Tarot Jam: Get to Know Me as a Tarot Blogger [Blog Hop!]

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Welcome to the Tarot Jam blog hop!

You probably got here from Nicole’s post. The master list is here, to see a roster of all participants. When you’re ready to move on, you can hop over to Nissa’s post.

This is the first tarot blog hop I’ve ever participated in and now come to think of it, maybe the first blog hop, just ever, that I’ve been a part of. So yay to that. Let’s hope I do this right.

The topic at hand is, well, oh hey–me. Get to know me as a tarot blogger. Here we go.

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My Tarot Story

I don’t have an interesting tarot story. I was into cartomancy as a kid, borrowing books on the subject from the public library and then tinkering with it at home, with a deck of playing cards. I got my first tarot deck in junior high and given (1) my previous play with cartomancy, (2) my love for pretty pictures, and (3) a predisposed interest for the esoteric, it was a no-brainer I’d be into tarot. In my college years I became more serious about my study of it. Then several years ago I thought it would be fun to go through the certification process through the Tarot Certification Board of America and then I thought it would be fun to write a book about it (*cough shameless self promotion cough* Holistic Tarot, North Atlantic Books *cough*) and so here we are now.

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HT - Books 2

How Tarot Works: My Version

We are all connected to a unified, collective source energy, which includes and yet transcends space-time. Through religion, we often anthropomorphize it into a monotheistic god principle. Unexplainable phenomena related to one particular aspect of life are attributed to that same source energy, though some anthropomorphize that into the polytheistic god principle. Basically, there’s something bigger than all of us, that includes all of us, out there. And we are connected to that bigger, collective thing through a part of our unconscious mind. Tarot happens to be archetypal imagery that speak the language to help us bridge that unconscious part of our mind with our conscious, allowing information to cross over to us that we might not otherwise be able to retrieve through rational or emotional intellect. Thus, tarot works because we possess (and learn how to apply) intuitive intellect.

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Efflorescent Tarot 1 Deck Pile

Let’s Tarot

Part of this jam is to give a fun little spread for you to try or a question to ask your cards. So let’s tarot!

I’ll be sharing what I’ve been doing with my cards lately.

I begin by opening myself up to be receptive and as I shuffle the cards, ask: “Tell me what I need to focus on.” Then I pull a card.

The suit of the card will tell me what area of my life needs my main attention right now and the number tells me where I am in terms of my progress.

Efflorescent Tarot 2 Card 1

To illustrate the exercise, I’ll do a reading for myself. The card I pulled was Key 3, The Empress. Here I’m using the Efflorescent Tarot by the super talented artist Katie Rose Pipkin.

Let’s assume for a minute that, since you’re reading my blog, that you’re interested in my correspondences. Maybe you’re totally not, but I’ll run with that assumption anyway. Here’s what I’d observe in terms of the suits (and elemental attributions for the Majors):

Tarot Elemental Correspondences

FIRE WATER AIR EARTH
Majors:

The Emperor

Strength

Wheel of Fortune

Temperance

The Tower

The Sun

Majors:

The High Priestess

The Chariot

The Hanged Man

Death

The Moon

Judgement**

Majors:

The Fool

The Lovers

Justice

The Star

 

Majors:

The Magician*

The Empress

The Hierophant

The Hermit

The Devil

The World

Minors:

Wands

Minors:

Cups

Minors:

Swords

Minors:

Pentacles

* For me, The Magician is Earth, but the majority view for The Magician’s elemental correspondence is Air.

** There is a split in views on whether Judgement corresponds with Fire or Water. I personally attribute Judgement with Water.

