Steampunk Tarot Deck
Great for those who love to make or embellish their books of shadows
The 2nd Annual Alaska Steamposium is next week in Anchorage and we are very excited about being returning vendors! Steampunk, with its old-world aesthetics and tie-ins of spiritualism and cult societies of the Victorian era, is a subculture many witches love. Whether or not you're able to join us next week, you can still lavish the steampunk witch in your life (especially if it is yourself) with these magickal gifts.
Steampunk Tarot Deck
3 to choose from!
For the crafty witch
Great for those who love to make or embellish their books of shadows
The Roman god Janus is known as the two-faced god that stands at the gates. He is a guardian that sees all directions, the judge that is able to see all sides, and the one who stands in the in-between places where decisions are made who sees both the past and the future.
This is the god of January, the month that is the first of the year and yet is still in the heavy darkness and snows of the winter that began in the year before. This is an in-between time when many people are drawn to set goals for the year ahead and wax nostalgic about the year behind.
In this, my first blog post of 2016, I wanted to encourage you, dear reader, to do both - plan for the near future and reflect on the past. Janus’ lesson for all of us is that one cannot be without the other. We need to reflect on the lessons of the past in order to learn what to do in the future.
When I do tarot readings at events, I often read cards for past, present, and future. So often, people come to sit at my card table with interest in the third card, the future, but it is the first card, the past, that makes believers out of them and is the real reason for them being there. When I tell them where they are coming from, a stranger who hasn’t been there but knows them through the cards, then and only then do they believe enough to see what needs to be done about the future.
What do I do for the New Year?
Using some favorite tools, every December I begin a time of reflection and manifestation.
I then do a Release Ritual wherein I let go of that which no longer benefits me and accept those lessons as learned so I can move on and forward all the stronger.
The workbooks have lots of amazing sections and exercises and I cannot recommend them more (I have achieved so many goals and doubled my income every year since using these books) but a section that I not only use yearly with joy but have also adapted to my own lifestyle is the 2016 Oracle Reading. This is a 12 card reading, one for each month, to help you intuitively prepare for the year ahead. This leads me to my new year’s tool number two…
Tarot Reading for 2016
Every year I give myself a tarot reading. The first part of this reading is finding the new year’s card for me numerologically (for 2016 its #5 The Heirophant). The next step is laying out cards for the year to come*. This can be done a few ways - two of the ways I like to do them is by month and by sabbat. Lately, due to the Shining Year Workbooks, I’ve been sticking to monthly with 12 cards to give a glimpse at each month ahead.
*Regarding readings for the year and divination that spreads further into the future. I have found the further ahead you read, the more likely for things to be a lil vague and the more chances for things to change depending on what decisions you make along the way.
Astrology for 2016
The last thing I like to do after writing out my goals and looking at the cards is I like to look at the astrology for my year ahead and write down key bits in a weekly planner. This includes New Moons (for New Moon Newsletters and beginning small steps towards big goals), Full Moons, eclipses, planetary alignments, retrogrades, etc.
Look Both Ways Before Crossing
As we cross the year’s threshold and see all the new plans and goals, ideas and blessings, lessons and mischief of 2016 all ahead of us - look also behind and where we have come from and how our past year has helped develop our personality and dreams to where they are now. Use the tools in your personal arsenal to better achieve your dreams and try out some new ones.
May Janus bless you and give you aid with his sight of both directions.
Happy New Year from the Seer&Sundry Family
Today is my birthday! I am 27 years old, a Sagittarius with Gemini Rising, a new mama, a blessed wife, and a proud spiritpreneur who plans to rock out in 2016!
To share with you all a little about who I am and why I am here I thought I would let you all in on a story, just a short little glimpse into my autobiography of magick - how I became a professional tarot reader.
I hope that you all enjoy it and maybe come away with a little insight as to why I am the way I am when it comes to my love of the cards.
I get this question, in various forms, quite often, especially when reading at events.
