Further Reading, October 2016

by Marianne in


Another month gone by, another collection of excellent reading! Here's what got my mental and spiritual juices flowing in October.

Around Here

Things have been a little quiet on the blog of late. I oscillate between being furious at myself for not writing at all, and permissively accepting of fallow periods where nothing gets done. Some middle ground would be nice, but oh well! C'est la vie, and all that. I did manage to dive into why the Seven of Cups was appearing so frequently in the Weather Report, which yielded interesting results, and to answer 10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Should Answer about my approach to the cards. 

October was also an exciting month for new decks arriving in the shop. The Mayhem Tarot is keeping things creepily cool, while Tarot in Space! ticks all of your retro futurist boxes. The Small Spells Tarot has impressed me to no end with its clean lines and thoughtful symbolic cohesion, and of course, I'm besotted with Mary Elizabeth Evans' new oracle deck, Iris (pictured above). Also, after a period of absence, Vessel is back in stock. Huzzah! Watch this space, because there's more goodness coming soon. 

On the Bookshelf

As ever, I had a few books on the go throughout the month, but standouts include We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (who can pass on gothic familial horror about murderesses? Not I), and King Kong Theory by Virginie Despentes. The latter was recommended to me as part of a truly excellent tarot reading from Jessa Crispin, and although the book served a purpose in my life last month, I think what I'm actually recommending here is a reading from Jessa, because she's great, and because the one thing I love more than a helpful tarot reading is a a thoughtful book recommendation, and she offers both. Book a reading with Jessa here (seriously, do it!).

The Best of Elsewhere

Ahh, the thorny question of questions! Sometimes I think half the battle of reading tarot is figuring out what you want to know and how to ask for it, so naturally I loved Hilary of Tarot by Hilary's suggestions for asking the cards good questions (you can also see my take on this topic here).

It may surprise you to know that I'm not overly fussed about rituals and consecrations of my tarot cards. When I get a new deck, I'm usually too excited to bust it out of the packet and play with it to worry too much about full moon charging or smudging or whatever. I like to think reverence and sacredness accretes with use! With that said, I'll always stop and listen when Mistress of Ceremonies, Briana Saussy, has something to say, and her guide to blessing a tarot deck is no exception. 

Sarah von Bargen's blog is filled with gems, but I particularly enjoyed these 37 blogging and business tips Sarah shared for her birthday. Whether you're curious about blog formatting or writing practice or networking, this list will have you covered!

Ever since Krista Tippett interviewed my most beloved poet, Mary Oliver, On Being has been one of my favourite podcasts. This week's episode is an interview with the Irish poet Michael Longley, and it had me laughing and crying in equal measures. 

Artist and deck creator, Rebekah Erev, has just launched Hebrew Priestess TV, where she'll be talking about, among other things, her beautiful and unique oracle, the Moon Angels deck. What can I say, I just love Rebekah's thoughtful, spiritual, and zero-bullshit approach to practically everything! You can buy the Moon Angels cards from Rebekah, or from right here at Two Sides Tarot

That's what I've been reading and loving. What about you? Leave me a recommendation in the comments, or come say hi on Twitter!

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Further Reading, July 2016

by Marianne in


It's that time again - time for this month's reading roundup. I've been devouring books and music this month, as well as interviewing some amazing deck creators and inviting new versions of old favourites into the shop. Here's what I loved in July!

Around Here

I was so honoured to share a forecast for Scorpio as part of Siobhan Renee's legendary collaborative Tarot Scopes. This project is so cool - not only do you an awesome scope every month, you get it in a new and different voice each time. It's such a wonderful little slice of our community! You can find forecasts for your signs this month here.

I wasn't able to blog as regularly as I would've liked this month, but I did manage to post the next instalment in my now very sporadic series on the Wooden Tarot, on the court cards from the suit of Plumes. Birds and arrows ahoy!

I was also blessed with two wonderful guests on the blog this month. Rebekah Erev kindly shared with us a little more about her Malakh Halevanah/Moon Angel cards, and I swear every word that comes from this wonderful, powerful priestess artist wizard is gold! You can find the Moon Angel cards in the shop here

Art Nouveau artist Matt Hughes also stopped by to talk about his hopefully forthcoming Ethereal Visions Tarot. The Kickstarter for this deck is in its final days and still needs a little nudge, so if you like pretty, pretty tarot decks, do consider backing it!

