TarotBlogHop: Imbolc 2018 Brighid’s Blue Moon


Hey, y’all. Welcome to the TarotBlogHop for Imbolc 2018. Our intrepid wrangler is my friend, Aisling. She is an extraordinary woman. Aisling’s challenged us with a triple spread. Before we start, did you know that the Tarot Blog Hop’s first hop was Imbolc 2012? Yep, it’s been that long!

Here’s what Aisling says,

“We are calling this Hop “Brighid’s Blue Moon”. This festival is a “trifecta”, a combination of three significant events on a single date. February 1st is “Imbolc”, meaning “In the Belly”, the festival dedicated to Brighid of the Three Fires, who brings life back to Land, Sea, and Sky after winter’s doldrums have passed. But on Imbolc Eve, the day before the festival, we will see a Full Moon, which is also a Blue Moon, the second Full Moon in a calendar month. Therefore, we are celebrating a “Solilune”, a combination of a Solar and Lunar Festival, and it’s dedicated to a Deity who Herself is represented in Her Celtic realm by three Elemental locations, Land, Sea, and Sky, and three characteristics of the Inner Flame, Poesy, Smithcraft, and Healing, as well as shedding her beneficent influence on three areas of human life, Body, Mind, and Spirit . This day also represents a Secret Gift of Spirit, the Blue Moon, representing those things that are rare and precious–after all, they only happen “Once in a Blue Moon”. Therefore, we will be creating a pattern of triplicity in our draw and layout for this Hop. “

The spread itself is amazing in its depth. There are three parts with three cards each. I really didn’t think I had the time to do this spread. A nine-card layout means work for me. When I am doing my email readings, I’m going deep into the readings. I don’t generally have time/make time for this type of reading for myself. Still, it keeps nudging at me so I think I shall do all nine. I won’t share images of the cards (well of all the cards) but I will share what I draw. How much I share of my insights will be guided by what I pull. I am going to use

1) The Foundation: You will draw three cards, one representing Land (Body), one for Sky (Mind) and the third one for Sea (Spirit). These will indicate for you the physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual focus of your year-to-come. These cards honor the Solar Festival of Imbolc and the Three Fires of Brigid.

Gain Tarot Seven of Fire

  • Land (Body) is the Eight of Earth. This is the card of the apprentice, the journeyman, and the master. I am working on some health-related things so this makes sense as a physical card. Learning about what I can and can’t do.
  • Sky (Mind) is the Seven of Fire. Interestingly this is the card I call Brighid at the Forge. A woman blacksmith hammers out the iron. Water waits to quench the hot iron while the forge glows hot for the next heating session. It is an endless cycle–this making. My mind understands that learning will take me from the fire to the anvil, to the water and back again.
  • Sea (Spirit) is the Nine of Earth. Here is Joanna herself (she is the creatrix of the Gaian Tarot) standing in a field of lavender. She is smiling as representative of the successful woman this card traditionally holds. My spiritual pursuits are blessed, I think.

2) The Construction: This Moon, according to the Celtic Tree Calendar, is the Full Rowan Moon. This tree is sacred to Brighid, and represents “Protection from Evil Enchantment”. It is considered a Guardian, a Guide, and a Gateway, so that we may be safely sheltered and receive direction as we walk down the new path of the year. So the three cards you draw for the second level, the Lunar energy of the year, will represent the answers to the following three questions: What is the energy of the new path that presents itself? From what will I need protection on this journey? What energies of my own or of spirit will guide and protect me?

  • What is the energy of the new path that presents itself? The Explorer of Water surfs in. In class today (I’m taking a class on two Adobe products) we worked on a project that featured a surfer. I was very confused as my program wasn’t set up right so I kept getting behind. I was so frustrated. But here is the surfer again, reminding me to ride the waves. The new path may be bumpy, but if I follow my heart and love the ride, I’ll be fine.
  • What will I need protection from on this journey? Ah, the Two of Air with the little birds chirping away in the background. Hello, little voices in my head telling me I can’t do this. Hello, little souls in my world trying to tell me I can’t do this. Whether it’s internal editors or external detractors, I must protect my heart from the naysayers.
  • What energies of my own or of spirit will guide and protect me? And the Seven of Water is a reminder to me to drink deeply from each dream. I have guides who will show me how to achieve all that I want to achieve…including the VBD.

3) The Surprise: Once in a Blue Moon, wonderful things come forth. Draw your final three cards connected with Body, Mind, and Spirit, in that order, to see what treasures the Universe has in store for you.

  • Body Treasures: Well that’s a bit dismaying to pull Lightning (Tower) for Body treasures. That sounds like a lesson that will teach me something very wonderful about my own body.
  • Mind Treasures: The Canoe (Chariot) is how to take charge of my own mind, how to direct my mind to create the tribe I want and need.
  • Spirit Treasures: Grin, hello Death. A transforming year it would seem with the Tower, the Canoe, and Death in my treasures realm. I fear I know what this might mean. I do hope I am wrong. But the Universe will show me the way as long as I keep my eyes open and my feet moving. It’s not just about staying on a path. It’s about forging one.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.


