Today’s Tarot: Two sides of the same sword

It’s interesting.

Try this if you can. I’m guessing that professional readers do this all the time. I do. If you are a Tarot fan, a comparative study of card meanings is a satisfying deep dive.

In the two of swords is today’s case in point. Every reference gives a range of meanings or keywords. As always, use your intuition. I like to take the top level meaning that stands out to instinct and most captures my attention whenever I do one of these comparisons.

Diane Morgan in Magical Tarot, Mystical Tao is one of my favorites with “mystical unity.” Ellen Dugan, in the Witches Tarot points out conflict or incongruities between heart and mind. Ted Andrews, in Animal Wise Tarot, points out the balancing of heart and mind for “right use of power.” In the same vein as this proper use of power, Thom Pham includes impartiality in his Heart of Stars Tarot. In my mind this connects to all the other interpretations in that it hints at disengaging both heart and mind and bringing impartiality to difficult decisions where indecision otherwise reigns.

Although they all have different points of view, artistic styles, themes and philosophical backgrounds, none of the interpretations conflict or are wide outliers. They all fall on a spectrum of meaning and energy. Tarot cards are far more than one meaning. That’s why intuition is important in readings, coequal with memorizing card meanings. Each card has an entire sliding scale spectrum of meanings, connotations and emotions. Memorization isn’t enough. If you think of the card in terms of visual light, then learning Tarot is like learning all the colors of 78 rainbows. Mental effort isn’t enough.

The Two of Swords is the perfect card for today. It shows us the unity along a spectrum that multiple tarot readers can have. They may dial into one color or another, but we all dial into the same spectrum of energy and beauty.

The card reminds us of mind and heart, intellect and intuition, balanced in mystical unity to give us wise, impartial decisions and lead us to the right use of power.

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I bring every bit of knowledge and professionalism that I have to everything I write and every reading that I do. I got my first deck, Carson & James’ Medicine Cards, in 1991. To celebrate, seven card Tarot readings by email are $1 for each year of care reading experience until September 20, 2021 when it returns to the usual $40 (why that day? It’s the last full day of summer. I have other stuff planned for the equinox and after.) Get ’em while they are summer hot!

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Today’s Tarot: Protect the Treasure

Today is a blustery kind of day for our card’s energy.

Some skeptics dismiss intuition and its tools like Tarot because the card meanings are vague and inconsistent. They are, but not because they are invalid, but because they are ephemeral. The cards are an ever-adapting look at ever-changing energies from one point of view within the flow of time. They are a localized look at a larger, fluid, energetic, dynamic system. That’s why they guide rather than predict. Saying Tarot is invalid because of inconsistent or vague card meanings is like saying the weather report is wrong because it changes every day.

Tarot is a creative prompt, not an immutable law of the universe.

So which prompt, which card meaning is right for you of all people and today of all days? THAT is where tools like Tarot, runes, numerology, astrology, etc meet their limit. They help us access our innate intuition, but they can never substitute for it. The image that comes to mind is a little like dry leaves in a whirlwind. There is a blustery swirl of meanings and energies here. Only you can know which leaf to grab out of the whirlwind of potential meanings. The word ‘local’ steps forward too. The local energy and mood is the one that needs our attention today. Today the card’s guidance is to focus on the treasure within and to trust your own understanding – even more than usual.

In other words the card’s message today is exactly that to trust and protect the inner treasure of your own good intuition. Intuition is usually the purview of cups cards and the water element, but in this case it is more about the protection (an earth element energy) and solid trust more than talking about the intuition itself.

It’s about the the real world, practical protection and application of your intuition. It’s a meatspace thing to borrow from William Gibson’s writing.

The four of pentacles has a variety of meanings. The four part can be associated with steadiness and stability, like the four legs of a chair or table. That’s where we get the protective, steady, trustworthy connotations for the card. I’m told that Chinese culture avoids fours because the word for four sounds like the word for die (but with different characters and tonal pronunciation) I wonder if that – energetically more than culturally or linguistically – is a connection to the more negative connotations for the four of pentacles like greed, and unwarranted miserliness.

