Adventures in Tarot~

Adventures in Tarot ~ Stories, Deck & Book Reviews, Card Insights and Reflections, Giveaways and a Library of Real Readings.

Owl Ka Myst Tarot

Owl Ka Myst Tarot

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Bit About Tarot ~ And A Little Bonus

The History of Tarot~
Master researcher on the subject of Tarot, Stewart Kaplan states that tarot started as a card game in the early 1400's, 'Tarocchi'. However, it would be another 200+ years before tarot would be used as a means of 'parlor fortune-telling'.
These fortunes where likely very much tongue and cheek. 'In early spring, you will meet an older man who will take you as his bride'.
Another 100+ years later, an archeologist associated the pictorial of the cards to the Egyptian book of the Dead. Several years later the deck was given occult meanings by Eliphas Levi, a master in Kabbalah, who associated the cards to the magical aspects found in the Hebrew alphabet.

This was the beginning of where tarot gets its mystic associations for use in divination.
The first tarot deck published specifically for divination was in 1910. This is the popular Rider Waite Smith deck. Rider being the publisher, Waite being Arthur Waite, a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn and Smith being Pamela Coleman Smith the artist commissioned to create the decks imagery.
Shortly there after, Aleister Crowley had the Thoth deck published. He was also a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn and his artist was also a woman, Lady Frieda Harris.
Where the Waite deck is more European and medieval in look and feel, the Thoth deck has more of an Egyptian/Kabalistic feel to it.

The Tarot Deck~ ‘What defines a Tarot deck?’
There are no hard set rules in tarot other than the structure of the deck itself. The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards which are divided into two Arcanas; the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.
The Major Arcana is a small deck of 22 cards numbered 0-21. They are considered the Trump cards of the deck. The Minor Arcana is very much like a regular deck of playing cards, having four suits and a set of four court (face) cards. The Minor Arcana are numbered from Ace to 10 and have Page, Knight, Queen & King for the court cards. Some decks will give different names to the court cards and the Trump cards. 
Any deck that veers away from this format in a significant way is not really a tarot deck. The main exception would be a Trumps only deck, a minor exception is a deck that has more than 22 Trumps. To my knowledge only 4 or 5 decks go over 22 cards.

The Tarot is just one of many kinds of divination decks in print today. Any deck that is used for divination can be called an oracle deck. Besides there being Tarot there are Lenormand cards, a deck of 36 cards. Added to Tarot and Lenormand cards, there is a plethora of all kinds of different themed decks that come in a varied number of cards and these are simply called oracle decks. 

Myths of Tarot~ 
Two common areas of misconception are how one gets a tarot deck and who can touch it.

It is often said that you should be given a deck for it to work. I can personally tell you that the process of choosing your deck can be a wonderful experience. However, gifted decks are often found to be special in some way as well. As far as having a deck given to you as a gift, that is not necessary at all. Do not let this myth hinder acquiring your first tarot deck.

There are three different schools of thoughts about people handling tarot decks.
1- ‘Never let another person touch your deck, their energy will enter the deck and not work for you.’
2- ‘The person getting the reading MUST shuffle and cut the deck in order to put their energy into the reading.’
3- Energy is energy and it does not matter who touches them.... or not.
There is energy everywhere, that is a fact; energy does transfer from one object to another, that is life. Energy is constantly in motion. Everyone has a different experience with energy.
For some readers having the clients shuffle the cards is how they connect to the energy of that person. People who may be overly sensitive to other people's energy may want to keep their decks free of any energy that is not their own. 
What it boils down to is that you do what you feel is right for you, what works for you.

‘OH NO- I got the DEATH card! Am I going to die?’
The Death card is often feared because so many think that this card means that they or someone close to them will die. This is rarely the case. If the Death card shows up in a reading, it is usually a card that reflects a message of change. Out with the old and in with the new. The Death card has an astrological association, Scorpio. Scorpio is the sign of Death and Rebirth, a card of legacy. A keyword often used for the Death card is 'Transformation'.

