrounded by a white border and the backs are reversible.  The palette runs from lovely pale pastels to rich and vibrant russet.

Beth describes the suits as follows:  “The spiritual aspects of this deck were drawn from those memorable places where the connections to the higher self developed a heightened sense to the world around.  Seeing abundance (Pentacles and Coins) was more than just about money;  thoughts (Wands) developed into ethics and philosophy; spiritual (Cups) grew into greater understanding of the beauty of life itself;  and actions (Swords) in daily life had a profound effect on intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships.”  As you can see there is only a slight variance to the more commonly applied associations.

The companion book (lwb-little white book) is 95 pages and includes a black and white copy of each card with a definition for upright and reversed orientation.  Also included are two spreads and author’s notes.  The book and deck both tuck snugly in the beautifully illustrated and very sturdy box.

I met Beth briefly at the Readers Studio Conference this past year at her vendor table where she displayed several of her beautiful self published decks.  Beth has created approximately 60 different decks, each with it’s own unique style & flavor.  Please visit Beth’s website for more information.

I have to admit that when I first saw this deck advertised I was a bit skeptical in it’s readability.  That was totally unfair, as I soon found out once I started working it.  It didn’t take me long to realize just how readable and engaging it is.   This deck would be suitable for an experienced as well as a novice reader.

I sat down to have a little chat with Tarot Leaves, and when I asked who would be speaking on behalf of the deck the Chariot immediately  volunteered her services.  She stated that she was “the most qualified since she is able to maintain balance between the light and dark aspects of life that permits one to be ready for whatever comes along.”  Ok, sounds good to me.  Lets meet some of the other members and see how the light and dark aspects are balanced.

 The Queen of Wands is the creative live wire that exists in everyone.  She greets whatever comes at her, head on.  On the other hand, the Four of Swords refuses to look at the truth and will be taken by surprise.

Judgment stands on the edge of day and night and faces her reality, releasing the past and accepting the present to move on to her future.  The Eight of Cups turns away overwhelmed, fearful, and dissatisfied.

The Tower  and the Three of Pentacles, tearing down what has been planned and built.

The hope and healing found in The Star,  and the hopelessness and despair as seen in the Three of Swords.

Thank you Tarot Leaves and especially Chariot, for sharing these lovely examples with us.  I think we can all see the importance of balance and the lessons we learn in the process of achieving that balance.    I have certainly enjoyed working with this deck and look forward to a long relationship into the future.   Thumbs up for quality, readability, beauty, and uniqueness.