Embracing Change?

Part of my daily practice is to write. I like to pull a card (Lenormand, Tarot, Oracle) then write about what it brings up in me. In our current climate, change has been a topic seemingly from everyone.

  • What do we do about change?
  • How do we create change?
  • How do we change things that are changing?
  • Can we change ourselves to adapt to our new climate?

And so it goes. I don’t think the discussion is new. I do think it is louder, more vociferous, more in-my-face than it has been. I also think it is showing me things that I cannot condone.

Violence in thought, word and/or deed is a big one for me.

All of that was on my mind when I wrote down the question for the day.

How can I embrace change more effectively?

If I am honest, I can admit that I was pretty sure I knew what my answer was. I would just have to embrace change as it came.

But the card I pulled forced me into a deeper way of looking at thing. A more profound yet far simpler answer was waiting for me in the turn of a card.

Using the Housewives Tarot (Quirk Books 2004), I flipped over the Three of Pentacles. And here is part of my journal entry.


Housewives Tarot Three of Pentacles
Housewives Tarot

Interesting. She’s doing the work to reinforce the shelf while the other three look on. Why are they not helping?

And that’s it in a small, encapsulated natural holder: nutshell. She doesn’t care that they are not helping. That they seem to be judging her work. She’s doing the work that needs to be done.

Her arms/hands are the tools. Left hand is a hammer. Right hand is a screwdriver. She didn’t have to stop to grab tools. She is Tools.

The work doesn’t scare her. She is as cheerful as a robin greeting spring. This isn’t about her. It isn’t about them. It isn’t even about the shelf.

It’s about the work itself.

She would be fixing something else if not this shelf. She’d be creating more plates. She’d be inventorying her environment to see what needed doing.

She would just do. It is where her joy is. In the doing.

Not the doing for others.
Just the very act of doing.

Today I do what needs to be done.


I end each journal entry with an affirmation. I tell my clients that affirmations are best said out-loud. I advocate that they are done three times three. By that I mean, say the affirmation three times. Do that three times a day so that you have a total of nine. Bare minimum!

And say them out loud. Look yourself in the eye in the mirror when you do this. Our brains process what we hear differently than when we read the same thing.

So what will you do about change? My answer turned out to be to just do the work that needs to be done. I guess the Universe is kicking me in the rump telling me to stop worrying about the efficacy of what I do and worry about the DO part of what I do.

Today I do what needs to be done. I know what I see that needs doing, but I don’t want to put words into your mouths. Instead please let me know in the comments what you will be doing.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

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.

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

Periscopes, Characters & Firsts

Back when I did this SXSW gig, someone videoed me doing their reading for them. They mentioned Periscope or Meerkat…I can’t remember. I never found that video but remembered being intrigued.

Fast forward to working with Amethyst Mahoney who mentioned Periscope again. So I tuned in to her channel. I was on lunch so why not!

I loved it. 😀 Then I watched a few others. Of course, my Aquarius Rising had to try it out.

Here is my very first Periscope.

Do you Periscope? Please follow me. I’ll follow back.

Got something you would like me to chat about on Periscope? Let me know in the comments.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

CHARACTER READING: Clare Cermak, Ghost Seer

Ghost SeerToday’s reading is for Clare Cermak. She’s the heroine of a brand-new series by Robin D. Owens.

OwensWebsite The following bit was swiped and diced right from Robin’s site!

RITA® Award Winning novelist Robin D. Owens credits the telepathic cat with attitude in selling her first futuristic/fantasy romance, HeartMate, published in December 2001. Since then she has written thirteen books in the series, Heart Fortune the latest in August, 2011.

Her newest stories, about an uptight accountant who sees Old West ghosts and helps them move on, will start with Ghost Seer in April of 2014. She is profoundly thankful to be recipient of the 2004 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year award as well as the 2011 Writer of the Year Award, the Colorado Romance Writers Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2010 Best Paranormal and Best of the Best Daphne Du Maurier Award…actually, after winning an award she tends to dance around bored cats.

