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Book Excerpt: The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Spreads by Liz Dean “Three Cards Spread: Ask Three Times: Yes or No?”

June 1st, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Spreads by Liz Dean helps you answer your life questions instantly, while showing you how to read your cards and create your own layouts.

If you would like a definitive answer to a question, try this spread. In it, you ask your question three times and lay one card each time: in total, the cards yield a yes or no meaning.

Three Cards: Ask Three Times: Yes or No?

Shuffle the deck while thinking of your question, then spread the cards face down in a fan shape from left to right or right to left, so that the whole deck is before you. Now ask your question again. With your left hand, choose one card and place it to the left.

 

Ask the question again, and choose a second card. Place it in the center, to the right of the first card. Now ask your question a final time: choose a third card,

 

 

placing it to the right of the second. Turn over the cards and look at the list below to determine whether they’re “yes,” “no,” or “neutral” cards. Here’s how to

interpret the results:

 

Three yeses: Your answer is yes

Two yes cards with one no or neutral: A yes outcome is most likely, but you may need to wait

All no cards: The answer is no

A mix of no/neutral: The answer is no

One yes, one no, one neutral: Repeat the reading

All neutral cards: The answer is not known at this time; ask the cards again in a few days

 

 

Yes” cards

All cards apart from those listed as “no,” neutral, or exceptions

No” cards

Swords: Three, Five, SIX Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, and Knight

Cups: Five, Seven, Eight

Pentacles: Five

XIII Death

XV The Devil

XVI The Tower

XVIII The Moon

Neutral cards

Swords: Four

Cups: Four

IX The Hermit

XII The Hanged Man

 

Exceptions

Two of Swords, Ten of Wands: The answer is not yet known.

Five and Seven of Wands: The answer is yes, but you must fight for your prize.

 

** This has been an excerpt from the book The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Spreads by Liz Dean provided by The Quarto Group

 

***Reader Surprise***

The Quarto Group knows how Magickal Tarot is! They are Amazingly & Graciously offering PaganPagesOrg Readers a 40% off coupon for the month of JUNE on their tarot books, cards, and accessories with Coupon Code TAROT18. Now have fun shopping!!!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Spreads: Reveal the Answer to Every Question about Work, Home, Fortune, and Love

Five of Cups

(The Five of Cups card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

Last month we talked about the Two of Cups. This month we will talk about another Cups card, the Five of Cups. This one, like the other Five cards, appears sad on the surface but we will look for the silver lining.

The Five of Cups is a Minor Arcana card, so we know right away that the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. Remember, while on the surface a Minor Arcana card can appear insignificant or mundane, it can also possibly be a symptom of a deeper or wider issue. Nothing in the Minor Arcana is in any way minor in nature.

We already know that the easiest way to get a decent understanding of a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number, or in the case of Court Cards, its rank, and to examine its suit. In this case, we are dealing with the number 5, and the suit of Cups, and just examining these two ingredients could actually give you enough information about this one card to offer a useful interpretation to a seeker. But we have even more to consider, so let’s get started.

We talked about the suit of Cups in detail last month, but let’s go over it all again. Many Tarot decks use images of cups or chalices and water on their Minor Arcana Cups cards. The traditional image on the Five of Cups shows a person facing away from the observer dressed in a long, flowing dark blue robe, head bowed downward and seeming to emanate grief. The person is looking at three toppled Cups lying on the ground before him, their contents spilled out, and sometimes the Cups are broken. Often there is a river flowing nearby and in the distance beyond the river are rocky hills. Behind the robed figure and out of his view are two other Cups also on the ground, but these two are upright and undamaged.

