Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Here Comes The Sun!

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Welcome to another Tarot Blog Hop!  Our wrangler this time around, Morgan Drake Eckstein, set the topic on which all of us hoppers will write as follows: Junk Mail Tarot, a "Tarot art project for non-artists."

We were tasked with creating a tarot card from other bits and bobs, in whatever medium.  And I thought, well, an art project for non-artists, I sure fit the bill ;)

What card to create, though, and how, given my lack of artistic skills?

The first thing that sprang to my mind was the Sun card.  After all, we are at the summer solstice (in this hemisphere at least), the time when the sun shines for the longest number of hours in the year.  Traditionally, it is a time of warmth and energy, the beginning of summer, a time for joy and playfulness before the harvest must be brought in.

And like an inverse of Edmund Zebrowski's Pixie's Astounding Lenormand (U.S. Games, 2015), which used elements of the Pixie Colman Smith's artwork to create a Lenormand deck, I decided to make a tarot card out of elements of the images from the Celtic Lenormand :D

I was guided both by imagery which would fit (thinking of the Thoth Sun card) and by the meanings of the Lenormand cards.  So, I melded both Child cards (the Boy and the Girl), for innocence and new beginnings, with the Flowers, for creativity and beauty, and the Sun card, for energy and joy.

Hope you like my Sun card, and enjoy hopping around to see what my fellow tarot bloggers have come up with!

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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

What Does Success Look Like?

We all have different things going on in our lives, different notions of success.  And yet, one of the beauties of spells is that they can speak to many different desires.

Take the spell above.  I created it because I have a contract to sign this week.  It's a big contract, important to my future, and I want it to be a positive force in my life.  Combining documents, commitment, and success (Letter, Ring, Sun) seemed like a way to keep it simple and express exactly what I am working towards.

Keeping it simple is actually another part of what I want for this contract.  Not always easy when lawyers get involved!

And yet, despite its simplicity, or perhaps because of it, this spell can be used for so many situations: buying a home (you could add in the House); signing a new work contract (add the Anchor, or your preferred work card); journaling; tracking a daily commitment like exercise (add the Rider or the Birch Rods); writing a letter of intent; renting a car (add in the Ship); it could even be used by a writer to help them with something like NaNoWriMo, where they commit to writing a certain word count every day!

How about you?  Do you have something you want to commit to in writing?  A spell like this could help you keep on track or help remind you to negotiate the best possible deal :)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A Lenormand Spell For Integration

Within the tarot, many writers see integration - the balancing of different aspects of self and/or the alchemical marriage - in pretty much every card of the Majors, if not the whole deck.  But what of Lenormand?  

Clearly, in the Lenormand system there aren't loads of esoteric connections and so forth.  Nor are there lots of different people and symbols on the cards to become integrated with one another, like on the Lovers, the Devil, or even with the pillars of the High Priestess, the Hierophant, Justice and the Moon.  However, integration is still a fundamental need for many people in our modern, fragmented world. 

Any yet, I love using Lenormand cards for spell work, and that can often be about having to integrate different aspects of life and self.  So, what to do?

For me, the answer is the Lily card.  Keywords here include purity and sexuality, innocence and maturity.  It is a card of finding harmonious balance.

You can think about what elements of your life you want to balance at this time, and place the corresponding cards around the Lily card.  For instance, the layout to the right is to integrate work life (Anchor) and family life (House), well-being (Tree) and energy (Sun). 

Of course, you can pick whatever cards feel most relevant to you at this time, whatever you want to integrate.

A beautiful part of Lenormand spells is that they can always be read several ways.  Here, I also see a message that stabilising my energy will bring me healing of family troubles.  That's something else I could well do with, both at a physical and emotional level. 

At a physical level, my toddler has done me an injury, and I need to be careful about how I interact with him while I heal.  At an emotional level, my partner and I have a big change on the horizon, which while joyful could also be a bit destabilising.

What aspects of your life would you like to bring into a more harmonious balance right now?  And, once you've chosen those, what other messages might you find in your spell...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Reading the Future in a Grand Tableau

Some people suggest that everything in a Grand Tableau represents the current situation, and where things are moving to over the "reasonable" timeframe you set for such a reading (say 3-6 months).  This is generally my favourite way of approaching a Grand Tableau, given that my readings aim more at empowerment than at fortune telling.

Another very traditional approach that I learned when I was first starting out with Lenormand was that all the columns "in front" of the person card represent the future.  Equally, all the columns "behind" them would then represent the past.  Most often, in front is seen as reading to the right.  However, because some of the people cards face different directions, many readers will choose the direction the Lady/Woman or Lord/Man is facing to define what counts as "in front".  For example, in the image below I have left clear the columns that are "in front" of the Woman.

A different approach I was recently introduced to struck me as quite interesting, too.  In this way of reading, you normally treat the cards laid out before you reach the person card as being the past, and the cards laid out after them as the future.  So, laying out the cards in lines, all the rows before you get to the person card will be the past, all the rows after (below) the person card will be the future.  Equally, this can be turned around depending on the direction the person card is facing.  For the GT used here as an example, that would mean that the future for the woman would be just the cards shown below:

For the Man, though, his future would be all the cards in the clear here:

Obviously, these different approaches can give quite different results!  For example, in the GT shown next, applying the "traditional approach" would give an equal distribution of past and future to read for the Lady.  On the other hand, applying the second approach would give an almost entirely past-oriented reading, with only the final four cards as her future...

As with any technique, it may be useful in some readings, not in others.

What reasons can you think of to prefer one approach to the other?  What are the situations in which one might give more useful information than the other?  Or is it just a case of doing what you were first taught...

Sunday, 1 May 2016

What Gifts May Flowers Bring

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Karen Sealey is a playful person and for this hop asked us to think about May and let that take us where it may.  I imagine we'll see a fascinating variety of approaches and takes as we hop around what this global community of bloggers makes of that!

For myself, thinking about the Celtic Lenormand and Beltane always brings the Flowers card to mind.  It's the card that seemed most appropriate to represent this turn of the Wheel of the Year.  It shows the beautiful blooms we find (at least in this part of the world) in May.  And it's also one of the most lovely cards in the deck, indicating gifts, invitations, beauty and creativity.

All this got me thinking about what gifts we are offered now.  So, I threw a Grand Tableau with that in mind.

