A Tarot Student's Journey

Posts tagged ‘Tarot’

Daily Sketch – 8 of Pentacles


The Eight of Pentacles again. The first time it came it I was really struggling with not knowing what I should do next work-wise. I was really drawing a blank and feeling unmotivated and scared and worried about money, the future etc. I’ve come back from Christmas with an idea of something I can do, and a way of doing it that won’t push me too far. My priorities are with my child and getting her through each day as peacefully as possible. We have good days and bad days. I find it impossible to focus on work without feeling overwhelmed and constantly stressed.

This card is like an affirmation, saying to me that my idea is a good one. Now is the time to sit down and methodically work out the details. I’m glad a pentacle has come up rather than a wand. I need to go slow and steady in a very grounded way. My tendency is to throw myself into projects with lots of ambition and drive and then to burn out a few weeks or months down the line. Last year this ended up being very bad for my health. This year seems to be more about planning and going at a steady and sustainable pace.


On learntarot.com the keywords for this card are knowledge, diligence and detail. The actions tie in with my feelings: going at a steady pace, working out the details, checking and rechecking, getting down to the nitty gritty.

Passion and drive can only take you so far. Careful, methodical planning is needed to sustain progress.


Interviewing The Wildwood

I’ve recently been working with the Wildwood Tarot and came across a great spread to do when you are getting to know a new deck. Below is my interview of The Wildwood.

1) Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic.
I drew The Hooded Man but The Pole Star fell out of my hand in the exact place I was about to place The Hooded Man so I decided to keep it as an additional message.

I have hidden lessons to teach and guide you on this inner journey in The Wildwood. I will shine my light so that you won’t get lost thus revealing parts of yourself that you didn’t know existed. The journey in the forest can be dark and mysterious sometimes frightening but I have ancient wisdom and knowledge to guide you. You will not be alone. Working with me will also be part of a larger spiritual journey for you. This is what will help you really resonate with my lessons.

2) What Are Your Strengths As A Deck?

Eight of Vessels – Rebirth
I am connected to nature’s deeper rhythms and understand that every ending is also a new beginning. I can show you your connection to the cycle of life, the changing of the seasons, how the cycle of life, death, and rebirth is reflected in your being. My cup runneth over.

3) What are your weaknesses as a deck?20131212-182809.jpg
The Forest Lovers
You will fall in love my images and may lose sight of deeper meaning hidden within me. You may find it difficult to separate your own emotional attachments to my images when reading for other people.

4) What are you here to teach me?
Two of Vessels – Attraction
How fire can be transmuted into water. We all have animal instincts. Releasing yourself to this will fill the cup of emotions. This relationship between us is the beginning of deep polaric bond between the two of us.

5) How can I best collaborate with you?

Three of Stones Creativity
By using my messages to make something new, build something, create. I won’t fail you. I will ground you, protect you, support you and enable you in your creative life. Start by making me a special bag or box so you can keep me close.

6)What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

10 of Stones – Home
I will bring you comfort and security and solace. I will connect you to your true, authentic, self. Take me with you wherever you go and I will always show you the way home.

Not really sure about The Forest Lovers and how that might be a limitation of the deck? Any ideas?

Trying Out The Wildwood Tarot Deck

Wildwood Tarot Cards

Mind, Body, Soul Spread With The Wildwood Tarot

First Steps Into The Wildwood

The following is a practice reading I did for one of this month’s questions over at TABI. Since this was just a practice question (i.e. not a real person) I feel like it’s appropriate to share it here. I’ve only had my Wildwood deck for a couple of weeks so am still getting to grips with it but it seemed to really resonate with the following question.

Question: I spend all my time looking after my young family and don’t have any time for myself. I am very unhappy. Please help!

A chill ran up the back of my neck when I saw these cards. All three cards are fire elements and two of them are majors. This feels like a very strong reading.

With so much fire it’s no wonder that you are unhappy with life at home. I wonder what your life was like before and imagine that you are a very passionate and driven woman. The day to day drudgery of mothering young children brings with it a  loss of freedom to follow your passions (wether that’s work related or hobbies or creative pursuits) And I’m sure you feel that more strongly than most. Perhaps the sense of loss has even begun to  manifest itself as frustration and anger?


1. Mind – The Sun of Life

 A man stands amongst a meadow of wild flowers with a giant sun blazing behind him. Light shines out from his heart as he channels the creative power of the sun. A hill in the background has a chalk drawing of a horse.

This card tells me that you must have a very active mind and I wonder if you are a writer, musician or other type of creative. There is a very strong creative drive being shown in these cards. This is such a strong card that I think you should be careful not to make rash decisions. I also wonder what your sense of power is in your relationship? Do you feel in control of your life?

2. Body – Five of Bows – Empowerment

 Four bows lie in the grass on top of a hill in the background can be seen another hillside chalk drawing of a giant man . He is holding a large club in one hand, a bow in the other, and has an erection.

I feel like this card is showing the need to ground all of that firey energy  in something hard and physical. If it’s a new skill or something you’ve never tried before all the better. Learning new skills will empower you to move forward in meeting other goals. Maybe try hiking, hill walking, climbing trail, running or even kick boxing to really work up a sweat. Although I see you outdoors rather than indoors. The cards are indicating that you have a lot of untapped potential and this card is telling me that in order to channel  all that primal energy you need to be more grounded and assertive.

