A Heart-Centered Oracle Reading

by Marianne in , ,


Last week, I wrote about how much I'm loving working with the Journey of Love oracle cards. Seriously, this deck is The Business! Last week, we got to oooh and aaah over the pretty illustrations and lovely ideas in this deck. This week, I'm putting it to work! 

I've been thinking a lot these past few days about deepening my meditation practice. If you've been following along for a little while, you may know that I'm not great at doing the same thing, day after day. I do have a daily spiritual practice, of sorts, but the content of that changes all the time because my interests and desires and questions are constantly evolving. While meditation is part of that, I can't say I'm terribly consistent with it! I've been feeling called to hit the cushion more and more these days, but due to distraction and busyness, I haven't really managed to put that into action.

Enter, the Heart-Centered Oracle Reading, with my trusted Journey of Love oracle cards. These cards LOVE to deal with matters of spiritual practice and spiritual paths, so this question is right up their alley. Let's see what support and advice they can offer me!

1. A Broader View: How can I support and deepen my meditation practice at this time? 28. Sacred Convergence

I guess I can't be too surprised by the gravity of this card, since almost every card in this deck packs a big punch, but still! Sacred convergence? That sounds big! This card says that right now, I need to understand the function of my meditation practice, and that function is nothing less than union with the divine. The cushion is a place where the worldly and the spiritual, the personal and the multiple, the separate and the whole, come together. This is big! Open yourself up to make space for all of this coming together.

Another aspect of this card that feels very relevant and powerful is the idea that this convergence can be uncomfortable. Alana Fairchild's blurb for this card says that the spiritual or energetic experience one might have can be reflected in bodily discomfort, anxiety, or resistance. This obviously rings a bell for me, because I do sometimes find the act of sitting physically uncomfortable (does anyone else suffer from meditator's itchy nose?! So annoying!). I think we can take this a step further, though, and extrapolate the body to be the physical world, the sensations, obligations, and routines of my earthly life. Life on the physical plane certainly does seem to sit uncomfortably with meditation practice. Often, I feel too busy or distracted, like there's no room in my schedule to sit. This card shows me that that resistance is actually a response to the deeper calling I'm experiencing. It's all part of the same puzzle! Accept it, but don't allow it to have the final word, because there's so much more to discover!

Journal Prompt: What connections am I seeking to make through meditation? What resistance am I experiencing? How can I bring these together in order to better understand this experience?

2. Zooming In: In the next week, what can I focus on or bring to my meditation sessions in order to cultivate stillness and insight? 23. Across the Waters

This card describes the lake of our emotional waters, a place that can be cooling and calming, infinitely peaceful, or cluttered, crowded, and tumultuous. One of the things I really love about this deck are the author's explanations about each card. For this one, Fairchild offers: "We yearn for the cool, calm mountain lake, serene, giving, echoing a gentle dispensation of grace. You are being called across the waters - out from an overcrowded sea into the cool spaciousness of the endless lake." Ahhh! Reading that feels like a long, deep breath! 

So, my focus this week is simple. I'm called to make my meditations a place of calm replenishment, a place where busyness and movement are stilled, and serenity is allowed to take over. I know from experience that meditation is not always serene (and often expecting it to be is the best way to ensure it isn't!), but this week, I'm going to bring this visualisation of the calm and endless lake into my sitting. I can't wait to feel less busy or distracted. I have to seek out that lake within myself!

Journal prompt: Although I do usually do a journal prompt for each card in this reading, I'm going to skip this one. In this case, stillness is more important than more words!

3. How can I encourage self-love and compassion as I navigate this process? 26. Guardians of the Soul Family

I am not alone in this! There are myriad travellers on this path, working to integrate their spiritual selves into their day to day lives. I'm looking at you wondrous blog readers right now! There are also many sages and students who have explored this road before - countless amazing books have been penned on the subject, not to mention blogs, instagram posts, conversations over coffee. The most loving thing I can do for myself is remember that I am supported by all these fellow spiritual journeyers! When in doubt, I can turn to them for support, read their words, ask them questions, feel their presences. Nice!

Journal prompt: Who is in my spiritual support network? What wisdom have my teachers offered about this experience? How can integrate that into my practice?

