Help, My Deck is Being Mean! 6 Things You Can Do When Working with a Really “Mean” Tarot Deck


deck is being mean feature image

What do you mean, “mean”? 

I often hear people talk about “my deck is being really mean to me”, followed by a sad face..which made me think, interesting. Though I would personally describe some self-readings as unsatisfactory or confusing, I’ve never described used the term “mean”. This is why I decided to explore the idea of “mean” in this post, and how we can address it or make the best out of it. We’ll stand up to the tyranny of our decks and face their rejection and criticism with determination and bravery! * roars*

But first, let’s explore what does it mean when a deck is being mean to you. What does it mean when your deck is being difficult? By “mean”, I find that often people don’t mean that their decks are being bullies to them–usually, it’s a case of the cards being very blunt or direct with their problems. Or, the deck doesn’t provide you with an answer that you’re currently seeking, or it gives you answers that don’t match your question–answers that you didn’t really ask for. Or if it’s a case of being insulted by our tarot cards, it’s usually because the messages of the cards have managed to hit one or some of the sore spots in our psyche, ruffling our feathers and poking at our insecurities. In short, tarot tells us something that we do not want to hear.

If we could manage to work through our emotions or find a new angle to keep moving, then awesome! But sometimes, we inevitably get stuck in a rut, or we get trapped in our own head or own moods and we can’t seem to move past the mean tarot deck that is blocking our path towards emotional or physical solutions. Ah, what to do in those situations?

1. Wait and try again later. 

A simple thing to do when you are faced with an incredibly mean deck is to wait and try again later. Wait until your emotional waters have calmed, wait until you are less likely to interpret your cards with a charged attitude, wait until your system has caught up with your higher truths so you can shuffle with a fresh new perspective and better vibrations. Your cards will respond in kind.

2. Ask for a “second opinion”: work with a deck that is lighter in tone or gentler in images. 

Sometimes, your deck may be really mean to you because the symbolic landscapes or the artwork of the deck are naturally dark and grotesque (I’m looking at you, Deviant Moon!!!) Darker symbolism tends to inspire darker interpretations and harsher language. Depending on your question and your emotional state, something that cuts straight to the point and lands right in your shadowscapes may actually be damaging. In these situations, it’ll be a good idea to consult another deck that you trust or work with–a deck that has a lighter image and can help deliver the same messages with a lighter tone.

3. Pull an oracle card for an alternative perspective. 

When you feel like your tarot deck is pressing closer to you and you have your back against the wall, drawing a card from an oracle card can really help change the energy and dissolve the tension. Oracle cards are generally more positive and optimistic in nature, so if you’ve received a really dark and difficult message, an oracle card can help balance the perspective and remind you of light aspects of any situation. By the way, it’s not good to spiritually bypass truths that you need to face–so this shouldn’t be used as an excuse for escapism. But it’s good to inject a new angle into your stream of thoughts–because more often than not, we get stuck in our own head and vicious thought patterns, so it’s good to have an alternative perspective.

4. Rephrase or reframe your question. 

There are two ways to go about this: one is to try to rephrase or reframe your questions into something more empowering, something that puts you in the seat of power. For example, if you’ve asked, “Why did he break up with me?” and received a mixture of heartbreaking answers, you can change the question to: “How can I move forward from my confusion and heartache in a positive way?” or “What is the best thing I can do to nurture myself right now?”

Another way to go about this is to rethink your question and consider what it is really that you want an answer to. Are you seeking to be comforted but you received a card that tells you how to solve the problem? Or you are look for practical ways to communicate with somebody but your deck ends up reflecting back all your insecurities about communicating? Tarot can be extremely and profoundly insightful and transformative, but it helps when we are channeling its wisdom in a constructively way, at the right time and with the right frame of mind. So think about what you want to ask and what kind of answer you are seeking–this will help you gain better clarity on what it is really that you want to know.

5. Journal about the “mean answer” and unpack its messages. 

If you’re that emotional over a mean comment from your deck, chances are you probably have a lot of unhealthy emotions that are in need of releasing and clarifying. Tarot may just be pointing you to the fact that you need to do some psychological housekeeping. You need to get mad about this. Let your feelings out. If that’s not the case, it’s a good thing to do to try to make sense of your state of mind anyway–a productive self-reflection session never hurts. By journaling and noting down your feelings, thoughts and stream of consciousness, you can dump out your pent up feelings freely. Once you’re done, you can look over what you’ve written down and look for clues. Read with both discernment and an inquisitive mind. Did you figure out why that particular tarot “comment” upset you? If you did, what can you do about it?

6. Do some shadow work and examine the triggers. 

Similar to the journaling tip, something that we experience as extremely triggering is probably a good indicator of the presence of something shadowy. What’s lurking in our shadowscapes? What’s making us feel insecure, defensive, angry, salty? Why are we feeling this way? What is the source of these feelings–the real source? I think instead of getting “mad” over your deck, think of it this way: tarot never gives you anything that you can’t handle. If it’s talking shit about you or to you, it’s probably because you have the inner strength to overcome the difficult emotions and work through them like a champ. Say this to yourself: You’re gonna talk shit to me? Well I’m going to figure out why and get better and you can’t say nothin’ after that!! 

Well, tarot might respond by giving you the Sun card–I’m sure it’ll be very happy with your progress and growth as a human being. 🙂 Tarot is kind of like our personal spirit guides, no? Such a wonderful thing. I am grateful for tarot every single day.


You Had Me at Hello: Phantasmagoric Theatre Tarot

Blog, Deck Reviews


I am super excited to be working with this deck. From the moment I saw it online, I knew this was something I would enjoy immensely. The whimsical art, the specific tarot world that it portrays, the careful symbolism and philosophy–all seemed too good to be true. I purchased the deck and I am going to spend all of March working with this deck. I will be doing daily draws every day, and I intend to look into determinism (which is the central philosophy of this deck–that life is scripted and we cannot escape our fate) as well as reread Shakespeare’s Tempest, which, if I remember correctly, expresses the idea that life is like theatre. I read this in my university days and it will be interesting to revisit it again.

(On a side note, I regret not taking extensive notes and blogging about last month’s deck–Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine. It was my first time doing “deck of the month” for myself and I didn’t have a firm study system. I should have studied the Victorian society and the steampunk genre more!! Grrrr)

I haven’t finished reading the guidebook yet, but the concept of this deck and some of the author’s notes are already very interesting. The four key symbols depicted on the back of the card: a dice, the number 56, a puzzle piece and a question mark each represent the author’s central beliefs and are frequently referenced throughout the deck. The number 56 is apparently meant to be a political statement that states each of us is numbered by the time of birth. The dice represents the random occurrences and chaos that we are dealt and must experience until the final curtain drops. The puzzle pieces represent the connections that we make throughout our lives, and as our connections increase and grow, the world becomes smaller. The question mark represents the unanswered questions that we have in life.

The deck taps into an interesting metaphor throughout the cards–that life is theatre. Life is a play. Life is scripted, and we, as actors, can only play out our roles and make the best of what we are given. The events in our lifetime are predetermined by the plot that is in store for us, and we don’t really have the room to make drastic changes. Although, by tapping into the powers of tarot, we are able to make “minor adjustments” to avoid disasters that can cost us.

I don’t know if I agree with this view on life completely, but I do want to explore the metaphor further and see how I would personally interpret it.

So let’s start by examining the idea that life is scripted, and that we are given the script at the moment of our birth and our life is predetermined by what is already given. I looked into determinism briefly, and it is a concept that states there is no free will, and that our choices are merely a process of cause and effect–simple or complicated. To have free will means to have options, and that we are free to exercise those options. According to the rules of philosophical debate, free will is very hard to prove because it is mostly a feeling.


So life is scripted. What is this script? I know many people believe that when a soul chooses to enter a body or a lifetime, the soul has a “contract” or a “plan” to experience certain things in life–to work through particular lessons, to connect with specific types of people, to go through “predetermined” events in order to achieve a spiritual effect etc. Perhaps, some of these lessons and objectives are carried over from our previous lifetimes, and we seek to complete our journey or fulfill what has not been fulfilled from our previous lives. For me personally, I don’t know how reality works, but this version of how a soul travels through physical lifetime kind of works for me. I don’t know if it happens like that “down to a tee”, but I believe in the concept of having a “general agenda” that is either “agreed upon” or “predetermined”–lessons or trajectories that we are meant to experience in a particular lifetime. So in this way, the idea of “life is scripted” kind of works, but I think I am deviating from the author’s intentions for this deck a bit since ultimately, we had a say in how we wanted our lives to play out, since we “decided” it and “predetermined” it ourselves before we are born.

Or, if we didn’t actively “choose” the life that we want to live, which may very well be the case–the idea that our souls carry imprints, signatures and lessons that are in need of resolving or healing or creating also works for me. So this aligns with what I currently understand about determinism–that our choices are determined by a series of causes and effects. Say that I am in a toxic relationship in this lifetime is because of the energies and lessons that I carry from another lifetime (or even just from this lifetime)–and that I need to go through the motions to “break the pattern” and to “learn the lesson”–then yes. Life is scripted. It’s scripted because what has happened to us before this present moment plays a role in determining what our experiences are going to be.

If we go with “life is scripted” metaphor–if there is a script, then there must be a writer, no? I cannot simply treat the script as a magical and absolute manifestation that will determine a person’s basic plot line–all the rising actions and the denouement and the final curtain. Like who writes the script? Who wrote the script? If the script is prewritten, is it our “souls” that determined what the script is going to be about? Is it our spirit guides? Is it god? Is it something else that’s bigger than us? Or again, is it simply “prewritten” because it is what we carry within our souls? But that is only if you believe in reincarnation or having several lifetimes, which I do, so I have to include in my discussion.

Either way, in my belief, be it spirit guides or our higher selves or whatever–it does not occur to me that the script is unchangeable. That’s like trying to rewrite my DNA. Who’s the writer? Perhaps there is no clear source of where this script came from, but I do believe that we play a role in changing the stories that we tell–or would that fall into the role and functions of an actor? We, as actors, perform according to the script, putting our own spin on it, expressing the lines we are given in our own way, making the best out of any situation. So perception plays an important role here. We can be dealt a shitty script, but we can still make it a brilliant play. So I guess this still plays into the idea of determinism, but it’s just that we choose to perceive our “play” from a place of empowerment and creativity.

Okay, so I want to go back to the script again. In my head, I do not believe that a script is something that is descriptive to the point that it knows exactly what we are going to wear on May 25, 2038. We’re not being bloody “scripted” like some mindless NPC’s in an open-world RPG game, for goodness’ sake. I think how I define a “script” for a person’s life would be exactly what I said earlier –like it contains the general trajectories, the big lessons and core concepts that we are supposed to experience and get in touch with in this lifetime, and how we experience it may take several physical forms. This aligns with the idea of script and literature…is it kind of like interpreting poetry, then? It’s more about how you perceive the symbolism and the imagery-and how you make meaning out of it?


But I guess, the idea of a script for theatre is that the plot details and even some actions are dictated, which returns to the author’s idea of “fate”–that we are unable to alter the events that are destined to happen in our lives. We can only try to avoid the upcoming disasters through “minor adjustments”. That’s so fatalist! But I guess that’s the point *slaps forehead* That’s just so…negative. Like the entire framework posits that shit (and only shit?) happens in life, and we just have to deal with it, YOLO. Like the things that are “scripted”–the way it is written in the little white book that comes with the deck–it just feels like only “disasters” will happen and we should be lucky to have anything good in our lives at all.

That’s hogwash, sorry. That’s just so against my inner nature. I’m never one for spiritual bypassing or viewing life only through the lens of “love and light”–but like, my inner fibres are like, naturally fluffy and they’re made of sunflowers. Like I’m not trying to out-positive everything and ignore the negative aspects in life, but I like to look at the challenges or “disasters” in life from a place of strength. They’re challenges because they are a testament to how strong we can be. They are difficult because we are given an opportunity to rise to overcome those difficulties. I’m all about exercising our free will and agency–choosing what is best for ourselves to the best of our ability. Viewing life as inherently difficult and we just have to make do with what we are given and do our best to try to neutralize all the negativity–meh. It’s really not my cup of tea. Yes, shit happens, but we are stronger than all of those shit combined. We just have to choose to tap into our strengths and face our challenges head on. Am I right? Am I right?

Anyway, I digress. That’s enough about the script. I want to talk about the idea or the concept of actors. Like I mentioned earlier, actors have to follow the script, but they are also artists–they have their own voice, their own worldviews, and their own artistry and their own unique way of interpreting and performing the play. This taps into the idea of creative agency and that we are free to do whatever we like to the “material” we are given. (Hey–it’s not about what you got–it’s about what you do with what you got, right?) When it comes to acting, it is also a dedicated craft. There are skills you can learn and strategies you can internalize–so this inevitable includes the idea of practice and self-development. Now this is my cup of tea. We can choose to practice, focus and perform our roles better in the way that we want to.

This is totally not taking a deterministic turn. Sorry Cameron! Not following your script. 😛


There is also the aspect of performance. Now this gets kind of interesting–because when actors perform, they must have an audience, right? Who are we performing for? For others? But if life is theatre, these so called “others” would be the other actors, right? The actors that are participating in the same story as us. Or these audiences could be the people that are not really within our life’s experience–people that are busy living their own lives, performing their own plays on their own stages? So, say you’re Bill Gates and you’re famous and inspiring–you may have a large (global, in fact) audience that attends your play because you are known to the world through your achievements, your work, and through media la di da.

