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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Understanding Court Cards

Many students who are new to the Tarot often have a difficult time in learning exactly how to read Court Cards. The Court Cards are the Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages of any given suit. With four suits and four court cards to a suit there are sixteen court cards in a standard deck of Tarot Cards.

The four suits are said to relate to specific professions associated with them. For example:
  • Wands represent merchants.
  • Cups represent the clergy. 
  • Pentacles represent businessmen. 
  • Swords represent the military.
Court Cards are often used as a signifier in a reading. A signifier is a card that is meant to represent a person who is either posing the question or who is the subject of the reading. There are many different methods which have been used to determine a person's signifier, or calling card, the most traditional of which concerns itself with matching the individual's age and temperament to the Court Cards. For example, adult males are Kings, adult females are Queens, whereas young adults and teenagers are Knights and children  of either gender are pages.

Other Methods of determining a person's signifier include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Some readers determine the suit to use for a person's signifier by using the element associated with the person's Sun Sign. Using this methods Wands represent the fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagitarrius), Cups represent water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), Swords represent air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and Pentacles represent earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn).
  • Some readers determine the suit by considering the person's temperament. Wands are driven, over achievers, Cups are emotional and empathetic, Swords are the intellectual types, and Pentacles are earthy and creative.
  • Finally, some readers take into account the individual's coloring. For example, Wands represent blonds, Cups represent dark blond to light brown, Swords represent Red heads, and Pentacles represent dark brown to black hair
  • Another method of determining a person's signifier utilizes the Magician for a Man, the High Priestess for a woman, or the Fool for anyone. In other instances, you may wish to take a more literal approach and use the Empress for a pregnant woman, the Emperor for a male authority figure, The Hierophant for a Priest or member of clergy, the Chariot for a race car driver, The Moon for a psychic, the Sun for a person with a "sunny disposition", The Death Card for a mortician, etc...However, keep in mind that you are not limited to the Major Arcana when choosing a signifier. The same creative vision can be applied to the Minor Arcana for this purpose. For example, the Six of Swords can represent a sailor, or ferry worker. The Nine of Pentacles can represent someone with a green thumb and a love for animals. In addition, depending on the deck you have, there may be cards that are not in a traditional deck.
  • In my personal practices, I simply have the person cut the cards before the reading. The card which is on the top of the deck after they are cut is drawn and used as that person's signifier. 
Generally speaking, the numbered cards (Ace through 10) represent day to day events and actions (the what), while the court cards represent the people who participate in these events and actions (the who). The Major Arcana concerns itself with the deeper meaning, or the why, behind the who and the what. In my experience, court cards can represent any of three things in a reading. They are
  1. An aspect of the seeker's personality
  2. Another individual in the seeker's life.
  3. Events or Movement
Aspect of the Personality

Either for better or for worse, people often change. Change can come quickly, or slowly over time as a person matures. The truth is a person's personality and temperament can change from day to day or situation to situation. We all probably know someone who is a wall-flower around strangers but who becomes the life of the party once he or she gets to know the crowd. Then there are those who are very outgoing online, but very shy and reserved in person. In certain instances, it is entirely possible that two or more court cards can represent aspects of one personality.

Some readers apply astrological archetypes to the cards. In the Golden Dawn System the Kings, Queens, and Knights of each suit are assigned to specific Astrological Signs and given their attributes. Such as

  • The King of Wands represents Aries, the Leader. 
  • The King of Pentacles represents Taurus, the Provider. 
  • The King of Swords represents Gemini, the Judge
  • The King of Cups represent Cancer, the Adviser. 
  • The Queen of Wands represent Leo, the Achiever
  • The Queen of Pentacles represents Virgo, the Supporter
  • The Queen of Swords represent Libra, the Worrier
  • The Queen of Cups represents Scorpio, the Healer 
  • The Knight of Wands represent Sagittarius, the Adventurer
  • The Knight of Pentacles represents Capricorn, the Gambler
  • The Knight of Swords represents Aquarius, the Trouble-Maker 
  • The Knight of Cups represents Pisces, the Lover 

In these instances the Pages are not given any astrological attributes.

