Deck Review, Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: Tarot of the Hidden Realm

Deck: Tarot of the Hidden Realm
Publisher: Llewellyn Books
Writer: Barbara Moore
Artist: Julia Jeffries
Overall Rating: 10/10

image (c) Llewellyn Books

Cardstock: It’s supple and very shuffly, but doesn’t feel like I could tear it quite as easily as some of the other decks I’ve reviewed.

Artwork: I LOVE the artwork! The facial expressions are clear and the backgrounds are detailed. There’s plenty of symbolism for intuitive reading. I also really like that these are borderless!

Book: This deck comes with a full paperback guidebook, not a LWB. I like the book – there’s plenty of detail in it to jive off of without it feeling heavy handed. The writer describes the activities of the people in the art, too, to clarify some of the artwork and symbolism. There’s a whole chapter in the front if you’re new to divination, and a chapter in the back with a few spreads.

Likes: Um, Everything? I especially like that this deck is Fairy Themed without being really twee. (Spoilers: most Fae aren’t twee.) I also like some of the renamed Major Arcana (like Life Renewed, depicted above, to replace the very Christian “Judgement”). By far my favorite part is really just the amazing artwork, though!

Dislikes: Ummmmmmm a couple of the cards have artwork reminds me of a celebrity who may have been used as a reference and it’s a tiny bit distracting? That’s a bit of a reach, though. Otherwise… There’s no tuck box, just a large box that fits the book, so I had to find a bag for the cards to keep them in, because the original cardboard bit wasn’t going to keep the cards undamaged, long-term. I really can’t think of anything major.

Overall Recommendation

Now that I own this deck I am astonished that I let it linger on a wishlist for so long! This is quickly becoming one of my favorite decks, and probably my new go-to when dealing with any random personal spiritual nonsense in my life. If you like the artwork you might need this.

Deck Review, Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: Radiant Rider-Waite-Smith

Deck: Radiant Rider-Waite
Publisher: Currently published by US Games Systems, Inc; original deck was published by William Rider & Son in London in 1909
Writer: originally the companion books, The Key to the Tarot, and the revised The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, were written by A.E. Waite.
Artist: original artwork was by Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith; has been digitized and saturated for this deck.
Overall Rating: 7/10

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot, published by US Games Systems Inc

Cardstock: A little thin, maybe, but pretty standard for US Games. Nothing to write home about. Nice and wiffly but I would bet they’d show wear if I used them more often. Especially those stark white borders!

Artwork: The symbolism is super heavy – everything from the color of the robes to how many stars is pretty much on purpose. So if that’s your thing, more power to you. Besides the Pictorial Key there are dozens of other books about RWS symbolism. I’m really not super fond of Smith’s human figures, though. They all seem a little doll-like to me, but that seems to be her style so it’s more a matter of my personal dislike than her lack of talent.

LWB: It has decent descriptions of the majors but only a few keywords for upright and reversed for other cards, and those seem a little sparse or overly simplistic. I haven’t read the Pictorial Key so I’m not sure how well it compares, but I did buy one of the aforementioned several other books, so I use that instead. (Because, no, I do not have all the zodiac stuff memorized and some of the color symbolism is different from my own understandings.)

Likes: If you want to read tarot books, it helps to have this deck because a lot of them are about this one in particular. Also, a lot of other decks use this same imagery, turned into dragons or elves or cats or whatever. It’s useful if you want to understand the history of tarot divination, too.

Dislikes: I really dislike the Kabbalistic symbolism because I have Feelings about goyim using it. But I think if you’re unfamiliar with that it is easy enough to just ignore and gloss over. I also don’t like how the human figures’ faces have very little expression – I have a few other decks with very expressive artwork and that vibes a lot better with my intuitive reading style.

Overall Recommendation

I really got this deck so that I could start to go “deeper” into the tarot and then I found out that the zodiac stuff and the alchemical symbolism just really don’t jive as well with my reading style. I’m an intuitive reader, not an intellectual reader, and that’s too much conscious analysis. So this is sort of a fall-back deck, more of a collector’s piece than something I use often. Some of my clients like it, though, because it’s recognizable. Ultimately, it doesn’t jive well with me but I would recommend it to newbies or anyone who likes the depth of symbolism.

