2016 Part 2: Gathering In

A happy New Year’s Eve to you. Things have been quiet here because of the holiday craziness, which has finally died down. (Or rather, it died down a few days ago and I’m just now recovering.) A couple of weeks ago, I posted my massive Year Ahead Spread for 2016. While it is a predictive (i.e. fortune telling) spread, I’m not a predictive reader, so I did it for fun and also because whether it predicts the future or not, it has given me a broad range of things that could happen, which is important to think about.

When I did that spread, I chose a card each from the Wild Unknown deck and the Earthbound Oracle for the theme of the year ahead, and got the Emperor and Failure. Yup. I don’t know about Failure, but we’ll get back to the Emperor in a second.

After I did that spread, I downloaded and filled out Susannah Conway’s workbook Unravelling the Year Ahead (last year’s version of this workbook, by the way, is the reason why I got back into tarot.) Part of her method for helping people plan the year ahead is to choose a word that will set the theme. Last year, my word was OPEN, because I really felt like I needed to open myself to new experiences and others. This year, I chose the word UNKNOWN because I  have now graduated and am switching careers, so my life is one giant unknown. I believe that embracing what is uncomfortable or uncertain is a vital part of spiritual practice, so my hope is that UNKNOWN will help me not only deal with uncertainties in my life, but also cultivate curiosity about things that I think I know. (Being a know-it-all is one of my biggest–and most tiresome–habit energies.)

Inspired by Unravelling the Year Ahead, which has a page for you to mediate on the four elements of your life and how you’d like to cultivate them (air/intellect, water/relationships & self-love, earth/possessions & connection to nature, and fire/creativity) I decided to create a year ahead spread that involved the four elements. And I added a fifth, spirit, just for fun. I never actually work with this element in my tarot practice, but I know a lot of people do. Then I added four cards about your direction and personal power–not predicting what will happen from the outside, but the things that help you though any situation, not matter how unpredictable. Finally, the last optional card is to choose a theme for the year ahead, or reflect upon one you’ve chosen.

The Gathering In Spread

Gathering In spread.jpg

This spread could be used for a new year (either a calendar year or a new birthday year) or the pieces of it could be split off and used for different purposes. The Gathering part of the spread could be used anywhere, anytime. It’s the bringing together of your resources and personal power–how to stay on track, what your personal power is, how do deal with the things, as they say, that you cannot change, and how to take care of yourself. For mine, I used the Wild Unknown Tarot (fitting for the theme, eh?)

1-5: The Elements

1: Fire This is the realm of creativity. What is the theme of your creative life for the coming year?
2: Air Air is intellect–how should you be thinking about things, how do beliefs or knowledge help or hinder you?
3: Earth Possessions, finances, your body, your environment–anything tangible. What role do these play in your life the coming year? How should you work with them?
4: Water Emotions and relationships: what’s the theme for this year?
5: Spirit What is the tenor of your spiritual life? Even if you are an atheist, what’s the role of your connection to others in your life?

6-9: Gathering

6: What is my guiding light? This is the lighthouse beacon. It calls you back when you get off course; it provides guidance in times of darkness or confusion.
7: What is my personal power? What is that place of untouchable power in you–the thing that others can’t break, the thing that only you can access?
8: How do I deal with things that are out of my control? While we use our personal power to guide our selves, the truth is that control over people or events doesn’t exist. From a recalcitrant two-year-old to someone rear-ending you to the politicians signing off on oppressive legislation, no matter how many protests were had, sometimes we can’t control things. But how do we deal with them?
9: How do I take care of myself? Let’s remember to make this a priority.

(Optional) 10: What is ________? (Word, theme, card of the year, etc.)

When drawing these cards, I decided to work with upright cards only. Those who read this blog know that I work with reversals most of the time, but for big, archetypal energy stuff like this, I prefer to just stick with upright cards. As I turned each card over, I was amazed at what I drew:

Gathering

I wrote my findings in the back of my 2016 planner, so I could flip back to them whenever I feel the need.