Other Individuals

More often than not, court cards represent other individuals in the life of the seeker. These can be people that we presently know, people from our past, or a person who will be coming into our life--depending on the position of the card in the reading. In these cases the same astrological attributes as given for the individual can apply to other individuals in the seeker's life.

Events or Movement
Sometimes a court card can represent an event or movement concerning the issue being asked about. Traditionally, Pages are said to represent messages while Knights represent some type of movement or lack thereof. Kings are read as logical, fixed, and sometimes stagnant. Queens are read as emotional, fluid, and wishy-washy. Knights are read as being in a state of flux. Pages are read as potential, influences not fully formed.Whenever you are unsure, you can always refer to surrounding cards for more information. 

Getting to Know You

Here is an exercise that will assist you in getting to know the Court Cards better. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. In the left hand column list the 16 court cards. Now one by one, meditate on each card and write down three traits associated with that card. Finally, in the third column list the name(s) of an individual who fits that description. 

For example: The King of Cups 


  1. A man of business, law, or divinity. 
  2. Sympathetic to others, yet logical.
  3. Gives Good Advice 

  1. Bill Clinton 
  2. Dr. Drew Pinsky
  3. Judge Wapner

Carolina Dean

      Wednesday, November 24, 2010

      Be a CAPTAIN of Industry!

      Customer Service

      Customer Service refers to the assistance given to a customer before, during, and after the sale. However, it not only refers to the level of assistance that is given but also the manner in which that service is given. Let’s look at two examples.

      • Example One

      You walk into an establishment looking for a specific product, but you are unsure where it is located in the store. You approach someone who works for the store and ask them about the product. Without stopping what they are doing, the employee points in the general direction of the item and simply replies that it is on aisle three.

      • Example Two

      You walk into an establishment looking for a specific product, but you are unsure where it is located in the store.  An employee notices your hesitation and approaches you. He or she looks you in the eye, says hello and asks you how they may help you. When you tell them what you are looking for they take you to where the product is located in the store. Before leaving, he or she asks if you need help finding anything else.

      Which business are you more likely to go to the next time you need something? Hopefully you said number two. Just like any other business, the spiritual practitioner who recognizes the core value of providing good customer service will attract customers and ensure their loyalty so that they keep coming back to you for all their magickal needs.

      There are few spiritual practitioners for whom their practice is their only source of income. Many spiritual workers often have day jobs that have nothing to do with their spiritual practice. If you are a spiritual worker who has never worked in the field of customer-service, this is an area of your practice in which you will have to educate yourself.

      How to be a “Captain” of Industry

      CAPTAIN is an acronym which represents seven principles which are paramount to providing your customers with good customer service. The letters stand for Communication, Accountability, Positivity, Treatment, Above and Beyond, Initiative, and Need.

      Communication- Unlike in earlier years when people often traveled to see a spiritual practitioner in person, most workers today provide their services over the internet and/or phone. As technology such as email has become more accessible to the general public new rules of behavior have emerged with which many may not be familiar. Below I’d like to share some insights into effective communication with clients.

      • When speaking with a client on the phone, smile. The client will not see it, but the energy will come through over the phone.
      • When speaking with a client on the phone, turn off any background noise such as the radio or your television.
      • No matter how friendly you have become with a client, always keep your wording professional. Observe the same rules that you would if you were mailing a business letter to another.
      • DO NOT use emoticons or internet slang such as LOL, LMAO, ROFL.
      • Before sending your email, check it for spelling and grammatical errors.
      • Whenever possible, always try to return phone calls before the end of the business day and respond to emails within 24 hours.
      • Communicate updates/changes to customer in a timely manner.

      Accountability- As a spiritual worker you are the face of your practice and you’re often its sole employee. Therefore, you must be prepared to be fully responsible for your customer’s complete satisfaction. This means:

      • Apologize and accept responsibility for the problem or issue.
      • Don’t make excuses or blame others.
      • Don’t make up answers. If you don’t know why the problem occurred, let the customer know that you will get back to them.
      • The focus should be on solving the issue or problem and ensuring that it does not happen again.