The idea of performativity though–can this be a representation of the ego? When we’re not expressing our true selves–when we are not acting authentically or from a place of honest–we are “putting on a show” or we are simply “reacting” to our surroundings–living our lives on auto-pilot without without being aware of what’s really going on. Are we following the script at this point? Perhaps. Perhaps this is just another lesson that we need to learn. But say we cultivate awareness and spiritual autonomy, then we are making a conscious performance–would this be considered artistic? Creative? Because it is a true expression of ourselves and who we are as individuals?

Not sure where we are going with this. But anyway, I think “life is theatre” or “life is a play” is a fascinating metaphor.


I may be taking this too far. But right? Who’s directing this? Definitely not a solitary god playing SIMS–that’s not within my belief. Perhaps our…collective consciousness as human beings? Or our collective energies and desires as souls travelling through space-time, seeking to find our true selves and true experience?

Where do we go when the curtain falls, as actors? Well, death. Death is certain. Do we get shoved into another play? Do we choose to perform another play? Or do we decide to change our paths and pursue something else entirely?

Anyway. These are my thoughts and musings so far. I’ll update you on my progress once I’ve worked with this deck more–and also read the little white book. The court cards are actually characters (with names!) that the author has created. I’m sure Graham Cameron has more to say about each card he’s created–this seems like a carefully and meticulously crafted deck. I mean just based on the explanation that he gave about the symbolism on the back of the card–I anticipate more awesome details down the road.

Start Your Quest | 9 Gamification Tarot Spreads to Level Up Your Life!

Level Up, Productivity, Spreads, Tarot
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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 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. 

Select Your Hero Tarot Spread

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. 

Checkpoint Tarot Spread

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! 

Glitched Tarot Spread

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!

Epically Lagging Tarot Spread

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! 

Troll Alert Tarot Spread

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!

Level Up Tarot Spread

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! 

Boss Fight Tarot Spread

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!

Stage Cleared Tarot Spread

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! 

New Stage Unlocked Tarot Spread

You’re awesome!

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!!

Level Up with a Creative & Motivational Tarot Reading!


What to Ask Tarot? Best Questions to Ask When You Read For Yourself


Best quesitons to ask tarot bannerA few years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “What to ask during a tarot reading? 5 types of questions for consideration”, in which I gave a list of 5 useful question tags that will help you formulate a question to ask your deck, which will lead to insightful answers. In this blog post, I am revisiting this topic with a new perspective and additional thoughts. If you’re just looking for a springboard of ideas for your reading and quick “reading hacks”, scroll down to check out 6 questions/things you can do to get the best out of a tarot session!

So what are some questions to ask during a tarot reading? Instead of asking that question, what we really should be asking is What do we want to know? What is the answer that we seek? 

Or most importantly: How do we arrive at the answers that we seek? 

I’m going to come at this from a totally different angle because I feel that it’s not really about the questions we ask–it’s about what we are looking for in a reading session. Are we looking for solutions, encouragement, guidance, self-reflection, or an alternative perspective? Are we looking to be comforted, to have light shed on a situation, or to be given advice? To be able to answer those questions, we will have to practice self-awareness and have a good level of self-understanding to know what it is that we are looking for. Indeed, I believe that knowing ourselves, knowing what we’re like, how we’re wired to think and feel and how we are experiencing a certain relationship or situation is key to finding answers that are going to be helpful and illuminating for us or for others.

Other than self-awareness, another important question to ask is: Do you want to know the answer? 

Getting the best out of a tarot reading isn’t necessarily about the type of questions that you ask. It’s about your intentionFrom personal experience, the answers that I gain from pulling cards for myself range from nonsensical, mediocre/meh, or deeply transformative, poignant and resonating. This isn’t due to the fact that I asked different questions with varying degrees of appropriateness or usefulness–I could be cardslinging with the same questions over and over, and each time I may have a different result from the last time.

I believe this is because of the intention that I carry during each reading. For each nonsensical answer that I got, it was always because I wasn’t really in the mood for a reading; I just thought that I would pull a card and see what I would get–kind of like playing a scratch-and-win lottery card. I wasn’t serious about looking for an answer. For every mediocre answer, I would be asking serious questions about my life, but more often than not, those questions lacked both weight and urgency. Sure, they were important questions and it was fun to reflect on the answers, but I wasn’t seeking to be transformed or inspired by the insights that came up.

Some of the best readings I did for myself were readings that were done with some serious intention. Tarot gave me answers that were shining, timeless and layered with wisdom. Answers that unlocked my sense of potential, helped me heal and release my shadows. Answers that pushed me forward in life and actually made an impact. Was it because of the type of questions that I asked? I don’t believe so. I believe the answers were golden because I wanted them to be golden. I needed the depth and guidance of tarot and so I carried my intention with sincerity, purity and urgency. It was because I sought those answers, made space for those answers, and allowed them to come into my consciousness.

So you see, it’s not really about the questions that you ask. As the old saying goes: it’s about the journey and not the destination. For a lot of people, there may be an unspoken pressure to come up with a good sure-fire question that will land you directly at the gate of High Priestess’ Realm. We want to efficiently enter that space so we try to beef up our process in whatever way we can. We want to find ways and tools to help us optimize our tarot reading procedures so we can be more productive in “knowing”. Those who practice tarot knows that High Priestess cannot be pursued physically–it is not a place to be entered. It is a frequency, a space that you embody when you allow it to surface.

A tarot reading is like that–it is a journey that you partake.

Sometimes you don’t know where you’ll end up so you don’t know what questions you need to ask, so you allow tarot to guide you through the process and point you towards the right direction. Sometimes you have a vague idea about where you want to be headed, and you also allow tarot to illuminate your path and light the way. And sometimes, you know exactly where you want to end up and you may also know what path you need to take–but it doesn’t really matter how long it takes you to get there, am I right? It doesn’t really matter which path you choose because you know deep in your heart that you are going to arrive at your destination. You’ve made sure of that at the beginning of your trip by deciding that you are going to end up there. With that in mind, with that intention in mind, you allow tarot to show you the way.

In short, it’s not really about the questions that you ask–it is about the answers that you seek and the intention that you hold. If you are truly seeking to solve the puzzle in your heart or the problems that you face, you will find what you are looking for simply because you are seeking. The act of seeking is what will get you the answers that you want, and as long as you hold that intention within you, you can ask the stupidest questions ever to your deck of tarot cards–even then, I believe that you will still find your way.


That’s a long-winded answer for a simple question, but hey! For those of you who are simply looking for a springboard or ideas to ask a good question or a better question to your tarot cards, here is a list of questions and suggestions to help you get started:

Start with a general question. 

General questions are great insight starters if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. You can then narrow down the scope of your search by framing another question with the insights and reflections that you have gained from the cards. For example: What do I need to know right now? What is a message that tarot/my higher self/spirit guide/God/Universe has for me? 

Ask your tarot cards to tell you what to ask. 

If you really have no idea what you need to be focusing on right now–not to worry. Why not ask your cards to give you some suggestions? (Unless your deck spits out the High Priestess card and gives you a trollish grin as it says, Well, what do YOU think? You know the answer already.) This can give you clues about which aspect of your experience you can address and explore. For example, if you receive the 10 of Swords, it might be a good idea to ask the cards to help you explore the source of your stress and depression and ask for encouragement and guidance. If you receive Ace of Pentacles, then you might want to ask about something practical, such as how you can actively solve the problem or what you need to put into action to make the best of a situation.

Start the question with “How” or “Why”. 

“How” questions are great, because it’s got a problem solving vibe. It’s a great little question tag firmly rooted in the desire for action. E.g. “How do I solve this problem? How do I approach this person or situation? How can I release my emotions?” On the other hand, “Why” is a great shadow work question tag because by asking “Why”, you are saying that you want to locate the source and get to the bottom of things. E.g. “Why am I feeling this way? Why am I unable to release this emotion? Why has this situation perpetuated? Why isn’t this problem solved?” Be careful with “why” questions though. You don’t want to accidentally switch on victim mode and start a self-pity party or a rant fest.

Use a tarot spread. 

Tarot spreads are an awesome idea and there are so many great spreads out there for you to choose from! The reason why they are awesome is because they are laid out in a way that addresses multiple aspects of a situation or scenario, offering you a holistic outlook on your experience. They are general in scope but specific enough to give you a clearer sense of direction, pointing you towards the answers that you seek. I often create my own spreads to address my own needs, or I “outsource” them and hunt them down from the tarot readers (Kelly-Ann Maddox, Jessi Huntenburg, and Ethony etc) that I adore!

Do a brainstorm session before you start a reading. 

Just like writing a well structured essay (my English tutoring mode is switching itself on at the word “brainstorming” LOL) , brainstorming and getting some ideas down before the “real work” is very helpful–not to mention you will be able to come up with specific questions tailored to answer your immediate questions. Do a “vomit” session and just dump out whatever thoughts or feelings that you have, jotting down things like how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, what you want to know, what you need help with, and ways to look at the problem or solve the problem. After a short session, you can look at what you’ve written down and see if there is a pattern. For example, you may notice that you repeatedly put down “I am so mad at XXX!” or “She’s such a XXX!” This can become something you focus on during the tarot reading. You can ask, “Why am I so angry at XXX? How do I release and process this anger? How can I communicate with her and resolve the issue? Are there any shadow triggers or projections that are coming from my side?”

Practice self-awareness and journal about your tarot process. 

Like I mentioned before, self-awareness helps our tarot process because by knowing the workings of our own mind, we can be a better teammate to ourselves and also to our tarot deck. Imagine you pull out your deck of cards, and your deck goes, “I’m ready! Give me your questions, let’s go!” while you are still spinning on the spot, screaming, “Hold on, just gimme a minute!” It’s a much better scenario if your deck says “I’m ready!” to which you answer, “So am I! I want to work on processing my feelings today because I know I have the tendency to do shove my feelings under the carpet!” You are more likely to get a better reading session with your deck because you have a better understanding of your own tendencies and emotional trajectories.

Tarot Villains: Evil Behaviours According to Their Suit or Element

Creativity & Writing, Level Up, Tarot

Blog Post Feature Image tarot villainsWhich 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.

Anyhoo–I digress. 

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?


Is Your Deck Alive? Thoughts on Anthropomorphizing Your Tarot Deck

Tarot, Tarot Study

Is Your Deck Alive banner

If you’ve ever wondered why some tarot practitioners talk about their decks as if they were a living entity, or why some decks could be sweet while others blunt or straight up critical and negative–well, it’s a complex question that requires an examination of one’s belief in how reality operates. So there’s really no black and white answer because your relationship with tarot is like your relationship with god–it’s about what you resonate with and what inspires you to practice with authenticity and emotion.

Personally though, I don’t believe a deck of tarot cards is some kind of living entity, or that it’s got some kind of energetic consciousness that is able to convey certain attitude or tune when giving a reading to its owner.

To me, a deck of cards is simply a deck of cards. It’s ink and paper, and it carries no intelligence or personality whatsoever on its own. I know that sounds very unromantic for a lot of you, but the magic of tarot has never been contingent upon the physicality of the cards, or the actual deck itself. I believe the magic of divination dwells within the practitioner: the magic is within me, or rather, in my intention. It is because I am genuinely asking a question and seeking the answer with my heart that the oracle (which is tarot) answers. The conversation that I have with tarot is really one with myself.

How about for those people who believe that a deck of cards carry certain energetic signatures or is a consciousness in and of itself?

The way I see it is that reality is a very mysterious thing.

I believe that even the “deadest” physical objects can carry energy, so who am I to say that a tarot card, with the congregation of symbols and images that activate portals to human’s collective and archetypal consciousness, does not hold a mind of its own? Who knows. I don’t think I’ll be able to adequately explain how tarot works, or how reality works, but I do think that reality functions according to our beliefs and perceptions of reality. If we believe that a deck of card is able to communication with its own level of consciousness, then in our minds, we hold the space for that to manifest. If we believe that a deck of cards is just a deck of cards, then it will always be a deck of cards unless we decide to shift our perspectives otherwise. Our reality is fundamentally linked to how we perceive reality and how we think reality functions.

If you follow me on my social media, you probably noticed that I sometimes talk about tarot in personifying terms. I often refer to my tarot decks or my tarot practice as a living entity or as a personality.

I do this in the way as a storyteller may refer to their creations (such as characters or lores) as a real occurrence. Writers often express that certain characters just “came to them” or “started talking” as if they were alive and dictated their stories to be written. I don’t think this is because they believe that characters are actually real entities that exist somewhere in an alternative space-time and came in contact with their writers so that they might participate in the telling of their tales. They do it because they are in love with their creative work, and the creative process of storytelling is a very dynamic one. When they engage with their ideas, it’s like they are having a real conversation with the characters they created. It’s almost an act of co-creation because it’s so organic.

I feel a tarot reading channels its messages in the same way. As we engage we tarot, we open ourselves to conversation and dialogue.

We engage with the particular images and symbols on the cards before us and we seek to understand what they are trying to tell us by tapping into our intuition, knowledge and inner wisdom. Tarot is a magic mirror with a diverse and fluid vocabulary that guides us to unearth the insights within ourselves.

