To find out more about Simone and this project, see: http://www.tarotshaman.com/blog/simone-says-1
KTS asks: What is behind my last decade of health and financial issues?
It is not my want to be dramatic and absurdly woo woo. And yet, we who peer beyond the veil are well aware that so much exists that is invisible to our senses and that is indifferent to our logic. I would prefer my readings be sensible and practical, and yet, we must serve truth even when it does not please us.
The Moon is the first clue that the situation might be dicey. Confusion, obfuscation, and, in this case, some serious deep inner psyche stuff...and the two Wands cards indicate wounds and battles.
Here it is, the dreaded, dramatic interpretation beginning with advice: get thee to a spiritual healer.
I'd lean shamanic but whatever aligns with the querent's beliefs and practices. Using the shamanic vernacular, soul loss is creating a wound that keeps getting triggered...or is always triggered, always "on"...requiring the querent to be in a constant defensive state.
The querent is kept in a continual state depletion by this loss. From where I'm looking, the only solution is soul retrieval (or the querent's form of that).
May you find the right practitioner to aid you in ending this battle once and for all. May you find wholeness.
Good Fortune Tarot, my next deck, will be available July 2024. It is a fantastic deck, designed to actually bring good fortune to any reading. I'll tell you more about that over the coming months.
This project broke me open in a beautiful way. Stagnant ideas leaked out and sunk back into the earth. New ideas snuck in, creating a whole new internal light that I'm enjoying and think you will, too.
One of the things that snuck in was Simone Benoit, the author of The Rules of Fate and Destiny. Quotes from that book, which was probably never published at least not on this plane or in this timeline, are sprinkled throughout the guidebook for Good Fortune. I do not know when or where or if she was born. All I know is that she is French, and that only because it is in one of the quotes she leant me. Whoever or whatever she is, Simone has brought a new sass and confidence to my world.
In my last newsletter, Simone offered to do readings for people. Out of an over 2000 person mailing list, I thought that more than two people would respond. But I'd be wary of this new, perhaps fictional, certainly confusing "person" offering to read for me. The warning about Simone being blunt and not caring about the querent's feelings may have turned some off and that's fair. Simone cares more about the art and craft of interpretation than taking care of fragile human hearts.
A brave reader, PR, asked for a reading. Here it is:
PR asks simply: Will I find a different job?
The question did not include a timeframe. In cases like this, tarot communicates whatever timeframe is relevant. Some may argue that it is best to include timing into the question but for some readers that can be inhibiting; indeed allowing for the tarot to speak and admitting that we don’t know what we don’t know can allow for a more complete understanding of a situation.
Because this was a yes/no question, we use a reliable yes/no method. Each reader should work hard to find or develop one that they know they can count on. Mine is a five-card draw with odds and courts counting as “no” and evens and majors counting as “yes.”
I hear all the you readers out there screaming “but the universe isn’t black and white; the future is not predetermined! Tarot cannot answer yes/no questions.” To you I say, watch and learn what a fictional yet skilled reader can do.
For example, in this reading the initial interpretation indicates “no” because of the two courts and the 3. Even those with poor math skills can see that 3 no and 2 yes is a very close thing. Someone with enough faith in the human spirit might be inclined to conclude that perhaps that no can shift to a yes if we wrung more information out of this reading (no need for clarifiers!). We can also mine the reading for reasons why the cards say “no.” Unless PR is going to retire or otherwise quit needing a job in the next little bit, no one would assume that they will NEVER find a different job.
What else do these cards tell us?
The only suit represented is wands, so lots of fiery energy, passion, desire. It’s not for want of wanting that PR has not found a different job. The Wheel is Jupiter, so also fire. And then card 13, associated with water.
In terms of timing energy, there is such conflict here. The Wands indicate a speedy change while the majors indicate a longer timeframe, perhaps a year or more.