In shop news, the reversed edition of the Spirit Speak Tarot landed this month, and it. is. delicious. Y'all know I'm a big fan of the original, but folks, I may even like this version of it more. It's so dark and rich, fit to lose oneself in! If you're so inclined, you can read my interview from a few months ago with this deck's creator here.

On the Bookshelf

I read greedily in the month of July, so there are too many books to list in detail. The standout favourite was The Lonely City by Olivia Laing, one of those indefinable pieces of non-fiction that might be memoir, might be art history, might be cultural studies, but is actually all those things at once and more. This book felt like spiritual food so rich it almost hurts to eat it! 

A voice from beyond the veil might have whispered to me in a dream, for I now forget how Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner found its way onto my radar. I was even puzzled when I received a notification from my library that it was ready to collect, as I couldn't even recall being familiar with the title, but I'm so glad it has made its way into my life. Another gem from Virago's Modern Classics range, Lolly Willowes is a funny and biting novel about women's independence, life in the country, and, naturally, witchcraft. 

It's been a long time coming, but I finally picked up a copy of The Raven's Prophecy Tarot, by Maggie Stiefvater. I'm a huge fan of her books, and although I finished it months ago, thoughts of The Raven Cycle continue to destroy my heart on the daily, so I thought it fitting that it spread its tendrils into my tarot work, too. I'm still in two minds about whether I'll trim those orange borders off. We'll see!

I've also been listening to a lot of, of all things, Tori Amos. Every moment of my life from ages 16 to about 21 were soundtracked by her music, but she's not an artist I've needed much in the last decade or so. Until now, apparently! It's nice to be reminded that From the Choirgirl Hotel remains one of my most-beloved albums, even if I haven't heard it in years. 

The Best of Elsewhere

Perhaps because I've been greedily reading books, I haven't read all that much online this month. A few gems, though: 

It isn't new, but I return to this post about an amor fati approach to life and magic by Carolyn Elliott again and again. It's a long read, and each time I revisit something different piques my interest. 

This interview with the editor of the forthcoming Asian American Tarot. This looks like a really amazing project, representing Asian American experience and exploring mental health struggles and self-representation. You can back the Kickstarter for this deck here.

I've already shared my undying love for the Tarot del Fuego by Ricardo Cavolo, so no surprises, I'm loving seeing it pop up more and more in the community. Paloma's deck interview takes a look at what it's like to work with this weird and wonderful creation.

I really enjoyed Ten Questions Every Tarot Reader Must Answer over on Dana's blog, Lavender Moon. It really got me thinking about how I define myself as a reader, what's important, what isn't. Expect more on this in the future!

STOP THE PRESSES, this is amazing (and I haven't even tried it yet!). Jeanna of Girlboos Woo has, as usual, outdone herself with this tarot spread for content planning. Essential reading for all internet mystics, and on my weekend schedule to test out!

Ok, that's it for me this month. What have you been reading? You know I love a recommendation! Share yours in the comments, or come say hi on Twitter!

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Further Reading, June 2016

by Marianne in


Do I begin every monthly reading post by loudly exclaiming about how quickly the time is going? Probably. I'll spare you today, except to say, umm, it's the second of July. How did that happen? Ok, now I've exorcised that little tic, onwards with some good stuff to feed curious and contemplative minds!

This month's reading-related things: fiery tarot decks, Moon Angels, and a candle that allegedly smells like John Steinbeck (then, I assume, not now. Ick.).

Around Here

I kicked off the month on the blog with a little love letter to one of my favourite cards, The Wheel of Fortune. Thrills! Spills! Mud in yo' grill! What more could you want from a tarot card?

We're a couple of weeks out from the Solstice now, but you may still feel like indulging in a little mid-year inspired tarot. Here are my ruminations on the Solstice, with tarot spreads for Winter and Summer

And in case you were curious, my (current) top five tarot decks to take when stuck on a desert island.

Also - EXCITING! - Rebekah Erev's Moon Angels/Malakh Halevanah cards have landed in the shop! I'm so happy to be stocking this beautiful deck, and you can bet your boots that there'll be more of it on the blog very soon. As usual, I ship worldwide and shipping within Australia is free!