Divination, Tarot Spread

9 Card Relationship Spread

Here’s the next installment of my tarot spreads: Relationship 9-card Spread.

relationship 9 top

  1. You and your feelings about the relationship
  2. Your partner and their feelings about the relationship
  3. The thing that draws you both together
  4. Your relationship weaknesses
  5. Your relationship strengths
  6. Influences of the past on your relationship
  7. Negative external influences
  8. Positive external influences
  9. Advice for committing to a future together

This one is also pretty straightforward, but it goes a little deeper than the 5-card spread.  And again, though I do mainly get requests for this spread to take a look at romantic relationships, it’s also pretty applicable to any other relationship between two people.  And if someone buys the listing for this spread on Etsy but wants me to look at a relationship between three people, I have an alternate spread I use, but it’s closer to the depth of the 5 card spread because of the additional person.  To do this level of depth for three people I’d need at least 12 cards!

 

Divination, Other Updates, Tarot Spread

Relationship 5-card Spread

I started a series a while back of the tarot spreads I use in my Etsy Shop, but never finished it (whoops).  So here’s another installment: the 5-card version of my Relationship Tarot Spread.

Relationship 5 top
Yeah the “spread by” is my tumblr and not this blog, but I’m trying to head off reposts over there.

  1. This card is you.  Your wants, your needs, your concerns.  It encompasses your view of the relationship, and your influence on it.
  2. This card is the other person. Their wants, needs, concerns.  It represents their view, and their influence.
  3. This card is what uplifts you: what is going right, what is keeping you together. This represents the strengths of the relationship.
  4. This card is what pulls you down: what is going wrong, and what is pulling you apart. This represents the issues and weaknesses in the relationship.
  5. This is the general overview of the relationship: how are you doing on the whole?  It may also contain advice for the future.  If the querent had a specific concern or issue they wished to focus on, this card will focus on that aspect.

Pretty straightforward, right?  And applicable to any number of relationships, not just romantic ones.  I could just as easily use it to look at a friendship, or a parent-child relationship – anything between two people! I do have spreads that work for more than two people, but that tends to require more cards.  The smallest spread to look at a three-way relationship adds just one more card along the lines of card #2.

Stay tuned for the 9-card relationship spread, which is the next spread in my queue!

Divination

Quick Rune Guide

This is the quick version of what I have come to think of as my personal associations and understandings of each rune, based on the rune poems and other secondary sources.  I’m writing it up here and now for two reasons: 1) hopefully it will be of use to some of you, and 2) the Old Man seems to want me to and I’m currently inclined to humor him.

Each of these key concepts is a category, a container of meanings.  For example, one of Uruz’s key concepts is “physicality”, which contains within it all of the following, and more: strength, speed, high energy, good health, action, nourishment, endurance, vitality.  So if you would use these for yourself, first use each concept as a free-writing prompt, and see what associations you have.  Build your personal meanings from those.

 

ᚠ  Fehu: Wealth as a physical object. Wealth as a process of prosperity.

ᚢ  Uruz: Physicality. Potency. Manifestation.

ᚦ  Thurisaz: Natural forces. Conflict. Masculine energy.

ᚨ  Ansuz: Trancework. Wisdom. Universal order.

ᚱ  Raidho: Travel. Communication.

ᚲ  Kenaz: Spark. Hearthfire.

ᚷ  Gebo: Hospitality. Reciprocity.

ᚹ  Wunjo: Happiness. Good fortune.

 

ᚺ  Hagalaz: Catastrophe. Melting ice.

ᚾ  Naudhiz: Willpower. Fate. Friction.

ᛁ  Isa: Frozen. Glacial.

ᛃ  Jera: Harvest. Continuing cycles.

ᛇ  Eiwaz: Evergreen. Axis Mundi.

ᛈ  Perthro: Mystery. Cauldron.

ᛉ  Elhaz: Shield. Blade.

ᛋ  Sowilo: Sunlight. Victory.

 

ᛏ  Tiwaz: Justice. Virtue.

ᛒ  Berkano: Spring. Healing.

ᛖ  Ehwaz: Movement. Teamwork.

ᛗ  Mannaz: The community. The Self.

ᛚ  Laguz: Water. Depths.

ᛜ  Ingwaz: Sacred King. Seed energy.

ᛞ  Dagaz: Dawning. Illumination.

ᛟ  Othala: Home. Kin.

