HAPPY NEW 2013! HELLO WITCHES Nº37


We made it out the other side even though thousands have vouched for our lights extinguishing. What have you got to say for yourselves, nay sayers?? I hope you're turning on a new leaf, because for many this day is inspirational! Last December was full of grief and endings, while this one radiates a silver lining of hope yet to be discovered. While I hold those natural endings close to my heart, — Grandma I miss you! — I have been building up a shiny new layer of hope and positive energy that is necessary in my personal development. I have shed that skin of disillusion and of personal distaste for my surroundings and the people in them. In this radical turnaround, I have been feeling more compassionate for those around me and I have also started giving myself the princess treatment. It feels great!

I may have a relapse now and then, but I want to get rid of that distaste for people. It has plagued my heart and my spirit with murky feelings and bitter thoughts. I have not been shiny or optimistic in a long time, and it is going to take a real big push to leave those barren lands. I have decided that an old lesson from 2011 should be brought back in color and full life. I want to focus on manifesting myself as a love letter to the universe and to those around me. The year has concluded and I hold in my hands a brand new day planner to fill with inspiring quotes, card of the day, dreams, goals, and information about how plans are turning out.

The road to self-empowerment can be really tough. On the daily I have encountered people doubting my skills or my capability to help them because of a young face. My face, despite appearances, continues to age naturally. Don't worry, I'm not tricking you with any illusions... just a lot of personal care and painstaking attention to looking decent for you.

It's not all pink flowers and purple butterflies. I know that there are a lot of people out there that prove a trial to my patience and my peace of mind. I've decided to throw those negative cards to the wind and focus instead on the goals that I want to achieve. Let's face it, those negative vibes aren't going to bring us any closer to our goals.

So for now I bid adieu to the stress, to the anxiety and to an unhealthy body — and mind. 2013 is all about improving those bits and things that have always been just barely there. I want to make my dreams a reality already, and I'm off to a great start.

WEEKLY PROJECTIONS:
Monday. Eight of Swords. Not a good way to start the week with pressure or limitations. The dome is glowing, there is a woman tied up amongst a cage of swords and a creature in chains nearby. It is the feeling of not being able to move, not being ready to face the obstacles that keep us in our little cage. It shows that if we limit ourselves or is we don't see a way forward, we could get stuck in a timid state of mind. We need to be able to see around us to understand the cycles commencing and progressing around us.

 Tuesday. Ace of Wands. An energizing start! That rod looks burning hot but the hand has no problem in brandishing it. It's full of hot energy, radiance, passion and new beginnings in that field. It's always a positive beginning when you're finding a new spark of passion or a new idea to brandish. Let's welcome some new energy into our lives and a promise of possibilities for the future. This is a fast start and a happy one, so let's keep that flame burning in our hearts and welcome a new adventure.

 Wednesday. The Sun. Oh, hello sunshine! Watch this statuesque boy as he stands on the back of a pony and looks towards the heavens. He is dressed his best and he is surrounded by optimal circumstances. He's content, happy, in the place he needs to be. That looks like a warm day in the sun and a great omen for the week. Much like the Moon can influence the cards around it, the Sun will actually brighten up the cards around it. It's lovely!


 Thursday. Queen of Coins. Hello Capricorn, we meet again! This card gives me such a safe and cozy feel. It tells me, "you have been working so hard lately! Take some time off to enjoy yourself and really look for the things that make you feel as if it's all worth it." Since this card falls under the zodiac house of Capricorn, it's a great signifier for a workaholic. Somebody whose life revolves around responsibility and making things comfortable at home. When you think of it that way, that's what we all strive to do.

 Friday. Page of Coins. The child looks at his maquette with care, he's jealous of anybody touching it and dreaming about how wonderful it will be when his idea comes to life. This is that quiet lull after a hard night of work, right before something is due. We dream of improvement, of growing and turning into mature people. However, we don't always see the work that it takes to get where we want to go. The obstacles we have to face now will shape us up for the things we face in the future.

 Saturday. Temperance. Slow down, Sparky! Take it easy! Watch, this is a lovely scene. The yellow wall contrasts beautifully against the patterns of vines and the fish. This is meaningful! This statuesque woman embodies divine elements blending into our natural life to bring us some peace of mind and tranquility. We need to find a slow way to work out the noise in our heads into the melody of this divine being.



 Sunday. The Emperor. This wonderful man shows up again with his cold stare and his rigid principles. No leeway, no smiles and no mercy when it comes to justice. He is life path number 4, making him a visionary for keeping things in order and according to how he thinks they should be done. This can be an order that we can't quite escape or the responsibilities tying us down into patterns of lifestyle, but I think that once we have a system that works, we need only honor it.

 What to avoid. Four of Wands. Don't get caught up in comfort zones and in what you know you can do without fail. Instead, play to your strength and look for what you most want. You've got what it takes to make it happen for you. Just trust in yourself and what you want to make happen, chances are that taking the risk is all you need to set those plans in motion.

 What to strive for. Page of Cups. "Seek the things that make you happy." Look for the emotional freedom and the promises for the future that inspire you to go on without really worrying about what you are leaving behind. You have so many opportunities that pave the way to new possibilities for you, don't turn those away with a frown. Instead, you should look forward the blessings coming up and how much you're going to enjoy them. Find new love in the things you do.