Now meet Clare. She’s the heroine of Ghost Seer, book one in the Ghostlayer series by Robin. D. Owens. This book is out today, April 1, 2014. No Foolin’!

Arwen: How do you see the people around you?

The 10 of Earth in this deck is about responsibilities changing. It’s about the end of one journey even as another begins. There are those near you that haven’t gotten the message that their journey is complete.

You see these individuals as tasks or jobs. Your sense of responsibility to them is very strong. Almost as though you were the only one that could really understand their stories.

So you see them as things you must do. Be careful you don’t make their needs the priorities on your to-do list, Clare. You must make room for your own journey, yes?

Clare’s Response: My life HAS changed with my inheritance from my…eccentric…Great-Aunt Sandra. But I do have the responsibility of handling her estate. Being responsible is very important to me, unlike my parents, so maybe I do go overboard. Still, you may be right, since I’m having, uh, visions of apparitions…you know, ghosts. Ghosts of the Old West. And that goofy ghost Labrador…Enzo. But I’m sure that will pass.

Arwen: How are you seen by the people around you?

They see you as a bit sad. You give off the impression that you are happy being alone and don’t really need others in your world. Still, I have to wonder if they really get you.

Clare, this card tells me that you have created some walls, some boundaries where relationships are concerned. You have some old emotional baggage that you may be letting weigh you down.

I would ask you if you are ready to let go of the navel-gazing and get out into the world again. Question who you are still answering too when you don’t need to be. Who is still in control of your emotional responses?

Clare’s Response: Everyone has issues and baggage. I’ve been happy with my choices. And I DON’T have a new “gift.” Enzo is WRONG. The doctors will clear me.

Arwen: What is your most important goal?

The Ace of Earth is the card that says you have a new project going on. Maybe a business endeavor that you want to grow. Your goal is to plant your success in the here and now.

Still I wonder if you are simply wanting to start again. This is a card of “re” beginning. There is a message that starting over is important to you.

What are you in the process of replanting for yourself? Perhaps these are goals that you didn’t even know were important until just recently?

Clare’s Response: Well, I have a lot of money now, and someone else can use my good job. But the ghost of a gunfighter is appearing at the end of my bed at night, demanding I find things for him so he can redeem himself for his cruelest act.

Then he can move on to wherever they move on to. Enzo says he’s my first project, and if I continue to ignore ghosts I will die. I’m not sure about that.

The best thing is that I have met a very hot and interesting guy, Zach Slade, who finds me interesting, too. My most important goal is to stay alive and sane.

Arwen: Where do you get your strength from?

Five of Air is an unusual source of strength. This is a card that can point to a love of debate and verbal sparring. Are you one of those who love to converse and learn?

This tells me that your mental powers are your greatest strength. While they may not be conventional and they may cause others grief, you can truly soar when you allow your mind the freedom it needs.

You get strength from unconventional places but this may not sit well with you.

Clare’s Response: My strength is from my gypsy heritage, from what I made myself, from the new friends who are helping me and Zach…and from my new gift. I DO make a difference to spirits who need me to help them transition. I can accept that.

Arwen: Why do you want to be remembered?

For me, this is one of the most important things we can learn about ourselves. It is what drives us to do what we do. Your card is the Guardian of Fire or the Queen of Wands.

Here is our passionate Clare who is driven to help because it saves her. You don’t reach out because you can. You reach out because you must. You are driven by an inner passion.

This card also shows that you would like to be remembered for all that you do and not just part. You want to be acknowledged as a whole person rather than the tasks you accomplish.

Clare’s Response: I sure want to be remembered as Clare, Zach’s lover, who helped him. As the person who accepted and fulfilled her destiny, than just as someone who fought evil and moved apparitions on.

Go here to read an excerpt of this first book in Robin’s newest series.

Robin has generously offered three copies of Ghost Seer. To win, share this post on any social network. Then leave a comment with the link to your share.  Your email will be entered for every link you share (one per each social network please.)

