Friday, August 25, 2017

Spirit Guide Reading - Revisited

Back in 2012 I shared this reading on  Zanna Starr's Tarot Notes blog, you can find the reading HERE  

I thought it would be fun to share this simple reading of two cards  once more, asking the questions:
1. "What message does my spirit guide/s really want to get across to me right now? And 
2. How do they want me to use this message in my life?

I hope if you try out this spread that you get the answers you need right now.

Lay the Cards side by side. Ask the first question of card No. 1 and the second question of card No. 2.  Notice how the cards interact and how that influences the message. 

I'm using the Alchemical Tarot - Renewed.
Alchemical Tarot Renewed by Robert M. Place
Published by Hermes Publications

The first thing I notice is that my two cards are minor arcana and therefore really applies to my everyday life. That's good because at least I know there is not major life changing things they want to tell me. Another interesting thing about these two is they both depict a change of positions; the boat coming in  and the pots rearranging themselves.

So what's my message.  It seems pretty clear to me that my Spirit guide wants me to know right now that the time to bring about change and replenish myself is here. The boat indicates an arrival and with it will come something new, something I can use to widen my future activities.  So how do they expect me to use this knowledge, well just look at those pots moving from their static position. Unlike traditional decks where the 5 cups depicts concentrating on ones loss rather than on what one has, the Alchemical Tarot's five of Vessels depicts a sudden change. My guide's instructions of how to use his message is to be open to new possibilities and be ready to try something new.

There you have it a very clear message, that change is in the air. To widen my view of my horizon and be prepared to be open to the possibilities that offer themselves to me.

Makes perfect sense, especially in the direction I am travelling at the moment. I hope you find the right answers for yourselves using this simple spread.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Poetry Inspired by Tarot - Progress

Alchemical Renewed
By Robert M. Place 
Hermes Publications
This poem was inspired by the Alchemical Renewed Tarot's 5 of Wands (Burning Hand - creative energy)


Are we learning to make fire,
with every breath we take?
As we grasp those sticks so firmly,
for all humanities sake.

Will we keep rubbing them together,
until we gain a spark?
And know that our endeavours.
will only be the start.

It may take us some effort,
but from a spark comes flame.
It's flickering light's potential, 
will that be our gain?

But flame begets flame,
it spreads both far and wide.
And if our efforts go overboard
do we then run and hide?

Making fire should be our aim
but there's a lesson to learn.
It's flames may dance, inspire our minds,
just be careful, who we burn.

© Helen A. Howell

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Learn Tarot With Me - The Magician


Original Rider Waite -By A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


These are my own, try to make up one's that you can remember.

Make things happen
Conscious Awareness
Creative Initiative

The Esoteric Title for this card is: The Magus of Power (Book T)

Astrological Attribution:  Mercury - Again you must forgive my lack of astrology, but I do believe that Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and apparently has the fastest orbit of nine know planets.  Therefore Mercury is quick. 

Elementally Attribution: Air  Elemental air is hot and wet and its nature is separation.

Positive Meanings: Action - Power - Creativity - Confidence - Willpower - Potential.

Negative Meanings: Manipulation - Trickery - Lack of Confidence - Misuse of Power.

The Magician indicates for us that we have the willpower and the initiative to succeed. The four elements on his table tell you that you have all you need to create. If he was to speak to you he would say "you have the power to create."

When The Magician turns up in a reading he indicates that this is the time for action and energy. He is a number 1 card and that represents potential and new beginnings. When he appears he urges you to recognise that you have what it takes to make things happen. He points the way for you to transform one situation into another. He stands for being aware of the power in your life. 

The negative aspects of this card indicate that you may well lack will power or the confidence needed to transform a situation. He also stands for trickery, think con-artist. Or he could indicate one that misuses power and manipulates others to his own end. 

Notice the position of the arms, one points to the heavens and one to the earth, 'as above, so below.' This translates to mean that if one allows their higher self to work with their consciousness, then you will have a better understanding of what you possess in order to create the reality you desire.  I think his fundamental element of his message is awareness, intention and willpower in order to see things through.  The Magician indicates that you have to do things for yourself.

Lets look at the symbolism of the card:

1. Lemniscate, the Magician has above his head the sign of the mystical lemniscate which looks like a number 8 on its side.  It is also the mathematical symbol for infinity and therefore connects the Magician to timelessness.

