International Tarot Day

Whoop!  I can’t believe I have only been into tarot for eighteen months or so.  It feels so much longer (in a good way).  As I’ve talked about before, I find them such a useful tool for self reflection and getting to know myself and hear myself.

I saw a post somewhere recently about why having a question in mind is important when you go for a reading.  For me, this is such a useful thing in itself.  It helps me clear my head, focus on and whittle down what it is that’s going on and in part, this is a helpful tool in itself.  To ask a question, you have to have a vague idea about what you’re feeling or thinking after all!


Ways I’ve been enhancing my understanding of tarot and deepening my readings have included guided visualisations, using oracle cards alongside them and looking at the astrological symbolism.

Each card has an astrological link and I’ve found these a helpful way to see further into the card.  There’s a lot of in depth info over on Virgo Vault (which goes way beyond my basic astrology knowledge but is still clear enough that if all you want is the sign, or sign and planet of a card, you can).  Labyrinthos has some nicely portrayed info about the Major Arcana.

I also use my tarot cards to do readings for, and to help me understand, my house of helens on a group and individual level.  And I have used them to kickstart story ideas.

A few posts on tarot you might want to check out, in no particular order:

The beautiful Lumina Tarot


An amazing fellow 78 Mirrors student very kindly gifted me her Lumina tarot deck after I feel in love with it.

One of the first things I do with a new deck is interview it… For me, it’s a fun way to start using the deck and get familiar with the cards.


My full moon spread using Lumina and the Wild Unknown Tarot decks
not my interview spread*

What is your most important characteristic – Maiden of Pentacles

This beautiful card is about possibilities and potential as well as blossoming dreams and inspiration.  Given the gorgeous art work, the deck is definitely inspiring and I find it quite energising.  I feel like they are gently nurturing but also pushing me out of my comfort zone.

What are your strengths – 5 of Cups

The book which comes with the deck says this card is about healing or self destruction.  Given the context I’m going with healing from self destruction which tends to be how I read the five of cups anyway.  The card is also about being stuck, having difficulty accepting something or letting go of it.  Tying yourself to your pain means you can untie yourself.  I see this deck as being helpful in that process; helping you to see where you are causing yourself pain and then releasing it.

What are your limits – Judgement

The cards alone cannot change things.  I need to step into my power, I need to work on my understanding.  Further, if I am not open to hearing the truth, I can limit my interpretation of the cards and hence limit the role the deck could play.

How can I best learn and collaborate with you – Temperance

The book actually says “this is a card of practice”.  It doesn’t get more blatant than that!  Further, it’s about taking the wisdom from the readings and actually melding it into my life.  Consciously choosing to take what I discover and use it to harmonise myself and create balance in my life.  I’m good at getting insight from the cards and then not really doing much with that.

What is the potential outcome of our relationship – Knight of Cups

A new venture which ignites your heart and soul. Following your heart over head.  Creative action and passion.  Sounds exciting!

*apologies for the strange photo and lack of interview photo – my tablet smashed and I can’t use the right hand side of it which includes the click button for the camera…

Storytelling tarot spread 

I’ve seen writing inspiration tarot spreads on pinterest and thought they were interesting. Then a while back a friend asked if I’d do one for her.

I had a look and couldn’t settle on a particular spread, they all had strengths and weaknesses and in the end I pulled together the strengths and my knowledge of writing to make my own.

Half focuses on characters, their motivations and their relationship. The other half is based on the story arc idea with a card for each key point in the plot.

The reading I did for my friend was really interesting with some great stuff for writing I think. I hope so anyway!  I was inspired to do my own reading which turned out to be very different even though there were a couple of the same cards.

hj 220716 edited

Normally when I read for myself, I just note ideas down but when I did this reading for my friend, I used full sentences and wrote all my thoughts which turned out to be quite helpful. So I repeated this for myself (PDF).

Following this, an essential step is to actually sit down and write… I did a writers block spread for my friend as well. For me, I’m going to try and create a writing plan or routine which sees me do a little each week. I’d love to say each day but I know that my unpredictable pain and energy levels will mean I don’t achieve that. And once I’ve missed one day, it becomes very easy to miss another and so on… I’m thinking it might be worth adding to my Friday check in /week ahead planning.

If i don’t get far with a plan, then I’ll do the writers block spread for myself but I think I probably know my own blocks; lack of self discipline, lack of energy at times, wanting to get something spot on first time but mostly just not sitting down to write. I have all the excuses… Pain, brain fog, using the computer can worsen my pain, using voice recognition software is frustrating… But I have the time, I have vague ideas and the inspiration from the above spread, I just need to actually turn on my laptop and start drafting and jotting down ideas…

Wish me luck!!

The mega tarot spread

I’ve been drifting along for a while now in my strange post retirement world where weekends don’t exist and the only routine in my life is that Sundays are shower days but even that has fallen apart recently.  I’d managed to get into a nice daily routine pre tradamol withdrawal (eugh, that was a five week nightmare).  I’d get up, potter around, maybe do some art or writing or blog posting or reading until lunch then settle down for a bit with netflix. I’d get a second wind just after my tea and I’d probably do some more reading or learning.  It was nice.  It felt like I was doing things.  Then the tramadol withdrawal happened and threw me into a physical and mental funk.  I was not well enough to do much of anything…

Anyway, the point is, I was drifting along and making excuses for not doing things and in turn I was feeling like a victim.  A few different things conspired to hammer this home to me ending in Kate Evan’s most recent blog post.  Kate reminded me that on the other side of victimhood is feeling in control.  And she ends her post asking the reader what makes you feel in control of your own life.

This prompted me to grab my tarot journal and do a bit of thinking.

  • Where do I feel like I lack control? My care rota, money, my schedule, my pain, food…
  • What would things look like if I felt more in control? Essentially all of these areas came back to being able to plan except food which I’d hope would feel more in control if the rest of the areas felt better.
  • So if being able to plan is important to me, how can I achieve this without external factors miraculously changing?

Enter the mega tarot spread…I’d have taken a photo of the whole thing but you’d not really have been able to see much detail.

In each position I used one card from the Wild Unknown deck and one card from the Pagan Cats deck.  I’m really enjoying using two decks together and find it makes for a more detailed reading as you’d expect but also the subtle differences between the decks make it interesting.

 Care Schedule  Money  Pain  Other
 General Message          
 Short term          
 Long term  

One column of the mega spread

Whilst I’m talking about dual deck readings, I had a strange one the other day. It was the Deep, Wild, True reading from Kelly-Ann Maddox and I was using Wild Unknown and my RWS deck. In both position 1 and 4 (What blocks you from living deeply and feeling plugged into your life? and How to harness your bravery and be bold) I got the Tower and the 2 of Pentacles. What are the chances?! Let me know if you have any thoughts about interpreting that, I’d be very interested in another perspective.