1 Fire of this year: 9 of Cups. Spiritually driven and creatively fulfilled by things that make me emotionally fulfilled.

2 Air of this year: The Star. Intellectually at my best when I am optimistic and focus on hope, larger lessons, and deeper meanings.

3 Earth of this Year: Daughter of Cups. Striving for a relationship with money and possessions that fosters emotional simplicity and gratitude.

4 Water of this Year: 8 of Cups. Walking away from things that are not emotionally fulfilling. Knowing when to move on.

5 Spirit of this Year: The Magician. My practice is whole-hearted and combines all elements of myself. Powerful because balanced.

6 My Guiding Light: The Sun. At this point, I have nothing to lose by pursuing what makes me happy.

7 My Personal Power: 9 of Wands. Sticking to my values and principles. This is the card of personal power. I have it!

8 How to respond to what I can’t control: 7 of Pentacles. Take a moment to remember that this is a small step in a larger process. Overall, progress with happen.

9 How to take care of myself: 3 of Cups. Do not isolate! Seek friends and lovers for comfort.

10 What is UNKNOWN? The Emperor. My encounters with institutions, organizations, and people in places of power.

If you’ll remember, the Emperor was the yearly theme card that I drew in my Year Ahead Spread. I did that spread before Susannah had made Unravelling the Year Ahead available and before I had even begun to think about picking a word. And yet–my yearly theme and my word of the year collide. This is why, when I want to get all super-rational about tarot and say it’s just completely random and it only works because of the things we project onto the cards, I pause. There is something amazing about opening ourselves up to chance on a daily basis, because stuff like this happens.

Overall, I feel empowered by this spread. Since it’s now in the back of my 2016 planner, I hope to return to it periodically, especially when things get rough. And I will keep my eye out for the Emperor since he showed up in critical places in both of my New Year’s spreads.

If you use this spread for the beginning of 2016, or for any other turning point in your life, please let me know how it went!

 

2016 Part 1: The Year Ahead Spread

Year Ahead Spreads are quite common in the tarot world–the idea is that you draw one card for each month, or some variation thereof, and perhaps also a card signifying the overall theme of the year. From this reading, you will be able to predict or plan for the coming year.

Now, I am not a predictive tarot reader, meaning that I don’t use tarot to predict the future or think that it can do a particularly good job of doing so in many cases. (That is, it can’t “predict” things that the querent doesn’t already intuitively know.) While tarot can predict the outcomes of certain events based on our habitual patterns and known factors of a situation, this is more like a meteorologist predicting the weather than anything else. And when I said “tarot can predict” in that last sentence, I meant, “tarot can open up a space for understanding.”

And yet, last week I decided that I wanted to do a year ahead spread. And I’d out do myself (and everyone else) by drawing THREE cards for each month plus an oracle card! That’s right–we’re talking a 50 card spread here; definitely the largest I’ve ever done. I chose the Wild Unknown Tarot and the Earthbound Oracle because they are both rich in meaning but simple in imagery.  I imagine that doing a spread this large with very visually complex decks could get pretty overwhelming. I also went through both of those decks and turned all the cards upright. (With a 50 card spread, there’s enough going on without the added complications of reversed cards.)

So here’s what I got:

year ahead full.jpg

Now, if you look closely in the center, you can see my two yearly theme cards: The Emperor and Failure. AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! Yes. The Emperor and FAILURE. With, like, a flaming moth and everything. Who would be happy turning these cards over? I mean, it could be worse–I could have gotten the Tower or the 10 of Swords or something, but these are pretty two intense cards.

I am not going to go into all the details of this spread because it would take forever and you don’t want to read them. (I am thinking about doing a monthly post using these draws, though. We’ll see.) But I had a ton of fun with this reading: counting courts vs pips vs majors, seeing how the elements break down, following the thread of each suit through the months and seeing what stories it creates, and figuring out a narrative for the oracle cards.