Bouquet. Bouquets can smell so good! They are prim and pressed gifts that carry a message and an intention. They make people feel lovely.
Key. Keys open doors, they open up opportunities to go to new places.

Bouquet + Key. A beautiful gift, a key to open a new door... It looks like old sadness is locked up, and now we focus on positive gifts life has in store instead. This has been a prevalent theme throughout the last couple of weeks!

Edit: I just realized it meant New Year! Hur hurr!

Good-bye, grey dreams and broken illusions. Fare well, jealous copy-cats and spiteful remarks from jaded people. So long, nasty co-workers and happy high slayers bringing us down. Today I am sipping on some Möet and welcoming some sparkle back into my bubble. You're invited to join me if you want a contagious sense of joy and of frilly love, because that's all I've currently got to offer.

Cheers to a new year. Cheers to you, me and the devil makes three!
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº36




Hello Dreamers,

Did you miss me? I have missed you too! With 12/21/2012 coming up, I thought it best to disconnect and rewire for a little while. I wasn’t preoccupied with the end of days coming, in fact I have never believed in this sort of thing. For a while I filled my head with news of freemasonry and possible new world commissions for the coming era. I found riddles of high magic and signs of darkness displayed in front of innocents trapped in the transient spaces of an unusual airport. For days I looked through my cards and asked myself questions to do with skills of divine influence versus man-made schemes. It was very unsettling both for me and for the people that surrounded me. Once I managed to purge the viral plague from my thoughts, I grounded myself back in reality and instead I have used this time to prepare for 2013 and the surprises that are in store. Embracing a new shade to my same old hues is both inspiring and a little intimidating.

So what do I want to do with all of this now?

Lately my thoughts are winding like clockwork. They turn on the hour and change as if by divine blessing. We should take this opportunity to really figure out which areas of ourselves merit exploration and which ones would be best to fade to the background. We can’t really focus all of our attention on those things that aren’t worth wasting time and energy on.

Let's talk a little bit about last week's cards. Last week started off with a surprise visit from J and followed with some fast action in getting ready for the holiday rush. On Friday he came swooping by for a kiss and so the fast weekend started. We celebrated Mom's birthday in wild style, although moving away from my responsibilities was pretty tough. Sometimes I needed some privacy to get my mind sorted out, there were so many things circling around in my head. When the noise builds up, I need to take a break to sort out those feelings on the inside. I was ready to continue the wild hustle and bustle afterwards, but I have to admit that trip was necessary.

This week we have a little bit of everything, and even some repeating cards to show us the way into 2013. This weekend looks to be pretty interesting, let's hold out to see where everything will go. Are you ready for another week to commence? I think I am.

WEEKLY SPREAD:

Monday. Eight of Wands. A repeat card! Here we can find once more the race against time and the fast action necessary to get things done. Everything is moving very fast, and we won't always get the time to sit around and think about what we're doing. When we're on the go, we have to make things up as we go. There isn't always time for a plan, and in races against time such as these, spontaneity is mandatory. Plan as you go, it can be worth it too!

Tuesday. The Lovers. This card is so very different from the dreamy one we saw last week. It is not a card of intense love and being swept off your feet, it is a more rational or mature love that does not need the intensity of the other to feel manifested. Last week it was exactly that, the romantic surprise of being swept. It felt like a fairytale made manifest and a dreamlike reality. This week around I may have sobered up a little, but those feelings are still absolutely there... and not going anywhere.

Wednesday. Nine of Wands. This is burnout if I have never seen it before. The soldier stands guard but everything else is up in smoke. He's tired and he's unsure but he's still there because he won't abandon his post. I have to admire his courage to keep doing what is right even though the circumstances are trying and inhospitable. He's still going, and that's what we need to do even if we're tired. It's not too far from the truth, I feel absolutely exhausted.



Thursday. Six of Cups. Melancholy can be a great, and yet very terrible gift. On one side it can be sweet, it can  mean to enjoy a treat that is notable since childhood. It could be to meet up with someone I haven't seen in a long time to catch up with. Sometimes I see it as a visit of someone who knew me before, but with the passing of the years also the reminder that we have grown a little more and that we are no longer the same that we used to be. There an be a gift of melancholy, of missing things the way that it used to be and possibly getting stuck in that moment. In that sense it can be painful and hard to let go of something we care so much about. Whatever the case, receive those chances with open eyes and an open mind and let yourself be surprised.

Friday. Seven of Coins. Another repeat card! A vast rosebush offers lovely gifts for her. She has one in her hand but she is trying to reach for one that is a bit more out of reach. She needs to be careful so as not to prick herself with the thorns, which can make this task arduous or troublesome. The sunlight streams through the roof of her private garden. She is well but she needs to assess the situation. One wrong turn of the hand and she could prick herself. I've been in this situation before! Friday is bound to be an interesting day, so let's see how it turns out.

Saturday. Wheel of Fortune. Just when you get yourself situated somewhere, things spin wildly and change once more. There is never really any telling of where our lives are about to carry us. We need to be receptive to the changes — or lack thereof — coming to grace us with new challenges and experiences. In this card we see a country bumpkin met with a great King. The King has his crown on a cushion and he offers it as a big gift and a responsibility. We won't know exactly what it is until we put the crown on and feel its weight.



