Lammas 2013 Tarot Blog Hop Master List

Welcome to the 2013 Lammas Tarot Blog Hop. We have twenty-one bloggers who have all come together today to blog on a single question.

Here is what I posed:

Lammas is a special time for me. It’s the first harvest (generally fruits and grains) in many cultures. It’s associated with baking bread among other things. I won’t go into all that it is. Grin, you all have the ability to research for yourselves.

The first blog hop topic was “How can I be a better candle?” It was meant to spark the idea of how we can each light up ourselves and our community as a whole.

Going off that theme, the question I have for us for the Lammas 2013 Tarot Blog Hop is

“What can I share from my table to enrich my community?”

Remember this is a Tarot community. All Oracles are welcome as well. You can

Answering that question are the following bloggers. You will find links to the blog before them and after them. Sometimes things go wrong (we aren’t perfect) so you can always use this master list to find your way around the hop.

Remember that we don’t ask for payment but would love your comments. And signing up for our newsletters always makes us happy.

1. Louise Underhill
2. Stella T’arot
3. Jordan Hoggard
4. Joanna Ash
5. Vivianne
6. Chloe McCracken
7. Sharon Cumming
8. TABI (Tarot Association of the British Isles)
9. Karen Sealey
10. Morgan Drake Eckstein
11. Pepi Valderrama
12. Bonnie Fernandes
13. Alison Coals
14. Christiana Gaudet
15. Celtic Lenormand
16. Cassandra Santori
17. Arwen Lynch
18. Ania Marczyk
19. Alison Cross
20. Joanne Sprott
21. Joy Vernon

Mommy Koans

quotangle_louiseunderhill1So today’s card is a Quotangle. 😀 That’s what I’m calling them. So often I read something where a phrase just catches me and won’t let go. I love sharing those quotes with you. Folks from my office are used to seeing my cube literally plastered with white note cards with hand-written quotes on them. 😀

During our recent Litha 2013 Tarot Blog Hop, I read a fun post about fun from a fabulous Tarot consultant who is also a mommy. She said that being playful and having fun with three kids was “not always easy nor is it hard.”

As someone else mentioned, what a Zen thing to say. It’s like a Mommy Koan! You can read her full blog here.

And leave her a comment so she knows you stopped by!

Enjoy this Quotangle today. I’ll let you see what you see it it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the quote and then tangle too if you like.

Want to learn more about the art of Zentangle? It’s a meditative doodling style. There’s a lot out there that’s not quite Zentangle but is styled Zentangle. Technically, my Quotangles are not because they have words that stop you from just letting go in the process of creating. 😀

What stops you in your process of creating? What frees you?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Quotangle, Arwen Lynch (art) Louise Underhill (words), 2013

TarotBlogHop: Litha 2013

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Welcome to the Litha 2013 Tarot Blog Hop. I’m one stop among many in a community of Tarot enthusiasts who take time out ever six weeks or so to join together.

We have a different wrangler for each hop. That person gets to pick the time (6AM GMT this go-round) and the topic. The dates are pagan in nature, but the topics don’t have to be.

This hop’s delightful hostess, Sharon, has challenged us with the following:

…for all of us to share our own gifts with each other in creative and/or playful ways.

I’ve thought about this a lot in the past month or so. And my mind kept skittering around and around. Would I share a poem? No, did that yesterday–I even have an index. Would I share a recipe? That went on the list but I do have an index for that too. Would I share my writing? Well, it’s adult, VERY!, in nature, so probably not. Would I create a spread? That’s always fun so that’s on the list. Yeah, there’s an index of those, too. Of course, I could share some of my Zentangle art. That’s a new gift of mine. But I’ve share it so much. And apparently I have two indices for that– here and here. That makes my twitchy twitchy compulsive self want to go change all those tags RIGHT NOW.

Still, I love creating spreads and I love tangling. I tried to create a spread that used the art of Zentangle, but it just didn’t lend itself well. Like a jealous lover, Zentangle refused to conform to Tarot…or I was just not in the mood to create there.

Then it hit me. I create most often with words. I am, at the very heart and soul of me, a wordsmith. My Tarot spreads ebook is one example. My work as half of the team of Marilu Mann is another.

But these posts that I do every day? Yeah, daily creativity. Daily bits of me putting myself out there in fun, creative ways. And indexes. 😀

I turned to the Tarot to see what it said. And the Universe, via the ever-literal Gaian Tarot, is laughing at me again!

MOOOOOOOOOOOM!