Following the suits through the months was the best way to make sense of all this information. For instance, from March to July, there is a Pentacles card for each month: Six, Eight, Son, Two, and Four. This narrative would suggest that in these months I will not lose financial stability, but I will need to work to maintain it (Eight and Son), that I will be faced with some choices surrounding money, like perhaps a new job and new benefits package (Two), and I will reach financial stability (Four) by July. After that, Pentacles basically peace out for the rest of the year, with the exception of the Ten in November, suggesting that I will be in a place of abundance by the end of 2016.

A long Cups narrative picks up just when the Pentacles are leaving off, with a Cups card in each month from June to November: Mother, Five, Seven, Three, and Nine. The Five and the Seven suggest that around the time I’m gaining financial stability, there’s some emotional upheaval going on–perhaps because I’ve had to move for my new job and I’m sad at leaving my old home behind (Five.) Perhaps I will encounter a new group of people and won’t know quite who to trust at first (Seven.) The month that the Seven is in, September, also contains The Devil and the Mother of Wands, as well as the oracle card Resistance. This suggests to me that I may actually fall prey to some sort of emotional temptation and will have to stay on my toes if I want to keep on course. Overall, however, the narrative ends happily with the Three in October and the Nine in November–that I will be able to find a new group of friends and figure out how to keep in touch with the old ones.

OK, I’ve bored you with this stuff long enough. Yes, it’s fun! I had so much fun doing it, but the question is: do I believe this is what the future holds? I’d love it if this were so, but I’m pretty skeptical of the idea that some cards I drew on an evening in December 2015 can predict every twist and turn of my life for the next year. Nonetheless, putting this narrative together was useful because it reminded me of a lot of basic things it’s easy to forget: yes, finding a new job is probably going to take a lot of work and involve some uncertainty. Yes, moving away is a big possibility and that entails grief as well as new beginnings. Yes, entering a new social circle is going to involve uncertainty and a lot of ego, as well as a lot of joy.

But honestly, it’s the Emperor + Failure that makes it. If as my yearly theme I’d gotten Fluffy Bunnies + Sugardoodlins, this spread wouldn’t have been very useful. The Emperor reminds me of what I’m up against: applying for jobs, dealing with health insurance, moving all our stuff from one place to another, renting or buying a home. Almost nothing is certain for the coming year, except one thing: I am going to be dealing with institutional structures and people in positions of power A LOT. And not only that, but I am bound to screw up a lot of stuff along the way because I’ve never done most of these things before. In the midst of the diversity of things happening in the monthly card draws, Failure reminds me that failing is a necessary part of the process. That I don’t deal with the Emperor by never failing, but by learning from my mistakes. What a beautiful and necessary message for the year to come.

Since I’m not a predictive tarot reader, I don’t think of the Year Ahead Spread as actually predicting what will come in the following year. I do think, however, that it’s a great way of entertaining and preparing for the range of possible things that could happen. I want to check in with this spread periodically to see if it was “right” about anything, but that’s for fun more than anything. Whether it comes true or not, the purpose of doing this spread was not to predict my future, but to leave me feeling empowered. I believe that’s the purpose of tarot, anyway, and it did indeed succeed.

Stay tuned for a significant (and frankly, sort of creepy) reappearance of the Emperor in my actual, non-predictive Gathering spread for 2016.

The Difficult Conversations Spread

difficult conversationsDifficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen, is a book I’d recommend to anyone. My copy has a thing on the front that says “New York Times Business Bestseller” and it’s categorized in “Psychology/Business” on the back, but I’m glad I didn’t let the association with business culture get in the way of reading this book, because it’s truly applicable from the most professional situation to the most personal one.

The authors’ argument is that difficult conversations–those that are difficult to broach or that trigger us emotionally–have three layers to them: the facts, the feelings, and the identity. If someone leaves a comment on my blog saying, “This post was poorly written,” three things are going on: the post itself (the fact), how I feel about being criticized (how I feel), and what part of my identity is being threatened by the criticism. If I am clinging to an identity of being a good writer or a smart person, I may feel defensive or angry–or I may do the opposite and give into despair: “I’m not a good writer after all.” I may respond by arguing about the facts–“This IS a good post, you just didn’t read it carefully!”–when what’s really important, and what are motivating 99% of my response to the comment, are my feelings and threatened sense of identity.

