Alchemical Thoughts

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Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

These are the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for March 2020. I also reviewed one Tarot deck last month:

And here is my roundup of films and media I watched during March 2020.

Doing this as my exercise/ritual for Spring equinox 2020. The spread goes from left to right, three cards. I am using the Vivid Journey Tarot deck by Jessica Alaire, published by Llewellyn. Spread was done over at (apparently the blog is no longer active there at last check).

Spring Garden Spread for Spring Equinox_032220 small

Spring Garden Tarot Spread. Read cards from left to right. Using the Vivid Journey Tarot deck.

Prompts and reading:

Pull the Weeds. What needs to be removed from your life to make way for new growth?

Seven of Swords (Minor Arcana. Suit of Swords). Dishonesty. Treachery. Deceit. Be as honest as possible with yourself and others. In these times of isolation (this reading was done during the 2020 coronavirus situation), remove those negative influences from your life. Stay away from those who are deceitful, selfish, and thieving. This is a good time to weed out and cut them out of your life. You keep working to maintain your integrity. Weed out those without integrity. Weed that out so honesty, truth, and trust can grow.

Plant the Seeds. What do you need to bring into your life?

Four of Pentacles (Minor Arcana. Suit of Pentacles). Self care and time for yourself. This does not mean getting stingy. It does mean saving some coin for yourself as well as saving some resources such as your time and effort. You cannot be there for others if you do not care for yourself. Bring time and intention to keep something for yourself, to care for yourself, do a little something for yourself. Again, self care. Another keyword here would be economize.

Prune the Leaves. How can you nurture and grow your seeds strong and healthy moving forward?

Three of Pentacles (Minor Arcana. Suit of Pentacles). With careful work and diligence. Do planning to maintain your intentions. Seek out advice as needed but also surround yourself with folks who understand and are supportive. You weeded out bad influences. Seek out good influences. Treat your self care like any other project for it is as important.

Doing this deck interview for practice as well as to show a bit how the deck works. You can find my review of this deck over at The Itinerant Librarian (link to the review). Using the same common spread I have been using so far. Top card is the initial spread position, then follow the other cards in a clockwise motion.

Deck Interview Spread Revealed Santa Muerte Tarot_031519 small

Deck Interview Spread for Santa Muerte Tarot done by me. Top position is first position, then read the spread clockwise.

A side note: As I was shuffling the deck to do the spread, Justice- XI card jumped out. At

Justice- XI Santa Muerte Tarot_20171113 small

Justice-XI card from the Santa Muerte Tarot. This card could not wait and jumped out as I was shuffling the deck in preparation to do and read the interview spread. Over time this has become one of my favorite depictions of the Justice card.

the time I was doing this, the concept and idea of Justice has been on my mind for a few days. I’ve even found myself doing light research on Themis, the ancient goddess of justice and order. The card jumped out right away. Perhaps this is also why the deck is so appealing to me. Santa Muerte, Death, is truly impartial; she will come for all; she does not discriminate. In a world filled with corruption, cheating, lack of fairness, Santa Muerte and Justice are constant. It may take time, but they will arrive. I’ve been feeling a longing for balance, fairness, and well, justice. I am not fearful; in fact, I find the Justice-XI (or VIII if you use a Marseilles style deck) very comforting, as if telling me it will work out in the end, you just keep to your good and honest path. I am reminded also of a Bible verse of all things that often guides me as an educator and librarian: “But they that are learned shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that instruct many to justice, as stars for all eternity” (Daniel 12:3, Douay-Rheims Bible).

Let’s get on with the spread.

Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

The Star- XVII (Major Arcana). Start on a positive, hopeful sign. This is a deck to give hope and comfort, something to look up to. When you feel down, this is a deck to rediscover inspiration and hope. This is an “aim high” deck. This depiction of The Star is very watery, so a deck that is good for emotional matters, reminder to go with the flow, find your beacon, and follow it.

What are your strengths as a deck?

Page of Swords (Minor Arcana- Suit of Swords). This deck will give you the news, whether good or bad. It will encourage you to try new things as you search for truth and knowledge. This is also a deck that encourages study and reflection, while keeping a sense of wonder. Put in the time, work, and reflection, and you’ll learn and gain knowledge and insight. A good deck to carefully evaluate things.

What are your limits as a deck?

The World -XXI (Major Arcana). I found this interesting. Limit may be in “big picture” issues or aspects. If you are looking for a deck to reinforce broad dreams and big schemes, which may or not be good or half baked, this deck is not it. The World often indicates endings; this is not a deck of endings. This is not a “go wild” deck. Still, the Advice of the Dead for this card is reassuring: “Do not give up and do not be afraid. The road you have taken is the right one and whatever difficulty you find will be brief and you will achieve the results you desire” (23).

What are you here to teach me?

Five of Swords (Minor Arcana- Suit of Swords). Truth, whether it hurts or not. You cannot escape truth no matter how you try to run away from it or evade it. Also to remind you at times if being right is worth alienating others. Deck can remind you there are times you will need to confront. In confronting, you might not be able to avoid, but a different angle may help you get through obstacles.

How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

Ten of Cups (Minor Arcana- Suit of Cups). Go with the flow and keep the faith. Keep an open mind and be ready for transformations. Also with practice. Set your intention to learn, trust and develop your intuition, and get to practicing. Again, go with the flow, follow your vision and bliss.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

The Moon- XVII (Major Arcana). Right away I get intuition. Working with this deck, I can better develop my intuition. Also ability to look deep within to see truth, to see what may lie under the surface or hidden. Things may not be as they seem, but this deck can help lift the veil, point out where the illusions may be, and even what those illusions are. Look within, see your true self.


On an additional notes, I drew Three Major Arcana cards, which indicates power of this deck and working with it. Also the first and last cards in the spread were Major Arcana and in sequence. It gave this spread when reading it a sense of closing the circle. This spread reflects the strong connection I am getting with this deck, depth comes to mind. A deck that will tell it like it is but also allow me to study, reflect, learn, and in the end, find bliss and good.


I did this spread a bit after I wrote the review for the Witches Tarot (link to my review). It is the same spread I used when I did the deck interview for the Gilded Tarot deck (link to that deck interview). I will probably keep using this spread, which is fairly common, until I find a different one to try out.

For the layout, the top card is number one, and then the order goes clockwise.

Deck Interview Witches Tarot cards revealed_031219 small

Deck interview spread revealed. Top card is position one, then follow spread clockwise.

Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

Ten of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). Good deck for questions dealing in relationships, family, emotional issues. A positive deck. One good for positive uplifting messages. A deck you can use with friends and family. Also easy going deck good for my learning. A quote from the deck’s companion book: “Naturally, work and care are required to maintain these good relationships, but a positive and happy outcome will be achieved” (111). This tells me this is a good deck to exercise imagination and intuition, but you do have to put in work and practice. If you do, it will pay off well.

What are your strengths as a deck?

Knight of Wands (Suit of Wands- Minor Arcana). This is a deck of action. A deck of good positive energy. It can encourage you to follow your passions, set your intentions, and act. If you are hesitating, this deck tells you to go for it. Encouragement. However, be cautious, do not be overly impulsive. It will encourage you to move, accept changes that may come. Not a deck for staying still or passive.

What are your limits as a deck?

Queen of Pentacles (Suit of Pentacles- Minor Arcana). Some limitations regarding material things and issues. Possibly not as good for ground, in part due to the fiery Knight of Wands encouraging movement. Yet the deck can still be reliable and dependable. Still, this deck may nurture a bit, but it is not going to mother you.

What are you here to teach me?

Two of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). A second card from the suit of cups. The lesson is to learn to rely more on intuition and imagination. This card tells you that you can have a good, positive relationship with the deck, Tarot, and cartomancy, but you do have to commit to help make it happen. It can also teach you how to bond with the deck so you are comfortable and confident in readings for yourself and others.

How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

King of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). Third card from the suit of cups. Message of emotions and intuition coming forth pretty clear. Learn by keeping emotions in control. Sure, express emotion but do not overdo it. Rely more on intuition, letting the deck guide you as you learn more. Good discipline will pay off. Do not be afraid of that intuition and imagination. Keep an open mind and take charge. Commit, and you’ll get good solid advice. Quote from the companion book: “The lesson from the King of Cups is that wisdom comes from looking within. Temper your counsel of others with compassion and affection” (124). Be willing and ready to look within, to reflect. And do not be too hard on yourself.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

Ace of Cups (Suit of Cups- Minor Arcana). Four cards total out of six from the suit of cups in this spread. A lot of water, which can indicate cleansing and fluidity. With this card, a lot of potential and opportunity. As noted previously, keep an open mind. Working with this deck means opportunity to reflect, to look within to find lessons to improve. Study with this deck can be a purifying element, one to bring calm and self reflection, and opportunities to help others find their own truths as well.




Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

January is almost over, and I almost missed doing this. Here are the books I reviewed during December 2019 over at The Itinerant Librarian. Feel free to link and check them out. I am also including below the link for the media I watched and commented on.


And here is the media in the December 2019 Roundup.


April 2020


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