Greetings, Dear Readers!

I have moved from renting here at the very hospitable WordPress to owning my own piece of web territory.  From now on go to http://artofchangetarot.com/ to find all my Tarot musings.

I will be removing my content from this site, but don’t worry it is all still there on http://artofchangetarot.com/.  We moved it all over.

Please do come over to check out the new site!

Be well,

Carolyn

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The weekend of November 17th and 18th, Rachel Pollack will be here in Western Mass presenting at the Massachusetts Tarot Society on Saturday (details are here) and doing a retreat day with me.  I’m very excited!  Here is the information about the retreat.

A Day in the Tarot with Rachel Pollack and Carolyn Cushing

“Speak the things that must be spoken. Leave nothing out.” The Speakers of the Shining Tribe

These words, woven from the poems of the Speakers of Stones and Fire in the Shining Tribe deck, define what we do as Tarot readers. We speak what we see in the cards, we tell the stories they reveal to us—stories of our (and querents’) lives, stories of imagination, stories of the Tarot’s wisdom and its deep traditions. Today we will explore how the cards reveal their stories and inspire our own. We will begin by examining the Tarot as shape shifters, exploring the many forms the cards can take, with such starting points as the Fool’s Journey, the Tree of Life (as in the famous ten points of Kabbalah, but as a living flowering tree as well), and Circles that guide us to integrate all parts of ourselves to step toward Wholeness. We will seek the life energy within these forms, the energy that enables us to speak and be heard.

We will each use the cards to discover our own path and intention for the day within these various possibilities. Using the cards we will also explore the secret history of the Emperor (part of a series Rachel is doing to discover the lives and hidden tales of the Major Arcana). We will seek out the Tarot’s mysteries and travel to its hidden worlds to ask the essential questions that “must be spoken.” “Who am I? What is my purpose?”

Come join us for a thrilling event.

Date and Time:  Sunday, November 18 from 10am to 4:30pm.  [Note: Rachel is also presenting on Saturday at the Massachusetts Tarot Society. More details on that event are at masstarot.org.]

Location: Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA (perhaps you’ll even have time to listen a little to the Sanctuary’s wonderful wild stories)

Cost: $95 also includes a lunch made from local ingredients (vegan and gluten-free friendly).

To register: Sending a check is preferred. Make it out to Carolyn Cushing and mail to 143 Main St., Easthampton, MA 01027. Pay pal payment possible by sending fee to carolyn [at] artofchangetarot [dot] com.

For more information / Questions: Call Carolyn at 413-529-9759 or e-mail her at carolyn [at] artofchangetarot [dot] com.

What to Bring: A Tarot deck. A notebook. Hiking shoes if you want to add a walk around Arcadia into your day.

Payment Policies: Payment must be received to secure your spot and spots are limited. If you have to withdraw before October 17th and you send this in writing via e-mail to Carolyn, your payment will be returned. Requests for refunds made between October 18th and November 11th, will be refunded by 50%. After November 11th, a refund will not be possible. PayPal refunds will not include the PayPal fee.

Rachel Pollack is the author of 34 books, including 78 Degrees of Wisdom, described around the world as “the Bible of Tarot readers.” She is also an award-winning novelist, a poet, and a visual artist, creator of The Shining Tribe Tarot.

Carolyn Cushing is a Tarot consultant, poet, and teacher. In addition to working one-on-one with seekers, she has recently led meditation sessions at The Tarot School’s Readers Studio; served on the facilitation team of the Spiritual Life Center’s Pathways Program, taught and facilitated Tarot classes and groups at Groundings in Western Massachusetts; and been a guest teacher on the Gaian Tarot Circle. She is a co-founder of the Massachusetts Tarot Society.

Welcome to the Equinox Blog Hop!  

I hope you have come here from Donnaleigh’s blog.  If not, be sure to back up and check out her wisdom.  

At the equinoxes, the day and night stand equal.  The energy of the sun is balanced with the energy of the moon and the stage is set for transition to a new season.

