Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘inspiration

I saw this spread for the Full Moon in Pisces that took place this week at Ethony’s Tumblr blog here. I decided to go ahead and give it a try as part of my learning to read cards. Initially, I was going to do it with my Gilded Tarot deck, but I decided I needed something different. I went in a different direction, and I used my new Halloween Oracle deck, the one created by Stacey DeMarco. I wanted to get more of a fall season vibe. This oracle deck does have a lot less cards than a traditional Tarot deck. The traditional Tarot deck, like the Gilded Tarot I use, has 78 cards. This oracle deck has 36 cards. The reading experience was quite interesting, and in a way I felt the deck had to get to the point. After all, there are less cards to choose from, so being concise was part of the experience.

For the reading, I did my best to use my intuition, and it actually went a lot better than I initially thought it would go. Since this is a new deck to me, and it is an oracle deck, I did feel an initial need to rely on the guidebook. However, as I said, my intuition worked out a lot better than I initially expected. The images certainly helped me reflect on the questions of the reading, and I feel that I got some good insights and advice on things to work on during this season. On a side note, I did read the companion book previously, so down the road I will write a review of the Halloween Oracle over at The Itinerant Librarian and then crosspost it here.

For this post, I will simply share what cards I drew for what question. I am putting the card name, and in parenthesis after the name I am including the keywords the card provides. I am not sharing my reading reflections, as those can stay in my Tarot/oracle journal. Down below I am including photos of how I laid the spread before and after revealing the cards. If you wish to see the cards in more detail, you can click on the card photos.

  1. What energies are coming up from my subconscious?
    • Card: Forgiveness (Reducing burden)
  2. What is in need of healing?
    • Card: Joy (Rejoicing in the present)
  3. What message does my intuition want to deliver?
    • Card: Skull of Darkness (Blind spots)
  4. What am I being asked to dream (sleep on it, meditate, or lucid dream) about?
    • Card: Apple (Risk and reward)
  5. How best can I ride the waves of this emotional full moon?
    • Card: The Veil (The future)


Five card spread in slight circular pattern

This is the spread laid out before I revealed the cards for the reading.









Five card spread, cards turned upside and revealed.

This is the spread, using the Halloween Oracle, now revealed in full.










It feels like I fell off the Earth a bit in doing these as the last month has been a bit chaotic. This week covers the last week of April 2016, and for me I started doing daily draws again after missing a week due to illness. This was also the week I decided to start doing my daily Tarot card draws with a different Tarot deck. These days now I am using Ciro Marchetti’s Gilded Tarot deck. I felt that I needed something more visual to help my intuition along a bit. The Marseilles deck’s unillustrated Minor Arcana just meant that I had to look up the meaning every single time because I got nothing from plain pips. With the Gilded Tarot, the illustrations give me a starting point to jog my memory on what I have learned so far about Tarot cards. Sure, I still have to look things up, but I do so after jotting down my initial impressions, some of which I find are getting closer to traditional meanings. I am learning slowly but surely.

I am also finding the Gilded Tarot to be pleasing visually. I am using the deck that came with the Easy Tarot kit (linked above), and I am reading through Josephine Ellershaw’s book that came with the kit too. The book is OK so far; it has some good advice though she can get a bit too prescriptive at times. I will write a full review of the book and cards when I finish reading the book.

On to the weekly summary. For the week of April 25, 2016, I drew the following cards:

  • Monday, April 25: Knight of Pentacles.
  • Tuesday, April 26: Two of Cups.
  • Wednesday, April 27: The Hermit
  • Thursday, April 28: The Fool.
  • Friday, April 29: Two of Swords.

Monday’s card jumped out as I was shuffling the deck. I’d say it was an enthusiastic way to start using a new deck on a new week. For me, this card of security was a good way to start the week. I also got good news that morning that I was accepted into a teaching institute I had applied to.

Tuesday was the Two of Cups. So far, when I have some meeting, the Two of Cups has appeared indicating some reminder about collaboration with others. I did meet with some campus officials and a scholarship program representative that morning. Despite the presence of certain faculty member who is not exactly easy to get along, the meeting overall was a positive one and reflected the generosity of the cups.

Wednesday I drew The Hermit. The Hermit is a card I identify with personally, and when I start doing spreads,  if I use a significator for myself, it may be a card I would use. I took it this week as encouragement to do some introspection and reflection. Given all the turmoil of previous weeks, the seemed like a good idea.

Thursday I drew The Fool. It did catch my eye that I drew two Major Arcana cards one day after the other. This time I saw the card as a reminder to lighten up a bit, not take things so seriously to have a little faith as things move forward. I got a good feeling from it.