How Tarot Works~
Each individual card has a very specific root meaning to it and while it may be similar to other cards- it is still different.
For example, all Ace cards speak of new beginnings. If the card is a Cups card then it is about some emotional beginning and if it is a Swords card then it is some new way of thinking. The depth of the card's meaning just builds from there.
The finer details are found in the numerous symbols that are seen in each card, as well as how several cards interact with each other. 

'How does a person read for another if they are not sitting with them?'
This is again about energy, the collective unconscious, the Anima Mundi which means World Soul. There are many who believe that we are all connected in spirit. It is this place of connectedness that a psychic will reach into and gather the information that is needed. Some use guides to help them through the Ether, others will use runes, tea leaves, what ever.

~ Who I am as an Intuitive Reader of Tarot ~
My love of playing cards started when I was very young. I was a challenging player in any game taught to me.
My interest in card reading started when I was 12 and my aunt read for me with a regular deck of playing cards. It would be a few years before I had an actual Tarot deck and that was over 18 years ago.

When I do readings, all I want is the question or focus for the reading, I can also do a ‘general’ reading where no question is asked and the cards are just drawn and the message from spirit is relayed. 
The card images and symbolism triggers my connection to the Anima Mundi. It may be a vision, a smell or some other impression I feel that brings more depth and color to the reading.

BONUS - You could WIN a reading! - Last day to be entered into the drawing will be on August 31, 2016.
If you have a question about the art of tarot reading or the tarot deck itself, you could win a Tarot reading. To get into the 'hat' for a free reading, ask a question in the comment section. The answers and a winner will be posted as a new blog entry on September 3, 2016.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

General: Year Ahead Reading

General: Year Ahead 2009

1. Issue: Knave of Wands
2. Surroundings/Environment: 2 of Swords
3. Self: Ace of Wands
4. What to Keep: X Wheel
5. What to let Go: Queen of Wands
6. Direction to Take: King of Wands

Wands dominates this throw and this indicates a lot of growth for you in 2010. The one Major card that appears in the spread is also about growth and expansion.
Collectively, this is about the expansion of oneself and development in our personal being and actions. The year will be full of growth in all areas of life but you need to remember that with growth comes growing pains. You will be faced with challenges and hard times and this can be painful.
As the saying goes, 'what does not kill us only makes us stronger'

1 Issues position comes with the Knave of Wands card and speaks of ideas.

There are the ideas that you have been rolling around in your head. These are projects, goals, attitude adjustments, habit forming/breaking- things that have been in your mind, but have yet to take any action on. This could be called a card of 'resolutions'. Creating a list of all these ideas and then formulating a plan of action and bringing these ideas into a reality. What are your ideas? What have you been thinking about and would like to change or accomplish in the the physical, mental, and spiritual realms of life? This card encourages you to take your ideas and nurture them. Take the seed of an idea and plant it so that it will grow. Give it life with love and attention. Feed your ideas with the nourishment that it needs. This card is telling you that you have seeds that are very ready to be put into the ground so that they can sprout.

2 Surroundings card is the 2 of Swords.

This card speaks of those that speak before they see the bigger picture. People who are blind to reality or fair assessments. This is about people and situations where not everything is 'on the table' and there are aspects hidden that do not allow for a full review. Be aware of people who are judgmental.
They are of no help to you. Be aware of people who are not open-minded and like to argue, they will not really listen to you. Be aware of people who speak behind your back. This does not mean paranoid.
I am not saying that people ARE talking behind your back. What the card is asking you is to be aware of such activity if such a situation unfolds that would have others jealous or misunderstanding you and your actions. This card is about words that are not spoken clearly. This could be miscommunication, hidden communication, speaking one's mind before they have all the facts. These communication issues will be your walls and challenges and is critical to your growth. Do not allow these walls to stop you in your tracks. Do not give up when you come to a wall. You can bust through it, climb over, find another way around it or come back to it later. Do not leave a wall by giving up. Consider all solutions, look at the bigger picture. There will be solutions that you may not like, but they will have to be done. Try to not be complex in your solutions, keep things as simple and neat as possible. In an in the moment need, trust and have faith in your gut feelings. Go with your first impressions, do not second guess yourself.

