My earliest memory of a psychic reading was in Taiwan with a nun at a monastery that my aunt, who is a nun, resided at. (Do I still refer to her as my aunt if she’s now a nun? I have no idea…) When you’re an Asian kid, grown-ups, especially grown-ups of the holy variety, don’t have names. They only have titles. So in Chinese, since we only spoke to her in Chinese, she was Shi Fu, or Teacher, and in English, privately amongst ourselves, she was The Psychic Nun. The aunt who is a nun is Auntie Nun. Auntie Nun is a little bit psychic while The Psychic Nun was full-on knew-your-past-life and knew-your-future psychic plus could-speak-to-the-dead so also medium. The Psychic Nun is referred to in the past tense because she’s no longer with us. I heard of her passing a few years after my maternal grandmother’s passing. It’s okay. She was like a billion years old already anyway and with all that good karma, is off to somewhere awesome.
Anyway, that introduction was way off-track from the subject matter of this post. This post is about go-to knick knacks in a tarot or divinatory reading space. I’m not asking about what you need to get your read on (because inevitably some holier-than-thou advanced tarot reader master will pipe up and say, “I don’t need anything but the power of my mind… I am not bound to materialism… toot toot“)–right, right, we all know that. But I’m asking what kind of knick knacks do you like in your reading space. I don’t need a pink toothbrush for effective dental hygiene but I like it when my toothbrush is pink, so I have a pink toothbrush. Get it?
What if the story of your life is told through a record of your acts of kindness, your benevolence, compassion, and personal sacrifices?
I’ve created a blank notebook that can help you to tell just that kind of story.
In fact, I’ve created three different versions of the notebook. You can either print out the notebook yourself and set it into a binder or you can have it print and bound by a third party publisher.
Keep scrolling down for the free downloads and printing instructions.
The above video explains the premise for this notebook and the #1111acts. For those who have a copy of my book, The Tao of Craft, check out page 152, in the chapter “The Tools of Craft,” section titled, “Accumulating Good Deeds.” I’ve even pulled that section out as an excerpt, so if you don’t have the book, just check out the PDF below.
Unlike most tags, this one is something you’ll work through for life. The idea is to log 1,111 acts within your lifetime.
Why the hashtag #1111acts? It’s my little effort to help transform the tone of discourse we see online these days. You’ll take part, too, won’t you? Any time you undertake neutralizing a negative energy in this world, even in the world of social media, especially in the world of social media, by contributing a positive energy, include the hashtag #1111acts.
Accessing Five Reservoirs of Personal Power Within
Originally offered at the Tarot Readers Academy in 2017 for the Tarot Summer School
To strengthen your personal vitality and the reservoir of metaphysical powers you can command or control, through attunement to those inner and outer alchemical forces embedded into the archetypal tarot architecture.
We often hear about using tarot for shadow work. This course takes that concept a step further to address how tarot and shadow work can be utilized to cultivate dynamic personal power. The more personal power you wield, the greater likelihood of success you’ll enjoy in achieving your goals.
To break vicious cycles that hold you down and to overcome that which haunts you, you need force. You can summon that force from within you and to navigate that inner landscape of yours in search of your powers, we use the tarot. The course addresses how to source power from five specific inner reservoirs, corresponding with the architecture of tarot, which are as follows:
Expert or authoritative power, which we harness through the Fire elements in tarot;
The power of charisma, or appeal, harnessed through the Water elements;
The power of punishment to reinforce your personal sovereignty, harnessed through Air;
The power of reward, or building relations, harnessed through Earth; and
The power of change, or the power of esoteric knowledge, harnessed by attuning to Spirit and how Spirit presents itself in the tarot deck.
The tarot will be used as an anchoring and centering tool for navigating the inner landscape in search of those five reservoirs of power. We can also better understand these five powers of social psychology through the Major Arcana and the four suits of the Minor Arcana.
We will cover both the psychological and the metaphysical facets of these powers and how you can activate them by navigating your shadow landscape with the tarot. Overcome lack mentality, the pain of failure, recurring underachievement, fear, inertia, and insecurity by activating these five powers that are just beyond the nether regions of your own mind and will.
Tarot, social psychology, chakra strengthening, self-reflection, personal ritual, spell-crafting, and basic East Asian Qi energy work will be covered. The course content delves unabashedly into faith-based material.