Now imagine a situation where it’s more complex: firing someone, breaking up with someone, telling a tenant that you’re selling the property and they’ll need to move, telling your parents you were sexually abused by a relative 20 years after it happened. Feelings and “identity-quakes” are going to be flying around and this book gives much great advice on handling them.

In preparing for a difficult conversation, tarot can help us, too, because it provides what we–who are so often identified with our identities and who act from our feelings–need: perspective. They get us out of the temporary feelings and thoughts of the moment and give us a space to see what we might be missing otherwise.

I mean, in approaching a difficult conversation you could just ask “what should I say?” and pull three cards, but working with an advanced model for how to think about this will make the tarot spread all the more effective.

The Spread

1. What happened: the facts of the situation. This is important because, as we all know but tend to forget when we’re reacting strongly to a situation, is that every story has at least two sides. Don’t assume that your story is the only story or that you know what the story even is. (An argument about, say, carpet vs. hardwood floors could really, in fact, be an argument in which one person is trying to get the other person to demonstrate commitment, while the other person has no clue about this and simply doesn’t have a preference for either carpet or hardwood floors!)

2. How do I feel about this situation? Seems like a stupid question to ask the tarot, but I find it to be one of the most illuminating. Sometimes the answer is not what you expect, but even when it is, it’s wonderful to see your feelings mirrored in the cards.

3. What identity or sense of self is being threatened, challenged, or changed by this situation? This is the big one. We carry around so many identities without even knowing it, and defend them not even knowing what we are doing. If someone says that I said something racist, I may argue with them about whether or not it’s a racist phrase or that it wasn’t racist because I didn’t intend to use it that way. I may go ballistic, research the history of the use of the phrase/word, or just shut that person out of my life. But what I didn’t know was that my entire response was motivated by feeling that my identity as a good person was threatened.

4. What is my goal in having this conversation? In Difficult Conversations, the authors ask you to think about this. What exactly is the goal? To tell the other person that they’re wrong or chew them out? To express your feelings? To come to an understanding? Before you even begin a conversation, it’s important to know what your motives are–because sometimes the conversation isn’t even worth having in the first place if all you want to do is chew someone out or complain to them about a situation that can’t be fixed.

5. What really needs to be said? Here we’re at the meat of it. What do you really need to say? What is your truth?

6. What is true but doesn’t need to be said? Telling a person that you want to break up with them because you don’t feel emotionally compatible is legit. Also telling them that you think their art is shitty is unnecessary. Sometimes things are true, but that doesn’t meant they need to be said.

7. What is the most important thing to keep in mind? I think of this as much of a how question as a what question. Think of this card as the lighthouse beacon for when the conversation begins to get off track. Sometimes this card will match up with #4–your goal. Sometimes it will be at odds with your goal, in which case you may need to reevaluate your purpose in having this conversation in the first place. You could even use this card as a talisman–bring it to the conversation or wear or carry something that reminds you of it.

dc spread edit.jpg

Here is a sample of this spread that I did recently. I got into an argument with a friend based on issues we’ve had before and now feel that I need to go back and talk about things. I won’t go into the details, but I’ll briefly run through each card.

