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Thanksgiving

This weekend, in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It seemed like the appropriate time to ask the following two questions:

For what can we give thanks? Elder of Air – Gaian Tarot

Elder of Air - Gaian Tarot
Elder of Air - Gaian Tarot

 

Interesting that Joanna Powell Colbert, creator of the Gaian Tarot, uses the phrase “a grandfather’s prayer of thanksgiving” (I drew the card randomly, honest I did!) as one of the descriptors for this card. As it relates to the question, we can give thanks for the counsel and the wisdom of our elders.   There is a vast well of knowledge available to us that those who have come before us has left for us to use. We need to recognize it and hear it… truly hear it.  See the flute in the elder’s hands? Listen carefully and we can hear its familiar song.  For that we say, ‘Thank you.’

Where can we show our gratitude? Four of Air – Gaian Tarot.

Four of Air - Gaian Tarot
Four of Air - Gaian Tarot

Note the four eggs in the robin’s nest. They’re tucked in tightly, like we would a young baby. We can show our gratitude by taking the wisdom of our elders and making it ours. Tuck it in and make it safe. Only once we have truly embraced and embodied what those before us intrinsically knew, lived and share with us every day can we find the sacred security represented in the Four of Air.

Suggestion on moving the above into action:  Find a forest, go for a walk and marvel and the rich colours. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you have a beautiful palette of reds, oranges and yellows. Place your hand on a tree and feel the pulse of life moving through it. Know that the forest is alive and thriving and listen for the Voice of all those who came before. With both cards coming from the suit of Air (swords), I’m sure there’s something to hear!

For those of you in the Orangeville area, there are still two spots left in our Tarot Study group. It starts on October 13th at 7:00 in my space with the Fool and will walk through the entire deck over the next 10 months. Contact me at whitesagetarot@gmail.com or 1-519-217-7243 if you’re interested in joining us.

A New Deck – Aquarian Tarot

Did I really need another Tarot deck?  Since I needed to head in to T.O. anyways, I figured a little drive to the Occult Shop on Vaughn was warranted. I found David Palladini’s Aquarian Tarot for under $20. The last time I found a little Tarot bargain, I was wandering the streets of Orangeville and came across an as-yet-unidentified version of the Rider-Waite at a garage sale for one dollar. I’m nothing if not a sucker for a deck deal.

David Palladini’s deck intrigued me not because of its influence on the Tarot community (Tarosophist International v.5 has a great interview with David Palladini) but because of his artistry on Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon. I read this book when it first came out in 1987. I am a huge Stephen King fan. In my early 20s at the time, it was the first Stephen King book that I could remember that was illustrated. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that the artist and creator or the Aquarian Tarot and the illustrator of my Stephen King book were one and the same.

Although the images don’t ‘grab me’ in the same way the Gaian, RWS or the Gilded Tarot do or inspire me in the way the Osho Zen Tarot does, I am nonetheless thrilled to add one more deck to my growing collection.

Full Moon in Aries – Priestess + Emperor = Empress

At almost the same moment I began creating this post (and wondering WTH I’m doing up at this hour), the Moon became full. This occured only moments after it transitioned from Pisces to Aries. This Full Moon occurs only hours after the autumnal equinox (a term I used yesterday in my school-wide writing prompt and which sent most young writers scrambling for a reference of some kind). My previous post explored the Sun’s movement into Libra from a ‘Tarot perspective’.

My favourite astrologer Kelly Surtees  stated that the Moon moving into Aries was a prime time to fight for fairness for the underdog.  This seems also to apply when we look at this through our Tarot lens. Very few cards better represent the underdog then our Priestess, the Tarot card associated with the Moon. Champion of feminine strength and wisdom, intuitive healer, mysterious master of the dark, her worth is often unjustly underrated by patriarchal structure. She  frequently lives in the shadows. With her full Moon in Aries, she dons the garments of the emperor, which the Sun wore just six months ago.  If the Sun represents our ‘best-self’, the Moon best represents our shadow self, the part of us Jung would associate with our instincts and our perceived flaws.

When cloaked in the Emperor’s robes, the Sun in Aries allowed us to focus on our ability to lead, increased our confidence and our level of assertiveness. Our Priestess, when  the Moon is in Aries, benefits from this imperial influence. This is indeed a time for us to stand up and be counted in whatever area of our life we feel disadvantaged. It is a time to shine the bright light of the Full Moon onto our shadow and celebrate our shortcomings.

The RWS Empress

What will you do to celebrate your imperfections? How will you recognize you’re ‘perfectly you’ just the way you are?