Before I go on to giving my answer, let me please say there is no Right answer or One True answer to this question. Each tarot reader might have a different opinion and it really is all about you and what you are comfortable with.
I know of at least one tarot reader who feels it is absolutely necessary for the clients to touch the deck. She feels that this connects the client's energy to the cards and that the next client that chooses that deck, they choose the whole package - energy, cards, message, and all. She might have a point as I've never had a client respond with distaste to my decks or their energy (at least those clients who want a reading - this isn't about those people who respond with distaste to my profession, that happens) even after they've been in the hands of clients all day at a fair.
I have no issue with letting a client touch my cards. I've even had clients ask if they can go through my cards ot look at the images on a certain deck they are drawn to and let them. I don't feel it has a damaging effect and I usually cleanse my cards, thank them, and give them care between events anyways so I don't feel I'm bringing a jangle of energy home or from event to event to event.
What About a Client with Bad Energy?
You can always choose who you want to read the cards for. I talk about this in my blog post on reading for people you don't resonate with.
That being said, if you still would like to go on with reading for someone who's energy you don't feel comfortable with, by all means, shuffle, cut, and deal the cards yourself. Most clients won't know the difference. If they do ask why they aren't cutting the deck themselves, just say that you felt moved to do so or were intuitively guided. You don't have to make them feel uncomfortable by stating you don't like their energy.
Cleansing Your Deck
If someone does touch your deck and you don't like it or feel the need to cleanse your cards, there are many ways you can do so - I discuss them here.
If you are at an event or party, the easiest way is to shuffle the cards continuously with the intention of dispersing the energies on them. Otherwise, you can be as elaborate or as simple in the cleansing process as you like. This is also why I usually if not always have a cleansing stone like clear quartz or selenite near at hand for space clearing.
However, I also know clients who guard their tools and tarot with great vindication. No one touches these cards but them and if they do, those cards then undergo a thorough cleansing and cycle of re-bonding with the reader.
Still other clients have 2 decks - 1 they read for clients and allow or don't mind when they are touched and 1 for themselves that no one touches but them to keep the bond strong.
As for how much each tarot reader allows others to touch the cards is also varying. Some only allow a client to cut the deck but do not allow any further handling. Others don't mind or even desire the client to thoroughly handle the cards.
I used to ask my clients to shuffle the cards - I stopped doing that when 2/3rds of my clients turned out to be uncomfortable with it as they felt they weren't good at shuffling or had a hard time with 78 cards that were a lil bigger than a standard 52 card playing deck. I still have my clients, when in person, cut the deck because I think it draws them further into the experience and the connection between them, their question, the cards, and me can only benefit from it in my mind.
Like I said before, when it comes to this question, it all depends on the reader and their personal beliefs.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview!
How long have you been reading tarot? What got you started?
I started reading tarot in 1996 when I was a newbie pagan. It was a period where I was trying out everything--tarot, herbs, crystals, totems, etc. My first deck was the Shapeshifter Tarot, because I liked the concept of being able to assume the forms of other animals, even if only in spirit, and the artwork was lovely. In 1999 I discovered Ted Andrews' Animal-Wise deck, and it was love at first sight. We worked out our own directional/elemental spread together, and it's been my main form of divination since, more from a totemic perspective than a strictly tarot-based one.
Coming back to the tarot through the Tarot of Bones has been something of a homecoming for me. I'm older and more experienced, and I have a more nuanced and personal view of the cards and their symbolisms. Early on, I stuck mostly to the books; I was especially fond of P. Scott Hollander's "Tarot For Beginners". Now I'm reforming my own relationships with the tarot cards, and while I follow some of the common themes, there's a lot of personal interpretation.
I love what you say on your website about your use of Bones, especially the part, I hope you don't mind if I quote, "Through bones we can speak with our evolutionary ancestors; through divination we create patterns that help us make sense of the world around us–and the worlds within." What started your wonderfully morbid hobby of collecting and creating art with bones?
