Don’t Be Wrong with Wrong People

by Rick Hamlin

Have you ever been snubbed?

Has anyone ever looked right through you?

Has anyone walked the other way at the sight of you?

It’s really painful.  It can make you very angry.  It can make you as angry as the person who is angry at you.  But the only way you can make sure they don’t succeed at whatever they intend to pass on to you is to not get angry back.  Don’t be wrong with wrong people.  Don’t give them the pleasure.  Don’t let them rob you of your joy.

We have this neighbor who will not talk to us.  She feels that she was wronged by one of us and her response is to cut us dead.  She doesn’t speak when spoken to.  She doesn’t wave back.  She walks to the other side of the street if she has enough warning.

Whether she was truly wronged or not is not worth discussing and wouldn’t be terribly interesting if it were explained.  At this point I can’t explain it to myself but the sight of me or my wife pains her and the only way she can express it is by hoping to give some of that pain right back.

I find this hard.  I want to be liked.  I assume everybody will like me.  She doesn’t like me.  I can accept that she’s suffering.  If she’d like to talk about it, I’d be glad to talk about it, but that doesn’t seem to be an option.  She’d rather pretend that I am not here.

As a point of emotional growth, I find this helpful enough.  It’s given me some insight into the pain of racism.  To be a victim of prejudice can mean having someone look right through you, to not even acknowledge that you’re there.  To be totally ignored is to not be seen as another member of the human race.

Don't Be Wrong with Wrong People

I don’t go out of my way to be ignored, but the other day when I ran into her in the park on my morning jog I couldn’t swerve away.  “Be pleasant.  Treat her like you would anyone else,” I told myself.

“Good morning,” I said.

She turned the other way.

Just so you know that I’m hardly the nicest person on earth I will let you know that my next gesture was going to be a rude one.  My arm rose slowly to express it, my hand was ready.  Then I reminded myself, if I did that, who would have won?  She or me?  My hand swept up near my head.  The rude gesture turned into a sort of wave in my hair.  Something for a bird to decipher or an umpire.

“Pray for your enemies” was Jesus’ injunction.  That means not giving them back what they mean to give us.  No eye for an eye or tooth for a tooth.  No rudeness for rudeness, no wrong for wrong.

Anger with angry people only mushrooms into more anger.  I didn’t get angry, but I did come home and laugh.  I hope my “Good morning” didn’t come out sounding hostile.  It probably had some fear in it.  My gesture on the other hand was really dorky.  Too bad she was looking away.  We might have both laughed.

Next time maybe, next time.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine, where he has worked for more than 25 years. His spiritual memoir, Finding God on the A Train, was a Book of the Month Club alternate selection and a selection of One Spirit Book Club. He lives with his family in New York City.


A New Perspective on Interpreting Court Cards

by Marcia Masino

Accurate interpretation of the Tarot Court Cards can be a challenge for a reader when they appear in a spread for a query that doesn’t include other people. The Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages usually represent the individuals involved with the inquiry. The Page of Wands represents a youth, so why does it appear in financial question? Why does the Knight of Swords turn up for a woman’s property search when her realtor is a woman and there is no male influence involved? What about that repetitive Court card that shows up in your own readings that you haven’t been able to identify?

Usually a Court Card represents a person who is influencing the question from a past, present or future perspective and that may be a correct card interpretation however there is another explanation. When an unidentified aka cannot recognize him or her Court Card appears it may represent an aspect of your own nature that is influencing the question and therefore your future for good or ill. The positive character traits ascribed to the card are the qualities that may be utilised to bring about the desired outcome. Negative descriptions, usually read as reversals, will not only explain the behaviour that is creating a problem but how to correct adversity by simply looking to the card’s good personality qualities for guidance. The idea is to use this self awareness to interact with and co-create your future from a self empowered vantage point.

Here is a great example of the significance of the unrecognized Court Card. Recently a student asked me about “some weird man” that showed up in her Tarot session during her visit to a new reader. “She insisted he would be with me forever. I am seventy years old I have never had a loyal male figure in my life and I don’t think I will in the future since I do not want one. Anyway, I was asking about finding a new house, not romance.” Her opinion of the reader and therefore the reading had diminished. She had asked for guidance about her confusion in choosing the right home for herself and was frozen in fear, self doubt, scepticism and mistrust of her own judgement when assessing the virtues and flaws of the houses she was viewing.

