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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tarot Reading: Shufflling the Deck


Review: What is Tarot?

The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards upon which are printed symbolic pictures used in the practice of divination, however they have additional applications as well. A standard deck consist of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana.  The Major Arcana typically relate to matters of a high significance or a deep purpose whereas the Minor Arcana concerns itself with matters of mundane, every-day living. 

The Minor Arcana can be divided into four suits which correspond to the four elements. They are:
  • Wands, which relate to fire.
  • Cups, which relate to water.
  • Swords, which relate to air.
  • Pentacles, which relate to earth.

Similar to Playing Cards,  each suit consists of ten cards numbered from Ace to 10 and then four court cards which are named as King, Queen, Knight, and Page of each suit. 

To operate the cards, they are often laid out in a Tarot Spread. A Spread is a term used to describe the pattern in which Tarot-Cards are laid out after shuffling them and prior to reading them. Usually, but not always, each position in a spread signifies an area of life, a feeling, one's thoughts, or a specific time period such as the past, present, or future. The meaning of a tarot card is read according to its position in the spread.

A good reader is able to utilize the Tarot to analyze the past and present in order to determine the probability a future event.  The more accurate readers are able to focus on the most probable alternate-futures.  The accuracy of a reader’s ability to foresee a future event decreases in direct proportion to the distance those future events lie ahead in time. Tarot teaches that by active participation in the events occurring in the life of a person, he or she can shift the probabilities towards their desired ends.

Shuffling the Deck Prior to a Reading

Dovetail Shuffle
Part of the process of reading the tarot is shuffling, or randomizing,  the cards. This is typically done while the seeker allows his thoughts to focus on his question or issue. Before I begin reviewing a few methods of shuffling the cards, let's discuss who exactly should or should not shuffle the cards.

There are some readers who do not allow anyone other than themselves to touch or handle their cards. These readers often think of their cards as a very personal tool which should not be handles by others. In these cases, they may have the seeker hold their calling-card (a card which represents the seeker in the reading) and instruct the seeker to think of their question or issue while the reader shuffles the cards. In other cases they may not even allow the seeker to hold a calling card but rather instruct the seeker to think of their question as the reader shuffles the cards. The seeker is usually also told to let the reader know when they should stop shuffling the deck.

Other readers feel that it is necessary for the seeker to shuffle the cards for themselves. Then again, you will have clients who have absolutely no desire to touch or handle the cards in any way, shape, or form. In my experience, such people may feel that it's perfectly okay for you to read the cards for them but by actively participating in the reading they are committing a sin, breaking a social / religious taboo, or that they will otherwise mess up the reading. As the reader, you will have to go over the options with your client and decide how you would like to proceed with the reading. 

The next factor you will have to determine is the number of times to shuffle the cards. In my experience most readers advise that you shuffle the cards until you feel they are ready. However, some readers may direct you to shuffle the cards a specific number of times, three seems to be a common number for example. Again you will have to decide for yourself which method best works for you and your client(s). 

Now as to actually shuffling the cards themselves there are more ways than even I could have imagined, however, I would like to review a few methods here. They are:
  • Overhand-Shuffle  
Also known as the slide-shuffle, the overhand-shuffle is probably the easiest and most common way to shuffle the cards. To perform the overhand shuffle, simply remove a random number of cards from the top of the deck and place them at the bottom of the deck. Repeat as desired. This form of shuffling is sometimes, but not always, easier with larger or over-sized decks than it is with the dovetail-shuffle. It will also be easier for folks who are not accustomed to handling cards or shuffling them in general.
  • Dovetail Shuffle 
The dovetail-shuffle, is accomplished by dividing the deck in half, and then allowing them to cascade together reconstituting the deck. It looks a little more sophisticated but requires a little more dexterity and it may not always be possible with a larger deck especially for clients who are not well-coordinated or who are not used to handling cards in general.
  • The Divide 
The divide is a combination of the over-hand and dovetail-shuffle. To perform the divide, simple cut the deck in half before you and lay the two piles close together with just enough room for a third pile between them. Next place your fingers of your left hand lightly on the top of the left hand pile and the fingers of your right hand on the right hand pile. Now bring the two piles together a few cards at a time forming a new pile in the middle. 

  • Linear Shuffle
Finally, I would like to talk to you about what I call the linear-shuffle.  The linear shuffle is done by simply taking the deck of cards and sliding them across a flat surface so that they all remain face-down in a straight line, although you will sometimes see readers spread the cards out in a horseshoe pattern as well.

Next, the seeker is then instructed to hold their hand a few inches above the cards and then run it up and down over them and pull any cards which call to them or which feel right. The number of cards pulled will depend on the number of cards required for your chosen spread. For example, the celtic-cross always uses a total of 10 cards; astrologically based spreads often used a total of 12 cards (one for each sign). 