In the Western esoteric tradition from which the Tarot grows, there is a maxim that you have probably heard, “As above, so below.”  The longer translation is: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.”

Following the direction of As above, so below,” the shift in the natural world at the equinox becomes an invitation for us humans to seek the unity of One Thing by meeting and melding our Solar selves and Lunar selves.

And what are our Solar and Lunar selves?  This question might turn us to Astrology seeking an answer, but today I’d like to stick just with The Moon and The Sun Tarot cards and the meaning their symbols inspire.

 We gain insight into our Lunar Self by looking at The Moon card.  This picture of the Self is one in which not all can be known.  We are a mystery even to ourselves, but periodically something rises up out of the depths calling for attention.  In the Rider-Waite-Smith card, it is a crayfish emerging from the depths.  This ancient life form is spiny, prickly, and not that attractive, but some strong desire has it setting out on the golden path that starts at the water’s edge.  This tiny creature will have to brave the baying dogs and the guardian towers, but these tests will deepen the work of walking the path.  This is our Lunar Self and especially as we move into lengthening nights here in the Northern Hemisphere, it may have something to reveal to you.  To better meet this Self, journal or pull Tarot cards to find your way toward answers to these questions:

  •  What part of your Lunar Self wants to reveal itself to you at this time?
  • How can you meet this Lunar Self?
  • What challenges might this Self offer at this time?
  • What gifts might this Self offer at this time?

We gain insights into our Solar Self by looking at the Sun card.  This radiant and innocent part of our Self meets each day with open arms.  Our Solar Self can stand naked before the world because there is nothing to hide. Clarity and accomplishment are the deep wells of this Self, and the way opens up easily before our Solar Self using its best gifts in the world.  At the Autumn Equinox, we see the gifts of the sun at their zenith in the bounty of the crops; it is the time to harvest those gifts.  This invites a celebration of the bounty of the Solar Self, too, and the work accomplished in the growing season of the past months.  To better meet this Self, journal or pull Tarot cards to find your way toward answers to these questions:

  • What part of your Solar Self has been most radiant these past months?
  • How can you honor the gifts of this Solar radiance?
  • What “seeds” or projects did not reach full growth and need to be weeded out of your life?
  • What “crops” or projects should be preserved to nurture you during the long winter?

Supported by greater insight and understanding, these Lunar and Solar selves can meet each other and meld together.  This is like what happens each day at dawn and dusk where the red line of their encounter marks the horizon with beauty but perhaps also with an awareness of the difficult surrender, the “blood” that must be spilt.  The shifting of the seasons can be like that, too, with unusual and unexpected storms shaking our houses and chaffing our skin.  The integrating of Lunar and Solar selves may take some time.  My suggested process here is to mix your two sets of cards together and then lay them out in a line or a circle.  Leave the cards out for at least a week or perhaps all the way until the Solstice and reflect on the following:

  • What new relationships exist within these cards?
  • What story are these cards telling now about you?  Pick a starting point and go straight through the cards writing out a narrative.
  • What is revealed in this new configuration?
  • What remains a mystery?

This integration is a path way toward a transformed Self who can meet the world with greater inner resources.

Continue on your Blog Hop with a visit to Carla Tate’s Rowan Tarot. If you run into breaks in the Hop, you can check out our master list to keep going!

[Images are from what many call the Rider-Waite-Smith deck to honor the artist Pamela Coleman Smith.  The deck is published as the Rider-Waite Tarot by U.S. Games Systems in the U.S. and they hold the copywrite to the deck.  These images are from the 1st edition collected by Holly Voley.]

This is the first in a series of blog posts on the meaning, power, and purpose of divination.

“Who you’ve been is not always who you are going to be.”  Amy Holmes

A story from my family is finally being told, and a small detail of its unfolding has me pondering the purpose of divination, a practice popularly thought of as fortune telling but containing those letters in its name that call our attention to the Divine.