A New Perspective on Interpreting Court Cards

The way she described the reader’s explanation struck me as indicating quite a different interpretation than the one offered to her. I asked my student which card it was and she said the Knight of Swords. This Knight appeared in her reading as a way shower, a healer and an agent for self transformation. The Knights are powerful cards that herald breakthroughs and positive direction. The Swords quality of personal integrity, in other words keeping true to her values, reason, intellect and clarity is what she needs to find her home. The Knight of Swords is an aspect of her own nature being pointed out to her. Of course he will always be with her, he is her! But, and this is where the healing challenge comes in, she needs to recognize and integrate his qualities in order to get unstuck from her house hunting dilemma. Her self – perception is the problem because she regards herself as the opposite of this Knight, indecisive, unable to accurately assess situations and inadequate.

By suggesting her past held many times when where she did make good decisions, trusted her observations and did act decisively with successful outcomes I refocussed her stuck fearful viewpoint using her own positive experiences. Of course she will require repeated reminders that she is the Knight of Swords to maintain her new positive self-awareness. One of the easiest techniques is one she devised, she now carries a picture of the Knight of Swords on her phone, goes to house viewings, looks at the card and is constantly reminding herself that he is her companion and ally.

Adding Court as character qualities to your interpretation repertoire can be very helpful. You can describe positive personality traits, challenges, lessons, best strategy, soul nature and spiritual strengths through them. Highlighting the individuality is empowering and shifts the focus of the reading from, “this is going to happen” to “this is who you are in relation to the question, these are your strengths and flaws by understanding them and being pro-active you are shaping your own future.”

I believe life gives us character challenges and gifts and to understand how they function within the context of a perplexing life area is important. For this reason, I designed The Whole Self Spread for my Best Tarot Practices book; it only uses the Court and Aces. The reading reveals who you are in relation to a repetitive or stuck situation based on all four court cards and qualified by their suit significances.

I explain the Kings as the authoritative, well developed personality that you know yourself to be, the Queens as the soul powers possibly unknown or underutilized, the Knights are spiritual lessons, powers and healers and they also denote turning points and significant life lesson accomplishment. The Pages since they represent youth denote the part of yourself that is growing, your evolution. The Wands represent courage, the Cups are faith, Swords are integrity and justice and Pentacles are labors with love.

Someone once said, the most important card in the spread is the one you cannot relate to. The unidentified, unknown Court card can point to an aspect of yourself and a character trait that holds the key to understanding the message of the reading. By interpreting the Court as qualities of self, soul, spirituality and evolution you may have discerned the hidden meaning of a life lesson, one in which personal empowerment is the real message.

Marcia Masino is a certified Grandmaster of tarot and author of the tarot classic Easy Tarot Guide. She has lectured at numerous tarot conferences and is a popular speaker for the Lily Dale Assembly workshop program. Her articles on metaphysical subjects have appeared in Fate and on the Web at She lives in Pickering, Ontario, Canada.


Walk Among the Flowers Instead of Walking in Your Own Shadow

by Eileen Campbell

Letting go of negative emotions is vital if we want to have more joy in our lives.  We all experience a broad range of emotions, but negative emotions like fear, anger, resentment, guilt, and shame emerge when life doesn’t go the way we want it, which it rarely does.  Such emotions can be problematic and prevent us from experiencing true joy.  Whereas positive emotions like love, openness, courage, and empathy enhance life and health, negative emotions create tension and stress.

The origin of negative emotions lies in our past.  We have forgotten what was effectively programmed into our brains in childhood and have remained as misperceptions in our thinking. We actually make our lives more difficult than they need be by holding on to long-held beliefs and self-imposed limitations that are no longer appropriate.  As children we wanted love and approval from our parents, and as we grew up, from our teachers and peers.  We learned how to get our needs met by adopting certain patterns of behaviour, and these became habits.  Gradually we created a self-image, and in order to make sense of our lives, we told ourselves stories about who we were, and we continue to do this, modifying and justifying that self-image that is our identity.