Divination, Etsy Shop Update, Social Media Update

2018: Looking Forward

Having finally gotten past the holidays and life and colds that erupted at Casa Serendipities over the past month or so, it’s finally time to look forward.  I did a number of personal divinations for the New Year’s Day this year (that full moon!) and out of those I’m synthesizing personal themes for each month.  This month, my theme is “An Inspired Beginning”.  There was a lot I tried to accomplish last year, but I set my goals too lofty, having no idea how hard pregnancy, childbirth, and raising an infant was going to hit me.  Now the Acorn Sproutling is 8 months old, and we’re really settling into a rhythm that I think is going to leave me a good amount of time to focus on Serendipities in a sustainable way.

To that end, I’m going to try and keep on top of posts here – hopefully at least one a month – and also posts on the FB page and the (new&improved) tumblr blog.  So if you’re active in either of those places, give us a follow, yeah?  You may also have noticed the brand new Buy Me a Coffee button in the navigation bars – that takes you to a donation website, and it’s how I take tips when I do free divination on tumblr (which I’m planning to do every Dark Moon).  So if you want to support us financially, but don’t have need of any of our services right now, use that!

In the Etsy shop I’ll be working on those divination listings that still need photographs and write ups, both new decks and new spreads.  And check out the yearly divination spreads if you haven’t done one of those yet.  My 12 month overview helps keep me on track and focused and mindful all year long, and the shorter 7 card spread gives you something to focus on for various arenas in your life (work, family, etc).  Or focus on what you need to let into and out of your life (which is also good for any time you’re at a crossroads) with my New Leaf spread!

Blessings to you and yours as we enter 2018!

Divination, Other Updates

Divination for Beginners

As per usual, this is all just my opinion, based on my experiences, and your mileage may vary. I don’t claim to know everything about divination (how could I?) but I thought making a post discussing various methods might be helpful for beginners, so here you are!  I’ve also tried to include options for discreet or low-budget alternatives in every section below, and I’ve made comments about the suitability for various kinds of disabilities where they came to mind, but this is not meant to be exhaustive, and I welcome input from others!

1. If you are a beginner in everything, I recommend starting with Cartomancy or a Symbol Draw System.

Cartomancy is divination with the use of cards, such as Tarot, Lenormand, or Oracle cards.  The general idea is that you take the deck of cards, shuffle them, and pull a few (often a set number) and lay them on a flat surface like a desk (often in a pre-determined layout).  Most decks come with a booklet of interpretations and meanings, and for Tarot and Lenormand there are also many more books on various methods of interpretation, or layouts.  Playing cards are a good tool if you’re not open about your practice, but unfortunately you need to find interpretations for them online or elsewhere, unlike most decks made specifically for Cartomancy.  There are a lot of cards, usually, which means there are a lot of meanings to remember, but you can get good readings using the booklet and a little bit of intuition – memorization isn’t really necessary. Another good discreet method if you have a smartphone is by using a tarot app, like the ones by The Fool’s Dog. I’ve used their free one and gotten good results, but I can’t swear to the efficacy of any other online system or app. (This is also a great option for technowitches!)

Symbol Draw Systems consist of symbols written on small objects, that are then pulled without looking at them, like out of a pouch.  The most popular form of symbol draw is probably Runes – there are plenty of books and websites with images of the Runes and their meanings.  Ogham is also fairly popular, but there are fewer primary sources on Ogham, so you’ll find that meanings vary from book to book.  Symbol Draw systems are easy to make yourself, which makes them very budget friendly.  Simply look up the symbols, and draw or scratch them into whatever you have lying around – bottle caps work well, or small pebbles, or pennies.  It’s somewhat important to make sure they’re all about the same size and shape, however, so that you can’t tell them apart by touch.  It’s a little harder to do these discreetly, as the symbols have to be written on the objects, but you might try writing in pencil or something eraseable, so you can remove the markings once you’re done. This may result in you having to “calibrate” your set each time, however, if you aren’t writing the symbols on the same pieces every time.  Otherwise the objects might accidentally “remember” their old symbol instead of the correct one.  Symbol draw systems are pretty good for people with fine motor skill issues, because you can make the objects however big or light that you need to, and mixing them up will be easier than shuffling cards.  As a note, however, I don’t recommend using Ogham symbols for people with really severe dyslexia (because the symbols are frequently mirrors of each other) but you could get around it by writing the names of trees, instead, or using pictures of trees!  Symbol Draw systems can be a good option for the visually impaired, as well, because the symbols are usually very simple drawings.  If you have some sight you can make the symbols very large and bold, or the blind can have them etched into something, to read by touch.