Either way, try to think of the physical space actions that your intuition may need today. Do you need to set some atmosphere to help you hear the quiet whispers of intuition and spirit? Is this the day to get that incense or candle you’ve been saving for a special day? Is this the day to unplug from social media and find some physical quiet in order to feed your inner quiet? Many times we have a tendency to relagate those tangible actions to certain days of the week, or phases of the moon or what have you. Don’t wait. Do for your intuition. Guard it, protect your inner self from any toxic people or energies that may be lurking. The leaf for you from today’s whirlwind of meanings might be to reflect, like a bright coin…reflect or disperse any negative or toxic energies away from you. I suggest Ted Andrew’s excellent book Psychic Protection as well as the protective exercises in Mat Auryn’s recent book Psychic Witch (whether you consider yourself to be a part of the pagan or witch community or not, it is still a good, helpful visualization.) Black tourmaline comes to mind as a protective energy to wear or carry. It’s a do your homework kind of day. Part of the message is that it is up to you to look at the local energies and act to protect your inner energies and intuition if needed.

When the energy start repeating and going in circles like this, that is a good cue that the essential message is complete. I see a bow in deference to your knowing.

This is a start. This is a prompt. Now it is up to you to connect and protect. Connect to your intuition, connect your intuition to your individual real world situation, and protect your energy.

Q&A: Spirit Animals

Q: I’ve been going to (reputable websites) to learn about spirit animals. Two of them have told me that my spirit animal is a hare. Don’t tell me the good things about rabbits, it’s just not me. I just know that this isn’t right. Now what?

A: This is one of those long kind of answers, so thank you for hanging in with this. Double thank you for letting me use your topic for the blog. I think it’s true that “the veil thins” near to Halloween. This is a good time of year to begin (respectfully and carefully) working with spirit guides and animal totems. I’m guessing there are quite a few people who feel the way you do.

But don’t worry, I’m not going to extol the virtues of rabbits to you, although it is tempting to do that. We like our backyard bun-buns.

Animal medicine (in the shamanistic sense) is an important topic to me for a variety of personal reasons. My first card deck of any kind was David Carson and Jamie Sams Medicine Cards not long after they were first published. Still, I’m not an expert by any means and this is all just anecdotal experience. First and foremost, keep looking to people who are experts. I’m not familiar with the websites you mentioned, so I can’t really comment one way or the other. I can, however, wholeheartedly recommend the Medicine Cards companion book and Ted Andrews’ book How to Meet and Work With Spirit Guides as an excellent place to start.

Although it was/is an important thing to me as an individual to learn about animal totems, I really don’t think it is a necessary step in spiritual development for everyone. Especially now that we are more aware of cultural appropriation and growing in respect for the culture of indigenous people. That is why I think Mr. Andrews’ How to Meet and Work with Spirit Guides book is an important foundation. He points out that spirit realm interactions are a universal to every culture, animal totems nearly so, but only one chapter is dedicated to animal guides. They are one piece of the puzzle and not necessarily for eeryone. It might be worth asking yourself if your mis-match with rabbit is reflective of a mis-match with animal medicine as a whole. Culturally, personally, ancestrally speaking, is working with animal totems the right path for you? Is this something you deep in your bones feel as a personal relationship, or is it a broader intellectual interest? Both are perfectly fine, by the way. It is OK to learn about animal totems without one choosing you. Or it may just might not be time yet for animal totem work. Maybe human-form guide work needs to come first. Although the totem came first for me, I get the feeling that this is by no means true for everyone.

That being said, I feel you. When I did the quiz on the Harry Potter website that tells you your Patronus, my gut reaction to the result was along the line of “oh HELL no” Then I remembered the old maxim that when we immediately or innately dislike someone or something it is because it/they are some aspect of our own personality. They are mirrors showing us something that we don’t like about ourselves. Reflexive dislike or rejection can be an important teacher. Maybe the animal kingdom’s very first lesson for you is to point out issues that you need to come to terms with about yourself before moving further along the animal guide path. Once we think of the off-putting totem in those terms, suddenly they aren’t so bad after all. If that is why rabbit hopped into your life through those websites, then once you make friends with your rabbity side, then the totem may well fade away and your long term totem might then appear. When I looked at my web quiz patronus that way, it went from “oh hell no” to “oh, OK.”

Rowling’s patronus idea provides another good analogy for spirit animals. Sometimes they change (Tonk’s changed from a hare to a wolf when she married Lupin.) Like human-form spirit guides, animal guides can come and go. Not all of them are lifetime assignments. Hare may be a temporary or harbinger sort of energy. Animal totems seem to echo other guides in that way. I’ve read in a variety of sources that we have a master-guide or lifelong guardian angel sort of entity, but others can come and go. Some guides, be they animal or human, come to us for a particular time or a particular lesson or a phase of growth, then depart when they are no longer needed. Your primary guide is already with you and always has been. When you become aware of them, you’ll recognize them for who they are.

