Thursday, September 27, 2012


The first time I played with a deck of tarot cards, I was fascinated. I played and played. One day, I asked a question of the cards and I got an answer. But....I did not like the answer. So I asked the same question again, and shuffled the deck for about 5 minutes, constantly shuffling, and I laid out the cards. I got the SAME cards in the same position. Like deja 'vu weird. Like Twillight Zone weird with the music thing, weird. And? It fecking FREAKED me out, like the cards were evil or something.
(I know, I know, not very open minded...but you had to be there...)
So the young, immature me put her cards away and swore off them and did not touch them again for about 10 years.
However, the Universe had different plans for me.
I was drawn back to the cards again and  bravely started to research and study them. I found a way to listen to them and to talk to them. When analyzing my earlier tumult, I realized that if you ask a question, but do nothing different, you will get the same answer...because...nothing has changed.
Just as simple as that and no bad juju needs to be invented for it. I learned that you have to leave your dogma at home chained to the yard. It doesn't walk with the cards, but you CAN understand it all better from a distance with the cards as clues.

The magickal thing about Tarot is that is IS an ancient card "game" brought forward in time.
Originally, it was used by royalty for an entertainment during the High Middle ages to the Renaissance. Over time, the uncanny way the cards were imbued with meaning, have made the deck into a famous tool for divining.

For those of you that don't know, a tarot deck (pronounced "tear-o") is 78 cards altogether.
There are 21 trump face cards, a fool (0) and 4 suits of cards.
The suits include a King/Queen/Knight (Jack), sometimes a Page and cards 1-10.

The trump face cards and the fool card (jester), over the years, have been separated off from the main deck, leaving the suits cards, which have evolved into our current playing deck.

There are 2 divisions of the Tarot deck. The Major and Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana consists of these following cards:
(0) The Fool
(1) The Magician
(2) The High Priestess
(3) The Empress
(4) The Emporer
(5) The Hierophant
(6) The Lovers
(7) The Chariot
(8) Strength
(9) The Hermit
(10) The Wheel of Fortune
(12) The Hanged Man
(13) Death
(14) Temperance
(15) The Devil
(16) The Tower
(17) The Star
(18) The Moon
(19) The Sun
(20) Judgement
(21) The World

Basically each of the suits in a tarot deck rule over different areas of life.  They are:
Cups = Hearts / Rule over Love, Friendships & Relationships
Wands = Clubs/ Rule over work
Pentacles or Coins = Diamonds/ Rule over money issues
Swords = Spades/ Rule over strategies

Some decks can be very beautiful. I have a deck called "The Love Tarot" which is made up of beautiful Renaissance type paintings collaged into making each symbolic card.

There are many kinds of ways to use Tarot....
You can pull a single card as a Daily Oracle for the day.
You can do different kinds of layouts:
Celtic Cross Readings
Circular/Month to Year Readings
Triangular readings with 2 different outcomes depending on the path taken.

Tarot readers all have their own way of reading for themselves and others.
Some use "Leaper" cards, some do not. (Leapers are the cards that do just that, and "leap" or fall out from the deck while shuffling).  I do use leapers. I feel they "need to be read" and present themselves thusly.

Some card readers let the participant touch their deck, others do not.

There are certain meaning assigned to each card, and the card has different meaning depending on if it is laid down upright, upside-down (reversed) or sideways in a "blocked" position.

There are no "bad" cards. Sometimes novices or the newcomer are freaked out by the "Death" card or the "Devil" card. But really, those cards have meanings not always assigned to the stereotypical definition on first glance. For instance, the Death card does not necessarily mean "death"...although it can. Mostly it refers to a the end of one thing is the beginning of another, sort of reasoning. Once you inform your wide eyed participant of this new idea, they can feel less afraid of the cards and more open minded to the actual message of their reading.

As I said earlier, all readers have their own way of reading their cards. I, personally, only use the Major Arcana when doing my readings. (So, basically, I can say, with a straight face that "I don't play with a full deck" :). Some readers are shocked by this. No matter. It works very well for me, and it's my way.
I enjoy the Major Arcana and they speak to me very clearly.

I also have developed layouts that include extra decks and mix in Angel cards, Goddess cards and Vibes cards with my readings that I give to others.

My personal philosophy on reading cards for others, is that when I am with them, I call on the Universe to flow through me and to give advice for their "Greatest & Highest Good." I consider my reading time with them as "Poor Man's Counseling" and I endeavor to be kind, forthwith, candid, and sensitive. I also use humor to put people at ease. My personal reading style is to give the participant the cards to think of a particular question in their mind while they shuffle and mix the cards. This imparts their energy to the deck. Then I take and hold and fan out the cards and have the participant pick whatever card they fancy. I show them where to place it. Then I read the cards that they have picked. This is my way and as I said, it works for me and my clients. Other readers do things differently from reader to reader. And that is ok too.

Whatever works.