Looking at the cards around the Flowers, we have the Anchor, the Dog, the Snake, the Ring, the Cross, the Tree, the Rider and the Coffin.  That leads me to the following questions to help think about the gifts life is offering right now:

What in your life provides you with stability?

Who can you depend on?

What boundaries help you maintain your sense of self?

What commitments bring you joy?

What life lesson/s do you feel you are finally mastering?

What aspects of your health do you give thanks for?

What messages is the universe sending you?

What ending are you currently grateful for?

Another technique, which I used last week, is to get a "final message" around a subject by counting around the Grand Tableau.  This isn't restricted to the "significator" cards, but can be used from any card of interest.  If you start at the card before the card you're interested in, and count around 7 each time, you end up with a line of five.  For the Flowers, that gives us:

Lady, Ship, Mice, Dog, Bear: A final message around the gifts life is currently offering is that nostalgic passivity undermines resourceful dependability.  If you want to make the most of what is being offered, you need to look to the future, be active and resourceful, and keep on with things even if the going is not always simple.

Now, I wonder what other gifts this blog hop will offer us...

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Hidden Motives and Messages

Following on from the Learn Lenormand training going up online, I've had some questions about knighting and other 'advanced' techniques.  This week, I give thanks to a client for permission to demonstrate a couple of techniques used in her reading.  I won't go into the whole reading, just wanting to flag up a couple of ways of getting extra information from the cards.  We threw a GT, and the result is shown below:

Knighting - looking at motivation

One of the things that the client wanted to look at was the question of underlying motives, her own for the most part.  The knighting cards can give information on this, and were quite enlightening.

For one thing, the Lord and Lady cards knight to one another.  Part of the reading was looking at her new relationship with a man she has known for decades.  I suggested she might have had her eye on this man for quite some time, and she agreed that she had always thought him attractive, though while she was married it hadn't been a consideration (she was widowed fairly recently).

The other cards the Lady knights to are: the Ship, the House, the Moon, the Fish, the Lord and the Paths.

The Ship and the Paths on the same row suggests she is being motivated by a choice she has to make regarding a new venture, and that there may be some nostalgia involved in that decision.  This is the case, as she is deciding whether or not to go ahead with a big project she and her husband had talked about a lot before he died.  Between the Lord and the Lady, the Scythe and the Hill Fort (Tower) suggest the need to cut institutional ties.  This is something that has been making their relationship more difficult - they both work for big public institutions in their local area.  She has been considering resigning.  The cards point out that not only does the job get in the way of her relationship, but that she also has this other venture that she hasn't yet spoken about, but feels quite passionate about.  Recognising this was helpful for her.

The House and the Lord point to some concerns over how her family will look on this new relationship (she has grown kids).  That matches the fact that she has been trying to figure out how to tell them about it (they live quite far away).  The Letter and the Meadow (Garden) next to the Lady (and between her and the Lord) suggest that writing a letter to "go public" with the relationship might work well.

The Moon and the Fish made me ask if she has a particular reputation with money.  She seemed uncertain about this, but said she had married into money.  She is unsure what her new partner thinks of this, and it does worry her somewhat.  She is also personally worried, because if she remarries it may affect her pension, and if she is to retire from work that will affect her finances too (Mice are in the House of Fish).

Some people prefer the 8x4+4 layout of the Grand Tableau, and one reason for that is the 'destiny line' at the bottom.  However, another way to get a final message is to count around the GT, taking every seventh card, starting from the card before the subject you're interested in.  We did this, starting from the card just before the Lady herself.  The line that came up is shown here:

Book, Mountain, Storks, Scythe, Flowers:  Secrets block change, make a creative cut/shocking invitation.  

The client agreed that she has been stressed about keeping her intention to retire a secret, and about not knowing precisely where she stands with this new man and how her family will respond to the relationship. 

She said that writing a letter to invite her kids over to actually meet him (looking back at the Meadow, which can also represent hospitality), and telling them then might work well.  They might be surprised by the invitation, but she felt that would be better than the shock of spilling all over such an impersonal medium. 

She also said that she definitely wants to leave her institutional job, to do something that feels more creative.  She wondered whether she could do something creative or organise an event as part of her goodbye.

Next week's post will also be on reading Grand Tableaux.  It will be out on Sunday, 1st May, as part of the Tarot Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Transformation Time?

Having just opened up a free Learn Lenormand online resource, I have had many people tell me they feel nervous around larger Lenormand spreads, especially the Grand Tableau.  While I plan to focus more on the Grand Tableau a little down the line, my two main responses to this are:

a) You don't have to read the Grand Tableau, or even a Nine Square, if you don't want to!

You can get really helpful answers from just a three or five card line.  If that's what you want to do or feel comfortable with, that's fine.  I sure don't have time to throw a GT everyday, either, so for my daily draw I normally stick to three cards :)

b) It can be helpful to work your way up to the bigger spreads.  That's why I've posted a lot of Nine Square readings, and for those that want to go a bit bigger yet, I recommend the 5x3, an example of which you'll find below...

I asked about something I have been working on for a while, which I would like to focus on more now that I have finally finished the Learn Lenormand training.

At the centre of the spread is the Shedding Snake - oh yes, this is about transformation and helping people to shed their old self!  And I might need to do that, too, in order to make it happen.

Looking at the corners, Key, Scythe, Flowers and Holly: insightful sorting leads to creative growth.

Looks like I still need to do some clarifying around exactly what to put out there and how.  This is a long term project, so there's time to be creative and let things grow as they need to.

Treating the columns in a past-future flow:

Key, House, Flowers - part of that sorting is recognising where my creative comfort zone is.

Storks, Birch Rods (Whips), Dog - progress required faithfully clearing out what wasn't working, no matter how painful that process.

(Oak) Tree, (Shedding) Snake, Woman - now, I'm in a process of transformation that holds a lot of growth potential, but which may take some time.

Letter, Moon, Girl - moving forward, I need to do some journalling/list-making to figure out the new way to present this.

(Holly) Tree, Ship, Scythe - a harvest in this venture may take a while to come, I need to cut the nostalgia in favour of growth.

