Christianity · Random musings

About God and the stars

Sometimes I wonder if the reason I, a Christian, was introduced into tarot is because I have a longterm task to show that the so-called Christian God is actually more universal than we thought.

I read Matthew 2 today as part of my self-induced reading-whole-Bible-in-one-year program and saw that the Three Kings from the Orient, who probably had never read the Scriptures and relied only on astrology, knew first about the birth of the Savior than did the wise people of Israel, who had had everything written beneath their noses for years. Only after Herod asked them did they scrambled to find explanation, but when the Kings told them about the Northern Star, they had been just as clueless as he was.

And apparently, God warned these Oriental Kings through dreams to avoid Herod just as He did Joseph. So what is it about Him being a God priviledged to only selected group of people?

I am by no way claiming I have known all the answer. I am still trying to figure out where my faith stands. But now that I have really, REALLY bothered to check the Bible, it strangely only confirms more and more to me that God has been reaching to His creations in many, many ways, and the hows of it may not be as important as the end result.

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Uncategorized

Translator of Pictures

I guess the reason why I was so drawn to tarot reading and why I was quick in learning it is because it bears a lot of resemblance with my chosen profession.

You see, I love languages. Language has been one of my most favorite subjects, if not the most favorit subject, in school. Maybe it’s heritage, but I love understanding something in different language and then converting it to my own language in a way that people will understand and enjoy. And vice versa. That is why I became a translator. I love writing as well, but I have always been too lazy to do the research.

And isn’t reading tarot basically translating pictures into words?

Except that it takes the game to a whole new level because these are the pictures of someone’s unconscious mind. Someone whose story we don’t fully know about.

When you translate a novel or a biography, you have the whole context that enables you to pick the right words, construct the right sentences, and find the right idioms to retell the story in another language. With the unconscious mind, however, you need to connect the message projected into the cards with the situation you only know partly or not at all. And since, like words, cards can have a hundred possible meanings and combinations, this is where things get a little bit complicated.

One thing most people still get wrong about tarot readers is that we are all clairvoyants who know the whole story from beginning to end. Of course there are people who can see the future, but granted, what they see are limited and uncertain. Because we are not the writers of human history. God is the One holding the pen. He is the one who knows the beginning and end of everything and everyone. What we do as tarot readers is simply translating the page the story is in now and speculate about how it will transpire in the next chapter.

And for this reason, we often need to see the whole paragraph, or page, or chapter before we can translate a sentence IN CONTEXT. Before we can connect whats in the pictures with whats actually happening. Thats why the more information we get about someone we read, the more onpoint and relevant the message is. For example, when you read the word “her brother” in a page, then you want to translate it into another language that has separate terms for “older brother” and “younger brother”. How do you know which one to use if you don’t know whether “her brother” is older or younger? It’s the same with cards. Knight of Pentacles reversed may mean that you are being careless… or it may be a message that you have to be flexible, depending on what situation you are in.

The amount of information needed, of course, would depend on the question and the experience of the reader. An experienced reader can glean more from the merest bit of information than a beginner, and answer to question such as “what should we do to improve our relationship?” is easier to be gauged from a couple’s photo than, say, question about family finances. But the point is, you still need some background information if you want to translate what you gleaned from someone’s mind in a way that directly connects with them. I was lucky the other day to be able to pinpoint where a grad student needs tweaking in her study method to make it more efficient without so much as a photo… but she did say she’s a Capricorn. That’s already something, though not much to go by without inducing some headache.

I hope with time, more and more people will realize this real nature of the job of a tarot reader. That we are merely translating the language of the unconscious into that of the conscious. And to connect the dots in a way conscious mind would understand, we need the background picture on which the dots would make sense.

free tarot reading · tarot reading

Free Tarot Reading (21-24 June)

Hey all,

I am offering free one question reading by email. Please fill in the details below and submit your question before June 24 09:00 am Pacific Time. I will do my best to answer incoming questions in the next week or so.

