Blog

Tarot Blog Hop: Samhain 2016 Wake The Dead

PREVIOUS : MASTER : NEXT

Welcome to the 2016 Samhain/Halloween/Mid-Fall Tarot Blog Hop. We’ve been doing these hops since Imbolc 2012. It brings me such joy to know that for these past five years, community-minded bloggers have gathered every six weeks to create a ring of posts that all share the same subject. It’s been copied by others (which also brings me great joy) so I know that original question “How Can I Be The Best Candle” truly burns on.

This time, we are asked by our wrangler, Louise Underhill of Priestess Tarot, to turn to our ancestors for advice. She challenged us to “seek their advice on what we need to work on in the year to come.”

So I did. First, I wanted to be clear on the questions as well as the intent. Once I had the questions, I took time to make sure I was mindful of my surroundings. I wanted to be aware of not only where I was, but who I was.

I opened up asking my ancestors to gather if they would. I requested that one of them step forward to give me advice for the coming year (in my Tradition, we treat Samhain as the New Year even though the validity of that has been brought into question.) Honestly I hoped that someone from my deep ancestral bloodlines would turn up. Maybe the daughter of that English king (not a very popular king, oops) or the German lawyer would weigh in on the questions.

Nope. I got a much closer relative. And I knew her the moment I pulled the first card. But first, let’s look at the spread itself.

Arwen Lynch's Wake The Dead spread
My 2016 Samhain spread: Wake The Dead

The answers were pretty clear. Because of the reading, the answers were also quite personal. I’ll show you the card and give you the abbreviated answers.

Moon Victoria Regina Tarot
The Moon, Victoria Regina Tarot

First up was the Moon. With the binoculars and crawfish on this one, I immediately knew it was my mother. She was a Scorpio as well. I have a Scorpio Moon that rests in the 8th house so this could only be Mama. At first I thought it might be her mother, but the crawfish and binoculars were all Mama.

10 Swords Victoria Regina
Ten of Swords

Next came the 10 of Swords. If I wasn’t sure before, this nailed it (pun intended). My mother once told me a story about a sparrow, a cat and a pile of manure. The lesson was to stop complaining about where you were. The main message I got here was, “Being weighed down by other people’s opinions is silly. That’s their energy, not yours. DO YOU.” On a side note, when I look at my handwriting on this question, the “do you” is very similar to my mother’s handwriting. Hmmm

Strength showed up as the response to the third question.

Strength Victoria Regina Tarot
Strength

Her admonition here was that she raised me to be a strong woman. She reminded me that she had not been fair to me in one area (she took care of me when she should have let me find my own feet) but she felt I was getting better there.

 

World, Victoria Regina Tarot
World

The fourth question brought the World (so many Majors, Mama.) She was a bit fierce on this one which didn’t surprise me. Protecting her children was one of her strengths. Living with a Scorpion for a mother wasn’t always easy, but you knew she had your back. The answer was, in part, “Focus on the people who add to your life rather than take away. Be your own center.”

Finally, I pulled the Two of Wands. My mother loved that I wrote. She got to read the first book my writing partner and I ever finished. That book has never been published, but my sister called me. She was laughing because my mother, who was in the hospital dying from cancer (she passed away two months after), would not take any calls. She told my sister to tell them she was reading. Her message here was to take action. Do rather than be. The funniest thing was her “Get wet sooner” message. She’s the reason I keep writing.

Thanks, Mama. I love you and I will always remember you.

Marilu Johnston circa 1956
Marilu, my beautiful mother

Now please leave a comment then hop on to the next post. Or hop backwards. And thanks so very much for sharing this and other posts. You can use the hashtag #tarotbloghop .

PREVIOUS : MASTER : NEXT

Cocktails, Characters & Quirks

I love creating stories. One thing I loathe in my own writing, though, is characters who lack depth. They are cardboard cut-outs with no imperfections. These characters bore me to tears. What about you? If you were going to introduce them to your friends, what would you say?

“This is my heroine, Joie. She heals animals. She loves her godmother. She’s pretty.”

Yeah. I won’t want to hang out with her. She comes across as perfect, right? Nobody is perfect. At least not in my group of friends. I want my characters to be real not cardboard cutouts.