Looking at the rows as thoughts, situation and actions, and combining cards through mirroring as well as side-by-side connections:

Key, Storks, Oak, Letter, Holly - changing insights bring growthful progress needing written roots for long-term evidence.  My thoughts are in flux, which is why there's a need for me to write things down, both to root out what I'm really getting at, and to get longer-term insight.

House, Birch Rods, Shedding Snake, Moon, Ship - cleaning house is a transformative process that brings new recognition to this venture.

Flowers, Dog, Woman, Girl, Scythe - invite the faithful to enjoy this new harvest.  Edit creatively with the help of new friends.

These suggestions for actions to take both make sense to me.  On the one hand, make an offer to my list, those people who I have connected with already.  And on the other, I'm doing a "business challenge" this week, organised by Amethyst Mahoney, that is giving me the space to figure out what I need to cut out, what I need to change, to make this project more viable.

Obviously, there is more that could be mined from this spread.  For now, though, I think there's plenty for me to think about and work on...

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Super New Moon in Aries Spell

Tomorrow, there is a Super New Moon (defined as when the moon comes closer than normal to the earth) in Aries.  The new moon is a great time for making a fresh start, and Aries is a fiery sign full of courage, independence, optimism, and enthusiasm. 

That makes this a perfect time for a spell about making choices to get up and go, fulfill your spiritual and creative plans, and be more daring.  I decided to design a spell with that in mind!

The Stars at the centre represents the New Moon, as well as clarity, spirituality and making a plan.  The Paths is for choices, the Tree for health and growth, the Sun for energy and success, the Flowers for creativity, the Storks for progress and change, the Rider for movement and sociability, the Clover for optimism and luck, and the Bear for being your own "boss" :D

You could start by laying the cards out in a special place, such as on your altar if you have one, or any dedicated space for messages from spirit. 

Light a candle - either red for the fire of Mars, or white for the purity of spirit, or black for the dark of the new moon - or all three ;) 

If you want crystals on your dedicated space, once again choose from red, black and white.  Moon stone is always appropriate when working with moon energy, and red stones connect with Mars, while black represents infinite possibilities.  Or go with whatever most speaks to you.

Sit and gaze at the cards for a little while, filling your mind with your intent to use this energy.  You could imagine the changes that you want to make, the choices that lie ahead of you, how you will feel when socialising or taking charge of whatever you set your mind to.  Then, say some words.  

You could say this spell, though finding your own words (whether rhyming or not) is always good:

With the coming of this New Moon, I:
Choose health, growth and the energy of the sun in the sky.
Creative clarity brings progress: flying high.
Optimism and sociability make me the boss in all I try!
As I will so mote it be

As with all magic, intention is key.  So, if there are different cards that call to you, other words that feel more appropriate, or whatever, follow your heart. 

Wishing you all a blessed New Moon )O(

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Choices, Choices, Choices!

This week, I've been struggling with choices.   What better time to use the Choices Spread I shared in the Celtic Lenormand companion book?!

With three cartomantic projects I could work on this week in what little time I have, decisions are necessary.  I'm not even going to count the "day-job" projects, as those have to be done come what may (hence not having much time for the more fun projects).  So, I drew three cards for each of the three projects, three cards for the wisdom of the reading, and three cards for a deciding factor.

In particular, I want to use this reading to look at how you can use the playing card inserts to give additional information.  For this, you consider the areas of influence for each suit: hearts for emotion and relationships; diamonds for enterprise and energy; spades for society and service; and clubs for challenges and necessities.

Choice A - Clouds (King of Clubs), Oak Tree (7 of Hearts), Flowers (Queen of Spades)

It's true this is a project that is rather long term (Oak), and full of creativity (Flowers).  It's also true there is quite a lot of uncertainty about it (Clouds).  As the Clouds are at the start of the reading, it suggests that enduring creativity and growth will eventually trump uncertainty - the more I work on this, the clearer it will become.

As for the playing card suits, there's one club, one heart and one spade.  A mix of challenges, emotion and service - working to be creative and make something that will serve others in a way that nurtures emotional understandings in the face of difficulties.

Choice B - Fish (King of Diamonds), Burial Mound (Coffin - 9 of Diamonds), Bear (10 of Clubs)

This line is a good representation of the second project - there are a lot of parts to it (Fish), it is now nearing an end (Burial Mound), and it requires some "managing" (Bear).  For this week, it feels like the flow of energy for this project is at an end, because of a need to use resources wisely.

Equally, looking at the playing card inserts: with two diamonds and a club there's plenty of energy, but it feels rather blocked at the end.

Choice C - Fox (9 of Clubs), Ship (10 of Spades), Stars (6 of Hearts)

This project is in many ways the most "business-y" - connected to marketing.  The Fox suggests my dislike for marketing, which seems a combination of needing street smarts I don't have, and trying to "deceive" people.  The Ship highlights the business venture aspect, while the Stars talks of a need for planning.  Looked at more cohesively, a business venture can be both spiritual and smart.

As for the playing cards, once again a club, a spade and a heart.  Difficulties around business are resolved when you act from the heart.

Wisdom - Woman (Ace of Spades), Moon (8 of Hearts), Rider (9 of Hearts)

At a practical level, my intuition (Woman) tells me I should focus on marketing (C): gaining recognition (Moon) through the distribution of information (Rider).  Yet, there are also cycles of energy and emotion, and information is a two-way street.  There is practical and intuitive work to be done on the first project (A) to gather information.  And equally, the second project involves spreading information which requires putting my face in front of other people.

All of these projects have equal claims, that is part of the reason why making a decision is so hard.  And perhaps the true wisdom here is to recognise the cycles that make up the day, as well as the week.  Can I focus on project A for a while one day, and on C the next day, using my own emotional cycles to make the most of whatever time I have available?

What say the playing card inserts?  A spade and two hearts - there is a lot of emotion involved, which is not always clear.  Putting it to service in the most practical way sounds like a good idea.

Deciding Factor/Path to Take - Paths (Queen of Diamonds), Lady (Ace of Spades), Lord (Ace of Hearts)

Well, a clear recognition that there are choices here!  Both intuition and logic have their part to play in finding a way forward.  The most intuitive option is A, the most logical is C, once again. 

The playing card suits are once again split - a diamond, a spade, and a heart.  The intuitive choice (A) is one that is more sociable, as well as being of service.  There is a deeply emotional part to choice C, both in my negative emotions around marketing, and in the emotional content of the actual thing I am marketing, despite this being the most logical/business-oriented option.  Seems like I have enough energy (Queen of Diamonds) to work on both, at least a little.