  1. What happened? Mother of Swords, RX. I lost my temper, let my emotions get in the way of the facts. I was projecting my identity onto the situation.
  2. How do I feel? 10 of Wands, RX. Hell yes. Burnt out, exhausted, tired of having the same argument over and over.
  3. What part of my identity is being challenged? Mother of Cups. This one is funny because both the Mother of Cups and the Daughter of Cups are my significators. My sense of myself as a patient, compassionate person is being challenged.
  4. What is my goal in having this conversation? Five of Pentacles, RX. To undo pain and feelings of misunderstanding/isolation.
  5. What needs to be said? Four of Swords, RX. Some things that should have been said a long time ago, but weren’t. I need to stop covering things over and tell them my truth. These things need to be actionable.
  6. What is true that doesn’t need to be said? Daughter of Cups, RX. I don’t need to bring all my emotional immaturities upfront. I don’t need to go over in detail every time I was annoyed or upset. This is not about emotional venting.
  7. What is the most important thing to keep in mind? The Empress. That my goal is healing and I have it within me to do this.

Wow! I was very impressed with these when I turned them over. So much clarity here.

If you feel moved to use this spread, please comment and tell me how it went! And also consider picking up a copy of Difficult Conversations if you have some especially difficult conversations you need to have, or you have to have these kinds of conversations fairly often.*

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* I bought this book with my own money and am recommending it based on my own experience.

#shadowworkoctober Days 1-10

Truth be told, I started my tarot Instagram account, @emilytarot, because there were some cool tarot challenges coming up in October and I did not want to spam the people following my personal account with tarot stuff. One of those challenges is #shadowworkoctober hosted by @mnomquah. Those following along are supposed to be keeping journals, but mostly my Instagram account has been serving as the journal. I want to sum up my thoughts and insights here, 10 days into the challenge.

What is shadow work? The concept of the shadow originated with Carl Jung and although I’m sure in the psychoanalytic tradition it’s much more complex than this, the overall idea is that our shadow is what we disown and repress about ourselves. Usually, we project our shadow onto other people. That’s why we see a person criticize someone for doing something and then turn around and do it themselves! We all have shadow parts–parts of ourselves that we believe are unacceptable, so shadow work is discovering those parts and integrating them into ourselves in a healthy way. Interestingly, for me the overall theme of this month hasn’t been about uncovering a bunch of monsters in my closet as it has been about revealing ways that I’ve been limiting myself.

Because I’ve deleted several of the original pictures (I only have but so much storage space on my phone!), I’m going to start with links first. We began with a mandala representing ourselves. I’ve never drawn a mandala before, but this is what came out of the creative process. Those familiar with tarot will probably recognize the four elements and faculties here: (clockwise from top) air/intellect, with its ability to draw lines and put things into boxes; fire/spirituality, with its refracting, jewel-like energy; earth/materiality–the disks of coins, tree trunks, the earth–roundness, wholeness; and water/emotion–waves, change. These five are surrounded in purple by what is simultaneously shadow and spirit or consciousness–the thing that makes me greater than the sum of my parts. The purple also represents shadow, those qualities which are still part of me, but which I have tried to cast out.

Day two was the Hero’s Journey spread, and the results I got are here. Notice the reversed Queen of Wands and the King of Swords. Court cards have been coming up for me a LOT this month, and all my wands cards have been reversed. I don’t think this spread shows a triumphant journey, like the kind you’d see in a movie. I think it’s a move from depending on those outside of me to moving into a darker, internal place and giving up ruses and disguises in the process.

I think this movement into darkness is somehow mirrored by the source of my greatest fear, which is the Sun??? (I was a bit puzzled by that one.) And the way of releasing that fear is through the determination of the Two of Wands. These were days 3 and 4. For day 5, we chose a card, rather than drawing one at random: our least favorite card. Mine is the 5 of Swords, for reasons I think I explain pretty well on the page. I definitely see this as a shadow part of myself.

dauwandsrx The next few days focus on questions: What do I need to forgive myself for? (Day 6) The Daughter of Wands, reversed. I think this is about the way that my life–not simply the pursuit of a PhD, but a lot of my life choices over the past decade have made me a happy, responsible person, but have sapped my creativity. I have felt a lot of sadness and shame about this, but I also need to forgive myself for not spending my 20s being an artist or a poet. I really do have a lot of creativity and vitality that I can put to use and that I can foster. It’s no surprise, then, that my inner truth (Day 7) is the Daughter of Pentacles, reversed. The Daughter of Pentacles is studious and dutiful. I have really embodied her over the past several years, but now that identity no longer serves me.

