Wednesday, December 30, 2015

January 2016 Tarotscopes- Happy New Year!


It’s the start of a new year, and in many ways a new beginning. Have you made any resolutions for the year ahead? Are you still wondering when in this cold, dark winter we’ll see the sun again? Never fear, dear reader. January looks like a good year, and it may just be the start of something new, the turning of the page or beginning of the story that you’ve been waiting for! As always, this month’s Tarotscopes are divided by decan. Each decan subdivides each of the Zodiac signs, so look for the date you were born. Have a great month, and I wish you health, happiness and excitement in the days ahead!

Aries:
Decan 1: (March 21-March 30)

The Lovers

Look for a partner to help you along this month, or similarly, a beneficial relationship with other people. The Lovers can indicate a new love in your life, but there’s more to this relationship, partnership or coming together than just romance. What new ideas have you brought to this new year, and what resolutions have you made? Aries folks can be distracted sometimes, and occasionally lack follow-through. But an Aries can be remarkably self-aware as well, and determination is your middle name. Look to others this month, as the focus for you is on mutual support and mutual benefit. In terms of a relationship, initial infatuation will give way to something deeper and stronger- it seems you’ve made a good choice in your life, and now need to stick to that choice. Likewise, listen to advice from other people. If someone is consistently telling you to wait, to hold off, that’s what you should be doing instead of pressing forwards. Sometimes it’s worth waiting.

Decan 2: (March 31- April 9)

4 of Wands
From the Gilded Tarot

Stability is prominent this month, and the suit of Wands is consistent with the Fire nature we see in your sign. Now is a good time to build up your position- this should be a fairly quiet month, but not one to promote complacency. Now that you’re where you want to be, make sure that position is secure, and start to think about the future. The key word for this month is foundation; you’ve got it, but what do you want to build on it? This month promises success, though no great dramatic conquests for you. Rather, this is the success of a quiet but secure home, with a place for everything and everything in its place. While taking time to enjoy the little things is important, don’t let plans fall by the wayside. There can sometimes be a tendency to be too driven, too ambitious, but the 4 is all about that same idea- a place for everything. Though the Wands suit does point to ambition and drive, it’s a good month to take things slow, and not rush them. See what comes your way rather than chasing dreams too aggressively.

Decan 3: (April 10-April 19)

Ace of Pentacles
From the Deviant Moon Tarot. Because dragons are cool. 

Now’s the time to strike out on your own. Last month’s Hierophant told of a time of learning. Now it’s time to go beyond your apprenticeship, as the Ace of Pentacles shows a single Pentacle, full of potential. What do you want to do with it? You have the skills, you have the plan and you have the design. What good is iron ore if you don’t put it through the furnace? Now’s the time to start tempering your raw ore, and begin work on a grand design. This will be a good month to show the world what you can do, as the Ace indicates you’ll be in a good position to take advantage of what’s around you. There isn’t really any definite direction or guidance in this Ace- primarily because it’s not needed. The universe is handing the reins to you. This may sound like a daunting task, but remember, you’re not just thrown into the mix without any prior knowledge. The ways this will happen are tied in to your skills, experience and abilities. Look for and seek out a position of leadership this month, and be confident in your decisions.

Taurus:

Decan 1: (April 20- April 30)

Queen of Cups

With your fixed Earth sign and the Queen of Cups coming up, you’ve got a couple things to look for this month. First, the Queen of Cups tells of a need to be reactive and flexible; look for what your efforts are sending your way, and look for further direction and guidance from the feedback you get. Other people close to you are highlighted this month as well, and the Queen’s Water nature combined with your own Earth nature point to an opportunity to provide help and assistance to others. This may well not seem like a big deal to you, but may be something as simple as providing a sympathetic ear and a cup of tea. You’ll be surprised this month, as the simplest things can have the greatest impact. Keep an ear to the ground, as the simple things you do this month will have a lasting impact.

Decan 2: (May 1-May 10)

Emperor
From the Wizards Tarot

The Emperor is a symbol of expansion for you, but expansion in a different direction than what you’ve focused on previously. Now’s the time to stabilize what you have already done and to continue to build a foundation. Likewise with the previous decan, now’s the time to look to other people, but here the need is to provide leadership and guidance. Stay true to your grand vision, and stick to your guns. Though you may be in a leadership role this month, you’re not there alone. Remember that the Emperor relies on his advisors and counselors to rule and lead effectively. No man is an island, as the old poet once wrote, and that’s certainly true for you this month. You’ll need other people, and they’ll need you. The Emperor is a mutually beneficial card, as what you need you find in others, and what others need they find in you. Is it lonely at the top? Not for you it isn’t, as other people recognize your role in a grander scheme of things, and you build each other up this month.

