Psychic Kathleen

Confessions of a Psychic - the life of a psychic practicing off and online in Canada for more than 30 years.

By Ian Daniels

If you like vampire mythology, are under forty and want to learn the Tarot but are intimidated by the traditional tarot symbols, you’ll likely delight in this deck.  The images are finely detailed and reasonably capture the culture, characters and settings of the vampire myth.

The images are not unexpected, gory or dare I say…original.  This is not a deck I would be inclined to reach for in conducting readings for clients unless they were especially fond of Goth culture and vampires in particular.

Most Tarot clients perch on a spectrum of anxiety from mild to severe already without tossing out cards depicting vampires.  This deck would hardly settle their already fluttering hearts.  Youthful, strikingly beautiful, ethereal vampires in dramatic, dark settings stir thoughts of soap opera rather than tarot in my imagination. Rather reminiscent of the whole Twilight movie series, this deck is one best suited to a romantic, teenage reader.

I noticed that each card featured typically one, sometimes two, but rarely three characters which set me on a path to investigate the traditional family cards. The Ten of Grails (in traditional Tarot the ten of cups) and the Ten of Skulls (ten of pentacles/disks) were my specific targets.  What sort of family vampire images would the illustrator use, I eagerly wondered?

Disappointed, all the tens depict a single, model-beautiful, adolescent female vampire.  Where is her family or her connection to others in her life? The author has no excuse for this omission!  Vampires, according to lore are fiercely loyal and clannish about their family relationships. Possessive and proud, vampires have a strict hierarchal order determined by family bonds.  The failure on the part of the author to take advantage of this opportunity to express the importance of family led me to ponder why.  Does the author know the true meanings of the cards he has illustrated?  Does the author not care to draw analogies between Vampire lore and the classic Tarot meanings? Do why do a Tarot deck?

In the Accompanying Text “Phantasmagoria”

the author does note that these cards point to family yet he fails to illustrate them in the cards.  It’s disappointing when a tarot deck fails to reflect its grander, timeless mystery but rather the mundane and prurient preferences of its creator.

The text is a well written and thought-provoking.  It’s sophisticated, well rounded and succinct.  It even stretches to explain why a tarotist would use vampire imagery to depict the meaning of the tarot,

“A liking for horror and eeriness could be dismissed as morbid or unhealthy, but it could also be said that it’s unwholesome to deny the existence of our own darker shadows.  If we face our fears, we can master them rather than project them out onto the world and onto others, which can reveal itself as irrational hatred, bullying, or illogical or delusional morality. Denying fear isn’t only emotionally unwise, it could be physically dangerous.”

Reading this however, failed to change my mind in terms of using this deck to do readings for clients but it certainly went far to redeem the creator of this set.  I was star-struck realizing Ian Daniels is no intellectual lightweight which one might deduce from simply perusing his deck.  He’s an illustrator by profession, not a tarotist, writer or academic (as far as I was able to determine) yet the magic of this vampire set lies predominantly in this aspect of the project.  You must read his card descriptions and explanations to fully appreciate this body of work.  His chapter on the Magician, Temperance, and Fortune are especially noteworthy. Every time I pick up this book I find passages I want to quote.

Would I Recommend this Tarot Deck?

I don’t know how long this project took Ian Daniels to complete but I’m sure it was years.  As I sit here contemplating whether I would recommend it, I have to say yes.  The book is so exceptionally good and you wouldn’t want to read the book without having the deck to peruse at the same time.  They are indeed a set that must be explored together.

Although I might have been harsh about my reservations regarding the imagery of this deck, I have only admiration for Ian Daniel’s artistic gift.  His images are creative, satisfyingly detailed, and hauntingly beautiful.  If you are a young person quite enamoured with vampire culture, you would be enchanted by these images. If you are an older Tarotist like myself, you will likely find these images somewhat annoyingly pornographic and adolescent.  Not that I’m a prude or conservative by any stretch (is a tarotist ever?), but the overemphasis on young, beautiful, seductive vampires staring at the viewer at every turn gets old quickly.

I’m confident this deck will attract a large number of fans and I’m happy to ponder those who will find a treasure of a book hidden behind this unoriginal vampire deck.  It’s likely that those who will be attracted to this set will be just those who will benefit the most from its insights and wisdoms.

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Synchronicity is the Word…

used by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung to label our experience of two seemingly unconnected events taking place simultaneously.  For example, paying for an item at the till an amount that weirdly matches your birthday number and it’s on your birthday that it happens.  Hearing from 3 different friends on the same day who share the same first names.  These synchronistic events feel related and spur us to ponder their meaning. 

As a child, once I got a few of these oddball synchronicities under my belt, I tried to make it happen. I started loving the feeling.  It was exciting, mysterious and somehow uplifting.  Riding my bicycle down a hill with my eyes closed, climbing into a freezing bath, hanging from the monkey bars as long as I possibly could, annoyingly didn’t seem to do the trick.  That delicious, sparky synchronicity experience persistently adhered to random and nonsense. 

Separating synchronicity from psychic ability however was my adolescent challenge. I knew I was psychic from a very young age so thinking of someone and bumping into them was more about connecting with them psychically than synchronicity.  Dreaming of something or someone and having it manifest in waking life was chocked up to psychic experience too. 

Synchronicity was different.  It was more about connecting to something else – something rather grand and outside the realm of just me.  I would wonder who was orchestrating this synchronicity.  What did it mean in general and specific terms?

I’ve a couple of real dandies.  As a psychic reader of course I come across oddities that some might describe as synchronicity but I would classify more under the heading of psychic.  One woman made an appointment to meet with me under quite extraordinary circumstances.  She had seen a psychic months earlier while visiting a friend in London, England.  The psychic told her she must see a psychic reader that is practicing close to her home in Canada in a tea room and her name is Kathleen.  The story gets stranger. 

Upon returning home, naturally she went on a hunt for a reader named Kathleen who was doing readings in a local tea room.  It didn’t take her long to find me.  She was shocked to discover I was working out of a tea room she frequented with her girlfriends and had never heard of me!  The fact I was practicing in her favourite little Tea Room and didn’t know until meeting with this psychic in London was a mind bender for everyone.
 

Perhaps the Most Extraordinary Experience…

I’ve had with synchronicity happened while I was living in San Francisco in 1989 studying for my M.A. in east/west psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.  I had decided that spring that the course I was taking with Angeles Arrien on Transitions which focused on the teachings of the I-Ching, was to be my last.  It was offered to me free of charge by the school as recognition for some scholarship achievement or other which was the only reason I had delayed my return to Canada by a few months.
 
I was feeling rather wistful after that first class (April 1989) and headed to a Hunan Restaurant on the Haight to have lunch.  After my meal, the waiter brought the bill with a fortune cookie. Gotta love those fortune cookies.  I opened the cookie to read the message with my usual curious-but-not-expecting-anything-profound frame of mind, and it read, “You need a new environment.  Try Canada.”

Squawking I leapt to my feet.  I zoomed to an alternate universe. I honestly couldn’t imagine I was still on earth. The waiter rushed over to see if everything was okay.  I said, “This fortune cookie! It’s impossible!” I noticed everyone in the restaurant was now observing me with some trepidation.  Oh God another loony loose on Haight Ashbury! Embarrassed I quickly paid my bill and walked all the way home not noticing the 5 km. 

I just couldn’t get my head around this fortune cookie.  It was such a perfect answer to what was troubling me.  I felt such joy that I was making the right decision to leave San Francisco – and all because a fortune cookie told me so.  The fact that the waiter had just casually reached into a box of fortune cookies and pulled just that one out for me was simply beyond anything I could comprehend.  That’s synchronicity.
 

A Realization I had While Walking Home…

was that synchronicity was like dreaming.  If we don’t pick up a dream message on its first run at us, we will have the dream again, and again until we do.  I had an insight that synchronicity must be subjected to the same interpretive process.  I really thought I must have missed a few signals before this incident with the fortune cookie to push the universe to resort to such an extreme measure. 

Upon returning home to Canada I watched the news like a freak expecting something disastrous to happen in San Francisco and indeed there was a destructive earthquake in October of that year that would have impacted me. 