The suit of Cups corresponds with the cardinal direction of West, the color blue, the playing cards of Hearts, and the element of Water. In its natural state, Water is cool and wet. Water has weight; picking up a gallon of water proves that. Water tends to gather into or flow to the lowest place; it will use already-in-place channels to get there if it can, but will create its own roadways or channels if necessary. Water is used for cleaning and purifying, and Water can be a carrier for other substances. For instance, we can dissolve salt or sugar into warm Water, and use that concoction for other things. A body of Water can be calm and deep, or it can be dangerously churning and filled with powerful currents.

The element of Water corresponds to our feelings and emotions. Emotions flow and have currents and eddies, and a powerful wave of emotions can be cleansing. Emotions can be hot and expanding or they can be bubbling upward, like steam, or cold and contracting and heavy, like ice. Our emotions can affect our physical bodies (which contain a lot of Water) and our health. Often, tears appear when we feel things strongly, as physical manifestations of those emotions.

Water also represents the Inner Voice and the mysteries of the subconscious. That calm body of water can reflect the trees and hills, and even the clouds and the sky around it, on its still surface and hide from our view the dark and cold depths inhabited by mysterious creatures. In order to explore those silent depths and discover the mysteries there, we must break the surface and enter this quiet and hidden realm.

Astrology is a tool that can offer subtle effects for us to consider as we analyze this card. The Five of Pentacles corresponds to the planet Mars (action, aggression, drive) when it is in the sign of Scorpio (“I desire,” intense, controlling, mysterious, obsessive).

Mars is known as the “Red Planet,” and this makes sense because Mars is about energy, passion, drive and determination, all fiery personality traits. Mars is commanding, confident, and powerful, asking us to stand up and be noticed without fear. Ambition and competition are also associated with this planet; Mars encourages us to face challenges and to be our best with honor. Mars rules our sexuality and sexual energy, and governs weapons, accidents and surgery. It’s important to remember that Mars’s energy can be either constructive or destructive. In the end, however, the energy of Mars can be quite useful if used properly.

Scorpio is a fixed Water sign. In Astrology, Fixed Signs are associated with stabilization, determination, depth and persistence. For Scorpios, these traits are found through achievement, and through going deep into the timeless mysteries of the imagination, dreams, and passions. Scorpios are powerful and willful in all they do; they stick with a task to the end, often achieving much more than Cardinal and Mutable Signs. On the other hand, they are also inflexible, rigid, stubborn, opinionated and single-minded. Scorpios are extremely loyal and will always remember a kind gesture. They love to learn about others; the curiosity of Scorpios is immeasurable.

Mars and Scorpio have a connection (Mars is said to rule Scorpio), and thus they support each other. Together they create a greater ability to work through difficult times. These energies are not about compromise but rather about finding a way to get the job done. These signs are not afraid of looking under the surface or exploring the dark corners, and together they have the endurance to bring about a major transformation. The down side of this combination is the potential for passion to slide into obsession.

When dealing with the Minor Arcana, perhaps the most important ingredient besides the suit of the card is the number of the card. In the Tarot, the number 5 is seen as adding motion to the depth and stability of the energy of the number 4 card, often toppling or destroying that depth and stability in order to prevent stagnation. If we look at the card right before the Five of Cups and follow it through to our card, we can gain some insight into the effects of the number 5.

The Four of Cups is about visualizing goals and dreaming of the future, however it also warns us that too much dreaming of the future can cause us to miss opportunities that present themselves in the present. The number 5 adds Motion to the potential for distraction from reality that is the Four of Cups, kind of like a tap on the shoulder to wake us up. All of the Tarot Fives are uncomfortable mainly because of this added Motion. In the other Minor Fives we have the need to control others (Swords), the lack of possessions and support (Pentacles), and ideas moving in random and unorganized directions (Wands). If we dream of pleasures and become addicted to those dreams, we will end up soft and weak with deadened senses, but if we find a way to counteract our tendency to indulge ourselves, we can be awakened to the possibilities in the outer world and the present moment. This awakening is the job of the Five of Pentacles.

