Long-Distance Readings

“You do readings over the phone?!”

“Yep, I sure do! And email!”

“How on earth does that work?”

It amuses me that people are baffled by phone and email readings! But at least they believe a reading can be done. That is a good first step. But why is it more believable that a reading can be done in person, but not long-distance?

I think people are quick to believe in an in-person reading because they can see it. They can see the cards, they can see your face, and they can touch something. They can respond and react with more than just their voice.

The disconnect is most people still don’t understand energy!

A reading is an energetic evaluation! When someone reads you, they are tapping into the energies that surround you. They are recounting your energetic story… the one that you are creating in your personal universe… which links up with the big Universe and makes things happen!

Even if a reader is using Tarot cards, or tealeaves, or palms, or runes… they are only tools. The tools are creating patterns based on energy, and the reader is interpreting those patterns.

And… energy has NO limitations. It isn’t bound by time and space. It doesn’t have to conform to gravity. Energy is anywhere and everywhere. A thought can be sent to the other side of the world instantly. A dream can bring two people together who have never met before. That is the magic of the unseen world!

So when you have a long distance reading… you may not be right there. But your energy is!

…so if you want a reading via phone or email… it will be just as magical as if you were sitting across from me :-)

Shaheen

Touching the Divine: Praying With Tarot

Prayer is touching the Divine with reverence…giving your hopes, fears and dreams to the Divine, and then listening. Most people pray daily, whether or not it’s a sacred solemn hour of prayer or quick “note to God” in the car… most people pray! But what they don’t do is listen.

When you pray you must listen, and not only listen but also find the heart of your prayer! Most prayers are superficial, not to say they come from a superficial place, but most prayers only touch the surface of what is really stifling a person. You must explore the depth of what you are asking for.

Have you ever thought about praying with Tarot? The cards are a language for you to communicate with the Universe. So why not touch the Divine by praying with the Tarot? The beauty here is that you create a dialogue with the Universe. You pray and the Universe speaks.

Passivity in prayer is a downfall. The Universe asks you to be a co-creator in your reality. You aren’t a helpless puppet falling prey to the whim sand fancy of some person in the sky! You are a vibrant, energetic being, casting beautiful rays into the world! You are DIVINE! You must pray like you are divine!

Prayer is a partnership! Pray as a creator. Pray and listen. Pray and communicate! Don’t pray like you are entitled… or helpless! There are those moments when you feel you are breaking, when in desperation you have to call out to the creator and beg for salvation. It’s human nature to reach out in our darkest hour… when we see nothing before us. Even in those moments of despair your must learn to listen. To ask for the answers and listen.

When I pray with Tarot I come to the moment as if I am meeting an old, wise friend. I open my heart and mind. I allow myself to be moved by wonder. I hold my cards in my hand. I call out to the Divine with prayer. Then, I let the Divine speak back through the cards. I ask and listen. I question. Moving closer to the heart of my need.

Do not just open the door with prayer; use Tarot to invite the wisdom of the Universe and your guides in. Tarot is a bridge for you to communicate with the Universe… and your soul.

Take an active approach. Instead of asking to receive something, pray by asking questions.

You may call out to the Divine begging for a romantic partner, “I am lonely, please, bring me someone I can love!” Take a different approach, instead of making a request; probe deeper, 

Say, “Help me to see the source of my loneliness.”

Now pull 3 cards. What do you see? What clarity did the cards bring? Did your perspective change? Is it a romantic partner that you need to ease your loneliness? Or is there something else? What block has stifled you?

Respond back. Pull a card that represents your response. This is a symbolic gesture that you’ve heard the Universe. Reiterate to the Universe what you’ve discovered by asking!

Maybe you choose the 3 of Cups because you realize now that you need to celebrate your life, appreciate your circle of friends, and enjoy being spontaneous.

Continue your dialogue. Poke and prod. Go deeper. Ask more questions. There is no limit to what you can ask. There are no stupid questions. The more you ask, the more you understand. Clarity is the essence of prayer.

Next you could ask, “What can I do to ease my loneliness?” or “How can I move forward now that I understand the source of my loneliness?”

As with a reading, the better the question, the more specific the question, the clearer the answer.

Dig to the roots of your prayer. Change = Shifting energy. You must understand the source of the “problem” before you can change it. I’m reminded of Rumpelstiltskin… if you know the true name of a thing you have power over it!

So what cards come up? What is your next step? Your situation should be clearer.

Next you can layout your path. This is the way you wish to move forward. The Universe does not require specific instructions. Layout your intended path with the cards… the Universe will workout the details. Ask yourself how you want the energy to flow? What feels good?

Place at least 3 cards down in a line. These are your stepping-stones. Lay them out, contemplating how they reflect the shift you are making. This is a visual representation of your shift. Take a photograph of these cards… refer back to them.

