Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 2012 is sure to be interesting, full of challenge and for many, a time of growth. I am not a prophet of world events, I am often asked for predictions around this time of year. Some readers talk about sports teams, celebrities and politics, and fun as that may be I don't generally get vibes around those things. I have to point out that my area of work is more on a personal level with people. The individual challenges we face, but there is much from that which shows me trends and patterns that affect us all.

 I believe this year is the end of an epoch, and we will look back on it as a starting point, the seeds of which have been already sprouting over the last few decades. I will be talking about this and a few other things tomorrow (New Year's Day) on a local radio show with astrologer Brenda Johnson, her program "Shamanic Times" is on CKUW 95.9FM at 1:30 PM, there are podcasts that you can listen to in the show's archives and this will be added to that*, I will update this post when that becomes available. The link to Brenda's webpage and to more information about the show itself is:
http://www.shamanictimes.com/

*The archive of shows is at http://ckuw.ca/programs/detail/these-changing-times/ and our exchange is the January 1st program, as we had the opportunity to start a half hour earlier (the show is normally a half hour) unfortunately the archive only caught the last half hour of the program. It comes in amid a discussion on male and female energetic work.  Brenda is so informative about the astrological aspects and was a very gracious host and has kindly invited me back. I will post when that is to be and her weekly show is something I always get a lot out of.

Further to 2012, I have posted the following clip on the  Trevorsense Facebook page and will share it again here. A wonderful old song by Cole Porter, it expresses a lot of my feelings of joy in the face of challenge; "Let's Face The Music And Dance"!


I'd like to also mention that 2012 marks 30 years of my work professionally. I have to thank the many friends, teachers, patrons and colleagues that have helped and that I still learn from. A very blessed, happy and constructive 2012 to one and all!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tis the Season

Here we are in December 2011, time to look back on a year of challenge and change and to be close with the people and things that count. I always find December to be a month of extremes and an especially  important time to just be in the moment, whether that's a quiet walk in the snow or the need to be patient when standing in line in a crowded mall.

For myself, the holidays have become much simpler in the last few years. Most of the kids in my family have grown, some of my family lives out of town. My mother (she is 84) and I will probably have a quiet afternoon together and dinner. There's also some holiday gatherings and areas of community where I sometimes volunteer and it's always wonderful to see people who come back to Winnipeg for a visit.

For many people, the holidays are also a traditional time for readings, whether it's the Solstice, New Years or just the fact that we have a little free time. Sometimes there's a last minute rush to get in (so it's good to book ahead to ensure a time that is convenient for yourself and friends).

Amid all the hustle and bustle, many of my friends and clients work with and contribute to charities; one that I heard of recently is WISH - Women In Secondary Housing, which helps women and families transitioning away from abusive situations. I have done readings for charity fundraisers from time to time, I have had a lot of fun working with Gio's Cares and they have helped many people locally through individual gift packages as well as donations to many areas of service. I also have a personal grattitude to the Christmas Cheer Board.

Some other local suggestions are:
Children's Hospital
http://manitoba.mcc.org/
If anyone would like to post additional suggestions for local charities, feel free to use the "post a comment" feature (below this article)

However you observe this special time of year, whether in gratitude for abundance or if you are struggling, I wish you all the very best for 2012. Stay close, stay safe and as our little planet makes another trip round the sun, remember we are all in this together!
Much Love,
Trev.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Temperance, (or finding your pause button)

Temperance is one of my favorite cards. I find that there are certain symbols in Tarot that have come to have a deep resonance throughout my life. Some that I relate to easily, others that I have had to really work to understand and some where I have thought I'd seen it all and then they come back and surprise me.

I often find that when this card is predominant in a reading that it indicates a sense of timing. The word Temperance comes partly from the Latin "tempus" and also "tempor", these are respectively timing and transformation. The balancing of energies and the moderation to work things through.

A few things I have come to recognize as evocative on the card itself; the angel has one foot immersed in the water, the other seems to be hovering over the earth. The irises on the river bank, the careful flow of water between the cups, the crown of enlightenment at the end of the long road. As is the case with most cards, multiple signals that combine to give us a message.

All of the major arcana cards are archetypes, universal symbols that hold within them a kind of guidance through our circumstances. If we were to view the minor arcana as karma, the majors are a sort of dharma that helps us free ourselves. Now that first word "karma" has been getting a lot of play lately. People look at a difficult person or situation and wish it to have some sort of karmic retribution. I'm not an authority on karma but the Buddhist traditions it evolves from tells us that we don't have to be victims of circumstance or fate. Karmic retribution is about as relevant to mindfulness as Santa Claus is to Christianity. Dharma is the teachings and beliefs that help us to work through karma. We can stop the retributive patterns at any time.

It is significant that the Temperance card comes up in the sequence of the major arcana after the death card, right before we face The Devil. Like a good guardian angel that walks with us through the scary stuff, Temperance is like the angel Virgil in Dante's Divine Comedy, helping us to see that all of our experiences, good and bad are part of what is shaping us. I like to think that we are all, and perhaps always will be, works in progress. The Maker's hand is still upon the clay. We can't just evolve the nice stuff and ignore what's in the shadows, Temperance is the compassion to work with all of that. It is "The Great Transformer".

I don't think it is time alone that does this. Whoever said "time heals all wounds" had never heard of gangrene. It is time though that can wear down our hard shells of resistance. We aren't the people we thought we were a decade ago and hopefully we wont be in time to come. There is a reason Temperance comes after the egoic passing of the Death card. I am reminded of the common experience of many people who claim to have after death experiences. There is often a kind of life review where we see our lives play out from a detached perspective, we see the good and bad and these things arouse feelings but at the same time many of these people report a sense of being loved, held and protected as these things play out. I like to think of that as a higher nature or angelic awareness such as what Temperance shows. The angel of time is also an awareness outside of time, the all knowing that we are always a part of.

On a much simpler level Temperance is sometimes looking at a situation that could have us all riled up in the moment and reminding ourselves of impermanence. It asks the question - how important will this be tomorrow, a year from now or ten?

Temperance can be a need to slow down, to look at the timing of a situation. To put aside our egoic ideas of good guys and bad guys, to be compassionate with ourselves as well as others. When a troublesome situation comes my way I have to see the karma being as much my own lesson in dealing with it and not just my desire to have it come out my way. By the way, ever notice how no one much considers it was their karma that brought them the headache in the first place? No one deserves difficulties or pain, they happen though just like the weather. When they do Temperance is the awareness that we don't have to go flying off into reactions or a wish for retribution. We can learn from the situation, go into it's depths but also rise above it. We can be moderate. We can ask if there is a greater or a higher good than just our own immediate needs. This is challenging work, all of the majors involve some. In this case there is an old saying; "temper justice with mercy".