3. Soul – The Green Woman 

 The Green Woman is the female counterpart to the Green Man, Lord and Lady of the forest and here she stands in front of a cauldron heated from below by flames. Her head is crowned in green leaves and branches.

This card is really showing your soul’s journey and here we see you at peace and empowered with your role as a mother. This card however isn’t showing the role of mothering as one filled with drudgery or sacrifice. This is a beautiful, powerful, fierce and nurturing goddess of the forest. I think she has shown up in order to remind you not to let your sense of self-worth falter. Connecting with this primal mother energy, learning to nurture yourself, could help you find peace with the position you find yourself in now? Do you want more children? There’s a strong drive towards fertility being shown in all of these cards. If another child is not what you’re wanting then be careful with your contraception.


You are someone with incredible passion and drive, someone who can really make a difference in the world. But at the moment you have so much pent up ability and energy that home life is feeling like a prison. It’s very important to find that nurturing mother energy and direct it towards yourself. Take some time, no matter how small, to honour and look after your own needs. If you are unable to make big changes in your daily routine while the kids are young then I think the way to start is through looking after yourself physically, learning a new skill, directing your energy into a new hobby. This will help you build a solid base of confidence from which to make other bigger changes in the future.

Daily Tarot Sketch – Ace Of Swords

Ace of Swords

A Blast Of Cold Air

Ace Of Swords – Breath Of Life

Forgive me if I’ve gone a bit Eye of Sauron here. When I closed my eyes and tuned into today’s card my initial feelings were of a blast of fresh air, being blown by some unseen force. The words breath of life came to mind and I was able to tune into this sense of life force like a breeze blowing against my skin and through me so I both felt this wave of air and was part of it.

The eye indicates clear vision, a clear mind, the ability to see beyond your present circumstances free of emotional hang-ups, physical ailments.

Other words that came to mind were: decisiveness, clarity, impartiality, the beginning, consciousness. My felt sense of The Ace of Swords is coldness, freshness, cleanness, like the air at the top of a snowy mountain, being very focussed and having no distractions.

A few notes on The Breath Of Life:

1. Pneuma (an ancient Greek word for Breath) is the form of circulating air necessary for the systemic functioning of vital organs. It is the material that sustains consciousness in a body. It mediates between the heart (seat of consciousness) and the brain.

2. In Stoic philosophy Pneuma (the breath of life) is the generative principle that organizes both the individual and the cosmos.

3. “Breath of Life,” is a song from the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, sung in an Elvish language.

4. In cranial osteopathy and craniosacral therapy, the breath of life is seen as an expression of health in the human body producing various rhythms and motions that the therapist uses to assess the state of overall health.

5. Here’s a quote from The Breath of Life by Florence and The Machines:

I was looking for a breath of a life
For a little touch of heavenly light
But all the choirs in my head sang no oh oh oh

Daily Tarot Sketch – Five of Cups



Five of Cups


I’ve often found it hard to relate to this card. In the Rider-Waite deck it’s very strange. A cloaked, faceless figure seems distraught. Three overturned cups lay at his feet and two sit upright behind him.

Today I took some time tuning into this card waiting for the images to come as they have for the other cards but nothing seemed to come. Then I tuned into the emotions behind the card. After all cups are the realm of emotions. Feelings of despair, depression, a very low emotional point came to me. This is that point when something painful has just happened, a betrayal, a relationship breakup, a loss and your whole world becomes clouded by this event. You cannot see that this is a temporary state, that just around the corner is something new and bright and positive. In that moment your pain is all consuming and feels permanent.

My sense behind this card is that the emotions are overly dramatic – that you are making a big deal out of something that with a little more perspective will not seem quite so bad. I don’t feel like the loss that has been experienced in the five of cups is a death or a serious trauma. It’s more like a betrayal that you will move through.

But perhaps it’s more like a very low slow-burning depression – when life seems hopeless and pointless. Everything becomes muted and you struggle to connect with anything positive in current position.

When I started sketching it, the figure that emerged was one of absolute despair and desperation in sharp contrast with her sunny environment and the pretty rose bush flowering behind her. I found it very easy to tune in to that darkness and pain.

How about you? What does the Five of Cups say to you?

Daily Tarot Sketch – Ten of Cups

Today’s Tarot Sketch is the Ten of Cups!

You may have notice that I’ve started using colour in the latest sketches. I’ve been trying out a great iPad app called Paper 53 and am really enjoying how easy it is to sketch something out very quickly. The app let’s you organise your sketches or notes in little moleskine like notebooks, so I’ve created one specifically for my tarot sketches. Maybe I’ll work out how to share the whole thing when we come to the end of this exercise.

Again the point of this exercise isn’t to produce a work of art or even something that captures the full meaning of the card. It’s simply to visually portray what this particular card is bringing up for me at this particular point in time. I find that my relation to certain cards changes depending on what’s going on in my life. Some cards have more meaning at different times than others and some just don’t have any resonance at all.

For today’s card immediate images that came to mind where of the rainbow indicating happiness. Mastery of the sea of emotions! So I’ve shown the rainbow waves on the surface of the sea and the cups appearing beneath the surface, floating on the surface and hovering above it all to indicate that an emotional balance and wholeness has been achieved at all levels – both conscious and unconscious.

Tarot - Ten of Cups

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Collaborative conversations with Life's wise whispers in service to personal and communal evolution. To book personal appointments and group experiences, contact me at circleways.james@gmail.com or at (416) 966 - 2685.

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