ASTRO-TAROT MOONS: New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer July 2, 2019

Well met, friends, on this extremely powerful New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer! This blog will be a bit longer because of the multi-layered aspects we are dealing with. There will be a bit more astrology involved, but we will get to the tarot in the end. Hold on to your hats, folks!

This being a new moon we start our journey by recognizing the overall energy of initiation, seed planting, and all NEW beginnings.

PLANET: MOON, SIGN: CANCER – This particular new moon finds the planet, the moon, and the sign, Cancer, being strong and in the greatest harmony as Cancer is ruled by the moon! So the new energies will be about everything Cancerian: our emotional body, our sense of home both within ourselves and our external home, our family (especially our mother,) our roots.

Because this is a new, or “dark,” moon, we are really looking at the internal aspects of Cancer. So, we may be feeling very emotional with this moon, maybe a little “crabbish.” We will definitely be focusing on looking at how we have been emotionally reactive or interactive with ourselves and our lives. Are we experiencing more mood swings about ourselves – one minute positive, the next more negative? How are we doing with actually feeling engaged with our lives?

We will also be looking at our sense of home and the aspect of nurturing in our lives. This can quite literally be about how we feel about our physical home and how we experience the feedback about where we live and the things we have surrounded ourselves with as an outward expression of our idea of what nurtures us and makes us feel protected and safe when we float through the door. We could be suddenly very critical of our home and the people whom we live with if we are experiencing changes within about what we need to feel rooted in our lives. It may lead you to consider that you need to move, but do take some time to consider whether this motivation is being fueled by wanting to make a change in your external world to fix an internal issue. You can always move, but if that internal issue isn’t addressed you will simply take it with you to the next physical location and nothing will be resolved on a permanent basis.

If our emotional world is feeling extremely tender and raw fueled by the need to change and create new ways of being we can feel too vulnerable to be out and about and simply want to be a hermit and crawl into the darkest recesses of our cave and crawl under a blanket. Honour this need! You may need a LOT more rest, a lot more quiet time to yourself. Take whatever plans you can off your calendar. There are new seeds of inspiration that need your full attention as you will be planting them in extremely fertile soil right now. These roots will go deep so you must be clear in your intentions.

ELEMENTS: With the moon in it’s home sign of Cancer there is so much water everywhere! As I mentioned earlier, you could be feeling very emotional right now. You could also suddenly be feeling new emotions you have not had before, most likely about your personal life. There is also the strong potential to be unable to hold your boundaries and that watery emotional expression could flood the banks and spill out into all the areas of your life.

Every new moon feels the heat of the sun as it gets up close and personal but usually the energy is more steamy than anything else. Due to the solar eclipse the moon is exerting great power so this could also tend to feel like a boiling bath!

SOLAR ECLIPSE: As with every solar eclipse this brings incredible power to the energy of the moon. The moon actually blocks the sun! We think of the sun as being the source of great power but with solar eclipses the moon holds all the cards blocking the life force of the sun and short-circuiting the solar energies and adding to the emotional turmoil. As I mentioned above, the moon is kissing the sun and the heat of that sun may leave us emotionally and physically parched. Please take care to drink plenty of water.

FINAL PIECES: With this new moon we have incredible opportunities to dig deep and set new seed intentions for ourselves about how we will move forward with greater in our emotional guidance system and making sure that we are feeling adequately nurtured. Perhaps we will break free from some situation involving our current family constellation which no longer serves to support in order to embrace the movement toward finding a family of choice.

One very interesting example which has happened over the past couple of days has occurred on a couple of YouTube channels that I frequent. The channels are part of an online tarot community and within the past couple of weeks the creators seemed to have several people come online during live chats and challenge to them regarding their level of inclusiveness within the community. There were accusations about the owners of only accepting some people into their sphere with a lot of qlique-type behaviour demonstrated.

Both of the channel owners did their best to address this, expressing that the only thing they have tried to do from the start was create a community, not qliques. However, as the days progressed and many other viewers also began to express dissatisfaction and the feeling of being excluded things went south very quickly. The result is that both of the owners of these channels have let the community know that they will be shutting down their live chats and probably all video content for a bit. They are feeling very misunderstood and attacked and they felt this was a way to step back and give themselves a break and let things die down – especially because it was so emotionally exhausting and sad for them. So, they are retreating into their respective caves to contemplate. This is a very strong example of one expression of this new moon profile.

