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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lenormand Line of Five: Relationship Reading

One of my current projects is rewriting the Lenormand class at The Magickal Circle School. In connection with that, I hope to do more Lenormand readings here at Tarot Notes.

A common method used by Lenormand readers is a line of five cards designed to answer a question. To do this type of reading, you can either decide ahead of time what your focus card will be or you can "let the deck decide" what the focus card will be. You then read the cards to the left of the focus card as past influences or what lead up to the situation. The cards to the right of the focus card look to the future of the situation.

Below is an example of a Lenormand 5-card line. The cards were drawn at random, letting the deck decide what the focus card would be. The deck was shuffled between card draws. I am using the French Cartomancy deck by Lo Scarabeo.

The question being asked is: What does Mary need to know about her next relationship?


Focus Card: DOG (18) - This card tells us that Mary needs to recognize how important friendship and loyalty are to her in a relationship. She needs and wants someone who is helpful, protective, and loyal to her.

Past: ANCHOR (35) and HEARTS (24) -  In the past, Mary wanted or had (or perhaps thought she had) a stable, safe relationship in which she and her partner were building a legacy together. From her perspective, this relationship was loving, romantic, and passionate. She was (or saw herself as) deeply emotionally involved, with her whole heart devoted to the relationship. (In the book The Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, Sylvie Steinbach describes the Anchor/Hearts pair as "faithfulness, loyalty, unconditional love."

Future: COFFIN (8) and CHILD (13) - Looking towards the future, we see the strong possibility of important life alterations, a completion of a life cycle or period in Mary's life, the "end" of something. She may need to acknowledge that it's time to let go of the past and be hopeful. She may feel fragile and perhaps not certain she can handle a new relationship. Although she feels vulnerable, she may have to become more "like a child," to set fears aside, trust, and open herself up to emotional involvement. Another interpretation might be to look at the Coffin-Child pair as representing the end (death) of childlike innocence and naiveté. What Mary wanted or had (or thought she had) in the past, was simply not realistic and she needs to "bury" those unreasonable ideals in her next relationship. (Sylvie Steinbach describes this pair as "destructive youngster, depressed teen." It is possible that this is something she will have to deal with in her next relationship.)

Looking at the middle three cards (Heart, Dog, Coffin), we might suspect that a previous relationship ended because of a partner's actual physical death. In any case, looking only at those three cards, the lovely sentiments expressed by the Heart and Dog seem to come to a halt with the Coffin.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Animal Tarot Time: The Empress

For this series, I am exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:

  • Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  • The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  • The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  • The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

To read my previous posts in this series, enter “Animal Tarot Time” in the search field on the main page of the blog.

Now let’s look at how THE EMPRESS is portrayed in these seven decks.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

ANGORA RABBIT (“Time to take action. Abundance and prosperity. Pregnancy. Creativity. Starting something new.”) We can understand the choice of a rabbit for this card when we read in the guidebook that The Empress, in contrast to The High Priestess, says, “Okay, that’s enough thinking! Time to hop to it!” Rapid movement and jumping in with both feet are actually not phrases I normally associate with The Empress card. She always seems somewhat sedentary to me and is often depicted as pregnant, sitting in a garden in the midst of Nature, looking benevolent. However, the association of rabbits with fertility and creativity cannot be overlooked.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

COW: The Cow is most certainly an iconic symbol of feminine energy, a creature whose milk nourishes not only her own children, but the children of many other species, human beings included. Here we have a lovely Scottish Highland Cow resting in open fields among the flowers, the mountains behind her. I like the way Leeza Robertson describes the energy of this card as “bountiful possibilities poised on the stage of expectancy.” The words “possibilities” and “expectancy” are keys to understanding the nature of The Empress card. This is not about a “finished product” but about that which is “on its way.”

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)

COW (Earth Mother): Instead of the Scottish Highland Cow, this time we have what I’m going to guess could be a _Jersey_. Keynotes for this card in this deck are “Nourishment, Protection, Goodness, Love.” This serene, gentle cow rests in a lush, grassy field surrounded by flowers. She represents creative growth and the need to nourish and support all of our creations. The author’s MESSAGE: “Trust life; share, nurture, and participate with delight.”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)

DOLPHIN: Creativity, Fertility, and New Promise

For Ted Andrews, the dolphin represents the energy of The Empress. He notes that dolphins embody three of the most ancient and powerful creative forces: water, sound, and breath. In Greek tradition, the dolphin was sacred to Aphrodite, goddess of love, passion, sensuality, and fertility. Known for its ability to communicate, the dolphin encourages us to ask what our words and thoughts are creating for us.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)

HERA: the Mother, nurturer, fertile ideas, the anima

For this deck The Empress is represented by the Greek mother goddess Hera, who presided over women, marriage, and childbirth. Notably (considering the appearance of the Cow in two other Empress cards so far), Hera is accompanied by a cow – “a lunar animal, associated with the fertile powers of the earth.” Another animal included on this card is the peacock, sacred to Hera, symbolizing beauty and dignity.