TarotBlogHop:Yule 2018 Wishing On A Star


Thanks for hopping by. This ends our sixth year of the Tarot Blog Hop. Our wrangler for the 2017 Yule hop is Ania. She’s given us this for a topic:

Wishing on a Star

As we approach the final festival of the calendar year, we prepare for a time of feasting and drinking. Whether you are observing Yule, the winter solstice, Christmas, any other holiday, or just being able to down tools for a few days, it is a time for celebration and also for anticipation and wishes. With this in mind and before you fling yourself headlong into the spirit of seasonal over-indulgence, take a moment to reflect on what this year has brought you and what you wish for the next year to bring.

Which card(s) best represent or celebrate your past year and which best represent your wishes for the year ahead. You can either select the cards you think fit best, or draw them randomly and see what the Tarot thinks.

2017 has been a stellar (pun fully intended) year for me. I took some really big leaps of faith. One was moving to the Patreon platform. Another was buying The Cartomancer. Both were hella scary moves. For one choice I thought I would be vilified. For the other, I thought I would crash and burn. Of course, neither of those happened. This and other things were valuable lessons in how I have let fear take over my life in many areas. I’m a fearful person. I can point a finger at many reasons why, but when it comes down to it, the reason is staring back at me in the mirror. I allowed myself to think other people’s opinions were that important. Don’t get me wrong. I value (okay, crave) approval. But I put far too much weight on other people’s approval than on my own. I’ve made choices in my life based on how happy it would make someone else. Or how it might make them approve of me.

That bears repeating…I did things based on other people.

So the Patreon thing and the Cartomancer thing were terrifying. Both have approval ratings built-in. I’ve had some bumps with both but those have been minor. I think the person who has been hardest on me is, again, that face looking back at me in the mirror. She can be a really critical bitch. Still, she’s someone I know pretty well these days (talk therapy for the win.) So I know how to redirect her more easily. Because this year also saw me say yes to some pretty scary things like writing decks for USGames, putting my name in to present at NWTS, and publishing my first self-published book.

Taking it out of the micro and moving it into the macro, a whole lot went sideways in my world. Specifically, I developed a violent reaction to the number 45. This led me down a dark path where anytime anyone did anything to piss me off (traffic mostly), I muttered, “They voted for him.” I realized that was part of what the regime wanted. A Them vs. Us attitude. It lost me a few friends. I miss some of them. But it also led me to a very bright place full of activists, full of people who refused to be sucked into the quicksand of despair. People who held on to the idea of hope. That’s an ongoing good thing.

Now that’s some exposition for you, but what about the actual topic? What card or cards best represent the past year and which ones represent my desires for next year? Ania, I love this topic. It really made me dig into some things. I decided it would make a good combo spread where I draw a Tarot card then an Oracle card as the…I was going to say clarifier but here I think it will be the amplifier.

Reflections & Projections Spread

  1. Past Year Card for reflection on the joy of the year
  2. Past Year Card for amplifying that joy.
  3. Past Year Card for reflection on the lessons of the year
  4. Past Year Card for amplifying those lessons.
  5. Coming Year Card for desires and projections.
  6. Coming Year Card for amplifying those desires and projections
  7. Quintessence of the Reading (this is the Mary K. Greer tip: Add all the cards up. Add them down to a number that is 22 or less. That is the drill-down of the reading–the Major Arcana that corresponds to that number.

Here is my own reading using the Gaian Tarot and Secret of the Mystic Grove.

