Court cards are representations of personas or character types in a tarot deck, and they can be challenging because they are less descriptive and less conceptual than the rest of the deck. In this post, I’ve “invited” the four members of the royal family to speak and share their stories with us. Each of them has a little monologue for you, telling of their roles, their goals and their objectives that are unique to their class–followed by a brief summary and explanation. Hopefully, by the end of this blog post, you’ll have learned a little bit more about them. 🙂
Pages | Students | Primary Concern: LEARNING
I am a page. I don’t know where I’ll go and where I belong, but I intend to find out. I learn from the knights that I attend, and I learn from the world around me. Every day, I strive for excellence, to find why my heart beats, to know what I am born for.
Pages are students that are learning about themselves and learning about the world. They are exploring aspects of their identity, finding out who they are, how they relate to the world around them, and what their calling is. As pages, they are constantly absorbing information and taking in the details, testing the waters to see what resonates with them and what skills and talents they want to develop. Their identity is just beginning to form–and once they’ve grasped a better sense of who they are–once they know what their hearts beat for and what they want to pursue, they become Knights to conquer their desires and their dreams.
Each page will learn and explore in their way way. How they learn and how they learn depend on their element: Page of Wands learns by trying everything and going everywhere; she goes to where the action is, wherever she gets a chance to shine. Page of Swords learns by researching, examining and cross-examining the ideas that she faces; she is inquisitive and enjoys a good debate. Page of Cups learn from the people she meets and dreams about the kinds of people she’ll eventually meet; she opens her heart to the people around them and invites them in. Last but not least, Page of Pentacles learns through deliberate practice and the careful investment of her time and efforts; she checks in with the priorities of her environment and does what needs to be done to get herself to the next level.
Knights| Champions| Primary Concern: CONQUEST
I am a knight. I am a champion, a champion of my beliefs. I quest to fulfill my heart’s desires and to manifest my dreams. I quest so I can continue to become who I am meant to be. I know who I am, and I know I am meant to be greater, still. Destiny awaits!
Unlike the pages, knights know exactly who they are and what they want to achieve in life. They’ve learned enough about themselves to express themselves confidently and they know where they need to go in order to fulfill and manifest their dreams. Knights are defined by action; they are driven by their goals, their vision, and what they seek to create in their lives. They are on a grand adventure, an epic quest, and each for a different reason–each knight on a different quest.
Each knights fights for something different. What they fight for and how they pursue their dreams are reflected by their element. Knight of Wands is defined by his desire for action; he loves the thrills of adventure and will quest for the sake of experiencing a quest. Knight of Swords quests for his ideals and to protect and further his ideas; he often fights for justice, for order, and for what he believes to be right. Knight of Cups fights and quests for love; he fights to bring happiness and freedom to the ones he holds dear. Last but not least, Knight of Pentacles quests to accumulate the resources that he already has. Cautious just like his former self (Page of Pentacles), he takes each step seriously and meticulously as each step must be aligned with his ultimate goal.
Queens | Nurturers| Primary Concern: NURTURE
I am a queen, radiant with love. I want my people to grow, to expand, to become their best selves. I love them dearly; I hold them close. They will have what they need and more. They will have what their soul needs, and their soul will sing and dance gloriously.
The queen’s primary concern is to nurture; they invest their time and energy and heart in the well-being and growth of another. They do their best to bring out the best of another, and they do so with love, care, and genuine passion. They flourish when the people around them flourish. They are happy when they cultivate joy in themselves as well as others.
Each queen nurtures differently depending on her element. Each of them shows care and consideration for others in a different way. The Queen of Wands nurtures by welcoming you into her world, encompassing you with her light, her infectious spirit and incredible vitality. Queen of Swords nurtures you by (always) telling you the truth, no matter how harsh it sounds. Queen of Cups nurtures you by listening to you, holding space for your heart and your feelings. Queen of Pentacles nurtures you by feeding you and providing you physical comfort, and she’ll teach you the recipe of her super soup so you can make it yourself next time.
Kings| Leaders| Primary Concern: LEAD
I am a king, charged with the duties of a kingdom. I vow to protect and serve the people who serve me, and I vow to grow and expand our land so that it may reach its new heights. I am the law, the order, the structure that keeps everything in place. I am the leader of my realm.
Kings represent vision for their domain, as well as all things concerning the government of their realms. They attend to the affairs of their kingdom (this could translate into a company, a business, a school, or a home etc). They make sure the laws and regulations are being upheld and obeyed. They make sure that they have enough resources to sustain themselves. Most importantly, they make sure that he is true to his vision and the expansion of his realm.
Each king “rules”, leads and governs differently depending on their element. King of Wands is a visionary leader, always following his inner fire, actively growing his vision and expanding his empire. King of Swords leads by his principles and enforcing justice, making sure that everybody follows the rules and everything is following protocol. King of Cups leads by connecting with the people he leads–authoritative but kind, firm but gentle. King of Pentacles leads by making sure his kingdom has an abundance of resources and will always have enough even during challenging times.
I’m sure for a lot of us, we have’ll a regular stream of newcomer-decks that we’ll have to warm up to. How do we break the ice and establish a better connection with the deck of cards before us? Well, here’s 5 ways for you to consider and experiment!
Sit with your deck and look through the cards one by one. Then look at them in groups so you can compare and contrast them.
Starting from the Fool to the last card at the bottom of your new deck, look through the cards individually. Make sure you give yourself enough time and space to notice the details of the deck. You don’t have to do this meticulous and spend like 1000 years on a single card, but I’d say that you should give yourself enough time to take interest in a card and notice what’s going on in the images. Notice the artistic and symbolic choices that the creator shave made for this deck. Notice how the landscapes and background are portrayed. Notice what the characters and figures are wearing. Notice how they position themselves. Allow yourself to engage with the images and how the traditional meanings are presented in this particular deck. Some of the questions you can ask yourself during this process are:
- What do you notice? What is your favourite detail about the card you are holding? What is something strange or something not quite right about the images depicted?
- What does the card immediately make you think of?
- What are some immediately feelings that arise from looking at the card?
- What are the colour schemes used in this deck? What are textures and layers?
- What are some interesting depictions of tarot cards within this deck?
- Is there a particular deck that has struck you as unconventional and deviates from the depictions you are used to? E.g. “Whoa, this is a very different 4 of Cups!”
- Who are the characters and figures? How are they dressed? What are their expressions?
Remember, this doesn’t have to be a laborious process. You want to go through them relatively quickly the first time you do it, then you can always choose to spend more time with them later. I think it’s important to get a good sense of the deck and who this deck is by “introducing” yourself (or letting them introduce themselves to you) to the 78 cards of awesome in that deck.
When you are done looking at them individually, you can also address them in groups so you can compare and contrast them. What are the differences? What are some of the similarities? What do you notice? Are they positioned in similar manners? For example, you can take out all the masculine archetypes to explore the common themes that they have. You can look at the Emperor, Hierophant and Hermit to see how power and authority are depicted in this deck. Or you can take out the feminine archetypes like the Empress and High Priestess to see what they have in common.
Some groups and pairings that you can try:
- Take out all the masculine archetypes from the major arcana and compare / contrast them.
- Take out all the feminine archetypes major arcana and compare / contrast them.
- Take out all the cards from Suit of Wands (or a suit of your choice) and go through them one by one.
- Take out all the court cards from the Suit of Wands (or a different suit) and see what they have in common.
- Take out all the pages, knights, queens or kings and examine them together by their class. What do they have in common? How are they different?
On the other hand, you can also try grouping the tarot cards together by common themes or in ways that make sense to you. For instance, I’ve always grouped the Star, the Moon and the Sun together as the “celestial orbs” or the “divine trios”. What about you?
Look for recurring motifs, images and symbols.
This is one of the best ways to get to know a tarot deck and the language that it speaks. The recurring motifs, images and symbols are basically the commonly used words in that particular tarot deck, and getting to know these prominent vocabularies will help you work with this deck much more intimately and efficiently. It’s like kind of learning about the lingo a new friend uses so you can better communicate with this person.
For example, with the Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine, I notice that there are a lot of depictions of machines, vehicles, inventions, and gadgets. The characters are dressed in Victorian fashion and the scene are often portraying adventure, exploration and invention. What do these recurring images tell me?
- Machines speak to work and productivity. This means that one of the main themes of this deck is working hard to achieve your goals and “maintaining your machine” so you can function smoothly in life.
- Vehicles speak to movement. This connects with the scenes of adventure and exploration that I have also noticed. This means that this deck has a great sense of forward momentum, personal expansion, and pioneering spirit.
- Inventions and gadgets speak to resourcefulness and the utilization of tools to further one’s goal. This tells me that this deck is probably very clever and knows a lot of life hacks + creative solutions to help me solve the problems at hand.
After you examine the motifs, you will have a much better sense of the “world” and landscape of this deck, as well as the language that it speaks. You will also gain a better sense of what this deck will be good for. Combining the elements of work, productivity, adventure, exploration, expansion and resourcefulness–well, you know anytime you have questions related to expanding your career, starting a new business or revamping your business, curing a bad habit and cultivating good ones, and increasing your time management and productivity–this deck will be perfect because it just loves talking about those things to start with! And this is something you have observed by looking at the common “tropes” that are used by this deck.
Immerse yourself in the world of your tarot deck.
What this means is that you want to create an environment in which you are constantly exposed to things that are related to your deck. It’s kind of like learning a new language. If you want to learn French, you probably want to immerse yourself in a community that speaks exclusively French, a place that conveys the culture to you in which your brain will be able to internalize all the sensory details that it is picking up from this environment.
Creating an immersive environment by surrounding yourself with things that are related to the deck you are studying is a great way to forge a tighter bond! You can do this by researching into the mythology, lores and history of your deck. You can also do this by reading books, watching movies and listening to music that are created in the genre of your deck / or share common themes with your deck. It’s a great way to make greater connections and become more knowledgeable about your deck.
For example, if I want to create an immersive environment for learning and studying Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine, I would probably be watching steampunk movies like The Golden Compass, Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I’ll be listening to steampunk orchestral soundtracks. I’ll be reading and ingesting short stories that are written in the genre of steampunk. I might google “steampunk” and read up on its history, genre tropes, and its development. I might start a Pinterest board and fill it with steampunk gadgets, stationary, and clothes that I am not necessarily going to buy.
All of this will help me immerse myself in the world of my deck and help me understand my tarot deck’s tropes and “language”. This will also help me with my process of interpretation because I will have so much more knowledge at my disposal when I actually do a reading.
Perform daily draws using only the deck you are trying to bond with.
For me, I am working with the Steampunk Tarot right now and I’m doing daily draws and daily spreads with it, every single day. I started doing this at the beginning of February and I plan to do this for a month. Using the deck and getting to know the cards everyday is a great way to become more familiar and intimate with your deck. This is not to say that you won’t be able to work with other decks (I’m sure we are engaged in an “open” relationship with so many of them!!” but it is a good thing to do to conduct a reading using the deck in question–at least once everyday.
Trim your deck or physically reshape your deck in some way.
I know this may not be a popular option because why would you want to cut into a brand new deck? But I speak from personal experience. It’s not something mandatory but physically altering and changing the shape of your deck really gives you a sense of intimacy–because it will make you feel like you have done something to contribute to its final form. It becomes an extension of yourself and your efforts. It becomes something that you have created. And it’s true–you have taken part in its creative process–be it trimming, edging, or corner-punching or all of the above–you have taken part. You have left your “mark” on the deck. It has now fully become yours. You have personalized it, customized it, and “touched” it. It is now more “yours” than ever! If you have never trimmed a deck with horrendously ugly white borders, I strongly recommend you to give it a shot.
