A Conversation with Rex, Steve & Andy – The English Magic Tarot

Are you interested in learning more about The English Magic Tarot? Here is a great interview with the creators, Rex, Steve and Andy!

Why did you become interested in the Tarot?

REX: I had a reading from a gypsy woman in St. Ives when I was eighteen. Twenty years on I was struck by the accuracy with which she had foretold my life. I bought an old Pamela Colman Smith deck and was given a Frieda Harris deck and studied both intently. I loved the stories the tarot told me. It was like reading an ever changing comic book.

Did you always want to create a Tarot deck?

STEVE: No, and yet it is no surprise that I have. With my interest in consciousness and human behavior, working with archetypes was very familiar. Carl Jung had much to say on this. He is a starting point for further discussion, interest and research for many.

What do you think is unique about The English Magic Tarot — after all, there are many thousands of Tarot decks in the world?

ANDY: Three things make the EMT unique. First, there is Rex’s artwork, and Steve’s coloring that give the cards the feel of being panels from a graphic novel. The cards contain movement and depth and often feel like they’re leaping from the page. Second, our storytelling approach to the tarot means we encourage people to use the cards as a device to help them discover, and take control of the stories they tell about themselves and their lives. And finally, there is the period in which the cards are set, and the emphasis on English magic.

What is English Magic?

ANDY: English magic is a distinctive, local branch of natural magic. It has evolved through many iterations, from prehistoric times to the present day, and freely blends high and low magic. One constant is that it regards the cosmos as animate, and our place in the world as significant. It calls us to rediscover a magical connection with the land upon which we happen to live, whether that be England or elsewhere. It supposes that through practice and study (not least, of the tarot!) we can attain a greater understanding of the disparate parts of the self, and the magical connections that permeate the universe. Through English magic we can attain a state of gnosis and true knowledge of the world.

When and how did you become involved with this project?

STEVE: Rex and I met while walking across the wild landscape of Dartmoor ten years ago. We have talked and colluded ever since. The tarot collaboration was bound to happen. Rex likes drawing and he knows I like color. Andy arrived in town recently as a musician and writer. It was fortuitous. It was fortune. We were all bound to meet and work together. Things like this happen all the time in this small town.

How did you invent the card images?

REX: I meditated on the cards’ meaning using a drum beat to induce a trance state… sometimes dancing… sometimes prone. When I had imagined the “image,” I broke my trance and drew what was in my mind.

How did the coloring happen?

STEVE: After much discussion and pouring over Rex’s drawings I shut myself away. At no point did Rex say how I should color the cards. He had faith. I devised an entire palette purely on instinct. It had to work for me on many levels. Each card had to work as an individual image, yet they also had to work together. I wanted them to be earthy yet bright, old but relative to today.

Psychologically and emotionally the color combinations had to talk. Color affects me greatly and I hope this shows. I also had to listen carefully to what the cards told me to do. They spoke volumes.

We understand there are riddles and clues hidden in the cards. Can you say more?

ANDY: There are indeed riddles, references, and lore scattered through every card, such as strange writing, books with unusual titles, or letters printed in odd colors. All these are significant and have been placed there deliberately. On one level, they are there simply to encourage readers to look more closely at the cards, and to entice them into a deeper understanding of English magic. But we also wanted there to be an overarching theme to the cards, something that ran through them all and bound them together, something unique to English magic. So the riddles do all point to something. It’s a kind of treasure hunt, if you will, and there is an actual answer at the end.

Why is the Tarot still relevant in the modern age?

ANDY: We regard the tarot as a kind of distillation of Western wisdom. By using the cards you are playing with the building blocks of story. The cards allow us to make sense of our lives, the trials and tribulations we all face, to name and change the stories we habitually tell ourselves.


Rex Van Ryn is a comic book artist who has worked for Marvel and IPC, producing strips for 2000AD and Scorer, amongst others. He has worked as a storyboard artist for numerous films and TV shows.

Stephen Dooley has worked extensively in Britain and Europe painting murals and trompe l’oeil frescoes. He recently co-produced the Wind in the Willows app for the iPad.

Andy Letcher is the author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom (Faber & Faber, 2006, UK; Harper, 2008, US) and numerous scholarly articles on paganism, shamanism, and folklore. He has been a practicing Druid for 20 years and gave his first tarot reading at age 11.


