Page 2 of 17

A month late – Playing at Beltane

I completed this exercise & wrote this post over a month ago. I hummed and hawed about posting it. Then I forgot my humming and hawing. 😁 I found it again in drafts and am posting it now, for no other reason that I believe it is arrogant to assume no one is interested in or can learn from what we have to say. Always let the reader decide.
I have a process I go through when learning a new deck. I’m a book person. Two degrees and enough random credits for a 3rd, I like the certainly of the printed word and work my way through a deck with references at first.

Of course, The longer I play this game, the shorter the time before I remove this crutch.

It’s still there with the Wildwood. This is my first multi-card reading with the deck. I thought I’d share, books and all.

The morning of Beltane, I ‘lit my fire’ (burned my incense), opened my blinds to welcome the God as he entered the sky and say ‘so long’ to the Goddess (she being full and in my ‘wheelhouse’ in Scorpio) and shuffled my deck.

I am using Christine Jette’s “May Queen Beltane Spread” from her fabulous book ‘Tarot for all Seasons’. This five-card spread is laid out in a semi-circle, the cards placed from left to right in the rough shape of the floral crown of the May Queen.

The Wildwood Tarot includes a one word descriptor on each of its pip cards and a totem on each of its courts. I’ve included a picture them above.

Here is a brief summary of my Tarot journal work. Thought I’d share.

1. Safety – Ten of Vessels (Happiness) – I seem to need to share, to provide emotional support to others to feel safe within myself. This card is a reminder of both the importance of giving emotionally but also of the possibility of overdoing it, a common theme in the tens of the Tarot. Upon reflection, it is also a reminder that I need my own emotional safety before I can offer support freely. There is such a think as being too giving.

2. Abundance – Queen of Arrows (Swan) – This is a card of transformation. For abundance to flow, a change needs to occur and truths, not perception, need to come to the forefront. The Queen of Arrows can vicious… and accurate.

3. Regeneration – Knight of Stones (Horse) – A focus on physical activity & strength is a path to regeneration. But be weary, the knight is impulsive and the Horse is quick.  Starting is often easy but there is sometimes a struggle to know when enough is enough.

4. Love – Two of Stones (Challenge) – Material competition or rivalry may be present here. It is important to keep an eye on reality over perception (I detect a theme). 😉 I’m also noting the suit of stones, one that is about materialism & sensuality as opposed to the emotion or intellect. Sounds like challenges will show up in the tactile and tangible.

5. The Future – Note… I’m using the word because it is the one the author uses to hold this space in the spread but, I’ll let my bias show and say I am not a fan of ‘the future’ in Tarot-related contexts. Personally, I prefer “possible outcome”. I don’t see the Tarot (or anything else for that matter) as a tool to predict the future. I see it instead as a tool to reflect on one of an infinite number of possible outcomes. I respect others who see things differently.

Three of Bows (Fulfilment) – This card has the image of both a bow and an archer. It reminds me that the road to fulfilment is in the hands of the archer, provided (s)he can harness the potential of the bow to direct the arrow to its target.

This spread has provided one possible direction for the arrow to travel. Through the Beltane themes of safety, abundance, regeneration and love, one story has revealed itself.

Blessed Beltane to all.

Playing with a (New) Full Deck

A few weeks ago, after a lot of handling, a little humming and hawing, I purchased my first new Tarot deck in YEARS!  The beneficiary of my decision (other than our local Orangeville shop ‘Healing Moon’)?  The Wildwood Tarot.

It is this earth-based, wheel-of-the-year focused deck that eventually pushed me and my bank card to the point of no return. Since then, I’ve set aside time almost every day to go through the cards one at a time. I’ve grouped them by minors, majors and courts.  I’ve laid the deck out in ‘wheel’ fashion, (as suggested by ‘The Little White Book’ that accompanies this deck and pictured below) with the help of Merlin, our cat! 🙂

The art in the Wild Wood Tarot deck pictured above was created and copyrighted by – Merlin and the rug? Not so much.

I look to experience learning a new deck in different ways: visually, physically, intellectually and emotionally.  I shuffle the cards, ask a question, see what comes up. Sometimes, I go to the book, see what it says.  Other times, I want to connect them to previous knowledge of the other decks I use. I want to compare and contrast meanings and images. I want to feel the cards and look at them. I want to connect the deck’s  energy to my own. I want to ‘hear’ the cards as they speak to me.  By the end of the process, I want to know my deck. And I want to like it.

Eventually, I’ll do all of my ‘pagan-y’ deck prep. For me, that means I’ll cleanse the deck with a smudge. I’ll put it outside under a full moon.

But before I do any of that, I’ll play. A lot.

Which leads me to this question… How do you connect with a new deck?

Back at it: Exploring the Tarot with the Tarot

tarot spread - back at itIt has been roughly five years between blog posts in this space.

During that time I hadn’t stopped using the Tarot, but did so from a more private space. I became quiet in online groups, stopped client work, stopped teaching classes & leading workshops & shut down my website. In many ways, I tucked Peter White & White Sage Tarot into the back of the broom closet. 🙂

Recently, and within a short period of time, I had a renewed web presence when ‘Peter White Tarot’ came online. I joined a Tarot class. I attended a Tarot & Tea group. And decided to blog.