Now what about:

“This is my heroine Joie. She heals animals. She thinks she’s too short. She has a jealous streak a mile wide but she is a loyal friend.”

So she sounds far more real to me. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. We have flaws as well as strengths. I think she is someone I could be friends with now. Moreso than the cardboard perfect Joie from before.

Okay, but how do you get those quirks? How do you develop a character who is 3-D…believable? One way that I do it is with a simple three card Tarot spread. Try this out for your next character and let me know the results.

Cocktail Spread

The premise is that you are going to a party with your character as your guest. You are going to have to do a short introduction when you get there. Draw three cards for the following positions.

Job
Personal Life
Quirk

Using the award-winning Ghosts And Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt (U.S. Games Systems, INC 2012) I drew the following cards for a different character:

  • My character’s job requires them to be a mentally focused warrior. He can’t let his guard drop ever. (King of Swords)
  • My character’s personal life has too many ties to his past so he really doesn’t like to talk about it. (5 of Cups)
  • His quirk is that he parties so he can be one of the guys but he really wants one of the guys. (4 of Cups)

So, from this, I realized my character is a gay soldier who has rejoined the military to get away from a bad relationship. 😀 It’s my story so I get to let my brain wander wherever it likes. King of Swords is a warrior. When I saw the 5 of Cups next, I immediately wondered about his past relationships. Why would he be a warrior with a broken heart. But the 4 of Cups showed me he had a bunch of regrets but ignored them by indulging in the drink too much.

Or, if I were going a more paranormal track, I might say that he was an eternal warrior(job) who was haunted by all the loves he’d lost(personal life). He avoids water because that is how the ghosts of his past connect to him(quirk). And there’s nothing worse than being nagged by a dead ex!

This is a good spread for the main characters and the villain.

So what are your cards? What is your take away? I’d love to hear what you think. You can use any deck. A deck of playing cards (look the meanings up online) can work as can any oracle deck.

This exercise is from a workshop I used to teach online. I’ve turned that month long Hero’s Journey (a Tarot for Writers workshop) into an eCourse. Now you can take advantage of all the lessons, handouts and writing prompts whenever you like. No more waiting for me to set up a workshop. It’s my secret weapon for NaNoWriMo.

Some great books are:

  1. Vogler, Christopher, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
  2. Campbell, Joseph, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
  3. Pearson, Carol, Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World

A more extensive bibliography comes with the eCourse.

If you like, I’ve got a video here. It is on YouTube but was on Periscope first. It’s not great quality video wise…it was my first one. 😀 I do a few exercises including this one. 😀

If you are doing NaNoWriMo, I’m there as TarotByArwen. I do it every year.

Please note that links included may be affiliate links which means I get a small monetary payment if you buy via them.

Originally posted in 2012. I've updated the post and republished.

Sorry, You’ve Got It All Wrong!

Why your vision of your perfect day is patently false.

Shapeshifter_1Wands
This is the Ace of Winds from the Shapeshifter Tarot by Lisa Hunt. I love the feeling of air moving here. She’s ready to launch into her wise Arctic Owl self and soar. Are you? Shapeshifter Tarot, Llewellyn, 2002

Part of my practice is to draw a card each day. Recently one of the cards reminded me that you are all wrong. That none of you know what a perfect day is. That none of you have any concept of a truly ideal day. How do I know? Well let me tell you what a perfect day is. Then you’ll know.

A perfect day is slightly overcast. There’s a brisk wind coming in that carries just a bit of cool with it so the ambient temperature is around 68. There might even be the scent of rain on that wind. The sky is just a bit gray. The sun is definitely not bright and shining. The wind is the key for the perfect day. It must lift skirts, fluff hair and generally flutter things.

WHAT? Not your perfect day?

Okay. Close your eyes. Tell me what your perfect day looks like. Place yourself right into that scene.

Betcha it’s different from mine in most cases.
Betcha your perfect day is perfect for you.

Now try this. Picture your perfect person. Not yourself. Not your lover. Just your perfect person. What do they say? What do they do? How do they act? What makes them a perfect person to you? Is it what they wear? Is it the color of their hair? Their skin? What about their weight? Did you think about how much they weigh when you were deciding what perfection in a person meant to you? Did you worry about their eye color or their footwear?