Honoring the Fortune-Teller

by Cherry Gilchrist

Is it acceptable to use the term fortune telling in conjunction with a Tarot reading? It might sound too simplistic, especially in such a skeptical age, when we are keen to prove that what we are doing is not superstitious nonsense. Tarot readings today are seen by serious practitioners as a sensitive interpretation of the archetypal messages relayed by the symbols on the cards. In my book Tarot Triumphs, I certainly encourage this approach, suggesting how we can contemplate the Tarot images in depth, and perhaps transcend individual limitations to align ourselves with a greater consciousness.

However, fortune-telling is firmly embedded in human culture. From time immemorial, we as human beings have longed to catch a glimpse of what is to come. You can see it in children – for me, in childhood, fortune-telling was a key to an enchanted kingdom. I loved counting petals on a flower or plum stones on a plate, and wiggling my fingers in those folding paper oracles which delivered a prediction when you unfolded the final paper corner. Was this just a foolish child’s game? I would say not; I didn’t really expect to get any definitive answers about who I would marry or what I would be when I grew up, but I did sense a magical world just around the corner, just out of reach, and I felt that these fortune-telling games opened the window into that world just a chink.Honoring the Fortune Teller

Perhaps we could describe fortune-telling as a kind of mechanical process that will never deliver a fully-attuned, wise reading of what the gods hold in store for us. So, by this definition, the kind of Tarot practice we aspire to should avoid such an approach. Again, I am not so sure. Such full, meaningful readings seem to be to be the apex of a pyramid that does include fundamental, ancient traditions of fortune-telling – after all, children’s games are often the last repository of ancient customs. And there is certainly a wealth of folk fortune-telling customs in human cultures – predicting the weather through omens, reading the progress of love through the flickering of candle flames, or the fall of tea leaves in a cup. Folk fortune-telling practices are a fascinating study in their own right, and are not so outdated, either. I visited Russia many times, where people are very much attuned to signs, portents and spirits of place. Here’s what I wrote in my book ‘Russian Magic’:

One of my guests dropped a knife on the floor as we were eating supper:

‘Oh – a man is coming,’ he told the assembled company.

‘And what if it was a spoon?’ I asked.

‘Then it would be a woman.’

He was absolutely right; a male visitor knocked at the door before the meal was over. Although he had only come to deliver a message, we invited him to sit down with us, and coaxed him into accepting a small plateful of food and a glass of vodka, as custom demands.

In Tarot, we have an exceptionally rich set of symbols, which can provide all the subtlety and complexity we need to penetrate the meaning of a situation. But Tarot itself has survived through adoption into folk culture. It has been preserved over the centuries by wandering fortune-tellers, perhaps too by gypsies and strolling players, and by thousands of ordinary people who played gambling games with Tarot packs and may have practiced fortune-telling with them from time to time as a kind of domestic game. In Tarot Triumphs, I write about an encounter with one such fortune-teller that I had many years ago in northern Italy, an old lady, reading Tarot in the market place for a young couple, and who was perhaps the last of a long line of traditional Tarot card readers. It showed me how a magical heritage can be found in humble places.

'Cherry reading the cards' - oil painting by Robert Lee-Wade, RUA
‘Cherry reading the cards’ – oil painting by Robert Lee-Wade, RUA

Tarot can therefore be simple and earthy, as well as a more sophisticated tool for divination. Most Tarot users in past centuries were probably illiterate, so the pictures were therefore their guides, with perhaps just a few simple rules handed down orally. But plainly, the crudely-printed, brightly colored Tarot packs produced for popular use in the 17th to 19th centuries, were meaningful to people, despite the lack of written explanation, or artistic finesse. Otherwise, Tarot itself would not have survived.

So I for one honor the place of fortune-telling in the Tarot tradition. It reminds us
that simplicity and playfulness can have their place in the spectrum of our Tarot practice. In my book, I suggest ways we can approach this, for instance by setting up a basic three-card reading before progressing to more complicated spreads. Keeping as part of our Tarot practice helps us to remain authentic, and in touch with the lineage that has carried Tarot through the centuries. You will see, in my book, that I also recommend the traditional Marseilles pack which is itself a part of this heritage, and has gathered a powerful resonance during its lifetime of several hundred years.

Cherry Gilchrist is a long-term practitioner of the tarot. She has researched its provenance and related it to the systems such as the Kabbalah, alchemy, and astrology, of which she has special knowledge. She holds MA degrees in English literature and archaeology/anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Visit Cherry at www.cherrygilchrist.co.uk.