2. If you want answers to a Yes or No question, I recommend using a Pendulum, or Cartomancy.

Pendulums are basically made of a weight at the end of a string or chain.  As such, they can be made out of jewelry or almost anything you have lying around – there are plenty of tutorials on what makes a good pendulum on the internet.  Prettier ones can be found online or in most metaphysical shops, but that’s not usually your best bet if you’re on a budget or you’re not open about your practice.  Learning to use a pendulum is fairly easy – but mastering it can be hard.  The basic idea is that one direction of an X or + is “yes”, while the other is “no”, and spirals in either direction mean some kind of uncertainty. It can be difficult, however, to make sure that a pendulum is working properly (you can try to calibrate it by checking the motion against questions you already know the answers to), and it can also be difficult to prevent yourself from influencing the answer.  If you ask a question and you really, really, want the answer to be yes, the “yes” in your head might be louder than the question, which can cause the pendulum to swing yes not in response to the question, but in parallel with your thought.  Also, pendulums can be tricky for people with shaky hands or fine motor issues.

Cartomancy isn’t the best option for Yes or No questions, but if it’s what you have on hand you can use a pretty simple spread to get a binary answer.  First, shuffle the cards well, allowing for reversals: you will need to flip some of the cards upside-down as you shuffle if you don’t usually use reversals when you read.  Then, lay out four cards.  All four upright is a “Yes”.  All four reversed is a “No”.  Three upright is “Yes, but”.  Three reversed is “No, but”.  Two upright and two reversed is “Uncertain” or “Maybe”.  For a deck with symmetrical art such as a regular deck of playing cards, assign “yes” to red and “no” to black (or vice versa, if that sounds better to you), and pull four cards, interpreting the same way as above.  I don’t recommend doing a single card pull for a yes or no question from any Cartomancy deck. But after you’ve done the four card draw, you can look at the meanings of the cards to get a little more information on your question.

 

3. If you are already fairly knowledgeable about magical correspondences and want to expand that knowledge, I recommend augury or lithomancy.

Augury is frequently described as divination by the movement of birds, but it can also involve observing other animals and natural phenomena.  The main drawback to this method of divination is that everyone basically has their own list of meanings and correspondences.  If you’ve already figured out some of your personal correspondences for spellwork or dream interpretation you’re well on your way, however.  As this doesn’t require much of anything but a willingness to observe nature (even out you window in a city – you don’t have to be in the wilderness), and your own notes, it’s incredibly budget friendly, and easy to do discreetly.  It does, however, take a lot more work to learn, and taking notes along the way is imperative!  It’s also best to start by focusing on one kind of natural phenomenon, like movements of animals, or the shape of clouds.

Lithomancy is divination using stones, and like aurgury, every practitioner seems to have their own system.  If you already use a lot of crystals for healing or spellwork, you can begin with that knowledge as you build your own system.  Easier systems pretty much depend on the color of the stone for meaning, and those are probably the most budget-friendly, because you can pick up a few pretty dyed agates at a gift shop somewhere for $5 or so.  Also, if you’re using color correspondences, there’s really nothing that says they *have* to be stones, either – you can adapt the system to work for casting small plastic beads or anything else small and colorful, as long as you have a full set of colors.  More complicated systems usually require specific stones and more of them, and that can get pretty expensive pretty quickly if you don’t already have an appropriate collection.  As stones in lithomancy are typically cast onto a cloth or mat, it’s best to use small tumbled stones, stone chips, or beads, so that you can hold them comfortably in your hands to toss them.  Some people like to use mats with symbols on them to help with interpretation, but it’s not necessary, and if you’re not open about your practice it might be best to have a small “rock collection” and simply cast them onto a flat surface covered in a cloth (like a scarf) to prevent chipping and to dull the clattering sound.  The basics of lithomancy are the same as the basics for osteomancy (bone throwing), too, if bones are your thing, instead.  You could also use any collection of small objects that has meaning to you, like DnD minifigures, or monopoly pieces, or sea shells.  The important thing is that the pieces have to have meanings that make sense to you, and you need to be able to interpret them in relation to each other and how they fall on the mat.