Anyhoo. To close…
I hope this blog post has given you some interesting things to try to bond with your deck and I hope that it’s been helpful to you. 🙂 Go and break that ice and get cozy with your deck!! Do it!! NOW!!!! And check out my video on this very subject matter as well. 😀
Press Start to Join!
If you are living your life, chasing your dreams, and planning your success and you need to spice things up, to have a little more excitement in the process–gamification is the perfect way to add some positive and motivating vibes to your game. In this post, I want to share with you 9 gamification-themed tarot spread, through a series of questions, pep talks and spread pictures. I want to inspire you to be your best, because I know you have so much potential in you! We all do!! I want you to know that you are awesome and your life can be anything that you choose to create!!
Success isn’t deserved..it is taken!
Do you just want to play and participate in the game, or do you want to win?
What’s your ultimate quest in life? What is your dream? What kind of hero do you want to be?
Select Your Hero. Get your head in the game. Check in with your vision. Know who you are. Know who you want to become. Eddie Pinero said in his motivational speech: You are not your past. You are your future–what defines you is the steps that you take to close the distance between you and your dreams.
Get ready to level up.
The road to success isn’t a race…it is a marathon!
If you’re always sprinting, you are going to run out of breath. Are you in this for the long run, or what? How can you allow yourself to have the strength to keep going?
Stop at necessary checkpoints. Save the game for later. Take the time to nourish yourself and your strength. You can’t fight wars on an empty stomach, you can’t keep running when you are tired, and you can’t win at life if you have no more HP (health points!) to last you to the boss levels!
Rest regularly, not just when you need to, and most certainly not when you are forced to.
Shit happens. In fact, it is guaranteed to happen!
Did you just lose your footing? Did something go wrong? What are the challenges that you currently face? How did it take you by surprise? How can you solve these challenges?
Glitches are not supposed to happen, but they happen anyway. Luckily, there is nothing that you, the Hero, can’t fix. Solve the glitches in your life by re-establishing your footing and focusing on solving the problems at hand. Feel the muscles in your body. Sink into your strength. Nothing can beat you, you hear? Because you are frigging badass!!!
Keep calm and carry on!
Experiencing delays? Giving in to procrastination?
Are you being forced to slow down when you’re just gaining momentum? Something’s killing your juju’s and your vibes? Are you self-sabotaging yourself by putting off the work that needs to be done? Are you procrastinating? Are you finding excuses for yourself and delaying your progress?
Whatever the reason, let’s not let this epic lag drag us down! Be patience and keep a clear head. It’s not about forcing your way out–it is about applied force as well as conscious patience. Sometimes all we can do is wait. Sometimes we have to de-couch-potato ourselves and get our butts moving. Whatever it is, let nothing deter you and your progress!
Whatever you do, don’t stop and don’t give up!
Haters gonna hate!
Are people aggravating you? Criticizing you and sabotaging your success, blocking you from your confidence and your dreams? Are there trolls, tricky and difficult forces that stand in your way that you must deal with?
Block and delete these trolls! Don’t let these trolls get to you. If you feel something–if you’re angry or upset, know that this is a validation that you are working towards something you care about. Of course you care about how you are perceived and received. But let no one shake your confidence and topple your dreams. You don’t have to put up with this. Let yourself be upset once, and then never again by the same trigger!
Believe in yourself and your process! Commit to your dreams and to your life!
Life is a neverending journey of growth!
Feeling like your skills aren’t enough? Feeling inexperienced? How can you get to where you want to be? How can you become the person that you want to become? How bad do you want it?
There’s nothing you can do but LEVEL UP! Well, what is there to do? I guess the only thing you can do is to get better at what you are doing, acquire the skills you need and become the best thing there is! Become a bigger and better Hero by sharpening your weapons and expanding your skills and talents. Just imagine: your growth is limitless! You can literally grow and level up for the rest of your life!
Have faith in your own potential and be prepared to work hard for it!
Achieving success is simple, but never easy!
Are you ready? This is what you’ve been working hard for! What is your biggest challenge? What is that one thing outside of your comfort zone that you know you need to do in order to succeed? What are you afraid of?
Boss Fights aren’t something horrible that threatens your dreams, your existence or your sense of self. They are a testament to the strength you have cultivated! All the EXP’s (experience points) you have collected for your Hero, all the new skills and talents you have acquired, and all the new items and gadgets that you now have in your arsenal–now is the time to unleash them! Face your Boss Fights and rise to the next level in life–or get stuck in that same stage, forever!
Push through your challenges with courage to unlock new chapters in life!
Recognize your own efforts and the steps you have taken to succeed!
Did you fight your Boss Fights? Did you win? Did you do great? Are you happy about your progress? Do you realize how far you have come and how much you have grown? Do you realize just how awesome you have become?
Celebrating your high scores as you clear the stage! Don’t ever stop to give up, to give in or to admit you have lost–but do take the time to recognize your own success and your own hard work! What are the qualities and accomplishments that you have amassed? How have you gotten closer to your dreams, or how have your dreams expanded and grown bigger than your wildest imaginations? What are the “secrets”t o your success? And what did you gain from it?
Embody your success and appreciate all that you have created, and keep going!
Are you ready for the next stage?
Are you finished with your project? Your cycle of goals and tactics? Are you ready for the next stage? Are you ready to move forward and achieve even more success?
Unlock the next new stage and push on! Now a bigger and better Hero, you know how to kickass in the game of life! You are ready to take on anything. You are ready for any challenges that come your way. Nothing can stop your momentum, because you are a juggernaut on your way to eternal victory!!!
Keep playing the game. Keep winning!
Thank you for reading this post from start to finish. I hope you make the best use out of these spreads and I hope that they will add a little fun for you when you are out there conquering life! Also, by the way: I am offering all of these readings over at my tarot shop on Etsy, so if you are interested in getting a creative and motivational tarot reading from me, here is an exclusive 15% off promo code that is only to you peeps who follow (or stumble upon) my blog. ❤ I looooove talking about life as if leveling up and conquering bosses. I get super pumped and excited–so let’s get pumped and let’s totally ace this game of life together!!
Which cards in tarot would make great villains?
Other than the obvious ones in major arcana such as The Devil, The Tower, and Death, a.k.a. the Big Three, or the heratbreaker 3 of Swords, the cunning 7 of Swords, or the bitchy Queen of Swords (seriously, what is with the swords?), what other tarot cards would make fascinating villains with a worldview that challenges our expectations, social norms and moral values? This was a topic of discussion raised in the group I help moderate, Tarot Nerds, a few days ago and it got me thinking about how people can be bad in the world, and how their bad behaviours can be represented by tarot.
Some people suggested the Hierophant would make a great villain because of his dogmatic views, and some suggested that nobody would suspect the 10 of Cups. For me, I started thinking about the court cards. Of course, they are already the “characters” and “personas” in tarot–what would be the type of “villainy” that they uphold? This got me thinking about exploring their potential evil nature by examining their elements or their suits, and I had a blast figuring out their despicable ways.
The Swords, or Air Villains: Dystopian, totalitarian mind-control
Swords are always immediately recognized as potential villains. They are cuttingly edgy, brutally and sometimes damagingly honest, and they don’t give a shit as long as they think they’re right. Pretty dangerous combination that makes them easy villains. Air villains would have extreme ideologies and often warped philosophies or views about how the world should function. Sounds utterly dystopian and totalitarian, does it not? I think that’s exactly what it is. Air villains are good at mind-control, spreading propaganda and implementing rigid and excruciating laws that restrict or stunt one’s freedom to think for themselves. Their primary objective is to induce obedience and eliminate anybody who challenges their ideals.
The Wands, or Fire Villains: Violent, Self-Centred, and Manipulative
When fire burns for all and burns for good, it provides warmth, light and energy. When fire burns for itself or is misused–it is both violent and destructive. My first thought is that Fire Villains are either warrior types or abusive figures that never take pause to consider the consequences of their actions, and the impact that their actions may have on the people around them. It is always about the moment, which makes them quick to anger and quick to act. On second thought, fire villains also have the potential to become very insidious, perhaps if their fire tendencies are coupled with the cunning and intelligence of an air villain. If the effects of the fire have enough self-restraint to not act in the fervor of the moment, they can be very dangerous indeed–setting up schemes and attracting followers using their incredible charisma and forward motion. (This is sounding incredibly dystopian again!)
The Cups, or Water Villains: Depressed, Self-Absorbed, Dramatic, and Supernatural
At first glance, the suit of cups doesn’t seem like they are capable of becoming villains at all. At least, the effects of their “villainy” are more to the detriment of themselves. When they are overcome by their emotions or crippling social needs, it’s more of an “imploding” situation, unlike the fire villains that seek to destroy by extending outwards. But since we are talking about fictional depictions–we don’t have to follow the constraints of our reality, do we? I think the suit of cups will make excellent supernatural villains. Vengeful ghosts or paranormal entities whose existence is fueled by their powerful emotions and memories. Their strong hatred, sadness or desire for revenge become a diabolical flood that seeks to overtake and drown those who come near. Perfectly watery, isn’t it? But coming back to the “human realm”, this makes me think of individuals that become psychotic and ruled by their powerful emotions as they seek vengeance on another: e.g. heartbroken lover seeking vengeance on their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or social disruptors that destroy relationships through seducing, cheating and playing the victim etc.
The Pentacles, or Earth Villains: greedy, cultish, and materialistic
Earth villains are definitely greedy motherfuckers that will do anything to obtain the object or resources of their desire–be it money, land, or a person. They objectify everything and sees everything as currency to be manipulated, exchanged and collected, obsessing over wealth, status, and physical signs of power. The Earth Villains can also be very vain as they judge everything by their surface value. This really reminds me of the Roman Empire because it is an empire formed on the backs of slaves, objectified human beings that are “collected” through various Roman conquests. The ancient Roman society is also extremely stratified and confines people to the status of their birth and treat them accordingly. Having that said, this is the impression that I have gained from watching Starz’s Spartacus (television series), which, by the way, despite the gore and the excessive sex, has a brilliant story line and intriguing, dynamic characters that develop in unexpected ways. If you like Game of Thrones and all its glory and sensationalism, I strongly recommend this show.
These are my thoughts on how the court cards can manifest as villains–I know I didn’t really talk about the specific courts like pages or kings, but elementally speaking, these are the traits and attitudes that I think are attached to each tarot suit when it comes to villains. What do you think?
In this blog post, I want share with you some of my reflections on my business journey thus far, spurred by “The Bone Collector” card from Enchanted Map Oracle. Just so you know, I get pretty raw and personal in this blog post. Some highlights: grieving, creativity, energetic attachments, and realigning using the compass in my heart…then I end up with some poetic chants and somewhat “meditative” imagery, releasing myself to the process, and hopefully releasing you in some way during the process, too. ❤
You may have noticed that I haven’t been very present on my social media or that I haven’t been actively creating content lately. But maybe that’s just me, feeling every inch of my absence, condemning myself for not being organized enough or competent enough to sort through my creative trajectories and find a focus. The truth is, I thought I knew what I was going to accomplish this year with Fables Den–I had everything mapped out and I knew what I wanted to bring to the table.
