A Golden Tarot Moment…

I think I was lucky enough that at a fairly early age, I recognised and embraced that I’d go through most of my life feeling like some kind of fraud… It’s that kind of lurking inner voice that hides in corners of the mind ready to shout boo! at any given moment… BOO!!! What are you doing here?!! You don’t belong here!! Mostly these days, I can tell it to STFU and it crawls back into its box… sometimes it’s a little harder to force the lid to stay down… A couple of weeks ago, I found myself on what felt like a very long car ride with an imaginary backseat driver quizzing me on my sanity…

Ok, ok… I guess I’m my own worst enemy and on this particular day, I had thrown myself out of my comfort zone a little further than intended… I do regularly challenge myself as there’s something about a surge of adrenalin that sharpens your focus and with the bulk of my work being event reading, you’re expected to bring a bit of a buzz… So… I’m on my way to the Ashmolean Museum and the brief I got was to dress suitably for a 17th Century theme. As it happens, I never got around to researching costumes and figured that my trusty pirate costume from eBay seems to with a few tweaks to chameleon itself in to most situations and besides if there were 17th Century re-enactments going on then as Mr S jokingly pointed out to me, there may be a good chance that I’d be burnt at the stake anyway by Puritans…

But by far my biggest stress, was that I’d decided that my usual gigging deck that I know inside out, back to front and upside down and which is now so battered that I can read more than few cards just from the dints on the backs… yeah… my go to trusty deck was going to be far too modern for this gig and I really should invest in something with a bit of history and so I plumped for The Golden Tarot – The Visconti-Sforza deck by Mary Pickard. Now I have read many times with pip decks but always at a leisurely pace and never at fast-paced, whizz ’em through frenzy and I’m driving along and berating myself that I’ve not had time to even skim through this deck yet and it’s been sat at the top of my to read pile for over a fortnight and I’m having a mini-meltdown along the lines of – what on earth possessed you?! And I was fully expecting to glitch on the pips and have my usual fluency fail but no, as it happens, it didn’t quite go that way…

Ok, so I didn’t get burnt at the stake but I did get some woman dressed as a respectable Puritan, trussed and stuffed in bodice and bonnet and layers and starchy cuffs, call me a slapper… But I digress… Ah… no the pips were fine, they glided and flew and unfurled sweet tales… It was the bloody courts that blew me… All those family portraits of androgenous strawberry blondes… I looked at the queue that snaked around me, filled with people from all four corners of the world, a bouquet of faces of all ages and backgrounds and I looked at these cards and thought – Jeez! You bloody rich, privileged, white folk all look the same…

 

 

They popped out far too many times for my liking as I had to double take each one and silently ask myself – who are you? Who am I looking at? And they would quickly step forward and tell me their name and then it happened… That awful moment when you realise that you are thinking out loud in front of a big crowd of people eavesdropping your every word… Hmmm… who are you? Are you the page? Are you the King? King? Page? Page? King? either, both or neither? I looked over at my Querent… Who are you? What’s your status? Or you a page or a King? A novice or an expert?

She gave me an exasperated look and she took a deep breath and birthed words that revealed her identity to me… I don’t know?! I mean, I know technically, I’m an expert but I always feel like I know nothing…

A-ha! A fellow sufferer of impostor syndrome…

I laughed a little inside and also quite loudly outside as I felt the card’s punchline land…

These cards read better than I ever imagined they would and I felt a deep feeling of contentment spread through me as I thought about how wonderfully relevant they still were in today’s world… 15th Century images celebrating a 17th Century gathering filled with 21st Century people. It felt like a convergent point of many lines across time and space… I’ve often said that tarot works because faces change but the stories stay the same. The Golden Tarot kind of flipped that for me as the faces stay the same and the stories change…

But my really sweet spot was that somewhere in me a big gush of falling in love occurred… I felt as though finally, I groked the beauty of a pip deck… All night, people asked to take photos of their readings and at one point someone asked me – what magic is this? How can you tell me all of that from just looking that those pictures, they just look like playing cards??

