Queens in Disguise

Queens in Disguise: When queens don’t look like queens, how do we interact with them?

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Mary-El Tarot Queen of Swords
Mary-El Tarot

#affirmation Today’s card is from a deck that pretty much turns traditional Tarot imagery on its head. I doubt many of us would see the Queen of Swords when we look at this image.

Two ravens perch on a tree in what seems to be a war-torn landscape. One raven has an eye on it’s wing that looks out at you. It’s an obviously human eye. The ravens make me think of Odin’s two birds,Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory).

And those are excellent choices for the air queen. Yes, this is the Queen of Swords who rules thoughts and actions based on thoughts. She’s often seen as a widow as well.

I just read my friend Susan Franklin’s newsletter. She mentioned some mindfulness workshops and practices. I hope you read it as well.

Do you do mindfulness work? Do you meditate? I am pretty much hit and miss on that. I need to work on developing this habit. I really liked what she had to say about judgment when it comes to meditation.

So today’s affirmation is this:

I am enough. I am here. This is now. This is what is important for now. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am capable. Prosperity and abundance find me. I am open to the blessings of the Universe. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Queen of Swords, Mary-El Tarot, Schiffer

Perserverance, Finishing + Now

You can’t stop now. You must just roll over those bumps and plot holes and “what the hell did my character just say” moments. This isn’t about editing.

Mary-El_8DisksToday’s card is a reminder of keeping at it. If you are doing any of the month events–be it knitting or writing or hooping or what have you, perseverance is key.

In today’s Wisdom News from Lissa Coffey, I pulled this nugget of fabulous!

Perseverance is stick-to-it-iveness! It’s having that vision that success is not only possible, it is inevitable. It’s having the fortitude to navigate the bumps in the road, and not let those bumps become road blocks.

-Lissa Coffey (www.coffeytalk.com)

And isn’t that the truth. Anyone who is doing #NaNoWriMo knows that the key is to keep writing. You can’t stop now. You must just roll over those bumps and plot holes and “what the hell did my character just say” moments. This isn’t about editing. No, not now. This is about writing.

And I have something that can help you. It’s a thirty three day eCourse. That means it comes to your inbox. You get to read it, work through it, tackle it on your time.

Use my years of writing experience (eight books as Marilu Mann with two more under contract) to help you get your book finished.

Ready to start? Are you a NaNoWriMo 2013 participant? Learn how you can use Tarot to finish your book in 33 days.

Mapping the Hero’s Journey will deliver thirty three days of lessons, handouts and motivational journal prompts. Stay on track by working through the point-by-point steps of the Hero’s Journey. Using Joseph Campbell, Christopher Vogler and my years of experience, you can finish your book.

With over eight books (written as Marilu Mann), I can show you how to turn my success into yours. Let your imagination run wild while guiding your voice down the path of the Hero’s Journey.

You will receive handouts that include many original spreads designed by me to use in developing your character and story.

This 40,000+ word eCourse is a combination of two workshops I’ve taught for many years. Instead of paying over $100 to be in one of ten seats when I teach this yearly workshop, you can grab it for only $33 (yes, the proverbial dollar-a-day).

Is it time to set your book free? 0Let’s get started.

8 of Disks, Mary-El Tarot, Schiffer Books

Fools + Public Readings

Reading in public is an amazing thing. I love doing parties where many readers do not. But I can totally…

Mary-El_FoolToday’s card is the Fool from the amazing Mary-El Tarot from Schiffer and Marie L. White. It’s one of those decks that mesmerize me. I use it more for personal work than public because of how I respond to it.

Reading in public is an amazing thing. I love doing parties where many readers do not. But I can totally get into the 3 card mini readings. Last night I got to a house party while earlier this week i did a large corporate event.

Both were fulfilling. The house party really energized me because I got to read for some high school students. These kids knocked me out.

I am off for the weekend so there will be no posts Saturday and Monday. I will post the tarotscopes for Sunday though. 😀

Speaking of Tarotscopes, have you listened to November’s podcast? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

NaNoWriMo AND Tarotscopes? What?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Fool, Mary-El Tarot, Schiffer Books

How A Fool Does Wander: Revisited

Mary-El_FoolToday’s card is a reminder that I need to finish something. Here is the start of what I need to finish.

I am a storyteller by nature. I write as part of the writing team of Marilu Mann with my best friend, Cai Smith. Together we have three novels currently under contract with Ellora’s Cave Publishing. (EDIT: We now have eight so you can tell how long I’ve been working on this!) You can find out more about that here if you like. I also write a column for Tarot World magazine. (UPDATE: This magazine suffered a dismal death.) That column is called Fool’s Corner which is geared towards offering information to help anyone beginning their journey with Tarot.