Decan 3: (May 11- May 20)

5 of Wands
From the Artist's Inner Vision Tarot

Those who bring challenges, or seem trying, are not your enemies, but rather as the month progresses you’ll find yourselves working towards a mutual agreement. The Fives are inherently unstable cards, and will settle down given time. Are you meeting opposition on your ideas or desires? Does it seem like things have come to an impasse? Give it time, and don’t budge this month, especially on long term goals or designs for the future. Things are in transition for you this month, and the best thing to do is to weather any storms that come your way. These storms are, likewise, only on the surface, and will soon pass. Difficulties are temporary, so don’t get too stressed about them, as the month will get easier as time passes. Staying strong and firm will earn you a good deal of respect, and put you in a favorable position as well. Others may be looking to you to see what will happen, and how you handle situations this month can be a great way to impress others. You may not see the benefits immediately, but others around you take this to heart and remember what you do.

Gemini:

Decan 1: (May 21-May 31)

2 of Swords


This month you may find yourself wanting to conceal any uncertainties or perceived weaknesses you may be feeling this month, and the 2 of Swords points to a time of indecision and weighing options. Take your time with this, and rely on your own judgment. The most important thing this month is to take your time with it- don’t feel like you have to move forwards due to outside (or inside, for that matter) pressure. Don’t simply ignore your doubts, as the things you are feeling tension or worry about are there for a reason, and need to be addressed. Also in this 2 of Swords is a need to communicate with others. Bring up problems or concerns, and don’t be afraid of being judged by others. Geminis tend to be of two minds a good deal of the time, and this is not because you overthink everything, but rather that you can see multiple sides and multiple angles of a problem you put your mind to, or a situation that confronts you. There don’t seem to be too many concerns pressing in on you, so clear your head and come into the problem in your own time. What you see and what’s really going on may not be the same thing; so whenever you feel like you need to take a step back this month, do so, get your bearings, then once more unto the fray!

Decan 2: (June 1-June 10)

3 of Cups


Things are looking up! Recent decisions and recent actions you’ve been taking will begin to pay off. The 3 of Cups has a romantic side to it as well, so don’t neglect relationships. If you’re a single guy or gal, keep an eye out for someone to balance you out. This middle point of Gemini can be a busy place sometimes, so don’t hesitate to go find your quiet place and hang out there with that special someone. They might well need that time too! Looking to other fronts, things are going your way, and you’ll find good reason to enjoy this month. But don’t let that good fortune cause you to overextend yourself. More than ever, now’s the time to stop and smell the flowers. Enjoy what you’ve accomplished so far, and don’t be too ambitious. The time for ambition and building your empire will all be in good time. Enjoy what you’ve worked for so far, and rest on your laurels for a few. The 3 points to further opportunities, but also tells us that there’s no great rush- you won’t miss anything, don’t worry.

Decan 3: (June 11- June 20)

9 of Wands

There’s also a break in the action for you this month, and the 9 of Wands tells of a need to look back and see what you’ve accomplished so far. Now is the time to analyze and examine what has come before, and renew moving towards your goals. The 9 of Wands is like a landing on a staircase: you may not be all the way there yet, but you’re further along than when you started. Look both forwards and backwards this month and determine where on that staircase you are. What do you need to tackle immediately, and what can wait? Prioritization is important this month, and so this month is about weighing options and making decisions. As we often see with the suit of Wands, your decisions and ideas are at the forefront, and so trust your experience and trust what you see when you examine the situation. This will not lead you astray this month, and can help to lead you further up that staircase towards your longer term goals. It’s a good month to look for a raise as well, or advancement in your career. If you’re looking for a new position, look to putting all your accolades, skills and general feathers in your cap on display- show everyone your best self!

Cancer:

Decan 1: (June 21-July 1)

Queen of Swords
From the Druidcraft Tarot

This month, get a feel for what the year ahead will look like. The Queen of Swords can be a tough figure- not cold and manipulative, but rather calculating and insightful, often with a helpful word to add. What the Queen is bringing to the table this month is flexibility. It’ll be a year of surprises, so be able to react and make the most of new situations. Always looking at the world around you with a sense of eagerness and excitement, you won’t be disappointed. The Queen tells you to focus on what can be done with what’s being given to you. Those of us old enough to remember the old American TV show Gilligan’s Island might get the reference: When you’re stranded on a desert island and life gives you coconuts, make a radio out of them. Work with what you’ve got, and get creative. While not necessarily a month for you to stand out in a leadership role, your contributions and insight can prove extremely valuable. As with December, speak your mind and let others hear your input, and find where to put the lever you’ll move the world with.

Decan 2: (July 2-July 12)

3 of Swords
From the Fenestra Tarot

The 3 of Swords is often interpreted as a difficult card, fraught with heartache and trouble. But there’s another side to it, and that becomes prominent this month. The 3 of Swords is about release and letting things out. What does that heart contain, and what is it holding onto? Maybe it’s time to drain it out, and let it fill up with something new. This may be a painful process, but doesn’t need to be. Look on the bright side of things this month. This card also has with it a theme of communication: show what you’re truly thinking and feeling, and don’t be afraid to express that to others, especially those close to you. The 3 of Swords doesn’t have so much of a troublesome aspect to it as it does one of honesty and openness this month. And you know, this can actually be a positive factor in relationships. Tell other people how you feel- they’ll appreciate your honesty, and in many cases will wonder why you didn’t speak up earlier!