 

4. If you are already good at meditation and trancework, I recommend scrying.

Scrying is a term for a bunch of divination methods that all pretty much amount to sinking into trance and gazing at something until you either see symbols (which you can then interpret) or you suddenly have an answer by other means.  Common scrying methods include gazing into crystals, black mirrors, water, flame, or smoke.  Obviously some methods are cheaper and more discreet than others, but in my experience the results don’t depend on the tool.  They do somewhat depend on your ability to use the tool well – for instance, I do better with fire and water scrying than I do with crystal or black mirror scrying – so I recommend trying a few different tools before giving up on the method entirely.  While most of what’s written on scrying talks about interpreting symbols, I sometimes find that while scrying I end up so deep in my trance that I end up seeing through to the astral or godphoning directly, so that’s a possibility if your talents lie in that direction.  That comes with a HUGE ymmv disclaimer, though.

 

There are a lot of other methods of divination (tea leaf reading, automatic writing, bibliomancy, coin flip, divination by musical shuffle…) but these ones above are methods I’ve had success with, and would recommend to various kinds of divination beginners.  Hopefully you found this helpful!

 

[[The original version of this post is from my personal tumblr.]]

Etsy Shop Update, Other Updates, Social Media Update

Updates!

Well, the shop tumblog is now up and running!  So if you’re on tumblr, please be a dear and give us a follow!  Right now it’s mostly posting Etsy shop listings and updates, but no more than 3 posts a day, we don’t want to spam anyone.  In the future that will probably be the fastest place to learn about anything new going on in the shop besides Etsy itself!

Speaking of Etsy, our seasonal coupon went live this past weekend!  Use coupon code YULETIDE2016 for 10% off anything and everything in the shop!  Code is valid through the 2nd of January.

Also coming up soon (hopefully by Yule): rune readings are FINALLY going to be in the shop, at approx $2/rune.  These are going to be pulls, not casts, but I’ve gotten some good feedback on my free rune readings on tumblr, so I think I’m now confident enough to offer them for sale.  I use the Elder Futhark, on slices of wood, and I’ll be included pictures in those readings, just like with the cards.

On the reiki side of things, we’re finally more or less open for business (though we may get a zero gravity chair to replace the one we’ve been using, for additional comfort) and I’ve updated the Facebook Page with the street name – when you book an appointment I’ll be more than happy to give you the entire address and parking directions, but we’re working out of our home and I don’t really want our home address plastered all over the interwebs.  I’ve also added “Services” to the FB page, with approximate prices so you have an idea, though divination and jewelry are still primarily sold through the Etsy Shop.

In the realm of upcoming things, Glasreo and I will be attending a Soul Retrieval workshop in January which is very exciting and should meld well with our reiki practice, so stay tuned to hear about that (and maybe book a reiki session for the spring to get some of your lost soul pieces back, *winkwink*) and hopefully I’ll be blogging weekly again from here on, now that we’re all moved into our new place!

Demo Reading, Divination, Other Updates

A Demo Lenormand Reading

IMGP2455

10-Card Lenormand Reading for @hedgefae!

Overview of the Spread

Everything in this spread is organized according to the position of each card relative to the significator, which is located in the center.  Things in the column to the right indicate the future; things to the left indicate the past; things in the same column as the significator indicate the present moment. Things in the row above the significator indicate things that you know and/or have control over; things below indicate things you don’t know and/or do not have control over; things in the same row as the significator indicate things that you have some (but not complete) knowledge of, and/or some (but not complete) control over.  Card meanings are read in their position and in their relation to each other.

10 Card Spread

1: Storks

This card symbolizes transitions and progress, and located here in the “past” column and the “in your knowledge/control” row, I believe this represents a change you deliberately made.  This is the “arriving” part of what is probably a long transition.

2: Ring

This card symbolizes contracts and commitments, and located in the “present” column and the “in your knowledge/control” row, it seems to be alluding to some sort of offer or negotiation you could take or are taking – if that reminds you of something, you should probably make that commitment.

3: Snake (Shedding)

This card symbolizes transformation and healing, and located in the “future” column and the “in your knowledge/control” row, this is the result of the previous two cards.  You arrived, you committed, and now that you’re in a safe place, it’s time to transform, to transmute, to become a better version of yourself.   This isn’t always an easy process, but it’s always worth the effort.  (If you need help, you might try looking into resources for Shadow Work, learning to delve into your own Shadow side.)

4: Scythe

This card symbolizes cutting ties and reaping harvest.  Situated in the “past” column and in the “somewhat in your knowledge/control” row, this likely indicates a situation in the recent past where you weren’t responsible for the sudden change, but you made the most of what you were given.  Getting laid off would be an example of the kind of situation I’m talking about, or suddenly leaving school for financial reasons. This echoes the card above it – here was the push to leave where you were in the past, before you arrived wherever you are now.