Cherry Gilchrist Titles

Tarot Triumphs | Alchemy: The Great Work

Our September Titles Are Here!

Our September titles have arrived! Happy reading!

Crystal Skulls

Judy Hall

9781578635948Crystal skulls are human-skull hardstone carvings often made of clear or milky white quartz known as “rock crystal.” They are allegedly pre-Columbian Mesoamerican artifacts and can be found in the permanent collections of a number of world-class museums, including the Smithsonian and the British Museum.

In occult and metaphysical circles, the skulls have magical and healing qualities:

  • Anna Mitchell-Hedges (owner of a particularly famous skull) claimed that the skull could cause visions and cure cancer and that its magical properties could be used to kill.
  • Drunvalo Melchizedek claims in Serpent of Light that he stumbled upon descendants of the ancient Mayans who possess crystal skulls for use in religious ceremonies in Yucatan temples.
  • Jamie Sams writes of the skulls’ association with Native American mythology.

In this book, best-selling occultist and crystal expert Judy Hall provides a basic primer on crystal skulls:

  • What they are
  • Where they are found
  • Their role in legend and lore around the world
  • Their uses for physical and psychic healing

Also included here in this stunning introductory text is an examination of the prominent “skull keepers” of the past 100 years and how to use and communicate with a crystal skull.

This is a terrific book for those interested in occult and ancient mysteries and/or the power of gems and crystals.

(Weiser Books)

Let Your Spirit Guides Speak

Debra Landwehr Engle

“This book is going to be a valuable tool for people who are serious about their spiritual journey. It’s one of those topics that people can’t get enough of and I want to thank Debra for taking on a huge topic in such a beautiful way.” —Echo Bodine, author of My Big Book of Healing and Echoes of the Soul

“If you want to learn ways to connect with your spirit guides, Debra Engle has provided the map to do so. It outlines ways to do so which are accompanied by stories and examples that illustrate these ways. IT is a must have for spiritual seekers!” —Dr. Steven Farmer, international author, spiritual psychotherapist and shamanic healer

9781571747402This is a clear and thoughtful introduction to building relationships with your spirit guides. It shows readers how helpful spirit guides and angels can be in everything from the simplest to the most challenging of life decisions and how easy they are to connect with, too.

Our spirit guides help us to:

  • Fulfill our purpose
  • Make decisions that will move us forward faster
  • Stop sabotaging ourselves as well as judging ourselves and everyone else
  • Remember that we are more than our job or house or relationship
  • See ourselves as beautiful and everything in life as a gift
  • Give ourselves and everybody else a break
  • Keep growing until the day we leave our bodies behind
  • Go beyond the life we hoped for and onto the life we never even imagined

And they do all of these things when we’re ready and not a nanosecond before. They also often come quietly. As the author states: ”If we expect help from Spirit to arrive with the sound of trumpets and blinding light, we’ll overlook all the nuanced help that’s delivered in small ways every day.”

(Hampton Roads Publishing)

Goodbye, Hurt & Pain

Deborah Sandella, PhD, RN, Foreword by Jack Canfield

“Wonderful and profound. This book will touch you intimately and probably change your life.” ̶ Jack Canfield, from the foreword

“If you want to live the most inspired life possible, you will need to deal with your amazing emotions. And Deb Sandella provides a groundbreaking, magical, and credible approach to instantaneously shifting our feelings. Mark this day–because this is a powerful process you’re going to use again and again.” –Tama Kieves, USA Today featured visionary career catalyst and best-selling author of A Year without Fear: 365 Days of Magnificence (Tarcher/Penguin) http://www.TamaKieves.com

“In her new book Goodbye Hurt and Pain: 7 Simple Steps to Health, Love, and Success Dr. Deborah Sandella offers life-changing steps to a better life. It’s a must-read!” —Sheri Fink, Inspirational Speaker

This book is uplifting and inspiring.” —Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Happy for No Reason

9781573246781In Goodbye, Hurt and Pain, Deborah Sandella uses cutting-edge neuroscience research and her revolutionary Regenerating Images in Memory (RIM) technique to show how blocked feelings prevent us from getting what we want, and she introduces a process that bypasses logic and thinking to activate our own emotional “self-cleaning oven.” Using imagination, color, and shape to visualize feelings and get straight to the root of longstanding problems, she teaches us to move destructive feelings such as fear, anger, hurt, resentment, and envy out of the body. Letting go of old feelings and traumatic memory at a deep, cellular level makes people feel and look younger, lighter, more energized, and less burdened. And they can begin to experience results after just one or two self-directed sessions.

