I Don’t Like That Card

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Shadowscapes Tarot Devil
Shadowscapes Tarot

It’s Tarot Blog Hop time! I love this event. It brings me joy to know that we are carrying on into our third year of community blogging. Someone likened it to Brigadoon. In case you aren’t familiar with Brigadoon, that’s a magical town that springs up once a year. Only we spring up six times a year.

[Tweet “On #TarotBlogHop today, Arwen shares the BigBadBehemoths. What are they?”]

This hop’s theme was given to us by Morgan Drake Eckstein. I have to admit that I nearly didn’t sign up because I wasn’t sure I could do the theme justice. See he wanted us to discuss distasteful cards. I don’t really think any of the cards are distasteful per se. The real problem is our reaction to them.

If I had a dollar for every person who said to me, “Arwen, I don’t like that card. Can I get a do-over”, I’d have a really hefty savings account. Add fifty cents for every time I bit my tongue to not say, “Dammit no”. But doing the math doesn’t negate the simple fact that some people really get a hate-on for certain cards.

Fradella Adventure Tarot Death
Fradella Adventure Tarot

They are what I call the BigBadBohemeth cards. They would be the Devil, Death and the Tower. Each one constitutes an icky, sticky situation. I’ve written musings, poetry, even recipes for these cards. I try my best to get folks to see that each card has a good side as well as a bad side. It is not easy to see the good in these three but then again it’s not easy to see the bad in the Star or the Nine of Water. But believe you me, both energies exist in all cards.

And, I think, both energies exist in most situations, most people. I’ll go out on a limb and say all. I’m a risk-taker; what can I say. Still, this is a blog post about distasteful cards so let’s look at those cards specifically.

My down-and-dirty interpretations are as follows:

Devil: Things that tempt you to do wrong

Death: Hard, unavoidable change that is going to be painful

Tower: Lies we tell ourselves come apart

Herbal Tarot Tower
Herbal Tarot

It occurs to me that we can do a spread based on these three cards. I’ll give you the spread and then a variation on the spread. I’d love to know if you do this. Tell me your results or feel free to link this post in a post of your own. I’ll get notified so I can come take a look.

Arwen’s BigBadBehemoth Spread

  • The Devil You Say — this position reveals something (or someone) that is pulling you away from your own rules. This is what you need to avoid if you would stay on the path you’ve chosen.
  • Death Rides A Pale Horse — this position reveals something (or someone) that must change if you are to move forward. If you want to break free of stagnation, pay attention to this card.
  • The Tower Will Fall — this position reveals a lie you’ve been telling yourself. Maybe it’s that you will get healthy by eating more pizza and sitting on the couch more. Maybe it’s that your job will miraculously get better. Whatever it is, here is the thing that must be unraveled so you can grow into your most authentic self.

Arwen’s BigBadBehemoth Spread: a variation

  • The Devil You Say — this position reveals something (or someone) that is pulling you away from your own rules. This is what you need to avoid if you would stay on the path you’ve chosen.
    • Devil Be Dammed — this card shows how to deal with the card in the Devil position.
  • Death Rides A Pale Horse — this position reveals something (or someone) that must change if you are to move forward. If you want to break free of stagnation, pay attention to this card.
    • Lead A Horse To Water — this card shows you how you will best navigate the change advocated in the Death position
  • The Tower Will Fall — this position reveals a lie you’ve been telling yourself. Maybe it’s that you will get healthy by eating more pizza and sitting on the couch more. Maybe it’s that your job will miraculously get better. Whatever it is, here is the thing that must be unraveled so you can grow into your most authentic self.
    • What Goes Up — this card shows where the lie has the strongest hold in your life. It gives a hint as to how you can safely negotiate the tower moment in your life.

Enjoy the hop, y’all! Hit the links below to scoot to the next blog or go back or, if a link is broken (it happens), you can use that Master link to find another blog.

Decks: Shadowscapes, Fradella Adventure Tarot, Herbal Tarot

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TarotBlogHop: GIMMEGIMMEGIMME!

Join me for the Yule Tarot Blog Hop and your weekly TarotCopes.

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GIMME GIMME GIMME!

