2013 ANNUAL REVIEW




12 MONTH SPREAD:
This spread is so very lacking in Swords and Coins! When we focus so closely on certain areas of our life, we lose perspective of others if we're not paying attention. I am specifically worried about my career with the sign of loss so clearly stated in the material realm. I can't say I'll miss the Swords too much, though. With all the things that happened in 2012, Samhain Moon is more than ready to move on from the difficulties. To be honest, so am I. Who says we need to live our lives with limitations and problems? Leave that to 2012!

Have you noticed the Sun and Moon pairing as the only Major Arcana paired and present? Never mind the courts, this is a serendipitous event! Notice the polarities between loud and quiet, J as the Sun and me as the Moon, light vs. dark, extroversion vs. introversion; it can teach us to master our public and private selves. It's a particularly important relation to my romantic life, and that's definitely not coincidental. Any other combination was possible in a deck of 78 cards. Now I have to make sense of it as I go step by step!


Should you be interested in doing this reading for yourself, here is the spread that I used. I hope that it will bring you as much clarity as it brought me. Feel free to post your results in the comments section!

2013 PROJECTIONS:

01. October: Nine of Cups. Emotional satiety, enjoying the luxury of good company and happy events. This is a card of romantic wellness and of social activity/celebration — after all, this is my birthday month! There are lots of surprises, so please stay tuned to participate in the celebration.

02. November: Three of Wands. Lots of things in my life hover without conclusion. There are dreams, plans and aspirations held up that I am looking forward to carry out. In waiting for news or opportunities, I find myself taking a rather restless slumber before the pace picks back up. It feels like a lull in time in preparing for the new year.

03. December: Knight of Cups. Stirrings in feelings and romantic declarations. These are dreamy, intense thoughts in regards to myself and others. It will be a full year since my ayahuasca ritual and the death of my grandmother, and as a consequence, I no longer celebrate Christmas or New Year. Feelings can be turbulent when they're fresh, and in this card I see a splash — and possibly spill — of feelings.



04. January:
Ten of Cups. Emotional satiety at its finest! Enjoying a fulfilled family and romantic life. This is a splendid start of the year as opposed to the extreme hermit cab syndrome I went through in 2012. It is rare to come across this special mindset, so January looks like a time to embrace these blessings.

05. February: Page of Cups.
Naive, emotional messages made manifest. This is an offer that is tied to the heart. It can be of admiration, a romantic exchange, or a good time to enjoy the romantic train that starts in October.

06. March: King of Wands.
Hello, handsome! This is J's signifier without fail. What's going on that this month is so obviously centered around you? No matter, the qualities of the King of Wands are of creativity, charisma and burning passion. So much fire makes this man volatile, fleeting and challenging to keep his interest going. Let's see which side of you manifests, and whether it is in you or in me. Maybe we'll just spend a lot of time together.


07. April:
Five of Coins. Yikes! This is a sign of trouble for my finances. It looks like it will be a tough time as far as my career is concerned. Since the year is so heavily charged with the intuition and emotional influence of water, this could be a feeling of being left out from an important project. It is not easy to deal with the shortcomings either way, so I must most definitely prepare for what comes next. Better make some handy remedies for this time! Luckily with the influence of the Sun card in the center of the reading, the negativity and challenge of this card may not manifest in entirety.

08. May:
Ten of Wands. Mental burnout as a consequence of the month before. It's to be expected, no one takes to losses easily. With a noticeable improvement coming in June, I can see this will be temporary. The best way to deal with exhaustion is to nurture the body with rest and special treats to pamper the mood. Three difficult months out of 12 don't sound so bad. I know what when I get all saturated, I vanish from the scope of social networks and take a break. This may be a good time to do just that.

09. June:
Page of Wands. Temptation, passion, creativity, and fire. This is a card of flares that are within manifesting; hopefully not as rage or yet another medical condition to deal with! Give me instead some spice to garnish my life with and some playful memories to fill my fiery with. Notice the lack of restraint after two rough months... that's quite the comeback!


10. July:
Three of Cups. Times to socialize and celebrate. Accomplishment or social gathering? Suggestion of an impossible hangover on the next day? Still, a time to let my hair loose and engage in something — that could be — pleasant. It feels like I may meet for drinks with an old friend, maybe. It's also a sign not to lose sight of my goals.

11. August:
The Moon. My signifier is present as a sign of psychic intuition, which comes from a cherished family legacy. In which form? Dreams, tarot, visions, environmental lunacy, or unexpected adventures at night? Given the month and all the elements present, it's hard to tell... but this is the only Major Arcana present in all 12 months. That should count for something, right? Sometimes I'm intimidated by this card...