I'm not sure I'd call it "morbid", though it certainly is wonderful! When I was a kid I was always bringing home little natural treasures--feathers, leaves, bones, etc. These were unfortunately lost when we moved from one place to another. However, in my late teens I found myself with a pickup truck and a small income, and so I was able to go to craft stores, antique shops and the like to pick up hide scraps, old fur coats, and so forth. In 1998 I began creating and selling artwork made from these remains, first small projects like pouches and necklaces, and then more elaborate costumes and other pieces.
It's an intensely spiritual practice for me, always has been. I wanted these remains to have a better "afterlife" than being a trophy or status symbol, and I wanted to care for the spirits that were still within them, even if they were just haunts or impressions. So everything I create, even if it has a seemingly mundane purpose, is sacred. Everything gets a ritual purification with prayers once complete, and I make offerings through donations to nonprofit organizations that benefit wildlife and their habitats. These are our relatives, even if somewhat distant, and they deserve care and attention like our human ancestors.
They're also a constant reminder of the world beyond our human-centered habitats. We keep thinking in terms of "natural" and "artificial", when in actuality we are just human apes and everything we do is an extension of the big brains we evolved as a survival strategy. Yet we make decisions as though we are the only ones who matter. My hides and bones, especially my skull collection, help remind me otherwise; they're sort of a council that I consult.
What other items besides bones are you drawn to as tarot and art mediums?
Honestly, I mostly stick to making art with animal remains and other natural and recycled materials. I have drawn on a wide set of skills in creating the Tarot of Bones assemblages--painting, sculpting, adhesives, design, etc. And I do use these skills in my more general artwork, but it's more along the lines of using acrylic paints to decorate a leather pouch or animal skull necklace, rather than creating an acrylic painting on a canvas as is more traditional. This is the first tarot deck I've designed, so I don't know what I'd use for a medium if I created another one, but I do have a few ideas on the back burner.
I use a lot of recycled and reclaimed materials. Every one of the backboards for the assemblages came from a thrift store as did many of the other materials, from paints to faux flowers. Even a lot of the hides I work with in my artwork are secondhand or salvaged. Most of the bones were bought new or found out in the great outdoors; a lot of that is because I was very particular about which ones I used, both with regards to species and condition.
-so I've come up with some stock responses over the years, and I try to keep the conversation brief and civil since arguing is pretty pointless. It happens to everyone who makes hide and bone art, unfortunately, and too often the people who come in swinging aren't interested in hearing anything that doesn't toe their party line. So I try to keep the conflict to a minimum in situations where we aren't able to have a more constructive conversation.
My hide and bone art is part of how I am an environmentalist; it helps remind me and others that there is more than just the human-centered world we live in, and brings a more nature-centered energy to homes otherwise filled with drywall, furniture, computers and other human things. I reclaim a lot of materials in my art, and I make sure everything gets a use--even tiny scraps end up as pillow stuffing. I donate part of the money I make to environmental nonprofits, and because I have a flexible schedule I can do some volunteering locally, too. And a lot of the vegan alternatives to my materials are pretty bad for wildlife and their habitats; plastics are almost all made with petroleum, crystals and metals are often mined with very polluting methods, cotton and other plant fibers are grown in massive monocrops that destroy habitats and poison animals through pesticides and fertilizers. Never mind that everything you buy at, say, Michael's was made in China by underpaid, often abused labor, and was sent to the U.S. on ships that pollute the ocean with oil and other unpleasant things. I try to minimize my use of these supposedly "cruelty-free" materials, and buy them secondhand as often as I possibly can.
Without giving away your trade secrets of course, how do you purchase or find or gather your bones?
I have a few different hide and bone dealers whose sources and methods I trust for legal and ethical reasons; Custom Cranium and Frozen Critters are two of the main ones, and for resin replicas I like Arctic Phoenix and Bone Clones. I used to have more access to wild land where I was able to collect bones on my own, but these days I have neither the resources nor the time. And since I share a small apartment with two other people and we have no yard, bone cleaning isn't really an option so I have to stick to pre-cleaned bones. But I'd rather be making art with them anyway, so it all works out--I get to support small businesses, and I have more time for what I really love doing.