So, B is out for the rest of the week.  Even though it's nearly finished, it'll just have to wait.  Following my heart, and my natural rhythms, is more important.  A dab of project A when I have enthusiasm for it, a smidge of project C, when I can get some computer time...

What do you think looking at the playing card suits adds to a reading?

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Did She Have An Affair?

Clearly, this isn't a question I would answer if a jealous partner came to my reading table.  Ethically, that's not something I want to touch with a bargepole!

However, in this case the question is one that arose for me while reading a biography of the Empress Sisi.  Seeing as she's been dead for nearly 120 years, I don't think anyone will mind much if I do a little exploring of her life through the cards.  It's "For Entertainment Purposes Only", after all ;)

Sisi was a Bavarian princess, whose mother wanted one of her daughters to marry the Austrian Emperor.  While the plan was to have her older sister get engaged, the Emperor fell in love with Sisi, of whom he said:

"How sweet Sisi is, she is as fresh as a blossoming almond tree and what a splendid crown of hair frames her face!"

They married, but Sisi didn't deal well with the formality and gossip of the Austrian court.  Her health also suffered, in part due to her many pregnancies and the loss of one of her children.  More and more, she fled the court, immersing herself in travel and exercise.  She was an accomplished rider, and became rather vain - spending up to three hours just dressing her hair!

There are two men, whom gossip connected her with.  One was her riding instructor, an English man named William George "Bay" Middleton.  The other was a Hungarian politician, Gyula Graf Andr├íssy.

Looking at the cards, the Rider is the obvious choice for Middleton, and the Lily (an older man, a man of peace) for Andr├íssy. 

The Lily falls directly under the Lord, he was one of the Emperor's men.  Nothing doing there.

The Rider, on the other hand, lies at one of the cross card points between the Lord and the Lady - something that came between them.  And the consequence of this, as seen in the diagonal moving to the right of the card, is the Meadow (Garden) and the Birch Rods.  Sharp words expressed in public.  This could also express publically recognised sex.  To the left of the Rider lies the Mice, little thieves.  Did he steal away the Empress' Heart, just to the left of that? 

Overall, I don't think so. 

The only card around this that implies sex at all is the Whips, and it is quite far from the two people involved, and can just as well be interpreted as the harsh words that were expressed very publically on the topic, causing Sisi to break off her classes with Middleton. 

More likely, it was riding itself, and the movement it allowed her - travelling around Europe to take part in riding events - that she lost her heart to.  And it was a freedom that was eaten away by the burdensome gossip (Cross, Birds - diagonal to the top left of the Rider) that endured (Tree) throughout her reign. 

It is notable that harsh words and gossip are on two of the four diagonals from the Rider (Cross, Birds and Meadow, Birch Rods).  What those gossips couldn't see was the other cross card between the Lord and Lady, just under the Lady: the Dog. 

The Empress and Emperor were both faithful in their love, in whatever way the mores of their society allowed.  And while Sisi longed for more choices (Paths), and was depressed at their lack (Clouds), she was also a woman of her word (Ring).  She was vain (Sun) and dedicated to beauty (Ring under Flowers).  Yet, she loved her Children (Child, Heart), and the Rider can also be read as the Crown Prince Rudolph (older child, young man), the only son born to the two of them, a uniting force between them, too.

Certainly, much more can be read from this Grand Tableau.  However, I'll leave it there, with my own answer to the question I started with: No.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Money In The Cards

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When Ania asked us to talk about finances in the cards, it got me thinking about our relationship with money.  This isn't just random philosophising (or perhaps it is), but rather connects both to how money appears in the Lenormand deck, and to something I read recently about investing or spending money.

The two main cards that can be seen as talking about money are:

The Fish

Stands for the flow of money, spending, everyday finances, shopping, the small amounts that come in and out of your life on a regular basis.

The Bear

Represents using your resources wisely, investing, making the most of what you have, managing your money, the richness and sweetness of life.

The piece that I read talked about spending money being a waste, that if you invested the same amount you'd be a millionaire.  Of course, there are a number of big problems with that thesis.  First off, you need to spend enough to live, which in this day and age doesn't always leave much over.  Secondly, investments don't always work out.  Thirdly, money (and multiplying it), isn't the only thing in life worth "investing" in.

On the first point, it just isn't possible to "invest" all your money.  We all need to eat, to have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and a way to get around (okay, some people can walk everywhere they need to get, but that's not realistic for everyone).  So, you need to spend money on the day to day of life, and for many that's pretty much all they have.

Secondly, there is no such thing as a sure thing.  There's a reason why investment firms have to post up provisos saying something along the lines of "past performance is no guarantee of future performance".  Just recently, the antiques market tanked, and people who had "invested" in a bunch of old furniture now just have some very expensive stuff to sit on!

As for the bit about money not being everything, I'll admit, I sometimes try to "justify" some of my spending as investing.  However, to be honest, I really don't need all the decks I have, even if I do work in the field of divination on a professional basis.  There are plenty of card readers who only use one or two decks, and I could blog in other ways than offering reviews of different decks each week.  Equally, not all (or even many) of the decks I buy are ever going to become collectors items worth lots of money.

But I love decks, I love variety, and I feel my life is richer and sweeter for having lots of decks in it :)

All that being said, I thought it might be worthwhile to consider the relationship each of us has to money.  One way to do that is to shuffle up your Lenormand deck, and then look through to find the Fish and the Bear.  Take the two cards to either side of each of them, and you have two lines of five to express your relationship to these two different ways of looking at money...

Here are my lines:

Fish: Flowers, Stars, Fish, Birch Rods (Whips), Paths

I spend money on gifts and on spiritual items of beauty (decks!).  This spending also allows me to connect with my creativity in a way that follows my plans and aspirations.  Still, I could do with a bit of a clear out.  In particular, it would help to make choices to clear away things that just cause arguments anyway :D

Bear: Chickens (Birds), Lord, Bear, Rider, Cross

Using my rational mind can help allay worries around money.  Sometimes, I feel overburdened with information - so many options, how to decide?  Still, there is a life lesson here about filtering information rationally, and using word-of-mouth sources (personal connections) to narrow down the overwhelm.

