Anatomy of a Daily Tarot Draw

by Marianne in ,


Recently, someone commented on my daily instagram Weather Report, and asked what question I ask when I do this draw each day (incidentally, do you follow my daily tarot draws on instagram? If not, come visit!).

You’d think that’d be an easy one to answer, but in fact I’ve been mulling that over for days now, and the answer is a little more… amorphous than you might expect!

First, though, what do I mean by a daily tarot draw? Well, a lot of readers like to pull a card each day. This ritual serves as many purposes as there are tarot readers on social media - some of us do it to practice our card interpretations, to get to know a particular deck, to get a feel for what to expect that day, to receive a prompt or idea for reflection or journaling, to connect with guides or ancestors… the possibilities are limitless!

If the intent of the draw is to check in with the cards about the day ahead, readers might begin with a question like, “What do I need to know about today?” Or perhaps, “What approach should I take today?” Or even, “What lesson is available to me today?” Or, “What archetype or idea should I tap into today?” Depending on your style and your desire, there are many questions you might ask.

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot Australia Queen of Cups

A recent Weather Report photo, the beautiful Queen of Cups from Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot.

When I pull a card for the daily Weather Report here at Two Sides Tarot, I pull it with the intention of receiving and sharing a message that’s useful to all my readers, not just for my own personal circumstances. With that in mind, I never approach the card as a prescription, but as a suggestion, or an idea to temporarily inhabit and play with. It’s loose, flexible, open to interpretation. A little nugget of advice, a provocation, an idea that anyone can chew on and use as a point of departure throughout the day.

Of course, none of that really answers the question: What do I ask when I pull that daily card?

Being asked this question prompted me to pay attention to what question I was asking each morning when pulling a card, and what I found was a little surprising, even to me.

I actually don’t ask a question at all. At least, not with words.

As it turns out, what I do when I pick up the cards and shuffle is generate a feeling of open curiosity. This is sensational, energetic, entirely un-verbal. At best I can describe this as an energetic opening that I feel in the front of my body, a sense of shutters opening out.  

I rarely think of it in words, and even more rarely do I say anything out loud. Instead, I come to my daily tarot draw with a feeling. When I open myself up to draw that card, what is held within that curious opening is all questions, any questions, no questions.

In my last post here, I wrote about interpreting tarot cards without using words. Perhaps before we even get to the point of interpretation, we can let our words go. Instead of naming and describing what we desire to know, perhaps we can access the feeling of curiosity. The feeling of being open to symbols, insight, information. No words needed. Just openness.

Openness to what the day holds, and what we might make of it.

Shop Tarot & Oracle Decks | Book a Tarot Reading


Why Is This Tarot Card Stalking Me? The Seven of Cups Edition

by Marianne in ,


It seems there's a stalker lurking outside our metaphorical window right now. If you follow the daily Weather Report, you might have noticed that the Seven of Cups has popped up three times in the last fourteen days. I'm not mathematically minded enough to say for sure how statistically significant that is (and I know it'll take me 5 years to begin to understand the google search results if I try to look it up, so), but I feel like that's of a frequency worth noting, don't you?

When a card appears persistently in the daily Weather, for the first couple of times I take it to mean we need to reiterate the original message. If it continues to appear, I start to wonder if it isn't time to delve into some of the dustier corners of a card's various meanings.

The Seven of Cups calls us to make choices with discernment. It also cautions us about flights of fancy and distractions that threaten to nudge us off course. It says that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is, and that our imaginations are wonderful tools when deployed in tandem with our capacity for critical thought. Like all the Sevens, it's a pause, a chance to get back on track or to tumble spectacularly off. The question is, which message do we need to heed right now?

When I draw a card for the Weather, I do so with the intention to get a message that's useful for anyone who might happen upon it. Sometimes the card will reflect what's going on in my life, but not always, and no doubt that's equally true of a subset of my readers each day. We're all in different places in our lives, and perhaps not everyone is having a Seven of Cups moment right now. Clearly, though, some of us need to think about fantasy and choice and discernment! 