Why did you decide to create permanent pieces rather than ones that you could move around and change between photos for the tarot cards? I understand this decision raised the cost of creating the tarot deck for you?
First, I'm an assemblage artist, not a photographer, when it comes to the Tarot of Bones. So my primary art form involves putting the items together into a completed piece of artwork which will then be ritually purified and sent off to its new home. The photo is just what's necessary for translating that assemblage into an easily replicable format--tarot cards. And a lot of what I do to the materials in the process of putting together the assemblages permanently changes them, like painting them or adding a sculpting compound, so it wouldn't make sense to make them temporary anyway.
with many of them appearing in more than one card's artwork, and saved a lot of money. But I had a grander, more elaborate vision than that, one that involved individual species and the symbolism of different bones in the vertebrate body. Since I needed to have a lot more bones for that purpose, why not just have bones for each unique assemblage?
Will you be selling any of the finished pieces?
They will all be for sale once the Tarot of Bones is officially released, though I want to keep one or two for myself. I love having them around, but they take up a LOT of space; most of the free wall space in the apartment at this point is covered in them, and they need to do the equivalent of growing up, moving out and getting a job. Plus the money I've crowdfunded has all gone to materials, perks, and other costs. Selling the pieces will help me pay myself for the time and effort I put into designing the deck in the first place. I'm fully self-employed, after all, and every hour I put into the Tarot of Bones was an hour I wasn't able to put toward more immediate income to pay my rent and bills--but I had to have a place to live and food to eat all through the process anyway. So selling the pieces will help me get back my initial personal investment in the project.
You are currently ahead of schedule, if you stay that way can we expect edits to the current image releases or anything surprising before the release date?
Well, the pictures you see on the website right now are just quick snapshots saying "Hey, look what I made!" They're not the final photos for the card art. So after I have the assemblages done I'll be setting up a better photography studio in my home and taking the final pictures and then editing them with GIMP. I may go back and tweak a few of the assemblages before then, but the production schedule probably won't get moved up too much. The printing will take a while, and I want to hire a professional editor for the book and they'll need time, too.
Can you tell us a little about the companion book? Will it be a basic tarot cards defined or will it be just as unique as the cards themselves?
The Tarot of Bones companion book is not meant as holy writ or the final word on what each card means. But it'll give readers more of an idea of why I created each card as I did, why I chose specific animals, etc. It's a guide to the Tarot of Bones in specific, and while you can certainly use other books and your own interpretation when you use the deck, there's a lot of valuable information that may help you navigate the deck as its own individual entity. I won't be going into the basics of tarot; there are TONS of books that do that. But I will likely be including some unique spreads along with my card interpretations.
Why did you choose crowdfunding for your tarot deck rather than the more traditional route of going through a major publisher?
Honestly? Creative control. I've published books with a couple different publishers, and while they've let me have a fair bit of control, this is a deeply and intensely personal project. It is the product of almost two decades of art and writing experience, and it draws together all of my skills into one Magnum Opus. I'm outsourcing very little with the Tarot of Bones; I hired Narumi of Lotus Lion, who has done several graphic design pieces for me, to create the back design for the cards, and again I'll have an editor for the book. But I'm doing everything else--the photography, layout, etc.
Also, in doing a bit of research, it's harder to get a publisher for a photo deck; they tend to prefer other sorts of art. Since I wasn't willing to morph the photos of my assemblages into computer-generated designs, I just decided to do this on my own. It'll be my first major foray into self-publishing, so I'm drawing on my experience in the publishing industry to help me along. And I'll be getting some mentoring with some of the skills I'm less familiar with, like the photography.
Were there any surprises in the crowdfunding process?