The Tree of Life offers us further insight into this uncomfortable Motion that is causing our troubles. All of the Fives of the Tarot Minor Arcana correspond with the Sephira of Geburah (which means “Might”), the fifth Sephira on the Tree, the second on the Pillar of Form/Restriction. Geburah is also known as Judgment, and Fear, and its effects and manifestations can indeed be difficult. To some, an easy life is an ideal situation, but in the end the easy life offered through never experiencing any true tests lacks the opportunity for growth and evolution, and growth and evolution are the purposes of living.

Geburah is about courage and power and invincibility, and these things can bring us true fulfillment, or they can help to release our cruel side. But unless we are exposed to these temptations, we will never know if we have the will to set them aside when they become unbalanced. Believing that we have the power and authority to make decisions for others is often a recipe for disaster.

That is a lot of information to consider!! We are dealing with a Five card, so we know that it will present some discomfort. This is a Cups card, so we know the discomfort will be connected to our dreams, visions, feelings, emotions, and the actions and effects of the subconscious and the Inner Voice.

The Hermetic Tarot Five of Cups shows plant growth, yet no flowers. The five Cups in this image are empty, and the plant stems look a bit leggy to me, as if they had water but no sunlight. In the Hermetic Tarot, the Five of Cups represents partial loss, and the death of pleasure (indeed the card is named “Lord of Loss of Pleasure”). The key here is that while we are losing something, we can go on and perhaps have a happy ending. The reversed pentagram in the middle of this image hints at what needs to be corrected: we are focusing too much on strong feelings and physical pleasures, without allowing the mind and the feelings and the Higher Self to have a voice.

The Thoth Tarot Five of Cups, named “Disappointment,” also has flowers in its image, two lotus blossoms that appear to be drooping and losing their petals. The five Cups are in the shape of an inverted pentagram, similar to the Hermetic Tarot, symbolizing the triumph of matter over spirit. The beautiful sea of the Four of Cups (named “Luxury”) has turned stagnant. Here we can see a clear progression from Love (the Two of Cups) to Abundance (the Three of Cups), which brings Luxury (the Four of Cups); the next step is boredom, frustration, and decadence, and the Disappointment of the Five of Cups!

The Llewellyn Welsh Five of Cups has a traditional image. It tells of unfulfilled dreams and the difficulty of accepting a loss. Here is the spilled milk that we are not supposed to cry over. This card also tells of being limited by the memory of a past pain, and of being manipulated by emotional strings. “Suffering over one’s suffering” is a great description of this card.

The Gateway to the Divine Tarot Five of Cups shows a woman huddled against a wall, face filled with distress. Before her on the ground are three shattered glass Cups; she holds an unharmed Cup in each hand. She is not looking at those two intact Cups, but instead focuses on what might have been, symbolized by the broken Cups before her, rather than accepting what has happened and moving on with the two remaining Cups. Her loss is probably connected to something that was expected to bring pleasure, such as a loving relationship.

When the Five of Cups shows up in a reading, we are being told that our discomfort and dismay are valid and painful, but they are also a wake-up call telling us all is not lost. Our vision is focused narrowly on the spilled Cups and the loss and disappointment they symbolize, but if we could tear our eyes from the destruction and look around, we will find that all is not lost. There, behind the cloaked figure bowed in grief shown on the Five of Cups, are two intact Cups, filled to the brim. He has only to take his focus away from the lost potential and what could have been, and instead look around him at what he still has now and he will see that happiness is still available to him. This could very well be an opportunity to leave behind what has hurt him and turn to a different and more fulfilling direction.

** This year we will be featuring the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk.  You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/ .

***

About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journey To Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

Click Image for Amazon Information

The Line of Five

Anyone who knows me or follows me on any of my Wordpress blogs or Facebook or Twitter knows that I have been fighting a major depression – one of the worst depressions in over ten years. It’s affected every aspect of my life – eating, sleeping, my ability to write – and it has affected my desire to use my divination skills. For years, I longed for a deck of Lenormand cards and now I have a beautiful set of oracle cards – actually two historic decks – and probably the best learning manual on the market, The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards by Caitlín Matthews – but for weeks, the cards have sat on the shelf and the book barely cracked.

