Exploring the Gypsy Palace Tarot: The Devil with Nora Huszka

Very excited to have a visit from my fellow gypsy friend, Nora, artist and creator of The Gypsy Palace Tarot. She has such wonderful vision and insight. Check out her perspective on The Devil. And be sure to help bring her dream into fruition… this deck is stellar and needs to touch lives. Much love, Shaheen 

The Devil from The Gypsy Palace Tarot by Nora Huszka ©

The Devil from The Gypsy Palace Tarot by Nora Huszka ©

Dear Readers, welcome Everyone!

I am Nora Huszka and I am here to share my ideas about a certain card, The Devil. I created The Gypsy Palace Tarot from my art, my experiences and this card is one of my personal favorites.

So, you would like to know more about the Devil? First of all… who is The Devil? It is not a religious question, no, although most religions have an answer to that. I neither want to talk about clichés… We have always been told the Devil is bad, mean and disgusting… but let’s s admit it, we do love him and we still suffer from him at the same time.

And why? Easy- the way to addiction is the sweetest way. It is so good, you don’t even notice you got fettered, until the handcuffs start to hurt your wrist: but at that point of realization it’s no way back, the Devil already got you.

No wonder, this card follows Temperance in the Major Arcana. It is a great lesson to learn in life: You can only explore your borders by going beyond them. But when you go beyond, the promised price disappears and you may burn yourself a bit. However smart you thought are, it was an illusion, what directed you to the unwanted direction, when You follow the call of The Devil.

We like the nice things about ourselves, but our bad habits- we just love them. But this love or joy is definitely different than the true love what the Ace of Cups shows us. This love is materialistic, creates dependence and a burden of suffering. That is definitely the Devil.

We are getting on the right track! Let’s dig deeper! 

In The Gypsy Palace Tarot I show You the moment, what I found most fitting to The Devil. I believe, You always have one moment before giving in to the Devil. You must have one sober second before you dedicate yourself fully, just a slight whisper, a smooth light, or just the weird feeling in back of your mind, that it is just not right, turn back- and after the sweet smell of temptation takes over the weak. 

There are four characters on my picture, frozen in a moment. On the right, yes, it’s the Devil. Next to him is a girl (just between us… that’s me) naked, with closed eyes, hands crossed on her chest. The two other characters behind the girl are the symbols of the girl’s imaginary situation, motivation, possible future: there’s pink, chubby lady with a suffering grimace on her face, holding a lamp with one hand and a green one, coming out from the furry background cloth, grabbing her hand to its face with strong desire. You can also notice the barrel in the background, that’s the symbol of pure emotions, referring to Cups… This time it is just in the background. 

Let me show You where the point of action is heading on the picture from my point of view.

The Devil holds the girl’s head with both his hands- his grab is violent, but also firm. He directs the girl’s face to his face, and his eyes are open and glowing with hypnotizing white light to the victim. Their body is facing each others, the legs are slightly stepping towards the girl. And his confident smile seems almost charming.

But as the girl is not able to move her head, the only way she can avoid the Devil’s takeover is to close her eyes. But look at her red cheeks- she has intense feelings, and although her hands are crossed, her left leg is lifting and can not stop her hips from moving closer to the Devil. She can not deny her attraction to him, it draws her just like a magnetic field. She is naked. She cannot hide anything from the Devil, not even her sexuality.

The lamp softly lights their face, gives an intimate atmosphere to their big scene. 

The other scene is connected to them by the lamp. The pink lady tries to show the girl what is going on by giving light, but she can hardly warn her, as she is also stuck in her miserable position. She seems to shout and tries to kick that barrel as well to wake up the girl from floating further and further in the arms of the Devil. The green character on the left doesn’t want the trouble of waking up and stops her by grabbing the other hand. He just wants to stay hidden, comfortable, with the company of the willing-less, chubby lady.

I think these two characters symbolizes the essential background components of the state of addiction and acting against our will, which are the main meanings of the card, The Devil. Even if we talk about a situation connected to love, work or usual behavior. 

And what is the outcome of this picture? Will she give in or she wakes up? I can’t tell you that… I let You play it through with your own Devil. I picked this card for us – so keep your eyes open!

You dear, do you see something else or more?

Do you have experiences like this? We all have.

Your comments are welcome!

Let us know. 

Love, Nora

Nora is an independent artist, and Tarot creator. Please support her independent effort to produce The Gypsy Palace Tarot deck. This will be a truly special deck for anyone who experiences it! Hurry, hurry, quickly! There is only one month left to make this deck a reality!! You can contribute to the cause, here!