      Positivity- Would you go to a doctor who was always sick? Hire a mechanic whose car was always broken down? Seek advice from a dietician who was overweight? As a spiritual worker, customers come to you to improve their life in some way. Because you are a spiritual worker, they expect you to have your own life in order. Therefore it is important that

      • You always adopt a positive attitude.
      • Remember that your time with your client is about them, not yourself. Therefore, you should never discuss your personal problems with your client.
      • The exception to this rule is using yourself as an example of how you overcame a past problem. It is perfectly fine to give advice to a client from the position of someone who has been in the same situation and how successfully resolved the issue or problem.
      • If your problems are such that you cannot effectively assist your clients you should be honest with them, refer them to another worker and suspend your practice until you get your own life in order.

      Treatment- We are all familiar with the golden rule, which states “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” What this means as a customer service representative is that you should treat your customer they way in which you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed. Sometimes you will be given the advice to treat others the way you would treat a loved one. However, you should keep in mind that…

      • If you listen attentively to your clients they will tell you what they expect out of their relationship with you.
      • You cannot box all people into the same category. What works for one person will not work for another. You will have some customers who will want to keep things very professional and other customers who will want to be your friend and keep things very informal.
      • People change. You may have a customer who starts off wanting a professional relationship that develops into a more informal one.
      • Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from clients.

      Above and Beyond- You’ll often hear this phrase in the customer service industry, but what does it mean? Well going above and beyond refers to not only meeting but surpassing a customer’s expectation. Some of the ways in which we can go above and beyond for our customers include:

      • Train your memory to remember your client’s specific issues or needs when you hear from them. For example you pick up your phone and the first thing you hear is “Hi, this is Sally from Montana”. If Sally is one of your customers, you should immediately know who she is and what her previous issues are. You may reply by saying “Oh Hi Sally, how are you? The last time we talked you were having a problem with a co-worker. What can I do for you today?”
      • It is normal to have clients mail you items for your work such as personal concerns, petitions, etc… and to provide you with basic information about themselves such as their date of birth. You can make a habit of keeping track of your client’s birthdays and mailing them a hand-written card along with a coupon for your service such as a free 30 minute reading or the setting of a Vigil light and candle-burn report.
      • Practice service after the sale. Don’t wait for clients to get back to you about results, make it your habit to follow up with clients and make sure they are happy with your service and or product. For example a customer’s Vigil Light burns down with positive signs and you direct the customer to wait 3 weeks to watch for movement on the issue. Make a note on your calendar to follow-up with that customer in three weeks.

      Initiative- Initiative refers to being pro-active with your potential clients and customers. Remember in our example above how the employee approached the customer and asked them if they needed assistance? To provide effective customer service you often have to be willing to take the first step. Some of the ways that we can take the initiative include:

      • Be Approachable. You never know when you are going to run into a potential client. It is important that you always conduct yourself appropriately when in the public and project a warm, friendly manner. For example, you may be at the concession stand at the movies when someone approaches you asking “Aren’t you that tarot lady? I’ve always wanted to have a reading done but I’m scared of receiving bad news.” The manner in which you react can either drive more business to you or away from you.  
      • Recognize those in need. You may be in line at the supermarket and strike up a conversation with someone else in line. Through your conversation you may learn something about them that would lead you to believe that they would benefit from your products and/or services. You may identify yourself as a spiritual worker, give them some brief advice, and leave them with your card.

      Need- Need refers to identifying exactly what your customer needs which may be different from what they want and helping the customer to understand how your service can address their issue or problem. So of the ways we can recognize our customer’s needs include.

      • Showing the client that you care.
      • Actively listen to your customer and ask questions to clarify statements.
      • Understand and respond to their specific needs.
      • Explain their options in relation to your product/service and how it can address their issue.

       These are just some of the way that you as a spiritual practitioner can strive to provide your clients with a high level of customer service, attract new customers, and keep them returning to you again and again.

      Carolina Dean

      Saturday, November 20, 2010

      MM: How to Recognize a Good Customer

      I often see people online and in various forums seeking "a good reader/worker". There seems to be some debate on what exactly separates a good worker from a bad worker. 

      Many workers have their own personal policies and procedures which they have instituted to lay the ground rules for their services, make their practice run more smoothly, and weed out undesirable customers.  Obviously what works for one customer will not work for another.