Based on personal experience, encountering a primary animal totem won’t happen through a website or by pulling cards. They are already with you so there is no need to go out and “get” or “find” your totem that way. It is a matter of making a conscious introduction, of wanting to deliberately say hello to that person who has been standing beside you in the elevator. The visual meditations that Ted Andrews gives are excellent for making that connection.

It also brings to mind a scene from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV series. It was time for Sabrina the teenage witch to “get her familiar.” Rather than ordering one out of a catalog like everyone else, she decides to do a “summoning” ritual instead. That is exactly the subtle difference that I think is important here. Instead of going and getting, she trusted and attracted. Instead of yang, she was yin. She let her desire and need be known, then waiting trusting the her familiar to come to her. Now, substitute “spirit animal” for “familiar”

Rather than repeatedly going outward to websites, it might help to try sending out your desire to work with an animal guide but then turn quietly inward, wait and watch. This is where Ted Andrew’s other book Animal Speak comes in handy. After reading the foundations in the how-to spirit guide book, read Animal Speak. After you send out your intentions (by whatever means you choose) pay attention to animals that cross your path in ordinary, mundane, organic ways. Of course, the most powerful way for a totem to introduce themselves to you is in a dream. If not a dream, then pay attentions to the little ways that animals present themselves in your ordinary day-to-day routine. Is there a particular bird sitting on your car and giving you the side eye, or were you dive-bombed by a dragonfly on your yard, or does a particular animal suddenly seem everywhere in random advertising or are you given a gift with that animal on it….things like that. When those kinds of coincidences catch your attention, research THAT animal and see how it feels. What is that kind of animal encounter trying to teach you? If it is your primary totem, you’ll know. No one can tell you the right animal is not your guide, any more than anyone can convince you that hare is your guide. You’ll know with the same amount of certainty about the right guide that you feel now for the seemingly wrong one.

Speaking of hare/rabbit: Mr. Andrews suggests looking at relationships among animals for better understanding. Sometimes, because we live in cities and ‘burbs and not out alone in the wilderness, animals that are used to living near humans or even pets can be a messenger for a wild counterpart. For example, a house cat presenting as a totem might be your cue to research wild felines like bobcats or mountain lions, etc.

He also suggests understanding predator/prey relationships. Who does your totem eat, or what eats your totem? There are energies and lessons there, too. Before you give up on rabbit, look at wild western jackrabbits or its usual predators like coyotes or wolves.

Objectivity is important, too.

Animal totems are guides, not personal avatars. JK Rowlings’ patronus characters may embody the characteristics of the witch or wizard in the fictional world of Harry Potter, but in my experience it isn’t like that with actual animal totems. They teach you, not represent you. They feel more like companions or colleagues to me. They help you grow, not tell the world who you are. Think of it this way: Would you reject college professors because they were different from you? You resonate with your life-guide, just like you may have resonated with a favorite academic adviser…but you don’t have to resonate with transient totems any more than you had to be totally sympatico with your math teacher in order to graduate.

I’d be totally interested to know if any of this helps or if you try any of it. Comments are back open on the blog if you want to drop a note there. Maybe other people will leave questions about animal totems or spirit guides too. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find it or at least point you in the direction of someone who might know.

Thanks again for sharing your question!

Sources

Today’s Tarot: Tricky Beginning

The trick to getting started is a willingness to laugh at your own mistakes

“A beginning is a very delicate time” – movie adaptation of Dune by Frank Herbert

Many cards seem to have two tracks, two threads of meaning. The two aspects aren’t always related. The fool card has always been associated with new beginnings and taking the leap of faith needed to start something brand new. It seems like a chicken and the egg sort of feedback loop: the Fool card means beginnings because it is the first card in the deck, and the Fool is placed first in decks because it means beginnings. Outside of this, the Fool has been associated with play, humor and a court jester sort of character.

Ted Andrews combines a little bit of both by associating coyote with the card. Coyote has a reputation of being a trickster. That touches on the idea of laughter and play. Coyote has a touch of creation, the start of something new. Mr. Andrews’ interpretation “wisdom and folly” reminds us that beginnings can be a tricky thing. At the beginning of a journey we might head in exactly the wrong direction, a classic comedy trope. The good news is that we can laugh at out mis-starts, back up and start again. Including a little lightheartedness makes that whole process easier. If we use wisdom, we can avoid the folly. But if we end up a little foolish, laughter makes it better. Admitting folly and re-starting is certainly better than bashing forward out of foolish pride and allowing an unwanted destination to show us how tricky a beginning can be.