The Ancestor--one of my very favorite cards from any deck-- is just there for support.
The Ancestor is just there for support

Day 8 was a bit of a detour from this theme, as we spoke about reclaiming the most negative Major Arcana card as a positive one. I chose the Heirophant and you can read what I have to say here.

Day 9, my greatest misperception about myself, was the Magician, reversed. I pulled two other cards along side him to see what commentary they had. The reversed Magician is about lacking power–I consistently underestimate myself and think I’m less versatile than I actually am. It’s funny because I don’t think that I do this, but when I get feedback from others, they point out that I have skills or talents or opportunities that I hadn’t even considered.  Not surprisingly, the Daughter of Pentacles showed up reversed again, showing me that my studiousness is part of what’s sapping my Magician power. I think I’m trained to do one thing really well, but I’m actually pretty versatile. The Ten of Cups, appearing upright, suggested to me that the way to get my Magician mojo back is to follow my feelings. It’s funny, because although I feel things deeply, I don’t act on my emotions very much. This suggest that I need to get over that!magician rx

And lastly–and not surprisingly–today’s card was in response to the question: what do I need to let go of? The Father of Wands, reversed. Geez, all I need now is the Son of Wands reversed and I’ll have the whole set! Again, I need to let go of feeling like I need permission from the universe to undertake creative projects or do the kind of work I want to do.kingwandsrx For this month’s challenge, I was expecting to get all of these messages about my foibles, but actually, the messages that I’m getting are about my strengths and how I am not living up to my potential. I think all the court cards are showing me the different personas and identities that I need to shed or take on in this process. It’s been a very interesting month with this challenge so far. Looking forward to the next 21 days!

Tarot Cards for Dissertation Writing

I’ve been working on my dissertation since September of 2013, I believe, and I will turn it in to my committee on September 1st, 2015. Over the past nearly two years, my relationship with my dissertation has changed a lot, as have the daily habits that I’ve come to cultivate. I only started studying tarot recently, but lately I’ve noticed that many of the cards embody energies, ideas, and perspectives that I’ve discovered in the process of dissertation writing. Only some of the cards below concern the intellectual side of the endeavor. Others correct for grad students’ tendency to focus on the intellect at the expense of everything else. I have found out how to live while writing my dissertation, rather than being a slave to it, and these cards express some of the lessons I’ve learned.Continue reading “Tarot Cards for Dissertation Writing”

The Wild Unknown

Like everyone and their cat in the tarot world, I now have a copy of the Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans. The card images I saw online made a lot of sense to me intuitively. And as I’m drawn to decks with simpler artwork (particularly those where the emphasis is on line rather than color or shading) I figured it would be a good fit. I’ve been working with this deck almost exclusively since I got it in order to get an understanding of its workings.

Soon after I got the Wild Unknown, I did a deck interview with it, which has helped guide my work with it since.

WU InterviewHere is the deck interview spread. Reading from left to right, the cards are numbered 1-6.Continue reading “The Wild Unknown”

The $2 Deck Wrap

One thing I can say for sure is that many of the rituals surrounding storing and “cleansing” tarot decks really don’t appeal to me. Sometimes my die-hard skeptic comes out and I’m like–“There is no way I’m going to waste a bunch of salt or sage on a tarot placebo.” The same goes for the idea that decks should be wrapped in silk. I don’t personally use silk, since silkworm larvae are killed in the process of harvesting. I also read somewhere…on another blog (sorry, attribution fail) that silk is one of the fabrics that is most likely to attract critters and therefore one of the worst for storing tarot cards.

U Waite box
Oh, the sadness of this box.