      Some of the major complaints I read about include:
      • The reader was not accurate. 
      • The worker did not produce results. 
      • The worker didn't respond to calls/emails promptly
      • The worker didn't have a good rapport with the customer 
      • Results were taking too long to manifest.
      In my last installment of this series on 'magickal marketing" I gave six characteristics of a good Rootworker or Spiritual Practitioner. Other workers may disagree with me, but I like to think that the best workers are those that hold to the attitude that they don't work for you as much as they work with you. However, today I'd like to turn things around and talk a bit about how a Spiritual Practitioner recognizes a "good customer" or how to be a good customer.

      Characteristics of a Good Customer

      Knowledge of the Tradition. A good customer will often have some knowledge of the tradition of magic that their worker practices or of magickal principles in general. These types of customers may be amateur practitioners themselves or have successfully worked with another practitioner in the past. A customer who has some knowledge of the tradition will often understand instructions better than a customer who doesn't know anything about magic at all. The worker will not have to waste time explaining the basics of how to take a spiritual bath, how to dispose of a candle wax, etc... and can focus on answering the more immediate questions regarding your case. If the reader/worker charges by the hour, half-hour, or even the number of questions it will also save the customer money to educate him or herself about the basics of the work.

      In addition, a customer who is also a practitioner or has worked successfully with another worker in the past will often have a greater belief in the tradition, or in magick itself, which will go a long way towards helping him or her obtain their desires. 

      Honesty. A good customer will be honest about his or her situation and answer all of the workers questions truthfully and to the best of their ability. Reasons a customer may fib about their situation may include  embarrassment, an unwillingness to take responsibility for their predicament, or to make themselves look better in the eyes of the worker. Just like it is important to be honest with your medical doctor about your symptoms, medical history, etc... it is important to be honest with your worker so that he or she can correctly address your issues or problem. A detail which you believe may be trivial may actually lead to a breakthrough or solution.

      Clearly Defined Goal.  A good customer will have a clearly defined goal and know exactly what  it is that he or she needs versus what he or she wants and can prioritize their issues. For example, a customer may approaches you about gaining a new, unknown-lover, but after asking a few questions you find out that the individual has lost their job, has no means of income, no prospects for a new job, and are facing eviction! The customer is putting their wants before their needs.

      In other instances you may have a customer who only thinks they know what they want. They may be desperate, they may be coming from a place of deep emotional pain, their judgment may be impaired, or they may not know how to express what it is they really want. A very good example of this is in the movie Eve's Bayou. In the film a young girl learns that her father is cheating on her mother. The girl goes to an unscrupulous spiritual practitioner and pays for her services thinking that she would get a voodoo doll of her father in return which she planned to stick full of pins. She later finds out that the practitioner has put a death-spell on her father who actually dies later in the film. In this case the girl was hurt over her father's actions and the doll was to be her way of acting out her pain but she didn't really want her father to die.

      Understands the Value of Time.  A good customer understands that time is money. Therefore he or she will actually 1) Pay for his or her appointment and 2) Show up on time. Many readers allow customers to schedule an appointment online and then be directed to a secondary website such as paypal to pay for their appointment. When they make the appointment but do not pay for it that slot is unavailable for another customer, which costs the reader money

      A reader may have several readings scheduled throughout the day, and he or she will often allow a certain amount of time between readings to go the bathroom, return phone calls and emails, or simply regenerate themselves with a few cleanings breaths or a quick meditation. When you fail to show up for your reading or consultation on time that can throw off the workers schedule. Most readers and workers will have a notice somewhere on their website that states their policy in these matters. They will usually allow anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes before canceling your appointment after which you will not receive their service. If you fail to pay for a scheduled reading or fail to show up on time you may find that the reader will not refund your money and may not allow you to schedule future appointments. 

      In addition a good customer will make an effort to understand what they will get for their money. For example, many workers charge a certain fee for the setting of lights, and in return the customer can usually expect to at least get a candle burn report and possibly a photo of the spent candle in return. However, some customers may wish for more. I have known customers who wanted daily reports on how a vigil light is burning. I personally don't know of any worker who provides daily reports on vigil lights as things change from day to day and they would rather wait until the candle is spent. Some customers may just want to 'check in' with you on a daily basis to let you know how things are going and get reassurance in return. Many workers are very busy and schedule every moment of their day. If you as a customer are not happy with what you are getting in return for a service and want more then you should expect to pay more money.

