Tarot Tools for the Holiday Craze

by Courtney Weber

A number of years ago, I was dragging a heavy suitcase to my job, prepared to head home for Christmas at the end of the work day. It wasn’t until a security guard asked me if I was all right that I realized I was yelling at that suitcase, and crying.

“I’m fine,” I said. “It’s just Christmas.”

I don’t remember why I was yelling at my suitcase. I’m sure it was heavy. I was probably sick of hauling it up and down subway stairs. But I may have also been angry at a loved one, fighting with some boyfriend, or frustrated with having to buy a present for a work party on an overstretched holiday budget.

Such a typical story. The holidays can be joyous, exciting, and Magickal. But they can also leave you yelling at your suitcase on a cold morning.

As a Tarot reader, I often consult the cards during the holidays—not so much for prophecy as situational navigation. Pulling a single card a day is a common practice for Tarot practitioners (and one I include in Tarot for One), but this time of year may require a few extra “pulls.”

I have posted some samples below, along with their interpretations:

What do the holidays hold for me and my loved ones?

7-of-cups
7 of Cups

 This card represents a lot of everything: things lovely and challenging—and all coming at you at once. No holiday will be perfect. People will need to be flexible, limit expectations, and focus on the beautiful things. There will be plenty of lovelies, but nothing will ever be 100% Hallmark-worthy (I’m not paid to say that.).

How will the office party go?

Page of Wands
Page of Wands

If the Page of Wands encourages attention to detail, thoughtfulness will be key. Is the boss focusing on who participates in the Secret Santa as a sign of team-playership? Maybe this is a sign to pay attention to how much eggnog you consume (Someone might have spiked it beyond an appropriate level….)? If this is the card you pull in response to a work event, it’s not going to be the kind of event where you can let loose and be a crazy person. You’ll need to be mindful of yourself and others around you.

First time getting together with the family since The Election…how will it go?

Judgement, Reversed
Judgement, Reversed
Nine of Cups, Reversed
Nine of Cups, Reversed

Sometimes, two cards flip out when you’re only trying to draw one. This can highlight a “hot topic,” and given the nature of events this year, many family gatherings will land somewhere on the scale between smoldering and inferno. These two cards, particularly the 9 of Cups Reversed, urge sensitivity. In the best of times, the 9 of Cups represents a whole heart and lots of love. It being reversed does not indicate an absence of love at your family gathering, but it might mean that feelings will be easily hurt—imagine this card as the “open blister” omen. As for Judgement Reversed, the message might be “Leave your judgements at the door.”

What to get the niece/nephew who has most things and hates everything else?

The Moon
The Moon

Gift card.
The Moon represents fickle feelings, so don’t get one for a single store. Visa or Mastercard Gift Card (I’m not being paid to say that, either…).

How can I best practice Self-Care during the Holidays?

Queen of Pentacles
Queen of Pentacles

Make sure to keep yourself on your list this year, too. Keep even a sliver of your budget available to gift something to yourself. If you don’t have any budget at all, imagine your personal time as your holiday gift to the world. Carve out a slice of that time for yourself: go look at lights, listen to your favorite holiday album with no one around to tell you to take it off repeat, indulge in a tasty treat you normally wouldn’t have. The holidays may encourage giving to others, but this doesn’t mean you should leave yourself out.

Good luck, and whatever you celebrate at this time of year, make it as Merry as can be!


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 Tarot For One (Weiser Books, Nov 2016). She has been published on Huffington PostThe Wild Hunt, in Circle Times magazine, and elsewhere.

brigid-tarot-for-one

Our November Titles Are Here!

Happy Reading!

The Hero Is You

Kendra Levin

“Levin’s myth-inspired strategy should prove inspiring for first-time writers.” – Publishers Weekly

“The title says it all. Every writer faces a journey that wends through a nettlesome labyrinth of challenges and obstacles. It takes a hero to leap into the uncertain terrain of a new creative venture, conquer self-doubt, and persist across the craggy lands found in all creative projects. Kendra Levin’s wise, encouraging words provide guidance every step of the way to help every writer realize their creative goals.” ―Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and Co-founder of 100 Word Story

“If you want to take your writing to the next level, buy this book…now!” –Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sperry, The Book Doctors and authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published

“Kendra Levin helps writers step to the plate in this much-needed guide to the brave writing life.” –Eric Maisel, Coaching the Artist Within

“The goal of certified life coach Levin’s book is to aid writers in developing a deeper understanding of story structure, a grasp of the archetypes that make up a hero’s journey, and a composition process that will help them feel more in tune with themselves and their voice. Levin guides readers through the labyrinth of the creative endeavor known as the “hero’s journey”―a quest for identity and wholeness. Guidelines require writers to ask questions, explore their vulnerabilities, and seek mentors. Exercises and quizzes move authors toward self-examination. VERDICT This guide would serve as a valuable text for writers’ groups or beginning classes on the craft.” –Deborah Bigelow, Library Journal, July 1, 2016

“Smart, perceptive, and inspirational advice.” —Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Unhooked and Only as Good as Your Word

9781573246880Imagine having your own personal mentor—someone encouraging yet honest, supportive yet empowering, who could help you set and achieve your goals, turn your moments of doubt and fear into sources of strength, and discover what you’re truly capable of when you’re at your best.

Kendra Levin is that mentor. And with this book, she’s here to help you do the best writing of your life—and live your best life while doing it.