19-sunI mean really! The Sun? Grin. Okay yeah. The Sun. That’s because I’m kicking off my five week online Tarot course on Saturday. So I’m going to be celebrating my way of teaching Tarot to others. I’m going to be showing others how to shine as readers. We are going to shine the spotlight on our own intuitive selves. There are seats left if you want to get in on the fun.

Of course, the Sun card is the perfect Litha card as well since in my religion, Wicca, Litha celebrates the longest day of the year. Silly Universe! I knew that!

Not a bad thing after all. And here I thought I’d have nothing to write about in a blog about creativity.

Now go hop to the next or hop to the one behind me. If any links are broken (and we generally have a few hiccups), just hit the master list to navigate around them.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

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Crazed Monkey Sex & May Tarotscopes

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crazedmonkey

If you are here for your May Tarotscope, it’s at the bottom of this post.

On May 1, in many cultures, there are traditions. These range from secret flower baskets to washing your face in dew to crazed monkey sex. I’ll let you guess which gets my vote. Hint: My face doesn’t need to be that clean.

The question for this hop is simply this.

What traditions are important to you in how you read Tarot?

When I first offered that question for my fellow bloggers, I thought, “Wow, that’s going to be such an easy question.”

Then I sat here thinking about it. Okay, to be honest, I thought about it while I walked the dogs, washed my hair, cleaned my kitchen. It was a bit consuming if the truth be known.

Here’s an Arwen secret. I do not like the rules that I can’t understand. To that end, I never liked all the do’s and don’t’s of Tarot that I kept hearing.

Do wrap your cards in black silk ONLY.

Don’t buy your own cards.

In fact, I wrote up thirteen Tarot myths and busted them. This is an updated version of that previous writing.

MYTH #1: The Age of Tarot

Tarot has been rumored to be as old as the pyramids and connected to Egypt but there is no solid fact for that. This rumor seems to have begun along with the first mention of Tarot as a mystical tool by Antoine Court de Gebelin. De Gebelin was a French occultist who linked Tarot to ancient Egypt in his book published in 1781. Many other major influences in Tarot also followed de Gebelin. This included names like Eliphas Levi, Arthur Edward Waite and even Aleister Crowley. There simply is no factual basis to this thought. There is evidence of cards being used for divination as early as 1540 in a book called The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forli. And Casanova noted in his infamous diary that his Russian mistress often did divination with a deck of playing cards.

What we do know is that the first deck can be traced to Italy in the 15th century. Between 1410 and 1430 in Milan, Ferrera or Bologna. This first deck was when an artist added trump cards, “carte de trionfi” or “triumph cards” featuring faces of the Visconti and Sforza families as a wedding gift.

MYTH #2: The Gypsies invented Tarot

Historical evidence and Gypsy tradition indicates that their point of origin was somewhere in India which precludes them from inventing Tarot. However the nomadic nature of the Romany did help spread the Tarot. An interesting Romany timeline can be found here.

MYTH #3: Church banned Tarot cards

This is somewhat the truth. The Catholic Church actually banned Tarot cards, along with playing cards (known as the “Devil’s Picturebook”), dice and board games in the 16th century primarily because they could all be used for gambling and not because of some magical secrets. The Christian Bible has passages against divination of any type. A much used passage is Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

MYTH #4: You must be psychic to be a Tarot reader.

Patently false. I happen to be a psychic reader but I know plenty who are not who are fine readers. I believe that everyone has some psychic abilities but most of us close ourselves off to them early in life due to the popular but oppressive thought that it is of the occult.

MYTH #5: You are doomed by what the Tarot cards say.

Again a falsehood and a very very dangerous one in my opinion. If you go to a Tarot consultant who tells you something the cards say is set in stone, I want you to do two things. One, laugh in his or her face. Two get up and walk away and never go back. The cards are a way of looking at patterns in our lives and tendencies. Think of them as a map for the journey of life. If you were in your car and the roadmap said “Bridge out ahead” would you keep driving?

I didn’t think so.

It is the same for the cards. If something dire is in the future, you have all the tools to make changes now to redirect that energy. Certainly if a Tower event is in front of you, you may not be able to completely alleviate that eventual collapse, but you can certainly start climbing down so you don’t have quite as far to fall.

MYTH #6: Only you can touch your cards.

This is not true, but some consultants prefer to be the only ones to handle their cards. This is due to the energies a person has. It can also be due to the fact that some people are very hard on the cards physically. I normally let others handle my cards. I also cleanse and clear my cards on a regular basis.

MYTH #7: You must wrap your cards in black silk and keep them hidden away.

This myth probably comes from a practical teaching from the Dark Ages when you could be burned at the stake for being a heretic and a witch. There is no basis in fact for this. I have over 75 decks [EDIT: Oops! I now have over 250 decks.] and none of them are wrapped in black silk. Some of them are hidden away but that is because I can’t figure out which box they are currently packed in!