Notice the Wheel in the center. Here, if you’ll forgive the wordplay, is the axel on which everything moves. On one said we have not just the desire but the active seeking. The 3 of Wands and the King show action. PR has done the things and yet nothing is changing. The question is: can change be encouraged? The Wheel, being a major might make us think “no, the circumstances are beyond their control.” However, look at the spread. The King on one side of the Wheel as if holding it firm in place. The Queen, on the other, brings in not just the end of the old but the birth of the new.
Assuming a different job is desired, then PR can increase the speed of the shift by changing their approach from King to Queen. This can be done on an energetic level, on an attitude level, on a practical level. The King looks to the big picture, long term structures, efficient organization, and status. The Queen cultivates personal passion and expression, connections, and creation.
A different job could come into PRs life in about a year, if they continue as they are. If they shift they energy, practice, goals from king to queen, they can hasten that outcome. PR should be advised that despite appearances, they can have more influence on these circumstances than they may think. Possibly because the shift needed is so subtle, they don’t realize the big effect it will have.
The older I get, the faster time moves. Imagine my utter shock when I logged in to update my website and noticed that I have not added a new entry in over a year.
I'm currently finished up work on the Wizards Tarot, coming out in March. It was really fun to create, partly because I had a great opportunity to hide some Easter eggs in the images. The deck was influenced by fantasy literature, TV series, and movies. You can see nods to some of my favorites like the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, JK Rowling's Harry Potter books and movies, and The Magicians (both series and books) by Lev Grossman, for example. There is even a nod to the movie Serenity, although it is actually Sci Fi. Nevertheless, there is a nod to River Tam. Even so, not knowing these works will absolutely not get in the way of working with this deck. So even if you aren't as big a nerd as I am, you'll still love it...if you love magic, that is.
The Queen of Cups was posted a while ago (you can see it HERE).
And here are a few more that I really like and hope you do, too. I said just a few but got carried away. There are so many I like.
So let's connect! I'd love to share about my new life in California and on the farm with my sufi landlords. When I get home, I have chickens waiting for me!
Today, Thursday, June 21, I'll be at the Eye of Horus in Minneapolis from 6 - 8, signing books and hanging out with cool people. You are cool, so come join us.
Saturday, June 23 from 7 - 9 is PARTY TIME!
We are launching Tarot in Wonderland with fun, drink, fun, and gifts. Join us at my sister's store, Urban Relic, 1062 West 7th Street in St. Paul. I miss my Minnesota peeps, so even if you don't care about tarot, come say hello.
Sunday, June 24 from 4:30 until around 5:30 (or longer depending on who's hanging out), we are having a little open house. Not quite a party, but a nice space for visiting, catching up.
Hope to see!
After a frustrating delay, Tarot in Wonderland is finally shipping and making its way into the hands of curious seekers everywhere.
Do all authors have a love/hate relationship with reviews. Maybe not all, but I sure do. I really like this review by the smart and creative Benebell Wen (it particularly makes me happy that she recognizes Eugene's other art). You can read it HERE.
But now my mind is turning to the next project. Have I shown you a picture of the art yet? It is too early to discuss much but a little teaser never hurt anyone, right? Meet your next Queen of Cups.
The Modern Guide to Energy Clearing is making its way out into the world, beyond my wonderful team at Llewellyn. Some reviewers are starting to share their opinions. Here are a few from NetGalley:
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As an introvert and empath who is into all things spiritual, I very much enjoyed this book. The author's tone was friendly and down to earth, but she also takes these concepts and her work seriously and I admire and respect that. The book does a wonderful job at showing why energy work is important to learn and practice. I do wish more attention had been given to the cord cutting section, but overall, this was an amazing read. The blessings section was particularly beautiful and expounds on a practice I already regularly include in my life. Will recommend and will read again!
Great guide to Energy Healing. The information includes not only energy clearing (which is the primary focus), but also touches upon containment and cultivation. The author gives a good number of techniques, all of which are easily accessible. Importantly, she advises that each practitioner use those ideas that speak to them individually. These are simple to perform as well as to incorporate easily into everyday life. Recommended.