Gaian Tarot (2011) Limited Edition by Joanna P. Colbert
Gaian Tarot (2011) Limited Edition by Joanna P. Colbert
Secrets of the Mystic Grove Deck (c) 2017 U.S. Games Systems Inc. Used with permission. No other rights implied
Secrets of the Mystic Grove Deck (c) 2017 U.S. Games Systems Inc. Used with permission. No other rights implied
  • Joy of the Past Year Card: The Ten of Air is my card for reflecting on my joy. What an interesting card. Typically this is the Ten of Swords but here are geese flying. This is my own joy at achieving leadership but also at learning how to let others lead. It is not always necessary for me to do it all myself. By leaning on others this year, I’ve accomplished so much more.
  • What amplifies the joys of the Past Year Card: 14, Confidence. I love this card for its message of taking pride in myself. I can see how this plays in beautifully to the Ten of Air geese. I was able to be proud of what I’d accomplished where before I might have been falsely modest. But dammit, I bought a mother-effing magazine. I wrote three decks in one year. I rocked it.
  • Lessons of the Past Year Card: Whoooo boy does the Two of Earth ever hit home. I’ve always had choices. Often I’ve made the wrong one then beat myself up for that choice so much that I missed out on other things. I learned to make choices, reap the results, then move on. Pissed someone off? Okay. I apologized if necessary or cut ties otherwise (in cases where it wasn’t just a little tiff.) Choices.
  • What amplifies the lessons of Past Year Card: Ahhhh 2, Dreaming is a bit ouchy for me. Some of my dreams were upended by my choices. I needed to listen more closely to that voice in my head telling me what to say yes to and what to say no to. I hear you, Universe. Dreams need smart choices.
  • Desires for the Coming Year Card: I actually considered throwing this and the other two back in to start over. Surely 2018 would be better than the Ten of Fire, right? But it makes sense. I’m cutting back, cutting down, trimming away that which does not serve me. This card is about how a fire can destroy while at the same time create the potential for new growth. I’m down for that. I’ve already got my eye on some things that must go or must be redirected. Energy isn’t endless. I have to treat it as a renewable source and remember to renew it. That’s a desire for 2018. To be so creative that I have to let go of what doesn’t serve. Tenacity will play a major role in this.
  • What amplifies my desires for the coming Year Card: 9, Togetherness made me grin. Fellowship is HUGE on my list of things I need this year. One piece of that has already fallen into my lap courtesy of one of my Gaian sisters. This card features such a variety of animals–including another peacock. I am going to have to shake my tail but that’s okay. I will be gathering my tribe to me.
  • The quintessence of the Reading: Typically this is for Tarot numbering only, but since the Secrets of the Mystic Grove cards are numbered, I factored them in as well. I got 47 which is 4+7=11 so Justice is my Quintessence for this reading. Justice is my reminder to balance my inner with my outer, my desires with my husband’s, play and work, all those things we are told to balance. With Tenacity as my word of the year, I will add Balance. Because as much as I want to be dogged and fierce about my wants and needs, I must balance things as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey through my process. If you want to be notified about upcoming things like my expanded Journey to Joy class, please join my newsletter.

Now hop on to the next blog. Don’t forget to leave a comment so I know you were here.


TarotBlogHop: Samhain 2017 Handbaskets and Maps


Our blog hop wrangler, Jay Cassels, gave us an easy-peasy topic for this hop. (casts big stank-eye at Jay.) If you are hopping forward, you just came from Messages from Lore. If you are hopping backwards, then you already met Jay (if not, leave him a message on his blog that tells him I’m giving him the stank-eye!)

After reading his topic, I thought I’d name my post “Handbaskets and Maps.” But the spread he gave us took me to a different spot. I’m okay with that. Here’s his topic:

For this year’s Samhain Hop, I am interested to find out where you are at the end of this cycle. Using either a single card or a three card spread from your chosen deck:

  • What do the cards tell you about where this cycle has lead you – Where have you been?
  • What do they tell you about where you are headed – Where are you going?
  • What do you feel has changed for you at the end of this cycle along your journey of life?

Like I said, easy-peasy, right? Sigh! So, I’m going to use the Secrets of the Mystic Grove. While it’s not a Tarot deck, I like it for the way it’s been answering my questions lately. Of course, I’m partial to it for other reasons.

Secrets of the Mystic Grove Seeking Knowledge
Seeking Knowledge

So where have  I been this cycle from last Samhain to this? Ha! Seeking Knowledge indeed! I’ve learned so much in this year. And I’m still cramming more into my brain on a daily basis. In case you missed it (and, darlings, how could you with as mouthy as I’ve been), I’m the new editor of The Cartomancer. This print & digital quarterly was founded by Jadzia and Jay DeForest. When Jadzia announced this past May that she was going to be turning the magazine over to someone, I threw my name in the hat. After talking with Jadzia quite a bit, she decided I was the right candidate for this.

I was thrilled. Then I realized I was also terrified. A bit like the gal in this card who seems to have overloaded her head with information. Still, I’ve learned I can ask for help. I can trust people to help me. I’ve learned that I’m a terrible ditherer when I get anxious. I’ve learned that my husband is very good at pointing things out that help me grasp the situation. So yes to Seeking Knowledge. I’ve also learned a lot about myself in this year. You would think at 56, I’d have a handle on that, but come to find out…there was more to learn.

Secrets of the Mystic Grove Bloom

So cards, where am I heading now? What’s the next point on the wheel for me? Bloom it is. This is the card that I draw a lot. It is, in my head, a paraphrase of one of my favorite quotes.

Bloom Where You Are Planted. Ashleigh Brilliant.

I first read that quite a while ago. Saw it in a newspaper and clipped it out (when’s the last time you did that?) Because I was something of a gad-about in my younger days (still am, truth be known), my mother used to write me into her address book in pencils. Something of a family joke.

But that “being seen” is certainly a good thing for me in terms of my work. I want the magazine to not just maintain, but to grow. And right now, I really am all about the magazine. Well and the decks I’m writing for. Two are turned in to my publisher (USGames) with a third in progress on my computer. I’m loving it, too. When I did the Fairy Tale Lenormand, I was hooked.