I really hope you'll use this idea to take a look at your own relationship to the concepts of spending and investing.  What do you think: are they all that different, and which is more important in your life?

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And if you'd like to explore your relationship with money in more depth, as well as having my help in creating a spell to improve it, I'm just a click away.

Reading and Spell Session

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Houses in a Line

This is a technique I demonstrated last year, but it's good to revisit such things, I think.  The basic idea is to take a line (in this case of three), and read it using houses to add an extra layer.  You can either take card one as House one, card two as House two, etc.  Or else, my preference, you add the card number to the position number, to come up with something different.

This reading is about a new, creative project I have been thinking about for the last ten days or so.  So, very early days, and what do the cards think about it?

Reading just the cards would give us: 

A spiritual project is new.   Clearing up mysteries through openness.

Adding in the layers of the Houses:

26 + 1 - 27 - Book, Letter
16 + 2 - 18 - Stars, Dog
13 + 3 - 16 - Child, Stars

A writing project requires clear dedication as part of a new plan.  Esoteric writing is part of my dedication to my spiritual beliefs, even when these are expressed in a new way.  Writing about the mysteries should be done in a way that is clear and approachable, done from a place of spiritual openness.

As you can see, this adds a whole new layer to the reading, and is a great way of practising using Houses.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Which Way To Turn?

Decisions come up in our lives all the time.  From the biggies - marriage, kids, career change, relocation - to the everyday - what to wear, what to eat, what to write in your Facebook status :D  The Paths Spread, based on the Paths card, and found in the Celtic Lenormand companion booklet, page 179, is a good one for choices: big, small, and anything in between.

The decision here is around marketing strategies for a particular service.  For each spread position, I drew two cards:

Where you are right now on the path: Birch Rods, Child - repetition, something new

Yes, this rings true.  I keep trying new things, but without much obvious success.  Sometimes it feels like I'm whipping myself into a frenzy, or perhaps beating a dead horse, and it may be that I am a little naive when it comes to marketing...

The wisdom being offered: Anchor, Ring - work, commitment

There's a need here to commit to a single path and see it through.  A need to work in a more consistent and committed way, rather than chopping and changing.  Ack, as a double Gemini, chopping and changing is both my greatest strength (adaptability), and my greatest weakness (lack of follow-through).  I often worry about beating a dead horse, but it could also be that I just need to stick with something, and wait for it to bear fruit.  Wait - now there's a four-letter word!

Obstacles you may face: Fish, Chickens - money, communication

Ha, communicating about the price of the service is definitely a problem.  Doesn't help that I keep changing my mind about that myself!  And that I'm getting very mixed messages from different marketing 'gurus': 'charge what you feel comfortable with'; 'charge what you're worth' (according to whom?); 'put your prices up - otherwise people won't value your service'; 'go for fewer clients who are willing to pay more' (but what about my pre-existing clients who aren't that flush, but who are my tribe?).  Yeah, I hate thinking about money, and I hate charging it almost as much.  A definite inner block there.

Best way forward: Scythe, Fox - sorting, strategy

Okay, I can get behind this.  I need to think strategically about an 'ideal target market'.  Back to the double Gemini thing, and I can see the usefulness of this service to pretty much anyone.  But I can't market to pretty much everyone, at least not effectively.  So, it's time to cut down my target market, even more than I already have.  And perhaps to change the emphasis of that marketing, in a way that fits other people better.  I have to appeal to their instincts and strategies, rather than following my own.  I need to figure out what 'makes the cut' in their world.

Funnily enough, the obstacles cards also gave me another idea about who might be my ideal target market.  Something to ponder...

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Eye On The Prize!

Kelly from The Truth In Story is running an instagram/Youtube challenge this month called #lenormarch.  I was rather tempted to join in, even though my Dear One is away this week, and we're off for a short break next week, and though I had promised myself to focus on another of my projects this month. 

As I generally do in such situations, I turned to the cards for advice.  Throwing down a Nine Square, one card jumped out as I shuffled: the Fox.  This looks like a good thing to do, joining in the fun with friends old and new.  Still, looks can be deceptive, and I need to work smart this month, using my skills and my time to best effect - got to keep my eye on the prize!

The Nine Square reinforced this message.  At the centre is the Ship - what is my life's journey about?  If the answer doesn't include a good reason to do the #lenormarch, then I shouldn't do it.

The corners clarify on this theme: Heart, Woman, Scythe, Flowers.  I should trust my intuitive emotions around this (my first thought when looking at the list of prompts was that this wasn't for me), and cut this invitation out of my month.  Sorting the wheat from the chaf, in terms of what to do, will allow my creativity fuller rein.

The central cross gives advice on action to take: Clouds, Man, Ship, House, Snake.  When uncertain about my actions, I should focus on business ventures close to home, and keep my boundaries clear. 

So, while I'll check in now and again to enjoy other people's posts, I won't be taking part.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Long Distance Love: A Grand Tableau

While it's a truism that love is the most asked about subject in readings, it's less common to have a man come requesting a love reading.  It makes a nice change, and I was grateful to receive permission to share this, with name's changed.

Keith explained that Tonya works in law enforcement, and travels a lot.  She is not very expressive, and although their relationship has become physical and they get along well, he isn't quite sure where he stands with her.  On top of that, his work as a salesman also requires him to travel, and sometimes seems a bit "sneaky" to Tonya, though he said "it's all above board".

We agreed to throw a GT, pictured below:

Below and diagonally behind him is the Burial Mound (Coffin), I ask if he has made a big change, recently, perhaps around how he sees things (Clouds at the start of that row, followed by Letter and Coffin, turning over a new leaf around some kind of uncertainty, seeing the writing on the wall).  He says he has long suffered from claustrophobia, but recently did some CBT-type exposure therapy, and explains that Tonya was a motivator for him to do so.  The consequence here: Cross and Book - a life lesson about secrets?  He laughs and says that Tonya guessed about his claustrophobia based on how he had reacted to her coming in to join him in the shower, that he had been trying to keep the issue a secret, but realised that it was only by talking about it that he could get help.