To give you a better idea of my approach, here is an excerpt:
Spiritual and Energetic Wellbeing
Energy clearing and cultivation are great practices for making your home, office, or even your car feel good and safe. You can use these ideas to help support your own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Good energy management can create a life with greater balance and peace, but energy work goes much farther than that. In fact, consistent energy clearing and cultivation is essential to living your soul’s purpose and that’s pretty exciting.
The idea of your “soul’s purpose” is a powerful but often misunderstood phrase. Too often we think that our soul’s purpose is like a glorified career guidance counselor that will tell you what to do to earn a living, as if our soul came to this earth to gain a specific job title. It makes sense that we think that because our culture really drives home the point that we are what we do for a living. The truth is that our job title can be part of how we express our soul’s purpose. Our soul’s purpose is the reason and the way we do what we do rather than what we. To complicate things further, your soul’s purpose isn’t just one word or sentence. It isn’t something finite but rather an ongoing dance between you and the Divine. With each step of the dance, we are changed so our soul’s purpose or at least our conscious understanding of it evolves. The more we live it, the more it reveals itself to us. Perhaps the simplest way I can describe it is that your soul’s purpose is the collection of ideals that you hold most dear, the ideals that you are willing to do whatever it takes to live up to.
But who among us fully lives up to our own ideals each and every minute of every day? I know I don’t. This means that our soul’s purpose is something we express in the world and it is also our North Star that guide us through the dark and confusing times as well as affirms our steps during easier, clearer times. I heard an interesting tidbit: airplanes are off course ninety percent of the time and pilots are always course correcting. Pilots learn that they have to continually adjust for changing circumstances. Sometimes I feel like my life is like that, that I’m kind of heading in the right direction but also kind of not. During those times, I find it’s important to pay attention to my energy and the energy around me in order to correct my course. That is another benefit of good energy health. The more robust your energetic health is the easier it is tell when you are off track.
Thinking about energy work, living your soul’s purpose, and just plain old living life as a continuous sequence of course corrections is actually a relief. Knowing that the point is the journey and that we are not required or even meant to ever completely “arrive” takes the pressure off. We are allowed and expected to make mistakes. Mistakes are valuable teaching moments especially with energy work. We cannot quantify and measure and label this work in any sort of scientific manner, so we really do have to rely on our experience. Because of that, energy work does not require a complete lifestyle change.
In fact, overhauling your life would be more of an effective distraction from the real work of developing sustainable practice in your life right now. For example, Minimalism is very popular right now and while it does draw from ideas about energy work, some of the Minimalist techniques are just too overwhelming for most of us to adopt easily. I rarely have time to clean a drawer or closet; it’s unlikely my family and I would have the time for a Packing Party. A Packing Party is where you invite people over to help you pack up your house as if you are moving in one day, even everyday essentials. Then you unpack what you need as you need it. After three weeks, whatever isn’t unpacked gets thrown away, donated, or sold. For some this is the perfect approach, but it can make others feel defeated before they begin. Instead, the energy clearing and cultivation that I practice simply involves one good decision at a time within the life you are currently living.
In order to make good decisions, to make appropriate course corrections, and to live your soul’s purpose, you have to be energetically clear. Think about your ideals. In fact, write them down. What beliefs mean the most to you? When you are between a rock and a hard place, what ideal helps you decide what to do? What matters to you? Those things are the essence of your soul’s purpose. Once you have your list, think about your past twenty-four hours. In what ways did your behavior, actions, words, feelings, and thoughts reflect your cherished ideals? Which ones did not? If you are like me, some things really are expressions of your values and some are not.