Decan 3: (July 13-July 22)

King of Swords

The King of Swords tells of a need to use your brains this month. As time progresses, you may find yourself in a new role, with new challenges. Last month was all about potential with the Ace of Cups, and now this month it’s time to put that potential into motion. The King indicates a need to have a clear course of action, and stick to it. You’ve got the pieces, now it’s time to start putting the whole thing together. Follow your first impressions this month, yet at the same time have a clear course of action. January is the time for practical work and gradually building up. You might find yourself feeling impatient and restless, with a need to always be in motion, and always needing to tackle a new challenge. Keep your goals in mind, and remember that these things can take time. The greatest source of frustration this month will be delays, or at least perceived delays. Look closely at the world around you, and see what’s really going on. There is little to stand in the way, and less to confuse you, but at the same time don’t fall victim to your own ideas. Don’t get lost in your own thoughts this month, but rather turn those thoughts into actuality.

Leo:

Decan 1: (July 23-August 2)

9 of Pentacles

Things are stabilizing this month, and the 9 of Pentacles promises plenty of opportunity on your career front. You’ll have little to worry about in the financial sector this month as investments of time, energy and other resources begin to pay off. You can begin to reap the rewards of things you’ve set in motion, and now that you’ve weathered the storm, it’s time to enjoy a reprieve. Look for other people around you to help shoulder your load. Though you may want to try and go it alone, you can still shine without being a lone wolf. Look to others to help you along this month, though at the same time when you need to be alone, let other people know- they’ll understand and respect your wishes. However, avoiding drama and showy gestures in your personal and professional life is the best way to go. There’s no need to “fire for effect” or to put a warning shot across the bow. Stay in your own lane and tend to your own affairs this month, as this is the best place to direct your energy, and the way you’ll see the most results!

Decan 2: (August 3-August 12)

Temperance

Making an appearance in your decan this month is Temperance, and this card is all about balance. It’s not just physics, however. This is a good month to patch up any old grudges, and bury the hatchet. Don’t be too proud to take both sides of this issue; be gracious to those people who come to you wanting to make peace, and don’t be afraid to reach out to others if you yourself want to do the same. Is there something on your heart this month? Make it known, it’s better to have that out in the open. In other areas of life, you’re finding a good deal of opportunity, and teamwork is highlighted. The challenge for you this month is now and then to take a backseat and let someone else lead. Don’t let your ego get in the way of progress, and find your sensitive side in the midst of a need to dominate. With Jupiter appearing prominently in your chart, it’s often all or nothing with you. This month, try to find the middle ground. You tend to throw yourself body and soul into a project, and this can be a positive trait. But why not put that enthusiasm towards self-understanding this month?

Decan 3: (August 13-August 22)

Page of Wands

Wands again this month for you, Leo! Your sign is a very fiery one, and you thrive on high energy and competition. But you’ve got to take some guidance this month, and put that ego aside for a bit, as the Page of Wands is a mixed bag for your sign this month. The Page can be an enthusiastic figure, full of energy, wonder and excitement. All eyes and curiosity this month, you’ll be in a position to start taking things apart to see what makes them tick. But stay focused as well, as the Pages can be somewhat flighty and easily distracted. Pick a path and stay with it this month, and don’t be distracted. Remember, the grass will always look greener on the other side of the fence, and as a result you can spend an incredible amount of time and energy jumping back and forth, thinking what you want is always what you don’t have. It’s better to work on what you’ve started- make the grass greener in your own yard. There’s no substitute for hard work and dedication this month. Like your neighbor decan, you too will do well to avoid showy, attention-getting gestures this month. If you want to get noticed, let it be in the right ways, from hard work and level-headedness. These are the traits of a good leader that will serve you best this month. Be the hard-headed general rather than the ostentatious royalty.

Virgo:

Decan 1: (August 23-September 2)

Knight of Swords

There’s something of a shift in focus this month for you. Last month was a time to be practical and methodical. Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, the Knight of Swords promises quick action. Think of the old cartoons where a small snowball starts rolling down a large hill- after it gets going and picks up snow, you wind up with a gargantuan snow boulder sweeping up everything in its path. This is pretty much your situation this month. Your charisma and ability to influence others are at a high point, and everyone wants to hear what you have to say. Don’t be shy, and don’t worry about the size of this metaphorical snowball. You may start to feel a little overwhelmed, and may find yourself in unaccustomed positions. Don’t hand the reins off to someone else that you think may be more experienced; you’re the man or woman for the job, so rally your troops to victory! If you’re looking for direction or guidance, look to your own inner vision and insight. Everyone will be looking to you, and you can do the same. Look to yourself for the guidance you need, and that inner voice will lead you in the right direction.