Sunday. Two of Wands. Being between two worlds or two decisions is never quite easy. To dream of something much better than where you are now but still know there is a long way to go. You've gotten far, but you know that your world is actually quite small. So what now? You're looking out for the alternative, but nothing has become concrete as of yet. Here you are making plans for the next step, but it all needs to be done patiently and with the right mindset. First make a decision, then take a step forward or a few steps back. It's entirely up to you!

What to avoid. Ace of Wands. The flame ignites sometimes and we go with our feelings. Logic and passion disconnect as passion takes over. The result is a flare, a flash of light and the speed of adrenaline as it pulsates through you. You're caught in the speed of the moment and you go blind with passion. It's a good reminder not to let passion cloud the mind. We do the things we regret most in fits of rage. Turn this passion instead into doing things you love, or else you can get burnt out.

What to strive for. Queen of Swords. There she is, my fair signifier looking bold as ever! This wise Queen is definitely not one that you want to cross sharp words with. Her posture is lawless, her eyes gaze right at you and she's armed with the truth. This is the harsh exterior of a warrior that has learned through hard experience, and that will be able to pass fair judgment even under pressured circumstances. This is the card of someone that has no time to waste and that will find personal distaste in anybody trying to do the same. The least friendly of all the Queens in the tarot, but my personal favorite because it is a direct portrayal of me and what I am like: serious and disciplined.



House. This can be quite literally a house. For me, it can also present working from home or a foundation for something to be used in the future.
Tree. The tree has to do with matters of health over long time. It has to do with a strong foundation or the growth of a concept that can branch out to new things.

 House + Tree. Spend time working on home & health matters. It will be main priority this week to get everything back to speed.

My break was necessary but I am still pretty exhausted. Please expect the Year in Review soon as well as some other surprises. Let's wind down the year in style!
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº35




What a week, what a weekend! That Tower I was so worried about was actually the loss of all my e-mails. I went through a major race through time to get 06 e-mail accounts sorted out, take Mom shopping and for dinner, touch base with J, AND work towards my daily goal. It all went great, but I did often feel as if I had been loaded with more happenings than I could handle.

Conveniently, my boyfriend was shipped off to his family for the majority of the weekend, which left me a window to catch up on work and fix things up around the house. I worked my hands off like a little ant and faced many circumstances that were out of my control. The most shocking event happened to be the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. I first heard from a close friend that I had been discussing a possible death to back in October. We dismissed the issue until it came up in the news. When I received the distress text message and I Googled the headline, I met with an ugly reality and a lot of questions. Why would a kid massacre even younger children? What could he have suffered through in his life that merited retaliation on shiny souls waiting to leave their legacy on the world? I doubt that in his short 20 years he ever missed a plate of food on his table or knew what it was like to be homeless and in trouble. Even with possible bullying for being smart and different, — which happens to many of us, I should know — it's not a good excuse to extinguish the lives oh those that dreamed so vehemently to become admirable people.

The reast of the weekend wound down easily after that. The bitter drink was a lot to take at first, but washed down a little better with some wine and chocolate.

Today's spread is once more dominated by Major Arcana cards. The suit of Swords is missing, which can be a very good thing in festive days. I think I can do without the suit of Swords for a week, don't you?

I find that after a wild wheel such as this, we are entitled to a merry conclusion to 2012. Let's celebrate the fact that we are alive and together, because it's rough out there. All that we can truly say we have is each other.

THE WEEKLY SPREAD:


♡ Monday. The Lovers. This woman got swept off her feet, just watch her as she floats towards her love! These two are on cloud nine if I ever saw it, just watch the romantic and dreamy elements around them. This is a call for passion in everything you do, which should be something you really enjoy. The climate in this card is especially nice, it feels slightly chilly, but enough not to need layered robes. They carry long dresses or sleeping robes, making this a sweet — as opposed to short and scandalous — affair.

Tuesday. Justice. Once more we find our Libra signifier. She holds the weights over a man in his downfall, but in her other hand she bears the sword. What will his fate be? I feel like he's plummeting to the depths, and even then she manages to keep her calm and test him. Should the right scale tip, she will show him mercy. If the test proves unfavorable for him, he will continue on his way down without backwards glance. This is a call to assess the situation with a fair mind. If the person we consider has earned their decadence, it isn't our role to stop the fate they craft for themselves. If they warrant compassion, I'm not opposed to showing that side either!

♡ Wednesday. The Star.
Look at the outcome for that question. After passing judgment on somebody, she finds a place to bathe in moonlight and dream. As she cleanses, her thoughts disperse from her mind and even her hair is various tones lighter. When we show gratitude for our blessings, we find healing and hope. The peace is a manifestation of serenity and the dawn of better times. This is quite lovely, and much more refreshing than other Star cards, which actually make me feel of loneliness and wasted youth — I'm sorry, that's just what I usually get! Maybe the warmth of the Victorian Romantic is rubbing off on me...




Thursday. Seven of Coins. With an exciting trip in the next couple of days, it's time to choose what to pack and what to leave behind while also having to worry about what to wear to J's work Christmas party. Just look, this is like an early manifestation of the Nine of Coins from the Rider-Waite Smith tarot deck. It is the same atmosphere, the internal garden of choices and options.