On the Bookshelf

To be honest, I still have a pretty heady Raven King hangover from last month, so although I read a bunch of books in June, there isn't anything I really want to shout from the rooftops about. You know when a book just gets into your blood, and nothing else can hope to move your cold, dead heart in its wake? Yeah, that. Thanks, Maggie Stiefvater!

In book related news, some dark witch on Twitter (you know who you are!) convinced me to rejoin Goodreads after several years' absence. If you're so inclined, come over and show me your books! Look at my books! Be my friend! 

In card reading news, I picked up a copy of the Tarot del Fuego for my personal collection, and it is SO. GREAT. It just pushes so many of my freaky weird buttons. If you have freaky weird buttons, too, you might like it!

The Best of Elsewhere

Foolishly, I failed to save up any of the great blog posts I read this month, so instead of a link roundup, I'm going to tell you all about the radical genius magicians who light up my inbox. I don't even need to go chasing blog posts, because these wonderful people come to me! These are some of my current favourite email lists to be on - if you're looking for inspiration, look no further!

Austin Kleon's Weekly Newsletter always delivers the goods, whether on creativity, art, music, education, or just generally interesting internet tidbits. It's like a jumper cable for your brain!

I swear by Rob Brezsny's wacky weekly horoscopes. They're always filled with good advice, couched in a wink, a nudge, and delicious references to art, mythology, and popular culture. He's like a kindly zen master, delivering essential wisdom under the guise of riddles and quips, and I invariably revisit his words throughout the week.

For interesting reflections on making stuff and selling it on the internet, Paul Jarvis' Sunday Dispatches are not to be beat. I find a lot of writing about entrepreneurship pretty cringy, but Paul Jarvis is so obviously just a real dude doing real things that your bullshit metre won't be tickled!

Speaking of no bullshit, good advice for spiritual entrepreneurs, I love Girlboss Woo's newsletter. What makes Jeanna's missives so great is that they always make me pause and ask questions - about my goals, my business, my customers, my mystical mojo, all of the above. Expect to be rendered challenged and curious! Just read this awesome list of business lessons from Queen Bey and head to the bottom to sign up! 

I sincerely hope everyone reading this is already subscribed to Briana Saussy's Lunar Letters, and if you aren't, why the heck not?! Always exquisitely written, and definitely channelled from beyond the hedgerow, Bri's emails are a treat. Bonus, you can find past editions on her website - I recommend the recent 10 Teachings I Learned from Fairy Tales.

There's a special place in my heart for the deeply amazing work to be found over at Siobhan's Mirror. Seriously, is #faceuptarot not the future of this art form?! Siobhan's radical tarot emails are rich with ideas and reflections and breathtakingly innovative ways to work with the cards. Also, monthly tarotscopes. What's not to like?

I always relish receiving an email from Carolyn Elliott of WITCH, because to be perfectly honest, they're always a little bit wicked. Carolyn writes about the craft and spiritual living with just a glimmer of something-something in her eye, and her fresh perspective piques my interest every time. 

It wouldn't be a reading roundup without mention of one of my favourite corners of the tarot web, Little Red Tarot. Beth's newsletter is always packed with amazing content, because her site is packed with amazing content. I've found this to be the best way to keep up with all the wonderful writers contributing to Little Red Tarot, plus, I love hearing about life and adventures from the boss lady herself! If you've been thinking about joining the wonderful Alternative Tarot Network, email subscribers are notified when registrations periodically open up.

Jessa Crispin's Reading the Tarot mailings are always opened with eagerness, mostly because I love her writing. There's zero fluff here, just cool and thoughtful reflection on the cards through the lens of the reader's experiences. Superb! Also, subscribers get 15% off readings in her shop.

It's news to nobody that Theresa Reed's website is jam packed with awesome, useful stuff, so it should come as no surprise that her emails are overflowing with bounty. Everyone's favourite Tarot Lady seems to pack more hours into the day than Beyonce (she obviously read Jeanna's post!), so her email list is indispensable if you want to keep up with all the blog posts, e-guides, workshops, books, astrology forecasts, interviews, affirmations, and tarot exercises that this wonder woman creates!

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There you have it folks, the shining stars of my inbox! Now, lay it on me - who you do love receiving email from? Leave me a recommendation below or come share your picks on Twitter!

