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Have a question about the inner workings of Tarot? Wondering what the heck Reiki is? Curious about mindfulness or meditation? Read the new FAQ page or ask a question of your own HERE

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Q: Aren’t you supposed to tell me things about myself that happened, like “you just bought a new car.” 

A: Wait. What?

I have to admit, this one stopped me in my tracks for a minute.

I mean, how is THAT going to help anything? Who pays good money to have a psychic predict the past? Weren’t you THERE when it happened to…. you?

Obviously, this person wanted me to “prove” my “psychic ability” with her notion of “psychic” being pulling impressive random facts out of thin air.

This is the kind of thing that gives actual spirituality a bad name. Sincere intuitives get lumped together with stage mentalists and performance psychics all too often.

We stopped the reading on the spot. Clearly it was a mis-match.  She didn’t want anything to do with my style of advice, personal growth or spirituality and I don’t want anything to do with razzle dazzle trickery.

That isn’t to say razzle dazzle is bad. There is nothing wrong with some good old Vegas style entertainment. Especially since outdated blue laws keep so many of us chained to the “entertainment only” disclaimer. The problem comes, as I see it, when people confuse the two. Things go pear shaped when people expect the two totally separate practices to be exactly alike. If you think all intuitive work is scammy stage shows, then you miss out on the chance for personal growth and genuine insights. If you think all “psychics” are serious spirituality, then you risk being taken in by a scam.

So let’s do what all good academic types do at times like these. Let’s define our terms so we don’t get stage magic and sincere spirituality confused.

Stage Magic: See Penn and Teller. No, really. See Penn and Teller. The way they debunk things and encourage healthy skepticism is a good thing.

Cold Readings: Cold readings take subtle clues like body language, appearance, and verbal cues to steer the conversation so that the sitter (person getting the reading) to think the reader knew all of the details through supernatural means. An obvious example would be noticing someone wearing an engagement ring and asking them if there was a wedding coming up in their family. A fast series of questions going from vague to specific is a good indication that a cold reading is in progress.

I use cold reading to a lesser degree, with one important difference – I TELL you when I’m doing it.

I say things like “I noticed _________.” Or I’ll straight up bald faced ask you something, like what you do for a living?” Then we’ll use that as background context. “In that case” X card meaning is probably more likely than Y card meaning….that sort of thing.

Mentalism is slightly different. Instead of gleaning subtle information from questions and clues, a mentalist will actively insert ideas and deliberately lead the conversation to a certain conclusion that also seems supernatural. One is derivative, the other is manipulative but both lead to a similar illusion.

I don’t use mentalism. I don’t know how to use mentalism. Honestly, it seems like WAY more work than it’s worth.  The direct information spirit/energy/intuition gives may resonate with you now, it may resonate with you later, or it may never resonate at all. I give what I get as I get it…the rest is up to you. If a reading empowers you to move along your life path with a little more ease and mindfulness, then the reading has done its job, no manipulation required.

Do I tell you what has already happened to you? Um…no.

Do I tell you what is going to happen to you? Nope.

Do I lead the conversation or take tricky cues to make you think I’m the second coming of the great Carnac? No and no.

What do I do? Read the new “About Tarot Readings” page and see the 5 card reading example and you will know exactly what to expect from your reading time with me.

 

 

Blue Dress With Pink Shoes

Carl Jung called it synchronicity.

I call it something worth a little attention.

Intuition, “psychic gifts” in many ways is simply letting yourself see connections and coincidences. Synchronicity is defined as a meaningful coincidence. Even if there is no plausible connection, if something seems meaningful to YOU – it IS. To you. Not every attention-getter is a profound announcement to the world. It might just be a message just for you. A reminder to water the plants, or something. It doesn’t have to change the destiny of the world to be real, to have a meaning impact impact on your way of thinking. A meaningful coincidence isn’t mystical destiny knocking at your door. Well, yeah, it might be….but it doesn’t always have to be.

Listening to coincidences, following such modern day omens, is how we live in a balance between intuition and logic, magic and mundane. We should pay attention when intuition grabs our attention. We shouldn’t go wild with it when logic and common sense urge caution.

In short, let love lead attention, let logic have a hand in deciding action.

