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

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Pagan Way

When someone says, "I'm Pagan", it does not really describe that person's beliefs. During the early years of Christianity, 'pagan' was mainly in reference to the old polytheistic traditions of the people in the area. Today being 'pagan' does not offer such a clear picture.
Today, every pagan is different from other pagans in some way. Pagan is an umbrella term as well as a fixed term. One who is Wiccan is considered pagan, but someone who is pagan is not Wiccan. Some Native Americans and Buddhists accept being under the pagan label, and some do not. Some who are Atheists feel pagan. Some see Paganism as a religion, and some are, and some see Paganism as just a sense of spiritual being that is in string connection with the earth and nature.

So what exactly is a Pagan? Ultimately that is up to the individual. No matter how much a 'liberal' pagan may explain the fuzzy parameters to a 'fundamental' religious person, that person will hold on to their own definition....well, that's not entirely true. There are people who will listen and learn. However, I'm speaking about those who are just sticks in the mud.

For me, being pagan is about the natural world, what we know and what we don't know. My father was a scientist who worked to preserve a part of the Amazon rainforest. My affection for earth and life upon it must be in the blood. The animals, the plants on this planet and the rocks and gasses that are light years away, yet can be seen, all fascinate me. It is life, it is energy, it is creation- the Universe and everything in it is my 'god'.

I honor and am an observer and of the Universe and all that is within it. I like to say that the only laws I follow are the laws of Nature, they are the only ones that can't be broken. I am an unofficial scientist who loves and is curious about my subjects. But it goes beyond formal science, beyond modern science, and even back to ancient science....and lets not forget Alchemy.

There is the tangible, the physical; what we can see, touch, taste and so on. There is the unseen physical that we do see evidence of, atoms, cells, viruses, radio waves.
But then there is the unseen, the non-tangible, yet, often encountered, consciousness, love...and Spirit.
Sometimes there is a conflict between science and religion, or religion and science (might be the better way of phrasing it).

There must be something more if for thousands of years humanity has created all kinds of concepts that link physical us with something unseen that is 'out there'. I think at the core, and when true to the faith, religion has a good grip on the Spiritual. But it is man and his mind that muddles things by throwing in stories to prove a point. Someone misses the point and looks to make a point out of a different part of the story. 
I think science is on the right track towards figuring it out, but they are not seeing it from the right angle and there are areas that are not put together, ignored or disregarded that are part of the science of Spirit.

The alchemists had the right idea for their time. To perhaps paraphrase what a spokesman for the association of alchemists would say, had there been one, "We know the Ether (spirit/god) exists. We do not understand it and are likely never meant to understand it because it is so big and vast we could never fully comprehend it, but we still accept and acknowledge its existence."
Spirit was a part of science at one time. Many of the early scientists were also astrologers. For many years astrology was accepted as truth. Then modern science came along and said 'no way, not possible' but astrology endures and survives through the criticism. We have been learning that planetary energy does have it's effects over great distances. Hard to imagine for some that a round ball of elements floating millions of miles away could effect earth. Why? Why is it hard to imagine. We see the effects of the Moon. Yes, it's closer. It feels more within our physical realm because we can see it. There is no reason why another stellar body would not also have an effect on us, in ways we cannot see....the astrologers see it, but they are looking at the tangible; the planets and their positions, and determining from years, centuries of observations and writings, what these effects are. be continued
Part 2 of My Pagan Way

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tarot & Fortune Telling

Did tarot start with the Gypsies? And what About Fortune Telling?

Let's begin with these questions by taking a closer look.

What is Tarot?
      Tarot is a deck of 78 cards that came into existence in Italy in the mid 1400's. At that time, the cards where used for the card game called Tarocchi which is played by rules much like Bridge.These original decks were hand painted commissioned works, made at the request of wealthy merchants. The earliest known deck dates to about 1441. It would not be until after the invention of the printing press that tarot cards would be mass produced.      It was not until the 1909 that a deck with esoteric meanings and images was published. This deck is known as the Rider Waite Smith deck. The second deck to be published was the Thoth deck created by the controversial occultist, Aleister Crowley.

But before all this...A French occultist, Eliphas Levi, found that the 22 Trump cards of the Tarrocchi deck neatly correlated with the Tree of Life, the foundation of Kabbalah. It was this connection that he utilized tarot playing cards with mysticism and magic.

   • Some added interesting info and dates...
Eliphas Levi was born in 1810, Arthur Edward Waite was born in 1857, Edward Alexander Crowley (Aleister Crowley) was born in 1875. And what is the link with these three besides tarot? Both Waite and Crowley translated and published some of Eliphas Levi's written works. Levi's works became a major part of the foundation of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a magical paternity started in 1888 by William Westcott and Samuel Mathers; the order 'died' in 1903. However, both Waite (joined in 1891) and Crowley (initiated in 1898) had been members and when the HOGD was no more, both men created a spin-off order of their own.

prints available at

Art by Morgaine du Mer

Prints available at MagickMermaid

How about those Gypsies?
       Gypsies, or more properly, the Romani people, are traditionally and historically a nomadic people.
They are found all over the world today, but where do they come from originally?
With advances in genetics and DNA testing, it has been found that their origins are from Northern India and Pakistan. Exactly why they migrated as they did is still in question for the Romani people have no written history.

       When the word 'gypsy' is mentioned it often brings to mind the idea of a psychic fortune-teller. Where the idea of gypsies being fortune-tellers comes from cannot be totally nailed down, it is a bit like the 'which came first, chicken or the egg?' question.
Palmistry and Vedic Astrology has a very long history in India and the Far East, so it would stand to reason that a people who originally came from India and the Far East would likely be skilled in these practices. Even today, the cultural structure of the Romani has its foundation in Caste system found in Hinduism.
        In the early 1300's there was a linguistic association made. The language of the Romani contain many dialects that originate from Sanskrit. A group of Romani was compared to another group called Mandapolos due to the language spoken. Mandapolos is thought to be derived from the Greek word that means 'fortune-teller'.

        With a nomadic lifestyle one must be quite creative and adaptive in making a living. With the Indian and Hindu origin of the people, they likely already had the know-how for reading palms.
So did the early Romani utilize this 'fortune-teller' image and give the people what they were looking for? Or did the 'label' fit from the start and just grow from there?
As for the cards, given that Tarot is known today as a form of divination, it is easy to see that the people and the cards would go hand in hand. The Romani did arrive in Italy roughly the same time that the first tarot (game) cards are known to have appeared.

Is there such a thing as Fortune Telling?
       Fortune telling is a term used for the practice of divination. There is a distinction between the two terms; divination was conducted during a religious ritual, where as fortune-telling is less formal and more personal. Divination can be done with many different tools or none at all. Cards of any kind, not just tarot cards, can be used as well as tea leaves, the lumps and wrinkles on one's head, a persons palm and the classic crystal ball.
      "You will meet a tall, dark and handsome man."... this idea comes from the early days of cartomancy (using playing cards for divination) in the 18th century. Each court card in a standard deck of playing cards had been given specific meaning in the form of 'who' as in what they looked like and their age.  Readings done during this time was more of a form of parlor entertainment than it was actual divination. These types of meanings given to the cards have come a long way since then, as has the art of cartomancy.
       Today, tarot is more of a guidance tool. The cards reflect a different perspective than what a person may be clinging to. It introduces to the mind other possibilities and situations that had not been previously considered. However, there is still a bit of mysticism to the cards depending upon who is doing the reading. This is where intuition and psychic impressions come into the picture. It is not the cards that can predict the future, it is the reader who taps into the interconnectedness of the collective consciousness. And then there is the person who is astute in logic progression; 'If you do 'A', then 'B' will happen'.
       All good tarot readers as well as psychics will say that no future is set in stone. That there is the current path that one is on and that path can be changed. If a reader tells a client that their relationship is headed towards a nasty ending, then there is already trouble in the relationship. In order for that to change, the person must take steps to change it. The relationship could be healed, or could end on a softer note. Either way, the person receiving the reading has been given a seed of thought to contemplate and prepare for, or take necessary measures to avoid.
      What about things like pregnancies and accidents? There are specific cards that are indicators of these things, but they each have other meanings as well. It is all in the intuition of the reader that deciphers what the specifics in the card are relevant and important in the reading.