Rudimentary, beginner-level knowledge of tarot
An open mind
Commitment to at least 60 seconds of energy cultivation exercises daily and monthly “check-ins” with yourself via ritualized work for about one calendar year
Watch the first two video installments and sample the course content!
Video #1: Course Introduction
Video #2: The Theoretics of Shadow Work
How To Order
I’m going to give step by step instructions on how to order the course and get access to download all the materials for yourself.
Send the tuition cost noted above via PayPal to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, it’s going to say “James Zhang from Castro Valley.” That’s the Hubby. Also, this is the preferred method of payment. (~or~)
Only if (1) and (2) are impracticable for you, pay by ordering me an Amazon Gift Card, sent to email@example.com. Direct link to Amazon gift card orders here.
When you send payment, please include:
Your name or a name identifier for me to reference you by,
Name of the course you’re ordering, (~and~)
Your e-mail address, so I know where to send your ordered course materials to.
But if any of that sounds confusing or you just don’t know, no worries. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know you want to place an order. We’ll take it from there together.
Once I receive your payment as the purchase order, your course materials will be delivered to the e-mail address you specified within 2 business days.
If you don’t receive the course materials in the e-mail inbox specified within the two business days, then something went wrong. Doh! Please email me at the below address asap.
DELIVERY NOTE: So far I’ve been good about getting the course materials to you in less than 48 hours from when I receive the PayPal payment, so if that time has gone by and you haven’t received anything from me, first check your Spam folder. Second, check to see the e-mail address associated with your PayPal account. I may have sent it to that account if no e-mail was provided in the notes section of the transfer. If still nothing, then something went wrong somewhere, so contact me at the above e-mail addy ASAP so we can get things squared away.
Animal bones have enthralled me since an early age. So I am excited about reviewing Lupa Greenwolf’s The Tarot of Bones and the deck’s companion book.
The Tarot of Bones is a photographic portfolio of assemblage art pieces by Lupa, herself a hide and bone pagan artist. The images of a tarot deck tell stories, and through those stories, our own life story is divined. Likewise, bones tell stories, and oracle bone divination is as old as humankind. From that premise comes The Tarot of Bones.
We begin with The Fool, Key 0, depicted by a coyote skull atop a field of flowers. The Magician is a corn snake skeleton formed into an ourosboros. The High Priestess is the skull of a wolf over a crescent moon formed from a mirror. On either side, an assemblage of trees. The Empress is a whitetail doe while the Emperor is the skull of a goat.
I love the stories that Lupa provides in the companion guidebook. For instance, she reveals that Key V: The Hierophant was the first card in the tarot deck she started designing, but it was also the last card to be completed. Here, by the way, we see a javelina skull amid religious texts. The Lovers is a pair of albatross skulls positioned in an assemblage to represent a mating ritual.
Gwendolyn Womack’s The Fortune Teller, which was released earlier last week (June, 2017), is one of my favorite novels to make reference to tarot. It is the story of a woman who unlocks her heritage as a seer, tracing her roots back to ancient Alexandria, and in doing so, reveals the origins of the tarot.
We follow the characters across many continents, countries, time periods, and delightfully, historic figures and fictional interact. Tarot enthusiasts of all stripes will enjoy this novel and I highly recommend that you add it to your summer reading list.
Spoiler Alert: In this review I’ll highlight the key features of the novel and what I loved about it, though in doing so, may give away a couple of spoilers. I promise it won’t take away from the ending or the enjoyment of reading this book for yourself.
There is a tarot deck that has become a prop in my front sitting room. I leave it out on an end table and most of the time, a guest will reach for it and flip through the cards. I always know when that has happened, even if I am in a different room, because immediately thereafter I hear the squeal. “Oh my god! What is this deck? It’s gorgeous!” Then there’s a range of follow-up commentary, from those recognizing the art of Sandro Botticelli, to those who are either “Now this is the most fascinating deck of playing cards I’ve ever seen” to “So is this like a tarot deck, like the psychic fortune-telling cards you use?”
That deck is the Golden Botticelli Tarot designed by A. A. Atanassov and published by Lo Scarabeo. I love the reversible card backs and the ornate design that, to me, captures the Florentine Renaissance.
The cards are a mosaic of imagery from Botticelli paintings piecemealed together digitally. And it’s done with such seamless mastery that you almost can’t tell.