FIRE

Physical Plane

Career, professional goals and your professional aspirations; creative projects; ambitions; life path development; health and wellness (personal vitality and general holistic care, cf. “physical body” correspondence in Earth).
WATER

Emotional Plane

Love, relationships, home, family issue; matters relating to loved ones; matter relating to personal emotions; spiritual growth or intuitive development; matters relating to empathy and compassion.
AIR

Mental Plane

Using the rational side of your mind; analyzing a situation with logic and objective critique; situations involving combat or pertaining to social conflicts; communications with others; public relations or how you relate to your external sphere of influence.
EARTH

Material Plane

Assets, investments, real property, finances; stability and security; the physical body (physical condition with the body, medical issue, fertility, medical ailment, cf. “health and wellness” correspondence in Fire).

Thus, for my own reading, I’d look at EARTH, the Material Plane, because my correspondence for The Empress is Earth.

I think I know exactly why The Empress card and Earth energy came up. It does relate to physical conditions with my body and just generally being more mindful of “reality” and the “real world” rather than having my head up in cerebral-philosophical space all the time.

I will also want to consider the numerological relevance of Key 3.

Numerological Correspondences

1 Beginnings; new start; new venture; focus on only one aspect or a single issue and from there you can develop your plan or concept, but start small; every journey begins with a single step. You’re about to take that first step. The number one is all about willpower and preparing your mental faculties to exercise or manifest that willpower. This is the number of unbound potential.
2 Balance; cooperation; needing to be part of a team and not just fly solo. The number two in tarot also corresponds with the need to make decisions, to act decisively. Two is the number of choice. In determining how you will choose, think about your personal relationships and your spheres of social influence. Think about who you love and what that person might have to do with the matter at hand. Think about love or relationship building. Think about your connections with others and how those connections can help you in your endeavors.
3 Fruition; developmental phase. You’ve got the concept, but now it’s time to implement and execute. Enough thinking, more doing. This is the next step after conception. You are in the gestation phase. Time to use your assets and resources to bring your concept or goal to fruition. The number three pushes you toward manifestation.
4 Reign and rule. In modern terminology, that’s planning. How will you be ruling over your own dominion? You thought you had all the details of your plan worked out, and so you moved forward, but now you realize a couple of issues are still unresolved. Take a breather and do a little bit more planning. Work out the kinks and then continue. Don’t be deterred, though! You’re fine. It’s just about a little bit more work on the foundation before you go forward. The number four compels you to think about the way you reign over your personal domain.
5 Some uncertainty going on. Hanging in the balance and it’s not clear which way you’re going to swing. This is also the number of adventure. It’s about taking risks because that’s how you expand your personal horizon. There is a pioneering or entrepreneurial spirit within you and it’s time to let that spirit out into the open. You are at the half-way mark. Think about the checks and balances in your life and how that factors into your decision-making. That is how you advance past the uncertainty.
6 A need to return to the god principle. Harmony of body, mind, and spirit. This is the number of harmony with the trinity. Success is not just material gain and social accomplishment. To be truly successful, you must be attuned to your own spirituality and your own spirit. Six is also the number of connection with the Divine and with the spirit world around you. Think about that spiritual plane and what messages you need to receive from “the beyond.” This is the number of psychic ability and intuition.
7 Knowledge and wisdom. This is the number of the philosopher-sage. Think about what you know. (Also think about what you don’t know, and let your own humility guide you toward finding the answer.) Think about how to implement what you know to help you get ahead. You know more than you consciously realize and right now, it’s about mining your own Self for that information. This is also a reminder to exercise wisdom in your endeavor. Be wise. Be world-weary. Also, access your intellect. The solution to the problem is in your mind. The resolution will relate to intellectualism, knowledge, scholarship, and of course, wisdom.
8 You are so close to achieving your goal! This is the construction phase, when you are near completion but still need more material support. Think about how best to use the resources you have as investments to gain more. Pay attention to your own assets and financial security. How do you use what you have but also save enough for the future going forward? How do you maintain the balance between risk and loss? The resolution is in how you manage and how you use what you have, and I’m talking about the material, not mental.
9 Spiritual ascension. You’re in a pretty good place in your life right now; I hope you realize that. If you want more, then you must give more. Think about how you can give back to the world at large. Think about humanitarian endeavors. Think about your karma and how to improve karmic merits to ensure spiritual ascension. This is the number of inner cultivation.
10 It’s time for a transformation. It’s time to move on to a new phase of your life. You’ve done all that you can do in this current stage you’re in and now you’ve got to return to the planning stage to figure out your next goal, your next endeavor, or consider what other aspirations you have that you ought to pursue. There is going to be the need to detach from some things that you feel emotionally attached to. This is about moving on and looking forward to the light at the other end of the tunnel. This is not cessation; this is a new beginning. That light portends a new adventure in your life, one that promises much greater prospects than what you have now!

