Thursday, June 27, 2013

Varying views of related Tarot decks

 
 Some random thoughts around the design and structure of some closely related Tarot decks, a little about the different artist's styles. Seeing the different approaches helps us to become familiar with how the symbols relate in different ways. Finding a deck that speaks to you but also works with and translates to different systems.
*This is a more technical post for those who are interested in or are studying Tarot, (when I am doing a reading much of the technical side of things is only briefly mentioned).

Friday, June 21, 2013

The High Priestess

The High Priestess as illustrated
by Pamela Coleman Smith in the
Rider Waite Tarot
The following are some random thoughts on one of the most evocative cards in the Tarot deck. I am not putting forth the overall meaning of the card (it would be far too much to post here), but some of what the symbol inspires. There's some very good resources, books, websites and courses to be found on learning Tarot. It's a lot like learning a language and the language changes over time. Even after more than 30 years I'm still learning, so here's some of my take on this lovely archetype.

When people initially begin working with the Tarot this seems to be one of the cards that we feel a strong intuitive pull towards. Fitting really as it is the very aspect of our consciousness we are in the process of waking up or tuning into. Perhaps it has been calling us for some time and we are just learning to listen. I like the saying "What you are looking for, you are looking with".

When you encounter something that strikes a chord within you or when you are learning something and at the same time feeling like you've known it all along, these are aspects of "Sophia" or a kind of higher  spiritual knowing. This is the inner voice, the part of ourselves that only we can reach but also the inner sacred space through which spirit speaks to and through us. She is usually depicted and seen as a divine virgin, the part of consciousness that is above the ego and similar to another vision of the archetype the virgin Mary, she is the blessed wisdom that comes through Grace. She is also Isis, Persephone and a host of other icons. The black and white pillars beside her represent mildness and severity. In the Qabala these are means by which an adept can ascend or raise their consciousness, simply put through discipline and compassion, but she is herself a pillar by which awareness comes down the temple steps to meet us, she is the pillar of mercy.


The High Priestess from Aleister Crowley's
Thoth Tarot by Lady Frieda Harris
Working with the High Priestess archetype is partly about learning to listen to the inner voice. Her counterpart the Hierophant (or High Priest) is conscience, rules and discipline of morality. The necessary structures of faith and belief. She works as well alongside the Magician who draws associations and names things in the external world, she is the awakening wisdom that both inspires learning and leads us into further questioning. But she is that voice only we can hear, the Hermit card resonates with this as well as he is the translator that carries the message further out into the world, both a guide and an exile. We learn the cards not just in terms of their individual meanings but what they say in interaction with each other. Sometimes surrounding cards may suggest we need to heal or repair an aspect.  Part of my posting about this card is a recognition to clean up the temple of my intuition a little. Clearing distractions to hear and see what Spirit is trying to say.

She is usually depicted holding a Tora or scroll of wisdom and more than one lunar reference appears on the card. Like the moon card itself there is reference to the unconscious, the reflected light of the Sun or the waking mind. Her robe seems to become like a stream and it is, in fact the stream of consciousness. Crowley called her "The weaver of dreams" and we see that in the imagery of his deck. Much of our sense of self is transitory, we are as Edgar Allen Poe said "A dream within a dream".


One of my favorite alternative views of the
Priestess, from David Palladini's Aquarian Tarot
Note that in this case the veil is lifted and the
butterfly rests on the flower, suggesting
that when we are still the answers come 
There are many artist's interpretation of this symbol, to really get a scope of what's out there and the varied imagery check out what comes up when you do a Google image search with "High Priestess Tarot". I generally work most with the Rider Tarot (the first pictured here) but I love different artist's interpretations.


So in a reading this card can represent an important questioning, a mystery that leads us towards answers far beyond our questions. It is a hint of a greater learning going on beyond what we can see. I like to remember the lesson of the Fool that what we know or think we know shouldn't get in the way of what we are learning. To work with the Priestess, we have to lay aside (for the moment) opinion and analysis, to have the pure experience of now and the moment.

For further insight about the High Priestess and other card meanings and attributions a great starting point for every resource you could ever need, as well as reviews of decks, books and a great forum (that I do log into and post to from time to time) is Aeclectic Tarot

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Magic


I have just come back from a very good little vacation. I rarely take time off but following so many changes and  the anniversary of last year's big move I was pleased to accept an invitation from my brother Dan and his wife Donna, to be away in the beautiful Interlake area of Manitoba, where they have a cozy little cottage.  Working as an intuitive reader, it's important to sometimes pause and have periods for reflection and re-aligning.
We did a lot of hiking, saw deer, eagles, pelicans (no bears this time) and other wildlife. Dan and I played cribbage in honor of my Dad (it was his favorite game) and reminisced about the times we had at the lake as children. We went up to Hecla Island, had lunch at the beautiful resort, stopped and bought Vineterta (an Icelandic dessert) and fresh Pickerel and Goldeye from the local fishermen.
It's easy to see the magical pull of this place. It creatively inspires and the elemental forces of nature and spirit are so powerful. It was just what I needed. I'm glad to be home and feel re-charged and content. Here are some further pictures of this magical part of our province, sometimes referred to as "New Iceland":









 


 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Very Big Thank You!!!

