Friday, 26 March 2010

Court Cards | Interpreting and Significators

Earlier this week, I was invited to speak to members of Michele Knight’s Tarot group at .

The talk was on interpreting Court Cards. These 16 ‘personality’ cards tagged on to the four Minor Arcana suits often attract a lot of knitted eye-brows and frowns in a reading, so my talk aimed to arm Tarotists with lots of different ways of looking at the cards for their sitter.

Each suit has four Court Cards attached to it – Page, Knight, Queen and King.

Note: This is Waite Smith deck I’m referring to here, other decks have different hierarchies.

What are Court Cards for?!

They tend to represent one or more of three things:

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Bonnie Cehovet | Take My Hand - The Hermit

I dearly love Joanna Powell Colbert’s “Gaian Tarot”. I have the twenty-two card Major Arcana edition, and recently received my eagerly awaited copy of the Limited Edition of her full seventy-eight card deck. My favorite card in this deck is the Hermit (which not so coincidentally is one of my Birth Cards).

As I write about this illustrious archetype, I am listening to “Take My Hand”, by the Commodores. Who would not want to take this gentleman’s hand! In this deck he wears a blue cape with purple lining over a pure white robe. Instead of facing one side of the card or the other, he sits facing the reader, looking up and slightly to his left. He is a wise looking older man, with a neatly trimmed white beard.

He is seated, his back against a tree, writing in his journal, which is illuminated by a lit lamp on the stone table in front of him. In the upper right hand corner of the card is a Barred Owl, the Hermit’s Guardian. In the lower left hand side of the card we see sage burning in a bowl. From the sacred smoke of the burning sage rises visions of spirit animals.

There is the loon, who leads the Hermit into dreamtime and his ancestral memories. There is Wolf, the moon’s ally, to remind the Hermit that he is part of a pack or tribe, even when he is alone. There is the Merlin, a magical, shapeshifting raptor. Joanna identifies all three – the loon, the wolf, and the Merlin - as teachers of the Hermit’s soul.

I love the Hermit in all decks, but taken out of his habitual dark robe, gifted with pure colors, and actively writing – this is “my” Hermit! This is ME! The magical world that he resides in is so close to my world that I just want to step in and chat with him … forever. Would that we could always stay in this world.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Book Review | Beyond The Celtic Cross

Beyond The Celtic Cross
Paul Hughes-Barlow
Catherine Chapman

Aeon Books - IBSN 978-1-904658-34-4

The fact that this book has been written by TABI members is cause enough for celebration, but given that it also seeks to squeeze every last drop of information from the ever-popular Celtic Cross spread means that this book deserves to be given its own ticker-tape parade before cheering crowds of grateful Tarotists.

The background to the book is this: Catherine Chapman had given herself a Celtic Cross reading based on the question: Will I meet the man of my dreams. She struggled to interpret a couple of the cards – a brace of Knights – and sought help from author Paul Hughes-Barlow.  Paul, whose work with the Opening Of The Key (OOTK) spread is well-respected, began to correspond with Catherine.  The resulting e-mail correspondence forms the basis of the book.

Although Catherine has not been published before, Paul is already author of Tarot and The Magus and it is in that book that he first explains the techniques of the OOTK – card pairing, elemental dignities and card counting.  These are the techniques that he now applies to the Celtic Cross in this new book.

The authors really do work together as a team. Catherine is not simply a foil to Paul’s tutoring explanations.  She is not relegated to simply sharing details of her personal life but is also an insightful contributor whose own spiritual adventure takes wings as she explores the insights that arise in her reading.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Award | Beautiful Blogger ;-)

Thank you so much to Bonnie Cehovet for awarding TABI a Beautiful Blogger award. Thank you so much for thinking of us.

These are the rules of the award

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award (done!)
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
  4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

Since this is really the TABI blog, I'm going to do 7 things about TABI (and then 7 things about myself!)

1   Will be 10 years old next year!
2   Has provided input to Trading Standards in the UK for future Ebay Tarot guidelines.
3   Has advised the BBC regarding Tarot use in two afternoon shows - Doctors and Cash in the Attic
4   Has 400 members worldwide
5   Has 5 copies of the Blue Dogrose Tarot available for non-members (UK-based) to buy for only £18.00!
6   Erm......has a Conference in Birmingham on 24/25 July 2010
7   Is going from strength to strength!

Right 7 things about me....