You can ask the Universe to respond to your “proposed” path. Asking, “Does this path align with my prayer?”

Trust yourself! Trust what feels good! You are having a Q&A with the Universe. You are engaging with your destiny! Own your destiny! Consciously manifest.

Do you feel empowered now? Does it feel different to be involved in your prayer? Do you enjoy this approach?

The Universe likes partnership. This approach helps you shift energy. No more dumping a load of request in the lap of the Divine. You are becoming active. Shifting energy is the key to affective prayer!!

You can utter a million beautiful words while knelling in the darkness at your bedside… but unless you know the heart of what you are asking… unless you are willing to make a change and take responsibility…  there isn’t much that can be done.

 

© Shaheen Miro 2013

 

 

Interview with Kendra Hurteau, Co-Creator of, Under the Roses Lenormand

Under the Roses Lenormand is an amazing deck created by, created by Kendra Hurteau and Katrina Hill. You can check out my review of the deck, here. Kendra was kind enough to let me ask a few questions about the deck, and her work. Check it out!

Shaheen: How did you discover Lenormand?

Kendra: I belong to a Tarot guild in the Metro Detroit area.  One day, a day I will never forget, the book club host came in with a Lenormand deck.  She laid out a Grand Tableau and it was love at first sight.  I started looking for decks right away.

Shaheen: How did Under the Roses Lenormand begin?

Kendra: It actually began in the process of discovering the deck because when I looked for decks to work with I had the thought that I could create images I would want to work with.  At the time, there weren’t the abundance there are now of Petit Lenormand decks.  Several wonderful self-published decks are out there now but at the time I started with a gifted Piatnik and Melissa Hill’s self-published decks (the decks are still some of my favorites to this day).  At that point I had formulated a couple of ideas for tarot decks and was actually writing one up.  Ultimately, Lenormand won in the end though as I used it more and my fondness of it grew.  Katrina Hill is my daughter and she is a graphic designer.  I presented the concept of “Under the Roses” to her and she did a couple of concept images.  We liked it so much that we created a schedule and started working on the images.

Shaheen: What challenges did you face in the creation?

Kendra: Seeing as it was our first deck, there were many.  Initially, getting my imagination into her hands was the biggest hurdle.  Eventually, we shared a common vision for the images and a work pattern that made us both happy.  It was a balancing of both tradition and imagination the entire process.  Because it is original art we wanted it to have a specific expression.
Shaheen: How would you describe the soul of the deck?

Kendra: The soul of the deck… Secrets.

Shaheen: Why did you decide to add keywords to your cards?
Kendra: The resurgence of Lenormand is bringing in a lot of beginners.  I wanted the deck to be easily used by everyone.  It was so taboo and, yet, I knew how much the novice would appreciate it.  We knew it was likely we would issue an edition without them and we did.  In the long run though, I know we did the right thing.  Those decks were more in demand than the decks without the keywords.  And while a few readers initially complained, we had an abundance of people that thanked us for doing just that.  In the end, everyone was happy.

Shaheen: How has your vision of Lenormand changed since you created the deck?

Kendra: My vision has not changed much actually.  I still read and share it in the same way.  However, I have grown a much larger appreciation for the community of people who study and share it.  My views are not always the same as others but the effort involved in bringing Lenormand back is a group effort and the people in the forefront have my respect.

Shaheen: I love the name of the deck can you tell us more about it?

Kendra: It suggests that you can find the secrets within and I felt that appropriate for card divination.  To quote my own work… “Under the Roses” is a euphemism for buried secrets. The allusion comes from the Latin phrase “Sub Rosa” and dates back to classical Roman times when the rose became the symbol of confidentiality. The expression became well known in German literature eventually finding its way to English literature. Stories based around “Under the Rose” began showing up in the nineteen century and some of the later works were written about that time period.

Shaheen: You have announced that Under The Roses will be picked up by USG, So how does it feel to have your deck picked up by a major publisher?

Kendra: Amazing!  The story of how they found us is neat.  They actually discovered an old submission with four original concept images on it.  Apparently, it had gotten lost in the crowd.  They called asking to see more images, not knowing the deck was complete and self published.  Once they saw the website things moved quickly.
And to be picked up by U.S. Games Systems, Inc?  I still shake my head.  They are my favorite publishing company.  The artwork they put out is vibrant, the card stock is excellent, and as it turns out the people working there are wonderful.  The deck is due out through them later this year.

Shaheen: You read both Tarot and Lenormand at the same time, why and how does this affect the reading?

Kendra: I don’t read them in the same spread, but side by side.  They confirm each other and bring in a wealth of details.  With the Lenormand so literal and the tarot so intuitive, I think it gives me two views of the same picture.

Shaheen: Where do you see divination and cartomancy going in the future?