Walk Among the Flowers

By becoming more aware of these stories we tell ourselves and the roles we play automatically that cause us unhappiness, we can begin to let go of them.  It’s our thoughts that create emotions, and we tend to think we are our emotions, when they are simply feelings – they are not who we are.  Only when we become more aware of our thoughts can we begin to see them for what they are and let them go.

Although there’s much that we cannot control in life, we always have a choice about what our thoughts dwell on, as Rumi cautioned us:

‘Stop walking in your own shadow

Wallowing in your foolish thoughts.

Raise your head, look at the sun, walk

Among the flowers, become a human being.’

We need to take an honest look at our past in order to understand, leaving behind the hurts, fears, and disappointments of our earlier years.  Whatever happened is in the past, and we need to accept that the wounds were inflicted, but there is no need to keep revisiting them and suffering.  We can let the circumstances of our life close us down, or we can let them open us up.  We can let go of our negative thoughts.  By becoming more aware of the patterns that run through our lives, we can change what we believe is who we are.  Once we see ourselves more clearly we can begin to accept and love ourselves.  We can also reshape our stories to give us what we most want out of life for the future.

Eileen Campbell is a writer of inspirational books, including a successful series of anthologies described by the media as “treasures of timeless wisdom,” which sold collectively around 250,000 copies. She has studied with a variety of teachers from different traditions and brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her books. She is known for her pioneering and visionary career as a self-help and spirituality publishers, and has also written and presented for BBC Radio 2 and 4. She currently devotes her energies to yoga, writing, and gardening. She lives in England. Visit her at


Reading Runes

by Kim Farnell

Before you even begin a reading for another person, you need to put your client at ease and assure him or her that you are reliable and trustworthy. You must inspire confidence by being able to recognize, name, and describe the meanings of runes with­out referring to books. In addition, you must remember that this is the client’s reading and it should address his or her needs. Advice offered by the runes can be frank and may not always be what the client wishes to hear. You should offer your interpretation as diplomatically as you can, but also guard against the tendency to “sugar coat” the message; in this case the meaning becomes lost.


Even if you are doing a reading for practice only, you should still take your reading seriously and think carefully about the way you word your information. Some people may claim they don’t believe in the runes, but what you say will still have an effect on them. The best way to present yourself is to imagine how you would feel in the client’s position. It is all too easy to inflict unintended emotional damage, and you won’t want your clients to leave feeling worse than when they arrived!

Rune reading is tiring so it isn’t a good idea to undertake a reading when you are feeling less than your best. People can be demanding, and some will ask you to give them a reading no matter how bad you feel or how late the hour. Few matters are so urgent that they cannot wait a short time. When someone is in distress, it can be very difficult to stand back from them, but it may be necessary for the preservation of your own mental health. What you are aiming to do is to offer information, reassurance, and grounds for hope, but if a client is in desperate straits, unless you are a trained and skilled counselor, there is a limit to what you can do.

Tolerance is essential for any reader. You may have views completely different from your client on any number of matters, but the reading is for them and it is only their views that matter. You also owe your client complete confidentiality. If you want to discuss your reading with another practitioner, you should seek permission from your client and then make sure that his or her identity isn’t revealed.

There is nothing wrong with accepting payment for your work. Interpretation of the runes is a skill requiring study and practice, and just like anyone else providing a service, you are entitled to payment. It is best to set a rate for the job when making the initial appointment.


Although any surface can be used for your runes, many peo­ple prefer to have a special cloth, and some like to have separate cloths for each spread, with the spreads labeled on them.

Additionally, many rune casters like to put symbols of the different elements on the table with them. A candle may be used for fire, a bowl of water for water, a feather for air, and a crystal or stone for earth. These symbols can be purely decorative or used in your reading by passing the runes over each in turn before laying them out. Earth is usually placed to the north, air to the east, fire to the south, and water to the west.

Before you begin a reading you should wash you hands. Not only will this help to protect your runes but it will also show respect to them. Your washing can be turned into a ritual act of purification. While washing away the dirt on your hands, you can visualize your fears and doubts being washed away.

You may wish to ask your spiritual guide or deity for help with the reading and also ask your guide to offer good advice and to give spiritual healing to your client during the course of the reading.