Thankfully, we don't have to keep drawing the Seven of Cups and wondering why the heck we're not getting the message. Kristen, of Over the Moon Oracle Cards, is a bit of genius and has crafted a spread for figuring out what's going on with persistently recurring tarot cards. Phew! The spread is interpreted like a letter from the Seven of Cups to all of us. You can see a full explanation of the spread in Kristen's original post. Shall we try it out?

From the Small Spells Tarot by Rachel Howe

Bloody hell, that's a lot of Majors. The Seven of Cups is clearly not fooling around! 

Dear loyal readers of the Weather Report,

When I show up in your readings, I'm giving you a message about recalibrating and starting over (The Fool). I'm showing you that you're getting stuck because you're looking at things in the wrong way (The Hanged Man) and I want you to try to grow out of those old assumptions so you can approach this new beginning with a little more maturity and self-awareness (The World). When I appear, I'm asking you to release your knee-jerk desire to cling onto old beliefs (Strength) and embrace what's actually happening in the real world, outside your head (Queen of Pentacles). When you see me, it's time to cut through your own BS and see things as they really are (King of Swords).

Sincerely, 

The Seven of Cups

Ok, does anyone else feel a little schooled by that?! Ok, just me. Ouch! Clearly, the distractions and fantasies described by the Seven of Cups are born out of erroneous assumptions and attachments to old narratives. It's time to put those old tales to rest and allow ourselves to see things in a new and truer way. Less fantasy, more reality.

So, next time the Seven of Cups makes an appearance, ask yourself what story you're telling. Does it truly reflect what's in front of you? Chances are, it needs a revision! 

How do you feel about the Seven of Cups? And do you have a tarot card stalker right now? I want to hear all about it! Leave me a note below or come and share your tale on Twitter

Book a Tarot Reading | Shop Tarot Decks


July's Deck of the Month: The Shadowscapes Tarot

by Marianne in ,


A new month is upon us, and that means a new tarot deck for our daily Weather Report! This month, we're getting lost in the forest with The Shadowscapes Tarot. This whimsical and intricate deck hasn't been in my collection for long, but I'm loving working with it so far. The most obvious thing about it at first glance is the artwork, but this deck isn't just a pretty face! Beyond its fantastical images lies a depth of insight, practicality and playfulness that make this deck a joy to read with. 

As ever when getting to know a new deck, I stop in on my birth card, The Hierophant.

This is definitely a place I'm happy to visit! What's not to love about this wizened, gnarled tree creature? Deeply rooted in the earth, and with his golden branches reaching up to heaven, this Hierophant is like the Buddha and the Bodhi tree all at once! There's a lightness to this card, something inviting, which is such an important attribute for any spiritual teacher to cultivate. Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's vision of The Hierophant dispels the separateness and stuffiness that can linger in some versions of this card.

One of my favourite aspects of The Hierophant is his role as a bridge between the divine and the earthly, and any version of this card that depicts that earthiness is bound to be a favourite of mine. This is an inviting tree to sit under, a place to ask the big questions and to feel the breeze rustling in the leaves in response. 

Now, let's see what the Shadowscapes Tarot has to say about itself. 

I drew the Knight of Swords, and IV The Emperor.

I love seeing these two decisive, authoritative cards here! It would be easy to write this deck off as soft and unserious, but its true personality would appear to be the opposite. The Knight of Swords says the Shadowscapes tarot is rational, practical, and not afraid to call the seeker to take action. I think it is demanding to be recognised for its quick wittedness, too. Don't be surprised if, in answer to your question, you get a cutting and witty riposte! 

The Emperor certainly suggests that The Shadowscapes demands to be taken seriously! This deck has real potential to give us direction when we're feeling lost. Like The Emperor, it will give us clear (and probably non-negotiable!) instructions about taking our lives in hand. This deck specialises in imposing order and structure upon fear and chaos - it certainly isn't afraid of taking on big troubles, and turning them into precise and manageable solutions!