Secrets of the Mystic Grove 5 Authenticity

So the last question is what do I feel has changed for me from the Arwen I was in 2016 to the Arwen I am in 2017. I think I’m more confident about my self-worth. I’m told I still under-value myself, but hey! I’m getting better. But why don’t I look at the cards, hmmm? This is a reading, after all. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Authenticity for the win. This card made me laugh out loud when I first saw it. I was so startled by the pheasant in her hair that I didn’t see the cactus right away. Talk about a woman who doesn’t care what others think, right? I don’t want a damned bouquet, thank you very much. I shall pose with a small barrel cactus and you can suck it if you don’t like it. So yes, this time last year I had just left a job that I wasn’t really giving my all. Now this year I have a magazine, a Patreon, a YouTube channel and decks to my name. Has it been easy? Nope, it hasn’t. I’ve had to face fears, shed tears, and lose a few friends along the way (that was mostly politics, damn it.)

As I’ve told more than a few people, when I turned 50, I discovered that 50 is the new “fuck it.” 55 to nearly 57 has been a whole lot more of that. I have less patience for the inane but am also less inclined to engage it. It’s just not worth the expenditure of energy to try to fix crazy. Crazy doesn’t fix. It just gets more cray-cray. Probably the best lesson I’ve learned this year.

Blessed Samhain to my fellow travelers on this path. Happy season of the witch to the rest of you. May your ancestors bring you wisdom and carry away grief as necessary. And if you do find yourself in a handbasket, look under the seat for a map. I’m sure I left one somewhere.

Secrets of the Mystic Grove used with permission of US Games Systems, Inc., c. 2017. All rights reserved.


Mabon Tarot Blog Hop: Characters and Sacred Cooking


We have the lovely Boglárka Kiss of Vadrózsa Tarot to thank for this hop’s theme. Her co-wrangler is Jay Cassell. Here is what she’s asked us to blog about today.

Choose a character – or two or three – from your favorite Tarot deck (it can be a Major or Minor Arcana character), and try to find out what they would cook at Harvest Home so as to give their best to others so that Light should become a blessing in all of us.
Share with us a special – sacred – method of cooking or preparing a dish – it can also be a cooking ritual –, or think of a recipe that contains sacred and consecrated elements so that they can give their best to us.

This theme made me very happy since I love to cook. Recently we had a sale at a local grocery for brisket at 1.87 a lb. which is super cheap. My husband and I both adore brisket. There was only one tiny little problem.

I didn’t know how to make brisket. I knew how to eat it–hells to the yeah, did I know how to eat it. I actually once asked someone to marry me because of their brisket. They shook their head no but did give me more meat. But cook it? Yikes! I knew there was something about slow temps and long cooking times, but that was the extent of it.

So I did what any self-respecting cook would do. I asked my friends. Man, did they put out. I used one my sister sent me but I misread it so I ended up marinating it for two days instead of one. It came out really nicely.

Then, as I usually do, I decided to go off-book for the next one. I bought this based on the name alone. Covered the brisket in it along with some extra garlic. Then  I marinated it in one bottle of Worcestershire sauce, one bottle of liquid smoke, and a bottle of Angry Apple Cider. This was a ten-pound brisket by the way. Then I covered it in foil.

That went in the fridge for 24 hours. Yes, 24 hours. 😀 Pulled it out and drained that first marinade. Added more rub, then put in the same marinade. This time I put it in the oven at 275 degrees for 40 minutes. 40 minutes per pound that is. Which is about 6.66 hours.

And that brings me to the  Tarot part of this post. Now I’ll bet you are thinking that I’m going to call this the Devil’s brisket, but you would be wrong. The Devil already has a recipe speaking of marriage proposals. I actually have a lot of cards and recipes already done. You can see the full index here. No, for this meal I kicked around a few cards with the two front runners being the Emperor (I mean c’mon…10 lbs of meat?) and the Queen of Pentacles.

As I read about the different ways to cook brisket, one thing came up over and over. Many of my friends with Jewish heritage (or Jewish friends) mentioned brisket as a Jewish tradition. And, for me, the Queen of Pentacles is a perfect Jewish mom. She’s caring. She’s traditional. She wants the best for her family and is not afraid to do what it takes to raise them to the standards she thinks necessary. Please note–I’m not Jewish. But the Jewish moms I’ve met have all had this amazingly deep sense of family. So I may be stereotyping but I hope I’m doing it a good way.

