Cookies, Horns + Thank You

Hell, you resist a 7 year old with green eyes, curly hair and a box of sugar. Not. Happening.

EfflorescentTarot_6CoinsToday’s card makes me stop and think about how difficult it is to give me a compliment. I invariably insult the person trying to be nice to me. I blow it off. I ask them if they are meaning to talk to someone else.

[Tweet “In a nutshell, I’m graceless when it comes to saying, “thank you.””]

Why is that?

Is it because a lot of our raising is based on humility? On not tooting your own horn?

I still feel weird when I tell y’all about stuff I have for you. Even the free stuff weirds me out some days.

And I’m a pretty damned good sales person all in all. In fact, when I was a little girl, I got in a lot of trouble for my Girl Scout cookie sales.


Well, they told me the sales were to help us go camping more. Y’all, I loved (and still do) camping. So I humped those cookies from door to door selling them for .30 a box. I did a great job too.

Hell, you resist a 7 year old with green eyes, curly hair and a box of sugar. Not. Happening.

Then the boom came down. Neighbor lady asked my mama why her niece was selling the same cookies for .25 a box.


I had to go return every nickel. lol

But now, when I know I have a super product with a great price point and folks raving about it, I cringe and have to make myself remember to tell you about it.

I cringe in the same way when someone tells me I look nice or did good or whatever. I want to ask them who they really meant to say that to or what they really want from me.

When did we lose our ability to just say, “thank you, I worked very hard on it so I appreciate your kindness” or just, you know, “thank you.”

Journal prompt for today is, “What’s the hardest compliment for you to hear? Why?”

6 of Coins, Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin, self-published

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

What’s Your Normal Flavor?

Efflorescent_Chariot001Today’s card reminds me that I need to figure out why I’m in this hand basket and where I am going sometimes. Here is the chariot from Katie Rose Pipkin’s black and white Efflorescent Tarot. Sorry kids but it’s OOP unless she finds a publisher. Or at least that’s what I heard.

But I digress. See! It really is about focus with this card.

I’m tired tonight. It’s 11:11 pm by my clock. I should have had this done and been in bed an hour ago. But it’s full moon energy so I’m wound more than normal.

And am I ever normal?

I saw a GREAT quote on Facebook that said, “The day I broke up with normal was the first day of my magical life.”

Awesome isn’t it

But sometimes I lose my focus. I get scattered. I let the magic dissipate. I let normal drive again.

I fear the quirky.
I shun the weird.
I eschew the unusual.

And I’m not very happy when I do.

In a weird way, my life has a normal, for me, rhythm to it that involves talking to dogs and trees, reading cards for a living, writing intensely erotic romance, and chatting with Themselves.

That’s my normal.

I have to rein in both sides of me though. I can’t let avant-garde Arwen outstrip stable Stephanie. Or is that analytical Arwen overpower sassy Stephanie? Either way, both sides have to be moving together to take me in my chariot where I want to go.

Oh how I ramble. Do you ever wonder how I start out at point A and end up at point WTF?

So here is the Chariot. Traditionally a card of mastering one’s life. I would say that the charioteer will never be happy until she is following her own lead. When she tries to be what someone else wants is when the problems start. That’s when she drops the reins and her two selves can squabble about who gets to lead.

Equally yoked. It’s all about keeping both sides equally yoked.

So what’s your normal look like? Take 180 seconds…just three minutes…to journal about that your normal is. The only ground rule is that you can’t compare your normal to anyone else’s.

Because it’s your normal!

Chariot, Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin, self-published on Etsy

Seek joy, y’all! Pass it on.

Tarotscopes for June 23-29

Can you be selfish with me this week? It’s my goal to be very very very selfish. I’m going to spread joy to everyone because it brings me joy. See? SELFISH!

So, I declare the week of June 23-June 29 to be SELFISH JOY SEEKERS week. Are you in? Leave a comment if you are and share this post to let your friends know. We should probably warn them that we aren’t going to go easy on them.

This means JOY, y’all. Joy for all because it brings us joy. Go selfish joy seeker, go!


