What I’m Reading

I’m going to start sharing books that I’m reading on a regular basis. As a self-identified librophile, I have a deep love for books; this includes reading, writing, and constantly looking for more. I have a tendency to purchase more books than I can read. I always carry a book with me. I got a Kindle for Christmas and although I love the actual, physical look and feel of a book, I am totally amped to be able to take a large selection of books with me wherever I go. I also appreciate the convenience of being able to discreetly read about perhaps controversial topics without displaying the book cover. So – welcome to my new segment!

With thousands of books at my fingertips, and the ability to download a free sample from literally every book available [as an eBook] on Amazon, I have been branching out into some new material. I bought a book called The Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide: Protection Techniques for Encounters With The Paranormal by Michelle Belanger.  I checked out a few of the reviews, downloaded the sample and immediately bought the book. I am now halfway through the book and I thoroughly love it. Belanger has an extremely down-to-earth narrative style (although a bit technical at times). She opens the door to psychic protection by talking about a comic strip where a man is bringing an imaginary mongoose to his brother who is suffering hallucinations of imaginary snakes.

The basics of grounding, centering, and shielding have been covered, as one would expect in any basic psychic protection book. The interesting thing, however, is the length to which Belanger describes all of the intricacies related with the world of energy, combined with the variety of modalities she addresses. She has information and techniques for the skeptic who doesn’t believe in a higher power as well as including information from Tibetan monks, Christian priests, and even brings up Voodoo for a bit. She clearly knows what she’s talking about and presents the material in a clear, straightforward manner.

This is all in an attempt to create a manual for every ghost hunter, regardless of beliefs. I’m just over halfway through the book and I’d say she’s met that goal. I have always had a pretty natural understanding of how energy works (I can’t tell you how often I wrote stories as a kid about people who could manipulate the energy around them and how fluently I had everything thought out) so I haven’t necessarily learned anything new, so to speak.  But she put everything in a way that was easier for me to understand and I’ll borrow to explain things to people who don’t understand how the spirit world.

You should check out this book if;

  • you are interested in learning more about how the spirit world works
  • you feel like you might be psychic or wish you were psychic
  • you need to know anything about psychic protection, including protecting yourself, helping another protect themselves, and/or cleansing and protecting a home.
  • you are a ghost hunter and actively put yourself in ‘the fray’ with lingering spirits and energies
  • you are a hopeful skeptic about the spirit world
  • you have an extra $10 in your pocket.

Tarot Reading Exercises Pt 1 – A reading for Bella Swan

When you’re learning how to read tarot cards, many of us are warned to not read for others until we have a good understanding of the cards. But on the other hand, we’re told not to rely on memorized definitions for the cards, because every time we flip a card over, the meaning changes. Also, the surrounding cards can influence the meaning of a card. So – if we’re not encouraged to read for others, how are we supposed to get a good grip on how tarot works in an actual reading situation? How do we develop techniques to help us read effectively from the beginning?

There are a couple different techniques for this – today I’ll just be sharing one so that I can keep these segments from getting too long. Continue reading

Horn Tooting

Yesterday I was featured on TheTarotLady‘s blog. In a series she’s doing about young tarot readers, she asked me for an interview. She’s also interviewing 3 other tarot readers (another interview besides mine has already been posted, which features Angelo Nasios). If you’re the least bit interested in tarot, you’ll want to check out this series – and bookmark Theresa’s blog, because she’s ALWAYS got something awesome going on there.

And if you’re following me because of her interview – welcome!! I look forward to sharing my stories with and getting to know you guys.

Memorizing Isn’t The Answer

I recently purchased a tarot reading on eBay. As I opened the email containing the reading, I was originally impressed with the length of the document, considering I paid less than $15 for it. The reading itself was introduced by a couple of paragraphs from the reader – how she apologized for the delay, how she did two spreads, and in the second one, she had noticed a positive career change. She then went on to notice that I had sold a few tarot readings on eBay some time ago, and one particular card in the reading reminded her of this.

The reader set up the first reading which was advice from my ‘angels’, or a spread done largely with an angelic oracle deck. She listed the 5 positions and their meanings, and then proceeded to list the cards and their meanings – without any reference to their position. At first, this didn’t concern me. Until I noticed that the second spread was a 12 card spread – done the same way, just reciting what the cards mean and not working off of how the combined cards worked together. In fact, several of the cards contradicted themselves; one card in the second reading said ‘You are in communication with your Angels, and the messages that you are receiving are very real indeed. Trust them,’ and later on it said ‘(this) …is also a sign from your angels. They are trying to get through – please notice!’ With no narration from the reader, I was (and still am) stumped at how I’m supposed to use this to help me. Either I’m paying attention, or I’m not. It’s possible that I’m listening to them but not trusting them, but this is a distinction I would have expected to be shown to me, not one I’d have to suss out myself.