5&6: Sun & Boat

There are two cards here because I decided to put you significator in a “house” to use the tenth card.  Lenormand spreads can also be done “in houses”, which normally applies to the Grand Tableau, where you lay out all the cards, and then lay a different deck down on top of those, but here I’m just using it as an extra little nugget of information.  The Boat card, your significator for this question, symbolizes freedom and travel.  It is in the House of Sun, which adds themes of luck and growth and optimism. Together, they symbolize a need to find new energy, to find a new path that will lighten you and give you more opportunities for growth and development, and that doing so will increase your happiness and help you achieve greater things.  It’s time to move up in the world.  So whatever door just closed, one that’s a lot better should be opening right about now.  You just need to find it.  This is very likely to require some sort of contract, echoing the card above.

7: Moon

This card symbolizes emotions, intuition, and things like your reputation, how others feel about you. In this location, in the “future” column and the “somewhat within your knowledge/control” row, it likely indicates a period of introspection, and a need to make sure that people understand you for who you are. This echoes the card above it, which is focused on personal transformation.

8: Mountain

This card symbolizes obstacles and blockages.  In this position, in the “past” column and the “out of your knowledge/control” row, it is the background for the cards above it, elucidating how difficult your previous situation was, and how infertile it would have been to stay there. A cliff is not a good place to sow seeds.  Better to cut your losses and leave for greener pastures.

9: Lilies

This card symbolizes harmony, and support.  Located here in the “present” column and in the “out of your knowledge/control”, it indicates support from behind the scenes. It is the guiding light for your boat, and the water that holds you buoyant.  Someone or something is guiding your way and watching out for you as you make your transition.  It is not necessarily the same person/entity/thing that you must make a commitment to – the Ring sounds more like a mundane thing, and the Lilies appear to be referring to either fate itself or perhaps a god or guardian spirit.

10: Dog

This card symbolizes loyalty and reliability.  Situated here, in the “future” column and the “out of your knowledge/control”, it may be referring back to an entity supporting you, symbolized by the Lilies.  If it is just the force of fate, it’s still something you can rely on, as you complete the work of the cards above, delving into your own shadow and emotions to become you better self.

Overall:

Changes aren’t just coming: they’re here.  What you need to focus on is really making the most of it.  Aim high and aim for freedom.  Find that open door, and once you go through it, commit to the path and don’t turn back.  You may have some growing pains, but you’ll get through it and it will be worth it, because you’ve got support along the way.  Good luck!

 

[[Hedgefae’s response: “This is a beautiful, beautiful reading! Thank you so much! This confirms a lot of suspicions I’ve had about where my life is headed and what my next step is meant to be. This is everything I was looking for and more!”]]

As I get more comfortable with Lenormand, expect to see listings showing up in the Etsy shop. This particular reading spread will probably cost about $30.

Divination

Trying to Uphold Justice in an Injust World

Today, as part of a group of pagans of color, I did some divination on how I can uphold justice in an injust world.  I decided to use Lenormand, seeking mundane answers to my question.  As I shuffled, I called upon my patronesses: Bast and Sekhmet, Eyes of Ra and Protectors of Ma’at.

I used the “Under the Roses” Lenormand Deck (images copyrighted by the publisher, US Games Systems, Inc) and pulled the following cards:

20160712_150504

I use the title card in this deck to mean the querent: in this reading, me. The rest of the cards (left to right, in descending rows) are: The Bouquet, The Clouds, The Gentleman (the darker skinned of two possible options in this deck), The Letter, The Lady (again, the darker skinned option), The Child (the lighter-skinned option, this time), The Tree, and The Grave (traditionally The Coffin).  I’ll go through the meanings of the cards in order, and then comment on the overall themes.

1: The Querent.  Well, this is me, located in the “Past” column and the “In My Control” row.  I am interpreting this to be validation that injustice has already been on my radar for some time, and also a reminder that (white-passing as I am) racially motivated injustices are not about me – I am a supporter and an ally, not a victim (potential or by proxy).  Also, the fact that my significator is in the “In My Control” row means that I can control my own actions and reactions moving forward, which is important to remember.