At that moment, I simply replied – that’s my job, it’s what I do… driving home and thinking more on it… ah yes… I know what that magic is… I see where this deck has the edge over my modern deck… With my modern deck… I narrate the story I see and the images are pretty blatant and anybody with one good eye can see what I see… With this pip deck… I narrate the story that they can’t see… the one that I see in my head…

Or maybe, just maybe, there’s no magic at all… Maybe it’s just that people never tire of a good yarn… especially when they get cast into the leading role… 🙂

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My Spirit Guide is Out to Lunch…

Ok… so it goes with the territory that as a Tarot reader, you’re going to get asked a lot of questions… from the sublime to the ridiculous… surreal, irreverent, intrusive, curious… the whole gamut from α to Ω…

One that comes around on a fairly frequent basis is the inquiry into what my husband and kids think about what I do… and to be honest, the kids are mostly indifferent as they’ve all been raised in environments where cards are strewn willy-nilly and perched Jenga like in stacks on desks… I guess it’s kind of like asking the fish how he feels about being in the water… I guess the fish is more probable to ponder why you aren’t in the water…

Mr. S views my tarot in much the same way I view his musical ability… I learned to read music at the age of 6 and I’ve mostly lapsed these days but proficient with a bit of a focused practice on a few instruments… I never lay claim to being a musician as I don’t feel it in my blood in the same way that Mr. S dreams in soundscapes but I can follow enough theory and have a decent enough ear to be trusted to give feedback on compositions…

Mr. S supports my work in his own little ways that he knows will amuse me, such as leaving little gifts like this on my desk…

On many days, this provides me with much-needed comic relief… days such as today when I’m asked what opinions my spirit guide has about somebody else’s future…

And I think really? Really you want to talk to my spirit guide? What’s wrong with your spirit guide? Why aren’t you asking them?

So… I give my S.G. a whistle and it goes something like this…

Me: Spirit Guide? What do make of this?

S.G.: What are you asking me for? Do your own work…

Me: Yeah… but…

S.G.: Yeah but what? Hey… is there any chance of you putting a bra on today before you leave the house?

Me: See… this is why I don’t talk to you… A useful spirit guide would go put the kettle on…

S.G.: A useful spirit guide would tell you to get off of your lazy ass and go do it yourself…

And so it continues back and forth until Mr. S walks in and says – Look you’re a bloody tarot reader, just read your cards and write what you see…

I wonder why these requests for consultations with spirit guides niggle me so much… and I guess it’s that I don’t like the way that people lose the grip on their own power…

My mind turns to an email that I received from a long-term regular…

What I am aware of is that for the most part I only ask for readings when I already know the answer. Sometimes I am genuinely stuck but usually I’m seeking reassurance. The fact that I’ve been considering asking you for a reading for 2 days is a sure sign I know what to do. Isn’t it? You are more than 50% (75%?) the reader people turn to when they already know the answer aren’t you? You just have a way of giving people the confidence to be brave and do what their gizzards tell them.

I think mostly my readings consist of telling people one way or another that it’s time to piss or get off of the pot…

I think that maybe that’s the only advice I ever get from my spirit guide… If you want something else then go ask your own… 😉

 

 

Tarot… Dealing With Right Tools…

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Respect The Tarot

Welcome to the latest Tarot Blog Hop wrangled by Morgan Drake Eckstein…

When it comes to respecting the Tarot, I must admit to generally erring into healthy disrespect with a side order of irreverence and for the sake of my sanity, I’m going swerve expanding any further on that as over the years I’ve had my fill of humourless nut jobs trying to set me straight…  When it comes to punters then trust me… I’ve met more than my fair share of loons… likewise decks with strange aversions to mixing with Joe Average… and the whole lot I mentally file under the following…

When it comes to actual ritual then I’ve never been hard and fast with that as I’ve often read on the hoof and I read in all manner of places so I figure it’s not a good idea to get too precious about my actual workspace… I can pull a good Diva impression when feeling impish and spriteful but on the whole being flexible gets the next booking… So… I didn’t really think I had a ritual but the ever observant Mr S pulled me up on that one… I was hand on door latch leaving for a gig when he called out to me…

Stop! You haven’t done your thing!

What thing? I asked…

That thing you always do before a gig… you know… where you walk around the room mumbling and grumbling about you’re not in the mood and then you chunter on about how this is going to be the day you finally get busted and that people will work out that you’re not a tarot reader at all… you’re just some woman who makes up stories…

OH! Yeah!! That ritual! YUP! I’m so going to get busted today!! My cover will be blown!!

So… I think on it a bit further and I guess I do have a few of my own rituals/quirks/gig survival tactics…

OK… so first off as already covered is the bumble bee waggle dance and jig of despair… which I guess is mostly about shaking my self out of my extreme introvert mode to ramping myself up to being on demand witty and charming and looking like an effortless extrovert…

Then there’s the important part… singing in the car… again, this gets me out of my rut and into my groove but also, more importantly, it warms up my voice… My voice is my money maker… I can wing it without cards… If needed I can chuck out some palmistry or even get folks to empty their pockets or handbags to do a reading…but if I lose my voice then I’m pretty much screwed… The main question I get asked is  – How the F*** do you manage to speak for so long?