Goodbye, Hurt and Pain also provides seven organic ways of using your feelings to attract more love, better health, and greater success. The process is fast, fun, and as easy as 1-2-3.

(Conari Press)

Tarot Triumphs

Cherry Gilchrist

“A fresh, bracing, and inspiring look into the Major Arcana. The Fool’s Mirror in particular is the most sophisticated and profound Tarot layout that I have ever seen.” – Richard Smoley, author of Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism

Tarot Triumphs delightfully initiates us into the procession of the Tarot de Marseilles trumps, helping us to wisely read its reflections in the Fool’s Mirror.  How wonderful to be immersed in such mature and practical tarot writing! – Caitlín Matthews, author of The Complete Arthurian Tarot and Untold Tarot

9781578636044Focusing on the major arcana, or trumps, of the Marseilles Tarot, the aim of this book is to encourage the reader to experience the tarot in a direct, fresh, and uncluttered way.

Key points:

  • Focuses on the 22 trumps, or the major arcana of the tarot
  • Offers advice on how to study each card and find its unique significance
  • Provides instructions for laying out and reading the cards
  • Explores the tarot in terms of history, divination, symbolism, and esoteric traditions

This exploration of the major arcana includes “The Fool’s Mirror,” a new method for laying the cards out, as well as hints for using the tarot to gain deeper levels of awareness. Cherry Gilchrist offers ways to approach each card, absorb it, and understand its essence. Readers are encouraged to relate this essence to personal experience as the most enduring and rewarding way to prepare for reading the cards.

(Weiser Books)

Rosicrucian Trilogy

Translated by Joscelyn Godwin, Christopher McIntosh, and Donte Pahnke McIntosh

Also available in a limited hardcover edition!

9781578636037The Rosicrucian Trilogy features modern translations of Fama Fraternitatis (1614), Confessio Fraternitatis (1615), andThe Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz (1616) with 30 original illustrations by Hans Wildermann.

Four hundred years ago, the publication of these 3 anonymous documents launched the Rosicrucian movement. The story of Christian Rosenkreuz and his secretive order, as told in the Fama Fraternitatis, had political repercussions that continue to this day, while The Chemical Wedding is a landmark in European fantasy fiction. This present book offers the 3 founding documents in reliable, readable, modern English. Fully annotated and with modern introductions, these new translations explain the historical context, shed light on the beginnings of the Rosicrucian Order, and bring this fascinating material to a wider readership.

(Weiser Books)

Angels, Plain & Simple

Beleta Greenaway

9781571747556Throughout time, people of many cultures and religions have believed in angels. Now Beleta Greenaway brings you closer to these wonderful beings in this delightful guide. She shares some of her own experiences with angels and describes how you can make your own connections with them, whether through meditation, in dreams, using decks of special cards, or by other means.

Greenaway covers the entire angelic realm. Included here are:

  • Encounters with angels
  • Angels in the modern world
  • Angelic herbs and plants
  • How to work with angels
  • Angels, animals, and heaven
  • Angels in the Afterlife

This is for anyone who is interested in angels, who wants a little supernatural help, and/or who wants a glimpse of the vast array of other worldly forces and beings that inhabit the universe.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)

The Best Angel Stories 2

Edited by the Editors of Guideposts

Featuring stories by Eben Alexander, Mary C. Neal, Sophie Bernhard and many others.

9781573246910Here from the editors of Angels on Earth and Guideposts are 82 stories of real people who encountered real angels—whether the angels appear as a cloud of butterflies or a strain of heavenly music or adorned with wings and robes, these messengers offer assurance that we are never alone and that we are watched over, cared for, and loved.

Included here are classic stories from Angels on Earth magazine, favorite angel stories from other books and magazines, and all-new stories that have never before been told. Meet people who have experienced impossible rescues and amazing protection, received messages of love and comfort from beyond, and died and visited heaven before returning to Earth. See how the innocence of a child or the loyalty of a beloved pet can draw angels to your side.

This “big book of angel stories” covers core angel categories:

  • Angels on Assignment
  • Angels Watching over Me
  • Calling All Angels
  • Angels from the Realms of Glory
  • Touched by an Angel
  • Sleep in Heavenly Peace
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

This is a book filled with hope and healing. Indeed, it is a book for anyone who wants affirmation that that we are not alone—that help is on the way from the other side.

