The Mother Wound Tarot Reading

In feminist circles, the mother wound is oft talked about. The mother wound is the relationship tension often inherent between a mother and a daughter. It’s a daughter:

  • feeling like the mother is fundamentally disappointed in how the daughter has come out, that the daughter hasn’t met the mother’s expectations;
  • feeling dysfunctional because the mother has explicitly or implicitly conveyed to the daughter that there is something fundamentally wrong with the daughter;
  • feeling like you can never repay the enormous sacrifices the mother has made for the daughter; or…
  • feeling afraid that she might outshine the mother and therefore hurt the mother’s feelings somehow, so plays down her attributes intentionally, tries to be smaller and more helpless than she actually is.

For me, when ill-dignified maternal cards are consistently showing up in synchronistic patterns throughout a tarot reading for a querent who is biologically female, who identifies by gender as female, or has transitioned, I’ll explore the mother wound. The mother wound can be such a pervasive root cause of the internal conflicts in our lives.

If you intuit that you may be affected by the mother wound at some soul or fundamental level, a tarot spread programmed specifically to address that mother wound can help.

If you’re looking to explore the mother wound or just probe deeper into the spiritual implications of your relationship with a mother figure, try out this spread.

The Mother Wound Tarot Spread

The card positions correspond as follows:

  1. What did my mother hope for me?
  2. What did my mother have to sacrifice for me?
  3. What lesson did my mother learn because of me?
  4. What is the best quality I inherited from my mother?
  5. What is the worst quality I inherited from my mother?
  6. What lesson do I have to learn from my mother?
  7. Optional: A message from my higher angels.
  8. Optional, if your grandmother is no longer in this world: A message from my maternal grandmother.

If you have two moms, then do this reading twice, one for each mom. If there is someone who doesn’t fit into the traditional box of mom but to you, has always been like a mother, then this spread could still work. “Inherit” can be a figure of speech.

This spread can work for interacting with and reflecting on your relationship with any mother figure in your life. It can even be used to commune with a patron goddess who has been like a mother figure to you and this spread can be revealing for your spiritual path.

Instead of doing the full spread as noted, let’s say you’re doing a tarot reading for someone and you intuit that the mother wound is a root issue. Shuffle the deck and focus on one of the above-listed questions, such as “What lesson do I have to learn from my mother?” or “What did my mother hope for me?” and then draw a card. Go with a follow-up mother wound question that makes the most sense to ask given what came up during your tarot reading.

Media Download

If you’d like to download and then share the spread via social media, there are four different color options, which you can see in the above preview. Click on the image thumbnail to download.

I’ve gotta tell you. I must have some crazy good karma from a past life, because I don’t understand the mother wound concept and have never had the misery of experiencing it.

What fuels so much of my personal power is this unconditional conviction that my mother is proud of me, that I have not only met but exceeded her expectations of me. And yet, to the fourth bullet point, I’ve never felt any pressure, externally imposed or self-imposed, to downplay my attributes in front of my mother so that her “feelings” won’t get hurt. That’s because she’s accomplished, fierce, independent, and incredible in her own right.

To the second bullet point, if anything, my mother is the one who has healed my self-inflicted wounds of feeling like there’s something fundamentally wrong with me. Society has often made me feel like I’m by some nature dysfunctional, wired wrong, or too different. It’s my mother who has always been the one who had to single-handedly convince me that there was nothing wrong with me. When something crazy happens in my life, something totally woo-woo that no one believes or at the very least, gives me the side-eye for, Mom believes. Mom believes wholeheartedly, without condition, without doubt or skepticism.

And to the third, this may be the only one that’s plausible, and yet once again, mother saves the day. She has never, explicitly or implicitly, made me feel like I haven’t repaid her for her sacrifices. Unequivocally, she lets my sisters and me know that we are the best investment she has ever made. I’ve never felt like I owed her anything for her sacrifices. Rather, it’s a deep reverence, acknowledgement, and gratitude for the advantages I have in life thanks to her.

I think I’ve told this story so many times, but you can tell it’s because I love it. Once at a monastery (I was 16, a girly girl, you know, at that age…), the head monk guy told my mother that my shorts were too short and the way he said it was very, you know, dripping with implications. Truth is, out of respect, I probably shouldn’t have been wearing such short shorts at a Buddhist monastery. But what did Mom say? Mom yelled back at the monk guy. “Aren’t you a monk? Why are you staring at the bare legs of a 16 year old? You’re supposed to be a zen master. She’s just a child. Who’s really the one to blame here? Also, those are not short shorts. My daughter has long legs.”