This new moon solar eclipse also heralds the last six months of this decade lending even greater weight to it’s presence. The energies are building quickly toward a very big astrological event in January 2020, the exact Pluto/Saturn conjunction. (I will create a separate blog about this later.) Suffice to say, we may be feeling very big movements within and are ready to create new changes that will be life affirming and bold in these next six months. It is vital to sit down and write out your affirmations and set intentions for these next six months during this new moon. The seeds of these intentions are right here, right now!

OK! Let’s sort out our ingredients!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Contemplation, deep emotions, family, inner home, new intention setting, safety, devotion, attachments, emotional guidance system.

SPREAD: Here is a three card spread that might help in clarifying the energies with this moon:

  1. What is important for me to know about my emotions and my inner home?
  2. What is important for me to know about setting intentions with this new moon?
  3. What action(s) can I take during the next two weeks to give roots and growth to my new intentions?

FINDING YOUR NEW MOON CARD: Now, using the ingredients here are some questions that might speak to you about finding a card for this moon time. You can pick one question to answer or maybe you can use more than one to deepen the intuitive sense of which card will work for you (Please remember that you can use any deck you like for this exercise. It doesn’t matter. There will always be a card available that will carry these energies. You might like to do the exercise across multiple decks and see which card pops up according to the relationship you have with the deck. Is it the same card or a different one? Is it just one card that comes to you are are there two or more that seem to work? Explore!):

  • Which card represents your own internal home? It might be the one that, when it turns up, it feels nurturing, like it is giving you a big, warm hug.
  • Which card provides you with a flash of initiation into something new?
  • Which card feels like a fertile planting ground for a new seed?
  • Which card feels as if it is a guide for you through emotional storms or darkness?

PRACTICALLY SPIRITUAL: Here is a suggestion for grounding this information into a practical way of working with it over the next two weeks until the upcoming New Moon!

After finding your card you may wish to:

Create a small garden tableau. Go out and find some rocks and small plants. Fill a container of your choosing with fresh potting soil if you like or just use a small plate as a representative of a garden. It can look like a landscape or be abstract in its appearance. Leave a space in the center of your creation.

Collect some seeds and/or roots. These will represent your new intentions. Spend time with each seed and root and hold it in your hand as you imagine yourself putting the energy of your new intentions into each item. Journal about the intention – where you see it going in the future. When you are done, place each seed/root into the center of the tableau. If you are using a container with soil, plant the seed and stick the root deep down into the soil grounding them. If you have seeds, give them water.

Set up your card(s) in such a way that they appear to be the guardian(s) of your newly planted seeds. As if they are watching over them day and night, protecting them against any unforeseen circumstances. See them as lending great nurturing energy toward healthy growth of that which is newly formed and yet to sprout.

Over the next two weeks journal daily about how you feel the seeds and roots are doing with the energy. Is it staying in the root or seed? Is it starting to expand? Where is the energy going? Is it warm or cool? Anything that comes to mind. Do this until the full moon July 16, 2019. This will ground and fully set the intentions you have created.

I hope this has been insightful and helpful in working with this energy. Above all, be kind with yourself over these next two weeks. I look forward to sharing more with you on the full moon.

Be well, be happy. Namaste.

TAROT: Reading Reversed Cards – What to Do?

I began my journey with tarot back in the late 1970’s. At that time everyone in the circle of friends I hung out with read reversed cards. That’s just how it was done.

At some point in the mid-1980’s there was a sudden shift. It seemed to coincide with the advent of introducing the tarot as more of a self-help tool through different psychological systems such as Jungian analysis or the humanistic psychology approach. Given this method of reading people eschewed reversed meanings as being “too negative” for most of the cards. The thinking was that the negative meaning of a card is always implied as equally as the positive meaning.

Yet, when I actually worked with the “Non-Reversers” they seemed to still read the cards that were already leaning into the darker meanings in the upright position (for instance, The Devil) with more negative meanings. They weren’t suddenly pulling out the more positive, reversed meaning that would be inherent in this card. This was very puzzling to me.

