Archive for 'tarot cards'

“What Are You Saving It For, Honey?”

I took ballet class for many years. It was – and still is – a passion of mine.  Although now, I just watch from my seat at the Met.

There’s something that happens in class when you’re learning a combination: we call it “marking.” You’ll see dancers at the back of the studio, using their hands to “do” the steps, or walking through it with minimal effort before its their turn to perform it.

Marking is a way to get the piece in your head before you hit the center and do it “full out.” Dancers will hold back a little ahead of the performance, putting all their technique, energy and artistry into the big moment.

Here’s my favorite ballerina, Diana Vishneva, “marking” some variations.  Isn’t she awesome?  I have a girl-crush.


Anyway, some choreographers aren’t a fan of “marking” in rehearsal. George Balanchine would famously tell his ballerinas, “What are you saving it for, honey?”

th

That’s a good question for all of us.

One of my friends is planning on moving to a new apartment. After years of living in a tiny studio, she wants to upgrade to a larger place, which will mean needing more furniture. Her mother is telling her not to spend the money  because she might be moving again someday.   Someday. Someday.

In the meantime, in the here and now, my friend is being encouraged to stay in a cramped, bare-bones place that makes her sad. Because ….someday.

You could say my friend is “marking” her life. She’s not going full out, saving her dreams for some future day.

All of us have gotten this message at some point. We hold back. We don’t fully embrace the things that might make us happy, mainly for reasons that are fear-based.

Take a look at this Tarot card:

th-1

 

The guy is happily moving off a cliff, into the unknown. The little dog nipping at his heels represents those things that get in our heads: “Watch out!” “Don’t do it!” “It will never work!” “Don’t take any risks!”

But our guy is trusting that whatever happens in the next few steps, he’ll be supported by the Universe. He may not know what’s coming – he may be nervous and wanting to stay in his comfort zone – but he’s choosing to go full out with his life.

So whether it comes to choosing a better relationship for yourself, or just stating what you really want for lunch, ask yourself:

“What are you saving it for, honey?”

If I can help you sort out what’s holding you back, get in touch.

A Super-Easy Tarot Spread for Non-Readers

The Tarot is a rich, deep, complex way to get some rich, deep, complex insights into your life.    It’s been around for centuries  — and sometimes, it can feel like it takes that long to really know the cards.    That puts a lot of people off learning them.

Personally, I think spending some time exploring  the Tarot is really worth it.  But if the thought of that kinda makes your head explode, there’s a really fast way to use Tarot cards to get an answer to a “Yes/No” question, even if you’ve never used them before.  This was one of the very first spreads I learned and I still use it; it gives you an answer faster than it takes to nuke a burrito.

Ummmm....burritos.

Ummmm….burritos.

First, make sure the deck is thoroughly shuffled.  Your cards take on your energy, so really mix them good.

As you handle the cards, think about your question (remember, this spread is for a “yes/no” issue).  Frame it like, “Will I [fill in the blank]?”  “Is he/she going to call?”  “Is the check in the mail?”  You get the idea.

Once you feel ready, cut the cards with your non-dominant hand (the one you don’t write with, in case you were wondering).  Now put the cards back together and pull three cards, laying them down just as they appear:  in other words,  if its upside down, don’t flip it right side up.

Lay the first one to the left, the next in the middle and the last on the right, like this:

thth-2th-1

Notice which ones are reversed.

Right-side up cards indicate a “Yes” answer.  The card in the center counts twice (don’t ask me why).  Whatever the majority is, that’s your answer.  In this case, we have 3 “yes” and one “no.”  So the answer is “Yes.”

If you have two “yes” and two “no” answers, it means things are still unclear.

You can get more insight into your answer by just gazing at the cards and seeing what jumps out at you:  colors, symbols, numbers.  How do they make you feel?  Let them “talk” to you.  The images on the cards are specifically designed to trigger your intuition.  Relax and just go with it; note down your insights.  You might be surprised at how “right” you are.  But the most important thing is not to stress  — just have fun with this super-fast spread.   Learning the Tarot — even a little bit — doesn’t have to give you a migraine.

Got questions about the cards?  Or maybe want a full-on reading?  Reach out via my website.

How to Do An Instant Tarot Reading

The Tarot has been around for centuries; judging from the amount of info about it, no shocker there.  For that reason, learning this ancient art can be off-putting to the newbie.  So much to take in:  meanings, reversals, context, spreads.  It’s enough to send you running for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a Law and Order: SVU marathon.

I’ve put plenty of time in to the Tarot, and I do believe it’s worth it to learn the traditional meanings of each card.   The study of Tarot packs its own enlightening punch. However,  learning the card meanings is not a rule: there are some  readers who just don’t bother. My friend Sandy never cracked a Tarot book or took a class, but the girl could throw a spread and be dead-on.   What she did was let the cards “talk” to her.  She paid attention to the images and impressions that flowed to her, and put them together in her own way.

My other friend, Janet, says she “falls into” the cards, not worrying so much about “book larnin'” and simply letting them tell their own story.

