Lunar Readings

Gemini New Moon: A Quick Tarot Spread

A new moon cycle is nearly upon us! The moon renews herself in Gemini at 12:05 am on the 17th in my timezone (check here to find your local time). Even if you're not big on astrology, observing the cycles of the moon can be a good way to pause, reflect, and mindfully set your course for the weeks ahead. Why wait for something big, like the New Year or the changing seasons, to make a plan, set a resolution, or align yourself with the cycles of nature?

I have a few different readings I use for the New Moon, depending on whether I have a particular intention for the month ahead. The one I want to share today, though, is short, sweet, and appropriate even if you don't want to set an intention. Although it's nice to plan ahead, I'm also a big fan of just going with the flow, being open to whatever happens. This month, I don't have any particular goals or intentions, apart from listening to and following my whims as they arise, and being open to whatever comes up! 

This simple, three-card spread offers some insight into the energies that are coming and going during the moon cycle (peaking and receding are the key rhythms of the moon's influence - think of the tides), and how we might best work with what arises during the month. Who knows, you may find that this spread inspires you to make a plan or set a goal. If not, that's ok too. Sometimes it's nice to just to ride the wave and see where it takes you!

1. What energies are waning in my life at the conclusion of the previous moon cycle?

2. What energies will be waxing in my life during the coming moon cycle?

3. How can I best collaborate with these energies during the month ahead?

Using The Starchild Tarot, here's what I came up with for myself.

The Page of Wands is skipping out of my life for a while, so I think the intense creative energy I experienced during Mercury Retrograde, the constant stream of ideas and whimsical notions, are going to take a break during this moon cycle. Instead, it's a chance for me to take a cooler, more analytical approach with the Queen of Swords. Whimsy is wonderful, but at a certain point it's important to let it mature and grow into something more grounded and useful. Certainly, when it comes to creative work, there must be room in the process for editing and self-evaluation. I'll be borrowing the Queen's critical eye this month. This is validated by the Eight of Crystals, which says a new task is at hand. The best way to take advantage of this energy is to take everything I've learned, practiced and envisioned so far, and put it to work. The theme of maturation is definitely strong in this reading, so I foresee less playfulness, and more serious, solid, and conscientious work in the month ahead. 

Now your turn! How will you mark the new moon?

(Psst! Don't forget, you can subscribe to the Two Sides Tarot blog by email, and never miss a post!)

New Moon Reading - Available for a Limited Time!

The New Moon in Virgo is nearly upon us (it happens on August 25th or 26th, depending on your hemisphere), and it's a great time to cleanse ourselves of old energies and set new intentions for the month ahead. This is especially true because Virgo is all about getting things in order, streamlining your processes, and kickstarting new habits. 

It's been a couple of months since I've made my popular New Moon Reading available, and I thought this ultra-productive Virgo energy was a great reason to share this inspiring reading with you again!

My four-card Manifestation and Release reading for the New Moon shows you what you can leave behind in last month and what you are manifesting in the month ahead. Not only that, but it will tell you what you need to know about this process, and what action you can take to support yourself in all this shedding and manifesting. I'll all about the practical!

The New Moon comes on but one day a month, and to make the most of this potent energy, this reading is only available for a very short time! Get your order in before 27th August, when this New Moon in Virgo offering will disappear.

Take advantage of it while you can, and make September your most organised, productive, and satisfying month yet!

Happy New Moon in Cancer (and a Giveaway)!

I can hardly believe the month is over! Time sure does fly, (especially when you are deciding to hide from Mercury Retrograde). It has been pleasant here under the metaphorical doona, but the time has come to venture back out into the world. As ever, Mystic Mamma captures some great writing about this moon phase. How is everyone? And what reflections and revelations did you uncover during the month just past? 

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As ever, I read my cards for manifestation and release under the New Moon. My manifestation card for this month is the glorious Nine of Vessels, Generosity, from the Wildwood Tarot (I'm only just beginning to use this deck for my private tarot work and am loving its vibe!). A beautiful reminder that my cauldron runneth over! The past few weeks have been spent in retreat and reflection, and now it is time to turn outwards again. 

In the spirit of generosity, I'd love to share a four-card New Moon reading with one lucky reader! Comment below before 6pm Sunday (AEST) and let me know how you are ushering in this new moon phase. I'll choose one winner at random. Good luck! 