      Has Reasonable Expectations. A good customer will have reasonable expectations about the work and how long it will take to manifest. In addition, he or she will not wait until it is almost too late before coming to a spiritual practitioner with their issues. For example, a customer who has been arrested for an offense such as drunk driving and who comes to you the night before their court date. In this instance, you may or may not accept the case depending on your personal policy or divination concerning the outcome. Some workers even require that they have a certain amount of time to work on an issue before they will or will not take a case. Cat Yronwode recently gave an example on the LMHR Radio Hour of a worker who requires at least 9 days before a court date before she will accept any type of court-case work.

      Can Follow Directions. This ability could fall into the first category above but it bears emphasis here. A good customer is someone who can follow directions. Hoodoo is a form of magickal practice that has certain rules which are traditional and should be followed to the best of your ability in order to be successful in your endeavors. Just like when you hire an accountant or a lawyer, when you engage a spiritual practitioner you are making an investment in your own future. Hopefully you hired your worker because they seem knowledgeable about their tradition, you have a good rapport with him or her, and you trust their advice. 

      I'm not saying that you should blindly follow your worker, but do so with discretion. When a spiritual worker directs you to rise before dawn to take a spiritual bath, they are not being arbitrary, nor are they trying to inconvenience you. However, should your worker suddenly tell you that you are cursed and have to give them hundreds or thousands of dollars of your own money so that they can cleanse it for you in order to take off the curse then I think a second-opinion would be in order to say the least. Also, if you don't understand instructions it is perfectly acceptable to get clarification to ensure that you are following them correctly. 

      These are just a few characteristics that, in my opinion make a good customer. In and of themselves they may or may not be reason enough for a worker to refuse your case or drop you as a client. Therefore it is important for you as the customer to educate yourself about the policies and procedures of your Spiritual Practitioner as well as to familiarize yourself with how they work, what to expect from their services and make the most of your time and communication with your worker. 

      Carolina Dean

      Friday, November 19, 2010

      MIPC: Candle-Wax Divination

      Janey: Now remember, Wanda, whatever shape the wax takes, that's what your husband's job will be.
      Wanda: [disappointed] It's a mop. My husband will be a janitor.
      Lisa: That looks like an Olympic torch to me. Your husband could be an Olympic athlete who will go on to have a great acting career!
      Wanda: [lets another drop of wax fall] It’s a dustpan.
      Lisa: The wax never lies.

      The Simpsons, "Flaming Moes"
      Original Air Date: November 21st, 1991

      Commentary: Ceromancy, the art of divination by means of dripping candle wax in water, is a very old practice in the tradition of magic. However, some people also define Ceromancy as interpreting the behavior of a candle flame, or the remains of wax left behind after a spell-candle has burned out.

      Unlike other forms of divination, such as the I-Ching, ceromancy isn’t particularly difficult to perform. One has only to light a candle while thinking of their question (or it may be spoken aloud) and then tip the candle over a basin of cold water so that the wax falls into the water forming distinctive shapes. The wax is observed for signs or symbols which are then interpreted in relation to the question which has been asked.

      The more difficult part in the practice of Ceromancy is in interpreting the shapes which have been observed. Ultimately, the interpretation is completely up to the observer and his or her relationship with the sign or symbol which has been spied out. For example, a person who has survived an airplane crash will look upon the symbol of n airplane much differently than a person who has never flown before.

      This procedure has been used to discover all manner of knowledge, such as

      • The identity of a thief
      • The success or failure of a spell
      • The name or likeness of one’s future spouse
      • A lucky number
      • The gender of an unborn child
      • The name or likeness of a hidden enemy
      • The location of hidden treasure

      That being said, I think this scene (which was probably written for a laugh) illustrates the concept and practice of traditional Ceromancy perfectly.

      Carolina Dean

      Wednesday, November 17, 2010

      How to Find Your Own Voice as a Spiritual Practitioner...

      …and Stand Out Among the Crowd.

      In my opinion, the best Rootworkers and Spiritual Practitioners will have the following traits in common. They

      • Are knowledgeable about their spiritual tradition.
      • Are knowledgeable about their profession.
      • Adhere to an honorable set of ethics.
      • Produce results.
      • Produce results in a reasonable amount of time.
      • Charges a reasonable price for services rendered.

