The Decade Dance Tarot Spread

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It’s the last Saturday of the month, and that means it’s time once again for New Spread Saturday, a monthly photo challenge I co-host over on Instagram with Tabitha Dial. Please enjoy this brand new, original spread, and feel free to contribute your own spread to the event!

DECADE DANCE

Every decade has its own personality, with it own distinct musical stylings. Crank up the volume with me, and map the music of the last 100 years onto your own psyche!

1 = ’20s – Jazz – Where do you shine at improvisation?
2 = ’30s – Delta Blues – What makes you wail with anguish?
3 = ’40s – Swing – Where do you dance best when you have a partner?
4 = ’50s – Rock and Roll – What gets your inner rebel all fired up?
5 = ’60s – Psychedelia – How do you go about expanding your consciousness?
6 = ’70s – Heavy Metal/Funk/Disco/Prog Rock/Punk – Where do you need to take things to extremes?
7 = ’80s – New Wave – Where do you tend to infuse technology into your life?
8 = ’90s – Hip Hop – What part of you will burst free even if you try to suppress it?
9 = ’00s – Auto-Tune – Where in your life are you best able to fix your mistakes?
10 = ’10’s – EDM – What are the old things that you’re trying to make new again?

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Tarot Tip: Conjure Card Energies!

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My day was devoted to the first leg of one long-ass drive today. Day 2 tomorrow will see me tackling the back stretch of it. Before I left home, I decided to sit and stare at a version of the Chariot card, just to try to coax in some good travel vibes.

As you may well know, The Chariot can be about focusing your willpower so as to emerge triumphant from your attempts at forward progress.  It therefore seemed like a pretty appropriate card for this particular conjuring…

And hey, so far, so good: no mishaps, no speeding tickets, and no instances of me getting horribly lost (knocking on wood as I type this…). I might try the same trick tomorrow.

How about you: do you ever try to invite a relevant card’s energies into your day…?

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Tarot Tips: Free eBook!

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FREE eBook!

Tarot Tips is the first eBook that I’ll be publishing under the Arrow In Flight Metaphysics imprint. I ask you to pay special attention to that qualifying word “first,” because there should be plenty more such offerings following this one in the days ahead…

Meanwhile, this inaugural work is a short but helpful volume that collects up ten easy-to-implement techniques that can really deepen your connection with Tarot. These ideas have all been selected for being just a bit off-center from the usual Tarot teachings, and they should all strengthen your overall Tarot chops, and enable you to see the cards in new and intriguing ways.  If you’re looking to go beyond simply memorizing and reciting Tarot card meanings when you perform your readings, then this slim volume may be exactly what you need.

And best of all, the book is absolutely free!  Also, anyone interested in the Tarot Toolkit Online Course that I taught earlier this year with Vickie Wilson of Eternal Athena Tarot may find a bit of added incentive to take a good look through the pages!

Please give it a try, and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think of it. I hope that some of the techniques found inside will yield some real progress for you in your own Tarot practice.

If you’re ready to try out Tarot Tips, please do the following:

  1. Take a moment to sign up for the Arrow In Flight Mailing List.
  2. In the final “Subscription Confirmed” email that you’ll receive as part of the sign up process, you’ll find a link that will allow you to download your free copy of the Tarot Tips eBook.

And it’s as easy as that – thanks for reading!

Please note: this free eBook is being released as a tie-in to the Tarot Toolkit Online Course, which also may be of interest to you (look inside the eBook for a special Toolkit-related offer!):

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Kabbalah and Tarot

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TAROT TIP

It’s pretty common knowledge that if you want to, you can mix Astrology into your Tarot practice. They’re two very different systems, but if you settle on some linkages to connect the symbols of one with the symbols of the other, then using them together can actually enrich your practices with both.

The same can be said for Kabbalah. This is hardly a carefully-guarded secret, but plenty of occultist types will do the similar thing of interweaving these two systems together – it’s just that Kabbalah theory isn’t anywhere near as well-known as Astrology is.

Do you know the cool and colorful symbol at the left in this image? That’s the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life. It’s a deceptively simple-looking glyph that actually captures all of existence within its magical bounds. At the top is what you can think of as the “Godhead” – pure, shining Divinity – and at the bottom is the sphere called Malkuth, which represents the material world. This is where we live: as “corrupted” and far from the Godhead as it gets…which explains a bit about the world around us today… But we’re still inextricably connected to that Godhead, is also part of the message here! The 22 pathways on the Tree each correspond to one of the 22 Major cards in Tarot, while the 10 spheres, or “Sephiroth” each hold the corresponding numbered cards, as well as providing housing for the Suits and the Court Card ranks.

As with Astrology, you don’t strictly need to use Kabbalah concepts with your Tarot…but if you want to, this can add a lot of depth to your understanding of traditional Tarot card meanings. And Tarot is receptive to it! Check out the arrangement of the Pentacles in that 10 card there in the image, which card was taken from the hugely popular Rider-Waite-Smith deck. It looks familiar, doesn’t it…?

So do you actively embrace Kabbalah concepts in your Tarot practice, or do they seem like so much unnecessary overkill to you…?