So I’m the wrangler for this Tarot Blog Hop. As we wrap up the third year of this community endeavor, I wanted to shine a light into the way we gift. Not give, mind you, but gift. Sometimes I think we see giving as an act of GIMME, GIMME, GIMME where everyone has their hand out. Everyone wants a piece of you. It can be overwhelming.

So I thought I’d turn the tables a bit to see what gifts I’ve been given and what gifts I’ve given. I asked the entire group blogging to all do the same spread. I called it The Joy Of Gifting.

[Tweet “Check out the #tarotbloghop + this week’s TarotCopes. GIMME! GIMME! GIMME!”]

From the call to join the blog hop:
Yule, Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice,Winter. Whatever you call this time of year, it is a season of gift giving, gift receiving and sharing with family and friends for a majority of the world. Whether Papa Noel brings you a candy cane or the Winter Witch brings you switches, itโ€™s a time of anticipation. The anticipation of what I might be getting and what I am giving are equal joys for me. To that end, here is a spread for each of us to do.

The Joy Of Gifting Spread

Shadowscapes Page of Cups
Shadowscapes

What gift would you give the world if you could? I would give the world the Page of Cups‘ joyful outlook. Because this card speaks to me of youth and emotion and that fanciful thinking I know I indulged in, I would hold hands with each person I met and ask them, “Where do you think your bliss went? Where do you think your joy is hiding?”

It’s my life’s passion to help others rekindle their love affair with the world. There’s so much out there to be unhappy about that I think many of us forget to tally up the joys. The Page of Cups is that part of us who still jumps in puddles and laughs at dogs chasing their tails.

Shadowscapes King of Wands
Shadowscapes

What gift would you want from the world? Hello your royal highness! The King of Wands was a surprise for me. He’s such a passionate man always giving speeches and making sure the underdog has a voice. Then I realized that is the gift I want from the world.

Sometimes I lose my way. When I do, I’ve learned to ask my friends to help. Just the yesterday I had what I call a CR day. That’s when I’m CRanky, CRotchety and CRoss. So I asked my dear ones to share their joys with me.

And they did. And it worked. I found my path again.

Shadowscapes Five of Cups
Shadowscapes

What gift have you gotten that has brought you joy? When I saw the Five of Cups, I had to smile. There is sadness in this card with the overturned bowl and dead fish. But there is a joy in realizing that there is a bowl still whole.

The gift of knowing that even in sadness joy will come. That is the gift that has brought me joy this year. I understand that when I cry for what’s lost, I am cleansing my soul. I am making room for what’s coming.

Shadowscapes Devil
Shadowscapes

What gift have you given that has brought you joy? HAHAHAHA! The Devil? Really Universe? I guess that’s true. I can be a bit of a burr under the saddle for those who dwell in nothing but negativity. I pick at them little by little showing them how that limits them.

And there is the idea that the Devil can be a card of ‘Calgon take me away’. I can’t remember who said that but it was someone in the Tarot world. So my gift that I’ve given in the guise of the Devil is the knowledge that it’s okay to play.

Shadowscapes King of Cups
Shadowscapes

What is one last thing you would like to share about this season? King of Cups. Oh you handsome thing! He is my secret keeper as well as my compassionate soldier. In today’s world we are faced with so much ugliness. There are so many things to be genuinely outraged about.

I would share that the King of Cups knows how to fight battles without losing his humanity. He understands that rage and hatred can alter a person so that they don’t know themselves any more.

My last thing for you is a reminder to not let the world’s cruelties turn your own compassion into dust. Let your compassion be your shield even as outrage is your sword.


Before you go, here are this week’s TarotCopes for December 21-27, 2014

CARD OF THE WEEK: QUEEN OF PENTACLES Rule with compassion. By reviewing your roots you can see your future. Nurture your innate goodness.

AQUARIUS FOUR OF WANDS Organized chaos works for you. You know this. Embrace it. Home needs your passion so please focus. Structural changes.

PISCES HERMIT Study where you are. Open your heart to your place. Lonely doesn’t mean being apart. Reach out to those you feel a kindred spirit with.