A couple of things I need to emphasize:

  1. I am not a psychic and mainly use tarot to explore possibilities and provide advices and guidances, so with regrets I cannot answer questions such as when certain things will happen, who is your future husband, and the like. I believe that we are not supposed to get ahead of ourselves and that we should focus on what we can do here and now to shape our own future.
  2. For love and relationship questions, I may ask a photograph of you and the person you ask about. Your data will be kept in the strictest confidence.
  3. In exchange of the time and energy I have invested to answering your questions, I would highly appreciate it if you could provide honest review of my reading after I emailed the reading to you. It does not have to be long, just a couple of sentences summarizing about my accuracy, delivery, and explanations.

Ask away, and I am looking forward to your participation 🙂

Self healing

Forgiving My Younger Self

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Yesterday on my way home from work, I had a little scuffle with a fellow passenger which opened my eyes for the first time as to how much our perception of our past selves affect the way we behave towards others in the present time.

Suffice it to say that I thought the passenger has stepped on my toes (figuratively and almost literally), so I reacted rather unnecessarily and even rougher towards her. It was not something I normally do, though it was not my first time doing it either, and no sooner than I did it the thought occurred: “What was I thinking?”

All the way home, under a couple of angry stares, I pondered what had come over me, and by the time I got home I realized that the reason why I always took every offense to my person, right or territory personally, regardless of situation or other motives that may factored into it, is the desire to compensate for that time in the past when I was too weak, cowardly, or irresolute to defend myself when I truly needed to.

Middle school was a nightmare because I was often targeted for bullying, and while I have forgiven my former bulliers and understood that back then they were just kids who knew nothing, I have never quite forgiven myself. I considered my younger self to have had enough sense back then to fight back and not give any reason for others to treat her harshly. I felt she had failed me and held her responsible for my timidity and insecurities in the present time, despite the fact I now know better. As a result, I tried to ‘murder’ her by being hostile to anyone who wronged me or showed ill intentions toward me. It’s almost like I need to compensate for those moments when I was pathetic and defenseless by showing that now I cannot be meddled with… regardless of the reasons.

It had not worked as well as I’d hoped…if anything, it ruined my relationships with many people. I didn’t realize that by condemning my past self through my present self, I denied part of myself. Because that timid girl IS me, just in a different stage of life. She did what she could at 13, with all the knowledge and capabilities available to her at the time. I couldn’t simply compensate for her behavior in the present time because adult life and way of thinking are vastly different from those of adolescents, and I could not respond to it the same way I would respond to my fellow middleschoolers.

Having realized that, I know that I have to not just forgive, but also accept, embrace, and LOVE my 13-year-old self as part of me. That part that is timid, quiet and unconfrontational, but still me. Only when I am able to do this with all my heart and soul will I be able to totally let go of all bitterness and disappointment and embrace my unique potentials as an individual.

It’s not going to be easy after all this time. But it’s a start.

tarot reading

Avoiding Self-imposed Results When Reading for Yourself

So I had a chat with my fellow tarotiers as usual this morning, and the experienced amongst us warned against what she called the “yellow car effect”. I am just going to paste what she said here: 

Sometimes a card keeps showing because we are subconsciously looking for that card, thus it will appear. It is a “yellow car” effect, a term coined by my husband. When we play the “tap your friend when you see a yellow car!” game, suddenly yellow cars are everywhere. It is your mind playing tricks on you. Same as seeing so many people dying. We see so many because we subconsciously looking for another, and another.

There are several ways to break away from that effect. One of them is to break away from the routine. Change your perception every now and then. Change your ways every now and then. That way your mind won’t try to actively seek what you believe as true. Really beneficial in training impartialities. 

Stop reading, or do reading on another time. Stop for two days and then read again on night time instead of morning. 

What we believe as the truth and the truth itself often are so different. But yellow car effect creates mindblocks – a dangerous thing that a reader shouldn’t have.

Break the cards too. Put them upside down. Find another way to shuffle. After you have done that several times and it still appears, means that probably it is the truth. Probably – for the real truth, we often don’t know.

I also found another blog post here which shares tips on how to read for yourself objectively. Detachment is difficult when we try to read issues concerning ourselves, so needless to say these tips require a lot of practice. 