Kendra: Cartomancy can and does truly touch lives.  For me, the question is “How can we overcome the fear people have of card divination?” because, if the fear is overcome, the possibilities are endless.  General public perceptions are changing (though many still see it as “bad”).  It is quite possible that cartomancy could be used in professional atmospheres.

Shaheen: Is there anything about Lenormand that you find frustrating?

Kendra: Yes.  I respect the traditional systems of Lenormand as much as others, however I see that new readers can’t jump in and pick a system when they don’t even know how to read the cards yet.  It takes time to get to figure it out.  And some never elect to use a particular system.  I find no fault in that.  People are diverse and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  As long as they have selected keywords that work for them, the Lenormand will read accurately.

Shaheen: Does Under the Roses Lenormand address that issue?

Kendra: In a way.  The keywords are selected from many of the main traditions used, plus many other words to challenge the way a person might look at the card.  A traditionalist will likely find keywords they are accustomed to while a beginner will have a variety to choose from.  This was intentional in creating the keywords.  It actually took months to assemble so the issue could be addressed.  Therefore, “Under the Roses Lenormand” does not follow one tradition but embodies them all.

Take a look at my new project…  Kendra’s Vintage Petit Lenormand.  http://kendrahurteau.wix.com/vintagepetitlen or find it on facebook.  Thanks!

© Shaheen Miro 2013

Oracle Deck Review: Under the Roses Lenormand

securedownloadUnder the Roses Lenormand, created by Kendra Hurteau and Katrina Hill, is one of the most fascinating and captivating Lenromand decks I’ve found. As I search through the deck I am pulled into another world with a touch of Charles Dickens whimsy, mixed with gothic mystery and Victorian Romance. There’s a subtle hint of something epic happening beyond the faces of the pictures.

The distinct illustration style makes the deck feel alive and personal; these aren’t static images on cardstock! The portraits are illuminated and vibrating. You feel as if you could step into the images… they characters almost turn and speak. At times I think I can hear the deck whispering, “Step into our world and discovery your story.”

Under the Roses Lenormand is mostly gentle, always direct, with a slight shadow that hangs over every card. The dark side of the deck seems to cast an air of truth. My sense tingle with the invisible glances of looming figures that lurk in London alleys.

securedownload-2This deck is built for anyone who wishes to work with Lenormand, whether you are new or seasoned! Each fabulous illustration is accompanied by a list of keywords printed directly of the face of the image. This list is a mix of traditional and contemporary meanings that offer insightful suggestions. This adds another layer to the cards offering you the opportunity to use the card for creative prompts, such as writing, mind mapping and path working. Included are 4 extra cards that explain how to use the deck, including the Grand Tableau, and a unique spread called, “Under the Roses Spread”.

securedownload-1Not only are the images rich and vibrant, but the card stock is really great quality. The deck comes in a plastic protective case, and a velvet drawstring bag. But, this is the self published version of Under the Roses wish is no longer available! Under the Roses has been picked up by US Game Systems for publication later this year! Congratulations, ladies for an exciting opportunity!

The deck will soon be available to all you hungry cartomancy enthusiast!!

If you are looking for a Lenormand deck with presence… Under the Roses is for you! Every reading feels like you are getting closer to solving some epic mystery… if you figure it out let me know!

Next, we will have an interview with Kendra Hurteau, co-creator of Under the Roses Lenormand!!

 

© Shaheen Miro 2013

 

Seeing Death

You are spirit, the accumulation of intention, dreams, and creativity. You are in a state of constant flux, revolving and circulating around one giant sphere of the Divine. Nothing is truly static. If you aren’t changing, then you are battling the Universe.

Death is beautiful. It is the ultimate poetry of life. You die to the setting sun, to be reborn at tomorrow’s light. You die to every moment. You die every year, as you grow older and wiser. You die at the ending of every project, and you are reborn at the beginning of every new one.

Life is a dance of change and transformation. The affirmation of your spirit is metamorphosis. You are a being of light that radiates, pulsates, and undulates. If you lose the essence of your spirit, then you’ve lost the point of life.

People grow stagnant. Their spirits become gnarled and weakened. If you unplug from source then you slowly fade away, until you are a shell mimicking life. We fear death because we fear what we can be. We know the reality, but we forget the dream.

Death has been very present in my life the past year. I’ve lost many beautiful lights whom I loved greatly for their bravery, wisdom and unconditional love. I grieve for the loss of their relatable presence in my life. I grieve for their smile. I grieve for their conversation. But through my grief I realize that they are at peace. They are burning stars in the never-ending disco.

Death isn’t easy. It jars you. It pulls you out of your shell. You are forced to step beyond your comfort zone. You are left dancing in the dark. Traversing beyond what you know as the truth. But there is the beauty. You’ll never grow unless you’ve experienced.

