Tarotmoon Press

Adventures in Self-Publishing

What’s happened to my writing?

I’m not really sure. In February, I spent a whole month in New Zealand. At the time, I was feeling overwhelmed by a lot of things in my life, like as usual I had too much on my plate. One of my goals for the time away (far away!) on this vacation was to try to sort out what I should or wanted to do less of to bring my life back into balance. Oddly enough, it didn’t turn out to be what I expected. Writing for me has become something of a SHOULD. You know, as in “don’t should on yourself.” :)

I should write because I have one book 2/3 of the way finished and it’s been that way for years. And a great idea for a new book that I’ve started and is looking really good. And because people like what I write and I do it well, and… well, any number of should-like reasons. I realized that I wasn’t really feeling like writing right now, but it was part of my ego-complex that, being a Capricorn with tons of planets clustered around the midheaven, NEEDS to write and be acknowledged by the world. Bleah. That’s the last kind of reason I need for anything right now, and really hard to admit to myself, much less to you all!

One of my goals for this year was to be more social and live in the world more. I’m ready for a new relationship, and a bunch more friends. I’ve started some new activities in person, and all this along with a full workload make additional writing and time on the internet difficult and maybe even counter-productive to living a more full life. I do love writing and I know that the desire to write will come back someday. And in the meantime, I will occasionally post interesting stuff as the urge takes me, so if you are subscribed I hope you will continue to do so. Hopefully taking the pressure off will allow things to flow when they’re ready to. Please feel free to continue to use all the materials on the site as open-source for anything you’d like to do.

In the meantime, if you’re not already following them, I wanted to point out two recently initiated tarot blogs that are turning out to be just great. These blogs are not only deep and interesting, but consistent in ways that pointed out to me just how little I was managing to meet that standard :) I would highly recommend that you visit:

James Ricklef’s Tarot Blog

and

Llewellyn Unbound’s Tarot Pathways by Barbara Moore

Until next time… may the stars and the cards guide you well.

July 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Drawing the circle with tarot cards

Last year was pretty rough for me, and I’m feeling the need to find new directions in a variety of areas of my life – or at least bring new energies to bear. I had an odd experience recently in that I gained back a year of my life – not really, but it feels that way. All last year I thought I was 46 – with a birthday on New Year’s Eve, it’s easy to miscalculate. Early this year I realized that I was still 46 :) It feels like a rare chance at a “do-over”, and I don’t want to blow it. Now the year is 1/3 gone already – I’ve had some great times this year, but perhaps not with the focus or direction I was hoping for.

This morning I decided to do something I’ve never really done with tarot cards – draw an elemental circle, something like a magickal circle. I’m really doing this in my mind with archetypal tarot cards, rather than with any specific deck. But as I go through the year, starting soon, I may draw upon these cards as significators for what I’m hoping to achieve, advisers if you will. I may ask them for guidance on the next step in reaching the goal personified by that card, and draw cards for an actual reading. Or I may just focus on the cards, and ask myself – what would they do, or recommend?

Here are my cards:

Earth: Knight of Pentacles – This element represents health to me, one of my biggest issues last year. My health has steadily improved, but I have a ways to go in diet and exercise and overall well-being, now that I am not prevented from these things by more serious problems. As I thought through the deck, I couldn’t imagine any card that more solidly represented a physical fit, healthy, youthful person. One of the things I like about this Knight is his methodical, planning-oriented approach to these issues. No fad diets or unsustainable goals for him – and on the flip side, determination and will-power with little inclination to slack off or be unreliable. If he needed to be in shape for something specific, you know he’d be ready when the time came. Besides, I get the impression that he’s less boring than he looks. If asked, he could come up with all kinds of creative approaches to meeting these goals.

Water: The Lovers – A long-term relationship has just ended that was perfect on a personal level and utterly impossible circumstantially. It was painful and difficult, but necessary for both of us. It’s hard to think about starting over, but I do feel that I have a clear sense of what I’m looking for. I have put The Lovers in this position not entirely because of the obvious meaning of the title – rather because of the more nuanced interpretations it has. I am looking for someone who is complimentary to me, not someone to lose myself in or vice versa. A relationship that is deeply committed, yet where each person has their own space (emotionally and physically). Where marriage is not the goal (many other cards could have been chosen for that), but a togetherness, understanding, and passion that may be stronger than exists in many marriages. This is a relationship where we constantly make choices about staying together, rather than trusting to vows or ties that may (or may not) bind, and that relies on communication and honesty, allowing for change.

