Tarot for Troubled Times by Shaheen Miro and Theresa Reed

When You’re Feeling Lost: The Compass Spread

Surprise. I know I said here in this video that there would be no Sightsee the Tarot episodes over the summer. However, everybody makes exceptions for The Tarot Lady, amiright? I’m so excited about this newly released book, Tarot for Troubled Times (Weiser Books, July 2019) by Shaheen Miro and The Tarot Lady herself, Theresa Reed. So I just had to set aside everything else, make time, and share with you my impressions of the book.

This installment of Sightsee the Tarot walks us through The Compass Spread and then offers some insights into post-reading candle magic, per the guidance and tips you’ll find in this book.

When you’re feeling adrift, like you’re just floating along with no sense of direction, use the Compass Spread by Miro and Reed to chart a steady course.

In this companion post, I want to showcase the book.

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A Daily Mindful Tarot Practice

Mindful Tarot: Bring a Peace-Filled, Compassionate Practice to the 78 Cards by Dr. Lisa Freinkel Tishman blends the principles of Zen Buddhist practice with the tarot. The result is a meaningful text that will develop your tarot reading skills at three levels: (1) mindful awareness of yourself and your querent, (2) a deeper relationship with your cards, and (3) a transformed understanding of the tarot system. Mindful Tarot is filled with exercises, reflective journaling prompts, analyses of all 78 cards, and step-by-step examples of Dr. Tishman’s own daily practice.

Tishman is an extensively published and celebrated poetry scholar, Zen Buddhist minister, certified mindfulness educator, and former humanities professor and dean at the University of Oregon (UO). She is also the founding director of UO’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.

Tishman currently serves as an interfaith chaplain at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon. You can find a wealth of free resources and contact Tishman for her tarot reading or counseling services at Calyx Contemplative Care.

In this episode of Sightsee the Tarot, we explore Dr. Tishman’s mindful PULL approach to tarot reading and work through her signature Chariot spread.

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Your Tarot Card Teacher, Mentor, Guide

Skill Level: General (All)

Andy Matzner, author of The Tarot Activity Book (2013), is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and tarot card reader. His book features creative activities with the tarot for mental and emotional wellness, designed to help facilitate self-awareness and personal transformation.

The approach to the tarot we’re adopting today is that of a tarot life coach and counselor. How can we work with the tarot archetypes in a way that brings out our creativity?

In this episode of Sightsee the Tarot, I share with you one of the activities from The Tarot Activity Book: working with a tarot card as your teacher, mentor, or guide.

Read my book review of the Tarot Activity Book.

Order the Tarot Activity Book on Amazon.

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The Tarot Keys of Your Birthday (Tarot and Astrology, 1941)

Tarot and Astrology: The Pursuit of Destiny by Muriel Bruce Hasbrouck was first published in 1941. We’ll be working with the astrological correspondences for the cards as covered in the text. Since a copy of the book can be difficult to source, a great alternative reference source is Tarot Correspondences by T. Susan Chang. Links to both books are provided below.

In this episode of Sightsee the Tarot, we’ll be journaling through the tarot keys corresponding with our date of birth. Through analysis and self-reflection prompted by these cards, we’ll be answering six questions for ourselves:

  1. What are the main attributes of your personality?
  2. What are your natural strengths?
  3. What are your natural weaknesses?
  4. What is your one major character flaw?
  5. What gifts, talents, or skills do you have to contribute to the world?
  6. What is your life purpose?

There are two supplemental handouts you’ll want to download and have on hand while you watch the video. The first is the “Six Journaling Prompts” worksheet and the second is “The Tarot Keys to Your Birthday” reference tables. There are three (3) versions: one keyed to the RWS tarot, one to the Thoth, and one to my SKT deck. Download the version corresponding with the deck system you’re using. If you’re using a TdM deck, then I recommend working off the Thoth reference guide.

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Healing Your Body with the Queen of Pentacles

Skill LevelAll (General)

In today’s installment of Sightsee the Tarot, we’ll be exploring Ethony Dawn’s Your Tarot Court: Read Any Deck with Confidence (Llewellyn Books, 2019) and invoking the Queen of Pentacles to bring you her Gift of Healing. You can read my book review of Your Tarot Court here.