Decan 2: (September 3-September 12)

King of Cups

Kindness and support are your focus this month with the King of Cups, a family figure as well as a gentle leader. Your role is not to be a demanding leader, but rather to support those around you and make sure they have what they need. However, this is a King, and not a pushover. Don’t let others boss you around or take advantage of your gentle nature. The King has some steel in his spine, and follows his (or her, as the case may be) heart fearlessly. If someone is moving out of your life or some relationship is ending or changing, let that happen, it’s the best course. If you feel like you need a change, go for it. The first thing to put at the start of your to-do list this month is your own happiness, and this is not a simple relax and do nothing type of happiness, but rather demanding of the world what you want, and working to ensure that happens. Stand up and make your needs known in all areas of life, be it relationships, career or leisure. Though the world around you lends a sympathetic ear, and will set things up for you to succeed, the hand that reaches out to help you can do nothing unless you reach out and grasp it.

Decan 3: (September 13-September 22)

5 of Swords

This month brings a need to reevaluate. Last month’s Knight of Swords was all about action and moving forwards, boldly going where no man has gone before. Now it’s time to take a look back and make sure all your ducks are in a row. The 5 of Swords points to a need to get a new perspective. There’s often a sense of undermining, of someone working against you in this card. Keep that in mind, but don’t get paranoid about it. The influence of Venus on you can mean you tend to see what you want to see and ignore any warning signs. If there are any warning signs, take heed now. It’s not too late to get yourself squared away with a minimum of difficulty. The 5 of Swords isn’t a scary or worrisome card as much as it is one that advises thoroughness. Check and double-check this month, especially where other people you work with are concerned. No, they’re not out to sabotage you, but there may be a few mistakes you overlooked here and there. While overall your outlook is optimistic this month, and you should enjoy the start of the year, keep in mind also that what you don’t see is what can trip you up. Rather than hide in your room so nothing bad will happen, your best approach is to meet challenges as they come. The 5 likewise promises that you can handle this; this is not disaster in the making, just practicality.

Libra:

Decan 1: (September 23-October 3)

High Priestess
From the Infinite Visions Tarot

The High Priestess presents a puzzle this month, and a different focus than what you may normally be used to. The focus this month is on adventure and following clues. Often you’ll see the High Priestess at the start of some grand adventure, and this month means there will be a need to put your skills to the test. Think of this card like the oracle that appears in Greek mythology- she spells everything out, but cloaks it in language that requires analysis and thought. The good news is, when you figure out her riddle, she’s there to part the curtain and show you much more than you had previously imagined. This month you’ll be handed the map, and it’s up to you to follow that route. Things have not yet settled down for you, but you’ll find yourself on a new quest in your life. Circumstances have changed, and now it’s up to you to put it all together. Don’t shy away from challenges this month, as each step you take brings with it new knowledge and new insight. It’s a month of change and transition for you. How you handle that change and transition determines where you wind up. The High Priestess is also a supportive figure, but her support doesn’t keep you in the same place. The support you get from her is to drive you on, from a challenge to a challenge. The more you do, the more you’ll be called upon to do. Don’t feel unfairly challenged, and don’t develop tunnel vision. The trick is to think outside the box, and look for new ways of seeing the same situation. In time, things improve, though perhaps not quite in the way you had expected- or even dared to imagine.

Decan 2: (October 4-October 13)

2 of Cups

A continued focus on partnerships and harmony meets you this month, and you’re still not going it alone. There’s an emphasis on other people and mutual support. Whereas previously you may have been called upon to fulfill a supporting role, now it’s time to work closely with others. What do you want to change about yourself, and what areas of life are you unhappy with? Look to other people to gain perspective on what you want to change and what you can do about it. Look to others for information and mutual support. The 2 of Cups also has with it a great deal of domestic happiness, and it seems partnerships are at the forefront of your mind. You may find yourself in that infatuation stage, either literally, in the case of a new relationship, or figuratively, as a new change in living arrangement, career or finances comes around. Enjoy this time in the sun, but remember that you can’t build a house on sand. You have a good foundation already, and that’s what will require your attention. The good news is, you have the ways and means to make that happen. It may come from a surprising place, and someone is looking for you, whether they know it or not. You have what they need, and vice versa. There’s a win-win situation in your future this month, and you can be of tremendous help to others while helping yourself as well.