What do you make of The Shadowscapes Tarot? Already a devotee, or just a curious bystander? Let me know in the comments!

*

Before I sign off, just a reminder that The Agony Augury, my new tarot advice column, is alive and kicking, and ready to tackle your queries! If you have question, please do drop me a line at readings@twosidestarot.com, and yours may be the one to be answered right here on the blog! 


June's Deck of the Month: The Starchild Tarot

by Marianne in ,


This month, I'm doing some interstellar astral travel in my daily Weather Report! The recently published Starchild Tarot is the glorious creation of artist and tarot reader Danielle Noel. As soon as I saw some of the early images pop up on Instagram in 2014, I knew I just had to dive into the mysteries of the universe with this deck! Imagine my excitement to be holding the finished product in my hot lil' hands! 

You may know by now that my first port of call with any new deck is my birth card, The Hierophant.

Firstly, I must say, I love a lady Hierophant! This card is so often associated with patriarchy and oppressively masculine energy, which for many readers and querents overrides its more helpful messages of connecting with tradition and finding the divine down here on earth. Playing with the gender of this card blows all of that wide open, and allows us to get past some of the limitations of this card that more traditional decks might get stuck on. 

Another thing that totally floats my boat with this Hierophant is the background - a beautiful wild and natural scene. The Empress may traditionally be the card of sacred nature, but The Hierophant also guides us to find the holy in the worldly, and what better place to look than under a tree or a stone? It doesn't get more worldly than that.

Finally, the gesture of offering. This Hierophant holds a glowing orb in an outstretched hand, as if to say, "Here is the whole universe. Take it!" She isn't an unapproachable pope on a throne. This Hierophant is down here amongst it, ready to engage with you and help you find your place in the rich tradition of spiritual seeking. What a beautiful take on this card!

Now, let's see what this deck has to say for itself. Here, I drew two cards, asking, "Starchild Tarot, what do you have to tell me about yourself?"

I drew the Seven of Crystals, and surprise surprise, The Hierophant. 

The Seven of Crystals (traditionally, Pentacles) suggests this is a hard working deck, ready to go the distance and see things through from start to finish. The Starchild Tarot may be beautiful at a glance, but its true depth and application can only be understood with concerted attention. It will take some perseverance and study to fully come to grips with the complex ideas and symbols in this deck, but close attention and continued engagement with it will be more than worthwhile! 

Study seems to be the name of the game here, reinforced by our ol' pal The Hierophant. This deck is obviously steeped in tradition, and filled with knowledge and insight just waiting to be unlocked. As the student of the Starchild Tarot, all we need to do is be ready to ask the right questions, and that glowing orb of wisdom and divine connection will be ours. Bring it on, I say! 

What do you make of the Starchild Tarot? I'd love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments.

*

Before I sign off for the week, there's one more thing to share. The Agony Augury, a new regular column, is coming soon to the blog!

Think a trusted agony aunt armed with tarot cards, the Agony Augury is here to throw some cards, dispense advice, and solve your most pressing problems! Each week, I'll select one quandary, concern, or question and answer it with a tarot reading right here on the blog. Got a difficult dilemma? Send your questions to readings@twosidestarot.com. I can't wait to hear from you!

Oh, and remember, you can subscribe to the Two Sides Tarot blog by email, and never miss a post!


November's Deck of the Month

by Marianne in ,


Golly gosh! November already. It's hard to believe that the humble Weather Report has been cranking along daily for almost a year! Every month, we've explored the images and ideas of a new deck, with some diverse and exciting takes on tarot tradition popping up along the way.

November's deck of the month is one of my favourites, The Transformational Tarot, a collage deck by the inimitable Arnell Ando (who also happens to be the publisher of The Dark Goddess Tarot, which we all fell in love with earlier this year).