The secret… vocal warm ups… plenty of water and always a sneaky stash of Vocal Zone lozenges in my bag just in case things feel a bit off…

Then of course… I wouldn’t be seen dead without my nails being done… That’s partly due to 12 years of nail inspection as a Croupier… There is ZERO tolerance on dirty nails!!! but mostly because I like the mindfulness of application and it puts me into work mode…

Then we have THE BAG!!

This comes gigging with me for several reasons…

  • Contains stash of bottled water and Vocal Zone lozenges 🙂
  • It amuses me beyond measure when I arrive and people assume I’m carrying an instrument and say – Oh! You must be with the band!
  • I’ve never lost my keys but I get constant anxiety that I will lose my car keys and get stranded… so my case has a handy combination lock on it so I can pack away my valuables without fretting that things may go AWOL whilst I’m busy…
  • I’m a short arse and often for some strange reason, I get to places and they’ve set me up with a really high bar stool… so I can use my case as a handy stool to keep my feet on and steady my balance…

The Crystal Ball!

Though it’s not a crystal ball at all… it’s part of a sound and light machine… Again it has multiple uses…

  • It’s a good weight so useful to keep my table cloth pinned to the table… whether outside in a breeze or when you get one of those people who can’t stand up without dragging your cloth with them…
  • It fascinates small children and I pass it over and ask them to have a good look inside and tell me what they can see but not to tell me until I’ve finished talking to their Mum/Dad
  • I’m a complete air head for remembering whether or not people have paid me… I know I should decide an order to do things but some people pay before and some want to pay after, so now I pin the cash under the ball and avoid the awkward few moments of trying to recall whether or not I’ve been paid… Then as the person leaves the table the cash gets put away ready to start afresh…

And last but not least…

 OMG!!!

Lo Scarabeo! Thank YOU! Thank YOU!!!

THANK YOU!!!

Best free gift EVER!!!

An endless supply of free widgets to fix wonky table legs!!!

There is nothing that annoys and irks my Virgo more than a table that refuses to sit still…

Yay!!! Wonky be gone!! 🙂

Right! Mrs Sealey has left the building…

Go visit my (hopefully) more stable mates…

🙂

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Divination Rocks!

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Welcome to the latest Tarot Blog Hop set by Arwen Lynch who gave the following brief:

“Do you combine Tarot with any other divination system? Why or why not?”
That’s it. Short and sweet. Simple. You can answer it however you like.
Karen Sealey
Now my first reflex answer was – No, no I don’t combine tarot with other divination systems! Why? Because most of my tarot is done fast paced at events and when it comes to setting up and packing away, I like to be in and out like the SAS and not worrying about whether or not I have everything…
But then it occurs to me… in the comfort of my own home, I tend to use lots of different divination systems and then yes, yes I will combine other divination systems with tarot… and yes, yes I do know that that vice versa version of the question makes me sound like a pernickety pedant… but hey ho! Virgo is as Virgo does…
So… recently, I’ve been working a lot with casting crystals and for many years I’ve done it with a big bag that’s getting bigger and bigger and so I decided it was time to mix things up a bit and try something else, so I opted for the 16 stone method of 10 planet stones and 6 stones for pockets of life…
So let’s give you a drive-by crapshoot of a reading…

Ok – so here you have the 16 stones tossed down and I’ll outline quickly the key things that caught my eye… Ok, so there’s a big cluster in 10th house which reflects the nature of the question in question… But more interestingly to me was – one of the first things that I look for is where the Sun stone (central yellow one) is and where the Life stone (top right green one)is… So… the Sun stone tends to depict where you’re at and the Life stone – where you feel you are at… so preferably I like to see them close together though not necessarily central. The Life stone is way off yonder and as I look across the two stones I see that they are part of a line of four stones, where outside the circle at around 8 0’clock is the Love stone and in the 8th house is the Mars stone pointing towards the 7th house. So in brief, I’m seeing that regarding work, the loving feeling has been somewhat lost and although the querent has a strong presence they are feeling adrift… the cause of that feels to be pointed out by the Mars stone which hints as blockages caused by passive aggressive relationships…

So… this where the Tarot comes in and with this casting method, I like to use A.T. Mann’s Mandala Astrological Tarot…