Maybe you’d like to learn Tarot, or to energize your current Tarot practice? You may be searching for the Tarot Toolkit Online Course:

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A Tarot Prayer for Orlando

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This latest massacre has been on my mind. For one thing, just think about the fact that we live in a reality in which I have to use the phrase, “this latest massacre”… A lot needs to be done, and on multiple levels, from the individual to the societal. And like most of us, I could probably be doing more. For today, I’m doing this. It’s not meant to replace activism, lobbying, canvassing, donating…but it’s a small case of me trying in some small fashion to be the change I want to see in the world. It’s my Tarot equivalent of a prayer, and if you want to do something similar, that would be pretty alright.

I’m asking The Lovers to help us all to better integrate our warring inner selves, because these inner wars lead to outer wars. Too many of us don’t accept parts of our core personae, and this makes us sad…and this sadness can warp and metastasize, and then become dangerously externalized. I’m asking The Lovers to help us better love ourselves.

I’m asking Temperance to help us to turn that integration process outward in positive ways. Forcing our views and desires on others is the pathway that leads to declarations made via assault rifles. I’m asking Temperance to help us to better accept that which is different from us, and from what we’re most comfortable with. I’m asking Temperance for healing, and for the alchemical dissolution of xenophobia and “Us vs. Them” thinking. I’m asking Temperance to help us better love everybody else.

I’m asking The Star to guide us from on high, and to better connect us up with our own Higher Selves, so we can do some responsible guiding of our own. I’m asking The Star for a little bit more Light. I’m grateful for what we do have in this regard, and I don’t want to seem greedy…but maybe just a little bit more would help right about now. I’m asking The Star to help us better love the Universe itself, and to act accordingly.

I’m asking The Lovers, Temperance, and The Star to smile on us just a little bit more, so that none of us will have to open another post by using the phrase, “this latest massacre…” Peace and love – to Orlando, and to all of us.

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Tarot Tip: Negative Space

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Analyze what isn’t there in a Tarot reading

In a Tarot reading, the primary focus is generally on interpreting the cards that appear while the reading is underway. And that makes perfect sense: we humans have to look at what’s right there in front of us. Sometimes, though, it’s also possible to get a lot of really important meaning from what isn’t there on the table. For example, if you do a 10-card spread, and you don’t draw a single Major card, that’s worth considering: 22 of the 78 cards in the deck are Majors, so you should expect about 3 out of every 10 cards on average to turn up Major. When readings end up defying the odds like this, it’s my own belief that these notable card absences can provide critical info in the same way that negative space can yield vital aesthetic and emotional gains in a given work of art.

So here’s a riff on that idea… What if you pull two cards right next to each other that are almost – but not quite – perfectly in sequence… Say, same Suit, and missing only one card between them, like a near-miss on the Tarot version of a straight-flush. Here, you can see I drew the 5 and the 7 of Wands. The first and strongest instinct by most readers would probably be to think about the blend of these two cards’ energies: the competition vibe of the 5 and the standing off against a united front of aggressors in the 7.

But maybe the message is also the idea that the absent card that would fill out the sequence between these two – the 6 of Wands – is trying to manifest its own energies into the life of the querent, but is being somehow blocked in the attempt. Maybe the message isn’t just about the competition and conflict brewing on multiple fronts here, but also the added idea that a huge victory (6 of Wands stuff!) awaits, and is trying to come through, and that a focus on trying to help it materialize will be the ultimate answer to resolving all of the heated drama currently erupting.

The puzzle pieces that do show up out of the box are obviously crucial to a good reading. But then, maybe so are the ones whose shapes are evident by the unique holes that they leave behind, clearly visible in the overall picture…

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Tarot Deck Shenanigans

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Tarot readers are obliged, at some point, to pick a deck. If you don’t, it will obviously be kind of difficult to actually get very Tarot-y. You do your research, you assess a bunch of factors, and ultimately you choose a deck.

Except sometimes a deck chooses you.

I’ve posted repeatedly here about how when I was learning Tarot, I was aware of the Thoth deck, but it was the RWS system that I learned first, and it’s the RWS that’s been etched into the floor of my brainpan ever since as “The Essential Tarot Template.” But I like the Thoth. And I think the Thoth likes me. Or at least, it likes to mess with me.

After I first bought my Thoth deck, I did a run of ten single-card draws, all aimed at answering different questions, spaced out across a few days. Seven of those ten draws yielded the Devil card. I kept looking around for the laughing ghost of Aleister Crowley…

Today, I was inserting some cards back into the deck, when I found that my two favorite cards were nestled side by side in the mix, almost waving at me.

A little bit later, I went looking for The Hermit. I sorted through the cards, one by one…not finding him…still not finding him…starting to wonder if I’d somehow missed him in my search…and then finding him at the very end of the line…number 78 in a run of 78 cards. Again: I could almost hear Crowley snickering.

I take all this to mean that I need to stop clinging so hard to the RWS. It may be that I need to enter a Thoth phase. Because not all of my decks do things like this. In fact, most of them don’t. So I suggest watching how your decks interact with you – because they do interact with you, and they can have very distinct personalities – and maybe work with the ones that seem to really want to work with you.

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here, Thoth-ing.

And stay alert for an announcement here about the Tarot Toolkit Online Course that i co-taught this year with Vickie Wilson of Eternal Athena Tarot.