So if the Fool feels like the card for you today, begin. Take a leap of faith in yourself and begin. Choose your first steps and first direction wisely. Think of this as planting the seeds that the Seven of Pentacles will sow later, so plant good stuff. But if you catch yourself in a mistake, laugh and play your way back to the drawing board, and create a new beginning.

Related: Q&A Spirit Animals

YouChoose Interactive Tarot 20-26 Sept. 2020

As seems to be the emerging natural pattern, just have a quick announcement before moving on to this week’s cards: I’ll be on a reduced Tarot / online schedule Tue-Sat. because family stuff. If you are interested in a reading or anything from the store, don’t hesitate to order. The only change is that shipping & delivery might take longer than usual. Thank you in advance for your patience.


Left: 10 of Cups (grasshopper) Take the leap and dare to be happy. Beware of self-sabotage, and allow yourself to succeed. Don’t be afraid of finishing well. 10 cards, being the largest of the number cards in any suit, are a sort of pinnacle, the essence of the suit in its greatest expression. Taoism teaches that anything in its extreme holds the seed of its opposite. Be careful not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victoty. Finish, succeed, allow your self to be happy.

“People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” – attr. Abraham Lincoln

Center: 5 of Swords (Goose) Overcoming obstacles is a journey as well as a destination. This card has shown up previously. My hunch this is for emphasis rather than a hint that we aren’t getting the lesson. Historic things have happened between the card’s appearances to show how important the lesson is: Stay chill, stay calm, work the problem. Swords are associated with the element of air and thereby mind and logic and cool intellect. My attention is drawn more to this elemental association than the contemporary relationship style of meanings. Mr. Andrews association with vision quest grabs my attention too. Especially the quest part. Big, systemic problems aren’t solved in a day. They take time, steps, parts, cooperation, and both tactics and strategy. The journey around or through an obstacle may be long and arduous but also needed and worthwhile.

“Let’s work the problem, people. Let’s not make things any worse by guessing. The Lunar Module just became a lifeboat. I don’t care what anything was designed to do.” – Ed Harris playing Gene Krantz in Apollo 13 (movie)

Right: Strength (Lion) This isn’t going to be easy, but when you have the strength to meed the challenges, the hard doesn’t matter. This card is just exactly that sort of reassurance. You have strength, whether you feel it ahead of time or not. If you don’t, get some. The ability to find solutions and to obtain resources is as good as having them in the first place.

“When you can’t walk, you crawl. When you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you.” – from Firefly (TV series) by Joss Whedon

Today’s Tarot: Slow & Steady

Time is a thing.

Time is woven into the fabric of the universe. How we measure it and talk about it, however, is made-up and arbitrary. A necessary arbitrary, to be sure. We need that common touchstone to communicate. It’s a whole wibbly-wobbly Doctor Who kind of thing. If you invented a time machine, it would have to be able to move, too, or else the Earth would rotate right out from under you while you were gone.

Time is a thing, and setting arbitrary measurements for it are a necessity, but it doesn’t have to be an stress or an enemy. There is a yin and yang too it, and ebb and flow to it. Yes, Eistein showed that time is relative to speed, literally, but there is also fluidity within our perception of it. Psychological stress can be described as feeling time-pressure equally across all tasks. Everything is a coming-in-hot emergency.

The Two of Wands reminds us that nah, it’s not.

Full speed ahead mach 2 overdrive 24/7 is a problem waiting to happen. When this card comes along, it’s time to cool your jets. Look, listen, wait, think. Those are things too. Those are things that need doing as much as anything else. A quality journey is a win as much as getting to your destination is a win.

Putting pressure on yourself is counterproductive in today’s energy. Allow yourself, your projects, your goals, your hopes have the time they need. A turtle doesn’t need to run to live well. Thoughtful persistence is as beneficial as outright speed.

Gift of a Lifetime Wrapped in a Pen

Ink Reading Glass pen

 

Sallie Christensen, one of the most skilled and gifted psychics I’ve ever met, once told me that “A thought is powerful, the spoken word is more so, but the written word is the most powerful of all.” That one sentence was a gift of a lifetime wrapped in a pen. In essence, she had handed me a magic wand.