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I'm going to take my journal prompts and do some further reflection on this. I'm definitely feeling more supported and inspired to hit the cushion and calm my inner lake! And inn case you missed last week's post, you may be interested to know that this Heart-Centered Oracle Reading is now available as an offering in the shop! These cards love to tackle questions of self-love, personal growth, and spirituality - while the reading I've shared today is about supporting my own meditation practice, this offering can tackle all manner of spiritual and personal topics, and of course, the spread will be customised to meet your needs. I really love sharing the insights of these cards, so if you do feel like you need a little clarity and support, head over to the Two Sides Tarot store and take a look!

Before I sign off for another week, I'd love to know - what are your thoughts on regular meditation? Love it? Struggle with it? Never tried it? What's your approach? I'd love to hear about any experiences or insights you'd care to share!


Journey of Love: Deck Interview and a New Offering

by Marianne in ,


If you've been following the workings of Two Sides Tarot for a while, you'll know that, with very few exceptions, I'm not usually one for oracle cards. What can I say? I'm a Capricorn, and I love structure, cohesion, and tradition, which tarot has in spades. I find most mainstream oracle decks way too loose and airy-fairy, too filled with bad fantasy art, lacking in the shades of grey that makes tarot so useful. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and I wouldn't even bring the matter up if there weren't more to say on it! Here I find myself, completely seduced by Alana Fairchild's Journey of Love oracle

With mostly abstract (and beautiful) artwork, and intriguing and evocative card names like, "The Light Field", "Heart of God", and "Sacred Convergence", how could I not be drawn in? This is clearly some high vibe shizz right here! These cards are very focused on self-love, heart-openness, spiritual connections, and receptivity to the divine. Seriously potent tools!

I've loved working with this deck so much in my own practice, it has inspired a new offering in my store because this goodness needs sharing! More on that in a moment. Let's get to know each other first - and what better way to do it than the classic Little Red Tarot deck interview spread?

1. Tell me about yourself. What's your most important characteristic? 52. The Ancient Ones

What a beautiful way to begin! The Ancient Ones says that the Journey of Love oracle is here to bear witness to our spiritual journeys, to encourage us, and remind us that, even if the material world doesn't always reflect it, the little bursts of light and goodness that we're sending out into the universe are being felt. This deck is here to remind us that everything is connected, and to support us on our paths. In some ways, this card reminds me a little of The Hierophant - it says we are part of an ancient tradition, and we have a place in this spiritual and energetic lineage. 

2. What are your strengths as a deck? 24. The Spaces Between the Words

I think the card name says it all! This deck's strengths lies in its ability to go beyond language, to transmit visions, images, ideas that defy material explanation. It's also wonderful for helping us live in the gap between observation and reaction, that gap between the world and our habitual experience of it. This oracle is great for giving us a moment of a sacred pause!

3. What are your limits? 19. Shakti

Oof! All this fiery Kundalini energy can certainly be disruptive. It's hard to imagine that such powerful stuff could be seen as a limitation, but I suspect what's happening here is that this deck tends to pull out all the stops, even when we're not quite ready for it! From my experience of working with it, it is way more interested in spiritual and esoteric questions than it is in the practical goings-on of day to day life. If you ask it what you need to know about applying for that job, it's probably going to turn around and say, "Forget about the job! What about the nature of your soul?!" It has a tendency to light fires, so make sure to play to its strengths when using it!

4. What are you here to teach me? 5. The Communal Dance

The guidebook describes this card as an invitation "to join the cosmic conga line!" I love it! The Journey of Love oracle is all about bringing people together, about helping us support each other, about opening us up to love and compassion and acceptance, and helping us recognise that we have a place to belong. And conga lines, apparently! Shake your cosmic booties, people! That's what this deck is here for!

5. How can I best learn from and collaborate with you? 42. The Blood Dance

The Blood Dance (great name, by the way!) is an invitation to flow in cycle with this deck. This is not a deck for everyday, but our intuition will guide us towards it when we need it. A big part of this card is accepting your natural rhythms - sometimes you feel like awakening Shakti and shaking things up in your spiritual space, and other times you just feel guided to hang out on the physical plane, patting neighbourhood dogs and eating sandwiches, with nary a thought for your numinous nature. Being accepting and attentive to these rhythms is the best way to collaborate with this deck. Allow it into your life when the time is right! 

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship? 26. Guardian of the Soul Family

Nothing short of healing our relationships to each other and the world. Didn't I say this thing is a powerful tool?! Working with this deck nurtures love and compassion, for the self, others, and the world at large. It's a safe space for healing and connection. What more do you need, really?