As we move into any kind of inner work, we may have some bogey men to face, but Temperance is the higher awareness that lets us know we are on a good path, that we are not alone, and whatever we need to face is ultimately freeing us. Sometimes in a reading temperance is that third choice, somewhere between yes and no that says wait a minute or not right now. Being Temperate or moderate is a better place to work from than just being temperamental. There's more room and more of a sense of being a work in progress. We aren't as insistent on things having to be an immediate yes or no and that usually shows us possibilities we had never before imagined.

Quote of the week:

"The happiest people I know are people who don’t even think about being happy. They just think about being good neighbors, good people. And then happiness sort of sneaks in the back window while they are busy doing good."
- Harold S. Kushner, author of "When Bad things Happen to Good People".

Saturday, November 5, 2011

An Attitude Of Gratitude

This picture came my way on another social media forum and I just have to share it. I don't know it's original source but it captures such a spontaneous sense of joy. The camel and the child both seem to be sharing a great laugh.Sometimes the greatest things come right out of left field, the greatest realizations come when we are open.

I have gone back and looked at this picture a number of times in the last day or so. It reminds me that real joy isn't something we have to send in our box tops for, it doesn't come from a lot of figuring out or from possessions or status.

In Tarot, the Ten Of Cups embodies this, but it's sometimes misunderstood.
The rainbow, a beautiful force of nature, is a tricky symbol. Just going through a storm doesn't necessarily guarantee you a rainbow. They don't come on order or from a sense of entitlement. They just are. This card is about our capacity for joy and the ability to share it.


I've also experienced some storms that have been beautiful. I think the people on this card could be equally happy with a storm, or a sunset. Here in Winnipeg where you can get an old fashioned blizzard where an entire city gets shut down for a few days, you can curse about the weather or come to see the beauty in it.

I think it comes down to having an attitude of gratitude. When this card comes up in a reading it can portend a very happy outcome and a sense of fulfillment. Not JUST things working out the way we want, but that sense of openness and joy that allows us to enjoy what is usually there waiting for us.

The delightful little kid and the camel seem truly free to enjoy to enjoy themselves. Funny how so often there are those (like some kids) that have so little but that are able to see this more freely.
The more we can have gratitude for what is around us, the more we can be open to joy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Weilding Swords (continued) court cards, conflict and communication and thank you Rick Mercer!

This is a continuation of the  previous article on some of the things that swords can represent - with some specific referance to the court cards - in a reading, along with some thoughts on communication and conflict that  come to mind when I think  of what this suit represents.


There are some relationships and people that have an undercurrent of hostility. When the court cards of swords are reversed (or sometimes not necessarily physically reversed, but ill aspected) this is sometimes the case. The page of swords in this mode is like a child that feels a need to act up, disruptive and unaware of boundaries. The knight in this vein is "cruising for conflict". The King of swords (again in his negative aspect) is a sometimes abusive tyrant and the Queen can be quite cutting.

The responsibilty to swords energy manifests strongly in communication. I have been more aware lately of this in social media which can be very much a swords based arena. Cyber bullying, political vehemence, sniping are rife on platforms like facebook. People like to expound on issues. It's like a personal soap box in a park with a megaphone. This can be a valuable tool, or a weapon depending on how it is used.

We have been seeing a lot lately about cyber bullying, it's not enough to just chant the old schoolyard slogan "sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never harm me". Sorry no. Names and slander, attacks on a person can hurt and are also a warning sign of greater behavioral problems. Part of what has motivated me to write this has been inspired by the recent rant by Rick Mercer about bullying and teen suicide.As someone who experienced this growing up, I couldnt agree more with him, I believe we have a responsibility to step up when we see innapropriate or hurtful communication. Here's a link to his passionate speech:
Rick Mercer on cyber bullying and teen suicide

Mercer, with his wit and strong articulation is a great example of healthy warriorship. His "rant" is not about being hurtful, it's about taking action, protecting and setting a healthy boundary. I would say he is a great example of a healthy, well aspected King of Swords.In a healthy, well balanced sense, the king is a discerning and diplomatic figure of authority. Someone who knows how to debate, make a point and be objective while still holding firm to principles. The queen is a judicial advisor, someone who knows the disciplined, sometimes "tough love" side of nurture. The knight is a rebel with a cause, a provocateur who isn't afraid of shaking up our complacency a bit. The page is a childlike protector, maybe, like a good little hall monitor, a voice worth heeding.

Wit and articulation, discernment (over judgement) and the heroic quality of irony are all hallmarks of healthy sword energy. The qualities of good warriorship are evidenced. Much like someone who has long practiced the martial arts there is not a seeking out of conflict, but also not a shying away. Violence of any kind is a last resort, more often the ability, like a bull fighter to let an opposing force run itself out or to throw itself off balance.

I love the fact that the symbol in the Rider Waite deck is a broad sword. A peaceful warrior is conscious of when to use the cutting edge, prefering more often to use the flat of the blade. In other words to invite differences of opinion, to not have to cut down an opposing view but to learn from it. Qualities of respect and to look beyond an immediate issue. A saying of my father's that I reflect on more and more as I get older is "sometimes what's more important than being right, is what gets left".

On a more formal level, the business of articulation, mediation and problem solving is where we see Swords (along with the other elements) in the process of developing policy. Any good community group or organization usually has a constitution, a mandate for how it operates and it is out of constructive conflict that we develop the policies and procedures that guide us through challenges. Rather than having to fight the same battles again and again we are able to work with our experience (this involves pentacles - see the September article on Discerning True Worth). The saying that "the pen is mightier than the sword comes to mind, but in truth the pen is just another form of sword. How we communicate and articulate ourselves runs through all the elements but in swords we have the conscious opportunity to either wage war, uphold a principle or set a boundary that allows for healthy discourse.

On a more personal level, couples learn to fight fair, to understand each others backgrounds in conflict is important, to not hit below the belt and to see where sometimes a conflict on one level may be an opportunity to work safely with other, sometimes more unconscious issues.
It's very challenging in conflict situations to not react but rather to listen and then respond. When someone who has obviously been stewing with something suddenly brings an issue forward, it helps to see they have been preparing for a while. I am an Aries ( ruled by the planet Mars) so I CAN be a hot head. I have had to learn to stand back, to say "I'll have to think about this" and (boy this is still challenging) "while you're at it, is there anything else"? Often for the person bringing the issue forward just the rassurance that they are being heard is diffusing. Sometimes though what comes our way is a tantrum. Thats when you have to stand back, sometimes walk away, give what Eckhart Tolle calls a "quality no". You can't teach pigs to sing, it only makes the pigs angry. Paying attention to the time and place can be important. Saying "could we perhaps address this differently,another place or with other people present) can help. If someone calls me at 11:00 at night that isnt good timing, Also in this age of cyber communication, not hitting send in the heat of the moment, even better saying could we discuss this in another way. If the other person is simply interested in berating and not about to show reason best to walk away. Like I said this stuff is challenging. For myself, I can be a know it all sometimes and having the last word is not always the best thing.Walking away sometimes means to give up the idea of winning, to say "well thats your opinion", or "I understand thats what you feel or think of this". Challenging eh?