Yes, as depressed as I am, I feel guilty about this. I know that this guilt is a residue from my Catholic childhood but it’s there. I know that I *should* be practicing with these new cards – and the Playing Card Oracle deck I just got – like I should have been practicing the piano all those long years ago when I was ten, eleven, twelve years old. But like the preteen Polly of the early 1970’s, I sit and dream of other times. Of California and golden, wind-swept hills. Of Johnny Lancer. Of wild horses that couldn’t drag me away.

My son has been very worried about me. His lease is up at the end of July and he decided that for his last year of college, he is going to move back in with me – it makes economic sense – for him, anyway. But he wants to watch over his Mama – make sure that she doesn’t do herself any harm. Which is sweet – unnecessary but sweet. I don’t mind him moving in. Like everything, there are pros and cons either way.

I got out the Lenormand deck and shuffled it. I wasn’t even sure what I was doing but I thought – just lay out five cards – do a line of five. As explained in The Lenormand Oracle Handbook: “This is a small, useful spread in which the most important card is the middle one, the main focus. It is the basis for any line of cards, whether it be 5,7,9,or 11 cards: the center card becomes the hinge or focus and the two sides are the wings.” (Caitlín, 113).

I shuffled my cards and laid them out accordingly. I focused on the question – I’m not sure if question is the correct term – but the issue – of whether or not it was a good idea for James to move back in with me. Although I am lonely, I do cherish and protect my solitude. And James can be stiflingly over-protective, like most men. Plus, he tends to treat me like I’m much older than I am – like I am as old as my own mother. Which is annoying, to say the least. I mean – I’m only fifty-eight years old – and in quite good health! I just get depressed now and again!

This is what I got:

The middle card (card #3) is the main issue. 25 The Ring is about commitment. Think weddings and marriage but any kind of strong bond. If there is one thing about James and me, it’s that there has always been a strong bond between us. He’s my only child – the only one I was ever able to have – and I almost lost him early in pregnancy. James has a close relationship with his father but he lives in Florida and only visits a few times a year. James has been with me most of his life.

I know that when I got pregnant with James, I felt the he was the one. I had been pregnant numerous times before James – I was thirty-two when I became pregnant with James and my first pregnancy was at age seventeen – and I had suffered so many miscarriages that even my OB/GYN suggested that I have an abortion. But I just knew – this was the one. And without Planned Parenthood in the early months of that pregnancy, I might have lost James, too. I have nothing but great things to say about that organization.

Cards #1 and #2 tell what has led to or influenced this situation. #14 Fox and #30 Lily suggest that there is some kind of trickery going on (the fox) which could affect family welfare (the lily), which is why James is so concerned about me – I am not going into personal family affairs here, but suffice it to say that James is not happy with the ways things have been going with the family politics and he wants to be my defender! Which is seen with the King of Spades on the #30 Lily Card – holding his sword against the fox.

Cards #4 and #5 are the likely outcome. #15 Bear and #6 Clouds is a confused mother – me. #6 Clouds has another King – the King of Clubs – two black Kings means success in court but I am not sure if that applies here! But I might need all the help I can get!

Like many Tarot readings, I do not see a true outcome here. The #6 Clouds card muddled up the whole thing. And yet – perhaps this is telling the whole story. I am not sure if it is a good idea for James to move back in – and yet, I can hardly wait for him to be here. I guarantee you, he feels exactly the same way. What virile young man wants to live with his witchy old mother? But – you can’t argue with economics. If he is to graduate, he needs to live in a place he can afford. I do understand that. At his age, I couldn’t afford to go to college at all – I was working three jobs.