Friday. Ace of Cups. Well, isn't this lovely? That dreamy lover swoops in for a kiss. So much emotion! It's fast, too. And absolutely not boring. I can admire the nudity in the card without it feeling carnal or objectified. This is lovely, and a romantic portrayal of a dream made real, isn't it?

Saturday. Eight of Wands. This is perhaps my favorite rendition of the Eight of Wands. Just watch the race versus time to win the race. There is so much determination to get things done and to also get the best of the other side. While no one is being doped out of this timely run, it looks like a fair manifestation of what can happen when two people have the same idea and yet don't agree on a final outcome. They are pretty tied, but watch as that man has just a little bit of an advantage. I really like this card, although it doesn't quite fit in with my usual interpretation of many messages exchanged over a short period of time.



Sunday. Strength. Those are a lot of lions! And she's not at all scared of them. The lady in the photo has just the right amount of strength to tame them from their temper and their fire. This is strength that can be calm even under pressure. You can be gentle — and not forceful — but still keep calm control of the things going on around you. It definitely isn't easy, and I can refer back to previous card draws from the year in which the Strength card was present. For me it is almost a wildcard because it never stands for the same situation twice.

What to avoid. Eight of Cups. Not everything always goes according to plan, you know? Disappointment can be hard to face and it can be equally hard if you're still willing to look for something more uplifting. When is it the right time to walk away from a project or a responsibility? It's a warning not to walk away from prior engagements at a moment's weakness. If the inspiration isn't flowing or if things aren't going according to plan, we shouldn't get frustrated and drop it. It should serve as a challenge to get creative and find another way ahead. When our sentiments are struck down, though, it may be tough to carry on through a full day without faltering in the slightest.

What to strive for. Three of Cups. This is such an excessive card for a party. Drink, talk, be merry and indulge in extravagant celebration. I can almost picture the room full of people peering over at the table causing so much ruckus. Picture that man guarding the champagne; it's late and he is absolutely tired while the women have the party rage on. It's a week of celebration for us thanks to Mom's birthday.



Clouds. Shady, murky times are ahead. Quite literally a storm or shade from the sun. Can allude to clouding our judgment or not being able to see joy / happiness in life matters.
Coffin. An end, there is no doubt about what this card means. Consider the blood spatter suggesting suffering. It's over.

Clouds + Coffin. The end of insecurity. The end of a shady period. The end of darkness.

How beautiful was that spread? Just look at all those inspiring cards! I haven't seen so much light brimming within a series of cards in a long time. Perhaps it is just the manner of the Victorian Romantic even with the difficult cards to deal with. Let's hold someone we care about and whisper how much we love them this week. I wish I could with Grandma.
♡♡

LENORMAND REVOLUTION REVIEW




The first time I laid eyes on the Lenormand Revolution deck, I knew that it would become a favorite right away. There is something romantic and melancholic about it. It could be winter's frost creeping up on me all the way to the tropics, or simply the fact that I love the French court. Whatever the case, as soon as I learned it went into print, I swooped in and got my copy. Literally minutes later, the deck had been sold out. I congratulated myself on a job well done because I knew that I could not live without this deck of cards. That same day I started seeing photos of people that had already received their decks and were publishing them in the Lenormand Cards Study Group. They had found that the tins this deck is housed in have just about enough space for gemstones and other things, and soon they were sharing their concoctions with the community. Once mine arrived, I could join the party too. I posted about it as an old friend that I greeted with airs of melancholy, and I quickly connected with various others that shared the same love for this deck that I do.



This limited edition Lenormand Revolution deck alludes to 18th century European and New World unrest, touching on the culmination of these turbulent times: the American and French Revolutions. With a nod to Mademoiselle Lenormand herself, each card features a French title with an English translation. The deck’s breathtaking images follow the traditional feel and clarity of the The Game of Hope, after which le petit jeu de Lenormand is said to have been originally fashioned. — Carrie Paris

I look at the cards and I see an era that I would have loved to dream in. The French court of the 1700s fascinates me -- especially that of Marie Antoinette. The Rococó for vanity, masquerades and frilly romance are for me staples of a wonderful era, even if others disagree. Even the cold hands of death and execution as carried out back then don't really bother me. Think about it, though. Swords were swung to behead a King or Queen, and if you were less than that it would be the gallows or a knife. Yikes! Definitely not a glamorous way to go, but I digress... Consider also the positive aspect of being in the French court around the 1700s, my legs feel like jelly! It would have been an absolute dream... minus the accepted standards for execution.

The card stock will stand up to years of loving use and abuse, but I just recently bought myself a second copy in the case that I could damage or misplace the copy that I use. I couldn't bear resolving to the application that is coming out and not really having the physical copy. To me, shuffling the cards myself and bonding with them is what helps me connect in a reading. I keep Marco the rose quartz bunny in the tin along with bottled essential oil, amethyst and lapis lazuli. The cards smell like my idea of a dream and they are nicely paired with my favorite dark nail polishes for some extra zest in a reading. Unnecessary glitz and glam, but for me a vital part of enjoying the reading ritual a little more than usual.



All of these beautiful, passionate and dark sentiments are preserved through time in a series of cards that sing wildly to me. I use it lovingly in daily card draws of two or the whole deck in a Grand Tableau. The Lenormand Revolution deck is by far my favorite, and will be used as my main reading oracle to accompany the tarot.