(Conari Press)

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 www.Stariq.com. She lives in Pickering, Ontario, Canada.


Our July Titles Are Here!

Our July titles are now available! Happy reading!

Sacred America, Sacred World

Stephen Dinan, Foreword by Marianne Williamson

“The difference between a cockeyed optimist and a visionary is that one encourages us to sit back while the other inspires us to commit to a vision and take action. In Sacred America, Sacred World Stephen Dinan offers us a highly compelling blueprint to engage in deep and totally achievable global transformation. This is a visionary work of the highest order.”
—James O’Dea, author of The Conscious Activist, former President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, former Director of Amnesty International, D.C.

“This wise and moving book will help us all in the central task of our time. That of reinventing a way of being and doing that our reflects our sacred nature and sacred purpose.”
—Andrew Harvey, author of over 30 books, founder, Institute for Sacred Activism

“Heartfelt and personal, yet also well informed by leading edge political thinking, I highly recommend this thoughtful and thoroughly readable book.” —Steve McIntosh, author of Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution

“This is the first great manifesto of the evolutionary, trans-partisan political movement of our time… In this appealingly personal but deeply knowledgeable book, Gen-X businessman and activist Stephen Dinan shows us a better way. Like some of the great political philosophers of the 19th century, he shines a spotlight on the most promising currents of the day… he shows us how we can better become the richly complex and self-aware beings that we truly are.” —Mark Satin, author of New Age Politics (1976, rev. 2015) and Radical Middle (2004)

“Very few times in one’s life does a book of monumental importance and significance come along. This book is one of those times. Sacred America, Sacred World will awaken the deep dream within you for the next level of the expression of America’s soul in the world. This book is nothing less than the blueprint and the foundation for the next level of the American Dream.” —Martin Rutte, bestselling author of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

SASW_cover_081915Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our  country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views.

Filled with practical ideas and innovative strategies honed from the author’s work with over 1000 luminaries via his company, The Shift Network, Sacred America, Sacred World rings with a can-do entrepreneurial spirit and explains how America can lead the world toward peace, sustainability, health, and prosperity. This vision of the future weaves the best of today’s emergent spirituality with seasoned political wisdom, demonstrating ways America can grow beyond its current stagnation and political gridlock to become a world leader in peace and progress.

Published to coincide with the party conventions and presidential debates, this book will promote a return to the sacred principles cherished by America’s forefathers in order to create a “transpartisan,” non-ideological, pragmatic approach to social reform. This uplifting discussion explores evolutions in political leadership, environmental concerns, and economic reformation.

It is time to forge a bold new image of America’s future. Here is a road map for getting there.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)

Tarot Mysteries

Jonathan Dee

9781571747501This is a practical and accessible guide to one of the most popular divination systems. What makes this book different from the others is that it:

  • Provides instruction on reading both the Major and Minor Arcana
  • Explains why the cards are the cards, why each picture forms part of a sequence, and why they occupy a mystical place in our consciousness
  • Gives a balanced and informative perspective on each of the cards, as well as an overview of the entire deck
  • Provides a history of the tarot
  • Connects the tarot to the Qabalah

Dee is a life-long tarot reader and historian. He traces the spiritual origins of the cards from Celtic mythology and Hebrew mysticism to Renaissance theatrical productions and the stars and planets of astrology. He also examines how past scholars thought about the tarot and how that thinking has changed to make the cards meaningful for today’s readers. This wide-ranging primer provides readers with everything they need to know about the tarot and provides fresh insights into the cards.

An illustrated edition of this title was published by Sterling in 2003.

(Weiser Books)

Palmistry Plain & Simple

Sasha Fenton

9781571747518Our lives our in our hands, which provide clues to who we are, what we have been, and what might be. “Just as a pebble thrown into the water creates ripples, so our thoughts create similar effects on our palms.” —Michael Scotts

This delightful and practical guide demonstrates how easy it is to read hands for fun and insight. The basic premise here is that our hands provide a glimpse of our personalities, health, strengths, and weaknesses—and even what may happen to us in the future. Each line, mound, and finger is a clue that can easily be deciphered if you have the right information.

Fenton covers the basics of hand reading, including the lines, mounts, fingers, and thumb. She shows readers how to judge someone’s character, health, love and relationship interests, moneymaking ability, and long-term destiny.