Earlier this week, however, I was all of a sudden slammed in the face with–blankness. Empty space–for lack of a better word. All of a sudden I didn’t know what I wanted to create for Fables Den. All of a sudden my current mode of organizing and approaching my business didn’t resonate anymore. I’m sure for those of us who run a creative business of any kind, or just anything we do in life really, would experience a temporary loss of direction despite having been so certain just moments ago. It’s funny because I knew things like this happen on a regular basis–logically, I know that challenges like this are bound to happen.
Still got spooked pretty hard, though.
Thinking back, throughout the course of my business journey, I don’t think I’ve ever allowed myself to feel disappointed, or to give Fables Den the space and room to breathe, or to really pause and thinking: am I just diving head-in, creating blindly, capitalizing on my workaholic impulses, feeling important for producing something–anything–
Am I just in love with the sound of my own creative engines–am I just pushing forward and living for that mechanical roar? Where does my heart lie? What do I really want to create? Am I being genuine? Am I an imposter? Am I just caught up with the wrong flow, trapped in the wrong vibe?
All of a sudden, there is an empty space before me–a void that I don’t know how to fill. It doesn’t make sense. It’s like I know where I want to go but I also don’t. Have you ever felt that way before? What do I want to do with Fables Den again? Yes. I want to teach tarot in a creative way. I like these topics: authenticity, creative expression, productivity, gamification…generally leveling up in life. I’m good at creating study and planning resources such as tarot worksheets, charts/organizers, and planner printables. I’m also good at coming up with creative tarot exercises. I also like drawing and doodling. I like to express the concepts of tarot with my art. But like–what’s my “brand”? What’s Fables Den’s “spirit statement”? It’s not completely a study den (my little business “tag line” used to be “spiritual wayfaring through tarot & creative storytelling”) and it’s not completely a wellness or personal development site either. What’s my punchline? “Level up with tarot?” (That’s a good one, actually, I actually might go with that)
Why am I doing this again? Of course I’m doing this because I love it. And there are so many things I want to try. A few months ago, I was struck by the idea of starting an alternative lifestyle and vlog channel called “Spirit Map”, because the idea of mapping your life in a way that is aligned with your spiritual needs seems like a fitting theme. And I have lots to talk about there. But is it going to exist outside of my “tarot realm”? Can’t it be both tarot and spirit map?
As you can see I’m having quite a bit of a “business identity” crisis and a complete loss of direction. So I did what all cardslingers would do when they are experiencing a business identity crisis and a complete loss of direction. I pulled some cards. I grabbed the Enchanted Map Oracle, because it seems like the perfect deck for losing your sense of direction. It’s got a badass mystical compass on its box and card back, for goddess’ sakes. And I got an unexpected card: The Bone Collector.
So I have a story to tell you.
The first thing that this card reminds me of is ancestry. The hanging skulls and the imagery of bones and stones that surround the old woman in a circle makes me think of family, and also honouring the dead. My father (both family and dead) is one of the reasons why I worked so goddamn hard for the past year, pumping out content after content and never feeling satiated by my efforts. I loved that man to bits. I still do. He was reticent, hardworking and goofy and he was the best. He passed from cancer in 2016 and became a free spirit on the Other Side. I didn’t want to lose him and it was so sudden and unexpected…and watching him get sick and going through treatment with him was the hardest months of my life, and during those moments I buried myself in Fables Den. I didn’t let myself breathe and I worked, I created, I wrote, I flimed Youtube videos, and I worked. I worked non-stop after he drew his last breath and I worked non-stop still throughout 2017. I suppose that was my way of coping with my heartache. I also suppose that I can no longer run my business with this creative autopilot fueled by sadness and grief.
Of course, there was plenty of “me” in there. I created the things I created because they were what I loved. There was nothing fake about the things I created, but I suppose I used my creative practice as a way to cope and escape and occupy myself. I needed something to create, so that my emotional and mental energies had somewhere to go. I needed a positive outlet and Fables Den had been that–to which I am grateful. I am glad that as I treaded on a path of chaos and trauma I was able to give, to create something genuine.
I suppose that as I honour this part of my history, I also need to put it behind me. Buried. Safe. Kept in a secure place in my memory, never forgotten, still a part of me, but no longer controlling me.
The second thing the Bone Collector reminds me of is truth. Bones represent truth to me because they are the most naked part of us. We can deceive with how we dress and appear to others, and we can deceive and manipulate using our voice, our expressions and our words. But the bone is the truest form of all. It cannot lie because it just is. The old Bone Collector sits in a sacred circle surrounded by bones and stones–now this is a relief to see because I feel that she is telling me: You know the truth already. The truth is you want to keep giving and giving so that you’ll feel a sense of importance. You want to be of service to others. You want to appear to be a creative powerhouse. The truth is you can no longer sustain this kind of giving because your Spirit wants to soar higher and do bigger and grander things. It cannot advance on its journey if you’re constantly weighing down its wings with your distracted creative shenanigans.
The Bone Collector is telling me…and asking me…how much do you want this? How much do you want to succeed? How much do you want to see Fables Den soar and become what it wishes to become? And how can you do that if you’re constantly exhausting yourself and losing sight to what’s important–which is the manifestation of your dreams? How much more time are you going to waste on half-assing your commitment to your long term goals? How much more can you lie to yourself?
Sit with your truths.
What are the truths that you stand on to reach higher?
What are the energetic wires that you have cast, far and wide, in which you stay plugged in to the world, giving and giving and giving?
Pull those wires back. Retrieve your energy. Strengthen your heart-space. Seek not the approval of your audience or the people around you, but the beating of your heart and the warmth of its glow. Where is your heart at? Install your engines there. Propel yourself forward from a genuine space of desire. Achieve true movement and lasting momentum.
When flesh melts away, when thoughts cease, when your voice dim and when your experiences fade in colour–the bones remain, naked in truth and wisdom.
So collect your bones, Bone Collector. Soon, you’ll have a glorious display, a museum of the histories that you have made.
Have you experienced something similar in your business (or really just life in general) in which you feel like you don’t know where you want to go, even though you do? (This question is starting to seem like a complete no-brainer, isn’t it…) How would you interpret the Bone Collector? How would you power through this challenge, recentre yourself and reestablish direction? Share in the comments below!
I was going to say “I plan to share more stories like this from now on”, but you know what? Screw that. I am not “planning” to give anymore. I don’t “plan” to give anything. I don’t need to let you know how much I’m able to give. I give because my heart calls me to do so at any given moment. I give because I want to.
Happy 2018, everyone!
It’s been a while you’ve heard from me, but here I am: I LIIIIIIVE!!!
I hope you are all enjoying the new year, reeling in your resolutions and dreams, holding them in your heart as you venture forth to conquer yet another awesome 12 chapters of your life. I have no doubt that it is going to be awesome and epic and heroic. For me personally, the transition from 2017 to 2018 felt rather casual and uneventful. For the most part, it merely felt like a continuation of my narratives in 2017. If you’re up for hearing about my year end rituals and how I embraced the changing of the calendar, check out my latest Youtube video here!
But anyway. Enough about me. I want to share with you something awesome I’ve discovered–like literally minutes ago as I began brainstorming and drafting the content to this newsletter. I knew I wanted to say something about the new year, but what should my focus be? Indecisive, I drew a random card from the Magic Manga Tarot, which is one of the decks that I place on my desk for easy access and quick usage. I pulled the 9 of Cups, and immediately–the word that flashed before my mind’s eye was the word “gratitude”. Plan your year ahead with gratitude. And I thought to myself–genius! Of course. Gratitude!
In this post, I will show you how I intend to plan my year with the triforce of abudnance (Legend of Zelda, anyone?) or what I’ve decided to call, Treasure Mapping (yes Kim, we get it. You’re in love with the journey metaphor. Stop forcing it upon us!! )
The First Piece of the Triforce: Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the key ingredients to abundance. It is the first step, I believe, towards a richer and more abundant life. If we can’t appreciate the experiences, people and resources that we already have, how can we ever perceive our wealth in all its glory? Without gratitude, we would always fall into the bottomless pit of greed, lackness and insatiability. Abundance simply cannot exist without gratitude. Therefore, when we envision the kind of life that we want to create and the kind of abundance that we want to attract into our lives, we simply cannot move forward before we assemble a list of things that we are grateful for first.
What are you grateful for? As you reflect on your experiences in 2017 (or everything that’s ever happened in your life up to this moment in time–your choice. You can decide the scope of your contemplations), think about the things that you appreciate having in your life. What are some of the experiences and challenges that you have gone through–experiences that you are grateful for because they have allowed you to grow, or inspired you to be better, or motivated you to create more abundance in your life? What do you have to thank? What was an attitude or insight that was particularly helpful for you? Remember, this doesn’t have to be things that happened in your life. It could also be something that you’ve cultivated within yourself: a new sense of strength, purpose, a way to handle a difficult situation or person, or a piece of wisdom that you have gained.
The Second Piece of the Triforce: Luck
Once you’ve nailed down gratitude, what’s the next secret ingredient for creating abundance? When I think of gratitude, I simply cannot separate it from luck. While gratitude is appreciating the things that we already have in life, luck is something unexpected that has been injected into our lives, stirring up our old patterns and initiating change. Luck is new energy. It is something that’s outside of our perception, or an extension of something that we already want–or something we didn’t know we want! What we perceive as lucky or fortunate can offer us a lot of clues about what we are trying to accomplish in life, or the links that give us a vibrational spike. Because, well, luck is potential. It’s a spark of light illuminating the unlearned areas of our map, showing us the way to greater possibilities and imagination. It reminds us of our innate magic to achieve and create the life that we want to live, and it shakes up the boundaries of the mundane that encases our way of life and shelters us in comfort. It is a cosmic text message–it is the universe telling us, “Hey, I’ve got something that you want. I have more of it. Come and get it! *winky face*”
“Luck” can be useful when we are trying to mark our maps for the new year and decide what we want to pursue. What are some the things that have happened–that you would consider as lucky? Did someone you know develop into an unexpected friend? Did you demonstrate a kind of courage, a side to you that you didn’t know exist within you before? What were the opportunities that you would consider to be lucky? Do you crave more of these experiences in the upcoming year, and how can you achieve it? How can you make that lucky moment a “constant” in your life?
The Third Piece of the Triforce: Generosity
Since we are talking about luck, we must talk about the other side of luck that is part of the same “coin”. I’m talking about “generosity”, of course. More often than not, an act of generosity on one side can become a boon, a gesture of kindness or a lucky event to the other. I feel that generosity or an act of generosity has incredible creative power, because it is essentially rooted in one’s recognition and understanding that “I have enough for myself and I have enough to share.” It is a tremendous statement of abundance, and abundance aside, it is also a gesture of kindness and care for a fellow human being. The idea of paying it forward is a creative and collective act of expansion–a reality that is co-created by one that willingly gives, and one that receives and is vibrationally changed by this act.
What and how can you give to others? How can you give the gift of luck to someone you know (or don’t know)? How can you be of service and share your abundance so that it multiplies? How can you help someone’s life expand, and as a result, expand in turn?
The Triforce Pieces Assemble!
Gratitude. Luck. Generosity. I don’t know about you, but it’s honestly my Triforce of Abundance. The reciprocation, the cycle, and the movement of these three things are what guide me when I mark the treasures that I seek on my life’s map. These are the three main concepts that serve as the primary navigational arrows on my compass, guiding me towards the life that I want and the things I want to create.