I super totally get why “3” came up here. *chuckles softly to myself*

What number came up for you and do my attributions above resonate with you?

FYI, here are my numerological correspondences for the cards:

1 2 3 4 5
The Fool

The Magician

Aces

High Priestess

Judgement

Justice

Twos

The Empress

Hanged Man

The World

Threes

The Emperor

Death

Fours

Knights

Queens

Kings

The Hierophant

Temperance

Fives

6 7 8 9 10
The Lovers

The Devil

Sixes

The Chariot

The Tower

Sevens

Pages

Strength

The Star

Eights

The Hermit

The Moon

Nines

Wheel of Fortune

The Sun

Tens

In tarot, at least for me, Pages are 7 and all other court cards (Knight, Queen, and King) are 4. These numerological attributions are from the works of Papus, Waite, and Paul Foster Case. Then for the Majors, I follow the card number, and over 10 (i.e., Keys 11-21), I add the digits and reduce through sums to a number 1-10. For me, if I get Key 0, The Fool, I associate it numerologically with 1 for the purposes of this specific exercise.

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DOWNLOAD THIS QUICK STUDY GUIDE:

ELEMENTAL AND NUMEROLOGICAL CORRESPONDENCES IN TAROT

DOCX || PDF

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If the correspondences you observe are totally different from what I’ve provided, then discard the above and go with your own correspondences. Social and cultural influences are so critical to how our subconscious develops, and how our subconscious develops is how we relate to certain symbolism. A snake to one social group can indicate evil and treachery; the snake to another indicates high intellect, psychic abilities, and charm. One isn’t right and one isn’t wrong. But in terms of how the universe works for us, the snake appearing as an omen to the first group is going to mean an entirely different thing to a snake appearing as an omen for the second group.

So. You need to go with what you’ve become socially and culturally familiar with. Anyway, back to the exercise. Of course, you’ll also want to consider the general card meaning for the first card you pulled and how that applies to the prevailing themes that are coming out at you via the elemental and numerological significance of your card.

Efflorescent Tarot 3 Begin Shuffle

Next, place your first card turned facing up into the rest of the deck, which is facing down. Shuffle the deck as you normally would, but with the first card you pulled facing up. As you shuffle, ask: “What sign should I look out for?” Ask for the omen you most need to see right now.

Efflorescent Tarot 3 Shuffle With

Find your first card (which will be facing up, so it’s easy to pick out) and note where it is in the pile. Doh– how weird is that– I swear I didn’t orchestrate anything here– Key 3, The Empress is the third card in the pile.

Efflorescent Tarot 4 Next 2 Cards

Note the card immediately preceding your first card (for me, it’s The Empress, and the card preceding it is–doh– another 3, the Three of Wands) and the card immediately following (for me, it’s the Page of Cups reversed).

Efflorescent Tarot 5 Three Wands

Now I gaze at the images. I start with the preceding card, which for me is the Three of Wands.

Don’t think about what you think the card means. You need to set aside your conscious knowledge, your analysis, and all that you’ve “memorized” about the card.

