Tag Archive | Tarot

Ordeal of Odin – Day Three: The Guide

Today, I had a Tarot reading – a short, unexpected one. A young woman who read palms at the store was in today taking appointments – after hours, she suggested we trade readings (something I never turn down). I read for her first – sweet, simple and to the point three card spread. She wanted to read Tarot for me, as she’s just getting back into studying it seriously. The reading she gave me had a clear message: Follow your guide, and you’ll be led to greatness – so long as you’re truly willing.

What a timely message! It has been some time since I’ve last journeyed to Annawynn, partly because I’m afraid – not of her, or what she has to teach me, but of what happens after that. While I know good and well that I feel called to this path, am I sure my ego is not pushing me too far or too fast? How to I offer what I have to others? Do I really know what I’m doing? The self-doubt sets in and it is difficult to keep moving forward. So, this impromptu reading was very telling for me – I am being led to a place of beauty, grace, and fulfillment; so why fight it?

Now is the time for me to “rest” – to recharge and prepare for the next leg of the journey. I have the clear sense that there won’t be time for doubting as I begin again to move forward.

The “Dancer Statement” – or how Tarot can word things better than I can

I’ll be auditioning next weekend for a newly forming bellydance troupe. Generally speaking a standard audition – small choreography to show, the “pop quiz”, and a small teaching demonstration. One thing that really stands out is this: “A 300-500 word personal statement on why you bellydance, what you believe you could bring to a Troupe, and how you could characterize yourself as a performer.”

Ain’t that a task! We don’t often take the time to sit down and really figure out why we do what we do – and we should. As I first began to think about who I am as a dancer, a wonderful metaphor came into being – I am the Magician and the High Priestess. These figures come from the Tarot and refer to two different important archetypes. The Magician is the creator of his/her own reality, confident, logical, and stable. The High Priestess embodies the unconscious – intuitive, non-linear, and mystical. As a dancer, I am both the creator and the creative, in the very same moment.

I then realized that 1 – that’s not 300-500 words and 2 – that doesn’t make much sense to the non-Tarot-inclined. But why shouldn’t I use the Tarot to help me flesh out the statement I’m really trying to get at?

I couldn’t think of a good reason either. I decided on a simple three card spread; giving each position a question to address:

Why do I dance: 6 of swords
Why is dance important: 7 of wands
Who am I as a dancer: the Star

Why do I dance: 6 of swords – I dance to transform emotions into power – the power to captivate and influence and inspire. In dancing, I allow myself to express things that the logical mind has no words for.

Why is dance important: 7 of wands – Dance has always been and should continue to be a powerful venue for creation, expression, and passion. We consciously create a space and community that fosters that exchange – we challenge each other to grow and dare and become more.

Who am I as a dancer: the Star – As a dancer, I am free to express joy and grief – and anything in between – in a purposeful and fulfilling way. I give myself the freedom to follow my own path and in doing so, unconsciously allow other to do the same.

What an insightful read! And this format could be used with just about anything: why do I teach, why do I seek out knowledge, why do I (insert job here)… I think you get the idea.

Sudden Inspiration

I have been working, on and off, on creating my own tarot deck. For the better part of the past year, I’ve put this project on hold, but all of a sudden, I’ve been struck with inspiration. I’ve been working away not only on the companion book but also the deck.

Here’s a little from the book:

The Astral Twilight Tarot is the product of years of reading with other decks and not having one to really call my own. Not to imply that the only way to connect to a deck to to create it; I own many decks, and love them all. Rather, this is my creations, my way to give back to the community that has given me so much. As you will see, this deck contains traditional depictions with a modern twist – my everyday life does not involve kings, angels, or (visible) hands of God. So with this deck, I’ve set out to capture the myth and magic of the Tarot using real, tangible images. Certainly this deck is not the first to do so, but it is sill an uncommon approach in the Tarot world.

I’ve decided to take people from my own life and cast them in the Tarot Court and take images and figures that inspire me and shape them to the Major Arcana. So far, I’m loving it.

Here’s a sample card – The Star:

(c) Amanda Burke

My take on the Star

My version of the Star is an image of the Pleiades star cluster. This particular image has been “turned on it’s side”, creating a cross (or arrow) with the stars, which I feel fits the idea of the Star.

Amazing Movies: Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Since I’ve been thinking about movies and Tarot as of late, I thought I’d share a beautiful movie that uses some familiar Tarot archetypes. Unlike the other movies I’ve shared, this isn’t a documentary. You may have heard the name in relation to the death of Heath Ledger, as this was the movie he was filming at the time and is his final role.