Most importantly however, I met my husband just a short month after my return which I felt was the true reason for a need for me to return to Canada right at that time. He was on his way out of town and would only have been around for another month before meeting me. Time was of the essence the universe (or whoever!) felt – get this girl back to Canada asap!
 

David Wilcock in his Fascinating Book Titled,

The Synchronicity Key posits that synchronicity is a sacred process to remind us that we are all connected, that we are all ONE. It’s a signal that wakes us up to this sacred reality of unity and connectedness.  I know it has rattled me awake many times in my life and I am always thankful when it happens.  It’s exciting, regenerating and warming to our hearts and minds. There is a sense of order in the universe.  Everything is connected.  We are not alone.

New Articles Posted in March
I wrote 2 Tarot deck reviews last month - either would appeal to you if you love Tarot and are considering buying a new deck:

The first is the Illuminati Tarot which was an interesting journey for me.

The second is the Far Sight Tarot from Australia which was an interesting deck produced a couple of years ago.

If you are interested in learning more about your dreams you might find my article Dreaming Yourself a Shaman provocative.

If you are interested in reading about my sewing adventures, I have a new post on my psychicsewing blogThe Harrison Shirt adventure.

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Testimonial Snippet

" Thank-you so much Kathleen for your advice.  You are quite accurate in your readings. I suggest to everyone to have a reading with you, not only are you compassionate but very direct in your answers thank-you once again :) "
Sincerely, Sandy

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In a longitudinal study, 7000 students were interviewed about their dreams.  This was an enormous study, crossing countries, cultures, generations and language. The data revealed that there are more differences in dream content between males and females than between cultures.  Furthermore, there are approximately 34 recurrent themes that typically comprise our dreams universally.

Typical dream themes,

  • Sexual,
  • Varying degrees of nudity or exposure,
  • Unpreparedness,
  • Falling or teetering on the edge of a precipice,
  • Flying,
  • Fighting,
  • Fleeing,
  • Imprisonment,
  • Hair or teeth falling out,
  • Dead loved ones.

Pleasant, Joyful Dreams…

are much fewer than upsetting ones because we tend to suppress the negative in our lives to cope day to day with its challenges.  According to classic psychiatric theory, we have pleasant dreams often when we are depressed in our waking lives.  With a depressed patient, a psychiatrist is advised to pay close attention to a report of a happy dream because it may be signaling an imminent suicide attempt.

Your First Task in Dream Interpretation is…

to ask yourself, “What is the opposite to this dream?” This could lead to a powerful insight about what in your waking life is bothering you and what you might do to heal it.

Consider This:  The dreamer creates an entirely real world in minute detail.  Each dream arouses within us the conviction that we are awake. We are creating an entire world!  Environment, characters, feelings, action, objects are all there for us to observe and not one single aspect is redundant or irrelevant.

A recent Italian study determined that in an 80-year life span, we spend 20 years of that dreaming. Twenty years of human existence is spent in pure creativity. We breathe, we eat and we dream.

Dreams are a path to enlightenment that will cost you nothing and bring you everything.  You dream of the future, of loved ones passed and you dream of how to heal yourself and others of disease. 

Working with your dreams channels shamanic power.

When recording your dreams remember to,

  • Give your dream a title, and date it,
  • Have a recording device handy by your bedside in which to record your dreams initially because we say more about a dream upon awakening than we can or may be willing to write,
  • Record it in the present tense, for example, "I am walking in an old house and as I look out the window I see a black dog peering in at me."
  • Make note how you felt immediately upon awakening and how you felt throughout the dream action.

Organize a Dream Binder with Sections that Include…

  1. Dreams with short notes about the day before or following the dream.
  2. Your own dream symbol dictionary. As you enter new symbols in your dictionary and write out your interpretations of that symbol you are opening a communication channel between your varying levels of conscious; between heaven and earth, between spirit and psyche. You will witness that symbol transforming from dream to dream as you carry it through to the light of consciousness. Kittens become cats, a child’s rocking horse transforms into a beautiful race horse; sitting in a plane transforms to becoming a bird in flight etc.
  3. Pictures depicting images you saw in your dreams can be in another section.
  4. Notes and quotes from other dream interpreters another section.

The flexibility of a binder lends itself more effectively to working more fluidly with your dream material.  You might be sitting in a café, doodling when suddenly you notice you are drawing a dream image.  This should be put into your journal for later contemplation.

Express Your Dream Artistically

Plan and execute an art project related to a big dream or dream series. This will involve making a dream character, activity, setting, or action manifest.  Collage, sculpt, paint, use whatever materials at hand or what feels right for you. 

I did a multi-media wall hanging years ago on a dream series involving a woman hanging from a Ferris Wheel while I observed from a castle turret. The result was powerful and hung on my wall for years.  It took me more than a decade to interpret this dream’s meaning. But having it hanging in my office gave me ample opportunity to ponder its message.

Dream Study Group
The most transformative methodology for working with your dreams is to form a dream study group.  People share their dreams and dreamwork and help each other unpack their meaning through a series of questions, play acting and suggestions.  If you go forward with this idea however, research the best ways to listen to other’s dreams in order to protect everyone’s privacy, dignity and self-agency.

Visit Kathleen’s dream web site at http://www.dreamsdictionary.org where she has a full 8 week dream study group outline you can follow to create your own dream exploration group.

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The Far Sight Tarot is one I have seldom used for readings.  Not because I don’t love its artistry, interpretive work, adherence to nature symbolism, maturity and impressive quality, but rather because of the frustration I experience deciding which cards to choose.

What Fool Card to Use?

Helen generously provided options with four of the majors:  She provided two Oddballs (the Fool), Machismos (the Emperor), Lovers, and Temperance and recommended you use only one of each in a reading.  Making that choice stymies me every time.  Up until now I’ve just given up and thrown them all in but that never feels right either.  A tarot deck should have 78 cards!  I don’t want to double the possibility of one of these four cards showing up more often than they should.  So sadly I wrap the deck back up in its lovely accompanying bag and put it back in my cabinet until the next time I want to tackle it.

In the Oddball you must decide if you want the character and dog walking towards you or walking away; in the Lovers you must decide if you want to see the top part of their entwined bodies or just the lower half of their faceless bodies; in Temperance, do you want to see the front or back of the Minotaur?  For the Machismo (Emperor), do you want to see a close up of the sword or a close up of the goat?  As I ponder the perspective I want, I put them aside for greater contemplation later. They drive me crazy with pondering, rumination and struggle!  That alone is an extraordinary accomplishment for an author to achieve in a tarotist of almost 40 years!

By nudging you to make a choice she is challenging you to decide what the card means to you and how you want to interpret it.  Do you imagine the Fool approaching you or walking away from you?  That’s a tough one.  That alone has kept me in suspended animation for over an hour.

Two Temperance Cards Even More Mind Boggling

Temperance is even more mind boggling as you consider the minotaur is in one card coming towards you and in the other facing away; additionally in the card where he’s facing you, he is pouring water from a jug that he’s muscling over his right shoulder while in the other Temperance card, he holds a jug upright that appears to be emitting a rainbow. In the second card, it would appear the minotaur has already poured the water out of the jug and is now returning to his cave.  There is that before and after theme again.  I have never considered whether I’m viewing a character in the card before or after the main event or coming towards you or walking away.  It changes how you will read that card significantly.

Wonderful, Evocative Accompanying Tarot Textbut tiny

If you’re hoping for some help in deciding which card to use, you won’t find it in her accompanying booklet.  Although well written and innovative just like her deck, it fails to help you decide which emphasis you would like to utilize. There are aspects of the book however that are also evocative and unique.  Her descriptions of the meaning of the cards are very well written; succinct yet fulfilling.  She bolds a few key words to aid you in grasping the central meaning in a glance.  I liked her book overall but I would have killed for a larger font.  The print is so tiny I have to sit it on the end of my nose to read it.  I wish authors would consider us aging Tarotists in the design of their little accompanying books!