The truth is that you’ve never really seen a painting until you’ve looked at it from all angles. Stand on your head; see it in a mirror, stair from one side to the other. Life is art. Explore art don’t admire it!

When I see the Death card in the Tarot, it usually means that you are in a state of change. The tune is changing, and you’ll need to find a new groove. But the Tarot isn’t discerning. Tarot doesn’t tell you what you want to hear… It tells you what you need to hear. It doesn’t know the difference between a “metaphorical” death and a real one. It only knows that the energy is changing.

So can the Tarot show a real death? Yes! Absolutely it can. I’ve seen it many times. I’ve experienced it personally with the loss of my own loved ones. It’s doesn’t have to be frightening. It serves to enlighten you.

Tarot predicts death. Death isn’t bad. It’s not a warning. It’s a reminder that you are living.

© Shaheen Miro 2013

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!

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

Forget the Crystal Ball! How Tarot Can Deepen Your Personal Insight

Today Brigit of Biddy Tarot is visiting! What a wonderful, and insightful treat. Brigit is the author of, Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence and an extraordinary teacher. I hope you enjoy her contribution :-)

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words, “Tarot Card Reader”? Crystal balls? Gypsies? Psychic powers? Crushed velvet? 1800 numbers? All of the above?

Sure, that all exists, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Many ‘normal’ people are using the Tarot cards on an everyday basis for self-development and personal insight. Crystal balls and crushed velvet don’t even come into the equation.

You want to know why you’re feeling ‘lost’? Why your relationship isn’t working like you want it to? How you can improve your work situation? How you can be the person you really want to be? All of these types of questions are perfect for the Tarot.

The Tarot has this innate power to be whatever you want it to be. In fact, Tarot can be used as a tool for:

  • Spiritual guidance
  • Understanding the present
  • Learning more about yourself
  • Exploring mythology and symbolism
  • Personal growth and development
  • Solving problems or dilemmas
  • Earning an income as a professional
  • Making important decisions
  • Validating a gut feeling
  • Daily or weekly guidance
  • Self-examination and psychoanalysis
  • Empowerment
  • Meditation and introspection
  • Developing your psychic abilities or intuition
  • Creative thinking

Using the Tarot for Self-Development and Personal Insight

One of the most powerful uses of the Tarot is for self-development and personal insight. This can be on a very deep level, such as using just the Major Arcana cards in a Tarot reading to understand your current life lessons and your inner purpose and meaning. Or it may be on a more day-to-day level as you figure out the solution to a current dilemma or problem.

To use the Tarot cards for personal insight, try some (or all) of these activities:

Draw a Card a Day

Draw one card at the start of the day asking, “What do I need to know about today?” Think about what this card is telling you – what events or situations to expect, what you can learn during the day, what you need to watch out for, where your best opportunities lie, etc. At the end of the day, reflect on how this card related to your actual experience and take note of what you have learned. Over time, you will form an even stronger personal connection with your cards and you will find that your cards offer you profound insight, even on a day-to-day basis.

Get to Know Yourself with the Major Arcana

If you’re feeling ‘lost’ or directionless, then exploring the Major Arcana in relation to yourself can be a very helpful way to rediscover your direction. Use the “Get to Know Yourself with the Major Arcana” questionnaire to ask yourself some of the more deeper questions about your life path. Or, work with each Major Arcana card, tapping into the life lessons that each has to share.

Use Simple One Card Readings

If you’re facing a dilemma or you need insight into a personal situation, use a simple one card reading to provide insight. First, clearly frame your question. Ask, “What do I need to know about….?” or “Where do my best options lie?” or “What do I need to take into account when making this decision?” Then, draw one card, and one card only. Go deep into that card by exploring the symbolism, elemental and numerological associations, and your intuitive feelings. Resist the temptation to draw ‘clarifier’ cards which often only serve to complicate the reading. And resist the urge to keep asking the same question in the hope of finding the answer you want. The key is to stay focused on the one question and the one card.

Meditate with the Tarot Cards

This final activity is incredibly powerful and will help you to build a very strong and personal connection with the cards. By relaxing your mind and taking yourself ‘into’ the card, you tap into your subconscious mind and explore the Universal energies associated with that card on a very deep level. Read more about how to meditate with the Tarot cards on my blog.

So, forget about the crystal ball, my friends! You don’t need it. Instead, draw on the Tarot cards to help you on an everyday basis to develop your personal insight and guide you on your path.

Learn More About Brigit

Brigit is a professional Tarot reader, mentor, blogger and self-published author. She is the owner of the popular website http://www.biddytarot.com which features Tarot card meanings, tutorial posts and Tarot guides to help you learn to read Tarot. She has fifteen years’ experience reading the Tarot cards for thousands of clients worldwide and is passionate about delivering insight through Tarot.