  • AQUARIUS King of Swords Let your ideas free you rather than box you in. Growth happens faster when you let your mind soar. Ruts are for those who follow others.
  • PISCES Empress Birth. Fertility. Abundance. Release expectations to increase. You can bring forth inner wealth by nurturing yourslf and others.
  • ARIES Four of Wands The work towards stability needs your focus. May seem a long way off. Pause to appreciate how far you’ve come. Then resume.
  • TAURUS Knight of Pentacles Can seem like a struggle, this being budget-wise. But you are building your own future. your garden grows when you work it.
  • GEMINI Two of Cups When you drink deeply from another’s cup, you learn. Strengthen emotional connections by letting them also drink from yours.
  • CANCER Ten of Swords When they all seem to be cutting away at you, remember you can step away. Trust only those who have proven themselves. Stand up.
  • LEO Eight of Wands Got a river that needs crossing? Try jumping instead of swimming. Unusual approaches get you over seeming obstacles. MOVE.
  • VIRGO Tower Bad news? BOOM! Good news? Emotional upheaval brings you to a new phase of building. Let it come down now so you can build.
  • LIBRA Knight of Wands Movement inevitable because your true passion calls. Follow your heart’s calling. Far horizons call. Stop waiting.
  • SCORPIO King of Wands Yes, you actually can believe it into being. Rule your energy if you would rule your world. Intense focus eliminates the unnecessary.
  • SAGITTARIUS Queen of Pentacles It can be lonely. Are you reaching out to the community you want? Don’t settle. Don’t allow weeds in your personal garden.
  • CAPRICORN Four of Pentacles Money spent for future growth is necessary. May be a pinch right now, but increase savings. Magic tricks wit money are your forte!

Oh! July newsletter is out next weekend. Remember that I pull one name from my newsletter readers. That person wins a Tarot conversation with me. It could be you–if you are signed up.

By the way? The Efflorescent Tarot is sold out in both the colored and b/w version.

Which Is Better?

EfflorescentTarot_6CoinsToday’s card makes me a bit sad. It’s generally a card I like in decks, but here there is such a sense of despair. The giver holds a scale with such small bowls that you wonder if she or he can fit even one coin in. Both the receivers are blindfolded so they can’t see what they are getting.And look at the mouths on all three. Turned down.

I wonder if any of them will get anything out of this exchange. The giver almost looks as if it is a duty or a chore that he’s been sent to do. The claw like hands of the receivers seem almost grasping.

Have you ever been on either side of an exchange like this? Where giving to the less fortunate felt like an obligation? Where receiving wasn’t satisfying?

How would this story change if the blindfolds came off and the scales went away. How would all the characters here react then? If the giver could give as it pleased him and not as it balanced the scale. If the receivers could receive with joy rather than sad expectation.

I’ve been on both sides. I know that for me I give better than I receive. It’s easier because our society teaches us to be self-reliant. We chastise and rail against the less fortunate. We mock those who are perceived as less than us.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Until you’ve been in the shoes of the person who only has ill-fitting pants and a dirty shirt and just enough money to buy the cheapest foods at Wal-Mart, only then can you understand that feeling of helplessness–of deadened resignation to your place in the world.

Have I been there? No, I haven’t, but I’ve been close. But I have seen the death of hope in someone else’s face. The understanding that they can’t get out of where they are because others keep them there.

Yes, there are shelters. Yes, there are programs. But until we as a world look at one another with love and understanding and acceptance, we diminish ourselves.

I’m no better than most. There are times I am disgusted by the homeless I see. I wonder why they aren’t letting someone else take care of them.

And I’m wrenched back to that thought…that thing we are all taught.

Don’t take handouts.
Do it yourself.

I wonder how much we’ve wounded ourselves by not including other teachings.

Ask for help when you need it.
Receive with gratitude so you can give with joy.

How would our world be different then?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Don’t forget that May Tarotscopes are out.

6 of Coins, Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin

Crazed Monkey Sex & May Tarotscopes

NAVIGATE THE HOP HERE! –> Previous | Master | Next


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.


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.

 NAVIGATE THE HOP HERE! –> Previous | Master | Next

What Do You Not Like?

What is your Modus Operandi when faced with something you just know you won’t like? Have you ever thought that gut feeling might be fear? That maybe you have brought in your own prejudices into the mix?

Efflorescent_8StrengthToday’s card reminds me that sometimes I must try what I think I won’t like. I have to experience things firsthand. Parents have to do this all the time to their children. My mama was pretty strict in some areas. One of those was the “three bites” rule. I’ll bet many of you have been through that on both sides of the spoon.

Here we see a lion seeming to grimace or growl as a woman tenderly hugs him. He isn’t ready for this gentle touch. He wants to go rage and roar and rip things up. But he’s allowing her this intimacy because of trust. What we don’t know is how she built that relationship. I doubt it was instantaneous.