In some cases, the number of cards pulled will be based on the reader's intuition. In the end, additional cards may be pulled for clarification. This type of shuffle is great for anyone who has trouble handling the cards due to a lack of dexterity, injuries to the hand or illness such as arthritis or deformity which limits the individual's ability to shuffle the cards, or just any client who wants to take an active role in his or her own reading. However, it may not be appropriate for clients who do not wish to take an active role in their reading. 

In Summation 

These are just a few of the way that you can shuffle, or randomize, your tarot cards prior to reading them for yourself or clients. As a reader, over time you will develop your own method of shuffling the cards prior to a reading and this will become a part of your unique style and process. In effect it will become a ritual and, psychologically speaking, can act as a physical-trigger to put you in the right frame of mind for performing your readings.

My advice for new readers is not to simply do it such and such as way because you read it in a book or even in this blog, but rather because it has meaning for you. To that end, I suggest that you experiment with different methods and learn what best works for you so that you can be the best reader that you can be. 


Carolina Dean

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Root to Expose Another's Misdeeds...

 ...and Force them to Face the Consequences Thereof

Here's a root (spell) that can be used whenever a person has done something either immoral or illegal and think they got away with their actions, who use false justification to promote their cause and who have no remorse, refuse to apologize, or acknowledge what they did was wrong. For example, this person may be a serial cheater, a thief, a liar, or someone playing both sides of a situation. This root will draw negative attention to them and those drawn by it will see the object of the root for what he or she really is and she or he will be made to deal with the consequences of his or her sins. 

To work this root, you will need:

  • Photo of the Individual 
  • Magnifying Glass 
  • Four-Candles 
  • Salt 
  • Look Me Over Oil
  • Clarity Oil 
  • Crossing Oil

Begin by writing the name of the individual on the back of their photo 7 times. Turn the photo sideways and write whatever label you deem appropriate over their name also 7 times. For example, you may write cheater, thief, abuser, etc....If you do not have a photo, simply write out a name-paper as described

Put a dab of Crossing Oil on your fingertip and draw a large X across the photo from corner to corner saying: 

"(Name), I cross you now just as I cross this photo so that others will always see you for the (whatever) that you are. No more will you fool others, you now will be the fool. No more will you deceive others, you now will be deceived. Now more will you escape the consequences your misdeeds. Now the evil that you have done will undo you! In Jesus name. Amen." 

Place the photo face up on a flat surface. Place the magnifying glass over the face and then pour a circle of salt around the whole thing. Next, take four candles and dress them with a combination of Look Me Over Oil and Clarity Oil. Arrange the candles around the circle of salt at equidistant points. 

Symbolically speaking, the magnifying glass enlarges the individual and their misdeeds and makes them easier to see (the term "putting him under the microscope" comes to mind). The four candles represent the four directions and ensures the individual will have no one to turn to as attention is now drawn to them from every direction. The circle of salt prevents the individual from escaping and makes sure they stay and deal with the consequences of their misdeeds. 

Light the four candles and say:

"With God's blessings, may the light of truth shine upon (Name) so that others will see him/her for the (whatever) that s/he is. Where s/he made a fool of others let him/her now be the fool. Where s/he deceived others let him/her now be deceived. Where s/he thought s/he would escape punishment, let him/her now be held fast and made to answer for his/her sins and may the evil that s/he has done, undo him/her. In Jesus name. Amen." 

Finally, read Psalm 43 several times paying special attention to verse 3 (send out thy light...). When you are done, allow the candles to burn themselves out naturally. When they are spent, inspect any remains for signs of your work. 


Carolina Dean

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Conscious Gratitude

“The more you are grateful for what you have the more you will have to be grateful for”
                                                                                                  ― Zig Ziglar

On Gratitude

The above quote, or some variation of it, is something that I have heard several times as I move through various magical circles and traditions.  It is, after all, a quasi-universal axiom that has been repeated over and over again by various spiritual leaders, teachers, and light-workers. For example:

  • The scriptures are filled with endless verses regarding the concept of gratitude. For the Christian and the Jew alike, it is believed that all things comes form God and so gratitude is an essential part of worship and praise. A few relevant verses can be found in  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Psalms 30:12 and Psalms 9:01. 
  • In like fashion, Islamic teachings states that the first to enter paradise will be those who praised God in all things and that those who are grateful will be given more (Sura 14).
  • In the spiritual path of Buddhism, kindness and gratitude are two practices that the adherent are encouraged to develop together. Gratitude for a kindness is more that a general appreciation but rather a special kind of appreciation in which one honors the effort put forth by the one who extended the kindness.
More than Thank You, What is Gratitude?