12. September:
Page of Swords. This is never a card that makes me happy. On one side it can mean a mental stimulation and research, but I have a tendency to read it like petty arguments. These are the situations that easily make you feel as if you have been subjected to something indecent or unfair. Nobody likes to be in that situation.

13. Clarifier: The Sun.This is a powerful card to influence all 12 others. As it extends its rays of light — or enlightenment — I feel like the negative cards will [hopefully] hit me a little less hard. This is a very powerful Major Arcana, and the sign that my year will shift from heavy to positive. Hey, a girl can hope! 2012 hit me really hard in just about every area of my life. Picking up the pieces after such riveting events merits a positive change. It looks like the uncertainty clears to leave doors open to a new and refreshing cycle.

The Annual Review has proven quite resourceful as the year pushes slowly onward. I review my progress at the beginning and end of every month and find that it has been effective. So effective in fact that I incorporate it into all my 01 hour readings. I love hearing back from my clients on their progress as well. As the year comes to a close, I will offer some discounts to anyone that wants some insight on how the next year is going to go. This is a good opportunity for you to start 2013 in the right foot!

Head on over to my Tarot section and book a reading with me!
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº25




I did not connect with last week's cards as well as I would have liked to. Even though there is powerful symbolism in them, I don't think I was in the right mindset for cards of this caliber. To my understanding, they follow the Thoth school of thought. I am still not the most well-versed when it comes to the Thoth Tarot. I need some experience in that field still. The week itself was pretty uneventful because I couldn't concentrate on anything, but the weekend was absolutely wonderful. It got started late on a Saturday, but turned out great as it progressed. I spent all of Saturday with my boyfriend J, and most of Sunday for what turned out to be an unexpected adventure. We're getting really excited for Halloween coming up! It scares me a little when I realize I still have so much to do before festivities begin.

This week's is the Joie de Vivre tarot by Paulina Cassidy. I have been using this and the Paulina Tarot for the past week in my professional tarot readings and find it quite nice. The cards have a lot of detail and can be read based off the symbols you see in them. If I don't have the time to interpret them one by one, I can still keep to the meanings that I have assigned to them from the traditional Rider-Waite Smith. They are quite expressive, I think they merit a review and possibly a comparison post.

Notice also the three Major Arcana cards present in this spread: The Fool, The Lovers and The Chariot. They point out new beginnings, decisions and putting those decisions into action even when the opposing sides prove difficult to straighten out. All the suits are present, making this spread quite balanced out. It's going to be an interesting week for sure.



Monday. The Fool. The good-natured Fool hears the call for a new journey. She's ready to step off the cliff and begin, but a little bat behind her is trying to remind her about the trouble that lies ahead. I don't think she cares about the trouble, she's more excited about the new things she's about to experience. She brings a bat and a spider along with her, which are two animals I have coming up a lot in my life lately.

Tuesday. Six of Cups. The girl has clocks and memories around her. She's in a reverie of melancholy, thinking about the past and how fond she is of it. This is true for me, I do spend a lot of time thinking about my college life and how sweet it was in some respects. I really enjoyed being a Ringling student, and remain proud of the legacy of this college. With the Six of Cups there will be messages coming from the past, or reminders of someone that I used to be and how that can help in the next coming week. Old habits, old work routines, old thoughts coming into play.

Wednesday. Two of Wands. A girl reclines on a wand with one of her imaginary friends sitting on her head. She left a wand out, but she's more concerned with the little globe in her hand. She made a decision and she's ready to part ways with the path that won't be traveled. This card is about making choices after a brief moment of consideration. Often I feel like my life diverges into two paths, and I need to choose one over the other. There is no way to compromise and travel them both. Wednesday may be the day I finally have to say, "okay. I choose path #1."



Thursday. The Lovers. Once the journey has started, the week turns its attention to another subject. The subject of partnerships becomes more important. This is a day to embrace what is going on with my romantic and business partnerships. There is harmony present in the card and a little bird with a message flying overhead. The two lovers ride side by side with their hands entwined. They don't have time for anybody else because they are completely immersed in each other. I like the thought of that.

Friday. Five of Coins. When you get distracted from your daily routines, you often notice the shortages once you focus on where your finances are going. The figure is in the dark, feeling left out from the stability that the rest of the world has got going. Often what we need to do in this situation is turn it around so that we can accept the help that is being given to us. The glowing coins with candles present themselves as options that are right there but that we choose to ignore. It could be alluding to my job situation, but for now I'll let it manifest and I'll refer back to it next week.