MYTH #8 You must receive the cards as a gift.

This one makes me laugh. I’d be a sad Tarot collector if this were true. This, I think, ties into the Wiccan tenet of not haggling for your tools. However, I have bought the majority of my decks (although I am always open to receiving gifts hint hint wink wink) and have not had any problems other than when I bought a deck I simply didn’t like.

MYTH #9: You should not read your own cards.

This has basis in truth but not because it is bad luck. Truthfully, reading for yourself is difficult because it is hard to remove yourself from what you want the cards to say. I often have others read for me because of this.

However I can and do read for myself! I would recommend using the cards for self-introspection rather than divination. I have spreads specifically designed for that use.

MYTH #10: The Tarot is always right.

Wouldn’t this be fabulous if it were true! Sadly, it is not true. As I said before, the Tarot predicts possibilities and points out tendencies. Free will comes into play as does informed choice. The minute you lay the cards out, you are changing your future because you are looking ahead. Go back to that driving analogy. When you look at a map, you are changing your path because you are making informed decisions about which way to go.

MYTH #11: You must have set rituals to read properly.

I actually do have a few set rituals but that is for my own benefit not the cards. I have a set way I shuffle and cut as well as a set way I read. The only need for this is my own need to do things a certain way.

MYTH #12: There is only one way to interpret the cards.

And it would be so nice if this were true! Everyone would have one meaning. Then again, that’s not such a good thing. It takes away diversity. Luckily for us, the Tarot cards are tools that help you access your intuition or, perhaps, the collective unconscious. Each card’s meaning comes into play with the card next to it which can alter the interpretation. I can read the same card for six different people and depending on what is around that card, the meaning will change.

One thing I teach my students is that symbols don’t mean the same to everyone. A dog may mean companionship and unconditional love to you while someone who was attacked by a dog could see it as a danger sign.

MYTH #13: The Death card means someone is going to die!

Absolutely not. It *can* mean physical death, but in my thirty plus years of reading, Death usually means painful change in the querent’s life. This is actually one of the few cards that I consider unavoidable because when change is necessary, you have to do it or suffer the consequences.

So what are some of the traditions of Tarot that you wonder about? Feel free to ask in the comments. I’d love to hear what your own thoughts are.

While you are here, I hope you will avail yourself of my free monthly Tarotscopes for May 2013 podcast.

This month’s podcast is 18 minutes and 18 seconds. We had a run on one suit which was interesting to me. I love it when that happens because it just proves to me that the Universe is at play. The deck I am using this month is the Efflorescent Tarot (Black and White version). I own two copies of this intriguing deck. You can see it here.

EfflorescentTarot3004

Are you a lover of Fairy Tales? I hope you will get your copy of my Fairy Tale Tarot Spreads. It was a labor of love.

If you are interested in taking an online workshop with me, let me know. I’ll add you to the notification list so you can join with other Tarot lovers to deepen your knowledge and reading skills.

I really appreciate your sharing these podcasts. Thank you so very much!

Seek joy, y’all! Pass it on.

Visit Tarot By Arwen to book your private Tarot conversation today.

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Potatoes, Hops & Lammas

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Welcome to the Lammas Tarot Blog Hop. This is the fifth one so far. I’m excited to be sharing space with thirty six other bloggers all sharing thoughts on this subject –‘’Pentacles : The Fruits of Harvest’’. If you are hopping from Sandie Worthy’s page, welcome! You can find your next hop at the end of my blog. You can also find my monthly Tarotscopes podcast here if that’s what you’re looking for. I know! 2 things at once. 😀 How bountiful.

This one was easy for me because I’m a mad fan of Pentacles. I adore the community aspect of them. My clients learn that I see the Earth suit (aka Coins, Stones, Plates, Discs, etc) as wealth in terms of what we have rather than money in the bank. It’s not about cold, hard cash to me. Pentacles are earth so they are about the steadfast, nurturing aspect of community. Wealth, in my worldview, is your family, your pets, your friends, your possessions, your health. It’s so much more than green folding stuff.

But Kareena, this hop’s wrangler, asked us to write a blog post on a specific card in this suit. That was a bit more difficult since there are so many cards that I love. I narrowed it down to my top six from my favorite reading deck (Elder of Earth, Guardian of Earth, Nine of Earth, Six of Earth, Three of Earth, Ace of Earth), then my top three (Elder of Earth, Six of Earth, Three of Earth). I did this by flipping through them super fast. My decision was based on nothing more than “yes” or “no”. I didn’t have any set thought in my head. Just let Spirit guide me. Then I used that same gut instinct to choose the Six of Earth from those last three. Interestingly enough, I thought I would end up with the Guardian or Queen of Earth.