The cards are rather large (6” X 3.5”) and of a much heftier stock than most decks in the market.  Helen has included a keyword at the bottom of the card which I favour.  I know some people find descriptive words distracting and even annoying, but I like them.  For example she refers to the Air King (King of Wands) as a “mentor” and the 3 Wands is a “flying start”.  Not interpretations I would typically use to describe these cards, yet perfect in combination with the symbols she’s used.  Once again she succeeds in her desire to be thought provoking and original.  For an author who describes herself as not an “authority” on the Tarot, she has done a thorough job in her interpretative work.  She draws inspiration for her symbolism from inspiration, personal relationships and belongings, statues from antiquity, nature, mythology and astrology.  No stone is left unturned!  The result is a body of work that is beautiful to behold and one to contemplate.   

Helen decided to use what she describes as the classic fire element for swords, but in my classic training Swords have always been air.  Regardless of these challenges, I’ve decided to use Helen’s deck more regularly and get over my hesitation about making a decision regarding these four majors.  I’ll make my choice and stick with it and see where this deck takes me and my clients.  The truth is that I love this deck for all its originality and haunting beauty.

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I met with a woman last week here in Victoria who is just about to launch a Tarot reading practice in northern Ontario.  It was such a pleasure to meet with someone who is just at the starting gate of her journey into this work. Her questions and insights reminded me of my teaching days and how much fun it was to share my passion with others of like mind.

There are a myriad of components to reading for another. So many that when someone calls me off my web site and asks, “So what is it that you do exactly?”, I stumble and mumble around a bit until I find my stride.

We’re storytellers, advisors, and probably most importantly what I would describe as a re-framer.  I’ve always been told I’m particularly gifted at that.  Long before I was a professional reader, I was a re-framer.

I listen to people’s narratives about their lives and help them to re-frame the ways to think and describe their stories. Too often when we’re telling our story, it can be contaminated with insecurities, self-deprecation, and self-flagellation. What it is about guilt and apology that’s so alluring anyway!?

I help people tell and consider their story objectively and hopefully help them to take a larger and more long term perspective.  Most would agree that everything happens for a reason.  When a relationship collapses or we lose a job or a friend, it usually turns out to be a good thing. It probably means you’ve dodged a bullet, you just can’t see that yet.

I also give people a sense of where they are heading in their story-path.  Good to know!

Dodging a Bullet

I spoke with a client last night who was typical in many respects to what many women go through at some point in their lives.  They find themselves in a relationship with someone they’ve known for years as a friend.  They can’t believe how fortunate they are to be falling in love with someone who is already familiar and trusted.  Then BOOM! Inexplicably, alarmingly that person steps away. The relationship is over and that so and so has moved onto another.  She asked me tearfully-wistfully if he would be crawling back soon; regretful, apologetic, and devastated.  She asked me if he would soon see clearly that this new “s---“ isn’t right for him, that obviously he belongs with her.

Nope.  That is definitely not going to happen.

Hearing that of course didn’t make her happy.  Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement.  She cursed, cried, yelled and fell into a puddle of despair.

I worked to help her to see that this relationship was just not to be.  The seeds of its disintegration were evident right at the start, she had just turned a blind eye to them.  I’m sure she wasn’t fine when our time together came to a close. I wasn’t able to heal her wound in such a limited time frame but I was able to help her see that once she has suffered enough, is honestly sick of moping about him, she’ll be out there meeting people and dating someone new.  He’ll be a lesson, a memory, a step along the way in her journey to fulfillment.

Drawing a Tarot Card as One of My Play Tools

I do use my Tarot deck but not especially in a traditional manner.  I don’t always do full spread readings for everyone. I don’t do readings exactly the same for everyone or even the same every time.  It’s a dance between my intuition and my tools which include the Tarot but not the Tarot exclusively either.  I pick up my pendulum to answer yes/no questions or sometimes a crystal. I might “accidently” drop something on the floor which spurs me to examine it more closely.  Spirit speaks through all kinds of symbols.  One time I asked a question and the lights flickered. That doesn’t happen often so it made me pause and ponder what I’d just asked.  That train of thought led to an interesting exploration that the client found immeasurably helpful.

Sometimes I just pull cards as the client asks questions or several if the question is complex.  For example, with the woman above she asked, “How does he feel about me?” Because it was obvious his feelings had transited from his original feeling for her (not unusual) to how he was feeling about her today, I pulled several cards and pondered what that meant.  Interestingly his feelings were warm and he expected to feel even better towards her in the future.

Since she wasn’t feeling the love nor did she ever expect to in the future, this came as quite a revelation.  The dynamic between these people in the past, today and looking forward gave me a stronger sense of where he was at about his feelings towards her.

One woman came for a reading with questions about her marriage.  I turned up the Prince of Swords for him and right beside him I turned over the Princess of Swords.   What immediately stood out was the fact that he was looking off in the distance away from her and she was looking towards him.  That’s exactly how I read it.

I said, “He is looking off somewhere and you are looking at him but you aren’t getting eye contact”.

I listen for the unspoken question – the underlying concern. Some clients will come with a bazillion questions and I can’t answer all of them in the time arranged – so my primary goal is to help clients to identify their BIG question or at least central theme. Then if we have time remaining we can jog through as many of their smaller, more specific questions as possible.

At times, I simply need to know what is predominantly on my client’s mind today. I start by asking them if there is anything keeping them awake at night or waking them up in the middle of night, unable to return to slumber. Once the main area of concern has been identified, getting to the central question is not so difficult.  Freud once declared that once our love and work life is sorted we’re adjusted and happy. That’s really all it takes.

I would add a few others to mix as well such as health, money and our children’s (if we have children) happiness.  They are as important.  I would say almost 99% of what people ask me fall somewhere in those five categories.

Divination is a Reverse Perception

A client is not required to ask a question and certainly I read for many clients who shy away from the invite to do so.  I explain to clients that if they don’t ask a question they are left with the complex task of translating the messages I convey into something that makes sense.  If they ask a question, I do that translation work for them.  In a reading I’m reaching to catch the whole situation, evaluating the issues that arise from the dynamic interplay of cards within the formal structure which takes a lot of experience.

Divination is a kind of reverse perception where one has to see the whole picture and work from the whole to the particular. At the same time, however you need to be aware that the whole is composed of particulars. This is the challenge of reading and what we as readers must develop advanced skill in.  You will observe the whole pattern – break it down into its particulars - at the same time see how the particulars make up the whole.

People often mistakenly believe that doing readings is easy. Like anything the more you do it, the better you get.  It’s challenging, exciting, rewarding and a privilege.  To new readers however, it’s terrifying, frustrating, depressing and they wonder for at least the first couple of years whether they can continue. Many don’t.  Most don’t to be honest.  But like anything, the longer you persevere, the more confident you become that you are exactly where you should be.

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by Robert M Place

If you have ever worked with Robert Place’s Alchemical Tarot deck, you would immediately recognize his work in this 2012 released Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery. Both decks include symbols, characters, objects, animals and elements which are depicted using vibrantly coloured images, heavily outlined in black.

A Tarot Passed Down from Your Ancestors

Not intended to be realistic, the images suggest simplicity (albeit misleading!), reminiscent of a child’s colouring book. The deck has the feel of an antiquated tarot deck which according to Robert, was a deliberate contrivance.  He is a great lover of the Renaissance:  A time, as he points out, when the Tarot was mysteriously catapulted onto the Italian, aristocratic scene.  This Tarot deck resembles a treasure passed down from your ancestors.  It should be dog-eared and faded.  Secretly I look forward to a time when mine looks a little beaten up. I am using it daily but the deck itself is so well varnished and solidly constructed that I despair of how long it’s likely to take before it looks a little used, never mind antique.

This deck however could mislead in its simple presentation. There is nothing simple about this tarot deck. The symbolism is rich and complex; every aspect of each card has been crafted with careful and intelligent mindfulness. Don’t let that scare you away from this deck however, because Robert has kindly put some text onto a few of the more complex cards to help you understand what the symbols mean.

The Sun Card Represented by Apollo

For example, the Sun card which Robert has named Apollo for obvious reasons, depicts a mermaid from behind, as she regards the God, Apollo before her. Apollo is face on and the text beside the mermaid reads, “reason”.  The text beside Apollo reads “logic”. In his accompanying book, Robert explains, “She is reason and He is logic. The divine logic behind human reason, they join in the hero’s gambles (define marriage). This union can represent spiritual love, a soul mate, marriage, or enlightenment.”