I am sorry that I missed you all last month. I will fight this depression harder and be here with another Lenormand lesson next month. Until then, Brightest Blessings to all of you.

References

Matthews, Caitlín. The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books: 2014.

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Dear Reader,

Welcome to ‘It’s In the Cards’ for www.PaganPages.org. At one time this column appeared in Finer Things Magazine in New Haven, CT, and I am very pleased to be writing my column again; this time for the Pagan Community.

Every month, I will do a tarot reading for one person whose question I choose for this column. Also, by writing me, you will have a chance for a free tarot 10 minute reading on the phone. If you would like to contact me about purchasing a reading, please visit my web site at www.SubRosaMagick.com or write me at [email protected]

Since I first began reading for the public 13 years ago, I found that I fell in love with being able to help people in their personal lives and on their path as a spiritual counselor. The cards, I have found, often tell us what we need to know, and not necessarily what we want to know. They provide a way for me to see deeper into the heart of an issue and often what magickal advice I also need to give to bring about change.

Even if you aren’t familiar with tarot cards as a form of divination, they also work in the same way other forms do, be it the Runes, I-Ching, oracles or Ogam. The symbols of the tarot speak on many levels, and allow a connection to be created with spirit; opening a doorway for the universe to communicate on a personal level. As an artist as well as a priestess, I acknowledge the power of these symbols, but as a psychic, I use them to “see” more clearly.

Mediumship isn’t something I intentionally practice, but sometimes I do receive messages from spirit or departed loved ones, and if I receive messages I will relay these to you as part of the reading.

This following is the question chosen for this month.

Dear Alicia,

Since I was a child I knew I would live overseas, I made that move last year to Ireland.  I have felt drawn here by something much more powerful than myself but anytime I try to delve into why, I get nothing.  I feel very grounded but I must say that life has intervened and I am much too busy (or think I am), but the feeling is so strong that I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

My question is: why do I have this feeling, like something magnificent is just around the corner?  I feel like I am just too close or am trying to hard to see it. Can you shine some light? My birthday 8/11/1961.
Thanks, Jax

Dear Jax,

One of the reasons why I ask for people’s birth date is so I can look into who they are, astrologically speaking, because it tells me much before I even begin the reading. I believe what part you may be feeling is a lot of untapped power within you. Your Sun is in Leo, Venus is in Cancer, Mars is in Virgo and Jupiter is in Libra. Combine this with the Chinese year of the Metal Ox and you have quite a heady mix. Moving to Ireland doesn’t surprise me, because with Venus in Cancer, your home needs to be where your heart is. Mars in Virgo might as well be a spear that hits its mark more often than it misses. Your power flows your connection with others in an uncanny way, something similar to second sight – a way of perceiving energies instead. You do in fact, literally, create your own luck. So for this reading, I will be using a horseshoe spread. The layout is seven cards in the shape of a horseshoe from the top of the deck, with one card drawn from the bottom to show what is ‘hidden from you.’

The first card is the Five of Cups, representing the past. Fives are cards of instability, speaking from a time when there was a large disappointment, but as I am sure you now know, there was something still left behind that you could take forward. It was not, nor is it now, irresolvable, and more remains to be discovered. This situation is behind you now, yet it would not be present in this reading if it was not relevant to the current situation.

The second card is Strength (8) connecting to the present, signifying your spiritual strength and determined resolve. This is the Leo in you, the powerful lion whose strength lies in quiet tenacity. It also signifies you unshakable optimism, that you will prevail even despite previous disappointments, such as in the situation the Five of Cups (previous) represents.

The third card is the Nine of Wands, your hidden influences which suggest that your intuition is dead on; something indeed is about to manifest. Success is very near, and it is your determination and self reliance which brought you here. Whatever losses you have suffered in the past have only made you stronger.