INTERVIEW WITH THE LENORMAND REVOLUTION DECK:


What is your most important characteristic?
La Maison / House.
The base of a community is basically all the same. People live in houses. People in this community read with Lenormand. It is the tool of the trade. It can signify a literal house, the place of study and of work. I see it as something solid and stable; the system was established years ago and it still works today as is.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Le Soleil / Sun. Warmth, energy and vibrance. It is the symbol of Kings and Emperors, the symbol of power. I want to add also that I find it to be a dazzling deck.

What are your limits?
La Clé / Key. Keys can lock or unlock things. Messages, secrets, doors. Whether you do one or the other is up to you... I choose to unlock secrets and to learn more about the Lenormand method.

What are you here to teach me?
Le Monsieur / Gentleman.
To read for male querents without the heavy adornment of the tarot. It is simple and fast forward in the case the need arises. Fancy that, he looks towards the Key and the Sun, even though the orientation of the cards have little to do with how Lenormand is read.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
La Lettre / Letter. Quite literally by writing about it, blogging about it or keeping it for personal use. Writing to others to share the wealth seems like a good idea, since a letter could be an ice breaker for interesting dialogue

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
L'Arbre / Tree. Fancy that! Trees have to do with health/growing and with family. Once rooted or grounded, I will be able to establish a solid perspective on how the Lenormand is read. I feel that it is here to stay, and will provide great strength.

Which card do you want to show off?
Le Vaisseau / Ship. A modern-day masterpiece ready to take off into uncharted waters. The ship is the vessel that provides the journey, and I dare say that this one goes with style. Ship means travel, far off places and adventure.

How do you see me?
La Lune / Moon. How lovely! Psychic gifts, dreams, intuition and work to do with those respective areas of study. It is my signifier in the tarot, but very different in the Lenormand because it takes out the darkness to the moon, or rather, what could be considered as a negative trait. Moon is about fame and networks.

How do you see yourself?
Les Nuages / Clouds. Cloudy. Can be clear, can be murky depending on the side — or the traditional school — you take it from. It will be a seasonal tool for readings and as fleeting as a dream. I have always felt that Lenormand readings go by too fast, even the Grand Tableau after knighting and tracing all kinds of connections possible.

I read using the German school of tradition and will someday be incorporating the use of the corresponding houses. I like the House + Sun + Key + Gentleman + Letter + Tree + Ship + Moon + Clouds way of reading, which reads as 'A good tradition to keep on your psychic career development.' You see? All that fluff for one coherent sentence. Amazing!

In case you're wondering, it has playing card inserts. The courts are ghastly, peering out from mirrors in their corresponding suits... so if you use them, they're there! I especially like that some of the cards have blurred fragments that visually allude to time passing and memories. It is as cloudy as a distant memory, and I'm all over that! Carrie Paris &Roz Foster, you made the perfect deck for me! Any chance you'll make a tarot deck as well?



Want this deck? You're in luck! Today it went back on sale, but I don't expect it will be available for long. This post was not a paid advertisement. I genuinely love this deck.
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº34



End of year is an incredibly busy time for all of us — no kidding! There are so many loose ends to tie up, people to nurture with love and plans to be made for the upcoming year. I know for sure that I need to set aside some time for leisure and for relaxation, though, since it seems I am face first into my responsibilities half the time.

In last week's reading we paired a Lenormand draw with the rest of the week. I just want to look back and talk a little bit more about that before we proceed to this week's electric reading. The week in itself was about finding stable ground and getting centered again. I have been dealing with the notion that I have been floating around rather than working to materialize plans. As a result, that change can get a little confusing. The card draws made sense in most cases. I got to see my boyfriend on Wednesday, and on Friday I had something come in the mail as well as my paycheck processed. On the weekend I had a heart to heart with J and on Sunday I was absolutely tired. The spread made a lot of sense to me in all but the Seven of Swords. Let's hope that this spread helps many of you as much as it helps me!

This week's tarot deck is the Tarot of Prague by Baba Studio. It is a 1st Edition in pristine condition, long out of print but it still included the box and the book. I have wanted to read with it for a very long time and was lucky to find one on Ebay for a steal. The previous owner was very fond of this deck, but even so had to part with it. Lately I am on a roll with purchasing decks off personal collections because I also found out I bought a deck off the maker of the Mary-El Tarot. It is equally exciting to add to my collection decks that are valuable to me in terms of my learning progress. This one is a definitely necessary addition to my repertoire. I will offer the story in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that.

This week's spread has an abundance of Major Arcana cards, but still manages to include at least one card from every suit. I'm surprised! The general theme described in the Majors is about change and adaptation, a subject that makes sense at this time of year as we decide which plans to carry through and what will be discarded. I don't think I have ever had a daily draw for the Tower before, so I will be especially careful on Wednesday pertaining to this subject.

Without further ado, the spread:

WEEKLY INTERVIEW:


Monday. Nine of Cups. Such emotional luxury! Watch the setup for a party as it springs into being, as people set the table and tie up the balloons. Often time the best part about an event is not the event itself, but preparing for it and indulging in dreams. This is the wish card, the omen for a positive start of the week. It seems to be a good day for a drink and a heart to heart, or to make a wish. It just might come true if we focus hard enough!