And make sure you join The Gypsy Palace on FB!

20 Things You Should Know About Tarot -Guest Post by Janet Boyer

Get the skinny on things you should know about Tarot from Janet Boyer! Janet is one of my favorite Tarot goddesses… her unapologetic, in your face teaching style really kicks things into gear. Here’s some sound advice for Tarot newbies! 

Because I’m a published Tarot author, reviewer, blogger, teacher and reader, I often get emails asking about prevalent superstitions surrounding the cards, as well as questions on the best books, decks, techniques and modes of learning.

Here are twenty of my top suggestions for those new to Tarot, those struggling to learn the cards and gain confidence, and those wondering if they’re “doing it all wrong” or confused by all the advice swirling around:

1. Your first deck, or any subsequent decks, does NOT have to be given to you as a present. That’s just ridiculous (and probably an old control tactic by “those in the know” to keep the cards out of the hands of the masses).

2. Tarot does not conflict with any religion, nor does it advocate any spiritual path. If the Christian-looking images of the Rider-Waite Tarot decks (and its clones) offend your sensibilities, you can view such depictions as symbolic (after all, we all have “moments of judgment” or karma, in case of Judgement, or must confront “spiritual leaders” or traditions represented by the Catholic-looking Hierophant—to use two examples). Alternatively, you can pick a deck that does support your spiritual path (Wicca, Paganism, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Elementals, Sufism, Buddhism, Mayan, Druidism, Norse, Native American, etc.)—or a deck without any spiritual connection.

3. There’s no wrong way to read Tarot. I don’t care what anyone tells you, there is no wrong way. You imbue the cards with meaning, which you then absorb for your own edification or for the benefit of those you read for. Yes, there may be archetypal patterns, symbols and motifs that may be mined for extra information, but using those for interpretation doesn’t make a method any more “right” (or wrong) than just “saying what you see”.

4. Studying esoteric subjects like Astrology, Numerology, Kabbalah, Hermeticism or Crowley’s writings are not necessary to learn, understand and use the Tarot effectively and accurately. They may supplement and enrich your understanding, but they are not required.

5. Each person has different learning styles. What works for someone else, or is touted as the “best way”, may not be suitable for your own style. For example, learning rote keywords never made sense to me, nor did they enhance my way of experiencing the cards. However, making the Tarot “mine” by associating real-world examples and pop culture with the cards helped me make friends with any deck (this approach turned into my BIT Tarot Method, the subject of my book Back in Time Tarot). Find out your preferred learning style, and approach Tarot from that strength. For example, when talking to someone you may say, “I see what you mean” (Visual learner), “I’m not following you” (Kinesthetic learner), “Let me think about it” (Analytical learner) or “How does that sound?” (Auditory learner). When learning, you may prefer hands-on exercises (Kinesthetic), reading text (Visual) or studying with music, surrounded by noise, or by listening to audio classes or podcasts (Auditory).

6. You are not required to meditate, say a prayer, do a ritual or invoke anyone/anything before doing a Tarot reading. If one of these helps you create a sacred space or center your energy, do it. However, it is not necessary. Some people, consider their life a “living prayer”, so doing something special just isn’t relevant most times.

7. You do not need to store your cards in a special cloth, box or bag. Nor do you need to “cleanse” it with crystals, moonlight, sage or any other accoutrement. Again, you may if want to, but it’s not a requirement and will not affect the cards or its messages.

8. Shuffle the deck, and cut it, any damn way you please. “Shuffle with your non-dominant hand, cut into thirds and do the hokey pokey” is nonsense. Do what you feel is best—hand over hand, poker style or “finger painting”. Know, though, that some shuffling methods are harder on the card stock, which may shorten the life of the deck.

9. Choose a deck with an animated Minor Arcana. That is, for the number cards (Ace-10s), make sure the images show people or animals doing things. This will help you come up with meanings and cement card associations. A deck that just shows “pips” alone—four swords, three cups, ten coins, etc.—will be more difficult for you to pair with relevant associations and meanings.

10. Becoming familiar with the cards takes time. Be patient with yourself and the learning process. Play with your cards every day, even if it’s just looking at them. Soak up information on Tarot (as long as it doesn’t overwhelm you). But whatever you do, do not measure your progress against others nor become discouraged if you don’t “get it” within a few weeks…or months. We’re talking 78 cards here! Cards filled with wisdom and symbols and hidden meanings! Just as if you can’t really know a person in super-short time, it will take awhile to comfortably know, and remember, what each card means for you.