I find that there IS magick in the cards, but mostly it is having a knowledge for the meaning for what each card means, the intuition of the reader, and having a rapport with the participant and listening to what they say and don't say that is of key importance. Yes, you go out on a limb sometimes when you do this.

But that is where the fruit is available to be picked.

Tarot is just one more way for me to relate and help and advise folks that I am called to help for their greater and highest good.

I have been reading cards for others for 16 years now.

I feel that I have really helped them.
I know I am only a conduit for the Universe.
And that is a great and fabulous honor to me.

So, in conclusion, Tarot is a wonderful tool.
Don't be afraid of the cards

Sometimes it is only Your Own Power you fear.
Don't be afraid.
Share it- for the Universe's Greatest and Highest Good.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sarasvati~ Goddess of The Arts!

Sarasvati is the Goddess of Music, Science, Knowledge, Prose and Poetry.
She is the wife of the Hindu God, Brahma. Creativity is her gift and the pursuit of knowledge is her passion.

I love how she is the Protector and advancer of both Science and Music and Knowledge. Those of us in the field of the Arts have always felt that the pursuit of creativity brings a greater knowledge to life.
"FLOW" is her keyword, and considering that she is a River Goddess (from the river of the same name in India) it is a perfect word when trying to understand The Arts.

As a musician and a bard myself, the word "FLOW" has special meaning.
To me, "Flow" is the feeling of "Oneness" you get when you live in the moment and the Universe feels right.
It is the inner heartfelt awareness that you are doing what you are meant to do.
To be in that exact place, at that exact moment, doing exactly what you are doing and you can feel the Universe flowing through your music, your words, your actions. It helps others.
The life force flows through your expression and out to others.

"When you are happy, others are happy, and the world is a happier place."

In some cultures, Sarasvati is considered to be the "Mother of the Universe."

It is never too late to learn, to grow, to be creative, to start playing a new instrument or to write a poem or a story.

Sarasvati says to us:
 "Share your gifts. Make the World a Happier Place."

Friday, September 14, 2012


There is a magickal phenomenon out there called Shapeshifting.

It's been mused about in literature,  whispered about at campfires and discussed openly in storytelling groups and worked on in meditation circles for eons.There are so many references to it our culture.

What is it?

Well, looks like there are two kinds.

Either you take the shape willingly.....and purposefully...
(think of young Arthur into a fish/or grown man Uther Pendragon into Gorlois- Duke of Cornwall in Merlin's spell capable wizard hands....
or a Zeus turning himself into a bull or swan or whatever creature to lure a maiden.....
or like in Carlos Casteneda's books to try the form on of an animal to experience running at night in the dark)
or mayhaps the Ogre in Puss in Boots...

Or not. 
(think of Werewolves and their reluctant transformation....
The Incredible Hulk....
Fin Raziel in "Willow" who was turned into a muskrat by Bavmorda....
or Circe turning men into animals in The Odyssey....
as in the peasant saying, "She turned me into a newt...but I got better." in "The Holy Grail" :)

Stories abound of shapeshifting creatures from werewolves, vampires to veelas (who appear to be young beautiful women, but are in actuality more like Harpies).

Why are there so many stories of such things? Is it because they've happened? Or is it because we really would like them to happen? Wouldn't it be wondrous to be able to FLY like a bird? Swim like a fish? Run as fast as a deer?
Perhaps there is a need to connect with other beings, animals in order to relate. Maybe it is our need to learn and grow and understand.

There are exercises in meditation and acting classes that encourage us to "walk a mile" in an animal or a bird's feet. It is good to do. The earth and its creatures are being bombarded by all kinds of irritants, losing their habitats and they are trying to communicate with us. Tapping into their psyche in some way, surely is a good thing to try to learn and grow together.
 To try to  experience what life is like for another creature really helps us to become One with Mother Earth.

There are also Wiccan and Pagan classes that encourage the delving into shapeshifting in some forms.

Word to the can be dangerous. Some say that once make the transformation, and you are "in animal form, you may "forget" who you are....and not want to come back."
That you should have a guardian of your human shape and a way to call you back once you have left yourself.

Moral of the Shapeshifting Story:

So while it's good to learn and grow and learn the ways of another....
it is also good to remember who YOU are... and never abandon yourself in the process of learning.

In the end...

Grow, change, bend your borders.
Shapeshift back to YOU.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Regret can "Rue the Day...."

My post for the second "R" word is for the herb, RUE.

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "You'll rue the day when...." ( insert actions...)

It is because Rue is an herb which is very bitter. It is used for many things medicinally, such as eyestrain, insect repellent , curing earaches, nervous nightmares, and also an anti-spasmodic and a cure for sciatica.
'If a man be anointed with the juice of rue, the poison of wolf's bane, mushrooms, or toadstools, the biting of serpents, stinging of scorpions, spiders, bees, hornets and wasps will not hurt him.'
Rue-water sprinkled in the house 'kills all the fleas,' says an old book
It is one of the ingredients of the "Vinegar of four thieves"


Rue, in all it's amazing healing qualities, is also symbolic for REGRET.