Saturday. Five of Swords. The fives are problematic in any spread. They bring up uncomfortable realities and challenges. Here there is a sign of conflict, possible argument with the way that these two birds are crossing one another. One has stripes on the wings, the other has polka dots. They think differently, and they do so because they're not the same. One has charms on the tip of the sword that bend it. Perhaps affection leads to the bending of the sword. Either way, these women are not in the position to argue. (Notice they are wearing heels.)



Sunday. Nine of Swords. Being worried with the little critters that chip away at time and thoughts. The theme of distractions and absentmindedness has been a burden for the past couple of weeks. It seems to be prevalent throughout the months. It all started with my wisdom teeth operation in August and has trickled until the present. Worries tend to blow out of proportion if we let them. It's a sign to get off that tangling vine of a tree, to cut away the problems with my tools and to find my way back to clarity. The critters feel so much like distractions eating away my time.

What to avoid. Nine of Cups. Avoid feeling content or like there is nothing else out there for me. I tend to get comfortable in the luxury of the blessings present in my life. I should still challenge myself to do better and work for it. I will have rewards for giving that extra mile, so why not? The woman in this card looks so happy with all her friends and the blessings they bring with them. It is one of the few tarot cards I have seen that makes me smile.

What to strive for. The Chariot. Swift action and change! The seahorses are crossed, which means these two opposing points of view need to be straightened out before we continue on our way. This action requires concentration, but also awareness of where crossed thoughts take us when we're not focused on our way. It's time to take control of the situation, to separate those disparities and force them to work together for the single purpose.

I got a lot out of these cards today and will be using them again next week. They work much better for me than the Rohrig Tarot does. Perhaps the whimsical theme has something to do with it. There is a lot of magic contained in these cards, even if they look childlike. Sometimes they have elements in them that reminds me of the Fantastic Menagerie Tarot by Baba Studio. I will likely blog about it after all the Halloween festivities.

I can't get used to this purple spread cloth. Does anybody else miss the blue one, or is it just me?
♡♡

POISONCAGE TAROT



This deck was a happy accident for me to find. I found it online, and from my understanding the artist isn't a major tarot buff — living proof you don't need to be a tarot wizard to make a successful tarot deck. The Poisoncage Tarot is a 22 card (Majors only) deck that reads beautifully. Designed and illustrated by Rann, the illustrator/manga artist for X-Down and a series of other projects. She's absolutely wonderful! It is very exciting to know she will be working on the Minor Arcana of the Poisoncage Tarot as well. This is a modern adaptation of the Tarot of Marseilles, and was originally just an illustration as a prop for one of her narrative works. It sparked some wild interest in the artist community, and now she's got a self-published tarot deck. That's inspiring, isn't it? It makes me wish that I devoted some time to my own tarot deck, which is slowly being drafted. Bringing ideas to life is a bit of a challenge if you do require constant motivation or deadlines to finish.

The cards are quite big, roughly postcard sizes. The paper finish is medium gloss and the backs are reversible — and also quite gorgeous. The booklet explains that the keywords are broad and recommends looking meanings up online. In my opinion, a nice afterthought but not a necessary component of the package. Since our orders were late for shipping, we got a complimentary pin with our deck. It's a really cute button with a girl in it, no doubt one of Rann's original characters. The real value of this deck is in the illustration work. The deck is manga style but refined, and definitely rare since it is a limited edition in a run of about 500. I'm lucky enough to own two copies!

What I like the most about this deck is that I have an excuse to focus on Majors only spreads. It is a popular gypsy tradition to do the Romany Gypsy Spread. I like the divine/transcendental aesthetics of the Major Arcana because that's what I understand them to be there for. Minors cover the more mundane aspects of our lives. The Majors allow us to see which stage our soul is at in its divine development. The characters don't really interact with one another, instead they face the front. This grounds them in the present, with their messages directed straight out at you. It could be a little intimidating if you're dealing with a tough situation, but it is precisely at times like these that you need to hear things up front and as they are; with no sugarcoating. That's why people should get tarot readings in the first place — to gain a more thorough understanding of their lives. The tarot is wonderful for seeking solutions where you don't immediately see answers.




The images in this deck are quite powerful. Theu transmit the mood even though their poses are as static as statues. Perhaps the lack of dialogue amongst them is what makes them so serious in nature. They're quite sober. To me they represent an ideal staple for principles and archetypes of the tarot.