On the diagonals behind him we see the Clover and the Whips - there have been some small arguments between them.  The consequence (forward diagonal), a need for a choice (Paths).  When I ask about that, he says "work".  That fits nicely with what is on his mind (above his head): the Whips, the Anchor and the Cross, so I ask him about his work.  It is somewhat repetitive, and he has been feeling a bit bored by it.  The fact that it's an obstacle between him and Tonya is also a concern.  While he doesn't feel wedded to his work, he worries that she does, and isn't sure how they can reconcile their jobs.

In terms of the cards linking him and Tonya (the Woman), there is the Ship and the Storks (at the two points where their lines and columns intersect).  A change of career would be a big move for either/both of them, and yet the travel issue, meaning they don't get to see one another often, is really bothering him.

Reading the line backward from the Woman, her current sense of security, feeling at home in her job (House), is being challenged by her emotions (Heart).  She is very institutionalised (Hill Fort/Tower) as part of law enforcement, and yet Paths touches both the Hill Fort and the Man, and is followed by Storks - there is a potential for change there.  However, it would be a big ending for her (Burial Mound), there might be contractual issues (Letter) and it would leave her feeling very uncertain (Clouds).  Yet, looking at the column above her, the Key to her soul's journey (Ship) is around creativity (Flowers).  Does she feel creative where she currently is?  He is unsure.

As for the line moving forward from his significator, I list keywords as peace (Lily), community (Meadow/Garden - directly over the Hill Fort on the Woman's line), obstacle (Mountain), communication or gossip (Owls) and travel or soul's journey (Ship).  Her institutional group is a very tight knit one, that blocks him out and gossips about him.  He feels like an outsider (another word for foreigner, in some languages, connecting it to the Ship).  However, looking at his column, his work reputation (Moon/Anchor), is something he can change (Storks underneath him/his control).  The question being, what kind of change does he want?

From this, we move onto designing a spell/intention for him.  Keith says that, whether things between him and Tonya work out or not, he thinks he's ready for a change at work.  And certainly, making that kind of change is also a first step to working things out so they can see one another more.  So, he wants to gain insight into what else he could do, and open up to possibilities for change.  I suggest the cards: Sun, Clover, Key.  He says he also likes the Storks, and wants the Anchor to remind him what it's about.  Final spell:

If you are interested in having this kind of session with me - an interactive conversation with the cards, working towards a spell to keep your intention clearly in mind - hit the Paypal button below, or email me at info@innerwhispers.co.uk.  Session cost is £55 for an hour, or £75 for an hour and a half (good if you have a more complex situation you want to work on).  I offer concessions for students, pensioners, single parents, and anyone on benefits, as well as Canadians ;)  Please feel free to email me and ask if you'd like a discounted session - I'm always willing to make things work.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A Celtic Cross Reading

Germany is the home of the Lenormand deck, the place where it was created by Johann Kaspar Hechtel, as well as being connected to the Austro-Hungarian court where it's precursor (the Coffee Grounds cards) were developed.  And there is a long tradition of reading with these cards there, as well as a huge number of books on the subject.  Interestingly, almost all of the general Lenormand books in German feature the Celtic Cross spread.  So, this week, that's what I'm going to do!

I asked about a new direction I'm exploring at work, and drew the following cards:

Central cross - Clover/Letter

This new opportunity requires some clarification.  It may well bring a little happiness, and journalling will help bring clarity around how to make the most of its possibilities.

Underlying - Meadow (Garden)

The driving force underlying this new move is related to my community - very true.  This will help me connect more deeply with my tribe.

Past - Woman

This is something I've been intuitively approaching for a while, but without taking it out of the personal arena.

Higher Self - Clouds

There is a degree of uncertainty around this work - and I will need to figure out how to deal with that if I want to move forward with this.  I know what this is about: how do I really feel about this area?  I flip-flop a bit around this - not sure what I believe, but knowing what works, whether I believe in it or not.  And how can I best explain it to others when I feel uncertain myself?

Near Future - House

Looks like the journalling will really work to help me feel comfortable and stable with this.

Self - Flowers

One of the things I love about this area is how creative it is, how it allows me to express a part of myself that other elements of my work don't, or not in the same way.  Doing this would be a gift I give myself.

Environment - Heart

This may be better received by those around me than I expect.  People feel when you put your heart into something.  This also reminds me that this work can bring up a lot of emotions in people, so I'd better be prepared for that - packet of tissues, anyone?

Hopes and Fears - Bear

I hope that this will bring me a greater sense of strength and independence.  I fear that I do not have all the resources that I need for this endeavour, yet.  Once again, journalling can help me clarify what I have and what I need to move forward.

Potential Outcome - Anchor

Looks like this could become a regular part of my work, a mainstay even that grounds and supports me!

Another thing you can do with the Celtic Cross is to take different parts and read them together.  For example, the Past, Central Cross, Near Future and Potential Outcome form a progression in time, and can be read as a line of five - Woman, Clover, Letter, House, Anchor.   Serendipitous intuition and happy journalling create a tangible sense of security at work, which does require some effort to achieve.

Equally, the upright column of the Celtic Cross can be read as another line - Flowers, Heart, Bear, Anchor.  Bringing creativity to an emotional environment requires strength and resources to work well.

I'd love to hear if you give this a go!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Are Yes-No Readings Pointless?

Last year, I posted about a way of using Lenormand cards for a yes-no reading, based on the playing card associations.  At the time, I was "lucky" enough to get consistent answers.  Now, six months on, I asked the same questions again.

Should I give up on X?  - Paths, Bear, Rider

In terms of yes-no, we have a strong yes (Heart), a weak yes (Diamond) and a strong no (Club).  So, yes to giving up, but with some reservations.

Looking at the card meanings, choices necesitate getting a move-on with your resources.  Or, choices should be made on the basis of strong information.  Or, resourceful choices send out a strong message. 

Bringing those together, giving up would open the possibility to move forward strongly in a different direction.  Such a choice should be made on the basis of gathering good information.  It would be a choice to use resources in a better way, and would help to send out a strong message. 

Should I carry on with X? - Heart, Cat, Man

Three Hearts, that's a big, fat YES!  So, a weak yes to giving up, and a strong yes to carrying on. 

Loyal emotions can be expressed rationally.  Independently balancing emotion and rationality.