The group of Non-Reversers was actually pretty small at the time. Maybe twenty-five percent of those in my group were beginning to look at readings in this new way. But, for the rest, there was never a question about using the cards in reverse.

I set aside the tarot for a number of years and have just recently returned to using it. I have become involved with an online group now and have benefited from this AMAZING new format of having international readers to share thoughts, opinions and, of course, new decks with!!

I took a poll about reading reversals at the beginning of this month. The results floored me! Here is what I received by numbers:

  • 99 people responded that they never use reversals in their readings
  • 52 people said that they occasionally do reading with reversals depending on the deck or client
  • 16 people said they always use reversals with every deck for every reading.

This is almost a 180 degree shift from where I started back in the 80’s with sixty percent of people now responding stating that they never use reversals.

Several people shared their thoughts in the comments and this provided a lot of grist for the mill.

A number of people shared that they didn’t feel the need to used reversed cards as they felt that other cards in the reading would provide information about whether or not that card should be read with it’s reversed meaning as being more prominent. I interpret this as being a holistic reading style and feels a bit oracular to me.

Some people indicated that they always read cards upright but that should a card fly out of the deck and present itself reversed they will pay attention to it and use it in that reversed position feeling that this was a particular message about the meaning of that card in the reading regardless of placement and the other cards that were around it.

And clearly there are those that simply use the reversed cards as reversed although it is a very small minority. Of course, I absolutely would recommend to new readers that they physically allow their cards to be reversed and read them as such until such time as they are completely familiar with doing readings and with their decks. It is a solid and time honoured way to learn.

One person provided the insight that even though she is a skilled reader she continues to use reversed cards in order to help counteract any interpretation bias in her readings. This was very thought provoking for me. How often do we start to have such intimate familiarity with a deck that perhaps we start interpreting what we think we are seeing rather than what is really being mirrored to us? Maybe we are having a bad, bad day and really don’t want to hear a strong message about the fact that we need to sit down and work on taking responsibility for our part in the drama so we subtly read into the cards more about what is wrong with the external situation than what is internally being asked of us? Maybe we think to ourselves, “Well, this deck is always tells me about the best in me and positive opportunities so it must mean (X) because it would never suggest (Y.)”

I think that the culture around tarot is now vastly different from my early days of learning. And it should be. This is clearly evidenced by the mind blowing number and types of decks out there! It seems that the early days of self-help styles of working with the tarot have become the norm with strong emphasis on personal growth and deep dives into the nature of our psyche. I love the diversity of reading styles which speak to great creativity and awareness.

Tarot should be a living, evolving tool for both study and learning. I am delighted to have stepped away only to return and find such a plethora of new and interesting ways of approaching this sacred art.

What are your thoughts, friends?

As ever, be well, be happy. Namaste.

Astro-Tarot Moons: Full Moon in Sagittarius, June 17, 2019

Welcome to the full moon in Sagittarius! As with every full moon, we have a completion energy and the potential for something to be brightly illuminated and revealed which might have not been seen clearly, or at all, in the past. Overall, full moons are active times and we can be quite busy.

Before we go further please remember that you can use any deck you like for this exercise. It doesn’t matter. There will always be a card available that will carry these energies. You might like to do the exercise across multiple decks and see which card pops up according to the relationship you have with the deck. Is it the same card or a different one? Is it just one card that comes to you are are there two or more that seem to work? Explore!

This full moon is all about how we learn and the fruits of our learning. It deals with how we got to know what we know. It is blending the two types of learning that we do as we progress from our childhood into our adult lives.

PLANET: MOON – First, we have “Moon learning.” This encompasses the way we learn throughout our childhood and adolescence – with our heart. We don’t have the intellectual capacities to sort out the rationality about life. We lead with our hearts, guided by our emotions often simply reacting and then having to deal with consequences of our actions with no real capacity to reflect before we react again. (The moon rules the sign of Cancer so this sign correlates to this type of learning as well.)

SIGN: SAGITTARIUS- Secondly, we have “Sagittarius learning.” Sagittarius rules the institutions of learning: schools (including online schools and classes), universities, and religious institutions. (In Medieval times the only place to get a formal education was to enter the church.) This is learning that involves the intellect. It is what allows us to move through and around our emotional experiences letting our more rational thinking filter down to our emotions and help sort things out. It is also the sign that deals with the “laws” of nature and people. It is not about how laws are enforced, but rather about how laws are created out of experiences. This is both societal and personal. It rules how we personally set up and work with our personal ethics – the personal laws we choose to live by.