INTERVIEW WITH THE POISONCAGE TAROT:


What is your most important characteristic? The Hanged Man. In this card, a man is suspended from the branches of a tree. He is up side down but he is peaceful, and while the world around him springs to life and everything remains in order, he is in another place. The look on his face and the rays emanating out of the halo around his head are indicatives of meditation. Inner peace, enlightenment, and new understanding over the same things we're already used to. It takes a little extra effort for this, but this card is saying that it is possible.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
The Wheen of Fortune. There are gears in this card, each turns in a different direction and for a different purpose. Coiled around the wheel is a snake that stares menacingly at a sorceress holding the wheel up. Her eyes are closed, she's keeping the wheel from turning. This is an indicative of putting a stop to time to pause and consider where the next turn will be taking us. With the accent of the halo on the wheel, this card feels more about taking control of the unexpected gifts life gives us, rather than letting go and waiting to see what happens. This tarot deck helps you take control of your circumstances.

What are your limits?
The High Priestess. A woman of unconventional beauty sits under a veil, immersed in the material she is reading. The scroll is a sign of ancient wisdom and secrets, it is of her own penmanship and includes secret knowledge that others are not yet ready to hear. The card glows with purple or psychic energy. She holds a pen to correct or update the story from the scroll.

The High Priestess
card is very inactive. It watches over everything and is aware of everything, but says very little. Perhaps it withholds the facts until they are needed or until we are ready to hear them. Notice the crescent moon charm over her third eye, the same that she carries in her strange hair do.



What are you here to teach me? Justice. The woman present in this card is blindfolded. She holds a sword and the scales. Her armor doesn't look very comfortable; rather, it looks constricting. The sense that I get from her is that she abides by a strict code of ethics and law, unyielding and merciless in the right circumstances. She can't see anything so she will have to rely on her heart and her logic to decide when it is necessary to use the swords or the scale. It's important not to get emotionally tied up in matters of justice. This is what the card teaches.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Temperance. The girl in the card sits on a swing even though she has wings to keep herself suspended. Ribbons descend from the heavens with containers for water. As she holds onto them, she concentrates on having the contents come out of the containers to mix together in alchemy. Letting things flow by themselves without touching them directly is important to collaborate with this deck. She is the one responsible for the exchange, but she does not force it. She waits for it to happen patiently.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The Hermit. The mist wraps around this hooded character as he walks up a mountain trail. He has his walking stick for his own support as he follows the light of his gas lamp wherever it may take him. He doesn't seem preoccupied with his surroundings, he trusts himself to be completely alone.

This is a lone ranger, not a deck meant to be used in conjunction with others. It stays true to its internal light and knowledge until it is no longer needed. It doesn't matter the time of day, to this card there is no time.



Which card do you want to show off?
The Moon. Often this is the card that I look for first, then the Emperor and the Hierophant. As the village beauty bathes in the light of the shower with her accompanying animals, her gaze is distractedly wandering away from the viewer. She doesn't even seem to notice there is a crustacean crawling up her tunic. The psychic rays of the moon extend throughout the village, staining it with the colors of psychic intuition and dreams. This is a card of illusion — and madness — for many. It is my personal favorite.

How do you see me?
The Sun. This card reminds me of my childhood, when my parents used to say, "you are living through the best time of your life right now!" It didn't feel like it because I was a very lonely child. I always wished for a little boy to play with, and lately that has been a subject that I have been sharing with my significant other. He said that he also wished for a counterpart to have adventures with. We have noticed that we would have filled that role in for each other perfectly, but 20 years away from the desired time. We have entered what feels like a golden period, which makes sense as this golden Sun extends his rays of joy and happiness over the unsuspecting children. It is an agent of positive energy touching those around them.

How do you see yourself?
The Fool. This Fool is charming, he is definitely more handsome than other Fools in other tarot decks. He seems confident in himself, and he is accompanied by a trusty dog that watches over his every move. The dog fulfills the role of his conscience, looking over his actions and making sure that everything is in order. The day hasn't even started yet, but the Fool is ready to embark on his journey. He holds his sack over his back with everything he owns. Who knows where he comes from? The only thing that matters, though, is where he is going.



I quite like this deck!
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº24




What an intense weekend! My head is still buzzing from all the rush, hustle and bustle. Last week's Hello Witches proved accurate and served as a really good warning for what I was in for. This past weekend was the Kaisen XI and I was working as staff. I donated my tarot skills. but on top of that I was also supervising and making sure that things could run more smoothly. The Kokeshi group had a series of obstacles present that needed to be solved before the big activity. The goal was achieved, but not without hard work and team effort. Although we didn't get to enjoy the activity as much as we would have liked, we're still very proud of the product of hard work. We felt that we were surrounded by some really interesting cosplays, and would have loved to pose with them for photos.

This week there are three Major Arcana cards present in the spread and three court carts. Strength as restraint or courage when needed, the Star as a shining indication of hope for the future, and Wheel of Fortune for an indication of radical changes. The spread is missing the suit of Wands, the suit of energy and creativity. Since it was burnt out over the weekend, some time to recuperate would be nice.  Notice the people in the cards staring at the left, to the past and to the Queen of Coins.



