TAROT TIP: Explore Multiple Decks

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I have a bit of a deck-collecting habit.

I also have this one friend who feels the need to question this habit of mine.

Now, to be clear, my overall deck-buying impulse flares up much less often and much less intensely than it did when I was first bitten by the Tarot bug. To large extent, the itch has been scratched. Then again, if an especially attractive or innovative deck catches my attention, I may feel called to get it. And should my friend hear of this, she will give me a disapproving earful: “Why do you need so many decks? What can one tell you that the others can’t? They’re all basically the same! Children are starving in the world, and you’re spending all this money on decks!”

Not that it’s anyone’s business but mine, but I thought I’d offer up a few compelling reasons why I do like to shuttle around among multiple decks:

1) New deck concepts and new imagery deepen my understandings of the cards immensely. Studying different versions of a given card offers fresh insights, and further solidifies my own grasp on which elements of a card feel essential to me, versus which ones don’t.

2) I read professionally, and different clients have different preferences and comfort levels, so having multiple decks to choose from can bring maximum satisfaction all around.

3) Here’s a big one – each deck has its own unique “voice.” Why do some guitarists have multiple guitars? I mean, the chords for “Purple Haze” are the same no matter which axe you pick up, right…? And the answer is that yes, the chords, the notes, they’re all the same…but each instrument has its own sound, its own feel. An acoustic is not quite the same as an electric. A 6-string is not quite interchangeable with a 12-string.

And so it is with Tarot decks: each one is a distinct instrument, and we can elicit different moods from them. Play to their strengths, and they’ll play to yours.

Learn Tarot with me! I offer PRIVATE LESSONS, or you can study along with the 10-session TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE:

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Tarot Tip: Routines, Yes…Ruts, No.

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In many ways, it’s great practice in Tarot at all levels of skill and experience to establish some steady routines. Practice makes perfect, and all.

Then again, you can’t spell “routine” without “rut,” and ruts are not the most helpful of phenomena. The danger in maintaining routines is that things can get stale and stagnant, and we end up not challenging ourselves enough to grow. Just as a fitness trainer will counsel you to shake up your workout procedures so as to keep your body guessing and engaged, it will help your Tarot game immensely to similarly inject some newness and uncertainty into the proceedings.

So what can you do?

–You can memorize card meanings, but give yourself one day per week (or month – whatever) to read solely using your intuitive responses to the card imagery/titles/keywords.
–You can stick primarily with one main deck or deck template, but occasionally try working with a very different kind of deck.
–You might work regularly with a certain spread, but then also once in a while try an unfamiliar spread, or even try reading with no spread at all.
–You could craft yourself a terrific reading space that you use most of the time, but every so often, try reading at some locale you don’t know all that well.

There are all kinds of things you can do to keep things fresh and invigorating for yourself, and your Tarot muscles will respond tremendously! Routines are great up to a point…but beware the rut in routine!

And watch this space for an upcoming announcement about the Tarot Toolkit Online Course that I co-taught earlier this year with Vickie Wilson of Eternal Athena Tarot!

Yellow Jasper Dream Report

IMG_4432Here endeth this jubilant jaunt through Jasper journaling (for now…). As with the Red Jasper, I wish I had something interesting to report, but the Yellow Jasper was also so low-key that it didn’t really register. I woke up feeling well-rested, but I couldn’t remember any dreaming that I did during the night.

Maybe these lower-Chakra colors aren’t the greatest stimulants for dreaming in general?

The card I drew the other day to detail what Yellow Jasper will mean for me: Creative Power (this deck’s analogue for Strength). This one is about humanity’s ability to exert power by creating life (which can probably be taken literally or also figuratively). So if Red Jasper helps with processing the results of work already done, maybe Yellow Jasper provides fuel for work yet to be performed…?

Red Jasper Dream Report

IMG_4415I’m afraid I have to report a bit of an interruption in the Jasper dream-streak this time around: I stashed my three pieces of Red Jasper beneath my pillow when I turned in last night, but sadly, there is no joy in Mudville this morning, dream-wise. I slept hard, and I did dream somewhat, but it was all scattered, and I couldn’t hold on to any of it when I woke up this morning. There were no animal appearances in the dreams, and no bizarre plotlines to share.

Interestingly, if you enjoy Chakra theory, you can consider the fact that Red Jasper is held to connect with the Root Chakra, which is about as far from the dreaming centers as you can get…so maybe Red Jasper isn’t likely to stimulate dreams at all. Who knows – maybe it even negates them.

Anyway… The card I drew the other day to explain what Red Jasper would mean for me: 9 of Nature (= Wands). In this deck, this card has to do with a man gearing up for harvest-time. Maybe Red Jasper is less about dreams blossoming like fruit, and it’s more about going back over the dreams already experienced and “harvesting” them by studying them, and taking meaning from them so as to fuel future growth…?

