Monday, February 27, 2017

Reading Runs of Numbers

Last summer, during one of my  daily 3-card spreads, I pulled the cards you see below.  Do you notice anything about them? What is the common pattern?

All three of these cards are numbered ten.  On the left and right, we have pentacles and wands from the minor arcana, and in the center, the major arcana's Wheel of Fortune.  In addition to making for a visually impacting spread, tarot also uses its numbering system to convey deeper meaning. 

Now, you know that I don't like to add complicating factors to my tarot readings when I don't have to; seventy-eight card meanings is plenty on its own, thank you very much! However, when you get a spread with a pattern as striking as this, it can be fun to introduce a little more flavor to your reading.

I've written before about how to read a run of suits--meaning, three or more of the same suit in a given spread. Similarly, finding three or more of the same number can be read as a run of that number.  I would call my daily 3-card here a run of tens.  This pattern told me to pay attention to cycles of completion in my life, and the process of turning accomplishment into new beginnings. 

Here is a list of the general significance of each number.  You will notice that I only list ace through ten, and not the court cards; court cards are notoriously tricky for tarot readers, and I've discussed my approach elsewhere on this blog.

Ace - Beginnings, the seed of the essence of the suit
Two - Balance, partnerships with others
Three - Growth, interacting with others
Four - Stability, accomplishment
Five - Change, conflict
Six - Resolution, harmony, balance
Seven - Looking inward for resources
Eight - Desire for forward momentum
Nine - The pause before completion
Ten - Completion, the essence of the suit come to fruition

You may find the shades of meaning offered by runs of numbers deepens your interpretation of any given spread; alternately, you may just find yourself saying to the querent, "Look at that, you have several eights in this spread. It seems like you're looking for some forward energy in your life." I like having the knowledge of runs because it is a simple way to add more depth to your reading without requiring a ton of memorization.  It's especially helpful when you realize the progression of number meanings is meant to represent the progression of a life's story. We start as a seed, then grow in our communities, face various hardships and resolution, before arriving at the essence of completion.

Do you see yourself incorporating runs of numbers in your readings? Does the narrative progression of number meanings enhance your appreciation of tarot?  Is this just way to complicated for your personal practice? Let us know in comments!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tarot Blogaround!

My tarot practice started off as a very private, personal thing. Now, while it continues to nurture my innermost self, it has blossomed into a source of connection and community. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share some of this community with you! In that spirit, I present you the second installation of the blogaround:

  • Benebell Wen is an author and "independent metaphysician," which she does a great job explaining. She provides guidance not only on tarot, but in a variety of other esoteric fields.  Her blog is a great resource for tarot beginners, as well as anybody looking to enhance their tarot with other practices like numerology, astrology, and feng shui.  The thing is, Benebell is just a great writer. Whatever she's writing about, she makes easy to understand and engaging to read.

  • Abbie over at Northern Lights Witch is a woman after my own heart! Her blog on tarot and witchcraft feels deeply based in the natural world, and she is explicitly interested in tarot for healing and social justice, which, in my opinion, is the tarot's highest calling.  I actually received an online reading from her, which was insightful, gentle, and motivating. I recommend her work unreservedly. 

  • Alright, I am cheating a little bit; Moody Moons is not officially a tarot blog, but it is just too great to pass up. The photos of her seasonal crafts are tangibly lush. The author is a great resource for ideas for rituals and spiritual celebrations, especially around the sabbats of Wicca. Though I am not Wiccan, I draw from it in developing my own spiritual practice, and this blog has been invaluable. 

These are just a few examples of the tarot readers, witches, and occult bloggers out there providing wonderful material. Who else are you following?  What resources do you find yourself coming back to as you develop your practice?  Share in the comments!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Closer Look: Death

Key words and concepts
Death, from the Tarot Noir published by Vega

  • Transformation
  • Transition
  • Profound change
  • Rebirth
  • Endings
  • Letting go

This card has been popping up a lot for me over the last month or so.  Rather than fearful, I've been grateful to see it. I am looking forward to change in my life, which is what the Death card predicts.

You may know that the Death card doesn't necessarily--or even often--mean a literal human death.  It may refer to loss, but usually in the context of making room for rebirth.  Think of the many spiritual frameworks that see death not as a final ending, but as simply one more cycle of completion and rebirth.