ARIES QUEEN OF WANDS Time to show off a bit. Some may have forgotten how you shine. It’s up to you to remind them. Be gentle as you dazzle.

TAURUS STRENGTH When you know your own power, you don’t have to make a lot of noise. Outside praise isn’t as sweet as the song you sing to yourself.

GEMINI JUDGMENT There comes a moment when you must heed the call. You must rise up. You must sound your own clarion call to action. Rise Up.

CANCER QUEEN OF SWORDS Sometimes your mental focus makes you seem cold to others. That’s on them. Clarity of mind brings you incredible growth.

LEO WHEEL OF FORTUNE Do not be surprised by a gift given. Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself. Opportunities abound for you to show them.

VIRGO PAGE OF WANDS Playfulness is your guide. Learn a new game Play with others. Engage them in the seditious act of passionate living.

LIBRA THE WORLD If you could give a gift to the world, what would it be? Let it be your open heart, your loving soul. Experience life please.

SCORPIO HANGED MAN Take some time out for yourself. No need to sacrifice your quiet mind for the holiday chaos. Limit how much you indulge.

SAGITTARIUS SEVEN OF CUPS That mountain? It’s an out-of-reach dream ONLY if you stay stuck in what-ifs. Get started now. Time is fleeting.

CAPRICORN THREE OF CUPS Joy comes easily. Impromptu parties, old friends, new places combine to bring you a seriously happy week. Indulge a bit.

This week’s featured deck is the gorgeous Shadowscapes Tarot from Llewellyn. A truly evocative deck that utilizes fanciful creatures in mesmerizing swirls of color.

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New Moon And Tarot Spells

Today I’m blogging at WitchesAndPagans for their SageWoman blog. It’s about Tarot and a spell you can use for healing.

[Tweet “I joined @tarotbyarwen on the @WnP_Official blog. It’s #tarot and spells today.”]

Shadowscapes Two of Cups
Shadowscapes

Today I’m blogging at WitchesAndPagans for their SageWoman blog. It’s about Tarot and a spell you can use for healing. Check it out.

Today’s affirmation:

I heal myself. I accept healing. I am healthy. I am a strong, beautiful, loving human. I am blessed beyond measure. I give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way. Love and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Two of Cups, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn Worldwide

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Keep Rising Up

Do you hang out with crows? Do you have a continual stream of negativity from others? Do you condone it by staying? Do you encourage it by commenting on it?

Shadowscapes Tarot Six of Swords
Shadowscapes Tarot

Today’s card reminds me to rise above. There will always be those who demean others to make themselves feel better. Sadly, this seems to be part of the current human nature. And it truly makes me sad because it is just as easy to praise others as to condemn them.

This Six of Swords is from the gorgeous Shadowscapes Tarot. She rises above the five crows. She’s chosen to take the swan’s flight up and over the naysayers.

Choices. It’s all about choices. She could have chosen to stay there with the crows. Even with her beautiful swan companion, she still would have been surrounded by crows. Instead of staying there, she took herself away.

Sometimes, it seems safe to stay with the crows. At least then you know you aren’t the target of their attack. At least then you feel protected from the incessant peck peck peck of their negativity, right?

It wears a soul down. Rubs it thin. Like cloth that is constantly abraded by wind, it becomes tattered on the edges. We can mend the holes, mind the frayed threads, but eventually we are worn down. Eventually we either become shadows of ourselves or, worse, crows ourselves.

(Please note that I happen to like crows but in this card the symbol of the crow is a negative one.)

Crows gather in flocks. We call them murders.

Do you hang out with crows? Do you have a continual stream of negativity from others? Do you condone it by staying? Do you encourage it by commenting on it?

I have requirements. I require that seek joy. I require that I acknowledge the pissed off moments, the sad moments, the moments of sheer heinous what-the-fuckery. I have them. We all have them. But my requirements are that I let them pass on through. I don’t hold on to them. I have to let them go.

[Tweet “Sometimes I have to KEEP letting them go.”]

I won’t stay with crows. I won’t allow my negative feelings to drive my life. They happen. I move on.

Because my life has changed so much since I started actively seeking joy, I won’t stop. The day I first named myself a professional joy seeker truly galvanized (word of 2013, y’all) my world.