How do you build relationships? What is your Modus Operandi when faced with something you just know you won’t like? Have you ever thought that gut feeling might be fear? That maybe you have brought in your own prejudices into the mix?

I have. I just knew I wouldn’t like yoga. I knew it would hurt my back. I knew I would ache afterwards. I’d look stupid doing all those weird poses and people would laugh at me. But I bartered two readings for a private lesson anyway. I did that because I really liked the two guys I was reading for. Their partnership makes me smile.

Then I put off doing the yoga class until I realized my heel dragging was inconveniencing someone else. So I went.

Yeah, you know the end of this story, right? Loved it. Wanted to do it every week. Haven’t yet but that’s on my 100 Things To Do this year list. And you can still join me in creating your Incredible Year. It’s never too late.

So for your 180 seconds today, can you commit to trying or exploring something you are sure you don’t like just in case it’s just fear holding you back?

And for the record? I’ve tried lima beans and beets. It’s not fear. It’s really that I do not like them. 😀

Seek Joy, Y’all! Pass it on!

Strength, Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin
(I own two of the black and white version)

Tarotscopes 1/13-1/19/2013

Efflorescent_1CupsHere are this week’s Tarotscopes.

Do you love Tarot spreads? Want my eBook of Fairy Tale Tarot Spreads? Just purchase any of these workbooks — (solo is 9.97 and duo is $17.90) You can ignore the popup for the free blogging+biz thing if you like.

Once you have the workbook, let me know. I’ll send you the link to download my eBook. It is currently being illustrated by a well known Tarot artist and you will get that version free as well.

If you just want the eBook of spreads, you will have to wait until it is up for sale. I expect that to be in February.

Deck used today is the Efflorescent Tarot (black and white version).

  • AQ World Feeling awkward? Naked? Don’t. U have so much power. People are in yr corner. Connect/network. Spread yr world view!
  • PIC Star Yr star ascends. Nurture what grows AND what seems to not grow. Both will prosper if you do. Sparkle, darling.
  • ARI 9Sw Turn yr face from the wall, Medea. Live, Agnes, LIVE! Huddling away won’t stop the nightmares. Let in some light, honey.
  • TAU 5S If they refuse to fill their mind w/ joy, then U must let them go. Hard, but it’s for yr own happiness. Walk on.
  • GEM 1Sw By cutting away the weeds in yr mind, U can achieve clarity. Do try to grab the handle & not the pointy end this time.
  • CAN 9C Make a wish, then act on it. Wishing is great, but steps to get there work. Set huge goals w/ achievable steps this week.
  • LEO 5C U are wasting time!. Stop worrying about what’s gone. Focus on what U have. Don’t let that evaporate while U aren’t looking.
  • VIR 1C What grows from yr loving heart? U are a vessel for joy. Catch it. Drink it. Share it. Allow this expansion. It’s good.
  • LIB Hermit Time to head into yr quiet spaces. Learning self is the key to everything. Follow yr own star. Not a great wk for company.
  • SCO Emperor Rule yrslf 1st. Rein in passion. Rethink aggression. Self-control is true leadership. Focus on yr family.
  • SAG 1W Focus on growth for exponential expansion. U really could take over the world if U get it in gear. Seize the day, darling.
  • CAP Sun Look up. Share the warmth. Surround yrslf w/ beauty. Find others who feel the same. Don’t waste time w/ negativity.

And if you are feeling completely disconnected from your true, beautiful self, consider taking Jodi’s online course! Find your true purpose and reconnect with your soul.

Weary, Wands + Enchiladas

Since it went together in a hurry and was ready in a hurry, it made me think of the Knights of the Tarot. Always on the move, that suit is generally the age of the single man or woman in my eyes. So this could be a late night meal–what I used to call bar’thirty.

Efflorescent_12WandsToday’s card is just so I can share a recipe I shared on my blog in 2010. That’s all…just a yummy, recipe. Well, and a gorgeous card from the Efflorescent Tarot by Katie Rose Pipkin. He looks so focused and a bit weary to me. Maybe he needs a brain break. How about you? Let’s talk about food!