3 The Self card is the Ace of Wands.

Ace cards are about newness, beginnings, births, the dawning of something. For you, this is a rebirth, a reinvention of the self, a new you. You mentioned in your email about 'out with the old and in with the new'. This is exactly what this card is about. Those ideas mentioned in the first card, this is planting the ideas and watching them grow. You need your incubation time, the time between the idea and the seeing the results of the idea. It is between the thought and the action. Now is the time to incubate, plan your reinvention, know your plan and how you will live your life as this new you.
This card advises you to keep a youthful eye upon things, this echoes the simple approach seen in the second card. Do not allow the misfortune and hardships of the past influence the decisions of the future. What has happened has happened and you cannot change the past, but you do have control over the future. Entering into a situation that is similar to one where it turned out bad, you cannot allow that to effect you. That is the old you. Enter into situations as if you are totally new to the whole thing. Take a youthful innocent approach. Do not be jaded by the past.

4 What to Keep card is the Wheel.
This is a card of expansion and good fortune.

I am also feeling a sense of family, friends, and community.
This is expressing the need to keep these people that you have a connection with close to you. These are the people who will help and support you. This card also says that those friends and family and people in your community that can help you needs to be expanded. Perhaps you are not getting out as much as you should. So to add to that, be careful to not become a hermit.  Pull these people closer to you. The y have knowledge and skills that will help you through your time of growth and give you inspiration.
There is also something in your family tree. There is something about yourself that you wonder about since it is not something that seems to fit in to the rest of your immediate family. There is a way about you that is just not the norm and this leaves you with questions about why you are the way you are. This could be some physical feature, but more likely it is something about your personality and who you are within. Usually every family has one member that has researched the family tree, find such a person in your family and ask them questions. If you don't have anyone like that, perhaps that is something you may consider looking into. Many things can be understood about ourselves by knowing the people that came before us and who they were and what they had to endure.
(and example would be my dislike for organized religion- I have two different branches in my family tree of religious rebels, in England and several hundred years earlier in France - leaning that made my dislike understandable, it is 'in the blood')

5 What to Let Go card is the Queen of Wands.

This is a very motherly card and many things are coming to me with this that it is hard to sort out so I am just going to ramble along and maybe something will ring a note with you. This letting go deals with a 'mother' issue and energy. It could be a mother/daughter conflict that you will have to finally come to terms with and walk away from even if unresolved for there is nothing that you can do about it now. To dwell upon it is a waste of energy and is taking away from the energy that you need to grow.
I see nurses. Could it be that you are training or working as a nurse or perhaps your mother has been ill? It could be that 2010 could be the year that your ill mother will find eternal peace, perhaps it is the year that you take your nursing job to a different hospital or doctors office, or take your training in a new direction? Perhaps you got into nursing because it was 'easier' but you really wanted to work with animals... perhaps you have been living your life according to your mothers desires and not living the life you want for fear of disappointing your mother. Well, you are in a time of growth and renewal, a time of change, you are in control. Perhaps you have been trying to get pregnant and now is not the time, or it may be that you are not to have children. While we have free will, I do feel that there is also fate and that somethings not matter how much free will we exert, are just not meant to be. What ever it is that deals with a nurturing mother energy, is what you are to let go of and move on from.
Now I also wonder, do you feel that you have a spirit presence near you? perhaps your mother (or grandmother you where close to) has already passed and is trying to communicate something to you to help you and that she will not move on until she has told you and you have listened and understand.