Joshua Fields Millburn (one of the The Minimalists) often says in his podcasts that if you show him your budget and your schedule, he can name your values. He means this in a slightly provocative way, because for most of us, our budgets and schedules do not reflect our true values but rather what we think we are supposed to value. It is a statement meant to make us think seriously about how we spend our time and our money. If we are human beings with free will and the ability to make conscious decisions, why do we make decisions about our time, money, and behavior that separate us from our values rather than embody them? That is a great question. In fact, it might be the question. “Why do I behave in ways that are not in alignment with my beliefs and ideals?” One answer is “well, I am only human.” That works but it is also a cop out. No one likes to think about where they’ve fallen short, unless they (like I’m ashamed to admit that I do) like to beat themselves up about it for a while. Yet, these moments, these mistakes or failures are road signs that point us to where we can find energy issues that need attention. In order to live your soul’s purpose, in order to live your values in your daily life, you need to be free from energetic disharmony. We identify our points of departure from our guiding values, figure out what caused the discrepancy, and deal with it. Then we can more easily correct our course toward becoming the people we truly want to be. The alternative is to be controlled, reacting to life rather than engaging with it in a mindful and meaningful way.
The next two chapters lay the foundation for our exploration of energy clearing. First we will establish a shared vocabulary. After that, we will discuss the basics of energetic health.
Spiritual and energetic health and wellbeing is about so much more than waving around a burning stick of sage or plugging in a salt lamp (although those things are really useful!). It is about knowing what you value and keeping yourself free so that you can live those values in the world in your own beautiful and unique way. You have great medicine in you that we desperately need. So pick up that sage bundle and let’s get to work so that you can express your glorious soul, support other glorious souls, and heal our world.
 I don’t remember where I heard the original mention, but when I looked into it to verify the facts, I found this: Airplane Flying Handbook FAA-H80833B, (OK, Oklahoma City: US Department of Transportation, 2016), 6-2.
 Millburn, Joshua Fields. Minimalist Podcast. http://www.theminimalists.com/podcast/.
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One of the most difficult aspects of creating this deck is that Alice really has so many difficult and strange adventures but very few happy ones. This made designing some of the pleasant cards more challenging, including this one. But the ending of Wonderland, when Alice wakes all cozy and safe at home does quite nicely, don't you think?
10 of Pentacles
Through the Looking Glass
In the text, Alice’s sister is mentioned, but not any other family specifically. Instead, Dinah, Snowball, and Kitty are her closest companions from this world that show up in the stories. In Wonderland, Alice’s sister imagines what waking world sounds inspired Alice’s dream. In Looking Glass, Alice does her own analysis, perhaps showing that she is indeed growing up and becoming more self-reflective.
Alice talks to the kittens as if they are people, trying to find answers to some of the questions that plague her. “‘Now, Kitty, let’s consider who it was that dreamed it all. This is a serious question, my dear, and you should not go on licking your paw like that—as if Dinah hadn’t washed this morning!. You see, Kitty, it must have been either me or the Red King. He was part of my dream, of course—but then I was part of his dream, too! Was it the Red King, Kitty? You were his wife, my dear, so you ought to know—Oh, Kitty, do help to settle it! I’m sure your paw can wait!’ But the provoking kitten only began on the other paw, and pretended it hadn’t heard the question.” No matter how many unanswered questions Alice has and no matter how often the cats will not do as she asks, Alice is safe, comfortable, and loved in the drawing room by the fire.
Down the Rabbit Hole
In a reading, this card shows the gifts of a stable and loving family, the value of legacy, and the comfort of tradition. While we know all too well that family often brings obligations and dysfunctions that we’d rather do without, we also know that our ancestors and our current families also benefit us. This card reminds you to value those benefits, to honor them within your own life. Throughout this suit we’ve seen out the material and spiritual worlds are bound together. This is true here, too. Material and spiritual stability and life are important gifts that family members give each other. If this is not true in your life, this card asks you to change that.
Keywords: stable family, security, wealth, abundance, comfort, roots, plans for the future, connection, balanced and happy life
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This is one of the first images Eugene created for this deck and I just love the perspective. While we all love Pixie's compositions in the RWS deck, changing the angle of a scene can make a static moment more dynamic. Plus, the Hanged Man does remind us of the importance of seeing things from different points of view.