The story is a difficult one.  In his memoir Sharp, my cousin David Fitzpatrick recounts his two decades of delusion, cutting and burning, self-loathing, and long stints in psychiatric facilities in vivid and honest detail.  When the veil of illness begins to lift and the self-mutilation stops, the reader can believe in miracles, but also knows that this particular marvel was preceded by David’s hard work in therapy, in relationships, in re-training the voices in his head.

A diviner –  a palm reader actually but I can also imagine her as a Tarot reader –  appears early in story’s unfolding, during the summer before David’s life begins to unravel.  What the palm reader does is not helpful, is perhaps even a little damaging.  It is hard for me to hear that piece of the story.  It is hard to hear almost all of the story.

So why tell it?

Because stories heal, transform, and teach both the teller and the listener.  Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and author of Coyote Wisdom: The Power of Story in Healing, writes, “Stories contain the hidden secrets of transformation, the alchemist’s formulas for turning lead into gold.  If we hear enough stories about profound transformations, we find ourselves transforming, even in spite of ourselves.  While we can’t command transformation, we can create an enriched environment that makes it more possible.”

I wish the palm reader had had some sense of the possibility of turning lead into gold. Here is how David describes the interaction:

“I had a strange moment with a palm reader in Oak Bluffs that seemed silly at the time.  She refused to read me.  I stopped on a lark, said hello, and gave her the fee.  I forgot how much maybe five dollars or something.  Then she sat down and closed a saffron-colored curtain while I stretched out my sweaty palm. She fit the part with a nose ring and scarf.

‘I think it’s too complicated,’ she said, almost immediately.  ‘Your life looks complex and bumpy.’

‘Is bumpy a term that you care to expand on?’ I said, smiling uncomfortably.

‘No,’ she said. ‘I don’t wish to. I won’t – it’s out of my hands.’

‘Jesus, lady,’ I said. ‘Lighten up.’ I hesitated a minute and said, “It’s not too bumpy, is it?’

‘It’s out of my hands,’ she said, returning the money and closing the curtain.  Later I thought she reacted that way because I was jumpy or, perhaps, appeared overly revved.  But I can’t say it didn’t haunt me, that it didn’t hover at the back of my mind like a prescient mosquito, popping up every now and again to warn, ‘Something’s on the way.’”

There are lots of evaluations that could be made here, including:  “You get what you pay for” and  “Perhaps this was really the best she could do” or “She was actually pretty accurate.”

But as a story, it stings.  No help is offered.  No healing story explored.  Possibility is absent and worry planted.

The palm reader got caught in thinking that Accuracy is the end of the line on the Divination Line. But there are many more stops to come for the diviner and the seeker:  Fostering Insight, Inviting Choice Making, Uncovering Possibility, even Breakthrough and Healing.

I don’t believe that there is one way to practice divination.  In my sessions, I focus on helping people articulate their questions, tune into their intuition, tell their own stories, and come to life-giving decisions, sprinkled lightly with my own intuitional insights and Tarot knowledge.  A favorite stop for me on the Divination Line is Uncovering Possibility.  If I had to choose just one station this would be it.  (For one of my favorite possibility and palm reading stories, see my earlier post on the poet Robert Desnos.)

I work this way because it flows from my particular set of skills and my beliefs.  But I also know readers and channels who offer much healing in their work.  At last Readers Studio, for example, I had a wonderful reading where Judy Nathan said to me, “I am going to tell you a story.”  There were challenging cards driving the story but she always returned to places of potential, and by calling her reading a story, she invited the idea that I could work to write the story a different way.  Donnaleigh of Tarot Tribe also has an interesting post on how fortune telling and choice making can work hand in hand.

So I the plea that I want to make to any fellow practitioners who might be stalled in the station of Accuracy is: Find ways to travel at least a station or two beyond to bring back gifts for yourself and the seekers you serve.