So right away we can see that we have a fabulous full moon that shines brilliant light on the current state of how we are doing with blending both systems. If you are currently a student you will get a big boost from this energy for any tests or term projects you are having to complete. Even if you aren’t a student you might just get a HUGE “Ah-Ha!” moment about something that you have been mulling over and trying to understand! All readings, whether tarot, Lenormand, or with any other oracle will most likely be very clear with little ambiguity.

PLANET: JUPITER IN ITS SIGN – Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Because of it’s girth Jupiter provides an expansiveness to our lives. It lives large and provides a flavour of optimism to our world – definitely the planet that runs around wearing rose coloured glasses! It provides us with our sense of humour and lightness of being. Sometimes this can get a bit out of hand and the expansion keeps growing and we get a bit in over our heads forgetting to sober up! We may not be able to keep boundaries as well as we should. We don’t just love a few people, we feel like we love the WHOLE WORLD! While there is nothing wrong with this Jupiter sometimes goes overboard leading us to overindulgence in our actions and thinking. It needs to remember it’s boundaries in order play safely.

Now lets add on a couple of more ingredients to this recipe.

ELEMENTS: Elements are easily understood by anyone with familiarity with the tarot. Elementally we have water for the Moon and fire for Sagittarius. When these elements are balanced they are respectful of each other. But they aren’t very compatible as fire wants to move and do and water wants to just let it flow, man! The fiery mind should know that if it burns through too much fuel (too much mental stimulation and overthinking) it will get burn too hot and the water (our ability to be empathic and intuitive) will bubble and toil uncomfortably and it can evaporate leaving us feeling arid! Likewise, the water should know that if it lets loose a dam of emotional activity (being irrational and emotionally reactive) it will put out that fire. At the very least the imbalance could create a lot of steam fogging up those rose coloured glasses and our vision will become impaired. So it is good to watch the balance of expansiveness thinking, learning and exuberance with our emotional needs and motivations.

FINAL PIECES: When we learn what we need to learn about life and develop our intellectual abilities enough to both formulate our code of ethics and develop greater understanding about all areas of life we learn better how to trust. In our wisest capacity we learn the art of discrimination. This helps us tame our Jupiter excitement so that we don’t lose the ability to trust not only others but, most importantly, ourselves and the choices we are making. One caveat: although I mentioned the institutions of religion being connected with Sagittarius, Sagittarius does not dabble in the realm of Faith. This realm belongs to a different sign. Sagittarius is about trust that comes from living our lives in a day to day way with our real people experiences.

OK! Let’s sort out our ingredients!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Exuberance, optimism, discrimination, trust. Education, learning, completion, illumination, expansion, optimism, personal ethics.

Using these ingredients here are some questions that might speak to you about finding a card for this moon time. You can pick one question to answer or maybe you can use more than one to deepen the intuitive sense of which card will work for you:

  • Which card represents your own internal teacher? The one that helps your blend your emotional learning and your external learning?
  • Which card provides you with illuminating and insightful understanding?
  • Which card teaches you about trusting your emotional philosophy?

PRACTICALLY SPIRITUAL: Here is a suggestion for grounding this information into a practical way of working with it over the next two weeks until the upcoming New Moon!

After finding your card you may wish to:

Have a chat with your card over tea! Pretend you are asking a dear mentor about one of the topics in the ingredient list that you might want to know more about. For instance, you might ask, “How will you best help me work with optimism?” Or, maybe just, “What are you illuminating for me with regard to learning about ____ (optimism, personal ethics, trust?) You may want to do several chats and pick a new topic for each chat. Journal your answers if you wish. One thing that is important: do these interviews during daylight hours to honour the element of illumination. Working in the dark is best left for new moon interviews.

We’re done! I hope that this has helped in your understanding of how to work with this lovely Full Moon in Sagittarius! I always welcome feedback and suggestions for how to improve your experience here on my blog.

Be well, be happy. Namaste.

Upcoming blog series: Astro-Tarot for the New and Full Moons

Way back in the dim dawn of time (well, the late 70’s but that kind of counts) I began to study both astrology and tarot. In the circles I became involved with we all studied both and so we never separated out the two modes of practice.