I wanted to tell a story about the Fool as he went about his travels through the other Major Arcana. Most Tarot decks start with 0, Zero, Void, the Fool. The Fool is so fluid as he dances through the other 21 Majors. Here is his first encounter with something other than his own brash impulsive nature. Consider how his first impulsive step hurtles him into the path of the other cards.

The day dawned sunny and bright. Our hero, known to everyone as The Fool, decided that such a lovely day deserved a journey. So he grabbed a cloth and put a few things he found important in it then twisted it up on a stick. Whistling for his companion, The Fool headed out the door.

Coming to a split in the road, The Fool had to make a decision. As he never worried too much about these things, The Fool closed his eyes and twirled about three times. Then he took the the fork in front of him.

As he sauntered down the path, he hummed a merry tune. Those notes died in his throat when he saw a strange sight. A man in robes stood before a stone table.

The Fool, never one to keep silent, blurted out, “What are all these things about you, sir? Why do you need them? I only have my dog and my bag on my stick. I trust that the Universe will provide for me as I go throught my journey. Do you?”

“Ah, young one, you have just begun and I am only the beginning. The objects you see are the Wand of Movement, the Sword of Inspiration, the Cup of Love and the Coin of Prosperity. Once I was as you were. Then I found that I could create what I wanted if I had the tools and the key.”

“The key?” The Fool perked his ears like a dog might when they sight a cat.”What is the key? Can you give me this key?”

“I can give you the name of the key, young one, but you must find it within yourself. The name is Will. You must find it for yourself or it means nothing. And all the tools in the world are nothing without it.”

The Magician turned back to his tools and focused once again. He called energy from the Earth and Sky into himself to be forged into his own Intent.

And the Fool journeyed on wondering where he might find this Will that the Magician spoke of.

As the Fool wandered down his path looking for Will. He asked a butterfly he passed if it had seen Will?

“No, but the Lady might know! Follow me!”

….Read the rest of the Fool’s Journey here.

Follow along as he meets the Major Arcana. I’m up to Judgment…. Just need to finish with the World.

Fool, Mary El Tarot, Schiffer

Tarot+Food: King of Wands Spicy Jumbled Unstuffed Cabbage Stuff

Mary-El_14WandsSo today’s card is a discussion on why I think the King of Wands likes spicy food. He’s the king of the fire suit for one but he’s also the passionate man who would be willing to wing it when he had to. Not the steady King of Pentacles or the dreamy King of Cups or even the logical King of Swords.

No, this is our guy who is into innovation and isn’t upset when things don’t go as planned. And that’s pretty much what happened with my dinner the other night.

Let me set the stage. I saw this recipe on Facebook that sounded divine. It had everything I liked in it–meat, tomatoes and cabbage. As I’ve pointed out before, I’ve got enough German in me to consider cabbage one of the four food groups. In fact, my Queen of Swords recipe is my mother’s cabbage Au Gratin.

So I read the recipe, write down what I need. I go to the grocery store. The HEB I go to is GINORMOUS, y’all. As in freaking huge. And my back was already hurting when I go there.

So now you have some clues as to what happens next. I get everything I need then realize I didn’t get the tomato sauce that was in the orginal recipe. I decide that I probably had tomato sauce. Yes, I firmly nodded in the aisle. I was certain to have sauce.

Cut to my kitchen where I basically UNLOAD an entire cabinet to discover I have tomato paste but no sauce. My stepson valiantly restocked and looked again. No sauce. SAD FACE?

NO! Not for the intrepid cook that I am. Most recipes end up being bones that I build on anyway. So I winged it. Along the way I also added some Siracha, more garlic, a completely different kind of tomato and extra water.

Oh, I also switched up the meat to a slightly healthier version that used half beef and half turkey. It turned out delicious! I had plenty to put away for leftovers too.

So here is my version of this Facebook recipe. I’ve renamed it in honor of the King of Wands who would have been right there beside me–improvising.


The King of Swords Spicy Jumbled Unstuffed Cabbage Stuff


1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 T oil (I used a pepper flavored olive oil)
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T siracha sauce
1 small cabbage, chopped
3 cans (10.5 oz) tomatoes with green chiles
1 can (8 ounces) tomato paste
2.5 cans water (tomato cans)
1 T ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and turkey and onion and cook, stirring, until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Stir in the siracha and cook one more minute

Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

I hope you try this out. If you aren’t a spicy fan, you can leave out the siracha, cut back on the garlic and use 2 14.5 cans of tomatoes. 😀

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

King of Swords, Mary El Tarot, Schiffer Books

Food pic by Arwen. 😀

What Can I Drop?

