Thursday, December 17, 2009
Here we are, a few days before Solstice and Christmas. For those that might be reading this in a location other than Winnipeg. I should point out we have a thing here called "wind chill" and frostbite warnings. The temperature might be -20 Celsius but the windchill can cause it to feel -40. December has been a long and very cold month. Our days get short with a sort of twilight at around 3:30 or 4:00.
After the 21st the days begin to get longer and today we are finally seeing the temperature lifting somewhat. I have seen the impact of this hard season on a lot of people. Stress about the economy along with the usual seasonal emotional amplification of things.
For myself the season is very simple. Most of the kids in my family have grown and I dont have a lot of shopping to do and can pretty much avoid going into malls. For me this season is best celebrated by getting together with friends, maybe doing a little volunteering and appreciating the quiet moments in it all.
My favorite seasonal piece of music has always been " Oh Holy Night". This year the line about "The weary world rejoices" stands out. Whatever your faith path, the turning of the light, the birth of a saviour or even just the start of a new year, I wish you that thrill of hope.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
It was written by Max Ehrmann, although many have the misconception that it is anonymous.
I keep it in a place where I can glance at it from time to time and often a particular line seems to jump out at me, my favorite being "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here". It seems that whatever I may be going through, the words of this piece always give me peace and quite often an answer.
I will not post it in it's entirety as it is copyrighted material, but I did find a slide show from Youtube with the words in it so I'll share that:
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
One of the systems that I use on a personal basis for meditation, reflection and insight is the I Ching.
Finding a good working translation that helps to apply it to daily life is important. For a good many years, I have gone through a number of copies of "The I Ching Workbook" by R. L. Wing. From this basic manual I have been able to better understand the more in depth translations of others. Wing has a number of other books that many friends also recommend.
The workbook format also allows the user to see where, overtime, certain patterns occur. Here's the Amazon.ca link:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sometimes I use stories I have heard or things that I have experienced to illustrate something about a card or a symbol. I was talking about the Queen of Pentacles the other day and I remembered a story about a friend's grandmother that fit perfectly with the idea of resourcefulness and values - based thinking that this card can represent.
My friend's Grandmother, or Nana as they called her, married very young, probably in her mid to later teens and in the time just following the great depression (the late 1930s). Her husband was a mechanic in a little garage and very traditional in the idea that he was the breadwinner, he didn't want his wife to work.
Nana was very resourceful, she made her own clothes as well as drapes and curtains. She was a tremendous cook and soon her neighbors were asking her to do some baking for them. She happily obliged as well as making drapes. When her husband came home for lunch, she had to whisk everything out of sight, under the bed or into the closet went the drapes.
Every Friday, she would sit down with her husband after supper and he would give her his pay envelope and she would do her accounts. After the bills were paid, she gave him back the rest of the money (because the man handled the money) and she would keep everything that was a five dollar bill or less. He thought she used that for "pin money".
One particular Friday, shortly after their first child was in school, probably about 6 or 7 years into wedded bliss, she told him that she had something to show him and he'd better sit down. He refused and asked "what have you done now"? She pulled out a bank book and said "you can buy the garage". Needless to say he fainted, (he shoulda sat down). One wonders what this woman, with a limited education and the restrictions of her time could have done with a lot of the advantages we take for granted nowadays.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Fire, Water, Air, Earth
From the time we all started walking upright (both as a species and as individuals) four things were necessary to our survival and also have had to be respected as powerful and in some instances, potentially dangerous. They are four tools that we have to work with; earth, water, fire and air. They are found in the root symbolism of most cultures the world over and are at the basis of many forms of spirituality, astrology, Tarot and countless other systems of thought. I think it may have been significant that these elements were things that were not just life sustaining but also four ways we literally dissolve. When a person dies you can either stick the body in the ground, burn it up, throw it in the ocean or put it on a burial platform in the air. Maybe this is part of why these symbolic elements have been important to people for so long.