The Queen of Pentacle’s Brisket

  • 10-12lb brisket (if you have to have it cut down, do it lengthwise so you get the full brisket from thick to thin)
  • 2 bottles of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 bottles of Liquid Smoke (I recommend Stubb’s if you can find it)
  • 2 bottles of hard apple cider
  • Fiesta Dry Brisket Rub (Or a good mix of cayenne, garlic, salt, pepper and I don’t know what else)
  • Garlic powder
  1. Place in large pan (I use aluminum foil roasters) fat-side up. Cover in dry rub (and extra garlic) and rub it in. Pour 1 bottle of Worcestershire, Liquid Smoke and cider over your brisket making sure it gets on all sides. Cover with foil. Put in fridge for 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 Celsius)
  3. Pull out of fridge. DO NOT DISCARD FOIL. Pour off marinade (down the sink, don’t reuse.) Marinade with same three ingredients. Add more rub and garlic.
  4. Cover with foil making sure to tent it.
  5. Place in oven. Set timer for 40 minutes per pound (you do the math.) DO NOT OVERCOOK.

When it is ready, let it sit for a good 15 minutes at least. This allows the juice to spread through the meat. Nothing worse than dried-out brisket.

Serve with love and compassion, just like the lovely Queen of Pentacles. the S. I am saving this at 12:59pm MST 9/22/17. LOL I’ll come back and add pictures!



TarotBlogHop: Lammas 2017 R.E.S.P.E.C.T.


Morgan, our intrepid wrangler for this hop has tasked us with this subject.

So your mission this Tarot Blog Hop is to discuss how you show respect to the Tarot (remember it is called the “Tarot Blog Hop”) and things that you have learned not to do. It can range from smudging the deck periodically to elaborate rituals like the Golden Dawn uses, from not using the cards until the dinner table is clean to well, whatever it is that you do.

For me, this topic brought up a lot of things. My first was that Tarot is a tool. How do I show respect for a tool? Then I realized that tools deserve respect. If you don’t wipe your saw blade clean, it will dull. If you just toss a hammer down, it may rust or be kicked aside. If you don’t actively work to engage your brain, your wits grow dull. If you don’t feed your Muse, your creativity gets sluggish. So, absolutely, Tarot deserves respect. Like Aretha says, “show a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”

As far as cleansing a deck, I do have some things I like to do. Now, I don’t buy into the idea that a used deck must be cleansed. That, to me, is a tiny bit paranoid. It also means I’m always thinking that the world can’t be trusted. It’s not in my nature to live that way. Gives me a headache just thinking about it. In fact, I have a whole list of things  I think  are myths about Tarot.

I do think you need to periodically clean your decks. Not cleanse, but clean.  There is a difference between cleaning and cleansing. Cleaning is exactly that. Making a dirty deck less dirty. One Tarot professional  (I can’t remember whom) mentioned that they like to clean dirty decks with wax paper. I have had some success doing that. Since these are of paper, I’m not inclined to use anything moist on my cards.

When a deck has been taken out of commission because of a mishap  (can you say “no one is ever allowed to have a drink at my table again” lesson learned?), I will put that deck into my “giveaway” stash. I have some decks that are incomplete, had Diet Coke spilled on them (that one’s on me), wine, jam…yeah…ruined because one or more cards have been rendered not usable. I put the remaining cards in a zip lock baggie. Then when I send out things (decks or books or Patreon gifts), I can pull cards at random to share. It brings me joy to be able to do this mini-reading for folks.

But cleansing is a whole ‘nother matter. That takes on a spiritual aspect. Cleansing is about clearing the deck of negative energies. It is about putting things back in sync with my energy and the Gods. There are a few ways I do that. One is time-consuming involving crystals, moon phases, herbs, chants and more. And it is intensely personal.

A way that I can share is ordering. This is something so easy to do that I wonder why it’s not more popular. Just putting the cards back in order clears energy for me. Ace through King, Fool through World–when my cards are in their right spots, I just feel calmer. I often reorder my deck before sitting down to do a session where I know the energy will be heavier.  If I’m going out to do a reading gig, all the decks I take are in order first. Generally speaking, I take a  minimum of three decks and no more than five. This is something I can do in between clients or on my break. I’m hardcore about my breaks because pee must happen, right?

So for me, cleaning and/or cleansing my deck is one way of showing respect. I also have a habit of choosing the bag to match the deck. I love Baba Studios’ bags. I watch for sales. Right now I actually have unopened bags waiting to be paired with their deck. I will move decks in and out of bags as well. I am a bit like the  Ottoman sultans who had their favorites moved to special rooms. HA! Just call me Suleimarwen Sultan.

I’ve actually got some of my decks for sale. You can learn more about that here. I’m keeping this list updated so you won’t be tempted by decks already gone. I hope you will also choose joy by joining me as a member of the Joy Seekers Tribe.


Litha 2017 Tarot Blog Hop


Our TarotBlogHop wrangler, Aisling, asked us, in part, “so we will use our Tarot cards to explore and explain the duality of our own natures. Who, indeed, is your “other Self”, your “Tanist”? How is it that you are, actually, of “two minds”?”

She gave us a very detailed set of steps. I have chosen to go off-book by taking only one part of her instructions for this post.

