Tag - tarot

The Return from Glastonbury

by Michael Berman

I am often asked why, even though I have a driving licence and would benefit from having a car due to the difficulty I now have in walking or using public transport, I do not have one.  Though not strictly true, I usually answer to reduce my carbon footprint, but, the real reason for my decision not to drive is somewhat different.

Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, England, situated at a dry point on the low lying Somerset Levels, 37 km south of Bristol.

Evidence from timber trackways such as the Sweet Track show that the town has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Glastonbury Lake Village was an Iron Age village west of Glastonbury, and dates back to the Bronze Age. Centwine was the first Saxon patron of Glastonbury Abbey. Formerly one of the most important abbeys in England, it was the site of Edmund Ironside’s coronation as King of England in 1016.

These days Glastonbury is known as a New Age centre, and is notable for myths and legends often related to Glastonbury Tor, concerning Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and King Arthur. In some Arthurian literature Glastonbury is identified with the legendary island of Avalon. Joseph is said to have arrived in Glastonbury and stuck his staff into the ground, when it flowered miraculously into the Glastonbury Thorn. The Glastonbury Festival, held in the nearby village of Pilton, takes its name from the town.

It was therefore the ideal location for a weekend workshop on using a Native American version of the tarot which had been designed by the facilitator of the course, and which I chose to register for at a time in my life when I was particularly interested in such matters.

At the end of the first day, when the workshop leader had gone through the significance of each of the cards in turn, she invited us to see her on an individual basis to give us our sacred names.

Mine consisted of a weather condition and the name of a rarely seen bird of prey. I was about to leave so the next participant in line could take my place but for some reason she held me back. “You will decide to leave the course early” she then told me, “and on your way home you will experience something you will never forget.” In fact, I had already decided to leave early. I did not appreciate the communal living accommodation provided for the workshop, felt somewhat out of place, and there were pressing concerns back in London that I wanted to deal with instead.

I gave her warning little attention until I set off on the motorway back to London. All of a sudden the car ground to a halt, the weather condition changed into the first part of my name described and there, lying in front of the car, was the rarely seen bird of prey that formed the second part. Then, when I opened the car to check what was wrong with the engine, the weather changed back to what it had been like before and the creature had vanished without a trace. It was as if the whole incident had never happened, but on the other hand it was all so powerful I was in no doubt that it had. The experience affected me so deeply that from that day on I never drove again and never will.

About the author
Michael Berman’s published work includes The Power of Metaphor for Crown House, The Nature of Shamanism and the Shamanic Story for Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Shamanic Journeys through the Caucasus and Shamanic Journeys, Shamanic Stories for O-Books, Journeys outside Time for Pendraig Publishing, and Tales of Power for Lear Books. A Bridge to the Other Side: Death in the Folk Tradition and Georgia through Earth, Fire, Air and Water are both due to be published by Moon Books in 2012. ELT publications include A Multiple Intelligences Road to an ELT Classroom, In a Faraway Land (a resource book for teachers on storytelling), On Business and for Pleasure (a self-study workbook), and English Language Teaching Matters, written with Mojca Belak and Wayne Rimmer. For more information please visit www.Thestoryteller.org.uk, E-mail: berman.michael@rocketmail.com


The Transparent Oracle by Emily Carding

Review by Diane Saarinen

“A symbol by its nature contains many layers, which will be interpreted through the filters of experience and perception,” says the foreword to the guidebook that comes with Emily Carding’s Transparent Oracle (Schiffer Books, 2010) set. The set consists of 70 transparent cards, a 127-page guide, and a white reading cloth (as the black symbols on the clear cards are most clearly seen on a white background.) The cards are designed to be used for “divination, visualization, storytelling, brainstorming or what you will.” The seven directions of North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within are used and symbols include the planets, animals, and mythical creatures.

I decided to perform a reading for myself to try out the oracle deck. I am comfortable with the tarot, so using this system was a bit of a change for me. Sample overlays, or spreads, were suggested in the guidebook and I chose the “past, present and future.” The New Year is a great time to have a reading but, procrastinator that I am, it was almost the end of January. But never fear. I knew that the Chinese New Year was coming (February 2nd) and this was another chance at pushing the reset button.

My question was simply: What did I need to know for the New Year ahead? For the past, I drew card #5, Mountains. The keywords for this card included persistence, dreams, work, focus, goals. The guidebook advised “this card encourages us to reach for our dreams, no matter how hard it may seem.” Interesting. Then I looked at the second card, the present. I drew #52, Ancestors. This spoke of the guiding energy of the ancestors, and foretold of an important life choice to make. Finally, the third card – the future – was #18, or Horse. This predicted travel, speed and progress. To form my own intuition of what I felt this spread suggested, I layered all three cards as instructed in the guidebook. The movement of the horses surrounded the shape of the mountains, the energy of the ancestors firmly in the center. The words “move mountains” came to me. We’ll see how this year unfolds!