Although Robert has assigned an original meaning to the Sun card, his explanation takes the reader down a whole new and exciting interpretation of this card. His symbols make sense, and his explanation is thoughtful, succinct and intelligent.

A Tarot Without Redundancy

But Robert doesn’t handhold the reader by any means. There are cards in the deck that have absolutely no text. The PIP cards for instance have no text or numerical values to identify them. I get a sense that Robert is playing with us! He seems to be saying this is a deck without redundancy. If you know the tarot, you can count and you don’t need to be told what number of cups, wands, swords or pentacles you are looking at. Why clog a perfectly balanced image with redundant and distracting text?

The deck comes with, as is typical of tarot decks, a small, accompanying booklet. And it is tiny! So tiny in fact, that I put it through a photocopier to enlarge it for reading comfort. But it was worth the effort. Robert has offered assurances that he is writing a complete treatise to explain this deck in greater depth in the future and I am already anticipating its release. The text to explain his Alchemical Tarot was just released in 2012.

Robert’s introduction to the sevenfold ministry in the booklet is an article you don’t want to miss. Choosing a passage to quote was challenging but I did think this piece was a good representation of the riches you’ll find here.  In this passage Robert explains why the number “7” is central to this deck,

“The seven planets were thought of as the sole centres of the cosmos and corresponding sole centres could be found ascending the spine, from the sacrum to the crown of the head, in the microcosm of the human body. Pythagoras developed the diatonic music scale with seven notes to capture the sound that each planet made as it orbited the earth. This was called the “music of the spheres.” He marked each know with one of the seven vowels of the Greek alphabet and through musical treatment use this skill to bring the human soul centres into harmony with the planets.”

Well written, deliciously historical and an academic bit of esoterica, this little book is a treasure. 

Archetypal Tinkertoys

My favourite card is Fortuna.  Fortuna (Wheel of Fortune) features a blind-folded female character circled by a collection of detailed characters, animals and symbols.  When viewed closely, you are rewarded with a vision of astrological symbols.  Colourful, mysterious and priceless.  Immediately I was reminded of Cynthia Giles’ description of the Tarot as a collection of “archetypal tinkertoys”.

As a tarotist, I am grateful that Robert puts his rather impressive intellectual rigour into tarot work.  Your collection of tarot decks will not be complete without this one. Many who purchased Robert’s Alchemical Tarot in the past were grateful they bought one when they were available because long after they were sold out, there continued to an ever escalating demand to own one. Now if you would like a copy of that deck, you’ll be faced with paying rather impressive “collector” prices. 

So while supplies last, I would encourage you to purchase this latest and no less impressive body of work. It’s Renaissance, mysterious, complex, artful and so quintessentially Tarot. What more could you ask for from a tarot work? 

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After reading for folks from all walks of life for more than thirty years, you’d imagine I’d be used to questions and discussions about soulmates by now but the truth is that any suggestion of soulmates renders me speechless.  This happens a lot in February. Well… it happens most months of the year but the dearth in February is noteworthy.

Somewhat tentatively, I ask, “What does this notion of soulmates mean to you?” 
It does mean different things to different people.  Aside from the obvious that my soulmate is not yours, everyone has a selection of characteristics that they believe will signal that they are in the presence of their soulmate. 

And let’s be honest, a person’s soulmate 99% of the time refers to the mate segment of the word.

Soulmate indicators may be physical (height, weight, colouring), personality (serious, quiet, risk-taking), spiritual (religion) or intellectual (education, aspirations).  In any case, most I speak with are confident their soulmate is both attractive and attracted to them. 

Seldom will an esoteric author take on this issue because it’s just too grand and sensitive a matter. You might imagine that this is a rather frivolous query but in truth it’s daunting and powerful. Who we partner with in life will have a life altering impact on the decisions we make in every aspect of our lives. 

Decisions for example that will determine the status of our health, who or if we have offspring, our longevity, geographical location, career path, self-esteem and other familial and friend relationships.

Yet most people choose their life partners rather impulsively, randomly and well to be blunt rather mindlessly.  People who are the most hesitant of risk-takers by nature will suddenly leap into a partnership with someone they met hair-raisingly briefly on vacation, online or at the local grocery store. 

True Spiritual Soulmates are Not Good Partners


From what I have learned over the past 40 years about soul mates (which you could write on a post-it note), a soul mate is someone our soul is attached to, often inexplicably yet determinedly. 

Because this attraction has nothing to do with ego, lust or apparent practicality, it’s crazy-making to try and explain it to anyone.  It is also highly unlikely that they would be the perfect mate for us at all.  That’s right.  Your soulmate from the perspective of soul has nothing to do with mating.

A soulmate is like your own personal guru.  Your true soul mate is a spiritual twin not an embodied one. This means that your soul mate indeed may be presenting in a relationship which is sibling, parent, child, distant relative, friend, colleague or neighbour. It might just be someone you meet sitting next to you on the public transit.

Your soulmate is that individual whom, upon meeting them for the first time, you feel as if you are spiritually home.  No words are necessary for the two of you to be at one yet they are your absolute and perfect opposite in every way.  Complete and absolute opposite.

The two of you together after all make up a complete whole.  Where they love details, you love the big picture; where you love art, they love accounting; where you love to talk about everything, they are silent; where you love to travel, they love being at home.  Imagine partnering with someone that opposite to you.  It would be frustrating, conflicting, intriguing and at the same time very addictive. 

Not one person in your social circle would understand or condone the alliance and no matter how hard you tried to explain it, you would fail miserably.

Partnership Between Soulmates is a Disaster


You would want to be with them all the time yet rarely would you see eye to eye or agree on where to be.  You would be driven to question every idea, feeling, impulse or choice you make driving you constantly up a challenging spiral of growth, and awareness. 

It would be exhausting, exhilarating and crazy-making.  I pray to meet mine in the spirit world once I’m done with this one.  A much easier to environment in which to work through out differences.

Your ideal mate is someone who shares at least a few fundamental similarities, such as values, priorities and personality quirks. These similarities would never be shared between soulmates.

I would be far more comfortable with the question, “Is this person going to make a life-enhancing partner for me?”  I can work with that question with more accuracy and ease.

Articles Published Online in January
 
Sacred Isle Tarot Review This is a Celtic oriented Tarot - best suited for young readers.

Buddhism & the Tarot Teachings This is an article which explores the correlation between the teachings of Buddhism and the spiritual Tarot.

The Tarot by Alexander Daniloff This is a beautiful deck created by an artist who loves images from antiquity. This deck is like holding a found treasure!

Autobiographical Sketch of a Closet Psychic   This is a short story of my early beginnings as a practicing psychic and what it was like to live a "dual life".


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Testimonial Snippet

" Careful guidance, accurate insight, and honest words of encouragement; that is what I get every time I speak with you Kathleen! Thank you for preventing me from making awful mistakes and wrong choices and confirming my worth. I appreciate you always."

*Hugs Marcie*



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By Karen Hamaker-Zondag

An Author Who Knows Tarot!

Despite having been published twenty years ago, I continue to have Tarot as a Way of Life on my recommended reading list.  If you resonate with Jungian psychology, you’ll love the way in which Karen ties the tarot to Jungian psychology. If you aren’t conversant in Jung and wish to be, you will learn a lot about it by simply studying this book. But that’s certainly not all you’ll find in this rich treatise.

Karen Hamaker-Zondag’s introduction, “When I started to study the tarot more seriously in 1972, I did as so many others do…”   That was twenty-five years earlier than the publication of her book.  I think we can safely assume that this is a woman who knows the tarot.  She has studied the tarot, worked with the deck and grew alongside the development of the tarot and its transformations over decades.

Karen is a modernist interpreter.  The combination in her background as a founding member of a school of Jungian psychology in Holland and a holder of two Ph.D.’s in social geography and environmental engineering, makes Karen a credible academic. Further to these prestigious accomplishments, Karen’s post-graduate work in psychology, astrology and parapsychology, full-time counselling practice and world travel, contributes an impressive, multifaceted, perspective. 

