Category: Tarot

Using the Tarot to Help Navigate Family Challenges

This is a continuation of the series in which we use the tarot to help our stuffed friend, Teddy, navigate his life challenges.

Teddy was really nervous about going to visit his family this year, because this is the first time he'd be bringing Anatra home to meet them. He has a big family and, even without the potential drama of introducing his girlfriend, has always felt overwhelmed by the personalities of his relatives.

"It's just stressful," he said. "I'm the baby of the family, but I'm not a baby anymore. I keep telling myself each year that if I

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is the twelfth card in the Major Arcana of the tarot, and it's a card that often gives people trouble. In the Rider Waite card it shows a man hanging upside down by his leg on a weird, crossed tree-like structure. He has a halo and looks pretty peaceful. But really?

Traditionally, the meaning of this card is surrender, and sacrifice to the greater good. These are both terms that try and put a positive spin on what's pretty much a bad situation. Even if you *need* the change in perspective, it's usually always uncomfortable, to say

Strength (Or Lust)

The card for this month is Strength, or Lust -- depending on whether you're using the Rider Waite Smith deck or Aleister Crowley's Thoth Deck.

The Rider Waite Smith version of Strength shows a virginal-looking maiden (seriously, the only other thing she could be wearing is a turtleneck) overcoming an already submissive-looking lion by holding on to its muzzle. A mountain in the background is supposed to be a phallic symbol, but jeez--it's triangular, people. Any study of ancient symbology is usually full of phallic symbols, and a lot of them may be laughable or take some imagination. But this?

The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is usually a great card to come across in a spread or a draw. Obviously the wheel can turn for the good or the bad, but given that it's more likely people turn to the tarot when they're feeling stuck or troubled, people tend to interpret this card as a change of luck for the better.

In terms of personal empowerment though, what does this card mean? Often when we're stuck, or feeling like we've got the shitty end of the stick we get all "woe is me," grab the ice cream, and just settle in

The Hermit

Ah, the Hermit. In the Tarot he's usually a peaceful looking card--again, some old dude, either tall or hunched over in a somber-looking robe. He's holding a lantern, shining brightly and illuminating the dark night. How fortunate--it's not dark anymore! But this is the perspective of the outsider--we presume that he's holding the lantern for us, so that we can see where we're going. It's not about us, though, it's about him. The lamp is the hard-won light that he's emerged with after long hours of walking through the darkness seeking understanding and knowledge. And it's not like his lamp will do

The Chariot and Me

The Chariot is one of those cards that I have an interesting relationship with. It comes up pretty frequently whenever I do readings for myself. Regardless of whether you think there is any mystical connection between your life, the cards, and the universe, it's pretty common when something like this happens to think that at the very least, the universe has a pretty wicked sense of humor.

I'm hoping that in explaining how this card comes up for me and what meaning that has for me will help illustrate how you can use the tarot in your own journey of

Get Closer to Your Goals Using the Tarot

Goals are great things, but once you set them you run into the difficulty of figuring out how to support yourself in getting there. What can you do to make it more likely you'll succeed? How can you remove or overcome the blocks to success? This is one thing a life coach can help you with, but if you want to do some work on your own  you can use a deck of tarot cards to help you.

One of the big problems with making personal progress is not knowing how to break down a situation into pieces you can examine,

The Chariot

This month we're talking about motion and flow, and that's what the Chariot is all about. This card is all about forward motion and power, and getting shit done. It's usually depicted as a princely fellow in a fancy, canopied rig being drawn by a 

pair of white and black sphinxes. Oddly, he's not holding any reins, though he does have the same wand that the Magician does. This is someone who is in control, and calmly so -- there's no struggle here, only success and ease.

What a great card, huh? This card is all about the power of

The Lovers

The Lovers is the sixth card of the Major Arcana. Again, if you're using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, it's two nudes under an angel in the Garden of Eden. Snakes. Phallic symbols. Meh.

The Lovers card from the Animal Totem Tarot, that we saw in a previous post, gets the point across a lot better.​

 Maybe your lover is the opposite of you, in whatever respect matters. Maybe the other swan is you, and you're finally meeting yourself with an open heart. Maybe you look the same, like the lizards, and you could both use some skin cream in your personal

The Hierophant

The Hierophant

The Hierophant is one of the more difficult cards to approach in the tarot. In many decks, it's a straight-laced, old, religious figure -- pretty much the uncoolest-looking pope you can imagine, or an old uncle who comes to Thanksgiving who smells 

like ancient aftershave and the crypts of the undead. In the Rider Waite Smith deck (a standard deck that a lot of people use) he's an aged religious figure in formal vestments raising some religious items over the head of two bald men. Personally, I have a little trouble relating to this. In more modern decks the cards