Now that I am coming back to both communities I find that, within the tarot community, there are not a large amount of readers who have astrological knowledge. However, I find that there is an large degree of interest from readers about astrology and especially about combining the two. But I get it! It is really daunting to think about diving into astrological study. It’s huge!

Here on this blog I am starting a series for beginners about how to begin to blend the energies of both with any deck. This will be both interactive and personal to you! I will give you the “recipe” for the basic energies held during each moon phase and you will then use your intuition and any deck (or decks!) you wish to find the card (or cards!) that feel right for you regarding these energies. I will then suggest a practical way to work with the cards and your life for the next two weeks before the next moon phase exercise.

The blogs in the series will start with “Astro-Tarot Moons:” at the beginning of the title to help you find them. When I have enough blogs I will move them to their own page.

Please join me!! I welcome your participation and any feedback and suggestions you have for me along the way!

Welcome and be at home.


Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

Pull up a chair and grab your favorite beverage. Feet on the ground? Good! Delve in as deeply as you like to find what suits your inner child, inner explorer, inner guide. There is something here for everyone!

Why the blog are you doing this?

Isn’t this the best question ever?

So here’s why!

I wish to offer you, dear readers, a chance to find information about how we can bring a lot of our spiritual training and learning into our practical lives. I am sometimes great at it and sometimes I REALLY suck! With that wide range of experience I hope to offer you something that will inspire you to try different ways of practicing.

Like many people what constitutes my spiritual practice includes a lot of different avenues. Like what? A few things….

  • I am a practicing Buddhist and have been since 1996.
  • I have studied astrology and tarot for over 40 years and did a stint using them professionally for a number of years over that period of time.
  • I am a nature worshiper! I kiss bees, hug trees, and dance with water.
  • I am a rock hound. I LOVE rocks and crystals beyond measure! I have many, many and keep getting more! (I may have a problem….)
  • I love ritual of all kinds, from those provided through my faith tradition to all the little ones I just make up for myself along the way. It is one of the best ways to bring your spirit into reality.

So these are a few of the topics we will explore together! I will seek to bring exercises and suggestions about how best to use the ideas I offer into something you can use in your daily life. I hope to help you find ways to bring your heart and mind together in harmony manifested. As it is said, “As Above, So Below.” Let’s begin….

So what do I mean when I refer to “real people?”

In the world of spiritual practice we find many types of people: the gurus, the devotees, those who do groups, those who are alone. But what I have found in my experience of living has been that when you add the spiritual component into someone’s life we can tend to suddenly become….well, spiritual.

Let me explain.

As with anything we identify with we can choose to consider that identification as a part of our selves or we can let that identification take over and become the whole of ourselves. Soooo easy, in the New Age times for the latter to become a predominate motivator.

And there it is…that saying that everyone thinks is super groovy: “We are not humans having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. “

This saying has gotten a LOT of air time within lots of spiritual groups. The problem is, it is kind of misleading.

In essence, we are both. And to walk around pretending that we are only spiritual beings sent here to have the human experience has led many down the path of the world of dualistic thinking….spiritual being good, human bad.

We have to be able to look at our lives from both sides with equal measure and equal appreciation.

We can view our human life through the eyes of our spiritual work and see our actions and those of others with a wider perspective. Meditation and tarot work have been two ways that this have helped me.

But we cannot stay up in the aethers, no matter how many robes someone wears, dreadlocks they have, or ashrams they have lived in. I pursued a monastic vocation as a Buddhist monk for four years. I lived in a cloistered Abbey and spent hours in meditation. The only people I ever saw were humans wearing robes. Trouble came swiftly to anyone who tried to make themselves appear too “holy.” Sooner or later, their human nature arises and they must come back down to deal with it.

And that’s when it get real. And they become “real people.”

So that is who my intended audience is….you. A real person. With real lives, real struggles, real joys. Someone who is just as comfortable to reach into the realms of spiritual practice and feel the numinous bliss and divine joy it can provide as they are grateful to revel in that first sip of coffee as the sun breaks into morning or to make it through the night after deep heartbreak knowing that these are divine opportunities, too.

So, let’s get real and keep it real and really go for it!