Decan 3: (October 14-October 22)

9 of Cups
Also from the Deviant Moon Tarot

The chips have fallen in a favorable place for you this month, and the 9 of Cups tells you to go for it! Look for new opportunities, though these may come in the form of unexpected change. There’s a good deal of what at first will seem to be flat out dumb luck, but make no mistake; you’re reaping the rewards of what you set in motion already. Hard work pays off, and hard work will continue to pay off. Expect to get noticed, and expect praise for your efforts. Your journey enjoys a bit of a high note this month, and it looks like pretty smooth sailing. With no major difficulties ahead, it’s time to relax a little and decide what you want to do with the year ahead. Your focus is on new beginnings, but these new beginnings come from what you’ve already done. When you climb to the top of the hill, take a look back and see what’s spread out around you. There’s nothing wrong with revisiting places you’ve already been, and places you may want to revisit. Draw strength from your comfort zones and the people and places you love to see. If a vacation is in your plans, use the time to recuperate and draw inspiration. You need to strike a balance between wild ideas and an assessment of what you have on hand, and put the whole thing together, at least on paper. Do that, and you’ll be ready to set out once more, refreshed, reinvigorated and full of ideas.

Scorpio:

Decan 1: (October 23-November 1)

6 of Swords

The 6 promises movement, but in a different way. Scorpios are known for intuitive ability, yet the more logic-driven suit of Swords pops up for you this month. This represents a further development, and a hopeful one, as here we have a shift from dreams to a more concrete plan. This month is a good one to start undertaking the first steps to get you where you want to be. Look for new opportunities, and look for unexpected change. You‘re still steering your course, but don’t be too isolated, and be sure to listen to the advice of other people. There’s a lot coming your way this month, although it does remain a time of transition and movement for you. What you’re working for will not happen overnight, and where you are this month is at the beginning. Embrace this time and enjoy the ride! It doesn’t need to be all work and no play this month, as the events and changes you experience this month will be filled with enthusiasm and excitement. Your energy is high this month, and be sure to share that light with the world! Again, the suit of Swords coming up in your decan indicates a good deal to share, and when you do share it, you’ll find great things coming back your way as well.

Decan 2: (November 2-November 11)

Page of Cups

The Page indicates a change of pace and change of focus for you, and represents not so much a na├»ve, unwise person as it does one filled with wonder and excitement. The previous month’s Ace of Wands tells of potential, and the Page this month points to the next step of this process- the Page is often depicted examining the symbol of the suit, and the Page of Cups especially has the sense of being a student. Think of this more of a student of nature rather than a student in the academic sense. There isn’t a lot of transition and change this month that demands action and demands your immediate attention, so sit back and watch things unfold this month. It’s your time to learn, so take time, ask questions of both yourself and others, and be an information sponge this month. There’s a lot to see and a lot to learn, and you’ll find yourself naturally drawn to those who are ready and able to teach. There’s an old Rosicrucian saying, when the student is ready, the master will appear. So keep an eye out! Not all masters show up in white robes with backlighting, after all.

Decan 3: (November 12-November 22)

Justice

Here’s a welcome change for you this month, as Justice gets everything nice and settled in, but at the same time points out any areas you are lacking in. Justice is considered to be a “good” card, or a favorable one in life. But the main force behind Justice is balance, and things are beginning to do just that for you this month. The good news is, your hard work pays off, perhaps with a good deal more public exposure. “Who did this? It’s awesome!” may be words you hear this month. Stand up and take credit, as you deserve it. On the other hand, if you’re running into trouble in one area of life, Justice is there not to knock you down or make you want to beat yourself up, but rather to tell you, as gently as possible, what areas to focus your attention on and direct some additional, needed energy to.

Sagittarius:

Decan 1: (November 23-December 2)

Page of Swords

The Page has another mixed message for you this month, Sagittarians. First, you’re still riding pretty high off of the previous month’s momentum, and you’re looking at a favorable career front this month. But you can also have a hard time this month focusing and deciding what you want to do, and here we see a potential downside to the Page. Vigilant, observant and taking it all in, the Page can also have a hard time focusing, not because of any shortcoming, but rather because they can see so much, and dig it all. That’s great, and the key to success this month is to stay focused on your goals. This month there’s not really anything standing in your way, and that means it’s a good time to invest in those longer-term projects. Last month was a good start, and now it’s a good time to get your bearings and pick up needed resources. Remember the Fool, that funny guy bopping around in his odd clothes with a pack on his back? In many ways this is you this month. The Fool is going somewhere, and that bag on his back will allow him to pick up and carry the useful things he finds on the way. Don’t worry about taking a side trip this month, as long as there’s something to be gained from it.

Decan 2: (December 3-December 12)

Ace of Swords

In the timeless words of the Ramones, hey ho, let’s go. The Ace this month tells us that the time to follow that idea is now! The 9 of Pentacles the previous month now becomes the new horizon of the Ace, and things will hang on communication. For your part, this is expressing ideas and communicating with others. Let them know why you’re the best person for the job, why your ideas are great ones, and why you should be in charge. There are listening ears around you, and even if you’re simply broadcasting to the world at large, someone is in a position to hear you and run with that message. The main thing that stands in the way for you this month is the sense of hesitation you may feel. Can you really handle this, and can you really be that superhero you feel you need to be to make these ideas work? Yes, you can, believe it or not. Belief this month may well come second for you; the reason they call it a leap of faith is because you didn’t know it would work until you find yourself standing there looking back with an amazed look on your face. You’re capable of more than you may think this month!