Can’t wait to see if you won the contest? You can buy it right now.

Seek joy, y’all! Pass it on.

CONTEST: Genna Reilly + A SEAL’s Salvation

I am living my life my way, and I don’t care what my parents, the town, or even Brody Lane himself think about that!

ASS3-sidebar-coverToday I am delighted to be doing a reading for Genna Reilly which includes a contest. She’s agreed to let me share this with you. Maybe you can help her out? She’s got troubles that are more family than man, but the man in question is causing her a bit of grief as well.
[Tweet “Check it out! You can win a half hour reading + a signed copy of A Seal’s Salvation by Tawny Weber.”]
Of course, this is one of my character readings. Today I’m reading for USAToday bestseller Tawny Weber. She’s writing some spicy, spicy books these days, y’all! Let’s see what’s up with her heroine, Genna Reilly.

Arwen 1. How do you see the people around you? The Hanged Man is the card of sacrifice. You see people around you as sacrificing themselves. I get a sense that you may see relationships as means to ends rather than as something long-lasting.

This may make you view the world from a very cynical set of glasses but I think you may have once had rose-colored glasses, Genna.

The Hanged Kitty is a card that says you’ve had to drastically revamp how you see people around you. You’ve had to change your perspective rather suddenly perhaps?
Genna’s Response: So a girl finally gets up the nerve to go after the guy she’s crazy about and just because she’s under18, he ends up shipped off to the Navy.

Okay, fine, I accept that my actions caused Brody trouble. But it wasn’t my fault my brother chose that same night to steal cars and get thrown in jail, or my mother to go into crisis and end up hospitalized. I’ve spent the last ten years trying to make up for that to my parents, to be the perfect daughter, but even perfect isn’t enough. I’m tired of always giving up to please others.

Now that Brody’s back in town? Now I want to do whatever I can to please him… and myself.

Arwen 2. How are you seen by the people around you? Oh dear. The Seven of Swords is a card that puts you in a position of a being a rebel and a rabble-rouser. Or so people think. I think it’s more a reaction to their expectations though.

Basically, it’s a case of “Okay if you think I’m such a bad girl, then I’ll be a bad girl.” You may be seen as a troublemaker when you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Or is this someone you are around that is making other people worry about you so much?

Genna’s Response: Oh, this is all about my father, the sheriff’s biased opinion of poor Brody. Just because he was a bad boy in his teens doesn’t mean he’s a bad influence. The guy is a bonafide hero, for crying out loud! A Navy SEAL, recognized by the President, even. How can he be a bad influence? Well, other than making me feel things I’ve only dreamed about, giving me the nerve to quit my job and encouraging me to finally chase my dreams.

That’s not bad, is it?

Arwen 3. What is your most important goal? Well for such a supposed rebel, the Queen of Cups is a pretty traditional card. This is the card of the woman who just wants to be loved and to love.

This Queen requires compassion in her life as well as strength. This says that you really want to learn how to be a strong, confident woman who can take care of as well as be taken care of.

The Queen of Cups is also very emotionally intuitive. You read feelings pretty darn well. Queen of Cups

Genna’s Response: Okay, this is so me. I just want my prince charming to sweep in and make our lives perfect together. I didn’t even realize that I was waiting for Brody until he came back to town. But now that he’s here, I’ll show him that he’s a true hero, and I’m strong enough to be his heroine.

Arwen 4. Where do you get your strength from? The Nine of Pentacles is the card of the person who knows how to be successful. This isn’t just about money. Genna, who is your hero (or is that heroine) who has carved out an amazing life? You (idolize isn’t the best word but it’s the only one I have) idolize them to the point of making them almost infallible.

But your strength is drawn from knowing if they can do it, you can too. You hold them up as your example of what happens when you just get everything right.

Genna’s Response: My strength comes from Brody Lane. Seeing him triumph like he has, knowing what he’s gone through and that is still so strong? That was a heck of a kick in the pants for me to start living my life, to quit worrying so much about others and to follow my dreams. Brody is my hero. He’s my inspiration, and my white knight.