Yes: the amount! The IndieGoGo campaign last spring met its initial goal in four days, and doubled the amount by the end of the six week campaign. I was incredibly surprised and honored that that many people wanted to back the Tarot of Bones. It just made me want to make even more sure that the final deck and book will be amazing. I also was wowed by the emotional support people gave throughout the project, all the cheering and high-fives I got. I mean, I have some of the best supporters and fans in the world, so the quality doesn't surprise me--but I was amazed by how many people came out to help! At this point I've pre-sold 250 deck and book sets just through that one campaign. And again--thank you to *everyone* who contributed.
What advice do you have for those out there thinking of creating their own tarot deck?
Do smaller projects first. This has been a HUGE investment of my time, skills and energy, to say nothing of money. If you've never undertaken a big art project or written a book before, I don't recommend this sort of thing as a starter project. Smaller projects will help you hone your skills to a finer degree so that you're more prepared physically and mentally when the time comes to get started on your tarot project.
Once you are ready, make sure you have a solid concept. You don't have to design all the cards at once; I went into most of these assemblages only sure of what card it was going to represent and what bones I was going to use. But those two factors--the bones and the meaning--were the common thread I had to work with throughout the entire project, and they helped to tie them all together. So make sure you, too, have at least one solid thread that binds your cards into one deck.
Also, don't take my production schedule as something to measure yourself against. Remember I'm self-employed and I'm already in my studio almost every day. So I'm working on the assemblages and the book manuscript in between working on other projects throughout the day. I have the luxury of getting this put together relatively quickly because I've done this sort of thing before on a smaller scale, and I'm already immersed in a creative setting much of the time.
Will there be a release party online or off that fans can attend?
There will definitely be an in-person one in Portland, and likely some pieces in galleries after that as well. I'm not entirely sure how to pull off an online party, but I'm sure something can be arranged there, too. I want everyone to have the opportunity to celebrate with me, even if they can't be with me in person.
What amazing creative projects can we expect from you in the future?
Wellll...a lot of them are currently secret projects under development. I don't like to announce things until I have a pretty solid plan, because I don't want to let people down. That and I am a VERY busy person, and unfortunately I just don't have the time to enact everything at once. So while I have several books bouncing around in my head, some other elaborate art projects on a similar scale, and some new avenues unrelated to anything I'm doing now, I need to maintain my focus on the Tarot of Bones until it's out and everyone's gotten their packages of goodies in the mail.
That being said, I do have a new book coming out from Llewellyn in January, Nature Spirituality From the Ground Up: Connect With Totems in Your Ecosystem, which I'm really excited about as it talks about land-based, bioregional totemism in a lot of detail. You can always keep up on my progress with the Tarot of Bones and if you'd like to see what else I'm up to head on over to The Green Wolf.
The Robin Wood deck is sadly not the first deck I've had problems with being broken. I've had decks given to me missing cards, I've bought decks used that are damaged, and I've had pets decide to do a little tarot reading of their own that has caused card damage. At first I was embarrassed to talk about the decks with other readers and I tucked them away in hopes of going back to them months later and they magickally develop that missing card or their tears and coffee stains be mended.
I then realized that this was folly all its own and that the tarot can be used for so much more than just a traditional reading! This came to me when I was looking at a piece of furniture and wanting to do something to it to make it look spooky-magickal...like add tarot!
A tarot deck is considered broken when it is 1) damaged or 2) missing at least one card.
Broken here means that the deck cannot be read in the traditional fashion.
If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
Make sure that the deck is broken. If it is missing a card, set the deck aside for a week or so and set your manifestation into gear to find the missing card. This has worked for me a number of times and usually the card shows up in the most random place.
If the deck is damaged, do a thorough assessment and decide if its unusable in the traditional sense. Is it just one card? Would you still be comfortable reading for someone else with this deck, even if it isn't professionally? Are you still able to read for yourself? Maybe this deck just needs to be handled with care and set aside for personal use only.
Don't dismantle or give up on your deck when it isn't too late.