OK, you're probably getting a little impatient and are asking "fine and dandy, what does this have to do with ME"? I have to work with an understanding of these elements in their relevance to people in the here and now. There's the conscious level on which the person being read is seeking and there are sometimes the signals trying to get through on another level. A person might want "their fortune told" which is fair, but a pretty superficial kind of reading and I'd like to think I'm able to provide a lot more than that. It would be like looking at the elements just as love life, work life, money and battles. But on a more proactive level those same categories are the responsibilities we have in Compassion, Constructiveness, Values and Boundaries. I boil them down most simply as our prime functions of feeling, doing, owning, and fighting. We evolve when we work with them consciously.
The Elements In Our Lives
Here's another way of looking at the elements: Let's imagine we are going to a party in a big house with lots of people that drift around and generally congregate into groups.
Usually the "feelers" are in the kitchen around the food and the sink or by the bathroom door, talking about what's going on emotionally. Feelers do and own and fight but they are predominant in feeling, nurture and compassion. They tie into the element of water and in Tarot that's the suit of cups.
The doers are generally active, playing ping pong or talking about their doing. Their work for instance, or the deck they built. They tend to be more competitive. They also feel and fight and own but they identify with doing. Their element is fire and in Tarot that is the suit of wands.
Owners are not necessarily materialistic but I picture them in the library. They look at many sides of a situation. Tending to weigh options in line with their values and their resources. "What is the issue worth to me?" they ask. They look at things in relation to their values. Their accumulated experience and the experience of others. They "own up" to things. They too experience the other elements but predominate with earth energy, symbolized as pentacles.
The fighters are sometimes having a debate or at the very least a discussion about things. they tend to use exclamation points a fair bit. They communicate succinctly and make their point. they watch how others react. Sometimes they need to "clear the air" and they are the air element and their suit is swords.
All Four One And One Four All
We experience all of these areas, some of us are more at home in some than in others and we go through periods of our lives that may have a really predominant element to them. Most often though it is a mixture. They flow into one another, sometimes comfortably and sometimes not so.Too much of an element can be damaging.
Sometimes the purpose of a reading is like lifting the hood on an engine and seeing how these things are interacting, or like a personal trainer looking at your workout plan.It can help us see where we are over relying on an element and give us choices as to how to work through things differently. Most of us have blind spots in our energetic awareness, consequently sometimes we are using the wrong tool on a job.
Understanding the elements in our lives and within ourselves is a big part of Tarot work.
I began reading without Tarot. I was always able to “pick up” things with people. But I found it is a vehicle that works best for me and is most comfortable for those I read for. I am able to ground what I get intuitively with what I see in the cards and they allow me to have an illustrative tool that the person I am reading for can see. They also allow me to organize thoughts and see relevant patterns in the different aspects I am receiving.
People often ask "what does this card mean", as if the answer were as simple as looking a word up in a dictionary (ha ha ha!). Which dictionary? Websters? The dime store one? Maybe that great font of misinformation - the Internet? Or even a good standard, responsible dictionary like the one you have on a shelf that you've been using for a gazillion years, surely that would give a definitive answer wouldn't it? In an absolute sense...no. Dictionaries get updated every so often and you'll notice that beside a word there are the numbered interpretations of that word. Your good old dictionary MIGHT be out of date!
I just found a good illustrative article about the etymology (evolution) of words:
Studying Tarot's history is a fascinating undertaking. Over time people have added associations to it and some aspects have been dropped. There have come to be recognised some inherent rules to Tarot and it's structure that have been hammered out in long successions of scholars. Some deck creators choose to follow these and some (frustratingly) don’t.
Tarot is a little like Windows for computers, it’s not a perfect system but it is largely out of the winnowing out process that it has changed and will no doubt change again (i.e. In many early Tarot and playing card decks the four suits were relevant to the four classes of society -military, merchant, nobility etc. - as society changed these associations changed too).
The more you work with any symbolic system, the more you start to notice, or create certain patterns or associations. The more these associations work the more ingrained they become or they get discarded over time. The format that has evolved for me with Tarot is much like that. Like most readers, I have developed an approach that brings the possible interpretations into relevance to the people I read for. This has meant looking at the basic structure of the deck on a number of levels. There are connections I have made that work for me and that a lot of people have been able to relate to.