2. Ouroboros, around his waist is a belt which resembles a snake eating its tail. This becomes a circular symbol of time and reinforces the message of the lemniscate.

3. Roses and Lilies, Red roses could symbolise desire and action while the White lilies could stand for truth.

4. Table/Alter, could the table itself stand for the potential in one's life? It is, where the Magician stands his tools.

5. Magical tools, on his table are four magical tools and these have come to represent the 4 elements, Air, (sword) Fire, (wand) Water, (cup) Earth (pentacle.)

6. Position of his hands, the Magician stands holding his own wand pointing to the heavens, while his other hand points to the earth. As stated above this symbolises 'as above, so below,' meaning our spiritual self should be manifested in our reality.

7. Yellow background,  taking what yellow appears to symbolise in tarot, it's an indication of mental activity, solar, energy, willpower and awareness and intention, which is what our Magician is all about.

I think what the Magician says to us is "you have the power to create," and what he does is point the way in which further development can take place. He is able to expand his energies on his vision and ideals to which he is committed.

The Magician indicates our intuitive ability and can highlight for us those experiences we have chosen to manifest as well as indicating those areas that tend to limit us, thus giving us a better understanding of how we should deal with these aspects of life. 

I really think what the Magician is saying in plain words to us is that the power is within one's own hands to not just create one's reality but to understand how we should approach this. 

The Magician tells us that we have to be more aware that we are more than just physical beings and this realisation is what gives us the power to create.

Exercise for this week:

Don't forget to write out a couple of Tarot Wisdom statements for the Magician. I'll give you an example of this.
May you today envisage those new beginnings you desire and display the will power to create them for yourself.

Original Rider Waite -By A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Now you have two cards under your belt, I would like you to lay these two cards down together. Magician as card no.1 and The Fool as card no.2 Notice how The Fool is walking towards the Magician. What do you think the message of these two cards combined might be?
If you would like to leave your answers in the comments I will come back and look and comment on them. 

See you next week with  The High Priestess.

Credit for Cards show:

Original Rider Waite By A.E. Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Poetry Inspired by Tarot - Dreaming

Wonderland Tarot
Published by U.S.Games Systems Inc.

This poem was inspired by the 4 of Flamingos (Swords) in one of my favourite decks The Wonderland Tarot - now out of print.


It's time to sleep, close my eyes,
and rest my weary head.
To dream of things yet to come,
and things yet to be said.

No thoughts to torment me,
my mind has been set free.
To delve much deeper in the dark,
 while searching for the key.

I'll dream of roses, soft and red,
that lay around my feet.
Of Knights so bold in armour bright.
and sweet, sweet treats to eat.

And while I dream of things untrue,
my mind sends me a clue,
Of what I really need to know,
and what I should next do.

As I slumber through the night,
my visions keep on spinning.
And like the young moon in the sky,
I'll wake, to a new beginning.

© Helen A. Howell 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Learn Tarot with Me - The Fool

This course is aimed at giving you a good basic knowledge of the cards. It is based on what I have learnt over the years of studying and reading tarot.  Tarot Cards have a diverse set of meanings, but the first step is to learn the basic meanings of each card. Once this is done, you will be able to give a reasonably good reading and can go on to learn more and allow your intuition to guide you as well.

Tarot Cards do have a history and do have definite meanings. If what you're looking for is to just look at the cards and say anything that comes into your head, then this is not the course for you.  As far as I am concerned you might as well be reading a cornflake packet. However if you want to learn to read cards properly then first you must learn to walk before you can run.

This course is based on the Rider Waite Tarot (published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.) I aim to give you information about each card, and some little exercises to do to help you retain the information you learn.  I hope you find this course informative, helpful and fun.

Original Rider Waite -By A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

The Fool

KEYWORDS:  These are phrases that can help you remember quickly what the card is about:  I'll give you some examples - but try to make up your own, that way you'll remember them better.

My Keywords for this card:
*Look beyond the obvious 
*Fresh outlook
* Potential

The Esoteric Title for this card is Spirit of Aether (Book T)

Astrological Attribution - Uranus - I'm not very astrologically minded but from what I can find out about Uranus it is a bit unpredictable - sorta like the Fool.

Elemental Attribution - Air - Air is hot and wet and its nature is separation.

Positive Meanings:  New beginnings - inventiveness, optimism, fearless, visionary.