6 The Direction card is the King of Wands.

This is a card of seeing the big picture, being in control and holding what is near and dear and useful close to you. This card sums up all the other cards and the message within them. This is a card that tells you to rule your roost, it is your life and your future, live it for yourself and for no-one else (of course if children are involved, then we must live to be there for them). The King tells you to have no interest in those people who speak to you in defeating words. There is a difference in constructive criticism and outright put downs. You do not need these peoples input. Do not give them your time. There are so many other bright and inspiring individuals in your life that these people should be tossed to the side, they are not part of your circle.
While you have many who do offer you sound advice and suggestions, remember that in the end, the decision is yours and yours alone. Do what YOU think you should do. You may be wrong, but you will learn and grow from these mistakes.
Also, do not allow any guilt to push you in a bad direction. This goes back to not letting the pains of your past effect the actions you take in the future. Be wise with your experience of the past, do not make the same mistakes, but also do not make a move because it lead to a bad situation in the past - to NOT make that same move, you could be missing out on something great.
A lame example, but a common one, would be- a blind date. All your blind dates have been flops, don't stop accepting blind dates because of this, mr right could be found on a blind date....lame example but hopefully you get the idea.
So the new you will not act and react like the old you. You are full of joy and youthful appreciation, you are being reborn. Hold the memories as memories only, they are your wisdom that is within the new you that you did not have before. This wisdom enlightens you and aids you in living a bright a peaceful life. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Process Of The Perfect Tarot Bag

I am a crafty person in all forms of the word. I am an artist and crafter, I work magic, and read tarot cards. Combine all that and of course my decks are stored in bags I have made. 

It all started when I received a used deck that had no original box. I needed something for the deck to protect it. I had some mass produced bags and used one but did not like how the deck slid around inside the bag. I wanted a bag that was more like the box that the cards came in.  

I sat down and measured the deck. With that I created a pattern. Then came choosing the fabric. OH BOY...that was fun but difficult. SO many options and combinations! How would I choose? No problem, I just made the bag to be reversible so that I could enjoy two different fabric combinations.

This was the birth of my '2 in 1' tarot bags.

The Sacred Circle Tarot Deck

Making a bag to perfectly match a deck is a process that I really enjoy. It is fun playing with different combinations of fabric and holding the deck up to the combinations to see how it all fits together.

Come with me as I share with you the process of making a custom fitted, made to match bag for one of tarot decks ~ 

The Sacred Circle.

Finding the right combinations of fabric~

I have a whole cupboard of fabric. After putting different fabrics into different piles and then narrowing it down, this is what I am left with.... That is a lot when I have to bring it down to only four!

                                                                                      Here is a close up of the cards from the Sacred Circle deck. They are what I used, putting them up to all the different fabrics to see how well everything matches, fabrics and cards.

OK- On to something here.... I like the Moons!

I got it down to four fabrics and cut out the pieces.  I picked the gold moons on a black background for it went well with the backs of the cards. For the top of the bag, moons and stars but in all black; a satin fabric with velvety moons and stars. The deck's art has a very earth nature theme so I pick a green leafy patterned fabric. 

The top of this side I used a favorite fabric of mine, the acorns. 
The bag of my Legends deck also has this same fabric.  

I sewed the 'moon' pieces together and the 'nature' pieces together and fit them together and pin them to hold the two in place when I do the final stitching.

Once sewn together, I insert two pieces of rat-tail cord and tie them off...
....put the deck inside and pull the strings!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

11:11 Are You an 11er?

It is amazing the number of people who have 11:11 specifically makes its way into their lives.Some recognize it to represent something significant, but do not know what that is yet they know it means something. Some will make a wish, some think it's just a sign saying all is OK. Some will encounter the number and disregard it or say it is nothing, just random. They might say that is is something in the mind that makes one notice it more often and it is nothing supernatural or magical.
 There is another group of people who believe that they know what the number represents and have sent their beliefs out into the world. Some of those thoughts; the number is a ‘gateway’ number or a function of humanities spiritual evolution, a message from angels, a DNA activation code. 
I fall into the category of knowing that it is significant, yet I do not know what it means. When I come across the number, I feel that it is telling me that I am doing things right in life, I’m on the right track so to speak. I have also come across the idea that it is a number that is presented to all the light-worker/healers upon the earth at this time. With my personal experience, I can sort of resonate with this. I have always been there to help one who is hurt, being physical, emotional or spiritual.
One, of the many things I have found regarding 11:11, here is one that I really like

I first encountered the number 1111 when I was 11, imagine that! I joined a scout troop and that was our troop’s number. It meant nothing to me at the time. I also am a child of the dawning of the digital age. My first digital wristwatch I got for Christmas when I was about 9 or 10. I probably saw 11:11 back then, but did not connect with it since I had no use for knowing time at that age. To this day I still do not wear a watch.