Thus reemergence seemed sudden and unexpected. I was curious. So, I turned to a familiar tool; a place I often go for guidance. I asked 4 questions. I drew 4 cards. And I decided to write about it.

Here is the spread I constructed and the questions I asked:

1. Why now?

This was the biggest question hanging over me. This resurgence in ‘public’ interest seemed to come out of nowhere. In response to this question, I drew the 8 of Swords reversed. It self a blindfold has been removed. Any restrictions that were binding me, however loosely, have fallen free. The signs leading me in a particular direction and may have gone unseen are now visible. Whatever was restricting me, for some reason, is no more.

2. What may support me?

First off, I didn’t feel the need to ask if this reemergence was a good idea. It seemed to be happening regardless. So the next 2 questions were of greater relevance to me. I wanted guidance around possibilities for support & opposition. I also placed these cards in an ‘above (support) & below (obstacle)’ configuration.

I drew the 9 of Pentacles first. Support will come from a place of hard work & discipline. It will also come from a place of abundance. The woman in her garden is enjoying the fruits of her labour. It looks like the fruits of my own may provide me with the support I’m looking for.

3. What may get in my way?

The 3 of Pentacles caught me a little off-guard here. Then I thought of my own creative work and my propensity to get stuck when things are not perfect. I can labour over the most minute detail instead of letting it go ‘as is’. This might be a reminder that good enough is at times good enough. Thanks 3 of P for the reminder! 😁

4. What may come of it?

The King of Pentacles, reversed…so it doesn’t look like becoming the Jeff Bezos of the Tarot world is ‘in the cards’. 😉 Non-material gains maybe? Leadership in other non-material areas, perhaps intellectual or spiritual. Or maybe this is an indicator of a more passive role. A more “non-King” like place. Or, perhaps the outcome of this journey is less positive and more likely to be unsatisfactory. In the end, not knowing is what makes the outcome of the journey interesting, isn’t it?

As always, the Tarot for me is never a tool of absolutes. It is instead a place for a perspective, drawn through the random process of shuffling and dealing a deck of cards, that I would not likely have come to otherwise. It is the food in my ‘food for thought’.

I’m glad to have re-embarked on my learning journey and to start sharing it again in a public space. Follow along, join me and participate in the comments section, if you like.


Peter White

Mobile Tarot

I’m curious. I keep a RWS clone deck in my car. I draw a card from my ‘mobile’ deck almost daily. Since the card is still there, just below my console, at the end of my day, it allows me to reflect on several questions for that day. Where did I see the card? In whom did I see the card? How did I work around challenges? How did I support myself and others? I find it a simple tool that increases my practice of self-reflection.

Anyone else using a ‘mobile’ deck?

SOTA Astrology Conference – 2012: For those interested in astrology, tarot and other means of divination, check out both the astrology tracks and the new ‘Spirit’ track at this year’s SOTA Astrology Conference.  The conference takes place from October 18th – 21st, 2012 in Niagara Falls, NY.  I will be opening the Spirit track with a one-hour overview of the tarot on Friday, October 19th.  Hope to see you there!  More information can be found here.

Tarot and the MRI

Tarot and MRIs not related? I beg to differ.

On Friday, I had one. It was to further explore the recurrence of old shoulder injury. The doctor’s office and the hospital had given me a little overview of the process. When I arrived, I waited 90 minutes – they didn’t explain that part – and, upon registration, they informed that I would need to be injected with an X-Ray dye prior to the MRI. The fluid would be inserted directly into my shoulder joint, guided by an X-Ray and a 2 1/2 inch needle. They didn’t explain that part, either.  Understand that, although I am not claustrophobic, my greatest fear is being buried alive so I was already less-than-comfortable with the upcoming MRI experience. The X-Ray preparation did not help the situation.

I knew I’d need to remain still. That was explained ahead of time. No one mentioned just how still. My doctor knows that ‘idle’ is not a speed at which my engine typically runs. When the technician informed me that I’d need to remain perfectly still for 25 minutes, I smiled.  This could be a long afternoon. After the first few minutes, I could sense my muscles twitching. My need to take deep breaths increased. My shoulder began to throb. I became aware of my restricted mobility and wanted to do something about it.  “Stop moving, please!” is barely audible through the sound-blocking headphones she had placed on my head. Although I couldn’t feel myself move, I knew I was struggling and was strongly considering pressing the ‘panic button’ resting in my closed fist. Then I started to picture the four of Swords in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The image came to me out of nowhere. It has been an image I’d conjure up if I was having a hard time relaxing but, as the length of time since my last post will attest, I haven’t made much time for the Tarot lately. I immediately entered the card in the same way I’d enter the home of a close but long-ignored friend. I looked around and took in my surroundings. I’ve been here before. My movement ceased almost instantly. A sense of calm came over me. Even the technician noticed and I heard a muffled “Thank you”. The rest of the procedure took place without difficulty.

I had forgotten the impact of those 78 little images I know so well. They have a place in even the most insignificant or unexpected situations; even after what seems like a significant amount of time away. On my way through Erin I stopped by Treehaven and bought the Llewellyn edition of the Gaian Tarot deck to complement my limited edition.

Welcome back, old friend. I’ve missed you.