Arwen 5. Why do you want to be remembered? The person who learned how to make things happen. The Eight of Pentacles is card that almost always points to someone who learns how to do something themselves.

You may be surrounded by strong confident people, but that doesn’t mean you like waiting for them to do for you. This is the card of the apprentice who makes journeyman and doesn’t stop until they are the master of that particular skill.

When you get your teeth on the bit, there really is no stopping you.

Genna’s Response:
Yes!!!! I am done letting others lead my life, and finished paying for mistakes I didn’t make. I am living my life my way, and I don’t care what my parents, the town, or even Brody Lane himself think about that!


Check out more about A Seal’s Salvation then leave a comment answering this question.

What have you done that you were warned not to do? Did you succeed or learn a lesson?

All answers will be included in the drawing for an autographed print copy of the book that Tawny is generously donated. And, I’ll toss in a half hour SKYPE or phone Tarot consultation too. You can buy your own copy right from the excerpt page above or, if you just want it right now, head to Amazon for instant gratification.

P. to the S. You can get additional entries into the contest by sharing this post on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest. Just post the link in a separate comment.

P.P. to the S. I’ll be chatting with Maggie Lukowski and Jean Maurie Pulhman today at 1pm EST about Tarot and writing. Come tune in!

Hops, Fairies, + Blocks

Still, a brilliant procrastinator such as myself will stall trying to find the perfect deck, clean the cat litter box, take out the trash, organize those pictures from that 2002 trip. You know what I mean.

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It’s time for the Brigidmas Tarot Blog Hop. In my house it’s better known as staring at the pretty white screen on your computer wondering why the hell you signed up for this one.

Grin. Yeah, welcome to my version of writer’s block. I could blame Christiana. After all, she’s the wrangler for this one. She’s the one who suggested we write about healing or creativity or Tarot. I mean what the heck, Christiana! It’s just Imbolg, Candlemas, Imbolc, Brigid’s Day, Brigidmas.

Or is it Groundhog’s day?

Well, it’s that too.

Brigid is commonly held to be a Celtic deity. There are some who say she is a triple Goddess with areas of divine expertise in poetry, in healing and in smithcrafting. There are others who say she is a place-bound deity who is a well Goddess. I’m more in the former camp than than the latter.

Are you noticing how I’m totally avoiding actually writing about the topic? I’m goooooood, aren’t I? If I really wanted to, I could natter on about the Year of the Horse. It was New Year’s Day yesterday.

Still, it’s painfully obvious even to me that I am employing squirrel brain. So what do I tell my students of writing to do when they hit a block?

Pull a card. Yep, it’s one of the tips in my Tarot for Writers course.

Still, a brilliant procrastinator such as myself will stall trying to find the perfect deck, clean the cat litter box, take out the trash, organize those pictures from that 2002 trip. You know what I mean.

And if you can’t tell that I am literally typing what enters my brain, I’m glad for you. My brain–it’s a scary place sometimes.

How about a spread for taking down writer’s block? I can do that, right? I have several decks to choose from. A testament to my Tarot collection is that I have the following decks within easy reach:

Illuminati Tarot
Victorian Fairy Tarot
Egyptian Tarot
Ukiyoe Tarot
Cat’s Eye Tarot
Dreaming Way Tarot
Celestial Tarot
Robin Wood Tarot
Tree of Life Oracle

And that’s just on my table! I won’t list the decks floating around my living room. Nobody’s got time for that.

And nobody’s got time for writer’s block. So let’s do a spread. I like simple spreads that are 3-5 cards at the most. Lately I’ve been doing a bunch of free three card tarot readings. Three seems to be a good number for me.

Writer’s Block Smashing Spread

1. What’s the energy of this block?
2. What will help me break this block?
3. What will hinder me breaking this block?

This is the basis of most of my readings these days. The middle card is the issue at hand. In this case, this pesky block. Then I pull a card to see what will help me with the issue and one to see what will hinder me with the issue.