Here is an example. A few days ago, I was reading a book when my husband showed me an internet picture of a pink and white sneakers, and asked me what color they are. When he said they looked teal and grey, I had to resist the urge to wrestle him to the ground and administer a colorblindness test. I mean, Teal? Seriously? It is, of course,  the same trick of light that sparked the great blue/black vs white/gold dress controversy of twenty ought fifteen. But, not having any Ishihara plates on hand, we both just shrugged and went back to what we were doing.

A few minutes and a few pages later Christopher Penzak in the Magick of Reiki describes taking an aura reading class and doing an exercise where several people would read a person’s aura and then compare notes afterward. (We did the same thing in an aura reading class I took back in the 90s, so I can verify this is both a good way to learn auras AND the way this exercise always seems to go) He saw bright yellow, another person saw electric blue, another person saw no colors at all but a zigzaggy lightning shape. Just the same, all of them interpreted what they saw as representing “stress” as I recall the story. On the surface, they each saw vastly different things, but at the core, the important message still was still communicated. Just exactly like the internet picture thing a few minutes before. He saw teal, I saw pink, but we both saw shoes. If everyone gets caught up in arguing over the color, we all would have miss the real message: “This person is feeling stressed right now” or “That is a pair of shoes.

Neither of these things are particularly unusual. Neither of these things are the slightest bit supernatural. We show each other internet pictures all the time. That’s the way aura classes go, it seems. BUT when the two very similar things coincidentally happen within a few minutes of each other, it is worth a moment of hmmmm….

Different colors lead to the same shoes. Different colors lead to the same aura energy. What do these two little attention grabbers lead to?

First and foremost, trust your intuition. You might intuitively get “pink” while someone else gets “teal” but as long as you ultimately wind up at the important part of “shoes” both colors are fine. As long as you (or the person you are reading for) gets to the important core message, all the different colors and paths that take you there are valid.

Second, trust your intuition. We all do this differently. Honor your path (no matter what color it may be) Honor your process. Do things so that you feel good and right about it at the end of the day. Do what gets you to the most honest message you can give. It doesn’t matter if you get there by seeing zigzags, blue or yellow, as long as you get to energy of it.

Third, trust your intuition. Your intuition might scream SHOES while you have pink shoes clearly in mind. If your client says nah, they are TEAL, then don’t sweat it. The symbolism of intuition is intensely personal. It might have taken the pink to get you to say the important “shoes” part. If  shoes makes them think teal, that’s perfectly fine. The right message got through. It just took a few daisy-chained steps to get from pink to teal, but as long as your client gets to “teal” it’s ok. It is just part of the process to go from pink to shoes to teal.

Fourth, trust your intuition. It’s an imprecise process. We all have intuition, but communicating it well is a skill and an art. We can all read Tarot and follow our own intuition. Reading for other people is a whole other level of thing. But don’t let that stop you from…did I mention?….trusting your own intuition for you.

Here is a photo of the pink shoes next to ….the pink shoes.

pinkshoes

The Power Grows

The more digital becomes the norm, the more power handwriting gains as it slips into the realm of the quaint, the old-fashioned, the arcane.

I’ve seen it called both a day and a month of commemoration, but April has been dubbed “National Letter Writing Month” here in the US. It isn’t about pretty callegraphy, it is about heart to heart communication in written form.

In honor of the month, my favorite format (writing) and my Tarot specialty (distance, e-mail, mail) “InkMagick Sigil Tarot Readings” are $1 off the regular price until April 30, 2019. Order yours on the home page.

Each reading, both paper and digital, gives a sigil element, a symbol or doodle given by intuition. You are welcome to use it in your own sigil crafting. In the me pictured above, the pinaform (feather) shape symbolizes a pen or writing. the line paper, plus our connection, the circles hint at electrons, distance communication.

If you are interested in sigils, writing, and magick (yes, I use the k, it just looks cooler and I’m no Penn and Teller, you know?) I suggest reading Sigil Witchery by Laura Tempest Zakroff and Write Your Own Magic by Richard Webster.


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100% Accurate Predictions and a Big Cube of Jello

First Published 8 October 2015

Readings help you to own your choices so that fate and the future won’t own you.

ALL predictions are 100% accurate. ZERO predictions are 100% accurate. Both. At the same time. If you are a Doctor Who fan, you might say making predictions is wibbly wobbley timey wimey kind of stuff.