Sometimes we have to fight our own battles, but relying on outside resource, whether thats as formal as calling in the law, talking to a counsellor or on a less formal but incredibly valuable level, an objective friend, are all healthy applications of swords energy. Sometimes I need feedback not just on the conflict but how it is getting addressed. There are times when we might be right in principle but very wrong in how we address it. I sometimes have to look at even how I bring the issue to that objective person. If even there I need them to agree with me or take my side, I might not be deep down so sure of my own position. Being present, really listening to others and my own reactions is a discipline, but to not do it is far more draining; like people who yell all the time that others tune out, learning to reflect and communicate without letting anger take over is work, sometimes hard work, but living less consciously takes a greater toll. After a while, like learning to walk it becomes more natural and we dont have to crawl anymore.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Weilding Swords

This article is some of the thoughts and lessons that I have come across in readings, and experiences that have to do (somewhat) with what the suit of swords in Tarot can represent.

The suit of swords relates to our mental, analytical consciousness, how we problem solve and on a circumstantial level, our issues of conflict. Our first reaction to that is often negative, but all of the elements are tools that we have the opportunity to use constructively. Working with conflict is challenging but if we are willing to grow, we can see it as an area of rich resource, protection, articulation and ultimately healthy exchange.

There are times in life when we have to take a stand, maybe in protecting ourselves, others, an ideal or principle. If we didnt have differences we would never learn. Sometimes in the great school of life it's like going out for the debating team. We can learn to have differences, debates and even conflicts in a healthy way. A relationship with no degree of conflict isn't much of a relationship. Sometimes even when we may be in agreement we have to mututally deal with conflict situations. although we may be on the same side of an issue, our approaches might be different.

How we deal with conflict is often learned behavior. Some of us grew up in households where there was a lot of direct conflict, maybe yelling or fighting was an everyday occurance. Others may have had a background where conflict was submerged or repressed. Either of those extremes would be unhealthy. Learning to deal with conflict, whether it's standing up to a bully or seeing where our own energy has been intimidating to to others is an important part of inner work.

In my own journey I have had to overcome some old bad defensive habits. Like most people I can have my own rationalizations of things. Believing I'm a nice person, wanting others to like me and avoiding confrontation has sometimes got me into some fine messes. I have come to learn (and am still learning) that sometimes you have to take a stand, set a boundary, state a conviction, be willing to take a reaction and to not shy away from some forms of conflict. Along with all of this is the old axiom "choose your battles".

When swords are predominant in a reading there are often issues of conflict that need to be addressed and dealt with. One of the things that Tarot also illustrates, particularly in the Rider Waite deck, is the inter relation of the elements within each other. There is often an emotional tone to the sword cards, how can there not be? Our feelings are aroused in situations of conflict. But inner work is also about knowing the right tool for the job. The three of swords particularly is a card of tough emotional decisions. Often when I am describing this in a reading I say "tough emotional ( I put my hand on my heart) decisions (I put my hand on my head). So it's rather like the head has to say to the heart "I know you're upset, so you'd better let me drive".

There are some beautiful, peaceful and constructive elements in the suit of swords. The two, the four and the six have no direct conflict going on. I could point out too that there are as many signs of upset or turmoil in the other suits (i.e. ALL of the fives, the seven of wands) also we could see some situations where an absence of swords has created a stagnation. When there are NO swords in a reading it can sometimes be quite telling. If there seems to be a brooding, morose quality (i.e. King of cups reversed, the 4 of cups ill aspected) it may be that there is more of a negative situation in the absence of boundaries than there would be if a good healthy argument were to take place. If we just hold conflict in it can affect our physical health, our emotional well being and our overall security. The four of swords can relate to meditation or sometimes I refer to it as "rest amidst battle".

When we don't work with what the swords suit represents we can sometimes attract conflict energy. This isnt really all that unusual. If a person seems to have a pattern of attracting or being attracted to difficult, intimidating or abusive conditions -whether directly to the person or indirectly to others, one has to wonder what kind of  logic is at work. Often getting professional counselling can be a vital step when these patterns have become particularly life affecting. The use of such resource is POSITIVE sword energy at work. When we make a coscious choice to be safe. To learn to set healthy boundaries our lives go through a profound transformation. With that change comes a responsibility to own our strength, rather than seeking it in unhealthy situations or relationships.

At the same time, a refusal to own up to our own conflict energy, to continue to allow abusive or negative behavior on the part of others is a big failing. Something I see quite often is that we are sometimes not just attracted to a person, but also who we feel we are in relation to the situation. Some people can get used to getting their needs met in a victim role. Dont get me wrong, Im not talking so much about anyone deserving to be a victim but we sometimes have to look at how we can negatively re-inforce that sense of self, not just in the particular relationship but also how we take that into other ties. A saying that I feel is quite often overused in this and only addresses a surface aspect is; "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result". This buzz phrase sometimes annoys me. It's like saying just dont date mean guys...well duh. I think we have to sometimes look at what's behind the attraction. the bigger question is what is the payoff that deep down we keep needing to go back to? What are we re-inforcing and then what can we give or work with that more truly addresses our need for growth? There is often a good instinct or need, like being loved, feeling safe or protected that is behind our choices. Sometimes that good instinct has been simply going to the wrong address.

When we start owning our own strength and instincts we can stop giving our power up to the wrong people and patterns. This doesnt mean we dont need people, it means we can better meet those needs. We can share, give and recieve more freely, with less baggage, less negative attachment.

Breaking through that attachment can be difficult.I sometimes run into people that can really use their victimhood or martyrdom as a weapon.I sometimes have to challenge that, but people so caught up in self rationalization are not very open. If the person is not open to seeing their part in things, or refuses to work with resources that can help, choosing instead to suffer and inflict that suffering on others, then this is sometimes one of the rare occaisons where I have to say I cannot be a resource. It is significant that these are the types that are also more inclined to be invested in the idea of curses or some sort of external"force". Saddly they are a pretty easy mark for unscrupulous people (and systems) that mutually re-inforce those beliefs.