So don’t let life’s crows take over. Ride that swan up and out. Keep riding. Keep moving up and out. Don’t sweat the slumps, the slips, the slides. Keep moving up and out.

I’m right here with you doing the same thing.

Six of Swords, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn, 2010

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Six days left to get your free reading. Buy any downloadable version of this AMAZING workbook from that link. Then tell me you did it. I’ll get you set up for your free reading.

I’m getting asked truly amazing questions like “What was I born to do?” “How can I accomplish my goals this year?” Big questions and I’m loving the answers the Universe is giving out.

What question would you ask if you had the chance?

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Can We Absorb Adversity?

The message I’m getting today is that adversity was overcome here. But overcome isn’t the right word. More like–absorbed. It’s as if the woman said, ….

Nine of Pentacles, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn
Shadowscapes Tarot

Today’s card takes me a bit far afield from the actual meaning. Traditionally this card is about success but more so enjoying that success. It’s about reviewing what you’ve done and what’s to come.

So it’s a perfect card for me today because I am working on my workbook (http://bit.ly/TbAIncred). I’m also working on a guest post that has me super excited. ๐Ÿ˜€ Still, I look at this card and I don’t think “enjoy your successes.”

Instead I think, “Wow…look at this. The piano has a tree growing right through it.” And then I think the woman is using a snail shell for her piano bench. Is that comfortable?

The message I’m getting today is that adversity was overcome here. But overcome isn’t the right word. More like–absorbed. It’s as if the woman said, “Okay, I see you. All you problems. All you worries. All you sorrows. I see you and I accept you. And I incorporate you into my daily life. I own you. And by owning you, I control you.”

Then the tree through the piano becomes a triumph of living one’s life as one wants rather than negotiating those that might stop us. The tree is now a part, heart and soul, of the thing that brings her joy.

And isn’t that an amazing gift to give ourselves? Check back through 2013 right now. What adversities did you absorb? Live through? Engage in? Make a part of your new self?

[Tweet “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” -Charles Du Bos”]

Make a vow for 2014 to absorb all adversity. Make it part of your world so you can control it.

Nine of Pentacles, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn

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Are You A Nosy Parker?

Shadowscapes_9HermitToday’s card reminds me of this quote I got from the AWAD newsletter. The word was so far from the essence of this card that it made me laugh. I liked the juxtaposition of the card, the word and this quote.

The word was “nosy parker”.

The quote was, “Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.” -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956) ”

The quote makes me think of the Hermit as the skeptical yet tolerant civilized man. However the Hermit is the furthest thing away from a nosy parker.

I like Mencken’s notion that the more right you think you are, the less civilized you are. I agree with that wholeheartedly.

In fact, grin, you might say I’m right. Ha!

Seriously though, how flexible are you? Can you be like the Hermit who remains a dedicated student of life? Can you follow his lead into quiet introspection about how things work? Will you join him in his intense search using the natural world as his vehicle?

And let me just state here and now that I live in a city and I can find nature EVERYWHERE I go. It may be harder when the weather is severe, but nature is there. Look for it.

Your 180 second challenge today? Search within yourself to find where you are “RIGHT, DAMMIT” and see how much flexibility you can worm into that.

That’s three minutes of admitting that your point of view might not be the only one with validity. That maybe that person with a different religious belief or cultural understanding of the world might simply be different rather than wrong.

Hermit, Shadowscapes, LlewellynShadowscapes_9Hermit

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Nurture, New & Swans

I’m so tickled to have folks subscribed that I thought I’d give them a treat just for them. There’s another treat tucked in there as well, but that’s just for them.

Today’s card reminds me of all the things I have to do. I see this gorgeous girl focusing not on all the adults around her but on the baby in her arms.

She, like me, is focused on something new, something coming. She sees the potential in this flightless cygnet and so do I. I’ve been working on my newsletter today along with my monthly Tarotscopes podcast. Did you know I’ve been doing them for several years now?

This month, my newsletter readers will have their Tarotscope podcast announcement earlier than anyone else. I’m so tickled to have folks subscribed that I thought I’d give them a treat just for them. There’s another treat tucked in there as well, but that’s just for them.