 Tuesday. The Lovers. This card is a pretty divine interpretation of what a relationship is. We're as statues, vessels for life that will have life breathed into us as love springs into being. This is a divine blessing of the things going down below, as the banner reads "Nothing better here below." They don't need anything but themselves to be happy no matter what anybody says. Once these two lovers dismiss divine and terrestrial influences, the best thing that they have is one another. Choices in between paths, relationships or types of love can occur, although it seems the decision has already been made. If asked, my priority will remain my relationship; (an allusion to self-love?)

 Wednesday. The Tower. Check out that blast! This is a very rattling Tower card with all that red bursting. It materializes the way fire transmutes and cleanses after it has burned everything down to cinders. It will provide a fresh start at the expense of a big shock. I can't help but hear VA-VA-BOOM going off in a very comic book style.

I have noted before that this card can point out a natural phenomenon that shakes cities up, or possibly even an unfortunate event such as 911. Note the people falling off the towers. As they free fall, they accept their fate even if it may not be the one they had envisioned for themselves.



Thursday. Page of Cups. Following suit to such an intense card, this can be seen as an apology or a gesture to soothe something difficult. I like to think of this card also as sweet love being offered, a crush spewing the guts of his or her feelings to a new beloved. This is the card of dreamy promise, and possibly good things that come after a rattling event.

Friday. Justice. A very hot-and-cold feeling can be described in this week's spread. To me, Justice is not led by emotions. It stands fair, and in this case she stands atop a symbol of wisdom. I feel that it is necessary to balance ourselves out as we go, and to decide whether we will return the message with kindness or with poignant statements that accompany our pride. Be fair, you'd like to be treated fairly as well!

Saturday. Wheel of Fortune. Radical changes coming about. This can be the card that makes everything all better, or sends any situation you're dealing with into a rut. Sometimes we come up on top, other times on the bottom. I feel that the figures on the top contemplate the ones down below. In their statuesque splendor, they're still people. They still feel and they still hope, which is a powerful message derived from this card. In simpler terms, it may be the day to go and clear my car for some tests.



Sunday. Four of Coins. Hah, there's really not much leeway here. There is one task at hand to focus on and no way to break out of that grip. You stick to a task until its done before you move on to the next, or else you'll find yourself coming back to fix it several times. The best thing to do when faced with a situation like this is to finish something right the first time. If there are mistakes, we will have to go back to fix them whether we like to or not.

What to avoid. Queen of Swords. My signifier! Watch her as she glows. Up until now I have seen statuesque depictions of people and situations, but this one is very colorful. Notice the grey background behind her, it seems to be winter time and that's where we are now. To stay warm in spite of the circumstances might be tough. I don't think it means to keep quiet instead of speaking one's mind, but I do think it means to watch what is being said. Perhaps a joke can come off to me as funny, but somebody else may take offense to my on-point way of saying things. I can be pretty tough sometimes.

What to strive for. Ten of Wands. Take it all in! Even if you can't handle the weight, it's worth staying busy and continuing that path onward. Notice the city behind this masked man, be doesn't really seem to be aware of the grand work behind him. His sight is set onward, to new heights and new adventures away from the place he has been at for a while. He's fed up with it and he's taking his party somewhere else.

There was no Lenormand draw today, but I may bring it back for next week's Hello Witches!
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THE LIGHT GREY ART LAB TAROT




I have been pulling one card draws from the Light Grey Tarot, keeping in mind that this is a collaborative effort and that a lot of these artists want to bring something new to the table. It is by no means a full RWS deck even though you can notice the strong influences pulled from it. I particularly liked the more abstracted cards because I can pull both RWS and intuitive messages. It's a hit or miss. I personally had to come back to it a few times to digest the new depictions available to my more familiar cards.

Some of the cards are really beautiful. I feel like many of the works included work better than other decks specifically designed for tarot reading. Luckily, more than 50% of the deck is a hit, although the misses are also holding some weight on the final decision. This deck is not for everyone. If you have a light heart and you are open to an artist's new rendering of your favorite card, whether it is based off a knowledgeable foundation — or more likely not — then I'd say go for it. If you want something with intended symbols and deep soul-affecting messages, there's no chance. The deck isn't flat, but it's meant for someone with lightness of spirit. It's hard for me to describe the exact audience this deck is meant for other than aspiring artists and teens. This deck is ideal for clients who are out of the box, artists, friends, comic enthusiasts. That much is clear.

Favorite Cards: The Moon, Queen of Coins, Queen of Swords, Strength, Two of Cups.

Least favorite cards: The Fool, Justice, The Lovers, 9 of Cups.

I don't like these cards because I don't feel the artist took them seriously. I agree in that there is not much to take seriously about a fool, but some of them make me feel distaste. I wish that the artists would have put a little more thought and consideration into the deck because they knew that it would be published as a deck of cards. It was almost obligatory to consider that it might land in the hands of a tarot enthusiast. I know that it landed in the hands of many ATers, but most importantly, it landed in my hands.

I don't think snakes make ideal lovers, but that's based on my history with the cards. I am studying Lenormand, which portrays the snake as a lustful affair or a person that will not bring good things. As an animal, I see snakes as aggressive and phallic. Snakes drag themselves over the floor, they slither and they are blind. None of these traits is romantic to me. You would have hit the mark much more clearly with other animals. The more I look into this card, the more I wish it was Devil or not in the deck at all.