A tough lesson I've had to see is that forgiveness cannot be true if it just means allowing the same situation to happen again. Letting abusive energy back into an area where it demonstrates an inability to be co-operative or reasonable is like lettting a rabid Rottweiller loose in a dog park. I cannot be responsible FOR another person but I do have to be responsible TO them, to myself and the other things affected. The nines in all of the suits are where we see underlying patterns, the things we can allow to go on bringing those same results or break the pattern and free our potential.

Some situations need resolution, and a kind of finality. We can learn from experience and say "no more". The ten of swords is a card of dramatic finality. The issues have been analyzed and analyzed, one could almost say "done to death". In the background though a new day is dawning, a new chapter beginning. In accepting an ending we can move forward.


Again these are only some random thoughts. I have included the cards as illustrations but these comments are not all specific to each and this is by no means the sole interpretations of the cards. More to come!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Interesting Article

Someone shared this with me, it definately has some resonance with things I believe and that I see to be true for a great many people.
theres-something-happening-here.

We have a great deal more resources in the world for change, for mentorship and for problem solving than ever before. People are waking up to a lot of change. Sometimes it takes crisis for things to evolve. This article makes some interesting points, some that I have come to before, both in my practice and also in my persoanl life. Theres a lot worth mulling over. I value people's comments.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Discerning True Worth

Our true worth is not measured comparatively. It is not found in being more than some things or less than others. It stands in it's own right and is self evident. It is often in the areas of our struggles, not in the things that come most easily that it is revealed.

Anyone who has had a little kid make them a card or a picture and you can tell that they worked at it lovingly, knows this. As an uncle (officially and unofficially), I've had some stuff on my fridge from nieces and nephews that I have treasured. I didn't look at it and say "oh the depth perception is all wrong, what kind of nonsense is this"? I don't think anyone with a heart would de-value something like that, and yet how often are we self discouraging. Thoughts like "oh I could never be any good at that" or "So and so is much better at this sort of thing than I" often sideline our creativity, or in some instances our opportunities for growth or being a voice to what we see as need.

There is a great difference between judging and discerning. I like to think of it like what you see in an Olympic sport, like figure skating. When we watch a figure skater we sometimes see in the corner of the screen the skater's coach and occasionally we see the judges, but the judges don't hold up numbers while the skater is skating. They wait till the skater is done. The judges are only involved in that one limited event, while the coach will probably be working with that skater further along, whether they win or lose that day they will be back at practice and back in training and needing constructive feedback.

In our own work, we occasionally have to judge our actions in particular situations. Maybe we blow up at a colleague or we gain a satisfying victory in a challenge. These moments of downfall or attainment are important but tomorrow is another day. We take from these experiences the business of discernment, to learn and keep doing, to not throw in the towel and to look at our progress. I have had to learn to be more of a discerning coach with myself and less of a cranky judge.


I can remember a time where someone suggested I take a class in something I wasn't good at, something where I maybe wouldn't necessarily ever be good at it but to learn anyway. I ended up taking pottery. It was a lot of fun. The stuff I made was pretty lopsided and much of it I couldn't even pass off as a paper weight, but it gave me a pretty good appreciation of what goes into making a beautiful bowl or a good hand crafted mug. I learned about different kinds of glazes and what makes somethings work and some things not. I can see and appreciate the craftsmanship. About a year later, by coincidence I dated a very nice person who happened to be a potter. One day when I was visiting, I saw some (what I thought) beautiful bowls by his back door, when I commented on one, I was told; "oh they're mistakes, that one has a crack near the lip, I'm throwing them away". I asked him for that bowl and I'm glad I did, I still treasure it. In a funny way it ended up representing the relationship. We're still friendly despite a crack or two, and there's somethings, like that friendship, worth keeping.

Our own inner worth works like that. The feelings of debt, the feelings of owing or in many instances the need to pay things forward that have been given to me, are all powerful motivators. Sure I love to share what I'm good at, but I have also learned to welcome the opportunities to do things where I'm not and to appreciate better in others the things they share. At the same time, my values sometimes show me situations and relationships that don't always balance. Sometimes it is important to leave things and people that are not compatible with our growth, but these experiences as teachers also have their worth.


In Tarot the suit of Pentacles refers a great deal to our material security, our possessions and our financial affairs. Issues of profit and loss. On an inner level I have found that it refers to our natural values. When we pay attention to these things, like a gardener pays attention to the values of a plant, we see what makes things grow in ourselves and in our affairs and alternately what makes us wither. When our values are properly aligned, when we are "in our element", we see results and there is progress, a positive payoff. When we aren't aligned, when we are out of touch with those values it really doesn't matter what we gain or not, we aren't satisfied.Sometimes we get hooked into the negative payoff.  Discernment  helps me to find what I need to move forward, what I can let go of and where I need to be to offer best what I can.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Finding Our Purpose

On being useful and finding our purpose, I've come across some interesting quotes:

"As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do".
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross







"The purpose of our lives is to be happy".
- Dalai Lama 













Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
 -Helen Keller

Friday, September 23, 2011

Working With Court Cards

*This is a very technical post, for those really into Tarot discussion particularly, if you're into lighter stuff, please disregard*

The court cards in Tarot, are on a symbolic level unto themselves. Where the majors, such as Temperance, Wheel Of Fortune, Death Etc. seem to talk about lessons, experiences and archetypes we can relate to, the minors (Ace through 10) are the circumstances that both trigger as well as are circumstantially affected by our learning. I often also see the Aces as a class unto themselves, but that's another long winded post. So what to make of these characters that show up? On one level they are the people that are part of the learning that is going on, at the same time they can be aspects of ourselves that are evoked in these situations. I also find they are useful as an indication of awareness.

 The very nature of these being called "court" cards suggests a rank. We think of Kings being "higher up" than Queens or Knights and Pages. In Tarot however, I don't find this to be the case. All of the cards are necessary and it is in how they articulate that we see significance.

I often refer to court cards as "modalities". Like gears on a stick-shift they can be an indication of how we are operating. If it sounds confusing that a card can mean both an external element as well as something within ourselves, we are reminded of one of the seven hermetic laws; "as within, so without". This is also what I refer to as "congruence". One of the things that a reading can do is show where patterns and associations occur in our life experience. What is useful in one area can often be pertinent in another.

When we encounter challenging people for instance, we can ask ourselves where these people push buttons in our own character. The people who come up in a reading are often an indication of lessons and experiences in ourselves. It is often important to note that the relevance of these people to our life experience is not the entirety of the person i.e., a king of swords reversed to one person might well not be reversed to another or may be described in an entirely different way or with a different symbol altogether. The law of attraction also plays into this. People who register in our consciousness are drawn into our lives in terms of lessons and experiences we are going through. There is a cause and effect.