“These two cards, the light and darkness of your own Being, will work as a unit but represent two opposite views of the same situation. They both may be in the same suit or in two different suits, one may be major and one minor arcana, but if one were to receive both these cards in a reading, how would you represent the opposing energies thereof as they apply to your own personality and all the situations which life hands you?”

When  I think about duality of being, my Piscean sun self swims effortlessly into the topic. I think we are all far more than merely two parts of one whole. For me, there are layers to the dark and layers to the light. I cannot, by my very nature, see myself as just dark and light. I am at my heart, a myriad.

That is to say, a multitude, a large/great number, a large/great quantity, scores, quantities, a mass, a host, droves, a horde. In a way, this correlates to my feelings about the Tarot. The seventy-eight cards are also myriad. Within one deck, you have countless ways to combine cards for scores of interpretations. When you expand your mind to encompass the fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of artistic interpretations of each of those seventy-eight cards? Yeah. Mind=blown.

How can I see only two sides of myself? I am not a fan of seeing shadow self as evil or wrong or even as needing to be incorporated into anything. For me, again that Piscean nature leaping in a great splashing arc, I see shadow self as whole and separate. I think I will call it my Submerged self while the other main self is Emerged. Submerged is no less important than emerged. And vice-versa on that. What I allow to be seen may be partially my submerged self. The fact is only I will ever know the true answer to that. Which points to my strong Scorpio moon influence. Secrets are part of my life. I know many secrets that aren’t mine but were given to me in confidence. So I keep them there in confidence.

If  I only address Submerged Self and Emerged Self, I wonder what they would say.  Could I be a bridge between those two pieces assuming they don’t actually communicate? It’s  my belief that they do communicate–well and often. The society we live in has a norm of not addressing Submerged Self except as an enemy. What intelligent being would allow itself to be seen if it is only ever thought of as wrong?

To that end, I wanted to create a vehicle for communication between Submerged and Emerged Selves. Of course, that vehicle would be a Tarot spread. I thought I might use the Sun and the Moon for the Emerged and Submerged Selves but it didn’t work for me. Instead I have a list of questions. Then I follow that with my reading for myself using this spread.

Submerged-Emerged Selves Spread

    1. What is the main message from Submerged Self?
    2. How can Emerged Self use this message best?
    3. What does Submerged Self need most from Emerged Self?
    4. What is the main message from Emerged Self?
    5. How can Submerged Self use this message best?
    6. What does Emerged Self need most from Submerged Self?


  1. How can Submerged Self and Emerged Self best work together?

What is the main message from Submerged Self? Main Message (Submerged) is the Teacher. Here is someone sitting with Coyote just behind them. They offer me a dandelion which most of us consider a weed. I must remember that  Submerged self offers up seemingly useless parts of myself. But with a bit of exploration, I can learn all the uses of those unwanted-by-society parts.

How can Emerged Self use this message best? Take all the energy of worrying about what other people think and use it to swing my own personal fire. Be my own best self as the Explorer(Knight) of Fire is her best self.

What does Submerged Self need most from Emerged Self? Submerged Self needs Emerged Self to allow both halves to drive the Chariot (Canoe). Only by swimming together can we master our own true purpose.

What is the main message from Emerged Self? The Seven of Earth is the card of the gardener. The one who plants and tends and lets things grow. Here the plants of the Teacher are echoed as she puts saplings into the earth. Both selves are intent on growth and learning about the things we plant.

How can Submerged Self use this message best? Interesting to see the Child (Page) of Fire show up when the Knight of Fire showed up for the reverse question. Here I am told that Submerged Self could be more proactive, more curious about how things are. This is a card of energy and movement. Both sides have plants and energy.

What does Emerged Self need most from Submerged Self? Death floats in reminding me that to master myself (as with the Canoe), some parts of me must be laid to rest. Any parts that aren’t nourishing me. If I don’t flourish from the energy, then it must be let go. Death is change that is inevitable, inescapable, and unavoidable.

The final question is How can Submerged Self and Emerged Self best work together? The Elder (King) of Air with his Luna moth companion made me smile when they showed up. I see him as the Priest who does the work. He is sending his prayers (and those of others) up to the heavens. The Luna moth serves as the steed to carry those hopes. When I stand in myself as priestess, I am myriad.

This reading made sense to me. I realize that I used some shorthand here and there but this was a deeply personal reading.bI offer this spread for you to use.  Please do not post it without my attribution: Spread by Arwen Lynch

And if you are doing #CampNaNoWriMo, check out my secret weapon.


Mesquite Tarot: An Interview with Aleisha and Bronwyn

This could also be called “getting back to things I used to love to do.” When I was editor of the American Tarot Association Quarterly Journal, I developed an interview for those who had created decks. The twist on the normal interview was that I requested it be answered by pulling cards from their creation, Tarot deck, itself. So, in essence, their creation of the artist/author became their voice.