      These are the traits that will keep customers coming back to you for your products and/or services. However, they may not always be enough to drive sales to you. Once you have met these six criteria, there are several ways in which you can stand out among the crowd of spiritual workers. They include:

      Lead With Your Strengths

      Do you have a specialty and if so what is it? Are you gifted at bringing back lost loves? Can you enable success in gambling? Can you alleviate curses? If you have a particular strength or area of the work in which you have a high rate of success you can build a practice around that talent. There are very few workers who can do it all and do it all successfully.

      There is no shame is saying that you have no talent for lifting curses, for example, or enabling success at gambling. If you take a case which you know that you cannot ameliorate, you’re not only cheating your customer, but you’re also cheating yourself.

      In some cases you may have a talent that is considered rare in the magickal community, a service which very few other people are able to provide. Cat Yronwode, owner and proprietor of the Lucky Mojo Curio Company, once spoke about a worker in England who had the ability to bind djinns. Her clients flew her all over the Middle East where she makes a successful and profitable living plying her trade.

      In other cases, you have have an established working relationship with a spirit or deity known for being difficult to work with such as Santisma Muerte. 

      Tailor Your Practice to the Needs of Your Community

      As Human beings, we all have the same basic needs which include being able to provide for ourselves, to be healthy, protected, and loved, etc…. However, a rootworker who lives in the Deep South will not always have the same concerns from his or her clients that a rootworker living in a large city will have.

      For example, the metropolitan worker may want to design a Subway Safety Mojo Bag, which is essentially a safe-travel product that has been tailored to the needs of a person living in a large city. They may design a Liberal-Landlord Vigil Light, to get your landlord to fix things on time, cut you a break when your rent is late, etc… They may gather water from various fountains and use them in their baths; or gather coins from fountains and use them for money spells, wishing-magick, etc...

      The Southern Rootworker’s clients may all come from the same ethnic and/or religious background; whereas the worker in a large city may have clients from several different ethnic/religious backgrounds. A Baptist worker may practice their work in the name of Jesus or alternately in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Unless there are a number of Catholics in his or her town, he may not work with any Saints at all. However a worker based in New Orleans will more than likely work with one or more Saints. It is the successful worker who can tailor his practice to the needs of his community.

      Honoring Your Calling

      At one time, when society wasn’t as enlightened and/or tolerant as it is today, it was considered very progressive for a worker to advertise they were Gay Friendly. However, in recent years the GLBT community has made strides towards gaining equality and it is not unusual that many spiritual practitioners are gay themselves. There are still many heterosexual workers who are gay friendly as well. Therefore, simply being gay-friendly will not set you apart from other workers as much as it once did.

      However, you may feel called to work with a specific group of people. Maybe you are a member of a minority group or your life has been touched by addiction, violence, or abuse which has left you with a desire to help victims of these circumstances heal and grow. If you truly feel called to work with such people and you have the ability to improve their situations, then you have an obligation to do so.

      These are just a few ways in which you can help set yourself apart from other workers. In future blog post I will explore additional topics such as communication, visibility, and approachability.

      Carolina Dean 

      Tuesday, November 16, 2010

      Magickal Marketing

      It has come to my attention that there are many spiritual workers who are talented in their fields and gifted for spiritual work but who actually lack a business education. Many workers become so focused on learning about the traditions of spiritual work, they fail to educate themselves about customer service, marketing, and promotion. I've also seen many successful workers who have been in practice for years but who have not adapted their practice to new technologies such as the internet.

      Recently, I had the opportunity to consult with two spiritual practitioners at different points in their careers and assist them by offering an assessment of their practices, websites, fan-pages, etc..., identifying their strengths and weaknesses and offering practical tips for improving their customer service, raising their visibility, and driving more customers to their sites in order to have a successful and thriving practice.

      I've decided, with their encouragement, to write a series of blog posts designed to assist those who wish to have a successful spiritual practice. Some of the topics I plan to introduce include:

      1. How to Raise Your Visibility in the Marketplace 
      2. Finding Your Own Voice & Setting Yourself Apart from Other Workers
      3. How to Get Your Customers Engaged
      4. Promoting Yourself without Promoting Yourself. 
      5. Approachability
      6. Dealing with Difficult Clients 
      7. How to Go Above & Beyond for your Customer. 
      8. Tailoring Your Services to the Needs of Your Community.
      9. Coping with Fear and Feelings of Inadequacy.
      10. How to Drop a Client Without Making an Enemy
      If you have a question or idea related to this subject that you would like me to address, but it in the comment section below and I may choose to post a blog on that subject.