11. Tarot is not just for fortuntelling. The cards can be used for creative writing, meditation, visualization, affirmations, conscious creation, dialoguing with others, brainstorming, journaling prompts, talismans, art and so much more.

12. If the idea of learning 78 cards overwhelms you, start with your memories, history, favorite movie, a book, fairytale, songs, news headline, etc.—and work outwards towards the cards. (Click here for an introduction to this technique, known as the BIT Tarot Method).

13. Spreads are not necessary. In fact, they can often be cumbersome, and give you a whole bunch of extraneous stuff that only distracts and confuses. You’d be surprised at how much information you can glean from just one card, or even three, for any given situation.

14. Acquire decks that appeal to you, not what others say are the “best” decks to use. If you love fairies and those types of decks “speak” to you, then by all means get them. Likewise, vampires, angels, flowers, constellations, herbs, gummy bears, dragons, snowmen and so on. As long as there is movement in the images, “stories” that seem to be playing out in the scenes, then pick whatever looks attractive and feels right for you.

15. Consider keeping a journal of your Tarot card associations and impressions. Many Tarot enthusiasts regret not having done so. When you start using one from the ground up, you’ll eventually have a comprehensive and illuminating personal cache of associations that you’ll be able to draw upon and, perhaps, one day share with others new to the cards.

16. Get to know one or two decks intimately before acquiring new decks. Not only will this be easier on your wallet, but you’ll also have a better idea of what kind of decks resonate with you…or will likely expand your experience in a different direction when the time comes for new ones.

17. Keep your Tarot library small…at first. If you feel you must have a few beginner or intermediate books on hand, I recommend The Back in Time Tarot Book (my first book); Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Tarot by Mark McElroy; What’s in the Cards for You? by Mark McElroy; 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary K. Greer and The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor by Wilma Carroll. In all honesty, if you follow the methods and suggestions in these five books, you’ll never need another Tarot book. (Note: I said need, not necessarily want!)

18. Hold off learning and using reversals (upside down Tarot cards) until you have a strong grip on upright associations and meanings. You can always add them to your practice later, should you choose to do so. (My upcoming book Tarot in Reverse, out 2012 from Schiffer Publishing, will be the first book to provide extensive key phrases and pop culture anecdotes specifically for reversals, which will aid many trying to understand those cards that fall upside down in a reading).

19. If you come across a Tarot card meaning that makes no sense to you, toss it out. Remember, what matters most is the associations you come up with for the cards—meanings that make sense to you.

20. A brilliant researcher and personality system pioneer once told me “Trust Self first, last and only”. Not only was this one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever received about life in general, but also for learning the cards. Lack of self-confidence is the biggest obstacle to sticking with the Tarot and using it effectively. Trust that the meanings you create, and the answers you receive, are valuable and appropriate. This confidence will translate into greater self-reliance, accuracy and insight when reading the cards.

About the Author: Janet Boyer is the author of Back in Time Tarot (Hampton Roads, 2008) and Tarot in Reverse(Schiffer Publishing, 2012), as well as the co-creator of the Snowland Tarot. As a respected Amazon Top/Vine Reviewer, she’s penned over 1,000 published reviews that have also been featured in magazines and other online outlets. In addition to being a Tarot expert and professional reader, Janet is also a social media consultant, blogger and homeschooling Mom. A true Renaissance Soul, she describes herself with four I’s: Innovator, Iconoclast, Initiator and Instigator. Janet makes her home in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania with her soulmate, Ron, their son, Noah, and two fur babies (cats Stewart and Neo). You can visit Janet online and find out all about her and her latest exploits at JanetBoyer.com 

Interview With Nora the Artist and Creator of The Gypsy Palace Tarot

Ooh you don’t want to miss this awesome interview with artist and creator of the soon-to-be printed deck, The Gypsy Palace! Nora takes us into the Gypsy Palace and let’s us peak behind the curtains into the heart and soul of her creation. Read this and fall in love… this absolutely speaks to the gypsy soul.

Shaheen: Nora, It’s so wonderful to connect with you and learn more about your enticing deck, The Gypsy Palace. How did this project begin?