So back to the question…when I'm asked the meaning of a card, I have to answer from the perspective of what it means based on a number of factors;
- What it means in relation to what I am receiving intuitively.
- What it is saying in relation to the other symbols (i.e.card combinations, predominance of symbols and suits).
- What I have found that card to mean relative to many such interpretations and through study of other's interpretations.
Or (*GRIN* ) you could refer to the teeny tiny book that comes with the cards when you remove the cellophane and take them out of the box.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Is the Rider deck "best"? I know of a great many readers who find it flimsy, stale or not their cup of tea. Its like (very much like) comparing apples to oranges or better yet a Mac to a PC. PCs are probably not the better system - BUT they went into greater use. Same as Beta to VHS.
I use a Rider because it is fluent to the needs of what I have to work with, it illustrates well. I believe the artist, Pamela Coleman Smith, was a gifted illustrator. Although the Rider is not as artistically pleasing as say the Arthurian Tarot, doing a reading for Jane Q. Public with the Arthurian Tarot would be like (again this is JUST me) reading the weather in Arthurian English;
"thy skies will be cloudy, but verily there is a wilde storm front...zounds!"
I generally recommend the Rider, not because it is "the best", but because it is an operating system that will allow a person to move into other decks or operating systems most congruently. I wouldn't recommend learning English for international use from someone who spoke largely in Cockney slang.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The writing of George Macdonald is like opening a magic door. There is a depth and a resonance with something we all know deep inside. His children's stories aren't watered down Disney, rather like something found in an attic that once opened never lets you be the same.
Transformative spirituality is like that. Considered Christian allegory, these stories are something I think anyone who walks a path of faith can understand and relate to.
I find it fascinating that his characters most often analogous to a saviour are, in fact women. He was a follower too of the poet Novalis, who believed spirit could be found as much in nature as in dogma. Macdonald was a man before his time in many respects, but we would have so much less in this time had he not come before.
For anyone interested in archetypes or for anyone who wants to experience fantasy writing in its most potent distilled state this is the rarest vintage. Goes best in a book format, in a hammock at a lake or with milk and cookies before bedtime.
Heres a link about Macdonald from Wikipedia:
and one of my favorite stories by him (many e-texts are available on the net):
I ordered my last (new) copy through Prairie Sky Books (see in links) as I've given many away.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I have a very good friend named Dann Thew who is unabashedly joyful.
It sometimes even gets him in trouble, but he goes on being joyful just the same. I remember back before he became a yoga instructor (which is a perfect fit for him), he was working some odd jobs and happened to be at McDonald's working in the drive-through.
Now I don't know about you, but for me it would be challenging keeping joy in that.
Part of why I found it hard to do readings in restaurants after a good many years of it, was the way people treat servers. But Dann is quite naturally "in the now" and curious and happy to see people. He doesn't get caught in what he has to be for others, he just IS. He would see people as people, make eye contact and give them recognition.
Some people aren't comfortable with what they see as "the help" being re cognizant, they want Mcinteraction with their Mcfries. There was one guy who came through the drive through regularly, always ordered the same thing, always impatient, always in a rush and was always gruff. One day when he pulled in, Dann said through the intercom "Hi I have your usual order ready"...the guy didn't know what to do...when he pulled up to the window Dann gave him his order with a big smile...the man sputtered and grimaced. After Dann gave him his change, the guy yelled " I'M GONNA GET YOU FIRED!!!".
Dann smiled at him with great surprise and gratitude and said "OH..........THANK YOU!"
And just to show Dann has a mischievous side, he added "I hope you enjoy your lunch as much as I did myself, preparing it by hand". I should mention too that the guy in the truck had a girlfriend with him that found the whole thing joyful too.
Dann has taught me that I need to have reference points for joy. I have a bulletin board by my computer at home that has pictures on it of what a happy man is supposed to look like. I think it's like a package of seeds that has to show what the blossoming plant is. I try to look at these grinning men as my reference points and it's often hard when I do that, not to grin back. here's one of them (I'll post more eventually):
Yup, Steve Martin. He knows how to laugh as much at himself as at what's around him. I have to include a YouTube clip of him with Earl Scruggs playing "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" on Letterman. There is tremendous joy in these guys jamming.