In this 260 page book we are guided through a discussion of what the tarot is, its history and how its connected to numerology, astrology, and archetypal psychology. Although Karen discusses a few decks, she utilizes the Coleman-Waite imagery to accompany her description of the meanings of the cards.  If you know this deck, you’ll definitely want to read Karen’s assigned meanings to the symbols and imagery. Karen helps the tarotist to see and translate the meanings of the cards within a psycho-dynamic tradition.  It’s quite simply intellectually delicious.

Psychology has Plagiarized Esotericism 

If you are being confronted by people who consider your study of the tarot to be rather frivolous and light weight, lend them a copy of this book to read.  If you are a practicing psychotherapist who plays in the closet with your tarot deck, this book will help you bridge these two passions into a more congruent whole. It might even inspire and build your confidence to utilize the tarot in some meaningful exercises.

While other authors have broken down the 22 Majors into expressions of spiritual development, Karen has divided them into three psychological stages of development: the Fool to the Hierophant representing our basic drives and the Lovers to the Hanged Man, our ego development.  Individuation or generativity where we integrate conscious and unconscious is represented by the Death to World cards.  Her argument is compelling. Not that spiritual and psychological development must be mutually exclusive or contrary, but the emphasis on the psychological pushes us to consider the reality that these psychological teachings in the tarot are responsible for much of its power and mystery.  What was once a mystery known to only a few, is now more widely recognized and accepted into mainstream culture.

I’ve suspected for many years that the discipline of psychology has been riddled with the most unabashed plagiarists; taking a great deal of its so called insight from esoteric teachings.  In fact, I have believed that for years of Jung himself!

There are so many aspects of this book that I admire and often refer to in my lectures on the tarot. Karen discusses the cards in a numerology style; for example, all four aces, twos, threes etc. are presented together providing the reader with an opportunity to compare the meanings across the suits.  I prefer this style of presenting the deck because it makes it much simpler for the tarotist to recall this rather unwieldy amount of information.  It is helpful to know how each number is expressed through the energies of each suit.

Anyone is Welcome to Hold & Examine My Cards!

The book is an easy read. Rather deliciously erudite and yet unapologetic at the same time in its reference to the mysterious, esoteric and spiritual aspects of the tarot.  The author clearly loves the tarot.  A woman after my own heart. I often felt as if I were talking to myself or looking in a psychic mirror while reading this book.  It was uncanny how much in step I felt with her.  One passage (of many that I sadly don’t have the space to express!) always stays with me,

“Some readers make a great mystery over working with the cards.  We are warned never to allow anyone else to use our cards, or we are told that the cards will not work unless they are kept wrapped in a piece of silk.  This tends to give the tarot a magical aura, but this is usually nonsense in practice. Anyone is welcome to hold and examine my cards, and I carry the deck around with me in various ways-sometimes in a handkerchief to keep them clean, sometimes in a plastic bag if it is raining.  After use, they are left lying about on top of my desk.  In short, they are no more than tools, like the pen with which I write.  I have never had any unfortunate repercussions from treating the cards in this manner.”

Don’t you love the down-to-earth, practical voice of sanity evident here?  But don’t jump to any conclusions about this woman’s lack of respect for the mysterious and paranormal!  After all, one of her graduate degrees is in the paranormal.  I’ve often been asked similar questions, “How do you clean your deck?” or “Do you keep your deck in a silk pouch?” or “Is it okay to buy your own deck or do you have to wait to be gifted with one to use it?”  There are all sorts of silly and arbitrary rules assigned to working with the tarot by various misled, and dare I say? Yes I will! Dramatists and attention seekers. 

Karen’s delightful book won’t steer you wrong.  It was written to educate, demystify and inspire and she’s done a brilliant job of all three.

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The Tarot deck can be used as an instructional guide to psycho-spiritual development.  Following the path of the Fool which is the number 0 in the Major Arcana, a third level of consciousness, the super-consciousness is achieved at a psychological apex which is represented by the World card, number 21. Among many tenets, this supra level of consciousness embraces the knowledge that all humanity are One.

Superficial differences among humans such as those observed with the naked eye (appearance, geography, class) can mislead us to believe that we are separate, unique and different, or even more insidiously, better or worse than each other.  These differences are emphasized through the egoic perspective and are often sadly used to justify abusive, combative and cruel behaviour.

Buddhism

This supra level of consciousness is referred to in Buddhism, as enlightenment.   Students of the Tarot who are interested in pursuing a more in depth study relating Yoga or Buddhism to the Tarot will find a number of interesting treatises available to support your study.  Whole books and tarot decks have been published which have contributed significantly to understanding the connections between these two spiritual disciplines.

One of the connections between Buddhism and the Tarot can be made in the Swords suit.  In Buddhist thought, the sword was a symbol of discrimination that penetrates the deepest recesses of philosophy in order to find truth.  In the Tarot, the Swords suit represent the intellect and wisdom from the deepest places of human spirit.

Buddhism teaches that the stages to enlightenment will involve a confrontation between our attachments to the temporal, material plane, and the necessity to overcome and ultimately release these attachments. The smaller spiritual lessons of release prepare us to be ready to leave the physical world ultimately, and finally. 

The Fool’s Journey in the Tarot

The Major Arcana is a depiction and description of the soul's journey in a physical existence. We are spiritual beings living in a body in a physical world. When we connect to the soul's journey we discover a higher purpose for our physical embodiment. The Major Arcana in the Tarot is a depiction of the powerful energies that affect our soul's journey. Becoming aware of our soul’s journey will lead to a discovery and acknowledgement of our higher life purpose. We may then apply ourselves to meeting the challenges that our path demands.

We reach the stage of the Hanged One, number 12, when we are prepared to make the egotistic sacrifices necessary to bring our authentic and true selves into the world.

Buddhism also guides adherents to making egoistic sacrifices (ultimately giving up the “I”) to reach a level of enlightenment whereby our consciousness opens so profoundly that we become aware our being has no boundaries or borders. The Tarot depicts this ego de-attachment in the Death card, and the Tower card with the lightening bolt striking the Tower. 

Lightening as a Symbol of Bolt of Truth

Lightening has always been experienced by human beings as a manifestation of divine energy.  Such a god figures in Buddhism as a symbol of the light of truth, which hypocrisy or falsehood cannot persevere.

A famous Zen Koan guides an adherent to know that, "While you are living, Know you are dying". Live your life with purpose, make every moment count and always act from your deepest values. Discovering what those are, is what the spiritual journey of the Tarot is constructed to do. Whether you are walking the path of wholeness as mapped out in the Tarot or on the Buddhist path to enlightenment, you must learn these lessons of embodiment to reach nirvana and wholeness.

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By David Higgins

I bought the original majors only Sacred Isle Tarot when it was first released and occasionally carried it around with me.  It was compact yet sturdy making the perfect deck to put into my purse.  But there were problems with it as a divination tool which I describe later in this article.

I Lost the Sacred Isle!

Following a show one evening I realized I didn’t have it.  It had vanished.  Stricken, I searched everywhere for it. Often I would ponder that little deck with regret, like an old friend who had simply disappeared.  I couldn’t order another one because I couldn’t for the life of me recall its title and considering that there are more than 500 decks in print, it would be like finding a needle in a hay stack to search it by its imagery alone.

Then one day while perusing new decks here on aeclectic.com, I stumbled across the new Sacred Isle which looked vaguely familiar.  I was drawn to the imagery and promptly ordered the full kit off the Sacred Isle web site.   To my delight, the kit included the small majors deck I had lost years ago!   So nice to see an old friend and I was immediately inclined to like his full deck as well.

For Love of the Celtic

Sacred Isle falls in line with a classic tarot deck meaning that it doesn’t attempt to redefine the Tarot in any unique way such as the renaming of the court cards.  I’m confident it will grow to become a favourite among those who love the old Celtic legends.  Castles, men in tights and women in long gowns abound. There is no need for an accompanying book because any book on the tarot with references to the Waite-Coleman will suffice.  The artist has followed the symbolism and structure of this early deck to a tee. 