The fourth card is the The World (21) Inversed, and it is your obstacle. In this deck it is called the Universe, and so it takes on even a deeper meaning. With your constant striving you may have overlooked something very important – and that is looking inside. Your philosopher’s stone awaits if you can get past the boundaries within yourself. I believe your move has awakened you in ways you don’t currently understand on a conscious level.

The fifth card is Justice (11) Inversed, it represents the environment you are in, and the people surrounding you. When Justice is inversed, it becomes judgment and criticism. Bluntly, tell the nay Sayers to get out of your way. Don’t let them hold you back.

The sixth card is the Seven of Cups Inversed, the recommended action to take. The advice here is stern; do not rest on your laurels or rely on previous victories to find that which you seek. Remain action, open and aware to new possibilities, but do not become lost in the ‘what ifs.’ The seven cups are all filled with your hopes and dreams, but all reflect a different path you could take. Pick one.

The seventh car is the Nine of Pentacles, the final result should you take this advice to heart. This card depicts a gentlewoman in her garden, surrounded by abundance. There is a wealth of richness to be found in the wisdom of the Earth, something I feel the World/Universe card was trying to get at. When you look within rather than without, your connection with the Universe will reveal itself, and with it, the secret only you will know.

The eighth card drawn from the bottom of the deck is the King of Cups. I feel this is not a person in your life, but instead is reflecting who you are becoming. This may very well be the quickening you feel. Your gifts may very well be coming to the surface in many other ways. I do feel that you did cross through a dark night of the soul, and have worked your way through to the other side, which is The Mysteries. With it comes a strength of will to create and manifest real change as your life will soon bear its fruit, which you have worked so hard for. But keep working, The Gods aren’t done with you yet. The tree is still growing, and life is about the journey rather than a destination.

The light you asked me to show you is yourself, so shine on!

Blessed be!
Rev. Alicia Lyon Folberth

WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR READING TO APPEAR?

If you would like me to do a reading for you in the next issue of Pagan Pages, please send me your:
1. Name you would like me to use in the article (it doesn’t have to be your given name)
2. Full birth date
3. Your question. Feel free to ask anything!
4. Send it to: [email protected]

Dear Reader,

Welcome to ‘It’s In the Cards’ for www.PaganPages.org. At one time this column appeared in Finer Things Magazine in New Haven, CT, and I am very pleased to be writing my column again; this time for the Pagan Community.

Every month, I will do a tarot reading for one person whose question I choose for this column. Also, by writing me, you will have a chance for a free tarot 10 minute reading on the phone. If you would like to contact me about purchasing a reading, please visit my web site at www.SubRosaMagick.com or write me at [email protected]

Since I first began reading for the public 13 years ago, I found that I fell in love with being able to help people in their personal lives and on their path as a spiritual counselor. The cards, I have found, often tell us what we need to know, and not necessarily what we want to know. They provide a way for me to see deeper into the heart of an issue and often what magickal advice I also need to give to bring about change.

Even if you aren’t familiar with tarot cards as a form of divination, they also work in the same way other forms do, be it the Runes, I-Ching, oracles or Ogam. The symbols of the tarot speak on many levels, and allow a connection to be created with spirit; opening a doorway for the universe to communicate on a personal level. As an artist as well as a priestess, I acknowledge the power of these symbols, but as a psychic, I use them to “see” more clearly.

Mediumship isn’t something I intentionally practice, but sometimes I do receive messages from spirit or departed loved ones, and if I receive messages I will relay these to you as part of the reading.

This following is the question chosen for this month.

Dear Alicia,

Do you think our new president is competent enough for the job? He hasn’t had much senatorial experience. Do you think he will get us out of this economic decline?