Monday. Queen of Pentacles. This court card presents the comfort of luxury that is earned by hard work. The person represented is one that has worked hard to achieve her reputation and status. As a person, this card is a personal signifier for my Mom, who is an earth sign. The signifier for Leo brings some extra things to the table, such as an extra bite.

Tuesday. Strength. After so many manifestations, I have started to see this card as one of restraint. Inner emotions can fire up in the wrong time, which makes the situation more difficult to handle. The lion looks perfectly content as it lays by a woman in ecstasy. Some sensual messages can be derived from this card judging by her pose...

Wednesday. Star. The Star and Strength looks towards the first card in the reading. Notice the illumination covering the topmost chakra. She is enlightened, and she wants to share that enlightenment with the cards prior. The Star promises hope for the future, but in looking towards the past it can mean to learn from mistakes. When we do, we grow in many ways.



Thursday. Two of Swords. Inactivity, a block in communication. This is a temporary stillness, a period of inaction while deliberating on the stage we will enter next. The dirigibles are in a land far away, they look like thoughts floating elsewhere. There is more dialogue than there is action present.

Friday. Three of Coins. Working well under pressure, accepting the weight of the burden we are presented with. It looks like a burden far more heavy than we can carry. In the card, the person moves forward without buckling knees or stumbling. This is a clear representation of what can achieved with persistence.

Saturday. Knight of Cups. As he looks into the past, he projects his thoughts onto the other cards. This card shows a dreamer, one who belongs in space more so than in a mundane setting. He's artistic, brooding and impulsive with his feelings. In this context it could be an apology or an explanation for impulsive behavior. It could also be an intimate confession.



Sunday. Wheel of Fortune. The wheel starts turning again and bringing about radical changes. With the closing of a cycle comes the immediate start of another one with very little time to get composure. As the days go by, things continue to develop that are not in our control. We just need to hang on and hope things will work out for the best.

What to avoid. Five of Cups. Avoid feeling upset over finding a path blocked or inconveniences in the way. Often those walls are placed to test us on how much we want something, and if we're willing to climb those walls to get what we want. Challenge accepted, this week the focus will be on unblocking the way and in dealing with disappointments.

What to strive for. Queen of Cups. Letting those caught up feelings flow freely. The hardest part is in starting. Once it has, the murky parts in our consciousness can be cleared for some sensible dialogue. At her best, the Queen of Cups nurtures the spirit and the romantic aspect of our lives. In the shadow aspect, this card looks like turning to drinking or hallucinogens for peace of mind or escapism.

I managed to find the same cloth as the one I misplaced in a few other colors.
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº23



Last week was a blissful one indeed. Things are slowly coming back into place in different areas, which makes it easier to shoulder remaining responsibilities and goals. Last week felt like rest from stress and trouble, and it brought with it a lot of satisfaction over the weekend.

This reading speaks to me about the general sense of satisfaction and pride in our own work. When we nurture a project and the team of people working in that project, things work out just fine. When there are obstacles to overcome, all parts of the team must be receptive and in place. If one link misses its function, the rest of the links fail as well. It's so important to keep that in mind when you work in a team and when you have others depending on you, as well as you depending on them. Trinities don't work if all three sides are not synchronized. There is a lot to prepare for this week.

There are cards of every suit present, although during the week the majority of the spread is composed of Major Arcana, Wands and Coins. The advice cards have the two missing suits. It was quite a surprise to see so many reversals in this spread because I don't usually shuffle my cards in such a way to reverse anything. However, I am the kind of reader that reads reversals if and when they show up. It it a message that warrants attention or rectifying.

THE WEEKLY SPREAD:

Monday. Death. [Reversed] Harsh or difficult losses. These are changes that are tough to swallow, problems that take a little more than just one day to get over. The transformation can be abrupt and it may feel counterproductive because of the hardships it brings with it. Death brings with it change that is not reversible but that may be necessary.

Tuesday. Eight of Pentacles. Polishing, tweaking, perfecting. This card shows it's important to work on something as long as it reaches the desired status. It will be a busy day to get things organized and worked out according to plan. Schedules may have to be compromised to get through to the things that need to be done, and this comes with a willing sacrifice. More keywords for this card are hard work, dedication, apprenticeship, or going back to the start.

Wednesday. The Sun. Second week in a row! This is indicative of your day in the sun, of good news and positive vibes. Last few times it has popped up, it was the signifier of good news and relief. I see it as being of positive, free of burdens and of worries as well. The Sun lightens up the cards around it, thus making the negative connotations a little less so.