Because the one who seeks can surprises us.  As Amy Holmes says at the start of the post: “Who you’ve been is not always who you are going to be.”  This is a brilliant statement about potential and transformation from a woman who seeks it out in the world and the people around her.  How do I know this? Amy is one of my newest cousins.  Last Halloween she wed David in a ceremony filled with beautiful words and images.  The party was fine, too.  We celebrated love and also miracles, those improbable but always possible points of light in our lives.

It has been a little quiet here on the surface of the blog, but big changes are coming.  I’m overhauling my site and moving it to my own server.  This will launch in mid-September.  Things should be pretty seamless, but just wanted to let you know what is being built in the background.   I’ll let you know of any interesting developments.

Welcome to the Lammas Tarot Blog Hop!  Lammas celebrates the grain harvest.

Perhaps you are joining me from Jaymi  Elfords’ blog  (or make sure to back up to her) on this hop around the internet to celebrate the Solstice.  Be sure to continue the hop by moving from this blog to Bonnie Fernandes’ at Intuitive Blogging.   

In these times when most of us go to the supermarket rather than the field to gather our ingredients for dinner, we can easily forget the hard work of bringing in a harvest.  I belong to a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, Mountain View Farm, so I work no harder than going to the market but I do get to see and listening in on the juggle of farming:  too little rain, too much rain, heat (good for the melons, hard for the harvesters), weeds, and bugs.  There is always a new challenge so to see the rainbow of results reminds us that food is an everyday miracle.

Photo from Mountain View Farm wesite

The woman in the Tarot’s 9 of Pentacles both seems to know the challenge and the sweetness of the harvest.  She stands contented in her garden; she clearly revels in the beauty and abundance but there is a seriousness to her that let’s you know she hasn’t forgotten the work that brought her to this point.

She is a guide that calls you to a deep appreciation of harvest time, both the crops of the outer world and our work of inner growth.  How did she gain this wisdom? Who guided and supported her?

Just as people are a constellation of the traits and influences passed down through families and communities, the wisdom figures appearing on the Tarot cards have their own influences and lineages.
Relationships dictated by number create webs of connections in the Tarot and the 9 of Pentacles is connected directly to the Major Arcana’s 9th Key, The Hermit, through number.  Both the man and women portrayed are solitary figures.  The Hermit has withdrawn from civilization to seek out his inner wisdom.  The 9 of Pentacles woman has not left society – she inhabits one of its gardens – but she stands alone.  Following the wisdom of the Hermit, she has found that her energy and wisdom come from an interior source rather than being dependant on others. They have both followed a discipline that requires some sacrifice.

There is a more subtle numerological connection to The Empress.  Nine is 3 x 3.  The Empress stands behind the woman of the 9 of Pentacles, perhaps whispering in her ear about bounty, creativity, possibility.  The woman of the 9 of Pentacles has learned to put on these gifts of the Empress; her dress is decorated with flowers that take the same shape as the symbol of Venus on the Empress’ shield.  Love is the overflowing cup feeding the flow of these feminine figures.  The invitation here is to surrender to that flowing mix of love, creativity, beauty (all good things!) and let yourself be carried away by their gifts.

 The Hermit and The Empress are the mother and father of the 9 of Pentacles woman.  She needs both the discipline of solitude and ever flowing love gifted to her by her respective parents to achieve her vision and full potential.

How can we also achieve our harvest, our full potential? These cards suggest a spread I am calling the Harvest Constellation Spread

Hermit-Inspired Cards: 

  • What wisdom does my Inner Guide offer to me about bringing in my harvest at this time?
  • What discipline is required of me to bring in this harvest?

Empress-Inspired Cards:

  • What do I need to let flow freely to bring in my harvest at this time?
  • How can I cultivate love as one of the gifts of this harvest?

 Nine-of-Pentacles-Inspired Cards:

  • How can I best combine the wisdom of the Hermit and the Empress?
  • What will my harvest be if I do this work?

I look forward to reading some of your readings in the comments section.