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Further Reading, May 2016

by Marianne in


What a busy month May has been! I've been pouring love and energy and care into life here at Two Sides Tarot this month. With the release of the much-anticipated new Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck, and the arrival of the Sacred Symbols deck in the shop, I've had many new toys to play with and so much great stuff to share with you folks!

All of that, coupled with a busy time at my other job and what was, to be honest, a bit of a tough Mercury retrograde, has meant I didn't read as much as I ordinarily would. These are this month's diamonds in the rough!

Raven_King_Sacred_Symbols_Food_Fortunes

First, Around Here

This month, I released my first free ebook! Oh, happy day! Journaling the Major Arcana is a guide to personal exploration through the cards of the Major Arcana. All you need to explore these journal prompts is a human psyche and a little curiosity, so they are suited to both tarot beginners and advanced readers. Download your copy here!

May saw two esteemed visitors to the blog - I just love having guests! Ashley of Story by Tarot came by to talk shop, and I interviewed Marcella Kroll about her creation (and my current favourite oracle), the Sacred Symbols Deck.

I also threw my hands up in frustration about traditional Sabbats, and decided to go off-grid with my own Wheel of the Year. Why not!

On the Bookshelf

I've already ranted and raved about this on my social media, but this month marked the release of the last book in one of my favourite fantasy series, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. My bookshop boss kindly brought me a signed copy of The Raven King back from BEA, and I gobbled it up like the rich and delicious soul food it is, and now I'm reeling! I have a Raven hangover, and it feels so good. 

Anyone feel like a snack? May also marked the release of Chronicle Books' delightfully silly Food Fortunes deck. This deck comes with minimal explanatory notes, so you've got all the scope in the world to divine with your favourite foods. Yes, it turns out you can use quinoa as a metaphor for productivity!

Ok, it's not technically reading, but this month I've been compulsively revisiting Jason Isbell's 2013 album, Southeastern. It's an enduring favourite of mine, having been the backing track for many a kitchen sink singalong. Highly recommended if you're of the folk/bluegrass/touch of Southern rock persuasion!

The Best of Elsewhere

I LOVED this article by Kate Kiefer Lee about opening up the narrative of entrepreneurship and the myths we attach to about "following your bliss" and finding a calling. A validating read for multipotentialites and those of us who have a day job and aren't ashamed of it!

Actually, speaking of multipotentialites, I have Beth to thank for introducing me to Puttylike.com, an incredible resource for people who have a zillion and one passions and interests, and want to make space in their life for all of them. I definitely relate!

Indimoonrose.com shared a great interview with Mary Elizabeth Evans, creator of the Spirit Speak Tarot. I could read about Mary's art and process for days! (You can find my interview with Mary here).

That's it for me this month. What have you been reading and loving? Leave me a recommendation in the comments, or come and share your love on Twitter!

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Peeking Out of My Hidey Hole

by Marianne in


Well, well, well! It has been an awfully long time since I last wrote a missive on the Two Sides Tarot blog. I am a firm believe in honouring your intuitions and inclinations, and over the past few months, the urge to write at length just hasn't been there. Today, though, I heard a little whisper in my ear. Could it be time to return to writing this blog? Let's follow that whim and find out!

So, what wonders have graced the shores of my world since I last wrote? 

A lot of journaling (my favourite pastime). A lot of meditation. 

A serious love affair with The Wild Unknown Tarot. If you are a follower of my daily Weather Report you might have noticed that, while I usually use a different deck each month, from January through April this year, we had the same deck over and over. Because The Wild Unknown is actually The Business. 

Feeling emboldened by Natalie Goldberg's classic, Writing Down the Bones. If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. Then, for god's sake, write about it.

Chasing that up with an advance reading copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's forthcoming number, Big Magic. In my other life I am a bookseller, so often spoiled with advance copies of wonderful books. A perfect chaser to Writing Down the Bones. Equally emboldening! A call to arms for creativity for the sake of itself. Keep your eyes peeled for this one - I believe it hits the shelves in late September.

Listening to a lot of On Being and Dear Sugar. Doesn't Cheryl Strayed have such a wonderful voice for radio?

What have you been up to lately? What has been stirring your mind or tugging on your heart? I'd love to know!