Negative Meanings: Thoughtlessness- immaturity - impulsiveness, -  lack of responsibility - naivete.

You'll notice the Fool is 0 in the deck and that means he belongs anywhere while he works his way through The Fool's Journey (
See Understanding Tarot)

When The Fool turns up you can expect the unexpected.  He can suggest a new beginning and a time to try out different things.  He suggests that you should not be afraid to take that leap of faith and is always asking you to look beyond the obvious. He stands on the edge of a precipice ready to walk over and yet he doesn't know if he will land safely, but what he does do is trust that he will. He tells you not to fear the unknown and also not to over think things but rather just do them. 

Of course like all cards he has negative aspects too and these would be taking a foolish risk, rushing into things before making sure its ok. It also suggests that you let opportunities pass you by or perhaps that you shy away from adventure.

Lets look at the symbolism in the card.

  1. First the stick and bundle, this bundle could represent his previous knowledge and past experiences.  The symbolism of being carried over his shoulder or behind him represents him not wanting them to influence his future.
  2.  White Rose, maybe a symbol of his innocent approach to life.
  3. The Dog, the dog could be said to represent his instinctual side but also may well symbolise his unconscious.
  4. Hat of interwoven laurel leaves, laurel leaves have been a symbol of success.
  5. Red Feather in Hat, feather could be associated with the element Air and the red symbolising passion and energy, the desire within his thoughts that drive him on.
  6. Mountains Behind Him - mountains could be said to represent the boundaries of his mind, but note these are soft green  topped with white. Green typically symbolises potential, growth and adaptability. If we look at how green is made by mixing blue (associated with the sky and heavens, and  yellow (associated with intellect , positive mental activity)  alludes to acknowledging his higher self, while the white could show an innocent spirit, searching for his own truth.
  7. The Sun above him, could well represent illumination and enlightenment.
  8. Yellow boots - again can be associated with solar energy (enlightenment) and mental activity (physical) perhaps indicates that he is walking with his mind.
  9. Last but not least  the ground and cliff itself, these are an earthy brown connecting him to the practicalities of his physical life.
Looking at these symbols and in particular the dog, it makes me think that if the dog represents his unconscious, is the Fool aware of this? He may be looking upwards and not directly see his dog, but the dog is still in his field of awareness, this then leads me to ask another question are the Fool's actions 'foolish' or is he someone who is 'calculatingly foolish?'

I feel with the way the symbolism is that this Fool is foolishly serious about his play. So the rose may say that he has an innocent approach to life but that doesn't necessarily mean that he is innocent. It may just mean that he is ready for a new and fresh approach and willing to open himself up to all the possibilities in life. The red feather and the red on his garments show us his passionate and energetic approach. The bundle behind him illustrates that he is not prepared to be restricted by past experiences, he is actually that drive that exists within us to break free of restrictions in search for new enlightenment. The mountains show us that he is willing to expand and grow those boundaries in his search for his own truth. Those yellow boots indicate that he is ready to use his mental abilities to take him further. His catch phrase I think would most likely be 'don't over think it, instead experience it.' 

What The Fool carries in his message to us is that in his leap of faith, gaining knowledge or enlightenment doesn't just come from written material but through experiencing life itself.

To help you retain this information I advise you keep a journal on each card, writing down information helps one remember it.  

A little exercise you can do for each card to help you understand its meaning is to write out a couple or so Tarot Wisdom statements. I'll give you an example for the Fool.

Tarot Wisdom: The Fool:

May you never be afraid to grasp those new opportunities that life has to offer.

See you here next week with the Magician

Credit for card shown:

Original Rider Waite -By A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Ramble through the suit of Swords

The Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck By Virginijus Poshkus 

Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

When you look at the suit of Swords you do have to wonder if they are a good suit or not.  I mean all those sharp swords to contend with, doesn't always give one a happy feeling. But is this suit really not being understood, especially as it has been known as the "Suit of Sorrow." I want to take a closer look at these cards and see if we can find more joy rather than regret.

Swords is as you probably know is represented by the element Air, this relates to communication, mental activity and logic. Of course who hasn't had negative thoughts. I know I have from time to time, so for example when you look at the
5 of Swords it so easy to see confrontation, arguments. From what I can see though, the image suggests to me that those walking away have taken on more than they can chew. The winner also makes me question whether he has won or not, after all he's left on his own, the others are still together.  