This Six of Earth makes me happy. Two women exchange goods. One receives the beautiful sunflowers she wants while the other gets the cash she deserves. I’m very fond of farmer’s markets even though I haven’t been to one in Texas in nearly three years. I KNOW!

But today marks Lammas for me which is the first of the three harvest festivals. I am Wiccan and do celebrate the Wheel of the Year, but this blog hop is not pagan-based. Today is also the gateway between summer and fall. There is an emphasis on starting to put things up, put things back, store up the good. I have a friend who refers to her canned tomatoes as “saving summer.” I always liked that phrase even if I am more of a fall kind of girl.

I love to cook and have the body to prove it. One feature on this blog is my Tarot&Food series. One of my earliest offerings in this series was a How To Make Bread recipe.

But I wanted to share a new recipe here (I know…not totally Tarot, but you’ll have to forgive me). Not so strangely, the Pentacles is the suit with the most recipes so far. A perennial favorite has been my recipe titled The King of Swords’ Balls. I can’t imagine why so many search engine results keep hitting that page. But I digress.

The Six of Coins, for me is about generosity. One way I spread the wealth of Tarot is by giving away a free book on how to read Tarot intuitively. It’s on this page. Hint! Over to the right ( –>) towards the top.

Now about this recipe I wanted to share. This makes a generous amount of food and my sister is the one who generously shared her secret with me. I always loved her mashed potatoes. I had to ask her what she did that I wasn’t doing. And she taught me a trick for making mashed potatoes. I added her trick to my own secret ingredient and came up with a dish that people always ask for seconds on! If you combine this with a good milk gravy, you are set!

Six of Coins: Arwen’s AskForMore Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • Water
  • 1 sm onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Boil potatoes and onion slices until potatoes are soft. TIP: The thinner you slice them, the faster they cook.

Remove onions and pour off water leaving only potatoes behind. You can mince the onions and throw them in the gravy or just throw them away.

Add one stick of butter and begin mashing the potatoes. Start with a hand masher! As the potatoes work down, add half the cream. Keep mashing! Add the other stick of butter and the rest of the cream. Now add the sour cream. You may need to move to an electric mixer at this point, but keep mashing. Add salt and pepper to taste!

I advocate for tasting while you mash. You may need to add more seasoning or more milk (sour cream if you love rich, creamy potatoes). From the professional chefs among us, please use a clean spoon every time you taste. Thanks!

When the potatoes are whipped up creamy and smooth, slide the bowl into the oven on warm until ready to eat. Sometimes, I’ll put a bit of shredded cheddar (New York Sharp is my preference) on the top and let that melt all over the top. Oh yeah, I just made myself hungry. How about you?

Thanks for stopping by so I could chat with you a bit about Pentacles as well as share a recipe with you. I’m so delighted to send you on your way to J Jordan Hoggard’s place. Don’t forget to please, please, please take a moment to leave a comment for all the bloggers. It’s the only way we know you were here. And, grin, who doesn’t like a little acknowledgement. Want to see the Master List? It’s useful in case you stumble across a page that’s not up just yet.

Interested in the history of the Tarot Blog Hop? Read this write-up.

6 of Earth, Gaian Tarot, Llewellyn

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Ostara Tarot Blog Hop: Bloom Where You’re Planted

Hi there! Welcome to the Ostara Blog Hop. Hopefully you found me through Andrew’s blog. The next blog link is at the bottom of this one. Have fun! If you are in Austin, TX, come take a class with me. 🙂

Our topic was “Paint a journey with new life” which relates to the Goddess Ostara coloring the world with flowers. I love the image of this beautiful Deity trailing flowers wherever she goes. It makes me think of Continue reading “Ostara Tarot Blog Hop: Bloom Where You’re Planted”

#Tarot Blog Hop: Imbolc Tour

The subject is “How can I be the best candle.” The only parameters were that we use that topic and make it related to Tarot or an Oracle deck. As I thought about the question, it occurred to me that a candle can do several things.

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be 6 a year Tarot Round Robins. This came about because of a post on Facebook in a group called Tarotholics. Someone (me) said we should do a round robin where we all posted on the same subject and linked to the blog before us and after us so folks could peruse a number of Tarot blogs. Well that was really well accepted. We have a total of 34 Tarot bloggers for your first round robin. I’d love it if you could leave me a comment just to let me know you were here. And comment as you hop. 😀

Hopefully you got here from Continue reading “#Tarot Blog Hop: Imbolc Tour”