Mookaite Jasper

IMG_4407These cool-looking stones are Mookaite Jasper.  Here’s the dream I had while sleeping with them under my pillow:

In the dream, I’m part of some elite superheroic strike force.  We’re in a briefing.  For our upcoming mission, we’ll be teaming up with…Wonder Woman!  And here she is, entering the briefing!  She tells me and the guy next to me that she’s looking to line up an ongoing booty call for the duration of the mission.  She gives the guy a sort of impromptu exam right there, and finds him lacking.  My turn.  Poking and prodding ensue.  It’s Wonder Woman; I don’t mind.  No magic lasso is involved at this time.  She determines that while I have room for improvement, my shortcomings are of a more minor nature, and I’ll do for what she has in mind.  Go, dream-me!

Suddenly, time-jump!  We’re in mid-mission.  We’re on a bridge in our vehicle, but a huge traffic jam has everyone at a standstill.  Meanwhile, our enemies have an agent coming down the bridge on foot from behind us, and if he confirms our position to his HQ, they’ll dispatch a missile-strike.  Our pursuer gets close enough that I can now tell that he’s…Alan Rickman!  He hasn’t seen us, so we do this thing of hopping out of our vehicle, making haste to the side of the bridge, clambering down underneath it, and then hanging quietly from the underside, while Alan Rickman passes by above us, totally taken in by our ruse.  He keeps going, on past us, and we climb back up, and make tracks in the opposite direction.  I can still somehow see him, and he realizes that we’ve eluded him, and he jumps up and down in total rage.  We escape.

Tarot card I’d drawn to represent Mookaite Jasper’s meaning for me: Woman of Blood (= Queen of Swords).  A warrior-woman of sorts, combat, aggression.  A Stone Age Wonder Woman…?!

Dragon Jasper

IMG_4399Dragon Jasper under the pillow last night.  Scattered sleep.  Fragmented dreams.

Dream #1: I’m outdoors with other people in a green field near a hillside.  It’s a sporting competition.  A guy on my team is up.  He has to throw something toward the hillside for distance.  The “something” turns out to be a clothes dryer (!!!).  As in, a major appliance.  He hefts it over his head, and he throws it with both hands, and it goes sailing 50 or 60 meters like a frisbee.  No one in the dream is especially surprised that a human can lift and throw a clothes dryer, but we’re all impressed with how extra far this guy is able to chuck it.  He’s really good at this.  I joke that I probably couldn’t even match his toss with a baseball.  Ha ha.

I wake up.  There’s an Owl hooting away steadily in a tree right outside the windows here.  It’s loud and rhythmic.  It’s still going on when I drift off again.

Dream #2: I open the front door here…and there’s a large gray Wolf waiting outside for me.  Not threatening or anything – just calmly waiting for me, because we apparently have some kind of business together.  I start to go outside to get down to whatever that business might be….and that’s the dream.

I wake up again.  It’s morning.  The Owl is sleeping somewhere, but I can hear Crows in the vicinity, making a racket.

Tarot card I drew the other day to capture what Dragon Jasper will mean for me: 3 of Nature (= Wands).  “A woman wears a mask which represents a spirit of nature.  Another reality.”  Dragon Jasper.

Cobra Jasper

IMG_4381The Jasper Journal, cont.  Today’s entry: on sleeping with Cobra Jasper under my pillow…

The other day, when I dug out all of my Jasper stones from storage, I wanted to pull a card for each variety, to explain a bit about what each one would represent for me.  While I was shuffling, the Moon card fell out.  For me, The Moon stands for things like the subconscious, dreams, and mysticism.  The booklet for this deck, which has a lot of its own meanings that deviate from the traditional, says this particular Moon is about “Magic, Spirituality, Surprises, and a Positive Female Figure.”  I assumed the card popped out in order to tell me that this would apply to Jasper for me in general, regardless of variety.  Cool enough.

I replaced the card, and kept shuffling, then drew a card for each individual type of Jasper.  When I got to Cobra Jasper…The Moon appeared again.  I figured this would suggest some especially intense and mind-bend-y experiences with it!  Maybe dreams about Snakes the size of the Anaconda that I got to drape over myself like the world’s largest necklace when I was in Peru last year.

But I didn’t dream about Snakes this time, or about animals of any kind, really.  It was a fairly simple dream.  In it, I was being ushered someplace by one of those dream-people that don’t exist in the waking world, but who I know in the dreams.  This person was excited to be explaining to me how the locals were doing this kind of ceremony to honor and celebrate a couple of the trees that lived on the grounds of their campus or estate or whatever it was.

We went through some kind of archway structure, and the two trees in question were then rising up above us, enormous, maybe a couple of stories high.  Their trunks were this rich brown color, and you could almost feel all the texture just by looking at it.  Higher up, they were bursting with green leaves, and even though the trees grew up out of the ground one to either side of the rather wide pathway we were on, up top, their branches had grown toward each other, and intertwined…sort of like the tree version of holding hands.  There were people around us kind of chanting and just beaming love and appreciation at these two grand old trees (Ash trees, I think?), and I could actually feel joy radiating from the trees, who were happy that the quick little humans were forcing themselves to slow down enough to do this for them.

So, no animals, but the trees were really sweet.