I had that reading with her in the early 1990s, roughly around the time I’d started exploring oracle cards with Tarot soon to follow. That adage has proven true time and again in the decades since.

Journal writing is a powerful thing. I suspect those years of journaling is the reason why I can communicate messages from spirit as easily through pen and keyboard as through speaking. Written Tarot is definitely more sophisticated, since live sessions don’t have edit buttons or grammar check. Speech may transmit ideas quickly, but writing is a superconductor. Hearing is here and now. Even recordings have a sense of immediacy. Writing transcends space and time. It’s the closest thing we have to telepathy. When I write something and you read it, the message from spirit is communicated heart to heart and mind to mind with none of the mechanics of speech or hearing in between. Hearing happens at Mach 1, the speed of sound. Reading happens at the speed of light.

As Carl Sagan wrote:

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.”

Written Tarot is potent to both give and receive. The experience of reading something that resonates with you spiritually is very similar to the experience getting an intuitive message directly from spirit. Reading anything that is spiritually resonant, be it books, letters, Tarot cards, blogs or emails, is a breathless melange of emotion, empowerment, and enlightenment. Many books have been like that for me, Ted Andrews’ and Christopher Penczak’s in particular. Perhaps written Tarot can capture some of that experience for you.

Intuition happens inside of your head and heart. It is an entirely subjective experience. For me, the internal process of writing is more closely aligned to the internal intuitive message itself.  The flow from spirit to written language is immediate and effortless, while putting things into spoken words takes the tiniest bit more thought and effort. In wireless terms, spoken words work at 4G while my writing operates at 5G or above.

How you enjoy taking in the words and messages of a session is another story. If you like to read, written Tarot is as comfortable as breathing. It doesn’t matter if the actual thing you read is a computer screen or a piece of paper. The experience of reading your message is equally intense regardless of media.

In-person Tarot readings are wonderful, mind expanding, heart warming, and sometimes life changing things…just like the session I had with Sally when we talked about journal writing.

An email or handwritten paper Tarot session is its own kind of mind expanding, heart warming and life changing  experience … just like reading the Andrews and Penczak books.

All of that being said, I’m hoping this will let you feel confident in ordering Distance Tarot. While this post is a glimpse to the writing process on my side of the table, the message is the same no matter how you prefer to receive it, written or spoken, email or live. It’s just a matter of deciding which experience resonates with you.


 

This one is for all of the book lovers. I’m working on a second edition of PeaceTarot. Both editions teach you how to do DIY daily Tarot meditations even if you don’t have a Tarot deck on hand. The second edition adds expanded, pandemic-era card meanings for all 78 RWS Tarot cards.. During the caronapocolypse, we have all been making do with stuff on hand. As life “re-opens” I hope we can carry a little bit of that ingenuity with us. In the spirit of that resourcefulness, I want to upcycle some second quality paper copies* of PeaceTarot and hand customize one just for you. I’ll write a one card reading just like the kind of readings the book can teach you to do PLUS include a sigil element (or sigil glyph or psych-a-doodle or whatever you want to call it) crystal energy and aromatherapy suggestions, an affirmation, add whatever else comes to mind AND use my favorite schmancy glass dip pen. There are a limited number available. All you really pay for is postage and handling. The “graffiti edition” PeaceTarot with custom handwritten one card Tarot readings are available in the shop HERE.

*First edition, single side print, side staple bound

Just a quick reminder: Distance Tarot is always OPEN, with phone readings by appointment. Even though our area is partially out of lockdown and starting to re-open for retail business, in-person individual and party readings will remain closed until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

Related post: The Power Grows.

 

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Navigate

Video from the TaoCraft Tarot YouTube channel

Left: OK here is today’s pandemic pep talk. More change is on the horizon. It’s a crazy time if you look at things globally or if you are out there in the thick of it doing important work, but everyone else is being asked to hibernate. Hibernators have it easy. Like a bear that was forced to wake up too soon, or a bear asked to hibernate in the summer, you may feel a little off kilter or out of the natural cycle of things. Plod along, grind it out, just keep on staying in your cave and washing your paws. If things can change TO this, it can change FROM this sooner or later.