Now continue your hop by visiting Bonnie Fernandes at Intuitive Blogging

For a full list of all participating blogs (and in case you stumble across a broken link) visit  ‎Kareena Narwani’s blog  

[Note:  Tarot card images are from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck ® US Games Systems, Used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.]

Welcome to the Summer Solstice Tarot Blog Hop!

 Perhaps you are joining me from Christiana Gaudet’s blog (or make sure to back up to her) on this hop around the internet to celebrate the Solstice.  Be sure to continue the hop by moving from this blog to Matt Williams’

This hop’s theme of Celebrate the Sunrisecomes from Chloë McCracken:  “I am inspired in this title by the yearly practice of celebrating the dawn held atStonehenge in celebration of the Summer solstice. This is the dawn of the longest day of the year, and the sun peeks through the heel stones and the outer stone circle to reach into the heart of the stone circle, to the altar stone. For me, the fact of this stone circle connects us with millennia of celebration of this special time of year.”

Our collective posting time is also set to the rising of the sun at Stonehenge.  So though I will be heading to bed as the magic of the modern technology brings this post to you, I, too, will be connected to this celebration grounded in stone, lit by the sun, and unbounded by clock time.

My offering for this hop is a guided visualization meditation that starts at sunrise and brings you into an encounter in a circle.  Not a circle of stone, but of trees.  This is one of my Journey into the Tarot meditations inspired by the 22 cards of the Major Arcana.  The Gaian Wheel with its trees of different seasons is the direct inspiration and The Sun offers its light and wisdom as well.

Gaian Wheel Meditation for the Summer Solstice.

The meditation includes suggestions for Solstice activities, breath work, chakra balancing, and the guided visualization.  The full running time is about 45 minutes.

More meditations can be found at Journey into the Tarot.

Now continue your hop by visiting Matt Williams.

For a full list of all participating blogs (and in case you stumble across a broken link) visit Inner Whispers.

This post was original published on July 1, 2009 following  Readers Studio that year.  I’m re-posting it because it seems that the memory of Robert Desnos has something to say to us right now.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a poem about the events described below and last Friday Celia Alario, PR publicist for people and the planet as well as a spiritual activist, is bring up his wisdom as well in this great post on the Spirituality and Health blog: “As God is My Witness and Buddha is my Publicist.”

A number of times at a recent Tarot happening, The Readers Studio, I had occasion to tell the story of Robert Desnos, the French surrealist poet, who in the 1940s was arrested by the Nazis for his work with the Resistance.  One day in the concentration camp, he was loaded with a bunch of men into the truck that went out each day but from which no one ever returned as its destination was the gas chambers. Both guards and prisoners were silent.  Death was inevitable.  But when the men were being loaded off the truck, Robert Desnos grabbed the hand of one man and read his palm.  Using the stream of consciousness gift of a surrealist poet (because I don’t believe he was a palm reader), he began to tell the man of his long life and the children to come.  He read other palms showing great futures for his fellow prisoners and the guards began to wonder.  They packed everyone back on the truck and these men survived the day.

hand image

I remember vividly reading that story in an Utne Reader article sitting in the Lilly Library on a warm day.  It gave me goose bumps so I vividly and bodily remember the moment.  Of course, I couldn’t remember the year!  But through the great labyrinth of knowledge that is the Internet I found that Susan Griffin had written it and an on-line version of the article can be found at http://thetyee.ca/Citizentoolkit/2004/11/15/CanImagSaveUs/ .

Re-reading the whole article reminded me of Griffin’s main point, that the imagination has the power to make change.  The story Desnos told from his imagination shifted consciousness and allowed people to question what was inevitable.  He transformed the group’s beliefs and their futures shifted.

But can just anyone do that?  Wasn’t he a specially gifted person? Perhaps, but I think that what he really had going for him was practice.  The surrealist poets would give performances of their stream of consciousness poetry and Desnos was especially adept in his performances.  Reading palms – whether he actually was training in this or not – came easy as his consciousness shifting muscles were limber and strong.