I grabbed the Victorian Fairy Tarot for no better reason than the soft colors appealed to me in this moment.

WritersBlock0041. The energy is the Ten of Winter. This is the Ten of Swords. A little fairy isn’t seeing that a HUGE badger is about to pounce. My take away from this is that my mind isn’t on the task at hand. DUH! 😀

2. The card to the left is what helps me. Here is another Ten. This one is the Ten of Spring or of Wands. Each of the fairies here has a task and they are seeing to it. I take this as prioritizing what needs to be done.

3. The card to the right is what hinders me. I had to laugh at this Four of Autumn or Pentacles. This is the miser’s card. The card that warns me to be careful with my resources.

Pretty clear answer to me. Focus, prioritize and budget my time wisely.

Oh look. I’m at the end of my post already. How did that happen? I hope you enjoyed this trip down my rabbit hole brain. Hop forward to Olivia’s blog or backwards to Christiana’s. If you find a link that isn’t working, just hit the master list to see all the blogs listed. There are twenty two participating this round. Leave a comment to let them know you were there. It’s the only payment any of us ask.
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Shattered Boys + Giveaways

Today I’m sharing a reading I did for Zachary. He’s the hero of Shattered by Jeri Smith-Ready. This is a tie-in novella for her SHADE series.

Today I’m sharing a reading I did for Zachary. He’s the hero of Shattered by Jeri Smith-Ready. This is a tie-in novella for her SHADE series. I used the Dreaming Way tarot for this one. This novella is free, y’all!

Jeri says, “”Shattered”‘s price of $0 does not in any way reflect its quality or its importance to me. I spent a total of about four full-time months writing, rewriting, and editing this novella (which, due to its length, is technically a short novel). Instead of asking for payment, I’d like to suggest a small donation to Amnesty International or the National Alliance on Mental Illness.”

I’ve known Jeri via online for a few years now and am utterly hooked on her WVMP series which is billed as “late night radio you can sink your teeth into.”

The first book in her young adult paranormal series is Shade followed by Shift then Shine. Shattered is a free novella that reveals more about a fan favorite, Zachary. You can’t go wrong with one of Jeri’s books so go get you one. Now let’s hear from Zachary.

Arwen: How do you see the people around you? The Seven of Cups is the card of the daydreamer. This says that you view the people around you as things you can’t really have. They are the dreams you wish for even if you don’t let anyone know. This is the Seven of Cups.

You also don’t know if you can trust them because people haven’t always shown you their real selves at first. Sometimes they’ve lied to you to let you get close, then revealed their true nature. A lot of pain for someone your age, Zachary.

Zachary: First, I want to say cheers, Arwen, for taking the time to do my tarot reading. It’s a pleasure to be visiting your blog!

As for this first card, the first part, about seeing others around me almost as dream people, definitely fits. I suppose that’s one of the many sad after-effects of being kept in isolation—when I returned to real life, much of it felt like a dream. I kept expecting to wake up back in my tiny cell.

The second part doesn’t fit as well. If anything, I’ve been the one to hide my real nature from people, thinking I was protecting them (and myself), not the other way around. Those I’ve been closest to have been unfailingly loyal and true, probably more so than I’ve deserved.

Arwen: How are you seen by the people around you? The Hermit is the card of the one who leads the way but is solitary. He’s there to show others where to go, but he is not there to be surrounded by people.

People respond to your “go away’ vibe. Sometimes they want to get closer but you have a really strong “get lost” energy. Still, the life of the hermit is one of study. You are seen as smart at what you do. People admire that even if they find your need for solitude a bit—weird.

Zachary: Hah! This was definitely true when I was younger. I used to crave solitude. But after eight weeks of enforced isolation, being alone is the last thing I want. Even the word makes me hyperventilate a wee bit. (Sorry, I just need to breathe into this paper sack for a moment.)

Arwen: What is your most important goal? Generosity is a great goal, Zachary. The Six of Pentacles tells me that you want to give to the world. There is a philanthropist waiting to get out. 😀
Be careful that you don’t give without receiving something in return. Even a smile back for your efforts is getting something back. It’s important.