Casting the Runes

Reading the runes is referred to as “rune casting.” This term applies whether you are throwing the runes, or placing them by hand into a spread. If you are casting (throwing) the runes out rather than laying them out in a spread, you will need to select a rune that embodies the question to stand as the significator of the question. Don’t take the rune out of the bag; leave all the runes in place but jot down the name of the rune or make a mental note of it. If the client’s question refers to a matter of business or money, choose a rune that represents this, or if the questioner wishes to know about a health matter, select an appropriate rune. If the significator rune shows up in the reading, things are unlikely to change.

A question about love, life, and happiness belongs to Freya’s Aett so the significator rune should be chosen from that Aett. If the question concerns intellect, understanding, and spiritual growth, it belongs to Hagal’s Aett. If the question is about daily life, work, house moves, family problems, and so forth, it belongs to Tyr’s Aett.

It is natural to want to read each rune in isolation but if you do so you are likely to miss out on a whole level of information. The runes in a spread interact with each other. Sometimes two runes have very similar meanings, and this emphasizes the importance of the message.

Some runes act as “power” runes, dominating those around them and modifying the tone of surrounding runes. Those that relate to gods or start one of the Aettir demand such attention. These are Fehu, Ansuz, Thurisaz, Hagalaz, Tiwaz, and Mannaz. The presence of one or more of these runes in a spread shows that the gods are taking a particular interest in the situation. Wunjo can moderate the tone of surrounding runes, and while it cannot change the meaning of any runes nearby, it may reduce any prob­lems indicated by other runes.


Excerpted from Runes, Plain & Simple by Kim Farnell


Kim Farnell has been a professional astrologer since 1990 and has taught astrology and lectured extensively in the UK and overseas. She was previously the Vice Chair of the Astrological Association of Great Britain and has been the editor of its newsletter, Transit, in print and online. She has also written sun sign columns for a number of magazines and websites and has published articles in numerous astrological periodicals all over the world. Kim has an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology and is the author of several books.


It’s Ragged and Messy, But It Works: Daily Spiritual Practice in Praxis

A daily practice: A personal ritual performed each day to find peace, grounded and possibly increase Magickal ability.

I know people who swear their daily Magickal practice is the first thing they do in the morning. Some swear their practice takes two hours or more. Some say everyone should meditate daily for thirty minutes; an hour if they’re extra busy.

To quote Amy Poehler, “Good for them. Not for me.”

I wasn’t sure I was the right author for this topic. My practice is a daily, clunky attempt to settle my messy mind and find just enough enlightenment to keep from being a jerk-face most of the time. And the uglier truth is that it isn’t even a daily practice.

But an emergency revealed that I might be doing something right. For me, anyway.

It’s Ragged and Messy, But It Works Daily Spiritual Practice in Praxis

Wednesday was an important day.  I was supposed to rent a giant van in Queens and drive it to my Manhattan workplace, where I would pick up ten women and drive them to a retreat upstate. I was driving on the Major Deegan which, in the best of times, requires the focus and patience of the pious High Sparrow, but the aggression and fury of the Hound so other Hound-minded drivers get the hell out of my way when I need to merge (#gameofthrones). I was in the center lane and traffic was manic, bordering on chaotic. And that’s when the soul of the van’s engine puttered away to Heaven.

I was alone. People were waiting for me. And there I was, coasting in unwitting neutral through traffic on one of the toughest freeways in New York City.


We were talking about daily practices?

Spiritual work must be crafted, shaped and strengthened. Like our physical muscles, they must be worked consistently. When I go to my altar, I list my worries as though laying them at the feet of my Gods. I don’t expect that a single prayer will dissolve them. I don’t try to fix everything in one night. My only goal is to give myself enough peace in the moment so that I can sleep that night.

But my goal is not only to make myself feel better. As a white, middle-class cis-woman, I have a ridiculous amount of privilege. My daily practice can’t only be about lifting myself up. I want my spiritual practice to make me aware of myself and myself in relation to others. How can I be the best, kindest, and most compassionate version of myself each day?

I wasn’t consciously thinking about my daily practice when the van’s dashboard warning lights went off and the engine shut down, yet both must have already had a firm place in my psyche.  I didn’t pray to my Gods or my Spirit guides when I turned on the hazard lights and nudged my dying vehicle’s way through three lanes of maniacal traffic. The nearest exit was an onramp to an even more maniacal freeway and a highly undesirable place to pull over, but still I just focused on the next step: getting to as reasonable safety as possible. I did it. The rental car company had troubled pin-pointing my location. Several tow truck companies refused to come because I was in a ‘restricted area.’ The nearest refuge was a shady-looking strip club. It was hot and I didn’t trust the engine to keep the AC running. Yet, I remained calm. There was a solution. I needed only to be aware enough to see it when it came.