Court cards as modalities are also not just about people, but rather a kind of atmosphere where our consciousness is being taken into account. A predominance is not just a bunch of symbols coming up, but also the feeling that the symbol is predominating. Bear in mind the relationship of elements within elements. Kings are the fire of an element. I see fire as the essence of constructiveness and doing. A predominance of Kings would suggest an atmosphere of authority perhaps, a time of strong accountability and having to be responsible in that vein. Queens (the water of an element) would suggest an atmosphere of support, nurture and growth inducing. The conscious sense of guiding growth. Knights, (the air of an element) would be discourse and sharing, the conscious questing for answers. To me they also symbolise a kind of sibling like association, fraternal or sororal, and a kind of team work or team building. Pages are the earth aspect of an element so they would suggest a kind of continuation. A lineage and apprenticeship of experience. Pages can suggest new learning, the relationship of mentors to those of lesser experience.

So Court cards can put us on notice of where it is important to shift gears. When I look at a fully self  actualized person (and in this sense I think of Ellen Degeneres), I see someone who knows when to be in authority, when to nurture, when to be in team work and when to be childlike and teachable. None of these states are superior to one another. Each has it's part to play. This is also why I think ascribing a single court card to a person, although very useful in some senses, is a lot like merely looking at one's sun sign in astrology. I am for instance, an Aries, but I have an Aquarius moon and my rising sign is different. Where we are at in terms of our elements could be described as a person being King of cups in one aspect and Page of pentacles in another.

I find it interesting too, that environment and situations can sometimes be individualized. A business for instance that is just beginning, could be symbolized by a page. A support group by a queen. An old guard form of government by a king. Some books on Tarot suggest pages can represent messages or the bearers of news.
If some of this seems frustrating, it may be from the standpoint of those that have to form hard and fast rules of what the cards have to mean. Reading them is not simply studying meanings but how they interact. What they say to you. I often find the readings where they say more than one thing to be interesting and where that more than one thing points in a certain direction, all the more affirming.

I also don't always hold with the gender rules of court cards or the age rules or the physical descriptions. Not all dark haired men are good with money, not all fair haired women are competitive. One has to look at the patterns and trends and know when an aspect is speaking up and when it is quiet. I believe it is by working with these patterns and associations you start to see inflections and thats when the cards really start to ell you things. Of course it isn't so much the cards as your own intuitive process that gets triggered by this.

*If you managed to get through all this and you aren't gnashing your teeth, you probably deserve a cookie or something good. I value the thoughts and insights of others. These are just some of my own associations.

Monday, September 12, 2011

On Admiration As A Tool for Growth

From many resources, I have been reminded lately of the following. It is a composite of experience that others have shared with me over time:

"Trying to cut others down doesnt make you taller and those you are trying to impress will invariably recognise how small and petty you are being. Appreciate others, look up to them, delight in their growth and what they've overcome and you grow greater than you thought possible." 

Taking Our Own Medicine

It's been a while since my last post, summer with various commitments and distractions, personally and in terms of both work and community involvements was a whirlwind for me. It's nice to have a day to reflect on that and to be back in a frame of mind to write and share, sorry I've been away so long.

Often the things I post here arise out of questions that come up frequently, both in my own personal journey and in the issues I see others working with. We are moving through times of great change, not only in our circumstances, but also in how we are having to deal with these things. Priorities change and our self worth comes to be reflected in things differently.

I sometimes have my own struggles and times of doubt, I'd hardly be human if I didn't (and those who know me personally will assure you I'm VERY human indeed). I have the enormous privilege though of having work that I love and in that work the opportunity to learn in the doing and in the growth of others. In the nearly 30 years I have been a reader, I rarely take time off. Even in times of personal loss or setback, my job has helped me find direction. Being self employed too, time off comes when time off comes. There are slow periods and it always seems that these come at points where I need to shift gears, learn in other things or have time for solitude. It works out usually. Sometimes this has worried me but less so in the last few years. I've found a little more trust in my own resourcefulness.

A few years ago during such a period I decided to go back to school in my free time for a little upgrading. This led to a little side job in an adult learning environment. I had the great experience of being in the midst of many people from all over the world that were trying to improve themselves. I still like to do little side things like that from time to time, sometimes on a volunteer basis and occasionally during leaner seasons out of necessity. These are all things I bring back to my job as a reader.



I also have done a fair bit of community work on committees. They say if you want to face your imperfections, see where you need to grow (and grow up) get on a committee. That's very true. Being self employed I need the occasional experience of working with others and even sometimes getting a come-uppance. The last few years I have made some very good friends and done a lot of growing (some of it with the odd ego bruise or two). Through it all my work is a constant. Having these experiences makes me more fluent, able to relate and be intuitive to similar things for others. To empathise and to also then take my own medicine in seeing what's right for someone else. We all have blind spots, some of these things, the more egoic things, can seem to be glaring to a bystander. I try to follow the maxim that the irksome things in others are usually touching some nerve within myself. Being open, understanding and compassionate is a two way street. When I have the opportunity to be compassionate to others going through stuff, I can be more easy going with me. I try to be accountable and when I make a mistake or blunder, to stay in the game. Usually this is where I do the most growing.

My best friends are the ones that are able to take me with a grain of salt. When I get riled up they're able to look at me and say "oh you get this way", and they've taught me to do the same with me. That's the two way street. Part of why Tarot is such a useful tool is that it's archetypes reflect human experiences that we all have in different ways. I call reading an art form because like all creativity it is a sharing. A way of appreciating others unique experience but at the same time saying we are not alone, others have come through this too. I find great comfort in that.

An article that expresses some of this far better than I can and that I have benefitted from greatly (as well as many other things the author has written) can be found at:
Developing An Unconditional Friendship With yourself -by Pema Chodrun, Shamhala Sun Magazine, March 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Intuitive Etiquette, (or the difference between reading and fortune telling)

I am sometimes asked "do you say bad things in a reading"? Sometimes I have to talk about difficult things like loss or hardship so in that sense, yes. Some people are under the assumption that readers have restrictions. Although many of the readers that I know (myself included) do have ethical boundaries, not all do. There are no enforced guidelines for readers as far as I know.

In my practice though there is a standard that I follow, what I receive is always information that can be used constructively. I don't leave people in worse shape than I found them. At the same time I might not always say what a person wants to hear. Sometimes people say "you never said anything about trips". To which I sometimes have to say that didn't seem to be an issue, I then ask "why are you planning one"? and often the answer is no.

I remember when I was beginning my career and working in an establishment where there were other readers it was suggested that we follow a certain format of what people wanted to hear, trips, romance, lucky numbers etc. I asked "but what if that is not the reality of things", and got a blank stare.