This is a fun, chatty, accessible introductory text. Readers will want to immediately practice Fenton’s techniques on friends—and strangers.

This book was previously published under the title Simply Palmistry in 2005 by Sterling.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)

Self Awareness and the Tarot Cards

by Marcia Masino

I believe that creative visualization with the Tarot cards can open new gateways to self awareness and personal transformation. Information held in the subconscious and soul self can become available by using guided visualizations based on the rich archetypal symbolism in the pictures. For many years I’ve guided students and clients alike in this process and witnessed the remarkable results so in order to share this aspect of Tarot I wrote specific meditations for each of the Major Arcana as well as for some of the troublesome Minor Arcana for my book Best Tarot Practices.

Think of the Major Arcana cards in your reading as the helping healing archetypes and the challenging minors + reversed court cards as describing the issue and personality responses. For example, the Minor card the Ten of Wands may be appearing frequently in your spreads. It represents blocked energy and obscured vision, burdens and pressures in need of rebalancing. But how?

Here is an example of the actual visualization from my book and a client’s meditation with this card.

Perform breathing and relaxation before starting your meditation.  Imagine you are the character in the Ten of Wands, hunched over with your burden of obligations and responsibilities symbolized as the bundle of wands.  Doesn’t it feel strained, as if you could drop the bundle at any time?  It isn’t carried appropriately.  It should be neatly bundled and on the character’s back, using the back’s natural strength, not carried on the front.  Feel the strain and the weight of the wands in your arms.  Feel how your vision is blocked.  The inability to imagine how to handle the responsibilities differently is also part of the problem.

Now see yourself slowly lay the bundle down.  Stand up straight and stretch.  Feel the release of tension and breathe deeply.  Take time to examine the wands before you pick them up again.  Are they really yours or are some responsibilities and burdens placed unfairly upon you?

Self Awareness and the Tarot Cards

Ask the character in the card, or your Higher Self, to help you to sort what is necessary for you to carry, what should be discarded and what can be tackled later. Concentrate on each of the ten wands and name them.  For example: career issues pressure, expectations, health, relationships, past pain, inappropriate behavior from self and others, guilt, martyrdom, etc.  Place each wand in one of three piles – now, later or never. Can you see how your preoccupation has kept hope, life and positive options and helpful influences from your attention?

Consolidate and repackage the bundle of wands in the “now” and “later” piles.  Leave the wands in the “never” pile (other people’s problems etc.) behind. You can burn them in an imaginary bonfire or actually write the titles on pieces of paper and burn them. Watch them disintegrate into ashes. Feel the peace and freedom from this gesture.

Place the later pile in a safe place this could be a cabinet, chest inside a tree in your imagination. Finalize the practice by easily carry the remaining wands in an appropriate container. Visualize yourself confidently striding towards your future holding the choices of personal responsibility in a carefree and mature manner.

This is an empowering meditation.  It helps you realize that you have choices about the responsibilities and beliefs you carry and the right to decide their priority in your life.

The client’s experience. “Love the image of me as 10 of Wands! Basically I wrote down 10 things I felt I was carrying and then I noticed that the phrases all started with the word “trying” or some version of trying. It felt like I was just pushing, moving blindly, very off balance, have to get this done, can’t stop, must keep going, always more to do, trying, trying.  It all felt like way too much trying.  Not so much the burdens, but the attitude.

So, I rewrote all the statements, reframing them.  “Trying to stay healthy”, became “being healthy”, “trying to make new friends”, became “enjoying my friends”, “trying to find a new home” became “waiting for my new home” etc.  Very simple but effective!  Then I hurt my back, ha ha.  I think I left out “trying to improve my physical mobility”!  It will now become “honouring my body”

“Amazing what cards can do for you with the right meditation!  The framework to unlock the personal meaning of the cards is very important.  I don’t think I could have connected with it myself after reading the card description alone.  Somehow the experiential part brings out that unique message.”

Without the visualization exercise she wouldn’t have known that she was carrying attitudes that were weighing her down and affecting her vision or viewpoint.  The hallmark of a true meditation is the realization of something new. In this case the client discovered her self sabotage attitude and was able to take her power of choice back from the unconscious by creating new positive statements, therefore accomplishing transformation of a negative to a positive through the Tarot visualization.

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 www.Stariq.com. She lives in Pickering, Ontario, Canada.