Tarot · tarot spread

A Spread for Emotional Turmoil

So…my beloved fellow translator and tarotier shared this wonderful spread with me from Biddy Tarot. The “Release and Let Go” spread sounds like a wonderful stress therapy and a good spread to shine a light on our negative feelings. I know that the general advice is that you should only read tarot when you feel calm and focused, and maybe thats true when you are trying to find a solution to an issue, but what if the issue is your emotion? You need to take it out first, lay it bare and accept it for what it is before you can resolve it.

I had to try three times before I got the spread right. The first did not work because I did not use reverse, as I did not feel experienced enough to read reversed cards. But in this instance I just got to use them, because the spread is about reflecting stress and negative feelings after all. So I tried the 2nd time with reversed cards, but the reading was off and I realized I missed one card I put aside on the first attempt! Needless to say my third attempt has lost some steam, but I think it still holds some truth. 

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  1. What I am feeling now? Queen of Pentacles reversed. I am feeling incompetent. My house is a mess, I cannot get myself and my family in order, and none of my strategies and plans work.
  2. Why do I feel it so strongly? 8 of Swords reversed. Because I am done with cares and worries. I am sick of dodging swords all the time. I just want to break free from all burdens and restrictions. I want to be able to do whatever I want regardless of other people and situations.
  3. How can I release this feeling? The Empress reversed. Be selfish. The hell with others, at least for a while. Satisfy your spiritual, emotional and physical needs first.
  4. What is the feeling transforming into? The Lovers. Hunger for affection, for people who will take me under their wings and love me as I am, without any expectations.
  5. How can I rise above this feeling? 10 of Pentacles. Surround yourself with the right people and with abundance. Soak in your achievements. Count your blessings. That will increase your self-esteem and clear your heart and mind.
  6. What is my new beginning? The Magician. With God’s help, I hopefully will heal from emotional imbalances and gain wisdom and confidence to use all the faculties He has given me to achieve my life purpose.
  7. What have I learned? Three of Swords reversed. Let go of past hurts, learn to forgive both others and myself. Don’t get too emotionally invested in anything or anyone so you can heal from emotional pain quicker. Rise above your emotions.

Overall, this sounds like a selfish and heartless advice that advocates abandonment, but it is not that contrary actually. The Bible says: “…cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:26) and “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them” (Mark 6:11). Love and help others, but never ever let yourself be poisoned with their negativities.

Overall, this seems like a good therapeutic spread that I will most likely use often. Kudos to Biddy Tarot for inventing this!

Tarot · tarot decks

Life Hacks with Triple Goddess Tarot

I didn’t rebuy the decks I’ve given away in my third time of picking up tarot. Instead, I chose a newly published deck called Triple Goddess Tarot created by tarotist Jaymi Elford and artist Franco Rivolli. I won’t do a review of this deck as I kinda suck at reviews and there’s already a nice one written by Benebell Wen here.

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photo credit: Llewellyn Worldwide

Anyway, what drawns me to this deck first and foremost is its RICH COLORS and VIVID IMAGERY. I needed a strong deck which would tell me what I need to know plainly and bluntly before my eyes, so that was the deciding factor that made me pick up this deck. That’s not to say I didn’t have my doubts, because some cards were (and still are) a bit ambiguous to me, such as the Devil card which shows an elderly lady walking away from a pleasant house and field to dark forest (?), the Four of Pentacles which shows a woman about to give out one of her four coins to someone unseen (isn’t it supposed to be about keeping ALL the coins to herself?), and the Queen of Cups which shows a woman opening a large cup with a shocked look on her face. Nevertheless, these are minor weaknesses and the LWB seems to provide clear and concise keywords to understand the imageries anyway, so I went and bought it.

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And it did not disappoint! It’s been a month or so now and this deck proves to be a friendly go-to deck for almost anything. Glenda (yes, I name my decks…see my previous post about bonding) seems to have the characteristics of a water sign, or in layman’s term, water sign traits that her creators infused into her. She is loyal, pliable and gentle, so gentle sometimes that I need to pry further to get more specific answer from her.

I am going to give an example of my reading today. I have had some serious emotional/spiritual setbacks and need to reassess what God has been telling me about myself and my role in the world. So I began by asking Glenda to confirm who I am, i.e. what I am called to be/do.