When I first acquired this deck back in May, I spent a little time making friends with it and seeing what it had to say. Head on back to my original post to find out more about The Transformational Tarot! Want to catch up on all the Weather Report decks so far for 2014? You can find a little bit of info about each of them here

Which tarot decks have been rocking your worlds lately? Found anything new and exciting? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Don't forget you can subscribe to Two Sides Tarot by email so you never miss a post! 


Making Friends with the Mystical Cats Tarot

by Marianne in ,


September's Deck of the Month is the Mystical Cats Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone and Mickie Mueller. You may have noticed that this introduction to September's deck is a little late, and if you follow the daily Weather Report (and you definitely should! Find it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr), you have probably become quite well acquainted with this fabulous kitty-themed deck. 

For those who haven't yet encountered it, the Mystical Cats Tarot features, somewhat unsurprisingly, cats instead of humans on each and every card. At times all those cats can seem a little too cute, but so far this month I've found its images and symbols to be perfectly functional, and where it is cute, it is also purposeful and meaningful. And isn't that what we want when looking for a good working tarot deck?

As ever, my first port of call is The Hierophant. Let's see what feline form he takes!

Aww! So serious and sweet! This handsome fellow makes reference to the veneration of cats in ancient Egypt, which, if you're going in a feline direction, is the perfect association to make with The Hierophant. This card successfully captures the themes of worship and tradition, which apply both in the tarot and in the history of cats in religion and mythology. There's nice symmetry here! 

Now, let's dive a little deeper. I drew two cards, asking, "Mystical Cats, what can you tell me about yourself?"

I drew the Nine of Fire and the Three of Fire - clearly this is a fiesty deck! My first impression is that this deck thinks itself great for deep spiritual and creative work. Evidently we are not to be fooled into thinking the cats are all light and playful! The Nine of Fire suggests this deck would be great for ritual work, together and in groups, and that perhaps a mutual passion for our feline friends might be  great way to bring other tarot enthusiasts together (certainly my social media peeps have been having a grand old time with these kitties!). 

The Three of Fire is an exciting proposition, because it suggests this deck is capable of taking us somewhere new, and that there is a possibility here for great adventure and discovery! The overwhelming message is that this deck is not to be underestimated, and that if we engage with it seriously, there is a lot of power and potential to be found. Bring it on, I say! 

What do you think about the Mystical Cats Tarot, and cat-themed decks in general? Do you have any similar decks you'd recommend? 

P.S. Don't forget, you can subscribe to Two Sides Tarot blog posts by email!


Making Friends with The Mountain Dream Tarot

by Marianne in ,


August's Deck of the Month is Bea Nettles' Mountain Dream Tarot. Originally released in 1975, The Mountain Dream Tarot is the first known photographic tarot deck. Shot in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it features the artist's friends and family as they reenact each card of the Rider-Waite deck. The photos are black and white, but have been tinted so that the Majors and each suit is a different hue. The original edition is out of print, so I'll be working with the most current reprint.

I haven't spent a lot of time reading with this deck, so I'm really looking forward to getting to know it in this month's Weather Report (you can find the Weather Report, my free daily reading, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr). Before we kick of our daily readings, let's get introduced.

As ever, my first port of call in any new deck is my bestie, The Hierophant. 

After a couple of months of very feminine Majors, it's hard not to be struck by how traditional this guy appears. He's definitely got that classic RWS pope thing going on! A product of the 1970's, he's swathed in beautiful woven blankets and scarves rather than traditional papal regalia, so perhaps he's more of the farm commune guru persuasion than your average Hierophant! He might still be a little strict, but I'm sure there's plenty for us to learn from him.

Now, let's make our formal introductions. I drew two cards, asking, "Mountain Dream Tarot, what can you tell me about yourself?"

I drew the Nine of Cups and the Eight of Swords. 