Further Reading - 7th July 2014

by Marianne in ,


The internet is filled with wise and wonderful and thought-provoking stuff. Here's what I've been enjoying of late. Happy Monday everyone!

This article about Why Being a Beginner is Awesome was very timely for me. After being terrified of learning to drive for years, I decided I would conquer my fears and get behind the wheel before I turned 30. With a few months to go, I've had some lessons, and realised that so much of this struggle has been about learning to be ok with being bad at something I haven't tried before. It's an ego-driven resistance, but I'm slowly learning to embrace the awesomeness of being a beginner, rather than the terror! 

Benebell Wen shared a wonderful post on her blog about Being Right vs. Being Insightful as a tarot reader. Her insights here really get at the heart of what it means to offer ethical tarot practice for clients and readers alike. 

This is an older post, but I can never go past a pro-journal writing battle cry! Check out some of The Benefits of Journal Writing, and pick up some ideas for getting started. Brain dumping into a notebook has long been one of my favourite pastimes, one I try to make time for every day, and it's something I am constantly recommending to my clients. Give it try. You'll be surprised at how transformative it can be!

Tarot and the Woman Alone over on TarotTrends.com is a really interesting commentary on how our ideas about a couple of the female figures in the tarot have changed. This post deals with a lady close to my heart - the Queen of Swords. Whenever she comes  up in the Weather Report, I have to pause before making my comments because, to be frank, I really hate the fact that traditionally, this bold, intelligent, weapon-wielding warrior woman is meant to be representative of loneliness and mourning. Can we do away with that association already, please? 

Finally, a snapshot of tarot history over at CollectorsWeekly.com. Plenty of interesting facts, but my favourite parts were the snaps of rare, rare, rare cartomancy decks from Caitlin Matthews' personal collection. Pretty cool!

Have you read something great lately? Share it with me in the comments!


Further Reading - 27th May 2014

by Marianne in , ,


May has just flown by, hasn't it? I'm only now realising that the New Moon is nearly upon us again (coming up on the 29th), and I need to get thinking about setting my aspirations for June. When it comes to making plans and setting intentions, there's a lot of inspiration out there! These are a wonderful things I've been reading in the past week or so to feed my curiosity and fill my brain up with possibility for the weeks ahead. 

My offline reading material this week has been Alice Walker's recent collection of essays, The Cushion in the Road. I'm not all that knowledgeable about Alice Walker's oeuvre, but I picked this up on a whim and found it to be exactly what I was looking for. Alice's tireless and compassionate witness of human crises and redemptions is inspiring, and her emphasis on the need for us all to return regularly to the cushion for more contemplation was a timely reminder for me. 

I stumbled across a wonderful article by one of my favourite bloggers, Bri of Milagro Roots, about how to spiritually cleanse your space and your person. Her suggestions are wonderful if you're feeling some stale energy, and even better if you think there's actually some bad juju around. Along similar lines, her document on how to take a spiritual bath is not to be missed!

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of Musings on the Moon Card over at My Curious Cabinet. The Moon is one of my favourite cards, and its myriad interpretations are so fascinating. It's funny, too, that the responses to it in a reading range from deep attraction to fear and repulsion. The author follows some interesting threads, and I have to agree, the Cosmic Tarot truly does depict the crayfish to end all crayfish!

How great are these instructions for a New Moon Ritual Gathering over at MysticMamma.com? I'm a little disappointed that I've left it too late this month, but maybe I'll be able to get my mystical ladies together in time for the next new moon so we can connect with this important natural cycle, strengthen our bonds, and make some magic!

Finally, the courageous Hilary of Tarot by Hilary wrote a great post last week on how you just Can't Read for Everyone. It's a tough topic to tackle, but Hilary hits the nail on the head when she says that sometimes, the connection between reader and client just isn't there. As a business owner, it feels screwy to decline an order, but the fact is, sometimes saying yes when you're feeling no does more harm than good. As a metaphysical professional, I definitely agree that it is of better service to both client and reader to be honest about when the vibe isn't right. Hilary, thanks for writing so honestly and sticking to your guns on this tricky subject!

What have you been reading lately? I love a good tip! If you've find something intriguing and inspiring, let me know in the comments!

P.S. Looking for more reading material? Check out some of my very favourite tarot blogs!