I think the underlying message in this card is one of making one think before they leap into something.  To me it appears to talk of working within one's own limitations. So the 5 does present me with an opportunity to ask myself is the end result worth the effort? Recognise your situation and work within those boundaries to achieve a better result. Good advice from the 5 don't you agree?

As I look at each card in this suit, I see a more positive message that lies underneath the more common one. Each of those messages seems to give me advice on how to overcome the sorrow that the suit portrays. Take a look at the 6 of Swords.  The 6 in general means moving away from what has troubled you, that's positive you say, yes it is. It can speak literally  of moving. But whether it's a change of scene or a change of thought patterns, the positive advice this card appears to give is in the swords that are lodged in the boat. 

The real advice to help you move into more contented times and leave that troubled waters behind is, that you have to consider the negative thought pattern that placed you in that situation.  If you take it with you you'll never be free.  Good positive advice again from the suit of sorrows.

I could ramble on though all the cards, but I guess what I'm saying really is, when Swords appear look beyond the obvious to find that gem of advice that can help remove any mental blocks and bring back clarity. Clarity of thought which in turn can bring enlightenment to a situation from where the a new beginning could present itself.

Credit for Cards Shown
The Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck By Virginijus Poshkus  - Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Learn Tarot With Me - Understanding Tarot

I thought I would start a new series, whereby once a week I will post a lesson up on how to read tarot. I will be using the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (published by U.S. Games Systems Inc. as I feel this is the mother to most modern tarot decks. Once you understand how to read this deck, different decks will be easier to read.

However before we start talking about what various cards, numbers etc. mean, a basic understand of what Tarot is should be the first step.

Understanding Tarot

How does tarot work and what influence does it have on your life?

I believe that the Tarot works in a way that connects to our energy and becomes a tool that enables contact with our higher self. We then become enlightened about the choices we have and the possibilities that may be available, but remembers that we also have free will so those possibilities are changeable and depend on the choices we make.

When you have a reading the influence it may have on your life is that it can cause you to look where you have not thought to look before. By exploring beyond normal perception you can gain a more positive outlook, facilitate a greater understanding of yourself and your situation and in turn, empower you to make a better choice for yourself.

The Tarot Cards
A tarot deck consists of 78 cards and is divided into two parts. The first, consisting of 22 cards, is called the Major Arcana. The second, consisting of 56 cards, is called the Minor Arcana (or Pip cards).
The Major Arcana cards are thought to refer to the spiritual / psychological part of life’s journey and relate to the more important of life's issues. This is often called “The Fool’s Journey” as he travels by through the three stages of life from 0-21. Briefly, these stages are represented by:

The Fool (0) - The Chariot (7) is when the Fool starts to develop self awareness and discovers the importance of choice and how it impacts on life - in short, this is the education stage.

Strength (8) - Temperance (14) is the time when the Fool faces the physical / material trials of adulthood - this is the stage where the moral lessons of life are learnt.

Devil (15) - World (21) is the final stage and where the Fool develops an understanding that one must look inwards to work through fundamental thoughts and behaviours in order to rebuild - this is the stage concerning the search for real meaning.

The Minor Arcana (Pips) consists of four suits - Wands, Cups. Swords and Pentacles. Each suit has 14 cards numbered Ace to Ten plus four court cards - Page, Knight, Queen and King.

The four suits relate to the four elements (fire, water, air and earth) and are concerned with the day-to-day issues of life.

Wands energy comes from the Fire element and is expressed through action, creativity and intuition.

Cups energy comes from the Water element and is expressed through emotion, feelings, imagination and inspiration.

Swords energy comes form the Air element and is expressed through clarity of thought, mental activity and logic.
Pentacles energy comes from the Earth element and is expressed through those things which are tangible - money, practical security, material wealth, physical needs.

As an example of how these energies can work together, consider the creative conception of an idea (Wands); the emotions that support it (Cups); the mental activity that forms it (Swords) and the manifestation of it into reality (Earth).

Court cards can be interpreted as facets of your own personality, or as other people in your life, coming into your life or as a situation. Pages are considered to be the messengers of the suits and are immature. Knights deliver the message and are the teenagers. Queens assimilate the message. The King has mastered the message.

This is a basic understanding of how tarot works.  Next week I'll be looking at  the cards themselves.

Credit for cards shown:
Tarot Bella unfinished deck by Helen