7 of Wands
Through the Looking Glass
During the trial of the Knave of Hearts, Alice is ordered to leave the courtroom because, according to Rule 42, newly penned by the King, “all persons more than a mile high to leave the court.” Alice stands up for herself, claiming she is not a mile high. A short time later, she proclaims, “Stuff and nonsense!...The idea of having the sentences first!” when the Queen insists that sentences come before verdicts. The Queen orders Alice to be beheaded and for the first time when so ordered, nobody moves. “‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice (she had grown to her full size by this time). ‘You are nothing but a pack of cards!’”
“At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her…and [she] tried to beat them off….” Alice wasn’t afraid because she was filled with the strength of her convictions. She knew she was right and wasn’t going to be cowed by a ruthless Queen and ineffectual King. Once she realized her own power, she was able to face those who had become her enemies. In the text, this is when she wakes from her dream. If, as many believe, this story is about growing up, Alice has reached a stage of maturity where she knows right from wrong and knows that she must defend her values.
Down the Rabbit Hole
In a reading, this card describes a situation where you must take a stand against what feels like incredible odds. As the chaos swirls around, you keep your balance and your head by keeping true to your ideals and fighting for what is right. Just as Alice wakes before we learn the outcome of her fight, this card does not guarantee victory. The important thing is to defend the truth as you see it. That matters more than winning. Hold tight to your convictions and tap into your deepest reserves of courage and face all comers with integrity.
Keywords: defending, protecting, valor, courage, standing up for beliefs, bravery, resolve, taking action
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I just found out that my forthcoming Modern Guide to Energy Clearing made Aspire Magazine's April 2018 To 10 Inspiring Books List. Pretty nice!
Take a look at the others on the list. Maybe you'll find something perfect for you. Click HERE.
It is common to use "happy" or "positive" cards in blogs, especially when they are trying to promote the deck. But to be honest, I find the ones that portray those harder moments of human life to be more poignant and interesting. This is one of those cards.
4 of Cups
Through the Looking Glass
The Mock Turtle is one of the saddest creatures in the text. “…Alice could hear him sighing as if his heart would break. She pitied him deeply. ‘What is his sorrow?’ she asked the Gryphon. And the Gryphon answered, very nearly in the same words as before, ‘It’s all his fancy, that: he hasn’t got no sorrow, you know…’” We never really know why he is so sad, except that he used to be a real turtle. We don’t know how or why he became a Mock Turtle. This chapter, in fact, leaves a lot of questions unanswered and many Carroll lovers dissatisfied. Many who’ve analyzed the story say that this part lacks the richness of the rest of the story. It is entertaining and clever, but it’s all sizzle and no steak. Which makes the Mock Turtle an even more appropriate choice for this card.
If grief or heartbreak are not processed, they become a pointless cycle, leading nowhere. There is no transformation or redemption. Even the fishes in Wonderland value having a purpose. “‘They were obliged to have him [the porpoise] with them,’ the Mock Turtle said, ‘No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.’” In this card, the Mock Turtle has forgotten his own wise advice, as we often do when we are in the depths of despair.
Down the Rabbit Hole
In a reading, this card shows someone who is unhappy, disengaged, and lackadaisical. This is not a card of mourning nor of heartbreak, although either of those emotions could have been the starting point. When we hold our emotions tightly, rather than letting them flow to be experienced and processed, they stagnate. Like the Mock Turtle, you’ve dwelt too long in the past. You’ve held on too long to some slight or some disappointment, and now it has transformed and filled your heart and mind with ennui. You are dissatisfied with what you have. You cannot see any fresh possibilities even though they are right under your nose. The card does not indicate whether you shake this off or keep stewing, so it is completely your choice.
Keywords: discontent, dissatisfaction, ennui, boredom, lack of gratitude, depression, resisting change, stagnation, lack of inspiration
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