Time is dimension all its own. Just like space is one big thing, time is all one big thing. All of time exists all at once…right now, the part you will experience in the future, the parts you have already experienced in the past, and parts you will never experience at all. A “prediction” is an intuitive impression…a thought…a non-psychical glimpse of that non-physical thing we call time.

If the “psychic” impression connects to a point in time/space that you get to experience, the prediction proves accurate. If it comes from a point in time/space that you don’t experience first hand then the “prediction” seems all wrong – even though it is perfectly accurate for somewhere and some-when completely different from us. The multi-verse is a big place, bigger than time itself. Anything is possible out there somewhere. Just maybe not here, not in our little region of Time/Space

To borrow an image from “Star Trek”…. any given prediction might be 100% wrong for you – but 100% accurate for your goatee wearing evil twin from an alternate universe. There is no way to tell the impressions apart or to direct intuition to specifically YOUR timeline…because any little itsy witsy teeny tiny choice you make can change the course of your timeline drastically enough to point you away from itty bitty speck of tim/space that was predicted. Time/space is too deeply connected to pull out that kind of granular detail. One bit of jello is much like another.

Imagine time as a giant cube of gelatin. Imagine your life is a thread wiggling its way through the middle of the cube, moving and shifting an tiny bit with the choices that you and all who affect you make. Imagine you are a little spark of glitter moving along that thread. Time is always passing for you. Intuition and predictions can come from any part of the whole cube. The prediction comes from X location within the cube, but suddenly the thread wiggles over to Y location. The prediction wasn’t necessarily wrong at the time it was made. Just wrong for the direction you are moving a little bit after the prediction was made. Things changed just enough to put the “prediction” outside of your range of experience.

You control your thread’s wiggle…not the jello. That is what Tarot, “psychics” and spiritual advice is really all about. It isn’t about telling you exactly what is ahead on your ‘thread’ it is about helping you nudge and wiggle the thread in the direction you want it to go. 


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Contact me to schedule in – person or party Tarot in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh PA

Eternal Balancing Act

2coins

Diane Morgan’s Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao is for all the obvious reasons, one of my all time favorite Tarot books.

I first read Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao early in the 2000s, at the beginning in my professional Tarot career, just as I began reading for online services like Advice Trader and Allexperts. I’d been reading Tarot and oracle cards (Medicine Cards by Carson and Samms mostly) for nearly 10 years by that point. I’d been interested in Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Taoism even longer than that.

Of all the cards in the Tarot deck, the two of Pentacles / Coins is arguably the most emblematic of all that Tarot and Taoism share. We short hand the card as balance, but it is more of a juggling act than that. The balance here is large and moving and dynamic. Balance alone can be static, like a stack of zen stones, or a scales showing accurate weight.

balancing-stones

That is balance, but there is also what science calls dynamic equilibrium.  The classic example of dynamic equilibrium is a permeable membrane between two solutions. Think of fresh water and salt water divided by some sort of plastic wrap with tiny holes in it. The molecules on both sides are always vibrating and wiggling around (that is heat, so let’s imagine this is all happening at room temperature, not absolute zero.  Even a polar vortex isn’t that cold.) Over time the water and salt molecules wiggle through the holes in the membrane until there is the same concentration of salt and water on both sides. Once that happens, the molecules don’t stop jiggling and juggling around. It is still room temperature, there is still heat and molecule movement going on. If you follow individual specks of salt, they may be moving the whole time, one side to the other. Same for specks of water. In spite of the little specks dancing around, the total amounts of each stay in balance on both sides. The little buggers move…it’s dynamic. The whole system, the whole tank of water, keeps its balance of salt and water concentrations…it is in equilibrium. That kind of balance is very much a part of the 2 of coins. The artwork in the card on most RWS decks hint at movement, the man walking and juggling , a woman bicycling (Steampunk Tarot) a tightrope walker (Robin Wood Tarot) even someone standing on their head (Quantum Tarot) The two of coins reminds us as much of dynamic equilibrium as a static balance. The sideways figure 8, the infinity symbol, is often used as part of the cards image to indicate that balance. It also shows us just how big the water tank is. The system that is in dynamic equilibrium is nothing less than the whole darn universe. Sure things are going to get very out of balance, if not downright wonky in our individual part of the cosmos, but infinity wide, things unfold as they should, according to their nature.

Which is all a very Taoist like way of looking at it. The Taoist point of view values that kind of big picture dynamic equilibrium. It values balance in general…static and moving…and is more than willing to consider the Tao, the everything and then some, in finding that natural moving balance. Harmony of opposites is another, easier way to put it. The well known yin yang symbol that is emblematic  of the philosophy is actually intended to be in motion. The dots are the seeds that grow into their opposite. If you look just at the yin or yang, the black or white, each part is always growing, shrinking, turning. Yet, within the circle as a whole, even among all that movement, there ends up being balanced, equal amounts of black and white, yin and yang.

3daniyinyang

That is the energy flow the two of coins can help us to find. The two is always about balance. Is it static or dynamic? What kind of balance do we need? Are we looking at one little jiggly speck of salt in the water and feeling out of balance? Would it help to look for larger, moving systems when we look for balance in out lives or would it help to look for the little but very stable balance points like stacking Zen rocks? How do you know? The balance is of opposites, remember? The dots are the clue. In each lies the seed of its opposite. If you have been focusing on static stable balance, but it isn’t working, take a step back and look at the big picture, moving systemic balance. If the system seems chaos and everything is flying apart…look for anchors. Look for the solid, stable, static parts on which to build some balance.

Stones and yin yang images from the public domain. Jimmy Neutron property of Nickelodeon via youtube.com.

 

This Best be Coffee in this Darn Goblet

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Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell General permissions via http://www.Llwellynpublishing.com

I miss the fish.

Steampunk Tarot deck is the first deck I’ve received as a gift. It is a treasure for that reason, as I treasure the loved ones who gave it to me.

I’ve kept it for special readings, but lately have been doing the daily meditation / card-a-day exercise to get better acquainted with the deck. It is interesting. No disrespect to Ms. Moore, but it seems like I get a different message from the cards than she does, which is precisely the power and beauty of tarot. It speaks to all of us wherever we are at the time, and like the Oracle in The Matrix, tells us what we most need to hear. This is one of those cards and meanings that have followed me through time and from deck to deck to deck, whatever the little (or not so little) white (or not so white) book that comes with the deck might say.

The deck is great, but in this case I miss the fish. There are lots of decks and lots of page of cups cards without a fish in the artwork. But c’mon….a fish in a cup. There has to be comedy gold in there somewhere. This page still makes me smile with that under-caffinated, not a morning person, mopey, snarky, deadpan look on her face. If this card could talk, I imagine she would sound like Lydia in Beetlejuice.

I know, I know…the fish is the mysteries of the deep and the page of cups is associated with learning intuition, emerging psychic ability, imagination, sensitivity, kindness….

But who says any of that stuff has to be pedantic, serious and deep all of the time? Who says you have stare at your fish with a straight face? Every deck, whether it has a fish or not, has that same undercurrent. Behind all of the psychic learning and spiritual growth is a smile and a reminder to find the humor in everything, even intuition and spirituality.

So cheers! Here is to the fish in our lives and the coffee in our morning goblets. Enjoy!

Tarot Without a Net: The Fool

Getting to know a new deck BEFORE you read the little white book is a real intuition building exercise. Trust what comes to you from your imagination and intuition. The “Heart of Stars” deck makes it easy. Combine what you know of the Tarot card, what you know of the TV or movie character, then add the pure intuitive mental images, sounds words and feelings that come directly to mind.*

THE FOOL

Key ideas: Dispelling anxiety with humor. Speaking truth through humor. Profound self confidence expressed as playfulness. “If you aren’t having fun, you aren’t doing it right”

  1. Advice: Lighten up. Have fun. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  2. Caution: Don’t let fear paralyze you or keep you from beginning something important.
  3. Validation: You’ve trusted your path before, and can do it again. You can find humor in stressful situations and use it to put other people at ease. You can stay calm in an emergency.
  4. Affirmation: I enjoy life and help others to do the same. Beginning a new adventure is easy for me.

*Want to learn more about connecting with your intuition and how to do daily meditation readings for yourself….even if you don’t have a Tarot deck at all? Order a copy of my how-to e-book “PeaceTarot” from TaoCraftTarot.shop

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Learn DIY Tarot Meditations
“HEART OF STARS” 3RD EDITION LIMITED RELEASE COPYRIGHT THOM PHAM ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED WITH PERMISSION WWW.KINGOFWANDSTAROT.COM