As you may have guessed from the trailer, the Devil archetype is a major part of the plot. He spends his time weaving webs of bets and debts around Doctor Parnassus. He knows that the man can’t resist a bet, knows that he can’t say no. He finds a way to make that bet, no matter how dangerous, seem tempting and worthwhile.

The Devil in the Tarot is much the same. The Devil is all about temptation, desire, wanting, longing. The physical things that distract us from our lives is what the Devil offers us; the bad habits and relationships that hold us back. He makes them look so good to us, like they are the only things that we could want. He tempts us and addicts us; makes us think we need what ever it is he’s pushing. Be it power, escape, wealth, or anything else, it distracts us from our true selves and keeps us bound, constrained. The Devil also reminds us that we choose to “give in” to temptation and that we therefore have the power to turn away from temptation. If we have the will, and we make the choice, we can break the chains that bind us.

Perhaps less obvious from the trailer is the role of the Hanged Man (mentioned before here), symbolized by the character Tony. As I’ve mentioned before, the Hanged Man speaks to one’s sacrifice for knowledge and wisdom. I don’t want to spoil the film, but it’s sure to say that “sacrifice” is indeed an important aspect to Tony’s progression through the story.

Even if you’re not a Tarot lover – I highly recommend this stunning movie.

Young Voices In Tarot – Angelo Nasios

Bringing you more on tarot – Yes indeed:

Young Voices In Tarot – Angelo Nasios

This is an interview by the Tarot Lady (Theresa Reed) with Angelo Nascios – a voice in the Tarot world who I greatly admire, and have talked about before.  The real meat of this interview is the topic of young readers in Tarot, professionally speaking. Of course, I’m fascinated by this, as I am (more or less) a professional reader though I do offer other readings. We have a divination discussion group at my local New Age shop, and often I am the youngest one there – but have been reading longer then some of the others!

Do we question the abilities and potential of the Fool?

I love to see readers my age, or even younger. Actually, a young woman (maybe 14) signed up for my Rune Workshop – and I was so excited because everyone else was old enough to be my mother/father. They actually didn’t realize – even as I walked back and forth from the “big room” that we hold classes in – that I was the one leading the workshop until I invited them to come in and sit down. I often hear from people after readings that they didn’t expect me to “be so good” because of my age.

All too often we forget that in spiritual matters, the age of the body can be a very misleading factor. I’ve been told all my life that I have an “old soul” and perhaps that is a factor in my affinity for divination. Maybe it doesn’t matter at all – I don’t know. Either way, it’s important to keep an open mind and heart in these sorts of matters.

A New Spin on Tarot

Tarot Insight – Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

I adore Angelo Nasios and his work with the Tarot. I’ve mentioned him here before, but this is a little different. In this linked post from his blog That’s Totally Tarot, he uses the Tarot to investigate and understand the recent shootings in Arizona.

He inspires me to use Tarot (and other divination systems) in new and unconventional ways.

~Take care and Blessed be

Divination Spreads

I’m always on the look out for new and interesting divination spreads.  But today, I thought I’d share some basic, flexible spreads that can be used with just about any card like divination system.

The Three Card Spread: Perhaps the most basic spread that exists. This is simple three cards (or tiles) laid out in a row. The most common interpretation is past/present/future, but this isn’t the only way to use this super flexible spread.  Pretty much any trio could be used: thesis/antithesis/synthesis,  mind/body/spirit, feelings/thoughts/actions, and the list goes on. I like to use this spread when doing a short reading, or in order to get a ‘theme’ for a more in-depth reading when a client doesn’t have one.

The layout for the simple nine card spread

The Nine Care Spread: This is very similar to the three card, but can be much more in-depth from the get-go. The cards are laid out in a 3×3 square shape. They way I learned this spread was: the first row (1-3) represents the future aspect, the second row (4-6) represents the current aspect, and the last row (7-9) represents the past aspect of the situation. On top of that the left column (1,4,7) represents the unconscious attitude towards the situation; the middle column (2,5,8) shows the actions taken or the outside forces in the situation; the right column (3,6,9) represents the conscious attitude (or thoughts) toward the current situation.

There are just two super simple spread that can apply to just about any situation. Here’s a vid with a variation on the three card spread and another spread I didn’t have time to type up! Enjoy:

~Take care and Blessed be