Thursday. Three of Wands. Waiting. This is a day of buildup over the weekend, because there is a lot to be expected. It can be seen as a period of rest or a break before getting back to the grind. There is a big activity coming up and everything needs to be in place, but this may be the day in which unexpected last-minute changes come in. It's time to wait to see what will come of it, because as of right now, nobody is really clear on how it is going to go.

Friday. Three of Pentacles. [Reversed] Work may not be going together, it's a time to deal with problems and with inconveniences. Whatever is upside down must be rectified in a day. What are the challenges ahead and how can they be overcome? (Turn the card right side up, it will turn into proper teamwork.) It's also a sign that what has not been done at this point will not be ready in time, so it is best to let go and rest.

Saturday. The Hierophant. [Reversed] The Hierophant upside down is a tough lesson to learn, or one learned after a long and hard-fought. This is an intimidating card considering how harsh punishment can be if one deviates from the path laid down before them. When we make a commitment, we are subjected to rules and parameters by which we must abide. If we decide to go against those boundaries, we are likely to be put back in out place. Being rude or stubborn won't help much even if we defend those ideals.


Sunday. Knight of Pentacles. This is the culmination of effort and of a working week. The day is set to revolve around financial stability and a sense of fulfillment. It may be one opportunity leading to another, a gift or an unexpected gain in income. Be open! This card rules material gain through effort.

What to avoid. Four of Cups. [Reversed] Avoid getting distracted, bored or stagnant. This is a reminder to dream free and without restraint. When we get comfortable, we can get caught up in ruts made of our own design.

What to strive for. Knight of Swords. Swift action, clear mind. Saying the things we need to can be tough if we take other people's feelings into consideration. Sometimes the necessary thing to do is just to state intentions and needs coolly, calmly, but firm. We're constantly standing up for ourselves and in pursuit of our objectives, which makes it easy to forget about other people's thoughts about what we do. The best way to avoid misunderstandings or difficult situations is to be clear and mindful, but to also defend our perspective if need be.

Looking forward to see how things will play out this weekend. There is so much going on!
♡♡

THE UNIVERSAL FANTASY TAROT



The way this deck came into my life was rather strange. I put it off on my wishlist for years because it brought me a lot of memories I was heavily attached to. Wonderful times indeed, memories I'll never forget — until you realize that life snapped that cord in two and the psychic connection that was once there was unfortunately cut. However, the tender feeling of once more handling this deck after the time of absence has been very rewarding. Although it stands as a reminder of a dearly cherished friend in voluntary absence, it also has enough substance to stand on its own. It's a wonderful tarot deck, one I will read with often for clients. It speaks to me, I have really connected with it and I absolutely love it. Why should I not use it?

Various influences come into my mind when I look through these busy and heavily narrative cards. They tell stories of impossible lands, or lands of those evolved beings that dwell as or with aliens from our culture. It is more of an alternate world, I don't expect ever to see animals of the same magnitude in scale and intimidation as the Ace of Wands. It's huge! I love that mesmerized feeling that comes in waves every time a card is flipped over to reveal its message. Some of these scenes would be quite breathtaking to experience. Although it doesn't look like a real world to me, I don't doubt the magic that was purposely injected into it. This tarot deck was illustrated by Paolo Martinello from Bologna, Italy.




There are shamanic undertones living in this alternate reality, but it takes a little effort to tie in the absolutely surreal scenes with contemporary life. This deck is for people with a developed psychic sense of intuition and with a very vivid imagination. They need to make the scenes in this deck turn into stories that can be related to anyone. The scenes tell a story, no problem! — The details are in telling a story in which your client or sitter will understand why those elaborate monster beings are telling them the news they are receiving. There has to be a reason for everything, and if you have difficulty with getting grounded and mundane with such divine cards, then I don't think this tarot deck is for you.

The Universal Fantasy Tarot is loosely based on Rider-Waite Smith principles. The scenes aren't meant to be depicted as clones, which could be the aversion of many when it comes to tackling a deck like this. I like it because it is a reminder not to get too comfortable. If you want messages, you need to be willing to learn to understand the manner in which the cards are speaking to you. With every new deck, you need to take the time to understand the way in which it conveys its messages. Once you're a pro at this, you'll be able to read with anything that has a picture on it. I wouldn't recommend it for writers either, since it is so heavily grounded in the literary genre of fictional fantasy. It won't provide you with the right ideas outside of the world it is already immersed in. If you're writing about the woods and the magic contained therein, possibly. If not, try looking for a tarot deck that really incites your mind to explore.