There was a time in my life when I had lost or misplaced this. Oddly it was when I was trying very very hard to "work on" me. Don't get me wrong, I needed to do a lot of that work, still do. But I had misplaced my joy and lost my reference points. Every now and then though life gives me a bump, the saying is "a burr under the saddle that wakes up the horse".
It's when I find it again that I remember it is a natural state. Like sunshine it really is always there, clouds obscure it and like the earth turning, I give it my backside quite often but it's there.
I want to throw in one last little piece of joy that I like to look at from time to time, with thanks to Susan H. (who turned me on to Polyphonic Spree, and has lots of good stuff to share):
Thursday, August 13, 2009
- Relationship Issues:
"Codependant No More" by Melodie Beattie. Here is the product description and link to it on Amazon.ca;
Is someone else's problem your problem? If, like so many others, you've lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else's, you may be codependent--and you may find yourself in this book. The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America's best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life. With instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests, Codependent No More is a simple, straightforward, readable map of the perplexing world of codependency--charting the path to freedom and a lifetime of healing, hope, and happiness. Melody Beattie is the author of Beyond Codependency, The Language of Letting Go, Stop Being Mean to Yourself, and Playing It by Heart.
- Personal Well Being and healing from stress:
"Minding The Body Mending the Mind" by Joan Borysenko.
Product description and link from Amazon.ca;
Borysenko, co-founder and director of the Mind/Body Clinic at New England Deaconess Hospital/Harvard Medical School, describes the clinic's ten-week program for learning to "mind the body" through a medical synthesis of neurology, immunology, and psychology. She provides step-by-step instructions to the clinic's techniques while suggesting how they can be adapted for individual use. Combining meditation, breath control and stretching exercises, and mindfulness, and drawn from work with patients aged 17 to 93, these techniques help ease the stress of illness particularly illness caused by stress exploiting the body's natural capacity for healing. Readers who master them can achieve an admirable balance between inner self and environment.
- Meditation and mindfulness
"A New Earth - awakening to your life's purpose" by Eckhart Tolle.
I should mention that I don't find Eckhart Tolle to be very original in what he suggests. The "New Earth" is not a very new idea or concept and is at the basis of just about any kind of mindfulness exercise, but he does manage to convey the concept in a way that many people find understandable. There was a 10 week "webinar" with free online workbooks and resources on Oprah.com (again, "free" but you have to join Oprah.com).
Anything written by Pema Chodron, but probably the best book to begin with (as suggested by it's title) is "Start Where You Are", also relating to grief and brokenness is "When Things Fall Apart".
I do sometimes suggest the following resources (in Winnipeg) that can be helpful:
- Free Counselling - relationships, personal problems, abuse issues etc. (these can also refer you to other resources in turn if need be):
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 877 977 0007
Emergency Shelter, Domestic abuse: Osborne House (204) 942 3052
- Addiction (both for the addict and for those affected):
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Nothing beats finding a good reliable face to face astrologer, but for online free astrology the best site I have found AND rely on is:
You need to know the location and time of your birth (contact your local vital statistics if you don't know for sure).
The basic chart and the daily forecast is free. I also subscribe to the extended day forecast, which is roughly $39.00 a year in US funds. I have also purchased the personality portrait for myself and the Horoscope Analysis (see picture left) as gifts for friends (again roughly $39 US) and found them to be worth every penny.
I was having a conversation with a friend today about "being sure of yourself" and I remembered a great article in Shambhala Sun. Written shortly after the infamous September 11th 2001, it was by Margaret Wheatley and was about the value of uncertainty.
She starts by saying;
"In a changing world, certainty doesn't give us stability; it just creates more chaos. "Now," is the time for far less certainty and far more curiosity."
The full article is at:
Shambhala Sun is a monthly magazine about Buddhism and meditation, I always find it's articles insightful and thought provoking:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Being a child of the '60s, and being greatly influenced by my older brother's taste in music, I had Tarot symbolism around me before I even knew what tarot was.