The images are strikingly colourful and detailed.  For example, in the four of cups a woman is depicted sitting by a tree wearing an expression of discouragement, chin sitting on her folded right hand while gazing off into the distance at something we cannot see. Around her there are four cups, three sitting on the ground in front of her and one cup shimmers, floating close to her right side.  She is of course completely unaware of this cup which frankly would be hard to do.  You glean the meaning of the card immediately. 

In the seven of pentacles he depicts a man with his hand on brow, wearing an expression of pale exhaustion.  He has a basket of peaches suspended over his left arm with four visibly abundant peach trees behind him.  In front of him a vine sprouts golden pentacles which he doesn’t appear to be noticing.  The nuances and subtleties suggested in this card are delightful!  An abundance of fruit in an orchard he has obviously worked very hard to plant and nurture now has grown to maturity and the work just never ends!  Physical development, expansion and development can mean just more work and the fruits of our labours seem irrelevant by comparison to the effort.  Abundance comes at a price.

Physically the cards themselves are constructed with a hardy cardboard stock that should hold up well under regular use and a reasonable degree of care.  The cards are a robust size however there is a fat, white border surrounding the image which is distracting.  I may just cut it off which I’m inclined to do when the cards require no title.  This deck’s imagery and symbolism is familiar enough that I would have little need for labelling as I’m sure most experienced Tarotists would agree. Minus this white border, the cards will have a distinctly lovely appearance of a set of paintings from antiquity.

This is a Tarot for Young, White Folks

The downside of this deck, in my opinion, is its distinctly masculine and youthful orientation. The feminine characterization always depicts young, pretty, dainty, white girls.  Typically fair haired.  The male characterization is along the same lines possibly appealing to a teenaged girl in his visage.  Possibly.  Even the Empress, High Priestess and Temperance depict girls apparently in their mid-teens suggesting the best audience for this deck is young people.  I’m not convinced that even young women wouldn’t find these depictions after a time rather disconcertingly uninteresting and insipid.  Perhaps even a tad too removed from their own experience.  Sadly but truthfully the deck lacks boldness and dare I say, originality. 

But for the sake of young, pretty white readers who are reading for just the same, they would find this deck easy to read and lovely to behold. Unfortunately for an aging feminist crone like myself, the deck is a little too exclusive and youth oriented for use.  Now I carry a much more inclusive, unique, small deck in my purse and even at the return of an old friend, it will not be replaced.

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This is the time of year when visioning, orienting intentions and setting goals is at the top of most people’s minds.  The first step is reflecting on what the last year's successes were and what needs to be re-intentioned for this year.  Depending on your personality type, one of these processes will be easier than others. 

I favour visioning the most and I will typically recommend it especially to clients when the Chariot appears in the warning position in a tarot reading. Jump start your goal setting with a vision board.  It's fun and affirming.

Visioning in Hard Copy

Begin with a large piece of cardboard (2' X 3') and sit down quietly with a stack of images that you pull together from magazines, the internet, your own or friend's photos, and flyers.  Following a quiet meditation and/or prayer, flip through images selecting those that click intuitively with what you want to bring towards you in the coming year.  Once you have a sizable stack, paste them on your board and fix your dream collage to a wall that you pass your eyes over quickly before retiring every night and first thing in the morning. 

This process constellates the power of the unseen world to aid in manifesting your dreams.  Magic power. In esoteric teaching remember, as above so below, and like attracts like. By energetically projecting certain images out into the world, those images in the manifested world find their way to you.  Seeing is believing, and believing is manifesting. You are also drawing upon the power of your unconscious mind. When the unconscious absorbs images, it believes them to be real (think about why subliminal advertising works so well!) and will push you to manifest actions based on your images as reality not just dreams.

PsychicSewerKathleen

My visioning for this year is themed around creative expression.  When I was younger I used to design and craft all sorts of neat things from clothes, to household items to jewellery. I'd spend hours picking materials, patiently crafting some item that had captured my imagination and finding tremendous joy in finishing it and putting it to good use.  I don't recall being nagged with an internal, overly self-critical examiner either.  I'd complete the item, crow with joy and move onto the next project.   This year I've set my intention to continue on this path reclaim that joy.  Simple and fun.  I want to create, become more self sufficient and learn. 

My return to garment sewing to celebrate my 60th (Nov. 2014) was the single most fulfilling thing I could do. I have been re-learning how to make my own clothes and met some amazing women both on and off line. To add to the joy I have some rather lovely new garments to show for myself and have managed to pull myself away from that wheel of inexpensive, exploitive, wasteful fashion. 

Authentic Spirituality and Soul Expression

Authentic spirituality is expressed through action.  Our actions in this world is what brings the light.  Meditation and prayers are nice but it's the power of action that truly honours your soul's expression.  It begins with what you are visioning, but the true path to enlightenment is inherent in what you do. Ask yourself, "Does this forward my soul's purpose?"  If not, why do it? If you don't know what your soul's purpose is, do a visioning board with an intention to express your soul and the sacred in your life.  That's a wonder-filled place to start.   

For those of you who are Tarot enthusiasts remember to determine your coming year by adding your birthday (day and month) to 2010 and studying the corresponding Major Arcana card.  This year is my Lovers year which is my soul and personality card.  The Lovers will direct me to take risks, claim my desires, take the necessary action to meet my own deep psychological needs, being nurturing to myself and others, caring for loved ones, and being responsible for my own actions.  In the shadows, the Chariot will teach me lessons related to taking impulsive risks, imbalance, decadence, lack of moderation and clarity, and allowing my passions to run awry.  

2017 marks the year of 10 which means it will be a cycling year.  In the Tarot that’s the Wheel of Fortune.  We've reached a particular collective peak and now must decide if we want to move forward with our experience to this point or stop here and move on.  This will be a collective year of learning the lessons that we are not as in control as we like to fantasize. 

What was finished off for you on December 31st 2016?  Where will you go from here?

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I pulled out my Motherpeace Tarot deck the other day and was amazed to realize that I have never written a review on it.  I’ve written reviews on so many other decks, it’s truly odd that I’ve never written one on the Motherpeace.

My First Tarot Love

Most Tarotists have a special deck; one that carried them into the world of the Tarot.  A deck that made them feel comfortable and confident reading for others and unlocked its mystery in a spiritual/emotional gratifying way.

In 1984, Motherpeace was all that and more to me. While studying the Motherpeace, I had also become a serious student of Yoga, taking several classes a week, and the writings of Carl Jung.   When I stumbled into the Motherpeace discovering images of Yoga positions, references to Jungian psychology, and feminism, I felt as though I had found a multifaceted tool that could be used to adjust and aerate the deep recesses of my soul.

Yes!  I do tend to wax poetic about the Motherpeace!

I spent months studying and playing with this deck.  I read and reread Vicki Noble’s book several times until I felt like I had a solid grasp on her material.

In the spring of 1985, I had a brainstorm to offer readings to women using the Motherpeace. I posted ads up on bulletin boards offering my services at parties.  Within a surprisingly short time I was getting invites to women’s functions and parties around Toronto.

It was so gratifying to read the Tarot from a feminist perspective!  I was soon teaching this Tarot in evening, College continuing education classes.  For several years I taught this feminist deck at senior centres where women flocked with excitement and participated enthusiastically with stories of their own experiences of discrimination and connection to the Goddess. It was one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life.

Vickie Noble has Profoundly Impacted the Psyches of Millions of Women

The Motherpeace Tarot with its focus on the Goddess and matriarchy was a very unusual product back in the early ‘80’s.  It’s difficult to imagine today just how rare, revolutionary and enlightening Vicki’s work was at that time.  I’ve often wondered throughout the years if Vicki Noble realizes what a profound impact she has had upon the psyches of women.

Because these feminist teachings were sandwiched in a Tarot format many women were attracted to the work for its enticement of play and pleasure and garnered incredible consciousness raising almost surrendipitously.

The Motherpeace Tarot cards are round which affords the reader broader and more creative options for interpretation than square cards do.  Square cards can only be placed upright or reversed but round cards can be used like a dial – if it’s turned down too low, the energy is slow and perhaps even blocked.  If the “dial” points to the right, the energy of the card may be overbearing or in some situations extreme.