      For the record, I have over 10 years of experience working in the customer service industry at various levels ranging from entry level to management. My strengths in the workplace have included anticipating problems before they become problems, preventing them from becoming problems, developing strategies for successful conflict-resolution, and creative-problem solving.

      Carolina Dean

      Sunday, November 14, 2010

      Self-Blessing Ritual

      As spiritual practitioners we are often called upon to bless our clients in various ways such as helping them to find love, engender luck, assuage grief, restore health, and remove blockages to name a few. But what does it mean to be blessed and how are we blessed?

      Bruce Wilkinson, the author of The Prayer of Jabez defines blessing as “[asking] for or to impart supernatural favor.” When we perform rituals to bless others we are calling upon God to confer his favor upon them so that they may know God’s love and to enjoy abundance in all things. To seek a blessing is to ask to become closer to God and align ourselves with his will.

      Below I will share a ritual to will assist you in moving closer to God and receiving his spiritual blessings. To perform this ritual you will need:

      * Hyssop

      * Salt

      * White-Candle

      * Blessing Oil

      * Photo of Yourself

      * Bible

      Shortly before sunrise, prepare a spiritual bath which includes Hyssop. Set two candles on either side of your shower or tub and light them. Soak in the bath for at least 10 minutes as you contemplate that which you feel is separating you from God and keeping you from the gifts that he has to offer you. You may wish to read the 51st Psalm as you meditate.

      When you are ready, begin pouring the water over your head as you say

      “Cleanse me with Hyssop and I will be clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow.”

      When you are done, stand up and step backwards out of the tub and pass between the two lit candles, saying:

      “In Jesus name, Amen.”

      Before allowing the water to run down the drain, save a cupful which you will dispose of at a crossroads by throwing it towards the West and walking away without looking back.

      At your altar, carve your name upon the white candle and anoint it with Blessing Oil. Place the candle in a holder on top of an overturned saucer, under which you have placed the photograph of yourself. Light the candle, then take out your bible and turn it to the book of Matthew. Read chapter 5:3-11. When you are done you will repeat each verse asking for God’s blessings.
      For example, you might say:

      Lord, I am poor in spirit.
      I am down-trodden, and defeated.
      I lack self-esteem and self-confidence.
      I ask that you bless me that I may obtain the kingdom of heaven.

      Lord, I am mournful.
      I mourn for all that I have lost
      and all that I do not have.
      I ask that you bless me that I may find comfort.

      Lord, help me to be meek.
      Give me the strength to turn the other cheek
      and sin against no man.
      I ask that you bless me that I may possess the earth.

      Lord, I hunger for justice.
      I have been wronged by friend and foe.
      I have been used and abused.
      I ask that you bless me that I may have satisfaction.

      Lord, help me to be merciful
      so that I may forgive those who trespass against me
      and so that I may forgive myself.
      I ask that you bless me that I may obtain mercy.

      Lord, help me to be pure of heart
      so that I may become as humble as a child
      so that I may enter the kingdom of heaven,
      I ask that you bless me that I may see the face of God.

      Lord, help me to be a peacemaker
      so that I may help bring peace to others
      and bring peace to myself.
      I ask that you bless me that I may be called a son/daughter of God.

      Lord, I have been persecuted for righteousness sake.
      I have tried to do right by others and
      I have tired to do right by myself.
      I ask that you bless me that I may obtain the kingdom of heaven.

      When you are done, allow the candle to burn out. If any wax is left behind, you may wish to inspect it for any signs of the work. Then, gather it up and ritually dispose of it by burying it in your backyards. Take the photograph of yourself and press it in the Bible at the Beatitudes as a remembrance of your blessings.

      Carolina Dean

      Monday, November 8, 2010

      A W.O.R.D. about Tarot Reversals

      What is a Tarot-Reversal?

      A tarot reversal refers to when a card appears upside down during the course of a tarot- reading. There has been much discussion among tarot-readers concerning reversals which has divided the tarot-community.