Like many people of my generation I first saw "The Hermit" inside a Led Zeppelin album.
One of the albums I adore from that era (that was inspired by imagery from the Tarot) is Steve Hackett's "Voyage Of The Acolyte". Check out the following Youtube link (particularly "the hands of the priestess" and "the hermit")
Along with the names you will hear again and again (Stuart R. Kaplan, Crowley, Waite, etc. etc. ) , the following are a few of the books that I have particularly found useful.
"Choice Centered Tarot" by Gail Fairfield
More info on Amazon.com:
"Easy Tarot Guide" by Marcia Masino
More info on Amazon.ca:
For Serious Study:
"Qabalistic Tarot" by Robert Wang. For in depth background on just about everything you could ever want to know, the systems from which tarot originates, the symbols, associations and the transformative experience of working with and creating a deck and what would probably be the most important reference manual I go back to again and again (and is helpful in understanding Crowley, Waite and all the others). This author is not afraid to debunk some big tarot myths (the tarot itself is not ancient for instance, but rather has always borrowed from symbolism far older than itself). I have found a number of books by R. Wang helpful and his own creations in terms of decks are articulate and work well.
More info on Amazon.com:
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Most of the original art in my reading room is by my brother Daniel Thorkelson. He has been a big influence in my life. His deep appreciation of nature, his humor, sensitivity and perspectives on life show in his work.
Once he gets his blog up and running I'll post a link (hint, hint, Dan!).
Friday, July 17, 2009
Her book "Start Where You Are" is one that I have read many times. It is about meditation, mindfulness and working through life experience rather than trying to run away from it. I also recommend "When Things Fall Apart".
The following is a clip from a Bill Moyers interview on why she became a Buddhist:
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The Picture at left of course is the wonderful Frank Morgan in "The Wizard Of Oz". A humbug with a heart of gold. There are a lot of different kinds of readers out there and, like in any profession, there are good ones, bad ones and there are a lot of people who want to paint us all with the same brush.
I was asked recently to describe what I do and how I operate. My standards have evolved over the years, as well as my own professional boundaries and areas of specialization. I always point out that intuitive or psychic reading is very individual in it's expression and practice and readers usually develop their own style (and reputation) over time.
My sessions are generally a half hour in length. I have done fairs and parties (and still do occasionally) and particularly when I read in restaurants the format was quite a bit shorter ( I sometimes had as many as 30 people waiting). When I established my independent practice on an appointment basis, I moved into a longer format and found that I was usually able to cover pertinent information and provide insight quite comfortably within the half hour, also allowing time near the end for the client to ask questions verbally.
With the exception of reading for friends (which is different), I like to go into a reading knowing very little about the person. I don't like to be led by obvious cues or clues. At the same time part of what I do does involve paying attention to and being sensitive to the state the person is in, this has more to do with the delivery of information than to the information itself.
The reading room is a relaxing environment and can comfortably accommodate myself and up to 4 or 5 other people at a time. Many people prefer to come individually or in pairs as reading is, for the most part, an intimate experience. I allow people to bring in a friend and sometimes small groups like to sit in on one an other's readings. I'm fine with that.
I allow people to use a recording device of their choice, please see Recording readings/saving spreads
I begin by explaining how I would like the person to shuffle the deck - always holding the cards over the table and face down - (a lot of people don't handle cards much these days). While shuffling I ask the person to reflect, silently of course, on any important issues they may have or to reflect as if a good friend asked them how they are doing. After shuffling I have them cut the cards and I begin to read.
The reading itself can vary. Generally I am working with a combination of what I receive intuitively ( I get very strong impressions of both the external circumstances of the person as well as the lessons they are moving through internally) and also the interpretation of the cards themselves.
I work with either a Rider/Waite deck - as seen in this sample (click on it for a larger view), or a variant there-of. I like the Aquarian tarot as an alternative, but it's usually the Rider. I have evolved my own version of the traditional Celtic Cross spread, which I will post about in the future. I tend to pay a lot of attention to card combinations and the predominance of symbols, numbers and elements. Usually there is a theme or lesson that is revealed running through the various areas of a person's life (i.e. relationships, work, security and conflicts).