Growing up poor in the South, I was taught manners and what it means to say "Please" and "Thank You'. When a neighbor gave you a dollar for picking up a loaf of bread at the Piggly Wiggly, you say thank you even though you wished it was $5.00 because that might be the last dollar that person owns. They made that sacrifice to show you that they were thankful for running the errand for them. I was also taught what it means to be thankful for what you have because only by the grace of God did we have food, a home, and clothes on our backs.

Somewhere along the way, these words become rote. We say them to and accept them from others but do we really express gratitude fully and completely? Well all know that gratitude is a state of thankfulness and the willingness to return a favor or kindness. However, it is more than simply saying thank you to someone or to God, the Universe, Spirit, etc....Gratitude is an emotion. It is just as powerful an emotion as love, hate, envy, happiness, etc...and has a profound effect on the human psyche, behavior, and outlook.

Like many emotions there are different types of gratitude. Its the surprise and delight when someone does something nice for your unexpectedly or out of character, it is the combination of thankfulness and relief when you find out its not cancer, it is the happiness and satisfaction that comes with being able to leave your waiter a large tip when you know he's having a bad day. 

How to Show Gratitude

William Arthur Ward once said that feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it away. Many of us, myself included, have often felt grateful for whatever reason but find it hard to really express that gratitude in a satisfactory way. For example, in October of 2013 my car died and it took me until June of 2014 before I could replace my car. During those 7 months, I had to take public transportation which added 4 hours of travel time to my day. I got up at 5 am and I didn't come home until after 6 pm in the evening. I was often tired, and lacked the time to do anything I really wanted to do (which explains why I stopped blogging for several months). 

When I finally got a new car, I was so grateful and appreciative, but I did not know how to express my gratitude. So I began to show my gratitude in small ways that became increasingly larger. For example, every time I passed a bus I took a deep breathe, thanked God for providing me with reliable transportation and then slowing releasing my breath duplicating the sense of "relief" I recognize as feeling grateful.

Then one day, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home. As I was putting my bags in the trunk of my car I saw a blind man and his companion that I recognized as having ridden the same bus route I once did that took me to my home. It was less than a mile from the store to my apartment but it was all uphill and it dawned on me: If someone would have offered me a ride all those times I had to carry heavy bags of groceries from the store to my house I would have really appreciated it. So I pulled up to them, introduced myself and introduced myself. They remembered me from the bus and I was able to give them a ride home. Being able to give these two a ride was a simple act of kindness that probably meant more to me than those two men but it really opened my eyes to how I can express my gratitude to God for all he has provided me and done for me.

Conscious Gratitude 

When I recognized my act of kindness as an expression of gratitude, I realized that I had been practicing gratitude all along without realizing what I was doing. I have always been a generous person, even in times when I had nothing. It is in my nature to give, to render help, to sacrifice my own needs to provide for others because I have been provided for. Whether it has been money, my time, my services, or sharing my knowledge and experiences. For me it is a giving of myself without expectation of anything in return.

In a similar way, I recognized that my expressions of gratitude was not limited to being a giving person but rather in my willingness to find the spiritual lesson in a negative situation or experience.  It is often been said that we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes and so I learned to be thankful for my enemies because they taught me the value of my own strength; I am thankful for false-friends because they taught me the value of independence; I am thankful for being sick because it taught me to appreciate good health; I am thankful for losing a job because it forced me to get out of a negative, unhealthy situation and opened the way for something better. 

Finally, I recognized the wisdom of being satisfied with enough. What that means is, so many of us get caught up in the rat-race. We accumulate things because we think it will bring us happiness and satisfaction but its never enough. Whether its a bigger house to replace your current one,  the newest cell phone model, gaming system, etc.... its a never-ending quest that fails to bring contentment. When you are not satisfied with what you have, you are not showing the universe that you are grateful for what you have been given in the first place.

Imagine that you got up early one morning and decided to buy your co-workers coffee and donuts; and when you gave your co-workers these gifts they complained that the donuts are stale or the coffee is too cold, too sweet, too bitter, etc... How likely would you be to buy them coffee and donuts again?   I imagine not very likely. So how likely do you think God is to improve your situation if you are not grateful when he has given you enough? With this idea in mine, I shifted my thinking from my "have nots" to my "haves". My apartment may not be a mansion, but it keeps me warm in the winter and dry in the rain the same as a mansion. My car may need a paint job, but it gets me to a fro. My glasses may be 10 years old but I can still see. 

And that, for me, is how I express my gratitude to my God and my Spirits for all the good and abundance that they have afforded me. 

Bless You,

Carolina Dean