When I was 12, my mom told me about something that started with her fiancĂ©. He was waiting with his brother for a table at a cafe, he looked at his digital watch and saw that it was 11:11. He made a comment about how often he sees 11:11. His brother mentions that he had been seeing the number quite often as well. They thought it odd and left it at that. My mom’s fiancĂ© came home that night and told my mother about the number and the conversation with his brother. That is when it all started for her. She started to see the number quite often and when she told me the story, I started to ‘recognize’ the number.This sort of supports the idea that it is something in the mind, power of suggestion. The idea that it is mentioned to someone and subconsciously they start to be drawn to it. This does not fully apply in my experience. I was wearing this number before the time aspect was presented to me. That is why I say recognize, because the number came to me before I noticed it to be something more common among others.I was no longer in girl scouts so I had not connected my old troop number to this yet, that would come several years later when getting ready for a move and I had to pack the things in my closet. I was quite in awe that day and that sparked and even deeper curiosity on a personal level.
 The number 11:11 would show itself very often. There would be times when I was in no need to know the time, yet, I was drawn to look at the clock. Again one could say that it was a subconscious thing, but try to use that logic for the times when I would be driving along the highway and a billboard clock would say 11:11. I also worked at a business and the address was 1111. Then there are the ticket numbers, the receipts, the flight number....
...and on and on.
How is this explained?

One could say, it’s just a number, like 3:33 or 5:55, when in reference to time, and these same numbers can be repeated in other things for certain individuals. I do not see other patterned numbers at such volume as I do 11:11. What I have found is, that even though people do see these repeated numbers, it is 11:11 specifically that gets the most attention and is the most often seen and talked about. I have ventured into a few ‘spiritual’ communities in www world, and the number seems to be discussed more than any other multiple digit number with the possible exception of 666.
I am not surprised that the first time I ‘connected’ to 11:11 was when I was 11. It may have been 1 year 11 months and 1 day, from that first encounter to the second, for all I know and if it was, I would not doubt it. The patterns that are presented to us are amazing when you look for them. To this day I still see the number, quite often. I am always running into other people who also have a connection to this number.

Long ago, my mother sent me an email with the time-stamp of. . . . .11:11. I emailed her back and told her - look there is the 11:11, she emailed back a comment and that time stamp was 1:11, not quite the same, but it goes on. I emailed her back, again, pointing out the time, again, she replied again, at 2:22. Since then, there have been other emails that are time stamped 11:11 between us.

So while it may not be just 11:11, it still hold something over the other numbers. But these other numbers and patterns that people notice are just as valid, they just have something different to it. People who notice these numbers will say that it is meaningful to them, even if they do not know what it means. 
At this moment in my life I cannot say what the 11:11 phenomena is about. There are some things that seem to make more sense to me than others. But I have not come to any solid knowing of what 11:11 means as a whole. It may be possible that all of these theories have some truth to them, none of the theories have a premise that is malicious or detrimental to any persons peace of mind or physical liberties.

Of all the many things that I have found that 'explain' 11:11, this is one I really can appreciate 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Seeds & The Bees

We humans like flowers mainly because of their beauty, some smell pretty too. Some of us find more from flowers than just stimulating our senses. Some flowers are edible. It might surprise you what flowers are edible, and you may even have them in your yard already.

But what about the bigger picture regarding flowers. We understand that flowers are the way that plants reproduce. We know that birds, butterflies and bees assist in this process by cross pollinating flowers.

Here is where we have a problem with the bees. Colonies are suddenly dying off. This is called Colony Collapse Disorder. All kinds of things have been suspect from pesticides, EMFs, to a virus. What ever the cause one thing is certain, the bee population is falling drastically.