Food. I love food. I like food I cook. I like food other people cook. I like uncooked food. I just love food. I have an ongoing series of matching recipes to Tarot cards. I wanted this recipe to go in the Air/Swords category because it was a quick no-brainer kind of meal. The kind you throw together with whatever you have on hand. Since it went together in a hurry and was ready in a hurry, it made me think of the Knights of the Tarot. Always on the move, that suit is generally the age of the single man or woman in my eyes. So this could be a late night meal–what I used to call bar’thirty.

I thought about making it a Wands recipe since it is definitely spicy, but kept coming back to just how easily it went together. Here’s the story of how this casserole came to be. You see, I was hungry. I did not have money to indulge in a dinner out. Then I remembered. I had a can of enchilada sauce and some tortillas. HEY! I could have enchiladas.

I don’t know about you, but once I set my heart on a specific food, that’s what I want. I wanted enchiladas. Turns out, I only had three tortillas. So I improvised. I decided to layer those tortillas with all the yummy goodness of enchilada stuff. If it didn’t work, the only thing I would be was still hungry, right?

Without further ado, here’s my recipe.

Arwen’s Knight of Wands Enchilada Improvisational Casserole (I like to call it YUM for short)

You can improvise on the ingredients. I know I did!

3 flour tortillas
1 Cn green enchilada sauce
1/2 a big bag of Mexican Mix cheese
1/2 an onion, diced and fried in olive oil
10-15 jalapeno slices
2 tsp jalapeno juice
1 md chicken breast, cooked, slided or shredded
2 TBS cream cheese

I layered the following ingredients into an 8×8 square glass pan.

First layer:

  • Tortilla
  • Green Enchilada Sauce
  • Mexican Mix Cheese
  • Fried onions
  • Jalapenos
  • 1 tsp Jalapeno juice
  • Half a cooked chicken breast
  • More cheese
  • More sauceSecond Layer
  • Tortilla
  • Green Enchilada Sauce
  • Mexican Mix Cheese
  • Fried onions
  • Jalapenos
  • 1 tsp Jalapeno juice
  • Half a cooked chicken breast
  • More cheese
  • Cream Cheese on this layer
  • More sauceThird Layer
  • Tortilla
  • Cheese
  • Last of the sauceBake for 35 at 350 or until bubbling.This casserole turned out lovely. I did not need to add sour cream or salsa as I thought I might. It was flavorful and super simple to make. The leftovers had a better flavor but then that’s pretty par for the course. You want to let things sit a bit to really get that blended effect.So there you are. If you try this, do let me know what you think!

So I hope you enjoyed this. What’s a favorite food of yours? Wanna swap recipes? Feel free to pin this or share it on your Facebook or Twitter feed if you like

Knight of Wands, Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin, self-published (There were 6 left but now there’s only 5. I’m grabbing a second copy so that makes 4. 😀 There’s a color version too.)

Seek Joy, Y’all! Pass it on!

Pssst! Only 23 days left to snag the workbook while I’m still giving away my Fairy Tales Tarot Spreads eBook.

Right, Wrong + Perspective

There’s so much to see in this image, isn’t there? Look at it for about two minutes without moving your head. Just let your eyes roam.

EfflorescentTarot_BackToday’s card is from a different perspective. Rather than the front of the cards, I’m sharing the back. You may know that I’m enamored by Zentangles. I do them myself as well as mandalas. This is a very new hobby for me but I just adore it.

This card back reminds me of tangling with its repetitions and use of black and white lines. It’s completely reversible as well. That’s one of my quirks. I like reversible decks but I don’t generally read reversals.

There’s so much to see in this image, isn’t there? Look at it for about two minutes without moving your head. Just let your eyes roam.

Now tilt your head. Change your perspective. Stare for another two minutes.

See how things change? See how what was important from one view gives way to something else?

That’s important in life as well. When you feel your heels digging in and your teeth clenching, try looking at it from another perspective. Allow yourself the opportunity to relinquish the death grip you have on “I’m right, dammit, and you’re wrong.”

I’m not saying see it from their perspective because really, can we? I’m just saying come at it from a different angle.

Give yourself the gift of perspective.

Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin, Self-Published, Only 6 left of this charming black and white version.

About that workbook I love? Here’s a bit about the creatrix:

Leonie Dawson is a mentor to women wanting to create + grow massively successful and heart-centered creative + soulful businesses. She is also an author, retreat leader, visual artist, mama and guide for the tens of thousands who receive her free “SHINE IN YOUR LIFE + BIZ” ezine each week.

Get your workbook here.

Seek Joy, y’all! Pass it on.