So what can we formulate from all this information?

   • Did the Gypsies really bring tarot cards to the world? 
I feel pretty safe in even saying 'absolutely not!'
Coincidentally, they were in the same place at the same time, however, evidence and logic would have it that the two never had any connection.
    • How so?
Though they where both in Italy at the same time, Tarot cards where only for the elite. They where the only ones who could afford them. The Romani people had a hard enough time making a living and were always on the move; there would be no way they could possibly afford to commission a deck to made for them, let alone stick around long enough for its completion.
    • How about fortune telling?
Is it just coincidence through a logical view of events and how these typically progress? Or is there really some magic to it all?
Predicting the future can be done, but is quite rare. I believe that it is a bit of both a lucky and, or, logical guesswork, but at times, can be truly intuitive.
I am reminded of an account told to me by someone who was at the World Trade Center on that fateful day. He was to attend a meeting and minutes before the meeting he had the strong urge to leave the building. He did not know the 'why' for the impression he had, but heeded the feeling. He did not predict the attack specifically, but something deep within told him that he should not be in the building. He is alive today because of it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Moon Card

As the Moon does glow

one side is not ever seen
oh her hidden face

Card Meaning
Dreams, subconscious, illusion and that which is hidden. Cycles and phases. Intuition and psychic abilities. Reflection and introspection. Emotions.. Feeling betrayed disorientation, Bewilderment and lunacy. Pisces, and feminine qualities.

This is one of my own paintings done in 2003 in watercolor paint

The full Moon illuminates over an island isolated in the middle of the ocean... or is it an island at all? Looking closer one might see something other than an island. It looks like…a Dragon. Is this just a natural oddity or has some 'shape-shifting’ taken place? {I'm suddenly reminded of werewolves and the transformation that takes place under a full Moon} It appears that the dragon dreams peacefully, sleeping in an emotional waterbed. With the Moon comes dreams and the subconscious speaking through illusions. Perhaps the Dragon wishes to meditate on what has been floating around in her mind. Or has she created the island to hide herself from those who would do her wrong? She knows that in this form she can rest safely. And what of her enemies? They think they are crazy for never noticing the island before and are puzzled by her disappearance. In Astrology the Moon rules the sign Cancer, the Crab. In tarot the Moon is associated with Pisces. A pair of fish tied together and swimming in opposite directions represents Pisces. The ruling planet of Pisces is Neptune, King of the Sea, yet it is the Moon that controls the ocean's tide. The Moon has a duality about her as well. The speed of rotation and orbit of the Moon is synchronized perfectly so all we will ever see is the one face. Her other face is known as the dark side of the Moon, a side of her we shall never see from our Earthly vantagepoint. To call this face the dark side is misleading the Sun does shine upon the 'dark side' during the waxing and waning phases. With the Moon we must be aware of the natural cycles in life, around us and within us and that there is a dark and light side to everything and not everything is what is seems to be.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread.

If you are seasoned reader or just a beginner in the study of Tarot, surely you have encountered the 'Celtic Cross Confusion'.
I have many book about tarot that I have collected over the years. Not one of them has the same description for the spread, the Celtic Cross. 

After all the cards are drawn and placed, the traditional Celtic Cross spread looks like this ->

Two cards in the center, the second placed on top of the first, then the four cards around those, then the four cards in a vertical line on the right.
After the first two cards, which card is placed next varies from source to source. In one of my books the third card is placed on the left, in another book it is placed on the right.