Tarot reading – or, in this case, oracle reading – is not about merely pulling cards from the deck and parroting what the book says about the cards. Relying on definitions from the book won’t help you answer questions, and they certainly won’t help you answer the querant’s questions if they’re the least bit complex. The books merely serve as a guideline for interpretation. It’s also important to consider the surrounding cards, because they can influence the meaning of other cards. And, to top it off, the position in the spread plays a key role in the meaning of a card.

How does the Archangel Michael card in the ‘what I’ve learned’ position relate to my question about what I need to know about my career? “I will help you” doesn’t exactly make sense. I’m ‘currently learning’ about a ‘move or new job which is in the works and will usher in a positive new energy’. And the last card in the sequence was supposed to represent my life’s purpose, but I was told the card ‘represents a deceased loved one who loves me very much and doesn’t want me to worry about them’.

I don’t mean to ridicule because she does have the makings of a great reading here; she has all the pieces because everything she said COULD be applied to me. I mean, let’s be honest; I have recently gotten a new job, I have been wanting to move; I am studying mediumship, I have been told by several that I have ‘an ear for the dead’, so to speak.  However, because she was vague and didn’t pull that one thread joining everything together, to pull that thread tight and keep everything centered around my question, she fell short. The reading felt cold, rehearsed, and disjointed. It’s all just information, observations; nothing substantial.

My point isn’t to ridicule the reader, because I do think there is hope for this lady and it’s possible she doesn’t know any better. (And let’s be honest – the reading was cheap. I didn’t expect it to be life-changing.) But I am really, really glad that I set myself up for this opportunity, because it’s given me a lot to think of in terms of how to keep customers happy. I’ve recently started to set up my online business, so I’ve been trying to focus on a system I can follow to ensure I’m doing the best job I can to help the people who turn to me.

Here’s a few things I wrote down for myself as I as going through this reading. You might find some of these helpful.

  • Always help the querant ask the right question. Tarot is a tool for insight and information, so it’s best used that way. When you formulate your questions with this knowledge, you are setting an intention to receive information that will help you with your decisions.
  • Tell/show the querant the cards. Provide an opportunity for them to see the same thing you’re seeing, so they understand how the visual appearance of the card is integral to it’s meaning.
  • Share your internalized process. I always remember one of the first readings I did, and how I explained why the Strength card made me think of a friend of mine; how tough this friend of mine is, no matter what comes her way, and how sometimes she was so tough she couldn’t back down. The amazing thing is that the woman I was doing the reading for understood exactly what I meant when I shared a story about how I saw my friend turn prideful one day because of her inability to back down. Turns out the woman was in a similar situation thought that resisting was the only way she could survive with her dignity in tact. She walked away with a new curiosity about what it really meant to be strong. Would reading the book to this woman about that card had the same effect?
  • Communicate well. It doesn’t matter how well you read the cards; if you can’t communicate their meaning to the querant effectively in regards to their question, you negate the point of the reading. The querant doesn’t have their question answered, and you have an unhappy customer on your hands, which is certainly not good for advertising.
  • Don’t over draw. We’re often tempted to have a really long, drawn-out spread to search for our answers, but resist the urge to draw card after card. This tends to taint a reading because it becomes more about looking for a specific card than being open for guidance.

…or maybe I’m wrong about what it means to be a tarot reader? Mm, unlikely. Possible – because, well, even though I don’t like to admit it, I’ve been wrong before – but not likely. What do you think?

Personal Symbols

I wear a pentacle around my neck. It’s a small one, not even half an inch tall, but I’ve had several people make direct observations about it. There is also a small, silver feather charm on this necklace. Some time ago, this necklace had 3 other symbols on it; an ankh, a jeweled charm that matches the ring my boyfriend gave me, and a tiny blue stone. It was my necklace of the elements, representing earth, fire, water, air, and spirit. I lost the blue stone, got in a fight with my boyfriend and haven’t put the charm back on it since we made up, and the jump ring for my ankh broke.