Betcha the key things were more internal than external.
Betcha the important stuff was what they say and what they do rather than what they wear or who they know.

So why worry about what others think about the external you, darling? Why worry at all? It’s what’s inside that is important to you. Why should anyone else be different? They are worried about the same things. We all are concerned that we won’t be accepted for this thing or for that thing.

Me? What is my worry?

Being seen as weird.

I worry that I will be seen as weird and not a real business woman because I use Tarot. Because my coaching business uses Tarot to help others seek joy. Because I teach Tarot for a living.

Silly, right? I agree. So I remind myself to co-opt the Austin, TX and Portland, OR. Keep Arwen Weird. And let my freak flag fly! That’s perfect for me. It helps me stay mindful for those of you who practice mindfulness.

So my perfect day, my perfect person and my perfect motto aren’t yours. It’s all good, darling. That means we have room to wiggle and to grow. Room to find our own perfect spot.

Not sure how to find your wise inner self? I can help. Let’s have a conversation using the Tarot as our tools to set your feet on the joy seeking path today.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Oh by the way? Lisa Hunt and I worked on a Lenormand deck called Fairy Tale Lenormand. Just released 9/1/16. If you want to learn how to read Tarot my way, check out my upcoming class Trust Your Gut Intuitive Tarot.

Save

Tarotscopes for June 27 – July 3, 2016

Whispers of Lord Ganesha (used with permission of Blue Angel Publishing 2016. All rights reserved.
Whispers of Lord Ganesha (used with permission of Blue Angel Publishing 2016. All rights reserved.

[inlinetweet prefix=”Seek Joy, Y’all!” tweeter=”@tarotbyarwen” suffix=”#seekjoyyall #seekjoy”]Welcome to this week’s Tarotscopes.[/inlinetweet] They are done via video now so when you click a link, it goes to YouTube.

Did you know I have Joy Road Trips just for you? Get your joy back on track.

Book your appointment now. I’ve added email readings back in. Just remember that the email readings are email only so you can book them whenever.

Love to color? Grab a free coloring book here:  (it’s a pdf so you can print whichever page you like as you like.) Oh and you sign up for the newsletter too but it’s a great one. 😀

Are you a writer? This is my heart, y’all. I love teaching writers how to use the Tarot and Tarot readers how to give their stories voice. Let’s do this thing.

Oracle deck: Whispers of Lord Ganesha
Tarot deck: Morgan Greer Tarot Tin

Not sure how to find your Sun, Moon, Rising? Check this short video out to learn how.

Want to review last week’s Tarotscopes first? Go here.

Thanks for checking in every week. I love hearing from you!

It’s the Litha Tarot Blog Hop, Y’all!

PREVIOUS | MASTER LIST | NEXT

Our wrangler, Morgan, gave us the task of making a card. He suggested we use junk mail. Well, I didn’t follow the rules because I didn’t manage my time well. 😀 But I am going to use one of the variations.

Before diving into that, I’d like to invite you to check out a collaborative book I’m part of. Today is release day. It’s 365 Moments of Grace.

I use Zentangle as a meditative practice. I don’t set out with anything in mind when I tangle but the end results often remind me of a Tarot card. It’s an interesting exercise for me to “see” something in the artwork.

So what I want to do is offer a few of my tangle pieces here and have YOU tell me what you see. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”TarotByArwen” suffix=”tarotbloghop”]What card comes to mind with these images for you?[/inlinetweet]

 

Zentangle Mandala
Zentangle Mandala by Arwen

Zentangle050Zendala4112013

Click to see large version

 

I also wrote an article for Witches And Pagans about how Zentangle made me a better psychic.

So what do these images bring to your mind? Once you’ve answered that question, it’s time to hop along to the next blog in this Tarot Blog Hop.

PREVIOUS | MASTER LIST | NEXT

Spring! Tarot Blog Hop 2016

PREVIOUS | MASTER | NEXT

Money Money Money and Tarot is our topic. That damned Ania was anti-bunny this year so she’s forcing us to talk about money and oracles. 😀 Okay, so she’s not really forcing us but I thought I’d whine a bit.