The card stock from Lo Scarabeo is really great. These cards are slim, tall and will stand to years of repetitive use without a problem. My only qualms are with the white borders in the front; they would have looked much more attractive if they had kept the black borders from the back. The backs are another fancy treat, though! It is the Wheel of Fortune card mirrored twice out to create a window into a world that constantly warps itself inside out for you. I really like the fact they are fully reversible, even though a pointer to whether or not they are upright is usually quite helpful to me. The text is hard to read, but at least this keeps it unobtrusive. With such a elaborate images, you don't really want to be distracted with some clunky text. The cards honestly beg to be trimmed of their edges! If only they were a little bigger... all the details deserve more attention!

The Little White Booklet is surprisingly brief because it has to include other languages in it. While this broadens the scope of this tarot deck throughout the world, I wish they would have put a little more love into the booklet. The definitions are quite wonderful and serve as valuable nuggets of information to add to what you may already know about the tarot. I also thought it was all worded out rather poetically, so I will be adding those definitions to my grimoire for future reference. Should you be curious to hear the ones provided for some specific cards, please comment below.

The colors in this deck are delicious. They're vibrant but not overly dramatic. It really helps bring those detailed scenes to life.

INTERVIEW WITH THE UNIVERSAL FANTASY TAROT:


What is your most important characteristic? Eight of Swords. The LWB says that to free ourselves of the difficulties that hold us in chains we must first understand what is important for us. This can be interpreted as the push to realize that we place ourselves in prisons of our own design. When we gather the strength to break free of those mental bonds, we learn that the nightmares attacking us can be faced once we are ready to deal with them only. If we are feeling stuck at the time this card surfaces, it is a queue to break free of those mental bonds and to take a risk with our mentality. After a few bumps and cuts, we may once more find ourselves in friendly terrain.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
The Hanged Man. In search of an ideal we can discover our best resources, as well as our worst. This card doesn't look too comfortable. He trusts that the bird will take him where he needs to go while he concentrates on the risk he is taking. This is a moment of what could be very dangerous, we force the time to look within for that guiding light we may have lost. It isn't comfortable and it probably takes a while to find what we look for, but therein is the challenge.

What are your limits?
Nine of Wands. Those who know how to harmonize strength and wisdom are able to keep their will under control and wait their turn. Once the plans are forged and you have your path set, you will find yourself going through many stages. This is the second to last stage you are at right now, and at this point what is left is to put effort into finishing. Once you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is time to let the cards go. Finish what you started with energy and enthusiasm, even if you need to take a quick break before doing it.



What are you here to teach me?
The Empress.
Our sentiments will take us to great heights if we are careful to keep our feet on the ground. The universe provides. With a card like this, support that nurtures our soul is what we can get. The energy feels female throughout, which is an interesting take. This Empress is not as approachable as the ones in other decks. It makes me wonder how different it would be if I was used to seeing headdresses that large.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Ten of Cups. The happiness that we experience in daily domestic is greater than that of the king who wins a war. There is a great feeling of emotional satisfaction coming from this card. Watch what the two people in the scene have built with their love for their craft. It isn't impossible to build up to a long-lasting relationship if you nurture something long enough. It looks like a wonderful card for collaboration.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Two of Cups. The most fertile marriages can arise from radical changes and sudden shocks. This is the joining of two different worlds as a question of perspective through the looking glass. It speaks of the joining of male and female energy in an alchemical sense. It looks like a nice relation between the material world I exist in and the fantasy world that resides within this tarot deck. Two of Cups is a positive relationship; one that is starting out but holds potential for the future.



Which card do you want to show off?
The Devil. Some things that we believe to be good are really the main chain that holds us enslaved. At times we must question the scale of values that others have decided for us. Naughty! The Universal Fantasy wants to show off the controversial card that lets us know we are neglecting our own liberation through the limitations that we sometimes impose over ourselves. Regardless, sometimes it's okay to celebrate in things that shouldn't be done or that are controversial.

How do you see me?
The World. Material wealth can never compensate for the lack of inner peace. The world will be ours if we are the masters of out own soul. Generous message! This woman is large in scale, you can see her clothed by the drapes of an oracle. There is a psychic sense of magic portrayed in this card that I really like. She smiles as she treads into the town. I rather doubt she can cross this city without being noticed. She doesn't seem to be preoccupied with it, though. From the little town I get the sence of community, which can include friends, supporters and clients.

How do you see yourself?
The Fool. At times, in order to understand things, we have to open our mind to dreams. Open to the next adventure. The Fool is resting his feet over the cliff with absolutely no concern. His little alien friend watches with caution, ready to take action if anything were to happen. The Fool doesn't know what to expect next, but he knows there will be adventure wherever it is he goes next. The journey is just now starting.



The Universal Fantasy doesn't scream, it whispers wisely. This is a deck for grounded dreamers. The kind that knows their mind has the blessing of tapping or tuning into other worlds that aren't present to our eyes, but can still hold true to the reality they live in. Paolo Martinello did a really wonderful job with these illustrations.

I still can't find my favorite reading cloth. It's such a shame, I wonder where I hid it!
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HELLO WITCHES Nº22




Everything manifested as a surprise last week! I had some very crazy adventures during the middle of the week that intensified with the coming of the Blue Moon. I lived that saying out with all the bells and whistles! There was a lot of excitement present and a lot of social activity that we're not used to engaging in. Still, it was pretty amazing. I love it when you go out of your daily routine to try new things out in order to learn new things.

Notice the Sun and the Moon side by side. Whenever I see this in a reading, I'm not sure how to interpret it. I see it as polar opposites, dark and light, good and bad, happy and sad, but I see them coexisting. I wouldn't say it's harmonious because they're not blending together, but it does look like they aren't mixing. They simply hover side by side. They float side by side but not together.

Notice there is one of every suit present, but there is also a heavy hand of Major Arcana. Four Majors are quite powerful, and more so the ones that are related. I also see magic present and new beginnings. Making things happen after dreaming about them for a long time. The Fool card makes it important to understand the importance of the projects I am starting out. There is also the Coins element reversed. It's strange because I don't reverse cards while I shuffle, and when they finally turn up reversed, I take it as a sign that they need to be. It means that I need to focus on getting that card upright.


THE WEEKLY SPREAD:

Monday. Princess of Wands. An energetic woman holds onto a wand that sparks with energy and magic. She has two spirit animals present, the tiger and the ram. She's charismatic, fierce, ready for action. This is a boom in creativity or a passionate encounter with somebody, be it passionate or angry.

Tuesday. The Sun. A day to rejoice in the sun and to soak up the rays of the morning. It can be an indication of an early start to the day, or of a celebration of the fact that we're alive. Two women dance under the sun in this card, gazing up at the news of warmth and delight. Good news could come.

Wednesday. The Moon. The complete opposite of the Sun card. A day for introspection and focus on nocturnal activity. The moon symbolizes lunacy, illusion, wild fantasies, and manifestations of dreams in our lives. This is an Egyptian portal to the next world, insinuated in the pillars with locks. What you can tap into through them is intense, so make sure you're ready for that knowledge before you jump into the next level.

Thursday. Eight of Swords. This is an inactive day, a day in which things don't get done or things feel compromised in place. It is an indication not to make big or special plans for today, because it is very likely the plan won't fall through as foreseen. That's something to consider. This card manifested as what to avoid last week, and in that vein, that's a direct message in what to avoid.

Friday. King of Coins. Embracing warmth and stability. There is a lot more action and aggression than I am used to seeing for the King of Coins in this illustration. He has a smug face that I can't trust and the bull is charging, drawing his chariot with great vigor and strength.

Saturday. Three of Cups. Another social day. A day to go out and rejoice or bring the party with you wherever you go. As an emotional card, it signifies general wellness and contentment with everything around you. The cups are flowing, it could be a day of heavy drinking or a moment in which intense emotions are spilled. The churning of the water gives it a festive feel with Mercury and Gemini.

Sunday. The Magician. A day of getting organized, getting back to work, and of manifesting dreams into reality. Watch as he takes his wand to create the illusion with what seems to be a scroll in his hands. He has all his elements laid out before him, so it looks like he has done a lot of research before performing this ritual. This is an action shot in which we witness divinity as it blesses the Magician with magic made real. It all started with the dream that later came to his will, though.

What to avoid. The Fool. Avoid starting over if you don't really know where you want to go. The wolf at his feet is warning him that if he jumps, he's going to come crashing down into the aggressive sea. He doesn't sem to notice the warning because he is distracted by the orb that radiates life into his face. All he needs to do is gather his courage before the jump. He knows he won't be coming back after he does. This is a warning of not doing foolish things and not allowing others to make you look like a fool.

What to strive for. Six of Coins. [Reversed] Untying the knot that keeps my financial energies in place. It's time to break back into the Earth to find out what isn't working for me so that I can rectify it. I had some compromises to make this past weekend and now I want to focus on my needs. This means to prioritize options and organize the elements into something that can keep growing. Accept help if it is offered and look to get things back in motion if they are not.

Today I had some major inconveniences. I misplaced my camera and reading cloth... but managed to get creative on both accounts. Hope the difference isn't bothersome!
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