Decan 3: (December 13-December 22)

2 of Pentacles

The 2 of Pentacles should be an easy card for folks in this decan, as it represents a decision to be made, and this section of Sagittarius seems completely devoid of inauthentic people. There is a sense of temporary balance in the 2, however. So while you want to keep everyone happy this month, you’ll find that you can only juggle so many obligations before you find yourself letting someone down. But don’t feel bad, and don’t feel guilty, if you just explain your situation and rationale to other people, they’ll understand, and you’ll make it through this transitive month with a lot less stress than you entered it. In making decisions this month, it’s important to focus not on what everyone else thinks you should do, or keeping up an image, but rather what you want to do- to thine own self be true is the motto that would hang over your great hall, if you have a great hall, and it also happens to be your best bet this month as well. On the other hand, the choices you make this month will lead you in a prosperous direction. The 2 may represent change, but this change is heading in a good direction.

Capricorn:

Decan 1: (December 23-December 31)

Death

Often considered one of the “scary” cards, Death can be a very helpful influence, and this is the case for you this month. Following a trend of happiness over the past couple of months, the changes you’ve been experiencing can no longer be limited or held back. Death represents the culmination of what has been going on for you for quite a while now. Don’t be afraid of Death, and in the Rider-Waite imagery for the Death card, there’s a skeletal figure, true, but he rides in like a conquering hero, and notice the absence of a weapon. Death bears a flag, as if to lead others on to victory. And doesn’t it look like those figures in front of him are welcoming him rather than cowering in fear? Changes this month are on a grand scale for you, but don’t be afraid! This is not literal death, but rather rebirth and transformation. Don’t be afraid of what’s to come, but trust that banner and follow it on to new horizons and new victories. Your efforts so far have brought you up to this point, and now you’ll begin more and more to feel the rumblings of what you’ve set in motion. Good work so far, now Death calls you to greater and different victories.

Decan 2: (January 1-January 10)

8 of Swords
From the Gilded Tarot

This month is going to be a complex one for you, as your drive and self-criticism may be working to pull you apart, instead of working in harmony to bring you where you want to go. The 8 of Swords has a strong element of doubt in it, and emphasizes the more troublesome aspect of Swords: doubt. Don’t doubt yourself too much, and remember that whatever you are afraid of, the reality of it isn’t as scary as the terrible fate your imagination can cook up for you. But the 8 also carries the solution to this as well. On the one side we have someone lost in uncertainty, afraid to move because of what might happen. But the time comes to take a chance. The odds are actually in your favor with the 8 of Swords, and now it’s time to take a chance. You can reach the great heights you want, but keep in mind that it’s not without some effort, and especially some risk-taking. Take those risks this month, and have faith it will work out, and when all is said and done, you may well find yourself wondering why you were worried in the first place.

Decan 3: (January 11-January 19)

10 of Pentacles

Things look very good this month! Last month had the 7 of Pentacles, with a sense of “not quite yet”. But it seems the wheel continues to turn, and “not quite yet” has become “go for it”! The focus on career and success carries over from December, and the year starts on a high note for you this month. The 10 of Pentacles can indicate others working with you, especially loved ones or close friends, and the 10 is not a stand-alone card. Other people and their support figure into your forecast this month. The 10 of Pentacles likewise points to a stable position, and a happy one. Things have settled down quite a bit this month, although the Tarot does tend to move in cycles; the 10 may be the last card in the sequence of Minors, but also a starting point, becoming the new starting point on the next leg of your journey. So this month rest on your laurels, and at the same time get ready to plan for your future. What we see again is a pretty clear field ahead of you, without any major obstructions, and plenty of strength and confidence. But don’t get too complacent, as every great empire requires a wise steward.

Aquarius:

Decan 1: (January 20-January 29)

8 of Cups

That desire for new knowledge and new horizons is driving you on this month. Are you feeling a little bit of the old wanderlust, or a need to travel? The 8 of Cups points to a need for change, which can be a good thing. Pick up a book, watch a movie, and get engrossed in something new. But at the same time, don’t abandon those who are in your life, as they too play a role. The 8 of Cups doesn’t come to you out of whole cloth; rather, it’s based on, and makes use of, what’s come before. The Sun last month, with a lot of great potential, can’t be forgotten. The main focus for you this month is to remember where you came from and how you got there. Look both forwards and back; see where you were, and see how you got where you are now while you look to a new horizon. As this is in the suit of Cups, there is likewise a focus on companionship. The people who travel the same road as you are there both because they have a destination and fate all their own, and because they are tied to your fate as well. United you stand this month, and let other people know you appreciate them.