The changes predicted by the Death card are not minor ones, and they may be uncomfortable.  This Death speaks to the ending of a chapter in your life, be it from external events or the shifting of your internal beliefs.  The most useful metaphor for me is the caterpillar: When it retires to its chrysalis, the caterpillar's body literally breaks down into something akin to stem cells, only to be rebuilt in the form of a butterfly.  I can't think of anything more drastic than dissolving your body to make a new one.  The "birth" of the butterfly seems a bit like a death for the caterpillar, even though they are the same organism.  In fact, the Death card is associated with Scoprio--the sign during Samhain and Halloween. While these holidays are strongly associated with the dead, Samhain has actually been called the Celtic New Year, suggesting that the spirit of rebirth is often present alongside that of death.

The Death card is less about literal death, then, and more about the closure or completion of cycles, right before moving on to a new beginning.

On a slightly more playful note, I give you this clip from the Simpsons.  I think the fortune teller gives a pretty good interpretation; what do you think?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Reading a Spread: Job Interview Jitters

We all know that job searching is fraught. It's stressful, full of rejection, and relatively high-stakes. I came up with this spread earlier this week before a job interview, looking for something to help me ground myself. This isn't a spread about finding a job, or general work-related questions; I designed it specifically to help calm my nerves before my interview!  If interview jitters are something you face, maybe this spread can help.


Here are the four cards I pulled for my spread.  See the descriptions below.

CARD 1: The Querent

Representing me at this moment, the six of swords shows a small boat with obscured figures gliding away. This card reminds me that at this point in my life, I'm not searching for highly visible status-oriented work. In fact, over the last few months, I realized that stability is one of my highest priorities for the workplace. 

CARD 2: What grounds you

I like to read court cards as a point of view, or motto. The king of wands makes his decisions based on his passions, but such passion is tempered by his experience. I year ago, I felt more like the knight of wands: Exuberant, forward-thinking, and spontaneous. The king uses this very same energy to drive him, but he looks back on the lessons he's learned over his life.  This attitude keeps his decisions sincere and practical. I'm reminded that, however this interview turns out, I have learned a lot in my journey, and that is worth something. 

CARD 3: Something to calm you

Right before I go in for an interview--like when I'm sitting in the lobby, waiting, sipping on my coffee--is when I start to lose focus. The immediacy of it overwhelms me a bit, and I feel myself getting worked up. At that point, I need something to just calm me down.  I'm never really happy to see the Emperor, as he represents some values that don't resonate with me (authority, paternalism).  In this context, though, he reminds me that I am the only expert in my unique personal experience. However my interviewers choose to evaluate me, I know that I am the authority on my own life. 

CARD 4: Something to give you confidence

Now that you're grounded and calm, you're ready for a confidence boost! I'll admit I was a bit surprised to see the placid seven of pentacles.  He is quietly waiting for his crops to ripen, knowing that there's nothing more he can do at this point but wait for the harvest. There's reassurance in knowing that you've already put the work in, and that it's time to let it all play out. He reminds me that my confidence doesn't have to take the form of being showy, and that calmly letting things unfold is its own power. 


After I finished this spread, I took out my notebook that I bring to job interviews.  I wrote a little summary of my spread, so that I could look down and read it if I started to get nervous.  Based on the four cards, I noted:

I am seeking calm. Experience tempers my passion.  I am the expert on my decisions. Confidence may manifest as patience. 

It's too soon to know the results of the interview, but experientially, I can say that doing this spread beforehand definitely helped ground me in the confidence of my values.  Could you see yourself doing a spread like this before a job interview?  Do you even get job interview jitters?  Are there other parts of the job-search process that you think tarot could help you with?  Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Welcome Back!

Well, hello there.

If you made it to DHT today, you may notice that I am writing again after seven months.  I'll not claim to have a readership large enough to really notice, or that my reasons are interesting enough for folks here for content.

I'll just say thank you.

Thanks for coming back around after my hiatus, or thank you for stopping by for the first time.  I'm doing some re-branding (I have a logo now!) and look forward to responding to queries in my Etsy shop, so take a look and see if there's a spread that catches your eye. You can still find me on twitter and facebook, too.

Fresh content on the blog starts Monday; not only do I have two spreads on deck for y'all, but we'll be taking a closer look at none other than the Death card. I've got other goodies, too, like another tarot blogaround and some discount prizes in the store.

I'm also returning to this blog as a USian still reeling from the election. Inevitably, I will join numerous other tarot readers and bloggers in discussions about resistance to oppression, even as we find ways to come together and celebrate the good in the world.

I look forward to using tarot to connect with others as we all face life's challenges together. I hope you'll stick around!