Recently I saw a deck on Kickstarter (I blame many people for telling me about this deck but Siobhan gets first dibs…lol. Check out her Gemini ‘Scopes while you are there.) This deck was by two women in Austin, Texas which was an immediate plus since I used to live in ATX. But what really grabbed me was the clean lines and subdued color pallette. Typically I like brighter colors and am really drawn to the art of the  likes of Tarot visionary Lisa Hunt. But I do enjoy black and white decks and less vivid decks as well. So I backed this deck. (FULL DISCLOSURE: This deck is fully funded already.)

Mesquite Tarot Deck
Mesquite Tarot Deck

The name of the deck made me grin. If you’ve been to Texas, you have probably seen mesquite. It’s a popular tree for using in fires and barbeques. It’s also a tenacious tree that can grow in some pretty harsh condition. I decided to interview the creators, Aleisha and Bronwyn about their Mesquite Tarot. Please note that some of the cards pictured here may be prototypes meaning there could be some changes in the final product.

What card describes you as a writer or artist? If you are both, please choose a card for each one.

Aleisha as a writer: The Fool

The Fool Mesquite Tarot
The Fool Mesquite Tarot

Very appropriate.  In writing and in life, I am definitely figuring it all out as I go along, just like everybody else. I’ve approached writing this book with a lot of playfulness and curiosity: watching where it leads, feeling open to possibility, having fun. It’s easy to feel a lot of fear when it comes to creating; it’s been an intention to energize more of the imagination and childlike wonder of key 0.

Bronwyn as an artist: Three of Wands

A huge part of what I do as a visual artist is constantly attempt to view things from as many different angles as possible. I’m always working to put aside what I may think I know, and take a new approach- one that comes more from within. A lot of that work includes taking risks, being confident, and accepting the role of a leader, which always comes along with uncharted territory. My eyes stay open to new opportunities, new projects, and new ways to push myself as a creator.

If I were to ask your deck to describe you, what card would it use?

The World: Wow, how lovely.

We’re of the thought that the world is a living being, that our connectedness with nature and each other is an essential part of ourselves and is necessary to experiencing the fullness of being alive. We are doing our best to promote clarity and kindness on the planet and we think tarot is a pretty great tool for that.

What card would your deck use to describe itself?

Ten of Wands: We relate to the element of balance in the ten of wands, the focus and determination that this card encompasses. Being present step by step, even in challenge.

What card describes your favorite piece of creating this deck?

Nine of Cups: Overflow and abundance. This card hints at the material– we’re often airy, in the world of ideas. Connecting to the tangible has been a really special aspect of the creative process.

What card describes what your favorite questions to answer are?

Page of Cups: Mesquite does gravitate toward the idealistic, dreamy, the poetic.

What card describes what you think are the most valuable lessons you learned while creating this deck?

Knight of Wands: From the onset, we’ve approached the deck creation with a lot of action and momentum. Part of our motivation in running a Kickstarter campaign was to create externalized energy that would help us get through some of the challenges in bringing it to fruition. I think we were able to harness some of the knight’s boldness, and like him, we were able to move forward in action and ambition. Even in imperfection, the fearlessness and boldness is something we’re grateful to be learning.

What card describes your best use as a tarot deck?

Lovers Mesquite Tarot
Lovers Mesquite Tarot

Knight of Pentacles: Though Mesquite has a gentle sensibility, its use is rooted and active.

What card describes your greatest weakness?

Eight of Pentacles: It’s a bit like a classic job interview, haha– indeed our weakness is often in perfectionism. Like many creators, we are prone to being hyper-critical of our own work.

What card describes your greatest strength?

Five of Cups: We are good at being resourceful, working with what we have even when it’s not as much as we’d like.

What card is your most favorite? Why?

Eight of Cups: This is actually one of the first cards in the tarot I ever made contact with. It appeared years ago and was a strong message that I needed to turn away and do some searching. A reminder that leaving things behind isn’t always an easy path, but often a necessary one.

What card is your least favorite? Why?

Queen of Arrows: Hmm, this is a tricky one because we actually really love this card. The queen’s clarity and connection to truth has been feeling like an especially helpful energy to harness.

Which card do you think needs to be studied the most?

The Chariot: When the energy of the Chariot is in balance, it’s such a powerful and directed card. There’s definitely lots of Chariot energy in the world right now, but it’s not always used in a clear and balanced way. Definitely plenty of study we can all do w/r/t the Chariot.

What card describes your personal creativity?

Two of Pentacles: Again, the theme of balance and playfulness emerges!

Who or what inspired you to create a deck and why?

Six of Cups (prototype) Mesquite Tarot
Six of Cups (prototype) Mesquite Tarot

Five of Cups: A great lens to understand inspiration. As we progressed in our personal tarot practice and began creating our own deck, we noticed our relationship with tarot evolving into a space where we could access clarity and optimism. Rather than being focused on the things that are broken, we wanted to look at what was full. We wanted to provide a tool for seeing solution when so much of the world seems to be staring and what’s been overturned.

What upcoming projects can you tell us about?