The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

THE GOLDEN TIGER: “She is life: the ground that supports us, the fire that warms us, the trees that shade us, the food that nourishes us and the very air we breathe.” (Cheung) Representing passion, delight, beauty, patience, loyalty, and protection, a Golden Tiger was chosen for The Empress in this deck. Gentle with her young and ferocious with anyone or anything that tries to harm them, the tiger breaks the pattern set so far by the other animal decks, featuring a fierce predator rather than a more docile, benign creature.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

SHE-WOLF: Another top predator who, like the tiger, is known for showing great gentleness and protection to her offspring, while showing no mercy to her natural prey or to enemies that seek to harm the cubs. Keywords from the guidebook: “Mother. Intelligence, practicality.” Reversed: “lack of offspring, indecision.” This beautiful arctic wolf is shown in the company of not only two cubs but butterflies and a toucan. I checked (because that’s how I roll), and found that toucans are native to the Neotropics, from Southern Mexico, through Central America, into South America south to northern Argentina. Not many arctic wolves in those areas. But that’s part of the fun of this deck. These images are not meant to be illustrations in a natural history textbook.


The tally for animals portraying The High Priestess in these seven decks:

Cow: 3 (counting Hera)
Dolphin: 1
Rabbit: 1
Tiger: 1
Wolf: 1

I have to say the cow is a very logical, meaningful choice for this card. I don’t deny that. But part of me loves the idea of a tiger or wolf as the Mother of All Mothers (so to speak). The dolphin and rabbit are also appealing choices. Which do you prefer?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Deck Interview: Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck

Interview with the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck by Matt Hughes. I am the proud owner of deck #852 in a limited edition run of 1100. To learn more about this gorgeous deck, click _HERE_.

Interview questions and answers below.

Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck


(1) What would you like me to understand about you?

NINE OF PENTACLES: I bring you rewards and feelings of accomplishment and success on your earthly journey, a richness of physical and material gifts along with an appreciation of your own values and sense of security.

(2) What would you like me to understand about myself?

FIVE OF CUPS: You need to stop thinking so much about what you have lost, where you have failed, and what “might have been.” Look up. Turn around. Seize the goblets that are waiting to be filled.

(3) What strengths and/or weaknesses do we have as a team?

THE HANGED MAN: Together we can end old ways and release the restrictions that are holding you back in life. First, there is a need to reflection and “inaction,” contemplation that can help develop a new perspective, a different way of looking at things. Sacrifice may be needed, but the results will be worth it.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Advice from the Guardians of Wisdom


To purchase a reading from me, visit my _ETSY Shop_.

Today’s reading comes from one of the information cards included with the Guardians of Wisdom Universal Power Cards deck by Todd Hershey, Illustrated by Emy Ledbetter. For more information about this fascinating deck, visit http://www.guardiansofwisdom.net/

Also, if you’re interested, I used this deck for my blog post “A Journey through My Decks: EIGHT OF WANDS. 

Today I am doing a 3-card spread to answer the question, “What advice do my guides have for me at this stage in my life?”  As you will notice, these cards “read themselves” in a way, with the messages being printed on the cards. Different messages apply depending on which way the card is positioned (upright or reversed).

11 of Diamonds / FERTILITY

“A new cycle of life within you is ready to come forth.”

The suit of Diamonds in this deck represents the “Native Americans category,” the physical aspects of the world. If I were of child-bearing age, I might wonder if this card refers to pregnancy, but I am not. Since I am middle-aged, this could refer to a new cycle in my health or finances, day-to-day life, material concerns of any kind. In terms of advice being given, I feel the cards are simply alerting me to this possibility so that I will be more aware and attentive to it.

11 of Spades / MARTYR

“Taking on other people’s problems while ignoring your own.”

Spades represent the “Ancient Asians category” in this deck, a category that includes the mental process going on in my life – all forms of thought, including conscious and subconscious thought. The cards in this category can help me know when and how to use my knowledge. It seems that this card is telling me I need to be careful not to act as a martyr. Now, I honestly don’t believe I have that tendency, or if I do, I have learned to question or resist it in most cases. But I will not ignore the cards. It may be that I still have some work to do in this area.

1 of Diamonds / DESTINY

“Spirit will provide you the resources to fulfill your life’s work.”

Back to the suit of Diamonds (“Native Americans” category, physical aspects of the world). “Destiny” is an interesting concept. I tend not to believe in destiny – as in a fate that we cannot avoid. I honestly don’t believe anything is “destined” to happen – cannot be changed or avoided. That being said, the message on this card isn’t so much about that as a belief that if I am listening, paying attention, and/or tune in to Spirit, guidance and assistance will be provided to help me fulfill my life’s work. I can believe that. I don’t feel I am “guaranteed” to fulfill my life’s work. There are many other factors involved.