As I developed this concept of non-traditional card use, I looked online and realized there are many, many readers who have broken decks ( I am not alone! gasp!) and are looking for something to do with them! I began compiling ideas and here is the fruit of my labor:
Create a Major Arcana Deck
If the lost or damaged cards are part of the Minor Arcana only, the Major Arcana cards can still be used in readings. Some types of readings and spreads, especially ones focusing on the spiritual aspects of life, use only the trump cards.
I know of some readers who continue to read their broken decks but as more of an oracle deck. They take out the damaged cards (or leave out the missing cards) and also take out any cards they don't resonate with or want in the deck. They then use the remaining cards as oracle cards, each representing a different intuitive message for them.
If you lose a Major Arcana card you can still use the pips and some of the court cards in a unique playing card deck. Playing decks have 52 cards consisting of 4 Aces, the pip cards 2-10 in each suit, and the Kings, Queens, and either the Knights or the Pages as the playing card Jacks.
Imagine playing poker with this deck!
Use what cards are not missing or damaged for spells, manifestation, rituals, or meditations and pathworking.
Magickal Artwork & Decor
One of my favorite ways of using a broken deck is in art.
The biggest piece of my tarot art is my tarot table. It started out as a cube steamer trunk to which I collaged the cards from my broken Jane Austen tarot deck. This is now an altar in my home and at events on which I do my tarot readings for clients and myself. There is a lot of tarot energy and my own personal mojo in this table and I love it.
Use The Remainder in Business
If you're a professional tarot reader and one of your decks is broken, you can always re-purpose the cards to use in your business.
So the next time you're going through your deck and find you only have 77 cards or your cat has gotten a hold of the High Priestess, again, don't despair right away! Those cards are still full of purpose and spiritual juice to be used in your magickal life!
How Do You Test New Tarot Spreads?
I recently wrote a blog post where I tested a tarot spread my friend sent me. I also started a new series, Tea&Tarot where I review a tea I'm drinking and show a tarot spread that I use or have tried out. This has caused a couple of people to ask me about trying out new spreads, how I choose a new spread, and what is my method.
How Do You Choose Tarot Spreads to Test?
In the case of Down the Rabbit Hole Spread, I was asked to test that spread by a dear friend of mine. I love sharing my love of tarot with others and find that sharing and testing spreads created by others is a great way to do that. If you have a spread that you've created that you would like to see if it is readable and beneficial to others than just yourself, please feel free to Contact me and we will see if it is a spread I'd be interested in trying.
When it comes to choosing spreads from various resources, as I do with my Tea&Tarot posts, then I try and use spreads the correspond with my editorial calendar's theme for the blog. For example, in September, we focused on education and harvest so our tarot spread was one that expanded on a traditional tarot spread and was one I had learned a great deal from and wanted to share as an educational resource. In October, our focus is on Ancestor Work, Witchcraft and Halloween so our tarot spread is one that focuses on Samhain and the Ancestors.
In other cases, I try out tarot spreads that associate with my situation at hand. When I was healing from my miscarriage and had questions about my own womanhood and fertility, I chose tarot spreads that uncovered emotional turmoil, discussed other forms of fertility and nurturing, and revealed aspects of shadow work that I needed to practice. I found tarot spreads for this online and in tarot books, keeping an open mind to different ways the tarot could help me in my time of need.
What Test Deck Do You Use?
When testing out a new tarot spread I usually stick with 2 options.
Will You/Can I Use New, Tested Tarot Spreads for Professional Readings?
This can be a tricky question when it comes to a person's creative property. ALWAYS ask the person who created the spread about their licenses, copyrights, and if they are ok with you using their layouts in readings that you make money from. Always give credit to the creator of that spread.
I tend to stick to spreads I've created or some very basic spreads such as the Past, Present, Future; Body, Mind, Spirit; or Celtic Cross spread when reading for others. This prevents copyright hassle and allows me to give consistent readings to return clients.
That being said, I won't say never and there may come a time in the future that I work something out with a spread creator and offer readings with that lay out to my customers.