Decan 2: (January 30-February 8)

Ace of Wands

From the upheaval of the previous month’s Tower now comes the Ace of Wands- very much time to pick up where you left off, and take command. You sometimes can be accused of being a little too detached and cold, but that’s one of your strengths this month. Instead of being gun shy, you’re ready to pick up where you left off and get back to business as usual. The Ace has promise for you this month, and you’ll find yourself in a leadership role. Other people may still be a little stunned or working through their own issues, but not you. Resilience definitely benefits you this month, and perhaps a new romance is in the air? If you feel you’re ready, take the next step. Other people may wonder if you’re not moving too fast, but again the only person who can answer that is you- rely on yourself and your own judgment. The suit of Wands is not a deceptive one, and not one with a whole lot hidden in it. People are straightforward with you, meaning what they say and saying what they mean. This is a good month to take things at face value, and rely on your ability to accurately gauge the situation- another aspect of your leadership role.
Decan 3: (February 9-February 18)

6 of Pentacles

Work hard and play hard this month, as the focus is on balance and simple pleasures well earned. The 6 of Pentacles points to something of a break for you. 2015 was a lot of hard work, and now you’re in a position to start enjoying the rewards of all you’ve done. However the 6 of Pentacles can work two ways for you, and is impartial. Don’t overindulge this month, and though you like to play hard, make sure everyone is on board with you, or there could be some misunderstandings. Looking back to the King of Swords from the previous month, you’ll be able to gauge the reactions of others fairly well, and may be called upon to help resolve disputes among friends this month. Your focus is on the middle ground, and balance, so again, all things in moderation this month. Getting too far out of whack in any direction will have its effect emphasized this month, so exercise caution. However, there’s a plus side to this too- the good deeds you do, both for yourself and others, are likewise emphasized, having a great impact. It’s a good time to undertake a new workout regimen or start a new course of taking care of yourself.

Pisces:

Decan 1: (February 19-February 29)

10 of Swords

Things take an interesting turn for you this month, and it seems that the 10 of Swords is serving an interesting and important role for you this month. It’s not out to harm you, but rather to refocus attention and energy. The 10 indicates that any illusions and uncertainties are beginning to fall away, leaving a steel core of truth and keen understanding. The Emperor last month acted as a rallying call for you, bringing things together. Now it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff, so expect a dynamic and demanding month full of new understanding and revealed truths. Interestingly, some new people may be coming into your life, and with this, continued developments towards a goal. Think of the 10 of Swords not so much as an ending, or a painful card, but rather to bring you out of confusion and into certainty. Your focus remains on self-development, and finding the help you need to do this is simple. You tend to need people this month, and don’t worry about being too needy. Often it’s a two-way street for you, and this month has a focus on mutual benefits. Likewise, someone moving out of your life is doing so because it is in their best interest as well as yours. Trust the advice you get, and trust your ability to communicate with others and to let them see things your way.

Decan 2: (March 1-March 10)

Strength

A good sign to see for this decan, Strength means a strong influence of the environment this month- things are pointing you in a certain direction, so look to events and circumstances to guide you this month. A new undertaking will, on the whole, prove successful for you. But at the same time, the Strength card indicates a need to keep moving. Once you get that direction and settle on a path, don’t wait too long; otherwise, you may find yourself missing opportunities that come your way. The Strength card is not an entirely passive one, and requires your own effort and movement this month. But you’re gaining tremendous momentum through the weeks, and as you progress expect more certainty and more conviction. The way ahead becomes clear, and it’s up to you to follow through. This isn’t too great a task, so trust your own instinct on this. The world is pointing you in a certain direction, and even if you can’t logically explain it all away, go with the feeling; where you’re headed is where you’re meant to be, and where you can do the most for yourself and others.

Decan 3: (March 11-March 20)

10 of Cups

Your daredevil nature comes to the front this month, and the 10 of Cups points to a good opportunity to use it to the fullest. Normally you might be prone to throw caution to the wind, and let your enthusiasm sometimes get you into trouble. This month, it looks like a good match for you with the favorable 10 of Cups. But with this card, you’re not going it alone. The card focuses on friends and colleagues, with similar goals and similar interests. You’re not at the forefront of something new, but your enthusiasm is contagious and you’re playing an important role as things unfold this month. It’s a time of stable, gradual change, and the forces around you are helping without directing you in any specific direction- that remains for you to decide. But in this area too you’re far from alone. There’s an emphasis beyond this month as well, and what you build and design will remain. If you’re considering any long-term changes to your life, now’s the time to set them up and knock them down. Do you make resolutions for the new year? You’ll be able to stick to them, but make sure at the same time that they’re sustainable and within your means. Though you have the support of other people, you need to have a good understanding of where you’re going and what you want to accomplish. What has the previous month given you in terms of direction, and what have you been working on? You’ll begin to see the first fruits of that this month, and will be able to continue building on that. Slow and steady will win this race!
So that wraps us up for January. It’s the year of the Fire Monkey, according to the Chinese zodiac, so a good year to be a Fire sign. Energy is all around, and it’s a question of putting it to use. January is often a time of bright new endeavors for the year ahead, and it’s that hope and optimism that makes all the difference in the world. Remember, the planets, like everything else in life, predispose and impel you towards certain directions and ends- but it’s you yourself who decide where to go, and where you put the lever that moves the world. Have a great January, may we all always have reason to look to the future!





