My husband and I like to forage for wild mushrooms and collect edible wildfood. It is a gentle way to sink into a place and learn local ecology.
It also provides us with some really delicious mushrooms and herbs as well as knowledge of local poisonous plants; for example, our front yard is abundant in snakeweed, which was what killed Abraham Lincoln’s Mother.
Cows can digest the plant but the poison will leak into her milk and kill people! Interesting, no?
So, what the heck does any of this have to do with Tarot? Well, actually, a lot, and from the practice of finding mushrooms I have become a better reader.
Being good at spotting things in nature requires the art of soft focus, soft focus is absolutely the opposite of what most of us do in our daily lives. Our lives are grounded in hard focus; on the road, on our phones, at our emails, etc. The beam of concentration is sharp, but pinpoint small. Soft focus is blurry with a wide field of view and increasingly, we as a society are engaging in soft focus less and less often.
So just as I begin a walk in the woods with soft eyes and alert and calm mind, so to do I begin a reading. The Tarot spread is like a patch of woods, and perhaps there will be mushrooms, edible nettle or even a fawn off the trail. The Tarot spread just might have an answer I am looking for, or it contain might something else. We are just taking a walk in the forest, open to what we experience. As a mushroom hunter, I have in mind a number of mushrooms I would like to see in the woods but I make no personal expectations about what will happen. That is the first very important tip, have no expectations. As a reader I begin a spread with no expectations about what I will see, including answers.
Once I have checked my own expectations, I spread the cards and I invoke soft focus. Those of you who meditate probably know what I mean by soft focus. We “soften” our eyes by allowing our vision to be less focused, we are not “looking” or “paying” attention to anything in particular. We are allowing the whole vision of the scene to be as it is.
So more concretely, what does it mean to engage in soft focus during a reading?
Here are some guidelines to help you :
And when you do that… YES!… there’s your shining mushroom all the sudden out of nowhere, as if it appeared. The message, the connection, the intuitive information hits you, usually out of nowhere. It is as if the information bubbled up between the cards. I am not sure how I can explain it more than that, but that is how it works for me… the information comes between the cards, and it is shining and by itself, and it is accurate, but I can never strain for it, or ask for it. I just sit without anxiousness and it will appear to my conciousness if it will.
The act of reading Tarot is truly an act of surrender.
This kind of soft focus reading can be extraordinarily challenging. Our rational/anxious/monkey mind wants to immediately set to work to figuring it all out. And you will engage the ordinal part of you later, but when you first lay out the cards have no expectations, do not “set to work” just walk in the forest of the tarot spread and allow the subconscious/intuitive part of you do what it does.
If I am actively trying to focus my attention on every tree and shrub I would never find my nummy num nums, there is too much information everywhere. So I stay quiet, I move slow and I look about but in that place of soft focus I am allowing the information to bleed past the line of sight and into something deeper. Like vision, you can either have a narrow and sharp focus OR a hazy wide field of vision, why not use both tools in your readings?
Give it a try, lay out your cards and refrain from the emphasis to make meaning. See if anything pops up, and if it does not, then go about your normal tarot reading, but do give it a chance first.
Gain the ability to consult the cards for just about any question you or your friends could think of. Knowing how to work Tarot is like always getting a sneak peek into the workings of the Universe... who wouldn't want to learn how to do that?!?
Tarot 101 One Day Intensive
September 14th, 2014 11am-4pm at the Cynwyd Station Cafe
Everything you need to know to jump start your Tarot skills with an info and fun packed day. This is the course you have been looking for! There are a lot of online Tarot courses but nothing beats doing this in real time with others face to face in a small group with the guidance of a master tarot professional. Join a small group (no more than 8 people) with highly individual help and attention as you are walked through each part of the process. Handouts are included. Sunday 10am-3pm (lunch will be an option or you can bring your own).
5 hours & $100 includes:
Ready to begin, darling?
Intermediate Tarot Class
September 28th 9am-Noon at the Cynwyd Station Cafe
Do you have the basic meanings down, are able to do small spreads and want to take your Tarot to the next level? This intermediate class will cover how to read many cards in combination to one another, master the Celtic Cross spread, Tarot card reversals and dignitaries, delve deeper into the court cards in readings, creating your own spreads and layouts, how to energetically open and close your readings, intuition tips and techniques and reading practice with a skilled Tarot professional to give you tips, tricks and tools for your Tarot Journey.
Ahh, I see the tarot Force is strong in this one...
Intermediate Tarot: Spreads Spreads Spreads!
September 28th 1pm-330pm at the Cynwyd Station Cafe
Are you mostly “off book” but want to learn a few more special Tarot spreads? Do you wish to have a bigger repertoire of spreads as needed for the situation? Tarot spreads can be predictive, problem solving or clarifying and choosing the right spread for the right question is half the battle. In this 2 and a half hour workshop we will cover and practice 4 spreads that will cover most of the question and situation types you will encounter. (Note this is not a beginners class, most participants should feel comfortable with having most of the deck memorized)
Watch out, Tarotista is on the loose!
Book all three classes and get $10 off!
I loved running the World Tarot Day Instagram Contest!
Participants snapped photos of 'Tarot in the World' people and things that look just like Tarot in real life. We know that Tarot is a mirror of the world but the world, interestingly, can often mirror Tarot. I was blown away by the creativity, sensitivity and gorgeousness of the folks who sent me snaps.
Want to find them all on your own? On either Instagram or Facebook search #queenofwandstarot to find the full selection. Below are the winners of the contest along with a few of my favorites.
First Place Winner
Sarebear830 sent me some lovely pics but this is my absolute favorite. A fool and his dog is a winner where ever you go. She also snapped a couple of other really great pics including the 7 of Pentacles and the Queen of Cups! Check those out on her instagram profile, above.
Second Place Winner
Eloy sent me this incredible Ace of Cups along with some others. I think he had a lot of fun coming up with pics, you can find his full submissions by #queenofwandstarot on Facebook!
Third Place Winner
Cindy of Rocky Mountain Tarot Sent me this lovely Strength pic! She totally gets 3rd place for snapping this little gem.
This was great fun and it was very difficult to choose who gets placement. Below are some honorable mentions that I also wanted to share with you!
I personally made many submissions throughout the day but this was my favorite of the group I shared. Everyone, meet Ace of Wands!
My only Lenromand contribution came from Katrina Wynne of Transformative Tarot Counseling. See what she did there? The sea and the tower? Lovely!
This is an incredible, and incident shot taken by Marcus Katz of the Tarot Association renown and highly regarded Tarot author shared with me his shot of 5 of Pentacles. The resemblance is very striking.
Eloy who won 2nd place above also made this stunning contribution of 2 of cups. It was hard choosing which of his many submissions were the winner!
To everyone else who contributed your time, skills and talent thank you for making World Tarot Day a success!
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