Air: King of Swords – To me, this represents my work. Everything I do is airy – writing, modeling, editing, teaching, communicating, mediating. Yet right now, I don’t feel it is particularly organized or functional. I always get done what has to be done, kind of like triage – but there are always things nagging at me that I believe at least that I want to be doing, such as writing the books that are currently not getting written on this site. Work and personal and health issues have prevented that – or so I tell myself. Is there more I need to know about my own motivation, organization, will-power when it comes to things that I have a choice to do? Somehow I feel the King of Swords can help my cut through all this *** and get to the root of the problem. He won’t pull any punches, he can bring structure and order to my thought processes and perhaps help me find some internal dedication. He won’t hesitate to provide needed criticism and guidance, and maybe I can learn something from how he got to where he is.

Fire: Knight of Wands – I struggled with what part of my life this element represents for a while. It’s not my career. That is going along just fine and I could truly care less about any further advancement there. Passion goes in the Lovers category above. Finally, I realized that it is my social life – what there is of it. My only real goal when this year started was to get out and be more social – find things in the community I like to do and go do them. There’s no lack of things like this in Olympia, that’s a large part of why I moved here. It just takes a little effort, especially when I don’t necessarily have anyone to go with – all the more reason, as this is the only way I’m ever going to meet anyone (outside of work) who shares my interests. So, I thought of the Knight of Wands. He’s very social, energetic, charismatic, and not afraid to have new adventures. In fact, he seeks them out, which is what I’d like to do. In recent years, I’ve learned to take more risks in life because of the fantastic experiences you can gain. He seems to embody that philosophy – sure there are risks, but better to truly live life than to let it pass you by – the biggest risk of all.

Spirit: The Star – This card seems to embody all the ways in which I am most at peace. Being out in nature is essential; being connected to the earth and to the universe, and to each moment of passing time. To live in the now and appreciate the sunlight and drops of rain on the flowering trees, the feeling of a cat purring in your lap, a quiet moment with your lover. Honesty and openness are my guide, and belief that whatever comes is meant for some reason. The more I am present and capable of accepting and responding to the gifts of life, the more I will be at peace.

So these are my guiding cards, my advisors and significators. It hasn’t escaped my notice that two are majors and three are court cards. I didn’t plan it this way, but worked on each card and element individually. The majors don’t surprise me – these are big changes and issues. The courts are fascinating. Not only that there are so many, but that none of them are ones that I have ever associated with myself. There is a lot of male energy here, and a youthful energy in the Knights. Physical energy overall is something I need more of, and so perhaps this reflects that desire. Maybe I just need to hear some new voices :) It will be interesting to hear what they have to say.

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 5 Comments

Back just in time for Spring!

I’ve been busily posting away about my adventures in New Zealand, and am just getting organized enough to begin thinking about tarot and astrology again. Over on Comparative Tarot, we’re talking about the Four of Cups. While this card may bring to mind dissatisfaction and ennui, it can also be a good suggestion to slow down and check in with your emotions. Spring has sprung (one of the advantages of going on a month-long vacation far away), and it’s a perfect time to sit on a park bench and admire the cherry blossoms, while contemplating whatever there is that needs attention in your life. I’ve written more about this process in a recent chapter in my new Living the Tarot book, if this is something that resonates with you.

In the meantime, the Vernal Equinox is upon us! After the long dreary winter of rain, snow, dark, and cold, it’s a nice thought that the days will be getting longer and warmer from here on out. Saturday is the day – in the morning, the Moon will be in Taurus, and mid-morning, the Sun will move into Aries – strengthening our emotional/physical connections to the earth and garden and our energetic enthusiasm for activity and new beginnings. A good time to plant some seedlings, prune and weed to make way for new growth. Once the garden is all nice and tidy, a void of course moon in the afternoon may encourage lazy enjoyment of spring blossoms, without any particular need to get anything done. The moon moves into Gemini in the early evening and makes positive aspects to a number of other planets, setting the stage for a social night out (or in), filled with conversation and friendship.