Nora: Thanks Shaheen! This project was very well prepared, unconsciously – I had my pictures, I had the experience from Tarot reading, however, the spark was missing to combine them. As usually the good ideas do, the idea of the card deck was born unexpectedly, in the calmness after Christmas, when I visited my family in Hungary. I was open to start a big project including more than just my pictures, but my whole spirituality- and it came to my way!

Shaheen: Your art is beautifully vibrant and ethereal, what inspires you as an artist? Where did some of these images come from?

Nora: I am a lot inspired by folk art of the Balkan or ever further to the far East, India. I love tales, fables, which are spiced with magic to move your fantasy… I love to dream away with reading stories like children do, flying with borderless imagination. The colors of nature are always giving me new ideas to explore. For example now I discovered the color orange, inspired by the orange trees here, in Italy. I never saw orange trees before, have you? It amazes me how such a vibrant, energetic color can exist. Grab an orange and stare at it, let the color, smell and texture influence you. Gorgeous! And traveling, experiences, characters. I am a very sensitive, emotional person and I find my inspiration in myself by transforming my emotions to something higher- that gives me balance. The dynamics of the images is basically my inner dynamics.

Shaheen: What challenges did you experience with the creative process?

Nora: Well, the creation of these pictures needed me to feel together with every card and still to stay objective. Now I actually struggle to talk about it, because it was not a verbal action, it is hard to verbalize it… it needs you to find the right project for you and to go with the flow of it. And when I was out of it, what happens- that was a challenge to keep myself motivated to catch to flow again! As I am my arts and my art is me, basically, any artistic challenge is about working, growing in myself. It is never easy, when I have to face and break through a wall in myself.

Shaheen: How has your relationship with the Tarot changed since you created, The Gypsy Palace?

Nora: I can read for people from my own tarot deck, which is a very special feeling, as I know a lot about the pictures, the interpretations, how they were born and changed and now they are in a completely different situation… Fantastic. It somehow feels like raising your children and now letting them live their own life, without interrupting anymore. I am proud of them! But also, I think there will be a healthy short break with Tarot after the campaign, to let it calm down in me, a time when I am not just about The Gypsy Palace Tarot, but Nora again. It is a very intense period for me.

Shaheen: Do you have any exciting methods or exercises that are unique to reading with The Gypsy Palace Tarot?

Nora: I truly say that if magic happens, it happens anyways, doesn´t matter if you make up a strict ritual or just use them as it comes. And specially with my deck I wish freedom and flexibility in reading them! The images have a lot of movement, action on them- you can see this or that way around. Like the figure of the Three of Swords- is he pushing the heart away or is he pulling it into himself? I suggest to work, play with these dynamics. I used symbols that carry personal and universal meanings as well. The only method is to be open and creative.

Shaheen: What do you want people to feel and experience when they work with The Gypsy Palace?

Nora: The gypsy-fairy tale world holds a lot of secrets waiting to be found! The cards have a spirit, what I wanted to capture with the archetypical figures, intense colors and the whole design, the excellent quality. I wish that it makes people feel they hold something unique, something royal in their hands. The origin of them is pure and full with energy, I wish that working with them can connect magic, arts and the inner self in a beautiful celebration!

Shaheen: When your deck is printed, will you follow them with any other projects, a book perhaps?

Nora: Definitely! I rediscovered writing, I am trying my wings with it. I want to travel on with the cards, and collect more experiences, using them, reading them to people on my way. I keep the idea of the Gypsy Palace Tarot book on my mind and let in grow until I feel I am ready for that. I have a lot to tell about the images- as an appetizer I share one with You in a guest post…

Shaheen: Thank you, Nora. It’s been wonderful visiting The Gypsy Palace with you. This project is so inspiring. I think it will be a gem within the Tarot community.

Nora: Thank You, indeed for this opportunity! Your warm welcome on your blog makes me feel it is the right place to share more about myself and my project. Please don´t forget to support and spread the word, we can make The Gypsy Palace Tarot happen together!

Nora is an independent artist, and Tarot creator. Please support her independent effort to produce The Gypsy Palace Tarot deck. This will be a truly special deck for anyone who experiences it! Hurry, hurry, quickly! There is only one month left to make this deck a reality!! You can contribute to the cause, here!

And make sure you join The Gypsy Palace on FB!

Understanding Intuition: Insight Thirteen

Intuition is a compass to navigate through the dark and the light. Intuition links us in with the Universe so we can avert disaster, and sail smoothly to our dreams. Respect intuition, do NOT treat it like a parlor trick (not to say intuition isn’t fun!). I remind my clients that, “A reading is meant to help you consciously manifest the life you want”. Intuition helps you to see the road markers along the way.