And because tarot operates primarily visually (as it relies on its art and various symbolic depictions), the messages that we channel or interpret from the cards are going to be influenced by what the images seek to convey–something that is determined by the artist or the creator of that deck. In essence, a tarot deck that is “blunt” or “sweet” isn’t really due to the fact that it has a blunt or sweet temper–it is because the images that are chosen inspire those tones. For example, Happy Tarot is created with soft pastel colours and adorable cartoon characters, featuring landscapes like cloud kingdoms, candy land and forests filled with cute friendly animals or creatures. The overall atmosphere of the deck is very sweet and inspires your inner child to come out and play. On the other hand, I don’t think you would call Deviant Moon Tarot “sweet”. I have never personally worked with that deck but I heard that it is known to be blunt and cuts straight through your bullshit–which is probably due to the grotesque images and dark symbolism that are able to resonate with your inner darkness, “cutting straight through your bullshit”.

So yeah–while I use a lot of anthropomorphic or “personifying” language to talk about tarot, I don’t really subscribe to the belief that my tarot decks are alive. I don’t really have an issue with people who think so and practice tarot accordingly. Tarot practice is meant to be a personal thing and as I said in my video: “I do me. They do them.” On a side note, I do think that it can be problematic when people use their anthropomorphic language or beliefs to bypass personal autonomy or to create excuses for not improving their lives. “I can’t move on because my tarot deck is being negative!” or “I feel like shit because my deck was blunt!” Fortunately, I don’t think this happens very often and most people who talk about their decks being blunt is quite positive with a tinge of humour. “Oh gee is my deck blunt! I guess I have nowhere to hide but to face my shadows and get to work!”

What about you? Do you believe that your tarot deck is alive? Do you believe it’s just a pile of paper? Or is it something else? Share your thoughts in the comments section. 


6 Tarot Spreads to Kick-start the New Year

Blog, Level Up, Productivity, Spreads

tarot spread jumpstart 2018 bannerNew 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!

2017 Year Map

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

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.png

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 Calling Spread

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

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!

keep calm and tarot on

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! 

You Had Me At Hello: The Arthur Rackham Oracle

Deck Reviews, Tarot

you had me at hello arthur rackham oracle blog feature imageI remember my heart leapt out of my throat when I first discovered this deck on the internet. I could not contain my excitement: Shakespeare, fairytales, and Victorian storybook all in one deck? HELLO!? At that precise moment, I swore an oath to acquire this deck without fail. I must own this deck if it meant the apocalypse!

And well, I’m ashamed to say that I could not honour my oath immediately because….it didn’t mean the apocalypse, but it did mean paying the deck in atrocious Canadian dollars, which was a good old $80 at the time. And purchasing an indie deck in Canada is just absolutely dreadful. With the currency difference, taxes, and shipping (holy crap shipping!), buying anything internationally as a Canadian is just honestly tragic (#firstworldproblems)

But anyway, I digress. After much whining, my family (knowing how unsatiated deck lust tends to eat me alive) took pity on me and purchased it for me as an early Christmas present. And it surprisingly made its way past the dimensional rift (Canadian customs) and arrived in a timely fashion, before the Christmas postal black hole! Holy shit I’m so happy. I unboxed it with glee and I was flipping through the cards just now, and I cannot tell you how incredible this deck is! Except I am telling you this now because it’s so awesome! HOLY CRAP!

First Impressions

25371234_10159567508960580_247816994_oI immediately caught various references to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Nick Bottom made several appearances in his glorious donkey head throughout the deck. I recognized famous fairytale scenes: Snow White being found by the Seven Dwarves, Red Riding Hood making her way through the forest and conversing with her “grandmother” that was the Wolf in disguise. I noticed some tarot references as well. For example, the Strength card features a maiden walking amongst lions, just like the maiden in RWS’s Strength. There are lots of scenes featuring the “common folk” going about in their daily lives, facing little but significant moments of insecurity, fear, shadows and doubts–very akin to tarot’s minor arcana. On the introductory card attached to the main deck, it is said that the Rackham Oracle is not meant to be tarot, nor is it lenormand, though it draws inspirations from both.


Other than the images, I also love the word choices (some of which made me use the dictionary–Medrugada, which is the Spanish word for “early morning”, is subtitled “Doorway to Dream-Time”, a card that portrays the in-between and transitional states between the layers of consciousness, between waking and dreaming. The word Sangfroid was an interesting word; I had to really wrap my tongue around it to get a feel of it. It means “composure or coolness”, and it is subtitled “Confronting the Demons” and accompanied by a scene in which a gentleman in a coat and a pale looking witch are seen as if dealing with a hoard of goblins (with one of them being the goblin king). I suppose “confronting the demons” depicts moments where you cannot openly display your vulnerability, moments that require powerful inner resolve and groundness to achieve your goal in mind.

So far, me likey.


Immediate Favourites 

The cards that I am immediately drawn to are, I discovered promptly, cards that resonated with my character and sense of humour. These are cards that mirrored my whimsical and playful nature and appealed to my inner trickster nature as well as my love for cute things (cats). Stability features a black cat balancing on a wooden beam, followed by the key word “Sure Footedness”. Needless to say I’m in love. Anything that features a cat is automatically approved without further questioning. Quackery-Professional Incompetence is a poignant card with meticulous sense of humour that illustrated the ridiculousness and stupidity of hypocrisy. Courage-Defensive but Daring portrays a fuzzy-hair child standing at the edge of a cliff with a skinny spear, with a swarm of insects (butterflies? little fairy-like creatures? or just plain old bugs) next to her. She looks carefree but there is confidence radiating off her as if she is saying, “I don’t mean any business, but don’t you cross me.” That stance resonates with me so well because that tends to be how I deal with the problems in my life. I’m never on the offensive because I generally don’t like to expend a lot of energy confronting forces or problems unnecessarily, but when it comes to the things that really threaten my well-being and boundaries, people better back the fuck off. (P.S. I kind of messed up the picture sequence and included Devilment instead of Courage on the above picture–but as you can see it is included in the picture below!)

Picture3Other honourable mentions: Intuition-Connection to the SubconsciousFecundity-Creative PowerDevilment-Force for Mischief (hehe), Cultlivation-Achieving RefinementBaphomet-The One Who Sows Discord, & Coterie-Circle of Peers.


Cards That Made Me Feel 

As I flipped through the cards for the first time, there were cards that tugged at my emotions deeply and gave me lots of feels. One of them in particular really provoked the despair and grief that I felt last year when my father passed away from cancer. The card is called Endingsubtitled “Our journey is over and done.” On the card, a sick woman lays in bed while a man sits by the bed watching her intensely as if observing her final moments yet unable to do anything…because what’s done is done. The quiet despair, numbness and silence all came rushing back to me. In spiritual literature, endings are markers of transformation and are often perceived with optimism. Death is a different ending altogether. I personally believe that a soul’s journey goes beyond the the space-time of a human’s lifetime, but death…the mortality of it. The abruptness and emptiness of it. It’s so incredible physical and heavy and real. It really is “over and done.” Another card Wonder-Shadow of the Past also triggered similar feelings regarding my father’s passing, as the pharaoh looking statue sits in somber silence, withdrawing into its self and withdrawing into the night. It reminds me of grief, of the things that could-have-been but no more.


Other Honourable Mentions: Coercion-Leaving Behind reminds me of some of the toxic relationships dynamics that I was unfortunately part of in the past. Intemperance-Lack of Self-Control reminds me of the panic and anxiety that I feel, again, when my father passed. All of the cards that triggered intense feelings within me are cards that reflected my emotional reality and the issues, lessons that I am still working through…things that are heavily loaded with psychological and emotional energy.

Cards at My Home Frequency 

Alright, now let’s turn the corner and talk about the cards that make me feel like I am being grounded and inspired to expand–images and words that resonate with my spiritual truths and home frequency. 🙂 Ascension-Nurtured – and Nurturing was one such card, depicting an angelic and motherly figure with butterfly wings carrying a baby on her shoulders while soaring through the landscape. Instead of the theme of nurture, it conveys an incredible sense of freedom to me. The baby or toddler on her shoulders isn’t literally a baby, but perhaps an aspect of myself that I seek to free by ushering it to a vastly open sky. I also feel like this card evokes my Inner Child, and the mother is perhaps my adult self seeking to nurture and protect my Inner Child. This card has a freedom vibe, and in my head, I am hearing Aladdin’s duet with Jasmine: I can show you the world, shining, shimmering and splendid.


Another card that instills me with feelings of expansion is Destiny-Change in the Wind. I notice that I resonate with cards that seek to convey possibility and potential (which coincides with the theme of The Fool card in tarot, which is the archetype out of all the major arcanas that I identify with the most.) On the card Destiny, a young woman peeks out of a tower through a hole of missing bricks. She brushes her hair as she looks towards the distance, into the future and the journey ahead of her, a totally different life, an ever-changing reality. Discovery-New Horizons also carries the same vibe: new beginnings, adventure, and excitement. Is this the same child that holds the thin spear in Courage? Perhaps. If that is the case, I like how archetypes tend to find their way towards each other.

Other Honourable Mentions: Guardianship-Protection of the Vulnerable, Connectedness-Embraced by the Natural World, Reserve-Complete Unto Oneself. 



I loved it before I owned it, and now that I own it and am holding the deck in my hands–it already feels like it’s a part of me. For someone whose cyber lair is Fables Den, this deck truly a soul-mate that I never knew I had. No introduction needed. Saw it, and loved it with the fullness of my heart. And this is before I even started to read with it!!! I shall be writing another post detailing the results of my ventures. A tarot reading strung with images and symbolism from fairytales, folklores, Victorian literature and Shakespeare…gah. Can a girl ask for more?

You can purchase the Arthur Rackham Oracle here. 

Interpreting Court Cards in a Tarot Reading [+Free Guided Reference Worksheet!]

Tarot, Tarot Study, Worksheets

interpreting court cards banner

The Elemental Royalties of Tarot: Recap & Overview

In Crash Course on Court Cards, I talked about how you can interpret court cards and understand them by personifying them into lively characters that are driven by their cultural background, elemental worldviews and personal motivations. The court cards are the royal members of the elemental kingdom, each with specific agendas and tendencies depending on their role (Page, Knight, Queen or King) and their elemental affiliation (Fire, Air, Earth or Water Kingdom). For example, Knight of Cups (Water Kingdom) cares more about the pursuit of happiness and emotional gratification, unlike Knight of Swords (Air Kingdom) which cares more about the pursuit of intellect, ideas, politics and justice. Using this storytelling framework of creative characterization, it is easier to understand what each court card represents and what they mean.

In addition, court cards represent personas and perceived roles in a social dynamic, and are nearly always interpreted in relation to something or someone else. You can be a parent with five kids or a wise 75-year-old, you can still embody the spirit and persona of a Page when you are placed in the role of a Page.  For example, maybe you’ve decided to take some piano lessons out of the blue. No matter how old you are, you are embodying the role of a student, placed in the care and knowledge of a teacher. In this relationship, you may embody the Page of Pentacles because you are developing a skill through practice, and your piano teacher may embody Queen of Wands, somebody who is nurturing you through her passion and excitement for music. however, once you are outside of the musical classroom, you may pose as the Queen of Cups to your children, or Knight of Swords to your colleagues. Depending on the situation, court cards speak to social relationships and how you are positioned in relation to others. 

So the next question is: okay, now we understand the individual personalities, tendencies and worldviews of each elemental royalty–how do we interpret them in a reading? How do we engage with them in a spread with the various spread positions? What do we do when they show up and start an awkward staring contest with us!?

Interpreting Court Cards in a Tarot Reading

Interpreting court cards can be very anal–I mean uh, difficult. They certainly require us to really shift gears so we can wrap our heads around them. Even though they may be difficult to read sometimes, the royalties of the Tarot Realm are all very eager to extend their wisdom and personalities to us humans who are seeking answers from them!

So fear not, because there is a way to talk to court cards. Let’s start by looking at the various spread positions and questionings in a tarot spread. You may ask–there are so many different types of questions–where do we even start? Don’t worry. I have conveniently grouped them into three main categories for the sake of easy discussion. The three types of spread positions or questions are:

  1. Descriptive
  2. Personifying
  3. Guidance/Advice

Descriptive positions are questions that paint a picture or describe a “scene”. For example:

  • What is the situation right now?
  • What are the challenges/conflicts/problems that you are experiencing?
  • What is the past/present/future?
  • What is the outcome of your efforts?

These questions all have one thing in common: they are asking you to describe occurrences, circumstances and events. Depending on your personal approach to tarot, this can translate to different things. For example, if you subscribe to a more psychological perspective of tarot and you receive 3 of Pentacles in a descriptive position, the “scene” that you describe may be “a situation that requires you to cooperate with your teammates and contribute to the community.” If you take a more psychic and fortunetelling approach, the “scene” may be “becoming accepted by the organization of your dreams and receiving a decent amount of compensation for your participation”. Either way, regardless how you interpret the cards based on your approach to tarot, you are describing a scene or a happening.

In short, descriptive positions have less to do with who you are as a person or how you should solve a problem. They’re positions that depict “what’s going on” or “what’s happening”. 

Personifying positions are positions that refer to personality traits, attitudes and beliefs. For example:

  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • What is he like? What kind of person is he? What kind of father will he be?
  • What is a perspective I am missing?
  • What is her philosophy when running and managing a company?
  • What makes her a positive person? What makes her a good teacher?
  • Why is he being a jerk? Why is she insecure about her appearance?