And in fact, if you tangle with it topically in the sun, it can cause severe blistering.

It may look like this:

There are mentions of Rue in many folk songs, like in this old one that I sing in my duo, Merry Mischief.
It's called "A Bunch of Thyme"

This song is very interesting. It is a "lullaby" that women used to sing to their wee girl babes to warn them about the perils of being with certain men. Some men are nice....some men will use you.

Thyme is well known for being the herb for FERTILITY.

Rue was given to induce miscarriage. Thus the songs' poignant reminder that you may reap what he has sown.

Yes, REGRET may come in all forms.

Sometimes Rue is the herb for healing....
and sometimes it is the herb for regret of previous actions.

Prescribe as needed....with CARE.

And remember this for it is what RUE is all about:

Regret is best LET GO of!


If you want to do your own research....on more interesting ways to use this amazing herb....
Surf here:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reiki Healing

Reiki is a wonderful help in healing your friends, loved ones and those in need. Even animals have benefited.

I learned the traditional Usui Reiki Ryoho treatment of Dr. Mikao Usui back in the 90s.

In layman's terms, I suppose you could say that this is a version of "the laying on of hands" that the Bible talks a way. But there is no salvation offered or demanded. No overwhelming bunch of people trying to make a demon come out of you...
Just the giving of the flow of the Universe and the channeling of energy to heal.

There are some rituals that you do go through before giving a Reiki treatment, but to me, the most essential is this: That you are in the giving frame of mind as a "conduit", and that you channel healing energy from the Universe through yourself- through your hands- to the person or animal that you are working with for "their Greatest and Highest Good."

Depending on how you were taught, you may touch the person physically with laying your hands upon them (or just above them, not touching)  on their Chakra regions starting at the Crown, then proceeding to the 3rd Eye (brow), Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Spleen and Base Chakra.

Each Chakra point corresponds to a vital energy of physical, emotional or spiritual residence. By clearing and balancing these areas, it opens up the Chi (Qi) to flow more freely throughout.

Here are some ways that each may be blocked and how they are when strengthened:

CROWN (Top of head) :
When open there is the strength of compassion, Oneness. Harmony, Effects on others with peace, Love. Non-attachment.
~If blocked, person may experience grief, anemia, infertility, feeling cut off, epilepsy. May often wear hat.
Healing Foods and Elements for Crown Chakra are: 
Sunshine, Juice, Fasting, Amethyst & Diamond.

3rd Eye (Brow):
When opened, Clairvoyance, Psychic abilities, service to others, clarity, balance. 
 If blocked, person may experience physical, emotional, mental or spiritual upheaval. Dizziness. Confusion.
Healing Foods and Elements for 3rd Eye Chakra are:
Special breathing, air, chlorophyl, Lapis Lazuli and Quartz

When opened, the throat Chakra promotes communication, creativity, releasing, healing.
If blocked, person may experience trouble with thyroid, teeth, swallowing, and may need nasal inhalers or be addicted to smoking. May be stifled or rigid.
Healing foods and elements for the Throat Chakra are:
Raw fruit (blue and purple especially), Turquoise and Aquamarine gems

If blocked, person may experience, nicotine addiction, asthma, anxiety, nervousness.
When strengthened, there is Trust, lovingness, open to change, Balance, Tolerance, Responsibility, Good will.

Solar Plexus:
When strengthened, the Solar Plexus Chakra balances Personal Power, Ego, Self Esteem. 
 If blocked, person may experience, food or caffeine addiction, cancer, bladder problems, sterility, control issues, Critical Thinking. Perfectionism.
Healing foods and elements for the Solar Plexus are:
Carbs, Grains, Amber, Citrine and Tiger's Eye gems

When Strengthened, the Spleen Chakra balances feelings, boundaries, intimacy, self love.  
If blocked, person may experience Sugar, food or alcohol addictions, relationship problems, low back and bladder problems.
Healing foods and elements for the Spleen Chakra are:
Water, Juice, Tea, Citrine and Topaz 

Base (Root):
When strengthened, the Base Chakra balances basic body needs, governs survival issues, money needs, groundedness.
If blocked, person may experience problems with alcohol and sex addictions, compulsive cleaning, leg, hip and varicose vein issues, sciatica and Fear.
Healing foods and elements for the Root Chakra are:
Proteins, Red fruit and vegetables, Hematite.

I have used Reiki for various reasons. To help take away pain of an ailing person or pet, to help relieve stress, to help aid with sleep, to calm nerves. Harry & I used Reiki a lot on our dog, Monty, when he was recovering from surgery. You can literally feel the heat release from a stressed area, and it gets hot under your hands -even if you are 6 inches away from the afflicted area! 

We are energy.
If we get blocked due to emotions, environments or illness, it may be compounding problems.
Take some time for yourself.
Have your Chakras aligned with love, by having a Reiki treatment.

You will feel more relaxed and health will start to flow through you so that you may heal others.