Why? Because crystals are very good at giving the big picture but the problem with that is that it’s easy to slide into a slip-stream of a solipsistic swim-a-thon dissolving into drowning in an ocean of onanistic observations never arriving at a cut and dry answer…

So… the Tarot… it keeps it short and sweet… it cuts the crap and culls the deadwood away to see the live shoots…

So… above, 3 cards were pulled to see where to focus on pulling that Sun stone and Life stone into a conjunction… The cards write the hit list and then all the misses are removed… 

The Life stone was left on as it was part of the question and the cards stripped down the cast, leaving just the 5th and 6th house occupied, leaving a  very succinct answer to the original work question. Ah! but there’s a stone sat in Aries that has been accidentally left behind… or maybe not, as that stone is Saturn and as it happens the position in Aries matches the Querent’s natal chart but we’re keeping this short and sweet so I’ll wrap it up here and toss you out to my neighbours…

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Ad hoc hotchpotch

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The Magic of Images

Welcome to the latest Tarot Blog Hop… Joy Vernon threw down the gauntlet with this one!

Ah! Magic and tarot… I’ve always had a kind of haphazard relationship here and to be honest I’m more Jonathan Strange than Mr Norell… I don’t have a problem with structured and studied magic per se… it’s more that I’m basically inept at following rituals… invariably resulting in me accidentally setting fire to something or another… A new rug in the house is a dead give away of nocturnal shenanigans that have gone awry… When I dabble in magic it’s invariably a rumbling from within that rises to the surface and takes on a life of its own… Or often a little joke with myself that I’ve laughed at so hard that it’s found its way into reality… One thing I have learned the hard way is that it’s not a good idea to throw your arms into the air and shout “Hit me with your best shot!” … that’s a phrase that launched me onto a 2 year long rollercoaster of a ride with a lengthy hangover to boot…

I’m not fond of using words in magic… it seems too fraught with too many potential pitfalls and besides, I don’t want folks overhearing… I often work with images and if I’ve done a Tarot reading for a particular reason then I may draw something that I can leave laying around to keep my thoughts on track without it being an image that will invite intrusion or nosy questions from the curious… That’s a kind of wordless process where my mind floats and I forget my thoughts until the answers appear… and when I have the answers then the image is put away…

Sometimes I do use Tarot images… often if looking at my birth chart as the images give voice to the planets… I do have a bit of a predilection for making Thoth Hybrids as the underlying geometry links them together so mesmerisingly… These are not from my chart but are for the 3 decans of Aries mentioned in the brief for this theme…

I was also quite intrigued by the Picatrix descriptions that were given… this one, in particular, captured my imagination as when I read it, it brought very vividly to mind an old situation that took a strange turn…
“There rises in the third face of Aries, a restless man, holding in his hands a gold bracelet, wearing red clothing, who wishes to do good, but is not able to do it. This is a face of subtlety and subtle mastery and new things and instruments and similar things. This is its form.”
  • 4 of Wands
  • Venus will be in the third face of Aries this year from May 26, around 10 a.m. until 1:26 a.m. on June 6.
  • To achieve subtlety and subtle mastery and new things and instruments and similar things”

I decided to draw an image and let my mind float…I lost a couple of hours or so and from my first thoughts, my mind fell into free association football until I’d forgotten what I’d been thinking about… I drew this weeks back and it’s been sat there not knowing what would be written…

 

So… interestingly and somewhat cagily as I’m not revealing details here… over the last week or so I’ve had tides of information flood my way… bringing answers to questions that I’d pondered during this drawing… they seem to be appearing in reverse free fall as there is still no answer to the question at the top of the list but being as the time period for this picatrix has not yet come into play… I guess I’ll have to leave things running for a few more weeks…And… I won’t be revealing the outcome as although I may well be a haphazard magician… I do know that you don’t give away the prestige… 😉

Go visit my neighbours, they may be more forthcoming…

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Palming Aces…

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Welcome to the latest Tarot Blog Hop, wranlged by Arwen Lynch Poe, who posed the question:

How can I best foster the energy of the Aces in my life?
My thoughts leading to a spread went roughly like this:
palming-aces-aces
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lightbulb
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palming-aces-palm
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palmistry-planets
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palming-aces-spread

Smith-Waite Tarot Deck ~ Centennial Edition ~ (c) U.S. Games Systems. Inc.