© Shaheen Miro 2013

Oracle Deck Review: The Wild Unknown Tarot

IMG_2862About a year ago I found a strangely lyrical place, filled with art, music and beauty called, The Wild Unknown. There I discovered these amazing art prints of a Tarot deck that artist Kim Krans had been working on. At the time the deck was just offered as art prints for framing, but not an actual deck!

To my surprise a few months ago venturing through random blogs I found, The Wild Unknown Tarot! Despite my urges I waited to click the “buy” button until I had a reason to reward myself.

When the deck finally came in the mail I was rabid, tearing at the package, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Up until that point I had vicariously loved it through pictures, blog post, and reviews on the Internet. Now it was all mine!

IMG_2863The experience began with the box! I held it in my hand, looking at it from all angles. Touching the sturdy cardboard and looking at the fabulous pen and ink illustration that adorned the top. The black and white contrasted by the pops of vibrant watercolor was awe-inspiring.

IMG_2864I tugged at the black satin ribbon carefully placed to remove the lid with ease. Written in a scripted font on the inside of the lid,“Welcome to the Wild Unknown Tarot. You’ll find no wrongs or rights inside this box, only mirrors for reflection. Open your mind, draw a card, and have fun on your journey.”

The words tingled up my spine like a mysterious incantation to step into another world, The Wild Unknown…it felt like Wonderland had begun to seep into my veins. My eyes and fingers itched with anticipation to touch another world.

IMG_2867One by one I explored the cards, studying the delicate and bold inked images. I craved their meanings, I imagined their stories, and I roused them to life. This is no ordinary deck, nothing of the sort. This is a shamanic experience that completely pulls you into a different state of mind.

There are no people found in this deck, only animals, symbolic totems pulsing with life and energy. If you are brave enough to look into their determined eyes they will reveal parts of your soul.

Deer rules the Pentacles. Owls rule the Swords. Snakes rule the Wands. And, Swans rule the Cups. But there is a whole menagerie of different animals to greet you. Some of the cards are illustrated in the style of pips with only the suites emblem and some line work embellisments.

IMG_2872This deck is wild and free. It opens new doors, it blazes new trails, it becomes a key to uncharted territory. But walk with trepidation because this deck doesn’t take kindly to probing and prodding, you have to ask gently and listen. Humbly inquire, and leave your ego at the door. These cards give you answers without any non-sense.

Kim Krans style is very successful throughout the deck. Pops of color amongst black and white sing. Should you need a guide while exploring her new terrain, Krans included a hand written pamphlet guide. She has also written a full companion book for the deck (which I don’t have yet).

IMG_2869There isn’t much to complain about here. Each card is beautifully done. The cardstock is a nice weight, with an interesting, slightly frosted coating and the box offers lots of protection. I am interested to read the companion book because the pamphlet included doesn’t offer much explanation about the intent behind the illustrations, nor do the meanings deviate far from traditional associations…. which is a tad unexpected.

I suggest you seek out a copy of this deck ASAP! This is one indie effort that’s sure to become a collectors item. And if you get the book… let me know how it is! 

© Shaheen Miro 2013

Tea Leaf Reading Giveaway

securedownloadTea Leaf Reading GIVEAWAY. How to enter: One entry-Like my FB page and leave a comment sharing what creative/spiritual projects, endeavors, subjects or ideas have been on your mind lately. Let’s hear what you’re interested in RIGHT NOW. Want an extra chances to win? Share my FB page. Follow my blog. Contest from 3/5-3/8. ;-)


Understanding Intuition: Insight Twelve

You will question your intuition. You will worry that it’s all in your head, that you’re imagining things. Stay focused, keep your breathing steady, and always remain objective. Your intuition and your imagination are sister experiences. They work hand in hand to bring you insights. Just because something is imaginative, doesn’t mean that it isn’t real. Imagination is symbolic language put into motion. Look at your impressions objectively. Read between the lines… that’s where wisdom lives.

©Shaheen Miro 2013 

Understanding Intuition: Insight Eleven

Using an oracle, or divinatory system is a fantastic way to tap into your intuition. Oracles give you shorthand for communicating with the Universe, it’s a built in language that you can study and learn. Divinatory tools have their faults, but they are a great jumping off point for you novice intuitiors. Find a divinatory system that feels right to you, but don’t get too caught up in the system because the most powerful messages usually happen “away from the table”!