And this is where tarot cards can help us.  Over and over this past weekend, the presenters lead us into the imagination.  We looked deeply into one card to see how it showed us past, present, and future through images all on that one card (lead by Geraldine Amaral); we picked a central teacher or DNA card and then entered it to see and hear what advice a figure in it had to give us (under the guidance of James Wanless), and we took on personas of exotic fortune tellers with mysterious origins to free our voices of prediction (with the always imaginative Rachel Pollack). I think Robert Desnos would have jumped right into this last activity!

We can be as imaginative as Desnos with a little working out and tarot practice is a tool to help with this.  We need this imagination to move forward out of these times into a positive future.  Our major institutions of finance, government, industry, media, and religion are breaking apart.  We can put band aids on them, but the deeper underlying problems will remain and the fix won’t last long.  We must work hard at imagining this new world.  Time is of the essence.

Before I close, I must note that time ran out for Robert Desnos.  He died of typhus a few days of the liberation of his camp.  The larger circumstances of his life closed in on him.  But what of the other men?  Surely some survived and perhaps inspired by their palm readings believed they could have a better life, find love, have children.  This “cheap fortune telling” gave them hope and changed their lives.

Mary Greer has written about the value of hope and tarot readings on her blog at http://marygreer.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/guidance-in-the-economic-downturn/ and I think she might write something on this as well.  Always good to check out what Mary is writing.

UPDATE:  My sessions are now filled but do be in touch with Groundings if you would like to come to Empress class.

I have just a few openings left for in-person consultations before I head off to the NW for 6 weeks.  But while I’m out there, I’ll still be working and consultations can be arranged by phone or Skype.

Tuesdays are for Tarot!

I’m offering a 20% discount for focused sessions or in-person consultations booked between 3pm and 8pm on Tuesday, June 5th.  Yes, that would be just $48 for an hour session in which we explore a focused questions or two of yours.  And it would be only $68 for my 90 minute in-depth / life overview consultation.  You can see more details on these offerings on my Services Page.

A slot or two on Sunday or Monday are possible, but call (413-529-9759) soon if you want to explore this!

And I am booking sessions for the last week in July if you want to plan ahead and secure a spot.

In-Person Class on The Empress at Groundings

I am teaching a monthly classes at Groundings focused on a Major Arcana card and its wisdom offerings.  On Monday, June 4th from 6pm to 8pm we’ll be looking at The Empress, the 3s of the minor suits, and exploring The Empress theme of manifestation.  Pre-registration required call Groundings at  413.320.4919.

Do you know that I put out a monthly e-newsletter?  It is  true!  There is always a main Tarot-juicy article and I offer specials that my newsletter readers hear about first.  You can sign up here:  http://eepurl.com/kjKk.  Now here is the sample article:
When people think of Tarot today, the image that comes to mind is, no doubt, of using the cards to get a reading.  But this is just the tip of the Tarot ice burg and below the surface is a diverse array of Tarot roles.  If we engage these expanded roles for Tarot, we’ll receive support for actually creating fuller and more inspired lives.

Here are 7 new names you might want to use to call the Tarot into your life.

Decision Making and Action Taking Coach:  We often come to the Tarot at a crossroads in our lives, needing to make a significant decision or shift behaviors and attitudes that no longer serve us.  A reading to give an overview of opportunities and obstacles, possible directions, and supports for creating a positive future is an excellent start to the process.  But then the real work begins for us and for the Tarot.  As we implement a plan or new vision, on-going consultations with the cards for more detailed action planning, course corrections, and even pep talks are helpful.  A coach of a sports team doesn’t stop talking to her players once the game has begun so why should the Tarot.  It is true that we can sometimes make the mistake of obsessively pulling cards to get the answers we want, but what I am talking about here is combining an intentional process of Tarot use with action taking.