Ok… so whip your Aces out of the pack and lay them to one side for now.
From the majors, pick out The Empress, The Wheel, The World, The Sun and The Magician… place these as imaginary fingers going from left to right as shown above with The Empress as the thumb to The Magician sat as the pinky… In the palm of the hand, place The Tower…
Next, select the Ace that you want to work with… place the Ace in the palm over The Tower and imagine that it is a seed that is going to be cracked open… visualise it breaking apart…
Now… place a card at each finger and much like the 3 Magi or the good fairies that visited Sleeping Beauty… imagine each card that is laid down as being a gift bestowed by the Major…
So you might say…
I am The Empress and I give to you the gift of the 8 of Swords…
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palming-aces-reading

Smith-Waite Tarot Deck ~ Centennial Edition ~ (c) U.S. Games Systems. Inc.

 So here are the cards I pulled for myself:
The Ace of Swords was chosen… the question relates to a creative project but the Ace of Wands does not feel to be the best fit here as the fun creative part has been done and now it comes to the brutal editing…
So… In brief…
I am The Empress and I give to you the gift of the 8 of Swords…
The ability to wiggle free of perceived restrictions and the means to find your way out of the corner that you feel that you’ve backed yourself into…
I am The Wheel and I give to you the gift of the 6 of Cups…
A reminder to return to the original source and exchange of ideas and the ability to find the patterns and cycles…
I am The World and I give to you the gift of the 7 of Pentacles…
This one made me laugh somewhat as every time I’ve thought about this project recently, the words that come to mind are – ughhh… it’s just withering on the vine… So this feels to be a timely kick up the ass to give me the strength and patience to reap what has been sown before it does indeed shrivel away…
I am The Sun and I give to you the gift of the Queen of Cups…
I’ll help you to bring back and restore that loving feeling!
I am The Magician and I give to you the gift of the 9 of Pentacles…
Let’s finish this spell and bring things to a fruitful ending… money’s not really the issue here… I’ve been speaking to The Empress and we both agree it’s time for you to complete this so you can cut free and move on to the next task…
And speaking of moving on…
 I have neighbours either side waiting to hear from you 🙂
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Hark the Dark…

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Welcome to the Winter Solstice tarot blog hop wrangled by our hostess with the mostess Joanne Sprott who proposed going back to the Dark Side, the Hidden Realm beneath the autumn leaves and the snow.

Well… well… well… let’s see where this goes… My initial thoughts were along – ah! Darkness… it’s the new black! but that looked like it would end up in a ramble that would take more hours to write than daylight available for this shortest day of the year and luckily or unluckily for you… a couple of days ago I went to visit a friend in her new house who invited me to talk to her while she decorated so I pretty much vented my system of snark-filled rants that had been brewing… It was a pretty joyful day filled with laugher…which is not bad going for two Grinch-minded humbuggers! But hey ho! Such is the power of emulsion, copious amounts of cups of tea and satisfying slabs of chocolate… yes yes dark… dark like my soul!

So… as it happens… today I discovered a new word, which was quite a novelty as I have slipped into a habit of just making words up… Some of you may have come across the word before, but it’s a new to me word…

Hygge

It’s a Danish word and I think it’s one of those words that doesn’t quite translate literally as it sums up a feelsense and wellbeing and snugglenessness of things that make you feel cozy… And this kind of lifestlye attitude is embraced in the dark winter months and Hygge is found in comfort foods and simple pleasures that break up the general brrrrrrrrrrr of having to scrape ice off of everything and other such freezy winter delights…

So, Joanne suggested – pick a card or cards or develop a spread that you think reveals a useful message from the Dark or Hidden realm of life. What can we learn from those messages as we wait for the return of the Light, and how do you find uses for the dark times in your own life?

So here we have it…

starlight

Conveniently, the nearest deck I had to hand was the Starlight Dragon Tarot by Nora Huszka and Steph Engert.

Ok, you have me busted! It’s not so much a spread as a mandala…

In the centre there’s The Devil, which seem to be the perfect fire to sit and warm my butt to as we go into Capricorn, then I just shuffled an open invitation to see who else wanted to drop in for a chat…

So we have from top to bottom…

Death

4 of Swords         The Hanged Man

10 of Cups        The Devil           4 of Wands

Dragon Eye          The Wheel

9 of Pentacles

Now the thing is, as much as I’d love to talk you through this, I’m losing the battle to focus and I’m giving in to looking at

*f*a*i*r*y* *l*i*g*h*t*s*

🙂

So… I’ll leave you to either work out your own musings or to just sit and enjoy the pretty colours… whichever floats your boat…

I’ve got a big fleecy blanket, a mug of hot chocolate with my name on it, and a cat purring on the back of my chair, so that’s me sorted 😉

HAPPY HYGGE!

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