Not only is the placement different, but the meanings are similar to different. This is tough for a beginner with so many versions.

When I first began to use this spread my only source was the book that came with the deck I had. The version must have been the creators own take of the spread. After seeing the different versions from other sources I got curious. 
What is the 'true' traditional Celtic Cross spread? 

It is hard to say for sure what the exact details were of the spread known as the Celtic Cross as it has been used over the last 200 years. However, according to Stuart Kaplan, a leading expert on tarot, there are records going back several centuries explaining a 10 card spread that is one of the earliest known. But he does not call it the Celtic Cross.

The spread is spread out as in the image above.
• The first card is 'Present Position' and is the card in the center under the second card. This card is pretty self explanatory as to what it represents. This is the person and what is happening currently. This is the 'person' card
• The second card is 'Immediate Influences'. This is the card that is set sideways on top of the first card. It speaks of the events that are about to unfold. This is the 'crosses' card.
• The third card is placed directly above this pair and is the card of 'Goal or Destiny'. This represents the main goal and what can be accomplished with the current conditions. This is the 'crown' card.
• The fourth card is placed to the right of the first pair and is the position of 'Foundation' or 'Distant Past'. This is the beginnings and source of the current situation. This is the 'behind' card.
• The fifth card is the card that represent the 'Recent Past Events'. Again, a position that explains itself. The card is placed below the original pair. This is the 'beneath' card.
• The sixth card placed to the left of the first pair and is the card of 'Future Influence'. And again, is self explanatory. This card is the 'before' card.
•§• These first six cards are read before the last four cards of the spread are pulled.
• The seventh card, 'The Questioner', is placed to the right of the first six cards at the bottom of what will be a column of 4 cards. This position also represents the person but not about where they are in the situation but more about their attitude and thoughts about it.
• The eighth card is 'Environmental Factors' and speaks of the person's effect on others as well as the effect that others have on the questioner. This is placed right above card #7
• The ninth card is the 'Inner Emotions' emotions card and is placed above card #8. This card represents the questioners inner feelings, fears, hopes and secrets.
• The tenth card and last card is the 'Final Result' card. It is placed at the top of the column. This is the direction and events that may unfold if the questioner continues on the current path, or path suggested by the previous card within the spread.

All of the Celtic Cross spreads found in today's books are likely derived from this general idea of the spread. People have put their different twists to it and changed the position names at times, but it still remains probably the most used and written about spread in the realm of tarot.

If you happen across this blog post, I am offering you a special price on my Tarot Workshop, "Celtic Cross ~ Build Your Own"
I have only 10 spots available so get signed up soon.
To sign-up at this special price, please go HERE 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Owl Takes Flight

I have been working on reinventing my 'home business'. I have been working under the web ID of 'DragonsMoon'. It is the name of my Etsy shop. and my Facebook page and my Twitter page In that shop I sold both my art and my readings but I felt the time came for a change.

The name 'DragonsMoon' was a bit of a forced decision. I had to come up with something and so I just picked the two things that I really love, Dragons and the Moon. I like it, but it never grew well as a 'business' name. Under A Magic Moon is the name of my blog that I have had for many years. The name is fitting to everything I do. All that I do happens under a magic moon, my inspiration & my intuition. So it was decided that I would make my web 'home' Under a Magic Moon. Not the blog, but a new website that is currently under construction.
The new Under a Magic Moon is the home of The Dragon's Cave which is to represent my art studio and Owl Ka Myst ~ where I offer my tarot readings.

One part of my website is already live and available for viewing, part of Owl Ka Myst Tarot.
This is where one finds out about the tarot workshops and can view sample readings. These pages are a bit in the works as well. But one has to start someplace.
I have also gotten my new Facebook page up for the Tarot side.

Hope to see you around cyberland.