The Motherpeace will Prevail for Generations

The names of the cards were changed in many cases to a more feminine foundation. For example, The Hermit is the Crone and the Hanged Man is the Hanged One.  It is in her feminist perspective of the card’s meaning where Vicki shines the most brilliantly.  The Emperor is patriarchy and I continue to interpret the Emperor from this perspective to this day.  The Hierophant is the traditional religious leader who oppresses feminine values and her unique spiritual voice.  This interpretation of the Hierophant continues to influence my interpretation in a reading.

The court cards have been renamed to reflect family identities such as Son, Daughter, Mother with the Shaman at the head of the tribe. This was quite a shift from the traditional royal names given to the court cards. The meaning applied to these family members has also been changed to reflect a more matriarchal interpretation of the energy.

The artwork done primarily by Karen Vogel is childlike, colourful and positive. When observing the Motherpeace images, my Tarot students would often comment on how delightfully engaging and uplifting the imagery was to work with compared with some of the darker imagery seen in the more classic decks.  Vicki’s interpretative work also guides the Tarotist to read in a positive and constructive fashion.  This deck is empowering to women and fosters feelings of strong personal agency and appreciation for the feminine in general.

For people teaching a Goddess course this set should be on their reading list and for those Tarotists who are tired of the traditional deck or wish to explore an alternative approach to Tarot, you will find this work deeply satisfying and provocative.  It’s not easy, simple or superficial.  Be prepared to dedicate many hours to learning this deck well.  Vicki’s book accompanying book will challenge you to think about the sacred feminine and what it means in your life.  You won’t come away unscathed.

If you are already a tarot reader, the Motherpeace will alter your relationship to the Tarot more profoundly than any other deck on the market.  Motherpeace generated a wave of conscious awareness across the globe whose ripples continue to flow to this day. In 2013, Motherpeace celebrated its 30th anniversary and continues to sell thousands of copies yearly.  Like anything that is true and honourable it will prevail for generations.

Articles Published in December 2016 

Motherpeace was my first Tarot love - click HERE to read my review.

A great project for 2017 would be forming your own Dream Study Group - to read my format on how to facilitate your own dream study group click HERE

To watch my videos on lectures I gave on psychic ability and psychology click HERE

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“Hiya Kathleen!

I so enjoyed our reading and chatting with you yesterday. What an amazing and insightful reader you are! I had a very good feeling about you when I saw your website, and you are a superb reader. Literally just finished listening to our session a few minutes ago. So appreciated receiving your insights.

Blessings to you!”

Julia

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As you know, I taught Tarot, psychic ability development and feminist psychology for many years.  Many of those classes took place while I was also working a day job as a therapist/researcher/social work teacher. Most people who knew me in my day job had no clue about my other life – my guilty passion.  Tarot, psychic ability and spirit.

It wasn’t hard for me to be secretive. After all I’m a Scorpio and that’s just a natural way of being for us. Besides I’d been doing something similar in one form or another for years.  I’d been secret about myself for so long I’d forgotten how to be otherwise.  For instance, when I was living in California I had two complete identities and social groups.  One identity, group, name and address was connected to my work as a bartender and another identity was connected to being a grad student of psychology.

Some people in my professional life knew about my secret. They were a deeply trusted inner circle of women that I knew shared my interest or found the whole notion at the very least intriguing.  Many however, were kept out of the loop until I launched into doing it full time and found myself the feature story in a rather large newspaper article.
 

Turning Point with Spiritual Healer

Now you undoubtedly know people, and may be are one of these people yourself, who enjoy activities that are quite different from your daily working lives.  Hobbies such as stamp collecting or playing pool; physical pursuits such as hand gliding, bungie jumping or motor car racing; passions such as history, geography or quantum mechanics or any other activity that is just different from what your day to day colleagues would imagine you pursuing.  But for some reason if you casually let it drop in the lunchroom that you were a psychic Tarot reader in your leisure hours, they would likely stare at you in dumbfounded, horrified amazement.  It just seems to occupy a class of its own and I don’t think I’m imagining this.  In fact I know I’m not.
 
A turning point for me came in the form of an ex-social worker turned spiritual healer at an event where I had been given a table to display my Tarot work.  We were placed next to each other and both being inclined to chat, it wasn’t long before we were exchanging stories.

She described how very closet-y she had been about her alternative healing work with her professional colleagues when she was employed, until one day she realized her spiritual work was her.  If she was determined to remain secretive about her life purpose and passion, then she was sending some disturbing messages to those who knew her, including and most especially herself.  So she “came out” to everyone realizing too that she couldn’t possibly market herself as a healer without some people finding her out.  She discovered much to her surprise and delight that many of her colleagues celebrated her decision and promptly booked appointments to see her in her secret practice already having built up a degree of trust in her honesty and integrity.

As I listened to her story, I felt this excitement growing in my heart and spirit.  I knew it was time (after 20 years!) for me to do the same.  I needed to live in my integrity and let my community see me for who I was.  I felt vulnerable and terrified and free.

It’s in those moments that we learn what it truly means to be vulnerable.  Brene Brown states, “Courage, compassion, connection and vulnerability are the hallmarks of people who are truly happy”.  That explained the free part.  I felt happy and free.  I still cared what people might think but it wasn’t going to be the force that decided my way forward any longer.  Soon afterwards my career as a reader took flight and I haven’t look back since. That was 2003.

I wouldn’t dare suggest it’s been a perfectly smooth transition or road.  Some people did in fact judge me harshly and backed away.  Others reacted with fear, scorn and skepticism.
 

“You are a necromancer”!

 
Bumping into my family doctor in a coffee shop, in response to his question about how I was, I answered, “I’m happy!  I’m doing what I love and enjoying amazing success at it!”

He took a step back aghast as I described my work and burst out, “You are a necromancer!” 

I giggled self-consciously as others in the café stared, and said, “Not exactly but yeah kinda.”  I was annoyed to feel my knees quivering, my face flushing and my skin crawling with a creepy sensation like a witchy woman facing the inquisition.
 
Rather inconveniently, this also meant I couldn’t see him anymore. Landing another family doctor took me the better part of ten years as anyone who lives in Canada is aware. The first thing I announced to my new family doctor was that I was a psychic Tarot reader and if he had a problem with that we might as well get it over with right at the start.  He glanced at me, smiled and said, “Cool.” He turned out to be the best doctor I ever had.  I miss him dearly having to leave him behind when we moved to Victoria.

Another surprising response was from one of my M.A. profs (M.A. in Religion & Culture I might also suggest is hardly hard-science-left-brain). This prof fancied and marketed himself as a cool dude.  But when he found out what I was doing, he laughed mockingly and said it was “quite an act”.  Because we were having a private chat I will say in my defense that I fired that right back at him!

Yet another prof, who considered himself anything but cool (winner of the best professor award and a renowned Catholic scholar) joyfully referred many clients to me and generously wrote me a deeply personal and touching reference to post on my web site!  So many lessons were learned throughout this period. The most salient was that I could never predict how people were going to react. 

Each challenging encounter with someone who disapproved however, made me stronger, more committed and more free.  It wasn’t just a matter of the risk in revealing my true self but the risk in launching a business I knew nothing about.  Self-employment was something I had done part-time for years while having a full-time day job to pay the rent.  I had no idea if I would be able to carve out a reasonable living for myself. Worse, once people knew who and what I was, I might be out of a day job too or have any hope of gaining another!
 

Love with Your Whole Heart

Brene encourages, “Love with your whole hearts even though there is no guarantee”.  I couldn’t be more enthusiastic in seconding this advice.   Don’t wait as long as I did to reveal your true self to others.  Be real with your vulnerability.  The rewards are so abundant they are impossible to count. 

You’ll be appreciated and denigrated but at least it will be for real. Those who celebrate you, know who they are celebrating and those who denigrate you will at least be assured it’s truly for who you are and although this might seem counterintuitive, it’s rather freeing. The family members who support you no matter what, love you unconditionally.  They are your true family.  The others were just folks you got to know along the way.  You get really good at identifying who you want in your life and whom you need to leave behind, often finally!
   