Assessment: Emily Carding’s Transparent Oracle is a fresh and innovative alternative to tarot. These clear, circular cards and their symbols placed over each other form surprising new symbols in a multi-layered approach to card reading. As this system is simple and complex at the same time, it is appropriate for newbies and the experienced alike as one can master the techniques at his or her own pace. Give it a try!

Diane Saarinen is a New York City based writer who has contributed to numerous spiritual and feminist publications including Quiet Mountain: New Feminist Essays and HerCircleEzine. She also explores her Finnish heritage by writing for such publications as New World Finn.


New Goddess Tarot iPhone App coming

The Goddess Tarot: The Most Beautiful App in the Store?

Goddess Tarot iPhone appWith over 200,000 copies in print, The Goddess Tarot is one of the most popular tarot decks to be published. About.com praised it as “possibly the most beautiful tarot deck ever to be created.” Starting this August, The Goddess Tarot will become available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, possibly to become the most beautiful app in the App Store.

The Goddess  Tarot app was personally designed and developed by award-winning author-illustrator Kris Waldherr, the deck’s creator. Waldherr is also the author of Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends (Broadway Books), The Lover’s Path, and The Book of Goddesses (Abrams Books). Her paintings have been exhibited in the National Museum of Women in the Arts and other fine art venues in the United States and Great Britain. Waldherr commented, “My background is in print publishing, so this app is the first electronic publication I’ve created. I’m excited to have The Goddess Tarot enter the digital age!”

Offering inspiration on-the-go for women everywhere, The Goddess Tarot app features an elegant, easy-to-use interface suitable for both tarot beginners and experts. A free Lite version of the app gives a one card oracle reading; the Full version delivers the choice of four tarot spreads, including a never-before-published Goddess Circle reading, and the ability to save multi-card readings. The Goddess Tarot app also offers a reference center for those interested in the Divine Feminine and tarot – users can browse art and descriptions for all 22 goddesses and 78 cards in the deck.

Learn more and view the YouTube video tour at GoddessTarot.com.


Is A Win For Obama In The Cards?

by Diane Saarinen

Five tarot readers. Forty Barack Obama supporters. One art gallery. Three hours. By the end of the evening on October 17, these components added up to a cool $1000 at a unique fundraiser titled, “It’s In the Cards: Tarot for Obama.”

The scene was Kris Waldherr Art and Words gallery in Brooklyn, New York. I was on hand as one of the five very busy tarot readers who donated services to raise money to help conjure up a win for the Obama-Biden ticket. A $20 per person donation included a wine and cheese reception, and unlimited tarot readings. A silent auction was held as well, featuring items such as baskets full of divining tools and even a Sarah Palin “I’ll get back to you on that” T-shirt.

Amid the backdrop of the current gallery exhibit of paintings by Karen Zuegner, we readers were hopping – if one can actually hop while reading cards – from the 6 o’clock opening to 9 o’clock and beyond. Dressed in what can only be described as my black celestial cocktail dress (perfect for just such an occasion!), I also had my trusty model of a palmistry hand on my reading table, which really was just made for holding my business cards.

Kris Waldherr, gallery owner and organizer of the event, is also the creator of the bestselling Goddess Tarot and Lovers Path Tarot. “I think this is the most important election in my lifetime,” she said. “So I had to do something to help. Other members of the tarot community feel a similar urgency.” Waldherr is also the author of Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di, a campy and macabre romp through royal history with accompanying illustrations.

The Obama supporters were wonderful to do tarot readings for. While most had specific questions in mind, a few did just want a general reading on current influences in their lives. What was interesting to me as a tarot reader was the occurrence of many Nine of Swords cards being drawn throughout the night! While at first puzzled, I realized that the card – which often depicts a situation of worrying beyond the realistic scope of a situation – was reflecting the current economic fears of the collective New Yorkers, so close to the epicenter of the global financial meltdown taking place.

It was a grueling three hours. And we have proof of that! While we readers looked fresh as daisies at the beginning of the evening, photographs told the true story as we emerged at the end of the night looking as if we had run a marathon in a sauna. Don’t let anyone tell you psychic readings do not consume energy. They do, and plenty of it! However, it was for a worthy cause and certainly was a delightful evening.

A final question you may be asking: Do the diviners know the outcome of this election? Well, maybe yes and maybe no. Maybe we just aren’t taking any chances with fate!

Diane Saarinen is a New York-based writer and tarot reader. For more about Diane, please check out her tarot blog at http://wavelengthtarot.com.

Photos courtesy of Thomas Ross Miller.