Sounds like a wonderful way to start the new vernal year!

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Tarot Transits – Sun trine Saturn

Here is an interesting aspect, occurring Jan 18-27. With the Sun trine Saturn, there is an easy flow of energy between the self and responsibilities, structures, and other necessary activities. If you found it hard to make progress on New Year’s resolutions or life goals at the actual New Year, it may be easier at this time to establish these good habits and put into place needed and positive structural changes, especially if your birthday falls in this period.

Here are some tarot cards you could draw for this transit to help guide your personal activities in response to this positively aspected Saturn energy:

1. What structure would be most beneficial to add to my life right now?
2. What responsibilities could I productively step up and take care of right now?
3. What benefits would this bring over the coming year?

Choose whichever one of the first two seems to best apply, then use the third question to help add even more motivation by highlighting the possible results.

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Tarot Transits – Jupiter in Pisces

With this post, I’m starting a series looking at astrological transits and/or aspects and how tarot can be used to put these astrological energies to good use. I’ll post and discuss a particular event that’s going on either currently or in the next few days, along with related questions that can be used with a simple 1-3 card tarot reading. I hope you’ll post the results of your readings in the comments section – if there’s enough interest in doing this regularly we can start a discussion group.

It seemed fitting to start this series with Jupiter entering Pisces today, January 17, until June 5. Jupiter is the planet of fortune, expansiveness, and prosperity, and for those of us who make all or part of our living in areas related to Pisces and the 12th house, this period may provide a particularly beneficial opportunity for new and creative endeavors. Anyone who works in areas relating to spirituality, creativity, the occult, or hidden matters of the mind (e.g., psychologists) or spirit may benefit. There could also be a focus on charitable work and ways of recreating economies that reflect our personal and spiritual values.

One aspect that will need to be overcome for many of us is building a belief that our particular gifts are worth being monetarily compensated for, and that it’s acceptable to make a living, even a good living, using them. Pisces may suffer from self-doubt or lack of self-esteem, although Jupiter can help bring a much-needed positive and confident outlook to counter that. Jupiter also brings fiery energy to jump-start plans that may have been swirling around in the back of our minds for a while without materializing.

There are also challenges during this period. One should take care not to fall under the sway of illusory influences or economic schemes that are shifty or not on solid ground. There could be a dreamy, unrealistic quality to plans or ideas for money-making, especially daydreams of easy money. Alcohol and other temptations can derail the best-laid plans. Sticking to a sound business plan while also holding true to our spiritual values provides the surest path forward in creating a more rewarding personal economy.

With all of the above in mind, and also keeping firmly in mind the time period within which we’re working, you may wish to draw a single tarot card for each of these questions (feel free to choose other questions if you prefer):

1) How can I best use the Jupiter in Pisces energy to increase my personal wealth/income in a way consistent with my spiritual values?
2) What pitfalls or challenges are most likely to be of concern for me personally in doing so?

Here are my results with the Tarot of Dreams:

1) Four of Coins, reversed. This is an interesting message that I interpret as not being afraid to spend money – not hoarding or saving in fear of not having enough. I should not have too structured of a plan that limits me from moving in new directions, particularly out of fear or concern for the future or financial stability. Jupiter is an expansive, generous energy, and during this time at least, I can afford to give my gifts to the world and spend money to make money. There are opportunities I could miss if I am too conservative.

2) Queen of Coins, reversed. Two reversed cards in Coins suggests to me that my focus needs to be less about money and how to plan for it and obtain it, less focus on material things in general (which will ultimately create what I need in this area). I spent most of last year tending to my house and business in very material ways, and I need to go in new directions this year. The Queen of Pentacles is my natural sign, with many planets in Capricorn near the midheaven, so I need to resist the temptation to continue with being the same person I always am and doing the same things I always do, and let other parts of myself take the fore.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

Court Cards Course

Well, I surely meant to be posting a lot more frequently. I’ve been in one of those life situations that just uses up all your emotional energy, which for me has somehow affected my will to write. Imagine being lost in the Seven of Cups and the Five of Cups simultaneously, and you’ll have some idea. It’s over now, and I’m picking up the pieces, though little writing has gotten done in the last month.