I’ve had one person outright tell me I was wearing the symbol of the devil and that meant I worshiped Satan (because she learned about that in Sunday School, didn’t I go?). Recently I had someone (a complete stranger, again) joke that Jesus hated witches. I didn’t take either very well. I got haughty and upset and spewed things that probably weren’t the most well-thought out, but it actually doesn’t matter. Those people who don’t know me are pretty ignorant if they’re saying (and believing) things like that. I’m not their mother, it’s not my responsibility to correct them; and I honestly have no interest in changing their beliefs. I’d rather look like an uneducated religious-freak than shove my opinions down someone’s throat.

Continue reading

2011 Predictive Reading

Sunday morning, I stumbled upon a tweet from Donnaleigh about performing self-predictions for the year ahead. Her blog post suggested a simple six-card reading with some good tips for smaller predictions you can set up to mail yourself in the future. I’ve never done a prediction for myself for the year ahead, so I decided to give it a try. I sat down with my Legacy of the Divine deck and laid out six cards.

  1. Theme of 2011 – Ace of Swords
  2. Biggest challenges of 2011 – 7 of Pentacles
  3. Biggest perks – 3 of Swords
  4. Advice – 2 of Swords RX
  5. Outcome of the year – 4 of Cups RX
  6. Spiritual lesson for 2011 – 8 of Pentacles RX

Self Prediction for 2011

The 9 of cups jumped out while I was shuffling the cards, which I thought was very strange after I finished laying out all the cards and saw the three reversals, and three swords.

I tend to rely more on my intuition for what the cards mean than a memorized interpretation, simply because I get much more information when I’m flexible with the interpretations. However, today was not the case. With the 3 of swords in the ‘perks’ position, I am pretty stumped. And the reason is that I associate this card with heartbreak or sadness – not necessarily loss. My personal loss cards are usually the 8 of cups or the 5 of cups – often even the 5 or 7 of swords (I believe). So what is the 3 of swords telling me?

When I’m stumped on a card, I go back to looking at the card, say aloud what I see, and revisit some basic knowledge about the card. The person on this card is clearly experiencing an emotion, with the heart on their face and the tear running down their cheek. However, this is a sword, not a cup; swords represent clarity of thought, logic, and truths, while cups are about emotions and relationships. Yes, there is a dark background to the card, hinting that this may be a difficult and painful time, but again, the presence of the swords tells me this is a sadness based on facts. This is why I usually associate this particular card with sudden breakups, job changes and sometimes deaths – they are directly connected to an unpleasant fact.

Continue reading

The 411 on Spirit Guides

I have often heard this complaint from people; “I’m trying to contact my spirit guide, but I never seem to get anywhere.”

It’s not usually followed by “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong”, it’s usually just frustration and annoyance. Are you one of these people who is actively trying to connect to spiritual guidance in your life? First, congratulations! The number of people who are looking at spiritual guidance is growing every day, and it’s okay to be in that shallow water where you’re not sure WHAT you’re looking for, but you know you feel something out there.

Second, consider all the things you’ve been doing in attempt to contact your spirit guide. Have you been meditating? Consulting oracles, like runes, tarot cards or tea leaves? How about trying affirmations and visualizations where you’re meeting and conversing your guide? Are you among those who repeatedly try opening your third eye chakra in meditation?

Things still not clicking quite yet?

Here’s a little secret. Your guides have ALREADY been talking to you. That’s right! They’ve been trying to subtly guide you in the right direction your whole life.  Let’s revisit what exactly a spirit guide is, just so we’re all on the same page.

A spirit guide is, well, a guide without a body. Some people call them guardian angels, others call them imaginary friends. Different cultures, different people all believe we have different amounts; some say we only have one, others say we have access to dozens. Here’s what I know. It doesn’t matter what specific title you use to refer to them, but everyone has one that follows them from birth to the afterlife. If you believe in past lives, they’re with you between lives and help you plan out your next one, and they’re there to escort you back to spirit when the time is ready.

So, if you’ve been trying all the different methods I listed before, and feel like you haven’t gotten any response, it’s because you’ve been trying too hard. Your spirit guide has been with you your whole life; they are your closest friends because they have seen you when you are at your worst, and they made the commitment to stay with you through this life. Don’t be afraid of them, and don’t try so hard to look for them. They’re right there beside you, just like they have been.

If you’re in this position, try taking a break for a few days from all the psychic workouts. Relax; practice meditation as an art of inner stillness and a way to help you access the spiritual. This will help you filter out the daily and mundane and before you know it, you’ll be able to distinguish their voices. They WANT to talk to you, but they speak quietly, so ask simple questions, and listen for a reply. Trust me, you’ll get one.