Make 2017 the year to expose your true self to the world. Be real and authentic in your life.  Take the risks that are the scariest.  Be adventurous, uncomfortable and free.

Articles Published in December 2016
 
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Loved or Cursed

Most people are uncomfortable with the notion of fate.  We proudly declare that we don’t believe in it until something extraordinary happens – good or bad.  We like to believe that we are manifest destiny but what do we mean when we say this was fated to be?

The notion thrills us when the results are joyful.  But it makes us furious and despairing when the outcome is disastrous.  Loved or cursed.  “Why do all these terrible things keep happening to me?”, we wail.  Something is not right in the universe when we choose to be a good person (with considerable sacrifice according to our estimations) and never seem to get a break. Fate can make us feel pathetically victimized.  And unloved.  Ah therein lies the rub.  UNLOVED.  By whom I wonder?  Who exactly doesn’t love us when our fate is so dismally and perniciously miserable?

How Do We Know for Certain Fate has been Meddling?

Aside from good luck or bad, what makes us think something was fated to happen?  Is it because there was such a small window of timing for it to take place?  Did we dream the event beforehand?  Or is it perhaps because it feels like no matter what we do, the outcome is habitually positive or negative?

If everything in our lives is fated to be why make any effort at all?  There is nothing more astonishing than learning that someone won a lottery six times.  What did he do to warrant such a fate?  Notice the deserving part of this narrative?  Deserving plays an important role in our relationship to fate. Conversely hearing about someone who has suffered one calamity after another (unfortunately I’m often invited to be a witness to this very phenomenon more often than I care to document!) can raise our righteous hackles with, “How COULD this person be singled out to be the VICTIM of all this calamity?”  Hence notions of reincarnation leap to the fore as a means to explain this bald lack of justice in the world. She/he must have been a serious creep in a past life.  But that’s a conversation for another day.

Timing is Everything

The question that shimmers in the background of discussions about fate is, “Who or what authors our fate?”  A deity, ourselves or some other machination that is comprised of many factors and influences?  For example, if it is my fate to meet you, then we shared a thread of matching fates which led us to this point of joining.  Fate therefore is comprised of many threads and if any of those single threads were to shift then our joined fate would be affected.

We’ve all met someone special and felt that the timing was off.  One of us was on our way out of town, or just gotten married, or on our death bed.  Of course, that was our fate but that won’t stop us from shrieking, “Why now of ALL times?”  Being at the right place at the right time is everything.  Can that be arranged? We would like to think so.  Fate drives us to reach more deeply into our emotional core where fear and desire struggle in a bloody war.

There is a dearth of books on the market that promise that if you do the right thing; visioning a beautiful and abundant future for example, then it will come to us.  The problem has always been, what to say when that just isn’t the case?  Because the truth is that terrible things do happen to the saints and angels among us.  And glorious good fortune does come to narcissists and devils.

Glimpsing the Future of Our Fate

Are there ways we can glimpse into our fated future?  I’m a specialist in this regard since many do consult me as an oracle to see their destiny. The Tarot cards that I use even have a card which specifically addresses this concept of fate: The Wheel of Fortune.  I love reading what authors of the Tarot have written about the meaning of the Fortune card as they wrestle to balance personal agency with luck.  They speak of dharma and karma (we reap what we sow) and as an almost after-thought refer to luck and fate.

In classic meaning the Wheel of Fortune heralds a change coming in our fortunes for the better. But that became problematic.  It might work best for us (from a fated perspective) if we suffer because that is the mechanism that will initiate changes in our lives for ultimately the better but certainly in a reading today that won’t be a welcome bit of news.  It might for example take decades for the good of the bad to become evident.  Who wants to embrace poverty or loneliness for the next several decades of our lives waiting for the timing to be right for us to be well loved and abundant?

The Wheel of Fortune, not surprisingly, is the card that corresponds with astrology.  Astrologers for several millennia assert that the sign we are born under profoundly determines our fate. That’s why some love it and others hate it.  There is something so absolute and irrevocable about that notion.  If you’ve ever had your astrological chart done, you will likely be astonished at its insights.  It’s not of course just about where the sun was located at your birth but the moon and the rest of the solar system will have an influence on your fate.  When the Wheel of Fortune comes up in a Tarot reading, it points most significantly to changes coming to you which had been determined by your astrological chart.  Every astrologer will point to a “Saturn return” which happens to everyone approximately every twenty-eight years (not at the same time for everyone).  This astrological event in your life will signal a rather challenging and indeed painful year.  When it seems like nothing is going as planned it’s likely you are experiencing a Saturn return.

A Lesson in Control

Perhaps the true essence of fate is its lesson in control.  We don’t have control over everything and there are times in our lives when it becomes opportune to receive that message loud and clear.  When fate steps in to throw us a curve ball, it’s an opportunity to examine our lives from a whole new perspective. Maybe fate’s true purpose is to trigger us to ask ourselves some pertinent questions; such as,

Is what I think I want, truly what I want?

Am I getting what I asked for and didn’t realize it?

What have I been missing that is more about what I need as opposed to what I want?”

“Does it really matter what I do or not?

When Lady Fortuna takes charge of our lives, it will undoubtedly be a lesson about adapting to change.  About acceptance and resilience and being in the flow.  Those who survive are those who are good at adapting.

Is there a way to know your fate beforehand?  I like to think there is and that knowing your fate beforehand is all a part of your fated future.  In other words those clients who work with me are fated to hear what I have to say good or bad.  They are fated to be warned, prepared and flexible.

Quote
“The spider is an ancient symbol of the Triple Goddess, who spins, measures, and then cuts the thread of life. In ancient Greece these duties were the prerogative of the Fates, who were three goddesses clothed in white as representatives of the moon. Each member of the Moreae had her role: Clotho (“the spinner”) spun the thread on her spindle, Lachesis (“the measurer”) measured the thread against her staff, and the dreadful Atropos (“she who cannot be avoided”) cut the thread of life with her sharpened shears. It was said that not even King Zeus could avoid their claim on him.”

The Wheel of Change Tarot by Alexandra Genetti

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I waited years for the release of this complete 78 card Tarot deck.  I mean an anticipated, excited about, anxiously checking-in-on the author every couple of months sort of waited. 

Extraordinary Body of Tarot Work

I had stumbled across Marie’s work online at a time when she was marketing her self -published Majors- only deck.  I promptly ordered one and began enthusiastically sharing it with my Tarot students as an example of a tarotist with an extraordinary artistic/interpretative gift.  It was difficult for new readers to recognize and appreciate its originality and that may still be the case.  You need to be reasonably familiar with the Tarot to appreciate the scope, originality and depth of sensitivity of this deck.

When I opened my new, complete deck I was not disappointed.  My first reaction was a huge sigh of relief.  Marie managed to hold onto artistic control in the publication of this extraordinary body of work. 

The cards are somewhat larger than average and the artwork throughout was stunning.  You must see the Sun and Moon cards especially.  How they complement and respond to each other’s oppositeness is one of the most breathtaking artistic renditions I’ve seen done of these two cards.  But this is only a snippet of the cards that thrilled me to see and read.  After a few years it remains a mainstay on my reading table.

Her Tarot Artistic Interpretations are Explained in a Rich, Easy to Read Text

What was a delight and surprise is Marie’s accompanying book!  The rationale for her artistic interpretations are given in rich, yet easy to read text.  For example, The Knight of Disks begins with a quote from Buddha, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” 

Further on, she describes the Knight of Disks, “The Hanged Man hangs from the tree and the Buddha sits at its base and the Knights all ride forth to the corners of the kingdom to solve the mysteries of man’s happiness and fulfillment in life.  This card is the manifestation of them all into earth, the idea that here and now, in the present, in your life, you have all you need to feed your self and soul, that whatever it is that you seek is not out in the clouds but here in the heart.  You are home.” (p. 162)

If you know the Knight of Disks, you recognize how appropriate and yet unique this interpretation is and if you adhere to Buddhist philosophy you’re going to love her associations and interpretations even more.  This is a set I put on my recommended reading list for both introductory and intermediate students of the tarot.

I give this deck a must have for any Tarot enthusiast.

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