Still and all, I can offer up at least one gift to the tarot community this month, and that is a set of course materials on court cards. I have taught this class many times over the years and really enjoyed it each time. Every discussion has been different, and it has really refined my views and understanding of the courts cards. I hope you enjoy it – and by the way, there’s been a lively discussion of the court cards going on at ComparativeTarot starting October 1. We’re working on the Queens this month, and you’re welcome to join us and review the Pages and Knights as well.

December 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Mid-October Additions

I’ve recently added a couple of new chapters to the Living the Tarot series, including the Two of Pentacles and the Princess of Pentacles (for some reason, my deck wanted me to work with Pentacles this month!). You can find these on the Book in Progress page.

In addition, I’ve uploaded a new article on unhappy/difficult clients prompted by a question on a forum I belong to. This article explores what it means to have an unhappy client, why this happens, what you can do about it, and how you can use these situations to grow as a professional reader. Among the discussion topics are:

  • Non-responsive/impassive clients
  • Clients in denial
  • Angry clients demanding refunds
  • Clients who challenge or test the reader
  • Clients expecting perfect predictions
  • The types of questions that lead to difficult interpretation situations and unhappy customers, and how to avoid them
  • Setting boundaries and following them
  • “Answer-shoppers” and psychic addictions

Enjoy!

October 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

New Moon in Libra – Setting a direction for the month

Today we have moved on to a dark moon or new moon in Libra. This is the start of a month-long lunar cycle, the time when the seeds are sown for whatever will come into fruition during the cycle. While the moon will not stay in Libra the entire time, the sign that the moon is in at the new moon sets the stage for the lunar cycle – it represents the energy that is available while the seeds are being sown, to use one metaphor.

The energy in this new moon cycle is about balance, harmony, and beauty and relationships with others. Partnerships of all kinds are highlighted, whether lovers, business partners, clients, or other ventures. Conscious attention to the new moon energy can be helpful in setting a focus for the month, and this is the perfect time to form an intention. But how do you go about it?

One way is to simply think about these areas of your life and what you’d like to achieve. I find that a one-month time period is a good length of time to make reasonable progress. Smaller projects can be finished, and longer goals can still be broken down into a more specific focus for a month.

Another way is to look at your astrological chart and see what house your moon is currently in – not where it was when you were born, but where it is now. You can determine this by either progressing your chart or by looking up the specific degree of Libra that the moon is in and then locating that position on your birth chart. The house that your moon is in also provides some of the energy for what part of your life this cycle may affect most.

If you’re a tarot reader, you can use the tarot to help provide insight. This is a more specific approach; the lunar information tells you what kinds of energies are available, while the tarot tells you specifically how you can use them in the coming month. For example, let’s say I draw a card for this coming month and receive the Two of Pentacles. Right away I may notice that there is a duality expressed in the card that nicely mirrors the balance and self-other theme of Libra. We are in the suit of Pentacles, so my attention is focused on matters of health, money, possessions, or work. Looking more closely at the card, the juggling process seems unsustainable; while it could be argued to be in balance, it is not likely to stay that way over the long-term.

Putting the two together, I’d say there is an emotional need this month to bring competing priorities into better balance and have them become more harmonious. Libra suggests not dropping one of these two Pentacles altogether, but finding a more long-term, sustainable way of integrating them so as to not be under so much constant stress. At the new moon, the Sun and the Moon are in opposition, an aspect that produces stresses that can be positively resolved if the inner and outer self can be reconciled. Similarly, the combination of Libra and the Two of Pentacles suggests that two things are currently coming into conflict that can be brought into better harmony – and that I need to focus on the areas suggested by the suit.