[[This perhaps reflects my own ambiguity about my racial identity… I feel that – for at least me, personally – while I am native, that is more of an ethnicity or a culture than a race, similar to how “hispanic” is often divorced from race on surveys, and is a separate category.  I feel like it is probably easier to be “hispanic AND white” or “native AND white” or possibly even “native AND black” than it is to be “black AND white”, when it comes to being racially “read” by others.  That is to say, I think more strangers would acknowledge the first three identities as valid and/or notice that the person was mixed, but dismiss “black AND white” as just black.  I personally identify as both native and white, and I acknowledge the privilege that passing as only white affords me.  I feel like the term “multiethnic” describes me better than “multiracial”.  But I know that others have different opinions, and I am not trying to say that mine are better – I’m just explaining where I’m coming from, in order to better contextualize this reading.]]

2: The Bouquet. This card is located in the “Present” column and the “In My Control” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Good Fortune, Generosity, Gifts.  I am called to share what I can with those in need, and to use my comparative privilege to help others.  Based on the location: this I already know, and am beginning to do.

3: The Clouds.  This card is located in the “Future” column and the “In My Control” row.  The meanings that jump out at me are: Setbacks, Delays, Uncertainty.  It seems I will need to face my own doubts and fears, moving forward, and this is also a warning that there is no clear path, but I will have to continually find my way forward.

4: The Gentleman.  This card is located in the “Past” column and the “Progression” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Male Significator, and Outward Focus.  I believe this stands in for the black men who have died at the hands of police, whose deaths gave rise to #BlackLivesMatter, and as “outward focus” it perhaps refers to the BLM movement at large.

5: The Letter.  This card is located in the “Present” column, and in the “Progression” row.  It is also located in the absolute center, and is the heart of the message.  The meanings that jump out at me are: Correspondence, Communication, Information.  This means talking about what is happening, shedding light on it, sharing information.  Listening and reading as well as speaking and writing.

6: The Lady.  This card is located in the “Future” column and in the “Progression” row.  The meanings that jump out at me are: Empathy, Inward Focus, Subconscious, Friendship.  I do not think this car signifies an actual person.  I think it is a call to become more aware of my own biases and internalized biogtry, and to move forward in empathy, holding space for my fellow travelers.

7: The Child.  This card is located in the “Past” column and in the “Out of My Control” row.  The meanings that jump out at me are: Childhood, Innocence, Learning.  I believe this card is meant to indicate my own childhood, and the messages I unconsciously picked up from society as a child – many of which I now know to be wrong and hurtful.  Most of us have internalized racism, misogyny, and other kinds of bigotry simply because we were steeped in it, and it takes a lot of effort to change those nasty little voices in our heads telling us that we’re “too X” or “not Y enough”.

8: The Tree. This card is located in the “Present” column and in the “Out of  My Control” row.  The meanings that jump out at me are: Spiritual Beliefs, Groundedness, Growth, Legacy.  I believe the Spiritual Beliefs meaning is a reference to my work with Bast and Sekhmet as Eyes of Ra, guardians of Ma’at – I began the work in a different lifetime, and continue it in this one, though I did not seek it out, did not “choose” it, though I have fully embraced it.  The Groundedness is a reminder that things may be triggering – I may become ungrounded at times, and I will need to seek my stillness again.  The Growth is both my own personal growth, and that of society at large, I think, which I must contribute to: because I am intending on having children, I must learn how to pass on the respect I feel for all peoples – so that it will become my legacy.

9: The Grave. This card is located in the “Future” column and in the “Out of My Control” row.  The meanings that jump out at me are: Transformation, Death.  I believe this means that while we will see some positive transformations in our society, all the changes I wish to see will not occur within my lifetime.  That is why leaving a legacy of people who will push for change is so important.

The Past Column: I’m reading these cards from out of my control, rising into my control. My childhood innocence and lack of discernment has been shaped by my awareness of injustice, making me into the person I am today, and shaping who I become as I move forward.

The Present Column: I’m reading these cards from out of my control, rising into my control. I must build my legacy by contributing to the spread of information, and supporting others as best I can.

The Future Column: I’m reading these cards from out of my control, rising into my control.  Transformation of society will come through empathy and friendship, but the path forward will not be linear.  There will be pushbacks, setbacks, and delays.

Overall: It seems that my role is primarily one of support, but that fits well with my life-path generally.  I need to improve myself, and hold space for fellow travelers.  The change we seek will come if we keep striving, keep helping each other and communicating and spreading information – but it may not be achievable in our lifetimes.  We need to focus on our legacy, on building a good foundation for the generations to come.