That defensive reaction in protection of her own daughter, even in the face of a spiritual master she venerated, exemplifies the love I’ve always received from my mother. Yet within that deep love and support she gives me, she also calls me out on my bullshit. She’s the first to tell me when I’m blowing hot air. Last week I went back to my hometown to visit her and I happened to be wearing mala prayer beads around my wrist. She pointed at them. “Did you wear those at your tarot event so everybody will think you’re spiritual? Don’t be so fake.” (I told her that weekend I would be presenting at the Readers Studio.)

I weep for those who have to overcome the mother wound. I do. Because the power I command and the accomplishments I have under my belt are all attributed to the privilege of having dodged the mother wound.

Lately in interviews, I consistently get asked how do I do everything that I do, what are my time management secrets, how do I organize, where does my confidence come from, where do I get the audacity to believe in my own capabilities, from what deep source of seemingly unlimited energy do I seem to draw from. The truth is, I can do all that I can do for one simple reason: Mom. Since my birth, Mom cast a deep reservoir of her own power for her daughters to draw from, and we’ve drawn from it ever since, even now as grown adults, we still draw from the well of power Mom cast.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Your Saturn Returns (Free Saturn Return Survival Kit)

In Episode #29 of “Bell Chimes In,” I talk about the Saturn Return. I also make reference to the Decisive Age and how it may relate to your Saturn Return. (What is a Decisive Age? Find out more here.)

A Saturn Return is a period of time, typically within a year, when the transiting or present Saturn’s positioning is at the same degree in the same zodiac sign as it was in at the moment of your birth. In other words, if Saturn was positioned at 3° in Capricorn when you were born, and currently Saturn is at 3° in Capricorn, then you, my friend, are in the throes of one of your Saturn Returns. Typically, there are three: the First Saturn Return, the Second Saturn Return, and your Third Saturn Return.

For the general population (there are a few astrological exceptions, which I get into in the video), Saturn can create a large weight or obstacle that holds you back. People cross a major threshold in their lives during a Saturn Return. You’ll hear astrologers talk about the First Saturn Return as a coming-of-age, when the process of growth may be difficult, but is the necessary rite of passage that must be crossed in every person’s life path.

You can find free Saturn Return Calculators online. Here’s one that I like. Input your birth details, click “Calculate,” and the dates of your three Saturn Returns, all Saturn Oppositions, and Saturn Squares are provided.

Going through or about to go through one of your Saturn Returns? Here’s a fun Saturn Return Survival Kit you can download for free.

DOWNLOAD PDF:

Your Saturn Return Survival Kit

The Saturn Return Survival Kit is granted to you under a Creative Commons license, Attribution 4.0 International. Continue reading “Your Saturn Returns (Free Saturn Return Survival Kit)”

Your Year Ahead Twelve-Month Tarot Forecast Reading

Selecting a significator card. Deck pictured: Golden Universal by Lo Scarabeo.

For quite a while I offered a Year Ahead twelve-month forecast reading, but I received so many requests in 2017 that the reading type burned me out. So I won’t be offering it in 2018, but it’s an incredible tarot reading methodology and one you can absolutely do for yourself. So in this post I’ll show you how you can do my Year Ahead forecast reading all on your own.

The Year Ahead forecast reading consists of the following steps:

  1. Solar Return Astrology Analysis
  2. Preliminary Four Worlds Reading
  3. Elemental Key for the Year
  4. Twelve-Month Four-Quarter Projections
  5. Six Points Revelation Spread
  6. Power Word for the Year

Now let’s address each in turn.

Continue reading “Your Year Ahead Twelve-Month Tarot Forecast Reading”

Moon Block Divination | Tinkering Bell #5

Chinese moon block (Jiao Bei, 筊杯) is a form of divination that you’ll often find at Taoist or Buddhist temples. There may be a dish of moon blocks by the altar and the purpose is for you to ask your question to the deity venerated at that site, then throw the moon blocks for a yes or no answer. They’re used to communicate directly with gods and spirits. The traditional perception here is unequivocally that of divine communion.

Predecessors to the moon blocks are covered in the video, from the tortoise shells to the clam shells. I also instruct on how to clean out two clam shells from your next seafood dinner and ritualize them in preparation for divination uses.