1  I tidy up litter from road verges and little abandoned bits of land around my home.
2 This year I am doing one thing per month (t least!) that pushes me out of my comfort zone
3  I could eat sashimi sushi all day every day and never get fed up
4  Am learning to play the keyboard and wish I'd done it years ago
5  I leave little piles of loose change in public places
6  Finding music is increasingly important (like Bonnie!) in my spiritual development
7  I *ache* to keep chickens

Here's my 15 recommendations

Corrine Kenner

Douglas Gibb

Lynda Cowles

Adam McLean

Ginny Hunt

Paul Hughes-Barlow

Joanna Powell-Colbert

Lisa Hunt

The Tarot Guild

Catherine Chapman

The Tarot Lady

Chanel Bayliss


Mary K Greer

Cosmic Faery

    Wednesday, 10 March 2010

    TABI's Ethics | Are Ethics important?

    TABI prides itself on having a Code of Ethics to which all members are expected to adhere.   Here it is:

    • Readings are in confidence between the client, the reader and TABI.
    • Readings aim to help the client to take charge of their own life.
    • Clients will be treated equally and with respect.
    • Readers will be open-minded, honest and non-judgmental.
    • If appropriate, readers will suggest that clients consult a qualified professional. (e.g. health or legal professional.)
    • When a fee is due, the amount will be agreed prior to the reading.
    • If at any time a reader feels unable to complete a reading, they will withdraw tactfully.
    • Readings will not knowingly be given to clients aged under 18 years without permission from their parent or guardian.
    • Readings cannot be given about anyone other than the client, and questions relating to others (e.g. third parties, such as partners, family members, colleagues, etc.) will be re-phrased or declined.
    On top of this 'standard' code of Ethics, our Free Readers are also encouraged to develop their own Code of Ethics.  This personalised code may simply be a rehash of the main TABI Ethics or the reader may add in their own additional points.  The main thing is, that the personalised code cannot be any less than the standard Code.

    Some people might think that these Ethics are fairly useless, seeing as how we don't have a regulated industry.  Could Tarot be a regulated industry, I wonder? Could a single code of behaviour be applied nationwide? worldwide even?

    Is our Code of Ethics any good?  The UK Trading Standards Department seems to think so - they contacted us for some input into a possible ethical code for Tarotists for use on Ebay.  So, we're pretty proud of that.

    But what do YOU think of our Code of Ethics - is it too restrictive? Not tight enough?  Are Ethics important in this day and age?

    What clauses would you add in, if you had the choice?


    Tuesday, 9 March 2010

    Knave of Pentacles | The Fey Tarot

    As an add-on from my last tale about the Lost Engagement Ring, I wanted to share something else with you of a very similar nature.

    Later that week my mum called me, distraught and distracted – she had lost a pendant that her friend had given her for Christmas.  She had looked everywhere. She was wakening up in the middle of the night and going looking for it.

    She sounded exactly like me when I mislaid her ring!

    I recounted the whole sorry story and finished up with the Tarot card insights.

    “Well then, you’d better pull a card for me,” she said “because I have hunted everywhere and it’s simply not here”.

    I always have a deck of cards to hand, this time it was The Fey, published by Lo Scarabeo.  I invited her to talk to me about the pendant as I shuffled the cards.  I drew a card and blanched - The Knave of Pentacles.  There was absolutely nothing obvious in the card that seemed able to help - no backround, not much in the way of symbolism at all....I pushed the doubts aside and started to speak.

    “OK, the character is sitting on a disk, so she’s not touching the ground at all – could it be on or in something not touching the ground? She is wearing loads of rings – around her waist, arms….somewhere there are lots of rings – re-examine your jewellery box? The background is purple - do you have something purple that it could be in? Her clothing is orange - do you have any orange clothing? Check the pockets......” I just rambled on in a stream of consciousness burble.

    Then we hung up so that she could check out all the possible suggestions.

    Twenty minutes later – TWENTY – she called me back.

    “I found it! When you were talking,  I remembered that I had been drying away wine glasses to the display cabinet in the front room when my friend arrived.  I went downstairs and stood in front of the cabinet.  Looking in I could see nothing but the tops of the glasses – lots of rings! Before I opened the cabinet door, I knew that the box was in there – and it was!”

    The display cabinet that the ring was found in is fixed to the wall with hidden brackets, so it looks like it is floating – just like the card said”.

    The power of the cards or just co-incidence? I have no idea!   It wasn't so much as what I said that jogged her memory initially - was it simply the act of doing something different (consulting a card) that zapped her memory blockage?

    What do you think? Have you ever used Tarot cards to help you find something lost?

    [Picture to be loaded up from The Fey later on today!]