Intuition Inspirer:  There is no need to be especially intuitive, let alone psychic to use the Tarot.  There is, after all, a tradition of ascribed meanings for the cards that can be learned and plenty of readers work in this manner.  But the symbols and images of the Tarot have a way of working on us.  They don’t speak a linear language and as we spend time with them we pick up their style of communicating.   Our intuitive abilities are awakened not only for use with the Tarot but in all areas of our life.  It’s like gaining another sense to aid you in everyday living.

Spiritual Mentor:  You may have heard the 22 cards of the Major Arcana referred to as a map of the spiritual journey.  Going through the Major Arcana in theJourney into the Tarot sessions, I have come to know in a deep way how the wisdom figures in these cards mentor us on how to dance between the spiritual peaks and valleys.  The Wheel, for example, lets you know that you exist in a wider context and not everything is in your control while The Hanged One teaches you how to surrender your ego and connect to what is most important so you can meet Death as an opportunity for transformation rather than something to fear.

Creativity Consultant:  With Kings and Queens, people dancing and fighting, and mysterious forces like the Moon and the Stars, the Tarot has all the elements necessary ignite the muses of storytellers who work with words and pictures.  The Tarot also stimulates creativity for any kind of task.  Creating a work plan, organizing an event, or finding something interesting for kids to do, all require creative brain activity.  Feeling stuck?  Pull a card and look at the picture.  Let something pop into your mind.  Even if it is odd – better if it is odd! – it can spark the next action to keep moving you forward.  I go stuck writing this article and pulled The Wheel and The Empress.  The Wheel said, “The energy that surrounds you is not optimal for productivity right now,” and The Empress said, “Keep creating anyway.  I’m always creating no matter what!”  So I kept writing through the block.

Stress Reducer:  I worry.  I bet you do, too.  And a lot of my worry isn’t that useful or even grounded in what is truly happening.  Pulling cards can be a reality check.  Taking the example of The Wheel, again, I was starting to beat myself up for being a bad, unproductive writer, but The Wheel reminded me that not everything is in my control.  The stress went down and the writing started to flow.  There are some cards in the deck that just bring a smile to your face and lower the blood pressure.  Peace comes over me when I see The Star.  These kinds of cards can be pulled out and used for meditation or just visual reminders of the possibility of peace when you are in stressful situations.

Guide to Wisdom Traditions:  The structure of the Tarot lends itself to being a conveyor of wisdom traditions across time and traditions.  Aeclectic Tarot is a wonderful resource for viewing and getting information on more than a thousand Tarot decks.  They list themes of Celtic, Astrology, Golden Dawn, Native American, Pagan, Ancient Egyptian, and Christian, for example.  Tarots created out of these traditions can become flash cards for learning new spiritual and religious systems.  Caitlin Matthew’s Celtic Wisdom Tarot is one of my favorite decks; the colorful artwork is mesmerizing and each card relates to a deity or story from the Celtic tradition.  I don’t do readings with it that much but I keep using it personally to grow my knowledge of a tradition that inspires me.

Doorway into Mystery:  We come to the Tarot with questions and we want them answered … now!  But not every question or situation has a ready answer.  Sometimes we keep getting a particular card over and over again and don’t understand why.  It just may not be the time for the meaning to become consciously clear.  The Tarot invites us to befriend that mystery and uncertainty.  Keep coming back to the cards and with time a meaning may emerge … or not. There might be something for you to learn in the non-answer as much as in an answer.  Just ask the Hanged One, s/he’s been in the same limbo for centuries!

[Note: Card images are from The Gaian Tarot and used with the gracious and generous permission of Joanna Powell Colbert.]

Meet Carolyn

Carolyn Cushing is a passionate change maker and Tarot enthusiast who loves to work with people to make positive life transitions, grow spiritually, and develop creatively. She blogs here and her meditations are available at http://journeyintothetarot.com/. E-mail her at carolyn [at] artofchangetarot [dot] com for more information.

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