This goal is you wanting to repay some debt, I think. Someone or something you think you owe. Be sure that is the right reason for this goal, okay?

Zachary: Hmm, this is interesting. I wouldn’t call myself a philanthropist, but I do feel a calling to give back to the world in some way, to make a difference. Do things that will benefit those beyond me.

Maybe there’s a bit of debt-paying there, but that’s towards specific people. In general, I think it has more to do with wanting to feel strong again. If I can help others, it means I’m back to being human. I exist again.

Arwen: Where do you get your strength from? Ouch! This Eight of Swords says that you have had to struggle. Your strength comes from that. It’s almost as if you’ve had to fight for everything you’ve had.

This card is sometimes called the victim’s card but for you, I think you are a survivor rather than a victim. That survivor mentality is what sees you through.

Zachary:
Aye, this is a good one. Everything you said, plus I’d add that being a survivor has taught me what it means to be strong. It doesn’t mean being “tough” or “stoic” as I once thought. It doesn’t mean suffering in silence and solitude. Strength means knowing when to ask for help.

Arwen: Why do you want to be remembered? The Queen of Swords is the person of the sharp mind and quick tongue. This tells me that you want to be remembered as someone whose intelligence carried them through.

While she represents a woman, this doesn’t mean you want to be remembered as a girl, Zachary. 😀 It’s more about the forthright nature and honesty that this card represents.

You need to be remembered as someone who was honest and who got the job done with mental skills.

Zachary: Well, I definitely want to be remembered as intelligent. But frankly, I think honesty is overrated. As the son of a secret agent (and as someone considering going into that field myself), I know that the truth can not only hurt, but it can kill. So there’s a place for secrets, as long as they’re kept for the right reasons—to protect lives, not someone’s pride.

Thanks very much again for reading my cards! It gave me lots to think about. My best mate, Martin, will have a laugh over my final card being that of a lass. 😉


Jeri has generously offered to give away a set of signed bookmarks AND Shade series bookplates. So leave a comment if you want to be entered in the contest. Remember that this is a free download. Grab yours today.

Geeks, Sex + Contests

Oh yeah, I got a great big kick in the ass that nudged me right over the edge and got in my face without any kind of apology for it. Still hurts, but I wouldn’t have it any other way now.

Today I’m sharing a reading I did for Alex Cross. Alex is a geek you see and he needs love. He’s been having a bit of a hard time finding it. Sara Brookes asked me to help him out. Now I should be clear about one thing. Alex is a figment of Sara’s imagination.

Welcome to my Character Readings! I pull five cards for a fictional character and their author answers as the character. This is a lot of fun for me. I will always let you know if I have read the book first. Normally I have not. Since today is release day for Sara Brookes latest–Break Me In, you can be assured I haven’t read this one–yet!

So I’d like to welcome Alex Cross to the blog today. Let’s see what his reading says.

Arwen: How do you see the people around you?
Well you see them as happy and in love and having the life you don’t. Family is very important to you but you don’t think you deserve that, do you? This is the 10 of Cups.

This is the card of Happily Ever After, Alex. What most of us want to achieve. Yet this is you looking from the outside in. What holds you back?

And look at all the cups here. Do you depend too much on other things to see you through? Do you allow other things to ease your pain of not having this happiness you see in others around you?

Perhaps this is someone you lost and you still see your happiness reflected in “could have beens”?

Alex’s Response:
That is…eerily accurate. I watched my brother fall head over heels with the love of his life while my marriage was falling apart. And when I finally accepted my wife was never going to accept me for who I was, what I wanted, I drown my sorrows searching for the bottle of every bottle I could find.

Arwen: How are you seen by the people around you? Uh oh! They see you as someone who steals from themselves. Not a thief to be afraid of, but someone who denies themselves the joys of life. This is the Seven of Swords.

Alex, they would love to help you change your way of thinking. The swords here represent your own battles with yourself and there are those near you who would like to help you stop hurting yourself.