No matter how well-versed you are in Tarot language, the ability  to let the cards do the talking is what every reader must master.  Many times, I throw the  traditional meaning of a card out the window and just go with what I’m seeing.  And it’s this angle that works just as well for someone just starting out.

Below is a fun exercise that will help you start working with the cards, even if you just picked them up 20 minutes ago.  It does a couple things:  1) helps you get familiar with each card itself while 2) honing your instincts.  So its a two-fer.

Try this exercise every day for a week and see how much more ‘familiar’ your Tarot deck feels at the end of it.  And how much more tuned in you are to your own intuitive style.  Got questions?   Leave them in the Comments.

Led Zeppelin and the Tarot

People who know me will tell you that I luuuuurve Led Zeppelin.  I am convinced that one day, I will somehow, some way, meet and marry Jimmy Page.  But in the meantime, I love how he injects himself into another passion of mine, the Tarot.   Check out this segment from their awesome concert movie, The Song Remains the Same.  Can’t you just smell the reefer???

Anyway, that freaky old dude he’s climbing towards is this guy from the Tarot:

th

Like his namesake, the Hermit has retreated from the world.  He’s climbed waaay up high, away from strip malls, drive-thrus, cable news and American Idol, to spend time with inner thoughts and his higher self.  He’s taking a timeout to take a good look inside.    His number is “9” (I know, Roman numerals are a bitch to read).  “Nine” represents one ending of a cycle, so he’s using that opportunity to assess where he’s been and the best direction to go next.

The Hermit also has a neat perspective from that way-high lookout.  He can look down on the rest of us and see all the ridiculousness we get trapped in.  He is the Google Earth of wisdom.  The light he holds doesn’t just help our hero, Jimmy Page, find him in his climb up that psychedelic mountain– it’s light he’s sharing with the rest of us.

That kind of wisdom requires solitude and the willingness to reflect. Now while I am one of those folks who loves alone time, there are plenty of folks who HATE to be by themselves.  I won’t guess at the myriad reasons for this, but all I can say is that taking some time, undistracted by people or things, is enormously helpful.  There needs to be even a little bit of quiet space in your life for spiritual wisdom to seep in.

A meditation practice is helpful here.  Even five minutes a day gives your brain a chance to throttle down and your soul to speak to you. If meditation isn’t your thing, just reading an inspirational book – like A Course In Miracles, Vitamins for Your Soul, any of those “thought-a-day” volumes — for a few minutes will feed your spirit.

Whenever anyone comes to me for a session after a breakup, they’re frequently flailing in all that “space” they’ve just been given.  It can be a scary place, especially after being so used to having someone there.  I remind them that this downtime can be empowering.  It’s the chance to review the relationship, look at the lessons and grow from them.  That investment of time can pay off in huge ways when the next one comes along.  This applies to any kind of loss; you will be so much richer for that time spent alone, high up on the mountain.

At least, that’s what Jimmy tells me (psst!  Call me!)

A Reading for A Real Housewife

I love the Real Housewives of New Jersey.  It’s like watching 7th grade all over again, only with better clothes, bigger earrings and more cussing. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what they’re all worked up over every week, but I guess that’s the job of reality TV.

It’s Jersey, bitches!

We fans know that this season, Teresa Guidice (“Joo-dice”?  “joo-DEETCH-chay”? She keeps changing the pronunciation – or as she might say, “pronunciamation”) has gone completely off the rails.  The storyline that began with her desire to reconnect with her younger brother and his wife has turned into a pinata of nasty that has spilled all over the viewers: strippers, jealousy, set-ups, lowlife husbands (Juicy Joe — ugh), smartass kids, cookbook insults.  It’s like being at the kids table and watching your drunk uncle try and grope your Mom.

So the reunion show for this past season aired its second part on Sunday (there’s still one more installment.  Sweet Jesus).  The looks on the other castmembers’ faces as Teresa rambled on, indicated that they think she’s about two stops away from CrazyTown.  It’s clear that while she’s enjoying the spotlight, her real, off-camera life is in serious trouble.

Clearly, the meds need to be adjusted.

Out of curiosity, I pulled a few Tarot cards to see what might be coming up for our most deranged Housewife.  The first one was this:

This card means turning your back on your current life and pursuing your heart’s desire.  Now she may talk a good game about how family is tops with her — but considering the bullshit she’s putting them through, it seems that “fame” is really what she wants, at least for now.

The next one up?  This one.

Yeah, it looks pretty nasty.  I call this the “humiliation card” — mainly for the snarky look on the guy’s face.  The others have given up, walked away.  While Mr. Snark thinks he’s won the argument, not so fast –what goes around, comes around.  I think something big is gonna smack Tre in the face.  Hard.  But that smack will provide a much-needed wakeup call.

Finally, this one:

Lovely.  The beginning of new love, rebirth, a refreshed spirit, blessings.  I think Tre will have one of these “come to Jesus” moments that make her see the folly of what she’s been chasing.  Getting to that point may be a little harsh, but sometimes, harsh is necessary.  In the end, she’ll get back to what’s important in her life: her girls, her parents, her cooking.  Somehow, I think Juicy Joe won’t be a part of it — he’s got some seriously negative vibes coming off of him.  I wanted to take a shower after his segment.  And I’d just taken one.