Center: Ten of Cups. My attention is drawn to the sudden hops that actual grasshoppers make more than long and varied symbolism of grasshoppers that Mr. Andrews writes about in “Animal Wise.” In fact, the energy around this card today reminds me more of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh than a grasshopper. It is also like a gentler version of the “remember to play” aspects of the Fool card that we sometimes see, too. Play hopscotch in the driveway. Spend a little quality time staring out the window. Play a game of Twister. The big picture perspective of the world is still pretty scary, but it is perfectly ok to zoom in to some personal moments. Have a minute of fun and several long minutes taking in and sending out love across the distance. Love can leap anywhere.

Right: The Star. Firefly eh? Good TV show that. I recommend it. But this card reminds me of a different reference. One of my favorites. You’ve heard it before, but it must be a good moment because here it is again all these decades later. Anyone remember “City Slickers” with Billie Crystal and Jack Palance? You could call this idea Curly’s Finger. There is one thing that makes sense out of life … the trick is figuring out what that is. Figure out the one thing that makes sense of it all and you are ahead of the game. It’s only THE one thing if it is YOUR one thing. What makes sense of it all for you? Follow that. Follow the north star, not the finger that points to it.

Today’s Tarot: Bend Don’t Break

It’s still your choice, even on days where it feels like one card is the right thing to do. It’s still your choice whether you would like use this card as a prompt for your own DIY reading or scroll down to the one I’ve written below…or both.

It may not be one of our run on coins cards, but The Fool, reversed, has pandemic advice all over it.

Begin a new journey? Nope – stay your backside at home.

Begin an inner journey? Absolutely! But that is where the reversal comes in. Mr. Andrews describes the cayote on the card as one of the most vlever and adaptable animals. So a reversal here begs the question of where and how you are having problems adapting. Taoist philosophy has a similar idea. If you don’t bend, you could break. Living beings are supple, bendable. Life wants to be clever and adaptable like cayote in order to stay that way. Dead things are rigid, stiff, unbending, brittle, breakable.

This isn’t over. The old ways have to change, else death may follow. Yes, you have to do things differently and think about things differently now. It bests the alternative. Bending is far better than breaking.

Stay safe, stay home. Protect the ones who go to work to protect you by staying home for them.

YouChoose Interactive Tarot: Hang in there, sky puppy.

Left: The Hanged Man. I was surprised to hear there had been social media backlash, even some racist comments made about a wildlife post featuring a bat on social media. There is a certain synchronicity and irony to having bat be the representative animal on the very first card we draw in one of these youtube videos. Fear and anger really do lead to the dark side of human nature. At the same time I think it goes to show that this deck is a good one for these times because it doesn’t pull any punches. Nature isn’t going to dance around our fragile little fee fees. As tragic, stressful and devestating as this pandemic is, it is also a gift from Nature. Bats are connected to not only the Hanged Man from the Tarot deck, but also transformation through isolation, the shaman’s journey. The pandemic is forcing us inside, literally and figuratively. It may well uncover the very worst of us. Only by facing the worst of ourselves can those things be transformed. Bats have, in that way, given us a gift and an opportunity. Besides, it isn’t the bat’s fault that human leader have failed so very miserably. So don’t hate on the sky puppies!

Center: Seven of Wands. I’ve been a die hard devotee of Ted Andrews’ work ever since Animal Speak was published around the time I started working with Tarot, ’93-ish if memory serves. Initially, I did not the connection between reptiles and wands and the element of fire and didn’t aesthetically appreciate it until Harry Potter came along with dragons, Hagrid and Norbert. But then, show could blame a cold blooded critter for wanting to cozy up to a fireplace, especially on a chilly rainy spring day like we are having (I looooove this kind of weather, by the way) Here again, as with the Hanged man, we are asked to turn inward, and to face our inner selves. In this particular case, Mr. Andrews associated Toad and the seven of wands with inner strength and inner resourcefulness. There is both the advice of staring yourself in the soul during these isolated times and getting friendly with the person you find…and the reassurance that the person you find is stronger than you might think.

Right: Three of Pentacles. Hello Pentacles. They are still here…the pandemic is still here. Keep doing what practically needs done to stay as safe and healthy as you possible can. Both here and in other decks the three of coins is connectied to skill and craftmanship. This card feels like pure advice. Do something productive today to help you keep on keeping on. Anything counts. Take a nap. Play a little. Let yourself stop worrying for five minutes. Change those 3 day pajamas. Anything. You don’t have to write King Lear or solve quantum physics. Otters are reknown for their playfulness and for attentiveness to their young. Play, take care of someone (including yourself) or try not to let homeschooling drive you too far up the wall.

Hang in there, sky puppy!