EDIT - This giveaway is now closed! To find out when I am next offering the opportunity to win a free reading, you can follow Two Sides Tarot on Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr. Thanks for stopping by!

New Moon in Taurus: My Month Ahead

In the past few months, I've found it really helpful to throw a special spread in honour of the New Moon. The renewal of the lunar cycle sees a refresh in energy down here on planet earth, and this spread has become an essential tool to help me clarify the comings and goings in my own life each month. My reading from the New Moon in Aries, along with further developments on the Full Moon, illuminated a lot of challenging stuff that had been hidden beneath the surface for me. Tarot never pulls punches, that's for sure! I'm still working on all of that, but, as this month wanes, it does feel as though those difficult energies are dissipating a little.  

In the spirit of new energy, I thought it appropriate to use a different deck, so I've chosen the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini. It's been a while since we've worked together, but this deck remains one of my favourites. It is a comfort to see its soft colours and familiar geometric 70's weirdness - just what I needed after a challenging month! So, now what?

1. What am I releasing from the lunar cycle just past? Page of Swords

2. What am I manifesting in the coming lunar cycle? Queen of Pentacles

3. How can I support myself in this process? Ace of Cups

4. A piece of advice, or something I should know, for the month ahead: Four of Swords reversed

Call me a coward, but after the intense energies of all those Majors last month, I'm pretty relieved to see that this month my concerns will be more worldly. So much of last month was spent in agonised mind-wringing, it will be nice to bring some focus back to the day-to-day. Appropriate for earthy Taurus, no? 

The Page of Swords seems to suggest that it's time to let go of that agonising and anxiety. Much of last month was spent wondering wondering how to put something amorphous like "My Soul's Journey" into a practical to-do list (I'm a Capricorn, shuddup, I can't help it!). The Page of Swords says, handwringing and trying to force inspiration and organisation is unhelpful. This month ahead is not for trying pointlessly to pin down abstract plans. Let go of that mental restlessness. 

Funny that I should have the Queen of Pentacles appear as my manifestation card this month, as she was last month's piece of advice, and being an earthy, practical soul, a comfort to me in the face of all this intangible stuff. I'd hug her if I could! She says, "Your job is to focus on doing the tangible things that you can do. Keep your feet on the ground, and your hands in the dirt." I feel as though I am being given permission to do what I do best! For the next four weeks, if I feel myself becoming overwhelmed, I'm going to say, "Fuck it, let's garden!" Keep my hands busy and leave my pesky subconscious unattended. Who knows what might happen? 

The Ace of Cups says that all this doing must come intuitively, from a place of creativity and instinct. It also needs to be shared, to be part of something bigger. Once again I am reminded to give some attention to the people in my life, to share the journey and to make the time for connection. My tarot practice will also be a wonderful outlet for this, as I connect and share with you guys, my beautiful clients and readers. Ultimately, the Ace of Cups asks for practical generosity, so while I get my hands dirty I'll be keeping my heart open, and pouring my love and attention into those Queen of Pentacles to-dos. 

The Four of Swords reversed challenges me to see that there is a difference between contemplation and fixation. In hindsight, last month's Eight of Cups saw me fleeing from my thoughts and feelings, rather than taking time out with them. I have been avoiding meditation and reflection in the last couple of weeks because they have become associated with the fretting and turmoil, but this card says that doesn't have to be the way. This is just as well, because I'm off on a weekend meditation retreat in May, and I don't want to spend that time running the anxiety gauntlet!  The Four of Swords advises not to be afraid of quiet. Those Queen of Pentacles moments when my hands are busy and my mind is idle will be my teachers this month.

If you've enjoyed these New Moon posts, you may want to order a New Moon reading of your own. I'm offering this reading for a limited time, until May 1st only!

How was your April? Did the wild astrological happenings cause you any strife or self-discovery? 

Full Moon Shadow Dancing

You probably know that we've through a Full Moon in Libra. I'm not particularly knowledgeable about astrology, but word on the street is this moon's energy has been all about relationships and connections (there's some great stuff about the astrological significance of this Full Moon here). I don't know about you guys, but the week or so leading up to the Full Moon had me feeling a lot of turmoil about the other humans on this planet! It seemed like everyone was rubbing me the wrong way, and my usually calm inner sea was raging. How appropriate, then, that I should receive a newsletter from one of my favourite metaphysical workers and writers, the lovely Bri of Milagro Roots. Her newsletter is always like a precious gift in my inbox, (I highly recommend you sign yourself up!), but this one in particular spoke precisely of what I was experiencing at that moment in time.

This newsletter explored the idea of the Shadow Dancer - that person, energy, spirit, or idea, who appears as an obstacle or irritation on our path, not to truly hurt us, but to teach us. We've all come across those from time to time! In order to fully integrate the lessons of the Shadow Dancer, we must learn to embrace its teachings, to integrate its energy into our very being, so that we can enjoy full awareness of our own natures. Basically, we have to learn to dance! And what is a dance, if not a relationship?

If you've been following my blog over the past few weeks, you may have seen that during April's lunar cycle, I am particularly interested in the idea of the shadow. When Bri suggested a five-piece (tarot or oracle cards, runes, stones, etc) Full Moon reading to dig into the idea of the Shadow Dancer, of course I had to try it for myself. My results were so interesting and personal that, with Bri's kind permission, I just had to share them with you. Her instructions:

Meeting your challenger and learning to dance with them is a task you will be asked to do many times. It is not always easy so we are fortunate to have guides that can assist us. Our ritual for this Full Moon will demonstrate one way to work with those guides.

1.) Pick up your oracle of choice--you will need to be able to draw five pieces/cards/images out from the oracle so do take that into consideration.
2.) Enter into Stillness and Silence and/or Ground, Center, and Anchor using the audio on the freebies page or your own method of choice.
3.) Ask: What or Who is my Challenger right now? Draw a card to represent this figure.
4.) Ask What do they have to teach me? Draw a card to represent the lessons and gifts your Challenger brings to you.
5.) Ask: What or who is my ally in the face of this challenge? Draw a card to represent this figure or virtue.
6.) Ask: What do they have to teach me? Draw a Card to represent their teaching or gift.
7.) Ask: How may my Challenger and Ally dance with each other? Draw a final card to provide clues and inspiration to this query.
Consider your results in the way that works best for you.

Here's what I came up with - 

In my New Moon Reading for April, I had The Lovers appear as my manifestation card for the month. Being currently very preoccupied with the idea of exploring and integrating my shadow self, I took this to be about my need to keep working on unifying the disparate sides of my personality and experience. In my head, it's all me me me me me. Imagine my surprise, then, to see the Two of Cups appear here as my Shadow Dancer. I had been so caught up in my own little world that I had interpreted The Lovers as being primarily about my own, private journey. The Universe gave me yet another cosmic bitchslap with this spread, walloping me over the head and reminding me that, "Hello, you forgot about your boyfriend!"

Let me tell you a little something about my boyfriend. My long suffering other half, who calmly tolerates and even at times smiles enthusiastically when he comes home to find the coffee table covered in quartz points, or the house reeking of sage. The King of Swords to my Page of Wands, he is endlessly interested, endlessly supportive of all the weird shit that I come out with, even if it isn't always his cup of tea. If I have to be honest with myself (and I do, now that this spread has been so blunt), while I've been preoccupied with my own soul's evolution, I haven't exactly been the most attentive or enjoyable partner. 

Funny, then, that my primary romantic relationship should appear as my Shadow Dancer under this Full Moon in Libra. I get it, Universe, I get it! All this time, I've been burrowing deeper and deeper into my own head, and becoming increasingly uncommunicative about my experience there. Some of what I am digging up is still too tenuous to be shared, but my Shadow card here says that I need to learn to draw it up, bring it into the light, and show it to the person who knows me best, no matter how weird, vulnerable and challenging that might feel. My instinct is to withdraw, but the Six of Wands says that victory lies in the other direction. Coming back, reconnecting, communicating. 

My ally in this process? The World. Always a card that makes you believe everything is on your side! Significantly, The World is also a card of unification, completion, joy. Everything I have learned so far, and everything I will yet learn, is spurring me on this quest, and everyone who has touched my life has a role to play. It's time to bring it all together, and time to learn that this party isn't just about me! Isolation and withdrawal are not the answer to my question right now. My ally's lesson, the Nine of Wands, says a burden shared is a burden halved, and we all know two halves make a whole. 

Finally, the dance. The Ace of Wands. A change to say sorry, to start over, to renew my own spiritual journey. This time, though, I have some company on the road. 

