Saturday, June 21, 2014

From the Vaults: Improving as a Tarot reader

I was going back through my previous posts and found this reading I did for myself back in March 2011. I have a post planned for later this week about my strengths as a Tarot reader, so wanted to bring this one back on my blog so I can compare then and now.


Hi! My blog has been a little m.i.a. lately, but I'm ready to get warmed up and get to it, starting now! I'm using the Tarot of the Magical Forest (Lo Scarabeo, 2008) this time. I found this spread by Alta on Aeclectic Tarot

How can I become a better Tarot reader?


What I do well - 2 of Swords
I am good at remaining objective and helping those I read for gain objectivity, at least when I read for other people. How can we ever be sure if we're being objective when we're reading for ourselves?  I'm also diplomatic - I'm honest but say things in a nice way.

What I need to work on - Judgement
I need to work on being more specific in my readings and being more committed to my interpretation of the cards. I also want and need to develop my intuition, and trust of my intuition. I also have fear of criticism that holds me back.

External resources for improving - Knight of Chalices
This to me is a person who is skilled at following their intuition that I could learn from. Also, this could be me sharing my passion for Tarot more. 

Internal approaches for improving - 7 of Wands
I get this card all the time lately! The area that would serve me best to develop internally is my commitment to Tarot, my belief in it. I occasionally feel forces, whether imagined or not, against me. I need to be strong : )

Overall advice - 3 of Pentacles
I need to work with others as I continue to practice Tarot. It might be good to take a course that required more commitment and allowed me to communicate more with other readers. Receiving criticism is an ongoing challenge for me -- here may be another opportunity!


Looking at this reading now, I can honestly say that I've taken all of this advice: I've worked on reading more intuitively, I've made a bigger commitment to my Tarot practice, and have gotten involved in the Tarot community and in learning with others in many ways. It will be interesting to see how the cards reflect my development. Stay tuned! xoxo

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Envisioning and Calling In My People using Tarot

The Rider Tarot Deck, U.S.  Games Systems, 1971. 
The Wildwood Tarot, Sterling Ethos, 2011.
Morgan-Greer Tarot (Spanish), U.S. Games Systems, 1997.

Inspired by Leonie Dawson's recent blog post, I went through a few of my Tarot decks to find the "people" I most want to surround myself with at this point in my life.

I was looking for images that depict my ambitions, the way I want to feel every day, things I admire, and the things I like to do, or would like to do more of. I ended up with a tremendous stack of cards, after going through 4 decks, so decided to choose 4 cards randomly from the stack, asking "Who are the magical, influential people I am calling into my life now?"

May these images help me visualize and call into my life a circle of magical friends!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dear Shonna: Achieving my Full Potential

Dear Shonna,

All my life I've been told about how much "potential" I have in life, and I know this to be true. But I always feel so physically drained of energy and have not achieved much of anything I hoped to. Can you tell me what's blocking my success and how I can get around it to finally ACHIEVE my full potential?

Thank you! T. 

Dear T.,

Thank you for your question. I sense a bit of sadness and disappointment in your words, so want to start with a card from the Angel Meditation deck, for comfort and to set the tone for your Tarot reading.

I pulled The Angel of Clarity. Rather than tell you what it means, I'll simply post an image so that you can meditate on this message.

Angel Meditation by Sonia Cafe & Neide Innecco.
1996, U.S. Games Systems.

For your reading, I am going to use The Devil Tarot Layout by Thalia Took, which is "to use when you feel stuck, to help see what is holding you back." The deck I will use is the Morgan-Greer Tarot. 

Morgan-Greer Tarot (Spanish Edition). 1979, 1993 U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

"Card 1: This card represents the rut you are in that you can't see out of, the old habit that is no longer serving you, your prejudices and biases."

King of Pentacles - When I read your question, and now seeing this card, I had a sense of worry about the words you used, like "potential", "success", and "achieve". I wonder if you feel that you are not fulfilling your potential until you have something to show to prove it, like money, fame, power. It is my belief that we have all we need to overcome our own personal challenges, but when other people's energy starts entangling us that can be draining; so when you say you feel physically drained of energy, I wonder if you are questing for an idea of success and potential that comes from outside of your true self.

"Card 2: This card is the subconscious roots, why you are comfortable in this hole or why you are binding yourself. Can represent deep issues that need to be addressed, or depths not acknowledged, that are held back and need to be let out in some way. Also repression and fear."

The Hanged Man - My initial sense with this card as the subconscious roots that are holding you back, is that in a way you are comfortable not taking the action that would give you the success that you authentically crave. In a way, it is easier to define success in that socially normative way, represented by the King of Pentacles, of having wealth and power, then to be honest about what would be really, deeply satisfying to you. This might be because true success for you is difficult to put into words, because it requires unconventional and daring behaviour and thinking, or because you feel it might not be recognized by those around you. In a way, it's easier to say, "success means being rich and powerful but I'm never going to have those things" then it is to say "what I really, truly want, what I would find satisfying in the rawest, deepest way is ________________" and then doing what you need to do to make that happen; that approach is scary!

"Card 3: This card represents conscious manifestations, what this is doing to you on an everyday level, insecurities, anxieties, worry, or the happy face you put on things."

Queen of Wands - She makes me think that you continue to pursue success as conventionally defined -- money, power, fame, recognition, and do so with a great disposition. You like people to feel comfortable around you, and part of that is not defying their expectations to any large degree. I wonder T. if you were to ask the people in your life if they thought you were fulfilling your potential what they would say. My sense is that you are admired and loved, that you are a great friend, nurturer, and leader. And yet you feel unfulfilled in some way...

"Card 4: This card puts it in perspective; it represents the bird's eye view from above. This is an outside opinion, the overall picture."

Four of Wands - Like the Queen of Wands, this card gives me the sense that you are indeed successful in your life, at least from the viewpoint of others. You may not be a "King of Pentacles" but that is only one way to define "success" and a narrow definition at that. Your loved ones look up to you, they see you as the Queen of your home, nurturing and warm, someone they want to be around. All this is not to invalidate your position -- you want more from your life.

You asked what is blocking your success, and my sense, from these first four cards is that your own definition of success is getting in your way. What do you really, really want, in your heart of hearts? Rather than think about things you'd like to have, or a job you'd like to do, how do you want to feel every day? My belief is that when you're vision is aligned with your authentic self, though there may be challenges, you will feel energized.

"Card 5: This card shows how to free yourself from this, issues you need to get through, or advice you can apply to this situation. This is the way to loosen the chains."

Three of Wands: This card is saying "test the waters, just dip your toe in and see how it feels". Just think of some small thing that would feel really satisfying to you that you can easily achieve. Pick something that, when you think about it, you feel a warm glow in your lower belly. If you're having trouble picking an action to do, start by thinking about how you'd like to feel, and then do something that would make you feel that way. Or, look at what you love doing already; when you're just hanging out, what do you gravitate towards? How does that make you feel?

Looking back on the Angel of Clarity, there is a theme here for you T.: Get clear about what "achieving my potential" means to you, what "success" means. Try to let the social expectations drop away so you can tune in to your inner light.

Dear T., I hope this reading is helpful to you. I wish you clarity and profound joy every day.

Every month I answer a question here using my Tarot cards. If you have a question you'd like answered email me at