MaryEl_7Swords001Today’s card is a reminder that sometimes we are fighting the wrong battle. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t fight. Not at all.

I believe in standing up for what is right for me. I believe in telling someone to not send me hateful, racist jokes. I believe in telling someone not to waste their time baking me a coconut raspberry cake. I believe in shouting at someone for kicking their dog.

But I also believe that my joy is founded on two things. One is my “Eschew Hate” motto while the second is my “Bloom Where You Are Planted” slogan.

Does that make me a Pollyanna Sunshine? Probably and I’m more than happy to hold on to that name. I’ve earned it.

This weekend I had an opportunity to be kind where I could have been catty. I took the opening given to send love instead of nastiness or even worse–nothing.

I stood my ground but I stood it the way I wanted to stand it. Firm and positive.

This crow seems to be a bit tied up. The albino snake (looks like a corn snake to me) is definitely in the winning position. The crow’s sharp beak could easily pierce the snake’s skin to escape.

But instead, he’s holding on to the gem.

Why? Why hold on to that when letting go of it would free him from the coils?

Why indeed.

Why do we hold on to the “I’m right. You’re wrong.” when letting go of it releases that other person from our world? If we have nothing to prove to them, why don’t we just let them go?

For your 180 seconds today, I’m asking you to let go of someone. You know who I mean. That person who is no longer your friend. That person who you still check in on virtually or via friends just so you can rub salt in your own wound.

Three minutes. Let them go. Free yourself.

Seven of Swords, Mary-El Tarot, Schiffer Press, 2012

I forget to announce the winner of the $10 Gift Card!

Vanessa Terrell! You win.

And Linda Ursin, you win the fifteen minute reading!

How Do You Walk Your Path?

Each path is the same distance apart. From this angle some paths are closer to Enlightenment than others. But if we change our perspective…if we look at it from someone else’s side, those distances will shift, won’t they.

Mary-El_10WheelToday’s card is such an unusual version. My normal stock starting interpretation works, but there are other places to go with this one.

Traditionally the Wheel of Fortune is the card of opportunity and the card of fate. The idea is that the wheel turns regardless. It’s up to us to grab the right section. And the Gods know I’ve grabbed the wrong one more than a time or two.

What I love about this Wheel is that the woman is not only blindfolded but also on a ship. Is she coming or going? Is she the figurehead of the boat? Is her sight not important here?

The lotus in the center of the wheel is a lovely representation of Enlightenment. Eight spokes lead in…or do they lead out? The sparkling night sky lies beneath.

So many paths to Enlightenment. None are wrong as long as you are going towards Enlightenment and not away. Why am I capitalizing Enlightenment? I don’t know. It just feels right. Maybe in this post, for today, Enlightenment is God.

Each path is the same distance apart. From this angle some paths are closer to Enlightenment than others. But if we change our perspective…if we look at it from someone else’s side, those distances will shift, won’t they.

How you reach Enlightenment is not important to me. That you do reach it is. The how of it is one of those “not in my hula hoop” pieces. The why of it answers why I think we should always “Seek Joy, Y’all.”

Joy brings awareness of my place in the Wheel. That place is next to my Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, you-name-it co-seeker.

My place is not on the outer edge shaking my finger at those who don’t know the beauty of the Goddess and the God. It isn’t sitting online chastising those who can’t see the Eightfold Mysteries. It certainly isn’t dissing how someone else lives their spiritual life. (Caveat: hurting others isn’t spiritual and no Deity is down with that. I know that in my bones.)

So come walk the Wheel of Fortune with me. You take your path. I’ll take mine. We’ll meet in the middle. Who knows. Maybe the Wheel will turn and I will walk your path with you or you with me.

All I do know is that I am glad you are here reading this. I am glad you have reached me today. May your personal path be blessed with joy and gladness. May you attain Enlightenment however that looks like on your personal walk through this life.

I’d love to hear how you are walking your personal path today.

The Wheel Of Fortune, Mary-El Tarot, Schiffer 2012

Seek Joy, Y’all! Pass it on.

One week left to get your 2013 Create Your Incredible Year Workbook+Planner. Still holding out? Why? It’s just a tool to help you on your personal path. 😀

Sparks, Exhaustion & Goals

MaryEl_7DisksToday’s card reminds me what happens when things get lit up. When you put so much energy into something, it can go one of two ways. You are exhausted. OR. You are energized. Everything seems pale and out-of-focus. OR. Everything seems to gain speed snowballing into a juggernaut of intention.