In May of 2012, beekeepers noted a 20-40% decline in their bee population for no identifiable reason.
Here in my home state, California, our number one harvest is almonds. Almonds are fully dependent upon bees for pollination. The orchards are having a very difficult time finding enough hives to do the job. I love almonds and I have noticed how much more pricey they have become.

Some Beekeepers have lost as much as 70% of their hives, and it was reported that one suffered a 100% loss.
This is very disturbing.

So what can be done to help the bees. There are entomologists and other scientists working of pin-pointing the cause which is very important. Of the many causes put onto the suspect list, one of them is lack of food. Bee's food are flowers.

Planting bee friendly flowers is an easy way that anyone can help the bees. Flowers that bees love don't come in just flower pots, bees love a variety of garden plants from fruits and vegetables, to roses and flowering trees and shrubs. The best plants to have around your home for bees are those that are native to the area. However, all plants that bees love is better than none.

Not everyone has the time or the space to tend to a garden, but you can still help by donating to the "Sowing the Seeds of Love" campaign. A group of bee lovers will plant seeds for you in your name.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

My Pagan Way - part 2 the first in the series of My Pagan Way

How I Got the Pagan Label

We all get labels…like them or not. Some are fairly harmless. I have never had much issue with what labels others put on me, I could really care less. To me labels are often misused and some labels carry a negative connotation.
The question, 'what religion are you?' or 'do you believe in God?' would eventually come up. For a long time I was not sure how to answer that. It took me many years finding out how to answer that question. Lucky for me, I can only remember two times. Well, really once. But I was asked if I was a Christian. I KNEW how to answer that question…."No".

I started out irreligious right from the start for I was not raised in a religion. But I was exposed to the stories of the Bible from a very early age. What I knew of Christianity was not something I could connect to. The world created in six days, Adam and Eve. The idea of a heavenly father that impregnated a human and had a son that was some hybrid was not making any sense to me. While I did have an active imagination and wanted to believe in things like fairy-godmothers and dragons, I knew better. The some of the stories in the bible where just the same thing to me. I think that the Bible belongs on the historical fiction shelf. As much as I thought about it and tried out prayer, I could not find belief in 'God'.

In my search to find my spiritual self, I grasped at things like 'mother earth' and 'father time' to personify those aspects of the bigger spiritual picture of our own realities. Deep within my soul, from an early age, I knew that there was something of great divine power 'somewhere'.

An early encounter on the playground in elementary school taught me to not express my irreligious nature and I was able to avoid any religious exposing of myself while attending a Christian school for two years.
(why a Christian school is a different story, but I can tell you it had nothing to do with religion)
It would not be until I was 19 when the guy I was dating asked if I believed in God. I hesitated to answer that. I was not sure how to answer that so I simply said 'No'. He then said, 'So you are an atheist', and to that I hesitated and said, 'No'…..What was I? I had no clue. I did not know about things like agnosticism, paganism or Wicca. I was only aware of the major world religions and other than Christianity, I was not knowledgeable as to what those religions were about. Eventually I found the catch phrase, 'spiritual but not religious'. That was my 'go to' reply from that point.

It was also when I was 19 that I was introduced to Native American spirituality. I had always admired the native people of this land. As a small child, I would root for the 'indian' in the black and white westerns. The spiritual approach of the native people was something I could connect to, everything was very nature based. And the stories! The stories where much more fun than what is found in the Bible, and there was no vengeful guy in the sky. One might equate the Great Spirit with God, as a heavenly father creator. In those ways they are alike. However, He was simply the grandfather spirit and creator of the heavens. He did not 'rule' over any thing. I never got the impression that this Creator was some sort of dictator or egomaniac. And as far as one's fate, that was in the hands of Grandmother Spider.
But, that was not a 'religion' I could be a part of. Sure I could 'participate', but with all the respect in the world, their's is one of heritage. I can borrow the personified concepts and often do.