      The Argument

      1. For Using Reversals

        • The Big Picture. Utilizing reversed cards allows you to access the deeper meaning of the card(s) and helps you to get a clearer picture of the story the cards are trying to communicate to you.  
        • A Red Flag. When a reversed-card appears in a reading, it indicates an area which requires attention.  

      1.  Against Using Reversals

        • Reversals are redundant. Some readers feel that there are plenty of meanings for all 78 cards in a standard tarot deck in their upright positions that to use reversed meanings would be excessive.
        • Reversals are Inconsistent. There seems to be a great deal of confusion among some readers as to exactly what a reversed card means.

      Three Examples Examined

      Historically, reversals have been read quite literally. For example, if The Lovers upright means love, then reversed it would indicate hate. However, even the neophyte tarot-reader understands that this is not always the case. Many prominent authors have attempted to bring clarity to this subject and have offered several methods of reading reversals.

      In her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, Mary K. Greer gives no less than 12 examples of how a reversed card can be read. Some of these include:

      1. Blocked- The energy or condition represented by the card is being blocked either consciously or subconsciously by the querent or an outside force such as another individual.
      2. Projected- The subject of the reading is attributing what is seen in the cards onto someone else.
      3. Delayed- The energy or condition represented by the card will be delayed. For example, the 8 of Pentacles reversed could indicate a new job that will come after delays.
      Joan Bunning, author of Learning Tarot Reversals, writes that a reversed card doesn’t take on opposing meanings but rather keeps its essential nature, however in different phases. These phases are described as

      1. Absent- The energy or condition represented by the card is absent.
      2. Early Phase- The energy of condition represented by the card is coming into being.
      3. Late Phase- The energy or condition represented by the card is on the decline, or going out of being.
      A good-friend of mine and great tarot reader 53rd Spirit uses the acronym W.O.R.D to interpret reversals. It stands for Weak. Opposite. Resistant. Delayed.

      • Weak- The meaning of the card remains the same, however it is weakened or on the decline.
      • Opposite- The meaning of the card is the opposite of the upright meaning.
      • Resistant- The energy or condition represented by the card is being blocked or resisted in some way.
      • Delayed/Drained- The energy or condition represented by the card will be delayed.

      How I View Reversals

      When I began studying and reading tarot-cards in 1991, I did read reversed cards. I later met a more experienced tarot-reader who, to my surprise, did not read reversals. After having her perform several readings for me, I decided to try only reading the cards in their upright positions. I found that I did enjoy reading only upright cards and did not feel that my readings suffered in any way.

      My cards are oriented to that they all face upright, however, occasionally a reversed card will come up in a reading. Over the years I have slowly begun to take these reversed cards into consideration. I agree with Mary K. Greer that a reversed card in a reading represents an area that needs attention. However, the question remains why does it need attention. Is there a blockage? Will there be a delay? Is there resistance? In this case you can do two things:

      1. Look at the card itself for more information. For example, traditionally the Ace of Cups represents abundance. However, if you look at the reversed card itself it appears that the cup is being drained and someone or something is holding it down. This could mean that an outside force is draining your abundance, holding your down and keeping you back.
      2. Look at the surrounding cards. Depending on the actual tarot spread you are using the cards immediately beside the reversed card can give you more information about its overall meaning and/or affect on the querent’s life.

      In Summation

      The question of whether or not to use tarot-reversals has been a subject which has divided the tarot-community. There are valid arguments both for and against their use. Modern authors have attempted to give students of the tarot a reliable method of interpreting tarot reversals. However it is ultimately up to you, the reader, to decide if and how you utilize tarot-reversals in your readings. 

      Carolina Dean 

      Thursday, November 4, 2010

      Carolina Dean on Retro-Movie Chat this Saturday

      Hi Fans, 

      Join me this Saturday night at 8pm Pacific 11pm Eastern on Retro-Movie Chat on blog-talk radio where I will be a guest speaker discussing the 1984 motion picture Supergirl!

      You can listen online at this link or on your phone by dialing 1(877) 806-7451

      You don't have to register with blog-talk radio to listen, however if you do register you can take part in the chat room. Registering with blog-talk radio is very easy and takes less than five minutes. 

      Carolina Dean