Saturday, December 5, 2015

Why A Study Deck?

What is a study deck? Basically, a deck that you may or may not use for readings, but do use for contemplation, meditation and study. Maybe it’s a little too unwieldy to use for regular readings, or perhaps you have a favorite deck you prefer to use. We do tend to be creatures of habit, us readers. A study deck can be a useful tool for a beginning reader or someone with years of experience, as well as everyone in between. How do you find one? There isn’t really one specific Tarot deck used for study, though asking around can usually produce a number of recommendations.  I’ve used the Haindl Tarot for a while now, and can often find some new angle in Hermann Haindl’s funky artwork. One criteria I recommend is that the deck be one of the more symbol-heavy types, of which this is a good example. You may want to use a more straightforward deck for your regular readings, as this can give you a quick and easy take on the card and on the situation.
 Haindl's Fool and Devil cards

Think of it like this. Tarot is, on a very basic level, a set of symbols. They can correspond roughly to words in that sense, and thus in the course of the reading the cards form a narrative. However, when we think of words (kind of like the ones you’re reading) we look at a combination of letters to form a meaning. When you use the cards, it’s a bit more like an ideogram-based means of communication. Taking a look at the Japanese kanji script, we see largely the same thing. An ideogram is a symbolic representation of a thought or idea that doesn’t necessarily contain the phonetic components of the word used to express it. The written English language has combinations of letters that correspond to phonetic sounds. These phonetic sounds then are assigned meaning by the ideas they represent. Kanji is different- it uses a symbol to express an idea- and so does the Tarot deck. An example is the character for nothing- Mu.
Mu: Literally no-thing. 

Mu, however, doesn’t necessarily indicate an absence of something, rather it’s an indication of a state of nothingness- uncrowded, uncluttered, and still. When we apply the English “nothing” to it, it becomes an approximate translation. It conveys largely the same idea, but different cultural contexts and common usage mean that we take it to mean somewhat different things- though, curiously, the same root meaning is there.
One of the original covers for The Metamorphosis-
note the absence of Gregor

Consider also Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, in which Gregor Samsa, the main character, is changed into a bug, insect, beetle, cockroach, or something like that. Kafka no doubt knew the terms for each of these insects, but that’s not the word he used. Cockroach in German is Kakerlake, while a beetle is Kafer. The words Kafka used were Ungeheueres Ungeziefer, roughly translating to “abnormally large really icky creepy-crawly thing that if you offered it to someone, they would be thoroughly disgusted and probably run away”.  It’s been said this is a deliberate literary term on Kafka’s part, keeping the appearance of the thing changing throughout the story, and left to the reader’s imagination. But more specifically, it also has with it a specific sense of something foul, vile and generally unpleasant. The English translation often uses the term insect or bug, as the one above is a bit long-winded for a story. But the point being is that in a simple, small symbol we find worlds of meaning. What comes to mind when you hear the word “Bug”? No doubt if we asked ten people, we’d get ten different variations on a theme- meaning different things to different people, but with the same core meaning.
It’s the same with the Tarot. We have a core meaning to the cards, but at the same time different aspects of it can come to prominence. The Hermit is one example- here’s a guy with a lantern and a staff. We can make some assumptions about the card- he’s looking for direction, he’s finding his way, his aspect suggests travel and a journey. Maybe he’s holding that lantern out for someone else, having come down the road already, and returning to offer his light and guidance. Whatever we take from it, we still have the same idea of what the Hermit is and what he’s doing.
"We'll leave the light on for ya."

To bring this back to a study deck, the goal of studying Tarot is never rote memorization of the meanings- the “little white book” that comes with almost all decks out of the box. A useful starting point, yes, but don’t take it as the first and last authority. That’s up to you to determine. Hence, again, a study deck! What do the images convey to you? Many people who have never seen a deck before are surprised to find that their initial impressions of the imagery are accurate. But the value of a study deck is that it really takes you beyond those few words and into the multiple facets of the card’s meaning. When you can really take time to sit with a card, absorb its meaning and look for different aspects of it, you find there’s a lot more there to it than just the imagery.

So what does this mean for your practical, everyday reading? Don’t sit down with the intent of going through every possible aspect of the cards. You’ll be there all day! Look at the way the cards interact, and look for patterns. What message is in there? As you’re reading this, you’re not looking at single words, but rather sentences. You can rearrange the words to form completely different meanings, and change things around to change the meaning. There is, as an old grammar school teacher liked to point out, a difference between “Let’s eat, kids!” and “Let’s eat kids!” Often you’ll find a particular aspect of the card coming up, and this can depend greatly on what other cards surround it. Knowing the meaning of the cards in this multifaceted sense can allow you to pinpoint what exactly is being communicated, and allow you to gain more understanding of a reading.