What about you? How do you define gratitude, luck, and generosity? How do you define “abundance?” Click here to leave a comment because I would love to hear from you!
New year, new me, new resolutions, new quests, new energy, new direction, new map…just, NEW!! Now that the calendar has finished resetting, here’s a few energetically charged tarot spreads to give you a power boost and jumpstart the next 12 months, to connect with the big picture and plan accordingly, and to ground yourself in the story that is unfolding so that you can make the best out of 2018.
Some of the spreads that are included here are previously published on my Instagram, some are new and are just making their debut via this blog post, and one of them (just letting you know right off the bat) is a sneak peek into a collection of productivity-themed spreads book that I’ve created as part of the Productivity and Planning Toolkit, available on my Etsy shop for 25% off right now. But anyhoo, all of these spreads are selected because they align with the theme of the new year: welcoming and inviting in new energies, getting pumped and ready, connecting with your authentic self and purpose, and planning ahead.
Alright, now that’s out of the way–let’s get started!
The Year Map Spread. This is my go-to when I want to gain insight and channel messages from the cards for the year ahead. The Year Map Spread serves as a forecast that will shed light to the major spiritual trajectories, attitudes and energies that encompass an entire year–energies that penetrate all areas of one’s life regardless of career, relationship or personal development. This is an ideal spread if you want to look at the big picture and the life lessons that are in store for you in 2018!
Next Level Spread: a gamified sequel to its previous chapter, Stage Cleared Spread, Next Level Spread is designed for you to look at life through the lens of an RPG game and its main objective is to help you download epic quests to complete, identify power-up’s and revamp your heroic profile so you’re all glorious and ready. It’s jampacked with the theme of confidence, self-empowerment and creative gaming concepts that can be applied to any endeavours you choose to embark on in life. You can use this for 2018, or you can use it for any ventures that you go on, really. A new job, a new project, a new relationship, a new month, or just any situation that arises.
Productivity Profile Spread: This is one of my favourite spreads, ever! I believe that everybody has a unique way of being productive–and productivity means so much more than just mechanistically producing products and conquering time slots. (If you want to read more about tarot and productivity, I started a few blog posts on this topic as part of the “Fool’s Journey through Productivity” series…it’s still ongoing and I really need to find the time to finish it haha) But yes. This spread will help you isolate and identify your productive powers, and help you become productive in your own way + find a productive lifestyle that is rooted in your own strengths and your own work rhythms!
True Callings Spread: Another Fables Den classic! It’s a new year, and while you’re riding this new year wave and that rejuvenated sense of self–this spread is perfect if you want to reconnect with your purpose, your mission to be more authentic and to pursue your passions in life. This spread will help you connect with your soul waves and shine bright as you answer and honour its callings! Time to get manifestin’, baby.
Evolve Spread: This is a deep one–this spread will help you tap into your ancestral connections, explore how the narratives embedded and encoded within your DNA are affecting you and work on how you can transform these entrenched narratives. This is a spread that taps into the ultimate “cosmic bird view”, looking at your life as if it is part of a whole, looking at your core traits and narratives as a choice, a state of being–if that makes sense. If you’re really into it, this spread can transcend your concept of space-time, and the linearity of your reality. (Mindbent, yet?)
Breaking Bad Habits Spread: Get it? Breaking Bad? Breaking Bad Habits? 😀 This is one of the doodled spreads that were part of my Tarot Spread Machine. Since usually we include a healthy or positive habit that we are trying to build (or a bad habit we are trying to break) as part of our new year resolutions, this seems a fitting selection to be included in this line-up!
Year Map, True Calling & Breaking Bad Readings are all available on my Etsy. ❤ If you’re interested in picking up a reading from me, make sure to check out my shop! If you want to find out more about me as a reader and how I read, click here to check out my Services and Policies page!
So I wote a tarot rap.
Woooooot! It was a flash of creative whim, really. This song showed up at my door and found me. Now, I’m not a rapper and this is like my first rap ever, so I can’t say that my rapping is of badass quality (but I am proud of these lyrics, though!) Anyway. It was tremendously fun and I had a blast creating it. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did making it. Something fresh from the tarot-sphere. 😉
Also, if you’re a rapper or you have experience rapping, please, PLEASE cover this because it will be super cool to hear someone rap this–someone who can actually rap haha.
If you want to download this: clickity click here!
Here are the lyrics!
his journey through the Majors fantasical adventure
some people say he don’t know any betterbut this calling he can’t miss no matter what the weather
His soul pure and light as a feather
the type of guy who always go “never say never”
he steps off the cliff, to the white dog’s terror
this leap of faith, a moment of forever
[Magician]Now the first guy he meets, is a man of many magic
master, shaper, elemental bender
as above, so below, a walking classic
unleash the god within: your power, galactic
[High Priestess] Close your eyes, tap into your intuition
you are what you are, bring those inner wisdom up, for a start
a spiraling riddle, send you straight down the middle to your heart
your spirit’s a-giggle, your head’s a-tingle , woo-woo bingo
[Empress] Oh hello Earth Mother, oh don’t know where to start
breathless, her beauty, her eternal love
the divine feminine, all grace and nurture
she sees you, adores you, your laugh is her treasure
[Emperor] Long live the King bow down to his power
this game of thrones is not for wallflowers
leader of this order, protector of the realm
nothing gets past his watch, both hands on the helm
[Hierophant] Time to get schooled, a supreme education
Knowledge is power, no matter what the situation
doesn’t take much, become sophisticated person
All you have to do: look, shut up and listen
[Lovers] Shh who says you’re in this all alone
you’re perfect, complete down to your bones
the yin and the yang, the spirit’s back bone
choose freely. It is known you’re in the zone
[Chariot] Go speed. Courage. Adrenaline. Momentum.
a live Kryptonian, sing the song, I’m victorious
strong and fierce this cannot be stopped
Imma ride this chariot to the top like a boss
[Strength] Boom. Crash. You don’t know what happened
your face in the ground, in the jaws of a lion
but the beast is not your enemy, there’s no remedy
it’s you vs you, shine bright it’s your destiny
[Hermit] Look down dig deep find the strength that is yours
don’t have to worry you’re safe and secure
you’ll rise with the solitude in this altitude
you’ll find the truth in multitude, a brand new attitude
[Wheel of Fortune] The wheel spins up and down, round and around
your heart keeps pounding, BOOM BOOM POW
you could be winning or losing, the clock will still be ticking
change ain’t stopping so you better keep on walking
[Justice] Win some lose some, karma is fair
don’t be rolling your eyes, chewing gum like you don’t care
fate is not your enemy; it’s your responsibility
what goes around comes around, show some humility
[Hanged Man] Upside down you are naked from the inside and out
suspended in mid air, look around, there is no way out
all eyes on you grow a second skin
when this is over you’ll know who you’ve been
[Death] Fire and ashes, you’re inside a cocoon
when you take your last breath only death is true
this metamorphosis and photosynthesis
close that chapter behind you, fear is your only nemesis
[Temperance] Coming back, flowing right, this place has no end
the clock has no hands; space-time is your friend
close your eyes, phew, take a big deep breath
you’re rooted in earth, into the sky you extend
[Devil] Darkness seeping in monsters in the closet
you’re still holding on, like photos in your locket
watch your back when you sleep, black sheep you’ll be counting
cheap tricks, crawling creeps, the thunders a-sounding
[Tower] This is the end; release the tension
dysfunction, eruption, total corruption
should be no surprise, deconstructing high rise, delayed repercussion
the tower falls it’s the ultimate destruction
[Star] When the storm ceases, whispering soft breezes
the stars come out, smoothing your spirit’s creases
they sing you their lullaby, all your pain, passerby
sleep in their gentle starlight and Let your dreams fly
[Moon] Smoke and mirrors, daydreams and nightmares
pale ghosts with stories so pretty and fair
honour the cycle, feed light to the crystal
return those secrets the veil and nothing is final
[Sun] Here’s to another day, shiny and brand new
laugh like a child , free yourself with the truth
in the sweet bright light, this pleasure has no error
live, laugh, love, come clean, life is tender
[Judgement] Oh here comes the angels, divine timing just right
synchronicity, 11:11, show me a sign
this is where I’m meant to be, where I need to be
see the angels next to me, took me so long to find me
[The World] Joy to the world your time has come
here you are, your existence no longer subpar
is this immortality, break causality
on top of the world, I’m forever complete
Sucks to be human, doesn’t it?
To be stuck in a physical body that is only capable of moving in a linear fashion while multiple streams of creative energies, impulses and inspirations are fighting to come through you, shouting to get your attention, seeking to be born, to be manifested, to be brought into this world.
To be painfully linear. When our inner magic demands otherwise. When all we want to do is everything, AT ONCE. And we get frustrated when we have to divide our attention, to fragment our time and energy, to make sense of the flood of creative abundance that is coming through, to choose. How? How can we possibly choose?
Or rather, how can we choose the right one to focus one? How would we know?
Creativity is abstract. It cannot be boxed in, having no boundaries. It’s raw, it’s transformative, and it is stuff of life. If we could transcend the space-time that is our bodies, we would all be gods, worlds and dimensions springing from our fingertips. Alas, we are bound to earth’s physics. It’s a curse and a blessing. We are forced to sleep, to eat, to prioritize. We cannot achieve omnipotence and do everything at once. But we are of the stuff of gods. Creativity is in our nature. As human being, we are all born with the power to create. When it comes to creative overwhelm, the real challenge is really how to properly function as an incredibly creative being. How do we contain creativity? How do we organize it? How do work through the overwhelming pressure of creative potential, of things seeking to be born? And most importantly, how can we be productive with our creativity?
Having a relaxed attitude and open mind can really help you reframe your frustration into something positive.
If you are experiencing creative overwhelm, it is a sign that you are in the flow of overwhelming creative abundance. It’s a good thing! And something to be grateful for. You are experiencing creative overwhelm because you have cultivated enough space within yourself to open yourself up to creativity. This shows that you are coming from a place of real authenticity and intuitive flow. Think of it this way: instead of dealing with the usual psychological and emotional junk and tendencies that are derailing you from your highest good and honest creative expression, you are struggling to figure out what to do with your creative self. What a problem, right?
Understandably, these impulses are difficult to sort through because they are all a genuine part of you–and can you choose between parts of yourself when they are all, well, you!? Despite the challenge to generate focus and productivity, they are all a reflection of how strong your creativity is, how much you want to do with your life and how much potential that you see with all the trajectories that are being thrown at you, that extend into possible futures that speak to your heart’s desire.
All in all, you are starting at an incredibly righteous place!
Have a realistic understanding and concept of time, how time works, how much you are able to get done in a designated period, and how much time an activity actually consumes.
Most of the time, we are so concerned about productivity, we forget that everything inevitably takes time. When things take time, we lose patience because we lose our sense of progress. We feel like we’re either doing something wrong or not doing enough. We become extremely critical with our time management skills because we know that time is an unchanging commodity. We get 24 hours a day and that’s it, no special favors and shortcuts (and we have the same hours of Beyonce, for Goodness’ sakes!) Which means that when we’re not spending that 24 hours efficiently, we must be wasting time, no? Things can get very “blamey” and toxic from there, and we don’t want to get into that stressful thought-loop.We need to remember that we can measure our progress with a lot of things: for example, how much happiness and fulfillment we experience, how much useful data we have collected that can be of use later on in the future, how many ideas we have managed to sort through despite not having executed any of those ideas, how many social and emotional connections we have made…etc. These are few of the many things that can be used to validate creative progress and productivity.