Using a fresh new approach to Joseph Campbell’s archetypal Hero’s Journey, Levin reveals how to be a hero in the narrative of your own process. She weaves together wisdom drawn from her years as a life coach for writers and an editor at the world’s biggest publishing house with behind-the-scenes stories from a panoply of best-selling authors and career entertainers. With over thirty exercises designed to help you reinvent your creative process from the inside out, this book will show you how to:

  • Identify your biggest challenges and render them powerless
  • Start a project that you love—and stick with it
  • Design a structure for writing regularly

Whether you’re a first-time writer with a brand-new project or a seasoned pro, you’ll reach the end of this book feeling fulfilled, inspired, and ready to mentor the next writer on their creative journey.

(Conari Press)


The Key of Solomon the King

S. L. MacGregor Mathers, Foreword by Joseph Peterson

9781578636082A magical grimoire of sigils and rituals for summoning and mastering spirits, The Key of Solomon the King is the most famous, or infamous, of all magick books. It has influenced everything from the revival of magick and the Western Mystery Traditions (tarot, alchemy, astrology, etc.) to fictional works such as Lovecraft’s The Necronomicon.

Purported to have been penned by King Solomon himself, the book provides instruction for incantations, rituals, and sigils used to call upon and control spirits and demons. Those practicing magick have used it extensively through the centuries, but its true origins and purpose have been lost in the mists of time.

No library of the contemporary occult student or practicing magician is complete without this tome. It remains a standard of esoteric lore by which others are measured. This edition includes a new foreword by noted esoteric scholar Joseph Peterson.

(Weiser Books)


Tarot for One

Courtney Weber

“Courtney Weber is one of a new generation of Tarot authors who are making the cards fresh and relevant to today’s world. Filled with real life examples, this book is almost like being in class with Courtney or like joining her in a fun and insightful conversation. She answers questions about the reading process as soon as (or just before) they arise in my mind. It’s an updated Tarot for yourself packed with exciting new ideas and perspectives that I’ll certainly be using.” —Mary K. Greer, author of Tarot for Your Self and Understanding the Tarot Court

“Most tarot readers agree: reading tarot cards for others is a snap compared to reading for yourself. Remaining objective is hard, especially when you are emotionally invested in the outcome. Thanks to Courtney Weber’s Tarot for One: The Art of Reading for Yourself, you’re not going to struggle any longer! With smart exercises, clever spreads, easy-to-understand interpretations and tons of examples, Weber provides the perfect framework for getting out of your own way and uncovering clear, unbiased answers. If you love tarot and have always wanted to be able to read your own cards, this invaluable guide belongs on your shelf.” —Theresa Reed, author of The Tarot Coloring Book

9781578635955Courtney Weber has been teaching Tarot and speaking at Tarot symposia around the country for a decade. In response to the numerous requests she has received over the years, Weber created Tarot for One, a personal workbook and resource guide designed to help form interpretations directly applicable to self-readings.

In Weber’s clean, clear style, this book explores the Fool, the Major Arcana, the Court Cards, Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles, as well as what she calls the tough cards, reversals, practice spreads, and next steps. She includes common associations as well as extensive exercises to unlock readers’ own interpretations for connecting personal journeys with the archetypical Tarot. Readers will learn to let the voice of the Tarot come through without overlaying too much of their own “stuff” during a reading.

Tarot for One includes dozens of original Tarot spreads and layouts, which have been repeatedly proven both fun and effective in Weber’s classes and workshops. It also contains tips on finding a deck, honing a Tarot practice, and avoiding common self-reading pitfalls. This is the essential guide for your personal journey with the Tarot.

(Weiser Books)


Crystals, Plain & Simple

Cass and Janie Jackson

9781571747570From time immemorial, crystals have been used for healing, and legend has it that long ago, people knew how to store information inside these precious stones. How does their incredible magic work? Through this clear, practical guide, discover the many ways crystals can cure physical, emotional, and spiritual problems, divine the future, and enhance psychic powers. See which ones work best to aid meditation and visualization, clear a room of negative energy, promote creativity, or foresee the future. There’s advice on buying, purifying, and charging the stones, crystal folklore, and a breathtaking gallery rich in information.

Other topics covered include:

  • Crystal legends and folklore
  • Healing with crystals
  • Crystals, colors, and chakras
  • Birthstones
  • Growing your own crystals
  • Crystals through the zodiac
  • Crystals for anniversaries

A splendid book for the curious and for beginners on the crystal path, Crystals, Plain and Simple is a book that entertains, enlightens, and informs.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)


Reincarnation, Plain & Simple

Krys and Jass Godly

9781571747600From ancient roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Greek philosophy to more modern conceptions of rebirth found in popular culture, the notion that the soul can be reborn is a prevalent belief that continues to fascinate. That fascination inevitably results in a number of questions, including:

  • How does our day-to-day life impact our future existences?
  • Who were we before we were born?
  • How do we find out about our previous incarnations?

This practical guide attempts to answer these questions and much more. The Godlys provide step-by-step instructions for accessing information about our previous lives and explore the four main methods of learning about past lives:

  1. Recession
  2. Psychic readings
  3. Regression
  4. Spontaneous recall

They also explore how reincarnation can clue us in to reoccurrences of relationships, lingering memories, and even health problems.

This is a refreshing and simple introduction to a topic that has intrigued seers, sages, and mystics for centuries. It entertains, enlightens, and informs.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)

 

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.

Yay.

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.

9781578635672