So now if asked about something like that, I try to respond to what is blocking the person, maybe they look after others so much there is never time for a trip. Maybe they need to set up a savings account for travel, maybe they need to go on a trip whether or not a stick in the mud in their life wants them to stay home or not.

This comes back to a basic difference between fortune telling and reading. Fortune telling is usually about things that may (or may not) happen in the future, usually with little grounding in the here and now. The "you will meet a tall, dark, handsome stranger who will take you to an island etc.". A reading is usually based more in the here and now and talks about the probable outcome of things that we are consciously and unconsciously setting in motion. A reading would approach the issue with something more like; "there seems to be an imbalance, you're working a great deal and have been operating in the same circles, maybe you need to expand your horizons". The reading could point to something such as an opportunity in the year ahead to re-connect with people and sometimes more specifically like;  "in the west, I'm getting associations this side of mountains, not a big city, more like Lethbridge, two homes close together, one a very new household that someone will be proud to show you", and further  "this trip could be an opportunity to re-connect not only with people but also with a part of your life that hasn't been explored in a long time". So the issue isn't JUST the trip but what it indicates constructively that the person can actually work with. Readings and Tarot, as far as I work with them are not just circumstantial weather reports but tie in more to how we are evolving.

Fortune telling in it's healthiest aspect is entertaining and escapist, there are some who approach it that way and that's fine. A reading can also be approached in an entertaining lighter way. Sometimes people are just coming from a place of curiosity, food for thought or diversion. I'm fine with that too.

Different tools also work well with different types of intuitive work. I've experienced profound as well as entertaining things from tea reading (which, when done well, is a beautiful art). Tarot can be utilised in many different ways too. Generally when I have had to do shorter readings, such as in restaurants, fairs or still occasionally for charity drives. I work in that lighter way. I sometimes use humor in how the information is conveyed. Above all a reading should be INTERESTING. It is a personal service where the client is the focal point. the type of work I do is relevant to the person being read.

In that same vein, questions about other people are somewhat limited. I cannot, for instance, pick up on what your ex from 4 years ago, that you haven't heard from, thinks of you. I can, however, help with what you might be needing to resolve. A reading could say; "you seem to have some resolution going on with someone who factored in your life from a chapter of about 4 years ago. There's an opportunity to see differing values and to see what you have outgrown".

Tarot is also subjective, what could be a knight of cups to one person might be an entirely different aspect to another. A reading can warn about difficulties like abuse, issues around addiction or other pitfalls. It cannot diagnose or judge. I am not about to say something is good or bad in itself but I can say this doesn't seem to be a healthy situation.

One of the premises of Tarot is the "law of attraction". This works along with the idea that there is a connection running through our life experiences. Attraction is not the same as retribution. No one deserves to be in an abusive relationship. We can look though at our issues of self worth where we seem to be attracting negativity. This is also a major difference between fortune telling which places an emphasis on luck or curses and reading which (hopefully) will talk instead about what is in our power to change.

in the sense of discussing difficult things, I also have to be diplomatic in addressing the client's issues. A person having difficulty with work, for instance. Might be carrying a lack of respect for a boss they feel is incompetent or there may be a serious lack of admiration to their colleagues. Sometimes the answer is looking for another opportunity in that work environment, changing fields OR it may be that they have to make a change in their attitude. Working intuitively as well as with the cards often helps a good reader to point out what is in our realm to change and what isn't.

Sadly I sometimes encounter people who don't want to look at their stuff. Over the years I have encountered numerous parents who think an in law has done some form of voodoo that their married adult kids don't want to talk to them rather than look at their own state and demeanor in dealing with others. People like that will go for readings, making the rounds regularly, spend inordinate amounts of money until they hear what they want to hear somewhere.I try in a situation like that to steer the person to things that can ease the relationship. Are they doing things to be happy even if they have this difficult person in their life? Can they enjoy the positive aspects like other people in the environment? Often in this particular situation there are different cultural values that have to be met halfway and given a little credit when others try. Sometimes a reading can also help us identify what is NOT our stuff. Sometimes, like in the previous example, the other person IS in the wrong, so how do we behave in these circumstances? I know of one such person who got involved with others in the same boat, became supportive of them and found their life somewhat happier through the compassion that came from that. After a while, by not dwelling on the difficult person they found their overall relationship with family improved, because they had changed their relationship with themselves.

In the end a reading gives us some alternatives and choices, as well as some feedback, maybe a different outlook on our circumstances as well as insight to how we are evolving. One of the reasons I love my job is when people come back happier, not just because of luck or good weather, but because they have grown.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Watching Our Words

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
 - Dr. Martin Luther King (1929-1968)



These are words I have found stirring and inspiring in the last few days. They showed up on some friend's statuses in social media. The only problem was in a seemingly harmless distortion.Nowadays in our new world of social media, it is so easy to take a quote at face value. The old saying "don't believe everything you read" is a good thing to remember. In my family background, my father worked in the printing industry. I remember, as a small boy. seeing typesetters setting type by hand. In just the last five decades we have seen tremendous change. The upside is the ease of sharing information. The downside is in how easily that can be distorted.

One of my father's great pet peeves was seeing printed material that had not been properly proof-read. We rely on computers to do a lot of our checking for us. Don't get me wrong, were it not for these resources you wouldn't be reading this. I have also done a little side work doing some proof reading and helping with essays and such. It's extremely important to check sources and, to give credit where that is due in quoting others. Also to look at context etc. I admit I get lazy sometimes in this regard. Usually in social exchanges like facebook where discussions are happening in the moment. I am blessed with good friends that set me straight when I err.

This last weekend there was so much buzz going on in the news and in the midst of it all, many people put up a status that expressed a sentiment. The words were inspiring but the problem was that someone had taken the above quote from Dr.Martin Luther King, preceded it with their own words and in the original post had put the quotation marks in the right place (which is fine, quite appropriate). In subsequent posts the quotation marks were moved. The problem is that this misuse is an appropriation that detracts from credibility. Here's a link to a further article on this
lessons-in-social-media-the-fake-martin-luther-king-jr-quote

In a time when words and rhetoric can be a rallying cry, a reassurance, and a driving force, I'm glad to have this reminder to question, check, and when in error, promptly acknowledge that.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Six Of Pentacles, or knowing the measure of your giving


If you continually go above and beyond the call of duty, often exceeding expectations, the day you stop, the people you have enabled will feel let down because you've spoiled them. Communicating limits and expectations is important. Giving your all doesn't mean depleting or damaging yourself. Don't be a martyr about it, they make horrid role models.