Think long term.
If you are short-sighted with your goals, you become frustrated when you don’t meet those goals. For example, if you are running an online business and your goal is to “make money”, you become disappointed and discouraged when you don’t make any money because your designated “marker” of progress is money. And no money = no progress.
If you stretch your vision far enough, however, you will know that everything you are doing is for the growth and development of your online business, which includes many things: making money, building an online presence, discovering and growing your brand, creating engaging content, figuring out your creative vision, examining your journey, re-calibrating–these are all valuable “currencies” that may not appear to have met one or few of your goals, but you have to look at how your experiences and your efforts may have served you in the long run, or how they can be useful in different ways.
When you think long term, the decisions you make will become more meaningful because you understand that what you are doing right now are all various forms and levels of currencies that you are investing, which will pay off in different ways and feed off of each other in the future. Not to mention that when you think long term, you will make sure that you are spending your time and energy wisely and at the right places. Having a long term vision will really be a key feature that streamlines your creative and productive process.
Sorting through that bundle of “wands” like a boss.
If you recall the RWS depiction of 10 of Wands, you will know how strenuous looking and back-pain inducing that picture is. It seems to portray arduous and difficult labour and burden. However, if you practice reframing this picture into something positive that presents a unique challenge (that you can overcome), your sense of pressure and stress will lighten up significantly. That dude has 10 wands at his disposal. Sure, he’s bitten off more than he could chew by trying to carry 10 of them at the same time (which I’m sure we all do with our grocery bags), but he’s still got 10 incredible power sources within his arms.
So if you’re suffering from creative overwhelm right now, all I can say is: keep calm and carry on. If you stretch the span of time far enough into the future–you will realize that this perceived “burden” is on burden at all. You can figure out how many wands you are able to carry and with how many trips. You can figure out the best ways to store those wands and to utilize their power. You can figure out when you are going to utilize those power and for what.
You can realize that creative overwhelm is, in fact, a sign of incredible abundance and quite honestly is a blessing disguised as a
first-world problem curse. 😉
Does 10 of Wands also signify “creative overwhelm” to you? How do you interpret the 10 of Wands? Do you have any cool tricks or tips for dealing with creative overwhelm? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts below!
And of course, here is a tarot spread to help you make sense of your creative overwhelm and power through it! xo
Into the Woods: a spread for self reflection, deep contemplation and spiritual questions
- “At the Edge of the Woods” The spirit of the wood greets you, ready to take you on a journey. What is your purpose in entering this dream-space of deep contemplation and reflection?
- “The Path into the Woods” What will help you navigate your journey as you traverse through the moonlit paths of your innerscapes?
- The Wind in the Trees”: What are the energies that surround you?
- “Reflections”: What do you see in yourself?
- “Relic from the Forest”: What is the wisdom that you must take with you when you leave the Woods?
- “At the Edge of the Woods, Once More”: How has the Woods or this Inner Journey transformed you?
The Threshold: a spread for exploring the important themes and lessons in 2017
- The Beginning: What were your visions and hopes at the beginning of the year?
- The Story of 2017: What is the overarching theme that defined the year of 2017?
- Challenge: What are the challenges that you had to face, the shadows or ego-based tendencies that you had to overcome in 2017?
- Lesson: What did you learn this year?
- Power-Up: What gave you strength? How did you power through the difficulties and challenges? What was your source of confidence and empowerment?
- Build: How can you use the powers you have “upped”, the lessons that you’ve worked through, the wisdom that you’ve gained to get ready for next year?
- Threshold of 2018: What is ending–and what is beginning? What are the new energies that are coming in for 2018?
Stage Cleared: a RPG and game-themed spread for examining the “stats” and skills that you have accumulated and reflecting on how you have grown and “leveled up” this year
- High Scores: Why are you worthy as the Hero or Heroine of your own story?
- Epic Replay: What has been your epic moment of glory and/or your defining moment?
- HP (Health Points) Increase: How have you grown in energy, vitality and purpose?
- MP (Magic Points) Increase: How have you grown in your ability to create and manifest your dreams?
- Attack Increase: How have you become better at problem solving and overcoming challenges?
- Defense Increase: How have you gotten better at coping with pressure, stress and negative inputs?
- Level Up! How have you grown as a person in general?
The Epic Report: a spread for examining the various areas of your life. This spread can be used in many ways, depending on the overall theme that you would like to address. For example, you can use this spread as an annual “report” spread to get a general idea of how you did with each category. You can use this as a trouble-shooting spread and draw cards to see how you can level up in each area of life. You can also do a gratitude-themed spread and pull cards for things that you can be grateful for in each area.
Other suggested themes: ups and downs (draw 2 cards for each category), things in need of releasing, things in need of healing, advice, weekly/monthly/bi-annually check in’s, etc.
- Life Vision/Purpose
The Synthesizer Spread: a spread used to convert negative energy and input into positive and empowering energy
- The Blackhole: What has been a negative experience/source of negativity that is draining the life out of you?
- Filtering Suckage: How can you release and process the negativity?
- Extracting Energy: How can you grow from these negative experiences? What is a lesson you have learned and what is something useful you have extracted from this pool of negativity?
- Good Energy: What is a source of positivity that you can maintain or already have?
- Synthesizing: How can you convert the negative energy into positive energies and personal power?
- New Element: What is the brand new superpower that now exist within you?
Treasure Spread: a spread to help you tap into the energy of abundance and wealth by recognizing the treasures that you do have to attract more riches into your life
- Abundance: What already exists in your life that carries the energy of abundance?
- Gratitude: What is something you can be grateful for?
- Luck: What has been an act of synchronicity, a flash of miracle that has given you an “abundance boost”?
- Wisdom: What is a lesson that you have learned in your abundance journey?
- Generosity: How can you share the wealth and abundance that you already have?
- Love: How can you anchor yourself in the energy of love as you seek to expand with more abundance?
Both Into the Woods and Threshold are available on my Etsy. If you’re interested in picking up a reading from me, make sure to check out my shop! If you want to find out more about me as a reader and how I read, click here to check out my Services and Policies page!
Writers and Cardslingers! Are you ready for National Novel Writing Month!?
If you are embarking on this month-long quest of utmost intensity and creativity, then you’re in good company! Lots of tarot nerds happen to be creative writers as well (naturally–tarot and writing just go so awesome together.)
For this year, I will be hosting a 5-Day Tarot Nano Challenge #TarotNanoChallenge2017 on my Intsagram @fablesden. I have created 5 tarot spreads that will help you jumpstart your creativity, boost productivity, convey your message and identity as a writer, keep up the hard work and pace, and keep your eyes on the prize. They are mostly 3-4 card spreads, and are designed to be short and sweet. A spread that you can quickly do even if you’ve had a busy day. Spreads that are tools + that you can return to when you are in need of a power boost in the next 31 days.
Tarot & Storycrafting Tools
Most of the spreads and challenge prompts I have created this year are most focused on the “meta” stuff. If you are looking for tarot spreads and resources that are more tailored towards concepting, worldbuilding, character-crafting and theme–check out the Nano Wrimo tab on the top right hand corner! It’ll lead you to the Creativity and Writing category and feel free to browse through all the tarot writing posts that I have written in the past years.
Also, I recommend checking out Ciaran’s Tea is for Tarot website. She’s hosted a 14-day Tarot & Writing Challenge on her Tumblr site, with super comprehensive and detailed prompts that will take you from the beginning of your writing journey to finish. 😀
As For Me…
It’s been an intensive few months for me–working through my creative overwhelm, lining up my projects, reflecting on my lessons and organizing/revamping my business–sometimes I feel like I’m evolving and “downloading info” so quickly, it’s just such a chore to want to make sure everything that is “of” me reflects that change, y’know? (…like that in and of itself is a lesson….so double lesson!? I’m also starting to realize that I’m a workaholic. I’ve always thought that I’m a well-paced “slow and steady” person, but apparent not!)
I’m slightly on the fence about participating in Nano because I have so much work to do still for November, but I haven’t written fiction in a while and I really miss the thrill–getting lost in the world I’ve created, spending time with my characters, and embarking on an adventure with them. I have a couple of ideas that are calling to me, waving their little hands at me, begging to be picked. Maybe I’ll write all of them, who knows. I’m about 80% sure that I am going to be writing something. I don’t think I have enough time to write a novel, though. A short story or two.
Here are the challenge prompts. Links will be updated in the next few days as soon as they are published! Stay tuned. 🙂
Mermaid Meditation: Free Your Fears is a collaborative effort between me and the wonderful Anielle from @aniellereidtarot. This guided meditation will lead you down to the deep oceanic world where mermaids dwell: a gentle plunge into the depths of your subconscious in order to confront your fears and liberate yourself from their grasp. It’s perfect for shadow work, emotional clearing and personal development.In this 10 minute meditation audio/track, you will be led by Anielle’s voice, which is soothing, nuanced and pristine. (Imagine trying to drift into a trance with my voice. I think my voice and tone are good for inciting silliness and goofy wisdom, but not good for inducing calmness in the mind.)
Charged with the mission of writing the script for the meditation, I stayed true to my style of storytelling and incorporated rich descriptions and imagery about the mermaid, the depths of the sea, and metaphorical representations of spiritual awakening. Anielle also consulted her mermaid oracle to make sure we are channeling the right messages with our creativity, and she relayed to me that the meditation should definitely include language about how “water carries the vibrations of all that has gone and can hold all that will be.” Going into the water, in essence, is a journey that we choose to partake–diving into the depths of our subconsciousness, taping into the part of us that is interconnected with infinity, and releasing our fears that reside within the core of our existence across all of our lifetimes.
I kept that in mind as I composed the script. I e-mailed Anielle what I had finished and then the rest is history–the text came to life with her lyrical voice. (By the way, if you haven’t checked out her music, you really need to.
I am so happy that Anielle asked me for this collaboration. To be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive as all the terrible group project memories from my academic days came rushing back: being the only person who gave a shit about the assignment, being paired with classmates that were only interested in doing minimal work, or helpless stuck with a passive-aggressive control freak that sought to micro-manage everything…
But our creative venture was by far the best one I have ever participated in, and I got to experience the magic of seeing something amazing come to life through the collective creative efforts from both of us. It was super cool, and it was full of awesomeness and ease. (Sorry I was a bit anal and defensive at the beginning, Anielle. :P)
Anyhoo. Team Anielle and Kim (team name, maybe?) will definitely be creating more meditation guides together. Let us know what your experiences are in the comments section with our very first Mermaid Meditation, and what you would like to see in the future.
You can connect with Anielle here:
In a hurry to move on.
The 5 of Cups can be a pretty upsetting card. It’s about disappointment, emotional disharmony, and loss. I’m sure the “well, there are still two cups left standing” is often the “glass half full” version of the positive message that we are able to channel from a “downer” card like this. Each card has its light aspects and shadow aspects. Even the nigihtmarish 9 of Swords and 10 of Swords have a happy ending: all nightmares come to an end, and the worst is already over.
While I agree with all of those sentiments, there seems to be this urgency to move forward. To look on the bright side. To continue on with our narratives. To build our strengths and to continue to be okay. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?
I’ve been thinking, though. How about–if you draw the 5 of Cups, or a card that is inherently “darker” and portrays the negative emotions in life–instead of saying “you are going to experience the 5 of Cups” or “you are trapped in cycle of disappointment” or “you need to cultivate more positivity in order to appreciate the abundance that you already have in life–”
It simply means, “Yeah, I’m upset.” Or, “Meh.”
I realize from my own experience and readings I have given that…for those of us who are pursuing a spiritual path and seeking personal growth and development–those of us who are actively leveling up to become the best version of ourselves–we really give ourselves a lot of shit for feeling bad, don’t we? Because we’re not supposed to be trapped in a negative emotional pattern over and over again. We’re not supposed to experience anything low-vibe because it’s bad for us. We’re supposed to have achieved this level of confidence already. Haven’t we already learned this lesson!? How are we still trapped in these uncanny energetic frequencies, faced with the same or similar challenges, having to deal with the same types of shitty people, or bothered by unshakable shadow triggers?
The perfect emotional trajectory.
The perfect emotional trajectory for us would be to experience something, to realize and reorganize the truth and wisdom within ourselves, to grow from that experience, to grow as a person, and to feel better and confident henceforth. We’re supposed to be able to move on quickly, efficiently, easily. We’re supposed to be good at this, because we are spiritual! We are evolved! We worked hard to get to this point in our practice!
Our desire to become better as spiritual people can really take a toll on our existence as still-humans, can it not? It’s almost funny and ridiculous to think about. What we struggle with sometimes as spiritualist is not being spiritual enough. I remember when I broke up (for lack of a better word) with a person whom I have shared a decade of friendship with, I was eager to move on. I didn’t want to feel bitter and stabbed in the back because it was low-vibe. It wasn’t worth my time. It stopped me from growing spiritually. I was supposed to be forgiving. Caring. Non-attachment. Practice non-attachment. I am better than this. I want to be better than this. Ohhhhhhhhm.
Guess who’s been giving us a whole lot of shit?
It’s us!!! In our attempts to not feel like shit or deal with shitty situations anymore, we give ourselves SO MUCH SHIT for giving too much shit to a shitty person or situation…(as I’m writing this, I’m aware that I have been quite excessive with this “shit” metaphor. It’s funny and practical so I don’t really mind, but I swear, SWEAR on my pinkie that this is a temporary infestation. For those of you who are bombarded by the amount of toilet humour you’ve been getting across my social media channels, I apologize. I hope you’ve had a good laugh, though.)
What’s wrong with feeling like a curled up ball of upset!?
Nothing, really. I’m sure you’ve heard this before already. “We’re all human.” And I bet most of us would feel this tiny pang of rejection and “hmmph!” towards it. (Admit it, you!) Don’t worry. I get where you’re coming from. To be spiritual means we want to be more. More than average. More than who we were yesterday. More than human. That’s what drives us to be spiritual people and to grow. But feeling bad, upset, “meh”, disappointed, lost, insecure…those emotions needn’t be an indicator of our lack of progress, or evidence pointing towards our devolution. Being on a spiritual path isn’t about not meeting monsters or ghosts or shadow creatures or challenges at all. It’s not about never feeling upset as if we are enlightened beings wandering around with an ethereal aura that protect us and separate us from frequencies that aren’t meant to enter our field of reality. If you’re enlightened and done with being human–what’s the point then, in being human, right?
Feeling upset is part of the fun. Feeling disappointed is also part of fun. I know that seems like a weird sentiment, but hear me out. Those bad feelings or expeirences make us feel like shit but they are a testament to our experiences: the fact that we have loved, the fact that we have cared deeply about something, the fact that we are changing, growing, and becoming. If we aren’t rippling with those emotional waves that pass through us, if we only drift one side and not the other–then we might as well be on an automated theme-park ride, a two dimensional journey devoid of choice and growth.
So be upset. Be all kinds of upset.
And wallow in your sadness. Mope. Cry ugly tears. Binge-eat a box of strawberry chocolate donuts. Pull your hair out (not literally, please.) Hold space for your emotions, your feelings. The whole spectrum of it. Every colour of the rainbow. Let those colours exist within you. No matter how dark or how bright your experiences are, you know that you are still the same. You’re still you, journeying and navigating through life. You are a spiritual wayfarer. You journey not to complete your map. You journey to expand it, to discover new lands, to become a better navigator and traveler, to become more of yourself.
This guide is perfect for: locating your sense of self, finding your purpose, and anchoring into your personal power.
I’ve come across the creatures described in this meditation and visualization guide in a series of dreams. Upon meeting them, I felt transformed by their spiritual presence and their wisdom. I am incorporating some of the images I’ve seen and experienced in this guide.
Begin your meditation as you normally would. Start with a prayer to your spirit guide. Ground and centre. Cast a circle. But if you don’t really have a set intro to your meditation, this is how you can begin.Sit or lie down comfortably. Take a few deep breaths to settle into your body. Relinquish the control that you have over your physical self. You are no longer a centralized skeleton with limbs to move. You are a cloud, a consciousness, pure energy. You sink into your body and melt into it. You engulf it like a dream, like soft breezes in a forest, like ocean water. You feel into your own depth, your heart a vastly open sky.
Space and time no longer matter. You dive inwards, into infinite heart-space. As you dive deeper, and deeper, the light begins to dim, until you are encompassed by a black vastness: drifting, serene. You realize that you are infinite, and that every single lifetime you have ever lived to experience is now converging. Strands of narrative pooling together to make a whole. A story that is you, your essence.
From the distance, a majestic shimmering creature appears, its body rippling, gliding on light, graceful and cosmic. It swims towards you, envelops you in its being and consciousness. You allow it to carry you. Together, as one, you dive. You dive into the strands of your DNA, a cellular, microscopic world that exists on the plane of all planes. A place of truth, and pristine clarity. Your shadow, your ego, and your worldly attachments have no hold of you here. Here, there is only you, and those that guard you in the spirit-realms stretching and resonating across time and space.
The shimmering creature casts you a question. You do not hear its voice, but you feel the question form and settle in you. It speaks. It urges you to connect with who you really are, your soul, your spirit’s essence. It then guides you to the strand of your DNA that is connected with your present lifetime.
Who are you in this lifetime?
And then, it asks:
Why are you here?
What are you here to learn?
You reflect on the challenges that you have experienced in your life so far. As you examine them, connected to the love of the cosmos, you see those experiences without judgement, without resentment, without attachment. You see them as truths; with clarity, and love.
What are you here to build in this life time?
The things you struggle with. The things that challenge you. The people that challenge you. They are here to help you build what you could not, perhaps in other lifetimes. They are here to give you power. As they reflect your weaknesses back at you, they show you the incredible courage, wisdom and strength that you possess deep within your bones to overcome them. It is written, encoded in your DNA. It is who you are. And it is your destiny to activate those potent genes, deep within, dormant on a cellular level. Choose to bring them forward. They are here to serve you in this lifetime. They are your strengths waiting to be developed and unleashed.
Your choice changes your DNA. Fates are altered and transformed when you choose. Choose to grow to your fullest potential, and come to realize that there is no limit to what you can become.
So choose. Choose to change. Choose to evolve.
What do you choose?
You say your choice out loud in your head. You feel true authentic power vibrate: the truth of it, the grandness of it, the potency. You feel it singing in your blood stream. Shaking your bones. Making them stronger. Pulsating through your heart like a dream.
This is your Choice. Your Evolution. Your Truth. Your Power.
What will you choose and choose again?
You answer that question, smiling ear to ear. What will you choose and choose again?
You open your eyes. You know the answer. You feel the answer. It is inside and all around you. It is part of you, all of you, every layer and dimension of you.
You are the answer.
To practice self-love means to commit to having a better relationship with yourself. Here are 10 journal prompts to help you explore the topic of self-love and embark on this amazing journey. Oh, if you haven’t already, check out my first video for Self-Love September (hosted by the awesome Kelly-Ann Maddox): “Under the Self-Love Umbrella”, in which I talk about what self-love could mean, what self-love means to me, and some of the important elements in a self-love practice.
1. What is “self-love”?
Do a free association exercise or brainstorming session on the concept of self-love and what it constitutes. Circle the ones that resonate with you the most and underline the ones that aren’t jamming with you. Analyze your answer and reflect on how your preferences reflect your attitudes towards self-love.
2. How do you define self-love? What does it mean to love yourself?
For this journal prompt, start by noting down the general notion of practicing self-love, then provide a specific example. For instance, if you write down “Self-love means taking care of yourself.” What does it mean to take care of yourself? E.g. Exercising regularly, stop saying “yes” to social gatherings that you don’t wish to attend, or avoiding eating too much sugar and fried food because you know there will be a pimple-pocalypse the next day if you don’t. Coming up with specific examples will really allow you to examine your current self-love practice and figure out what self-love means to you.
3. What does it mean to not love yourself? What are some of the behaviours or attitudes that contradict the practice of self-love?
This is also a good opportunity to reflect on how you’ve been engaging in activities or thought-loops that aren’t exactly serving you in a self-loving manner. What are the behaviours, habits or attitudes that you know are bad for you?
4. Think of a friend of somebody that you know. Consider your interactions and try to recall a time where you feel deeply as you think to yourself, “Man, my friend just needs to love him/herself more.”
This could be an instance where you feel protective or even indignant of your friend’s behaviour, or towards something that is happening to your friend. Why do you think you are triggered by that event? Often, we are triggered and feel indignant about something because we have experienced it or are experiencing it right now. How do your sentiments for your friend serve as a mirror to your own life and your own self-love journey?
5. Do you think being self-loving is a form of narcissism? What’s the difference between “self-love” and narcissism?
A lot of people tend to confuse self-love with being selfish, and claim that it is an act of narcissism. What happens when you have too much self love? What does that look like?
6. Do you harbour any negative sentiments or hang-up’s about self-love? Have you ever been criticized or judged for practicing self-love?
Have you ever received backlash when you offer advice to somebody in need of some self-loving? How has that affected you and why do you think people have reacted negatively to the idea? What can you learn from their reactions and use this understanding to help you grow?
7. List 10 words or terms that either represent the idea of “self-love”, or are connected to the idea of self love. Once you’re done listing, explore the similarities and differences between each one.
Here is a quick list of words under the self-love umbrella to get you started: self-compassion, authenticity, self-esteem, self-worth, optimism, level-up, self-value, personal boundaries, tough love, being your own friend, etc. How are they similar and how are they different? Which words do you prefer? Why do they speak to you more than the other words?
8. What are the most important elements that need to be present in a self-loving relationship?
Let’s start with 10 things, then boil it down to 5. At this point, every concept should be pretty interconnected. Let’s see if you could boil it down even more to 3.
9. Why do you want to love yourself more? What is the purpose of loving yourself and building a better relationship with yourself?
When it comes to cultivating positive changes in life, it’s crucial to infuse it with a sense of authentic purpose. Without purpose, there is no motivation. Without motivation, there is no commitment. You gotta want to love yourself more to love yourself more.
10. What are some of the challenges that you have faced (or may face) when you are trying to practice self-love? How can you circumnavigate those challenges? How do you make sure that you are on the right track and you are setting yourself to win?
Time to do some troubleshooting!
1. How do you define the word “abundance”? What does it mean to have an abundant life?
Depending on your upbringing, worldview, personality and needs, your definition of abundance is going to be different from everybody else’s. Cultivate your unique sense of abundance to avoid toxic comparison paradigms when you are trying to grow your wealth!
2. What are some of the attitudes and beliefs surrounding money that you grew up with?
For example, how did your parents handle money? What was considered frugal, and what was considered wasteful? (You can make a chart or graph to represent the opposite sides of the spectrum and explore what falls in the “Temperance”, or the balance zone for you. What’s “just right?”) How have these attitudes and beliefs affected you and the way you spend your money?
3. Reflect on your experiences with money so far.
Abundance is the experience that we have with money. Have they been mostly positive? Negative? Overflow? Lack? Both? Ups and downs? Be as specific as you can. If your experience has been largely positive–positive in what way? List specific examples e.g. The money that I earn allows me to support myself, my family and the charities that I believe in (positive). E.g. I have always struggled to make ends meet. Life goes on but this stops me from enjoying the pleasures of life (negative). Once you have reflected–what can you do to shifts your attitudes and steer your experiences towards the direction that you want?
4. Money can’t buy happiness. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
More often than not, the answer to this question isn’t absolute. It’s a bit of a yes and a bit no, or a lot of yes and some no.
5. What are your favourite abundance affirmations or mantars? Why are they your favourites? How have they helped you so far in your pursuit of more abundance?
Finding the kind of words and vocabulary that you resonate with is a great way because it helps you use more specific language to set personal goals, because you’ll be writing them down with words that vibrate on your frequency.
6. What are your least favourite abundance affirmations or mantras?
(You don’t have to “hate” them per se, but these would be affirmations and mantras that you don’t personally jam with, or feels disconnected towards). Why is that? Is it the word choice? The concept itself? Does this point to some of your unresolved issues or emotions in money in any way? How can you work towards resolving it?
7. Do you believe you are worth the money you are making, or worth the money that you are trying to attract?
Your sense of worth and confidence have a direct and crucial connection to your sense of abundance. Do you feel like you deserve to have more money? If not, why do you think you are feeling this way? How can you cultivate a more empowered perspective on your self worth and money?
8. How do you define “success”? How does this affect your understanding and experience of abundance?
Conventional definitions of success often place pressure on how much we are supposed to have and how we are supposed to live our lives in order to be happy or “abundant”.
9. Do you think money is a good thing or a bad thing?
What are some of the positive associations or positive things you can do with money? What are some of the negative associations or negative things you can do with money? Try doing a free-association exercise with “money” in the centre. You can try using a mind-map or just jot down whatever words or concepts that pop up as you brainstorm. Why do you think you associate money with the things you have written down? How can this insight help you attract more abundance?
10. Other than the life essentials, what is something that you are willing to spend money on–something that brings you genuine joy?
(E.g. a new book, a new tarot deck, classes to develop your talent, investing in a Kickstarter, etc) How does this reflect what you want in life and who you are as a person? Knowing the kind of experiences you want to have (through spending money and purchasing a product or a service) will strengthen your sense of purpose when you are working hard and trying to attract more money. It also allows you to feel like the things you are spending money on are worth your time and effort.
How I got the idea
I meditate for different purposes. To ground myself in my home frequency. To cleanse myself of psychic and energetic baggage. To work through a seriously daunting emotion. One of the things I do is that I allow my imagination to guide me to interact with the various archetypes that are present in my life right now, to gain better insight about my current experience and to learn from that experience. This morning as I meditated, I took myself to the depths of Wonderland by descending down the magical rabbit hole. And before I drifted off into the fantastical realm, hey, why not create a walkthrough for visualization and meditation exercises…with Alice in Wonderland as a theme? I mean, I have themed tarot readings, so why not themed meditation walkthroughs?
This walkthrough will resemble an archeyptal journey, in which you descend into “Wonderland” (your subconscious, your psyche, an experience, a memory). You can use this guide as a general exercise and see where your imagination takes you: you may encounter the nutty White Rabbit, because you may be consumed with deadlines. You may meet the Mad Hatter and the March Hare as you try to break free from the invasave chaos that is overtaking your life right now. Who knows–you may even dream up original characters that symbolize certain dynamics that are present in your life.
You can also use this guide to address a specific memory, issue, or relationship.
This walkthrough requires you to be open, and to settle into a meditative daydreaming. It also requires you to be honest and non-judgmental towards the images that you are going to see in your mind’s eye. It might help if you take out the Moon card from your favourite deck to get you into the zone.
And also, just so you know–don’t expect to see the images in total clarity, like an inner HD movie. What you see with your inner eye is more impressionistic, with highlights or strong vibrations of colour. It’s more about what you intuitively register. It’s very liquid, and very drifty. At least this is the case in my own experience. I am sharing this not to limit what you may see but I want you to know that if you don’t see a magical movie play out in your head with all the colours on the spectrum–you don’t need to be disappointed, as in like “daww I just don’t have any spiritual powers”. These types of experiences are so personal and for all I know your meditative experience could be highly scent oriented and sound oriented.
As you go through this meditation and visualization exercise, it’s a pretty good idea to keep a voice recorder nearby, as you can blurt out whatever it is that you are feeling, seeing or interacting without any interruption.
Anyhoo. Enough babble. Let’s begin! Please feel free to change or modify any of these instructions to suit your own meditative practice.
Begin your meditation as you normally would. Start with a prayer to your spirit guide. Ground and centre. Cast a circle. But if you don’t really have a set intro to your meditation, this is how you can begin. Sit or lie down comfortably. Take a few deep breaths to settle into your body. Relinquish the control that you have over your physical self. You are no longer a centralized skeleton with limbs to move. You are a cloud, a consciousness, pure energy. You sink into your body and melt into it. You engulf it like a dream, like soft breezes in a forest, like ocean water. You feel into your own depth. And in the corner of your eye, you see the White Rabbit.
You are like Alice, heeding the White Rabbit’s call, you follow its hurried footsteps and arrive at the rabbit hole. The White Rabbit beckons. He says that you are needed in Wonderland and asks you to prepare yourself.
As you approach, hold the purpose of this meditation in your mind. (Are you entering Wonderland to heal, to find a solution, or to explore? Are you addressing a particular relationship, an incident or a memory?) Visualize the rabbit hole. What does it look like? How do you feel as you approach? Note down your feeling for reflection later. How you feel walking towards the entrance of Wonderland may reflect how you feel about the issue at hand.
You fall through the rabbit hole. Leaves, dried-up branches snapped and rustled past you as you descend into a whirlwind of darkness. There is no gravity here. The laws of physics don’t apply. The fall seems to last forever, when at last, you begin to slow, and alas! There is some light. A classical mirror levitates–or it appears to be levitating since it is falling at the same speed as you. As it hovers, you hear a voice next to your ear: You get to choose how you will enter Wonderland.
Choose your costume: what you will wear, what you will bring to Wonderland. You can imagine yourself in Alice’s iconic blue dress, borrowing her archetype as you descend into Wonderland. You can imagine yourself in comfortable sweat pants and a t-shirt, as this meditation is meant to be a relaxing exercise. You can equip yourself with a gun, a tea-pot cannon, or a dragon-slaying sword for you know once you set foot in Wonderland, you will fight the Jabberwocky. Whatever it is, imagine yourself as the best version of yourself with everything that you need for this particular trip. If you’re not sure, imagine a vast open sky within your heart-centre, and set the intention for growth, adventure, and fun.
Now that you have chosen which version of yourself you are bringing into Wonderland, you look down and see that you are fastly approaching the ground.
Where are you landing? In the round little room with the Drink Me Bottles and Eat Me Cakes, or in a open field of grass? Are you in Queen of Heart’s royal palace, or the solemn Wonderland Court? This place doesn’t have to be a location that preexists in the fictional Wonderland. It can be a scene of your own making. You can be standing on top of a continent-sized mushroom, the back of a sea-turtle, or inside a rainbow-coloured bubble. Allow your imagination to build the landscape for you. Note down the texture and details of the landscape for reflections later. Note down how you arrive (did you stumble, land gracefully, or did a Wonderland creature rescue you?) The construction of the landscape may reflect how you perceive the external circumstances surrounding your issue. How you land and how you enter Wonderland may speak to your attitudes about getting closer to the heart of the issue.
Once you have landed, a resident of the Wonderland signals for your attention and approaches you for a conversation. Visualize the character, the creature or being that comes near you. Notice their appearance, their mannerisms, and how they approach you. Allow yourself to interact with this character. Who is this character? What does this character represent? Here are some questions you can ask upon its approach:
Who are you? Why are you here? Do you have any messages for me? What am I here to learn? What can I learn from you?
Allow your imagination and intuition to flow. Whatever it is: words, fragments, nonsense, random images–allow them to surface. Do not judge them and do not censor them. Remember, you are protected. This is your Wonderland. You are here to learn and explore. It is a journey for your highest good. Do not be afraid or flustered. Allow yourself to be touched by whatever emotion or insight that reaches you. Interact with them metaphorically. If the character attacks you and bears malevolent intent, you can visualize the Vorpal Sword and deflect its strikes. Pay attention what your imagination is bringing up. If your first instinctual move is to bend the knee and surrender to the attacker, then that is a useful piece of information to remember. Perhaps this is telling you that you’re not used to defending your boundaries when people are being nasty to you.
Or, if your Wonderland experience isn’t unfolding so intensely: if the creature invites you for afternoon tea in a friendly manner, you can either accept the invitation or decline it. Maybe you feel paranoid that the Mad Hatter is going to throw a brainless fiasco and disrupt the proper routines and etiquette of a tea ceremony. Again, pay attention to how you feel and what these images are bringing up inside of you. This image may be telling you that you tend to have perfectionist tendencies when it comes to getting things done, or it could represent your frustration with some of your friends who keep making false promises when you are supposed to be hanging out and doing an activity together.
Once you are done interacting with the character, end the exchange with a prayer of gratitude. Say to the character, “I appreciate the time and energy that you’ve spent with me. Thank you for helping me grow/heal/problem-solve. I hope to converse with you (or never!) again.” Something like that. Say this in your own words. It doesn’t have to be any way that is not a reflection of who you are. If you are a “Catch you later, bruh! That was really awesome!” or “See you laters alligators!” type of person, say that. Say whatever it is that is in your heart at that moment.
If you’re not exactly “grateful” of the exchange (maybe you’ve just been royally crushed by the Jabberwocky), depending on how you are feeling as this meditation draws to a close, you can even say, “Fuck you! I am so mad that you did this to me!” While acknowledging your negative sentiments (which is an important thing to do–you don’t want to pretend to be in a rejuvenating, jovial good mood when you’re not), you should still say something that has a more empowering tone. For example, “Fuck you! I HATE YOU but it’s good for me so I am going to try my best to work through this clusterfuck of shit that you just threw me! SERIOUSLY BYE.”
Whatever it is that you want to say to the character, be honest, then use your words or a prayer to remind yourself that you are in the seat of your power, and that the positive experience that you have just had is reminding you of all the good things you need to cherish in your life, or the negative experience that you just had is giving you an opportunity to release the hurt, resentment and anger that you have felt. Whatever it is, leave the conversation with words that remind you that you are a powerful being capable of choice.
As you depart, take a few deep breaths. Imagine yourself exiting Wonderland in whatever manner you see fit. Summon an elegant carriage pulled by majestic unicorns. Do a Superman pose and shoot off into the sky. Snap your fingers and teleport back to wherever you are meditating. Cry for your Spirit Guides to appear and drag you out of there because you are still being crushed by the Jabberwocky’s foot. However you choose to leave is up to you. Allow your imagination to escort you out of Wonderland. Note down the scenes you conjured for reflection later.
And you are back. Back into your body. Back from Wonderland. What treasures, wisdom, objectives have you brought back from your trip?
Share your experiences down in the comments below!
I would love to hear about your experiences in “Wonderland”! What “costume” did you choose? Which character (or characters) did you encounter? What did you learn? Do you have any questions about this walkthrough? Or do you have any suggestions that will help improve this walkthrough? Let me know! 🙂
Last but not least, you can also journey into the magic of Wonderland with a tarot reading. If you’re interested in receiving guidance from the witty Cheshire Cat and the wise Caterpillar themselves, embark on this journey with me.
The Fool’s Journey towards Productivity: IV The Emperor
Emperor is definitely the guy we want to talk to when it comes to productivity.
He’s the obvious choice, isn’t it? He’s the ruler of his kingdom, the supreme figurehead of power, authority, action and production. He’s got so much control over his domain and how can we not feature him on the productivity panel!?
Productivity is often associated with the word “control”. If you are trying to build a habit, you gotta exercise control. If you are trying to beat the clock and the “hands” of fate, you gotta exercise control. You gotta stay on top of your game and you gotta stay in control. Yes, in a very real sense, the Emperor keeps his kingdom up and running and function because of his power to control his people’s affairs. He is able to command and utilize the necessary resources to achieve what needs to be done.
In short, he gets things done. While he is the obvious candidate for a conversation about productivity, I can’t help but think that we as a society have gotten it backwards.
There seems to be this insidious idea that we must first be in the seat of power to be able to exercise control. If we don’t have power to begin with, we have no control over our lives or the situations or people we become involved with. Disempowerment is definitely related to a sense of lack of control. When you feel disempowered for whatever reason, you would slip into passive acceptance and passively accept your life as it is. This kind of passivity then exacerbates into numbness and aimlessness. At this point, you are so far away from the Emperor archetype and the throne of your power, you don’t think you have any power at all.
The Emperor may be an archetype that is radiating control and authority. But both control and authority are powerful indicators of the Emperor-manifest, and definitely align with the Emperor’s core values and core archetype existence–but they are not the Emperor’s source of power.
Indeed, the Emperor’s source of power isn‘t control.
The two main sources of Emperor’s ability to control and project authority are responsibility and choice. A functioning Emperor archetype is responsible for the affairs of his kingdom and his people. He is the manifesting agent for the macrocosm of his people, and he aligns himself with the collective agenda and well-being. As the Emperor, he is responsible for ensuring the prosperity of his kingdom as well as the continuous growth of his kingdom. Because of this he needs to be farsighted and perceptive of the various influences and factors that come into play when he has to make a decision that will affect the future of his domain. Even at the top of his throne, he knows that he has to work with finite resources that can only allow him to accomplish certain priorities over others.
Therefore, a lesson from the Emperor archetype is to know that depending on where you are in life, what your current goal and vision is for yourself, who you are seeking to become and how you are involved with your environment and your circumstances–you will have to make decisions that prioritize one thing over the other. This isn’t necessarily an act of sacrifice, which connotes the idea that you have to be willing to give up something to achieve something else, or you have to give up something in order to get what you want. It’s more about choosing your focus so you can dedicate your time, energy and heart to something that is relevant and important for you right now so things can get done.
Indeed, you are responsible for that. You are responsible for showing up for yourself, for the dreams you want to pull from the ethereal into reality and into physical being. You are responsible for making sure you are doing what needs to be done, for aligning yourself to your heart and your visions, and for keeping the promises that you have made for yourself so that your “kingdom” or the “kingdom” you are trying to create will flourish under your rule. If you do not pledge your sense of duty to your dreams, who will? If you aren’t sitting at the seat of your power, who is? When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. You win when you take responsibility for the kingdom that is yours and the things you want to create and you claim your throne for yourself. Or you surrender your seat of power to someone else and allow yourself to become dictated by life’s circumstance.
(Yes, that is a Game of Thrones reference. Aren’t you excited for the last season? Waiting is absolutely grueling.)
Another source of the Emperor’s power is choice.
This is where your sense of control comes from because when you are sitting at the seat of your power, you believe in the power and the impact of your choices. You believe and know that each and every one of your choice has an effect or consequence, and that your choices are essentially you exercising your power as the ruler of your domain or your life to create the outcomes that you want. As the Emperor, or the ruler, you are not subject to the whims of anyone. You get to decide what you want your life to look like and you get to decide what is good for you. (Don’t go on a selfish decision-making spree, however. That is the act of a Tyrant, not an Emperor.)
The Emperor archetype teaches us that our choices have power. Whatever it is that we choose (or don’t choose) has a direct impact on the reality that we inhabit and create. By acknowledging the power in your ability to choose, you will be able to tap into the power of transformation and manifestation. By acknowledging the power of choice, you are taking responsibility for yourself and your life because, hey, since you are so powerful, you have no excuse NOT to create the life that you want!
Productivity is no longer something intangible or an unattainable status–
with each choice that you make (to experiment, to take better care of yourself, to get to know yourself better, to incorporate the things that you’ve learned into your daily creative practice and lifestyle), you are becoming more productive. You are making productive choices by keeping yourself accountable and reminding yourself of what you want to achieve in life and the kind of person you want to be in life. And you are becoming more productive when you acknowledge that your choices are powerful, and by choosing differently or sticking with a choice that benefits you, you can become the boss of your life.
The Fool’s Journey towards Productivity: III The Empress
Productivity or being productive is typically a more “Divine Masculine” thing, since productivity = action, momentum and discipline.
There is, of course, a Divine Feminine side to this, just like there is a Divine Feminine side to all things and all aspects of life. Seriously, one cannot exist without the other. We need the Yin and the Yang, baby!
So what can we learn from the Empress archetype when it comes to being productive? If you’ve been following this tarot + productivity series, you will probably have already learned that productivity isn’t just about producing products and consistently pumping stuff out. Productivity is how well you rock at being yourself and creating a lifestyle that brings out your best in all areas of your life. In addition to producing products and ensuring that happens (that’s the Emperor, by the way, which is the next post!), we need to, first and foremost, ensure that we are capable of making that happen. We need to make sure that we are well and ready to overcome what life throws at us and set out to achieve what we want to achieve.
To do that, we must take care of ourselves like a mother takes care of her children. This is when the Empress energy comes in. Your health (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) is extremely important and is the core element that determines your productivity.
Simply put, you can’t be productive if you’re not healthy. If you are not performing at your optimal condition, then it is a no-brainer that you won’t be producing your best work. You need to take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. I know this sometimes seems like a lot to ask, especially when the perks of adulting is usually having more than one person to take care of. Despite this, you definitely shouldn’t do this out of a sense of dreaded obligation, as if you’re doing some kind of inevitable maintenance work to ensure that you can keep on functioning the next day. Like omg, I hate it because it’s so much work, but I have to force myself to do it because it’s supposed to be good for me.
Whatever it is that you do to take care of yourself, do it with love. Take care of yourself because you are responsible for yourself, because you are responsible for your well-being and your happiness, and you are responsible because you know that you deserve to be at your best and happiest. I am not yet a mother and don’t know if I will ever be a mother, but I learn from my mother and her dedication to her children (namely, me, and my little brother). When she takes care of us, she does it out of love. Now that my brother and I are both adults, she still reminds us to wear a jacket on a cold day. She still gets mad when she finds out that we skipped lunch and starved for the whole afternoon at work. Taking care of yourself should be like that. You take care of yourself–you workout, you eat well, you talk to a friend when you are upset, you meditate to calm your tits down–you do those things out of love and nurture. Because you know you deserve better, and you deserve to be at your best.
Draw from your Inner Empress or Inner Mother energy and channel it towards yourself. If you’re having “childish temperaments” such as but I just want one more cookie! It’s chocolate-chip glazed with caramel! or I just want to stay up late and watch Netflix! I need to sleep but…it’s Orange is the New Black’s season finale! I can’t miss that! Time to be a gentle but stern motherly figure and recognize what’s best for yourself. But I’m an adult now! I can do whatever I want! Of course you can. Binge Netflix once in a while. Enjoy the guilty pleasures of life. Live. Love. Pray. But don’t do it at the expense of your health. Trust me, it’s not worth it. And your choices, no matter how small they may seem at the time, do add up if you choose to reenact those choices on a consistent basis.
At this point, it seems like being healthy or taking care of yourself requires a lot of “sacrifice”, no?
It does seem like cultivating a healthy routine or self-care routine forces you to give up a lot of the things you love, or it may seem like you have to invest a lot of time, energy, and effort in order to maintain a healthy regimen. Being or staying healthy sounds like sacrifice. But being healthy is a good thing, so we must willingly sacrifice ourselves to the Health Supreme so that it may continue to reign in its domain…All! Hail! Health! Long! Live! Health!
Being healthy doesn’t need to be an oppressive thing. Being healthy doesn’t have to be charged with reluctance and negativity. This is when the other side of the Empress comes in. On top of embodying the Mother archetype, the Empress also embodies the Wild Woman archetype, and the Wild Woman is free, running across a field of gold with wind in her hair, enjoying life, lusting for more life, loving life. THIS should be the core, the essence, the heart of being and staying healthy and taking care of yourself.
This seems counter-intuitive, because a lot of our ideas about health require discipline (diet, exercise routines, habit building etc) and hard work. But take my word for it: health is freeing. Being healthy is freeing. It frees your body from ailments, aches, discomforts, and lethargy. If you are taking care of yourself, you are giving yourself the precious gift of life, energy, and expansion. You can’t expand when you’re shriveled up inside and outside. It frees you from physical and emotional toxins because now that you have so much more energy and so much more life, you are able to invest those energies into the things that you truly love. Creative expression. Purposeful work. Building and deepening relationships. Having fun.
Being healthy means allowing yourself to be the best version of yourself so that you can continue to build and become an even better version of yourself. Being healthy means creating space for the things that you love. Being healthy means freeing yourself and giving yourself more to live for.
And making health or healthier choices doesn’t need to be a chore or sacrifice. Think about it this way: while you have to give up some bad habits or work towards cultivating new ones, this is an opportunity for you to expand. You’re being called to expand. You are giving yourself a chance to be even better and happier. You are also giving yourself a chance to discover new things that you will enjoy and love, things that are both beneficial to your well-being as well as your happiness.
This is your life, you get to do whatever you want. Hate jogging? Then don’t jog. Join a dance class instead. Hate journaling and writing things down? Sing a song . Channel your feelings into musical notes instead of words. You are free to discover and create your own healthy lifestyle and your own healthy routines. You are the creator or creatrix and you are free to determine what is the best for you, what inspires you, and what will help your rock at this life and feel like you rock at this life. You are free to do that. You are free to do all of that for yourself, with love.
There is so much more the Empress archetype can offer on the topic of productivity. It’s one of the biggest archetypes in tarot and it is so for a reason. And seriously, the Empress and High Priestess need to team up and have a joined panel on this topic. Am I right!?
But for now, be the Mother. Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Be the Wild Woman. Be free. Free yourself. Love life. Love what you’re here for and what you are able to do when you are at your best.
And most importantly, love yourself, again. Over and over and over.