Until recently, I haven’t really been concerned about storing my cards at all, mostly because I have only one deck and use it pretty much every day. But I haven’t been keeping my Universal Waite cards in their box for the past few months because my box is sad. When I pulled them out of storage in January, I was surprised how beat-up the box was, but didn’t remember it being any other way. The upshot is that I must have used the cards a lot as a teenager and only remember a fraction of that use. (The same goes for watching anime or listening to Green Day, probably.) So my deck has been sitting all naked and lonely on my altar for a while.

I’m actually fine with a naked and lonely deck, but things become more complicated when you add multiple decks to the mix. I will soon be the owner of not just one, but FOUR tarot decks (the Linestrider, as well as the Wild Unknown and Pamela Colman Smith Centennial decks that I ordered yesterday.) Since I won’t be using them all at the same time, I want a nice way to store them, one that keeps them easily accessible and easy to tell apart. I think the Linestrider will come in a pretty standard paper box, so while that’s OK for long-term storage, I don’t want to be opening and closing it all the time if I’m reading with it often. Likewise, the Centennial deck will come as part of a huge boxed set, so I will want to have some place else to put it if I’m doing regular readings with it. (It does come with a little organza bag, but one that doesn’t set me on fire, to say the least.) The Wild Unknown comes in a pretty snug, sturdy, and compact box, from what I can tell, so I will probably keep it there most of the time with the exception of when I travel. So, I need something to store the other three decks.

I was inspired by the Slow Holler people (by the way–support this amazing deck in the last days of its Kickstarter campaign!!!) creating a custom handkerchief/bandana to store the deck. And I thought, huh, why don’t I just buy a few bandanas? So I went down to my local menswear shop and picked up a couple of US-made bandanas for $2 each.

bandana layoutI’m mostly familiar with bandanas as the thing that my dad wraps around his forehead before he goes to mow the lawn. Having purchased a couple for myself, I was struck by how beautiful they are, and how much we take traditional bandana patterns for granted. So I’ve decided to not only wrap my decks in them, but to use them as “laying cloths” as well. I bought a dark blue for my Universal Waite, a lavender for the Linestrider, and will get a sky blue for the Centennial deck and a black one for the Wild Unknown. My only concern is that dye from the bandanas will rub off on the decks. This is probably more of a concern if I’m traveling and the edges of the deck are getting jostled against the cloth. It’s also not that big of a concern. I want to treat my decks well and with respect, just like with any other everyday object I use, I actually want to use them, which is different from keeping them in pristine condition.

bandana wrapWrapping my deck has taken a little getting used to, but I really like the sturdy, soft package that results. I feel much better about the prospect of traveling with my cards because wrapping them tightly in cloth makes sure that they don’t move around much and gives them good padding all at the same time. The bandana cloth likes to stick to itself, so I don’t think a bundle would come undone easily.

And while I don’t think there’s any inherent power or energy in a deck-wrapping, I do think the ritual of unwrapping the deck before use and re-wrapping it afterwards adds a nice intentionality to the act of reading the cards

The Linestrider Tarot Deck

Well, I finally gave in. I promised myself that I would not buy anything having to do with Tarot–no decks, no books, no apps, nothing–until the end of the semester. (In this case, it means after the last day of classes on April 20th. I’ll need something to motivate me getting through final grades, after all.) BUT then a special case popped up. Someone linked to Siolo Thompson’s Linestrider Tarot Deck campaign in a blog post I was reading and I just fell in love. Mind you, this was a few weeks ago, so it’s not like I was completely impulsive, but I gave in just now. How do I justify this purchase to myself? Well, the Linestrider Tarot is just an IndieGoGo campaign right now and I honestly have no idea if I’d be able to get my hands on one after the campaign is over. Also, it won’t ship until May, so I am considering it my birthday present to myself.

Desires always have a way of enlisting reason into their service, huh?

At any rate, I will leave my other three planned Tarot purchases–The Wild Unknown deck, Benebell Wen’s Holistic Tarot, and Paul Quinn’s Tarot for Life–until April 20th. I am SO excited about the prospect of getting two new decks and a couple of great books! I definitely plan on sharing my journey with the Linestrider and the Wild Unknown on this blog!