The Cat is an interesting card.  The Dog is pure loyalty, whereas the Cat is both loyal and independent.  Some people see that as an oxymoron, but to me it makes a lot of sense.  If anything, the Cat's loyalty is worth more, because it is given less easily.  Once given, though, it is offered in a way that doesn't pander, but supports.  Sitting in the middle, it speaks of carrying on for the right reasons, rather than the wrong reasons.  And of finding these through balancing emotions and logic.  If I carry on, I need to do so in a way that suits me, not just because I feel I should or to do what others tell me I should be doing.

As for the larger question around yes-no readings, if I had done only the first of these readings, I would have a very different perspective than if I'd just done the second.  Which says a lot about the value of yes-no readings! 

How you ask the question affects the answer you get.  As with the Law of Attraction, where you put your energy influences what comes to you.  And I could also have asked something like: should I put my energy into Y (something different)?  Which would have given me a whole other set of variables to think about, even though indirectly it would be examining the same question of where my energy should be spent right now...

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Brigid's Awakening

Brigid by Joanna Powell Colbert
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A few days after Imbolc, or St. Brigid's Day, welcome to this seasonal Blog Hop.  Our topic this time around, which bloggers around the world will share their divinatory thoughts on, is Awakening the Heart.

Straight away, I thought about creating a spread with the Heart card at it's centre, to represent how the Goddess Brigid might awaken our hearts to greater compassion.  And the Nine Square is so delightfully versatile...

This version takes the top row as being connected to the healing aspect of the Goddess Brigid, the middle row as connected to her inspiration, and the bottom row is associated to the forge aspect where she brings those inspired ideas into manifestation.  And despite this Goddess-inspired interpretation, really there is a close connection to more traditional readings of the Nine Square.  Often, the top line is associated with our thoughts, and sometimes healing comes from releasing thoughts and worries that we somatise.  Inspiration is what we feel in the present moment, when we are in the middle of something engaging.  And manifestation is what we create, the actions we have control over.

For this reading, I shuffled up the Celtic Lenormand (U.S. Games, 2014), and then looked through the deck to find the four cards to either side of the Heart card.

Top Row - Healing - Moon, Female Rider, Stars

Information around life cycles brings spiritual clarity.

What cycles of uncertainty need healing, and what information will help foster spiritual clarity?  Oftentimes, we have all the information we need, if only we can access and acknowledge it.  Especially with issues that come around again and again, we already know what doesn't work, and probably what does.  A little spiritual clarity can go a long way to opening our hearts.


 Middle Row - Inspiration - Cat, Heart, Clouds

Emotional independence comes through being able to deal with ambiguity.

I read something recently that talked about how being able to sit with ambiguity is a sign of resilience, and how those suffering from depression often lack this trait.  Interesting, in that context, that the Clouds are associated both with ambiguity and with depression.

This leads me to the question: How can I express my compassion in a way that helps foster emotional independence?


Bottom Row - Manifestation - Shedding Snake, Fierce Snake, Bear

Manifesting strong boundaries can be transformational.

Compassion is multi-faceted: we can be compassionate towards others, yet often forget to offer the same gift to ourselves.  Being protective of our own space and needs can be a way to show that self-compassion.  However, it can feel hard to do, given the expectations others often have of us.  Something tangible can help make that boundary clearer to others, and act as a reminder so we maintain it for ourselves.  How can I manifest strong boundaries?

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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

My Cross To Bear

Just a quickie this week, as I have an essay to write.  Gosh, you'd think I'd be past that at my age, but I can't seem to stay away from expanding my horizons :)  So, I asked the cards for some advice on getting this essay done:
Flowers, Cross, House
One message I get here is about finding a balance between getting creative and staying within my comfort zone when facing this kind of challenge.  I've had plenty of experience writing essays over the decades, but doing things by rote is boring.  So, I need to find the joy in the beauty of the subject, the challenge that feels like a gift because it inspires me to explore, and to create a new comfort zone for myself beyond the old one. 

Another message is that I need to balance creativity with my family life, which is a big challenge in and of itself.  Essays take time, and kids definitely take time, too.  Still, the kids aren't going anywhereWhereas if I don't get this essay written in the next seven days, it's me that won't be going anywhere: I need to pass this to move onto the next level of this training!  So, while I need to cover the basics of family life (getting the kids to school, making sure they eat enough, getting them to bed), maybe other times they can play by themselves or watch Kids Youtube for a bit while mummy sits at her computer...

And just a quick message: next week's post will be out on Thursday instead of Wednesday, as it's part of the next Tarot Blog Hop :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Grand Tableau Hits The Nail On The Head

As I haven't posted a Grand Tableau in a while, I thought the start of the year was a good time to throw one.  That being said, I was asking specifically about the next month, and an upcoming exam and essay I have...

For this particular GT I chose to use the Woman and Man cards, and it just so happens that the Woman faces left.  Hence, for this GT I will read the left side as indicating the future, which confirms what the reading is about.  Her line ends with the Coffin and the Book - an end to studying, which will come by the end of the month time period I set, when my final essay has to be handed in.  And right above that, the Scythe and the Letter - a written piece of work that needs to make the cut.

The corners address the theme perfectly.  Scythe, Sun, House, Dog - putting energy into 'making the cut', and sacrificing home/family and partner for it (my partner sees himself as the Dog, and that's how he always appears in my Lennie readings). 

My partner is not particularly impressed that this course runs on weekends, stealing from my time with him (Mice, Dog), and from family time more generally.  Nor, that I've been rather focused (some might say obsessed) with getting my work for it done.  Hey, the kids are happy watching online videos (Child mirroring with Stars, connected to Sun, Owls) or choosing to bury themselves in a good book (adjacent to Book, Coffin, Paths) :D

Still, my partner and I had a talk about it last week, so things are somewhat clearer now.  Clouds are behind the Woman, after a conversation (Owls) that lies where our lines/rows cross over.  The other joining card is the Cross - it has been a sorrow between us, but it is also a life lesson in how to keep a partnership working through clear communication.

What I'm in control of (directly beneath the Woman), is moving my work reputation forward (Anchor, Moon, Storks), which this course will do.  Pieces of paper, and memberships to offical bodies, are always good. 

As for what's on my mind, Fox, Cross and Mice suggest that there is also a life lesson around deception undermining my sense of self.  I recognise this: I am not speaking my truth on this course.  The course is directly related to my understanding of magic but, from their very scientific perspective, the two have nothing to do with one another.  So, I have kept quiet about my affiliations and prior experience - not out-and-out lying, but not speaking openly, either.