Money and this Pisces are not the best of friends. I am very fond of spending my money. My darling husband is more a fan of keeping the stuff. We usually find a common ground. But when we don’t? Oh good gods, y’all! It’s fireworks then–and I don’t mean the fun kind.IMG_3132[1]

It’s the kind that breaks things. No, we don’t throw stuff, but trust and love can get damaged when money comes up.

While this isn’t a spread per se, these sets of questions are designed to get you talking to your partner (or partners if you are in a poly group). Use it as a springboard for fine tuning your own money relationships. You can use them for opening up communication. Please note that if you get triggered easily, you should find a good therapist to work with you and your partner. Money is one of the deal-breakers in many marriages.

(For Poly folk, just add a card after Person 1 and Person 2.)

Person 1: What is your biggest block around money?
Person 2: What is your biggest block around money?

Person 1: What is your biggest financial dream?
Person 2: What is your biggest financial dream?

Person 1: How do you relate to money?
Person 2: How do you relate to money?

Person 1: How do you want Person 2 to think about money within your relationship?
Person 2: How do you want Person 2 to think about money within your relationship?

You can create your own dialogues as well of course. Just stay open to the idea that you are exploring this with your other half. Don’t make it a war, please.

PREVIOUS | MASTER | NEXT

The Arwen Remodeling Project (2/12/2008)

Some may blink at the date above. I am republishing this from 2/12/2008. I have edited it ONLY to remove two memes. The rest stands exactly as it was offered in 2008 when I was on LiveJournal. It has passed the test of time. I still believe this. It’s a struggle to live this way. I fail. But when I succeed? Oh. Yeah. Baby. It’s like one of those mind-blowing orgasms where you know everything is perfect in your world.

————-From 2/12/2008————–

What is your truth? guaranteed to be not about BF! lol

Imbolc Awakening the heart

PREVIOUS | MASTER | NEXT
Our blog hop wrangler, Joy Vernon, tasked us with this theme:

“…the still point of the center of the fixed stimulates germination and the awakening of the heart.”

I thought about it a long while. Thought I had a blog idea after someone attacked all Tarotists as abominations, but then I decided not to give that crazy any more space in my head.

I thought I might blog about saving a dog only to have to release it to animal control to be euthanizes. I opted to not burden you all with that sorrow.

Then last night just as I was going to bed, I realized what I wanted to share with you. My muse gifted me with a spread for you. I will do a reading for myself via video (below). Here is the spread.

Germination Spread

Seed: This card represents something you want. You can choose it intentionally by going through the deck until you see/feel/sense/know the card you need. Or you can draw it at random.

Soil: This card represents what surrounds your SEED. It is what supports this need of yours, this want. It is the nutrient-rich darkness that all ideas/dreams/whispers must exist in as it begins to burgeon with all your expectations and hopes.IMG_2016

Water: This card represents what you will have to do to bring your SEED to life. Here is your sweat, your salty tear, your moistened mouth as you wet your lips while you hunger for this SEED to burst forth into the light.

Sun: This card represents your heart, your heat, your very spirit. This is the warmth of your love, the heat of your desire, the brilliant inferno of lust for this SEED you have planted.

Time: This card represents what you will do while you wait. Waiting is a part of all things in life–especially growth. We cannot force things into being. We cannot reach beneath the soil to firmly yank the small green sprout upwards. But while we wait for our SEED to grow, there are things that we can do.IMG_2015

I invite you to do your own germinating as you continue your hop through the kickoff of our fifth year of the Tarot Blog Hop. This started as a seed itself. A discussion on Facebook led me to asking a question that then led me to inviting others to join me on a group exploration of one question. You can see that here.

Here is me doing my own Germination reading. (don’t forget to come back to continue the hop, y’all.)

And please? Leave comments as you go. Share the posts that speak to you. We do this as a community for you and for ourselves. Comments tell us you were here. Sharing tells us we touched you on some level.

May your seeds grow. May you find the courage to weed out the ones that don’t have strong stems. May your year bring you all the joy you deserve.

zentangle_seekjoySeek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

PREVIOUS | MASTER | NEXT