And finally for Friday, I wrapped up the week with the Two of Swords. This is a card of choices and balance. After the recent storms in my life, things are starting to balance out once more. For me, this card was a reminder to be mindful as I make choices moving ahead, but to also be at peace.



Gilded Tarot- Knight of Pentacles

Gilded Tarot- Knight of Pentacles

Gilded Tarot- Two of Cups

Gilded Tarot- Two of Cups

Gilded Tarot- The Hermit

Gilded Tarot- The Hermit

Gilded Tarot- The Fool

Gilded Tarot- The Fool



Gilded Tarot- Two of Swords

Gilded Tarot- Two of Swords


As part of my journey into learning the Tarot that I started this year, I do a daily single card draw on Mondays through Fridays. That is my part of my morning ritual of writing in my journal in the mornings before I get ready for work. I do a little writing, and then I draw the daily card and do a small reading or reflection on it, which I also write down in my personal journal. At the end of the week, or at the start of the following week if time got a bit tight, I go back and look at the previous week and do a small reflection in my personal journal  about the week’s draws, looking for patterns, to see if what I interpreted was close or not, so on. I am going to try to share some of those reflections here, and anyone out there with an interest in Tarot can feel free to comment. Do keep in mind I am still learning the cards, and this is my personal reading for me. Also, as I said, I am looking back in order to reflect. Down the road, I may go from one daily card to a three-card spread, but I am not quite there yet. So bear with me.

This week I am using my Marseilles Tarot deck. On the week of February 29, 2016, I drew the following cards:

  • Monday, February 29: 8 of Wands.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The Popess (a.k.a. The High Priestess in other decks).
  • Wednesday, March 2: 4 of Wands.
  • Thursday, March 3: 6 of Wands.
  • Friday, March 4: 10 of Swords.

It was a week dominated by the fiery wands with three cards in the same suit. Lyle (author of the book I am using, which is the guide that came with the deck I am using. I will provide the citation below) says the following about wands being predominant in a spread:

“When wands predominate in a spread they bring energy, movement, optimism, and creativity” (73).

Overall, it was a fairly optimistic week. On the Monday, the boss and I got together to review the final states of a pilot project the instruction team has been working on. The project went well, and now we move forward to do follow up and reflect on lessons learned.

Drawing the Popess on Tuesday puzzled me a bit, but I realize we are looking here at intuition and strong female energy. It urges paying attention to dreams. Curiously or interestingly enough, I did have a very memorable and vivid dream on Thursday night which I was able to record on my personal journal the next morning. I’ve also learned the Popess tends to appear at times in life when there is an interest in mystical subjects, like Tarot in this case.

The week continued back to wands on Wednesday and Thursday. The number four signals to abundant harvest and rest, the fire of the wands balanced by the earthiness of the number 4. The six of wands continued this theme and the overall positive vibe. On a side note, I am finding interesting the numerology, so this is likely an area I will explore and integrate into my study of the Tarot.

I ended the week with the 10 of Swords, an airy card that stands for consolidation before new things can begin. If there was any bad luck, then things can only get better from here. Given the previous week and this week as it ends, I think I will be OK. Overall, this was a good positive week for me.

Book citation: Jane Lyle, The Illustrated Guide to Tarot. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781607104308.(Amazon record, as WorldCat is just sketchy). You can find my review of the book and deck here.


Marseilles 8 of WandsMarseilles High PriestessMarseilles 4 of WandsMarseilles 6 of WandsMarseilles 10 of Swords





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

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

Here are the links to the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of January 2016. Not as many this month as I was putting together my reading challenges for 2016. Still, I got some good ones in. Feel free to check them out, and as always, comments are welcome.

  • Want to learn more about what makes a big segment of the Republican Party tick? You can read The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. This is a book I do recommend as it is very relevant to the 2016 elections. In fact, this book had so much to learn, that I made a second post with additional reading notes about the book.
  • I started my Tarot journey with a gift I received over the holidays: The Illustrated Guide to Tarot by Jane Lyle. The book is part of a kit that included a deck of Marseilles Tarot cards.  One my personal projects this year is to teach myself how to read the Tarot, mostly for personal meditation and reflection, but perhaps some day, I may read cards for others, at least for friends.
  • I reread Lewis Black’s book, Me of Little Faith. This time, I did it in audiobook format.
  • I got some inspiration on happiness with Happiness A-Z.


The Hermit, from the Marseilles Tarot.

I chose to illustrate this post with The Hermit, which is a card I often identify with.