It's amazing that people are still looking for and finding me following the transition last year - where I had to leave a phone number behind. Thank goodness for things like Google, this blog, the Internet, Facebook and also the very kind friends - including Jan at Blackletter, my previous location (now closed), that have been passing along my contact info and followers that continue to spread the word about where I am and how to find me. This is why I will from now on always have a booking line phone number that follows me wherever I go: (204) 504 9575. Thanks to everyone for continuing to spread the word.

Because some people come for readings irregularly there are people who haven't found me since I read in restaurants, over 18 years ago I read at the Eastside Exchange on Lombard behind the Richardson Building and 9 years before that I had started (for four years) at the Chocolate Shop a location that had been the starting place for a great many well known Winnipeg  readers such as Madame Helen "Red" Davis.

It has been delightful in so much of this change and transition to be re-connecting with friends and very loving and loyal patrons as well as making many new friends around the groovy new location at Elemental Book and Curiosity Shop in Winnipeg's lovely and vibrantly evolving West End.

Once again deep gratitude to all out there who have spread the word and given referrals. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if it weren't for you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Feeling Safe

Hi everyone, just checking in with news and some thoughts on life, the long lingering dregs of winter, the hopeful signs of spring and some learning of the times.

I have posted a fair bit over the last few months about transitions in my life and work, particularly the move from my previous location to the great groovy surroundings of Winnipeg's West End. At the same time there's been things in the news lately about some of the challenging issues in the area, as well as things people have been facing in various places - suburban and rural - in Manitoba and throughout the world. From a small town restaurant closing down partly because of homophobic slurs, someones  home being spray painted with hateful graffiti, to random violence that has gone on - all over it seems. With all that, it's easy to buy into a sense of fear and apprehension. I think fear and ignorance is a big part of what motivates these things to happen in the first place. That fear is something I have had to work through at different times in my life and that I get to work with in what others encounter and move through. It's a challenge to meet that with courage and compassion but it's ultimately what we all have to do if we aren't to feel fear or act out ourselves.

I have a pretty diverse client base, I've read in boardrooms, in restaurants, homes in wealthy areas and low end areas. I've read for doctors, lawyers, teachers and artists, gangsters, nurses, therapists, celebrities, media people, political people, people struggling with addiction, practitioners of all sorts and often for other people that are themselves "sensitive" and they are ALL just plain folks when you get right down to it. Everyone knows what it is to feel fear and uncertainty. I always see a reading as an opportunity to learn from the client and as a point where for some, there's an opportunity to change the road they're on. I love my work and this is why I generally am drawn to reading in environments that would be comfortable for anyone, a place where you wont be judged, where you can feel safe and I think that's reflected in my present surroundings.

One of the things I appreciate about Elemental Book and Curiosity Shop (my primary location) is an atmosphere that supports people's spiritual interests on a broad ranging level, where there are tools for inspiration and growth, books, incense, jewellry, crystals and candles all at very reasonable prices and where experience and honoring of different paths are offered in an understanding way. Dominique (the owner) shares her own extensive knowledge and interest freely and there's a loyal sense of community that people feel and give back to around the place. I like to think we are where we are because we are needed where we are, It's also central and affordable in a way that allows me to keep my price range accessible for everyone. I don't want to be in an exclusive area or where people would feel out of place or be condescended to. It's a good fit for me and so far I've had nothing but positive re-enforcing feedback.

Downtown Winnipeg, particularly this little area near Langside and Portage is a very high concentration of that diversity. There's the adjacent University, CBC, Art Galleries, The West End Cultural Center, Seniors housing (where my mom is), restaurants from fine dining to artsy and funky all within steps of one another as well as also some low income housing, people struggling, addiction and urban living issues you will find anywhere. Our particular location is right beside the West End Biz (a community improvement project with street patrols and resources for area clean up and promotion) and directly across from the new University Sciences building as well as Macfeetor's hall, the student residence. Our building and the adjacent parking lot are monitored. There's security all around us, I feel very safe. But that feeling of safety doesn't just come from things like foot patrols, surveillance cameras or  security guards. I haven't always felt it and it certainly doesn't come from a naive avoidance of what is there. It comes from reaching out, being open and present. I wrote something on my Facebook page the other day that came from somewhere in my head:

"As someone who has known what it is to encounter bullying or social pressures, my heart goes out to those that need to know they are not alone, We have to meet ignorance and hate with a compassion that says bullying is not right.
It's never just the actions of the few bullies that wound...it.is the silence of those who stand by and allow it to happen, that do nothing and say nothing because they don't want to be targeted, when that changes and maybe only when that changes, then we wont have bullying, we will just have occasional jerks that we can help to become compassionate and to be freed of their ignorance and insecurity."