Instead, focus on the card imagery, the pictures, yes, the pictures, and then, in a meditative state, let your physical vision go out of focus as your mind’s eye opens. Imagine a point between your two eyes light up and one eye there, through your mind, gazing at the card that was drawn. Envision that card with your physical vision out of focus, blurred, and your internal vision seeing, ever more clearly, imagining the card in that space where your third eye is.

Looking at the card through your mind’s eye, through your imagination, the card inscribed in your mind while your physical vision of it is blurred, identify one symbol that is most prominent in this envisioning. Call out that symbol aloud. For me, it is that gloved right hand in the Efflorescent Three of Wands. It’s yellow. It grasps onto the center wand.

Now write, in a stream of consciousness, what comes to mind when you think of that symbol. What does that omen mean to you? Write in a fluid, unfiltered style.

jour

The above is a snapshot of my current divination journal, where I jot down notes for all my personal readings and divinatory results. I sketched out the symbol that was most prominent for me from my card and started writing in a messy, stream-of-consciousness kind of way all that came to my mind when I thought about that symbol. Do the same for your card. Don’t cheat! Don’t look anything up! Push yourself to use the intuitive knowledge you already possess within you. Push yourself to go with your own hunches, to trust what you have to say about the symbol, and not what someone else says, or what the majority cultural opinion might be.

This card preceding the initial card you drew, in particular the symbol, the omen you’ve picked out, tells you what you have, your gains to date, and the most significant resource you have for advancing forward. It’s the energy to harness. It’s the key to your success. After the stream-of-consciousness write-up, you can think more analytically about what the card meanings to you. Here, I’d think about my acquired knowledge and experience for the Three of Wands.

Now, move on to that second card, the one following your initial card. For me, that card was the Page of Cups, reversed. I’ll keep a mental note on the reversal, but I will turn it right side up for the purposes of this exercise so I can have a clearer look at the images.

Efflorescent Tarot 6 Page Cups

Same as before, let your physical vision go out of focus and as it blurs, your inner “third sight” comes into focus, and you begin to see the card imagery in your mind’s eye rather than through your actual eyes. In your mind’s eye, what symbol is most prominent? Like the preceding card, focus on that symbol and what it means to you while writing in a stream-of-consciousness style.

What you jot down does not need to make sense. As proof, look at my journal notes that I’m sharing. What you write in association with your symbol or omen doesn’t need to be intelligent or even intelligible. Just get it all out. Don’t hold back. Don’t do that filter thing we all do, that “oh, no, it doesn’t mean that…” no. Suddenly a chalice means pancakes for breakfast tomorrow? Yeah, sure. Just run with it. Write it down.

Once it’s all out, you can bring your conscious, analytical mind back. Think about the second card’s meaning alongside the one symbol you pulled out and analyze it comparatively with the preceding card’s meaning and preceding card’s symbol. Review what you wrote in your stream of consciousness.

notes-bothpages

This second card is portending where it is you are headed in this particular area of your life. This card tells you what’s next. Like it? Then keep going, full acceleration ahead. Don’t like it? Time to reassess the present variables in your life and what needs to be adjusted so your future can be adjusted.

Here, with my Page of Cups reversal, I read it as a mutable future (duh, all future is mutable, but what I mean is there is still a great deal of uncertainty due to a great deal of non-action on my part to date). It’s also an indication of timing, that fruition is going to take longer than I anticipate, so I need to be patient, be more zen. For me, it also indicates that the Page of Cups energy here is weakened, that it’s there, but not potent. That’s why the energy is mutable. However, I won’t delve too much into detail as to how I’ve interpreted my own reading.

If you’re a professional reader, consider this exercise for your quick reading sessions or adapt some of the points here to your own personalized method. If you’re a tarot enthusiast, try it out on yourself and log the results in your tarot journal. In the days to come, see how often that same symbolism or imagery shows up in your everyday life. You might be surprised.

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Now go and enjoy your hop! I’ll be hopping about, too, so see you in the comments section of everyone else’s posts! ;-D

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33 thoughts on “Tarot Jam: Get to Know Me as a Tarot Blogger [Blog Hop!]