So all into my 20's I went without any religious label. I still don't consider myself religious. I got closer to a label in my 30's upon discovering pantheism. I liked the concept of 'all is god'. However, there was also the disregarding of things like reincarnation, ghosts and psychic ability in pantheism and those where aspect of spirituality and nature that I believe in. And I just don't believe in these things blindly either. Experience has given me the proof I need, but I felt these things instinctively from a young age.
Proof is just a side-effect.

It was also in my 30's, late in the decade, that I found my own original label. It started with my I having gravitated towards the occult in my late teens, starting with astrology. But that has nothing to do with religion. When it came to religion, I had picked up pieces of all kinds of faiths, found the good in them all, tossed aside the things that where just silly. With those things and my own personal experiences, perceptions and instinctive feelings, I came up with the term, Freeform Spiritualist.

It was art and the internet of all the things that brought me to paganism, For it for sure was not the pagans I had met, but that is a different story. The thing that did it was being part of a well known handmade website.  It was these pagans that were creative and artistic like me, and they were all different 'flavors' of pagans, and all shared my spiritual perspective and where just a whole lot of fun to hang out with. I had found a group of like minded people and it felt really good.
It was then that I became a Pagan.
But I still mostly use the freeform spiritualist term.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tarot & the Bathroom Ghost

Many years ago I was part of a tarot study group and we would play a game called 'Missing Card'. Someone would do a three card reading and choose one of the cards to be the missing one. They would present the reading 'report' in full but only identify two of the cards. Everyone else would then try and figure out what card is the missing one.

Well, it was my turn to do a reading. I really do not read for myself so much. I usually have to have a very serious 'crisis' that I feel totally lost before I pick up the cards. Finding something to read about was a challenge. After a while of pondering something 'fun' to read about, it came to me; The Ghost!

A little bit about the ghost.
I had been looking for a new place to rent. While at work I happened to strike up a conversation with a landlord (unknown to me) who happened to have a place available. I would not be off of work until late but he said "Go on in, it's open", I could go see it then. So that I did, I was eager to find something. Upon entering the house and getting about 10 feet in, I stopped, I felt something. I knew this feeling from my first ghost encounter. I acknowledged the presence and the feeling by saying, "There is a ghost here." It was a mix of knee jerk, and knowing that I should express that I know that the ghost was there.

I'm not the kind of person to let a ghost stop me from taking a place I like. I have lived with a ghost before. I moved into the place almost immediately.
It took a few months before we started to see a pattern with this ghost. We discovered that the ghost mostly 'hangs out' in the bathroom and the small bedroom.
Back to the reading. I decided to see if I could find anything out about the ghost that lived with us. Of the three cards I pulled, I could not decide what card to make the missing card. The cards flowed into each other so well. However, even with a good flow in the cards, it felt unfinished. I needed that one last card, the mystery card, and I let the ghost pick it (perhaps the ghost knew what I was doing and wanted to have a say, thus the unfinished reading).

I took the deck into the bathroom and told the ghost to pick a card. I left the room for a few minutes, retrieved my deck, cut it and took the card from the top and made that the mystery card.

'So what are the cards, where's the reading!?'
I hear ya!

I used a spread with the card positions; Idea, Challenge, Advantage.
I added the I Ching (**) associations tot he cards and after pulling the cards and doing the reading, I found that the well known Past, Present, Future(*) spread fell into place nicely.

Idea (*past)(**Temptation)
6 of Swords reversed: the imagery, right away, said to me, "crossing over the river" and I thought, 'could this be a drowning?'
The nutshell traditional meaning (upright) of the card is moving on, or away from a bad situation. Moving on and crossing over are terms of death. In reversed, the moving away would then be moving towards. My house was located just across the street from a river, a good sized one. Way back when, the river used to be much bigger. It was then that I got a sense that this was a young boy who wanted to go to the river and did not wait for an adult. The reversed nature of the card and the 'edginess' of the suit of Swords, there is an essence of defiance. In reversed, the card is about being stuck or an underworld journey. A ghost is indeed considered stuck.