Reading for Yourself is a Way to Create a Close, Personal Relationship with the Tarot.
When I wrote Why Readers Seek the Advice of Other Tarot Readers, a blog post about tarot readers needing to seek out the aid and advice of other tarot readers at times, I received a lot of feedback and questions as to whether or not tarot readers can read for themselves at all.
From what I understand of these questions and opinions, the idea isn't that a tarot reader cannot pull a daily card reading for themselves and read it but as to whether or not they could read for themselves objectively when the reading is in-depth or dealing with emotional matters in their lives.
Reading for yourself is a way to create a close, personal relationship with the cards. If you've just started reading or have a new deck, then Yes, Please read for yourself! Figure out your own intuitive meanings for the cards. See how you feel about the imagery on each card face. Tell your own stories with the deck. No one else can do that for you, not really.
Here is some advice on reading for yourself that will clarify the advice of the cards and help you to avoid the pitfalls of biased tarot readings. (Hint: these same tips can be used when dealing with the bias involved with reading for friends, partners, and loved ones.)
Take a breath.
Reading when you're emotional is one of the biggest problems when reading for yourself. My advice for this is to step back from the situation, breathe, and obtain a measure of calm.
Process the reading
Like a large, heavy meal, sometimes deep readings on difficult or emotional matters need time to digest.
A great way to process your thoughts, feelings, disagreements or synchronicities in and around a reading is through a tarot journal.
Instead of pulling "clarifiers" or dealing new spreads to seek out a different outcome to the situation, another way to learn more from a reading is to take a good hard look at the initial reading and what it is about the cards that you are uncomfortable with or disprove of. Write it down if you like and process the emotions you are feeling on paper. Sometimes the written word is a better clarifier than pulling a new card.
Other Ways of Pulling the Cards
Use a simple spread.
The more cards you pull and more positions you have, the more chances you have to create bias or disagreements with the tarot.
Understand that the cards only tell you what you need to hear.
You can't always get what you want. Pulling multiple cards, dealing multiple spreads, or looking up different card meanings until you get the reading you want doesn't change the situation in the reality.
If you do want to clarify the reading, try a layout expansion. I discuss a Celtic Cross Expansion in this month's Tea&Tarot. Here, we take a card from our initial reading and build another layout around it to clarify the time, action, or reason for everything happening.
Another option is the rearrange the reading. If you are pulling cards and the reading is a negative or uncomfortable one, consider what cards and positions are the culprits. Then make a conscious decision to move these cards or turn them around if they are reversed. As you do this, think about what actions you can take in your life to make this change or transition happen. The act of moving the card around is a symbolic representation of the act you intend to make to change your life. You are the creator of your reality and life so it is up to you to change things that make you unhappy. You can do this.
How-to Make Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte at Home!
Before we get into this recipe, i want to say that, yes, I am aware this is not a "real" latte because I didn't heat the milk and create foam as a latte demands. You can heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave but I am not sure how to make the foam without special equipment so...those of you who are barista purists, I hope you will forgive me.
For this recipe you will need
Brew your chai tea as you would normally. If you like it strong, add an extra bag to your mug or pot.
Add a tablespoon of Pumpkin Spice Syrup to your mug. You can make it more or less depending on how sweet or strong you want the flavor to be.
Super simple, I know but can you imagine how much money you're saving by not spending $5 a pop on one of these at the local coffee spot? If you wanna feel fancy shmancy, add a dash of cinnamon to the top and put your chai in a branded to-go cup before you leave the house or settle in at your desk. Be sure to take a selfie and share it with me @SeerandSundry on Twitter!
Triadic Celtic Cross
The tarot spread for today's Tea&Tarot is an expansion on the traditional Celtic Cross spread created by Eileen Connolly. Most tarot readers know the Celtic Cross spread as it is the MOST used spread for tarot readings. It is a 10 card spread and, Eileen Connolly reads the positions as
I want to make it clear that this is Eileen's way of reading the Celtic Cross because many tarot readers have different meanings for some of the positions, myself included.