  1. Wonderful post! There’s so much to sink your teeth into here. I love that you included the charts for each key, not just the one you pulled, so we can all play along. Fun!

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  2. I love your little journal, it’s such a lovely idea. I wonder how you store all these resulting little filled books you must have. Do you have some sort of filing system? I bet you do! 🙂

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        1. Hey Carla!
          I most definitely refer back to old journal entries! That was the primary way I learned tarot interpretation. Books can only take you so far. The rest really is up to you and your own training of your intuitive mind. I find that the divination journal becomes like a lab notebook. I write down what I think the cards mean and then post-event, refer back to the reading. Usually, I’ll see just how accurate the cards were, but I missed key points. By way of example, the Strength card comes up in the future position but next to The Tower. I think I read that one way, and then post-fact, I realize the cards were telling me about Leo– August– the Tower event went down in August. Things like that, for me, can only be learned when I review my own divination journal. I plan on writing a blog post about this at some point. ;-D

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  3. Detailed and super informative as always! Thanks for this post and really interesting exercise. I tried it out and could feel my third-eye chakra literally pulsating. 🙂 I really enjoyed this approach! Lots of journaling, drawing and taping higher self messaging.

    And how much do I love your Sun Card journal?! Where did you get it?? xo

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    1. So glad! The Sun Card journal (and it’s a real wood cover!) was a gift, so I’m not sure where it was from. 😦 I’m so big on journaling I almost make it a requirement! 🙂

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  4. Ooooh, there’s so much juicy stuff here. I really like your thoughts on how tarot “works.” It’s totally in line with what I believe, but you explained it more clearly! And that journal… ❤ ❤ Thanks for sharing all this good info, Benebell. (PS: every time I look at my copy of Holistic Tarot, I am wowed that ONE PERSON wrote that entire thing. You are a super human.)

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  5. OMG benebell, I started reading your post and saw that deck and then got sucked into Etsy for a couple of hours! That DECK! AMAZING! Had to have it NOW!

    So back to your post, hahaha! You are so lovely and generous with your posts and this is no exception! Thank you for all the correspondences and for that really great reading procedure! I love it! That reading method, and acquiring that deck, is the takeaway for me!

    By the way, I’ve seen a couple of your journal pages before, and they’re pretty incredible… I’ve come to the conclusion that after you finish the current book that you’re working on, you should create a tarot deck! Your artwork – I know, I know, you would never call it that – is beautiful in my opinion! I’m sure I’m not the only one! Let the images come out of your third eye. Lol, but really, no joke. I think you should do it!

    Anywhoo, thanks for a wonderful post for this lovely blog hop! It was very inspirational!

    Truly, Christina

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    1. The Efflorescent Tarot is beautiful. I love it! Definitely get it!

      Thank you so much! Yes, I definitely don’t consider myself an artist. I am just a doodler. I’ve always doodled along the margins of my math and science notebooks growing up. 🙂

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    1. Oh, no, no! Just looking at the way you’ve set up your space (i.e., YouTube videos, what can I say, I’m a stalker) I know you’re super creative, talented, and have a gift for aesthetics and design! I bet your journal efforts are beautiful, colorful, full of energy, and balanced!

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  6. This blog along with every other one you have posted is incredible. I so appreciate all your documents you so generously share with us. This post is awesome and so helpful. Thank you. I saw that you are speaking at the NW Tarot Symposium, I can’t wait to see you in person and take a class from you. Thanks again for your amazing work.

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  7. You are SO generous with your knowledge, Benebell! I came across your blog earlier this year and just can’t get enough. This spread is definitely going into my toolbox. Thank you 🙂

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    1. After writing this, I looked at the little widget on your blog and realize I never “followed” it… Look at me, using my browser bookmarks like it’s the year 2000 or something!

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