*

Please do your spirit (and maybe even your relationship!) a favour and head over to one of my favourite places on the internet, Bri's website, Milagro Roots. She offers all kinds of sacred services, writes a fantastic blog, and of course, sends out a newsletter that is pure gold! I do recommend you sign up. 

What was your experience of the Full Moon in Libra this week? 

New Moon, New Blog

Welcome to the inaugural post of the Two Sides Tarot Blog. Wish me luck on my maiden voyage! 

For some reason, I've been a little resistant to the idea of starting a blog for Two Sides Tarot. I think perhaps it was because I wanted the cards to speak for themselves. Being a tarot reader, though, the impulse to communicate, to write, and to tell a story inevitably won out. The cards will always speak for themselves, but working with a translator always helps them get their message across, and I have a lot of fun tarot stuff to share with you!

For now, I'm thinking about the moon. I'm no astrologer, but marrying up the cycles of nature and the rhythms in the messages of the cards feels, well, natural to me. The phases of the moon guide us through moments of action and reflection, and tarot guides us to make the best of each state that we move through. Over the past couple of months, I've been throwing a four-card reading for myself on the New Moon. This spread helps me to reflect on the month past, hone my focus for the month ahead (you can find out about ordering your own New Moon Reading here, if you're so inclined).

It was my intention to share this month's reading as my first blog post, and I didn't expect that it would be quite so personal. If this was ever to be a strictly business tarot blog, that cool and professional remove is now officially gone! Last month had me reflecting deeply on my attitudes to work, business, and money, which led to much tinkering around the site, and a little progress, I hope, in shifting my attitude about where my cash goes. This month, though, it seems I'll be going deeper. The topic of my New Moon Reading for this month is work on the self, the shadow, and the subconscious. 

1. What am I released from the lunar cycle just past? The Hierophant

2. What am I manifesting in the coming lunar cycle? The Lovers

3. How can I support myself in this process? Eight of Cups

4. A piece of advice, or something I should know, for the month ahead: Queen of Pentacles

The Hierophant always makes an alarm go off in my mind when I read for myself, because he is my Soul Card (find out how to calculate your own Soul Card here). Many people find it hard to relate to the stuffy old Hierophant (The Pope, in earlier decks), but, being a risk-averse, structure loving, list-making Capricorn, it didn't take me too long to make peace with him. His appearance here lets me know that in the month ahead, I will be shedding old notions of myself, confronting aspects of my personality and behaviour that are no longer useful, and discarding them. This is something I've been exploring for a little while now, and I'm not afraid to say that it scares the bejesus out of me!

The Lovers is a balm for my fear, though, suggesting that integration, unification, will be the theme of my month. Shedding The Hierophant rings scarily true with some deeply personal work I have been doing on diving into my shadow self, and The Lovers remind me that this process is not about losing myself, but making myself even more whole. I've been working with journaling, meditation, and dreaming over the past couple of months, and this has already begun to shed some light on the dusty corners of my subconscious. The Lovers says, persist. Draw out your hidden side. Bring it into balance with your conscious personality. Funnily enough, my Shadow Card is Temperance. Its absence from this spread does make it feel like the elephant in the reading!

The Eight of Cups advises to take some time out to allow this work to happen. Sit down, and take a long, hard look at what is really going on. I've been considering doing a silent meditation retreat, and perhaps now is the time to book it. Part of separating from a strictly Hierophant style of operating is perhaps the need to get out of my routine, to change things up. See what comes up when my roots have been shaken loose. I think it will take me a good portion of the month to understand exactly how the Eight of Cups should manifest, but I will be watchful for opportunities to deploy this energy of retreat, departure, and pilgrimage. 

Finally, the Queen of Pentacles. I had to smile when she came up. Just when I thought I was to discard my earthy, Capricornian nature, here is another card I strongly identify with. The Queen of Pentacles reminds me to marry my material concerns of last month's reading, with the deeper soul work that is ahead this month. How can I recalibrate my physical, material world, just as I am recalibrating my inner world? Like The Lovers, the two are connected and should be brought into harmony with each other.

This month, it seems I will be meditating on my shadow, Temperance. How do I quiet the domineering voice of The Hierophant, so a little more High Priestess can be heard? How do I marry conscious and unconscious, light and shadow, anima and animus, as The Lovers advise? All in a day's work for a professional tarot reader, apparently. I can see it's going to be a busy and challenging month!

What are your Soul and Shadow cards? Do you identify with them?