Interesting that when we delve a little deeper into the Full Moon (Priestess) in Aries (Emperor) we seem to find the Empress, card sometimes associated with the full phase of the Moon 🙂

Horoscope Spread workshop and ‘Major’ Free Talk

horoscope chart blank
horoscope chart blank

On Saturday, October 2nd, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Astrologer Kelly Surtees (www.kellysurtees.com) and I will be co-presenting a workshop in Orangeville, Ontario, entitled “The Horoscope Spread: Using tarot cards and the astrological houses to combine two ancient methods for insight and exploration”. This hands-on workshop will give you the opportunity to learn about and explore the 12-card Horoscope Tarot Spread using an astrologer and tarotist as guides. The cost of this 6-hour workshop is only $70. Please forward this information on to anyone you think might be interested. Contact me at whitesagetarot@gmail.com or Kelly at info@kellysurtees.com to book. Spaces are limited and early booking is recommended.

 
On Thursday, August 19th, I hosted a Free Tarot Talk in my space in Orangeville. Thank you to those of you who were in attendance. We had a wonderful time exploring the powerful “I see… / I am…” card method and spent almost an hour exploring some of my new decks. They all generated some great questions and discussion and each person seem to gravitate towards a favourite. The next talk will take place on Thursday, September 23rd’s Full Moon from 7:00 – 8:30, in my space in Orangeville. What a wonderful time to focus on “The Power of the Major Arcana”. We will look at a variety of divisions and groupings of these 22 cards. Please RSVP by September 16th so that I can plan accordingly. I will also provide you with more detailed location information. As always, any small donation to help cover the cost of coffee, tea and snacks is most welcome.
 
Interested in a Tarot reading? Book now and receive a FREE COPY of “The Fated Sky: Astrology in History” by Benson Bobrick, while supplies last. My rates for readings are currently $70 for a 1-hour reading and $100 for a 90-minute reading. Readings are available in person in Orangeville (easily accessible by car from anywhere in the GTA) or via phone or SKYPE. Please contact me at whitesagetarot@gmail.com or 519-217-SAGE (7243) for more details.

What I can see in tea

Tea Leaf reading
Tea Leaf reading

On Wednesday, July 21st, 2010, I attended a divination workshop at The Reiki Centre in Alliston, Ontario. It was led by Angel Lanthier, a local Raising Energy practitioner. She led an engaging workshop on different forms of divination. But more importantly, she gave us an opportunity to explore with Tarot cards, pendulums and tea leaves. Although I always enjoy Tarot activities regardless of the audience they’re geared towards, I really found the opportunity to play with tea leaf reading fascinating. As Angel explained it (and I am paraphrasing here), tea leaf reading explores the symbols that show up at the bottom of a tea cup after it has been drunk. It is helpful  to have the ‘imbiber’ focus with intent on a pressing question or issue.

And I find this to be the key.  Symbolism combined with intentional focus is also the key to working successfully with the Tarot.  I find time and again that symbols, wherever they may be, emerge when and where we need them. The images in the remnants of tea are not meaningful by themselves but, when they draw on the symbolic knowledge locked away in our subconscious, they can be quite powerful.  Symbols draw on our existing knowledge, be it individual or collective. Why did that bird at the bottom of a tea cup, in a cloud just over the horizon, in the folds and crevises of a crumpled piece of paper or in the background of the Rider-Waite-Smith Star card jump out at you today yet you missed it yesterday? Did you see it as a dove? Or perhaps a sparrow, an eagle, a pigeon or a vulture? Each of these birds brings significantly different associations to mind. Or why not just a meaningless smudge of tea at the bottom of a cup, wisps of water vapour against a clear blue backdrop or an insignificant image on the background of a printed card?

Food for thought: In what symbols can you find meaning today? When you see one, whether it’s the man who crossed your path who bears a striking resemblance to your late father, the way the dust bunnies you’re about to sweep up look a lot like an olive tree or the shape that colourful spilt liquid forms at the bottom of the Tarot card you just drew , take three breaths and ask yourself, ‘How can what I truly see in this moment be of assistance today? What is it that I need to know from what I’m seeing right now?’

I am hosting a Free Tarot Talk on Thursday, August 19th, from 7:00 – 8:30. It will be an open discussion. I will share some activities I learned at the Readers’ Studio 2010, talk briefly about my upcoming article but mostly give people a chance to play (so, as always, bring your deck if you have one) and ask/answer questions. Please RSVP at whitesagetarot@gmail.com or at 519-217-7243 if you have any questions or are planning on attending. Tea, coffee and snacks are provided. Although not required, a small donation to help cover the costs of refreshments is always appreciated.