These positions are ideal for court cards because court cards are the personas of tarot, the “people” representing the Tarot Realm. Personality traits, attitudes and beliefs are exactly what they embody. For example, when King of Pentacles Reversed shows up for “What is my weakness?”, you may interpret it as a card warning you to keep your materialism and greed in check. If Page of Cups shows up for “What is the perspective I am missing?” Then you simply have to look into the qualities and worldviews of the Page of Cups to answer that question. Page of Cups is the dreamer, so the perspective you are missing may be a more fluid, imaginative and innocent outlook as opposed to business-oriented, practical and realistic.

Guidance/Advice Positions are, you guessed it, positions that ask the tarot cards for guidance and advice. For example:

  • What is the best approach in this scenario?
  • What do I do? How can I help?
  • How can I release my fears and heal my wounds?
  • What is a message from my spirit guides?
  • What does the Universe want me to know right now?

These positions are usually seeking to problem-solve, to cultivate wisdom and to generate insight. They are not as tricky as the descriptive positions, but they can require some mental adjustment and re-orientation of the brain. In my video Crash Course on Court Cards, I mentioned that you can do some role-playing and pretend to have a conversation with the Elemental Royalties when they decide to grace your reading with their presence. I feel that role-playing works best with guidance/advice positions because you can interpret the court cards by stepping into their shoes and trying to give yourself advice from their perspective.

Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. More on this later!

How to Interpret Court Cards in Descriptive, Personifying and Guidance/Advice Positions 

Now that you are acquainted with the 3 main categories regarding spread positions, let’s see what you can do when a court card falls into either one of them.

Interpreting Court Cards in Descriptive Positions 

These positions are probably the most problematic when court cards show up. Imagine asking your friend a question: “How was your day?” and your friend replies, “Lady Gaga!” Which will most likely leave you wide-eyed and scratching your head, mouthing a silent WTF? Like did you see Lady Gaga? Were you listening to her music? Did someone dress up like her? WHAT IS IT YOU ARE TRYING TO TELL ME HERE!?

Know that feeling all too well? Hopefully this little section will help you solve your court card woes!

To start, we’ll use “What is the situation?” as a general question to address using the court cards. When you see a court card fall on the position What is the situation? Here is what you have to keep in mind:

  • the court card points to a situation or relationship that requires you to embody the role of that court card, or
  • the court card points to the role or attitude that you currently/already embody in a situation or relationship or
  • the court card points to a person that you are involved with in a situation or relationship which embodies the role of that court card

Queen of Swords, from Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi (U.S. Games Systems)

What does this mean in practice? For instance, if you draw the Queen of Swords as “What is the situation?”, try plugging her into the question to jumpstart your thought process:

  • What is a situation or relationship that requires me to embody the role of Queen of Swords? E.g. Queen of Swords is eloquent and fearless in her speech. Where in my life right now am I required to convey my passion and my values in an articulate, expressive and assertive way? I am invited to speak at a Ted Talk next month, in which I need to embody all of these qualities that are represented by the Queen of Swords. Now I know this court cards is referring to the Ted Talk opportunity and the role I will play in that talk.
  • Do I already embody the Queen of Swords? How am I currently embodying the Queen of Swords right now? E.g. Queen of Swords is all about personal truths and boundaries. As I go through a divorce with my husband, I am required to communicate my boundaries very clearly and assertively. I am also learning how to connect with my personal truths so that I can voice them and express to others. This is how I am embodying the Queen of Swords right now, so the situation this card is referring to must be my divorce process with my husband.
  • Does Queen of Swords refer to somebody I am involved with right now? E.g. Queen of Swords is very direct with her words and is not afraid to let people know what she thinks. My roommate Julie has been criticizing my decision to reunite with my ex quite ceaselessly in the past week. The light aspects of the Queen of Swords is tough love, so perhaps Julie is speaking out of her concern and care for me as a roommate and a friend. Queen of Swords’ shadow aspects are unwanted judgement and harsh criticisms, so it could also be that she is picking on me on purpose. (To determine which aspect or layer a court card embodies, you can look at if the card is upright or reversed, and you can also look at the other cards that showed up in the spread. And of course, always listen to your intuition.)

By examining and exploring the context that requires you to embody the role of the court card you draw, you should be able to read a court card in a descriptive position, no problem!

Interpreting Court Cards in Personifying Positions 

As mentioned before, this category should be the easiest because court cards are personas and embody human traits and tendencies by default. When you need to interpret court cards that occupy a personifying position, you simply have to tap into the personality traits, perspectives and attitudes that are represented by that specific court card. A good way to tap into the persona of a court card is to include the name of the court card in your answer and create a statement that frames the answer, in a way that will allow you to list the attributes of the court card in response to your question, then continue to expand on the reading. It’ll look something like this:

E.g. She will act like [name of the court card], which means [court card attributes] + more thoughts and explanations
E.g. My strengths are embodied by the [name of court card], which are [court card attributes] + more thoughts and explanations

Let’s take a look at a few of the sample questions, again using the Queen of Swords. Note that in the following examples, the court card “plug-in’s” are underlined so you can see how you can apply it to your own thought process, and the [court card attributes] are wrapped in square brackets.

  • What are my strengths? Answer: Your strengths are the qualities that are embodied by the Queen of Swords, which are [eloquence, clear communication, and precision.]
  • What kind of father will he be? Answer: He will be like the Queen of Swords, [someone who nurtures his children by being fair, logical, and communicative]. He will be very strict with the rules he has in place, especially the ones that he believes to be beneficial for his children. While he cares deeply, he may lack the ability to respond to his children’s emotional needs and their need to be heard and not corrected. 
  • What is a perspective I am missing? Answer: I am missing Queen of Swords’ perspective. QoS [sees things clearly and logically and she never tolerates anything that is unfair or wrong.] Perhaps this is indicating that I need to work on personal boundaries and communicating those boundaries. 
  • What is her philosophy when running and managing a company? Answer: She believes in the same things that the Queen of Swords would believe in. Queen of Swords would believe in [fairness, clear communication, respectful boundaries, and honesty.] When it comes to running and managing a company, she believes in establishing clear boundaries at the workplace to cultivate cooperation and respect. She values responsibility and accountability. She will always provides clear instructions to her employees, and does not shy away from communicating what she wants from the people who work for her. 

Interpreting Court Cards in Guidance/Advice Positions 

Picking up from my enthusiasm earlier–roleplaying works perfectly for this position! Getting advice from a court card can be incredibly fun, insightful and interactive. Of course, if you’re not into the idea of talking to yourself and pretending that you’re embodying different voices, you don’t need to act out an entire scene of dialogue. But I believe the process of going “back and forth” as you approach a court card can be very helpful. When you perceive the tarot reading as an interaction (which in many ways, it is), and it’s not just you the reader trying to stare down at a court card so you can extract wisdom from its poker face–the process gets a bit easier and more fluid because you’re not putting a lot of pressure on yourself to “download” the right answer! It’s more about the talk, the conversation, the “back and forth”.

Start by greeting the court card in question, then ask meaningful questions such as:

  • What message do you have for me?
  • What do you think of my situation?
  • Do you have any comments or feedback on what I did or what I’ve experienced?
  • What would you have done in this scenario?
  • Do you think this is a good idea? Why?

If you are looking for more question prompts, you can find them in the guided reference worksheet!


Knight of Wands, from Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi (U.S. Games Systems)

Let’s take a look at a few examples. 🙂 This time, let’s have a chat with the Knight of Wands. Queen of Swords is tired of talking (just kidding. She never gets tired of talking. I just thought I would switch up the court card a bit because Queen of Swords has been stealing the show!) Since it’s a role-playing activity, put on your thespian hat, get creative and have a little fun!

The question: What is the best approach in this scenario?

  • Reader: What is the best approach in this scenario? *looks at Knight of Wands* Hey what’s up, man. Well, what do you think?
  • Knight of Wands: Getting straight down to business, are we? I like I like. Okay, so obviously the best approach in this scenario is to act like good old me. *wink*
  • Reader: What does that mean? You mean like–be more experimental and adventurous? Since that’s all you do. Going on adventures and stuff. And what else…don’t fuss and worry so much?
  • Knight of Wands: Yeah! Relax and just go for it, man! Don’t think too much. Don’t think about why. If you want it, you don’t need a why! Just show up and have fun. Just enjoy life. Enjoy the adventure, the action.
  • Reader: So like, YOLO?
  • Knight of Wands: Yes! Say what you want. Do what you want. Sing when you want to. Paint when you want to. Be yourself. Just do whatevs, man. Do what you WANT the most. Than do the second thing you want the most.
  • Reader: Okay, I think I get it. I’ve been too cautious and neurotic about going on this trip with my best buddies. I should just stop worrying and enjoy it as an adventure.
  • Knight of Wands: Yup! Anything else you want to ask me?
  • Reader: Uh…yeah. You got any hot tips on picking up girls?
  • Knight of Wands: *winks* You know I do.

The best part about role-playing is that while you are embodying the voice of Knight of Wands or a court card, you are really having a conversation with yourself. You are checking in to see how you personally understand the Knight of Wands and you can draw on his energies and qualities to benefit your current life. It also activates your sense of play, which helps you approach a tarot reading in a more relaxed, less structured and less stressful way.

To Close and to Recap! 

  • Court cards can be a bit tricky to read because they always need to be considered in relation to something or someone else, unlike the major arcana cards and the numbered cards.
  • There are 3 types of spread positions/questions that you usually get in a tarot spread; the 3 categories are descriptive, personifying, and guidance/advice. 
  • With each position type, you can consider the roles you play in relation to a situation or a person.
  • You can “plug in” court cards and frame your answer statement in a way that will help you establish meaning and extract information based on the circumstances and energies of your reading.
  • You can use creative techniques like roleplaying or storytelling to interact with the court cards using conversation!

The Guided Reference Worksheet

For quick references and examples on the go, please check out the following reference sheet I’ve created for you. ❤


Anyway. Phew! I hope this post has helped you with your tarot practice in some way + clarified some of the questions you may have about approaching court cards in a tarot reading. And by the way, as you go forth with your court card adventures, I just wanted to let you know that it’s completely fine to take some time to arrive at an insight when you’re doing a tarot reading. It doesn’t make you incompetent or incapable. It just means that in that particular moment, you require some time to channel an archetype. And if you’re just learning, it simply means that you are learning how to engage and interact with a court card. So there’s really no reason to stress out when you’re slightly blanking out. ❤

Questions? Comments? Wanna Join My Facebook Group? 🙂 

If you have any other questions or anything else you are wondering about regarding court cards, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back you. Also, if you are a fellow A Tarot Story wayfarer and you’re looking to connect with other peeps who are also studying tarot with a creative storytelling framework, or if you’re looking for more discussions, activities and exercises–I have recently created a Facebook group for all of us to hang out and to do just that! So please join and come hang out at A Tarot Story, the Facebook corner of the Tarot Kingdiom! 🙂



Wrapping Up 2017: 6 Tarot Spreads to Help You Make the Best of Your Year

Blog, Level Up, Productivity, Spreads
Honestly, 2017 went by in a blink of an eye. I cannot believe it is almost December. For me personally, this year has been a challenging year with hard and bone-deep lessons. I was called to ride the waves of my grief and losses, as well as face my inner demons at a cellular level. Phew. It’s been a thunderous heck of a year, and my deck of cards (khem, my numerous decks of cards…#notadeckjunkie) has been absolutely crucial in aiding my journey of self-discovery, self-love and healing.
Some of the spreads I am going to share with you are spreads that I have used to ground and anchor myself in the face of challenge. Some spreads are newly designed to help you reflect on what has transpired in 2017 thus far, on how you have grown and what is your 2017 “punch line”. I hope these spreads will help you get the most out of your year, cultivate wisdom and empowerment, and level up! Here they are:

Into the Woods

Into the Woods: a spread for self reflection, deep contemplation and spiritual questions

  1. “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?
  2.  “The Path into the Woods” What will help you navigate your journey as you traverse through the moonlit paths of your innerscapes?
  3.  The Wind in the Trees”: What are the energies that surround you?
  4.  “Reflections”: What do you see in yourself?
  5. “Relic from the Forest”: What is the wisdom that you must take with you when you leave the Woods?
  6. “At the Edge of the Woods, Once More”: How has the Woods or this Inner Journey transformed you?

Threshold Spread

The Threshold: a spread for exploring the important themes and lessons in 2017

  1. The Beginning: What were your visions and hopes at the beginning of the year?
  2. The Story of 2017: What is the overarching theme that defined the year of 2017?
  3. Challenge: What are the challenges that you had to face, the shadows or ego-based tendencies that you had to overcome in 2017?
  4. Lesson: What did you learn this year?
  5. Power-Up: What gave you strength? How did you power through the difficulties and challenges? What was your source of confidence and empowerment?
  6. 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?
  7. Threshold of 2018: What is ending–and what is beginning? What are the new energies that are coming in for 2018?

Stage Cleared Spread

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

  1. High Scores: Why are you worthy as the Hero or Heroine of your own story?
  2. Epic Replay: What has been your epic moment of glory and/or your defining moment?
  3. HP (Health Points) Increase: How have you grown in energy, vitality and purpose?
  4. MP (Magic Points) Increase: How have you grown in your ability to create and manifest your dreams?
  5. Attack Increase: How have you become better at problem solving and overcoming challenges?
  6. Defense Increase: How have you gotten better at coping with pressure, stress and negative inputs?
  7. Level Up! How have you grown as a person in general?

Epic Report Spread

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.

  1. Business/Career
  2. Relationships
  3. Health
  4. Finance
  5. Self-Development
  6. Spirituality
  7. Life Vision/Purpose

Synthesizer Spread

The Synthesizer Spread: a spread used to convert negative energy and input into positive and empowering energy

  1. The Blackhole: What has been a negative experience/source of negativity that is draining the life out of you?
  2. Filtering Suckage: How can you release and process the negativity?
  3. 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?
  4. Good Energy: What is a source of positivity that you can maintain or already have?
  5. Synthesizing: How can you convert the negative energy into positive energies and personal power?
  6. New Element: What is the brand new superpower that now exist within you?

Treasure Spread

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

  1. Abundance: What already exists in your life that carries the energy of abundance?
  2. Gratitude: What is something you can be grateful for?
  3. Luck: What has been an act of synchronicity, a flash of miracle that has given you an “abundance boost”?
  4. Wisdom: What is a lesson that you have learned in your abundance journey?
  5. Generosity: How can you share the wealth and abundance that you already have?
  6. Love: How can you anchor yourself in the energy of love as you seek to expand with more abundance?

keep calm and tarot on

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! 

☆ Pet & Tarot ☆ Martha and Zena (Part One): cardslinging, reiki-channeling, and herbal oil blending

Blog, Pet & Tarot


Welcome to the very first episode of the Pet & Tarot Series! 🙂

In this post, award-winning artist, Certified Essential Oil Therapist and Reiki Master Martha Brown will share with you some of her experiences towards slinging cards for her dogs, and how she combines her essential oil and reiki practice to channel intuitive insights + give her pet “power boosts” and loving healing energy when she needs it.

PIc 2

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your pet(s)!

I am 63 yrs. old and have always had one or two dogs in my life.  I am an award-winning artist, Certified Essential Oil Therapist and Reiki Master, and I live in Canada.  In recent years I have been self employed working out of my home, allowing plenty of time to give my pets tons of love and attention. 11 years ago we adopted 2 black lab/ German Shepard sisters at 8 weeks old. It was a real challenge to train them at the same time, but they have given us so many years of companionship and fun. Zena, who suffers from hip dysplasia now, is my constant partner. Her sister Zoey had to be put down last year due to Degenerative Myelopathy- her back end slowly became paralyzed. She had wheels to help her get around, extending her quality of life for an extra year and a half.

What are your thoughts on slinging cards for animals?

It’s a way to communicate with them. I believe that I channel information. It can come from my own guides, or that of other people, so it’s not that hard to imagine our pets having their own guides that can relay messages. So many times we wonder what our pets would say to us if they could talk. The cards can relay the messages.

If you were to assign one card to represent the personality of your pet(s), which would it be and why?

Zena has told me that she is the 10 of Cups right now because she feels all the love and has all that she needs. But she is also incredibly intuitive, often pulling me away from negative situations/people or reminding me that I am being distracted by something that is eating into my time. So in many ways she is also the Moon. I think the cards that represent them can change over time, based on circumstances – the same way different cards can represent humans at different times in their lives.

Aside from forms of divination (such as tarot cards, oracle cards and pendulums etc), are there any other spiritual, energetic, or holistic practices that you have with/for your pet(s)? E.g. reiki, chakra healing, essential oils etc. What are your experiences?

I often have performed Reiki on both of my dogs. With this kind of therapy, one always must ask for permission first. I hold my hands at a distance of about 1 ft. and ask, do you want this? They will either roll over, nudge my hand, relax or walk away. Dogs know what they need better than we do. They will also walk away when they have had enough. I do know that the heat from my hands and the energy I channel helps them on some level. And if nothing else, they have just basked in the attention they are getting! I use Tarot and Oracle cards to have a conversation with them  and have made some very mild Essential Oil blends to use as insect repellants, shampoo and conditioner blends, skin treatments and aromatherapy. Dogs’ sense of smell is 40 timest that of humans, so we have to be careful to not overwhelm them with scents.

Do you think animals make better tarot readers or diviners (hehe)? Why or why not?

I really don’t think Zena would be at all interested in reading cards.  Well, maybe If cheese was involved, J, but otherwise, she’d rather go for a walk.  Although this question does have me wondering what might happen if I laid a few cards dow in front of her – if she would point her nose toward one!

I do know that animals communicate with us based on visual information – either what they see in front of them, or the images you project to them. Words don’t really apply to the communication process, however tone of voice is something they are definitely sensitive to. They don’t dwell on the past or feel sorry for themselves. They learn from experience and have very simple basic needs that are very important to them and as pack animals, they thrive on companionship.

What is an interesting reading that you have done for your pet(s)? What question did you ask? What cards showed up? What were their message?

I took a class at a local new age bookstore last year on Animal Communication. We were paired up into groups of 4 and shared pictures of our pets. At least 2 at the table would practice “reading” your pet from the image provided. My pictures had both dogs in them, showing Zoey in her wheels. We didn’t have Tarot or other cards to support what we sensed. One woman that read my dogs let the images get in the way of the truth. Zena, the one with hip dysplasia, was the one in pain – not Zoey in her wheels who had back-end paralysis. She even drew the teacher aside for a private conversation in a closet~! before she would tell me what she saw. She jumped to several conclusions about my dogs until I explained the situation. When I got home, I looked at Zena and asked, what do you make of all that? I drew a card. It was the Moon reversed. Zena looked at me with those big brown eyes –  like, “Martha, she is just plain NUTS and you know better.”

It was a very matter of fact, practical, no nonsense exchange between the two of us.

Stay tuned for Part 2, in which Martha shares with you her thoughts on how you can interpret tarot cards in an animal reading! 

Call for Submission: Pet & Tarot

Blog, Pet & Tarot, Tarot


23601964_10159443652620580_1875958409_n (1)Animal tarot readings have always fascinated me, and I honestly feel like it isn’t explored enough as a topic in the tarot community!

For me, I pull cards for my cat to check on his mood regularly, and though it is not absolute, tarot has helped me gained better insight and understanding when it comes to anticipating my cat’s mood and figuring out where his boundaries are.

I realize my own experience with animal tarot readings are quite limited, however. I could pull cards for a friend’s adorable puppy, but I would never understand that dog as much as my friend does. I’ve never lived with a dog before, never had to take care of a dog, and never had any first hand experience with them on a long term basis.

And the animal kingdom is vast. How about other pets? Non-domestic animals that live in the wild? For me, I definitely believe in using cards to improve our relationship with the animals around us. Animals are incredibly connected to our reality. They are very telepathic and much more tuned into energy and nature, and they are definitely more than just “animal organisms that are less intelligent than the human species”. Perhaps that is where we have erred: to evaluate and judge life based on how intellectual they are.

How can human cardslingers use tarot as a tool or gateway to gain better understanding of their animals, and to improve the relationship that they have with each other? How can we become more connected to nature and animals, to tap into the experience that all living beings share with a deck of tarot cards? Those are the questions I am asking and that is why I want to collect stories and experiences. I want to explore this fascinating topic with the rest of the tarot community, with other tarot lovers who are also animal lovers.

Submission Info!

So if you’re a cardslinger and you happen to pull cards for your animal(s) regularly or once every blue moon, and you totally feel like talking about it, please download the following Q&A! Answer as many questions as you want (there’s quite a few, so just pick the ones that speak to you–or do them all!) and once you are done, submit it to Fables Den. Your content will be published on this website as part of an ongoing series Pet & Tarot! 🙂

If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail! fablesden [at] gmail [dot] com. Sorry for the anal spacing–I am trying to avoid spam!

Wisdom of the Oracle: Review + Study Guide

Deck Reviews, Tarot

22404016_10159307625095580_909164059_oOverall Themes

(For the review and the flip through, please check out my video here, or scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the embedded video!)

The overall themes of Wisdom of the Oracle is imagination, possibility and navigation. From what I gather, its core values and philosophies are that we should not hesitate to embark on new journeys that will lead us to opportunities and change, we should always tune in to our inner compass as well as pay attention to the synchronicities all around us, and we should believe that our futures are as limitless and so is our creativity. (The reason why I resonate with this deck so much is precisely because we share similar worldviews. I feel like giving Colette Baron-Reid a high-five!)

Alright, down to the good stuff. If you are considering working with this deck and/or you need some help unpacking the symbolism, this blog post will address the recurring motifs and images that are present throughout this deck. Here are a list of considerations that will help you unpack the cards you pull:

Consider the Landscape of the Card

If you go through the cards, you will find that there are several key landscapes and terrains that are portrayed in this deck. Each landscape tends to represent a unique circumstance or energetic vibe, and sometimes you can see combined landscapes to provide contrast and enhance meaning.

SkyCards like Imagine(20), Unfinished Symphony(10), Blessed(22), Yang(1), Round and Round (25), are Breathe(29) all feature a clear, vast blue sky. Symbolic Associations include: possibilities, limitless potential, expansion, inspiration and future. 

DesertCards like Go the Distance(47), The Tribe(8), Chaos and Conflict(33), By the Book(11), and Tick-Tock(30) all feature the harsh barren landscapes of the desert. Symbolic Associations include: adversity, conflict, resilience, long-term goals, and strength in community and in self-belief.

Mountain/Rock. Cards like Clean It Up(21), Regeneration(46), Orphaned(5), New Life(39), Why?(31), Poised(48), and Come to the Edge(36) all feature mountainous terrains or depictions of a rock or boulders (can sometimes just be a floating chunk of land or rock). Symbolic Associations include: solitude, retreat, withdrawal, cultivation of the innerscapes, and distance. Think the Hermit card from tarot! 

Ocean/Waters. Cards like Message in a Bottle(15), To the Sea(7), and Treasure Island(9) all feature oceanscapes and scenes of water. Symbolic associations include: drifting, transitioning, movement, processing/processes, patience, and waiting. 

Combined Landscapes. There are many cards that combine landscape and scenes. When this is the case, consider the symbolic associations of each landscape and how they interact or contrast one another. For example, Here and Now(32) features both the skyscape and desertscape. The desert connotes the long, arduous journey that you embark on if you choose to dwell in the past and the future, as shown by the road signs. However, if you enter the floating egg in the sky realm, if you enter the land of possibilities and potential.

Consider the Recurring Images and Items

Eggs. Cards like Here and Now(32), Co-Create(40), To Be Fair(38), Unfinished Symphony(10), Happy, Happy(26), Observer(49), Loyal Heart(35), Flexible(19), and Peace(23) all depict eggs of various colours and sizes. Symbolic Associations: birth, gestation, creation, creativity, opportunity, and intention. 

Stars. Cards like Time to Go(45), Breathe(29), Time for a Nap(24), Poised(48), The Fates(17), Round and Round (25), Thinker(44), Yang(1), Blessed(22), Deep Knowing (43), Peace(23), and Observer (49) all feature stars, sprinkled across the card or strung into an object. Symbolic Associations: divine guidance, inspiration, Muse, faith, belief, hope, spiritual energy, and celestial connection. 

Birds. Cards like The Tribe(8), Fork in the Road(13), Between Worlds(3), Co-Create(40), To be Fair(38), Unfinished Symphony(10), Happy, Happy(26), Loyal Heart(35), Truth Be Told(14), Peace(23), Deep Knowing(43) all feature birds (and if you pay attention, a lot of them are owls. Birds, especially owls, serve as symbols of important messengers and guardians that are present in our lives. I believe this is true across many Colette Baron-Reid decks. Symbolic Associations: guardian angels, spirit guides, spiritual connection, intuition, listening to the divine, synchronicity-messages, unexpected news and opportunities, vision, and active listening. 

Journey/Wayfinding. Cards like Observer(49), Time to Go(45), Here and Now(32), A Change in the Wind(12), Tick-Tock(30), Message in a Bottle(15), To the Sea(7), Fork in the Road(13) all feature aspects of journeying and wayfinding. This is a broader category for all things related to wayfinding: depictions of roads, road signs, compass, telescopes, and movement. Symbolic Associations: the journey of life, finding your way, staying true to your purpose, vision, decision-making, transition, and answering your calling. 

Winged Beings. Cards like Happy, Happy(26), Exchange Gifts(27), Serendipity (18), Never-Ending Story(37), Blessed(22), Thinker(44), Poised(48), Breathe(29), Mending(52), New Life(39), Why?(31), Time to Go(45), Here and Now(32). Other than being decorative, angellic, butterfly or pixie wings serve as reminders of our inner divinity and our connection with the Universe. Symbolic Associations: divinity, grace, innocence, child-like wonder, wisdom, Nowness and freedom. 

Moon. Cards like Deep Knowing(43), Time for a Nap(24), Imagine(20), and Observer(49) all features the crescent moon or full moon. Symbolic Associations include: imagination, dreaming, intuition, feminine aspect, femininity, resting, introspection, playful rest. 

Doors/Windows. Cards like Chop Wood(42), Not for You(6), Truth be Told(14) and There and Now(32) all features doors and windows. Symbolic Associations: opportunities, alternative perspectives, opinions or attitudes, flexibility, threshold, transitions, and decision-making. 

22404071_10159307625155580_575800002_oHow to Utilize Symbolic Associations: Sample Reading

Learning how to read symbols is crucial to conducting intuitive readings, and it’s actually very easy once you get into the zone!

  1. First, start by looking at the definitions or general associations of a symbol,
  2. Second, match and apply it to your own life and experiences.
  3. Third, look for images and symbolic suggestions that offer you a solution to your problems

For example, you ask about your career and you receive the card: Here and Now. You look at the images depicted on the card and you see the desert landscape, the sky landscape, road signs, a floating egg with a winged child sitting on top of a banner that says, “You are Free”. In addition, there is a gate wide open in the centre of that floating egg.

Like mentioned before in the above example (in the landscape section), the desert depicts the long and laborious journey towards both Past and Future, the two words written on the road signs. You can start to reflect by asking yourself, “Have you been struggling with dwelling in the Past or wanting to go back to the Past?” The answer is yes, because presently you find that you are in fact regretting how soon you have quit your previous job, and that you should have waited until you’ve saved up more before you quit. You then can ask yourself, “Have you been struggling with dwelling in the Future or projecting your thoughts forward in the future?” The answer is also yes, because you have been incessantly worrying about if you’re going to have enough money to last the next couple of months, and you’re worried that you just might end up on the streets if you don’t find a steady source of income in the days to come.

Now you look at the floating egg in the skyscape. From both the sky and the egg, you combine the two symbols and you interpret them as the new idea or new opportunity that will lead you to your financial freedom and endless potential. But what exactly is this? It’s floating on top of you, so that means it’s above your usual periphery of vision. If you “look up” (figuratively), what is something you have been missing? You start to reflect and you come to the conclusion that quite literally, the 68-year-old retired mother who lives above your apartment floor has been asking you to if you teach guitar lessons, because her musically curious granddaughter visits every weekend, and she would love to help nurture the talent in her grandchild.

You also remember that a couple of neighbours have been asking you for guitar lessons as well, and they say that you’re such a cheery personality and their kids love you. Now this is something you’ve been shoving under the carpet because in your mind, teaching guitar and being self-employed doesn’t seem like a “stable” job, or it doesn’t seem like a “traditional” job that pays regularly. But hey, someone is literally asking if they could pay you money for a service, so why not?

You look down at the card and you notice (again) the child sitting on top of the egg. Quite literally, a chlid! Wasn’t that the opportunity you have just realized!? Teaching children, and working with children? Before you know it, you have managed to tapped into your intuition through symbolic associations, identified the ares in your life that aren’t working, and come up with a new direction to work towards. 

This is how you can utilize symbolic associations. You engage with the symbolism and ask yourself meaningful questions to find the insights already present in your psyche and solutions to your problems. You allow your intuitive insights to flow uninterrupted, staying in the Moment, focusing on the Now. 

You may ask, well didn’t the card just tell me what I already knew? This was nothing I couldn’t deduce on my own! But that’s the thing with reading cards intuitively. Your intuition leads you to your inner wisdom and your inner knowing. It needn’t to be a moment of multi-dimensional transcendence with divine trumpets playing each time you channel an intuitive reading. Intuitive readings are very subtle, but insightful, and powerfully transformative if you allow the energies and the stars to realign, and make the right choices to hasten that process.


By the way, I just wanted to let you know that the list of symbols here are not exhaustive–there are many more that I haven’t addressed, but I have made an effort to address the most common ones. I did my best to include the examples and actual cards that include these symbols, but I may have missed some. If I did, feel free to comment below and I will add it to the blog post to complete the list. And if there is any symbolism that you’re wondering about, feel free to comment below as well!

Anyhoo. I hope you find this guide useful. xo

Review + Flip Through 

How to Read Tarot Intuitively with the 5 Senses

Developing Intuition, Tarot Study

how to read tarot intuitively with the 5 senses banner

Using your intuition to read tarot cards can be an abstract concept. It’s based on a feeling, an inner knowing, a flash of truth, a moment of clarity. There’s on right way or wrong way of doing it, and it’s highly personal most of the time so it’s really difficult to get a grasp at it.

It’s personal because our perceptions are all wired differently. 

Intuition, in my belief, is a way to channel information from the spirit-sphere. By spirit-sphere, I mean the general “zone” where our subconscious, the archeyptal energies, the collective unconscious and the shared human connection that we all have. Channeling is one thing, and depending on what’s “wired” to be our primary modes of perception, we can receive those information in a myriad of ways.

For example, if you are textually and visually oriented (like me), you may be getting impressions or urges of imagination and seeing the pictures on a certain card move in a certain way. You may also hear a specific word over and over again. If you’re more scent oriented, you may get a whiff of garbage when you pull out 5 of Swords, which may be telling you: you’ve got some emotional junk that you need to get rid of that is related to a 5 of Swordsy situation.

So an important part of developing your intuition is to understand how you perceive the world. Which senses (out of the 5 senses) are you most drawn to? A good way to figure this out is to take the Multiple Intelligences Assessment. I use this to evaluate the students I am working with in language learning to gain a better understanding of their personalities and qualities as a student. It’s free and takes about 15-20 minutes to do: an excellent resource for self-understanding.

Another way to figure out what your “orientation” when it comes to your “senses” is to examine your hobbies and interests. If you’re into music or if you are a musician, then it’s probably safe to assume that you are quite sound oriented. If you’re a bibliophile, you’re probably more oriented with sight. If you like to learn things by doing and enjoy movement, you will probably be more connected with the sense of touch.

Of course, these aren’t absolute indicators of how your perception is wired. But it’s good to consider how you perceive the world since it will help you tune into the way you interpret information, which will in turn benefit your tarot reading process.

Reading with the 5 Senses: prompts to help you generate insight and ideas when working with tarot cards


  • What is the first thing on the picture that you are drawn to? Is it a colour? An object? A gesture? Use this as a point of emphasis in the context of that tarot card.
  • What are the characters doing? How are they interacting?
  • What is the movement present in this card? Are the various elements on the card moving towards each other? Are they scattering? Are they all charging towards one direction?
  • Imagine this tarot card is a scene from a movie. Use your imagination and keep playing that move in your head.


  • What is the first word that you “hear” in your mind?
  • What song or genre of music do you think this card remind you off?
  • What are the characters saying? “Eavesdrop” on their conversations.
  • What is the quality of their voices? Grubby? Fine and silky? How do you think the quality of their voice reveal about their character or the message they are sending?


  • What do you smell? What scent does the card remind you of? Does this compliment the traditional meaning of the card, contradict it, or contrast it?
  • Depending on your experience, what you get a whiff of can be a good smell or a bad smell. Is the scent accompanied by positive or negative feeling? What does this reveal about the card and the question you are asking?
  • How does the smell reflect the atmosphere or tone of the card?
  • Is the smell really strong? Or faint? Where do you think it’s coming from on the picture? (E.g. The Man’s boots, which can be linked to the root chakra)


  • What is the first food/drink that you are reminded of? Does this type of food have a specific role or memory attached to it in your personal life?
  • Is it a bad taste or a good taste? Or neutral?
  • Does the taste-memory inspire any reaction from you?
  • Are you reminded of any herbs, flowers, or incense that you have worked with? What are the attributes (physical and symbolic) of those scents?


  • Do you feel like you are holding a particular pose when you look at one of the characters?
  • Do you feel any sensations (such as pain, itch) when you stare at the elements on the card?
  • Do you feel like you are holding or letting go of something? What is it that you may be holding?
  • Are you reminded of any texture or surface that you have touched or seen before?

Tips & Examples on Using the 5 Senses as Prompts 

  • To start with, do not expect dramatic sensory episodes in which you receive a grand vision from the card or hear a clear audio of Coldplay play next to your ears. It could happen, but most of the time, intuitive insights are very quiet and subtle. What you “see” can really be a “feeling” of what you see. You wouldn’t necessarily “see” the Devil thrashing the chains about, but most likely what you’ll get is “I think the image is moving this way”. Go with that voice. Follow that feeling.
  • Some of your insights or impressions may feel completely random or weird and may defy the traditional key words or feelings of the card, but go with it. Don’t censor yourself or over-analyze. Allow that “feeling” to finish itself first, then analyze how that feeling is interacting with the card and what it is indicating.
  • Don’t base your observation completely based on a guidebook; listen to your first impression. For example, you may get a more positive outlook when you look at the 10 of Swords card. You may suddenly feel like “those swords on his back are actually fake and he’s not wounded–he’s just lying on his stomach with ketchup streaming down his shirt!” Which may be telling you: hey, that friend you think are super stressed out and in need of your help? They are enjoying the attention you give them as they perform or exaggerate their misery and they’re not actually hurting as much as they say they are.
  • I’m not asking you to throw away your books, by the way! Once you have solidified a “feeling” and have a clearer sense of your intuitive insight, you can contextualize this insight within the traditional meanings of the card, integrating the knowledge and awesome powers from both sides of your brain. For example, if you are looking at 10 of Pentacles, and you feel like one of the characters is being “banished”, which doesn’t immediately align with the theme of abundance, family and legacy of 10 of Pentacles. However, you can contextualize this feeling in the theme of 10 of Pentacles. The feeling of banishment can be saying that you are lacking a sense of belonging in your community, feeling alone, left out or “banished” because you don’t seem to jam with the spirit of the community and what it is trying to leave behind as a legacy.
  • When reading with multiple cards or a tarot spread as a whole, “drift around” the cards and look at all the images. Pay attention to how they are interacting with each other and see if you can grasp a general “theme” or “feeling” that is emerging within you, then you can work with this feeling + look at the individual cards to see how the details would develop.
  • The best way to validate your intuitive insights is practice on a willing, enthusiastic and honourable guinea pig who gives quality feedback. If you can find a forum or a few good tarot buddies that will provide you with detailed feedback and are willing to address your reading in detail, that’s one of the best things you can hope for. That’s how I came to trust my intuition in the beginning–through exchanges and offering free readings for feedback. A lot of the times reading intuitively will feel a bit wishy-washy because intuition is hard to “prove”, but when you receive awesome feedback, you will know that you’re hitting the right spot and you’re on the right track.


I hope these prompts and general tips have helped you with your intuitive adventures! Let me know in the comments section which sensory mode you are most aligned with, or if you have suggestions about content/prompts you would like to see more of. 🙂

For more resources, check out these Youtube videos that I made to help you strengthen and deepen your intuition + your intuitive practice with tarot! 

If you are looking for a more in-depth guide on how to cultivate an intuitive tarot practice, check out my e-book: 



Money Matters: 10 Journal Prompts for Attracting Abundance

Exercises & Journal Prompts, Journaling Prompts, Level Up, Productivity

Abundance Journal Prompts banner

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.

The Tarot Spread Machine: 33 Doodled Spreads ranging from the Tardis to Lemon Treacles

Spreads, Tarot

tarot spread machine

So to celebrate International Tarot Day, I ran a “virtual booth” via the Facebook group Tarot Nerds (created by Shonna Hill). Since spread-crafting is one of my favourite things to do when it comes to tarot, and I am currently in need of any “excuses” to practice my drawing and doodling skills, I conjured the Tarot Spread Machine Booth and invited members to pitch a spread idea along a suggested theme and function–and I would “run the idea through the Spread Machine” (a.k.a. my brain and my pen) and simultaneously create a spread from it. Within the span of 2 days, the Spread Machine churned its engines and produced 33 tarot spreads of varying themes and uses, accompanied by adorable and quirky doodles done by my hand.Here is…well, every single one of them. Hand-drawn and authentically made by Yours Truly. All spread positions are designed by me as well.Since this was celebratory and an act of sharing, I totally forgot to include a toggle. Feel free to share, use and distribute the following spreads. You can tag me at @fablesden on Instagram, or you can always link it back to this website. 🙂 Thanks a bunch x

IMG_20170708_112133_170The Soap Opera Spread
Pitch by Erica Vanaver

1-Oh, the Drama: What’s the story?
2-WTF just happened? What is taking me by surprise?
3-Woe is me: how do I cope with all this negativity?
4-Where’s the remote I can’t watch this anymore: How do I move on from my life’s drama?

IMG_20170708_113329_853The Spiritual Quest Spread
Pitch by Meg Watson Riegel

1-The Sword of Truth: What is my truth-that I should hold onto for this spiritual quest?
2- My Tarot Deck: What is my intuition telling me?
3- Incense and Crystals: How can I best take care of myself (energy boost)?
4- Steadfast + quick lil’ feet: How do I remain steadfast and consistent with my spiritual quest/practice?
5-Divine Guidance: What does the Universe/my Spirit Guide/God want me to know?

IMG_20170708_114455_391The Breaking Bad Habit Spread 
Pitch by Marilyn Roxie

1-What is the bad habit I am trying to break?
2-Why do I have this habit?
3-How do I break this habit?
4-Change my perspective: What’s another way I can look at this?

IMG_20170708_115345_729The Roller Coaster Spread (for dealing with difficult emotions)
Pitch by Rachel Motes

1-Start: What is causing all the difficult emotions? What’s the situation?

2-Dread: What am I anticipating that is causing me dread? What am I fearing?
3-The Downward Spiral: What is making my feelings escalate and how can I stop this downward spiral?
4-The Ride: How do I ride through these emotional waves and arrive safely on the other side?

IMG_20170708_120320_468The Coffee and Reflections Spread 
Pitch by Desiree Bonilla

1-I can’t think without my coffee: How can I jumpstart my reflections? What is something in need of my attention?
2- Registering Caffeine: How will these thoughts/reflections help me?
3-Sips of Wisdom and Insight: What can I learn?

IMG_20170708_121336_748The Too Many Tasks Spread 
Pitch by Gina Mercedes

1-First Things First: What do I start with?
2- The Climb: What’s hard (or feels hard) but necessary?
3-The Prize: Keep my eye on the prize! What am I trying to accomplish here?
4-Distractions: Things I shouldn’t be worried about right now

IMG_20170708_122316_260The Power of the Pen Spread
Pitch by Shinjini Mehrotra

1-Brainstorm: What is something I would like to explore?
2-Activate Pen: Why is this topic meaningful to me?
3-Reader’s Digest: How will this topic impact my audience/readers?

IMG_20170708_143248_386The Class Map Spread
Pitch by Rose-Marie Laimee

1-Topic/Theme of your class or course
2- Focus: specific focus within the context of your topic
3- Approach: how can you best deliver this topic?
4-Prospective Students: who are your students/audience? What do you need to know about who you’re teaching to?
5-Value: What is the value of your course?
6-Flow: How can you ensure your class has flow and great transitions?
7-Objective: What is the objective of your class? What do you want your students to learn + what do you want them to take away from?
8-Advice: General advice for all the course planning.

IMG_20170708_144552_099The Harry Potter & Unicorn: What does my dream mean Spread? 
Pitch by Pamela Chan

1-General Impression: What’s the general feeling/impression that you have during your dream?
2-Theme: What is the dream about?
3-Message/insight: What is this dream trying to tell you?
4-Reveal/Suppressed Feelings: What is this dream trying to help you release?
5-Hidden Factors: What is something you have’t considered? Or what is something that this dream is bringing to your attention?

IMG_20170708_150333_065The Wine and Relaxation Spread
Pitch by Lorraine Bull

1-Uncork: Let out all that dress. Why do you deserve to relax right now?
2- All those “pour” decisions: What’s the bright side to things?
3- Un-Wine/Wine-down: How can you treat yourself?

IMG_20170708_151129_722The You are Friggin’ Awesome: Confidence Boost Spread 
Pitch by Lisa Mulloy

1-Why am I feeling unconfident/what’s bringing me down?
2-Why that is NOT a reason for me to feel unconfident
3-Why I am awesome and what’s something I can be confident about?

IMG_20170708_152340_661Pie in the Sky Focus Spread 
Pitch by Angela Wilson

1-General Direction/Picture: What is the big picture I am working towards?
2- Clearer Perspective: How can I gain clarity towards what I desire?
3-Options/Pitfalls to Avoid: What is something that is not aligned with my goals
4-Examine Options: What is something I should keep in mind when filtering out my options
5. This is IT! How can I best focus my energy and efforts to achieve my goals? Power card!!!

IMG_20170708_153532_798 Juice and Berries: Healthy Diet Planning Spread
By Brit Ta Ny

1-What does a healthy diet make my feel?
2-What do I need to include?
3-What do I need to avoid?

IMG_20170708_160451_533Northwoods Empowerment Spread
Pitch by Laurie Jean

1-The Bear: How can I ground myself in my strength?
2-The Fox: How can I adopt to the situation swiftly and effectively?
3-The Owl: How can I tap ito my own awareness and wisdom?
4-The Hare: How can I be kind to myself and to others?

IMG_20170708_161944_977Floral Blog Post Creation Spread 
Pitch by Benebell Wen

0- Seed: The genesis of an idea/inspiration
1- Sprout: How do I begin?
2- Stem: How do I develop this idea?
3- Growth + Nurture: How can I refine this idea/grow it more?

IMG_20170708_174925_744Gummy Bear Goodnight Spread
Pitch by Lauriane Seon

1-Oh I’m a gummy bear: What is stopping me from falling asleep?
2-Yes I’m a gummy bear: Why is it bothering me?
3-I’m a yummy tummy: How can I relax and ease my mind?
4-Funny lucky gummy bear: Good-night from Spirit

IMG_20170708_180306_417Emperor & Empress Twin Flames Healing Spread 

Pitch by Lizzy Storey

1-The Mirror: How do you “exist” in each other?
2-The Emperor: How can you define and protect the boundaries you have in this relationship?
3-The Empress: How can you express yourselves in a way that is gentle and loving?
4-The Flame: How can you allow your relationship to heal each other on your life’s journey?

IMG_20170708_205604_619Well, that’s just like your opinion man Spread
Pitch by Shonna Hill

1-Dude, you should like, just chill man: What can you do to maintain a peaceful conversation/placate the situation?
2-Whoa, don’t get in my zone: How can you protect your boundaries?
3-Hug some cat puppies! How can you cheer yourself up and stay cool if somebody rained on your parade?

IMG_20170708_211217_286The Map Spread: for planning and learning something new
Pitch by Ari Blake Daily

1-Start: Where are you right now?
2-The Merchant: What do you need to prepare for this journey?
3-Potential Obstacles (in the form of a flesh eating snail…)
4-Treasure or Power-Ups! What you will gain on this journey
5-X marks the spot! This is your goal and what you are working towards

IMG_20170708_224245_039Flowers for Calming Anxieties Spread
Pitch by Cl Hadley Twinbrook

1-Lavender: How to create a calm and relaxing environment?
2- Chamomile: soothing words for the ego
3-Lemon Balm: how to mentally declutter
4-Valerian: how can I best relax?

IMG_20170708_225450_479Overcoming Social Anxiety Spread
Pitch by Amanda Clayton

1-Where is my overly (and negative) imagination taking me?
2-How can I re-direct these negative energies?
3-Little Steps! What is something I can do to push myself a little?
4-Anchor: What is something or someone I can count on for safety?

IMG_20170708_231027_899Crystal Portfolio: job hunting and career path Spread
Pitch by Olive Doll

Yes I missed the Y please spare me. Gaaaah

1-Green Adventurine: What attitude or mindset will help me attract better opportunities?
2-Rose Quartz: How can I best deal with discouragement and maintain confidence? (love yourself!)
3-Lapis Lazuli: How can I put the best “me” forward and allow others to see the best in me?

IMG_20170709_132547_475Lemon Treacle: A Spread for Tarot, Lenormand and Oracle Cards 

Pitch by Samantha Hamstreet

1-Situation/Context: 1 tarot card + 3 Lenormand cards
2-Answer: 3 Lernormand Cards + Advice (Tarot) + Oracle (Advice)


The Tardis Spread 
Pitch by Carol Roberts

1-Deep Past: What are some of the key dynamics or narratives that are affecting the present from your deep past?
2-Past/Trigger: What it something from your past that is directly affecting your experience right now?
3-Now: How has the timeline/space-time culminated up to this point?
4-Be a Time Lord: How to move forward with what you have learned and gathered and create a future that aligns with your personal empowerment and happiness

IMG_20170709_142956_261The United States Army Drill Instructor Spread 
Pitch by Gina Cox

1-Get yo’ ass up there! Move! How do I get motivated and pumped!?
2-C’mon, you no good stinkin’ bum! Work like a wo/man/insert gender!!! How can I best take care of myself and remain in top shape!?
3-What is this mess? Y’call yourself a soldier? What do I need to organize?
4-Keep it movin’! How do I keep on track?

IMG_20170709_144656_453Champagne Bubbles Self Love Spread 
Pitch by Jenny Skuse

1-You deserve it: What is something worth celebrating right now?
2-You’re worth it! How does this affirm and add to your value?
3-Appreciate yourself! How have you worked hard to be where you are today? Thank yourself!

IMG_20170709_225733_024The Journey Spread 
Pitch by Shinjini Mehrotra

0-The Compass: Something that will guide me and ground me in the journey ahead
1-The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step: the first step of this journey
2-you cannot change your journey if you are unwilling to move at all: how can I circumnavigate challenges?
3-Deeper, deeper into your heart: how does this journey transform me?
4-It’s the journey, not the destination: what is this journey helping me realize? How is this journey inspiring me?
5-Stars will guide my way: what is my higher purpose or higher calling?

IMG_20170710_010303_756 This Way to Dreamland Spread 
Pitch by Rose-Marie Laimee

1-The Wishing Star: What do I wish to come true?
2- Catch the shooting star by the tail! Hop onto the next opportunity! How do I seize the moment?
3-The Cosmic Flower of Wonder: What is something wonderful and magical that will happen when I give myself to this wish?
4-The Magic Cupcake: How sweet is success? The power of wishes + counting my blessings!
5-The Mewnicorn Speaketh: This is why I made the wish in the first place! (purpose!)

IMG_20170710_011531_564 The Princess Spread 
Pitch by Brit Ta Ny

1-My Inner Princess: What is she saying?
2-A dream is a wish your heart makes: What does my inner-princess wish for?
3-Prince Charming: Prince or not, how can my inner-princess be charmed?
4-The Song: How can my inner princess be expressed?

IMG_20170710_012521_145Birds and the Bees Spread 
Pitch by Brit Ta Ny

1-My attitude towards sex and sensuality
2-What society expects me or my sexuality to be like or look like
3-What do I desire/What I really want (how can I stay true to what I really what?)
4-how can I have a healthy relationship with my sexuality?

IMG_20170710_133231_334PJ and Tea Spread 
Pitch by Jo Ann Merriam and Deborah Carney

1-Just chillin’ in my PJ’s, don’t judge: This is the reason why I deserve absolute relaxation
2-Chillin’ and sippin’ on this gorgeously healing tea: What shouldn’t I be worried about? Let it go!
3-Omg why is this so awesome!? Cuz I’m awesome, hohoho, and here’s why

Picture1The Majestic Feline Spiral Business Planning Spread
Pitch by Darleen Redman

1-Catalyst for meow-ximum Growth
2-Prowl-ject Focus
3-Troubleshooting for the Puuuuurfect Solution
4-Paw-ductivity Boost
5-The Outermost Spiral and the Glorious Cat Head: 3 month business vision

Looking for more creative tarot spreads to try? Check out my Tarot Spreads Directory for the grand list!

Come join us at Tarot Nerds Facebook for future Tarot Spread Machine Booths Events and other amazing tarot study resources, the company of other tarot nerds, and all in all fabulous stuff!

International Tarot Day Blog Hop: The Hermit


Hello fellow tarot lover and enthusiast!
If you are here for the International Tarot Day Blog Hop, then you’re at the right place! A million thanks to Bree Ferguson, the amazing woman who organized this blog hop and made all this possible! Please be sure to check out her blog Nym’s Divination!

Did you enjoy Rhi’s blog post on Strength? Pretty awesome, wasn’t it? Now make yourself a cup of tea and get ready to “quiet down” to journey with the Hermit. 😉 

19720183_10158857089605580_787726611_oIn silence, the forest awaited me. I heard its call, its eerie fluorescent purple glow shimmering in the distance, its song drifting towards me, gently brushing against my hair, pulling me to its beating heart. I bent to dodge the teeth of a snail, its slime dripping in slow motion. The orb of light in the palm of my hand shone brighter; its radiance stretched out, plastered against time and space. The closer I was to the heart of the wood, the further away I was from reality. Was I human, a singularity, an organism, or was I part of the wood? 

The Hermit enjoys solitude. When he has need for it, he withdraws from the noise and static of the physical world, bidding his family and friends good-bye so he could remain with his own thoughts. In a way, he is very similar to the High Priestess, but so very different. High Priestess represent the inner knowing, the part of us that channels the wisdom of our spirit. It is a state of being that requires awareness to activate. The Hermit, on the other hand, is a mentality, or a choice. One chooses to retreat and withdraw from one’s environment to embark on a spiritual quest, to enter a different context, to embody a different attitude, to obtain a higher or alternative perspective.

19718431_10158857089515580_512972762_oAs I settled next to swirls and brambles, shrubberies that intertwined to create curious silhouettes: symbols and intricate patterns that I could not name. They resembled the strands of my DNA. They shifted and rustled softly in the breeze, gesturing for me to sit and enter its consciousness. So I did. And I listened to its non-sound, its silence. Laws of physics didn’t apply here. My fellow men and women could not follow me here. This was my own world, a distilled dimension of my beingness, summoned into form to encompass me. 

The Hermit is an important archetype. If you’re an introvert, you probably understand the need for this archetypal embodiment very well. Withdrawing into your own space or needing your own space is probably a common occurrence. The truth is, the world tires you out with its noise very quickly and you need to recharge your battery. Solitude comes easy because it’s essential to your existence. But even if you’re an extrovert and you are naturally energized by being around people or activities, you still need to find the space and time to be “alone”, but “not lonely”, detaching yourself from the social roles that you play and the considerations that occupy your mind when you are engaging with the world. Being the Hermit isn’t about shutting the world out; it’s about making that inner journey, traveling past all the psychological and emotional layers and returning to your essence, or your spirit. Looking through the lens of spirit, without filter, without the buzz in your psyche will grant you the elevated perspective that you need to extract wisdom from and finish the lessons you are currently undergoing so that you may move forward into the next chapter of your narrative.

19807192_10158857089510580_1582778491_oAll is quiet. I don’t know how long I have been here, but I feel the iridescent wood tugging at me, the vines and shrubs wrapping themselves around my ankles. Wake up, they say. Time to leave; time to move on. “Leave?” I say to them, incredulous. And give up this peaceful quiet? I understand the urgency; this isn’t a place that I can stay forever. And I almost got up to my feet, ready to walk out of this magical space, the space of my heart, but I hesitated. My feet weighted down by my reluctance. I feel them. The voices. People. People I know. They are trying to reach me. But I’m fine being here. I am much better off being here. Here, I see things that they don’t. I am elevated. Who do they think they are to judge me? 

As the saying goes, too much of anything is nearly always bad. There is such a thing as too much Hermit-ing. The shadow side of the Hermit archetype is the refusal to engage with the world. Once he is under the illusion that he is better off in this “elevated state of consciousness”, he is trapped. The pursuit of spirit is not an ethereal one. In this lifetime, a spirit exists within a body. To be truly alive and to truly honour the journey that your spirit makes, you have to be inside your body. Your body belongs to the physical plane, and so do you. Yes, you are multidimensional, and one of the dimensions that you exist in is the physical plane. To refuse to participate in this realm is to refuse life itself. As human, spirit cannot exist without the body. Spirit needs its space, but it cannot exist in a vacuum.

Before you leave, please enjoy this playlist titled “Spirits” that I made 2 years ago. Listening to it again, it’s exceptionally “Hermity”. The photos taken above feature The LInestrider’ Tarot by Siolo Thompson Published by Llewellyn 2016.

nameless faces, shapeless places
heedless races, empty phrases
when spirits whisper,
when souls touch
and align–close your eyes
and dissolve
into empty spaces


I hope you all have been enjoying this blog hop! Please see Oephebia’s blog at Tarot and Kitties by Oephebia for the next next amazing blog in the hop. Thank you for reading! 

A Crash Course on Court Cards [+Free Worksheet!]

Tarot Study, Worksheets

18641648_10158611129645580_1277585099_oCourt cards. You know what they’re good at? Staring contests. When a court card (or several!) shows up in a reading, it’s awkward because it seems nearly impossible to break the ice with the royals. *cue Lorde*

In this post, you will learn about a simple framework based on creative storytelling and characterization that will help you get to know the royal members of tarot. I am going to heavily personify the many aspects and intersectionalities of the court cards so it will seem like I am introducing a group of people and their cultures, so just a heads up in case you get confused!

Working with Court Card’s Base Element: The Elemental Kingdoms

Where are these people from? Every court card has a base element. This is their home suit, or their primary element. In this post, I will refer to their home suit as “kingdoms”, since we are talking about the royalties of tarot.

Suit of Wands = Fire Kingdom
Suit of Swords = Air Kingdom
Suit of Cups = Water Kingdom
Suit of Pentacles = Earth Kingdom

Each suit represents a kingdom. Think of each kingdom as a separate nationality or culture, and each culture has a different set of values and things they care about over others. For example, in real life, North American culture puts more emphasis on individualization, independence and the pursuit of personal success, while Asian culture tends to put more emphasis on tradition, family structures, and familial piety. The court cards are the same way. Depending on which kingdom they are from, they are going to be affected by their kingdom’s cultural values.

Here’s is a quick look at their “cultural” differences:

People from the Fire Kingdom (Suit of Wands) care about the pursuit of desire. They feel the most alive when they are actively pursuing their desire. They are people of action. They are passionate about going on an adventure or a quest. Most of the time, they aren’t working towards a prize at the end or for a specific goal. They do something simply because they enjoy the experience, and simply because they want to.

People from the Air Kingdom (Suit of Swords) care about the pursuit of order. They like to “put things in their rightful places”, and they hate to be on the wrong side of the argument. They will oppose anything that is against their logic and their ideas, and will sometimes put themselves (or other people) in harm’s way (ranging from a bruised ego to sacrificing their own lives for a cause) to protect their idea of “how things are supposed to be”.

People from the Water Kingdom (Suit of Cups) care about the pursuit of emotional and social fulfillment. They care a lot about their fellow humans because of their empathy. They invest a lot of time and energy and heart into building good relationships with others, pleasing others and maintaining social bonds. They feel alive and validated when they are emotionally and socially connected to someone or something.

People from the Earth Kingdom (Suit of Pentacles) care about sustainability. They invest their time and energy in the pursuit of establishing and securing themselves a place in the world. This could mean becoming an active and valued member of their family or community (reputation), accumulating resources (wealth), and/or taking care of themselves to make sure they can perform at their optimal condition (health). They will do some or all of the above to make sure they are able to “sustain” their own existence.

Court Cards & Their Roles

On top of where they’re from, what do they do? Within each kingdom, there are 4 royal members. The King, The Queen, The Knight, and The Page. In my video, I addressed the Knights and the Pages as Princes and Princesses, but I decided to stick with the traditional roles in this post to focus more on the traditional structure of tarot.

On top of their elemental “culture” based on which kingdom they are from, each member of the court card will have specific agendas and concerns as well based on their role. The things that the Kings will care about will be different from what the Pages will care about, because their roles are different.

The King’s primary concern is government, and his primary function is to rule.
The Queen’s primary concern is welfare, and her primary function is to nurture.
The Knight’s primary concern is validation, and her primary function is to express.
The Page’s primary concern is education, and her primary function it so to grow.

Like I mentioned in my video, you can also consider the court cards as a royal family unit. Instead of Knights, we have the Princes (off to yet another gallant quest to prove himself worthy to his people). Instead of Pages, we have the Princesses (the queen-to-be, and is developing herself to become queen). Another useful framework to look at the court cards is to view them as a modern nuclear family unit (father, mother, son, and daughter). If you choose to perceive court cards through this lens, consider the roles of each individual and how they function in a family setting. E.g. The mother is associated with child-rearing and the home,while the father is associated with being the “breadwinner” and the protection of the home. The associations may be gender stereotypes and may no longer apply to the diversity of modern family structures, but they are still useful when you are trying to contextualize the court cards in a more relatable setting.

Characterizing Court Cards based on Where They’re From and the Role They Play

To flesh out the character of a particular court card, you simply have to combine their various concerns and functions according to their base element and their class. Take a look at the following examples:


Let’s take a look at Knight of Wands. As a member of the Fire Kingdom (Suit of Wands), he is concerned about the pursuit of his desires. Playing the role of a Knight, he seeks to validate and express his identity. How does he validate and express his identity? He does this in a “fire” fashion, which is through action. As long as he is doing what he loves, he feels validated. As long as he is doing something that excites him and allows him to feel like he is engaged with some kind of action, he feels validated. Unlike the other knights, Knight of Wands isn’t pursing a goal or seeking a reward. He acts because he wants to act and you can say that he quests just for the sake of questing. He doesn’t care about the glory or potential marriage that comes after slaying a dragon and rescuing a princess. As long as he gets to slay a dragon and rescue that princess, he’s quite happy to be doing just that.

If you apply this attitude to a more contemporary setting, Knight of Wands will be somebody who pursues something simply because he enjoys pursing it. If he’s an artist, he makes art because he enjoys the process of creating and expressing his visions. Lacking the sensitivity of Knight of Cups, the practicality of Knight of Pentacles, and the righteousness of the Knight of Swords–Knight of Wands doesn’t really care about making a living, winning somebody over with his art, or fighting for a cause. He does something simply because he wants to. On the contrary, if making money is something he’s currently interested in, he will give it his all and enjoys the experience of rolling in the dough. If he feels like winning somebody over will give him the thrills and the adrenaline rush, he does it because he wants to.  Knight of Wands is a free spirit, chasing his whims, one after another.


You can also do this the other way around; you don’t necessarily have to begin with their kingdoms or where they’re from. Let’s take a look at Queen of Swords, for example. As Queen, her primary concern is the welfare of her people, and her function is to nurture. As a member of the Air Kingdom (Suit of Swords), she is mainly concerned with order and logic. Therefore, she nurtures her people by pointing out what they are doing wrong or correcting illogical actions that serve nobody, even when doing so will hurt your feelings. It’s not that she doesn’t care about how you feel; it’s just that she cannot continue to see you making the mistakes that you do because in her mind, it doesn’t make sense. It is illogical to continue to act this way. Therefore, she must “right” it and restore order. And she does this by exposing your wrongs and persuading you to do things her way.

For example, if you go to a Queen of Swords type person for break-up advice, she will be the one handing you some tough love. She will most likely say something like, “Well, it is wrong for you to indulge in your boyfriend’s dishonesty and pretend that everything is going to be okay.” She will tell you this because it doesn’t make sense to her. What your boyfriend is doing isn’t right and must not be tolerated. Allowing yourself to suffer isn’t right and must not be tolerated. It is of utmost importance for anybody to do the right thing at any given time.

Putting 2 and 2 Together

With this framework, you will be able to understand and characterize the court cards in a fun and creative way. For the rest of the court cards, you simply have to follow the “formula” and create fun, memorable characters based on the individual court card’s elemental association as well as their roles. In this post, I have simplified these associations so that it is easy to combine. Feel free to dig deeper and apply your own understanding of each element and role to “create” your own set of unique characters.

Of course, there’s a Worksheet!

What’s a Fables Den tarot post without a worksheet!? So of course there is a worksheet. Woooot! The following worksheet will help you keep track of your personal associations of the elements and the roles, allowing you to combine different personalities and attributes together so that you can flesh out each court card through some studious imagining.


More Resources

If you are interested in reading more about viewing court cards through the lens of storytelling as well as cultivating an intuitive tarot practice, check out my e-book: Tarot Beginnings: An Introduction to the Story and Study of Tarot. 

A Tarot Spread for a Tarot Reader

Blog, Tarot

Hello fellow tarot readers and wayfarers. After posting my original tarot spread on Instagram, I was so happy to see that so many people are enjoying and benefiting from the spread! I actually performed this reading a while ago but decided to post it as well since so many people are. Also, I am posting it here because Instagram couldn’t handle my wordiness, and as somebody who is wired to be wordy, I had no choice but to turn to WordPress…haha.Anyhoo. Here goes:


1-Purpose: Why do you want to read for others? 4 of Swords

I’d like to think that my readings are like little moments of respite-tiny stops or resting places for people on their unique journeys of life. I always feel like if I can help people to take pause and see themselves differently and cultivate a perspective that has more light in it, more acceptance, more flexibility, and more understanding-then I feel like I’ve done something awesome and I’ll be quite happy.

2-Light: What is your biggest strength as a tarot reader? Emperor

I was REALLY surprised to see the Emperor. I always see myself as lacking the Emperor archetype because I used to struggle with personal authority and boundaries a lot. Maybe I am more capable than I think-Emperor represents the autonomy and productivity of his “kingdom”-and I actually do have a lot to share about becoming more productive + becoming better at “being ourselves” and “ruling our own personal kingdoms”.

3-Shadow: What are some negative attitudes or beliefs that may hinder you as a reader? Strength

I need to learn to stop caring about what other people think of me (sigh, don’t we all?) I often struggle with how young I look (esp. in professional settings) since sometimes I feel like I have to work harder to prove myself worthy or capable-or that people would judge me for the way I look. But I am capable, and not only that, my youthful look reflects a big part of who I am, which is being an animated big kid who loves to have fun and goof around. I don’t need the world’s approval to be who I am.

4-Homework: How can you improve and grow as a tarot reader? King of Swords

I frequently do things on a whim. While I am pretty good at productive planning, I realize with this card that a lot of the creative work I do or creative habits that I have lack a “system”. E.g. picking a fixed date to publish, being more strategic with my choices, maximizing opportunities etc. I also change my mind a lot (if you’ve been following my blog, you know how often I change banners LOL) So I think I need to lay down some groundwork and “rules”. On the contrary, I probably need to stop feeling like I need to present myself in a certain way, or everything I do needs to conform to some kind of ideal that is supposed to represent the whole of my being. I should allow things to flow more and create + work organically with my goals.

5-Treasure: How would your tarot practice help you grow as a person? 9 of Pentacles

Independence and autonomy. Investing time and effort and energy in my creative and spiritual work really allows me feel like I am doing something meaningful with my life. It’s a direct reflection of who I am and I am always in the process of becoming more–more of “me”, which can happen in the form of personal growth, or business growth. I am so happy that many more people are resonating with Fables Den and are enjoying what I’m creating. So thank you so much for checking out my stuff and participating in the spreads that I made! 🙂

Aaaand I think that’s it. Doing this spread has been incredibly insightful. Being a tarot reader definitely isn’t an “isolated” experience: as in like, our “tarot reader self” isn’t compartmentalized and separate from the other aspects of ourselves. It is deeply connected with our sense of self and what we have learned as a person. In a way, we “read” our lives so that we can unearth the treasures within our narratives. We collect those gemstones not to share with others or with people who come to us for a reading–we learn what those gemstones look like so that when we recognize them in the soul of another, we point them towards the right direction so that they may unearth their own treasures and see themselves in a new light.

Tarot Worksheet #8: Tarot’s Suit of Pentacles

Developing Intuition

An exploration of tarot’s Suit of Pentacles through creative storytelling. Learn about the definitions of each card + how the elemental associations intersect with the numerological associations in this video!


Worksheet #8 is designed for you to explore and deepen your understanding about the Suit of Pentacles. The worksheet includes 4 sections:

  • Loosen Up Your Mantle: a warmer activity to help you consider the things that we exchange as currency + tap into the symbolic dimension of the earth suit
  • Earthy Exchanges: an exercise that will help you unpack the symbolic dimensions of natural  + other occurrences of earth
  • Some Sort of Alchemy: let’s do some fun tarot math and explore how the elemental + numerological meanings intersect and amalgamate!
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth: questions and journal prompts for further exploration!

Happy Worksheeting! 😀

More Resources

If you are interested in reading more about viewing tarot cards through the lens of storytelling as well as cultivating an intuitive tarot practice, check out my e-book: Tarot Beginnings: An Introduction to the Story and Study of Tarot.