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Right…I had suspected my role is a Healer, and this is not so far off. It seems that I am more of a supporter, cheerleader, comforter. Am still not sure how I will do that though…as I seem to be the living embodiment of my birth Tarot card, the solitary and quiet Hermit. How can an unsociable Hermit be a delight for others?

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I then asked Glennie (Glenda’s nick) how to serve others without hurting/damaging myself. I have lost count of how many times I tried to help others and yet got either taken for granted or misunderstood as a result. You may say it’s just the way life is, but for someone with serious self-confidence issue as a result of childhood bullying, it’s way harder to stomach. Glennie gave me Queen of Pentacles, 9 of Pentacles and my stalker card these days, 7 of Swords. Based on the LWB, it seems that I need to get my house in order (i.e. resolving my internal issues) before I can help others, be proud/happy of my achievements, and “be shrewd as snakes” (Matthew 10:16).

And of course, being a trusting and naive person I am, I had to ask Glennie how to be “shrewd”.

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Of course. It is God who calls me to His mission and tells me to be “innocent as doves and shrewd as snakes”, so I have to go back to Him for tips!! And then with His wisdom and my God-given instinct and faculties, I can choose which way to deal with every situation. Most importantly, I have to realize that I am triumphant and whole in Him who has saved me, and no mistakes or slips can take that away. So be confident in yourself!

(P.s: after some interesting discussion with a tarotist, i realize that 2 of Swords can also mean impartiality. When you are impartial, it is much easier to deal with people).

That is an example of the many life-hacks Glenda has given me. Despite some ambiguous cards, I would strongly recommend this deck to those who are in the process of studying tarot and looking for decks that are honest, yet not imposing or intimidating.

Tarot

Animism and Tarot

Most of my friends who practice tarot treat their decks like their best friends. They name them, ask their birth dates, give them personalities, place them in pretty pouches and boxes, and even chitchat with them. When I first got into tarot, I found this rather unbelievable, but then I understood that this is one way to “bond” with the decks, to integrate the cards with us and our spiritual energy, and therefore make reading and interpretation easier as the cards naturally become extension of our subconscious mind.

I have had my doubts though. A couple of weeks ago I had a friend used my new tarot cards, and for some reasons the cards got sticky and felt disconnected when I tried to use it afterwards. It reeked of my friend’s perfume and got soaked in her energy. I asked for advices and did whatever I could to cleanse the cards: slipped them in-between the pages of my published translations, fanned them under the sun, compressed them under thick dictionaries to restore their shapes, and so on. I even “talked” with them to restore the energy bond with me. The method worked, and I began to be able to read them again, but then the deck suddenly went berserk and threw me ominous-looking cards after two days.

My friends told me the deck has not recovered from the ordeal that changed her (she was being used multiple times that day for heavy readings) and the best way is to leave her alone in her usual storage place until the upsetting energy evaporates, while talking and humoring her. I followed the advice, yet at the same time I suddenly got reminded of ‘animism’, a word that has not crossed my mind since I encountered it in religion subject in high school. For the uninitiated, it means treating dead objects as if they were alive and had souls. I felt ridiculous for humoring the cards, wondering if I have gone a step too far in treating them like a person. After further discussions with my tarotier friends and some mulling of my own, I came to the conclusion that, while naming the decks and treating them like our favorite dolls does help in familiarizing ourselves with the cards, we also need to draw the line and establish that we are the mistress in the house of cards, not the other way around.

So I did a tête-à-tête with the cards, confirming that I am the mistress of the house who serves the Lord as the highest command and that my deck is a mere assistant whose job is to translate our communication. Please be aware that I was actually talking to myself, establishing that thought in my mind to clear the confusion. It worked: I regained my peace once I made it clear about my position in relation to the cards, and my beloved deck again becomes my lovely assistant.

There is indeed a fine line between appropriate and inappropriate use of tarot decks, and every tarot reader must use their discretion and listen to their conscience to know the correct ways of using the cards. I am thankful of my God-fearing spiritualist friends who have been there and done that and able to share their experiences.