This deck is a product of individual vision married with friendship and collaboration, and captures real people and real relationships. Certainly, the connection between photographer and subject zings from every card. It's clearly a passion project, and a work that celebrates a particular time and place, and such joy of expression radiates from it. 

The Eight of Swords suggests though that this is no mere family album. We can enjoy it superficially for its 1970s outfits, or spend our time speculating about who these people were and how they spent their time when not posing for tarot card photo shoots, but there's more to it than that. What is hidden in this deck is just as important as what shimmers on the surface, and if we're prepared to put our assumptions aside and dive deeper, greater layers of complexity and meaning will be available to us.

Sounds like a challenge to me! Tune in to the Weather Report on InstagramFacebookTwitter, or Tumblr to see what this beautiful deck has to reveal to us. 

Have you worked with The Mountain Dream Tarot? Or have you discovered any new favourite tarot decks lately? Let me know in the comments!

Enter your email address to have Two Sides Tarot blog posts delivered to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Making Friends with The Dark Goddess Tarot

by Marianne in ,


Oh boy! I have been lusting after Ellen Lorenzi-Prince's captivating Dark Goddess Tarot for months, so you can imagine my glee when I opened my mailbox one day to find that a beautiful friend had gifted me a copy of this work of art. Thank you, beautiful friend!

The Dark Goddess Tarot features a goddess or mythical female figure on every card, capturing images, deities and ideas from all over the world, ancient and modern, relatively speaking. I am really struggling to write a pithy and concise summary of this deck, because it honestly renders me speechless! The scope of research, understanding and intention that has been poured into its creation is breathtaking, and it radiates from every card. My knowledge of world mythology isn't great, so thank goodness my wonderful friend also supplied me with the guidebook for this deck. I can see that this is going to be such an education for me!

I'm so excited to work more closely with this inspired creation, so I'm pleased to say this will be our Deck of the Month for June's daily Weather Report (my free daily reading, which you can follow on Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr). For the month of June, we'll have a fearsome and fascinating goddess a day!

Before we start our daily practice, let's make our introductions. Our first stop, as ever, is The Hierophant. 

It shouldn't be surprising, given every card in this deck features a female figure, but I'm still excited to see a Lady Hierophant - they're few and far between! In this deck, The Hierophant is Cybele, Anatolian Mountain Mother. She is a goddess of the earth, worshiped in ancient Turkey, Greece and Rome, and she represents the ties and ceremonies that bind us - to each other and to the earth. The mountain represents the connection between the earthly realm and the heavens, which aligns so beautifully with the role of The Hierophant as a representative of the divine on earth. Lorenzi-Prince has done a wonderful job marrying up the tradition of The Hierophant and this powerful, earthy deity. 

Now, let's dig a little deeper. Dark Goddess Tarot, what can you tell me about your beautiful self?

Did I mention that one of the best things about this deck is the re-naming of the court cards? Pages are Amazons, Knights are Sirens, Queens are Witches, and Kings are Hags. Cool, right? So, Siren of Water (Aphrodite) and Witch of Earth (Inanna). It seems my journey with this deck is going to be something of a love affair! These cards are a visual and intellectual feast, and Aphrodite, Greek goddess of beauty and love, invites us all to immerse ourselves in their imagery. Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of fertility, speaks of how much inspiration working with these cards will bring. New knowledge, new ideas, and abundant creativity! Both of these goddesses stress the importance of bringing intention, beauty and sensory experience into the every day, so I suspect this deck will be best used in daily ritual work. And what is the Weather Report, if not a daily ritual?

Interestingly, these are both quite sensual, sexy sort of cards! The Weather Report so far has been quite chaste, but perhaps we're going to get to know each other a little more intimately in the month ahead? Ooh la la! 

Have you worked with the Dark Goddess Tarot? I'd love to hear about your experiences with it in the comments below!

P.S. It turns out that this deck is published by the inimitable Arnell Ando, creator of The Transformational Tarot, which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. Funny coincidence, no?

Book a Two Sides Tarot Reading | Shop Tarot Decks