Me staying calm in the broken-down van!
Me staying calm in the broken-down van!

When I finally met up with my traveling companions, a colleague asked me how I didn’t break down crying. I wondered, too. But in reflection, I credit my (almost) daily practice. Years before, I probably would have panicked and screamed at everyone who tried to help me. But the practice on awareness gave me the grounded focus to be aware of solutions instead of being panicked by problems.

Even after all of that, I still felt centered enough to drive the women in a new van two hours north to the retreat.  

I believe the key to a good daily practice is avoid making it contingent on any “thing” in particular. If you must have quiet, focus, time, and space, your daily practice will suffer. Having an altar dedicated to personal spiritual practice is a gift and certainly helpful, it shouldn’t be dependent on that. I’m thankful to have my altar space, but I haven’t always it. I know of several people with little space and/or privacy who hold their daily practice in the bathroom. Sometimes I don’t have the time or energy to do much more than repeat an incantation of, “I will be kind, today. I will be aware, today” during my morning shower.

I pray for the people I’ve hurt, particularly if making amends would be even more hurtful. I pray for the people I’m angry at. I remember what’s out of my control and surrender it. Most of all, I pray for awareness.

The daily practice is more than how much time we spend meditating or how gracious our prayers can be. Like the strength that comes through lifting weights or flowing through vinyasas, our daily practices prepare us to take on the tougher parts of this journey with grace, kindness, and humility. There was a time when me just getting on the Major Deegan would have triggered a screaming, raging, sob-fest. This time, my daily practice clicked into the driver’s seat. I practiced awareness of the other cars and of a safe place to pull over and an eventual solution. If I’d panicked on the freeway, I could have injured others or myself. If I’d lost my temper with the rental car company, I would have delayed help and just made or ruined someone else’s day. Instead, when I finally met my worried traveling companions a few hours later, I was dancing.

It’s ragged and messy and far from whatever ideal exists. But it worked for me when I needed it most.

Courtney Weber is a Wiccan priestess, writer, Tarot advisor, and activist. A Tarot reader with over 20 years’ experience, Courtney produced and designed Tarot of the Boroughs, a modern tarot deck set in New York City, composed of original photography. She is the author of Brigid (Weiser Books, 2015) and the forthcoming Tarot For One (Weiser Books, Nov 2016). She has been published on Huffington PostThe Wild Hunt, in Circle Times magazine, and elsewhere.



Our August Titles Are Here!

Our August titles are now available! Happy reading!

Body Reading, Plain & Simple

Sasha Fenton

9781571747525We all know that hands can reveal character and destiny, but what about other parts of the body? With this basic guide, learn how your body features can reveal health, relationship, and behavior attributes and how to spot these in others.

Divination expert, Sasha Fenton covers the waterfront of body reading in 15 short accessible chapters. Topics covered include faces, heads, hands, eyes, teeth, nails, feet, colors, moles, and itches. Generously illustrated with line drawings and graphs, this primer is a splendid introduction and guide to body secrets.

Fun facts found here:

  • Hair reflects one’s health and one’s state of mind.
  • Moles suggest stomach trouble, relationship problems, or possibly an ill partner.
  • A high bony nose suggests failure in business.
  • Downwardly sloping eyebrows suggest a lack of energy and a tendency to whine.
  • People with inward-leaning incisors are selfish, antisocial, and don’t mind hurting others.

Based on interviews, exhaustive research, and years of close observation, this practical guide is filled with fascinating facts and insight that will be greeted eagerly by all who are interested in a variety of divination systems.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)

Unseen Forces

Edited by J. Douglas Kenyon

9780990690450Considered by many to be the magazine of record for ancient mysteries, future science, and unexplained anomalies, Atlantis Rising® provides some of the most astounding reading to be found anywhere.