Toward the last part of the session I allow for questions to be asked verbally. I prefer this towards the end as questions are often rather leading and I should have established a connection before this point as to not be as biased.
I don't recommend a person having readings too often, for most it is a yearly thing, or they may come around a specific issue then come for a follow up a few months after, but I NEVER encourage dependency on what I do. It is meant to be food for thought and an adjunct to a person's own good judgement.
For some it is entertainment and I am OK with that. Sometimes it IS entertaining, but I take what I do seriously at the same time. I do have a psychic / intuitive gift that I have to use responsibly and also a strong ability to empathise and understand which the work itself has strengthened. Communication skills and a sense of humor help too. Apart from that I do not see myself as being that much different from most people and don't purport to be, (other than the quirks everyone does have and I must admit I have a few).
I don't read for people under 18. I also will decline a reading if I feel the person is not in a responsible state to receive what I offer objectively. To me reading is a form of perception that should be received with an open mind even a bit of friendly skepticism, blind faith is as bad as, if not worse than, vehement cynicism.
In the cases of people going through major issues or crisis (i.e. abusive relationships, psychological problems, loss or trauma, addiction issues) I may spend some of the time suggesting a referral to an appropriate resource. Sometimes in these instances I will say that it might not be the time for a reading in which case I either wave the fee or only accept partial payment, it depends on the circumstances. I reserve the right to refuse service if I don't feel it is an appropriate resource.
I am not qualified to diagnose health issues and have not tried to develop my perception along those lines. I refer that to a person's doctor or an appropriate practitioner. I will discuss well being and the messages a person may be getting from their body.
I can get very strong impressions about people in the person's life or that may be coming into the picture, but I cant, for instance, give someone information on an ex they broke up with two years ago if that person is not relevant to their life anymore.
I don't identify as a clairvoyant or medium. I have had some senses about people who have passed on but more often in terms of what the living carry from that connection. I do sometimes sense presences or trace energies in environments or around people and I have had some very strong personal experiences (and also people close to me have), but I work cautiously in this on professional ground as it is not what I see as my specialization (at least at this time).
Reading is an on-going learning experience. I have to approach each day and each client with a willingness to learn in the doing. Most of the time I love my job.
In Winnipeg, coming north on Main St. (about a 10 minute drive or bus ride from downtown), just past Redwood Avenue there is an unmistakable landmark on your right (on the East side). It is the Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral.
They do a great community "all you can eat" perogy lunch!
Just Past the cathedral is beautiful St. John's Park.
Directly across the street from these on the left (West side) at the corner of Main and College Ave. there is an old apartment building (1170 Main st.) with a sign "Blackletter Books & Collectibles" and "Psychic Readings". A smaller sign says "Psychic Tarot By Trevor".
As you walk by a friendly dog, Lola, comes out and wags her tail at you through a closed off side entrance.
You notice that there is ample free parking in front of the store.
The store's entrance has a curious symbol painted upon it, mirroring the iconography from the cathedral across the street:
Entering the store, you meet the proprietor, Jan Choma, (who also very kindly takes appointments over the phone for me).
Our store dog Lola generally thinks people are there to see her, (shes very friendly and gentle and loves kids).
Quite often she's correct!
The store has a great selection of paperbacks, some hardcovers, knick knacks and (as the sign mentioned) collectibles. Very well organised and set into sections, its generally pretty easy to find what you are looking for. Jan is a member of the Winnipeg Second Hand Book Dealer's Association. He buys, sells and trades. A great way to recycle your books!
It's always surprising what you can find in a place like this...
Looking to the back of the store, you notice another odd door. This is the entrance to my cozy reading room.
This is where I write...
The room can comfortably accomodate a few people at a time. Some people like to "sit in" on one another's readings.
...and this is the table where I do readings. I have a tape recorder if people wish to bring along a cassette or purchase one from the store, other recording devices are also welcome.
So, if you've been looking, this is where you'll find me!