Alex’s Response:
You’re right, I’ve denied something about myself for a very long time. I was lying to myself, too, something I’m now on the path to rectifying.

Arwen: What is your most important goal? Judgment is a HUGE card here. This says that you have set your mind to rising up. You have realized that you have issues that need to be addressed. You are ready to move on them and change yourself. This is the card of Judgment.

You also have something to prove to someone other than yourself, I think. This goal is to show them that you are more than they said you were. Those words hurt but you have used them to get strong.

This goal is transcending your own blocks. Good job!

Alex’s Response:
Oh yeah, I got a great big kick in the ass that nudged me right over the edge and got in my face without any kind of apology for it. Still hurts, but I wouldn’t have it any other way now.

Arwen: Where do you get your strength from? The Nine of Cups is the make a wish card. An intriguing response to this question about strength. You make wishes come true—for yourself and for others. It’s a gift. Here is the Nine of Cups.

Your strength, Alex, is that you know how important belief and faith are. You understand on a molecular level that trust is the key to all good things. Your strength comes from your ability to trust that someone really does want what’s best for you.

Alex’s Response:
I didn’t fully understand trust until recently. Something happened that made me realize somebody I thought I loved and was destined to spend the rest of my life with was just using my trust against me. It really opened my eyes to a lot of things, mostly to a woman who was standing right in front of me all along.

Arwen: Why do you want to be remembered?
Ye Gods, man! Death? Don’t panic. This card is about transformation so complete that there is no going back to the old Alex.

You want to be remembered as a man who remade himself. As someone who used painful changes to become a better human being.

Death is a hard card if you don’t hold on to the fact that it is about change. Painful, unyielding change that you can’t go back from.

But I think maybe you don’t want to go back to your former self, do you? This Death of old self is a very good thing to be remembered for. Perhaps you will serve as a good example for someone else.

Alex’s Response:
I don’t want to go back to the old me. I have very few good things to say about him. Other than he helped me get to where I am today—spending my life with the woman I love, and who loves me right back. So maybe I should thank him.


Need to read a bit more? Check out an excerpt from Alex’s tale here.

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Tarot In Nine Words: The Devil

Card Fifteen is one of the BigBadBohemeth ™ cards of the Tarot. The Devil carries such ingrained meanings for any one who was raised in a typical Christian home–myself included. But I will never forget what Father Trimble (Episcopal) said once.

Rider Waite Smith Devil
Rider Waite Smith

I began this project in 2008. One of my hundred things to do is finish this project.

Back in 1993 I started a thread called the 9Word Poetry Challenge. We put up nine words and were to create poems from them. I still do that challenge every now and again. I then applied it to the Tarot.

I look at the card to get nine words. Then those nine words have to be used in a poem about the card. 😀 Sounds easy, right? Well, sometimes…it’s not!

Card Fifteen is one of the BigBadBohemeth ™ cards of the Tarot. The Devil carries such ingrained meanings for any one who was raised in a typical Christian home–myself included. But I will never forget what Father Trimble (Episcopal) said once.

“Hell is being removed from God.”

He never preached brimstone and fire, but the idea of being absented from God’s presence scared the beejeezus out of me. When I first started reading the Tarot, the Devil was a difficult concept for me.

Then I learned that this card was about overindulging in self-pleasures and not caring how it affected others.

Here are my nine words: Wings Chains Flames Fruit Naked Torch Frown Horns Satyr

Here is my poem:

The Devil You Know

Tie me down but let me go
Chains I’ve made myself
Your horns curve towards me
My own reach to your wings
Vestigial tail lit with flames
A reminder of passions unwatched
Some fruits remain forbidden
Still I would be naked to you
Your frown a terrible thing
Release me, you fearsome satyr
I cry then realize this sad thing
Your torch is lit by my own flame
I control the locks and keys.

Stephanie Arwen Lynch
1/14/2014

I encourage you to try your hand at this!

You can see my other poems here.