In case you may have missed it, in the past few years a virtual revolution has occurred in the way we think about some of the greatest mysteries in history and science. Such is the case with the discovery of Gobekli Tepe, a 12,000 year-old archaeological site of an unknown advanced civilization that could well change the timeline of human history. This book provides some astonishing evidence about several similar mysteries, and many of them are very hard to ignore.

Editor J. Douglas Kenyon has culled from the pages of Atlantis Rising® magazine this collection of 34 concise and well-illustrated articles by world-class researchers and theoreticians who offer thought-provoking insights on a variety of topics that challenge conventional wisdom.


  • Underwater UFO Bases, by David H. Childress
  • Nikola Tesla & the God Particle, by Marc J. Seifer
  • H. G. Wells and the Near Death Experience, by John Chambers
  • Ancient High Tech and the Ark of the Covenant, by Frank Joseph
  • Telescopes and the Ancients, by Larry Brian Radka
  • Enigma of the Crystal Skulls, David H. Childress
  • Ancient Wings Over the Nile, by Joseph Robert Jochmans
  • Global Cooling, by Susan Martinez
  • Is Our Planet a Crystal?, by Joseph Robert Jochmans

(Atlantis Rising®)

Mormonism For Beginners

by James Canfield, For Beginners

“Pithy, engaging, transparent, and accessible:  Mormonism For Beginners is all the things that outsiders think Mormonism isn’t. Jett Atwood’s clever illustrations provide the perfect complement to Stephen Carter’s sparkling prose.  Efficiently covering the bases from history to scripture to hot-button issues, this book will give you all you need to know to impress your Mormon friends.

—Patrick Q. Mason, Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies, Claremont Graduate University

9781939994523Written by Stephen Carter and illustrated by Jett Atwood, Mormonism For Beginners illuminates both a belief system and a way of life that were born in America but remain little understood to the present day. From the start, Carter lays down a clear foundation of themes and subjects to be covered in the book. He then brilliantly discusses every building block of Mormon belief, practice, history, and lifestyle in terms anyone can understand.

Together, Carter and Atwood present the Mormon faith and LDS Church with the knowledge of insiders but an honesty, objectivity, and sense of humor that well serve the uninitiated reader. Carter presents a succinct, lively history of Mormonism—how it came to be, and how its “organized spirit of cooperation” was the binding force that helped early members endure hardship and persecution, find a home, and settle into communal life. He also discusses LDS scripture, Mormon life and values (their emphasis on communalism, marriage and the family, the Church, and mission work). And finally, it offers candid, balanced discussions of such “hot-button” issues as race and the priesthood, the role of women, and LGBT life. Jett Atwood’s illustrations elevate the text while adding a humorous touch.

A Mormon himself, Stephen Carter takes us on an informative and historical journey, explaining along the way how Mormonism became viewed as not only a religion, but also as a subculture. The entire faith revolves around the teachings of Jesus Christ and emphasizes the importance of following in his footsteps. Mormons commonly serve on missions where they share the word of the gospel as a means of showing and spreading their love for fellow people as well as for their lord and savior.

In the foreword, American writer and editor Jana Riess writes: “Mormonism is everywhere, but reliable information about the religion and its people can be hard to find. Some accounts produced by the LDS Church are glowing propaganda, while some written by outsiders or ex-Mormons are sensationalistic diatribes aimed at discrediting the Mormon faith.” However, “the truth lies somewhere in the middle, which is why you need this book. It joins a growing body of literature about Mormonism that aims to educate you—not to convert (or deconvert) you from what you already believe.”

It may be difficult for some to wrap their heads around Mormonism, however, Carter is able to lead the reader through the typical daily life of a majority of Mormons. There we are able to see the finite aspects of this religion and how they govern daily life. For instance, the Word of Wisdom is a strict dietary code that prohibits the consumption of both coffee and alcohol. Mormonism is a tiny, far-flung community compared with other religious groups, but also it’s a close, tight-knit community with a strong a sense of belonging as well as highly structured beliefs, values, and traditions. While most followers of the LDS Church and The Book of Mormon deviate little from set ways, change has been inevitable and will continue to be. How much and in what ways will Mormonism adapt to changing social mores and the needs of each new generation? Only the future will tell. Mormonsim For Beginners will be a valuable guide for anyone following the story.

Read more about Mormonism For Beginners and visit the For Beginners website to learn more about their titles.