And something a dear friend posted resonates with that too:

"If you call out to your fears, they will come to you. if you're strong enough, go for it. the hawk might eat you, but then again, you might tame a hawk."

I have a commitment to helping others the way I have been helped many times over, and because I'm in a place where I can to reach out to others who are feeling uncertain or scared. Whether that's someone feeling they have to hide who they are, or a person struggling to be who they can be, sometimes having to walk away from pretty difficult stuff. I'm happy to meet people on the road of life. I draw a lot of strength myself from their stories. I've learned there's no safety in hiding. There's also little comfort in exclusivity. Whenever I've been willing, the Universe has given me what I need, sometimes through the generosity of those less fortunate in their circumstances than I. That exchange is something I have to give back to. It's why I feel safe when I show up anyway, do what I can, where I am, and help others to feel safe too. I'd rather be part of change and evolution in a world, a city and a neighborhood that is trying to grow and I hope, dear reader you will too.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March update

Spring is definately in the air! Things are flowing into a new season for many of us. I am continuing to enjoy being in the West End of Winnipeg, both my home and the primary location of my work presently at 355 Langside St. (within Elemental Book and Curiosity Shop). This has proved to be a great blessing, partly as my mother is in senior's care just steps away and what would otherwise be stressful is made easier by work that allows me to be flexible in terms of hours and her greater peace of mind having me close. I feel greatly supported through Dominique at Elemental and the neighborhood. Elements Restaurant (similar name) right across Langside from my work is great for healthy lunch and dinner as well as the cozy spots nearby (not one but TWO Stella's restaurants within walking distance!). Work is going well and most of my longstanding clients have been able to find me thanks in part to Jan at my previous location Blackletter Books (now closed) having passed along my contact info as well as resources like this blog. I'm also very glad to be meeting lots of people in the new neighborhood, with this also being close enough to where I was that I have not lost touch with the great people in the North End.
 
 I'm enjoying the new booking system, you can call my own independant line anytime (even on my days away) at (204) 504 9575 and I will return your call as soon as possible or by calling Elemental at (204) 779 8900, Dominique (the owner) very kindly co-books for me when I am in a reading or indisposed. It's worked out well and usually means we are able to set up a reading ASAP at a time that is convenient for you!
 
In other news the little stray cat "Om Alley" we were fostering has gone to a very good and loving home, there is more information on that on my Facebook Page I miss the little guy, but know he's having a very good life. I hope we get updates soon. 
 
I did a little vlog earlier today about the Pages in Tarot and how I feel they can relate to learner styles in children. I think I'm also going to be sharing a bit in future posts about the four elements and how they can relate to other areas of care giving and support. The journey with my Mom right now is teaching me a lot. Hope you all are beginning to feel the warmth of a new season. If you're in the area stop by or drop me a line. Comments here too are welcome. Happy Spring!
 
 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Readings For Couples

I was asked today about doing readings for couples. I'm asked about this sort of service often and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I feel this is a good opportunity share a little about how I work in this capacity, with some related issues thrown in. Here is my response to the question of "Couples Readings":

Q: Do you do couples readings? I'd love to come in and have myself and my partner read :)

A: Hi, I'm asked this sort of question often so I'm including somethings in my answer beyond what you have asked. I often have couples come in together and you are always welcome to bring along a supportive friend. The session is for the person being read but the reading should pick up on the dynamics of a relationship and I will discuss to a degree the things a partner may have going on insofar as how they relate you, but it's not a "two for one" dynamic. In terms of both people seeking direction and having individual issues, it's best to book two consecutive sessions side by side. Again it's important for those present to be open minded and comfortable with what's going on, it's never a good idea to surprise someone with a reading, I won't impose what I do on someone unwilling or uncomfortable. I should respectfully mention too that other readers work in many different ways and some offer different promotional rates (often when they are beginning to establish their client base). Being fairly well established (after 31 years) I generally only offer promo stuff when I am reading for charity or a worthwhile cause. Most of the readers I know in Winnipeg charge rates far below what you'll find in other cities. I also sometimes reserve the right to wave a fee or make exceptions when the situation warrants. By all means these things can be discussed when you call to book. I look forward to being of service and thanks for your interest!