Challenge (*present)(**The Well)
9 of Cups: this card continues with the focus on water, as cups is the suit of water, and the I Ching association of the well, as in water well. The challenge in the present is to find that place of calm, of peace & healing. To get away from the worry & have times of enjoyment.

Advantage (*future)(**Liberation)
10 of Cups: this is the card of home & happiness. I take this to be the environment I have brought to this place (the house). Here is a secure home, we, the kids and I all acknowledge the ghost without fear and have no problems cohabiting. The card indicates a goal achieved successfully & the emotional fulfillment (for the ghost I presume).

Water is a significant theme with this set of cards. There are two Cup cards, the suit of water. In the Sword card the river is just another character in the visual story. Seeing all the water is not a surprise, the ghost does like the bathroom, especially the tub, and we live along the river.

So the missing card. I took my deck to the bathroom and set it on the counter and told the ghost to choose a card and asked, 'What do we need to do for you?' After a few minutes I retrieved my deck and pulled the last card.

From the card: the ghost feels a sense of worthlessness. Maybe because he has difficulty communicating to others who have been in the house before. This child was taken away from the family life he enjoyed. His life was abruptly cut off & that is worrisome for the ghost. I believe that making the ghost a welcomed member of the family may give the ghost just the thing he desires, something that no-one else did, which left the ghost feeling doubtful of ever having a childhood.
The acceptance we offer could lead to the ghosts liberation.
(Can you guess the card?)

Now came the guessing. Typically people would just offer their guess, but one in the group wanted to play with this one so they did their own reading. They meditated on the question I asked.
"What do we need to do for you?"
5 of cups- the ghost has lost much and feels alone. He wants to feel cared about again.
8 of swords- the ghost is bound and unable to communicate, however, he could free himself if he were to choose to do so and the offer made.
9 of swords- the ghost is filled with grief and remorse about things lost and unable to recover. He feels very alone with no one to tell his despair to. He thinks all the time about his losses. They tie him to the house.
4 of cups- the ghost is miserable alone but has been given an offer to be cared about and become a part of a family again which he is deciding whether or not to accept.

The guess for the 'missing' card was the 4 of Cups. And guess what…that was indeed the card!

Putting the two readings side by side is very interesting. It is these sort of happenings that I wished that a skeptic had been in the room. Not only did both sets of cards express near the same message,
the cards themselves had a pattern.

Starting with the suits; except for the missing card, the first three card suits have 'flipped'. My Sword is their Cup and their Swords are my Cups. Swords is the Suit of Air and represents intellect, the mind and communication. Cups is the suit of Water and associates with emotions and psychic sensitivity. Very significant symbolism when talking about ghosts, or trying to talk to them.
Now the numbers. I have 6, 9, 10; they have 5, 8, 9. the numbers follow the same counting pattern because the second reading the number is one less in each position. I can't say much about any symbolism of the numbers or the pattern specifically. However, the way I see it, it is one of the 'coincidences' that is just a manner of expression that what is going on, really matters.
In other words, a coincidence is not a coincidence. The number pattern is just something to confirm and give validation to the reading and connection with the ghost.

Now let's look at some key words for the cards using words given by Joan Bunning
 ~ follow link for more detailed meanings
'Missing Card'
4 of Cups; self-absorbed, feeling apathetic, going within
First Cards
6 of Swords; feeling the blues, recovering, traveling
5 of Cups; suffering a loss, feeling sorrow and regret
Second Cards
9 of Cups; wishes fulfilled, physical enjoyment, satisfaction
8 of Swords; Restrictions, powerlessness, confusion
Third Cards
10 of Cups; joy, peace, family
9 of Swords; worry, guilt, anguish

Both readings share the sense of sadness, regret, loneliness and so on. My cards logically had the more personal and environmental card, 10 of Cups; giving the ghost a 'home & family'.

It was a really fun and interesting study of the cards. Not just this one game but the others as well. The study pushed us to look at a meaning and stretch the mind to figure out what card had been pulled.