Nine of Pentacles We’re in a stage of planting more seeds, nurturing and growing as artists and creators. At this stage, we want to honor Mesquite and keep our energy directed towards making it the best it can be. We feel a lot of momentum building and are also excited to continue creative collaboration. Beginning to gestate more ideas for expansive projects that foster kindness and compassion.

Draw one card. Tell us what secret habit this card reveals about you.

The Hermit: The two of us met as housemates, and one of the secret habits we share is creative hermitude. There’s a fertile buzz in the house when we are both working, sometimes collaborating in the kitchen or in the breakfast nook, sometimes alone in our respective bedrooms. The homebody tendencies have made our house a hive of productivity and generative vibes. We are able to be hermits in community.

Do back this one, y’all. I predict it will be a keeper.

TarotBlogHop: Beltaine 2017

Here is the master list for the Beltaine 2017 Tarot Blog Hop. I was the wrangler and here is the topic I proposed for all of us.

Since Beltaine is a holiday of coming together, I thought it would be fun to answer this question: “Do you combine Tarot with any other divination system? Why or why not?” That’s it. Short and sweet. Simple. You can answer it however you like.

Please enjoy hopping through. Your comments are gold! Thanks for sharing the blogs as well. We really appreciate that.

1. Arwen Lynch
2. James Bulls
3. Joy Vernon
4. Joanne Sprott
5. Jay Cassels
6. M.Juniper
7. Chloe McCracken
8. Maureen Aisling Duffy-Boose
9. Boglarka Kiss
10. Ingvill-Susann Kjørsvik
11. Mary Mourning
12. Morgan Drake Eckstein
13. Karen Sealey
14. Vivianne Kacal

TarotBlogHop: Master List Imbolc 2017

This is the master list for the Imbolc 2017 Tarot Blog Hop. Thanks for stopping by. This list serves as a one-stop-shop to find your favorite bloggers or to deal with a broken link. We do our very best to make sure our links are good, but we aren’t perfect.

  1. Stacey Carroll
  2. Joy Vernon
  3. Jay Cassels
  4. Ingvill-Susann Kjørsvik
  5. Olivia Destrades
  6. Aisling the Bard
  7. Boglarka Kiss
  8. Meniscus TarotLink Not Working
  9. Arwen Lynch Poe
  10. Scott Rattigan
  11. Ania MLink Not Working
  12. Karen Sealey
  13. Alison Coals
  14. Chloe McCracken
  15. Joanne Sprott
  16. Morgan Drake Eckstein

Thanks for reading the posts. We love your comments! You honor us by sharing our words as well. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

TarotBlogHop: Embrace the Dark


Dark Side of the Winter Solstice. What a lovely topic Joanne Sprott has given us for our Yule Blog Hop (for which I am late, late late!) Our ancestors naturally slowed down this time of year since it was harder to move because of the weather. There was also not as much need to move since there were no crops to harvest and the animals were harder to hunt. If they hadn’t put up what they needed by now, they were going to struggle to make it to spring.

These days we don’t have that seasonal urgency to put up, put away, put aside. We can just drive to the grocery store for winter tomatoes (ewwwww) or that pound of hamburger. Our societal needs have changed. Some for the better (no need to get up at 4am to milk the cow, gather the eggs) but some, I think, for the worse.

We don’t slow down any more. We don’t stop to regroup. And I think the nervous, anxious people we’ve spawned into are a product of that “not stopping.”

So the Darkest Day is upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere. You lot down south are looking at the Longest Day, I know. What does it mean any more to honor the dark when we have light whenever we want. A flick of a switch illuminates our world. We don’t have to fear the dark, but I think we’ve also lost some of the respect we need for the dark as well.

Dark is necessary. Quiet is a must. I’ve begun a meditation practice (17 days into it) via an app called Calm. It’s free (you can upgrade to a subscription if you want all the bells and whistles.)

Each morning there is a short (10-12 minute) piece called the Daily Calm. I’m finding it very useful. I’ve been working on changing some habits to embrace quiet. Daily writing was first. Now daily meditation. I hope to add daily yoga.

Embracing the dark for me means nurturing the quiet places. I yearn for silence so hard it hurts some times. One of my greatest joys is sitting. Just sitting. Not listening to music or any ambient sound like the TV or even white noise. Quiet moments of my butt on the couch just being.

I have a spread to share with you. I hope you will try it out and let me know what you think.


  1. Gathering the Dark–what can I do to gather more Dark, more quiet, more silence?
  2. Wrapping myself in the Dark–how can I immerse myself more fully into the Darkness of this time?
  3. Embracing the Dark–how can I completely celebrate the gifts I receive from this working in the Dark?
  4. Message from the Dark–what is the most important message I need to receive from the Dark?

I hope you have enjoyed my Winter Solstice Tarot Blog Hop. Please hop forward or backwards to visit my neighbors. Remember that comments and shares are a gift you can give to us.