Moving forward, the advice seems to be to gather my resources and use them creatively (Flowers, Bear) in order to write this paper that will be assessed (Letter, Scythe).  This opportunity to gather more information and grow can bring me happiness, even as it requires work to complete (Clover, Tree, Rider, Book, Coffin).  And this work is definitely something that gets me into a feeling of flow, while requiring a rational perspective, making clear choices and trying to come up with something new and original (Anchor, Fish, Man, Paths, Child).

I notice the challenges that I may face with my commitment to this particular professional institution, despite their narrow, scientific approach (Anchor, Tower, Ring).  A discussion with clear boundaries may help me to feel more comfortable (Birch Rods, Snake, House).  And this seems to be something under my control, that's good to know.

As a final message, the last four cards suggest the key to overcoming the obstacles I will be facing over the next few weeks lies in committing to this emotional journey - embracing the opportunity this institution is affording me with this exam and essay (Key, Mountain, Heart, Ship, with Tower above Mountain and Ring above Heart).  It's not just about making the cut for them, but about enjoying the process - so much to learn and explore, with a practical element, too, where I am applying these learnings to my own life.  Yes, I embrace it!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Nine Square Spell For Focus

As I may have said before, the Nine Square, as well as a versatile reading tool, has become my favourite spread layout.  In need of a bit of focus at the start of the year, I decided to create a spell to support me.

I was asked last week how to avoid overwhelm with larger spreads.  The simple answer is to "chunk" them.  It used to be said that a person could deal with 7 plus or minus 2 pieces of information at once, putting nine cards at the outside of human capacity if seen as individual bits of info.  These days, the recommendation is actually 5 plus or minus 2 pieces of information.  So, dividing the spread up into smaller pieces is the best way to be able to hold it all in mind.

One way to do that is to read the Nine Square in two chunks: the four corner cards as one piece; the five cards of the central cross as another piece.  Another, and the one I tend to use in my spells, is to see it as three lines of three.  I like the latter as a starting point, and then often also read it the other way for added information beyond what my intention was, which I'll do here.

The three lines here are:

Central Line - Stars, Lord, Scythe: Rational clarity to cut through what isn't necessary.

Upper Line - Songbirds, Book, Storks: Studying healing brings progress.

Bottom Line - Fish, Hill Fort (Tower), Letter: Institutional money form - that's a tax return!

My two main focuses in the short term are on a class I'm studying in a healing form that I hope will help me develop my understanding and practice, and getting taxes out of the way in my day job.  For this, I need clarity, focus, and an incisive ability to prioritise.

Reading this with the corners as theme and the cross as action brings some different ideas into play.

Theme: Songbirds, Letter, Fish, Storks

Study - Writing about healing brings an expansive change, if I can get into the flow of it - I have an essay to write for my course.

Taxes - Anxiety around the paperwork about money can be overcome.

Action: Book, Stars, Lord, Scythe, Hill Fort

Study - Spiritual study in a rational form makes the cut at an institutional level.  A reminder to keep my focus very much on the marking guidelines and learning outcomes, rather than going into the more intuitive side or getting sidetracked into other areas.

Taxes - Clear up any secrets through incisive logic that fits institutional requirements.

In both cases, not only do I need to stay clear and focused (as was my thought when creating this spell), but the 'reading' highlights that I need to keep clearly in mind the institutional requirements, both for my essay and for the tax paperwork. 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

An Alternate Reading

Last week, I did a reading using the 5 x 3 layout.  This week, here it is again, but with a different layout for interpreting it.  It was fascinating, as three alternate cards came up, and with really influential positioning!

I asked about a course that I am in the middle of, and how it will progress.  In this variant of the 5 x 3 spread, you read it as 3 nine squares, around cards 1, 2, and 3.  The nine square around card 1 indicates the past, around card 2 the present, and around card 3, the future.  In this case, I will be reading the nine squares using the corners/central cross method.

So, the first nine square around card one (the Holly Tree) is Anchor, Letter, Man, Heart, Woman, Moon, Holly (Tree), Cat (Dog), Hill Fort (Tower).  Written work must combine logic and love (Anchor, Letter, Man, Heart).  Yep, I've started work on an essay for this, and although the writing guidelines are very strict and logical, I also need to honour the emotions that make me care about this subject.  I need to keep my emotional intuition a part of this, so as to remain independent while working within the institutional framework, no matter if this means things take a little longer (Woman, Moon, Holly, Cat, Hill Fort).  And yeah, I'm only 20% through my essay - it is taking time!

The second nine square is Woman, Female Rider, Hill Fort, Lady, Heart, Holly Cat, Oak (Tree), Letter.  In the present, I must still listen to intuitive messages, and also messages from other women, in particular perhaps the women who work within the college (Woman, Female Rider, Hill Fort, Lady).  I had a very useful tutorial, with my tutor, who is female.  And I will keep my eyes peeled this weekend on the course for other important messages, too.  Emotional growth comes with a growth in feelings of independence, which I should note in my journal (Heart, Holly Cat, Oak, Letter).

The third nine square around the Oak is: Heart, Songbirds, Letter, Owls, Lady, Cat, Oak, Girl (Child), Female Rider.  Moving forward, I need a better balance between emotional communication and written wisdom (Heart, Songbirds, Letter, Owls).  I see here the fact that it's not just about the essay, but also about how I communicate with my fellow students and the tutors, especially as we also have a practical exam, where relationships will matter.  In terms of what to do, I read that my independent spiritual practice will bring growth opportunities so long as I remain open to the messages I receive (Lady, Cat, Oak, Girl, Female Rider).  A bit of beginner's mind is never a bad thing when you're learning :D

It was fascinating to see the alternates here!  For instance, the Woman falls above the Holly, while the Lady falls above the Oak, and the Songbirds and the Owls both fall in the last column (the most distant future, if you were reading more purely across the lines).  A real focus on intuition, growth, and communication, therefore.  And with a nice progression towards more vibrant and stronger aspects of the two first elements (Lady and Oak), with the future holding new wisdom through communication around healing (it is a course on a healing modality, after all).  Altogether, a very encouraging reading, with a remind at the centre to stay true to myself, above all!