Often we just need a chance to stand back. The bumps we encounter usually serve to show us the (often hidden) motives we have had in giving. Once we've had a chance to see these things we can give our head a shake and carry on, most of us go on giving, but in healthier measure and with better, clearer motivation. I don't know anyone who has truly learned this easily.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Growth In Tough Times

I have found it a bit hard to write in the last few weeks. So much going on in the world. I am not a reader that purports to be able to predict world events. I work more on an individual basis with what I pick up in a person's immediate life experience. At the same time there are trends that I see affecting everyone. Sometimes I have to acknowledge that. I found, for instance, around the time of the 9/11 disaster that I had to differentiate between the overall stress of that time and how individual people were working through things. What I see in terms of mass / community consciousness IS important. Even before  many of these things started playing out, I have seen a lot coming in the next while that has to do with people reaching out, communities and neighborhoods growing to accomodate need and people putting their lives into a greater perspective.

Many things are having to work differently. How people look at separation, for instance, has economic and stress related aspects that are very different from even as little as two years ago. People are having to cooperate differently as families and colleagues. Our sense of personal security is vastly different than it was a decade ago. Retirement, for many is looking like a different kind of deal than the more "get away from it all" luxuries of the 1980s. At the same time, we seem to be actually getting back a different sense of worth that for many was lost.

In the last few weeks the terrible disaster in Japan has been either directly or indirectly affecting everyone. I give some mention to this in a reading when I feel it. Rather like a condition that colors a lot of other aspects. I don't have any easy answers but what I have the privilege of seeing in many people, both as customers as well as friends and family is how we are pulling through.

I have a younger relative that until recently was teaching in Japan. She is determined to go back and help out when she can. My family is pulling together to do what we can to support her and her friends overseas. Although the impetus for this was terrible. It also seems to be something that has my family coming together in a way we hadn't for a while. I am also seeing great differences in the issues clients are bringing. many have a greater world concern than I have ever seen before and that is inspiring. That I can share with you.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going, they say. Somewhere in the great wars of the last century someone also said "this is what seperates the men from the boys". Certainly there are times where upheaval and stress brings out the best and worst in all of us. I find both to be true in myself. The key thing seems to not try to manage it all. To do what we can, the best we can and to stay in the game.

Another saying I think of is "twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work". While this may be true I also notice that when world disturbances happen, there are about eighty percent that run about like Chicken Little, hollering that the sky is falling, while about twenty percent are like the Little Red Hen, doing what they can with what they find and not being side tracked by the unnecessary drama of others.

Whether we like it or not we are all affected by calamities in the world, whether it's the compassion of humanitarian concern or indirectly in gas prices and groceries and the stress of others. I see a lot of polarities in times like these. People are either drawn into distraction to escape themselves or in listening to their hearts to move with a sense of attraction toward growth and cooperation with whats going on.

Sometimes we cant have easy pat answers, so it's how we live with the questions. Faith certainly helps with that, or, for some, a kind of acceptance. I know people who don't necessarily practice a particular credo or faith path but still do a great deal that is constructive. Some of these people are relatively happy, useful and contribute to the well being of others. What most of these relatively content people have in common, whether it is with faith or not, is a basic sense of decency, recognition of worth (in self and others) and the ability to take what comes as a lesson, not a punishment or reward.

Last there is a story (I'm sure many have heard it, I'll tell it anyway) of a man walking on a beach where hundreds of starfish have washed ashore. When this happens the starfish dry up and die. He sees an old man out knee deep in the waves. The old fellow is smiling and throwing starfish back into the water. The younger fellow hollers to the old man "what are you doing"? The codger happily yells back "I'm saving starfish". The young man says "but there's so many...you won't really make a difference". The old man laughs and while throwing another one out over the waves says "made a difference to that one".

A Guest Post

My brother Ben  has a blog that I enjoy reading, much of it is about his experiences motorcycling with his wife, but he also posts about life and experiences. He has won some awards recently through Toast Masters and I am very proud of him. Here is a link to his recent post about dealing with rude people:
Rude People

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sometimes the question IS the answer

I am often asked what kinds of questions bring people to a reading. Most folks are looking for insight into the lessons going on in their lives, a perspective outside their own immediate perceptions and, often, a double check on what their own intuition is telling them. A reading can give some validation to a person's own hunches. I believe it is not supposed to override or replace that.

There are certain questions that really answer themselves in the asking. When someone asks about a relationship "can I trust this person"? The question itself indicates the answer. It is not the same as asking "is this person trustworthy"? Whether a person is trustworthy or not is good to look at. Whether we can trust or not is our own stuff. Sometimes we aren't supposed to trust right away. Sometimes that's something that has to be built and if in that trust we are giving up our own sense of responsibility theres going to be problems.

Another question that answers itself is "is there hope"? If the question is being asked then it certainly seems there is, however remote that hope may be.

I should mention that this is a big part of why I don't allow questions to be asked verbally until the latter part of the reading. It's my job to pick up on uncertainties and issues without being told. This allows the querant (that's the fancy term for the person being read) to know if a reading is "on" or not. Part of what I try to address is the stuff that is under the ownership of the person being read. It is very tempting to want to use a reading to try and figure out what other people's motives might be. Classically I am often asked what someone else may be feeling. The old fortune teller question of "what does my boyfriend feel about me", or "why does my daughter in law not like me". Well often as not, the person with the boyfriend is going through their own ambivalence about the relationship. They might like the boyfriend but feel dissed when he puts work ahead of things or still has past issues with an old flame etc. The mother in law might have very little communication with the son's partner, so where does the crux of the problem lie? Maybe in whatever the son has issues with. We could get really lost in taking on other people's stuff. I do get some signals on these levels but the greater focus comes back to the querant.

Another way of looking at it is this analogy; when my old secondhand computer goes on the fritz, I could spend hours fiddling with it or (as I've learned the hard way). I can first pick up the phone and call my Internet service provider. If I get the message at the beginning of the call "attention customers we are experiencing technical difficulties" then I don't have to waste time fiddling. So often at the very start of a reading (usually before I even turn the cards over) I get a very strong sense of where the person is connected or where they may be in a distraction over someone else's stuff. If a relationship is giving them mixed feelings or giving them mixed signals I usually pick up on that pretty quickly. The mixed feelings are the querant's stuff, the mixed signals are external. This also where the tarot is a very helpful tool and where it works well alongside the intuition. People sometimes say "you don't really need the cards" , actually I do. The cards often give some objective insight about the cause and effect of things and it is often in the cards that we see, outcomes of what the intuition is picking up and also insight about things outside the client's realm of responsibility. Things we cannot be responsible for, but can be responsible to. We cant chang the weather but we can outfit ourselves appropriately to it.Part of what a reading (both the cards and the intuition) should do is shed a little light on these things.