If it’s immediately clear to me what the issue is (and with a short-term reading it usually is), I can go ahead and get started on my plan. It’s still only the new moon, so the best thing to do is rest and sow the seeds rather than jump right out and get started. If I need more information on what the best issue to work with is or more likely, how to get started, I can draw additional cards. It can be helpful when working with lunar cycles to set your intention in this way at the new moon, and then draw additional cards as the moon progresses through its phases, each of which have roles to play in the cycle and in completing your project. A full lunar cycle reading can be done at the start of the cycle, but I think it is more effective to do it as the lunar month moves along, drawing cards as close to the phases of interest as you can.

(For more detailed information on lunar cycle spreads, check out Original Tarot Spreads – Phases of the Moon)

October 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

September Additions

This month I added a couple of sets of course materials, including a 7-week course on reversals, and a 4-week course on the Celtic Cross. I have modified these so that they are suitable for individual study, but they were originally designed for online courses. They could be used either for self-study or to teach in-person or on-line classes. Look for these on the Course Materials page.

On the Books in Progress page, I have added the long-awaited first installment of Astrology for Tarot Readers, including the Introduction, a chapter on the court cards, a chapter on the minor arcana that includes some new takes on numerology and planetary associations, and chapters on each of the 7 original planets of ancient astrology and how they are related to both modern and Renaissance tarot.

Still to come is a lengthy first chapter introducing the basic concepts of astrology to tarot readers – this is completely written, and is only being held up by some illustrations I am working on, so should be available sometime in October. If you’re completely new to astrology, you may want to wait for that chapter before reading the later ones. Also, I will be adding sections to Chapter 2 on the other planets and signs as they are expressed in astrology and tarot correspondances, and starting to add the later chapters illustrating how to blend astrology and tarot. Enjoy!

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Tarot and the I Ching

I’m currently on vacation in Mexico, and I had planned to spend much of the time working on the astrology book and course materials to upload (I promise I will still do that). As luck would have it, the CompTarot list broke out into an interesting discussion of the I Ching just as we were discussing the Wheel of Fortune. That has some interesting synchronicities of its own, but suffice it to say that I was encouraged to renew my interest in I Ching, and acquired the best translations I could find, one of which (Huang) accompanied me to Mexico.

I’ve spent most of my vacation so far reading through the initial 16 or so hexagrams and learning how the system works. In the past, I had only ever conducted random divinations with it, throwing the coins, determining my hexagram, and then reading it – out of context. Much like you might do if you had never read tarot, did a tarot reading with one card, and then looked up its meaning in a book. You’d certainly get something out of it, but you’d really have no appreciation of tarot as a system and the deeper meanings that the cycles, progressions, structures, and archetypes within tarot lend to even a single card.

Reading the first 16 hexagrams, along with the introduction and various commentaries from Confucius and Lao Tzu on down, really enhanced my appreciation of the I Ching and the fact that it is a similar coherent system of beliefs. The entire set of hexagrams is represented as a progression (starting with no less than the creation of the universe), with interrelationships among them. The hexagrams are made up of smaller meaningful units, like the symbols in tarot.

Hence it was no surprise to me when I felt prepared enough to do my first divination on a subject of some pressing personal importance, and received 17 as my initial hexagram – the first one beyond those I had already read – making it at once fresh and yet, I had enough knowledge of the system to really understand how to read the three changing lines that were part of my divination. Just another of life’s little synchronicities.

One of the listmembers of CompTarot commented that her readings with I Ching were so accurate that it made her wonder why she used tarot.  This got me to thinking, given that there are more similarities than I initially realized, what would make you choose one tool over another – either generally speaking or for a given situation? Both are rich, centuries old, and composed of deep symbolism. Both are many-layered, structured, cyclical. Both express philosophies – Western and Eastern, about how heaven and earth function and our place within them. Both provide accurate depictions of existing situations and possible futures, while still relying on the free will of the querant to bring about these outcomes.

The I Ching seems a little more direct to me, good for reading for yourself and in situations that may be difficult for a tarot reader to approach directly. The I Ching gives good advice about the conduct that will give the best result – something tarot CAN provide but may not always, if the reading is not done in that manner or the question is not asked in that way. The I Ching is very specific about exactly how things are changing. Does that specificity limit its uses in some way? Does it make the I Ching most useful when things are demonstrably changing? What do you think?

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment