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Sorry to disappoint anyone who hoped this title meant I’d be speaking of gourmet delights paired with cards. Perhaps an earthy cheese with a Marseilles tarot, or finger foods with a Dondorf Lenormand? Cheesecake with a Waite-Smith tarot? Oh, the possibilities… but no, these are readings about avoiding too much food.

I’ve noticed a definite tendency to snack lately. And my fondness for sweets has increased. At a time when I want to eat better and lose a few pounds, this is annoying. Today I thought, why not ask the cards what I can do immediately to stop the mindless snacking? I pulled out a tarot and a Lenormand for this question.

Here’s a look with the gilded and gorgeous Renaissance Tarot by the (deceased) artist and author, Brian Williams.

Strength — Hermit — 9 of Coins

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I’ve been pondering the subject of oracle decks produced by Doreen Virtue for some time now, but haven’t felt motivated to write what amounts to a defense for their existence and usage. Among the self-proclaimed tarot cognoscenti, Doreen’s decks are anathema to their hard-won, occult (meaning hidden) knowledge. My opinion is that those endless criticisms of her work tend to be less from firsthand experience, and more from the group-think that pervades the online tarot community.

Image by Steve A. Roberts that became Empress; click to visit artist's gallery page

Priestess of the Woods, used as The Empress. (c) Steve A. Roberts. Click image for artist’s gallery store page.

Having been a tarot snob myself in the past, I know exactly where most of those criticisms are coming from. I also think most of them are from people who haven’t touched a Virtue oracle deck, let alone given one a chance. I would like to share some opinions on working with a couple of these decks. Can they be hard-hitting, or are they the fluffy marshmallows that the tarot community claims?

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This past weekend, our winery group had our first outing of the season. The weather was refreshingly cool. In fact, a little too cool, as we quickly migrated from a picnic table outdoors to an inside table. Others must have felt the same because before long, the inside was packed.

My readings have become a popular part of the winery events. So, what decks (or other reading tools) to take, and what format to use?

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Isn’t it funny how our tastes can change over time? We start our card reading explorations drawn to certain types of decks. We may start with a Waite-Smith tarot, and find comfort in decks following that same pattern, or which are also illustrated such as the Robin Wood or Hanson-Roberts. After some time we may wake up and decide we prefer more realistic artwork. 

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Waite-Smith 8 of Pentacles

 Or we find the Marseilles pattern to be “dullsville,” and some years later enjoy sinking our teeth into this classic pip pattern and it’s suddenly “coolsville.” Our interest in occult tarot decks like the Golden Dawn and Thoth may wax; our interest in making associations to kabbalah, astrology or i-ching may wane.

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Thoth Tarot

The tarot audience was psychologically focused in the mainstream for some years, I think, coming out of the classic books in the 1970s. Now tastes have changed and predictive models and styles of reading cards are becoming acceptable again.

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I got an unexpected gift in the mail when my pre-ordered copy of Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen arrived today. I was expecting a typically sized tarot book. Imagine my surprise when I pulled it out of the shipping box!

HolisticTarot-cover

Seriously, it was so thick I had trouble grabbing it out of the box. Which isn’t a complaint. This book isn’t typical in size, and doesn’t look to be typical in content — in a good way.

Finding New Books

It’s been a while since I bought a newly published cartomancy book. I think the last such book I bought new was Rana George’s Lenormand book. (I’ve looked at some “indie” books available on Kindle via amazon.com, which tend to run smaller or be focused on topics like business aspects.) There hasn’t been much new to catch my eye. The last time I bought a tarot book targeting an advanced audience, I found it disappointing since I was familiar with the techniques and approaches it described, having built my tarot style around them.

Last month, thanks to Josephine McCarthy, I discovered the blog of Benebell Wen. I had not seen the lovely Ms. Wen’s blog before, but looking through it I enjoyed the content enough to add to my blogroll. I saw she was a soon-to-be-published author. After reading the blog archives and looking up Holistic Tarot on amazon.com, it promised to be different enough that I pre-ordered it, which is a rarity.

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Here is a small bit of humor, to hopefully brighten what is starting as a cold and rainy day where I live.

 

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2-turtledovesTwo Turtledoves: Two birds, two ways to read a card. Which is better, up or down?

Today’s topic is reversals. There has been a lot written about reversals over the years. It’s a topic in every tarot book that I can think of, and there is at least one book dedicated to reversals.

Should you use reversals?

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Three French Hens: Better than a gaggle of geese! Three hens are a productive trio.

It is time to talk about a favorite topic for many people: the spread. Cards and spreads are like peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes they are great together. Sometimes they are innovative, like that Smuckers product that contains peanut butter and jelly in one jar. Sometimes they just don’t work, like pairing peanut butter with orange jelly (marmalade).

Card spreads are a popular topic. I suppose this is in part because they make life seem easier for authors and learners. Like card meanings, they are easy to write about, which is good if you need to author a book. Learners like them for the same reason kids (of all ages!) like Pokémon games, where the goal is to obtain as many critters as possible: Gotta catch them all! I think it’s a parallel to the deck-buying syndrome. Learn the perfect spread and become the perfect reader.

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11_pipersEleven Pipers Piping: Sometimes a new deck calls with a siren song; a lure like the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

In our materialistically focused society, people tend to like getting new things, and the New Age community is no exception. You can walk into almost any New Age store across the country and find a tantalizing display of expensive tschochkes, brick-a-bracks, collectibles and dust collectors available for purchase. People have always been hungry for shortcuts to heaven, or to ascension. It’s human nature.

There is nothing wrong with buying or having nice things, if a person enjoys them. I have collected various things myself over the years: miniature figures, books, video games, penguin items and — yes, tarot decks. The problem is when the collecting is for the wrong reasons.

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Although you are seeing this post on a Tuesday, it reflects a reading from Sunday. I’ve experienced and posted enough readings that reflect accurate results in terms of the situation, I think it’s also important to show the readings gone wrong.(Forget Girls Gone Wild videos, let’s get those crazy cards filmed as Readings Gone Wrong!)

I ordered something from amazon.com and was surprised to see an option for Sunday delivery. I thought I’d go ahead and order, and see how that worked. (It’s been rolled out in various cities, but I hadn’t seen it until now.) Although the delivery estimate was Sunday by 8m, when I didn’t receive my package in the early afternoon, I began to wonder if it would show up. Will my package arrive today? Time to consult the cards!

20141123_package-arrive-todayWorld – 3 of Coins (Lo Scarabeo Tarot)

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