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I hope you can see now why I'm in love love love with this deck - so much so that it has inspired a new offering here at Two Sides Tarot, the Heart-Centered Oracle Reading! This puppy is tailored specifically to seekers of the love vibration, spiritual journeyers looking for guidance, and anyone who needs a little encouragement to show themselves some lovin' kindness. Don't we all, from time to time? If this seems like it's up what you need right now, please do go over and take a look. I've been loving delivering this deck's encouraging and affirming messages to the clients who have taken up this reading, and if you feel called to, it would be an honour for me to send them your way, too!

What do you make of the Journey of Love oracle cards? And what's your vibe on oracle decks in general? Any favourites to recommend? I'd love to know in the comments!


Books, Oracles and Spring is Here!

by Marianne in


Today, a behind the scenes peek from the pen (ok, the laptop) of Two Sides Tarot. What's been shakin' round these parts? 

Books, as ever - I've just started Mark Nepo's extraordinary Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, and it's knocking my socks off! I go through phases with spiritual literature; sometimes I can't get enough and I love filling myself up with it, and other times I feel bloated on well-meaning advice from all those gurus and I need to take a step back and read something else for a while. After having stuck mostly to novels and memoirs for the past couple of months, I picked up Nepo's book and found myself ripe for his way of thinking. If you're looking for some inspiration or a reminder to engage with the numinous, I recommend it (and as ever, if you can, consider purchasing it from your local independent bookseller)! Other excellent recent reads include Michelle Tea's How to Grow Up and Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped. I do love a good (if harrowing) memoir! Any recommendations welcome!

I've never been much of an oracle card reader - for some reason (Capricorn, hello), I prefer to have the structure of the tarot as a foundation for my readings. I am beginning to open up my cold, hard little heart to one oracle deck in particular though. The Journey of Love oracle deck is a really warm and thoughtful piece of work, with rich and mostly abstract illustrations. I'm not sure yet if this will ever make its way into my client offerings, but I am enjoying incorporating it into my personal practice. It's a good one!

Since returning from my American holiday a couple of weeks ago, I've been having a total incense moment. I've always been a fan of some casual Nag Champa, and after weeks of being afraid of setting off hotel fire alarms, I must've really been craving it because when I unpacked, I realised I bought a WHOLE lot of incense on my travels! My haul included a variety of aromatic magics from House of Intuition in LA, two truly special blends from The Sword and Rose (thank you to everyone who encouraged me to go there, it really is a special corner of the world!), a variety of stick incenses, and that pinon pine brick incense pictured above. Needless to say, I've been burning up a storm since I returned! Life smells good! 

Finally, I'm just enjoying the shifting of the seasons. I missed most of the first month of Spring, since I was away in the US, but now that I'm back I can definitely feel that change in the air. We've had some very warm days, the light is shifting, daylight savings has begun, and the pollen count is off the charts (achooo). Meanwhile, most of my tarot community, online as you are, are getting ready for Halloween, mainlining the pumpkin spice, and embracing the shorter, cooler days. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, about how I would like to incorporate more observance of the Wheel of the Year into my personal practice. It does feel challenging, as a citizen of the Southern Hemisphere, when most of the information and observance on offer on the internet comes from the opposite season to what one is actually experiencing. Even before I was actively witchy, I'd always experience a sort of cognitive dissonance, as the bloggers I read and the tumblrs I followed got me all in the mood for hot chocolates when I was moving into summer, and for lazy summer afternoons by the pool when I should've been drinking hot chocolate under the doona!

So, to that end, I'm considering doing a series of posts for the Southern Hemisphere practitioner, to get those of us down here who are sneezing and shedding our cardigans in the mood, considering that we've just had our Vernal Equinox and we're heading towards Beltane. Can you dance around the maypole in November? I guess you can in Australia! With all of that said, I'm not an expert on the Wheel of the Year, and I don't identify as a Pagan or Wiccan or really with any other earth-based religion. In some ways, I think it's sort of odd to want to adopt these festivals in the Southern Hemisphere, since they grew from the spiritual traditions of Europe. I do think, though, that we owe it to whatever land we live on to pay attention, and observing the turning of the year is the best way I can think of to do that. So, more to come on this! And a shoutout to any other fellow Southern Hemispherans - is this something you also feel a lack of? Is someone already doing this (no doubt better than me!) and I just haven't found their website yet? Is this something you're interested in? Let's talk about it!

That's what's been stewing in my mind. What have you been up to? Got a great book recommendation or favourite incense blend to share? Let me know in the comments! Oh and remember, you can subscribe by email so you never miss a post!