Teresa may have fallen in love with fame, but it cuts both ways:  the spotlight shines a light into the darkest parts of a life, bringing them out of the shadows (where you kinda wish they’d stayed). But perhaps it will be a good thing, forcing her to get really clear about what’s worth having at the end of the day.  The trick is, she has to make the choice to make things better in her life (as do we all).

Despite how flat-out obnoxious and manipulating Teresa has been this season, I’m rooting for this Jersey Girl to get herself together.  Stay tuned to the tabloids to see if I got it right.

Back-To-School….and Fearless

My great-niece, Ella Ruby, starts 2nd grade today.  She is totally chuffed, excited about her new teacher, backpack and classroom.  She doesn’t care that she knows nothing about 2nd grade math– she just plans to tackle it and get as many gold stars as she can grab.

Ah, for the days of spitballs and forgetting your locker combination….

There’s something wonderful about a 7 year old’s complete lack of fear.  For the most part, everything new is an adventure.  Their little egos are practically non-existent, so they don’t even think about how it will look if they fail.  They just want to try the New Thing.

This is where the 8 of Pentacles comes in.  While I don’t play favorites with the Tarot cards, I admit that I love when this one comes up.  The message is an encouraging one — it means that whatever you’re faced with, even if you know zilch about it, you’re gonna totally dominate.  The card is nicknamed “the talent card,” revealing hidden abilities.

Most of the time when it appears in a spread, my client has a hard time believing that they’ll be able to pull off whatever that hidden ability may be (“I don’t know ‘nuthin’ ’bout Excel spreadsheets…”).  I remind them of one of my favorite quotes from Teddy Roosevelt: “When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

Can’t argue with a guy sporting such a fierce ‘stache…

A few months back, I got a call at 4:30 PM inviting me to do some copywriting for a start-up tech firm.  There was a conference call less than an hour later — and in that time, I had to Google the firm, download Skype and learn how to use it, and give myself a crash-course in tweeting. I was able to fake my way through the call, and landed a nice gig.

Second-graders like my niece embrace learning — it’s what they do.  Somewhere after graduating, we grownups decided our days of learning were pretty much over.  New things freak us out, make us feel uncertain.  But taking the challenge posed by the 8 of Pentacles is always a good exercise in reaching a little further towards our full potential.  Whether we succeed or fail at it, we still get a gold star for trying.

Drag Queens and The Devil

I’m obsessed with drag queens.  I love them.  RuPaul’s Drag Race is my not-so-guilty pleasure, and To Wong Foo is one of my favorite movies.

From To Wong Foo: Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo and Patrick Swayze embracing their drag selves — and workin it!

Now what could a middle-aged Methodist from a small town who personally prefers Land’s End over Louboutins find in this world of sequins, wigs and general diva-liciousness?  I think it boils down to the flat-out fearlessness of these guys.

Seriously. How can you NOT love someone this fabulous?

Drag Race has showcased some of the backstories on their contestants. Not only have they each had to deal with the challenges of being a gay man, they add another layer by choosing to dress up as women.  Sadly, that’s alienated some of them from their families, gotten them beaten up and frequently made their daily life less than fun.

But  has it stopped them?  Hellllll-to the-no.  These guys embrace their wildly creative visions and put ’em out there in the world with a hip snap and “How ya like me now?” fierceness.  They are role models for overcoming Fear — or at least, not letting it hold them back from being who they want to be.

And this is where The Devil comes in (and no, not in the fundagelical homophobic sense).  Whenever this card comes up in someone’s reading, I remind them that the scary dude pictured is not actually Satan — it’s what he represents, which is fear.  Take a closer look:

He’s huge and scary.  The people beneath him are wearing chains, attached to heavy stones.  They are too terrified to move and think the stones wouldn’t budge anyway.  But wait– check out those chains again.   They’re loose and could easily be taken off.  It’s just that the folks are too freaked out by the Devil’s “ooga booga” hollering above them that they don’t know it.

To me, those stones represent the things that make us feel “stuck” in a bad place.  It frequently comes up with folks dealing with drug, alcohol, gambling, toxic relationships or other unhealthy things, but it also applies to any issue that makes you feel powerless.  The notion of change can be so overwhelming that it’s easier to stay stuck.  That’s the Devil, in your head,  telling you that you’ll fail, its too risky, you’re not good enough, yadda yadda yadda.

One thing I’ve learned is that the IDEA of your worst fear is actually worse than if it actually happens.  I once worried about losing a particular relationship; the thought of him ending it was too painful to even think about.  But when it happened, I had a revelation — I was still alive, it didn’t destroy me after all.  I was still my same bad-assed self –even with mascara running down my face (which a drag queen would never let happen).

So next time you’re facing That Thing That Always Trips You Up, remember the lesson of the drag queens:  put on your sparkly heels, lift off those tacky chains, tell Mr. Satan to kiss your fabulous ass and start walking towards something better.

Chad Michaels — love!