Thanks, Mary

Dear Mary,

I, like so many people, am hoping that this man can do what may be the impossible, and I found your question very intriguing. President Obama’s birthdate is August 4, 1961, with both his Sun and Mercury in Leo. I have also read that his personality type is ENFP, which would make him perhaps the second ‘Idealist’ (NF) personality type ever to have been president of the United States. The first potentially being Lincoln. Idealist personality types don’t often take the lead, but when they do they often make great changes around them, and leave their mark on the world. Mars is in Virgo, showing that not only is he the right man for the job, but he will get it right. His chart speaks of someone who can mentally both see around corners and out of the box in the most difficult situations. He is, truly, brilliant. He combines, vision, honesty, and integrity into everything he does. He knows that the spotlight is on him and he must perform well.

Of course, even with being someone well suited to the challenge before him, comes the issue of what is to come. So for this reading I am going to do a simple version of the Celtic Cross layout as an overview, just as if he was coming to see me for a reading. I use this as my ‘foundation’ reading for my clients before I answer other questions, so that I can see the ‘big picture’ surrounding them.

I envisioned his face, and blew his fate into my cards. As I laid them out cards, what I see is very deep. I am sure that those of you who also read may come up with your own interpretations, and will be moved as well. I only laid the cards out once, and I am reading them exactly as I have drawn them.

The first card representing President Obama is the Wheel of Fortune. Fate is fickle, and sticky. This card symbolizes the cyclical states of man: “I will reign, I reign, I have reigned, I am without.” The deck I am using is Llewellyn, and its imagery is from Welsh Mythology. The Wheel of Fortune is Arianrhod’s Silver Wheel, and as Arianrhod placed destinies upon Llew, so perhaps have unpleasant destinies and challenges been placed upon this man who we see as a ‘shining one,’ which is also echoed in the final result card, the Sun inversed, which is represented by Llew in this deck.

The second card, his crossing card, is the Ace of Swords, which is upright (thank the stars!). This challenge to overcome all obstacles and achieve victory of course, is at hand. The sword holds up a crown, and it shows me he has taken up this mantle with much determination and with everything he has. If Obama was in front of me, I would remind him that the sword is double edged, and I would caution that those who live by it, also die by it. It is said that the “The Brave die only once, the Meek, a thousand times.” Truly, he is committed in his new role as a leader, as if he were a newly appointed king, with a strong leonine fearless streak.

Fate is the third card drawn, the Fool inversed, as is symbolized by Peredur. In Welsh tradition, Peredur was the original hero of the grail quest who failed in his first attempt, but spent most of his life searching for the Grail castle a second time. He alone is the keeper of the secrets of the sorceress, the Grail royalty. There is a theme here in this reading of something reenacting, of something from our ancestral memories being replayed out in the here and now. This will not be an easy path for him, but the rewards may be great. Perhaps his second term will be the place where he truly makes his mark.

The fourth card is the past, the Lovers. Obviously, his partnership is integral to who he has become, and it is still his root – his greatest source of strength. I think we all can see by now the love he has for his family exceeds all else. When a Leo’s family – his ‘pride’ and joy – believes in him he feels he can do anything.

The fifth card is the King of Pentacles inversed, which is the situation he must address. Obviously, the economy has turned upside down. But since this is a positive card normally, I feel that there is a chance to turn things around if the right decisions are made. Since the card is inversed, the apples are now on the ground, wasted, and the poppies are in the air, suspended. I can’t help but wonder if those poppies are also Afghanistan and the Middle East…

The sixth card signifying the near future is the King of Swords, again, I believe, this is the role he is stepping into. Swords cards are of course, also cards of war. I am relieved that there are no other sword cards in the rest of the reading, but I feel he is preparing for something that may not come right away – a readiness and an awareness to be on guard.

The Page of Pentacles is the current situation as the seventh card, outside of his influence. Although things may not be good now, the Page foretells that it will get better – help and hope is on the way. The winds of change are favorable, if not strong.

The eighth card is the Seven of Cups is the advice of the reading. To see things as they truly are is imperative. The illusion of the past is over – that spell has been broken, and castles that have been built in the air have been laid low.