Here is the Seven of Disks from the Mary-El Tarot (Marie L. White, Schiffer Books, 2012). Raw energy at the bottom propels seven disks upward. They send light to the sun above or the sun above sends to them. Hard to say. What I do know is that the color of the flames is telling.

The hotter the flame the paler the color. White-hot heat shimmers in the blue flames sending the disks shooting upward. This card gets me hot. 😀

Sorry. This card excites me.

No, no…that’s still sexual.

Oh what the heck! This is about passion. This is about urges. This is about wanting to sink your teeth into something and not let go.

What has you by the throat right now? What are you so excited about that you shimmer just thinking about it? What sparks you? What galvanizes you?

Y’all know what it is for me, right? This darned workbook+planner that I cannot stop talking about. Yes, I’m an affiliate so I make money from sales. No, I wouldn’t be so over-the-top thrilled with this if it wasn’t truly making a difference in my life. That’s not how I roll. Authenticity isn’t an easy lifestyle, but it’s the only one for me.

I mentioned yesterday about a goal already being hit, right? I wouldn’t have even thought about that without the amazing releasing ceremony.

I know right? How did a releasing ceremony push me into goals for 2013? Weird but true.

That goal was to get a fabulous illustrator for my Fairy Tales Tarot Spreads eBook. You can get the non-illustrated for free by purchasing this workbook+planner via this link. Then when the illustrated version is released for sale, you can get it for free too. What’s not to love?

Get sparking, y’all.

Seven of Disks, The Mary-el Tarot, Schiffer Books 2012

Seek Joy, Y’all. Pass it on!

Rising, Fear & Focus

So today I see rising up and rising up which is interesting since today’s card on my Facebook business page was about rising above. Tarot and the Universe seem to be conspiring with me about my need to focus on my Pollyanna life which I’ve written about before.

Without knowing what ED (Elemental Dignity) the HPS was, I guessed at water. I looked it up and was right. Of course the Mary-El Tarot’s depiction of the HPS is a very watery one so that helped. With two cups, that makes this a very strong 7 of Cups day. In the class that I’m teaching, we have a discussion about different ways we saw the 7 of Cups so I’m amused that it shows up today.

For me, the 7 of Cups is about emotional choices and buying in. But Marie White doesn’t depict that with her dark wolf with the full moon behind. With my other job as a paranormal erotica writer (gasp, oh no! Arwen writes sexy books?), this card makes me think of werewolves.

I do lCypress Treesove the two cards on either side. The Six of Cups surges upwards from the water. He is a winged merman perhaps with lobster claws to pinch. The HPS rises up but she is connected to the water as she hovers in the air. It is almost as though this is the same figure in a way. Her hands are not hands so much as roots diving back into the water. She makes me think of a cypress tree with that imagery.

Other similarities between the 6 of Cups and our HPS card are the bubbles on his head and the water on hers. Almost a yin/yang thing here.

Turning to the incredibly detailed Mary El Tarot book, I find this about these three cards:

6 of Cups: Uriel solves challenges by reaching deep into the depths of the self for the answers, by trusting and helping the true self rise to the surface, by exposing that which was previously hidden,repressed or locked away. By Growing.

7 of Cups: Truth is wide, vision is narrow. Focus your vision on what you desire, not what you fear.

High Priestess: We have a darkness within us, places that we can’t easily see.

So all of these cards, strangely enough, have a theme of fear for me. Trust is the other side of fear in many cases which is what I think the 6 of Cups points to and the 7 of Cups emphasizes. Then the HPS reminds us that the darkness is natural and expected.

I see this as a reminder that I need to do as the 7 of Cups commands and focus on what I desire. Because when I focus on fear, that grows exponentially until I have no control over my emotions. I go from “situation normal” to “situation fubar” in about 0-60.


Interview: Marie L. White & The Mary-El Tarot

I asked Marie L. White, the creative mind behind both the book and art of the Mary-El Tarot, a few questions. For the answers she had to draw from her own deck and interpret the cards for us. I will have a review of this deck up eventually. I’m just having so much fun learning it right now.

I asked Marie L. White, the creative mind behind both the book and art of the Mary-El Tarot, a few questions. For the answers she had to draw from her own deck and interpret the cards for us. I will have a review of this deck up eventually. I’m just having so much fun learning it right now.

Born in California and now living in North Carolina, Marie L. White has always found a need to touch, paint, taste or in some way immortalize the beauty that she sees. Her dreams and experiences made her search for answers to make sense of it all. She sees Tarot as a triple threat of expression through art, word and number. Read her full bio here.

Now let’s hear from Marie as she explores her process letting her own deck speak for her. Continue reading “Interview: Marie L. White & The Mary-El Tarot”