Deck Pictured: Bad Bitches Tarot by Ethony Dawn

This guided tarot reading and journaling session will connect you to the Pillar of Healing power that the Queen of Pentacles rules over. Connecting to the Pillar of Healing through this meditative exercise can help to bring you some relief and calming to the physical aches and pains you’ve been suffering from.

Essentially, you’ll be invoking the Queen of Pentacles for the divine gifts she rules over and using energy healing techniques and guided meditation to help placate any physical pains or discomforts you’ve been feeling.

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Tarot and Dream Interpretation

Skill Level: General (All)

How might you use your tarot deck for dream interpretation? Julie Gillentine shows us in her book Tarot and Dream Interpretation (Llewellyn Books, 2003). In this video, I share how I use two of the dream interpretation tarot spreads designed by Gillentine.

Download Supplemental Handout (PDF)

Template for a Dream Journal Entry

It’s also uncanny how improving your own ability to interpret dreams will in turn improve your tarot readings in general.

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Tarot Elements: Five Readings to Reset Your Life by Melissa Cynova

Melissa Cynova, author of Kitchen Table Tarot, which I’ve reviewed before on this blog, has now released an intermediate sequel: Tarot Elements: Five Readings to Reset Your Life. She updates the esoteric tarot tradition of expressing facets of the human condition through the four elements and adds a fifth, Spirit.

The text is written in a casual conversational style, and reads like a letter written to you from an old friend. The five elemental readings are configured to a trinity of questions:

  1. What can you hold on to?
  2. What can pull you forward?
  3. What gets in your way?

Through a well-curated process of divinatory tarot reading, journaling, and craft activity, these three questions are read through the framework of each of the five elements. The early chapters offer tips on working with elemental dignities in these readings, plus a step-by-step discussion of how to read the cards.

“You bought this book because you want a change in your life.”

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Court de Gébelin’s Tarot Reading Method (1781)

Skill Level: Intermediate & Up

This video and supplemental written post comes after “Tarot and Geopolitical Divination (Antoine Court de Gébelin, 1781).”

Tucked into one of Court de Gébelin’s essays on the tarot is this gem of a tarot reading method he instructs. I read the essay in French and in several English translations, hoping to confirm that I understood his instructions correctly, but there were still a few points here and there open to interpretation, so bear with me.

Court de Gébelin describes a fortune-telling method for either tarot or ordinary playing cards where you shuffle the deck, cut, and then proceed to draw the cards, one by one, as you call out a number (or card title) for each draw.

When the number (or card title) you called out matches the card, set that card aside. You’ll be reading all such cards in a free-form narrative string.

Cycle through the deck three times to cast three free-form narrative strings.

Here, I’d also like to note that I didn’t find any explicit direction from Court de Gébelin about reading with reversals (if there was, then my apologies; I missed it), so for kicks, if you’re following the video’s guided reading, then position all the cards in your deck upright and proceed without reversals.

Compare Court de Gébelin’s approach to the earlier historic episodes on MacGregor Mathers (1888) or Papus (1889) where reading with reversals was explicitly instructed.

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Tarot and Geopolitical Divination (Antoine Court de Gébelin, 1781)

Skill Level: General (All)

This video is closed captioned with American English subtitles.

If you’re interested in the geographic and regional correspondences for the cards that I cover in the video, then you may want to turn on the closed captioning so you can read the country/region names while I say them.

Around 1781, a French pastor, historian, scholar, and Freemason, Antoine Court de Gébelin published an essay on the Tarot and what he believed to be ancient esoteric knowledge encoded into the cards, namely, the magical traditions of the Egyptian high priests and high priestesses.

The essay was part of a documentary compendium he worked on between 1773 and 1784, Le Monde primitif, analysé et comparé avec le monde moderne (The Primeval World, Analyzed and Compared to the Modern World).

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Changing a Negative Reading: Create a Tarot Mandala

Skill Level: Intermediate & Up

When the future outcome as prognosticated by your tarot reading is negative, is there anything you can do to change it? One powerful, effective, and yet very easy to implement technique is taught by Rachel Pollack: create a tarot mandala.

This technique comes from Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, first published in 1980. A new and updated edition of this tarot classic was released earlier this year, in March, 2019.

Although working with a tarot mandala is by no means limited to changing the outcome of a negative tarot reading, I framed the title of the episode in that way since it’s one of the frequently asked questions I get: Is there anything you can do to change the negative forecast of a tarot reading? Yes, there’s plenty you can do! And casting a tarot mandala is one such method!

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