Priests, priestesses, shamans, and witches, in particular witches from those cultures who lived by the seas, would use clam shells (or small tortoise shells) for divination.

Eventually, the concept evolved into the red moon blocks that are commonplace today. They’re one of the oldest forms of Chinese divination, alongside the I Ching, though throughout history, have taken many forms.

This video practicum teaches you how to divine with moon blocks (or clam shells, tortoise shells, etc.) and how to consecrate and empower a set to become used exclusively for divinatory purposes.

Supplemental Handouts

The following ritual instruction is for charging and empowering your divinatory tool, specifically your moon blocks, to be used for spirit communications. The instructions can be followed for either clam shells or tortoise shells.

Empowering Your Moon Blocks

(Download PDF)

Your Divination Cheat Sheet is a quick reference guide for the meaning of each divinatory result from your moon blocks. Alternatively, if you opt to use clam shells or tortoise shells instead, an interpretation guide is provided for both as well.

Divination Cheat Sheet

(Download PDF)

Buying Moon Block Sets Internationally

If you’re feeling enthusiastic about traditional moon block divination, then you might be interested in buying your own set of moon blocks. You can often find international sales of these through E-Bay or Etsy.

My general personal recommendation, if you are buying it international, is to source from Taiwan. Broadly speaking the Taiwanese tend to be more superstitious and religious about these things, and so they are going to be more attentive, more thoughtful, and craft-wise, more serious about their moon block production. Culturally, mainland China is more atheistic and capitalist-oriented, so just in terms of probability, you’re not as likely to find a seller who is actually a practitioner of craft.

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Homework: Your Practicum

Following each installment of the series will be a suggested practicum, or homework, for you to try out. Homework material presumes that you are an occult practitioner who is working on developing your craft.

Craft Your Own Moon Block Set: I say “moon block” for convenience of reference here. You can use clam shells (probably the easiest for most people to source) or empty tortoise shells (if that’s something you have access to). Even if you decide you really like the red wooden moon blocks and end up buying a set for yourself, I recommend crafting your own divination set because the process of crafting your own divination set from scratch is insightful on its own merits. You can even cut two cross-section slices of a thick branch for two disks to be used. Paint one side one color to represent yin, and the other side a contrasting color to represent yang. Or find two flat, rounded stones of about equal size and inscribe the two sides to symbolize yin and yang. Then follow the “Empowering Your Moon Blocks” reference guide provided above to consecrate and charge your divination set for divine communion.

Grimoire Reference Page: Before you memorialize this divination method in your personal grimoire, work with the method first. Take some time to try different approaches to the method first, such as crafting your own moon block set, trying different materials, from the clam shells to wood disks or stones, etc. Your creativity is your only limitation. If you really want to get your hands on the red moon blocks, then do so and work with that for a few moon cycles. Finally, once you’ve got a personalized hang of the process and how it operates for you as opposed to what I say in this tutorial, log your divination how-to in your grimoire. Be sure to take notes during the video lecture on the historical and cultural background of the divination method and include those in your grimoire as well for context.

Your Empowerment Word

Some of us like to divine or in some divinatory way generate a word to motivate us, keep us focused, and get us through the times to come. This can become your word of the year, or if you’re kind of the non-committal type, then your word of the month, or word of the day, whatever works for you.

Below is a list of 88 words I’ve generated for your divinatory fun. You can use a site like random.org and in the top right corner, input 1 for Min. and 88 for Max. Then click “Generate” and see what number you get. Cross-reference that number with the below listing and find the word corresponding with that number.

If you want to get mystical and fancy, before you hit “Generate,” whisper a petition, prayer, invocation, evocation, call upon your spirit guides, do what you got to do to feel like the moment is special, and then get your random number.

Continue reading “Your Empowerment Word”

The Kokeshi Tarot and Reading Square Tarot Cards

Kokeshi dolls are wood-crafted Japanese dolls that look not unlike the High Priestess kokeshi featured above on the box cover of the Kokeshi Tarot by Arlain. The Kokeshi Tarot stylizes traditional Rider-Waite-Smith tarot iconography into kokeshi dolls and the results are too cute to handle.

We’ve got reversible, symmetrical card backs, which are going to be relevant when we consider reversals and even–gasp!–reading with sideways cards. More on that later. Let’s talk about the Kokeshi Tarot.