As for the Nine of Cups, I am not digging the drunkenness of the alien lady. She looks like she's having a blast, but I don't get a sense of emotional wealth or good company here. I just see a lack of self-control and a possible problem with alcoholism.



In the end, I can acknowledge that this project was made for a broader audience and was not intended to be so serious. I appreciate the excellent quality of the production aspect. The card stock is excellent and so is the finish. It will stand to long years of use and abuse for some really quirky insight. I love the way the titles were incorporated, and especially the fact that some of the cards intended the use of white space. I have wanted a full tarot deck like that for a while! Two or three cards work just as well to sate that thirst.

I don't think that this deck will be making its way into my main reading list right away. It will take some investment of time to get better acquainted with the images and the intended meaning of the artists, whether it be playful or not. I'm especially going to have to drill the cards that I didn't like because I could not connect them to a more serious system of interpretation; the snakes in The Lovers especially. Perhaps I will surprise myself in the long run and find that I need to read with it tirelessly. I am open to that possibility because I find that I can read the best with the decks that I am least passionate about in terms of their illustration. If I find them too perfect, I have a tendency to struggle in pulling the tableau together to forge a story. This stands true for the Bohemian Gothic Tarot, which is one of my favorites but also ultimately depressing in my readings.

I hope that this review is taken as a constructive critique and not as a personal artist bash. I am merely stating what I think works and what I think does not. I appreciate the time and the effort invested into this project and remain the proud owner of two copies. If you are looking to get your own, check out the store. There are also prints available of your favorite cards!

INTERVIEW:


What is your most important characteristic?
Three of Wands.
Wait until the colors come together and it is possible to get a better sense of perspective. Perhaps this deck was intended to be a little difficult to swallow at first, just look at the way this card was rendered! I can't imagine a serious psychic pulling out 3D glasses just to see this image as it was meant to be. That was in my mind a huge miss for the artist and a big mistake in how this card would be perceived. They should have known better. On the flip side, I am certain someone will scope this card out in its intended form. Ask yourself, though, can everyone else understand that?

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Ace of Coins. It is a gift. A gift is not always serious, it is not always what you expect it to be. The intent behind it can shine really bright, though. Th efforts of those who did a good job help this deck stand out immensely. Those that really dared to push the envelope can be proud to say they have set in their two cents for the tarot world. It is unlikely that many that participated in this event will ever make a tarot-related illustration again, so I can see how it is a gift.

What are your limits?
Seven of Cups. This can get confusing sometimes when you have different styles and different intents blended together to make a tarot that works more like an oracle. There are inconsistencies, but in the long run there is also the reminder that this is a collaboration. At least they thought to present the cards in the same way, with the white borders and the titles all in the same place. That was a good call to keep it unified. The backs are nice, too.

What are you here to teach me?
Knight of Wands.
I don't get him. He's standing there with a staff, looking quite comical and possibly silly. The scroll was a really bad idea, too. We have here a man from a fairy tale, a stereotypical knight that seeks adventure. He's missing the passion, the sensual fire that you can often perceive from a man that jumps into everything. I see a tired soldier trying to remind me about what it is that I like about tarot in the first place.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Eight of Swords. It's telling me that I am not able for now because I am not open enough to let the meanings in, and I have to admit that it's true. The swords glow with their divine influence in thoughts, but the girl is still tied up and blindfolded. The time isn't right yet, and the deck won't sing until it is.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Knight of Swords. Fast and to the point, maybe even a little snarky. I get the feeling that the relationship would be more sarcastic than sweet or sure. It could even be a little abusive if we consider the shadow aspect of the Knight of Swords. I think it is overkill already to state that this isn't the right time to use this deck yet. So much sass!

Which card do you want to show off?
Eight of Wands. This isn't speed, this is more a card of reflection about combined effort. It is a simple vector showing a man at the top of the hill considering where he will go next. Maybe his messages come from reflection and meditation, but they sure don't come from projected wands...

How do you see me?
Seven of Wands. Well that's silly. As one overcoming the new obstacles placed before them. This rendition reminds me a lot of Frogger, the videogame. I see myself in the otter, which seems possibly... mindless. He sits before the puzzle of logs between them, waiting to hop on and begin the challenge of crossing the river to safety. He's not even standing on land, he's just perched on a floating rock.

How do you see yourself?
Two of Cups. As the perfect marriage of a combination of efforts. They share an intimate moment that is of their knowledge alone and not for others to share. Perhaps I need to take this deck out on a one-on-one date to get to know it better over a cup of tea. I will schedule it for the coming year and showcase it here most likely.


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HELLO WITCHES Nº33




Last week was interesting to say the least. I had some Starbucks, which proved to be terrible for my health. The anxiety attacks are back, last week I had three of them. I know I shouldn't ingest things with caffeine in them, but up until that day, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes had been friendly with me. I guess that even though I know it's not good for me, I should just regulate the times I drink coffee until. Next time I'll try it in the morning and in a low dose. I love it too much to give it up completely. There really was no overall theme to the week, just a week of 2nd Anniversary celebrations and quiet thinking. I'm sorry if any of my readers hoped to see a new review on Friday, I was too worn out to do a blog post.

Today I giving the Wild Unknown Tarot its debut. I got it a month ago but couldn't bring myself to work with it for some reason. I guess that I didn't connect with it as I had hoped to even though it's a really beautiful tarot. I get the feeling that it wasn't intended to be shamanic at all, but rather, a hipsterrific addition to the plethora of tarot cards. I do get a big Thothy feeling from this deck even if others do not. I will review it on Friday so I won't go in too much detail about how I feel about it. I have to say, though, that it's strange reading tarot cards without people in them.

I threw in a draw of the Lenormand Revolution because it's a deck that I particularly enjoy. I didn't really care that the themes of these cards are so disparate. I don't usually include Lenormand readings in my forecasts because it means I have to spend more time on my entries, but it's really worth the extra time. Originally I intended to use it for a Victorian Romantic weekly forecast, but here goes nothing.

This week has a heavy presence of Major Arcana and court cards, but there is a noticeble lack of Wands. The suit of Cups is almost out of the equation as well. When I pair Coins + Swords, I get the idea that the week will revolve around how I see my working status and how others see my working status. That Death card keeps following me around, too...

WEEKLY PROJECTIONS:


Monday. Four of Coins. The Coins are wound up by different color threads, I see them spinning twisting. Sometimes it's hard to break out of routine when that's what you have going. My Mondays are routinely indeed. I write up a blog post, work and then go to dance classes. Maybe I don't even feel the thunder of going there anymore, but they keep me active and they help me get some exercise back in routine. I can't complain, just keep going.

 Tuesday. Seven of Swords. Foxes are clever and cunning, which makes them difficult to trust. Here you see a fox acting dormant, but with his eye focused on what is going on around him. There are six swords hanging overhead and one lying concealed under the fox. This is a new way to interpret the RWS meaning for the Seven of Swords, but says basically the same thing. Some people have hidden agendas or means that will bring harm. Not because they want to, but because their needs are more important than the needs of those around them. This means dealing with an unreliable person, or feeling like there is something being stolen from me. Time? Effort? Is someone hiding from me? Am I being watched from afar?

 Wednesday. The Emperor. The last time this card showed up, I needed to be draconian about something. Whenever I put my foot down and I let the Swords suit manifest in its entirety, people get scared. They don't really like it when I let my King of Swords out, swashbuckling his way out of a situation. Although I associate the Emperor with the suit of Wands, I have to note the card that follows this one. It looks like a pair of days to exercise that character that will force people to listen, even if it takes putting my foot down for the silence to start. I am not afraid to use my character if I have to.

On a side note, the tree reminds me of family. The lunar eclipse overhead foreshadows a threat to health is eminent. It's a good warning to pay attention to things going on with my relatives in terms of how they feel..



Thursday. King of Swords. Don't you love the use of black & white paired with color accents? Just look at this fellow, he can't sleep at all at night because that's when his mind is most active. He's ready to hunt now that he is awake and hungry. As the staple of the symbol of knowledge, you can find this bird to have an able weapon to use when he likes. This card speaks to me about keeping your guard up and not being afraid to sing from A to Z if the situation merits it. Sometimes arguments are civil, other times they are explosive. What matters is that logic will help us discern which goes where.

Friday. Ace of Coins. A repeat card on the same day! Fancy that. I wonder what will manifest this time? Last time it was a package in the mail, but it is known to be a gift as well. Maybe it's my turn to give a gift away... which would be quite nice.

Saturday. King of Cups. There you are again! This time I feel it manifests as J, who I am planning on spending that day with. He has turned into the most affectionate guy I have been involved with in a long time. Sometimes he dreams and dreams, which I find to be naive but also very inspiring. The sight of a black swan is the sight of a person with a special talent that has not necessarily been embraced by society or the people around him. Swans are peaceful animals, to me they're the very staple of romance and chivalry.



Sunday. The Hanged Man. More sleeping trouble? Watch the bat's red eyes as the night drags away and the light of day begins to grace the windows of those peacefully at rest. I often feel like my world goes up-side-down when I am trying to sleep for hours and it feels like the world around me is in slumber. It feels like mockery, and absolutely frustrates me. Bats are a symbol of death and rebirth, and a personal animal guide for me in 2012... which is winding down.

The traditional meaning of the Hanged Man is a sacrifice made willingly for the best.

What to avoid. Death. I need to stop obsessing over death. I think about natural cycles all the time, particularly when my time will come and that of my loved ones. I loathe the idea of death because it takes my loved ones away and it keeps me fussing over time. Time is invisible, it really doesn't exist but it's one of the most valuable things that we uphold in modern-day society. I'm fed up with constantly being reminded about mortality in just about every aspect of my life. It has to stop!

What to strive for. Ten of Coins. Financial stability and completion of a cycle. Watch the perfection in how those coins are arranged, and the vibrancy that they radiate in pairs. To me, my ultimate goal is to relocate and to enjoy a normal working life with my own personal lifestyle. I don't feel that I get the luxury to live out that lifestyle even though I can't complain about my fairy-tale castle surroundings. I'm very comfortable at home, but I should still strive to get where I want to go.



Anchor + Mountain. Long term stability. No action. I can relate this to the last card of the reading, but Lenormand is simple and should be read as is.



I really, really love the Lenormand Revolution. It's so beautiful! Shame that it's currently out of print.
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