We also aren't going to get answers about what is not our business and thank your lucky stars for that! Can you imagine how awful it would be to have to look out for the motives of others that don't want to look at them themselves? That's actually what many would consider the definition of a dysfunctional relationship and I see instances of it a lot and yes, as a professional know it all I have had to run into that brick wall quite a few times personally.

The old kindergarten rules always apply; it's not so much important what others think of us, but rather what (and how) we think of them. When  we work with our own stuff we get somewhere. We can share and work with others, that's a beautiful part of intimacy and co-operative, healthy relationships, but trying to work on someone else's stuff when they aren't interested is like drinking medicine to make someone else get well, You'll get a little green around the gills.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Finding Playing Cards

It's a curious thing, and it has happened to me a number of times. Walking down the street and coming upon a playing card (or cards). It generally is more frequent in summer. What would be the reason for a playing card to be laying on the sidewalk? One explanation is the old trick of kids sticking them in the spokes of their bikes (it makes a vroom vroom sound the faster you go). But I doubt there's that many people playing crazy eights while they go for a walk. So I have come to regard "findings" as little signals. Opportunities to be woken up by life.

This has happened often enough to me that I have made a little game of it and some friends have too. Sometimes the instances of coming upon the card are also intriguing. On one occasion a friend and I were taking her nephew for a walk during a very trying time in her family. He was about 3 or so and at one point we had to stop and tie his shoe, I noticed under his foot was an Ace of Diamonds card. He has since proved himself to be an exceptional kid. I have had friends who have related that they've been out walking their dogs and come across playing cards too, often at a point where life has needed a little signal of some kind. I have my own hunches on how to interpret these things - I wouldn't call it a superstition, more just a kind of "food for thought" sort of thing.

I take notice of where the card is and especially whether it is face up or face down. A face up card is like a road sign (like trouble on the path of life, rest stop coming up, or romance ahead). A face down card is more a choice, you turn it over and your stuck with the lesson. You could turn it back over and leave it for someone else or you could rip it up into little pieces, or (and this is what I do) put it in your pocket and let it be a lesson card. This is especially nice when it's something positive, but difficult cards have their value too. I have a little box on a side table in my home, sort of a mindfulness table. It's where I put things I find, like marbles or rocks from the beach. I place the playing card there with these things and it serves as a little post it note to my consciousness.

A significant "finding" occurred for a friend of mine the other day. Dodie is a very community minded person, very active in her neighborhood and with some groups working hard to bring an area that's seen difficulty back to vibrancy. There's been some crime and some absentee landlords and such but many people are putting down roots, reaching out and doing good things. Recently Dodie was out walking her dog Oban (who is a very wise old soul himself, known to rescue kittens but that's another story). I should mention here that Winnipeg has had a LOT of snow lately (it's over 3 feet deep in my yard). Dodie has been noticing found playing cards in the last few years too and this particular day she came upon the six of spades. The odd thing (and I have never known this to happen before), It was standing up in the snow!

Now many people have many interpretations to cards, my own are definitely biased to the translation to Tarot. In the Tarot system this card relates to the Six of Swords. I also see a relationship of the sixes to the guardian role of the knights. All of the sixes in the Rider Tarot have a kind of guardian figure that is helping a process, directing a force of energy or working through currents to improve a pattern. The Six of Swords particularly is often guidance through grief or conflict, protecting others in times of trouble. So the card standing upright, like a little sentinel and being found by Dodie who is very much the kind of guide mentioned, is kind of neat.

I'd love to hear other people's experiences along these lines, post a comment if you have any "finding" stories!

NOTE: This has been an extremely popular post over the years and I enjoy hearing people's experiences with this quirky little phenomenon, however I cannot offer interpretation of what the cards mean in these instances. It is outside of a reading and my area of work is with Tarot. You can relate the systems of playing cards to Tarot - they are related - but even the interpretations I have offered in other articles are outside of a reading and many of these articles and videos are just random thoughts and entertaining "food for thought", not meant in any way to be either definitive interpretations of the cards themselves nor the greater stretch of what finding a card could mean for you..

There is a great deal of good free resource on http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ and other websites that can give a lot more detailed information than what I have freely offered through this page.
If you wish to look comparatively at playing cards to Tarot, the usual associations are Wands = Clubs, Cups = Hearts, Swords = Spades and Pentacles = Diamonds. You can refer to my "Videos/Articles" section for some light takes on the cards.

Happy finding!

Friday, January 14, 2011

In the news...Horoscope changes? Mayans? Home Parties? And an upcoming fundraising psychic fair...Enjoy!

Greetings and a happy new year! As we settle into the post holiday return to routine and order, I've been contacted by local media on one or two issues.

Invariably around New Year's I get asked for predictions on everything from the future of our local football team to what will happen in the lives of celebrities. I generally decline these interviews as it isn't my area of work. For those that purport to have that insight, I quite willingly step aside. I also seem to get calls around Friday the 13th and Halloween when people want something "spooky", not my style but thanks for asking.

I DID do a recent interview for the University Of Winnipeg's Paper The Uniter, where two other readers and myself were asked to comment on our work, the article reflects different points of view and also has a tongue in cheek parody of zodiacal predictions. I don't mind the humor and the interviewer was kind in letting me stick to what I do, here's a link to it:
From the January 13th 2011 Uniter

Also in the news there's been a flurry of comments and questions about what seems to be a change in the ascription of zodiac signs, this is nothing new. I was asked about commenting on this and as I'm not an astrologer (but do follow astrological trends and incorporate that to a small degree in my readings). I feel it best to leave commentary to those whose field it is. My sister in law Deb found this article from CNN that addresses the issue quite well:
no-your-zodiac-sign-hasnt-changed

 On a somewhat unrelated note, I have had a resurgence of calls about doing house parties or group bookings away from the store. I'm sorry but due to my schedule and travel constraints all of my reading work is presently through the private reading room at Blackletter Books. I occasionally do some promotional and charity related things and will post that here.

Speaking of fundraising events, I can't attend this due to previous commitments but it might be interesting to check out, and Dominique's store is coming along nicely:
Psychic Fair Fundraiser,Saturday February 5th
12:00 – 4:00 at Elemental Book & Curiosity Shop, 355 Langside Street
Tarot card & runes will be read by donation. Coffee, tea and dainties will also be served by donation. Money raised will be going to the Gaia Winnipeg Scholarship fund This is a cash only event. For more information call Elemental Book & Curiosity Shop at 779-8900. or check out the store's fan page on Facebook.


Whew! That's a lot for now, stay warm!