Continue reading “The Kokeshi Tarot and Reading Square Tarot Cards”

Failing to Predict Disaster

My mother possesses an eerily keen sense for what’s to come and can feel future events in her bones. But I remember this one personal tragedy that had blindsided her. None of the talismans, trinkets, doodads, protection circles, shielding, prognosticating, or spirit guides prepared her for what happened. It shook her to her core and she had no choice but to acquire wisdom the hard way. Knowledge is one thing. Wisdom is another. If you accept that there is a greater Divinity, then sometimes our knowledge is blocked so that we can have clearer access to wisdom.

I recall once hearing an interview of a well-known celebrity psychic medium who attained fame and fortune for that ability to see what is to come, and yet when that medium’s own mother came down suddenly with a terminal illness and then passed on, that medium did not see it coming, at all. In the interview, that medium talked about the wisdom gained from that hard check to the ego.

Why is there such irony in this world? Those who seem to have the Sight cannot see coming the worst of all calamities. They’ve built a paradigm around the ability to forecast, so that we can plan ahead and prepare, and yet that one thing that needs the most planning and preparation they could not predict.

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I Ching and the Practitioner: A Course on the Book of Changes

$45 USD

ABOUT THE I CHING SYSTEM

Considered one of the oldest divination systems in world history, the I Ching is, at its core, a sacred text that empowers a practitioner. When you understand the I Ching as philosophy, you attain wisdom both of your inner self and of the cosmos. When you understand the I Ching as an expression of the Divine, you attain access to an incredible tool for communing with that Divinity.

The objective of this course is to impart a heightened level of proficiency with I Ching both as a divinatory system and as a magical system, so that a practitioner will be able to use the I Ching to divine for the self, for others, and integrate components of the I Ching into spell-crafting.

For the course and its enrollees, the Lady of the Ninth Heaven (Jiu Tian Xuan Nu) has been evoked for guidance and support. The Lady of the Ninth Heaven is likened to an archangel, originating from the Chinese Taoist pantheon. She is a protégé of the Empress Mother of the West (Xi Wang Mu), a dark goddess of war, magic, and spell-crafting.

According to myth, the Yellow Emperor, considered the legendary father of the Chinese civilization, evoked the Lady of the Ninth Heaven, who became his patron deity. She taught the Yellow Emperor military strategy and magic, which he used to defeat his enemies and establish the first dynasty.

The Lady of the Ninth Heaven is venerated as a goddess (or archangel) of high magic and intellectual prowess. Her symbols are the sword and a gourd of healing: she is a warrior and she is a healer.

I’ve dedicated this course in such a way so that all enrollees will be endowed with her guidance and support in all manners of their craft with the I Ching.

I Ching Divination Method 1: Yarrow Stalks

This course teaches several approaches to I Ching divination:

  • Yarrow stalks

  • Rice grains

  • Coin toss

  • Cartomancy

Continue reading “I Ching and the Practitioner: A Course on the Book of Changes”

General Readings and Specific Readings

Deck Pictured: The Dark Tarot

The issue of general readings versus specific readings is pertinent to most divinatory forms, whether we’re talking tarot, astrology, the I Ching, or even in terms of configurations for feng shui analysis. Rather than frame this post as general commentary, I want to talk about my personal approach, and since most of the divinatory work I do for people are in the modes of tarot and astrology, that’s what I’ll focus on.

Let’s start with my definitions.

A general reading is when a seeker doesn’t have a cogent, cohesive question to present for divination, but just wants insight for moving forward at the particular juncture point the seeker is at. For example, a seeker sits down in front of a tarot reader and the reader simply begins casting cards and reporting back what the reader interprets from the cards. Another example is a solar returns or birthday chart reading in astrology. A reading service such as a twelve-month forecast is also considered a general reading. In theory for a general reading, any subject matter that comes up in the reading is game.

A specific reading is when a seeker has a question in mind that is narrowly tailored and will require a direct, responsive answer. For example, the seeker wants to know about romantic prospects up ahead, or which career path to take, or which of three possible office site locations would be optimal for setting up a business. Here, even a broadly-cast inquiry such as “just whatever comes up that’s money related in my life” is an inquiry I’ll tuck under the category of a specific reading.

One more point before we proceed. To debate which is better, general reading or specific reading methods, is absurd. Readers also come with different strengths. No reader is all-powerful. Some excel at the general reading. Others excel at the specific reading. Play to your own strengths. That’s all there is to it.

Continue reading “General Readings and Specific Readings”