The ninth card, the Six of Wands is in the Hopes and Fears position, and obviously this is a hope. This will not come to pass right away, this ‘dream’ of good news, of victory, of success and honors.

The tenth card, the final outcome is the Sun inversed, or Llew inversed. There will be limited progress although there will be success. I feel the first term in office will feel very much like a battle even through we are dismantling a war. There will be no miracles, just hard work and the results of that labor.

The last card, is what is hidden, and that is the Universe (the World). Perhaps there is something here very mystical, and hopes yet unrealized and unseen. This card in my deck is Cadair Idris – a mountain with connections to the Otherworld. There is still more to be revealed, but in its own time.

I hope you enjoyed the reading, Mary, as much as I did.

Blessed be!
Rev. Alicia Lyon Folberth

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The Business of Tarot

Last year I had an experience with an individual who was highly upset with the fact that I read Tarot for profit and “personal gain”. This woman accused me of “commercializing what she held as sacred and that I was selling the religion of Wicca and spiritual practices as a business.” After recovering from the hurt and shock I experienced at the allegation, I contemplated what my own views were in regards to my business. This is what I discovered:

I view Tarot as a sacred tool for divination. I use the cards to tap into Divine Source in order to attain knowledge and retrieve messages meant for others. I relay these messages to my clients. Are those whom I read for able to receive their own messages without my help? Yes, indeed they are. It is my belief that everyone has the ability to connect and communicate with the Spirit Realm. But just because they have the ability does not mean that they use it. At the moment when they are sitting across from me at the table they chose not to utilize their ability. Why is that? Well, the reasons are as numerous as the individuals. Sometimes their connection may be weak. Perhaps their connection is clouded. It is possible that the individual doesn’t believe that they possess the ability to connect. Regardless of the reason – at that point in time they sought out my guidance. Should this mean that the time they sit with me should be free? Am I not “allowed” to charge?

I know there are those who believe that any ability born of spirituality should be free. They believe that if it originates from God/Creator/Divine Source/Spirit – it shouldn’t cost anyone anything and while I can understand their point of view – I don’t subscribe to it. I believe that because I am doing a service clients pay me for my time – the time I spend with them – not my actual ability. Just for a moment, think back to the days when there was no concept of currency and people bartered for what they required. I’m sure we can all recall the village mid-wife or medicine woman. These women would make “house calls”. When needed she would go to a dwelling and deliver the baby or cure the illness and in return the family would give her a meal, a loaf of bread, a blanket, or some wool. She was compensated for the service she provided. True, it wasn’t cash but in 2011, not many individuals trade or barter like they did back then and believe me, neither the utility company nor cell phone company would take a loaf of bread as payment for my monthly bill. So most of my clients pay me with money. This is not to say that if I were offered a service or item for a Tarot Reading, I’d turn it down, on the contrary – I would welcome it. And in fact I have a regular client who is a hairdresser and we trade. She receives a Reading and in return my daughter or I receive a haircut.

A few months ago, my husband shared with me an idea he read about on the internet which stated that healing or spiritual services are in fact priceless. You cannot put a set price on either. They could cost millions or next to nothing. The decision of price is between the one giving and the one receiving. Both parities have the privilege to accept or reject it. I tend to agree with this point of view and can easily say the same about my Tarot Readings.

I also came to the realization that there is more than money that I gain from reading the cards for others. I find enlightenment in the service that I provide. I find understanding in the connections that I make. This ability isn’t just a technique that I was taught or something that I learned from a book. It is intuitive. It is a relationship that I took the time to nurture. It is a relationship between me and my cards, between me and Divine Source, between me and the Spirit Realm. divination is an understanding. It is an attachment. These people aren’t just “problems” or clients. Each of them is a sacred being. Each of them is joined to Spirit just as much as I am and it is through this connection that I unite with All. With everything. In those precious moments, through those intimate connections,  I receive enlightenment and understanding. And that means more to me than a profit ever could.

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