For the expansion, for each position of the Celtic Cross you will have 3 cards instead of 1 for a total of 30 cards. The cards will, for the main body of the cross, be placed in a triangular formation, while for the side bar will be laid out horizontally.
Eileen, in Tarot - The Handbook for the Journeyman, says that the Triadic Celtic Spread can "open the Pandora's Box of what's really going on deep inside you." She goes on to make clear that this is not a forecast or fortune-telling spread; "it is to allow you to understand how and why events occur."
Pictured is my spread created regarding a business question I had:
This is, obviously, not a spread I recommend for daily reading or a quick and simple question. My recommendation is to use this spread for times when your question has a lot of facets to consider and is effecting your life in more than just one area. Have your notebook or tarot journal handy for copious notes. Having this many cards going at once can make it difficult to see and make connections from one card to another. I personally filled up 7 pages in my own tarot journal just from this one reading with notes on location, timing cards, how one card not only effects the triad that it is in but cards on the other side of the reading, and more.
I also recommend you do this spread in an area where you have ample space...my normal tarot altar could not contain 30 cards splayed at once so I had to move to my desk. Remember, sacred space can be created anywhere - even the floor of your living room or bedroom if necessary.
Don't be afraid of do-it-yourself recipes or large readings. Both can be super beneficial to your life and magickal practice.
Recently, my witchy sister Lady Aconita asked me to test out a tarot spread that she created. You can see her spread, notes, and thoughts on her blog here.
I of course jumped on it because I love testing new spreads AND love sharing my tarot love with friends.
The topic of the spread was rather prompt for me. The purpose is to analyze your emotions and figure out what is effecting them and, if they are particularly non-beneficial, how to escape their hold on you.
Being pregnant, I have mood swings, however, in the last week or so, I've experienced some depression due to stress caused by my letting people around me effect how I see myself, my world, etc. This spread was just perfect timing for that and, since I don't believe in coincidences, I knew this was a sign from spirit to get my tail into gear and use my tools to figure a way up and out of the funk I was in.
Tarot Testing Outcome
I did tweak some of Aconita's working for the spread I laid out.
I changed #3, Who is not helping you? to Who or What is not helping your situation?
The wording helped me because, as you might see here, I could read the 5 of pentacles as either someone being uncharitable or the problem could be my own unwillingness to ask for aid that is close at hand.
Also, rather than Clarification, I chose to lay an Outcome card.
For me, clarification cards are cards drawn after a reading is laid out and they are placed over the area that needs clarification. Say I wasn't understanding card 3 and wanted some deeper insight, that is when I would draw a clarification card, lay it over or next to card 3, and read it from there.
By making the 5th card space "Outcome" I could also see if I how I can use the lesson learned in the reading to bring myself towards an outcome I wanted and if the outcome in the layout was not what I wanted, then I'd have a heads up to change my direction. (I will be talking more about this in a future blog post on how to implement advice from tarot readings into your life.)
In all, I really like this spread. I would recommend it for people who are feeling the blues or are unsure if people around them or their own actions or a combination of both are what is effecting the mood they are in. I also recommend trying this lay out with the Osho Zen Tarot as I find that deck to be great for doing readings based on emotions, shadow work, and depression (I didn't here because I like to try out new spreads with the Rider-Waite first).
Thank you Lady Aconita for giving us such an awesome spread!
Hi! I'm December, the more talkative half of the Seer&Sundry team. Along with reading Tarot, my passion is helping people live a magickal life every day & writing about all things witchy. You'll find all three topics that I love here!
Most Popular Blog Posts
This site is a participant in various affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to sites including, but not limited to, Amazon.com, LeonieDawson.com and TheRawFoodWorld.com. Some links to products you see here are affiliate links, which means if you click through and purchase a product, I receive a small commission. That said – I only post things here that I genuinely like or think are cool!