If you want to get yours early or want to see what my treat for my November newsletter subscribers is, you can sign up.

So what are you nurturing right now? Are you remembering to focus on the beginning rather than worrying about the end? Do you gaze out your window looking at those who are doing what you want to do or are you keeping your eyes on the prize, the project, the promise you made to yourself.

You can let others lift you up and show you the way like our Page of Swords (Shadowscapes Tarot) is doing. But never forget that you are the one sheltering that new beginning. You are the one watching it carefully to know when it has wings ready to fly.

What do you nurture today?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Page of Swords, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn Publishing, 2010

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Crows, Swans & Carrion

Today’s card is a terrific expression of this minor Arcana. Traditionally it shows someone being ferried away from somewhere. You are left to believe it’s a Bad Place ™. But in today’s drawing, we see someone rising above it all.

Carried away by a helpful swan, the elfin redhead looks back at what she leaves behind. I see the six swords here as representative of the sorrows of her life. But the crows? The crows are her naysayers. They are the ones who held her back out of fear. They refused to let her rise above her troubles.

Who in your life doesn’t lift you up? Who in your world is a naysayer to every dream you have? I’m not talking about the voices of reason who yank ugly shirts out of our hands when we are shopping. I’m talking about those who mock or laugh at us when we tell those secret hopes and wishes.

Sure! Maybe they have a snowflake’s chance in hell of coming to fruition, but we all need dreams. We all need hope.

So today, I want you to count your crows. Identify which ones are the useful kind who help you see reality. Then identify the ones who are the carrion eating type who are just waiting for you to fall so they can squawk, “I told you so.”

Those? Those that are waiting to squawk? Stop feeding them. You know what I mean. They are in your life because you allow it. Tell them you need supportive friends. Tell them your energy is reserved for those who want to see you succeed.

Tell them.

Shoo them off your sorrows. Quit letting them feed from that old dead part of you. Cut it out of you. And maybe, just maybe, one or three of them will reveal that they really are swans who forgot how to be swans.

No crows, darlings! And really, don’t be one either.

Seek joy,y’all. Pass it on.

Brag about your professional joy seeking! Grab a bumper sticker here.

6 of Swords, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn, 2010

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Mermaids, Choices & Love

I think we have all had those uncomfortable loves where we made choices to not be ourselves. Where we lived with the pain of leaving huge pieces of our self unrealized so we could have someone else’s love.

Today’s card is a bit gruesome in some ways. It reminds me of something I wrote last night. Just a few lines about the mermaid’s choice. If you’ve read the original Little Mermaid, it is not a happy tail. In order to love the prince as a human girl, the little mermaid’s tail is split in two. Every step she takes is painful. She still likes to eat fish–raw. She’s seen as weird because of her tendencies to lie by the pool in the garden.

Her love caused her to make a hard choice. Eventually she is thrown back in the sea. Was it too late? You’ll have to read the story to learn that.

I think we have all had those uncomfortable loves where we made choices to not be ourselves. Where we lived with the pain of leaving huge pieces of our self unrealized so we could have someone else’s love.

Only to lose that love in one way or another.

How much better it is to find someone who loves us for us. Who loves us as we are. Who doesn’t cause us to feel apart from ourselves. And how much better when that person is our self.

It’s true. If we can’t love ourselves, we make poor partners in this world. So, for the sake of love and your loves, embrace who you are. Stop tearing yourself down. Celebrate your beauty.

See that you can grow your own way while your love grows there. The roots you put down will support the branching away. You will not lose them. As you allow yourself to grow, allow them.

Love. It’s a funny thing, y’all. Start with yourself for optimum results.

I tell people I love them all the time. I’ve had people tell me that it makes them feel I don’t value the word. Far from it. I value the word, the concept,the feeling enough to want to share it with everyone. Love, for me, is not finite. It is infinite.

Who said the more you love, the more you love? Probably no one since I don’t think that’s the right quote, but you catch my drift. Sharing is caring and you aren’t weak for loving others. We aren’t lessening the power of love.

No, we are increasing the power by immeasurable amounts. So I love you. And you. Yes, you too.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

2 of Cups, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn 2010

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