I received a nice deck of Marseilles Tarot cards as a holiday present from The Better Half. I will start by saying that I do collect card decks, mostly playing cards, and I collect them mainly for the art.  I have playing card decks with themes such as Star Wars, Hot Wheels, a replica deck of those “wanted” poster cards that soldiers got during the Iraq War, and a few others. I also collect other decks; in fact, this Marseilles deck is my second tarot deck. Anyhow, I was drawn a bit more to the world of Tarot after a presentation by a Tarot card reader, Charla, a spiritual advisor, at my local public library. I am intrigued by the possibility of using the cards and maybe learning about their lore as well as learning to read them mostly for my own meditation and reflection.

You can find a review of the book that came with the card deck over on my book blog, The Itinerant Librarian. This post is one of what I hope will be a few down the road where I write a bit about what I learn along the way. I read the book at least once so I could write the review, and I know I will be keeping it handy for consultation as I get to know the cards.

In the book, the author discusses a bit about choosing your deck in order to find one that you can enjoy and relate to. Though the Marseilles deck did not thrill me initially, as I think the art is a bit too basic, it has grown on me. I can see myself now using it on a daily, casual basis. There are other decks I have looked over that draw me in more in terms of their rich imagery. For instance, prior to getting the Marseilles deck as a gift, I had acquired a Luis Royo Dark Fantasy Tarot deck. Royo is one of my favorite fantasy artists, so at the time I acquired the deck as a collector’s item to add to my collection. Now that I am starting to study and learn about Tarot, I may bring the Royo deck into use once I get the hang of the basics with the Marseilles deck. I will likely use the Royo deck for special times. At any rate, the Royo deck is a favorite of mine, which I treasure, and I look forward to trying it out down the road.

A little later, I added a Ciro Marchetti Gilded Tarot deck to my collection. The colorful and rich art on this one definitely drew me in. It is not as dark as the Royo deck; it is a bit more bright in colors, and it has rich imagery. Once I finish studying the book and feel comfortable with the Marseilles deck, I will begin exploring the Gilded Tarot deck. On a side note, Marchetti is also the artist who did the deck I gave The Better Half as a holiday gift, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, which I knew she was very drawn to.  It made me very happy to get it for her. The style is pretty similar to the Gilded deck, but the art and symbols are different.

Going back to my deck, another reason I am sticking with the Marseilles deck is that it was a special gift. Charla said that some folks believe a Tarot deck should be given to you. While I am fine with the idea of buying my own, since it is the way to assure you find a deck you enjoy as the book’s author suggests, the Marseilles came to me with love and affection, so I think it is a great reason to use it as my learning deck and in daily life. Plus I am finding much of the medieval lore and symbols associated with the deck to be quite interesting.

We’ll see where this journey takes me.


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

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

Here is the list of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian during the month of August 2015. Feel free to check the reviews and the books out. I got a pretty good selection for my readers this time. As always, if you read any of the books, feel free to comment and let me know how you liked them or not.

  • Transformers: Drift-Age of Stone.
  • Justice, Inc. If you have enjoyed Michael Uslan’s work in The Shadow comics, you will probably enjoy this crossover series.
  • Plucked: a History of Hair Removal. Yes, there is a book on the history of this topic, and I read it.
  • Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1. From the folks at Cleis Press, a very nice sampling of nonfiction sex writing. As Belle Knox writes in the book’s foreword, “It’s easy to forget that outside of our own, seemingly normal sex lives, the world has thousands of different stories and experiences to share with we may not otherwise have imagined” (ix).
  • Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy. This is a graphic novel adaptation of the classic Heinlein novel.
  • Predator Omnibus, Volume 1. Dark Horse Comics capitalized on the success of the film with this comics series in the 1980s and 1990s. This is the first volume collecting those comics.
  • Arms and the Dudes. Supposedly, there is a movie coming out soon, so read the book before the movie. “Greed was the dark truth at the heart of the arms-dealing world” (200).
  • October Faction, Volume 1.
  • Buttermilk and Bible Burgers. I do a bit of reading about Appalachia.
  • The Radical King. Cornel West edits an anthology of Dr. King’s more radical writings to remind us the man was not just a dreamer. Dr. King had a seriously radical vision for the nation, one that many wish to forget, whitewash, or sanitize.
  • The Incredible Hulk, Volume 1. This time, Bruce Banner finally gets his wish: to be separated and rid of the Hulk.
  • Insylum. A horror novel about two buddies and a horror themed park where the last two to enter always disappear.

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and freedom. The march is very often known for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech that is known now as the “I Have a Dream Speech.” But there were also other things happening and other people involved in the march. Here are then some links that may be of interest:

May 2020


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 464 other followers

%d bloggers like this: